March 22, 2012

"Online petitions, protests, and statements by African American and civil rights leaders have all demanded Zimmerman be brought to justice."

But those who care about prejudice and stereotypes are hypocrites if they don't pay attention to all the facts.

262 comments:

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Matthew said...

The biggest thing that I see wrong, especially in comments like at CNN and other news sites, is constantly referring to him as a "white racist."

Now, clearly, someone ended up dead, and we need to know what happened. I'm withholding judgment because I don't have all the facts.

But, I have faith that the investigation will lead us to the truth of the matter.

I'm just an optimist like that.

rhhardin said...

It's a story because it's entertainment.

Its entertainment potential came at first from Southern white man shoots unarmed black teen, a major narrative plus for the TV-watching product-buying audience.

It's also a new controversy entertainment as well, as new facts come out and other audiences get to chime in.

My first thought was how many black teens have been shot in the meantime without a story. I call for story neutrality in this matter, if a claim to seriousness is to be made.

Otherwise it's just cherry picking in a vast population for audience eyes, but without significance.

Terry said...

You would think that black civil rights leaders would be a little more sensitive about forming a lynch mod.

~N. said...

That he "aspired to become a law enforcement officer" is the most telling bit of information in that article. Add to that the fact he seems to be the usual blowhard tough, and that he'd reported 50 "suspicious" incidents in a year (one a week? Is this really good PR for that community?), and you have what most police forces would call a nuisance caller or nuisance do-gooder.

The race is probably a part of what went down in Sanford, although it may be hard to prove, but the real problem is in the "self-appointed neighborhood watch" stuff. I think he and his friends have referred to him as a neighborhood watch _captain_. As if it's there's some official, authoratative status here.

I've met guys like this before and they're always more trouble than they're worth. They don't solve problems, they cause them. They're looking for trouble, and if they don't find it, they manufacture it.

chickenlittle said...

Despite his looks, Zimmerman has a German-sounding surname so he's probably guilty of something.

I wonder if Bob Dylan would write a song about him should he be arrested and falsely tried.

Matthew said...

On one hand, 50 suspicious incidents in a year sounds like a lot of nuisance calls.

But, it would matter on the area, wouldn't it?

I can think of some cities with high enough crime rates that that could be believable. Another report, for example, says he did actually stop a robbery in progress. So, he may be over zealous, but we also know he did mean well (if his execution in general lacked).

This particular case though is a clear foul up of epic proportions on Zimmerman's part.

EDH said...

But those who care about prejudice and stereotypes are hypocrites if they don't pay attention to all the facts.


Is Althouse talking about the "I have friends who are [fill in the blank]" defense?

prairie wind said...

The boy is dead. The boy is not more dead because he is black.

Zimmerman shot him. He either had reason to shoot or he did not; race should not be part of the story.

This is a heartbreaking story.

Fen said...

Its entertainment potential came at first from Southern white man shoots unarmed black teen, a major narrative plus

I think the father is claiming his son is hispanic, not white:

"George is a Spanish speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever"

Maybe the Duke 88 will weigh in on this one...

Matthew said...

Caught a thief is different than robbery in progress; my fault for misinterpreting that.

Chris Gerrib said...

Now, wait a second here. Zimmerman and Martin were private citizens traveling on public roads. Martin had committed no crime. What right did Zimmerman have to stop Martin?

Once Zimmerman stopped Martin, Zimmerman became the aggressor. Martin had every right to ignore Zimmerman, and once a confrontation started, Martin had no duty to retreat and every right to use whatever means necessary to defend his life.

We don't know for sure why Zimmerman stopped Martin, but anything that happened afterwards is Zimmerman's fault. And if Florida law really means you can't investigate any claim of self-defense, then it's a bad law.

Dane County Taxpayer said...

Why was this hoodie black boy walking around this neighborhood? He was out looking to provoke a reaction. He definitely deserves a Darwin award for getting himself killed. Let face it, it is reasonable to assume the worst when you see a hoodie black youth in your gated community. This boy should have known that. The gun grabbers are now using this to push their agenda.

Matthew said...

"We don't know for sure why Zimmerman stopped Martin, but anything that happened afterwards is Zimmerman's fault."

My thoughts too. Mattering on how it went down, maybe not. If it went down like we think, Zimmerman tries to make him stop. The kid refuses, Zimmerman resorts to force, then yeah.

The other possibility, Zimmerman asks for the kid to stop, the kid immediately attacks.

That sounds unlikely to me (especially since in another article, Zimmerman was well known by the kids in the neighborhood, and they didn't like or dislike him, thought he was just too serious at his job). I just feel like we don't know enough.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Not sure how stand your ground law protects this guy when he was the pursuer.

I don't have a problem with that law, I shouldn't be obligated to retreat if someone is assaulting me but this guy was clearly the aggressor. The 911 operator told him not to follow and he disregarded.

Fen said...

I've met guys like this before

While jogging thourgh suburbia inside your gated community?

Its quite possible he reported 50 incidents to 911 and is part of a neighborhood watch because crime is rampant in his community. He may have profiled the black kid because they are responsible for 90% of the violent crime.

I think it would be fair to check out the crime stats in his neighborhood before popping off.

Matthew said...

"Why was this hoodie black boy walking around this neighborhood? He was out looking to provoke a reaction."

-- Though I'm convinced this is a sarcastic troll post, to answer this question, I believe he was visiting or living with his father, who lived in the neighborhood. So, he had every right to be there.

Fen said...

Why was this hoodie black boy walking around this neighborhood?

The claim is that it was raining.

Fen said...

Matt, he means "why was he wearing a hoodie"

Hagar said...

CBS, and NBC even more so, were in full lynch mob mode last night, including distinctly false statements, immediately contradicted 3 sentences later in their own broadcasts.
And it was not only about "race;" they also want to make this an argument against "concealed carry" laws, though "concealed carry" had nothing to do with this.

As for the incident itself, let us wait and see what comes out. Immediately, it looks like two scared individuals in the dark - one an armed vigilante wannabe and the other a black teenager thinking he is being stalked (which he was) - but there are some odd things about the police and D.A reaction, so let us wait and see what comes to light.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I think the father is claiming his son is hispanic, not white:.."

Well if you see his picture, he doesn't look German.

~N. said...

@Chris

Anderson Cooper interviewed a friend of Zimmerman's last night, and this friend suggested that Martin would still be alive if he'd just stopped and responded to Zimmerman politely.

My jaw dropped.

On what day does any citizen of this nation have to stop and respond to another person's liking? And as someone pointed out later, we don't even have to respond to the police if we don't want to. We have the right to remain silent. We have the right to an attorney before we answer questions.

Zimmerman had no authority to pursue or attempt to apprehend Martin, much less draw a gun on him. For that "friend" to claim it's Martin's fault for not stopping like a good boy is sickening. Sickening. It's hard to believe it's 2012 sometimes.

Tank said...

From a video on Yahoo.

On March 16th, the Sanford police department released new details to the Orlando Sentinel. Once again, these details have been ignored or changed by the media.

1.The witness reports that George Zimmerman was on the ground and Trayvon is on top of him punching him.
2.The witness says that George Zimmerman was screaming and yelling for help.
3.Police arrive and find Zimmerman bleeding on his face and the back of his head. He also has had grass stains on his back. All this confirms the story told by Zimmerman and the witness.
4.Police play the 911 tape for Trayvon Martin’s father, who tells police that the voice screaming is not the voice of his son.


I don't know what happened, of course, but it seems like alot of noise and demands about a situation where most of the facts have not yet come out.

I do wonder why this hispanic guy, Zimmerman, is being referred to as white, and why the hispanic community is letting him be lynched in the press, without speaking up.

Matthew said...

"Matt, he means "why was he wearing a hoodie""

-- If that was his point, that makes the question even sillier.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Once Zimmerman stopped Martin, Zimmerman became the aggressor. Martin had every right to ignore Zimmerman, and once a confrontation started, Martin had no duty to retreat and every right to use whatever means necessary to defend his life.

Asking some one a question does not make you an aggressor, and does not justify having your skull bashed in.

The fact is we simply don't know who attacked who. All we know is the tragic outcome.

.

John Burgess said...

It's my understanding that a) the road was private, within a gated community, and that b) Martin lived in that community with his family.

Because of previous crimes, the community was okay with having a 'Neighborhood Watch' kind of program, though it was not actually registered as part of that organization.

There are lots of possible stories to explain what happened, but there's only one that is going to be decided as 'true', and that will be by a court. We can speculate all we like, plug in whatever stereotypes allow a narrative to make sense to us. We, however, unless we're called to the jury in Sanford, aren't the one's who are going to be doing any useful deciding.

~N. said...

@Fen

Well, yes, that's why I said, only semi humorously, that this statistic wasn't particularly good PR for that community, yet community members were sort of bragging about it.

I've met guys like that everywhere. In boardrooms, in my community, at my own HOA board meetings.

Matthew said...

Tank: Those are facts I was unaware of.

Fen said...

Tank you got a link for that?

Dane County Taxpayer said...

Given that young blacks commit the overwhelming percentage of crime in this country-Fen says it is 90%-it is best that young blacks have a curfew so situations like this don't occur. That is just the reality.

Matthew said...

"Asking some one a question does not make you an aggressor, and does not justify having your skull bashed in."

-- Zimmerman didn't just say: "Hey, I have a question." He had been following Martin; he also had a reputation for stopping and questioning kids in the neighborhood. He had, at best, a known antagonistic role with them; at least one other kid mentioned that he recognized Zimmerman and disliked him because he was always watching them. The kid also, by the way, stated he doubted it had to do with race.

Zimmerman had been following Martin for some time; I wouldn't respond violently, but if someone were to follow me then try and stop me, I'd be concerned. Maybe Martin responded violently (it sounds it, from what Tank said), but Zimmerman choosing to follow him was stupid.

Fen said...

Matt: If that was his point, that makes the question even sillier.

Yes, I can understand how someone living inside a gated community with 3% minorities might find it "silly".

Because black kids only wear hoodies because its raining...

The Crack Emcee said...

You can't imagine the pressure I come under every time there's something like this in the news. I try to hide, mostly, because I don't know any more than anyone else, and why should I join a lynch mob? I hate mobs. The problem with not joining them is how it makes you suspect, so then they have a reason to turn on you.

I'm pretty sure white people face the same shit, but not nearly as often. I get it all - racial shit, Occupy nonsense, the plight of the poor, and pretty much anything that happens pretty much anywhere in the whole of the world - I honestly can't be bothered.

I've got my own issues and problems, and many of them I had nothing to do with either,...

Tank said...

Link

Fen said...

Fen says it is 90%

I meant that its quite possible the kid was profiled because blacks commit most the crime in that community.

I don't know what the actual stat is for that community. My point was that we should find out the stats to see the context.

Chris Gerrib said...

Regarding witness reports - I have seen information that witnesses were coached, as was Zimmerman.

The bottom line remains the same - once Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and approached Martin, Zimmerman was the aggressor. Under the same rules of self-defense as applies to Zimmerman, Martin had every right to do whatever he reasonably felt necessary to defend his life.

Fen said...

[link]

I don't have adobe flash player. Can someone here review the vid and confirm it says what Tank says it does?

Thanks

Palladian said...

"Dane County Taxpayer" is what's called a "moby" troll; it posts deliberately inflammatory, racially-charged comments in order to provoke others to make such comments and therefore have "proof" that the commenters here are "racist".

This particular troll has a very long and ugly history here. Ignore it.

garage mahal said...

Palladian
Indeed. Now what about Fen?

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

once Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and approached Martin, Zimmerman was the aggressor

Thats ridiculous. By that standard, all of us are "the aggressor" every day.

Hell, yesterday I got out of my vehicle and approached my mail carrier. Does that make me a felon now?

*snicker*

acm said...

Fen, do you know any kids? I have a whole passel of kids in the neighborhood, and every boy, black, white, hispanic, or asian, between the ages of 10 and 20 is wearing a hoodie unless it's over 80 degrees. Most of the girls too. So, no, black kids don't just wear hoodies when it's raining---they wear hoodies if they're breathing.

Moose said...

Complexity does not lend itself to satisfying outcomes. Facts just don't make people feel better.

Icepick said...

Martin was staying at his father's fiancee's house (not his step-mother's house, as ABC has reported on at least one occassion), he had gone to get some snacks for himself and a little brother, and the weather was rainy that weekend. He had cause to be there and even had cause to be wearing a hoodie.

The bigger problems now have to do with the Sanford Police Department, who appear to have conducted almost no investigation at all. Witnesses have said that the police have mis-reported what the witnesses told them, abd he police also failed to follow up on some basic leads. (And example of that last is that Martin was speaking to his girlfriend on his cell phone as the incident started happening. The police never bothered to contact the girlfriend to find out her account.)

So there are two separate but intertwined issues: What happened between Martin and Zimmerman, and what did the police department do during its investigation.

I should point out that Sanford PD has been in trouble not so long ago:

SANFORD, Fla. -- The Sanford Police Department is investigating a bar brawl on Dec. 4 involving 21-year-old Justin Collison, the son of a police lieutenant.

Police said three patrol officers and a patrol sergeant are being investigated internally by the department on how they handled the brawl.

Investigators said Collison got into a fight inside the Wet Spot bar, then went outside and punched a homeless man, identified as Sherman Ware, 47, in the back of the head causing him to fall and hit his face on a pole, breaking his nose.

Police said Collison also attacked the bar's disc jockey, but the responding officers did not arrest Collison.


You can look up more on that case if you're interested, but Sanford PD hasn't exactly covered itself in professional glory.

Icepick said...

I have a whole passel of kids in the neighborhood, and every boy, black, white, hispanic, or asian, between the ages of 10 and 20 is wearing a hoodie unless it's over 80 degrees.

Even if it is 95 degrees with 90% relative humidity the kids will still be wearing their hoodies. (I live in Orlando, BTW. Sanford is right here.)

~N. said...

@Fen

You're ignoring the context. You may have a reason to approach your mail carrier, because he provides a service to you.

Zimmerman had no reason and no authority to insist that Martin respond to him. None.

He had already contacted the real authorities (such as they are...) and reported a suspicious person. He was told to stand down. He chose to pursue and attempt to apprehend this person who was moving AWAY from him.

Zimmerman is clearly the aggressor in this situation.

Ann Althouse said...

""Why was this hoodie black boy walking around this neighborhood? He was out looking to provoke a reaction." -- Though I'm convinced this is a sarcastic troll post, to answer this question, I believe he was visiting or living with his father, who lived in the neighborhood. So, he had every right to be there."

Yes, if you didn't recognize Dane County Taxpayer as a moby... you need to up your game. Be a savvy commenter. There are mobys afoot.

Icepick said...

4.Police play the 911 tape for Trayvon Martin’s father, who tells police that the voice screaming is not the voice of his son.

Martin's father says the police are lying on that point. Mr. Martin initially heard the original audio recording. He said he couldn't say if that was his son's voice or not. He did not say it wasn't the voice of his son. Later, the police played a cleaned-up version of the audio to Mr. Martin. At that point he positively said that it WAS his son's voice called for help.

This is that kind of thing I mean when I say the police have been failing to do their jobs properly.

Mr. Martin is not the only person to claim that the police are mis-representing his statements.

KJE said...

If you are going to go off, why not go off half-cocked?

Ann Althouse said...

Please distinguish between the question whether Zimmerman committed a crime and the issue I am raising: People snapped up this case as representing something that it might not actually represent. They jumped to assume that Zimmerman was white (based on the name?) and that Zimmerman was racially prejudiced. Those assumptions are themselves prejudice. Zimmerman should have been more attentive to the real facts, but those who would use this case to mean things they want to say must also attend to the real facts of the case.

Dane County Taxpayer said...

Bullshit Palladian. It is not racist to point out that blacks commit the majority of crime. If we can not tell the truth in this country anymore then we can no longer solve its problems.

Peter said...

The blogosphere has already come to a conclusion: given the physical superiority of black males, with their athleticism, rippling fast-twitch muscles, and last but not least their highly developed street fighting skills, Zimmerman was physically no match for Martin and therefore had to shoot to save himself from a savage beating.

What this tends to overlook is the fact that by most accounts Martin, besides being only 16 years old, was about 6'3" yet weighed no more than 150 pounds. Far from being packed with rippling fast-twitch muscles, he was basically a beanpole with hardly any muscle at all. In hand-to-hand combat he presented no threat to Zimmerman, who outweighed him by 100 pounds. Zimmerman could have wrestled him to the ground and waited for the police to arrive, or whacked him around a bit and warned him never to return. What Zimmerman definitely did NOT need to do was resort to using a firearm to defend himself.

By the way, there is something undeniably homoerotic in the way blogospherians rhapsodize about the magnificent bodies of black men.

The Drill SGT said...

Chris Gerrib said...
Once Zimmerman stopped Martin, Zimmerman became the aggressor. Martin had every right to ignore Zimmerman, and once a confrontation started, Martin had no duty to retreat and every right to use whatever means necessary to defend his life.


Chris, there are some other facts that make the story more ambigous. Zimmerman ends up with a bloody nose and grass stains on his shirt after wrestling with Martin on the ground.

Now, I'm not a cop, but if I had a gun and the intent to commit a hate crime, I'm not going to let some guy get close enough to tackle me and turn it into potentially a wrestling match for my gun.

So Zimmerman in my mind didnt start out wanting to shoot his pistol.

yeah, Zimmerman should not have followed him and played cop, but it's not a simple case

Fen said...

So, no, black kids don't just wear hoodies when it's raining---they wear hoodies if they're breathing.

Oh I know that. I also know that black kids put their hoodies up committing a crime.

And I don't take the victim's account of what he was doing at face value.

I've had blacks threaten to shoot me just for looking in their direction. And all I was trying to do was guess which way they were stepping so I could get by them.

~N. said...

Did anyone else hear that piece of tape Anderson Cooper played last night -- the one that may have recorded Zimmerman muttering a racial slur under his breath while he was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher?

The cleaned up version is pretty damning, but I guess it would have to be vetted by federal authorities (who could then step in because it would be a racially motivated crime).

Thorley Winston said...

I don't have adobe flash player. Can someone here review the vid and confirm it says what Tank says it does?

I just watched the video clip and the reporter says that police spoke with the Orlando Sentinel and told them that prosecutors not the police made the determination that there was not enough for a manslaughter conviction, that there were differing witness accounts on who was calling for help, that Zimmerman claims he was attacked by Martin who hit him while he was on the ground, and that Martin’s father said it was not his son’s voice on the 911 call.

Dane County Taxpayer said...

Ann you are just mad at me for calling you out for supporting Romney and Obama.

rcommal said...

The bottom line remains the same - once Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and approached Martin, Zimmerman was the aggressor. Under the same rules of self-defense as applies to Zimmerman, Martin had every right to do whatever he reasonably felt necessary to defend his life.

