Skip to comments.Trayvon Martin’s death was ‘ultimately avoidable’: Florida police report
Posted on 05/18/2012 5:58:15 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
Trayvon Martin's death was avoidable.
Thats the conclusion of a new police report on the unarmed teens killing at the hands of George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.
"The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely, if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party's concern," the document by Sanford, Fla. Police said.
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...
In the 7-11 video, after taking forever to pay for his goodies, he wanders aimlessly in the opposite direction of the exit, then turns and wanders back toward the front of the store and the door to outside. I'd say he was a bit confused as he looked like he didn't know where the exit from the store was.
“I am certain that is why the prosecution earlier implied that Zimmerman did just that”
I missed that, and have been aware only that they assert Zimmerman started the fight by following and confronting Martin, by leaving his truck instead of waiting for the cops, and by allegedly ignoring the 9-11 operator advising him that they don’t need him to continue following. You’re right that there’s no evidence Zimmerman brandished his gun, in which case it’s irresponsible for the prosecution to assert he did.
They are free to weave tales in press conferences and to lead the jury during opening and closing arguments, but the giant hole at trial where evidence that Martin pummeled Zimmerman in defense only after Zimmerman pulled his gun will be noticeable.
“Has anyone established why Martin was even in that neighborhood in the first place?”
His father lived there.
I never CLAIMED he was stone that instant but I believe he was indeed stoned. Either way, with THC in his system he was breaking the law which was the specific point I was making to refute the other poster's idiotic position.
The Anthony defense obviated all but two possibilities. The jury just picked the one with absolutely no evidence to support it.
Please provide proof that Martin approached Zimmerman.
And, yeah, I do think that Zimmerman was a dope who got in over his head. You want to think he's captain America go right ahead.
You say a fight between Zimmerman and Martin occurred. One of the definitions of "fight" is to "take part in a violent struggle involving the exchange of physical blows. Show me the physical evidence on Zimmerman that proves he was "fighting" with Martin, and exchanged physical blows with him.
Didn’t move the goal line at all...my very first post on the thread asked for proof.
Persons my age call that “shacking-up”!
Even if, hypothetically speaking, the evidence is so cloudy that it cannot be told who attacked whom — MR. Z SHOULD GO FREE. REASONABLE DOUBT.
Didn’t mean for you to think I was accusing you of claiming he was stoned. In my personal opinion, if he wasn’t stoned, or high, or under the influence of something that night, then he was a very slow-witted person based on his behavior at the store.
Please provide proof of the opposite!
All doubts you launch can be applied against your advocacy for T.
You've formulated a theory of the incident, based on what you "think" happened, not what can be proven by the physical evidence available.
And I'm asking you to provide proof that he didn't. Two can play this game.
Zimmerman’s folly was that of continuing to stand there after Martin had apparently gone? Not thinking that Martin might come back some different way and jump him?
This WAS after all an official Neighborhood Watch person.
“The Anthony defense obviated all but two possibilities.”
Explain this, because I don’t understand. Anyway, it is up to the prosecution to prove its case, and if the jury can come up with any reasonable scenario where what the prosecution speculates happened didn’t happen, then they are obliged not to convict.
And I'm asking you to provide proof that he didn't. Two can play this game.
Look I’ll be generous to a fault. The only possible hole there could be to Mr. Zimmerman’s explanation is how did Mr. Zimmerman miss noticing Mr. Martin’s approach from a different angle. The answer seems easy enough however given the circumstances of a thunderstorm, and that Mr. Martin was wearing sneakers and nothing noisy.
At the very WORST there is a stalemate between the theories, and Mr. Zimmerman ought to go free — and prosecution should have stood up to political pressure and said there is no ethical way they could press the case.
....the challenger accident was “ultimately avoidable” had everyone stayed home.....geeeezzzz
“Didnt move the goal line at all...my very first post on the thread asked for proof.”
I’m almost certain that you also asked for evidence, which means the goal line was changed in the opposite direction. But whatever. If proof is what you’re looking for, I don’t want to participate. Everyone agrees, even those that are sure Martin started it, that no evidence exist to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Martin attacked Zimmerman.
What a silly challenge, anyway, for people to prove to you Martin started it. Martin’s not on trial.
“I do think that Zimmerman was a dope who got in over his head. You want to think he’s captain America go right ahead”
False choice; excluded middle. He can be somewhere between a dope/jerk and Captain America.
And even had Mr. Zimmerman walked right up to Mr. Martin and asked what the hell he was up to, that would not have legally constituted an assault — except maybe in Mr. Martin’s provenly pot-stoned deluded mind (and a theory his girlfriend who was supposedly on the horn with him, seems to actually back up).
The police want ordinary citizens to be chickens.
SO? You are prejudiced regarding Martin, too. That doesn’t really help you in this.
As for “Captain America”: Dude, go back and read #99 to remind you of where I am on the confrontation (Hint: I was actually supporting you...)
The defense has no responsibility to put on a positive defense. When the judge asks the defense if they have any witnesses, they can say, no, the defense rests. Prior to this they would have had the opportunity to cross all of the prosecution's witnesses and attack that evidence as it stands on its face.
On the other hand, instead of saying, "we don't know what happened, just that the state has not proved its case," the Anthony defense presented what is called an alternative theory of the crime. They had to to explain away the damning evidence they couldn't hurt with their cross.
When the defense presents an alternative theory of the crime, they reduce the number of possibilities to two. They can't have it both ways and say, "no, the crime didn't happen the way the state says, it happened like this," and then also claim maybe aliens did it.
The jury believed, wihtout any evidence, that george, for some reason, took the accidentally-drowned todddler and threw it in a trashbag into the woods a block down the street from his house.
“Convenient that you left out that I also said Martin was a macho teen and that both were dopes and punks...convenient but predictable.”
Not a matter of convenience, really. Though you stipulated both are dopes/punks/machos and Zimmerman shouldn’t be on trial, you’ve made clear you believe Zimmerman started the fight and murdered Martin. Therefore, your assessment of Zimmerman’s character, based on nothing so much as what you assume happened within the evidence gap, is relevant. Your assessment of Martin’s character less so, since his machismo didn’t, in your opinion, contribute to the crime committed against him.
Possible alternative explanations of unknown likelihood might or might not rise in a jury’s mind to reasonable doubt. It’s the nature of the beast to allow it. I can’t see NOT allowing it. The prosecution also has a duty to be intelligent and allow for the jury to consider lesser crimes than the worst accused (I believe it didn’t in the Casey case).
I have never seen or heard any quotes from any Sanford Neighborhood Watch guidelines reported on radio or TV. If they have ween widely published, I’ve missed them. I am searching the web right now.
I would disagree that they would not be relevant. If Zimmerman acted outside the guidelines, the prosecution would use that as evidence to support the “profiling” aspect of its case. If his actions were consistent with the policy, the defense would say that helps prove Zimmerman’s assertion as to what happened that night. “Following” would not be legal if it’s part of a plan to track down and kill someone unlawfully.
The Sanford PD’s NW program Handbook states:
“1. Neighbors join together to provide information about their households to one another.
2. Participants receive training in observation techniques and recognition skills in order to recognize suspicious activities.
3. Upon seeing a suspicious activity or a crime, Participants immediately report their observation to the police department.
4. Law enforcement responds and apprehends the suspect criminal. If the suspect is not caught in the act of committing the crime, your recognition of the suspect and your notes will be very vital.”
Based on this, I see all of Zimmerman’s actions prior to the confrontation with Martin as completely within the NW guidelines. I would like to know what exactly is taught in section 2 regarding “observation techniques.” Those details might further exonerate Zimmerman.
” even had Mr. Zimmerman walked right up to Mr. Martin and asked what the hell he was up to, that would not have legally constituted an assault”
Yes, and some people out to get Zimmerman, including apparently the prosecution, stupidly stop there. I must have been living in a different civilization with different rules all along, because I’ve never known doing perfectly legal things to constitute a threat someone else can meet with violence.
Other, marginally smarter, people like wtc911 who think Zimmerman started it posit an additional action on his part, eg. pulling his gun. I don’t know why they assume this happened, considering the medical evidence and witness testimony, but Zimmerman’s a dopey jerk, so whatever. At least they realize you have to do something immediately threatening to precipitate a fight. Certainly something more than getting out of your truck and talking to a stranger.
It's the defense that makes that choice.
Well again, he was not on a Neighborhood Watch “patrol” at the time. He was going to Target on a personal errand. I agree the prosecution will try to throw up a fog which may include NW guidelines, though. I only meant those guidelines would not be legally binding and are not among the elements required to prove Second Degree Murder.
When you say “Following would not be legal if its part of a plan to track down and kill someone unlawfully.” that is obviously true, but then it isn’t just “following” either. The police have already clearly stated that Zimmerman acted lawfully in getting out of his car and following. I can’t see any way a NW handbook can change that.
Somehow the two physically met and all that went out the window; still I’m not aware of any oath that NWers take that prohibits them as citizens from doing such things as walking up to a person and asking him what the hell he’s up to. But that’s their own private affair. Kind of like the dispatcher said, “we don’t need you to...” in the passive tense. The dispatcher can’t infringe on Mr. Z’s own further rights as a private citizen.
