PSA released in protest against Stand Your Ground law

PSA uses police call from George Zimmerman

SANFORD, Fla. – In a push to overturn Stand Your Ground laws across the country, a new video was released Monday that reenacts the night George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

The public service announcement runs online and may soon run on television, said a spokesman for The Coalition Against Gun Violence, which created the ad the groups calls "chilling."

However, whether it fairly depicts what happened in Sanford is debatable.

It uses clips from Zimmerman's call to police, the gunshot and a sobbing neighbor. But the finale comes when the camera pulls back and shows Zimmerman, Martin and then dozens of other bodies.

It's a sensational protest against Stand Your Ground laws, but Local 6's legal analyst, Luis Calderon, said the ad is not entirely accurate.

"Zimmerman never used Stand Your Ground law as a defense in trial," said Calderon.

"I think that's the most outrageous piece of propaganda," said Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence. "It reminds me of the claim Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9-11."
Everitt says the purpose of the video was to make viewers feel like they were in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012.

"We tend to look at it abstractly," he said.  "We see snippets of police reports or witness testimony, and I think very few Americans have given time to think, what might it have been like to have been there that night?  To have been a participant in this?"
Zimmerman's brother, Robert, tweeted a response to the ad saying it has "zero basis in reality. SYG laws are sound & were never part of the case. Self-defense isn't 'gun violence.'"

Zimmerman was acquitted in Martin's death, but the ad paints him in a stigma he may never live down.

"When you make an ad, you have to always have a certain respect for the truth and the affect of the people who are involved in it. This is going to affect George Zimmerman if he's always going to be vilified as this person who killed Trayvon Martin," said Calderon.

Calderon went on to say Zimmerman may never be able to defend himself from portrayals of his case because nobody truly knows what happened inside his neighborhood the night of the shooting. And now that he's a public figure, it's harder for him to prove someone is defaming or slandering him

About the Author: