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July 14, 2013

Comments

I think it has to be noted that there is no, zip, zero, zilch, even nada, evidence that Zimmerman did squat to "provoke" Martin. This was the prosecution's argument, the prosecution lost the case, and with good reason.

Try to open your mind to the possibility that Treyvon Martin, far from being some kind of innocent victim, was a thug who picked the wrong person to attempt to beat to death. It might be an unsatisfying conclusion, but it has the merits of being consistent with the evidence.

Oh for Christ's sake. Literally. For the sake of Christ, try to open your mind to the possibility that it doesn't matter if Trayvvon was a thug of or not.

Zimmerman confronted Trayvon for no reason. Trayvon ran.
The cops told Zimmerman not to chase him.

Zimmerman chased anyway.

And, evidently, caught up with Trayvon.

That makes Zimmerman the aggressor. There i9sn't any intellectually ho0nest way to justfy Zimmerman even being on the same block as Trayvon, since he should have stayed in his vehicle as he was advised.

Zimmerman chased Trayvon. He didn't have to do that.

That makes Zimmerman the aggressor regardless of Tryavon's nature as a person and ragrdless of who was winning the fist fight that resulted from Zimmerman's attack on Trayvon.

And Zimmerman, the one who brought about the fight by chasing and catching trayvon,is also the one who shot Trayvon.

But we are swupposed to change the subject away from Zimmerman's actions, and speculate on Tryavon's character, so as to foerm some kind of distorted reality that defies the chaser, catcher and shooter as the victim.

Thwere is absolutely no possiblity that there would ahve been an innocent verdict of the races had been reversed.

I hope Trayvon's family sues Zimmerman into abject poverty.

Very likely, both sides were in the wrong. Both sides lost. One side lost big. The other side isn't out of the woods yet.

Right on, Laura Koerbeer.

This post is straight up bullshit. If GZ had stayed in his car, TM would still be alive. Should've been manslaughter at least.

I think it has to be noted that there is no, zip, zero, zilch, even nada, evidence that Zimmerman did squat to "provoke" Martin.

"Zip, zero, zilch, even nada" basically means there was no eye witness to the event. It's the word of Zimmerman vs the non-existent word of a dead kid.

So, we're left with whatever other information is available.

The other information that is available is that Zimmerman noticed Martin, assumed apparently based on the fact that he was a black kid in a hoodie that he was up to some kind of mischief, and then followed him first in his car and then on foot, eventually approaching close enough for them to get into the fight that ended in Martin's death.

You follow me around my own neighborhood in your car, continue doing so after I try to flee, then leave your car and approach me on foot, and I'm likely to assume ill intent. YMMV.

Note that (a) Martin was walking home to his father's house from a convenience store, and (b) Martin attempted to flee, as noted by Zimmerman himself. I.e., "he's running".

Don't tell me WTF I need to open my mind to.

Very likely, both sides were in the wrong.

We know that Zimmerman was wrong. Martin was not a criminal, was not on drugs, was not checking out the neighborhood for opportunities to rape and pillage.

He was walking to his father's house, from a convenience store.

The rest of your statement, in it's entirety, is 100% conjecture. There is no basis for it in the evidence available.

If GZ had stayed in his car, TM would still be alive.

If GZ had done any of a number of things, TM would still be alive. Briefly, if GZ has used his f***ing head, TM would still be alive.

Should've been manslaughter at least.

Unclear. Here are the conditions for justifiable use of force under FL law. If the jury believes that any of these apply in the killing of TM, then GZ cannot be found guilty of manslaughter.

If the jury believes that any of these apply in the killing of TM, then GZ cannot be found guilty of manslaughter.

IMO, Zimmerman did not meet his burden of proof for self defense, unless he was allowed, under Florida law, to make someone else fear for his life, thus provoking a violent "self-defense" response from Martin, and then was allowed to use "self-defense" to kill him.

I find it very hard to believe that if Martin had been a white teenager, Zimmerman wouldn't have been convicted. Obviously, we'll never know. It's incredibly sad to think that an unarmed kid can be shot to death by a vigilante who's ignoring police instructions to leave the kid alone, and the vigilante isn't punished for it.

Would somebody please send a black guy to Brett's neighborhood and have him follow Brett around at night?

On second thought, forget it. Brett is a white guy with a gun. No matter what happened, Brett would be legally innocent of any charges arising from the shooting death of either one of them. So the experiment would be pointless.

--TP

Let me get this straight. George Zimmerman, who stalked and killed an unarmed stranger, frightens me. If I went to Florida - which heaven forfend, because the whole state frightens me - would I therefore be justified in shooting George Zimmerman, because I fear for my life?

If you can get him to throw the first punch, have no witnesses around to counter your testimony, and get a lawyer who'll find a way to get your testimony out in the court without you ever taking the stand? Yes.

Also, from what I understand, and have at least casually confirmed with lawyer friends who didn't want to give me "legal advice™", Florida's self-defense statutes require the state to prove it wasn't self-defense, rather than requiring the defendant to prove it was self-defense.

So my general thought is - legally correct, if ethically/morally wrong decision; but that's the price we pay for having a legal system - there will people who will get away with doing unethical/immoral activities that are not illegal.

And in contrast to the woman who got 20 years for firing a warning shot, we are reminded that if you are going to fire your weapon in self-defense, shoot to kill. Or as friends of mine blackly jokes years ago in different circumstances, "No survivors means no witnesses."

Two things are beyond any reasonable doubt:

1) Zimmerman lied; a lot.
2) His defense attorney acts like an digestive rear exit of the first order

Unfortunately, neither in itself counted as a proof of guilt in the eyes of the jury.

From what I concluded from the presented evidence, I would have voted for manslaughter. Although personally I strongly suspect that GZ acted with murderous intent, the circumstances were muddy (and got muddied) enough to leave enough doubt to not meet the legal criteria for 2nd degree murder. I am not well versed enough in the differences between the legal statutes in Florida and Germany but I am pretty sure that GZ's behaviour would have met the manslaughter criteria over here easily under the header of 'excessive self defense' even under the 'pro reo' assumption that it was actual self-defense.
I follow the prosecution in their argument that the event cannot (physically) have happened in the way it got presented by the defense. The defense in their successful attempt to smear TM went at least one lie to far there.

Independent of the facts of the case (innocence or guilt), I wish I could hit that defense attorney in the face repeatedly. I did not appreciate some of the 'mellerdramma' on the prosecutor side either but that's part of the trade in jury trials and did not go to the sewers (in those parts that I saw at least).

As an aside, the whole case worked as a perfect Rohrschach test saying more about the multitude of commenters (esp. in the media) than about the case itself. That includes some on 'my' side too.

"Zimmerman confronted Trayvon for no reason. Trayvon ran.
The cops told Zimmerman not to chase him.

