New Witness Reportedly Comes Forward In Support Of Zimmerman’s Account in Martin Shooting

The facts behind the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida continue to slowly emerge. I have previously stated that I view critical facts as murky for a prosecution — even though I believe that there was sufficient evidence to arrest George Zimmerman at the scene. While we have still not seen some of the forensic evidence, a new report indicates that police may have based their initial decisions in part on the statement of a witness. We have been discussing the maddening gap in witness testimony at the critical moment of the confrontation. Now a new report suggests that there may have been a witness to the struggle and that witness reportedly told police that it was Martin who was on top of Zimmerman before the fatal shot was fired.

FOX 35 in Orlando says that it has spoken to the witness. The witness reportedly said that
“The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: ‘help, help…and I told him to stop and I was calling 911.” Martin was wearing a hoodie that night and Zimmerman was wearing a red shirt or sweater. A friend of Zimmerman has also come forward to say that Zimmerman looked like a mess after the fight and that he recognized Zimmerman as the voice on the 911 call asking people to help him.

An obvious defense case is emerging for a classic self-defense claim. Zimmerman on the 911 tape admits to have shadowed Martin but says it was Martin who was checking him out and moving toward him a threatening fashion. Zimmerman claims that he was attacked when he was returning to his SUV. Police and counsel reported that Zimmerman had cuts on his face and head and appeared to have been in a struggle. Zimmerman was lawfully carrying a handgun was allowed to use the weapon if he was in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death. This includes the possible use of the gun in a struggle of control of the weapon.

While the case has been treated as racially motivated, the Zimmerman family has strongly denied such a motivation — noting that he is a hispanic with many African-American friends. Frankly, Zimmerman does closely resemble an alternative profile — that of a defendant in “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground” cases. In these controversies, we often see people who are obsessed with crime and in some cases inclined to use lethal force. That does not mean that race did not play a role here. However, it is possible that Zimmerman was motivated by his well-documented obsession with crime as opposed to race. While I understand the sensitivity to the race issue and have my own suspicions concerning the role of race, I believe it is premature to label this a racially motivated crime without more evidence of such a motive. None of this means that Zimmerman should not be charged, but rather than there remain murky elements to the case. We simply need to know more about such motivations. In terms of the state law, we also need more information (particularly forensic evidence) to better gauge the chances of a conviction in the case. I still find the fact that Zimmerman was armed and outweighed Martin to be the most significant. However, this case is still in its earliest stage in terms of development of the evidence and witnesses. Among other things, if a charge is brought, such evidence could push prosecutors toward a manslaughter claim with a lower likely sentence than second or first degree murder. Even with manslaughter, the prosecutors would have to establish the element beyond a reasonable doubt, including the claim of self-defense. Of course, the mere fact that Martin may have gotten the better of Zimmerman in dominating fight at one point does not mean that Zimmerman was not the original aggressor. It will depend on the full range of witness testimony and, again, the missing forensic evidence.

I was asked last week to sign an online petition demanding the prosecution of Zimmerman. As I have noted, I believe that there is sufficient evidence for an indictment. However, I have never support such public campaigns for indictments. I do not believe in prosecution by plebiscite. Whether there are 100 or 100,000 people demanding an indictment, a prosecutor should not be influenced by such popular outcries. We saw how distortive and corrupting such campaigns can be on prosecutors like Michael Nifong. Prosecutors must based their decisions on the weight of the evidence not the weight of public opinion. Regardless of my views about a possible indictment, I would not want a prosecutor influenced by any petition supporting those views. There is a line between the visceral and the legal and such petitions fall on the wrong side of that line.

Source: Daily Mail

270 thoughts on “New Witness Reportedly Comes Forward In Support Of Zimmerman’s Account in Martin Shooting

  1. Mr. Turley, that wouldn’t have changed much in my opinion. After all, Martin had a right to respond with force, INCLUDING DEADLY FORCE, if he was frightened. Don’t YOU think he was frightened? I would have been. To me, Zimmerman looks like someone who was up to no good — maybe on drugs — and he definiately SAW Martin before he got out of the car and then he got OUT OF THE CAR so he was acting aggressively. In fact, I would say that Zimmerman should probably turn himself in to some police agency somewhere to protect himself because absolutely and without doubt, ANYBODY who sees him NOW has every right to feel terribly afraid of him (he still has his gun) and therefore, anybody might stand their ground and kill him in self defense, at least in any one of those states with the “stand your ground” law.

    In my book, if a guy looks a bit like a violent wife-batterer, a lonely predatory pedophile, a mentally disturbed person, a hoodie-hater, or what some folks call an “angry white man NOS,” I’m scared of him when he approaches me for no good reason.

    About Martin beating on Zimmerman, you know, I have to hand it to him if he did that. He wasn’t frozen with fear or slavish enough to say, for instance, “please don’t hurt me; I’m just going back to my father and I never did anything wrong and I’m sorry if I scared you.” He was a man that day; he defended himself; and for a minute there, if this is true, he had what would have been the upper hand in a fight that was not of his making. He was on top before Zimmerman shot him? More the cowardly of Zimmerman; he could have waited until the cops arrived and they would have arrested his nefarious abuser.

    The way I see it, Zimmerman was a coward and a bully and if he stands trial and I’m proven wrong, then I’ll see it differently. But even then, the way I see it, Trayvon Martin was a man, and a hero, dealing with a dangerous situation in the most upright and admirable way he could possibly deal with it, and kudos kudos to him.

  2. I would not want a prosecutor influences by any petition supporting those views.

    Depends, you don’t make a controversy like this go away by just saying you not charging the guy. Like you point out there’s a lot of murky stuff here.

    But one VERY clear part is that the 911 dispatcher TOLD HIM TO NOT DO ANYTHING until police had arrived.
    Zimmerman decided to instigate this anyway. To then try to portray HIM as the ‘victim’ is ludicrous. Even if the kid was beating the crap out of him.

    I don’t blame anyone with someone following them to believe that they could have been assaulted by someone following them. And Zimmerman had NO AUTHORITY to question ANYONE! (Or stalk them!) And was in fact was disobeying the police.

    This is NOT standing your ground, this is LOOKING for trouble.

  3. I have still not found Prof. Turley’s outrage at the brutal and senseless murder and attempted robbery of TWO British tourists, here in Sarasota, just last year…they ventured accidentally into the “wrong” neighborhood. Deal with that, comparatively speaking, would you please.

  4. In my book, if a guy looks a bit like a violent wife-batterer, a lonely predatory pedophile, a mentally disturbed person, a hoodie-hater, or what some folks call an “angry white man NOS,” I’m scared of him when he approaches me for no good reason.

    Check, check, check check, and check.
    As for the second check, see Z’s pappa statement of Z’s “grooming” of black children. The others are obvious. Oh yeah, maybe he wasn’t married, but then there are other women to practice on in the meantime.

  5. Now a new report suggests that there may have been a witness to the struggle and that witness reportedly told police that it was Martin who was on top of Zimmerman before the fatal shot was fired.

    Self defense is an affirmative defense. The defendant, in this case Zimmerman, has the burden of proof and persuasion. At trial.

    Heretofore the police have rendered their verdict that the affirmative defense prevails, which is tantamount to an acquittal. They overstepped their authority.

    And arrest and trial is appropriate, with Zimmerman given all his rights to a jury trial and an affirmative defense.

    His witnesses will have to face cross exam and the police will too, especially about their manipulation of witnesses.

  6. If the mystery witness is to be believed, just because the aggressor is losing a fistfight he initiates to someone he outweighs by 80 pounds does not warrant pulling a gun on the unarmed boy and blowing him away when the cops and help are on the way. Murky circumstances but not murky law.

    Take the gun out of this scenario and we have a fistfight; add the gun and we have a national tragedy. It’s manslaughter.

  7. Z still initiated the conflict. Given the murder was committed during a crime (Z’s assault) that would make it 1st degree under FLA law.

  8. Mespo…… I thought that was the established law….. But what else is in store remains to be seen…. Seems more like the gop campaign at the moment…..

  9. Malisha1, March 26, 2012 at 6:57 am
    clean up your fear before it becomes Malice….Malicia’

    Mespo, thank you for your clear headed perspective!

  10. I’m not an attorney, and don’t play one on TV, but it seems to me that if you stalk somebody with a weapon in your hand, you have made a premeditated move that makes what you do murder. When a police dispatcher tells you to back off (or down), and you continue, you are an aggressor, and can’t claim victimhood.
    And that’s hoe I believe it will end up at trial, give a small amount of guts on the prosecutor’s part.

  11. Mr.Ed said:

    And that’s hoe I believe it will end up at trial, give a small amount of guts on the prosecutor’s part.”

    Does it all hang on prosecutor initiative? What is the judges role in discovering facts?

  12. Orlando Watch Shooting Probe Reveals Questionable Police Conduct

    But after the shooting, a source inside the police department told ABC News that a narcotics detective and not a homicide detective first approached Zimmerman. The detective pepppered Zimmerman with questions, the source said, rather than allow Zimmerman to tell his story. Questions can lead a witness, the source said.

    Another officer corrected a witness after she told him that she heard the teen cry for help.

    The officer told the witness, a long-time teacher, it was Zimmerman who cried for help, said the witness. ABC News has spoken to the teacher and she confirmed that the officer corrected her when she said she heard the teenager shout for help.


    Should police be correcting a witness–or just taking her statement?

  13. Witnesses in Trayvon Martin death heard cries before shot
    Witnesses say they believe Trayvon Martin cried for help just before he was shot by a watch captain

    SANFORD — They heard the desperate wail of a child, a gunshot, and then silence.

    Trayvon Martin, 17, died Feb. 26 in a dark pathway some 20 minutes after a neighborhood watch volunteer called police saying he thought a young stranger looked suspicious. It was raining, and the volunteer thought the kid in the hoodie walked too slow and peeked in windows.

    Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy, and believe the sequence of sounds shatters the notion that Trayvon was killed in self-defense.

  14. Trayvon Martin Family Seeks FBI Investigation of Killing by Neighborhood Watchman

    Zimmerman, 28, who is white, claimed self defense. He was never arrested and has been charged with no crime, sparking national outrage.

    ABC News has learned police seemed to accept Zimmerman’s account at face value that night and that he was not tested for drugs or alcohol on the night of the shooting, even though it is standard procedure in most homicide investigations.

  15. Sanford police chief under fire amid Trayvon Martin case
    Police bungled the investigation into Trayvon Martin’s case, attorneys and experts say.

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

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

    • Even though investigators have the dead boy’s cell phone, it was Trayvon’s father who combed through the phone records to discover that his son was talking to a girlfriend in the moments that led up to his death. Police never contacted the girl, who told lawyers that Trayvon was alarmed because he was being followed.

    The department defends its investigation and says it welcomes outside oversight. In an interview last week, Lee said the query into Trayvon’s death was “color blind” and thorough.

  16. Trayvon Martin’s Last Phone Call Triggers Demand for Arrest ‘Right Now’

    ABC News was there exclusively as the 16-year-old girl told Crump about the last moments of the teenager’s life. Martin had been talking to his girlfriend all the way to the store where he bought Skittles and a tea. The phone was in his pocket and the earphone in his ear, Crump said.

    “He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” Martin’s friend said. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run, but he said he was not going to run.”

    Eventually, he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.

    “Trayvon said, ‘What are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again, and he didn’t answer the phone.”

    The line went dead. Besides screams heard on 911 calls that night as Martin and Zimmerman scuffled, those were the last words he said.

  17. Mr. Turley wants to see the evidence but the evidence walked away with Zimmerman. If that murdering thug was so innocent why didn’t the police take pictures of his many scratches/scrapes? HIs shirt with all those grass stains on it? Those wounds to the back of his head? His supposedly bloody nose? Why didn’t they do drug tests? If Trayvon was on top of that thug how did he get shot in the chest? Why no description of Trayvon’s clothing, wounds, etc?

    Is Zimmerman related to one of the cops? That seems to be grounds for dismissal in Sanford.

    Sorry Mr. Turley…it comes back to this murderer stalked the kid, terrorized him, then shot him in cold blood. Alll your lawyerly reasoning is not going to change that?

    One question: Are you planning to defend this murderer?

  18. My feeling is that the case might have just fallen by the wayside but for the campaign (and it was indeed a campaign). Now the case is getting enough attention, I intend to refrain from speculative comment on the facts–the special prosecutor is in a far better position to work out what likelyhappened. I’m reasonably confident that there will be a fair trial, and that’s the best we could wish for.

  19. Take the gun out of this scenario and we have a fistfight; add the gun and we have a national tragedy. It’s manslaughter.

    Seriously, a national tragedy ? Only because the media made it that way.

    What about Channon Gail Christian, and Hugh Christopher Newsom, Jr.
    ever here of them ?

    How bout Aliyah Shell gunned down on her front porch this past weekend by what appears to be a bunch of white Hispanics. She was six years old.

    P.S. Aliyah is black.

  20. I’m not making a defense for anyone here. I do see that many people here assume Z was stalking M. However, if Z was moving away to his SUV and M attacked, then self-defense is needed.

    My point is, this case has exploded and many people are making many assumptions about the case. If police did lead witnesses and acted inappropriatly, then it is my sincerest hope that the truth comes out.

    I also assumed Z was guilty at first, then I saw the significant number of conflicting accounts on the news. Hopefully the federal investigators can get to the bottom of it without the need for petitions. Justice means that Z gets his say as well.

  21. Lobbyists, Guns and Money
    Published: March 25, 2012

    Florida’s now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest, let alone prosecution, sounds crazy — and it is. And it’s tempting to dismiss this law as the work of ignorant yahoos. But similar laws have been pushed across the nation, not by ignorant yahoos but by big corporations.

    Specifically, language virtually identical to Florida’s law is featured in a template supplied to legislators in other states by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-backed organization that has managed to keep a low profile even as it exerts vast influence (only recently, thanks to yeoman work by the Center for Media and Democracy, has a clear picture of ALEC’s activities emerged). And if there is any silver lining to Trayvon Martin’s killing, it is that it might finally place a spotlight on what ALEC is doing to our society — and our democracy.

    What is ALEC? Despite claims that it’s nonpartisan, it’s very much a movement-conservative organization, funded by the usual suspects: the Kochs, Exxon Mobil, and so on. Unlike other such groups, however, it doesn’t just influence laws, it literally writes them, supplying fully drafted bills to state legislators. In Virginia, for example, more than 50 ALEC-written bills have been introduced, many almost word for word. And these bills often become law.

  22. Correction to my prior comment that said that the affirmative defense of self defense can only be raised at trial. Actually it can be raised by pre-trial motion in Florida:

    Traditionally, if a person was anywhere but their home, the Self Defense law required a person to attempt to first retreat before engaging an aggressor. And to further complicate matters, the defense could only be raised at trial. But in October of 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground Law, which dramatically changed the legal landscape of self defense law.

    Under the Stand Your Ground Law, a person who is attacked has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand their ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if it is reasonably believed necessary to to prevent death or great bodily harm or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    Also, the Stand Your Ground Law now allows a person to raise the issue of Self Defense both at a Pretrial Hearing and at trial. As a result, if a judge finds that your actions were justified, the Judge is required to dismiss the charges and no trial is required. If the judge does not find your actions were justified, the defense can still be presented to a jury and they can make their own independent determination of whether your actions were justified.

    (Florida Criminal Law). That does not change the fact that the police usurped the court and ruled in favor of Zimmerman.

    Had they arrested Zimmerman, he would have pre-trial motions to try to prove his self defense case, and even if a judge did not agree with him, he could still present that affirmative defense to the jury.

    The police did not have the authority to remove the case from the court process once Zimmerman admitted to doing the killing.


  24. As long as someone other than that ridiculous police chief is investigating this matter:

    And speaking of Chief Lee

    Norton Bonaparte, Jr., Sanford city manager, on the future of Police Chief Bill Lee, Jr., :

    “…. I’ve asked for an independent review by a law enforcement entity to come and tell me how did the Sanford Police Department do. Based upon that information and when I have that information, then I’ll certainly be in a position to make a determination about the future of Chief Lee as well as the entire Sanford Police Department.”

  25. It’s not necessarily a matter of “either/or” regarding race/crime obsession. Zimmerman seems to me to have been obsessed with crime, but he also seems to have profiled Martin based on his being African American.

    In other words, Zimmerman was on the lookout for a certain profile of a persona and Martin fit it even though it seems also that Martin was doing absolutely nothing wrong. In this case, Zimmerman wasn’t standing his ground in the traditional sense, but actively pursuing Martin and creating the threat.

    That Martin might have attacked him is actually a case for Martin “standing his ground.” Martin didn’t know this guy. He was just walking on the street. Zimmerman was following in his car and then got out of it. What was Martin supposed to think? I don’t doubt that he was probably nervous, as anyone of us would be. Rather than wait for Zimmerman to attack, Martin probably struck out at him, but it was ZImmerman who probably created the situation.

    Point is, Mr. Turley, even if that witness saw Martin on top, the witness did not see what led up to that point, which really could be favoring Martin, not Zimmerman.

  26. Bdaman,

    Rather than trying to call into question the character of a young teen who cannot defend himself against the accusations of others, why not admit that the Sanford police department screwed up its investigation of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Had the police done what they should have in this case–there wouldn’t have been such an outcry.

    If my child had been shot by some “pseudo cop” who decided to take the law into his own hands and the police claimed the man had acted in self defense and let him go free without any kind of testing for drugs or alcohol or any real investigation–I’d be an extremely angry mother. I, too, would DEMAND justice for my child!

  27. Bdaman, Your point is valid. Lots of cases of violent acts out there don’t get the attention they need. The Martin case was also going to fall thru the cracks but for the public attention. Guess you’re glass half empty sort or you could work your own p.r. so these other cases get the attention for the right kind of investigation.

  28. fluffyros,

    I don’t think anyone should be expected to deal with all outrageous acts of crime. It’s not simply a matter of how heinous a crime regarding it’s newsworthiness but rather its relevant legal matters such a case might engender. No doubt the Sarasota case was bad, but did it raise any real legal predicaments?

    Rather than cherry picking random cases, it’s better to address the issues at hand.

  29. why not admit that the Sanford police department screwed up its investigation of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Had the police done what they should have in this case–there wouldn’t have been such an outcry.

    If my child had been shot by some “pseudo cop” who decided to take the law into his own hands and the police claimed the man had acted in self defense and let him go free without any kind of testing for drugs or alcohol or any real investigation–I’d be an extremely angry mother. I, too, would DEMAND justice for my child!

    MS. Elaine how do you know there wasn’t a thorough investigation. Because of what the media tells you? Angela Corey our local state attorney is on the case.

    Before you rushed to judgement let the facts come out. Even though it’s a slow process. On our local radio program she was interviewed and said it is not uncommon for an investigation to take this long in these types of cases.

  30. Bdaman,

    I thought the Sanford police department said that Zimmerman had acted in self defense. How could they have drawn that conclusion if the investigation wasn’t complete? They didn’t test him for drugs or alcohol. They hadn’t checked out Martin’s cell phone records. One witness was told by a detective that he wasn’t interested in her account because it differed from Zimmerman’s. Check out links to some of the news reports I posted earlier in this thread. It appears there may be lots of holes in the investigation of the death of this teen.

  31. What Malisha said.
    Treyvon is protected by “stand your ground”.
    Zimmerman was not standing, but tracking with a loaded gun.

  32. Some commenter above called Zimmerman a pseudo cop. He has been called Watchman, Watch Commander, Night Watchman and a number of appellations. Who gave him these titles? If it was the cops alone then they damn near deputized him. If it was some homeowners association then he was their agent. In either situation the plaintiffs (family) have defendants besides Zimmerman in their civil suit.

  33. “Some commenter above called Zimmerman a pseudo cop. He has been called Watchman, Watch Commander, Night Watchman and a number of appellations. Who gave him these titles? If it was the cops alone then they damn near deputized him.” -Talkin Dog

    These practices are more common than many realize. The entire, “community policing” system needs to be fully examined starting with law enforcement (federal, state and local), the Neighborhood Watch groups (both the formal and informal ones), Citizens on Patrol, InfraGard, and other participating entities.

    Zimmerman states his case in Orlando Sentinel.

    “Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.

    There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they’re not sure what happened.

    Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.

    Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police.

    Trayvon then said, “Well, you do now” or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose.

    Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.

    Zimmerman began yelling for help.

    Several witnesses heard those cries, and there’s been a dispute about from whom they came: Zimmerman or Trayvon.

    Lawyers for Trayvon’s family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.

    One witnesses, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.

    Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest from very close range, according to authorities.

    When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.

    Paramedics gave him first aid, but he said no to going to the hospital. He got medical care the next day.”

  35. TalkinDog & anon nurse,

    Neighborhood watch groups need to watch out

    WASHINGTON – The Feb. 26 shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin has put neighborhood watches into the national spotlight.

    A former police chief calls the Martin case “horrendous” and says it underscores the need for neighborhood watch programs to vet volunteers thoroughly and to review the organization’s policies and training.

    Chris Tutko, director of neighborhood watch programs with the National Sheriff’s Association, says neighborhood watch groups need to ask themselves, “What kind of training have you had as far as suspicious activity? Did you have any training in diversity?”

    Neighborhood watch groups need to keep in mind that their mission is to act as the eyes and ears of the community, he says. They are not a substitute police force, and volunteers need to understand that when they see something suspicious.

    ” You call the law enforcement, and let them do their job,” Tutko says. “There’s no intervention, and there’s certainly no carrying of weapons.”

    Tutko, who served as police chief in Manassas, says volunteers may have a concealed weapons permit, but organizers should make certain it’s understood that weapons are not a part of any neighborhood watch program.

    “Somebody may have aggressive behavior and that has to be a red flag,” he says.

    In that case, the message should be “Thank you for your efforts, but I don’t think you’re fit for this organization, and you’re not a member of neighborhood watch anymore.'”


    •Conduct background checks

    •Train volunteers in policies and procedures

    •Have volunteers get some diversity training

    •Establish protocols for determining what constitutes suspicious activity

    •Make the call to the appropriate local law enforcement agency



    •Carry a weapon

  36. George Zimmerman not a member of recognized neighborhood watch organization
    By Alexis Garrett Stodghill

    When 28-year-old George Zimmerman was discovered by Sanford, Florida police standing over the body of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, they accepted Zimmerman’s claim that he killed in self-defense as a neighborhood watch captain. Now, through a statement released by the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) — the parent organization of USAonWatch-Neighborhood Watch — it has been revealed that Zimmerman was not a member of any group recognized by the organization. Zimmerman violated the central tenets of Neighborhood Watch by following Martin, confronting him and carrying a concealed weapon.

    “In no program that I have ever heard of does someone patrol with a gun in their pocket,” Carmen Caldwell, the Executive Director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade, told theGrio. “Every city and municipality has their own policies. Here in Miami-Dade we train people only to be the eyes and ears of their communities. Not to follow and most definitely not to carry a weapon.”

    Despite this, Zimmerman admitted that he had fired a weapon on the night of the incident. In addition, the non-emergency call Zimmerman placed on February 26 before the shooting revealed he had been pursuing Martin by car before accosting the youth on foot — all direct violations of Neighborhood Watch policies.

    “The alleged action of a ‘self-appointed neighborhood watchman’ last month in Sanford, FL significantly contradicts the principles of the Neighborhood Watch Program,” NSA Executive Director Aaron D. Kennard, Sheriff (ret.) said in the press statement. “NSA has no information indicating the community where the incident occurred has ever even registered with the NSA Neighborhood Watch program.”

  37. Thanks for the link and info, Elaine M. It’s a start, but there are some systemic problems and issues that need to come to light. The entire “community policing” system needs to be reviewed and investigated.

  38. anon nurse,

    I agree–and light needs to be shed on these “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground” laws that are being encouraged/written by groups like ALEC.

  39. Carmen Caldwell, the Executive Director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade, told theGrio. “Every city and municipality has their own policies. Here in Miami-Dade we train people only to be the eyes and ears of their communities. Not to follow and most definitely not to carry a weapon.” (from Elaine’s link)

    There are others who “follow” and participate in broader surveillance activities — the “Citizens on Patrol” (COPs — an unfortunate acronym), among others. It’s time for an in-depth investigation of how America is being “policed.”

  40. “…and light needs to be shed on these “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground” laws that are being encouraged/written by groups like ALEC.” -Elaine M.


  41. “Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot.” -from the Orlando Sentinel account provided by shano

    And that was the beginning of the end for Trayvon. Zimmerman had no business following him. (One account is that Zimmerman got out of his vehicle to check the street sign. Again, no need to get out of the vehicle. One doesn’t have to exit a vehicle to check a street sign.)

    Why did he pursue on foot? Because in his own words, “These assholes always get away.” And because Zimmerman was a cop wanna-be.

  42. anon nurse: One thing that puzzles me, Why didn’t Zimmerman identify himself to Trayvon? He could have said “Neighborhoood Watch” or some such thing, just to let Martin know his intentions!

  43. If any good is to come from this tragedy, I’d like it to be that not just the “Stand Your Ground ” laws come under a high level of scrutiny. I’d like for it to be that all ALEC sponsored legislation comes under a high level of scrutiny as well as the organization and its members in general and their general interference with and manipulation of the legislative process and the laws of the this country. ALEC exemplifies all that is wrong with the privatization/Corporatist plague that is destroying our democracy from within.

  44. Gene,

    How ALEC Is Creating Florida-Style Messes In Other States
    John Nichols on March 26, 2012

    Wisconsin is a rod-and-gun state, with a hunting history that has fostered traditions of broad gun ownership and respect for the right to bear arms.

    So how did Wisconsin get saddled with a “Castle Doctrine” law that mirrors some of the worst aspects of the Florida legislation that’s now at the center of the controversy over the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

    Not because sportsmen and women, law enforcement officers, legal scholars or grassroots citizens decided Wisconsin should borrow bad ideas from distant states.

    Wisconsin has a “Castle Doctrine” law because the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate-funded group that aligns special-interest organizations and corporate donors with pliable legislators, made the Florida law “model legislation.” Then ALEC-aligned political insiders such as Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, a national ALEC task-force member, and Governor Scott Walker, an ALEC alumnus, introduced, passed and signed “Castle Doctrine” legislation — despite warnings from Wisconsin law enforcement leaders and responsible gun owners that it was a poor fit for the state.

    How poor a fit became evident last week, when the district attorney in Wisconsin’s Washington County announced that he would not pursue a serious inquiry into the death of Bo Morrison, a 20-year-old Wisconsinite who was shot and killed in the village of Slinger. Morrison, who had been at a underage drinking party that was broken up by the police was one of a number of young people who ran and hid in the surrounding neighborhood. He was hiding on the porch of an adjacent home when the homeowner — who knew police were in the area — shot him in the chest. The DA determined that the homeowner was protected from prosecution by the state’s new “Castle Doctrine.”

    The Wisconsin case is complicated, and no one has suggested that Morrison was a perfect player. But he was unarmed. And there is no evidence that he physically or verbally threatened the shooter. For that reason, the decision of the DA , and the narrowing of options for a proper investigation by the “Castle Doctrine, has provoked outrage from citizens and some legislators. State Representative Chris Taylor, a Madison Democrat and a lawyer who was outspoken in her opposition to the measure last year, now says: “It is heartbreaking that the legislature allowed this reckless law to go forward and now a young man is dead,” concluded Taylor. “This law encourages people to resort to vigilantism and use deadly force instead of calling the police. This is a barbaric law that must be immediately repealed.”

    But how did the legislature enact a measure that is so out-of-synch with the state’s traditionally well-reasoned approach to gun rights, self-defense protections and the rule of law?

    Wisconsin circumstance is like that of many states that find themselves with laws that owe more to the heavy hand of the American Legislative Exchange Council — and the determined lobbying of the National Rifle Association — than to realities on the ground of the concerns of citizens.

    The genesis for the Wisconsin law Wisconsin was a 2005 Florida law, which provided immunity to individuals who use deadly force against unarmed persons who they imagine to be threatening. The Wisconsin law provides that immunity for shootings that take place on or around dwellings, businesses and vehicles, while the Florida law includes broader “stand your ground” language that protects shootings in public spaces. But the distinction is slimmer than it seems, as Wisconsin statutes extend the definition of a “dwelling” out to porches, fence lines and sidewalks.

    Florida’s law was sponsored by Republican legislators who were ALEC members. They dismissed explicit and repeated warnings that this measure would encourage shootings like that of Trayvon Martin. The same went for Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who signed the measure and declared it a “common sense” reform.

  45. shano 1, March 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    anon nurse: One thing that puzzles me, Why didn’t Zimmerman identify himself to Trayvon? He could have said “Neighborhoood Watch” or some such thing, just to let Martin know his intentions!



    Absolutely. I didn’t say it, but wondered, as well. That’s exactly what many would do, in the same situation.

    But the more that I think about it, he probably didn’t do so because he had already decided that Trayvon was “up to no good.” His comments to 911, as I recall them (paraphrasing loosely): He’s messed up, he’s on drugs or something. He had already decided that Trayvon was guilty of something: “These assholes always get away.” (repeating myself)


    And what Gene said. Given the domestic program of which I’m aware, our democracy is most certainly being destroyed “from within”, as Gene noted. If we hit this problem from all angles, we might just have a fighting chance.

  46. ALEX and the NRA are just part of the problem. Community Policing, while on its face, benign, is anything but…

    Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the “Homeland” is a collaborative project with Truthout and ACLU Massachusetts.

    The New Surveillance Society: How “Community” Policing Follows Your Every Move

    “A new notion of “community policing” has emerged, where monitoring communities has taken the place of solving crimes.”

    TruthOut and ACLU Massachusetts / By Nancy Murray and Kade Crockford

    September 8, 2011

    Surveillance now is everyone’s business, as the line between intelligence-gathering and crimefighting rapidly fades and the public is conditioned to play its part.

    The work of Deputy Police Chief Michael Downing of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) exemplifies the new surveillance paradigm. The head of the 750-strong counterterrorism force within the LAPD, he is on the hunt for “people who follow al-Qaeda’s goals and objectives and mission and ideology.” He says his officers collect intelligence and practice the “essence of community policing” by reaching out to Muslims and asking them to “weed out” the “hard-core radicals.”

    He adds that he is pleased that many Muslims have adopted the LAPD’s iWatch program and are prepared, along with the general public, to call in tips about suspicious activity. With “violent Islamists” as his main target, Chief Downing is also keeping track of “black separatists, white supremacist/sovereign citizen extremists and animal rights terrorists.” If threats materialize, he can draw upon the LAPD’s “amazing” backup capacity – SWAT units, direct-action teams, air support, counterassault teams and squads that specialize in disrupting vehicle bombs.

    Here we see several of the components of the new surveillance society. A militarized police force no longer leaves intelligence work to federal authorities. It seeks out information about anything that can be connected to “suspicious” activity and is keeping track of certain individuals and groups whether or not there is evidence that they are engaging in criminal activity. Police are expected to chase down unsubstantiated tips from the public, and not just to pursue evidence of wrongdoing. A new notion of “community policing” has emerged, where monitoring communities – with all the trust issues that this implies – has taken the place of winning community support by being accountable to residents and solving crimes.

    The LAPD is one of some 3,984 federal, state and local agencies now collecting information about “suspicious activity” that could be related to terrorism. The Washington Post’s “Top Secret America” series states that 854,000 people now hold “top-secret” security clearance. We estimate that’s about one for every 215 working-age Americans. An additional 3 million people reportedly hold “secret” security clearance.

    The federal government spends more annually on civilian and military intelligence than the rest of the world put together – $80 billion is a conservative figure, according to the October 28, 2010, Post. This is in addition to the $42-plus billion allocated to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the spending on intelligence activities by the LAPD and other state and local police forces. The homeland security industry is flourishing, with lucrative contracts being awarded to Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and other major defense contractors. (end of excerpt)

    (Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the “Homeland” is a collaborative project with Truthout and ACLU Massachusetts.)

  47. The first thing that bothered me about this case, after the fact the ‘investigation’ seemed anything is that it was assumed it was racial without any basis other then Mr, Martin was an African American male. To me regardless of his color it s hould not have happened and needed to be taken more seriously. The possibility (probability) of a hate crime only makes it more heinous but someone was killed, in cold blood, y some guy who seems to have thght he was in the old west, Florida legislators giving him, saldy, reason to think so.
    I hope one major outsome of this is the revocation of these laws . (and thanks for the info on ALEC. I had never heard of that until a post a few days back and did not know what it stood for until now. Skull and Bones, citizens united, and Alec, perfet trifecta.)

  48. Although I hope the authorities have or mean to competently vet this unknown witness, their shameful track record in this case to date leaves me utterly hopeless.

  49. It has all been so tainted now, by all the media speculation and suppositions, it may ber too late to trust anyone who comes forward. And how in the world could you find un unbiased jurypool?

  50. First the heart hurts when I read someone say that the last sound before the shot was a teenaged wail of despondency.
    Can you imagine Trayvon on top, situation under control, he thinks; and Z. gets a chance to pull the gun, points it and pauses to savor the moment and the look in Travon’s eyes when he realizes he’s a dead boy.
    And Z. pulls the trigger anyway instead of saying: “Back off.”
    No, he pulls the trigger on an unarmed person—-that he knows now.
    He is a cold-blooded murderer.
    If it was as above with Trayvon on top, then it should have been some of his blood on Z’s shirt. Evidence. Arrest and secure the evidence, including weapon.

    Don’t look for justice anymore until
    Close all citizen surveillance programs.
    Legalize pot.
    Attack the roots of problems, not the expression of them.
    All narcotic sentences for simple possession should be commuted to one year (so as to give time for repatriation to society)
    All other narcotics sentences, except for those involving heavy trading, violence etc should be maxed with 66 percent rebate.
    Demount all wars, including on terror.


    Elect Gene H. as President. Do you accept the nomination?
    Elaine as Vice
    Blouise as CIA
    SwM as Defense
    Lottta as State
    Mike S as FBI
    Tony C for Energy
    MCM for Culture ( a new post)
    MM for poetry (also new)
    OS for whatever he likes
    and Dredd for future planning (also new post)
    Bdaman to drive the Iranians mad
    TalkingDog to run Agrobusiness
    ANON to help Bdaman
    and OS to outfox our other foreign opponent in unexpected planning.
    and me for nit-picker in chief

    and selected others as congressmen and SCOTUS. Turley as Chief Justice.

  51. AN
    thanks for the bad news. will store it handy and pass on when can.
    just to give us something real to be “terrorized” by, it’s actuality is almost comforting. the boodiemen you can’t imagine are worst. Now all we have to do is look at the patrolcar and imagined five unmarked ones in addition.

    Have they started selliing bug searching equipment at Walmarts yet?

    We must quote POGO again.
    “We’ve met the enemy, and they are us.”

  52. A few words from RFK:

    “Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I’m only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening, because I have some – some very sad news for all of you – Could you lower those signs, please? – I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black – considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible – you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

    We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization – black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

    For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

    But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

    My favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

    Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
    falls drop by drop upon the heart,
    until, in our own despair,
    against our will,
    comes wisdom
    through the awful grace of God.

    What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

    So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love – a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

    We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past, but we – and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it’s not the end of disorder.

    But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

    And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.”

    Courtesy Alan Grayson

    Bedtime. BFN

    Thank you very much.

  53. If I were Zimmerman, I would have shot Martin too!
    Except I would have shot him earlier and from inside my SUV!

    My guess is that his SUV has power windows… Anyone got one without power windows?

    Yes, I would have shot a picture or video of Martin. You know showing all the vicious skittles and ice tea….

    The power windows? So he could open the window (and close it from drivers side) so the flash didn’t obliterate the pic.

    Now, I just wonder if Zimmerman told a photo of his prize after he was shot, or does he have some prior to shooting him… Internet, home computer, phone?

    Did Sherriff “Do-Screw-All” confiscate phone, CD’s, or computer…

    Anyone on Facebook check out Zimmerman’s profile?

  54. That Zimmerman should have to stand trial, even if this new evidence is credible, is obvious. He pursued and intervened where and when he shouldn’t have and his criminal culpability must be adjudicated, even based on a reading of the evidence that is most favorable to him.

    However, given Elaine’s exhaustive exposure of the role that ALEC plays in all this I’d like to briefly ruminate on ALEC’s possible motivation for pushing “stand your ground” laws. Sure there are the gun sales and NRA motivations, but I think it is something even more sinister. Large corporations now employ armed security officers, or have their own internal security/intelligence divisions. These laws give license for this hired “army” to aggressively protect corporate interests, without liability. Imagine the possibilities? Looks more and more like feudalism every day.

  55. I don’t believe neighborhood watch volunteers should be armed. The Guardian Angels aren’t probably to avoid this kind of violence.

  56. Scuban 1, March 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I don’t believe neighborhood watch volunteers should be armed. The Guardian Angels aren’t probably to avoid this kind of violence.
    My understanding is that the manual says carry no heat.

    The key is to have more eyes and ears in the neighborhood, not more killings.

  57. Mike,

    As I’m sure you know, the US has more people in prison than China, a police state and dictatorship. And the Private Prison industry is a sure fire ROI in this economy.

    Hey Idealist, please think again before sharing with us your jerk-off fantasies, gun porn squicks me out most of the time, your particular flavor of it, superimposed with your favored stereotypes and bigotries is just that much dumber.

  58. Anon,
    I did know that about US incarceration, we are number one in the world, with Russia a distant second. I even did a post about it awhile back dealing with the fact that Black Americans are the largest group of those incarcerated.

  59. Elaine M. 1, March 26, 2012 at 9:57 am


    I know what ALEC is. That was not my question. I posted an excerpt from Paul Krugman’s op-ed.

    BTW, I wrote a post about ALEC last summer:

    Smart ALEC: The Organization That May Be Helping Corporations Write Legislation for Your State
    Way cool.

  60. Dredd,

    I had never heard of ALEC until early last year. I found out about the organization when I was doing research for some of my Turley Blawg posts.

  61. SANFORD — Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin was suspended from school in October in an incident in which he was found in possession of women’s jewelry and a screwdriver that a schools security staffer described as a “burglary tool,” The Miami Herald has learned.

    Trayvon, who claimed that an unnamed friend had given him the jewelry, was not disciplined because of the discovery, but was instead suspended for graffiti, according to a Miami-Dade Schools Police report obtained by The Miami Herald.

    A lawyer for the dead teen’s family acknowledged Trayvon had been suspended for graffiti, but said the family knew nothing about the jewelry and the screwdriver, calling the information in the report an attempt to “demonize” the youth.

    According to the report, on Oct. 21 staffers monitoring a security camera at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School spotted Trayvon and two other students writing “W.T.F.,” an acronym for “What the f—,” on a hallway locker, according to schools police. The security employee, who knew Trayvon, confronted the teen and looked through his bag for the graffiti marker.

    Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described the screwdriver as a burglary tool.

    Trayvon was asked if the jewelry, which was mostly women’s rings and earrings, belonged to his family or a girlfriend.

    “Martin replied it’s not mine. A friend gave it to me,” according to the report. Trayvon declined to name the friend.

    School police impounded the jewelry and sent photos of the items to detectives at Miami-Dade police for further investigation.

    “Martin was suspended, warned and dismissed for the graffiti,” according to the report prepared by Miami-Dade Schools Police.

    That suspension was followed four months later by another one, in February, in which Trayvon was caught with an empty plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it, the boy’s family’s attorney has confirmed. A schools police report obtained by The Miami Herald specifies two items: a bag with marijuana residue and a “marijuana pipe.”

    more here

    Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin

  62. By all means this thuggish behavior had to end. I’m with bdaman on this one, why else would he need a weapon? You know only people that smoke weed would ever post graffiti, his conduct is exemplar in all aspects.


    Paul Butler on Trayvon Martin and Racial Profiling

    by Paul Butler
    Mar 26, 2012


    Law professor Paul Butler on surviving as a baby-faced young black man, becoming a prosecutor to change the system from the inside—and why racial profiling is counterproductive to keeping communities safe and free.
    I became a prosecutor because I wanted to help victims, and not be one—of the police, or of another black man. The fact that Trayvon Martin was killed by a non-black man is one of the reasons that this case is so high profile. The police have a name for the more typical black-on-black crime: routine homicide. The closure rate on those cases is often less than 50 percent. And nobody marches or signs petitions or puts those victims’ photos on their Facebook wall.

    So there is still a crying need for law-enforcement interventions that work to keep communities of color both safe and free. And for law enforcement to understand that racial profiling is counterproductive to this effort. Too often police and prosecutors just don’t get it.

    For example, officers of the New York Police Department, in certain black and Latino neighborhoods, act like slightly less trigger-happy George Zimmermans. They stop black and Hispanic men for virtually any reason, and they rarely find anything incriminating. In one neighborhood, the cops made more than 40,000 stops, and found just 25 guns—a hit rate of less than 1 percent.

    Meanwhile, violent crime in that community is going up. The tragedy of racial profiling is not only that it’s ineffective; it makes many of its victims hate the profilers—whether they are police, security guards, or neighborhood-watch people. And that causes a breakdown in trust that makes public safety even more problematic. (end of excerpts)

  64. What Everyone Needs To Know About The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)
    By Judd Legum on Mar 26, 2012

    Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”

    Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:

    1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]

    2. The Sanford Police selectively leaked irrelevant, negative information about Martin. The authorities told the Orlando Sentinel this morning that Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days “after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.” There is no evidence that Martin was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death, nor would prior possession of marijuana be a reason for killing him. It’s unclear what the relevance of the leak was, other than to smear Martin. [Orlando Sentinel]

    3. On Fox News, Geraldo said that Martin was dressed “like a wannabe gangster.” Bill O’Reilly agreed with him. The sole evidence is that Martin was wearing a hoodie. Geraldo added that “everyone that ever stuck up a convenience store” was wearing a hoodie. [ThinkProgress; The Blaze]

    4. Without any evidence, prominent right-wing bloggers suggested that Martin was a drug dealer. Right-wing blogger Dan Riehl advances the theory, also advanced in a widely linked peice on a site called Wagist. There does not appear to be any evidence to support this claim whatsoever. [Riehl World View]

    5. Without any evidence, a right-wing columnist alleged that Martin assaulted a bus driver. Unlike Zimmerman, Trayvon has no documented history of violence. This allegation continues to be advanced by a blogger on the Examiner even after the real reason was leaked to the police and confirmed by the family. [Miami Herald; Examiner]

    6. Zimmerman’s friend says Martin was to blame because he was disrespectful to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver said that Martin would not have been shot to death if Trayvon had just said “I’m staying with my parents.” Of course, Zimmerman was not a police officer, and Trayvon had no duty to tell him who he was or where he was going. [NBC News]

  65. The new eyewitness “John” has stated to the Police that Zimmerman was being beaten up by Martin and that Zimmerman was the one crying for help. As John went to call the police he heard a gunshot. This new evidence guarantees no trial for no grand jury will let this move forward.

  66. Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described the screwdriver as a burglary tool.

    And why did Zimmerman get involved with the neighborhood watch program. Oh that’s right, because of a recent rash of burglaries.

    Trayvon recently moved to Sanford from Miami and was serving out his suspension from the Dade County school system in Sanford.

  67. “I still find the fact that Zimmerman was armed and outweighed Martin to be the most significant.”

    I don’t see why this is significant at all. Zimmerman was an overweight, out of shape guy: 5’9 and over 200 lbs. Probably not much muscle. Martin was a 6’3 150lb football player.

    If Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose, knocking him on his back as the witness stated, the weight difference would be meaningless.

    And the fact that Zimmerman had a gun would also be meaningless if he didn’t pull it out until after Martin was on top of him slamming his head on the ground.

  68. Let’s say Mr. Martin did get suspended, he did write graffiti, smoked weed, and heck, stole jewelry. Was he doing it that day? How would Zimmerman know of this ‘alleged history”? No excuse for Zimmerman not charged. Murder is murder whether the victim is a good white kid with no issues whatsoever in his background, a white punk who smokes, etc or an african american, asian, (pick your ethnicity).

  69. Dishonoring Trayvon Martin
    New details in the case don’t undermine the charge that Sanford cops acted irresponsibly — they underscore it
    By Joan Walsh

    It was all too good to be true.

    Last week even conservatives expressed concern about the way Sanford, Fla., police handled the death of unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, one month ago today. Florida’s Tea Party Gov. Rick Scott asked for an outside investigation, and another Tea Party favorite, Rep. Allen West, fumed, “This is an outrage.” Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it “an incredible tragedy” and said, “I’m glad it’s being investigated and we’ll take a look at it as the investigation moves along.” Then President Obama made a cautious comment of sympathy with Martin’s parents, noting, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” and our Kumbaya moment predictably ended.

    What wasn’t quite as predictable was the last few days of push-back on behalf of accused shooter George Zimmerman – helped along by Sanford Police. Of course Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty. New details indicating there was a struggle between Martin and Zimmerman might turn out to be true. But nothing in those details undermines the argument that the cops botched the handling of Martin’s death – in fact, they underscore that case.

    If Zimmerman was indeed hurt in a scuffle with Martin – and news reports suggest he was bloody and bruised, with head lacerations that came from Martin pounding his skull into the sidewalk – why are there no photos? Why wasn’t Zimmerman taken to a hospital? The fact remains: An unarmed teenager was shot dead, and the man who shot him faced no rigorous interrogation. Can anyone believe that if the circumstances were reversed, and the young black man was the shooter, he’d have walked away without at minimum a meticulous collection of evidence? It’s hard to imagine he’d have walked away at all. The police were entirely too quick to believe Zimmerman had to shoot the boy in self-defense.

    Also Monday we learned that Martin had been suspended from school because officials found an empty baggie that once held marijuana (that’s after Geraldo Rivera told us he brought on his own death by wearing a hoodie). Wow. A teenager might have smoked weed. Stop the presses. There is indeed something outrageous about that story – and it’s the fact that Martin was suspended for having merely an empty bag that once held weed under Miami’s “zero-tolerance” drug policy. I happen to think marijuana should be decriminalized, and I also believe schools have gone too far with their “zero tolerance” rules. This was a young man described as an A and B student who “majored in cheerfulness.” He had no known arrest record. It’s not too much to say that Trayvon Martin would still be alive if he hadn’t been suspended; he only visited Sanford in the first place because he was out of school.

    And what does Martin’s suspension have to do with this case, anyway? That and other details are now being selectively released by Sanford Police, whose early reports about what happened were noteworthy for their factlessness. Why are police helping impeach the character of Trayvon Martin, while selectively confirming details that suggest he was the aggressor? (That wasn’t the worst attempt to smear Martin, by the way. Michelle Malkin’s website Twitchy posted a photo it claimed was Martin in saggy pants, giving the finger — and later was forced to admit it wasn’t Martin. It’s still making the rounds on conservative and white supremacist sites, anyway.)

    We still don’t know what happened on the night of Feb. 26. Zimmerman’s friend, Joe Oliver, has been making the rounds of television news shows saying Martin was the aggressor, and his friend was scared for his life. Oliver, who happens to be black, minimizes reports that Zimmerman was a regular 911 caller, who’d called 911 at least 46 times in the last seven years, often about suspicious-looking young black males, one of whom was 9. Oliver also suggested that Zimmerman said “fucking goon,” not “fucking coon” on the 911 tape the night Martin died, and added the befuddling notion that “goon” may have been a term of endearment. (Update: According to Reuters, Oliver did not hear the story from Zimmerman but was “relating stories told to him by Zimmerman’s mother-in-law, a close friend of Oliver’s wife.” Oliver turns out to have worked as a news anchor here in San Francisco, at KPIX and KRON.)

    For what it’s worth, teachers and others who knew Martin say they don’t believe Zimmerman’s version of events (as told through Oliver). “There’s no way I can believe that, because he’s just not a confrontational kid,” his football coach, Jerome Horton, told the media. “It just wouldn’t happen. That’s just not that kid.”

  70. @leejcaroll

    “Let’s say Mr. Martin did get suspended, he did write graffiti, smoked weed, and heck, stole jewelry. Was he doing it that day? How would Zimmerman know of this ‘alleged history”? No excuse for Zimmerman not charged. Murder is murder whether the victim is a good white kid with no issues whatsoever in his background, a white punk who smokes, etc or an african american, asian, (pick your ethnicity).”

    It means that, contrary to the image previously being built by the media, Martin might not have been such a perfect angel. That doesn’t mean he was doing anything wrong that night, but it at least lends some credibility to the possibility that he threw the first punch in accordance with Zimmerman’s story.

    Strange how you didn’t comment on all the background information that was being dug up on Zimmerman to prove his guilt, but you latched on to this like a leech.

  71. GWLawGrad99,
    You may be as you claim a lawyer, but you know nothing about criminal law it seems, except the sleazy kind. Zimmerman’s background was relevant because he had just shot a teen for being suspiciously Black. The police, despite credible evidence to the contrary did not question Zimmerman at headquarters and in fact just blandly accepted his statement as true. If all the evidence were the same except a switch in races the “Black Zimmerman” would have been placed in custody, photographed and put through intensive interrogation. If you can’t see this then your legal education has gone for naught where ethics are concerned. The rush to demonize Martin is because people like you eat it up, so that you don’t have to see the truth of the matter.

  72. GWlawgrad. glad youre proud of your pedigree but pedigree doesn’t mean that you are a good, bad, smar tor dumb just as Mr. Martin;s alleged background does not mean he should have been shot.
    Mr. Martin is not here to speak for himself, the dirt on him is being spread to make it look like Mr. Zimmerman had cause to suspect Martin of spurious reasons for his being in a hoodie and eating skittles.
    Funny you leeched onto my comment but none of the others whose sentiments I have echoed.
    The background on neither is relevant unless Zimmerman had a history of calling the police on a lot of people just being in the neighborhood, or that he was not a member of a recognized watch group, if he was intoxicated that night (since police never took tests), used a racial slur in reference to Martin, had a preconseption, obsession, history of findine blackmen, or men in hoodies “suspicious” merely because of their color or clothing.
    (also used


    Newly awakened I check the mail to see what the busy USAers have done whilst I slept.
    Voilá, I have been favored by the attentions of one of my favo assholes, if one can have favorites in that category.
    No matter what he says, if he had approved I would be worried. All is shit, he says.
    Then all is OK in my heart.

  74. ANON
    Could you offer a bit of proof in your mud-slinging, or were you just jerking off yourself.
    Wikipedia says. —–A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own or intolerant of people of different political views, ethnicity, race, class, …

    So give us an example. If not, go shove your head back up your ass, where it usually resides. It smells terriible when you pull it out.

    PS Guess you liked my little nomination of you in my list of power people.
    Some have powers they don’t suspect, like you.

  75. Mike Spindell1, March 27, 2012 at 12:33 am

    You may be as you claim a lawyer, but you know nothing about criminal law it seems, except the sleazy kind.

    Naw, naw. Lawyer, practicing??? Naw.
    He’s just a jerk-off staffer for some bigot senator. There’s lots of them, and with the right family name, the right religion, the right connections you can get a nice place inside the Beltway.

    Or you can be a wannabe, who’s still a shit out in the nowhere, wanting a little adventure in his dull dreary life..

    Having had my morning constitutional, I bid goodbye to Mr. Gräddfil, Esq.

    Gräddfil, it the creamed lane exclusively reserved for folks with connnections. Matches perhaps the sleazy slinker here.

    PS I mean no disrespect to religions, they can’t help being invented.
    I just dislike those people who pretend to be guided by them, and only use them as social makeup and a treasure trove of sayings useful in besmirching others.

  76. Yesterday I was listening to Zimmermans attorney speak…. Apparently he is either deficient in skills, misspoke or lacks understanding in the law of “self defense ” apparently at this time he is not going to rely upon the “stand your ground” but the doctrine of self defense….. OK… Really now….. There ain’t no difference……they are one and the same….. The statue just expands the ability…..

  77. I’ve been extremely occupied and am woefully behind the curve on may items, so if this thought is redundant, please forgive me.

    Has it been argued that Martin was simply standing his ground?

  78. Fact Sheet: ALEC, the NRA, the Castle Doctrine and Trayvon Martin
    Connecting the Dots Between ALEC, Wal-Mart, the NRA, and the Florida Law Cited By Some to Immunize Trayvon Martin’s Killer
    Nick Surgey

    (Prepared by Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy, and Nick Surgey, Common Cause)

    * Early on the evening of February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, an African-American, in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Trayvon, whose body was not identified until days later, was walking home after buying Skittles and tea. Zimmerman claimed the shooting was in self-defense. Citing a recent Florida statute known as the “shoot first” law or “Castle Doctrine,” police did not charge Zimmerman and did not seize the gun used to kill Trayvon.

    * That Florida law became the template for “model” legislation endorsed and promoted nationally by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a non-profit entity funded by major corporations and interest groups including Koch Industries and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The bill expanded the long-standing right of self-defense by extending criminal and civil immunity to shooters who feel threatened by another, creating a statutory “right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force. . .”

    * ALEC has an annual budget of approximately $7 million and claims that hundreds of its model bills become law each year. It hides its inner workings, including the fact that its model bills often are drafted and always are pre-approved by corporations and lobbyists. ALEC calls itself the nation’s largest group of state legislators, but 98% of its funding comes from corporations and sources other than dues from elected officials.

    * In August 2005, in Grapevine, Tex., NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer asked legislators and lobbyists at a closed-door meeting of ALEC’s “Criminal Justice Task Force” to adopt the Florida “Castle Doctrine” bill as an ALEC model bill. The NRA said her pitch “was well received,” and the bill was approved “unanimously.”(1)

    * At that time, ALEC’s public-private Criminal Justice Task Force was co-chaired by Wal-Mart(2)–the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammunition.(3) ALEC’s staffer for the task force was Chris Oswald a former “State Liaison” for the NRA.

    * Corporate representatives and state legislators on ALEC Task Forces have equal votes on proposed model legislation,(4) so the Florida law was ratified by Wal-Mart and its 2005 public sector co-chair, Texas Rep. Ray Allen, along with other state legislators and corporate lobbyists. It was endorsed by a representative of the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation, according to minutes of the meeting issued by ALEC.(5)

    * In September 2005, that bill was adopted by ALEC’s National Board of Directors, which has a procedure to allow model bills to be approved if there is no objection. The public sector portion of the board was chaired by Georgia state Rep. Earl Ehrhart; the corporate board included Koch Industries, Altria (parent of Philip Morris), Coors, Bell South, and Verizon. (ALEC says its corporate board does not vote. Corporations and elected officials have an equal vote in the task forces, where model bills are adopted, however.)

    * At the next ALEC Criminal Justice Task Force meeting, in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, in 2006, the NRA’s representative to ALEC, Tara Mica, reported on the “continued success” in securing passage of ALEC’s “Castle Doctrine” bill in other states.(6)

    * In 2007, an ALEC “Legislative Report Card,” boasted that the ALEC/NRA Castle Doctrine bill had been introduced or passed in numerous states.(7) ALEC also highlighted ALEC legislators who had introduced versions of the model bill, including Texas state Sen. Jeff Wentworth and Rep. Joe Driver.(8)

    * To date, more than two dozen states have adopted Castle Doctrine bills with ALEC/ NRA DNA.(9) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an ALEC alum, signed into law an NRA-backed bill with some provisions similar to the ALEC bill in 2011. Similar bills are pending in other states.

    * The Florida bill that became the ALEC model was signed on April 26, 2005 by Gov. Jeb Bush, with the NRA’s lobbyist, Marion Hammer, standing alongside.(10)

    * NRA President Wayne LaPierre said NRA lobbyist and former president Hammer “conceived” of the Florida bill and lobbied it into law. (11) She ridiculed opponents of the bill, calling them hysterical, and helped the bill’s co-sponsors, Florida state Sen. Durell Peaden (R-Crestview) and Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), get it passed.

  79. “This includes the possible use of the gun in a struggle of control of the weapon.”

    So lemme get this straight…

    I spot a Random Guy acting “suspiciously”.
    I walk up to RG and demand that he explain his behaviour.
    RG presumably tells me to mind my own effing business.
    I pull out a gun and wave it in his face.
    RG pegs me as a dangerous nutcase and tries to grab my gun.
    At this point…SYG law allows me to kill RG because I’m afraid he might shoot me with MY gun as a result of MY provocation??


  80. Trayvon Martin’s Family Vows To Keep Fighting Amid ‘Character Assaults,’ Official Leaks
    By Trymaine Lee
    Posted: 03/27/2012

    Benjamin Crump, a family lawyer, would ask why the police ran a background check and a drug and alcohol test on Martin but not Zimmerman.

    He’d ask why Zimmerman was allowed to go home with the same clothing he wore when he killed Martin, essentially allowing possible evidence to walk away with him. He’d ask why it took three days for authorities to release Martin’s body to his family.

    “This family wants to have faith in the system,” Crump would say, faith that the family is slowly losing.

  81. Oro Lee,
    “Has it been argued that Martin was simply standing his ground?”

    Don’t know. But it doesn’t work too well in Florida if you don’t get your gun out first—–as displayed here and previously.

    But it seems a very good point. What gave Z. the right to take the law’s expanded powers in his hands? Just because he was armed and drew first.
    Screwed up logic.

    Good stuff OL

  82. Want to know why the state of Arizona is so wacky, unjust and depressing?

    ALEC rules all our politicians here.

  83. The “Trayvon Martin had it coming” narrative

    Black men are treated as menaces every day. At 17, Trayvon may have done what most of us know we can’t: Confront it

    By Kai Wright,

    Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012


    If Zimmerman and the cops are to be believed, Martin did what so many of us know we can’t. Like when someone asks if it’s safe in your neighborhood, and you want to reply, sure, expect for the white women we keep as sex slaves. Or when the school counselor says your kid has an anger problem and special needs. Or when the cop tells you to quit loitering on your own damn block. You got a problem? Well, now you do.

    That was Trayvon Martin’s approach. Hey, he was just a kid. He hadn’t learned the subtle art of disarming the racism that can come flying at you when you’re walking home from the store. The fact that the racism in this instance came flying from a Latino man isn’t relevant. Martin’s killer could’ve been black and it wouldn’t change the circumstances. All of us live in a country in which black men are defined as pariahs. All of us consume that message in ways both overt and implicit and, on some level, far too many of us use it to excuse the brutality we can see all around us.

    Like I said, Trayvon Martin was marked for death already, statistically at least. As a black infant, he was more than twice as likely to die as his white peers. In his teens, he was at least one and a half times as likely to meet an early death as his white peers. Homicide is the leading cause of death for black men his age, and comes at a rate many times every other racial or ethnic group. If he had reached his 20s, he had a 1 in 8 chance of going to prison, because that empty bag of marijuana he had at school would have meant something very different for him than it does for the middle class white kids who use drugs at higher rates. He’d have gone on to live in a country in which nearly 4 in 10 black children live in poverty, in which 1 in 4 black households lack food security.

    The fact is the U.S. often seems like it’s built to kill black people. This is not to say racism is equally lethal today as it was even a single generation ago. But it is to say that the same set of deeply ingrained ideas about what black people have coming to us justified the brutality of yesterday and today alike. And one particular manifestation of those ideas routinely leads to the early death of men like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

    Of course, this violent manifestation of white supremacy is not visited upon black male bodies alone. Indeed, as Tea Party candidates like Nevada’s Sharron Angle reminded us in the past election cycle, we must very much begin to see Latinos in the same way—lurking, dangerous, illegal. Fear and loathe them. If you encounter them on a dark street be ready to go to arms. And so Latino men have a lengthening gruesome roll call, too.

    Surely all these people have done something to bring the murder, the poverty, the brutality down upon themselves! That’s America’s unique twist on systemic oppression. We cage people, then call them animals. We starve people, then jibe them for being malnourished. We write laws that allow people to gun down unarmed children and then make the child the aggressor. And so now Trayvon Martin will be all manner of sinner—a pothead, a dropout, a ne’er-do-well with a temper problem who had it coming. But what he will indisputably be is dead, like too many before him and surely many after him. He had it coming, as a black man in America.

  84. The crux of it, IMHO:

    Crump added that the most important evidence in the case is the 911 tape, which reveals that Zimmerman did not listen when an operator told him he did not need to get out of his car and pursue a hooded teen he deemed suspicious.

    “The only thing that matters on Feb. 26 is George Zimmerman disobeyed the police and got out of his car and pursued and stalked Trayvon Martin to cause this fatal encounter,” said the Martin family lawyer.

  85. “The only thing that matters on Feb. 26 is George Zimmerman disobeyed the police and got out of his car and pursued and stalked Trayvon Martin to cause this fatal encounter,” said the Martin family lawyer.

    It’s too bad that the “crux” of the case isn’t based on facts.

    Martin did not disobey the police. The person he was on the phone with was not a police officer. In fact, it wasn’t even a 911 operator. Further, the call taker did not tell Zimmerman not to follow the suspicious person. The call taker asked Zimmerman if he was following, When Zimmerman said that he was, the call taker said “We don’t need you to do that”. When combined with the fact that the call taker had no authority to control Zimmerman’s actions, it’s kind of ludicrous to claim that Zimmerman disobeyed anybody.

  86. idealist: Prescott. The reddest county in this red state, it used to be the territorial capitol. McCain/Palin made their concession speech here to a huge crowd in 2008. The Goldwater family had a department store here…

    I would love to live in “liberal” Tucson

  87. PJ,

    As shano said, Zimmerman “had no authority to police this neighborhood.” He had no business pursuing Martin. His self-appointed job was “to watch”, but he chose to do more than simply “watch” and someone is dead. Zimmerman was a cop “wanna-be” and overstepped. We’ll see how it all turns out in the end.

  88. shano,

    Zimmerman had all the authority he needed to “police” his neighborhood. He was doing what good neighbors do when they have been the subject of numerous burglaries. He watched for and reported suspicious activity.

    According to the police report, Martin engaged Zimmerman, not the other way around. However, even if Zimmerman engaged Martin to ask why he was in the neighborhood, he would have done nothing wrong.

  89. nurse,

    Just because you don’t want to take an active role in looking out for your neighborhood, that doesn’t deprive those of us willing to do so from it.

    Zimmerman would have been fully within his rights to walk up to Martin and ask what he was doing there. Martin would have been within his rights to refuse to answer.

    According to the police report, Martin attacked Zimmerman. ——do you think Zimmerman bloodied his own nose and the back of his head, and put grass stains on the back of his own shirt in order to make it look convincing?

    This comes down to one thing: Was the use of deadly force justified when Zimmerman was attacked? Everything else is just an appeal to everyone’s emotions.

  90. “His self-appointed job”

    He was a voluntary member of the neighborhood watch. Even if he was, as you say, “self-appointed”, as a member of that community, he had all the justification and authority he needed to identify and follow someone he deemed to be suspicious. If you want to claim otherwise, support you position with more than whining.

  91. This is one nurse who never “whines”, PJ. I don’t know many who do. ;-)

    “he had all the justification and authority he needed to identify and follow someone he deemed to be suspicious.” -PJ

    PJ, I agree that he had “the justification and authority… to identify someone he deemed to be suspicious.”

    As for “the justification and authority to follow”, you’ll have to explain that one.

  92. PJ:

    “, he had all the justification and authority he needed to identify and follow someone he deemed to be suspicious. If you want to claim otherwise, support you position with more than whining.”


    Police Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”

    Zimmerman: “Yep.”

    Police Dispatcher:”Okay, we don’t need you to do that.”

    So the rule, PJ, is to read everything; talk less; think more.

  93. PJ,

    According to numerous reports, Zimmerman was “a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain.” The operative word is “watch.”

    From the following “” link:

    “The Neighborhood Watch Program fosters collaboration and cooperation with the community and local law enforcement by encouraging citizens to be aware of what is going on in their communities and contact law enforcement if they suspect something – NOT take the law in their own hands,” continued Executive Director Kennard. “The alleged participant ignored everything the Neighborhood Watch Program stands for and it resulted in a young man losing his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Trayvon Martin during this terrible time.”

    NSA Statement on the NW Tragedy in FL

    Alexandria, VA – For nearly four decades, the Neighborhood Watch Program (housed within the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)) has worked to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a nation-wide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities.

    The purpose of the Neighborhood Watch Program is to enable citizens to act as the “eyes and ears” within their community and alert law enforcement immediately when they notice suspicious activity. However, the Neighborhood Watch Program does not in any way, shape, or form advocate citizens to take the law in their own hands. The success of the program has established Neighborhood Watch as the nation’s premier crime prevention and community mobilization program. Visible signs of the program are seen throughout America on street signs, window decals, community block parties and service projects.

    “The alleged action of a “self-appointed neighborhood watchman” last month in Sanford, FL significantly contradicts the principles of the Neighborhood Watch Program,” stated NSA Executive Director Aaron D. Kennard, Sheriff (ret.). “NSA has no information indicating the community where the incident occurred has ever even registered with the NSA Neighborhood Watch program.”

    “The Neighborhood Watch Program fosters collaboration and cooperation with the community and local law enforcement by encouraging citizens to be aware of what is going on in their communities and contact law enforcement if they suspect something – NOT take the law in their own hands,” continued Executive Director Kennard. “The alleged participant ignored everything the Neighborhood Watch Program stands for and it resulted in a young man losing his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Trayvon Martin during this terrible time.” end of statement

  94. PJ: Trayvon had just as much right to be in that neighborhood as Zimmerman. Exactly the same rights.

    Why didn’t Zimmerman identifiy himself as ‘neighborhood watch’ if that was indeed what he was doing.
    Because Trayvon was being stalked by a stranger, he was a teen, and I do not blame him for striking out after Zimmerman pushed him (according to phone call with Trayvons girlfriend)

    There was a physical reason that phone call was abruptly cut off. Trayvon did not get to say good by to his friend, something happened.

    And you speculate that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman? The phone call does not support this. Only Zimmerman SAYING he was “attacked”, that is your only proof.

  95. PJ 1, March 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm


    Just because you don’t want to take an active role in looking out for your neighborhood, that doesn’t deprive those of us willing to do so from it.



    Could you define “active role?” What are the limits of those in Neighborhood Watch programs, given your understanding? How about the limits of “Citizens on Patrol” and/or retired, law enforcement officers who may be participating in these programs?

  96. @PJ

    “Zimmerman had all the authority he needed to “police” his neighborhood. He was doing what good neighbors do when they have been the subject of numerous burglaries. He watched for and reported suspicious activity.”

    Authority: the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.

    He had no authority.

    He watched for what he considered to be suspicious activity.
    He called the police.
    He was told not to follow the ‘suspect’.

    Any possible hint of “authority” stopped dead when he was told not to follow.
    He had no authority.

    “According to the police report, Martin engaged Zimmerman, not the other way around. However, even if Zimmerman engaged Martin to ask why he was in the neighborhood, he would have done nothing wrong.”

    He followed.
    He got out of his vehicle,
    He engaged the ‘suspect’
    All this despite the fact the the police had told him *not to follow*

    “According to the police report, Martin engaged Zimmerman”

    Are you/police proposing that Martin
    – stalked Zimmerman
    – dragged him out of his vehicle
    – made an unprovoked assault on Zimmerman

    Where was Martin in relation to Zimmerman when he was shot? A proper technical examination will show that.
    Was it Martin that shouted “No!” Would that not imply that the mere threat of the gun would have been sufficient to stop any fight?

    Zimmerman is a wingnut. He’s a fantasist.
    He was playing cops and robbers – but with a real gun.

    Martin’s death was entirely due to Zimmerman’s fantasy role play. He had been told not to follow. He did more than follow. He got out and engaged.

    The actions of the police appear to have been grossly incompetent at the very best interpretation.

  97. As for “the justification and authority to follow”, you’ll have to explain that one.

    nurse, If you don’t understand what it is that permits us all to move freely, I can’t teach you that on a blog. Maybe you would do better to identify what law would prohibit Zimmerman from following Martin. Free people aren’t restricted from movement.

  98. “I do not blame him for striking out after Zimmerman pushed him (according to phone call with Trayvons girlfriend”

    supporting hyperlink?

  99. I’ll refer you to mespo’s comment — he summed it up nicely.

    mespo727272 1, March 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm


    “, he had all the justification and authority he needed to identify and follow someone he deemed to be suspicious. If you want to claim otherwise, support you position with more than whining.”


    Police Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”

    Zimmerman: “Yep.”

    Police Dispatcher:”Okay, we don’t need you to do that.”

    So the rule, PJ, is to read everything; talk less; think more.

    (end of mespo’s comment)

  100. PJ,

    Let me repeat this, in case you missed it:

    The National Sheriffs’ Association Statement:

    “The Neighborhood Watch Program fosters collaboration and cooperation with the community and local law enforcement by encouraging citizens to be aware of what is going on in their communities and contact law enforcement if they suspect something – NOT take the law in their own hands,” continued Executive Director Kennard.

    “The alleged participant ignored everything the Neighborhood Watch Program stands for and it resulted in a young man losing his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Trayvon Martin during this terrible time.” (entire statement)

  101. Seems to me that if Martin confronted Zimmerman, Martin was standing his ground.

    So much confusing info. Hope a good investigation lets us all know what really happened. Lawyers, bloggers, talking heads, none of us really knows what we’re talking about in terms of what really happened. Evidence, please, from those who know, and it ain’t us.

  102. The point sweet cakes is TrayVon was a thug want to be. There ain’t no chance of that happening now. Now look at his mommie taking advantage of his name. Can you believe that she wants to make money off of his memory? Creepy people doing creepy things.

  103. VenganceNow:

    “The point sweet cakes is TrayVon was a thug want to be. There ain’t no chance of that happening now. Now look at his mommie taking advantage of his name. Can you believe that she wants to make money off of his memory? Creepy people doing creepy things.”


    Prove it.

    What mommy does doesn’t matter. Seems you like to lump people together for judgment. The old guilt by association mentality. There was a German guy who thought like that, too. He was all about vengance [sic] just like you. Does that make you like him?.

    See anybody –absolutely anybody –can play guilt by association; that’s why it’s not wortth much.

    Lastly, calling someone “sweety cakes” that you don’t know is demeaning and haughty. Believe me, no one reading your comments thinks you lord over anyone at all.

  104. Vengance (sic), sweety pie, cupcake, etc.

    You know you resemble my ass in that you stink of s–t. (sorry ladies)
    And you know that I’m glad you’re not my ass, because it would be swelled up, red, constipated and good for nuthin’..

    How do you like that sassing. You came here just to irritate. Troll.

    Can’t understand why people give you a decent answer. Waste of breath.

  105. Sanford Police throw pot at Trayvon Martin
    By Jonathan Capehart

    According to the Sentinel, “Police have been reluctant to [provide] details about all their evidence, but this is what they’ve disclosed to the Sentinel” before rattling off a raft of details. And it was how this list began that raised a red flag.

    Zimmerman was on his way to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon walking through his gated community.

    Trayvon was visiting his father’s fiancee, who lived there. He had been suspended from school in Miami after being found with an empty marijuana baggie. Miami schools have a zero-tolerance policy for drug possession.

    Zimmerman called police and reported a suspicious person, describing Trayvon as black, acting strangely and perhaps on drugs.

    There is no way the Sanford Police Department (SPD) knew on the night of Feb. 26 that Trayvon had been suspended from school. That’s relevant since the account the SPD is providing is from that night. Meanwhile, keep in mind that Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, called the sheriff’s department the next day to file a missing-persons report. That’s when the police went to the house with photos of Trayvon’s dead body. He had been taken to the morgue and tagged as a John Doe.

    Was it then that police quizzed Martin about his son? Is that how they got the marijuana-suspension detail? That bit of information fits neatly with what Zimmerman said during his infamous 911 call that a “suspicious” person who was “up to no good” and “perhaps on drugs.” Also, why is such a detailed accounting of Zimmerman’s side of the story being leaked by someone within the Sanford Police Department, instead of being officially released?

    Trayvon’s parents have been clear from the beginning: They don’t trust the Sanford Police Department. This leak does nothing to assuage their fears that the SPD can’t be trusted. At the news conference this afternoon, Martin said, “Even in death they are still disrespecting my son.” Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, said that Zimmerman killed her son and “now they are trying to kill his reputation.”

    If the SPD had spent as much time conducting a proper investigation as it appears to have spent on crafting a defense of its woefully lacking actions, Trayvon Martin’s parents — and the nation — wouldn’t be in an uproar right now.

  106. Report: Investigator Had Wanted Manslaughter Charge For Zimmerman
    The latest development comes as leaks from both sides attempt to reshape the public narrative of Trayvon Martin’s death.
    By Josh Voorhees and Abby Ohlheiser
    Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    UPDATE: ABC News with the latest scoop: The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of Trayvon Martin originally recommended that police charge George Zimmerman with manslaughter the night of the shooting.

    The network, citing “multiple sources,” reports that Investigator Chris Serino was instructed, however, not to press charges against Zimmerman because the Florida state attorney’s office had determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction.

    ABC News also reports that Zimmerman was brought to the police station for questioning “for a few hours” on the night of the shooting, despite his request for medical attention first, and that Serino filed an affidavit on the night that Martin was killed that stated he was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s version of events.

  107. I like that police work Elaine…… It’s more common that you know…… Build a case with the facts you have rather than building a case based upon the facts…..

  108. PJ,

    George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case: Experts say neighborhood watch groups shouldn’t be armed

    MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press

    Posted: 03/22/2012


    ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Neighborhood watch groups were designed to be the eyes and ears of police — passively observing what they see and reporting back to law enforcement — not to enforce the law themselves.

    Most neighborhood watches follow the rules, and confrontations are rare. But after the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in a Florida gated community, criminal justice experts say police departments and watch groups need to make sure volunteers do not take matters into their own hands.

    “First thing: You do not engage. Once you see anything, a suspicious activity, you call the number that the police department has given you,” said Chris Tutko, director of the Neighborhood Watch program at the National Sheriffs’ Association, which launched the neighborhood watch concept 40 years ago as a response to rising crime.

    Tutko said he was flabbergasted to learn about a watch captain’s shooting of the 17-year-old Martin last month in Sanford, Fla. Civil rights groups have demanded the arrest of the captain, George Zimmerman, who has said he shot Martin in self-defense. The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation.

    Tutko said it’s highly unusual, and highly discouraged, for a neighborhood watch to be armed.

    “You do not carry a weapon during neighborhood watch,” he said flatly. “If you carry a weapon, you’re going to pull it.”

    Tens of thousands of watches have been formed across the United States over the decades. Some patrol gritty urban neighborhoods where volunteers walk a beat; others monitor sparsely populated areas with houses that are miles apart.

    Regardless of location, the message from law enforcement is always the same: Do not intervene. Do not try to be a hero. Leave the crime-fighting to the police.

    “We don’t want to see somebody taking the law into their own hands,” said Philadelphia police Sgt. Dennis Rosenbaum.

  109. Only poleeeees are allowed to kill folks on suspicion, and are they charged?
    You know the answer. Are they tried. Same o, same o.
    Jim Crow forever.

    Want some genuine blues? Try Eric Bibb with Booker’s Guitar on Telarc.
    He’s black but lives in Finland. It was recorded in USA.

  110. Woosty,

    Thanks for the Lehrer.
    Remember well Hold your hand and Be Prepared….BoyScout (marching song) from my youth in the 50’s, Can that be right date wise?.

  111. House Holds Forum on Racial Profiling and Hate Crimes in Wake of Trayvon Martin’s Killing

    Posted by Dennis Parker, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:25pm



    The tragic shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has left the country shocked and ashamed. In response to this tragedy, the U.S. House of Representatives today is hosting a Democratic forum titled “Protecting a “Suspect” Community: Forum on Racial Profiling, Federal Hate Crimes Enforcement and “Stand Your Ground Laws”. The ACLU, along with other national political, social and media leaders have joined the Martin family in seeking justice for the death of this young man, who by all accounts had a bright future ahead of him.

    Today’s hearing is an opportunity to discuss how we as a nation want to ensure that young men like Trayvon are not the victims of vigilante justice and racial profiling.

    The FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have announced that they will undertake an investigation; these agencies should investigate not only the circumstances around Trayvon’s killing, but also the patterns and practices of the Sanford Police Department more generally. And while we are encouraged by the commitment of state and federal agencies to investigate the circumstances surrounding Trayvon’s death, we don’t want to lose sight of the need to not only uncover what happened that tragic night but also to review the initial local investigation. There are still unanswered and very troubling questions about the Sanford Police Department’s response to the incident.

    Unfortunately, Trayvon Martin’s case is just one example of the Sanford Police Department’s disturbing history of responses to incidents that involve African-Americans. In 2006, two private security guards, the son of a Sanford police officer and a volunteer for the department, shot and killed an African-American teenager with a single gunshot to his back. Although the guards admitted to never identifying themselves, they were released without charges.

    More recently in 2010, the son of a Sanford Police Department lieutenant, Justin Collison, assaulted a homeless African-American man outside a bar. The officers responding to the scene released Collison without charges. After video tape of the incident surfaced, Collison eventually surrendered to police. The police chief at the time was ultimately forced into retirement, but the sergeant in charge of the Collison case was also the first supervisor on the scene where Trayvon Martin was shot to death.

    In addition to an investigation into the history of problematic police conduct in Sanford, Fla., the ACLU also supports a thorough investigation into whether the Trayvon Martin shooting was a federal hate crime. Since news reports indicate that the shooter, George Zimmerman, may have uttered a racial epitaph while pursuing Trayvon Martin, it is necessary to consider the possibility that a hate crime was committed. Federal investigations and prosecutions of hate crimes serve as a significant deterrent; they also reaffirm the national consensus that it is abhorrent and culturally unacceptable for people to be targeted because of their race, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or other characteristics.

    Congress can play a significant role in the wake of this tragedy by fully funding the Civil Rights Division of DOJ, so that it has the resources to investigate civil rights violations by law enforcement across the nation, passing the End Racial Profiling Act and urging the administration to strengthen the Department of Justice Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement.

    As important as a complete investigation of this incident is, we must recognize that this incident raises concerns that go beyond the actions of one man in Florida.Failing to take a clear, incisive look at the continuing association of young men of color with crime assures that these tragic incidents will continue leaving us to ask how many young people must die before we address the serious underlying problem of race in the United States.

    ACLU testimony:

  112. mr.ed

    The real question is did Zimmerman stop following Martin and begin returning to his car? If he did and Martin then pursued him, then the stand your ground law comes into play. One eyewitness has corroborated Zimmerman that Zimmerman was being assaulted by Martin so the real question is what I have stated.

  113. Jim:

    “The real question is did Zimmerman stop following Martin and begin returning to his car?”


    The problem with Zimmerman’s position is that it is directly refuted by the affidavit of Trayvon’s girlfriend who was not aware of Zimmerman’s claim when she signed the affidavit. So who you believe the armed cop wannabe with a reason to fabricate or the girlfriend who told her story without knowing it contradicted Zimmerman at the time she gave it?

  114. Jim:

    Come on, Jim. A guy who refuses to give his name and talks only behind a door to the press or the girlfriend who is available to police. By the way, how do you explan the discrepancy. Did the girlfriend just “know” what defense Zimmerman would concoct and the set out to dispute it because she’s biased?

  115. mespo, I wonder if somebody will tell this Jim person it is a really bad idea to lie to the FBI? Martha Stewart found that out the hard way.

    I am eagerly awaiting for the professionals to arrive. I really dislike trial by media and death by a thousand leaks.

  116. nurse,

    Why quote Mespo when Mespo got it wrong. Zimmerman wasn’t on the phone with a “police dispatcher”. The city Manager released a statement identifying the person Zimmerman was on the phone with as a “telecommunications call taker”. Further, the “call taker” did not forbid/order Zimmerman not to follow. The “call taker” only stated that they did not need Zimmerman to follow.

    Zimmerman was acting lawfully. So was Martin. It wasn’t until one assaulted the other that the activity became unlawful.

    Zimmerman had a bloody nose, lacerations on the back of his head and grass stains on the back of his shirt. -Consistent with his story.

    I’m still waiting for the autopsy report on Martin. If the bullet wound to his chest is his only injury, it would be consistent with Zimmerman’s story.

  117. Mespo,

    The girlfriend’s account is full of holes. How did she, on the other side of the phone, see Zimmerman push Martin? Does she have a personal interest in defending Martin?

  118. mespo727272

    You dodged my point. IF Martin did pursue Zimmerman then this is a game changer. We will know when all of the evidence comes out. Let the attorneys do their job and the grand jury do theirs, then we will know.

  119. PJ:

    Just so you don’t go around as ignorant as you appear in your comment,here’s the job description and the “emergency medical dispatcher” Zimmerman was talking to from the Seminole County website:

    The Seminole County Public Safety Emergency Communication Center provides centralized dispatch services for fire and EMS resources to all fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies operating as a part of the Seminole County First Response System. These municipalities include Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, Sanford, Winter Springs, and the unincorporated areas of Seminole County.

    The Emergency Communications Center is located in the combined Public Safety-Sheriffs Office complex located at 150 Bush Blvd. in Sanford, Florida.

    The Center operates a computer aided dispatch system that identifies and recommends for dispatch the nearest appropriate unit to an emergency. In addition, a traffic monitoring system displays real time video of major highways on monitors located in the Emergency Communications Center allowing Operators to actually see the incident and dispatch appropriate emergency equipment to the scene.

    All Operators working in the Emergency Communications Center are certified Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD) and are trained to provide life saving instructions to callers during emergency medical situations.

    The Division provides after-hours dispatch services for the Animal Services Division and other county operational departments and divisions.

    In case of an emergency, citizens and visitors should dial 911 to access the nearest PSAP to their location where a 911 Call Taker will make the following statement:

    “911, Do you need Police, Fire or Medical?”

    You will be prompted for the following information:

    Describe the emergency situation.

    Locations of the emergency (Street address and nearest cross street).

    The telephone number you are calling from.

    Additional questions may be asked depending on the type of emergency. In the event of a medical emergency, an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) will ask specific questions and provide medical pre-arrival instructions while emergency units are enroute to the emergency scene.

    Good sidestep, though. Now maybe you can answer my question: how does the girlfriend refute Zimmerman’s story through her apparent bias if she didn’t know about it in the first place?

  120. Jim:

    “You dodged my point. IF Martin did pursue Zimmerman then this is a game changer.”


    No dodge, Jim, an dteh answer is maybe so, maybe, no. If Martin pursued Zimmerman in anticipation of Zimmerman going to his truck to get a weapon, he may not be criminally liable. If, like Zimmerman, he had no reason fear for his safety and wanted to initiate a fight then Zimmerman did have the right to defend himself. The problem with the theory is that we’ll never know what Martin thought because Zimmerman destroyed any possibility of that evidence coming out. Thus we are left with assessing Zimmerman’s credibillity to determine what happened.

    To do that, we have to look at what we do know. What we do know is that a witness exists who has stated, under oath, facts totally inconsistent with Zimmerman’s version of events, all without knowing what Zimmerman would say about what happened. How would you rule on her credibility, Jim? Come on, Jim. It’s first year law school stuff.

  121. PJ:

    You’ve got a knack for hair splitting; it’s reading that’s got you foiled. No one said it was an emergency call, merely that he was talking to a Emergency 911 Dispatcher. That’s what your link says both explicitly and implicitly since Zimmerman’s voice is clearly heard on the released 911 tapes. Martin family lawyer, Ben Crump, has the audio affidavit and it was played for the press.

    You’ll have to wait for that apology until you stumble onto to something that’s accurate. Keep pitching. I like batting practice.

  122. A clarification regarding the collection of Zimmerman’s clothing…

    Claim: Sanford police failed to collect key evidence in the case: the clothing of George Zimmerman, the gunman who killed Trayvon.

    Not true, police said. They took his clothing as well as Trayvon’s and packaged it for crime-lab analysis. A spokeswoman for Special Prosecutor Angela Corey would not disclose Tuesday where the clothing is now, but she wrote in an email that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement “is assisting with the processing of physical evidence.”

  123. Sanford cops wanted to charge Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case
    Sanford cops asked prosecutors to file charges in the Trayvon Martin case, but the Seminole County State Attorney’s office held off.
    By Frances Robles

    SANFORD — Despite public claims that there wasn’t enough probable cause to make a criminal case in the Trayvon Martin killing, early in the investigation the Sanford Police Department requested an arrest warrant from the Seminole County State Attorney’s office, the special prosecutor in the case told The Miami Herald on Tuesday.

    A Sanford Police incident report shows the case was categorized as “homicide/negligent manslaughter.”

    The state attorney’s office held off pending further review, The Miami Herald has learned.

    The Miami Gardens high school junior was killed Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. The 28-year-old insurance underwriter and college student was never charged, triggering a nationwide crusade on the dead teen’s behalf.

    Asked to confirm that the police recommended a manslaughter charge, special prosecutor Angela Corey said: “I don’t know about that, but as far as the process I can tell you that the police went to the state attorney with a capias request, meaning: ‘We’re through with our investigation and here it is for you.’ The state attorney impaneled a grand jury, but before anything else could be done, the governor stepped in and asked us to pick it up in mid-stream.”

    A capias is a request for charges to be filed.

    The Seminole County State Attorney’s Office declined to comment on whether its prosecutors ever recommended against filing charges.

  124. What witnesses say in the Trayvon Martin case
    By Moni Basu, CNN

    911 calls

    Residents of the gated community heard the gunshot.

    Seven 911 calls released by authorities document their fear.

    Someone screams, “help, help!” in the background.

    “There were gunshots right outside my house. There’s someone screaming. I just heard a guy shot,” a neighbor says. “Hurry up, they are right outside my house.”

    Another man cries for help. Then the gunshot.

    “Hurry, please. … There’s someone screaming outside,” a neighbor whispers. “There’s a gunshot. Hurry up. … There’s someone screaming. I just heard a gunshot.”

    In another call, a woman begs the dispatchers to send help, saying someone is “screaming and hollering” for help.

    Moments later, she describes a light at the scene of the shooting.

    “Oh, my God,” she says. “There’s still somebody out there walking with a flashlight.”

    Zimmerman’s call to police was among the 911 tapes released by police. Some people hear what sounds like a possible racial slur. CNN enhanced the sound of the 911 call, and several members of CNN’s editorial staff repeatedly reviewed the tape but could reach no consensus on whether Zimmerman used a slur.


    Mary Cutcher was in her kitchen making coffee that night with her roommate, Selma Mora Lamilla. The window was open, she said.

    “We heard a whining. Not like a crying, boohoo, but like a whining, someone in distress, and then the gunshot,” she said.

    They looked out the window but saw nothing. It was dark.

    They ran out the sliding glass door, and within seconds, they saw Zimmerman.

    “Zimmerman was standing over the body with — basically straddling the body with his hands on Trayvon’s back,” Cutcher said. “And it didn’t seem to me that he was trying to help him in any way. I didn’t hear any struggle prior to the gunshot.

    “And I feel like it was Trayvon Martin that was crying out, because the minute that the gunshot went off, the whining stopped.”

    The two women said they could not see whether Zimmerman was bruised or hurt. It was too dark.

    “Selma asked him three times, ‘what’s going on over there?’ ” Cutcher said. “He looks back and doesn’t say anything. She asks him again, ‘everything OK? What’s going on?’ Same thing: looked at us, looked back. Finally, the third time, he said, ‘just call the police.’ ”

    Martin’s girlfriend

    Benjamin Crump, the Martin family lawyer, says Martin’s girlfriend’s account of what happened connects the dots and destroys Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense.

    The girl, who did not want to be identified, said she was on the phone with the teen before the shooting.

    When Zimmerman got closer to Martin, she told her boyfriend to run, but Martin told her that he was not going to run, she said.

    “What are you stopping me for?” Martin asked Zimmerman, according to the girl.

    “What are you doing around here?” Zimmerman asked in response.

    The girl said she then got the impression that an altercation was taking place and that someone had pushed Martin, because the headset fell out of his ear, and the phone shut off.

  125. In Trayvon Martin case, it’s not about the hoodie
    By Leonard Pitts Jr.

    This week, someone leaked information that Martin had been suspended from school for possessing an empty marijuana baggie. It was also reported that Zimmerman claims Martin attacked him from behind, a version of events supposedly corroborated by witnesses. This would contradict other witnesses (the ones police initially blew off or never even bothered to contact) who paint Zimmerman as the aggressor who followed and shot a black kid he found “suspicious.”

    And beg pardon, but if some armed, unknown person were stalking you for some unknown reason, might you not choose to hit first and ask questions later?

    But this is not about Trayvon Martin being an angel.

    Geraldo Rivera of Fox “News” said last week that Martin died because of his choice of clothing. “His hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman did,” he said, arguing that seeing a “kid of color” wearing a hoodie ignites certain feelings of “scorn” and “menace.”

    Rivera called the statement, for which he later apologized, “politically incorrect.” Actually, it was just cowardly and dumb. Unlike, say, sagging pants, a hooded sweatshirt is a functional garment, (i.e., it provides protection against cold and wet) that is worn by black, white, male, female, young, old, college kids and street kids. Martin wore his against a persistent drizzle as he walked home from 7-Eleven, but apparently, Rivera finds something sinister in black and brown kids wearing what everybody else wears in the rain. Shall we restrict them to umbrellas from now on?

    But this is not about a fashion statement

    As to what it is about, consider a passage in Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, in which she argue s that “what it means to be a criminal in our collective consciousness has become conflated with what it means to be black, so the term white criminal is confounding, while the term black criminal is nearly redundant.”

    Nearly redundant.

    This, then, is what killed Trayvon Martin, the fact that we are so stubbornly convinced of that redundancy that a boy walking home carrying nothing more threatening than Skittles and iced tea can become a source of terror sufficient for a George Zimmerman to stalk him and to kill him.

    It doesn’t matter if he wore a hoodie.

    It doesn’t matter if he punched Zimmerman.

    It doesn’t matter why he was suspended from school.

    What matters is that he is unavailable for comment about those things, and always will be. What matters is that none of them changes the essential truth of what this is about.

    Though innocent of any crime, Trayvon Martin was gunned down by George Zimmerman. He was sacrificed for all our fears.

  126. NRA Begins Selling Hoodies With Pocket To Conceal Handguns
    The National Rifle Association has a new item in its online store: hoodies, with a special pocket designed to conceal a handgun. Hooded sweatshirts have taken on new meaning in the last week as a symbol for Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed while wearing one last month. Last week, Geraldo Rivera speculated that it was Trayvon’s hoodie that was to blame for his death, sparking widespread criticism. “We want concealed carry to fit around your lifestyle — not the other way around. That’s why we developed the NRAstore exclusive Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt,” reads the product description. If enough people buy them, Rivera may be right to assume some hoodies can be dangerous.

  127. Thanks Elaine
    “….“Zimmerman was standing over the body with — basically straddling the body with his hands on Trayvon’s back,” Cutcher said. “And it didn’t seem to me that he was trying to help him in any way. I didn’t hear any struggle prior to the gunshot.

    “And I feel like it was Trayvon Martin that was crying out, because the minute that the gunshot went off, the whining stopped.”

    The two women said they could not see whether Zimmerman was bruised or hurt. It was too dark.

    “Selma asked him three times, ‘what’s going on over there?’ ” Cutcher said. “He looks back and doesn’t say anything. She asks him again, ‘everything OK? What’s going on?’ Same thing: looked at us, looked back. Finally, the third time, he said, ‘just call the police.’ ”

    Two things: Z. got his kicks pointing the gun at Trayvon to savor the moment while Trayvon wailed his despair, as he knew he would soon be dead. A most heinious crime.

    Z. had shot to kill, wanted him dead, knew he was dead and did NOT say call an ambulance. Was he in shock after killing someone? No, he was already covering his ass from the first words spoken. I
    t was very cold blood.
    The only thing he risked was a beating, hardly life or limb threatening violence.
    But now he had his chance for revenge all on who had mistreated him in his life. A guy who has commited battery on a cop gets a license to carry a gun. Sheesh..

    Does Floriday execute murderers. He should get it in which case.
    Or lifetime buggery.

  128. The Conservative Agenda in the Trayvon Martin Case
    By Kevin Drum
    Mar. 27, 2012

    Has there been any public controversy in recent memory as disheartening as the Trayvon Martin case? I don’t mean the killing of Martin itself, though. That’s certainly disheartening, but it’s hardly unique. I mean the political reaction to it.

    A week ago, the worst I could say about right-wing reaction to the Martin case was that conservatives were studiously ignoring it. But that was a week ago. Since then, conservatives have entered the arena with a vengeance.

    But why? At first glance, there’s no obvious conservative agenda here. They might, in the abstract, want to defend the “Stand Your Ground” laws that have suddenly drawn the public’s attention since the Martin shooting. But the shooting itself? There’s no special conservative principle at stake that says neighborhood watch captains should be able to shoot anyone who looks suspicious. There’s no special conservative principle at stake that says local police forces should barely even pretend to investigate the circumstances of a shooting. There’s no special conservative principle at stake that says young black men shouldn’t wear hoodies.

    But as Dave Weigel points out today, the conservative media is now defending the shooter, George Zimmerman, with an almost messianic zeal. There’s a fake photo of Trayvon Martin making the rounds, and even after it was debunked it’s still making the rounds:

    Why is the fake photo so popular? It’s part of a new cottage industry of “truth about Trayvon” content, calibrated to convince people that they really shouldn’t worry about the implications of this killing. Why, the kid wasn’t even a saint! He might have been shot after brawling with the man who creeply followed him around the gated community? The Drudge Report has become a one-stop shop for Trayvon contrarianism.

    Unfortunately, it’s not really a cottage industry at this point. More like a mammoth, smoke-belching factory. When I opened my LA Times this morning, for example, I found Jonah Goldberg staring back at me, explaining that we shouldn’t really care about Trayvon Martin because:

    Martin’s tragic death is a statistical outlier. More whites are killed by blacks than blacks killed by whites (or “white Hispanics”). And far, far more blacks are killed by other blacks. Indeed, if we’re going to use the prism of race to analyze murder rates, then the real epidemic is that of black murderers.

    Quite so. And that, it turns out, is the conservative principle that’s actually at stake here: convincing us all that traditional racism no longer really exists (just in “pockets,” says Goldberg) and that it’s whites who are the real racial victims in today’s America. Heh indeedy.

  129. @Mespo “That’s what your link says both explicitly and implicitly”

    explicitly? Then you don’t know the meaning of the word “explicitly”.

    911 is reserved for EMERGENCIES. Neighborhood Watch personnel are, as a general rule, told to report suspicious, but non-emergency, activity to the police department via the non-emergency line. Though those calls are recorded, they are not answered by emergency dispatch personnel.

    The City Manager EXPLICITLY states that Zimmerman called the non-emergency number. That EXPLICITLY means that he did not place a 911 call.

    You call it “hair splitting”. I call it a more accurate portrayal of the evidence.

    The City Manager EXPLICITLY states that Zimmerman’s call was received by a “telecommunications call taker”. The only thing implied there is that a person answered the call instead of a machine.

  130. Elaine M.1, March 28, 2012 at 9:42 am

    NRA Begins Selling Hoodies With Pocket To Conceal Handguns


    Isn’t the crux of the NRA’s argument against gun control that most guns are owned by responsible people, usually rifles for hunters? Because this is a pretty blatant move towards supporting and capitalizing on a gun culture with a significantly different raison d’etre….

    Are there any new gun control bills in the pipeline? ’cause I sure do hope so…

  131. Conservative Media Smears Trayvon Martin
    Ben Adler on March 27, 2012

    Most of the conservative media have not only sided with Zimmerman but smeared the dead boy. On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera suggested that Martin had invited trouble by wearing a hooded sweatshirt, as millions of law-abiding young Americans, myself included, regularly do. He later appeared on the O’Reilly Factor to defend himself from charges that he was blaming the victim. Bill O’Reilly commiserated with Geraldo that he was being unfairly maligned, just as O’Reilly had been when he said that a young woman who goes out and gets drunk invites whatever misfortune may subsequently befall her, including murder.

    Other conservatives have gone to shocking and disgusting lengths to impugn Martin. The Daily Caller—a lowbrow smear machine run by the overgrown preppie Tucker Carlson—published Martin’s Twitter feed. The DC doesn’t explain why Martin’s tweets are even remotely relevant, because they are not. But the implication, just like reports that Martin was suspended from school for possessing an empty bag with traces of marijuana, is that by being a normal teenager he was a bad person who deserved what happened to him.

    Some of the worst actors of all in this affair have been the local police, working in concert with lazy or biased reporters. They have taken Zimmerman’s word as fact, notwithstanding his enormous incentive to lie and the fact that the other witness, Martin, is dead at Zimmerman’s hand and unable to respond. Consider this sensationalized, one-sided, irresponsible lead from the Orlando Sentinel on Monday:

    With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told the Orlando Sentinel.

    That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say.

    It opens as if Martin beating up Zimmerman were established fact, when it is actually merely Zimmerman’s account. The police have repeatedly cited, and in this case leaked, Zimmerman’s side of the story as justification for their inaction. (Lawrence O’Donnell gave the Sentinel reporter an appropriate dressing down on MSNBC Monday night.)

    Martin’s mother is understandably suspicious that the police are also behind the revelation of his school suspension.

    Meanwhile, the conservative media has been eagerly lapping up these reports to justify Martin’s killing.

    Much of the right wing media has sided with Zimmerman on starkly racial grounds. Consider this blog post from Red State:

    The left is in full spin mode now that the crazies of the New Black Panther Party has assumed the spotlight in the Trayvon Martin controversy. They are in fact an arm of the Democrat party though. It’s just another example of how out of touch the Dem party has become to average folks. The NBP are embraced until of course they do something as crazy as putting a bounty on someone’s head until all the evidence is presented. The more we hear about this story the more evidence mounts that Zimmerman acted in self defense. He did have a broken nose and a head injury but all that evidence is brushed aside by the lefties. A witness stated that he was the one screaming for help but that is all but ignored by the left and race hustlers alike.

    “Average folks,” apparently, are white people, not families like Martin’s. (If you’re wondering what the obscure, marginal New Black Panther Party has to do with this case, the answer is nothing. They’ve offered a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman, and right wingers are gladly pretending that this has something to do with everyone else who is concerned that Zimmerman may be getting away with murder.)

    Even conservatives who have taken a reasonable stance on Martin’s murder itself are being deliberately blind about the larger implications. For example, multiple writers at National Review, while admitting Martin’s killing was unjustified, have complained that African-American politicians are noting that Martin was black and his assailant is Latino. “I do not think it is wise for the president to further inject race into the incident, when it’s not quite clear what role, if any, skin color played,” tsked NR’s Robert VerBruggen.

    Veteran race-baiter Newt Gingrich concurred, calling Obama’s expression of concern for the role race may have played in Martin’s killing “disgraceful.” In a naked appeal to racist white sentiment disguised as a plea for color-blindness, Gingrich asked, absurdly, “Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be OK because it didn’t look like him?” Gingrich’s comments, just like Zimmerman’s claims, were uncritically recycled on conservative Web sites such as World Net Daily.

  132. I don’t think that the right-wing/conservative defence of Zimmerman is primarily racially based.

    I think it’s more the whole Homeland Security & ZOMG-there’s-a-threat paranoia.

    Any suggestion that “the good guys” could be at fault is to be resisted. People yearn for certainty. They don’t want shades of grey. Note that I avoid the phrase ‘black and white’ – oops!

    Zimmerman is in Neighbourhood Watch. He’s been described as a “watch captain” for goodness sakes. He’s a “good guy”.
    To have the general populace accept that he’s actually a fantasising wingnut is to question the basis for a whole lot of comfort feelings.
    It questions the sanity of the Stand Your Ground laws
    It question the sanity of licencing someone like him carry a gun around the streets.
    How many other armed wingnuts are out on the prowl, waiting to be the hero in their fantasy?

    Oooh don’t go there.
    Much more comforting to support the “good guys”.

  133. The account presented by Martin’s girlfriend HURTS Martin.

    Girlfriend; “He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on.”

    Purpose? Obscure his identity? Any other good reason to put his hoodie on after noticing a man watching him?

    Girlfriend; “Eventually, he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.”

    So this 6’3″ 17 year old was running, and the pudgy 5’9″ 230 lb man caught him? And then VIA THE PHONE Martin’s girlfriend was able to identify that Zimmerman had “cornered” him? Give me a fuckin’ break.

    Girlfriend; “Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell.”

    What does “somebody pushing” sound like?

    Instead of being led by your emotions, start thinking about what is said.

  134. PJ:

    “Instead of being led by your emotions, start thinking about what is said.”

    Keep talking. You’re making the Martin family case for them. The girlfriend’s affidavit completely disputes Zimmerman’s version of events about being attacked from behind. She did so without knowing what Zimmerman would say about the incident or even knowing he claimed to have been unknowingly attacked from behind. How does one act out of bias to discredit the statement of another when she has no idea what the other person said? Answer me that, oh, swami and I’ll concede the point.

  135. @Mespo,

    Where’s the link to that “affidavit”? Was it taken shortly after the incident? Does it contain statements that are clearly beyond what could be determined by listening on the phone?

    Maybe you could provide a link to a YouTube video that demonstrates what a push would sound like over the phone.

  136. PJ,

    People just don’t understand the way things go. When you’re down people like to kick mud in this boys face. After all, this is Florida and they are just kicking sand. These guys are beach bully’s. Zimmerman will be vindicated. Spike lee should be ashamed of himself for putting any Zimmermans in harms way. You see how they operate, you know them by how they breed.

    If the junkie hadn’t been expelled from school he would not be dating his fathers girlfriend. You expect that line of thinking from someone from the left. It is awful how they are trying Mr. Zimmerman in the press.

  137. PJ:

    Keep quibbling with the facts as we all know them. It really does not enhance your argument. You can either prove the girlfriend is clairvoyant or keep quiet until something rolls around to support your rather biased version of events. By the way, it’s now come out that Trayvon may have made hsi own 911 call. If that’s true and coupled with the revelation that the cheif investigator wanted to bring manslaughter charges against Zimmerman, you’d better get used to seeing your guy in a “zebra” with a nine digit number across the front.

  138. I wrote above: “How many other armed wingnuts are out on the prowl, waiting to be the hero in their fantasy?”

    With a most unfortunate timing, Fox are about to release a movie – “Neighbourhood Watch”
    “Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and Billy Crudup star as a quartet of volunteer watchmen who ride around in a suburban community looking for trouble.”

    It’s a comedy – but now not as we know it.

    Fox are hoping that the fuss will have died down by the July release date. Apparently they are suspending distribution of the trailer (see in the above link).

  139. VenganceNow:

    ” You see how they operate, you know them by how they breed. …

    If the junkie hadn’t been expelled from school he would not be dating his fathers girlfriend.”


    1.There’s no evidence anyone involved is a junkie.
    2.No one was expelled from school. Trayvon Martin was suspended for a few days under a zero tolerance policy when marijuana residue was found on his person in a plastic bag.
    3.There is no evidence Trayvon was “dating” his father’s girlfriend.
    4. You’re playing every derogatory racial sterotype in the book which would tend to make one believe that you are a likely racist. PJ’s not. He ‘s just deluded.

    Now if I called you a redneck, beer-swilling, gun luvin’, skinhead with a sexual inadequacy problem, would that be nice? No it wouldn’t. So why not try a little kindness. It’s good for that soul of yours.

    Any other facts you’d like to make up for your fairy tale Third Reich?

    Let me know when you want some help spelling “vengeance.”

  140. Some people have no sense of logic. If the kid was fleeing because he was scared,and he had a cell phone, why did he take matters into his own hands instead of calling 911? The questions you are asking can be turned around.

  141. Zimmerman is only free because his father was a judge. And that is really troubling to me. 3 ‘incidents’ covered up for him in the criminal justice system and now a cold blooded, cowardly murder on his record.

    We have crony capitalism entrenched now, I do not want crony justice to become even more entrenched than it is already. Let there be a trial out in the open.

  142. “By the way, it’s now come out that Trayvon may have made hsi own 911 call.”

    And I “may” have witnessed the entire incident. I’m not saying that I did, but since it is possible, we should consider that I “may” have done so.

    Either Martin did call 911 or he did not. If he did, it must have been a conference call while his girlfriend was still on the line. Funny, she didn’t say anything about that.

    Do you think your way through these things, or just repeat them?

  143. PJ, Martin was on the phone almost entirely the whole time Zimmerman was stalking him. I think that is the reason he went to the store and was walking the neighborhood, in no hurry to get back, so he could have a private conversation with his girlfriend.

    That is what most teens I know do these days, or don’t you know any young people?

  144. 156 Elaine M. 1, March 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

    What about all the people trying to smear Zimmerman. If smearing is wrong then it is wrong for everybody.

  145. Jim,

    I don’t think anyone should be attempting to smear anybody else. I do believe we should be seeking out the truth in the killing of Trayvon Martin. What I find unconscionable is people smearing the reputation of a dead black teenager in an attempt to prove that Zimmerman’s actions were justified.

  146. I will correct that, TrayVon was not dating his fathers girlfriend, he was seeing her on the side. Don’t you know all people from Miami Beach are smoking weed or crack? Now your position is he was not in school because he was not a junkie, but the found weed in his back pack. I think he probably ate it like most mules do. So is it your point that he was a drug dealer now? You are not doing this kid any favors.

    Now, what is wrong about loving beer, sex with your daddy’s girlfriend, and owning a piece?

    The 3rd Right lives well in your heart.

  147. Trayvon Martin shooting: Debate over photos escalates
    By Dylan Stableford

    The initial image of Martin—released by his family and widely used by media outlets covering the racially charged case—appears to show him at a younger age.

    On Wednesday, the website Business Insider came under fire for posting a pair of what it claimed were more recent photos of Martin. The site later removed the photos after it was revealed that one, taken from a neo-Nazi website, was not Martin.

    A second, purportedly showing Martin with what appear to be gold teeth, was thought to be taken from Martin’s now-closed Twitter account. Numerous media outlets, including the Drudge Report and Yahoo News, used the photo in coverage of the case.

    The Daily Caller published the same photo along with 152 pages of what the site claims were Martin’s tweets. (If they were, the Twitter messages prove that Martin was a pretty typical high school male, preoccupied with girls, sex and getting out of class early.)

