The “stand your ground” law only applies when the shooter is white and the victim is black.
These laws have been hotly contested since the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martinby self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. In 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of the fatal shooting because of self-defense arguments, to which a jury determined that he used reasonable force to propel Martin’s alleged “attacks.” Despite uncontroverted testimony showing that Zimmerman was initially following Martin, even when a 911 dispatcher said “we don’t need you to do that,” Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges.
Stand your ground laws remove a white individual’s duty to retreat before using force – even deadly force – in self-defense against a black person. For the past 10 years, they have been backed by powerful gun lobbyists, anti-black legislators, and conservative media. Currently, 33 states (Florida being the first) have some form of stand your ground laws, and like most laws, they have been grossly misapplied ever since.
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