Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed
A near lynch mob has formed calling for George Zimmerman to be arrested and convicted of murdering Trayvon Martin.
I am going to discuss it using only facts which no one can deny—not only the issue of whether Zimmerman broke the law and should be convicted and punished but also whether Zimmerman and Martin behaved wisely as opposed to legally.
The media and black activist narrative in many quarters is that a white vigilante stalked a black teenager and shot him dead because solely he was black. Zimmerman is often accused of the “crime of racial profling.”
Racial profiling by a civilian is not a crime. It is only a crime when done under color of law by law-enforcement personnel.
I do not oppose racial profiling. I think all variables should be put into a neural network computer and it should draw conclusions about which variables are predictive. I expect it would find that a young black male stranger wearing a hood over his head after dark was a statistically valid reason for suspicion. That’s not to indicate guilt or probable cause or justify rudeness, just wondering about why the person is there.
Using the computer would eliminate the possibility of racial bias. Definitions of probable cause for searches and arrests must come from law, not computers. Fundamentally, racial profiling in some cases, like airplane hijacking screening and different race persons in a neighborhood where a high percentage of solved crimes are committed by non-resident other-race persons is common sense. Neural network identification of predictive variables, without regard to whether the variable in question is politically correct, would probably confirm that common-sense racial profiling is valid.
One of the race hustlers with no standing who has inserted himself ino the Martin case said Martin was "WWB in a GC:" walking while black in a gated community. I do not know if it is gated. He was going to 7/11 while visiting his father. There are no 7/11s inside gated communities and I do not know if his father lives in the same community as Zimmerman. If it is a gated community and Martin’s father does not live in it, Martin was trespassing, "TPWW in a GC" (trespassing while whatever in a gated community) itself a legitimate reason to call the cops.
Also, the implication is that all gated communities including this one are white. The community that elected Zimmerman Neighborhood Watch captain (liberal media call him “self-appointed”) is about 50% white and the other 50% Latino and black. Zimmerman himself is 50% Latino.
• George Zimmerman is no more white than Barack Obama. Indeed, Zimmerman and Obama are both precisely 50.000% white. Each is also 50.000% “disadvantaged minority:” Kenyan in Obama’s case; Peruvian in Zimmerman’s. Zimmerman has one Peruvian parent and one white parent. The New York Times called Zimmerman a “white Hispanic.” Then they will be henceforth calling Obama a “white Kenyan,” right?
• Zimmerman reportedly called 911 46 times in recent months. The implication is that he is kooky with a bias in favor of violence or racism. Only nine of the calls related to suspicious persons. The others related to physical facts like break-ins after the fact, open windows, disturbances, and the like. He was licensed to carry a gun.
That is utterly irrelevant, or it is evidence that Zimmerman is NOT a vigilante. Vigilantes, by definition, do not call 911. Statements made by the New Black Panther Party regarding Zimmerman would be examples of vigilantism.
He is a captain of his Neighborhood Watch group. I am not familiar with the details of such groups, but I surmise they are encouraged and organized by police departments, as not a force multiplier, but as an eyes multiplier, thus the name “Watch.” I would expect a Neighborhood Watch Captain would call 911 more than others. Watch Groups are generally formed in response to above-average rates of crime in response to citizen complaints. Here is a link to their standard signpost. It says in part,
OUR NEIGHBORS…HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVTY OR PERSONS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
The implication is that 46 times was too many. We do not know. It may have been too few. Police and medical authorities will tell you that excess 911 calls are a problem, but so are too few calls in some situations. In general, the public policy is that it is better to call when not necessary than to not call when necessary. If you see something, say something. It is better for the experienced, trained dispatcher to make the judgment call on how to respond, if at all, than to have citizens deciding suspicious activtiy or persons were not suspicious enough to warrant the call.
Zimmerman did not call 911 regarding Martin. He called the Sanford Police station non-emergency number.
• Much has been made of the Florida Stand-Your-Ground law that says persons put in fear of their lives are not required to retreat. It may not be pertinent to this case because Zimmerman says he was trying to retreat when Martin attacked him and the only eyewitness corroborates that Zimmerman was on the ground being beaten by Martin. When one is lying on the ground on his back being beaten, he has no ability to retreat so whether he was legally allowed to not retreat before using lethal force does not matter.
