Helena Gudell’s WONDERLAND: Stand Your Ground

smugpigfuckerStand Your Ground

In the past year all over the country people have heard of Stand Your Ground. It came under fire of course when George Zimmerman used it as his defense; it was also talked about in the case of Marissa Alexander who was sentenced for 20yrs using Stand Your Ground as her defense. Once again Stand Your Ground is in the public eye in the case of Michael Dunn.

Stand Your Ground came under fire when George Zimmerman initially was going to use it as his reasoning for shooting Treyvon Martin. He later changed course and went with a traditional self defense strategy and Marissa Alexander was not allowed to use Stand Your Ground as her defense and was forced to go with self defense. Many say that she was convicted because she was black, others say that the law needs to go away. The fact is Marissa was convicted for poor jury instructions and has since been granted a new trial. George Zimmerman didn’t use Stand Your Ground as his defense because he couldn’t come up with the proof needed before trial to show that his case qualified for Stand Your Ground.

Dunn1Stand Your Ground is being used in the case of Michael Dunn. Now in my opinion this is a open/shut case but then again we thought that about George Zimmerman. Michael Dunn is a white male being accused of killing an unarmed black teen named Jordan Davis. In Nov 2012 Mr. Dunn and his fiancé left a wedding reception and stopped at a gas station and parked next to an SUV that had Jordan in the rear passenger side along with some friends in the car. According to witness testimony, Dunn was heard arguing with Davis and said “Are you talking to me?” he had also told his fiancé before she got out of the car that he “hated that thug music” that the kids had playing too loud for his taste. It was that loud music that caused the argument between Dunn and Davis. Dunn had told them to turn it down and the driver did turn it down a little bit but according to him, Davis said to turn it back up. Dunn told the police that the kids started saying something along the lines of “kill that bitch” and then he saw a barrel or a handle of a gun. He said at that point he went to his glove box and got his weapon and fired in fear for his life. No weapon was ever found with the teens or on Davis. The teens who survived the shooting, pointed to Dunn as the aggressor. Then there’s this one MAJOR issue… after firing 10 shots into the car, Michael Dunn left. He didn’t call police to say that he was threatened and may have killed someone; he didn’t call police to say that there were armed teens at the location and he needed help, he didn’t call an ambulance after shooting 10 rounds into a car full of people. He put his gun back in his glove box and left. According to the autopsy report Jordan Davis was leaning away from Mr. Dunn when he was shot, As if trying to hide or dodge the shots not the characteristics of someone who had a weapon. One bullet punctured a lung, aorta, liver and diaphragm. Now, Michael Dunn has yet to show any remorse for this incident. He actually said “I didn’t mean to kill anyone but that is just the way it worked out”. After the incident at the convenience store Dunn went to his hotel parked his vehicle in the front where it would be noticeable, left his weapon in the car, went to the room and got his dog and took it outside for a walk, went back in and poured himself a drink, and then ordered pizza. He said he then used his phone for the rest of the night to try and find news regarding the shooting. When he saw around 1am that there was news of a fatality he still never called police. He decided to go home and chill. The next morning his friend who happened to work for law enforcement called him regarding a different matter and it was at that time Dunn said he needed to speak with him later regarding a situation. He never said he was confronted the night before, never said he was involved in a shooting, nothing. Just played it off as if it was just an ordinary conversation they needed to have later. I completed this article before the jury had reached a verdict but decided that I needed to address this now rather than later. If we’re friends on Facebook then you know I already answered any questions you may have with the verdict but if we’re not friends let me try to bring you up to speed. There was 1 count of Murder in the First Degree (this can include lesser charges such as Second Degree, Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter and other lesser included charges). The jury was deadlocked on this charge for whatever reason. I am sure over the next few weeks they will slowly (if allowed by the court) start to give interviews to let us know what the issue was. There were also the multiple counts of attempted murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle for which he was found guilty and will serve 75yrs. He will be retried in the death of Jordan Davis. So he has NOT gotten away with murder.

