Archive for Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Second-degree murder charge brought in Trayvon Martin case

April 11, 2012, 2:02 p.m. Updated April 11, 2012, 11:37 p.m.

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— Amid furious public pressure to make an arrest in the killing of Trayvon Martin, the special prosecutor on the case went for the maximum Wednesday, bringing a second-degree murder charge against the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the unarmed black teenager.

George Zimmerman, 28, was jailed in Sanford — the site of the shooting Feb. 26 that set off a nationwide debate over racial profiling and self-defense — on a charge that carries a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence that could put him in prison for life.

In announcing the arrest, prosecutor Angela Corey would not discuss how she reconciled the conflicting accounts of what happened or explain how she arrived at the charges, saying too much information had been made public already. But she made it clear she was not influenced by the uproar over the past six weeks.

“We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. We prosecute based on the facts on any given case as well as the laws of the state of Florida,” Corey said.

Martin’s parents, who were in Washington when the announcement came, expressed relief over the decision to prosecute the killer of their 17-year-old son.

“The question I would really like to ask him is, if he could look into Trayvon’s eyes and see how innocent he was, would he have then pulled the trigger? Or would he have just let him go on home?” said his father, Tracy Martin.

Many legal experts had expected the prosecutor to opt for the lesser charge of manslaughter, which usually carries 15 years behind bars and covers reckless or negligent killings, rather than second-degree murder, which involves a killing that results from a “depraved” disregard for human life.

The most severe homicide charge, first-degree murder, is subject to the death penalty in Florida and requires premeditation — something that all sides agreed was not present in this case.

“I predicted manslaughter, so I’m a little surprised,” said Michael Seigel, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches law at the University of Florida. “But she has more facts than I do.”

Zimmerman’s new attorney, Mark O’Mara, said Zimmerman will plead not guilty and will invoke Florida’s powerful “stand your ground” law, which gives people wide leeway to use deadly force without having to retreat in the face of danger.

The lawyer asked that people not jump to conclusions about his client’s guilt and said he is “hoping that the community will calm down” now that charges have been filed.

“I’m expecting a lot of work and hopefully justice in the end,” O’Mara said.

Zimmerman, whose father is white and whose mother Hispanic, turned himself in earlier in the day and will make a court appearance as early as Thursday, when his lawyer plans to ask for bail.

Corey’s decision followed an extraordinary 45-day campaign by Martin’s parents to have Zimmerman arrested despite his claim that he shot in self-defense. They were joined by civil rights activists such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as well as many politicians and supporters in Sanford and cities across the nation.

Protesters wore hooded sweatshirts like the one Martin had on. And the debate reached all the way to the White House, where President Barack Obama observed last month: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

The confrontation took place in a gated community where Martin was staying with his father and his father’s fiancée. Martin was walking back in the rain from a convenience store when Zimmerman spotted him and called 911. He followed Martin despite being told not to by a police dispatcher, and the two got into a struggle.

Zimmerman told police Martin punched him in the nose, knocking him down, and then began banging Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk. Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in fear for his life.

A judge could dismiss the charge based on “stand your ground,” legal experts said. But not if prosecutors can show Zimmerman was to blame.

“If you’re the aggressor, you’re not protected by this law,” said Carey Haughwout, public defender in Palm Beach County.

Zimmerman’s brother Robert Zimmerman told CNN on Wednesday night: “Our brother literally had to save his life by taking a life. And that’s a situation nobody wants to be in, ever.”

On Tuesday, Zimmerman’s former lawyers portrayed him as erratic and in precarious mental condition. O’Mara, who signed on after Zimmerman’s previous attorneys withdrew, said that Zimmerman seemed to be in a good state of mind but that the pressure had weighed mightily on him.

“He is troubled by everything that has happened. I cannot imagine living in George Zimmerman’s shoes for the past number of weeks. Because he has been at the focus of a lot of anger, and maybe confusion and maybe some hatred, and that has to be difficult,” the attorney said.

O’Mara also said the difficult case is compounded by the heavy media attention, which might make it hard to seat an impartial jury. Corey, similarly, complained: “So much information got released on this case that never should have been released. We have to protect this prosecution and this investigation for Trayvon, for George Zimmerman.”

Corey, the prosecutor in Jacksonville, was appointed to handle the case by Republican Gov. Rick Scott after the local prosecutor disqualified himself. She has tried hundreds of homicide cases and is known for tough tactics aimed at locking up criminals for a long time and making it difficult to negotiate light plea bargains.

The U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division is conducting its own investigation. But federal authorities typically wait until a state prosecution is complete before deciding how to proceed.

Tensions had risen in recent days in Sanford, a town of 50,000 outside Orlando. Someone shot up an unoccupied police car Tuesday as it sat outside the neighborhood where Martin was killed. But as the hour of the prosecutor’s announcement neared, the Martin family and their lawyer pleaded for calm.

Outside Sanford City Hall, Stacy Davis, a black woman, said she was glad to see Zimmerman under arrest.

“It’s not a black or white thing for me. It’s a right or wrong thing. He needed to be arrested,” she said. “I’m happy because maybe that boy can get some rest.”

Comments

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

They also need to go back and reconsider charges of all murderers who got away with murder through the "stand your ground" laws. I hear that's what sent those guys in Tulsa over the edge. One of guy's father was killed, but the person got off with one of these laws. I don't know the details, but killing an unarmed person is just wrong. If the kid hit him, then why didn't he just hit him back? What a wimp.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"If the kid hit him, then why didn't he just hit him back? What a wimp."

There's a lot to be considered in those few choice words. An awful lot.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes there is.

Self defense is usually only legally ok if the force involved matches, but doesn't exceed the force of the attack - so hitting somebody back if they hit you is self defense, while shooting them is not.

Escalating the violence is not self defense.

And, the only time that deadly violence is considered self defense is if you're reasonably in fear for your life.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Is that right? So a woman gets attacked by an obviously bigger and stronger man, but she can't shoot him if he doesn't have a gun? Someone breaks into your home you can't shoot them? Crack him over the head w/ a baseball bat? Sorry, jafs, that just doesn't play.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it's right.

I'm sorry that you have a similar misunderstanding of self defense laws to that of jhf.

