Obligatory Trayvon Martin Post


According to the rules and bylaws of the Big Brotherhood of Bloviating Bloggers I am required to write a post expressing my special insights on the Trayvon Martin Tragedy. Unfortunately I don’t have any special insights.

On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest. He was unarmed. Trayvon was a 17 year old black man living with his father in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. Racism has been assumed by many people to be the reason for or at least a contributing factor to his death.

The person who shot Trayvon is 28 year old George Zimmerman. While much of the media refers to Zimmerman as Caucasian, under different facts and circumstances (like if he was being deported) he would be considered Hispanic or Latino. But that wouldn’t fit the racism narrative.

Zimmerman was a volunteer neighborhood watchman. It is unclear whether he had any kind of official status in an organized neighborhood watch. He was armed and had a valid concealed weapons permit. Zimmerman is a cop-wannabe and was enrolled in classes hoping to fulfill that ambition.

Is Zimmerman a racist? I can’t answer that because I have no knowledge as to what exists in his heart and mind. He does fit the profile of something I am familiar with from my days working in security – an overzealous security guard. These types, like Zimmerman, are wannabe cops. Most will never make it. Those who do will make bad cops.

The facts not in dispute tell us this – Trayvon left his father’s house to walk to a nearby convenience store. He was returning home armed with some iced tea and a bag of Skittles. He was wearing a hoodie jacket.

Zimmerman saw Trayvon and called the cops to report a suspicious person. Then he started to follow Trayvon. According to Trayvon’s girlfriend who was talking to him on the phone he knew someone was following him. At some point a confrontation took place.

Zimmerman told the police he stepped from his truck to check the name of the street he was on when Trayvon attacked him from behind. He said he was in fear for his life so he drew his pistol and fired. When police arrived Trayvon was laying face down and was non-responsive.

Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head. He had grass on his back and his back was wet. A witness reported seeing Trayvon on top of Zimmerman beating him up. Other witnesses heard a man yelling for help and then a gunshot.

Many people are outraged that Zimmerman has not been arrested. There are also claims that the investigation was mishandled by the Sanford Police Department. The investigation has been taken over by the Florida Department of Justice and the FBI. The media and other groups have muddied the waters.

Were mistakes made? Probably. The perfect investigation only exists in textbooks and TV scripts. Most police departments don’t have a specialized CSI unit and not every detective is a Columbo or a Monk. The killing took place outdoors on a rainy Sunday night in February. Trayvon wasn’t carrying identification and none of the bystanders recognized him.

The standard for arrest is probable cause. That is defined as “a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person’s belief that certain facts are probably true”. But it is not uncommon for police to delay making any arrests until the investigation is completed.

As soon as you arrest a suspect certain legal rights kick in and the clock starts ticking on their right to speedy trial. Not only that, but a hasty arrest can provide a defense if a different person is later charged with the crime. “Officer, isn’t it true that you originally arrested John Doe for this murder?

Cops are trained to be patient and methodical, crossing all the “t’s” and dotting all the “i’s”. That way no defense attorney can later claim there was a rush to judgment. Usually the decision to arrest is made by the prosecutor in consultation with the investigators.

Prosecutors have an ethical duty not to bring forward cases they know they cannot win. That’s what got Mike Nifong disbarred in the Duke Lacross case. Sometimes the police sit on cases for years even if they think it is “solved” because they lack sufficient evidence to get a conviction.

There is no statute of limitations on murder so if they find the missing pieces later they can proceed to trial. But if they bring it too early and the defendant is acquitted, double jeopardy protects him from re-prosecution even if he confesses.

There is no law against a private citizen following suspicious persons. They can even confront and question the suspects, as long as they don’t commit false arrest. For instance if you see a stranger in your neighbor’s back yard while your neighbor is at work, you can ask that person who he is and what he is doing there. But without something more you cannot detain or arrest them.

This is what I suspect happened. Zimmerman saw Trayvon and thought he was suspicious. He took it upon himself to follow Trayvon. There was a confrontation. It might have been initiated by either of the men, but Trayvon got angry that Zimmerman was following him. The confrontation escalated into a physical confrontation and then Zimmerman drew his gun and killed Trayvon. That is consistent with all the undisputed facts.

That’s not murder. At best it is involuntary manslaughter (i.e. “imperfect self-defense.”) The issue is whether Zimmerman had an honest but unreasonable belief that using deadly force was necessary. That would be a question of fact for a jury to decide. Whether or not Zimmerman was motivated by racism could be a factor in determining the reasonableness of his belief.

I will wait for an official finding. I got a hunch that nobody will be happy with the final outcome. Even if Zimmerman is convicted of involuntary manslaughter I can’t see a judge giving him much time.

Trayvon’s family might win a wrongful death suit against Zimmerman but I doubt he has any money. Unless they can somehow drag the Homeowner’s Association into it there are no deep pockets to sue.

