Coca-Cola has ended its relationship with a conservative pressure group that supports "Stand Your Ground" laws such as the one being used as a defence in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida.
The drinks company announced yesterday that it was cancelling its membership of the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec). It said it had previously supported Alec only because of its opposition to "discriminatory food and beverage taxes".
The decision followed a rally in Trayvon's hometown of Sanford, Florida, last week, where civil rights leaders said they were considering economic boycotts of national companies that support Florida's controversial self-defence laws, which give increased leeway for people to shoot others they perceive to be a threat.
Campaigners had claimed that Alec was behind a push for other states to adopt similar legislation.
Trayvon, 17, was killed in February by George Zimmerman, 28, a white and Hispanic neighbourhood watch volunteer, who claims he acted in self-defence and has not been charged with a crime.