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The Trayvon Martin case

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I hope this post works. Fourth time's a charm!

 

But uh... those "Trayvon" photos are fake. The ones that are actually a "Trayvon" are a different one, from Georgia. You might want to go tell whitepower.com or whatever site you got them from of their mistake.

 

Regardless, what do the previous lifestyle choices Trayvon (even if he was a seasoned gangster) have to do with this specific case? Would you buy it if I said "Obama can't possibly be a bad politician because I seen him help an old lady cross the street?" Or "Ron Paul is a terrible politician because I once seen him take a picture with a white supremacist." Plain and simply, Zimmerman was told not to follow the kid. The first thing you are taught in your Conceal and Carry permit process is to not seek confrontation. Period, end of story. The only one "standing his ground" was Trayvon.

 

I agree that the media are being biased on both sides, for and against. It's ridiculous really, to politicize the death of some poor young kid like this.

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Say what zimmerman did was illegal, that means there will be no neighborhood watch. Neighborhood watch is the first and last line of defense people has against burglars. We know you can't count on the state.

I think I saw another case where a black man saw his car stolen. The blackman pursued the car thieves. The car thieves shot him and the black man shot back, killing the thieves.

Cops arrested the black man, claiming that he shouldn't have followed his stolen cars.

Can anyone tell me what the laws actually say? If somebody look suspicious, it's natural to follow him. Yes, race counts. Again, I don't know why martin attacked.

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This whole case is tricky.  Here's my understanding of what happened:

  1. Zimmerman notices Martin and begins observing/following him. (I'm betting race was a factor at this stage, although as neighborhood watch I can't fault Zimmerman for wanting to observe/follow a person he deemed suspicious, even if that judgement was racist)
  2. Zimmerman calls the police.  While Zimmerman was on the phone with the police, Martin began to run, at which point the dispatcher tells him not to follow Martin, although that instruction wasn't exactly direct.
  3. (Here's where things get fuzzy) A confrontation occured.  According to Zimmerman, Martin confronted him and attacked.  According to Martin's girlfriend, who was (corroborated by phone records) on the phone with Martin, he also turned and confronted Zimmerman, but the words said were reported differently.  Zimmerman's account was that Martin attacked him, Martin's girlfriend reported that she heard "sounds of pushing" after Zimmerman said "what are you doing here.  Unfortunately nothing conclusive.
  4. Different witnesses report different events.  One witness says she saw Zimmerman straddling Martin on the ground after the gun shots.  Other witnesses say they saw a struggle, and reported that one person was slamming the other's head into the ground.
  5. Police reports, video, and other accounts state that Zimmerman was bloodied, with wounds to the back of his head.

So, based from this, Zimmerman was the one to intially escalate the situation by following and potentially confronting Martin.  I think who-attacked-who first would determine whether this is manslaughter or not.  Certainly it is not murder, as I doubt the shooting was premeditated.  However if Martin was bashing Zimmerman's head into the ground, that's potentially lethal force.  The question is whether or not that was in self defense.

Ultimately, I really doubt we'll ever get enough evidence to either convict or fully vindicate Zimmerman.  He was apparently going to be charged with manslaughter, but that lack of evidence caused the state to drop the case.  At this point, there's not much more one can do.  Unfortunately, the mob on both sides have formed thier own opinions and seem to be making judgements and accusations about both Martin and Zimmerman.

The bottom line is though, we don't know precisely what happened, there is not enough evidence to convict or vindicate, and we must leave it at that unless something new comes to light. The only thing one can do is to draw personal insights from the tragedy, about racial prejudices, about the dangers of escalating situations, and rushing to judgements.

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Well said.

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You've probably heard about this by now, but here's a comprehensive overview:

 

Manufactured Racism? How NBC Edited Racism Into the George Zimmerman 911 Call

 

The producer of Today who was held responsible for this (not sure if he had a role in it, or if it was just on his watch), was fired yesterday.  Check out how the dumbass Atlantic tries to make excuses and actually likens it to the ESPN "chink in the armor" thing: "didn't mean anything by it, but that's beside the point".  Bullshit.

 

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Apr 10 2012 7:49 AM

I'm assuming here that the picture of Zimmerman in his suit is a photo of him in his professional environment.

If so, what doesn't click for me is why this successful guy would randomly follow a black teen and kill him (possibly understanding the problems it might cause) and then not be reluctant to turn himself in once an arrest order is called. Especially while he was on the phone with the police. He would have to lack a serious amount of grey matter to do that.

