Civil Rights Commission To Examine Whether 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Have Racial Bias

Laws became prominent after the shooting of Trayvon Martin


WASHINGTON—The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights voted on Friday to launch an investigation into whether "Stand Your Ground" laws around the country have a racial bias.

These statutes gained attention after the February 2012 fatal shooting of Travyon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager. Authorities initially refused to arrest neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman, who is accused of shooting Martin, citing Florida's Stand Your Ground law. These measures allow individuals to stand their ground and use deadly force in self-defense, with no obligation to first attempt to retreat.