/ George Zimmerman acquitted .

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Jim C - on 14 Jul 2013
Florida Jury Acquitted Zimmerman of Second degree murder .

Was he a wannabe cop who took the law into his own hands, or a well-meaning neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot the unarmed teenager in self-defence because he feared for his life?

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/george-zimmerman-acquitted-of-murder-in-trayvon-martin-shooting-1.136568...
Indy - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
A hugely devicive case.
Alex Slipchuk on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim Chttp: very easy to understand if you play a game of spot the difference, apparently it's ok if you kill. Warning shots are "frowned" upon.


//m.cbsnews.com/storysynopsis.rbml?pageType=national&url=http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/&fee...
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C: Its a tough one. I saw some of the news on it, it seemed Zimmerman was beneath Martin when he fired, supporting his argument. That must have been pretty crucial. Sadly the way the US law is with guns and shooting it is legal to shoot people if you feel threatened.
Lantys Tarn - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:

I was in Florida for most of the trial and they had a of it on live tv, from what I seen they had a pretty weak case and even the copper in charge said it was self defense and he was only arrested because outside influences (civil rights groups) got involved
Alex Slipchuk on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C: no regrets at taking a human life, god's plan!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZxpwb0UYuk



It may be god's plan for you to rot in hell.

Fortunately you for you....
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to The Big Man:
> (In reply to Jim Chttp) very easy to understand if you play a game of spot the difference, apparently it's ok if you kill. Warning shots are "frowned" upon.
>
>
> //m.cbsnews.com/storysynopsis.rbml?pageType=national&url=http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/&fee...

I think I can "spot the difference" - one was acquitted, the other was convicted of attempted murder.
What I'm struggling to spot is what the similarity is.
confusicating on 14 Jul 2013
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to confusicating:

An interesting post. The only thing it's missing is any reference to the facts of the case.
Unless reference to one perceived historic racist incident which the author was a victim of, in different circumstances, by a different person, in a different state is supposed to be relevant.
Lantys Tarn - on 14 Jul 2013

In reply to Jim C:

Zimmerman was Hispanic
Alex Slipchuk on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty: don't be so naive
The New NickB - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Lantys Tarn:
>
> In reply to Jim C:
>
> Zimmerman was Hispanic

What is your point?
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to The Big Man:
> (In reply to off-duty) don't be so naive

Perhaps you could be a bit more specific with what you are actually alleging, and who you are actually accusing, because at the moment it is far from clear.
confusicating on 14 Jul 2013
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to confusicating: Its a pretty cheap article. The laws the law. Thats the problem, the stand your ground. If, as the evidence suggests, Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he fired.. then its the right call by the jury who followed the law of the state. But the stand your ground law is horrific but seems to be spreading across the US.
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Again, an interesting article - but by it's inclusion of the assertion that "There is no doubt about who the aggressor was here. " it denies the actual meat of the case.

Yes - if the prosecution are to be believed Trayvon was no more than a young innocent sweet-carrying child, who was mercilessly pursued and gunned down by the racist wannabe cop - Zimmerman. Unfortunately for the prosecution, that was NOT what the jury believed.

It is important to separate the assertions that Zimmerman may have been an over-suspicious, racist wannabe cop, who may have had no justification for chasing and stopping Trayvon Martin, from the actual case which is that the jury believed that Martin was the instigator of the subsequent physical fight and that Zimmerman lawfully used his firearm in self defence.

If you are going to allow concealed carry of firearms then you have to accept that the consequences are that people will use them.
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to The Big Man: It doesn't say much. How close were they? 5 yards? 20 yards? where? You can't compare and contrast until all the variables are similar at least.
Timmd on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to confusicating) Its a pretty cheap article. The laws the law. Thats the problem, the stand your ground. If, as the evidence suggests, Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he fired.. then its the right call by the jury who followed the law of the state. But the stand your ground law is horrific but seems to be spreading across the US.

It's horrific, I accidentally won a play fight (bear with me here) with my oldest bro, and he was so taken aback we've never had a play fight since. It ended up with him sitting down and me standing feeling surprised, it happened by chance. If I'd known that was going to happen I'd have let him win.

It could easily have happened where Fred Zimmerman tackles the black youth, and the youth manages to wrestle himself free of Fred, who ends up on the floor and feeling afraid shoots the black youth.

If I was a black parent or black youth, or just black, I think I'd be wondering what's going to happen next when I walk outside, how careful I have to be when it gets dark, and how I should dress and behave around people. All kinds of things like that, so I or my son didn't get shot and killed by somebody who is afraid.
Alyson - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd: It seems to me there are a few problematic concepts highlighted by this case as regards the Stand Your Ground law. The first is that the prosecution argued (successfully) that Martin 'weaponised' the pavement, although Zimmerman had few marks on him. If you regard a pavement as a lethal weapon then there is no such thing as an unarmed person any more.

The second is that by finding Zimmerman innocent they have effectively found Martin guilty. They have taken the view that he did attack Zimmerman and his subsequent death was justified, yet at the same time they wouldn't have had enough evidence to secure a conviction beyond reasonable doubt against Martin had he lived and been tried for attempted murder. I can see why it has caused so much anger and controversy. The law and justice seem two different things.
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> It's horrific, I accidentally won a play fight (bear with me here) with my oldest bro, and he was so taken aback we've never had a play fight since. It ended up with him sitting down and me standing feeling surprised, it happened by chance. If I'd known that was going to happen I'd have let him win.
>
> It could easily have happened where Fred Zimmerman tackles the black youth, and the youth manages to wrestle himself free of Fred, who ends up on the floor and feeling afraid shoots the black youth.
>

It could have. Though that isn't what the witnesses or the forensic evidence indicated was what happened.


> If I was a black parent or black youth, or just black, I think I'd be wondering what's going to happen next when I walk outside, how careful I have to be when it gets dark, and how I should dress and behave around people. All kinds of things like that, so I or my son didn't get shot and killed by somebody who is afraid.

Which again, does not appear to be what happened. The "stand your ground" law - much as it is being trumpeted does not appear to have featured - it was a simple case of self defence.
The racist element is being blown up such that many commentators appear to believe that this is the only relevant factor in this "miscarriage of justice" - and my suspicion would be that it goes along with the distorted emphasis on the "child carrying sweets" vs the "adult".
Dominion - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Seems to me that if Trayvon Martin had just had a gun, and was being stalked by - as far as he knew - some nutter with a gun, he should have just shot and killed George Zimmerman, and it would have been perfectly legal...

Zimmerman instigated the confrontation, by pursuing Martin, so Trayvon Martin should be eligible for the "Stand Your Ground" defence, as well...

It's just TM didn't have a gun...
Dominion - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Dominion:

....and in which case, TM would probably be on Death Row...
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to Timmd) It seems to me there are a few problematic concepts highlighted by this case as regards the Stand Your Ground law. The first is that the prosecution argued (successfully) that Martin 'weaponised' the pavement, although Zimmerman had few marks on him. If you regard a pavement as a lethal weapon then there is no such thing as an unarmed person any more.
>

The "weaponising" of the pavement - though seized on as some sort of ridiculous statement, appears to have been the defence lawyer emphasising the circumstances when the shooting took place. Martin is described as astride Zimmerman in a pose also described as an MMA "ground and pound" punching him to the face and upper body against the concrete.
Obviously the "few marks" are open to interpretation - the photos are here :-http://www.wtsp.com/news/photo-gallery.aspx?storyid=255685




> The second is that by finding Zimmerman innocent they have effectively found Martin guilty. They have taken the view that he did attack Zimmerman and his subsequent death was justified, yet at the same time they wouldn't have had enough evidence to secure a conviction beyond reasonable doubt against Martin had he lived and been tried for attempted murder. I can see why it has caused so much anger and controversy. The law and justice seem two different things.

The position at the start of the trial is that the prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that murder or manslaughter occurred. What they were unable to demonstrate is that self defence could also be eliminated - largely because a number of the prosecution witnesses suggested it was the case.
Whether that means that if both had lived Martin would have been facing an attempted murder charge is another thing entirely.
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Dominion:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> Seems to me that if Trayvon Martin had just had a gun, and was being stalked by - as far as he knew - some nutter with a gun, he should have just shot and killed George Zimmerman, and it would have been perfectly legal...
>
> Zimmerman instigated the confrontation, by pursuing Martin, so Trayvon Martin should be eligible for the "Stand Your Ground" defence, as well...
>
> It's just TM didn't have a gun...

You make lots of assumptions.. like most on here... simple facts are we don't know what happened. The law is wrong IMO. But thats the law. I don't think this is a race issue.

You are normally quite reserved in such statements but you seem to have strong views off little to no evidence.

We have very few facts about the black womans murder of abusive husband either.
Alyson - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty: Not all the witnesses backed up the story that Martin was on top.

I disagree that those injuries should be "open to interpretation". Either they're medically identifiable as serious, possibly life threatening, or they aren't. They look like scratches to me but that hardly matters.

Does it not bother you at all that Zimmerman was the one who followed the unarmed Martin, despite being told not to, and engaged him in confrontation? Can you not see why it does bother a lot of people?
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to off-duty) Not all the witnesses backed up the story that Martin was on top.
>
> I disagree that those injuries should be "open to interpretation". Either they're medically identifiable as serious, possibly life threatening, or they aren't. They look like scratches to me but that hardly matters.
>
> Does it not bother you at all that Zimmerman was the one who followed the unarmed Martin, despite being told not to, and engaged him in confrontation? Can you not see why it does bother a lot of people?

But I though forensics suggested Trayvon was on top? gun shot residue inside his shirt suggesting it hung free..

Yes it bothers me, the law bothers me more. But we also don't know what went on. Who actually initiated the physical confrontation. You, and others, have clear views on this, that are backed up by little if any evidence.

You've assumed its a race case.. black guy shot by white guy who gets off story..


MG - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK: And you seem to be assuming, given the law, it was all entirely fair and just.

With the long history of race problems and highly dubious justice for blacks in the US, being sceptical and asking questions seems a good approach to me. Although, given it is in another country, with different laws and social structures, it is a bit odd it is attracting quite so much attention here.
Alyson - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK: I don't have a view on who initiated the physical confrontation, although who was following who is not in question, and I can imagine why a young man would find it intimidating knowing he was being followed. Perhaps he was just standing his ground?

What makes you say I've assumed it's a race case? I haven't mentioned race once, and it doesn't factor into anything I've said. You have no basis for assuming that because a law makes me uncomfortable I see it as a 'race case'. What a strange and unhelpful thing to say.
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to off-duty) Not all the witnesses backed up the story that Martin was on top.
>

How many witnesses didn't?


> I disagree that those injuries should be "open to interpretation". Either they're medically identifiable as serious, possibly life threatening, or they aren't. They look like scratches to me but that hardly matters.
>

Why do they have to be "serious, possibly life threatening"?
Being prone on your back with someone above you raining blows down "might" make you consider you were in a parlous position.

> Does it not bother you at all that Zimmerman was the one who followed the unarmed Martin, despite being told not to, and engaged him in confrontation? Can you not see why it does bother a lot of people?

Did Zimmerman engage him in confrontation?
Was he actually told "Don't follow him" or was it actually a little bit less emphatic "We don't need you to do that" in response to Zimmerman getting out of the car to follow Martin as he appeared to make off.


What bothers me is that a lot of people appear to have leapt onto and clutched at a lazy narrative of "racist unprovoked attack of young child" while appearing to ignore all the evidence that this incident was considerably more complex than that.
Jim C - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Lots of views on this one, and things have moved on since I first posted this as it broke early hours.

I think perhaps Zimmerman may be initially pleased to be 'not guilty' , but still looks like he may still be facing a civil case, and either way , could well be a 'marked man' for the rest of his life.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/14/justice/zimmerman-what-next/
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> Lots of views on this one, and things have moved on since I first posted this as it broke early hours.
>
> I think perhaps Zimmerman may be initially pleased to be 'not guilty' , but still looks like he may still be facing a civil case, and either way , could well be a 'marked man' for the rest of his life.
>
> http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/14/justice/zimmerman-what-next/

Shocking isn't it, that the story that appears to be being propounded is "innocent child shot dead by racist wannabe cop" whilst the evidence indicates "man being beaten up faced murder trial for self defence".
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to MG: No I don't at all.

I think the law is wrong.

I just think we don't know much that has gone on here. I was in the US when this happened.. back then the versions varied hugely.. there was so much shite and supposed 'facts' supporting either person it was impossible for all 'facts' to be true.

TBH I have no idea if Zimmerman was wrong. I certainly have no information to judge his actions fair or just.
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson: Race runs through this whole thread..
Alyson - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty: You seem to be comfortable with the idea that shooting and killing someone who is punching you is acceptable, regardless of the apparent severity of the attack or the injuries you're sustaining. In the states which have implemented this Stand Your Ground legislation the homicide rate has gone up, resulting in around 600 extra deaths per annum.

I don't think the law was misapplied, I just think it's a bad law. You keep talking about a straightforward case of self defence without seeming to care whether Zimmerman's life was in danger or whether he was tussling on the ground with someone he'd chased and confronted for 'looking suspicious'.

I can't work out whether you just support all laws in a sort of blanket manner or whether you think this is a particularly good one. I think it encourages more fatal confrontations, personally.
Alyson - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Alyson) Race runs through this whole thread..

You accuse me of opinions I haven't expressed just because it forms one element of a debate I've entered?? Does that mean that if I don't actually think it's a race case I shouldn't be posting? Please advise.
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to off-duty) You seem to be comfortable with the idea that shooting and killing someone who is punching you is acceptable, regardless of the apparent severity of the attack or the injuries you're sustaining. In the states which have implemented this Stand Your Ground legislation the homicide rate has gone up, resulting in around 600 extra deaths per annum.
>
> I don't think the law was misapplied, I just think it's a bad law.

But this is the law.. yes its a bad law.. an awful law which is sadly becoming more common.. I'm not comfortable with it, but going by the laws of the state I thought it more than likely that Martin WOULD be acquitted.. to be honest I actually think had this been a white on white shooting it probably would not have even got this far.. Zimmerman was initially freed and public outcry led to his arrest.

I don't think OD is saying its acceptbale, just thats the law.

It's an horrific piece of legislation.



IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson: Wow..
IainRUK - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to off-duty) You seem to be comfortable with the idea that shooting and killing someone who is punching you is acceptable,

When did Off duty say that? Please advise.
Alyson - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
>
> When did Off duty say that? Please advise.

He asked why one would have to be sustaining serious injury for self defence to be justified, and his posts overall express an agreement with the outcome. This is why I put 'you seem to be comfortable with...'

I was giving my consideration of how his views were coming across to me. At no point was I claiming to be quoting him so your question doesn't make sense.
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to off-duty) You seem to be comfortable with the idea that shooting and killing someone who is punching you is acceptable, regardless of the apparent severity of the attack or the injuries you're sustaining. In the states which have implemented this Stand Your Ground legislation the homicide rate has gone up, resulting in around 600 extra deaths per annum.
>
> I don't think the law was misapplied, I just think it's a bad law. You keep talking about a straightforward case of self defence without seeming to care whether Zimmerman's life was in danger or whether he was tussling on the ground with someone he'd chased and confronted for 'looking suspicious'.
>
> I can't work out whether you just support all laws in a sort of blanket manner or whether you think this is a particularly good one. I think it encourages more fatal confrontations, personally.

It is unclear whether the stand your ground law actually had any major impact on this case.
The reality is that when pinned down and being subject to a beating you have the right to defend yourself - a reality that would exist in the UK as well.
When you have the US where concealed carry is allowed then it is, unfortunately, not surprising when that self defence becomes fatal.

In the UK the questions that would be asked would be "did you fear for your life" and "did you use reasonable force"?
What I particularly dislike is the dissection of actions that occur in seconds over several weeks of court time, particularly when that becomes a discussion of "how severe a beating did you think you were getting?"
Alyson - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
>
> It's an horrific piece of legislation.

Completely agree.
Eric9Points - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
Does anyone know the racial make up of the jury?
dissonance - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> In the UK the questions that would be asked would be "did you fear for your life" and "did you use reasonable force"?

i would hope that "why where you following that person" would come into it and put the self defence claim at risk.
Personally if someone starts following me then I would consider them likely to be a danger to my health particularly if near home and I cant simply lose them.
Fortunately only happened once when someone decided to follow my scooter but was more than mildly concerned.
off-duty - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> Does anyone know the racial make up of the jury?


5 white, one hispanic.

http://news.yahoo.com/factbox-six-woman-jury-acquitted-george-zimmerman-trayvon-042216763.html
winhill - on 14 Jul 2013
In reply to Dominion:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> Zimmerman instigated the confrontation,

In reply to confusicating:

There is no doubt about who the aggressor was here

This is very much the problem here, almost irrespective of the gun law.

Aggressor is legally defined in the SYG laws and following someone, even asking them questions isn't it.

I've been involved in four arrests, in every situation I've initiated contact by challenging people about their behaviour. Also in every situation I've either been threatened with violence or enjoyed actual, to very severe violence.

The guy in the Guardian article makes the same mistake as Martin did, he sees someone challenging someone else about their behaviour as aggression, which is therefore rightly met with violence.

It worries me if people think that challenging someone else is viewed as initiating confrontation or aggression, as this only leaves the option of ignoring suspicious behaviour (or calling it in and not getting involved).

It means there is no sense of communities protecting themselves, instead people simply wait for professional help to arrive (which may be utterly ineffectual).

In one of the links someone posted (nypost IIRC) then is another story about a couple who refused to attend to a semi naked and clearly distressed rape victim who knocked on their door asking for help. Instead they left her outside for 11 minutes until the police arrived. Unable to make a judgement call about the risks, they simply played safe and left it to the police.
off-duty - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> i would hope that "why where you following that person" would come into it and put the self defence claim at risk.
> Personally if someone starts following me then I would consider them likely to be a danger to my health particularly if near home and I cant simply lose them.
> Fortunately only happened once when someone decided to follow my scooter but was more than mildly concerned.

The problem is, however misguided or mistaken your reason for following someone might be, you do not give up your right to defend yourself should that following degenerate into a fight.
Similarly should someone following you cause you sufficient fear that you get in a fight and end up killing them - you are going to have to justify that your actions were in self defence.

In this specific case it is far from clear that Zimmerman, despite following Martin, is the one that instigated the physical confrontation.
Timmd on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Timmd)
> [...]
>
> It could have. Though that isn't what the witnesses or the forensic evidence indicated was what happened.

Fair point. It's been said by some that the black youth hit Zimmerman's head against the ground/pavement, but I gather that there are conflicting accounts? I guess the black youth (who's name I keep forgetting) could have felt p*ssed off at being followed and attacked and fought back, and in doing so been shot. Some white friends of mine would have fought back/retaliated as teenagers, and might do still I guess.

Or if Zimmerman challenged the black youth and things became heated physical, that could be how this death happened. It is on tape that Zimmerman said 'They always get away with it', whatever actually happened, it sounds like he'd perhaps decided what kind of person that black youth was. Which doesn't mean they reached the wrong verdict, I realise.

> Which again, does not appear to be what happened. The "stand your ground" law - much as it is being trumpeted does not appear to have featured - it was a simple case of self defence.
> The racist element is being blown up such that many commentators appear to believe that this is the only relevant factor in this "miscarriage of justice" - and my suspicion would be that it goes along with the distorted emphasis on the "child carrying sweets" vs the "adult".

I'm not sure what you mean, what doesn't appear to have happened?
Jim C - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Some white friends of mine would have fought back/retaliated as teenagers, and might do still I guess.

There is something to be said for 'getting your retaliation in first' ( I think is the phrase)

(Especially if you are cornered, and the guy threatening you is bigger than you)

jkarran - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:

> I disagree that those injuries should be "open to interpretation". Either they're medically identifiable as serious, possibly life threatening, or they aren't. They look like scratches to me but that hardly matters.

If somebody is banging your head on the floor, that's life threatening. You have no idea when or if they'll stop nor how long you can resist for before blacking out at which point all bets are off, they may stop, they may not. It's a very dangerous situation.

Whether that's what actually happened... I have no idea.

> Does it not bother you at all that Zimmerman was the one who followed the unarmed Martin, despite being told not to, and engaged him in confrontation? Can you not see why it does bother a lot of people?

I can but I can also see this may have been the correct verdict.
jk

I like climbing - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
A complete travesty of justice not helped by an incredibly weak prosecution. Zimmerman is guilty.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> A complete travesty of justice not helped by an incredibly weak prosecution. Zimmerman is guilty.

Why?

To be honest, under Florida state law, if Martin was on top of him, and causing him injuries (which the evidence suggests he was), he was could defend himself by shooting. The law in this case is an ass.. I'm not sure the prosecution are to blame.


off-duty - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> A complete travesty of justice not helped by an incredibly weak prosecution. Zimmerman is guilty.

Really? What's the evidence that clinched it for you?
elsewhere on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
The crazy thing is that if Martin had shot Zimmerman he could claim the same self defence saying he'd been confronted by an aggressive stranger.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to I like climbing)
> [...]
>
> Really? What's the evidence that clinched it for you?

UK law.. people are viewing this with UK-centric eyes.. carrying a gun.. willing to fire a gun.. patrolling your neighbourhood armed.. such things that in the UK are illegal, threatening and alien to us.

And in UK law he'd be certainly found guilty.

But this was the US, more specifically the state of Florida. Neighbourhood watch is much more active that in the UK, its not just phoning the police. Right or wrong. Supposedly he's even allowed to get his gun back.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to elsewhere:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> The crazy thing is that if Martin had shot Zimmerman he could claim the same self defence saying he'd been confronted by an aggressive stranger.

Yes, if he had injuries and forensics suggested that Zimmerman was on top at the time..

Alyson - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to jkarran: I think a big part of my concern (with the law, not the verdict) is that it allows a shortcut from prudence. A person can feel empowered to follow and intimidate someone, knowing that if that person ends up responding physically they can just kill them and call it self-defence. Even easier, obviously, in a country where you are allowed to carry a gun. It treats the taking of a human life very lightly, not just a desperate last resort. Let’s not forget that Trayvon Martin had committed no crime, was carrying no weapon and had done nothing demonstrable to provoke Zimmerman. On the phone to his girlfriend he expressed concern that he was being followed by a creep.

It seems wrong to me that such a thing can escalate to an apparently lawful killing so easily. It seems to create a disregard for life.

I don’t deny that having your head banged against a pavement might make you fear for your life but I wonder whether Zimmerman would have ended up in that situation had he not known that he could just shoot the boy and get away with it.
MikeTS - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:

What it seems to mean (in general, the exact facts in this case we don't know) is that if you are attacked in Florida, then get on top of your attacker, he has grounds for killing you that would lead to his acquittal in court if there was no clear evidence to the contrary.
So I agree with those that say the law and its interpretation is crazy.
elsewhere on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> Yes, if he had injuries and forensics suggested that Zimmerman was on top at the time..

Zimmerman was armed so I don't think Martin would have to be injured.

There are possible sinister aspects of armed idiot looking for confrontation but only Zimmerman knows the truth.
I like climbing - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
I don't believe Martin was on top of Zimmerman. It would have been very difficult as Zimmerman was huge compared to Martin. Zimmerman has lost a great deal of weight since the killing. I also don't think the prosecution exploited Zimmerman's lies.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing: No he's not.. he's put on weight since the killing...

GSR was inside TM's shirt.. which is meant to suggest the shirt was falling away from the body, suggesting he was on top.

You may not believe it but that was what the evidence suggests.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to elsewhere: Only if the gun was drawn...
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to jkarran) It seems to create a disregard for life.
>
> I don’t deny that having your head banged against a pavement might make you fear for your life but I wonder whether Zimmerman would have ended up in that situation had he not known that he could just shoot the boy and get away with it.


There is huge disregard for life in some states.. there is in many countries.. Texas is awful in that sense. Strangely, well maybe not, its in those who have the death penalty..
elsewhere on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to elsewhere) Only if the gun was drawn...

No witnesses to contradict what the survivor says.

I like climbing - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to I like climbing)
> [...]
>
> Really? What's the evidence that clinched it for you?

Zimmerman's lies clinched it for me.
1. He lied about not knowing the Stand Your Ground law. He had passed an exam on it !
2. He claimed he was looking for a street sign, not following Martin. There are only 3 streets in the development and he's lived there for several years !
3. Z claims he shot Martin in a tussle while Martin was grabbing the gun. There were none of Trayvon's DNA or fingerprints on the gun.
4. Z said T jumped out the bushes at him. There were no bushes there......

IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to elsewhere: I know.. as I said I dislike this law. Its why I fail to see how GZ could be guilty TBH. I was even surprised it made it this far and would have been very shocked to see a guilty verdict.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Zimmerman's lies clinched it for me.
> 1. He lied about not knowing the Stand Your Ground law. He had passed an exam on it !
> 2. He claimed he was looking for a street sign, not following Martin. There are only 3 streets in the development and he's lived there for several years !
> 3. Z claims he shot Martin in a tussle while Martin was grabbing the gun. There were none of Trayvon's DNA or fingerprints on the gun.
> 4. Z said T jumped out the bushes at him. There were no bushes there......

Where is this said? Not saying they aren't true but there is a lot of bullshit floating around on this case.
I like climbing - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to I like climbing) No he's not.. he's put on weight since the killing...

Apologies - I may be wrong about weight loss since it happened but at the time he was at least 30 pounds and possibly as much as 45 pounds heavier than Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman's defence used outdated pictures in advance of the trial to suggest he could have been overpowered by Martin.
>
> GSR was inside TM's shirt.. which is meant to suggest the shirt was falling away from the body, suggesting he was on top.

Interesting.
>


Alyson - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
>
>
> There is huge disregard for life in some states.. there is in many countries.. Texas is awful in that sense. Strangely, well maybe not, its in those who have the death penalty..

Since the passing of the awful anti-abortion bill this week and the callous attitude of its politicians towards women

Cf http://tinyurl.com/p9mpzjq

Texas is currently topping my list of ‘States I Would Not Want To Live In’.
dissonance - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing:

> Apologies - I may be wrong about weight loss since it happened but at the time he was at least 30 pounds and possibly as much as 45 pounds heavier than Trayvon Martin.

Depends on training as well. I know some peeps who could bounce me around fairly easily if I was dumb enough to grapple with them.
off-duty - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> Apologies - I may be wrong about weight loss since it happened but at the time he was at least 30 pounds and possibly as much as 45 pounds heavier than Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman's defence used outdated pictures in advance of the trial to suggest he could have been overpowered by Martin.
> [...]
>

Martin was also 5' 11", Zimmerman was 5' 7".
dissonance - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:

> Since the passing of the awful anti-abortion bill this week and the callous attitude of its politicians towards women

bloody hell that link has some serious unpleasant people on it.
deepsoup - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
Regarding attitudes towards women, how about the stark contrast between this case and the 20-year sentence handed down to Marissa Alexander for attempted murder?
(Someone already posted this link further up) http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/
Alyson - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to dissonance: I was going to start a separate thread about it but I don't have enough good angry words in my lexicon. I knew I would just swear repeatedly and get banned.
jkarran - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:

> It seems wrong to me that such a thing can escalate to an apparently lawful killing so easily. It seems to create a disregard for life.

Totally agree.

> I don’t deny that having your head banged against a pavement might make you fear for your life but I wonder whether Zimmerman would have ended up in that situation had he not known that he could just shoot the boy and get away with it.

A very reasonable question and one that I imagine will be asked in any further civil case.
jk
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> Regarding attitudes towards women, how about the stark contrast between this case and the 20-year sentence handed down to Marissa Alexander for attempted murder?
> (Someone already posted this link further up) http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/

Why is this relevant?

We don't know how close they were, where they were? who else was there?

There are very few details in that report.

It's mentioned higher up. If they were in a physical confrontation as Z and TM were then yes, its a disgrace.

But again, the law is wrong IMO. The judge could not offer a lenient sentence, which I think would happen in the UK, due to the husbands abuse.

Until more is known about that case bringing it up is just inflammatory and brings little to the argument.
wintertree - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to I like climbing)
> [...]
>
> Why?
>
> To be honest, under Florida state law, if Martin was on top of him, and causing him injuries (which the evidence suggests he was), he was could defend himself by shooting. The law in this case is an ass.. I'm not sure the prosecution are to blame.

Nobody seems to have considered the fact that Martin was "standing his ground" against some armed lunatic nutter who was stalking him through the streets at night and may have drawn a gun on him.

In the absence of any CCTV or whitenesses, nobody will ever know.

To my mind it seems like somebody set off to provoke a fight, got one and won by loosing. Without hard evidence the only firm judgement that I can see is that the "stand your ground" law needs modifying - it should not apply to a confrontation that was initiated by the shooter taking action that was not necessary for the preservation of any life or *their* home property.

Jim C - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to I like climbing)
> [...]
>
> Where is this said? Not saying they aren't true but there is a lot of bullshit floating around on this case.

I heard/read about the exam thing, it case from his lecturer that said it was well coverd in his law course, and he was a A1 student, so hard to believe he had not known about it.

If it had been me as prosecution I would have tried to find out if there was a specific question in the exam he sat, and if he answered it correctly.


IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> Nobody seems to have considered the fact that Martin was "standing his ground" against some armed lunatic nutter who was stalking him through the streets at night and may have drawn a gun on him.

Thats not an issue.. carrying a gun is perfectly legal. I don't like it but its how it is. Likewise communities out patrolling the streets.. it's the US way.. they even form groups to patrol the borders..

> In the absence of any CCTV or whitenesses, nobody will ever know.
>
> To my mind it seems like somebody set off to provoke a fight, got one and won by loosing. Without hard evidence the only firm judgement that I can see is that the "stand your ground" law needs modifying - it should not apply to a confrontation that was initiated by the shooter taking action that was not necessary for the preservation of any life or *their* home property.

I think your last statement is about right, but how much of a confrontation GZ initiated is open to debate, all we know was that he was following TM and then there was a physical struggle.
off-duty - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> Nobody seems to have considered the fact that Martin was "standing his ground" against some armed lunatic nutter who was stalking him through the streets at night and may have drawn a gun on him.
>
> In the absence of any CCTV or whitenesses, nobody will ever know.

Lots of "ifs" and "maybes" there.

>
> To my mind it seems like somebody set off to provoke a fight, got one and won by loosing. Without hard evidence the only firm judgement that I can see is that the "stand your ground" law needs modifying - it should not apply to a confrontation that was initiated by the shooter taking action that was not necessary for the preservation of any life or *their* home property.

1) The stand your ground law wouldn't apply in that scenario.
2) They didn't use stand your ground law in any event.
Alyson - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty: But they did use a self-defence plea in a state where self-defence legislation has been strengthened (by stand your ground legislation but also others) so as to allow a person (Zimmerman) to initiate conflict but still claim self-defence in the shooting. Florida law actually allows for him to be the initial aggressor but still respond in self-defence if he feels in danger of “great bodily harm”.

Under the current law in many states, people threatened by armed people have few good options, because fighting back might create a license to kill. As the New Yorker's Amy Davidson puts it, "I still don't understand what Trayvon was supposed to do." Unless the law is changed to deal with the large number of people carrying concealed guns, there will be more tragic and unnecessary deaths of innocent people like Trayvon Martin for which nobody is legally culpable. And to make claims of self-defense easier to bring, as Florida and more than 20 other states have done, is moving in precisely the wrong direction. (Scott Lemieux, writing on Prospect.Org)

You keep calling this standard self-defence as if that has the same meaning the world over. Do you think Florida law is an example of good legislation?
I like climbing - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
The reality is that GZ was told not to follow TM but did. GZ also has a police record for both domestic violence and also assaulting a Police Officer, which may also explain why he was unable to become a Policeman.
The prosecution partly screwed up by accepting the jurors and GZ managed to fund a lot of pre trial
publicity which portrayed him as the innocent party.
And it was Sanford, FL......although I think that is more of an irony than a contributing factor.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing: Yes.. but he can still follow.

You are kidding re his portrayal. I was in the States around that time there were huge demonstrations..

Many people had pre-concieved ideas.. for and against..

I'm not sure whwat you want. The demonstrations were because he was not remanded. He was, he faced a a jury. under state law he was acquitted.

TBH I can't see how it could have been anything but. As I said I dislike the law. Amazingly it was or is being pushed to become law in some NE states.. I think MA.. I'll have a look.
I like climbing - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
What I would have liked is justice for TM because I believe GZ is guilty.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to I like climbing:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> What I would have liked is justice for TM because I believe GZ is guilty.

Of what?

Justice is carried out according to the laws of the state..

You've provided no links to what you said were 'facts'..

The jury who heard the case judged otherwise.

I've no idea if he was guilty as it was 1 on 1. GZ was legally carrying a gun, the evidence suggests he was physically attacked, we don't know if that was in response to a physical attack by GZ, or if he initiated a physical confrontation; the evidence also suggests TM was on top when he was shot.

Its a pretty horrid case. I have no idea. I'm glad he faced a full trial but he was found innocent.
mockerkin on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to I like climbing)

>
> Martin was also 5' 11", Zimmerman was 5' 7".

>> So what? Z was therefore much more compact and heavier, which gave him an advantage in a physical confrontation with a tall thinner 17 year old. It is fair to assume that Z was a more experienced man at fighting, as he is older, unless all his previous fights were won with his gun. He was armed and followed the kid for no reason other than his paranoia or homicidal tendencies.

off-duty - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to mockerkin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> >> So what? Z was therefore much more compact and heavier, which gave him an advantage in a physical confrontation with a tall thinner 17 year old. It is fair to assume that Z was a more experienced man at fighting, as he is older, unless all his previous fights were won with his gun. He was armed and followed the kid for no reason other than his paranoia or homicidal tendencies.


I was responding to the suggestion that Zimmerman was "huge" compared to Martin, rather than speculating about their respective fighting prowess and experience.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to mockerkin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> >> So what? Z was therefore much more compact and heavier, which gave him an advantage in a physical confrontation with a tall thinner 17 year old. It is fair to assume that Z was a more experienced man at fighting, as he is older, unless all his previous fights were won with his gun. He was armed and followed the kid for no reason other than his paranoia or homicidal tendencies.


Rubbish logic.. Numerous 15 year olds will have had more physical confrontations than most 30-40 year olds.. just depends where you grow up and your character.

No he followed because he was patrolling the neighbourhood.. I find it odd they do that, but they do. And he was armed.. I find that odd too.. but this is the southern states.. you are using UK experiences to judge this.


Lukem6 - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
Its pretty simple in some ways but in my eyes the American legal system is at fault.
Should zimmerman had taken it upon himself to pursue a "suspected" criminal without first using a mobile phone to inform the police, in my opinion NO

should he have been carrying a gun, well American law states so. My opinion is this could've been very different in the UK.

What started out as a simple civilian arrest turned into a scrap in the street. we will never know who threw the first punch or if Martin was simply resisting "civil arrest".

whatever led to these events I think it Zimmerman is morally guilty for thinking he had the right to personally judge someone. But Legally in America he was within the law, as far as is possible to tell without personally bearing witness.

As far as the Shooting goes, whatever led to two men fighting in a street doesn't matter at this stage Zimmerman was legally bearing arms and when adrenaline is high a simple fear of losing the fight can lead to fear of losing your life. Its not surprising a shot was fired. intent or no intent The legal right to bear arms resulted in a shot being fired. This resulted in Martins death. Remove the gun and place a knife potentially the same outcome. However make weapons illegal and the idea of using anything other than bare fists in a civil arrest makes a pursuing a known criminal a highly scary idea. as without the weapon Martin May have got the upper hand and ran off or he may have retaliated and intentionally or unintentionally killed Mr Zimmerman.

So who was at fault in my eyes, America. And should Mr Zimmerman be sent down for murder in my eyes Yes. Because we should never have the power to take life as much as I have moments I wish otherwise.

Legally was Zimmerman Guilty, he has been cleared so legally no. Should he suffer for this? No because the result was Self defence and its sets a further precedent where self defence is frowned upon. In weaponised self defence someone will nearly always come off injured if not killed. Legal access to the ability to point, click and kill someone is the problem with this case and many across the US
mockerkin on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to mockerkin)
>
> No he followed because he was patrolling the neighbourhood.. I find it odd they do that, but they do. And he was armed.. I find that odd too.. but this is the southern states.. you are using UK experiences to judge this.

>> No I am not using UK experience only. I am using my European set of values based on moralities forged by people who now, in 2013, have lived together for centuries to learn that randomly shooting each other is wrong, which hasn't happened in the US yet. I have worked in the USA from Alaska to the Gulf coast. I understand that they, the US people are not yet integrated and that they fear each other. Because of that they still have laws that allow them to kill each other. So these laws are understandable but the social integration situation is below that of older countries.
(Many of the responses on this thread have shown European dislike of this case.) You say that that is their law. Fair enough, but it is only their law because they are still a fragmented society. (Never mind the brainwash pledge of allegiance in schools and other attempts to bring the country together.) They will stop killing each other when they see themselves as one nation. That will either take centuries or not happen.




IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to mockerkin: I disagree. I've worked all over the US to.

There is a fear. But there's a great sense of identity.

The right to bear arms and defend themselves is more than just a fear or a result of fragmentation. Its strange for me to understand but its now some in built psyche of the nation.. democrat or republican.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Sir Chasm - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to mockerkin: Aye, we have a shining record of not killing each other in Europe.
j0ntyg on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Mockerkin

> There is a fear. But there's a great sense of identity.

>> Only amongst American folks of the same nationality. e.g. They say to you I am Polish, Irish whatever, but they don't firstly say American except when the USA is under threat as in 9/11.
>
> The right to bear arms and defend themselves is more than just a fear or a result of fragmentation. Its strange for me to understand but its now some in built psyche of the nation.. democrat or republican.

>> Well that's because they don't trust each other or the State. In time they will come together, God willing.

j0ntyg on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to mockerkin) Aye, we have a shining record of not killing each other in Europe.
>> You missed that he said 2013. That was 2013 ad and not 1745.

IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to j0ntyg: I don't think its that simple. Whilst they do say 'oh I'm Scottish'... if you ask them they say American.

It won't change until views on gun ownership change.
Timmd on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

What I can't get out of my mind is Zimmerman saying 'They always f*cking get away with it' and Martin being shot dead.

It just seems like all this wouldn't have happened if Zimmerman hadn't made a judgement about Martin.
off-duty - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to off-duty) But they did use a self-defence plea in a state where self-defence legislation has been strengthened (by stand your ground legislation but also others) so as to allow a person (Zimmerman) to initiate conflict but still claim self-defence in the shooting. Florida law actually allows for him to be the initial aggressor but still respond in self-defence if he feels in danger of “great bodily harm”.
>
> Under the current law in many states, people threatened by armed people have few good options, because fighting back might create a license to kill. As the New Yorker's Amy Davidson puts it, "I still don't understand what Trayvon was supposed to do." Unless the law is changed to deal with the large number of people carrying concealed guns, there will be more tragic and unnecessary deaths of innocent people like Trayvon Martin for which nobody is legally culpable. And to make claims of self-defense easier to bring, as Florida and more than 20 other states have done, is moving in precisely the wrong direction. (Scott Lemieux, writing on Prospect.Org)
>
> You keep calling this standard self-defence as if that has the same meaning the world over. Do you think Florida law is an example of good legislation?


The reality is that self-defence is always going to be complicated by access to firearms.
It is entirely conceivable (as highlighted by winhill above) that confronting someone (rightly or wrongly) can lead to violence.
The suggestion that unless you are 100% correct about your challenge to a person you have no right to defend yourself if they start assaulting you is equally unworkable.

The problem with the US "stand your ground law" (and to a degree with all principles of self defence) isn't the law itself - it is the ready access to firearms, such that a confrontation can result in a fatality on either side.

The suggestion that Martin might have been threatened by Zimmerman's gun - is possible, it is not however supported by the evidence, nor did it form the prosecution's case.

In answer to the question "What should you do if faced with an armed man" - the obvious suggestion would be - don't try any heroics. That advice would hold true whether you were being confronted by an armed robber, or stopped by someone accusing you (wrongly) of being a thief.
I would suggest the same advice would probably hold true if the you were faced with a man armed with a knife, or someone who looked larger and meaner than you.
That's not because of any law, principles of self-defence or any "license to kill" it's just common sense.
IainRUK - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> What I can't get out of my mind is Zimmerman saying 'They always f*cking get away with it' and Martin being shot dead.
>
> It just seems like all this wouldn't have happened if Zimmerman hadn't made a judgement about Martin.

I agree.. but same if he hadn't been allowed to carry a gun.. he clearly though TM was suspicious hence why he was following.. so he'd judged him.
j0ntyg on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to j0ntyg) I don't think its that simple. Whilst they do say 'oh I'm Scottish'... if you ask them they say American.
No they don't, they say I am Native American, Welsh, Irish, English, Polish
>
> It won't change until views on gun ownership change.

>> Well, our American cousins are going round in circles. Free gun ownership won't change until social attitudes towards each other change and that will not happen until they get along with each other. So which comes first? Trust each other first or dump your guns? It's a Mexican stand off. Would be good to read a USA post about this on this website. We must also remember the many guns in the US held by criminals.

Alex Slipchuk on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:http://occupydemocrats.com/watch-martin-bashir-sum-up-the-trayvon-martin-travesty-in-under-4-minutes...


For all those in doubt of this travesty, watch this, especially off duty.
Alyson - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
> The suggestion that unless you are 100% correct about your challenge to a person you have no right to defend yourself if they start assaulting you is equally unworkable.

I haven't made that suggestion though and I don't think anyone else has either. You seem to be setting up a strawman by saying that not defending yourself is the only option if you rule out killing them. What happened to the middle ground all of a sudden, or the concept of reasonable force? Does self defence have to be deadly?
>
> The problem with the US "stand your ground law" (and to a degree with all principles of self defence) isn't the law itself - it is the ready access to firearms, such that a confrontation can result in a fatality on either side.

But that law has been made and passed in a country where concealed carry is permitted. I'm not sure you can say the law is ok if we take it out of context because what gives it meaning and practical relevance in the first place is that selfsame context. That aside I agree wholeheartedly that the gun culture is at the root of this incident and is hugely problematic for the US as a nation. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a country where arming yourself was commonplace.
winhill - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Lukem6:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> Should zimmerman had taken it upon himself to pursue a "suspected" criminal without first using a mobile phone to inform the police, in my opinion NO

This is a bizarre prescription for the conditions under which you can approach someone else and challenge them about their behaviour.

In all 4 of the cases when I've done it, I did not have my mobile with me. The logical conclusion of saying you have to call it in first is to say that you should never challenge someone unless you have access to particular technology.
off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to The Big Man:
> (In reply to Jim C)http://occupydemocrats.com/watch-martin-bashir-sum-up-the-trayvon-martin-travesty-in-under-4-minutes...
>
>
> For all those in doubt of this travesty, watch this, especially off duty.

Perhaps you could point out where I have impugned the character of Martin?
That report seems to avoid the facts of this case just as much as Bashir accuses others of doing.
IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Lantys Tarn:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> I was in Florida for most of the trial and they had a of it on live tv, from what I seen they had a pretty weak case and even the copper in charge said it was self defense and he was only arrested because outside influences (civil rights groups) got involved

Thats what I saw.. basically it was the subsequent demonstrations that lead to his arrest.. white on white it probably wouldn't have got as far, race ran all through this whole issue.

TBH Zimmerman will pay for this his whole life, he'll live in fear regardless of the decision.
IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson: Guns are the root of this for sure.. by saying you can carry a concealed weapon you effectively say you can use it if threatened.. else why give permission to carry.

The gun culture has to change, I thought Newtown? may have been a stimulus but it looks like that wasn't enough, see what Obama does in his final few years..
IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to j0ntyg:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
> No they don't, they say I am Native American, Welsh, Irish, English, Polish
> [...]
>
> >> Well, our American cousins are going round in circles. Free gun ownership won't change until social attitudes towards each other change and that will not happen until they get along with each other. So which comes first? Trust each other first or dump your guns? It's a Mexican stand off. Would be good to read a USA post about this on this website. We must also remember the many guns in the US held by criminals.

Well I've worked in many states and I've never heard them say I'm X... always my family is Scottish.. but guns are held by a much wider subset of society than we'd imagine...
Offwidth - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to winhill:

The problem is though that when a citizen is carrying a gun and things get out of hand in a dispute, a fatality become much more likely. Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the local law that protected Zimmerman (as a liberal I certainly couldn't see a prosecution under that law given the lack of witnesses) the fact you can carry a gun on the street in the US is the big problem. People are more polite and careful in the US as a result of this but I'd rather tolerate the extra UK rudeness and have fewer gun related deaths.
off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> I haven't made that suggestion though and I don't think anyone else has either. You seem to be setting up a strawman by saying that not defending yourself is the only option if you rule out killing them. What happened to the middle ground all of a sudden, or the concept of reasonable force? Does self defence have to be deadly?
> [...]
>

A lot of the clamour appears to focus on Martin being an innocent man. In which case is there a requirement for provable guilt prior to any challenge? Clearly that is unworkable.
So given that we have to allow a degree of uncertainty prior to any challenge - what degree of self defence do we allow?
Judging the degree of force required is another almost impossible task "reasonable" and "proportionate" being descriptions that are often applied.
Throw concealed firearms into the mix and it's impossible to set hard and fast rules.
Self defence doesn't HAVE to be deadly but by its very nature it could well prove to be - and those employing it have a right to some degree of legal protection



> But that law has been made and passed in a country where concealed carry is permitted. I'm not sure you can say the law is ok if we take it out of context because what gives it meaning and practical relevance in the first place is that selfsame context. That aside I agree wholeheartedly that the gun culture is at the root of this incident and is hugely problematic for the US as a nation. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a country where arming yourself was commonplace.

IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> The problem is though that when a citizen is carrying a gun and things get out of hand in a dispute, a fatality become much more likely. Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the local law that protected Zimmerman (as a liberal I certainly couldn't see a prosecution under that law given the lack of witnesses) the fact you can carry a gun on the street in the US is the big problem. People are more polite and careful in the US as a result of this but I'd rather tolerate the extra UK rudeness and have fewer gun related deaths.

There's much more fear..

the UK is way more open and friendly. When I'm in the UK I can travel and just email local runners and meet up with people on some moorland car park at 8 pm.. in a dark wood.. we just turn up..

In the US meeting runners like that is impossible.. only one agreed and she was a Kiwi.. even in germany you get invited round to houses or share lifts from the off. There's a real distance in the US, well Texas especially.

IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
>
> A lot of the clamour appears to focus on Martin being an innocent man. In which case is there a requirement for provable guilt prior to any challenge? Clearly that is unworkable.
> So given that we have to allow a degree of uncertainty prior to any challenge - what degree of self defence do we allow?

When you legalise hand guns you effectively legalise the use of fatal force in self defence.

Skip - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:

To be honest I've not been following this case closely, but would like to know who exactly was Zimmerman, i.e. what right did he have to be patrolling the area with a concealed weapon? Who authorised him to be there, was he trained in responding to suspicious characters (what defines suspicious), was he trained in firearms use?

The rise in the "employment" of "neighborhood watch", i prefer vigilantes as a description, was inevitably going to lead to such an occurrence.
Mike Redmayne - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> When you legalise hand guns you effectively legalise the use of fatal force in self defence.

eh??? It is already legal to use lethal force in self defence if the threat is serious enough. Legalising handguns does not change that.
Skip - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Mike Redmayne:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> eh??? It is already legal to use lethal force in self defence if the threat is serious enough. Legalising handguns does not change that.

Makes it easier and more likely though.
IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Mike Redmayne: I know.. but in the UK its much harder to inflict fatal injuries. If you legalise guns you legalise firing of guns when threatened and the much higher chance of fatalities...

Alex Slipchuk on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to The Big Man)
> [...]
>
> Perhaps you could point out where I have impugned the character of Martin?
> That report seems to avoid the facts of this case just as much as Bashir accuses others of doing.

I didn't say you did. It's just that you seem to come across as defending the actions of zimmerman. If so then we disagree.

An innocent child was killed by a gun weilding adult who has admitted he has no regrets. God's way so to speak.

I find it disgusting that any human being has no regrets for taking the life of another, equally so if others support that, including the law.

off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to The Big Man:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> I didn't say you did. It's just that you seem to come across as defending the actions of zimmerman. If so then we disagree.
>
> An innocent child was killed by a gun weilding adult who has admitted he has no regrets. God's way so to speak.
>
> I find it disgusting that any human being has no regrets for taking the life of another, equally so if others support that, including the law.

If your issue is his attitude as divined by his reply to one question in one pre-trial interview on TV - fine.
If you keep posting links suggesting/claiming that his trial was a travesty then I'm going to keep disagreeing with you.
Mike Redmayne - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Mike Redmayne) I know.. but in the UK its much harder to inflict fatal injuries. If you legalise guns you legalise firing of guns when threatened and the much higher chance of fatalities...

You are still having a non sequitur day. Even if guns are illegal it will be legal in terms of self-defence to use one when it is proportionate (though you will be committing the crime of illegally possessing a firearm). Legalising does not change what is proportional.

I presume you're trying to say that more people will use disproportionate force if handguns are available. That may be true, but not necessarily (as I'm sure the gun lobby would be quick to point out).
Andy Say - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>

>
> In the absence of any CCTV or whitenesses, nobody will ever know.
>


Typo of the week.....
Mike Redmayne - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to Mike Redmayne)
> [...]
>
> Makes it easier and more likely though.

You're not making much sense. Makes what easier/more likely?
IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Mike Redmayne:
> (In reply to Skip)
> [...]
>
> You're not making much sense. Makes what easier/more likely?