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John James:
You've probably heard about this by now [...]

You're right. I was hoping to post it first! 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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That looks to me like the Atlantic giving kudos to NBC for the firing and certainly not making excuses.


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JackCuyler:
That looks to me like the Atlantic giving kudos to NBC for the firing and certainly not making excuses.

"It's very similar to the Jeremy Lin situation "Chink In The Armor" situation at ESPN. That you didn't mean any offense is beside the point. I'm sure Vinny Testaverde didn't mean to throw any of those interceptions either."

They're comparing actively editing the call to make it sound like Zimmerman volunteered the info about Martin's race to some moron showing a lack of judgement and using a racial slur as part of a mixed metaphor in a newspaper headline.

You cannot be serious.

 

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I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.  Oh wait, you didn't.  

The author is obviously for firing someone in both cases.  Even if we accept NBC's story that there was no intent, the producer failed "spectacularly... at a key element of their job."  This guy thinks it was a good move.  He even starts out with, "Accepting NBC's rationale."  You know, like "For the sake of argument, if we believe NBC..."

The rest, paraphrased, is:  Even if he didn't mean to do anything wrong, the guy fucked up and firing him was the right thing to do.  The ESPN thing was of course a horrible comparison, but it's still about a guy who fucked up at his job (intentionally or not) and was fired.


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JackCuyler:
The ESPN thing was of course a horrible comparison, but it's still about a guy who fucked up at his job (intentionally or not) and was fired.

Now it sounds like you're the one making excuses.  Yes, I'm aware he agreed the producer should have been fired.  That's not the point.  My entire point is he literally says "It's very similar to the Jeremy Lin situation 'Chink In The Armor' situation at ESPN. That you didn't mean any offense is beside the point."

Of course it's beside the point.  That doesn't mean it's even remotely possible that that was the case.  And it certainly doesn't make it "similar to the Jeremy Lin situation", in which some moron just used poor judgement and created a tactless headline.  That is in no way similar to actively editing a clip to manufacture racism.

And this is not the first time this company has done this:

 

 

 

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JackCuyler replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 12:49 AM

John James, we seem to be in agreement.  The Atlantic author wrote that the producer should have been fired.  I described this as giving kudos to NBC for the firing, not making excuses.  I also agreed (and still agree) that the Lin comparison was stupid.  Yay us.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into the Atlantic article.  My take is that the author implies he does not believe NBC's story that it was just an innocent accident.  Instead, he writes the even if we accept their story, the producer still should have been fired.  And if ( and only if) we believe their story, then it is similar to the Chink in the armor incident.  He is correct.  However, I don't believe NBC's story.  Just like you.  Just like the Atlantic author.  And so we we see no similarity.


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NBC News: Criminal charges to be filed against Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin shooting, official says
 

BREAKING -- A law enforcement official tells NBC News that a Florida prosecutor will file criminal charges against George Zimmerman, 28, for the Trayvon Martin case, with an announcement to come around 6pET.
 

 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 5:03 PM

Overkill much?

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Everone get ready for O.J. 2.0!

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OJ?  As in Simpson?  What in the hell does this case have similar with the OJ case?

 

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"OJ?  As in Simpson?  What in the hell does this case have similar with the OJ case?"

Yes, Simpson. I was thinking it's a similar case in that not only has it grabbed the nation's attention, but it's also going to be a heavily racial case, or at least, the media will probably treat it as such.

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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 6:46 PM

So basically his lawyers have to prove Zimmerman was using justifiable force.  

"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."

 

 

 

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Interesting to know that Zimmerman has a hispanic background. I have read little on this case but the news report this morning about the charge of 2nd degree murder on Zimmerman was interesting in that it says he shot a black teenager. I wonder if a black man had shot a white youth it would be reported that the deceased was white or it would just be reported as a shooting? On second thoughts I don't wonder I'm pretty darn certain what would happen.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Apr 12 2012 7:37 AM

No2Statism:
I wonder if this was a setup by the elites like the anti-semitic shootings in France probably were.

I really think that's doubtful. There's no evidence of Zimmerman being connected to any "intelligence" agency. His dad is a retired federal judge IIRC, but that's hardly the same thing.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Apr 12 2012 7:51 AM

Laotzu del Zinn:
But uh... those "Trayvon" photos are fake. The ones that are actually a "Trayvon" are a different one, from Georgia. You might want to go tell whitepower.com or whatever site you got them from of their mistake.

That's very interesting. I'd appreciate one or more sources for this, though.

