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U.S. questions self-defense law after killing of unarmed black teenager in Florida

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Now that Juror B37 has revealed some of what went on during deliberations, it raises at least one serious issue:

It has been correctly pointed out by several posters that Florida's stand-your-ground laws were not part of the defense's argument, nor were the details of those laws brought up during the trial. But Juror B37 made it a point to assert that Stand-Your-Ground was indeed brought up in the jury's deliberations and, according to her, weighed in their final verdict.

Keep in mind that., when the jury first polled itself, they were split 50/50 on conviction. (Two thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter, one thought he was guilty -- after hearing all the evidence -- of second-degree murder, and the other three thought Zimmerman was innocent.) Again, this is according to Juror B37.

If a jury decides to introduce legal points on their own that were not part of the trial, and use their own conceptions (or misconceptions) of a law to guide their decision, should it not raise some serious question as to their fairness and impartiality? (Would their introducing Stand-Your-Ground in their final deliberations be more likely to tilt the 50/50 standing to favor Zimmerman, or Martin?)

0 ( +6 / -6 )

In a recent interview with Anderson Cooper, jury B37 said Martin was responsible for his own death. B37: It was just hard, thinking that somebody lost their life, and there’s nothing else that could be done about it. I mean, it’s what happened. It’s sad. It’s a tragedy this happened, but it happened. And I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into. I think both of them could have walked away. It just didn’t happen.

B37: Juror felt just as sorry for Zimmerman. COOPER: Do you feel sorry for Trayvon Martin? B37: I feel sorry for both of them. I feel sorry for Trayvon, in the situation he was in. And I feel sorry for George because of the situation he got himself in.

Verdict hinged on “Stand Your Ground” law, even though Zimmerman did not use it in his defense. COOPER: Because of the two options you had, second degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied? B37: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.

Source: CNN

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him....

And there's the problem with this ridiculous law. A nervous, racist type of person (I'm not saying Zimmerman was either) is going to feel threatened merely by the presence of somebody of another race. I don't see how a law based on subjective feelings can be fair.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him....

The juror was not a lawyer, and I believe from the stories I have heard, her husband is a lawyer and I guess she felt she knew what she was talking about. I don't agree with the verdict, I think Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter, and I am not basing that on any of the other aspects like race that have been brought into this case. He was on the phone with the 911 operator and they told him not to follow, and he chose to ignore that and got himself in trouble.

I think the precedent that may be set with this verdict in regards to stand your ground laws could be problems in the future. i am for the stand your ground laws, if you are in your home and it is invaded then I would think you have every right to defend yourself. But, in this case, you go out looking for trouble, and get involved in a fight and wind up losing that fight, you don't have the right to "stand your ground." If on the other hand, Trayvon had attacked Zimmerman first, then I think he would be justified. But in this case, Zimmerman was losing and I don't think he had the right to shoot this kid. He should have just stayed in the car and waited for the police.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Waste of a life and a good opportunity for some media stations to make big bucks. Nobody really knows what went on that night. That said, the minute you get into a scuffle and you feel that youll end up on the losing end of it Im sure every individual would do whatever possible to survive. Trayvon Martin could have got hold of the gun and shot Zimmerman for all we know. Dont know until you are in this kind of situation. The case is a racial issue. Thats why I have yet to see one black individual support Zimmerman`s actions.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I have read of some prominent black persons in support of the outcome.

By far the black leaders are using this to stir up MORE racial tension. Edited and fabricated media was the fuel. It's appalling!!!

THEIR IS NO PROOF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN WAS RACIALLY MOTIVATED!

Show your proof those who say different. And by that, not retracted reports, or edited statements.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Leave it to Eric Holder to turn a tragedy into an even bigger tragedy (while scoring political points with the NAACP while he is at it). Holder won't be satisfied until someone puts a bullet into the back of Zimmerman's head. Holder is a disgrace.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Tweedle Dum Holder to Tweedle Dee Obama.

Self-defense is absolute and inalienable.

-9 ( +7 / -15 )

"Self-defense is absolute and inalienable."

So if you punch me in the face I can shoot and kill you?

5 ( +12 / -8 )

Self-defense is absolute and inalienable.

Exactly. So if I'm walking to my Dad's house at night and some creep with a gun starts following me, I've got every right to confront him, no?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Not true at all:

But Juror B37 made it a point to assert that Stand-Your-Ground was indeed brought up in the jury's deliberations and, according to her, weighed in their final verdict.

Judge Nelson's instructions to the jury excerpt prior to deliberations:

"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 his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony"

http://guardianlv.com/2013/07/zimmerman-jury-instructions-as-read-by-judge-nelson/?utmsource=rss&utmmedium=rss&utm_campaign=zimmerman-jury-instructions-as-read-by-judge-nelson

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The US does not question it, Eric Holder does and the people of the USA are doing everything they can to have Holder removed from office. Every person has the right to defend themselves especially when they have reason to fear for their life. They are trying to make this a racial thing and race had nothing to do with this.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

So if you punch me in the face I can shoot and kill you?

If you push to the ground after and continue, then yes.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Any time the administrative branch of a government decides to take actions that second guess the judicial branch, it is a time for concern.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Any time the administrative branch of a government decides to take actions that second guess the judicial branch, it is a time for concern.

Unless that judicial branch isn't doing is job i.e. serving the interests of all citizens impartially.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

To all the people arguing for self-defense, what about Martin's right to defend himself? Isn't possible that a 17 year old kid might feel threatened by a suspicious man following them? Why do you automatically take Zimmerman's side? I'm sure race has nothing to do with it.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Holder, who's surrounded by his own armed security team, thinks everyone else in America should be defenseless.

RR

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Please deliver your verdict according to Judge Nelson's guidance. How would you decide? Good luck.

Members of the Jury, I thank you for your attention during this trial. Please pay attention to the instructions I am about to give you.

Here it is;

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THEEIGHTEETH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN ANDFOR SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDACASE NO.: 2012 CF 1083 STATE OF FLORIDAvs.GEORGE ZIMMERMAN

Instructions read to jury by The Honorable Debra S. Nelson, Circuit Judge.DATED at Sanford, Florida on __, 2013.CIRCUIT JUDGE

http://guardianlv.com/2013/07/zimmerman-jury-instructions-as-read-by-judge-nelson/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

MrBum,

Initiating a confrontation is not self-defense. Whether Zimmerman was justified in following him, Martin could have continued home without confronting Zimmerman; instead he chose escalation.

0 ( +8 / -9 )

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity...

I would like to know where it is permissible under Florida law for an ordinary citizen to stalk or harass another person who has not committed a crime. Section 784 of the Florida code refers to stalking and harassment as any "course of conduct" directed against another individual ("a specific person") that causes "substantial" emotional stress in that person and serves no useful purpose. ("We don't need you to do that.")

When Zimmerman left his vehicle to pursue Martin, his course of conduct was unlawful, according to the above. Martin realized he was being stalked by a person he considered "creepy" -- indicating he was under stress.

Juror B37 gives two indications that Zimmerman's behavior was improper in her own view: First was when she said, "His heart was in the right place." People usually say that when the actions of a person are wrong. Still, I fail to understand how someone's heart being in the right place would allow them to stalk or harass an ordinary citizen who has committed no crime.

The second indication comes when Juror B37 says the following: "I think he just didn’t know when to stop. He was frustrated and things just got out of hand.”. Well, wow.

I have wondered why so many of the people supporting Zimmerman's side have asserted that his defense was not about stand-your-ground. I understand better how the phrase included in the instructions to the jury enabled them to discuss it in their deliberations.

It appears, however, that emphasizing the self-defense angle and not "stand-your-ground" -- put the focus of the entire case around the moment the fight started between the two men -- and served to deflect focus from the unlawful action -- if I am reading the anti-stalking statute correctly -- that Zimmerman engaged in when he left his vehicle to follow Martin.

Once again, it's unlawful, under Florida law, for an ordinary citizen to engage in a course of action directed against another person that causes substantial stress in that person, and which accomplishes no useful purpose. Far worse than accomplishing no useful purpose, Zimmerman's unlawful action led to a horrible tragedy.

And one simply can't be engaged in an unlawful action and then claim "stand-your-ground" -- per the instructions.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Steven C. SchulzJul. 17, 2013 - 12:11PM JST

MrBum,

Initiating a confrontation is not self-defense. Whether Zimmerman was justified in following him, Martin could have continued home without confronting Zimmerman; instead he chose escalation.

Since I have watched the whole trial from the beginning to the end, I would like to ask you this question to you. If I am not following you instead I am stalking you with a gun in hand, what would you do? Do you have a choice? What would you do?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Section 784 of the Florida code refers to stalking and harassment as any "course of conduct" directed against another individual

Besides the fact that he wasn't even charged with any offense related to this statute.

The part of Section 784 you left out:

(a) "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

(b) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose.

http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/784.048.html

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@globalwatcher

In that circumstance, I would return to my home and call the police. It would have all been sorted out with no harm to anyone.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Holder needs to resign. He is using these situations to promote his "credibility" as the AG. He should be ashamed of himself. The Civil War was fought over one issue - States' Rights, not slavery, which was seen as a state's right. He cannot single out a particular law such as "Stand your ground" because he doesn't like. He has already forgot about "Fast and Furious" and several other oversights by his department.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@ Steven If a creepy guy is following you, you don't want to go home and let the guy to know where you live. Martin was minding his own business. Zimmerman instigated a confrontation by following Martin. There was no need for it to get physical, but you can't blame Martin for "standing his ground." We don't actually know what led to the physical confrontation and how it went down, because one side (an unarmed 17 year old) is dead. Which is kind a major flaw in the stand your ground law in my opinion.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sailwind,

(b) is a perfect fit to satisfy the definition of stalking. Zimmerman was profiling thug in the hoodie.

Whatever point Geraldo Rivera was trying to make last year when he blamed Trayvon Martins death on his hoodie was scuttled yesterday when he suggested wearing a hooded sweatshirt was the equivalent of flying a pirate flag in front of the Coast Guard.

He did not Trayvon Martin because he was black, he profiled him because he was wearing thug wear hoodie.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

(b) is a perfect fit to satisfy the definition of stalking.

He would have been charged with it along with all of the other charges he faced in this farce of a prosecution if they thought they had a prayer of making it stick Globalwatcher.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

U.S. questions self-defense law after killing of unarmed black teenager in Florida

RomeoRIIJul. 17, 2013 - 11:57AM JST

Holder, who's surrounded by his own armed security team, thinks everyone else in America should be defenseless.

RR

WHY??

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They made such a big deal about the hoodie, but if you saw the graphic photo of Martin leaked recently, you'd see that it wasn't even the type of hoodie you would associate with "thugs." Not to say that it would've have been ok if it was. He was also wearing what looked like skinny pants. He looked more like any teenager today than a thug.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

a) "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

A course of conduct -- (leaving his vehicle to pursue)

directed at a specific person -- (Trayvon Martin, who Zimmerman reacted to with undue suspicion)

which causes substantial emotional distress to that person -- (Martin's remarks to Ms. Jeantal about his being stalked by a creepy person, which caused substantial emotional distress in both of them)

and serves no legitmate purpose -- ("We don't need you to do that." He knew as a Watch that tailing was forbidden Could anyone supply a legitimate reason for Zimmerman to harass Martin, in whom he already caused substantial stress?.)

"Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose.

Zimmerman's continuity of purpose was to not let a suspect get away -- from the moment he spotted Martin -- to the time when he got out of his vehicle and engaged in pursuit. An act perceived by the innocent person he targeted as stress-inducing harassment. His series of acts included hostile words against the suspect he would later stalk. The amount of time involved certainly fits "however short."

Seems pretty clear that Zimmerman's course of actions against Martin prior to their altercation were unlawful under the Florida statute.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Seems pretty clear that Zimmerman's course of actions against Martin prior to their altercation were unlawful under the Florida statute.

Pretty clear to anybody but the actual prosecuting Attorneys I guess.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

yabitsJul. 17, 2013 - 01:17PM JST

Very good yabits. This case is far from over, no done deal.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Eric "Fast And Furious" Holder has the gall to suggest removing Stand Your Ground? What a d__che. Then again, look who appointed him.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

From juror B37:

"He could have ... When George confronted him, and he could have walked away and gone home. He didn't have to do whatever he did and come back and be in a fight," she said.

Do whatever he did? You mean you don't know?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Seems pretty clear that Zimmerman's course of actions against Martin prior to their altercation were unlawful under the Florida statute.

The jury rejected the stalking aspect entirely when they found him not guilty of second degree murder under the Florida statutes which includes acting with "enmity toward the victim or the two had an ongoing interaction or relationship"

Florida Statute 782.04 2n: unpremeditated murder as a result of aggravated stalking:

To prove second degree murder, a prosecutor must show that the defendant acted according to a "depraved mind" without regard for human life. Florida state laws permit the prosecution of second degree murder when the killing lacked premeditation or planning, but the defendant acted with enmity toward the victim or the two had an ongoing interaction or relationship

http://statelaws.findlaw.com/florida-law/florida-second-degree-murder-laws.html

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Thomas Sewell has an excellent commentary,

Moderator: The URL will suffice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Holder acknowledged the anger stirred by the racially-tinged trial of George Zimmerman, found not guilty Saturday of murdering Trayvon Martin.

The sad thing about all of this in trying to put race into it, is that if Zimmerman were Black, and he killed Treyvon, he probably would have gotten a light prison sentence and been back on the streets within 5 years. I say this because in my hometown back in the southern USA, a recent murder case occured where the perp had just been released from serving a prison sentence, and the same person had previously been in jail from the 80's for murder. So this notion that the justice system is unfair to Blacks is not necessarily true. Take a look at many of the murder cases, and you will see repeat offenders, some with multiple murders. I personnally know someone related to me who was involved in a police car chase and the end result was an innocent person was killed. The result, my relative was in prison for manslaughter (what Zimmerman should have gotten), and he was out within 5 years.

