Skip to comments.Another Skittles-related death
Posted on 03/25/2012 5:42:32 AM PDT by Kaslin
A young man was shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain a month ago in Sanford, Florida, a town Ive only driven through during a vacation or two.
The particular facts of the case, at least as theyve been reported, are that the victim, 17-year old Trayvon Martin, committed no crime and was totally unarmed unless a package of Skittles and an iced tea are considered dangerous weapons. Still, the shooter, 28-year old George Zimmerman, has not been arrested or charged with homicide.
The killing and the lack of an arrest or even any sign, until recent days, of a serious investigation into the deadly incident have understandably elicited public outrage and protest.
That anger and offense seems as universal as anything can be. President Barack Obama as well as Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have all expressed it.
GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney called the shooting a tragedy and offered, There needs to be a thorough investigation that reassures the public that justice is carried out with impartiality and integrity.
Newt Gingrich also called it a tragedy and said, were going to relentlessly seek justice. Rick Santorum argued it was horrible that local police didnt immediately go after and prosecute this case.
The president went much further, stating that, All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen.
Yet, the trigger wasnt pulled by all of us. It was pulled by George Zimmerman.
On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera shifted blame elsewhere: onto hoodies. I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters, particularly, not to let their children go out wearing hoodies, he said. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martins death as much as George Zimmerman was.
Beware the dreaded hoodie makers and those heartless retailers!
Throughout the news coverage and political punditry the issue of race is consistently raised. Some contend that Zimmerman is a racist. On the tape of his calls with a 911-dispatcher, some say they hear Zimmerman use a racial epithet. Ive listened to the recording a dozen times and just cant hear anything.
Zimmermans father adamantly denies his son had any racial animus, since George is a Spanish-speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.
In his younger days, Zimmerman had been the victim of a criminal assault, which might have influenced him to be more fearful of being victimized, quicker to pull a trigger. There is no indication of a racial component to that earlier incident.
On the more crucial issue, self-defense, it appears that it was Zimmerman who was following Martin, not the other way around. This seems to obliterate a defense under Floridas Stand Your Ground law, which allows the use of deadly force when under threat.
As for any tendency toward violence, in 2005 an ex-fiancée won a protective injunction against Zimmerman citing domestic violence. The implication of this is muddied up by the fact that Zimmerman filed and won his own injunction against her, too.
George Zimmerman attended a four-month law-enforcement program put on by the local sheriffs office in 2008 and claimed at that time that he hoped to become a policeman one day. He has also worked with the Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood watch for eight years.
The bottom-line? We know too little about Mr. Zimmermans state of mind before or during this tragic clash. But whether his shooting of Trayvon Martin was spurred by race or an itchy trigger finger or a hero complex or something we know absolutely nothing about, or was actually somehow in self defense, is beside the point.
The point is that our justice system ought to get to the bottom of it.
We innocent bystanders are no more responsible for this deadly tragedy than are hoodies. But a miscarriage of justice by those who work for us our government, our police is our responsibility. Even though African Americans have experienced a lack of justice for far too long, the broader lesson here is for all of us to stand up in whatever way we can to demand and secure justice for each and every individual.
Sabrina Fulton, Trayvons mother, put it all in proper perspective, when she said, This is not about a black and white thing; this is about a right and wrong thing.
Doing the right thing isnt always easy, and the complexities of this case may have baffled the police in the first instance, discouraging action. Or habitual racism may have been a factor in officialdoms initial inaction, even if it played a scant role in the shooting itself.
Whatever proves to be the case, public reaction and a free press seem to be doing their job, spurring review, investigation and, ultimately, some justice.
That is what Black vs. White and a two party system does. It breaks everything down to stark contrasts, when nuances are the more the norm of society.
The only time the color of your skin really matters is when you are dealing with the government. They are all about race over there.
Anyone can post on FR no questions asked, within the rules of the site and at the discretion of JR. How is anyone going to know what color you are. And who cares anyway?
It would be nice if we knew more about the victim, what he really looked like, how he acted ordinarily, whether he was a gang member, why he’d been suspended from school, had he ever been arrested and why, etc.. In the interests of truth, of course. But alas, that doesn’t seem to be on the agenda.
That interview has been around for a while, and is here:
He didn’t see the start, so the question of how the physical altercation started comes down to Zimmerman’s word.
That’s why I tend to use the terms Negro and Caucasian, helps dispel the confusion if the reference is to skin pigmentation.
Since my parents were both born in Sicily I have no doubt that there is a significant portion of African heritage in my genes and probably a touch of Negro.
I didn’t think I’d need the /sarc tag, but apparently I did.
So, to my post in http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2863546/posts?page=31#31, a great big /SARC
Race = White
Ethnicity = Hispanic (spanish speaking)
Not telling any Freeper anything we don't already know:
the three races are Negroid, Caucasoid and Mongoloid.
IMHO, this is not an untrue comment by CNN or others.
Too much emphasis (PC) on these issues in the world today.
I prefer to look at the character of a person rather than race or ethnicity, or their actions versus their words.
Pursuing the punk and placing yourself in the situation will cost Zimmerman in the end.
Reports of a witness testifying Zimmerman was being pummeled and bloodied will save Zimmerman from a murder charge. In this, he’z a lucky man.
They'll get him on some other gun related charge or involuntary manslaughter...something of this sort.
Uh, in most cases it is my belief and understanding that the accused seldom is asked to testify to the Grand Jury. In most states, it is an option that the accused can exercise but seldom do. I agree if the Grand Jury seeks his statements, he should get legal advice, but to date I don’t believe the Grand Jury has done that. I don’t even think the Grand Jury has met yet on this.
The police also have a phone call from Zimmerman saying he lost site of Martin and was returning to his truck. That means he was RETREATING from the situation when the altercation began and therefore IS allowed to use the stand your ground law.
The evidence is have read, heard and the investigation by the police -to to this point - makes perfect sense that he was NOT arrested
The phrase “is have read” should be “I have read.” Sorry.
the kind of volunteer security detail involved in this case creates all sorts of concerns and potential for liability.
In the Martin case, some questions for the HOA Board might be:
Did the board request the creation of this Neighborhood Watch?
Did the board appoint the volunteers?
Was the board kept apprised of the Neighborhood Watch’s activities?
Did the board know that Zimmerman and perhaps other members of the Neighborhood Watch were patrolling the community armed?
Did the board screen any of the volunteers including Zimmerman to determine that they were mentally and physically fit to serve this function? - Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.
Yes, that is in Call 1 at the city’s web site here:
Correct that the call reflects that he had lost sight of Martin, incorrect that he stated that he was returning to his truck.
The gap from the time Zimmerman opened his vehicle door to the time he acknowledged the dispatcher's "we don't need you to do that" is 18 seconds. When the call ends another minute and a half later, no only has Zimmerman not made it back to his truck, he changes his mind about meeting the police at the mailboxes. While not proof, it would seem to indicate that he was still looking for Martin.
Now his statement to the police AFTER THE FACT, included the comment that he was on his way back to his truck.
I agree, sort of. But, it was the intent that is important.
When CNN said White-Hispanic, we all know exactly what they were doing. When they found out the guy was Hispanic, their Liberal heads exploded and they had to come up with a way of dragging Whitey into it, which they did. What they were specifically saying is, “Hold on there Mr. Whitey, you aint gettin’ off that easy.”
They had no intent whatsoever of understanding what technical race he was. They just wanted to inject the word “White” into the mix.
Why don't they call Obama a White-Black? What are the rules? Of course there aren't any.
If people get hurt by this, Obama and CNN will bear the blood on their mutual heads.
My understanding is that the witness told the police that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, and that the physical evidence (grass stains on the back of Zimmerman's shirt, etc.) back that up. How they ended up that way, I don't know. The text of Florida's Stand Your Ground Act (codified as Chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes, the chapter's called Justifiable Use of Force,) says an individual who has a reasonable belief that his or her life is in imminent danger, or is in danger of 'great bodily harm', can use deadly force, no matter where they are, and they have no duty to see if they can escape the situation safely.
In a civil suit against this community, or if Zimmerman's prosecuted as a result of public pressure, the argument would be whether Zimmerman's actions somehow negate what otherwise appears to be a clear right to use deadly force under this 2005 Florida law.
That argument could arise in a number of ways, legally, at either the trial level (with a liberal judge) or appellate level. The issue of a community watch office having been told by the police not to follow a suspect, and whether that in any way could negate the apparent protections of the 2005 law, or any other alleged actions of Zimmerman, is likely an issue of first impression.
I have one question? Where did you get the weight of 190 pounds? I've seen him reported at 140 pounds everywhere. Is there a link to a football program, or any other source, that puts Martin at 190 pounds?
Zimmerman didn't need 'going to kill me' under Florida Law. Under Florida Statute 776.012(1), Zimmerman was permitted to use deadly force, with no obligation to retreat, to prevent 'great bodily harm' to himself.
Florida Statute 776.012: "[A] person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another . . ..
I linked the full Justifiable Use of Force statute above. I haven't researched to see if a Florida court has interpreted 'great bodily harm' under this context or another context yet. Those would be the next steps I'd undertake in a legal analysis.