A march against Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was held Monday at the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee.
Busloads who attended listened as Rev. Al Sharpton, attorney Ben Crump and the parents of Trayvon Martin called for the repeal of the state’s now-infamous statute.
But it was the speeches by two mothers whose sons were affected by the law in completely different circumstances that led to poignant moments.
The recent trial of Michael Dunn, that resulted in a hung jury over the fatal shooting of Jordan Davis, rekindled criticism of the Florida law. Dunn confronted Jordan and three others over loud rap music coming from their vehicle. He fired 10 shots, with three fatally wounding Jordan. A jury determined that Dunn was reckless in firing the weapon but was split on whether Dunn had attempted murder. Dunn’s lawyers argued that he thought he was a gun in Jordan’s car, putting him in imminent danger.
At today’s rally, Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis gave a moving speech asking the people of the state of Florida to hold their lawmakers accountable for the deaths of young black men, which have increased significantly since “Stand Your Ground” was implemented.
Former U.S. airman Michael Giles was sentenced to 25 years in a failed attempt to apply “Stand Your Ground” when he was attacked without provocation at a local gathering in Tallahassee.
His attacker, who was shot in the leg, survived and even testified in court that he went after Giles without provocation. Despite the facts, Giles was convicted. His mother, Phyllis Giles, was moved to tears as she told the crowd at Monday’s rally how the law is unevenly applied.
Watch video from both speeches above and let us know what you think in the comments below.