Pastor: Stand Your Ground law helps Black Americans

Local pastor speaks about Stand Your Ground laws

Author: Tim Pulliam, General assignment reporter, tpulliam@wjxt.com
Samantha Rambeau, Associate producer, The Morning Show, srambeau@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 19 2014 10:37:04 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 20 2014 12:06:34 AM EST
Florida Stand Your Ground
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

In the wake of the shooting deaths of unarmed teenagers Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin groups of protesters have been calling for change to the controversial stand your ground law. 

A stand-your-ground law is separate from traditional self-defense. The law gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without any requirement retreat from a dangerous situation.

Kenneth Adkins, Reverend of Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship in Brunswick told Channel 4 that calling the law discriminatory against African Americans is false; Atkins said more often than not, the law actually helps African Americans. 

"The majority of the people who have benefited from the stand your ground laws have been African American." said Adkins.

Adkins points to a Tampa Bay Times investigation done in 2012,  that showed a significant number of African Americans in Florida used the stand your ground defense successfully.

"Why don’t people who don’t like stand your ground? Talk to the people who have benefited from stand your ground," suggested Adkins. "If it had not been for Stand Your Ground 24 African American families in the state of Florida, their loved one would have been in jail," said Adkins.

The Tampa Bay Times investigation looked at 200 stand your ground cases from around Florida. At that time, 70% of people who used the law as a defense, no matter race, won their case.