St. Petersburg, Fla. - A Florida State Senator is blasting Governor Rick Scott for taking too long creating a task force to study the 'Stand Your Ground' law.
The law has come under fire after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Sanford Police say the law prevented them from arresting George Zimmerman because Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self defense.
State Senator Chris Smith is forming his own task force to study the law. He says justifiable homicides in Florida have tripled since the law took effect in 2005. He believes the law is being used inappropriately and it's hurting Florida's image.
"The Florida brand is being portrayed in a negative light each and every day on all of the major networks. As I appeared on different talk shows around the country, I received numerous people calling into these talk shows from Washington D.C. to Chicago to L.A. saying that I'm reconsidering coming to Florida if you have this law on the books and I can shot walking back to my hotel in Orlando and that people now have a shoot-first mentality in Florida, I may not come to Florida. That's a problem. The Florida brand is bad right now."
Smith is forming the task force with state attorneys from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, public defenders and legal scholars from South Florida. They will convene for the first time this Thursday in Broward County.
Governor Scott was asked about the senator's accusation that Scott is moving too slowly on the task force.
"We have a great state attorney, Angela Corey's going to do a great job and we have to make that justice prevails for the Martin family and also for George Zimmerman. FDLE will do a very thorough investigation. The U.S. Attorney is involved. I think that's exactly what we ought to be doing now. We should do a task force and I appointed a task force. The House and Senate and Attorney General Bondi will add some members to it. We should do it. We should do it for public safety. We should always look at things like this and make sure we do the right thing. But the first thing you do is you do an investigation. You make sure justice prevails. Then you step back and say 'O.K., so what have we learned from this.' That's the right way of doing it."
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