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Moral and Legal Culpability are not the Same (A Trip Back to the Beginning)

Zimmerman Not Guilty

Yes, this is old ground, but based on ongoing commentary here, there, and everywhere on the Zimmerman case, it seems worthwhile to revisit the transcript of the Zimmerman call to 911 (here is the key portion):

Zimmerman

Somethings wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out, he’s got something in his hands, I don’t know what his deal is.

Dispatcher

Just let me know if he does anything, ok?

Zimmerman

(unclear) See if you can get an officer over here.

Dispatcher

Yeah we’ve got someone on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else.

Zimmerman

Okay. These (expletive) they always get away. Yep. When you come to the clubhouse you come straight in and make a left. Actually you would go past the clubhouse.

Dispatcher

So it’s on the lefthand side from the clubhouse?

Zimmerman

No you go in straight through the entrance and then you make a left, uh, you go straight in, don’t turn, and make a left. (expletive) he’s running.

Dispatcher

He’s running? Which way is he running?

Zimmerman

Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.

Dispatcher

Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?

Zimmerman

The back entrance…(expletive)(unclear)

Dispatcher

Are you following him?

Zimmerman

Yeah.

Dispatcher

Ok, we don’t need you to do that.

If Zimmerman had simply complied with that last quoted statement, none of this would have happened.  This is a rather important fact to remember.

Actions have consequences.  And some actions have more consequences than others.

We really do not know exactly what happened between Martin and Zimmerman between the time Zimmerman left to pursue Martin and the time Martin was shot save that a fight took place.  Maybe Zimmerman was properly engaged in self-defense at the end of the confrontation, maybe he wasn’t.  But I am amazed that so many continue to ignore (or, at least, severely discount) the fact there would have been no confrontation had Zimmerman not created it.

I can understand if one thinks that the jury reached the right legal conclusion (I must confess, second degree murder seemed a legal bridge too far to me).  However, I cannot understand making Zimmerman into some sort of victim or a prime example of proper self-defense.  The self-defense position in particular strikes me as problematic if anything because it is reasonable to think that Martin likely thought he was acting in self-defense as well.  When assessing moral culpability we have to keep in mind the following:  Martin was walking home from a trip to a convenience story, seemingly minding his own business.  Zimmerman was armed and looking to stop “(expletive) [that] always get away.”

Zimmerman created the situation and Martin is dead.  Kibitzing about how the fight between the two went down does not change this basic set of facts.

Ultimately, I can understand why many think that Zimmerman should not be held legally culpable for the outcome of those events, but what I cannot understand is any suggestion that he does not have moral culpability for what happened.  This was not a sporting contest in which one side won and another lost.  If George Zimmerman had simply let the police do their job, Trayvon Martin would still be alive today.  This should be the ultimate take away from this story, regardless of one’s views on the rest on the outcome.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. The undisputed record at trial was that Zimmerman was already walking back to his car at the point the dispatcher made that last statement, presumably to wait for the officer that was “on his way.” It was at some point after the end of that call that the confrontation between him and Martin began.

    I suppose hindsight is 20/20, but I don’t really agree with the idea that getting out of his car was, by itself, a morally culpable act. It was certainly a fixed point in time that may have set in motion the rest of the events of 2/26/2012 but we’ll never know the answer to the question “what if GZ had simply waited outside his car for the officer to arrive?”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 23

  2. C. Clavin says:

    “…But I am amazed that so many continue to ignore (or, at least, severely discount) the fact there would have been no confrontation had Zimmerman not created it…”

    If Stand Your Ground is good…Advance Your Ground is better, no?

    “…Ok, we don’t need you to do that…”

    No we don’t…but a weakling emboldened by 9mm muscle? That’s another story.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 8

  3. @Doug Mataconis: We have been having this argument from the beginning, I think. However, I can’t get around the fact that Zimmerman created the situation. He was looking for trouble and he created it. How this does not lead to moral culpability is beyond me.

    I don’t think it takes a whole lot of timey-wimey counterfactuals to figure out what would have happened if GZ had minded his own business that night.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 6

  4. @Steven L. Taylor:

    In a world where the government asks people “if you see something, say something” saying that someone engaged in Neighborhood Watch should mind their own business seems counter-intuitive.

    I’m not saying Zimmerman is blameless, but then I think the facts show that Martin likely wasn’t either. Both these men blundered their way into a confrontation that didn’t need to happen.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 35

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Martin was doing nothing wrong. Then Zimmerman became involved. No matter how you look at this Zimmerman and his gun are the two factors that changed the status quo from benign to fatal. No Zimmerman, no gun…no dead kid. Really hard to avoid the culpability there without some serious gymnastics..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 11

  6. teo says:

    I agree with the Prof here. I’ll admit I’m not a gun guy. But they’re legal to carry in Florida. And I could understand Zimmerman’s position if he hadn’t harrassed or followed Martin. I understand that people carry for true protection (i.e. you’re walking to your car and someone jumps you and you’re scared and the pistol may come in handy). But it seems to me that this was not a case of self defense. It was a case of a bad offense (the football term “offense”) leading to a need to protect himself.

    It’s like one guy attacked the other guy; the other guy responded by defending himself; the attacker then shot him. That isn’t self defense.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  7. C. Clavin says:

    If Zimmerman has simply seen something and said something…then there still wouldn’t be a dead kid.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  8. Rob in CT says:

    It’s not that he should mind his own business, per se. It’s that he had done enough, and didn’t need to follow Martin around. Especially at the “oh shit, he’s running” point.

    I’m not holding Martin blameless. The point is that The Fist of Goodness also bears some responsibility. It appears we generally agree on that, and it’s just a question of hair-splitting over how much to apportion to each. My response to that is I don’t know, because I do not and cannot ever know exactly how the fight started.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  9. @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m not saying Zimmerman is blameless,

    No, but you are you are cutting him more slack than he deserves.

    but then I think the facts show that Martin likely wasn’t either

    Ultimately, this may be the case. But again: if he is left to walk home with his snack, none of this would have happened. This is rather significant in the overall weighing of blame.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 5

  10. al-Ameda says:

    I agree that the legal outcome was probably correct.

    I also believe that Zimmerman profiled Martin based on race and set in motion the events that resulted in the homicide. Zimmerman is fortunate that there were no reliable eyewitnesses. Martin was foolish to confront a man with a gun, however Martin was 17 and we expect unwise impetuous behavior, Zimmerman was 29, we expect marginally but not much more.

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  11. @Doug Mataconis:

    The undisputed record at trial was that Zimmerman was already walking back to his car at the point the dispatcher made that last statement, presumably to wait for the officer that was “on his way.”

    I will dispute this. There is really no evidence of this other than Zimmerman’s own word. In the absence of other evidence, reasonable doubt entitles Zimmerman to the assumption it’s true for purposes of trial. Outside the courtroom he’s owed no such entitlement.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  12. @Doug Mataconis:

    In a world where the government asks people “if you see something, say something” saying that someone engaged in Neighborhood Watch should mind their own business seems counter-intuitive.

    He could have called from his truck and stayed there. He could have let the police do their job and ergo, no dead teen.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 2

  13. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Both these men blundered their way into a confrontation that didn’t need to happen.

    I can’t even…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2

  14. Mike says:

    First conclusion is that Z. followed M. after being told he did not have to do that.

    Second conclusion is that there would have been no confrontation had Z. not created it.

    Great conclusions. M. would not have had to slug Z. and knock him to the ground, if Z. had not been there. M. would not have had to get on top of Z. and pound him and shove his head into the sidewalk, if Z. had not been there.

    M. would not have had to confront Z., but could have walked the 50 yards to the house instead, if Z. had not been there.

    Everything M. did Z. made him do it.

    Boy I love this kind of reasoning.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 29

  15. @Steven L. Taylor:

    As I said, mistakes were made. Martin also could have refrained from punching Zimmerman in the face, though.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 33

  16. C. Clavin says:

    A lot of people get punched in the face every day…without the punchee shooting the puncher. Zimmerman had a gun. If you have a gun…you are far more likely to use a gun.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 6

  17. I suppose the only other comment I have on this is that everyone has already made up their mind about the case. No amount of argument is going to change that, which is why I see so many people unwilling to accept the jury’s verdict, or ascribing racial motives to Zimmerman when there is absolutely no evidence of the same.

    The jury has spoken, and that’s all that I need to know. I was fully prepared to accept a conviction if one had been handed down (although the evidence at trial would have made a conviction on 2nd degree murder quite odd indeed IMO) but things went the other way. There may be broader issues that this case raises, but as far as the specific facts of this case are concerned, it really seems like case closed to me.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 16

  18. @C. Clavin:

    Which reveals that for you, and many others, this isn’t about the facts of this case. It’s about your hatred for guns and the people who own them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 23

  19. @Mike:

    Everything M. did Z. made him do it.

    This is not the argument at all.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  20. Mikey says:

    Will Saletan has an insightful piece over at Slate. It’s worth a read.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  21. Matt Bernius says:

    @Mike:

    M. would not have had to get on top of Z. and pound him and shove his head into the sidewalk, if Z. had not been there.

    The fact that you and other continue to write this demonstrates that you are fundamentally not interested in having an adult discussion on this topic. Or even considering the *possibility* that your tight little narrative about the night might not be true.

    Sigh. I’ve argued this point too many times to engage in it again. All I can say is I agree with what Dr Taylor wrote — though I would expand upon it to say that Martin also bears some moral responsibility for what happened as well.

    However, given that Mr Zimmerman was (a) the full adult in this situation, and (b) armed (an most likely only engaged in following on foot thanks to gun muscles), I tend to feel that he deserves to be held to a higher moral (if not legal) bar.

    The only other thing I want to +1 this thread for is @Steven L. Taylor’s Dr Who reference.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  22. @Doug Mataconis:

    mistakes were made

    Some mistakes were more significant than others. And Zimmerman holds, in my opinion, the most culpability. And Martin received the direst of consequences of those mistakes.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

  23. Rob in CT says:

    Looking again at the full transcript, here’s what I see:

    1. Zimmerman sees suspicious kid (Zim’s word for him), calls cops.
    2. Zimmerman follows suspicious kid.
    3. Kid turns around and “checks him out.”
    4. Kid then runs away. Zimmerman doesn’t like this (as he’s convinced that “these a*holes always get away”)
    5. Zimmerman starts to follow.
    6. Dispatcher tells him, in a vague way, that that’s not necessary.
    7. Zimmerman says ok. It’s not clear from the transcript whether he immediately stops, but it’s clear that shortly thereafter he’s working on meeting up with the cop who is on the way.
    8. Around this time, Zimmerman is reluctant to give his address to the dispatcher because he’s “not sure where this kid is.” Clearly, he lost Martin. Also, too: he’s frightened.

    Then the call ends. After that, just before the police do show up, there is a fight (the beginning of which was not witnessed by anyone but Martin & Zimmerman).

    I don’t think this reflects well on Zimmerman The Fist of Goodness. However, it doesn’t really reflect well on Martin either. He should have gone back to the house (and, if he felt threatened, he could have called the police), instead of going back to confront Zimmerman.

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  24. @Doug Mataconis:

    The jury has spoken, and that’s all that I need to know

    And yet, the story is more complicated than that.

    I am not saying I don’t accept the verdict. Indeed, I am pretty sure I said in the post that second degree murder was the wrong charge. I could even see how he could have been acquitted of manslaughter. There is a reason I entitled the post the way I did.

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  25. @Doug Mataconis:

    The jury has spoken, and that’s all that I need to know.

    You seem to have missed the entire point of the piece. It’s possible to think the jury reached the correct verdict with regards to the legal issues while still thinking Zimmerman is a horrible human being.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0

  26. Rob in CT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Or, hell, even that he’s a not a horrible human being. He could be a fundamentally decent person who is also rather pathetic and who made some mistakes that helped result in an unnecessary death.

    Morality: complicated.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  27. Tyrell says:

    Riots in Oakland and LA. US flag burned. Restaurant worker injured trying to protect the property.
    Fires set, cars vandalized.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 21

  28. @Rob in CT:

    However, it doesn’t really reflect well on Martin either. He should have gone back to the house (and, if he felt threatened, he could have called the police), instead of going back to confront Zimmerman.

    This is a fair point. Martin should have tried to get away from Zimmerman and/or he should have called the police on his cell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  29. merl says:

    @Doug Mataconis: He wasn’t a Member of Neighbor Watch. He was acting on his own living out a Walter Mitty fantasy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  30. Ben says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The undisputed record at trial was that Zimmerman was already walking back to his car at the point the dispatcher made that last statement, presumably to wait for the officer that was “on his way.” It was at some point after the end of that call that the confrontation between him and Martin began.

    Wait a second, is there any evidence for that account of events other than Zimmerman’s word? I know that you’re saying that it was undisputed, but that’s because there were no eyewitnesses to the events leading up to the struggle other than Zimmerman who are still alive. Just because the prosecution didn’t dispute it (because they had no evidence to dispute it with) doesn’t mean that it’s true. When the only living eyewitness is the man on trial, pardon me if I don’t take his word for it.

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  31. C. Clavin says:

    “…It’s about your hatred for guns and the people who own them…”

    I hate neither guns nor gun owners. In fact I have owned guns myself, although I do not now.
    I do despise cowards that need guns, or other prosthetics, to assuage their insecurities and or inabilities. Zimmerman confronted this kid. The kid stood up for himself. Zimmerman shot him. Again…no Zimmerman, no gun…no dead kid.
    I’ll take the sameillogical leap…It appears to me you hate colored kids that have the unmitigated nerve to stand up for themselves.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 8

  32. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Rob in CT: Yeah, calling the police always works out well for young black men.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

  33. Rob in CT says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Instead, he called his gf. Ideally, he retreats to the house, and nobody gets hurt.

    They both screwed up, IMO. Like you, I have a slightly higher bar for Zimmerman, the adult acting as an authority. We also don’t know exactly how the fight started, unless we uncritically accept Zimmerman’s story, and I do not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Sigh. I’ve argued this point too many times to engage in it again. All I can say is I agree with what Dr Taylor wrote — though I would expand upon it to say that Martin also bears some moral responsibility for what happened as well.

    I do not see how Martin was morally responsible at all.

    Did Martin show poor judgment by going after Zimmerman (armed with a gun)? Yes. But where did Martin evidence moral failure?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

  35. Rob in CT says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    A fair point. Even so, Martin taking his chances with the cops > Martin getting into a fight with the guy who has been following him, no?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  36. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Martin should have tried to get away from Zimmerman and/or he should have called the police on his cell.

    Correct. And this is the ultimate tragedy of the night.

    The issue is that this has long since stopped being about what happened that night. It’s become another proxy battle in a number of long running culture wars. And sadly most of the people interested in fighting these battles are only concerned about two things: winning and making sure they’re on the “heroic” side.

    And to manage the latter, they need to make sure that the subject of their scorn (either Zimmerman or Martin) is always seen as the enemy. Like most people, they’re deeply afraid of the implications of moral ambiguity, and they are willing to sacrifice empathy and the truth in order to keep their hands clean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  37. Rob in CT says:

    @al-Ameda:

    If he did in fact start the fight, that’s a pretty clear failure. I get being worried about the dude following you at night. That doesn’t justify starting a fight. IF that’s what happened (and we only have Zim’s word on that).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  38. @Rob in CT:

    Like you, I have a slightly higher bar for Zimmerman

    Just for the sake of clarity, I would say my bar is more than slightly higher for Zimmerman for at least four reasons:

    1. Teenager v. adult (and as the father of a 16.5 year-old and will close family friends who have a 17 year-old, they tend to be far closer to children than adults at that age, despite the fact that 18 is legal adulthood).

    2. Zimmerman was armed with a gun, and it seems reasonable to assume that that emboldened him

    3. Martin was initially minding his own business, Zimmerman was not.

    4. Even if Zimmerman thought there was reasonable suspicion, he could have stayed in his vehicle.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

  39. @Matt Bernius:

    The issue is that this has long since stopped being about what happened that night. It’s become another proxy battle in a number of long running culture wars. And sadly most of the people interested in fighting these battles are only concerned about two things: winning and making sure they’re on the “heroic” side.

    Indeed.

    Well said.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  40. steve says:

    In an area that had some crime issues, including a home invasion, Martin was being followed at night. No one follows people for a good reason. Martin had every reason to believe that Zimmerman was following him with bad intent. Zimmerman was not wearing anything to indicate that he was doing Town Watch work. (When I did Town Watch we had to wear easily identifiable shirts or jackets.) It is unfortunate that Martin decided to act like a 17 y/o male and try to handle this himself. We will never know who started the fight when they faced each other*. We do know that if Zimmerman had not decided to follow someone, if he had just reported Martin like he had done with other suspicious people, that if he had not gotten out of the car, no one gets killed.

    Both had a history of violent behavior and contact with the police.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  41. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    My father had a theory that he shared with me when he was teaching me to drive an automobile.
    He would intone, along with “Keep your eyes on the road and your hands up on the wheel.” that “Accidents happen when two clowns show up at the same place at the same time.” which is probably a stronger assessment than you’re able to swallow what with your ongoing beatification process of the much loved and now honored Saint Trayvon of Sanford.

    And while your apportioning “moral” culpability, wherefore art the parents of our young icon. Had they no warning of their young trainwreck’s ongoing behavior of, while certainly a saintly demeanor just a taddest of tad on the thuggish side? What was their “moral” responsibility to he who is and was so loved? Perhaps they had received your advice from the cosmos and decided to not look into things too deeply or too long or too well lest they upset their young charges “moral” universe.

