Trayvon Martin Case: Lt. Gov. (R) Jennifer Carroll To Study Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law

“Under the glare of protests and the national media spotlight, the Sanford police chief and the Brevard-Seminole County prosecutor both stepped aside Thursday in the case of a neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Angela B. Corey, state attorney for the Jacksonville area, as special prosecutor to head the state investigation of the Feb. 26 slaying of Trayvon Martin, 17, of South Florida. Scott also announced that a task force headed by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll will study Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law. The government’s statement suggested that Brevard-Seminole State Attorney Norm Wolfinger was forced out.”

For my non-American readers, here’s some background on the case: “George Zimmerman, 28, was the neighborhood watch captain at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a townhouse complex in the small town north of Orlando. A Hispanic former insurance agent with a history of reporting the presence of black men to police, Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. The killing came after Zimmerman called police saying he saw someone in a hoodie walking too slowly in the rain, peering at houses. After the shooting, he told police he was attacked and fired in self-defense. A general studies major at Seminole State College, Zimmerman was kicked out of the school Thursday ‘due to the highly charged and high-profile controversy,’ the school announced. The Sanford Police Department is under fire for its handling of the investigation and for accepting the shooter’s self-defense claim.”

And what is Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law? Fox News provides some info: “Florida is among 21 U.S. 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 black teenager — a case that has caused widespread outrage. The Florida law lets police officers on the scene decide whether they believe the self-defense claim. In many cases, the officers let the courts work out whether the deadly force was justified. In this case, however, police have said they are confident they did the right thing by not charging 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic.”

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