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Reexamining the Trayvon Martin Shooting
Front Page Magazine ^ | May 4, 2012 | Jacob Laksin, Managing Editor

Posted on 05/04/2012 12:19:57 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has seen the media at its sensationalist worst. Press reports have cast Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, as a trigger-happy vigilante looking to make trouble where there was none. Attached to this storyline has been the charged subtext that Zimmerman acted out of racial prejudice, confronting Martin simply because the latter was black. Not surprisingly, this media-made version of the shooting has roiled racial passions across the country, turning a tragedy into a referendum on American race relations and setting up one of the most polarizing legal cases in recent history. But there is in fact far more to the story, as a recent Reuters’ investigation illuminates.

Reuters‘ report provides a complexity to the story that has been so sorely missing until now. Among other things, it calls into question the notion that white racism was the motivating factor in Martin’s shooting. That narrative was never entirely convincing, and not just because the mixed-race Zimmerman never fit into the media’s neat white-gunman-black-victim allegory. The New York Times‘ designation of Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” was only the most strained attempt to impose a racial framework on the shooting.

Reuters‘ report muddles the racial element even further. It points out that Zimmerman was not only half-Hispanic but he also had black roots, tracing back to his Afro-Peruvian great grandfather on his mother’s side. So far from harboring anti-black racial resentments, he appears to have sought out the company of black friends and colleagues. In 2004, for instance, Zimmerman, an insurance agent, teamed up with a black friend to start up an insurance office.

Even more significant, perhaps, Reuters’ report makes clear that much of the media has simply failed to present the context in which the shooting took place. Yet that context is critical to understanding, if not justifying, why the shooting happened as it did. One would never suspect if from most media accounts, but Zimmerman had good reason to be suspicious of an unknown young black man walking through his neighborhood – and racism had nothing to do with it.

In the months before their fatal meeting, Zimmerman’s Twin Lakes community was hit by a crime wave that saw young black men commit a number of break-ins and burglaries. As the collapse of Florida’s housing market took its toll on the community, depressing home values and driving up crime, Zimmerman and his neighbors increasingly began to fear for their safety and for the security of their homes. Reuters reports that in the 14 months before Martin was killed, there were at least eight burglaries reported in Twin Lakes. Residents also reported dozens of attempted break-ins and incidents of burglars casing homes. Zimmerman’s city of Sanford was especially hard hit. According to Neighborhood Scout, a website that aggregates crime in American cities, on a 100-point scale where 100 is most safe and zero is least safe, Sanford had a dismal rating of 3.

Zimmerman was well aware of the breadth of the crime problem in Sanford. Indeed, he was one of the victims. The Reuters report notes that in July 2011, a black teenager walked up to Zimmerman’s front porch and stole a bicycle. Zimmerman also saw his neighbors victimized by burglars. On August 3, just a few months after his bicycle had been stolen, two black men broke into the home of Zimmerman’s neighbor Olivie Bertalan and attempted to steal her television. Bertalan, then home alone with her infant son, called the police, who arrived just as the burglars fled. Police reports show that Bertalan subsequently reported a digital camera and a laptop computer as stolen. Among those who had seen the robbery was Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, who witnessed a black male teenager running through her backyard and reported it to the police.

Such incidents suggest that Zimmerman was justified in worrying about crime in Sanford. If he was suspicious of unfamiliar black men in his neighborhood, he was not the only one. “People were freaked out,” Bertalan told Reuters. “It wasn’t just George calling police … we were calling police at least once a week.” Significantly, those worried about crime committed by young black men included Zimmerman’s black neighbors. One black neighbor interviewed by Reuters said:

“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK? There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood. That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”

Tellingly, the woman refused to be identified. One can hardly blame her. By investing Martin’s shooting with racial connotations, the popular media and race demagogues like Al Sharpton have already incited a violent backlash, with black militants attacking whites under the banner of “justice for Trayvon.” That she wouldn’t wish to join the list of casualties of this racial revenge is understandable.

Still, it is clear that to understand what happened in Sanford, crime and not race is the relevant factor. Worried by the surge in crime, Zimmerman and a group of neighbors formed a neighborhood watch. While that fact has been cited to suggest that Zimmerman was “paranoid,” the fact is that he had already been forced to watch as a man he believed to be a burglar got away scot free. On February 2, 2012, according to Reuters, Zimmerman called the Sanford police after spotting a young black man peering into the windows of his neighbor’s empty home. Zimmerman said that he did not want to approach the man, and the police dispatcher told Zimmerman that a police car was on its way. When the police arrived, however, the young man had already fled the scene.

