Politics & Policy

Andrew Gillum Calls ‘Castle Doctrine’ Decision by Black Judge ‘Racist’

Democratic Florida gubernatorial nominee and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum concedes the race to Rep. Ron DeSantis in Tallahassee, Fla., November 6, 2018. (Colin Hackley/REUTERS)

Andrew Gillum said Tuesday on Twitter that a decision by Judge Tammy Kemp to permit the use of the “Castle Doctrine” defense in the murder trial of former cop Amber Guyger was “plain racist.”

Gillum, the former Democratic mayor of Tallahasee, retweeted a CNN tweet explaining the Castle Doctrine and claimed the decision stemmed from racism.

“So you can break into someone else’s home (b/c you were distracted by porn from your boyfriend), pull a weapon, shoot and kill the home owner, and claim Castle doctrine in SOMEBODY ELSE’s HOUSE?!?! Perversion of the law? How about just plain racist. SMDH,” the tweet reads.

Guyger, a white Dallas police officer, shot her African American neighbor Botham Jean in his own apartment on September 6, 2018, but claims in her defense that she mistakenly entered thinking she was in her own apartment, which was located one floor below Jean’s.

Judge Tammy Kemp announced Monday that the jury would be allowed to apply the Castle Doctrine in a final verdict on the case, as the defense has argued “a mistake of fact,” meaning Guyger erroneously believed she was defending her own home from an intruder.

Kemp, who is in her second term on the bench, is a black Democrat. She declined to be interviewed in the buildup to the trial, according to The Dallas Morning News, but made a name for herself by taking on difficult cases.

Gillum, who lost a Florida gubernatorial contest to Ron DeSantis last year despite a recount, made headlines last October when he called the Republican a “racist” during a debate and stated that DeSantis had “neo-Nazis helping him out in this state.”

Gillum lost the race by a mere 32,000 votes, but was dragged down by corruption scandals, including hosting a fundraiser sponsored by an undercover FBI agent. In August, prominent Democratic fundraiser John Morgan “threatened to sue” if Gillum ran again, claiming the Democrat had sat on fundraising money and refused to return it after the race.

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