Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Calls For Repealing "Stand Your Ground" Laws

Joined by Florida civil rights leaders and lawmakers at a press conference in Washington, DC, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) announced a new effort to end "Stand Your Ground" laws in Florida and elsewhere. The law, which allows someone who feels threatened to shoot and not retreat if one can safely do so, has also been criticized by former Miami Police Chief John F. Timoney. It enabled George Zimmerman to remain free for weeks after shooting Trayvon Martin. Bloomberg criticized the role of the NRA in passing the law. Watch:

BLOOMBERG: In 2005, the NRA began pushing a so-called "Stand Your Ground law there, and the law has been cited to justify the gunfire that killed Trayvon Martin. Florida was the NRA’s first target, and it succeeded in pushing the bill through the legislature over the objections of leading police and law enforcement… In reality, the NRA’s leaders weren’t interested in public safety. They were interesting in promoting a culture where people take the law into their own hands and face no consequences for it. Let’s call that by its real name: Vigilantism. It's now clear that these laws have undermined the integrity of the justice system and done real harm to public safety. They have sown confusion in police departments about when to make arrests; they have made it more difficult for prosecutors to bring charges in cases of deadly violence, and these "Stand Your Ground" states have seen a major increase in so-called justifiable homicides. These laws have not made our country safer. They have made us less safe.

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