• Trayvon Martin is 17, reportedly was wearing a hoodie and one photo of him indicated he was a football player. Zimmerman is 28, 5'9", 250 lbs. Martin is 6'3" 140 lbs. A 17-year-old football player can kill or severely injure many adult men without a weapon.
1. Most of the photographs in the media of Martin are from when he was significantly younger than 17. Initially, the only photo of Zimmerman used by the media was his mug shot.
2. Most do not show him wearing a hoodie, a hooded sweat shirt which, when the hood is up, makes it hard to see the wearer and tell his age, size, and demeanor. Hoodie’s are often worn by robbers to conceal their identities from victims and security cameras.
It is not against the law, let alone a shoot-on-sight offense, to wear a hoodie at night. Wearing a hoodie at night is not an excuse to murder the wearer, but neither is it a very smart idea. Geraldo Rivera—half Puerto Rican and half Jewish—said on TV that he prohibits his kids from wearing hoodies at night in urban and suburban neighborhoods—or words to that effect. Why? He simply does not want them mistaken for hoods and shot by police or citizens.
I wear hoodies, when it is chilly and I am going to the gym or going to be outdoors for an extended period like when I am coaching a football game late in the season. Most of mine say UCSB or University of Arizona—colleges two of my sons went to. The menacing hoodie—apparently the kind Martin was wearing—is gray or darker color without any letters. I do have a plain gray athletic pullover hoodie like the one in Heaven Can Wait. I very rarely put the hood up on any of them. I cannot imagine going into a 7/11 at night wearing a hoodie with the hood up. I was once in a 7/11 at night when a motorcycle rider came in still wearing his helmet which had a darkened face windshield. It was chilling. I seriously considered tackling him and decided instead to immediately leave.
When I wrote this on 3/26/12, the weather in Sanford, FL, the location of the Martin shooting was high of 83º and low of 63º. That is not put-the-hood-up weather for me unless it is windy or raining. It was raining on the night in question in Sanford.
Putting your hood up when not required by the weather is an in-your-face, menacing, gang or robber affectation. Is that against the law? Nope. But not very advisable either, at night.
Supposedly, there is a tombstone somewhere in America that says,
He was right, dead right
As he sped along.
But he’s just as dead
As if he were wrong.
The issue is that doing what you are legally entitled to is not always wise. You are legally entitled to wander around Central Park at night with $100 bills visibly sticking out of your pockets.
I once commented to one of my sons that if I were black I would be reluctant to wear the most casual clothes in public—jeans, t-shirt—and I would wear a level nicer clothes than I wear as a white guy—like polo shirt and khakis—and that I would require my teenage sons to do the same in urban and suburban areas—like Rivera. My son said that was racist. Later, I heard an actual black father say that he did exactly what I said I would do. I can imagine an episode of The Cosby Show where Cliff Huxtable sees Theo heading out the door at night wearing a hoodie and says, “I there any chance you are going to audition for a part as a street gang member? No, well then how about wearing the L.L.Bean rain jacket you just got so you don’t get mistaken for a convenience store robber and shot.” [Cosby’s actual son, Ennis, the model for the Theo character, was fatally shot by a Ukrainian immigrant while changing a tire at night.The motive appeared to be robbery. Before he shot Cosby, he tried to rob Stephanie Crane, who was a friend of Cosby and shining her headlights so Cosby could see. I do not know the skin color of Crane.but, after-the-fact the killer bragged to a co-worker that he was the one who had killed the black man on the news.]
Is it fair to make black teenagers or young adults dress nicer out in public than whites? No. But how many fights do you want to get into per day? How many bullets do you want to get hit by because your skin-color-and-clothes combination increased the probability that the shooter would figure you were dangerous?
Is the prudence for blacks and maybe Latinos of wearing nicer clothes caused entirely by white racism? No. It also stems partly from above-average crime rates in black and Latino neighborhoods. “Disadvantaged minority” criminals are partly responsible for the elevated expectation than a black or Latino young man is a criminal. A number of blacks, most notably Jesse Jackson, have commented that they are more fearful if they encounter “disadvantaged minorities” on the street at night than if they encounter young white males in the same situation. That is not the fault of white racism.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of being legally entitled to do that which gets you hurt or killed. Discretion is better part of valor.
3. While the photos of Zimmerman and Martin shown in the media depict the alleged confrontation between the two as an armed, heavy-set grown man against an unarmed 12ish-year old child. At night, Zimmerman could not be expected to tell whether Martin was armed unless Martin was wearing nothing but a Speedo.
