Zimmerman verdict poll: Stark reaction by race
‘This is Trayvon Martin in reverse, only worse,’ right-wingers say
Zimmerman, in my opinion, should have been found guilty of manslaughter, because he shot an unarmed kid.
Analysis: George Zimmerman Probably Won’t Be Convicted of Murder or Manslaughter — Here’s Why
George Zimmerman prosecution faced hurdles it couldn’t clear
In Florida, second-degree murder carries a high bar of proof. As Judge Debra S. Nelson described it in her legal directions to the jury, the state had to prove Zimmerman acted with ill will, spite or hatred when he shot Martin. Prosecutors eventually asked the judge to allow jurors to also consider a lesser charge, manslaughter, which only requires that the state show that Zimmerman shot without lawful justification.
Zimmerman’s prosecution: Vigilante justice?
By Jennifer Rubin, Published: July 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm
Trials, unlike punditry, operate not in the world of evoked memory, allegory and free association, but in the world of facts. When it is a criminal trial the facts must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. There is a reason that exacting standard is used — someone’s freedom, or life in the instance of a capital case, is at risk.
A journalist can construct a scenario in the Trayvon Martin case in which he can nonchalantly assign criminal liability with phrases such as “shot an unarmed man,” but these banalities have no legal meaning.
Let’s take the charge at issue, second-degree murder. It is a nearly incomprehensible example of overcharging, if one understands the definition of second-degree murder. This is why so many experienced attorneys were shocked by the charge.
Journalists rooting for a conviction have repeatedly said that Zimmerman’s explanation doesn’t “hold together” or “make sense.” In a column that is interesting; in a court of law it is irrelevant. What matters is if the state has the case — one so certain that there are no reasonable facts that could provide an alternate explanation. It’s the opposite of the journalistic standard, in other words.
Second degree murder requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the killer had “depraved indifference to human life.” Former prosecutor Andy McCarthy explains: “In a depraved mind case, motive is superfluous because what establishes the mens rea is the objective barbarity of the act itself, not some fuzzy ‘generalized hatred’ that may have been crawling around the killer’s brain. It is virtually inconceivable that a situation involving self-defense on the killer’s part will fit a ‘depraved mind’ charge.”
It isn’t good enough to say Zimmerman was foolish to follow Martin. It’s certainly not good enough to intuit that society has a biased perception of single black men. It’s not good enough to say Zimmerman wanted to be a hero. One has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not simply a fool, a grandstander or even a racist (which the prosecution has utterly failed to do, and indeed has left a gaping hole where evidence of racism was supposed to be in the journalistic narrative) but had such a general indifference to life as to exhibit an attitude, as a federal case cited by Andy puts it, akin to ”opening the door of the lions’ cage in the zoo.”
The near impossibility of establishing this crime beyond a reasonable doubt was evident when the affidavit was first revealed. The allegations purportedly establishing depraved indifference were not true (as we’ve seen when witness after witness has blown up in the state’s case) and at any rate don’t make for depraved indifference. What’s worse, the prosecutor intentionally omitted known facts that are the essence of reasonable doubt, in fact making the charge itself ludicrous.
Legal self-defense expert Andrew Branca has the definitive debunking of the affidavit and the trial disasters for the prosecution that should be read in full, but an excerpt is sufficient to show the “ Grand Canyon” between what has been shown and what must be shown for a conviction:
That affidavit claimed that “Martin attempted to run home but was followed by Zimmerman”. But this cannot be true, because if Martin had indeed run home it would have been impossible—based on the times and distances involved—for the older, clinically obese Zimmerman to catch up to him before he secured safety.
The affidavit claimed that “Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher[‘s alleged instruction to not follow] and continued to follow Martin”. This also is known not to be true, because alleged instruction never occurred.
The affidavit goes on to claim that “Zimmerman confronted Martin.” Another untruth, as testified to this past week by Rachel Jeantel, who claims to have overheard, by cell phone, the brief confrontational speech between the two men.
Worst of all, however, is the fact that ALL of these foundational claims of the affidavit for probable cause were known to be untrue at the time . . .
Noting blandly that “a struggle ensued” between the two men, the affidavit fails to acknowledge the almost total absence of injuries on Martin (absent, of course, the gunshot wound that ended the fight), except for cuts on his hands consistent with having struck a blow. Similarly, no mention was made of Zimmerman’s far more extensive injuries, including abrasions, contusions, and lacerations all around his head, consistent with having had his head beaten against a concrete sidewalk (as Zimmerman claimed was the case . . . . Further, no mention was made of any fact consistent with Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. Nor was that very claim of self-defense mentioned. Again, every one of these facts excluded from the affidavit was known to investigators at the time the document was sworn and filed.
Unlike a defense attorney, a prosecutor is not ethically entitled to leave out the bad stuff if it makes her charge appear incoherent.
In any run-of-the-mill case, you’d struggle to understand how in the world a prosecutor could bring this case. But in this case we know. The original prosecutors were tossed aside as a public firestorm raged, the president publicly expressed his concern and sympathy for the victim (unlike the Gosnell case where he refused to comment on a pending case), a special prosecutor was assigned and she revealed the deficient affidavit at a grandstanding press conference.
No, in normal circumstances the case would not have been brought (or would have been brought as a negligent homicide at best) or the judge would have dismissed it already or there would be a directed verdict after the state’s case. But this is no ordinary case. Too many think “justice” is bringing any old case, whatever the facts, as a sign of empathy with a victim or a determination to rid society at large of bias or unfairness. That is not what our criminal legal system is about, and to embrace the “whatever” theory of prosecution is to remove the line between law and vengeance.
The jury, as we know from long and tragic experience, may convict anyway, but only if the jurors catch the vengeance fever and mimic the blithe disregard for facts and legal standards that has gripped most of the media.
BARTIROMO: I like what the juror said, they both should have walked away. And if there is a shadow of a doubt, there is a shadow of a doubt.
BARKLEY: And let me tell you, Mr. Zimmerman was wrong to pursue — he was racial profiling. I think Trayvon Martin, God rest his soul, I think he did flip the switch and started beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman. But it was just a bad situation. And like I said, the main thing I feel bad for, it gives every black and white person who is racist a platform to vent their ignorance.
That’s the thing that bothers me the most because I watched this trial closely and I watch all these people are television talking about it. A lot of people have a hidden agenda. You know, they want their racist views, whether they are white or black –
BARTIROMO: The bias comes out.
BARKLEY: The bias, it definitely comes out. It was a bad situation, we all lost. And I feel bad for his parents. You don’t ever want to see anybody lose a kid. (CNBC Closing Bell, July 18, 2013)
5:23 AM on July 20, 2013
Trayvon was a teen who bragged of his fighting skills, who escalated the incident to physical violence, bragged of his fighting skills, had broken GZs nose and was pounding his head into the concrete when he was shot. GZ is Latin, took a black girl to his prom and had black long time friends. Two people wih poor judgement, but only Trayvon escalated the incident to physical violence. The jury that heard all the evidence found him innocent. Not racism, but a teen with proven thuggish ways having his chosen, self documented, thug life style blow back on him big time. Moral of the story, don’t pursue a thug life style and go looking for trouble for enough will find you without pursuing it.
Picture Zimmerman’s neighbor Olivia Bertalan, a defense witness, hiding in her locked bedroom with her infant and a pair of rusty scissors while two young males, later identified as African American, burglarized her home. They ran when police arrived.
The Truth About Trayvon
By EKOW N. YANKAH
Published: July 15, 2013
THE Trayvon Martin verdict is frustrating, fracturing, angering and predictable. More than anything, for many of us, it is exhausting. Exhausting because nothing could bring back our lost child, exhausting because the verdict, which should have felt shocking, arrived with the inevitability that black Americans know too well when criminal law announces that they are worth less than other Americans.
Lawyers on both sides argued repeatedly that this case was never about race, but only whether prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman was not simply defending himself when he shot Mr. Martin. And, indeed, race was only whispered in the incomplete invocation that Mr. Zimmerman had “profiled” Mr. Martin. But what this case reveals in its overall shape is precisely what the law is unable to see in its narrow focus on the details.
The anger felt by so many African-Americans speaks to the simplest of truths: that race and law cannot be cleanly separated. We are tired of hearing that race is a conversation for another day. We are tired of pretending that “reasonable doubt” is not, in every sense of the word, colored.
Every step Mr. Martin took toward the end of his too-short life was defined by his race. I do not have to believe that Mr. Zimmerman is a hate-filled racist to recognize that he would probably not even have noticed Mr. Martin if he had been a casually dressed white teenager.
But because Mr. Martin was one of those “punks” who “always get away,” as Mr. Zimmerman characterized him in a call to the police, Mr. Zimmerman felt he was justified in following him. After all, a young black man matched the criminal descriptions, not just in local police reports, but in those most firmly lodged in Mr. Zimmerman’s imagination.
Whether the law judges Trayvon Martin’s behavior to be reasonable is also deeply colored by race. Imagine that a militant black man, with a history of race-based suspicion and a loaded gun, followed an unarmed white teenager around his neighborhood. The young man is scared, and runs through the streets trying to get away. Unable to elude his black stalker and, perhaps, feeling cornered, he finally holds his ground — only to be shot at point-blank range after a confrontation.
Would we throw up our hands, unable to conclude what really happened? Would we struggle to find a reasonable doubt about whether the shooter acted in self-defense? A young, white Trayvon Martin would unquestionably be said to have behaved reasonably, while it is unimaginable that a militant, black George Zimmerman would not be viewed as the legal aggressor, and thus guilty of at least manslaughter.
This is about more than one case. Our reasons for presuming, profiling and acting are always deeply racialized, and the Zimmerman trial, in ignoring that, left those reasons unexplored and unrefuted.
What is reasonable to do, especially in the dark of night, is defined by preconceived social roles that paint young black men as potential criminals and predators. Black men, the narrative dictates, are dangerous, to be watched and put down at the first false move. This pain is one all black men know; putting away the tie you wear to the office means peeling off the assumption that you are owed equal respect. Mr. Martin’s hoodie struck the deepest chord because we know that daring to wear jeans and a hooded sweatshirt too often means that the police or other citizens are judged to be reasonable in fearing you.
We know this, yet every time a case like this offers a chance for the country to tackle the evil of racial discrimination in our criminal law, courts have deliberately silenced our ability to expose it. The Supreme Court has held that even if your race is what makes your actions suspicious to the police, their suspicions are reasonable so long as an officer can later construct a race-neutral narrative.
Likewise, our death penalty cases have long presaged the Zimmerman verdict, exposing how racial disparities, which make a white life more valuable, do not undermine the constitutionality of the death sentence. And even the most casual observer recognizes the painful racial disparities in our prison population — the http://newjimcrow.com/new Jim Crow, in the account of the legal scholar Michelle Alexander. Our prisons are full of young, black men for whom guilty beyond a reasonable doubt was easy enough to reach.
There is no quick answer for the historical use of our criminal law to reinforce and then punish social stereotypes. But pretending that reasonable doubt is a value-free clinical term, as so many people did so readily in the Zimmerman case, only insulates injustice in plain sight.
Without an honest jurisprudence that is brave enough to tackle the way race infuses our criminal law, Trayvon Martin’s voice will be silenced again.
What would such a jurisprudence look like? The Supreme Court could hold, for example, that the unjustified use of race by the police in determining “reasonable suspicion” constituted an unreasonable stop, tainting captured evidence. Likewise, in the same way we have started to attack racial disparities in other areas of criminal law, we could consider it a violation of someone’s constitutional rights if, controlling for all else, his race was what determined whether the state executed him.
I can imagine a jurisprudence that at least begins to use racial disparities as a tool to question the constitutionality of criminal punishment. And above all, I can imagine a jurisprudence that does not pretend, as lawyers for both sides (but no one else) did in the Zimmerman case, that doubts have no color.
Ekow N. Yankah is a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva
Let’s see George Zimmerman along with his wife mentors young black kids who have no parental guidance. Brings a black girl to his prom. Testifies against the Sanford police on behalf of a homeless black man. Yes ladies and gentlemen this is a brief look at the man they are trying to tell you is a racist killer. What a joke.
Reply • 8 • Like • Follow Post • 23 hours ago
Mark A Hernandez • Top Commenter • Fairleigh Dickinson University
If you want to find the people responsible for the “stereotype” of “black youths” you must go to Chicago, Camden, New York,Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Detroit among others in which black youths are murdering each other in astronomical figures. They have created the stereotype along with the main stream media’s agenda which aims to divide the country to get ratings.
Reply • 2 • Like • Follow Post • 23 hours ago
Racism vs. reality
Race is a constant in US life – as elsewhere
The death of Trayvon Martin has proved that race is still a factor in national life – but name one country on earth which has a significant racial minority where it is not
Beyond George Zimmerman: where’s the outrage about black-on-black crime?
The real tragedy in the African-American community is our own violent neighbourhoods, yet hardly anyone talks about that
As the George Zimmerman murder trial heads towards its conclusion this week, race has taken center stage. Since last year when Zimmerman allegedly killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense, the mainstream media joined by so called black activists injected a racially charged narrative into the case. You know “racist” white man profiles and kills black kid.
Sadly, this trial wouldn’t be receiving wall-to-wall national media coverage if Zimmerman was black. That’s what we should be talking about.
Startling statistics reveal that between 1980-2008, African-Americans were six times more likely than whites to be victims of gun violence and seven times more likely to kill with guns than whites, according to the Justice Department. African-Americans represent a mere 13% of the US population yet more than 50% of federal prisoners are black. You can claim racial bias in the judicial system, but that doesn’t explain all of it.
NBC Universal Media responded to the Zimmerman complaint by noting that other media outlets played up the racial angle of Zimmerman’s deadly encounter with Trayvon Martin.
The company also noted the pivotal nature of the second-degree murder case: “[I]f Zimmerman is convicted, that fact alone will constitute substantial evidence that the destruction of his reputation is the result of his own criminal conduct, and not of the broadcasts at issue which, like countless other news reports disseminated by media entities throughout the country, reported on the underlying events.”
That formulation is now null.
GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT: HOW THE PRESS PROSECUTED ZIMMERMAN WHILE STOKING RACIAL TENSIONS
George Zimmerman trial expands deep divide
By JOE SCARBOROUGH | 7/14/13 3:23 PM EDT
The Trayvon Martin case highlights more than the flaws of Florida law or the inadequacies of courtroom justice. It also paints in vivid display the vulgar state of American political culture.
Within seconds of Saturday night’s verdict exonerating George Zimmerman, liberals and conservatives scurried to their shabby political corners and began tweeting hyperbolic political pronouncements on a judicial process that few of them knew anything about.
Liberals launched anguished attacks against George Zimmerman, the state of Florida, stand-your-ground laws, the gun culture, and the current state of racial relations in America in under 140 characters. Some conservatives used the opportunity to gloat and continue their attacks against Al Sharpton, the national media, racial politics, American liberalism, and a dead teenager.
The entire spectacle was repulsive.
The Zimmerman verdict showed just how politicized every speck of American life has become for a hyper-partisan political class that
has little in common with most Americans. In fact, they are probably why most Americans hate politics.
How exactly was it that liberals and conservatives could so neatly line up on opposite sides of a troubling courtroom trial involving a Hispanic man and an African-American teenager?
And how could one side unanimously proclaim the verdict a victory for courtroom justice while the other side immediately declared the verdict a defeat for racial tolerance?
There has to be a liberal somewhere in America (who is paid to express his viewpoints) who understands that the prosecution had a difficult burden to carry in the trial, just as there must be a conservative who is deeply troubled by the of events of this case.
If it seems like I am taking a removed, middle-ground approach on this trial, let me assure you that I am not.
I am angry that George Zimmerman could chase a teenager through his neighborhood, ignore a dispatcher’s pleas, make racially charged statements, provoke a confrontation with a young man armed only with Skittles, and pull the trigger that ended that teenager’s life, only to walk away without as much as a misdemeanor attached to his name. But I also know that the laws of Florida favored the defense, that the prosecution overreached in its efforts to convict Zimmerman on a second-degree murder charge, and that we will never know which man was screaming for help in the moments that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. I also know that it is a fool’s errand to second-guess the conclusions of a jury that sat through countless hours of testimony and evidence before reaching a verdict.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t draw my own personal conclusions, like my belief that George Zimmerman is a racist idiot who chased an unarmed teenager through a neighborhood for little reason more than he was a black man wearing a hoodie. I can also conclude that many conservative commentators were offensive in their reflexive defense of Zimmerman, as well as their efforts to attack the integrity of a dead black teenager. I am also not sure how it is that the right-wing’s professional chattering classes usually find themselves on the other side of African-Americans in racially sensitive cases.
I do not remotely suggest that all conservatives opposed Zimmerman’s trial. The National Review’s Rich Lowry agreed with a handful of conservatives like myself that Trayvon Martin’s killer should be tried in a court of law. But I remained confused by a political party that desperately tries to expand its minority outreach by considering the granting of citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants while refusing to even give the benefit of the doubt to a young black man gunned down for no good reason in a suburban Florida neighborhood. I just don’t get it.
What I do get is why over 90 percent of African American voters have been voting against GOP presidential candidates for most of my life. Conservative commentary and GOP stand-your-ground laws only exacerbated that divide. If Republicans are to take back the White House anytime in the next generation, that reality has to change. After this week, it has definitely become a longer, harder slog.
George Zimmerman’s relevant past
Five myths about the killing of Trayvon Martin
[Sybrina Fulton] said she wasn’t and that she’s dubious about the veracity of those claims: “I don’t know if it’s real or not.” I get the feeling that she doesn’t want anything to alter the image she has of the son she loved and lost.
I also asked about her grieving process since the day Zimmerman shot Trayvon through the chest and ended his life. She responded:
“When this first happened, I would say, was my deepest hour. And it was through my faith in God that I was able to keep moving forward because there is something within us as humans that says ‘you will never be happy again, you will never smile again, your life will be filled with rainy days,’ and through the grace of God I know that that is not true. I will smile again and there will be sunny days again.”
Hard to hear: Trayvon Martin’s parents listen as Rachel Jeantel talks about the last phone call Trayvon made before he was shot dead
IN HIS OWN WORDS: ZIMMERMAN’S FIRST STATEMENT TO POLICE
‘It was raining out and he was leisurely walking looking at open houses. I had called before and the police had come out but these guys know the neighborhood very well.
‘I pulled my car to the side and I called the non-emergency line and I just reported that there was a suspicious person in the neighborhood.
‘As I headed back to my vehicle the suspect emerged from the darkness and said, “You got a problem?” and I said “No” and the suspect said, “You do now” and punched me in the nose.
‘As soon as he punched me I fell backwards. He was whaling on my head and I started yelling help. He grabbed my head and started hitting me into the sidewalk. I slid into the grass to get out from under him. I was still yelling out for help.
‘He puts his hand on my mouth and nose and says, “You’re going to die tonight motherf***er”. I don’t remember much after that. I couldn’t breathe. He still kept trying to hit my heard against the pavement.
‘Each time I attempted to sit up the suspect slammed my head. My head felt like it was going to explode.
‘As he banged my head I pulled out my firearm and I shot him. I’m on the ground and he’s mounted on top of me, I shot him.’
State’s Witnesses in Zimmerman Trial Put the Prosecution on the Defensive
The Sanford police did not charge Mr. Zimmerman in the killing, citing insufficient evidence and Florida’s expansive “stand your ground” law, but that decision provoked national protests. Six weeks later, after Ms. Corey was assigned to the case, Mr. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder.
But many legal experts said this week that the state had overreached and that it should have filed manslaughter charges. The jury can still find Mr. Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter, but it would fall to the prosecutors to argue for that result without appearing to concede a weakness in their case.
Medical examiner tells court George Zimmerman’s injuries after Trayvon shooting were ‘insignificant’ and ‘not life threatening’
George Zimmerman’s DNA was not found under Trayvon Martin’s fingernails and there was no trace of the teen’s on the gun
oul Leister CJ Haze • 6 hours ago −
Trayvon’s mom dropped him off at the convenience store (kicked him out) that is what he posted… he didn’t have a key to his father’s GIRLFRIEND’s apartment so he was chillin in the rain waiting for his dad to drive by (so he could get out of the rain). His dad has lied twice about what happened that day: (first he said they were watching basketball and at half time trayvon left to get some snacks… but when checked there was no game… then dad lied by saying dad went out for dinner and didn’t take his son, left him home alone to fend for himself… bad dad, liar too). So when Zimmerman spotted him “hanging around in the rain” with no key to get in his dad’s girlfriends apartment, he was naturally suspicious… Trayvon walked up to Zimmerman (according to the 911 call to check him out, intimidate him) but realized Zimmerman was on the phone describing trayvon to the police and ran). Zimmerman’s natural reaction was to follow… and as soon as he got out of the car the operator told him not to follow him… Zimmerman tells the operator the individual is out of sight… and continues to talk to the operator for over two minutes… not in pursuit… the 911 call is easy to find (don’t listen to the media’s edited call). Had trayvon gone home 300 feet away this would never had happened… but he couldn’t because there was no one home and he had no key… he doesn’t live there. Zimmerman walked to the next street while waiting for the police to see if the PERP fled the housing complex via the back gate (across the street from his dad’s girlfriend’s apartment)… and while returning to his car the PERP jumped him in the dark… having stalked him… and tried to kill him… guess what happens when you put your ignorant hands on another man? He got what he deserved, if only it had been parents that actually cared about him… he wouldn’t be a drug using stolen gun selling delinquent
Horror: Demarquis Elkins, 17, allegedly threatened Sherry West then shot her infant son when she didn’t give him any money
[State Rep. Joe] Mitchell responded from his public, ALHouse.gov email account at 11:59 p.m., telling Maxwell: “Your folk never used all this sheit (sic) to protect my folk from your slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed (sic), imported criminal-minded kin folk
Murdered: Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom were abducted, tortured, raped and killed in 2007
The convictions surround the horrifying killings of Christian and Newsom, who had been dating for just a couple of months when they were found murdered in January 2007.
They were leaving an apartment together and planned on going to a friend’s home to watch a film when they were abducted from the apartment complex parking lot.
Christian’s car was found days later with the help of her mobile phone company, and inside, officers discovered an envelope with fingerprints on, which led them to Lemaricus Davidson and his home.
When officers searched it on January 9, 2007, they found Christian’s body in a bin in the kitchen.
According to court testimony by Knox County Acting Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, Newsom had been repeatedly sodomized with an object and he was bound, gagged and blindfolded.
Newsom was then dragged outside to a set of nearby railroad tracks, where he was shot in the back of his head, neck and back. His body was then set on fire, Mileusnic-Polchan testified.
Christian was also tortured for several hours and sustained injuries to her mouth and genitals. She had been beaten across the head and raped.
Afterwards, bleach was poured over her body and down her throat while she was still alive, in an apparent attempt to destroy DNA evidence.
Christian was then tied up and covered with several bags before she was put in a bin, where she slowly suffocated to death, Mileusnic-Polchan testified.
If more evidence is required, click the link.
Smirk of teenage thug moments before killing an OAP for her handbag: Pair of 15-year-olds including father-of-two jailed
Heartache: Blind pensioner Paula Castle died after being attacked in an alleyway near a primary school
The pair moments before mugging Paula Castle, 85, who died following a mugging in Greenford, London, on November 19, 2012
Is it cultural, or is it individual failure?
Trayvon’s tragic end: The dead teenager’s body lying under a yellow tarpaulin after he was killed in a gated community in Sanford, Florida
A photo of Trayvon Martin’s hooded sweatshirt showing the bullet hole that killed him has been submitted by George Zimmerman’s defense lawyers
Fatal shot: The prosecution released a series of documents including testimony from friends of Zimmerman and pictures of Martin’s bloody sweatshirt that he was wearing when he was shot (above)
Witnesses in Trayvon Martin case offer differing accounts
In one of the starkest contrasts, two people describe wholly different accounts.
Documents in the Trayvon Martin Case
That is utter BS….I have read the original reports from all the witnesses plus I have family on the force in Sanford. TM was a little thug, did he deserve to get shot? That I don’t know, but when you live and act like a thug, you get what you get.
Second, if you remember correctly it was the media who printed GZ was white, not me. But the liberals sure picked up on that lie and ran with it didn’t they? Just like the ignored TM recent past, suspended from school, sent to stay with his father because his mother could no longer deal with him, two days before he was shot TM assaulted a city bus driver. TM was no innocent and GZ has a right to defend himself. Even the media has ‘somewhat” attempted to correct their lies.
“If Zimmerman’s story is to be believed…he gave up the pursuit of Martin and was returning to his car when Martin attacked him. Zimmerman claims that Martin then began banging Zimmerman’s head against the concrete and threatened to kill him. If that’s right, then Zimmerman will have valid defense under Florida law for using deadly force.”
I WOULD KILL DA SHYT OUTTA DAT ZIMMERMAN DUDE IF I SAW HIS ASSS BOAAAAA—
Nay Nay (@HeLoves_SexcNay)April 23, 2012
23 Apr 12
Kill that mexican muther fucker george zimmerman#WhiteTrash
23 Apr 12
They let this nigga Zimmerman out of jail?! Somebody kill this dude already!—
Jordan Irving (@jordyfxs) April 23, 2012
23 Apr 12
So I just found out that they released zimmerman dumb ass out of fuckin jail I hope somebody get that nigga! That bitch deserve to die smfh!—
Jai Marie (@DiaryOf_A_Doll) April 23, 2012
23 Apr 12
This evidence explains a confrontation but does excuse a cop wannabee from shooting an unarmed teenager.
Fair trial for George Zimmerman? Did Trayvon Martin get one?
Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman
Trayvon Martin killing: witness says he saw Zimmerman walk away uninjured
The anonymous man said he reported to police details of what he saw on the evening of 26 February, which included watching the gunman walking away from the fight apparently uninjured.
It contradicts an allegation from Zimmerman’s father earlier in the day that the unarmed black teenager broke his son’s nose during the incident and also left him with bloody injuries from slamming the man’s head repeatedly on to a concrete pavement. The eyewitness says he saw no blood and that the entire confrontation took place only on grass.
‘Those screams belong to Trayvon’: Experts say desperate cries for for help on 911 were not from George Zimmerman
No matter the outcome at trial. this incident resonates as national tragedy. Trayvon Martin was no angel while George Zimmerman, a cop wannabe, walked along a thin line and stumbled, or perhaps was knocked down. He shot the young man and because he was unarmed, there can be no justification for shooting him. Zimmerman must be prosecuted and if the evidence convicts him, he must serve the time for his crime.
While this may be a case of racial profiling, the black community does not protest with the same vigor against the daily violence within their communities. Whether it’s a girl watching TV at home who gets hit by a stray round or gangbangers killing each other, violence is rampant and common. Surf to a big city news web-site, try Chicago, and see for yourself.
The national tally of black males 14 and older murdered in America from 1976 through 2005, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics: 214,661.
Or click here.
Already divided along economic and ideological lines, this tragedy will polarize our country’s population by race. Comments from citizens are included because there is much common sense within and without our borders.
This post concludes with a common sense piece by that MSNBC person non grata, ex-pat Pat Buchannan, contrasted with a knee jerk liberal academic.
Suspended THREE times for drugs, truancy and graffiti and ‘caught carrying a burglary tool’: New picture emerges of Trayvon Martin (and did he attack a bus driver too?)
PUBLISHED: 08:02 EST, 26 March 2012 | UPDATED: 14:54 EST, 27 March 2012
Trayvon Martin was suspended from school three times in the months before he was shot dead by a neighborhood watchman, it emerged today.
The new claims, revealed in a leaked report, paint a different picture of a teenager who frequently found himself in trouble with authorities.
It was also revealed that he might have attacked a bus driver, according to a Twitter account that it is claimed belonged to the teen.
The Miami Herald claims that in October, he was caught with a ‘burglary tool’ – a flathead screwdriver – and 12 pieces of women’s jewellery. Martin insisted that they did not belong to him.
Earlier, he had been suspended for skipping school and showing up late to class. And most recently, in February, he was suspended again when officials found a ‘marijuana pipe’ and an empty baggie with traces of the drug.
The fresh claims are likely to be seized upon by supporters of George Zimmerman who say the teenager launched an unprovoked attack on the neighbourhood watch volunteer moments before Trayvon was shot dead.
According to an October report of the incident by the Miami Dade Schools Police, obtained by the Miami Herald, Trayvon never received any punishment for the jewellery because he said it was not his and it belonged to a friend.
In total, he had 12 pieces of mostly women’s rings and earrings in his bag.
Instead, he was suspended on October 21 for the graffiti charge.
Ben Crump, a lawyer for Trayvon’s parents, said that they ‘never heard anything like this about a bag of jewelery….And anyway, it’s completely irrelevant to what happened February 26.
‘They never heard this, and don’t believe it’s true. If it were true, why wouldn’t they call the parents? Why wasn’t he arrested?
‘We think everybody is trying to demonize him.’
The Martin family has admitted that the October suspension was his second, and that he had previously been suspended for tardiness and truancy.
The third, and arguably most serious suspension, came in February in the days leading up to his death.
According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade Schools Police reported finding a bag with marijuana residue and a ‘marijuana pipe’ in the 17-year-old’s possession.
The boy was never criminally charged, but the Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug related incidents so he was suspended for an undisclosed amount of time.
Mr Crump said: ‘If he and his friends experimented with marijuana, that is completely irrelevant. What does it have to do with killing their son?’
After rallies and meetings all day Monday in Sanford, Florida, where the shooting occurred, Trayvon’s parents are expected to appear on Capitol Hill Tuesday as the US Congress takes up the issue of racial profiling.
The hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee comes as nearly three quarters of Americans believe Zimmerman should be arrested, according to a CNN/ORC International poll.
Only 11 percent of the people surveyed believe Zimmerman should not be arrested. The rest are unsure.
The unanimity against Zimmerman’s shooting even crosses racial and lines. About 67 percent of whites support his arrest and 86 percent of non-whites. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents are all on the same page.
At a Sanford City Council meeting Monday, which turned into a public forum on the Trayvon shooting, Rev Al Sharpton gave city leaders a petition with 2 million signatures of people calling for Zimmerman to be locked up.
The new details about Trayvon’s past come the same day as thousands marched through the streets of Sanford, where the shooting happened, to demand justice.
The boy’s mother and father joined the rally, where they called for justice.
His mother said: ‘I know I cannot bring my baby back. But I’m sure going to make changes so that does not happen to another family.’
While his father Tracy said Zimmmerman ‘needs to be arrested’. ‘He needs to be put on trial.
The national attention from perennial leaders of the black community, Sharpton and Rev Jesse Jackson is not welcome, according to C.L. Bryant, the former head of the NAACP in Garland, Texas.
‘His family should be outraged at the fact that they’re using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions,’ the conservative pastor told the Daily Caller.
He said they were ‘acting as though they are buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.’
Trayvon’s parents and civil rights leaders spoke after a dramatic police account of the fatal shooting claimed the black teen launched an unprovoked attack on the neighborhood watch volunteer in which he punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and then bashed his head into the sidewalk several times before trying to grab his gun.
The report, leaked to the Orlando Sentinel and ABC News and based on anonymous sources, supports accounts from George Zimmerman’s allies that he acted in self-defense when he shot dead the 17-year-old one month ago in Sanford Florida.
The embattled Sanford Police Department, while condemning the leak, confirmed that the story was consistent with information private to the State Attorney’s office, which is currently considering whether to file charges against Zimmerman.
The police account is also based mostly on Zimmerman’s own words to officers after they arrived at the gated community February 26, but it is the most complete picture of his side of the shooting that has been released publicly.
As the Orland Sentinel reports, Zimmerman got out of his car and followed Trayvon as he walked back to the home of his father’s girlfriend after picking up snacks at a local convenience store.
Zimmerman called 911 to report a suspicious black teenager who looked like he might be on drugs.
As he walked after the teen, the police dispatcher told Zimmerman he didn’t need to keep following.
A minute passes and police don’t know what happens.
Then, according to Zimmerman, Trayvon approached him from behind and they ‘exchanged words.’
Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said, ‘no.’
Then, according to Zimmerman, Trayvon said, ‘Well now you do,’ and unexpectedly punched Zimmerman in the face, knocking him to the ground.
Trayvon, 6-foot-3 and 140 pounds, then reportedly climbed on top of the 250-pound Zimmerman and bashed his head into the sidewalk several times.
Frenzy: Trayvon’s mother, Sabrina Fulton (center), seen next to her lawyer Benjamin Crump, attended the massive rally on Monday that was organized in Sanford to show support for Trayvon
One unidentified witness, who did not see the shooting, said he saw a younger man on top of an older man and the older man was screaming for help.
Police say the cries that witnesses reported, which Trayvon’s family say were coming from the teen, are actually likely from Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, who had a permit to carry a handgun, shot Trayvon once in the chest at very close range, killing him.
According to police reports and accounts given by Zimmerman’s lawyer, Craig Sooner, the 28-year-old’s nose was bloody or broken, his lip was bleeding and he had a bloody gash on the back of his head.
As the national outcry over the shooting continued to gather momentum, Zimmerman’s allies say he was in a ‘fight for his life.’
‘It’s not a racial issue. George Zimmerman is absolutely not a racist,’ Zimmerman’s lawyer told the Today Show Monday. Zimmerman is half white and half Hispanic.
His friend Joe Oliver joined his lawyer for several TV interviews Sunday and Monday to publicly defend Zimmerman.
‘The bottom line is there was a life and death struggle in that instance and someone was going to die,’ Mr Oliver told the Today Show.
‘Because he was there and he knows what happened…he’s been very confident — naively — that this would all blow over,’ Mr Oliver said in an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America Sunday. He added that Zimmerman cried for days after the incident.
Too young: Trayvon Martin, seen here in a family photo from a ski trip, was simply holding Skittles when he was shot
Police did not arrest Zimmerman after the February 26 because he cited Florida’s so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, which does not require residents to retreat and allows them to defend themselves when they have reasonable belief that they will be killed or severely injured.
That law could also make it difficult to win a conviction if they file charges against Zimmerman, a top prosecutor told Good Morning America Monday.
‘The Stand Your Ground law is one portion of justifiable use of deadly force,’ veteran State Attorney Angela Corey said.
‘And what that means is that the state must go forward and be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt… So it makes the case in general more difficult than a normal criminal case.’
Despite being legally justified, according to friends, Zimmerman is remorseful about killing Trayvon.
Mr Oliver said Zimmerman wishes he could tell the boy’s parents he is ‘very, very sorry.’
Furthermore, Mr Oliver says, Zimmerman, who is currently in hiding, didn’t stop crying for days after the killing.
The interviews comes the same day as a new report says that Justice Department investigators may try to charge him with a hate crime, and they are thought to be using the alleged murmuring on the 911 call to argue he said a racial slur before fatally shooting the teen.
‘If that was a racial epithet that preceded the attack on Trayvon Martin, we definitely have a hate crime,’ said Drexel University law professor Donald Tibbs.
‘It sounds pretty obvious to me.’
Even if Zimmerman is not charged, the entire Sanford police department may be investigated regardless to see if they destroyed or hid any evidence during their initial investigation.
Mr Oliver also identified the voice screaming in the now-infamous 911 tapes as the Neighbourhood Watch captain, not of Martin as the teen’s parents claim.
‘From the clips that I’ve heard online, I heard George. That sounded like someone who was in dire need of help. It sounded like George.’
‘At that point, either George or Trayvon was going to die.’
Despite the defense from Zimmerman’s allies, a new witness has stepped forward and said she and her roommate heard Trayvon screaming before hearing a shot being fired.
In an interview which aired on Dateline NBC Sunday night, Mary Cutcher said that she and her roommate ran out after hearing the shot.
Widespread: Concurrent rallies were held throughout the country, like this one in Atlanta, Georgia
We both saw him straddling the body, basically, a foot on both sides of Trayvon’s body and his hands pressed on his back,’ Ms Cutcher said of she and her roommate.
‘It sounded young. It didn’t sound like a grown man is my point. It sounded to me like someone was in distress and it wasn’t like a crying, sobbing boo-hoo, it was a definite whine.’
‘He started walking back and forth like three times with his hand on the head and kind of, he was walking like kind of confused.
‘He was in shock.’
This version of events plays into the beliefs of millions of protestors who have called for Zimmerman to be charged with murder for shooting the teen and believe the killing was racially motivated.
Ms Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, filed applications with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office to seek ownership of the phrases ‘I Am Trayvon’ and ‘Justice for Trayvon’ which supporters have adopted as rallying cries.
Ms Fulton’s lawyer, Ms Major Morris, told the Associated Press that the money that will be gathered from the trademark will go to ‘projects that will assist other families who experience similar tragedies’.
She denied that Ms Fulton had any intention of profiting from the move.
The case has become a national issue, and the slain teen’s parents have both quit their jobs to help see that the fight for justice continues. In that effort, they have allowed their lawyers to set up a donation fund for the legal costs, but now they fear that other fake sites have sprung up, hoping to profit from the national outrage.
Why are there NO RECENT pictures of the kid? Every picture on DM and in other sources must be 4 or 5 years old.
Kate, Los Angeles, CA, 27/3/2012 01:43
How an earth have I managed to survive 65 years without buying a gun, I must be very lucky.
Jim New, Lewisham, 27/3/2012 01:32
we keep reading about zimmermans broken nose etc. how come we have not seen the pictures..?
mary parris, slough england, 27/3/2012 01:17
innocent until proven guilty
R Fox, Watseka,Il, 27/3/2012 00:38
Thank you DM…we are not privy to this info in the US…we only get the racist, hate filled side and pictures of this guy when he was like 10. I’d love to see a more recent picture. This lynch mob mentality is pretty scary!
Just Me, USA, 26/3/2012 23:37
Have we ever seen a pic of Trayvon as a 6 foot 4 tall 17 year old? Who is guilty of what, I don’t know, but what I do know is that the media are being irresponsible continually showing us pics of a 12 year old Trayvon besides the ‘county orange’ dressed mugshot of Zimmerman. I feat that if Zimmerman is innocent and he comes to harm the media will be be at fault to some degree. Your job is to be objective.
dragon, Manchester, 26/3/2012 22:45
who knows what the real story is. doubtful we’ll ever find out. nonetheless, this situation is a POWDERKEG…
Beth, memphis usa, 26/3/2012 20:39
so where are the photo’s of Zimmermans so called injuries???
Toks, Surrrey. UK, 26/3/2012 20:30
“a life and death battle”. So offensive. This young man lived in the community and was minding his own business coming home for the store with Skittles and iced tea. Zimmerman pursued him and killed this unarmed young man. It’s no wonder this incident is fomenting so much hatred among Blacks…the kid was Black in a basically white area, and he was wearing the very common hoodie….hardly a reason to be shot dead by some over-zealous armed neighbor!
SantaFeJack, Santa Fe New Mexico USA, 26/3/2012 19:46
This whole situation is just one big disaster now. It’s one person’s word against witnesses words. No one knows if it was racial or not. There have been other black men/boys innocently killed , why is this case causing such an uproar?? Not that it shouldn’t but I’ve never seen anything this big. I am not siding with either one because I wasn’t there and have no idea what happened. I do know that there should have been no reason for Zimmerman to shoot this boy dead unless he had a gun pointing at him. I don’t think he’ll go free
Pak31, USA, 26/3/2012 11:22
These youthful pictures are a joke. I’m surprised the media isn’t showing pictures of Trayvon crawling around in a diaper.
KENT, SANFORD, FL USA, 26/3/2012 11:35
Trayvon Martin’s family blames police for leaking info on marijuana suspension, other details
Ipotter 5:09 PM EDT
Maybe they should blame themselves for not doing a better job of parenting.
di-ann 5:16 PM EDT
yeah all kids suspended from HS should be shot by a wanna be cop…….
ccharles1 4:37 PM EDT
I dont think the police leaked it, it was a paper in Miami that got his school info, in that info was 3 suspensions this year. In one case he is found to be in the possession of 12 pieces of womans jewerly that he refused to tell them where he got them or whos it was, and it was turned over to Miami police. I havnt been able to verify it but i read that the parents wasnt notified of Trayvons death till 3 days after the incident, since no one knew who he was. And when you see up to date pics of the young man, they are nothing like the pictures presented to the public.
What i would like to see is 2 things, one, someone be held responsible for intiating action on a false pretense. Responsiblity and liablity for ones actions needs to be enforced. If the parents lied after the fact, they should pay for the investigation or be jailed. Secondly, i want the justice department to arrest and charge the “Black Panther” for perpentrating raical hatred. While working on what to do about Al Sharpton and Jessy Jackson. They can not tell lies to incite the public on racial lines. This is illegal. If nothing is done about it, they will continue in there aggravating of racially tense situations, as they have done for the past 20 years
jaylows_legs 4:43 PM EDT
I always knew who was suspended in school. class size 732. BTW, zero tolerance on drugs paraphenelia, crime, fights, alcohol. Second chance on behavioral, bad judgement etc.
Sharpton has a bad record. He may be under review.
jaylows_legs 4:44 PM EDT
If I was missing after Midnight, my parents would have already called the police.
srvmyrose 5:20 PM EDT
it was 7 pm.
zeety 4:33 PM EDT
The bottom line is Zimmerman is not a police officer and had no business pursuing Martin. He ignored the advice of the police dispatcher and put himself in the position where he was “in fear of his life.” He needs to be charged and let a jury decide this case.
independentincc 4:39 PM EDT
The bottom line is that your conclusion is premature, based upon incomplete information and likely heavily influenced by your personal biases as evidenced elsewhere in this comments section
jaylows_legs 4:39 PM EDT
You must have some inside info. No way is there enough evidence (so far) to prove the Sanford Police Chief did the wrong thing.
di-ann 5:17 PM EDT
jaylows_legs 4:25 PM EDT
I was in Florida last week and MSNBC was painting racism all over this before the facts were released. They have abused their media power too often. Freedom of speech is the guise that MSNBC uses to rile racism. Rev Sharpton owes $3.5M in back taxes. Rev Jesse Jackson has a slew of infidelities as well as many other problems. Black people need to choose representatives that not only have skin in the game but share an interest to improve the black experience in America. New Black Panthers? What are they going to do if someone illegally detains Zimmerman? As far as I know, that is going unchecked.
Sherryds 4:06 PM EDT
That’s what the parents get for trying to spin the story in their favor, what with all the innocent Trayvon info they’ve been pushing. Including giving the media pictures of their son that bore almost no relation to what he actually looked like at the time of the incident. I’m sure they are upset. These revelations might impact on the value of their trademarks.
Trayvon Martin’s Mom Files Trademark Papers
Sybrina Fulton seeks to trademark the sayings “I Am Trayvon” and “Justice For Trayvon.”
Police: Zimmerman story is ‘consistent’ with evidence in Trayvon Martin shooting
txdude 0 minutes ago
Han nity and other rightwing con-artists are out saying that on the 911 tape the gunman Zimmerman didn’t say “fooking co on” he said “fooking goon” which is actually a term of endearment. LOL
You righties are the bigggest suuuuuuckers in the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!
save_america 0 minutes ago
Well there is now one less pot smoking, truant, soon to be dad of many welfare children in this world.
Jfa2aka 2 minutes ago
How the lib mind works:
“So the kid was suspended for having a bag with pot residue at school.”
“Pot smokers don’t bother me.”
“Therefore, I conclude that he was unfairly attacked and killed.”
earlybird563 3 minutes ago
Just another way for r a c i s t n i g g e r s to further thier political agenda.
worthy486 minutes ago
First, I want to give my condolences to the family of Trayvon Martin. I am so sorry for your loss.
Sadly, now we will most likely never hear the truth, the whole truth. There is no justice for the teen who lost his life, the parents, the man who shot him or his family, since the media have already made a mess of it as they do with most things they report. No one is perfect and we have all made bad decisions.
The very best we can do is give the police a chance to do their job and pray for all…
Garygramscom 6 minutes ago
Martin’s family thinks it was their son who was crying out. Witness
accounts differ, and emergency tapes in which the voices are heard are not clear.
Funny, they had two people on the news debating this, and the person that was obviously on the dead kid’s side went into a litany of how unreliable eye witness testimony is…. but when it was though to be the kid crying out for help…. all that eye witness testimony was all true.It sounds to me the kid was a product of his up bringing and it was just a matter of time before he became a burden or worse on society .
Deportmexicans 7 minutes ago
txdude 8 minutes ago
Zimmerman is not a neighborhood watch captian, he is a freak racist with a gun hungry for blood.
Hotrod41mag 5 minutes ago in reply to txdude
how would you know—you’re just one of the mobists that could give a krap about the evidence
txdude 2 minutes ago in reply to hotrod41mag
Evidence what evidence Zimmerman’s bullsh1t story? I’m going off the 911 tapes that prove Zimmerman with his gun was chasing this unarmed teenager and he is recorded saying “these a s sholes always get away” and “fooking co ons”, then the teenager is shot d3ad by Zimmerman.
This is a hate crime murder, not self-defense.
frankcastle1958 7 minutes ago
Typical Libtard lefties… the EVIDENCE shows Zimmerman is telling it like it happened,… and the left STILL REFUSES TO DEAL with THE FACTS…. MORE PROOF, Liberals are delusional!
save_america 8 minutes ago
Remember everyone… It’s only a hate crime when a white kills a brotha.
kalli 5 minutes ago
so, when trayvon physically attacked zimmerman shouldn’t that be a hate crime? One thing to call someone a name but another to punch someone in the nose, jump on them and start banging thier head on the sidewalk.
I congratulate the police of Sanford in their handling of the investigation. I find it despicable that idi ots like j@ckson and sh@rpton try to instigate riots around the country along with the left-wing media. Where is their outrage for those bl@cks who have lost their lives in Chicago alone. Perhaps those of us who believe in the USA being ruled by laws for “all” Americans should have hoodies printed with “Americans Innocent Until Proven Guilty– Elect ABO 2012″. This was a tragedy that someone lost their life by someone trying to save his own. I would have done the same thing….and I don’t care what co lor you are. disqus s u c k s
Salmondu 5 minutes ago
When everything is said and done it will turn out that Mr. Zimmerman shot_the_nigger in self defense. Then Police Chief Lee can take his job back from the token_nigger_replacement. People of Florida have a nigger_problem as well. NOBAMA 2012
dan.d41lo98a3 1 minute ago in reply to frankcastle1958
Liberals are like the inmates in an insane asylum. They continually tell each other the staff is crazy, Not the patients
frankcastle1958 3 minutes ago
if the “kid” had KEPT WALKING AWAY.. he’d BE OK!!!
pokeyblow 1 minute ago in reply to frankcastle1958
You don’t know whether he kept walking away or not. And if he didn’t, wasn’t he “standing his ground?”
enoughnow 6 minutes ago
The boy’s death is a tragedy. That being said…If my boy was suspended from school for drugs, he certainly would not be “running the streets”, talking on a cell phone, while serving his suspension!
BOYS IN THE HOODIES
DOUSE THE FLAMES, MR. PRESIDENT!
Pat Buchanan: Why doesn’t Obama give a Tucson-type speech over Trayvon incident?
Barack Obama’s statement that the death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy that cries out for a more thorough investigation was the right and necessary thing to say.
But it fell far short of what was needed: a presidential call for a halt to the rhetoric that is stirring up racial rage and inflaming the nation. The incendiary language being deployed is both divisive and dangerous.
Addressing the Sanford, Fla., incident, black Muslim Minister Louis Farrakhan tweeted: “Where there is no justice, there will be no peace. Soon, and very soon, the law of retaliation may … be applied.”
The New Black Panther Party has issued a “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster featuring the face of George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin, and printed up a flier saying Martin was “murdered in cold blood.”
When Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad was asked if this could ignite an explosive situation that has already seen death threats drive Zimmerman and his father from their homes, Muhammad cursed and said Zimmerman “should be fearful for his life.”
Demanding “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” the Black Panther leader offered $10,000 for Zimmerman’s capture and called for 5,000 black men to run him down.
“If the government won’t do the job, we’ll do it,” he warned.
Spike Lee helpfully tweeted Zimmerman’s home address.
Friends say Zimmerman fears for his life. One man has already been arrested for threatening to kill Bill Lee, the Sanford police chief who has stepped down and turned the investigation over to the state, the Justice Department, the FBI and a special prosecutor.
Returning from Geneva, Jesse Jackson, too, headed for Sanford, saying: “Blacks are under attack. … Targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” On arrival, Jackson said Trayvon Martin was a “kid shot down in cold blood by a vigilante.”
Talk-show host Joe Madison charged Zimmerman with a “hate crime.” The Grio, a black news and opinion website, compares the killing of Trayvon Martin to the 1955 murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi.
Till, 14, had flirted with a white woman. Her husband and brother kidnapped, mutilated and murdered the boy and dumped his body into the Tallahatchie River. Emmett Till was lynched.
Trayvon Martin was shot by an overzealous Neighborhood Watch volunteer who grew suspicious of an unfamiliar black man or youth in a hoodie walking at night in the rain in a gated community he patrolled.
What appears to have happened is that, after alerting police to Martin’s presence, Zimmerman followed him in his SUV – against the advice of the cops. Where the street ended, Zimmerman got out.
A fight ensued. According to two witnesses, Zimmerman was losing, flat on his back, screaming for help. It seems unlikely a 17-year-old football player like Martin, angry and in a fistfight, would be screaming for help.
Police say that when they got there, they found Martin dead and Zimmerman with a bloody nose, a cut on the back of his head and grass stains on the back of his shirt.
Did Zimmerman, on his back, losing the fight, fearing this black kid was a criminal who might beat him to death or grab his gun, fire in presumed self-defense? Did Martin, who had a right to be enraged with this character following and hassling him, start the fight?
Would Zimmerman, who carried a legal firearm, start a fistfight with an athletic black youth who was reportedly 6 inches taller?
The scenario above appears to be the one upon which Sanford police relied when they declined to arrest Zimmerman. That Trayvon’s body was taken to the morgue and identified as “John Doe” suggests that the police, too, concluded he was an intruder.
They were terribly wrong, as was Zimmerman. But to call this cold-blooded murder or an Emmett Till-type lynching appears, from the existing evidence, to be both demagogic and inflammatory.
Yet, there are questions that need answers.
Why, with a dead teenager, did the Sanford police not bring in Zimmerman and get his story on paper? Some journalists contend there are racial slurs on the tapes of Zimmerman talking to the cops. Others hear no such thing.
Zimmerman’s father calls the media portrayal of his son as a racist an injustice, and says his son has a Peruvian mother, is Spanish-speaking, grew up in a multiracial family and has many black friends.
And the clamor of the crowd – “Arrest him!” – raises a question.
Arrest him – for what?
If the Sanford police believe they have no case for murder or manslaughter or any felony, what do they charge him with, after they arrest him?
More critically, where is President Obama?
When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot during a rampage by a crazed gunmen, Obama stepped in with a splendid address to cool the passions and call a halt to the false and fevered accusations of moral complicity in the monstrous crime of a lone killer.
Where is the Obama of Tucson now?
March 27, 2012, 9:45 pm
Fugitive Slave Mentality
By ROBERT GOODING-WILLIAMS