'Stand Your Ground' May Have Nothing to Do With the Trayvon Martin Case

The Fox affiliate in Tampa reports that a man who claims to have witnessed part of the fight between Trayvon Martin and  George Zimmerman says he saw the 17-year-old student on top of the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, who was wearing a red sweater. "The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me, 'Help, help," said the man, who asked to be identified only as John, "and I told him to stop and I was calling 911....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." This account, which John reportedly shared with police, is consistent with the grass stains on Zimmerman's shirt, his bloody nose, and the cut on the back of the head. It backs up Zimmerman's claim that the cries captured in the background of a 911 call came from him, not Martin. Citing those screams, a lawyer for Martin's family claimed Zimmerman had shot Martin "in cold blood" as the teenager begged for his life.

Even if John's account is accurate, it does not necessarily mean Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin. But it suggests that the right to "stand your ground" protected by Florida's much-maligned self-defense law, which critics have blamed for the Sanford Police Department's decision not to arrest Zimmerman, may be irrelevant in this case. If Martin tackled Zimmerman, who as a result feared serious injury or death (perhaps because he believed Martin was about to grab his gun), the "duty to retreat" that was eliminated by Florida's law would not apply because Zimmerman would not have had an opportunity to escape. In fact, Zimmerman's lawyer says he does not plan to invoke the "stand your ground" principle.

Under Florida law, even if Zimmerman were deemed the aggressor (since he apparently provoked the fight by following Martin against the advice of a police dispatcher), he could still argue self-defense if he claimed the force used against him was so great that he reasonably believed that he was "in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm" and that he had "exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger." He also might argue, although it does not seem to apply in this case, that he had withdrawn from physical contact with Martin and clearly indicated he did not wish to fight, after which Martin nevertheless continued or resumed the use of force. But neither argument hinges on the right to "stand your ground" when attacked in a public place.

Michael J.Z. Mannheimer, a law professor at Northern Kentucky University, argues that the Trayvon Martin case does highlight a problem with Florida's self-defense law, but it has nothing to do with the duty to retreat. Instead Mannheimer focuses on the section that says a person who legally uses force in self-defense "is immune from criminal prosecution," as opposed to letting him present that defense at trial. And while "a law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force," the law says, "the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful." That is the section the Sanford Police Department cited in explaining its decision not to arrest Zimmerman. These restrictions, Mannheimer argues, make it difficult to get at the truth in a case like this one:

This odd provision means that a person who uses deadly force in self-defense cannot be tried, even though the highly fact-intensive question of whether the person acted in self-defense is usually hashed out at trial. The law thus creates a paradox: the State must make a highly complex factual determination before being permitted to avail itself of the forum necessary to make such a determination.

Not only that, Section 776.032 provides immunity from arrest unless the police have "probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful." Again, the law creates a Catch-22: police cannot arrest the suspect unless they have probable cause, not just to believe there was a killing, but also that the killing was not in self-defense; and where, as is often the case, the defendant is the only living witness to the alleged crime, the police likely will not be able to form probable cause without interrogating the suspect.

While it's true that additional information may emerge after someone is charged and prosecuted, isn't that always the case? The problem is that arresting and prosecuting someone is in itself a kind of punishment and therefore to be avoided without some substantial reason to suspect he has committed a crime. The idea behind laws like this is that people who use force in self-defense should not have to worry about being prosecuted, even if they are ultimately acquitted. And if probable cause is the standard for all other arrests, why is that burden unreasonable in this case?

That is not to say Zimmerman should not be arrested. The Seminole County grand jury looking into the shooting may well conclude he should (which, of course, is not the same thing as determining that he is guilty). But if so, it's not clear the problem was an excessively restrictive law, as opposed to an insufficiently thorough police investigation or a questionable interpretation of the evidence.

Speaking of which, Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, recently likened Zimmerman's shooting of Martin to Deryl Dedmon's 2011 murder of James C. Anderson in Jackson, Mississippi. "You continue to see this around the country, the systematic targeting of black people," Dees told The New York Times. "That’s what happened here [in the Mississippi case], and that's what happened in Florida." Dedmon went out looking for black people to assault and deliberately ran over Anderson with a pickup truck. While Zimmerman's suspicion of Martin may have been influenced by the teenager's race, and his overzealousness created the circumstances that led to the teenager's death, there is no evidence that he "systematically target[ed]...black people." Martin may have died because of mutual misunderstandings, Zimmerman's unjustified panic, or Zimmerman's reasonable fear of death or serious injury (as Zimmerman claims). But Martin clearly did not die because of a premeditated racist rampage.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Janeane Garofalo||

    This is racist, straight up.

  • ||

    Because one of the participants is dead, we will never know why there was a wrestling on the grass.

  • Janeane Garofalo||

    A white guy shot a black guy. We don't need to know anything else.

  • anon||

    Bullshit! It advances the media narrative more if we focus on exactly how heartless the white guy was before he shot him, and how much of a gun nut he is.

  • Fred||

    All the more reason why we need strict gun control laws and we need to abolish this criminal 'stand your ground' law. Self defense should not be an excuse to murder someone, if you are in danger call the police.

  • carol||

    You're joking, right? I don't know if Zimmerman acted in self-defense or not but a person certainly has the right to defend themselves. What is a person supposed to do while waiting for the police-beg for their life? Give me a break.

  • Tech Guru||

    Here Carol, you can borrow my Sarcasmo-meter. Yours is apparently not functioning.

  • Dan||

    This is the internet. It is impossible to make a statement so obviously sarcastic that you can't find someone who agrees with it.

  • WWB||

    DONT STALK PEOPLE,THATS YOUR BREAK!ESPECIALLY WHEN THE POLICE TELL YOU NOT TOO!!! DUUUH!

  • mgremmele||

    Zimmerman isn't Caucasian

  • ||

    Um...Zimmerman is half Latino. Try again.

  • ||

    Zimmerman's white like Obama is white. This is more like Hispanic on Black violence.

  • WWB||

    OBAMA IS BLACK !

  • Lynch Mob||

    Damn it!

  • Suki||

    It is about time someone mentioned the FOX news interview with the first witness.

  • Lynch Mob||

    Apologies forthcoming.

  • Suki||

    New Black Panther Party is offering a $10,000 "dead or alive" bounty for Zimmerman. Happy?

  • Lynch Mob||

    Happy? Hardly. Not till Mary Stack is dead.

  • Mary Stack||

    Hey!

  • NBPP||

    You only worth $5,000, bitch.

  • Mensan||

    The racism is on the part of the media and professional race baiters who declare that any crime against a minority, whether real or fabricated, is racially motivated. If they weren't perpetrating a racist double standard, then there would be national outrage over this. Notice that when it's a black guy that murdered a white guy, the article doesn't mention race at all.

  • Lyle||

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is a perverse joke now. They want payback for segregation and slavery.

    They could give a damn about 5 black kids killed over a weekend in some U.S. city though when there are no white people involved.

    Know failure!

  • WTF||

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is a perverse joke now.

    Now?

  • ||

    It's basically a scam to make Morris Dees rich, which it has succeeded in doing. How many civil rights non-profits do you know that have Cayman Islands bank accounts?

  • sticks||

    Um the Cayman Island account is not a criticism in my book. But for other reasons fuck the splc.

  • ||

    It's a perfectly valid criticism for a NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION. Jesus.

  • ||

    Where do you suggest they stash their profits?

  • sticks||

    why? I view tax shelters as needed competitors to the big nation states. Non profit or profit, they all should be free to take advantage of better tax law.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Non-profits don't need tax shelters.

    The only purpose of an offshore account is if a manager plans to loot the non-profit's money.

  • ||

    Non profit or profit, they all should be free to take advantage of better tax law.

    AYFKM? Tax laws are pretty sweet for nonprofits.

  • ||

    They don't call it the "outrage industry" for nothing. Good work if you can get it.

  • Lyle||

    You got me. I surrender. :)

  • Suki||

    At least the SPLC calls the Black Panther Party what they are, racists. Broken clocks and all that.

  • Lyle||

    You're right, they're not wrong about everything. But they go out of their way to point fingers at people and call them bigots... ironically.

  • ||

    It seems to me that "stand your ground" remains a part of the case in that the police cited it as the reason they did not investigate the crime scene thoroughly or arrest Zimmerman.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Then the point seems to be more a problem of police investigative procedure than the principle itself.

  • ||

    SYG law, not principle. I don't believe there is a duty to retreat, but I also don't believe that the last man standing should automatically be presumed to be in the right.

  • ||

    Two men enter, one man leaves, NutraSweet. Welcome to Thunderdome. You won't break any rules, because there are none.

  • anon||

    It's finally happening!

  • Aunty Entity||

    Who run Bartertown?

  • anon||

    Fallout 4: RL edition.

  • Fred||

    Two men enter, one man leaves!
    Two men enter, one man leaves!
    Two men enter, one man leaves!
    Two men enter, one man leaves!
    Two men enter, one man leaves!
    Two men enter, one man leaves!
    Two men enter, one man leaves!
    Two men enter, one man leaves!

  • Lyle||

    Yes, and apparently didn't automatically assume the last man standing was in the right. There are witness statements. Screaming and grass stains.

  • Mo||

    They corrected the witness statements based on what the last man standing told them.

  • Lyle||

    Oh really, did they? So the witnesses are saying something different now. I wonder why this isn't being reported.

    Accept has been and one witness on tape saying the exact same thing he told the police.

  • WTF||

    True, but I think the point now is that it was likely cited inappropriately.

  • ||

    Then it needs to be clarified to the police to the extent that they either aren't citing it improperly or when they do, it's clear evidence of bias against the dead person. Still puts the law in play.

  • ||

    So if they said they couldn't prosecute Zimmerman because of the law against ferrets, then that puts the law against ferrets in play?

  • ||

    Did the police only do a cursory examination and abandon a crime scene to the elements and the neighbors because of ferrets?

  • T||

    We'll never know. Big media is covering for the ferrets.

  • Democrat Politicians||

    They cover for the weasels, too.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Sugarfree,

    It seems to me that "stand your ground" remains a part of the case in that the police cited it as the reason they did not investigate the crime scene thoroughly or arrest Zimmerman.


    That may be so but the law only grants him immunity if he acted according to the privisions in the "stand your ground" law, which he clearly didn't. Besides the law does not provide him with immunity against arrest. The police acted stupidly, this time for real.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Actually, the only thing the cops appear to have done remotely right was to not arrest Zimmerman.

    The fact that they failed to properly investigate the crime scene and also that they issued statements seeming to indicate that the case was closed were among the things they did wrong.

    The original police statement should have been something to the affect that there were no grounds to arrest Zimmerman at this time but an investigation was ongoing.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Exactly so.

  • robc||

    My comments in the AM thread are upheld!

  • Reasoner||

    One of the things I like about HnR (no sarcasm here) is the Wiki-like way that repeated posts on a topic incorporate learning from the comments.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    Every time I see HnR or H&R I think of Harrington & Richardson Rifles.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I always think of a .38S&W, top break, 5-shot revolver. 4" barrel, blue steel with original horn grips.

  • Old Mexican||

    Instead Mannheimer focuses on the section that says a person who legally uses force in self-defense "is immune from criminal prosecution," as opposed to letting him present that defense at trial.


    If a person legally used forced to defend his life, WHY would it have to become his defense in his trial (that is, with an expensive lawyer at his side?)

    THAT, sir, is what the immunity clause is for: To protect people from rapacious prosecutors and carrion-eaters like yourself, counselor.

    The difference here is, if we take the account recalled by the witness, and considering that Zimmerman chose to disregard the petition by the 911 dispatcher, the attacker was clearly Zimmerman and the person who could've claimed to stand his ground was Martin, and not the other way around.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    That's still how I view the situation as well. Of course the whole thing has become a clusterfuck thanks in no small part to assholes like the SPLC.

  • Sudden||

    You're confusing Zimmerman's red sweater with Trayvon Martin's hooded sweatershirt.

    The witnesses testimony corroborates what Zimmerman says that Martin attacked him. Zimmerman did pursue Martin and follow him in hopes of keeping a line of sight so that he could direct the police to the kid, but pursuit does not equate to attack.

    Color me unsurprised that the truth of this story is likely far more nuanced than a blood-thirsty racist seeking to kill a poor misunderstood urban youth. Does Zimmerman's action warrant immunity? I'm unclear as I'm not part of the investigation. But one would hope that the police in this case at the very least collected all available evidence in an effort to determine whether or not it did.

  • sarcasmic||

    Could it possibly be that Zimmer is telling the truth?

  • ||

    But one would hope that the police in this case at the very least collected all available evidence in an effort to determine whether or not it did.

    They did not. They let the crime scene sit fallow for days, only carefully examining it after the public protests began.

  • Suki||

    Shades of Duke lacrosse.

  • horselips||

  • ||

    The witnesses testimony corroborates what Zimmerman says that Martin attacked him.

    No, it doesn't. It confirms that Martin was losing the fistfight. It casts no light on who started the fistfight.

  • ||

    Sorry, Zimmerman was losing, not Martin.

  • Sudden||

    I realized my error there and corrected it below quickly:

    The details that have emerged don't indicate which person initiated the force. All we can see is that at one point, Trayvon Martin was on top of Zimmerman and beating him up.

    Although I did note that Martin's positional advantage could be considered evidence of being the aggressor (albeit inconclusive) since the aggressor typically gains the initial positional advantage in a skirmish. Moreover, Zimmerman's "help" pleas may be considered further indication that he had no desire to initiate force to begin with. Again, none of these are conclusive, but it does paint a broader picture that some nuance is needed here and that this was anything but an "in cold blood" murder.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    The mayor of Philadelphia says it was an assassination. Another leap to judgement by someone who wasn't there.

  • ||

    True. But it puts lie to the idea that Zimmerman just shot Martin for no apparent reason. Martin is a six feet two or three high school football player.

    If the witness is telling the truth, at some point he is on top of Zimmerman beating him with Zimmerman yelling for help. That is a pretty compelling reason to reach for your gun.

  • Mo||

    Also, getting your ass kicked != fear of your life

  • ||

    No. Getting your ass kicked can equal fear for your life. Depends on how bad the ass kicking is. I would say getting your head beat into a side walk is getting pretty close.

  • R||

    Yeah, even a single punch can kill you, if delivered in the wrong spot with just the right amount of force. There was a case of a 10 year old girl keeling over after a fistfight with another 10 year old girl just recently.

    Also, according to FBI statistics, more people are killed from blows delivered by hands and feet each year than are killed by all shotguns and rifles combined.

  • ||

    I've got a solution. We can amputate all hands and feet.

    Please, think of the children.

  • ||

    Well played, sir.

  • shamalam||

    It seems to me that Zimmerman is shielded by 2a below...

    "776.041 Use of force by aggressor.

    The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or"

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Sudden,

    You're confusing Zimmerman's red sweater with Trayvon Martin's hooded sweatershirt.


    I'm not confusing anything, Sudden. Martin was obviously on top of Zimmerman, hitting him. But that does not mean a) Martin was the aggressor and b) Martin had the intention of harming Zimmerman irreparably.

    Zimmerman did pursue Martin and follow him in hopes of keeping a line of sight so that he could direct the police to the kid, but pursuit does not equate to attack.


    Of course it doesn't unless Zimmerman went from pursuit to harassment, which could've prompted Martin to act. The witness' account cannot serve to determine this but the girlfriend's account can.

  • ||

    Martin had the intention of harming Zimmerman irreparably.

    That is not the issue. Zimmerman can't be expected to read Martin's mind. The issue is did Zimmerman reasonably believe Martin mean to do him grievous bodily harm or death. And I think jumping on top of someone and beating them as they yell "help" can reasonably be interpreted as intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    Martin had the intention of harming Zimmerman irreparably.


    How can you tell? The guy only got a bloody nose.

    The issue is did Zimmerman reasonably believe Martin mean to do him grievous bodily harm or death.


    That issue would involve no controversy if Martin had sought Zimmerman, not the other way around.

    And I think jumping on top of someone and beating them as they yell "help" can reasonably be interpreted as intent to cause grievous bodily harm.


