Gov. Scott on shooting death of Trayvon Martin: ‘You want to do everything you can to make sure this doesn’t happen again”by Dara Kam | March 20th, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott spoke with reporters this morning about the shooting death of an unarmed Florida teen by a neighborhood watch volunteer that’s put Florida’s “stand your ground” law in the national spotlight.
Scott said he is not concerned that the law is unfair.
“But any time we see something like that we have to review and make sure we’re not giving people the opportunity to use the law unfairly,” he told reporters before this morning’s Cabinet meeting. “You’re heart goes out to a family like that that loses a young man like that. You want to do everything you can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Scott late last night ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to cooperate in the investigation into Martin’s shooting death that prompted national demands for the arrest of George Zimmerman, who claimed he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford, near Orlando. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the case.
While Scott did not order an inquiry into the shooting, he asked state investigators to cooperate in part to quell the public outcry.
“I think it’s the right thing,” Scott said before Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. “Any time there’s a situation where citizens are concerned that the right process is happening I think it can be helpful.”
Authorities in part blame the shooting on Florida’s first-in-the nation “stand your ground” law allowing individuals to use deadly force if they feel threatened. Zimmerman has said he fired the semiautomatic gun because he fired for his life.
The shooting has created a national furor and sparked accusations of racism because Martin was black and Zimmerman is white (his family says he is Hispanic). Al Sharpton is expected to join community leaders in Sanford to discuss local officials’ handling of the investigation.
Scott likened the tragedy to the death of Robert Champion, a Florida A & M University Marching “100″ band member who died after allegedly being hazed by his peers.
“Nobody wants something to happen to a young man like that. I mean, you look at Robert Champion or any of these…You’re heart goes out to a family like that that loses a young man like that. You want to do everything you can to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Scott said.