Gov. Scott Denies Demands But Protesters Persist (page 2)
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, addressing the NAACP in Orlando on Tuesday, said all such laws across the country need to be reassessed. He said they “sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods.”
Scott’s position is the same as the one reached by a task force he created last year after the Martin shooting.
The Republican governor would not say if he planned to meet with the protesters.
Scott — who did spend Tuesday night at the mansion after a day in New York City — is not expected to be in Tallahassee for the rest of the week.
Scott’s handling of the protests is quickly turning into a political issue for him. The head of theFlorida NAACP wrote him a letter urging him to “immediately” return to the Capitol to address the “outcry” over the Zimmerman verdict.
Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida State Conference NAACP, in her letter contended that families don’t know what to tell to children on how to remain safe.
“This verdict has caused families to ask the question — ‘What should I tell my child in order to keep them safe and alive in Florida?” she wrote Scott. “We are the fourth largest state in the union with one of the nation’s most diverse populations. This is not the kind of Florida our children deserve.”
Scott sent a response late Wednesday to the NAACP president stating that the state’s crime rate is at a 42-year-low. He said in his letter that the task force he set up was in response to concerns after Martin’s “tragic death” and he said “cannot imagine the pain the Martin family is experiencing.” But he again said he “concurred” with recommendations to keep the law as it is. He also said that “stand your ground” wasn’t argued in the Zimmerman case, although the provisions from the law were used in the instructions handed to the jury.
Democratic legislators are also beginning to chime in. The two top Democrats in the FloridaLegislature plan to hold a news conference on Thursday to respond to “deep community concerns” over the verdict.
Rep. Alan Williams, who has spent time with the protesters the last two days, warned Scott that the group was the “most passionate” he was likely to encounter during his four years in office. He said that previous governors would have at least listened to what they had to say.
“If this was Charlie Crist or Jeb Bush, they would have come and talked with them,” said Williams, D-Tallahassee.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)