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Stand Your Ground protesters occupy FL governor’s office for second week

By   /   July 23, 2013  /   News  /   9 Comments

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog


HOW WILL IT END? Gov. Rick Scott meets with protesters outside his Capitol office.

TALLAHASSEE – Will the protesters get what they want? It’s a question only time can answer.

Roughly two dozen members of the group Dream Defenders began their second week occupying Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office at the state Capitol on Monday.

The two sides are at odds over the Stand Your Ground provision in the state’s self-defense laws, Florida Statutes, Chapter 776.

The protesters want Scott to call a special session of the Legislature to repeal Stand Your Ground. But the governor has made it clear he supports the positive recommendations of the 19-member Stand Your Ground task force convened in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s tragic shooting death  last year.

Twenty-two other states have similar laws, and a new Rasmussen poll shows 45 percent of Americans approve Stand Your Ground while 32 percent disapprove.

Phillip Agnew, executive director of Dream Defenders, told Florida Watchdog last Tuesday the group also wants an end to the “zero tolerance” policies that impose automatic punishments for certain crimes.

On Monday, state Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters met with the protesters to discuss what Florida officials are doing to prevent young adults from entering the criminal justice system, the Miami Herald reported.

Waters worked in the juvenile justice services in Miami-Dade County from 1995-2011. She left when Scott appointed her to run the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. According to her department bio, Miami-Dade had the lowest youth incarceration rate in the state during her tenure, as well as one of the lowest juvenile crime rates.


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William Patrick is Watchdog.org’s Florida reporter. His work has been featured by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and Townhall.com, as well as other national news and opinion websites. He’s also been cited and reposted by numerous state news organizations, including Florida Trend, Sunshine State News and the Miami Herald, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Press Association. William’s work has impacted discussions on education, privacy, criminal justice reform, and government and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Watchdog, William worked for the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Fla. There, he launched a legislative news website covering state economic issues. After leaving New York City in 2010, William worked for the Florida Attorney General’s Office where he assisted state attorneys general in prosecuting Medicaid Fraud. William graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three young children.

  • roy

    any chance the time they spend there can be deducted from their welfare checks?

  • cooldad

    time we go up there and show our support to keep that law SYG so the next time some one comes after you we can defend our selfs they wand it gone so when they attact us we will die in stayed of them . not happing leave GZ along

  • JayKay-in-Pace

    Does anyone find it interesting that the 32% that disapprove of the Stand-Your-Ground Law is in the range of the minority population – yet the black community is the greatest benefactors of the law?

  • CC

    Would these protestors be protesting if Trayvon had been white? I doubt it. Why don’t they go to Chicago to protest all black on black murdres? Because it is about race?

  • WhoddaThunkIt

    Call me crazy, but I think the race of Treyvon doesn’t matter. What matters is that a grown man followed a minor, unarmed teenager leading to a fight that the grown man was probably losing, so he shot him. That’s murder. It might be legal under stand your ground but that doesn’t make it right. White, black or purple – killing unarmed kids on a public street should be illegal.

  • Ken

    Anyone else wonder what kind of an idiot protests a law over a case where the law wasn’t even used?

  • Ken

    Stand Your Ground wasn’t used as a defense. Thanks for playing!

  • tomhayward

    It’s not freaking murder, you idiot. You are allowed to use deadly force if you are under attack and feel your life was threatened. Believe me, if YOU were attacking me, I would do whatever I could to break your neck and kill you. Fighting among adults is not a playground tussle. Maybe you think it is. The law was on Zimmerman’s side, as it would be anyone else in this issue.

    Oh, and by the way, if you went for my gun, whether we were in a fight or not, that’s assault, if you hit me while doing it, that’s a battery, and that shows an attempt on my life, and I am perfectly within the law to stop you from getting my gun and shooting you.

    Don’t like the law? Oh I bet you would if the tables were turned and someone was attacking YOU, do I have that about right, moron?

  • WhoddaThunkIt

    Oh please, like I said it isn’t legally murder in Florida thanks to stand your ground. However, if you follow me, confront me and then I fight back and am kicking your ass when you reach for your gun as far as I’m concerned unless Ive gone for a weapon that’s murder. You didn’t have to follow me and I wasn’t coming for you or into your ground. You came into mine and by your rationale, at that point I should’ve just shot you because you were threatening me and making me feel unsafe.

    We live in a country of laws and all stand your ground does is essentially say, ‘everyone for themselves.’ Call the cops if you see someone shady, don’t follow and confront that person. Your tax dollars pay those police and I assure you that they’re more experienced and better at confronting actual dangerous, unknown people in the dark than you are tomhayward.

    I’m certainly not advocating not protecting yourself, I’m simply saying don’t go pick a fight and pretend its self defense. You picked the fight and in my opinion you’re the guilty party – not the person who had done nothing wrong other than walk down the street until you came along.