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Author Topic: The Case of Trayvon Martin  (Read 3345 times)

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Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2013, 12:13:26 PM »
No, he wasn't. He was actually explicitly instructed by law enforcement not to do it (the Sanford PD already knew him as something of a nut). Neighbourhood watches function in collaboration with law enforcement; random "volunteer" vigilantes are not in fact entitled to just walk randomly up to people, whether they're from the neighbourhood or not, and demand their papers.

And it does matter that Martin was black, quite obviously it matters, as that is the reason he was targeted as being supposedly foreign to the neighbourhood. Again: imagine a case where a black self-appointed vigilante had stalked, confronted and murdered Zimmerman for being in the wrong neighbourhood. Would you be defending them as "fulfilling their function as guards"?

He was instructed by the dispatch(Who are not police officers) to not go talk to the guy. He went and talked to him anyway.

Talking to someone is not against the law.

If a black guy(I don't understand why race matters here, but whatever) in my neighborhood who was the watch captain(Doing his job), found some asian kid who was where he wasn't supposed to be(Or thought he was where he wasn't supposed to be) and asked him to leave, and the asian kid attacked him?

Damn right I'd be defending his right to do whatever he has to in order to defend himself. That's what the law is about. If you're attacked you can do what is necessary to survive.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2013, 12:17:42 PM »
All I know is that if someone was legitimately attacking me, and I fight back, and god-forbid the guy somehow dies in the altercation, I want a law that protects me. 

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2013, 12:20:34 PM »
All I know is that if someone was legitimately attacking me, and I fight back, and god-forbid the guy somehow dies in the altercation, I want a law that protects me.

Otherwise

"You murdered him!"

"He was trying to stab me!"

"But he died!"

"I would have died if I hadn't defended myself!"

"But he died!"

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2013, 12:24:24 PM »
Talking to someone is not against the law.

Following someone in the dark and attempting to intimidate them most certainly constitutes provocation in most jurisdictions. Once you've provoked violence, claiming "self-defense" gets more complicated and lethally shooting is still murder... except where certain classes of the populace can resort to absurd contrivances like the "Stand Your Ground" law.

Quote
I don't understand why race matters here

Uh, no. Don't go telling me you don't understand why race matters. Trayvon was a black guy in a majority white neighbourhood and was targeted by Zimmerman for this reason. It's tiresome to watch people pretend to not see very, very obvious racial dynamics in interactions like this, and I do not believe this kind of faux-naif pretense. I don't believe that you believe it.

Quote
Damn right I'd be defending his right to do whatever he has to in order to defend himself.

You're defending his right to dispense arbitrary intimidation, harassment and then murder when the first two don't work out. That is what you are defending. Don't be under any illusions about that.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 12:25:30 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2013, 12:28:30 PM »
All I know is that if someone was legitimately attacking me, and I fight back, and god-forbid the guy somehow dies in the altercation, I want a law that protects me.

And I'd want a law that doesn't entitle a guy to shoot me with impunity any time he picks a fistfight with me and then loses. That's insanity.

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2013, 12:29:43 PM »
That is his job, he is a guard.

Guards follow people around in the dark all the time. It is not that strange of an occurrence. If he just walked up to him to ask what he's doing, that's not intimidation. At no point did anyone suggest he walked up to Martin, gun waving, going "omg kid get out of my neighborhood I'm gonna shoot your face". That would be intimidation. Going up to someone and going "hey, what are you doing here" is not that.

I don't understand why race matters. I said it. I don't. It doesn't matter to me, it doesn't matter to my family. It seems like a petty, kind of shallow way to try to divide people. I'm friends with people of every race, even *gasp*, white and black people. It's not that big of a deal to me, I was not raised to make it a big deal, so no, I do not understand.

I am defending his right to use force against force if someone attacks him(which is what we can prove happened), because we all know damn well that "No stop it" does nothing to stop the guy bashing your head into a curb.

And I'd want a law that doesn't entitle a guy to shoot me with impunity any time he picks a fistfight with me and then loses. That's insanity.

Let's take this to an extreme for a moment.

Guy walks up to you. Guy starts insulting you and your significant other. You punch the guy. Guess what? You were still wrong. You threw the first punch. You are wrong.

That is what happened. Zimmerman walked up. He talked to Martin. Martin attacked. This is the most credible example of the chain of events that we have. Martin was in the wrong. That's not a hard concept to grasp. Even if someone 'picks a fight', if you throw the first punch you are wrong. The end.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 12:31:47 PM by Slywyn »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2013, 12:31:56 PM »
If a black guy(I don't understand why race matters here, but whatever) in my neighborhood who was the watch captain(Doing his job), found some asian kid who was where he wasn't supposed to be(Or thought he was where he wasn't supposed to be) and asked him to leave, and the asian kid attacked him?
Key point: Approaching suspects? Not neighbourhood watch's job. Carrying weapons? Not neighbourhood watch's job. In fact, it's specifically advised against by every law-enforcement agency that trains neighbourhood watch volunteers. He can't use that title as a shield when (even assuming his story is 100% pure truth) he was trying to do the job of a police officer.
That is his job, he is a guard.
You seem to be confusing neighbourhood watch (civilian observers) with security guards. He very explicitly is not a guard in any capacity.

Valthazar, since you're arguing strictly from the law... what about 776.041(2)? It seems pretty clear to me that Zimmmerman was provoking Martin, and - in following and confronting him - obviously did not exhaust every reasonable means of escape or make a good-faith effort to stand down.

For the record, I think that the stand your ground law is waaaaay overly broad, as it explicitly condones massive escalation of force on flimsy justification. Particularly shitty and incredibly liable to lead to bad outcomes: Remember all the outrage about how the police briefly questioned Zimmerman and then turned him loose? Yeah, that's baked in.

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2013, 12:33:32 PM »
Well where I'm from neighborhood watch is basically security for the neighborhood. If I remember correctly they're even paid.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2013, 12:37:00 PM »
That is his job, he is a guard.

No. Being a guard, paid or not (and again, Zimmerman was a self-appointed "volunteer"), does not make it okay for you to start fights. That is not the function of a guard. You don't know the function of a guard if that's what you think it is

Quote
It seems like a petty, kind of shallow way to try to divide people

I really find objectionable the kind of fake color-blindness that only seems to come up as a way to try to shut people up when they point out that racism is happening. "Race shouldn't matter" is a worthy thing to say; it is a petty way to try to divide people. But when someone only mentions this by way of trying to pretend that whoever points out that racism does exist or is happening is "the real racist" or some version of that sentiment, that is a lie. Were I running a board I would make this kind of perverse rhetorical trickery a bannable offense, I'm not kidding, because I find it very hard to believe that this is an honest error.

But hey, play it any way you need to. This being E, I will simply say that's enough of this thread for me. I said what I needed to say.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 12:38:27 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2013, 12:42:24 PM »
I'm not trying to 'play' anything. It really does not matter to me, and I don't understand the kind of mindset that makes it matter.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2013, 12:42:33 PM »
I also don't understand why race matters here, because the case has nothing to do with race.  This could be two white guys, two black guys, or two asian guys, and the Zimmerman's defense wouldn't have changed.  The media is the one injecting racial politics into this by using age 12-year old pictures of Trayvon where he looks very clean-cut.

This type of situation could have happened to any of us.  I am sure everyone has gotten into a fight at least once - some drunk idiot at a bar, or a bully at school.  These laws are intended to protect victims so they won't go to jail for defending themselves.

Valthazar, since you're arguing strictly from the law... what about 776.041(2)? It seems pretty clear to me that Zimmmerman was provoking Martin, and - in following and confronting him - obviously did not exhaust every reasonable means of escape or make a good-faith effort to stand down.

I read that clause here:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.041.html

So merely going up to Martin and talking due to suspicion, as his defense claims, is not in violation of the law.  How was Zimmerman to know that Martin posed a threat when he was initially going up to him?  He only knew that Martin was a threat after he started physically assaulting him.  Zimmerman may have been suspicious of Martin, but that doesn't mean he felt he was a threat.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2013, 12:48:47 PM »
Quote from: Slywyn
I don't understand the kind of mindset that makes it matter.

There's a difference between not understanding the kind of mindset that could be racist, and trying to deny the existence of racism and that large numbers of people function according to such a mindset. The kind of dishonesty I'm talking about is slipping from the former into the latter. You can tell me race wouldn't have mattered to you in this context; I'm not in a position to agree or disagree with that, not knowing you. But you cannot tell me that you don't know that race matters to anyone or affects anyone. That I do not believe.

I also don't understand why race matters here, because the case has nothing to do with race.

The case would likely not have happened without race. If they had been two white guys, the likelihood of Zimmerman stopping Martin -- much less feeling he could shoot him with impunity -- would have been far lower. This is a racial reality that black people in America live with every day. Blaming "the media" for injecting racial politics into it is a total disconnect from reality.

Offline Rogue

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2013, 12:52:55 PM »
I'm going to say it, while race might not matter to you, your family, your friends, anyone you know, and more importantly the law... There are still quite a few people who are extremely racist and will judge a person as a threat due to their race. An unknown black guy in a predominantly white neighborhood can still be seen as a threat by some people. This is not just based on this case.

You're talking to the girl who's father nearly got arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and kidnapping until he flashed his military ID. Because he is hispanic. And the girl who's father got followed around in almost every store they went to, but as soon as her mother walked up, everything was suddenly hunky dory and he wasn't a threat. Also, to the girl whose family very nearly had to carry around proof they were a US citizen in Arizona even though they were second/third generation Americans.

You say race doesn't matter. And I say you're right. Race doesn't matter. However, some people are still ignorant and blind and this case is further proof of that.

What wrong isn't that he was given a legal trial and found not guilty. I'm okay with that. Not because it's okay, but because there was a chance for him to be found guilty and there wasn't enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman is Guilty. That happens. It happens all the time. What was wrong was that it was nearly shoved under a rug when something was obviously done wrong and it took a very public out cry to get a trial at all.

People keep throwing around, what if this was the opposite case? What if this was Zimmerman being approached by a black kid? No, that's wrong.

What if this was a man. An older man with a history of violence. What if this was a kid with no record out to get a snack? What if this man came out and approached a kid and provoked him? Spooked him or harassed him, since (as far as I understand there wasn't much witness testimony) we're going on the word of the shooter. Yes, the kid shouldn't have reacted. Yeah that's right. But the man. The man shouldn't have shot him. It should never have come to that. And when it did, would they have shrugged it under the rug. A man shooting a kid? I'd hope they wouldn't. But they did. And that's what's so very wrong with this case.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2013, 12:54:06 PM »
The case would likely not have happened without race. If they had been two white guys, the likelihood of Zimmerman stopping Martin -- much less feeling he could shoot him with impunity -- would have been far lower. This is a racial reality that black people in America live with every day. Blaming "the media" for injecting racial politics into it is a total disconnect from reality.

Let us assume a situation where race was not a factor:  Zimmerman would have been suspicious, and walked over to the suspicious looking person.  Regardless of his race, if the suspicious looking person was a "good" person, he would have simply explained himself, and been on his way.  If the suspicious looking person was a "not-so-good" person, as the court-case has ruled, he would attack Zimmerman - which is what happened. 

This is why I'm struggling to understand why race was a factor.  If you are suggesting that Zimmerman racially profiled Martin which caused him to be suspicious, that is reasonable.  But that alone would not have yielded his death.

Also, the fact that Zimmerman turned himself in says a lot.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 01:00:35 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2013, 12:55:32 PM »
Good post by Rogue. That last paragraph does bring out an important perspective.

I really do have to go now.

(Cross-posted with Valthazar... ugh. I'll get back later if I can.)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 12:56:49 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2013, 12:56:52 PM »
Quote
What if this was a man. An older man with a history of violence. What if this was a kid with no record out to get a snack? What if this man came out and approached a kid and provoked him? Spooked him or harassed him, since (as far as I understand there wasn't much witness testimony) we're going on the word of the shooter. Yes, the kid shouldn't have reacted. Yeah that's right. But the man. The man shouldn't have shot him. It should never have come to that. And when it did, would they have shrugged it under the rug. A man shooting a kid? I'd hope they wouldn't. But they did. And that's what's so very wrong with this case.

The older man acted in self defense and shot the kid after he attacked him. The police officer who responded to the scene(Who was fired, by the way), made the same conclusion. The trial then upheld that. I don't think anyone tried to sweep it under a rug. The police officer who responded saw what happened and made the same conclusion that the jury did

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2013, 01:01:39 PM »
Actually, I can do this briefly:

Let us assume a situation where race was not a factor:  Zimmerman would have been suspicious

Let us not. That's not what happened. If you read the transcript of Zimmerman's 911 call, the racial anxiety is dripping from it, particularly as Zimmerman essentially talks himself up during the call. It is not at all clear and should not be assumed that anything would have transpired if race had not been a factor. So you should not be "struggling to understand why race was a factor."

(And incidentally, the "goodness" or "not-goodness" of Martin is beside the point. Although I find the wingnut campaign to demonize a kid who had a 3.7 GPA and multiple hundreds of volunteer hours under his belt quite stomach-turning and repellent, the truth is that even had he been "not good," you don't get to shoot people for being "not good." Not even if they take a swipe at you after you've provoked a fight with them. If you shot everyone in America who somewhere at some time could be deemed "not good" by somebody else, everybody would be dead. [The Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard would be depopulated at a minimum.])
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 01:15:23 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2013, 01:03:51 PM »
I don't think anyone tried to sweep it under a rug.

Sanford PD most certainly did. That's why a public outcry was necessary to get a trial. That an all-white jury confirmed Sanford PD's initial assessment actually does not make it written in stone that either of those judgments is correct.

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2013, 01:06:22 PM »
Sanford PD most certainly did. That's why a public outcry was necessary to get a trial. That an all-white jury confirmed Sanford PD's initial assessment actually does not make it written in stone that either of those judgments is correct.

I didn't think the jury was white.

If I recall at least one wasn't. I thought there were more.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2013, 01:06:59 PM »
Actually, I can do this briefly:

Let us not. That's not what happened. If you read the transcript of Zimmerman's 911 call, the racial anxiety is dripping from it, particularly as Zimmerman essentially talks himself up during the call. It is not at all clear and should not be assumed that anything would have transpired if race had not been a factor. So you should not be "struggling to understand why race was a factor."

It's the dispatcher who first asks what his race is.  You are trying to read into the transcript to find racial motivations.  What if Zimmerman was simply referring to those "darn drug-addict dead-beat assholes who do nothin' but cause trouble" (regardless of black or white).  A terrible, morally-wrong thing to think or say, in my opinion, but not racially-motivated.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2013, 01:13:17 PM »
What if Zimmerman was simply referring to those "darn drug-addict dead-beat assholes who do nothin' but cause trouble" (regardless of black or white).

Since that stereotype really does not come detached from "black or white" (or more specifically, from "black") for nearly two-thirds of the American populace, I find this highly unlikely and I think it's you who are twisting yourself into pretzels to avoid seeing the obvious. (Supposing Zimmerman had shot a white kid, however, his defense probably would have been the same... and I think he'd be in jail right now.) [EDIT: Again, though, unlikely. Zimmerman made a habit of going door to door in his community and warning people to be on the lookout for young, black males who were outsiders. Again, really very little doubt that his targeting of Martin was racially motivated.]
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 01:48:24 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Rogue

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2013, 01:16:05 PM »
The older man acted in self defense and shot the kid after he attacked him. The police officer who responded to the scene(Who was fired, by the way), made the same conclusion. The trial then upheld that. I don't think anyone tried to sweep it under a rug. The police officer who responded saw what happened and made the same conclusion that the jury did

Personally, I don't think it should have been up to the police officer to make that call. A kid ended up dead. And the police officer, as far as I'm concerned, just believed the man's story. It's good the police officer was fired (and thank you for bringing that to light for me). But this should have immediately been made a case for a jury and the evidence to decide. Just by doing that little bit, evidence gets lost. The man who was responsible has time to solidify his story and make sure no mistakes occur. Emotionally distraught witnesses (I believe someone mentioned his girlfriend) lose details of what happened. Whether or not it was intentional, there was nearly not a case and that's not okay in my books.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2013, 01:19:26 PM »
(The Stand Your Ground law, incidentally, does not protect all defendants equally in practice. Guess what's the determining factor for the disparity? Three guesses, first two don't count.)

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2013, 01:32:23 PM »
I personally disagree that race was the determining factor, but I realize there are multiple perspectives, and we can discuss this forever if we wanted. 

At the same time, I also do realize that there are still unfortunately prevailing stereotypes.  My only point is that such sensationalist media depictions and articles do nothing but continue dividing people by race, while achieving very little in mutual acceptance.  We are all pretty intelligent people here on E, so I know we can accept people based on the content of their character, but for the average uneducated person (regardless of race), this is a cornerstone for even more prejudice unfortunately.  Zimmerman is sure to receive death-threats very soon, and many of them will be racially-motivated.  Although we like to believe that attempting to bring light to potential racial issues would increase acceptance, they tend to cause racial rifts among uneducated people.

Offline Rogue

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2013, 01:41:08 PM »
I agree. Personally find that Zimmerman wouldn't be a character I'd enjoy, racism or no, but alas.

The issue will be people pointing the blame the wrong way because the police have already corrected themselves, and I find them to be the true blame behind this travesty. Other people will look for stricter gun laws, which I for once agree with, though not to the same extent as others and that's a whole other thread.

*nods to Selwyn, Valthazar, and Cryano* A pleasure discussing with you all, but I believe I am done with this topic for now.