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Zimmermanís Gunshine State: White Manís Verdict, Black Menís Burden (Beyond credulity)
Flagler Live ^ | July 13, 2013 | Steve Robinson

Posted on 07/13/2013 9:38:06 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

I was not in the jury room during deliberations over the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman. But my recollection of jury duty, from a lone trial a long time ago, is that a diverse group of citizens, called to pass judgment on a fellow citizen, take their responsibilities seriously. Most jurors check their biases, personal grievances and preconceived notions at the courthouse door, and do their level best to arrive at a verdict based on the facts presented to them. So I can only assume that, in acquitting Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the Zimmerman jury did the same, adhering to Judge Debra Nelson’s instructions, weighing the evidence and arriving at a conclusion they believed in.

Clearly, the jury was not convinced by the prosecution’s argument that, in the words of Assistant State’s Attorney John Guy, “The defendant didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to. He shot him because he wanted to.” Had the jurors accepted that argument they would have returned a guilty verdict of second-degree murder.

Nor was the jury buying a case for manslaughter, for which prosecutors only had to show that Zimmerman “intentionally committed an act or acts that caused the death of Trayvon Martin,” in the words of Judge Nelson’s jury charge.

Instead, the jury believed Zimmerman’s account of that evening’s events: That 17-year-old Trayvon Martin overpowered him, slammed his head into the pavement, and would have killed him or seriously injured him with his fists if Zimmerman had not managed to fire his gun into Martin’s chest. Under Florida law, that shooting is a justifiable homicide.

That’s the way this jury saw it, and it marks the end of the criminal case against Zimmerman. But it’s not the finale of this saga that we need to focus on. It’s the beginning.

In the eyes of the law, George Zimmerman is not guilty of any crime stemming from the altercation he had with Martin. Yet there would have been no altercation, no cries for help, no gunshot, had Zimmerman simply waited in his car for a police officer to arrive. And Zimmerman would not have gotten out of his car had Trayvon Martin been white. I know it, you know it, and George Zimmerman knows it.

Angered by a series of burglaries in his neighborhood, Zimmerman assumed the young black man in the hoodie was casing houses. From the very moment he spotted Martin, Zimmerman took action based on a faulty, fatal premise–that the young man in the hoodie was a danger, a threat to him and to his neighbors. Zimmerman was more concerned with avenging the burglaries than with ascertaining the reason for Martin’s presence in the community.

Everything that happened in the ensuing minutes sprang from Zimmerman’s warped notion of who Martin was. And that notion was, in itself, an act of prejudice and aggression that ended in a death.

The jury verdict validates the premise that, in Florida, the person who initiates a confrontation—in this case Zimmerman—does not always bear responsibility for what happens afterward. The jury was left to conclude that in pulling the trigger Zimmerman acted in self-defense. But Martin would be alive had Zimmerman not set out in pursuit of him, a pursuit based on prejudice.

Back in May, I concluded a column by saying that, whatever the verdict, no one should be cheering. In the days to come, we’ll undoubtedly hear politicians echoing that refrain, but their words will be meaningless unless real action is taken to prevent more encounters like the one that ended with Martin’s death.

For starters, anyone who volunteers for a neighborhood watch group should be armed with nothing more lethal than a cell phone. Most volunteers are well-intentioned and are not looking for confrontation; they are simply another set of eyes and ears for their local police. But those who like to flatter themselves that they are peace officers, and who arm themselves on patrol, are a danger not only to themselves but to their neighbors. Lacking proper training, and often motivated by the sort of unfocused anger that Zimmerman displayed on his 911 call to police–“These assholes they always get away”—they are emboldened by the gun on their hip, and a bad situation only gets worse.

If a volunteer thinks he sees a bad guy, his best weapon is to lock his car door, and use his cellphone to dial 911. That ought to be the law. Had Zimmerman not been armed that night, I think it highly unlikely that he would have left the safety of his car to pursue Martin. He’d have waited for an officer to arrive, and the world would never have heard of either George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin.

It’s also time for the gunslingers who inhabit our legislature to take a closer look at the imbalance between those who are armed and those who are not. And hold the angry email: I’m not talking about defending one’s home and family with a firearm. Having the means to use lethal force in an argument or confrontation should carry with it the responsibility to try to defuse or leave a tense situation. A man or woman with a gun should be expected to avoid places and flee situations where there is the potential for violence. If an armed person wades into trouble, the burden should always be on the shooter to justify his actions.

A person who shoots an unarmed man or woman should never be given the benefit of the doubt, as was the case early on with Zimmerman and the Sanford police. There has to be some accountability for shooting and killing an unarmed man. In short, we need to reexamine the definition of self-defense and the odious “stand your ground” statute.

Zimmerman is a free man, but his legacy should not be that he was “right” to do what he did. He should be viewed as the sad, angry embodiment of the fear and paranoia that would have us believe that owning a gun and using a gun are equal and inseparable rights.

*****

Steve Robinson moved to Flagler County after a 30-year career in New York and Atlanta in print, TV and the Web. Reach him by email here. steve.rob53@yahoo.com


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: banglist; blackkk; florida; georgezimmerman; trayvon; trayvonmartin; zimmerman
If Mr. Zimmerman hadn't been carrying concealed he almost certainly would be dead.
1 posted on 07/13/2013 9:38:07 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

well now that the jury gave a verdict they don’t like, now blame the jury.

The prosecutors and the judge didn’t raise the issue that this jury would be problematic because there weren’t enough colors of the pc rainbow in it.


2 posted on 07/13/2013 9:42:53 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Beyond ignorant. Its obvious that Treyvon turned back to confront the “creepy ass cracker”.


3 posted on 07/13/2013 9:45:07 PM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

4 posted on 07/13/2013 9:45:15 PM PDT by CommieCutter
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

You idiot!!!

The prosecutions witnesses testified for the defense. Neve seen anything like it.

Then, in closing, they made the argument for the defense and reasonable doubt.

“This could have happened this way but, it might have happened another way. I don’t know. None of us were there.

You make the choice”.

WTH???

The prosectution never made the case about a set story line and preponderance of evidence so when it came to summation he could say “There are no other choices. Convict.”

The prosecution never believed in this case and merely did the best they could to wrestle the pig to the ground and at least put some lipstick on it.


5 posted on 07/13/2013 9:46:28 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
And Zimmerman would not have gotten out of his car had Trayvon Martin been white. I know it, you know it, and George Zimmerman knows it.

I don't know it. There must be something wrong with me I guess.

6 posted on 07/13/2013 9:47:39 PM PDT by Gumption
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
From the very moment he spotted Martin, Zimmerman took action based on a faulty, fatal premise–that the young man in the hoodie was a danger, a threat to him and to his neighbors.

Sooooo....what was the crime rate in Zimmerman's neighborhood before Martin was killed and what is it afterward?

7 posted on 07/13/2013 9:48:16 PM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

8 posted on 07/13/2013 9:48:49 PM PDT by Impala64ssa (You call me an islamophobe like it's a bad thing.)
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To: Impala64ssa

Now that is the funniest, and most on-the-mark thing I’ve read all week!


9 posted on 07/13/2013 9:50:20 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
And Zimmerman would not have gotten out of his car had Trayvon Martin been white. I know it, you know it, and George Zimmerman knows it.

And if my aunt had any balls, she'd be my uncle.

He can believe his point and somebody can disagree with that point, but none of it matters. The point is completely irrelevant to the question of Zimmerman's guilt under the law.

10 posted on 07/13/2013 9:51:04 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Gumption

If only St. Tray had not smoked a jazzed up Blunt and not purchased ingredients for Drank and had a bio mom who didn’t abandon him at age 2 yr old and headed back for his former Dadz GF’s place for keeps, he’d still be an active no-limits gangbanger.


11 posted on 07/13/2013 9:53:56 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Steve Robinson is a F’in idiot, liberal POS. (I’m sorry about using idiot and liberal in the same sentence, which is redundant)


12 posted on 07/13/2013 9:54:02 PM PDT by ohioman
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To: dead

Of course he wouldn’t have, white kids don’t rob people or break into cars and houses. No need to get out of the car.


13 posted on 07/13/2013 9:54:14 PM PDT by The Toll
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I know it, you know it, and George Zimmerman knows it.

That's a lie, Steve, you have no factual evidence to support your OPINION, you don't KNOW jack, I most certainly know the opposite, and you don't have access to Zimmerman's thoughts to know what he knows.

14 posted on 07/13/2013 9:55:20 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: Timber Rattler

Sooooo....what was the crime rate in Zimmerman’s neighborhood before Martin was killed and what is it afterward?
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Very good question...but don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.


15 posted on 07/13/2013 9:57:28 PM PDT by bramps (Sarah Palin got more votes in 2008 than Mitt Romney got in 2012)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; All

Lemme guess...another Black Racist pushing for violence on non blacks?

Which is what Trayvon supporters have always been pushing


16 posted on 07/13/2013 10:00:33 PM PDT by SeminoleCounty (Don't Blame Me For La Raza Rubio....I Voted For Alex Snitker)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“#GunshineState”

Good one! That ought to tweet!


17 posted on 07/13/2013 10:01:34 PM PDT by man_in_tx (Blowback (Faithfully farting twowards Mecca five times daily).)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hold on here, how can it be a white man’s verdict when it was an all woman jury? And not all of them were the “offending” white?


18 posted on 07/13/2013 10:01:52 PM PDT by 23 Everest (When seconds count. The police are just 23 minutes away. 831 Bonnie)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
But those who like to flatter themselves that they are peace officers, and who arm themselves on patrol, are a danger not only to themselves but to their neighbors.

Possibly a good argument had Z been on patrol. But he wasn't. He was just on his way to Target when he spotted TM acting suspicously.

19 posted on 07/13/2013 10:03:36 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When someone breaks into your house, shoots your wife, rapes your kid and cuts you with a knife and you are bleeding to death I hope you appreciate a “wanna be cop” who is first on the scene and saves your family’s lives. If not it will be a pity they read you idiotic ramblings and decides to remain in their houses and cars while you bleed out!


20 posted on 07/13/2013 10:04:46 PM PDT by VRWCarea51
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That wasn’t directed at you but rather the idiot that wrote that nonsense.


21 posted on 07/13/2013 10:07:50 PM PDT by VRWCarea51
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Just another race-baiting slimeball grandstanding on the coffin of a dead kid.

What gutter trash. If he actually believes what he has written here, this author is a sub-human, soulless, limited-brain-function pathological lunatic.

If he doesn't really believe it, but is just hoisting this flag for either personal acceptance or to foment racial tension (or both), then he's much worse.

Ignorant filth.

;-\

22 posted on 07/13/2013 10:08:43 PM PDT by Gargantua (America's starting to smell like a steaming pile of Obama.)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet
“The defendant didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to. He shot him because he wanted to.”

I guess maybe you're right. He didn't have to shoot TM. He (GZ) could have relied on the good intentions of TM, the guy that was younger, bigger, stronger than him who was also at the time on top of him beating him severely, pounding his skull against the concrete, and telling him "you're going to die tonight." Yeah, GZ didn't have to shoot TM, he could've let TM make good on his threats and kill him. But I guess GZ wanted to live, so he was finally forced to use deadly force to protect his own life.

Had the jurors accepted that argument they would have returned a guilty verdict of second-degree murder.

Guess it is a good thing the jurors went with the facts then rather than emotion. See, that's this little thing we call the rule of law and justice. You ought to look into it sometime.

...for which prosecutors only had to show that Zimmerman “intentionally committed an act or acts that caused the death of Trayvon Martin,” in the words of Judge Nelson’s jury charge.

Which was actually incorrect and misleading. Wonder if there will be any professional backlash on the Judge for that. The burden of proof even for manslaughter in FL is actually significantly more involved than that.

Instead, the jury believed Zimmerman’s account of that evening’s events: That 17-year-old Trayvon Martin overpowered him, slammed his head into the pavement, and would have killed him or seriously injured him with his fists if Zimmerman had not managed to fire his gun into Martin’s chest. Under Florida law, that shooting is a justifiable homicide.

Bravo, first thing you've gotten right. Though I would contend (and at least one medical professional testified to the fact) that GZ's injuries from TM were already serious. So there was no "would have" he (TM) already had seriously injured GZ with life threatening injuries.

...there would have been no altercation, no cries for help, no gunshot, had Zimmerman simply waited in his car for a police officer to arrive...

No doubt. But this also could have been prevented had TM not decided to circle back and ambush/attack GZ when GZ was returning to his vehicle. Really, you can play what-if games forever, spinning out scenarios that could've turned out better or worse for either or both parties.

...And Zimmerman would not have gotten out of his car had Trayvon Martin been white. I know it, you know it, and George Zimmerman knows it.

You state this in spite of absolutely no evidence to support it. None. How are those mind reading classes going?

Everything that happened in the ensuing minutes sprang from Zimmerman’s warped notion of who Martin was. And that notion was, in itself, an act of prejudice and aggression that ended in a death.

You call it "warped notion" I call it well founded suspicion. Are you forgetting the string of burglaries? Are you forgetting that TM was suspended from school for having burglary tools and a bag of woman's jewelry? There was no aggression by GZ that night, the only aggression was from TM.

The jury verdict validates the premise that, in Florida, the person who initiates a confrontation—in this case Zimmerman—does not always bear responsibility...

Wrong. That is a bald faced lie and the author knows it is BS. GZ did not initiate the confrontation. He followed, then broke off. It was TM who then initiated the confrontation by attacking GZ. Lying SOB.

But Martin would be alive had Zimmerman not set out in pursuit of him, a pursuit based on prejudice.

You are assuming prejudice in spite of a complete lack of any evidence to support it. I conclude you are basing that only on the races of the two parties - in itself a form of prejudice. You are obviously prejudiced against non-blacks when it comes to blacks, assuming non blacks are prejudiced against blacks even when there's no evidence to support it. You are most certainly prejudiced and racist.

For starters, anyone who volunteers for a neighborhood watch group should be armed with nothing more lethal than a cell phone.

What a dumb idea. Do you think neighborhood watch does any good? Yes? Think criminals believe this too? Gee, that makes neighborhood watch a threat to criminals' livelihood. Hmm, let me think, how do criminals respond to threats... and you want to send these people out unarmed? What are you, some kind of sick criminal lover? Do you want violence?

...who arm themselves on patrol, are a danger not only to themselves but to their neighbors...

Wrong again. Responsible firearms ownership and use reduces crime. Proven time and time again. Get your facts straight. Oh, I'm sorry, would that get in the way of your opinions?

If a volunteer thinks he sees a bad guy, his best weapon is to lock his car door, and use his cellphone to dial 911.

Yeah, because waiting minutes for police to arrive while your life is in danger is always far more preferable than having the means to protect yourself on the spot. ;-/ I would be willing to bet a fair chunk of change that had GZ not been armed that night, he would be dead and not the violet thug TM.

24 posted on 07/13/2013 10:16:08 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What if Trayvon had confronted Zimmerman by PEACEFULLY asking Zimmerman what the problem was and had a civilized conversation?? Then there would have been no killing, I’m quite sure. The left and the Blacks actually believe that Zimmerman HUNTED Trayvon down like an animal, gun drawn, to kill him!


25 posted on 07/13/2013 10:16:36 PM PDT by hulagirl (Mother Theresa was right)
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To: Gargantua

Bravo, well said.


26 posted on 07/13/2013 10:19:18 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
And Zimmerman would not have gotten out of his car had Trayvon Martin been white. I know it, you know it, and George Zimmerman knows it.

We don't know that. We do know that Zimmerman didn't say anything to the dispatcher about Martin's race, until he was asked (for ID purposes). Even then he equivocated ".. he Looks black) He talked about how Martin was acting, "weird.. I think he's on drugs or something" (which the video from the 7-11 confirmed, Martin was definitely not steady on his feet).

Zimmerman described Martin's actions (he looked like he was casing the complex, rather than proceeding, in the rain, to his destination) He related Martin's actions to people who had committed crimes in the complex and gotten away with it, he doesn't say anything about those other people being Black, although they were.

Martin was doing his duty as the Neighborhood Watch captain. Or anyone's duty for that matter to watch out for their neighbors. He got out of his vehicle, before the dispatcher told him they didn't need he "suspect" followed, in order to keep him in sight so he could report his location to the police when they arrived.

When the dispatcher advised him they didn't need him to do that, you could hear a change in his breathing and other sounds indicating he'd slowed down and he said he was heading back to his car. The dispatcher wanted an address, and Zimmerman was looking for one when he was jumped by Martin.

27 posted on 07/13/2013 10:44:21 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Palpable ignorance.


28 posted on 07/13/2013 10:52:07 PM PDT by sargon (I don't like the sound of these here Boncentration Bamps!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“And Zimmerman would not have gotten out of his car had Trayvon Martin been white. I know it, you know it...”

You may know it, Kemo-sabe, but I know no such thing.


29 posted on 07/13/2013 11:19:38 PM PDT by DemforBush (Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia!)
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To: Timber Rattler

We’re always lectured by liberals about “profiling”. But what is one supposed to think, if a disproportionate amount of crime is committed by certain types of people?

Is it prejudicial to be suspicious of young black men in hoodies, especially if they have a “gang persona” about them, when unfortunately, disproportionate numbers of such young men commit so many crimes?

I think Trayvon initiated the deadly physical confrontation. Probably because, in ghetto culture, the worst thing you can do to someone is “diss” or disrespect them. Trayvon felt dissed, and in ghetto culture, dissing is responded to with violence.

Arguably, ghetto attitudes are why Trayvon died. Even if he was being followed, if he had gone right home, nothing ever would have happened.


30 posted on 07/14/2013 8:48:00 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I left several trenchant comments....some of which have already been deleted.


31 posted on 07/14/2013 10:12:33 AM PDT by clintonh8r (white Caucasian)
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