There’s an excluded middle here: the defense can offer a range of possible occurrences. This is the lawyer speaking, and not the defendant himself speaking, of course.
If Trayvon’s death had been “avoided”, then Zimmerman probably would’ve been dead. Bottom line: One would live and one would die. Guess the police put more value on Trayvon’s life than Zimmerman’s.
I wish I could give you a citation, because I can’t recall where they did this - it isn’t in the charging affidavit. It may have just been Corey’s statement in the press conference. That’s why I said they “implied” it, but I remember commenting at the time that this would have to be the only way they could try to allege that Zimmerman had started the confrontation in a way that might forfeit his right to self-defense.
“The defense has no responsibility to put on a positive defense”
I don’t know the law perfectly, and am unsure whether it’s expected for defendants in justifiable homicide cases to take the stand. But I believe that to be immune on the basis of self-defense you have to assert self-defense. They could choose not to assert it, but he’s already admitted to killing him, and the jury is going to expect him or someone to explain how he felt in immediate danger of great bodily injury and/or death, which is the standard for justifiable homicide.
You see, this is different than normal cases, in which all the defense has to do is sit back and let the prosecution prove it if they can. They are admitting Zimmerman killed Martin, and are arguing he’s immune due to it being in self-defense. In order to argue that, there must be some standard to which you must rise in the eyes of the jury. So there is at least a bit of burden of proof on the defense.
I use that term, “burden of proof” loosely, by the way. They may not talk about it like that, but practically speaking the defense has to assert something in order for Zimmerman to be immune.
“When the judge asks the defense if they have any witnesses, they can say, no, the defense rests.”
Okay, they are free to do so. But if they want to get him off, they’ll have to convince the jury that it was justifiable homicide, and in order for it to be justifiable homicide he must have reasonably feareed for his life and/or bodily safety.
“Prior to this they would have had the opportunity to cross all of the prosecution’s witnesses and attack that evidence as it stands on its face.”
By doing so they could implicitly make the case that self-defense applies. But wouldn’t they, at least as a practical matter, want to assert a positive case?
“On the other hand, instead of saying, ‘we don’t know what happened, just that the state has not proved its case,’ the Anthony defense presented what is called an alternative theory of the crime. They had to to explain away the damning evidence they couldn’t hurt with their cross.”
That case and this, though were different in that Casey did not admit to killing Caylee. They didn’t have to present an alternative theory, but did to make assurance doubly sure. Zimmerman, contrarywise, I think has to make a positive assertion to be immune, as I believe will be the defense’s case.
“The jury believed, wihtout any evidence, that george, for some reason, took the accidentally-drowned todddler and threw it in a trashbag into the woods a block down the street from his house.”
Did they believe it, or did they merely accept it as a reasonable possibility which the prosecution did not forestall? I think it came down more to the case against Casey not being proved than the jury’s gullibility concerning George’s involvement. It was enough that maybe it happened that or another way, as opposed to the way the state pretended it knew happened without evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
Pot is known to make some people paranoid, and for that reason Mr. Z may not have been “wise” to approached the stoned Mr. M. But Mr. Z sure as heck did not violate any law if he did, short of (again as you suggest) purposely brandishing his pistol at Mr. M. Just letting the pistol be seen isn’t a threat, or every cop walking down the street would be a threat.
It ought to, in principle, simply be necessary to inform the jury that they need to find that this homicide was NOT justifiable, beyond a reasonable doubt. That the task before them is NOT to find some better than likely excuse for it.
They didn't say maybe a stranger took her, maybe her long lost father came back and killed her, they were asking them to believe THEIR story.
Evidence always narrows down the range of possibilities. In this case the evidence has narrowed it down to two: who threw the first punch.
’Following’ would not be legal if its part of a plan to track down and kill someone unlawfully”
In that case “following” would not be the crime. It would be stalking, which Zimmerman is not charged with, or just a part of the larger crime of premeditated murder. If they had evidence of him conspiring to kill Martin, then maybe the following becomes part of the step-by-step murder process that we could term stalking. But they don’t.
Since he’s not charged with murder 1, I don’t think they’re alleging there was a larger plan part of which following was. They’re going on following as being provocative of a violent response from Martin, if Martin attacked Zimmerman, or a prelude to Zimmerman attacking Martin and possibly evidence of his depraved mind, without it being in itself a crime. Which is weird, to say the least.
And if the jury did its job seriously it would have to find that beyond a reasonable doubt Mr. Z threw the first blow before saying guilty.
Jury instructions often suck, though you’d think there would be some kind of national standard practice by this time in history.