Do keep in mind that Zimmerman should not have approached Martin. He fulfilled his "job" by calling the police, and he was told that police were on the way and that they did not need him to follow the teen. The dispatcher even then went on to ask if he wanted to meet with police and discussed where Zimmerman would be so that police could find him. A place was even proposed for them to meet (though Zimmerman just a bit later in the conversation with the dispatcher asked that the police call him to determine where he would be).

He should not have gone after Martin, let alone confronted him, after this call--especially since he was told that police didn't need him to do that.

Chris Gerrib said...

Ann Althouse - why did Zimmerman find a black guy walking suspicious enough to call the cops and stalk him? He may not be racist, but it's a reasonable question to ask.

Drill Sgt - same question as to Ann Althouse. But regarding the fight - once Martin had a reasonable fear for his life, he had every right to fight Zimmerman. For all we know, Martin charged Zimmerman when he saw the gun come out.

This really is a simple case - once Zimmerman decided to play cop without a badge, he became the aggressor. Anything bad that happens after that is Zimmerman's fault.

Icepick said...

They jumped to assume that Zimmerman was white (based on the name?) and that Zimmerman was racially prejudiced.

According to early press reports, the Sanford PD was reporting that Zimmereman was white. So the press gets a pass on that up to the point that George Zimmerman's father releases a statement to the Orlando Sentinel.

However, they do not get that pass afterwards.

On Monday, ABC News posted a story that had three factual errors on basic points in the first three paragraphs. The errors are still there:

A self-appointed neighborhood watchman who pursued and then shot dead an unarmed 17-year-old boy outside his stepmother's home last month in Sanford, Fla., reportedly wanted to be a police officer and had called 9-1-1 50 times in the last year.
Trayvon Martin, a black high-school junior, was making his way home with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea on Feb. 26 when George Zimmerman spotted him, called a non-emergency dispatch number to report Martin looked intoxicated, followed him, and then minutes later after an altercation, shot him.

Zimmerman, 28, who is white, claimed self defense. He was never arrested and has been charged with no crime, sparking national outrage.


Errors bolded.

First, it was not his stepmother's home, it was his father's fiancee's home. The story actually contradicts this point itself if you read more of it.

Second, Zimmerman is not white. By the point ABC News posted this story this point had been known for many days.

Third, Zimmerman HAS been arrested in the past. What the author apparently meant was 'Zimmerman was not arrested for this incident.' But "never arrested" means "never arrested".

So, basic facts wrong.

I tweeted the reported about these errors and last I checked he hadn't bothered to respond. He did respond to someone else pointing out a separate error: He had apparently called Zimmerman the alleged shooter instead of the admitted shooter.

The national press hasn't been doing such a great job on this story either.

acm said...

The media picked it up because it plays to both sets of fears---some of us are rightly afraid of the word "racist". Get called a racist and the conversation is over. Get painted convincingly as a racist and your career may well be shot. A lot of us are afraid of losing our rights to own a gun that may be the best or only way to protect ourselves and our families.

And some of us are also afraid of our sons being killed. Teenage boys of whatever race are in danger from the George Zimmermans of the world, who also come in all races. A teenager was killed in a road rage incident a few years ago, right when my stepson was learning to drive, and I was sick about it. You never know if the guy you cut off in traffic, or answered sarcastically, or whose shoes you stepped on, is the sort of asshole you drives around with a gun, looking for trouble. Teenage boys are more likely than most other demographics to do those sorts of things---smart off, drive badly and then flip off the person who honks at you, etc.

Matthew said...

"Ann Althouse - why did Zimmerman find a black guy walking suspicious enough to call the cops and stalk him? He may not be racist, but it's a reasonable question to ask."

-- Another kid in the neighborhood who had interacted with Zimmerman and been questioned about a different crime said he did not think there was anything racial in Zimmerman's actions then, so I think that accusations of racism are a bit unfair. At least one other person who dealt with Zimmerman in a similar situation didn't feel it was about race.

nichole said...

EDH: "Is Althouse talking about the "I have friends who are [fill in the blank]" defense?"

My question too. Exactly what peripheral facts are relevant?

He shot an unarmed kid in cold blood. He should be investigated.

Not hopeful the truth will come out since the local police botched the case so badly.

Freder Frederson said...

Why was this hoodie black boy walking around this neighborhood?

I must have missed it when they made "walking around the neighborhood in which you live in a hoodie" a capital offense.

Icepick said...

Thorley, the father is saying it WAS his son's voice calling for help. The police are lying about that point.

rcommal said...

Here is 4:07-minute long audio tape of the initial 911 call between Zimmerman and the dispatcher, which I referenced in my just-previous comment.

Note: I believe I have linked the correct video; make sure you're listening to the 4:07 one.

Freder Frederson said...

And it was not only about "race;" they also want to make this an argument against "concealed carry" laws, though "concealed carry" had nothing to do with this.

Why does concealed carry have nothing to do with it? My understanding is this guy had a concealed carry permit. If he wasn't legally able to carry a gun it would have made it very difficult to (legally) shoot Martin.

acm said...

Somebody help me out, here, is Fen a moby, too?

Fen, seriously, black kids (and all other kids) also put on shoes before they go commit a crime. Why don't we go ask all the shoe-wearing kids what they're doing? People put up their hoodies all.the.time. I put up my hoodie when I'm jogging because it muffles the traffic and wind and I can hear my music better. Trayvon was walking in light rain, so there's reason one. He was also talking to a girl on the phone---I imagine that putting your hoodie up also makes your phone conversation easier to hear.

Icepick said...

Just mentioning the size of the two involved (Zimmerman and trayvon Martin) doesn't tell us that much about how a physical confrontation would have gone. Martin played football. Did he also wrestle? Did he have any other martial arts training? What kind of background did Zimmerman have?

If Anderson Silva fights Bob Sapp, Sapp will have a huge advantage in weight and muscle on Silva. I'd be shocked if Sapp could win 1 out of 100 fights. And they're both professional fighters. (Although Silva is the only one with skills.)

So the size difference BY ITSELF doesn't say much.

Scott M said...

Now what about Fen?

Not I troll, I think. He's as genuine as that Garage Mahatma guy.

edutcher said...

One point not being addressed - and it's the main subject of the post - is that this seems to be a way of ginning up black Americans for the election.

Yeah, Fat Albert's on his way to do his Crown Heights thing - expected, but, as Hagar notes, CBS, and NBC even more so, were in full lynch mob mode last night .

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Freder Frederson said...

Given that young blacks commit the overwhelming percentage of crime in this country-Fen says it is 90%

Of course Fen got that statistic from an unimpeachable source--the monkeys flying out of his ass. I would like him to provide a non-Stormfront link for his assertion.

Icepick said...

Freder wrote: I must have missed it when they made "walking around the neighborhood in which you live in a hoodie" a capital offense.

First off, Martin didn't live in that neighborhood, he was visiting.

Second, just because he lives there doesn't mean he can't be suspicious, or that he is incapable of committing a crime there. My mother's house was invaded four years back almost four years ago. Three men were identified by a witness: one lived two or three streets over, the other two lived two houses down the street. Two fucking houses away! This being Central Florida, the lousy fucking cops couldn't actually solve the case, but that's another story.

Matthew said...

"One point not being addressed - and it's the main subject of the post - is that this seems to be a way of ginning up black Americans for the election."

-- Doubtful. Occam's Razor: It is sensational and gets eyeballs. So, it is reported.

rcommal said...

Fen is not a troll. I must say I disagree quite strongly with the direction he's trying to lead the focus in this particular instance. However, he is a long-term commenter here who is also NOT a troll.

Fen said...

Freder: I must have missed it when they made "walking around the neighborhood in which you live in a hoodie" a capital offense.

Reductio ad absurdum.

I didn't say that the kid deserved to be stalked because he was wearing a hoodie. I said that its likely the reason Zimmerman profiled him.

If the majority of crime in your neighborhood is committed by black kids wearing their hoodies up, then you would be stupid to ignore that when you see it.

Hagar said...

The media is spinning this for their opposition to the "stand your ground" law and, of course, gun control in general, so beware anything they come up with.

As for the "stand your ground" defense, I do not think it is available to Zimmermann since he was acting as a neighborhood vigilante and so actively seeking the confrontation, but it might well have been for Trayvon Martin, but for him, of course, it is now a hypothetical. However, had it gone the other way, I think he could have used it. Something to think about before you condemn the law.

rcommal said...

(Quick OT: Icepick! Since when did you start tweeting? Much less to reporters? I must say, I am getting a kick out of this one. ; )

Regards,

L

/OT)

Fen said...

Freder Frederson said...
Given that young blacks commit the overwhelming percentage of crime in this country-Fen says it is 90%

Freder: Of course Fen got that statistic from an unimpeachable source

Freder falls for the Moby.

Hint: I never said that blacks commit 90% of the crime in this country.

You're responding to a troll's distortion of what I said.

Kneejerk idiot.

bagoh20 said...

"Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to
meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon."


Then when you get the rest of the facts linked above about the evidence of Zimmerman being attacked, it changes everything dramatically, and makes most of the comments above just wrong.

I started out very angry at what Zimmerman did, but the facts coming out have taught me an old lesson that I have not quite got 100% yet, but I think I'm getting there. Get the facts first, and if you're going to assume something, assume that people like Sharpton are wrong and will never admit it.

Peter said...

If Anderson Silva fights Bob Sapp, Sapp will have a huge advantage in weight and muscle on Silva. I'd be shocked if Sapp could win 1 out of 100 fights. And they're both professional fighters.

Well that's the thing, Silva is a highly trained professional fighter with far greater skills than Sapp. Maybe if Trayvon Martin were a trained MMA practitioner he could have gotten the better of the far larger George Zimmerman in hand-to-hand combat. There's absolutely no evidence of that being the case.

My bigger point is that if Martin had been white no one would be thinking that he was administering such a severe beating to Zimmerman that the latter would have had to shoot. It's only because we have this fetish about black physical and fighting prowess that people think this way.

holdfast said...

Looking at today's NYTimes, one should realize that this story has almost nothing to do with Treyvann himself, and everything to do with a left-wing attack on Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which has been brutally misrepresented in almost every media story I've seen. Talk about media bias - the MSM, with an assist from Florida prosecutors, have turned a single shooting into a giant false-flag operation.

bagoh20 said...

I have to assume the evidence at the scene was pretty strong, making Zimmerman the victim, if the cops are gonna not arrest the guy with the gun at a fatal shooting. It must have been pretty clear. They should have gotten that out immediately to prevent the lies which have now gotten all the way around the globe as predicted.

Fen said...

nicole: He shot an unarmed kid in cold blood.

Not in cold blood. There was a fight.

You're makng Ann's point.

Hagar said...

@ nichole,
"In cold blood" does not hack it for a tussle in the dark. It is not what "in cold blood" means.

@Freder F.
"Concealed carry" and openly carry are different issues. In N.M. I can openly carry all I want (except on school grounds, in bars, etc.), but the weapon had better be visible.

Icepick said...

Icepick! Since when did you start tweeting? Much less to reporters? I must say, I am getting a kick out of this one. ;

I'm annoyed by it, myself.

I started Monday, expressly to tell the reporter what he had gotten wrong. Haven't been back since Monday. (It was under my other nom de plume, Outis.)

I've been tempted to blog up a storm on this topic, as the reporters have really been botching it.

Examples of unanswered questions: One witness claimed the confrontation happened near her back porch. Why her back porch? Was Martin cutting through back yards? That would be suspicious. Did the witness misspeak? Were they townhomes with an access road behind them, in which case it's not that suspicious that Martin (or anyone else) would be back there.

That's one example of many. The police have been doing a stellar job of fucking up the investigation, too. There's a lot wrong about this case. The most singular thing wrong is that Trayvon Martin is dead. But there are a lot of other wrongs here too.

But I just can't find the time to do the research (comments are easy), and I'm not sure I want to wade into this case as deeply as required.

I admit that my interesta are that (a) it's local and (b) as a white man living in a predominantly black neighborhood down here, the last thing I want is a bunch of racial strife heading into what looks to be a longer summer than usual. (It hit 89 degrees down here in February.)

But now I am going to take my beautiful daughter to the park so she can go "WHEEEEE!"

Fen said...

Peter: It's only because we have this fetish about black physical and fighting prowess that people think this way.

Uhm, I've been looking over this thread and there are only 3 such posts, all from you.

Where are you getting this bullshit from (when you say "the blogosphere" says)? Because the only one I see pushing this meme is you.

BTW, comfy chair talk about you should't feel threatened because you're bigger than the other guy is really naive.

I could easily snap Chuck Liddell's neck *if* I got the jump on him.

Freder Frederson said...

I never said that blacks commit 90% of the crime in this country.

Umm, yes you did at 9:06.

He may have profiled the black kid because they are responsible for 90% of the violent crime.

Seriously, you are getting as bad as Simon. You should have at least deleted the post before you denied writing it.

Now I am sure you will come back and say that "I never said blacks were responsible for 90% of violent crimes in the country" But you didn't define where you were talking about, so what are we supposed to think you meant?

If I said, "Albanians are responsible for 90% of violent crimes" it wouldn't be much of a defense if when I was called on it I said "I never said "in this country, I meant in Albania, duh!"

rcommal said...

I want to make clear that I am not at all happy that case is being used as a weapon against the idea of concealed carry or even Stand Your Ground (which, as I think someone here already alluded to, may or may not apply more to Martin than Zimmerman in this case, but in any event, applies at POTENTIALLy to both EQUALLY). We are, in fact, firearms owners--and, again in fact, will be taking next weekend our state's mandated course for getting concealed permits. We support the latter right as law-abiding citizens, as is obvious.

traditionalguy said...

I like the idea of African Americans peaceful marching to make a demand on police to start to make a small attempt to do the policeman's job that they allowed Zimmerman to roam the streets pretending that he was doing.

People of every racial heritage need to march and march until their is a full investigation of the oops murder and subsequent police cover up.

That is all anyone can do short of getting any remaining sane people out of that sick hell hole called Florida.

Fen said...

Icepick: But I just can't find the time to do the research (comments are easy), and I'm not sure I want to wade into this case as deeply as required.

Regardless, thanks for bringing us the angle on how incompetent this Police department has been in the past. Thats a piece of the puzzle we didn't have.

Icepick said...

Well that's the thing, Silva is a highly trained professional fighter with far greater skills than Sapp. Maybe if Trayvon Martin were a trained MMA practitioner he could have gotten the better of the far larger George Zimmerman in hand-to-hand combat. There's absolutely no evidence of that being the case.

Sapp is also an MMA fighter. But we don't know what training Martin OR Zimmerman had. We do know that according to the police Martin had bloodied Zimmerman's nose and put Zimmerman down on his back. That speaks to Martin having something on the ball, perhaps because of his football background.

But let me give examples of the problems with this case. Did the police take pictures of Zimmerman's face and head? Did they have the injuries examined? Did they confiscate his shirt? The alleged grass stains make it evidence.

~N. said...

Regardless of what you think of the source, what do people think of this:

http://youtu.be/vNI5CA5jijw

Now, whether or not Zimmerman says what people think he may have said, he does say "they always get away", which would indicate that he has an agenda here.

Also, the police admit they may have missed these comments (which is not surprising since it doesn't look like they did much of an investigation).

Freder Frederson said...

if the cops are gonna not arrest the guy with the gun at a fatal shooting. It must have been pretty clear.

Yep, pretty clear. White shooter, black youth. The kid must have been in the wrong. Nothing to see here, move along.

They said the same thing (initailly) about the Danziger Bridge incident.

rcommal said...

Just curious: Did anyone listen to the recording of the conversation with the dispatcher to which I linked? In it, Zimmerman notes that the guy has run off. (And remember, in it the dispatcher also tells Zimmerman the police don't need him to follow the teen.)

So, how did Zimmerman end up with Martin? Unless Martin came back to where Zimmerman was standing or something along those lines, I think it's at least reasonable to *ask* that question.

Don't you?

Fen said...

Freder: Umm, yes you did at 9:06.

Wow. You can't even read.

I said Zimmerman *may* have been profiling the black kid because blacks *may* be responsible for 90% of the crime in his community.

We'll pretend that your lower expectations for blacks has clouded your reasoning. Rather than simply calling you a race-mongering idiot.

Icepick said...

My bigger point is that if Martin had been white no one would be thinking that he was administering such a severe beating to Zimmerman that the latter would have had to shoot. It's only because we have this fetish about black physical and fighting prowess that people think this way.

That has to be the most stupid thing I've read on this comment thread.

First, what evidence that has been reported shows that Martin was winning the unarmed combat portion of the contest.

Second, who isn't going to pick the thin young HS athlete over the fat, out-of-shape 20-something in a fight?

Third, not a lot of people think that Zimmerman was in such a situation that he should have been shooting anyone.

Try again.

DADvocate said...

Mob rule. The left loves mob rule. No real burden of proof, just get a bunch of bigots fired up. Jena, Dharum Ravi, Zimmerman, etc. All hate, all the time.

rcommal said...

Another questions: Are we really saying that Martin had some sort of responsibility/obligation to respect the authority of another civilian, whom he did not know, but that Zimmerman did not have some sort of responsibility, if not obligation, to listen to what the dispatcher--who in at least a sense was representing *actual* authorities--said?

This simply does not add up for me.

Icepick said...

I have to assume the evidence at the scene was pretty strong, making Zimmerman the victim, if the cops are gonna not arrest the guy with the gun at a fatal shooting. It must have been pretty clear. They should have gotten that out immediately to prevent the lies which have now gotten all the way around the globe as predicted.

Bagoh, this particular police department has a history of botching investigations in which balck men are victims of assault.

Fen said...

So, how did Zimmerman end up with Martin? Unless Martin came back to where Zimmerman was standing or something along those lines, I think it's at least reasonable to *ask* that question.

"Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to
meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon."

If that statement turns out to be true, alot of people here who kneejerked are going to be eating crow.

Synova said...

What is necessary for a claim of self-defense is if someone reasonably feels their life is in danger.

And "retreat" has to at least be possible, no matter what led to the situation one is in (ie., stupid human tricks,) before someone can be expected to retreat.

I haven't been following it, but even if Zimmerman was a unendorsed busybody (though it seems the neighborhood supported his "watch" activities) and even if he was following the kid, it matters what actually happened.

The notion that it was something like "cold blood" brings to mind a picture of Zimmerman off at a distance, taking aim.

As for "acting suspicious" does anyone know that he wasn't? Oh, he was just walking down the street in a hoodie? No one figures that it's possible to tell by more subtle clues if someone is acting like they're up to something? I hate pulling the "mommy card" but seriously?

As for the "no authority" bit... do we really *really* want to absolve people in the community from participating in something like a Neighborhood Watch? Not only absolve them of responsibility but prohibit it outright?

Why *shouldn't* people in a neighborhood, *any* people in a neighborhood, be expected to ask children or teenagers or even just creepy guys in raincoats, what they are up to?

We get the police state we deserve.

Where police may or may not show up, can't investigate someone without "evidence" even though everyone in the neighborhood knows who did it, and then arrive in the middle of the night and kick down your door.

Tank said...

Freder Frederson said...
if the cops are gonna not arrest the guy with the gun at a fatal shooting. It must have been pretty clear.

Yep, pretty clear. White shooter, black youth. The kid must have been in the wrong. Nothing to see here, move along.

They said the same thing (initailly) about the Danziger Bridge incident.


No, it's clear he's hispanic. Look at his picture. This is a hispanic / black thing. But what kind of thing? Don't know. Lotta people making assuptions, some of which, like "white" are obviously wrong already.

Take a fact or two, plug it into whatever agenda you like. Lack of hilarity ensues.

Similar to the shooting in France where they immediately labeled the guy as a right wing conservative nut ... oops ... a muslim. They were just "hoping" it was some white right wing nut because that fit their agenda.

Fen said...

Freder: Yep, pretty clear. White shooter, black youth. The kid must have been in the wrong. Nothing to see here, move along.

Geez Freder, do you even read before popping off with your racemongering?

Hint: The shooter is not white.

Icepick said...

People of every racial heritage need to march and march until their is a full investigation of the oops murder and subsequent police cover up.

That's nuts. You don't fuck with The Man. And the cops are The Man. I'm leaving them the hell alone.



That is all anyone can do short of getting any remaining sane people out of that sick hell hole called Florida.

You know, it would help if all the numbnuts that weren't FROM Florida would go back to where the Hell they came from. Not many Floridians here.

DADvocate said...

Yep, pretty clear. White shooter, black youth. The kid must have been in the wrong. Nothing to see here, move along.

Except that shooter isn't white and has black family members in his family. Did you read the article Ann linked to or just decide to go ahead and show your ignorance first?

rcocean said...

This case is quite simple. Zimmermann's story is that he was on the ground being pummeled by Martin, screamed for help, got no response, so he shot him in self-defense.

I haven't seen any evidence that contradicts his story. Zimermann had the right to ask Martin a question, Martin had no right to physically attack him. If that's what really happened.

This reminds of Richard Jewell.

~N. said...

Are we really saying that Martin had some sort of responsibility/obligation to respect the authority of another civilian, whom he did not know, but that Zimmerman did not have some sort of responsibility, if not obligation, to listen to what the dispatcher--who in at least a sense was representing *actual* authorities--said?

Martin had no responsibility to respond to Zimmerman. Zimmerman had no authority to question him. Zimmerman had every responsibility to heed the advice of the police dispatcher.

While the community in question never officially registered in a Neighborhood Watch program, they had formed one, and the Neighborhood Watch manual advises members not to act as if they are police, not to carry weapons, and not to pursue persons they feel are suspicious.

Zimmerman bears the greater burden of proving he was not the aggressor, IMO.

Icepick said...

~N. Who was Zimmerman talking about when he said they always get away? Hadn't there been a string of burglaries in the area recently, for which no one had been caught?

bagoh20 said...

"Third, not a lot of people think that Zimmerman was in such a situation that he should have been shooting anyone."

Apparently, there is quite a bit of evidence that he was attacked and was at one point on his back and punched in the face. That's a situation.

Fen said...

Icepick: I started Monday, expressly to tell the reporter what he had gotten wrong. Haven't been back since Monday. (It was under my other nom de plume, Outis.)

Sidebar - I'd be interested in hearing about their followup. Do they make corrections? If so, when and on what page.

rcommal said...

If that statement turns out to be true, alot of people here who kneejerked are going to be eating crow.

Let's find that out. I'm open to all of the facts.

As for the latter clause in the referenced sentence above, there are people who have knee-jerked in both directions. And there are some who have not.

I will not be eating crow either way, I can assure you.

Say, did you listen to the audiotape I linked? It doesn't prove anything, but it does give rise to legitimate questions as well.

Matthew said...

"But let me give examples of the problems with this case. Did the police take pictures of Zimmerman's face and head? Did they have the injuries examined? Did they confiscate his shirt? The alleged grass stains make it evidence."

-- When I was robbed in D.C. and fought off my attacker, the police didn't take pictures; the officers just observed where I had been hit and wrote down that they observed the injuries. That may be all police need to do? I don't know, not being a cop or a lawyer, but that was my experience. I also didn't have as severe injuries as Zimmerman's sound (which honestly, also, don't sound too terrible, though still unpleasant.)

rcommal said...

This case is quite simple. Zimmermann's story is that he was on the ground being pummeled by Martin, screamed for help, got no response, so he shot him in self-defense.

Martin's story is unavailable.

Fen said...

Third, not a lot of people think that Zimmerman was in such a situation that he should have been shooting anyone.

Yes, the same weekend warriors who think Favre should have thrown to the flat.

"What? He's reaching for a knife? Just do a reverse Goggenstien Pirouette to the right into a chokehold. Worked for Batman".

ricpic said...

What I learned from this incident so far is that neither hispanics nor blacks discriminate. It's just not in them. But all bien pensants knew that already.

Icepick said...

Apparently, there is quite a bit of evidence that he was attacked and was at one point on his back and punched in the face. That's a situation.

So if I get punched in the face I have the right to shoot someone? What if I started the confrontation? There is REPORTEDLY evidence that Zimmerman was getting mauled in a street fight, not conclusive proof. Some of that evidence is in dispute. (For that matter, Zimmerman could punch himself in the face and whck himslef on the back of the head with his gun, then fall on the grass and roll around to produce the evidence claimed. So even cuts, bruises, blood and grass stains aren't conclusive BY THEMSELVES.)

What isn't in dispute is that Zimmerman went looking for a confrontation, that Zimmerman was armed, that the other person wasn't, and that the other person is now dead because Zimmerman killed him. Everything else remains to be determined.

And as I have said repeatedly, Martin's father states that it was his son calling for help on the 911 call.

In other words, there needs to be an investigation to figure out what's going on. Too bad no one is doing such an investigation....

~N. said...

@Synova

Sure, residents have a right to keep an eye on their neighborhoods. They also have the right to ask people questions.

They do not have the right to an answer from those people, however, and they cannot jump to the conclusion that the person is a threat because they don't answer.

Also, when you have untrained individuals subjectively deciding what is and isn't "suspicious" body language, and then acting aggressively as a result, you have the recipe for disaster.

The same people who support all this wannabe-cop stuff are usually the first to cry foul when they think their rights are infringed upon.

There are people posting here who would look decidedly out of place in my building. If I flag one of you down, ask you some intrusive questions, and you decide not to answer, can I whip out a gun and shoot you? Just because _I_ think you don't belong, or are acting suspiciously?

It's always different when you're considered the outsider, the intruder, the "suspicious" person.

I'd get called a snob and an elitist if I told you you'd be out of place in my building if you weren't wearing the right clothes or driving the right car, yet that's no worse than saying Trayvon Martin didn't belong because he was black and wearing a hoodie.

I mean, the only people who dress down in my building are the maids and the porters. If you show up on my floor, and I know you're not my maid or my neighbor's maid, and you have jeans and a t-shirt on, can I consider you a threat?

Fen said...

rc: Let's find that out. I'm open to all of the facts.

Cool. That's all I'm after. Instead, I've been tarred as a Moby or racist for trying to view this from Zimmerman's perspective.

Say, did you listen to the audiotape I linked?

No, but I will.

bagoh20 said...

It seems that most people are just ignoring the the overwhelmingly important part of the evidence: what happened after they ended up together. It seems that up until that there was no crime, then something happened. The evidence released seems to show Martin then attacked Zimmerman who was armed and the predictable outcome then ensued. This is where open carry might have saved a life. If Martin saw the gun and then attacked, then Darwin did it again.

~N. said...

Icepick, even so, wouldn't that indicate Zimmerman's mindset -- that _this time_, he wasn't about to let anyone get away again?

Icepick said...

That may be all police need to do? I don't know, not being a cop or a lawyer, but that was my experience.

Did an unarmed individual get shot to death in that encounter? There should be a higher standard for a homicide investigation. That's all I'm sayin'.

And now, finally, off to the park.

rcomma, we'll talk soon. Other thinigs may or may not being going well for me. Who can tell?

Matthew said...

"Did an unarmed individual get shot to death in that encounter? There should be a higher standard for a homicide investigation. That's all I'm sayin'."

-- Fair point, that.

bagoh20 said...

"If I flag one of you down, ask you some intrusive questions, and you decide not to answer, can I whip out a gun and shoot you? "

Do you seriously think that's what happened here? How often do you think that ever happens anywhere?

Lets try to keep within the bounds of reason without flying off into hyperbole. That's my job.

Fen said...

If I flag one of you down, ask you some intrusive questions, and you decide not to answer, can I whip out a gun and shoot you?

Again with the Reductio ad absurdum.

Zimmerman did not shoot Martin because he refused to answer a question.

If your case is so strong, why do you need to resort to such nonsense? I think you've suspended rational thought because the victim is black. You think they are inferior and, as such, deserve to be protected by a lower standard of proof than you would apply to another race.

Pastafarian said...

~N: "@Synova...If you show up on my floor...can I consider you a threat?"

You'd damned well better consider Synova a threat. She knows 6 different ways to kill a man, with just one thumb.

The Unknown Pundit said...

