Trayvon Martin’s mother strongly condemned Florida’s controversial stand your ground law and said that the American justice system needs to make dramatic changes in the way young African-American and Latino citizens are treated.
Sybrina Fulton spoke at a press conference in Miami alongside leaders of the National Bar Association, the predominantly African-American law group whose convention is being held in Miami.
With regard to the stand your ground law, Fulton said, “I just think it assisted the person who killed my son to get away with murder. That has to change. We have to change these laws so that people don’t get away with murder."
Her remarks at the lawyers’ convention in Miami were part of a series of high-profile appearances that she and Tracy Martin, the father of the slain 17-year-old high school student, have undertaken since shortly after the verdict was reached that found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of their son.
In recent weeks, Fulton said she had committed her time to advocating on behalf of youth in an effort to reduce the possibility of teenagers being victimized by gun violence.
In yesterday’s press conference, officials of the National Bar Association called upon Florida’s legislature to abolish the stand your ground law, which enables an individual to legally use deadly force if he or she determines that danger is imminent. The law became widely known nationally in the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s shooting of the unarmed teenager, then the assailant considered using the law in his self-defense strategy.
"We are asking the legislature to turn the pain that parents are feeling into a simple plan -- that our youth will come home every night,” said John Page, the president of the association.
He said that the law, which he called “a license to kill,” should be abolished by the state’s legislature and called for a tourism boycott in Florida.
"Tourism, one of the lifelines of the state, will be impacted," Page said.
Fulton stopped short of endorsing a boycott of Florida.
"I can't say I'm in support or not in support," she said. "But people have the right to free speech, and if they feel like it, that's something they can do."
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(Photo: REUTERS/Joe Skipper)