Another potential “Stand Your Ground” shooting recently occurred in Florida. An Orlando man shot and killed a 21-year-old who was allegedly running through (or from, depending on who you ask), his yard. But the young man had not stolen anything, nor broken in to anyone’s home. He was literally just running. He had not threatening anyone, but Claudius Smith nevertheless said that he was afraid that this running youth was a burglar.
That’s when he decided to stalk him, and shoot him. Is this starting to sound familiar?
Smith followed the young man over a fence into a neighboring apartment complex. When police arrived, they found 21-year-old Ricardo Sanes dead in the grass, surrounded by six .45-caliber shell casings.
In a confession documented in the Orlando Police Department report Smith said that he was afraid of his victim “because his pants were falling down”. This, Smith explained, must have meant that the “fleeing” young man was “armed.” The irony that Smith himself was armed, was apparently lost on the shooter.
As well, Smith explained that Sanes “had his hands in the pocket” of his hooded sweatshirt, another piece of attire that Smith said indicated the young man was up to no good.
While the similarities with the killing Trayvon Martin are obvious to most, where this case differs is that Smith has already been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Nevertheless, this is Florida, and a judge may still grant him “Stand Your Ground” immunity from prosecution. It’s happened before, and you had better believe it can happen again.
(Article by M.B. David; Shante Wooten; and Eli Khalil; image by PBSpot)