Rev. Al Sharpton at NAACP Convention: Repeal Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law
July 17, 2013 | WMFE - National civil rights leaders spoke in Orlando Wednesday to wrap up the NAACP's annual convention.
[Image: NAACP 104th Annual Convention Poster]
The convention, the civil rights organization’s 104th annual event, is the first of its kind the NAACP has held in Orlando. It began on Saturday, July 13th.
Late that night, a jury in neighboring Seminole County found former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not guilty of any crime in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense.
Wednesday, Reverend Al Sharpton told a large crowd of NAACP event attendees at the Orange County Convention Center that Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law is "the worst violation of civil rights" in US state law.
“We cannot have our sons’ and daughters’ lives on the line for anybody that wants to pursue them, follow them, and kill them, and say it’s in self-defense,” said Sharpton.
Sharpton also announced he wants to make Florida a test case for repealing the law in the sixteen states that have Stand Your Ground-type legislation.
Reverend Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King III also spoke Wednesday, criticizing the Stand Your Ground Law and the recent US Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
All three civil rights leaders urged supporters to join them at a march on Washington, D.C. on August 24th. It is scheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech in front of an estimated 250,000 participants.