Effort to repeal Michigan's Stand Your Ground law - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Proposed petition drive would repeal Michigan's Stand Your Ground law

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(3/11/14) - A Detroit civil rights activist is leading an effort to repeal Michigan's Stand Your Ground law. He's heading up a petition drive to let voters decide if they want the measure to remain on the books.

Reverend Charles Williams led a rally on the steps of the Capitol, Tuesday morning, to kick off the effort. He hopes to gather more than 60,000 signatures and place the issue on the November ballot.

"We're here to stand together against Stand Your Ground," he said.

Williams says numerous people have died around the country because of laws similar to those originally passed in Florida. Twenty-six states now don't require people who feel threatened to try to retreat from a dangerous situation.

"Michigan will be the first state that will get rid of this ugly law that allows people to go around shooting each other," he said.

Williams is a member of the National Action Network led by Al Sharpton. He blames Stand Your Ground for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida two years ago.

"This is not the wild, wild west," he said.

Williams says he believes in the Second Amendment, but Stand Your Ground laws make it too easy to resort to violence rather than seeking a more peaceful solution.

"You can shoot someone in cold blood just because you want to," he said.

Williams says a team of lawyers is preparing the petition request and hopes to start collecting signatures this summer.

"We'll be looking forward to having the opportunity to let the people decide in Michigan if we need Stand Your Ground," he said.

Williams will be in contact with Michigan legislators to enlist their support.

Al Sharpton led a similar rally Monday in Tallahassee, Florida over its stand your ground law.
For more information on the proposed petition drive, click here.

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