This case has already turned into a circus. Politicians are making self-serving statements about the case. Geraldo Rivera is blaming the hoodie that Trayvan wore. MSNBC is blaming Rush Limbaugh. Occupiers are protesting in Chicago and on Wall Street because . . . uh, . . . I don’t know why the hell Occupiers do what they do.

None of it will bring back Trayvon Martin.

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96 Responses to Obligatory Trayvon Martin Post

  1. DeniseVB says:

    My heart is breaking for what our country’s become under Obama. By injecting himself into this case, he’s created quite the sh*t storm.

    http://twitchy.com/2012/03/24/spike-lee-retweets-george-zimmermans-address-threats/?tw_p=twt

    Feel the love.

  2. Maude~Lyn says:

    This is by far the best analysis I have read so far. I completely agree with you (which is why it’s the best analysis so far!).
    O chiming in and so blatantly electioneering is sickening. As usual he has to make it all about him. Nauseating.
    It should never have happened and I pray for both families.

  3. driguana says:

    The leadership compass in this country is spinning out of control.

    • WMCB says:

      You can say that again. They and the media are behaving with an unsavory glee, as if they really WANT racial strife. It’s sickening.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        I think they want riots.

        • leslie says:

          I agree foxy. In listening to the reports today, all I heard was a call for,
          “justice” and “The people united, cannot be defeated!” and “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? NOW!”
          There are demonstrations all over the country and here in Chicago, it sounded as if there was a not-so-subtle call for mob rule. People demanding immediate arrests and sentencing. It is odd coming from mob demonstrations in Chicago where seemingly One Ever gets arrested for very similar acts such as gang hits and murder. We have more murders here than practically anywhere. And we have fewer arrests and trials for those crimes.
          I understand the outrage and the desire that Something be done. I am outraged – not only for Trayvon. It is going to become really scary here. And no matter how great the outrage, that young man is still dead

        • leslie says:

          It is odd coming from mob demonstrations in Chicago where seemingly One Ever gets arrested for very similar acts such as gang hits and murder.

          Shoud read:
          It is odd coming from mob demonstrations in Chicago where seemingly No One Ever gets arrested for very similar acts such as gang hits and murder.

  4. HELENK says:

    A child is dead, a family is hurting, justice will happen.
    The use of this tragedy by many for political purposes and those who use it to promote a race agenda is sickening.

    my prayers for the family to find some kind of peace for themselves

    • jamaica77 says:

      A different child in Florida is dead and the family is, I am sure, still hurting but the killer is now on vacation and was acquitted of the murder of her own daughter. Never be too sure that justice will prevail. If Zimmerman isn’t in jail right now why should America think he ever will be? But lets give it 5 more years….his zealous attitude to “protect the weak” will only get him into more trouble…I hope that the prosecutors read this….in the future, if nothing is done about Mr. Zimmerman now he will do the same in the future. He is too hyped up to stop. He doesn’t just “watch” his gated community, by all of the 911 calls he has made, he feels that it is his personal duty to watch all in the town of Sanford and right the wrongs on his own. He is just another killing waiting to happen.

      • zaladonis says:

        I don’t know who he’s going to become but one thing’s for sure he won’t be the same as he was.

        Aside from whatever he’s feeling about having killed a 17 year old, a man like Zimmerman is also probably feeling betrayed and abandoned by no neighbor coming to his aid that night and by this mob reaction against him. He’s somebody who believed in the law and in helping fellow human beings (whether he did it well or poorly, his motive appeared to be to protect, not to steal from or intimidate those he viewed as law abiding citizens), and that idealism (for wont of a better word) is no doubt straining under the weight of severe disillusionment right now.

        There are no winners in this story, only too much poor judgment, and victims all around. And it’s all made worse by a mob of herd thinkers acting out their own personal disappointments and fears and anger that, in truth, have little to do with Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman.

  5. WMCB says:

    Great post, myiq. I would add that if Trayvon (a nice kid in his own neighborhood, after all) saw himself being followed by a big hulking hispanic-looking dude, he may have panicked and indeed started the physical altercation that got out of control. If he did, his reaction may have been reasonable (if unfounded) fear for his life, possibly based on the race of the guy following him..

    What it may have been was racial suspicion on both sides, and crossed signals that got interpreted as threatening by both parties. Or not. We don’t know.

    What we do know is that Zimmerman didn’t just follow and shoot him in cold blood. But he did shoot him. Unnecessarily. And he’s still dead.

    Sad all around – just sad.

    • myiq2xu says:

      One time when I was living is San Jose there was an incident. Two cops were trying to sneak up on a drug dealer’s apartment and they were walking thru a narrow utility space behind a row of units. It was night time.

      One of the other tenants heard someone behind his unit and stepped outside in his patio with a gun to see what was happening.

      He didn’t know they were cops. All they saw was the gun he was holding.

      You can guess what happened.

      • WMCB says:

        Hmmm. Yeah, I can guess. And an argument could be made that the man who came out with the gun and the police BOTH acted on a reasonable belief of threat.