    Maybe so, but again: The witness' report does not give indication of what happened before the altercation, John. What was it that prompted Martin to put Zimmerman on the ground with a punch to the face? I place myself on his shoes and I can think of a thousand things Zimmerman did to provoke the kid.

  • ||

    I don't care what he did to provoke him. The law is the law. Unless Zimmerman attacked first, Martin was in the wrong.

  • shamalam||

    You are right on this, John. The way I read Florida's SYG law, even if Zimmerman did attack first he is shielded by 2a in the link below.

    http://law.justia.com/codes/fl.....6_041.html

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I like how you think burglarizing an empty garage is violence but wailing on someone who is calling for help doesn't give rise to a reasonable conclusion that the wailer is going cause severe bodily injury.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Night Elf Mohawk,

    I like how you think burglarizing an empty garage is violence


    You mean it's not??? If it were YOUR garage would you think it was love instead of violence?

    but wailing on someone who is calling for help doesn't give rise to a reasonable conclusion that the wailer is going cause severe bodily injury.


    Sorry, but following a guy I don't know to confront him to the point the guy feels compelled to beat me up does not give a sense of cogency to a subsequent "self-defense" defense.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Because the only alternatives are love or violence? Of course I wouldn't -- didn't -- like it if it happened to me, but that doesn't make it violent.

  • ||

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

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

    Zimmerman has not spoken publicly about what happened, but that night, Feb. 26, and in later meetings he described and re-enacted for police what he says happened.

    http://articles.orlandosentine.....k-teenager

  • ||

    Zimmerman chose to disregard the petition by the 911 dispatcher, the attacker was clearly Zimmerman

    That is just not true. There is no evidence that Zimmerman did anything but follow and confront Martin. That is not attacking him. Show me that Zimmerman punched him or started the altercation. I don't see any evidence of that.

    The assumption on here seems to be that the mere fact that Zimmerman followed Martin gave Martin the right to jump on Zimmerman and beat him down. And that is just not correct.

  • Martin||

    Whachoo followin me fo? Huh cracka? I said whachoo followin me fo! Why I otta beat yo ass into da groun, cracka! Fuck you! Yeah, I gonna fuck you up! What you runnin fo, pussy? Fuck you!
    *wham* *wham*

    *BLAM!*

  • Zeb||

    Or we could just make some shit up with our best "uppity negro" talk. Ass.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    There is no evidence that Zimmerman did anything but follow and confront Martin. That is not attacking him.


    Place yourself in Martin's shoes for a minute,. John: You're on your way home from a store, talking to your girl on the phone, and you notice that some nut is following you closely. Tell me if that would not give you at least the heebee-jeebees?

  • ||

    So what? The doesn't give me the right to attack him. No, you can't kick everyone who annoys you or confronts you ass. It doesn't work that way. And from the sounds of it, it is not like Martin just punched him out and walked off. He jumped on him and made it a beat down.

    It infuriates me how RC and Fluffy in particular act like Martin is totally without sin in this. If he didn't want to get shot, maybe he shouldn't be out beating people down. Just a thought.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    So what? The doesn't give me the right to attack him.


    Nor did the situation give Zimmerman a right to kill him. Zimmerman looked for trouble all by himself. Whether the punk kid felt he needed to beat up Zimmerman or not is something that can only be determined by looking at all the evidence, but clearly Zimmerman confronted this kid in a way that compelled the kid to react in that way.

  • ||

    He is a person not an Animal. Nothing Zimmerman did compelling Martin to do anything.

  • ||

    Dude, what do you think Neighborhood Patrols are supposed to do? Their job is to "look for trouble". They see a stranger in their neighborhood, they ask them what they are doing and where they are going. Sure, you might get racially profiled if you're in a neighborhood where you don't reflect the general demographics. That sucks, but it's not an excuse to beat someone up.

    And at what point in a beatdown is it justified to pull the trigger? How do you know that the next time he slams your head against the sidewalk, you won't be braindead or paralyzed for life?

    The facts aren't all there yet so I'm not willing to say one way or another, but if it happened more or less as Zimmerman and the police says it did, he was completely justified. Even if Zimmerman called him a racial epithet.

  • sarcasmic||

    The girlfriend said she was urging Martin to run. I wonder if she left out a part where her urging was in response to Martin talking of confronting and attacking his follower.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Back in the day when I had hair halfway down my back, wore metal-themed t-shirts, and rode a motorcycle I also happened to date a woman who lived in Highland Park, one of the most well-to-do neighborhoods in Dallas. There were more than a handful of times when I, or we, were followed through the neighborhood by people on foot and in cars.

    I'd go more with "was pissed off" than "had the heebee-jeebies."

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    How does what the witness said make it clear that the attacker was Zimmerman?

  • Sudden||

    I think OM confused the "red sweater" reference as a reference to Martin's now-iconic hoodie.

    A closer inspection reveals that the witness John was referring to Zimmerman being on the ground being beaten up and he was the one sporting the red sweater (not a brown shirt as the media would have us believe / parenthetical snark).

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Sudden,

    I think OM confused the "red sweater" reference as a reference to Martin's now-iconic hoodie.


    I already indicated I didn't confuse anything. Zimmerman was wearing the red sweater and got grass stains on them, that much is certain. He was also getting the worst of a fight he most likely provoked.

    What I am telling you, Sudden, is that Martin was a) unarmed and b) alone, walking from a store to his home. Being followed by some self-appointed "champion of justice" was enough to make him feel threatened, otherwise he would have arrived at his home untouched. Again, there is a case to be made that it was MARTIN who was "standing his ground" and not Zimmerman.

  • ||

    That right there - the who and how the physical confrontation started, is what this case will be all about.

    http://booksbikesboomsticks.bl.....ystal.html

    "Stand your ground" doesn't mean that you can start a fight, then pull out your heater when you lose. That witness doesn't seem to know how the fight actually started.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    No, but "self defense," if we presume Martin started off defending himself, doesn't mean you can continue to kick the crap out of someone, possibly banging his head against the sidewalk, when he's trying to get out of the situation.

  • ||

    Back to that mysterious #4 where Zimmerman went from following Martin at a discrete distance, to a fist fight. How?

    If Zimmerman grabbed him, cornered him, or started the fight, he has no legal self-defense argument. If Martin circled back and jumped him, then he can claim self-defense.

  • ||

    If you start a fight, you have no self-defense argument no matter how bad the fight goes.

  • R||

    If you start a fight, you have no self-defense argument no matter how bad the fight goes.

    Not always true. If you made an effort to disengage and stop the fight, you can claim self defense, so long as what started the fight wasn't the other person resisting a forcible felony.

  • ||

    I hate to bring up a grimy practical consideration in the midst of this esoteric debate, but what happens when a person commits murder when he and the victim are alone and then falsely claims self-defense?

  • sarcasmic||

    I would assume that unless there is evidence to prove otherwise, they get away with murder.

  • ||

    Absent any physical evidence, I'd say that it all depends on the prosecutor. If he decides that the guy is guilty, then he's clearly a murderer and he's lying to cover up his crime.

    If the prosecutor has a favorable view of the killer for some reason, then he's innocent by reason of self defense.

    Being wealthy or a public official like a police officer puts you in that second group more often than not. Being poor, minority, scruffy, etc. puts you in the first group.

  • ||

    See, that's my problem. You're demanding evidence to prove a negative (ie, that it was NOT an act of self defense).

    Getting killed by a private citizen with state indifference is equivalent to getting killed by an agent of the state. Hence the need for the equal protection clause, etc.

  • Charlie Manson||

    You're demanding evidence to prove a negative (ie, that it was NOT an act of self defense).

    If our choices here are murder or self defense, then wouldn't evidence proving something other than self defense be evidence proving murder?

  • Ex nihilo||

    I would say as long as other evidence backs up the survivor, then that person would be considered by the legal establishment to be innocent.

  • Teaching Student||

    Well, remember that the case doesn't need to be decided "innocent," but rather "Not Guilty."

  • adam||

    I'd imagine that the police would look at other evidence like: whether the scene is consistent with the self-defense story, defensive wounds, motive, prior statements and actions of the suspect, etc.

  • ||

    That's the problem - Zimmerman has defensive wounds and a witness statement that he was being attacked. But, there is a long tape of Zimmerman acting like as ass to provoke the situation.

    It will be an ugly legal conundrum.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    but what happens when a person commits murder when he and the victim are alone and then falsely claims self-defense?


    The onus is on the accused to prove self-defense, either according to the law or even without the law. The "stand your ground" law is even more restrictive, because the person has to prove he or she tried all reasonably and available avenues of escape. Without the law, there would be a chance a prosecutor would not want to pursue the matter against the person if he or she felt the alleged attacker had a potential to instill sympathy on a jury.

  • ||

    Um, weren't you just defending immunity from prosecution above? Immunity from prosecution means there's no onus on the accused.

    What you're describing is an 'affirmative defense' requirement which most states have. But that's not what you're advocating above; you're advocating a system where the police have to be able to prove there was no self-defense.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    Um, weren't you just defending immunity from prosecution above?


    I was. Did you read my argument, or just jumped the gun?

    Immunity from prosecution means there's no onus on the accused.


    Did you read the statute? As long as the person who is shot and injured or killed is deemed the aggressor, the person acting in self-defense is granted immunity. If instead there is clear evidence the shooter is the attacker, then he cannot be immune.

    READ the statute.

    But that's not what you're advocating above; you're advocating a system where the police have to be able to prove there was no self-defense.


    Just as they have to show evidence of robbery, murder, arson, rape, trespassing, burglary, assault, battery, fraud...

  • ||

    That is just one of the less obvious reasons why it widely considered preferable to be the survivor at a murder scene. Dead people not being not particularly adept at telling their side of the story.

    Of course, getting your story to match the forensics and potential witnesses is advisable, if not always that easy... That's where the falsely aspect of your statement beings to work against you. Hard against you.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't see how you can establish legal self-defense without affirmatively presenting the defense at some point.

    It relies not only on the self-defender's statement, but a bunch of "reasonable man" standards that you need a jury to serve as a finder of fact for.

    Who gets to decide if Zimmerman actually faced "imminent death or great bodily harm" and that his belief was reasonable?

    The police?

  • ||

    The police initially and then the DA. The DA has digression. He has the ethical obligation to decide if he has the evidence to prove the case. He cannot ethically just say "fuck it let the jury decide".

    And please do not tell me that I am reading a libertarian blog where the position is that the DA should bring every case for which there is any evidence on the theory that it is the jury's job to decide such things.

  • ||

    "chose to disregard the petition by the 911 dispatcher"

    in legals terms what weight does a petition from a 911 dispatcher carry?

    is a citizen legally obligated to obey their every word?

  • ||

    Notice how the term has become 'petition'?

    What she said was "you don't have to do that" Which is an advisement that no one is compelling him to take any further action.

    It is not a bar, or prohibition against any further acts on his part.

    If she had said "stop what you are doing and wait for the police" or something similar I still do not think it would carry any legal force, but it certainly would weigh more heavily against him than what was actually said.

  • Bob_R||

    Does the fact that Zimmerman pursued Martin (against the urging of the 911 operator) give rise to probable cause that self defense can't be used. As you say, he can make a case for self defense even if he is the aggressor, but burden of proof on an aggressor is pretty heavy. An aggressor has to prove he feared for his life, not simply that he feared losing a fist fight.

  • ||

    That is bullshit. Zimmerman had every right to follow Martin. He had a right to confront him. If you walk in front of my house, I can ask you where are you going. You can tell me to fuck off and keep walking. But you cannot attack me unless I attack you.

  • GW||

    Disagree. If you follow me and ask me questions that are none of your business, and it seems as if you're intent on starting something, I have the right to defend myself. And laws be damned, even if I strike first, that wouldn't be me "starting" anything.

    If I view a physical confrontation to be imminent, I might go ahead and initiate the contact, even though I'm defending myself.

    If I wait until I'm attacked, I lose any advantage I may have had in my defense.

  • ||

    That is just wrong GW. If you hit me under those circumstances, you would go down for battery or worse. And further, you should go down for stupidity. You have no idea who I am or if I am armed. Anyone who would just punch a total stranger because you didn't like them or they confronted you is pretty much asking to get shot, especially in a state like Florida where there is conceal and carry.

  • GW||

    And you have no idea if I'm armed. So it would be stupid of you to follow me, harass me, and ask questions about what I'm doing.

    Note that I'm making a distinction here: you following me isn't a problem. But you following me with the intent of having some sort of confrontation IS. And that could very well have happened in this case. We'll never know for sure.

    If I think a confrontation is imminent, I WILL use force to defend myself, and I carry all the time.

    And, my brother and myself got into such a situation like this once...a guy had his car broken into, we were driving through this apartment complex looking for someone, and I guess we looked suspicious to him. He started asking us what we were doing, and we told him to piss off. He started getting testy with us, approached the car, and got a Glock stuck in his face. he immediately retreated and called the cops.

  • GW||

    Guess who's side the cops were on? Ours. There was no question who the "aggressor" was, even though he didn't initiate force.

    Oh, and fuck the character limit.

  • ||

    You got very lucky that the cops dropped that. Unless you can show me that he had a weapon, it most states that was a felony you committed. You just caught a cop on a busy day who said no harm no foul. You just as easily could have had one who nailed your ass.

    And more importantly, had you not pulled the gun and just beat the guy down, you would have certainly gone to jail. And I would also strongly advise you not to pull a gun on someone unless you plan to kill them. Because the next time, the other guy may have one and be happy to use it.

  • GW||

    Lucky my ass, the cops loved it. No way they were going to charge us. One of them was even insinuating that we could have shot him and there wouldn't have been an issue. It's a clear cut case of self defense. Say what you want, but you're stupid if you wait for a fight to break out before you draw your gun. Could be way too late at that point.

    As far as firing the gun, I think if the guy hadn't retreated, and kept advancing, he might have been shot. but it clearly wasn't necessary in this case. But no way were we letting some guy get close to us who was obviously pissed about something and was willing to start some shit with a couple of total strangers.

  • GW||

    Oh, and I want to point out that the cops didn't "drop" anything. We were never charged, never arrested, never anything but asked a few simple questions, because the facts were simple. The guy who approached the car told pretty much the same story we did.

  • ||

    You were lucky GW. Pulling a gun on someone and threatening them with it is a felony. And if you had shot the guy, you would have gone down for murder. Just walking up to someone is not reason to shoot them.

    Maybe you live in some backwater where the law is never enforced. Those do exist. But in most places, you would have gone down and gone down hard.

  • GW||

    We didn't "pull a gun on someone and threaten" them. We responded to a credible threat by a person who was obviously angry and was confronting a party about an incident of which we had no knowledge, and he had no reason to think we were involved.

    I'm sorry that your reading comprehension is so bad that you say something like:

    And if you had shot the guy, you would have gone down for murder. Just walking up to someone is not reason to shoot them.

    Because that's not what happened. He approached us. That's why the cops asked US if WE wanted to file charges on HIM.

    And that's the point I'm trying to make. You can initiate force and NOT be the aggressor. In fact, in many cases, if you don't initiate force, you have no way to defend yourself.

  • ||

    You cannot follow and confront law abiding citizens walking on a public street or sidewalk. "Fuck off" is the proper response.

    If a creepy guy tries to grab me on a sidewalk, I will use force to break contact.

  • GW||

    Exactly.

  • ||

    Good for you. But that is not what happened here. He attacked Zimmerman and beat his head on a sidewalk.

  • ||

    How do you know? The witness doesn't say (publicly at least) who started the fight. All we see is a snapshot of Martin winning a fight and Zimmerman killing him.

  • ||

    Did Martin know Zimmerman was trying to pull a gun? If so, Martin would be justified bashing his brains out.

  • ||

    You most certainly can follow and confront people in public - that is part of what makes it public.

    If your method of confrontation is overly aggressive, or threatening you could face charges for assault, or menacing, possibly stalking or harassment.

    But if all you are doing is trying to convince people of the coming zombie apocalypse/gain coverts to your cult, or sell time shares/subscriptions to Reason then you are entirely within the law.

