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Zimmerman's lawyer: 'Stand your ground' doesn't apply in Trayvon Martin case
CNN ^ | March 24, 2012 | CNN Wire Staff

Posted on 03/24/2012 9:59:15 AM PDT by Qbert

Sanford, Florida (CNN) -- A lawyer for the man at the center of the Trayvon Martin death investigation said Florida's "stand your ground" law doesn't apply to the shooting that killed the unarmed teen.

"In my legal opinion, that's not really applicable to this case. The statute on 'stand your ground' is primarily when you're in your house," said Craig Sonner, attorney for George Zimmerman.

"This is self-defense, and that's been around for forever -- that you have a right to defend yourself. So the next issue (that) is going to come up is, was he justified in using the amount of force he did?"

[Snip]

The 2005 law allows people to use deadly force anywhere they have a right to be if they have reasonable fear an assailant could seriously harm them or someone else.

It also eliminated a long-standing "duty to retreat" in the face of imminent harm, asserting that would-be crime victims have the right to "stand their ground" and "meet force with force" when attacked.

[Snip]

The Sanford Police Department said officers were prohibited from arresting Zimmerman the night of the shooting because physical evidence and testimony supported his claim that he acted in self-defense. The police department gave the explanation to City Manager Norton Bonaparte, who included it in a letter to the community about the case, posted on the city's website.

Authorities say they still have no information to contradict Zimmerman's story...

[Snip]

Heated debate has erupted over whether Zimmerman used a racial slur during the 911 call, which was released this week.

A top CNN audio engineer enhanced the sound of the 911 call, and several members of CNN's editorial staff repeatedly reviewed the tape but could reach no consensus.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: georgezimmerman; standyourground; trayvonmartin; zimmerman

1 posted on 03/24/2012 9:59:19 AM PDT by Qbert
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To: Qbert

Interesting snipits from the article...

The Sanford Police Department said officers were prohibited from arresting Zimmerman the night of the shooting because physical evidence and testimony supported his claim that he acted in self-defense. The police department gave the explanation to City Manager Norton Bonaparte, who included it in a letter to the community about the case, posted on the city’s website.

“Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon,” the police said in the letter posted by Bonaparte.

Sonner says his client was injured that night with a broken nose and a serious cut on the back of his head. He said the injuries “were from Trayvon Martin, I assume.”


2 posted on 03/24/2012 10:03:55 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

Yep. And that seems to be supported by what a witness to the attack has claimed:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2863167/posts


3 posted on 03/24/2012 10:16:47 AM PDT by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert

To those who jumped on this bandwagon, the truth will not matter, there mind is made up this was racism, by Zimmerman, the police and witnesses, no amount of truth will sway them.


4 posted on 03/24/2012 10:22:16 AM PDT by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: gunsequalfreedom
"Those pesky facts keep getting in the way.

From the link:
Why was George Zimmerman not arrested the night of the shooting?
When the Sanford Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony. By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time. Additionally, when any police officer makes an arrest for any reason, the officer MUST swear and affirm that he/she is making the arrest in good faith and with probable cause. If the arrest is done maliciously and in bad faith, the officer and the City may be held liable.

and:
What about media reenactments of the shooting incident?
Any media reenactments of the shooting incident are purely speculation. To date the Sanford Police Department has not released any rendition of the events of the evening to anyone other than the Office of the State Attorney. The renditions we have seen are not consistent with the evidence in this case.

The Sanford Police Department has conducted a complete and fair investigation of this incident. We have provided the results of our investigation to the Office of the State Attorney for their review and consideration for possible criminal prosecution.

Although the Police Department is the target of the troubling questions, let me assure you we too feel the pain of this senseless tragedy that has dramatically affected our community. Therefore, as we move forward and strive to answer the questions that are a point of controversy in the community, we ask for your patience, understanding and assistance in getting the correct information to the community

We trust that this information is helpful to you.

Norton N. Bonaparte, Jr., ICMA-CM City Manager March 23, 2012

5 posted on 03/24/2012 10:31:52 AM PDT by TexasSecede79366
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To: Qbert
...primarily when you're in your house...

