U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., told the mother of Trayvon Martin, the teen shot and killed by George Zimmerman in 2012, that Florida’s “stand your ground” laws had nothing to do with her son’s death.
Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, appeared at a Senate committee hearing on state “stand your ground” laws yo offer testimony. When Cruz’s turn came, he offered her his heartfelt condolences on her loss before moving on to the hearing’s subject matter.
“None of us in this hearing room were there that night,” he said, adding that no one can know what precisely happened. But some things are known for sure.
“The subject of this hearing, the “stand your ground” laws, was not a defense that Mr. Zimmerman raised. So this entire hearing–the topic of this hearing–is not the issue on which that trial turned.”
He also pointed out that a large number of African-Americans have successfully employed “stand your ground” to protect themselves and others, before closing with a bit of irony.
“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” he said. “The notion that ‘stand your ground’ laws are some form of veiled racism may be a convenient political attack, but it is not borne out by the facts remotely.”
Watch Sen. Cruz’a statement to Martin’s mother.
Here is Sybrina Fulton’s opening statement to the committee members in which she indicates that “stand your ground” resulted her son’s death.