    Oh, and if you have a minute or two to separate yourself from your bathos, maybe you should take a look at the US Department of Justice’s murder statistics and see how many more white people are murdered by black people as opposed to how many black people are murdered by white people. Or would that type of information be immoral too?

    Keep grasping, somewhere there’s a straw that will work.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 38

  42. Matt Bernius says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I do not see how Martin was morally responsible at all.

    Did Martin show poor judgment by going after Zimmerman (armed with a gun)? Yes. But where did Martin evidence moral failure?

    As I keep writing, the question of Martin’s moral responsibility (and to some degree Zimmerman’s) rests on a moment that we can never know – what happened in the moments after Martin caught up with Zimmerman and he (most likely) threw the first punch.

    I can easily generate scenario after scenario, each one shifting the blame from one man to the other. But, in the absence of *fact* we must assume that both men have some moral responsibility for what happened. And if Martin did throw the first punch, then he signed on the dotted line for some level of moral responsibility.

    I’m not suggesting that it’s equivalent (see @this comment).

    I have a great deal of empathy for Martin (and believe it or not for Zimmerman). Ironically, part of that empathy also leads me to the belief that Martin helped escalate the situation in ways that cause him to bear some of the moral load for what eventually occured.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  43. al-Ameda says:

    @Rob in CT:

    If he did in fact start the fight, that’s a pretty clear failure. I get being worried about the dude following you at night. That doesn’t justify starting a fight. IF that’s what happened (and we only have Zim’s word on that).

    I understand your point.

    However I would say that Martin’s action was a failure in judgment, not in morals. And I say that because I believe that Zimmerman “started” the fight by creating the conditions whereby Martin was angry enough to go after the guy who was following him (for no reason whatsoever). Again Martin was 17, and he exercised bad judgment, while Zimmerman was 29 and he, hypotheically, knew better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  44. beth says:

    @Rob in CT: I’ve got a 17 year old who has, since elementary school, sat through many “stranger danger” talks. They’re always told to fight with every ounce of strength they have, including kicking, punching, biting, even gouging out eyeballs because once a stalker gets you in a car, you’re pretty much dead. This is what’s drilled into kids these days for years and years. I can’t fault Martin for taking action if he was scared of Zimmerman, an ADULT who couldn’t be bothered telling the KID that he was with the neighborhood watch.

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  45. Rob in CT says:

    Indeed, one of the mistakes I think Zimmerman clearly made was failing to say something like “Neighborhood Watch” to identify himself. To Martin, he’s just a weird dude following him. Based on the transcript, it seems to me that Zimmerman was totally convinced Martin was up to no good and, therefore, it probably didn’t even occur to him to consider what an innocent person might think.

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  46. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Rob in CT: Are you familiar with “The Talk’?

    I would argue that for most young black men, taking your chances against a stranger you feel is threatening you is, in general, less risky than interacting with the police. Even if you think you’re the one being threatened, the odds that the police will see it the same way are less than 50/50.

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  47. Matt Bernius says:

    @al-Ameda:
    BTW, I appreciate your point. We simply disagree and I don’t think either of us is likely to shift each others reasoned positions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. @Matt Bernius: As if to illustrate you point, we have 11B40.

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  49. Caj says:

    George Zimmerman initiated the whole affair! That is being totally ignored! That alone makes me furious with all the George was defending himself crew! If he hadn’t been following Trayvon this would never have happened. So this murdering cretin George Zimmerman which is exactly what he is, sure as hell should be held accountable!! He got way with murder literally. As far as justice being served that was crap! There was NO justice for Trayvon or his family. All the pity parties out there for Zimmerman make me sick! Florida is a stupid state with stupid laws that look out for the gun lovers mostly of whom are white who now have a license to kill thanks to the ridiculous stand your ground law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

  50. stonetools says:

    The self-defense position in particular strikes me as problematic if anything because it is reasonable to think that Martin likely thought he was acting in self-defense as well.

    The difference here is that you assume that Martin has a right to self defense. Zimmerman supporters can explain this to you.

    “Martin is BLACK”.

    Clear now?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  51. @Rob in CT:

    Based on the transcript, it seems to me that Zimmerman was totally convinced Martin was up to no good and, therefore, it probably didn’t even occur to him to consider what an innocent person might think.

    Indeed. I think this was a fundamental part of the problem: an armed fellow who thought he was engaged in a high calling.

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  52. Eric Florack says:

    One cannot discuss morality in this context while ignoring Martins morality or lack of it.To that end, from the WaTi yesterday….

    WASHINGTON, July 15, 2013 ― On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, saw Trayvon Martin. Minutes later Martin was dead and Zimmerman would see his life transformed by opportunistic politicians and the racial grievance industry, both of which found him to be an irresistible target.

    Every story needs a villain and a saint.

    The left is spinning this as a narrative of American racism. Vital to that narrative is the image of Martin as an innocent boy, almost a child. The media did its part by never showing photos of the 6’2”, 17-year old with gold capped teeth that he was when he died, but only as a slim, 12-year old.

    The real Trayvon Martin is lost in the hagiography. He was no longer an innocent child. He chose his path, and had that fatal encounter not taken place, it was leading him into the criminal justice system.

    Martin should have been arrested twice. If he had been, it might have changed his path. He was suspended twice from Miami Dade schools because he had burglary tools and possession of a dozen pieces of women’s jewelry.

    Text messages recovered from Martin’s phone show photos of guns and Martin using drugs. More disturbing are Martin’s text messages where he describes himself as a “gangsta,” talks about fighting, talks about buying and using drugs and asks a friend if he will share a .380. semi automatic pistol.

    The Conservative Tree House did an amazing job of investigating the case in a way the mainstream media would not. They discovered in the last hour of his life, Martin tried to buy a “blunt.” A blunt is a small cigar, which is hollowed out then filled with marijuana. He also bought the iconic Skittles and Arizona Watermelon iced tea. Those were not because he was hungry or thirsty or even getting them for someone else. Those two products are key ingredients in an urban drug drink called “Lean Purple.”

    When these embarrassing facts about Martin were released, the left went into overdrive to hide them and simply drop them down the memory hole. Benjamin Crump, the family attorney, called the texts and photos, “irrelevant.”

    They were not irrelevant for the trial (even though the jury did not see them) and they are definitely not irrelevant for the battle for the narrative that is now being fought.

    President Obama, operating on the theory that a crisis should never be allowed to go to waste, called for further gun control in memory of Trayvon Martin. Obama did not comment about the other young black men like Trayvon Martin who had been killed in Chicago where the Second Amendment is all but repealed.

    The left continues to push the narrative that America is a racist nation, George Zimmerman was a crazed, racist wannabe cop and Trayvon Martin was an innocent child.

    None of that is true.

    Trayvon Martin was a product of American liberal social policies. A single mother raised him. His school was more concerned about appeasing the civil rights hucksters than whether Martin was educated and taught basic responsibilities.

    The story of Martin’s life is not irrelevant. It is the major cause of what happened that night he encountered Zimmerman. The left has tried to demonize Zimmerman and has tried to canonize St. Trayvon.

    The truth is that Martin was a 17-year-old wannabe thug who was the architect of his own demise. That is the story that should be told. Perhaps if that story and the truth about Martin were told, it might prevent the next Trayvon Martin.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 35

  53. Rob in CT says:

    Just as illustration:

    http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prevention/documents/neighborhood_watch_04.cfm

    Citizen Patrols
    An effective tool for some Watch programs to use is a citizen patrol. It is up to the community in conjunction with law enforcement to decide whether a patrol is needed. Citizen patrols are volunteers who walk or drive an area on a regular basis to report incidents and problems to the police and provide a visible presence that deters criminal activity. They have no policing powers, carry no weapons, are nonconfrontational, and always coordinate activities with law enforcement. A citizen patrol can cover a neighborhood, an apartment lobby or complex, a business district, or a park; some use bicycles, in-line skates, or cars to cover larger areas. They contact the police dispatcher through two-way radios or cellular phones donated by a local business. Cameras or video equipment may be used to record suspicious activity. Many patrols are based in a Neighborhood Watch program or work closely with one.

    A good resource for your citizen patrol is the Community Policing Consortium (202-833-3305).They will work with your local cellular phone carrier to arrange for phones to be donated to your program.

    Make sure your citizen patrol:

    Undergoes training by law enforcement and have their support;
    Works in teams;
    Wears identifying clothing -t-shirts, caps, vests, .jackets-or reflective clothing or patches;
    Never carries weapons of any kind — e.g. guns, black jack, mace, baseball bat, or knives;
    Never challenges anyone;
    Always carries a pad and pencil, and a flashlight if it is dark;
    Is courteous and helpful to residents of the area being patrolled: and
    Keeps logs and files reports with the local law enforcement agency.

    In other words, don’t be the Fist of Goodness.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  54. Rob in CT says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I’ve read about “The Talk” but it’s not a part of my life. I concede that this may be something I don’t fully get.

    Still, *if* Martin decided to go pick a fight (unclear, to be sure), that was a bad call on his part.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. Matt Bernius says:

    @steve:

    In an area that had some crime issues, including a home invasion, Martin was being followed at night.

    Thank you for making this point. It really resonates with me and it’s something out that I had not thought of/heard anyone else express before.

    Zimmerman’s defense for following Martin (and whatever profiling took place) is that the neighborhood had been experiencing a rash of crimes. Accepting that does also mean we must accept the concept that it was rational to be worried about the state of crime in that neighborhood. And that means it’s also fair to assume that it suggests that Martin had a basis for concern that he might be also be the victim of a crime in this unsafe neighborhood.

    This is a great example of how context can definitely cut both ways.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  56. beth says:

    @Eric Florack: You really are a disgusting human being.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 5

  57. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    To be fair, it’s also demonstrated by @Caj as well.

    Like I said, two sides in a larger proxy war.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  58. Modulo Myself says:

    We have no real idea if Zimmerman profiled Martin, whatever that means, but the idea that a white kid wearing khakis and a sweatshirt and on his way to buy Skittles would have faced a different outcome than a black kid is pretty reasonable. The fact that people are trying to make race so out of bounds that it can’t be brought up is just a cheap and pathetic way to sidestep how racist people are in this country.

    And on the topic of responsibility, I’m fairly certain that Martin could be alive today had he acted differently. But the difference is that he was out buying Skittles and ice tea, saw he was being followed, and started running. What happens after that is a mystery, but there aren’t any rational variations that transcend understanding.

    Zimmerman, on the other hand, seems to be a mutant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  59. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I suppose hindsight is 20/20, but I don’t really agree with the idea that getting out of his car was, by itself, a morally culpable act. It was certainly a fixed point in time that may have set in motion the rest of the events of 2/26/2012 but we’ll never know the answer to the question “what if GZ had simply waited outside his car for the officer to arrive?”

    What?
    What would have happened is that once Martin was sure Zimmerman wasn’t following him, he would have gone on home. That’s by far the most likely result.
    Even if we follow the Zimmerman apologists and assume Martin would have approached and confronted Zimmerman, Zimmerman would have gotten in his car and driven off.
    The plain and simple of it is that there never would have been a physical confrontation if MZ had gotten back into his car (or never left it).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  60. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Matt Bernius: Caj is mostly likely just Tsar Nicolas’s sockpuppet interpretation of a rabid leftist. It appeared a couple of weeks after the username TN stopped posting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  61. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The story of Martin’s life is not irrelevant. It is the major cause of what happened that night he encountered Zimmerman. The left has tried to demonize Zimmerman and has tried to canonize St. Trayvon.
    The truth is that Martin was a 17-year-old wannabe thug who was the architect of his own demise. That is the story that should be told. Perhaps if that story and the truth about Martin were told, it might prevent the next Trayvon Martin.

    Wow, that fiction was worthy of a Twinkie Defense.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  62. Rob in CT says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I hope so, given that caj’s posts generally make me cringe. I actually doubt it, though. I don’t think the Tsar is that creative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. C. Clavin says:

    “…he should have called the police on his cell…”

    The police had already told Zimmerman;

    “…Ok, we don’t need you to do that…”

    Clearly Zimmerman was wholey un-interested in taking instructions from the police…so how does that help Martin???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  64. @Eric Florack:

    It’s amazing how Zimmerman was apparently able to mentally access Martin’s police, school, and court records, as well as peruse his twitter and facebook accounts just by looking at him in the distance that night.

    You’d think someone with such superhuman abilities would have better things to do with their time.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 2

  65. C. Clavin says:

    “…a 17-year-old wannabe thug…”

    Wow…Floarack is copying and pasting from Ted Nugent.
    What’s next?
    The Wand-Dang-Sweet-Poontang defense?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  66. Matt Bernius says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Caj is mostly likely just Tsar Nicolas’s sockpuppet interpretation of a rabid leftist. It appeared a couple of weeks after the username TN stopped posting.

    Frankly, I don’t care. Real or not Caj is expressing sentiment that I’ve definitely seen and read in a variety of other places.

    The story of Martin’s life is not irrelevant.

    Again, context cuts both ways. If Martin’s checkered past matters so to does Zimmerman’s. Under these circumstances it’s not irrelevant to ask why someone who had multiple run ins with the law, and an alledged history of violence, should have been able to get a concealed carry permit. But of course, asking that question leads to a number of other uncomfortable questions about the responsibilities of individuals and the state when it comes to gun ownership.

    This is of course the problem with trying to get a “clean” answer in a muddled situation like this. The only way to win is to sacrifice any attempt at a larger truth. And that decision, intentional or otherwise, to win at any cost, always says far more about the individual than the issue they are writing about.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  67. Rob in CT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Also interesting how Zimmerman’s past brushes with the law are apparently not relevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  68. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Rob in CT: I fully admit that is a conjecture. However, in addition to the timing, both usernames tend to follow similar patterns: using and reusing the same tropes over and over, posting on almost every thread, and generally early on, and generally posting just once and then ignoring any replies to their comments.

    Either way, I feel reasonably certain that the person behind Caj is not posting in earnest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  69. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    However, it doesn’t really reflect well on Martin either. He should have gone back to the house (and, if he felt threatened, he could have called the police), instead of going back to confront Zimmerman.

    You know, Rob, You and Doug are well off guys living in good neighborhood. And you live in a northern state. ( I suspect most people here fit that demographic). For you , police are the good guys, public servants who are there to protect you and who will take your side against someone following you in suspicious fashion.
    Trayvon Martin was a young black guy in the South. He doesn’t think of the police as the good guys who will take his side against the white guy following him. He probably thinks that if the police come, they’re going to detain and maybe even arrest him at the white guy’s accusation.
    I guess this is where you and others just don’t understand how privileged you guys are. You just never think of the police as a possible enemy, or someone who might come to help your enemy. That’s not an attack on you, by the way. That’s just stating a fact that you don’t easily see.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  70. Franklin says:

    @Eric Florack: Unfortunately your source is useless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  71. michael reynolds says:

    Yes, they blundered their way into a confrontation.

    Which became deadly because one assh0le was carrying a gun.

    I realize Americans are hopelessly retarded on this subject, but minus the gun this was at worst a fist fight.

    The gun made this a killing. The gun made Zimmerman brave and confrontational. The fact that it was concealed meant Martin did not respond with the level of caution one would normally feel when being approached by, say, a police officer.

    There is simply no escaping the screamingly obvious fact that the problem here was a gun in the hands of a civilian.

    Jesus Freaking Christ, I cannot believe how willfully stupid people are on this. 1 + 1 = 2. I realize the gun nuts are morons, but do the rest of us have to play along? It’s the gun, stupid.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 3

  72. Rob in CT says:

    @stonetools:

    Certainly. I’m a well off white guy living in a good neighborhood, and I generally see the police as… well, let’s say more likely to help me than hurt me. Good guys might be stretching it, given that I read Radley Balko. :) But yeah, if I’m scared/in trouble, I’m calling the cops w/o a second thought.

    So yes, that probably makes it harder for me to get into Martin’s head (though I can think back to being 17 and not being all that keen on having the police involved in my life, it’s not really the same).

    This is one reason why I think the best choice for Martin was to simply go back to the house he was visiting. Calling the cops is an option that many people, for various reasons, don’t really want to take. I still think it was an option for Martin, but can accept he didn’t see it as a good one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  73. Barry says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “In a world where the government asks people “if you see something, say something” saying that someone engaged in Neighborhood Watch should mind their own business seems counter-intuitive. ”

    Jesus H. Christ, Doug – you’re a lawyer – don’t pretend to not know the difference between ‘not just minding your own business’ and ‘getting a gun and seeking out a confrontation’.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  74. Barry says:

    @C. Clavin: Seconding this and complementing the brevity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  75. Gustopher says:

    @C. Clavin: it’s amazing that someone, anyone really, stops and says to themselves “I’ll let Ted Nugent do my thinking for my on this subject.”

    We know that Zimmerman made terrible decisions that night which led to him shooting someone, despite the clear advice of the police dispatcher. We don’t know what terrible decisions Martin made (other than not being armed and shooting first, that is). When you make terrible decisions that lead to the death of another human being that is generally manslaughter.

    As for Martin, all he knew was that a scary man was following him — we have that from the testimony of his friend, and it seems pretty clear. Should he have run home and led the scary man there, run in another direction, turned to fight, yelled out “hey, cracker, why are you following me?”, called the police who would take twenty minutes to get there? — depending on the scary man in question, any of these might have been the right choice.

    It is mind boggling to me that people can’t see that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  76. steve says:

    “The truth is that Martin was a 17-year-old wannabe thug ”

    Maybe, but then Zimmerman was the real thing.

    “Then came 2005, and a series of troubles. Zimmerman’s business failed, he was arrested, and he broke off an engagement with a woman who filed a restraining order against him.

    That July, Zimmerman was charged with resisting arrest, violence, and battery of an officer after shoving an undercover alcohol-control agent who was arresting an under-age friend of Zimmerman’s at a bar. He avoided conviction by agreeing to participate in a pre-trial diversion program that included anger-management classes.

    In August, Zimmerman’s fiancee at the time, Veronica Zuazo, filed a civil motion for a restraining order alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman reciprocated with his own order on the same grounds, and both orders were granted. The relationship ended.

    In 2007 he married Shellie Dean, a licensed cosmetologist, and in 2009 the couple rented a townhouse in the Retreat at Twin Lakes. Zimmerman had bounced from job to job for a couple of years, working at a car dealership and a mortgage company. At times, according to testimony from Shellie at a bond hearing for Zimmerman last week, the couple filed for unemployment benefits.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/25/us-usa-florida-shooting-zimmerman-idUSBRE83O18H20120425

    Arrested for violence, anger management courses, living off of the public dole. Two guys, one a teen, with a history of violence met up and one got killed. Not exactly unpredictable. However, it was the one with the gun who was doing the stalking. If he identifies himself as Town Watch, reports but doesnt follow as is the norm for Town Watch, or just stays in his car, both guys are still alive. We dont really know, we can’t, what happened at the final confrontation so we dont know how much culpability Martin has, but we do know how they got there to begin with and Zimmerman bears most of that responsibility.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  77. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    This is one reason why I think the best choice for Martin was to simply go back to the house he was visiting.

    Indeed. He should have kept on running. To be honest, I’d like to fully understand what happened right after Zimmerman told 911 TM was running.
    It’s possible, for example, that Zimmerman went in pursuit and cornered him. (We have only Zimmerman’s word that he headed back toward his car).
    We’ll never know, of course, why he didn’t take that “best choice” because Zimmerman shot him dead.
    I also dislike the “false equivalence” approach. Nothing TM did deserved being shot to death. I see no equivalence there whatsoever.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  78. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    someone engaged in Neighborhood Watch

    An armed man following someone is most certainly not “engaged in Neighborhood Watch” – I think you know this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  79. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    ascribing racial motives to Zimmerman when there is absolutely no evidence of the same.

    You are simply dismissing Zimmermann’s history of 911 calls reporting “suspicious black males”?

    I am twice Zimmermann’s age. He made roughly twice as many calls about black males as I have made total 911 calls in my entire life. There is something of a pattern there. It does not tie directly to the events of the fatal evening, but I don’t see how it can be dismissed out of hand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  80. stonetools says:

    @Barry:

    Jesus H. Christ, Doug – you’re a lawyer – don’t pretend to not know the difference between ‘not just minding your own business’ and ‘getting a gun and seeking out a confrontation’.

    Indeed. Talk about “whitewashing” Zimmerman’s conduct.

    This is what the neighborhood watch coordinator said that Zimmerman should have done:

    Dorival testified that in fall 2011, she visited Zimmerman and other residents at the housing complex to discuss setting up a watch program. During her testimony, prosecutor Guy focused on her instructions to residents about how to behave when they spotted a suspicious person.

    “Their duty is to be the eyes and ears. Report crime as they see it,” said Dorival, adding that she provided handouts stressing this and also explained it verbally during the meeting. Zimmerman was there as the neighborhood watch coordinator, a role he told Dorival had been assigned him by the president of the homeowners’ association.

    Guy asked Dorival what the handouts and her instructions tell volunteers to do if they begin following a suspicious person.

    “We tell them they don’t do that. That’s the job of law enforcement,” she replied.

    The same instructions apply to confronting a suspicious person, Dorival said. She said her presentation would advise people, “Not to confront, to let … the police department do the job.

    As the Professor said, Zimmerman should have followed the dispatch operator’s instruction/advice, and the instructions he was given by the police coordinator. Failure to follow that advice was the “but for” cause of Trayvon’s death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  81. Mikey says:

    @stonetools: Rachel Jeantel has stated Martin called her and told her he was behind the house where he was staying. But he was killed, shortly thereafter, much closer to Zimmerman’s vehicle. That would seem to indicate Martin moved toward Zimmerman, rather than Zimmerman moving toward Martin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  82. Mikey says:

    @stonetools: This is why I feel Zimmerman bears primary blame. All he had to do was call the police and report a suspicious person. That’s it. But he got upset because “these assholes always get away” so he decided to take an active role for which he was neither trained nor suited.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  83. @michael reynolds:

    Which became deadly because one assh0le was carrying a gun.

    I’m not sure it would have been any less deadly had the gun not been there. The problem wasn’t the gun, it’s that both sides ignored the first rule of self defense:

    Try to avoid situations that require you to defend yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  84. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    The jury has spoken, and that’s all that I need to know

    Yes, being thoughtful can be hard work. I am sure you have more important things to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  85. bill says:

    you should all click on the complete transcript of the call, it’s much more informative with the timestamps. it was a 4 minute call, unlike the small portion above. not like steven’s going all nbc on us here but really!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  86. Rob in CT says:

    @stonetools:

    Dr. Taylor’s link leads to two transcripts: the second of which has times on it.

    “He’s running” is at 2:08.

    “We don’t need you to do that” is at 2:26, followed by “ok” at 2:28.

    The conversation continues for nearly 2 more minutes (total time 4:07), and during that time Zimmerman appears to have broken off pursuit/lost Martin. The fight happened later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  87. bill says:

    @stonetools: the cause of death was trayvon deciding to beat up an armed guy, he bears quite a bit of responsibility there. not that zimmerman is some kind of hero or anything.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  88. Rob in CT says:

    For clarity, here’s the rest:

    We don’t need you to do that. [2:26]

    Zimmerman:
    OK. [2:28]

    911 dispatcher:
    Alright, sir, what is your name? [2:34]

    Zimmerman:
    George. He ran.

    911 dispatcher:
    Alright, George, what’s your last name?

    Zimmerman:
    Zimmerman.

    911 dispatcher:
    What’s the phone number you’re calling from?

    Zimmerman:
    (redacted)

    911 dispatcher:
    Alright, George, we do have them on the way. Do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?

    Zimmerman:
    Yeah.

    911 dispatcher:
    Alright, where are you going to meet with them at?

    Zimmerman:
    Um, if they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the clubhouse and, uh, straight past the clubhouse and make a left and then go past the mailboxes you’ll see my truck. [3:10]

    911 dispatcher:
    Alright, what address are you parked in front of? [3:21]

    Zimmerman:
    Um, I don’t know. It’s a cut-through so I don’t know the address. [3:25]

    911 dispatcher:
    OK, do you live in the area?

    Zimmerman:
    Yeah, yeah, I live here.

    911 dispatcher:
    OK, what’s your apartment number?

    Zimmerman:
    It’s a home. It’s 1950 – oh, crap, I don’t want to give it out – I don’t know where this kid is [inaudible] [3:40]

    911 dispatcher:
    OK, do you just want to meet with them at the mailboxes then? [3:42]

    Zimmerman:
    Yeah, that’s fine. [3:43]

    911 dispatcher:
    Alright, George, I’ll let them know you’ll meet them at …

    Zimmerman:
    Could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at? [3:49]

    911 dispatcher:
    OK, that’s no problem.

    Zimmerman:
    My number … you’ve got it?

    911 dispatcher:
    Yeah, I’ve got it.

    Zimmerman:
    Yeah, you got it.

    911 dispatcher:
    OK, no problem. I’ll let them know to call you when they’re in the area. [4:02]

    Zimmerman:
    Thanks.

    911 dispatcher:
    You’re welcome.

    Call ends 4:07

    It’s not clear from the transcript exactly where Zimmerman is and where he’s going at this point. You could say he’s on his way back to his truck (that’s his story, IIRC). You could say he’s stopped while talking to the dispatcher. Or perhaps the reason he wants the cops to call him so he can tell them where he is is because he intends to go back to searching for Martin? I don’t know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  89. Matt Bernius says:

    @anjin-san:

    You are simply dismissing Zimmermann’s history of 911 calls reporting “suspicious black males”?

    This claim is an example of one that shifts if you look at the broader context.

    The fact was that Zimmerman had made those calls in part because witnesses to past burglaries in the neighborhood had identified the suspects as black.

    Again, there’s no question profiling of a sort was at play. But the fact is that there was a larger contextual basis for those calls.

    This sorts of difficult facts makes simple racial analysis of this case a mistake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  90. rudderpedals says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Not a thug, a gawky kid. Here are images from a few days before he was shot: http://westorlandonews.com/2012/03/28/new-photos-trayvon-martin-in-last-days/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  91. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    To the people who blame Zimmerman for the whole mess because he got out of his vehicle: one is responsible for reasonable reactions to one’s actions.

    Zimmerman was following Martin from a discreet distance in his vehicle. When he could no longer do that, he got out of his vehicle. A reaction of “this kid who just ran away is going to turn around, come back, pop me in the face, and then ‘ground and pound’ me” is not a “reasonable” reaction.

    Also, Zimmerman was not “on patrol.” He was going out for some shopping when he saw Martin.

    And I see the “Zimmerman disobeyed the instructions of the 911 operator” has once again, Jason-like, from the grave after being killed repeatedly. I’m starting to think that certain people have a mental block against reality in this case.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  92. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Yeah that would be you being retarded. I mean holy fwck how dishonest are you prepared to be in defense of your gun love? Not sure it would have been less deadly without a gun? In what idiot universe?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  93. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It was legal for Zimmerman to do what he did. It was also stupid. As I said, the first rule of self defense is to try to avoid situations where you need to defend yourself. Zimmermanly stupidly chose to ignore that rule.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  94. anjin-san says:

    @ Eric Florack

    The media did its part by never showing photos of the 6’2”, 17-year old

    Possibly because Martin was, in fact, 5’11” at the time of his death. Lying about a dead kid? Low, even for you.

    Let’s see, what other evidence do you have of Martin’s thug life? Apparently, he had some interest in guns. Now the right has been telling us for years that an interest in, and ownership of guns is more or less of a patriotic duty for Americans. Gun manufactures sell lines of guns designed especially for small children

    So – guns are wonderful and good – for white folks. A black person is interested in guns? Thug.

    Oh, and Martin smoked some dope. Well, yea. Of course he deserved to die then. Case closed.

    Man, you are lower than whale shit.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

  95. Modulo Myself says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Zimmerman testified that Martin was hiding in some bushes and then surprised him. The bushes were not were he said they were. There were bushes at the side of a house, which would indicate that Martin was really trying to hide, and maybe, beneath all of the blackness, was actually terrified. And of course, it’s inconceivable that Zimmerman would have drawn a gun, or said anything threatening. Because he was just a normal guy who happened to arm himself for a drive to Target.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  96. C. Clavin says:

    “…certain people have a mental block against reality in this case…”

    Yeah…says the king/queen of mental blocks against reality.
    What a maroon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  97. @michael reynolds:

    how dishonest are you prepared to be in defense of your gun love

    Says the guy who whacks off to fantasies of middle eastern kids getting blown up with drone missiles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  98. @Jenos Idanian #13: He shouldn’t have been following at all. It really is that simple.

    Common sense says not to follow.

    The 911 operator noted he should not follow.

    The rules of Neighborhood Watch says to not follow.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  99. anjin-san says:

    Once again, for people who do not know what Eric Florack is all about – simply Google “Eric Florack ni**er” and you will find out all you need to know about this alleged human being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  100. stonetools says:

    @Mikey:

    I find it odd that you accept her testimony as credible, fixing precisely his location. Do you accept her testimony on all other points as well?
    “Behind a house” isn’t really fixing TM’s location with many precision, could cover a range. You would like it to be at the backdoor, but frankly, we just don’t know for sure where he was before he confronted Zimmerman.The real problem, frankly, is that all the clear evidence of where TM was comes from Zimmerman’s self interested account. TM isn’t around to dispute this-convenient for Zimmerman.
    Btw the one interactive map I’ve located doesn’t have TM anywhere near his house AT ANY POINT. It also shows that Zimmerman was some distance from his car when he confronted Martin. Had he stayed by or even better in his car, he would have been completely safe . And so would have been Martin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  101. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Notice how that’s not really an answer? You know why? Because you have no answer. You’re a cult member trying to defend a fundamentally stupid belief system. Like talking to a scientologist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  102. stonetools says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Well, of course, where you see “gawky kid”, Eric sees “Mandingo gorilla in the mist ready to break into white people houses and defile white womanhood”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  103. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: The map likely predates the testimony of Rachel Jenteal, who said Martin reported as being in the back yard of the house where he was staying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  104. steve says:

    “the cause of death was trayvon deciding to beat up an armed guy”

    Just curious since I didnt follow the trial. Is there a tape or something showing that it was Martin who started the fight? A witness who saw him start the fight? If not, for all we know Zimmerman started it and Martin just got the better of the fight.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  105. @michael reynolds:

    Maybe I just don’t think unnecessary verbal abuse doesn’t deserve anything other than an answer in kind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  106. Mikey says:

    @stonetools:

    I find it odd that you accept her testimony as credible, fixing precisely his location.

    Do you think she lied under oath?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  107. David M says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    He shouldn’t have been following at all. It really is that simple.

    Common sense says not to follow.

    The 911 operator noted he should not follow.

    The rules of Neighborhood Watch says to not follow.

    Pretty much sums it up. I walk around in my neighborhood after dark sometimes, and see plenty of people I don’t know, but common sense says there’s no reason to assume they shouldn’t be there. Modern life would be unworkable if we called 911 every time we saw someone we didn’t recognize.

    Secondly, if a car started following me, and then someone got out to chase me? That’s not normal behavior, and I certainly wouldn’t be in a hurry to have a normal conversation with someone who clearly is up to no good.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  108. PD Shaw says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The undisputed record at trial was that Zimmerman was already walking back to his car at the point the dispatcher made that last statement, presumably to wait for the officer that was “on his way.” It was at some point after the end of that call that the confrontation between him and Martin began.

    This is correct. We can also tell when he got out of the car by the background noise; it was after the dispatcher asked “Which way is he running?” The juror that was interviewed felt like the dispatcher had egged Zimmerman to get out of his car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  109. stonetools says:

    @Mikey:

    Well, Zimmerman supporters have all told us that she is a lying, idiotic b!tch, whose testimony is wholly untrustworthy-except oddly enough, on this one point helpful to Zimmerman. On this point, she is a virtual Ms. GPS.
    I wonder, isn’t there cellphone data can fix where he was at these and other points? Or this one more example of the Sanford Police Department’s thorough forensic investigation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  110. Rob in CT says:

    @PD Shaw:

    The juror that was interviewed felt like the dispatcher had egged Zimmerman to get out of his car.

    Which doesn’t really work for me, given Zimmerman’s obvious irritation that Martin was running away. These a*holes, they always get away. I don’t think he needed egging on. The Fist of Goodness was on the job!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  111. C. Clavin says:

    “…He shouldn’t have been following at all. It really is that simple.
    Common sense says not to follow.
    The 911 operator noted he should not follow.
    The rules of Neighborhood Watch says to not follow…”

    Doh…right there is the reality that Jenos has been blocking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  112. C. Clavin says:

    I just want to applaud anyone and everyone making any “Fist of Goodness” references.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  113. C. Clavin says:

    Don’t fall into a dinner party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  114. stonetools says:

    @PD Shaw:

    It’s Zimmerman’s undisputed AND self-interested testimony. So its reliable evidence IF believed. That’s some distance way from it being true.
    And of course the reason it’s undisputed is that Zimmerman shot to death the only witness that could dispute it. That can’t be said often enough, and takes away a lot from the term “undisputed”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  115. Modulo Myself says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I don’t think it works for anybody. It’s utter bullshit that means nothing but is supposed to mean something nice about George Zimmerman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  116. Mikey says:

    @stonetools:

    Well, Zimmerman supporters have all told us that she is a lying, idiotic b!tch, whose testimony is wholly untrustworthy

    Well, I’m not one of those, then. I figure she was under oath, chances are pretty good she was doing her best to tell the truth.

    You expressed interest in knowing what had happened during a time frame, and I put up what I thought was a helpful comment, based on Jeantel’s testimony.

    I wonder, isn’t there cellphone data can fix where he was at these and other points?

    Man, that would be great to have, for both Martin and Zimmerman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  117. PD Shaw says:

    @Rob in CT: That’s the juror’s opinion and not my own. I find it very fascinating though, and completely incomprehensible if you believe this to be a fact:

    If Zimmerman had simply complied with that last quoted statement, none of this would have happened. This is a rather important fact to remember.

    I think the juror is operating within the moral framework that it’s the government’s job to help people like Zimmerman. The dispatcher knows more about these things and should be expected to exercise more responsibility, not decline it for liability reasons. In a personal injury case, the defense is not going to want her on the jury.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  118. Modulo Myself says:

    @stonetools:

    Oh no, usage of the word ‘cracker’ was also true. But everything else was a filthy lie, especially the part that had Zimmerman asking Martin questions.

    Honestly, it’s kind of pointless to try to deal with any of this. Zimmerman supporters are the same people who think Iraq hit us on 9/11, that climate change is a conspiracy, Obama lied about his birth certificate, and whites are getting the short end of everything. Meanwhile, everyone else thinks they’re insane and awful, and would do anything to move away from them.

    But based on the law, the right verdict was reached, I guess, and this should be a testament to the system, because we live in a country where nobody is ever sent to prison on false confessions or ends up on death row only to be released 20 years later. So it’s very important that the letter of the law is followed when an imbecile butterball guns down an innocent 17 year old. Otherwise: anarchy and chaos.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  119. Rob in CT says:

    @PD Shaw:

    Frankly, I find that particular jurors’ thinking to be rather muddled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  120. Rob in CT says:

    Man, that would be great to have, for both Martin and Zimmerman.

    The NSA probably has it somewhere…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  121. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And I see the “Zimmerman disobeyed the instructions of the 911 operator” has once again, Jason-like, from the grave after being killed repeatedly. I’m starting to think that certain people have a mental block against reality in this case.

    Speaking of mental blocks: Do, you dispute the notion that if Zimmerman had been intelligent and sensible (a leap of faith I admit), that he would have stayed in his vehicle?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  122. al-Ameda says:

    @PD Shaw:

    The juror that was interviewed felt like the dispatcher had egged Zimmerman to get out of his car.

    While saying that “we don’t need you to do that …”? Seriously, she seems to be out-to-lunch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  123. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Uh huh. You have no answer. There is no answer. That’s why you’re tap-dancing.

    You people never have an argument. Ever. Nothing beyond “Don’t take mah gunz!” When I come back and say, “Okay, I don’t want to take your guns, I want you to grow the hell up and walk away from your guns,” you got nothing. Zip.

    You people and your obsession, your little cult, are a cancer on this country’s life. This utterly unnecessary death occurred because people like you think it’s a great idea to put guns into the hands of wanna-be heroes like George Zimmerman. And you support Zimmerman because you see yourselves in him.

    It’s a sick, twisted, self-deluding cult of gun worship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  124. Eric Florack says:

    @beth:
    You have something against the truth? The facts in that column are undisputed. how does showing facts, make me a “disgusting human being”?

    Oh, wait, don’t tell me… its because I’m not willing to play the game the way the race huxters want it played. well, honey, get used to it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 22

  125. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Where is the NSA when you really need ‘em?I must think that there is some good technical reason why there wouldn’t be such data for both, but I can’t think of what it is.
    A Google search turned up this:

    SANFORD, Fla. —George Zimmerman’s lawyer said in a motion released Wednesday that data from Trayvon Martin’s cellphone on the day of his death is missing.

    According to the motion, the phone was analyzed by a company in New Jersey to recover data at the beginning of January.

    “While the analysis includes GPS location records for Mr. Martin’s phone for all of the time that he was in the Sanford area, specifically absent is any such data for Feb. 26, 2012, the date of the event,” the motion stated.

    The motion also said there are missing entries regarding phone calls made to the phone or texts made on Feb. 26.

    According to the motion, the phone had been previously analyzed by law enforcement.

    Read more: http://www.wesh.com/news/central-florida/trayvon-martin-extended-coverage/Zimmerman-lawyer-Data-from-Martin-s-cell-phone-missing/-/14266478/18345086/-/doet2d/-/index.html#ixzz2ZEknXrnl

    Here is what I think:

    The Sanford Police Department didn’t bother to pull the records because they concluded on that night that the investigation was done: the good white neighborhood watcher offed the skanky black perp who dared attack him so yee-haw and let’s send our hero home with a lollipop.
    Later, when “outside agitators” made it plain that they weren’t going to settle for good old fashioned southern justice, the government made a belated scramble to get the data but it wasn’t available any longer.

    Fun fact:

    .In 1946, Sanford was the site of the botched start of Jackie Robinson’s first steps toward breaking baseball’s color barrier. Robinson had been sent to Sanford for his first spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers’ minor-league Montreal Royals. Two days after he arrived, he was sent to the Dodgers’ minor-league team in Daytona Beach after getting death threats from Sanford residents. In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s breaking into the majors, then-Sanford Mayor Larry Dale issued a proclamation apologizing for Robinson’s treatment.

    Sometimes the past isn’t even past.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  126. PD Shaw says:

    @Rob in CT: Its less muddled than this blog post. She has the same regret — she wishes Zimmerman had not followed Martin, but she understands that he did so to satisfy the request of the dispatcher. Its clear from the tapes when Zimmerman got out of the car, but dispatch didn’t try to stop him. The dispatcher testified that they aren’t authorized to order the callers because of liability concerns. The jury heard the entire tape and all of the other tapes and they know Zimmerman is “overeager to help people.” When the dispatcher doesn’t accept any responsibility, it comes across as dissembling, something like: “Please get this information. Oh, we didn’t mean for you to go get this information. And we cannot be responsible for the trouble this might cause you.”

    After Zimmerman has walked just past the vicinity of where the attack occurred, dispatch says “We don’t need you to do that.” Now, how is he supposed to have “simply complied with that last quoted statement” (Taylor)? Engage a time machine?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  127. anjin-san says:

    @ Matt Barius

    simple racial analysis of this case a mistake.

    I don’t think I am boiling this down to race, I just don’t feel that Zimmermann’s history of 911 calls can be simply dismissed. A blanket “race played no part in this” statement about this tragedy is an oversimplification (IMO)

    We also need to, in my view, have a conversation about the larger issue – that being that the knee jerk reaction “young black male = danger” seems to be more or less hard wired into our societal consciousness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  128. Rob in CT says:

    @stonetools:

    It’s wierd, though. I’ve recall a transcript of the police interview of Zimmerman and the cops were intermittantly pretty darned skeptical of his story. And didn’t the cops want to press charges? I thought it was the local prosecutor who didn’t want to.

    I’m not terribly impressed with the police investigation, but then the core of this thing is that nobody witnessed the start of the fight but Martin & Zimmerman. The cops can’t do anything about that. And hell, even if cell phone GPS data was available, it wouldn’t necessarily help figure out how it went down. The data might simply show the two coming together. But it doesn’t tell you what was said/done prior to the witness reports we have of Martin on top of Zimmerman, followed by Zimmerman shooting him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  129. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Frankly, I find that particular jurors’ thinking to be rather muddled.

    Well, I think she is quite clear that she thinks its a shame that Georgie had to go through all this trouble just because he went a little too far and shot a colored boy to death. She is on record as being just fine with giving Georgie back his neighborhood watch captain position and his gun. She thinks he has learned his lesson, poor thing.

    Seriously, how did the government let her on the jury? It guess Zimmerman WAS tried by a jury of his peers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  130. @PD Shaw:

    After Zimmerman has walked just past the vicinity of where the attack occurred, dispatch says “We don’t need you to do that.” Now, how is he supposed to have “simply complied with that last quoted statement” (Taylor)? Engage a time machine?

    I am confused by your statement, as the preposition phrase seems to suggest that the statement was after the attack occurred.

    I find it vexing that it is muddled to suggest that Zimmerman should have stayed in his truck (even the juror you are quoting said something to this effect in the interview that I think you are referring to).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  131. Rob in CT says:

    @PD Shaw:

    Huh. You’re getting something from the transcript that I don’t see.

    She asks him where Martin is running. He answers this question, then another, and then the dispatcher asks if he’s following and tells him (in wishy-washy language, yes) not to. This happens in fairly rapid succession. I don’t see that as encouraging him to pursue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  132. @PD Shaw:

    What is so confusing about this?

    Dispatcher
    Are you following him?

    Zimmerman
    Yeah.

    Dispatcher
    Ok, we don’t need you to do that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  133. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    The facts in that column are undisputed

    Well, for one thing, Martin was 5’11”, not 6’2″ at the time of his death. So, no, they are not “undisputed”

    Snopes covers this in depth

    So, bithead, which is it? Are you racist scum lying about a dead child? Or simply a moron that has been duped by rather transparent lies?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  134. anjin-san says:

    @ PD Shaw

    she wishes Zimmerman had not followed Martin, but she understands that he did so to satisfy the request of the dispatcher

    What color is the sky on your planet? I mean, this is new and different – the dispatcher TOLD Zimmermann to follow Martin…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  135. Rob in CT says:

    Based on the transcript w/times, 16 seconds elapsed between Zimmerman saying “he’s running” and the dispatcher saying “are you following him?”

    It seems quite plausible that the dispatcher asked this question because she heard noises that suggested Zimmerman was in pursuit, but didn’t pick up on it instantly.

    I don’t see how “which way did he run” means “get out of your car so you can tell us this.” I don’t really see how “I’m not sure” wasn’t a valid answer.

    Zimmerman got out of the truck because he didn’t want “this ahole” to get away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  136. TheColourfield says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “The jury has spoken, and that’s all that I need to know.”

    Since 1973, over 130 people have been released from death rows throughout the country due to evidence of their wrongful convictions. In 2003 alone, 10 wrongfully convicted defendants were released from death row.

    Yep, Case Closed, nothing to see here

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  137. @michael reynolds:

    This utterly unnecessary death occurred because people like you think it’s a great idea to put guns into the hands of wanna-be heroes like George Zimmerman

    Dear Lord, I’m sorry I used my magical mind control powers to make George Zimmerman shoot Trayvon Martin. I promise in the future to only use them for good.

    And you support Zimmerman because you see yourselves in him.

    If you think I’ve been supportive of Zimmerman, you clearly haven’t been following the comments. But I guess it’s hard for St. Michael to read when all his blood is taken up keeping that boner of self-superiority going.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  138. PD Shaw says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Where do you think Zimmerman is when dispatcher says “Ok, we don’t need you to do that.”

    Do you think he is in or near his truck?

    Or do you think he is near where the attack occurred by that point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  139. anjin-san says:

    @ TheColourfield

    Yep, Case Closed, nothing to see here

    I think what Doug is trying to say is that none of this affects him or the comfortable world he inhabits, so he doe not really care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  140. Rob in CT says:

    @anjin-san:

    You know it’s option C (both).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  141. @PD Shaw: I don’t see how exact position can be ascertained from the transcript. However, based on the timestamps on the transcript roughly a minute and a half expired from the moment the dispatcher says “Ok, we don’t need you to do that.” and the end of the call. That strikes me as enough time to have returned to the truck.

    If this map is accurate, he was not yet at the point of attack. Further, the evidence seems to indicate that even after the phone call was done, Zimmerman kept walking around–and given the content of his own words in the transcript, seemed intent on locating Martin.

    All of this plays into why I think he very much created the situation and therefore has moral culpability.

    I am unsure of what your interpretation of the transcript is, to be honest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  142. Eric Florack says:

    @michael reynolds: Oh, bunk.
    here’s a tidbit for you, Reynolds… if Zimmerman didn’t have the gun it still would have been deadly, the way it was going…. and one supposes you’d not be nearly as worked up about it. right?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17

  143. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    m not terribly impressed with the police investigation, but then the core of this thing is that nobody witnessed the start of the fight but Martin & Zimmerman. The cops can’t do anything about that. And hell, even if cell phone GPS data was available, it wouldn’t necessarily help figure out how it went down. The data might simply show the two coming together. But it doesn’t tell you what was said/done prior to the witness reports we have of Martin on top of Zimmerman, followed by Zimmerman shooting him.

    It wouldn’t resolve everything, but it would establish who was where and when. Right now we really only have Zimmerman’s testimony, which while being accepted as gospel by his supporters, I think of as unreliable, and what Ms. Jintel can recall Trayvon told her (which I also don’t trust much).
    In the end, I think that Florida’s self defense law is truly f@cked up. “Stand your ground” means that he who shoots dead and lives to tell the tale gets acquitted, especially if he is a white person who shoots a black person.
    Most of the Zimmerman love here (apart from the racists-and yoou know who you are) and gun enthusiasts/libertarians whole like the Florida regime of easy CCW, SYG laws, and other self defense law that privileges gun owners who want to carry around and use their guns for “protection”. Of course, the blow-back is cases of reckless vigilantism like Trayvon Martin-the sort of stuff that was predicted when these laws were passed. Now that its happening, they’re trying to “whitewash” the results by insisting that the vigilante who f@cked up was somehow justified. Of course he is justified because the laws are slanted to produce just such a result-an acquittal of a vigilante who made an “understandable mistake”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  144. TastyBits says:

    @stonetools:

    I guess this is where you and others just don’t understand how privileged you guys are. You just never think of the police as a possible enemy, or someone who might come to help your enemy. That’s not an attack on you, by the way. That’s just stating a fact that you don’t easily see.

    Now we can agree on something. In some communities, the police are worse than the criminals, but it is hard to get people to understand this. I would recommend that you keep in mind that many people read these comments, but only a few write comments. You may be able to get through to a few people if you write for a broader audience.

    When the police are running a drug operation, when the police order a hit on someone reporting abuse to Internal Affairs, when the police murder their partner while robbing a store, you ain’t in suburbia, and the police ain’t your friends. For those confused, Google these incidents and New Orleans. I am certain every hell hole city has similar incidents.

    I am not black, but I have a lot of personal experience with black folks on the lower end of the ladder. It has been a while since I was running the streets, but not much has changed. I am not going to lay out my street cred, but I do understand that I can always blend into a crowd of white people. You cannot, and it makes a big difference.

    I think Florida has a problem with their laws. Casey Anthony was overcharged, and she got off as well. I would point out that both got off because they could afford good lawyers. How many times are people overcharged and convicted because they could not afford a good lawyer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  145. charles austin says:

    Dr. Taylor, would it also not be true to say that Trayvon Martin would still be alive if George Zimmerman had not gotten out of bed that morning? It was not morally or legally wrong for George Zimmerman to get out of his vehicle in his own neighborhood nor even to follow Trayvon Martin in his own neighborhood if he thought he was up to no good. Pardon a digression, but some 20 years ago when I lived in the UK, we resided in a duplex in a cul-de-sac. I don’t think anyone is going to suggest that the UK of those times was some hotbed of lawlessness or gun violence. Anyway, there were a number of small children in our neighborhood including my daughter who was four at the time. Anyone who came down that cul-de-sac on foot or in a vehicle that was unknown to any of my neighbors would be watched or even actively approached and questioned. I thought that was kind of good thing. I only mention this because I believe it is wrong to impute “wannabe hero/enforcer with a gun” motives onto George Zimmerman or to imply that we shouldn’t be active in watching out for our communities and neighbors and that we are somehow morally deficient if we do not always wait in our homes and cars for the police, however long that might take. Being watchful and protective of you neighbors is not vigilantism. There is absolutely no evidence of the oft-repeated speculation that Zimmerman only followed Martin because he was armed, though it does fit a certain narrative quite well. You may believe it, and it may even be true, but let’s not engage in too much armchair pop psychology. End of digression.

    What happened when Trayvon encountered George (or vice versa) that night is necessarily somewhat speculative no matter what anyone believes, but it does seem likely, as Doug pointed out, that in addition to the Zimmerman what ifs, Martin would also still be alive if he had not attacked Zimmerman. Was he provoked legitimately or otherwise? Who knows? But Occam’s razor should eliminate some of the more fanciful theories being offered up across the Internet these days. Speaking of which, does anyone think Martin would have engaged with Zimmerman if he thought Zimmerman might be armed? Maybe open carry instead of concealed carry would have saved Trayvon’s life. Again, who knows?

    As to your final point, neither was blameless, though one bore a much, much greater cost. I don’t know of any way to address the discrepancy between their respective actions and the relative costs of those actions without creating even more difficult problems moving forward. I have no way of knowing, but I’d bet that with the benefit of hindsight George Zimmerman now wishes he hadn’t got out of his truck and isn’t gloating that he got away with anything.

    Sometimes there is no good solution, just a choice of bad and worse alternatives, and trying to use the power of the state to punish perceived moral failings is extremely problematic. Everything about this case has been a tragedy for all concerned, though none more so than Trayvon Martin. As to the verdict, we have to decide whether we want to live under the rule of law or the rule of men, which is what some of the street mobs and more irresponsible members of the media are advocating. IMHO, it is dangerous to conflate facts and feelings and malevolent to manipulate them in others to further any agendas as some are now doing to the detriment of civil society — and I include all those who keep implying that Trayvon Martin somehow deserved this or that his life was less precious because of other acts. I certainly hope none of us are beyond hope and redemption. We all have to find a way to live here with each other and the perfect still remains the enemy of the good.

    Thank you for your indulgence. I’ll go back into exile again now.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

  146. anjin-san says:

    @ charles austin

    Of course! Of Course! Getting out of bed in the morning and arming yourself and following someone? It’s more or less the same thing!

    Thank God you are here to point this out to us. Please don’t leave.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  147. Rob in CT says:

    Charles, I don’t think anyone in this thread – and certainly not Dr. Taylor – is arguing that the legal result was the wrong one.

    Zimmerman was clearly innocent of Murder2. Total overcharge.
    Manslaughter is fuzzier, but the jury acquitted him there too.

    I find myself in agreement with your post. It was a tragedy. Both guys seem to have made mistakes I’m sure they’d take back if they could. One is dead. The other’s life is upside down. It sucks all the way around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  148. stonetools says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I am unsure of what your interpretation of the transcript is, to be honest.

    Well, his interpretation of the transcript is that Saint George didn’t do anything wrong, no matter what the facts or the map. That’s pretty much Doug’s view , too AFAICT.

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  149. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Speaking of mental blocks: Do, you dispute the notion that if Zimmerman had been intelligent and sensible (a leap of faith I admit), that he would have stayed in his vehicle?

    I’ve never disputed that. What I’ve disputed is that that poor decision put the full legal responsibility for every consequence on his shoulders.

    Suppose I’m driving on the highway and have my blinker on for six miles. (It’s happened.) And suppose some guy behind me gets so fed up with me and tries to run me off the road. I try to dodge, we both go careering off the road. I survive, he ends up with a guard rail impaling him through his chest. The whole sequence of events was triggered by my negligence about the directional, but does that make me liable for his death?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  150. anjin-san says:

    I am not black, but I have a lot of personal experience with black folks on the lower end of the ladder.

    I have black friends on the high end of the ladder who are scared of the police. And not without reason. I know highly educated, successful, and accomplished people who have been stopped and more or less asked “what are you doing in this part of town boy?”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  151. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: The Sanford Police Department didn’t bother to pull the records because they concluded on that night that the investigation was done: the good white neighborhood watcher offed the skanky black perp who dared attack him so yee-haw and let’s send our hero home with a lollipop.

    Oh, the flaws here…

    1) Zimmerman is as white as Obama. His mother is Peruvian.

    2) The police made the decision after extensive discussions and even a re-enactment with a very cooperative Zimmerman and came to the very same conclusion as the jury.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  152. stonetools says:

    @charles austin:

    It was not morally or legally wrong for George Zimmerman to get out of his vehicle in his own neighborhood nor even to follow Trayvon Martin in his own neighborhood if he thought he was up to no good.

    I like the right wing meme that Zimmerman just “followed” Martin. Sure did he-the way a lion “follows” a gazelle.
    it’s one thing is you are a neighborhood watch person following someone and reporting it to cops. It’s a different thing if you are following someone with a gun, saying , “These punks (or maybe coons) always get away with it.” Where I come from , the appropriate term for the second is “hunt.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  153. stonetools says:

    @anjin-san:

    I have black friends on the high end of the ladder who are scared of the police. And not without reason. I know highly educated, successful, and accomplished people who have been stopped and more or less asked “what are you doing in this part of town boy?”…

    Cough.. Professor Henry Louis Gates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  154. @charles austin:

    would it also not be true to say that Trayvon Martin would still be alive if George Zimmerman had not gotten out of bed that morning

    Yes, that would be true. However, it is not the same thing. Getting out of bed that morning was not a direct link to the action that came next. There was moral culpability for Zimmerman deciding to exit his vehicle to to insert himself into that situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  155. David M says:

    @charles austin:

    It was not morally or legally wrong for George Zimmerman to get out of his vehicle in his own neighborhood nor even to follow Trayvon Martin in his own neighborhood if he thought he was up to no good.

    He had no reason to think he knew everyone in the neighborhood, and no reason to think Trayvon was up to no good. I’m pretty sure the world is a better place if people like George Zimmerman don’t start following people they find suspicious, especially while armed with a deadly weapon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  156. Eric Florack says:

    Two more points… The FBI did an extensive investigation of Zimmerman, the specific angle was to look for any hint of racism. they found none.
    and…
    does anyone recall the relax of the same race huxters we are dealing with now, when folks questioned the jury in the case of OJ Simpson? we were all racist for doing so

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 18

  157. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Zimmerman is as white as Obama. His mother is Peruvian

    “Peruvian” is a national, not a racial identity. If you don’t understand the difference, there are websites that can explain it to you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  158. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Suppose I’m driving on the highway and have my blinker on for six miles. (It’s happened.) And suppose some guy behind me gets so fed up with me and tries to run me off the road. I try to dodge, we both go careering off the road. I survive, he ends up with a guard rail impaling him through his chest. The whole sequence of events was triggered by my negligence about the directional, but does that make me liable for his death?

    First, the sequence of events would not have been “triggered by [your] negligence”–nothing in leaving your blinker on should reasonably compel the guy behind to respond in the way described.

    Second, this is in no way analogous to the Zimmerman-Martin case. There are lots of reason it is a bad analogy, but the chief among them is that in your scenario the innocent guy minding his own business save for a traffic signal lives and the guy who overreacted to the situation dies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  159. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: All analogies are fundamentally flawed. Make it at night, I’m behind him, and I’m high-beaming the guy without realizing it.

    But the point of the analogy was to demonstrate that the provocation of Zimmerman’s actions in no way justified Martin getting to his destination, then going back and beating Zimmerman. And that the reaction was not a reasonable or logically predictable one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  160. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    1) Zimmerman is as white as Obama. His mother is Peruvian

    How the hell do you type that without laughing? Bottom-line, he LOOKS white and is middle class. That’s close enough for racists in the New South. Progress.

    I’m sure Zimmerman and the Police Department were VERY cooperative with one another. That’s my point. If the situation were reversed, and Zimmerman black and Martin white how cooperative you think the police would have been?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  161. @charles austin:

    It was not morally or legally wrong for George Zimmerman to get out of his vehicle in his own neighborhood nor even to follow Trayvon Martin in his own neighborhood if he thought he was up to no good.

    It’s legal for me to walk around NW Philly at 3am. It would be incredibly stupid of me to do so because I’m going to get mugged.

    If some guy tries to force his way into my lane on 422, it’s legal for me to not yield because I have the right of way. It would be incredibly stupid of me to do so because it’s not worth risking an accident to stop him.

    And it’s legal for George Zimmerman to follow someone around his neighborhood. But doing so when he believes the person to be suspicious is incredibly stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  162. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    All of my analogies are fundamentally flawed

    FTFY

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  163. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    1) Zimmerman is as white as Obama. His mother is Peruvian.

    This is assinie for a variety of reasons, all of which demonstrate why you perhaps ought to avoid discussing race.

    First, being Peruvian and being “white” are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, being hispanic and being white are not mutually exclusive.

    Of course, a lot of these categories are social constructs to begin with, and laced with complexity and issues of power and politics.

    The notion, btw, that historically speaking (or even speaking terms of contemporary America) that the is no difference in terms of racial politics between a mixed-race person named “Zimmerman” with light skin and a person who is half-African demonstrates that either you don’t know of which you speak or you don’t care to understand.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  164. @stonetools:

    For you , police are the good guys, public servants who are there to protect you and who will take your side against someone following you in suspicious fashion.

    Personally, I tend to see the police as a legalized street gang. If you have this misfortune of coming across one, it’s best to be very quiet and avoid attracting their attention because you never know when they’re going to flip out for no apparent reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  165. @Jenos Idanian #13: I fear you are further veering off the road of useful argumentation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  166. Andre Kenji says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Zimmerman is as white as Obama. His mother is Peruvian.

    No. Unless Zimmerman´s Peruvian relatives lives in the rural areas in Peru, they are probably mestizos or White -Europeans, not Amerindians(And many people that identifies as Amerindians in Peru have Europeans ancestors). And “Amerindian” is different from Black,

    I do agree that Obama is a multiethnical and that he should have embraced this identity. On the other hand, his relatives from the paternal side are Black. Zimmerman, on the other hand, does not have all his maternal relatives as Amerindian.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  167. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    does anyone recall the relax of the same race huxters we are dealing with now, when folks questioned the jury in the case of OJ Simpson? we were all racist for doing so

    So you were pleased with the outcome of the first Simpson trial?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  168. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    1) Zimmerman is as white as Obama. His mother is Peruvian.

    Heck, I’m as White as Obama, I ate corn flakes at a Madrassa in Indonesia as child.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  169. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Martin paid a much higher price for what he did wrong than did Zimmerman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  170. TastyBits says:

    @anjin-san:

    I am not insensitive to those higher up, but they will be able to hire a good lawyer. In the end, they will have a spotless record, and the mayor will personally apologize.

    On the lower end, the guy is going to get a resisting arrest charge in addition to anything else, and his public defender is probably going to get him to plead it down to disturbing the peace with a fine. The lower end guy knows he is getting screwed, but he is grateful that it was not worse. The guy is happy that he only got screwed a little.

    It is these type of things that make life at the bottom difficult, and in many places, being black makes it worse. When this is your reality, you are very unlikely to view the police or courts favorably. Hence, Rachel Jeantel was a little wary of the process.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  171. Caj says:

    The juror who came out and spoke on CNN was taking George Zimmermans words and his account of the event as gospel, that much is very clear! She had NO doubt it was George that was screaming out for help! Of course she knows him so well as did all the other jurors by all accounts as they all thought it was their friend George screaming! Funny how she had a book deal in the works and her husband being a lawyer and all! No those jurors as far as I’m concerned had already made up their minds that Trayvon was the guilty party and dear George was the innocent victim in all this. Those jurors and the decision of not guilty makes me sick to my stomach. Justice was not served for Trayvon or his family. Young unarmed teen shot dead and the murderer walks free. Some legal system we have!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  172. stonetools says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yes, that would be true. However, it is not the same thing. Getting out of bed that morning was not a direct link to the action that came next. There was moral culpability for Zimmerman deciding to exit his vehicle to to insert himself into that situation.

    Seems we have gotten to the third stage of culpability denial: the disavowal of elementary logic.
    By the fifth stage, they’ll deny that Zimmerman was even there when Martin was killed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  173. anjin-san says:

    @ TastyBits

    You will get no argument from me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  174. steve says:

    Charles Austin- Suppose one of your kids is followed home at night by a large unidentified male. Suppose you werent home. Suppose your kid was afraid to lead this guy stalking him back to the house where his siblings were home.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  175. C. Clavin says:

    I had pretty much agreed with the prevailing viewpoint…Zimmerman is legally innocent; morally not so much.
    But the more I read about Juror 37b the more I question that. This woman is seriously looney-tunes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  176. PD Shaw says:

    @Rob in CT: To repeat, I’m not advocating the juror’s position; it’s not mine. And I don’t think the dispatcher did anything wrong. The jury listened to the entire tape over and over again. The prosecution sought every opportunity to play the tape because they wanted the obscenities to be heard, but the judge required the whole tape to be played each time. I would guess that not only did this desensitize the jury in a way that didn’t help the prosecution, but all of the details in the tape became increasingly obvious in retrospect. So, obviously the dispatcher should have known that his requests would place Zimmerman in the place where the conflict occurred. Post hoc fallacy. Something bad happened, he should have known what we know now.

    I think the truck was about 75 feet from the t intersection where the fight started; Zimmeraman could have easily made that distance in 15 seconds, and probably much more if he was walking fast. I think GZ had lost Martin by this point, and he was genuinely concerned that he was nearby (he wouldn’t give his home address) and I think he wasn’t certain whether going back to the truck would be safe, and if he hadn’t already made it to the next street, he goes there to check out the address, lingers for awhile waiting for a return call from the cops to agree where they can meet him, before returning to his car. Returning past the intersection they stumble into each other. Had he not gone back to his truck, maybe none of this would have happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  177. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Andre Kenji: Unless Zimmerman´s Peruvian relatives lives in the rural areas in Peru, they are probably mestizos or White -Europeans, not Amerindians(And many people that identifies as Amerindians in Peru have Europeans ancestors). And “Amerindian” is different from Black,

    Here’s a photo that apparently shows Zimmerman’s maternal heritage.

    And yes, I skipped a step. Zimmerman’s mother is Peruvian, so he is half Hispanic.

    Odd how liberals only play up the minority heritage of people they like. Sarah Palin’s husband is Eskimo, Nikki Haley’s family hails from India, and Bobby Jindal is more often referred to as Catholic than Indian-American.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  178. Matt Bernius says:

    @PD Shaw:
    I just wanted to say that your theory about the events makes a lot of sense and reflects what I’ve seen in other places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  179. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I may have to rethink my defense of Zimmerman.

    Researchable and legitimate source examples of Zimmerman’s past history of working with and for blacks include:

    “He and a black friend opened up an insurance office in a Florida…”
    “He’d engaged in notably un-racist behaviour such as taking a black girl to his high-school prom…”
    “Not only does he have black relatives, he has reportedly donated his time to tutor black children.”
    “He launched a campaign to help a homeless black man who was beaten up by a white kid.”

    A Democrat and he voted for Obama? Hang him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  180. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    [Y]ou don’t know of which you speak or you don’t care to understand.

    Man, translate that to Latin and slap that phrase on the family crest of a number of our commenters.

    In fact, here you go (courtesy of Google Translate):

    Quod loqueris nescis aut non libet cogitare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  181. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    And yes, I skipped a step. Zimmerman’s mother is Peruvian, so he is half Hispanic.

    Sigh.

    “Hispanic” is a social construct. It refers to a cultural link with Spain, or a person of Latin American (also not a race) descent living in America. There is no such race as Hispanic.

    You talk about race a lot. It’s obvious that you think your oft-repeated little cry of “RAAACIST” is the very apex of cleverness.

    So here is a though for you. Go to a website called Google. You can find it @ http://www.google.com. Do some reading, and lean what race actually is, and is not. Then come back and try again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  182. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    One more thing, Peru is not a racially homogeneous country. You cannot make an assumption about a Peruvians racial identity based only on the fact that they hail from Peru.

    Well, you can, but only an ignoramus would…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  183. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    A Democrat and he voted for Obama? Hang him.

    We know that is your default position, but Zimmerman gets a pass from you because he lived out one of your vigilante fantasies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  184. Mikey says:

    @Matt Bernius: You’d better ask this guy if Google got that right…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  185. stonetools says:

    Its interesting to look at the arguments of the Zimmerman apologists in light of my reaction to the OJ Simpson verdict.
    When OJ Simpson was found not guilty, I accepted the verdict. But I never for a moment doubted his moral culpability. I knew he had gotten away with murder. I knew his story of mystery Colombian kingpins was a crock.
    The Zimmerman apologists here don’t seem to draw that distinction. They are continuing to argue that Zimmerman is innocent-that he has done nothing wrong, that in effect “Colombians did it”. I’ve yet to see a single apologist concede that he was wrong to pursue Martin armed with a gun, and that but for his actions, Trayvon Martin would not have been killed. What we have heard is that TM was a marijuana-smoking thug, that he was “suspicious looking” (but not because he was black!), that he was up to him (the 17 year old) and not GZ (the 29 year old) to avoid confrontation, that GZ was “following” him and not “hunting ” him (the appropriate term for pursuing someone armed with a weapon, IMO), that TM should have run home instead of trying to “stand his ground” (guess only white men can do that). The recreations minimize GZ’s culpability, indicating that purely it was an accident that GZ gunned down TZ(somehow he had a loaded gun with a round in the chamber and the safety off and used it! How did that happen?) and skipping over Colombia sized holes in Zimmerman’s story (TM jumped him by coming out from behind non-existent bushes).
    Finally we heard arguments that it wasn’t for the Big Bang, this would not have happened ( the philosophical attempt at avoiding GZ’s culpability).
    I would have a lot more respect for the GZ apologists if they would just say, up front, that GZ was the one who bore the major portion of the responsibility rather than trying and convicting TM of deserving the death penalty, while absolving GZ of all blame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  186. Pharoah Narim says:

    I’ve heard it all from the GZ sympathizers. Now, the dispatcher told GZ to find out which way TM was fleeing?!?! IT WAS A 911 CALL PEA BRAINS! They assist citizens (mostly those on the “good” side of the tracks) negotiate EMERGENCY SITUATIONS which a guy “acting like he’s on drugs” is clearly not. The EMERGENCY dispatcher is not coordinating or directing police operations. GZ did this on his own. He’ll soon find Karma creates a disparing prison that the brick and mortar one he avoided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  187. C. Clavin says:

    @ C. Clavin…

    “…This woman is seriously looney-tunes…”

    Not Jenos crazy…but still pretty f’ed up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  188. Rodney Dill says:

    @charles austin: I’m just surprised and pleased to see you’re still alive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  189. Moderate Mom says:

    @anjin-san: Zimmerman is of a mixed race background and identifies as Hispanic. The same way our President, also of a mixed race background, identifies as black. It could also be pointed out that Zimmerman’s maternal great grandfather was black. Anyone referring to Zimmerman as being white is inaccurate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  190. JKB says:

    @Rob in CT:

    You left out the part right after the dispatcher tells him they don’t need him to follow, Zimmerman’s breath slows indicating he has slowed or stopped his “following”. He then negotiates the meeting point to the police in a less out of breath voice.

    Interesting how everyone just skips over what was known to each at the time the decisions were made. It’s a common fault of those with weak reasoning skills. To question decisions made with limited information after a more detailed picture is known. Adults who routinely make decisions using what information they have at the time understand this. Others apparently do not.

    Let us look at some of the possible headlines just with the initial “suspicious person”

    Well, first, no headline as Martin presumably would have arrived home as most people do having done nothing to have reported in the paper.

    2, the headline that did occur, of a 17 yr old killed by a resident

    3. A 17-yr old charged with aggravated assault or perhaps murder for beating a beloved member of the community and neighborhood watch. Prosecutors are moving to try him as an adult.

    4. Woman found raped and murdered in her home. Neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman gave description of persons seen earlier but he didn’t call the police or observe them. (see said suspicious person could have been someone else who was a dangerous criminal and not a 17-yr old kid)

    5 Yet another robbery in gated community, etc.

    Only the first 3 involve Trayvon Martin as the person in a hoodie could have been someone else entirely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  191. Moderate Mom says:

    @stonetools: If you think George Zimmerman looks white, it is perhaps time to have your vision checked. He clearly looks Hispanic. And it seems that the Martin family could also be considered “middle-class”, not that economic class has a damned thing to do with this case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  192. @JKB:

    Only the first 3 involve Trayvon Martin as the person in a hoodie could have been someone else entirely.

    And yet, he wasn’t.

    Counterfactuals of this nature are pointless. For example, what if he headline was supposed to be: “17 Year old Saves Choking Man”? But that didn’t happen because Zimmerman killed him.

    Or, maybe 30 years from now: “Dr. Martin Cures Cancer”

    Notice how all of your fantasies are negative.

    This is, of course, silly. You can’t play what if–you have to deal with what actually happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  193. Pharoah Narim says:

    @JKB:

    GZ actually did make headlines in the local newspaper….the police blotter….for violent alterations. He later went on to become involved in an altercation with a minor that he shot in the heart. The minor had no such headlines….although he was black. Smoke on that. Does it ever hurt not having enough RAM for your CPU speed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  194. bill says:

    @beth: deflect his points, if you can.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  195. bill says:

    @Eric Florack: true, i remember all the angry white mobs out rioting and burning down stuff….oh wait, that never happened. we must be civilized or something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  196. Andre Kenji says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And yes, I skipped a step. Zimmerman’s mother is Peruvian, so he is half Hispanic.

    Nananina. You compared Zimmerman to Barack Obama(Known for many Brazilians as “moreninho”), that is half African. In Latin America, people are not obsessed about race like people in the US, so, everyone has ancestors of all kinds of races and heritages. I have a female friend that is Dark Skinned Black(her sister has Light Skin), but she also has Italian ancestors. Unfortunately, people sees her as Black, not as Italian.

    I myself have cousins that would be considered Black in the US. That does not allow me to be racist or to shoot Black Teenagers. By the way, the biggest Slave Trader of Modern Times was a Mulatto. Zumbi, that lead the most famous slave revolt in Brazil also held slaves in his colony.

    Odd how liberals only play up the minority heritage of people they like. Sarah Palin’s husband is Eskimo, Nikki Haley’s family hails from India, and Bobby Jindal is more often referred to as Catholic than Indian-American.

    In fact, I have sympathy and admiration for people like Jindal, Herman Cain, Nikki Haley, and other people of color in the GOP and in the Conservative movement. That´s a very difficult position, specially because if you have any grievances that are related to race none of your political allies are going to understand you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  197. JKB says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: And yet, he wasn’t.

    And yet, that fact was unknown until after the shooting. As was the fact the “suspicious person” was 17 yrs old.

    But as others have commented, I do find it interesting you seem to be asserting that individuals should not keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, should not seek to see where such a person has gone to help the police, should not involve themselves in their community.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  198. bill says:

    @steve: it’s logical, trayvon on top- armed guy on bottom. i didn’t follow the trial much either- being gainfully employed/having a life and internet access as well as reading as much as possible about the case. i figure 6 female jurors and a known democrat/female judge can’t all be stupid at the same time. if zimmerman actually started the fight and just lunged to the bottom so he could kill a poor innocent black child ….well then good for him, he fooled us all and deserves to be hunted down by rabid blacks for the rest of his life….really.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  199. anjin-san says:

    @ Moderate Mom

    I have no idea what Zimmermann’s actual racial makeup is – to be honest, I don’t see how it is especially relevant to what happend – half this, half that, 100% dangerous idiot.

    My point is, that there is no such race as “hispanic” and that people who are saying he is “mixed race, half hispanic”, or worse, “half Peruvian”, are spouting nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  200. anjin-san says:

    @ Moderate Mom

    not that economic class has a damned thing to do with this case.

    Do you get out often? Economic class comes into play pretty much every single time someone interacts with the criminal justice system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  201. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    civilized

    rabid blacks

    You really are a frightened little man. Sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  202. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    Here you go:

    More evidence of the highly civilized white society in America

    Yep. Nothing like those terrible, awful negros.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  203. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    Sarah Palin’s husband is Eskimo

    He is 1/8th Eskimo (link). Not that it matters much, but this is just part of your regular pattern of mangling any and all facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  204. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Palin’s husband is Eskimo

    Has anyone demanded to see his long-form birth certificate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  205. jukeboxgrad says:

    Without even looking at it I can tell it’s an obvious Photoshop job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  206. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Sigh… yes, on a scientific basis, there are three “races” of humanity — Caucasian, Negroid, and Asian. Yes, there are various alternate names for each.

    But when we start getting political, there are a whole slew of “races” of which discrimination is considered “racist.” Anti-Hispanic/Latino/Latin American, anti-Muslim (which is really entertaining, as Islam is supposed to be equally welcoming to all races, and the largest ethnic subgroup of Muslims is Asian, not Arab), anti-Semitic… it goes on and on and on. “Racist” is the new shorthand for a group that feels picked on.

    And in the US, discriminating against Hispanics (or whatever) is usually called “racist.” Hell, there’s a Latino group called “La Raza” — “The Race.”

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  207. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian

    Hell, there’s a Latino group called “La Raza” — “The Race.”

    I think that referes to members of the Peruvian race…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  208. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    a group that feels picked on

    What do you and your friends from high school have to do with this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  209. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Here are a thousand words just for you, old chum…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  210. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack:

    He was suspended twice from Miami Dade schools because he had burglary tools and possession of a dozen pieces of women’s jewelry.

    There are a bunch of lies and distortions in that article you cited, but this is all I have time for.

    The “burglary tools” was this quantity of screwdrivers: one. So using plural is a lie. And “burglary tools” is also a lie because there’s no evidence that the screwdriver was ever used that way or was intended to be used that way. The school cop who found the screwdriver described it as a “burglary tool” but there is no evidence to support that.

    That same cop found jewelry in M’s backpack. Link:

    No evidence ever surfaced that the jewelry was stolen.

    So you shouldn’t imply that the jewelry was stolen. And it’s also a lie to say he was suspended because of these items. He wasn’t. He was suspended for other reasons: truancy, graffiti, and being “caught with an empty plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it.”

    The facts in that column are undisputed.

    Hilarious. As usual you are a liar citing other liars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  211. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    anjin-san: Here are a thousand words

    Now if only you could come up with just a few that were clever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  212. anjin-san says:

    @ jukeboxgrad

    I’ve taken a look at some fairly in depth checks on Martin’s history and they indicate that he was a very average kid. Of course that has been parsed into him being a cross between Superfly and Mike Tyson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  213. Andre Kenji says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    And in the US, discriminating against Hispanics (or whatever) is usually called “racist.”

    Yes, because Hispanics in the US are mostly people of Amerindian descent coming from rural areas of Mexico and Central America. They are people that can be readily identified as such. On the other hand, there are many Hispanics that have Asian, African or European ascendancy.

    Hell, there’s a Latino group called “La Raza” — “The Race.”

    Obviously, “the race” is a very poor and incomplete translation to “La raza”.But most people that obsesses about it does not known anything about Spanish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  214. Eric Florack says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Given the history of Martin…. you know, the one the jury was never shown..he would have been dead or a ward of the state prison system inside 5 years. Cold, but facts usually are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  215. steve says:

    @bill- Whoever is on top must have started the fight? Sigh. Never wrestled or boxed did you?

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  216. matthew bernius says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Given the history of Martin…. you know, the one the jury was never shown..he would have been dead or a ward of the state prison system inside 5 years. Cold, but facts usually are.

    Again, context cuts both ways. If Martin’s checkered past matters so to does Zimmerman’s. Unless I’m mistaken, the Jury wasn’t informed of Zimmerman’s either.

    Under these circumstances it’s not irrelevant to ask why someone like Zimmerman who had multiple run ins with the law, and an alledged history of violence, should have been able to get a concealed carry permit.

    After all, using your speculative method, given his history wasn’t it probable that Zimmerman might use the gun in violence?

    Cold, but “facts” usually are.

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  217. mantis says:

    I like how bithead refers to his racist assumptions as “facts.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  218. Rob in CT says:

    You left out the part right after the dispatcher tells him they don’t need him to follow, Zimmerman’s breath slows indicating he has slowed or stopped his “following”. He then negotiates the meeting point to the police in a less out of breath voice.

    No, I didn’t leave that out. Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 09:15 I put together a narrative of roughly what I think happened based on the transcript. That narrative includes the following:

    7. Zimmerman says ok. It’s not clear from the transcript whether he immediately stops, but it’s clear that shortly thereafter he’s working on meeting up with the cop who is on the way.
    8. Around this time, Zimmerman is reluctant to give his address to the dispatcher because he’s “not sure where this kid is.” Clearly, he lost Martin. Also, too: he’s frightened.

    Maybe you just missed it. There are over 200 posts in this thread (though the one of mine I’m referencing is up near the top).

    I recognize that it sounds like Zimmerman halted his pursuit. Though one other thing I found interesting is that right at the end of the call, after saying he’d meet up with the cop at the mailboxes, he changes his mind and asks that the cop call him so Zimmerman can tell the cop where he is. There are a number of possible reasons for wanting that. He could have needed a rest. He could have decided to resume his search. I don’t know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  219. Rob in CT says:

    @PD Shaw:

    PD, I understand you aren’t agreeing with the juror, but rather trying to explain her mindset. I get that. I was just saying I thought he thinking was muddled. You give a plausible explanation as to why.

    I also find your guess as to how the two met up to be plausible.

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  220. C. Clavin says:

    “…Given the history of Martin…. you know, the one the jury was never shown..he would have been dead or a ward of the state prison system inside 5 years. Cold, but facts usually are…”

    What a f’ing idiot. You make a baseless conjecture…then label it as fact. Fool. Moron. Mentally challenged. There aren’t words to adequately describe you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  221. @Andre Kenji:

    Obviously, “the race” is a very poor and incomplete translation to “La raza”.But most people that obsesses about it does not known anything about Spanish.

    Indeed.

    To use Matt Bernius’ suggestion from above, on this topic Jenos very much fits “Quod loqueris nescis aut non libet cogitare.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  222. @mantis:

    I like how bithead refers to his racist assumptions as “facts.”

    It is a good example of why I decided some time ago to not even attempt to engage him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  223. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is a good example of why I decided some time ago to not even attempt to engage him.

    A lesson we should all take to heart. And probably apply to a number of other people who really don’t seem particularly interested in any facts outside of their “facts.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  224. anjin-san says:

    Or, maybe 30 years from now: “Dr. Martin Cures Cancer”

    OT, but this reminds me of a piece of faux gaffiti I saw on Facebook recently. “What if the cure for cancer is trapped inside the mind of someone who can’t afford an education?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  225. Mike says:

    @PD Shaw: It has been said more than one that Zimmerman got out of the truck and inserted himself into that situation. My question is what situation did he insert himself into? Of course, the one that actually occurred. Seems that this is the post hoc fallacy.

    Zimmerman may have been unwise or imprudent in getting out of the truck, but I am not getting where he did anything morally wrong. The whole basis of this article is that Zimmerman is legally innocent, but not morally innocent. The act of getting out of the truck itself had to be morally wrong in order to make this claim. The act had to be morally wrong at the time it was done. It cannot be made morally wrong by something unforeseen and unintended that happened in the future. Unforeseen and unintended by Zimmerman at the time.

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  226. anjin-san says:

    something unforeseen

    A man who is utterly unqualified to do police work arms himself, and plays cop. What could possibly go wrong?

    It cannot be made morally wrong by something unforeseen and unintended

    “I know I was doing 70 on a residential street, but I did not mean to run anyone over. I did not think something like that could happen to me.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  227. Rob in CT says:

    “These aholes, they always get away.”

    Nah, there’s *nothing* wrong with that mindset. Especially coupled with a Neighborhood Watchman who apparently either didn’t know or didn’t care about the usual guidelines for Neighborhood Watch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  228. @Mike: He didn’t just leave his truck. He went armed assuming that Martin was likely a criminal and he decided to act rather than let the police do their jobs. He clearly thought he should be helping in some way. That this led to a confrontation in which someone was shot is not a surprise given the variables involved.

    So yes, morally culpable.

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  229. Mikey says:

    @Mike:

    It cannot be made morally wrong by something unforeseen and unintended that happened in the future.

    Don’t confuse “unforeseen” with “unforeseeable.”

    The moment Zimmerman became morally responsible was when he said “these assholes always get away” and chose to take on a role for which he was neither trained nor suited. His duty was to call the police and report a suspicious person. That’s it. But he CHOSE to involve himself further. The fact he did not personally foresee an entirely foreseeable outcome doesn’t absolve him of any blame.

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  230. Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It no doubt came as a surprise to Zimmerman, and getting shot no doubt came as a surprise to Martin too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  231. @Mike: Just because something is a surprise does not mean that it was unforeseeable or that a person has not moral responsibility.

    By definition manslaughter is always a surprise (otherwise it would be premeditated murder).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  232. anjin-san says:

    @ Mike

    It no doubt came as a surprise to Zimmerman

    Being a fool does not absolve one of moral responsibility.

    Guns are deadly. They are designed and built to be deadly. The decision to obtain and bear arms carries responsibilities with it. A person who has ambitions to work in law enforcement should certainly know that.

    If I don’t keep my guns properly secured, and someone is hurt as a result, I bear moral responsibility. If I shoot without my glasses on, and someone is hurt as a result, I bear moral responsibility. If I make a stupid decision in any aspect of gun ownership/handling and someone is hurt as a result, I bear moral responsibility. If one of my guns is stolen and I don’t report it to the police, I bear some moral responsibility for what happens with that gun downstream. If I am careless cleaning a gun, and someone is hurt, I bear moral responsibility.

    Can’t handle the responsibility? Don’t get a gun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  233. anjin-san says:

    Personally, I find it fascinating that so many on the right who endlessly laud the concept of “personal responsibility” happily give Zimmermann a pass and absolve him of any responsibility for his actions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  234. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    Who is absolving him of responsibility? Zimmerman is responsible but his use of deadly force was justifiable under the laws of the United States. Justifiable under the self defense justifications that have been apart of the United States laws since the founding.

    Trayvon Martin will walk with George Zimmerman for the rest of Zimmerman’s life. He probably kicks himself for getting out of the truck. Possibly for taking an interest in the safety and security of his community. Zimmerman pulled the trigger, he is responsible but he is not legally culpable. As for moral culpability, that will be between him and God.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  235. anjin-san says:

    was justifiable under the laws of the United States.

    Obamacare is the law of the land. The Supreme Court has ruled it Constitutional. Are you on board?

    How about Abortion?

    How about Gay Marriage?

    How about gun control, where it exists?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  236. Dazedandconfused says:

    Looking over the tapes on Youtube of the trial, and one thing really jumps out, Zimmerman is really dim. Look at the interrogation of him by the two detectives, which was shown and heard (part of it is audio only -conducted in Detective Serino’s office) and see the terrible attempts at lies and embellishments. Serino finally notify’s Zimmerman that this has become a different kind of interview (hostile) because “We can’t do this anymore.”

    Then watch the scene walk-through first part, where he says he continued on to find a street name. So implausible it strikes me as the kind of lie one might get from a 5-year old. George might be classifiable as a person with a disability.

    He fits the profile of those who are drawn to law enforcement but are entirely unsuited for it. Weak, dumb, and probably picked on as a youth. They are drawn to making a place for themselves in a “community” and having power. They have the best of intentions, but….
    Usually weeded out pretty quick. George was having trouble even getting a foot in the door.

    Why was he being encouraged in his dream of law-enforcement? His dad should have known better. Perhaps he was willing to go along with anything that would motivate George to improve himself. He’d been in a bit of trouble.

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  237. anjin-san says:

    @ Dazedandconfused

    I remember a kid who lived across the street when I was growing up. Same profile, slow, earnest, picked on. His dad was very wealthy and dialed in & got him a gig at the sheriff’s dept. I think he buzzes people in at the county jail. The though of this guy with a gun and a badge is sobering, I don’t think he learned to tie his shoes until he was in the second grade.

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  238. mannning says:

    Most of us have accepted the legal verdict of self defense. There was no viable route to a murder conviction for lack of complete evidence.

    Now an enormous effort is afoot here to judge Zim to be morally culpable for Martin’s death. Well, it is quite obvious that he is morally culpable, simply because he took a life, and because he helped to create the situation where a confrontation, fight, and shooting was very much in the offing. It appears that Martin in likewise morally cuplable to a major degree, since he was a willing part of the confrontation, fight, and the life-threatening and physical influence on Zim’s probable state of mind.

    Having said this, there is little sense in inventing scenarios where one or the other is more morally cuplable, since they are both already well over the top, but with Zim at the higher degree. This will materially affect Zimmerman for the rest of his life, and well it should. Tragic–all around. The state has rested; God has not.

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  239. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack:

    Given the history of Martin…. you know, the one the jury was never shown..he would have been dead or a ward of the state prison system inside 5 years.

    To the extent that people like Martin do end up “dead or a ward of the state prison system” it is often because they are living in a society with many people like you: that is, racists who make racist assumptions. For example: the assumption that a screwdriver in a black kid’s backpack is obviously “burglary tools” and not just a screwdriver, even though there is no actual evidence of any actual burglary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  240. Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: If what I read elsewhere is correct, then the conversation between the dispatcher and ZImmerman continued on past where you left off on your dialog excerpt. Can you provide the dialog beyond what your article has? One account has Zimmerman acknowledging by saying Okay and acknowledging that he didn’t know where the fellow was anymore anyway. The said reason ZImmerman got out of the truck was not to follow Martin, but to check his exact location, so as to tell the dispatcher.

    If this is in fact true, then your article is dishonest from its inception.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  241. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Zimmerman was following Martin from a discreet distance in his vehicle. When he could no longer do that, he got out of his vehicle. A reaction of “this kid who just ran away is going to turn around, come back, pop me in the face, and then ‘ground and pound’ me” is not a “reasonable” reaction.

    Yes, a guy with a gun was following a kid for no reason other than that kid was Black.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  242. @Mike: Well, I linked the full transcript at the start of the post and I noted that I was proving a “portion.” As such, the notion that I am being dishonest is puzzling (to put it politely).