Home invasions are different - for some reason, in those, the law says that one is reasonably in fear for one's life if anybody breaks in.

But, in other situations, that's not at all the case - the force involved can be proportionate, but not exceed, the force of the attack to legitimately claim self defense.

Please don't get into any violent confrontations without being clear on this.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 3 months ago

jafs, You should really read the self-defense statutes before giving out legal advice.

http://ag.ks.gov/public-safety/concealedcarry/statutes-regulations

The sefl-defense pdf is near the bottom. There is not a requirement for proportionate force that I can find, but there is a "reasonable person" requirement for using deadly force.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the links.

The statute states that one must reasonably believe that the use of force is necessary to defend oneself or others.

That's why shooting somebody to stop them from hitting you isn't self defense.

It doesn't say it exactly the same way I did, but the point is the same - your use of force must be reasonably necessary for self defense, rather than escalating the violence beyond that.

I've seen small claims cases where people escalated the violence and claimed self defense - they lost. The judge specifically said that escalation isn't justifiable self defense. In the case I remember best, somebody was attacked in a bar fight (by an unarmed person), and they pulled a knife (or broke a bottle) in response. They wound up having to pay for the injuries they caused their attacker.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 3 months ago

I you are attacked by someone who is using no weapon but creates a reasonable fear for loss of life or great bodily harm then you can most certainly use a weapon to stop the attack and claim self defense.

I would agree that you lose the self defense claim if you stop the attack and remove the threat of death or great bodily harm and then continue to use the weapon.

The part about when the threat is sufficienly removed that deadly force is no longer justifiable is probably the part that the courts spend the most time with.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes.

Yes.

And yes.

And these are judgments that aren't always easy to make well, I think, especially in the middle of a fight.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"The statute states that one must reasonably believe that the use of force is necessary to defend oneself or others.

That's why shooting somebody to stop them from hitting you isn't self defense."

One doesn't follow the other there, jafs. If a 6'5, 260 lb hulk is beatin' the hell out of someone and they have a gun, they'd be the epitome of a fool not to use it. Like I said before, each instance is unique.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, that's possible,

In which case the force used would be proportional to the attack, and justifiable.

Which was my original point.

Although unless they're in reasonable fear for their life, they can't legally kill the other person in self defense.

That's not the scenario I envisioned.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

LOL. So you expect a woman to punch a 240 pound man in self-defense before he rapes and strangles her? That's ludicrous.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm just explaining the law about self defense.

It has to be reasonably necessary to defend oneself, not excessively more than that.

That's a judgment call, for sure, but you can't just shoot and kill people without reasonable belief that your life is in danger.

If you want to claim self defense, and win your case.

In the case you mention, a judge/jury would have to determine what the threat was, in a reasonable sense, and whether or not the response was reasonably necessary.

I'm sort of astonished that people don't get this point - and I really hope they don't go around getting into violent confrontations and thinking that anything is justified in self defense.

Brock Masters 3 years, 3 months ago

You can't kill someone just because they hit you and if someone , let's say a 100 lb person hits you multiple times you still can't kill them because it isn't reasonable in most circumstances to believe your life is in danger.

Now take it a step further and that 100 lb person is strong enough that they broke your nose and have you down on the ground bashing your head into the concrete then it is probably reasonable to assume your life is in danger and therefore you're allowed to use deadly force.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

"I really hope they don't go around getting into violent confrontations and thinking that anything is justified in self defense."

Why would they? Why would they get into violent confrontations anyway? I'm about as laid back a fellow as is around, and never cause any trouble. However, if my wife and I are walking through the mall and a person tries to steal her purse, she'll fight to keep it (bless her heart) long enough for me to make the guy have a really bad day.

The moment I defend our property, I can only assume my life is at risk, and must do what is needed to prevent injury to me or my wife. I don't carry a gun, but I'm never without a knife just this side of legal. If I think I'm about to get the dirty end of the stick, I'll use it the way we were taught in basic training.

I don't go into the situation thinking of harming anyone, but If anyone is carted off to the hospital, I won't be the only one. I have insurance.

As for home, nobody would be dumb enough to come in. The dogs defend the castle quite nicely.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Again, your use of force must be proportional to the attack if you want to claim self defense and win your case.

Otherwise, you may find yourself liable for the injuries you cause your attacker.

If you kill somebody who is just trying to steal your wife's purse, a claim of self defense is hardly justifiable, and you will likely find yourself tried and convicted of a crime.

If you assume that anybody who tries to steal something from you is trying to kill you, that's not a reasonable fear for your life, in my view.

Your life, your choice, of course.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree w/ you on everything. We just need to know whether he instigated the confrontation.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 3 months ago

I have not read the Florida laws but under Kansas law, if Zimmerman actually broke off from following Martin then he can most certainly claim self-defense if Martin then re-engaged with him.

I am not claiming to know if that is the way it happened, just pointing out the law as I understand it.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Not unless he reasonably feared for his life.

You can't just shoot and kill people for confronting you.

Legally, that is.

Do you think that if somebody stops you on the street, and calls you names, that you have the legal right to shoot and kill them in self defense?

Peacemaker452 3 years, 3 months ago

I did not say that you can just shoot someone for calling you names. In this case, Zimmerman has already said that he feared for his life during the physical altercation. If it is true that he broke off contact and then Martin found him and re-engaged him, using force that caused the fear for his life, then self-defense is applicable, regardless of the fact that Zimmerman did the initial following.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

If and only if Martin was reasonably threatening his life.

Simply "re-engaging" doesn't prove that happened.

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

"I don't think we have all of the evidence. . . . George should be celebrated as a neighborhood hero."

That's an interesting juxtaposition. It. . . almost seems like through your post that you claim we don't know all the fact, and then assume a great deal of facts to make your conclusion.

But no. . . that couldn't be, could it?

KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

Geroge is a hero for being stupid and a wannabe cop. He is in deep doo doo.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Fascinating.

First you say we don't have all of the evidence, which would logically lead to a "wait and see" approach, but then you conclude that he is a "neighborhood hero".

Hmmm.

And, what exactly made Martin a "suspicious person"? He was visiting his father in the community in which he lived.

50YearResident 3 years, 3 months ago

Not exactly, Trovon's father didn't live there either, he was visiting his girlfriend's house. Travon was visiting his dad at his dad's girlfriend's house.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Ok - that wasn't clear from the article.

Does that make him "suspicious" then, to be visiting his father's fiancee's neighborhood?

50YearResident 3 years, 3 months ago

Girlfriend, not fiancee, there is difference. We have no other information on the girlfriend.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

According to the story, she's his fiancee.

Just read the above story - it's near the end of it.

And, again, does that make him "suspicious"?

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

If charges are filed, it will be about time. This is an open and shut case...an adult with a gun shot and killed an unarmed child. The adult was stalking the child. The police told the adult to not follow the child. All the talk about the so called stand your ground laws are irrelevant to this case because the adult was not standing his ground, he was chasing the child. Anyone who argues otherwise based on what has been reported to date is either stupid or a racist or both. Even if the adult was defending himself, he provoked the confrontation. A trial is the only fair way to sort this out. It is really unfortunate that so many people had to protest the lack of charges being filed. Btw, I'm white.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 3 months ago

Let's not call 17 a child. A 17 year old in KC over the weekend put a gun to the head of women in her own home, and he ended up dead in her yard.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

Our society defines children as people under the age of 18...you know the ones who can't vote or buy cigarettes or buy guns...

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

The equal protection clause prevents the government from treating people differently based on anything. While we may punish younger offenders in a different way better suited to rehabilitation, we still recognize them as offenders. Regarding guilt, they should be treated no differently than adults.

Age has no bearing in this case as the minor (not the child) is already dead and can suffer no punishment and should not be excused for his actions merely because of his age.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"This is an open and shut case...

Anyone who argues otherwise based on what has been reported to date is either stupid or a racist or both...

A trial is the only fair way to sort this out.....

Btw, I'm white."

Un-freakin'-believable.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

"Btw, I'm white."

Does that add extra weight to your statement?

Seriously. why do you think we need to know what color your skin is? Is that supposed to make some sort of difference to us?

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

It definitely does not add weight to my points. You are right to point that out. Based on many other posts here, I was trying to head off any concern that I may be biased due to my membership in any group. This isn't a racial issue as has been reported on fox news by Geraldo for which he later apologized. It is a HUMAN issue. Sadly, some of you don't behave like humans...

hairshoptalk 3 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for saying that Liberty275! That is such an ignorant thing to say. It means nothing in any situation! JayhawkFan1985 please change your name the rest of us fans really don't want to be represented by someone making sure ignorant statements!

50YearResident 3 years, 3 months ago

So, they don't need a trial because you have pronounced Zimmerman guilty of all charges? You placed yourself as Judge, Jury and executioner. Now all they need is a rope, according to you. Sad!

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawkfan1985 is our new judge and jury. Maybe he'll appoint us as executioner so we can lynch the guy.

Seriously, anybody that say's any case is "open and shut" makes me ashamed to share my America with them.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

I said we need a trial to sort this mess out. I'm just saying the facts speak for themselves in terms of charges being filed. You are reacting just as I knew you would.

Dan Blomgren 3 years, 3 months ago

I pray you're not on the jury. All you know is what you've read or heard in the media, and you have already made up your mind that he is guilty based on second-hand information. I have no idea if he is guilty or innocent, but I'm at least willing to be open to the facts of the case before assessing judgement. Btw, I'm black.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm not a Florida resident so I'm not qualified to be on the jury. I've only made up my mind that charges should be brought and he should stand trial.

hairshoptalk 3 years, 3 months ago

WOW this is WAS a great statement until you had to add that last sentence. I wish you would choose not to see color! It never helps anything, we all bleed red and thats all that matters!!!

hairshoptalk 3 years, 3 months ago

WOW this WAS a good statement until you had to add that last sentense! I wish you did see color! It never helps anything! We all bleed red and thats all that matters!!!

Steve Jacob 3 years, 3 months ago

I hope this is not for show. If Zimmerman's story never changed, and with no record for his age, it's hard not to believe his story of self defense, from a legal stand point.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Watching CNN yesterday, a lawyer said that having completed the diversion program, the charges were expunged. Further, he said that those charges would not be admissible in this trial. Theoretically, the jury should never hear about it (unless they watch CNN).

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Watching CNN yesterday, a lawyer said that having completed the diversion program, the charges were expunged. Further, he said that those charges would not be admissible in this trial. Theoretically, the jury should never hear about it (unless they watch CNN).

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

Let's not forget that a child is dead, that an adult killed him, the child wasn't doing anything wrong, and the adult was pursuing him. If anyone would have had a case to make for stand your ground, it would have been the child, not the adult.

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

Why, because he got hurt? Maybe he picked a fight with someone tougher than him.

Again, you appear to make conclusions based on incomplete knowledge and in the same thought condemn others for the same, and claim certainty of your position.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

Was it the candy or the drink he was carrying that made him suspicious? Or maybe you think it was his clothing? Oh, it must be that like the adult who murdered him you are a racist. None of us know the extent of zimmermans injuries. We do know the police station video made it look minor if any at all. That is not conclusive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

The only place I can find any mention of that is on white supremacist sites. Is that where you found it?

collective82 3 years, 3 months ago

CNN had it too, there was a 10 year old boys eyewitness account played on the air.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Is this the report you were referring to? (my guess is that it's not.)

http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/07/us/florida-teen-shooting/index.html

"A recording of a 911 call made the night of the shooting captured someone pleading for help. Zimmerman has said he was yelling for help, according to his family members and his account to authorities. Martin's relatives have said they are certain the voice heard on the 911 call is Martin's.

"From the very beginning and I still do feel that it was the young boy," the witness, who wants to remain anonymous, told CNN Friday.

The witness lives in the apartment complex where the shooting occurred and saw the incident through her window.

She described the cries for help as "devastating, desperate," and something "that will really always stay with me."

