Trayvon Martin

Police Dispatcher Testifies That George Zimmerman Did Not Seem Like a Man on the Verge of Violence

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CBS News

This afternoon the prosecution in George Zimmerman's trial presented testimony from Sean Noffke, the police dispatcher who handled Zimmerman's call the night he shot Trayvon Martin. Both the prosecution and the defense (during cross-examination) repeatedly played parts of the call. The prosecutor sought to portray a couple of Zimmerman's comments—"fucking punks" and "these assholes, they always get away"—as evidence that he shot Martin out of "ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent," which is an element of the charge he faces, second-degree murder. Yet Zimmerman sounds calm throughout the call, and Noffke repeatedly testified that he did not find anything alarming about his manner. Noffke said people often curse during 911 calls, so he did not consider that a danger sign. 

The prosecution also portrayed Zimmerman as eager to pursue Martin, although it is unclear from the recording of the call whether he got out of his car at his own initiative or because Noffke asked him in which direction Martin was running. After we hear the sound of door chimes and wind, we hear Noffke say, "Are you following him?" Zimmerman says yes, and Noffke replies, "OK, we don't need you to do that." Noffke testified that, because of liability concerns, police dispatchers are trained to make suggestions to callers rather than issue commands. In any event, Zimmerman says "OK" in response to Noffke's suggestion. While defense attorney Mark O'Mara suggested that Zimmerman stopped at that point, the prosecution's theory seems to be that Zimmerman continued pursuing Martin after the call, provoking the confrontation that ended in Martin's death.

The problem for the prosecution is that it's hard to imagine how that could have happened, especially in light of Zimmerman's injuries, unless Martin, angry at being followed, responded violently at some point. A violent reaction in these circumstances may be understandable; it may even have been justified by a reasonable fear that Zimmerman—an armed stranger stalking him for no apparent reason—would injure or kill him. But according to the prosecution, Zimmerman was the aggressor from beginning to end, pursuing and killing Martin for no reason other than his anger at those "fucking punks," those "assholes" who "always get away," a category in which he had mistakenly placed Martin. Although it is still early in the trial, we have not heard anything yet that makes this account seem plausible. The guy in the phone call certainly does not sound like someone building himself up into a murderous rage, and if Zimmerman pursued Martin with "evil intent," why would he give a heads up to the police?

The trial recessed early today because of a dispute about whether earlier calls that Zimmerman made to Sanford police about burglaries in the neighborhood should be admitted as evidence. O'Mara objected, saying he did not see the relevance, while the prosecutor argued that the calls helped illuminate Zimmerman's state of mind on the night of the shooting. It sounded like Judge Debra Nelson expects to rule on that question soon.

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  1. Of course the prosecution wants to inject other, earlier, irrelevant phone calls. Cause they believe they were PWND today.

    Ooops.

    Not a lot of “heros” in this one. But the biggst asshole seems to be the prosecution and “public opinion”. Fuck all of you assholes – I hope Zimmerman walks just to incite you to riot and burn up your own shit.

    Oh, wait….you’ll fuck up OTHER people’s stuff….fuck you even more.

    1. You have a short memory indeed if you don’t remember the Casey Anthony trial and the Thousand Toddler March her exoneration sparked. Tonka trucks and Barbie mansions were burning for days.

      1. I had to hide my duct-taped garden hose in the garage just to avoid reprisals.

      2. That was just a dead white kid. A toddler – they don’t even have personalities at that age. This is a dead BLACK kid, 17, 18 – something like that (alhough we saw the pic of him as a 12 year old for a loooong time).

        Everyone was posting pictures of themselves wearing hoodies, cause TRAYVON.

        The dutiful FL trolls will go full Rodney King on this one.

        1. I still don’t know what Trayvon looked like as an adult other than he might resemble the president, if he had a son.

          1. Well, since he was 17, I don’t think he looked like anything as an adult.

  2. It’s obvious that Zimmerman, as a both a white man and a Hispanic, just want’s to kill innocent black kids.

    1. Game of Thrones is only on ten weeks out of fifty-two. What else are white people going to do with their time?

    2. Zimmerman is also partly black, so it must be self-hatred.

  3. Who’s the swarthy guy in the photo? Fuck, I thought Zimmerman was a white guy. This fucks up my whole narrative!

    1. Looks like the chow is pretty decent, too.

    2. He used to go by the name Markey Gomez and was a member of a Hispanic boy-band back in the 90’s. I don’t recall the name of the band.

      1. Was he the brooding, dark one, or high-spirited fun one?

      2. “Kill The New Kid On The Block” – was that it?

        1. Now you’re in sync.

  4. Huh. No wonder Zimmermanm shot him – he looks a fat arrogant prick that couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag, nevermind keep it cool and negotiate the situation back to earth.

    1. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is who the prosecution hopes populates the jury pool.

    2. Re: Gordilocks,

      he looks a fat arrogant prick that couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag

      First, he was much leaner a year and a half ago when the event happened. Second, if what you’re saying is that Zimmerman shot Martin because he felt he was too fat and soft to fight a 17 year old, 5′-11″ 130Lb+ kid, then you have to concede that Zimmerman was justified in shooting him.

      1. I will admit to divulging in hyperbole on this comment.

        That said, considering their weight differential, and the fact that Martin was *unarmed*, Zimmerman had many many options before pulling the trigger.

        I get that everyone here has a visceral reaction to how the media treats this story, and that we all have respect for the right to self defense, but really, was shooting this kid self defense? I remain doubtful.

        1. So you have no idea about the injuries. Look, maybe you should not talk about things about which you are entirely ignorant.

          1. Maybe the commentariat should consider the breach of NAP against an unarmed kid.

            1. 1) 17-18 years old is not a “kid.” 2) You have no idea what happened that night.

            2. You mean taking to the streets as Morbidly Obese Batman doesn’t give you the right to harass passers-by?

              If the proper response to a deputized officer of the law is just your name, address and “Am I being detained, Officer?” Why do you owe the average Joe on the street any more?

            3. In what way did the semi-white guy violate the NAP? Being suspicious of someone isn’t aggression; following someone isn’t aggression. OTOH, breaking a man’s nose and smashing his head open on the pavement is aggression.

              The entire case and the disconnected “social” (read: media) narrative is absurd. A man follows a kid because he finds him suspicious, then the kid justifies those suspicions by beating the shit out of the man before he’s shot.

        2. Does head against concrete sometimes produce death or great bodily harm?

          Did Z reasonably fear death or great bodily harm as a result of the ground and pound?

          Would you allow young TM to pound your head against the pavement and not react?

          1. I wouldn’t have bothered a kid walking down the street in the first place, and if I was that much of a jerk-off to get in the kids face, and then kid face planted me to the ground, I think that would have been a clue to put my tail between my legs and leave well enough alone.

            Seems everyone is very quick to consider Zimmerman’s claim to self defense, when it was he who initiated contact. Sure, he may not have pursued Martin in a rage, as has been painted by the media, but he initiated contact with an unarmed person, walking down the street minding his own business. The onus is on Zimmerman, not the dead kid.

            1. How did he initiate contact? There is absolutely no evidence regarding who actually initiated contact between the two of them. None. And currently, none of the evidence contradicts Zimmerman’s story.

              It’s possible Zimmerman did start the fight, but unless there’s evidence there really isn’t any way you can convict the guy.

              1. How did he initiate contact?

                HE GOT OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR!

                1. “The prosecution also portrayed Zimmerman as eager to pursue Martin, although it is unclear from the recording of the call whether he got out of his car at his own initiative or because Noffke asked him in which direction Martin was running.”

                  So using him leaving the vehicle as the basis for initiating contact may not hold. Personally I think he probably followed the guy, but that’s just speculation.

                2. How did he initiate contact?
                  HE GOT OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR!

                  Right, Zimmerman had absolutely no right to walk around his neighborhood, as opposed to Martin who had every right to do so.

            2. How do you “put your tail between your legs and leave well enough alone” while you are enduring the ground and pound? Do you just wait until your “pounder” is all tuckered out and hope that your skull can stand the attack?

              1. As was pointed out above, correcting my previously poor information, Z had quite the weight advantage to TM, and was in better shape than this current photo suggests. One would think he could get out from underneath without too much trouble, but maybe that trigger finger was easier to move than the rest of him.

                1. Z being bigger, stronger and in better shape than TM must explain all the bruising on TM.

                  1. HE GOT OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR!

                    Getting out of the car does not equal making contact. Making contact means verbally of physically interacting.

                    Was getting out of the car the smart thing? Probably not, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s at fault for what happened.

                    1. *of = or

                    2. There’s no evidence that Zimmerman continued following him, and if you listen to the audio you can tell that after he says “OK, he stops; the wind on the mic drops off and doesn’t pick up again.

                      So, like I said, you need to actually establish that 1) He made contact, and 2) that he picked the fight.

                    3. HM,

                      I think Zimmerman did get out of the car to confront Martin. That said, we 1) don’t know if he actually found Martin or if it was the other way around and 2) we don’t know how the confrontation went down. If Zimmerman asked Martin what he was doing there, and then Martin punched him, starting the fight, then Zimmerman was justified in shooting him. If Martin told him to fuck off, and Zimmerman grabbed him to prevent him from walking away, then he isn’t justified. The thing is, we don’t know what happened. And since the BOP is on the prosecution (rightly), I don’t think Zimmerman can be convicted.

                      That said, I think the people who are jumping to conclusions the other way around, and are 100% certain that Martin was a violent thug who started the fight are being hypocritical. I have no idea what happened that night beyond 1) Zimmerman got out of the car 2) There was a fight 3) Martin was winning the fight 4) Zimmerman shot Martin. Nobody alive besides Zimmerman knows anything else, and that’s not enough to convict Zimmerman, nor is it enough to conclusively say Martin was responsible for the physical altercation

                    4. It’s also reasonable to assume that Zimmerman left the car to follow Martin at a safe distance.

                    5. It’s also reasonable to assume that Zimmerman left the car to follow Martin at a safe distance.

                      Or that he only got out of the car so he could tell the dispatcher which direction he was going.

                    6. He got out of the car to see where Trayvon had gone.

                      So he could tell the police.

            3. I wouldn’t have bothered a kid walking down the street in the first place, and if I was that much of a jerk-off to get in the kids face…

              Is there any evidence that any of this happened; beyond your psychic reading this morning?

        3. I’m doubtful about it all because the only guy who really knows what went down is on trial. I think there is doubt both ways. And in a US court, that means acquittal is the appropriate outcome.

        4. doubtful

          Thats enough for “not guilty”.

        5. +1

          I can’t understand how a 200 lb 30-year old man gets pummeled by a 160 lb 17-year old kid. I was about Martin’s size at his age and basically anything could have kicked my ass then. I simply think that Zimmerman is stupid and flaccid beyond the point of normal comprehension.

          1. The latter surprised the former, or Martin, filled with indignant fury for being confronted by some cracker (presumably) who’s hassling a young black man, overpowers Zimmerman, who is coming down off his adrenaline high.

            Or maybe letting Martin pin him was Zimmerman’s plan all along, so he could credibly claim self-defense. False flag!

            1. So is “black fury” the answer? Or just speculation?

              1. There is no satisfactory answer. We have Zimmerman’s word on everything that happened.

                And the closest I’ve come to sympathizing with Martin is thinking about the piss-off it must be having some (again, from his perspective, presumably white) cracker hassling him about being in the area after dark. I’d be furious, too.

                1. Fair enough.

          2. I had a friend in high school who was Martin’s size. I’d have bet on him against Zimmerman in a fight any day of the week.

            Size doesn’t matter as much as people think it does in a street fight. What matters is attitude, skill, and speed. Size only makes a big difference if both fighters are equally or close to equally experienced.

            1. Actually, I’d have bet on him against just about any random dude of Zimmerman’s size and background. Just because he’s a 160lbs doesn’t mean he’s a noodley weakling.

              1. A friend is 5’7″ and 130 soaking wet. At his boxing gym the new guys always ask to spar with him. It doesn’t take long for them to realize “former Golden Gloves” is lot more important than “130 lbs.”

            2. People who haven’t been in fights don’t understand how much eagerness matters. That’s why most fights that aren’t shoving matches end quickly. Some dude is getting clocked by the time “there’s a fight and I’m in it” sinks in.

            3. Zimmerman is 30. Martin was 17 with no reporting training in fighting. Who is expected to be more experenced? Especially since Zimmerman had experience assaulting cops and fighting his ex.

              Seriously though, I was 6’0″ and 160lb at Martin’s age and I looked like I had fucking cancer, despite being athletic. You guys are overly apologetic for this fucktard.

              1. Martin was 17 with no reporting training in fighting.

                Other than the fight club that posted videos on Youtube that was known within weeks of the shooting.

                Seriously though, I was 6’0″ and 160lb at Martin’s age and I looked like I had fucking cancer

                Martin did not look like he had “fucking cancer,” so I don’t see how this is relevant. How cancerous does this guy look? Do you think Zimmerman could handle him?

                1. “Other than the fight club that posted videos on Youtube that was known within weeks of the shooting.”

                  I’ve honestly never seen the videos but heard of their existence. Was he actually fighting in them?

                  “Martin did not look like he had “fucking cancer,” so I don’t see how this is relevant. How cancerous does this guy look? Do you think Zimmerman could handle him?”

                  Seriously? He’s Manny Pacqiao (sp?) now? So if I give you a link to a 200lb professional fighter, does that mean Zimmerman should have won the fight? What a bizarre claim. A 160lb 6ft teenager is a skinny fucking kid. He wasn’t a trained fighter in peak physical condition. He’s not Manny Pacqiao. Lolz.

                  Why are you guys falling over yourselves to defend this tool? He’s a complete fucking moron and loser who envisioned himself as Batman but got fucking smoked by a teenager who was 40lb lighter. He’s a complete dumbass who is going to go free after getting himself into a dangerous situation that he couldn’t handle. He deserves scorn and mockery for his fucktardedness, since he will face no real judgment for what he did.

                  1. I’ve honestly never seen the videos but heard of their existence. Was he actually fighting in them?

                    There’s reports of him fighting but he doesn’t in the ones on Youtube.

                    So if I give you a link to a 200lb professional fighter, does that mean Zimmerman should have won the fight?

                    That doesn’t make any sense.

                    A 160lb 6ft teenager is a skinny fucking kid.

                    I was 5’10” 160lbs in the 11th grade. I could squat 315 for 5 and bench 185 for 5. And it wasn’t the least bit remarkable.

                    He’s not Manny Pacqiao. Lolz.

                    The point is that skill and willingness matters more than weight and age (which I don’t get, at all).

                    Why are you guys falling over yourselves to defend this tool?

                    I prefer a society that encourages tools to defend their neighborhood, if at times rather foolishly or toolishly, rather than play Knockout King.

                    1. “The point is that skill and willingness matters more than weight and age (which I don’t get, at all).”

                      the pint is the factors are completely unknown, while weight is known and is a factor. all else being equal a bigger guy is gonna beat a smaller guy. age a 30 something is generally tougher than a 17 year old. are there exceptions? sure, maybe you or that guy you knew in high school were one of them. On avg though bigger and older is an advantage.

                      “Martin did not look like he had “fucking cancer,” so I don’t see how this is relevant.”

                      and your anecdotes about some small guy who was a good fighter are relevant? they are exactly as irrelevant as ddp2 claim that he knew a small guy who couldn’t take on anyone.

                      “I prefer a society that encourages tools to defend their neighborhood, if at times rather foolishly or toolishly, rather than play Knockout King.”

                      yea you want people to go around shooting anyone they don’t like as opposed to being rational agents who mind their own damn business or observe from a distance.

                    2. the pint is the factors are completely unknown

                      They’re not completely unknown though. Z apparently pushed a cop and did something to an ex. T was in a fighting club. That’s how you learn to fight. More than half of fighting is not caring about being punched in the face. It can’t be taught. You have to experience it, and get over it.

                      a 30 something is generally tougher than a 17 year old. are there exceptions? sure

                      Generally, sure. But if you haven’t fought at 17, it’s unlikely you’ve fought since.

                      On avg though bigger and older is an advantage.

                      Right, but how big? I say not much, having been somewhat involved with amateur boxing for 20 years. To be clear, I’ll take a 160 lb 15 yo future GGer over a 30 yo 200 lb crossfit star with odds of [scratches chin] 2:1.

                      sure, maybe you or that guy you knew in high school were one of them.

                      Generic Stranger knew that guy in high school. My friend is a current friend and I’m always amused when I go to gym with him

                      they are exactly as irrelevant as ddp2 claim that he knew a small guy who couldn’t take on anyone.

                      Of course, that anecdote was to counteract his anecdote. That’s the nature of anecdotes.

                      as opposed to being rational agents

                      By definition, tools aren’t going to be rational agents.

                    3. Zack, I do have to commend you on understanding seemingly basic concepts like “on average” and “all things equal.” I’m not joking. If HM was intellectually capable of understanding those he wouldn’t be such an unfunny moral scold.

                      To clarify, when I say that eagerness and skill matters more than age or weight, it’s fair to say that that’s unquantifiable bullshit. But within the confines of the individuals involved;l physically mature men within the normal ranges of height, weight and strength; my experience assures me that this is correct.

                    4. Thanks Sidd, I really do try to be fair and understand others arguments(not that I always succeed, I can be a vindictive snot like everyone else here.) And I normally don’t hold grudges we may be on the same side of the issue next time an article gets me fired up. We’ll see.

                    5. High five, ass slap, whatever….

                      I’ve typed “all else equal” hundreds of times, yet one of the few times there’s an actual quote invlolved I come with “all things equal.” Embarassing.

    3. So the shooting was justified. Cool.

  5. Paula Deen’s new gig should be covering this trial.

    1. In butter?

      1. +1 Antebellum-Style Wedding

      2. And slurs.

        1. Yeah, she is a heavy drinker.

        2. It’s more of a drawl.

  6. The problem for the prosecution is that it’s hard to imagine how that could have happened [Zimmerman’s following of Martin to the point of provoking a confrontation], especially in light of Zimmerman’s injuries, unless Martin, angry at being followed, responded violently at some point.

    The problem for the prosecution actully started with the very opening statements when the prosecutor alleged that Martin feared for his life and thus “asked Zimmerman ‘Why are you following me?'”

    Now why would a kid, fearing for his life as the prosecutor alleged, turn around and confront his pursuer, in a neighborhood he barely knew (presumably), in the dark and under a light rain? What possibly could have prompted Martin to forgo any glimmer of prudence and talk to a person that is following him?

    That statement made by the prosecutor totally contradicts the prosecution’s case that Martin was just a happy-go-lucky kid that found himself in a deadly situation through no fault of his own. The prosecutor pretty much admitted that Trayvon Martin could have confronted Zimmerman with the expectation of fighting him. If I were Zimmerman’s defense lawyer, I would latch on to that revelation like a tick.

    1. “forgo”

      Nice.

    2. “Now why would a kid, fearing for his life as the prosecutor alleged, turn around and confront his pursuer, in a neighborhood he barely knew (presumably), in the dark and under a light rain? What possibly could have prompted Martin to forgo any glimmer of prudence and talk to a person that is following him?”

      Not defending the prosecutors and as I’ve said, I don’t think there’s anywhere near enough evidence to convict Zimmerman. That said, I think it’s a totally reasonable scenario to think that Martin was annoyed (but not necessarily deathly afraid) at Zimmerman following him and asked him why he was doing it. Not saying that’s smart, but it wouldn’t be the first time a seventeen year old kid made a stupid decision. Or maybe Zimmerman confronted Martin and asked what he was doing in that neighborhood. Martin might have told him to fuck off, and then Zimmerman may have grabbed him to prevent him from leaving, initiating the fight. I don’t know, and neither does anyone besides Zimmerman, which is why I think he should go free. That said, the people pretending that there’s no conceivable way Zimmerman started the fight (or who think that the fact he was losing it automatically means he didn’t start it) are just as guilty of making baseless assertions. If Martin had gotten the gun and shot Zimmerman, I don’t think there’d be enough evidence to convict him

      1. Martin might have told him to fuck off, and then Zimmerman may have grabbed him to prevent him from leaving, initiating the fight.

        That may initiate a fight according to a timeline, but I don’t see how an act that 1) causes no physical harm and 2) could be stopped with “I’m staying with Ms. X over there” is “initiating the fight.”

        1. So you don’t think its a problem for a random stranger with a gun to run up grab you and interrogate you? All you have to do is answer their questions?

          Yea screw that. Cali is the only one making sense on this thread so far, although it may just seem like that because his posts are next to yours.

        2. If Martin was a woman, and some strange man grabbed her on the street, do you think she would be unjustified in responding with force? If someone grabs you on the street, and attempts to forcibly detain you, I think you have every right to respond with violence. And sure, in this scenario Martin should have said that. But he isn’t under a legal obligation to do so. Or maybe he did say that and Zimmerman didn’t believe him or know who that was. I’m not saying this is what I think happened. I’m just saying it’s not at all crazy to think of a scenario where Zimmerman started the fight. And just because Zimmerman started the fight (hypothetically) doesn’t mean Martin didn’t make any stupid decisions. Or vice versa.

          1. The incident didn’t happen “on the street.” It happened on a walkway between townhouses in a gated community. If this hypothetical grabbing and detaining happened in the alley behind 7-11 of course it’s a totally different situation.

            If you leave a store with stuffed pockets, security asks you to empty them, you refuse, and they say “you’re staying here until the cops sort this out;” have they “started a fight?” Are you morally okay with beating the shit out of the security guard over that?

            1. “If this hypothetical grabbing and detaining happened in the alley behind 7-11 of course it’s a totally different situation.”

              This is the slightly different situation.

              “If you leave a store with stuffed pockets, security asks you to empty them, you refuse, and they say “you’re staying here until the cops sort this out;” have they “started a fight?””

              This is the totally different situation.

              1. In both cases you’re an invited guest on private property, look suspicious, refuse to use minimal effort to resolve the situation, and are detained until the cops arrive.

                1. No, in one you are in a store with a security guard who notices you pockets have gotten much fuller since you entered. In the other your in a community where not everyone knows each other and are supposed to leave each other alone. Also the security guard has the permission of the store owner to accost you if visible evidence of possible mischief exists. GZ did not have permission to harass members or guests of members in the gated community. Wildly different scenarios.

                  1. No, in one you are in a store with a security guard who notices you pockets have gotten much fuller since you entered.

                    I didn’t say the “gotten much fuller” part to maintain consistency of “looks suspicious,” as opposed to “obviously guilty.”

                    In the other your in a community where not everyone knows each other and are supposed to leave each other alone.

                    After being there for a few days, Martin was able to determine that this is a community “where not everyone knows each other” and some unspoken rule about leaving each other alone?

                    GZ did not have permission to harass members or guests of members in the gated community.

                    Your claim is that not only does GZ not have permission to “harass” “guests of members” (how is GZ supposed to figure out who is in the bin ‘guests of members’), but that Martin was fully aware of this and made the logical inference that any ‘harassing’ ‘grabbing’ or ‘detaining’, by community bylaws, constituted the act of ‘starting a fight’?

                    1. “(how is GZ supposed to figure out who is in the bin ‘guests of members’)”

                      actually this is pretty much my point. This guys nosiness resulted in an innocent persons death and fodder for those who would exploit a situation in which a black youth is killed. No one wins in this case, and the blame for it is pretty much GZs.

                    2. You’re point must have been, since it was the point in contention in the subthread that you were responding to, that Z’s hypothetical ‘grabbing’ or ‘detaining’ amounted to ‘starting a fight.’

                      But now you have a new point, that Z’s “nosiness” “resulted” in an “innocent person[‘]s” death”. The timeline is certainly correct. Z’s nosiness [arrow pointing right] death.

                      I played golf at a friend’s country club last weekend. Some dude looked at me funny as I stood by my 10 year old walking bag full of 20 year old clubs. I told him who I was playing with and the situation was over. Somehow, if I didn’t say anything and he grabbed me and asked what I was doing and I beat him half to death and he shot me, I doubt you’d blame him for the situation.

                      Racist.

                    3. Your…

                    4. are you serious? if some guy assaulted you on a golf course because your clubs weren’t up to date I would absolutely blame him for any resulting consequences.

                      If you wanna bring up team though, how bout the fact that if GZ had realized his dream of becoming a cop and then killed this kid not a single person(except maybe one) on this site would defend him? You guys only defend this scum because this case has been exploited by media whores like sharpton and jackson.

                    5. if some guy assaulted you on a golf course because your clubs weren’t up to date I would absolutely blame him for any resulting consequences.

                      Umm, the issue is that I wasn’t a member. The date of my clubs was at most a tip-off. (We had some laughs afterwards while I was settling (I barely lost -$40) with my scratch friend.)And I think you’re absolutely fucking nuts if you think I have to the right to beat the fuck out of a member of a private club in which I’m a guest that grabs me.

                      If you wanna bring up team though, how bout the fact that if GZ had realized his dream of becoming a cop and then killed this kid not a single person(except maybe one) on this site would defend him?

                      You must not read the comments here very often. It’s common for a blogger (especially Riggs) to get hysterical about a shooting and for a majority of the commentariant to conclude it was a “good shot.”

                    6. “for a majority of the commentariant to conclude it was a “good shot”

                      what? I was hallucinating all the comments about pigs shooting dogs and raids on the wrong houses? In rare circumstances a cop will be classified as not completely evil, generally though they are pretty low on the totem pole around here a couple pegs up from politicians maybe. (i’m not necessarily saying this is unjustified, just that if GZ were a cop dunphy would probably be the only commenter defending him.)

                    7. what? I was hallucinating all the comments about pigs shooting dogs and raids on the wrong houses?

                      Comments about how ridiculously often cops shoot dogs, use SWAT teams, and raid the wrong houses.

                      Comments about how Riggs is beating his vagina over cops a shooting a thug.

                      These two are not mutually exclusive.

            2. Didn’t Zimmerman say that Martin attacked him as he was walking back to his car?

              And quit with the fucking semantics and word games. If someone grabs you and refuses to let go after you ask them to, you have every right to punch them. From there, let’s assume Zimmerman took a swing and then the fight escalated. Jesus Christ we’re talking about a hypothetical situation. Are you the new Tulpa?

              1. And quit with the fucking semantics and word games. If someone grabs you and refuses to let go after you ask them to, you have every right to punch them.

                This is clearly not a universal truth. You’re the one playing word games by pretending it is.

    3. the prosecutor alleged that Martin feared for his life and thus “asked Zimmerman ‘Why are you following me?'”

      Had the prosecutor just performed a seance to get that bit of testimony from the great beyond, or was he pulling it out of his ass.

  7. I think me and the Team Green may head to Sanford soon to hire as temporary pro-active asset protective specialists.

  8. His fate in the hands of so many women. Poor Zimmerman. It’s all going to come down to feelings.

    1. Nothing more than feelings, I’m afraid.

      1. You’ll never come again.

      2. Trying to forget their feelings of hate.

  9. I don’t think there is any debate that Martin was fatally shot.

    So the question I would to see given some time to is how does one beat someone to the extent Zimmerman’s injuries showed AFTER they have been fatally shot.

    1. What if Zimmerman started the fight, started losing the fight and then shot him. I’m not saying that’s what happened but the mere fact that Zimmerman sustained injuries doesn’t prove anything.

      As I said before nobody but Zimmerman knows what happened, everyone who is so sure one way or the other is full of shit. I guess that means he should be acquitted but that doesn’t mean he’s definitely not guilty or guilty.

      1. Problem is they didn’t find any injuries to Martin, except for bruising on his knuckles and the gun shot. In other words, the evidence suggests the beating itself was entirely one sided.

      2. If Z started the fight you would expect TM to have some sort of injury, wouldn’t you?

        TM had a hole in his chest and scraped knuckles.

        1. Not necessarily. Zimmerman may have grabbed Martin or swung at him and then Martin could have started beating on him. You can definitely start a fight and get your ass kicked. That’s not some crazy scenario, I don’t know why people are acting like it is

          1. Agreed. But there is only one person alive to testify. He has already given his statements to the police. His account is utterly consistent with the physical evidence.

            Even if Z “started it”, whatever that means, does Z have no right to defend himself with lethal force if he reasonably believes he is in danger of death or great bodily harm? The law gives him that right.

            1. I think that depends on the circumstances. I think that if you start a fight, the burden is on you to prove that the other person reacted excessively (that’s not relevant in this trial, since it can’t be proven that Zimmerman started it. I’m speaking hypothetically). And I think you should still be held legally liable for starting the situation in the first place. I don’t think you can just punch someone and then shoot them if they punch you back.

          2. Still not getting how grabbing a stranger in a gated neighborhood who won’t tell you why he’s there is ‘starting a fight’.

            1. You think you should be able to physically grab and detain someone without proof they’re committing a crime? If Zimmerman grabbed Martin, and then Martin tried to get him to let go, and Zimmerman refused to let go, that in my book counts as starting a fight. Martin would have every right to punch him in that scenario. I’m not saying that’s what happened. I’m just saying that isn’t far-fetched.

              1. responded above

              2. OK, let’s accept your scenario: GZ grabs TM, TM punches back. Is TM then justified in pounding GZ’s head into the pavement? That could easily kill someone. Once GZ is down and on his back, why didn’t TM just run away? It seems to me that even under the “GM started the fight” scenario, TM went too far and shooting him was self-defense.

                In order for us outsiders to try to make sense of what happened, it makes sense to look at the backgrounds of the two people involved. GZ, while no angel, does not seem like someone who would assault a random person in the neighborhood. On the other hand, TM seems like precisely the sort of person who would feel “dissed” and want to prove himself by attacking GZ. His clothing, history of street fighting, school record, home life, drug use, even the gold in his teeth, while meaning little to nothing individually, all add up “young wannabe thug” to anyone with their eyes open.

                I bet that all the hinkiness about the last phone call with the girlfriend relates to this. I’d give odds that TM said something like “There’s a guy following me and I’m going to teach him a lesson.”

                1. iirc GZ has been involved in assault, resisting arrest, domestic violence, sexual assault on a family member, calling 911 multiple non emergency times referencing “suspicious” ppl.

                  like you said any one of these by themself could be an error/dumb mistake/ wrong accusation but the fact that it’s all together makes it very easy to believe that GZ would accost some random person in the neighborhood.

                  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S….._Zimmerman

                    In 2005, Zimmerman was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, after shoving an officer while a friend of Zimmerman’s was being questioned about underage drinking. The charges were reduced, then dropped when Zimmerman entered a pre-trial diversion program. Also in 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiance filed a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman requested a reciprocal restraining order. Both orders were granted.[66][67] The incidents were raised by prosecutors at Zimmerman’s initial bond hearing. The judge described the incidents as “run of the mill” and “somewhat mild” and rejected the prosecution’s claim that the incidents showed that Zimmerman was violent or a threat to the community.

                    1. I’m happy for the judge that he/she is desensitized to domestic violence and assault. Some of us don’t share that luxury.

                    2. Well, the “domestic violence” sounds like a he said/she said situation. I don’t automatically assume guilt in those circumstances, given that it’s not unknown for vindictive exes to lie.

                    3. true, the thing is he has a history of several of these he said/someone said where as most people don’t even have one. It’s the combination that’s particularly damning.

                    4. He doesn’t have a history of ‘several of these’–he has these two.

                      One with dropped charges. So, one.

                      Do you really think if there was anything else it wouldn’t be listed?

                      And no one referred to the single incident of someone requesting a restraining order(not an arrest for DV) as ‘he said/she said’ except in the comments here.

                    5. I’m sure he has excuses for the police assault. And for the domestic violence. For failing at his insurance business. And for the inability to attain an associates degree. And for finding himself being pummeled by a teenager.

                      My experiences with people who find themselves as constant victims of circumstance, are in fact, not. Maybe that’s presumptuous though.

                    6. My experiences with people who find themselves as constant victims of circumstance, are in fact, not.

                      obviously untrue

                    7. But you do assume Martin was casing for a burglary because he didn’t walk straight home? No double standard there

                    8. Nobody in any of the Zimmerman threads has assumed Martin was casing for a burglary.

                      Wandering around plus staying out of the rain could certainly make it look that way though.

                2. “OK, let’s accept your scenario: GZ grabs TM, TM punches back. Is TM then justified in pounding GZ’s head into the pavement? That could easily kill someone. Once GZ is down and on his back, why didn’t TM just run away? It seems to me that even under the “GM started the fight” scenario, TM went too far and shooting him was self-defense.”

                  Perhaps, although Zimmerman wouldn’t be off the hook regardless. And in this scenario, what if Martin saw that Zimmerman had a gun? By backing off he would be risking his life

                  1. “what if Martin saw that Zimmerman had a gun? By backing off he would be risking his life”

                    this, if someone with a gun assaults you(like in this hypothetical) I think you have the right to fight back with deadly force, unless you can get the weapon from them running away would be foolish and dangerous.

                    1. As someone who has been grabbed by a man with a gun, I can tell you exactly what a rational person does in that situation. Give him your wallet and it’s over.

      3. Wether the beating was one sided or not, injuries or not, TM was accosted by Z, ostensibly for being the wrong x in the wrong y. TM was well within his rights to tell Z to go and fuck himself, and Z should have done just that.

        Pure speculation as to exactly what happened, but seriously, we know Z started this, and that TM had no weapon, and until Z started accosting him, no reason to engage Z at all. Z brought this on himself, and now there is a dead human being.

        Z deserves the presumption of innocence, which I will give him, but it seems to me that many in the commentariat are only too willing to defend someone who broke NAP and was essentially harassing an otherwise innocent person.

        1. We dont know Z started it.

          Only Zimmerman knows.

          If Zimmerman threw the first punch, Im fine with finding him guilty, but that has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. And as there is no evidence of that at all, well, there ya go.

        2. “TM accosted Z”. You are privy to info that I have not seen, heard or read.

          “We know Z started this.” There you go again with secret info.

        3. TM was accosted by Z

          You keep saying that, but there’s no proof of that, at least none available to us. Maybe something new will come out at trial, though I doubt it.

        4. Not to mention, we know that TM was unarmed, but did Z?

      4. It’s also possible to be the one who started the altercation, and still be defending yourself if you use a gun later.

        1. Yes but you should still be punished. Not murder 2 but if you start and altercation and the other guy ends up dead you’ve committed a crime. We don’t know who started it though and funnily enough people on both sides have already replied to my comment wit assumptions one way or the other.

          1. According to the letter of the law in Florida you still have the right to use lethal force even if you “started it”. You can’t “punish” a person who has committed no crime.

            1. The relevant Florida criminal law is 776.041, text here:

              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
              (b)?In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

              No idea if the fight equals “great bodily harm” according to FL law. Also no idea if “exhausted every reasonable means to escape” includes just flat out giving up and telling the assailant that you’re doing so. The general rule for self-defense is that an aggressor can’t avail herself of the affirmative defense. That’s been modified most places, like FL.

              1. They amended that in 2005:

                3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

                1. And here’s the real kicker:

                  2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investi- gating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but 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.
                  (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compen- sation 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’m not a lawyer, but it LOOKS like the state is prosecuting because it felt the use if force was unlawful, but if it is proven Z was justified, he’s owed a shit ton in compensations.

        2. “It’s also possible to be the one who started the altercation, and still be defending yourself if you use a gun later.”

          can you give an example of this? it sounds ethically questionable to me.

          1. A calls B a pussy.

            B takes a swing at A.

            A punches back.

            They trade punches.

            B backs A against a wall and starts throttling him for real.

            A pulls out a knife and stabs B in the neck, killing him.

            Generally speaking, if A did not intend to kill B when the fight started, and if A was reasonably in fear for his life when he stabbed B, then the killing of B was justified as self-defense.

            1. In the last part I think you mean the killing of A was justified as you said B took the first swing. Maybe, but this is much more ethically difficult for me than a swings at b, b kills a.
              Actually I think at least the initiator should get manslaughter in a situation where they swung first with possible increase in punishment depending on more detailed view of situation.

  10. TM was accosted by Z

    That has not been established.

  11. I’m solidly convinced that if George Zimmerman was named George Zapata or whatever this whole mess would have turned out completely differently.

    1. Jorge. Jorge Zapata.

      1. George Shoe?

  12. it may even have been justified by a reasonable fear that Zimmerman?an armed stranger stalking him for no apparent reason?would injure or kill him

    Was Zimmerman openly carrying, or carrying concealed? How did Martin know Zimmerman was armed?

    And if he did know, was starting a fight his best move?

    1. Open carry is illegal in Florida, except under certain circumstances which didn’t apply at the time. There’s no evidence he was carrying openly (the cops probably would have arrested him for that, if not murder, if he was).

      Now, Zimmerman could, theoretically, have flashed his piece to intimidate, but again there’s no evidence that he did so.

  13. “illuminate Zimmerman’s state of mind on the night of the shooting.”

    This is a guy who chooses to spend his time roaming around in the dark with a loaded gun, I think we have a pretty good idea what state of mind he was in.

    1. Who here has not “roamed around in the dark with a loaded gun”?

      1. Mine was loaded…but it wasn’t a gun.

      2. Well I guess technically alot of us including myself have, difference is I was on a farm with friends drinking not roaming city streets looking for kids to shoot.

        1. Zimmerman had a valid concealed carry license, and like most people with a CCW he probably wore his gun every time he left his house. It’s the point of having one.

          Oh, and I find drinking while handling a firearm far more irresponsible and uncouth than what you are getting on Zimmerman’s case for. Seriously, that’s just fucking stupid.

          1. alright I might have exaggerated the drinking part I had maybe 2-3 beers and friends was actually just one friend. Given that I have to disagree, two guys walking around shooting at cans on isolated property is far less uncouth than a guy who looks for trouble so he can get the chance to shoot someone. Given his actions and prior history I have no trouble believing that is exactly the kind of person GZ is.

            1. What prior history, exactly? Joining a neighborhood watch and having a CCL doesn’t mean you’re itching for a chance to kill someone.

              1. domestic violence, multiple assaults, repeatedly calling police about “suspicious” individuals who all happened to be black?

                1. [citation needed]

                  1. By the way, he’d have never been able to apply for a CCL if he had a domestic violence conviction, and it’d have been illegal for him to own a gun.

                    1. Enough of your facts!

                  2. wikipedia link out of sheer laziness. no conviction for the domestic assault, just a restraining order:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…..von_Martin

                    Turns out he reciprocated the domestic violence restraining order. I guess he gets beat up by girls too. Explains how he got rolled by a teenager.

                    Somehow all of the normal people I know never assault cops, have domestic violence restraining orders placed against them or kill teenagers. All a coincidence, though, I suppose.

                    1. “Somehow all of the normal people I know”

                      hell even the stranger people i know don’t have even a single one of those.

    2. As I understand it, he was running an errand when he hqppened across Martin. Hence the vehicle.

      1. No, he was trolling the neighborhood making sure that “they don’t get away”.

        1. IIRC, his development had been the target of a series of robberies, and the cops had been ineffective. That’s when he got the handgun and became a neighborhood watch dude.

          1. That’s why he, alone, did this?

            I subscribe the the weirdo theory.

            1. So you’re engaged in shameless speculation on which, thankfully, nothing hinges, but given your druthers you’d like to see a man jailed for murder on the basis of his esoteric pastime.

              Thanks for clarifying. Have you considered filing an amicus? I’m sure the court would love your advice on the matter.

              1. No I would not. I don’t believe he is guilty of Murder…See my comment below.

                At best, this is in-voluntary Manslaughter.

                There is a better chance of a Gorilla crawling out of my Ass than G. ZImmerman getting convicted.

                1. The man’s been tried and convicted by public opinion on the basis of his overzealous cop-wannabe attitude, but so far nobody has pointed out what laws he broke prior to the putative crime for which he’s being tried. Following someone on a public thoroughfare is not a crime. Carrying a permitted weapon is not a crime. Defending himself with violent force, the only reason we

                  ‘re discussing this, is not a crime. If it’s demonstrated that Zimmerman physically aggressed Martin, let’s string up the sumbitch. Otherwise we’re left with imputations of racism and gun-nuttery, none of it contributing to the dialogue (I hate myself for using that word).

                  1. Well, to be honest, one of the main problems is that the other party is dead, so listening to the alternate side of the story isn’t possible. Because Zimmerman killed him. No, he should not be convicted for murder based on the lack of evidence. But he bears some responsibility for having put himself in that situation which could easily have been avoided and a teenager is dead asba result. The courts are unable to address that and its clear that he won’t be held at all responsible for what he did. That’s what we’re discussing and why defending this guy is, imo, misguided. He’s done a great disservice.

      2. that’s almost weirder, who runs errands with a loaded gun? Is there a gang of thugs that likes to hang out in the produce section and harass people? Or maybe the dairy aisle?

        1. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

        2. Just about anyone with a concealed carry license.

        3. Serious?

  14. I think the State Attorney did a grave injustice to the Martin family by charging G. Zimmerman with 1st Degree Murder.

    This was in no way shape or form 1st Degree Murder.

    The State Attorney acted in BAD FAITH.

    Zimmerman, I feel , is guilty of involuntary Manslaughter…and nothing more.

    Though I agree with Zack’s comment above that this is a weirdo trolling around in the dark looking for trouble…BOY DID HE FIND IT.

    1. He’s charge with second degree murder, but yes, it’s manslaughter at the very worst.

      1. There is a better chance of a gorilla crawling out of my Ass than George Zimmerman getting convicted of anything.

        1. I don’t know your ass, but I think you might be correct.

  15. I humbly request that Reason NOT jump on the “Ministry Of Truth” (a.k.a. the MSM) bandwagon and post regular updates on this trial. This sort of story is the why I don’t watch TV news. PLEASE no daily updates I beg of you!!

    1. Negative, chief. The slow-motion train wrecks are always the best kind.

      1. Watching the prosecution’s case come apart will be quite enjoyable.

  16. The whole thing can be summed up as “two incredibly stupid people meet in the night…”

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