Our opponents have been busy all weekend tweeting to anyone who does or doesn’t want to listen to them that George Zimmerman is out on the street because of the dangerous NRA shoot first law, which legalizes murder, you know. Aside from the hyperbole, the section of Florida Law at issue here, which was part of the Castle Doctrine law passed not terribly long ago is as follows:
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard proceduresÂ for investigating the use of force as described in subsectionÂ (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using forceÂ unless it determines that there is probable cause that the forceÂ used was unlawful.
I am going to argue that this passage is relatively meaningless. Standard procedures would be to take the shooter into custody for questioning, which was done in this case. Zimmerman was then released because no probable caused existed to hold him. The standard for an arrest or to be charged with a crime has always been probable cause. So what does this change really? It seems to me all this does is codify what’s already generally law.