Persistent talk of “vigilante” justice following the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin last month has prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to respond to the New Black Panther Party “bounty” on alleged shooter and neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
Confusion and conflicting stories about events that night have prompted a national discussion about race relations in America with much speculation and news coverage, but no instant answers. One example of the cultural is the Twitter account @killzimmerman, which has an avatar of Mr. Zimmerman in a gun’s crosshairs.
“We have taken steps to ensure that the investigation into the tragic death of Trayvon Martin is fair, measured and thorough. Justice is ill served when there is a rush to judgment,” Mr. Scott said in a statement. “We are a nation of laws and we must let the legal system work. Talk of bounties and retribution has no place in this dialogue, and they compound tragedy with tragedy.”
The governor has already assembled a high-powered task force to study his state’s “Stand Your Ground” law which has drawn intense scrutiny from activists, family members and the press. The group includes Lt. Gov. Jennifer Caroll, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos. The Rev. R. B. Holmes, a Baptist pastor from Tallahassee, will serve as vice president of the task force.
“I will call for a task force on citizen safety and protection to investigate how to make sure a tragedy such as this does not occur in the future, while at the same time, protecting the fundamental rights of all of our citizens — especially the right to feel protected and safe in our state,” Mr. Scott said.