  • Sudden||

    His pursuit of Martin doesn't mean he was an aggressor. It simply means he followed Martin with the goal of being able to point him out to the police when they arrived on scene.

    The details that have emerged don't indicate which person initiated the force. All we can see is that at one point, Trayvon Martin was on top of Zimmerman and beating him up. Moments later when "John" got upstairs, situation was reversed and Martin lay dead on the grass. We can't tell from this who attacked who initially, although it is worth noting that usually the initial aggressor is the one that gains the initial position advantage (i.e. being on top) so it's not entirely inconceivable that Martin attacked his pursuer (now, being that he was being pursued, he might've had a SYG claim due to fearing that pursuit was a sign of malicious intent were he alive to make it).

  • ||

    His pursuit of Martin doesn't mean he was an aggressor. It simply means he followed Martin with the goal of being able to point him out to the police when they arrived on scene.

    In light of his statement that "they always get away", and the fact that he confronted Martin (according to the GF), and the fact that he disregarded the dispatcher's request to stay put, I think its easy to say he was out there to do a little more than pointing Martin out to the police.

  • ||

    He also could have kept line of sight without getting out of his car.

  • ||

    So what if he did confront him? Absent attacking him, that doesn't give Martin the right to attack Zimmerman.

    That is where you guys are losing me. The assumption seems to be that because Zimmerman confronted Martin, Martin immediately then had a right to start beating Zimmerman. And that doesn't follow.

  • ||

    So what if he did confront him?

    The problem is that there is a time gap between Zimmerman getting out of the car and the witness seeing the struggle. We will never know what happened in that time gap. Never. But the fact remains that if Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of the car to follow Martin on foot, Martin would likely be alive. And if it wasn't for the mis-interpretation of the SYG law by the police, there might be some evidence of what happened in the time gap.

    This is all reasonable doubt for Zimmerman. He will never be convicted. This fact does not make it a good idea for a neighborhood watch wanna-be cop to assume police powers over people in his area that are not committing any crimes.

  • ||

    Sure. Zimmerman was stupid to confront the kid. But I kind of understand why he did it.

    I confronted a guy in my neighborhood once. He was going through the trash dumpster but not taking cans but taking mail. I asked him what he was doing and he told me to fuck off. I took his picture with my cell phone and said that if anything turned up missing in our little condo community, I was calling the cops and giving them his picture as the guy I saw stealing it. I also told him that I was going back in my house to call the cops.

    I didn't have a gun with me. But I can understand this guy's desire to not let someone he thought was there to do harm just walk away.

  • ||

    Once again, the only evidence that exists points to Martin walking home from a 7/11. That is not a crime, and certainly not a capital crime.

  • ||

    True enough Sugar Free. But we also have evidence of Martin on top of Zimmerman beating the shit out of him. That doesn't exactly point in Martin's favor.

  • ||

    And without knowing what led to that means that the witnessed actions of Martin are not despositive.

    You come up to me a demand to know what I'm doing, you're going to get told to fuck off. If you tackle me or grab me after that, you're going to end up on the ground getting punched in the face.

    What I'd like to know is what the physical evidence on Martin's body says. Other than a close range GSW, I haven't seen anything reported.

  • Sudden||

    Fair enough. Perhaps his goal was beyond a line of sight and more about letting him know that he saw Martin and the police were on their way. He may very well be overzealous seeing the kid brought to justice. But in either event, those facts alone don't offer evidence of having initiated force. And again, I posit that the person who gains the initial positional advantage is often the aggressor (surprise charge brings surprised victim to the ground underneath the attacker). We can't say for sure that happened here because the witness didn't identify who started the fight and Martin may have gained the tactical advantage at some point during the fracas.

  • Sudden||

    My only intention is to point out (albeit I don't feel it necessary with the H&R crowd since we're generally a more nuanced and suspicious-of-all-claims bunch) that this is hardly a black and white story (not intended to be a pun on it being a black and hispanic story).

  • Bob_R||

    Agreed. Pursuit does not prove aggression, either beyond reasonable doubt or by preponderance of evidence. But probable cause is a much lower standard. And actions showing probable cause do not have to be illegal themselves. (His pursuit was not illegal.) I don't know the answer, and I'd be interested in hearing from someone who knows some of the case law.

  • Lyle||

    As explained in the article... nope.

  • o3||

    so what happens when a thug, w teh black, shoots some unarmed white guy then claims stand ur ground?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: O3,

    so what happens when a thug, w teh black, shoots some unarmed white guy then claims stand ur ground?


    The same thing that is going to happen to Zimmerman: 15 to life in a State's penn.

  • Ex nihilo||

    I wouldn't bet on it, Old Mexican. The lack of facts as well as the way the law is written probably means Zimmerman walks.

  • ||

    I strongly doubt he'll be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt, unless there is camera footage, or the jury is stacked with NAACP/SPLC members, or he's got some secret history of aggression towards black people.

    I'm not understanding why your assumption is that Zimmerman is lying, that Martin was murdered in cold blood and the police are somehow evading justice when the evidence is both not publicly revealed, and what has been publicly revealed seems to lean towards Zimmerman acting in self-defense.

    Frankly I'm glad the law is erring on the side of caution and investigating instead of charging Zimmerman simply to feed the lynch mob.

  • Janeane Garofalo||

    Clearly the white guy was the agressor, and deserved a cap in his ass for oppressing the brotha!

  • Restoras||

    needz moar hoodie

  • ||

    Being the focus of a national media circus is one of my great fears in life...

  • Sudden||

    national media circus witch hunt.

    FIFY

  • Zeb||

    It would suck to be the dead guy too.

  • Sudden||

    No argument here.

  • Mary Stack||

    I feel your pain.

  • Ex nihilo||

    As long as UOF procedures were followed, it was a good shoot.

    /snark

  • sarcasmic||

    The fact is that we do not know what happened between Zimmer talking to the dispatcher and the neighbor calling 911.

    The only one who knows is him.

  • anon||

    Yeah, I agree with you on this. Initially I assumed that Zimmerman was guilty as hell; but after the media lynching he's received, I'm far more skeptical.

    Funny that both parties would've probably received justice if not for the emotional string-pulling by the media.

  • Mary Stack||

    I've been getting a lot of traffic lately.
    What's up?

  • anon||

    The best part is how quickly she managed to DELETE FUCKING EVERYTHING.

  • ||

    It is pretty funny. I would never expected it to be some soccer mom in Texas. But you never know.

  • Mary Stack||

    Did that other Mary Stack really "out" you, John? That seems kind of unethical to me. Could you provide a link to that thread so I can check for myself?

  • ||

    She didn't out me. She used my last name and accused me of being a child molester and being on a sex offender registry. No way to point to it. I wrote Reason and demanded that all of the posts be deleted. And Reason complied.

  • anon||

    Yeah. In your case, it's libel.

    In her case, she posted her info herself.

    Doesn't it suck for Mary that after two years of being so careful that just one careless mistake ruins all of her effort?

  • ||

    And she did some pretty serious looking to figure out my last name. I didn't even accidentally post it on here. I have no idea how she got it.

    So yeah, fuck her. I don't care if Heller posts her social security number on here. She is a nasty awful person.

  • anon||

    I wouldn't fuck her with Night Elf Mohawk's dick!

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Only because you'd sprain your back trying to walk over to her.

  • ||

    LOL!

  • Mary Stack||

    I don't care if Heller posts her social security number on here.

    Ladies and gentlemen: libertarian ethics.

  • Zeb||

    You did once post a link to a pdf of a paper you wrote about something or other which had your name on it. I can't remember why exactly. I think MNG or someone was accusing you of making things up about yourself.

    I do remember lots of odd things, but I remembered your name from that, so I wouldn't be surprised that the deranged stalker troll would find that if I noticed it.

  • ||

    You all are correct. I did once post that after MNG accused me of not having any degrees. That is how she did it.

    Shame on me for taking MNG seriously.

  • Abdul||

    John, you once posted a link to your Martindale listing to prove some legal point. It wouldn't be that hard to find you.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    John, you used to use your AKO email here, IIRC.

  • Mary Stack||

    one careless mistake ruins all of her effort

    I dunno. That other Mary Stack made the puppets dance here for a long, long time. I'd call it a pretty successful run.

  • Mary Stack||

    She used my last name and accused me of being a child molester and being on a sex offender registry.

    Is it true? If not, you can sue her, now that you think you know who she is.

  • ||

    Whatever Mary. You are a sick and sad person. You have kids for God's sake. What is wrong with you?

  • Mary Stack||

    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

  • Mary Stack||

    Suckers!

  • anon||

    Mary, what kind of pizza do you like?

  • John Seinfeld||

    She outed me! And I wasn't even in!

  • Restoras||

    John, not every woman that has kids is a good, or even halfway decent, mom. In my town, I see many moms who are borderline resentful of the duties and responsibilities. Just sayin'.

  • ||

    True enough Restoras. And more than a few of them are pissed off the guy who knocked them up wouldn't stay and raise the kids.

  • Restoras||

    No doubt. And when they wonder why they are stuck alone with the kids, most of the time they need only look in the mirror.

  • Mary Stack||

    "Fucking" everything? That's a lot.

  • ||

    I don't think Mary deleted anything. If she had hacked this site so she could delete posts, why wouldn't she delete the posts outing her?

  • anon||

    No no, she deleted her twatter/both her blogs/etc. Things she had control over.

  • Mary Stack||

    Not that you're obsessed or anything, but you seem to have put a lot of effort into this witch hunt. Feel better now? Problem solved?

  • anon||

    Applying a name to an object gives you a certain power over that object.

    Then again, that concept may be too hard for you to understand, Mary.

  • Mary Stack||

    Feel better? Problem solved?

  • Mary Stack||

    Heh. You're such an impotent little bitch. But whatever makes you feel better.

  • anon||

    Awww, now who's resorted to name-calling?

    The last refuge of an outed troll. Sucks to be you.

  • anon||

    Also, emstack@hotmail.com is her non-trash email address.

  • ||

    There's going to be a real investigation now, the SYG law probably is out the window, and the focus will be on whether or not the killing was a reasonable amount of force exercised in self-defense. Beyond that, no one has enough information to know for sure what happened. Zimmerman probably could (and should) have avoided the direct confrontation, but that alone doesn't end the analysis.

    More to come, and speculation at this point isn't worth much.

  • ||

    Good thing the media didn't poison the jury pool or anything. And of course when it turns out this guy has a legitimate defense and gets off, we can have a good race riot. Thanks media.

  • Lyle||

    And Spike Lee, President Bush, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Who knew the klan would be these folk one day.

  • Lyle||

    Haha... President Obama, I mean.

  • Slim||

    Reason is helping by continuing to use an old mug shot of Zimmerman that makes him look like a thug. Why not the updated photo where he is in a tie and smiling?

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder what the liberals will say when some black vigilante caps his ass.

    They'll probably applaud it.

    Self defense is bad. Black on white vigilante justice is good.

  • anon||

    Of course. It's in the commerce clause somewhere.

  • ||

    That possibility scares the shit out of me. We are so close to having no kidding real political violence in this country.

  • Charlie Manson||

    Helter skelter!

  • Al Sharpton||

    And of course when it turns out this guy has a legitimate defense and gets off, we can have a good race riot.

    No justice, no peace! Muthafuckas!

  • Bender B. Rodriguez||

    Wait till the Diversity head into a white neighborhood to loot and stomp and burn. I don't think $harpton and Jack$on have ever seriously pondered how many scatterguns, .308s, .223s, 7.62x39s, 30-30s and ought-sixes are sitting in whitebread suburban closets.

  • Martin||

    Whachoo followin me fo? Huh? I said whachoo followin me fo!
    I gonna beat you ass fo followin me, yo!
    Fuck you!

  • Reformed Republican||

    More to come, and speculation at this point isn't worth much.

    It is worth ratings, which is all that matters.

  • ||

    And political hay. Now the verdict is a political event, absolutely regardless of what the facts end up showing. Recall, too, that all there has to be is reasonable doubt to result in Zimmerman walking, or, at least, getting convicted of a lesser charge.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, unless some other witness emerges that actually saw what happened, it doesn't look like much of a case against him will be made. It does seem like a trial woudl be appropriate, though.

  • adam||

    "and where, as is often the case, the defendant is the only living witness to the alleged crime, the police likely will not be able to form probable cause without interrogating the suspect."

    Woah there. How is that a reason to allow the police to arrest him? If anything, it's a reason not allow them to arrest him. Once he's arrested, they need to read him Miranda rights, so he's more likely to invoke the 5th. If they just invite him down to the station to answer some questions, there's no need for Miranda rights (although he could still invoke the 5th).

  • Lyle||

    George turned himself in immediately and was questioned by the police. I don't think George had a problem talking to the police and explaining what happened.

  • Chronic Handwasher||

    Zimmerman is:

    a) Wannabe vigilante

    b) Punk-ass biotch

    c) Dumbass

    d) All of the above

  • George Zimmerman||

    Trayvon Martin is:

    a) Dead

    b) Rotting

    c) Still fucking dead

    d) LOL

    e) All of the above

  • anon||

    rctlfy.wordpress.com

    lol'd.

  • Libertarians||

    harassment, and cyber stalking

    But that's what we do.

  • anon||

    Don't like it when you post your personal information online, do you Mary?

    I would suggest not making yourself such an easy target in the future if you're upset about this particular conundrum.

  • Lost in AZ||

    Did Trayvon Martin have the right to "stand his ground" and to use "force, possibly including deadly force," against the man who followed him while Martin was doing nothing wrong, confronted him based on.... his existence?, and was the one carrying a weapon?

  • Martin||

    Why you followin me you punk ass bitch? Fuck you! I'll show you to follow me! I'll fuck you up! Don't run from me you pussy! Fuck you! I'm gonna fuck you up! Bitch!

  • anon||

    Trayvon Martin didn't have the right to initiate force merely for being followed. If Zimmerman drew his firearm while trying to detain Martin, Martin's use of force could've been justified; however, if Zimmerman was on the way back to his truck like he said, there couldn't be justification.

  • ||

    We don't know who actually started the physical confrontation, and never will.

    Taking everything at face value, though, Zimmerman was looking for a confrontation of some kind, and Martin was trying to avoid a confrontation with the guy following him.

    Now, when they were face to face, did Zimmerman suddenly become a model of propriety, and Martin an aggressive a-hole? Its possible, but on the whole, it strikes me as unlikely. Based on what we "know".

    I think what really bugs me about this isn't so much that Zimmerman was out exceeding his portfolio as neighborhood watch guy. Its that he took a fucking gun with him to do it. Carrying a gun is not reckless. Following someone around is not reckless. Carrying a gun while you are following someone around, and then confronting them, is reckless.

    You do something reckless and somebody dies, you should pay.

  • ||

    and Martin was trying to avoid a confrontation with the guy following him.

    You don't know that. For all you know Zimmerman walked away after he left the car and Martin followed him looking for trouble.

    If Martin wasn't looking for trouble, how exactly did he end up on top of Zimmerman beating his brains out?

  • ||

    You don't know that.

    I'm taking the gf's account of their conversation at face value.

  • ||

    But you don't take the witness's account? You don't take Zimmerman's? The girl friend has just as much reason to lie as Zimmerman.

  • ||

    I'm taking everybody's account at face value, because they don't conflict, with one exception:

    Zimmerman says that he was innocently strolling along when the kid jumped him.

    The gf says Zimmerman confronted Trayvon.

    They can't both be true. Of the two, I think the gf is more credible. Zimmerman was acting recklessly from the get-go, was out there specifically to do what the gf says he did, and I think overplayed his hand with the whole "jumped from behind" schtick.

    YMMV, of course. Its a he-said, she-said, but I think she's got the better of it.

  • T||

    Umm, didn't one of the published reports indicate the story the girlfriend is telling the media is not the story she initially told the cops? I remember reading that in one of the reports last week, but which one escapes me.

  • ||

    RC? The GF wasn't there. I'm not a lawyer but I'd think that's kind of a big credibility issue for witness testimony.

  • ||

    She's testifying about what she heard on the phone call. She was there for that.

    If she has given conflicting accounts, that's definitely hit on her credibility. I'd have to see the conflicting accounts, though.

  • ||

    But "what she heard on the phone call" is a very incomplete and ambiguous proxy for what actually happened. Eyewitness recollection is of uneven reliability when a person is seeing events with their own two eyes...how much more so for someone hearing things via a telephone!

  • ||

    To be sure, all of the evidence--along with its quality--will be (likely) reviewed by a court and, if admissible, by a jury as well. If its credible and consistent with other evidence, then it may affect the outcome of the case.

  • Martin||

    Whachoo followin me fo, bitch? I gonna fuck you up you punk ass bitch! Fuck you if you got a gun, I'll fucking kill you wit it! Fuck you!

  • ||

    I lean this direction, too, from what we've heard so far, but a conviction without more may be tough. He definitely acted recklessly in the first place.

  • Defense counsel||

    You do something reckless and somebody dies, you should pay.

    Ah, but how much should you pay?

  • ||

    Martin did a piss-poor job of avoiding a confrontation if that's what he was trying to do.

  • ||

    I'm still wondering (and you should be, too), exactly how they came face-to-face.

    According to the gf, Martin wasn't looking for Zimmerman and was trying to get away from him. According to Zimmerman, he wasn't looking for Marting anymore (although he certainly set out to confront him).

  • ||

    Maybe the GF didn't know what was going on since she wasn't there? You don't seem to have considered this possibility for some reason.

  • Tony||

    It's amusing to see the closet GOPers here make logical pretzels trying to find a way that exonerates Zimmerman from any culpability just so they don't have to be on the same side on an issue as Al Sharpton.

  • ||

    Al Sharpton once incited a mob to burn down a Jewish owned store in Harlem resulting in at least one death.

    Sharpton is a horrible human being. No surprise a sick little fuck like you would think he is great.

  • anon||

    Was it Sharpton or Jackson that wanted to snip Obama's balls off? I forget.

  • Restoras||

    What's the difference? They are both are nothing but shake-down artists and grievance mongers, and probably pissed that a black man other than one of them was about to be elected president, without being anointed by them.

  • anon||

    I think both of our posts portray them accurately.

  • Restoras||

    Remember, feeding the troll is like scratching your anus and then sniffing your finger. You know you shouldn't do, but you do it anyway, and immediately regret it.

  • ||

    Hey, man, inciting a pogrom just proves how non-racist Al Sharpton is.

  • Mary Stack||

    Preach it, Warty!

  • Tony||

    Who said Sharpton is great? I'm just pointing out that partisans like you choose your position on a topic based off of who is on what side. People like Sharpton, the ACLU, the SPLC, the Black Panthers, and other people you don't like are saying "Justice for Trayvon", so you have to come up with highly unlikely scenarios like Martin was running away trying to avoid a confrontation, but then suddenly instead of using the opportunity to get away he decided to double around and attack Zimmerman as he was going back to his truck for some unknown reason that take all the blame away from Zimmerman because you just can't stand to have to agree with certain people and groups.

  • Libertarians||

    When have we ever claimed to be ethical or objective?

  • ||

    No dipshit. I don't like to see lynch mobs convicting people in the media.

  • Rhet Orical||

    "I don't like to see lynch mobs convicting people in the media."

    Are political blogs "media?"

  • Restoras||

    Ok, scratching my anus...

    I'm just pointing out that partisans like you choose your position on a topic based off of who is on what side

    Citation? Or is this just another strawman?

  • Tony||

    Do you need a citation that John is a partisan shill?

  • Restoras||

    I'm just pointing out that partisans like you choose your position on a topic based off of who is on what side

    Since you are making the accusation you need to cite where John chose his position in this arguement/discussion based on who is on the opposing side.

  • Restoras||

    Somehow, I knew I wasn't going to get a response from you.

  • Sudden||

    STFU and GDIF Tony.

    Some people just have enough common fucking sense to not jump to conclusions on the basis of a wholly insufficient evidence simply because it fits their preconceived narratives.

    Even among those that are postulating that there may have been some grounds for a self-defense claim by Zimmerman, I guarantee you all are more than disturbed by his zeal of vigilante pursuit of a kid who was at worst engaged in nothing more than "garage shopping." That said, nothing here proves who initiated force. But there is clear evidence that at one point, Martin was having his way with Zimmerman so stop acting like Trayvon is some fucking puddycat.

  • Tony||

    Oh, so it's OK to kill someone if you provoke them into a fight and then they start kicking your ass? No wonder no one takes you guys seriously.

  • Libertarians||

    Come on, Tony. Nobody takes us seriously because we aren't serious.
    Take Mary Stack. Please.

    PS
    Does this dress make me look fat?

  • Sudden||

    All of a sudden, provocation appears to be sufficient cause to rail on someone eh? And what exactly is the provocation? According to Martin's gf's testimony, he was the first one to initiate conversation:

    Trayvon said, 'What, are you following me for,' and the man said, 'What are you doing here.'

    Is the provocation being followed? And if so, am I free to just turn around and wail on someone who may be travelling in the same direction as I am on a city street?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tiny,

    Oh, so it's OK to kill someone if you provoke them into a fight and then they start kicking your ass? No wonder no one takes you guys seriously.


    You're an idiot, Tiny - and that's all by yourself, and not some generic "you guys"

    You don't even read the other comments, you just latch to the one that fits your platitudes.

  • T||

    Al Sharpton may or may not be right on this issue, but he's never on my side.

  • Lyle||

    More facts?

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

    http://articles.orlandosentine.....k-teenager

  • Fluffy||

    Still doesn't matter.

  • Monkey||

    LALALALALALALALALA!

  • ||

    Explain.

    I'd say it doesn't matter to the political question because the outrage industry already has a hold of it, but I suspect you mean it doesn't matter in a more fundamental way either.

  • sarcasmic||

    Fluffy says that Zimmer attempted to detain Martin, and that Martin was reacting to Zimmer's falsely imprisoning him.

    According to Fluffy's expert witness testimony, Zimmer shouted at the kid. Martin did not accost Zimmer in response to being followed. Nope. Didn't happen. Couldn't have happened. It is a flat out impossibility.

  • ||

    Yes it does. If I am on top of you beating your head into the side walk, you have a right to consider yourself in mortal danger and act accordingly. Come on Fluffy.

  • Fluffy||

    To me, if you attempt to kidnap me, I am legally entitled to use force against you until you cannot continue your attempt.

    That may entail beating you unconscious, because as long as you are conscious you may still be trying to kidnap me.

  • ||

    But there is no evidence of that. If someone comes up to you and says "stop I have called the policy you little bastard", you can tell them to fuck off and keep walking. If they try to stop you, you can probably punch them out and walk on. But you cannot just use that as an excuse to beat their head into a sidewalk repeatedly.

    Stop it fluffy.

  • Fluffy||

    If they try to stop me, I'm entitled to employ enough force to be safe.

    My "attempt to withdraw" came before they tried to stop me. I don't have to try again, DURING the fight.

    I'm entitled to fight you until I win the fight and am safe.

  • sarcasmic||

    But there is no evidence of that.

    It doesn't matter. Fluffy has determined that Zimmer shouted at the kid and then grabbed him, falsely imprisoning him.

    That is what happened.

    Even if video surfaces that shows a different story, Fluffy will continue to believe what Fluffy believes.

  • ||

    Even if video surfaces that shows a different story, Fluffy will continue to believe what Fluffy believes.

    Someone else has noticed this pattern too. I feel better.

  • Fluffy||

    Nobody, and I mean nobody, who posts here has my record of admitting error when I'm outargued, or when new facts emerge that contradict my previous position.

    Nobody.

    So blow me.

  • Fluffy||

    In fact, I think I pretty much outrank the entire internet at admitting when I've been outfoxed.

  • ||

    Only cops are allowed to crack people's heads open on sidewalks!

  • Lefty trolls||

    DERP!

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Question is was the assault before or after Zimmerman's attempted unlawful arrest?

  • ||

    Evidence for this assertion?

  • Janeane Garofalo||

    The fact that George Zimmerman is white, straight up.

  • Race-Baiter||

    The facts! They're hurting my eyes!

  • o3||

    facts are stupid things

  • Student of the Passing Scene||

    It's not clear whether the special prosecutor, Angela Corey, the state attorney for Duval, Clay and Nassau counties, will have Zimmerman arrested, announce that there's not enough evidence to file a manslaughter charge or present evidence to a grand jury.

    Option 2 is out. Option 1 is too blatantly PC. So, Option 3 it is.

  • Tony||

    Lyle, so next the police say that they suffered injuries while beating a guy into a coma like Kelley Thomas, are you going to be coming on here to tell us how they were justified in defending themselves? It's funny how quickly the narrative here changes when we change cop to middle class, white, gun nut. Now we are supposed to trust everything that the cops say.

  • Lyle||

    I have no idea what you're talking about Tony.

  • ||

    The authorities putting that version of events out have a real incentive to cover their asses by making this look like a good shoot.

    The witness talked about punching, not curb-stomping, don't forget.

    I'm willing to take every witness at face value (except Zimmerman's claim that he was just innocently walking along when this kid jumped him from behind for no reason at all, which just strikes me as too self-serving).

    What I'm not willing to take at face value is anything the police department says, because they fucked this up royally once and are now in CYA mode.

    YMMV..

  • Lyle||

    So you'll take the witness statements into account that were given to the police which they relied upon to not arrest Zimmerman?

    Brilliant.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    More facts?

    Err...not really.

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

    So they say. The testimony of "witnesses" who stand idly by and watch one of their neighbors get his ass beat a 17-year-old.

  • Fluffy||

    That is where you guys are losing me. The assumption seems to be that because Zimmerman confronted Martin, Martin immediately then had a right to start beating Zimmerman. And that doesn't follow.

    It's really simple.

    If Martin had been a 14 year old blonde girl, and Zimmerman stalked her on a dark street at night, then ran up behind her shouting "Get over here! You're not getting away!" could the girl legally use force to escape him?

    I think she certainly could.

  • ||

    Sure. Unfortunately there's no evidence that's how things played out.

    1. Deadly force would not be justified in that scenario

    2. It's not known whether Z actually caught up to M or M turned back to confront him first.

  • Fluffy||

    I'm entitled to infer from the 911 tape that Zimmerman intended to prevent Martin from leaving.

    I've never seen your response to my other self-defense claim scenario:

    Police receive 911 call. On other end of call they hear husband and wife fighting over whether wife is allowed to leave apartment. Husband shouts out, "This fucking bitch always leaves the apartment when I don't want her to." Phone line goes dead.

    Cops get to apartment and the wife is dead.

    Husband says, "Officer, officer! My wife tried to kill me so I shot her in self-defense!"

    It would be absolutely absurd for the police to accept the husband's claim. Even if there are no direct witnesses to the husband's attempt to restrain his wife, inferring it from his statement during the call is entirely appropriate.

  • ||

    In your scenario does the guy have carpet burns on the back of his shirt and a giant gash in his head when the cops show up?

  • Fluffy||

    Sure.

    The husband has injuries.

    I'd be happy to give you that.

    That doesn't change the inference we're entitled to make AT ALL. The husband would naturally have injuries, if he decided to restrain his wife and she fought. In fact, I'd expect someone who tried to restrain his wife, and then killed her when she fought, to have some injuries. They wouldn't make his self-defense claim any more credible.

  • ||

    It's not known whether Z actually caught up to M or M turned back to confront him first.

    Taking the gf's account at face value, its the former.

  • ||

    Taking Z's account at face value...

  • ||

    What makes you think Martin was using deadly force?

    A bloody nose is not evidence that Martin was trying to kill Zimmerman.

    Anyway, if someone is stalking you at night, a much bigger guy than you, you might find it necessary to use as much force as you are capable of to stop him.

    I suspect that Martin got spooked or panicked and jumped Zimmerman as the latter approached behind him. If I was a 14 year old blonde girl, being stalked at night by a strange man, I'd probably react in a similar fashion if he tried to catch up with me. If I was a girl, I'd take off running as fast a possible. If I was a guy, turning around and clocking the guy as hard as I could in the face would be a natural reaction.

  • ||

    Sure. But that is not what Martin did. If Martin had maced Zimmerman and ran off and Zimmerman had shot him, then sure Zimmerman is wrong.

    But Martin apparently didn't do that. He attacked Zimmerman and jumped on top of him beating his head into the sidewalk.

    Sorry fluffy but the two situations are not analogous.

  • sarcasmic||

    How do you know Zimmer shouted at the kid?

    How do you know?

    Do you have a recording of the encounter?

    I don't mean the 911 tape of what happened after the initial encounter, but a recording of Zimmer shouting at the kid to stop?

    Do you?

    Well?

  • Fluffy||

    Based on the 911 tape, I don't need a recording of the encounter and I don't need any witness to the encounter.

    Answer my 1:36 scenario. Am I entitled to infer that the husband attempted to restrain the wife? If so, I'm entitled to infer that Zimmerman attempted to restrain Martin.

  • sarcasmic||

    I will not answer your scenario because it is stupid.

    And I am just as entitled to infer that Zimmer was telling the truth, and that, after losing sight of the kid he started walking back to his car. At that point the kid, pissed off about being followed, attacked him from behind and proceeded to beat the living shit out of him.

    So far all emerging evidence and witness testimony supports Zimmer.

  • Fluffy||

    You won't answer the scenario because it proves you wrong.

  • Fluffy||

    You probably won't answer me, because on this issue you are a great big cunt.

    The bottom line is that some of you identify with Zimmerman, because you think you should be entitled to appoint yourself superheroes who patrol the streets and hold other people accountable.

    Nobody anywhere had to account for themselves to Zimmerman. Even on common areas in a gated community, since Zimmerman apparently was utterly incompetent at knowing who was entitled to be there and who wasn't.

    Even if it is a good shoot, I'll be delighted to see Zimmerman ground into shit just for his presumption. How's "Fuck you, you don't get to tell me where to be, you fat bag of shit?" grab you as an appropriate response to any questioning from this dirtbag?

  • WTF||

    "Fuck you, you don't get to tell me where to be, you fat bag of shit?" Is a perfectly appropriate response. Beating the shit out of him is not, unless there are circumstances which occurred for which we have yet to see any evidence.

  • sarcasmic||

    unless there are circumstances which occurred for which we have yet to see any evidence.

    According to Fluffy, Zimmer forcefully detained Martin, and so Martin was completely justified in using whatever force he deemed necessary against his would-be kidnapper.

    Fluffy was there.

    Fluffy knows.

  • WTF||

    I think we are still lacking evidence that Zimmerman "ran up behind her(him) shouting "Get over here! You're not getting away!"

  • Fluffy||

    If you read the quoted text, I was responding to John saying that even if Zimmerman confronted Martin, Martin would have no right to escape Zimmerman using force.

    So for the purpose of responding to John on this one point, we're both assuming Zimmerman confronted Martin.

  • WTF||

    Fair enough.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    These assholes, they always get away.

    Shit he's running.

    He ran.

    Sounds to me like the kid ran away and Zimmerman decided the hunt was on. He had no business pursuing Martin. He ample time and opportunity to remove himself from potential harm (getting his fat ass back into his truck). Instead he chose to play cop, got into a struggle, drew down and killed the kid.

    911 Audio

  • Fluffy||

    The fact that Zimmerman appointed himself Emperor of Who Gets to be on the Street makes me look askance at his self-defense claim right off the bat, because I assume he's a gigantic asshole, and assuming that I further assume that he ran Martin down and tried to restrain him. Nothing else makes sense.

    That makes me look at the facts as they have been presented to us from Martin's perspective, and I ask myself if Martin's behavior was reasonable: Angry fat man stalks me for a while and then runs up to me on dark street at night shouting at me and grabbing for my arm. Yeah, that guy definitely deserves a whole shitload of force, force I would consider myself legally entitled to give him.

  • ||

    The bottom line is you are being emotional about it. You don't like Zimmerman and think it was okay for Martin to beat the shit out of him because he dared to confront him. And that may be emotionally satisfying but it is not the law.

  • sarcasmic||

    How do you know Zimmer grabbed Martin?

    How do you know?

    Is it not equally plausible that Martin, ticked that this fat guy is following him, ducked out of sight. Then, when he sees the fat man walking back to his truck, decides to dish out an extra helping of whoopass.

    How do you know?

  • ||

    How do you know?

    Well, there's the gf's account of the phone call, for starters.

  • ||

    So we discount the story of an interested party who was there (Zimmerman) in favor of that of an interested person who wasn't there (Martin's GF).

  • sarcasmic||

    If it supports your predetermined conclusion that Zimmer was a racist and that the kid didn't initiate anything, then yes.

  • ||

    Only one of them can be telling the truth. If I have to pick, I pick the gf, for a variety of reasons a laid out above.

  • sarcasmic||

    The girlfriend's account doesn't necessarily contradict the scenario of Martin losing his tail, then when seeing Zimmer's back turned as he gave up and started walking back to his car, hanging up on the girl and attacking Zimmer from behind.

  • Sudden||

    The gf's account does not indicate that Trayvon was grabbed:

    "Trayvon said, 'What, are you following me for,' and the man said, 'What are you doing here.' Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the headset just fell. I called him again and he didn't answer the phone."

    In fact, it sounds like Trayvon initiated conversation with Zimmerman from this testimony. Moreover, she infers Trayvon was pushed based on the phone dropping. It's entirely conceivable that he dropped the phone in order to surprise Zimmerman by tackling him.

    Again, all inconclusive. Why can't people just accept some fucking ignorance of what the facts are? That's all I ask for. Zimmerman is appears to be a douchebag, but that doesn't mean he's necessarily a murderer.

  • Fluffy||

    Zimmerman says he never spoke to or approached Martin at all.

    For the girlfriend's account to be correct in any detail, Zimmerman has to be lying.

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe a sixteen year old girl is lying.

    They do tend to do that. A lot.

  • ||

    So do people under suspicion of manslaughter.

  • sarcasmic||

    So do people under suspicion of manslaughter.

    He wasn't initially under suspicion of a crime, and as far as I know his story hasn't changed.

  • Fluffy||

    Sure.

    But there's no way for both of them to be telling the truth.

    I'm just trying to say that the two statements can't be reconciled.

  • ||

    I'm just trying to say that the two statements can't be reconciled.

    The way you framed it implies you think Zimmerman is likely to be lying. You could have just as easily said "For Zimmerman's account to be correct, the GF must be lying" but you didn't.

  • Sudden||

    And he may very well have lied about that detail, but that doesn't mean his entire description of events is a lie. But I'll actually say that this description of events could even reinforce Zimmerman's central defense that he was retreating and was attacked as he went back to his truck. It stands to reason that if Trayvon initiated conversation, he did so as the pursuer. So Z follows M for awhile, and at some point Z turns to return to his truck, at which point a newly emboldened M confronts him and asks why he was following to begin with.

    Again, my whole point is that we don't know, everything is speculation at this point. What we do know is that Trayvon bought skittles and that Zimmerman is a self-righteous prick. We don't anything beyond that. Can't we just accept some ignorance and move on?

  • ||

    I agree Sudden. We don't know what happened. Chances, life being what it is, both of them were in the wrong. I am dumbfounded at how people on here refuse to believe that Martin could possibly be at fault here.

  • ||

    Both were definitely wrong in some ways. Zimmerman was overzealous in pursuit and Martin was overzealous in the force he used against Zimmerman.

  • sarcasmic||

    I am dumbfounded at how people on here refuse to believe that Martin could possibly be at fault here.

    Because it confirms the stereotype that black kids are violent thugs.

    The only thing worse than a racist stereotype is someone who fits it.

  • Fluffy||

    I am dumbfounded at how people on here refuse to believe that Martin could possibly be at fault here.

    It's possible, but the bar for me to believe that is set pretty high, because of what we know about Zimmerman.

    Martin was on the street to walk back to his dad's house from the store.

    Zimmerman was on the street to find evildoers who needed punishment.

    Who's at fault when those two guys meet and there's a misunderstanding? (And one of them is a minor, to boot?)

    I have my answer, and I guess you have yours.

  • GILMORE||

    Fluffy, is it really important that you (like everyone else in America, apparently) must parse every theoretical possible situation, Rashomon style, regarding this shooting, until you have unearthed the essential, moral kernal of it?*

    Or can we all just go, "fuck it, who knows what happened" and let investigators/lawyers/witnesses make their case? I think this whole thing has risen to Terry Sciavo levels of stupid at this point.

    (* lacking a contested female, the Zimmerman shooting fails the minimum 3-character test for Rashomon remakes)

  • ||

    ^^This^^ I totally agree with you Gilmore. We don't know what happened. But people are so wrapped up on this guy being a neighborhood watch guy and daring to confront Martin, they are willing to do anything to portray Martin as blameless.

    Can't it just be two loud mouthed idiots and one idiot shot other idiot?

  • ||

    I would love to approach it that way.

    Unfortunately, the outrage industry is shoving this story down our throats right now. There's a rally here in Oakland today put on by some black students association. Barf.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Can't it just be two loud mouthed idiots and one idiot shot other idiot?

    That would still make it manslaughter.

  • ||

    And last weekend there were two sets of Pitt students assaulted in Oakland by black gang members. Three of the students got lucky and just got beat up; but when one of the students tried to run away, he wound up being dragged down Dithridge St having his head bashed against every parked car's side mirror.

    No protests about that for some reason.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you protest violence perpetrated by blacks then you're racist.

  • ||

    Reminds of the story (not, naturally, headlined) pointing out that, within two fairly typical days after Bales (allegedly!) killed those Afghans, the Taliban had killed more than he (allegedly!) did.

    But nothing else happened.

  • ||

    What do you think is going to happen to those Talibans if/when the Army finds them?

  • ||

    Well, as long as they are just standing their ground, nothing.

    I was commenting more, really, on the media coverage. Some things become just . . . ordinary and unremarkable, even though they are as bad or worse than what sparks the outrage.

  • ||

    Considering you think the same thing about a guy who insults your wife, I'll give your opinion due weight.

  • Fluffy||

    Tulpa, you're the one guy around here against Martin because you actually are a racist authoritarian fuck.

    So I'll give your opinion due weight, too.

  • ||

    LOL. The difference between you and me is that you actually did say what I said you said, while you're just making that up about me.

  • GILMORE||

    I think what is most important about this story is how little a shit i give about it. Dude shoots dude = film at 11. Big fucking deal.

    Meanwhile, a guy over the weekend got pushed in front of the subway & killed @ my local station. *That* freaks me out a tad.

    No minorities were injured, fortunately.

  • Tony||

    It's so tough being white sometimes.

  • GILMORE||

    Im not sure Zimmerman is planning to use that defense.

  • The Media||

    And if you're not white, we'll make you white if it serves our purposes.

  • Sudden||

    The only reference to hispanic is his panic about Trayvon being black.

  • ||

    I ask again:

    What if Zimmerman came up to the kid and asked (in a mostly nonthreatening way), "Whatcha doin'? Do you live around here?"

    And Martin's response was, "FUCK OFF, FAGGOT!"

    And, again, when did the fucking pistol makes its appearance? Because that would be, um, significant.

  • Martin||

    Fuck you bitch! Why you fucking following me? I gonna beat you to fucking death muthufucka!

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, that's a very likely scenario.

    Zimmerman questioned Martin like he was Emperor of the Earth, Martin told him to fuck off, and Zimmerman said, "You punk kid!" and started a fight.

    Martin SHOULD say, "Fuck off, faggot!" if Zimmerman says ANYTHING to him other than "Nice night, sir!"

  • ||

    Sure Fluffy. That is a great idea. You go through life telling everyone who ever confronts you to fuck off faggot. And then you jump on them and beat the shit out of them if they don't immediately back off.

    Have fun with that. And it will be real fun until finally you do that to the wrong person and you get your head blown off. That is gold standard stupidity you are advocating.

  • Sudden||

    So if he says "fuck off faggot" and then beats the shit out of Zimmerman, who is really the hate criminal here?

  • Fluffy||

    Dude, do you seriously think I'm interested in this as a hate crime?

    I wouldn't care if Zimmerman stood across the street from Martin and chanted "You Suck, Nigger!"

    To me, the only real racism angle here is the assumption by the police and by some people on this thread that Martin should have been OK with being stalked and falsely imprisoned, because he was a tall black guy, who should just EXPECT random self-appointed neighborhood watch assholes for questioning or until police arrive.

    I don't particularly care why Zimmerman found Martin suspicious. Maybe Zimmerman's a racist, maybe he's not.

  • ||

    It's sad seeing Fluffy transform into a race baiter right before our eyes.

    You seriously think the people on the other side of this argument are ipso facto racists? That's sad.

  • Fluffy||

    You seriously think the people on the other side of this argument are ipso facto racists? That's sad.

    Are you nuts?

    I said "the police" and "some people on this thread".

    That's a long way from "ipso facto racist", dude.

    And whether you like it or not, holding Martin to a different standard on that street than you would hold a 16 year old white blonde girl is actually racist and sexist. In the non-PC, non-modern-liberal sense of the word.

    If stalking and accosting a white blonde cheerleader on a dark street, and then shooting her dead if she gets scared and fights you, gets a different reaction from the Sanford Police Department than doing the same thing to a 17 year old black male, then the Sanford Police Department are racists and sexists. Abso-fucking-lutely.

  • ||

    And whether you like it or not, holding Martin to a different standard on that street than you would hold a 16 year old white blonde girl is actually racist and sexist.

    So after denying my statement that you think I'm ipso facto racist, you say I'm ipso facto racist. Based, apparently, on a simulation run in your head over what I'd think if a 16 year old blonde cheerleader beat a black stalker's head into a sidewalk.

    And you called me an authoritarian racist above too, so don't claim you're not race baiting.

  • Sudden||

    Sorry Fluffy, didn't mean to accuse you of playing the race angle. I know that ain't your game at all. And I understand you;re position and I fully agree how much of an asshat Zimmerman is, but I just don't feel that we have conclusive evidence to convict the guy (but there may very well be such evidence of which we are unaware.)

  • GILMORE||

    Fluffy|3.26.12 @ 1:50PM|#
    Actually, that's a very likely scenario.

    Fluffy = H&R official head of criminal Dramatic Re-ennactment?

    Lacking god-like Omniscience, Fluffy relies on finely tuned powers of imaginative scenario- development, determining the one most which most reinforces popular preconceptions to be that which likely matches reality.

    My give-a-shit meter is still not twitching.

  • ||

    And, at this point, I'm going to go ahead and assume Zimmerman has counsel, who has/have instructed him to keep his fucking lip buttoned. Short of a grand jury, we won't get any further meaningful details from his end.

    And the other guy ain't saying much.

  • ||

    We have two pieces of conflicting evidence about the crucial confrontation: the gf's account of the phone call, and Zimmerman.

    As far as I know, that's the only evidence about the moment that really settles this, in my mind.

    You have to pick who to believe. The "good shoot" crowd naturally discounts or ignores the gf. The "bad shoot" crowd naturally discounts Zimmerman's story.

    Its a he said/she said, and I think she gets the better of it. YMMV.

  • Baby Face||

    Fortunately for Zimmerman, he doesn't have to prove anything in court. He has the right to remain silent. His testimony to the Police is all that is needed. And, since there are no witnesses, I would argue that Zimmerman will get away.

    My complaint about this law is that there should be ABSOLUTELY NO LAWS that immune people from arrest or prosecution when it comes to homicides.

  • Sudden||

    The immunity only applies absent a showing of probable cause that the shooting was not SYG. Probable cause is the threshold for arrest anyway, and hardly an undue burden for the authorities to prove.

  • ||

    Well thanks for your opinion, but that's all it is.

  • ||

    This is the internet, Tulpa. That's all any of us have.

    Why do you think the gf is lying, and not Zimmerman?

  • ||

    Why wouldn't she be? Does she want to taint the memory of her b/f? Especially now that the race hustlers are involved? She has just as much reason to lie as Zimmerman.

  • ||

    I have a pretty good idea of what would happen to her if she gave an account that lined up with Z's story.

    Let's just say I'd rather go through a murder trial.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Why wouldn't she be? Does she want to taint the memory of her b/f? Especially now that the race hustlers are involved? She has just as much reason to lie as Zimmerman.

    I don't believe the girlfriend has the possibility of 15 to life hanging over her head, so....there's that.

  • ||

    I don't pretend to know either way. What is indisputable is that she wasn't there. Everything she knows is via Martin.

    So at best you're preferring filtered Martin testimony over Zimmerman testimony.

  • ||

    So, Tulpa, you are positing that Martin had a Cunning Plan to jump Zimmerman, and was feeding his gf false testimony to give him cover?

    I found her account of the phone call to be completely plausible. Pretty much what you would expect from a 17 year old and his gf, if the 17 year old was being followed by a strange man at night.

    And consistent, as well, with Zimmerman's announced intention to track down Martin and make sure he didn't "get away."

  • ||

    Pretty much what you would expect from a 17 year old and his gf, if the 17 year old was being followed by a strange man at night.

    Begging the question. Your implication points in the wrong direction.

  • Dan||

    I think her account supports the idea that Martin jumped Zimmerman, actually. Her account of his words makes him sound like a guy who was nervous but didn't want to wimp out in front of his girlfriend.

  • Robert S.||

    She stated that Treyvon said to her, "He is right behind me again. I'm not going to run, I'm going to walk fast". That seems highly unlikely to me. Boys who admit being afraid to girls don't get to fuck girls. Hence, boys NEVER admit to being afraid. She's a 16 year old girl who isn't mature enough to realize that her story, which paints Treyvon as positively as possible isn't believable. A good lawyer is going to eat her lunch. Wait.

  • ||

    The g/f has just as much reason to lie as Zimmerman. The only person without a reason to lie is the witness. And he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman beating his head against the sidewalk.

  • Fluffy||

    If the witness didn't see the beginning of the fight, his statement doesn't help us even a little.

  • ||

    I would say Zimmerman has more reason to lie about being jumped from behind, seeing as he is under criminal suspicion.

    I haven't seen a witness statement yet that Trayvon was beating Zimmerman's head against the sidewalk, BTW. That's a statement, AFAIK, by the cops. The witness that I know of said Trayvon was punching Zimmerman.

  • ~||

    911 has no authority to tell you shit about what to do or not do. If Trayvon had every right to walk around the area then so did Zimmerman. Just because Zimmerman was walking to try and see if anything was up doesn't make his walking any less legal than the black kids.

    I smell a Tawana Brawley and Duke LaCrosse case brewing.

    Oh and for once I would like to hear the black "leaders" talk about the blacks killed NIGHTLY by other blacks. Or the whites killed by blacks be held to account by these leaders. If they are your leaders you are so pathetically lost it is mind blowing.

  • ||

    Following is not walking, it's (potentially) harrassment.

    Not a justification for physically attacking someone, but it's not unassailably legal either.

  • ||

    Just because Zimmerman was walking to try and see if anything was up

    That's not what he was doing. He was out there, with a gun, to try to make sure this one didn't get away.

    I guess he succeeded, didn't he?

  • Baby Face||

    He sure did...and with impunity.

  • ||

    whether or not it was irresponsible of him to continue pursuing the guy is tangential to self defense.

    if he was attacked, and reasonably feared for his life or serious bodily injury, self defense is authorized

    only if his following martin would have reasonably created the belief in martin that HE was being attacked and had the right to use (apparent) deadly force or inflict serious or substantial bodily injury upon zimmerman (witness referred to him straddling zimmerman and pounding on him) would it be relevant

    self defense law does NOT require people to refrain from followign a subject while police are enroute

    our dispatchers ALSO per CYA policy advise people not to follow. but it holds no force of law. some people ignore those requests by dispatch and continue following and updating us

    whether martin WAS suspicious is doubtfulit's largely irrelevant to force issues

  • ||

    if he was attacked, and reasonably feared for his life or serious bodily injury, self defense is authorized

    Well, that's the big if, isn't it?

  • ||

    well yes.

    and of course most people opining on this issue in most blogs etc. already have their mind made up based on metanarrative NOT facts.

    that much is clear

    it's JUST like the duke rape case

    i frankly, JUST LIKE IN MANY POLICE USE OF FORCE CASES PRESENTED HERE, am agnostic on whether zimmerman was justified

    the ignorati claim it's because i have a police bias. zimmerman wasn't a cop. it has nothing to do with bias. it has to do with no kneejerking about UOF

  • Anonymous Coward||

    zimmerman wasn't a cop.

    True, but he wanted to be one. I guess no one told him immunity doesn't kick in until AFTER you get the shield.

  • ||

    great, but again, he's just A GUY. and i am agnostic because i don't know enough facts ... JUST like with most cop UOF's in similar circ's

    which kind of supports my longtime claim that i am not biased towards police in UOF cases, i am just not a kneejerker and i recognize even when an unarmed person is shot by an armed person it does not mean it's automatically unjustified

    and of course all the derp derp'ers claim that only cops could ever "get away" with not getting arrested in such situations

    this case is really a perfect storm of "told you so" for me

    it's also nice because the fact that he spoke to police (after being handcuffed i might add) is largely why he was not arrested, supporting one of my other (rejected here) claims that if you are innocent (and sometimes even if you are guilty as fuck), it can be to your benefit to explain your case to the cops

  • Baby Face||

    That is the beauty of this law.

    As long as Person A kills Person B in private, Person A merely needs to state that he felt threatened on the police report. Person A becomes immuned to prosecution and arrest. That, of course, if Person A is white.

    Please check out the following story. The same thing, except Person A is Black. The only difference is that Person A here wasn't able to influence the local cops into not prosecuting him.

    http://www.ksdk.com/news/world.....for-murder

  • Jeff||

    Witnesses say he reached for his gun before things got physical. He even admits to showing his gun. Small fucking wonder he was prosecuted.

  • Baby Face||

    I'm not the least bit surprised he's being prosecuted. Black people clearly do not have the 'equal-protection-under-the-law' to defend themselves. And this will probably not change for another 100 years.

  • Jeff||

    Yes, you're totally right. It's totally because he's black and has nothing whatsoever to do with what witnesses said he did, or what he himself admits to doing.

  • Dan||

    You don't understand, Jeff. A black guy went to jail, ergo all non-black men are guilty.

  • ||

    I do not believe a person in a self defense situation, where the facts can be clearly established, should have to face the time, publicity and expense of a trial.

    I think the cops screwed the pooch about as thoroughly as it could have been possible to do so in this particular case. If this goes to a jury, and Zimmerman gets a six month suspended sentence for something on the order of "negligently discharging a firearm in the city limits" I would not be sorry to see the family pursue a monstrous lawsuit against the police dept, the chief personally, and the city.

  • ||

    You have to balance that against the fact that a person who kills someone in private shouldn't be able to falsely claim self-defense and be immune to prosecution or even questioning.

    It's a tough thing writing laws.

  • Dan||

    There is no part of the United States -- or any other country I'm aware of -- where you can kill someone in private, claim self-defense, and be immune to questioning or prosecution.

  • ||

    fwiw, zimmerman was immune to neither.

    he WAS questioned, after he was handcuffed and brought to the station

    he also may be prosecuted. people here (as i constantly point out) WAY overemphasize ARREST ARREST, such that when cops don't get arrested in allegedly questionable UOF's that's a big deal

    the reasons for arrest are many, to positively ID, hold for bail hearing, to prevent escape fleeing of jurisdiction, to gather fingerprints, etc. to quell possibility of retaliation or further violence etc etc

    but in all cases, as in this case, they are not necessary for the prosecutor to file charges after the incident.

    and of course his answers DURING questioning are why he wasn't custodially arrested (booked) and may contribute to why he won't be charged, if he ends up not being charged

  • ||

    as i repeatedly explain, if a person does not respond to questioning, cops do not have THEIR side of the story to consider, to track down leads for (to verify his story), to look for specific evidence for to corroborate or go against his claims etc.

    if one is innocent, it is very often in one's best interests to talk. in many cases, as i deal with on a weekly basis, it helps the person substantailly

  • Baby Face||

    here should be ABSOLUTELY NO LAWS that immune people from arrest or prosecution when it comes to homicides.

    I disagree. If you have to kill someone, you will have to go through the expense, time, and publicity of a trial.

    And in this case Mr Brooks, the facts are FAR from clearly established.

  • ||

    note that fla law provides reimbursement for court costs etc. if he is sued and it was established he used self defense legitimately...

    "The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1)."

  • ||

    where the facts can be clearly established

    Like with witnesses,and stuff. And I'm not even saying he should not necessarily be "arrested". Unless it is plainly obvious, based on a preponderance of evidence that it was a legitimate instance of self defense, the case should probably go to a grand jury; which is where, I believe, the prosecutor goes to determine if there is enough evidence to pursue a case.

    Reading is hard.

  • ||

    preponderance of the evidence is not the standard. the standard is -- IS THERE PC OF A CRIME.

    assuming FLA has a grand jury, the prosecutor is free to go to one, WHETHER OR NOT zimmerman was arrested.

    and zimmerman in most states would have a right to testify before the grand jury

    considering he spoke to police (he was questioned and agreed to talk to police, a concept i support when one is innocent as he believes he was) and he was able to VITIATE probable cause and make a case for self-defense, he'd likely do the same with a grand jury

    btw, the standard is not that self defense must be "plainly obvious", though.

    the prosecutor goes to a grand jury to determine if (in their opinion), there is enough evidence to charge. you are basically correct.

    i have no idea what fla's usage of GJ's are. for example, in WA state, they must be specially convened and are almost never used

  • ||

    this case is eerily reminiscent of the duke case. most people make up their minds based on metanarrative and victim cred, right from the start, NOT facts.

    cops can't, and shouldn't arrest w/o probable cause. it seems to me, based on what i have read thus far, that they did NOT have PC (stand your ground laws aside) because zimmerman had a self defense claim that was more than just "he said/she said" but was consistent with case facts.

    we respond to such scenes all the time here in WA and no arrest is made.

    FL law btw is very clear . per volokh.com : Florida law, though, clearly resolves this: “A law enforcement agency … may not arrest [a] person for using force [in a self-defense situation] unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.”

    this case is a perfect storm of racism racism, gunz gunz, derp derp derp

  • ||

    zimmerman had a self defense claim that was more than just "he said/she said"

    How do you figure? We have nothing but "he said/she said" as far as who started the fight, with what "he said" being what every defendant says ("I'm totally innocent! I was just walking along minding my own business when he jumped me from behind!")

    Unless, of course, you think that the peson who starts a fistfight should be able to finish it with a gun, in which case who started a fight and the whole he said/she said thing is pretty irrelevant.

  • ||

    I would say Zimmerman's broken nose and head injuries make it a little bit more than "he said she said".

    It is up to the government to prove its case. Zimmerman doesn't have to prove that he didn't start the confrontation, the government does. Zimmerman says he was attacked. The government has no evidence to contradict that. Further, it has witness testimony and physical evidence that corroborates that Martin beat him up pretty good. That at least circumstantially supports Zimmerman's claim.

    All you are left with RC is claiming that well maybe Zimmerman started it. Well maybe he did. But who cares. Maybe is not beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't see any way the DA should have brought this case.

  • Fluffy||

    So in my husband/wife scenario above, if you were on the jury you'd see reasonable doubt and would vote to acquit?

    Not trying to be a dick; I'm just looking for clarity here. Because to a certain standard of "reasonable" doubt, maybe the husband should be acquitted. I just think you're applying a "Cartesian" doubt method here, not a "reasonable" one.

  • ||

    In affirmative defense jurisdictions, reasonable doubt isn't enough for a self defense claim to succeed. You need preponderance of the evidence.

    It's pretty silly to continue using your husband-wife hypothetical at this point since there would be scads of evidence brought up at trial that you haven't specified in the hypothetical.

  • Fluffy||

    It's pretty silly to continue using your husband-wife hypothetical at this point since there would be scads of evidence brought up at trial that you haven't specified in the hypothetical.

    Like what, for example?

    There were no witnesses.

    You could try to go with physical evidence of the struggle, but the husband has stipulated there was a struggle.

    What additional evidence could we find in this case that it's impossible to find in the Zimmerman case, too?

  • ||

    Not trying to be a dick. But what is that scenario? I can't find it.

    But ultimately, if you have a confrontation between to people and no witnesses and one guy ends up dead and the live guy ends up with injuries, chances are the live guy is going to get off. That is just the downside of having a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard.

  • ||

    a very good point. the legal system is all about tradeoffs. and as the meme goes, our system is based on "better to let 10 guilty men go free than convict one innocent man"

  • ||

    I would say Zimmerman's broken nose and head injuries make it a little bit more than "he said she said".

    Not, as has been pointed out time and again, on the issue of who started the fight.

    Zimmerman says he was attacked. The government has no evidence to contradict that.

    Other than, perhaps, the gf's testimony about the phone call.

    I don't see any way the DA should have brought this case.

    A guy goes out, with a gun, to chase down somebody walking through the neighborhood minding their own business, and winds up shooting him. He claims he was jumped from behind, and its apparent he was losing a fistfight. There's evidence (the gf's testimony) that he was not jumped from behind.

    And you think there's no way that a DA could justify bringing a case?

  • ||

    Do you have a thing for his GF or something? Her testimony is next to worthless. She's not even an eyewitness.

  • ||

    RC , fwiw, while who started the fight is not completely irrelevant. it is not dispostive.

    even IF zimmerman started the fight, it does not mean any self defense claim is null and void

    hth

  • Dan||

    The GF's testimony is hearsay.

    Even if she's telling the truth, she only knows what Martin said. On top of that, Martin didn't say anything about being attacked.

    So how on Earth you can spin her testimony into evidence Zimmerman attacked Martin is a mystery to me.

  • ||

    whether or not it is hearsay (and most people misuse this term), as i have explained

    1) hearsay is relevant to PC. even if not admissible in court, it often has relevance at the scene to investigative matters, to PC, etc.
    2) some hearsay IS admissible in court - excited utterance, present sense impression, admission against interest, etc.

  • Dan||

    That's fascinating, but both (1) and (2) are irrelevant to this case.

    All the girlfriend can verify is that Zimmerman was, shortly before the incident, following Martin. We already knew THAT from the 911 call. She has nothing to add regarding who attacked who first.

  • ||

    right. but just saying "it's hearsay" doesn't say a lot about either admissibility or relevance for PC, which is why i made the point

  • ||

    right. and i frequently have explained this prior to this case. if you are at a scene and innocent and can provide a statement supporting your innocnce, it's often a good idea to do so. it helps the investigators to look for evidence specifically EXONERATING you. as in this case.

    in many cases, that evidence will be gathered anyway, but not always--- since the explanation can lead them to evidence they otherwise wouldn't know was evidence or was relevant

  • ||

    yawn. totality of the circumstances, physical evidence (Which corroborated zimmerman's account) and witness statement

    note again, that i see no evidence started the fistfight. and every defendant does NOT offer a compelling narrative of self defense that is supported by physical evidence and even witness(es)

    as i have said before, it is often in the best interests of the suspect to talk to the cops when they are IN THE RIGHT and under suspicion. this case is a great example. if he had said "i want a lawyer" he would have been arrested, because there would not have been establishment of self defense that vitiated PC

  • ||

    the race card is a LITTLE diminished by the fact that zimmerman is a hispanic, but not really. it's pretty ridiculous all the way around.

    tulpa, people can and do falsely claim all kinds of shit.

    he spoke to the police, (and i repeatedly say that when you re in the right, contrary to the "never talk to police " meme) it is usually a benefit to talk to the police, established self defense in the cop's eyes and they could check physical evidence etc which supported their claim

    if they had no PC of a crime, and killing somebody IS NOT A CRIME. killing them UNLAWFULLY is. they should NOT arrest

  • ||

    In this situation it would be hard to justify an arrest because of FL's weird treatment of self defense.

    In an "affirmative defense" state there would be PC that murder occurred. The SD defense can be raised at trial.

  • ||

    there is NOT pc that murder occurred if there is evidence of self defense

    that is true in most states

    note my state, and i have often praised it, treats self defense similarly. in trial, the state has the burden to DISPROVE self defense and people get repaid court costs and lost wages in such cases as well

    as it should be

    this case also exemplifies as i often remark that it is often good to talk to police when a suspect.

    but in brief, MURDER is UNLAWFUL killing. if a killing is in self defense, by definition there is no PC of murder

  • ||

    So let's say while patrolling you come across a dead body with a guy with a gun standing next to it, no witnesses, no evidence either way. Guy with the gun says he did kill the other guy but acted in self defense.

    You can't even arrest the guy?

  • ||

    again, it's dependant on TOTALITY of the circs.

    as i keep explaining, it ALWAYS does.

    in the zimmerman case, there IS evidence that supports his claim (e.g. grass stains on his back, bla bla bla).

    also note they DID take him down to the station and question him.

    his answers to the questions, when correlated with case facts the investigators at the scene could confirm as well as witness etc. established that zimmerman had at least made a good enough prima facie case for self defense that custodial arrest was (in the cop's eyes) apparently ill advised

    fwiw, what exactly is the benefit of ARREST?

    they got his gun, his clothes etc. for evidence?

    is he a flight risk, a risk to do further attacks in the near future?

    do they have good id? etc.

    people here ALWAYS overemphasize ARREST (why wasn't the cop arrested derp derp derp).

    arrest is not punishment

  • NL_||

    The notion that we should rely on criminal trials to hash out factual questions forgets that a murder trial often sucks a few years out of somebody and can cost hundreds of thousands or millions in legal fees.

    It doesn't seem unreasonable to put a higher bar on the government before subjecting people to trials. Maybe better a solution would be forcing a higher evidentiary standard at the grand jury level. But experience has proven we can't rely on prosecutorial discretion for jack shit.

  • ||

    correct. and in some states, it also means the state must pay out defense attorney fees, lost wages, and often civil suit damages IF they prosecute as a fishing expedition in a self defense case especially

    in my state, it's codified into law

    criminal court is not a venue where we should throw people into jeopardy because we want to know WHAT happened. that's what investigations are for, NOT trials

  • Fluffy||

    Dunphy, I'm glad you're here because I have a question that's been bouncing around on these Zimmerman threads the last couple of days.

    I know that innkeepers and merchants (or their security guards) can legally restrain people they believe have stolen from them until police arrive.

    But what about someone like Zimmerman?

    If Zimmerman either physically or by verbal threat tried to restrain Martin until the police arrived, would that be legal conduct or would Zimmerman be breaking the law?

  • ||

    What if I hear shots from the liqueur store next door. And I walk out and I see a guy running from the scene. And I stop him and don't I physically restrain him until the cops get there. And it turns out that I had the wrong guy. Am I guilty of a crime? Doubtful. I have a defense that I reasonably believed the guy was fleeing from a shooting.

    Your theory is such a reach. Explain to me fluffy, why are you so unwilling to even admit the possibility that Martin was the aggressor here? Let me ask you, isn't it possible that it happened like this?

  • ||

    the law in my state says you must witness the crime in order to restrain

    the case you mention is ARGUABLE that you witnessed THE CRIME, since you are witnessing the fleeing, which is considered an extension of the crime of theft. the issue would be did you reasonably believe he was fleeing because of a theft, and not because he was just running, etc.

    whether you would be free from civil liability is one issue i won't address.

    but my state law says (and its consistent with most states) THAT ANYBODY who witnesses a crime can detain the individual who commits the crime pending police arrival

    i mentioned this in the case where the off duty SPD cop called 911 told the woman to wait but she didn't so he resrtained her because he thought she had stolen his coat, was in possession of it and was fleeing despite his telling her he had called 911

  • ||

    sloopy et al said he acted illegally and they were wrong

    ANYBODY can detain somebody for theft. it need not be on private property. they need not work for a store etc.

    but they must witness the crime, NOT merely be suspicious

  • ||

    You are correct Zimmerman had no authority to detain Martin. And there is not real evidence he did. That is pure conjecture on Fluffy's part. And even if he did, that doesn't give Martin the right to attack him the way he apparently did, at least according to the witness.