In light of this history, it is not entirely surprising that when Zimmerman noticed another young black man in his neighborhood on February 26, he became suspicious. He placed another call to the police, but this time, in circumstances that remain unclear, an alteration took place between him and the young man. That young man, of course, was Trayvon Martin.

It goes without saying that Sanford’s history of crime and Zimmerman’s previous experiences with black criminals in his neighborhood do not by themselves justify his shooting of Trayvon Martin, which is now the subject of a murder trial. But viewed in context these facts do suggest that the popular perception of the shooting, in which a self-styled community enforcer provoked a deadly confrontation with a young man just because he happened to be black, is woefully incomplete.

Only the legal system can exonerate George Zimmerman. In the meantime, Reuters’ report goes a small way to providing some perspective on the case. In the process, it restores some hope that a tragedy won’t be compounded by a false narrative that sows racial strife and public division even as it has little do with reality.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: florida; georgezimmerman; trayvon; trayvonmartin; zimmerman
Comments?
1 posted on 05/04/2012 12:20:05 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

As long as blacks protect and approve criminal behavior things will get worse.Decent black people will have to demand change in black men’s behavior.But the Democrats under LBJ used the federal government to destroy the traditional self-respecting black family in order to buy votes of blacks dependent on government handouts.So EVERYBODY that pays taxes has a stake inreducing those government programs.


2 posted on 05/04/2012 12:40:02 AM PDT by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
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To: hoosierham

Truer words were never spoken. It has long been my belief that LBJ destroyed the black family when he started increasing the welfare checks for each child born to “single mothers:.


3 posted on 05/04/2012 1:04:28 AM PDT by basil (It's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Fred Nerks; LucyT; TigersEye

The article still pussy foots around the facts that resulted in the Sanford Police concluding the homicide of Martin was not murder, it was self defence homicide.

There is a considerable difference between homicide and murder. This article pretends to tell the truth, invoking a kind of quietude , meant to mollify white America, when white America should be deeply concerned and even outraged at Zimmerman’s treatment by the State of Florida and its cowardly governor, allowing in effect a political show trial for Zimmerman through circumventing the grand jury process.

Yes the article uses the term murder rather than homicide, displaying their true “color” on the Zimmerman case.Leftist propaganda can be coarse, and disturbing, but it can also be very subtle.

Zimmerman is the victim of a de facto violation of his due process rights as a citizen.He has in effect been subject to a defacto Bill of Attainder by the presidential pronouncement that Martin could have been his son.

It is well past time that America rids itself of the leftist scourge that Barrak Obama has become.In fact the majority of patriotic, constitution loving Americans, whether they are black or not, could care less whether Obama walks out of office or is carried out in a box.


4 posted on 05/04/2012 1:49:23 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascist info....http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot about the Trayvon Martin thing. I’ve been “alerted” to so many new murder cases in the Detroit area that the Martin-Zimmerman affair just sort of dropped off of my ‘mur-dar’.


5 posted on 05/04/2012 2:03:52 AM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth again.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

His family says he was “just walking home from the gas station”. Couple things I would like to see. A map. Was the gas station on the opposite side of the housing area from his home?

Why was he at the gas station? Walking, he obviously didn’t need gas. Did he smoke? was he buying something? Does the tape at the station back up this story? was he really ever there?

This thing is such Bovine Scat from the get go I would bet that the most inexperienced “journalist” could poke a hole you could drive a Peterbilt through without breaking a sweat. Of course, the danger to life and limb from libtards would probably cause a “cold sweat”.


6 posted on 05/04/2012 2:28:56 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: hoosierham
...”As long as blacks protect and approve criminal behavior things will get worse.Decent black people will have to demand change in black men’s behavior.But the Democrats under LBJ used the federal government to destroy the traditional self-respecting black family in order to buy votes of blacks dependent on government handouts.So EVERYBODY that pays taxes has a stake in reducing those government programs”...

And, among those decent black people must be those who are heroes to kids..The basketball and football players..The celebrity actors and musicians. Those with visibility must set the standard. It seems to me that the standard has gotten much lower over the past three years..Wonder why?
I worked with a black friend (single Mom) several years ago and I felt so sorry for her day in and day out as she searched for a way to get herself and her kids out of their crime ridden neighborhood because she was worried for her 13 year old son..SAD!

7 posted on 05/04/2012 2:42:46 AM PDT by jazzlite (esat)
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To: wastoute

Justa few moments mapquesting Sanford FL Twin Lakes Nearest gas station makes me VERY sceptical.


8 posted on 05/04/2012 2:46:36 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How lazy does a reporter have to be to use media matters and Trayvon Martin’s sloppy lawyer as the sole source? If that Crump dude said George Zimmerman was from another planet, NBC would print it as fact.


9 posted on 05/04/2012 2:52:06 AM PDT by Hacksaw (If I had a son, he'd look like George Zimmerman.)
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To: Hacksaw

You probably just started another meme. NBC will steal your idea and run with it.


10 posted on 05/04/2012 2:53:03 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Ich habe keinen Konig aber Gott)
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To: Candor7

I don’t hold out a lot of hope for this Trayvon ‘thingy’ to end in anything other than a tragedy of montumental proportions, our SBS (Special Broadcasting Service ) which is tilted so far to the left it’s in danger of falling onto it’s left ear...is still presenting us nightly with the sad story of the poor teenager wearing a hoodie who went to buy some skittles and ice tea for his little brother, and was shot on the way home by a cold blooded white man named Zimmerman. They are still using the same original images also, of dear little Trayvon when he was about twelve, and Zimmerman with the colour changed to make his shirt look like he was wearing an orange prison jumpsuit.

You couldn’t blame the Australian audience for assuming the worst, when PBS is priming them for it. The marxists are just itching for a race-war regardless of where they make it happen.


11 posted on 05/04/2012 4:07:49 AM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: wastoute
His family says he was “just walking home from the gas station”.

Wait! It's a "gas station" now?!? What happened to the "7-Eleven store" that had previously been reported by name?

12 posted on 05/04/2012 5:02:03 AM PDT by Carl Vehse
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To: wastoute
>>Why was he at the gas station? Walking, he obviously didn’t need gas. Did he smoke? was he buying something? Does the tape at the station back up this story? was he really ever there?<<

You really do need to bring yourself up to speed by reading some of the many, many threads on this subject. Just use the keyword GeorgeZimmerman. For starters, Trayvon went to a convenience store and bought Skittles and Iced Tea.

13 posted on 05/04/2012 5:30:29 AM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Three of four blacks {that survive abortion} born today are bastards.

When you hear some one say, "That black bastard" there is a 3-1 chance that he is correct.

There is only tatters remaining of the traditional black family so looking to the black family for help is futile.

Margaret Sanger would be proud.

14 posted on 05/04/2012 5:37:54 AM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages, start today.)
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To: Aunt Polgara; wastoute
For starters, Trayvon went to a convenience store and bought Skittles and Iced Tea.

Still waiting for any evidence to corroborate that assertion by the family.

15 posted on 05/04/2012 5:58:47 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"Reuters reports that in the 14 months before Martin was killed, there were at least eight burglaries reported in Twin Lakes."

It would be interesting to get the states for the two months after Martin was killed...

16 posted on 05/04/2012 6:10:07 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Carl Vehse

Our 7-Elevens are gas stations here in NJ.


17 posted on 05/04/2012 6:11:07 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: MileHi

You need to catch up. Read Conservative Treehouse.


18 posted on 05/04/2012 6:16:11 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: kearnyirish2; Carl Vehse

Many of our 7-11’s are gas stations in PA as well.


19 posted on 05/04/2012 6:30:49 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: BuckeyeTexan
Read Conservative Treehouse.

No help. I found the site you didn't provide a link to. Maybe if I had a few days to wade through it I would find something related to my comment?

20 posted on 05/04/2012 6:43:31 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: wastoute
Justa few moments mapquesting Sanford FL Twin Lakes Nearest gas station makes me VERY sceptical.

The American Thinker first broke the story about a 7-11 vice president disclosing that a hard drive containing video of a young black male buying Skittles and iced tea had been turned over to law enforcement. Purchase time was between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. (yeah, I know, that happened to all of the extra time between the purchase and the shooting).

The article said the 7-11 was 0.8 miles away, for what it's worth. I'm looking through my bookmarks for the original article (and I can still find it if you need it), but AT has referred back to it several times:

American Thinker link

21 posted on 05/04/2012 7:20:01 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: Scoutmaster
Thanks, Scoutmaster. I don't have time this morning to wade through all the threads looking for the references to the shopping trip. Even if Trayvon was just wandering through the complex, he had a right to be there, so whether he went to the store, or was just wandering around doesn't seem to me to be very important. That is, unless the “skittles” and “iced tea” were just code words for drugs. If, and when, the drug tests are released, it should give us a better idea of what went on.

I just wish that those who came late to the story would read through the old threads before they start demanding for others to rehash material that has been picked over ad nauseum before.

22 posted on 05/04/2012 8:14:27 AM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: MileHi; Scoutmaster

MileHi, please try to keep up.

Would you believe the investigator at the bond hearing? Here’s a transcript posted on CNN’s website here:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1204/20/cnr.02.html

DE LA RIONDA: And isn’t it a fact to prove that and you have verified that he actually went to that 7-Eleven store and bought some Skittles and a can of tea? Did he not?

GILBREATH: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And there’s a video of that?

GILBREATH: Correct.

DE LA RIONDA: And he paid for it. He didn’t steal or anything. Is that correct?

GILBREATH: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Ok and then he ended up walking back to the community? Is that correct?

GILBREATH: Yes.


23 posted on 05/04/2012 8:19:35 AM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Aunt Polgara
MileHi, please try to keep up.

Would you believe the investigator at the bond hearing?

Don't get your bloomers in a wad!

DE LA RIONDA: And there’s a video of that?

GILBREATH: Correct.

I have not seen that before, so friggin shoot me.

Thanks, I guess.

24 posted on 05/04/2012 8:34:43 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: jazzlite

My father-in-law relocated a black single mother employee and her two sons from the ghetto. They did fine until the eldest sons went ghetto Black in COLLEGE! He ended up doing time.

The demand of liberals that all blacks “act black” and their defining of authentic Black as perpetual raging racist thugs, is a terrible trap for young black men and to a lessor degree, Black women.

Whites who care about Blacks should not support the Black thug entertainment and re-education industry and surely not support the race baitors and haters in power. They are using Black children as fodder for money and power. They don’t care that they suffer and die in the post-segregation racial power game just like they did not care when their segregation racist thugs ruined the Black race.


25 posted on 05/04/2012 9:10:46 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Fred Nerks

The marxists are just itching for a race-war regardless of where they make it happen.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Those who would invoke potential violence to alter due process rights, without an act of Congress or of a state Legislature, are actually practicing fascism.They are exercisiningthe fascist way of doing business.

Patriots will act to protect the constitution. Its just a matter of time, and a question of whether Obama will escape their retribution, after the violence now planned comes to an end.


26 posted on 05/04/2012 9:15:19 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascist info....http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
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To: MileHi; Scoutmaster; Cboldt; 2ndDivisionVet

MileHi, if you ask more politely next time, Auntie won’t be forced to slap you down. :-)

If you want actual facts about the case, two of the best sources are Scoutmaster and Cboldt. I would suggest that you search on their usernames for the real deal on the facts and the law regarding this case, and 2ndDivisionVet posts many many sources for you to browse through.


27 posted on 05/04/2012 9:23:27 AM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Aunt Polgara
I have actually followed all this pretty closely, just never did see anything to support the trip to the store claim.

You are right about Cboldt.

FReegards

28 posted on 05/04/2012 9:32:54 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: MileHi

And FRegards to you, too!

Have a nice weekend. I’m off to Northern CA see our daughter for her birthday.


29 posted on 05/04/2012 9:50:52 AM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; All
While the Zimmerman/Martin ‘white’ on black killing is covered 24/7 on the MSM with an outpouring of rage and charges of a racial hate crime, where is the concern- where is the rage about the home invasion, torture, beating, rape and murder of the elderly white couple by a gang of feral blacks in Oklahoma just a few weeks ago?

The 90 year old war veteran husband was beaten and his jaw broken. He was shot in the face numerous times with a BB gun and sent to the hospital in critical condition.

The 85 year old partially blind wife was RAPED and then BEATEN TO DEATH.

Can you just imagine the pain, the humiliation, the horror that dear old lady experienced being gang raped by that pack of feral animals?

(the autopsy states she was raped. Don’t think all of these animals didn’t all participate)

And can you imagine the pain, the horror of that dear old husband having to witness this?

There’s a lot more involved here than a home invasion and robbery.

WHERE ARE THE CHARGES OF A RACIAL HATE CRIME??

