A number of notable figures, including the parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, are converging upon the Florida state capitol on Monday to protests that state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.
The rally in Tallahassee will include remarks by radio entertainer Tom Joyner as well as the Rev. Al Sharpton, the head of the National Action Network. They will join Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Davis, the parents of Trayvon Martin, and Lucia McBath and Ronald Davis, the parents of Jordan Davis.
The protesters will also include the family of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Black Chicagoan who was killed in Mississippi in 1955 by local white men for allegedly whistling at a white woman.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law enables citizens to use deadly force if someone feels he or she is in imminent mortal danger. Proponents of the law say that it is an important tool in self-defense legal strategies in the state’s court system.
On the other hand, critics of the law have complained that it amounts to little more than state-sanctioned vigilante activity.
Alan B. Williams, a state representative in Florida and the chairman of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, sponsored a bill last year to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law, but it was defeated in committee. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declined to hold a special session to discuss the law, explaining that he approved of it.
“I think that Monday’s rally will continue to shine the light on the inadequacies and imperfections of the stand your ground law,” Williams said, in an interview with BET.com. “It will continue to show the nation that, since Florida was the first to enact this law, it should be the first to repeal or repair the law.”
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(Photos from left: Courtesy Jacksonville News, Facebook)