With the third anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin (2/26/12) coinciding with the exit from office of Attorney General Eric Holder, this is a good time to review the facts — not the narrative fantasies — of the Trayvon Martin case. As a result of this case and others, Mr. Holder plans to argue that federal law should employ a lesser standard than is currently the practice in civil rights cases, so that worthy “social justice” principles might be vindicated. The rule of law and outmoded concepts like “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” or producing actual evidence that fulfills the necessary elements of crimes must be changed or ignored so that “white Hispanics” like George Zimmerman may be prosecuted regardless of the law and the facts . . .
Should leftists like Holder be successful, the consequences for the right to keep and bear arms would be dramatic and destructive. In truth, the Martin case was nothing more than an unremarkable case of self-defense. Absent national racial grievance-mongers, anti-gun thugs, and the President of the United States and the AG seeing an opportunity to stir the racial pot and advance their agenda, it would have remained one of many such cases that occur each year, known only to those directly affected.
But because Trayvon Martin became the “son President Obama never had,” and because he became a lucrative meal ticket for the race hustling industry, and because the narrative jibed with the America-as-bastion-of-racism narrative of the legacy media, the case continues to imperil the Second Amendment to this day.
I do not write expecting to change the minds of those who champion “social justice” or who believe the narrative regardless of fact, logic and law. I write for those who must, upon occasion, do rhetorical battle with forces that would destroy the right to self-defense, the right to keep and bear arms, and would champion a violent, illegal drug-using, thug wannabe and future felon. For the facts and the law reveal unmistakably that was what Trayvon Martin was.
I will not cover every point, only the main aspects of the narrative, those most destructive to liberty. And I won’t link to every potential fact, which would render much of the rest of this article as links, but merely refer readers to the SMM Trayvon Martin case archive, where more than sufficient documentation of every assertion may be easily found.
Narrative: On the night he died, Trayvon Martin was a small, non-threatening scholar with a bright future on an errand to get snacks for a younger sibling.
Fact: Trayvon Martin was a tall, muscular former athlete, taller and much stronger than George Zimmerman. He was in Sanford, Florida because he had been suspended from school — not the first time — for ten days after being caught in possession of burglary tools and jewelry stolen from a break-in near his school. THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — was in his bloodstream and shortly before meeting Zimmerman, he had purchased blunts, cheap cigars used in smoking pot. He often expressed a preference for them on social media. He was also carrying two of the three ingredients, one of them Skittles, for a dangerous drug concoction his social media messages reveal he favored. He was not carrying — as has been wrongly reported — iced tea.
Narrative: Zimmerman racially profiled Martin and shot him because he was wearing a hoodie.
Fact: Zimmerman, the local neighborhood watch captain and well-respected in that role by the Sanford Police Department, began to watch Martin because he appeared to be casing homes by remaining outside while it was raining and walking on the grass, not the sidewalks, of homes that had been recently burglarized. Zimmerman had no idea of Martin’s race until several minutes after Martin first drew his attention. No evidence was ever developed or presented at trial of racial profiling, nor did Zimmerman so much as suggest that Martin’s hoodie had anything to do with his suspicions about Martin. Merely by observing his behavior, Zimmerman concluded Martin might be under the influence of drugs. He was.
Narrative: Zimmerman was a racist who told the dispatcher Martin was black, and called Martin a “f***ing coon.”
Fact: NBC selectively edited the recording of Zimmerman’s conversation with the police dispatcher to make Zimmerman seem racist. In fact, Zimmerman only mentioned Martin’s race in response to the dispatcher’s specific question about Martin’s race — “he looks black” — which any dispatcher would ask of any witness. CNN tried to claim that Zimmerman called Martin a “f***ing coon,” but CNN’s own audio experts conclusively proved what Zimmerman said, under his breath, was “it’s f***ing cold.” It was indeed cold and rainy that night in Sanford. NBC and CNN were forced, very reluctantly, to retract their false statements. An extensive FBI investigation revealed not the slightest trace of racism in Zimmerman’s background or actions that night. In fact, Zimmerman has at least one black ancestor, and was well-known in Sanford as a champion and friend of black people. George Zimmerman is actually Hispanic, though the media (New York Times) invented an entirely new race just for him: the “white-Hispanic.” Only last week, the Holder Department of Justice was forced to admit there would be no federal civil rights charges filed against Zimmerman. There was no evidence — none at all — to support them.
Narrative: Trayvon Martin was running for his life, and he was pursued by Zimmerman who left his truck and ruthlessly hunted him down and shot him, all against the orders of the 911 dispatcher.
