The Dream Defenders, a group of young activists who received national recognition for their 31-day protest of Florida's Stand Your Ground laws are now taking their fight to the international level.
The organization has joined forces with the NAACP in filing a grievance with the United Nations to review whether the controversial law is in compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The covenant requires that countries acknowledge the equal and inalienable rights of all humans.
Stand Your Ground laws, which have allowed people to use deadly force in instances where they feel threatened, came into spotlight during the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted, which led to the Dream Defenders month-long protest at the state capitol.
In a written statement, the groups present a history of Florida's Stand Your Ground law and question whether it engenders a "shoot first" mindset that leads to more homicides, while muddling proper investigations of those killings." They also add, "These laws make it easier for people to murder other human beings and without facing legal consequences."
The statement cites a report by the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center that says the law discriminates against minorities, "The odds that a white-on-black homicide is ruled to have been justified is almost 10 times the odds a black-on-white shooting is ruled justified."
The United States will review the U.S.'s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in October.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Phil Sears)
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