I want Stevie Wonder, Sharpton, and the rest to lead a boycott against Chicago. During the time of the Zimmerman trial (20 dyas) 4 children were gunned down in Chicago. Over the 4th of July weekend, over 14 murders occured in Chicago. That is terrible and that should be brought to light and more business and people should be talking about boycotting a place like that, rather than trying to make a mountain out of a very tragic mole hill.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The URL: http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/07/thomas-sowell/is-this-still-america/

An exerpt: " The political perversion of the criminal justice system began early and at the top, with the President of the United States. Unlike other public officials who decline to comment on criminal cases that have not yet been tried in court, Barack Obama chose to say, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

It was a clever way to play the race card, as he had done before, when Professor Henry Louis Gates of Harvard was arrested.

But it did not stop there. After the local police in Florida found insufficient evidence to ask for Zimmerman to be prosecuted, the Obama administration sent Justice Department investigators to Sanford, Florida, and also used the taxpayers’ money to finance local activists who agitated for Zimmerman to be arrested.

Political intervention did not end with the federal government. The city manager in Sanford intervened to prevent the usual police procedures from being followed.…"

And it hasn't stopped. Now, Holder is continuing the politicizing of the issue for the Administration's leftist agenda.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Pretty clear to anybody but the actual prosecuting Attorneys I guess.

No. It's pretty clear to anyone and everyone who can read with understanding.

It would only be subject to scrutiny and cross-examination by the prosecution within the trial if stand-your-ground was being used as the defense. As many have pointed out, the defense team did not claim it. (Now I better understand why, and why conservative supporters of Zimmerman want to deflect attention from it when someone brings it up.)

The jury rejected the stalking aspect entirely when they found him not guilty of second degree murder.

Wrong and irrelevant. The jury erred when allowing stand-your-ground considerations when Zimmerman was clearly engaged in unlawful activity.

The judge inserted the wording into the instructions. The jury, which had split 50/50 initially, then started to give Zimmerman the benefit of stand-your-ground while completely failing to consider Zimmerman's unlawful act of harassment against Martin. "If George Zimmerman was not engaged in any unlawful activity...." (It is all too obvious that he was.)

Under Florida law, Martin should not have been subjected to Zimmerman's unlawful harassment and stalking. Martin had every right to proceed from the store back to his father's place without being harassed. That, to Zimmerman, Martin looked like someone who might have been involved in past break-ins, did not give Zimmerman an OK to harass him. He still had to obey Florida law.

When Zimmerman's tailing (by vehicle) and surveillance of Martin became obvious enough for Martin and Ms. Jeantal to notice it, it became the main item of concern for both of them -- indicating a rise in the stress being caused by Zimmerman. When the series of actions culminated in Zimmerman's getting out of his vehicle to pursue Martin, he was clearly engaged in an unlawful act. Zimmerman noted that Martin was trying to "get away." (Zimmerman's previous comments about Martin spotting him and looking at him prove that Zimmerman was fully aware that Martin knew he was being watched -- and then stalked.)

"If George Zimmerman was not engaged in any unlawful activity...."

At the point Zimmerman was clearly harassing Martin, Martin had not committed any unlawful act. In overlooking Zimmerman's clearly unlawful activity, as soon as the jury used "stand-your-ground" to guide their decision away from 50/50, I think it can be reasonably argued that they messed up. I simply don't understand how a juror or anyone could be presented with clearly unlawful behavior and pass it off as "his heart was in the right place." (I just don't think they ever considered or questioned it.)

Wanting to keep his neighborhood safe did not give George Zimmerman any excuse to harass Trayvon Martin. As soon as he engaged in harassment -- as defined by Florida law and acknowledged by Martin's increased level of fear and stress -- Zimmerman was engaged in unlawful activity, and not entitled to "stand-your-ground" consideration by the jury. Judges and juries are human and make mistakes. And they did in this case, as I suspect a Justice Department review will note.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

AlphaapeJ said: "I think the precedent that may be set with this verdict in regards to stand your ground laws could be problems in the future. i am for the stand your ground laws, if you are in your home and it is invaded then I would think you have every right to defend yourself. "

I think it's important to not mistake the Stand Your Ground law with the Castle doctrine. If someone enters your property it has ALWAYS been your right to defend it using any means. Stand Your Ground brings that doctrine out into the streets. Where as before it was only legal to kill someone if it was in self-defense and there was no way to remove yourself from the area, now if someone scares you in the middle of crowded street at 2pm on a Sunday with 5 year olds playing soccer in the field next to you you can gun them down, claim you were scared for your life, and walk away free (assuming your the right color, age and socio-economic class).

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"So if you punch me in the face I can shoot and kill you?"

Lets not forget about stalking him in the dark and the rain without a word, make him fear for his life, which prompts him to punch you. Then you can shoot him all you want.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

" now if someone scares you in the middle of crowded street at 2pm on a Sunday with 5 year olds playing soccer in the field next to you you can gun them down, claim you were scared for your life, and walk away free (assuming your the right color, age and socio-economic class)."

And just what is "the right color" to which you refer? Zimmerman is .... Hispanic. So, how about if one's origins are from Barbados?

@yabits, what do you think about the judge's interrogation of Zimmerman over his attorney's objections about whether he would testify? Do you not find that very highly irregular or possibly even unprecedented? Or is that SOP in your jurisdiction?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yabits, following and surveiling someone is not an illegal act.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

what do you think about the judge's interrogation of Zimmerman over his attorney's objections about whether he would testify?

Please cite what the judge said that you think was an interrogation? I really don't know what you are referring to.

Yabits, following and surveiling someone is not an illegal act.

Read, once again, the Florida Statute on what constitutes harassment and stalking. When you choose to watch someone, and they notice you, and you continue to watch them and then follow them, all that is needed under Florida law to constitute harassment is for your target to feel significant emotional distress. By that standard, Zimmerman was clearly engaged in an unlawful act, which would not have entitled him to stand-your-ground protection.

Martin had not violated any law when Zimmerman spotted him and followed him. Martin had a right not to be subject to Zimmerman's harassment.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@JeanValJean

It's funny how you seems to be implying that killing someone because they're a certain race if fine with you, but saying that they were killed because of race is the upmost of unforgivable actions! You know what? I'd happily give up the "race card" if the other side would promise to not murder my children. Fair deal?

And why are you so mad that the "JUSTICE" department wanted a through investigation around the death of child? What kind of twisted hyper-political person are you? How much money was spent on the Elián González thing and he wasn't even AMERICAN! Just admit that you either 1) don't want minority death investigated or punished or 2) you don't care WHAT happens, if a Democrat does it, it's wrong.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

When you choose to watch someone, and they notice you, and you continue to watch them and then follow them, all that is needed under Florida law to constitute harassment is for your target to feel significant emotional distress.

I guess any person who was ever arrested in Florida after being tailed for awhile by a concerned citizen should be arrested also by this weird interpretation of the law as the prospect of the cops coming creates "emotional distress" in the person as the net closes in on him or her..

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@JeanValJean

lol, how did you know that i'm ethnically Barbadian?! Must be the good-looking profile pic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I guess any person who was ever arrested in Florida after being tailed for awhile by a concerned citizen should be arrested also by this weird interpretation of the law

The law is quite clear:

a) "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

A course of conduct -- (leaving his vehicle to pursue)

directed at a specific person -- (Trayvon Martin, who Zimmerman reacted to with undue suspicion)

which causes substantial emotional distress to that person -- (Martin's remarks to Ms. Jeantal about his being stalked by a creepy person, which caused substantial emotional distress in both of them)

and serves no legitmate purpose -- ("We don't need you to do that." He knew as a Watch that tailing was forbidden Could anyone supply a legitimate reason for Zimmerman to harass Martin, in whom he already caused substantial stress?.)

"Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose.

Zimmerman's continuity of purpose was to not let a suspect get away -- from the moment he spotted Martin -- to the time when he got out of his vehicle and engaged in pursuit. An act perceived by the innocent person he targeted as stress-inducing harassment. His series of acts included hostile words against the suspect he would later stalk. The amount of time involved certainly fits "however short."

Your implication is that as long as a citizen is concerned, they appear to have a right to "tail" anyone they choose. What Florida law gives them that right? And why not show respect for a law which would protect a completely innocent person from someone who targeted them on false pretenses and started following them?

Wouldn't their right to be free from what Florida law defines as harassment supersede some other citizen's taking it on themselves to follow, stalk, or otherwise harass them? Besides, didn't the Neighborhood Watch group that Zimmerman was a major part of ensure that Florida law against harassment would be obeyed by explicitly ruling out tailing anyone?

as the prospect of the cops coming creates "emotional distress" in the person as the net closes in on him or her..

What crime had Trayvon Martin committed when Zimmerman harassed him that made him think the "cops" were coming? What evidence is there that Martin's anxiety level was raised because he thought the police were after him?

I understand why you would like to deflect onto your weird hypothetical fantasies. It is so abundantly clear that Zimmerman subjected Martin to harassment -- and was clearly engaged in an unlawful activity under Florida law.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@shinjukuyaju,

" It's funny how you seems to be implying that killing someone because they're a certain race if fine with you, but saying that they were killed because of race is the upmost of unforgivable actions! You know what? I'd happily give up the "race card" if the other side would promise to not murder my children. Fair deal?"

No, killing is NOT fine REGARDLESS of the race of neither the victim nor the assailant. So, put away the race card. THAT was my point.

Let me ask you this; With all the many killings happening in places like South Chicago, why aren't there high-profile show trials like the State vs Zimmerman? Remember the young girl who was shot and killed last summer? She was truly an innocent victim. Trayvon? Not. But, he shouldn't be dead either. The media conveniently buried the information that he had been suspended from school for being in possession of a dozen pieces of stolen women's jewelry found in his backpack with a modified screwdriver(identified by police as a break-in tool) after he was caught on camera painting WTF on a door at school. As for your political comment, D or R makes no difference to me.

@yabits, you probably didn't see it because MSM buried it. There's video linked if you read the article below.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/07/mac-slavo/judicial-lawlessness-at-zimmerman-trial/

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is so abundantly clear that Zimmerman subjected Martin to harassment -- and was clearly engaged in an unlawful activity under Florida l

He wasn't charged with it so it wasn't "abundantly clear" to anyone involved at all in the Florida legal system.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@shinjukuyaju,

" lol, how did you know that i'm ethnically Barbadian?! Must be the good-looking profile pic."

No, just coincidence. I'm not using facial recognition data to identify you either, but the NSA is ;).

I just think that the Administration sought to introduce racism into the case, partially to distract the people from its own failings, and largely to boost its ailing support prior to the election.

Holder should have been removed because of "Fast And Furious ". He lied to Congress, bald-faced lied.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The media conveniently buried the information that he had been suspended from school for being in possession of a dozen pieces of stolen women's jewelry found in his backpack with a modified screwdriver(identified by police as a break-in tool) after he was caught on camera painting WTF on a door at school.

But Zimmerman didn't know that about Martin, so he should not have had the idea that he was up to no good. Zimmerman acted on his on, thinking that he found someone doing something up to no good.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@JeanValJean

You are again implying objectively HORRIBLE things. Because a high school student was suspended from school he's not innocent? and it's now ok to let his murderer go free? His school record had nothing to do with why Zimmerman profiled, followed and murdered him. He could have been a straight A student who spent his downtime feeding lost kittens and Zimmerman STILL would have done what he did. It's not the race card if the reason it happened was RACE! And I call BS on your "D and R" thing. You want to criminalize prosecuting crimes by the DoJ...and it's funny how all you Zimmerman lovers pull out Chicago this Chicago that as if black on black violence thousands of miles away somehow NEGATES Martins murder.

Sorry to get so emotional but I actually grew up in Seminole county and still have family with young kids there and i'm scared for them in all this. and to see people who would have us shrug it off and all but clap this guy on the back is crazy to me.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

claim you were scared for your life, and walk away free (assuming your the right color, age and socio-economic class).

@ Shinjuku No YajuJul: You missed my point in my post. I explained how a recent killer was back in jail after he killed someone, having been out of jail only a few days, and who had been in the jail back in the 80's for murder. If Zimmerman would have been Black or Hispanic, he would have gotten off lightly. Look at the rate of prior convicted felons who are guilty of killing again. I can name three cases personally, from my home town, where a person has killed someone, and after a few years, they are back on the streets only to kill again. Light sentences, time off for good behavior, and sometimes people not stepping forth to testify helps these guys to get out of jail much quicker than they should.

And if you look at the murder rate in a place like Chicago, where the main perps are probably from lower economic classes and are black or hispanic, you will see that some of them have been to jail for murder before, and are out on the streets again causing mayhem. Yes if you are rich you can get away with murder (like some of the Kennedy's), but also you can get away with it if you are poor too, provided you kill inside of your class and not outside of it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Alphaape:

"If Zimmerman would have been Black or Hispanic, he would have gotten off lightly"

Are you REALLY implying that blacks get off EASY in the American criminal justice system? Because...thats just too much. But please tell me, how could a Black Zimmerman have gotten off easier than no files charged, gets his gun back and sleeps in his own bed the same night? HOW? The cops give him a cookie and glass of milk?!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@JeanValJean You're quick to accuse the media for burying information, but don't you think it's equally possible if not more so for Zimmerman's team and the Florida police make up or exaggerate information to cover up their mistakes. If Martin was caught with stolen jewelry, why wasn't he arrested? Why didn't his parents know about it? Either way it's irrelevant because like Yaju said, Zimmerman didn't know any of it when he decided to stalk Martin.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A student who spent his downtime feeding lost kittens and Zimmerman STILL would have done what he did. It's not the race card if the reason it happened was RACE!

Shinjuko No Yaju,

Just a question, Are you are aware that George Zimmerman is not white but a mixed race individual with his father Caucasian and his mother Peruvian ( a poor third world country) and when it comes to race he has more in common with President Obama then most people as he is also of mixed race heritage with one parent being Caucasian and a father from Kenya (a poor third world country)?.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Zimmerman is mixed race, but he doesn't look it and he's not black. Apparently, that was enough for the Florida police to close the case.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@shinjukuyaju and alphape,

I'm merely pointing out the one-sidedness of the media's portrayal of the two characters, neither of which are innocent. The media went to great lengths to insert racism(and people bought into it) and to villify the accused. However, the victim was also portrayed inaccurately.

