Florida’s legislative committee took a major step toward clarifying the state’s heavily debated “Stand Your Ground self-defense law approving some restrictions on its use and further clarifying that the statute does not permit ‘vigilantism’ by neighborhood watch activists.

The Florida Current is reporting four major changes:

— It requires city and county police agencies to issue operating guidelines for neighborhood crime watch organizations, specifically forbidding participants to confront or attempt to detain someone they consider suspicious.

— It requires police to thoroughly investigate claims of self-defense and denies immunity from prosecution for anyone found to be the aggressor in an incident.

— It puts the burden of proof on prosecutors to show that a person claiming immunity was not entitled to it. A 2010 court ruling required defendants to prove in pre-trial hearings that they qualified for Stand Your Ground protection.

— It allows civil liability for lawsuits by third parties wounded by a person in a self-defense situation.

So what’s next? The proposed changes go to the Senate Community Affairs Committee and then to the Rules Committee for scheduling of floor debate.

You tell us — do the changes to the Stand Your Ground law make you feel any better about the protection of black men in Florida?


Rally in Tallahassee Against ‘Stand Your Ground’
30 photos

Like on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

More From BlackAmericaWeb