Florida Stand Your Ground Law Expanded to Include ‘Firing Warning Shots’

florida sign 350x225 Florida Stand Your Ground Law Expanded to Include Firing Warning Shots

Florida Stand Your Ground Law Expanded to Include ‘Firing Warning Shots’

Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law is being expanded to include firing warning shots or displaying a weapon in self-defense. That’s thanks to a bill introduced in the legislature by GOP State Sen. Greg Evers, that was giving final passage on Thursday.

The bill would grant gun owners legal protection to fire warning shots or display their weapons. It is set to go to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, said the bill “is about self defense.” People who meet threat with threat would be granted immunity under the measure, that says threatening use of force would be allowable if they felt their life, home or property were at risk of harm.

Evers said the bill would safeguard against mandatory minimum sentences and the courts would have to apply four findings when making a decision.

The House passed the bill on March 20. It was sponsored by representatives Neil Combee, R-Polk City, and Katie Edwards, D-Plantation. Source: Orlando Sentinel

Here’s a breakdown of how they voted in the Senate for the expanded Stand Your Ground law:

florida senate stand your ground vote 350x224 Florida Stand Your Ground Law Expanded to Include Firing Warning Shots

Florida Stand Your Ground Law Expanded to Include Firing Warning Shots

 Florida Stand Your Ground Law Expanded to Include Firing Warning Shots

LA Lakers’ Star Kobe Bryant Under Fire for Trayvon Martin Diss

kobe bryant 350x314 LA Lakers Star Kobe Bryant Under Fire for Trayvon Martin Diss

LA Lakers’ Star Kobe Bryant Under Fire for Trayvon Martin Diss

Kobe Bryant is pulling a Tiger Woods on race and it’s not sitting well with #BlackTwitter. During an interview with The New Yorker, the Lakers star admitted he was not comfortable with the idea of being compelled to defend someone just because they are black. He was referring to the Miami Heat players who wore hoodies in honor of Trayvon Martin. Bryant said he would rather sit back and wait for all the facts to come out before taking sides.

ColorLines reposted Bryant’s exact remarks:

I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”

Um, I recall when Kobe Bryant was appeared on television to issue a statement about cheating on his wife. He didn’t want anyone to judge him then and he shouldn’t be pointing fingers at the Miami Heat now. Seems to me, he could simply have expressed some sympathy for Trayvon Martin’s parents and moved on to the next topic.

The fact is, the protests in the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the teen’s murder wasn’t about racial solidarity. It was about an innocent teen being gunned down by a coward who hid behind the flawed and very controversial Stand Your Ground law. What if Kobe Bryant had been living in America during the height of the civil rights movement? Would he have questioned Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and others for taking a stand for what is right?

Reaction on Twitter:

Long Island Cop Sgt. Scott Greene Pleads Not Guilty to Targeting Hispanic Drivers

sgt. scott greene 350x224 Long Island Cop Sgt. Scott Greene Pleads Not Guilty to Targeting Hispanic Drivers

Long Island Cop Sgt. Scott Greene Pleads Not Guilty to Targeting Hispanic Drivers

Suffolk County Police Sgt. Scott Greene, who was arrested for stealing money from Hispanic drivers, pleaded not guilty to hate crimes and other charges on Monday.

Greene pleaded not guilty to a 21-count indictment that includes six counts of grand larceny as a hate crime. He was released on his own recognizance.

Greene was initially charged with petty larceny and official misconduct after a video from a sting in January showed him pulling over an undercover officer and stealing $100. He did turn over the $100 when he was confronted.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said, “In my view he’s clearly profiling Hispanics.””I had the car driven by a Latino undercover police officer from the District Attorney’s office to see if the sergeant would take the bait. And indeed, the first time we tried, he took the bait.” He added, “It’s always a sad day when we have to announce the arrest of a police officer.”

Spota said Greene allegedly targeted Hispanics in Medford, Coram and Farmingville. He said, “This defendant has used the authority of his badge for purely a thief’s motive.” He added, that “He would either pat them down and take their wallets from them or he would ask them for identification and they would give him their wallets.” Greene allegedly stole from at least seven different drivers using six different traffic stops.

Suffolk County District Attorney’s office spokeswoman Irma Solis said earlier this month that 13 people made complaints about Sgt. Scott Greene, in in addition to the three incidents he was already connected to. There are reportedly four other people who are afraid to speak out.

Texas Woman Fatally Shoots Firefighter Sam Keen, Mistook Him for Burglar

sam keen 300x167 Texas Woman Fatally Shoots Firefighter Sam Keen, Mistook Him for Burglar

Texas Woman Fatally Shoots Firefighter Sam Keen, Mistook Him for Burglar

Houston firefighter Sam Keen, 27, was fatally shot by a 64-year-old woman, who thought he was trying to get into her home Monday night, deputies said.

Houston mayor Annise Parker said, “No one did anything wrong. It was just a confluence of events that provoked a tragedy. My understanding is that the firefighter, off-duty, had been out. He did what he was supposed to do: he took a cab ride home, got dropped off in the wrong place and wasn’t aware of it. Tried to get into what he thought was his house and was tragically shot. ”

KHOU reports Deputies said the woman, who lives alone, heard something on her front porch around 9:30 p.m. Monday, looked outside and saw Sam Keen.

The police said the woman yelled for the man to leave, warning him that she had a gun, but he didn’t listen and tried to gain entry to her home. She opened fire through the door and then called 911.

Sam Keen was pronounced dead at a local hospital.  The shooting incident was sent to a grand jury. This comes after teen Johran McCormick was shot by a suburban Houston homeowner who caught him in his daughter’s bedroom.

House Bill 875 Seeks to Expand Georgia’s Stand Your Ground Law

handgun 300x230 House Bill 875 Seeks to Expand Georgias Stand Your Ground Law

House Bill 875 Seeks to Expand Georgia’s Stand Your Ground Law (Credit: Wikipedia)

#StandYourGround:  Georgia’s “Safe Carry Protection Act” (HB 875) seeks to expand the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground legislation. It would allow people to carry guns almost anywhere they choose, including schools, bars, churches, government buildings and airports. Lucia McBath, the mother of teen Jordan Davis, who was murdered by Michael Dunn after an altercation about ‘thug music,’ is leading the charge against this bill.

Stand Your Ground laws, which was made famous by the murder of Trayvon Martin by overzealous neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, allowed armed citizens to defend themselves with deadly force if they feel threatened and believe they face physical harm.

HB 875, which was introduced by state Rep. Rick Jasperse, could be passed next week during before the current legislative session ends on March 20. Laura Cutiletta, a staff attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence told PolitiFact“Of all the bills pending right now in state legislatures, this is the most sweeping and most dangerous.”

It should also be noted that Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun reform advocacy group founded by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was shot in the head by Jared Loughner, called HB 875 the “guns everywhere” bill. Of course, the National Rifle Association is embracing this bill, calling it “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history.”

HB875 would not only overturn current state laws, it would also roll back concealed-carry restrictions and would loosen other gun regulations in Georgia, according to the NRA-ILA. The bill would:

  • Removal of fingerprinting requirement for gun license renewals
  • Ban the state from keeping a gun license database
  • Repeal the state licensing requirement for firearms dealers (requiring only a federal firearms license)
  • Expand gun owner rights in a declared state of emergency by prohibiting government authorities from seizing, registering, or otherwise limiting the carrying of guns in any way permitted by law before the emergency was declared
  • Lower the age to obtain a concealed-carry license from 21 to 18 for active-duty military and honorably discharged veterans who’ve completed basic training
  • Prohibit detaining someone for the sole purpose of checking whether they have a gun license  (H/T Mother Jones)

I am urging the residents of Georgia who are against Stand Your Ground laws to call your state representative and let he or she know you don’t want this bill passed. It could mean more unarmed black and Hispanic teens will be gunned down by cowards hiding behind a so-called threat.

 House Bill 875 Seeks to Expand Georgias Stand Your Ground Law

Michael Dunn Retrial Set for Murder of Unarmed Black Teen Jordan Davis

michael dunn jordan davis 300x175 Michael Dunn Retrial Set for Murder of Unarmed Black Teen Jordan Davis

Michael Dunn Retrial Set for Murder of Unarmed Black Teen Jordan Davis

Michael Dunn’s retrial has been set for May 5 for the murder of unarmed black teen Jordan Davis after an altercation over loud music leads to shooting.

Dunn won’t be sentenced for the attempted murder charges he was convicted of until after the retrial. Either way, he’s looking at 60 years behind bars.

Michael Dunn had been scheduled to be sentenced on March 24 for attempted murder and firing into a vehicle. His attorney is concerned that statements he makes at sentencing could be used against him in his second trial.