Of course Zimmerman had no idea about Martin's school suspensions, actual drug use, past history, or whatever. See Something, Say Something. Zimmerman did that. What he also very unwisely did was act upon his suspicions by following Martin. Like the juror said, he should have stayed in his car. He put his own life in danger by following Martin on foot. The result of that was getting decked by Martin, and then shooting him.

The jury concluded the shooting was in self-defense. It wasn't murder or manslaughter.

It's a tragedy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@shinjukuyaju and alphape,

I'm merely pointing out the one-sidedness of the media's portrayal of the two characters, neither of which are innocent. The media went to great lengths to insert racism(and people bought into it) and to villify the accused. However, the victim was also portrayed inaccurately.

Of course Zimmerman had no idea about Martin's school suspensions, actual drug use, past history, or whatever. See Something, Say Something. Zimmerman did that. What he also very unwisely did was act upon his suspicions by following Martin. Like the juror said, he should have stayed in his car. He put his own life in danger by following Martin on foot. The result of that was getting decked by Martin, and then shooting him.

The jury concluded the shooting was in self-defense. It wasn't murder or manslaughter.

It's a tragedy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@shinjukuyaju and alphape,

I'm merely pointing out the one-sidedness of the media's portrayal of the two characters, neither of which are innocent. The media went to great lengths to insert racism(and people bought into it) and to villify the accused. However, the victim was also portrayed inaccurately.

Of course Zimmerman had no idea about Martin's school suspensions, actual drug use, past history, or whatever. See Something, Say Something. Zimmerman did that. What he also very unwisely did was act upon his suspicions by following Martin. Like the juror said, he should have stayed in his car. He put his own life in danger by following Martin on foot. The result of that was getting decked by Martin, and then shooting him.

The jury concluded the shooting was in self-defense. It wasn't murder or manslaughter.

It's a tragedy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is not just a Black vs. White case. Zimmerman does not even look White, his mom is a Peruvian native Indian and his father a White American who met her while in the US Mil, so he only is half "cracker" as Trevon's girlfriend said in court, calling Zimmerman a "creepy cracker", so a wierd white guy, who may be gay and want to rape him, so Trevon as Rush Limbaugh and many others are pointing out may have been HOMOPHOBIC and may have thought Zimmerman was out to "break him in" so then Trevon felt he had to defend himself by attacking Zimmerman, so over all stupid, stupid mess. Who can be enjoy Blacks and Latinos hating each other at this very moment?? Republicans?? Not too sure but at the same time I feel all sides, black, brown, white, yellow etc..have to talk and LISTEN to each other. In the end, we are only human and must either help each other or end up killing each other like they do in the Balkans, I think the USA is above becoming another Balkans mess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Jean

Let me ask you this; With all the many killings happening in places like South Chicago, why aren't there high-profile show trials like the State vs Zimmerman? Remember the young girl who was shot and killed last summer? She was truly an innocent victim. Trayvon? Not.

I have been floating around just astounded by what some of you are saying. The Jury has spoken, I think they did their duty and I truly understand the burden of what these people have to endure. But I have to say, WE ALL DON'T KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENED BECAUSE NONE OF US WHERE THERE! We only have Zimmerman's word to go by and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon that Zimmerman was in the right to use deadly force because he was getting the mud stomped out of him by a 17 year old, truth be told, that doesn't always sit well with some people, he could have gotten pissed off and wanted a some serious payback. Now this is a scenario, but a real possible one, and there are many other variables that we have to contend with. Trayvon was a teen, whether he smoked pot or not doesn't make him a bad person or a delinquent. Again, the problem started when the 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman to stay in his car, but the self-centered fool wanted to act like a man and confront him. One of the jurors pointed out that Trayvon looked suspicious? Really how so? Just cutting through the neighborhood and having a guy like Zimmerman follow him. How do we know that Zimmerman didn't call him names or pushed him or egged him on. We don't know. Trayvon is dead. Yes, I do think the Prosecution botched their case big time and it was a stretch, but I think the whole trail was about Trayvon who was the villain in all of this and that is a real shame!

@MrBurn

Actually, Zimmerman's grandfather on his mom's side is Black.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Elbuda, on this we agree. And the term used was "creepy a$$ cracker", whereas Martin and his friend tossed around the "n" word freely. Both ugly epithets.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Martin may not have been an angle (who is at 17?), but those who criticize him for his mistakes fail: Zimmerman, older and supposedly wiser, has quite the rap sheet. Many of his scrapes with the law involved alcohol; to assume he didn't also smoke marijuana is a stretch. Note that he was not tested for drugs or alcohol following his killing of Martin.

Worse: A female acquaintance two years younger than Zimmerman accused him of molesting her from the time she was ten to when she was 16. Of course, Zimmerman's lawyer said, “It’s completely irrelevant" - but, of course, it is, if true. Of course Zimmerman denies it, just as he denied exiting his vehicle with the intent to pursue Martin - patently absurd, as the neighborhood he patrolled had only THREE streets.

Likely, Zimmerman is a pathological liar and has been since he was a child. That explains the full-throated support he receives from Lew Rockwell and his ilk.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just to reiterate, based on the evidence and the law, the defendant was acquitted of all charges. That doesn't sit well with everyone, but that is the decision.

Holder is now on a political campaign.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Joe Scarborough said it well:

Why is it that we Republicans, certain elements of our party, seem to go out of their way to inflame minority voters? Why is it that I know I can count on conservative outlets to have a one-sided view and to talk about how a dead boy had it coming and he was in -- on marijuana, he was on pot and he was this, he was that and the other, a young young man. I would like in my lifetime for the Republican party to get more than 6% of the African-American vote.

I look forward to a time when they are able to articulate policies that deserve this.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

NessieJul. 17, 2013 - 02:59PM JST

Yabits, following and surveiling someone is not an illegal act.

How about stalking?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The no-safe-retreat option might lessen violent clashes, but would also put the innocent on the run in favor of stalkers. Law should favor the innocent.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Funny, "stand your ground" has been in effect in many states for a number of years, and in Texas for decades. And the "stand your ground law" was never invoked invoked in the Trayvon Martin case, making the entire article above pointless. But in the news "if it bleeds, it leads"; one must never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He wasn't charged with it so it wasn't "abundantly clear" to anyone involved at all in the Florida legal system.

Of course, the main person who could have brought the charge of harassment against Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, was killed that night. The point of Florida law that makes a course of conduct unlawful harassment is the state of stress it induces in the target of the harassment. The police coming upon the scene later would have not known Martin's state of stress during the period of time when Zimmerman spotted him and regarded him as a kind of prey, and the details of Martin's first picking up on Zimmerman's surveillance of him and then Martin's observation that Zimmerman was leaving his car to come after him. So it is quite understandable that no harassment charge was filed; under normal circumstances the victim of harassment has to file it.

Therefore it remains as an open question of who could now bring the charge of harassment against Zimmerman for his actions that night, which ultimately ted to the death of the person he targeted for harassment. Since Zimmerman, as is correctly pointed out, was not specifically charged and tried on harassment, and the statute of limitations has not been reached, his parents, and the friend who also became terrified by Zimmerman's "creepy" and menacing behavior that night, might do so as part of a civil case.

The mere fact that no harassment charge was filed is no proof at all that the unlawful acts of harassment and stalking did not actually take place. All that an honest and reasonable person has to do is to read the Florida law as to how the state defines harassment, and piece together what was brought out in the trial as evidence, and decide whether Zimmerman's actions -- which he described himself to the police and dispatchers -- meet the description of unlawful harassment.

Nothing that Martin did later that night justifies or exonerates Zimmerman's harassing him. I personally believe that any hostility on the part of Martin that night would provide very strong evidence of his elevated stress, brought on by Zimmerman's stalking him -- and which fulfills the standard for unlawful harassment under Florida law. Many have said that Zimmerman "never should have left his vehicle that night." But the fact, written into Florida's legal code, is that if Martin witnessed Zimmerman leaving his car to follow him, and his stress level was raised, that is enough to constitute a plausible charge of unlawful harassment.

If George Zimmerman was in involved in an unlawful act, it would have been improper for a jury to afford him with the legal protections of stand-your-ground in reaching their verdict in the charges of second-degree murder or manslaughter.

This is what I find to be the great irony: Nothing that Martin did that night between the time Zimmerman first spots him and the time when Zimmerman left his vehicle to pursue him -- nothing -- could be regarded as unlawful in any way. Why would people who profess to care about law and justice be so willing to disregard Trayvon Martin's basic right to be free from unlawful harassment, and be so quick to excuse the clear evidence of Zimmerman's actions which so clearly match the description of unlawful harassment?

When the juror said that George's heart was in the right place, was she excusing the fact that his actions -- IF they caused Martin to fear at all for his safety -- were unlawful? (That is assuming she was familiar with what constitutes harassment under Florida law, which I do not believe she was, since it wasn't brought out in the case.)

And the "stand your ground law" was never invoked invoked in the Trayvon Martin case, making the entire article above pointless.

As many have pointed out, it was invoked by the judge in her instructions to the jury. This makes the article relevant and your post quite the opposite.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I'm sure the criminals would love to get rid of the "stand your ground law". Actually the US isn't questioning it, the liberal weirdo's are.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

JeanValJeanJul. 17, 2013 - 01:59PM JST

Thomas Sewell has an excellent commentary,

Moderator: The URL will suffice.

I appreciate your effort, however, he is a black conservative representative. I do not think he has a lot to say on the Civil Rights Movement. FYI

In 1987, Sowell testified in favor of federal appeals court judge Robert Bork during the hearings for Bork's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I just don't get how you can approach someone at night with a gun then claim self defense when that person responds. If both people are claiming self defense it's hard to side with the person who initiated it and then killed the other guy. Seems like the law doesn't cover some circumstances that are just common sense. This is a loophole that needs to be closed.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I just don't get how you can approach someone at night with a gun then claim self defense when that person responds.

Very many people have guns now (Florida is number 1 with over 1 million concealed-carry permits). =You should expect that most people are armed (especially true of women). You really need to be more careful when you approach someone.

When Trayvon stalked and attacked Zimmerman his philosophy worked until he got shot. Trayvon should not have tried his philosophy in Florida, but should have tried it in Chicago, NYC or some other city where most people are unarmed.
4 ( +4 / -0 )

@yabits Keep in mind this was a neighborhood where they averaged more than 1 911 call a day, so there was a lot of stuff going on in that neighborhood to be suspicious of. Then go listen/read the transcripts of the GZ call. It appears the GZ was calmly in his his car, watching TM, TM started walking towards GZ and then all of the sudden started to run (this is also collaborated by RJ) and it was until than that GZ got out of his car and chased him (sounded like for only about 10-15 seconds) and then stopped.

If TM was suspicious of this person, why would he approach - what do you teach your kids if a bad person if near them - walk the other way and get inside somewhere - not to get closet to them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@global, I'm well aware that Sowell is a black conservative. Though I don't agree with him 100%, I do respect him far more than Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. He's brilliant.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A nervous, racist type of person (I'm not saying Zimmerman was either) is going to feel threatened merely by the presence of somebody of another race.

Any paranoiac. Look at the Pistorius case.

Zimmerman does not even look White,

It's clearly brown. I mean the shirt. And he takes himself for Sergeant Garcia in Zorro.

Keep in mind that., when the jury first polled itself, they were split 50/50 on conviction. (Two thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter, one thought he was guilty -- after hearing all the evidence -- of second-degree murder, and the other three thought Zimmerman was innocent.)

Should have been : murder with premeditation. Whatever Trayvon did or not, Zimmerman had tried for several months to do exactly what he has done. The guy is dreaming of becoming a judge, meanwhile, he does the vigilante, haunting the 2 streets of the reservation where he lives, in hope of becoming a hero. Pan ! Pan ! Bingo ! He shot down a suspicious one.

Yabits, following and surveiling someone is not an illegal act.

That's the problem. They have legal loopholes that accumulate. So at the end of the day, Florida's laws allow any paranoiac busy-body to stalk his neighbors, to do it carrying a gun obtained at the flea-market without mental tests nor background checks, and to even shoot at anyone he finds unfriendly or a little bizarre... and to then say "Oops...dish guy ish not el Zorro ! ". And he goes free.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Everything leading up to and surrounding the acquittal verdict is shamefully and patently absurd. Zimmerman has been freed for what was precisely a case of vigilantism. That the jurors could not or would not see this based on some warped perception of what constitutes self-defense is deeply troubling.

Jon Oliver puts it into the perspective we should all be seeing this from:

"According to current Florida law, you can get a gun, follow an unarmed minor, call the police, have them explicitly tell you to stop following them, then choose to ignore that, keep following the minor, get into a confrontation with them, and if at any point during that process you get scared, you can shoot the minor to death, and the state of Florida will say, "Well, look. You did what you could."

Self-defense, my heinie. Trayvon Martin was murdered and his killer got away with it.

Unfortunately, Zimmerman will never have to set foot in a criminal courtroom for what he's done here, thanks to double jeopardy laws. But one can only hope that Trayvon Martin's completely needless death haunts Zimmerman for the rest of his miserable excuse for a life.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Are you REALLY implying that blacks get off EASY in the American criminal justice system? Because...thats just too much. But please tell me, how could a Black Zimmerman have gotten off easier than no files charged, gets his gun back and sleeps in his own bed the same night? HOW? The cops give him a cookie and glass of milk?!

@ Shinjuku: Not saying that Blacks get off easier, I am just saying that if he were Black, hw probably would have been found guilty and sent to jail for at 2 to 3 years at the most, that is if he only killed another Black person. I personally know of 3 people who have committed manslaughter, and have gone to prison, and did no more than 5 years. I also know a few who have done 1st degree murder, and are in for life. That's what the whole deal of a plea bargin is for.

A case in my hometown in the deep south is evidence of what I am talking about. A man (Black), who had prior convictions of all sorts and who had been in prison for manslaughter was out no more than a few days, when he carjacked and killed a white teenage person. Granted the white person and his friend were in the wrong place looking to do something wrong, but now the press is asking the question as to why was this guy let out without the proper supervision. Funny that his prior murder case was another Black person, but as I mentioned he was able to get out.

