Skip to comments.Ky. must change its stand-your-ground law to make it fairer (Trayvon vs. Zimmerman, again)
Posted on 07/18/2014 3:29:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
What may have started out as an ordinary evening in February 2012, ended with a dead teen-ager and a national controversy that is still unresolved.
The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the subsequent not-guilty verdict of the shooter, George Zimmerman, on July 13, 2013, prompted citizens across the nation to question the "stand-your-ground" laws.
Such laws, often criticized as being "shoot first" laws, make it hard to prosecute cases against people who shoot others and then claim self-defense.
Kentucky, as well as the other states with such laws, should revise them so that the one who initiates a confrontation is denied that shield of protection.
On the one-year anniversary of Zimmerman's acquittal by a Florida jury, I pre-filed a bill with that very intent.
No one would argue that a person should not defend oneself when attacked. However, stand-your-ground laws can also become a mechanism to continue to promulgate racism, probably not intentionally.
An article on racial profiling in The Christian Science Monitor in July 2013 showed that whites who shoot black attackers are more successful in stand-your-ground defenses than blacks who shoot white attackers.
Whites using the defense in the shooting of a black person are found to be justifiable 17 percent of the time, but in the reverse situation, the black shooter is found justified only about nine percent of the time.
As an African-American, I am aware of the challenge to remove racial disparities in our social system. I am very conscious that whites and blacks still live in different Americas.
Life is definitely better for blacks now than it was 50 years ago prior to the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I am a beneficiary of the struggles and sacrifices of the civil rights movement and have attained access denied my parents.
However, when I hear that the state unemployment rate of blacks doubles that of whites, I know that skin color is significant in obtaining a job.
When I read about the achievement gaps in Fayette County public schools between black students and white students, I know that race influences educational success.
When statistics in Kentucky reveal that the percentage of blacks in prison is greater than the percentage of blacks in the state, I know that race matters in our criminal-justice system.
When a child is killed while walking home from the store because a grown man did not like his looks, the scars of racial injustice remain evident upon the visage of America.
Martin likely would be alive today if Zimmerman had just complied with the police dispatcher's request for him to remain in his car and await law enforcement.
Just after the acquittal, I was reminded of a conversation my mother had with me when I was a teenager. I am certain that her message has been shared many times in the African-American community. She cautioned me that there would be times when I should expect different and unfair treatment solely because I was black.
She said that my response should not be to act out in anger, but to remain calm and in control.
Sadly, many years later, I had the same conversation with my adolescent daughter and sons. Most black parents have this conversation with their children because of the lessons of history.
No parent wants to get a phone call or a visit at the door because there has been a mistake and their child is dead. I am hopeful that Kentucky will take a step forward as the General Assembly considers my legislation in the upcoming session.
1. George Zimmerman (GZ) racially profiled Trayvon Martin (TM) There is no evidence of this.
2. GZ disobeyed an order by the police * The civilian dispatcher, Sean Noffke, testified that he did not give GZ an order and, in fact, he, like his fellow dispatchers, are trained not make comments that sound like commands. * Noffke also testified under cross that, as a result of his asking GZ which way TM was going, GZ could have reasonably interpreted this as being asked to follow Martin. * It is also not a crime in Florida to disregard a comment made by a civilian dispatcher.
3. GZ got out of his car Not a crime on public property and not negligent either.
4. GZ followed TM Again, anyone can follow anyone on a public street unless the followee has obtained a restraining order against the follower and even there, the RS only places time, place, and manner restrictions on the person enjoined.
5. GZ wasnt really injured * Under Floridas self-defense laws, one doesnt have to be injured AT ALL to use deadly force * No one is required to refrain from defending himself while another is engaged in or attempting to commit a felony.
6. TM is dead through no fault of his own * If you believe that TM assaulted GZ, then he IS dead as a result of his own actions.
7. GZ could have left * Under Florida law, there is not a duty to withdraw rather than use deadly force * TM was straddling GZ so how the latter was supposed to leave the scene is unanswered.
8. GZ was armed and TM wasnt * Ones fists can be considered weapons and can result in severe bodily harm or death. * GZ was legally carrying a weapon * There is no requirement under the law that the same weapon be used by the assailant * A homeowner can kill an intruder whether or not he has been threatened * Those that attack cannot feign surprise if they are met with superior firepower.
9. Stand Your Ground! * SYG is NOT at issue in this trial. * The defense is a classic self-defense case.
10. Black men NEVER get to use SYG! * Wrong http://tinyurl.com/nboht35
11. GZ is a man and TM was a boy! * As if boys dont commit murder, rape, and assault everyday in this country.
Florida’s “stand your ground” law was not an issue in Zimmerman’s trail. Neither the State Prosecution nor the Defense made any reference to it.
make it fairer?
to whom? criminals??
In other words, she admitted that Saint Trayvon was the perpetrator, not the victim.
I have found this is the best way to shut them up:
Simply ask them-Regardless of who starts a fight, how many times does an armed person have to have their head slammed into concrete before it is ok to shoot?
“must carry two pistols and challenge the other side to a duel”
To them neither the truth matters.
That's because blacks (or rather their court-appointed attorneys) have tried using SYG defenses when blacks have killed the armed white shopkeepers and homeowners they were robbing.
Unresolved ? The only part unresolved is the fortune owed Zimmerman for the character assassination on the part of the mainstream media. Otherwise the rest of it is just another dead thug with absentee parents trying to cash in AFTERWARDS.
I would submit race (breed in other words) does affect the suitability of an animal to preform a given task. Some breeds are stronger, some breeds are smarter, some breeds are more aggressive...
One doesn’t have to be “smart” to hold office in KY (and many other places, for that matter).
He is smart enough to know Zimmerman case had nothing to do with stand your ground, so why perpetuate this?
There is ample room for doubt about that:
There is nothing more painful to me than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved. - The Reverend Jesse Jackson, as quoted in US News, March 10, 1996This article is cynical about the criminal justice system. I am deeply suspicious of attempts to censor the facts by crying racism."
Right you are, Sparky, especially when motivated blacks who want to study and learn are taunted by their peers for "acting white".
wouldnt have helped trayvon, he confronted zimmerman and sucker punched him in the face.
I talked to George the other day and he confirmed that he is a racist. He said absolutely he would not have shot the guy bashing his head into the sidewalk if he had been a white hispanic. /s