Who Watches The Watchman? Florida Family Calls For The Arrest Of “Watch Captain” Who Sought Teen

In Sanford, Florida, a family has buried a teen killed by a “watch captain” in a gated community on February 26th. However, question remains not only about the killing of Trayvon Martin, 17, but why the shooter, George Zimmerman, 28, has not been charged. Zimmerman reported a suspicious character to 911 and was expressly told by the police not to confront the individual. Instead, he pursued Martin and shot him — claiming that the shooting was in self-defense. [UPDATE: A statement reportedly from the Zimmerman family denies that he confronted Martin].

A gunshot can be heard on the 911 tape. The refusal of Zimmerman to yield to the suggestion of the police brings back memories of the Horn case in Texas.

Like Horn, Zimmerman was not required to follow the instruction of the police to avoid a confrontation.

The teen was returning from a 7-11 after buying Skittles. He was carrying the candy, a small amount of cash, and an iced tea. Yet, police insist that they have no evidence to refute the account since the teen is dead. However, a witnesses who lives nearby has come forward to contest the account of self-defense — though it is not clear how much of a view the witness had of the encounter.

It appears uncontroverted that the two fought. Various callers to 911 described an ongoing fight. Reports indicate that Zimmerman was found standing over the body, with his gun in his waistband. He allegedly complained that no one came to his aid despite calls for help and his shirt showed evidence of a struggle. Perhaps more importantly, he is reported to have been bleeding from his nose and the back of his head. Yet, some witnesses have suggested that it appeared that it was the teen who called out for help. Zimmerman outweighed Martin by 100 pounds. One witness also complained that police told her that she was wrong in reporting Martin called for help — saying that it was Zimmerman.

The family has said that Zimmerman has a record of violence in the assaulting of a police officer despite assurances from police at the time of the shooting that he had no record.

This makes a truly messy case, though the 911 tapes may help fill in some details. The family has demanded the tapes. The fact that Zimmerman insisted on the confrontation despite the instructions of police raise serious questions over who instigated the fight. Yet, any criminal charge could be difficult without more evidence. Zimmerman was allowed to confront Martin. Even if he was rude or out of line, there remains the question of who started the fight and the grounds for self-defense. Since Martin was armed only with a bag of Skittles and was physically smaller than Zimmerman, the use of lethal force is questionable.

The family could pursue this in tort as a wrongful death case based on battery. While Zimmerman has the privilege of self-defense, it is limited to commensurate force and must be reasonable. There is also a defense of mistaken self-defense but that also must be a reasonable mistake. The latter would not appear relevant here. Zimmerman would have to argue actual self-defense and a fear of serious bodily injury or death to justify the use of lethal force.

In either case, there remains a paucity of direct evidence. That would not bar a criminal charge but would make any trial more challenging on the current record. Nevertheless, if a witness is prepared to testify that it was Martin who cried out for assistance, an indictment could be based on that testimony when coupled with Zimmerman allegedly forcing the confrontation. We will continue to watch the case closely.

Here is the statement that has been attributed in the media to the Zimmerman family:

“The tragic events of February 26 are very sad for all concerned. The Martin family, our family, and the entire community have been forever changed.

The portrayal of George Zimmerman in the media, as well as the series of events that lead to the tragic shooting are false and extremely misleading. Unfortunately, some individuals and organizations have used this tragedy to further their own causes and agendas.

George is a Spanish speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever. One black neighbor recently interviewed said she knew everything in the media was untrue and that she would trust George with her life. Another black neighbor said that George was the only one, black or white, who came and welcomed her to the community, offering any assistance he could provide. Recently, I met two black children George invited to a social event. I asked where they met George. They responded that he was their mentor. They said George visited them routinely, took them places, helped them, and taught them things and that they really loved George. The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth.

The events of February 26 reported in the media are also totally inaccurate. Out of respect for the on-going investigation, I will not discuss specifics. However, the media reports of the events are imaginary at best. At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event become public, and I hope that will be soon, everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media.

Our entire family is deeply sorry for the loss of Trayvon. We pray for the Martin family daily. We also pray that the community will grieve together and not be divided by more unwarranted hate.

Robert Zimmerman

The Zimmerman family will have no further contact with the media prior to the resolution of the investigation. It would be greatly appreciated if the media would respect our privacy.”

Source: CNN

52 thoughts on “Who Watches The Watchman? Florida Family Calls For The Arrest Of “Watch Captain” Who Sought Teen”

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  2. Guest, I never saw your post until just now.

    You don’t have any links for that coroner’s report do you?

    Links for the medical records that show Martin banged Zimmerman’s head on PAVEMENT? That would be an interesting medical record, show me where to read it, OK?

    “Was Trayvon ‘high’ on something that made him violent?” Funny question. Tests WERE performed on Trayvon’s dead body by the police: no drugs, no alcohol. None of those tests was performed on Zimmerman, though. This, in spite of a prior arrest for assault of an alcohol agent arresting a friend of Zimmerman’s in a bar. …

    Perhaps Trayvon was “high on” self defense — that often motivates a person to fight against individuals approaching them with guns.

