A Florida sheriff says he bucked his fellow officers in not supporting the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law because it's a "recipe for disaster."
"An individual certainly has the right to defend his life or anyone else's life in his or her house and . . . in public, as well," Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"I don't believe that an individual should participate in the conflict or escalate the conflict if he or she can safely escape or safely get out of that controversial situation and not have a violent encounter," he said Wednesday.
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Last week, the Sunshine State's law, which gives people the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without needing to retreat, received unanimous support from the Florida Sheriffs Association.
While Israel was unable to attend the meeting where the vote was taken, he says he would have voted against it.
"If a prudent person would come to the conclusion that you can safely escape … then I believe it is incumbent upon you not to engage.
"We have accidental shootings, deputies and police officers throughout our nation get killed each year by their own handgun . . . It's just a recipe for disaster," he said.
"This is not the days of Tombstone, Ariz., the OK Corral. If you can't safely escape and you've got to fight the fight, then I support that, but when we can safely escape . . . we need to do that."
Israel says the case of George Zimmerman, in which the Neighborhood Watch volunteer was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, does not fall under Stand Your Ground.
"I don’t think Stand Your Ground was an issue there," Israel said. "I believe it was more about race and was more about poor judgment."
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