Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Taking A Stand


Taking a stand

In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, State Senator Kelvin Atkinson discusses the future of Stand Your Ground in Nevada


State Senator Kelvin Atkinson

Many across the nation were devastated by a Florida jury’s not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, the man who confessed to killing Trayvon Martin. With Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law looming large over the case of the self-styled neighborhood watchman — who sparked global outrage when he gunned down the unarmed 17-year-old African-American boy — increased attention has been focused on the nearly two dozen states with similar laws in place. Those states include Nevada, which passed the law in 2009. State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson spoke to Las Vegas Black Image about the future of Stand Your Ground in the Silver State.

How is Nevada’s Stand Your Ground law different than other states?

In the state of Nevada, you cannot be the aggressor and use the Stand Your Ground law as your defense. Meaning, a person can’t profile another person, provoke them, get into a fight, bring a gun and murder someone.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law states, “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 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.”

Nevada’s Stand Your Ground law states, “A person is not required to retreat before using deadly force as provided in subsection 1 if the person: a) is not the original aggressor; b) has a right to be present at the location where deadly force is used; and c) is not actively engaged in conduct in furtherance of criminal activity at the time deadly force is used.”

The Nevada Stand Your Ground law was put into place as it relates to someone protecting their home and family if an intruder breaks into your home at 2 a.m. The law protects the homeowner. That is the intent of Nevada’s Stand Your Ground law. Never was it made … to protect those who profile someone, hunt them down and kill them.

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