The way that the Stand Your Ground statute is used in jury instructions boils down to this: ALL THAT ANY NON-BLACK SHOOTER NEEDS TO DO IS TO SAY THAT THEY WERE AFRAID FOR THEIR LIFE…because scary Black person. It matters very little if the so-called “reasonable fear” existed in reality, or only in someone’s mind, or not at all
Newsflash: ANY given reason =/= “reasonable fear”
I’ve sat on a jury as a foreman before, and please believe me when I say…during deliberations in the jury room, “reasonable” can easily become, “well, he did give a reason for his fear" if someone strong (or Black) isn’t there to immediately shoot that thought process down
Here is the complete text of the Florida #SYG statute (written by ALEC, btw) which ultimately finds it’s way into Florida’s self defense (aka #SYG) jury instructions
Make no mistake: Dunn didn’t use the words ‘gangster’ and ‘thug’ in his testimony by mistake. You don’t have to look any further than the glaring difference between how Richard Sherman was derided and pilloried as a “thug” vs. when White people like Mayor Rob Ford and Michael Grimm (R-NY) aren’t even arrested after being caught on film using drugs or making credible death threats, let alone not called a thug. Those two words—thug and gangster—and many more have become heavily weaponized and racialized, and they are ‘polite’ stand ins for the n-word. And that coded language didn’t just happen all on it’s own
And let’s be real here, for far too many armed White people, unfamiliar Black bodies are plenty of reason to be fearful…all the way to the point of immediately applying lethal force (please see also: implicit shooter bias, Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc)
The amount of things and possibilities that can occur in just a single year still blows me. For example, just a year ago, I was with the boy I swore I loved with all of my heart. He didn’t even treat me like I deserved to be treated, but the good outweighed the bad so I stuck around. But suddenly , just one year later, here I am single as a dollar bill. A person who used to mean the world to me now means nothing to me, especially since we didn’t exactly part on good terms. In just a year, everything that used to be a reality is now just a sharp memory in the back of my mind.
Well, I guess I’m out. Nobody reads this anyways…