Its very clear what he is saying. You may disagree but don't use such childish behaviour.

If you legalise the use of guns in self defence you increase the risk and liklihood of self defence resulting in fatalties. In the UK you can punch someone in self-defence.. to beat someone to death in self defence is much harder and its harder to argue its self defence after punch number 18 is landed.. in the US one pull of the trigger.. one action is likely to cause death. You legalise the right to use fatal force in certain situations by legalising hand guns.

That is all we both said. You may disagree, Fair enough.

IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Mike Redmayne:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> You are still having a non sequitur day. Even if guns are illegal it will be legal in terms of self-defence to use one when it is proportionate (though you will be committing the crime of illegally possessing a firearm). Legalising does not change what is proportional.
>
> I presume you're trying to say that more people will use disproportionate force if handguns are available. That may be true, but not necessarily (as I'm sure the gun lobby would be quick to point out).

I'm fairly sure US gun stats will back up my view on that...
ads.ukclimbing.com
Mike Redmayne - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Mike Redmayne)
> [...]
>
> You legalise the right to use fatal force in certain situations by legalising hand guns.
>
No you don't! Yes, you make it more likley that lethal force will be used, but that makes no difference to its legality. Surely that's not too difficult to grasp?

IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Mike Redmayne: No...

I think we can agree to disagree... you are saying the same thing, we disagree.

You can use force in self defence.. if you legalise the right to carry a hand gun in public you do so in the knowledge that it can be fired if the person feels sufficiently threatened.. the level of that threat will be investigated.. if indeed it was self defence.. then all is good..

Offwidth - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK: The climbing websites' meeting-up systems seem to work well in California. I suspect we underestimate how much changes in the US from state to state.
Mike Redmayne - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Mike Redmayne)
> [...]
>
> I'm fairly sure US gun stats will back up my view on that...

Well, what the stats can't show is whether more disproportionate force is being used in self-defence. And that's the issue.

I'm actually not part of the gun lobby, I think legalising handguns here would be terrible, and my guess is that people would use them to defend themselves in situations where that wasn't justified. But the issues are complex.

off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to The Big Man:

Incidentally, I take it you are aware of the apology Zimmerman made in April 2012?
off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to The Big Man:

It might be worth listening to the end of the interview you linked to then you might catch his apology there as well.
Skip - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> To be honest I've not been following this case closely, but would like to know who exactly was Zimmerman, i.e. what right did he have to be patrolling the area with a concealed weapon? Who authorised him to be there, was he trained in responding to suspicious characters (what defines suspicious), was he trained in firearms use?
>
Anyone?

IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Skip: Well its sort of the US thing isn't it. Vigilante groups patrolling borders. Neighbourhood watch is much more active than in the UK which is more curtain twitching...

You don't need a right to be on the street. I'm surprised he had a concealed weapons permit if he did have convictions for violence though.

As I understand it Florida is a state which you need to show basic proficiency in using a fire arm to have a concealed weapons permit.
IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to IainRUK) The climbing websites' meeting-up systems seem to work well in California. I suspect we underestimate how much changes in the US from state to state.

For sure.. good point. this was two rural states. Boston and Philly were much friendlier.
off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Skip:

He wasn't on patrol. He was driving to a grocery store when he spotted what he believed was a "suspicious person".
elsewhere on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Skip:
right to patrol - he can walk about same as anybody else, no authorisation required
concealed gun - not illegal (he had the required permit?)
training - don't know
what defines suspicious - Zimmerman did

A mess by UK standards, the rule of law by US standards.







Skip - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Skip)
>
> He wasn't on patrol. He was driving to a grocery store when he spotted what he believed was a "suspicious person".

Driving to a grocery store! Pity he didn't carry on and buy some food.

IainRUK - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Skip)
>
> He wasn't on patrol. He was driving to a grocery store when he spotted what he believed was a "suspicious person".

I was under the impression he was on patrol.. but as I said earlier when I was there all sorts of stories were on the news.. you had no idea what was actually true or not.
mgco3 - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:

George Zimmerman. 30 years old , 13 stone, actively involved in neighbourhood watch. Has 2 previous police reports for violence so is no stranger to it. (when he was 21 he assaulted a police officer)

Trayvon Martin. 17 years old, 11 stone , no previous record of violence.

The story is that Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman and was overpowering him so Zimmerman was forced to shoot him.. Sounds a bit unlikely..


wintertree - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to mgco3:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> George Zimmerman. 30 years old , 13 stone, actively involved in neighbourhood watch. Has 2 previous police reports for violence so is no stranger to it. (when he was 21 he assaulted a police officer)

How the hell do you get to keep any form of firearms licence (let alone a concealed carry permit) with such a record?

Madness. Sheer, utter madness.
Jim C - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> I was under the impression he was on patrol.. but as I said earlier when I was there all sorts of stories were on the news.. you had no idea what was actually true or not.

This newspaper article is more up to date and contains a link where you can actually listen to the call to an non emergency police line ( not 911) when Zimmerman WAS apparently on patrol) he is clearly asked by the dispatcher, if he is following, and when he confirms he is, he is told not to. )

He also , on being asked, describes him as black wearing a hoodie and comments that :-
“These assholes, they always get away.”
( he appears to have made his mind up about him, based on his own prejudices )

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/07/the-facts-in-the-george-zimmerman-trial.html
off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> This newspaper article is more up to date and contains a link where you can actually listen to the call to an non emergency police line ( not 911) when Zimmerman WAS apparently on patrol) he is clearly asked by the dispatcher, if he is following, and when he confirms he is, he is told not to. )
>
> He also , on being asked, describes him as black wearing a hoodie and comments that :-

Zimmerman:- We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. It’s Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle.

This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about.

911 dispatcher: OK, is he White, Black, or Hispanic?

Zimmerman: He looks black.

911 dispatcher:Did you see what he was wearing?

Zimmerman: Yeah, a dark hoodie like a gray hoodie. He wore jeans or sweat pants and white tennis shoes. He’s here now … he’s just staring.


> “These assholes, they always get away.”
> ( he appears to have made his mind up about him, based on his own prejudices )
>
> http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/07/the-facts-in-the-george-zimmerman-trial.html

Your conclusion appears to be that he is describing him as an asshole and therefore presumably a burglar - entirely based on his colour, rather than allowing the possibility that Martin's behaviour - though it might have been totally misconstrued by Zimmerman - might have caused him to be suspicious.
off-duty - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to IainRUK)

when Zimmerman WAS apparently on patrol)

He WASN'T "on patrol".

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/06/21/written_statement_0226.pdf

(Line 9 of his statement) - "Tonight, I was on my way to the grocery store..."
off-duty - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> he is clearly asked by the dispatcher, if he is following, and when he confirms he is, he is told not to. )
>
Zimmerman: Yeah. You go in straight through the entrance and then you would go left. You go straight in, don’t turn and make a left. He’s running.

911 dispatcher:He’s running? Which way is he running?

Zimmerman:Down toward the other entrance of the neighborhood.

911 dispatcher:OK, which entrance is that he’s headed towards?

Zimmerman: The back entrance. F-cking punks.

911 dispatcher: Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yeah.

911 dispatcher: OK. We don’t need you to do that.

Zimmerman: OK.
Jim C - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> [...]
>
> when Zimmerman WAS apparently on patrol)
>
> He WASN'T "on patrol".
>
> http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/06/21/written_statement_0226.pdf
>
> (Line 9 of his statement) - "Tonight, I was on my way to the grocery store..."

Certainly there is conflicting written reports on whether he was 'on patrol' or not( of which HIS testimony is what you quoted above) Do I have to believe what he says as being true?

It is coming across, to me at least, that this guy is often 'on patrol' in his daily life. I am not aware if there is a formal rota of patrols for that estate, or it is a less structured approach?

Jim C - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> [...]
>
> when Zimmerman WAS apparently on patrol)
>
> He WASN'T "on patrol".
>
> http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/06/21/written_statement_0226.pdf
>
> (Line 9 of his statement) - "Tonight, I was on my way to the grocery store..."

So lets look at Zimmermans thought process that night.
He is just popping down to the store for some groceries, and thinks ( now where is my gun !)

If that what everyone does, or is that just what Zimmerman does because h is always 'on- duty'

He has made dozens of calls over the previous months, is he paranoid, or just an over zealous Watch volunteer? Did he perhaps just make up the grocery trip.

Timmd on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty: The thing is, you can sometimes get a hunch that somebody is observing you, and that they're potentially a threat or have ill will towards you, and this 'can' change how you behave.

I've had it happen to myself, and then been perceived differently, and I've twigged somebody ( a stranger) wasn't right while still 25 yards away approx and ducked down a side road, only to have them run after me.

I think they may have picked up my fear and taken offence, so self fulfilling in a sense, he seemed like an angry guy as he ran. I learnt you can have to hide your fear when around dodgy people.

Either way, however he was acting, the black youth was judged negatively by Zimmerman, who shot him dead for no apparent reason other than he took a dislike to him, and things escalated from Zimmerman's initial dislike.

There's no proof that Zimmerman didn't 'feel like' he was acting in self defence, but he didn't like the black youth once he'd seen him and decided he was up to no good.

Meanwhile, the black youth is perhaps seeing a guy watching him in the dark and the rain, and starts to act differently, stands around feeling observed, and unnerved, then starts to run after which Zimmerman perhaps gives chase, and shoots the poor guy dead once things become physical.

If you don't know what happened, why are you defending Zimmerman?

I don't know what happened either, but somebody acting 'oddly' doesn't always mean they're no up to no good.
off-duty - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Certainly there is conflicting written reports on whether he was 'on patrol' or not( of which HIS testimony is what you quoted above) Do I have to believe what he says as being true?
>
> It is coming across, to me at least, that this guy is often 'on patrol' in his daily life. I am not aware if there is a formal rota of patrols for that estate, or it is a less structured approach?

I'm not aware of any testimony or evidence that suggests he was "on patrol". That is what the prosecution were trying to hint at, or even that he was constantly "on patrol" (as you suggest) - but there was no real evidence to support that theory.
Interestingly, when he was offered the opportunity to become an "official" uniformed "citizen on patrol" he turned it down.
Timmd on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> [...]
>
> I'm not aware of any testimony or evidence that suggests he was "on patrol". That is what the prosecution were trying to hint at, or even that he was constantly "on patrol" (as you suggest) - but there was no real evidence to support that theory.
> Interestingly, when he was offered the opportunity to become an "official" uniformed "citizen on patrol" he turned it down.

Which doesn't mean he didn't like going out with his gun, feeling like he was on patrol, it could just mean he didn't want to go out in a uniform.

How do we know (I thought the police went on evidence)?
off-duty - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:

I'm less "defending Zimmerman" than trying to bring out some actual evidence rather than the speculation and third hand allegations that appear to be convicting him post-trial.

For example you say :-
"There's no proof that Zimmerman didn't 'feel like' he was acting in self defence, but he didn't like the black youth once he'd seen him and decided he was up to no good.

Meanwhile, the black youth is perhaps seeing a guy watching him in the dark and the rain, and starts to act differently, stands around feeling observed, and unnerved, then starts to run after which Zimmerman perhaps gives chase, and shoots the poor guy dead once things become physical.
"

which appears to ignore the fact that, regardless of how this incident started, the shooting occurred following a lengthy struggle (as evidenced by the screaming phone call) in a position where Zimmerman was prone, on his back and being punched by Martin as supported by eyewitness and forensic evidence.

As to how any physical confrontation started - it is FAR from clear that it occurred as you describe - a confrontation provoked by Zimmerman. Zimmerman's account - admittedly ignored, denied and decried by seemingly everyone is that Martin jumped out and confronted him - punching him.


If you don't know what happened, why are you defending Zimmerman?


I dislike the repetition of innuendo, speculation, untruth and a lazy "racist" narrative - particularly when so much of the actual evidence as well as the legislation (eg NOT stand your ground) is available online.
Note - I wouldn't say I am defending Zimmerman - though I do think the verdict arrived at was entirely reasonable.

Why are YOU so keen that YOUR description of events is right?
You appear happy empathise with Martin suggesting your experiences of being looked at causing you to run - and be stalked by nastier people. Isn't it possible to put yourself, equally speculatively, in Zimmerman's shoes, looking for someone that you think was "up to no good" who then confronts you and senses your fear?
off-duty - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Which doesn't mean he didn't like going out with his gun, feeling like he was on patrol, it could just mean he didn't want to go out in a uniform.
>
> How do we know (I thought the police went on evidence)?

It could mean lots of things. It would tend to undermine suggestions that he was a "wannabe cop" though.
Given that your post is entirely speculation I'm not clear where your jibe about "evidence" is intended to go.

off-duty - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> So lets look at Zimmermans thought process that night.
> He is just popping down to the store for some groceries, and thinks ( now where is my gun !)
>
> If that what everyone does, or is that just what Zimmerman does because h is always 'on- duty'
>

I haven't got a clue why he wear a gun. It's a daft thing to do, but that the US gun laws for you.

> He has made dozens of calls over the previous months, is he paranoid, or just an over zealous Watch volunteer? Did he perhaps just make up the grocery trip.

He made 7 (non emergency) calls in 18 months prior to the shooting. He "may" have made up the grocery trip - however he must have made it up on the night of the shooting when he gave that statement, and I have yet to see any actual evidence of this prolific vigilante patrolling he is accused of.
Timmd on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Timmd)

> For example you say :-
> "There's no proof that Zimmerman didn't 'feel like' he was acting in self defence, but he didn't like the black youth once he'd seen him and decided he was up to no good.

Zimmerman said these people always get away with it, or words to that affect.

> Meanwhile, the black youth is perhaps seeing a guy watching him in the dark and the rain, and starts to act differently, stands around feeling observed, and unnerved, then starts to run after which Zimmerman perhaps gives chase, and shoots the poor guy dead once things become physical."
>
> which appears to ignore the fact that, regardless of how this incident started, the shooting occurred following a lengthy struggle (as evidenced by the screaming phone call) in a position where Zimmerman was prone, on his back and being punched by Martin as supported by eyewitness and forensic evidence.

Fair point.

> As to how any physical confrontation started - it is FAR from clear that it occurred as you describe - a confrontation provoked by Zimmerman. Zimmerman's account - admittedly ignored, denied and decried by seemingly everyone is that Martin jumped out and confronted him - punching him.

I guess that could mean Zimmerman is unlikely to be telling the truth?

> If you don't know what happened, why are you defending Zimmerman?
>
> I dislike the repetition of innuendo, speculation, untruth and a lazy "racist" narrative - particularly when so much of the actual evidence as well as the legislation (eg NOT stand your ground) is available online.
> Note - I wouldn't say I am defending Zimmerman - though I do think the verdict arrived at was entirely reasonable.
>
> Why are YOU so keen that YOUR description of events is right?
> You appear happy empathise with Martin suggesting your experiences of being looked at causing you to run - and be stalked by nastier people. Isn't it possible to put yourself, equally speculatively, in Zimmerman's shoes, looking for someone that you think was "up to no good" who then confronts you and senses your fear?

That is possible. I think the judgement is reasonable too, given the evidence. At root I think I just dislike Zimmerman for deciding Martin was one of the people who always gets away with it. He decided this, based on what, strange/'suspicious behaviour' and the colour of his skin? I've brown friends who may not have always acted in a way which was seen as legit. My friend never liked his mum telling him to not wear his hoody up because he 'looked like a criminal'.

Having had PTSD for a while, after seeing a friend get beaten up by some Asian men when in my teens, I did for a while start to make snap judgements about Asian men, before I realised where this was going. We eventually dislike what we fear, or we can go onto hate it, from making prejudgements. If we don't question these we become prejudiced.

Whatever did happen in the struggle and leading upto it, I guess I find it very hard to see it in any way other than Martin lost his life because of the kind of person Zimmerman decided he was. Which is a tragic way for him to have died.

That doesn't change the reasonableness of the judgement, whether Zimmerman may have been prejudiced in how he saw Martin. I do think he was, in saying 'these people always get away with it', given that black youths had apparently been responsible for other break ins, (and Martin was a black youth too, though didn't have any tools on him, just some food or sweets). Which doesn't mean Zimmerman didn't feel like he was acting in self defence.

If Zimmerman hadn't said 'These people always get away with it', I wouldn't see Zimmerman as (having been) prejudiced.

It's something I've seen from both side, within myself when I was getting my head around PTSD, and when in the Lake District in pubs seeing people acting in an unfriendly way around my mixed race Indian friend and his Indian mum.
off-duty - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to off-duty)

>
> [...]
>
> I guess that could mean Zimmerman is unlikely to be telling the truth?
>

I just don't understand that comment. Unless you consider that, regardless of any evidence that might exist, "public opinion" should be the judge.

>
> That is possible. I think the judgement is reasonable too, given the evidence. At root I think I just dislike Zimmerman for deciding Martin was one of the people who always gets away with it. He decided this, based on what, strange/'suspicious behaviour' and the colour of his skin? I've brown friends who may not have always acted in a way which was seen as legit. My friend never liked his mum telling him to not wear his hoody up because he 'looked like a criminal'.
>
> Having had PTSD for a while, after seeing a friend get beaten up by some Asian men when in my teens, I did for a while start to make snap judgements about Asian men, before I realised where this was going. We eventually dislike what we fear, or we can go onto hate it, from making prejudgements. If we don't question these we become prejudiced.
>
> Whatever did happen in the struggle and leading upto it, I guess I find it very hard to see it in any way other than Martin lost his life because of the kind of person Zimmerman decided he was. Which is a tragic way for him to have died.
>
> That doesn't change the reasonableness of the judgement, whether Zimmerman may have been prejudiced in how he saw Martin. I do think he was, in saying 'these people always get away with it', given that black youths had apparently been responsible for other break ins, (and Martin was a black youth too, though didn't have any tools on him, just some food or sweets). Which doesn't mean Zimmerman didn't feel like he was acting in self defence.
>
> If Zimmerman hadn't said 'These people always get away with it', I wouldn't see Zimmerman as (having been) prejudiced.
>
> It's something I've seen from both side, within myself when I was getting my head around PTSD, and when in the Lake District in pubs seeing people acting in an unfriendly way around my mixed race Indian friend and his Indian mum.

You appear to be fixating on Martin's race.
The link to the 911 call has been provided. I've even highlighted the transcript. If you consider that Zimmerman - in his own words- comes across as a racist who has only picked on Martin's actions because of the colour of his skin - then you are clearly listening to a different phone call.

It is POSSIBLE that Zimmerman picked on Martin becuase he was "a black youth in a hoody acting suspiciously" - but it is equally possible - and more imortantly appears supported by the content of the call that he picked on Martin because he was "a youth acting suspiciously".

The leap from saying "These assholes always get away with it" to the conclusion that this meant either "black people" or "black burglars" is not supported by anything other than your own prejudices.

The prosecution and the media appear to be trying to paint Zimmerman as a racist based on pretty much bugger-all evidence other than the colour of Martin's skin, in comparison to the colour of Zimmerman's. This point of view appears to be associated with assorted character attacks on Zimmerman - NONE of which indicate any prior racist behaviour of any sort.

It is entirely possible that Martin's actions, taken as suspicious by Zimmerman, were entirely innocuous, innocent and wholly misinterpreted
but to accuse him of racism is unsupported and to suggest that suspicious behaviour should just be ignored for fear of upsetting someone is to provide a carte blanche for anti-social and criminal behaviour.
mockerkin on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:


>> but to accuse him of racism is unsupported and to suggest that suspicious behaviour should just be ignored for fear of upsetting someone is to provide a carte blanche for anti-social and criminal behaviour.

So put racism aside. Hasn't it occurred to you that Z was just looking for the first chance to enact his will to kill? The guy has problems.
What suspicious behaviour?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Timmd on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Timmd)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I just don't understand that comment. Unless you consider that, regardless of any evidence that might exist, "public opinion" should be the judge.

Forgive me, I thought people had seen something contrary to what Zimmerman said happened.

> You appear to be fixating on Martin's race.
> The link to the 911 call has been provided. I've even highlighted the transcript. If you consider that Zimmerman - in his own words- comes across as a racist who has only picked on Martin's actions because of the colour of his skin - then you are clearly listening to a different phone call.
>
> It is POSSIBLE that Zimmerman picked on Martin becuase he was "a black youth in a hoody acting suspiciously" - but it is equally possible - and more imortantly appears supported by the content of the call that he picked on Martin because he was "a youth acting suspiciously".
>
> The leap from saying "These assholes always get away with it" to the conclusion that this meant either "black people" or "black burglars" is not supported by anything other than your own prejudices.
>
> The prosecution and the media appear to be trying to paint Zimmerman as a racist based on pretty much bugger-all evidence other than the colour of Martin's skin, in comparison to the colour of Zimmerman's. This point of view appears to be associated with assorted character attacks on Zimmerman - NONE of which indicate any prior racist behaviour of any sort.

You're right actually, I seem to have got caught up in it. I have been sleeping very badly recently mind you, so I haven't been thinking at all clearly.

> It is entirely possible that Martin's actions, taken as suspicious by Zimmerman, were entirely innocuous, innocent and wholly misinterpreted
> but to accuse him of racism is unsupported and to suggest that suspicious behaviour should just be ignored for fear of upsetting someone is to provide a carte blanche for anti-social and criminal behaviour.

You're right, it is unsupported. I dunno about behavior though, report suspicious behavior when it actually is something to report is how I see things, suspicious can be subjective, and I remember what it was like to be a teenage youth. I can see why you'd think differently being a police officer though.
wintertree - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Timmd)

> You appear to be fixating on Martin's race.

Have you ever been to Florida?

I am not going back. I was appalled at the segregation and attitudes I saw there along black/not black lines. A whole god darned inland swamp enclosed shanty town of black people living in 2 high stacked 40' container units in contrast to a retirement island of white people with every house serviced by a boat lift onto the grid system of canals.

In a sense it's not the fact that the population is divided along the lines of a dishonourable legacy that appalled me, it was the fact that it was all swept under the carpets and that there was no apparent effort or interest in trying to fix things.

It also seems pretty clear that the Zimmerman had made his mind up about this guy based entirely on prejudice, and then decided to follow him, and somehow a ruckus kicked off and someone who had - until this point and possibly at all - done nothing wrong, was killed by someone with a history of violence.

As far as I am concerned, Zimmerman set off looking for a fight and got it. That makes him the point of origin for the event's violence. Chronologically, the first person to set out on a course of action that carried a risk of violence was Zimmerman. Nobody knows how the events unfolded and who cast the actual first punch, but the moral responsibility lies fairly and squarely with Zimmerman. "The Law" may differ, but the law is far from perfect, perhaps much more so on the USofA than over here.

If some jumped up little shit of a neighbourhood patrol member with a prejudice against me took to randomly following me without provocation who knows what would happen.
wintertree - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to off-duty)

> It also seems pretty clear that the Zimmerman had made his mind up about this guy based entirely on prejudice,

Before anyone says I mean racial prejudice, I cast a wider net. He clearly made his mind up on sight of the guy.
Ridge - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to off-duty)

> It also seems pretty clear that the Zimmerman had made his mind up about this guy based entirely on prejudice, and then decided to follow him, and somehow a ruckus kicked off and someone who had - until this point and possibly at all - done nothing wrong, was killed by someone with a history of violence.

It may be 'pretty clear', but it can't be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Likewise Zimmerman's previous wouldn't be revealed in the UK. It should be about evidence, not "We all know he's a wrong 'un, he must be guilty". That sounds like prejudice to me.

> As far as I am concerned, Zimmerman set off looking for a fight and got it.

Based on what evidence? Your own prejudice?

> That makes him the point of origin for the event's violence. Chronologically, the first person to set out on a course of action that carried a risk of violence was Zimmerman. Nobody knows how the events unfolded and who cast the actual first punch, but the moral responsibility lies fairly and squarely with Zimmerman.

There was a case recently where a pensioner was murdered when he challenged a burglar in his neighbours house. I take it the moral responsibilty for that rests with the victim for setting in motion the chain of events?

> "The Law" may differ, but the law is far from perfect, perhaps much more so on the USofA than over here.

True.

> If some jumped up little shit of a neighbourhood patrol member with a prejudice against me took to randomly following me without provocation who knows what would happen.

How do you know he's a jumped up little shit? That's your opinion. What if I walk the dog tonight and see you lurking round my neighbours house and say "Excuse me mate" without provocation? "Who knows what could happen?" Does that mean you're going to have a go at me for being a jumped up little shit?
IainRUK - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:
>
>
> You're right, it is unsupported. I dunno about behavior though, report suspicious behavior when it actually is something to report is how I see things, suspicious can be subjective, and I remember what it was like to be a teenage youth. I can see why you'd think differently being a police officer though.

The Americans are more paranoid though.. look at how many gated communities there are? In the NE they seem rare, but in the Southern States, Texas especially, they are all over the place.

People are suspicious and paranoid.. its partly why they want guns..

