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Author Topic: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.  (Read 12153 times)

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Offline DeMalachine

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2012, 06:46:12 PM »
Seems a clue as regards Zimmerman's attitudes towards race has been unearthed:
Trayvon Martin 911 Call - Did George Zimmerman Say 'F*ng Coons'?

Offline Sabre

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2012, 07:00:47 PM »
That is where I would demand a voice analysis be done.
I believe they had Martin's father listen to it, and claim they have eyewitnesses to corroborate.

Yeah, I'm sure I'd be yelling for help if I had a gun and someone was threatening me with a bag of Skittles and a can of drink. :-/

Fists are a common go-to weapon in assault and in self-defense.  It should be no laughing matter just as guns are not trivialized.


Let's be clear here. The focus of the media, and of this thread, has not been Zimmerman's guilt or innocence, but official indifference to the killing of a 17 year-old black kid, without any apparent objective justification. They authorities were also indifferent to repeated inquiries made by the family when the Trayvon went missing, failing for days to notify them of his killing.

Zimmerman's supposed guilt or innocence is the very reason there is outrage concerning the police and prosecution.  It is especially prevalent in the viral videos and blog chatter in the first few days of the national outrage - that the police were wrong not to arrest Zimmerman.  By Stand Your Ground laws, they claimed to not have had sufficient cause to charge him.

Without that supposition of guilt, one that was everywhere in the early days of the outcry and the reason it became so, the officials in charge of the investigation would not be facing accusations of 'official indifference.'

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2012, 07:07:38 PM »
The vibe I get from the reports on Zimmerman, what with him ring a gun and repeated incidents in the past, that he is a self important twerp on a power trip that finally went one step too far. I hondstly don't see how a boy trying to get away from an older ARMED man is a good shoot.

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2012, 08:31:03 PM »
I don't trivialize the use of fists in an assault, but you're talking the difference between a melee weapon - one that is only effective at the distance of an arm's length or closer - and a ranged weapon.  As the saying goes, you don't bring a knife (or a fist) to a gun fight.

Also, Zimmerman had to reasonably fear death or great bodily harm in order for this to be self-defense.  He got out of his truck and pursued the 'suspicious individual'.  That's not the sort of thing that typically indicates fear of death or great bodily harm. 

Offline Sabre

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2012, 08:51:44 PM »
The difference is meaningless in determining the threat the other weapon poses.  Especially if the more deadly weapon was not fired until said gun fight was already a fist fight.

Quote
Also, Zimmerman had to reasonably fear death or great bodily harm in order for this to be self-defense.  He got out of his truck and pursued the 'suspicious individual'.  That's not the sort of thing that typically indicates fear of death or great bodily harm. 

The beating he sustained and the injuries received according to the paramedics is enough for self-defense fearing harm or death.  Getting out of his truck and approaching Martin was not illegal, nor does it invalidate any claim to self-defense.

Offline vtboyTopic starter

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2012, 05:48:56 AM »

Zimmerman's supposed guilt or innocence is the very reason there is outrage concerning the police and prosecution.  It is especially prevalent in the viral videos and blog chatter in the first few days of the national outrage - that the police were wrong not to arrest Zimmerman.  By Stand Your Ground laws, they claimed to not have had sufficient cause to charge him.

Without that supposition of guilt, one that was everywhere in the early days of the outcry and the reason it became so, the officials in charge of the investigation would not be facing accusations of 'official indifference.'

Sabre, with all respect, I think you are missing the point.

The accusations of official indifference, at least those from more responsible commentators, are not based on conclusions about Zimmerman's legal guilt for the killing he admitted having committed. Indeed, much of the criticism in the media has been over Florida's "stand your ground" law which extends the justification defense to murder and manslaughter to those who kill despite the availability of less drastic alternatives. Such commentary necessarily recognizes that Zimmerman might well be found not guilty. The widespread reproach drawn by the police does not spring from Zimmerman absence from death row. Rather, censure has been leveled at them because their conclusion that they lacked probable cause to arrest Zimmerman -- a standard well below that required for conviction -- was so faulty as to call into very serious question whether it was the product of indifference or even out and out bias.

The undisputed facts known at the time of the incident, as I understand them, were these: (1) Martin was dead from a gunshot wound; (2) Zimmerman admitted shooting martin; (3) Zimmerman, a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain, stalked Martin before the shooting; (4) Zimmerman was instructed by the 911 dispatcher to stop following Martin; (5) Zimmerman was armed (perhaps in violation of Neighborhood Watch rules), and Martin was not; (6) Martin attempted to avoid Zimmerman, and perhaps even ran, from him; and (7) the only evidence Zimmerman acted in self defense was his own self-serving account.

Under these circumstances, the failure of the police to find they had sufficient cause to take Zimmerman into custody and hold him for arraignment on homicide charges can only shock the conscience.

Moreover, the quantum of evidence in favor of probable cause has only grown since the incident, as Martin's girlfriend has since reported to the police that, in a cell phone conversation immediately before the shooting, Martin told her he was being followed, and that she heard part of the ensuing encounter. Though the girlfriend's credibility may be open to question, that is an issue to be decided by a jury, not by the police. There is also now an electronically improved copy of the recording of Zimmerman's 911 call, from which it appears he may have uttered the words, "fucking coon." Though admission of the recording into evidence at trial would require an audibility hearing and, if the recording were admitted, Zimmerman's speech might still be subject to differing interpretations, these again are not matters for final police determination. Even assuming for argument's sake the initial decision not to arrest might somehow have been justified, the accretion of evidence since the killing has rendered adherence to that decision completely indefensible.       

The media have not called for Zimmerman's lynching, only for the police to do their job and turn Zimmerman over to the courts. That the police have not done so provides at least probable cause to believe they are either indifferent to the deaths of hoodied, black, male teenagers or willing to accord special treatment to private posses. Neither alternative is appealing.   
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 07:31:00 AM by vtboy »

Offline vtboyTopic starter

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2012, 07:18:16 AM »
My point is that Geraldo suggested that it is 'reasonable' to make a threat-response just because a non-Caucasian is wearing a hoodie, not whether one threat-response is better than another.

I understood your point, Oniya. However, I don't think that Geraldo was entirely wrong in suggesting that the way we decorate ourselves sends messages and that, under certain circumstances, it is not entirely inappropriate to heed them. And, yes, that it is also not entirely irrational, in certain places at certain times, for skin color, gender and ethnicity to enter into the threat calculus. I understand that donning gangsta attire is most often only a fashion statement. Nevetheless, a hoodie communicates something quite different from the message that would be conveyed by a Brooks Brothers suit on the same kid. Similarly, I get a bit more queasy in bars when two or three unkempt white guys, having just dismounted chopped Harleys, enter in coal-scuttle helmets and iron crosses, than I would if they arrived by automobile and wore khakis and boat shoes.

My point was that, regrettable as it may be for color and ethnicity to figure into threat perception, it is always bad policy for government to enact laws which permit people, outside of their homes, to respond to those perceptions with deadly force in any but the unavoidable last resort.   
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 07:33:22 AM by vtboy »

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2012, 07:35:26 AM »
Alright. My issues with this case.

If you feel threatened by someone walking down the sidewalk with a hoodie on, do you stalk them and confront them or do you get the hell away from them? Me? I sure as hell would NOT be stalking someone I felt threatened by, gun or no gun. My ass would be getting somewhere safe.

Zimmerman claims that he was assaulted by Trayvon. Has anyone stopped to consider this poor kid KNEW he was being stalked, he tried to get away from Zimmerman and the man STILL came after him and confronted him? We tell our children to scream and fight when strangers approach them. We tell our children to protect themselves. Is this reason for Zimmerman to pull a gun and shoot the kid? Hell no.

At the very least this was a ‘perfect storm’. Idiot Zimmerman deciding he was the ‘law’ in the neighborhood out with a loaded gun feeling ‘threatened’ by a hooded black male walking home in the rain and ignoring direct orders from a police dispatcher to stalk the male he considered a suspect. Trayvon, knowing he is being followed and not knowing why feels threatened, tries to get away and can’t, sets about to try and defend himself as we tell all children to do. End result - Trayvon is dead, the cops do NOT do their job and Zimmerman walks with his gun privileges and the family of Trayvon is not told for three days what has happened.

Right there, there is no mention of whether Zimmerman had racial motives. It is a very simple layout of the situation and does take into account that Trayvon may have ‘assaulted’ Zimmerman. I can tell you this… if I was walking home at night and being followed, could not get away from the one stalking me and was hostilely confronted, my ass would sure as hell fight with whatever I have on me or can get my hands on. So would my children.

The police, for whatever reason, did not do their job. As a matter of fact, they made this situation all the worse. Doing a drug test on Trayvon and not Zimmerman, not alerting Trayvon’s family of his death, not arresting Zimmerman for murder and not investigating this case fully. Refusing to look at the evidence piling up until the FBI and Justice Department stepped in and took over. The police chief needs to be removed permanently, the cops working the case need punished in some manner and Zimmerman needs to be arrested and tried.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2012, 10:54:42 AM »
 Those are very good points, Iniquitous Opheliac. The police department of the city, Sanford(?), screwed up big time in this by not following procedure.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2012, 11:24:37 AM »
I think we're very near a tipping point here where the next time something like this happens--possibly this time--the black community is just going to rise up and sort things themselves.

Is it an optimal solution?  No.  But I think we're rather close to that Rubicon being crossed.

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2012, 11:40:37 AM »
My point was that, regrettable as it may be for color and ethnicity to figure into threat perception, it is always bad policy for government to enact laws which permit people, outside of their homes, to respond to those perceptions with deadly force in any but the unavoidable last resort.   

Here, we are in full agreement, as well as with the currently known facts in the case.  Last night, I was watching the coverage on HLN (mostly Vinnie and Dr. Drew) and they played the neighbor's 911 call where we can hear the person screaming for help.  If that's an adult male, so am I. 

Offline Braioch

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2012, 11:43:35 AM »
Now hold on, you guys are completely jumping the gun and expecting that this is in fact racially motivated. Even if someone has shown racist tendencies or comments does not mean that the next chance they get they're going to go out and shoot a person of a different race.

Personally this sounds like a man who was waiting for an excuse to play the 'hero' and he went too far too fast. Seen some kid in a hoodie 'stalking' about and decided to be the big man and get his claim to fame. Obviously this was a kid who didn't have much on him other than some skittles and a can of iced tea. Opheliac said it best, I myself too would have tried to get away from someone whom I thought was trying to follow me and if they persisted and I didn't have the option of getting somewhere safer fast enough, I'd confront that individual as well.

As for it being that Trayvon is black?

Maybe, I think perhaps it was closer to a chance of profiling, profiling a young individual wearing a hoodie. That honestly could have happened to any poor kid, one with a visible tattoo and a couple piercings and funky mohawk peeking out of his hoodie, (that'd be me, someone thought I was causing trouble and tried to boot me out forcibly from their little neighborhood that I was visiting a friend at) some hispanic or white guy in a hoodie. Anyone can be seen as 'suspicious' in the right light.

Offline Sabre

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2012, 11:46:38 AM »
The undisputed facts known at the time of the incident, as I understand them, were these: (1) Martin was dead from a gunshot wound; (2) Zimmerman admitted shooting martin; (3) Zimmerman, a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain, stalked Martin before the shooting; (4) Zimmerman was instructed by the 911 dispatcher to stop following Martin; (5) Zimmerman was armed (perhaps in violation of Neighborhood Watch rules), and Martin was not; (6) Martin attempted to avoid Zimmerman, and perhaps even ran, from him; and (7) the only evidence Zimmerman acted in self defense was his own self-serving account.
 

1, 2, and 3 are true.  4 is not, as he was neither instructed nor would the dispatcher have any legal authority to issue such a command to someone in the state of Florida.  5 puts Zimmerman at risk of being discharged from his duties in the Neighborhood Watch (if he was ever a member and not just self-appointed).  6 is only true at the moment of the phone call until it ends.  From that moment until the arrival of the police, everything not corroborated by official testimony and evidence is filling in the blanks ourselves.  7 is untrue, as Zimmerman had obvious wounds sustained from a beating and testimony from eyewitnesses (and the recorded fight) puts Zimmerman on his back with Martin over him beating him.  Had there been sufficient evidence that did not corroborate Zimmerman's self-defense claim, he would not have been let go without an arrest made.  Under these circumstances, by Florida law, the police did not have sufficient cause to take Zimmerman into custody.  Nor would there be a point - did they have a case for murder under Florida law?  Is Zimmerman a flight risk?  They can't just hold the man indefinitely while they build a case.

Quote
Under these circumstances, the failure of the police to find they had sufficient cause to take Zimmerman into custody and hold him for arraignment on homicide charges can only shock the conscience.

The law is there to prevent mob rule.  For the past few weeks everyone and their friends has been deemed fit by media outlets to play police commissioner and jury - how dare they not arrest him, it's indefensible, it shocks the conscience.  That's fine, I understand.  When media wants to elicit your self-identification, it's always about things you hate - police, Southerners, 'white' Hispanics, gun owners, racist bigots.  It's a hard thing then to remain where we all should be in these matters until the trial verdict is announced.  The police screwed up and did not follow procedure.  How did we know that?  Because we're all Florida policemen and lawyers here.

Quote
Rather, censure has been leveled at them because their conclusion that they lacked probable cause to arrest Zimmerman -- a standard well below that required for conviction -- was so faulty as to call into very serious question whether it was the product of indifference or even out and out bias.

A mass conclusion only reached because of our opinions of Zimmerman, his supposed guilt, based on second and third hand unofficial accounts.  How do you know it was faulty, and how do you know it was below this 'standard required for conviction'?

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2012, 12:06:19 PM »
From Zimmerman's 911 call:

Z: Shit, he's running.
D: He's running?  Which way is he running?
Z: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
D: Which entrance is that that he's heading towards?
Z: The back entrance. [possible swearing]
D: Are you following him?
Z: Yes.
D: OK, we don't need you to do that.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html

Offline Sabre

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2012, 12:10:36 PM »
Which is not an order, nor anything binding on Zimmerman in states like Florida.

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2012, 12:16:29 PM »
In the bit you quoted, vtboy said 'instructed', not 'ordered'.  If I call 911 because my roommate has collapsed, and the 911 operator tells me how to do CPR, it is likewise instruction.  I am not legally bound to follow it, but it goes to state of mind if I choose not to, especially if death results.

Offline Sabre

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2012, 12:26:58 PM »
A fine distinction, but still irrelevant to why Zimmerman should be arrested.  He's a paranoid racist with self-absorbed fantasies about citizen responsibilities and justice, but one that should still be afforded the benefit of doubt until proven - by investigation by the proper authorities like the local police and FBI - to have committed assault and murder instead of manslaughter in self-defense.  Same for the authorities until gross negligence can be shown in the FBI investigation.

Offline vtboyTopic starter

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2012, 12:53:27 PM »
Which is not an order, nor anything binding on Zimmerman in states like Florida.

The word I used was "instructed", not ordered. Substitute "advised" if you are semantically troubled by my initial choice.

How do I know probable cause is a lower standard than that required for conviction (i.e., proof beyond reasonable doubt)? Law school plus over 20 years of legal practice which, in addition to criminal defense, has included false arrest and federal civil rights litigation in which questions surrounding probable cause have been front and center. I am conversant in both standards of proof. And what is the source of your legal erudition?

The carrying of a gun in violation of Neighborhood Watch has evidentiary significance because, coupled with other evidence, it could permit a jury to infer Zimmerman was there, not as a watchman, but as a hunter. The implications for a finding as to the mental state with which he acted are obvious.

As to Zimmerman's injuries, they are equivocal evidence on Zimmerman's self-defense defense as they may have resulted from Martin's attempts to defend an attack by Zimmerman. If anything, this would appear to be the most likely inference, as there can be little doubt as to who was the pursuer and who the pursued.

Perhaps this discussion would advance further if you refrained from implying that those on the other side of the question some sort of mob stirred to mindless lawlessness by a rapacious and irresponsible press. My point throughout has been this is a case for the courts.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 12:58:54 PM by vtboy »

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2012, 01:12:57 PM »
"Dateline Sunday" is going to be devoted to this story and is supposed to have new information that hasn't been heart.  Trayvon's father is going to be one of the interviewees.

Also, Zimmerman has been expelled from Seminole State College because of the potential disruption his attendance will cause the school and students.  He's been a part-time student for several years.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2012, 01:21:51 PM »
Zimmerman has also been asked to move from the gated community as well.

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2012, 01:37:50 PM »
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who will watch the watchers?

Offline Sabre

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2012, 01:59:26 PM »
I am conversant in both standards of proof. And what is the source of your legal erudition?

That we are both equally distant in authority and all objective information.  Your casework has not been as distantly observed I should hope.  Zimmerman's case is of course a matter for the courts.  But so is the Sanford Police Department's conduct and procedure a case for investigators.  But this:
Quote
Horrific enough in their own right, the lynchings which were trademarks of the Jim Crow south were made all the more appalling by the complicity, active or tacit, of state and local police, prosecutors, and courts. I fail to see how the response of both police and prosecutor to Trayvon Martin's likely lynching may be viewed as different in kind or wickedness. 

The discussion progresses further if we instead are agreed this is a matter of a 'quaint Southern tradition'?  Would that I have implied you were mindless as much as you insinuate, but I am no fan of hypocrisy.  You and I both are a part of the mob now. 

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2012, 02:09:40 PM »
Let's look at it like this.

Trayvon Martin: He was unarmed.
-Even in Zimmerman's phonecall he was running away. Trying to AVOID Zimmerman
-No past history of trouble, though it might not have been highlighted.

George Zimmerman: He was armed.
-Had repeated calls to the 9/11 operators and police over previous encounters with 'trespassers'.
-Carried a side arm despite it being against neighborhood watch rules.
-Was told to disengage by the 9/11 operators.. didn't

Things that I want to hear about but have: How close were the fatal wounds. Did Trayvon have any fight wounds? Were they defensive? Who was doing the yelling? (I have listened to the phone recording..to me that isn't George Zimmerman).

Look at the intent of the two people. We got Martin, who was clearly trying to get away from Zimmerman. Zimmerman was intent on running down the 'perp', carried a gun and apparently done this sort of behavior in the past if his past calls to the authorities are any indication.

To me, it's relatively clear that Zimmerman was looking for an excuse. Having been in that sort of situation myself when my folks moved to the new estate they and my older brother live in now, I was out jogging and got stopped by the locals. I was jogging in my hoodie and sweats (it was foggy, early, and I was trying to do 8 miles a day to counter the holiday diet I had) and I was on the end of my brother's street. Till I mentioned my brother, I was looking at two rentacops hassling me. (their response was 'oh you're B.G.'s brother? Sorry..) It wasn't much of a hassle, I was an older (38) man than poor Trayvon and knew how to handle encounters and it was in daylight.

There are a lot of intangibles that we aren't seeing in the news that could spin things but looking at what we know of the character of the people involved.. I'd say that there was enough to merit closer scrutiny by the cops. A lot.

Offline Sabre

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2012, 02:24:48 PM »
I've been in that same situation myself, even with my hood down since it was a warmer day.

Quote
I'd say that there was enough to merit closer scrutiny by the cops. A lot.

Closer scrutiny like what?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2012, 02:46:48 PM »
I've been in that same situation myself, even with my hood down since it was a warmer day.

Closer scrutiny like what?

Like the man brought a gun when he knew it wasn't part of the regulations. The pattern of confrontation has been established quite easily by the media, I'd say the cops would have easier time finding the same information. I have to wonder if there was a 'perfunctory' measure of the investigation the local cops did was .. brief and looks like it was done among friends. A lot of that atmosphere would have defused with a press conference or two by the cops or a longer investigation and taking Zimmerman into custody initially.

Defusing the APPEARANCE of favoritism and looking more closely into the incident would have done a lot to keeping the incident out of the national eye. The resignation of the local head of the Sanford police said something to that effect.

Even one of the authors of the 'Stand your ground' law, Durell Peaden, said that Zimmerman should be prosecuted under the law under his understanding of how the incident went.