Self-Defense Claim Based on Clothes of Victim

The killer said he feared the victim

was armed “because his pants were falling down” and his hands were in his hoodie pockets.

Hoodie_manReporters Jeff Weiner and Arelis R. Hernández in the Orlando Sentinel describe a killing and claim of self-defense in Florida today, raising similarities to the controversial acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin using Florida’s “stand your ground” self defense standard.

The victim’s hoodie or sagging pants should not be considered as evidence of violence.  We should not be “profiling clothes.”   This includes hoodies and this includes “saggy pants.”

There’s more discussion of the legal consequences of sagging pants, hoodies, “thug wear,” and government’s attempt to regulate what we wear by indirect and direct means in Dressing Constitutionally.

But this is certain:

No one deserves to die for what he or she is wearing.  And the law should never suggest otherwise.

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