Skip to comments.The Tribune's View: Zimmerman, Standing his ground
Posted on 04/16/2012 12:33:52 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The state of Florida has charged neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman with second-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman will defend himself by claiming Florida law allowed him to "stand his ground" against Martin's threatening behavior.
Evidence of what really happened is scant. Martin is dead, and no eye witnesses saw the encounter. A 911 recording casts doubt on Zimmerman's account, but the Florida law will make it hard to get a conviction.
It's hard to believe under the circumstances that a large armed adult had to shoot an unarmed teenager in self-defense, but the extra layer of justification provided by the ridiculous "stand your ground" law invites this sort of mayhem.
The law, passed at the behest of the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights promoters, gives people the broad right to use deadly force without having to retreat from a fight. It gives a decided edge to someone like Zimmerman, who hauls out a gun and eliminates an adversary. In defense, he need only show "by a preponderance of evidence" he was acting in self-defense to get a judge or court to deny a second-degree murder conviction.
Many observers think prosecutors made this relatively tough charge expecting it to fail, moving the onus to the court.
The basic culprit in this and similar cases is the law itself. Unless indisputable video or eyewitness evidence exists, proving self-defense is easy. Martin and Zimmerman did meet face to face. Who is to say which one was trying to "stand his ground?" Even without anything beyond the evidence at hand, a reasonable person would conclude the big, adult neighborhood watchman confronted the teenager.
That this is a "white on black" killing injects a toxic racial overtone. If Zimmerman walks, the surrounding black population might erupt; but regardless of race, the law is misbegotten. The only justifiable defense in such cases is "self-defense" without the legal encouragement for deadly force. Since hardly ever will evidence to the contrary clearly exist, shooters are almost always assured of protection under the law.
In a perverse sense, it's too bad the black kid was the victim instead of the shooter. If the killing had been black on white, the white public might be more eager to recognize the paucity of the "stand your ground" law, a sad but true indication of continuing racial bias.
In an earlier day when white vigilantes threatened black people, nobody proposed a "stand your ground law." Today the law tends to cast the likes of Trayvon Martin as a predator in an interracial encounter. If the killing had been black on black, would the "stand your ground" law be in play?
How in the world are they going to get a decent (fairly unbiased) jury for Mr. Zimmerman’s trial?
“A 911 recording casts doubt on Zimmerman’s account”
I stopped reading at that point.
Don't know about that, but we've got a black man who shot and killed a white man over here in Tampa, and he's using the SYG defense. No decision yet.
This shooting was last fall, and the story has gotten very little play, even locally.
Hey, George went back to being white!
Everyone in this country should feel shame looking at this picture...every one of you.
I pray that the charges are dropped, and that Zimmerman sues the pants off Sharpton and the other race baiters and collects enough money to live safely in a foreign country.
The "large armed adult" was 5' 9". The "unarmed teenager" was a 6' tall football player. As for being armed, that didn't help until Zimmerman pulled the trigger. Assuming that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman and posed an immediate danger of inflicting serious bodily harm, pulling the trigger was both legal and exactly the right thing to do.
Police report: While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and back of his head. It's going to be unimaginably difficult to prove anything other than self-defense.
Excuse me—why should I feel shame looking at that photo?
The writer doesn't say how, because he can't.
It's hard to believe under the circumstances that a large armed adult had to shoot an unarmed teenager in self-defense
Zimmerman is not a "large" man. Trayvon in his bulky hoodie would have towered over the much shorter Zimmerman.
The basic culprit in this and similar cases is the law itself.
The basic culprit was Trayvon. If you take a swing at someone asking you why you are in the neighborhood, and break his nose and then jump on him and try to crack open his skull on the sidewalk, then the person you are attacking has the right to defend himself.
Even without anything beyond the evidence at hand, a reasonable person would conclude the big, adult neighborhood watchman confronted the teenager.
More MSM dishonest spin about the "big" Zimmerman. The MSM lie painting this as a much bigger grown man shooting down a young boy appears to actually have tainted witness accounts of the event, as I discuss in this post.
Where’s LaRaza and similar organizations? Seems like they at least would speak out about the sharpton/jackson lynch mob. I wonder what the Spanish/Latino radio stations are saying - are they in Zimmerman’s corner?
The author is the former editor and publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune?
I spotted three factual errors in the first three paragraphs!
>>>That this is a “white on black” killing injects a toxic racial overtone.
If Zimmerman is white, so is Dear Leader.
And the author seems to think that getting your nose busted and having your head smashed repeatedly into the concrete by a larger, more aggressive stranger who is on top of you holding you down, is “threatening behavior”-well,I would like to know his/her definition of a beating??!!
Or is it only bad “behavior” when the aggressor is a black teen and the threatened is a “non-black”?
Threatening behavior makes it sound innocuous and something that you need to go to Anger Management classes for....when in reality, anytime you start banging someone’s head on the concrete while holding them down, is really an attempt to maime that person....or kill them.
There is no other outcome if the aggressor is not stopped somehow..and Zimmerman, like anyone with the urge to live, did what he had to do to protect his one and only head/brain/life...
Pure conjecture and hyperbole ...
Hey, isn’t the guy in the foreground of the picture the Florida chad counter from 11 years ago???
You comment can be interpreted in two completely opposite ways.
Did you mean, “Unjustly Accused.”
Or, “Zimmerman’s Guilty.”
They tossed him under a bus right away. Zimmerman is no longer “Hispanic.”
In a free and just country; this man would NOT be standing there in handcuffs. We should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it get this far...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.