        Funny how real life is rarely black and white, good and evil, horrible person with 100% bad motives vs pure angelic person with 100% pure motives. I know the press and the “outrageous outrage” mobs would prefer a much simpler (and more usefully marketable) narrative in life – but it’s not often that that’s the case.

        • myiq2xu says:

          I’m willing to bet that Zimmerman considered himself the good guy in this incident – helping to protect his neighborhood. He may still think he did nothing wrong.

          That’s one of the reasons why we give cops uniforms and badges – to help prevent misunderstandings.

        • threewickets says:

          No shortage of organized marketing on this. This guy Daniel Maree apparently organized the Million-Hoodie March from a big ad agency in New York. Daniel also used to work as special assistant to John Prendergast, the prominent Africa activist at the Center for American Progress.

  6. DandyTiger says:

    Add to that a neighborhood on a hair trigger after 6 or 7 recent burglaries. Sounds like a tragedy waiting to happen.

  7. Glenn McGahee says:

    It certainly was completely unnecessary for the President to inject himself into a local law enforcement situation. Here comes the Race card folks.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I think it’s going to be worse than the race card. I think this might be the thing that gets worked into a provocation for summer riots/retribution. I expect it’s going to get very, very ugly.

  8. WMCB says:

    Zimmerman’s attorney speaks. He did sustain some fairly serious injuries – though that still does not tell us who started the physical altercation:

    http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/local/attorney-speaks-for-zimmerman-03232012

  9. craterlakegirl says:

    Is Obama now going to comment on every teen who is murdered?

    Last year a 19-year-old Oregon man was murdered by a pair of losers (who ended up murdering four people in a week). Cody Meyers was on his way to the Newport Jazz Festival.

    From Fox12: “They said Cody Myers loved music and his faith. He was described as warm, caring and inspirational. His family said he helped hold them together during difficult times.”

    “Cody was devoted to his family,” said his mother, Susan, speaking through tears. “He would have done anything for anybody, to help anybody. He had passion for life, for God, for his beliefs. He didn’t deserve this.”

    Where was Obama’s personal statement about that murder?

    • ralphb says:

      If you make a national media circus out of that death for a couple of weeks and then get a reporter to ask him a direct question about it, he might. Since those were the circumstances of his remarks on the Martin case, I think accusing him of “injecting race” into this is pure bullshit of the first order.

      • myiq2xu says:

        I think accusing him of “injecting race” into this is pure bullshit of the first order.

        Especially since no one here did.

      • craterlakegirl says:

        Obama injected himself by making his “if I had a son” comment. Would he have said that if Martin were white? I don’t think so.

      • WMCB says:

        I would agree that the racial media circus is not Obama’s doing, nor the fact that they asked him the question. You’re correct there. Of course, there would be no media circus or reporter questions were the victim not black. No one made a circus of or asked him about the 13-year-old white kid recently set on fire by some black kids and told he deserved it because he was white. So that’s a pointless caveat, since the question would never be asked.

        But the “my son would look like Trayvon” comment was an attempt to make racial hay of it. The fact that the media was already doing it does not excuse Obama from the responsibility to show some leadership and not go down that path. He could have tried to make tensions better. Instead, he chose to stoke the flames and fear. And I for one don’t believe it was out of any sense of injustice, but a calculated move to gin up the black vote base for 2012 – because he’s going to need all the votes he can get.

      • gxm17 says:

        When Obama said that his imaginary son would have looked like Trayvon, he injected race into his response. I found his words both sad and offensive. My children don’t look anything like Trayvon and yet I can empathize with what his parents are going through. The fact that Obama had to invent an imaginary son that resembles Trayvon (I guess his living, breathing daughters won’t do), just made my heart sink.

        I agree with WMCB and craterlakegirl. IMO, it was a real low point for Obama (and that’s saying a lot).

  10. WMCB says:

    There is at least one witness in the police reports who says that Zimmerman was on his back on the ground, with Trayvon on top of him and punching the shit out of him. His injuries and the grass stains on his back would bear that out.

    But here’s where it gets sticky. Who initiated the conflict? Because Florida law is very clear that deadly force is NEVER justified if you initiated the contact yourself. IOW, if you jump someone, a fight ensues, and they are beating the crap out of you, you CANNOT shoot them, no matter if it escalates and you are getting the worst of it and getting scared. If you initiated it, then you are legally screwed, no matter what happens in the course of the fight.

    All licensed FL gun owners have to take a class, and word is that the classes stress this point.

    • ralphb says:

      Would that witness be like the lady who says that when she told the police that she heard the boy yelling for help, the policeman “corrected” her to say it was Zimmerman yelling for help?

      • myiq2xu says:

        Did she tell you that personally?

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          This is it for me. So many people are talking about this based on assumptions they’ve developed from media reports, which report things we can’t know like they were fact, or on things that are just plain wrong. For example, this post and several comments have said that Trayvon was in his own neighborhood; he wasn’t. He was in his dad’s girlfriend’s neighborhood, in a town he didn’t live in. But it sounds so much more outrageous to say he was killed in his own neighborhood than to acknowledge he was a stranger in that neighborhood, which neighborhood had been the target of numerous recent break ins. Likely Myiq was just following media reports, but the media itself has a responsibility to frame this with honesty, and they have not done that, which has lead to the extreme skewering of this case by everyday people.

