A planned march on Florida’s state capitol to protest the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin has once again been derailed to a lack of liability coverage.
The National Christian League of Councils had set the march for Wednesday, April 4, after postponing it two weeks ago. The NCLC said it had obtained a permit from the city of Tallahassee and expected a crowd of more than 4,000 to show up.
Initially Tallahassee city officials said the NCLC needed to obtain a $1 million liability policy due to a city ordinance requiring march sponsors to secure the coverage if the city has to close roadways and use law enforcement offers to provide security. Otherwise, marchers are confined to sidewalks.
The NCLC, however, said that after working with several insurance agencies that contacted 12 insurance companies, no insurance company would provide the coverage due to the controversial subject of the march and security.
Tallahassee City Attorney Jim English said the city decided to make an exception on the insurance coverage for the march given its support for the First Amendment. While the city would not require NCLC to have an insurance policy, the organization would itself still be liable for any problems or claims.
NCLC Director Steve Brown, however, thought the city had been willing to provide insurance coverage for the march under its liability coverage. He said that NCLC does not have the means to self-insurer the event so without the insurance the march would once again have to be suspended.
Martin was a 17-year-old black teen who was shot and killed last month in Sanford, Fla. by George Zimmerman. The incident has set off a wave of protests around the state with marches in Sanford, Miami and other locations.