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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MayBee said...

Yes, Chris Gerrib. Exactly.

Steve Koch said...

Sanford, Florida (where this happened) is a dangerous, crime ridden town, with between 95% to 97% of the towns in the USA ranking as safer from crime than Sanford. It is not unusual for crime ridden areas to use neighborhood watches to try to keep their neighborhood from being completely conquered by crime.

If you have never lived in a really crime ridden neighborhood, it may be difficult for you to understand why the locals start packing (it is a matter of survival).

Sanford population demographic break down: whites are 47%, blacks are 30%, hispanics are 17%.

MayBee said...

I do not have a problem with him packing.

I have a problem with him packing while not being aware that his own actions could create a dangerous situation.

rcommal said...

I do not find this story entertaining.

Icepick said...

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.

Steve, the father says the police are lying about what he told them.

Steve Koch said...

Unless you have lived in a crime ridden area, you probably have no idea what those people are dealing with. I have lived in a crime ridden area and it is a gut wrenching situation (and I did carry a gun). No need to create a dangerous situation, Sanford is a dangerous situation.

The law abiding people there created a neighborhood watch to try to keep the criminals from completely taking over because the police were/are not getting the job done. The neighborhood watch guy was familiar with the neighborhood and did not recognize the kid. He went to talk to the kid to see what his story is, something that he had probably done hundreds, if not thousands of times previously. This time it went to shit, it was just a matter of time.

Steve Koch said...

I don't believe the father. He changed his story once he realized the implications of what he originally said. Why not have the neighborhood watch guy scream and compare his scream to the recorded scream?

Based on the evidence, it seems extremely likely that the neighborhood watch guy was on his back (grass stains) getting beat up (damage to his face and back of his head). Who is more likely to scream, the guy getting beat up or the guy beating him up?

Did the dead kid have any injuries besides the bullet wound? It should be easy to determine who was doing bat down. My money is on the 6'4" Florida HS football player.

Steve Koch said...

"bat down" should have been "beat down"

Icepick said...

At this point the backgound of the two people involved is this:

Trayvon Martin had gotten in trouble in school - for frequently being late to class. He wanted to be a pilot and build things.

George Zimmerman wanted to be a cop. He is a sometime student at a state college that was until recently a JuCo. He had been arrested in the past for ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER. He had also been involved of mutual charges of domestic violence with an old girl friend.

Geoff Matthews said...

Matthew,

Does Martin's father have any possible motive to incorrectly identify the screams as his son's?
Just because he believes that this is Trayvon screaming doesn't make it Trayvon screaming.

Kirk Parker said...

"The 911 operator told him not to follow..."

I keep seeing this cited, but so what? 911 operators have no authority to order citizens how to act, nor should they.

"Neighborhood Watch manual advises members ... not to carry weapons..."

That's simply reprehensible. I carry weapons (and other useful tools) everywhere I go. Why should a N.W. gig mean that I should stop doing so?

Kirk Parker said...

Matthew,

"you can go from justified use of force to illegal use of force very, very quickly."

But not so much, in the other direction.

Icepick said...

The 6'4" 140 pound HS football player? He might have been doing the beat down, but it was George Zimmerman who has the reputation for violence in his past.

Kirk Parker said...

Steve Koch,

Going with your hypothetical:

1. the neighborhood watch guy confronted the kid and asked him what he was doing.

2. The kid probably told him to fuck off.

3. Maybe (who knows) the kid started to walk away

4. and the neighborhood watch guy said we're not done here

5. and maybe grabs the kid's shoulder to keep him from walking off.

Bingo! Assault, right there.

Icepick said...

Does Martin's father have any possible motive to incorrectly identify the screams as his son's?

Does Zimmerman?

DADvocate said...

The 6'4" 140 pound HS football player?

Did he really play football? How do we know what size he actually was? I've been checking MaxPreps for his high school, Dr. Krop in Miami, and it doesn't list him on any team. The high school doesn't list a roster. Wonder if he played in high school at all. Wonder where that picture came from. Martin was on suspension from school at the time of the incident. Wonder why.

Icepick said...

Martin was on suspension for chronic tardiness, is what has been reported.

Fen said...

Trayvon Martin had gotten in trouble in school - for frequently being late to class.

Does he have a criminal record? If he did, would the media report it?

Fen 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.

No one is arguing that you deserve to be shot for refusing to answer questions, because that's not what happened.

Why do you guys have to keep exagerating and lying to defend Martin?

Fen said...

he grabbed the kid

What's your source claiming that he laid hands on the kid?

Where are you getting this from?

Steve Koch said...

When you live in a town that is among the worst in the USA wrt crime, you are between a rock and a hard place. If you don't do the neighborhood watch thing and talk to strangers who seem out of place in your crime ridden neighborhood, then your neighborhood, the place where your mom and dad, your sister and brother, your kids, your grandparents, and your friends live, will be a dangerous war zone unfit to live in, with the criminals calling the shots. He was struggling to help his community and help reclaim the area from the criminals.

I don't see it as a black and white situation but more as a crime ridden environment that inevitably leads to deadly confrontations. Neighborhood watches can be quite useful in this context but obviously there is risk involved. It is a matter of probability. I admire the people who fight to preserve their neighborhoods rather than give up and hide inside the house.

My guess is that most of the people who are assuming that the neighborhood watch guy is guilty have not lived in a dangerous crime ridden area that they were trying to protect.

Fen said...

He had been arrested in the past for ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER

Yes, one of friends was being arrested and so he shoved a police officer. Still not right, but hardly worthy of the ALL CAPS SHOUTING.

And I still want to know if Martin had a criminal record. Truancy leading to suspension usually indicates other behavior.

Icepick said...

Fen, exactly what did Trayvon Martin do that warranted him getting shot to death by someone with a known propensity to violence and pretensions of being a cop? Was it the Skittles he bought or the ice tea?

He was being followed by a shifty looking character, Martin was worried, and he was right to be worried.

Zimmerman may or may not be guilty of violating laws, but he sure as hell is guilty of killing someone whom he had no business even speaking to.

As rcommal put it, Martin isn't here to tell his story. That's Zimmerman's work.

Steve Koch said...

Fen,

"He grabbed the kid" was a purely hypothetical scenario that I created to explain how it might have gone down. There is zero evidence that it actually went down that way.

I do happen to have an inordinate amount of experience in getting into, watching, and stopping fights and a lot of them started with a shove or a grab of the shoulder.

Icepick said...

Yes, one of friends was being arrested and so he shoved a police officer. Still not right, but hardly worthy of the ALL CAPS SHOUTING.

Okay, if the dumbass is willing to shove a police officer, what is he likely to do some kid he doesn't like?

Again, Martin is dead, he can't tell his story. Martin was walking back to where he was staying with Skittles and ice tea. Zimmerman brought a gun to a munchies run and killed the guy with the snacks. Why are you so goddamned sure Martin is the bad guy?

Fen said...

Again, Martin is dead, he can't tell his story. Martin was walking back to where he was staying with Skittles and ice tea. Zimmerman brought a gun to a munchies run and killed the guy with the snacks. Why are you so goddamned sure Martin is the bad guy?

I never said Martin is the bad guy. I'm just curious why you choose to exaggerate and dose hyperbole all over the witness statements supporting Martin, while similtaneously discounting the statements that vindicate Zimmerman.

Fen said...

Okay, if the dumbass is willing to shove a police officer, what is he likely to do some kid he doesn't like?

Are you going to apply the same standard when Martin's criminal record comes out?

Did he "have it coming" because he shoved his teacher?

Cincinnatus 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.
"

No, its not a correct summation of the law in Florida actually. Its not a correct summation of the "Castle Doctrine" which is not at issue in this incident at all, either. "Castle Doctrine" is about presumptions involved in self-defense in one's own residence. You've gotten yourself confused entirely and are making stuff up.

By the way, more than half the states in the US either never had, or have repealed any "duty to retreat" in self-defense law. The claim that Florida is somehow unique is utterly false.

Fen said...

Fen, exactly what did Trayvon Martin do that warranted him getting shot to death by someone with a known propensity to violence and pretensions of being a cop? Was it the Skittles he bought or the ice tea?

Perhaps jumping Zimmerman, unprovoked and from behind. Then trying to beat him to death.

One assertion is as valid as another.

We don't have enough information. And what little we do have is contradictory. Difference is, I'm not willing to damn the shooter (or make him into the caricature that you are) until we have more facts.

Icepick said...

The statements that vindicate Zimmerman are at least partly in dispute. That has been one of the problems in this case.

Icepick said...

Are you going to apply the same standard when Martin's criminal record comes out?

What do you know that the rest of us don't know?

And exactly when did I say Zimmerman deserved to get shot to death for shoving a cop? I don't believe Martin deserved to get shot to death for someone claiming that maybe Martin jumped a not-Neighborhood Watch not-a-cop.

Icepick said...

We don't have enough information. And what little we do have is contradictory. Difference is, I'm not willing to damn the shooter (or make him into the caricature that you are) until we have more facts.

You've certainly been willing to caricature the shotee.

Fen said...

No, I have not. You're projecting.

All I said was that about Martin is that he was probably profiled by Zimmerman because he had his hoodie up.

You're the one who has to lace your accusations against Zimmerman with assertion adjectives.

Synova said...

"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."

That's an assumption. A bunch of people are *assuming* that "the kid" did not seek Zimmerman. That "fact" is in dispute.

"There was just no reason it had to happen."

Of course it didn't *have* 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."

It certainly can be argued that Zimmerman was *not* at fault for 1) being involved in volunteer neighborhood "watch" activities, 2) for speaking to someone he thought was suspicious, 3) for keeping "eyes on" the person he called the police about, or 4) carrying a weapon.

As far as I can see the only issue of "fault" comes with the specific facts that no one knows and about which we have more than one version... in one of those versions Zimmerman is no longer following Martin, they are not in any sort of conflict or engaged at that point, and Martin comes up behind him and physically attacks him.

Synova said...

"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."

Or stayed home.

Or moved to Kansas.

Or ordered out for groceries.

And kept his door locked.

And used the peep-hole.

And only went out before dark.

And huddled inside after dark.

And didn't go to the bad part of town.

And didn't wear a slutty mini-skirt that gave people the wrong idea.

When the ultimate chain of fault goes back to the fact that if ONLY someone had not been where he was or not carried a gun, we may as well all lock ourselves in our homes so we're never in the wrong place.

Zimmerman certainly chose to do something dangerous with his spare time. That doesn't remove from him his right to defend his own life, if that is what happened.

He *gets* to be out and about so long as he's not trespassing or assaulting anyone. Being out of his car is not assaulting anyone.

The facts that matter are the ones we don't know. Who assaulted who.

Chris Gerrib said...

Synova - how can you claim self-defense when you go looking for trouble?

If you choose to carry a gun, you are accepting the idea of being held to a higher standard of conduct.

If you choose to attempt to stop somebody for the "crime" of walking down the street, you should accept the idea of being held to a higher standard of conduct.

Again, Martin had done nothing wrong and had no way of knowing who Zimmerman was or what his intentions were. Zimmerman, by injecting himself into a situation, put himself, Martin and anybody within bullet range at higher risk. The burden is entirely on Zimmerman.

Fen said...

Chris: how can you claim self-defense when you go looking for trouble?

Yes, thats it, Zimmerman was out to score a bag of Skittles. And damn whoever got in the way...

Hint: asking a suspicious character what he's doing in your neighborhood (or someone's backyard?) is not "looking for trouble".

rcommal said...

I dunno...

I've called the police on a number of occasions to report suspicious behavior in our neighborhood (in a small city). If, having done so and been told police are on the way, I then went and confronted the people in question...well, yeah, I think I might well classify my behavior as risky and exhibiting poor judgment.

Now, if it turns out to be true that as Zimmerman returned to his truck (parked near the mailboxes, which the dispatcher suggested as a place where he could tell police to meet Zimmerman), he got jumped by Martin, the context is different.

If not, well...

... as I said, I dunno... .

--

I think it's appropriate to apply both both the benefit of the doubt AND the skepticism of scrutiny all the way around.

Synova said...

"Synova - how can you claim self-defense when you go looking for trouble?"

You make assumptions about citizenship that I reject.

It really is that basic, I think.

Long long before someone goes out to patrol their neighborhood there are assumptions about our duties as citizens and individuals. Some people have this odd (to me) way of thinking about law enforcement, that makes them a different sort of civil creature... not special, but different. These people will talk, always, in terms of citizens having an obligation not to enter the domain of police (which is generally to get shot at and die,) and to stay in their place in the domain of citizens... which is to aggressively avoid situations out of their domain... stay in the car... stay home... don't do what you were doing... don't carry a gun... Because that puts you in that other domain where there is personal risk.