“If Zimmerman acted outside the guidelines, the prosecution would use that as evidence to support the profiling aspect of its case. If his actions were consistent with the policy, the defense would say that helps prove Zimmermans assertion as to what happened that night. ‘Following’ would not be legal if its part of a plan to track down and kill someone unlawfully.”
His acting outside the rules of neighborhood watching might lead one to believe he was more likely to profile, but not that he was profiling. Profiling in itself isn’t a crime, anyway. Whether or not he abided the rules doesn’t go anywhere toward establishing his following was part of a plan to murder Martin, so long as what he did instead of abiding the rules wasn’t itself illegal.
“UNTIL the defense offers their own. The defense can offer its own evidence, things which it asserts ARE TRUE. That necessarily reduces the number of possibilities to two.”
That doesn’t sound right. You don’t have to choose either Casey killed her or she drowned and George helped cover it up. What if you don’t trust the case laid out by the defense or the prosecution? You still acquit. Maybe you think the defense was plausible but not accurate, and the prosecution plain wrong.
In any case, whatever the defense argues as an alternative theory you can ignore them and focus solely upon whether or not the prosecution proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There’s nothing to say either you must believe their theory or the state’s.
Exactly. And we know plenty of cops would rather the citizenry was unarmed and just left everything up to the “professionals”.
“The Anthony defense obviated all but two possibilities. The jury just picked the one with absolutely no evidence to support it.”
I’ve thought about what you said here, and that dog won’t hunt. Think about it, you’re saying that either the jury had to believe the defense’s theory about the accidental drowning or the prosecution’s about Casey suffocating her or whatever, and it should have been the latter because there was more evidence for it. But you don’t convict on the basis of which side has more evidence to support their theory. You convict on the prosecution proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Nothing the defense does can “obviate” other possibilities. But even if it could, just because there’s no evidence for the drowning scenario doesn’t mean it isn’t plausible or that the prosecution’s evidence rules it out. Remember, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. The defense doesn’t need as much evidence for its theories, or really any evidence at all. It depends on how strong the prosecution’s case is, and if they don’t jump over the reasonable doubt bar, wild theories can run wild.
“It ought to, in principle, simply be necessary to inform the jury that they need to find that this homicide was NOT justifiable, beyond a reasonable doubt. That the task before them is NOT to find some better than likely excuse for it.”
That indeed does seem the way it ought to be, but I’m not sure. I thought I heard that in order to be immune on the basis of self-defense you have to argue that you were in reasonable fear of great bodily harm or death, and to do so you had to present evidence of some sort demonstrating that in your situation a reasonable person would be in fear.
I could see why you wouldn’t want juries to presume people were in fear for their lives, because justifiable homicide, though necessary, should be strictly reserved for cases that deserve it. Maybe practically speaking there is no way to distinguish between those who genuinely fear for their lives without having started fights in the first place from than to require the defense to assert positively that that was the case.
Nonsense. I offer alternate, plausible scenarios.
" Therefore, your assessment of Zimmermans character, based on nothing so much as what you assume happened within the evidence gap, is relevant."
My assessment of Zimmerman is not at all based on the gap. It is based on his arrest history and the actions that we know he took before the fight.
Your assessment of Martins character less so, since his machismo didnt, in your opinion, contribute to the crime committed against him.
Oh, you think a crime was committed against Martin?
How about you stop trying to tell me what I think and stick to my actual words.
I do think that Zimmerman was ill-prepared for the situation that was created when he got out of the car and started to follow Martin.
“They were asking the jury to believe their version over the state’s, and theirs was very specific.”
So? Like I said, even if they were, why can’t the jury ignore them and rule solely on whether or not the prosecution proved its case? They could easily say “I don’t know who’s right, the prosecution or the defense. The defense seems more far-fetched, but the prosecution’s is the one that has to be proved.”
“Evidence always narrows down the range of possibilities. In this case the evidence has narrowed it down to two: who threw the first punch.”
I don’t agree. It may have been the defense’s strategy to narrow it down to an either-or. But the prosecution’s case was not strong enough to narrow it down that far, no matter what the defense said. What did they have? Casey not reporting it, which was not a crime; internet searches the mother took credit for; the body somewhat near her home; the purported smell of decomposition in the car; residue from a sticker that may or may not have been Casey’s. That’s not much.
What didn’t they have? Any physical evidence tying Casey to the body or the body to the car, any evidence of Casey having planned the crime aside from the searches that are mildly suggestive but really neither here nor there, any evidence of Casey possessing nor attempting to possess the things she supposedly searched for, any evidence of tools used in the crime tied to Casey, and so on.
Based on all that, I could very easily see saying, “Screw what the defense says. Maybe Casey killed her as the prosecution says, maybe she didn’t. I don’t know, therefore I acquit.”