Al Sharpton wants Florida to do away with stand your ground law



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 was there when the Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at the Orange County Convention Center about the Trayvon Martin case Wednesday.

Sharpton said he wasn't in central Florida during George Zimmerman's trial because he wanted to respect the judicial process, but he said now it's time for modern day civil rights leaders to stand up and fight back against the stand your ground law.

Last year, Sharpton led marches in Sanford, demanding the arrest of Zimmerman, who shot and killed Martin in self-defense last year. He was acquitted of second-degree murder charges on Saturday.

Sharpton is calling for the same types of marches as the Department of Justice starts its civil rights investigation.

"And just like we raised the temperature to get the trail, we are going to keep raising the temperature to get civil rights legislation and to turn around stand your ground," said Sharpton.

Sharpton said he and others plan to lobby legislators to do away with the stand your ground law, which allows someone to protect themselves with deadly force.

"And until we can overturn stand your ground, we risk other Trayvon Martins," said Sharpton.

Sharpton said now that the trial is over, it's time to turn to the people in power in Tallahassee.     

"We didn't come to argue the jury verdict. The jury has spoken but now the people gonna speak," he said.

WFTV spoke with the Rev. Jesse Jackson before he took the stage and said the not guilty verdict is a sign that civil rights are still not where they need to be.

"I think it may have opened up an issue and it needs to be healed. It doesn’t need to go away. It needs to be healed," said Jackson.

In the meantime,protesters upset with the verdict are remaining at the Capitol even though Gov. Rick Scott has said no to their demands.

Scott has yet to set foot in the Capitol since a group of young protesters began occupying his office on Tuesday. The small group wants the governor to call a special session and ask legislators to change the state's self-defense laws.

During a Pensacola stop, Scott said it was "great" that people were using their free-speech rights, but he would not say if he planned to meet with the protesters.

The governor also maintained his stance that there is no need to change Florida's "stand your ground" law.

Steven Pargett said protesters will "wait" and "wait" for their demands to be met.