Kansas Stand Your Ground law examinedPosted: Updated:
The off-duty Wichita police officer who opened fire on a suspected burglar in his own home, likely won’t be charged.
It’s thanks to the Kansas law called Stand Your Ground, which says if you face a reasonable, immediately threat to you or your family’s life or safety, you have the right to protect yourself.
“If you’re in your own home and an intruder breaks in, you have the absolute right to use lethal force,” said attorney Kurt Kerns. “There will be a legal presumption in your favor.”
Kerns adds that reasonableness is a key factor.
“There’s gotta be some type of imminent threat,” he said. “You’ll still be analyzed as to whether or not it was reasonable.”
Proponents of Stand Your Ground allows homeowners to do just that – protect themselves when in their home or their property with deadly force in the event of an immediate threat made.
Critics argue it's too easy to use excessive force in unnecessary situations.
Kansas isn’t the only state to have a similar law and it’s come under controversy. One of those instances, most notably, was the use of force in the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012.
In Kansas, a resident in the town of Milton was actually taken into custody in 2011 after he shot an intruder in his own home. Charges were never filed and he was soon released.
Kerns doubts the Wichita case Tuesday morning will even go that far.
“That case will never be charged,” he said. “We as citizens have the same right as that officer did. He has the rights we all have, an expectation of privacy, and expectation that we’re not going to be robbed or threatened and our children are going to be safe.”