Clearwater “Stand Your Ground” Case… a lawyer’s thoughts.

I thought this article was a great write up on both the legal and social issues at play in the Clearwater, FL Defense Gun Use that has captured much attention as a “Stand Your Ground” case.

The article, by Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq, addresses the fact that many people tend to ignore the difference between what is “legal” and what is “best”. The classic Should vs Could issue. If you hang your Tactical Hat on an overly simplified understanding of the laws governing the use of force, you could not only find yourself in legal jeopardy, you might kill someone that you didn’t need to with a false confidence about being “right”.

Hit the Search Bar here at PDN to find a great collection of FREE and Premium articles & videos covering a variety of legal topics from our team of expert contributors! Or check out some of the recommended content below!

-RJP

You might also be interested in:

Lessons Learned From My Good Samaritan Attempt
Deadly Force in the Protection of Property – A Very Risky Business
The Reasonable Man Doctrine
Conflict Avoidance: Practicing What I Preach
The Aftermath of Using Deadly Force
Misconceptions About ‘Castle Doctrine’ and ‘Stand Your Ground Laws’
When is Deadly Force Justified in Home Defense?

Discussion
  • (will not be published)

13 Responses to “Clearwater “Stand Your Ground” Case… a lawyer’s thoughts.”
  1. dsjpdn

    It is good to see PDN giving more consideration to doing what is right, as well as educating and training people in potentially lethal means of self-defense. In this regard, there are no hard and fast answers, and it is important for each person to consider these kinds of questions before finding themselves in a situation where they are tempted or required to use deadly force in self defense.

    Reply
  2. Robert wahlquist

    I am on the side that this is not life or death and this gentleman could have gotten up and walked away. Instead of taking this other persons life. I understand the humility at risk but no life should be at risk of humiliation. I believe I would rather walk away or even run in this situation.

    Reply
  3. Linda Wheeler

    I would like a more in depth discussion of the issues involved. This article raised, but did not answer my concerns. Good writing. Please give me more depth. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. William Thorn

    I applaud the states that pass “Stand your ground laws”. Too long have law-abiding citizens been expected to run away when threatened, which, of course, is not always possible. But, the case in Clearwater, FL does not appear to be one of those. The man on the ground was assaulted by the driver of the car illegally parked in a handicapped space and had been telling the lady in the car that this was wrong. He may have verbally abused her. But, that was not sufficient cause for the driver to come out of the store and assault the man pushing him to the ground. But, the video clearly shows that the man was backing away when he was shot. He was no longer a threat. He did, however deserve to be arrested for assault. But, since he was backing away, albeit only because he saw the gun, and no longer poised a threat, it is very questionable that the shooter can stand behind the Stand your Ground law. I think law enforcement made a bad call here. A jury should have been allowed to decide whether or not the shooter was in the right.

    Reply
  5. Doug

    No wonder the “knockout game” was so popular among urban scum trash. Whack someone and run and you are all good.

    I am sure if someone did this to a cop and the cop shot them dead, it would be considered justified. But not for the serfs.

    I bet if this was the other way around, black guy gets pushed down and kills a white guy and he was arrested, there would be rioting, Al Sharpton and like sum all crying, media condemning the arrest. So much dual standards these days ,white men are villins that deserve to die for the good of the country. Too much ‘toxic masculinity

    The guy pushed down could have potentially received a bad head injury resulting in death or physical harm. I know, I hit my head in a fall and ended up blind in one eye (thank God not my shootin eye). And the guy that pushed him had no right to attack him over this guy complaining about someone using a handicapped spot, which is all too common for lazy scum to get granny’s parking hanger so the fat slobs don’t have to walk far into the store (well, might be better than those that just park at the door).

    I think this guy could have thought he was in great danger. The other guy already violently attacked him and he was on the ground in a vulnerable position (unless he watched all the Personal defense network videos). Could have thought the other guy was turning to do some other sort of attack. The shooter deserves an award for ridding us of another urban scumbag.

    Reply
  6. TGL

    It is remarkable that You can justify killing a unarmed black man and call it standing your ground. The white violated initially the rights of this mans family by approaching them initially. I have noticed a trend with white people nowadays,” They walk up to you and ask very personal questions, Like do you onw that car?” “Why are you parked there ?” I feel as if it was a Black man killing a white fascist you would have a different opinion, “Right !! ” I know that as people you hate us but what have we done to you ?”

    Reply
    • Sean

      Did “the white” really violate the rights of the man’s family as you suggest? I don’t believe he did. Did the woman park illegally? She definitely did. Did the woman’s boyfriend break the law by physically attacking “the white?” He clearly did. It was a violent and, frankly, cowardly attack. He was larger, younger and stronger. Did his attack justify being shot? Unclear. From the video footage, I say not. The “violent attacker” appeared to be backing off (especially when he saw his size, strength and youth were no advantage against a gun). If “the white” is convicted of manslaughter, I won’t disagree. One thing is certain here however, and you completely sidestepped the fact because you played your name calling, racist card… if the “violent attacker” would have acted like a civilized human being and used words rather than resort to immediate physical violence, he’d still be alive. Bad choice. Terrible outcome. Stupidity on both sides.

      Reply
  7. idaho redneck

    Drejka was on the news this morning. He was explaining his side of the story to investigators, by himself. Never submit to any interrogation without your lawyer present. Especially in his case.

    Reply
  8. ejrfl

    To use “Stand Your Ground” law you cannot provoke the incident, which was done by the shooter in telling the wife that she cannot park in a handicap parking space when she did not have a handicap permit to do so. The shooter had no authority to enforce such law. When the victim came out and saw someone arguing with his wife, he stepped in and protected her, which is what a normal man would do. The victim pushed the shooter away from the vehicle and the shooter landed on the ground.Did the victim continue the attack, or was it going to end. When the shooter shot the victim, there was about a four second delay from the time the shooter was pushed to the ground and the victim was shot. All of this could have been avoided if the shooter said nothing to the person wrongfully parked in a handicap parking.

    Reply