While United States Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday that "stand your ground" laws are capable of causing more harm than they prevent, he stopped short of promising federal charges against one of the most controversial beneficiaries of America's self-defense statutes, George Zimmerman.
Holder told the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual convention in Orlando that any state with the controversial measures on the books should review them, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation's attention, it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods," Holder said, the WSJ reported.
It's the second time in two days Holder has weighed into the fray created by Zimmerman's acquittal.
On Monday, his office said investigators will examine a case on Zimmerman, who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin last February.
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However, legal experts have suggested pursuing civil rights charges have little chance of succeeding. The NAACP is leading a one-million signature petition to pressure Holder into action regardless.
Martin was walking home at night through a gated community in Sanford, Fla., when the 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer approached him.
The two men fought, and Zimmerman fatally shot the teen. Though Zimmerman's defense did not invoke the "stand your ground" law in court, Florida is one of 25 states where it applies — as the judge reminded jurors before they sided with Zimmerman's self-defense claim late Saturday.
The acquittal on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges sparked nationwide protests and some riots in Los Angeles. LA police arrested about two dozen demonstrators overnight Monday, Reuters reported.
Holder told the audience on Tuesday that America already has sufficient self-defense laws, and stand your ground can needlessly escalate confrontation.
"We must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely," Holder said, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety."
His words appear to be falling on deaf ears in Florida, according to CNN.
A representative for Gov. Rick Scott told the network the state has already reviewed the laws.
"The task force recommended that the law should not be overturned, and Governor Scott agrees," a written statement from spokeswoman Melissa Sellers said, CNN reported.
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