Laotzu del Zinn:
Regardless, what do the previous lifestyle choices Trayvon (even if he was a seasoned gangster) have to do with this specific case? Would you buy it if I said "Obama can't possibly be a bad politician because I seen him help an old lady cross the street?" Or "Ron Paul is a terrible politician because I once seen him take a picture with a white supremacist." Plain and simply, Zimmerman was told not to follow the kid. The first thing you are taught in your Conceal and Carry permit process is to not seek confrontation. Period, end of story. The only one "standing his ground" was Trayvon.

Based on my current understanding of what happened (which could change as new facts are discovered), I completely agree with your last sentence. For Zimmerman to be justified (IMO) to use lethal force against Martin, he would've had to feel like his life was in danger - and I don't mean in the sense that cops mean when anyone so much as questions their "authority".

Otherwise, I also agree that the appearance of either Martin or Zimmerman should have no bearing on one's judgement of the situation. Dressing up like a thug, flipping the bird in pictures, and telling "hoes" to "tighten up" in no way means that a person is asking to be shot and killed.

Laotzu del Zinn:
I agree that the media are being biased on both sides, for and against. It's ridiculous really, to politicize the death of some poor young kid like this.

Personally, I'm not politicizing what happened per se, but I am politicizing how it's been handled by the "authorities". William Grigg had a good article about that on LRC the other day - I can dig up the link if you'd like.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Apr 12 2012 8:04 AM

JackCuyler:
Perhaps I'm reading too much into the Atlantic article.  My take is that the author implies he does not believe NBC's story that it was just an innocent accident.  Instead, he writes the even if we accept their story, the producer still should have been fired.  And if ( and only if) we believe their story, then it is similar to the Chink in the armor incident.  He is correct.  However, I don't believe NBC's story.  Just like you.  Just like the Atlantic author.  And so we we see no similarity.

Having read the Atlantic article (it's very short), I don't see how you're reading too much into it at all. I also don't see how John can logically conclude that Ta-Nehisi Coates is making any excuses for NBC. So it seems to me that he's the one in error, not you.

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bloomj31 replied on Fri, Apr 13 2012 8:21 AM

"Mr. Weiner suggested that the prosecutor might have “overcharged” to retain the option, should she feel a murder conviction is slipping away, of asking the judge to instruct the jury to consider lesser offenses, like manslaughter. It is also possible, he said, that she might be trying to coax Mr. Zimmerman to the negotiating table to plead guilty to such a lesser charge. But, he added, it is impossible to say whether it is overly tough, since evidence has not yet been produced.

The case will almost certainly include a pretrial hearing to determine whether the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which grants broad protections to people who claim to have killed in self-defense, applies; if the judge finds that Mr. Zimmerman acted appropriately, the case will end there. If the judge decides that the protections of the law do not apply, the case will go forward.

At trial, however, the question of self-defense can be brought up again and possibly will, said Robert Weisberg, a criminal law expert at Stanford Law School. That could lead to a fallback position for the jury — if allowed by the judge — of a lesser verdict of manslaughter should the jury decide that Mr. Zimmerman sincerely but unreasonably believed that he was appropriately using lethal force to defend himself, which is known as “imperfect self-defense.”

Either side in the case could request that the judge instruct the jury to consider that middle ground, and if the evidence supports such a finding the judge will in almost all cases comply, Professor Weisberg said. A confident prosecutor may not want to risk missing the toughest conviction, however, and a confident defense lawyer may not want to risk giving the jurors a lesser charge that they can choose instead of acquittal. And so, he said, the question may come down to, “Who’s feeling lucky?”"

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/us/zimmerman-faces-second-degree-murder-charge-in-florida.html

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Apr 13 2012 10:32 AM

In today's America (and for a long time beforehand), prosecutors are politicians.

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Apr 13 2012 11:14 AM

On the second-degree murder charge, I think it's certainly possible that Zimmerman committed second-degree murder (defined as "unjustified intentional killing without premeditation"). But that doesn't mean the probable-cause affidavit is any good. And on the other hand, I think it's certainly possible that Zimmerman actually killed Martin in self-defense, if (as Dershowitz says) Martin had gotten the upper hand in the struggle and was mercilessly pummeling Zimmerman. Unfortunately, the only way I see the truth possibly coming out is if the case actually goes to trial.

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bloomj31 replied on Fri, Apr 13 2012 11:22 AM

There's no way to know how the physical conflict was initiated.  We can only get Zimmerman's version since Trayvon is dead.   Did Zimmerman grab Trayvon, did Zimmerman tackle him, did he walk up to Trayvon with his gun raised? etc etc.

