Jennifer Carroll: No Preset Outcome for Citizens Safety Task Force

Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll opened the first meeting of the 19-member Citizens Safety and Protection Task Force on Tuesday by saying there are no preconceived outcomes with the group she chairs.

The group was pieced together out of the public outcry from the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watchman who has claimed he acted in self-defense under the state’s Stand Your Ground law. However, Carroll added “this task force is not here to try the Zimmerman-Martin case.

“This law is not about race; at the same time the Zimmerman-Martin case was focused on, Florida has two others occurring at the time,” Carroll said.

Those cases involve Trevor Dooley, who has claimed self-defense when he shot a neighbor after struggling over a gun on a Valrico basketball court and Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman who now faces 20 years on three aggravated battery charges for firing a warning shot at her husband while his children were in the room.

“This law is not specific to any one area of our state or person, it can apply to any area of the state,” Carroll said.

The task force is holding its first meeting at the Florida Department of Transportation headquarters in Tallahassee.

The committee isn’t taking public comment today and will later set a schedule for meetings that are expected to continue through the summer and be held across the state.

Carroll noted that Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, who held his own task force on the Stand Your Ground law, has been asked to make a presentation on his findings when the group meets in June.

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