Skip to comments.Florida's self-defense law complicates shooting of teenager (Trayvon Martin)
Posted on 03/21/2012 6:01:38 PM PDT by Navy Patriot
Florida's controversial 2005 "Stand-Your-Ground" self-defense law could make it difficult to charge a Sanford man who shot an unarmed Miami Gardens teenager to death, legal experts say.
An arrest could hinge on whether prosecutors believe that neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman acted unreasonably when he encountered Trayvon Martin, 17, whom he suspected was a prowler. A 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman that he didn't need to follow Martin.
"If he was attacked, he can stand his ground," said retired Miami-Dade prosecutor David Waksman, who is not involved in the case. "But if police say back off and we'll take care of it, he's not covered by the law."
The state self-defense law eliminated a citizen's duty to retreat before using deadly force to confront an attacker. Police and prosecutors statewide have said the the law fosters a shoot-first, ask-questions-later mentality.
(Excerpt) Read more at kansascity.com ...
(1) An "assault" is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.
(2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
784.021 Aggravated assault.--
(1) An "aggravated assault" is an assault:
(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
(b) With an intent to commit a felony.
(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
784.03 Battery; felony battery.--
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, "conviction" means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.
784.041 Felony battery.--
(1) A person commits felony battery if he or she:
(a) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and
(b) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
(2) A person who commits felony battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
nothing at all is complicated about our law, unless the writer is a left wing thick idiot, which I bet they are.
It’;s simple when ones life is felt in danger then you can shoot to protect yourself.
The only reason this is news is because yet again a black kid was shot by a non white guy and the NAACP etc are kicking up a fuss.
How about the white kid who was attacked on his way home, has gas poured on him and set alight, while racist name calling was going on?
What’s that MSM the victim is white, oh quick cover that up then.
Some time ago a white guy shot two illegals and the black groups yet again came out to protest and the sheep of the MSM went to cover this as national news.
NO ONE I have seen in the Miami media is reporting the injuries apparently suffered by Mr. Zimmerman. Instead, they are playing the race card, as dictated by the NAALCP and their Obama worshipping colleagues.
There's no way that can be called "standing your ground".
From what I have heard, the guy stalked the teenager and when the boy reacted in some way, shot him.
It's not just Miami. The criminal media is at it again, not reporting ANY of the information that has been readily available to them from the beginning.
There's a reason he's not being charged - he was getting the s*** beat out of him by a "kid" who was over 6 feet tall and 200 lbs.
A man who witnessed part of the altercation contacted authorities.
"The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911," said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.
John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot.
"And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point."
I’m not aware of just where the case of the boy being doused with gas and set afire stands but I don’t see what it has to do with this case. Each case should stand on it’s own merits. The argument often raised by black Americans, “My ancestors were slaves and lynched so you gotta cut me some slack for killing this cracker.” is totally bogus as well. Injustice in one case doesn’t justify injustice in another. Also, the lynch mobs of Al Sharpton and crew are as bad as was the KKK.
IMO the prosecutor in this instance should take what he has before a grand jury.
Well, that makes a great deal of difference!
Obviously, we will see such photos of evidence that the police took of Mr. Zimmerman, not only that, the EMT would have treated him for such injuries incurred by his fight with Mr. Martin?
As Zimmerman narrated, the dispatcher asked: Are you following him?
Yeah, Zimmerman replied.
We dont need you to do that, the dispatcher said. An interpretation of that exchange could be key in deciding whether Zimmerman acted recklessly in pursuing Martin. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, in an interview last week, suggested that Zimmerman did not.
Thats another question we get quite often: He was told not to follow him. Lee said in an interview last week. Well thats a recommendation or a suggestion. Its not a lawful order.
Zimmermans responsibility to stay in his truck and keep out of it was a moral responsibility, Lee said. Zimmerman told police that he was headed back to his truck when Martin jumped him from behind, Lee said.
When you roll all this together, Mr Zimmerman is only guilty if he struck Mr. Martin with serious force or illegally in possession of a firearm. A push or shove that does not cause a fall or injury has bee ruled insufficient in Florida to satisfy self defense.
""But if police say back off and we'll take care of it when we finally wipe the powdered sugar off our mouths, get off our asses, and actually respond when we decide to get 'round to it, he's not covered by the law."
It;s simple when ones life is felt in danger then you can shoot to protect yourself.
The author of the law says it doesn't protect someone who stalks someone else and initiates a confrontation. Zimmerman was under no obligation to run away, but he had no legal authority to pursue and confront this child.
Zimmerman was an idiot, wreckless and careless. I expect there to be civil suits about this case. That said, and I do blame Zimmerman for this, that said, he might not have technically committed a crime.
As a lifetime NRA member,CCW permit holder, and overall strong supporter of gun rights including castel doctrine, it isn't that simple.
Maybe there is more to this story, and I hope their is. But the events as being portrayed in the media are suspicious. What happened at another place at another time doesn't matter. It is what happened here that has the potential to impact our rights.
Make no mistake, regarldess of what actually happened, this event has set back stand your ground laws across the board. THis event, regardless of what actually happened, means that it will be all that more difficult to have the law defer to using lethal force inside your house or in your car if attached putting the onus of criminal and civil legal liability of needing to use lethal force on the victim instead of the criminal.
A young kid, regarldess of race, weight, height, etc., is dead. A 911 call exists telling the guy they didn't need him to follow the kid. But he did anyway. Whatever trouble he got himself into looking for trouble is his own fault. Unless something comes out that says the kid he killed was looking for trouble my blame goes on the moron wannabe robocop that has given intelligent gun owners a strike. Worst of all, there is a dead kid and grieving family that from everything I have seen so far shouldn't have had to happen.
However it shakes out I hope justice is done.
Your comment has merit. I would like to add that in fact, a 911 operator or police dispatcher has no authority to order anyone to back off. Only a police officer in person, on the scene, has that authority. Mr. Zimmerman was not in violation of the law when he followed Mr. Martin.
In my opinion it was unwise of him to get close.
I have seen that Trayvon was 6 ft, 3 inches tall, but his weight has been portrayed as 140 pounds. If it really was over 200 pounds, it makes a big difference in the narrative.
Martin is no "child". He made the decision to attack Zimmerman when he was leaving the scene.
Oh, you can be CERTAIN the media will work hard to get those photos and that information apparently on the police report out to the public....
Oh, wait a minute....it is THE MEDIA. Never mind.