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I will play devil's advocate for a second. I think people should be a bit careful about blaming the prosecutors so much for not arresting this guy immediately. This is a murder case, if anything, and there is no statute of limitations on murder. One of the biggest dangers in prosecuting any murder case, and one of the ways in which prosecutors routinely get into trouble, is by indicting a person too quickly and not spending enough time gathering all the evidence and preparing the case. The problem with murder cases is that there is such public outcry that prosecutors are often forced into taking a course of action that may make the public feel better but may not be the most prudent course of action in terms of legal strategy and/or obtaining a conviction. I would typically have no problem whatsoever in a prosecutor waiting a month/months to gather all the evidence and continue with the investigation before arresting someone. This isn't nearly as much of an open and shut case as the public outcry would indicate. If this guy is arrested tomorrow and the case goes to trial in a few months, the prosecution would quite possibly have a difficult time meeting its burden.
It really is insane. Like it covers thousands of scenarios but really only fits the single scenario of "I have a gun, someone is about to kill me so I kill him first. Everything besides that needs to be ignored. If you meet someone with deadly force and they respond with deadly force, you no longer get to claim self defense. If someone threatens to playfully push you in a swimming pool, you don't get to shoot them in self defense.
Even if Zimmerman is telling the truth 100% and he was returning to his car after successfully detering a kid from breaking into a house with a can of ice tea when the 140lb kid attacks him from behind and starts beating his face in...you don't get to murder him because you don't want a black eye.
so a white (non-hispanic) father and a white (hispanic) mother is a "multi-racial" family now? wtf is that
What difference does it make if the kid looked and acted suspiciously? IMO Zimmerman is a cop/security guard wannabe that spent years acting out his fantasy and doing his best to find trouble. I'm about as big of a 2A proponent as anyone here, but there's no way that idiot should have been permitted for CCW, way too many red flags. And I also don't have a problem with a periodic/yearly review of all CCW holders to look for just these kinds of radar hits.
This case could be a case study for "innocent until proven guilty"
Bomani Jones did an excellent piece on this. The basic point is this:
"But so many black men look suspicious. The elephant in the room in this case is how mainstream the belief is that black men look “suspicious.” I’ve seen the outrage from many white people — and black ones, for that matter — that this could happen, but not a lick of introspection."
I find it pretty disheartening that much of the outrage is because Trayvon was the kind of black person that white America finds acceptable. As if it wouldn't have been a tragedy if the kid had a Philly beard, or wore his hat cocked to the side, or looked as menacing as Quincy Acy, or he was a D student. It feels like a lot of people are taking up the cause because this is an easy one to get behind. That way Zimmerman can go to jail, and people can just go back to the way they were before, without examining how mainstream these prejudices are.
I've certainly been guilty of it myself despite knowing better, and there are times when I'll look back at a particular thought or behavior, and say to myself "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
We have this mindset ingrained in us from the time we're born, it's a tangled issue, and one I'm not sure how we get past.
Another derail, just because I love digging into crime statistics, five white people were murdered in Baltimore in 2011. One was shot in 1998 but died last year, one got hit by a car driven by a guy who was being chased by police after an attempted break-in, one got stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle at the July 4th fireworks during an argument, and one got shot and dumped in Leakin Park(where else?) by her boyfriend. Not one where a random black guy just stalked and killed whitey. One I definitely remember from 2010 was Hopkins researcher Steven Pitcairn, who was stabbed by two drug addicts during a robbery while he was on the phone with his mom, which was fucking heartbreaking.
Trayvon Martin, And When A Black Man Deserves To Die | Media Personality | Bomani Jones
This post was edited by DBlockTerp 2 years ago
I felt like I should have issued an amber alert for myself, just in case
Actually that is for the court to decide. This is a case study for proper investigations leading to an arrest. An arrest doesn't prove guilt.
I agree with the sentiment that no matter what the black guy looks like, he deserves justice, but I'd like to point out two things:
1. If a clearly socially acceptable and praiseworthy kid like this gets swept under the rug, what kind of a chance do you think 'scarier-looking' (but innocent) blacks are going to ever get in these kinds of circumstances? It's a start, that's all.
