Gov. Scott Denies Demands But Protesters Persist
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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – As a small group of peaceful protesters persist at the state’s Capitol Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott reiterated that he does not have plans to call a session to address Florida’s self-defense laws following the George Zimmerman trial, the man acquitted of charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Despite Scott’s words to the group, the protestors appear ready to spend a second night in the hallway near Scott’s office.
The group of approximately 30 people, chanting phrases such as “Mama, mama, can’t you see what the system done to me” when the doors were closed, are equipped with pillows, water, pizza and other food.
A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said that the protesters — many of whom are members of a group called Dream Defenders — would be allowed to stay overnight again.
Protester Steven Pargett said the group would “wait” until their demands — which includes changing the state’s “stand your ground law” — were met. Scott spent the day in Pensacola and Panama City and has not yet seen the protesters since they arrived earlier in the week.
“The governor has not yet arrived so apparently this isn’t a priority of his,” Pargett said. “This is a huge priority of ours. This is the largest priority that we have and it’s not just us … So we’re here and we’ll wait and we’ll wait.”
At a stop in Pensacola, Scott said he supported people giving their views.
“I think it is great that people are exercising their voices,” Scott said.
But he repeated his statement from Tuesday that he does not believe any changes need to be made to the state’s “stand your ground” law. It allows someone to use deadly force if they believe their life is in danger. The 2005 law eliminated a provision that required people outside their homes to have a “duty to retreat” from a threat.