When pressed if she could determine who was yelling, the witness said "it was the younger, youthful voice (rather) than it was the deep voice I heard when they were arguing.""

collective82 3 years, 3 months ago

No, I don't see it either, I watched it Monday while flipping through CNN's videos. They had the kid with a voice synthesizer to disguise it, and he even admitted that he stopped paying attention cause he went to look for his dog at a particular point. Another interesting video was where an interviewer grilled Mike Tyson into talking about the case as well.

DillonBarnes 3 years, 3 months ago

I think the big question will come down to who started the confrontation. If Zimmerman started it, he will have a very hard time using a self-defense argument. If Martin started the confrontation, Zimmerman may be found not guilty.

KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

Zimmerman started the ENTIRE episode by following Martin and he was given no reason to do so,. It has been documented by everybody involved all Martin had on him was a cell phone, Skittles, and a can of Arizona green tea. Zimmerman had a gun. Martin ended up dead after being shot by Zimmerman. These things are not in dispute. Hence, Martin had every right to protect himself in any way possible due to Zimmerman starting the whole thing. The Stand Your Ground will not hold up.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

Have you called the police down in Florida to provide them with your eyewitness testimony?

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

You are being ridiculous. He is repeating what has been reported on all major news sources.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

Like MSNBC and their doctored tape?

"major news sources", or a jury... decisions, decisions.

Every American has the right to due process, "USA Today" is not a courtroom and there is never an open and shut case. This isn't the soviet union. Yet.

The jury will hear the evidence and will decide the the man's fate within the limits of the law. It doesn't matter if you hate that process or yell "ridiculous" and scream and twist your undergarments until you turn blue in the face. It is going to happen.

Welcome to America.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

KEITHMILES05, please call the Sanford police department and report what you saw. The number is 407-688-5070.

slvrntrt 3 years, 3 months ago

It is the job of the court to decide. Not the chief of police.

I am very glad that Zimmerman will finally have his day in court.

Brock Masters 3 years, 3 months ago

Slv. So should everyone who kills someone and claims self defense have to go to trial? It isn't done today and if what you're suggesting is true then it should be done for cops too. One just killed an unarmed suspect in Wichita - should he have to stand trial?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes.

If you kill somebody and claim self defense, you should have to prove that in a court of law as a defense. Or at the very least an investigation should be done to determine if there are grounds for a trial.

Otherwise, we could all just kill each other and claim that all of the time, regardless of the truth.

Police officers are investigated, of course, in those kinds of shootings, although it's by IA, and sometimes they do face criminal prosecution as well.

Where do you get the idea that all somebody has to do is say "It was self defense" and we all just take their word for it, without any investigation?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Certainly not from you. You only mention it because it changes the subject.

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

You are extraordinarily angry, bitter, and cynical every day. You should let him have his day, from time to time.

Patricia Davis 3 years, 3 months ago

Bozo, you are so on to the true nature of rc1977.

beatrice 3 years, 3 months ago

And what is the common denominator in all of these acts of violence and murder? Guns. Specifically, easy access to guns in our society, which is the goal of the NRA. We must put an end to the lobbying efforts of the NRA and finally do something about this proliferation of guns in our society.

Thanks for pointing this out rockchalk.

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

Oh, Bea, I'm surprised your comment hasn't been roundly derided by now.

By the way, I completely agree.

collective82 3 years, 3 months ago

England doesn't allow guns so they have knife and sword murders just as bad as we have gun violence. If some one wants to kill some one they are going to do it, guns just give us a chance to defend ourselves. Guns don't kill people we kill people. Don't blame the tool blame the user. However I am NOT a fan of guns and a household nor a member of the NRA, so you cannot say I am trying to further such goals.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I was wondering about that - thanks for the info.

Paul Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

If you believe guns kill people then you must believe that a spoon will make you fat. Are you ready to outlaw utensils or certain food products to curb the biggest killer of humans...heart disease? This is not a gun issue....it is a heart issue. It is about one guy making a very poor decision. We will never know the actual reasons why he acted so cowardly.

Bob Forer 3 years, 3 months ago

Six weeks too late, but I least they will now lete a jury of 12 decide the case as opposed to the initial prosecutor who rubberstamped Zimmerman's "version" and denied the request of investigating officer for an arrest warrant.

Thank goodness for the public outcry. Otherwise, no charges would have ever been filed.

bad_dog 3 years, 3 months ago

"It takes time to build a case when there is little evidence."

That's why the detective that interviewed Z-man wanted to charge him that night, right? It took him all of about 5 hours to reach that conclusion.

collective82 3 years, 3 months ago

I just wish the media itself hadn't made such a larger ruckus of this. First they edit the 911 call to make him sound racist, then they portray he said a racist word when he hadn't, oh don't forget they had to go back over the police video tape because oops, it wasn't clear enough to show that he did have some head wounds. This story has been so twisted and turned only the truth presented in court will be the real story. And personally Obama should have stayed out of this. Especially claiming him to be like his child, thats just sick political pandering to the masses.

pace 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't know how this will turn out, but it is better to have it in court. I would worry if stand your ground was interpreted as it is ok to hunt them down.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes.

Also, a major problem is that if you shoot somebody and kill them, their version of the story will never be heard.

So, unless there are reliable eyewitnesses,...

Janis Pool 3 years, 3 months ago

I do not agree it was "sick political pandering". Obama is first and foremost a person.,and it was from his person, not his position, from which he spoke.

collective82 3 years, 3 months ago

He doesn't have that luxury, he is the President of the United States, not Joe Schmoe down the street. He should have been neutral and not played on emotions being in such a trusted and public position.

pace 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't want an emotional robot, too careful, so political the he does not say something personal. You have a right to your opinion.

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

Given what's known about this already (i.e. pretty much nothing), without some pretty compelling evidence that has not yet been mentioned by the media or officials, I can't see how it will be possible to prove his murderous or confrontational intent beyond reasonable doubt. If that's the case, then he needs to walk. That's the way our justice system is (rightly) set up.

His being found not guilty will not necessarily be in indication of racism, nor will it mean that the deceased was, by definition, a thug that started a fight and got what was coming to him. Although I'm reasonably sure, should this be the result, that a lot of people will try to convince us of both of those points.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually, he should have to prove that he was reasonably in fear for his life, at the very least.

He shot and killed an unarmed person, which is questionable at the very outset.

Even with Florida "stand your ground" laws, you can't just gun somebody down because you don't like the way they look.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Good luck finding a jury untainted by the inflamed press.

RoeDapple 3 years, 3 months ago

"arrested and charged with second-degree murder Wednesday after months of mounting tensions and protests across the country"

Months? It's been six weeks. So now Brendan Farrington and Gary Fineout, by way of the Associated Press, continue the distortion of facts by the media.

bad_dog 3 years, 3 months ago

It doesn't strike me as inherently unreasonable to characterize a period of more than 6 weeks as "months" (it actually was 6-1/2 weeks...). Describing the period as a month & a half or 6 weeks or 45 days is no doubt more accurate, but appears less of an overreach than you stating it is a "...distortion of facts by the media."

I seriously doubt anyone was mislead into thinking an unreasonable amount of time had passed while Rome burned, especially given the first sentence of the second paragraph provided the exact date the shooting occurred.

RoeDapple 3 years, 3 months ago

Exact date? Isn't there a February 26th every year?

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

You realize that fist degree murder means premeditated murder and has nothing to do with showing "that (deleted) his place". To be fair, if you can point out one single murder statute in any state that uses the words "intended to show that (insert whatever you want here) his place" in the law, I'll retract my assertion.

Do you think things through or do you just get all excited and screech about what you think is obvious?

50YearResident 3 years, 3 months ago

Are you wanting to incite a riot? Who made you the Judge and Jury of this case? Where did you get all your incriminating facts? Why are you the only one using the "N" word?

Armstrong 3 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

collective82 3 years, 3 months ago

Good story, how about that Maryland where a group of black Americans (as they aren't from Africa I would wager) beat and stripped a white male after taking stuff out of his pocket on St. Pattys day? Wheres that outrage? Martin/Zimmerans case did nothing but cause more racial tensions in America and harmed the nation as a whole by the way the media and certain communities handled this.

collective82 3 years, 3 months ago

Whoa! Why was the story about the incident in Arizona removed? How did that violate the user agreement?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Hypothetical: I'm in my home when I hear a burglar enter. I grab my gun and shoot the burglar. I'm guilty of nothing. If however, the burglar hears me coming and fleas through the back door and I then shoot him, I'm guilty of a crime. I've heard a lot of discussion about Zimmerman having followed Martin. I've heard it said he broke off that activity and that Martin doubled back and attacked Zimmerman. The key question of fact as far as I can tell is did Zimmerman break off his activity of following Martin after the police told him to do so. If he didn't, then he's probably guilty. If he did break off the activity after being told to do so, and Martin doubled back and confronted Zimmerman, then he's probably not guilty. Can anyone say for certain whether or not Zimmerman broke off his activity of following Martin?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Are you suggesting that because the other person is dead that Zimmerman loses his presumption of innocence?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

The problem with this case is that I've heard so many conflicting stories. I've heard sound experts say there was a racial slur while another sound expert said it wasn't. I've seen many say Zimmerman initiated this incident while I've also heard he broke off his activity and it was Martin who doubled back. I've heard anonymous sources say this and that. The fact is, I have no idea what happened and neither does any poster here. And for anyone to say that Zimmerman is guilty or not guilty is nothing but speculation. So while this is all fun an games here in this forum, the legal system has rules of it's own that should be followed.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

The problem is that without other witnesses, we may never know what really happened.

Because Martin is dead.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

In the hypothetical I proposed, the roles each participant plays are reversed at a certain time. The Initiator (burglar) ends being that when he fleas out the back door. The crime victim (the homeowner) becomes the instigator when he shoots someone who is fleeing. Was there a role reversal here? We don't know. But there has been definitive statements here, many in fact, that Zimmerman was the aggressor, the instigator. I just don't know the validity of such statements. And being definitive statements, they are statements of fact. They should be taken as statements of guess.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Contrast your statement here with your statement above where you stated that a self-defense legal defense should not be allowed given that Zimmerman instigated this incident. You don't allow for even the possibility that the roles had indeed reversed and because of that, you advocate that a certain legal defense be not allowed. You've also insinuated that Zimmerman's version is not the truth, given that he has an interest in giving facts that will reflect favorably on him. Of course, the truth may reflect favorably on him. In the courtroom, clarity is vital. Here, not so much. And likely, clarity, or truth, or facts are not what we are getting in this forum.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Having been on a jury, it's pretty clear to me that one doesn't generally get unvarnished facts, truth or clarity in that venue either.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Having worked in a law firm (though it was civil litigation), I'll say that truth, facts and clarity is not what the lawyers intend to present to the jury. That said, it's my opinion that there are more safeguards in place on the criminal side that would prevent the state from presenting evidence that they know untrue.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

That's a sad comment on our legal system, don't you think?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

It's sad, though I'm consoled just a wee bit when it comes to civil litigation, where money is the only thing at stake. In the criminal justice system, I find it intolerable in the rare instances where it occurs by the state. That the defense can do it, does do it, and in some cases should do it, that is part of the system we have, one where the state has enormous advantages in some areas while defendants don't always have to play by the same rules.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I find it a fundamental, and disturbing, problem with our system.

Truth should be the first thing determined, and appropriate consequences after that.

Once truth goes out the window, the whole system is a bit absurd.

You can't get the truth by adding 2 biased/spun versions of events together.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

If Zimmerman turned around and stopped chasing him, and Martin then pursued Zimmerman and confronted him, you can't really blame the whole thing on Zimmerman, in my view.

