Since the case in Sanford, Florida where George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin and then used the “stand your ground” law as his defense, most people know about it and have been talking about it.
The curious thing about the “stand your ground” law is that it does not seem to work for everyone who uses it as a defense. Trevor Dooley, a black man in Tampa, Florida, shot another man in what he claims was self defense but was found guilty of manslaughter. Dooley was charged with manslaughter after he shot his white neighbor, David James, as James’ eight year old daughter watched. The two men are reported to have gotten into a verbal altercation which escalated and the 71 year old shot and killed James.
The jury in the case rendered a quick verdict, finding Dooley guilty of manslaughter for killing the 41 year old father. The altercation occurred in 2010 where Dooley is reported to have pulled up his T-shirt to show that he had a gun. Dooley, a 5-foot-7 tall man weighing 160 pounds, claimed to have felt threatened by James who was 6-foot-1, and weighed 240 pounds. He claimed to have used the gun in self defense.
Witnesses say that Dooley had turned to walk away after he showed James that he had a gun and James attempted to grab his gun. The two men are reported to have wrestled on the ground before James was shot.
Dooley spoke to reporters after his conviction, citing racism as a factor in his case. He said,
“Do you really think that if it was the other way around and the skin color would be different, we would be here today?…We wouldn’t.”
Dooley and his wife have been married for 40 years. She collapsed when she heard his verdict.