A group urging Americans to "stand up" to "stand your ground" laws has produced a powerful public service announcement that uses 911 tapes released during the George Zimmerman trial to re-enact the killing of Trayvon Martin.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence released the 90-second spot on Monday, asking viewers to sign a petition directed to lawmakers in 26 states — including Florida — that have "stand your ground" laws.
The PSA uses actors to portray Zimmerman and Martin, seen in the distance wearing a hoodie. The scene shifts to inside the home of a neighbor who called police, and a gunshot can be heard in the background. It ends with the arrest of Zimmerman near the body of Martin lying in the grass. The spot ends with several other "victims" on the ground, wearing hoodies.
"Our laws should protect victims," an onscreen message during the PSA reads. "Not create more."
"Stand your ground" laws "represent a dangerous and unprecedented escalation in the use of force in the public space, allowing individuals to shoot and kill even when they could otherwise walk away safely from an altercation," the group declares on its website. "Oppose this immoral legislation."
In July, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of Martin. Lawyers for Zimmerman did not explicitly use a "stand your ground" defense during the trial, though jurors were instructed to consider the law during their deliberations.
It's not the first PSA related to the Zimmerman case.
Before the conclusion of the trial, police in Broward County released a short video urging the public not to resort to violence in response to the verdict.
- Society & Culture
- Crime & Justice
- Trayvon Martin