Dunn2On that note, there have been a lot of things that have upset me about this case. When watching a trial online you tend to interact with other people. I have met some very good friends this way. But unfortunately you also run into some very ignorant people. Following this trial I have seen ignorance from both sides which is why this article is taking a slight turn. I wanted to write strictly about Stand Your Ground and just cover the cases where the law has been highlighted but before I get to that there is something I do need to say. Racism and ignorance goes both ways. I was so disturbed by the comments I saw online about this case. As someone of a mixed race I sit on all the fences. We need to stop getting mad at someone of another race for killing our kids when our kids are out there banging and killing each other. It is NOT ok for someone who is black to kill another person who is black and then we wanna get mad when a white person does it. The nonsense needs to end! White, red, yellow, or purple the shit needs to end. And as parents and a community we need to educate out children. Make’em pull their pants up and speak proper English! I am so tired of hearing I am white washed because I speak proper. No I am educated! We want other races to respect us be we can’t respect ourselves. Don’t get me wrong I am in no way justifying the death of a child based on his behavior. What I am saying is we need to see this kind of anger when someone dies at any time not just at the hands of another race. I feel that if we as minorities show the world that we are just as good no matter how poor our surroundings are then things would change. People wouldn’t have this “thug” mentality when they see a black teen walking down the street. We wouldn’t make fun of the “emo” white kids. It would all be the same. Now don’t get me wrong like I said racism comes from all sides. I have seen the white people say that the kid was a thug and he was disrespectful and needs to learn to respect his elders. That may very well have been the case but he didn’t deserve to die. And I know plenty of silver spoon suburban kids who don’t have an ounce of respect for anyone because they are given everything they want from the day they’re born and have never heard the word “no”. So take that disrespect theory for the shooting and shove it. Another thing I saw online this weekend that pissed me off is being told white people don’t understand oppression and what it feels like to be enslaved. NEITHER DO ANY OF THE PEOPLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA! I don’t want to hear one more person talk about slavery and oppression unless you’re referring to what our ancestors went thru. And when you talk about it tell the truth… our ancestors sold us out for $1 to the white man no different than your boys in the hood sell you out to the cops for a lesser sentence! Get it right! They weren’t stolen from Africa THEY WERE SOLD! By their own damn people! Yea, the white man bought them and yes the white man beat them and yes the white man raped their women… but that didn’t happen to all of them. Slaves were freed by a white man! Desegregated by a white man! And your boys on the block are selling each other out to the white man to help themselves so ain’t a damn thing changed! Stop blaming other races for what is wrong in our neighborhoods and look at the people standing outside the door.

Now that I have made people mad at me (I told y’all from day one it was gonna happen) lets make the rest of you mad. Many have requested that the Stand Your Ground law be repealed. And I say this: Are you out of your mind?! I am a supporter of Stand Your Ground and always will be. I am NOT a supporter of people using the law to benefit them in a wrong way. The killing of Treyvon Martin did not qualify for Stand Your Ground. The killing of Jordan Davis does not qualify for Stand Your Ground. Most people who want to get rid of Stand Your Ground don’t even know what it is they’re trying to get rid of. All they know is they heard this term used with cases and didn’t follow thru to find out whether or not the law was actually applied to the case before saying they wanted to get rid of it. So let’s get into what exactly Title XLVI Chapter 776 of the Florida Statute is all about.

Stand Your Ground:

Title XLVI covers Crimes. Chapter 776 specifically covers Justifiable use of force. Now of course there are different areas that are covered by justifiable use of force.

776.012 Use of force in defense of person.

776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.

776.031 Use of force in defense of others.

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.

