DEERFIELD BEACH — After crime watcher George Zimmerman shot and killed Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, Terry Scott decided he would decline many invitations to take a contingent to Sanford, where the shooting took place, and join the angry protesters.
Instead, in early April last year, Scott organized a forum to discuss the controversial stand-your-ground law which some observers claim facilitated the killing.
Scott, 40, who is president/CEO of Deerfield Beach-based Community Reaching Youth Inc., will again hold a forum on the law, rather than join the protest against Zimmerman’s recent acquittal of a murder charge.
“I believe our people should be educated on the law before we come out in protest or support of it,” Scott said Tuesday. He said between 175 and 200 people attended the first forum and “people walked out being educated on the law.”Scott says he has taken no position on whether the law should be scrapped or amended or remain intact.
“I just believe I could never do this forum if I take position one way or another,” he said. “Being in the middle is the best way I can be of service to the community.” The Stand Your Ground Forum will take place from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Bishop Patrick Kelly, pastor. The church is one of the sponsors, Scott said, along with attorneys Ken Keechl and Rhoda Sokoloff, publicist Bina Fink and Watson SBT Tax Consulting Group.
Panelists will include Judges Ilona Holmes, Kathleen McHugh and Christopher Pole, state Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, Broward State Attorney Michael Satz and Gordon Weeks, chief assistant to the Broward Public Defender, along with Bishop Kelly.
Scott said he was so moved by the fatal shooting Sunday of Deerfield Beach resident Corey Patterson in Fort Lauderdale that he is adding black-on-black crime to the forum agenda. He said Patterson belonged to the Jim and Jan Moran Boys and Girls Club of Deerfield Beach where he was a director. Meanwhile, another town hall forum which will touch on the stand-your-ground law will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at Covenant Missionary Baptist Church, 1055 N.W. Sixth Ave., Florida City.
This Miami-Dade forum is being sponsored by the Miami-Dade County Branch NAACP and its theme is Voting Rights Act…..Trayvon Martin…. Stand Your Ground Law….What’s Next?
For more information on the Deerfield Beach forum, call Scott at 954-708-4562. For more information on the Miami-Dade forum, call Kevin D. Chambliss, 815-981-0940.
•Picture above Terry Scott