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Headline

5:38pm April 18, 2012

Is Marissa Alexander Stand-Your-Ground Reverse Trayvon?

marissaalexander

Stories being brought to light are bringing into question the way the Stand Your Ground laws have been applied, or not applied, in the past.  Two stories appear to highlight a possible double standard regarding the application of “stand your ground.”

The 2010 case of Marissa Alexander and the 2005 Georgia case of John McNeil, are two examples that are receiving renewed attention.

Florida’s stand-your-ground law states an individual may use deadly force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat – without an obligation to retreat. There is also a provision in the Florida law providing that the person who is allegedly defending themselves can avoid arrest.

The story of Marissa Alexander is receiving a new look after a website created by her ex-husband, Lincoln Alexander, gains more attention.  The site Justice for Marissa claims Marissa Alexander was arrested and is now facing 20 years in prison after a 2010 confrontation with her current husband.  According to Alexander, this was not the only confrontation: the current husband had been arrested for domestic violence on two other occasions, including one instance where it’s alleged he beat her so severely that she ” … ended up in the hospital.” And the wife also claims that her husband admitted he was the aggressor in the 2010 incident.

Lincoln Alexander, who was married to Marissa Alexander for seven years, told Politic365 he remained friends with his ex-wife after their divorce and became aware of the trouble she was having with her current husband.  Lincoln Alexander claims Marissa Alexander was not given the same consideration George Zimmerman was after he killed Trayvon Martin on February 26.  Zimmerman was finally arrested and charged with second degree murder 46 days after killing Martin and claiming “stand your ground.”  But, unlike Alexander, Zimmerman was released by police after claiming Martin attacked him.

In an interview with Politic365, Lincoln Alexander explained that Marissa Alexander evoked stand-your-ground at the time of her arrest.

“Before she was arrested she told police she was in fear for her life.  She had an order of protection out on her husband since Sept 2009,” Lincoln Alexander added.

According to the information posted by Lincoln Alexander on Justice for Marissa, Marissa Alexander fired a gun into the ceiling of their residence to allegedly scare off her ex-husband during a confrontation.  A call to the Duval County Florida jail’s watch commander’s office confirmed that a person born in 1980 named Marissa Alexander is, indeed, currently in custody as the website by Lincoln Alexander states.

A conversation with Duval County prosecutor Nicholas Lake, who is handling Alexander’s case, confirms the case is in the system.  But Lake could not comment or give any details on the particulars of her case because it is a pending legal matter.  Lake did confirm that Alexander will be the subject of a sentencing hearing next week.

“She received three counts of aggravated assault for discharging the gun into the ceiling,” Lincoln Alexander continued.  “She’s innocent, she tried to leave the premises and the gun was never pointed at the kids.  Yet, the prosecutor believed she was not in fear for her life,” Lincoln Alexander informed Politic365.

Lincoln Alexander has contacted the offices of Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), who represents Jacksonville, and several state lawmakers in Florida but has yet to receive a response.  When Politic365 asked Congresswoman Brown about the case, she claimed she was unaware of it.  Other Florida Representatives, including Allen West, Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson, were also unaware of the details of her case as of yesterday.

According to his website in support of Melissa Alexander, a press conference on her case is to be held today in Jacksonville, Fla. at the Duval County Downtown Courthouse.

LAUREN VICTORIA BURKEPolitic365 Chief Congressional Correspondent, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus.  She is heard every Tuesday on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WHUR and WPFW in Washington DC. You can follow her on twitter at @crewof42



About the Author

Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer and political analyst. She created the blog Crewof42, a blog that covers African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke appears regularly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin and on WHUR, WURD, and WVON. Ms. Burke has enjoyed employment at USAToday.com and ABC News. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail anytime: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @Crewof42




 
 

 
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38 Comments


  1. Thanks for posting this. But I'm so confused. Why was this woman ever arrested? If the story is true, why is she still in jail? And why is this case just now coming to light? Is there more to it than what meets the eye? I understand there was a miscarriage of justice, but I'm not sure why it has taken 2 years for this to surface. Does anyone else know anything else about this? This one is really bothering me.


  2. Nancy

    Florida needs to get there S&*% together!!!!! What is this bull? The woman has record of domestic violence prior to this day with this man! How old are the kids? Perhaps asking them what they saw? This is some crazy BS! Florida………………… if you don't want to be called racist, stop doing crap like this!!! She didn't kill anyone like Zimmerman did and you waited 46 days to do that!!!! GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT FLORIDA!!!!


