CREATED Aug. 5, 2013
NAPLES, Fla.- Southwest Florida Congressman Trey Radel weighed in on the fallout Florida is getting after George Zimmerman was acquitted of 2nd degree murder. Thousands of people have been boycotting the state and encouraging others to do the same.
Congressman Radel said he's taken notice of the backlash.
"I hope that they can get educated and see this is a great state, that we stand by our laws and by a court verdict." Radel said.
Tourists have cancelled trips, celebrities and civil rights activists have boycotted the state and are holding sit-ins at the Governor's office. Many have called for the state's Stand Your Ground law to be repealed. The law allows people to use deadly force in self defense. Although Zimmerman's attorney never used the Stand Your Ground law in the trial, the judge in the case did instruct the jury to consider it when making a decision. Congressman Radel thinks the law should stay as is.
" I believe that you have the right to protect your god-given gift of life, period." Radel said.
The controversy has become so tense, Reverend Jesse Jackson has compared Florida to the Selma of our time.
" Jesse Jackson makes a living off of saying statements like that, that #1, aren't based in logic and #2 he says them to drum up the kind of controversy he's lived and thrived on all of his life." Radel said.
Despite recent fallout, Radel said Florida will prevail.
" This is the Sunshine State that has been welcoming and a tourist destination for generations because we are friendly. It is a great state to live in and we know that our tourism industry is going to continue to boom." Radel said.
As of now, Governor Rick Scott has refused to repeal the state's Stand Your Ground law.