The shooting death of a black teen in Orlando by a neighborhood watchman has brought attention to a Florida law that has been implicated in the case. But as Lynn Hatter reports, a group of attorneys say the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, isn’t to blame, and that it has been misrepresented in the case.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law allows people to use force to protect themselves if they are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death. 28-year-old George Zimmerman says he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense. But Criminal attorney Craig Brown says Zimmerman can’t claim self-defense under Florida’s Stand your Ground Law.
“That is not what stand your ground is about. Stand your Ground needs to be heard before a judge. But before you get there, an arrest should have been made. So here, we’re skipping part of the process. He [Zimmerman] created any risk of harm. If anybody had the right to stand his ground, it would have been Trayvon Martin in this case.”
911 calls released in the case show Zimmerman pursued Martin after the dispatcher told him not too, making Zimmerman the aggressor. The local police chief has temporarily stepped down over the handling of the case, and state and federal investigations are continuing to decide whether to charge Zimmerman with a crime.