And Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., announced that she will introduce the Stand Your Ground Repeal Act next week when the U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes.
In a statement, Wilson said her bill “would withhold a portion of transportation funds from any state that has a law that allows an armed person to pursue, confront and shoot-to-kill an unarmed person in public.”
The coalition, named, Second Chance on Shoot First, comprises national civil rights organizations and individuals such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The petition comes in the wake of the Feb. 26 shooting death of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford by crime watchman George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder. A judge revoked his bail after determining he did not tell the truth about his financial assets.
The Associated Press reported that a new bond hearing will take place June 29.
On Tuesday, Seminole County sheriff’s deputies arrested Zimmerman’s wife Shellie on one count of perjury related to her testimony regarding the family’s financial worth during her husband’s bond hearing on April 20. She paid a $1,000 bond in just over an hour.
Trayvon’s parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, who started the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation, are members of the Second Chance on Shoot First, the statement said.
The call to change the law was emphasized at the press conference Tuesday by Allie Braswell, president/CEO of the Central Florida Urban League; Michael Skolnik, political director to entertainment mogul Russell Simmons; and Beverly Neal, board member of the National Congress of Black Women.
“Before ‘Stand Your Ground’ was enacted, Florida already had a robust law that adequately allowed the fundamental right of self-defense,” Braswell said. “The ‘shoot first’ law that replaced it is ambiguous and inconsistently applied, it has been opposed by law enforcement as unworkable and it gives civilians greater leeway to shoot another person than soldiers on the battlefield.”
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio described the law as “dangerous” and said it was time to reform the measure.
“Shoot-first laws have stymied law enforcement and prevented police and prosecutors from doing their jobs to decrease violence and promote justice,” Muoio said.
Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange, a member of the coalition, said his group has called on state lawmakers and governors to oppose similar laws under consideration and to repeal those already in place. The law has been enacted in 26 states.
Second Chance on Shoot First members also include the NAACP, the National Urban League, the National Action Network, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil and Human Rights, and VoteVets.