Michael Dunn is Broke and Can’t Afford Defense Lawyer Cory Strolla

cory strolla 300x212 Michael Dunn is Broke and Cant Afford Defense Lawyer Cory Strolla

Michael Dunn is Broke and Can’t Afford Defense Lawyer Cory Strolla

It looks like we won’t be seeing defense attorney Cory Strolla on the news in the near future. That’s unless he manages to get a deal with one of the news networks. It turns out he has withdrawn as attorney for Jordan Davis’ murderer Michael Dunn because he is broke and can’t afford him.

The Florida Times Union reports,”On Monday attorney Cory Strolla withdrew as Dunn’s lawyer because Dunn is broke and can no longer pay him. Waffa Hanania with the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel was appointed as Dunn’s new lawyer.”

Michael Dunn was convicted of attempted murder of Jordan Davis’ three friends but the judge declared a mistrial on the murder charge because the jury was deadlocked.

Cory Strolla will continue to represent Michael Dunn during his sentencing for the attempted murder charges and for firing into a moving vehicle. Waffa Hanania will represent him in the retrial.

Separately, Judge Healy is considering a motion to delay of Michael Dunn’s sentencing until he is retried on the murder charge.

Rev. Al Sharpton Leads March to FL State Capitol Against Stand Your Ground Law

al sharpton stand your ground march 300x167 Rev. Al Sharpton Leads March to FL State Capitol Against Stand Your Ground Law

Rev. Al Sharpton Leads March to FL State Capitol Against Stand Your Ground Law (Credit: Twitter)

#StandYourGround:  Rev. Al Sharpton led several hundred people in a march to the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee against the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, ABC News reports.

Trayvon Martin’s parents, Jordan Davis’ mother, Lucia McBath, and the family of Marissa Alexander were among those present.

Before the march began, Rev. Sharpton said, “To have laws that tell people that they can shoot first and then ask questions later is a violation of our civil rights. I believe that law is inherently wrong.”

Sharpton said, “The law in effect says based on your imagination, if you imagine I’m a threat, you have the right to kill me. He also called Florida “ground zero” in the fight against the controversial law.

FL Teen In Critical Condition After Grandfather, Ulysses Hayes, Shot Him in Back

florida sign 300x193 FL Teen In Critical Condition After Grandfather, Ulysses Hayes, Shot Him in Back

FL Teen In Critical Condition After Grandfather, Ulysses Hayes, Shot Him in Back

STAND YOUR GROUND:  A north Florida teen is in critical condition after his 72-year-old grandfather, Ulysses Hayes, shot him in the back because he didn’t want to get up for school.

The Miami Herald reports Ulysses Hayes heard the teen arguing with his mother about getting out of bed for school. He pulled his gun out and shot the teen.

Investigators interviewed Hayes last Thursday and released him. The decision not to arrested Ulysses Hayes was based on “mitigating circumstances investigators learned during the interviews,” the Miami Herald reports.

The state attorney’s office will decide if charges will be filed. Um, only in Florida.

 

FL Man, Keenan Finkelstein, Invokes ‘Stand Your Ground’ After Shooting Deputy in Leg

guns 1 300x199 FL Man, Keenan Finkelstein, Invokes Stand Your Ground After Shooting Deputy in Leg

FL Man, Keenan Finkelstein, Invokes ‘Stand Your Ground’ After Shooting Deputy in Leg (Credit: Wikipedia)

#StandYourGround:  Keenan Finkelstein will learn if he’s criminally liable after he shot a deputy sheriff in the leg last March in Pensacola, using the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law to justify his actions.

According to the Pensacola News-Journal,  Escambia County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Shedrick Johnson and other officers were searching on foot for a robbery suspect in the Scenic Hills area. A robbery victim told police that someone from a home located in the 8800 block of Burning Tree Road had stolen a handgun and marijuana from his residence.

Police converged on the home and saw Keenan Finkelstein emerge from the garage. It should be noted that he was not the subject police were searching for. Sgt. Johnson said that he emerged from  behind a tree where he had been hiding and identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy. Finkelstein produced a gun and fired, hitting Sgt. Johnson in the leg.

Keenan Finkelstein’s lawyer, Brandon Moros, is arguing that Sgt. Johnson didn’t identify himself when he stepped out from behind the tree. Moros contends his client’s actions were in self-defense and justifiable under the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. Um, here we go again….Florida.

Judge Terry Terrell will decide whether to drop the charges against Keenan Finkelstein or allow his case to go to trial, after witness testimony concludes on Friday.