For the record, as others have stated, Zimmerman is not white but mixed race. But the media, left and right have spun it for their own agendas.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

yabits has this pretty well nailed, but to paraphrase: If you're not a cop you have no business tailing somebody through a neighborhood. Zimmerman wasn't standing his ground until he was attacked, Martin was. But Martin should have never made the move? We don't know who threw the first punch. What we do know is that if Zimmerman had followed the dispatchers instructions none of this would have happened.

Zimmerman is innocent under Florida law because the prosecution over reached based, in part, on pressure from people like Jackson. If the prosecution had gone for manslaughter based on Zimmerman stalking and creating the situation where Martin was killed I expect the verdict would have been guilty. But with Zimmerman's injuiries and only his side of the story the prosecutor had a problem proving murder. In the end the jury accepted Zimmerman's defense, or rather said that the prosecution hadn't proven their case. It has less to do with the law(s) and more to do with incompetent prosecution hamstrung by outside pressure.

I'm not surprised that the people who helped blow this case from the get go are now casting about for something else to blame.....

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Like the juror said, he should have stayed in his car. He put his own life in danger by following Martin on foot. The result of that was getting decked by Martin, and then shooting him.

The jury concluded the shooting was in self-defense. It wasn't murder or manslaughter.

Well if he put his own life in danger, how can one call if self-defense. You can't intentionally put yourself in danger and then use the self-defense card in justifying killing the person you were following.

And maybe the reason why Trayvon was cutting through the side streets was because he was trying to get away from a creepy guy following him in a car. And what I still haven't heard was at what point did Trayvon drop his drink and skittles to fight this wannabe rent a cop? Was is during the time when he was yelling "Get off me, Get off me" before the phone dropped to the ground with his friend on the other line? Because it's very doubtful he would just drop those items unless he was provoked. In the end Zimmerman got away with man slaughter and as an old Devil Dog and black person I will now need to think, if that person following me and not identifying himself, if he reaches me, should I brake his legs and ask questions after or listen to what he has to say, because either way it will not be a good situation.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The mere fact that no harassment charge was filed is no proof at all that the unlawful acts of harassment and stalking did not actually take place

The mere fact that no harassment charge was filed is proof that it wouldn't hold up in court and would be a waste of time to even file it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I still don't get it. If I see someone following me, at night, while on the phone, then he gets out of his car and approaches me, I'm required to make sure I don't make this guy feel threatened or else he can kill me?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm required to make sure I don't make this guy feel threatened or else he can kill me?

Your required not to punch him in the face or slam his head on a concrete sidewalk.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If you follow someone you also don't expect to be attacked for doing so. If there is a neighbourhood watch they obviously have problems in the neighbourhood. If you are a part of that watch then that is what you are there to do...watch and that involves following someone if you feel they are suspicious. If you stop and question them and they have nothing to hide or be aggressive about nothing bad should happen.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I still don't get it. If I see someone following me, at night, while on the phone, then he gets out of his car and approaches me, I'm required to make sure I don't make this guy feel threatened or else he can kill me?

OK get this - you are required by the law not to assault someone by knocking them down on their back, jumping on top of them and beating them to within a inch of their life just because that person followed you around a neighborhood. Martin racially profiled Zimmerman when he called him a creepy-ass cracker and a potential homosexual rapist (according to Jeantel's testimony). Martin ran from Zimmerman and he lost him. The only way they could then come into contact was by Martin following him in turn. He turned around and "stalked" Zimmerman by looping around the back of the residence he was visiting and then jumping Zimmerman as he was returning to his vehicle.

A large number of people do not want to believe the obvious truth. Why? Because people have allowed their emotions to be manipulated by charges or racism by the media, Obama, and groups such as the NAACP and race mongers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. This story has been powered by pure emotionalism based on the injection of the race-card. This incident could very well have occurred between two black people and we would have never a thing about it. Just like the dozens upon dozens of murders in Chicago that are ignored because the perpetrator cannot in any way to labeled "white". A black man murdering another black man doesn't get ratings, it doesn't sell papers, it doesn't help the race mongers get attention, and it doesn't help Democrat politicians stir up resentment for political gain.

This case had nothing to do with racism; except of course for Martin's racist comments and the media's selective editing of a 911 call to make it sound as though Zimmerman called Martin a coon (the word was "cold"). This case had nothing to do with the so called 'stand your ground' law in Florida; except the media, the US Attorney General, and the judge decided that it was - never mind that the defendant chose not to use it in his defense.

It's just bizarre what the mob mentality can do to reality. What is right is wrong and what is wrong is right because that is the only way to view things and get the outcome our emotions demand. America - as a nation - has lost it's mind.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

SuberLib, The unstated rule that all these fine netizens are trying to NOT say is "Black guy didn't kiss the floor and put his hands behind his head so he deserved to die". They'll deny it, and give you all kinds of BS about it but it boils down to "He didn't know his place". 2013 ladies and gentlemen...2013. sigh.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

yabits has this pretty well nailed, but to paraphrase: If you're not a cop you have no business tailing somebody through a neighborhood.

Let us nail it together: A citizen would have a legitimate purpose in tailing a person if it could be shown that the person was in some stage of the actual commission of a crime. That point is extremely important. "Looking" at houses is not a criminal act under Florida law. At no point did Zimmerman provide any evidence that Martin was engaged in any stage of committing a crime. Under the law, Martin was a completely innocent person who was on his way home.

Zimmerman revealed his concern about break-ins that had occurred recently. There is no evidence whatsoever that ties Trayvon Martin to any of those crimes.

Now, granting that Martin was not involved in any criminal activity, not only does the ordinary citizen have no business, but in Florida, you are acting unlawfully if the person you have decided to tail becomes aware of your pursuit and it causes them any concern for their safety or well-being. Specifically, if it can be said to cause you substantial stress. Based on the reactions revealed in the trial by the person who last spoke with Martin, the two of them were feeling substantial stress.

More damning is Zimmerman's admission of his awareness that Martin knew he was being tailed. Zimmerman can't now try to claim that he had no idea that Martin was aware of him. He could surmise by Martin's action to try to increase his distance from Zimmerman that his surveillance and pursuit had an impact on Martin's behavior.

If the prosecution had gone for manslaughter based on Zimmerman stalking and creating the situation where Martin was killed I expect the verdict would have been guilty

It is quite possible. One thing should be clear: Zimmerman's unlawful actions would have caused a properly instructed jury to reject bringing any of the protections of SYG into consideration. Zimmerman is the first of the two to act unlawfully that night.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They'll deny it, and give you all kinds of BS about it but it boils down to "He didn't know his place". 2013 ladies and gentlemen...2013. sigh.

No offense, I've been following this case quite closely from the moment it hit national headlines and I concluded quite quickly that Trayvon Martin's parents are good parents doing all that they could to keep Trayvon from falling into the traps that snare so many young African American's in the US, the gangsta street thug lifestyle. Trayvon Martin was not in Sanford Florida because he wanted to be, he was sent there away from his peer group in Miami by his mother to his father to get him away from this environment in an attempt to get him back on the road that would not eventually land him in jail at some point in his life. This is nothing short of good parenting and I happen to find it pretty disconcerting that you use the phrase "He didn't know his place". I have no doubt in my mind that his parents had taught and stressed to Trayvon that you do not assault and beat up other individuals and that is the proper place one conducts themselves on an everyday basis no matter what the circumstances.

I am positive you will not agree with this but my overall view of this entire tragedy boils down to this:

Frustrated neighborhood watch captain tired of seeing his area constantly being hit by burglars encounters a very angry young man with a chip on his shoulder for now being wrenched out of his peer group and friends with both ending up acting out their frustrations on each other with horrible tragic results for both families.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Frustrated neighborhood watch captain tired of seeing his area constantly being hit by burglars encounters a very angry young man with a chip on his shoulder for now being wrenched out of his peer group and friends with both ending up acting out their frustrations on each other with horrible tragic results for both families.

Only considerably more tragic for one (black) family than the other. And so American history goes....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wolfpack, this issue isn't "racism 'n' Democrats."

First of all, this case didn't boil down to a white guy shooting a back guy. Hispanics/whites have shot blacks before with the same cricket sounds as your black on black example. The case didn't even get known because of the shooting, it got known because the stalker/shooter got away with it. People, like me, had a hard time understanding how Zimmerman could initiate the confrontation, kill someone, then walk.

That's where the racism angle comes into play. I'm sure most would agree, even you, that you'd much rather be a white man in that situation. Put a black man with a gun in a car at night and have him stalk a white teenager, kill him, then claim self defense. You've got to admit that case would be viewed differently. I don't like the media's coverage of the racism angle, but there are some legitimate things to talk about. You can't just throw all of it aside.

Finally, I'm wondering how some gun owners (especially those who carry) could side with Zimmerman when they know they would have had that gun out and up if they were Martin. I thought that situation is the example that's often given as to why they need a gun.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

and serves no legitmate purpose -- ("We don't need you to do that." He knew as a Watch that tailing was forbidden Could anyone supply a legitimate reason for Zimmerman to harass Martin, in whom he already caused substantial stress?.)

@Yabits: That is not evidence that is serves no legitimate purpose; the argument that could be made was that by tailing Martin he was in fact serving a legitimate purpose by keeping the police aware of which street he was on. Simply being told that the actions are taking are not required of a civilian does not mean that the action does not serve a legitimate purpose.

People, like me, had a hard time understanding how Zimmerman could initiate the confrontation, kill someone, then walk.

The answer to your question is quite simple actually, if you are the one to initiate the confrontation but then walk away from the confrontation you are now no longer considered the aggressor in the confrontation; meaning if the other party decides to pursue you after you walk away they will be now considered the aggressor. Remember Zimmerman claimed he was attacked when walking back to his car. If you listen to the non-emergency police call Zimmerman claims to have lost sight of Martin and because he no longer has sight of Martin and he doesn't know exactly where he is he tells the dispatcher he is heading back to his car.

Here is the audio of that call:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=L04Vh4do6bY

If you listen to above link you have several scenarios:

He was lying to the dispatcher about losing sight of Martin

After the call he regains visual contact of Martin and continues his pursuit

Zimmerman is telling the truth and is doing as he says he will do in the call: He is heading back to his car and Martin comes up from behind him and attacks him.

What makes this case so unfair for everyone involved is we don't have really any evidence: Cameras or Witnesses to vouch for what happened between when Zimmerman's phone call to the police ended and when the fight started.

If you take the above phone call as truth, you combine that with Zimmerman's injuries, the witness that stated in his opinion it was Martin on top of Zimmerman and then finally a legal system that says in cases where the evidence isn't clear enough, in a case such as this, that you should find the defendant not guilty because it is better to let a guilty person go free than it is to send one innocent person to jail. If you follow that than it really is not a surprise how Zimmerman got a not guilty verdict.

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U.S. questions self-defense law after killing of unarmed black teenager in Florida

No, the administration is questioning the "stand your ground" law, which was their intention with this case all along. That, and dividing the U.S. on issues of race, attempting to set race relations back 50 years.

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Put a black man with a gun in a car at night and have him stalk a white teenager, kill him, then claim self defense. You've got to admit that case would be viewed differently.

Totally disagree Super,

If the situation were exactly the same except George Zimmerman was African American and Trayvon Martin was Anglo the media coverage would have been overwhelming slanted and biased in Zimmerman's favor. Headlines screaming that an African American is entitled to self defense after being assaulted and beaten by a suspended high school trouble maker. He would have been portrayed as a caring neighbor and a protector not as a monster and all of his good qualities played up and all of Martin's bad qualities would have been played up ever harder to vilify him as an aggressive evil thug,

That's the way our joke of a press operates anymore. There is no such thing as an objective press anymore in the U.S.

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sailwind:

If the situation were exactly the same except George Zimmerman was African American and Trayvon Martin was Anglo the media coverage would have been overwhelming slanted and biased in Zimmerman's favor.

No, they would have ignored the story altogether, just as they ignore dozens of other similar stories every single week.

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If the situation were exactly the same except George Zimmerman was African American and Trayvon Martin was Anglo the media coverage would have been overwhelming slanted and biased in Zimmerman's favor.

And my point is that he's probably more likely to go to jail. Not everything is about the media.

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That is not evidence that is serves no legitimate purpose; the argument that could be made was that by tailing Martin he was in fact serving a legitimate purpose by keeping the police aware of which street he was on. Simply being told that the actions are taking are not required of a civilian does not mean that the action does not serve a legitimate purpose.

We would have to first agree that, as long as Mr. Martin was not in any stage of the active commission of a crime, he had a basic right, under Florida law, to be free from harassment and stalking.

Let me pause and say that the attitude I am reading from many of the posts is that all young men who look like Mr. Martin who are walking on the street should be treated as a suspect. Doesn't this deny the rights of people like Mr. Martin, who hadn't been in the act of committing a crime?

If Mr. Martin was not involved in a crime or any criminal activity, what would be the legitimate purpose for a person who was not law enforcement in "tailing" him? How would Mr. Martin know the intent of the stranger tailing him, if that person had no connection to law enforcement? There is a law and definition for stalking -- and it ultimately is dependent upon the feelings and perceptions of the person being followed or harassed.

What legitimate purpose was there for Zimmerman to engage in the unlawful activity of harassing and stalking that overrode Mr. Martin's basic right not to be harassed or stalked?

Can you explain that to me? Mr. Martin was not engaged in any crime whatsoever? How could disregarding his right to be free from harassment legitimate? Is he some kind of second-class citizen -- someone who can be stalked or harassed with impunity?

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We would have to first agree that, as long as Mr. Martin was not in any stage of the active commission of a crime, he had a basic right, under Florida law, to be free from harassment and stalking.

Yes and no, if a person who is doing the "stalking" and "harassment" has malicious reasons then yes, if the person doing such things is doing them because they think you are up to no good then no; I also think that is how the court would look at it as well as law enforcement. I would argue that is why the prosecutors also did not charge Zimmerman with harassment and stalking.

Based off of the below audio which of those scenarios do you believe is the most likely one that transpired:

Here is the audio of that call:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=L04Vh4do6bY

He was lying to the dispatcher about losing sight of Martin

After the call he regains visual contact of Martin and continues his pursuit

Zimmerman is telling the truth and is doing as he says he will do in the call: He is heading back to his car and Martin comes up from behind him and attacks him.

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@SuperLib:

First of all, this case didn't boil down to a white guy shooting a back guy. Hispanics/whites have shot blacks before with the same cricket sounds as your black on black example.

Yes, and that's a good point. But when was the last time you saw a crime that involved a black person killing a white person that was given this much media attention? The last one I can remember was the OJ trial - almost two decades ago. And OJ used race as his defense - and won. I can understand the OJ trial being highly publicized because he is a famous person. I can't think of any other case given the same level of publicity when it involved two average people where the victim was white and the perpetrator was black and motivated by racism. Maybe Colin Ferguson - but race was played down and mental illness was the focus on him.

You've got to admit that case would be viewed differently. I don't like the media's coverage of the racism angle, but there are some legitimate things to talk about. You can't just throw all of it aside.

Yes, you are right. There are certainly legitimate issues that should be looked at by the public at large. The problem is that it is one sided. Just last month a murder occurred in Georgia where four black men beat a white man who was with a black woman. After he was beaten he was shoved out into the street and run over. This case has all the ingredients for a block buster ratings getter for the press - but they won't touch it. Reverse the races and their is a good chance you would have heard about this case by now.

America media has an aversion to reporting stories that involve blacks committing crimes against whites or other races. Yes, I realize it was very different 50 to 100 years ago but that doesn't justify ignoring reality today. It doesn't help anyone by focusing on one side of the story - it only leads to ever heightened racial tensions and no possibility for improving race relations over the long term. There is only grievance and reprisals over and over again.

I'm not trying to say that the media should not report stories about white racists who commit crimes. The James Byrd story was handled pretty well for the most part (I'll leave out discussion of the Democrat political ad). The media needs to report the fact that people of all races are subject to human frailties. Not to stereotype blacks but to show that blacks are subject to the same flaws as people of any other race - no better or worse. Americans do not see the full picture of American race relations as it truly exits today. We see only Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson's view whereby we are always in the Jim Crow south. It simply cultivates racial animosity and keeps the nation forever stuck in the 1950's with respect to race relations.

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Yes and no, if a person who is doing the "stalking" and "harassment" has malicious reasons then yes, if the person doing such things is doing them because they think you are up to no good then no; I also think that is how the court would look at it as well as law enforcement. I would argue that is why the prosecutors also did not charge Zimmerman with harassment and stalking.

I would ask you to think very carefully. Please consider who the harassment and stalking laws are meant to protect: the person being stalked or harassed.

If the person being harassed or stalked has not done anything unlawful or criminal, and they witness someone watching or following them to the extent they feel afraid for their safety, and that person is definitely NOT law enforcement, their victimization begins the moment they fear for their well-being. It does not matter if the person stalking them has malicious reasons or not, it is unlawful from that moment under Florida law.

Prosecutors could not charge Zimmerman with harassment and stalking. First of all,. it is the increased stress of the person being harassed that crosses the line to denote harassment and it is that person has to file the complaint. Mr. Martin could not do this. Secondly, harassment and stalking is a misdemeanor, typically, on the first offense.

Martin retreated and tried to get away from Zimmerman, but Zimmerman left his vehicle to chase down Mr. Martin. That's clearly unlawful. I don't believe Zimmerman stops his pursuit of Mr. Martin after the dispatcher says "We don't need you to do that." (He does not immediately return to his vehicle.)

But what is important is that harassment and stalking are unlawful behavior under Florida law. A person engaging in unlawful behavior has no recourse to the protections of stand-your-ground that the jury applied to Zimmerman's case in reaching their decision.

He is heading back to his car and Martin comes up from behind him and attacks him.

Mr. Martin does not come up from behind Zimmerman. According to Zimmerman's own recount, Mr. Martin called to him from the walkway that formed a T with the walkway Zimmerman was on. (90 degrees to Zimmerman's left.) If we are to believe Zimmerman, he turned to face Mr. Martin as Mr. Martin approached.

I do not know who made the first physical contact. I believe only George Zimmerman knows the truth about that. Based upon what transpired, I believe that if Zimmerman grabbed Mr. Martin, Zimmerman would not tell the truth. I don't believe Zimmerman would say anything that would make him look in any way responsible for the altercation.

http://www.hlntv.com/video/2013/06/25/george-zimmerman-story-police-evidence

I believe the jury was correct in acquitting Zimmerman of second-degree murder. If stand-your-ground was not considered, there would have been a hung jury and a retrial. I just don't believe the juror who voted for second-degree murder was going to vote for total acquittal if SYG was not considered.

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How about stalking?

Yeah, it's illegal. I'm posting the relevant law from Florida below. Zimmerman's actions did not constitute stalking

(2) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

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I would ask you to think very carefully. Please consider who the harassment and stalking laws are meant to protect: the person being stalked or harassed.

I am, like I said if it can be shown that the harassment and stalking is for malicious reasons they will prosecute but if it is because the person believes that the person they are following is going to do something illegal and they are on the phone with the dispatcher they are not going to be charged with harassment and stalking. I would argue that is the spirit of the stalking and harassment laws.

I don't believe Zimmerman stops his pursuit of Mr. Martin after the dispatcher says "We don't need you to do that." (He does not immediately return to his vehicle.)

I didn't claim that Zimmerman stops his pursuit of Martin after the dispatcher said what he said or that he immediately returned to his vehicle. I said that Zimmerman stops his pursuit after claiming to lose sight of Martin and then agrees to meet up with police outside of his car. The question is is he telling the truth about losing sight of Martin, did he in fact continue to look for Martin after the call or did in fact do as said he was going to do and head back to his car.

Mr. Martin does not come up from behind Zimmerman. According to Zimmerman's own recount, Mr. Martin called to him from the walkway that formed a T with the walkway Zimmerman was on. (90 degrees to Zimmerman's left.) If we are to believe Zimmerman, he turned to face Mr. Martin as Mr. Martin approached.

Zimmerman claimed he was approached from his left rear, that is from behind.

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The ironic thing is, "stand your ground" has been proven to benefit minorities in Florida.

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Wolfpack, there's really no way to respond. You're mixing fact with opinion with anecdotes with catchphrases. You haven't done the research to support the things you are saying evidenced by the fact that you're just recalling news stories from memory and the coverage of them. Apparently you're making some kind of point that the story went national simply because it was a white man killing a black man and the media just loves that because they can play up the racism angle? There's a lot more to the story than that, especially how the law worked in this situation.

I'll ask one last time: If you were in Zimmerman's situation, would you rather be white or black knowing what you were about to face in the legal system?

Noliving: The answer to your question is quite simple actually, if you are the one to initiate the confrontation but then walk away from the confrontation you are now no longer considered the aggressor in the confrontation; meaning if the other party decides to pursue you after you walk away they will be now considered the aggressor.

That sounds reasonable except Zimmerman didn't "walk away" in the sense that you're using it. He simply couldn't find Martin anymore. For your definition to apply, you'd have to convince me that Zimmerman would have done nothing had he seen Martin a second time because he had walked away from the situation. We're not mind readers but there's nothing in Zimmerman's actions that would lead us to believe he would have stopped going after Martin. If the law says you can pursue someone and you're off the hook once you lose sight of him, then we need to look at the law.

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That sounds reasonable except Zimmerman didn't "walk away" in the sense that you're using it. He simply couldn't find Martin anymore. For your definition to apply, you'd have to convince me that Zimmerman would have done nothing had he seen Martin a second time because he had walked away from the situation. We're not mind readers but there's nothing in Zimmerman's actions that would lead us to believe he would have stopped going after Martin. If the law says you can pursue someone and you're off the hook once you lose sight of him, then we need to look at the law.

In the eyes of the self defense laws across every single state and territory, if your "attacker" has ceased their aggression, whether because they have given up trying to start a fight or because they don't want to fight/pursue you anymore or whatever, the only exception to this rule is if you can prove the "attacker" was retreating to get a weapon to attack you or was going to attack someone else, you are to immediately cease your own "aggression" and if you don't or you voluntarily continue or insist on having contact with your aggressor after they have decided to leave you will now be considered the aggressor/attacker and the attacker/aggressor who initiated it will now be seen as the victim.

The reasoning for that is stop any lethal force being used on both sides but it is also setup that way to prevent the victim or defender from just simply retaliating against their attacker after the attacker ends their hostility.

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I'll ask one last time: If you were in Zimmerman's situation, would you rather be white or black knowing what you were about to face in the legal system?

Doesn't seem to make any difference at all when it comes to self-defense in the eyes of a jury, found something quite relevant to this question:.........(Mr. Scott is African American much Older Adult, Christopher Cervini is a white 16 year old teenager,)

Jury Finds Roderick Scott Not Guilty

"The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered."

Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.

Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.

"How can this happen to a beautiful, sweet child like that?” asked Cervini’s aunt Carol Cervini. “All he wanted to do was go home. And then for them to say, he was saying, 'Please don't kill me. I'm just a kid,' and he just kept on shooting him."

http://rochester.ynn.com/content/top_stories/490926/jury-finds-roderick-scott-not-guilty/

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The US Attorney General is one of Obama's Lefties. Of course, he is going to say stupid things. Interesting to read of the group he was addressing when he made these insane comments. I never heard of it before. I wonder does he realise that Zimmerman also qualifies for membership?

I also wonder if there is a similar organisation for caucasian Americans? The way things are going under Obama, they will soon need it. I wonder, too, does the Attorney General know of the recent murderous attacks on, and rapes of, young white children in his country? No outcry about those. Hardly even a mention of them in the mass media, either. What the heck is going on in the "Land of the Brave and home of the free?" It sure doesn't sound either brave, nor free, under Obama Law.

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Sailwind, the question is meant for people to give their personal opinion and that can only come from you. If you say it would make no difference to you to be black or white in Zimmerman's situation, then just come out and say it. I'll respect you for it since no one else will go on record.

Noliving, did Zimmerman say he was going back to his car with the intention of ending the search and leaving the area immediately? Or was he staying and would have gone after Martin again if he had seen him? It would seem that the latter isn't in the spirit of "ceased hostilities".

OldHawk, thanks for the question, but since Martin is dead we'll never know the answer. The only thing we know is that Zimmerman was after him.

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Sailwind, the question is meant for people to give their personal opinion and that can only come from you. If you say it would make no difference to you to be black or white in Zimmerman's situation, then just come out and say it. I'll respect you for it since no one else will go on record.

My honest opinion, it would make no difference if the situation was 100 percent exactly the same with the exception that Zimmerman's outer skin color was black, purple, orange, mauve or a hue of a brownish Caucasian Hispanic mix (which is what he exactly is).

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@Noliving:

I’ve been listening to the dispatch call and also listening several times to Zimmerman’s interview with Sean Hannity. I would be interested in your thoughts on the following.

On the call, Zimmerman says (about Mr. Martin), “He’s running.” (I wasn’t sure if I should put an exclamation point there; it sounded somewhat emphatic.) In the Hannity interview, Zimmerman starts to modify “running” to – I’m not kidding – “skipping” and then walking fast. Skipping? (Could that be true?)

During a critical part of the fight, Hannity asked him how Mr. Martin caught sight of Zimmerman’s gun. Zimmerman said Mr. Martin was on top of him, pounding his head into the concrete. Zimmerman said he then “shimmied” his body to get his head and body over to the grass. It was in the process of his shimmy-ing that Zimmerman claims his jacket lifted and Mr. Martin saw his gun.

Let’s put aside the fact that Zimmerman now claims his head was no longer over the concrete – his gun was still in its holster – and therefore his head wasn’t in a position to sustain any substantially greater injuries than the ones the world saw later – as evidence in the trial. Put aside that fact for a bit, and help me understand this:

If we accept that Zimmerman was underneath Mr. Martin, and Mr. Martin had him pinned from moving sideways, the only two ways to “shimmy” is to move in the direction from head to toe, or to move from toe to head. If Zimmerman shimmied from head to toe, he would have had to dig his heels in and his head would have been moving closer to Mr. Martin’s crotch. There’s much less traction in this rather un-natural direction – think wet grass – and the leg muscles needed are not as strong.

The more logical natural direction – almost reflexive under stress – is to shimmy in the direction of toe to head, increasing the head’s distance from Mr. Martin. Much better traction and much more powerful leg muscles involved. Here’s the problem: Moving in that direction would tighten Zimmerman’s jacket around his shoulders and, if anything, move the bottom border further down his body – not upwards.

Zimmerman, his head now on the grass, but claiming that he was afraid of losing consciousness and still being pounded on – claims to be aware enough, in the dark, that Mr. Martin has spotted his weapon. One human being to another: In all honesty – do you really buy that? In the heat of a battle with him losing consciousness and he’s able to be aware of what his opponent is noticing?

What really got me about the Hannity interview came when Hannity asked Zimmerman if he had ANY regrets about leaving his car to trail Mr. Martin that night. Zimmerman answered, “No.”

Zimmerman claims that he put his life in danger – I don’t believe him -- tailing a guy who hadn’t committed any crime, and takes the life of a human being and he feels no regret??!! Is he saying that he would have done it all over again, the same way, with the same outcome?

Now, imagine yourself as the father of the 17-year-old and trying to make sense out of all of this. Your kid leaves your home to go to the store and come back, and the guy who kills him says he doesn’t regret the main action that led to the altercation. Something is very, very wrong with that.

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Noliving, did Zimmerman say he was going back to his car with the intention of ending the search and leaving the area immediately? Or was he staying and would have gone after Martin again if he had seen him? It would seem that the latter isn't in the spirit of "ceased hostilities".

I don't think he did, but it is strongly implied that he is. It may not be in the spirit of ceased hostilities but the law in all states and territories doesn't care if ceased hostilities is in the spirit of the law because ceased hostilities is ceased hostilities in the eyes of the law, the only exceptions is if the person is going back to retrieve a weapon to attack you or is going to immediately attack someone else. Self defense laws the victim basically has to show that they did just about everything they could to avoid the conflict, especially with someone they knew was hostile to them; the reason for that is because the law wants zero conflict and it doesn't care how it gets it just as long as it gets it. In the eyes of the law conflict takes two tango and having an innocent victim that isn't really doing everything they can to avoid the conflict just simply exacerbates conflict/issue; this is why a lot of states still don't have the castle doctrine, they still require that you retreat from your house if someone breaks into your house. The self defense laws in general are just brutal on their expectations on what the victim did to get away from their attacker.

The more logical natural direction – almost reflexive under stress – is to shimmy in the direction of toe to head, increasing the head’s distance from Mr. Martin. Much better traction and much more powerful leg muscles involved. Here’s the problem: Moving in that direction would tighten Zimmerman’s jacket around his shoulders and, if anything, move the bottom border further down his body – not upwards. Zimmerman, his head now on the grass, but claiming that he was afraid of losing consciousness and still being pounded on – claims to be aware enough, in the dark, that Mr. Martin has spotted his weapon. One human being to another: In all honesty – do you really buy that? In the heat of a battle with him losing consciousness and he’s able to be aware of what his opponent is noticing?

Depends on where Martin is, for example if he is sitting on Zimmerman's legs meaning the crotch and above is exposed and or Zimmerman is being pounded into the concrete or ground, in other words he is being lifted up and pushed down repeatedly that could cause the jacket to lift and expose the gun, it would also help loosen the jacket.

Yes I do buy that it is possible, at no point did Zimmerman become blind nor deaf, being afraid of losing consciousness doesn't mean the person is in the middle of losing consciousness, it means they are recognizing the threat, for example a boxer who is being punched can guess they are in danger of being knocked out, that doesn't mean the boxer is incapable of being able to formulate a strategy get out of the bind they are in. A person who is able to recognize the potential danger of what is happening to them at that very moment is clearly consciousness enough to be aware of what his or her opponent is noticing/doing.

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The headline is flawed. The "US" is NOT questioning either the self-defense proposition (used as a defense) or the Stand Your Ground law (NOT brought up in the trial). Let's get more specific that the anti-Second Amendment ideologues are raising the issue as well as attacking private firearms ownership in general. The State of Illinois is the only state that still prohibits Concealed Carry which may end if the MacDonald decision is enacted into their law. AG Eric Holder argued in court against both that case and the Heller case in Washington, DC. Concealed Carry is part of being able to defend oneself, their family, and associates.

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A person who is able to recognize the potential danger of what is happening to them at that very moment is clearly consciousness enough to be aware of what his or her opponent is noticing/doing.

You haven't quite got it. Zimmerman's gun was behind him. In the dark, how could Zimmerman be so certain that Mr. Martin was looking at it? A black gun in a black holster on his back right belt, in the dark?

When you are fighting a person with dark eyes in the dark, how can you tell with any confidence what they are looking at? It's not like you can track their field of vision and read their mind. If Zimmerman can get you to believe that Mr. Martin saw his gun, and that he, Zimmerman, knew Mr. Martin was looking at his gun -- which I don't believe is possible. The mind is racing much too fast to pick up details like in the near-complete dark like that -- it makes it easy for Zimmerman to just pull it out and shoot him. Not because he's in any real danger at this point, but because he's enraged at having his nose broken, and it hurts.

It seems implausible that Zimmerman would be aware about the border of his jacket, AND the object in Mr. Martin's eyes. I mean from second to second, Mr. Martin's eyes were more than likely darting around rather than staring fixated at one thing. At least not long enough for Zimmerman to realize to himself -- "Ah, he has spotted my gun." And with dark eyes and dark-toned eye-sockets on a dark night in the frenzy of a fight. I've tried it without the frenzy and I can't make out the definition of where the iris is. I mean the head position gives a general idea.

Zimmerman is providing details under conditions that would not be possible for ordinary humans. But Zimmerman was aware of his weapon, and to make it seem more like self-defense in what is not a life-threatening situation, Zimmerman wants you to believe that Mr. Martin is aware of it too, whether he is or not. The thing is, he doesn't have to embellish. All he has to do is claim he was so terrified for his very life, without trying to add these details.

A person who has to embellish like this can't just admit he was hurt and scared -- like a little child. He has to concoct something that makes his extremely minor injuries look like he was up against a real killer. Mr. Martin didn't fight "dirty." He didn't try to kick or bite. He was punched out, fatigued, and holding on for dear life.

For hitting and breaking Zimmerman's nose, and making it hurt, with the fight in the wrestling stage and nearly over, and with the cops a few minutes away, Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.

for example a boxer who is being punched can guess they are in danger of being knocked out

The eyes will tend to, by instinct, scan those areas where a threat might come -- mostly the hands, arms and legs. There's not a lot to be gained trying to focus on a person's right rear hip, or their eyes. The thing that knocks them out will not be coming from there. (Not unless a hand goes down there and pulls out a weapon.)

I guess the question is this: If Zimmerman had shot someone you knew and loved, under exactly these circumstances, would you be buying this story? Would the questions above be plausible enough to cause you to have some serious doubts about it?

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A case like this proves that the system needs either computers deciding cases, or professional jurors. In either one of these conditions, he would have been guilty of manslaughter. The victim had no weapons, no stolen items on him and was outweighed by 47 pounds by the killer, who had over a years training in M M A, Zimmerman could have shot him elsewhere, but he shot him directly in the heart from close range. The prosecution did a good job of throwing the case.

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yabitsJul. 20, 2013 - 02:07PM JST Zimmerman is providing details under conditions that would not be possible for ordinary humans

If you'd ever interviewed anyone who had been in a traumatic situation (like I have numerous times) you'd know that this is actually a normal pattern of a traumatised individual. During trauma the eyes see and the brain records a mass of information, but there's not enough processing power to sort and make sense of it at the time. That's a good thing, because if you started to wonder, "Hey, there are 4 red cars in this street... when did red become such a popular car color?" then you'll probably be dead.

Instead the brain just stores the information and puts it in holding until there's spare time later to process it. This can take hours, days or even weeks. Unless you have total recall though chunks of information get lost, or simply don't get recorded, and so the brain fills in the information with manufactured memories from similar experiences or things that seem to make sense.

When being interviewed it is NORMAL for subjects to try and reinterpret their experience, to explore different justifications for what they did and what their attacker did. You see in traumatic situations the truth is that there often is no "justification". You don't sit down and consider your legal, moral and philosophical position. Instead you just react. This is why self-defense exists as a defense, because the legal system realizes that even the most moral man, in danger of his life, will react with lethal force.

So, Yabits, Zimmerman's justifications don't make him a liar. They actually confirm that the trauma was real, that this wasn't some planned out racially motivated attack. They confirm that he reacted to danger first, and then added post-hoc justifications afterwards.

... but if you'd been in a real unplanned fight, where your life was in danger, you'd know this. You'd know that you react first and then satisfy your conscience later. Zimmerman clearly feels awful about this. That's what most people in this are forgetting. Zimmerman is a living, feeling, human being. He took a human life. He has been dragged through the courts, vilified in the media, and slandered from one end of the world to the other, when he just did what 99.9% of people would do in the same situation. People are so focused on Martin that they forget that Zimmerman is probably suffering a lot more.

... but hey, its easier for people to see him as a cardboard cut-out villain like in a movie. That makes it so much easier to treat him like you're doing now. You truly are a wonderful human being.

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Noliving: ceased hostilities is ceased hostilities in the eyes of the law

Then we need to examine a law that considers someone going after someone else, losing him, then sitting by his car hoping for him to return as "ceased hostilities."

Noliving: Self defense laws the victim basically has to show that they did just about everything they could to avoid the conflict, especially with someone they knew was hostile to them;

If Martin had given Zimmerman warning that Martin was a threat, would Zimmerman then be required to flee to avoid the conflict?

And somehow that can exist with this law: "A stand-your-ground law is a type of self-defense law that gives individuals the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves without any requirement to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation."

Confusing at best, I would say. And it seems to need a lot of mind reading which can make court cases go either way, and very difficult to take the word of the only living person who would have an incentive to not spend the rest of his life in jail. Based on the hodgepodge of laws no one really knows what to do until after the fact.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SuperLib:

Apparently you're making some kind of point that the story went national simply because it was a white man killing a black man and the media just loves that because they can play up the racism angle? There's a lot more to the story than that, especially how the law worked in this situation.

Yes, that is exactly the point I am making - and of course I am exactly right. Can you seriously try to tell me that the media doesn't just love race stories? Some of the best ratings and newspaper sales are stories about racial controversy. Rodney King, OJ Simpson, now George Zimmerman. No one can deny that. In these stories, the white guy is the bad guy and the black guy is the victim. In some cases this is true. The James Byrd case was undeniably a legitimate story of white racism. The OJ case made him out to be the victim instead of the white people that he killed.

You are right, there is a lot more to this story. Except too many people skipped by the facts of the case to went directly to their preconceived prejudices. George Zimmerman was made into a honorary white person for the purposes of this trial. He supposedly racially profiled Martin and was then tagged with the ill thoughts of every old white lady that clutched her purse tighter when a young black kid with his pants down around his knees got onto an elevator with her. As for how the law worked in this situation, it worked an exactly as it should have. However, that didn't stop Obama, Holder and the rest of the race hustlers from using this case as a means to oppose a law that the defense never used. Zimmerman did not use the so called 'stand your ground' law in his defense. Never the less, that didn't stop the media, Obama, Holder, Sharpton and Jesse Jackson from making this law a central point of the case. Even the judge who threw in manslaughter at the last minute in order to get the guy convicted took it upon herself to inject the stand your ground law into the jury deliberations. Can't blame that on Zimmerman.

I'll ask one last time: If you were in Zimmerman's situation, would you rather be white or black knowing what you were about to face in the legal system?

If I were Zimmerman I would want people to see me for what I (he) is, a Hispanic man. Not as a white man as was originally reported and not as white-Hispanic as the media began to call him after he was found that he was not white. Zimmerman is no more white than Obama is black. If Obama can call himself a black man why is Zimmerman forced to be a white man? Obviously it is much easier to make him out to be a racist if he is seen as white instead of a minority. It is disgraceful how the media and the America left have taken away the mans heritage so as to get him convicted.

We're not mind readers but there's nothing in Zimmerman's actions that would lead us to believe he would have stopped going after Martin.

Did you even listen to the 911 call? The dispatcher asked Zimmerman to let him know what he (Martin) was doing. That was before he told him that he didn't have to follow him. At which point, there is no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim that he was returning to his vehicle when he was jumped by Martin. Martin was the one that made the physical attack on Zimmerman. You know it, everyone knows it. Even Charles Barkley knows it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stand Your Ground laws had nothing to do with this case. People with an agenda are using the case for their own ends, what else is new?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So, Yabits, Zimmerman's justifications don't make him a liar. They actually confirm that the trauma was real,

Zimmerman's a liar alright. It starts with his recount of the confrontation, before he was under any trauma.

The person who is not lying is Rachel Jeantel. She's no longer talking to Mr. Martin but listening. She's only got one thing to focus her attention on and she IS focused. The last thing she says Trayvon says to her is "He's getting closer."

Then she hears Mr. Martin, obviously addressing Zimmerman, "Why are you following me!?"

That blows Zimmerman's version out of the water. Trayvon Martin wasn't following Zimmerman -- ever; Zimmerman was following Mr. Martin. He was on the hunt from the beginning and he never stopped his hunt. He was in no mood and in no state of mind to let this person he called an "effing punk" get away.

In Zimmerman's version, he's walking back to his vehicle -- a lie -- and he claims he hears Mr. Martin come up from behind him. Mr. Martin, who had been doing nothing but getting away from Zimmerman up to this point, suddenly decides to reverse course and go on the attack. Zimmerman turns and faces him, and he allows his target to draw closer to him. He is trying to get us to believe that he has given total control of the initiative of the situation over to Mr. Martin. It's all Mr. Martin's move. "No, I don't have a problem."

"Why are you following me?" -- means it was Zimmerman still on the pursuit. He was the one who approached Mr. Martin, always in control of the situation and thought he could rough up the "effing punk."

But he lies and makes himself come off meek and mild -- "No, Mr, Punk, I don't have a problem. I'm just returning to my vehicle. Pardon me while I call 911. That is Zimmerman's story.

And you believe it. Sheesh. How utterly gullible and idiotic can some people be?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wolfpack, you've still done nothing to prove your case about white on black killing. None at all. There is a mountain of evidence available for you to build a case but instead you mention just 4 cases, and one of them is the most famous case of all time, when a black man killed a white man. Then you turn around and say the media only focuses on white-on-black killing. I really don't understand that. You're talking about the tactics OJ's defense team used and saying it's what the media did. Last I checked most people think OJ is a POS who got away with murder. I'm really struggling to see how that supports your case.

I have no idea what it means to be an "honorary white person." Sounds like a spin that's required to make your points that follow. The topic you keep ignoring is the fact that it's much better to be a white person in that situation than a black person, and that's a relevant race question. I read your response about whether you're rather be a white or black man in that situation but I really didn't understand your 120+ word response. Something about Obama being black.

I think most people are struggling to understand how someone can initiate the situation, kill the other person, then get released. And the more we learn about the law the more we're seeing how absurd it is.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At which point, there is no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim that he was returning to his vehicle when he was jumped by Martin

There is evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim. We have the deposition and testimony of Rachel Jeantel. I can understand why some people want not to believe her, but what I can't understand is why people assert that what she claims to have heard over the cell phone is not evidence. (It's stuff like that that brings up the racial element of this case. Sure, she comes from a different culture and world, but people tell the truth there too.)

The other evidence that contradicts Zimmerman comes from Zimmerman himself. I admit, it takes a bit of discernment to see through it, but if you really think and try to visualize it, it's as plain as the evidence that made OJ as guilty as all hell.

If you have been trailing prey, and they know that you have been trailing them, and you suddenly realize that they have reversed course to come towards you, you are not going to stand there and allow the person to approach you while exchanging the "do you have a problem" lines. You are certainly not going to let them get close enough within punching distance. Especially, if you've been really angry at this ****-ing punk. Nobody's reaction will be to say, "No, Mr. Punk, I don't have a problem." You'll say -- as they are getting closer, loud enough for every neighbor to hear it -- "BACK OFF, PUNK!"

The reason we don't hear this is because Zimmerman is still the aggressor. (Another part of what's racial about this is that people don't want to admit this very likely scenario is at least possible. It mystifies me.)

Let the sheer unreality and total bizarreness of Zimmerman's scenario play through your mind. Then go back and give Ms. Jeantel another chance to tell you what she heard.