Zimmerman chased anyway.

And, evidently, caught up with Trayvon.{"

Riiight. Older out of shape fat guy caught up with running younger athlete. Followed up by a vicious beating to his knuckles with his nose, cleverly bouncing his head off the pavement for extra force.

The only, literally the ONLY, reason you've got for thinking Martin innocent, and Zimmerman the aggressor, is their respective skin colors. That's it. Your prejudices are on display for the whole world to see.

AND, I repeat, you're just assuming the prosecution case is true, and the prosecution LOST. Why aren't you willing to consider the conclusion the evidence points to: That Zimmerman stopped when asked to, (Not that he had any legal obligation to, mind.) and Martin doubled around and assaulted him?

It really is what the evidence points to, your prejudices aside.

If you, as it seems to me, subscribe to the idea that there would have been no trial if GZ had been black, then I consider any further discussion as futile.
And if GZ had been black and TM white there would have been an endless drumbeat on the net and in the media for a swift trial followed by execution. Claiming otherwise would be ridiculous (That GZ's lawyer insinuated exactly that is (imo) Exhibit A in my low opinion of him).

Zimmerman stopped when asked to

no he didn't.

I think it has to be noted that there is no, zip, zero, zilch, even nada, evidence that Zimmerman did squat to "provoke" Martin.

Stalking doesn't count, I guess?

But I have a question for the non-rabid posters here. Zimmerman's attorney is now pronouncing Trayvon Martin as a gun runner and drug dealer. Can his parents take him to court for defamation? Is there any recourse at all from these kind of disgusting statements?

No evidence of "stalking", either. But, no, "stalking", AKA following somebody, even if he HAD done that, was not a legal excuse for Martin to assault him.

And, of course they could take him to court over those statements. At which point he'd be able to produce all the evidence, barred from his murder trial, that the statements are true. So they'd be fools to do so, but, yes, they can act like fools.

Zimmerman stopped when asked to, (Not that he had any legal obligation to, mind.) and Martin doubled around and assaulted him?

What we know from the recording of Zimmerman's call to the police:

About two minutes into the call, Zimmerman said, "he's running." The dispatcher asked, "He's running? Which way is he running?" The sound of a car door chime is heard, indicating Zimmerman opened his car door. Zimmerman followed Martin, eventually losing sight of him. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following him. When Zimmerman answered, "yeah," the dispatcher said, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman responded, "Okay.

The rest of the narrative comes from Zimmerman, who is not a disinterested witness.

Further, Zimmerman's claims could be true in every particular, and he would still be a vigilante asshole who provoked an encounter than ended in the death of a young man who was simply walking home from the convenience store.

Innocent of murder, but not of being an irresponsible dick.

In Florida, he will almost certainly retain his license for concealed carry, because that's how folks there roll.

Your prejudices are on display for the whole world to see.

Prejudice: an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.

In the last week, we've seen Zimmerman acquitted of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter.

We've also seen Marissa Alexander, having been granted a protective order against her husband, sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shots to prevent his beating her.

Zimmerman - white, in a tan sort of way.

Martin and Alexander - black.

I observe, from the plain facts available in the public record, that the law and the wheels of justice operate differently for people who are black, than for people who are not black.

It's an observation, not an opinion or a feeling, and it's drawn from simple evidence, not my imagination.

So don't give me any shit about prejudice. You're the guy drawing conclusions based on bullshit, not me.

No evidence of "stalking", either.

Then please explain just exactly what it was that Zimmerman was doing using your "proven" information, of course.

"Further, Zimmerman's claims could be true in every particular, and he would still be a vigilante asshole who provoked an encounter than ended in the death of a young man who was simply walking home from the convenience store."

So, basically, you figure Zimmerman is guilty, and Martin innocent, simply because you think there shouldn't be neighborhood watchs or concealed carry permits. And nevermind that Martin, with entirely inadequate provocation, attacked Zimmerman, and if Zimmerman had not shot him, he'd either be dead or maybe crippled. He's got to be guilty because you don't like the laws Florida has democratically adopted due to your personal values not beind widely shared.

And, I will point out that Martin was a burglar, stolen goods from local burglaries had been found in his school locker, so it's entirely possible Zimmerman was right, and Martin was casing the neighborhood to commit more burglaries.

But none of that matters, because your higher concerns trump the details of the actual circumstances.

Try to open your mind to the possibility that Treyvon Martin, far from being some kind of innocent victim, was a thug who picked the wrong person to attempt to beat to death.

Reflecting your language and attitude back at you, do you mean the same guy who cried like a little girl on that tape and who lied about his finances hoping to flee the country? That upstanding man of courage and conviction?

"Then please explain just exactly what it was that Zimmerman was doing using your "proven" information, of course."

He was a member of the neighborhood watch, in his own neighborhood, and he had every right to be there, and be walking around, and to not be subjected to a vicious beating for being where he was entitled to be.

Even if you don't like white guys walking around at night in their own neighborhoods if black guys are present.

you figure Zimmerman is guilty, and Martin innocent

First of all, as I think I've made clear throughout, I don't figure Zimmerman is guilty. Not of murder, likely not of manslaughter.

I think he's guilty of being a reckless irresponsible wanna-be cop idiot, who needlessly provoked a confrontation that ended in the death of a kid walking home from the convenience store.

I'm not sure what Martin would be innocent or guilty of, to the best of my knowledge he was not on trial.

What's the most damning possible thing that could be alleged of him? He responded to some guy he didn't know following him around his father's neighborhood, in a car and on foot, by confronting the guy and getting into a fight?

That's called 'stand your ground'. Sadly for him, he wasn't armed.

I have no problem with concealed carry permits, or with neighborhood watch programs. What I expect is for folks who carry a firearm and/or participate in neighborhood watch programs to behave responsibly, follow the direction of the police when it is provided, and not create situations that end up with other people dead.

Martin, with entirely inadequate provocation, attacked Zimmerman, and if Zimmerman had not shot him, he'd either be dead or maybe crippled.

Outside of Zimmerman's own statements, there is exactly zero evidence for these claims. Zero. Not one shred.

Your point of view is based on your faith in Zimmerman's credibility.

It's Zimmerman's word against the dead guy's, and the dead guy can't talk.

I will point out that Martin was a burglar

I will point out that Zimmerman was arrested for fighting with cops, and had a restraining order taken out against him by his fiancee.

Any other things to point out?

It's entirely possible Zimmerman was right, and Martin was casing the neighborhood to commit more burglaries.

It's entirely possible that monkeys will fly out of my @ss.

"Zimmerman confronted Trayvon for no reason. Trayvon ran.
The cops told Zimmerman not to chase him.

Zimmerman chased anyway.

And, evidently, caught up with Trayvon.{"

Riiight. Older out of shape fat guy caught up with running younger athlete.

