One year ago, an unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Last week a task force appointed in the wake of the shooting, said the law needs to stay on the books with only minor changes. But Trayvon’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, says something needs to change. “I am not absolutely sure that the police knew what the Stay Your Ground law was.”, says Fulton via phone.
In its report the task force spends a great deal of time telling lawmakers it needs to define criminal activity so the law is applied evenly across the state. The task force wants to limit neighborhood watch volunteers to observing and reporting potential activity to the police. They also specifically say in the report, they don’t want neighborhood watch volunteers pursuing or provoking potential suspects.
State Representative Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee), says he is pushing forward will a full scale repeal of Stand Your Ground. “It’s about really keeping our community safe. Not allowing folks to hide behind the screen of Stay Your Ground, while they’re being vigilantes.”, says Rep. Williams
Four other bills have also been introduced to repeal or modify the law. But Unified Sportsmen of Florida’s, Marion Hammer, says the task force was clear. “In their recommendations clearly track the view of the people.”, says Hammer.
Lawmakers begin their 60 day annual session next Tuesday.