So, Trayvon Martin. (Updated 9/10: From the duh and oops departments)

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scotth266:

Segment from CNN's Anderson Cooper with the two women who found Zimmerman and Martin in their backyard, after the shooting. According to them, Zimmerman was straddling Martin post-shooting, and they heard no struggle. They say the struggle occurred a few doors down from them.

Which could mean anything. It could that he was trying to help the kid somehow (giving him CPR, perhaps, or trying to compress the wound?)

Meanwhile, another witness saw someone "in a white shirt" (Martin was wearing a grey hoodie/sweater) straddling someone else (who she couldn't see). Zimmerman however, was wearing a red jacket. Guess that Zimmerman's 100-pound advantage didn't work out for him so well?

In one of the panicked calls by neighbors, a 30-year-old woman tells the dispatcher she heard a man screaming and saw a man with a white T-shirt on top of someone else. She couldn't tell the race of the person or see the person he was on top of.

The police report released by the city says Martin was wearing a gray sweater, blue jeans and white and red sneakers. Zimmerman, the police report said, was wearing a red jacket and blue jeans.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2012/03/22/fla-chief-in-trayvon-martin-case-steps-aside/

And Zimmerman apparently had water and grass on his back in addition to the wounds on his head. All of this supports his story: so what exactly does all of the evidence added up prove? Absolutely nothing. If prosecutors took this case to court based solely on what's been released, they'd get torn apart.

I refuse to jump to conclusions about Zimmerman's guilt or innocence. While he definitely should not have followed Martin (he was a moron for breaking Watch guidelines and ignoring the advice of the dispatcher) calling him a murderer on that alone is presumptuous. Calling it a hate crime is jumping the gun even further given that the only evidence of that is a fuzzy voice in a phone call (CNN analyzed it and couldn't come up with a "consensus" on the matter: aka they either legitimately have no consensus, or they don't want to deny the presence of a slur because they don't want to appear racist. I haven't heard the call myself, so if there's a link out there I'd like to hear it.)

Police should have checked Zimmerman for drugs/alcohol, even if he didn't appear to be under the influence. Watch members should be told more clearly not to go after suspicious people, even if they feel obligated to do so, they should leave matters to the police.

If the police have evidence that Zimmerman committed murder, they'll bring it before the grand jury and we'll see it.

Inb4 waiting for more evidence to come out before deciding what happened makes me some sort of racist, violence-loving NRA apologist.

thaluikhain:

cthulhuspawn82:

Why do you believe that Zimmerman's suspicions, and the police reaction, were racially motivated? Is it based on your belief that white people are racists and bigots who think that all blacks are criminals?

Fuck off. If something happens again and again and again, we tend to call that a pattern.

By that logic, if there is a pattern of some black people committing gang crimes, suspecting black people will commit gang crimes is totally justified. Also Hispanics should be suspected of hopping the border, Irishmen should be suspected of being drunks, etc.

That line of argument is bullcrap no matter who you use it on. Saying that there is a "pattern" is an attempt to justify the presumption of guilt via mild racism. The fact that it's against a "white guy" does not magically make that untrue.

Zimmerman, as has been noted multiple times, is Hispanic, even if he was mistaken for a white guy by the officer filing the report. Does this mean that the police automatically side with Hispanics over black people?

http://www.wdbo.com/news/news/local/witness-sanford-police-blew-us-teen-slaying/nLTCd/

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446/trayvon-martin-case.html

http://www.theroot.com/trayvon-martin-shooting-witness-hears-screams-gunshots

From how the police handled this case, I wouldn't trust the police report.

So what if he is Latino? Latino's can still be racist.

CM156:

cthulhuspawn82:

thaluikhain:
I don't see how this isn't a race issue. If he wasn't black, he'd not have been "suspicious" enough for the self-appointed neighborhood watch to run after him with a gun, despite being told not to. I can't imagine they police would have jumped to the shooter's side if it was a white kid.

Why do you believe that Zimmerman's suspicions, and the police reaction, were racially motivated? Is it based on your belief that white people are racists and bigots who think that all blacks are criminals?

Let me just make a couple of statements, and you tell me if either of them is racist.

"Trayvon must be at fault because he is a black guy and we know that black people are thieves and murderers."

"Zimmerman must be at fault because he is a white guy and we know that white people are racist and bigoted."

Uhhhh, pretty sure Zimmerman is Hispanic.

I just hope this doesn't turn into a race riot. Because that's where I see this headed.

Has there been any reactions from the Hispanic community?

Volf:

CM156:

cthulhuspawn82:

Why do you believe that Zimmerman's suspicions, and the police reaction, were racially motivated? Is it based on your belief that white people are racists and bigots who think that all blacks are criminals?

Let me just make a couple of statements, and you tell me if either of them is racist.

"Trayvon must be at fault because he is a black guy and we know that black people are thieves and murderers."

"Zimmerman must be at fault because he is a white guy and we know that white people are racist and bigoted."

Uhhhh, pretty sure Zimmerman is Hispanic.

I just hope this doesn't turn into a race riot. Because that's where I see this headed.

Has there been any reactions from the Hispanic community?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/trayvon-martin-shooting-hispanic-black_n_1371693.html

Nah from this this the anger is more focused on the police

Zef Otter:

http://www.wdbo.com/news/news/local/witness-sanford-police-blew-us-teen-slaying/nLTCd/

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446/trayvon-martin-case.html

http://www.theroot.com/trayvon-martin-shooting-witness-hears-screams-gunshots

From how the police handled this case, I wouldn't trust the police report.

Indeed, here's a list of things the police got wrong:

- As evidence that the incident was not a case of racial profiling, Lee told The Miami Herald that when the police dispatch operator asked Zimmerman the race of the suspicious person he saw, the Hispanic neighborhood watch captain did not know. Yet when the recording of that conversation was made public, Zimmerman clearly says, "he looks black."

- Initial police reports never mentioned that Zimmerman had a bloody nose or a wet shirt that showed evidence of a struggle. Attorneys for the dead teen's family believe the information was added in a second report to justify the lack of an arrest.

- Police said witness statements supported Zimmerman's account. But several of the witnesses expressed surprise, telling The Miami Herald that they reported hearing someone crying for help just before a shot ended the cries. The 911 tapes of witness calls bolstered their claims.

- One of the witnesses who heard the crying said she called a detective repeatedly, but said he was not interested because her account differed from Zimmerman's.

- For nearly a month, police never noticed a profanity Zimmerman mumbled under his breath when he called police, which some people believe was accompanied by a muffled racial slur.

- Even though investigators have the dead boy's cellphone, it was Trayvon's father who combed through the phone records to discover that his son was talking to a girlfriend in the moments that led to his death.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/21/2706876/sanford-commission-votes-no-confidence.html

Zef Otter:

From how the police handled this case, I wouldn't trust the police report.

So what if he is Latino? Latino's can still be racist.

Yes, Latinos can be racist. But he was talking about Zimmerman (and an alleged police cover-up) based on the assumption that Zimmerman was white.

And the only info in those links that I haven't seen before is the one woman who claims police blew her off... and she's got no info (according to the article) that hasn't been in other reports I've read.

Hmm, I also got Face The Music in the captcha.

scotth266:

Zef Otter:

From how the police handled this case, I wouldn't trust the police report.

So what if he is Latino? Latino's can still be racist.

Yes, Latinos can be racist. But he was talking about Zimmerman (and an alleged police cover-up) based on the assumption that Zimmerman was white.

And the only info in those links that I haven't seen before is the one woman who claims police blew her off... and she's got no info (according to the article) that hasn't been in other reports I've read.

Hmm, I also got Face The Music in the captcha.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/18/446768/what-everyone-should-know-about-about-trayvon-martin-1995-2012/?mobile=nc

This link got some facts on the case and links to sources

Zef Otter:

Volf:

CM156:

Uhhhh, pretty sure Zimmerman is Hispanic.

I just hope this doesn't turn into a race riot. Because that's where I see this headed.

Has there been any reactions from the Hispanic community?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/trayvon-martin-shooting-hispanic-black_n_1371693.html

Nah from this this the anger is more focused on the police

...wow the comments in that article are "something".

Zef Otter:

scotth266:

Zef Otter:

From how the police handled this case, I wouldn't trust the police report.

So what if he is Latino? Latino's can still be racist.

Yes, Latinos can be racist. But he was talking about Zimmerman (and an alleged police cover-up) based on the assumption that Zimmerman was white.

And the only info in those links that I haven't seen before is the one woman who claims police blew her off... and she's got no info (according to the article) that hasn't been in other reports I've read.

Hmm, I also got Face The Music in the captcha.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/18/446768/what-everyone-should-know-about-about-trayvon-martin-1995-2012/?mobile=nc

This link got some facts on the case and links to sources

And while one or two of those "facts" do say that parts of the case was mismanaged (in particular the failure to test Zimmerman for booze or drugs, like I mentioned before) other ones aren't facts at all, or don't say much about Zimmerman's guilt/innocence.

For example, one of those "facts" says that Zimmerman was focused on young, black males: clicking the source link reveals that this is a selectively abbreviated account of how Zimmerman warned some people in the neighborhood about how there had been several robberies in which young black males were witnessed hanging around the properties that had been robbed.

Another "fact" says that he is not registered to any Neighborhood Watch association, but I've seen other papers reporting that he was a member of the Neighborhood Watch in his area. Seems a rather drastic oversight to make if you're reporting something.

The "fact" that Zimmerman weighed more than Martin doesn't really mean much when one of the witnesses' accounts makes it sound like Zimmerman was the one jumped by Martin.

The "fact" that Zimmerman was charged with assaulting an officer doesn't say much considering the charges were dropped: if you assault an officer, there's typically either a damn good reason or your ass is going to jail. Considering the charges were dropped...

The list goes on. I continue to wait for more reports and actual evidence before making a decision about what to think. It'll be especially interesting to see what the feds and the grand jury turn up.

Volf:

Zef Otter:

Volf:
Has there been any reactions from the Hispanic community?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/trayvon-martin-shooting-hispanic-black_n_1371693.html

Nah from this this the anger is more focused on the police

...wow the comments in that article are "something".

It's the Huffington Post. It's basically the Youtube comment section for the news.

They have rather lax standards on letting people stay there.

CM156:

Volf:

Zef Otter:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/trayvon-martin-shooting-hispanic-black_n_1371693.html

Nah from this this the anger is more focused on the police

...wow the comments in that article are "something".

It's the Huffington Post. It's basically the Youtube comment section for the news.

They have rather lax standards on letting people stay there.

The comments are like the left-wing version of Fox News.

Volf:

CM156:

Volf:
...wow the comments in that article are "something".

It's the Huffington Post. It's basically the Youtube comment section for the news.

They have rather lax standards on letting people stay there.

The comments are like the left-wing version of Fox News.

Try reading the NYTimes website. It's... it's much worse. Trust me on that one.

but yes, I agree. It's almost to 4chan levels at times.

Danyal:
This video is relevant;


If you can stand it, listen to the audio 1:57+...

Oh...My...GOD....

I'm on the verge of tears here...That's...That's SICKENING. I literally feel like I want to vomit.

I normally restrain myself from invoking God in my swears (despite being Agnostic, I find it's disrespectful), but...HOW, IN THE NAME OF GOD, HAVE THEY NOT ARRESTED THIS GODDAMN MOTHER!@#$ER WITH THIS KIND OF EVIDENCE IN THEIR HANDS?!

We know what Zimmerman sounds like. That does not sound like him. That, to me, sounds like a 17 year old kid desperately screaming for help as he tries to fight off a man who is pointing a gun at him.

God damn...This...If this guy is not arrested, he is going to be vigilante murdered by someone.

And I, for one, will not shed even the slightest bit of sympathy for this loathsome subhuman...thing.

cthulhuspawn82:
The reason I called to him as "white" is because people are playing the "Racist white guy suspects and shoots black guy for being black" angle here.

No they are not. No one even suggested that Zimmerman was white until you brought it up.

cthulhuspawn82:
I am not saying he is innocent, or that he is not a racist. He may have suspected Trayvon because he was black, and he may not have had a reasonable belief that his life was in danger. But in order to convict him of a crime, those things would have to be proven, and given the complete lack of witnesses and mind-readers, I don't think that is possible.

We're not talking about a conviction here either. We're talking about probable cause for an arrest.

scotth266:
snipped

As I understand it no evidence was taken from zimmerman; his shirt, coat, DNA swabs nothing(I doubt even the gun). The cops should be culpable for this one as well, in court they would be put on stand and would have to give a very accurate detailed description and would get torn apart by the prosecutor for the myriad of possible situations that zimmerman could have gotten the marks and wet shirt. I doubt this evidence for his defense would be allowed.

Also kid is begging for his life on a 911 call and still gets shot? Please. Thats murder in the first.

I've never seen the police report, I don't think anyone has but one big thing is what did the paramedic say? People get bloody noses and they still are treated by the paramedics if they are in any situation where police are called, without testimony from a paramedic the head wound and bloody nose probably won't fly.

dmase:

As I understand it no evidence was taken from zimmerman; his shirt, coat, DNA swabs nothing(I doubt even the gun). The cops should be culpable for this one as well, in court they would be put on stand and would have to give a very accurate detailed description and would get torn apart by the prosecutor for the myriad of possible situations that zimmerman could have gotten the marks and wet shirt. I doubt this evidence for his defense would be allowed.

Prosecution isn't allowed to play the "what could have happened" game. They have the burden of proof. The defense however, is allowed to propose what could have happened as a means of establishing doubt. Let me give an example.

George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street and thought he looked suspicious. Zimmerman called 911 an then started to pursue Trayvon despite the 911 operator's suggestion to stay put. Zimmerman confronted Trayvon about his purpose for being out. Trayvon, angry at Zimmerman's accusations decided to attack Zimmerman, lunging toward him, knocking him on his back, and pummeling him. Zimmerman then pulled his gun and fired to stop the attack.

Now, that isn't necessarily what happened but it is what could have happened. And because its not unreasonable to believe that events could have played out that way, there must be reasonable doubt that Zimmerman killed Trayvon unlawfully.

cthulhuspawn82:
George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street and thought he looked suspicious. Zimmerman called 911 an then started to pursue Trayvon despite the 911 operator's suggestion to stay put. Zimmerman confronted Trayvon about his purpose for being out. Trayvon, angry at Zimmerman's accusations decided to attack Zimmerman, lunging toward him, knocking him on his back, and pummeling him. Zimmerman then pulled his gun and fired to stop the attack.

Even if that extremely unlikely scenario had happened, that's still murder. Attacking someone and getting punched in return is no justification to murder someone.

Besides, if a stranger with a gun jumps you in the dark, it's self-defense to give him a few good punches in order to create space to flee.

Besides, murder was his intent. Shown by his crazy vigilante stuff earlier. The gun violence lobbyists defending that is like Marc Dutroux being caught in bed with a naked underage girl, him claiming he was helping her change clothes and the NRA fanboys claiming there's no indication he had something else in mind.

If that happened, you'd quite rightly question their sanity. Now it's a murder, and suddenly the same far fetched excuse flies? No, doesn't work like that.

Blablahb:

cthulhuspawn82:
George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street and thought he looked suspicious. Zimmerman called 911 an then started to pursue Trayvon despite the 911 operator's suggestion to stay put. Zimmerman confronted Trayvon about his purpose for being out. Trayvon, angry at Zimmerman's accusations decided to attack Zimmerman, lunging toward him, knocking him on his back, and pummeling him. Zimmerman then pulled his gun and fired to stop the attack.

Even if that extremely unlikely scenario had happened, that's still murder. Attacking someone and getting punched in return is no justification to murder someone.

Besides, if a stranger with a gun jumps you in the dark, it's self-defense to give him a few good punches in order to create space to flee.

Besides, murder was his intent. Shown by his crazy vigilante stuff earlier. The gun violence lobbyists defending that is like Marc Dutroux being caught in bed with a naked underage girl, him claiming he was helping her change clothes and the NRA fanboys claiming there's no indication he had something else in mind.

If that happened, you'd quite rightly question their sanity. Now it's a murder, and suddenly the same far fetched excuse flies? No, doesn't work like that.

You are assuming Zimmerman attacked Trayvon, rather than just following him and accusing him of being up to no good.

And how does his actions prove murder was his intent? He called 911. If your intent is to murder someone, its typically not a good idea to call 911 and tell them that you are pursuing the person you intend to murder. Whether or not he had the right to shoot, he though he did. Google "Mens Rea" some time.

cthulhuspawn82:
George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street and thought he looked suspicious. Zimmerman called 911 an then started to pursue Trayvon despite the 911 operator's suggestion to stay put. Zimmerman confronted Trayvon about his purpose for being out. Trayvon, angry at Zimmerman's accusations decided to attack Zimmerman, lunging toward him, knocking him on his back, and pummeling him. Zimmerman then pulled his gun and fired to stop the attack.

Lets assume that your account happened, but lets consider it from Trayvon Martin's perspective...

Trayvon Martin thought he was being followed and so was already concerned for his safety.

Martin is confronted by a physically larger stranger (Zimmerman), who is appears to be trying to stop him from getting home.

Isn't Martin allowed to defend himself against possible attack by Zimmerman under the 'stand your ground' laws?

Why is Zimmerman allowed to shoot someone in a fist fight, but Martin not allowed to physically attack Zimmerman if threatened/hindered?

Both examples are of the 'victim' escalating the level of violence in self defense.

cthulhuspawn82:
You are assuming Zimmerman attacked Trayvon, rather than just following him and accusing him of being up to no good.

Well, why do you chase kids in your car while waving a firearm eh? To give them candy?

Whatever the case, Martin will have felt threatened by a grown man coming after him, and considering said murderer's history as a crazed vigilante, there's no way you're telling me he was all calm and stuff. I'd probably have put him on ground if he approached me.

TechNoFear:

Lets assume that your account happened, but lets consider it from Trayvon Martin's perspective...

Trayvon Martin thought he was being followed and so was already concerned for his safety.

Martin is confronted by a physically larger stranger (Zimmerman), who is appears to be trying to stop him from getting home.

Isn't Martin allowed to defend himself against possible attack by Zimmerman under the 'stand your ground' laws?

Why is Zimmerman allowed to shoot someone in a fist fight, but Martin not allowed to physically attack Zimmerman if threatened/hindered?

Both examples are of the 'victim' escalating the level of violence in self defense.

Blablahb:

Whatever the case, Martin will have felt threatened by a grown man coming after him, and considering said murderer's history as a crazed vigilante, there's no way you're telling me he was all calm and stuff. I'd probably have put him on ground if he approached me.

You are still both assuming that Zimmerman did something to make Tayvon fear for his life. Simply coming up to him and asking him what he is doing wouldn't be enough for that, unless you think some guy walking up to you and says "Hey kid, what the hell are you doing on my lawn", is justification for jumping on someone and pummeling them.

Lets take the testimony of the girl who was on the phone with Martin at the time. Martin said, "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman replied, "What are you doing here?" And that's when she said the heard a shove, which could reasonably be assumed as the point where Martin took Zimmerman to the ground and began pummeling him.

Things didn't necessarily happen that way, but its not unreasonable to believe that they could have. And that introduces a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed murder. I don't know what countries everyone here comes from, but here in America the prosecution must play on a much higher difficulty level than the defense. If you taking the prosecution side, then you have a monumental task that I don't think you're up for.

cthulhuspawn82:

TechNoFear:

Lets assume that your account happened, but lets consider it from Trayvon Martin's perspective...

Trayvon Martin thought he was being followed and so was already concerned for his safety.

Martin is confronted by a physically larger stranger (Zimmerman), who is appears to be trying to stop him from getting home.

Isn't Martin allowed to defend himself against possible attack by Zimmerman under the 'stand your ground' laws?

Why is Zimmerman allowed to shoot someone in a fist fight, but Martin not allowed to physically attack Zimmerman if threatened/hindered?

Both examples are of the 'victim' escalating the level of violence in self defense.

Blablahb:

Whatever the case, Martin will have felt threatened by a grown man coming after him, and considering said murderer's history as a crazed vigilante, there's no way you're telling me he was all calm and stuff. I'd probably have put him on ground if he approached me.

You are still both assuming that Zimmerman did something to make Tayvon fear for his life. Simply coming up to him and asking him what he is doing wouldn't be enough for that, unless you think some guy walking up to you and says "Hey kid, what the hell are you doing on my lawn", is justification for jumping on someone and pummeling them.

Lets take the testimony of the girl who was on the phone with Martin at the time. Martin said, "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman replied, "What are you doing here?" And that's when she said the heard a shove, which could reasonably be assumed as the point where Martin took Zimmerman to the ground and began pummeling him.

Things didn't necessarily happen that way, but its not unreasonable to believe that they could have. And that introduces a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed murder. I don't know what countries everyone here comes from, but here in America the prosecution must play on a much higher difficulty level than the defense. If you taking the prosecution side, then you have a monumental task that I don't think you're up for.

even if martin attacked zimmerman first you still have the call with martin screaming for help in the background. he is screaming for help a long period of time before the gunshot. now i dont know about you but if im kicking a guys ass i dont scream for help. zimmerman obviously had the advantage and was now in the aggressor seat, even if he did not start it. shooting someone after you have already defended yourself and are no longer in danger is outright murder.

of course this is america, so despite the obvious complete incompetence, weather intentional or not the cops will all get the all clear with a no wrong doing finding after a long investigation over drinks at the local bar from ex-cops who probably worked with some of the guys and zimmerman will get off free and become a hero of the NRA

cthulhuspawn82:

TechNoFear:

Lets assume that your account happened, but lets consider it from Trayvon Martin's perspective...

Trayvon Martin thought he was being followed and so was already concerned for his safety.

Martin is confronted by a physically larger stranger (Zimmerman), who is appears to be trying to stop him from getting home.

Isn't Martin allowed to defend himself against possible attack by Zimmerman under the 'stand your ground' laws?

Why is Zimmerman allowed to shoot someone in a fist fight, but Martin not allowed to physically attack Zimmerman if threatened/hindered?

Both examples are of the 'victim' escalating the level of violence in self defense.

Blablahb:

Whatever the case, Martin will have felt threatened by a grown man coming after him, and considering said murderer's history as a crazed vigilante, there's no way you're telling me he was all calm and stuff. I'd probably have put him on ground if he approached me.

You are still both assuming that Zimmerman did something to make Tayvon fear for his life. Simply coming up to him and asking him what he is doing wouldn't be enough for that, unless you think some guy walking up to you and says "Hey kid, what the hell are you doing on my lawn", is justification for jumping on someone and pummeling them.

Lets take the testimony of the girl who was on the phone with Martin at the time. Martin said, "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman replied, "What are you doing here?" And that's when she said the heard a shove, which could reasonably be assumed as the point where Martin took Zimmerman to the ground and began pummeling him.

Things didn't necessarily happen that way, but its not unreasonable to believe that they could have. And that introduces a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed murder. I don't know what countries everyone here comes from, but here in America the prosecution must play on a much higher difficulty level than the defense. If you taking the prosecution side, then you have a monumental task that I don't think you're up for.

I've never heard of anyone screaming for help for thirty seconds while having the advantage in a fight, and if Martin attacked first and in the last thirty-seconds before the shot Zimmer had the advantage, well... Then its still murder.

cthulhuspawn82:
You are still both assuming that Zimmerman did something to make Tayvon fear for his life.

Okay, so an angry guy twice your size is running after you in the dark screaming, waving a gun, then chasing you in a car, then blocks you off and charges at you again.

Call me paranoid, but if that happened to me, I'd assume something was wrong. And so would you if you're honest.

cthulhuspawn82:
Lets take the testimony of the girl who was on the phone with Martin at the time. Martin said, "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman replied, "What are you doing here?" And that's when she said the heard a shove, which could reasonably be assumed as the point where Martin took Zimmerman to the ground and began pummeling him.

Or you could assume that was the point where the murderer Zimmerman began getting physical, or was already very intimidating, making the child try to struggle for his life desperately.

Whatever the case, said struggle was correct, because Zimmerman was out to commit murder.

I hope this incident will put to rest two fantasies plaguing the American consciousness.

The first is the notion that all issues where race is a factor must be "black vs. white", or that for race to be a factor one side must have an absurd hatred for a race. These attempts to argue that race couldn't have been a factor because Zimmerman isn't white are bizarre. There's an excellent article floating about Facebook right now pointing out that the writer dressed as Trayvon did on the same day of the shooting, and no one assumed he was suspicious- because the writer is white. You don't have to be white to have a bias that leads to concluding that a black youth in a hoodie with bright white basketball shoes on is up to no good- all you have to do is buy into a stereotype propagated by society as a whole.

The other fantasy, and I think this is more pressing, are these absurd "stand your ground" laws. These laws are advanced by gun advocates in order to protect gun-owner politics, but they are destructive to society as a whole. And despite my reputation as anti-gun here, my objection to them is not the fact that they strengthen gun-owner politics. The last report I read said that it may not be possible to bring charges against Zimmerman because of this "Stand your Ground" law. The law says that a Florida resident may shoot (supposedly in self-defense) if they feel threatened. But "threatened" is a subjective emotional state. We cannot have a functioning system of law when the rightness or wrongness of killing a person comes down to the killer's feelings. If we are to be a society where people are free to own objects that they can point-and-click to end another human being's life, then we must accept that those people have a basic responsibility to behave rationally. That means whether or not killing someone is right or wrong must depend on the facts of the situation, not the shooter's delicate feelings about the situation. Just because you feel threatened doesn't mean you are actually threatened. In high school a (white) friend of mine used to sport an afro. We were on a road trip and stopped in a tiny American village where people actually reacted to my friend as though they were threatened by him. They were threatened by a nerdy 100-pound white guy with an afro stopping at their drug store to pick up a coke. Does that mean they should be allowed to shoot him?

Out of curiosity, how exactly can one tell that is Martin screaming? Everyone seems to be assuming this fact with absolutely nothing to back up the statement.

More importantly, if we assume that Zimmerman was the one on the ground, the reason for the length of screaming till gun shot becomes readily apparent. Zimmerman was using IWB carry, which is almost always done at the small of the back. If someone is whaling away on top of you it's going to be rather hard to pull a gun out from underneath you.

Oh, and the arrest report, just so people don't think I'm talking out my ass about the IWB carry.

http://cnninsession.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/martinpolicreport.pdf

evilneko:
Self-defense I think should be a hard sell considering Zimmerman had a gun and 100 pounds on Martin.

That is not the problem. The problem is the fact that Zimmerman followed Martin. In this scenario, that by itself almost completely negates the Stand Your Ground Law. You are allowed to protect yourself BUT you are not allowed to follow a person and put yourself in a position to use the provision. It would be like saying that you invited a person into your house and shot him under the Castle Doctrine. It does not work that way.

As of now there are no witnesses that can testify that Martin attacked first, therefore unless some other evidence come to light Voluntary Manslaughter is the best he should be able to hope for. Second Degree murder is more likely. The justice system has done strange things in the past but that is what I see.

(I know that the OP did not want this to be a pro/anti gun control thread but I have read the same damn statement too many times to keep quiet)

You've got to love the fact that anti-gunners are calling this guy a hero of the NRA. Most pro-gun people I know are pissed off about this. The police had more than enough evidence to bring him in for questioning at least. Many are calling for him to be charged with 1st Degree Murder. Of course some of the anti-gunners don't care about that and only want to take another shot at their enemy. The truth is that this case has nothing to do with the NRA but it is being spun that way.

Full disclosure- NRA Life Member.

Captcha-know your rights

farson135:

evilneko:
Self-defense I think should be a hard sell considering Zimmerman had a gun and 100 pounds on Martin.

That is not the problem. The problem is the fact that Zimmerman followed Martin. In this scenario, that by itself almost completely negates the Stand Your Ground Law. You are allowed to protect yourself BUT you are not allowed to follow a person and put yourself in a position to use the provision. It would be like saying that you invited a person into your house and shot him under the Castle Doctrine. It does not work that way.

As of now there are no witnesses that can testify that Martin attacked first, therefore unless some other evidence come to light Voluntary Manslaughter is the best he should be able to hope for. Second Degree murder is more likely. The justice system has done strange things in the past but that is what I see.