Just like if a robber breaks into your house, but then runs away - if you pursue him and shoot him while he's doing that, it's not legally justifiable self defense any more.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

There are two other things that have troubled me, things that just need answering. Martin has been described as 17 years old and a basketball player. Zimmerman has been described as older, and somewhat out of shape. Why couldn't Martin simply run faster than Zimmerman? If he had been simply running away, I would have expected him to simply out pace Zimmerman. That makes me question, at least the possibility, that Martin didn't simply run away, he might have doubled back. The second thing that I have a question about is this, I was following a man the other day on Mass. St. I was just walking behind him, at roughly the same pace. It was raining and he, too, wore a hoodie. As we walked one city block, at no time could I determine his race. His hood covered enough of his exterior that I could not tell. When he turned at the next corner, I could still not tell. To this day, his race is unknown to me. That allows, to me at least, that during the initial part of his following behavior, Zimmerman might not have been racially profiling, just "hoodie" profiling, whatever that is. His race would have become apparent only when Martin turned around. Now Martin may have turned around to see who was following him, or he might have turned around to confront the person following him. But I must allow for the possibility that race played no part at all in the initial actions of Zimmerman.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

His hands were in the front of the hoodie jacket. I couldn't tell his race. And the call may have been made after Martin turned around, making his race known only at that time, perhaps a long time after the initial following had begun. Which then allows for the possibility that his race became apparent only after the tables had been turned. I suspect a lawyer might make that argument.
And in the foot race, I'm still betting on a 17 year old basketball player, with a longer stride than Zimmerman. A true foot race at full speed (without the turning around, perhaps to confront his stalker), goes to Martin (my guess).

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

I think my question still stands. Did Zimmerman know Martin's race when the following began or did it become apparent only after some time, even if that time was short? The only reason I would ask is that it "might" rule in or rule out the issue of racial profiling, something that has been speculated about.

Bob Forer 3 years, 3 months ago

The jury will probably be instructed on lesser included forms of homicide such as manslaughter. I think it may be difficult to obtain a second degree murder conviction. My gut feelings tells me he will probably be convicted of a lesser homicide, and probably won't do a whole lot of time for having killed someone--probably something less than ten years.

But then again, only bits and pieces of the evidence have been made available to the media for public consumption, so its just a guess. Heck, if Zimmerman can sell his story to the right jury, he could walk.

Not suggesting he should.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

I was looking at it from a "masses" perspective.

akt2 3 years, 3 months ago

One important thing to remember is that if you are profiling and stalking with the intent to kill, make sure you call the police while you are doing it.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm thinking that charging him is the right thing to do since most details aren't clear-cut. What concerns me is there seems to be a pretty good chance he could walk when all is said and done. And the furor this incident has sparked to date could be dwarfed by the repercussions of such a ruling. I'm imagining post-Rodney King rioting on a national scale, though I certainly hope not.

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it would be nice if both sides of this incident would try and calm down their listeners and followers and ask them to allow the legal system to function, rather than inflame them in one way or another.

Of course, that's not good television, and they have advertising dollars to think about first.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I have similar concerns.

Certainly given these laws, if one shoots to kill and succeeds, one eliminates the other participant, which means their side will never be heard.

So, I worry that we'll see more of these stories, especially in states with "stand your ground" laws.

My only hope is that perhaps states will reconsider these laws, and replace them with more reasonable ones, ones that encourage people to run from a confrontation if possible rather than shooting somebody.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

There are 30 states with a version of the stand your ground law, and it was put in place to help justify self defense. It's not a bad thing.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

If it caused Zimmerman to be trigger happy in shooting Martin, it was a bad thing for both Martin and Zimmerman.

Before this law, there was an average of 12 shootings in "self-defense" in Florida. Since that law, there has been an average of 36 such shootings.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

I hadn't heard that, do you have a citation? And you're right, if it does lend to being "trigger happy" then there could be more problems.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

No citation-- I heard it in a report about various political leaders who had gathered to speak against these sorts of laws-- it may have been Mayor Bloomberg who said it.

As with all raw number comparisons, it's hard to say whether the increase is because people have become trigger happy, or whether these really were cases of self-defense. My guess is that it's a combination of both.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Probably a combo like you say, but I hadn't given much consideration to someone taking advantage of the law and walking around like Rambo, which could certainly be the case w/ Zimmerman. Kinda like bullied kids that retaliate with school shootings. A weapon has a way of amping up one's bravado. If "self-defense" style shootings have actually increased three fold or something like that, then I'm forced to re-evaluate my thoughts on the law. Good food for thought.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I disagree.

Self defense is fine, but in order to kill people, I think one should exhaust the other possibilities first, like simply leaving the confrontation. Laws like this that remove the obligation to try those first encourage more deadly violence, which is a bad thing in my view.

If you continue to follow people in your neighborhood as you've discussed, you could easily be the next Zimmerman or Martin - imagine if young folks now arm themselves in case a Zimmerman follows them.

You could be following somebody around and be unarmed (as Martin was here), and the guy you're following is armed (because he's afraid of being the next Martin), a confrontation ensues, and you get shot to death. All he has to do is claim he was afraid you were going to kill him - you're dead, so you can't tell your side of the story.

Unless there are reliable eyewitnesses to the contrary, it may be very hard to convict him.

By the way, even if Martin turned and instigated some sort of confrontation, that doesn't justify killing him in "self defense", even according to Florida laws. Zimmerman would have to be in reasonable fear for his life to justify that.

Even if Martin turned around, said "Why the f*** are you following me?", and punched Zimmerman, that doesn't legally justify killing him in self defense.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

We don't necessarily disagree. I'm just not trying to make a blanket judgement based on these raw numbers.

My guess is that the rather dramatic increase would indicate that rather than walking away from a confrontation, some people have been encouraged to pull the trigger first, and then claim self-defense, and if the only other witness is dead....

But it's also possible that some of these people might have been seriously injured or even killed if they hadn't pulled the trigger. And like this particular case, we may never know for sure which way it was in any of these other situations.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

No, my post was in response to jaywalker's.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"Self defense is fine, but in order to kill people, I think one should exhaust the other possibilities first, like simply leaving the confrontation"

Well, the problem w/ these types of speculation is they're incredibly broad while each instance of conflict is relatively unique.

"By the way, even if Martin turned and instigated some sort of confrontation, that doesn't justify killing him in "self defense", even according to Florida laws. Zimmerman would have to be in reasonable fear for his life to justify that."