  3. Rachelle

    Florida is no different than the other states that have double standards when comes to applying the law equally to all citizens. There isn’t and never will be such a thing as equality under the law because racism still exists. We should not still have to march for equality and justice, but we do, because we still don’t have it. Wake-up people!!!! America will never see African-Americans as “people”; they are accustomed to us being property, and either they will continue to treat us in this manner, or we hit them where it hurts until they recognize us as people, but we can’t work collectively together, because we have been brainwashed into hating our own kind. Justice, now there’s a laugh for ya!


    • When you declare yourself as African American you declare yourself as separate from American.

      Perhaps if you stopped making the declaration that you are different from the American next to you then others might see something besides the color of your skin. You present a barrier to your own equality by demanding that others see you as being different before we get to know you.

      I nothing about your personality, wit, or heart but I know the color of your skin. How is that not dumping prejudice (pre-judgement) in my face? You demand that I recognize your color and demand that I ignore it at the same time.


      • no voice

        skin color has nothing to do with it its just a symbol of what the people of this "Recognized color" have struggled through. we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for injustice. slavery my friend so say what ever you like but not too long ago we weren't recognized in the constitution or by the law in any form because as stated above we were property do you get that property doesn't have rights feelings or opinions. darkness has been related to evil in our American culture. African Americans or blacks as you label them weren't even considered to be accepted in to heaven earlier in history just due to their dark nature. let your ignorance rest in a good book your privileged ways are killing us.


      • charleesummer

        this is by far one of the most idiotic comments i've ever heard…how can that be done when we live in a society that constantly check for your ethnicity…next time you fill out an application for anything, in the ethnicity box, make sure you check american. And don't turn it in until you fine it.


      • Jane

        That’s patently ridiculous. African-American folks have been seen as other than American when they were called “colored,” “negros,” and “black” throughout the centuries. Don’t pretend this is about a name. And I don’t care if you notice my skin color, because you’re going to just as must as I notice yours. What I want is for people to not feel comfortable making assumptions about me based on it. And don’t lay your hang ups off on the people you have hang ups about. Those belong to you, and they are your own fault.


  4. tom

    i hate to play the race card but i think that a white person not being involved didn’t cause as big of an uproar. If the husband was white and she receive the time then it would raised a racial issue, but it shows a lack of interest when it is strictly involving a black person. The lack of interest coming from both the black and white community.


  5. mrs. pee

    Was someone murdered in this case or something ? She's doing time for shooting in the ceiling ?


    • CNA

      no one was hurt at all, she shot in the ceiling hoping that he would leave and he did only because he had the kids with him if the kids were not there he stated in his deposition that he doesn't know what he would have done to her


  6. Impartial Spectator

    People simply do not understand the Stand your Ground/No duty to retreat laws nor do they care to and simply listen to the misrepresentations from the lefty liberal media. Again, Zimm didn't shoot nor would he be legally allowed to shoot trayvon just because he found Black men threatening.There must be an actual reasonable threat, someone just can't LOOK scary to you and your allowed to open fire on them.That's nonsense and I would be against such a law myself,but that's not the case.There has to be a reasonable threat of great bodily harm or Death & something occurring that would make that seem likely to be happening.
    Zimm had injuries consistant with his story and he had called 911 himself and was a watch captain,so all seemed in order.This lady should have shot the man, not the ceiling if she though she was in imminent danger.Who knows what the real story since look at the blatantly false reporting we've got on the Zimm/Trayvon fiasco.


    • truth

      Zimm shouldn't have followed trayvon. Case closed. it is a fact that the 911 operator told zim not to follow. Zimm was the agressor by following the 17 year boy with a gun.


