Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are readying a flurry of bills in response to George Zimmerman’s acquittal on charges in last year’s fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.As a reminder, the Zimmerman case had nothing to do with race or Stand Your Ground laws and, Martin wasn't "stalked" as Lewis claims. Despite Stand Your Ground being irrelevant to the Zimmerman case, it is important to point out that these laws actually benefit blacks more whites (George Zimmerman is Hispanic) since Attorney General Eric Holder and the CBC are using it as a scapegoat.
The lawmakers are drafting proposals intended to rein in racial profiling; scrap state stand-your-ground laws; and promote better training for the nation’s neighborhood watch volunteers, among other anti-violence measures.
CBC members had remained largely silent throughout the trial, but following the verdict, argued forcefully that, decades after the civil rights movement, the nation’s criminal justice system still discriminates against blacks and other minorities.
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), an icon of the civil rights era, said the decision “seems to justify the stalking and killing of innocent black boys and deny them any avenue of self-defense.”
Tuesday during a speech to the NAACP, Holder called for a review of all Stand Your Ground laws across the country and equated self-defense to gun violence.
African Americans benefit from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population, despite an assertion by Attorney General Eric Holder that repealing “Stand Your Ground” would help African Americans.
Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.