Nope basis for your sarcasm. That's the eveidence everyone (except you, apparently) agrees on. It's int he call to the cops, for one thing. And Zimmerman did some of his chasing in a car.

I think you have a prejudice going here, Brett. Not a skin color one. Just a belief that no matter how ridiculous, no matter how fact-free, no mattter how convoluted and dishonest, the rightwing party line has to be correct. You are reasoning from a faith-based assumption and ignoring reality.

Whether or not Trayvon Martin was a burglar, George Zimmerman had no way of knowing anything about it or anything else about Trayvon Martin, other than that he was walking around under Zimmerman's watch. Or are you assuming Martin was in the act of burglary when Zimmerman saw him, and that Zimmerman simply decided not to mention it?

And, Brett, be honest. Do you think Zimmerman wouldn't have been arrested on the spot if he were black?

I imagine Zimmerman is walking around right now, his meaty, sweaty hand clutching an automatic, his wild-eyes scanning the night-time roadside for more law-breaking perps, ready to dispense more "justice".

Since there have been some suggestions that people open their minds to things, I'd suggest opening one's (or Brett's) mind to the idea that right and wrong or innocence and guilt are not zero-sum affairs, such that Martin's being wrong to some degree necessitates that Zimmerman is right to the same degree.

Perhaps Martin overreacted to Zimmerman's pursuit. And maybe Zimmerman rightly feared for his life when he shot Martin. That doesn't mean Zimmerman didn't needlessly and irresponsibly precipitate the whole situation, thereby deserving some of the blame for Martin's death. (And let's not forget that Martin is the dead one, and that Zimmerman is the one still alive.)

I imagine Zimmerman is walking around right now, his meaty, sweaty hand clutching an automatic, his wild-eyes scanning the night-time roadside for more law-breaking perps, ready to dispense more "justice".

That's some imagination you have, there.

There is no evidence that Zimmerman "chased" Martin. There is no evidence that the "police" told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. There is evidence that the 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman not follow Martin.

There is evidence that Martin hit Zimmerman repeatedly. There is no evidence that Martin sustained any injuries prior to being shot. Martin is 6'2". I don't know how tall Zimmerman is. There is evidence that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, hitting him repeatedly.

The idea that Martin was provoked is primarily speculation. More to the point, 'provocation' is ambiguously broad. Because there is no evidence that Martin sustained any injuries prior to being shot, the reasonable inference is that, whatever provocation Zimmerman offered fell far short of actually striking a blow, producing the far more likely inference that the first blows were landed by Marin. Zimmerman was struck repeatedly prior to being shot.

We recently moved into a transitional neighborhood. Our garage was burglarized during our move in. I own a pistol (two in fact). If I were to see someone who appeared out of place behaving in a manner that seemed out of place (for example, loitering, instead of walking on the sidewalk to some destination), I would keep an eye on that person--in addition to calling the police--and I would let that person know he/she was being watched. If that person chose to escalate at that point, something bad could happen.

The fact that that person might choose to escalate is some indication of who I might be dealing with, i.e. a not nice person. His/her skin color would be a matter of supreme indifference to me.

What is truly awful about this situation is that so many on the left viewed the trial as a formality--Zimmerman was conclusively presumed to be guilty and the jury's refusal to go along with this is just further evidence of a an unjust, racially biased system. Russell excepted, much of the left's respect for the rule of law here and in other cases is disgustingly one-sided.

McKenny, while you are right that a disparcher, not the epolice themselves, told Z he didn't need to continue the cdhase, you are mistaken abou the rest.

There would have been no incident if Z had simply gone on his way after the dispatcher told him to leave off.

He followed T who was running away. No matter how you slice it, that's chaaing.

That also makes Z the aggressor. It also means Z was not standing HIS ground. His ground was back at the orignal point where, from his vehicle , he first saw T.

If T had been the aggressor, the incident would have gone something like this: Z says something to T, T attacks truck, maybe tries to open door, Z accellerates ahead, but T keeps coming, Z shoots T.

But that is not how it happened.

It happened the other way around. No escalation would have occured if Z had not chased T.

No escalation would have occurred if Z had not caught up with T.

And Z didn't have to do any of that.

The fact that the fight, once started (because of Z's actions) might have been won by T, just shows that in Florida black teenagers don't get to stand THEIR ground.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/07/15/2297541/self-defense-zimmerman/


Three cases where the ethnicities are revdersed.

he was walking around under Zimmerman's watch

This gives an overbroad meaning to 'under his watch'. Zimmerman was not on a neighborhood watch patrol when he saw Martin, he was running a personal errand.

If I were to see someone who appeared out of place behaving in a manner that seemed out of place

How would you respond if someone was following you through your neighborhood, first in a car, then on foot?

What is most telling to me is that Zimmerman saw a kid wearing a hoodie walking through his neighborhood and came to the 'out of place' conclusion, absent any other information or evidence. Sufficiently so that he thought tailing the kid and calling the cops was the necessary response.

If you are looking for 'prejudice', there it is.

Here's something from a lawyer that is more or less along the lines of what russell wrote. It appears to have been written before the trial, but it pretty well accounts for facts coming to light and changing things.

For the most part, there weren't many facts brought to light that contradicted Zimmerman's version of things, so it's kind of moot, anyway. But I still think Zimmerman's a stinking pile of sh*t, even if his version of the story is true.

This gives an overbroad meaning to 'under his watch'.

Sure. Tell that to Zimmerman. ;)

P.S. I appear to be in moderation on a previous comment.

Fixed, hsh.

It appears to come down to this: If you are in a state with a Stand Your Ground law, and there are no witnesses (eye witnesses or cameras) to a killing, proving murder will essentially be impossible. And that is what I believe we saw here: a Scottish verdict ("not proven").

I look to see a flood of Stand Your Ground defenses across all of the states with such laws. Successful ones -- any defense lawyer who does not cite Zimmerman in such circumstances will have to be reckoned incompetent.

Well, at least it will delight the NRA to have being armed to defend yourself become a matter of necessity, since the law will be impotent.

Proving murder is impossible everywhere without evidence that a murder occurred.

I would say that this particular case would be difficult to make anywhere. But IANAL.

Hairshirt, that was a very interesting and illuminating link, so thank you.

That Florida law is just plain dangerous.

It seems ridiculous to me that someone could provoke a fight and then claim "stand your ground" because they are losing.

As Scott Lemiuex explains here, this case has nothing to do with stand your ground laws. The defence never invoked that law. They didn't need to.

Under Florida law, once Zimmerman claimed self-defense, the state couldn't prosecute him unless they could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not engaged in self-defense. Since Zimmerman killed the only witness who could do that, he walked.

Stand your ground was not used as a defense in this case, Laura, so I am really wondering what you are talking about.

