Holder wades deeper into Zimmerman battle, calls for review of ‘stand-your-ground’
July 16, 2013
The NAACP is at the forefront of the effort to pressure the Justice Department to bring federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman. Holder confirmed on Monday that his department is reviewing that possibility, citing his personal concerns about the case.
He went a step further on Tuesday, weighing in for the first time on controversial state-level laws on self-defense.
“Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Holder said.
The comments were a reference to so-called “stand-your-ground” laws, which in Florida and other states allow people to use deadly force if they think their life is being threatened.
The role that law played in the Zimmerman shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a matter of dispute.
But Holder suggested the laws encourage confrontation, saying there “has always been” a legal defense for using deadly force when retreat is not an option.
“But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely,” Holder said. “By allowing — and perhaps encouraging — violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.”
He called for a “hard look” at the laws. The crowd applauded as he said “we must stand our ground.”
The “stand-your-ground” laws have been a popular target ever since the Martin shooting, and the pressure has intensified after Zimmerman was acquitted on Saturday.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/16/holder-wades-deeper-into-zimmerman-battle-calls-for-review-stand-your-ground/#ixzz2ZFOqZ2C7