The death of Trayvon Martin.

  • #51
BobG
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A witness reported that she could hear Trayvon's calls for help.
A witness reported that she could hear someone yelling for help. You can hear that person yelling for help yourself on the 911 calls.

Which person is it that's yelling? Martin or Zimmerman?
 
  • #52
Astronuc
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That assessment leaves out the most salient facts that the police explicitly told him not to pursue the kid, he pursued him anyway, the kid was unarmed, the police refused to do a proper investigation, and the judge just let the guy walk out the door. Intent may be the hardest thing to prove, but the courts certainly do not demand iron clad evidence and the whole case smells like over up.
The police did not charge him, so there is nothing that a judge can do. There is no judge to let Zimmerman walk. Either the police charge him, or the local DA or grand jury must indict him. Otherwise federal prosecutors or DOJ officials must indict him before a judge gets involved.
 
  • #53
Astronuc
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A witness reported that she could hear someone yelling for help. You can hear that person yelling for help yourself on the 911 calls.

Which person is it that's yelling? Martin or Zimmerman?
I've heard that Zimmerman claimed he was screaming, and others claim that Martin is the one screaming. It sounds to me like a young, adolescent voice.
 
  • #54
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The police did not charge him, so there is nothing that a judge can do. There is no judge to let Zimmerman walk. Either the police charge him, or the local DA or grand jury must indict him. Otherwise federal prosecutors or DOJ officials must indict him before a judge gets involved.
The Black Panthers have already put a reward up for the first person to make a citizen's arrest. Anyone who thinks they have to wait for a cop to do something better be waiting at a Dunken Doughnuts or a speed trap.
 
  • #55
BobG
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I am wondering, even if Zimmerman pursued the kid, and the kid felt he was in danger so attacked Zimmerman, and was keeping up with the assault without stopping, is Zimmerman within his right to shoot him? If he felt his life was in danger enough to shoot, is he within a reasonable right to try and get the attacker off of him even if he instigated the confrontation? There is a law detailing unnecessary defense of self and from what it seems, it's plausible if what Zimmerman says is true and what that witness that goes by John has stated.
I think this is a good point.

First because shouldn't a person have the right to walk from a convenience store to his own home in his own neighborhood without being accosted by some stranger wearing a red jacket?

If the "stand your ground" law justifies shooting someone, surely it justifies just beating them up so they'll leave you alone. It's at least less extreme than shooting the person.

But, given the fact that Zimmerman's lawyer has mentioned the "stand your ground" law, it's possible the actual situation isn't Zimmerman shooting Martin while Martin was beating him up.

It's entirely possible Zimmerman never had his gun drawn when he accosted Martin. He may be self-educating himself in police techniques, but, given how often he called them out to investigate some minor incident over the years, he's probably at least seen how police approach "suspicious" incidents. And, given how trivial some of these incidents are, I'm pretty sure the responding police didn't show up with their guns drawn. And I'm pretty sure Zimmerman didn't respond to every "suspicious" incident with his gun drawn, either. A couple of these incidents were things such as "kids playing in the street" and a couple of 7-9 year olds acting suspiciously. I don't think he'd still be running around as the self designated neighborhood watchman if he were pulling his gun on kids.

Given how Zimmerman's lawyer has brought up the "stand your ground" law, it's possible he knows the forensic tests will show Zimmerman shot Martin from a few feet away, which wouldn't be consistent with shooting Martin in the middle of death threatening combat.

It's possible that Martin stopped beating on Zimmerman because he was a fairly rational person and realized he'd already gotten his point across. And once Martin stopped beating on Zimmerman, Zimmerman finally had a chance to get his gun out and shot Martin after the fight instead of during the fight.
 
  • #56
Ryan_m_b
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Wikipedia has some audio clips of 911 calls, I'm in a library so haven't played them yet but I intend to later.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Trayvon_Martin

In my opinion this whole situation is a grave tragedy and it will be made even more so if the law protects this man. Any law that can be used to allow a citizen to harass another citizen, instigate a confrontation and then kill them when you feel threatened is an unjust one regardless of if that is the intention of the law. If I was walking down the street and some stranger tried to talk to me it is very likely that I would ignore them, even more so if they seem threatening. If they tried to block my path or touch me I would warn them not to do so and if they persist then I would consider either using reasonable force or calling the police. The last thing I would want to have to do is worry that if I seem threatening at all this citizen (not an official so has no business interfering with me on the street) could shoot me dead.

What really confuses me (above how the law can be used in a situation of "my inappropriate/illegal actions resulted in someone behaving in a way I felt was threatening so I shot them") is whether or not this law would have protected Trayvon if he had a gun and the inclination to use it. Under this law surely if Zimmerman came up to Trayvon, tried to block his path or interfere in some way and perhaps mentioned/revealed his gun Trayvon would have been in his rights to shoot. Things like this baffle me as to why this law is in effect.
 
  • #57
jim hardy
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First because shouldn't a person have the right to walk from a convenience store to his own home in his own neighborhood without being accosted by some stranger wearing a red jacket?
That's been the assumption.

This was a "Gated Community"" whatever that means.

Is it posted as "Private" ?
Does Martin live there?
Was he taking a shortcut home and someplace he didnt belong or was he on a public street?

Where i lived in Key Largo there is an exclusive gated community called "Ocean Reef" with armed guards at the gate. My social strata just doesn't get in there without an invitation. I've never been past the gate.

Zimmerman may have been within his rights to question the young man.
Or he may be an overzealous "Condo Commando" mental case.

I sure dont know.

So i repeat - i'll wait and see.
 
  • #58
mheslep
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...This is an unarmed 17 year old kid who probably weighed a hundred pounds less then the guy ...
This kid was 6'3" according Wiki.
 
  • #59
mheslep
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...Any law that can be used to allow a citizen to harass another citizen, instigate a confrontation and then kill them when you feel threatened is an unjust one regardless of if that is the intention of the law. If I was walking down the street and some stranger tried to talk to me ... If they tried to block my path
So far per the tape I've heard where Z. followed Martin. That could be harassment depending on the circumstance: yes on a public thoroughfare, not so much on private property. Is it known that it was Z that instigated a confrontation, or blocked Martin's path?
 
  • #60
turbo
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This kid was 6'3" according Wiki.
And according to Wiki, he weighed 140# (110# less than Zimmerman). Hardly an imposing figure that a much larger, armed older man would have reason to fear.
 
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  • #61
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But there shouldn't be a designation of "hate crimes" to begin with,
as if a person's supposed motivation for a crime could lessen
a penalty. It's hinged upon mind-reading.

And you're presumptuous about this Zimmerman being a racist.
You're trying to read his mind.

Here is a worn-out cliche':

The victim is just as dead.


It shouldn't matter if someone is a supposed racist when it
comes to the crimes. It should matter with the killing being
deliberate, accidental, justified, not justified, the intensity, etc.

There are American voters who have said that they would
never vote for Barack Obama to be President again. And
many of them of them have been called racists
for that very fact alone.

The boy isn't dead because the shooter is a (supposed)
racist. He's dead because the shooter is overzealous and
relatively mentally unstable.

There are numbers of self-admitted racists who would go out
of their way to not be in the vicinity of people of races they
hate.

And on a related note, why should appearing to have remorse
and/or being apologetic by a person convicted of murder, etc,
be used to try to reduce the sentence given for a penalty?
Agreed. This reminds me of the cases involving Rodney King, OJ Simpson/Nicole Brown/Ron Goldman, Bernard Goetz, etc. I see too many people over-reacting and not asking the right questions. Here is my view.

Was it pre-meditated or provoked, or was Zimmerman threatened, did he OVER-react, or was he seriously in danger? Did the victim provoke Zimmerman?

Only a jury examining all the evidence can answer. My position is just that I do not know. Right now, Zimmerman is INNOCENT until a jury finds him guilty beyond a doubt. That's the law.

I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.

I don't know.

Claude
 
  • #62
Pengwuino
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I'm totally lost at how this argument is even going on

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/26/10868250-thousands-march-in-protest-to-florida-hearing-on-trayvon-martin-slaying [Broken]

immerman's account emerged for the first time Monday in a report by The Orlando Sentinel. Quoting unidentified "law enforcement authorities," the Sentinel reported that Zimmerman told police that Trayvon Martin knocked him down with a single punch and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times before the shooting — an account that police said witnesses have corroborated.
Witnesses said they heard someone cry out in distress, some of them telling NBC News and other news organizations that it was Martin. But police sources told the Sentinel their evidence indicated it was Zimmerman.
So.....
 
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  • #64
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I'm totally lost at how this argument is even going on

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/26/10868250-thousands-march-in-protest-to-florida-hearing-on-trayvon-martin-slaying [Broken]

So.....

So, it still doesn't explain why he stalked the kid in the first place after the police told him to back off, why the kid attacked him, or why the police just let him go. At the very least there should be an investigation.
 
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  • #65
Pengwuino
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So, it still doesn't explain why he stalked the kid in the first place after the police told him to back off, why the kid attacked him, or why the police just let him go. At the very least there should be an investigation.
Agreed, and it sounds like there is. All this nonsense about this kid being all innocent and being shot in cold blood sounds like garbage though. Get beyond the fact that now it's likely not a 1 sided defenseless murder and you have a situation that happens daily throughout the country.
 
  • #66
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Agreed, and it sounds like there is. All this nonsense about this kid being all innocent and being shot in cold blood sounds like garbage though. Get beyond the fact that now it's likely not a 1 sided defenseless murder and you have a situation that happens daily throughout the country.
Those speculations wouldn't be happening if the cops had done their job to begin with.
 
  • #67
Pengwuino
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Those speculations wouldn't be happening if the cops had done their job to begin with.
In this political climate, I highly doubt that. This morning I saw those Black panthers basically putting out a bounty for this zimmerman guy. Speculation should not lead to in a sense, terrorism against a country's own citizens in any decent society.
 
  • #68
BobG
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Those speculations wouldn't be happening if the cops had done their job to begin with.
Which part?

It sounds to me as if they did investigate the crime and their actions were based on what their preliminary investigation indicated to them.

On the other hand, immediately making the details of their investigation public could have reduced speculation.

I'm not sure that's routine policy for all the crimes they investigate, though (nor would news organizations be interested in most of the crimes they investigate).

At best, I think you could say they should have anticipated this would generate more than average interest? Questionable, but in hindsight the case definitely has generated more than average interest. I think a more legitimate complaint would be that they should have been quicker to pick up on the interest and at least have been quicker to react to it. This had already spiraled into a national cause by time the police released more details on the case.
 
  • #69
BobG
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That's been the assumption.

This was a "Gated Community"" whatever that means.

Is it posted as "Private" ?
Does Martin live there?
Was he taking a shortcut home and someplace he didnt belong or was he on a public street?

Where i lived in Key Largo there is an exclusive gated community called "Ocean Reef" with armed guards at the gate. My social strata just doesn't get in there without an invitation. I've never been past the gate.

Zimmerman may have been within his rights to question the young man.
Or he may be an overzealous "Condo Commando" mental case.

I sure dont know.

So i repeat - i'll wait and see.
Martin's father lives there. Martin spends enough time there to know at least one person in the neighborhood, but maybe not enough time for Zimmerman to recognize him as one of the residents.

Zimmerman was not within his "rights". He was definitely overzealous.

Guidelines for neighborhood watch groups:

http://www.bellevuepd.com/neighborhoodwatch.pdf [Broken]. Okay, that's not particularly helpful, but I used to live there. Plus, it does point out some of the problems with neighborhood watch programs. The guidance given out across different communities is uneven, and perhaps inadequate in some cases. In this case, Bellevue relies on the Police Dept giving more detailed tips in person after the group is registered with the Police Dept.

http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prevention/documents/neighborhood_watch_04.cfm [Broken]. More typical of the type of guidance the police/sheriff dept will provide to neighborhood watch programs, either publically or in person (provided the group has actually registered with the police).

Specifically in the guidance for citizen patrols:
Make sure your citizen patrol:

Undergoes training by law enforcement and have their support;
Works in teams;
Wears identifying clothing -t-shirts, caps, vests, .jackets-or reflective clothing or patches;
Never carries weapons of any kind — e.g. guns, black jack, mace, baseball bat, or knives;
Never challenges anyone;
Always carries a pad and pencil, and a flashlight if it is dark;
Is courteous and helpful to residents of the area being patrolled: and
Keeps logs and files reports with the local law enforcement agency.
Zimmerman's neighborhood watch program was an unofficial one that was never registered and, presumably, never received the guidance that registered neighborhood watch groups received (Correction: Apparently the group was registered with the local police, but not registered with the national association of neighborhood watch groups, for whatever the national group is worth. Training to neighborhood watch groups is still very uneven).

Zimmerman violated at least four of the first five items on that list (and five unless you consider a red jacket as identifying clothing).

Neighbor watch groups have the authority to watch and to report. That's it. They have no authority to stop crimes, or to question suspicious people. They can only watch and report.
 
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  • #70
jim hardy
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Zimmerman was not within his "rights". He was definitely overzealous.
If indeed Martin's father lives in the community not just the neighborhood, just saying so should have been the end of it.

How'd it get to fisticuffs ?
 
  • #71
turbo
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"I mean, he took a man's life and he has no idea what to do about it. He's extremely remorseful about it," Oliver said, relating stories told to him by Zimmerman's mother-in-law, a close friend of Oliver's wife.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/25/joe-oliver-george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin_n_1378390.html

It's hard to believe that a man who made apparently racist comments and profiled a stranger before confronting and shooting him could be that remorseful. Perhaps he is "remorseful" after realizing that if he is arrested, all of his time in custody (all of his time!!) will be spent in "protective custody" (solitary confinement and no contact with the population) lest he be brutalized or killed. IMO, he'd be better off in federal prison (with better security) for a hate crime than in a local lock-up (county or state), because he will have a target on his back the whole time. Inmates have family including children, and new inmates that have sexually or physically abused children are not too safe in custody.
 
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  • #72
BobG
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If indeed Martin's father lives in the community not just the neighborhood, just saying so should have been the end of it.

How'd it get to fisticuffs ?
If Zimmerman's account is true, then perhaps the kid was ticked off that he couldn't walk through his own neighborhood without being harrassed?

Obviously, decking him wouldn't be the best response and it's also possible things started out a little slower. But teenage males have the tendency to at least be quick to smart aleck remarks when confronted with something they see as stupid and they're not all that slow to go from smart aleck comments to physical confrontation. To be honest, it's not all that uncommon for adults to retort with some inappropriate comment when someone they see as a jerk is harrassing them in their own neighborhood.

Hence the danger of running around the neighborhood accosting anyone you don't know personally. You're intruding on their personal space and should at least be aware of the possibility of bad things coming from that.
 
  • #73
turbo
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I live in a tiny town where I am well known and it wouldn't be too hard (several minutes, probably) to get a concealed-carry permit. I can't imagine going out walking Duke after dark and confronting any stranger (not that there are many strangers here walking around), but I sure wouldn't pretend that I was the "captain" of a non-certified "neighborhood watch" group. All of my neighbors are armed, and we all have each others' telephone numbers in case there are any altercations. We are at least 20 minutes away from getting a 911 response, and we'll watch each others' back. Still, we are not going to patrol this road packing. No need.
 
  • #74
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In this political climate, I highly doubt that. This morning I saw those Black panthers basically putting out a bounty for this zimmerman guy. Speculation should not lead to in a sense, terrorism against a country's own citizens in any decent society.
People get shot all the time without this much fuss. Some 2/3 of whites even agree the man should be arrested and a special prosecutor has been assigned to the case. Some protests might have been inevitable, but this is clearly over the top.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/26/justice/florida-teen-shooting-poll/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
 
  • #75
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I live in a tiny town where I am well known and it wouldn't be too hard (several minutes, probably) to get a concealed-carry permit. I can't imagine going out walking Duke after dark and confronting any stranger (not that there are many strangers here walking around), but I sure wouldn't pretend that I was the "captain" of a non-certified "neighborhood watch" group. All of my neighbors are armed, and we all have each others' telephone numbers in case there are any altercations. We are at least 20 minutes away from getting a 911 response, and we'll watch each others' back. Still, we are not going to patrol this road packing. No need.
The state I live in you can legally carry a concealed weapon if you have a special licence or just wear the thing openly if you don't. Last year we had a black guy stand on a street corner wearing a gun on his hip and when the police arrested him he successfully sued the city. The same thing has already happened in small towns across the country where the locals found out the hard way they can't afford to elect the biggest ******* around Sheriff. Florida asked for this kind of nonsense by giving even idiots the right to carry firearms everywhere and now they'd better learn to deal with the mess they've created or accept the consequences.
 

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