Teen’s death brings law into question

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Teen’s death brings law into question
SANFORD, FL (BDCi) – Last month, an unarmed teen was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer who claims he fired his gun in self-defense.

Now, protestors in Florida are demanding that the perpetrator, George Zimmerman, 28, be arrested for the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

There had been a rash of crimes in the community and when Zimmerman spotted Martin, he called 911 describing a “real suspicious guy” and told the dispatcher he was following the person.

A confrontation ensued moments later and Martin was shot in the chest and killed.

Zimmerman said Martin had initiated the confrontation and he was released from police custody without charges due to no contradicting evidence.

But at the request of Martin’s family, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice will soon be underway.

Almost half a million supporters have signed a worldwide petition to get Zimmerman prosecuted, including Spike Lee, Mia Farrow and Wyclef Jean.

An unexpected by-product of the shooting is a heated re-examination of Florida’s self-defense law.

The law in Florida does not require that there be an actual threat present. The person shooting in self-defense only has to “reasonably believe” that he or she is in mortal danger. The shooter does not have to prove they were in danger or why they needed to use deadly force.

Furthermore, Florida law says a person who can successfully claim self-defense can be immune from arrest or prosecution.

By: Diego Díaz
Source: BBC
Photo: Google
20 March 2012
9:00 p.m. P.D.T.

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