NPR Misleads on 'Stand Your Ground'
Carrie Johnson of National Public Radio covered Attorney General Eric Holder's speech Tuesday to the NAACP annual conference, and his call for a nationwide review of "Stand Your Ground" laws. In the process, she gave implicit endorsement to his position, emphasizing false arguments--raised in the aftermath of the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman--that such laws are unfair to black people.
The fact is that black defendants benefit from "Stand Your Ground" laws--especially because black people are more likely to be victims of crime. In 2009, for example, a black man, Demarro Battle, shot and killed Omar Bonilla (described as "white" by the Fort Myers police department), but charges were dropped because of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Numerous similar cases have occurred across the nation.
In her NPR story, Johnson cites statistics showing that white defendants benefit more often from Stand Your Ground laws. However, that is a misleading approach, because blacks still benefit disproportionately from "Stand Your Ground," at least in Florida. The Daily Caller notes today that blacks make up a third of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" cases, twice their proportion in the population of the state as a whole.
Johnson strained to identify--and to encourage listeners to agree--with Holder's case, placing special emphasis on the word "dangerous" in describing "Stand Your Ground" laws. But she, like Holder and the NAACP, has seized on a convenient bugbear that will help the left stir controversy over the Zimmerman case, even as it becomes increasingly clear--even to the likes of Jimmy Carter--that the verdict was just.