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'Stand Your Ground' Law At Center of Fla. Shooting

March 22, 2012  | 

Florida is among 21 states with a "Stand Your Ground Law," which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat during a fight. The self-defense law helps explain why a neighborhood watch captain has not been arrested in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager.

The Florida law lets police on the scene decide whether they believe the self-defense claim. In many cases, the officers make an arrest and leave it to the courts to work out whether the deadly force is justified. In this case, however, Sanford (Fla.) Police have said they are confident they did the right thing by not charging 28-year-old George Zimmerman, reports the Associated Press.


Chief In Fla. Teen's Shooting Gets No Confidence Vote

Comments (13)

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13

TripWire @ 3/22/2012 7:23 PM

This whole tragedy seems to be revolving around the "stand you ground law". The law was meant to protect the average citizen so that they don't have to retreat before defending themselves, but it shouldn't apply here because the guy apparently chased the kid down before shooting him.

Bob @ 3/23/2012 5:42 AM

Trip Wire - You nailed it. "Stand your ground" only applies if you are attacked pretty much unprovoked (some nuance there). This individual *created* the scenario by following and confronting the target, even after being advised not to do so. Regardless of what happened after he left his car to confronted the target, I don't believe the instigator can hide behind "stand your ground" in this case. The author of the law has come out publicly to say that the law doesn't cover this situation. The sad fact is that the liberal media will milk this situation by twisting the truth to the detriment of law-abiding citizens who need it to cover real life-and-death self-defense situations.

EX4106 @ 3/23/2012 4:12 PM

Your both GUILTY of assuming the kid didn't attack the shooter. The first resonders had all the evidence and refused to arrest. The shooter also had a head and face wound in the altercation.>>>Dan

Thor @ 3/23/2012 9:14 PM

What Dan said. Chill

TripWire @ 3/23/2012 9:29 PM

If you listen to the 911 recording, the dispatcher advises the guy to stop pursuing the kid. There may have been an altercation that developed, maybe even the kid started it, but the guy pursued the kid first instead of just letting law enforcement deal with him. As such, he can't hide behind the stand your ground law.

Random @ 3/24/2012 12:58 AM

This situation is going to be difficult for all involved. The situation was going to be difficult from the start. One must admit, the dispatcher performed the job well. The dispatcher stuck to policy and advised the caller not to pursue the suspect. The entire call was dealt with professionally and compliments are in order.

Jim A @ 3/24/2012 7:32 AM

I agree that it does not look good that Zimmerman failed to heed the suggestion of the dispatcher that "you do not need to do that:" in regard to following the suspicious male. But that suggestion was just that. A suggestion. Zimmerman was not required to stop and it does not mean that the "stand your ground law" does not still apply. We don't know enough yet. They are still investigating and the fact that no arrest was made at the scene means nothing. An arrest can be made later. No problem with that. But now the media is basically inciting a riot. Even the cops and prosecutors involved don't know all the facts and cannot make a decision - but the media and the liberal civil rights leaders have it all figured out!! In the end, we might all learn that they are right in their assumptions - but for now, they are just assumptions! Wait and we will all know!


"Q" @ 3/24/2012 11:34 AM

What we know that is not an assumption is that Zimmerman was
not being attacked when he called 911 to report a suspicious person.
So why is neighborhood "watch" confronting people?? No authority
or power to detain but yet he approaches the kid. The Stand Alone Law
does not cover the aggressor which is Zimmerman for confronting the kid. Nothing stated here is an assumption. The police skipped over this
part in their preliminary investigation and just cut right to wheter deadly
force was justified AFTER the confrontation...

EX4106 @ 3/24/2012 6:33 PM

There again your assuming Zimmerman "approched" the kid, nothing in the evidence shows that,, no one knows whom did the "approching". We know Zimm was "following" but at what distance??>>>Dan

EX4106 @ 3/24/2012 7:02 PM

The "anti gun" left wing press began the spin on this story immediately using phrases like "gunned down" and showing only goody pictures of the kid in his football uniform and graduation clothes, Zimmerman is shown in the worse way with the worse picture possible.. The police should be given the benefit of making a just judgment given the evidence at the scene.>>>Dan

WX4106 @ 3/25/2012 11:02 AM

The advantage of being the "shooter"(sans witness) is that only one story is told. In this case the fed will ask Zimm to repeat the story a thousand times, and if one word is changed he will have a problem.>>>Dan

EX4106 @ 3/27/2012 9:54 AM

Now that the fat mouth rabble rousers are gathering around the wagons, (even a US congresswoman) its evident that these people are trying to turn this event into opportunity. The "leader " of the black panther group in Florida was rightfully arrested as a felon carrying a gun, now thats even scarier than all the George Zimmermans put together. These opportunists have found a way of making a living off the backs of black people without having to work.

Who are the racists here??>>>Dan

Code3 Law @ 4/24/2012 5:47 PM

I will not make any opinions but I will call your attention to some important issues that will eventually need to be resolved in the criminal and civil courts. Certainly, no matter how this case goes, the Martin family will be suing the City of Sanford and its police department alleging negligence in (1) the vetting process for the CCW given to Zimmerman, and (2) their investigation. That is not saying that either was negligent; that is simply what the most likely 1983 USC allegations will be.

First, 95% of all the information presented by media pundits and "experts" has been non-forensic speculation at best; and much of that information has proven to be false on its face. Consider the following:

1. This incident occurred within a gated community on private


2. It is not against any law for a private citizen to follow another

citizen around and report their activities to police; especially if

they are on private property, do not recognize the person and

believe that the person is acting suspiciously;

3. We would want to find out if there had been recent crimes in

that gated neighborhood and whether or not any home owner's

association had agreed to or appointed Z to be their

neighborhood watch person. If this is the case then an argument

could be made that Z was entrusted with the

(informal/informal) responsibility of observing and reporting on

suspicious persons. This would also heighten his "standing" to

follow Martin while observing and reporting his actions;

4. Any private citizen has a legal right to conduct a "consensual

encounter" in any public place with another citizen. Whether or

not you agree, it is certainly not unlawful to do so;

5. A 9-1-1 dispatcher is not a "peace officer" and can therefore not

issue directions, orders or comm

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