Skip to comments.Rich Lowry: This time, Sharpton gets it right
Posted on 03/26/2012 9:16:12 AM PDT by Red Steel
What is true of the stopped clock is also true of the perpetually aggrieved, shamelessly exploitative publicity hound: Through sheer chance, he occasionally will be right.
The Trayvon Martin case appears to be one of those instances for Al Sharpton. The longtime provocateur and MSNBC host has a leading role in the protests over the lethal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin at the hands of a zealous Neighborhood Watch volunteer in the Florida community of Sanford.
During halftime of the NBA All-Star Game, Martin left the home of his father's girlfriend to walk to the local 7-Eleven for Skittles and iced tea. It was about 7 p.m., and he caught the attention of 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who had taken it upon himself to patrol the neighborhood armed with a gun. He considered Martin suspicious and called 911, which dispatched police. Ignoring the 911 operator's urging not to pursue Martin, Zimmerman followed the young man, got into an altercation with him and shot him dead.
Zimmerman claims Martin attacked him from behind, and he fired in self-defense. But while he was on the line with 911, Zimmerman was the one chasing Martin. At the same time, Martin talked on his cellphone to his girlfriend, complaining of a man watching him. She told him to run away, which he apparently did during the interval Zimmerman was on with 911. The girlfriend claims she heard Martin say, "What are you following me for?" before the call went dead.
The tape of another 911 call from a neighbor has yells of "help" in the background before the gunshot. We may never know what exactly happened in the altercation. We do know this: Through stupendous errors in judgment, Zimmerman brought about an utterly unnecessary confrontation and then in the most favorable interpretation of the facts for him shot Martin when he began to lose a fistfight to him.
Florida has a "Stand Your Ground" law that stipulates that someone doesn't have to retreat and can use deadly force if facing a threat of death or bodily harm. It is one of the reasons that the police didn't press charges against Zimmerman. But the law is not meant to be a warrant for aggressive vigilantism. It was Martin, chased by a stranger who wasn't an officer of the law, who had more reason to feel threatened and "stand his ground" than Zimmerman.
So, Sharpton and his usual complement of allies are right about this: The Sanford police appear to have made the wrong call in letting Zimmerman off. Of course, the usual suspects can't leave it at that. In their telling, the case is a wholesale indictment of American society.
One MSNBC anchor compared the case to the notorious lynching of Emmett Till in 1950s Mississippi. On a visit from Chicago, the 14-year-old Till talked to a white woman and was subsequently murdered, mutilated and thrown in a river. His murderers got off. The Till case exposed a system built on injustice and hatred. The Orlando suburbs in the 2010s aren't remotely comparable, and George Zimmerman manifestly did not set out that night to kill Trayvon Martin, or he wouldn't have bothered to call the police.
News accounts tend to leave out that Zimmerman is a mixed-race Hispanic. That doesn't mean he can't be a racist. (Although it's murky, it sounds as if he mutters a racial epithet on the 911 call.) But a Hispanic-on-black killing lacks the narrative clarity of a white vigilante chasing down Trayvon Martin in the tradition of the worst practices of the Jim Crow South.
The attention devoted to the case has forced the chief of police of Sanford to step aside temporarily, and it's hard to see the grand jury that is now looking into the shooting not handing down charges against Zimmerman. If so, he shouldn't be effectively tried during street protests or on cable TV. There's already been enough vigilantism in Sanford, Fla.
Rich Lowry is a syndicated columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Zimmerman didn't assault anyone.
Mr. Zimmerman was the one being attacked by Martin says eye witness.
...facts don't matter, the srcipt was already written.
Lowry is WRONG
On both sides of the fence, sad to say.
To quote bill maher, that great left wing political pundit, “ rich lowry is a c&nt and a tw!t”.
Zimmerman was walking away when Martin attacked him from behind. Martin - 6’2”, not the cute little 12- or 13-year-old in the carefully released photos - was on top of Zimmerman, banging his head against the sidewalk. Zimmerman had a broken nose and wounds on the back of his head - confirming with EVIDENCE the fact that he was attacked. There’s a witness who backs up this sequence of events. Martin’s own father initially stated that the person calling for help on the 911 tape was NOT his son - so it must have been Zimmerman.
