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Using force to protect yourself os often necessary. However, what is considered reasonable and what is considered too much? Sometimes it is hard to tell in the heat of the moment, especially when you are in fear of your life.

Buford’s example of unreasonable was: “In other words… if someone comes in here and they hit you with a fly swatter and you respond by shooting them with a 12-gauge shot gun, obviously that’s not reasonable.”
On Monday, Elisabeth Cannon shot a 15-year-old boy after he allegedly threw rocks at her and in August, Delores Gibson-Council shot a 14-year-old boy after he allegedly walked up to her car window and made a verbal threat.

“Did she act in a reasonable response, did she use deadly force in a manner which she shouldn’t? That quite often is an issue for a jury, for a jury to decide whether she acted appropriately or not,” says Buford.

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District Attorney, David Cooke, says a lot of people can say there is “reasonable belief” in a case, but “the devil is in the details.”


In Gibson-Council’s case, Cooke says his office declined to indict her because they decided the shooting was self-defense. So her case will not go to a Grand Jury.
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