Gov. Scott declines NAACP call; no plans to return quickly to protesters at Capitolby John Kennedy | July 17th, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott declined late Wednesday a call from the Florida NAACP that he return to the Capitol “immediately” to address the “outcry” over the acquital of George Zimmerman, instead touting the state’s 42-year-low crime rate.
Scott’s letter to NAACP president Adora Obi Nweze also underscored his past action in organizing a task force to study the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which critics have said created a climate that led to Zimmerman pulling his gun and shooting 17-year-old Travon Martin last year.
As he did after the verdict, Scott sought to empathize with Martin’s parents and many in Florida’s black community outraged by Zimmerman’s acquital. A third day of protest is planned Thursday at the governor’s office in the state Capitol where a couple dozen representatives of the Orlando-based Dream Defenders have rallied.
A Scott spokeswoman said late Wednesday that the governor was scheduled to be traveling again Thursday and would not be in his office.
“After holding seven public meetings and considering 16,603 pieces of correspondence and 160 public comments at Task Force meetings, the Task Force concurred with the Stand Your Ground law and I agree,” Scott wrote Nweze. “It is also important to note that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was not argued in the Zimmerman case.”