Sarasota city commission: Repeal stand your ground

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SARASOTA-- Every year, the Commission in the city of Sarasota meet to discuss the issues they want state lawmakers to address during the upcoming legislative session. This year, in the city's Legislative Priority list, the Commission is asking that the state's controversial stand your ground law be repealed.

Vice Mayor Willie Shaw led the effort for the item to be placed on the list.

"Definitely a repeal, a readdressing, or a reevaluation. It has to come. Even if Florida was one of the first to implement it, that doesn't make it right," said Shaw. "If Tallahassee doesn't hear the voice of the people, then how do the people know that Tallahassee is doing the work of the people?"

At least one member of the Commission does not believe the issue should be on the list. Mayor Shannon Synder is a proponent of the law.

"I think local government needs to stick to local issues and things that affect them directly. This did not affect us directly. This was an emotional reaction to an issue that wasn't even a stand your ground case," said Snyder.

Snyder is referring to the Trayvon Martin case. Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Last July, Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter. Even though stand your ground did not apply in the trial, scores of people around the state and country continue to demand that Florida get rid of the law.

"It doesn't make sense," said Christian Ziegler, the republican state committeeman.

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Ziegler is a city of Sarasota resident. He has started an online petition at www.SupportStandYourGround.com denouncing the city's recent action.

"I'm very disappointed to see the City Commission would empower criminals, rather than protect the citizens that they are supposed to be representing," said Ziegler.

The Legislative Priority list will be presented to state lawmakers who represent this area on Wednesday.