Chris Gerrib said—

This really is a simple case - once Zimmerman decided to play cop without a badge, he became the aggressor. Anything bad that happens after that is Zimmerman's fault.

I’m with Chris Gerrib on this. When examining the totality of the events of that evening, Mr. Zimmerman is clearly the aggressor here. Sadly, Mr. Zimmerman evidently failed to understand how his actions that evening might look threatening to a high school kid, or anyone else, quite frankly. Zimmerman's actions led to an altercation with Martin and its aftermath, which Mr. Zimmerman bears the full responsibility.

~N. said...

@bagoh

Yeah, I do think that's what happened here. All the evidence suggests that's the case -- that, as someone else pointed out, until Zimmerman and Martin ended up face to face, there wasn't an issue -- no crime, no problems, nothing.

Zimmerman, acting under some psuedo "neighborhood watch" program, tagged Martin as suspicious, as someone who didn't belong, and who confronted him based on that assumption.

If I confronted you and you got up in my face for being an elitist bitch, and I felt threatened, pulled out a gun, and shot you, I'd be as justified as Zimmerman was in this case.

The only reason you think the two situations are different is because one involves a black kid and a seedy-looking, creepy-looking busybody.

When we talk about upper class white people engaging in the same behavior, it's a whole 'nother story...

Matthew said...

"Mr. Zimmerman is clearly the aggressor here."

Not how self-defense works. Let's say he -was- the aggressor. He can stop being the aggressor at any point, such as if he were pinned to the ground being pummeled like some people think. Then, he is no longer the aggressor (the other person has become that).

It's why a self-defense plea is very delicate; you can go from justified use of force to illegal use of force very, very quickly.

Matthew said...

"If I confronted you and you got up in my face for being an elitist bitch, and I felt threatened, pulled out a gun, and shot you, I'd be as justified as Zimmerman was in this case."

-- Most people defending Zimmerman/hypothetical Zimmermen believe that he did not shoot him because Martin "got up in his face," but that he did it because Martin began beating his face. Very different.

Freder Frederson said...

Wow. You can't even read.

I said Zimmerman *may* have been profiling the black kid because blacks *may* be responsible for 90% of the crime in his community.


I can read and your quote in my post was a cut and paste, so I didn't alter it.

You are the one who seems to have problems reading what you wrote.

And then you go on to say that one should research the crime stats before popping off. You should have taken your own advice.

~N. said...

@Pastafarian

She'd have to get by my army of concierges and security guards first. And my high-tech electronic secure elevator (no one can get out on any floor other than their own). And locks. And there are those pesky security cameras. Good luck with that!

Pastafarian said...

This is a complicated case; I don't think we can come to any conclusions here.

Zimmerman had the right to walk through his neighborhood armed, and he had the right to approach Martin and ask him a question.

Martin had the right to ignore Zimmerman and walk away, or respond verbally in any way he wanted.

What happened beyond that is the question. I would hope that the local authorities would investigate this and see if they can determine who initiated something physical.

The thing with carrying concealed, or open, is: You can't allow a confrontation to devolve into a wrestling match, because then someone will be shot. If Martin approached him aggressively, Zimmerman should have drawn his handgun and put a little red laser dot on Martin's chest When Martin was still 15 feet away. That would have halted that advance.

But maybe Martin jumped him. Or maybe Zimmerman is a trigger-happy homicidal asshole. I don't see a way to tell one way or the other.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder before you criticize someone for not doing their research, how about you take a look at Zimmerman and tell everyone again that a white guy shot a black kid.

Freder Frederson said...

As for whether Zimmerman is hispanic or white, the pertinent question is not his actual heritage (and with a name like George Zimmerman, I assume that his is either only part Hispanic or Hispanic of German extraction--Hispanic, unlike other ethnic classifications, refers to where you are from and what language you speak rather than a specific racial heritage). In the picture in the linked article, Zimmerman does not look stereotypically Hispanic. The police, learning his name, could reasonably assume he was white and from the tapes he certainly he is obviously a native English speaker.

Steve Koch said...

"And as I have said repeatedly, Martin's father states that it was his son calling for help on the 911 call."

Not true. Police played the tape of the screams for the father of the dead kid and the father said it was not the voice of his son.

Sounds like the neighborhood watch guy confronted the kid and asked him what he was doing. The kid probably told him to fuck off. Maybe (who knows) the kid started to walk away and the neighborhood watch guy said we're not done here and maybe grabs the kid's shoulder to keep him from walking off. The kid then spins and punches the neighborhood watch guy in the face, dropping him. The kid then mounts the neighborhood watch guy and does some ground and pound. The neighborhood watch guy screams for help (according to witnesses), gets no help, panics because he is getting pounded, and shoots the kid.

The injuries in the back of the neighborhood watch guy's head indicate that he got hit from behind, which would seem to indicate that he was not the aggressor. The grass stains on his back are from when he was on his back, most likely while getting pounded by the kid.

Police said the prosecuting attorney ruled that there was not a good enough case to prosecute.

It would be best for the neighborhood watch guy if he gets a local trial. Does anybody think that Eric Holder and Obama would do anything but what is politically expedient if the feds get involved?

This seems to be a case of what happens when two guys refuse to back down, instead "keepin' it real". Things just kept escalating.

Pastafarian said...

~N: "Good luck with that!"

She's there right now, ~N.

But seriously: Do you think Zimmerman had the legal right to approach and question Martin?

Matthew said...

Wait, so how the police identify him is more important than how he identifies himself? Or, since we only have his father's comments, how his family identifies him?

Way to take away his power to self-identify. So, racial identity is really just "what other people think you are" not "who you believe you are."

Zeb Quinn said...

The facts, as they are emerging according to eyewitnesses, are that Martin was the aggressor, at 6'4" had Zimmerman down on the ground and was pummeling Zimmerman about the head and shoulders, and that Zimmerman then shot him in self-defense. Hence, no charges.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The simple fact is Zimmerman should not have been tracking him. Call the cops and let them deal with it.

I'll defend my life and property with deadly force if need be but I'm not going to shoot someone if I see then stealing my neighbors car.

As for the race component, I wonder how many people haven't seen Zimmerman and just assume he's a blonde blue eyed chap whose ancestors were from Bavaria?

Chris Gerrib said...

Matthew - when do Martin's self-defense rights come into play? Critically, when did Martin become aware of the gun?

Because if some random dude who's been following me stops, gets out of his car and I see he has a gun, you can bet your last dollar I'm going to try and tackle that SOB and beat the pulp out of him. That's basic self-defense (charge a gun, run from a knife).

So, again, Zimmerman, by getting out of the car, created this situation. Since we have only Zimmerman's word as to when the gun came out, the question is do you believe Zimmerman?

Scott M said...

Honest question. Has Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpten, et al, ever organized a protest march on a gated community?

bagoh20 said...

"The only reason you think the two situations are different is because one involves a black kid and a seedy-looking, creepy-looking busybody. "

I have no idea what the kid's looks have to do with it if Zimmerman was walking back to meet the cop and Martin attacked him. At that point, the color of his fist is not real important.

I don't see race as even a factor in this myself. It could go down exactly the same way if both guys were the same race or any races.

I do notice that you are race-obsessed about it for some reason that only you know, or maybe you don't.

Matthew said...

"Matthew - when do Martin's self-defense rights come into play? Critically, when did Martin become aware of the gun?"

-- Ask a lawyer. More weasel like answer: once he becomes the aggressor.

Self-defense: Taking Zimmerman down.

No longer self-defense: Beating him on the ground.

~N. said...

@Pastafarian

I think I answered this for someone else, but the comment may have gotten lost.

Zimmerman has a right to question anyone he wants. He does not, however, have a right to an answer.

I think that's the point where things went south very quickly, but there are no eyewitnesses, and what witnesses and statements there seem to be conflicting and changing and all over the map.

MayBee said...

There have been reports Martin was on the phone to his girlfriend and he said he was being followed.

I know if I were walking in a neighborhood, bringing a bag of skittles and an ice tea to my brother, and a truck started following me around, I would be scared as all get out. If a guy stopped the truck and tried to approach me, I would not be polite. I would possibly be aggressive.

Martin was standing his ground. You can't teach kids they are in constant danger of being kidnapped and at the same time expect them to be submissive to a random lone guy following them in a truck.

Chris Gerrib said...

Matthew - actually, no. Martin, if he was reasonably in fear of his life, had every reason to beat Zimmerman to unconsciousness. Martin could, after all, legally kill Zimmerman in self-defense, if he knew about the gun.

So, when did Martin know about the gun? Why would we trust Zimmerman, an overzealous person at best, to be truthful about when the gun was displayed?

traditionalguy said...

The "we see what we want to see and refuse all further investigations" attitude is the stronghold that has happened historically to black men in incidents of injury or property damage. The black leaders are primed and organized to protest that when it happens.

But it is not only a knee jerk racial issue.

Young teen drivers and all motorcycle drivers are another group that gets this same treatment when there is an accident with an older, half blind, liar in another vehicle who quickly makes up a a false story that ends all investigation.

Justice is not automatic. It will always require an investigation and a hearing that listens to both side and permits cross examination.

That is what the EPA discovered in a unanimous SCOTUS decision yesterday.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That was an awesome reply Freder. No really, not looking 'sterotypically Hispanic' and being a native speaker.

Amazing the contortions you guys put yourselves through when the narrative fails to comply with reality.

Fen said...

Freder: As for whether Zimmerman is hispanic or white, the pertinent question is-

Zimmerman's own father claims he is hispanic. You think he would know...

