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Florida’s 'MAKE MY DAY' Law: Crony-Enabling of Racist Criminality

Linn Washington, Jr. writes:

The mass disenfranchisement of thousands of blacks by Florida election officials during the 2000 presidential election allegedly won but actually stolen by George W. Bush remains a stinging point among blacks.

Florida’s then Governor Jeb Bush, George’s brother, later acknowledged his role in the voter suppression that handed the White House to his brother. Jeb Bush enthusiastically backed passage of the “Stand Your Ground “ law, calling it a “good, common-sense anti-crime measure.”

Any wonder racists have been and are trying to get away with murder in Florida? Any wonder official, institutional cronyism messaged from the top office of Florida state government has resulted in blatant indifference to white on black criminality? Incremental genocide one might contend.

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley on TV the other night referred to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” citizen authorization of 2005 as the “MAKE MY DAY” law. One more manifestation of macho, post-morality America! A not so covert “shoot first, ask questions later” permission to protect racist cronies BY police racist cronies SET IN PLACE by political racist top cronies. It removes the duty of a citizen to retreat before using deadly force against an “alleged” attacker. It also allows the use of deadly force against an unarmed person.

By the way, surprise, surpise, the law was backed by the NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION. More gun purchases of course for white racist, paranoid, and trigger-happy citizens! Profits over people once again. Corporate needs vs. humanity one more time. Who cares the consequences of the proliferation of vigilante gun ownership?

Linn Washington relates that since the approval of this law according to media reports there have been 400 justified kills using it in Florida. He adds that almost two dozen other states have embraced similar laws.

Mr. Washington cites a May 2010 incident in which a man, having fought with another man, shot him in the back of the head while the other man was coming out of the water at a beach. That shooting was declared justified.

Apparently this loose, vigilante scenario has been operating shamefully under the national radar until this recent tragedy of Trayvon Martin.

On February 26th in Sanford, Florida, outside of Orlando, George Zimmerman, 28 year-old town watch operative, with a 9mm pistol, fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old high schooler. Why? Seemingly for being black and exhibiting the effrontery of walking back to a relative’s home in an integrated neighborhood after having visited a convenience store. Besides being 11 years older, Zimmerman was 3 inches taller than Trayvon and almost 100 pounds heavier. The 911 tape reveals a police contact told Zimmerman just previous to the shooting NOT to confront Martin. Zimmerman defied the order and went after the boy.

Zimmerman’s neighbors regard him as aggressive. In the past year he had called the police 46 times in his “town watch” role. In 2005 he had been charged with assaulting a police officer. The charge was dropped.

After the deadly encounter, police conducted a test on the body of Trayvon Martin to see if he had been “under the influence” of drugs or alcohol. He had not been. The police DID NOT test the killer of Trayvon, George Zimmerman, though some people maintain his voice on the 911 tape sounds as he if he could have been “under the influence” of drugs or alcohol.

This is about cronyism of the local police with white crime-fighting zealots of the community. A beyond disgusting double-standard. Zimmerman was a wannabe cop in a racism-condoning, authoritarian climate. Refer to Jeb Bush's downward messaging of exploitation of blacks and support of vigilantism above.

The police quickly and easily accepted Zimmerman’s flimsy claim of “self defense,” that Martin was beating him badly and Zimmerman was getting no back-up help (actually, the "he hit me BACK" faux-self-defense). Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee concurred instead of exploring such a blatantly suspicious story.

Washington asks that if the situation had been reversed, that if a black Zimmerman had contended a white Martin had provoked him enough to kill him, it would be an entirely different story! Of course.

Accountability and justice in America? Too often not if you are black.

One more example of despicable political and authoritarian cronyism upending justice in America.

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mtngun's picture
Submitted by mtngun on

What little we know about the case stinks to high heaven, but . . . I disagree with your contention that this case is all the NRA's fault. "Stand your ground" makes the prosecutor's job more difficult, but the bottom line is that there is no witness for the prosecution. No witness, no case.

On the other hand, if the prosecution had a strong witness to testify that Zimmerman was the aggressor, then there would be a viable case, not withstanding the "stand your ground" rule.

My guess is that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon, attempted to detain Trayvon, probably by grabbing his arm, and Trayvon instinctively fought back. Things escalated from there.

Without a witness to say that Zimmerman was the first to cross a legal line, I'm not seeing a legal case that would hold up in court.

Without the "stand your ground" law, the prosecutor could argue that deadly force was excessive relative to the threat, but that would be a judgement call, and if even one juror sympathized with Zimmerman, he would walk. Knowing that, the prosecutor would probably have plea bargained down to a manslaughter charge with a light sentence.

My state does not have a "stand your ground" law, yet there have been similar cases where the shooter walked or received a light sentence, because there were no witnesses and the shooter played the victim card.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Seems like there is a pile of circumstantial stuff against Zimmerman as well as some evidence of cronyism from the investigating police. It will be interesting to watch what unfolds and will the media hang with it or go on to its next shiny toy? Titillation but let's not ever encourage or cover real reform or uncover something long enough where real reform can happen.