Justice for Trayvon activists confront Governor Rick Scott in Tampa

07/18/13 Seán Kinane
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Thursday Governor Rick Scott met with the CEO of Visit Tampa Bay about hosting next year’s International Indian Film Academy's awards.

Activist Life Malcolm joined two others from the Justice For Trayvon Coalition in Tampa there to greet the governor.

Can you tell us why you and the other protesters were at the Rick Scott event and what happened?

"We were there at the Rick Scott event because we heard Rick Scott would be in town to talk about the Bollywood Oscars, but of course in the wake of the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman and the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin, we wanted to ask some more important questions of Rick Scott, like what is he going to do about the 'Stand Your Ground law' and what is he going to do to deal with the verdict that was handed down to offer some kind of healing to the part of the state of Florida that feels like justice was not served. We were met with a bit of hostility outside the Suntrust building. We were not allowed access to Governor Scott. I happened to have a press pass because I write for the Florida Sentinel Bulletin, so I went and got my pass. At that juncture, myself and Edwin, the photographer, were allowed to go upstairs. When we got upstairs we were again met with resistance, this time by the Tampa Police Department. It took them at lease eight minutes to take us back into the room where the conference was being held with Governor Scott. Maybe about 10 minutes passed before Rick Scott came in to the press conference room. During that time, Edwin and I had time to ask other media persons who were there how long it took them to gain access to the press conference room and they indicated they were able to get in almost immediately, which seems that just a few days after the Zimmerman not guilty verdict I was profiled by the Tampa Police Department. Anyway, in walks Governor Scott and he talks about Bollywood meeting in a very cursory fashion and immediately opens up for questions. A reporter throws out the question, 'What are you going to do about the Zimmerman verdict and Trayvon Martin?'. He givesthis answer about how tragic it is for a ten-year-old to have lost his life and so on. He didn't say anything definitive. As soon as he concluded his answer he rushed out the door to questions being screamed at him. The one I asked myself was 'What are you going to do about the 'Stand Your Ground' law? Will you repeal it? Do you still support it?' and other reporters asking him why he was rushing away."

How do you feel about the Governor's response?

"The response he gave seemed insensitive and the way he turned his back on the people who were there to talk to him, I thought, was a bit cold."

Meanwhile In Tallahassee, Dream Defenders continued to occupy Governor Scott’s office. Scott met with a few of them Thursday evening.

The Justice For Trayvon Coalition in Tampa has several actions planned during the next few days

FL Gov Rick Scott declares day of prayer & unity: WMNF News

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