Leading ministers of the National Baptist Convention, USA., Inc., announced Tuesday they are working to repeal the controversial “stand your ground” laws around the country through a newly-formed National Pastors’ Task Force.
The Rev. R.B. Holmes, pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., along with a dozen of his colleagues, noted attorney Benjamin Crump, Judge Glenda Hatchett and the parents of slain teens Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, converged on the National Press Club in D.C. to protest the laws, which they said are racially discriminatory.
“Enough is enough,” Holmes said. “Our young boys are being senselessly killed just for being black teenagers. We have begun the fight in Florida and pledge to carry it across the nation.”
Florida recently has become a hotbed for the issue in the wake of several high-profile cases, most notably the trial of George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon, an unarmed black teenager, in February 2012. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder after claiming self-defense.
In November of that year, Jordan was shot and killed by Michael Dunn, a white man, at a Florida gas station in November 2012 amid a dispute over loud music coming from Jordan’s vehicle. Like Trayvon, Jordan was unarmed at the time.
Though neither Zimmerman nor Dunn invoked the “stand your ground” law as their defense, the outcry against the law only grew louder after Zimmerman’s acquittal and a jury’s failure to convict Dunn of murdering Davis.
There is currently legislation in the Florida Senate to have the state’s “stand your ground” law altered to prevent attackers such as Zimmerman and Dunn to use the law as a defense.
Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, welcomed the ministers’ support in her quest to eradicate such laws.
“Black and brown boys do not need to deal with these things,” she said of the laws.
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SOURCE: Washington Informer