          The other big thing for me is the treatment of race in the media and in discussions. For the longest time most media reports just refused to tell Zimmerman’s Latino heritage, relying on his Jewish last name to a) inflame the existing black-Jewish schism, and b) to suggest he is white, thus inflaming the black-white schism. They have really gone to lengths to perpetrate this storyline in the most dishonest way possible, stoking Americans’ subconscious concerns and fears about race (which we all have, one way or another) and to paint a picture that not much has changed in 40 years. The boy has even been compared to Emmett Till, a ridiculous comparison if ever there was one. It seems like just a few weeks ago the prevailing conventional wisdom was the “browns” were united and should work together. Now, not so much. Latino’s are under the bus for being white now. WTF?

      • WMCB says:

        I’m glad to see that you know exactly what happened, with absolute certainty, from start to finish in this sad case – including which witnesses are lying or mistaken, and which are not. Must be nice to be omniscient that way.

        Me, I’m not omniscient and I wasn’t there. I don’t know everything that happened. I’m just pondering the facts as we know them. It kinda gets in the way of my being able to throw around a lot of outrageous outrage, but it makes for a calmer life. It’s rare that I approach anything at all with absolute certainty.

      • myiq2xu says:

        The witness, known only as John, told Sanford police that he saw Martin on top of George Zimmerman shortly before the fatal shot that has led to a national outcry, including a huge ‘hoodie’ march in Philadelphia last night.

        He recounted the details to Fox 35 News in Florida.

        The witness told FOX 35 in Orlando that he saw evidence of a fight between Martin and Zimmerman, which could lend credence to the gunman’s claim that he was acting in self-defence.

        ‘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,’ he said.

        Zimmerman was wearing a red sweater; Martin was in a grey hoodie.

        He added: ‘When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.’

        • WMCB says:

          If that witness is reliable, then the case may hinge on who started a physical altercation first. Did Zimmerman try to restrain the kid in some way, to hold him to talk to him and find out why he was in the neighborhood, and the kid reacted accordingly? Or did he get too close in his following, and the kid was scared, freaked, and took a swing at him?

          Given the physical evidence that Zimmerman did indeed get beat up, I have little doubt that Zimmerman shot in what he perceived to be self defense. He didn’t just track the kid down and shoot him from a distance in cold blood. There was a fight. It spiraled out of control. Both parties may have been really scared. The question is did Zimmerman put his own damn self into that situation by his overzealous “I’m a junior G-man” actions.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          This is being widely reported now. It’s even in the British media. It does resolve one question I had: how Martin ended up face-down. A shot to the front should send someone reeling backwards if they are on their feet. But if he wasn’t, if he was on top of Zimmerman when he was shot, his being facedown would then make sense.

      • gxm17 says:

        I’m guessing it was the 13-year old who was walking the dog. IIRC, he’s the one who says he saw TM on top of GZ.

    • HELENK says:

      http://www.newsmax.com/US/Zimmerman-Trayvon-Sanford-Baxley/2012/03/23/id/433671

      this man says the law does not apply in this case. It was written to protect you from home invasion

    • Three Wickets says:

      Helen, your own opinion carries a lot more credibility with me than constant links to wingnut aggregator sites, or proggy aggregator sites for that matter. 🙂

      • HELENK says:

        3WS
        I am sorry , I try to show where I am getting my information from.
        The one link was about the author of the Fla bill saying it does not apply in this case. He would know more about what applies than I would in this case

  11. Lulu says:

    myiq2xu, this is a very good summation. It is sad from what happened, to how it happened, and it being used shamelessly by a POTUS with the help of a journolister to turn it into a statement about HIM, and divert attention from Corzine (that thieving dog) and the Supremes on Obamacare (possibly most important court arguments in my lifetime) on Monday. Everything goes to shit while Obama is posing and blabbing.

  12. WMCB says:

    OT, but my husband and many of his colleagues are really pissed off about this part of Obamacare:

    Among ObamaCare’s very early casualties were physician-owned specialty hospitals. These had long been targeted for extinction by the Big Hospital Lobby — i.e., the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals. With the sweeping health law, they finally succeeded in stopping any new ones from being built after 2010. Here’s an IBD article about the issue back in March, 2010.

    In short, the Big Hospital Lobby tried for years to get politicians to deny physician-owned specialty centers access to Medicare, a major source of revenue. How that happened is the subject of an in-depth article I’ve written that has now been published by The New Individualist.

    The struggle between The Big Hospital Lobby and physician-owned specialty hospitals is a classic case of big, politically connected businesses using government to squash the smaller competition.

    http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/7073-obamacare-victims-physician-owned-specialty-hospitals

    I keep beating this drum that what has been happening in this country, and causing so many problems, is not unrestrained capitalism.

    It’s an unholy alliance of Big Govt and Big Corps that amounts to nothing more than fascism – the means of production is in ostensibly private hands, but those hands are picked and chosen by the govt. They game the playing field for the politically connected, and those corporations in turn support the govt.’s aims, as payback for shielding them from any whiff of actual competition or robust free market forces.

    Handing even more anti-business regulatory or other powers to the govt in this scenario (though it’s a well-meaning impulse) is NOT going to fix it, it’s going to make it worse. In order for that to work, you have to have a separation of govt from the corporations – some sort of adversarial relationship. If you don’t have that, and have collusion, then the only outcome of handing the govt more power is to give them an even greater ability to quash smaller competition and leave their favored Big Players as the only ones standing.

  13. myiq2xu says:

    Zimmerman’s attorney:

    • DandyTiger says:

      Note that just before this interview, Cooper interviewed someone who explained in great detail the numerous recent robberies and how everyone in the neighborhood was on a hair trigger. And then in this interview he conveniently forgets that and asked the Attorney why Zimmerman was suspicious of this kid.

      • WMCB says:

        Yep. Because the subtext being pushed is “he was ONLY suspicious because the kid was black.”

        It couldn’t possibly be that he was suspicious because he saw a hooded youth whom he did not recognize (and as a neighborhood watch guy, he was likely familiar with who the neighborhood teenagers were) tooling around after a string of robberies.

        Not saying that Zimmerman was completely justified. We don’t know that – not at all. But “frothing rapid racist dude ran up and gunned down black kid for no reason whatsoever” is how this is being spun. And that doesn’t seem to be accurate.

  14. gxm17 says:

    Thank you, myiq, this is the best article I’ve read on the case. It does this tragedy justice, something very few seem to be doing.

  15. DandyTiger says:

    It seems that Zimmerman’s story is that he was returning to his vehicle to wait for police, after chasing Martin. When he got back to his vehicle Martin jumped him from behind, knocked him to the ground, and proceeded to pound on him. Zimmerman during this time was yelling for help (see tape). And in self defense, Zimmerman shot Martin. The witness mentioned above corroborates much of that story as does Zommerman’s injuries.

    This may not be the correct account of course. Eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable. See for example ralph witnessing that the witness “John” is a woman and that someone here said Obama injected race when they didn’t (at least at the time of the comment).

    There are also many corroborating stories of Zimmerman’s background including his black foster brother, that he’s in fact not racist.

    Who knows of course. But it sounds like “there’s more to the story” than CNN, MSNBC, and of course Al Sharpton would have you believe.

    By the way, last night the New Black Panthers issued a death threat to Zimmerman. So we have the potential of a race war between blacks and latinos. The last thing anyone should do, esp. the media and politicians, is to fan the flame.

    Of course a giant distraction like this is exactly in the interest of some politicians and media.

    • ks says:

      “It seems that Zimmerman’s story is that he was returning to his vehicle to wait for police, after chasing Martin. When he got back to his vehicle Martin jumped him from behind, knocked him to the ground, and proceeded to pound on him…….”

      Wait a second…there is nothing that I’ve seen that corroborates that part of the story.

      • WMCB says:

        See Lola at Large below. She listened to the entire 911 tapes, not select bits, and it seems to her to confirm that he initially followed Martin briefly, then stopped. That’s what Zimmerman said happened, and the tapes have sounds of running, heavy breathing, then it stops and goes back to normal walking after dispatcher told him don’t pursue.

        That, of course, does not confirm that Z was necessarily headed back to his car – though it would be consistent with that. But it does indicate that claims that he just continued to chase and ran right up on the kid are not accurate.

        Z had a wound on the back of his head, which is also consistent with his story. It doesn’t PROVE it, but it is consistent.

        • ks says:

          I listened to the entire 911 tapes as well. That he was “heading back to his car” is just speculation but the flaw in Z’s story is that there is no indication so far that the fight took place “when he got back to his vehicle…” as stated above.

          The “John” witness quoted further above gave no indication that the fight took place at Z’s vehicle and it’s more likely that his alleged injuries came from that fight rather than being “jumped from behind” at his car. Also, the jumped from behind scenario is not consistent with Trayvon’s girlfriend statement (who was on the phone with him at the time) and indicated that Martin was aware that Z was following him and trying to avoid and/or get away from him.

          I guess the hunted could have become the hunter but that seems to be a big reach.

          IMO, once the confrontation started, and this might be more of a “guy thing”, I suspect that Z thought he could whip the kid pretty easily. He had already sized him up and he was armed. If Martin was an NFLish sized dude, Z would’ve stayed his butt in the car or pulled the gun out way earlier.

          • myiq2xu says:

            You’re forgetting the burden of proof.

            Zimmerman doesn’t have to prove ANYTHING.

            The prosecution must prove it was a crime (murder or manslaughter) beyond a reasonable doubt.

        • craterlakegirl says:

          Zimmerman is being tried and convicted right now in newspapers and on TV. This whole thing is out of hand and where is the president? He lights the fire and then leaves the country.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          The fight clearly did not take place at his vehicle. The scene is in back of rows of houses in a cut-through. Zimmerman could have been on his way back to his car after following Martin into the cut-through and retreating once commanded to. And Martin, clearly spooked, could have felt cornered in that cut-through and charged Zimmerman. That’s how “the hunted could become the hunter.”

          We can’t know for sure without the rest of the evidence that will be put before the grand jury. That’s the point of this thread. There’s a lot of speculation taken as truth.

        • ks says:

          myiq2xu,

          I’m not forgetting anything. Of course the prosecutors have the burden of proof but Z better make sure his “jumped from behind” story makes sense. I understand why he’s doing it as a legal strategy because he has a weak hand, but imo that scenario seems dubious.

        • DandyTiger says:

          I suspect that Z thought he could whip the kid pretty easily

          I suspect you’re making a big assumption based on two year old picture of the Martin that has been used in the media. Apparently Martin is actually bigger than Zimmerman at the time of the confrontation. But hey, who needs facts when there is a juicy story.

        • myiq2xu says:

          Zimmerman called the cops 46 times in 8 years. Some of the people he called the cops on were kids.

          He never physically confronted any of them before Trayvon (assuming he initiated that confrontation).

      • WMCB says:

        From the 9/11 call, it sounds like Zimmerman DID heed the dispatch warning to stop following Martin. You can hear him tell the dispatch officer that Martin was running, and then you hear the bells of his car when his door is opened, and then the wind of the rapid movement on the cell phone speaker. Zimmerman’s breath quickens at the same time. When the dispatchers tells him not to follow him, that wind dies down and Zimmerman’s breath returns to a normal pace. At that point it sounds like he heads back toward his SUV, as he stops verbally tracking the kid and begins to plan the meeting with the police, making sure the guy had his location and phone number, and requesting a call in case he’s not there when the police arrive. That suggests to me that he expected to be back in his vehicle and on the road.

  16. DandyTiger says:

    This will help:

    SANFORD — Members of the New Black Panther Party are offering a $10,000 reward for the “capture” of George Zimmerman, leader Mikhail Muhammad announced during a protest in Sanford today.

    When asked whether he was inciting violence, Muhammad replied defiantly saying: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

    The bounty announcement came moments after members of the group called for the mobilization of 5,000 black men to capture George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin last month.

    Muhammad said members of his group would search for Zimmerman themselves in Maitland and Jacksonville — where the 28-year old worked before the shooting, employees there told the Orlando Sentinel. But he declined to say when they will begin their hunt.

    Muhammad said the group’s national chairman, Dr. Malik Zulu Shabaz of Washington, D.C. is receiving donations from black entertainers and athletes. They hope to collect $1 million by next week, Muhammad said.

  17. craterlakegirl says:

    Is Obama going to order these guys to stand down? Yep, this has nothing to do with race. Aren’t threats like this illegal? I hope the $1 million is for Martin’s family and not for an Obama Super Pac.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Voter intimidation is illegal too 😦 Same guys and they got away with that also. Some days I wonder who’s really leading our country.

  18. myiq2xu says:

    CSMonitor:

    Zimmerman’s father, a retired magistrate judge, fought back against those allegations in a recent letter to the Orlando Sentinel.

    “The portrayal of George Zimmerman in the media, as well as the series of events that led to the tragic shooting, are false and extremely misleading,” Robert Zimmerman wrote. “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.”

    In an interview Friday, Zimmerman’s lawyer, Craig Sonner, told CNN that Zimmerman had recently mentored a black boy, taking him out to play basketball and participating in fund-raisers at the boy’s church.

    “This is a case about self-defense, that’s what the trial is going to be about,” Mr. Sonner said. “It’s not about being angry over a racial issue.”

  19. myiq2xu says:

    This was originally reported the day after the shooting:

    Investigators with the Sanford Police Department are still trying to figure out exactly what happened during an altercation which resulted in a fatal shooting in the Twin Lakes area. The shooting happened just after 7 p.m. Sunday evening on Twin Trees Lane. A man who witnessed part of the altercation contacted authorities.

    “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,” said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.

    John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot.

    “And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”

    • DandyTiger says:

      That matches Zimmerman’s story and the physical evidence from his injuries.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Also, Call #4 at the Sanford website you linked has a thirty year old woman confirming that a guy in a lighter shirt was on top of another guy.

      In Call #1, which is from Zimmerman, he is clearly out of his car trying to look to see where Martin ran off too, because he says he saw the kid run, and you can hear the wind start to whistle in the background, and hear his body moving.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        Call #7 the witness uses language that suggests that the man who was screaming was the one up and walking after around after the gunshot.

  20. DandyTiger says:

    There was a segment on the Al Sharpton race baiting comedy hour where they listed to some audio related to the case (either Zimmerman’s own conversation or someone else’s 911 call) over and over. There was part that you could only hear static. The perfect audio rorschach test. You wouldn’t believe the insane crap they decided they heard where there was nothing. The level of total insanity I’m seeing in some quarters is rubber room worthy.

  21. Lola-at-Large says:

    Here’s how broadly stand your ground applies: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118×333693 (sorry for the DU link, but the Miami Herald has “disappeared” this story, but it is widely reported by various sources online)

  22. myiq2xu says:

    I wonder how long my comment will last?

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/desperate-right-wingers-search-madly.html

    For posterity:

    myiq2xu
    This reminds me of when Obama supporters falsely claimed that the Hillary campaign had used a darkened photo of Barack Obama.
    Today, 3:39:21 PM
    – Reply – Delete

    • WMCB says:

      Still there so far. I love the comment that describes Zimmerman as a “half white guy with a history of paranoia and racism”

      Huh? Where is this history of paranoia and racism?

      • gram cracker says:

        “Half white guy with a history of paranoia and racism”… sounds like a description of POTUS.

  23. DeniseVB says:

    May I snip another sensible blogpost to the discussion? Apologies in advance if Backwoods in the blog title offends anyone, the guy’s a gun expert and a wait for the facts and due process kinda guy too 😉

    http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2012/03/23/george-zimmerman-and-trayvon-martin-what-we-dont-know/

    The death weapon was a Kel-Tec PF9 semiautomatic 9mm pistol. It has been reported that the gun was recovered with a full magazine and that only the chambered round had been fired. This is a condition we associate with something preventing the gun from cycling a fresh round from the magazine into the chamber after the shot was discharged. One thing that can cause that is another man’s hand wrapped around the pistol, retarding its slide mechanism. This would indicate, as could certain gunshot residue patterns or cuts in certain places if found on Trayvon Martin’s hand(s), that a struggle for a gun was taking place when the fatal shot was fired. This would clearly change the shape of the case. But – WE DON’T KNOW YET.

    In other news, a couple thousand tea partiers showed up on Capitol Hill today to protest Obamacare with the most compeling speeches. I hope SCOTUS was paying attention and at least reads the darn bill ! I watched part of it on Cspan, maybe they’ll re-air it?

  24. gram cracker says:

    Myiq I really appreciate your thoughtful post explaining how the criminal investigation process is supposed to work. As usual your knowledge of legal principles coupled with your actual experience working in security provides unique insights.

    I can’t help but wonder if Zimmerman even knew that Trayvon was black when he made his first 911 call. He didn’t give much of a description of the person he was following. Maybe the hoodie made it difficult to see his face.

    If I felt that someone was following me I would call 911. Trayvon would have no way of knowing that his follower was a neighborhood watch person. He was probably scared, maybe mad, but thought he could handle the situation. What a sad tragedy for both families.

    Unfortunately the genie is out of the bottle now and any new “facts” the investigation turns up will be rejected as part of a coverup.

    Meanwhile how many black kids will get shot by black kids in Chicago this weekend?

    • Oswald says:

      There were nearly 17,000 murders in the US last year.

      The most likely group to get murdered: Black males

      The most likely perpetrator: Another black male

  25. DandyTiger says:

    What’s really fascinating now is that there is a story created by the media, politicians, and other parties. It has a life of its own. It’s like the Bush is going to win in 2000 story, the Iraq war is good and needed and inevitable story, the Hilary can’t win story, the Hillary is a racist story, the Obama is smart and inevitable story, etc., etc. The media has a story. They’re running with it. It’s all their taking about. The facts of what most likely happened have no place in their story.

    What’s really scary about the media story is that in the end the real facts of the case, if they don’t work with that story, are irrelevant. The story is the “truth” and will remain the “truth” no matter what.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      The sad thing is that it’s pretty evident what went down by listening to the Zimmerman 9/11 call. I heard it in its entirety for the first time yesterday. It was sliced and diced and chunked and scattered like a plate of Waffle House hashbrowns for over a week, leading to deliberate obfuscation. In the wake of more information coming out, the media are trying to zero in on the fact that he was told not to follow Martin, and they suggest he continued to follow him anyway. That’s not what I hear when I listen to the tape.

      From the 9/11 call, it sounds like Zimmerman DID heed the dispatch warning to stop following Martin. You can hear him tell the dispatch officer that Martin was running, and then you hear the bells of his car when his door is opened, and then the wind of the rapid movement on the cell phone speaker. Zimmerman’s breath quickens at the same time. When the dispatchers tells him not to follow him, that wind dies down and Zimmerman’s breath returns to a normal pace. At that point it sounds like he heads back toward his SUV, as he stops verbally tracking the kid and begins to plan the meeting with the police, making sure the guy had his location and phone number, and requesting a call in case he’s not there when the police arrive. That suggests to me that he expected to be back in his vehicle and on the road.

      This thing has been blown out of proportion by others as well, including Martin’s dad, who told the police department the person screaming in the recorded phone calls was not his son, but then backtracked on it a few days later because it intensified his son’s case to yelling for help. I understand his grief and certainly have compassion for him, but at least as far as people who aren’t convinced and aren’t jumping on the bandwagon, he seriously damaged his credibility with that one.

      Remember the Tawana Brawley case? Similar dishonest hyperbole led to Sharpton getting his pants sued off.

    • Pips says:

      The media has a story. They’re running with it. It’s all their taking about. The facts of what most likely happened have no place in their story.

      What’s really scary about the media story is that in the end the real facts of the case, if they don’t work with that story, are irrelevant. The story is the “truth” and will remain the “truth” no matter what.

      So true! The so-called ‘Fourth Estate’, unfortunately more often than not use their immense power … to not investigate thoroughly and then report the truth.

      To some degree I blame the “Breaking News”-concept. Which is, after all, just another media created ‘need’.

  26. Glenn McGahee says:

    This is a “local” story where I live and I have to add that the photo of Trayvon that keeps appearing on the television was a photo taken of him 5 years ago. He was much larger and older that when that picture was taken. AA friends of Zimmerman have been on the local news saying that Zimmerman was not a racist but we haven’t seen any of that on network newscasts. I hate that this has happened and that “stand your ground law” signed by Jeb Bush along with all the gun carrying legislation passed here in Florida was an incident waiting to happen.

  27. ks says:

    Lola-at-Large,

    “The fight clearly did not take place at his vehicle. The scene is in back of rows of houses in a cut-through. Zimmerman could have been on his way back to his car after following Martin into the cut-through and retreating once commanded to. And Martin, clearly spooked, could have felt cornered in that cut-through and charged Zimmerman. That’s how “the hunted could become the hunter.”

    We can’t know for sure without the rest of the evidence that will be put before the grand jury. That’s the point of this thread. There’s a lot of speculation taken as truth.”

    Yes I agree but my point was that according to Z the fight did take place there. Your could haves seem reasonable though I disagree with your interpretation that Z retreated once asked not to follow. For me, the speculation thing is neither here nor there. That usually happens with these type of emotional stories. I can hash it out without going the counter narrative speculation route.

    Also, I strongly disagree with your earlier comparison of some of the hyperbole surrounding this case to the Tawana Brawley case. While they both became big stories, the cases themselves are too different to be compared.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Having read literally 30-40 articles, I have never seen a media report say that Zimmerman claims the fight took place at his car. DT said it in this thread, to which you responded and now and so have you, and that’s the first I’ve heard of it. I’ll need some sort of citation before I can even engage this.

      My mentioning of Brawley was an analogy between the hyperbolic treatment of both cases as a result of potentially disingenuous racial claims (proven in the Brawley case; speculated in the Martin case). I did not compare the events themselves.

    • threewickets says:

      There are on average 300 homicides every week in the US. Most occur within the same race. Of the cases that are interracial, there are more white victims than black victims. Ten percent of homicide victims are under 18. But Obama has singled out this one particular homicide (alleged) to coordinate with the Center for American Progress, MoveOn, and the rest of the Progressive media movement. For a sitting Potus to exercise this kind of race driven political opportunism in an election year is kind of sickening to me. Also, when Al Sharpton gets involved in big media campaigns around alleged race crimes, I am reminded of Tawana Brawley.

  28. ks says:

    Dandy Tiger,

    “I suspect you’re making a big assumption based on two year old picture of the Martin that has been used in the media. Apparently Martin is actually bigger than Zimmerman at the time of the confrontation. But hey, who needs facts when there is a juicy story.”

    Wow…….

    You suspect incorrectly and your fact is ridiculous. If you look at the police report, Martin is listed at 6ft 160lbs and Z is listed at 5-9 but without the weight info but is believed to be well north of 200lbs. Do you really want to claim Martin was bigger than Z at the time of the confrontation? Really? Who needs facts indeed.

    • DandyTiger says:

      6ft tall is quite a bit bigger than 5-9. That’s a big reach advantage in the boxing and fighting world. Weight an obviously be a big factor if both people are in good shape. But weight is much less important than conditioning. From the pictures, I’m leaning towards Zimmerman not being in good shape. Martin has an advantage of being at a better fighting age as well. So in a fight I’d give the advantage to Martin just based on the small bits I can gather.

      Your conviction that Zimmerman could take Martin in a fight was pretty outlandish I must say.

      • ks says:

        Nonsense. 6 ft tall is not quite a bit bigger than 5-9. It’s 3 inches and you have no idea how long either persons reach is/was nor what kind of shape they were in which is irrelevant anyway and kind of silly speculation.

        Zimmerman is the ripe old age of 28 not 58. 17 is a “better fighting age” (whatever that means) than 28? Silliness. What’s outlandish is your false contention that Martin was bigger than Zimmerman at the time of the incident when in fact he was only a bit taller at most and considerably lighter than Zimmerman.

        Also, I don’t have a “conviction” that Zimmerman thought he could take Martin. It’s just my suspicion based on the events. .

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