Now, to be fair, perhaps Zimmerman was a bit too aggressive in following Martin. However, the initial confrontation ENDED, and Zimmerman was walking away. Had Martin done the same, he’d be very much alive at this moment. Instead, Martin chose to attack Zimmerman and put him in fear of his life, so he’s dead. THIS IS WHY THE COPS HAVEN’T CHARGED ZIMMERMAN - BECAUSE HE PROPERLY DEFENDED HIS LIFE.
Lowry is a moron, for the simple reason that he’s not looking at the facts.
Lowry = Vichy Republican
Does Lowry work for MSNBC too?
Ahh, I’m behind the curve. Where’d you hear about the 10 days? I heard 5 and I heard that nobody knows why.
Wow Lowry is off on so many items in this article is astonishing.
No one was ‘forced’ off the police force, for one. Or ‘forced’ to step down.
Corrupt media. They make me sick.
At the same time, Martin talked on his cellphone to his girlfriend, complaining of a man watching him. She told him to run away, which he apparently did during the interval Zimmerman was on with 911. The girlfriend claims she heard Martin say, "What are you following me for?" before the call went dead.
There is no recording of this call. This girlfriend, a minor, has not spoken publicly. This call has only been described by the Martin family lawyer. So how does Lowry know what was said on this call? He doesn't.
Lowry has spent too much time with liberals. And Sharpton is never right. Even if Zimmerman is a criminal, Sharpton is not right. He is a race-baiter and race rioter. He wants to make self defense illegal (we all know why) and he wants to make Americans think that all whites are racist and must pay.\
Memorable Rich Lowry headlines now include, “Al Sharpton was Right”, and “Heed the 99%”. Lowry is such a worthless conservative and boring writer, that he needs to create outrageous headlines for his columns to attract attention. He is the Mitt Romney of being selected Editor of National Review. Worst possible choice.
I don’t think we can say what actually happened at this time. There have been a lot of different descriptions of the event, and they are contradictory.
I’ve been swayed back and forth as different evidence comes forth. I also know my interpretation is clouded by my opinion about getting out and initiating a confrontation once you have involved police — but that is what I would do, and that has no bearing on legality.
I don’t think that walking after a person to ask them what they are doing is a crime (on the other hand, I didn’t think asking teens if they wanted a ride in a snowstorm was a crime either, but someone got a ticket for it and was threatened with incarceration so what do I know).
Certainly having a gun isn’t a crime. And using a gun if you are being beat up isn’t a crime, at least not in Florida. I wouldn’t shoot a person to stop getting beat up, but we don’t even know if there was a struggle for the gun or not. For all we know, Martin saw the gun, grabbed for it, and while they were fighting over the weapon, it went off and killed him.
What do we really know? We know that Martin is dead. We know that Zimmerman’s gun shot him. We know that Zimmerman was in a car, and got out of the car. We know (because we have an eyewitness) that at one point, Zimmerman was underneath Martin. We know that Zimmerman has a broken nose (his lawyer told us this), and I think we know zimmerman has grass stains on his clothes (again indicating he was underneath).
What we have SOME evidence for? We know someone was shouting help. We know Zimmerman said it was him, and a friend said it was his voice. The family insists it was Martin; We’ve heard the tapes, and I think it sounds more like an adult than a kid, but on the other hand Martin isn’t the 14-year-old they show pictures of.
We have evidence that Zimmerman has friends who are black, who will vouch that he isn’t a racist looking to kill black people (note that we DO have evidence that black people are looking to have Zimmerman killed). We have also been told that there was no bullet in the chamber of the gun, and no bullets missing from the clip.
What don’t we know that the police surely know? Well, other than the report of a broken nose, we don’t know what evidence the police have regarding the struggle. Does Martin have any bruises or other signs of being hit? Does Zimmerman have other signs of a struggle? Where are the powder burns, etc, to suggest how the gun was oriented when it went off? One expert suggests that the lack of chambered round means the gun was being held when it was shot, but the police would know that. We don’t know how big Martin was, or whether he had any self-defense training, to decide whether it is credible that he would be a threat (only unsourced reports that he was 6 foot 3 inches, and another that he was 140 pounds, which seems unlikely to both be correct).
I could paint a picture “most favorable” to BOTH men, and it wouldn’t mean a crime was committed. Martin is walking and sees a big hispanic guy following him. It makes him scared. He starts walking fast because of his girlfriend’s suggestion, but then he hears the guy coming up on him. Maybe he even sees the gun, and thinks he is about to get robbed or assaulted by a gang member or something. So he ducks behind something, and as Martin comes up, he jumps him to try to get the gun away from him just so Zimmerman doesn’t shoot him.
Zimmerman isn’t trying to confront the guy, just wants to keep an eye on him so when the police get there he can say where he is. Then the guy jumps him. He gets knocked down, and starts yelling for help. Then the guy is reaching for his weapon, and Zimmerman is sure Martin is going to take the gun and shoot him. Zimmerman fights over the gun with Martin, and it goes off, killing Martin. Then the police show up, and Zimmerman describes what happend.
If this ended up with Martin alive and Zimmerman dead, I could argue that it was just an unfortunate accident, that Martin had a reason to be afraid (I know, that would be racist — he probably wouldn’t have been afraid of some middle-age white guy, but a mean-looking Hispanic?) Martin, fearing for his life, would have some right to take pre-emptive action, including jumping the guy to grab the weapon. Stupid, but probably not illegal in the end.
But apparently, nobody thinks that an unarmed man can be killed, and it not be a crime. Sometimes everything just goes bad, and you get unlucky, and nobody was trying to do anything criminal, and still someone is dead.
I could also describe this in a way that Martin was guilty of assault, or that Zimmerman was guilty of 2nd degree murder. We just don’t have enough evidence available to us as non-involved observers.
That seems awfully complicated.
It seems like it would be a lot more efficient to just have a panel of bloggers and MSNBC talk show hosts declare the guy guilty and move on.
Just think...we don’t need prosecutors, judges, or juries anymore. Think of the money we’ll save and the “justice” we’ll all have.
Uh, Rich, just for good measure: Till didn't "talk" to a white woman. He was a wiseguy from the big city who strolled into a small town and whistled at a white woman. That ticked off the locals because she was someone's wifespecifically the wife of the owner of the local store that sold household goods in the black neighborhood. Both blacks and whites in front of the store saw this.
Now, I'm not condoning rounding someone up and hanging him just because he's an a$$%^&*. But where are the feminazis calling for capital punishment for intimidation and sexual harassment? The many facets of the liberal religion never square with each other. Because it's all insincere.
The media just cannot spin enough on thi story, it seems:
The media & their version of anything these days makes me trust them less and less.
Now, almost every account says Zimmerman was ‘CHASING’ Martin, when it is clear from the call to 911 that he is FOLLOWING Martin.
Then he temporarily loses sight of the kid.
IF the kid doubled back & attacked Zimmerman, that changes everything. Being attacked with a 20-24 ounce can of anything is capable of hurting you plenty hard.
Zimmerman has a broken nose. I NEVER heard of anyone breaking their own nose—it is very difficult to do to yourself & very painful.
Zimmerman also may have been struggling with Martin, his back on the grass, which may have left grass stains on the back of his shirt.
I have a bad feeling that this is another case like the Henry Gates case where all the blacks-—including the “Pres—ent himself is jumping to a conclusion. IMO, Barry the Imposter still owes a major apology to the Boston police....
Martin was on a 5 day suspension from school for being caught with an empty baggie with traces of Marijuana in it. Not exactly something ‘the little prince’ should have in his possession.
What is the rest of his background with school & any other record?
Zimmerman sure doesn’t seem like the local KKK dude.
More of this story is yet to come, & I won’t be surprised if it comes out entirely different.
Meanwhile, the Miamo Heat looked like gang members standing on the court in hoodies & with items written on their shoes.
I thought that both the NFL & the NBA had strict tules about “UNIFORMS” & any changes to such.
Didn’t an NFL player get fined for showing up in the wrong color socks a short time ago???
Hoodies on the court make them all look like gang member sheep.
Rich Lowry is one of the many reasons I stopped reading National Review Online. It has turned into “Weenie Establishment Types Online”...
Rich as six foot up a bulls ass...... total BS !
Good grief. I no longer give the Romney-loving jerks at NRO the satisfaction of visiting their site. But this is really beyond belief.