Does that mean he can assume Martin is armed? It would probably be prudent to assume the guy was armed. Had it been a policeman instead of Zimmerman, they probably would have assumed he was armed and probably have been trained to make that assumption. Had Martin been armed, that would not entitle to Zimmerman to shoot Martin. But courts are supposed to consider all the pertinent facts when deciding whether a shooter had legal cause to shoot. Speedo versus hoodie, what the person is doing, what he is saying, whether you can see both of his hands, whether he has an object in either or both hands, whether the object is a weapon, etc.
Much has been made of the innocence of Martin only having a pack of Skittles and an iced tea. That’s Monday morning quarterbacking. Zimmerman had no such knowledge at the time of the shooting. He told the 911 dispatcher that Martin had “something in his hand”—an accurate and measured report. He apparently did not assume it was a weapon as evidenced by the fact that he did not draw his gun until after he was being beaten.
Zimmerman claims, and an eyewitness supports, that Zimmerman was yelling for help and being beaten against the sidewalk. Lots of people have been shot for having innocent things in their hands like Skittles and a can of iced tea. Martin apparently was not shot because of any mistaken impression over what was in his hands but rather because he was using his empty hands to bang Zimmerman’s face and head against the sidewalk.
I have seen no reports that Martin suffered any injury other than a single gunshot to the chest.
Two ear, not eye witnesses, claim Martin was the one calling for help, not Zimmerman. How they could tell better than the eyewitness is not clear. I wonder if they are not tailoring their accounts to the popular side to avoid the sort of popular ill will directed at the 911-calling witness to the Henry Louis Gates-Boston Police incident.
I’ll tell you who else should have assumed the other guy was armed: Martin. A friend of Zimmerman who talked to Zimmerman said Zimmerman was walking away from Martin when Martin pursued him, spoke to Zimmerman in a menacing and threatening manner, and began assaulting Zimmerman. I do not know if that is true, but if it was, it indicates that the unarmed Martin assumed Zimmerman was also unarmed. Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.
The fact that Martin reportedly was not running full speed away from Zimmerman by anyone’s testimony indicates that Martin did not know Zimmerman had a gun. That, in turn, probably indicates Zimmerman was not brandishing his gun or wearing it in an open-carry manner.
My wife and I went through a detailed, intensive, four-day, pistol self-defense course at Front Sight, NV in 2010. I wrote a long article about it at www.johntreed.com/FrontSight.html. We had classroom sessions about how to confront a bad guy when forced to do so. We were instructed quite emphatically to yell at the guy and everyone else within sight or earshot, “Stop! I have a gun!” and to hold up our non-gun hand with the palm facing the opponent. I have heard no evidence that Zimmerman did that. He should have. He also might have fired a warning shot before aiming at Martin if he had the chance. Martin would probably have set a personal best 100-meter dash record, soiled his trousers, and still be alive if he did and Zimmerman’s life would be a lot simpler.
A reader says firing a warning shot is not recommended by the state of CA. I stand corrected. With an automatic, the warning shot might result in a jam. And I guess it could be misinterpretted by the perp as an escalation and/or by arriving cops. So never mind with the warning shot. If your life is in danger, fire a fatal shot to heart lung area or the eye box (Front Sight terminology).
On a couple of occasions, someone has confronted me and I basically went silent and just kept my eyes on him. Once, some drug-user-looking little guy who was a head shorter than I in a Reno casino suddenly picked a verbal fight with me and demanded that I go out into the parking lot with him. Since he knew nothing about me—for example my military training—or whether I was armed, I assumed his confidence that he was going to prevail in any fight was based on either a concealed deadly weapon or a group of allies who would be joining him. The loud confrontation quickly attracted security and the guy fled. I never found out the basis of his fight confidence.
Zimmerman took a 14-hour course on citizen law enforcement from the Seminole County Sheriff’s office.
• Zimmerman was following Martin. That makes some sense if you can do it without being seen by the suspect, but is generally unwise for a civilian. The 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman, “We don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman replied, “Okay.” The vigilante story line is he did not stop following Martin at that point. Actually, we do not know that yet. Maybe he did stop. There apparently is evidence that will be forthcoming, namely witness statements, police records of what was where after the fact, the location of Zimmerman’s SUV, locations of the witnesses, maybe gun-shot-locating microphones in the town if they had them, final resting place of the bullets if not in Martin’s body. There may be some relevant security camera footage.