"Looking for trouble" is a bravo with a chip on his shoulder.

"Looking for trouble" is not participation in a neighborhood watch.

Synova said...

"Again, Martin had done nothing wrong and had no way of knowing who Zimmerman was or what his intentions were."

And again... is this something we actually know?

Do we *know* Martin was doing nothing wrong? And by "wrong" I don't mean "will get him arrested." I don't know what he was doing or if there was any reason to think he was suspicious or not.

And neither do you.

And I don't know that Martin had no way of knowing who Zimmerman was. Neighborhood watch types often have a "uniform" or something... a T-shirt, whatever... and if he spoke to Martin, did he *not* say who he was? I don't know if he did or not. Do you?

There are a lot of assumptions just tossed around for little or no reason, lots of assertions asserted without any evidence.

rcommal said...

One of the things we don't know is if Zimmerman had a chip on his shoulder, or if Martin did.

These people will talk, always, in terms of citizens having an obligation not to enter the domain of police (which is generally to get shot at and die,) and to stay in their place in the domain of citizens... which is to aggressively avoid situations out of their domain... stay in the car... stay home... don't do what you were doing... don't carry a gun... Because that puts you in that other domain where there is personal risk.

This is not my attitude in general, at all.

Still, I have some real questions about the particular incident in question, both in the event and thereafter. There are hinky things about it, by my lights, stuff that's not adding up well, flags that are at least a bit reddish.

Thorley Winston said...

IIRC Zimmerman reported that Martin looked intoxicated when he spotted him. I’d be curious to know if this was ever verified. I wonder if they did any sort of testing Zimmerman as well – if either of them were voluntarily impaired, that could explain how things turned out.

mariner said...

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

I read somewhere else that the neighborhood has ~240 houses, and over 400 911 calls in a year.

I'm glad I don't live there.

Doug said...

It'd be great if there were similar outrage and protests for the 68% of young black men like Trayvon who are killed by ... black men.

MayBee said...

Thorley- I have seen it reported there was a toxicology screen on Martin's body and he came back clean.
Zimmerman was not tested for either drugs or alcohol.

Synova said...

rcommal, I didn't think you were doing that. I was thinking more of this: "Zimmerman, by injecting himself into a situation, put himself, Martin and anybody within bullet range at higher risk. The burden is entirely on Zimmerman."

Take out the specifics and what principle is left?

"John, by injecting himself into a situation, put himself, Jenny, and anyone within bullet range at greater risk."

It could be any intervention at all... John, who concealed carries, by injecting himself into a domestic argument between Jenny and Joyce, put them and anyone within bullet range at greater risk.

John, who heard a strange noise behind Granny Emma's garage, by injecting himself into the situation, put Biff's murderous pit bull, and anyone else within bullet range, at greater risk.

John, by carrying in a public place, puts himself and anyone else within bullet range, at greater risk. So John should only carry in better neighborhoods, where his firearm is unlikely to turn a mugging or robbery into a mortal event.

It's impossible to continue that logical construction without damning the "insertion of himself into the situation", which in this case may well have been (for all we know) nothing more than the local neighborhood watch. Because that's the context of that argument... that no matter what the *facts*, the bottom line is that he "inserted himself into the situation."

That is a profoundly *amazing* standard for guilt.

HT said...

Doug said...

It'd be great if there were similar outrage and protests for the 68% of young black men like Trayvon who are killed by ... black men.

____

There are vigils and walks and protests for/over black men getting killed by black men. No, not every single one. Not a majority. But they do occur.

DADvocate said...

Come you lefties, get your lynching mob together and take care of this heretic.

DADvocate said...

Come on lefties, everyone hates the guy walking around acting big and making everyone follow the rules. Lynch 'em! Lynch 'em!

Chris Gerrib said...

Synova - "John, by injecting himself into a situation, put himself, Jenny, and anyone within bullet range at greater risk."

Yes, exactly. Under US law, John has placed everybody in bullet range at greater risk. And if he accidentally shoots the wrong person, they (or their heirs) and the state can take legal action against John.

I own guns. If I go wandering around my neighborhood armed and shoot somebody, then I am liable. It is my responsibility as the gun owner to make damn sure whatever I shoot at deserved to be shot.

