A radio ad supporting U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has drawn fire for bringing up the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012.
The spot, paid for by the Senate Majority PAC, was aimed at black listeners and hits Republican challenger Thom Tillis over voting access issues.
Then it says: “Tillis even led the effort to pass the type of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”
Over the weekend, conservative media were quick to bash it, followed by The New Yorker magazine. A conservative group, American Commitment, took out a radio ad calling the Senate Majority PAC commercial “race-hustling.”
George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin to death, didn’t raise a “stand your ground” defense at the trial, in which he was acquitted, although jurors were told they could consider it.
Tillis had no role in promoting the self-defense law, other than to be an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which at one time pushed for “stand your ground” laws.
When Tillis was speaker of the N.C. House, he voted for a bill that became law in 2011 that expanded the use of deadly force against intruders into vehicles and workplaces. Previously the law had applied only to homes.