UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
July 18, 2013
A Tallahassee minister who served on Florida's Stand Your Ground task force is calling for a special session to revise - or repeal - the controversial law.
The call comes as protestors continue a sit in at the governor's office, a sit in that's now in its third day.
"Trayvon Martin stood his ground and winds up in the ground and George Zimmerman walks away free," Reverend R.B. Holmes said Thursday.
Holmes called on Florida's governor to convene a special session to review Stand Your Ground and commence a comprehensive study of how it's applied.
"Amend it, fix it or repeal it," Holmes said.
Holmes served as the vice chair of a task force that gathered public input in the wake of Trayvon martin's death and made eight recommendations, none of which he said were ever debated by the house or senate.
"What happened? Nothing. What kind of leadership did we get from the governor? Nothing," Representative Alan Williams said.
The governor wrote the state's NAACP President Wednesday that the "task force concurred with Stand Your Ground law and I agree," he said.
"To immediately go after this statute when it wasn't even utilized in this case is misguided," Representative Dennis Baxley said in response.
Baxley - the Ocala Republican who sponsored the stand your ground bill - says polls last year showed a majority of Floridians support the law and now is not the time to re-evaluate it.
"I think it's a very emotionally raw time and that we need to be cautious about how we proceed, rather than urgent," Baxley said.
Protestors at Florida's capitol say they will continue their sit in until the governor returns to address their calls for a special session and Reverend Holmes says every Floridian deserves the clarity it could bring.
Williams called on the governor to return to Tallahassee and meet with the students waiting in his office.
Press Release: Florida House of Representatives
Rev. R. B. Holmes, Representative Alan Williams, ministers and student government leaders will hold a press conference Thursday, July 18, 2013, at 1:00 PM at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 224 North Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. They will be urging Governor Rick Scott to call for a special legislative session to review Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.
Rev. Holmes served as Vice-Chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection. Contrary to public statements that the Task Force recommended maintaining the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground Law, Rev. Holmes will clarify the recommendations he forwarded to the Task Force and Gov. Scott on October 14, 2012, to study the issues and concerns relative to the “10/20 Law” and to ensure the “Stand Your Ground” law has been fairly and justly applied across racial and socio-economic lines. “There was not a unilateral approval of the current Stand Your Ground legislation” stated Holmes. “This is a call for action. Florida, once again is at the epicenter of confusion, controversy and chaos.”
“It is time for our elected officials to address this Stand Your Ground Law and to act on behalf of all the citizens of Florida,” stated Representative Alan Williams.