Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law has been at the center of the Trayvon Martin case because former neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, 28, claims that he acted in self-defense and, under the law, he had every right to meet force with force.
SEE ALSO: Will Trayvon Swing Florida’s Vote?
The nation watched as Zimmerman strolled into court Friday morning and was granted a low bail of $150,000 by Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester — after he offered Sybrina Fulton and Tracey Martin a half-hearted apology for killing their unarmed 17-year-old son.
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Unfortunately, “Stand Your Ground” doesn’t work nearly as well to protect abused Black women — just vigilante neighborhood watch captains with violent criminal records.
On August 1, 2010, Marissa Alexander was in the fight of her life against an abusive husband who, according to her, had every intention of killing her. Today, she awaits trail on three counts of of aggravated assault with no intent to harm, and faces a minimum 20 years in prison. The judge in the case dismissed Alexander’s motion to receive immunity under the “Stand Your Ground,” and she is struggling to get her story heard.
Hear from Marissa in her own words:
On August 1 2010, my premature baby girl, born nine days earlier, was in the Baptist South N.I.C.U. fighting for her life and I would too be fighting for my life in my own home against an attack from my husband.
My name is Marissa Alexander, I am a mother of three children, but at the present time, I am not able to be with them due to the following circumstances. I am currently sitting in the Pretrial Detention Facility in Jacksonville FL, Duval County awaiting a sentence for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm. Before my life changed drastically on that August afternoon, I was in the perilous position of leaving an abusive relationship with my husband who has history of violence and documented domestic abuse towards women. Our history included one which required me to place an injunction for protection against violence and was active during the month of August 2010.
In an unprovoked jealous rage, my husband violently confronted me while using the restroom. He assaulted me, shoving, strangling and holding me against my will, preventing me from fleeing all while I begged for him to leave. After a minute or two of trying to escape, I was able to make it to the garage where my truck was parked, but in my haste to leave I realized my keys were missing. I tried to open the garage but there was a mechanical failure. I was unable to leave, trapped in the dark with no way out. For protection against further assault I retrieved my weapon; which is registered and I have a concealed weapon permit. Trapped, no phone, I entered back into my home to either leave through another exit or obtain my cell phone.
He and my two stepsons were supposed to be exiting the house thru the front door, but he didn’t leave. Instead he came into the kitchen that leads to the garage and realized I was unable to leave. Instead of leaving thru the front door where his vehicle was parked outside of the garage, he came into the kitchen by himself. I was terrified from the first encounter and feared he came to do as he had threatened. The weapon was in my right hand down by my side and he yelled, “Bitch I will kill you!”, and charged toward me. In fear and desperate attempt, I lifted my weapon up, turned away and discharged a single shot in the wall up in the ceiling. As I stood my ground it prevented him from doing what he threatened and he ran out of the home. Outside of the home, he contacted the police and falsely reported that I shot at him and his sons. The police arrived and I was taken into custody.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who has been a vital support and champion for Trayvon Martin’s family, told Loop21.com in an interview that he would also be getting involved in Alexander’s case:
We’re definitely going to get involved in that, because I think she’s a glaring example of how they apply Stand Your Ground based on who you are, rather than what ground you’re standing.”
On Friday, president of the Jacksonville, Florida chapter of the NAACP, Isiah Rumlin, sent Judge James Daniel a letter asking him not only to reschedule the sentencing set for Alexander on Monday, but to consider granting a new trial, reports First Coast News.
We take issue with the State denying her (Alexander’s) right to claim self-defense under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.” [Alexander] did all that she possibly could to protect herself from her husband at the time, including an injunction for protection against violence, which was active on the day of the incident.”
To read more about Marissa’s story and how you can become involved, click here.
You can also visit Change.org and sign this petition to support Marissa.