NAACP to hold convention 30 miles from Sanford courthouse
The NAACP is hosting its annual convention just 30 miles from the Sanford courthouse where six jurors delivered a not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial Saturday.
"When the decision came down last night, we sat down with our young people who were shocked, they were wiping away tears," said Hilary Shelton, Sr., NAACP's vice president for advocacy.
Shelton understands the disappointment, even outrage, but said that passion may be best channeled into fighting for change in laws like stand your ground.
"We've got to look at the self defense laws," Shelton said. "We keep talking about stand your ground and certainly, that's part of it, but we have an equation here that says no matter who instigated it, if you feel like your life is threatened, you can use deadly force to kill someone. We have to move now to protect all our Trayvon Martin's out there. That's where our energies need to be."
In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Matt Gutman, defense attorney Mark O'Mara explained how now a free man, his client George Zimmerman will get back the gun that killed Trayvon Martin.
O'Mara explained that Zimmerman truly feels in his heart that if he didn't have his weapon that night, he might not be here today. He also said that there are a lot of people who hate Zimmerman, but shouldn't. That Zimmerman needs to be able to protect himself.
Shelton expects that the convention, coming on the heels of the historic verdict, will prompt conversations about how our legal system applies the legal principle of justifiable use of force.
"We have to change the law to eliminate this wild, wild west scenario we are living in now," Shelton said. "Too many innocent people find themselves, like we've seen in this case, buried much too soon."
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