Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:53 PM
morningfog (18,115 posts)
What if Trayvon Martin Was the One Acting in Self-Defense?
With outrage over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin flaring into protest marches, the city manager of beleaguered Sanford, Fla., where the police have failed to arrest Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, released a crazy-making statement Wednesday night. The Sanford city manager claimed, “By Florida statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.” (His caps.)
That is ridiculous. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is bad enough, but it’s not that bad. The law widens the circumstances in which people who fear for their life can shoot to kill rather than retreating. But as the Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen points out with italics, Stand Your Ground is a shield against prosecution only when the person who uses deadly force "reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." If the cops doubted that Zimmerman was reasonable in believing that Martin was threatening him with death or great harm—or if they doubted his story altogether—then of course they could have arrested him. UPDATE: The police chief in charge stepped-down Thursday after defending how the case has been handled so far.
The only evidence the police have that Zimmerman acted in self-defense is that he said he lost sight of Martin—after following him despite the 911 dispatcher’s instruction not to—and was going back to his truck when Martin attacked him. That’s it. The only evidence supporting Zimmerman is Zimmerman’s claim about what happened.
But there are at least four reasons to doubt what Zimmerman has to say. First, there is the tape of his own 911 call, on which he is agitated by Martin merely because the 17-year-old was walking through the gated community where Zimmerman lives, and then grumbles, "These assholes. They always get away." Second, this wasn’t Zimmerman’s first phone call like this. He has placed other 911 calls, 46 over 10 years, in which he reported black people for hanging out and children for playing in the street. Third, and most important, is the account of Martin’s girlfriend, who says he was talking to her on his cellphone in the moments before he died. She says Martin told her, "I think this dude is following me," thought he’d lost Zimmerman, and then said, "He is right behind me again. I'm not going to run, I'm going to walk fast." The girlfriend claims she next heard another voice say, “What are you doing around here?” to which Martin answered, “Why are you following me?" She then heard Martin get pushed and sounds as if his phone was hitting the ground.
8 replies, 1751 views
What if Trayvon Martin Was the One Acting in Self-Defense? (Original post)
|Frank in Spokane||Mar 2012||#3|
|Frank in Spokane||Mar 2012||#4|
Response to morningfog (Original post)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:57 PM
Cali_Democrat (30,439 posts)
1. Trayvon had good reason to be afraid of this totally racist stranger
He was stalked, chased, accosted, assaulted and shot dead. If anyone had reason for self defense and standing their own ground, it was Trayvon.
The cops just pretty much assumed that it's impossible for a black kid to be afraid of a white man.
Response to doc03 (Reply #2)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:28 PM
DocMac (1,628 posts)
6. That is the way I see it.
We tell our children to be wary of strangers. I mean, this guy was watching and following him in an unmarked car.
Zimmerman could have been some predator. This young man had reason to be afraid, and his phone call with his girlfriend shows that he was afraid and din't know why this guy was stalking him.
Response to morningfog (Original post)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:14 PM
Frank in Spokane (2 posts)
4. And BTW ...
1. This has nothing to do with race. (Martin's own parents have said so.) But I understand entirely why the “aggrieved race” thinks it does.
2. This has nothing to do with FL’s Stand Your Ground law. Rev. Sharpton has said so, and even the law’s author has said Zimmerman isn’t protected by the SYG law. That’s because he pursued somebody whom he had no reason to think had committed a felony. (And he pursued him even after 9-1-1 told him not to do so.)
Response to Frank in Spokane (Reply #4)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:47 PM
unapatriciated (5,390 posts)
7. I disagree, Zimmerman himself made it about race.
Listen to his calls to 911.
His statement about these assholes always getting away with it, in and by itself might not indicate race but add his little gem of f..ing co.. muttered under his breath says it all.