Did you watch the trial? I did. I work at home and had the trial going on as I worked. I’m sure I saw at least 3/4 of the trial live and heard playbacks of anything important that I missed. If I had been in the jury, I would have voted to acquit him as well.
Do I think George Zimmerman is a racist? Well, yes and no. He’s not your classic Ku Klux Klanner. The state never turned up any blatantly racial statements he had ever made. He did lament to a police operator once that “The assholes always get away.” Some people are reading those words as implicitly racial, but there is no supporting evidence for that assumption.
He had even volunteered in programs that mainly benefited black youth!
At the same time, I think there is little doubt that he profiled the victim, Trayvon Martin. I’m not sure he profiled him because he was black. I think perhaps he would have profiled any male teen walking along in Zimmerman’s neighborhood who had the hood of his hoodie up.
I think the initial mistake was in charging Zimmerman in the first place. The local police decided there was no case and decided not to prosecute. It was only after a clamor orchestrated by Trayvon’s family attorney that the state Attorney General stepped in and forced a prosecution that Zimmerman was charged.
The problem the prosecution faced was that the only eye-witness to the fight between Martin and Zimmerman supported Zimmerman’s story that Trayvon was on top, pounding Zimmerman’s head on the concrete sidewalk. And Zimmerman did have a broken nose. All Martin had was a bullet through the heart, which is allowed in Florida (and in most states, even ones without specific Stand Your Ground laws) if Zimmerman had reason to feel his life was in danger.
In final summations, where generally it is the prosecution explaining the letter of the law and how to apply it, while the defense often appeals to the jury’s feelings rather than their intellect, it was reversed. It was the defense explaining in detail how to apply the law while it was the prosecutors shouting and foaming at the mouth about the injustice of Trayvon Martin’s death. That alone signaled that the prosecution really didn’t trust their own case.
In retrospect, it appears that the local police were right. And, in fact, during cross examination, the lead local investigator admitted that he personally believed Zimmerman’s story based on the facts he discovered. While the judge ordered the jury not to consider that opinion (because it’s an opinion and not a fact), “You can’t un-ring a bell.”
This case should have all of us thinking about assumptions we make regarding young people and especially young black males. Perhaps Florida will reconsider it’s “Stand Your Ground” law which makes it easier to defend oneself with lethal force based merely on a belief that one is in danger of death or severe bodily harm.
I don’t know what actually happened leading up to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Only George Zimmerman knows that. Did he profile Trayvon? I think he did. Did he profile him racially? The evidence doesn’t support that. Trayvon was probably profiled more as a young male than as a black male. Under his hoodie, his race may not have been evident.
Profiling may be a bad thing but it isn’t an illegal thing. And Zimmerman wasn’t on trial for profiling, but for murder. The state had to prove that Zimmerman had hate in his heart, and that they didn’t do.
The verdict, as dissatisfying as it may be, was the right one based on the facts.
That's going to be punishment enough, I think.
Do you think he deserves to be punished? Why?
Without the evidence to support any wrong doing, one should not be punished. We cannot be punished for both obeying and disobeying the law. That makes the law pointless does it not?
That was my rhetorical way of suggesting "whatever, if anything, he did do wrong, he's certainly going to pay a price for it."
It would certainly be an inadequate price to pay for Murder 2 or manslaughter, but we know he didn't do those things. At most he is guilty of being an asshole to Martin four minutes before Martin attacked him. That four minutes of course was time enough to separate it into two instances.
I expect you understand this, William, but for some other readers who seem to think Trayvon Martin's actions were justified, there is a principle involved here: You do not, as a private citizen get to retaliate for a crime after it has happened. This is why police generally frown upon people claiming "self defense" or "he was in the middle of committing a crime" when the bullet wounds are in the back. If anything that Zimmerman did during that first encounter was criminal (which was not established), Martin's attack on Zimmerman four minutes later therefore cannot possibly be justified.
This was not a case about racial profiling or murder. It was a case where the state failed to prove that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. It was the jury's decision that there was reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did anything but act out in fear of his life or serious bodily harm. It was interesting that the media portrayed Martin as an 'innocent child.' This child teenager was actually nearly six feet tall and outweighed the defendant at the time of the incident, had THC in his blood at the time of his death, had made attempts to purchase a pistol off the street (phone records), was kicked out of school for being violent, and referred to Zimmerman as a 'creepy-ass cracker.' It is misleading to portray him as a 'child going to the 7-11 to buy some Skittles.'
The neighborhood Zimmerman lived in was subjected to constant burglaries and theft. I am not sure how he can be condemned for trying to protect the residents and property of his community. Trayvon Martin's death is tragic but this incident should be considered from the realities of life in this community.
You don't keep following someone with a hot weapon when the police has already advised you not to pursue the person. The fact that Zimmerman did go, just shows that he was looking for a confrontation.