Consider this: Mr. Martin wanted Ms. Jeantel on the phone because, subconsciously perhaps, he wanted a witness to the situation. (She said he sounded scared. This was no guy planning an assault.) Zimmerman ended his call with the dispatcher because he didn't want any witness to his continuation of the hunt for his suspect. He caught up with Mr. Martin and thought he could hold him until the cops arrived.

If Zimmerman had stayed on with the dispatcher, first, he would have been safer -- and I fault the dispatcher for not realizing the potential danger of the situation and staying on with Zimmerman to make sure he got back to his vehicle safely. But Zimmerman wanted to get off the phone so he could continue his pursuit. He was itching to play a real cop -- and not someone who felt defeated by a punk and had to retreat back to his vehicle.

As meek and innocent as he wants to make you believe, George Zimmerman was not a nice guy. What a tragedy that Trayvon Martin had to appear on his radar screen.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Very well explained yabits.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very well explained yabits.

Heh, well, he tryed anyway. I'm not buying though. Just doesn't fit the facts.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Molenir

Just doesn't fit the facts.

OK, I'm noting you down as another one who can't see the forest for the trees. The reason why people can't see it is part the reason why this case is so revealing and important. It will all come out in time.

At one point, Zimmerman has let it slip that he's not going back to his vehicle. (Can't see it, can you?)

What "fact" does the above scenario not fit?

To the parents of Trayvon Martin: You can be 100% assured that your son did not start the altercation that cost him his life. There is no longer any doubt in my mind. He and you deserved better from our law enforcement and legal justice system -- and that's a really big problem too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You haven't quite got it. Zimmerman's gun was behind him. In the dark, how could Zimmerman be so certain that Mr. Martin was looking at it? A black gun in a black holster on his back right belt, in the dark?

I haven't read anything that says the gun was in a holster in/on his back. Do you have a link to that?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Photo of Zimmerman showing the draw location of his firearm:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/07/02/1220703/-The-Zimmerman-Draw

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@SuperLib:

Wolfpack, you've still done nothing to prove your case about white on black killing. None at all. There is a mountain of evidence available for you to build a case but instead you mention just 4 cases, and one of them is the most famous case of all time, when a black man killed a white man.

The fact that the media has been trying to get away with calling Zimmerman a "white" Hispanic when they found out he wasn't really white tells you all you need to know. The media activity suppresses stories that involve black perpetrators. Have you heard of this case:

http://newsone.com/2033527/andrew-quade-olufisayo-bakre-savannah-georgia-hate-crime/

There are cases of blatant black racism and we should not pretend it doesn't happen. I'm not trying to say whites don't do similar things of course, just that the media needs to have balance.

Yes, I only mentioned a few cases in which a black person is the perpetrator. Those are all that I could think of - and that's my point. However, if you have an exhaustive list of all of those big national news stories of racist blacks attacking white people then by all means please post them. You would be doing the public a service by providing the full picture of race relations in America that the national news outlets will not touch.

I have no idea what it means to be an "honorary white person." Sounds like a spin that's required to make your points that follow.

"White-Hispanic" - I need say nothing more.

The topic you keep ignoring is the fact that it's much better to be a white person in that situation than a black person, and that's a relevant race question.

If this were 1955, then I would grant you this point. However, you seem to forget that this is 2013. The president of the US is a black man (or white-black man if you read the NY Times or watch CNN). The country has changed but the NAACP, the Democrat party, and the mainstream media still think it's the Jim Crow era. I am not trying to tell you that racism doesn't exist. It does - and it comes in all colors - not just white. Don't believe me? Read the FBI crime statistics. Read the Federal, State, and local laws that omit white males from equal treatment under the law when it comes to education, employment, and contracting. Watch your local news. Watch the black president and attorney general call out whites for being racist in response to a trial verdict involving people that are not white.

I read your response about whether you're rather be a white or black man in that situation but I really didn't understand your 120+ word response.

OK, let me try again. If I were in Florida and was defending myself in court under the "stand your ground" law that the Left likes to talk about so much I would rather be a black defendant. As it turns out, blacks have a better success rate than whites do with respect to defending themselves in court using this defense. You probably will not believe the facts anyway as they do not fit your emotional state of mind or your preconceived notions of the "racist" white people that run Florida. But it's true anyway.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/16/blacks-benefit-from-florida-stand-your-ground-law-at-disproportionate-rate/ http://www.tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/fatal-cases

People have a right to defend themselves and should not be forced to go out of their way to run away to save themselves from a person that wants to take away their right of move freely and express themselves peacefully (ie. Martin sitting on top of Zimmerman pounding on him - as per eye witness testimony).

We need to end all of this division based on race. A black man is a man. A white man is a man. And there is more to the world than just black and white. Obama had a great chance to set America on a new course in race relations but he defaulted to the old Jeremiah Wright view of the world - all black people are victims of White racism. Their is no excuse for injecting race into a situation where it does not exist.

There is no longer any systematic government sponsored discrimination against blacks and minorities as was the case a half century ago (with the exception of affirmative action laws of course). The only racism in America today is confined to the Black Panthers, KKK and skin-heads, the NAACP, La Raza (ie. The Race), and individuals of all colors that have personal hatreds in their hearts for some reason or another. The Left needs to stop judging people by the color of their skin and start judging them by the content of their character. Until the Left stops judging people by skin color race relations will never change. But then again, dividing the nation by race is always the way the Democrat party has chosen to maintain political power.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just a good guy.

George Zimmerman, who has not been seen publicly since his acquittal in the murder of Trayvon Martin earlier this month, surfaced last week to rescue an unidentified family trapped in an overturned vehicle on a Florida highway, police said Monday. Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told Fox News that Zimmerman, 29, was identified by a crash victim as the man who pulled him from the mangled vehicle. “George Zimmerman pulled me out,” firefighters were told by the unidentified driver, according to McAuliffe.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

George Zimmerman, who has not been seen publicly since his acquittal in the murder of Trayvon Martin earlier this month, surfaced last week to rescue an unidentified family trapped in an overturned vehicle on a Florida highway, police said Monday. Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told Fox News that Zimmerman, 29, was identified by a crash victim as the man who pulled him from the mangled vehicle. “George Zimmerman pulled me out,” firefighters were told by the unidentified driver, according to McAuliffe.

He called 911 and told them about the crash, then told the operator he was going to help the family get out of the car.

The operator said "We don't need you to do that."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

LAcajun - courtesy of The Onion, is that?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I found the juxtaposition of the following two lines in the same post to be tremendously hilarious:

We need to end all of this division based on race.

OK, let me try again. If I were in Florida and was defending myself in court under the "stand your ground" law ... I would rather be a black defendant.

If this was a reality show, I'd call it "The Amazing Racist."

For the George Zimmerman "hero" story, I would file that one under the same folder that holds: "OJ saves kittens." Were Zimmerman's first wife -- the one he battered -- or the undercover cop he assaulted, available for comment? In the history of the United States, has a fireman ever committed manslaughter or cold-blooded murder? Would their history of heroic acts as a fire-fighter cancel that act out?

On the night he shot and killed Mr. Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman says something to indicate to the dispatcher that he's not heading back to his vehicle. It's amazing how so many people can't connect the obvious dots.

I highly recommend people watching Zimmerman taking Sanford police through a re-enactment of the event. It is truly an amazing fabrication. Inconsistencies galore. Note how Zimmerman claims the dispatcher instructed him to "Get to somewhere where you can see him." Nothing on the so-called 911 call remotely resembles the dispatcher giving such instructions. Zimmerman is making things up to justify his continued pursuit.

You see a Zimmerman who just gets off the call with the dispatcher and, barely a minute later, is claiming he doesn't know where that same cell phone is.

Observe carefully where Zimmerman says he is when he sees and faces Mr. Martin approach him for the final confrontation. There is at least 10 feet between him and the police officer helping with the re-enactment. Zimmerman has claimed he was reaching for his cell phone, apparently not moving -- and certainly not claiming to move towards Mr. Martin -- and that Mr. Martin came right up to him, punched him and got him to the ground and started pounding away. But watch how Zimmerman starts moving the action about 15-20 feet down the pavement towards Mr. Martin's residence. Somehow, the main fight moved all that distance without any explanation.

None of the police had any questions about it. Never asked Zimmerman exactly where he was punched and exactly where he fell -- and how 20 feet got placed between the two points. Not a single question. Extremely incompetent.

Zimmerman could save 100 people and it could not wash away the lying coward he was in this incident.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think this article sums up my feelings on the Zimmerman/Martin case perfectly.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324448104578618681599902640.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think this article sums up my feelings

Feelings? I thought that you were going to supply an example of facts.

And Shelby's article was rebuffed the way it should be.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/14/1083242/-Shel-by-Please-Shelby-Steele-And-The-Martin-Case#

Shelby is foolish in that he thinks the civil rights battle focuses on what happened in dark walkway that night. Utterly foolish, although he can get the white racists he apologizes for to applaud him. The battle concerns the way the matter was handled by the police and the justice system. Most of this could only surface in the trial, if one could call it that. (At least one juror regarded Zimmerman as though he was law enforcement.)

Listening to the liar Zimmerman telling it, he is returning to his vehicle. But on the 911 call, he is telling the operator that there is a very good chance he won't be at his vehicle. The people who think Mr. Martin got what was coming to him, or didn't deserve the benefit of the doubt because he wasn't a saint through his entire life, don't want to accept they are being lied to.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wolfpack, it's exhausting talking to you with your rehearsed narratives. You're going to blame the media, blacks, Obama, etc., which we all could have predicted with 100% accuracy. It's like a broken record.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think this article sums up my feelings on the Zimmerman/Martin case perfectly.

Great Article Molenir, Shelby Steele is also the author of "White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era". White guilt — a condition he says has been just as harmful to black America and is in prominent display by certain posters here screeching everyday by their ramblings since the Zimmerman verdict came back not guilty based on the actual evidence of the case.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hatred, over time, evolves into complete and utter depravity. It is a condition of the heart. The mind, intelligent as ever, concocts ways to cope with the depravity of the heart.

For most of my young life, until the time I left home, I lived in what might have been the most overtly racist community in the United States -- Dearborn, Mi. Bounded on three sides by Detroit and other integrated communities, the town of (approx) 130,000 didn't have a single black family. Blacks were not allowed to buy homes in Dearborn for many decades. I think it might have been the 1980s when the color line was finally broken -- but I wasn't around to see it.

Elsewhere, I wrote of the basketball backboards that the city came and took down after African-American workers at the Ford plant made it a habit to shoot some hoop after work on their way home. Yes, there is no law against taking down backboards, and it's within the city's prerogative to do so. But unless the heart is totally depraved, their motivation was clear. Everyone understood why it had been done.

The question is then asked, witnessing the motivation, how should one feel about that? i was first disappointed and somewhat upset that I couldn't play basketball at a great court so close to home. But I had been playing with these workers for a few weeks now and, one can't help to get to know a little about people when time is being spent together. I tried to imagine these guys driving down Miller Road to work and looking at the park, and its empty courts with two bare steel posts at both ends. How did it make them feel? Honestly, it made me feel ashamed. More dangerously, it started to make me think.

Depravity is a thing of the heart, not of the skin. Guilt is an emotion, an evidence of conscience, felt when one commits or witnesses a wrong being committed to another person. To know whether guilt becomes the harmful type described by Steele, requires eyes to see. But there is great danger in misunderstanding Steele's concept, as it is done and on prominent display here, to protect depraved hearts and depraved minds. The people who twist, pervert, and distort at every turn.

I spent years among people, and sensitively observed, the racism that was in my home town. As well as in the inmost parts of my own mind and heart. There's no escaping it. The underpinnings, rationalizations, and justifications for it I think I came to know very well. I don't fool myself, and so I am not so easily fooled.

And here is another example of how George Zimmerman has some people completely fooled, indicating the sheer magnitude of their blindness. I can only believe that this blindness is being caused for some greater purpose not yet revealed.

This critical moment came, not at the crime scene, but during the arraignment process, when Zimmerman spoke directly to the parents of Trayvon Martin, who were in the courtroom. Mark very carefully his words: "I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am...."

Go back and listen to Zimmerman's call to the dispatch number, where the dispatcher asks Zimmerman if he can estimate the kid's age. Zimmerman places the kid's age -- and he calls him a kid several times -- at "late teens." And what is the depraved Zimmerman suggesting here? That Mr. Martin's age made a difference. That your lying to the face of his parents that you thought he was older -- when you told the world outside that scene he was a teenager -- somehow absolves you?

"Evidence" can only be evaluated by minds that are not depraved, which have some understanding, experience, and wisdom.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@SuperLib:

it's exhausting talking to you with your rehearsed narratives. You're going to blame the media, blacks, Obama, etc., which we all could have predicted with 100% accuracy. It's like a broken record.

You asked me this question:

I'll ask one last time: If you were in Zimmerman's situation, would you rather be white or black knowing what you were about to face in the legal system?

I answered your question directly with facts that repudiate your race centric world view. The world isn't as simple as many like yourself make it out to be. Not all whites (or "white-Hispanics") are racist. White American's do not have to feel personally responsible for the past injustices against black Americans. Please allow them to shed their guilt. I do not in any way believe that the vast majority of white people living today are responsible for the evil that was done to black Americans 50 ~ 300 years ago. So why has the country put the weight of history on the back of George Zimmerman? Oh and by the way - he isn't white! Each person should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Zimmerman should not be saddled with the atrocity of slavery and Jim Crow laws (defended and implemented by Democrat party by the way). The continued nursing of this racial grudge by the Left and the likes of the NAACP and Al Sharpton only perpetuates racial conflict generation after generation.

Not every conflict between a black person and a non-black person is racial in nature. Most black people are good citizens that care about their families and community. However, there is a disproportionately large segment of the black community that are responsible for a great deal of crime that has nothing to do with people of other races. Even Obama admits this although it takes notice of it only in passing.

@yabits:

If this was a reality show, I'd call it "The Amazing Racist."