But please, don't let that interfere with your "white racist" narrative. Its become entertaining.

Matthew said...

"Matthew - actually, no. Martin, if he was reasonably in fear of his life, had every reason to beat Zimmerman to unconsciousness. Martin could, after all, legally kill Zimmerman in self-defense, if he knew about the gun."

-- I may be wrong, but it stops being self-defense once the threat is over. If Zimmerman were on the ground and beaten, hitting him again is no longer self-defense. He could legally kill him, in self-defense. But, if the first punch knocked him out cold, he could not then strangle him -- just in case he got back up.

~N. said...

I'm not race "obsessed". I do believe race was a factor.

I see that a lot of the hypothetical scenarios and defenses for Zimmerman are based on the fact Martin was black. Are they as "race obsessed" as you say I am?

Take race out of the equation. Place this same scenario, with what evidence we have, and what we DON'T have, and see how it affects your take on the situation. Instead of the dead person being Martin, imagine the dead person is someone exactly like you, but who someone else sees as a potential, even likely, criminal.

That's all I'm asking you to do.

Matthew said...

"I see that a lot of the hypothetical scenarios and defenses for Zimmerman are based on the fact Martin was black. Are they as "race obsessed" as you say I am?"

The only serious defense of Zimmerman has been "He was hit from behind and being pummeled on the ground."

That has nothing to do with race.

We don't know yet that that is what happened, but if it did, then race wouldn't matter.

Frankly, Zimmerman should have bugged out when he had the chance. It was stupid not to.

~N. said...

*place this same scenario in an all-white context...

Scott M said...

If Zimmerman were on the ground and beaten, hitting him again is no longer self-defense.

I think you could easily make the argument that if a gun has been pulled, the threat isn't over until the gun-holder is either incapacitated or the gun has been removed from his possession. Being knocked to the ground, unless that impact knocks you senseless, isn't being incapacitated. Repeatedly striking a gun-holder in an attempt to incapacitate them would be considered self-defense.

You're already inside the guy's bubble and you're likely going to die. What do you do?

Fen said...

Chris: if he was reasonably in fear of his life, had every reason to beat Zimmerman to unconsciousness. Martin could, after all, legally kill Zimmerman in self-defense, if he knew about the gun.

What law school did you attend?

1) getting out of your car and approaching someone with a question makes you the aggressor?

2) but you are allowed to beat someone to death if you are in fear of your life?

3) and kill them in self-defense if you *think* they may be carrying a firearm?

bagoh20 said...

"Martin, if he was reasonably in fear of his life, had every reason to beat Zimmerman to unconsciousness. Martin could, after all, legally kill Zimmerman in self-defense, if he knew about the gun."

And Zimmerman also at that point has the right to kill Martin. The question is really who started the physical attack, and was it warranted for any reason. The evidence could make either man the victim.

rcocean said...

Established fact: Zimmerman** screams for help 3 or 4 times, then you hear one gun shot. Its on one of the 911 tapes.

It isn't about "eyewitnesses".

** = They played the tape for Martin's father who said the man screaming for help wasn't his son.

Matthew said...

True Scott; that's what I meant by beaten (not he was being beaten, but beaten as in he had lost, it was over. No more fight.)

If he still had the gun, then yeah -- it is still self-defense to keep fighting him.

Matthew said...

"They played the tape for Martin's father who said the man screaming for help wasn't his son."

-- Read upthread; the tape was later cleaned up and replayed for Martin's father, who could positively ID the voice after the clean up.

Hoosier Daddy said...

@Steve Koch

Let's assume for argument sake it went down as you described. My position is that Zimmerman should still be charged. If I'm walking down the street minding my own business and some guy stops me and I walk away and he grabs me, I would kick his ass too. In fact that's where the stand your ground law comes into effect because i If Martin ran away, whose to say Zimnerman wouldn't have shot him?

Hell Martin probably thought he was being stalked for a mugging.

Matthew said...

Really, the only way Zimmerman should not be charged with something is if he did lose Martin, go back to his vehicle and get attacked from behind.

That's really the only defensible position for him. Any other time, he was acting like an idiot. If not a crime, he should at least be acknowledged for being an idiot when it comes to dealing with people.

Geoff Matthews said...

The city had incorrectly stated that there were 50 calls over one year. They corrected it to 50 calls over 10 years.
Which makes a world of difference

MayBee said...

Are my comments being deleted?

Chris Gerrib said...

Fen:

1) Did Zimmerman "ask a question" or did he attempt to detain Martin? Don't know - we only have Zimmerman's word.

2) If you are in a life-or-death struggle, well, that means life or death.

3) We don't know when Zimmerman got his gun out. There's no set of circumstances *in this case* that producing a weapon would not escalate the case to a life-or-death struggle.

Scott M said...

Aside from all this conjecture, one thing we can probably all agree on is that if this goes to trial and Zimmerman is acquitted, the black community will handle the news with poise and aplomb, as we've seen over and over again.

There aren't any Korean-owned businesses nearby are there?

Fen said...

So basially Chris, your judgement against Zimmerman is based on "we don't know".

rcocean said...

I've listened to the tape. The voice yelling for help doesn't sound that of black teenager. In any case, it'll easy using audio techniques to determine if it's Zimmerman's.

Chris Gerrib said...

Fen - there's a lot we don't know about this case.

What we do know is that Zimmerman was overzealous at best and stalking Martin for at best no good reason. We also know that Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and approached Martin with the clear intent of at least holding him.

We also know Zimmerman was armed. What we also now know is that Martin was screaming for help, and that Martin thought Zimmerman was stalking him.

These facts make anything Zimmerman say suspect, and put a large burden of proof on him to justify shooting somebody.

If you actually look at self-defense law (full disclosure - I am an NRA member and gun owner) this case is a textbook example of why you don't go chasing after people with a gun.

Simply put - even if Zimmerman is completely truthful, Martin had equal rights of self-defense and this is a bad shooting.

Tank said...

Chris

Almost everything you say we know, we don't really know. Yet.

Fen said...

Chris: What we do know is that Zimmerman was overzealous at best and stalking Martin for at best no good reason. We also know that Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and approached Martin with the clear intent of at least holding him.

No, we don't know any of this. Its all assumption of motive on your part.

You might as well say: "We know Martin was cutting through backyards looking for an easy mark to steal from".

MayBee said...


No, we don't know any of this. Its all assumption of motive on your part.


We do know this.
We know he was overzealous because the 911 dispatcher told him he did not need to follow Martin.

rcommal said...

I am listening to a whole series of the released 911 calls. So far, I'm on #5 not counting the initial one (a total of six, so far).

~N. said...

I think his comment, "they always get away", also speaks to overzealousness on Zimmerman's part.

Should the "f@cking coons" epithet be proven, case closed. Actually, that comment may put the incident in federal jurisdiction because of racially based animus.

Synova said...

"There are people posting here who would look decidedly out of place in my building. If I flag one of you down, ask you some intrusive questions, and you decide not to answer, can I whip out a gun and shoot you? Just because _I_ think you don't belong, or are acting suspiciously?"

Has anyone at all said that someone has the right to whip out a gun and shoot *anyone* merely for being suspicious? I don't think so. So why the hyperbole?

We're conditioned to look the other way, not our business, walk by people who obviously need help, who are being attacked or even raped.

And I'm supposed to worry that what I said might be interpreted as permission to be violently and deathly aggressive?

A couple of people here have been arguing that the simple fact that Zimmerman followed the teen and asked him questions means he was to blame, same as if he simply wanted to shoot someone. (Someone did say "cold-blood".) And suggesting a standard that private citizens are wrong to ever take on what are deemed "police" duties.

I think this is a horrible, damaging, social pathology.

You *should* notice who is in your building. You *should* speak to someone who seems to be out-of-place. And they should not think that a few "intrusive" questions are inappropriate. Where' you headed? Who are you looking for? Where are you staying? Where is my neighbor? Why are you packing his house? Where'd you get that black eye?

Synova said...

"If you actually look at self-defense law (full disclosure - I am an NRA member and gun owner) this case is a textbook example of why you don't go chasing after people with a gun."

This amounts to "don't carry, ever, or you're guilty."

It really does.

rcocean said...

How crime ridden is this "gated community"? How many police calls over the last year?

Maybe Zimmerman had a right to be "parnoid". BTW, Martin may have weighed 140, but he was 6'3".

MayBee said...

You *should* notice who is in your building. You *should* speak to someone who seems to be out-of-place. And they should not think that a few "intrusive" questions are inappropriate. Where' you headed? Who are you looking for? Where are you staying? Where is my neighbor? Why are you packing his house? Where'd you get that black eye?

That's a fair point, but you have to be aware of what your own actions look like to the person you are approaching.

If theyare minding their own business and their mindset is not "I'm doing something that looks suspicious" then you have to be aware that your skulking about, or following them around, looks dangerous to them.

If I'm walking down the street at night alone, and I see a guy in the bushes, my first assumption is not going to be that he is hiding from me for his own safety.

Fen said...

We know he was overzealous because the 911 dispatcher told him he did not need to follow Martin.

No, we don't know. The PD has already stated that the 911 dispatcher's advice was not a lawful order.

You can have the opinion that this shows he was overzealous, but again, your opinion is not based on anything factual.

For example, having reported suspicious activity to 911 over the course of 10 years, Zimmerman may have gottent the brush-off from dispatchers so often that he no longer found their advice to be credible.