(I know that the OP did not want this to be a pro/anti gun control thread but I have read the same damn statement too many times to keep quiet)

You've got to love the fact that anti-gunners are calling this guy a hero of the NRA. Most pro-gun people I know are pissed off about this. The police had more than enough evidence to bring him in for questioning at least. Many are calling for him to be charged with 1st Degree Murder. Of course some of the anti-gunners don't care about that and only want to take another shot at their enemy. The truth is that this case has nothing to do with the NRA but it is being spun that way.

Full disclosure- NRA Life Member.

Captcha-know your rights

well, of course they're making a case out of this. They need to keep that Joyce Foundation money coming in somehow.

I mean, if this doesn't turn out to be a huge issue for them, Ladd may very well be out of a job. And after the CSGV, where can he go? What skills does he have?

I have a feeling that Zimmerman would have been arrested immediately in most states, and if something like that happened in the Netherlands(Presuming we would have the same laws as Florida) that man would not have stood a chance.

Cold blooded murder. Going by the evidence at hand, how can any rational human being come to another conclusion?

To me, this has nothing to do with guns and the NRA, and a whole lot more with corruption and incompetence in the police force.
The justice system only works if it is justice for everyone.

And people on this forum are somehow still able to defend this Zimmerman... shame on you.
You heard the telephone conversation, you heard the kid scream for help until he got shot dead. You heard the eyewitness accounts.
If you truly, deeply believe that this is excusable for some reason, then you are messed up and should seek professional help. I don't mean that in an insulting way, I am dead fucking serious. Seek. Mental. Help.

From what the witness reports have stated, the screaming for help was done by Zimmerman, or as they stated, the man in the red, who was on bottom being beaten up by Martin, the man on top, in gray. So it would appear the screams in the video were that of Zimmerman, not Martin. However, Zimmerman followed Martin against the directions of the police, and it could be reasonable to believe that Martin was acting in fear of his own life, and attacked Zimmerman in self defense. Zimmerman is in the wrong, because he followed Martin in the first place and started the confrontation, regardless if Martin then attacked him in fear of this creep following him.

Bassik:
I have a feeling that Zimmerman would have been arrested immediately in most states, and if something like that happened in the Netherlands(Presuming we would have the same laws as Florida) that man would not have stood a chance.

Cold blooded murder. Going by the evidence at hand, how can any rational human being come to another conclusion?

To me, this has nothing to do with guns and the NRA, and a whole lot more with corruption and incompetence in the police force.
The justice system only works if it is justice for everyone.

And people on this forum are somehow still able to defend this Zimmerman... shame on you.
You heard the telephone conversation, you heard the kid scream for help until he got shot dead. You heard the eyewitness accounts.
If you truly, deeply believe that this is excusable for some reason, then you are messed up and should seek professional help. I don't mean that in an insulting way, I am dead fucking serious. Seek. Mental. Help.

According to the witness reports, the screaming was Zimmerman, not Martin.

Lil devils x:
From what the witness reports have stated, the screaming for help was done by Zimmerman, or as they stated, the man in the red, who was on bottom being beaten up by Martin, the man on top, in gray. So it would appear the screams in the video were that of Zimmerman, not Martin. However, Zimmerman followed Martin against the directions of the police, and it could be reasonable to believe that Martin was acting in fear of his own life, and attacked Zimmerman in self defense. Zimmerman is in the wrong, because he followed Martin in the first place and started the confrontation.

Man screams for his life, fearing for his life, then shoots a guy.
Makes sense!
You know... if your brain don't work very well.

What kind of a sorry state are you lot running, if this man did not get arrested?

EDIT: And I am not playing the race card with the murder here. Had the roles been reversed, had Zimmerman (roomyman?) been a black guy, he would still have been guilty. The point people here are trying to make in vain is that had the roles been reversed, Zimmerman would have been arrested by the popo.

Bassik:

Lil devils x:
From what the witness reports have stated, the screaming for help was done by Zimmerman, or as they stated, the man in the red, who was on bottom being beaten up by Martin, the man on top, in gray. So it would appear the screams in the video were that of Zimmerman, not Martin. However, Zimmerman followed Martin against the directions of the police, and it could be reasonable to believe that Martin was acting in fear of his own life, and attacked Zimmerman in self defense. Zimmerman is in the wrong, because he followed Martin in the first place and started the confrontation.

Man screams for his life, fearing for his life, then shoots a guy.
Makes sense!
You know... if your brain don't work very well.

What kind of a sorry state are you lot running, if this man did not get arrested?

Have no idea why he was not arrested. However, they do not always arrest at the time, and come back and arrest after more evidence has been compiled. I personally think that is a terrible way to do it, but some departments operate that way.

According to the witnesses, Martin was on top of Zimmerman prior to him shooting him. But it is perfectly reasonable to believe Martin was terribly frightened in the first place because this guy was following him and then confronted him and flight or fight defense kicked in and he attacked the guy in fear of his own life.

I have been followed before, it is terribly frightening, your adrenaline goes through the roof. You do not always respond as predicted, Hell I once went the wrong way up a "do not enter ramp" to try and lose someone trying to harm me. If they then came up to me, I would definately do anything I could to ensure they could not harm me.

As for Zimmermans screaming, have you ever seen an overweight guy on his back? They are completely helpless, they can't get up. They have to roll to the side to get up, and even then it is a struggle.

Lil devils x:

Bassik:

Lil devils x:
From what the witness reports have stated, the screaming for help was done by Zimmerman, or as they stated, the man in the red, who was on bottom being beaten up by Martin, the man on top, in gray. So it would appear the screams in the video were that of Zimmerman, not Martin. However, Zimmerman followed Martin against the directions of the police, and it could be reasonable to believe that Martin was acting in fear of his own life, and attacked Zimmerman in self defense. Zimmerman is in the wrong, because he followed Martin in the first place and started the confrontation.

Man screams for his life, fearing for his life, then shoots a guy.
Makes sense!
You know... if your brain don't work very well.

What kind of a sorry state are you lot running, if this man did not get arrested?

Have no idea why he was not arrested. However, they do not always arrest at the time, and come back and arrest after more evidence has been compiled. I personally think that is a terrible way to do it, but some departments operate that way.

Just a layman's suggestion to nobody in particular, but... you should really keep an eye on departments who act like that. That is not normal.

cthulhuspawn82:

dmase:

As I understand it no evidence was taken from zimmerman; his shirt, coat, DNA swabs nothing(I doubt even the gun). The cops should be culpable for this one as well, in court they would be put on stand and would have to give a very accurate detailed description and would get torn apart by the prosecutor for the myriad of possible situations that zimmerman could have gotten the marks and wet shirt. I doubt this evidence for his defense would be allowed.

Prosecution isn't allowed to play the "what could have happened" game. They have the burden of proof. The defense however, is allowed to propose what could have happened as a means of establishing doubt. Let me give an example.

George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking down the street and thought he looked suspicious. Zimmerman called 911 an then started to pursue Trayvon despite the 911 operator's suggestion to stay put. Zimmerman confronted Trayvon about his purpose for being out. Trayvon, angry at Zimmerman's accusations decided to attack Zimmerman, lunging toward him, knocking him on his back, and pummeling him. Zimmerman then pulled his gun and fired to stop the attack.

Now, that isn't necessarily what happened but it is what could have happened. And because its not unreasonable to believe that events could have played out that way, there must be reasonable doubt that Zimmerman killed Trayvon unlawfully.

The shirt and wounds are considered evidence correct? Evidence for zimmerman's defense, the prosecution will undermine this evidence if it their belief that it isn't substantial or accurate to the situation. If the defense gives your account as what happen then the prosecution will also play the guessing game because what the defense says isn't fact until proven.

The evidence probably won't make it to a trial by jury. The prosecution would block the use of the evidence, they would then have to prove to a judge(and the judge only) that the "evidence" which amounts to a cops testimony is admissible in court. I've already listed a couple reasons why it probably wouldn't be.

Katatori-kun:
You don't have to be white to have a bias that leads to a black youth in a hoodie with bright white basketball shoes on is up to no good-

Funnily enough, Geraldo weighs in on this very point!

From: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/03/23/trayvon-martins-hoodie-and-george-zimmerman-share-blame/

No one black, brown or white can honestly tell me that seeing a kid of color with a hood pulled over his head doesn't generate a certain reaction, sometimes scorn, often menace.

When you see that kid coming your way, unless you specifically recognize him you are thinking ghetto or ghetto wannabe high-style or low-brow wise-ass. Pedestrians cross the street to avoid black or brown hoodie wearers coming their way.

From: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74392.html

"I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies," Rivera said on "Fox & Friends." "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was."

He actually kinda has a point. I don't think it's limited to non-whites though. People do often have that kind of reaction to a man in a hoodie. I've seen it in action and I've felt it myself, wrong as it is.

On the other hand, it's kinda like saying the girl got raped because she wore a short skirt.

Blablahb:
Even if that extremely unlikely scenario had happened, that's still murder. Attacking someone and getting punched in return is no justification to murder someone.

Besides, if a stranger with a gun jumps you in the dark, it's self-defense to give him a few good punches in order to create space to flee.

Apparently not according to the Stand Your Ground provision in Florida law (and again, Florida isn't alone in this, several other states have the same). Here are the relevant sections of law that lead me to this assessment:
776.012

776.012 Use of force in defense of person.-A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

776.013 part 3:

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

776.041

776.041 Use of force by aggressor. The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

Note section 2a actually does cite a duty to retreat. I believe that Zimmerman was the aggressor and thus had a duty to retreat, which I do not believe he even attempted. I don't buy that Trayvon was the aggressor here. He may have temporarily gained the upper hand in a fight but I just don't buy that he started it.

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