10 Years Later, Remembering A 9-Year-Old Whose Killer Claimed Stand Your Ground

Sherdavia Jenkins, a 9-year-old girl playing outside her Miami home with her siblings didn’t deserve to die. Especially not the way she did – caught in the crossfire of gang warfare and felled by a bullet from an AK-47. Even more hurtful was the fact that the shooter had the audacity to invoke Florida’s stand your ground law.

Her death in 2006 horrified the community and solidified her name as a rallying cry against the gun violence that has plagued Miami for decades.

It would later be denied, but the insult of using stand your ground law as an excuse for accidentally taking the life of an innocent 9-year-old was an affront to the futility of having such a law – a law that wastes precious court time, and allows a defendant the luxury of a possible excuse.

In observance of July 1st, 2016 – the 10th anniversary of Sherdavia’s death – the Miami-Herald reports on reflections of her family, community, and the remorse of one of the gunmen, as her family is carrying on, preparing to send Sherdavia’s sister to college and wondering what their bright, beloved daughter might have accomplished had she lived. Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com


Video On YouTube: Florida Stand Your Ground Victims

Today I released a short PSA video called “Who Will Be Next?” featuring profiles of eleven unarmed victims (including Trayvon Martin) killed, not only with guns – but with scissors, and knives as well – in Florida, each by someone who at some point invoked the state’s Stand Your Ground laws.

These are only a few. There are dozens more. Some are thugs, but there are many good people who can and do become victimized by someone claiming they were only “standing their ground”.

A few sleepless nights ago, the images of some of these people kept haunting me, urging me to show their faces, and give voices to the impact of their lost lives.

The music in the video was not what was originally planned (I tested using the theme from “Escape from New York”) but YouTube won’t let me due to copyright laws, yet the resulting alternative is not bad. I hope you can get a feel for the movement, learn a little about victims, and thank you for sharing the video with everyone you know!