Me? I'm doing whatever the dispatcher tells me to do. However, if after 50 interactions I feel that they are incompetent or not credible, I can see myself ignoring their advice.

So your opinion that he was overzealous is based on incomplete information.

Beth said...

Pay attention to "all the facts" is illustrated by a link to one story? I'm not sure I understand the point of this post. There are any number of facts, claims of fact, and questions to pay attention to as the story emerges. If there's a rush to judgment on the part of people calling Zimmerman a racist, there was also a rush to judgment on the part of the local police who appear not to have investigated the event before declaring it an act of self-defense. Nothing to see here, move along, move along. If the point of this post is to redirect the story back to "what happened that night?" not "is Zimmerman racist?" then I wish it weren't so subtle.

Fen said...

How crime ridden is this "gated community"? How many police calls over the last year?

Maybe Zimmerman had a right to be "parnoid".


I looked up the city for crime stats broken down by race, but didn't find that dataset.

However, it does look like Sanford has the highest crime rate in the area (other than Orlando)

http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/sanford/crime/

Thorley Winston said...

We do know this.
We know he was overzealous because the 911 dispatcher told him he did not need to follow Martin.

According to the letter released by the Sanford City Manager:
If Zimmerman was told not to continue to follow Trayvon, can that be considered in this investigation?


Yes it will; however, the telecommunications call taker asked Zimmerman “are you following
him”. Zimmerman replied, “yes”. The call taker stated “you don’t need to do that”. The call taker’s suggestion is not a lawful order that Mr. Zimmerman would be required to follow. Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon.

Synova said...

I don't disagree, Maybee.

In this particular case, though, does anyone really have any idea even what the "following" amounted to? Or the questions? And was it being followed by "that asshole Watch guy" or the hypothetical creep in the bushes who's waiting to drag you away to rape you? As far as I can tell, no one really knows.

Everyone seems to make a big deal about the kid's age and race (and no, if Zimmerman used a bad word it does not mean it's race motivated, and no one here is dumb enough to think that it does for anything other than providing an opportunity to the professional race baiters, who also know it's completely bogus) and the fact that he was unarmed. Because unarmed people have a big neon sign and arrow saying "UNARMED PERSON" floating over them, so anyone would know that they weren't a threat.

So no excuse.

Bleh.

No one knows anything of what happened, but a whole lot of the arguments about how this is obviously Zimmerman's fault, no matter what the actual facts turn out to be, and that bugs me.

MayBee said...

Me? I'm doing whatever the dispatcher tells me to do. However, if after 50 interactions I feel that they are incompetent or not credible, I can see myself ignoring their advice.

So your opinion that he was overzealous is based on incomplete information.


No, it is based on the fact that he was told by the dispatcher he did not have to follow Martin.
Of course it isn't a lawful order.

I might point out the results of his private investigation also proves a certain overzealousness.

Michael said...

Look, its just too bad that the Hispanic man had the name Zimmerman. The fact that he is not a white guy is completely contrary to the wonderful story of a white redneck killing a black kid because he was black.

Now the truth is that Hispanics are not nuts about black people but that is a story that cannot be told.

~N. said...

Huh? "F*cking coons" doesn't indicate racial bias? What planet do you live on?

Peter said...

Peter: It's only because we have this fetish about black physical and fighting prowess that people think this way.

Uhm, I've been looking over this thread and there are only 3 such posts, all from you.
Where are you getting this bullshit from (when you say "the blogosphere" says)? Because the only one I see pushing this meme is you.


Check out Half Sigma and Steve Sailer. You'll find plenty.

Second, who isn't going to pick the thin young HS athlete over the fat, out-of-shape 20-something in a fight?

Martin wasn't just thin. He was 6'3", or even 6'4" by some accounts, and weighed between 140 and 150. Given those numbers he must have been a twig, with hardly any muscle. There's no way he could have overpowered an adult man outweighing him by 100 pounds.

Besides, why is everyone assuming that Zimmerman was fat and out of shape? He could very well have been a burly strong type. I see guys like that at the gym all the time, the types that'll bench 315 without breaking a sweat.

MayBee said...

No one knows anything of what happened, but a whole lot of the arguments about how this is obviously Zimmerman's fault, no matter what the actual facts turn out to be, and that bugs me.

I think in this case, the results speak for themselves. A teenager who was minding his own business got shot by a guy who was following him- in some way- and ended up killing the kid. The kid was not seeking Zimmerman.
There was just no reason it had to happen. It can be argued, I suppose, whether there was a crime. But I don't think it can be argued that anyone other than Zimmerman was at fault.

Matthew said...

"I might point out the results of his private investigation also proves a certain overzealousness."

-- Per the report, Zimmerman -had previously solved other crimes, including thefts.- So, in other cases, his over zealousness had helped people. Maybe he had just gotten lucky before, though.

~N. said...

It is Zimmerman's fault.

He made the choice to pursue after he had called the police. He was patrolling the community carrying a gun.

Both these actions are in direct opposition to official Neighborhood Watch guidelines, and it's situations like this that are why those guidelines exist.

Zimmerman sought out the confrontation. Martin was merely going about his lawful business.

Freder Frederson said...

2) but you are allowed to beat someone to death if you are in fear of your life?

3) and kill them in self-defense if you *think* they may be carrying a firearm?


Actually as long as the belief is reasonable, under Florida's misguided "castle" rule this is a pretty reasonable summation of the situation in Florida.

Matthew said...

"Actually as long as the belief is reasonable, under Florida's misguided "castle" rule this is a pretty reasonable summation of the situation in Florida."

Right. If you reasonably believe someone wants to kill you, you can defend yourself. We're trying to determine if Zimmerman had a reasonable belief or not.

"Cause I thought so" is not reasonable.

Gahrie said...

I'm sure I'm a racist for bringing this up, or at the very least an insensitive jerk, but....

I haven't seen any discussion of the background of the kid who got shot, good or bad.

Maybe he was an Eagle Scout who volunteered at the old folk's home. Maybe not.

But given the fact that Zimmerman's story is that this kid attacked him, and it appears that the physical evidence backs this up, I'd at least like to know what the kid's background is.

X said...

man, there are a lot of you motherfuckers I'd never want to see on a jury. convict a dude based on the hearsay of moron media? why not?

Steve Koch said...

Hoosier Daddy,

I previously wrote:
"It would be best for the neighborhood watch guy if he gets a local trial."

I think both guys made errors in judgement. If you think it makes sense to ground and pound a guy because he tugs on your shoulder (for the sake of argument), you may be missing the central lesson of this cautionary tale (titled: "When keepin' it real goes wrong"). Any time you get in a confrontation/fight with a person you don't know, there is the potential for that conflict to be a disaster.

MayBee said...

So, in other cases, his over zealousness had helped people. Maybe he had just gotten lucky before, though.

It sounds like his previous detainees got lucky.

Of course you can be overzealous and still have your methods be rewarded. That's true of private citizens and it's true of the police.

~N. said...

You *should* notice who is in your building. You *should* speak to someone who seems to be out-of-place. And they should not think that a few "intrusive" questions are inappropriate. Where' you headed? Who are you looking for? Where are you staying? Where is my neighbor? Why are you packing his house? Where'd you get that black eye?

Whether someone thinks an intrusive question is appropriate or not isn't the point. The point is they are not required to answer it, and they certainly aren't subject to the business end of a gun in their face if they don't.

Matthew said...

"The point is they are not required to answer it, and they certainly aren't subject to the business end of a gun in their face if they don't."

Everyone agrees on that! The question is: Is Zimmerman telling the truth that the altercation actually started with him being sucker-punched?

If he was, and promptly taken to the ground and beaten on, it is a radically different situation than what we have been led to believe (he grabbed the kid, told him to stop and answer some questions, then shot him when the kid screamed for help).

As you can see, no one is saying he is correct in the second scenario. In the first, people are giving it a bit more pause to find out what happened (Zimmerman could -still- be in the wrong in that case!)

We just want to know what the situation was before we decide who was at fault.

rcocean said...

Thanks for the link "fen". Sanford FL seems to be high crime city. A mere 50,000 people and it had 871 Burglaries, 210 Auto Thefts, 3 Murders, 38 rapes, and 141 Robberies.

Looks Zimmerman had a reason to be paranoid.

rhhardin said...

I don't find the google figure I want to I multiplied a bunch of numbers together from things I could find.

I get 9.2 black male teens are murdered every day.

With a three week national story delay, that's 21 days, or about 200 other black teen murder stories available.

This one started with a white guy as the killer, which made it news.

My figures are probably off by a factor of two or something, maybe somebody can do better.

The point would be that the story has to have legs as entertainment.

Black murders black has no narrative that people like to think about.

Chris Gerrib said...

Matthew - assume, for argument's sake, that Martin figured out how to sucker-punch somebody while on the phone with his girlfriend, or she's lying, and it went down exactly like Zimmerman said.

In that case, the altercation started when Zimmerman got out of his car. He left a position of safety and mobility to pursue somebody he had no business pursuing.

Put yourself on that street. Somebody's been following you in a car long enough for you to get nervous. Now, they get out and start coming after you. That's a threat.

So, being a 17-year-old football player, you decide to bust the guy's nose instead of running. Bad decision (although God knows no 17-year-old ever made a bad decision) and now Zimmerman is justified in self-defense.

But *none of this would have happened* if Zimmerman had *stayed in his car.* It may not be the legal thing, but morally Zimmerman is clearly to blame. He was the (armed) adult, yet by his own account he didn't act like one, and now an unarmed kid is dead.

If the law thinks that's okay, the law is an ass.

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