2. Certain posters always complain (probably rightly so) that big crime stories are always about cute white girls - well, at least there are exceptions, so at least Martin is getting the attention that he deserves. Again, it's a start.
And I just woke up, so if the above doesn't make sense, I apologize.
What exactly are the red flags? Prior to that night all we know about him is that he did neighborhood watch because there was a rise in crime, called 911 46 times in 14 months anoff number of those calls resulted in arrests or the crime being stopped.
Interesting article on a somewhat related issue (racial profiling) - NYC's stop and frisk law...
A group of black and Latino lawmakers, fed up over the frequency with which New York City police officers are stopping and frisking minority men, are seeking laws to curb the practice.
Totally agree with you
the suggestion that Martin ended on top does not end the discussion for me. I'd like to see the medical records, and the other witnesses who were ignored by the police need to be interviewed.
And i'm going to need some real evidence to accept that Zimmerman had no hand in the encounter.
For me, this is all about the stand your ground law. Sounds like there is a good chance Zimmerman gets off if he was in fact taking a beating, but that doesn't mean he didn't create the entire situation himself, which I personally believe he did based on all reports and the 911 tapes. It is absolutely ridiculous that technically, you can instigate a fight, take a punch, then shoot someone dead because it is plausible that you felt threatened at that point (not saying Zimmerman planned the entire situation out in that manner). This law just seems so incredibly flawed. Like Baldwin said, there seem to be so many more scenarios in which this law can be applied inappropriately than scenarios which fit the original intention.
What's to stop some physically big bully from intimidating the hell out of some little guy, take a punch, then shoot the little guy, claiming self defense (which is kind of the outward appearance of this event, at least to me.)
I'm not sure this has to do with the stand your ground law, because it was an active pursuit to begin with, and not an assault in the home, forced entry, burglary, etc. Vigilantism is probably a more appropriate term.
This post was edited by frode 2 years ago
For all the crap people sometimes give police officers for acting in a rash manner, I find it somewhat surprising to see the amount of vitriol directed towords the police department in this case. The Florida law, if I understood it correctly, actually grants immunity from prosecution to those who invoke this defense. If true, I don't think it's that crazy for the police to have not made an arrest in this case immediately. Far too often, law enforcement abdicates its responsibility to make an independent determination as to whether a crime occurred. Far too often, they just arrest people and let the courts figure it out, potentially leading to cases of injustice. I don't know all the facts of this case, so perhaps there is just some completely incompetent police work being done, but the more I think about it, the more I think this is far from a slamdunk case for the prosecution.
Did the police received that information from that witness prior to making the decision not to charge Zimmerman? If so, their decision does not seem that crazy. You've got the shooter claiming self-defense and saying he acted out of fear for his safety. And you've got an independent witness who claims that the shooter was being attacked and beaten up. That's not exactly a situation that typically screams immediate arrest and quick march to trial.
This post was edited by terps99 2 years ago
This has to do with the stand your ground law because Florida's stand your ground law doesn't apply only at home in the cases of forced entry, burglary, etc.
Anthony Jeselnik @anthonyjeselnik
This Trayvon Martin thing has got me eating Skittles non-stop.
It makes all the difference to the law. If the argument is one of self-defense, why does it make zero difference if Martin was beating the shit out of Zimmerman?
I understand and agree that the law probably needs to be changed, and I understand and agree that people who are aggressors should not be able to benefit from this kind of law, but as it stands, it seems to make a huge difference if Zimmerman was in fear for his safety and was being attacked.
By some accounts, yes. We don't really know what happened, so I don't know why anyone would say that something makes zero difference. More importantly, as previously stated, you don't necessarily lose your right to self-defense by being an aggressor.
the overlooked thing here is that zimmerman was already trying to lay the groundwork for the self defense claim like he planned on shooting him. "he's got his hand in his waistband." that line is out of every wrongful police shooting where the suspect was unarmed.
At its minimum, it should be imperfect self defense. Florida's law sucks. I'm curious to know what the Florida judges' interpretations are of "Great Bodily Harm" is. I wonder if a scuffle falls under that category.
Read my writings to nobody in general:
Then "the law is a ass."
1002. Charles Dickens (1812-70). Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989
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