Attorney General Eric Holder criticized Stand Your Ground laws Tuesday, saying they “senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict.”
Speaking at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People convention in Orlando, Holder said “These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if — and the ‘if’ is important — no safe retreat is available.”
Holder’s speech was the first policy response given by a member of the president’s administration since George Zimmerman was acquitted on Saturday in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
“It is our collective obligation — we must stand our ground — to ensure that our laws reduce violence, and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent,” Holder said.