By Rhonda Swan
The volunteer night watchman for the Retreat at Twin Lakes townhome development in Sanford, Florida claims he killed the unarmed black teen in self-defense. The state’s Stand Your Ground law, enacted in 2005 at the behest of the National Rifle Association, makes it lawful for individuals to use deadly force if they have a reasonable fear of harm or death to themselves or others. Prior to its enactment, the law required an effort to escape.
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Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee said his department’s investigation determined that the 28-year-old Zimmerman was in such fear when he killed Trayvon, a 17-year-old Miami high school junior. “In this case, Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense,” Lee said. “Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”
That’s the outcome the NRA intended when it pushed for Stand Your Ground: Shoot first, be exonerated later.
Stand Your Ground is nothing more than a license to kill.
For more on this story, go to theGrio.