Here is where it gets slippery to me because I don't think it's about justifying "killing", but rather response. For example, I fought Golden Gloves, have been trained by the military, and know krav maga. Say someone attacks me in a bar, cracks me over the head w/ a bottle; there's a fairly reasonable chance I could seriously injure the attacker w/ my bare hands, even kill them, though that wouldn't be my intent. The law doesn't justify my killing that individual, it justifies the response. And that response then has to be analyzed by authorities in order to decide if what I'd done was excessive.
That's why I find it interesting that special counsel opted for Murder II here; she must believe she can prove that Martin's response was excessive and that he was walking around inviting such a conflict to happen. I was thinking manslaughter, perhaps involuntary , would have been the right way to go, but then I don't know the vagaries of the law. I think Murder II is most often applied in "crimes of passion", though perhaps this is just the top count and lesser included offenses might include the manslaughter possibilities, or even aggravated assault.
As far as Martin initiating the conflict and whether Zimmerman's response was justified, hopefully we'll find out through the trial. But I would say that someone that (allegedly) had their nose broken from a sucker punch (which would seriously disorient most citizens) and then was getting his head slammed into the concrete repeatedly could reasonably be in fear for their life. I certainly wish Zimmerman would have shot him in the shoulder or the leg rather than center mass, I'm sure he does too. Though again, that's why I find the Murder II charge curious. If it can be proven that's how the events transpired, I can't see how Murder II fits.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

If you've been trained like that, there's a real possibility that your hands could be considered "deadly weapons" by the legal system.

If so, your use of them would have to be justified by the fear for your life.

It would be Zimmerman's response that would be excessive.

I agree, although the problem is that since Martin is dead, it's hard for him to present his side of the story.

From what I read, murder 2 requires proof that he acted with deliberate disregard for human life, or something like that.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

You're absolutely right, "deadly weapons" is how it'd be classified, which is why I walk away 99.9% of the time. Instinct and reflex could land me in the pokey pretty quickly; a buddy of mine did 3 years for just that sort of thing which still makes my blood boil, a complete miscarriage of justice. That's why I initially felt that the 'stand your ground' laws were a good thing because I don't think he would have ever been convicted under it. Many here have me questioning that now.
And I think you're right about deliberate disregard, pretty sure that's one of the definitions in crimes of passion.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

What the hell is "The Flexible Obama"?

jonas_opines 3 years, 3 months ago

Lord, why would you even Ask about anything that FHNC talks about? He's had a new bizarre epithet for either Obama or for liberals at least once a month for the last three years. (under his multiple user-names, of course)

He thinks he's clever. He's wrong. That's pretty much it.

bad_dog 3 years, 3 months ago

I thought it was a reference to Obama's heretofore unknown yoga expertise...

BiPolarWookie_w_PhD 3 years, 3 months ago

When the mother of the victim has already been quoted as saying "It was an accident", then that right there already dooms the case of Murder in the second degree. There isnt a potential juror in the country now that hasnt read that. I bet they have a retrial with Manslaughter.

costello 3 years, 3 months ago

I hadn't heard it, and I've been following the case pretty closely. Anyway, I don't think the words of someone who wasn't present really carry much weight.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes.

But, what if Martin turned and instigated some sort of confrontation, but not to the level Zimmerman claims?

Let's say he turned around and said "Why the f*** are you following me?" and punched Zimmerman.

Simply instigating a confrontation doesn't justify killing in self defense.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

If the conflict did indeed rise to that level, you may be right.

But, if it didn't, you're wrong - you can't just kill people for hitting you, and legally claim self defense. You have to be reasonably in fear for your own life.

8 reports in a year translates to less than 1/month.

If you think that makes anybody walking at night suspicious, I think that's a bit of an over-reaction.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, let's hope you don't follow somebody around and wind up killing them.

Or follow them and get killed yourself.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Good - that's much more sensible.

And, even though it's not illegal, it's quite provocative, in my view, if you're not law enforcement.

If it happened as you say, then yes, that's right. But, if the kid turned and hit him, without doing anything that really threatened his life, then he was wrong to kill him. Also, what if Martin felt threatened by being followed?

And, the whole thing is easily avoidable - don't follow people around if you're not law enforcement.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

It's an interesting argument, but do you really think it's right?

If Zimmerman had broken off his pursuit, and returned to his car, is Martin really justified in pursuing him and hitting him?

If it had happened while he was being pursued, I think it's a stronger argument.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, there are.

But not all of them justify Martin attacking Zimmerman, in my view.

Just as it's not justifiably self defense if you shoot a robber who's fleeing from your home, even though it might be if you shot him while he was in your home.

MarcoPogo 3 years, 3 months ago

It's Florida so before this is over, meth will be involved.

LarryCarl 3 years, 3 months ago

I've not read all the comments here... far too many for me to hack through...

but... through all of this... I've not once heard anyone mention MARTIN's right to stand HIS ground... if in fact he did... not by any media source...

he was being followed and likely and rightly so, he felt threatened...

and if it's a matter of two guys standing their ground and it's legal for the one to shoot and kill the other... welcome to frontier justice... and sure enough... we all should start carrying...

what if Martin had been armed and he had shot and killed Zimmerman?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Good point.

That's one of the problem with these laws, in my view.

But, even with them, one has to reasonably fear for one's life to kill somebody else in self defense.

acg 3 years, 3 months ago

Someone above said:

"We have robberies in the neighborhood and suspicious people walking around in the middle of the night. George was just looking out for his neighborhood. Obviously the police have missed the trespassers from the previous robbery attempts so letting a suspicious person slip into the night offers no incentive for would be robbers to not come back."

They said suspicious person twice in that little thought. That's the problem here people! What made this kid so suspicious? Because he was a black male! Would he have been so suspicious had he been white or female? Had this been a white female would Zimmerman have been so quick to chase him around the neighborhood and gun him down? Probably not.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Were the robberies committed by white females? If the neighborhood had been robbed repeatedly by Amish gangstas, then they would be the suspicious pedestrians being eyed suspiciously.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Audible chuckle, my friend vertigo. Much thanks.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

The problem with profiling is that there are plenty of people who may resemble the suspects, but be completely innocent.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

It seems a little awkward, but what would you say the correct phrasing would be?

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

That is the problem w/ profiling, jafs. However, we all do it every single day, and rightfully so. And I'm bettin' even you would keep an eye on a stranger if he fit the "profile" of multiple other next door crimes. To ignore the pattern would be ignorant.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I might, although I live in a pretty safe neighborhood, and don't generally profile anybody - I do remember a couple of weeks after 9/11, visiting NYC (I had planned the trip before the attack), and looking a bit more at folks who looked Arab/Muslim, especially on buses/trains/etc. But even then, I realized that they were most likely completely innocent, and that it was very unfortunate that I felt that way.

