Trayvon Martin and Stand Your Ground have become icons for the gun control movement, but is it possible that the Stand Your Ground law actually benefits more black people than white people?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the parents of Jordan Davis are attacking the Stand Your Ground law despite the fact that the Michael Dunn trial never invoked the law.
The issue of race has also become entangled within the controversy because of the circumstances surrounding Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Some minorities claim they do not feel safe because of the Stand Your Ground laws.
For example, Jonel Edwards is a member of Dream Defenders, a group that is promoting further gun control laws and led a month long sit-in outside the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott. Edwards recently gave a speech to students and she used Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis as prime examples:
“Trayvon Martin had a hoodie, you have a hoodie, now. Or a lot of you said you listen to loud music, and a lot these have to do with the society that we live in…. Whenever a person of color is in some way impacted negatively by something that may appear to be non-racial, it automatically becomes an issue of race. I definitely think it impacts people of color more than it does other people. We live in a world where we base how we view people off of different stereotypes that we have encountered a lot. A lot of individuals in my community, they just don’t feel safe. They feel that the criminal justice system isn’t equitable, isn’t fair and that’s something, again, that we are trying to fight against.”
Ciara Taylor, political director of the Dream Defenders, claims Stand Your Ground is biased toward minorities and claims that “statistics have shown that white people are more likely to get off than people of color when they claim Stand Your Ground.”
But Public Defender Matt Shirk of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court says that he’s only used Stand Your Ground laws in a handful of cases and they’ve all involved black defendants:
“I will tell you that the half a dozen cases that we talked about where we’ve used Stand Your Ground, I believe all of them we’ve represented African-American men, who were defending themselves, rightfully, and were successful with Stand Your Ground. To assert Stand Your Ground, you file a motion. You allege facts under oath. Neither [George Zimmerman or Michael Dunn] did that. They simply raised the traditional self-defense…Stand Your Ground is a much more limited [law].”
Reporter Ben Montgomery also worked on trying to discover how Stand Your Ground effected trials. He discovered that out of the “nearly 200 cases in which Stand Your Ground was invoked, people who killed a black person went free 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time.” At the same time, “black defendants went free about 66 percent of the time in fatal Stand Your Ground cases, compared to 61 percent for white defendants.” Montgomery says “attorneys who regularly represent black men… suggest that this law benefits their clients.”
Are you surprised that Stand Your Ground laws may be helping black people just as much as other groups?