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Personal Narrative: Stand Your Ground Law Essay

It’s not a secret that there is still injustice and racism amongst the African American community. Too often I hear and read these type of stories about us protecting ourselves or our loved in return going to jail for it. And a lot of time these type of stories always seems to only consist of us. I wish the system wasn’t rigged, but it is. It is like we have a right to be free, but so many of us get lectured, when we exercise our freedom. The stand your ground laws, hardly if ever have been demonstrated to apply to us, just against us.

An Aurora woman facing felony irearm charges for firing warning shots at the gunman who killed her fiance and father of her two children. In the Chicago tribes 26-year-old Ashley Harrison is getting convicted for trying to protect and defend herself with warning shots. Many states have passed so-called stand your ground laws that remove the duty to flee before using force in self-defense. Florida passed the first such law in 2005, mostly allowing people to stand their ground instead of retreating if they reasonably believe doing so will “prevent death or great bodily harm. Ok, you’re probably hinking this incident happened in Illinois not Florida. Does Illinois have the same stand your ground law policy? Well Yes, article 7 of the Illinois Criminal Code includes a law that is comparable to Florida’s “stand your ground” law. It is a “self- defense” statute. Under Article 7, you can use “reasonable force” to defend yourself or another, or to defend your home or other property. So how is Ashely firing warning shots in self-defense not justified as standing your ground.

If you’re black the law doesn’t apply to you. Sunday as Harrison stood before Cook County Judge Adam Donald Bourgeois Jr. charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. She pulled a handgun that was in the car and fired several gunshots in the air, Assistant State’s Attorney Lesley Gool said. Surveillance cameras from a nearby business caught Harrison on camera shooting into the air. “That sounds like self- defense to me,” Bourgeois said. “What would you have her do? I mean, she chose the life to be out here with guys like that, that do that sort of thing,” he continued. Bourgeois set Harrison’s bond at $250,000. Two kids have lost their daddy, Harrison has ost her fiance and her bail is set at higher then she could afford.

Although the video shows her firing the gun into the air as a self- defense motion, justice says she would be charged with a crime. Illinois is one of the most prejudiced states, even more racist than some states in the south and they have the most racist towns in all of the 50 States, so knowing this information, I am really not shocked, but more so disgusted. The gunman is free and this woman, just witnessed her kids father get shot in front of her is in jail because she fired warning shots. Does that sound fair at all? It’s like they are punishing her for not letting the man shoot and kill her too!

How long does America think they won’t grasp what they sew and furthermore that they aren’t already starting to reap what they sewed? The lord sees all. Being a victim of a very violent crime I empathies with her because I also witnessed my daughter’s father get shot in the head. I was rape repeatedly. Did Harrison have to wait until she was shot or worse in order for the “Stand your ground law,” to apply to her. I was so scared that night and didn’t know what to do I froze. If I had to cougar to fire warning shots, maybe the outcome would ave been better. I wish I had the cougar Ashley.

With her being able to think face on her feet, she was able to escape from harm’s way. I feel if Ashley was white her situation would have been so much different. For the judge to basically state that she shouldn’t have surrounded herself “with a guy like that,” is stereotyping Ashley and her children father. Ashley didn’t ask for that to happen nor did her kids father ask to be shot in the head. Just because the both are black you almost expect them to be racially profiled. African Americans always dealt with being racially profiled. From cases like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike brown, and Sandra Bland.

In all those cases the African Americans were all profiled and ended up died in the hands of white police officers and neither cop was charged with their deaths. He worked every day according to Vibe, Harrison boyfriend was in hope of a better life for his family. He moved his family from what he thought was a rough side of Chicago to a less violent area. It seems that he was trying to change whatever lifestyle he was custom to make sure his family had a better opportunity. But still ended up a victim of gun violence, acial profiling, and injustices. This is the land of the courageous, home of the “free,” right?

Well when the shoe is on the other feet and its Caucasian people involved the tables turns. For example, on Monday, Mandeville, La. , District Attorney Warren Montgomery said that he would not pursue charges against an armed white customer who shot and killed Shawn Breland, a 41-year-old Army veteran, who was also white. The customer, which is not named in news reports, shot Breland several times during a confrontation April 4 at a Shell gas station. The man was not arrested or charged. Police and he district attorney believed that Breland was the aggressor, even though he was unarmed.

Justice believed that the armed man had a right to fear for his life. Ashley Harrison was in fear for her life also. She didn’t even shoot or fire shots at the suspect and she is facing twelve years in prison for firing warning shots. How is that fear. That doesn’t make sense how corrupted the system is. A white person can shoot and kill, and their actions was justified, but if you black then you sewed. The system is s sewed up that Illinois prosecutor finds it more important to charge Harrison then actually trying to find and onvict the actual murderer.

All I’m saying is we are living in to different Americas, with two different sets of rules and you would have to be blind and deaf to not agree. We must first own up that there is and has always been a serious problem with racial injustice. The basic of who we are as a nation must be confronted and dealt with. Ignoring the issue will not make the issue go away. The world is watching in mistrust and disbelief as we continue to act as if our country is whole. Would you stand up for your associate or neighbor when you see an injustice, no matter the color of their skin?

Or would you look the other way as if nothing wrong is going on? In order to take act against the many criminal acts being committed within our country, we shouldn’t turn the other cheek or close our eyes to unfairness. We must rise to look injustice in the face and say, “THAT IS IT! We will not accept racial injustice or any injustice any longer! ” If you pick to remain quiet about the injustice in your neighborhood, you are not helping to make things better. Will we remain quiet while our people are being killed or wrongfully imprisoned every other day without reasonable cause.

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