Errr, I don't know Florida law but here in Texas, SYG applies wherever you are.

6 posted on 03/24/2012 11:18:21 AM PDT by TexasRedeye (Eschew obfuscation)
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To: Qbert

This is gotten so out of whack, because of the race whores. Zimmerman is hispanic, when is that group going to show up and demand justice for Zimmerman.
There are black neighbors coming to his defense, one has to wonder why they are being ignored.


7 posted on 03/24/2012 11:29:49 AM PDT by svcw (CLEAN WATER & Education http://www.longlostsis.com/PI/MayanHelp2012.html)
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To: gunsequalfreedom
CNN's actually reporting the facts? Now that's news.

MSNBC, on the other hand, is doing all it can to stir up racial hatred.

8 posted on 03/24/2012 11:56:20 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Reading Righteous Indignation so I can be Andrew Breitbart)
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To: PoloSec

They were irrational before the data came out - they aren’t going to become rational now.

It is a disgrace how the media plays on the mental weakness of these people.


9 posted on 03/24/2012 11:58:35 AM PDT by Eldon Tyrell
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To: gunsequalfreedom
“Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon,”

Here's the problem I have with that: If you check the timing on the call Zimmerman placed to Sanford dispatch, the time lapsed from when you hear him open his vehicle door (he still has to exit the vehicle) until he acknowledges the dispatcher's "we don't need you to do that" is only 18 seconds.

A full minute and a half after that - and well after the time he "lost sight of Trayvon" - he's still on the phone with dispatch and he still hasn't made it back to his truck. He also changes his mind about meeting the police at the mailboxes and asks the dispatcher if they can call him and he'll tell them where to find him.

While that isn't concrete proof of any wrongdoing, it does leave the door open to the possibility that he was determined to find this "asshole" "on drugs or something" who wouldn't "get away" this time. Now considering that he likely saw himself as the good guy out to thwart the evildoer, is it not possible that he would aggressively confront Trayvon when/if he found him? And when confronted aggressively by a stranger who he knew had been watching/following him for several minutes, is it possible that Trayvon feared for his safety and "stood his ground?"

That possibility is enough for me to agree that all the information should have been brought before a grand jury to review long before it became the media circus it is now.

19:11:12

Dispatcher: Sanford Police Department, line is being recorded. This is Sean.

19:11:16

Zimmerman: Hey we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle.

19:11:29

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.

19:11:37

Dispatcher: Okay, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?

19:11:39

Zimmerman: He looks black.

19:11:41

Dispatcher: Did you see what he was wearing?

19:11:43

Zimmerman: Yeah. A dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes.

19:11:52

Zimmerman: He's here now and he’s just staring…

19:11:55

Dispatcher: Oh, he's just walking around the area…

19:11:55

Zimmerman: …looking at all the houses.

19:11:57

Dispatcher: Ah, ‘kay

19:11:58

Zimmerman: Now he's just staring at me.

19:12:00

Dispatcher: Okay—you said it's 1111 Retreat View? Or 111?

19:12:03

Zimmerman: That's the clubhouse…

19:12:05

Dispatcher: That's the clubhouse, do you know what the—he's near the clubhouse right now?

19:12:09

Zimmerman: Yeah, now he's coming towards me.

19:12:11

Dispatcher: Okay.

19:12:15

Zimmerman: He's got his hand in his waistband. And he's a black male.

19:12:20

Zimmerman: And he's a black male.

19:12:21

Dispatcher: Okay. How old would you say he looks?

19:12:23

Zimmerman: He's got button on his shirt..

19:12:24

Zimmerman: ..late teens.

19:12:25

Dispatcher: Late teens, okay.

19:12:26

Zimmerman: Mmhuh.

19:12:29

Zimmerman: Something’s wrong with him.

19:12:33

Zimmerman: Ayup, he's coming to check me out.

19:12:36

Zimmerman: He's got something in his hands, I don't know what his deal is.

19:12:39

Dispatcher: Okay, just let me know if he does anything okay…

19:12:40

Zimmerman: How long until you get an officer over here?

19:12:41

Dispatcher: Yeah, we've got ‘em on the way - just let me know if this guy does anything else.

19:12:46

Zimmerman: Okay.

19:12:49

Zimmerman: Ugh - these assholes, they always get away.

19:12:55

Zimmerman: Yep.

19:12:57

Zimmerman: When you come to the clubhouse, you come straight in…and make a left.

19:13:03

Zimmerman: Actually. You would go past the clubhouse.

19:13:06

Dispatcher: Ah. You say it's on the left hand side from the clubhouse?

19:13:10

Zimmerman: Naaah…you go in straight through the entrance…and then you make a left…uh…yea, you go straight in, don't turn, and make a left-

19:13:18

Zimmerman: - ah shit.

19:13:19

Zimmerman: He's running.

19:13:20

Dispatcher: He's running? Which way is he running?

19:13:22

[sound of vehicle door opening]

19:13:23

Zimmerman: Down towards the, uh, other entrance to the neighborhood.

19:13:26

Dispatcher: Okay, which entrance is that that he's heading towards?

19:13:28

Zimmerman: The back entrance…

19:13:32

Zimmerman: Fucking [unintelligible]

19:13:34

Dispatcher: Are you following him?

19:13:36

Zimmerman: Yeah

19:13:37

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

19:13:40

Zimmerman: Ok

 

[muffled noises – wind? heavy breathing?]

19:13:46

Dispatcher: Alright sir what is your name?

19:13:48

Zimmerman: George

19:13:49

Zimmerman: He ran.  [muffled – breathless?]

19:13:52

Dispatcher: Alright George what's your last name?

19:13:55

Zimmerman: [two slapping/tapping noises] Zimmerman

19:13:56

Dispatcher: And George what's the phone number you're calling from?

19:13:57

[more slapping/flapping noises]

19:13:59

Zimmerman: 407-***-****[redacted]

19:14:04

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

19:14:08

Zimmerman: Yeah.

19:14:09

Dispatcher: Alright, where you going to meet with them at?

19:14:12

Zimmerman: Um, if they come in through the uh, gate -- tell them to go straight past the club house, [more slapping/flapping noises] and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they go past the mailboxes, they’ll see my truck...[unintelligible]

19:14:31

Dispatcher: Okay. What address are you parked in front of?

19:14:33

Zimmerman: Um. I don’t know, it’s a cut through so I don’t know the address.

19:14:38

Dispatcher: Okay do you live in the area?

19:14:39

Zimmerman: Yeah, yeah…I live...[unintelligible]

19:14:40

Dispatcher: What’s your apartment number?

19:14:44

Zimmerman: It’s a home it’s 1950 [more slapping/flapping noises]

19:14:47

Zimmerman:  Aw crap. I don’t want to give it all out, I don’t know where this kid is.

19:14:50

Dispatcher: Okay do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?

19:14:54

Zimmerman: Yeah that’s fine. [more faint slapping/flapping noises]

19:14:58

Dispatcher: Alright George, I’ll let them know to meet you [unintelligible] there okay?

19:14:59

Zimmerman: Actually could you…could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at?

19:15:03

Dispatcher: Okay, yeah that’s no problem.

19:15:05

Zimmerman: You need my number or you got it?

19:15:06

Dispatcher: Yeah I got it. 407-***-**** [redacted]?

19:15:07

Zimmerman: Yeah you got it.

19:15:11

Dispatcher: Okay no problem, I’ll let them know to call you when you’re in the area.

19:15:14

Zimmerman: Thanks.

19:15:15

Dispatcher: You’re welcome.


10 posted on 03/24/2012 12:11:38 PM PDT by Reese Hamm
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Zimmerman used excessive force. It was a mutual fist fight and he only has his nose bleeding. THe same you would see outside any bar. Trayvon had no weapon, he was just throwing punches.

maybe if zimmerman was a woman, he would have more legs to stand on. she could say she thought it was a sexual attack.


11 posted on 03/24/2012 1:28:08 PM PDT by snowstorm12
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To: snowstorm12
“Zimmerman used excessive force. It was a mutual fist fight and he only has his nose bleeding. THe same you would see outside any bar. Trayvon had no weapon, he was just throwing punches.”

That was my first gut instinct also. But the more I hear, the more I'm thinking that Zimmerman probably did ultimately act in self defense. None of us know all of the facts the police considered in deciding not to press charges. I have to wonder if there may have even been a struggle for control of the weapon. Whatever the case, Zimmerman put himself in a terrible position which led to this outcome.

12 posted on 03/24/2012 1:53:33 PM PDT by 07Jack
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To: Qbert

We knew this. But thank you for posting it in case someone did not.


13 posted on 03/24/2012 2:13:41 PM PDT by DallasSun (Courage~Fear that has said its prayers.)
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To: snowstorm12

Zimmerman’s nose was broken and he had lacerations on the back of his head that required stitches. Direct quotes from his lawyer on one of these threads. 911 call has screaming for help for 45 seconds, Trayvon’s father said the screaming was not his son’s voice.


14 posted on 03/24/2012 3:30:36 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: Qbert
Words matter. Definitions matter. Understanding the applicable law matters - especially if you're an attorney. Sounds like Zimmerman needs a new lawyer.

In Florida the Castle Law applies to defending your home. The Stand Your Ground Law applies everywhere else - even your front yard. If you're outside your house Stand Your Ground is the applicable law.

15 posted on 03/24/2012 3:33:50 PM PDT by CelesteChristi
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To: CelesteChristi

How about if you’re lying on your back getting beat up and can’t retreat? Does it apply then?


16 posted on 03/24/2012 3:58:04 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: CelesteChristi

Yes same in GA. Castle law is inside your home and stand your ground is out in your driveway. Anywhere else its just plain old self defense. Thats why you CC in the first place.


17 posted on 03/24/2012 4:04:47 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: CelesteChristi

"In Florida the Castle Law applies to defending your home. The Stand Your Ground Law applies everywhere else - even your front yard. If you're outside your house Stand Your Ground is the applicable law."

What is your support for this?

18 posted on 03/24/2012 4:17:46 PM PDT by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: TexasRedeye

Perhaps he’s not a very good lawyer.


19 posted on 03/24/2012 4:32:57 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel - Horace Walpole)
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To: little jeremiah
Zimmerman’s nose was broken and he had lacerations on the back of his head that required stitches.

I'd want to see a medical report confirming that - not just his lawyer's statement.

20 posted on 03/24/2012 4:44:14 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel - Horace Walpole)
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To: Oztrich Boy

So you think his lawyer would lie so outrageously. The medical report certainly is clear on what kind of injuries Zimmerman sustained. If the attorney is lying, it is known already by the police.


21 posted on 03/24/2012 5:49:40 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: Qbert

When you enhance noise you get enhanced noise. They want Zimmerman to be a racist so bad that they are trying to enhance his breathing and turn it into a Beetles album. When they play it in reverse and hear strange demonic musings you’ll know it’s time for the white coats.


22 posted on 03/24/2012 5:58:49 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Oztrich Boy
I'd want to see a medical report confirming that - not just his lawyer's statement.

And after you get the official report will Zimmerman be taken off the Wanted: Dead or Alive list?

23 posted on 03/24/2012 6:05:38 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: CelesteChristi
-- If you're outside your house Stand Your Ground is the applicable law. --

"Stand your ground" only applies when a person is choosing between the option to retreat, and the option to stand ground. If Zimmerman was overwhelmed by superior force, then he doesn't have the option of retreat available. The issue becomes whether or not he is justified in resort to deadly force; not whether or not he had a right to stand his ground.

Which of the two was closing distance? That's the question I would ask. My impression is that Zimmerman had given up any chase. He had given up on closing distance with Martin.

24 posted on 03/24/2012 6:06:48 PM PDT by Cboldt
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To: Reese Hamm

Where did you find the copy of the call? Are the other 911 calls similarly available?


25 posted on 03/24/2012 6:21:38 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: Cboldt

Thank you for interjecting sanity into so many of these threads. The misinformation and disinformation is maddening, I appreciate your patience.


26 posted on 03/24/2012 6:23:05 PM PDT by Marie Antoinette (Newt Gingrich 2012 - The Man With a Plan)
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To: Cboldt

Zimmerman tells the police dispatcher he’s lost Martin.

Martin tells his girlfriend he’s lost Zimmerman.

How did Zimmerman confront Martin when he didn’t even know where Martin was?


27 posted on 03/24/2012 6:29:50 PM PDT by trappedincanuckistan (livefreeordietryin)
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To: Reese Hamm
Now considering that he likely saw himself as the good guy out to thwart the evildoer, is it not possible that he would aggressively confront Trayvon when/if he found him?

Yes, it's possible, but a few points need to be made:

First, even if he did follow Martin, confront him, and demand to know who he was, none of those things are illegal acts, and none would justify Martin striking Zimmerman (if that's what happened.) None of it would detract in any way from his claim of self-defense.

Second, we know from the Martin's girlfriend that it was Martin, not Zimmerman, who initiated contact, asking "Why are you following me?" It is perfectly conceivable, and consistent with all known facts, that Zimmerman was surprised by the face to face encounter. We talk a lot about Zimmerman's poor judgment. We would do well to consider that Martin's decision to confront was poor judgment, too.

Third, if Zimmerman wanted a confrontation, he could easily have rolled down his window and confronted Martin when he first saw him. He could easily have yelled out "Get back here you punk!" when Martin ran (or walked quickly) away. But he didn't do those things. A guy with a history of calling the police to check out open garage doors does not square with the image of a vigilante eager to take the law into his own hands.

Fourth, walking around the buildings onto the walkway to try to spot the "suspicious person" he'd lost sight of (and I think it is pretty clear that Martin did this) is not the same thing as "aggressively pursuing." And it isn't illegal, and it isn't provocative.

It is entirely reasonable, and consistent with all known facts, to believe that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, even though Martin was a basically good kid, who certainly does not deserve to be dead. But he is dead, as a result of a tragic chain of events involving poor judgment by both parties.

28 posted on 03/25/2012 12:48:53 AM PDT by PhatHead
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To: Eagles6
Where did you find the copy of the call? Are the other 911 calls similarly available?

You can listen to the entire call for yourself.

But just to clarify - Zimmerman did not call 911. It was the Sanford Police non-emergency line.

29 posted on 03/25/2012 1:10:37 AM PDT by PhatHead
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To: Reese Hamm
Did you create this timeline/transcript yourself? I ask because the call log shows the call was "connected" at 17:09:34, but the log was created at 19:11:12. Your transcript suggests that the conversation actually started at 19:11:12.

Those two minutes make some difference in understanding what happened. That's why I am asking your source.

30 posted on 03/25/2012 1:51:58 AM PDT by PhatHead
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To: PhatHead
Yes, it's possible, but a few points need to be made:

First, even if he did follow Martin, confront him, and demand to know who he was, none of those things are illegal acts, and none would justify Martin striking Zimmerman (if that's what happened.) None of it would detract in any way from his claim of self-defense.

While I tend to agree with most of this, that hasn't always been the way the law in Florida has been applied. There are cases in which a person claimed that they felt threatened -- not that they were being physically attacked, but only "felt threatened" -- and reacted with deadly force and are walking around free today. In all likelihood, had Zimmerman ended up dead instead of Martin, that would have been Martin's defense.

Second, we know from the Martin's girlfriend that it was Martin, not Zimmerman, who initiated contact, asking "Why are you following me?" It is perfectly conceivable, and consistent with all known facts, that Zimmerman was surprised by the face to face encounter. We talk a lot about Zimmerman's poor judgment. We would do well to consider that Martin's decision to confront was poor judgment, too.

Agreed - and as you mentioned before, poor judgment isn't always illegal.*

Most of the arguments people are bringing up are state-of-mind type arguments: Was Martin afraid of the stranger who seemed determined to follow him? Was he angry? Both? Did Zimmerman ever consider that Martin might NOT be a bad guy? (I'll insert my personal opinion here - he didn't. I believe that Zimmerman honestly felt that Martin was guilty of something. His various comments to the dispatcher prove that over and over.) When surprised/confronted by someone he already believed to be a bad guy, was he afraid? If so, how aggressively (righteously, courageous-in-the-face-of-danger in his mind) would he have reacted? 

Third, if Zimmerman wanted a confrontation, he could easily have rolled down his window and confronted Martin when he first saw him. [True] He could easily have yelled out "Get back here you punk!" when Martin ran (or walked quickly) away. [True] But he didn't do those things. A guy with a history of calling the police to check out open garage doors does not square with the image of a vigilante eager to take the law into his own hands.

All true. And I don't think that "vigilante" was Zimmerman's normal state of mind. I also think that comments made during his call could, COULD, be used to argue a heightened sense of frustration with "assholes" who "always get away."

Side note here: I absolutely, 100%, believe that Zimmerman AT NO POINT thought to himself, "I'm gonna kill me a black kid today if I get the chance." His father is right; Zimmerman isn't that kind of racist. He's the same type most of us are. We judge people, not just blacks - but everyone, by how they dress, how they walk, how they speak...and we apply stereotypes. Zimmerman saw a black kid, in a hoodie, meandering around, and thought bad-guy-up-to-no-good...and acted upon that thought.   

Fourth, walking around the buildings onto the walkway to try to spot the "suspicious person" he'd lost sight of (and I think it is pretty clear that Martin did this) is not the same thing as "aggressively pursuing." And it isn't illegal, and it isn't provocative.

We diverge a bit here. It isn't illegal. However, it can be argued that a reasonable person, especially a kid who's been raised in the "stranger danger" era, might view those actions as aggressive/provocative.

It is entirely reasonable, and consistent with all known facts, to believe that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, even though Martin was a basically good kid, who certainly does not deserve to be dead. But he is dead, as a result of a tragic chain of events involving poor judgment by both parties.

*Poor judgment in and of itself is not illegal. Poor judgment that results in injury or death can be - that's why we have laws on the books that cover negligence and such. Malice alone isn't what determines whether an act is illegal or not. State of mind plays a huge part - did the person act in such a way those actions might reasonably result in injury or death? Did Zimmerman not consider that searching for a criminal (in his mind, I believe this part was already set) might result in a confrontation? Did he not consider that if a confrontation occurred, he might have to draw the weapon he carried? Did he not consider that drawing that weapon might result in death be it the "criminal's", his, or a bystander/occupant of a nearby residence?

Questions like this are usually reviewed by a DA, then possibly by a grand jury and trial jury.

And that is where the next bit of the puzzle gets called into question.  How thorough was the original investigation? If cursory only, was it incompetence or -here's that word again- malicious...was the investigation influenced by racial prejudice (which Al & company claim) and if so, is it systemic (as also claimed)?

Was there a record of the girlfriend's statement in the original investigation? If not, why? (If the girlfriend is to be believed, she tried to give them information about her call with Martin and the police never bothered to follow up. Even if she lying about that, it would seem that the police had the phone and either didn't bother to check it or didn't think that a call that took place minutes if not seconds before the time of the incident was worth checking out.)

No matter how this all turns out, it is tragic from start to finish.

P.S.
Re: I ask because the call log shows the call was "connected" at 17:09:34 19:09:34, but the log was created at 19:11:12.

Mea culpa. You're correct about the start time (see corrected below.) However the time lapse intervals (18 seconds vs. over a minute and a half) which I brought up in the previous comment were not affected by the error.

19:09:34

Dispatcher: Sanford Police Department, line is being recorded. This is Sean.

19:09:38

Zimmerman: Hey we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle.

19:09:51

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.

19:09:59

Dispatcher: Okay, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?

19:10:01

Zimmerman: He looks black.

19:10:03

Dispatcher: Did you see what he was wearing?

19:10:05

Zimmerman: Yeah. A dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes.

19:10:14

Zimmerman: He's here now and he’s just staring…

19:10:17

Dispatcher: Oh, he's just walking around the area…

19:10:17

Zimmerman: …looking at all the houses.

19:10:19

Dispatcher: Ah, ‘kay…

19:10:20

Zimmerman: Now he's just staring at me.

19:10:22

Dispatcher: Okay—you said it's 1111 Retreat View? Or 111?

19:10:25

Zimmerman: That's the clubhouse…

19:10:27

Dispatcher: That's the clubhouse, do you know what the—he's near the clubhouse right now?

19:10:31

Zimmerman: Yeah, now he's coming towards me.

19:10:33

Dispatcher: Okay.

19:10:37

Zimmerman: He's got his hand in his waistband.

19:10:42

Zimmerman: And he's a black male.

19:10:43

Dispatcher: Okay. How old would you say he looks?

19:10:45

Zimmerman: He's got button on his shirt..

19:10:46

Zimmerman: ..late teens.

19:10:47

Dispatcher: Late teens, okay.

19:10:48

Zimmerman: Mmhuh.

19:10:51

Zimmerman: Something’s wrong with him.

19:10:55

Zimmerman: Ayup, he's coming to check me out.

19:10:58

Zimmerman: He's got something in his hands, I don't know what his deal is.

19:11:01

Dispatcher: Okay, just let me know if he does anything okay…

19:11:02

Zimmerman: How long until you get an officer over here?

19:11:03

Dispatcher: Yeah, we've got ‘em on the way - just let me know if this guy does anything else.

19:11:08

Zimmerman: Okay.

19:11:11

Zimmerman: Ugh - these assholes, they always get away.

19:11:17

Zimmerman: Yep.

19:11:19

Zimmerman: When you come to the clubhouse, you come straight in…and make a left.

19:11:25

Zimmerman: Actually. You would go past the clubhouse.

19:11:28

Dispatcher: Ah. You say it's on the left hand side from the clubhouse?

19:11:32

Zimmerman: Naaah…you go in straight through the entrance…and then you make a left…uh…yea, you go straight in, don't turn, and make a left-

19:11:40

Zimmerman: - ah shit.

19:11:41

Zimmerman: He's running.

19:11:42

Dispatcher: He's running? Which way is he running?

19:11:44

[sound of vehicle door opening]

19:11:45

Zimmerman: Down towards the, uh, other entrance to the neighborhood.

19:11:48

Dispatcher: Okay, which entrance is that that he's heading towards?

19:11:50

Zimmerman: The back entrance…

19:11:54

Zimmerman: Fucking [unintelligible]

19:11:56

Dispatcher: Are you following him?

19:11:58

Zimmerman: Yeah

19:11:59

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

19:12:02

Zimmerman: Ok

 

[muffled noises – wind? heavy breathing?]

19:12:08

Dispatcher: Alright sir what is your name?

19:12:10

Zimmerman: George

19:12:11

Zimmerman: He ran.  [muffled – breathless?]

19:12:14

Dispatcher: Alright George what's your last name?

19:12:17

Zimmerman: [two slapping/tapping noises] Zimmerman

19:12:18

Dispatcher: And George what's the phone number you're calling from?

19:12:19

[more slapping/flapping noises]

19:12:21

Zimmerman: 407-***-****[redacted]

19:12:26

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

19:12:30

Zimmerman: Yeah.

19:12:31

Dispatcher: Alright, where you going to meet with them at?

19:12:34

Zimmerman: Um, if they come in through the uh, gate -- tell them to go straight past the club house, [more slapping/flapping noises] and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they go past the mailboxes, they’ll see my truck...[unintelligible]

19:12:53

Dispatcher: Okay. What address are you parked in front of?

19:12:55

Zimmerman: Um. I don’t know, it’s a cut through so I don’t know the address.

19:13:00

Dispatcher: Okay do you live in the area?

19:13:01

Zimmerman: Yeah, yeah…I live...[unintelligible]

19:13:02

Dispatcher: What’s your apartment number?

19:13:06

Zimmerman: It’s a home it’s 1950 [more slapping/flapping noises]

19:13:09

Zimmerman:  Aw crap. I don’t want to give it all out, I don’t know where this kid is.

19:13:12

Dispatcher: Okay do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?

19:13:16

Zimmerman: Yeah that’s fine. [more faint slapping/flapping noises]

19:13:20

Dispatcher: Alright George, I’ll let them know to meet you [unintelligible] there okay?

19:13:21

Zimmerman: Actually could you…could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at?

19:13:25

Dispatcher: Okay, yeah that’s no problem.

19:13:27

Zimmerman: You need my number or you got it?

19:13:28

Dispatcher: Yeah I got it. 407-***-**** [redacted]?

19:13:29

Zimmerman: Yeah you got it.

19:13:33

Dispatcher: Okay no problem, I’ll let them know to call you when you’re in the area.

19:13:36

Zimmerman: Thanks.

19:13:37

Dispatcher: You’re welcome.


31 posted on 03/25/2012 7:36:50 AM PDT by Reese Hamm
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To: Reese Hamm
While I tend to agree with most of this, that hasn't always been the way the law in Florida has been applied.

I'm sure that's true, and I don't pretend there are not other open questions. Only making the point that following, by itself, is not illegal, and is not assault. I also agree that had Zimmerman ended up dead, Martin may well have been able to claim self-defense. In either case, we'd have only had one person's version of events, and no contradictory evidence.

We diverge a bit here. It isn't illegal. However, it can be argued that a reasonable person, especially a kid who's been raised in the "stranger danger" era, might view those actions as aggressive/provocative.

And that is one more reason it showed poor judgment on Zimmerman's part. My personal opinion, FWIW, is that Zimmerman was not "pursuing" in order to confront, but seeking, in order to maintain visual contact - from a distance - so police could confront Martin. It's my further speculation that he was surprised to find himself suddenly in very close proximity, face to face with Martin.

Poor judgment in and of itself is not illegal. Poor judgment that results in injury or death can be - that's why we have laws on the books that cover negligence and such. Malice alone isn't what determines whether an act is illegal or not.

Agree, agree, agree. And if Martin suddenly stepped out of the shadows to confront Zimmerman, how would his judgment be viewed? Would Zimmerman's perception of a threat be legitimate even before punches were thrown? All open questions, and all dependent, I think, on whether there is evidence to disprove Zimmerman's version of events (which we have not, in fact, heard in its entirety.)

Questions like this are usually reviewed by a DA, then possibly by a grand jury and trial jury.

I couldn't agree more. This is what the local authorities have been doing. The investigation was completed March 13th and turned over to the State Attorney's office. Based on the publicity and politicization of the case, I will be stunned if Zimmerman is not charged with something. But I am not certain that would have been the case without the publicity, nor am I certain that he should be charged. Initial statements by police suggest that they don't think he should be charged (which is why he has not been arrested.)

How thorough was the original investigation?

Well, since it was conducted by human beings, I am certain there were errors and omissions. We do know this much: the first officer on the scene handcuffed Zimmerman, took his gun (which is still in evidence in police custody,) and sent Zimmerman downtown for questioning after paramedics tended to his injuries. Other officers attempted CPR, later assisted by paramedics until Martin was pronounced dead at the scene. We know officers cordoned the area with "crime scene" tape and called for the Major Crimes unit to come to collect physical evidence. We know that the State Attorney's office was contacted by phone from the scene, and that the initial report shows that police were investigating possible negligent homicide or manslaughter. We know that officers, that night and in subsequent days, canvassed the neighborhood and took statements from all witnesses. No witness has come forward (to date) with a story that was not already given to police. We do not know what lab tests were performed on the physical evidence, but we do know that Police still have Zimmerman's clothing from that night, and that an autopsy was performed on Martin.

We do not know when the girlfriend came forward, or whether it was because police contacted her. Since her account has been relayed to the press via a Martin family attorney, I would be very surprised if police have not spoken with her, too.

I'm not a cop, but it looks to me like there was a legitimate investigation.

Thanks for clearing up the phone call timeline (and for correcting my typo.)

32 posted on 03/25/2012 9:14:20 AM PDT by PhatHead
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To: PhatHead

You brought up a number of interesting points at #28.


33 posted on 03/25/2012 9:10:25 PM PDT by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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