Trayvon’s father tells Florida panel: It’s a bad law

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By Michael Peltier

(Reuters) – The parents of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in February, told a Florida task force on Tuesday that the state’s Stand Your Ground statute is “a bad law.”

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin asked state lawmakers to make changes in the statute to eliminate the gray areas.

“There is something seriously wrong when there is a minor child who was unarmed and he’s dead right now and there is a law that the person is using to try to defend himself against killing a kid,” Fulton told the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection. “Please, I beg you, review the law again.”

The task force was created after the Martin shooting by Florida Governor Rick Scott to review the state’s 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which allows people to use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger or fear great bodily harm.

The meeting at a church in Longwood, not far from the town of Sanford, where neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman killed Martin on February 26, is the first of several meetings to take place around the state.

Martin’s parents also attended a lunchtime rally outside the meeting where a petition to repeal the law was presented with more than 375,000 signatures collected by Second Chance on Shoot First, a national campaign co-founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The 19-member panel is tasked with recommending changes to Florida self-defense laws and other safety issues in time for the 2013 legislative session, which begins in March.

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