Lawmaker Wants To Amend Texas ‘Stand Your Ground’ Rules
Houston representative says ‘walking while black’ is dangerous under current state law
On Wednesday, State Rep. Garnet F. Coleman announced plans to amend Texas’ “Castle Doctrine,” a version of Florida’s justifiable homicide statute.
“Stand Your Ground” laws are at the center of a self-defense claim made in Sanford, Fla. by Martin’s confessed killer, 28-year-old George Zimmerman. Police have not arrested Zimmeman, whose version of the Feb. 26 incident has come under scrutiny because of racial profiling allegations.
“I understand being born a suspect because of the color of one's skin and the constant stress one feels when treated as a suspicious person based solely on physical appearance,” reads a statement released by Coleman, a black representative of Houston.
With the law as it is, " ‘walking while black’ becomes a crime and an excuse for someone to use deadly force if they believe it is necessary for protection,” Coleman said.
Texas passed its law in 2007. Coleman and many of his Democratic colleagues fought against, “seeing the disproportionate consequences it would have on people of color.”
The controversial law is on the book in 23 states, and permits any person to use deadly force if they consider an encounter poses imminent threat of bodily harm.
More on the "Castle Doctrine's" history in Texas: