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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:14 AM

 

Sanford's City Manager posts open letter on municipal website:

Source: Sanford Fla. Website

There has been a lot of media attention to the recent incident where George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. This is indeed a tragic situation and has caused a flood of questions and strong emotions from within our community, the region and nation. On behalf of the employees of the City of Sanford, Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends of Trayvon Martin. As a father, I can only image the pain Trayvonís family must be going though. In an effort to continue to be as responsive as possible to the public seeking information on the incident, I have asked Chief Lee to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this matter. Below are his responses..

Read more: http://www.sanfordfl.gov/frames/home_frames.html



NOTE: This site is quite informative. Included here is the full letter from the City manager; all of the 911 calls; Police reports, updates and past burglary reports within the gated community.
There is plenty to read and to speculate about here.

OH, by the way, the City Manager, Norton Bonaparte, is Black! He has the power to fire the police chief, Bill Lee! However, Bonaparte has reacted with caution to calls for the chief's ouster. He wants to wait until the investigation is complete.

52 replies, 7469 views

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Reply Sanford's City Manager posts open letter on municipal website: (Original post)
MD20 Mar 2012 OP
Hissyspit Mar 2012 #1
MD20 Mar 2012 #2
Thegonagle Mar 2012 #3
Scuba Mar 2012 #4
DrDan Mar 2012 #5
mrocque Mar 2012 #6
Art_from_Ark Mar 2012 #8
wysimdnwyg Mar 2012 #10
CAPHAVOC Mar 2012 #12
yardwork Mar 2012 #16
CAPHAVOC Mar 2012 #21
Art_from_Ark Mar 2012 #27
CAPHAVOC Mar 2012 #31
Atypical Liberal Mar 2012 #29
greiner3 Mar 2012 #40
Atypical Liberal Mar 2012 #52
maddezmom Mar 2012 #7
TahitiNut Mar 2012 #9
Alcibiades Mar 2012 #13
yardwork Mar 2012 #17
A Brand New World Mar 2012 #11
freshwest Mar 2012 #14
slackmaster Mar 2012 #15
yardwork Mar 2012 #18
slackmaster Mar 2012 #19
yardwork Mar 2012 #20
PavePusher Mar 2012 #24
amuse bouche Mar 2012 #22
Atypical Liberal Mar 2012 #30
jpak Mar 2012 #23
PavePusher Mar 2012 #25
amuse bouche Mar 2012 #32
PavePusher Mar 2012 #33
amuse bouche Mar 2012 #34
PavePusher Mar 2012 #37
amuse bouche Mar 2012 #45
PavePusher Mar 2012 #46
amuse bouche Mar 2012 #47
PavePusher Mar 2012 #49
amuse bouche Mar 2012 #50
PavePusher Mar 2012 #51
arely staircase Mar 2012 #26
Kablooie Mar 2012 #28
MD20 Mar 2012 #35
X_Digger Mar 2012 #36
Kablooie Mar 2012 #38
X_Digger Mar 2012 #39
MD20 Mar 2012 #41
X_Digger Mar 2012 #43
Blue_Tires Mar 2012 #42
X_Digger Mar 2012 #44
newspeak Mar 2012 #48

Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:20 AM

1. The city manager can be fired, too, I assume.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:18 AM

2. Yes the CM can be fired too; and, he mightl be unless he acts now!

 

Last edited Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:12 PM - Edit history (1)

This CM has only been on the job for several months. He is still trying to get a feel for the office.
Having served in the same capacity in Topeka KS, though, Bonaparte has the credentials and the experience to make make a sound decision. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.

At first I was appalled that he might be tied up in what many of us have perceived as foot dragging and circumventing justice for Trayvon Martin. I was even more skeptical after reading his letter. But delving further into the reports of a series of burglaries that had plagued the Twin Lakes gated community in the preceding months before the shooting, I could start to see why Bonaparte has responded the way he did. Kansas doesn't have a "stand your ground" law. So, being new to Florida and unacquainted with such a controversial law, he relied on advisors such as the State Attorney and Bill Lee himself to educate him. He cites, through Lee, the pertinent statutes in his letter and also notes that he ( Bonaparte) was the instigator in summoning the US government for an independent investigation.

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Response to MD20 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:26 AM

3. Sounds like a level-headed and objective, yet cautious manager, who also understands

when he and city staff (including the chief of police) are in over their heads.

So he called in the big guns (DoJ and FBI).

That's just what's needed from a person in his position.

Thank God not everybody is crazy in Florida.

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Response to Thegonagle (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:17 AM

4. +1

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Response to Thegonagle (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:28 AM

5. agree - sounds like a rational manager

Make sure allegations are supported by the investigations.

As to your comment about "everybody" being crazy in Florida - have you seen the demonstrations? Seems to me most are of sound mind and recognize the travesty of this situation.


Florida Resident.

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Response to Thegonagle (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:58 AM

6. Of course we are crazy.......Crazy about protecting our children!!

Travyon Martin was also a Floridian from the Miami area, visiting his Aunt in Sanford, FL. It hurts my heart what has happened to this young man. We as parents are to protect our children but how do you protect a 17 year old young man from the Neighborhood Watch. Travyon Martin did not know this man was the Neighborhood Watch Leader, he did not know who he was, all he knew was there was a big man following him. George Zimmerman wants to cry Self Defense.........what about Travyon Martin's right to self defense? Travyon Martin had just as much right to defend himself against George Zimmerman, you can see from the pics of Zimmerman, he did fight back and justly. George Zimmerman is the one that created the situation, George Zimmerman can not cry self defense when the person whom is hitting him is defending themselves. Us Crazy Floridians were upset the moment we heard of this situation, that is why we took to Twitter, Facebook and every other Social Media site available to get the Word out about this young man. I would not think twice about allowing my 17 year old son to leave our home and go up to the store to get something until now. I have been making calls and sending emails every day since then to County Commissioners, Sanford Police and many others, to voice my feelings. This is my backyard and it is our job as citizens of this Country to make a stand when we see things happening we know is wrong. So, Crazy......okay, I will accept that if it means I am part of the solution!!! Have a Great Day!!!

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Response to Thegonagle (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:14 AM

8. It was bullshit and ass-covering

This is why it is bullshit:

"When the Sanford Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, Mr. Zimmerman
provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense which at the time was supported by
physical evidence and testimony
. "

There was absolutely NO evidence that the kid presented any kind of threat whatsoever. Moreover, the cops didn't send in a homicide detective, and they didn't even try to identify the deceased-- they kept him in a morgue for 3 days as "John Doe" even though they could have easily identified him through his cell phone. They just didn't care about the poor kid.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:21 AM

10. Keep in mind

That statement is from the police Chief, not the city manager. The CM appears to be acting very deliberately - something certain individuals in the Obama administration might want to take note of, given what happened with Shirley Sherrod. While an arrest is likely in order for Zimmerman, that's not the CM's job, and he's not jumping to any conclusions.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:45 AM

12. There

 

is unreleased evidence in the case. You do not yet have all the evidence. The investigation is ongoing. I suggest waiting until all the evidence is presented in a Grand Jury. Holder and the FBI are on the case. The City Manager is a Black Man. Let him do his job. He is not a Racist. He probably has to deal with the Police Union. Trial by media is just as bad as Zimmerman being the judge and jury. In my opinion. The media is trying to pour gasoline on the fire. If the investigation was botched as it appears, or it was racially slanted, it will come out. I only hope this does not lead to violent actions by the protestors who are being stoked to anger. If the FBI and Eric Holder are investigating. The State is calling a Grand Jury. The FDLE is investigating the investigation. What is the protest about? A citizen can not be arrested without and indictment. Once the facts are in an indictment will come and he will be arrested. Police misconduct will be exposed and dealt with. I would bet the local D.A. is trying his best to get a warrant of any kind at this point. I am curious as to why he can not.

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Response to CAPHAVOC (Reply #12)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:24 AM

16. "Trial by media" is the only reason that the investigation is ongoing. The police were closing it.

If not for this so-called "trial by media" there would be no grand jury and no ongoing investigation. The police chief and DA said that they saw no reason to investigate further. They were going to close the case.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:25 PM

21. Are you sure

 

The case was not ongoing?

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Response to CAPHAVOC (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 03:53 AM

27. The killer was caught in the act of standing over his victim with a gun,

in someone else's yard, after being told not to pursue the victim, and the victim had absolutely nothing on him that could be in any way construed as threatening. You tell me how many people could get away with that kind of shit without being booked for homicide.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #27)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 12:50 PM

31. That

 

Can not true from the existing evidence. If it was, a warrant would have been issued by now. There is no chance that if an indictment could be had in this case it would not have already come. Do you really think that with all this uproar they would balk at an arrest? I bet they are doing everything they can to find a way to arrest Zimmerman. Even for Jaywalking. I am just curious as to why no warrant is out. Now they even have Prosecutors from other areas trying to make a case. And a Grand Jury and the FBI. Something is fishy about all this. The only people I trust less than the Police in these cases is the media. But usually the Police are lying in order to prosecute an innocent. Not to let someone walk. Even President Obama is involved. I look forward to finding out what is really going on. Maybe they are just getting an airtight case put together.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:50 AM

29. There is police testimony.

 

There was absolutely NO evidence that the kid presented any kind of threat whatsoever.

There is police testimony, which admittedly was amended to the police report, that Zimmerman had a bloody nose, a bleeding wound on the back of his head, and that his back was wet and covered with grass.

It is possible that Martin was handing Zimmerman his ass.

Note that this does not excuse Zimmerman. Zimmerman went looking for a fight, so he can't use self-defense as an excuse when he finds one.

I'm just saying that there is police testimony of evidence of Zimmerman being injured in a physical altercation with Martin.

But Zimmerman precipitated the entire confrontation.

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Response to Atypical Liberal (Reply #29)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:51 PM

40. "It is possible that Martin was handing Zimmerman his ass. "

The kid was half the mass of Zimmerman. You could have stated, "after Zimmerman shot the kid he panicked and tried to show there was probable cause to justify the shooting incident; Zimmerman cut himself and rolled in t he grass to try and show there was some sort of altercation to back up his story."

You are setting up the kid as the straw man and going from there. You fail.

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Response to greiner3 (Reply #40)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 09:54 AM

52. As a martial artist.

 

The kid was half the mass of Zimmerman.

He was also 17-years-old and a football player. From Zimmerman's 2005 mug shot, he seems somewhat of a fatbody.

As a martial artist, let me tell you, an in-shape 17-year-old can easily beat up an out-of-shape 28-year-old, even if the 28-year-old is overweight.

You could have stated, "after Zimmerman shot the kid he panicked and tried to show there was probable cause to justify the shooting incident; Zimmerman cut himself and rolled in t he grass to try and show there was some sort of altercation to back up his story."

Did he bloody his own nose, too?

It's possible, I suppose.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:14 AM

7. Police chief gets no-confidence vote in Trayvon Martin case

¨snip¨
Lee, 52, was hired as chief in May in the wake of criticism surrounding the beating of a homeless black man. The son of a Sanford police lieutenant eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case but was not arrested for seven weeks.

Lee was not at Wednesdayís meeting.

Commissioners canít fire Lee, a Sanford native, because he reports to City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. But their vote Wednesday sends a strong signal.

"Iíll take that under advisement," said Bonaparte, who became city manager in September.

more: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/south/view.bg?articleid=1061119176&srvc=rss

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:20 AM

9. The woman in Call #7 is a total basket case.

She obviously regards 911 as the "prayer line" ... and, sadly, doesn't seem to have any kind of support system. I doubt Trayvon's mother "needed" as much 'support' as this woman.



http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/911/call7.wav

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:58 AM

13. You should also look at Zimmerman's 911 calls

He would call the police for every little thing. What a nutjob.

http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/911CallHistory.pdf

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:24 AM

17. What an awful thing to say. As a mother, I would be a "basket case" too if I'd witnessed that.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:36 AM

11. I saw an extended interview with Mr. Bonaparte last night on

Lawrence O'Donnell's show. He seems to be a calm, deliberate type person. Hopefully he will look at all of the facts & come to a reasonable decision. Which in my opinion, should be firing all the officers associated with this case who seem to have acted in a grossly unprofessional manner, up to and including the chief.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:03 AM

14. Thanks. Will read this.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:22 AM

15. The letter is coherent and informative. It provides potentially credible explanations for a lot.

 

Thanks for posting it.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:26 AM

18. Note that the city manager says that the "stand your ground" law prohibited them from arrest.

From the link, the city manager states:

By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from
making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time
.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:27 AM

19. That's his interpretation of the law

 

I am not qualified to say one way or another whether he's right.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:32 AM

20. My point is that the city manager and the police chief have both cited that law as the reason.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:07 PM

24. " based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time."

 

This does not preclude a more thurough investigation. The failure to follow up on the matter was entirely the fault of the local police and politicians and had nothing to do with the laws.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:39 PM

22. I have yet to hear

how Zimmerman felt threatened Mr City Manager.

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Response to amuse bouche (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:54 AM

30. Police testimony says he was Zimmerman was injured.

 

I have yet to hear how Zimmerman felt threatened Mr City Manager.

Amended police testimony on the police report indicates that Zimmerman had a bloody nose and a bleeding wound on the back of his head, as well as having a wet, grass-covered back.

Note that I don't think this excuses Zimmerman, as he went looking for the fight that he got himself into.

But seems at least possible (assuming the police are not lying) that Zimmerman was in a physical fight with Martin prior to Zimmerman shooting Martin. This is corroborated by Martin's girlfriend's account of what she heard on the phone before it went dead (sounds of a scuffle).

Again, it seems pretty clear to me that Zimmerman went looking for a fight and thus precipitated the entire confrontation.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:50 PM

23. Thank you Jeb Bush and your fucked up "stand your ground" law

A criminal skates on "a technicality"

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Response to jpak (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:11 PM

25. No, a criminal skates due to inept/corrupt police. n/t

 

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #25)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 12:51 PM

32. That law is awful

and ripe for abuse.

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Response to amuse bouche (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:03 PM

33. Only if police don't do their jobs properly.

 

Just like any other law.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #33)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:14 PM

34. Nope

If there are no witnesses, you are in the clear.

It's your word against a corpse's word

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Response to amuse bouche (Reply #34)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 06:49 PM

37. That's actually not true.

 

Please read and cite the actual language of the law that supports what you claim.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #37)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 12:09 AM

45. It is true

As Turley said tonight on Countdown==="The key component of the law is that it allows lethal force when a person reasonably perceives a serious threat of harm and such force is reasonable under the circumstances.

The concern of these laws is that the use of reasonable force is already protected under the common law. The laws are read to offer broader protection than the common law, which already has ample protection for reasonable force. The law specifically negated the requirement of retreat under state law. The law states in pertinent part:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

So the police took Zimmerman's word. There were no other witnesses, except a corpse and he's not talking.This is a terrible law, ripe for abuse and executions

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Response to amuse bouche (Reply #45)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 01:13 AM

46. There is plenty of evidence coming to light of both Zimmermans actions...

 

(which do not meet the conditions of the law) and police corruption/incompetence. The inability of police to do their job properly, due to their own malfeasance, does not make for a bad law.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #46)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 01:18 PM

47. There is no defense of this law

Even a police officer is held to account for every single bullet he or she discharges, so why should a private citizen be given more rights when it came to using deadly force?


Giving citizens unfettered power with no accountability is insanity and that's what this is. Open your eyes. I know it's difficult for those having a love affair with guns, but give it a go

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Response to amuse bouche (Reply #47)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 01:56 PM

49. Please open YOUR eyes.

 

You are demonstrating that you do not know the limits of the law.

And the only "love affair" i'm involved in happens to be with an actual human being. So please stuff your invented ad hominem back into the sphincter you pulled it from.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #49)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 02:24 PM

50. "So please stuff your invented ad hominem back into the sphincter you pulled it from.

And you fit the typical stereotype of an ignorant loose cannon gun owner

Seek help

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Response to amuse bouche (Reply #50)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 05:35 PM

51. More invented ad hominem.

 

May I see your Licence and credentials for remote internet psychoanalysis, please?

"stereotype" was the only truth in your post.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:44 PM

26. he's going to be writing more than a letter

i'm thinking a check w/a bunch of zeros on it after all is said and done.

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Response to MD20 (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 04:30 AM

28. Says Florida law PROHIBITS arrest. They couldnt arrest him.

So Florida has a law that is designed to make it easy to kill people you don't like.
If you murder someone, claim you felt threatened and there is no immediate obvious evidence to the contrary the police are prohibited by law from making an arrest.

So this is a taste of the world conservatives want.
People free to carry guns and kill anyone they don't like with no consequences.

Geez. And they consider themselves the law and order party.
Just one more astounding demonstration of mind boggling hypocrisy.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #28)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:49 PM

35. I believe there are 15 other states that have similar laws.

 

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #28)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:03 PM

36. Actually, the cops are *always* prohibited from arresting you without probable cause.

Last edited Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:26 PM - Edit history (2)

That's due to the fourth amendment (and fourteenth).

Here's the section of law in question..

http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/776.032.html
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.


The only thing new in that section is the civil action immunity.

The rest is generally accepted protections we all enjoy, regardless of 'SYG'.

But in this case, Zimmerman doesn't get the protection of the defense set out in this law, since he is the aggressor.

The racist PD is conveniently overlooking this. Thank goodness the DoJ is looking into this. The department has a long history of looking the other way when the victim isn't white.

eta: fixed my flub on 4th v 5th and added link. Thanks MD20

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:31 PM

38. It's hard to believe that standing over a dead body with a smoking gun is not probable cause.

And no weapons are found on the dead person.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #38)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:34 PM

39. Especially with the 911 tape showing him chasing Martin. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:08 PM

41. Your excerpt is NOT from the US Constitution.

 

Although you cite with certainty and conviction, annexing the wording in your excerpt to the US Constitution is somewhat problematic. I don't think you meant to make the addition but I feel duty bound to point it out

Further, "probable cause protection" emanates from the 4th Amendment of the USC, not the 5th or the 14th Amendments

Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Your excerpt comes from Florida Statutes- XLVI Crimes Section. But the reference cited is only a general precursor to the specifics of the law. Here is the link for an in depth analysis of the use of deadly force as it applies to Floridians and anyone visiting Florida!

http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/776.013.htm

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Response to MD20 (Reply #41)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:19 PM

43. Yes, I meant fourth, not fifth (was talking 5th in another thread).

Probable cause is the standard required to arrest, indict, search, or prosecute a person.

The 'law in question' I referenced was the FL statute. Sorry for not including a link. - http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/776.032.html

Absent SYG, probable cause would still be required to arrest Zimmerman.

The only substantive addition is the 'civil' immunity.

eta: and the law on 'aggressor'- http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/776.041.html

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:19 PM

42. In certain communities you'd be surprised at how much the cops can stretch "probable cause"

when they want to...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #42)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 10:20 PM

44. It wouldn't surprise me, but I still wouldn't endorse it, even when the result is one I like. n/t

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #28)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 01:30 PM

48. yeah, but with this law, I can just see it

someone's in an argument or wants to do harm to another person. They get on the cell phone and call 9/11, in front of their victim. "my god, he's coming towards me"- "oh, I think he's got a weapon"-while the victim is standing going "huh"? As much investigating this police department did, all the perp has to do is wiggle on the ground for the dirt effect, and for that special something make it look like there was a scuffle. I mean if the police aren't going to confiscate the murder weapon, or do any kind of forensic investigation.

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