    Was Trayvon trying to “Act Tough”? I sure hope so — because if he did attack Zimmerman, he WAS tough. Zimmerman would have lost that fight if it had been a fair fight, with no gun giving Zimmerman the advantage.

    Trayvon’s own father being on record? Show me the record. One link at a time. I think Trayvon’s father is just as much on record saying that the police gave him two different mutually exclusive stories about the death of his son, and also, telling him that “Zimmerman’s record [was] squeaky clean,” which is kind of an OOOOOOOPS. So maybe Trayvon’s father was just a little bit mistaken, but not as mistaken as the police.

    To use the phrase “lynching by popular opinion” in this case is rather ironic. Historically, people killing young (or old) African Americans in the deep South even though there has been no charge, no trial, and no other authority for the killing IS and WAS lynching.

    People who project their own faults and misdeeds onto their victims are said to be using “accusatory projection.” For people to claim that a man who killed in unarmed young man is being “lynched” because the public demands that law enforcement consider that killing a crime rather than a little peccadillo — that is NOT a lynching. That is responsible citizen action.

  3. I grieve for Trayvon’s family.A precious life was lost. But what IF Zimmerman feared for his life? What is the possibilty that Trayvon went for his gun. Coroner report’s that gunpowder residue was found on Trayvon’s hand’s indicating he had his hand’s wrapped around gun.It is now known on the 911 tapes that Zimmerman was NOT stalking,he maintained visual contact long enough to tell the dispatcher where trayvon was going and then turned on his heel’s to walk back to truck. We now know Trayvon instigated the assault on Zimmerman.Why did Trayvon rather than going on to his house..a short distance away double back to confront Zimmerman telling him ‘he now had a problem and punched him?Was Trayvon ‘high’ on something making him violent? Was he trying to ‘act tough’ while he was talking to his girlfriend? Eyewitnesses tell of trayvon on top of zimmerman beating his head against the pavement.medical record’s bear this out. Why would trayvon plea for help while bashing zimmerman’s head in.Trayvon’s own father is on record saying the voice on tape was NOT his son’s. America has made this a race issue when it clearly was NOT.It is calling for revenge..not justice. How is it the black panther’s are not arrested for the illegal bounty on zimmerman’s head?Is this what America can look forward to from it’s justice department..a lynching by popular opinion rather than fact’s?

  4. I just went back and read the original post that this thread is commenting on, and I have to say, this jumped out at me: “It seems uncontroverted that the two fought.”

    Ya’know, I look at that sentence and a world of what-is-wrong-with-our-whole-culture falls on me like night on the prairie. I remember telling a journalist once: “How about, ‘The Jews and the Germans had a big fight in the 1940’s. The Germans won.’?” He got mad and hung up on me.

    THESE TWO DID NOT FIGHT, Professor Turley. THERE, I have controverted that statement/assumption.

    IF there was physical contact between them (which I presume there was because the shot did not ring out immediately upon the cessation of the cell phone conversation) it was not because “two fought.” It was because a kid tried to defend himself against an armed assailant! Did the armed assailant simply want to ask the asshole a question? Maybe, but not likely. Certainly you can’t PROVE that was the deal going down at the time. It certainly would not be “uncontroverted.”

    I keep hearing that there’s really no such thing a wife-battering because it’s just a couple FIGHTING. Most of the time that is not really the deal. Try this one on for size:

    A male and a female had sex. The two had sex. That’s, let us presume, uncontroverted in this example, OK? Now let’s pull out a few details. The male was the female’s paternal uncle. The female was 12. The male was 41. The female ENGAGED in the sex act. We really don’t know much more about it because we weren’t there. Witnesses claim that the female was seductive.

    Will Male be charged with a crime?

    This kind of subtle apologetics, claiming that there is participation by Trayvon Martin with events leading to his death, claiming that there was a valid reason for Zimmerman not only not to be charged but also not even to undergo a complete search (person and vehicle) and investigation (all statements from all witnesses and detention as at least a material witness until all the facts and evidence were collected) — NO VALID REASON, NO VALID REASON, NO VALID REASON! Stuff like this seems to add to the insane and, at this point, irresponsible notion that any charge that MIGHT result in acquittal can simply never be charged.

    Based on statistics that would mean that rich people who can afford terrific lawyers should never be charged with any crimes. We’re getting there. In our society, we are getting there. Fortunately, I’m at the end of my span of watching this inexorable progression but as I exit, I must say, I am DRUNK WITH DISGUST.

  5. With regard to the letter from Robert Zimmerman, the father of George Zimmerman, who is innocent until proven guilty but who, as a public figure, certainly cannot claim that he is being slandered in the press, let me say THIS about THAT:

    1. Robert Zimmerman, George’s father, is reportedly a retired Magistrate Judge who probably served on the bench in or around Prince William County, Virginia. He undoubtedly knows how to present a case with the spin that he would hope another judge would agree with, and decide with. This is his son, who appears to be in a world of trouble. Although Judge Zimmerman (Ret.) may be someone who commanded respect (and I choose my words carefully) in the past, in this particular case in this particular time, he would not appear to be the best authority to rely upon. Certainly he can be expected to have a certain prejudice with regard to the innocence or guilt of his own son in this case; and his son has not even been charged with a crime so there is also a jurisdictional question.

