Sanford, FL, United States (AHN) – Even the Florida lawmakers who sponsored the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law now say that it does not apply in the shooting death Trayvon Martin because the shooter followed the boy.
Self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, 28, spotted Martin as the 17-year-old was returning from buying candy. Martin and his father were watching basketball on TV at a friend’s house and Martin had left to buy candy and ice tea. He was talking on his cellphone with his 16-year-old girlfriend who says he was worried about a man who kept following him.
That man was Zimmerman, who shot and killed Martin, who was unarmed and 100 pounds lighter than Zimmerman, who then claimed self-defense.
Sanford police have claimed that they could not charge Zimmerman with shooting and killing the child because Zimmerman claimed self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
The resulting publicity has caused protests in Florida, as well as a national outcry, and attracted the attention of Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP, the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department and the state attorney’s office, which announced a Grand Jury to investigate. In the meantime, the Sanford City Council voted to fire the police chief, but cannot because they lack the authority.
The controversial Stand Your Ground law is also commonly referred to as the “castle doctrine.” It was sponsored by Republican lawmakers Rep. Dennis Baxley and then Sen. Durell Peaden and passed by the Florida state legislature in 2005.
Baxley wrote an op-ed article published by Fox News. In the op-ed Baxley wrote, “There is nothing in the castle doctrine as found in Florida statutes that authenticates or provides for the opportunity to pursue and confront individuals, it simply protects those who would be potential victims by allowing for force to be used in self-defense.”
Peaden reportedly told the Miami Herald that the law does not apply to shooter George Zimmerman because he followed the child. Peadon told the newspaper that the moment Zimmerman told the 911 dispatcher that he was following the boy that he lost any defense under the Stand Your Ground law.