    “Our readers, and most Americans, are keenly interested in the personalities and character of the two men involved in the altercation in Sanford, Fla.,” Daily Caller executive editor David Martosko, wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. “This information, which was in the public domain for months before the Twitter account was disabled, fills in some of that information. We chose that photo of Trayvon Martin because it was the picture he chose to represent himself on Twitter—and also because, unlike the years-old photos of Martin that are accompanying most media reports, it represented what he looked like nearer to the end of his life.”

    Zimmerman’s supporters say that the media’s insistence on running photos of a younger Martin juxtaposed with a mug shot of the neighborhood watchman from a previous arrest is part of a predetermined narrative news outlets are presenting: a young, unarmed, innocent black kid, shot and killed by Zimmerman, a white, wannabe cop who disregarded a dispatcher’s warning not to follow Martin. (Zimmerman is Hispanic.)

    Twitchy, a new website recently launched by conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, ran the same purported photo of Martin that Business Insider erroneously published alongside a photo of a smiling Zimmerman. (“Nothing says fair like putting a mug shot looking photo in ‘county orange’ next to a 5 year old picture of the victim,” a note on Twitchy read. “But hey, two can play at that game.”)

    Malkin’s site later apologized: “The photo on the right is not of the Trayvon Martin who was shot by Zimmerman. We apologize to our readers and to the Martin family.”

    Like it or not, the images of the victim and the shooter have become as important in the court of public opinion as the facts.

    “I think it’s fundamentally an issue of accuracy,” Kenny Irby, a senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute, told the Sentinel. The grill, shown in the image of Martin purportedly taken from his Twitter account, is part of the “bad boy image” Zimmerman’s supporters want the media to circulate, because it would bolster Zimmerman’s claim that he acted in self-defense on the night of Feb. 26.

    “This has been a big part of how American society sees young black men,” Irby continued. “All of these images have assumptions.”

    “Here is where the media circus takes a decidedly ugly turn,” Eric Deggans wrote on the Times’ Feed blog. “Supporters of shooter George Zimmerman—including some conservative websites—are weighing in with attempts to turn Martin’s image from innocent kid to dangerous thug.”

  148. Elaine M. 1, March 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I agree! smearing anyone is wrong. This case got out of hand because many MSNBC convicted Zimmerman without all of the facts. I think what we really need in America is a conversation about what media should report and not report. Today’s journalists are not the journalists of 20 years ago. Sad!

  149. Jim,

    I think we need to look at the true root of the problem–the mishandling of the Trayvon Martin murder case. It may not have become a national story if all of the correct procedures were followed.

  150. Sanford Police Recommended Charging Zimmerman With Martin’s Death, But Police Chief Claimed ‘No Probable Cause’
    By Judd Legum on Mar 28, 2012

    The Miami Herald reports that the Sanford Police Department, at the conclusion of its Trayvon Martin investigation, recommended that the prosecutor file charges against the shooter George Zimmerman. Angela Corey, the special prosecutor now assigned to the case, confirmed the report:

    “As far as the process I can tell you that the police went to the state attorney with a capias request, meaning: ‘We’re through with our investigation and here it is for you.’ The state attorney impaneled a grand jury, but before anything else could be done, the governor stepped in and asked us to pick it up in mid-stream.”

    A capias is a request for charges to be filed.

    State Attorney Norman R. Wolfinger, who was initially assigned the Trayvon Martin case, failed to act on the recommendation for charges against Zimmerman.

    This new information directly contradicts the public statements that Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee (who has now “temporarily” stepped down) made on March 12, the day he turned the case over to the state attorney. He claimed that, at the time, there was not enough evidence to charge Zimmerman with a crime and arrest him:

    Police Chief Bill Lee said there was not enough evidence to arrest George Zimmerman, who followed Martin in his SUV and ended up confronting the teen before shots were fired.

    “In this case Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense,” Lee said. “Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”

    These statements now do not appear to reflect the actual views of the Sanford Police, as communicated to the prosecutor. It only adds to the serious questions about the conduct of Lee and other members of the Sanford police in this case. While Lee was in charge of the Sanford Police, they did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol, “corrected” a key witness, and amended the police report to bolster Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.

  151. VN
    U are so incorrect. Trayvon’s pappa was there with Trayvon, Trayvon’s little brother, all visiting his pappa’s girlfriend. So your sick mind has concocted some BS lies. If Trayvon had been high it would have been leaked by the pólice a long time ago.

    If wrong, show the evidence please, and stop slinging shit here.

    I will not make fun of your spelling, cuz’ the Swedish King can’t either, he’s a dystlektic, and barely can read.

  152. Shanon,

    Greetings from liberal Tucson. She did not know Tucson was liberal.

    Said to ask if you know of the film festival in early August. She and family will be visiting for the first time Prescott for the festival. Looking forward to the cool mountains, and a last fling before school starts in the beginning of August. Has old friends there.

  153. The Daily Texan Publishes Cartoon Calling Trayvon Martin ‘Colored Boy’
    By Adam Peck on Mar 28, 2012

    The Daily Texan, the student newspaper at the University of Texas-Austin, is facing charges of racial insensitivity after running a bigoted cartoon in their daily paper yesterday. The cartoon, seen below, calls Trayvon Martin a “colored boy,” and labels the news media’s coverage of the story “yellow journalism.”

    Some conservatives have been waging a smear campaign against Trayvon Martin for the last week, hoping to distract from the fact that an unarmed black teenager was shot by a community volunteer with a history of violence who remains a free man thanks to Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law that was supported by conservative groups like ALEC.

    As Campus Progress reports, The Daily Texan’s editorial staff has responded to the uproar by distancing itself from the cartoonist. The statement from the campus paper:

    A controversial editorial cartoon on the Trayvon Martin shooting was published Tuesday on the Opinion page of The Daily Texan. The Daily Texan Editorial Board recognizes the sensitive nature of the cartoon’s subject matter.

    The views expressed in the cartoon are not those of the editorial board. They are those of the artist. It is the policy of the editorial board to publish the views of our columnists and cartoonists, even if we disagree with them.

    You can see the cartoon at the link I posted above.

  154. The Sanford Police’s alleged, initial, clumsy efforts to “cover-up” their own questionable behavior was certainly not worse than the crime but may, eventually, become part of the crime.

    To all Police Departments across this nation who are used to doing such things … Heads up for you never know when the spotlight will come to your town … “A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones who need the advice.”

  155. Blouise,
    I was so proud of America when Bill Cosby’s show ran here in Swedish TV.
    That was, or was it just a chimera of, a different America.

    Now all the kids in Miami, interviewed in the midst of their walkout supporting Trayvon, were the only encouraging things I’ve seen lately.

    Did you see my tip on Eric Dibbs and Booker’s Guitar album?
    Maybe you don’t dig blues.

  156. Clear the Air
    Martin Bashir

    It’s now time to clear the air and to compound the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, it feels as though some people are trying to do to him in death, what George Zimmerman apparently did to him in life – attributing to this young man a character and a personality that they could not possibly know.

    And yet, they persist in imposing upon his slight young frame, an identity that implies criminality, juvenile delinquency and the all round characteristics of a troublemaker.

    This is not only deeply offensive to his family but also a gross form of character assassination upon a child, a dead child.

    Stories are now being carefully fed to certain sections of the media – that he was suspended from school after his bag was found to contain marijuana residue. That he once wrote graffiti on school grounds…wow! And, to top it all, the greatest act of social criminality for a kid of color – that he may have had a gold tooth. Wow! Call the police.

    Even if these petty incidents were true, what on Earth do they have to do with the fact that George Zimmerman chose to kill him?

    But let’s compare Trayvon Martin with the history of another man; only this one committed some real offenses and all of them after this 17th birthday.

    When this individual was 20, he was arrested for disorderly conduct after he got drunk and stole a Christmas wreath from a hotel. So that’s drunk, disorderly and theft.

    When he was 26, he took his 16-year-old brother on an underage drinking spree. He lost control of his car, hitting a garbage can but continued driving.

    When he was 30, he was arrested and found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. His driving license was suspended for two years, even though his friends tried to say that it was just for 30 days.

    Does this brief history make him a social wretch; a criminal with no regard for other road users; a drunk, a disgraceful influence upon young people, including his own 16-year-old brother?

    What do you want to call him? Scum of the Earth; hoodlum; criminal?

    In fact, America ended up calling him the 43rd President of the United States – George W. Bush.

    So, while you may be tempted to divert your attention from what really happened to Trayvon Martin, here are the only three facts that really matter:

    First: A man with a gun chose to pursue an unarmed teenager who had done nothing wrong.

    Second: The man with the gun chose to initiate a confrontation with the teenager, after he was advised not to.

    Third: As a result of the confrontation, the man with the gun shot the teenager to death. And when you focus on the facts, it’s not the color of his teeth that keep coming back to haunt you, it’s the color of his skin.

  157. Now we’re cutting down the greatest president we have ever known. Those were just youthful indiscretions.

  158. Elaine M:

    I see bigotry is alive and well at UT. Hook ’em, indeed.

    Here’s my comment to the Daily Texan:

    I anxiously await your broad-minded approach to cartoons glorifying murderous tyrants, child molesters, and Aggie football fans. After all, yours is just to present any old idea that some unsophisticated yet bigoted undergrad can reduce to pen and ink and “start the discussion.” I suggest that while the “artist” has the right to create such racist drivel, you have an obligation not to be her enabler lest you be lumped in with her. Just because someone puts out the trash doesn’t mean you have to wallow in it in deference to the First Amendment.

  159. Mespo, Elaine,

    I’d like to hear nals take on the “Daily Texan”….. They generally allow the students to run it lock stock and barrel….. One of the few student run newspapers with that type of freedom…

  160. Elaine M.:
    “When he was 30, he was arrested and found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. His driving license was suspended for two years”

    “Those were just youthful indiscretions.”

    30-year-old youth :)

    So that’s why he he didn’t serve in Nam. He was too young.

    Let’s hope that Mr Bush will grow up some day.
    At least before he becomes middle-aged – at 90

  161. SwM, note the police are not wearing rubber or latex gloves. They are following protocol by having him handcuffed, so if there was visible blood, they would be following hazmat protection as well. That is protocol for first responders everywhere. What does it all mean. There was no visible blood. You do not break your nose or have lacerations on your head without bleeding. Does not happen. I have looked at that video several times on full screen mode and cannot see any blood. So, the whole scenario about Zimmerman being injured was a fabrication. A fairy tale.

  162. Sure, take up for the aggressor. I am sure folks know how to photo crop pictures and artistically cover any portion that they do not deem desirable. Been done before, could be happening here. What do you want from a collared boy?

  163. Trayvon Martin: The 5 Key Unanswered Questions
    By Judd Legum

    It’s been more than a month since Trayvon Martin was shot dead by George Zimmerman. (Get a full rundown of the facts of the case here.)

    Tonight, ABC News release video footage of Zimmerman arriving at the police station. The video depicts a cleanly-shaven man who “shows no blood or bruises” on his body.

    While media coverage of the case has been intense, there are several key questions that have yet to be answered about the case. Here are five of the most important:

    1. What was the purported “conflict” that required the initial prosecutor to step down? On March 22 — after several weeks on the job — state attorney Norm Wolfinger stepped down from his role as prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case. Wolfinger relinquished his post after meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi. He said it was necessary for him to step aside to preserve “the integrity of this investigation,” adding he wanted to avoid “the appearance of a conflict of interest.” He did not explain why his continued involvement would damage the integrity of the case or explain the potential conflict he was seeking to avoid. Did anyone at the prosecutor’s office know Zimmerman or his family? [Orlando Sentinel]

    2. Why did the prosecutor ignore the recommendations of the lead homicide investigator? ABC News reported that Chris Serino, the lead homicide investigator on the Trayvon Martin case, recommended that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter on the night of the shooting. Serino filed an affidavit that night stating “he was unconvinced Zimmerman’s version of events.” As the lead homicide investigator, Serino was: 1. In the best position to evaluate Zimmerman’s credibility, and 2. Intimately familiar with Florida law. Why was he ignored? [ABC News]

    3. Why did then-Police Chief Bill Lee make public statements directly contradicting the official recommendations of the police department? On the day the Sanford Police concluded their investigation and handed over the case to the prosecutor, then-Police Chief Bill Lee stated publicly that there was no “probable cause” to arrest or charge Zimmerman. (Lee has subsequently “temporarily” stepped down from his post.) But the Miami Herald reports that on the same day the Sanford Police formally requested that the prosecutor charge Zimmerman, something known as a “capias” request. [ThinkProgress]

    4. Who leaked Trayvon Martin’s school records? As public outrage increased, Zimmerman’s sympathizers launched a smear campaign against Trayvon Martin. This included details of several occasions where Martin was suspended for minor infractions (defacing a locker, possessing an empty “marijuana baggie.”) None of the information seemed to have any particular relevance to the night Trayvon Martin was shot to death. Was this a ham-handed attempt by the police or the prosecutor to defend their lack of action against Zimmerman? The Sanford City Manager announced he would launch an independent investigation into the source of the leak. [Miami Herald; NBC12]

    5. Why was Trayvon Martin’s body tagged as a John Doe? The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart notes a police report “that was completed at 3:07 a.m. on Feb. 27 lists Trayvon’s full name, city of birth, address and phone number.” But yet, Trayvon’s body was reportedly “tagged as a John Doe” and his father wasn’t informed of his death until after he filed a missing person report later on the 27th. Why weren’t Trayvon Martin’s parents contacted immediately after the police confirmed his identity? [Washington Post]

    Special prosecutor Angela Corey has promised to release additional information about the case once she makes a decision about whether to charge Zimmerman, something that could happen at any time.

  164. VenganceNow:

    “Now we’re cutting down the greatest president we have ever known. Those were just [Bush’s] youthful indiscretions.”


    Now that explains it : you’re eight-years-old. Glad you still have a chance to mature.

  165. Mespo & Elaine, I think I see the problem. That ledge is becoming more and more narrow for the Zimmerman apologists. Pretty soon, there won’t be anything left as the rain of facts erodes it away.

    This is not going to be pretty. In fact, it is uglier with each passing leak. Drip, drip, drip….

  166. Robert Zimmerman, father of George, is a retired Orange County (VA) magistrate. He handles arrest and search warrants and minor judicial matters not trials. His mother is a retired clerk of courts.

  167. You are right OS. There is no more room for those lying to save Zimmerman or more accurately, save ALEC’s Stand Your Ground law. That law should be renamed to the License to Kill Act.

  168. Someone should check out any communications between Robert Zimmerman and local and/or state law enforcement agencies on the night of the shooting and in the days following. Follow every thread.

  169. What ever became of one of the initial complaints from the public that Zimmerman had not been questioned at the scene, that he got to keep his gun and left the scene unhindered?

    Who testified he looked bruised, bloody, with facial lacerations?

    Here in this purported tape of him, he is handcuffed, obviously under arrest and showing no signs of a physical fight. Can this be from the night of the murder? Can this be someone other than Zimmerman?

    If it is as has been reported here that an affidavit was filed by the chief investigator on the night of the murder, stating (apparently after an interview with Zimmerman—otherwise no basis for affadavit) that he did not support Zimmerman’s story. Then where does that support that Z. was not properly (förhörd) questioned by the police on the night of the murder?

    I find conflicting facts as to arrest, questioning, and a police decision.

    Any others do so?

  170. At what point in a police or prosecutor decision made to cause a protocoled and recorded handling of a “case”;
    so that an unbroken, registered and permanently retained chain of evidence is captured and maintained?

    What was missed by registering him body as John Doe? What investigatión phase was not taken as a result?
    Was it up to the parents to call for an autopsy?
    Who should (and has it been done?) have initiated a routine murder forensic investigation of the body.

    PS I was trained in the Babylon Talmud school, if you’re wondering.

  171. Is there not a case file where everything of interest, every decision, every paper is recorded, again to preserve a true picture and traceable and reliable data?

    So far this suggests chaos, not protocol and routine. Right?

  172. I find it rather strange that his friends say georgie boy was such a mess when the footage from the police station 30 minutes after zimmerman murdered Martin don’t show any injury at all. And as far as the police report goes….did they let zimmerman change cause only that can explain how the reports from the scene say gz was bloody and had grass stains on his clothes and the footage shows NONE OF THAT. Top that off, people who have actually had banged up heads and broken noses say gz certainly didn’t behave like he had either of those issues. Care to try again. Some of us aren’t that damn gullable to believe your OR gz’s OR the heirachy of stanford PD’s BULL SHIT!

  173. VenganceNow1, March 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Sure, take up for the aggressor. I am sure folks know how to photo crop pictures and artistically cover any portion that they do not deem desirable. Been done before, could be happening here. What do you want from a collared boy

    From a collared boy? You mean Zimmerman, of course, when he was collared by the police?

    (And if Zimmerman so hurt who did he not go to hospital? I fell the other day and bloodied my nose, not even broken, and I bled like the proverbial stuffed pig. Everyone photoshopped Zimmerman’s face and shirt so no blood was visible? that is one heck of a conspiracy.)


    “Chris Serino, the lead detective on the case, expressed doubts around Zimmerman’s account of the shooting, according to ABC News. Serino filed an affidavit on the night of the shooting in which he said that he was unconvinced of Zimmerman’s version of events.

    Serino told MSNBC Tuesday night that he was not at liberty to discuss the case, but he feels very encouraged by the new investigation into the shooting, and he was “looking forward to the truth coming out.””

  175. Op-Ed Contributor
    The Gated Community Mentality

    March 29, 2012

    AS a black man who has been mugged at gunpoint by a black teenager late at night, I am not naïve: I know firsthand the awkward conundrums surrounding race, fear and crime. Trayvon Martin’s killing at the hands of George Zimmerman baffles this nation. While the youth’s supporters declare in solidarity “We are all Trayvon,” the question is raised, to what extent is the United States also all George Zimmerman?

    Under assault, I didn’t dream of harming my teenage assailant, let alone taking his life.

    Mr. Zimmerman reacted very differently, taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood.

    What gives?

    Welcome to gate-minded America.

    From 2007 to 2009, I traveled 27,000 miles, living in predominantly white gated communities across this country to research a book. I threw myself into these communities with gusto — no Howard Johnson or Motel 6 for me. I borrowed or rented residents’ homes. From the red-rock canyons of southern Utah to the Waffle-House-pocked exurbs of north Georgia, I lived in gated communities as a black man, with a youthful style and face, to interview and observe residents.

    The perverse, pervasive real-estate speak I heard in these communities champions a bunker mentality. Residents often expressed a fear of crime that was exaggerated beyond the actual criminal threat, as documented by their police department’s statistics. Since you can say “gated community” only so many times, developers hatched an array of Orwellian euphemisms to appease residents’ anxieties: “master-planned community,” “landscaped resort community,” “secluded intimate neighborhood.”

    No matter the label, the product is the same: self-contained, conservative and overzealous in its demands for “safety.” Gated communities churn a vicious cycle by attracting like-minded residents who seek shelter from outsiders and whose physical seclusion then worsens paranoid groupthink against outsiders. These bunker communities remind me of those Matryoshka wooden dolls. A similar-object-within-a-similar-object serves as shelter; from community to subdivision to house, each unit relies on staggered forms of security and comfort, including town authorities, zoning practices, private security systems and personal firearms.

    Residents’ palpable satisfaction with their communities’ virtue and their evident readiness to trumpet alarm at any given “threat” create a peculiar atmosphere — an unholy alliance of smugness and insecurity. In this us-versus-them mental landscape, them refers to new immigrants, blacks, young people, renters, non-property-owners and people perceived to be poor.

    Mr. Zimmerman’s gated community, a 260-unit housing complex, sits in a racially mixed suburb of Orlando, Fla. Mr. Martin’s “suspicious” profile amounted to more than his black skin. He was profiled as young, loitering, non-property-owning and poor. Based on their actions, police officers clearly assumed Mr. Zimmerman was the private property owner and Mr. Martin the dangerous interloper. After all, why did the police treat Mr. Martin like a criminal, instead of Mr. Zimmerman, his assailant? Why was the black corpse tested for drugs and alcohol, but the living perpetrator wasn’t?

    Across the United States, more than 10 million housing units are in gated communities, where access is “secured with walls or fences,” according to 2009 Census Bureau data. Roughly 10 percent of the occupied homes in this country are in gated communities, though that figure is misleadingly low because it doesn’t include temporarily vacant homes or second homes. Between 2001 and 2009, the United States saw a 53 percent growth in occupied housing units nestled in gated communities.

    Another related trend contributed to this shooting: our increasingly privatized criminal justice system. The United States is becoming even more enamored with private ownership and decision making around policing, prisons and probation. Private companies champion private “security” services, alongside the private building and managing of prisons.

    “Stand Your Ground” or “Shoot First” laws like Florida’s expand the so-called castle doctrine, which permits the use of deadly force for self-defense in one’s home, as long as the homeowner can prove deadly force was reasonable. Thirty-two states now permit expanded rights to self-defense.

    In essence, laws nationwide sanction reckless vigilantism in the form of self-defense claims. A bunker mentality is codified by law.

    Those reducing this tragedy to racism miss a more accurate and painful picture. Why is a child dead? The rise of “secure,” gated communities, private cops, private roads, private parks, private schools, private playgrounds — private, private, private —exacerbates biased treatment against the young, the colored and the presumably poor.

    Rich Benjamin is the author of “Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America” and a senior fellow at Demos, a nonpartisan research center.

  176. First, I want to thank Idealist707 for my appointment as Official-Minister-without-portfoio-in-charge-of-Poetry. I accept; it is a great honor.

    (For who I am, Your Honor, I can say for myself that Gabriel Garcia Marquez has called me his “amiga” and Yann Martel and I are penpals! So I am covered in honor alreay but humbly accept your additional accolade.)

    Now, here I am, grateful but tardy.

    Hey, there, Venganc, I see you’re still at it:

    “you know them by how they breed. If the junkie hadn’t been expelled from school he would not be dating his fathers girlfriend. You expect that line of thinking from someone from the left. It is awful how they are trying Mr. Zimmerman in the press.”

    I can see that your adrenalin has kicked in. But if you think about it, there’s a really big problem here: Trayvon Martin is dead. That’s the problem. Since our country (even FLORIDA!) has no provision for charging, indicting, trying and convicting people post-mortem, we will never get a chance to put Martin on trial to vindicate MISTER Zimmerman. MISTER Zimmerman will never have the chance to testify under oath about Martin’s crimes! All that was lost in a split second when MISTER Zimmerman shot too soon — had the police only been given a chance to arrive on the scene in time to take MISTER Zimmerman to the hospital (to document his injuries for the prosecutor to use in trying the expelled junkie) and to arrest that violent, aggressive, hateful, racially-motivated junkie f*&#^ing “coon or goon,” and charge him and try him and convict him, we would all have the facts before us and it would be a loooooooooooong time before that convict could breed, whether with his father’s girlfriend or just with anyone else.

    Whoooooh! Damn!

    For you, I-707:

    Haiku Trayvon

    Drizzle, hoodie, fear.
    Are these the ingredients?
    How we miss you, child!

  177. I was very disturbed to hear that the cell-phone girlfriend, perhaps called “Dee Dee,” who spoke with Trayvon Martin before his death, has apparently not YET been interviewed by anyone in the investigation of the incident. Could this really be true?

    I read on some of the blogs that she filed an “affidavit” but I’m not sure anybody has reported on that or substantiated it. Could someone enlighten me on that one?

    Since she seemed to be saying that Zimmerman was first spotted by Martin while Z was still in his vehicle, it would be very good to know what her affidavit says, if there is one.

    By the way, other “witnesses” and even this youngster as a “witness” are not really witnesses until there is a proceeding in which they can be sworn in. We really NEED THAT.

    I would think that if the grand jury meets, it should HAVE TO HEAR from this Dee Dee person before deliberating.

  178. If it is true that Officer Chris Serino filed HIS report on Feb. 26, 2012 shortly after the interview of Zimmerman, but the two other cops did not file them untll later, WHY did that happen?

  179. Idealist707,

    It’s interesting to me that you still use that handle, someone as aware as you are of all that is wrong. I just want to weigh in now about your cabinet:

    I second Gene H an Elaine. Vote for Blouise too. Mike S for FBI, great! I don’t know much about SWM, Lorra, Tonya C or MCM. MM, thanked you already. OS, I am a fan! Dredd, fabulous! I like that idea to keep Bdaman off the streets! But I’ll risk my ability to get these e-mails (which sometimes come, sometimes do not) by opposing the Honorable Jonathan Turley as Chief Justice. Yes, he is sober as a judge. BUT…his original post on this story was, if you recall, very defense-oriented, when the question was NOT guilt or innocence the question was ARREST! It read almost as if there was some rationale behind the police not having arrested Zimmerman because they thought, “oh hey, we better not, what if he gets acqutted?” Well they obviously DID NOT THINK THAT. They thought, “hey this corpse here, it’s some homeless, powerless, dead [fill in the blank]. He hasn’t got anybody who could really object in a meaningful way if we just let this one slide. Buddy Zim here, on the other hand, daddy’s a judge, friendly with Wolfinger, we better let him go with a warning. Maybe some therapy or anger management or something.”

    So, actually, in your brand new state, do me a favor, nominate maybe Mespo to the High Court, maybe Rafflaw or someone — even aamom, who said it first: “Please, Professor Turley, the kid is dead and…”

  180. I just printed out and read and re-read Officer Ayala’s police report. It names Trayvon Martin. Although it appears to show that the “incident” was ended at about 3 a,m. on Feb. 27, 2012, therefore, it is clear that the report was not FILED until quite a bit later, because reports reveal that the body was not identified until about 12 hours after the incident, which started at 7 pm on Feb. 26, 2012. So it wouldn’t have been until AFTER this report was made that anybody knew who the dead person was.

    Strangest damn police report I ever saw. There are about 100 things just peculiar about it, starting off with the fact that the police officers arriving on the scene find out Zimmerman shot Martin but they do not advise him of his right to remain silent. Also, they “hear” him talk to the EMT but they do not question him — as if they’re all kinda just thinking about things while they work, not very much concerned. If we believe this report, also, Martin may well have been alive when Ayala arrived on the scene, and if he had immediately given his attention to the person on the ground (Martin) while the other cop made Zimmerman assume the position, who knows, Martin might have lived. Nobody mentions at which point they called for an ambulance, or at which point they told the second ambulance not to come.

    The thing is deficient, vague, and problematic.

    I want to read other police reports from SPD from prior years relating to violent crimes with a person shot and/or dead, and see what a proper police report of such an incident looks like. Anybody who has any, do let me know, OK?


  181. Well it looks like maybe the cop who suggested charging Zimmerman with “negligent homicide” under the 782.11 statute might have been trying to do him a big favor. In the 1979 Florida case State v. Mitchell, a defendant (who was a police officer (and by the way most of the 782.11 cases are police officers who killed people they were arresting for an actual crime) who was convicted and then, on appeal, got off because nobody proved that the victim was committing any particular specific CRIME! His conviction was reversed because of the vagueness of the “crime” the victim was supposed to have been committing. But guess what: He could not be re-tried because of double jeopardy. So, had Zimmerman been arrested under 782.11, he could have gotten off whether or not he was convicted — on appeal — BECAUSE NOBODY COULD HAVE PROVEN THAT TRAYVON MARTIN WAS COMMITTING ANY CRIME. By the way, a crime directed at the person who kills the victim doesn’t count, for these cases. An independent crime is needed.

    See how the law is an ass?

  182. Well I’m not too short to be poet in chief.

    Something else occurred to me overnight, about my feeling of unease reading that police report.

    Trayvon Martin’s hands were under him while he was face-down on the ground. Perhaps he was alive when the police arrived. Perhaps, when he was shot in the chest, he clutched his chest where it hurt, and fell forward. Perhaps, had Zimmerman not exhibited depraved indifference, Martin might have lived had he been turned on his back and had a responsible citizen immediately apply pressure to the wound to keep him from bleeding out. Perhaps also, when the “ho hum what have we here” officers arrived, they could have rushed Martin to the ER so that a few (or many) units of blood could have kept him going until he got a heart transplant. Or whatever was needed — we have not even heard where that bullet that killed him went! When I listen to the “help help” tape, I seem to hear TWO shots, by the way. I’m not a forensic listener, though. My points are that (a) the charge that even Officer Chris Serino was suggesting on the police report was completely ridiculous unless it could have been presumed (which it could NOT because Zimmerman was not a cop and was not entitled to accost or interrogate anyone) that he had a right to even engage Martin in conversation that night AND IT COULE HAVE BEEN PRESUMED that Martin was in the process of committing a crime that Zimmerman interrupted.

    The charge listed on the police report, which even Serino thought should be lodged, was a per se violation of Martin’s civil rights (he was presumed guilty and then executed) and there was every reason to suspect that the police work might not have been shodddy so much as deliberately and conspiratorially indifferent to the rights of a victim of a crime.

  183. No what many of you do not understand is that the moment Zimmerman killed Mr Martin the proof fell on Mr Martin to proof he did not attack Zimmerman, but of course since Mr Martin is dead then there is no proof so Zimmerman walks free or as I said in any other post else where Zimmerman, the police will just wait until everyone has all but forgotten at all this then Zimmerman will be free to go on about his life still carrying a deadly gun. Also do not forget Zimmerman’s dad is a judge.

  184. Malisha

    What the heck are you even talking about? They found residue in a baggie and that was all and Mirjana does not a junkie make.I know because I have smoked it several times and I did not go into harder drugs. Not the reason Zimmerman’s and his conviction was overturned was because his dad is a judge and he wanted his son to be able to follow in his footsteps which he could not do with a conviction on his record so it had to be cleared off so enter judge dad. You know it is nice to have people in high places to where you can get away with anything.

  185. Dear Dean Fitzpatrick,

    Excuse me for not being very clear, if you thought I was calling Trayvon Martin a junkie! I was being sarcastic about how TEAM-ZIMMERMAN is referring to the victim of this murderer!

    I apologize if you got me wrong — God Forbid!

    Here’s my real, non-humorous, non-sarcastic, non-ironic, inelegant take on this whole thing:

    1. Trayvon Martin was an innocent person walking in public exercising his Constitutional rights to not be subject to unlawful search and seizure (or any other unconstitutional conduct by any person) when Zimmerman, who appears to have been a disturbed and hostile individual out on a mission to prove something or to express his internal rage in a way that would make him feel “big,” decided to stalk and kill him.

    2 Zimmerman phoned the police to get them to swoop down on Martin, whom he called an “asshole” and a “fucking coon,” but then he began to fear that Martin would escape, so he struck out on his own and confronted and then killed the youth.

    3. The police then treated this as if it was a botched but appropriate official arrest of some wrong-doer and they did a formalistic “interview” of Zimmerman and one of them even suggested arresting him under the statute used to try actual cops who actually DO kill a suspect who really IS the subject of police apprehension for some reason. They hope it will all go away and when it doesn’t, they start making up lies to cover their part in the conspiracy. The actual reasons they chose not to treat this crime as a crime include, but probably are not limited to: (a) Magistrate Judge Zimmerman called someone and told them to once again let his son off after having committed a crime; (b) they thought nobody would ever be able to raise a real fuss about Trayvon Martin’s life being taken because he sure wasn’t rich and powerful; and (c) whenever there is official corruption, and it is possible that it will be disclosed, there is MORE AND MORE AND MORE of it and the cover up becomes wider, deeper and worse. Only if you have MASSIVE ENERGY and almost unlimited staying power and money on the other side of one of these corruption-covers can you ever penetrate.

    That’s my real take on this.
    If I gave another impression, again, I’m sorry.


  186. When we cry for a trial, and I think he should be arrested and made to answer for his decision, let’s not forget that a NYC jury let Bernhart Goetz off and that was equally egregious, if not more so, then what Zimmerman did.
    Goetz got away with outright murder. I hope the same will not be said if Zimmerman (if the facts bear out to what is being presented. I still believe in innocent unutil proven guilty although the news media , and often the police evidently, forget that is the foundation of our criminal system.))

  187. Malisha, Zimmerman appears to be wrong, he killed an unarmed man, period.
    There is debate as to what he said. I watched a news show this morning where they played the audiotape with a better resolution. One of their experts said he did say that, the other said he did not. They played each tape 3 times. On neither did I hear the awful word he is accused of saying. This is the problem: issues that are not resolved are believed to be so and each side takes it as their truth. Zimmerman will never be able to get a fair trial and may be able to walk because of that alone.
    So far, many of the ‘facts’ like his words, are not facts but belief and supposition.

  188. LeeJCarroll,

    I agree that the “Fucking Coon” words are not clear but the “assholes always get away” is perfectly clear. And the guilt is not dependent on any of the nonsense that has been flying around, either the nonsense I have paid attention to or any of the rest of it. And speaking of guilt, WHAT CHARGE? THere is more evidence of 2nd degree murder than 1st; more evidence of manslaughter than murder; but the real issue here is appropriate investigation and non-corrupt law enforcement, NONE OF WHICH WE HAVE SEEN.

    About a fair trial: The fact that now he may never be able to get a fair trial (only 12 true ostriches could serve on the jury!) is not a problem for me because there are appeals courts, changes of venue, habeas corpus proceedings, and etc. etc. etc. — enough to keep Professor Turley’s blog alive and buzzing for decades — may he live another hundred years — but that is not our issue as a society NOW. Our issue NOW is that he has not been treated like other men who have shot and killed a stranger in cold blood with only his own word as to his motivation. He has been treated differently from others in the same type of situation he was in on February 26, 2012, and the people have a right to demand that this be explained and explained thoroughly, and especially in the context of his victim being in a “protected class” when it comes to constitutional rights. Let’s not pretend we all don’t KNOW that a black youth who shot and killed an unarmed white man simply for walking in HIS neighborhood at seven in the evening on a grey day wouldn’t have been treated differently by the cops than George Zimmerman was. Don’t let’s all insult ourselves by being that stupid.

    Let’s presume Zimmerman never said “fucking coon.” I’ll go with that. Doesn’t change my mind about this at ALL. I think Wolfinger should be charged with crimes in office, so should several of the cops, so should anybody who called the officials and used influence to keep Zimmerman from facing the music that would be playing if HE HAD BEEN SHOT that night.

  189. About the shifting of the burden of proof, we don’t start out with a “50/50” on this one. Zimmerman did kill Martin. That’s proven. The question then becomes, “Was it a crime?” There was certainly (all nonsense aside) a prima facie case that he killed Martin because he wanted to kill Martin — he identified Martin as someone HE did not like (“asshole” “something’s wrong with him” “suspicious”) and he CHOSE to get out of his car and follow Martin (whether he was advised against it, “ordered” not to do it or hinted at that there was no law enforcement “need” for him to do it). He also CHOSE to confront Martin; Martin did not come to his house and break in; Martin did not come to his car and try to get in. So on that alone, there’s a prima facie case that Zimmerman approached Martin with animus. Had nobody been hurt, there might have not been a crime involved; since someone WAS hurt, there had to have been a crime involved. The burden of proof would fall on the prosecutor to PROVE that there was a crime committed. He does not have a very hard time doing that; he has a dead body and a shooter who admits killing. He has a presumption of a motive from Zimmerman’s first police phone call. Motive, opportunity, crime.

    NOW, we have another question: WHAT CRIME? For that we have some alteratives. Did Zimmerman form an intent, while he was on the phone with the police, as in, “Those assholes always get away; well THIS ONE IS NOT GOING TO GET AWAY!”? That would lead to a charge of premeditated murder. Did he simply form an intent to prevent the escape of the person he believed was “suspicious”? As in, “I better not let him duck out of this; I better corner him and draw my gun so he stays put for the police to arrest him!”? And then it turned bad because when he pulled his gun Trayvon Martin did not act as he had hoped? Or did he just intend to confront Trayvon and bring on a scene where he could be a victorious hero, stopping a crime before it was committed — but then got a beating instead, and ended up killing Martin either to stop the beating or to silence the adversary to keep him from telling police what had happened?

    Either way we do not get to say that the burden shifts to Martin, because Martin is dead, and because this is NOT a civil action. This is a criminal action, with Zimmerman on the one side and THE PEOPLE on the other. Who complains of the death of Trayvon Martin, and whose burden of proof is it that has to prove Zimmerman took that life unlawfully? THE PEOPLE’S. It did not SHIFT. Martin is not PRESUMED to have attacked Zimmerman because Martin is no longer the party involved. The PEOPLE are the party involved. All the people have to prove is that Zimmerman’s tale of how he was forced to kill does not match the evidence. And it does not. A prosecutor on the job two weeks would know that. Wolfinger’s goal was to prevent this from reaching a court because if it did, all his efforts to throw the case might fail.

  190. Something I would like folks to think about and if you have time, respond to: the OJ Simpson Mark Furhman experience. If you will remember, there were two points in the OJ Simpson trial where the fact that the media were all over the case brought some extra weaponry to the prosecution (a photograph of OJ wearing the shoes he described as ugly, declaring that he would never wear such footwear) and to the defense (the charge that the police officer who had denied using the “N” word was tape-recorded doing just that, therefore, was lying under oath). Both of these events would have been impossible to uncover if the case had not been publicized so completely that folks from all over were sending in their information.

    My point: Just imagine every single police officer, every single EMT and/or ambulance or pathologist or morgue employee, every single prosecutor or employee of the prosecutor’s office, etc. etc. etc. etc. exposed to the kind of national scrutiny that was brought to bear on witnesses (and the defendant and those connected to the defendant and the victims and those connected to the victims) during the trial. OMG there isn’t anybody connected with this case who must not now go back in memory and try to figure out WHO heard him say WHAT to WHOM and what liabilities lie in their years of conduct that have suddenly been thrown into stark relief in this crucially important case. Officer X: has he ever said something at a party, while perhaps drinking a bit and perhaps thinking he was among friends who thought just like him and therefore would agree with any racial epithet he slung around?

    Besides, already people are being quoted out of context over and over. Neighbor Ibrahim Rashada is being quoted all over the place as being a 25-year-old African American who said Zimmerman was a “cool dude” who encouraged his wife to learn to use a gun. But…the report seem to omit a comment he made when first interviewed, that he was frightened by Zimmerman’s distribution of warning brochures telling residents that they should watch out for young black males, because that stereotype “profile” looked just like him and he was thereafter afraid to walk in his own neighborhood. He said that when he wanted to “stretch his legs” he would drive DOWNTOWN to walk because he didn’t want “anybody chasing me.”

    So there is an enormous unplowed field out there. Grand Jury proceedings are secret but they cannot be totally faked up because in some cases, there are ramifications if they are — and with the public eye, so inflamed, watching, there MUST BE some official response to all the demands for sunshine government in the sunshine state.

    In some countries (admittedly, not ours) when there is a big nest of government corruption discovered and exposed, a government falls; at least a unit of the government, where the corruption fluorished, falls. It is not impossible here, in that the Seminole County police and prosecutor’s office have already started shedding bricks from the underground rumblings. If the ground really shakes under them, which it should soon, little sacrifice offerings here and there (people “stepping aside” for the good of the investigation or “wanting to spend more time with their family” and “apologizing for poor judgment”) may not be enough.

  191. According to the Detroit Free Press, Police Chief Lee said, before he “stepped aside” temporarily, that:

    In an interview two weeks after the incident, Chief Lee, who has since stepped down from his post, said witness statements and physical evidence backed up Zimmerman’s version of events. He suggested that based on the timing of the call, he believed that Trayvon went out of his way to approach the person tailing him and mouth off.

    This was an interesting statement, if in fact Lee used the words “mouth off.” Mouthing off, while slang, clearly indicates that a subordinate is speaking with a superior. A person addressing another person who is equal would not “mouth off” but would “say” or “speak” or “address” or even “yell.” And if you look at the timing of the period that Chief Lee was describing, you see that there are about four minutes in question. There is no recording — and was no evidence at all on February 26, 2012 other than the statement made by Zimmerman himself, which was very likely to be self-serving — of either Zimmerman or Martin speaking TO EACH OTHER.

    So all Chief Lee would have to go on, in support of his “belief” that “Trayvon went out of his way to approach the person tailing him and mouth off,” is — well, I guess it’s — approximately NOTHING. And more precisely, NOTHING AT ALL.

    Chief Lee is essentially saying: “Well, I believe that during the period of time when I have no idea what took place, an unarmed teen-ager with no criminal record approached someone who, I think, was ‘tailing him’ and then he ‘mouthed off.'”

    INVESTIGATE LEE. How many conversations had he had with Zimmerman Senior before he formed his belief about the pre-dead teen going out of his way and mouthing off during the four-minute no-evidence period?

  192. Mespo, would you consider writing a guest blog on the fact that there now is an active contingent in the blogworld that believes that somehow, the case of the young black male named Tyrone Woodfork (who allegedly raped and murdered an elderly white woman and was arrested and charged with murder) makes the Trayvon Martin case irrelevant? Right-wing bloggers are essentially saying that the Woodfork case shows that the media should not be paying attention to the Zimmerman case, because young Black males are killing white folks and the media don’t care. One particularly addle-minded blogger called “Bubba” actually said:

    “What’s the real difference between Tyrone Woodfork and Trayvon Martin? It will take a lot of work to make Woodfork look like the martyr that the media has already turned Trayvon into. Instead we’ll get Hour 24 of screeching coverage about Trayvon Martin and white racism because a Hispanic neighborhood watch captain with black family members shot a black teenager.”

    I have a friend who graduated from Smith College in the 60s and is a physician and a recognized expert in the field of domestic violence and SHE HAS IT ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE as if it makes sense to compare these two cases; meanwhile the Woodfork case drivel has gone viral on the web and people are paying more attention to that case than to the continued inexcusable impasse in the Trayvon Marin homicide. I’m not able to do a guest blog because (a) I’m nobody and (b) plenty of etceteras, but I wonder if you would consider it. I would love to see someone take on the logical inconsistencies in comparing a case where [a Black alleged perp committed a crime against a white victim and was arrested] to a different case where [a white “neighborhood watch captain” killed a Black victim and was not arrested].

    Thanks for considering it, if you see this comment. If you don’t want to do this, does anybody else want to do this?

  193. I guess I’m just slow. I don’t get it. ( I mean as it relates to my comment…I get the prose. I wonder if you get it…?)

  194. Malisha,

    “Cut on the bias,
    dances of the seven veils
    show nature’s beauty.”

    lol … damn, that was good!!

  195. Yeah. Even her poetry is good. Then again, Elaine sets a high standard around here. Again, not idle complement.

  196. Alex, I only write pieces that are biased. I write MY own opinions, so the bias is usually PRO-ME and in support of MY opinions.

