For Immediate Release March 13, 2014
Contact: Brian Rothenberg, ProgressOhio
Mother of slain teen Jordan Davis, Clergy and Community Leaders
Call on Kasich to Halt HB 203, Dangerous Stand Your Ground Bill
(Columbus) – Today Lucia McBath, mother of slain teenager Jordan Davis, joined Ohio clergy members, Ohio NAACP, a group of Ohio legislators and concerned Ohioans in calling on Governor John Kasich and Senate President Keith Faber to stop deliberations and any future legislative activity on HB 203, Stand Your Ground legislation that would endanger Ohio communities. HB 203 is also opposed by Ohio law enforcement—including the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, as well as by moms and mayors throughout the state.
Lucia McBath’s son Jordan Davis was shot and killed at a Florida gas station in November 2012 after an argument over loud music. He was unarmed. Similar to the case of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis’ shooter used Florida’s Stand Your Ground law as a defense. Today Lucia joined Rev. Jawanza Colvin of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland; Sybil McNabb, President of the Ohio NAACP; Cincinnati Councilman Wendell Young; Aricka Turner, Ohio State Student Association; Rep. Alicia Reece, President, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus; and Ohio Senate Assistant Minority Leader Charleta Tavares in speaking about the dangers of Stand Your Ground laws, and in urging Ohio leaders to stop HB 203 from moving forward.
Stand Your Ground laws like HB203 encourage armed vigilantism by allowing a person to kill another person to defend himself, even in there is a safe and clear way to avoid the conflict and even in public areas like parking lots and playgrounds. Research done by Texas A&M in 2013 shows that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with an increase of up to 700 homicides every year, do not prevent crime and have a disproportionately negative effect on communities of color. Research also indicates that Stand Your Ground laws embolden people to shoot when they could have resolved conflicts by using a lesser degree of force or simply walking away. If HB 203 becomes law, Ohio will be the first new state to pass a Stand Your Ground law since the growing body of research has made the dangerousness of these laws apparent.
“A gunman fired ten bullets into a car of unarmed teenagers, killing my son Jordan Davis, because of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law,” said Lucia McBath, national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “On behalf of mothers and families across the country, I urge Ohio leaders to reject this dangerous legislation.”
“Stand Your Ground has been proven to increase homicides and negatively impact communities of color. We call on Governor Kasich and Ohio senators to put a halt to this dangerous legislation,” said the Rev. Jawanza Colvin, Pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland.
“Stand Your Ground creates a false impression that it is ok to shoot first and think later even when Ohioans are unarmed and the situation is a misunderstanding,” said Sybil Edwards-McNabb, Ohio Conference NAACP President. “It creates an environment that can lead to innocent Ohioans being killed for reasons that are less than life threatening.”