Stand your ground, three cases…two arrestsPosted: May 14, 2012
I am going to tell you three stories, about guns…protecting yourself and standing your ground. All three scenarios are from Florida…and all three question the use of the popular GOP/ALEC backed law also known as “Stand Your Ground.”
In a little section of Hillsborough County Florida, called Valrico, David James was playing basketball with his 8–year old daughter on a community basketball court. While they played together, a skateboarder who was also on the court caught the attention of another man…Trevor Dooley, who lived across the street.
Skateboards were banned on the basketball court, yelled Dooley to the kid with the board, and James spoke up to defend the skateboarder…where was the sign stating kids were not allowed to skate?
Dooley and James got into an argument that turned violent, and Dooley, who had a concealed gun permit, took his gun and shot James.
Dooley was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
In Jacksonville, Florida, a woman who had documented proof of past physical abuse from her husband, was in yet another situation where an argument between her and her husband made her feel threatened. Marissa Alexander, in the process of leaving the house where the altercation was taking place, realized when she got into the car that she forgot her keys. She took her gun and went back into the house where her husband and two sons where also leaving the house. Alexander took the gun and fired a warning shot to keep her husband from coming forward and attacking her.
She was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
And in yet another part of Florida, this time in a town called Sanford, an unarmed young black teenager was walking home from a 7 Eleven….you all know the rest of that story.
All three situations invoked the “Stand your Ground” defense. Only two resulted in immediate arrest of the shooter.
We have talked extensively about the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, a situation where a boy was killed, shot point-blank in the chest by a man who was never arrested and charged with a crime. That is until public outcry brought about an investigation by the states attorney’s office.
Just last week, Marissa Alexander was convicted of aggravated assault, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The jury took only 12 minutes to return that verdict of guilty.
Just today, a judge has denied the motion from Dooley’s attorney regarding the use of the “stand your ground” law in his defense.
The point of this post is not to debate the guilt of each of these people who used a gun, in what they describe as necessary force against a life threatening altercation.
We discussed the lack of arrest in the Trayvon Martin murder, and our outcry was against a police department and district attorney who obviously “neglected” to charge George Zimmerman with any sort of crime.
Here then are two examples of a case where in similar circumstances, an arrest was made and charges were immediately brought against the suspect.
Dooley and Alexander both are African-American. Zimmerman is a white Hispanic.
All three are proof of an undeniable bias in the criminal system…and that is exactly what brought about my protest against this “system” that let Zimmerman go free, while his victim lay dead in the morgue.
For more information on the cases I described above: