If 'Stand Your Ground' Is Not About the Duty to Retreat, Why Call It That?

Video via The Orlando SentinelVideo via The Orlando SentinelThe Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates faults me for saying that "the only context in which 'stand your ground' was mentioned during [George Zimmerman's] trial was as part of the prosecution's attempt to undermine Zimmerman's credibility by arguing that he lied when he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he had not heard of the law until after the shooting." Not so, says Coates, since "stand your ground" language was included in the jury instructions—a fact that I noted in the very same blog post. I suppose I should have said that Zimmerman's alleged lie about his familiarity with Florida's self-defense law was the only context in which "stand your ground" was mentioned during testimony or argument, unless you count prosecutor John Guy's declaration that "this case is not about standing your ground." Indeed it was not, for the simple reason that Zimmerman, according to his own account (which apparently was accepted by the jury), had no chance to escape once he was attacked by Trayvon Martin, making the absence of a duty to retreat irrelevant. Coates concedes as much:

It's very true that Zimmerman's narrative holds that he never had the opportunity to retreat, and thus SYG was not relevant to his specific defense....I do not think you can argue that Zimmerman would have been convicted if not for Stand Your Ground.

But hang on, says Coates. The "stand your ground" law may not have prevented Zimmerman's conviction, but it did delay his arrest, since it says police may not arrest someone who claims his use of deadly force was justified by self-defense unless they have probable cause to doubt his story. Coates correctly notes that the six-week delay in arresting Zimmerman was what made this case a focus of outrage and national press attention. But as I have repeatedly pointed out, the probable-cause requirement, although it was added by the same 2005 bill that abolished the duty to retreat for people attacked in public places, is completely distinct from the "stand your ground" principle. Even a state that imposes a duty to retreat could establish the same standard for arresting someone who claims self-defense. The main criticism of Florida's post-2005 self-defense law is that its rules for the use of force are too permissive, authorizing violence in situations that do not really justify it. Maybe that is true in other cases. But the idea that the right to stand your ground let George Zimmerman get away with murder is simply not supported by the facts. 

Coates says that when NAACP President Benjamin Jealous responded to Martin's acquittal by calling for "the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state," he was "correctly invoking the set of laws by the name which they have long been known." But what is Jealous's main objection to these laws? It can't be the probable-cause rule that may have delayed Zimmerman's arrest, since that provision does not explain his acquittal and in any case is not shared by all the laws Jealous opposes. He must have in mind the "stand your ground" provision, which he mistakenly blames for Zimmerman's acquittal, since eliminating the duty to retreat is the defining feature of these laws. 

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  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Didn't the Sanford cops put Zimmerman in cuffs, take him to the station, and question him the night of the shooting?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Yes.

  • Gray Ghost||

    For nowhere near as long, or as thorough, as they did two days later. Compare the transcript of the interview the night of the shooting, with the transcripts of the later interview. If there weren't additional questions not captured in the transcript, the first interview took maybe ten minutes. That sound like the actions of a skeptical police force to you?

    For crying out loud, these guys didn't bother trying to look in Martin's phone for what, two-three days after the shooting? Not exactly the incarnation of Detective Columbo. So it's not difficult to see why some people think they'd have investigated a lot more thoroughly if it were anyone other than a young black male who got killed, and why that might piss people off.

    All that said, Zimmerman got off, and should have, so why are we still rehashing this case? Reason needs clicks this badly?

  • ||

    NAACP President Benjamin Jealous responded to Martin's acquittal by calling for "the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state,"

    Yes, let's revoke the right of all people to defend themselves because you didn't like the outcome of one specific case. Jesus Christ these race-baiters are children. Really, really stupid children. Extremely, bone-crushingly stupid children. You know, like, retarded.

  • John||

    No black man would ever take advantage of that law. I guess when some black guy goes to prison thanks to the repeal, the NAACP can get states to change it back. Job security.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The idea that the NAACP would be calling for making it easier to put people in jail is so far past retarded that I don't think we even have a word for it.

  • John||

    Not to go racist, but I am thinking more black will benefit from it being harder to convict someone of murder than white people would.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Doesn't making self-defense harder to prove (or easier to disprove) make it easier, not harder, to get a conviction?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    My bet is the opposite. Whatever stupid changes they make in the laws - less leeway for self defense, less presumtion of innocence, emotional appeals to juries, ect. -- will result in more young black men ending up in prison.

    Think CRACK! epidemic of the eighties: Inner cities devastated, CRACK! babies by the millions, gang wars -- so they give us higher sentences for CRACK! over regular white folks cocaine == more black men in prison.

  • Jeff||

    Whatever stupid changes they make in the laws - less leeway for self defense, less presumtion of innocence, emotional appeals to juries, ect. -- will result in more young black men ending up in prison.

    I think that's what John said.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It looked to me like John was saying the opposite. He's saying what the NAACP is calling for would make it harder to convict. I don't see how.

  • John||

    Sorry not to be clear. But I am saying what Jeff and BP are saying. The NAACP is calling for it to be easier to convict. And given the relationship between black men and the justice system, that is insane.

  • G-dub||

    They are probably betting on the assumption that only a small percentage of open-carry permit holders are black, and that a repeal of SYG would therefore not have as great an impact on blacks as on whites.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "No black man would ever take advantage of that law. I guess when some black guy goes to prison thanks to the repeal, the NAACP can get states to change it back. Job security."

    Wasn't the crack-sentencing thing like this? First it was "OMG crack is killing our children and white people don't care! Increase the penalties for crack, you crackers!" Later it was "look at these racist crack penalties - reduce these crack sentences, you crackers!"

    (with this proviso - the Obama administration is calling for the reduction of these sentences, but Obama is very sparing of clemency for these sentences he deems excessive, even though he could reduce the sentences at a stroke of the pen)

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I see someone beat me to it.

  • General Butt Naked||

    You're right about the crack sentencing guidelines.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Think of the headlines in five years:

    "James Jones, a black man in Florida, was in a bar minding his own business when a white man tried to stab him. Jones took his gun and shot the white man dead. Even though Jones was defending himself from a deadly attack, prosecutors have charged him with murder under Florida's infamous "Duty to Retreat" law.

    "NAACP President Ben Jealous says that the duty-to-retreat laws, requiring people like Jones to flee the scene rather than fight back, are a legacy of racism. 'The black man isn't expected to fight when attacked by a white man,' said Jealous, 'the black man is expected to run away like a punk.'

    "Demonstrators have protested the charging of Jones, marching through the streets with signs reading 'We don't have to run away,' and 'It's the racists who should be retreating, not us.'

    "Jealous has called for a boycott against 'those tea Party fanatics' who supported the "duty to retreat" law in Florida and other states.

    "President Michael Moore says his Justice Department is reviewing the case to see if there's a way to dig up the white guy and put him on trial."

  • Andrew S.||

    "President Michael Moore". That's going to be in my nightmares now.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Indeed, since blacks are disproportionately investigated and arrested for these serious crimes and it's often alleged the police give them higher scrutiny wouldn't it occur to the NAACP that a more stringent probable cause for arrest rule might in general help black suspects?

  • fish||

    I'm not sure rationality will return until the blood sacrifice has been offered.

    Man this is making me tired.

  • TexLawyer||

    Revoking stand your ground would not abolish the right to self defense completely. Rather, it would return self defense laws to what they were before stand your ground was passed: quality, sane defense laws that our system had spent close to a thousand years perfecting. Stand your ground laws are silly, heavy-handed, and don't actually change much substantively. They were only passed in the first place to give politicians something to run on.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    it would return self defense laws to what they were before stand your ground was passed: quality, sane defense laws that our system had spent close to a thousand years perfecting

    You mean they were being perfected for a 1000 years up until the time you didn't like how it was being perfected and then they became imperfect? Or are you saying 1000 years of perfecting is enough perfecting and any more perfecting would be not perfecting at all or they become insane?

  • Andrew S.||

    If they actually don't change much substantively, then why are they such a big deal?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Stand your ground laws are silly, heavy-handed, and don't actually change much substantively.

    I'm sure you're the only one who doesn't see the contradiction there.

  • M.O.||

    If they don't change much why are they heavy-handed?

  • John||

    So Coates is arguing that the law delayed Zimmerman's arrest which caused all of the national attention. Okay. And the national attention helped Zimmerman how? Coates seems to be arguing that SYG nearly got Zimmerman convicted. I don't think that is what he means.

  • RBS||

    Well, I've read a dozen or so of his columns/articles and I don't think he's nearly as smart as he thinks he is.

  • Careless||

    He pretty much never has anything to say worth reading. He's not the worst, but he's down there

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I tried to explain yesterday at length what he's probably getting at. You don't think a delay in arrest would have had any impact on the prosecution's case. Perhaps, but logic, statistics and practice experience rebut that as a general matter.

    But I'm not going to waste time repeating myself or ask anyone to believe my word on it. Go ask any defense attorney to choose between two hypothetical defendants to represent: one who was questioned immediately after the event and one that was arrested and questioned immediately after arrest.

  • sarcasmic||

    But I'm not going to waste time repeating myself or ask anyone to believe my word on it.

    Yeah right.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You don't think a delay in arrest would have had any impact on the prosecution's case.

    Didn't the Sanford cops put Zimmerman in cuffs, take him to the station, and question him the night of the shooting?

  • sgs||

    Yes.

    "After placing Zimmerman in his police vehicle, Officer Smith heard Zimmerman say, "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me."[12][83] Zimmerman was then transported to the Sanford Police Department where he was questioned by investigators for approximately five hours"

  • sgs||

    Not sure about the cuffs.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    He was cuffed.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That sounds pretty arresty. How, in your view, does this meaningfully differ from an arrest, if at all?

    Dershowitz, who's politics do nothing for me but who seems pretty on the ball most of the time, asserts that this was, in fact, an arrest.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Let me ask you this: does the Supreme Court treat interrogation after arrest different than interrogations before arrest? Why? They provide greater protections for the first because they argue it has a greater tendency to push suspects to incrimination.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Tell me how what they did to Zimmerman was meaningfully different from an arrest and we can go from there.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The Supreme Court treats interrogations differently after an arrest than they do before an arrest, giving the first more protections because they argue it's a more compelling situation. They will treat a custodial interrogation that is essentially an arrest in every way as deserving of arrest protections, but while it's close it's not clear that Zimmerman's situation would meet the 10 factor test for that. More importantly for our discussion, it's certainly not clear that Zimmerman would have recognized the distinction.

    Now, this could mean that if there were an explicit arrest, and if it pushed Zimmerman to incriminate himself, that those comments may, absent a Miranda warning, have been inadmissible. But the Court agrees with me that arrest is pretty powerful, an explicit arrest gets automatic Miranda protection for that very reason.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    More importantly for our discussion, it's certainly not clear that Zimmerman would have recognized the distinction.

    Yeah, exactly. It's certainly not clear that Zimmerman didn't see himself as under arrest.

    Cuffs? Check.
    Hauled away in a police car? Check.
    Taken to the police station? Check.
    Interrogated for multiple hours and by multiple people? Check.

    Now, maybe someone from the SCOTUS might recognize that some 10 factor test hasn't been met, but I'm pretty sure random-ass George Zimmerman didn't. It would be perfectly reasonable for him, or for anyone else other than maybe a criminal defense attorney or someone with access to Google, to believe that under those conditions he was under arrest and to act accordingly.

    I don't know why you like this hobby horse so much, but the more you ride it the more suspect your position becomes. Most people, at least those without an Esq., would have taken the "OK, I fucked up" position and walked it back a little.

  • RBS||

    You could always go with the "would a reasonable person under these circumstances believe they were in custody and not free to leave" standard...

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    And no-fucking-one would believe, having been hauled down there in cuffs and interrogated, that he could just get up and walk out.

    If the issue here is Zimmerman's state of mind and the impact that would have on his statement, Zimmerman was, for all intents and purposes, under fucking arrest. Period.

    In this case, Bo don't know diddley.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    We don't know what was said and how it was said to Zimmerman. They may have said "look, we believe you, and you're not under arrest, but we have to ask you some more questions, and we have to put cuffs on you because it's protocol. We know how these punks are, we think your story seems plausible, we just need to go through this some more."
    Was he Mirandized? A lot of people might not think they were arrested if they were not Mirandized. There's quite a bit of factors here. That's why the Supreme Court treats an explicit arrest differently than they do a 'maybe-seems-like' arrest (and the Supreme's have said that just saying that it's an arrest is enough to trigger the higher protections).

    I'll add this: today you're arguing that it essentially seemed like an arrest. Yesterday lots of people responded to me saying 'if they had arrested him Zimmerman would obviously have just lawyered up and that would hurt their case.' Well, if you're right and he probably thought he was arrested it looks like that's not so obvious...

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    A lot of people might not think they were arrested if they were not Mirandized.

    Almost everyone is going to think they're under arrest if they are cuffed and transported to the police station. I don't know what world you're living in where someone who thinks he's free to go wouldn't just be allowed to drive his own car down to wherever the questioning needed to happen.

    I think it's possible Zimmerman would have lawyered up if he thought he were under arrest but a lot of people, particularly people who think they are innocent and foolishly believe they have nothing to hide, don't.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Without knowing what was said and how it's really not possible to know. What we can know is that in American jurisprudence post-arrest interrogation has long been treated as more compelling toward self incrimination than other forms of interrogation.

    I'll have to agree to disagree about whether a significant portion of people wouldn't think they are not under arrest until they are Mirandized, especially someone like Zimmerman who had some interest and education in criminal law.

    In the end I think we agree on more than we disagree. I would have voted for acquittal and I think the SYG law, whether the no duty to retreat or the higher probable cause for arrest, are good things. I'll let you have the last word on this, have a blessed day.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    They will treat a custodial interrogation that is essentially an arrest in every way as deserving of arrest protections, but while it's close it's not clear that Zimmerman's situation would meet the 10 factor test for that.

    Bullshit.

    They JUST FUCKING RULED that SILENCE on the part of a suspect pre-arrest can be openly interpreted and reported by the police as guilt.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That's right, because they don't see that situation as being as compelling. That's why they didn't extend Miranda protections to it. See?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Which just goes to show that a bunch of knuckle heads are on Scotus.

  • Seamus||

    It's an arrest if you're not free to go. Zimmerman wasn't free to go until they'd finished interrogating him.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Yeah but, one more hour and some cuffs and he totally would of intimated his deep seated hatred of innocent black babies.

    /dumb lawyer

  • Alice Bowie||

    And the national attention helped Zimmerman how?

    That's where he got the MONEY for those fancy lawyers. The rest of the nation of Americans that felt that Good-Ole-George did everyone a favor by killing a thug that would, one day, commit a crime anyway.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Umm, he wouldn't have needed the fancy lawyers or the money or the GPS anklet or any of the other perqs of being made a national enemy without that national attention.

    You're one of those people who think having a big mortgage for the interest deduction is a good thing, aren't you?

  • John||

    Because getting a decent defense is something no one should ever be entitled to.

    /DERP

    Really Alice? Do you really want to go there? You think it is a good idea to start holding having an effective defense in court against people?

  • RBS||

    Well, dunphy already thinks just having an attorney means you're guilty so what the hell, let's just hold everything against the defendant.

  • Alice Bowie||

    All I know that even Good-ole-George had he been caught with cocaine would not be allowed to use his money to hire a good lawyer in this country. The DA asks for where you get the proceeds for getting a fancy lawyer.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Are you thinking many people here would agree that policy?

  • Alice Bowie||

    For St. Zimmerman the Thug killer, maybe.
    For Zimmerman the drug dealer, absolutely not.

  • Seamus||

    Are you out of your mind? Have you not followed H&R long enough to know what the people here think of asset forfeiture?

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's just bullshit, anyway. They aren't attacking that provision of the law, or they would be limiting their complaints to FL. It's the SYG part of SYG that scares them. If ordinary citizens start defending themselves, they might not be as scared. If they aren't scared, they start to lose their faith in Gov. No faith in Gov means no need for His priesthood, media and academics.

  • G-dub||

    I don't think Coates is arguing that the delayed arrest had any effect on the trial outcome. He's arguing that the delayed arrest is in itself cause for indignation. I don't necessarily agree with him, but I think you're misunderstanding his argument.

  • RBS||

    OT:Nice fish

    It's a cool story but the real fun starts in the comments.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    how many of those commenters do you think enjoy sushi?

  • RBS||

    "Sushi is fish!?!?!"

  • fish||

    Were you that surprised when you found out what Soylent Green was made from?

  • RBS||

    True story, I was talking to one of my wife's coworkers at their office christmas party last year. She was telling me about her new strict vegan diet. While stuffing her face with spicy tuna rolls.

  • fish||

    Ignorance=Bliss

  • fish||

    Thanks!

  • Gray Ghost||

    They have a point. If you're practicing catch and release, AIUI most billfishing is done these days, and you fight the thing until you've killed it from exhaustion, I'm not going to have a lot of patience listening to how noble and caring you are as fisherman. Especially when it's an insanely rare animal, both period and in that part of the ocean. Now, they may not have known it was a blue marlin when they hooked it, and instead thought it was a fish that could be reeled to the boat, lure removed, and be o.k.-ish afterwards. (Though I wonder how many of those fish just end up croaking an hour or two later after being released?)

    All that said, pay the fees (COASE!) to who owns the wildlife rights, and start nomming on that tasty, tasty marlin. I had marlin ceviche at one of Rick Bayless's restaurants in Chicago and it was fantastic. Can only imagine what marlin sashimi tastes like.

    And that vegan woman at the bottom is too friggin dumb for words.

  • Guy Laguy||

    Good job verdict: Perpetuating the culture of fear and gun violence.
    Ever consider the spirit of the law may have envisioned a different outcome in a situation like this?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    What makes for a limited government and a bulwark against tyranny are not just enumerated powers but adherence to written laws. Too much spirit and you might as well not have them written at all.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Oooooh...

    A culture of fear, that sounds scary!

    *pees pants*

  • Guy Laguy||

    So now not only can you carry a gun in a lot of states you can NOW use that gun to shoot and kill an innocent UNARMED human being!!!!!!!!

    Only in gun loving America could they bring down a verdict like this.

    The thing that gets me is the FACT Mr.Zimmerman was told to stop following this kid FROM ""THAT"" POINT ON he was guilty as sin.

    These jurors screwed up big time. Watch the concealed carry shootings GO UP NOW!!!

    PATHETIC!!!

    In my opinion IF Mr.Zimmerman had not been armed he would have never followed this kid. Like a lot of gun toters IT WAS THE GUN that gave him the courage to do so. Have gun have balls!!!

    America home of the brave?? Yeah right Jethro as long as they are armed with a gun!!!

  • ||

    Your distress pleases me no end, moron. By the way, I have a gun on me right now. I hope that distresses you too. Moron.

  • fish||

    Easy Epi he's using "DOUBLE QUOTES" he must be really mad! You'd do well to keep that piece close by.

  • WTF||

    Gotta be a sockpuppet/troll. No one could really be that stupid and dishonest. Could they?

  • Killazontherun||

    They are, I read pretty much the same shit for brains arguments on a straight up leftist site with much peer approval just moments ago. The stupidity just makes me want to go out and buy another gun.

  • fish||

    Be a dear and get one for me while you're out.

    Something in a 10mm would be lovely! And hey...don't spare the shekels!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Me too, and when I pull it out it makes all sorts of cool clicky noises like in the movies.

    It's a glock-47, or something. I don't know really, I do know that it makes my dick bigger and scares the shit out of black babies.

  • fish||

    The thing that gets me is the FACT Mr.Zimmerman was told to stop following this kid FROM ""THAT"" POINT ON he was guilty as sin.

    He wasn't told to stop following Martin.

  • Killazontherun||

    The dispatcher had no authority to place Zimmerman in the legal jeopardy that could be exploited by a rat prosecutor by issuing an order like that. Hence, the passive voice, 'we don't need you to do that.' He was very well aware of the tenuous grounds he was standing when he gave the suggestion.

  • fish||

    I'm not sure that your statement can be heard over Guys dog whistle.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Since you used all of those exclamation points it must be true.(!)

    And you could always shoot an unarmed human being. This case doesn't change anything.

    As for Zimmerman's balls or what he would have done without a gun, I don't know. I'm not psychic, nor omniscient.

  • tarran||

    Massaad Ayoob has finally broken his silence on the case, and he points out Trayvon wasn't unarmed. He had his fists and a slab of concrete which he apparently used to great effect.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Exactly.

    I've broken my nose a couple of times (after the 1st time it happens really easily) and that first one is a fucking shock. The blood gushes out so fast you almost breath it in. I could imagine that that happening while on the ground and someone sitting on your chest would inspire not a small amount of panic.

    I also was attacked once by some guys while I was on vacation and had my head slammed on the sidewalk. I was in intensive care for a week with my head stapled shut. People watch too many movies and think that your head can take all sorts of abuse, but when the shit hits the fan you can end up seriously injured or dead.

  • Floridian||

    Over 800000 people have permits to carry in FL. But yeah we are all the same and all named Jethro. I know there are at least 800000 murders a year in Florida to prove your point.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Yeah, I live in pittsburgh and we have one of the highest rates of ownership/carry licenses among med/big cities and it's very safe here.

    Oh yeah, those rates have been consistently going up and we've been getting safer.

  • Jeff||

    moar liek jethrosburg

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'll take rednecks and hillbillies over yinzers any day.

  • free2booze||

    The thing that gets me is the FACT Mr.Zimmerman was told to stop following this kid FROM ""THAT"" POINT ON he was guilty as sin.

    Zimmerman was never told to stop following Martin.

    911 dispatcher: Are you following him? [2:24]

    Zimmerman: Yeah. [2:25]

    911 dispatcher:OK.We don’t need you to do that.

    The dispatcher (Sean Noffke) testified in court that he never instructed Zimmerman to "stop following" Martin.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    And even the freaking prosecutor said it closing that Zimmerman wasn't told to stay where he was. But, Skittles, or something.

  • Guy Laguy||

    so he was given permission to hunt the black man.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So being shown that your premise was wrong, you don't re-examine your conclusion, you double down on the stupid.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Well that's just your White privledge talking.

  • free2booze||

    Who was hunting who? What was Martin doing during the four minutes between when he ran away from Zimmerman, and when the fight broke out? When Martin took off running, he was less than a football field length distance from home.

  • fish||

    so he was given permission to hunt the black man.

    Yes! By General Zaroff himself!

  • Andrew S.||

    Yep. They just didn't play the entirety of the 911 call, because racism.

    911 dispatcher: Are you following him? [2:24]

    Zimmerman: Yeah. [2:25]

    911 dispatcher:OK.We don’t need you to do that.

    911 dispatcher:What we really need you to do is kill him. All of us racists sure would appreciate that.

    Zimmerman: Will do! I've always wanted to murder somebody!
  • Jordan||

    In my opinion IF Mr.Zimmerman had not been armed he would have never followed this kid. Like a lot of gun toters IT WAS THE GUN that gave him the courage to do so.

    So?

  • tarran||

    I think we can all agree that Guy's posts tell us that Guy has very strong emotions about stuff he knows little about.

  • Jordan||

    Yeah, he's clearly a dumbass Euro who's butthurt that Americans aren't slaves who are wholly dependent on Big Brother for protection.

  • Jeff||

    I guess he has very strong emotions about everything, then.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, provided that you can convince a jury that the innocent, unarmed human being was viciously beating you in a way that caused you to think you might be killed, sure.

    In my opinion IF Mr.Zimmerman had not been armed he would have never followed this kid.

    Do you think it takes less courage to attack someone than to follow them? Or are you suggesting Martin had a different source of courage? Or do you believe Zimmerman attacked Martin?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Only in gun loving America could they bring down a verdict like this.

    Really? What kind of verdict do you think those guys accused of shooting six-month old Anotnio Santiago in the head back in March are going to receive?

  • shamalam||

    Go shoot somebody, Guy, and go through a 15 month prosecution/persecution similar to Zimmerman, then come back and tell us how wonderful the experience was and how you recommend it to everybody.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Läkare undersöker mysteriet med en Florida man som vaknade talar bara svenska, utan minne av sitt förflutna, efter att han hittades medvetslös fyra månader sedan på en södra Kalifornien motell.

  • General Butt Naked||

    This is AMERICA! SPEAK AMERICAN!

    Dirty hippy Canadians think they can speak their gibberish around here!

  • Jeff||

    Perkele!

  • Wlinden||

    That's easy for YOU to say!

  • ||

    Bork bork bork!

  • Rich||

    If 'Stand Your Ground' Is Not About the Duty to Retreat, Why Call It That?

    Oh, very well then -- Call it 'The REPATRIATE Act'.

  • Guy Laguy||

    Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead an unarmed young black man on his way home from the store because you didn't like the look of him.

  • ||

    Butthurt sockpuppet is butthurt.

  • Guy Laguy||

    if you can't see that this man hunted and killed a black teenager and walked free, you don't belong on this planet.

  • tarran||

    ROFL!

    Are you going to kill him, tough guy? Going to show up at Epi's place and remove him from the planet?

  • John||

    He hunted a young black boy. That is why there was a fist fight and he waited until he was losing before he shot him. He was hunting but wanted to be sporting I guess. It would have been sporting to just walk up and shoot him.

    Are you normally this retarded or does the tribalism of this case just make you retarded?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    if you can't see that this man hunted and killed a black teenager

    The most dangerous game of all!

  • fish||

    What....you guys missed my General Zaroff reference upthread?

    No respect I tells ya!

  • SugarFree||

    Follow your own advice, Episiarch.

  • tarran||

    The sad thing is that there are lots of morons like Guy running around; and some of them are going to do stupid things like acting on the stupid belief that Zimmerman got away with chasing down Martin and try the same thing themselves.

    Then when they go to jail (assuming they survive) they will claim that the system is biased against them.

    Because people like Guy are so stupid that they can't comprehend why the world operates differently than they expect it to.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't understand! Martin was killed for walking home with Skittles and a Snapple! That he started a fist fight with an armed man doesn't matter! He was killed for walking home!

  • tarran||

    One thing I've noticed is a large number of blacks arguing that if they personally find themselves being followed, they feel it is acceptable to respond with violence.

    I'm wondering if this is a case of same planet, different worlds.

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe after routinely being beaten by cops for showing disrespect, they feel it's acceptable behavior for them to initiate violence if they feel disrespected. I dunno.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    OK, so they feel it is acceptable to respond with violence. Do they then feel that it is unacceptable that their violence is met in kind or even escalated?

  • Not an Economist||

    Hey, if you can't understand that a black man can't beat up an oppressor any time he wants without consequences then you need to get educated.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead an unarmed young black man on his way home from the store because you didn't like the look of him he assaulted you, ignored the request of a third party to stop the beating, and put in in fear of great bodily harm or death.

    No charge for the clarification.

  • Omni||

    "ignored the request of a third party to stop the beating"

    I think I missed this part. What are you referring to?

  • RBS||

    Open Fucking Season!!!

    I like how the asshole uses the picture of a 9 year old TM.

  • Michael||

    NEEDS MOAR SKITTLEZ.

  • Michael||

    Also, the newly revised progtard style manual calls for "young black male" to be substituted with "black boy" henceforth and until further notice. Any racial connotations previously associated with this usage have been suspended in order to maximize emotional impact while the opportunity is still present.

  • John||

    Yeah. Since when is referring to a black man as "boy" in any way acceptable?

  • Guy Laguy||

    White on Black Crimes are more likely to be found justifiable

  • fish||

    If you believe the FBI stats that's because the majority of those are initiated by blacks.

    Not happy about it....that's just the way it is for now.

  • General Butt Naked||

    More likely than what, dumbass?

    Getting hit by lightning, winning the lottery, picking a really good cantaloupe, you making a cogent argument...?

  • Floridian||

    If they are justifiable then they aren't crimes. Killing someone illegally is murder. Killing legal is justafiable homicide. The first is a crime, the second is not.

  • John||

    And that couldn't be because of any objective facts surrounding those crimes could it? The fact that many fewer white people break into black homes than black people break into white homes and nearly any shooting by a home owner of an intruder is likely to be found justified would have nothing to do with that. No not at all.

  • sarcasmic||

    Juror who called Trayvon Martin 'a boy of color' has her book deal REVOKED after telling how she thinks 'George's heart was in the right place' in first post-trial interview

    Juror still only identified as B37 - a white married mother-of-two who volunteers at an animal shelter; it is unknown if she will reveal her identity
    Opened up to Anderson Cooper saying that she thinks Zimmerman would make a good neighborhood watchman now as he will be extra cautious
    Said she believes Trayvon threw the first punch
    Literary agent backtracks after initially saying she would represent the juror as she tried to get a book about the trial published


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....VOKED.html
    What? She's going against the narrative? No deal.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    I loved the B-52s - back in the day.
    Are they still recording? Haven't heard from them in years.

  • sarcasmic||

    Here. This might help you out.

    http://bit.ly/18ji4sv

  • MasterDarque||

    This is so sad - I really wish this could have gone another way - http://gma.yahoo.com/zimmerman......html?vp=1

  • ||

    "The dispatcher (Sean Noffke) testified in court that he never instructed Zimmerman to "stop following" Martin."

    This issue has come up in my dept. Our dispatch will routinely tell people who are following somebody that they witnessed committing a crime or who is in the process of doing so - to STOP FOLLOWING HIM.

    Fortunately, a substantial %age of time , people ignore it, but it does come out (unlike in the Z case here) as an order "sir, we request you stop following that car".

    Why?

    The school of thought is that by tacitly accepting the person following the perp, that the person is now acting as an agent of police and we will have liability if they get hurt by the actor, etc. By telling the person not to follow, if he continues doing so, he can't claim he was doing the police's bidding and thus we are responsible for him hitting a tree because he was too busy paying attention to the perp.

  • ||

    I'd say about 1/2 the DUI's we get are because a "civilian" follows the car and keeps us updated on their position. Judges and juries also LOVE "civilian" testimony about drunk drivers. It makes a strong case.

    Just the other day, we had an illegal dumping (hu hu huh) case wherre a guy ejected the contents of his mobile meth lab and then took off. Helpful 911 caller followed him, but was told not to by the dispatchers and heeded their advice. We failed to catch the guy :(

    Btw, dumping a mobile meth lab remnants creates major environmental hazard. We have to call in a team to dispose of the noxious chemicals and we have even caught people dumping the fluids into a stream :(

  • John||

    The liability theory is probably valid if you tell them to keep following them. If the subject never comes up in the call and the person continues to follow, I think it is pretty hard to claim they are an agent of the cops.

    That said, a 9-11 operator is not an LEO. So ignoring the instructions of an operator is not a crime. One of the dumber memes to come out of this case is the idea that Zimmerman was wrong or committed a crime by not following the instructions of the 9-11 operator.

  • ||

    Right. I'm just saying we are a very liberal state and our dispatchers are operating under a CYA mindset. It COULD be argued that we were "directing" the person to follow if we explicitly tell them not to follow. I've seen dumber arguments win at a civil trial, so I grok where the dispatchers are coming from

  • John||

    Have some Eugene Robinson vintage stupid on me

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z2

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "To me, and to many who watched the trial without benefit of knowing the law or reading the jury instructions, the fact that Zimmerman recklessly initiated the tragic encounter was enough to establish, at a minimum, guilt of manslaughter."

  • John||

    I missed that doozy of a qualified. to many who watched the trial without benefit of knowing the law or reading the jury instructions

    So to many people who are willfully ignorant and misinformed about the law, the trial seems unfair. Good to know Eugene.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That was my editorial contribution. Sorry.

  • John||

    If you read the rest of the editorial, it is fake but accurate. Read the quote below. Just because Martin could have feared for his life doesn't mean that Zimmerman is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't think Robinson is trolling. He is just that stupid.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I read it and he is just that stupid.

    When the prosecutor starts his rebuttal by asking the jury to use their hearts, you know facts have gone out the window. It's like Corey picked defense attorneys to run the prosecution and they forgot which side they were on.

  • John||

    In the prosecutors' defense, what differently could they have done? Sort of rubber hosing the witnesses to change their story and lie, the facts were going to come out as they did.

    One of today's liberal talking points is how incompetent the government was. Apparently being a good prosecutor means getting non existent facts before the jury.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    In the prosecutors' defense, what differently could they have done?

    Can they refuse to prosecute? Agree with the defense's motion for directed verdict?

    If de la Rionda is shitty enough to go after Zimmerman for not testifying, surely he had enough facts to give to Guy to use, instead of making what was surely an objectionable call for the jury to disregard the facts and the law of the case.

  • John||

    I mean from the perspective of the aggrieved Martin supporter NEM. The prosecutors did everything they could short of fabricating evidence to convict Zimmerman. The lefty meme that Zimmerman got off because the government was incompetent is absurd.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Jesus though, John, you'd think they could have woodshedded their witnesses a little better. Or made even a token attempt to establish a timeless and pick at Zimmerman's inconsistencies. When legal commentators, and not the cranks either, are openly wondering if you're throwing the case, you just might suck at your job.

    De La Rionda needs to be censured by the Bar Association after that performance. Was 5th Amendment jurisprudence not on his bar exam? How in the hell can he, as a state's attorney, think it's O.K. to harangue publicly a defendant's decision to not take the stand? Particularly when his office were the ones that made it easy for him not to?

  • ant1sthenes||

    What exactly did Zimmerman do that Martin wasn't probably equally guilty of?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Aside from the shooting, obvs.

  • John||

    He only shot because he had a gun. And having a gun meant he was no longer a part of the liberal tribe.

  • sarcasmic||

    He got out of his car while being unable to physically handle a teenager with a history of brawling. He should have waited in the safety of his vehicle until the cops arrived. By getting out of his car he initiated the events that led up to him killing Martin. Martin is in no way responsible for initiating the attack because Zimmerman got out of his car. It's all Zimmerman's fault for getting out of his car.

    See? Getting out of your car is a crime, but jumping someone is not, because, well, RACIST!

  • John||

    See below. Robinson calls Zimmerman reckless for confronting Martin. Why? Because black teenagers are in Robinson and Alice's view, so violent that no one should ever confront them about anything without expecting violence to ensue.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Zimmerman recklessly initiated the tragic encounter

    Nope, no loaded presumptions there at all--just a fine, upstanding young man walking home by himself, in a neighborhood that had experienced several burglaries, when he saw he was being followed. After Zimmerman got out of the car and this fine upstanding young man and Future Nobel Prize Winner for Physics ran away, God reached down from heaven and forced (FORCED, I SAY) the Future Nobel Prize Winner to double back and try to play Knockout King rather than just go on home.

  • ||

    "Massaad Ayoob has finally broken his silence on the case, and he points out Trayvon wasn't unarmed. He had his fists and a slab of concrete which he apparently used to great effect."

    I charged a case once as ADW (Assault w/deadly weapon) based upon using the street as the weapon when the suspect repeatedly slammed the victim into it. It flew with the prosecutor. Ayoob is a treasure. Great commentary and insight from him is common.

  • John||

    I would like to have a dollar for every person sitting in or who has sat in prison because fist fight went wrong and the other guy ended up dead or seriously injured.

  • John||

    The jurors also knew that Martin was carrying only a bag of candy and a soft drink. They knew that Martin was walking from a 7-Eleven to the home of his father’s girlfriend when he noticed a strange man in an SUV following him.

    To me, and to many who watched the trial, the fact that Zimmerman recklessly initiated the tragic encounter was enough to establish, at a minimum, guilt of manslaughter.

    Some gold plated idiocy by Robinson. Think about what he is saying there. Understand there is no proof Zimmerman started the fight. So Robinson is saying that the simple act of confronting a black male teenager is so reckless that you should be criminally liable for any tragic results that may ensue. Why does Robinson hate black teenagers so much? Why does he think they are such animals?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That's like the idiots who, after the verdict, said they were so proud that there wasn't rioting. Those are some high standards, right there. He had zero self-awareness of how condescending his "praise" was.

  • shamalam||

    There sure was a bit of "civil unrest" in LA last night.

  • John||

    The assumption underlying their ho-hum approach to the case was that Zimmerman had the right to self-defense but Martin — young, male, black — did not. The assumption was that Zimmerman would fear for his life in a hand-to-hand struggle but Martin — young, male, black — would not.

    Holy shit. I think Robinson is so stupid that he doesn't understand even who is on trial much less how the burden of proof works.

  • sarcasmic||

    Burden of proof? That's when a progressive liberal asserts something, then you must prove them wrong, whereupon they'll move the goalposts.
    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • Alice Bowie||

    To me, and to many who watched the trial, the fact that Zimmerman
    recklessly initiated the tragic encounter was enough to establish, at a minimum, guilt of manslaughter.

    I'm one of those stupid people that feel this way.
    However, I'm not the least bit surprised with the verdict.

  • John||

    Alice, why do you have such a horrible view of black teenagers? Do you really think they are so violent that people should be afraid to confront them about anything without expecting a beating?

    It seems to me that we have dehumanized young black males to such a degree that they are really treated more like wild animals than human beings. Had Martin been white or an old person or a female or really anything but a young black male, calling someone initiating a confrontation with them "reckless" would be on its face ridiculous. Yet, for black males people like you think it is true.

    And that is really fucked up and sad. Most black teenagers are not like Trayvon Martin. They are not criminals. They physically attack every person who offends or in any way threatens them. I am really sorry to see that you don't believe that. You should get to know a few more young black males. They are as a group not as bad as you think they are.

  • John||

    Alice, why do you have such a horrible view of black teenagers? Do you really think they are so violent that people should be afraid to confront them about anything without expecting a beating?

    It seems to me that we have dehumanized young black males to such a degree that they are really treated more like wild animals than human beings. Had Martin been white or an old person or a female or really anything but a young black male, calling someone initiating a confrontation with them "reckless" would be on its face ridiculous. Yet, for black males people like you think it is true.

    And that is really fucked up and sad. Most black teenagers are not like Trayvon Martin. They are not criminals. They physically attack every person who offends or in any way threatens them. I am really sorry to see that you don't believe that. You should get to know a few more young black males. They are as a group not as bad as you think they are.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sadly, some stereotypes are based in truth.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I have no idea what happened as far as who started the fight. Nor do you.

    It has nothing to do with my view of black teenagers. That is just you twisting the story. I feel sorry for this black teenager as all he was doing was going home.

    Had St. Zimmerman not be on patrol that evening, he'd be alive.

    Clearly, he wasn't the burglar. And I've made no comments about getting out and communicating with young black males. Obviously, something happened.

    And, according to Zimmerman's statement to the police, he never spoke with Trayvon. According to him, once told not to follow Trayvon, Mr Z. obediently walked back to his car in which he was jumped by Travon.

    Why don't we leave it as you believe St. Zimmerman's story and I don't.

    Call stupid
    Call me a troll
    Call me a racist
    But I have don't have a horrible view of black teenagers.

    A white kid wearing the SAME OUTFIT as Trayvon would be alive today walking down the same path.

  • John||

    Had St. Zimmerman not be on patrol that evening, he'd be alive.

    Had Martin just gone straight to his uncle's house, he would still be alive. The only reason Martin is dead is because a fight broke out.

    Now explain to me why Zimmerman was reckless for confronting Martin? Suppose Martin had been a 70 year old black man. Would it have been reckless of Zimmerman to confront him? If so, why? What about a 40lb ten year old girl? Had Zimmerman followed her and confronted her and asked her what she was doing in his neighborhood what that have been reckless as opposed to just obnoxious?

    No one including you would ever call those situations "reckless". To say that it was reckless in this case is to say there is something different about Martin that makes it reckless. What you are assuming but won't say or admit is that young black men are so prone to violence that Zimmerman should have known that confronting one of them was likely to result in a fight and was thus reckless for doing so. There is no way Zimmerman's confronting Martin could be considered "reckless" without assuming that.

    Yes, you have a terrible view of black teenagers. And that is sad.

  • Alice Bowie||

    John,

    Honestly, I don't feel that way. And, I don't know why you think I do.

    Store security guards, police officers, teachers, concerned citizens, etc... confront mis-behaved black teenagers every day. There's no issue there.

    Simply put, I just don't believe Zimmerman's story. I happen to know a lot of kids like Trayvon. I even know the violent ones.

    If the TRUTH is that Zimmerman came out, talk to Trayvon about what he was doing there, and then Trayvon started beating him up, I would support Zimmerman.

    Zimmerman didn't say this. He said, according to the police video, he never spoke with him until Trayvon jumped out of the bushes and started beating him up.

    I just don't believe that story. That's all.

    I don't know what happened, I'm Hispanic, a White Hispanic. I don't believe that story.

    The only element i find of racism in this case is the usual racial profiling, the fact that the killer of the black guy wasn't arrested, and the general sentiment people have of young black teens.

  • John||

    Then you don't agree with Robinson. And if you think Zimmerman attacked Martin, explain to me why he didn't just pull his gun?

    It is possible that Zimmerman got pissed off and just attacked Martin. But if Zimmerman wanted to do Martin harm, why would he not have just pulled his gun? And further, Zimmerman had just called the cops. The cops where on their way. It seems a bit odd that Zimmerman would call the cops and then go commit an assault. If Zimmerman just wanted to kick Martin's ass for being in the neighborhood, the last thing he would have done would have called 9-11.

    You say you don't believe Zimmerman's story. Okay. Explain why not. Tell me why a guy with a gun, who had just called the cops, would go assault Martin rather than just shoot him or wait for the cops?

  • Alice Bowie||

    You John, have brought up the best challenge of anyone who's challenged me doubting Mr. Z. It's an intelligent point with no emotions or anger.

    I believe Mr. Z. probably tried to apprehend Martin until the police arrived. Then, Martin Beat up Mr. Z. Then, Mr Z. shot him.

    That's what I think happened in absence of any facts and in not believing Zimmerman's story.

    Even the story I just painted, I would argue that most Pro-Zimmerman people feel that the death would still be justified.

    I find Martin hiding in a bush waiting to beat up Zimmerman rather un-believable. But that's a personal opinion.

  • sarcasmic||

    I believe Mr. Z. probably tried to apprehend Martin until the police arrived.

    What makes you believe this? The 911 call where he says he's going to keep Martin in sight so he can tell the cops where he is when they arrive?

    Or the 911 call that Martin never made, telling the cops that he was being followed. Oh! He never made that call. He called a friend and told her he was going to get the guy.

    Sure, lady. Whatever you say.

  • John||

    I believe Mr. Z. probably tried to apprehend Martin until the police arrived. Then, Martin Beat up Mr. Z. Then, Mr Z. shot him.

    Maybe. But "trying to apprehend Martin, doesn't necessarily give Martin the right to attack Zimmerman. And again, if that is what happened, why didn't Zimmerman at least show his gun to Martin? I understand why you may not draw the gun. But if I am Zimmerman, I make damn sure Martin sees I have a gun before I try to apprehend him. And no way does martin attack Zimmerman if he knows he has a gun. So I find that possible but unlikely.

    I think one of two things most likely happened. Either it happened just as Zimmerman said with Martin trying to impress his girlfriend and beat up the creepy white guy following him. Or, Zimmerman confronts Martin asks him what he is doing there. Martin gets offended and tells him to fuck off. An argument ensues and Martin ends up jumping Zimmerman. I don't think Zimmerman jumped Martin because he didn't need to. He had a gun.

    The most likely scenerio is the former. Remember. Zimmerman just wanted the cops to catch Martin. He thought Martin was casing houses. All he was trying to do was follow Martin so the cops would no where to find Martin. He really had no reason to confront Martin. He called the cops so he wouldn't have to.

    The key to case is the 9-11 call. If Zimmerman hadn't called the cops, I would be much more likely to believe that he initiated the fight.

  • Alice Bowie||

    It turned out that Martin wasn't the burglar.

  • John||

    It turned out that Martin wasn't the burglar.

    Yeah. But that means Zimmerman guess wrong not that he was reckless or attacked Martin.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    It turned out that Martin wasn't the burglar.

    There was no "THE burglar". He was walking around in a neighborhood that had been riddled with burglaries in the pouring rain and on the grass. Nobody claimed he was "THE burglar" but that what he was doing wasn't normal. Whether or not he was "A burglar" wasn't established either way.

  • sarcasmic||

    I just don't believe that story. That's all.

    Why not? It there are no facts to contradict it. That female friend's story implies that Martin was doubling back to get the creepy ass cracker. Do you think Martin would have confronted him to his face, or jumped out of the bushes to sucker punch him?
    Kids don't fight with honor these days. The norm is to get a good sucker punch in by surprise, get the person on the ground, then pound on them until they're unconscious or dead.

  • John||

    There is one way that you could call Zimmerman reckles. If we knew he physically assaulted Martin. But we have no proof of that. And in fact, the proof we do have goes the other way. None of the witnesses say this. And also it would be absurd for Zimmerman, a guy who had a gun, to physically attack Martin rather than just draw his gun.

    And Robinson says "confronting" not "attacking". So Robinson is not talking about Zimmerman just brazenly attacking Martin. He is talking about even having the nerve to question or argue with Martin was reckless. It is like Martin is some kind of rabid dog or something in Robinson's view.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "He is talking about even having the nerve to question or argue with Martin was reckless"

    Which there is no evidence of either. Apparently being on the same block as a black teenager is reckless.

  • sarcasmic||

    I have no idea what happened as far as who started the fight. Nor do you.

    Common sense (of which you obviously have none) says you don't call the cops and then pick a fight.
    Did Martin call the cops about being followed? No.
    Did Zimmerman call the cops to say he was following someone? Yes.
    So which one more likely started the fight? I'm thinking it's the one who didn't call the cops.

    I feel sorry for this black teenager as all he was doing was going home.

    And had he kept going home instead of circling back to attack some creepy ass cracker, nothing else would have happened.

    Had St. Zimmerman not be on patrol that evening, he'd be alive.

    You want to ban neighborhood watch?

    once told not to follow Trayvon

    He was not told to not follow. Not that you'd let facts get in the way of your feelings.

    A white kid wearing the SAME OUTFIT as Trayvon would be alive today walking down the same path.

    That all depends on whether or not he would have doubled back and proceeded to pound Zimmerman's head into the cement.
    You saying a white kid wouldn't have attacked Zimmerman, while a black kid would have.
    That's pretty racist of you.

  • John||

    Didn't you know sarcasmic, white people gladly take beatings from other white people. They only defend themselves when they are attacked by someone of another race.

  • Careless||

    John, the first rule of racist fight club...

  • Alice Bowie||

    Nobody knows what happened. You just believe Zimmerman's story.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Nobody knows what happened. You just believe Zimmerman's story."

    Yeah, for all you know Martin was actually casing some places to break into, but don't let that stop you from ignoring any of the actual evidence in the case.

  • Calidissident||

    "Nobody knows what happened."

    That right there is reason enough to acquit.

  • Alice Bowie||

    It sure IS!!!

  • John||

    And you just don't believe it because Zimmerman is white and Martin is black. You have yet to give a single rational reason why you don't believe Zimmerman other than you just don't trust white people.

  • ||

    Zimmerman's story passed the smell test from the beginning, the physical evidence matches his story, he called 911, he didn't lawyer up but spoke to the cops at the scene about what he had done, etc.

    All of these factors weigh positively for believing Zimmerman.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    And you just don't believe it because Zimmerman is white

    Another disputable assertion

  • sarcasmic||

    I believe his story because I have common sense.
    You don't call the cops before you jump someone. Zimmerman called the cops. Martin didn't. Common sense says that Martin most likely started the fight.
    Zimmerman, as a concealed weapon permit holder, knew that if he brandished the gun he'd be in violation of the law. He'd lose his gun, his permit, and his freedom as he'd be put in jail. He knew this. Common sense says he didn't pull the gun until he feared for his life.
    Then there's the way kids fight. They think life is a cage match. It's all about getting the opponent on the ground and pounding on them until they're unconscious or dead.
    Common sense is on Zimmerman's side, while all you've got is wild fancy.

  • General Butt Naked||

    It's funny that everyone is saying that had Martin been white, he would've never been followed.

    That's a fucking load of horseshit. When me and my friends were teens we were harassed constantly by nosy neighbors, security guards and cops. One guy confronted us as we walked by his house, screaming that we had broken his mailbox earlier*. Though we could have taken him, we didn't because beating up strangers will get you shot or arrested.

    *we didn't, but he made his house a valuable halloween target

  • ||

    And I can say as a cop, we get "suspicious" person calls on white guys all the time. Sometimes, they are bona fide solicitors, but the person thinks they aren't and calls. Sometimes, they are burglars casing houses and the people call when they see them doing so.

    There are certainly going to be racists who are going to be more likely to call for a black guy than a white guy, especially if it's a "white" neighborhood. It's pretty much irrelevant in that whatEVER reasons Zimmerman had for thinking Martin a suspicious male... he called 911 and he followed Martin, updating the cops with Martin's location(s). That's not unreasonable and it certainly doesn't warrant Martin laying a beat down on Z.

  • Wlinden||

    Ah, but you must be making this up, it couldn't possibly have happened because you are white and therefore "privileged". All white males live off on Cloud Nine, and anyone who says he doesn't is lying. Just like I am told I am lying when I dare recount being beaten up by "peace movement" goons.

  • ||

    At least you can be honest about it.

  • RBS||

    I'm one of those stupid people that feel this way.

    We know.

  • ||

    "Common sense (of which you obviously have none) says you don't call the cops and then pick a fight.
    Did Martin call the cops about being followed? No.
    Did Zimmerman call the cops to say he was following someone? Yes.
    So which one more likely started the fight? I'm thinking it's the one who didn't call the cops."- Sarcasmic.

    Yes, that's what I mean about smell test. Martin, if he was afraid of Zimmerman, Zimmerman's actions could have called 911. He didn't. The leftists will say that's because a black boy couldn't trust the police to help him or some such tripe, but the reality is that Zimmerman called 911 and was following a guy he thought suspicious.

  • Alice Bowie||

    John wrote:
    Maybe. But "trying to apprehend Martin, doesn't necessarily give Martin the right to attack Zimmerman. And again, if that is what happened, why didn't Zimmerman at least show his gun to Martin? I understand why you may not draw the gun. But if I am Zimmerman, I make damn sure Martin sees I have a gun before I try to apprehend him. And no way does martin attack Zimmerman if he knows he has a gun. So I find that possible but unlikely."

    Like i said, it doesn't really matter. Even if Zimmerman went up and jumped Martin, most people would find Zimmerman in the right...just as you stated.

  • Calidissident||

    "Even if Zimmerman went up and jumped Martin, most people would find Zimmerman in the right."

    I'm not seeing where John said that. Are you saying that if people KNEW that Zimmerman jumped Martin, they would still find him in the right? That's bullshit

  • tarran||

    If Zimmerman jumped Martin, he might still be justified in shooting him if Martin escalated the fight to the point where Zimmerman feared for his life.

    An example would be if Zimmerman slapped Martin, and Martin punched him and continued to pound Zimmerman's head into the ground.

    Naturally, though, it is much harder to credibly claim self-defense if you kill someone in a fight that you initiated, but there are circumstances where you could honestly claim it and maybe even get a jury to buy it.

  • Loki||

    If Zimmerman jumped Martin, he might still be justified in shooting him if Martin escalated the fight to the point where Zimmerman feared for his life.

    Yep. According to Florida's self defense law in fact, if the initiator of violence tries to withdraw from the fight and/ or makes it clear to the other person that he gives up and the other guy continues the fight, and the initiator reasonably starts to fear for his life, he can use deadly force and still claim self defense.

    Although I believe if the initiator doesn't try to retreat or make it clear that he wished to give up first, then he would not be able to claim self defense, so you can't just go out and start a fight with someone, let them get a couple of licks in and then shoot them and claim "self defense."

    IOW, the initial agressor does still have a duty to retreat before using deadly force. Which makes the prog-tard's mischaracterization of the SYG law as a "license to kill" even more retarded.

  • ||

    John: "The most likely scenerio is the former. Remember. Zimmerman just wanted the cops to catch Martin. He thought Martin was casing houses. All he was trying to do was follow Martin so the cops would no where to find Martin. He really had no reason to confront Martin. He called the cops so he wouldn't have to.

    The key to case is the 9-11 call. If Zimmerman hadn't called the cops, I would be much more likely to believe that he initiated the fight."

    Exactly. It's a big part of the reason why I give Z the benefit of the doubt. It makes sense and it shows that he was trying to get the cops on scene to investigate, not that his intent was to lay a beat down on it. I can empathize with him being frustrated, saying the "punks" always get away and the cops get on the scene too late. That's often a sad reality and it gives him reason to exit his car (not the best tactical move) even if imprudent and continue to follow. He didn't want Martin to "get away"

  • CampingInYourPark||

    That's often a sad reality and it gives him reason to exit his car (not the best tactical move) even if imprudent and continue to follow.

    The reason Zimmerman gave was to find a house number so the police could find him. The Pros made a big deal out of him not knowing the name of the street after living there, conveniently missing the whole point. Knowing a street name doesn't give you a specific house number. There was no testimony given that claimed Zimmerman was following Martin after the 911 operator said "we don't need you to do that". In fact, the response from Zimmerman to what the operator said was "Okay".

  • Loki||

    Not only that, but while I know the name of the street I live on, I don't know off the top of my head the name of all the surrounding streets. Most people don't.

  • free2booze||

    There was no testimony given that claimed Zimmerman was following Martin after the 911 operator said "we don't need you to do that". In fact, the response from Zimmerman to what the operator said was "Okay".

    A fact people seem to be missing in this conversation, is the short distances involved. Zimmerman followed Martin for about 200 feet, before getting out of his truck. The distance from Zimmerman's truck to where the fight broke out was about 100 feet.

  • Loki||

    Coates correctly notes that the six-week delay in arresting Zimmerman was what made this case a focus of outrage and national press attention.

    Actually what made this case a focus of "outrage and national press attention" was the antics of race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the media (especially NBC), and prog-tards jumping to the conclusions that because Florida has SYG, and a sweet innocent black boy was gunned by a "white hispanic" then it must be because SYG gives white hispanics an open license to hunt down and kill black kids. Facts be damned.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: GUy Laguy,

    Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead unarmed young black man a thug on his way home from the store because you didn't like the look of him he punched you in the face with no provocation and slammed your head into concrete.


    There. More accurate.

  • shamalam||

    This case has exposed the endemic insanity of the left, and it scares me, there are lots of lefties.

  • Wlinden||

    "If 'Stand Your Ground' Is Not About the Duty to Retreat, Why Call It That?"

    Because they've figured out that calling it "Shoot First" is not a credible red-flag label, and are reaching for another ?

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