If they see someone unfamiliar they will worry. I've had it myself.. I often did reps in such communities as the roads are quiet.. and I'd often get questions, friendly enough, but I was id'd as not a local.. in the UK that wouldn't happen.
Eric9Points - on 17 Jul 2013
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to wintertree)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
>
> How do you know he's a jumped up little shit? That's your opinion. What if I walk the dog tonight and see you lurking round my neighbours house and say "Excuse me mate" without provocation? "Who knows what could happen?" Does that mean you're going to have a go at me for being a jumped up little shit?

I think that it's reasonable to assume, based on the record of the phone conversation he had just before he challenged the guy, that he was pretty wound up and it's unlikely that the conversation started with a polite, "excuse me". That doesn't mean to say he didn't end up on the wrong end of a kicking of course.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Ridge:

> Based on what evidence? Your own prejudice?
No. Based on my interpretation of the transcripts. Go and read them, it's a pretty easy and robust conclusion to reach.

> There was a case recently where a pensioner was murdered when he challenged a burglar in his neighbours house. I take it the moral responsibilty for that rests with the victim for setting in motion the chain of events?

If the pensioner hadn't challenged a burglar in someone else's house, they wouldn't be dead.
If zimmerman hadn't challenged an - as far as the prior evidence goes - innocent pedestrian, they wouldn't be dead.

Obviously the criminal responsibility for the death you cite lies on the murderer. Never the less the victim f----d up badly and paid the price. So in a sense they are responsible for their own
death in that their actions were a direct and necessary step to their death. That in no way absolves the murderer, but realise this - our world is far from perfect, and legal actions such as challenging an actual burglar or an apparently innocent man in a hoodie can have fatal consequences. Hey, guess what - life ain't fair and actions have very real consequences. Sucks huh?

The law can say what ever it wants. Separate to that, if someone takes actions that are within the law, but are severely ill advised and go on to form a necessary and key step in a chain off events leading to tragedy, in my book they carry some responsibility. If they had not taken the ill advised step, there would be no tragedy.

I would like to think Zimmerman is racked by a life long guilt in the knowledge that his stereotyping off some random guy and his subsequent rash and irrational decision to challenge the guy - in the absence of evidence of a crime - resulted in a death.

However I suspect he rationalised it as " the punk had it coming"
Ridge - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
Using that logic, Martin started it by hanging round the wrong neighbourhood in a hoody..
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Ridge:

Except "going for a walk" is very different to "getting in a flap over someone going for a walk, calling it in to the police, disregarding their advice to drop it, stalking the walker - at night, and carrying a gun, and almost certainly challenging the walker."

Let's ask a panel or independent experts which of those two actions they feel has a reasonably high chance of causing a tragedy.

If Zimmerman couldn't foresee this potential consequence of his action then he's bloody thick.

I suppose you could say the kid should have foreseen the consequences of "going for a walk in Florida whilst being black" :-(
IainRUK - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty: Has anyone seen a map?

Was it a gated community? was it an actual short cut?

The ones I knew in TX were pretty isolated.

Pyreneenemec - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:

Is this the way the UK is going , as the Welfare-state is dismantled and rich and poor will live in their respective ghettos ?

IainRUK - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Pyreneenemec:
> (In reply to wintertree)
>
> Is this the way the UK is going , as the Welfare-state is dismantled and rich and poor will live in their respective ghettos ?

Going?

we went that way 100 years ago.. look at how sheffield is constructed.. rich management on the west... prevailing winds took the smog east...

Pyreneenemec - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:


Historically , this was the case of all UK cities, prevailing winds and all that !

I've never visited Sheffield ! ( been through on the train!).
dissonance - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Pyreneenemec:

> Historically , this was the case of all UK cities, prevailing winds and all that !

fairly recently as well. Welwyn Garden city has a distinct split based around the old factory and prevailing winds.
off-duty - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to Ridge)
>
> Except "going for a walk" is very different to "getting in a flap over someone going for a walk, calling it in to the police, disregarding their advice to drop it, stalking the walker - at night, and carrying a gun, and almost certainly challenging the walker."
>

Interesting use of language there.
"getting in a flap over someone going for a walk"
He doesn't sound particulary "flapping" on the phone. Unfortunately he had no idea that Martin was simpy "going for a walk".
The (unsupported) implication appears to be that Zimmerman made calls to the police about everyone he saw "going for a walk".
Bear in mind that professional trained officers can get this judgement wrong - De Menezes' entirely innocent actions - eg getting off then immediately back on buses, were interpreted as counter surveillance techniques (and indeed could have been taking stright from counter surveillance 101). I know that I have stop searched people who have been going about their lawful business - purely because I believed their activity was suspicious.

"disregarding their advice to drop it"
Well they did say "You don't need to do that" in response to his suggestion that he was following Martin. However they also said
"Just let me know if he does anything"
"Just let me know if he does anything else"
"Which way is he running"
"Which entrance is he running towards"


"stalking the walker"
Well - he was actually a running off. You say "stalking" it could quite easily be "following"

"and almost certainly challenging the walker"

Again - clearly from what happened a confrontation occured. We have simply no way of knowing if that was as a result of Zimmerman shouting at Martin or Martin confronting Zimmerman. Similarly there is nothing to suggest that Zimmerman's intention was to challenge rather than follow Martin, aware that the police would be attending to meet him so that he could point out the suspect.

> Let's ask a panel or independent experts which of those two actions they feel has a reasonably high chance of causing a tragedy.
>
> If Zimmerman couldn't foresee this potential consequence of his action then he's bloody thick.
>
> I suppose you could say the kid should have foreseen the consequences of "going for a walk in Florida whilst being black" :-(

Because "being black" is what you have decided was the key factor in this incident?
I agree that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is a risk that confronting someone you believe to be a burglar might end in violence.
Similarly it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out on behalf of BOTH parties - that if you get in an argument, for whatever reason, in the street at night it might turn in to a fight.

A couple of people have intimated on this thread that if anyone had the temerity to challenge their legitimate behaviour at night time they would "get what's coming". An utterly bizarre attitude - with an equally serious chance of going wrong if the person they challenge is bigger, stronger or a better fighter than they are, or even if not - they end up injuring someone who quite reasonable asked them what they were doing.

A chain of events was set in motion that day that inexorably led to the death, and could have been avoided in so many ways.
Zimmerman could have shouted from the car.
Martin could have walked up to the car and asked "Is everything alright?"
Any confrontation could have been resolved verbally rather than physically.
And - as per Zimmerman's account, Martin could have avoided punching him in the face knocking him to the ground.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> Well - he was actually a running off. You say "stalking" it could quite easily be "following"
Following someone - at night - is stalking. The armed man following the kid was not a law enforcement officer, was not identified as such etc. If I was walking in many parts of the world and some random prat started following me, I would likely take the option of running away over a confrontation - I don't back myself to win a physical confrontation, I don't want one and I don't want random armed nutters following me looking for a fight.

As I said before, if he wasn't looking for a fight he was monumentally stupid, and the price of his stupidity was a death.

>> "and almost certainly challenging the walker"
> Again - clearly from what happened a confrontation occured. We have simply no way of knowing if that was as a result of Zimmerman shouting at Martin or Martin confronting Zimmerman. Similarly there is nothing to suggest that Zimmerman's intention was to challenge rather than follow Martin, aware that the police would be attending to meet him so that he could point out the suspect.

Then why didn't he git his sorry ass back in his car and leave the kid alone? Running someone to ground when you haven't even seen them do anything is particularly vile and - taken with his transcript - indicates action based on a pre-formed prejudice.

> Any confrontation could have been resolved verbally rather than physically.
Not going of Zimmerman's past history, no it wouldn't. Loose canon, nutter, jumped up little Hitler, captain Mainwering etc. etc.

There is no way he should have been allowed to keep his firearms licence with his prior.

> Similarly it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out on behalf of BOTH parties - that if you get in an argument, for whatever reason, in the street at night it might turn in to a fight.

Yes but only one party chose to be there with any intention of confronting the other. That makes a big difference.

Frankly I don't give any credibility to Zimmerman's account - with the kind of character he has shown one would expect him to put concerns over his sentence ahead of honesty, and this tragedy is compounding by the fact that the only evidence as to how the confrontation began (as opposed to ended) is 1) his testimony and 2) the fact he initiated the whole sorry business by taking it upon himself to arm himself and play at being a little policeman with a big authority when de damned well shouldn't.

Shooting potentially innocent people for not obeying authority should be left to their highly trained state police.
off-duty - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:

Given that your view of this case appears almost entirely based on your assessment of Zimmermans character, do you think you could be a bit more specific about exactly what in "the transcripts" leads you to your conclusion.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to wintertree)
>
> Given that your view of this case appears almost entirely based on your assessment of Zimmermans character, do you think you could be a bit more specific about exactly what in "the transcripts" leads you to your conclusion.

No. If you can't see it in there I can't spell it out for you. His whole attitude stinks. He stated the guy appeared to be on drugs - only trace residual dope on the Tox report, sounds like a prejudice to me. Look at the way he uses the F-word, or punk or assholes. He had 1) made his judgement and 2) armed himself before setting off to confront the lad. He's not judge Dredd, he's a jumped up little neighbourhood patrol weenie with a gun.

Jimbo W on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> Interesting use of language there.
> "getting in a flap over someone going for a walk"
> He doesn't sound particulary "flapping" on the phone. Unfortunately he had no idea that Martin was simpy "going for a walk".

Well you'd effing well hope and pray that this would be his null hypothesis, and if it weren't then I'd question either his morality or his sanity.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:

Punk being the expert whitness testimony, not the transcript.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> Well you'd effing well hope and pray that this would be his null hypothesis, and if it weren't then I'd question either his morality or his sanity.

Ah, but he did have reasonable grounds for suspicion.... It was raining! All American's are clearly as well off as him and have a car so they wouldn't ever walk. I know people who have been stopped and questioned by the police over there for walking from one town to another. Madness, complete madness
dissonance - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> A couple of people have intimated on this thread that if anyone had the temerity to challenge their legitimate behaviour at night time they would "get what's coming". An utterly bizarre attitude

I dont recall anyone doing that. I do recall people saying that they would feel threatened by someone following them at night and would consider acting in self defence. Which was at least in part due to the question about who hit first and whether it would really count as an excuse for Zimmerman.
dissonance - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to wintertree)
>
> Given that your view of this case appears almost entirely based on your assessment of Zimmermans character

you mean his history of violence? Seems reasonable.
assaulting a police officer
domestic violence.
Be sacked from security work for being too violent.

Not the sort of person I would like to see carrying a gun.
IainRUK - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to dissonance: "If some jumped up little shit of a neighbourhood patrol member with a prejudice against me took to randomly following me without provocation who knows what would happen. "
Its not a wild step by off duty..

Even if Z was guilty of racially stereotyping.. had pre-concieved ideas.. it still doesn't mean he murdered him. Say he was wrong, he's still, the evidence suggest, been physically attacked by martin, and shot in self defence, according to the jurors.

There's obviously many points in this and what ifs.. and points Z could have stopped this but there is also a huge black hole of information and all we have is the body.. Zimmermans injuries and forensic evidence.

wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

To quote myself "If some jumped up little shit of a neighbourhood patrol member with a prejudice against me took to randomly following me without provocation who knows what would happen. "

Interesting how this has generally been taken to mean that I would initiate a confrontation with the other person. Perhaps I would try and leg it - and in the eyes of Zimmerman, legging it makes me more guilty. Hence the "who knows what would happen" - perhaps I would confront them, perhaps I would run and they would give chase. Being followed, at night, by a stranger, I am highly unlikely to give them the benefit of the doubt and see if they just want to know the time of day! Basically every outcome from this point ends in potential tragedy, and the actions of Zimmerman took us to this point.

FIght or flight, a strongly ingrained instinct and I would accept if I was following someone that they would be likely to do either due to instinct, and I would bare that in mind, not necessarily see it has a sign of guilt (Note that there is a big difference between running from the police and running from some random person randomly following you at night). Sadly Zimmerman showed a lack of character and understanding and now nobody else will ever know the truth of the sorry situation that *he* and *his actions* forced upon both individuals.




wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

>> Except "going for a walk" is very different to "getting in a flap over someone going for a walk, calling it in to the police, disregarding their advice to drop it, stalking the walker - at night, and carrying a gun, and almost certainly challenging the walker."

> Interesting use of language there. "getting in a flap over someone going for a walk" He doesn't sound particulary "flapping" on the phone.

Frankly he comes across as someone deploying a poor-quality rushed judgement on the phone, but that is immaterial. The simple act of going "911 Emergency! There is a man out for a walk in the rain!" is what I would call fapping. Given the lack of action the last time I called in a stolen car being dangerously joy ridden over here in the UK at 2am (two officers came by at 10am to reunite the wreck with the insurance company), can you imaging the response I would get if I phoned in a man out for a walk in the rain, looking around? I suspect they'd go straight past fapping to outright ridicule (if not to my face) or wasting police time if I made a habit of it.

dissonance - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to dissonance) "If some jumped up little shit of a neighbourhood patrol member with a prejudice against me took to randomly following me without provocation who knows what would happen. "
> Its not a wild step by off duty..

but it is a rather large one. What would you do if someone random bod started following you at night down some dark alley?
Personally I would try to lose them first but if that failed then acting in self defence would be high on the agenda.
IainRUK - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree: No, but you've left it open.. I think you knew you did that.

If you ran and got shot.. Z would have been charged with murder.

And no.. the leaving the area is no tragedy. And Yes Z was wrong. He was obviously not a great character, and obviously made some assumptions.. which were likely wrong..

But you still ignore the fact that the evidence suggests Zimmerman was attacked..

And no.. the actions of Martin also took them to this point. Maybe his were understandable.. to a point, but if he initiated the physical confrontation, he progressed the situation.

As I said there is a huge black hole. I can't see how the jury could convict beyond reasonable doubt.
IainRUK - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> but it is a rather large one. What would you do if someone random bod started following you at night down some dark alley?
> Personally I would try to lose them first but if that failed then acting in self defence would be high on the agenda.

I'd run.. I got chased by two fellows recently in the most murderous city in the US.. I just dropped it to a 5:30 minute mile.. I was out for a steady lunch time plod.. all caught on my GPS..

No form of self defence even entered my head.. the chance of them being armed was massive..
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

> But you still ignore the fact that the evidence suggests Zimmerman was attacked..

As I said earlier, there is evidence of an attack occurring, but not of how it started? For example if Zimmerman pulled his gun on the kid, presumably the kid has a right to self-defence against a random armed person running him down and pulling a weapon? It may be rather foolish of him to exercise that right, but it would be unfair in the extreme to judge his actions under such immense pressure - after all he had no idea of the mindset of the armed man.

> And no.. the actions of Martin also took them to this point. Maybe his were understandable.. to a point,

Yes, but the actions of Martin to that point were something people do all the time, whereas Zimmerman's actions were clearly those of someone spoiling for a fight. He'd called the police, they were coming, there was no immediate risk of danger to life or property, the kid was not brandishing a weapon. If I was to apportion responsibility for the actions to that point I would pin 90% on Zimmerman - a shame he was not subject to the 3 Laws of Robotics (aka being a decent human being.)

> but if he initiated the physical confrontation, he progressed the situation.

I agree, but I for one am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was being chased by a person with a demonstrated history of violence (including against the police, thereby showing extreme poor judgement), at night. That person clearly had strong prejudicial views against Martin as seen in the transcript. ("always getting away with it", "on drugs", etc.) Now Martin didn't know any of this at the time but it spells out - to me - how the confrontation probably got started and went down. If someone pulls a gun on you at point blank, it's to late to run.

Now that's a lot of if's and but's as far as a legal judgement is concerned, but it's enough for me to give a strong "benefit of the doubt" to the dead kid with no voice.

Perhaps the nation will look introspectively at itself and ask "what can we do to prevent such an unfortunate tragedy occurring again". Well...
IainRUK - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree: In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> [...]
>
> As I said earlier, there is evidence of an attack occurring, but not of how it started? For example if Zimmerman pulled his gun on the kid, presumably the kid has a right to self-defence against a random armed person running him down and pulling a weapon? It may be rather foolish of him to exercise that right, but it would be unfair in the extreme to judge his actions under such immense pressure - after all he had no idea of the mindset of the armed man.
>
> [...]
>
> Yes, but the actions of Martin to that point were something people do all the time, whereas Zimmerman's actions were clearly those of someone spoiling for a fight. He'd called the police, they were coming, there was no immediate risk of danger to life or property, the kid was not brandishing a weapon. If I was to apportion responsibility for the actions to that point I would pin 90% on Zimmerman - a shame he was not subject to the 3 Laws of Robotics (aka being a decent human being.)
>
> [...]
>
> I agree, but I for one am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was being chased by a person with a demonstrated history of violence (including against the police, thereby showing extreme poor judgement), at night. That person clearly had strong prejudicial views against Martin as seen in the transcript. ("always getting away with it", "on drugs", etc.) Now Martin didn't know any of this at the time but it spells out - to me - how the confrontation got started.
>
> Now that's a lot of if's and but's as far as a legal judgement is concerned, but it's enough for me to give a strong "benefit of the doubt" to the dead kid with no voice.
>
> Perhaps the nation will look introspectively at itself and ask "what can we do to prevent such an unfortunate tragedy occurring again". Well...

This is all maybe and ifs.. and probably... or benefit of the doubt you don't convict of murder on that.

The chance of someone physically attacking the person holding the gun must be minimal.. I don't buy that version.

Z may have started the confrontation, the verbal one, but we have no idea about the physical one.. we have bad character.. pre-concieved notions.. but no other evidence

re the last point.. get hand guns off the streets.. won't happen any time soon.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to wintertree) In reply to wintertree:
> [...]

> This is all maybe and ifs.. and probably... or benefit of the doubt you don't convict of murder on that.

Which is why I have never once said he should face a murder conviction. I have stated my view that the responsibility for the kids death lies fairly and squarely at his feet. Now as it stands the law in Florida allows him to walk away from it. Shame on him, and shame on the law.

> The chance of someone physically attacking the person holding the gun must be minimal.. I don't buy that version.

Is it? Adrenaline, panic, complete dropping of rational thought? I have never had a gun pointed at me, and never want to. I don't think anyone can predict what someone will do in such a circumstance, let alone a teenager who isn't equipped with the life experiences and mindset that some people develop.

> Z may have started the confrontation, the verbal one, but we have no idea about the physical one.. we have bad character.. pre-concieved notions.. but no other evidence
Indeed. Not enough for a safe murder conviction and I would not argue otherwise.

> re the last point.. get hand guns off the streets.. won't happen any time soon.
Indeed :(
dissonance - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

> But you still ignore the fact that the evidence suggests Zimmerman was attacked..

no one is ignoring that just that it indicates he was hit not that he was attacked.
It could be anything from Martin hit first without reason, Martin hit first because Zimmerman looked like he was about to hit him through to Zimmerman threw the first punch but then started losing and pulled a gun.

> As I said there is a huge black hole. I can't see how the jury could convict beyond reasonable doubt.

true.
IainRUK - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
> Now as it stands the law in Florida allows him to walk away from it. Shame on him, and shame on the law.
>
> [...]
>

Wouldn't that be the same in the UK? If you go for a murder charge, can you then go for a lesser charge?

TBH he'd served time anyway in remand, so I'd expect he'd be out regardless.

I don't know US law but I'm not sure what law he broke. In the UK either, obviously ignoring the fact he had a gun which in the UK would be a few years inside, actually following and approaching a suspicious character wouldn't be a crime.

Ridge - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to wintertree) ical confrontation, he progressed the situation.
>
> As I said there is a huge black hole. I can't see how the jury could convict beyond reasonable doubt.

In a nutshell. Being fat, a jumped up little shit and having a skin tone lighter than the other party shouldn't come into it.
off-duty - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> Frankly he comes across as someone deploying a poor-quality rushed judgement on the phone, but that is immaterial. The simple act of going "911 Emergency! There is a man out for a walk in the rain!" is what I would call fapping. Given the lack of action the last time I called in a stolen car being dangerously joy ridden over here in the UK at 2am (two officers came by at 10am to reunite the wreck with the insurance company), can you imaging the response I would get if I phoned in a man out for a walk in the rain, looking around? I suspect they'd go straight past fapping to outright ridicule (if not to my face) or wasting police time if I made a habit of it.

With your continued references to his character based on the phone call (incidentally NOT on the emergency 911 number) you have actually listened to the call, haven't you?
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> With your continued references to his character based on the phone call (incidentally NOT on the emergency 911 number) you have actually listened to the call, haven't you?

Just read the transcripts. I am taking the transcript in combination with his history of excessive violence and drawing my own conclusions. Shocking, I know.



Ridge - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> Just read the transcripts. I am taking the transcript in combination with his history of excessive violence and drawing my own conclusions. Shocking, I know.

It's not shocking at all, we all do it. That's why previous convictions aren't read out in court, and why, flawed though it may be, 'reasonable doubt' is a far better test than 'I reckon he did it because he's not a nice man'.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to wintertree)
> [...]
>
> It's not shocking at all, we all do it. That's why previous convictions aren't read out in court, and why, flawed though it may be, 'reasonable doubt' is a far better test than 'I reckon he did it because he's not a nice man'.

Which is why I do not have a problem with him being found innocent of murder.

My point has been - and continues to be - that he is a damned fool who precipitated the whole ugly affair, and than in my view the primary responsibility of the death lies squarely on his shoulders.

It would have been very interesting to see what would have happened if the DA had gone with a clear cut charge of manslaughter in the second degree and no murder charge.

off-duty - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> you mean his history of violence? Seems reasonable.
> assaulting a police officer
> domestic violence.
> Be sacked from security work for being too violent.
>
> Not the sort of person I would like to see carrying a gun.

Interesting how happy people appear to be prejudging someone on the basis of previous convictions from 7 years prior to the shooting. Or in this case non convictions.

Assaulting a police officer -July 2005 :- shoving an undercover police officer who was enforcing an under age drinking operation and arresting Zimmerman's under age friend. I take it that the anger management classes he was ordered to take will be seen as indicative purely of a problem, rather than any effort to address or deal with it, or even that he might be better equipped to control the temper that he appears to be accused of having.

Domestic Violence - August 2005: - - who knows the severity - the upshot was tit-for-tat injunctions and allegations from both parties.

Be sacked from security work for being too violent - 2005. If you want to include anonymous unsubstantiated allegations - what about the claim by his morther that he mentored a 14 year old African american boy?
off-duty - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> Just read the transcripts. I am taking the transcript in combination with his history of excessive violence and drawing my own conclusions. Shocking, I know.

The reason I am interested - other than being surprised that your character judgement appears to be based on the evidence of one telephone call, is that the emotions you ascribe to Zimmerman don't appear to be present when you actually listen to him speak.
The other reason I am interested is weight you appear to give to the written transcript of a live phone call taken in real time - and the conclusions you appear to feel confident in drawing from it.

This appears to contrast with the conclusions you seem to feel are NOT reasonably drawn from your comment, written not spoken, subject to spell check, review, reconsideration and not under any pressure of response : -

To quote myself "If some jumped up little shit of a neighbourhood patrol member with a prejudice against me took to randomly following me without provocation who knows what would happen. "

Interesting how this has generally been taken to mean that I would initiate a confrontation with the other person.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

>This appears to contrast with the conclusions you seem to feel are NOT reasonably drawn from your comment, written not spoken, subject to spell check, review, reconsideration and not under any pressure of response : -

Perhaps I was trying to make a point and failing. I'll just give up. Perhaps there was a reasons I said "who knows" and not "I'd clock the smarmy prat".

It's time to go home and enjoy the heat. Perhaps if I see someone walking down my street later tonight I'll go and get me a gun and start following them on the grounds they're an asshole whose always getting away with it. Oh no I won't because I a not a member of some quasi-fascist neighbourhood watch who wants a fight.

off-duty - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> >This appears to contrast with the conclusions you seem to feel are NOT reasonably drawn from your comment, written not spoken, subject to spell check, review, reconsideration and not under any pressure of response : -
>
> Perhaps I was trying to make a point and failing. I'll just give up. Perhaps there was a reasons I said "who knows" and not "I'd clock the smarmy prat".
>
> It's time to go home and enjoy the heat. Perhaps if I see someone walking down my street later tonight I'll go and get me a gun and start following them on the grounds they're an asshole whose always getting away with it. Oh no I won't because I a not a member of some quasi-fascist neighbourhood watch who wants a fight.

Maybe when you get home you can listen to the call.
wintertree - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> Maybe when you get home you can listen to the cal

I will do but I fail to see how the call - as transcribed - can justify setting off, carrying a gun, to follow and chase down an unarmed man against whom he has zero evidence.

That was a fatally bad decision that resulted in someones death. Unless the audio recording has something in it that escaped the transcript like "oh my god he's got a gun and he's just mugged an old lady and now he's threatening to shoot her" nothing changes *in my view*. Others can differ.

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