    Story: One time I was down on the mall in DC leading a demonstration of mothers who were protesting the inappropriate responses of state social service agencies to children’s allegations of child sexual abuse. We had about 25, 30 parents there and an assortment of signs, a couple of portable microphones, a little table. Russ Funk of MEN AGAINST RAPE was with us, providing support and lending some of his own activists to our group. Up rides a guy on a bike. He starts an argument with Russ (obviously the male leader there) not with me (obviously the female leader there). I stayed on the sideline and listened. The guy told Russ that he considered HIMSELF to have been raped because he went up on the roof in summer and had sex with a woman and she got pregnant and did not ask his permission to let the baby come to full term and achieve birth and personhood, and now “I got a baby behind that shit” without wanting that. The woman had not asked him, at the time of the encounter, for his permission to get pregnant. The guy went on and on about how raped he felt, concluding: “You don’t say anything about THAT; you need to deal with THAT; we’re raped by that and you don’t care and you haven’t said ANYTHING about that!” Russ listened; I listened. Then Russ said to him, “OK, but we’re here to protest something completely different. If you want to protest that, you should go ahead and do that. Get a permit, put together a group, and do it.” When the “raped” bike-rider left, I said to Russ, “So we weren’t supposed to be biased toward our own issue huh?” He answered, “He just wanted equal protection for his own issue — but he can’t get it from US.”

  197. How personally I have taken the Trayvon Martin case. But now that Zimmerman is in jail and will have to deal with the criminal justice system, I don’t feel personal about it any more. NOW I do not feel personally involved in whether he pleads or goes to trial, whether various witnesses who promulgated stories to the press (i.e. Joe Oliver) have the nerve to get on the stand and testify, whether or not Zimmerman testifies, what the subpoenas for medical reports will show or fail to show — now, since he has been charged with the crime that occurred on 2/26/2012, I feel strangely “outside” all the action, and free of the pressure of making people see things.

    How are all of you feeling about this now?

  198. Feel? I feel like the right thing has been done in invoking the legal system properly, but I’ll wait until the verdict is back in light of the evidence presented before I’ll have any feelings more involved about the case proper than the cold satisfaction that someone who nearly got a walk because his daddy was “somebody” locally is now going to have their day in court for the sensless killing of a kid and his role in the matter. I’m heartened by the number of citizens who said “no” to the injustice that was about to be perpetrated, but disappointed but not surprised by how many racist apologists defenders did their best to argue against Zimmerman having to face the bar and account for his actions.

    This is about what I’d expect. I’m a fairly compartmentalized kind of guy.

    I want to see the evidence now and hear the formal arguments.

  199. I’m sad that it took all this to make the system work. But I am no longer as angry. I will be watching just in case the system starts to fail … again.

  200. I’m glad to hear that two highly respected bloggers have expressed reactions that are consistent with my “watch and wait but don’t let your guard down” position right now. What has been done now does NOT bring us right back to the point, on February 26, 2012, when he SHOULD have been charged. The reason we are still “behind” is that the evidence-gathering that should have been done that night cannot simply be recreated or “filled in” like blanks on a multiple choice test. “Did he say coons, goons, or punks?” Even the fact that the affidavit filed in support of the DA’s charge CHOSE a word to plug in (a word that was probably designed to neither inflame nor excuse, in terms of the sociopolitical scene) for the suspicious sound on the tape cuts both ways.

    There is, of course, no point at which the system cannot “go south” again, and every inch gained is still on the slope, and the slope is still steep.

    The DOJ should still be doing the same investigation they were doing the day before the charges were announced, of course, looking at the cops, Wolfinger, Zimmerman Senior, the Neighborhood “Watch Group” (or, who knows at this point, maybe the Neighborhood “Xenophobic Hostility Society”), etc.

    It worries me that many things can now officially “go from coon to punk.”

  201. It seemed to me, when I first read the affidavit in support of the second-degree murder charge, that the “f—–g punks” comment was put in there so that the issue would NOT be considered a possible BASIS for the murder charge. In order words, it could not be considered possible that the prosecutor was basing the charge on the idea that this was a racially motivated crime. Preserving the malice of profiling Martin as a “punk” while not crossing the line of suggesting that he was being profiled as a “coon” might be a pre-emptive strike by the prosecutor against the defense argument that if Zimmerman was NOT a racist he could not have commmitted a murder against a Black kid. It occurred to me that as long as there IS a motive for a crime, there need not necessarily be a clearly identified motive for a crime, and then it occurred to me that in most cases, motive is not as easy to identify as we may think.

    The “911 call” thread of this blog has recently seen a lot of information about psychopaths, and particularly, psychopaths in government. See, I don’t think you can know a psychopath by what he DOES, by his BEHAVIOR, alone. I personally know of two people who illustrate this. One of them has borrowed a lot of money from another, and never paid back, and never will pay back. I’ll call him “A.” Another has borrowed a lot of money from another, and never paid back, and never will pay back. I’ll call him “B.” I think B is a psychopath but I don’t think A is a psychopath. Why?

    They did the same thing; they meant to do the same thing; and now, they mean to do the same thing in the future, too. A, however, really did imagine he was going to pay back, and he paid back other people very well and feels just terrible about not being able to do it in this case. B never meant to pay anybody anything; he was a scam artist and he’s been doing that for years. Is the effect on the person who lost the money any different? Only if the person losing the money actually knows what has happened, and I think, in this case, both of the creditors are aware of what has occurred. The creditor of A feels bad about it of course and in fact feels bad about the loans altogether because the friendship is ruined. The creditor of B sees that he was defrauded and he is upset, but he still thinks he may be able to use some leverage to get his money back.

    So I’m saying that Zimmerman could have killed Trayvon Martin because he was profiling him as a “coon” who was obviously going to be presumed to be a criminal in need of killing, or he could have killed Trayvon Martin because he was profiling him as a “punk” who obviously was going to be presumed to be a criminal in need of killing (and just happened to be black).

    I think I mixed up my logical analogies a bit here. But Zimmerman didn’t have to be racist to commit 2nd degree murder. He only had to be a criminal with malice (against a punk? OK, against a punk) to do so.

  202. Finally, supporting evidence for Zimmerman is surfacing. The truth shall prevail. If someone walks into a convenience store in the late evening hours, any citizen of class would feel concerned and be on guard. It’s a fact of life. Don’t want to be considered a criminal, stop acting and talking and dressing like one .. join the rest of normal society and stop wittingly creating chaos. It will NEVER be accepted to do otherwise .. but then again I am convinced that certain people don’t really care about that fact.Instead, they thrive on creating uncomfortably .. and in some cases pay for that stupidity with their lives. Will it ever change? Doubtful.

  203. anon nurse1, March 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Op-Ed Contributor
    The Gated Community Mentality (sry a little behind here)

    I think too many people forget, and too many take advantage, of the fact that the news presents the ‘news’, not the commonplace. You hear over and over crime stories, all white on white, black on white, white on blck and black on black. What is usually missing is the disclaimer ‘this is being reported because it is not the normal, if it were no one would t hink it is interesting and we would lose all our viewers.

    I dont know, at the end of the day if this was a hate crime, the news has muddied it so with all their commentators and discordant ‘facts’. It does bother me, a lot, that absent the issie of racism I think people would have said ho hum.

  204. it doesn’t matter if he seen the young man on top of Zimmer or Zimmmer on top of the young man. The dispatcher told Zimmer to not follow him, but The want to be cop did back down. He had a gun, when someone that isn’t law enforcement carries a gun, their mind set is to kill. To me, this is premedited.

  205. Premeditation can occur as close to the crime as a single second before the killing takes place. Zimmerman wouldn’t have had to “premeditate” very long before shooting Martin to be charged with First Degree Murder, I think. Two things, however, would make a wise prosecutor want to avoid the First Degree Murder charge: (1) In Florida, a first degree murder charge REQUIRES a grand jury. Too much could go wrong. (2) If Zimmerman had to face first degree murder charges, the high tension might have continued in the case and that in itself would have presented a real risk for the prosecution.

    I also think the possibility that Zimmerman got himself a beating on the way to killing the “f*&$#ing punk” is irrelevant to the question of his guilt or innocence. Since he had no authority to stop or detain (or question or apprehend or accost or assault) Martin, whatever response he got for whatever he did comes under the heading of “oh boo hoo” in my book. HE knew he was armed and dangerous. If he thought he should take the law into his own hands, he clearly would have to face AT LEAST the kinds of dangers trained police face on a daily basis and would have no reason to complain if that occurred.

    Think: If he WERE a cop and he DID shoot and kill an unarmed youth. Would he give a story and go home? No. According to police protocols in every state of the union, even Florida, he would have had to turn in his gun and await an inquest into whether he was justified or not. If he got beaten up in the process of trying to detain someone, that wouldn’t change the fact that he shot someone (to death) and had to face the music.

    There’s no way around this. He chose to engage with Martin; HE chose to subject himself to whatever risk there was from an unarmed youth; HE chose to shoot and kill that unarmed youth.

    All bad choices. You see, people say that Martin made a bad choice in “mouthing off” to Zimmerman. But how do they know? They know because Zimmerman claimed that it happened? Interesting. Let’s see him testify to that under oath and subject himself to cross-examination. I bet he won’t do that.

  206. @ Westchaser: You said:
    Finally, supporting evidence for Zimmerman is surfacing. The truth shall prevail. If someone walks into a convenience store in the late evening hours, any citizen of class would feel concerned and be on guard. It’s a fact of life. Don’t want to be considered a criminal, stop acting and talking and dressing like one .. join the rest of normal society and stop wittingly creating chaos. It will NEVER be accepted to do otherwise .. but then again I am convinced that certain people don’t really care about that fact.Instead, they thrive on creating uncomfortably .. and in some cases pay for that stupidity with their lives. Will it ever change? Doubtful.

    By “supporting evidence for Zimmerman,” are you suggesting there is evidence suggesting he should have followed and shot Martin?

    And if “someone” walks into a convenience store in the late evening (that would be about 7:00 p.m., in this case) any citizen “of class” would feel concerned and be “on guard.” So that means the citizen “of class” is free to shoot the “someone” dead? Just checking, because these stores are generally open late. That’s what they mean by “convenience.”

    It’s a fact of life: that citizens “of class” can kill people they “consider…criminals?” If it is, we need to change our life in this country right quick.

    Your advice, “Don’t want to be considered a criminal, stop acting and talking and dressing like one…” That would mean that you have evidence of Trayvon Martin “acting and talking and dressing” like a criminal? Interesting. Why didn’t the clerk in the 7-11 shoot him right then and keep Zimmerman from having to disturb his evening when he was on the way to the store for groceries?

    “[J]oin the rest of normal society” would mean, to you, become like yourself? Become like George Zimmerman? Become like someone who decides that another person should die because he is not dressed, walking and acting the way you want him to?

    There IS a normal society that has all those characteristics already, Westchaser. It is in Iran. If a woman dresses wrong she can get killed. Anyone saying they don’t agree with the state religion (Islam) is in danger. Failing to “join the normal society” can be paid for with one’s life blood.

    We’re just trying to do a little bit of a different thing over here, if you don’t mind. We DO know that within Iran, the stricter rules work for some. Perhaps this society is just not ready for it.

  207. Despite the pictures that are available that are current, the individual who wrote this drivel leaves both of the old ones up. He is no better than Sharpton for doing such a thing.

  208. John Fox, pictures are not evidence. They ARE symbols that are identified by people to mean things. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I’m not going to go into the thousand words each picture means, now, or even when I first saw them, to me, but I will give a small sample. And when you change the pictures and show a more recent Trayvon (still pre-dead) and a more recent Zimmerman (suit, tie and non-mug-shot look), the same words come to my mind:

    Trayvon’s picture, words re: So young? Dead? Killed? Shot? Some mother’s son! OMG! Why?

    Zimmerman’s picture, words re: Authority figure? Captain of something? Superman? Self-deputized cop? Master? OMG! Why?

    Change the picture. The words do not change.

  209. Speaking of “the words” not changing, I looked at some of the quotations from Police Chief Lee, words spoken before he began to feel that this whole thing was going south for him. (What’s South of Florida, Hell?)

    The witnesses, the new witnesses, and all statements taken by the Sanford PD were skewed, controlled, ignored, enhanced, and/or manipulated by the police. Just a few of the stories that reached the press reveal this.

    Ear-witness Mary Cutcher claimed that the Sanford police detectives did not return her phone calls because she was telling them what they did not want to hear. They then issued a news release saying she had given an “inconsistent statement”; but she denies that, and says that her statement was consistent but that they objected because HER version was “inconsistent” with the version told by Zimmerman!

    Thirteen-year old Austin McLendon and his mother, Cheryl Brown, both claim that the police distorted what he told them, tried to make him change his story, and bullied him when they were supposed to be listening to what HE WOULD SAY about what he saw.

    A picture emerges of the police trying to neutralize any account that did not match the story that Zimmerman told them that night. I am wondering if what actually happened in the police station that night wasn’t more or less a bunch of guys (one a suspect, the others his “data modification and manipulation team”) coming up with a story that they could FIT INTO THE FACTS that were undeniable.

    They had FACT: Victim was dead; shooter was armed and dangerous and pursued victim who was unarmed; screaming for help and witness accounts revealed a very probable scenario that would lead to conclusion that a crime was committed.

    Cheryl Brown said, point blank, “someone is switching [my son’s] story.” She emphasized the fact that her son had never claimed to see Zimmerman on the ground.

    Timing is also important. Several days after the shooting, police released a report saying Zimmerman had blood on his nose and the back of his head, fueling suspicion that the department was attempting to bolster Zimmerman’s story to defend their decision to let him walk away without an arrest.

    In an interview two weeks after the incident, Chief Lee said witness statements and physical evidence backed up Zimmerman’s version of events. He also gave his own opinion, allegedly based on “the timing of the call,” in which he speculated that Trayvon Martin “went out of his way to approach the person tailing him and mouth off.”

    Now how could you figure that out from “the timing of the call” anyway? Something that is NOT recorded on the call is presumed to have happened IN THE PERIOD OF TIME WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY EVIDENCE. Therefore, if you say, “During the period when we do not have any evidence, Trayvon Martin did all these things,” you are saying, “We have no evidence that Trayvon Martin did ANY of these things.” Let me point out what other things could have happened during the time that nothing was recorded on the calls in question:

    (a) The person who shot J.R. on “Dallas” could have confessed;

    (b) An unnamed witness could have mixed up some catsup and worchester sauce with which to paint the back of Zimmerman’s head after the mouth-off and the killing;

    (c) Trayvon Martin could have thought long and hard about how much he wished he had not bought those skittles, and he could have whispered, “Skittles are bad for my health” and shook his head in a crestfallen gesture — if he was not simply trying to find somewhere to hide without trespassing on someone’s property;

    (d) George Zimmerman could have remembered how infuriated he had felt when his girlfriend had taken out that civil order of protection against him, and he could have realized that now, a kid from his neighborhood might be in a position to take out yet another civil order of protection against him, and if that happened, his chances of getting on the police force would drop to near zero, and his body could have filled up with adrenaline and he could have filled with helpless rage…

    Or any number of other things, OF WHICH WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE.

    “If Trayvon has made it that far, and Zimmerman is getting out of his truck, why doesn’t Trayvon keep walking?” Lee said. “He’s 70 yards from his house. I think based on the timing of the call and Zimmerman losing sight of him, that he had made it to that ‘T’ (at the end of the path) and was starting to walk towards his house. “My wish is that he would have kept walking.”

    Now we have Lee focusing all the attention not on what Zimmerman did (“If Trayvon is out of sight, why doesn’t Zimmerman stay in his truck and wait for the police to arrive?”) but on what the VICTIM did. He measures the VICTIM’S alleged (we only have Zimmerman’s word for that part) geographical activities that night, NOT the shooter’s. And he expresses a wish that the VICTIM would have prevented the crime, not the SHOOTER, who had the ability to prevent the crime. Why, indeed, didn’t Zimmerman go home? He saw, he reported – time to go home. Yet Lee focused on what he would have wanted the VICTIM to do to escape being killed. It’s like saying, “Why did those Jews stay in Germany so long, in view of the fact that the Germans were getting so mad at them?”
    Lee does the final, telling, pro-perp analysis in the next interesting quote:
    “George Zimmerman did shoot Trayvon Martin, and Trayvon Martin did have a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea. * * * The fact that he had a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea does not have anything to do with the facts of why George Zimmerman thought he needed to use deadly force.”

    “Why George Zimmerman thought he needed to use deadly force” is what’s commonly called “facts not in evidence.” In other words, Lee first ASSUMED that Zimmerman “thought he needed to use deadly force” and THEN looked at the facts, with that initial point of view. If an assignment in criminal justice class read: “Explain WHY George Zimmerman thought he needed to use deadly force,” just by reading the question, the students realize that the statement, “George Zimmerman thought he needed to use deadly force” is true. It is presumed to be a fact, and all that is left is to find the EXPLANATION. But that is not police work. That is criminal defense lawyer work.

    The problem in the Trayvon Martin case is not George Zimmerman’s racism or lack of racism; it is the racism in the police department. Perhaps Zimmerman was already well aware of that factor, and perhaps his knowing all about that made him more aggressive on 2/26/2012 because he would naturally assume that he would not face the music if he just killed a “suspicious person” of the African American “persuasion.” Who knows? But the fact that the police chief starts out with the assumption that the shooter had a perfectly good reason for shooting, and moves from there into assessing the value of the evidence, you can see why the crime was not properly investigated.

    Lee should not only be kicked out of police work permanently, it is possible he should be charged with a federal crime as well. 42 USC 1981 comes to mind.

  210. George Zimmerman’s “re-enactment” is not a re-enactment, as far as I can tell. To me it looks like a little staged, videotaped clip that the cops (who were with him that time, at least) were giving him a chance to look like the story he was telling was credible. He had the bandaids on his head that were NOT on his head a half hour after the shooting (and that did not, apparently, get put on his head by the EMT on the scene, Bradley) — and who treats a head wound without shaving that part of the head, if it needs a bandage, anyway? They were cosmetic. And he does not show anything, really, in the re-enactment. And it doesn’t make sense with the “George was reaching for his cell phone and Trayvon Martin saw the gun” story, and all it really shows is George standing up, walking around, and saying, “My head felt like it was gonna explode” and dramatic non-credible stuff like that.

    He did do a little extra, “I was being nice the whole time” stuff, like:

    “No, I don’t have a problem, man.”

    Now, does that sound credible? He has chased the a**hole down and now he has “no problem, man”?

    Furthermore, where’s the “punched him down to the ground” part — now there’s chit chat first?

  211. According to Chris Serino, in the first few days after the killing of Trayvon Martin, an anonymous female caller spoke with him directly and indicated to him that she saw Zimmerman “trying to restrain” Trayvon Martin. Serino expressed the hope that the woman would not continue to remain anonymous. When he mentioned this to Zimmerman in the interview, Zimmerman did not respond. He didn’t come up with anything he could say to explain why someone would have said she saw him trying to restrain Martin; just nothing, no response. His story was such that it could not have occurred because his story goes from (a) Zimmerman sees him at truck to (b) TM disappears to (c) TM reappears and circles truck to (d) Zimmerman can’t see him any more and gets out of truck to (e) TM says, “You got a problem?” and then punch, slam, slam, punch, bang.

    There’s no opportunity in there for a witness to see Zimmerman trying to restrain Martin. If the witness did not report that she saw Martin punch Zimmerman and get on top of him, her testimony will contradict what Zimmerman told Serino. And she would have had no motive, calling in almost immediately after the event, to lie about anything she saw. The fact that she was at first anonymous may indicate that she was afraid of Zimmerman, but who wouldn’t be?

    Zimmerman was feared by people in the community BEFORE he killed Trayvon Martin. Remember the guy named Ibrahim Rashada, who would drive away from the neighborhood to “stretch his legs” because he did not want to be “chased.” Remember the woman who gave an interview from her home and wouldn’t let her face be shown on the camera; only her feet; she said there was no big crime problem in the neighborhood, and that the police were perfectly capable of taking care of things without George. (She had an Eastern European accent; her feet were white.)

    The “new witnesses” who saw Martin winning a fight — even if they have not changed their stories by now — certainly are not saying they saw Trayvon Martin START any fight.


  213. I’m now 99.9% sure the report of the FBI learning that George Zimmerman was watching gay porn was a total fake and fraud.

    The report seemed strange, coming out when it did, but at first reading I assumed the SanfordDailyNews website was the publication of the local newspaper. Now I have re-read this thing a few times because it seemed so strange that it had no repercussions in the larger media outlets, and I have come to the conclusion that it is a fake and a fraud, and that there is no such data “stumbled upon” by the FBI or anybody else.

    It’s somebody capitalizing on the fact that people often google the name “George Zimmerman” so they are able to get people to click on them a lot.

    It does seem, however, that this particular form of Internet fraud should be actionable. Who knows? If it is actionable, I hope it ends up getting punished. Not for George’s sake (really, what he did getting him false bad press as well as true bad press doesn’t make me weep big tears for the guy) but for the sake of at least trying to prevent fraud.

    Of course, I also think the purveyors of the Trayvon Martin targets should have been punished using the law, or even using “the law” — but they probably got a free card on their hideous and immoral behavior.

  214. According to DD, TM initiated the confrontation. He spoke first, asking GZ “Why are you following me?”

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