An Arkansas judiciary committee met this week to debate a proposed amendment to the state’s self defense laws, which would have eliminated a citizen’s duty to retreat in favor of so-called “stand your ground laws.” These laws allow for a person to act with lethal force against threats or perceived threats, such as the defense in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen who was killed in Florida in 2012.
State Senator Stephanie Flowers, who represents Pine Bluff in the 25th district of Arkansas, was not entertaining any argument for stand-your-ground laws however, as seen in the above footage from the contentious meeting that apparently stretched hours into Wednesday evening.
“I’ll be as quick as I can, as quick as it takes to kill somebody,” Flowers began, addressing the eight-member committee. “It doesn’t take much to look on the local news every night and see how many Black kids, Black boys, Black men, are being killed with these stand-your-ground defenses.”
She then pointed out as the only person of color on the committee, she is also a mother and fears for the well being of her son:
“I care for my son as much as y’alls care for y’alls. But my son doesn’t walk the same path as yours do, so this debate deserves more time. Now I’m in Pine Bluff. We have killings regularly down there … I can tell you, for a long time since I’ve been back in Arkansas, I have feared for my son’s life! Now he’s 27, he’s out of Arkansas, and I thank god he is when you’re bringing up crap like this up — it offends me.”