I was just giving SuperLib the much sought after answer to his question. The answer repudiated the idea that the Florida stand your ground laws are biased against blacks. The facts are the facts. Blacks are not being systematically screwed by the justice system. Is it a perfectly fair system - no, not by a long shot. However, you just seem prefer to hang on to old grievance and are unable to get beyond emotionalism. False accusations of racism does not alter reality no matter how much you try to wish it away. We need to quit listening to the Al Sharpton's and Jeremiah Wright's of the world and go for the ideal - a color blind society. We don't do that by using affirmative action as a wedge for Democrats to get votes. Nor should race be used to scare blacks into voting for the Left's socialist ideology. This ideology is destroying the black family and is doing the same to whites and all others as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is it a perfectly fair system - no, not by a long shot.

Your knowledge about the system is minuscule. The system is skewed towards the wealthy and connected, and because it is so skewed, and such a horrible crap shoot for the poor, I no longer have any faith in it whatsoever. Until things change significantly, I would not advise a young person to have any faith in it either.

However, you just seem prefer to hang on to old grievance and are unable to get beyond emotionalism.

I have no grievance. I have never been hated or discriminated against anywhere near the hatred and discrimination I personally saw directed towards Americans whose ancestors were forcibly brought here as slaves. There's no emotion in that, except what people want to inject into it themselves.

False accusations of racism does not alter reality no matter how much you try to wish it away.

My experience growing up in a racist environment has given me some ability to recognize it when I see it, and it's not by any means the only type of depraved thinking. Racism is still very much alive and well, however, and your posts supply ample evidence of it. Racists are obsessed with race. I don't try to wish it away; I just call it as I see it.

We need to quit listening to the Al Sharpton's and Jeremiah Wright's of the world

I don't agree with Sharpton on very much, but I don't see any reason not to hear what he's got to say. I'll do the same for racists too. And where is Jeremiah Wright speaking these days? Haven't heard about in him ages, outside of your posts.

go for the ideal - a color blind society

A color blind society starts with you. And I accept that it also starts with me. And I refuse to see Trayvon Martin and Rachel Jeantel the way that racists want to portray them. I've seen a bit of the content of character of Mr. Martin's parents, and I have witnessed the sociopathic and cowardly behavior of George Zimmerman.

Never happen as long as there are people like you. Here's a little test: Imagine yourself facing a sentence and there are six judges behind a curtain who will render it. They have been given the power to see your thoughts and emotions with great clarity. The curtain raises and you are standing in front of six, extremely dark black men. They will cast their verdict in the first few seconds, depending on whether the mere fact of their presence makes you feel relieved or scared. After reading your posts, I don't think there's any doubt that you would not be feeling relieved and thankful.

You are actually asking for a racism-blind society.

We don't do that by using affirmative action as a wedge for Democrats to get votes. Nor should race be used to scare blacks into voting for the Left's socialist ideology.

Complete nonsense. You don't even have a clear picture about your true self, so there's no way you can prescribing things for others.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have never been hated or discriminated against anywhere near the hatred and discrimination I personally saw directed towards Americans whose ancestors were forcibly brought here as slaves.

You must have missed Al Qaeda and slept through 9/11 then.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In his interview with Sean Hannity, Zimmerman expressed his opinion that the events of the night he shot and killed Trayvon Martin were part of "God's plan." For those who agree with Zimmerman, the same could be said of 9/11.

The question becomes, "How does one respond to an act which causes death and terror?" Make no mistake about it, the events and aftermath in Florida have had the phones of ministers in the African-American community ringing off the hook -- from parents with kids terrified to walk to school or to the store.

No matter how horribly wrong or unjust members of our community feel about this act, they (and those of us who are not members of their community, but who can clearly see what happened) must suck it up and take it. Acting out in violence would be wrong, although the racists at Fox were practically salivating at the thought of covering rioting blacks in the streets. (I guess that wouldn't be taken as part of God's plan. How convenient.)

The message from the dominant community to those who perceive and are witness to a clear and horrible wrong is to use restraint. A strange message coming from a country that, in response to God's plan for the south end of Manhattan on 9/11, chose to invade a country that had nothing to do with the crime, killing thousands of innocent people.

As for Zimmerman, a depraved society has given that sociopath his gun back, and a license to kill any black person he feels threatened by, which some could interpret to mean any black person who doesn't look right to him. (He would still have to justify playing judge, jury and executioner of a non-black, fortunately.) And how did he get that license? For stalking and killing an unarmed 17-year-old kid who he lied about and made into the criminal.

An actual quote from Zimmerman: "I wasn't following him; I was just going in the same direction as he was."

George Zimmerman not only stole Trayvon Martin's life, society allowed him to steal Trayvon Martin's right to defend himself against an armed stalker who made no attempt to identify himself before putting his hands on Mr. Martin to "capture" him. Zimmerman is another Charles Stuart, the guy who murdered his pregnant wife and then shot himself in the abdomen -- in a "high-crime" area of Boston -- and blaming the crime on a "black man." As with Zimmerman, I don't believe Stuart was racist. But they both knew well how they could count on the dominant society's basic prejudices.

Pity for us all that the Sanford police's investigative abilities are nowhere near Boston's level of competence.

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Your knowledge about the system is minuscule.

I am not a lawyer and I have not lived in Florida so I am not as familiar with all of their laws either. That is really beside the point isn't it. We are all armchair legal experts here.

The system is skewed towards the wealthy and connected, and because it is so skewed, and such a horrible crap shoot for the poor, I no longer have any faith in it whatsoever.

So you just figured out that life isn't fair? You must have lived a sheltered life. Why do you think OJ got away with murder? It might have had something to do with the fact that he was a rich celebrity who could afford an all star legal team. I'm glad the light bulb finally came on for you.

I have no grievance. I have never been hated or discriminated against anywhere near the hatred and discrimination I personally saw directed towards Americans whose ancestors were forcibly brought here as slaves. There's no emotion in that, except what people want to inject into it themselves.

You might want to read what you wrote here - there is a lot like of grievance and emotion in there.

Racism is still very much alive and well, however, and your posts supply ample evidence of it.

Do tell? I argue that we should strive for a color blind society and that makes me a racist. When it comes to race in American, the Left are cowards. The Democrat party has always been about race and has always been consumed by it. You might call them obsessed with it. I am obsessed with the right of every human being to be treated as an individual - judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. Somehow, I don't think you believe in MLK's words as I do.

And I refuse to see Trayvon Martin and Rachel Jeantel the way that racists want to portray them. I've seen a bit of the content of character of Mr. Martin's parents, and I have witnessed the sociopathic and cowardly behavior of George Zimmerman.

I agree with your statements about Martin's parents. They have handled this terrible situation well. I don't know how racists have portrayed Martin and Jeantel but both of them have flaws in the content of their character - just as Zimmerman does. I don't give Zimmerman any extra points in my book because he is Hispanic (okay, a white-Hispanic). I guess you are a psychologist and have been able to diagnose Zimmerman from afar. I don't see the evidence of sociopathy that you seem to believe exists. Far from being a coward, Zimmerman was attempting to protect his community from a rash of crimes. Ironically, just a few days ago Zimmerman and another motorist helped a family of four from a burning vehicle. Doesn't sound very cowardly to me.

Here's a little test: Imagine yourself facing a sentence and there are six judges behind a curtain who will render it. They have been given the power to see your thoughts and emotions with great clarity. The curtain raises and you are standing in front of six, extremely dark black men.

If I lived in a society that believed in true equal justice (ie. a color blind society) and not equal outcomes, then I would have no fear of standing before a jury as you describe. Why? Because they would be my peers. A society based on the Left's idea of social justice (ie. group grievance) is a different matter altogether.

You are actually asking for a racism-blind society.

How can you make such a claim? How can anyone make a logical argument for racism? With the claim that I want society to be "racism-blind" you are putting forward the idea that we should be ever race aware. Emphasizing racial differences serve only to re-enforce racial division. Seeing people first as a member of a racial group it is at the root of racism. The Left does not seem to want to get past race because it is a great soother of their guilt-ridden conscience. It is also a means of expressing moral superiority despite a flawed ideology. Ultimately it is a tool for maintaining political power.

Complete nonsense. You don't even have a clear picture about your true self, so there's no way you can prescribing things for others.

Again playing the pop psychologist. Your arguments about the Zimmerman trial have been excessively emotional and lacking in logic. You have posted more than anyone else about it so it appears that you are indeed obsessed by it and obviously enraged by the outcome.

Their has been an injustice surrounding this trial that has nothing to do with the actual events that took place that night last year. The injustice is the racial animosity stirred up over an issue that had no clear racial overtones. Notice that Obama basically came out and admitted that their will be no Federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman in his press conference earlier this week.

You would be better off if you took your emotions out of this case and took a step back. Everyone would be a lot better off if we didn't try to see racial slights in cases where there are none. Well, except for that creepy-ass cracker of course.

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You might want to read what you wrote here - there is a lot like of grievance and emotion in there.

There is emotion. You are supplying "grievance." It is not.

The Democrat party has always been about race and has always been consumed by it. You might call them obsessed with it.

Any reader can see clearly which, between the two of us, shows an obsession with race. I don't mention race at all in the vast majority of my posts in this thread. You can't not bring it up. As for obsession, you are projecting.

Far from being a coward, Zimmerman was attempting to protect his community from a rash of crimes

Protect? Zimmerman was not law enforcement. His efforts to "protect" could not extend beyond observation and calling the police if he saw something suspicious. By trailing Trayvon Martin with his vehicle and then repeating the pursuit on foot, Zimmerman was guilty of unlawful harassment and stalking. Mr. Martin was living in the complex and returning home. He was not involved in a crime. I don't see how "protection" involves stalking and shooting.

He didn't protect his community from the stain of killing an innocent teenager.

With the claim that I want society to be "racism-blind" you are putting forward the idea that we should be ever race aware.

Your posts would serve as Exhibit A. My posts make little mention of race.

Your arguments about the Zimmerman trial have been excessively emotional and lacking in logic. You have posted more than anyone else about it so it appears that you are indeed obsessed by it and obviously enraged by the outcome.

Reason this for me: On the 911 call, Zimmerman tells the dispatcher, after he's gotten a good view of Mr. Martin, that his black and that he is in his late teens. Later, when Zimmerman addresses Mr. Martin's parents, he tells them: "I didn't know how old he was. I thought he was just a couple of years younger than me."

How could Zimmerman think a person he'd already (correctly) identified as being a teenager suddenly turn into someone nearly 10 years older? And, is Zimmerman implying that he wouldn't have shot the kid if he knew? It's statements like these that make him a sociopathic liar.

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There is emotion. You are supplying "grievance." It is not.

The grievance is evident in your unrelenting obsession with the minutiae of this case. You droll on about factoids that mean little to the core of the case as if that justifies your certainty that Zimmerman was hell bent on killing any random black kid that came through his neighborhood that night. Zimmerman had been a neighborhood watchman for quite a while so he was aware of all of the crime going on in his community. What was different this night was that he ran into an unstable young man from a broken home whose idea of conflict resolution is the MMA ground and pound.

Any reader can see clearly which, between the two of us, shows an obsession with race. I don't mention race at all in the vast majority of my posts in this thread. You can't not bring it up. As for obsession, you are projecting.

More psycho-babble. You should discuss this Zimmerman obsession with your therapist the next time you go (all Lefties seem to have therapists these days). The only reason this case is in the news is because of the media and race-mongers like Sharpton. If anything, I am "obsessed" with the notion that society should get beyond race (ie. color blind). I will criticized race baiting by the media and anyone else that I see doing it.

By trailing Trayvon Martin with his vehicle and then repeating the pursuit on foot, Zimmerman was guilty of unlawful harassment and stalking.

Only in your world. Did you not notice that he wasn't charged with "unlawful harassment and stalking"?

He didn't protect his community from the stain of killing an innocent teenager.

More emotionalism unrelated to the fact that Martin was on top of him beating on his head. You cannot retreat when someone is sitting on top of you and cleaning your clock. He protected himself. You keep trying to make the case that because Zimmerman was "stalking" Martin that he deserved to get his rear-end beat. I don't think so. Didn't your Mom tell you that two wrongs don't make a right? Why would a six foot tall street wise young man be "afraid" of a short pudgy dude? Why do you ignore the fact that Martin also "harassed and stalked" Zimmerman. The shot pudgy guy did run down Martin. Martin snuck up on Zimmerman and began bashing his head in.

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The grievance is evident in your unrelenting obsession with the minutiae of this case.

Wrong. I am fascinated by the details of what occurred that night, the people involved, and the aftermath -- in anticipation of the next round. It ties in to my profession, and writing about it helps the honing process.

your certainty that Zimmerman was hell bent on killing any random black kid that came through his neighborhood that night

And you could not be more wrong. Astoundingly wrong. The thought process -- I can't call it reasoning -- of some Zimmerman defenders is like a train wreck.

Did you not notice that he wasn't charged with "unlawful harassment and stalking"?

Yes. The only person who could normally file a harassment complaint was killed by Zimmerman. Zimmerman deprived Trayvon Martin of his civil rights. This entire mess would have been avoided had Zimmerman been man enough to roll down his window and talk with the guy when he first spotted him.

You keep trying to make the case that because Zimmerman was "stalking" Martin that he deserved to get his rear-end beat.

Wrong again. Because Zimmerman, by stalking Mr. Martin, was involved in an unlawful activity. This meant he was ineligible to receive the considerations of stand-your-ground that the judge put into the instructions and which the jury used to prevent a hung jury.

Martin snuck up on Zimmerman and began bashing his head in.

You obviously haven't seen Zimmerman's re-enactment with the police at the scene. According to Zimmerman, Mr. Martin was at least 10 feet away when Zimmerman saw him approaching, and turned to face him. "Snuck up?" LOL! How misinformed can you be? You really don't care about what Zimmerman is saying himself. You appear to want to make up things too.

Reason this for me: On the 911 call, Zimmerman tells the dispatcher, after he's gotten a good view of Mr. Martin, that his black and that he is in his late teens. Later, when Zimmerman addresses Mr. Martin's parents, he tells them: "I didn't know how old he was. I thought he was just a couple of years younger than me."

How could Zimmerman think a person he'd already (correctly) identified as being a teenager suddenly turn into someone nearly 10 years older? And, is Zimmerman implying that he wouldn't have shot the kid if he knew? It's statements like these that make him a sociopathic liar.

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