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Florida Supreme Court Hears Stand Your Ground Case Involving Sheriff’s Deputy

August 28th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
A Broward Sheriff’s deputy facing 30 years for shooting a man with an air rifle was at the Flordia Supreme Court today as the court considers whether police officers can claim stand your ground.
In 2013, Jermaine McBean was walking down a busy South Florida highway carrying a newly purchased air rifle. 9-1-1 lit up.
Originally charged with manslaughter, Deputy Peter Peraza sat in the Supreme Court Chamber as his attorney told Supreme Court justices what happened next.
“BSO. Broward Sheriff’s office. Stop. Drop,” said Eric Schwartzreich an attorney with the Police Benevolent Association.
The case boils down to whether a police officer is also considered a person under the state’s stand your ground law.
“The officer doesn’t get the less rigid standard that we’ve argued applies to the average citizen based on the enactment of Stand Your Ground,” said Assistant Attorney General Melanie Surber.
Justices appeared skeptical.
“If the legislature intended to exclude police officers from the stand your ground statute, why didn’t they say so,” asked Justice Jorge Labarga.
Afterwards, the PBA said the case was important to every police officer in Florida.
“We can’t expect officers to be on the scene and think, well, if I make an arrest this one applies and, we have officers that have to make split second decisions,” said John Rivera, President of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.
While justices seemed to buy the idea that a police officer was also a person, the family says they expect justice.
“We’re thankful that it actually came to the Florida Supreme Court. Just the very fact that our brothers name will be more than just another death, and hopefully we can get a favorable outcome,” said Jermine’s brother, Ander McBean.
If the court denies the deputy’s stand your ground claim, he would have to go to court and prove he acted lawfully.
If the deputy is forced to defend himself in court, he faces up to 30 years in prison on a manslaughter charge.

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