    Further, the dispatcher did not request that Zimmerman keep track of Martin. Where in the transcript do you seem evidence to that support that conclusion?

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  243. Matt Bernius says:

    @mannning:

    Most of us have accepted the legal verdict of self defense.

    Important point — Zimmerman has, to date, NOT received a legal verdict of “self defense.” He was simply found *not guilty.* The court, to my knowledge made no legal finding on the question of self defense. This is in part why Zimmerman is currently still open to a civil lawsuit by the family of Trevon Martin.

    It’s entirely possible that Zimmerman’s defense team will requests a SYG/Self Defense hearing that would make that decision, but they have yet to do so.

    So, at least for the moment, there has been no finding that Zimmerman acted in self defense. Simply it was decided that he did not intentionally murder or commit manslaughter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  244. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    yes, on a scientific basis, there are three “races” of humanity — Caucasian, Negroid, and Asian.

    Ummm no. There is no such thing in modern science as a “scientific basis” for race. Sorry I missed this when it first was posted.

    The race “science” you cite is 17th century “science” (largely invented to help justify colonization and slavery) that has long since been overturned by advances in human biology, and in particular, genetics. Talking about this as science is like arguing that the miasmatic theory of disease is still relevant science. Next thing we know you’ll be discussing the humors of the body.

    Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(human_classification)

    “Quod loqueris nescis aut non libet cogitare.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  245. Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Ok, I guess I flew off the handle about the transcript. I apologize for that.
    Zimmerman left the vehicle not to follow Martin, who Zimmerman acknowledged had ran, but to check the street address so that he could report the exact location when the police called him. ZImmerman was headed back to the truck when he was confronted by Martin. All we have is Zimmerman’s story. Even if Martin were alive, I do not see how known Zimmerman’s motives for getting out of the vehicle.
    One cannot say that ZImmerman failed to heed the dispatcher’s instructions. He did not follow Martin on foot. At a sort 5’6″ and overweight at 205 lbs. I do not think it was even possible. The dialog indicates that Martin was running.
    I believe that the notion is stretched beyond reason to believe there is moral culpability in getting out of the truck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  246. David M says:

    @Mike:

    [Zimmerman] did not follow Martin on foot.

    You may need to re-read the transcript again.

    Dispatcher: Are you following him?

    Zimmerman: Yeah.

    So he was following him on foot. And since when do people get out of cars to find street addresses? The idea he didn’t get out of his car to follow Martin is simply not believable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  247. @Mike: There is nothing in the transcript about looking for an address. I believe that was what Zimmerman said he was doing after the fact. Since he was clearly trying not to be convicted of a crime, I take his explanation with a grain of salt. He was not directed to go looking for an address.

    The transcript itself, indeed Zimmerman’s own words specifically, indicate that he was concerned that Martin be caught. Further, he considered himself a “Neighborhood Watch volunteer” and he was armed.

    In short, the following appears to be the case: he thought it was his duty to report suspicious persons (and indeed, had shown a pattern of such behavior, and was armed. The combination is a vigilante situation that went badly. That you see no moral culpability strikes me as problematic, but I also recognize I am unlikely to convince you otherwise.

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  248. @Mike:

    I believe that the notion is stretched beyond reason to believe there is moral culpability in getting out of the truck.

    To focus here specifically: the mere act of getting out a truck is not the issue.

    The mere presence of a weapon changes the context.

    The fact that Zimmerman saw himself as part of the neighborhood watch changes the context

    The fact that he thought “These (expletive) they always get away. ” and that he thought that he himself was an agent to stop this from happening changes the context.

    So, to assemble the pieces: leaving his vehicle with a weapon because he was motivated to keep those expletives from getting way leads directly to a dead teenager and hence moral culpability.

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  249. mannning says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Not being a lawyer, and not paying close attention to wordsmanship has its drawbacks!

    Yes, there is a difference between accepting self defense as an excuse and accepting a not guilty verdict. So be it.

    I stand corrected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  250. anjin-san says:

    @ Mike

    He did not follow Martin on foot. At a sort 5’6″ and overweight at 205 lbs. I do not think it was even possible

    Not even close:

    Zimmerman’s height is reportedly 5′7″ (1.70 m); and his weight is recorded as being 185 lb (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Booking Information dated April 11, 2012, the date of his arrest

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Trayvon_Martin

    There has been an ongoing effort by Zimmermann supporters to portray Martin, a skinny kid, as some sort of physical marvel. Likewise, Zimmermann is put forth as more or less having one foot in the grave. Both are BS.

    Mike – are you confused? Or simply dishonest?

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  251. Mike says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: To say “leads directly to a dead teenager and hence moral culpability” is deterministic nonsense. Martin possessed agency. He was not a function in a piece of computer code that can only execute one way. Martin assaulted ZImmerman. He did not have to do that. Had Zimmerman not had the gun he might have been killed or seriously injured.

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  252. anjin-san says:

    Martin assaulted ZImmerman

    Really? Prove it.

    Zimmermann might have thrown the first punch, and missed. He might have brandished his weapon, prompting Martin to act in self defense. We will never know.

    You have already been proven wrong in several of your claims on this thread. Why don’t you stop wasting everyones time?

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  253. David M says:

    @Mike:

    Had Zimmerman not had the gun he might have been killed or seriously injured.

    Seems highly unlikely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  254. anjin-san says:

    killed or seriously injured.

    Yet more BS. Zimmermann had superficial injuries which indicate a rather run of the mill fight. He was not the victim of a savage beating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  255. Dazedandconfused says:

    Something else I just came across: The defense animation shows them parallel to the sidewalk when the shot was fired. His head on the grass.

    This makes sense to me, because punching concrete sucks. Martin would have wanted his head off the sidewalk, and it was. They started perpendicular to the sidewalk and shifted 90 degrees to Martins left somewhere along the line. I’m amazed the prosecution did not refute the demonstrations with the foam dummy O’Mara gave. Perhaps by challenging the no-neck martial arts “expert” to slam their heads into the mat at a gym by holding them by the lapels as George described.

    That’s extremely tough to do, everybody cranks their neck forward and resists somewhat.

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  256. Pharoah Narim says:

    So tell me Zimmerman fellators…. was any of your hero’s DNA found on the killer sidewalk that almost ended his life? I shant wait waiting holding my breath less I meet the fate GZ narrowly escaped at the hand of the man child TM.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  257. al-Ameda says:

    @mannning:

    This will materially affect Zimmerman for the rest of his life, and well it should. Tragic–all around. The state has rested; God has not.


    Well said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  258. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:
    There are several things wrong with that article: among them TM was 5’11” and gawky, not 6’2″ and ‘thuggish’ and Skittles and Iced Tea are not ingredients for ‘purple drank’. I see no reason to believe the rest of it after the first two easily checkable facts turned up bogus.

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  259. Grewgills says:

    My wife found and can’t seem to locate the cite at the moment that it seems much easier to get a concealed carry there if you are white. African Americans seem to have a much harder time getting a CCW there for reasons like having a relative with a criminal record (not their own record mind you). I believe there is currently a move to get more African Americans in FLA to file for CCWs to expose this and form the basis for some legal action.

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  260. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    leaving his vehicle with a weapon because he was motivated to keep those expletives from getting way leads directly to a dead teenager and hence moral culpability.

    I suspect that it will lead to civil liability as well.

    As it should …

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  261. Tom Perkins says:

    “If Zimmerman had simply complied with that last quoted statement, none of this would have happened. This is a rather important fact to remember.”

    There is no evidence he did follow Martin after that, as the recorded tempo of his breathing indicates. You are supposing without any evidence to back you up.

    “We really do not know exactly what happened between Martin and Zimmerman between the time Zimmerman left to pursue Martin and the time Martin was shot save that a fight took place.”

    And on the basis of no evidence at all, and in spite of considerable evidence to back up Zimmerman’s account, you are willing to find Zimmerman guilty.

    “the fact there would have been no confrontation had Zimmerman not created it.”

    Zimmerman created no confrontation, Martin did. He is the one who went back. Martin committed the crime. Martin created the confrontation which ended in his being shot dead.

    Because Zimmerman not merely did nothing legally wrong, he did nothing which is ethically or morally objectionable, in fact his actions to safeguard himself and his community are laudable.

    “it is reasonable to think that Martin likely thought he was acting in self-defense as well”

    So you are claiming on the basis of what that Zimmerman first attacked Martin?

    “When assessing moral culpability we have to keep in mind the following: Martin was walking home from a trip to a convenience story, seemingly minding his own business. Zimmerman was armed and looking to stop “(expletive) [that] always get away.””

    Martin was going from other people’s house windows to other people’s house windows while in the rain, therefor you’ve got to wonder what business he was in. There is only support in the evidence for the notion that Zimmerman wanted to be able to say where he himself and Martin were, there is no evidence he wanted to confront or stop Martin, and that when Zimmerman was interrupted from a trip to the store by his observation of Martin acting weirdly.

    “Zimmerman created the situation and Martin is dead.”

    Zimmerman acted reasonably, Martin undertook the crime of assault, and that last is why Martin is dead. The proper onus is the person first acting criminally or negligently, in the chain of events which leads to the death.

    ” what I cannot understand is any suggestion that he does not have moral culpability for what happened”

    Because he did nothing to bring about Martin’s death, which he should not have done.

    ” If George Zimmerman had simply let the police do their job, Trayvon Martin would still be alive today.”

    The counter-factual which is supported by the evidence he have, is that If Zimmerman had let the police do their job, that is, not involved himself in any way, then Martin would be alive to pursue his transplanted criminal career, with the local police none the wiser. If the school police where Martin was from had done their job, Martin would have already been embroiled in answering for having stolen property–and so unlikely to be available to be observed by Zimmerman.

    http://spectator.org/blog/2013/07/15/trayvon-crime-school-miami

    “This should be the ultimate take away from this story, regardless of one’s views on the rest on the outcome.”

    It’s your bubble hermetically sealed from reality, hope you’re always comfortable in it and harm none with it.

    That last is unlikely though.

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  262. Tom Perkins says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    You may have heard of this thing called rain…

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  263. @Tom Perkins:

    Because he did nothing to bring about Martin’s death, which he should not have done.

    There is the small matter of, well, shooting him to death.

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  264. Tom Perkins says:

    @anjin-san:

    So you should have to be the victim of a savage beating before you defend yourself effectively?

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  265. Tom Perkins says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    While Martin was in the act of assaulting him, he can quite legally and ethically have shot him. I’m sure Zimmerman would have been happy for Martin to live to be tried for assaulting Zimmerman.

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  266. @Tom Perkins: And seriously, you are going at great lengths to make Zimmerman totally and absolutely blameless as if had just been minding his own business that night and was attacked by Martin out of the blue.

    You want to argue he was justified in shooting Martin out of self defense, I can at least understand where you are coming from. Pretending like he was the victim here with no culpability is ludicrous.

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  267. Tom Perkins says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    He was minding his own business, the safety of our neighbors and their property is our business. From the standpoint of the law and of right–who is right to do what–Martin did attack Zimmerman out of the blue. Zimmerman gave Martin no justification for attacking him.

    When you are meandering through the rain for any particular purpose, and someone is observing you and with some degree of intent to follow you, walking after you, you have numerous ethical and legal ways to respond. Walking up to the person after they have lost sight of you and decking them is not among them.

    Zimmerman was a victim of Martin, and he had no culpability. Culpability implies Zimmerman had done something wrong, or at least something out of bounds, you have demonstrated no such thing, the evidence supports no such conclusion.

    There is nothing unwise or untoward, nothing even slightly objectionable, to Zimmerman wanting to be able to say where he and Martin were.

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  268. @Tom Perkins:

    He was minding his own business, the safety of our neighbors and their property is our business.

    If he had just called 911 and let the police do their jobs, I would agree. He was out of his truck trying to find Martin and was armed because he considered himself part of the neighborhood watch.

    When I called 911 because I thought my neighbor was trying to buy drugs on my street, I stayed out of the way and let law enforcement do their job.

    Martin did attack Zimmerman out of the blue

    There is no evidence to back up this claim. We know that there was a fight. We do not know who started it.

    We do know that if Zimmerman had minded his own business that he likely outcome of the evening would have been Martin returning to his domicile to eat his Skittles.

    Your insistence on making Zimmerman totally innocent in all ways makes no sense.

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  269. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Your insistence on making Zimmerman totally innocent in all ways makes no sense.

    Have to disagree Steven.

    It makes total sense if one accepts that for a LOT of people, this discussion stopped being about the specifics of that night a long ago. At best it’s become about their interpretation (which far too many people continue to mistake for “fact”). But, in most cases, it’s become about a clash of fundamental beliefs (which may or may not have much grounding in actual fact, let alone what happened that night).

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  270. Tom Perkins says:

    If he had just called 911 and let the police do their jobs, I would agree. He was out of his truck trying to find Martin and was armed because he considered himself part of the neighborhood watch.

    When I called 911 because I thought my neighbor was trying to buy drugs on my street, I stayed out of the way and let law enforcement do their job.

    Not participating or participating in a Neighborhood Watch is a morally defensible choice, regardless of whether it is a chapter of the trademarked national organization or not. And I doubt he only carried when undertaking a watch activity, I suspect (he was on the way to a store when all this happened) that he commonly carried so he could protect himself and those around him from attack.

    Not involving yourself in what was likely to be a warrantless raid by twitchy para military types who despite their training are rarely held accountable for gross negligence is reasonable.

    “There is no evidence to back up this claim. We know that there was a fight. We do not know who started it.”

    To the standard reasonable doubt, we do. Martin assaulted Zimmerman. There is not one trace of any evidence to the contrary, and there is the 4 minute gap so well illustrated by the defense, showing that Martin had to chose to go Zimmerman. Given what followed and the agreement of all testimony and physical evidence (not just Zimmerman’s word) with Zimmerman’s account, there is no reasonable doubt but that Martin assaulted Zimmerman. This is true if the evidence considered is only what came out in the trial. It is still less reasonable when the digital objects recovered from Martin’s phone–which the prosecution illegally withheld from the defense–and Martin’s being caught with stolen goods are considered.

    We do know that if Zimmerman had minded his own business that he likely outcome of the evening would have been Martin returning to his domicile to eat his Skittles.

    And why would Zimmerman have ignored Martin that night, and not every other threat every other night? Kitty Genovese would like to know how the broader application of such an inclination benefits society.

    Your insistence on making Zimmerman totally innocent in all ways makes no sense.

    I find your insistence that he was in any way culpable not merely to be non-nonsensical, but to be pernicious.

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  271. Tom Perkins says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    “It makes total sense if one accepts that for a LOT of people, this discussion stopped being about the specifics of that night a long ago.”

    It is in fact only about the specifics of that night, and how plausible the interpretation of those specifics are.

    To find Martin to be defenseless and/or innocent and Zimmerman in anyway culpable, is to not merely to swallow camels, but to genetically engineer them from sea turtles first, and then strain at gnats.

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  272. @Matt Bernius: I take the point.

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  273. @Tom Perkins:

    To find Martin to be defenseless and/or innocent and Zimmerman in anyway culpable, is to swallow camels while straining at gnats.

    If you wanted to discuss the reality of the situation you wouldn’t be trying to make everything into a stark dichotomy–which gets to Matt’s point.

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  274. Tom Perkins says:

    It is a @Steven L. Taylor:

    “If you wanted to discuss the reality of the situation you wouldn’t be trying to make everything into a stark dichotomy–which gets to Matt’s point. “

    If you wanted to discuss as opposed to lecture in an echo chamber, you would acknowledge the stark dichotomies which exist in the matter.

    This trial was blatantly illegal, it was undertaken with the express purpose of evading a just and valid law. That law spoke to the principle–which principle I have seen you successfully impeach not at all, and also no one else–that without evidence of guilt, there should be no prosecution.

    That is why Zimmerman was properly let go that morning after his first arrest, and why he should be proof from any civil judgement in any wrongful death suit the estate of Martin may try to bring.

    Matt doesn’t actually have a point, but you and he are certainly free to place your fingertips more firmly in your ears.

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  275. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tom Perkins:

    This trial was blatantly illegal, it was undertaken with the express purpose of evading a just and valid law.

    This statement alone demonstrates how you are letting personal bias completely cloud your judgement.

    First of all, Martin and his legal team had every opportunity to petition for a SYG hearing under the law. They chose not to pursue that avenue.

    The state, operating under its own laws, found cause to bring charges against Zimmerman. So in no way was that illegal. You might not like it, but you have to go a long way to prove that it was *illegal*.

    Further, the fact taht it took a jury of six people eleven-and-a-half hours to reach a conclusion, suggests that, contra to your assertion, there clearly was some evidence suggesting guilt (apparently for manslaughter). If it was an “open and shut” case or there was no evidence to support the prosecution, it should have been a far shorter deliberation.

    The problem is that you are mistaking your *interpretation* of the facts and your *belief* that Zimmerman should not have be prosecuted with the broader *facts* of the case and *facts* about the way the legal system functions in Florida.

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  276. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tom Perkins:

    To find Martin to be defenseless and/or innocent and Zimmerman in anyway culpable, is to not merely to swallow camels, but to genetically engineer them from sea turtles first, and then strain at gnats.

    And I would again posit that statements like these say far more about your beliefs than they do about the facts of the night.

    It’s abundantly clear that you believe what you believe and nothing will sway it. I think it’s also clear that others disagree with you.

    From what I can tell you find Steven’s argument (which many of us share) lacking. I don’t think it will surprise you that, when it comes to your arguments, the feeling is mutual.

    Still we’ve put all of our arguments out there by now. All that’s left is for the readers to decide.

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  277. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Tom Perkins:

    You might have heard of this little thing call “Bullsh@t”.

    Although blood can be visually washed from surfaces, there are non-water soluble chemicals in the blood (which makes blood so hard to remove from surfaces anyway) that soak into the surface. There are chemicals available that when applied to a surface–would reveal the presence of blood. You sir, know not of what you speak. Perhaps more time reading and less time spent adoring your lawn jockey collection would enlighten you.

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  278. al-Ameda says:

    It’s been a long thread, so let’s recap:

    (Preface #i) Zimmerman actually has a criminal record.
    (Preface #ii) Martin did not have a criminal record.

    (1) Zimmerman found Martin to be ‘suspicious’ because he (Martin) was Black.
    (2) Zimmerman, armed with a gun, followed Martin.
    (3) Zimmerman called 9-1-1, to report Martin as “suspicious” person.
    (4) 9-1-1 dispatch told Zimmerman that they (police) did not need him to do that (follow Martin).
    (5) Zimmerman continued to follow and pursue Martin, Martin turned the tables on Zimmerman, and Zimmerman killed Martin.
    (6) Zimmerman had no responsibility or culpability for the killing of a person that he profiled as ‘suspicious’ because of race.
    (7) Martin, wearing a hoodie in the rain, deserved to be profiled as ‘suspicious’ and followed by a man (who has a criminal record) carrying a gun.

    I just do not know why people think that race was an issue here? Do you?

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  279. Tom Perkins says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    You are assuming the surface was not already wetted with rain.

    In fact, it was.

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  280. Tom Perkins says:

    “This statement alone demonstrates how you are letting personal bias completely cloud your judgement.”

    Not bias, knowledge of the case.

    “First of all, Martin and his legal team had every opportunity to petition for a SYG hearing under the law. They chose not to pursue that avenue.”

    That has no bearing on the decision of the police not to charge him that morning but instead to let Zimmerman go, respecting the SYG law and the principle behind the law, that no one should be charged with a crime unless there’s evidence they did it. Your attempted rejoinder is an utter non-sequitor.

    “The state, operating under its own laws, found cause to bring charges against Zimmerman. So in no way was that illegal. You might not like it, but you have to go a long way to prove that it was *illegal*.”

    The governor, violating his own state’s laws, arranged an extra-legal trial. To further that purpose, Corey filed a perjurious affidavit towards Zimmerman’s guilt, and may well be disbarred for that crime that and for concealing evidence potentially helpful to the defense.

    “It’s abundantly clear that you believe what you believe and nothing will sway it.

    Evidence could sway me, where is it?

    “I think it’s also clear that others disagree with you. ”

    No fooling!

    “From what I can tell you find Steven’s argument (which many of us share) lacking.”

    The point of being just shy of being necessarily deceitful, yes.

    ” I don’t think it will surprise you that, when it comes to your arguments, the feeling is mutual.”

    Not even slightly.

    “All that’s left is for the readers to decide. ”

    Which is why I’m even bothering to post in this den of vipers, they deserve the facts which countervail your arguments, and the differing points of view those actual (as opposed to your p[pretended facts, for example, the claim Zimmerman was stalking Martin) facts engender.

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  281. Tom Perkins says:

    “The state, operating under its own laws, found cause to bring charges against Zimmerman. So in no way was that illegal. You might not like it, but you have to go a long way to prove that it was *illegal*.

    Further, the fact taht it took a jury of six people eleven-and-a-half hours to reach a conclusion, suggests that, contra to your assertion, there clearly was some evidence suggesting guilt (apparently for manslaughter). If it was an “open and shut” case or there was no evidence to support the prosecution, it should have been a far shorter deliberation.

    The problem is that you are mistaking your *interpretation* of the facts and your *belief* that Zimmerman should not have be prosecuted with the broader *facts* of the case and *facts* about the way the legal system functions in Florida. ”

    No, my problem is that I know the provision of the state of Florida law under which Zimmerman was released is not merely a constitutionally valid law, it is one demanded by such basic principles of justice as will admit to no detraction–unless there is evidence of guilt, there should be no trial. The federal constitution both guaranteeing republican government to the states (they have to obey their own law) and guaranteeing due process to the citizens of the nation (the Bill of Rights applying to the whole nation without regard to civil jurisdiction, per the 14th amendment), so Zimmerman’s politically arranged trial without evidence was contrary to that law, and the constitutions of Florida and United States.

    As for the jury taking 11 hours, the charge of murder was dismissed almost immediately, the question of manslaughter was dismissed almost as quickly, once a question of law was resolved. It simply has no bearing on the validity of the state’s case. Look at the timeline of the jury.

    There is no logically valid interpretation of the fact Martin has such extensive opportunity to avoid or ignore Zimmerman, or the observed wounds on Zimmerman and Martin, but that Martin assaulted him and was shot dead while in the commission of that assault.

    You can have a different opinion, it just isn’t one justified by any facts you’ve named here, or have been named anywhere I’ve read in relation to this case.

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  282. Tom Perkins says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Zimmerman has no criminal record, as those charges were dropped. I should illuminate your thinking to learn that mutual restraining orders were issued to both parties. But it won’t.

    As for Martin, it isn’t hard to show he should have had a criminal record now is it?

    “Zimmerman found Martin to be ‘suspicious’ because he (Martin) was Black.”

    Zimmerman found Martin to be suspicious because in a neighborhood where there were numerous unresolved burglaries, including a home invasion imperiling a pregnant mother, Martin was wandering between houses in the rain examining windows. He wasn’t even sure at later if Martin was black, so it can’t have formed any basis for suspicion, could it?

    “Zimmerman, armed with a gun, followed Martin.”

    Insofar as it’s true, nothing criminal or even unreasonable.

    “Zimmerman called 9-1-1, to report Martin as “suspicious” person.”

    Wrong, he’d already called them. Zimmerman knew police were coming and could arrive at any time.

    “(4) 9-1-1 dispatch told Zimmerman that they (police) did not need him to do that (follow Martin).
    (5) Zimmerman continued to follow and pursue Martin, Martin turned the tables on Zimmerman, and Zimmerman killed Martin.”

    There is no evidence for that proposal of yours, and there is evidence against it. Good to see you admitting Martin assaulted Zimmerman, though.

    ” Zimmerman had no responsibility or culpability for the killing of a person that he profiled as ‘suspicious’ because of race.”

    There is no evidence Zimmerman profiled Martin as a result of his skin color, but that he did so solely as result of his behavior. Reports to the contrary have universally been shown to be the invention of a corrupt media.

    “Martin, wearing a hoodie in the rain, deserved to be profiled as ‘suspicious’ and followed by a man (who has a criminal record) carrying a gun.”

    Martin, wandering from house window to house window in a neighborhood that had been burgled recently, in the rain, was profiled as suspicious by a man not sure of Martin’s race when asked later by 911 operators. That same man has no history of any racist behavior, and had participated in protest against police brutality towards a black suspect not terribly long before.

    There is no evidence of racial bias at any point in the case on the part of Martin, or in cases involving the SYG law generally, which law in fact disproportionately benefits black males as opposed to white ones.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/16/blacks-benefit-from-florida-stand-your-ground-law-at-disproportionate-rate/

    Every trace of racial bias on the part of Zimmerman was manufactured by the media.

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  283. al-Ameda says:

    @Tom Perkins:

    Zimmerman has no criminal record, as those charges were dropped. I should illuminate your thinking to learn that mutual restraining orders were issued to both parties. But it won’t.

    His past behavior seems very suspicious to me. At the very least it shows a pattern of aggressive and reckless behavior.

    3/27/13 – Court documents obtained by msnbc.com on Tuesday evening show that George Zimmerman, who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, went to court in 2005 and 2006 for accusations of domestic violence, tussling with a police officer and speeding. The three incidents took place in Orange County, Fla.

    In 2005, Zimmerman, then 20, was arrested and charged with

    “resisting officer with violence”

    and

    “battery of law enforcement officer,”

    both which are third-degree felonies. The charge was reduced to “resisting officer without violence” and then waived when he entered an alcohol education program. Contemporaneous accounts indicate he shoved an officer who was questioning a friend for alleged underage drinking at an Orange County bar.
    In August 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiancee, Veronica Zuazo, filed a civil motion for a restraining order alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman counterfiled for a restraining order against Zuazo. The competing claims were resolved with both restraining orders being granted.
    In December 2006, Zimmerman was charged with speeding. The case was dismissed when the officer failed to show up in court.

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  284. al-Ameda says:

    @Tom Perkins:

    Martin, wandering from house window to house window in a neighborhood that had been burgled recently, in the rain, was profiled as suspicious by a man not sure of Martin’s race when asked later by 911 operators.

    That’s Zimmerman’s questionable account, there is no corroborating account that that was what Martin was doing. His word versus no word from the person he killed under questionable circumstances.

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  285. jukeboxgrad says:

    perkins:

    Martin’s being caught with stolen goods

    Notice this (link):

    No evidence ever surfaced that the jewelry was stolen.

    And this (link):

    Women’s jewelry and a watch found in Trayvon Martin’s school backpack last fall could not be tied to any reported thefts, the Miami-Dade Police Department said Tuesday.

    The fictional factoid you cheerfully regurgitated traces back to this (link):

    On October 21st 2011 a burglary took place a few blocks from Krop Senior High School where Trayvon Martin attended. The stolen property outlined in the Miami-Dade Police Report (PD111021-422483) matches the descriptive presented by SRO Dunn in his School Police report 2011-11477.

    That’s ‘conservativetreehouse’ (CTH). They are getting a lot of attention, with their claim being cited by American Spectator and many others, even though their claim is fictional. Aside from the fact that the police explicitly said that the TM jewelry “could not be tied to any reported thefts,” there are many other problems with this CTH article. He provides 533 pages of legal documents, but he provides neither “Miami-Dade Police Report (PD111021-422483),” nor does he provide “School Police report 2011-11477.” Why? If he hasn’t seen those documents, how is he in a position to make a claim about what they say? And if he has seen them, why does he not provide them?

    It’s also important to notice that he cites this many words from the two documents: zero. If we’re supposed to believe that there are two descriptions that match, an honest writer would present the text of those two descriptions. He does not do that.

    [Posted in two parts for technical reasons; see below.]

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  286. jukeboxgrad says:

    By the way, it’s a pretty safe bet that he has never seen “School Police report 2011-11477.” It has never been released to the public, and probably never will be. On 3/21/12, Miami Herald issued a formal request for that document, under Florida’s Public Records Law. On 3/26/12, that request was formally denied, under FERPA. How do I know this? Because this information is buried in the 533 pages of legal documents that CTH attached to his article. Link, see pages 50-53.

    Another interesting fact is buried in those 533 pages. Miami-Dade Police was not aware of the existence of the TM jewelry until they read about it in the Miami Herald on 3/26/12 (my first link above is a link to this article). It seems that Miami-Dade Police then immediately got in touch with School Police and obtained a photo of the jewelry, “for identification purposes, to see if they could find anything into burglaries in their jurisdiction” (link, p. 70). And then the next day Miami-Dade Police told Associated Press that “women’s jewelry and a watch found in Trayvon Martin’s school backpack last fall could not be tied to any reported thefts” (this article is the second link I provided above). So the report from AP is corroborated by the officer in a deposition explaining that Miami-Dade Police made a specific effort to match the TM jewelry with their own burglary records. Yet another reason to understand that the CTH claim is fictional.

    Those 533 pages provided by CTH are mostly junk (including many duplicate pages). And they are mostly regarding a matter that is quite secondary. On 3/26/12, Miami Herald ran their scoop about the TM jewelry. Their source was apparently leakers inside School Police. (By the way, 3/26/12 is also the day Miami Herald was notified that their request for documents was being denied. I guess they heard that denial and then decided to immediately run their story based on what they had: information from leakers.)

    Two days later, Chief Hurley of School Police launched a formal investigation to try to nail the leaker. This investigation didn’t really go anywhere, but it generated tons of legal documents, most of which say nothing of interest. So CTH is presenting a ton of information, which creates the impression that his claim is well-documented, but it’s not. It’s fiction.

    By the way, “School Police report 2011-11477″ may or may not contain a detailed description of the TM jewelry. However, we know that this document is not available to the public, and we know that no detailed description of the TM jewelry is available to the public. The best description is what we got from Miami Herald on 3/26/12:

    Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds.

    Probably half the jewelry collections in America contain “silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds.” So this information is too general to make any claim about these items matching items from some burglary. This is yet another reason to understand that the CTH claim is fictional.

    An aside: why are there two different police departments? Miami-Dade is the fourth-largest school district in the country; because they’re so big they have their own internal School Police (150 employees) that is separate from the Miami-Dade Police.

    There are some other subplots that are interesting but largely irrelevant. School Police Chief Hurley eventually resigned. He has been accused of sexual harassment. One of his accusers is also one of the officers he investigated as a potential leaker. He has been accused of using the Baker Act to manipulate crime statistics. Part of the anti-Hurley narrative is that he is pro-black and pro-TM. Hurley is a white man with a black wife and a black son. CTH makes a big deal about all this but it’s quite secondary.

    You can recover some of your damaged credibility by apologizing for your false accusation.

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  287. Tom Perkins says:

    Shorter version of JukeBoxGrad as he has always been every time I’ve seen a post of his, “I’m going to blow your verifiable facts which you’ve cited, and substitution my own suppositions.”.

    My true and supportable accusation is that Trayvon Martin was caught in school with stolen property, and it is believed it is known whose burgled home property it is, and it is known why that fact has not come to light before now–the police officials having jurisdiction over his school covered it up to support their contention that they were doing a good job of reducing student crime.

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  288. Tom Perkins says:

    @al-Ameda:

    And star witness Jeantell’s account to police that she thought he was evading rain by stopping under roofs. She would have no way to know that he was in fact under eaves looking in windows, but her account is consistent with Zimmerman’s.

    How’d he know what she would say, to lie so coincidentally?

    The answer of course is, per Occam’s Razor, he didn’t lie.

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  289. jukeboxgrad says:

    perkins:

    My true and supportable accusation is that Trayvon Martin was caught in school with stolen property

    Except that there is no evidence that the jewelry was “stolen property.” If your accusation is “supportable” then explain why you have shown this much support: none.

    it is believed it is known whose burgled home property it is

    The police said there is no match with any burglary report. Period. Your claim “is believed” only by those who embrace fiction and ignore all inconvenient facts.

    it is known why that fact has not come to light before now

    Except that no “fact” has come to light. A wingnut blogger invented a fictional claim, and you are defending that claim even though I have shown you proof that the claim is false. Link.

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  290. Tom Perkins says:

    “both which are third-degree felonies. The charge was reduced to “resisting officer without violence” and then waived when he entered an alcohol education program”

    This is consistent with his stumbling into an officer while drunk.

    “Rather mild.” as the trial judge who was dismissed for anti-Zimmerman bias mentioned.

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  291. Tom Perkins says:

    @JukeBoxGrad:

    “The jewelry and watch, which Martin claimed he had gotten from a friend he refused to name, matched a description of items stolen during the October 2011 burglary of a house on 204th Terrace, about a half-mile from the school”

    You are certainly free to place no credence in the report.

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  292. Tom Perkins says:

    In the event I need to repost the link.

    http://spectator.org/blog/2013/07/15/trayvon-crime-school-miami

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  293. jukeboxgrad says:

    You are certainly free to place no credence in the report.

    I’m supposed to be impressed because American Spectator is regurgitating the same fictional claim that you did? Did you bother looking at their links? Their source is an article at ‘conservativetreehouse,’ which I have demolished. Link.

    Let us know when you’re ready to lift a finger to address the numerous problems with their fictional claim.

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  294. Tom Perkins says:

    No, you haven’t demolished it. You’ve asserted it is false.

    Was the school district police chief replaced? If so, why?

    If in fact he was falsifying reports, then the article would seem to be accurate as far as that goes, isn’t it?

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  295. Tom Perkins says:

    A buttressing report from a source which may be less objectionable to your biases.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/chief-charles-hurley-baker-act_n_1519015.html

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  296. jukeboxgrad says:

    You’ve asserted it is false.

    I did a lot more than “asserted.” I cited the police saying the complete opposite of what you said. The one who is offering nothing other than naked assertions is you.

    Was the school district police chief replaced? If so, why?

    He resigned for reasons that have nothing to do with the claim you made.

    If in fact he was falsifying reports, then the article would seem to be accurate as far as that goes, isn’t it?

    Nobody ever proved “he was falsifying reports,” and this has nothing to do with the claim you made. Nice job trying to change the subject. Which is what CTH and American Spectator have done with this story: muddy the waters by dragging in a lot of material that’s secondary.

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  297. jukeboxgrad says:

    A buttressing report

    One more time: the issues regarding Hurley and the Baker Act have nothing to with the claim you made.

    The issues regarding Hurley and the Baker Act can explain why Miami Dade Police didn’t hear about the TM jewelry right away. But that doesn’t matter at all, because they eventually did hear about the TM jewelry, and they immediately checked for a match with burglary records, and they reported that no match could be found. This is the opposite of what your lying sources are claiming. Link.

    And there is a giant collection of red flags which demonstrate they are lying. Here’s one of them: they carefully avoid mentioning what I just told you: that the police reported that they could not find a match. This is what’s known as lying by omission.

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