I imagine Zimmerman is walking around right now,

i imagine Zimmerman is too busy weighing offers from various wingnut grifting firms, to see which of them can turn him into the most lucrative wingnut celeb-du-jour he can be. there are obviouly enough people ready to swallow whatever he says that he can make some big cash, if he just packages himself the right way.

i'm betting he'll have a book by Christmas, a coincident promotion tour, and maybe a recurring 'urban criminality expert' spot on the wingnut fleecing circuit.

(i wonder what kind "but [lefty X] did something similar once, so neenerneeenerneeener!" replies this will get)

But, but, but, his lawyer said that GZ will never again be able to walk the streets because he can expect a lynch mob behind every corner. All of that for just shooting someone while not being black. Or in short bullsh|t defending batsh|t.

as is so often the case, Ta-Nehisi says everything I might want to say, only better.

"All of that for just shooting someone while [mostly] not being black."
FIFY

Lifted from the comments at Turb's link:

From the jury instructions, page 12:

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand hisground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it wasnecessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Obviously stand your ground was important to the judge, and this paragraph defined the limits of what the jury could consider. Florida is a shoot first, shoot to kill state, the jury was obligated to ground their decision in that fact.

If this is correct, the judge invoked "stand your ground" whether the defense did or not.

"Florida is a shoot first, shoot to kill state"

Did you miss the, "and was attacked" bit? Florida is an "attacked first, and only then can you shoot" state. I stand by my position: Based on the available evidence, all Martin had to have done, to have survived that evening, was to have not launched an unprovoked assault on Zimmerman. Unless you think Martin beat Zimmerman up AFTER being shot, Martin was the attacker. Not Zimmerman.

So what could Zimmerman have done differently to avoid shooting Martin, Brett? Were Zimmerman's actions necessary? Were they wise? Do you think he did a good thing that night, all told?

Why is it that you think Martin went after him, anyway?

I think Trayvon attacked him because he was a creepy-ass cracka.

Or so earwitness testimony has it, anyway.

Russell: "when the evidence is one person's word against another's, and the other guy is dead, ironclad is hard to come by."

By that standard, when one guy is dead and the other claims self-defense, there should be very, very few convictions. I don't have the stats, but I don't think that that's the case.

Brett: "Try to open your mind to the possibility that Treyvon Martin, far from being some kind of innocent victim, was a thug who picked the wrong person to attempt to beat to death. It might be an unsatisfying conclusion, but it has the merits of being consistent with the evidence."

In your definitiion of 'merits' 'being' 'consistent' and 'evidence', yes.

launched an unprovoked assault on Zimmerman.

oh fer fnck's sake, it wasn't unprovoked.

Martin had done absolutely nothing wrong, and had no reason to expect to be followed, in a car and on foot, by an unknown person with unknown intent. and yet he was followed. anyone would feel threatened in such a situation.

one wonders why "conservatives" insist on starting the story in the middle. well, no, one doesn't wonder.

I think Trayvon attacked him because he was a creepy-ass cracka.

I suspect Martin encountered a fair number of creepy-ass crackas in the normal course of his daily life, without demonstrating any particular inclination to lay a beating on any of them.

Perhaps there's more to it than that.

By that standard, when one guy is dead and the other claims self-defense, there should be very, very few convictions.

This needs further refinement.

When one guy is dead, and the other claims self-defense and displays the effects of a beating, and there are no eye witnesses, and the jurisdiction is the state of Florida.

And, lest we forget, victim is black, shooter is not.

I'm not sure how many convictions that set of filters would yield.

one wonders why "conservatives" insist on starting the story in the middle. well, no, one doesn't wonder.

Doubtless because of teh racism.

So, did Martin run away, or not?

Doubtless because of teh racism.

maybe you should have that argument with someone who shows an interest in having it, instead of trying to provoke it in those who don't.

Possibly making the arguments that you're making would be a good way to avoid getting into these exchanges.

Being more guilty of the same kind of difficult-to-interpret snark, I realize that this is potkettleblacking.

But speaking for myself, I have absolutely no idea what meaning was supposed to be conveyed by "well, no, one doesn't wonder."

One bit of speculation I can't seem to resist regards whether or not Zimmerman would have pursued Martin as closely or for as long had Zimmerman not been carrying a pistol. I can't help but think there's a strong likelihood that, were Zimmerman unarmed, not only would Martin be alive today, but Zimmerman wouldn't have put himself in a situation requiring him to defend himself in the first place.

No getting out of truck. No beat down. No shooting.

and I would let that person know he/she was being watched.

is this before or after you follow them around, in car and on foot, for a number of minutes, despite having been told by law enforcement to knock it off?

despite having been told by law enforcement to knock it off

Didn't happen.

Dispatcher: Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yeah.

Dispatcher: Okay, we don't need you to do that.

Zimmerman: Okay.

Dispatcher: Okay, you are ordered not to do thatwe don't need you to do that.

It's always nice to know what the 911 dispatcher doesn't need, but that's not the same as "being told by law enforcement to knock it off".

it's close enough. the dispatcher, being the interface between the public and the responders, works for the responders in order to help the responders help the caller. and odds are good that they know far more about these kinds of situations, and what's likely to lead to a better outcome, than the caller does.

if you choose to go against what the dispatcher asks, at the very least, you're probably complicating the responders' job. irresponsibly.

McKT wrote:

"Zimmerman was struck repeatedly prior to being shot."

:)

I definitely want McKT as my defense attorney after I dispense a little citizen justice.

I expect that's a typo, but nevertheless I instruct the jury to disregard that statement, along with ex post facto rumors that Trayvon Martin was a gunrunner and drug pusher, just as I instructed jurors in the Nicole Simpson murder case to strike from their minds OJ Simpson's statement that he had been enraged with jealousy repeatedly prior to being stabbed multiple times.

While we're at it, counselors, please don't let me hear you referring in my courtroom to George Zimmerman's police record, including domestic violence, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer, and speeding, and lest you believe the charge of speeding is more irrelevant in this case than the other charges on his record, please hold in your mind, and then expel from your mind, the relevant irrelevancy that in response to the idea, stated upthread, that all Zimmerman had to do to avoid the armed confrontation was remain in his car to await a police presence, or better that he should not have been carrying a loaded weapon, the usual suspect frequent to these pages would have responded that Zimmerman could just as well have placed the car into gear and run (speeding all the way) Martin over, perhaps repeatedly, including shoving the thing into reverse and backing over the "f*cking punk" repeatedly for good measure, an automobile being just as deadly a weapon as a gun.