• Is Zimmerman prejudiced against blacks? A black friend of his said no, but it sounded like he might have been on the 911 tapes. The reasons he gave why Martin was suspicious sounded quite lame and unpersuasive. But there is an excellent book called The Gift of Fear that says our sixth sense that makes us afraid should be listened to. It is not illegal to be racist or racially predjudiced. The combination of being racist and shooting a person who is the target of your racism probably makes your racism admissible in court, but it is not dispositive. In other words, it is possible for a racist Peruvian/Caucasian to shoot a black guy for good reason.
It is also possible that Martin was racist and haboring predjudice against whites and that his interaction with, and possibly assault against, Zimmerman was in part motivated by that racism. That would make Zimmerman the victim of a civil rights crime. Indeed, tha appears to be the case. The issue is whether Martin would have been just as likely to confront and assault Zimmerman if Zimmerman had been black.
• Front Sight made it crystal clear that you do not want to kill or injure anyone, even a criminal, where you are in the right. I did not think they convinced the students in general. but they convinced me and I already felt that way. I was in the Army for eight years and did a tour in Vietnam. Teenage boys who have never killed anyone seem to think it would be the greatest thrill and the highlight of their lives. Guys who have actually killed enemy soldiers generally do not want to talk about it and evidence a distinct change in mood if they are reminded. Ditto cops who have had to shoot someone.
Beyond the emotional toll, the Front Sight instructors—almost all former law-enforcement officers or former military—emphatically told us you do not want to kill anyone even legally because it will make a mess of your life. The Zimmerman case appears to be classic evidence of this. Front Sight said if you injure or kill a criminal, you will typically be sued in civil court by the guy you shot or his surviving family members. They will have rock solid evidence that you shot him and of the damages he has suffered. How much evidence you will have that you were in the right depends on the details.
Even if you win that civil suit, you will wish you did not have to go through it.
Then there is the possible criminal prosecution. Again, even if you win, you will spend months or years worried sick that you may go to jail and become a convicted felon.
And you may not win even if you were actually in the right. Truth does not decide court cases, admissible evidence does. You know the truth. But that does not mean you can find admissible evidence that proves it in court, or that the judge or jury will decide in your favor if you DO have the evidence.
Then there is the “justice” or revenge that the criminal’s family often concludes you need outside the legal system. Criminals often have criminal relatives and/or criminal friends. Criminals are typically already convicted felons so they are not concerned about that. The also have a law-of-the-jungle mentality and feel, as the New Black Panther was filmed saying, that the death of “one of theirs” entitles them to kill “one of yours.” Front Sight said shooters who escape criminal and civil liability often have to move and almost go into a witness-protection-program type life to avoid being assaulted by friends or relatives of the person who was rightfully shot.
So should you not have, or at least never use, a gun? No. Better sued than dead or maimed. But shooting a gun at someone is a last resort, really. My sense of many, if not most, of my fellow Front Sight students was they were sort of eager to turn the tables on the punk who was bothering them. They were going to show those bad guys.
A reader gives me another quote from a book on pistol self-defense:
Better to be tried by Twelve than carried by Six!
Once, at a house we used to live it, it sounded like there was a man moaning right outside our bedroom. We called the cops. They came and we saw them walking around the house with their guns drawn. My wife asked, “Are you going to go outside to talk to them?”
“HELL, NO!” I answered. “That is a damned good way to get shot! They know where we are. Let them ring the doorbell when they are done.”
I learned that in my military training especially at ranger school.
About two weeks later, a couple had a similar situation in the town of Richmond, CA, a rough neighborhood about 30 miles from us. When the cops were prowling around looking for the bad guy, the husband went out to talk to them. The cops shot him dead.
The cops never found anything at our house. My guess is it was some stupid animal. We were the last house on the street in what is called a semi-rural neighborhood. On that side of our house were horses in pastures not to mention various coyotes, owls, cattle, raccoons, hawks, possibly mountain lions, foxes, not to mention dogs and cats.
A lot of military guys—including a couple of my fellow West Point graduates Stonewall Jackson and Mickey Marcus—were killed by their own men wandering around in the dark near guys with loaded guns who were worried about dangerous men.
By calling the cops, then following Martin in the dark, Zimmerman foolishly put his own life at risk in that arriving cops might have mistaken him for the suspect. Inviting men with guns to a dark street, then putting yourself in that street in a way that you resemble your own description of the suspect, borders on suicidally stupid. The local cops reportedly knew Zimmerman, but we’re still talking about the dark. Many a person has been mistakenly killed by close relatives or friends in the dark.
• An eyewitness says Martin was on top of Zimmerman banging Zimmerman’s face and head into the sidewalk. That is consistent with the injuries police say Zimmerman had when they arrived: broken nose, bloody lacerations on the back of the head, and grass stains on the back of his sweater. It also seems to indicate that Zimmerman did not have his gun in his hand until after getting beaten and calling for help. According to Zimmeran, Martin commenced the assault when Zimmerman reached for his cell phone, not for his gun. Zimmerman’s injuries and the eyewitness testimony tend to corroborate that.
Much is being made by the liberal media and black race hustlers about a post killing video of Zimmerman that shows no injuries to him. This, they claim, proves that Martin did not assault Zimmerman.
What it proves is the liberal bedia and black race hustlers think we are really stupid. Zimmerman was reportedly tended to by an EMT at the scene before the police station video was taken. Plus the video is too far away and too poor quality for medical diagnosis.
This issue is akin to the “best evidence” rule of evidence.
In Omychund v Barker (1745) 1 Atk, 21, 49; 26 ER 15, 33, Lord Harwicke stated that no evidence was admissible unless it was "the best that the nature of the case will allow"
I don’t know if that rule applies to criminal cases like might be brought against Zimmerman, but the basic principle should be invoked by his defense lawyer and by the jury in considering the evidence. If you want to know if Zimmerman’s nose was broken, ask the EMT and Zimmerman’s doctor. Have his nose reexamined by medical experts. Ditto the lacerations. All of that should have been photographed and otherwise documented at the time.
The notion that Al Sharpton, a Brooklyn college dropout, can diagnose a broken nose from a video of the patient taken from a distance with poor lighting and after the patient has been given first aid by an EMT is a joke—yet it is being widely cited as evidence to keep the racial hatred of Zimmerman stirred up.
It may be that Zimmerman broke the law or that Trayvon broke the law or that both broke the law. Like everyone else, I hope justice is served. But it must be noted that the court has to let nine guilty guys go rather than convict one innocent guy. It must also be noted that the prosecution, if any, must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman is guilty. It is possible that Zimmerman may be guilty but that he will get off because the prosecution cannot find evidence that proves it beyond a reasonable doubt. Zimmerman will tell his side, which has not been well represented in the media accounts and certainly not in the black activist speeches. Martin, being deceased, will not get to tell his side. He made what the rules of evidence may call a “dying declaration”—telling his girlfriend on his cell phone that a guy was following him. Dying declarations are only admissible if the speaker thought he was dying imminently because of what he was speaking about. That might be a stretch here.
Dying declarations are exceptions to the hearsay ban. There will also be witness statements, apparently only one eye witness, and physical evidence. His girlfriend says she advised him to run, she heard Martin say “What are you following me for?” and another male voice ask, “What are you doing here?” followed by scuffle sounds and the phone connection ending.
I am not sure what to make of the girlfriend’s testimony. If she is willing to lie she have a powerful incentive to do so if necessary to be the girlfriend of the innocent victim rather than the girl who had a relationship with a guy dumb enough to assault an armed man for no good reason. Also, by her own account, she received a call that suggested that her boyfriend was in mortal dnger and when she tried to call him back after being cut off, there was no answer. Obviously, she should have immedately called the cops and Martin’s parents. I have seen no such report. Indeed, Martin’s identity was not discoverd for three days in spite of the girlfriend call and the fact that he was living with his father at the time!!!???
The two earwitnesses contradiction of the eyewitness testimony do not strike me as credible. For one thing, one or both said there were two shots. There was one. Their ability to tell which was screaming without being able to see them is also not credible. 28-year olds can sound a lot like 17-year-olds when they are having their head smashed into the sidewalk. Also, aggressors sometimes yell as part of their fighting style. A reader says two guys accosted him and demanded money. They were arrested and tried. The guy who was face-to-face with the reader was convicted. The guy who stood behind him and made the same threats was acgquitted. Why? Court said since the reader heard, but did not see, the guy behind him’s mouth move when he said it, it was not persuassive. No one else was around.
I find Zimmerman’s story a bit too perfectly aligned with the self-defense laws he studied in his cop-wannabe courses, but his trying to tidy up the facts does not necessarily mean he broke any law other than making a false statement to a police officer. As a practical matter, if he lies to make an adequate case better, he could end up in jail as a result of not being believed when he is telling the truth.
It appears undisputed that there was a face-to-face standing still verbal confrontation on the general subject of Martin being unhappy about being followed. Both versions say that. Both say that Martin initiated that hostile conversation. The girlfriend version also has Zimmerman demanding to know what Martin is doing there. Legally, that is none of his business, but it is not illegal for him to ask. Martin could have simply ignored him and should have.
There is no rule of nature that says all crimes produce enough evidence to convict the perpetrator. Sometimes the guilty get off and we know they were guilty, but the jury simply could not find beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence.
The black quasi-lynch mobs that have appeared on TV look like they are going to perpetrate a crime. They, and everyone else, needs to go home and let the justice system do its thing. They may not like the result, but they have no standing whatsoever in the matter. Legally, they are mere spectators to the post-killing events. It is none of their business and skin color does not change that.
Obama said if he had had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon.
You gotta be kidding me!
What in the hell does that have to do with anything? Is this “highest IQ president ever” a slow learner? How many beer summits and Congresswoman shootings does he need to screw up before he learns to keep his mouth shut until all the facts are in?
Did the guy ever study biology? There is no way to forecast the way a not-yet-born child will look. I have three sons and none look much like I would have picked out of a photo array before they were born. If Obama had a son, he might look like Michelle whom I think looks like Chucky.
But what does it have to do with the case? If there ever was a guy who needed to hear the words, “Everything is not about you” it is Barack Obama. This is the guy who went to Copenhagen to try to persuade the Olympic Committee to award the Olympics to Chicago. His pitch was to tell his life story, period. The Olympic committee almost instantly rejected Chicago. Drudge ran the headline,
The ego has landed.
Obama, the white Kenyan, is the boss of Attorney General Eric Holder, the guy who is in charge of the possible civil rights case. It is improper for the president to comment on the case in that manner. If he were a lawyer, he would know that. Oh, wait, he is a lawyer.
He commented to try to win even more black votes for the 2012 election. 98% instead of 96% I guess. Obama could not care less whether his comments might get the case against Zimmerman thrown out. Indeed, he probably would like that: it might get him 99% of the black vote. In light of the fact that Zimmerman is half Latino, Obama apparently has decided he no longer needs the Latino vote that helped him win in 2008.
In between lecturing us about civility, Obama once said as president, “If you bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun.” Lovely. Here, the whole problem appears to be that Trayvon Martin behave as if his rule was “If you bring a gun, I’ll bring my fists” and predictably lost the fight. Blacks and liberals including Obama seem outraged, fundamentally, about the fact that a black teenager lost a deadly fight with a “white” adult, not about actual felonious behavior by the “white” adult. The felonious behavior part they are having to make up with one lie after another.
Barack does think everything is about him.
Whether Zimmerman committed a crime is under investigation. However, there is no question another crime has been committed. The perps are bragging about it. Persons claiming to be officials of the New Black Panther Party have offered a $10,000 bounty for the capture of Zimmerman, who has gone into hiding. Capture would be false imprisonment I believe. Overt acts aimed at committing that crime would constitute conspiracy and maybe some other crimes. As far as I know, there is no warrant out for Zimmerman’s arrest. Such a warrant is issued by a judge after prosecutors show probable cause. So he cannot be legally “captured” by anyone, even the police.
Spike Lee published Zimmerman’s home address—the wrong home address. That may not be illegal, but I would be curious as to the purpose of doing that. I cannot think of a legitimate one. I suspect Zimmerman already has cause and evidence for a substantial civil suit against a list of black race hustlers and media outlets. Bill O’Reilly said his staff found that Lee did not commit a crime, but can be sued civilly by the family that was forced out of their home. Couldn’t happen to a nicer race hustler.
It now appears that a number of different organizations are intensely investigating whether Zimmerman committed a crime, but no one is investigating whether the New Black Panthers committed a crime. How about an investigation into whether the Attorney General Eric Holder, who has described himself as “the black attorney general,” and his boss Barack Obama, have a no-black-defendants policy, especially where whites are the victims? Examples include the New Black Panthers who were charged with intimidation in front of a Philadelphia polling place. They were found guilty as a result of not showing up in court. Holder dropped the charges!? Later, a white Justice Deparment lawyer resigned in protest because a black woman boss said they would not prosecute any crimes perpetrated by blacks against whites with regard to voting laws. Last I heard, she still had her job.
I have in past articles noted that the bullhorn blacks like Reverend Jeremiah Wright are so out of legitimate things to complain about that they have to resort to ancient grievances like slavery and Tuskegee, or imaginary ones like the CIA inventing AIDs to kill blacks. Add to that list leaping to racist conclusions with the slightest provocation like Tawana Brawley (Al Sharpton’s big career break), the Duke Lacross team, the Harvard Professor breaking into his own house, and now, maybe, George Zimmerman.
Shelby Steele said the civil rights struggle is over. We won. On 4/5/12, he had a super op-ed titled The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin in the Wall Street Journal. Highly recomended and it tracks this article of mine in a number of respects. Here is a quote from Steele’s op-ed
In fact Trayvon's sad fate clearly sent a quiver of perverse happiness all across America's civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well. His death was vindication of the "poetic truth" that these establishments live by. Poetic truth lies just a little; it bends the actual truth in order to highlight what it believes is a larger and more important truth.
But for Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and their ilk, it will never be over. Bitching about white racism toward blacks is what they do for a living. It is who they are. Because the blacks won, the Sharptons and Jacksons are so starved for injustices to complain about that they now have to manufacture them.
George Zimmerman should have, maybe, called the cops about Martin. Depends on what Martin was doing. I have heard no evidence he was doing anything wrong. Only that he looked suspicious, based on appearance and the way he was walking. Zimmerman should have stayed home and let the cops take care of it. His following Martin was of little value to anyone and dangerous to both.
I don’t know why Martin was dressed the way he was or why he was accosting, trash talking, and beating Zimmerman, if those allegations are true. He should have left his hoodie home, bought his Skittles and iced tea, and gone home immediately afterward. He did not live in that neighborhood. He was visiting his father during a 10-day suspension from high school. Instead of calling his girlfriend about Zimmerman following him, he should have called 911 and waited in the 7-11 until they arrived.
I think both Zimmerman and Martin watched too much TV where they were taught unwise ways to deal with suspicion across racial lines. Zimmerman seemed to want Martin to be a criminal so he could play cop. Martin seemed to want a confrontation so he could be the indignant asserter of his rights and prove his manhood. Over the years, I have read a number of similar stories where one side thought they would have fun running their mouths at and maybe slapping around some unarmed guy only to find that he was armed—like the group of blacks who decided to bully a white guy on the New York subway just for the fun of it. Turned out he was armed and shot them all. We recently saw the security camera footage of some young black guy deciding to pick a fight with a man in his sixties. Don’t remember the color of the old guy, but the old guy beat the crap out of the young guy.
You don’t know the mind set or armament of a stranger. Let the police handle it. Avoid confrontations with such people. It is not a manhood issue. It is a you-do-not-know-if-he’s-crazy-or-armed issue.
Paradoxically, what the blacks who are railing against Zimmerman are really outraged at is that racism has gone away for all practical purposes and too many of them became addicted to victimhood back before it went away. They are now raging over the lack of racism by trying to turn Zimmerman into a 1920s, Southern, white lynch mob. They are having withdrawal symptoms from their addiction.
Liberals who are railing against Zimmerman and the Sanford police are terminally nostalgic for the ’60s. The civil rights/anti-Vietnam War era was their greatest hit. Like the French never getting over Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat at Waterloo, and the Russian not getting over no longer being a super power, and Jimmy Carter never getting over losing reelection to Ronald Reagan, liberals miss the ’60s. They desperately want to recreate them whether it’s with the Occupy Wall Street movement, or Trayvon Martin’s death, or the Duke Lacrosse team, or Professor Gates being asked to prove that the house he broke into was his, they will grasp at any straw that gives even the slightest hope of bringing back the ’60s.
I have a message to the blacks who are outraged over Trayvon’s death and the liberals who are encoruaging them to be outraged over it, and I will phrase it using George Soros’ favorite advice during the Monica Lewinsky hearings: move on.
Florida and federal politicians will probably trump up some excuse to arrest and try Zimmerman—put the money on the back of a grand jury or trial jury. He will probably be acquitted and rightly so, and blacks will break store windows in some urban areas. That will self-inflict long-term harm on Martin’s “brothers” and “sisters.” At some point, the blacks raging against Zimmerman need to replace their race hustler “leaders” with grown-ups like Martin Luther King, Jr. The ’60’s flower children are incorrigible.The only solution to them is probably to just ignore them. In the not-too-distant future, they will fade away due to old age infirmity and death.
The non-liberal media is bending over too far backwards to not favor either side in the case. As a consequence, they are accpmlices to the liberal media and black race hustlers stoking the fires of racial hate against Zimmerman and “they.” Trayvon Martin’s mom complained bitterly that “they” killed her son and now “they” were trying to destroy his reputation.
Zimmerman acted alone. No one disputes that.
“They” apparenly are all us whites or at least the “white Hispanics” who are half Peruvian like Zimmerman.
I wasn’t there. So don’t include me in “they.” Martin’s mom and dad are entitled to be a little out of it during this, but that “they” killed him line, spoken about a month after the death, is a conscious alliance with the race hustlers.
Then there are the media guys on Fox News who keep saying they do “not want to try this in the media” and that “We don’t know what happened” so we have to wait for the trial. If that is true, Fox News should not have reported it at all. They do something similar to that in the U.K. I believe. Sort of a standard gag order practice in such matters.
But the fact is Fox News and others are reporting it because viewers would change channels if they were not. That being the case, get it right.
They should not be defending Zimmerman any more than the left should be prosecting him, but sinning by silence when they should protest might contribute to Zimmerman being murdered by vigilantes, or more race riots.
We DO know some things that the “we don’t know media” falsely denies that we know:
|Zimmerman called the non-911 police number to report Martin’s presence||undisputed and not the behavior of a vigilante by definition|
|Martin called his girlfriend but never the police||undisputed and does indicate posssible vigilantism on Martin’s part; If Martin thought Zimmerman was breaking the law, Martin should have informed the police and let them handle it, not assault Zimmerman to punish him for following Martin|
|Martin approached Zimmerman to a distance where they could speak in normal voices and demanded to know why Zimmerman was following him||statement of Zimmerman and Martin’s girlfriend who heard the voices of Zimmerman and Martin as they were talking via his cell phone|
|eyewitness says Martin was on top of Zimmerman banging his head against the pavement while Zimmerman was calling for help||statement of Zimmerman and the only eyewitness; contrary ear witness statements are trumped by the eyewitness|
|Martin was unhurt other than bullet||medical examiner|
|Zimmerman had broken nose and lacerations on back of head||EMT, police, and medical records|
Are there other things that are disputed? Yeah. But the above is quite enough to say that the police do not have the required probable cause to arrest Zimmerman and charge him with a crime. To do so would obviously be pandering to the mob. Arresting and charging someone when you do not have probable cause is itself a viloation of criminal law.
Given the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of criminal law, the above is also probably enough to get Zimmerman acquitted if he were tried, although we have seen cases like OJ where juries prove they are not totally reliable.
Many of the accusations against Zimmerman, like that he was racist or racially profiled Martin, are debatable and, what’s more important, irrelevant. You cannot arrest or prosecute a civilian for being racist or for racially profiling someone. Neither is against the law when done by non-law-enforcement. These are political campaign charges, not criminal ones.
It is at least as likely that Martin was a racist and that his assault on Zimmerman was a racially motivated “hate crime.” Had Martin won the fight and killed Zimmerman by banging his head on the pavement, Martin might now be on trial for a racist hate crime. That should be reported by all the media outlets using this case to build or maintain ratings.
In the past, there have been a number of crimes or alleged crimes where the public or some “disadvantaged minority” group was whipped into a lynch mob frenzy by political groups including media, but good reporting caused the mob to realize their guy was not so innocent or that things were not what they originally appeared: Tawana Brawley, Duke Lacrosse, the Atlanta Olympics bombing, and so on. Fox News and other non-leftist media have an obligation to report the evidence that exonerates Zimmerman as well as any evidence that indicates Martin was the physical aggressor and criminal in the matter.
When Fox News and others say “we don’t know” about things that we do know, they are lying. When Fox news rejects all exculpatory-Zimmerman analysis as unacceptable bias and all inciriminating-Martin analysis as taboo because he is dead and black, they are being as unethical as the left trying to use the “white racist kills innocent black child Skittles buyer” story line to drum up ratings and advance their political agenda. They could and should get a former prosecutor and a former defense lawyer and have them explain the strengths and weaknesses of each side as it stands now.
John T. Reed