At a Senate hearing on “stand your ground” laws, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz told Trayon Martin’s mother that the laws are not racist.
Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton testified that the “stand your ground” laws don’t work and should be changed, according to Fox News.
“I just wanted to come here to ... let you know how important it is that we amend this stand your ground because it certainly did not work in my case,” Fulton said, speaking without consulting prepared remarks. “The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today. This law does not work.”
The Blaze reports that Cruz offered his condolences to Fulton and then told her that the self-defense laws are not racist because they help blacks as much as whites, if not more. According to The Atlantic Wire, Cruz stated:
The chairman of this committee, a moment ago, made a remarkable statement that to the effect that no one could reasonably believe that ‘stand your ground’ laws protect those in the African-American communities who are victims of violent crimes. I think that is a remarkable statement on many, many fronts, including the fact that a great many African-Americans find themselves victims of violent crime, and have asserted this defense to defend themselves, defend their families, defend their children.
Cruz also noted that in 2004, “a state senator in Illinois by the name of Barack Obama co-sponsored an expansion of Illinois’ law providing civil immunity for those who use justifiable force to defend themselves.”
Fox News notes that Florida’s “stand your ground” law was not raised by the defense during the trial of shooter George Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self defense and was being attacked at the time.