In regard to the domestic violence charge against Zimmerman, please also ignore thoughts that may enter your minds that had Zimmerman spotted Martin's mother walking suspiciously and skittishly in the neighborhood and begun following her against a police dispatcher's instructions, which, as inferenced here, the 911 dispatcher presumably was not authorized nor even given any training by law enforcement to give, having made up the instructions on the fly (if had been a fire and the caller had expressed a desire to pour gasoline on it, the dispatcher probably should keep his or her biases out of it about what is needed or not) and further had Martin's mother become suspicious and been provoked by Zimmerman's actions and assumed intentions, as Zimmerman was of her actions and assumed intentions, she would have been justified in defending herself by proactive violence, including throwing him to the ground and shooting the f&cker in the head, especially had she heard rumors months after the incident that Zimmerman was an alleged abuser of females,

Or, maybe not.

Please also disregard the strange case of the alleged gunrunner, Martin, who oddly enough neglected to run guns to himself, at least on that fateful day, and disregard the equally strange case of the gun possesser, Zimmerman, who had guns run to himself by the largest, most prolific, well-connected gunrunners in the United States, including the NRA, Gun Owner's of America, and the rest of the usual suspects.

Normally I would say that there was one too many guns in possession that awful day, but I'm going to open my mind and take a fresh perspective and assert that there were too FEW guns on the scene.

Since there are never too many guns in America, Martin should have held up his end of the bargain and been carrying too.

That way he could have used his own gun to shoot Zimmerman for the latter's assumed menacing behavior and simultaneously Zimmerman, with his own gun, could have shot Martin for his assumed menacing and they could have avoided altogether the f&cking, goddamned, m*therf*cking alleged struggle over the single gun present that day.

Then we wouldn't have any witnesses to the incident, except for Brett, who was there that day, and thus even more non-existent facts to chew over.

Sharing never works with guns, I've found.

But wait. If two guns on the scene would have comported with the views of the gunrunners, why ... a THIRD gun would have been even better.

Mine.

Say, I had come along that day in Florida and witnessed Martin and Zimmerman in a prone clutch on the sidewalk, fighting over a single gun, or worse ... or is it better ... let me check the Constitution, struggling each with own gun pointing it at the other.

Here's where my third gun would have come into play. Not being able to ascertain what was what and who was the original aggressor, I would, after some off-the-cuff back of the envelope first impressions that I was dealing with probably a thuggish looking kid and an illegal alien who was receiving food stamps at the behest of oppressive nutrition providers (if it had been two white guys in suits rolling around on the sidewalk I would have let it go, figuring maybe they both were in the right, based on various biases which I pretend I don't have) and after a judicious clearing of the throat and a couple of gallons of testosterone gushing from my ears and nose, getting my gun all wet (I carry a spare, because four guns are better than three and so on) and after a GomerBarney-like high-pitched warning to break it up or I'll shoot, and after the two of them shot me complicit looks of "mind your own business or we'll take a break from our nonsense and kick YOUR ass" and to prevent the possible murder of one by the other or of both by both, I too would have ignored the dispatcher in my mind and, well, shot both of them, so we'd have two dead f*ckers, in self-defense with copious bed, bath but not beyond shadows of doubt and of course, my expert witness testimony, if I chose to take the stand.

Because, under the same three-is-better- than-two-is-better-than-one rule of the gun, two dead f*ckers are better than one.

Guns aren't the problem, don't you know.

Trying to have a knock-down, drag-out fist fight with a sorry officious pussy who doesn't know how to have a knock-down drag-out fist fight but has to resort to a gun is the problem.

I don't have any problem with the suggestion that Zimmerman acted irresponsibly. What I have a problem with is the mythology that says Zimmerman disobeyed the instructions of law enforcement, and is through some complex sequence of logical maneuverings therefore a murderer.

"oh fer fnck's sake, it wasn't unprovoked."

Let me clue you in on something which is widely understood outside liberal circles: Being followed is not sufficient provocation to justify assaulting somebody. Not even remotely. People are legally entitled to walk on the same path as you, in the same direction.

Brett: Being followed is not sufficient provocation to justify assaulting somebody. Not even remotely. People are legally entitled to walk on the same path as you, in the same direction.

Well, the Florida statute seems to contemplate that you can be an "aggressor"* without doing anything illegal, it seems you merely must have done the initial provoking.* Which would lead me to consider what constitutes the reasonable belief of the "imminent use of unlawful violence" under Florida law.

That is to say, if you reasonably believe that the imminent use of unlawful violence is about to be used upon you, you can defend yourself. It says nothing about whether that belief is developed based upon lawful or unlawful conduct.*

*There, of course, may be some general definition of "aggressor" and "provoke" elsewhere in the Florida code that I'm not aware of.

edit: note that in the second link of my 2:52pm above, the statute uses "force" not "violence" despite my quoting it.

People are legally entitled to walk on the same path as you, in the same direction.

having the legal right to tread the same ground as another person is completely fncking irrelevant to the fact that the average individual can generally tell when he/she is actually being followed, as opposed to having a coincidental stroll about the neighborhood. and most people, if they know themselves to be completely innocent of any reason to warrant following, are going to feel threatened when followed, at night, by an unknown person.

are you really unable to see this?

Being followed is not sufficient provocation to justify assaulting somebody.

Guess what, Brett - if Trayvon Martin had simply beat George Zimmerman's ass, sans being shot to death, I don't think we'd be discussing this at all, even if Trayvon Martin were charged, tried and convicted of assault and battery. No one would be saying it's okay to kick someone's ass just because he had followed and/or chased you, so long as you could get away. But that doesn't mean that following or chasing someone isn't provoking.

The problem I and I think other people have is that Zimmerman has no criminal culpability whatsoever for the death of Trayvon Martin. I'm okay with him not being a murderer, strictly speaking, but I'm not okay with him behaving in a strange and threatening manner - while carrying a loaded pistol - and provoking (yes, provoking) a response that requires him to shoot someone to death to avoid an ass-beating, only to be convicted of nothing.

It appears to come down to this: If you are in a state with a Stand Your Ground law, and there are no witnesses (eye witnesses or cameras) to a killing, proving murder will essentially be impossible.

Yes, except I suspect that this sort of resolution will only happen in particular circumstances. When a black mugger claims that the white victim he was caught on camera stalking turned on him and became the aggressor once they got off-camera, and the mugger shot him in self-defense... well, let's just say that 1)I bet the trial will be short and the sentence long 2)I bet Brett won't be telling us how the only logical conclusion is that the mugger was attacked.

It's always nice to know what the 911 dispatcher doesn't need, but that's not the same as "being told by law enforcement to knock it off".

I understand that the dispatchers avoid giving orders unless circumstances are extreme, in order to avoid liability. Nitpicking aside, Zimmerman was advised by the authorities that he shouldn't pursue, and he chose to do so anyway. This isn't illegal, but it does demonstrate a strong desire to chase and confront Martin. Whereas Martin showed a strong desire to escape pursuit.

The idea that Martin was provoked is primarily speculation. More to the point, 'provocation' is ambiguously broad. Because there is no evidence that Martin sustained any injuries prior to being shot, the reasonable inference is that, whatever provocation Zimmerman offered fell far short of actually striking a blow, producing the far more likely inference that the first blows were landed by Marin. Zimmerman was struck repeatedly prior to being shot.

The provocation could easily have been a tackle, push, grapple, glancing blow, blow to the body, or even a missed blow. It could have been a verbal threat of an imminent nature.
So no, there's not a reasonable inference that Martin started the fight. Given that Zimmerman pursued Martin and Martin attempted to evade him, there's a reasonable inference that Zimmerman *continued* to be the aggressor, rather than their roles reversing the moment that Zimmerman becomes the sole remaining witness.

I own a pistol (two in fact). If I were to see someone who appeared out of place behaving in a manner that seemed out of place (for example, loitering, instead of walking on the sidewalk to some destination), I would keep an eye on that person--in addition to calling the police--and I would let that person know he/she was being watched. If that person chose to escalate at that point, something bad could happen.

Remind me not to be black while walking to the convenience store loiter in your neighborhood then. But you might want to keep your kids indoors just in case any of your neighbors get the same idea. But then, your kids aren't black don't loiter, do they? So no worries.

Bluntly: the evidence is *consistent* with Martin switching from a kid getting Skittles to a cold-blooded killer the moment that Zimmerman became the only witness. It is also *consistent* with Zimmerman chasing Martin down, attempting to subdue or assult him, and shooting him in the ensuing struggle. It is also *consistent* with Zimmerman wanting to shoot someone from the get-go. There just isn't that much physical/eyewitness evidence here to pin down a story.
But there isn't any reason for anyone (other than Zimmerman's defense team) to conclude that it's *likely* that Zimmerman tried to retreat and Martin transformed into a killer the moment that Zimmerman became the only witness. At least, the only reason I can see is ugly. And similar to the reason that none of those doing so imagine themselves or their kids as Martin- wrong color to have to worry about that kind of thing.

Slart: What I have a problem with is the mythology that says Zimmerman disobeyed the instructions of law enforcement, and is through some complex sequence of logical maneuverings therefore a murderer.

People who carry guns around the neighborhood, looking for people who might be doing bad stuff, are sometimes called vigilantes. If vigilante justice is what we want, we should all live under a legal regime like Florida's.

hairshirthedonist: I can't help but think there's a strong likelihood that, were Zimmerman unarmed, not only would Martin be alive today, but Zimmerman wouldn't have put himself in a situation requiring him to defend himself in the first place.

This. The fact that our society thinks it's fine for people be allowed to walk around with guns looking for confrontation, rather than calling on trained police, is very screwed up.

I have no problem either with the suggestion that Martin acted irresponsibly, as did Zimmerman.

Two numbskulls, let's posit, given the dearth of witnesses and the desire to be open to all possibilities free of bias, and one gun.

I have no problem with the proposition that had it been two numbskulls minus the gun, in this particular case, we'd still have two numbskulls around, both worse for the wear and after various charges to one or the other or both, who could reconsider and perhaps seek redemption for their respective behaviors.

hairshirthedonist is right about the singular presence of the weapon.

"complex sequence of logical maneuverings"

In law school, I think that's referred to as "omplexcay equencesay foay ogicallay aneuveringsay", otherwise known as law and precedent. Judge Antonio Scalia refers to it, in his manner, as his opinion.

I'll bet the NSA could follow Brett on the same path in the same direction in such a way that sapient would be assaulted by Rand Paul.

I hope no one is carrying so it could be a good clean fight.

I've seen Brett walk and even the Three Stooges wouldn't want to walk this way, even with a "please".


"complex series of logical maneuverings"

I've used those words from time to time myself, except that they came out as "I know in my gut that OJ murdered Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman' and most recently as "George Zimmerman's story is shot through with bullsh*t."

The problem I and I think other people have is that Zimmerman has no criminal culpability whatsoever for the death of Trayvon Martin.

I don't even go that far.

I'd be happy to see him liable for civil penalties.

I'd be happy for Zimmerman to lose his concealed carry license, because he has demonstrated himself to be an irresponsible idiot.

I'd be happy to have anyone, anywhere who supports Zimmerman's acquittal at least acknowledge that his pursuit of Martin was unnecessary and, at a minimum, ill-considered and foolish.

I'd be happy to have anyone, anywhere who supports Zimmerman's acquittal at least acknowledge the obvious reality that Martin's race was relevant to his being singled out by Zimmerman for suspicion.

And I'd be happy to have anyone, anywhere who supports Zimmerman's acquittal at least acknowledge the obvious reality that the criminal justice system has different outcomes for black people than it does for folks who aren't black.

If Martin was white I doubt that Zimmerman would have noticed him at all. Now he's dead, and Zimmerman has not only been acquitted, he's something of a folk hero.

Saturday night, when the verdict was returned, I was on a gig at a local bar. Somebody got the news of the verdict on their cell phone, the word spread around, and there was a big round of thumbs up and smiles.

These are people I know and work with. I had no idea what to say to them. I did not, and did not want to, understand what the hell they were thinking.

It was really sad, and really depressing, and kind of disgusting. It made me ashamed to be in the same room as those people, and it made me ashamed of this country. It made me ashamed to be a human being, frankly.

I don't really have a big problem with the acquittal per se. I have a big problem with living in a world where a kid can't go to the store without having some racist asshole harrass him and ultimately shoot him in the heart. All because he's black and wears a hoodie.

And if you don't think that's where all of this crap started, you need to pay better attention.

What. russell. Said.

DecidedFenceSitter: "If you can get him to throw the first punch, have no witnesses around to counter your testimony, and get a lawyer who'll find a way to get your testimony out in the court without you ever taking the stand? Yes."

And we have no evidence whatsoever that Trayon threw the first punch.

So, if I'm being followed relentlessly on the same path in the same direction, that's O.K., but if I stop momentarily to smell the roses and the follower stops too and studies his nails in a patently forced manner, which one of us is loitering?

Let's say Trayvon, instead walking or running away from George, had instead turned the tables and started following the latter, just following not confronting.

Add in the gun in Zimmerman's possession. Or Trayvon's for that matter.

Then what?

What if, unknown to either, both had been Neighborhood Watch adventurers, both with weapons, and had played cat and mouse all night with a blaze of gunfire lighting up the dawn.

Methinks Zimmerman still gets the first shot in, for reasons Russell states.

Going forward, as Zimmerman's agent, while I counsel a low profile and at least a public mien of mock repentance for being so irresponsible, and turning his concealed weapon into the local police station because look what happens, I'm afraid my client is set to join Mark Fuhrman on the pundit circuit with FOX News and he is considering requests from stage prop Steven Seagal to join the latter on armed citizen patrol in Arizona to harass people who look just like George and maybe join a group of sociopaths along the Southern border to mutually masturbate each other without firing a shot.

