Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder

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114 Responses to “Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder”

  1. Brainspore says:

    “But black-on-black crime… (etc. etc.)”

    Seriously, this is a good development. I don’t want to think about some of the things that might happen if he gets acquitted, though.

      • Brainspore says:

        Not to mention that it’s completely irrelevant to this case anyway.

        This is my favorite counter-point so far. (I mean the guy on the left, obviously.)

        • Adam says:

          Not to mention that race is completely irrelevant to this case anyway.

          • stupocalypto says:

            No, other than Zimmermans obvious racial profiling and the polices reticence to charge someone for shooting a black person, you’re right.

          • Brainspore says:

            Fascinating hypothesis.

          • Brainspore says:

            @twitter-10847762:disqus :

            I’m not sure I’ve seen any evidence to suggest that Zimmerman was profiling anyone.

            So he called 9-1-1 and started following Martin because… ?

          • marilove says:

            REALLY?  I honestly just cannot believe people actually believe this.  I mean come on.

      • Ipo says:

         That article is utter crap. 

      • bobarctor says:

        ” With respect to aggravated assault, whites led blacks 2-1 in arrests.[etc.]”

        Well in absolute numbers, sure, but that’s not taking into account that there are nearly 6 times more whites than blacks in this country.

        They may be racist scum, but it’s not like you can fight that with good math, much less this ..

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Arrests. Not crimes. Arrests. If the police stop ten black people for every white person, you’re going to have statistics that show that black people are ten times more likely to be stopped, arrested, indicted, tried, convicted, jailed. You have absolutely no idea what the percentages really are. You just have a bunch of made-up statistics based on selection bias.

          • corydodt says:

            Well, you don’t either. Look, I’m as satisfied as anyone can be that Zimmerman is finally going to face the charges, but bobarctor’s statement is correct: You can’t fight racism with math, and this article isn’t even an example of good math. Numerous types of bias are just omitted.

            Without discussing the other biases involved in these numbers, the article proves none of what it purports to demonstrate, and I wish it had. I would have liked to see some discussion about selection bias and other things, but I think the fact of the matter is it’s all too complicated to really say anything simple like “black-on-black crime is a racist myth”.

            Some other sources of bias omitted:

            * Aforementioned selection bias. It’s true that blacks are stopped more than whites, but we aren’t discussing stops or even arrests. We’re discussing crimes committed. There still might be a bias in terms of wrongful convictions of black people for crimes committed by white people. But I find no discussion of selection bias either way.

            * SES of the people involved. Are the victims poor? Are the perpetrators poor? Normalize for those factors.

            * What level of interaction do the various races have with one another? You can safely say that whites interact with other races more than blacks do, because there are more whites. That should lead to more anti-white crime all by itself, but it isn’t discussed.

            Probably many more I’m forgetting. If you’re going to give us math, at least give us a complete picture.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            We’re discussing crimes committed.

            And you get those number directly from an omniscient divine being? Or do you maybe get them from the biased criminal justice system?

          • Brainspore says:

            @corydodt:disqus :

            What level of interaction do the various races have with one another?
            You can safely say that whites interact with other races more than blacks do, because there are more whites.

            That doesn’t stand to reason at all. I suspect minorities probably interact with other races more than majorities do. Think about it: if you’re the only Mbengan pygmy in a five thousand mile radius then every human interaction you have is going to be an interracial one.

    • John Stephens says:

      At this point anything less than  a public hanging will be used as an excuse for riots.  Tossing Zimmerman to the mob buys me more time to stock up on ammo and other supplies, though.

      • C W says:

        “At this point anything less than  a public hanging will be used as an excuse for riots.”

        Geraldo? Is that you?

      • stupocalypto says:

        Better get some more moonshine in, you obviously have a few braincells left.

      • twianto says:

        And _this_ is why Disqus needs negative points (or whatever the opposite of “Like” is).

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I think that “the mob”, as you so colorfully describe it, is more interested in seeing the local police and prosecutors brought to justice at this point.

        • Mister44 says:

           See I have had conflicting reporting on this. On one hand I heard the police were basically “meh” and did nothing, and in another that they did do an investigation and that some in the prosecutors office wanted to charge Zimmerman. I heard one witness who was interviewed by the cops say that was the angle they were approaching it at.

          It’s one thing to not investigate, it’s another to think you just don’t have enough for a conviction.

          • Itsumishi says:

            Because a phone call admitting to the shooting and littered with racist commentaries isn’t very good evidence at all.

          • Itsumishi, if you think things are that cut-and-dried, I don’t think you understand the law. Admitting to the shooting is the essence of an affirmative defense. Look it up.

          • AnthonyC says:

             “some in the prosecutors office wanted to charge Zimmerman”

            And why didn’t the others?

          • Itsumishi says:

            @google-fdc233e49cd0724ff8580732d8b8bd86:disqus When it comes to court you’re right, when it comes to the point of getting arrested it was plenty enough evidence to start the prosecution. Throw in the various witness statements, etc and it’s plenty enough evidence to get him in a court room.

          • @boingboing-66bd939ad7010829ab65a6aaf28c9a96:disqus The fact that he has now been charged indicates that you’re right–there is enough evidence to get him in a courtroom. I still don’t think it’s as cut and dried as your original comment indicates. The phone call is not “littered with racist commentaries,” for example, and simply admitting to the shooting is irrelevant if you’re claiming self defense.

            I’ve read Florida’s stand-your-ground statute, and it is very clear that officers may not arrest or detain an individual who claims self defense unless there is probable cause to believe that the shooting was not self defense. Note: not even the lighter evidentiary standard of reasonable belief, but probable cause. From what I have read about the case, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that the original investigators didn’t feel like they had probable cause to doubt Zimmerman’s self defense story. You mention witnesses. What witnesses? All of the witness responses I have heard agree that Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he was shot.

            We have to keep in mind the overall state of law enforcement with regard to self defense shootings in that part of Florida. It has been reported that courts have interpreted the stand-your-ground law in such a way that many cases that seemed cut-and-dried were getting thrown out or acquitted. This led police to deprioritize those cases, because they (correctly) interpreted it as a waste of effort. IMO, the fact that this case is getting prosecuted is the exception to the rule, not the fact that Zimmerman didn’t get arrested. Is that right? Is that the way it should be? No.

      • Guest says:

        Be the apocalypse you wish to see

      • Cowicide says:

        stock up on ammo and other supplies, though.

        Excellent.  More honeypots for the apocalypse.

    • Mister44 says:

       Yeah, cuz if they charged him he’s instantly guilty. The trial is a formality, amiright?

      • Brainspore says:

        No, Zimmerman deserves a fair trial and a “Not Guilty” verdict is a distinct possibility of that process. I don’t think such a verdict (if it is forthcoming) will help smooth over the simmering hotbed of anger and mistrust that exists between citizens and law enforcement, however.

  2. Stefan Jones says:

    Cue concern trolls . . . now!

  3. Gideon Jones says:

    Month and a half late, and with the case totally ruined by the locals.  Woot?

  4. Pedantic Douchebag says:

    “So…black people, we’re cool now, right?” – Florida

  5. He is getting what most people think he deserves! It’s underway! 
    THE 9-11 operator told him not to get out. he did. 

    I think/hope justice just might get served on this one. She really seemed sure about their stance. 

    • Cowicide says:

      I dunno, with all the evidence so far it sounds to me like they may both be at fault.  Zimmerman is definitely at fault for being an idiot who should have stayed put and let the police do their jobs.  Or better yet he should have just left the kid alone in the first place.

      But, if it turns out Martin attacked Zimmerman physically first, then he’s partially to blame as well.  Attacking people in the dark can get you killed no matter your race, age or gender.

      That video that everyone is touting as evidence that Zimmerman was uninjured was enhanced (brightened) and we can now see he did possibly sustain some injuries.  So that would at least corroborate his story that there was a scuffle before the shooting.  Also, you can hear Zimmerman say at one point in the phone call that Martin is coming at him and if I remember correctly Martin also told his GF on the phone he wasn’t going to run.

      I’d like more audio experts to examine the audio of the person screaming for help.  If it’s truly not Zimmerman screaming for help and it’s Martin screaming, then AFAIK,  Zimmerman should be charged with first degree murder.  You don’t shoot someone who is screaming for help in self-defense.  That’s outright, cold-blooded murder.

      Should Zimmerman have followed this kid around?  No.  Should Zimmerman have shot him after he was allegedly physically accosted?  No one can answer that at this point unless they were there.

      That said, I’m glad the idiot finally at least got arrested and I’m also happy to see that with all the attention/scrutiny this incident has received that the authorities have been forced to review the case and at least attempt to get to the bottom of what happened that night.

      I also hope Mike Tyson goes to jail for a while for saying he hopes someone kills Zimmerman, BTW.  Fuck that.

  6. Steve Pan says:

    Why won’t somebody stop and think of white people? The most discriminated against and oppressed people on earth.

  7. Adam says:

    @boingboing-d14fe370bdf1664c34b258d65f8d3507:disqus

    I don’t know. I can’t read minds.

    Reports have said that the area Zimmerman lives in was suffering from burglaries. Seems reasonable that under that climate seeing someone wondering around that you don’t recognize would raise suspicions.

    In any case just because Martin was black and Zimmerman was white (only not) does not meant that Zimmerman acted based on race. Again, I’ve not seen anything that suggests that Zimmerman was profiling Martin – other than that he did not recognize him.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      This is what Zimmerman’s friend, neighbor, and fellow neighborhood watch captain said about the issue:

      “Neighbor-hood, that’s a great word,” Taaffe said, chuckling. “We had eight burglaries in our neighborhood, all perpetrated by young black males in the 15 months prior to Trayvon being shot.”

       “The young black male went in during the daytime just two houses down from where my my place was.”

      “All of the perpetrators of the prior burglaries were young black males. … You know, there’s an old saying that if you plant corn, you get corn.”

      “I would go on record stating, of the eight prior burglaries in the 15 months prior to the Trayvon Martin shooting, all of the perpetrators were young black males. … No disrespect to George Clooney, but it was a perfect storm. All the ingredients were set up. You know, the prior burglaries were committed or perpetrated by young black males, George was on his [neighborhood watch] rounds.”

      Now obviously you can’t read minds.  That’d just be crazy.  But Zimmerman’s neighbors, including those defending him, have all said he was focused on young Black men.  The fact that he read off a litany of basically every single stereotype related to young Black men during the 911 call, doesn’t exactly help your defense of him here.  Or, ya know, the whole, “fucking coons” remark.

      • Brainspore says:

        Also gotta love the reasoning of a guy who says “I don’t know what motivated Zimmerman, but I do know that this case has nothing to do with race.”

      • The “fucking coons” remark is a joke. I listened to a clip where they cut out just the “coons” word and played it over and over again. It was completely unintelligible. It only sounds like “coons” if you’ve been told that it’s “coons” before hand.

        • joeposts says:

          If I say the word “rhubarb” over and over it becomes completely unintelligible. But sure, maybe he’s telling the truth and called the boy a “punk” before chasing him and then shooting him dead. I’m not sure how much that helps his case!

      • chgoliz says:

        So how do they ‘know’ that the 8 burglaries (one every 2 months…oh, what a scary neighborhood) were all perpetrated by young black males?  Have all of the 8 burglaries been solved, and the perpetrators convicted and serving time?

      • Adam Byers says:

        @twitter-410326822:disqus

        Sorry for the delay in my reply. For a reason that has not been shared I was blocked form commenting. I’m using a different account so that I can reply.

        I’ve listened to the 911 call and I don’t recall Zimmerman listing off a “litany of stereotypes.” In fact the only time he mentions color, or race is in response to the 911 operator.

        Also, I’m not defending Zimmerman. I don’t have enough information to do that. Nor do you have enough information to convict him.

        This whole situation is tragic. Whatever happened the fact is that we don’t have any information other than someone was shot and the person who did the shooting claims it was in self-defense.

        Anything else is either a guess or pure hyperbole.

        I say race has nothing to do with this case because there is nothing as of yet that would support a theory that it was. Zimmerman’s actions may very well have been racially motivated but no one knows that yet so it’s disingenuous to say that they were.

        One last point since you brought it up – the “fucking coons” comment on the 911 tape. The problem is that everyone was primed to hear that before they listened to the tape. I think it was CNN who did two different analysis of the tapes, the first they were convinced that Zimmerman said “fucking coons” and in fact I agreed with them at the time. In the second analysis, after additional noise removal, it pretty much sounds like Zimmerman is saying “fucking cold.”

    • Brainspore says:

      If Zimmerman had any real reason to suspect Martin that went beyond superficial impressions based on Martin’s appearance (i.e., “profiling”) then he didn’t share it with the 9-1-1 operator.

      • Marc45 says:

        We keep hearing about “profiling” as if it’s something evil.  The problem is that this is how humans are wired.  We see something, compare it to past experience and make a judgement.   So to deny profiling as a legitimate human attribute is crazy or saying we should never “profile” someone is like saying we shouldn’t look at a pretty girl/guy.

        So with this in mind, I can definitely see how someone would suspect a young black dude in that situation and associate him with past burglaries, right or wrong.

        Shooting the guy was totally unnecessary and shouldn’t be protected by Florida’s vigilante laws.  Zimmerman had every chance to let the cops deal with it.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          So with this in mind, I can definitely see how someone would suspect a young black dude in that situation and associate him with past burglaries, right or wrong.

          So that’s why it’s totally cool for me to think that all white people are racist crackers and that I should neutralize them before they can whip their Klan hoods out of their briefcases?

          • Gideon Jones says:

            Nah, it doesn’t work that way.  Privilege and all that.  

          • Layne says:

            Is that really what he was saying? 

            He’s associating Zimmerman’s pursuit of Martin with reasonable suspicion over claimed burglaries in the neighborhood over the last year by young men who would match Martin’s description. But he also (rightfully) disavowing that initial cause for suspicion as a justifiable reason for pulling out a firearm and escalating it to a homicide.

            There’s another case working it’s way through the courts in FL, where  an old guy shot a guy on a playground in front of his daughter over some kids skateboarding. 

            Regardless of whether race has anything to do with it, the people who make this horrible, stupid decision to resort to a firearm to resolve a dispute in broad daylight need to be just as committed to facing a jury of their peers and going to jail for a very long time. 

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            He’s associating Zimmerman’s pursuit of Martin with reasonable suspicion over claimed burglaries in the neighborhood over the last year by young men who would match Martin’s description.

            “Young black guy in a hoodie” is such a vague “match” that Mr. Zimmerman probably should have gotten a lecture from the police on not wasting their time.

        • Brainspore says:

          I can definitely see how someone would suspect a young black dude in that situation and associate him with past burglaries, right or wrong.

          I’m going with WRONG. Wrongedy wrong wrong wrong.

          If you’re arguing that our brains are hardwired to make unfair associations based on appearance, fine. Each person’s thoughts are their own. That doesn’t mean people have to act on those thoughts. If Zimmerman didn’t have any non-race-based reason to suspect Martin of wrongdoing then he shouldn’t have followed him, much less call 9-1-1 or get out of his vehicle to confront him.

        • Lotney says:

          Let the cops deal with what exactly?

    • joeposts says:

      “seeing someone wondering around that you don’t recognize would raise suspicions.”

      That seems to me to be a flimsy justification for homicide. BUT HEY IANAL.

    • Mantissa128 says:

      “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something.”

      “He looks black.”

      “A dark hoodie.” (It was raining.)

      “He’s got his hand in his waistband.”

      “These assholes always get away.”

      “Shit, he’s running.”

      A shifty-looking black teenager, probably on drugs, up to no good with a gun in his waistband. And he’s an asshole who will get away. Clear to kill!

      Perhaps this is why driving while black is such an epidemic – it just makes sense that they’re up to no good.

      • “He’s got his hand in his waistband.”

        Hmmm interesting. My son does that with his DS. Hides it under his clothes to stop it getting wet in the rain. I keep telling him that a bit of water won’t do any damage.

    • Ipo says:

       This should be an indicator

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I am positive that he said ‘redistributor’.

      • Mister44 says:

         Pfft – that’s bunk. It’s static or wind noise. You can make yourself convinced it says a number of things. Your brain hates static and will fill in blanks with data that isn’t there. It’s why you see faces in your toast (deities or the generic variety), and the hum of my washing machine sounds like “killer, killer, killer” when ever I am off my meds.

        • Tyler Riddle says:

          Your washing machine only says “killer, killer, killer?” Mine goes off with “kill all humans, kill all humans, kill all humans” then the occasional “get me a beer and the damn thing better be open before it gets here.” 

    • Mitchell Glaser says:

      Burglaries? Sorry, my give-a-damn machine is utterly broken. Last I heard the penalty for burglary (after a trial, mind you!) was not summary execution.

      • Guest says:

        no, that’s the penalty for asking for it. 

      • Mike Norman says:

        What a seemingly trenchant observation!

        There is one little fly in the ointment, however. An act of self defense is not an act of punishment; It’s an act of defense. The justification for its use in a home invasion is that that level of trespassing with apparent intent at criminal mischief of some sort gives you a legal and sensible reason to fear for your life. Someone in danger of jail time over getting caught in the act might resort to bodily harm or worse to reduce that possibility, and the law takes this into account.

        The question that has been asked by, and answered by, many jurisdictions in the U.S. is whether or not this amounts to a situation in which a reasonable person could be reasonably afraid for their life and therefore be justified in the use of deadly force. That answer has been, “Yes,” in many instances.

        A home invasion is not a courtroom, and a handgun is not a lethal injection gurney. You’re comparing apples and oranges, and only serving to confuse the issue further.

        EDIT: Gah. I think I may have misread you to be saying that the use of deadly force during an actual home invasion would never be justified. Sorry.

        • Guest says:

          You know, since you were there you should have called 911 too.

        • Mitchell Glaser says:

          Yes, my intention was to say that the reports of there having been a lot of burglaries in the the area (a claim, by the way, not a demonstrated fact) doesn’t make the least bit of difference to me. The man should not have gotten out of his car with his gun (drawn or not) and confronted the boy.

        • Tyler Riddle says:

          “The question that has been asked by, and answered by, many jurisdictions in the U.S. is whether or not this amounts to a situation in which a reasonable person could be reasonably afraid for their life and therefore be justified in the use of deadly force. That answer has been, “Yes,” in many instances.”

          Yes, Trayvon had a lot of reasons to be scared. There was a strange guy following him in a truck. The strange guy got out and tried to talk with him. When Trayvon attempted to escape he was chased down again then murdered.

          So it seems you are correct: Trayvon had every right to kill Zimmerman out of self defense. 

          Oh wait, that’s *not* what you said. 

          • chgoliz says:

            Exactly.  Imagine being a teen and a much-larger adult male is following you in his car and coming at you, waving a gun.

            How scared that boy must have been.

    • Guest says:

      How did you miss so many of the details. Clearly you were there.

      Under the bridge, amirite?

  8. IronyElemental says:

    “I find you threatening.”
    “Knowing that you feeling threatened entitles you to attack me, I am now threatened by you and therefore entitled to use force to defend myself.”
    (fight)

    What a horrible law.

    • Mister44 says:

       That isn’t really the intent or the way the law is supposed to work – nor does it in most cases. You can’t just say “I feel threatened!” There has to be an actual threat. Castle and Stand Your Ground laws aren’t free ticket to murder. This is why South Park’s “It’s coming right for us!” hunting tactic doesn’t work in the real world either.

      And these laws do have their place. A lady locally just shot and killed one of two men who were burglarizing her house. Surely her right to protect herself is something that should be valued.

      • travtastic says:

         What do these stupid laws have to do with obvious self-defense during a home invasion?

      • I don’t think anyone has the right to end someone’s life.

      • AnthonyC says:

         The right to protect yourself in such a situation would be covered by castle doctrine laws (which have a centuries-old legal precedent). Stand-your-ground laws have nothing to do with it.

      • IronyElemental says:

        “There has to be an actual threat.”

        Was Trayvon an actual threat to George Zimmerman? In the moment, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what sort of threat a person perceives, because that’s what he’s going to act upon. The actuality of the threat (or, how correct the person’s perception was) is something that is only concluded afterwards, as the law is applied to the known facts.

        The fight that ended Martin’s life may have gone any of a dozen different ways. Many of those scenarios (most of the deadly ones) would not have been possible if “feeling threatened” was not sufficient precondition for violence.

        • travtastic says:

           Clearly he was moments from disabling the car’s engine and ripping the locked doors off of their hinges.

  9. marilove says:

    The problem is that the initial investigation of this case was terrible, almost non-existent.  This isn’t going to be easy for the defense because of this.  It’s also a GREAT way to make sure that the racist scumbag that you really don’t want to arrest because you’re also a racist scumbag doesn’t get full justice.

    • Guest says:

      i think you’re getting the hamfisted coverup phase confused with the initial investigation phase.

    • The assumption that the cops let Zimmerman off from the beginning because of his race really needs to be examined. I’ve seen photos of Zimmerman, and although he’s been described as white in the media, I gotta tell you, he looks Hispanic to me. I don’t give a fuck what his race is, but if I was going to guess which direction a person who DID give a fuck was going to go, I wouldn’t guess Caucasian. Now, let’s see: what is the prevailing opinion of Hispanics in that part of Florida? Arrest them for any excuse or let them go?

      I think that race was definitely involved in Trayvon’s shooting. The more I learn about the implementation of Florida’s stand-your-ground law, the less I think race was involved in Zimmerman’s lack of arrest. The law seems really clearly worded that, if the person claims self defense, they cannot be detained or arrested unless there is probable cause to dispute their claim–and because of the lack of witnesses, probable cause did not exist.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        I’m sure Martin would have also gotten off if he’d felt threatened by Zimmerman and shot him when he advanced on him.  Which he had every right to do if we want to use the authorities excuses for not arresting Zimmerman. 

        I’m sure Martin would have been turned free just like Zimmerman right?  Right?

        Because race wasn’t an issue………..

      • marilove says:

        Lack of witnesses?  Soooo the witnesses saying that he screamed “HELP ME!  HELP ME!” don’t exist?  Really?

      • C W says:

        “The assumption that the cops let Zimmerman off from the beginning because of his race really needs to be examined”

        They did let him off because of his Privilege.

        And seriously, within Hispanics, there’s plenty of White Privilege that goes on. Ever been to Miami?

      • GRMO says:

        Hispanic is not a race, it’s a cultural heritage. Zimmerman’s mom is from Peru so going by this and his appearance I’d say he’s mestizo, possibly pardo. Definitely multiracial.

    • AnthonyC says:

       “defense”

      Surely you mean prosecution?

  10. BombBlastLightingWaltz says:

    ….

  11. Daemonworks says:

    Even if  Trayvon did actually turn around and get agressive… I’m thinking that may very well have been caused by the fact that he had a racist idiot stalking him.

    • marilove says:

      Right?  As a woman, if I had pepper sprayed Zimmerman in a similar situation, I don’t think anyone would be saying that maybe he didn’t deserve it.  Not that I, a white woman, would be followed by him, at least not in this context, but still.

    • AnthonyC says:

       Yes, in that hypothetical version of events, I would have thought that being pursued by an armed man while simply walking down the street would be covered by the stand your ground law.

  12. BadIdeaSociety says:

    I am glad to hear that the courts are going to hear this case. While I am mildly biased into believing that Zimmerman is in the wrong, I don’t believe it is my right to judge him unless called to do so.

    • Guest says:

      Even then, you’d be the jury, and not the judge. (I assume you’re not actually a judge)

      And even then, not the executioner (again, apologies if you are in fact, an executioner)

    • Jaye Thompson says:

      (I already liked your post and I want to go back and like it again.)

       STRONGLY concur. I feel like what we, the public, know isn’t even a quarter of what a jury will hear and use to make a decision. In this situation, I’m a militant agnostic (“I don’t know and neither do you.”)

      News outlets report what will get them ratings, which will get them advertising, which will get them dollars. They are a business, not an objective source, and I think we do well to remember that. Boring facts don’t spur ratings; galling facts do. So I’m working on the assumption that we’ve heard the galling facts and very few of the boring ones.

      Maybe this was racially motivated or race played a part, but the possibility exists that it wasn’t/didn’t, too. This is already a tragedy without making it seem more depraved than it is. Sensationalizing the situation does nothing positive for anyone….. except for the news organizations. In my opinion, that indicates that the news outlets want only to capitalize on a young man’s death.

      I am not defending Mr. Zimmerman’s actions, because I don’t know enough to determine whether he was right or wrong. But his vilification as a racist sack of shit is really irritating, because WE DON’T KNOW ENOUGH to determine that.

      George Zimmerman might be guilty, but he might be not guilty, too.  His guilt or innocence will be determined by a jury of his peers, after hearing more of the facts than we have. Let’s let them do their job, please.

      (…. I feel better. I’m so sorry for the soap-boxing. My only excuse is that I’m a FL resident and this was all over our own news outlets even before the national ones. And my frustration with biased journalism is just…. GUH!)

      • Layne says:

        Correct on quite a few points. 

        As distasteful as Zimmerman might be (and most self-appointed faux-security guards do tend to be overzealous gung-ho jerkoffs), there’s a lot of relevant info to the case and the laws in question that you’re not getting from the 20 second jazzed up coverage and protests. 

        The NYT is doing a good job of showcasing this. It makes a nice splashy lede to characterize this case as the natural outcome of “Stand your ground” laws allowing any random gun nut to open fire when marginally threatened. Unfortunately, Zimmerman’s defense to this point will likely fall under the justifiable use of force statutes, which are in the same territory as a Castle defense. Which isn’t to say he’s not a jerk or that it’s not a violation of the law.  But that’s going to fall to a jury to decide – not the president or Al Sharpton or some loathsome ‘white-power’ bigot. 

        A larger issue here is that the cops & state’s attorneys are doing a wretched job of investigating some very questionable homicide cases. There are a number of more egregious claims of “justified” killings by cops and civvies alike, that get brushed aside when a jury would have a much more skeptical view of the version of events.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        News outlets report what will get them ratings, which will get them advertising, which will get them dollars. They are a business, not an objective source, and I think we do well to remember that. Boring facts don’t spur ratings; galling facts do. So I’m working on the assumption that we’ve heard the galling facts and very few of the boring ones.

        Major news outlets didn’t bother covering this until people made a major stink about it.  Just another dead black kid.

    • C W says:

      “I don’t believe it is my right to judge him unless called to do so.”

      And this is why our journalists are so terrible. Because people are so afraid of being seen calling liars out on lying.

      • BadIdeaSociety says:

        My point is: How do I even know that what I am reading or hearing from NBC, CNN, FoxNews, The New York Time or any other source is feeding me the truth? The movement to get Trayvon’s killer investigated worked. Good.

        If Zimmerman is justly found guilty or not guilty second degree murder or manslaughter or reckless endangerment or whatever charge his action qualifies under, fine. This is what I think should be done.

        I absolutely hated how the media and the public jumped on the whole hoodie thing or how they obsessed over Skittles or how they posted photos from when Trayvon was a kid or how they published ill-gotten leaks of how Trayvon was suspended from school or how people on message boards pulled photos of Trayvon having gold caps. None of this stuff explains, justifies, or forgives what transpired between Zimmerman and Martin that night. 

        Investigate the case. If there was corruption in the way the case was initially investigated, isolate those who participated and punish them accordingly.

        I am not Sherlock Holmes, Jessica Fletcher, or Adrian Monk. I won’t suggest that there is nobody in this comment thread who is an experienced investigator, but I am fairly certain that the majority of us only have experience from reading “Nancy Drew” novels or watching episodes of “CSI.” You are not experts and neither am I.

  13. John says:

    The 911 operator specifically asked Zimmerman for Trayvon’s race. He didn’t volunteer that information. It was edited to make Zimmerman look racist. NBC even had to issue an apology.  

    • Guest says:

      yes, NBC’s mistake afterwards totally muddied the water and made this look just like a common citizen taking the law into his own hands after being asked, by the actual police, to not.

      You’re just not very menacing, even when you kill us. Even then you’re still more afraid.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       Obvious troll is obvious.

  14. Guest says:

    If you think the trolls in here are good, get a load of his lawyer:

    “Truly, it must be frightening to not be able to not be able to go into a 7/11 or into a store and literally to be in fact a prisoner wherever he was.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/04/11/463067/zimmerman-attorney-defends-troubled-client-it-must-be-frightening-not-to-be-able-to-go-into-a-711/

  15. BobTheBus says:

    I will be interesting to see if this will be used a political fodder in the fall.

  16. chgoliz says:

    Zimmerman’s family wasn’t there. Zimmerman’s home wasn’t there. Zimmerman’s possessions weren’t there.

    Just Zimmerman and his gun, looking for trouble.

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