September 27, 2020

"Stand Your Ground" Gun Law To Be Challenged In Florida

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Florida is one of several states that has a new law that clarifies the use of deadly force to protect oneself against the fear of personal harm. As has been discussed often, previous law interpretation had evolved into requiring a homeowner to exhaust all attempts at retreat, etc. before resorting to deadly force. The new law says that if an individual feels their life is in danger, they can use deadly force.

In Fort Meyers, Florida a event happened between two neighbors. Here’s what I have according to News-Press.com. Evidently the two neighbors were not getting along. One neighbor, the Frazzinis, suspected their next door neighbors, the Rasmussens, of harrassment – spray painting things on their house for one.

Here’s what happened.

Michael Frazzini was trespassing on Todd Rasmussen’s property beyond a fence the night of March 28, according to the state’s attorney office. Frazzini was wearing a military-issue camouflage mesh mask and carrying a camera and a small souvenir baseball bat, authorities said.

Cory Rasmussen, 22, jumped over the fence and confronted Frazzini with a knife, family members told police. Todd Rasmussen, Cory’s father, told the trespasser that he was armed. The Rasmussens say Frazzini lunged at Cory Rasmussen with the bat before Todd Rasmussen shot the man in the chest, killing him.
Members of Michael Frazzini’s family say the military veteran suspected Cory Rasmussen was harassing his mother, who lived next door.
“My husband was trying to collect evidence Cory was spraying graffiti on her house,” she said. “He was standing his ground as well.”

It is difficult to know in this case whether the Rasmussens actually knew who was trespassing as Frazzini was in cammies and had a mask on. Could other things have been done before resorting to deadly force? Perhaps but I wasn’t there.

Many knew it would only be a matter of time before this new law would be challenged in court. It is with this process that laws get defined and precendents set. If the Frazzinis decide to challenge the fact that authorities aren’t going to charge Rasmussen in court, it would be the first such case in Florida since the law took effect in October of last year.

Tom Remington

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