- (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
In the wake of the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict, several celebrities are taking cues from Stevie Wonder and are planning on boycotting the state of Florida in protest of the state's "Stand Your Ground" laws.
Those stars thought to have joined in the boycott includes Madonna, Usher, Kanye West, Jay Z, and Rod Stewart, among others.
Wonder announced his intention to boycott any state with "Stand Your Ground" laws after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the 2012 killing of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin. An explanation of the "Stand Your Ground" defense appeared in instructions to jurors, and a juror cited the law in explaining the not guilty verdict.
"I decided today that until the 'Stand Your Ground' law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," Wonder reccenlty said at a concert in Quebec City. "As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world. The truth is that -- for those of you who've lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world -- we can't bring them back. What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That's what I know we can do."
The case sparked a furious debate across the U.S. with Zimmerman accused of racially profiling the teenager as he returned home from a local convenience store after buying an Arizona Iced Tea and some Skittles.
Zimmerman called 911 to report a "suspicious" person in the neighborhood and was told not to pursue by the dispatcher, but instead to await on police to arrive. However, prosecutors alleged that he continued to follow Martin, and the two later came to blows as an altercation broke out.
In the fight, Zimmerman had claimed that Martin, who himself was unarmed, went for the neighborhood watchman's gun, so Zimmerman described that he was forced to shoot him.