Trayvon Martin

Former Sanford Police Chief: 'Stand Your Ground' Had Nothing to Do With Zimmerman Decision

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Video via The Orlando Sentinel

Last month The New York Times reported that George Zimmerman's trial is is "spotlighting Florida's Stand Your Ground law," even though "that law has not been invoked in this case." By way of explaining that apparent paradox, the Times said the law "was cited by the Sanford police as the reason officers did not initially arrest Mr. Zimmerman" for shooting Trayvon Martin. But in a recent interview with CNN, former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee emphasized that the decision not to charge Zimmerman did not hinge on the absence of a duty to retreat:

It had nothing to do with Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, he said; from an investigative standpoint, it was purely a matter of self-defense.

That certainly was not the impression left by early coverage of this case, especially in the Times, which implied that Florida's broad definition of self-defense gave Zimmerman a license to kill in circumstances that did not truly justify the use of deadly force. And although the paper more recently has acknowledged that the right to stand your ground does not figure in Zimmerman's defense, it continues to say things like this:

For supporters of the Martin family, Mr. Martin's death was part of a more complex tale of profiling and injustice. But this perception has run up against the protocols of a criminal trial and Florida's expansive self-defense laws. These laws, critics say, give too much leeway to people who say they acted violently because they felt threatened.

The Times is right that "the protocols of a criminal trial"—in particular, the requirement that the prosecution prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt—make it harder to convict Zimmerman. That is what they are supposed to do. But it is hard to see how "Florida's expansive self-defense laws" pose an obstacle for those who believe the shooting was not justified when Zimmerman could have made exactly the same self-defense claim in any state.

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  1. The Times is a rag I wouldn’t even use to pick up my dogs shit with. And they’re fucking liars and race hustlers to boot.

  2. Which one is supposed to be guilty, the spic or the nigger? I can never remember which… Is there a cracker in there somewhere?

    1. That’s a white spic, so he is a cracker to boot?

      1. Spicracker?

        1. No, that’s something from Keebler.

  3. God the Times are disgusting people. A fundamental right and pretty much the basis of our entire justice system is now just a “protocol”. It is like this sort of quirky rule they have in racist places like Florida.

    Journalist really are disgusting people.

    1. “Zimmerman Acquitted On A Technicality”

  4. MAINTAIN THE NARRATIVE AT ALL TIMES

    The scum at the NYT really, really hate that people can defend themselves. They really hate it. I’m trying to figure out how projection works in here, because projection is literally all these people are.

    1. They hate that and they really hate working class white people. Zimmerman is from a lower group that Martin. So, it was Zimmerman’s duty to take the beating. If Martin had killed Zimmerman, the Times would be all about reasonable doubt and a fair trial. But since it is Zimmerman on trial, they don’t care. That because Zimmerman is from a suspect class and thus deserves what he gets regardless of the facts.

      1. I don’t see this as being about class at all, John. You’re really reaching with that. I see hatred of lax gun laws, hatred of the ability to concealed carry, RACE WAR, KULTUR WAR, and hatred of laws that allow people to defend themselves. I don’t see any class elements.

        1. So you are telling me that if Zimmerman had been black and Martin white, they would have latched onto this case?

          You are delusional if you think that. This case was always about race, which for leftist is just class. Blacks are for leftists not a suspect class and whites are. It is all about collective guilt for them. Who the person is decides what the facts are. That is Marxism 101.

          1. John, as I said, I do think this is about RACE WAR, absolutely. But I just sense no elements of class being involved. If there were, there would be endless profiles in the Times of his job, how he lived, etc.

            1. Yeah, I agree. Race, yes. Anti-gun, yes. Also, race.

              1. Plus, race is a factor. Also – race.

            2. I think John’s using a different definition of class than you. You’re using it to mean economic class, and it seems to me that he’s using it to what we normally call tribe.

              1. Look at you, clarifying. Can you translate my comments this way as well?

                1. Sure thing, Pro Glib. Let’s see here…I think what you’re saying is something like, “I’m a giant fag, and I love dicks, and would you please give me a dick, because I’m a giant fag!” And make sure you read that in a falsetto.

                  1. What is that, the Google Translate function? They may need to tweak their code, if so.

                    1. “From: Giantfagese – Detected”

                    2. Ah, I see. In Giantfagese, “clarifying” is a word. It means, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

                    3. It doesn’t, does it??? I’ve been dieting!

            3. What WARTY said. Zimmerman was not part of the liberal tribe, Martin was. Therefore, the liberals had no problem assuming Zimmerman was guilty. It is just tribalism.

              1. Ah – now I get it. Thanks for clarifying.

                The Warrior Class versus the Victim Class. The White Hispanic Privileged Class versus the Just Gettin’ Some SKittles n Joossss Class.

                If I hear about those goddamned Skittles one more time….

                1. My mistake for not being clear. I meant tribe. Zimmerman is not a rich white liberal and thus not part of the tribe.

    2. You’re trying to claim that they don’t like that people arm themselves for self defense? The Times defended itself with a Gatling gun, for criminy sakes.

      1. The day an angry mob shows up to burn the Times building down, they will be all about self defense. The day there is a story about a black man defending himself against a racist white man, they will be all about self defense.

  5. It is amazing no one thought to interview the Police Chief in 2012 when the media was busy making this case all about stand your ground. Who would have thought to do that?

    People who write for the Times and publications like it are really the lowest forms of life imaginable.

    1. “It is amazing no one thought to interview the Police Chief in 2012 when the media was busy making this case all about stand your ground. Who would have thought to do that?”

      It was probably done, but then not reported on because it interfered with the agenda of convincing people America is a racist nation and the people that are anti-gun grabbing are evil that they counted on to help bring out the vote for Black Jesus.

  6. It was the incorrect coverage by the Times and other news media that was spotlighting Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

    1. It wasn’t incorrect coverage. It was the lies by the Times and other news outlets. It is not like they couldn’t have talked to the Police Chief back then. They knew it wasn’t about stand your ground. But they lied anyway.

      1. I don’t know if it was malicious or just the standard herd mentality of journalists during sensational stories.

        1. It was malicious. The mistakes only go one way.

        2. Oh, it was on purpose and malicious. Don’t doubt that.

        3. Journolist proved that it was willful mendacity. You can talk about making intentionally false accusation of racism, have it be revealed to the entire world, and still keep your job with nary a nitch.

    2. It was about as “incorrect” as trying to insist against all facts that Zimmerman was white (now with the weaselly statement that he “identifies” as Hispanic), or “incorrectly” editing the police tapes to suggest that he was racially profiling Martin.

      The media are just straight up fucking liars. If someone does get hurt or killed in a riot, the people working for NBC, CNN, etc. should be punished. Extralegally, if necessary.

      1. Zimmerman is blacker than Homer Plessy. Zimmerman is mixed race. You know, like Obama’s son would be. Funny that.

        1. Fox should try to cancel out the proglodyte coverage of the story by referring to Zimmerman as a quadroon in all of their reporting.

      2. I heard someone make the comment today: “Could you imagine the shitstorm that would erupt if someone referred to Obama as a white man who identified as African-American?”

  7. Anyone that still thinks this trial was about any actual crime is deluded. Zimmerman was targeted because the media felt it could score a double whammy for “gun control” advocacy and their “racism is alive and well in America, so vote for Obama” agenda. That’s why the LSM got all the facts wrong, and still can’t report correctly on what’s going on. This strategy worked. The right demographics went out to vote in droves. Their guy won.

    The plan has been to sacrifice Zimmerman on the altar of progressive politics because they can’t just drop this after the fact. Maybe that’s why the prosecution has done such an exceptionally piss poor job, too. Some of them feel guilty that they are crucifying a man just for political gain.

    1. They did a piss poor job because they have no facts on their side.

      The whole lot of them seem like smug pricks, even for lawyers, but Bugliosi couldn’t make this case look good.

      1. “They did a piss poor job because they have no facts on their side.”

        Like they care? It worked to get out the vote and their guy won. That’s a huge win for them. If Zimmerman, a white hispanic, walks, they get to cover riots and the injustices of our justice system against minorities right before another election cycle where the left really needs to get out the vote. Sounds like a win-win to me.

        1. “They” who? I was talking about the prosecutors’ job. You think the prosecutors were the ones stirring this up?

          1. They weren’t stirring it up, but they sure as hell all want the notoriety of convicting a creepy ass cracker.

            1. Yeah, which flies in the face of AlexinCT’s, “Maybe that’s why the prosecution has done such an exceptionally piss poor job, too.”

              I have no doubt the prosecution wants to nail Zimmerman. They didn’t have the facts to do it. It wasn’t lack of effort or motivation, imo.

              1. Yeah, which flies in the face of AlexinCT’s, “Maybe that’s why the prosecution has done such an exceptionally piss poor job, too.”

                Your problem is that you expect reason to somehow be part of this equation. I don’t: the prosecution can be conflicted and do both.

                BTW, my “They” above referred to prosecution, politically motivated agents, politicians, media, and much more. This was a veritable cabal at work here.

    2. That’s why the LSM got all the facts wrong, and still can’t report correctly on what’s going on.

      there is a difference between getting facts wrong and purposely mis-stating them. This is a case of the latter. Apologies if that’s what you meant.

      1. That’s what I meant wareagle. The horrible and biased reporting that tried to make Zimmerman out to be a cracker dying to kill himself some n*gga, while poor Trayvon, a little boy, just wanted to be left alone,was not accidental.

  8. But this perception has run up against the protocols of a criminal trial FACTS.

  9. I’m still wondering why it wasn’t Martin exercising his “stand your ground” rights, although in a losing effort? Doesn’t the Florida law permit one to duke it out with a threatening person (while accepting that perhaps the stand your grounder will lose the confrontation)? Had Martin lived and/or cracked Zimmerman’s skull, I think Martin would be invoking “stand your ground” self defense.

    1. Standing his ground against what? Was Zimmerman trying to steal his skittles?

      1. Hadn’t he dropped the skittles off at his dad’s house and then ran back to beat up the creepy-ass cracker?

        1. Is “hold my Skittles” this the young black man’s equivalent of “hold my beer”?

    2. IOW, thinking someone is a creepy ass cracker isn’t a basis for a SYG defense.

    3. Well, that’s a totally different case. If Zimmerman lived and Martin’s still around, then you have testimony that can be compared with other evidence.

      Martin would have a big problem if he just sat on Zimmerman and beat him, by the way. Again, the difference would be in that instance that both would be alive to testify.

      1. It that case you would end up with TM on trial for ABHAN or something similar.

      2. Martin would have a big problem if he just sat on Zimmerman and beat him

        Nuh uh! He was standing his ground against a creepy-ass cracker!

    4. Stand Your Ground laws have exactly nothing to do with this case at all. It’s a straight self-defense issue.

      Why can’t people understand this?

    5. If they both felt the other person was trying to cause them imminent harm, then they were both standing their ground.

    6. I’m still wondering why it wasn’t Martin exercising his “stand your ground” rights, although in a losing effort?

      Then the prosecution would have to concede that Martin started the fight, and would have given the defense the opportunity to bring Martin’s character into question.

    1. At the same time, we are told that Martin, who had far greater reason to fear Zimmerman, practically and for reasons of American history, did not have the right to confront his stalker, stand his ground and defend himself, including by using his fists. We are told that this was entirely unjustified and by doing so, Martin justified his own execution.

      Forgetting for a moment the inconvenient fact that black on white crime is much more common than white on black crime, if what he is saying is taken to its logical conclusion, any black man has a right to legally attack any white man he might feel threatened by.

      Yeah, that makes sense.

      1. The whole thing is retarded, it’s just making the facebook rounds right now. The simple answer is: TM right to self defense isn’t an element of the 2nd degree murder case the state is trying to prove.

        1. Apparently the prosecution is now suggesting the jury could find Z guilty of manslaughter. And, they also tried to get a charge of “child abuse” entered (or some such legal legerdemain).

          1. Which is fucking hilarious. If Zimmerman didn’t have a gun, and one too many punches into the sidewalk killed him, you can bet your ass they’d be trying Martin for murder as an adult.

      2. Are these people actually stupid enough to believe that “feeling threatened” is enough to invoke the stand your ground law, or are they just pretending?

        1. Both? Taking TM’s “side” has become some badge of honor with these people.

        2. Defending yourself against someone who initiates violence is bad, but initiating violence against a perceived threat is OK. Well, kind of. Each case has to be evaluated based upon who is involved, not the facts. Principals, not principles.

        3. It is both. They really are that stupid. Mostly it is them looking at the world as a big morality play that confirms their prejudices. For this guy, the image of Martin as this scared black kid hunted by this aggressive racist white man affirms his world view. So the writer pretends that is what happened facts be damned.

          The thing to remember is that “racism” for white liberals is not just about race but ultimately about feeling superior to other whites. The writer knows he is not racist. So pretending that the rest of the world is so racist that Martin was terrified by the mere sight of a white man following him, allows the writer to feel superior. And that is what it is all about for these people.

      3. I like how the author of that stole the base. Is following someone now legally considered “stalking”? Short answer: no.

        Also, Martin made it back to his father’s house, which means the “pursuit” had abated and he then *re-initiated* it.

        1. I would think that a terrified black man with all of that historical racism weighing on his mind would have gone to the safety of his father’s house instead of doubling back to confront Zimmerman.

          Didn’t Martin hear the echos of the bloodhounds and slave hunters of the past?

          1. You mean the house that was only 70 yards from where the fight took place?

            1. 70 yards is actually a pretty long way to walk to reignite a confrontation.

          2. Didn’t Martin hear the echos of the bloodhounds and slave hunters of the past?

            Kudos for this.

          3. No, all he could hear was the sound of wet grass.

      4. any black man has a right to legally attack any white man he might feel threatened by

        Yes, because making up for past racism, as well as current racism. Duh!

  10. I wonder what the media spin would have been if Martin had grabbed Zimmerman’s gun and shot him with it.

    A dead neighborhood watch guy, shot with his own gun. See? That’s why non-cops shouldn’t carry a gun. Someone might take it away and shoot you with it.

    1. That’s not a new argument. I’ve always said women and the elderly should be the strongest gun advocates since statistically they are more likely to be targets of violent crime. However the anti-gun crowd tries to scare them by saying an attacker would only take your firearm away and then your rape/beating would become murder. Do you want that? Would you rather be murdered or raped!?!!!?
      Of course the truth is your odds are better when you have the tools to defend yourself.

  11. Zimmerman could have made exactly the same self-defense claim in any state

    There is one relevant detail that is glossed over here, I think. Not all states have as low a hurdle as Florida does for the defendant to benefit from a self-defense justification. In Florida (based on my limited review of the caselaw), the defendant must only make a prima facie case that his actions were justified as self-defense, and then the whole burden shifts to the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is not entitled to a self-defense justification. By contrast, I think some other states treat self-defense as an affirmative defense that the defendant has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence.

    1. Yes. NY/NJ require affirmative defense. And, given these same circumstances, I think ZImmerman would be acquitted in NY/NJ as well.

  12. For supporters of the Martin family, Mr. Martin’s death was part of a more complex tale of profiling and injustice. But this perception has run up against the protocols of a criminal trial and Florida’s expansive self-defense laws. These laws, critics say/b, give too much leeway to people who say they acted violently because they felt threatened.

    A master class in using weasel words to turn an editorial into a news report.

    1. fucking tags 😉

      These laws, critics say, give too much leeway to people who say they acted violently because they felt threatened.

      A master class in using weasel words to turn an editorial into a news report.

      1. Twice no less. I give up.

        1. We need a term like “SugarFreeing” or “Pantsed” for html fails other than lynx.

          Hmmmm….you’re not the only one, so I don’t want to leap to “kinnathed”.

          Hmmm – thinking…

    2. Proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is now just a “protocol” that gets in the way of the Martin family’s need for justice and overcome the complex tale of justice and profiling.

      That is some really sick shit there.

    3. It was OK for Martin to act violently because he felt threatened, but not OK for Zimmerman to fight back when attacked. Is that about it?

      1. ding ding ding ding!

        #WINNING

  13. I don’t know if anyone’s posted this brain fart yet.

    Why hasn’t the prosecution team used Florida law to argue strongly for Martin’s right of self-defense, his right to stand his ground against a stalker? Why not turn the tables on Zimmerman’s exclusive claim to that argument?

    1. Oddly, Martin isn’t being charged with anything here.

      I’m shocked at how much people don’t understand the burden of proof. With all of the legal stuff on TV (real and fictional), you’d think this basic idea would get across, that the state has to totally convince a jury of guilt to get a guilty verdict.

      1. All they remember from TV is how the truth only comes out when a witness breaks down on the stand, and how judges can’t figure out which way to rule until someone in their own family is bullied for being gay.

      2. The liberal mentality is to assert something, and the burden of proof is on you to prove them wrong. They then stick their fingers in their ears, yell “La la la la la I can’t hear you la la la!” until you’re done whereupon they claim victory.

      3. They don’t want to understand the burden of proof. They just want cake.

        1. Judge is great! She gave us the chocolate cake!

    2. Oops. I see that someone has, in this very thread. Never mind.

      1. And they didn’t SF the link either. 😛

    3. If that would have put Martin on trial, and required the prosecution to establish without a reasonable doubt that Martin felt threatened. If that happened, the defense probably would have been allowed to introduce the text messages and facebook images of Martin looking like a thug, and not an “innocent little kid”. If the state couldn’t prove that Martin felt threatened, then Zimmerman’s self defense claim becomes even stronger.

      1. If That would have put Martin on trial

  14. A shooting and killing involving a so-called volunteer armed security guard and a 17 year old should never be resolved, that night, by the local police department. This is what initially angered people.

    Yea, the family of this child will be mad when the acquittal happens. But this process was necessary. This transparency is what American Justice is all about.

    Especially with a country with a long long history of injustice towards these people (Trayvon).

    The Martin family should be satisfied (regardless of verdict) that their child’s homicide was addressed.

    Zimmerman, himself, was done wrong by not going thru the process. Clearly, he’s innocent of Murder. Manslaughter is a long stretch (maybe possible).

    I say let’s have a process that involves the DA, not the Police. It doesn’t have to be a trial. In Grand Jury hearings, the defendant doesn’t have to appear, testify, or pay a single $$$. And, given Zimmerman’s personal conviction, this would not have passed thru the DAs office. There would have been no trial.

    Although I don’t feel sorry for Zimmerman. He seems to me like a shit-head that I wouldn’t want trolling my neighborhood for robbers.

    1. And, given Zimmerman’s personal conviction, this would not have passed thru the DAs office. There would have been no trial.

      You conveniently live in a world without political pressure, unlike this one, where political pressure forced a trial that even you admit guilt would be a stretch.

      1. I’m glad the political pressure worked. Not too long ago, blacks would be simply ignored. It was wrong not to have a hearing and simply take Zimmerman’s word for it.

        Let the police gather the evidence and do the initial investigation and let the DA vet it.

        We need this type of checks/balances.

        1. Sure you are. It’s not your life being ruined by spurious charges.

          1. Yea. The Spurious charge of shooting a minor in the dark with no witness.

        2. Let the police gather the evidence and do the initial investigation and let the DA vet it.

          You mean the type of checks and balances where the Sanford PD gathered evidence, performed an initial investigation, then turned the evidence over to the State’s attorney’s office, who decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman?

          1. She (?) might mean the type of checks and balances where city officials force the cops out of the investigation, pressure them to make an arrest without enough evidence, and we end up with some kind of special prosecutor in order to placate the Sharptons of the world.

  15. you crackers are creepy…thankfully I am save in Florida

    1. oops safe 🙂

  16. This is the problem when non-lawyers write about legal matters. Your article is factually dishonest to claim that stand your ground “had nothing to do” with the Zimmerman trial. Please understand that a hearing was scheduled in May on whether it would or would not be used as a defense. As late as Thursday, the Defense had the option to claim immunity under it; http://www.orlandosentinel.com…..0410.story

    This article and title are misleading-come on Reason, check your facts.

  17. Entire premise of this article is false. Stand your ground was contained in the jury instructions as a defense to second degree murder and manslaughter: http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/…..ctions.pdf

    Please check your facts before spreading misinformation like this-I should cancel my subscription.

  18. Much better blog on this written by a lawyer-
    http://www.desilvalawoffices.c…..e-Cas.aspx

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