Tennessee has the same “stand your ground law” keeping the man accused of killing Trayvon Martin out of jail.
The teen was shot and killed while walking through a neighborhood in Florida.
Under that law, a person can use deadly force if they are acting in self-defense.
News that the law also applies here in Tennessee has prompted outcries for change.
The NAACP released this statement concerning the measure saying quote: “We appeal to the legislators to reconsider these measures which encourage vigilante justice among our citizens. The lives of our citizens and especially our youngsters are too precious to be lost based on a suspicion of wrongdoing.”
Only twenty states have the “Stand Your Ground’ laws.”
All you have to do is believe your life is in danger to pull a trigger.
“You have the right to defend yourself and to defend others if there is a reasonable belief that you are under fire. Figuratively speaking,” said District Attorney General Amy Weirich.
But many are angry this law could be protecting George Zimmerman from being arrested after he allegedly shot and killed Martin in Florida.
Zimmerman reportedly followed Martin, who he said seemed suspicious.
Zimmerman says at some point, Martin jumped him and was beating him at which time he shot Martin.
“I think the whole gun law should be changed in that state and it’s just wrong,” said Calvin Harris.
Harris supports the “Stand Your Ground law” as a last resort, but thinks the wording should be more specific because of Trayvon’s shooting,
“You shouldn’t be able to hunt and track and kill someone and then claim self-defense.”
Weirich understands frustration over the speed of the investigation and anger Zimmerman hasn`t been arrested.
But she says that doesn`t mean nothing is being done, “I think we all have to be mindful that there`s a lot of work that goes on being closed doors before anything public is ever done.”
Weirich said her office and the Memphis Police Department depend heavily on neighborhood watches around the city but she says physical confrontations should be left to officers and deputies.
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