TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott issued a statewide call for a "day of prayer for unity in Florida" less than 24 hours after meeting with protesters who have been occuping the lobby outside his office in the state capitol in response to the George Zimmerman verdict.
The protesters, who arrived at the capitol Tuesday, have refused to leave until Scott calls a special session to address the state's controversial stand your ground law that was invoked in Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Scott, who had been out of town for meetings for most of this week, came back to Tallahassee last night and met with the group. He would not concede to a special session, but agreed to a proclamation for a day of prayer.
Phillip Agnew, executive director of Dream Defenders, which organized the protest, put out a statement following the meeting, noting the death of Martin and aquittal of Zimmerman has shown youth in Florida "that is not safe on the streets."
"The governor has refused to acknowledge this state of emergency, so we will continue to stay in the capitol until Scott shows leadership and convenes for a special session of the Legislature," he said.
Here's a copy of the governor's proclamation for the "Statewide Day of Prayer for Unity in Florida."
WHEREAS, the people of Florida are strong and optimistic people who band together in times of crisis; and
WHEREAS, Florida has faced many challenges before – including natural disasters – with a spirit of unity and perseverance; and
WHEREAS, the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a tragedy; and the Martin family, the family of George Zimmerman, and all those affected by Trayvon’s death remain in our thoughts and prayers; and
WHEREAS, emotions are running high as we continue to grieve the loss of Trayvon and the toll that the tragic events surrounding his death have taken on the community of Sanford, Florida, and other communities across our state; and
WHEREAS, tragic events compel us to a time of deep reflection and prayer to find strength and peace in uncertainty; and
WHEREAS, Floridians are unified in not only their resilience, but also in being a people of great humility, kindness, and compassion;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby declare
Sunday, July 21, 2013, as a STATEWIDE DAY OF PRAYER FOR UNITY IN FLORIDA.
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