He's also been asked to take up residence under Ann Coulter's skirt to help her wax ecstatic on the O'Reilly Hour even when she's not in the mood.

As for what Russell says, whenever he says it I just want to give up talking altogether.

"It's always nice to know what the 911 dispatcher doesn't need, but that's not the same as "being told by law enforcement to knock it off"."

Posted by: Slartibartfast | July 15, 2013 at 02:16 PM

Actually, it is.

Count-me-in: "Two numbskulls, let's posit, given the dearth of witnesses and the desire to be open to all possibilities free of bias, and one gun."

No, since we have (a) positive evidence that Zimmerman was looking for trouble and (b) no evidence whatsoever that Trayvon was looking for trouble.

Carleton Wu: "Yes, except I suspect that this sort of resolution will only happen in particular circumstances. When a black mugger claims that the white victim he was caught on camera stalking turned on him and became the aggressor once they got off-camera, and the mugger shot him in self-defense... well, let's just say that 1)I bet the trial will be short and the sentence long 2)I bet Brett won't be telling us how the only logical conclusion is that the mugger was attacked."

When the armed black man is caught with an unarmed dead white guy, and no witnesses or cameras, I'm sure that the result would be just the same because America and Justice.

Actually, it is

Actually, no. The Sanford 911 dispatcher is a civilian that works for all of the local emergency services. Which is why they ask you, starting out, whether you have a medical emergency.

The first words the dispatcher spoke to Zimmerman were: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

But that's nearly beside the point. The point is this (I know I'm repeating myself, but apparently it's needed): "we don't need you to do that" in no way equates to "I instruct you not to do that". Even if you wish very very hard for it to.

Barry, I'm with you, but at this point in the thread I'm so open minded that I'm entertaining the notion that Zimmerman was the one murdered/manslaughtered and Martin is out walking the streets now.

But even if Trayvon was looking for trouble he was going about it gunless, which seems highly unprepared (breaks numerous rules in the NRA handbook) if you are in the trouble game or not, not to mention law-abiding, unlike Zimmerman who was looking for trouble on the same path in the same direction but with a weapon, which I deem a complex series of logical maneuvering in the search for trouble, although some call it law-abiding as well.

as is so often the case, Ta-Nehisi says everything I might want to say, only better.

That is a gut wrenching piece of writing that all here should read. And you did a damned good job yourself, Russell. Thanks.

For those still playing the "Trayvon had it coming" game, because of his alleged past and character, this viewpoint https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151774324452329
may be salutary.

Or not.

"we don't need you to do that"

Who is "we" kimosabe?

And nevermind that Martin, with entirely inadequate provocation, attacked Zimmerman, and if Zimmerman had not shot him, he'd either be dead or maybe crippled. He's got to be guilty because you don't like the laws Florida has democratically adopted due to your personal values not beind widely shared.

There is no evidence as to who attacked who. Other than the inferential evidence that Zimmerman was the agressive pursuer up until he becomes the only eyewitness. And the girlfriend who heard Zimmerman confront Martin (which would make Zimmerman's claim to have been jumped a lie). It's genuinely weird that you keep stating this as a fact, as if it were caught on tape.
There is even less evidence that Zimmerman would've been 'dead or maybe crippled' if he hadn't fired. He hit his head on the sidewalk; it's possible that Martin slammed his head on the sidewalk, it's possible that Zimmerman grabbed Martin and hit his head when they both fell. Or a bunch of other scenarios. It's genuinely weird that you've made a fact out of Zimmerman's mortal danger when people get in (or even start) fights all of the time without anyone getting killed.

And, I will point out that Martin was a burglar, stolen goods from local burglaries had been found in his school locker, so it's entirely possible Zimmerman was right, and Martin was casing the neighborhood to commit more burglaries.

And I will point out that Zimmerman had no way of knowing what Martin had in his locker, and that it appears undisputed that Martin went to the corner store for some Skittles for a family member. It's genuinely weird that you've invented a criminal motive for Martin.

But none of that matters, because your higher concerns trump the details of the actual circumstances.

The details are not what you apparently think they are. You've got all kinds of speculation and outright fantasy turned into facts in your head. For some reason.

Try to open your mind to the possibility that Treyvon Martin, far from being some kind of innocent victim, was a thug who picked the wrong person to attempt to beat to death.

And this is the cherry on top. Martin picked the wrong person? Like Zimmerman was just minding his biz when Martin decides to take a break from the game, gives an obviously fabricated excuse about Skilles, and starts pretending to case the neighborhood until he lures in an unsuspecting armed neighborhood watch guy, so that Martin can pretend to flee while suckering him in for the death-beating. Heck, there's probly a dozen neighborhood watch bodies buried in the Martins' backyard, he's probably been at this for a while.
You can just tell from looking at the picture. No, not the skin- it's the *eyes*, the cold eyes of a killer. Right?

Slart wrote:

'But that's nearly beside the point. The point is this (I know I'm repeating myself, but apparently it's needed): "we don't need you to do that" in no way equates to "I instruct you not to do that".'

Well, alright already, 911 dispatchers should free their responses of all ironic phrasing and tones of voice to make sure the dimwitted literalists out there remain on point.

Other 911 responses that should be tightened up:

Caller: I've found an unexploded WWII bomb in my back garden! I'm off to dismantle it and isolate the explosive materials.

911 Dispatcher: Well, knock yourself out dumbsh*t, but if I were you, I'd wear earplugs.

Caller: My full-grown pet crocodile has eaten my dog and is starting in on the children.

911 Dispatcher: Sir, this is the third time this year you've reported this type of incident. So, you've run out of hamburger and chum again or weren't we clear the first time?

Caller: I'm going to kill myself here in a minute. What I want to know from you is: poison or crossbow?

911 Dispatcher: Let me connect you with the morgue, but in the time remaining, can I interest you in some funeral insurance?

Caller: I'm literally on fire from head to toe. I've heard drinking gasoline can douse the flames. Advice?

911 Dispatcher: Only if you gargle first, hot pants.


Maybe this for the Zimmerman's of the world:

Caller: Suspect (does a fake walky-talky static noise with his mouth for "realism") is leaving the scene at a high rate of foot speed with a look in his eye. I'm pursuing to interdict with firepower. Ten Four!

911 Dispatcher (putting a finer point on it to enhance public understanding): Listen to me, troubleseeker, this is outside my pay grade, but how about instead I personally come down there, handcuff and gag you, and permanently conceal that weapon up your self important wazoo! Do not, I repeat, do not think that I'm humoring you by saying we don't need you to do that! Observe from a distance until uniforms arrive on the scene.

