After meeting with protestors occupying the lobby outside his office in the state Capitol, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling for a day of prayer for unity for the Sunshine State.
The protesters are against Florida’s controversial "stand your ground" law that George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys invoked in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. The protestors arrived at the Capitol building on Tuesday and refused to leave until Scott called a special session to address the law.
Scott met with the group when he returned to town to hear their concerns but declined to call a special session. Instead, he called for a day of prayer.
"The governor has refused to acknowledge this state of emergency, so we will continue to stay in the Capitol until Scott shows leadership and convenes for a special session of the legislature," says Phillip Agnew, executive director of Dream Defenders, which organized the protest, after the meeting. He says Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s acquittal shows Florida youth that it is “not safe on the streets."
Here is the text of the governor’s proclamation for the “Statewide Day of Prayer for Unity in Florida”:
WHEREAS, the people of Florida are strong and optimistic people who band together in times of crisis; and
WHEREAS, Florida has faced many challenges before—including natural disasters—with a spirit of unity and perseverance; and
WHEREAS, the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a tragedy; and the Martin family, the family of George Zimmerman, and all those affected by Trayvon’s death remain in our thoughts and prayers; and
WHEREAS, emotions are running high as we continue to grieve the loss of Trayvon and the toll that the tragic events surrounding his death have taken on the community of Sanford, Florida, and other communities across our state; and
WHEREAS, tragic events compel us to a time of deep reflection and prayer to find strength and peace in uncertainty; and
WHEREAS, Floridians are unified in not only their resilience, but also in being a people of great humility, kindness, and compassion;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby declare
Sunday, July 21, 2013, as a STATEWIDE DAY OF PRAYER FOR UNITY IN FLORIDA.