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Judge Rules Against Florida Man Who Pulled Gun On Black Teens, Hurled Racial Slur, Then Claimed ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense

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Mark Bartlett

A Florida judge on Thursday rejected a “stand your ground” defense from a Miami resident who pulled a loaded gun on Black teen protesters in 2019 while hurling racial slurs at them.

According to the Miami Herald, Mark Bartlett testified that, despite his use of racial slurs including the N-word, the incident did not have a “racial component.”

During the court hearing, Bartlett claimed he was “being held hostage” with his girlfriend in their Range Rover after the teens blocked traffic on MLK Day to protest a lack of affordable housing in Miami.

He also said he was “like putting on a show” when he used the racial slurs.

“Was there any racial component,” prosecutor Jonathan Borst asked Bartlett.

“In my head, no,” Bartlett said. “It’s a derogatory term for Black people. But racist? No.”

Circuit Judge Alberto Milian disagreed, declining to dismiss the charges against Bartlett based on his “stand your ground” defense.

“The use of racial comments shows he was simmering,” Milian said. “He was an angry man. He was inconvenienced. He wanted to go back to Broward County. There was no reasonable justification.”

Bartlett is set for trial in December on three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm (with hate crimes enhancements), plus carrying a concealed weapon and improper exhibition of a firearm.

Watch the initial report of the incident below: