Skip to comments.Senator calls on governor to name special prosecutor in shooting death of black teen
Posted on 03/22/2012 7:30:46 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
TALLAHASSEE State Sen. Gary Siplin and a coalition of other black lawmakers are asking Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate last month's shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer near Orlando.
Trayvon Martin, 17, who was black, was killed Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white Hispanic, in a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman, who has not been charged, has said he shot the high school student in self-defense.
The shooting, now being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and local authorities, has sparked an international furor with civil rights leaders demanding Zimmerman's arrest and a probe into selective prosecution of black defendants.
Siplin, an Orlando attorney whose district is near Sanford, said the community is plagued by a "plantation" mentality and asked Scott to appoint a special prosecutor to quell racial tension. "In my community today, they're very upset. They're very excited. They're ready to ignite," Siplin, a Democrat, said at a press conference in the Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
Scott's office said the governor is reviewing Siplin's request.
Siplin, joined by fellow Democratic Sens. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale and Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens, also intends to conduct a "fact-finding mission" in Sanford within the next month, to identify inequities in treatment between blacks and whites.
The meetings are to "make sure that the vestiges of racism that have been identified that have existed in Sanford for over 100 years can be slowly chipped away, to make sure that Sanford is returned to the 2012 century."
Senate Health and Human Services budget chief Joe Negron, R-Stuart, said he would participate in the town hall meetings to "make sure we have equal access to services throughout Florida."
Martin's death has renewed criticism of Florida's first-in-the-nation "Stand Your Ground" law that allows individuals who feel threatened to use deadly force to defend themselves.
Both Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, have rebuffed black Democratic lawmakers' requests for special committees to look into the law, which Zimmerman has invoked in his defense.
Zimmerman had reported a "suspicious" person to 911 shortly before the encounter, saying a black male was checking out the houses and staring at him. Zimmerman, a criminal justice major, often patrolled the neighborhood. He placed 46 calls to 911 in 14 months, for reports including open windows and suspicious persons.
In the 911 call, Zimmerman, using an expletive and speaking of Martin, said they "always get away." The 911 dispatcher told him not to get out of the car and said the police were on their way. Zimmerman was already outside. A dispute began. Zimmerman told the police that Martin attacked him and that he fired in self-defense.
One lesson to be taken from this situation (and I’m not siding against Zimmerman on this) -
if you’re carrying, don’t intentionally put yourself in a situation where you might have to shoot someone.
Another lesson - carry something less than lethal, like pepperspray or a tazer, so that it’s not “all or nothing” in defending yourself.
Bingo. That’s exactly the same way I feel about it.
Wow, you’re going to argue that it’s superior to have only one option to deter a threat.
There are MANY threats...to think pepper spray or a tazer is sufficient in a LIFE & DEATH situation is ridiculous. If you choose to stake your life or the life of your family on such nonsense, have at it. I choose otherwise.
If the threat is not life or death, my training instructs me to keep my weapon hidden.
Can I ask a stupid question? Ready to be flamed, but here goes.............
Why is this a racial case? They say that Zimmerman is a “white Hispanic”, (interesting combo) and that the victim is black.
What I wonder is this — Isn’t it tragic that somebody was shot and killed? Wouldn’t it be tragic no matter the race or ethnicity of people involved? Wouldn’t it be just as tragic if a white victim was shot by a black neighborhood watch person?
So now this is a cause celebre, with the likes of Al Sharpton weighing in, along with various and sundry Hollywood idiots, and even Michael Moore weighing in. But why is it a racial case?
Is there any evidence of any kind that Zimmerman was racist, and shot because the kid was black? Or is this whole thing being enflamed by liberals and race baiting hustlers??????
Are you siloed into the mindset that you can only carry one thing at a time?
In a life or death situation, indeed, it’s time to shoot to kill.
In other threatening situations, unless you just simply can’t imagine a threatening situation that isn’t a lethal one, less than lethal defense is appropriate.
There’s a reason cops carry BOTH pepper spray and guns.
I sure hope Gov. Scott ignores this request and saves the state some needed funds. There are more than enough “investigations” in process. It’s time to sit back and let the process take its’ course. As a former commercial banker, we used to live by the the following when presented a loan request: If you want a quick answer, it’s no. If you want to give me time to review all pertinent data, then maybe. This should apply to most situations as well.
I think he’s saying that you should never bring pepper spray to a gun fight. And since you never know when you may be in a gun fight, you may want to bring a gun. And if you read the history of Zimmerman and the neighborhood he was in, this case suddenly gets clarity.
Fact is, unless it can be proven that zimmerman roughed himself up, only a public lynching would get him punished for anything. Even the original callers to 911 that saw what was happening BEFORE the gunshot put Martin on top and Zimmerman screaming for help.
Zimmerman may have brought it on by not being prudent, but based on the evidence I’ve seen, it was a self defense shooting.
Can we thus call Obama a “white black”, or if you prefer, a “black white?
I can only find news items overly sympathetic to the victim. No news about Zimerman’s side of the story?
“In my community today, they’re very upset. They’re very excited. They’re ready to ignite,” Siplin, a Democrat, said at a press conference in the Capitol Wednesday afternoon.”
Nikes on sale?
They’ve been itching for a fight ever since their guy got into the White House.
Absolutely agree. As I mentioned, if it's not life threatening, gun stays concealed. I don't need to carry anything else.
I put my seat belt on every time I get in my car. It's the only thing I need, accident or not. I am not planning on getting in an accident, I am just taking precautions.
You seem to think that, no matter the situation, I carry gun and it's coming out, and that's the beginning & end of it. No so. The lesson to be learned is know when you can & cannot use your weapon. Period. There is absolutely no need to carry & or have some other form of protection.
Well, which IS he? Is he white or Hispanic?
Because the Thought Police say there's a difference, you can't be both.
Either sloppy reporting, or a deliberate attempt to make this a racial-hate crime. Because AS WE ALL KNOW, only whites are racists.
I carry, and the situation that (apparently) happened here is something we were taught to avoid om the Concealed Carry class. If Zimmerman was standing in his own front yard, he'd probably be in his rights if Trayvon attacked him and he shot him. From what we do know, Zimmerman exceeded his authority as a citizen and as a neighborhood watch member.
When I took my last class, we'd had a nationally publicized case in the Houston area in which a man called 9-11 after seeing some guys rob his neighbor's house (the neighbor was out of town). The 9-11 operator told him to stay put and wait for the cops. The guys said "I've gotta do something". He went out with his shotgun and killed the two perps; who were both illegal POS. There was a huge outcry, just like in the Zimmerman case. The guy was never charged, and Quannell X rallied his force of occupier types to the cause.
In our Concealed class, the instructor used that case as an example of what not to do. The guy's life was not in danger if he had not confronted the perps. He told us that even though the guy was not charged, he'd probably spend all the money he thought he was going to retire on to pay lawyers. Zimmerman did not follow your dictum of "if youre carrying, dont intentionally put yourself in a situation where you might have to shoot someone". That's what we were taught in the class.
Thanks, that's exactly what I am saying.
Do I carry non-lethal self defense items? Yes. WIll I use it? Probably not, it just gives me options such as at family reunions in Arkansas where the 3rd cousin is too drunk or stupid to shoot ;)
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail"-Will Rogers.
FYI..I emailed the paper asking them to explain what a “white Hispanic” was, and why it was relevant to the story...I shall now start holding my breath...
Waiting for Al “Resist We Much” Sharpton to call for the UN in intervene in 3..2..1..
Maybe you could bring a utility belt to handle all situations. It could have a gun, a knife, a taser, pepper spray, and those rounded scissors they used to give kids in kindergarten. You can use the latter for the extra timid perps.
Just make sure you have the presence of mind, when someone is pummeling you, to pull out the right weapon.
Where is that race baiting pimp Al Sharpton on the case where the Negroes set the white kid on fire? Oh, thats OK. That was just payback to racist whitey. Stickin’ it to da man!
I prefer gray.
I’ll take race-bating for $1000, Alex.
Why bother? Everyone knows he's guilty The press and the reverends already have Zimmerman tried, convicted and hung. /sarc
How would Zimmerman get a fair trial at this point anyway? There's no justice for anyone here. They'd have to take the trial out of the area.
Batman did, and he’s real.
That's a GREAT idea.
I'm going to go out and purchase a load-bearing-web-gear to carry all of my various levels of self defense items. I'd like one that doesn't clash with South Florida shorts and a t-shirt.
I hope Gov. Scott says “no” because the FBI is already investigating this.
Why the heck is the FBI involved it what should be a local case?
Oops. My bad. :-)
Which black teen? There’s probably been hundreds killed in Florida this year.
“They say that Zimmerman is a white Hispanic
How can one be white and hispanic? The man is either white or hispanic. By the looks of him, and his accent he is hispanic.
Do you really have to ask that question? Holder's Justice Dept. Victim: Black Perp: WHITE (hispanic). Need I say more?
Why is the FBI investigating this????????
I don’t think Hispanic is an actual race.
Hispanic, in classification by the United States, is any person who describes himself as Mexican-American, Chicano, Mexican, Mexicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central American, South American, or from some other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. About 45% of American Hispanics are of European descent, 42% are Mestizo, 10% are African Americans and 3% Asians.
Thanks for the info. I was pretty sure Sammy Sosa and Vicente Fox weren’t the same race. :)
See post 40.
I believe Texas law says something to the effect, you are allowed to use deadly force if somone is stealing your property or someone elses. In that case, they had broken into his neighbor’s home and were making off with some loot. That was the reason he was not charged. Would I have done it, no but that would have been my decision.
On the use of lethal force, I believe if one feels threatened, they would be stupid to bring out anything less than a firearm. First off, if they are threatened, it is not simply a matter of someone coming to your door, it has to do with their intent to harm you. Ever been in a disabled car and have some nut come up and begin banging on the window and be within a second of breaking the glass to get at you and your family? I have...only thing that got him moving on was my revolver. I sure as hell was not going to open the window and spray mace at him from inside the car. There was no way I could take this guy physically as he was half my age and twice my weight. Message was simple deterrent, break the glass and you will be dead, period.
Most all gun fights take place in mere seconds...having the time to decide what to do puts you at a disadvantage. If you are threatened, it is far better to be in the power position than to be reacting to looking down the barrel of a gun or the blade of a knife.
Their next gambit —
Perhaps soldiers from the United Nations should be sent in to restore order?
“a 28-year-old white Hispanic”
What exactly is a white hispanic?
My CCW instructor told us we need to carry and use pepper spray if we are attacked by unarmed perps IF we are male. He said that females will be excused for using deadly force in self defense situations that involve unarmed perps. But, men will not be accorded the same luxury. I don’t know if he is right but he is a former federal LEO.