I've seen video of where they found Martin's body. It's nowhere near the street, and there's no visible place to hide. It's an open back yard of an apartment complex.

HT said...

Vigils

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2630474

http://www.pslweb.org/liberationnews/news/07-10-02-candlelight-vigil-demands-justic.html

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2012/03/21/photos-silent-march-for-victims-of-glbt-violence/

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/dc/vigil-outside-dc9-nightclub-turns-into-anger-101910

http://www.afroam.org/sections/news/washington/story.htm?storyid=73652

Synova said...

Chris, if that were what you were arguing I wouldn't have a problem with it, not really.

But what you've been arguing is that the deciding element is simply Zimmerman's *presence* where he hasn't reason to be, and that other things like who-attacked-who don't matter compared to that insertion of himself into the situation.

Fen or I can say that of *course* he can't just go get into a scuffle with someone and shoot them, but he can defend himself if he feels he is in danger... and you say no, not even then, because he *inserted* himself into the situation.

There is no principle of Good Gun Ownership that follows that outrageous standard for self-defense.

DADvocate said...

1980-2008:
93% of black victims were killed by blacks.
47% of all murders were committed by black.
In 2008, the off ending rate for blacks (24.7 offenders per
100,000) was 7 times higher than the rate for whites (3.4
offenders per 100,000)

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf

But, we need to lynch this guy. Lynch 'em. Why is this SOB still alive?!

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

I have a bias against people who go looking for trouble. This is why I have little use for people who go to a riot and then cry about being pepper sprayed.

Similarly, Mr. Zimmerman could have simply left alone the man he ended up shooting.

Too many people go looking for trouble. No crime would have occurred, no one would have died, except for Zimmerman's refusal to leave well enough alone. The fact that Zimmerman confronted a man who had done nothing wrong makes this even harder to take.

Was race a factor? Who cares? A man is dead for no good reason.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Arguing that Zimmerman is Hispanic, not white is like arguing that a tennis ball is round, not yellow.

Zimmerman's race is white, his ethnicity is Hispanic.

Tom said...

I am willing to give Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt until trial, what is galling is the same thing wasn't done by the Sanford police. A man was killed. Instead of taking the man who killed him down to the station, testing him from drugs and alcohol and investigating the matter. They believed Zimmerman's story, let him go home and lost any possibility to see Zimmerman was drunk or on drugs. And then, only under pressure from civil rights organizations and the dead man's parents, are the authorities investigating the matter. It is all well and good to wait for the facts, but then the cops should be collecting the facts from all sources and not take the word of the people involved in the dispute. When this doesn't happen, and it didn't in this case, it leaves people open to the suspect worse.

Philip Ngai said...

Martin did not live in Sanford. He lived in Miami with his mother.

So he was a visitor, not a resident. It's possible that as captain of the Neighborhood Watch, Zimmerman was familiar with the residents and had a feeling that Martin was not a resident.

Why did his mother send him to visit his father? We don't know how often he visited and if this was something unusual, such as problems his mother couldn't handle.

Philip Ngai said...

There has been some talk about how Zimmerman "cornered" Martin as an excuse for Martin to start beating Zimmerman.

Police were called to

1231 Twin Trees Lane, Sanford, FL

It would be interesting to pull up the address on Google Maps and see if this is possible.

Ralph L said...

If Zimmerman flees to Mexico in a telegram, we could be drawn into Race War I.

DADvocate said...

Arguing that Zimmerman is Hispanic, not white is like arguing that a tennis ball is round, not yellow.

Zimmerman's race is white, his ethnicity is Hispanic.


Then why do they call you racist when you complain about illegal immigration? Why does the Census Bureau, Dept. of Justice, etc keep statistics with Hispanic as a category? Dumb ass.

Fen said...

Arguing that Zimmerman is Hispanic, not white is like arguing that a tennis ball is round, not yellow.

Zimmerman's race is white, his ethnicity is Hispanic.


Zimmerman is Latino.

You can keep trying to beat that round peg into the square hole to fit your "whitey kills black" narrative all you want.

Your point is as silly as me arguing that we're ALL african-american.

Thorley Winston said...

In another interesting twist, Karen Finney, the former communications director for the Democratic National Committee originally tried to lay the blame for the shooting on the Koch brothers, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum but it turns out that George Zimmerman was actually a registered Democrat.

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