State v. George Zimmerman (Pre-Trial) > Other Case-Related Topics

No Charges in Florida Shooting: Browning/Baker Case


The States Attorney's office in Pinellas County, FL today announced an off-duty security guard who followed someone he believed was driving erratically which led to a confrontation and the guard fatally shooting the man he followed will not face charges because the shooting was justified under the state's stand your ground law.

Details with links here:

1. Off-duty security guard with concealed weapons permit and gun in vehicle decides to follow a driver based on suspicion he is driving erratically and wants to get his license tag to tell police.
2. The man he suspected of erratic driving approaches the off-duty guard and punches him.
3. Believing the the man he suspects of erratic driving will keep hitting him, causing him severe bodily injury, the off-duty guard shoots and kills him.

The state's attorney decides the killing is justifiable homicide under Stand Your Ground and declines to bring charges.

State's attorney said guard did nothing wrong in following driver:

--- Quote ---"It is unfortunate that Seth Browning chose to follow Brandon Baker as he turned onto Boot Ranch Road, but there is nothing improper or illegal in his doing so. The brief interaction on East Lake Road, as described by Seth Browning, does not suggest a road rage scenario whereby Seth Browning would reasonably believe he was creating or joining a confrontation.
--- End quote ---

Interesting case to compare the GZ saga with.

While the basic premise is the same, I would argue the security guard was a bit foolish in his actions. Getting the plate and calling the police would have been sufficient. Following the guy to the point where he pulls his car over is likely going to escalate into a bad situation quickly.

Conversely, Martin ran away from Zimmerman. He had no clue where he went. Zimmerman attempted to relay an address or an idea of where Martin was running to. I doubt Zimmerman expected any less than to see Martin 50 yards away scrambling for the back gate, or even see him at all.

However, once Martin pummeled him he truly had no means of escape.

On the other hand the security guard, who I understand had no duty to retreat, was sitting in his vehicle when he got punched. He could have avoided a problem or two by simply driving away. GZ's scenario seemed a bit more dire, yet he's been subjected to quite a bit more scrutiny than the security guard....

Once Baker pulled over and stopped, it's a little hard to believe that Browning wasn't looking for some sort of confrontation when he pulled in behind him.

Not to mention I wonder if his actions would have been identical if he hadn't been armed.

As for his claim that he had no options but the pepper spray and then the gun after Baker hit him, if he could find them, he could find the gearshift and put it in reverse and get out of there faster than Baker could run.


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