Thom Tillis, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, pushed a law that contributed to the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
That’s according to the Harry Reid-backed group, Senate Majority PAC, which is out with a new radio ad tying Tillis to the controversial “stand your ground” law in an effort to help keep Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in office.
“Tillis even led the effort to pass the type of stand your ground laws that caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin,” says the narrator of the radio spot, which blogger Sister Toldjah recorded and published online.
Tillis’ opponents have tried to tie him to “stand your ground” in the past through his work with the group American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Tillis, who is currently North Carolina’s Speaker of the House, won the group’s Legislator of the Year award in 2011.
ALEC crafts model state legislation on numerous policies and works with state lawmakers to pass them in legislatures across the U.S.
One of the laws it has worked on is ‘stand your ground,’ which is a type of self-defense law that removes the duty to retreat in cases where people who are in fear of their life or great bodily harm use lethal force.
“Stand your ground” — and ALEC — came under intense scrutiny following Martin’s death at the hands of George Zimmerman in Feb. 2012.
Despite widespread claims that “stand your ground” was a factor in Zimmerman not being arrested immediately following the shooting, Zimmerman did not make a “stand your ground” defense claim at his trial. Rather, Zimmerman’s attorneys argued a simple self-defense case, pointing out that Zimmerman shot Martin when the 17-year-old was sitting on top of him, slamming his head into the concrete and punching him in the face.
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder last July.
According to Bloomberg Politics, Democrats hope that ad will increase African-American voter turnout.
The super PAC’s ad is not the only time Democrats have used race to help turn out the vote.
Pro-Hagan fliers were being circulated in North Carolina last week which read: “Kay Hagan Doesn’t Win. Obama’s Impeachment Will Begin!” The flier bore an image of a black man being lynched. (RELATED: Pro-Hagan Flier Uses Lynching, Warns Of ‘Obama’s Impeachment’ If Democrat Loses)
Similar fliers and ads have been used in Georgia, Maryland, and Florida which cite Martin’s death as well as the recent police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.