Caller: So, you're rogering that I am to pursue the suspect, do I read you? Over and out. Damn these Samsung walkie-talkie thingys ..... (fakes more radio static with his mouth) .. I'm losing you here!

911 Dispatcher: There will be some rogering alright, but not like you think!

To be very cynical, GZ's lawyer is in essence already preparing the defense for GZ's next self-defense shooting of somebody, telling intervievers that he (GZ) needs that gun now more than ever because so many people hate him now and that from today he will always (have to) wear a bullet proof vest because you know...

I have the feeling that this makes it actually more likely that someone will try (which I do not condone in any way). It would be better, if the world would never hear from GZ again. Actively turning him into both a victim and a hero and (in a way) preparing for the exploitation of his upcoming martyrdom stinks of self-fulfilling prophecy. What I also smell is utter disappointment that there were NO race riots after the acquittal as had been predicted for some time by (among others) Fox News.

The point is this (I know I'm repeating myself, but apparently it's needed): "we don't need you to do that" in no way equates to "I instruct you not to do that".'

This seems like a defense against Zimmerman being accused of violating a direct police command. It does not mitigate the inferences about Zimmerman's state of mind based on his ignoring the dispatcher's 'suggestion'- he was pursuing Martin and seeking out a confrontation even when emergency services was already aware of the situation (such as it was).
These assholes, they always get away -Zimmerman, after shooting Martin, explaining why he pursued him

"Saturday night, when the verdict was returned, I was on a gig at a local bar. Somebody got the news of the verdict on their cell phone, the word spread around, and there was a big round of thumbs up and smiles."

That's really sick and depressing. But not surprising.

"The details are not what you apparently think they are. You've got all kinds of speculation and outright fantasy turned into facts in your head. For some reason."

This is true of almost every comment in this thread, starting with Russell, oddly. Other than the standard extrapolation of almost any event that involves a black person into a universal truth, Coates gets it about right.

There is real evidence of a few things.

First, Zimmerman took his neighborhood watch duties (on duty or not)pretty seriously and was frustrated by what he felt was a string of petty crimes that went unpunished in the neighborhood. I can introduce you to four or five people just like that in the neighborhood watch for my 500 house development. Each of them has followed a kid who lives here back to his house, with no incident. This is profiling based on age, dress, demeanor,but not race,(and in NONE of the 911 conversations presented in the courtroom did it seem that Zimmerman was using race as a criteria)

Second, Martin got freaked out by a neighborhood watch guy following him. Completely, unnecessarily freaked out, causing him to actually act guilty.

Third they then had an encounter, that could have been avoided by either person pretty easily, that had an abominable and tragic outcome.

Fourth, race did play a part. Trayvon was unreasonably afraid of the creepy a$$ cracker, thus escalating the situation unnecessarily. Keeping in mind that he had no reason to believe that Zimmerman was a threat of any kind, except he profiled him and:

Trayvon might have been told (by his parent)that there was a neighborhood watch, if he knew there was on he might have had a different reaction.

Trayvon should have been told that if the neighborhood watch was following him to stop and answer any questions they might have.

All of those things are pretty obviously supported by the facts.

So, who's to blame? From the beginning I have felt that the parents didn't properly prepare their kid for one of the most normal things that happens in the neighborhood, to kids of all races.

And just to put myself completely in this, I have followed kids that weren't from my neighborhood until I determined where they were going or they left the neighborhood lots more than once in the last thirty years. If they had started running I certainly would have considered it more important to figure out what they were up to.

And a couple of times they were arrested because they had done something wrong, based on me knowing where they went.

And no, none of them were black.

Second, Martin got freaked out by a neighborhood watch guy following him. Completely, unnecessarily freaked out, causing him to actually act guilty.

First, I don't see anything unnecessarily about getting freaked out by some creeper following you. Nor is there anything guilty about trying to get away from said creeper.
Maybe you tell your kids "if some guy starts following you slowly in a car, dont' try to get away from them. And if you do, and they get out and pursue- just remember the most important thing is not to act suspicious. They are probably friendly yet overenthusiastic Neighborhood Watch people!" I will be telling my kids something slightly different.

Third they then had an encounter, that could have been avoided by either person pretty easily, that had an abominable and tragic outcome.

Martin could've avoided this by- what? Not 'overreacting' to the weird guy following him in a car and then getting out to chase after him?

Trayvon should have been told that if the neighborhood watch was following him to stop and answer any questions they might have.

Again, Im imaging the conversations you are supposedly having with your kids about Stranger Danger. "Don't be afraid of strangers, even if they're acting creepy as hell, they are probably friendly *unless* you try to get away, then they'll &$^&ing gun you down- but daddy won't cry because it'll be mostly your fault for running from the nice people."

And just to put myself completely in this, I have followed kids that weren't from my neighborhood until I determined where they were going or they left the neighborhood lots more than once in the last thirty years. If they had started running I certainly would have considered it more important to figure out what they were up to.

And you, of course, know that you haven't ever sexually assaulted any kids, are mentally stable, etc. The kids you're chasing *do not know that*. I would tell my kids to *stay the hell away* from unknown adults who start shadowing or following them. Do not engage, do not respond to their commands, do not stop to talk unless you're sure you're in a safe space with plenty of other people.

Did you shoot any of them with no eyewitnesses present? ;-)

Has anyone made a reasoned statement about whether TM was aware that his pursuer was a neighbourhood watch guy [that's meant as a serious question, not sarcasm].

I would tell my kids to *stay the hell away* from unknown adults who start shadowing or following them. Do not engage, do not respond to their commands, do not stop to talk unless you're sure you're in a safe space with plenty of other people.

Especially in the dark.

I agree that we don't know some of the things that happened here, which is why the jury may have come back with a not guilty verdict. But in the Internet court of law, I'm saying this: Neighborhood watch people who are armed (which I think is bs), who follow people, should at the very least stay in their car and call the cops if they think something is wrong. Confronting people who they think are up to no good, or shooting them (especially shooting them), is not okay. Period. Call the cops.

Oops, I guess I'm coming down in favor of the authoritarian government yet again.

"Especially in the dark."

Well, my conversations with my 17 year old, who might walk to a convenience store, would be different than my 13 year old who would not be out after dark.

It would involve staying on the main roads, not stopping but not running, and trying to establish if it was neighborhood watch if there was a well it corner. It would NOT involve cutting through other peoples yards as he runs away.


Well, my conversations with my 17 year old, who might walk to a convenience store, would be different than my 13 year old who would not be out after dark.

Sadly, it would never have occurred to me to have a conversation with children about "walking around the neighborhood." In face, I was a child once, and I never had a conversation with my parents about "walking around the neighborhood" or in what situations I would be shot if I were merely walking home from the nearby convenience store (which I did many times).

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