Protesters crowd Gov. Scott’s office for second dayby John Kennedy | July 17th, 2013
A couple dozen protesters Wednesday continued to crowd the lobby of Rick Scott’s Capitol office Wednesday urging the out-of-town governor to take action against Florida’s stand-your-ground law in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict.
The protesters, some from as far away as Miami, began gathering a day earlier and insisted they intended to stay until they drew a response from Scott. The governor was in New York most of Tuesday and is spending Wednesday at a series of events in the Florida Panhandle.
“Tell Rick Scott to come back, we’ve got some Skittles for him,” said Dwayne Campbell, 31, a Tallahassee Community College student, citing the candy 17-year-old Trayvon Martin carried with him when shot by Zimmerman during an altercation.
Some of the protesters, whose number had swelled to more than 100 on Tuesday, spent the night on the marble-floored hallway outside the governor’s office.
Organizers said others were expected to arrive Wednesday, but many at the scene said they planned to be there for the long haul.
“We’re serious. We don’t plan to leave,” said Shamile Louis, 21, a sociology student from the University of Florida who used a computer tablet to lead an internet discussion from the governor’s office.
Louis said the group has been contacted by supporters across the country and even from Ireland. Among the groups gathered at the Capitol were representatives of Dream Defenders, whose leader, Ciara Taylor, is from Jacksonville, and PowerU Center in Miami.
The protesters have called for a repeal of Florida’s stand-your-ground law. More than two dozen states have such measures that allow people to use deadly force if they think their life is being threatened.
The role that law played in the Martin shooting is in dispute — with Zimmerman’s defense team not having used the law as the basis for their arguments. But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, in a speech this week to the NAACP, said the laws encourage gun owners to seek confrontation rather than avoiding it.