AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker told The Daily Caller that it is “conservative, right-wing policies that are to blame” for Trayvon Martin‘s death.
Martin was a black teenager shot and killed by an Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer. The shooting, and the police department’s decision to not arrest the suspect, George Zimmerman, has caused an uproar in Florida and across the country. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting)
“The same folks who want to kill workers’ rights in the work place are the same folks who want to kill voters’ votes … and now they are literally supporting legislation that is literally killing our children.”
Baker told TheDC that conservative policies, like Florida’s “stand your ground” law — which states that an individual has the right to defend himself if he feels that his life is in imminent danger — are to blame.
“When you look at whose behind it, you find that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a very conservative think tank comprised of corporations and very conservative representatives at the state level are behind this.”
Kaitlyn Buss, the Director of Communications at ALEC told TheDC that “the Stand Your Ground legislation passed unanimously in the Florida senate in 2005, backed by all Democrats except one who abstained and was not the product of an overall Right-Wing agenda, as the AFL-CIO has claimed.”
“It is disturbing to watch some groups try to turn this tragedy into political gain for issues having nothing to do with Trayvon Martin or the truth. Blaming those who were not involved in this tragic event — or the laws that might apply to it — will not serve the cause of justice,” said Buss.
“This dishonest dialogue is political opportunism at its worst.”
This report was updated after publication to include a response from ALEC.
Videography by Sarah Hofmann