Judge rejects self-defense claim in MLK Day confrontation

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MIAMI (AP) — A Florida judge has rejected a self-defense claim by a white man accused of pulling a gun and yelling racial slurs during a traffic confrontation with a group of Black teenagers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019. The Miami Herald reports the judge ruled Thursday following a two-day hearing that Mark Bartlett did not act reasonably in getting out of his SUV and pulling a pistol on the teenage protesters who stopped traffic in downtown Miami to protest housing inequality. Bartlett’s charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, enhanced under Florida’s “hate crime” law, plus other charges. Trial is set for December.

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