Akil DuPont is not your average millennium generation wannabe. The 34-year-old Tallahassee native is an award-winning producer/director who has yet to be discovered by the mainstream feature film audience. His next project is compelling: producing “Stand Your Ground“, a short-film drama based on documented facts of the night Trayvon Martin was killed.
Dupont is trying to seed $13,000 of funds through crowdfunding on Indiegogo. The deadline is less than a month away.
Not satisfied with a B.A. in economics from Florida A & M, Dupont went on to graduate from Florida State University’s renowned film school in 2010 as a Master of Fine Arts in motion pictures.
Since then, the world has been opening up to his visions. In 2010, Dupont produced “Underground“, a gripping short about a runaway slave, which has landed over 20 awards from film festivals around the world. He followed that up with “Silhouettes“, a romantic fairy tale about a painter who can only see the world through silhouettes.
“Stand Your Ground” would be shot over 3-4 days in Florida. All contributors to the project get film credits, and contributions of $30 or more also get a signed DVD copy. Watch Dupont tell you about the project himself:
Another reason Ohio doesn’t need a new stand-your-ground law: our canine friends are also in danger from self-defense laws that give humans the right to shoot and claim they “felt threatened”.
In the small town of Pemberville, Ohio, a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran, Christopher Zimmerman (last name sound familiar?), shot and killed an adorable 8-month-old mixed labrador-collie named “Puppy”, happily running to meet its owners – children, who witnessed their beloved pet being gunned down in a driveway that separates their home from the shooter’s. Both homes sit directly across the street from an elementary school.
Zimmerman claimed he felt threatened and reportedly had previously filed a police report stating the pup had “raised its hackles” at him “like it was going to attack”. At that time Zimmerman stated he would “shoot the damn thing” if it came near him again.
The Sentiniel-Tribune reports that this time, Zimmerman reportedly yelled “Get the hell away,” to one of the children trying to catch Puppy, before opening fire from 5 feet away. The police report states that, based on the placement of the bullet wound, “the dog could not have been running towards (Zimmerman) as he had stated”. He was charged with pointing and discharging firearms, injuring animals, and inducing panic.
The children’s’ mom, Misty Smith wrote on her blog, “How do you comfort a sobbing child who can’t understand why anyone would rob her of the puppy she has begged and prayed for, for years?” She later writes that Zimmerman is a veteran, “whose wife has to tell him over and over, ‘the war is over’. He needs help before someone is hurt worse. There has to be something that can be done”.
If Ohio has gun kooks like this on the loose, then enhancing self-defense laws in the state will only make things worse. Can you imagine a Zimmerman case in Ohio?
Who ever said the NRA was all white? Right along with actor Tom Selleck and rocker Ted Nugent, the NRA also has a few well-known African-Americans sitting on it’s board of directors, including former basketball star Karl Malone, and civil rights activist Roy Innis, head of the Congress of Racial Equality.
Since the NRA emphasizes that the Second Amendment right to bear arms belongs to every American, that right also includes every African-American.
It may be healthy to occasionally find some humor in the fight against stand-your-ground, and this clip from FunnyOrDie (featuring Sarah Silverman and David Alan Grier) brings it to us. So, let’s start recruiting (after you stop laughing)!
Marissa Alexander, who turned 33 years old behind bars this month, is getting a belated birthday present, courtesy of the Florida Court of Appeals. The appellate court reversed her conviction, ruling that jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous. But she won’t get another stand-your-ground hearing.
Marissa has served 16 months of a 20 year sentence after being convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for firing what she described as a warning shot.
At trial, the only real issue was whether she had acted in self-defense when she fired the gun.
In her appeal, Marissa maintained that the trial court abused its discretion, by giving self-defense instructions to the jury that improperly put the burden on her to establish – beyond a reasonable doubt – that Rico Gray, her fiance, was committing or was about to commit an aggravated battery when she fired the gun.
Under Florida’s 10-20-Life statutes, anyone who pulls a gun during the commission of a crime receives a mandatory 10-year sentence. Firing a gun during a crime draws 20 years.
In a stand-your-ground hearing prior to her last trial, Marissa was denied immunity, and the appellate court affirmed that ruling still stands, so she won’t get another hearing.
Her case now goes back to Florida’s 4th Circuit Court, but no trial date was released.
READ THE APPEALS COURT RULING:
When the Ohio state legislature convenes on Wednesday, October 2, they likely will get an earful. That’s the day opposition to stand-your–ground arrive – from Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, and all places in between.
Ohio residents have been passionate and making noise over the state’s proposed version of stand-your-ground – HB 203. The bill would change the state’s self-defense laws by expanding the circumstances in which a person has no duty to retreat from a threatening situation before using force in self-defense, and also ease restrictions on permits to carry concealed weapons.
Recently, the Youngstown city council followed the lead of Cincinnati, Dayton, South Euclid and Toledo in voting to oppose the state’s proposed version of a stand-your-ground law.
The Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a group of 14 civic, community, clergy, student, and union organizations, has planned a rally at the Ohio Statehouse to deliver over 10,000 signatures and attend the opening legislative session.
The group believes stand-your-ground isn’t about self-defense, but the fear of blacks, that HB203 goes far beyond Ohio’s already reasonable self-defense law, and allows for the shooting of unarmed people. They say the bill promotes violence and has no place in their state.
The rally at the Ohio Statehouse starts at 10AM, and organizers plan to provide transportation for those who need it. For more info, visit the Ohio Organizing Collaborative site.
With Florida as the first target, the monthly nationwide boycott of all SYG states is set to take place again tomorrow – Thursday, September 26, and on October 13th and 26th. You are urged not to plan any visits or vacations to Florida on these dates.
Like the Koch Brothers
(think Angel Soft, Brawny, Quilted Northern) companies, many Florida corporations are tied to ALEC
. The Boycott Stand Your Ground States website lists Tropicana, Publix Supermarket, Southern Wine & Spirits, Office Depot, Royal Carribean, Carnival, DHL Express, and Nascar among Florida corporations as companies you should avoid.
For more information on this boycott, visit Boycott Stand Your Ground States website.
The Movement To End Stand Your Ground is not the organizer of this boycott, but wholeheartedly encouraging, endorsing, and supporting all SYG boycotts in stand-your-ground states.