Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown (5th Dist.) of Florida issued this statement today in wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin last year in Sanford.
"I am heartbroken and angered by the verdict in this decision. My prayers go out to the Martin family in their grief as they are faced to live with a justice system that has failed them, a system that did not exact even minimal punishment on the man who killed their 17 year old son.
This is a blatant example of our justice system being entirely broken. Along with the NAACP and other civil rights groups, I pledge to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws here in Florida and across the nation, and do everything within my power as a Member of Congress to put an end to racial profiling. Last year, an innocent young man was killed in Sanford, Florida while returning from a 7-11 grocery store, and the perpetrator was not even convicted of a crime...clearly, there is something very wrong with a system of justice that legally sanctions such a heinous act.
Two cases involving Stand Your Ground laws in my congressional district highlight the hypocrisy and disparities in this law's interpretation. In this case, in Sanford, a white man shot a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, and the justice system ruled it was an act of self defense under Stand Your Ground. In Jacksonville, Marissa Alexander, a young black mother fired a warning shot because she feared another possible attack by her abusive husband, yet she was not allowed a stand your ground defense during her trial. If ever there were a case where Stand Your Ground should apply, it would have been that of Marissa Alexander.