776.041 Use of force by aggressor.

776.05 Law enforcement officers; use of force in making an arrest.

776.051 Use of force in resisting arrest or making an arrest or in the execution of a legal duty; prohibition.

776.06 Deadly force.

776.07 Use of force to prevent escape.

776.08 Forcible felony.

776.085 Defense to civil action for damages; party convicted of forcible or attempted forcible felony.

Now these are pretty self explanatory. All of them say that you are able to use justifiable force (except deadly) if you find yourself involved in certain predicaments. You are justified to use force if you are being attacked by someone and you need to defend yourself, if someone has committed a crime against you or your dwelling and you need to restrain them until police arrive, if someone breaks into your house/vehicle while you are occupying it, and you can use force if you are trying to protect someone. You cannot use force when resisting arrest, when you are the aggressor, or during the commission of a crime. All of those are covered above in the subsections of law. Now the reason I stand behind this law is because I have the ability to use force if someone breaks into my home. That force can be me shooting the person who enters my home as long as my weapons are legal. This law also helps those who are being bullied in school or outside of school defend themselves. If there is an injury on the aggressor the person defending themselves avoids prosecution as long as they follow the rules of the law. I can’t just go outside and shoot someone and say that they were going to break into my house so I was afraid. They have to actually be doing something wrong before you stick up for yourself otherwise you become the aggressor and the law does not cover you.

FactsI will always stand up for a law meant to protect people. I will not however stand for people trying to misuse the law. That was the case with George Zimmerman and that is what appears to be the case with Michael Dunn. Just because you say you were using force in self defense doesn’t mean that the evidence will support that. We have to have faith in our judicial system to weed out the bullshit and hold people accountable for their actions. I understand that many feel justice was not served in the case of George Zimmerman; however that does not mean you attack the laws that are in place to protect you. As I said he was not able to use Stand Your Ground and had to go for simple Self Defense. It was not the fault of the law that George Zimmerman was not sentenced. It is the fault of the state and the evidence and the way they handled the case. It is the fault of the state for not clarifying jury instructions with the judge before he read them to the jurors. There are things that came into play that allowed George Zimmerman to get away with murder; Stand Your Ground was not one of those issues. Just because you see something on social media doesn’t make it fact. We need to be responsible and look into things before we take it as gospel. While the internet can be our biggest asset, it can also be our biggest downfall in the fact that people see something and take it as fact without taking the time to verify. I saw this weekend someone say they were boycotting certain products that are manufactured in FL because that company donated to Zimmerman’s defense. Had that person done literally 2 seconds of research they would have seen that it was a rumor that started on Facebook. A simple Google search would have told her she was wrong. But she, like many others, spread a rumor because that is what happens on social media. The same thing happened with Stand Your Ground. There was a meme going around criticizing Stand Your Ground saying the law let Zimmerman free but convicted a black woman (Marissa Alexander) when in fact Stand Your Ground wasn’t able to be used in either case. Why wasn’t she allowed to use Stand Your Ground? She had a restraining order against her ex and went into his property after she got away from him safely she realized she forgot something and went back in the house and although she did not shoot him she fired a weapon. The law does not apply to her because if she truly feared for her life she would not have went back into the house. Had she not gone back in she would not have to discharge her weapon… in the eyes of the law there was no perceived threat. She violated the protection order by going into his residence not once but twice. She is awaiting retrial of her case due to faulty jury instructions. Now do I agree with everything that happened with her? NO. But was she given a bad shake because she was black… NO! But no one took the time to look up the case before they wanted to scream injustice.

Do you still believe that Stand Your Ground should be repealed knowing that none of the cases in which the law has been mentioned has actually used Stand Your Ground as a defense? What actions would you take if you were in a situation that justified you using force (even if deadly) to protect your family? Would you want a law like Stand Your Ground around to keep you from going to jail for protecting your family or friends?

As always, if you would like to be featured in our Q&A sessions with Helena, feel free to contact her with your questions or opinions on the featured stories via email at Wonderlandbce@gmail.com. In the meantime, you can still make your way down our warped rabbit hole into Helena Gudell’s WONDERLAND every Mondays & Wednesday exclusively on Brewcityexpress.com.

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