Also Travyon's prior record should have no bearing on the case, because at the moment in time, he was just walking home to his father's home, he was not showing any hostility towards anyone, hence Zimmerman should have listened to the police and not pursue his course of action. The need for Zimmerman's self defense came about because of Zimmerman's need to pry into situations that he not need to because of his bias inference of the situation.
The neighborhood Zimmerman lived in was subjected to constant burglaries and theft. I am not sure how he can be condemned for trying to protect the residents and property of his community
Sorry being black and in a hoodie doesn't automatically equate someone to be "dangerous" or a target of a predetermined racial bias. There was absolutely racial profiling in this case. I highly doubt zimmerman would had done the same if it was a Mexican like him or White 17 year old kid walking down the street with a hoodie.
This not 1800s. We don't need vigilante retards working around with a rifle and a trigger happy finger and confronting people they think could be "dangerous" in the year 2013.
The Jurors got it wrong. He should have been guilty of manslaughter.
This response from another site, I think sums it up nicely,
"Apparently in Florida, it is legal to stalk, confront, and kill an unaware teenager who “stands his ground” against a stranger who is concealing a handgun and has pursued him to the point of confrontation. In short, one can create a conflict and kill in “self-defence” even if you are the instigator and have a concealed weapon while the victim is innocent and unarmed. According to the “Jury”, in Florida, this is the law."
That quote just reinforces my view that most of the people critical of the decision didn't listen to the testimony. It appears, based on the testimony, that Zimmerman and Martin broke it off and Zimmerman made his way back toward his car. Four minutes later is when the violent confrantation erupted, Martin having reversed things by following Zimmerman. I understand Martin's frustration and rage, but had he simply resumed home with his Skittles and iced tea, he'd be alive today.
Martin was unarmed in the usual sense, but he was banging Zimmerman's head on the sidewalk. The evidence of that is documented in photos. He broke Zimmerman's nose in the confrontation. He brought a sidewalk to a gunfight and lost.
The jury simply followed the law and rendered the best verdict in conformity with the law. Perhaps they clenched their teeth and did so with regrets and wishing they could break the law themselves by ignoring the evidence, but they did render the only verdict the evidence allowed.
Only a wuss brings a gun to a fist fight. He had balls to act all hardcore and confront someone, and then when he gets his rear end beaten to the ground, he has to pull out his weapon against an unarmed person, shoot him and then claim "self defense".
That's pretty wuss stuff right there.
Are you saying that if you were getting the shit beat out of you, the guy said "you are going to die tonight" and noticed you had a gun, that you wouldn't feel you are about to die?
Don't go confront someone who is just walking home and you won't be on the ground getting your head pummeled to the ground.
I don't know about you, but I don't go walk to people in the street and start asking them "what are you doing in my neighborhood" acting all tough. That's just asking to get your rear end beaten.
So the victim of assault, Zimmerman, in this case got what he deserved, but the victim of a shooting who initiated the assault, Martin, didn't get what he deserved? That's not consistent.
Second, if the correct response to being confronted is to respond with violence, then what sort of moral basis is that? Might makes right? What does it say about society if the we should expect to be assaulted for questioning an unknown person? What kind of neighborhood did you grow up in that trying to diffuse the situation and walk away is not the appropriate response but rather waiting until a man's back is turned and then knocking him to the ground?
Was ZImmerman wrong to get out of the car and confront Martin? I say that it was unnecessary and escalated the situation, and no, I wouldn't do it but continue to observe from a distance if I thought that person was a threat, but that does not mean that Martin was justified in his response to attack him, which turned out to be an even more dramatic escalation.
I'm genuinely curious now, to know why you personally think that's a reasonable and justified response.
You also didn't answer if you thought your life would be threatened in the same situation.
I'm genuinely curious now, to know why you personally think that's a reasonable and justified response.
Don't bother and harass me, and I won't do the same. That's a simple fact of life. If you continue to bother me, and now we have a problem.
That is exactly what Travyon did. There was no reason for Zimmerman to go harass Travyon.
As for you other question
I did answer you
I don't know about you, but I don't go walk to people in the street and start asking them "what are you doing in my neighborhood" acting all tough.
I don't have to worry about my life situation regarding using a weapon to defend myself, because unlike Zimmerman, I don't put myself in that situation.
My point here was to get you to consider why violence is so often seen by men as an appropriate response. It's not. Generally speaking in most situations it makes things worse. Not only did it lead to the death of a young man, but it has pretty much ruined Zimmerman's life for the foreseeable future. Maybe what Zimmerman should have done was not shoot Martin, but throw away the gun. If that had happened he would have just been a victim of assault. Maybe he should have just shot into the air and unloaded the full magazine. I can't say for sure if that was an option because it's not like there was a recording of the fight to see if that was possible. Maybe the whole thing would have been avoided if Zimmerman would have have just told Martin who he was and why he was concerned about an unknown person walking around his neighborhood in light of several break-ins.
We'll never know, but what we do know is that at two points violence was used to end the situation, the last time was just in response to the first and both were unnecessary.