      • Anne Buxton

        I always wonder, so if the 'stand your ground law' applies and just like zimmerman was, in that case, wasn't zimmerman also stalking trayvon martin, who should have had the right to stand his ground, It seems without a doubt Trayvon had all the right in the world to be where he was at and zimmerman had no right to follow this KID. So, in my book, Zimmerman felt big with a gun in his posession, and even if, and just if, Trayvon would have turned around, unbeknowenst to Trayvon, that zimmerman carried a gun, and tried to cofront and kick zimmermans azz, because he was being stalked. The only bad turnout in this situation, Martin was only armed with a bag of skittles and a can of arizona ice tea vs. zimmerman with a gun of which he made use of after he stalked the kid and continued stalking even thou the police told him to stop following the kid. If anything at last, to me Trayvon Martin was the real Man in this whole tragedy unfortunetly, the price paid was to high for Trayvon and his Family:(


    • SeriouslyPissed

      "People simply do not understand the Stand your Ground laws" SERIOUSLY?!! What a bunch of crap you spew. By your logic, the very fact that Zimmerman shot Martin is proof that he had a right to shoot him. I understand the law perfectly. I understand that it is a free ride for racists seeking to justify murder and for mysogynists to justify keeping abused women jailed and subjugated. Seriously, have you been drinking?


      • Impartial Spectator

        How is it racist? Blacks are just as free as anyone else to arm themselves and use the law as anyone else.Zimm is not a White boy,so I don't understand how this is Black/White thing.I don't understand how Blacks want gun control considering the past history of the Country and supposed current bias.White boys(especially Rural)are stockpiling guns,so why would you want your own kind unarmed?
        Whites slaughtered the Native people because they had guns and the Indians did not.I cherish my gun rights and as a Native American can't undertand liberals logic of gun control and find it to be a unrealistic idea and not based in reality sicne the guns are already out there and it you disarm folks,you'll only disarm the law-abiding not the gangs,mentally ill ec. who will get always find a way to their guns from somewhere.


    • Jane

      No he didn’t. And given that Zimmerman was the aggressor, the law still doesn’t apply to him.


    • slowroller65

      Do the law say follow a person. A THEN WHEN YOUR ASS START LOOSING A FIGHT, SHOOT TO KILL. Do it say yes comr in my house cause harm to me and i have to kill you. I f i put my gun in your mouth, wait for police to get their i'm gonna be arrested, i don't know who u are but stay focus


  7. tesspowell

    Ok, if we didn't know the whole Zimmerman fiasco was racially fueled, we can be sure now. I will do my best to get this petition signed. I've been there, hang on Marrisa.


  8. NITRO

    @ Tacocat…what a blanket statement! I don't have to insist that anyone recognize my skin color or do I care if they do. The fact is that America has a history of racial intolerance and it is alive and well. I was born and raised in this country, and so were my parents and their parents yet we are labled African American not American. White people come here as immagrants and are seen simply as American. So, since you know so much, who is doing the lableing and who is being labled. I don't declare myself African American, in fact I detest that foolishness!!! However, I am an American of African ancestry and I can't nor would I ever want to hide or deny that fact.
    IT'S COCKSUCKERS LIKE YOU THAT CAN HELP BUT STEREOTYPE A WHOLE RACE OF PEOPLE.


  9. TAYLORMADE4U2

    That monster executed an unarmed kid at point blank range. There is no justification. Even if we leave race out of the equation, for a moment, the fact still remains Trayvon was an unarmed, baby faced child. Most importantly, he did not provoke the confrontation. Even by him saying, “Why are you following me?!” does not evoke a congruent defense on behalf of the monster’s attorney. That monster was told by the 911 operator to stay in his vehicle and not to follow Trayvon. He should have obeyed the dispatcher's instructions and a young kid’s life would be spared.

    It has been said that the monster had bloody blows to his head and nose. Well, if Trayvon was fighting for his life, it's completely feasible that that monster would suffer some cuts and bruises. He was being attacked by an overzealous racist. Remember, he was walking with a bag of Skittles and iced tea. He didn’t have a crowbar and a 40 oz bottle of Old English. He posed no threat to anyone. For those of you who are on the fence, or siding with Zimmerman; where is your empathy? Imagine if you were walking at night and someone started following you for no reason. How would you feel? What would you do if that person got out of their car and approached you? What would you tell your child to do at the threat of eminent danger? Stop trying to justify that monster’s actions. It just doesn't add up. Trayvon was within his right as a human being to fight back, and I for one, am proud of him for it. The fact that he fought back is inspirational and it lets all the racist and bigots of this country know that we, African American men and boys, are not going to sit back a be slaughtered in the streets without a fight. That through the fear we will retain our dignity and strength…at all cost.

    As far as the media is concerned, I believe the media has been absolutely irresponsible in reporting that Trayvon was suspended for having an "empty" weed bag and Geraldo Rivera is the biggest MORON of them all. Being Hispanic, he should comprehend racial profiling in its rawest form, and just because he’s rich, doesn’t make him immune or less a target. What does the fact that Trayvon had on a hoodie at night have anything to do with this? Our mothers already teach us to walk, not run in the presence of police and those in authority. They teach us we are to show our hands at all times when stopped and to be as polite as possible. It’s just as important in our community as “The Talk” about sex. I could be wrong, but I don’t think White mothers have the same “Talk” with their male children.

    For Geraldo to say that if Trayvon didn’t have a hoodie on, he might be alive today is complete ludicrous and shows a minimal amount of rational thinking. The only alternative Trayvon had was to disrobe, at night, when he walked in the presence of a White neighborhood. Hoodies are fashionable, comfortable, and if you’re bald like me, they keep your head warm when it’s cold outside. Geraldo’s, a once talented investigative reporter to show a lack of integrity and compassion is mindboggling!

    Also, what does Trayvon being suspended for having an “empty” baggie that smelled like weed have anything to do with this case? I understand the defense’s position regarding smearing the victim, but I, for the life of me, can’t understand sudo-journalism. Many great young people, including myself, have tried weed in high school. I’m not proud of it, wish I hadn’t done it, especially since I know the affects it has on the developing brain, however that doesn’t deem me a criminal or a deviant; and the fact still remains, he was suspended for having a baggie, not smoking weed.

    In addition, I’ve heard mention that since Trayvon was 6'3 he was likely construed as an adult. Again, what does his height have to do with anything? He weighed 150 pounds and any rational person knows how scrawny that is. To put it in perspective, I am 6’, 185lbs. Although I’m not small, no one would ever mistake me for a bodybuilder. That monster outweighed Trayvon by almost 100 pounds! One can only listen to the horrifying screams of Trayvon to know that this was a senseless murder, done by a racist who was out to kill that night.

    JOIN JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN GROUP http://www.facebook.com/groups/TRAYVONMARTIN


  10. TAYLORMADE4U2

    VISIT THE JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN PAGE http://www.facebook.com/JUSTICEFORTRAVON2
    JOIN JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN GROUP http://www.facebook.com/groups/TRAYVONMARTIN


  11. [...] to be the second and current husband of Marissa Alexander contacted Politic365 in response to its recent story about her case.  Though it cannot be verified completely, Politic365 believes the man is indeed [...]


  12. earlene walker

    There is so many women who are in volient relationships.. unable to get protection from society in a lawful manner,she had orders for him to stay away from her which should have been her protection. Our women faces abuse mentally physically emotionally they recieve severe wounds and even death by their husband, boyfriend hands. in fear by let downs from law officals,authorities… they seek their own choice some times it ends in death in this case she just shot up in the celling. release this women she did no wrong.


  13. charleesummer

    how do you sign the petition?


  14. [...] Read the rest of Marissa Alexander’s story  and more about her case on Politics 365 [...]


  15. Jean Perry

    George Killerman has the look of pure evil and hate. I can only imagine what Trayvon was going through when this evil menace approached him like a coward (with a gun) in the dark. I have complete faith that he will not escape punishment for killing this innocent young man in cold blood. And, if the corrupt justice system fail, he will still get it in the end. Because, none of us can escape God's judgement. May God have mercy on his soul and may Trayvon Martin RIP. My heart goes out to Trayvon's family.


  16. J. Perry

    SET MARISSA ALEXANDER FREE! WHY IS SHE IN JAIL? BECAUSE SHE IS BLACK! THIS IS SICKENING WHAT IS HAPPENING BY POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND THE CORRUPT JUSTICE SYSTEMS ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY.


  17. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/503/600/056/dont-i

    Please sign this petition to demand Marissa get a new trial. She should be freed in the meantime.
    This is just a horrible travesty of justice.


  18. [...] Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman in Florida.  Many find it disturbing that two possible stand your ground cases could have such different [...]


  19. james

    why wont gov scott act; he could pardon her in 23 hrs. Its because he takes his orders fro Angela Corey, and has no spine


  20. Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my web site so i got here to go back the choose?.I am attempting to find issues to improve my website!I guess its good enough to make use of a few of your ideas!!


  21. We can’t stand by and do nothing while someone is unjustly imprisoned, it makes us almost as guilty as those who incarcerated her. Please see the evidence and share Marissa’s story, BTW no relation, ha ha.



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