No Justice for Trayvon Martin.
Sixteen months after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was found not guilty on all charges. Late Saturday evening, a jury of six women gave their verdict in the case, which sparked national conversations about race relations in our nation. The shooting of the seventeen-year old prompted rallies and protests about racial profiling, and set off a wave of citizens, celebrities, lawmakers, and civil leaders who wore hoodies and repeated the now-famous words, “I am Trayvon.”
After the verdict, some activists blamed a weak prosecution for failing to convince the jury of Zimmerman's guilt, some pointed to a racially biased justice system, and others cited Florida's pro-gun laws for the trial outcome. When the news broke Saturday night, many people gathered in neighborhoods around our country, to express frustration over the verdict. While the vast majority of demonstrations were peaceful, there were a few acts of vandalism in Oakland, California – a city that has witnessed many killers of young, African-American men walking free. On Sunday, marches and rallies took place in major cities throughout our nation, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and no further violence was reported.
Activists marched wearing hoodies, and carrying signs that read, “Justice for Trayvon Martin,” and called on the Justice Department to file criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. The DOJ released a statement saying they are looking into the shooting death of Trayvon, and said, “experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation.” Despite the not guilty verdict, Trayvon Martin's family asked supporters not to resort to violence. The Martin family attorney, Ben Crump, spoke on behalf of the family, and said, “For Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful. All of America has to dig deep in their hearts to learn from this tragedy, and make sure it's not repeated.”
wWhat about Trayvon Martin's right to stand his ground? why did the court and jury accept Zimmermans version that TM attacked? the prosecutor did not do a well enough job of ringing the obvious bell.
The only reason this case became a racial issue was because of poor/criminal reporting from NBC. Even the FBI said there is NO evidence that suggests Zimmerman did anything based on race!!!
Trayon did have a right to confront Zimmerman, but did NOT have the right to assault Zimmerman. As for why the court and jury came to a not guilty verdict was based on the evidence of the case. The prosecutor did not ring the "bell" because there was no evidence to do so.
There was all kinds of evidence showing that Zimmerman pursued Martin. Would he have done so if he did not have a gun? I'd bet he'd still be sitting in his car.
But looking back on the evidence, if you listen to the 911 tape where Zim is talking to the 911 operator, you can hear coins and keys and "stuff" rapidly jingling in his pockets while he's huffing and puffing. That means the Zim was not only following Martin, he was "running" after him.
I agree with Green_TZM (and I wrote a long comment elsewhere in this site) that despite the fact that the Stand Your Ground law was not what Zimmerman was being tried under (ha, ha), Zimmerman was allowed to stand his ground but Trayvon Martin, who heard someone chasing after him, was not, and made the mistake of punching Zimmerman to stop him.
I can't entirely fault the prosecution because the judge accepted an argument from defense counsel prior to trial, to eliminate a portion of the jury instructions that would have given the jury the ability to find Martin guilty. If anyone wants to find fault with how the prosecution failed, look at the racist judge, sitting in a racist court, in a racist county.
I was hoping Thom would be as "smart" about this issue as Ezra Kline:
Ezra quoting Andrew Cohen
“I think the jury basically got it right,” wrote Ta-Nehisi Coates. They were charged only with interpreting Florida law and the facts at hand. And “by Florida law, in any violent confrontation ending in a disputed act of lethal self-defense, without eye-witnesses, the advantage goes to the living.”
Zimmerman’s trial bore a weight it could never carry. It was supposed to bring clarity and course to the events of that night, 18 months ago, when Zimmerman and Martin met in the dark and then things happened and then Zimmerman shot Martin and Martin died. But we’ll never have real clarity on what happened that night. And there’ll never be real closure, either. The legal system promises justice but demands evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt.” When the truth of events can never be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the legal system can’t deliver on its promise of justice."
All we have is zimmerman's version of what happened before the yelling started and neighbors came outside. How do we know that he did not throw the first punch or that he didn't try to make a "Citizen's arrenst" in keeping with his wannabe cop attitude. How about the fact that he was never properly examined and taken into custody before the sheriff in that county was fired and a new one then ordered him picked up. What about information that might be allowed into the trial that everyone else knew about except the jury when they changed judges like most people change underwear. Judge shopping? Pretty difficult for Trayvon to defend what may have REALLY happened when he lay dead on a slab at the morgue. Zimmerman was known to be a liar - hell, he lied to the the judge and his attorney about having money to pay for his legal defense - both he and his lying wife. Are either one of them being tried for perjury. We would have been. Zimmerman was on a first name basis with cops/dispatchers with his frequest phone calls - always about "blacks" in his neighborhood. Racism is now and has been alive in Sanford which is a hotbed of rioting, etc just waiting to erupt. I am a Florida native and have lived in Sanford - and I have relatives living very close by. It was then and still is teeming with racist attitudes and one day that temperature will boil over and if you think you have problems now, just wait. Too many parts of Florida have police forces who use militaristic force way above what the law calls for when acccosting people - especially the black, latino and poor. Since there are usually not any witnesses, whose opinion do you think the law will believe? We are well on our way to a police state her in Florida and the rich, republicans governmnet is all for it. I am ashamed to tell anyone anymore that I live in Florida and understand fully the jokes that the late night commenians use against Florida. They are well deserved against our system of broken justice and government. Nice to have a convicted criminal who in sitting in the governor's office - one of the largest cases of Medicare fraud ever perpetrated on this state against a state consisting with a large population who are on that very same Medicare. Then the republicans in Washington complain about how Florida takes up so much money. Guess what! It went to a lying, cheating, criminal governor for his fraud and to all of his other cronies who have a strangle hold on my what once was a beautiful state. Disny makes their own rules and the police in that city/county cannot overrule them whether it is an accident on their rides or an auto accident/crime on their property. Try to sue them - it's not going to happen. Trayvon Martin is just one poor young man who has been caught up in the criminal governing of this state - a state who cares not one whit about it's poor, elderly or minorities unless they are or are backed by the rich. My suggestion? If you are poor, disabled, elderly and pooor, black or female and not rich, DO NOT MOVE TO THE STATE OF FLORIDA. They have ruined our schools - rich seniors do not want to have to pay for poor people getting an education. They would rather pay for them to go to and be housed in privatized prision run by their rich corporate friends. No reason to educate - just prosecute and send away. Education money goes elsewhere. Am I bitter? You bet the hell I am. I did not live in this state for many years because I married a man who went into the U. S. Navy for 20 years. We had planned to retire to the area around Sanford until the "mouse house" et al ruined that. Eventually in 1995 we did move back and I really hate what MY state has turned into. If I was not in that poorer, elderly, not so well population I would be moving out of this state NOW!! But, I am trapped and absolutely hate it. Everything here is for the rich, snowbird turned permenant resident northerners who have moved down here and now want it to be "what they lived in/about up north." I only wish the hell they would get discouraged and move the hell back wherever it is that they came from. And, I am not alone in my thinking but since I do no have money and clout my voice is muted by theirs when they refuse to allow we such citizens to speak in city council/county counsel meetings, etc. We have no voice and are just, pardon the language, "shit our of luck."
...??? a jury of all women? just for the record? what were thier ethnicities ages and socioeconomic status? hmmm? did they all happen to be african american? pretty pathetic if you ask me! what a shame makes me even more embarrased to be white and even more reluctant then ever to want to be on a jury!
Normally I don't pay much attention to these trivial court cases. However, a week or so ago I was having my car serviced and found myself stuck in the dealers customer lounge staring at the Zimmerman trial on TV for 2.5 hours. Originally I too thought that this was a case of racial violence. However, after hearing the defendants written and verbal statements, the arresting Officer's interview, and the audio tape evidence I found myself convinced on the drive home that Mr. Zimmerman was not guilty. There simply wasn't enough evidence to judge the case any other way. Mr. Martin was walking leisurely in the rain in a neighborhood that was already hit by violent robbers that matched his description. He was seen looking into windows. He tried to intimidate Zimmerman by walking around his car. He later physically assaulted Zimmerman; saying, "You are going to die tonight." The marks from the injuries were on Zimmerman. The sounds on the tape matched both the written and verbal statements as well as the assault marks. I'm sorry my friends, but unless I missed something, I must say that in this case all the violent protests are spawned by racism themselves and are a display of racial bias fueled by pure ignorance.
There is one thing I blame Mr. Zimmerman for. He had no business carrying a gun and approaching a suspect. You don't need a gun to be part of a neighborhood watch, just a phone. Mr. Zimmerman had no police training and that move should have been left to the police. Once Mr. Zimmerman spotted Martin behaving in a suspicious matter and called 911 he should have staid in his car and waited for the police to arrive at a safe distance. The only reason he didn't is because he had a gun. That gun embolden him to do something that almost cost him his life and certainly cost the life of someone else. Had he waited in his car, Trayvon Martin would probably still be alive and Mr. Zimmerman would have avoided the worst experience in his life. If this case has anything to teach us, its that guns cause more problems than they solve. In my humble opinion this case has nothing to do with civil rights or racism. It is simply a ratings happy media--that loves to sow discord--that is painting this as a dividing story because they know their corporate masters love to divide and conquer. We all need to be smarter than that. Shame on Thom for feeding into this frenzy of hatred!
Apparently a new legal precedent has been established in Florida. Its OK to stalk and kill another person if, in your opinion, his/her color or clothing renders them "suspicious". Although it has never been tested for a defendant of color killing a white person, I suspect this legal precedent only applies when the shooter is white.
What else did you expect from the State that gave you a not guilty Casey Anthony.
Quote klentz:Apparently a new legal precedent has been established in Florida. Its OK to stalk and kill another person if, in your opinion, his/her color or clothing renders them "suspicious".
According to the statement Martin was walking slowly in the rain down a street in a neighborhood where he didn't live and was stopping along the way to look through windows.
Quote klentz:Although it has never been tested for a defendant of color killing a white person, I suspect this legal precedent only applies when the shooter is white.
Then you must be too young to remember the OJ Simpson trial? Good for you!
Trayvon Martin was walking to the home of relatives in a neighborhood that he had every right to be in. Zimmerman was the agressor in the beginning and because the witnesses did not come out to see until someone started yelling, we don't know who began the altercation. Did zimmerman try to pull his crap of making a "citizen's arrest" as a wannabe cop? We'll never now because the only person who could tell us was lying in the morgue on a slab - dead people don't talk. Let that be a lesson to anyone who wants to get away with murder. DOn't leave any witnesses.
There is a greater chance of no conviction if there is only one person left standing;i.e, the person exercising the law
DAnne you are absolutely right on this one. Unfortunately it is the lefty wing crazies that must keep the divide of racism going. Notice the timing of Al "not so Sharpton jumping on this and all the left leaning networks and talk shows editing tapes and tossing out all out lies to try to energize the left wing base and destroy Zimmerman Months before a presidential election. And let's not forget the master manipulator Obama getting in on the act. It is really pathetic that they have no integrity when it comes to grabbing power. No racism involved here, just an unfortunate and tragic sequence of events and bad decisions on both accounts. The jury got all the evidence and made the correct conclusion.
Gator Girl ~ Good point! Well said! I agree! However, like you said without further evidence the only thing we have to go on is Zimmerman's testimony. You can't blame the jury or the system in this case.
The moral to this story is very simple. if u look for trouble u will find it.
The only crime committed here is that the State of Florida gave Jantel a high school diploma.
there was five white and one Hispanic women on the jury. 96% of black voters voted for Obama. I think if it was 6 black jurors Mr Zimmerman would have been in big trouble. Kind of sad that you still have to choose the jury based on race isn't it.
It's the middle of the night, you're seventeen, and a John Wayne Gacy look-alike is stalking you with a gun. I know what I would have done, just like Trayvon I would have stood my ground and fought for my life. Imagine the result had Trayvon been able to twist Zipperman's gun away from himself and then discharged it into his attacker!!!!!! This is a clear case of no less than a boyslaughter/hate crime.
Shame once again on Floriduh. Wasn't the Bush election fraud and an undocumented felon Governor enough for you guys? What the hell?
Kend ~ What are you talking about? You sound more racist than any other comments I've heard so far. So what if the jury had six black jurors? They are still bound by the rules of the court and the evidence presented. Your supposition that there would be any difference in outcome is pure racist conjecture.
Furthermore, what does the percentage of Black votes for President Obama have to do with any of this? You're talking apples, oranges, and nectarines. Please don't comment after hitting the Jack Daniels.
Quote 2950-10K:It's the middle of the night, you're seventeen, and a John Wayne Gacy look-alike is stalking you with a gun. I know what I would have done, just like Trayvon I would have stood my ground and fought for my life.
No, my friend, I disagree! Trayvon didn't know that Zimmerman was armed. He did know that he himself wasn't armed. If I were in the same boat--and I have been--I would have taken advantage of my 17 year old legs and ran as fast as I could to the relative safety of my relatives house. At least that is what I did. As you can see by this post, it worked!
Bottom line, if Trayvon Martin could overpower George Zimmerman--which the physical evidence shows--then he should have easily been able to outrun him.
Without prejudice...Zimmermann got away with murdering a 17 year old boy...Oh and he happened to be black!
It is my opinion that Zimmermann was guilty of overstepping his bounds once he got out of his car and begain a foot pursuit which then led to a fight between Zimmermann and Martin and eventually ended with Martin being shot.
It is not the job of a Neighborhood Watch Volunteer to Pursue, Question, and Apprehend a suspect (which Martin was not). The ONLY action a Neighborhood Watch volunteers is suppose to do is "observe and report"(PERIOD!). Zimmermann started off on the right foot by calling 911 and reporting a "suspicious" person walking in the rain...But, no one was yelling for help, no one was being harmed, Martin wasn't damaging property, etc. He was just walking in the rain eating skittles and drinking tea. At that point Zimmermanns "good deed" (calling 911 and reporting what he saw and his location) was done...The Police had been dispatched and were just a few minutes away. All Zimmermann had to do was keep an eye on what he thought was a suspicious person "From his car" and wait for the fuzz to arrive.
The out come of this case is not based on racism...It is based on smoke and mirrors, Politics, a questionable statute, and a careless justice system.
Once Zimmermann got out of his car he was then out of line and the aggressor...Zimmermann should have been convicted of Manslaughter...And if Martin was alive he should have been charged and convicted of Agrivated Assault. But Martin is dead and I guess that is why Zimmermann walks.
As much of a travesty of justice as I believe the Zimmerman verdict is I feel trying him again amounts to double jeopardy. To paraphrase one caller: it is a shame that Trayvon Martin did not have a conceal carry license and wasn't packing heat. Then again I don't think he was old enough to own a gun or have a carry permit.
Hopefully the next NRA / ALEX legislation push will be to legalize dueling. I'm willing to bet we'd see a lot less frivolous bills proposed if at some point the author was called out to defend his position to the death.
" i'm talking to YOU Zell Miller - your on! Pistols at 20 paces: Veterans Park July 30th 6:45 am, Be there to meet your fate or show the world what a mealy mouth craven coward sociopath you are.
I second what you say DanneMarc.
Than again todays youth are waaaaaay more exposed to graphic violence as a form of interative entertainment...No one runs in those virtual reality kill'em games. And Hollwood ain't making blockbuster movies based on passivism and nonviolence, and schools don't take the lead on critical thinking, they just teach a test; A test that catagorizes a persons abilities.
About a month or so ago you wrote a profound post answering my question regarding What is American Culture? You went on to say we are a culture that has been created by commercialism. So what do you make of a culture whoes ideology is based on "more is better" and "by any means necessary" even by way of violent force and finds ways to justify violence (the ends justify the means) as a part of life in our attempts to secure what is supose to be rightfully all of mankinds?
Quote MMmmNACHOS:So what do you make of a culture whoes ideology is based on "more is better" and "by any means necessary" even by way of violent force and finds ways to justify violence (the ends justify the means) as a part of life in our attempts to secure what is supose to be rightfully all of mankinds?
MMmmNACHOS ~ This is characteristic of a non sustainable system. Certainly, it will meet and satisfy commercial interest; but, sustain a society, no! It is wise that you have pointed this out. It is a much greater problem than the trivial topic discussed. Unfortunately, there is little I can say to advise that is not already available from consulting antiquity. If you look at history the former success of mankind can also be used as the template for the future success of mankind. Simply place priority of our survival above profit. It worked before it can work again.
Of course this doesn't explain the tragedy of the death of Trayvon Martin. Regardless of cultural tendencies both of these individuals are guilty of making gross errors of judgement. There is no innocent and no guilty party here. Both are equally guilty. I refuse to accept the idea that culture is to blame for this incident. Both are to blame. Either one of these two people had equal opportunity to exercise judgement that would have prevented the tragedy. The death of Trayvon was more of an accident than a crime. Trying to make more out of it is a real crime.
If culture had any role to play in this incident it was a minor role indeed. It was lack of common sense that played the decisive role. Of course, racial hatred may have played a large role. Like I said before, hatred of any kind blinds an individual to common sense.
Of course the role culture plays in the ensuing riots is another story. That will have to wait for another night. Time for beddy bye. Good Night All!
I agree DanneMarc that both Zimmermann and Martin are guilty...Zimmermann is guilty of overreaching his bounds and Martin is guilty of standing his. But I find your refusal to accept social responsability as having anything to do with the situation and its fatal results, a bit in denial of the world we live in...A world that has come to be disposable (even of life), diminishing standards and expectations for what is right and just. And we are trying to live faster and faster, as if life is only about doing more, having more, etc. I laugh whenever I hear a person claim that they have a high thresh hold for stress. What!?!? No thank you I do not live for the drama!
Daily we are bombarded with sooooo many things/issues, and the vast majority of it is trivial crap and a huge waste of time, but because we have so much to weed through we often times miss the forest for the "forest" (yes I said that on purpose). Even this blog can more often then not be a big waste of time, in that it brings no actual resolve in a collective peaceful way. It is merely a place for people (some quite intellagent) to stroke their ego's and air their arrogance. A very dear friend of mine said - 20 years ago - "The information age belies itself". He was absolutly correct.
Though I disagree that what happened between Zimmermann and Martin was racially motivated I do agree with statements like; "Had Martin been a celeberty or white this all would have gone down much differently...History does prove this repeatedly, but unfortunatly average Americans are too arrogant and too busy taking on more crap to take time to know history...Our light speed ahead commercial culture doesn't allow for it! That is untill you decide to stop being another brick in the wall and step off the conveyour belt.
I now Zimmermann is guilty, as is Martin...And Zimmermann knows he instigated what happened. And if we were a culture that didn't have an unquenchable thirst for revenge, maybe a man like Zimmermann could have been forthcomming in that he made a mistake without having to worry that he would be hung. Not that he shouldn't be held accountable...In fact a honorable justice system would hold him accountable for his misdeed,.
In otherwords Shit Happens to all of us, and if we could stop and learn from it...Regret is a good thing; It is a sign of sanity by that it teaches you to not repeat your mistakes and change your way of thinking.
[I hope I wasn't being to skattered with making my point.]
nighty night! zzzzzzzz
Sorry if that was taken the wrong way. I was just saying if 96% of black voters voted for Obama I find it hard to believe they where all voting for his policies. So to me they where voting for the color of his skin so isn't that is racist.
For the record I am Canadian, we don't discriminate against color of skin here. Remember this is where the underground railway for the slaves went. We don't say African Canadian, we are all just Canadians.
DanneMarc: Sounds like you're buying into Zimmerman's cover-up story. First of all I suspect Trayvon was smart enough to realize that any predator on a rainy night is most likely armed seeing how it is Florida. Tell me, when did Zimmerman actually produce the gun, do you believe him? Did Zimmerman, as part of the cover-up, injure himself after realizing that had just shot an unarmed kid...."kidslaughter?" It's raining and dark, there is no way the eyewitness could really tell what was going on. They wouldn't even have bothered to look until the screams...how much happened before this?.....We have phone call evidence that clearly finds Zipperman guilty of pursuit and slaughter....... a hatecrime, due to his reference of Trayvon as a small four legged animal that gets into garbage cans...you know what he said.
That is not true. The FBI suspended it's investigation to allow the state to do its thing. That is not the same as saying there is no evidence that Zimmerman did anything based on race. And considering the outcry for the Federal government to pick up its investigation it is likely that there will be evidence found that Zimmerman was motivated by race.
When someone calls 911 over 40 times and only does so when he sees a black man you can be damn sure that person is basing his "suspicions" on race. When you put racist things on your myspace page you can't claim to not be a racist.
You need to stop getting your "information" from Fox. They aren't a news station they're propagandists and liars.
There is no evidence that what Zimmerman said is true. In fact there IS evidence that proves that Zimmerman is a liar. So a liar claims that a 17 year old boy jumped out of bushes that don't exist and started a fight which just happens to end up with the boy dead? No you don't get to repeat Zimmerman's crap as though it were the gospel truth. You don't get to continue to help Zimmerman re-victimize Trayvon Martin by repeating lies told by Zimmerman.
You seem to be rather invested in classifying Trayvon as the stereotypical "thug" to rationalize his death and you're doing it based on lies told by a murderer. You have no actual evidence or facts to back up your assertions. What you're doing is despicable and racist and needs to stop. Now.
Kend you're kinda right...
Most people cast their vote for Obama in '08 because he was black and not Bush...Which McCain was too much a mirror image and his running mate Sara Palin was even more scarry...though I'd f*#k Sara Palin. This past election people merely cast fear votes against Romney...Even though it ment they were electing Obamney...Which is worse since he's a Dem that does not represent the voice of average Americans and instead pandors to Wall St.
The only guilty person in this scenario is Zimmerman. Blaming Trayvon for his own murder is disgusting. Florida has written laws that allows racists to hunt down kill young black men and get away with it by claiming self defense. The jury bought into this lie because they didn't want to see the humanity in Trayvon Martin and because Zimmerman who looked like them (as they couldn't be arsed to find a black person to be on the jury) fed them a story that they chose to believe despite Zimmerman being shown to be a liar.
The only thing Trayvon Martin is guilt of is walking while black. Not only is that not a crime it's not a capital offense.
Only in America is the victim of a crime blamed for his own victimization and the people doing so would think it's acceptable.
I hear ya GATOR GIRL. I too live in Florida, S.W.Fl. to be exact. Where Romney was elected for President! Aside from a few short stints in California, Indiana, and North Dakota, I have lived in Florida 36 out of 41 years. Like you I want out for good but my elderly parents and 90 yr old grandmother - as well as my financial situation - have me here indefinetly. My wife and I very much want to move to Australia, or Sweden. Both places we have family and friends and have had long visits to. Jobs, Healthcare, Education far superiour to that of the U.S. But I digress.
Yes I too have been witness to the social and political corruption here in Fl., a State that once produced billions of dollars annually in agriculture and where people came to thaw out during the harsh winters of the North...But try to buy and opperate large amounts land now for farming or green industries. Unless you are a developer with plans to clear cut and buld another 1k homes, and know the right politicians, you can't afford it. And if you have the money but only plan to use it for agriculture, you will be bombarded with so much red tape it won't be worth it.
And when it comes to equality, you are spot on...The poor and minorities are caste aside. Only the affluant whites have a voice that our elected officials listen to. And when the oppressed speak up they are typecaste in the media as being irrational, hostle, and selfish.
But don't you think that is Anywhere U.C.A. (United Corporations of America)???
You obviously have taken what I said out of context...Typical of the angry mob looking for vengence and not justice.
Treyvon is dead because of two reasons; One Zimmermann over stepped his bounds in order to play cop, and second becasue Treyvon didn't kicked rocks and blaze a trail. Instead he turned and engaged Zimmermann his aggressor.
Sorry if you can't accept that.
Kend ~ FYI John Kerry received 88% of the Black vote in 2004
Al Gore received 90% of the Black vote in 2000.
Remember that Bush destroyed the economy and left the country devistated in 2008. A black man was the only candidate running against Bush's party candidate. If you are trying to insinuate that 6%-8% increase in the black vote was bacause of racism and not because of the disasterous aftermath of the Bush years, and the division in political parties--you might be right. Big deal! I voted for Obama too, so did everyone I know.
Let he who never voted for a white man cast the first stone!
2950-10K ~ Interesting argument; yet, all speculation. A jury is bound by the evidence presented. Although many nefarious scenarios can be woven into this story for lack of evidence they cannot be considered by a jury. I am not trying to defend either Zimmerman or Martin. All I am saying is we have to stick with our criminal justice system and due process in order to maintain the peace. It's not a perfect system; but, it is the best one possible to insure justice for all.
Look at the OJ Simpson trial. Like many people I too thought that he was guilty. Too much circumstantial evidence such as motive and fleeing the scene of the crime. Yet, after hearing the evidence I changed my mind. The verdict there didn't surprise me. Lack of substantial evidence again.
Murder is a serious crime with serious consequences. To convict anyone for that crime you need a preponderance of evidence to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor at the Zimmerman trial failed to do so, plain and simple. These laws aren't on the books to protect guilty people, they are there to protect innocent people. Imagine compounding this tragedy by putting an innocent man behind bars for life, or executing him. Two wrongs don't make a right and if you are going to go that far you have to be certain of guilt.
The court has spoken. It is the highest source of justice in the land. Justice is blind. That is why our symbol of justice is blindfolded and holding a scale. We cannot second guess our criminal justice process no matter how badly it may look to us. Faith in the justice system is paramount in maintaining order in any society. It is our duty to respect that system even if it is wrong. It is far better for everyone, if, in any criminal case with substantial penalties, that the jury errs on the side of innocence then the side of guilt.
As far as race is concerned, it is a factor, but not the problem. Let me explain with an example. A while ago a neighbor of mine was robbed outside her home and had her purse snatched at gunpoint by two young black men. The police took her statement and I remember them giving the description over the radio to dispatch. I cringed. "Two young African American men wearing jeans and black hooded sweatshirts." I cringed because I realized that there are probably at least 30 such individuals walking around this area at any given moment that fit that description.
There is no greater feeling of violation or injustice than for an innocent young man to be accosted by the police and treated like a criminal for no reason. Yet, now, because of the lone actions of a couple of losers, 20-30 innocent young men were going to be accosted and treated like criminals for nothing. A true tragedy. Is this because of white people hating black people? No! That is an oversimplified lie perpetuated by the media. The real problem is the socio-economic system that motivated those two young men to commit a serious crime.
There are many practical and non-violent solutions to this problem. First, attack the educational and economic factors in the society that motivate crime. Such initiatives can take place on the Federal, State, and local level. Secondly, teach our children how to dress and how to respond in an emergency or when confronted by police. Kids are going to be confronted by police at one point or another in their lives no matter what color their skin is. If a young man dresses like a thug, they might find themselves be treated like a thug. If they dress like a student, they might be treated like a student. If they act innocent and cooperate when being confronted by a Policeman they might not get shot for resisting arrest. Of course there are also situations where there is nothing someone can do to protect themselves. In this case, traveling with a friend or two is a good idea. If Trayvon wasn't alone he might still be here.
Not to try to over simplify a very complex problem I only wish to point out that racism--though it does play a role in this problem--is not the cause or the solution of the problem. The hatred fostered by racism blinds us to the true causes of cases of mistaken identity and tends to feed upon itself creating newer and greater problems. The Zimmerman case is a fine example of the net results of such a feedback loop of hatred. In the end racist hatred and violence solves nothing and only ends in tragedy.
The only thing we have to hate is hatred itself.
The Scene of the Crime
I have been distressed by the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial to the point of joining in with this comment:
I have never heard the theory: When George Zimmerman got out of his car, he already had the gun out of the holster or he took it out (when he said he was looking for his phone) when he first confronted Trayvon Martin. It doesn’t seem logical that this man who claimed that he was following who he felt was a criminal or “thug”, would pursue Mr. Martin without his gun being out of its holster and ready to shoot. I believe that he (Zimmerman) didn’t fight back because he didn’t want to drop the gun and he wanted to be ready to shoot it. I was shocked that a prosecution that was focused on winning a case would not even mention this as a theory. It makes perfect sense because Trayvon Martin’s DNA was not on the gun, only Zimmerman’s DNA was on the gun. When Trayvon Martin saw the gun, he fought instead of running because he was afraid of being shot in the back. Remember he didn’t know who this man was and why he was following him. He was screaming for help because he saw the gun and wanted help to stop this stranger from shooting. No one came to his rescue. It was after the shot that people came out of their houses. Zimmerman’s own words to the 911 and non-emergency operator clearly reflect what was in his mind at the time that he began this pursuit and ultimate murder. I have listened to the juror who is now giving interviews and a couple of things struck me as being about their state of mind while deliberating. She stated that they considered the stand your ground law and self defense law while deliberating even though stand your ground was never introduced in the trial. Also she said that the initial pursuit and stalking of an unarmed child was not included in their consideration and they looked at the outcome from the point of when Trayvon hit Zimmerman and started the fight in their opinion. Nothing was fair and impartial about the trial or the jury’s deliberation. I listen very carefully to what is said. Not only the big pieces but the little nuggets that people inadvertently give away in their conversations. Why isn’t anyone else picking up on the obvious. This was, in my opinion, a winnable case for the prosecution.
I most certainly did NOT take what you said out of context. ANY blame on Trayvon for his own murder is malicious and disgusting. All Trayvon did was walk home from the store. Something that everyone has the right to do without being shot down by some asshat who thinks he's a cop. Trayvon wasn't under any obligation to do anything vis a vis Zimmerman and as there's no evidence that Trayvon touched Zimmerman I will NOT be taking the word of a proven liar as to what happened. Nothing Zimmerman says is backed up by evidence and I will NOT talk about Trayvon having attacked anyone when there's no evidence he had done so. To do so is to slander a dead child which as I said before is despicable. Your desire to try to make Trayvon out to be whatever the hell caricature that Zimmerman is trying to make of him says a hell of a lot about YOU. None of it good.
Actually Trayvon was walking slowly in a neighborhood in which he DID belong. He died two doors from his father's home.
I remember the OJ Simpson trial and there sure was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth that the jurors refused to accept evidence and testimony from a cop who was a known racist and blood evidence that was hinky. But then OJ Simpson had money and celebrity on his side so his ability to get off was higher.
The man in Long Island who had a boy on his doorstep trying to beat the crap out of his son with his friends didn't get off as easy as Zimmerman when he shot the boy who tried to attack him so let's not pretend that the injustices in the criminal justice system lands equally on both sides. They do not.
I should point out that the concept of Trayvon Martin not "belonging" to the neighborhood and thus was open to whatever harassment Zimmerman thought to subject him to is offensive. It doesn't matter if Trayvon did or did not live in the neighborhood he had every right to walk in any neighborhood he was in and the idea that because someone didn't know him personally meant he was assumed to be up to no good is in and of itself a racsit notion.
Quote speaknow613:I believe that he (Zimmerman) didn’t fight back because he didn’t want to drop the gun and he wanted to be ready to shoot it. I was shocked that a prosecution that was focused on winning a case would not even mention this as a theory. It makes perfect sense because Trayvon Martin’s DNA was not on the gun, only Zimmerman’s DNA was on the gun. When Trayvon Martin saw the gun, he fought instead of running because he was afraid of being shot in the back.
My friend, the prosecution didn't mention this theory because it doesn't make any sense. Trayvon didn't have a gun. If Zimmerman had his gun out, and Trayvon saw it, his three options in the order of rationality and logic would be to surrender and put his hands up, run like hell and hope Zimmerman can't shoot, or attack Zimmerman trying to take the gun away. To attack a man pointing a gun at you without even trying to grab the gun has a name, it's called suicide.
The only reasonable explanation for Trayvon attacking Zimmermans head instead of the gun hand is that Trayvon didn't know the man had a gun and just wanted to attack him. A very bad choice even if he had very good reason. This tragedy was the result of mutual bad choices fueled by mutual racial tensions. I don't believe for a second that there was anything sinister or premeditated on the part of either of these individuals. They were both behaving equally irrational. They are both victims of their own worst fears and expectations.
One of the earlier posters said it best:
Quote ArizonaMike:The moral to this story is very simple. if u look for trouble u will find it.
Well said ArizonaMike! Well said!
Quote Raineyb:Trayvon wasn't under any obligation to do anything vis a vis Zimmerman and as there's no evidence that Trayvon touched Zimmerman I will NOT be taking the word of a proven liar as to what happened. Nothing Zimmerman says is backed up by evidence and I will NOT talk about Trayvon having attacked anyone when there's no evidence he had done so.
Raineyb ~ I can't speak for MMmmNACHOS but in my opinion you are way out of line. There is plenty of evidence that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman. There is physical evidence, an audio tape of the beating, sworn testimony from witnesses, family members, and experts. You call Zimmerman a proven liar yet experts who interviewed him, cross examined him, studied his written and verbal statements could find no discrepancies that would cast doubt on anything he said happened. They found no evidence that this man lied in anyway; yet somehow you know more than experts, witnesses, family members, and the evidence that was submitted. You also know exactly what Trayvon was doing and how he acted. Don't tell my you actually knew Trayvon? If you did that would change everything. But you didn't did you? Yet you seem to know more about what happened than anyone in the jury does. You know that withholding evidence is a felony. If you really know something and failed to provide it to the prosecution you could go to jail. If you don't have anything substantial that can change the verdict than you my friend are just blowing air around. If you are not Nostradamus, than you are a proven liar yourself. Please, if you can't back up your statements don't make them. At this point emotional theories and hateful speculation are meaningless. Blind revenge and empty accusations are not going to bring Trayvon back. However, rational thinking and analysis of what really went wrong here may prevent it from happening again.
It is far better to think without speaking than to speak without thinking!
Yeah that's it, lets allow some bullshit sensasionalized story pit people against one another. Lets get irrate and start slurring insults back and forth because someone doesn't agree with mass opinion, which in no way that jury of women represented. Maybe someone will get shot! Or a bomb will go off at some event with masses of people!!
To bad other more socially imporatnt issues don't get the masses riled up out and protesting against government corruption, i.e. Dismantleing the first and fourth ammendment, Spying on Americans, Drone Strikes, low unliveable wages, bank bailouts, Wall St. Fraud, etc.! Well at least D.O.M.A. was over turned!!!
Your absolutley right...Martin in NO WAY had a role in this incident. To bad you were not on the jury...Then maybe justice would be served! And the world would be just peachy! :) Hurray!!!
Quote MMmmNACHOS:To bad other more socially imporatnt issues don't get the masses riled up out and protesting against government corruption, i.e. Dismantleing the first and fourth ammendment, Spying on Americans, Drone Strikes, low unliveable wages, bank bailouts, Wall St. Fraud, etc.! Well at least D.O.M.A. was over turned!!!
MMmmNACHOS ~ You took the words right out of my mouth! Hopefully today's topic will be about something more pressing than a stupid fight over nothing. Talk about sensationalizing the trivial. See ya on the flip side buddy.
RAINYB...About 10 years ago I was living on the south end of San Pedro California, a lower to middle income blue collar community made up of Mexicans, Koreans, Slavics, and Whites. When I first arrived my friend cautioned me regarding "wondering" the neighborhood without someone local. I heeded his warning, but there were a few occassions where I had to go somewhere and no one was around to go with me. Now I am a man of large stature, I've been told I sometimes am intimmadating, but in an unframmilar surroundings where people don't recognize me and I don't "fit in" I do not rely on such nonsense, instead I walk with a purpose and not mull around aimlessly. One afternoon 3 mexican teens started following me and begain slurring insults, which I noticed started to draw negative attention...I could have easily whipped their asses, but I didn't know them, nor was I aclimated with others in the area...So instead I high tailed it and went back home. At first two of the three continued to follow me but as soon as I turned the corner they stopped "stalking me".
Now I understand not every situation is the same...But one thing that I did not do was try to fuel the fire. And I am happy to say that after a few months I was able to roam around quite freely.
Point being we are all responsable for our own well being...If Trayvon felt threatened to the point of confronting his aggressor instead of fleeing...It is what it is!!! Now Rainman don't blow a circuit I am not saying that Trayvon pulled the trigger but he certainly didn't help his situation, against some "creepy-ass-cracker" and for that I am sorry.
Travon Martin was a 17 year old kid. We were all 17 once, we made it...he didn't. 17 year olds are big, they can be mistaken for men. They act like children acting like what they think men act like. They talk and act bigger than their age.
George Zimmerman is a man. A Wife, a house, and a gun.
The only who can speak to what actually happened has the most to lose so his testimony should be considered self serving. With that in mind we still have George's phone calls to the police that night. Travon's girlfriends memory of the last phone call he made. The calls of the neighbors concerned about the person screaming. The police report and the video of George as he entered the police station. And...a dead 17 year old.
Working backwards, at the station George walked without help into the station from the car, separating from the officers at one point. You can see his face and head. Even if cleaned, no bandages. No gloves on the officers in this 'post AIDS world'. rubber gloves or even leather are pretty standard nowadays when dealing with an injured person. And George was in plain clothes. Nothing to indicate authority.
The phone calls, they are evidence of a person screaming for help in the background until they are stopped suddenly by the gunshot. When you are fighting as aggressor or victim your muscles land lungs are working together. You can grunt but not scream, and it was a steady scream only broken for the breath needed for the next scream, which is what you hear. Not a scream of someone fighting or getting punched or beating your head into the ground. When children ride over bumpy roads they sing a steady tone so they can hear every bump as it disrupts that tone. Listen to that scream again. A man with a gun is strangely brave, willing to walk into danger because they are the danger.
Travon was found face down by police. If this fight took place and Travon was on top of George when he was shot there should be blood on George's clothes from Travons wound. Can't see any in the video. After being shot Travon is about 120 pounds of dead weight Collapsing on George which George must shove off. Not being much bigger he could have pushed him off but then Travon would have been found on his back.
Travons phone call to his girlfriend was one of comfort. I see many people grab their phone after stepping off a train or bus. Eager to connect with a voice to make that walk not seem so lonely. Your comfort is reflected in your language, we all speak differently amoung friends. Calling the stranger a derogatory name seems common, George was also condescending in his description of Travon to police.
In George's call he spoke about a 'they', plural. He didn't see just one person. He saw a problem that he percieves with this 'they', represented that day by Travon Martin. Ignoring a directive to not go after this person he followed and ultimately shot that person. Dead.
We tend to hear what we want to hear and see what pleases. Recognize that the only one who can't lie can't speak for himself either.
Oh my god, a black man is shot down in America with no justice forthcoming. Shocking, simply shocking. Yes! Right here in River City USA. Get out the Seventy-six Trombones. And we can have a big parade.
As one that passes for white ,because after all there are very damn few in this country are as white as they think they are, I for one knew from the beginning how this was going to play out. I've seen it happen seemingly a thousand times through out my life. Black man dies, no one comes to account for the terrible deed. And it happens every single day, heck probably every single hour of every single day in America. Even when the foul deed is captured on video the black man pays in the worst way. People jump on the band wagon and join the parade.........for about two blocks, then the ice cream palor comes into view. Yeah, who needs to be in the hot sweaty street grousing about something that after all doesn't anything to do with you personally? And yeah, you're not a bigot or a racist, didn't you prove that by joining the parade?
I like many had hoped for some accounting in this case, but it was a hope against all available past evidence. I knew from the beginning how this would turn out.
And I can see how the next act will play out as well.
I hope I'm wrong.
Southern Rape Complex
In 1941 in a book titled “The Mind of the South” J.W. Cash defined the “southern rape complex”. He identified the obsession of the white Southerners with black-on-white rape. Not only did such an act “defile” the “sacredness” of a white southern woman, it was also seen as the penultimate act of rebellion on the part of black men. It was so strong in the South that the rape of a white woman by a black man in Forsythe County, Georgia in 1912 resulted in all blacks being driven from the County.
SO I question the “fairness” of a southern all-woman jury sitting in judgment of a white man who murdered a black man. Was there some subconscious prejudice at work here that would preclude George Zimmerman from being treated fairly?
I think a great place for Thom to submit an article about racism would be to Playboy Magazine. Now that I am old, I do read the articles and letters to the editor. At least 80% of the readers of that magazine must be libertarians (for some obvious reasons). An article (maybe just a transcript) of Thom's rant on Libertarinism being the velvet glove on the iron fist of racism would be so appropriate. I think the editors of Playboy would love it.