- The Washington Times - Friday, July 19, 2013

Florida Gov. Rick Scott had a blunt message to protesters who set up camp at the Capitol building and refused to budge unless the governor called a special session on “stand-your-ground” laws: No.

The protest group, dubbed “Dream Defenders,” support Trayvon Martin’s family and decry George Zimmerman’s acquittal of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of the 17-year-old.

Protestors began their occupation of the Capitol on Tuesday. They called on the governor to order lawmakers into a special session and repeal the state’s stand-your-ground law. Late Thursday, Gov. Scott finally met with members, CBS reported.

But at the end of the meeting, which lasted about an hour, he didn’t meet their demands, CBS reported. He said he supported stand-your-ground and refused to call a special session. He also advised them to contact their district representatives to discuss their views of stand-your-ground, and said he was open to their ideas about fighting racial profiling.

“If you believe stand-your-ground should be repealed, tell them why,” Mr. Scott said, CBS reported. He wrapped with, “I appreciate you, and I look forward to seeing you again.”

Protesters weren’t happy with the results of the meeting and vowed to stay in the Capitol.

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“We’re not here to play games,” said Phillip Agnew, executive director of Dream Defenders. “We’re very serious about this, and it pains our heart that we do live in a state where a child can be killed just for the way he looks.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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