Black Women Are Not Permitted to Use Violence in Self-Defense
Defenders of “Stand Your Ground” laws often cite a woman’s right to shoot her attacker or rapist as a rationale for broader gun regulations. This is especially the case since the fatal shootings of Black teenagers Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis in Florida cast the “Stand Your Ground” laws under public scrutiny.
However, Marissa Alexander of Florida is facing a possible 60-year sentence for reportedly “standing her ground,” even though no one was hurt in the incident. Alexander says she fired a warning shot at her abusive husband, but according to a new analysis of FBI homicide data, her race may be a reason why she has not been granted equal protection under the law.
The analysis, prepared by the Urban Institute of Washington, D.C., was based on national data of homicide cases that were found “justifiable” on the grounds that deadly force was appropriate.
Among cases nationwide where a woman killed an adult man, white women who killed Black men were most likely to be declared justified in 13.5 percent of the cases, the data found. By contrast, just 2.6 percent of white women who killed white men, and 5.7 percent of Black women who killed Black men were found to be justified.