    2. Robert Zimmerman basically writes this letter full of logical inconsistencies and self-serving irrelevancies and then says: This is the last word; we’re not talking any more to anyone so nobody can question anything we said, and that’s it. HA HA, typical Virginia Judge tactics. Won’t work here, though. Here, there is an anonymous and very wicked “BIG MEDIA VOICE that’s all over the Internet and it’s allowed to say whatever it wants to say and right now, it’s saying: “Well Now, Your Honor, with all due respect, your little boy’s being judged in the media, see, because he has NOT been charged with a crime and he has NOT been arrested, and that means that he can NOT avail himself of all that due process that the law would otherwise surely provide for him, had those cops arrested him and given him a chance to stand trial so that the truth — that he was just a great guy being attacked by someone and defending himself — could have come out in a court of law, with due process, with all that wonderful stuff you have made your life and your livelihood with.”

    As in: GET REAL, Judge Daddy. Your influence probably pulled your kid out when he was violent and disorderly in 2005; he probably mentored black kids as “community service” in that diversion program; those Black people who say he’s so wonderful can certainly stand up and be counted and don’t have to rely upon YOU to quote them anonymously to the press; why don’t they call Trayvon Martin’s family’s lawyer and tell HIM all about it? And another thing: when that woman filed for a protective order against him, he filed for one against her, oldest trick int he book. Then a judge down in Florida apparently figured, “OK, let’s just separate them and they can go to their corners” so there were no prosecutions, right? A year later everything goes away, right? Judge stuff. Well, Sir, here’s your judge stuff now:

    Probably your son will remain in hiding and there will be no trial even if there are charges brought against him; he and his collusive buddy-cops have seen to that and you probably have helped out with the money part of that endeavor.

    There may be charges drawn against others, though — look out. That is what may happen. Criminal violations of folks’ civil rights perhaps? Conspiracy to deprive someone of their life without due process perhaps? All sorts of things can happen and you, Judge Daddy, won’t be able to fix them all.

    This is not a case that is going away, so probably, since YOU and YOUR family now want privacy and don’t want any more muss and fuss, maybe you should tell all those Black people you know who love George to come forward quickly to speak up and defend the public perception of the man they so admire. Now would certainly be the time and no, hearsay isn’t good enough for this court of public opinion.

    After all, I could probably allege (although I won’t) that I know a lot of women who have told me that they dated your son, that he was violent, misogynistic, mentally disturbed, sexually abnormal, and racist to the core.

    After all, how do we know? Let George show up and answer questions nicely, as some say Trayvon Martin should have done.

  6. I’ve tried for five days to ignore your two posts of March 15, at 5:59 pm and March 15, at 8:11 pm — but I must admit I’m incapable of this given the obtuse rectitude of said. I had hoped I could have ignored them, much like many on this blog over the years, but it seems I cannot.

    “Knowledge is power, give a poor kid some Plato, Kant and Aristotle and I have a feeling he will end up doing pretty well for himself.”

    What a sophist sentence for many reasons, here are three: 1) I doubt you’ve read Plato, Aristotle, or Kant, 2) if you think philosophy is all a “poor kid” needs then you possess an outlook which proves (1) above, and 3) your obvious unfamiliarity with poverty ignores the realities of poverty. In other words — you are on the outside looking in wondering why everyone can’t be like you.

    Your perspective reminds me of my mother, who, upon driving her to a store years ago in a town in the state of Louisiana commented upon a “shanty town” on the side of the road. The “houses” were nothing more than junk piled upon more of the same and my mother remarked how it was disgusting, and why couldn’t these people fix their houses up. I responded that they’re poor and they probably don’t have the money. She looked at me like I was crazy and said that they could at least paint the outside, whereupon I again stated that the “houses” looked that way because that was the best they could do. She simply could not understand that these people were poor and that the visual appearance of their “houses” were probably not a great concern given others in their life.

    Which brings me to your second post: “[y]ou probably have a point with people in poverty but they have bad role models and could be helped by association with successful people. Unless of course they had mental health issues.”

    Do you really believe that “people in poverty” have “bad role models” through their whole multi-generational existence? Do you not think for one second that there are mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers and friends that persist through the detritus tossed upon them as so amply evidenced by your second post?

    Who the fuck are you, Bron, to assume such a callous outlook in lives you do not know? And what is your definition of “successful people” anyway? I suspect it’s people like you — people that have a very narrow definition of success based on fascist servitude and boot licking — which allows me to redirect your comment of “mental health issues” back to you.

  7. “…he’s definitely messed up.” -Zimmerman about Trayvon

    “My son didn’t do anything,” she said. “He was walking home from the store. Why would the neighborhood watch guy would have a weapon? … It’s just crazy. You are supposed to watch the neighborhood, not take the law into your own hands.” -Tryavon’s mother

    It’s high time that someone started “watching the watchers”…

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