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gotlucky replied on Fri, Apr 13 2012 11:39 AM

@Autolykos

I'm not sure that even a trial would produce the truth.  LogisticEarth pointed out there may not be enough to convict or vindicate Zimmerman.  That might have changed in the last few days, though.

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Mtn Dew replied on Fri, Apr 13 2012 11:39 AM

I have a hard time seeing 2nd degree murder. I think manslaughter would be easier to prove. There's plenty of reasonable doubt about Zimmerman killing Martin unjustifiably. If there's any question about it being self-defense at all then they can't convict of 2nd degree murder.

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I wish I could figure out why my posts keep getting eaten on "quick reply."

 

Anyway, yes please I would like to read that article.  And I agree that the authority (government and media) really botched this one.

 

But it's not like this was going to solve any racial issues.  Milquetoast suburban liberals don't get it, and reactionary conservatives are delusional.  I wish Zimm and the Martin's all the best, I hope they can find closure and peace.  And now maybe we can all go back to acting like racism is a relic of the past, only racists bring it up, and never hearing about the daily deaths of other young black men.

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Obama's Zimmerman Problem

[...]

Angela Corey, the special prosecutor, says that the charge against Zimmerman of second-degree murder was based on evidence and not influenced by the weeks of demonstrations, demands and threats from black leaders.

Perhaps. But from what the pubic knows, a charge of second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life, does not seem to stand up.

To convict, prosecutors must convince all 12 members of a jury that not only was Zimmerman in no danger of bodily harm, he did not believe he was in danger of bodily harm. He simply killed Martin in a "depraved" state of mind.

Nothing revealed so far seems to support that theory. [...]

 

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I was assaulted and threatened often growing up (I'm 5'7", 115lbs).  I don't pull any punches.  Trayvon should have planned his social image better.  Even aside from the improbability of Zimmerman calling the police and then randomly shooting someone, Trayvon essentially both set himself up for untimely demise and contributed to his killer's lawful excuse.  He wanted to play with fire and he got burned.  He gets my Darwin Award nomination.

I think I saw another case where a black man saw his car stolen. The blackman pursued the car thieves. The car thieves shot him and the black man shot back, killing the thieves.

Cops arrested the black man, claiming that he shouldn't have followed his stolen cars.

Can anyone tell me what the laws actually say?

But was he convicted of anything?  Canadian law allows for protecting private property, even against the police.  However, the cops can play you on your ignorance.

Btw, even in my mid twenties I was still stopped by cops on the street when travelling and sent to secondary security checks every time I passed customs.  Young male is as much a trigger group for suspicion as looking arabic.

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Someone just sent me this: 

Update #8 – The Trayvon Martin Shooting Case – All The Latest Developments

 

Hidden in that page is this:

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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The way people dress and act, unless and until they resort to violence, do not justify their being killed. For anyone to suggest it is so is the height of ridiculousness... and really draws into question how one can even come to that conclusion, and what their motivations are....

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gotlucky replied on Mon, Apr 16 2012 6:23 AM

Laotzu del Zinn:

The way people dress and act, unless and until they resort to violence, do not justify their being killed. For anyone to suggest it is so is the height of ridiculousness... and really draws into question how one can even come to that conclusion, and what their motivations are....

Just wondering, is that a response to the page in general That Old Guy linked to, or the video he embedded?

 

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ThatOldGuy replied on Mon, Apr 16 2012 10:45 AM

 

Laotzu del Zinn:
The way people dress and act, unless and until they resort to violence, do not justify their being killed. For anyone to suggest it is so is the height of ridiculousness... and really draws into question how one can even come to that conclusion, and what their motivations are....

Who's suggesting this?

 

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bloomj31 replied on Mon, Apr 16 2012 11:05 AM

It's an attempt to establish the character of Trayvon.  

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It's an attempt to establish the character of Trayvon. 

The only relevant character of Trayvon or Zimmerman I want to know is their character during the incidents of the killing.  I don't care if both of them were previously mass murderers and child slave drivers.  What matters is the specific indident of this killing.  If Zimmerman confronted Tra and pulled a gun unneccessarily, or if Trayvon confronted Zimm unneccessarily, no amount of thuggery and violence can change the fact that one is the aggressor and one of them is dead.

His cothes are irrelevant.  His photos are irrelevant.  His fight club is irrelevant.  These things do not make his death his fault, and giving him a Darwin award in this circumstance is... questionable.

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