90 year old husband’s jaw broken and shot in face with a BB gun numerous times?

85 wife year old semi blind wife RAPED and BEATEN to death??

Why does it take a foreign press to enlighten America as to this henious crime?

WHERE IS THE NATIONAL OUTRAGE?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2117695/Brutal-home-invasion-Oklahoma-couple-ends-65-year-romance-meeting-blind-date.html

__________________________

Have they caught the rest of the gang of feral blacks who raped, tortured and murdered this elderly woman? Are they even looking? Not a word about it in the media.

30 posted on 05/04/2012 9:59:44 AM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: MileHi
“I have not seen that before, so friggin shoot me.”

Hi, MileHi,

Don't feel out on a limb. I haven't followed the Zimmerman/Martin threads lately and I'm far from up to date.

Mainly, I've been following the Breitbart threads and Obama’s abuse of the Constitution. And, of course I had to check the Lindsey Lohan thread!

You're not alone; I really have some backreading this weekend on Z/M - unless the weather is really good and the allergies abate!

hummingbird

31 posted on 05/04/2012 10:32:16 AM PDT by hummingbird (Just askin' or just sayin' depending on the subject. Oh yeah - OBAMA SUCKS!)
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To: Aunt Polgara; MileHi
Thanks for the go-to Freepers for catching up with this case.

I know I've missed a lot & catching up is a bitch!

Thanks again!

hummingbird

32 posted on 05/04/2012 10:37:03 AM PDT by hummingbird (Just askin' or just sayin' depending on the subject. Oh yeah - OBAMA SUCKS!)
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To: Fred Nerks

George Zimmerman must be the incredible shrinking man, when I first started reading about this he was supposed to be 250 pounds, that is my size. When I finally saw the video of him in court he looked like someone I could easily pick up and carry and I am about to turn 68. “Trayvonn”, on the other hand, has miraculously changed from an innocent looking 13 year old to a 6 foot 2 inch seventeen year old football player whose weight varies from 165 to 195 or even more and who was anything BUT innocent. At first it was a huge “white” man who chased down a black child and murdered him, now it appears that an average or smaller size “white Hispanic” who actually has black ancestors was knocked down by a 6 foot 2 inch black seventeen year old and was having his head pounded against concrete and this is supported by a cell phone picture taken three or four minutes after the shooting. It now seems obvious why Zimmerman was not charged with a crime at the scene, there was ABSOLUTELY no evidence that he had done anything other than defend his own life which he probably would have lost had he not had a weapon on him. What is going on now is the result of race pimps like Sharpton and Jackson trying to start civil war two in this country.


33 posted on 05/04/2012 10:44:50 AM PDT by RipSawyer
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To: hummingbird

I/m pretty up to speed on this, except had not run across anything that backed up the 7-11 claim. Looks like it was true after all.

Stay safe


34 posted on 05/04/2012 10:52:09 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: Candor7

I really don’t think it’s as simple as all that, seems to me this situation was to be a primer for chaos and emergency legistlation to allow the entry of blue helmets into US cities - the ultimate victim was to be your Constitution. This little fiasco, if it doesn’t work, will simply be replaced by another. Think of how the ‘palestinians’ stage victimhood. If nothing comes along that fits the bill, a page out of their playbook should do it.
They kill their own and make martyrs of them.


35 posted on 05/04/2012 3:09:22 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: Candor7

I really don’t think it’s as simple as all that, seems to me this situation was to be a primer for chaos and emergency legistlation to allow the entry of blue helmets into US cities - the ultimate victim was to be your Constitution. This little fiasco, if it doesn’t work, will simply be replaced by another. Think of how the ‘palestinians’ stage victimhood. If nothing comes along that fits the bill, a page out of their playbook should do it.
They kill their own and make martyrs of them.


36 posted on 05/04/2012 3:09:22 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: Fred Nerks

Agreed, not so simple.The case in Florida against Zimmer reminds me of the Dreyfus case in pre WW II France. Its a sign of administrative justice’s rot, and how weak men and women have become when the issues of genuine freedom are presented to them. The facts are ignored or skewed to fit a twisted political end, and then there will be little to do but fight for freedom all over again.

The little psychopomp strutting about the country , rebuilding his false imagery, hardly should be taken seriously. Twenty years ago he would have been laughed out of office.


37 posted on 05/04/2012 7:11:46 PM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascist info....http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
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