Florida Gov. Rick Scott has issued a statement in response to threats from the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) who have threatened a bounty on George Zimmerman, the 28 year old man who shot and killed 17 year old Trayvon Martin last month:
“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. 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 NBPP, according to reports, is offering $10,000 to anyone who makes a citizen’s arrest of Mr. Zimmerman and “called for the mobilization of 10,000 black men” to do the task. Zimmerman and his family have received numerous death threats in the wake of the public attention to the February 26 shooting.
The City of Sanford already released a public statement on March 24 calling for calm:
“The City of Sanford does not condone the actions and recommendations of the New Black Panther Party. The City is requesting calm heads and no vigilante justice. Local state and federal officials are working diligently on this investigation to ascertain appropriate charges or actions. Attempts by civilians to take any person into custody may result in criminal charges or unnecessary violence. The City of Sanford recommends all apprehension be left to those trained to accomplish that task.”
Mr. Zimmerman is currently in hiding and has not been arrested by Sanford Police authorities yet, but investigations into the fatal shooting continue.