Demonstrators looking to bring renewed attention to the Trayvon Martin shooting have begun to target national political figures who previously supported Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law at the center of the tragic case. NBC Miami reports that the student coalition group "Dream Defenders" is planning a noon protest outside the Doral office of Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The political leader supported the controversial law while he was a member of the Florida House of Representatives:
"Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who has temporarily stepped down pending the investigation into the shooting, had said there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman, citing the state's controversial law which allows the use of deadly force during a confrontation.
Last week, Rubio, who supported the law while in the state House, weighed in on the Martin case and said it was premature to talk about repealing "Stand Your Ground."
'I don't know what happened in this case, but 'Stand Your Ground' does not allow you to chase somebody and shoot them,' he said. 'So I'm not saying that's what happened in this case, but if it happened in this case or in any other case, 'Stand Your Ground' doesn't apply.'
Rubio called the shooting 'a tremendous tragedy' but said he was 'troubled people are rushing to judgment.'
'This so-called 'Stand Your Ground' law is a safe-haven for predators and murderers to kill and harm with impunity,' Esteban Roncancio, a member of the Dream Defenders, said in a statement. "We ask Senator Rubio to retract his support for this 'Kill at Will' law and use his political influence to prevent any more Trayvons from being murdered.
Roncancio said his group has about 15,000 signatures on a petition asking for Rubio to withdraw his support of the law."
"Dream Defenders" spent their Easter weekend marching 40 miles from Daytona Beach to Sanford over three days for Trayvon Martin.
"This movement doesn't hinge on George Zimmerman or the Trayvon Martin case. It was a catalyst," Phillip Agnew, who participated in the three-day march, told Bay News 9. "It awoke, or woke up a lot of people to what's going on in America."
The Hill reports that Democratic Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson has led efforts in the House to draw attention to Martin's shooting. Along with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Wilson has argued that Martin's death is the result of racial profiling on the part of Zimmerman, and that the police should arrest Zimmerman.