  • ||

    you are correct. zimmerman apparently had no authority to detain martin. nor am i aware of any evidence that he did so

  • ||

    And there is not real evidence he did.

    Well, no, there isn't direct evidence one way or the other.

    There is, of course, his announced intention, which is quite consistent with him detaining Martin.

  • Dan||

    His only stated intention was to follow Martin. He said nothing about attempting to detain him.

    Would it be too much to ask for you to get your facts straight before accusing someone of a crime?

  • ||

    sadly, i find when it comes to UOF's , facts take a back seat to metanarrative

    i thought it was only with cop cases, but it seems its pretty persistent

  • Upgrayyed||

    This occured in a gated community didn't it? Trespassing?

  • Fluffy||

    Martin wasn't trespassing.

  • Upgrayyed||

    Whether it was public or private property could change the circumstances under which Zimmerman did or should have acted, espcially if the watch group was sanctioned by the homeowners association or by covenant- ex. visitors of residents may be asked to identify themselves to appointed people etc.

  • ||

    it doesn't really affect the deadly force issue since deadly force wouldn't be authorized merely because he was trespassing on common property like private roadways, etc.

    fwiw, i deal with this kind of shit ALL THE FUCKING TIME In patrol. the problem is that many burglars pretend to be solicitors etc. to case houses for burgs.

    otoh, many people are actually bona fide solicitors/salesmen

    people always call in "suspicious person' on solicitors and i suspect MORE often they do so when the salesman is black

    usually, we contact such person, they provide evidence they ARE in fact soliciting for a company etc. and it's no big deal

    sometimes, they are OBVIOUSLY burglars who are casing, but it's not enough to arrest so we just FIR them

  • sarcasmic||

    Am I guilty of a crime?

    In that case I believe you would be.

  • ||

    Zimmerman follows Martin. Confronts him. Martin tells him to fuck off. Zimmerman says something back and turns around to walk back to his car. Martin pissed off at being confronted and hating people like Zimmerman anyway, loses his temper and attack Zimmerman. He gets the better of it and gets Zimmerman down on the sidewalk and starts beating his head into it. He breaks Zimmerman's nose. Zimmerman yells for help but no help comes Zimmerman finally pulls out his gun and shoots Martin feeling that is the only way to stop the beating.

    I am not saying that is what happened. I don't know. But isn't it possible? Zimmerman does have injuries that are consistent with the story. And it is consistent with the witnesses testimony.

    You and RC assume that every possible fact in dispute must be read against Zimmerman. Well maybe. But maybe a few of those facts in dispute go against Martin.

  • ||

    i have repeatedly explained that GENERALLY speaking, ANYBODY (not just merchants) can physically restrain somebody for theft.

    if you are at a park bench and somebody takes your bag from next to you, can you jump up, stop them and restrain them?

    yes

    i posted numerous cites of this in WA law including an attorney general memorandum

    it is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT limited to store personnel nor need it take place on private property

    the case with zimmerman is he did NOT witness a theft.

    all zimmerman had was vague inferences of suspiciousness

    thus, he would NOT be justified in detaining martin in any way, shape or form

    period

    i'm not aware he DID so btw

    could he follow martin pending police arrival? sure. because that's not a seizure

    if zimmerman told martin to stop pending police arrival, that would not be a crime. if he physically restrained martin, it would be.

  • ||

    fwiw, i dealt with almost this EXACT incident in patrol a few days ago where a couple of idiots boxed in two (black) guys who were salemen but the males SUSPECTED of committing burglary.

    the two who boxed the guys in? i pat frisked them and read them the riot act.

    they were wrong

    the victims who were boxed in were satisfied and didn't request court actions

    IF the guys who were boxed in responded with deadly force, they likely would have been justified btw

  • Fluffy||

    Oh, sorry, I guess you answered my question here.

  • Fluffy||

    What if you're wrong? Or what if the person who thinks they witnessed you stealing is wrong?

    (I'm interested in this beyond the Zimmerman case.)

    I'm sitting on a park bench holding my briefcase. A man comes running over to me and says, "You stole that briefcase! Don't go anywhere, I'm calling the police!"

    I say, "Blow me!" and get up to leave.

    It's actually my briefcase and it's not stolen.

    The guy grabs me and tries to stop me from leaving.

    I beat the crap out of him to make him let me go.

    Can I claim self-defense?

  • ||

    yes. that's why when a CIVILIAN (ie noncop) makes a detention for theft, he MUST HAVE WITNESSED the crime.

    if he says - stop, i am callign police, though - it is in your best interests to wait for police, for a # of reasons. we get paid to sort these things out and it avoids a confrontation with nimrod

    and if it turned out he was completely unjustified, SUE HIM

    but in brief, if the guy does not have knowledge you stole his briefcase, you can use self defense LEGALLY

    in general, it is often difficult to KNOW what he knows. it's better to wait for police, that is 100% certain

  • ||

    Not if you initiate the force. If he stays stay there, you can get up and leave. But you can't use his order as a justification to attack you. And remember self defense is only reasonable force. So lets say you get up and leave and he grabs you and tries to hold you down. You absolutely have a right to punch him in the face and use what force is necessary to leave. But you do not have a right to continue the combat after it is obvious you can leave.

  • ||

    generally correct

  • Fluffy||

    You absolutely have a right to punch him in the face and use what force is necessary to leave. But you do not have a right to continue the combat after it is obvious you can leave.

    But this becomes a "Stop Resisting!" situation, because I don't think it's reasonable to think you can safely leave as long as the other person is still able and willing to fight.

    If I have you down on the ground and have punched you in the face a few times, if you're still fighting I can't say, "Well, now I guess it's safe for me to leave," because as soon as I stop punching you and let you up, you can grab me again.

  • ||

    When he does that, you can go back to hitting him. But at some point you have to stop. Your right to defend yourself is not a blank check to beat the guy to the point of unconsciousness.

  • ||

    When he does that, you can go back to hitting him

    So, its punch, pause, take a punch, punch back, pause, take a punch, etc.?

  • ||

    No, it's gain separation, then flee.

    Are you claiming that any time you're justified in pushing or punching someone, you're automatically justified in beating them to a bloody pulp just in case they try to get up again?

  • ||

    If I have you down on the ground and have punched you in the face a few times, if you're still fighting

    Still fighting upright? Yeah, I'd agree, it's not safe to flee yet.

    Down on the ground after I've punched you? Then it's safe to flee because you have separation.

  • Fluffy||

    I'm thinking more of a wrestling and punching type situation.

    Yeah, I could see that if I punch you and lay you out flat on the ground (because, of course, I'm just SO DAMN CHUCK NORRIS GOOD) then I too would concede that I have a new chance to withdraw.

  • ||

    Grass stains and gashes on the back of Z's head are a pretty good indication that's what happened in this case.

  • Fluffy||

    Didn't the witness say he saw them both on the ground with Martin on top?

    That's not "Zimmerman knocked out, Martin standing up shaking his hands in the air like Apollo Creed".

  • ||

    Depends on whether Z was holding M down. Usually it's not hard to withdraw in time when you're on top.

  • ||

    Usually it's not hard to withdraw in time when you're on top.

    Two thoughts:

    (1) snerk.

    (2) That's not my experience, which, granted, was in a dojo, not on the mean streets. Standing up over an active opponent gives them plenty of angles and opportunities for mayhem.

  • ||

    And of course, if you think you have to be Chuck Norris to drop an inexperienced fighter to the ground with one move, you're pretty novice at self defense. I'm a pasty mathematician and I have moves in my arsenal that have a 50-50 shot at giving someone a dirt nap in one blow if they're not prepared.

  • ||

    lol on use of "dirt nap"

  • ||

    btw, the standard is not that self defense must be "plainly obvious", though.

    Was this case even handed on to a prosecutor? I suspect,from a prosecutor's viewpoint, the practical standard is, "There is NO FUCKING WAY we can win this case."

    And, in the case of a possible murder or unjustified killing, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Based on what few facts I have seen, I do not believe the police (incredible though it seems) listened to his story with a sufficient degree of skepticism. Contrast this, if you will, with the behavior of the deputies in California who murdered (THERE'S THAT WORD AGAIN!) Deacon Turner because they thought he might have bought beer for some hooligans in a Seven Eleven parking lot.

  • ||

    he swung at the cops with a bag that contained beer cans or bottles and got capped

    fuck him.

    you always bringup BUT THE POLICE BUT THE POLICE

    now, back to the instant case

    i would 100% assume that the prosecutors reviewed the case

    in ANY homicide the cops write a report and the report is forwarded to the prosecutors.

    furthermore, the ME would examine the decedent and the prosecutr would get the report as well

    the prosecutor is FREE to charge zimmerman WHETHER OR NOT ZIMMERMAN was arrested. happens all the time

    as i have explained EVEN IF I HAVE PC FOR MURDER, i am not legally compelled to arrest

    the only crimes we must arrest for in my jurisdiction are certain DV CRIMES.

    but they did not arrest because they believeddid not have PC

    because the suspect TALKED to police, as i recommend btw and most here disagree

    it's all about totality of the circs.

  • ||

    he swung at the cops with a bag that contained beer cans or bottles and got capped

    fuck him.

    Good to know.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder if a mere citizen could get off on self defense for doing the same thing.

  • ||

    i would suggest they would. and then the anti-coppers would go derp derp derp and claim double standard double standard bla bla bla

    and i can and have used multiple examples to show the double standard is not as the derp derpers claim but it doesn't matter

    i am aware you et al are convinced the cops can get away with all kinds of deadly force merely because they are cops, and i know that no amount of cases where mere citizens do so and don't get charged would EVER convince you

    like i said, i even showed a case where a citizen used deadly force on a guy fleeing his neighbor's unoccupied house after apparently burlgarizing it and HE wasn't charged.

    as cops, CANNOT use deadly force in such situations, but he COULD. because in THAT circumstance he has a lower standard for justification of deadly force

    but we've discussed this ad nauseum
    reminds me of debating anti-gunners

  • plisade||

    From what I know of the law, self-defense is justified if your opponent 1) demonstrates intent to physically harm you (a clenched fist and a step in your direction is more than enough), 2) has the opportunity to do so (nothing in his way), and 3) has the ability to do so (i.e. not a quadriplegic). It's not hard to imagine Zimmerman meeting those minimum requirements given the evidence, thus justifying Martin to go physical, without even his being "attacked" as some here believe is legally necessary to justify his actions.

  • ||

    self defense INVOLVING DEADLY FORCE requires more. it requires a reasonable belief that you are being threatened with deadly force or serious bodily injury

    i cannot use deadly force just because a suspect demontrates intent to harm me (clenched fist, advancing, etc.)

    i can certainly tase, use my baton, etc. but not deadly force

    (derp derp derp taser is deadly force derp derp derp)

  • plisade||

    Dunphy, If you read my post I'm showing that Martin would have been justified in defending himself without first being PHYSICALLY attacked. I'm not justifying Zimmerman's use of deadly force.

  • ||

    no, you are demonstrating that martin MAY have been justified in defending himself.

    i don't know exactly what zimmerman did prior to his (allegedly) being attacked by martin and if it did or didn't give martin to believe an assault was imminent etc. and he had the right to defend himself

    nor do i know if , given a right to defend himself, if his use of force against zimmerman was REASONABLE, or if it rose to the level where zimmerman was justified in using deadly force.

    that's why i have not come to a conclusion on this case

    i am agnostic. just like in many UOF cops cases here where all the ignorati are convinced the cop was wrong

  • plisade||

    "MAY" = "It's not hard to imagine..." Slow down and read, bro.

  • ||

    good point. i apologize

  • ||

    I think Zimmerman is obligated to "prove" he didn't initiate the confrontation, because he put himself in a deep deep hole by getting out of the car.

  • sarcasmic||

    How do you prove a negative?

  • ||

    ah, the you can't prove a negative logical fallacy.

    lol

    (which i have debunked as has any analytical reasoning familiar person numerous times)

    sometimes you can prove a negative. sometimes you can't

    regardless, p brooks is wrong. zimmerman does NOT have to "prove" he didn't initiate the confrotnation

    self defense law does not say "if you wrongly initiate a confrontation you have no right to self defense"

    it would certainly be relevant in a CIVIL CASE.

    it does not vitiate the claim of self defense.

    if he initiated a confrontation by spewing a bunch of racist words at martin (assume hypothetically) and martin jumped him and beat him and deadly force was used in self defense, it would STILL NOT BE A CRIME

  • sarcasmic||

    ah, the you can't prove a negative logical fallacy.

    switching the burden of proof != appeal to ignorance

    They are similar and easily confused, but not the same thing.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, if this was what happened I'd be on Zimmerman's side.

    If he followed Martin just to call him racist names, tough shit for Martin, he gets to like it or lump it.

    To me, the critical thing is that Zimmerman followed Martin to stop him from leaving until the police arrived. And he had no legal authority to do that, which justified Martin using force to escape.

    With me on the jury, Zimmerman is actually better off following Martin because he wants to tell him that he hates blacks than he is for following Martin because he wanted to make sure the cops would get to talk to him.

  • Dan||

    And he had no legal authority to do that, which justified Martin using force to escape.

    If Zimmerman wrongly tried to imprison Martin then yes, Martin would be legally and morally within his rights to try to escape.

    But given the eyewitness that puts Martin on top of Zimmerman, corroborated by Zimmerman's wounds and grass stains? "Attempting to escape" doesn't appear to apply.

  • ||

    No. He is obligated to create a reasonable doubt that he didn't unlawfully kill Martin. If the only evidence is Zimmerman's word and his story is reasonable, as in it is reasonably possible he is telling the truth, the you should acquit him.

  • ||

    Again, depends on the jurisdiction.

    In PA and other places reasonable doubt only applies to the facts of the killing itself (ie, did the accused intentionally shoot and kill the person). Self defense needs to be proved by preponderance of the evidence.

  • ||

    or in WA, the burden is on the prosecutors to DISPROvE self defense

    not sure if FLA is that way, but i suspect it is.

    iow, in some states (i have often remarked on this distinction), the burden is on the defendant to prove self defense

    in many others, such as WA, the burden is on the prosecutors to DISPrOVE it

    i prefer the WA way. it's more respective of civil rights and the right to use force to defend oneself, both for cops and everybody else

  • ||

    No. It's innocent until proven guilty, and the Constitution says he is under no obligation to provide evidence that might be used against him.

    In order to bring charges at all, you would need evidence sufficient to prove that Z killed M (we got that) AND evidence that the killing was not lawful (do not have that, at least not yet, but maybe never.)

  • This Be Our Chance||

    Brothers and Sisters this be our chance to start a race war! This is the shot heard round the hood! We gots our boy Obeezy in the heezy and now is the time!

  • rather troll alert||

    The above post appears to have been made by an individual who assumes multiple identities, including, but not limited to, "Mary Stack", "rather", "White Indian", "rctlfy", and "mstack60". Potential aliases could also include "shrike" and "o3", but are not confirmed.

    Please do not reply to posts made by this person or attempt to engage in debate.

    Characteristics of postings by this person include use of bold and italics, cutting and pasting of writings by Jason Godesky (who appears to not be involved), debating in bad faith, impersonating others, using inciteful language, and making large quantities of posts 24/7.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Fluffy||

    John, here is the scenario you said you were having trouble finding (it's a long and screwed up thread, I know):

    Police receive 911 call. On other end of call they hear husband and wife fighting over whether wife is allowed to leave apartment. Husband shouts out, "This fucking bitch always leaves the apartment when I don't want her to." Phone line goes dead.

    Cops get to apartment and the wife is dead.

    Husband says, "Officer, officer! My wife tried to kill me so I shot her in self-defense!"

    Reasonable doubt, or no?

