MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new activist group formed in wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting investigation plans to rally Monday in front of Senator Marco Rubio’s office in Doral to demand that he withdraw his support for the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Rubio wants the legislature and the public to not rush to judgment on the “Stand Your Ground” law and instead wait for more information on the Martin case to come out.
The law, which was passed in 2005, allows Floridians to use deadly force if they feel their life is threatened in any location. Many states have a similar law, but restrict it to a person’s home.
The law is being used as a defense by George Zimmerman who shot and killed Martin in Sanford. Former Governor Jeb Bush, who signed the law, said it didn’t apply in this case. Rubio is taking a more nuanced position that allows him to defend the law while not blaming Martin for the shooting either.
Rubio voted for the law as a member of the House and recently reaffirmed his support.
“We don’t know the facts in this case … I think a lot of people have rushed to judgment,” Rubio said, according to the News Service of Florida. “It’s a self defense law. Stand your ground does not allow you to chase somebody and shoot them. I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case, but if it happened in this case, or any other case, stand your ground does not apply. Let’s wait until the facts are out so we can have an intelligent debate.”
A coalition of students across the state of Florida known as the “Dream Defenders” have organized statewide actions to demand justice as Zimmerman awaits the decision of the a grand jury which will release its report on Tuesday, April 10th as to whether he will be charged.
“This so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is a safe-haven for predators and murderers to kill and harm with impunity,” said Dream Defenders member Esteban Roncancio in a statement. “We ask Senator Rubio to retract his support for this ‘Kill at Will’ law and use his political influence to prevent any more Trayvons from being murdered.”
On Sunday member of the group from across the state ended a three day march to Sanford to keep Martin’s name in the public consciousness.
On Monday, they plan to demonstrate outside of Rubio’s office beginning at noon. Several students will deliver a petition inside the office in hopes the senator will recognize the need to reform the Stand Your Ground law.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.