I certainly wouldn't follow them around, carrying a gun, though.

Imagine if you fit the profile, and were looked at that way, and followed, though you'd done nothing wrong.

That's why it's provocative to do that, in my view.

jcoozy1978 3 years, 3 months ago

I believe there are alot of comments about this situation and basically nobody really knows what happened. Just sit back and tune into Nancy Grace. She will tell you what happened. The TRUTH!!!

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

That's two chuckles! You're on a roll, bro! (and I couldn't agree more!)

1southernjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

The official rate at which Blacks killed Blacks in 1994 was 876 times greater, and the rate at which they killed Whites was 164 times greater, than the rate at which Whites killed Blacks. Whites were officially twice as likely to be killed by Blacks than by Hispanics. Blacks were officially twice as likely as Hispanics and 71 times as likely as Whites to kill members of their own race. Officially, one half of the nation's homicides were committed by the 1.2% of the population who were Black males between the ages of 18-24. Officially, if there were no Blacks or Hispanics in the US, our homicide rate would be 0.2 per 100,000 population, equivalent to North Dakota or Singapore, and one fiftieth of its official record shattering high of 10.2 in 1993

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Source?

And, I wonder why you picked 1994 - more recent statistics don't make your case very well?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Interesting - so the vast majority of murders are same race murders.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

2nd degree murder (vice voluntary manslaughter) is going to be difficult to prove, given the information about the situation that is currently out there. The prosecutor has to convince the jury Mr. Zimmerman acted with 'depraved indifference' and that will be tough without any witnesses.

Since there is no lesser included charge of involuntary manslaughter, Mr. Zimmerman could be acquitted and walk, at which point we will get to see what the people of Sanford think about the rule of law. The news will be filled with corollaries between this case, O.J. Simpson, and Rodney King and the race pimps like Al Sharpton will be doing cheetah flips. Have you ever seen Sharpton standing glumly next to the mother of a young black man killed by another young black man? Speaking of, have you ever seen Al Sharpton ask for the arrest of a black male for any crime? Al Sharpton and his ilk are in the middle of this situation for one reason; to promote the white-against-black narrative that gives him his power.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

That's why the moral of the story is "shoot to kill".

Your second paragraph ceased to be interesting as soon as the terms "race pimps" and "cheetah flips" were used.

If you want people to consider your arguments, you should avoid those sorts of terms, as they tend to undermine them.

Do you have a source that there aren't lesser charges included? I thought there were.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Also, according to a quick search, Florida doesn't make the distinction between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, so if it were included, it would just be as manslaughter.

LarryCarl 3 years, 3 months ago

armed with a gun, Zimmerman tracked a man after police had instructed him not to...

there's your depraved indifference...

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

The prosecutor has information we don't I'm sure.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I really wish they had told him to stop.

uncleandyt 3 years, 3 months ago

This one is different in that you heard about it. This case is special because Fox News is exposing itself as unfair and unbalanced to some of its formerly faithful followers. The public is slowly, slowly, slowly waking up. Good morning

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Why does it have to be "special"?

Unarmed people getting shot is a tragedy, and should concern all of us - this is just one example of it.

beatrice 3 years, 3 months ago

What makes this case different is that the shooter was identified and initailly allowed to walk because of loose gun laws in Florida. Had people not made noise over the case, it is very likely Zimmerman never would have been arrested for shooting an unarmed kid.

Can you really not see this?

ProfessorSeamus 3 years, 3 months ago

My question is - where was the gun when the initial confrontation took place? Because I think most people would agree that if Zimmerman had the gun out when the confrontation started then Martin had good reason to be in fear of his life. The initial confrontation seems much more suspect, to me, if Zimmerman was showing the weapon while he followed Martin. You simply cannot walk around the number brandishing a weapon and confronting total strangers without expecting something bad to happen.

On the other hand, if he had the gun put away, Zimmerman's story seems less plausible to me. If, as he claims, he was on the ground and Martin was "slamming" his head into concrete, to the point Zimmerman was screaming for help, it seems highly unlikely he would have been able, while struggling with an attacker who had the upper hand, to get the weapon out and get off a kill shot. Not impossible, but more unlikely. Had he fired and missed, or wounded Martin, that would seem to fit the story. But, after being unexpectedly attacked, knocked the ground, having his head slammed into the concrete and while being continually hit, I find it hard to believe he was able to perform the tasks required to remove the weapon and shoot his assailant so accurately.

DillonBarnes 3 years, 3 months ago

Interesting that you are willing to defend yourself and your family on your property, but not on the sidewalk outside your property.

DillonBarnes 3 years, 3 months ago

My comment had nothing to do with Zimmerman, I'm trying not to pass judgement on that case too quickly (although I do have some opinions as a concealed carrier, PM me if you care to know them).

I'm just an adamant supporter of concealed carry and felt your post may have been somewhat of an attack on that. Rereading it now, I may have misunderstood your point, maybe not.

Armstrong 3 years, 3 months ago

The shear volume of "wisdom" regarding this case is entertainment in itself. Facts ? Who needs stinking facts, it's all about race baby.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Strange that you can't see that folks on both sides are rushing to judgment, some of Zimmerman, and some of Martin.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Since the current regime seems to be pushing a race war as their best bet to win in November, you have to wonder what plans they may have rejected.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

The lesson for miscreants is that you don't know who may be armed so assault and battery is a potentially fatal exercise.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Another person who doesn't seem to understand our self defense laws.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Or that young black folks who wear hoodies should now get guns for use in self defense.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Since 90% of black men who are murdered die at the hands of other black men, your suggestion should produce interesting results.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Did you notice that the same is true of white folks?

The vast majority of white murder victims are killed by white people.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually, that's not true at all.

But thank you for your substantive issue-oriented comment there.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Meanwhile, the Surfside murder has totally fallen off the radar. Black men being killed by Black men is of little concern to the professionally outraged.

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