  • ||

    You forgot the part about the husband having a gash on the back of his head and carpet burns on his back.

  • ||

    All depends on the facts. If the husband doesn't have a scratch on him and the wife is unarmed, no way.

    What if the husband has a broken nose and a fractured skull and the dead wife has a saute pan in her hand? Then probably reasonable doubt.

    It just depends.

  • ||

    Are you questioning the Game Master again, John?

  • Fluffy||

    Remind me to kill my wife in John and Tulpa's town.

    The standard of reasonable doubt you're applying here makes the OJ jury look like the Salem Witch Trials.

  • ||

    It is hard to get a conviction when two people are alone. In my example, the guy says, she came at him with a sauce pan and hit him in the head and face with it. He was cornered so he shot her. That story is supported by the physical evidence.

    These cases get really hard. Look at the McDonnald case. The one where they Army Doctor at Fort Bragg claimed the hippies killed his family. No witnesses. Just his word and whatever physical evidence. It took two trials to finally convict him and people are still convinced he is innocent.

  • ||

    as i keep explaining the war on DV means that i can make an arrest for DV WHEN THE FACTS ARE NOT CLEAR and it is the ONLY CRIME where i am offered good faith immunity for false arrest
    the ONLY ONE

    the law for DV's means that we often MUST arrest in very uncertain circumstances where he said/she said bullshit reigns

    imo, arrests of innocents thus happen more often in DV circs than any other crime by a substantial margin

  • ||

    It's probably not a good idea to be alone with someone who's likely to kill you in any jurisdiction.

    I'm 100% certain that in the typical instantiation of your hypothetical in Pittsburgh, the husband would be arrested and spend some time in jail. Whether it went to trial would depend on the details. But we have affirmative defense SD here, not immunity from prosecution.

  • ||

    Or maybe all of it points up the absurdity inherent in the confluence of the Railroad Zimmerman crowd and the Free Mummia, crowd.

  • Baby Face||

    The question becomes do you want Bubba the southern cop to decide or a jury?

    I guess that depends on whether or not you are the victim.

  • ||

    whether or not (your bullshit bubba stuff aside) the cops decided to ARREST zimmerman, the decision to prosecute is STILL COMPLETELY WITHIN THE PROSECUTOR'S DISCRETION

    i always see reasonoids harp on arrest arrest arrest

    it doesn't matter. the prosecutor will get the cop's report and make the decision. it's NOT the cops decision. it's the prosecutor

    furthermore, zimmerman gave a detailed statement (proving yet again, it's often beneficial to talk to police), the cops took the gun as evidence and investigated the scene

  • ||

    dunphy, I'm curious:

    Does the fact that Zimmerman announced that he didn't want "this one to get away" and started following him, with a gun in his pocket, make any difference?

    Or do we just accept that we'll never know who threw the first punch, and all go home?

    Or even, say that we don't care if Zimmerman threw the first punch, as long he was losing the ensuing fistfight it was a good shoot, and all go home?

  • Baby Face||

    In Florida, the wild-wild-west, it depends on the color of the shooter.

  • Dan||

    Zimmerman announced that he didn't want "this one to get away" and started following him, with a gun in his pocket

    That bears little resemblance to the actual 911 transcript. Zimmerman complained that the burglars always get away -- he did NOT announce any intention to stop Martin from getting away. In fact, the last thing he did was discuss with the dispatcher where he would meet the police when they showed up.

    As for his carrying a gun -- he was licensed to carry it and presumably already had it on him when he called. It is unreasonable to ascribe motives to his doing so.

  • ||

    Here's the thing.. it's called neighborhood "WATCH" for a reason. When the 911 operator told him to STOP FOLLOWING Martin, and he chose to continue. As far as I'm concerned he lost all rights. Zimmerman should NOT have had a gun to begin with and he should have followed the orders of the 911 operator.

    He instigated this entire situation and should NOT be allowed to fall back on Florida's self-defense laws to justify his actions.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    911 operators are not law enforcement officers and their orders are simply advice to improve the caller's safety, not to preserve one's rights.

    I've had a 911 operator tell me to follow a car to get its license plate. I could not use that as a legal justification if my attempts to follow the car caused an accident and injured or killed innocent bystanders.

  • Dan||

    Dispatcher: Are you following him?

    Zimmerman: Yeah.

    911 dispatcher: OK. We don’t need you to do that.

    Zimmerman: OK.

    -----

    Even if 911 operators had the authority to order Zimmerman to stop following Martin -- they didn't do that. They said he didn't need to follow, not that he needed to stop following.

    Just a FYI.

  • ||

    fwiw, our dispatchers pEr POLICy (as a cya thang) will tell (advise) people to stop following.

    and it holds no legal authority. they just do it to CYA. it's lame policy, but it is what it is.

    fortunately, many people ignore it.

  • ||

    already addressed below, but 911 operators are not *usually* LEO's. they have no legal authority, generally speaking, to tell anybody to do or not do anyTHINg.

    furthermore, it appears they didn't even tell him not to follow they merely said he didn't have to do that

    our dispatchers, per policy always explicitly tell people not to follow. so what? some people ignore that, and they aren't wrong to do so

    dispatchers merely say that to CYA because if the follower gets hurt, he will of course sue and say the police should be responsible since he was acting as their agent or some such hogwash

  • People who died||

    I am all for states rights.
    If Florida wants to be the wild-wild-west, so be it. It none of our business if we don't live there. And, if we don't like it, we shouldn't go there.

  • Baby Face||

    Should this guy be on trial? And why?

    http://www.ksdk.com/news/world.....for-murder

  • Alfred Einstein||

    This rabid lynch mob out to get Zimmerman, aren't they the same ones who wanted 'Tookie' Williams out of jail? Aren't they the same ones who cry "Free Mumia!?"

    How fucking transparent and craven is this new "outrage?"

  • ||

    he swung at the cops with a bag that contained beer cans or bottles and got capped

    fuck him.

    Uppity nigger defense, FTW!

  • ||

    Have you ever taken a bag full of whiskey bottles to the head, P Brooks?

    Since you don't appear to be dead or brain damaged, I'm guessing no.

  • ||

    And again, one wonders:

    Take away the badge. Some "Concerned Citizen" tries to stop him in the parking lot to see if he's buying beer for high schoolers. Gets a little pesky. He swings his bag at them.

    They gun him down.

    Good shoot? Doesn't pass my smell test.

  • ||

    first of all i don't care about your smell test. i care about the law.

    as i have explained MANY MANY times, a cop can stop based on REASONABLE SUSPICION. a "concerned citizen" cannot

    if a cop says stop, you STOP. period. end of story.

    he wasn't stopped by some citizens. they CALLED POLICE who made the stop. he resisted the stop and swung at the cops. he hit a cop in the head with a bag containing bottles or cans, i don't recall which

    he absolutely had a duty to comply and cops DO have authority to stop for RS. you, as a noncop do NOT have that authortiy

    a distinction i have made clear about a million times

  • ||

    Uh, if a guy swings a bag full of heavy glass at your head, you have every right to defend yourself with deadly force in my book.

    And the fact that you told a guy to stop doesn't change matters. Citizens are free to tell each other to stop.

  • ||

    and for clarification, like in the turner case, or this case, a 'citizen' would not be justified in restraining somebody based on that level of evidence.

    they must witness a crime to stop somebody

    for good reason.

    otoh, if a cop says stop, you StOP. period. cops operate under the RS standard and for good reason.

  • ||

    brooks has no argument, so he played the race card.

    a cop says stop, you stop. if instead , you resist and then you swing at the cop with a bag containing beer bottles/cans, and in this case you actually HIT the cop in the head, his partner aint going to wait for more. you are going to get shot most likely

    so yes... fuck him

    it was a justified shoot

    if he had simply stopped and complied, something he has a LEGAL DUTY to do, you wouldn't be wanking

    i realize you don't like authoritah. neither do i

    groovy. but if i am stopped for aNY reason by the cops, i resist, and then i swing a hard object at the the head of one of them, i have NOBODY to blame but myself for getting capped

    so, again, fuck him

  • sarcasmic||

    Funny how his son's account of what happened was totally different.

    My guess is that because the surveillance video conflicted with the police report, it will never be seen by anyone other than law enforcement.

    Twenty bucks says we will be told that the camera malfunctioned, or the recording device was turned off, or the tape was damaged, or something like that.

    Wouldn't want it to be shown that a man was clubbed for turning his back to the popo, dislodging a beer bottle that he was carrying causing it to hit the pavement and explode, startling the officers who then killed him.

    Right in front of his son.

    Classy.

  • ||

    the camera was triggered by motion, the incident was too far from the camera to trigger it for the entire incident.

    i;'d LOVE for their to be video of the whole incident because it would confirm the cops' stories and if they were lying, would help convict them
    win/win

    the fact that the son had a different account is relevant but not dispositive. i am reminded of the mel miller case where the son lied through his teeth, but thankfully the cops tape recorded the interview of the gf and also the physical evidence showed he was full o shit and that daddy did have a (stolen) gun, was high on crack and did point it at the offduty cop

    one of the cops also had head wounds consistent WITH being struck in the head. iow, the physical evidence supports the claim of the cops. he was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. that's a matter on the record

  • sarcasmic||

    one of the cops also had head wounds consistent WITH being struck in the head

    linky?

  • ||

    Nadal was taken to Memorial Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.

    http://www.bakersfieldcaliforn.....s-officers

    i concede they didn't describe the specific wounds, but nadal was the one who claimed to have gotten hit on the head and he was treated at the hospital.

    due to HPPA, they won't release to the press what his wounds were w/o his permission

    i'd be willing to make a comfortably large bet that his wounds were head wounds, but i concede the article does not mention their location

  • Dan||

    I direct your attention to the Chris Rock skit "how not to get your ass kicked by the police".

    Specifically, to rules one and two:

    1. Obey the law
    2. Use common sense

    I'm not saying a guy who tried to brain a cop with a bag full of bottles deserved to get shot... I'm just saying I have a long list of injustices to worry about, and he's pretty effin' far down it.

  • ||

    i refer to this as the "deserves" canard.

    whether uof is done by a cop or other person, the issue is NEVER whether a person "deserved' it

    the issue is - was it JUSTIFIED

    in the above case?: yes

  • ||

    i refer to this as the "deserves" canard.

    whether uof is done by a cop or other person, the issue is NEVER whether a person "deserved' it

    the issue is - was it JUSTIFIED

    in the above case?: yes

  • ||

    Who acted in self-defense ? Zimmerman or Martin?

    It seems to me that if Martin felt that he was being followed and was afraid of being attacked, he might have struck out first, essentially in self-defense.

    Can Zimmerman really claim self-defense if he was the one who instigated the entire situation by following Martin around in the dark at night?

  • sarcasmic||

    Following someone does not justify the initiation of violence.

  • ||

    exactly. in a civil trial, could it be *a* mitigating factor?

    sure. but assuming he was following martin, and martin turned around and attacked him, martin would be in the wrong, legally

  • shrike||

    A.B.U.

  • ||

    Wait wait what? It's an "odd provision" and a "catch-22" that the police can't arrest (seize) somebody unless there's probable cause that the person did something unlawful?

    Last I checked, there's no "somebody died" exception to the fourth amendment. Not all homicides are unlawful. Requiring the police to have probable cause of unlawfulness before arrest is neither "odd" nor a "catch-22." It's nothing more than consistent with the 4th Amendment.

  • ||

    well put

  • ||

    Uh...the major point in this whole story, to me, is that the police told Zimmerman to stay away...everything that came after that seems to make Zimmerman in the wrong

  • ||

    the police dispatchers who have no legal authority to do so, who are not sworn LEOs, told him (iirc) he didn't need to follow martin

    groovy.

    fwiw, our dispatchers AS POLICY (CYA) will always tell people in circ's where they are following a suspected criminal, to STOP following them (whether one car following another or whatever)

    why?

    because they want to limit liability. if the guy follows, even though we didn't TELL him to follow, he gets in accident or gets assaulted or whatever, they are afraid he sues us.

    it's a lame CYA policy and it hurts the cause of justice, but it is our DISPATCH policy

    fortunately, some people follow ANYWAY, which helps us locate the suspect as they give updated info. we've caught a few burglars, dui's, etc. this way

    regardless of what dispatch told him, it has little to no bearing on the UOF as to whether it was justified or not

  • ||

    fwiw, as i have said, i am agnostic about whether zimmerman was justified. JUST like i am in most police UOF cases

    where i get accused of having a pro police bias.

    note that if the same fact pattern applied, but zimmerman was a cop, people would be SCREAMING "double standard" because he was not arrested, would be doubling down on the race card, and not a single person here would even be considering that he MIGHT be justified.

    i just find that amusing

  • Teaching Student||

    Dunphy, thanks for the great commentary... confirms a lot of my suspicions.

    My thinking is that without more physical evidence, unlikely to come in my view, we're not likely to see a conviction, or even a criminal case.

    I do think we're likely to see a Civil Case, where there is a less strict requirement of proof. I think it is very possible that Zimmerman could lose a Civil Case.

    Whether or not that quells the mob... not likely in my estimation.

  • ||

    no problem. i appreciate it.

    like i said, i've long applauded WA state's protection of self-defense, such that the burden is on the state to DISPROVE it (vs. many states/common law where it must be established by the defendant).

    but like all such legal issues, there are ALWAYS tradeoffs.

    and as i mention, if a guy gives a statement AT THE TIME OF THE CRIME, which zimmerman did, vs. after he's been coached by a lawyer, it IS more compelling.

    i mean he voluntarily agreed to speak to police (i am assuming post-miranda), gave a statement of self-defense, and apparently the physical evidence what that there is corroborates it to an extent, and more importantly, doesn't refute it

  • ||

    it would be a major gamble to lie in such a circ, because if evidence became apparent that established his lie, it would totally screw him for his defense. THAT's why, it's so compelling to speak to police at the time of the crime. it really is a huge indicator of truthfulness to give a detailed statement because if a person is lying, it is almost always very easy to tear the thing apart later. cops know that, and so do prosecutors.

    right now, it's just complete hysteria in the court of public opinion and political opportunism

    you would THINK obama would have learned his lesson after his misstatements in the cambridge disorderly arrest case, but apparently he hasn't.

    and i strongly suspect if zimmerman and martin were both black or both white, this case would have gotten very minimal press.

  • ||

    oh also, per FLA law, even civil suits are problematic in self defense cases...

    "The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1)."

    i had that in my cache. i'd have to backtrack and find the law, but it's florida i know that

  • ||

    Most of what you guys are arguing is off base. Apparently, Martin kicked Zimmerman's ass and was running away when Z pursued him, caught up with him, and put a bullet in him. This is according to the lady in whose yard Martin was killed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08Rf4G0JOOk

  • ||

    You're making that up. It would be hard to imagine fat punched down Z catching skinny victorious M without -first- putting a bullet in him from a distance and angle that would be inconsistent with Z's story. And if the coroner's report didn't support Z's story he'd have been arrested by now. Anyway, the neighbor says nothing like your mischaracterization of what's "apparent". From her story, at least as (badly) edited by the TV station, Cutcher doesn't seem to have looked out her window until it was all over, "little boy" Martin was dead, and Z's request that the police be called was so provokingly "nonchalant". Which makes it decidedly odd that she feels qualified to insist that there was "no punching, no hitting, no wrestling" going on "at the time".

  • Mohammad Tiba||

    "But Martin clearly did not die because of a premeditated racist rampage."

    If you listen to the tape, you can hear him say "f***in' coons." Clearly a racist.

  • WWB||

    YOU ARE STUPID!!!

  • WWB||

    THE COMMENT"YOU ARE STUPID WAS NOT MEANT FOR MOHAMMAD BUT FOR JACOB WHO WROTE "MARTIN DID NO DIE DECAUSE OF A PREMEDTITATED RACIST RAMPAGE".
    PEOPLE LIKE THIS ARE BLIND & CANNOT SEE,THATS WHY WE RECENTLY ,LESS THAN 40 YEARS AGO HAD A CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT!
    RIGHT ON!!! MOHOMAD!

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement