gwilks98 03-22-2012 09:56 PM
What the hell is going on in Florida?
Honestly, I really don't know what to think. The media is so clouded with protest coverage that there's no one really summing up the facts.
Someone please add to any gaps I have in the story.
What I read:
A zealous neighborhood watch guy who legally carried called the police. He advised a black male was suspiciously walking through the gated communicaty. They told him not to pursue.
He did, which isn't illegal by itself.
Something happened between him and the suspect, there was a str***le, and the black male suspect was shot and killed.
Witnesses say they didn't hear the str***le (though police said there was evidence of one when they got there). The black male's girlfriend was on the phone with him and he said he was being followed. The phone went dead at some point and her details stop.
The neighbors testify to his moral character as a good neighbor and can't believe what happened.
Police say there was not enough evidence to contradict the story they got from the caller.
Then all of a sudden, we have a social media viral frenzy for justice (and this was before some of the facts came out.) Sharpton gets involved. NAACP gets involved. The caller has to go into hiding due to death threats. The caller has been demonized by the media, in my opinion.
Now, I'm keeping in mind that the media often reports false information in an attempt for ratings. (Google hurricane katrina sometime, for example.) I honestly don't know how much of the above is fact, heresay and just downright wrong.
But what I do know is that as a white man, I really don't appreciate the writing between the lines here:
"This isn't an issue about black and white, this is an issue about right and wrong."
No sh!t. He's a light skinned mexican.
"George is a Spanish-speaking minority with many black family members and friends," Robert Zimmerman wrote. "He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever."
And this op-ed makes me just sick:
Could it be that the "white churches" are more willing to trust the police department's investigation than one of mob rule?
Dear mob, consider this. Let's say they do arrest Zimmerman. What do they do when the latino community rallies and protests they've unfairly profiled and arrested a mexican on circumstancial evidence?
The police are in a "can't win" situation. Eat that Al Sharpton.
Prngr44 03-23-2012 07:01 AM
Read a little about the case too.
A lot of the reports indicate that neighbors called the 2nd 911 call to report a fight, then heard a gunshot.
It all boils down to "was there a str***le?" With ZERO witnesses I just can't see how they can prosecute. Sure, they may arrest him to appease the protesters, but there's no way they can convict, much less go to trial.
cruelpupet 03-23-2012 08:13 AM
I had read that there was possibly a 911 recording of the shooter calling the kid a coon.
There was also a good article about the self defense law that was passed/changed that may have the unintended consequence of allowing this shooter to go free.
IMO He should face jail time. The fact is, he followed the kid (choosing to escalate the situation) and shot an unarmed man.
Napoleon54 03-23-2012 07:01 PM
Nobody here, or most anywhere else, is in a position to make any judgment based on the sparse and sketchy info we have at the time.
From what I've seen the neighborhood watch guy called police to report a suspicious individual, was advised not to pursue, but did so anyway. Not a smart move on his part. Maybe the kid got nervous and confronted him. I sure as hell can understand that, I'd be a bit creeped out if someone was following me around. Until and unless we get more info, what happened after that is just speculation.
Some on the Left are all up in arms about gun control over this issue already. NPR was ablaze with it this morning (Dianne Rehm show), but thankfully there was one sane commenter who said hold on a sec, jeez, we don't know anything about how this went down yet. Without a sense of what happened it's completely premature to be picking sides and digging trenches on gun control.
cruelpupet 03-23-2012 08:37 PM
Honestly I think we have enough facts. I highly doubt that an unarmed lanky 16 year old would be able to pose much of a threat to a gun carrying 28 year old who looks rather large in his photo.
He followed the kid against the request of the police who he chose to call, and the fact that he chose to escalate the situation to me shows he was not a responsible gun owner.
If the kid at least had a knife, even a small one, Id say wait for more from the investigation, but really the responsibility lies with Zimmerman.
Napoleon54 03-23-2012 09:45 PM
Yeah I guess you're right. We don't need facts or pesky investigations or due process or any of that gay stuff. Really I gotta admit I'd like to see him on Rehabilitation too. Maybe Beef Supreme will come out of retirement and roast his @ss!!! Dude, anyway, I'm gonna go drink some Brawndo and get a handjob at Starbucks. Later man.
Thesifer 03-24-2012 05:24 AM
I always like the "this guy can't discriminate! he's a minority himself" argument. Flawed logic. I know many people that racially profile and sometimes don't even know they're doing it.
From the audio recording I heard, it clearly sounds like he says "f'n c**ns" to himself. Whether he did or not could be debated, but the facts in the case, no matter which way you want to twist, say we don't have enough information etc, are --
George Zimmerman, overzealous "Neighborhood Watch" followed and confronted a person he had no business following or confronting. He was told not to pursue after reporting the "suspicious" character. The child was not on his property, he was in a complex of many properties, of which he was staying at one of them. So not trespassing. He was minding his own business which is supported by his phone call with his girlfriend.
Zimmerman followed him because he thought he was suspicious, already opening himself up to an unjustified shooting.
(Also some are reporting the Stand your Ground law doesn't apply because it doesn't allow pursuit, and this was self-defense..) We KNOW it's not self-defense from his own admission. HE confronted the kid, not the other way around. That's all public record.
His comment of "These *******s, they all get away." (Not racist) but telling of Zimmermans state of mind. Right before what DOES sound like a racial slur.
From everything that happened in this case, I think the worst part isn't that he 'was set free' it's that the investigation was practically already concluded by "looking at the scene and talking to Zimmerman" and he was never arrested, or even questioned from what has been said by the police department.
That's not an investigation. They didn't run a blood/alcohol test on Zimmerman the night of the shooting, there were obviously no weapons from on Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is bigger, had a gun, pursued a child, shot him...
In this corner: Zimmerman weighing in at 250 lbs. In the other corner: Martin weighing in at 140 lbs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL72w4xiTVU There's Zimmermans 911 call btw.
By Zimmerman's own account to Police he "Got out of his truck to check which street he was on, when he was attacked from behind by Trayvon" something that should have at least caused them to think about his statement again, why would someone in a small gated community (You can look it up to see how big it is) from the "neighborhood watch" need to get out of his truck to know where he was at? It would be different if he was new, it was a large neighborhood or something else..
But this problem with this is that reading the "facts" (as they are released FROM the police, not just in the media) things don't add up.. At all.
Here's a decent write up from the Miami Herald..
Thesifer 03-24-2012 05:39 AM
Reminds me of the Jerome Ersland case in Oklahoma recently. Although in that case the now convicted murderer started out with a "Good shoot" and turned it into murder when he went WAY over the line. But since Oklahoma went and fixed that "loop hole" to make sure murder like it is 'justified' in the future, guess we won't have any cases like it in the future.
The "Make My Day" law.. which now extends to the Workplace in Oklahoma.
Napoleon54 03-24-2012 07:34 AM
Listening to the 911 call, what I hear is mostly a calm and concerned citizen. He sounded frightened when he said Martin had his hand in his waistband; that is, Zimmerman thought Martin might have a gun. The "@ssholes" comment sounds a bit frustrated and scared, but not irate. It is widely reported that the dispatcher explicitly told him NOT to pursue, but it turns out that's not true at all! He says "we don't need you to do that". To a neighborhood watch person, their mindset is (my adlib) "of course I know I don't NEED to be doing this, but I care about my community and that's why I'm out here making a 911 call in the first place.". Zimmerman states homes have been broken into, here's someone wandering around in the rain seeming to be looking at houses, has a hand in his waistband as if he could be carrying a gun. His mindset is that he's wants the police to confront this person, so he's going to follow him to make sure they can find him when they get there. If the dispatcher really meant "DON'T pursue the suspect" then that's what he should have said, not something fuzzy and openended like "we don't need you to do that". Someone with Zimmerman's mindset will hear that as "but you can if you want to".
I'm not saying Zimmerman is innocent, not by a long shot. At the very least, it seems the initial investigation was pretty half-arsed. There's a lot of sketchy-sounding info out there. But people making knee-jerk reactions based on media coverage and sketchy info is not how the criminal justice system works!
gwilks98 03-24-2012 10:27 PM
By the way, I'm not taking sides here, but there was supposedly a recent string of burglaries in the neighborhood, one next door to Zimmerman's house.
The comment "they always get away" may have been referring to some other calls he made regarding slow moving vehicles in the subdivision that appeared to him to be casing the area.
The other point I'd make is that size and age doesn't matter. If Zimmerman thought (with good reason or not) that the kid had a gun, I would expect him to be ready to use his firearm.
A very good point in the opposite camp was made. His neighborhood watch was unregistered, and violated 2 rules of the national neighborhood watch system: don't carry a weapon and don't pursue a suspect.
This guy was definitely playing by his rules, so I'm not going to rule out he decided to become a vigilante.
cruelpupet 03-25-2012 07:31 AM
Actually what im saying is we have enough facts in to put Zimmerman at fault. And now its the just the degree of the murder charge to figure out.Originally Posted by Napoleon54
LPMiller 03-25-2012 10:32 AM
I'm sorry, when an unarmed killed is shot and killed, the guy doing the shooting was in the wrong. He screwed up somewhere. Where exactly he screwed up maybe remains to be seen, but the guy with the gun is the one that theoretically should have had the control in the situation over a teen armed with skittles. He may be a trained gun owner, but he is not trained to confront people, and in fact neighborhood watch isn't supposed to do that.
Now, why he felt the need to shoot may very well mitigate some of it, but I'm sorry, the guy deserves some sort of punishment because ultimately, he screwed up.