Florida is a lovely state filled with wonderful people I have enjoyed every visit.. When I first heard about the law in 2005,allowing citizens who felt threatened or intimidated to used deadly force, I immediately said to myself I wouldn’t be visiting the Sunshine State any time soon.
I am black,6.4 inches tall and weigh over 300 pounds. I imagine being lost and asking someone for directions and its all over. I am sure,there will be some who read this and think I’m stretching this a bit. I’ve been stopped more times then I can count for simply driving while black, is yes it can happen.
Recently, I ran out of gas in an affluent neighborhood east of Sacramento, I lifted up the hood on my car and called road service. Imagine, mysuprise when the police appeared (apparently someone called) as I was handing the officer my ID, AAA arrived, the officer left. The tow truck driver seemed hesitant and asked what was going on? “wrong neighborhood” I said..
The State of Florida 2005 ” Justifiable Use of Force may allow 28 year old George Zimmerman from being charged with the killing of 17 year Trayvon Martin who went to a 7 Eleven to buy Skittles and Ice Tea during a break in the NBA all star game Feb 26.
The Florida Law
|JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE|
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
(b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
(c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
(b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
(c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2005-27.
The 911 Tapes
The first 911 call is from George Zimmerman the second 911 call is from a neighbor.
George Zimmerman 28, is a resident at “The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida . Neighbors in the complex said, when the homeowners association wanted to start a neighborhood watch, only Mr Zimmerman stepped up. His neighbors said he was passionate about neighborhood security and took it upon himself to do nightly patrols while he walked his dog, He went door to door in his complex and asked residence to be on the lookout ,specifically black men who appeared to be outsiders.
Mr Zimmerman was licensed to carry a firearm and a student of criminal justice. The majority of the residence in complex are people of color. The downturn in the state’s real estate industry,forced many owners to rent condo to anyone who could pay rent, many tenants believe the new tenants have increased crime in the gated community.
Police had been called to the 260 unit complex 402 time from Jan 1,2011 to Feb 26,2011. Records show 50 suspicious-reports , eight burglaries, nine thefts and one other shooting before Trayvon’s death. 46 of the calls were from George Zimmerman.
No one knows what or how Mr Zimmerman earns a living. The shooting is troubling to the residence’s, did the homeowners association or his neighbors know he carried a gun? It’s important to say Mr Zimmerman was well liked and respected by black tenants in the complex. One black neighbor told the local media. ” She knew everything in the media was untrue and that she would trust George with her life” Another said “George was the only one, black or white ,who came and welcomed her to the community, offering any assistance he could provide”
The director of the National Neighborhood Watch programs Chris Turko, say’s Mr Zimmerman violated major principles of the Neighborhood Watch manual. “It should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers. And they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles. The Sanford Police were not aware Zimmerman was not a registered member at the time of the shooting.
Because Mr Zimmerman said he was acting in self defence, which the Sanford Police Department said his statements was supported by the physical evidence and his testimony. They not arrest him.
Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—