Jesse Jackson: Boycott Florida Over 'Stand Your Ground'

The civil rights leader joins a growing chorus of those opposed to "stand your ground" laws.

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(Matt Rourke/AP)
The Rev. Jesse Jackson takes part in a panel discussion during the National Urban League's annual conference in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA—Stevie Wonder isn't the only one who wants to boycott Florida over its "stand your ground" law, which served as a backdrop in the recent not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson said Friday he also wanted a boycott of the state.

"We can boycott Florida, cut conventions in Florida, for its 'stand your ground' laws," said Jackson, speaking on a panel at the National Urban League's annual conference in Philadelphia. "If we can boycott South Africa and bring it down, we should boycott Florida and bring it down."

Jackson made the comments less than a week after Florida's governor, Rick Scott, said he wouldn't change the controversial law that allows people to use physical force in self-defense without a duty to retreat.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martin family, also spoke at the conference Friday, where he said that changing "stand your ground" was the way to "properly honor" the legacy of Trayvon Martin.

[READ: Jesse Jackson Paints Bleak Picture of Black America]

"Our children are not criminals, our children are not dogs, they have a right to walk in peace from 7-Eleven, to walk near gated communities, to walk anywhere they're legally able to walk without getting profiled and threatened," he said. "How do we prevent this from happening to our children? It's about changing these laws."

Trayvon's Martin's father, Tracy Martin, presented a concrete vision for how to change "stand your ground" earlier this week. In an emotional speech Wednesday before members of Congress, he asked lawmakers to consider a "Trayvon Martin Act" that would amend the law to make it illegal for a person to be the initial aggressor when using force in self-defense.

Several members expressed support of the act, including Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., who said the law served as "a clear and present danger to black men."

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