Was Zimmerman acting in a lawful manner?

A lot has been reported about Zimmerman’s actions that led to his claim of self-defense and protection under what  is generally known as Florida’s “stand your ground” law. A lot has been reported in defense of Zimmerman by the Sanford police position that claims it can only rely on the statements of Zimmerman,  as there was no other evidence.  Well,  that’s understandable  — “dead men tell no tales.”

But evidence has been coming forth, but no questioning of or arresting  Zimmerman.   From the evidence at hand, it must be asked if Zimmerman was acting lawfully, which shouldn’t be too hard a case to make under the “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” standards for an arrest.  The court makes the determination of  whether or not a crime has taken place, not the police.

The Florida statute before us is, “§ 776.013, Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm,” Title XLVI, Chapter 776, Justifiable Use of Force.  Here’s what must be decided by the court, not the police.  Paragraph  (1) sets forth what constitutes reasonable fear of harm. Under 1a, was Trayvon unlawfully entering a home?  Under 1b, did Zimmerman have knowledge or “reasonable suspicion,” a standard for all law enforcement to adhere, an unlawful act by Trayvon?

Under 2c, was Zimmerman engaged in an unlawful act in stopping Trayvon?  Under a recent Illinois court decision, HOA security officers could not stop and detain people.

It is under paragraph 3 that the police have apparently chosen to see and to ignore all else.

So, is the Sanford Police Department the tail wagging the dog of justice?

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(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle . . . .

(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

 

(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:

(c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity. . .

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

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Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. With all of the pressure being put on the police, I would not be surprised to see an arrest in the next few days.

    It is clear Zimmerman instigated the confrontation. The 911 tapes apparently have him making racial comments before the shooting as well.

    Who knows what would have happened without all of the publicity, but if an arrest did NOT happen now, I would be shocked.


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