Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law seems to be the example most likely to create outrage for some reason. From Trayvon Martin’s killing to the shooting in Clearwater, Fla., it seems every time the law gets mentioned it creates outrage in some way, shape, or form.
However, a self-defense shooting on Tuesday has law enforcement calling it a classic “Stand Your Ground” case, and any outrage has been minimal this time around.
After a heated text message exchange with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jason Boek followed an Uber he thought was driving her home and swerved in front of it on a dark stretch of road in central Florida early Tuesday morning, authorities say.
A dash camera video from the Uber shows Boek, 34, jumping out of a pick-up truck and quickly walking to Uber driver Robert Westlake’s Hyundai Elantra.
Holding what authorities said was a cell phone, Boek raised his hand and said: “You know I got a pistol? You want me to f****** shoot you?”
Westlake, 38, is a licensed armed security guard who holds a concealed weapons permit and who had just completed training to be a police officer. He fired once, killing Boek early Tuesday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.
Neither Westlake nor Boek’s family members could be reached for comment on Wednesday. The sheriff’s office says Westlake is cooperating with the investigation.
The brief encounter was a “classic stand your ground case,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. Florida’s “stand your ground” law, perhaps the strongest in the country, grants immunity to the person acting in self-defense. The state has to prove that a shooter didn’t act in self-defense and is therefore not entitled to immunity.
“This is a justifiable homicide all day long. You have the right protect yourself,” Judd said Wednesday, adding “this was the intent of the law.”
There’s been remarkably little outrage over the shooting thus far.
Why? Well, there are a number of potential reasons. One is that Westlake had a dashcam that showed precisely what happened and what Boek said when he got out of his truck. It makes it clear that the man told Westlake that he had a gun and was willing to shoot him and it looks like he had something in his right hand that he raised up after making the threat.
Another, however, is that Boek was white. In almost every case, the outrage has been because a white person shot a black person. The arguments against “Stand Your Ground” have had little to do with the law itself, but with what some perceive as the racial connotations of the law. Some opponents of the law have actually described it as basically legalizing the murder of black people.
The thing is, Boek was white and decided to get in someone’s face threateningly, claimed to be armed, and got shot for it. Westlake appears to have stood his ground, and the law is protecting him, as it should.
It’s not about race. It’s about good versus evil. By Boek threatening Westlake, he committed an evil act, and he was met by a good guy with a gun who ended it.
Let’s be real, too. Boek was not a particularly good person.
Boek’s criminal history includes previous arrests for aggravated battery, battery, burglary, marijuana possession, forgery, larceny, resisting arrest, and VOP[violation of probation]. He’s on felony probation for battery, which began in June 2016 and was scheduled to end in June 2021. His driver’s license was suspended in May 2018, and the truck he was driving does not belong to him – he borrowed it from a friend.
Deputies obtained a search warrant for the truck Boek was driving and recovered a marijuana cigarette and a glass pipe containing meth residue.
In other words, he was a lifetime hothead with a propensity for violence, and he decided to play Billy Bad*** at the wrong time and place. He got shot because of it.
However, those who claim “Stand Your Ground” laws are somehow wrong should be clamoring over this one too, right?
Unless their issue isn’t about the law, but about their own racial biases and the belief that a white person should never have the ability to defend themselves from a black person. Ever.
Nah, it couldn’t be that, now could it?
Westlake is cooperating with police, but it looks like there won’t be any charges filed against him. Nor should there be. This is a clear case of self-defense if ever I’ve seen one.