Skip to comments.Can Cops Arrest George Zimmerman for Murder in Trayvon Martin Case?
Posted on 03/26/2012 5:27:56 AM PDT by marktwain
To arrest someone for a crime, the police need probable cause to believe that he committed the crime. But what if its clear that the person committed the act (e.g., intentionally killed someone), but it seems likely that he has a good affirmative defense (e.g., self-defense)? My view is that probable cause should be probable cause to believe that the conduct was indeed criminal, and if the self-defense case is strong enough, that negates probable cause to believe that a crime (as opposed to a justifiable homicide) was committed. But when I looked into this several years ago, I saw that the few courts that had discussed the matter were split.
Florida law, though, clearly resolves this: A law enforcement agency may not arrest [a] person for using force [in a self-defense situation] unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
So in Florida, the police must have probable cause to believe that the defendant wasnt acting in lawful self-defense in order to arrest the defendant. Its not enough to say, we have probable cause to believe that you killed the victim, so well arrest you and then sort out later how strong your self-defense case is.
I cant speak with confidence to whether in the Martin/Zimmerman case the police indeed have such probable cause (which, as you may recall, is a not very clearly defined standard that is well below proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and probably somewhat below preponderance of the evidence).
No facts have been shown that contradict George Zimmerman's self defense claims.
the seriousness of the charge is sufficient....
So....an Hispanic American kills a ‘Brother’, who was bashing hispanic/german American Zimmermans head against the sidewalk( and ultimately broke Zimmermans nose), dies when the shooter manages to pull his licensed pistol which the dead guy was trying to take from him. it goes off killing the hoodie wearing, pants on the ground, thug....and the media pulls out picures of the dead ‘brother’ from 10 years earlier like he was a sweet baby. and Sharpton and the left make THIS a cause celeb to ban guns?
EFFF U Rev. Al, and your media lackies too....
Here’s a hypothetical for you.
I’m walking in an alley way and 5 guys jump out and start beating the crap out of me.
I happen to have a gun, so I pull it out and blow all 5 of them away.
I’m a bit battered up and the 5 are dead.
No witnesses to the beating and no witnesses to the shooting.
When the cops show up, do they have ‘probable cause’ to arrest me?
All he did was punch Zimmerman to the ground, climb on top of him and beat him some more while screaming "I'm going to kill you Mother F****r!!!" when Zimmerman shot him for no reason.
He had a perfect right to beat Zimmerman to death because he is one of Eric Holder's people.
My understanding is that law enforcement must sign an affidavit stating that believe there is probable cause to make the charge of murder and if the outcome is justifiable homicide then law enforcement becomes liable to the defendant. This is another aspect of the 2005 stand your ground law designed to ensure that police don’t automatically arrest people for defending themselves.
There’s so much to sort out in this case and it’s really hard to know who was in the right at this point. Two things:
1. Obama had no business weighing in on this with his ridiculous and racially inferred comments.
2. Why exactly did Zimmerman continue to follow this guy after reporting him to 911 and they had dispatched police to the area? Also, the 911 operator wisely told him not to follow the guy. I don’t know if he’s guilty or not. But I do know that if he had wisely heeded that advice and not followed Martin, none of this would have happened. You don’t go looking for trouble.
We know that a 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. To this, Zimmerman said “okay” and later told police he had broken off following Martin and that Martin then became the persuer.
Whether this is true or not, we know that Martin had Zimmerman on his back and was pummeling him. We know Zimmerman had a head leaceration, facial injuries and possibly a broken nose.... and grass stains on his back.
The facts of this case may not corroborate the narrative created by the popular media, activists, pundits and even Rick Santorum.
From what I have heard there are witnesses.
In today’s politically correct USA, if YOU are black and you have successfully defended yourself against 5 predatory white haters, you are applauded and a fund is started to enable you to purchase (obtain) more ammunition.
However, if you are a blond, blue eyes white guy, who has just “offed” 5 men of color, expect the end of the world to be your lot. The footsteps you hear approaching belong to Al Sharpton, coming to preach against your striving to live.
I know there are witnesses.
My hypothetical was in response to the ‘probable cause’ statement.
Theres so much to sort out in this case and its really hard to know who was in the right at this point. Two things:
1. Obama had no business weighing in on this with his ridiculous and racially inferred comments..........
While I agree with your statement, one must remember it is election time and there are many black votes in this country that may not have voted for Obummer the first time. He’s looking for more.
Both of those items are my questions too.
The issue I have is with the politicals ‘getting involved.’ They have no say in this matter, it needs to be handled locally as a matter of legel investigation, prosecution if substantiated etc. The only thing politicals should be saying about the case is the justice system must prevail.
As far as Zimmerman not following the dispatchers advice/instructions, only Zimmerman can answer for that. Ufortunately there are no witnesses to what took place between Zimmerman deciding not to heed those instructions knowing police had been dispatched and how he ended up on the ground yelling for help.
Two things could have happened in my thinking:
Martin circled back and jumped Zimmerman
Zimmerman attempted an apprehension/detainment that went bad after locating Martin
And why were these two out at 3am in the morning?
I am confident that the police would have initially arrested Zimmerman if there had been “probable cause”. If not, they could not, without danger of being sued.
I think you were replying to me.
I’m sure that Obama’s response has to do with politics. It’s the only thing he knows. My question is, is there any doubt he has the black vote locked up? He got 95% of it last time. Is he looking to bump it up to 96%? Imagine if a large majority of white America voted for a guy simply because he was white. I wonder what word we might be called. I think it starts with an ‘R’...
“... it is election time and there are many black votes in this country...”
That is one of the reason I have felt this case has gotten so much air time. Create race issues and then paint the GOP candidate as a mean cracker. The Democratic Party has to create some sort of fury in order to get certain masses out to vote. IMHO.
I keep hearing this but how do we know that Zimmerman was not headed back toward his (car?) and was jumped by Martin? I think that if the police believed Zimmerman drew down on Martin Zimmerman would be in jail right now.
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