Trayvon Martin's tragic murder has brought much-needed scrutiny to "stand your ground" laws, aggressive self-defense laws that are on the books in some 25 states. As we've seen over the past weeks, these broadly defined laws not only pose a threat to public safety, in practice they also represent a continuation of America's ugly racist history. On Monday, a federal lawsuit was filed against Georgia's "stand your ground" law, arguing that its vagueness "could result in a disproportionate number of minorities being shot." Meanwhile, as Zimmerman walks free for killing an unarmed black 17-year-old on the street (UPDATE: Zimmerman has now been taken into custody), John McNeil, a black man from Georgia, is serving a life sentence for shooting an armed white man trespassing on his property.
We want to continue highlighting this important racial justice issue. So we're asking you to stay on the look out for these sorts of cases in your own region. If you read or hear about a local "Stand Your Ground" case that isn't getting much national press, blog about it on Open Salon. Report the details of the case, including the circumstances surrounding the crime, the race of the perpetrator and the victim, how the police reacted, whether charges were made, and the ultimate outcome.
Be sure to tag your posts "Stand Your Ground Watch." We'll highlight the most relevant posts both on Open Salon and big Salon. Please note that by using the tag "Stand Your Ground Watch," you're giving us permission to cross-post your piece -- in part or in its entirety -- on Salon.