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Memphians Using The Tennessee Stand-Your-Ground Law

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(Memphis) As the Trayvon Martin trial gets underway in Florida, Memphis police are investigating several recent self-defense shootings.

Memphis police are investigating a weekend shooting that occurred on James Street in south Memphis.

Police say a man broke in and pointed a gun at the victim inside. He demanded cash, but the victim didn’t give it to him.

Instead, the man grabbed a gun, then shot and killed the suspect.

“This is human nature. People in any society are going to try to protect their families at any cost,” said Robert Flowers.

Flowers has lived next door for more than 40 years and says he’s not surprised his neighbor took matters into his own hands when someone broke into his home armed with a weapon.

“With this area over here there has been a high crime rate for some time. You probably should expect incidents like this,” said Flowers.

Flowers says his neighbor was defending himself and his mother.

A similar scene played out last week on Jonesy in southeast Memphis.

Criminal defense attorney Murray Wells says Tennessee’s stand-your-ground law allows a person to protect themselves with deadly force whenever they feel in danger.

“There used to be a reasonable of imminent bodily fear or harm fear and you had to prove that. You had to prove you had a fear that you were going to get hurt bad. What the new law says is we presume that fear is already in place,” said Wells.

Wells says this makes the law much more broad and leaves room for questions over whether deadly force was really necessary, like what’s going on in the Trayvon Martin case right now in Florida.

Wells says Tennessee’s new stand-your-ground law makes it easier to prove a person was acting in self-defense.

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