Fact: Rather than confront, pursue or shoot Martin, the first thing Zimmerman did was call the police and report a suspicious person. Precisely why Martin ran isn’t known, but there is no doubt that Zimmerman was never told not to leave his vehicle. In fact, the dispatcher specifically told Zimmerman to continue to report on Martin’s actions, as any competent dispatcher would. When Martin abruptly ran, Zimmerman ran a short distance, but lost sight of Martin before he could leave his truck. Zimmerman’s only intention was to keep Martin in sight so he could report to the police who he believed were on the way. Even if Zimmerman had been actively following Martin, that too would have been entirely lawful.
The dispatcher asked if he was following Martin, and when Zimmerman said he was, he was told, “we don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman, who had already lost Martin, replied, “OK,” and told the dispatcher he had lost Martin and had no idea where he was. It was about four more minutes before Martin, who was hiding somewhere in the immediate area, surprised and confronted Zimmerman, broke his nose with a sucker punch, knocked him to the ground, straddled him and repeatedly swung at his face and beat his head on a concrete sidewalk. There is no evidence, physical or testimonial, that Zimmerman so much as landed a single blow on Martin.
Narrative: Trayvon Martin was unarmed, was screaming for help, said “don’t shoot,” was shot in the back, had his hands up in surrender, or was, in some other vaguely defined or suggested manner, an innocent victim of murder.
Facts: Martin did not have a weapon, but was far from unarmed. His use of a concrete sidewalk to repeatedly bash Zimmerman’s head constituted the use of a deadly weapon under the law. In addition, after knocking Zimmerman to the ground with his first blow, he was astride Zimmerman, pinning him to the ground, raining blows on his head and face “MMA ground and pound” style, as explained by a highly credible eyewitness. Zimmerman’s consistent and unchanged accounts, voluntarily given to the police long before he retained an attorney, reflect this reality, including the fact that it was Zimmerman screaming for help.
Witnesses, including Martin’s brother and father, initially identified the screaming voice on the recording as not belonging to Martin, while Zimmerman’s father and another relative identified it as Zimmerman’s. The call to the dispatcher of an eyewitness inadvertently recorded much of the assault, and no plea to “don’t shoot” or anything similar was recorded. Forensic evidence supports Zimmerman’s account. With Martin straddling him, pinning him to the ground, repeatedly beating his head against the sidewalk, Zimmerman fired a single round from near contact range into Martin’s chest. The evidence — the angle of the wound — makes it clear that Martin was leaning forward over Zimmerman’s prostrate form when he was shot.
Narrative: Zimmerman used the “stand your ground” law to get away with murdering Martin.
Fact: Florida’s “stand your ground” provision had no bearing on the case and was never invoked either before or during the trial. Because Martin was pinning Zimmerman to the ground and beating him, giving Zimmerman no possibility of escape or retreat, it was entirely irrelevant.
Narrative: Martin’s “girlfriend,” with whom he was on the phone while he was hiding from Zimmerman and as he was ambushing Zimmerman, proved that Zimmerman was a racist that hunted and murdered Martin.
Fact: Rachel Jeantel’s testimony was a disaster for the prosecution. She was revealed to be a serial perjurer, made statements on the witness stand that she had never before told anyone, and had no evidence that contradicted Zimmerman’s account. Actually, she confirmed that it was Martin who angrily and aggressively confronted Zimmerman, and confirmed virtually every other element of Zimmerman’s account. The prosecution illegally withheld from the defense the exculpatory — even incriminating — contents of Martin’s cell phone.
Narrative: Zimmerman demonstrated evil intent and a depraved mind because he carried his gun with its chamber loaded and used hollow point ammunition.
Fact: This was an argument of the prosecution presented at trial. Even the police carry hollow point ammunition and carry their handguns with loaded chambers, which is the correct and completely lawful thing to do. This argument is utterly irrelevant to self-defense, technically incompetent, and carried no weight with the jury.
Narrative: Zimmerman didn’t have to use a gun. He put himself in danger, and his actions weren’t self-defense; they were murder.
Fact: While one can argue tactics, nothing Zimmerman did was against the law. Nothing he did or said made him, under Florida law, an aggressor. Nothing he said or did removed self-defense as a viable, lawful option. Prior to being confronted and sucker-punched by Martin, Zimmerman had not exchanged a single word or gesture with Martin, nor had he done anything but observe him, at the request of the police dispatcher, from a distance.
As far as Zimmerman knew, Martin was long gone, and for four minutes, he totally lost contact with him. During that time, it was conclusively proved in court that Martin could have been home, indoors, and never again seen by Zimmerman, but he chose instead to remain outside, hiding in the rain, and for reasons known only to him, waiting to ambush Zimmerman.
Zimmerman found himself beaten and bloody, potentially losing consciousness, under continual assault, and afraid for his life. Under Florida law, and under the laws of most other states, all of the requirements for the use of deadly force in self-defense were present. Zimmerman was innocent — he was not the aggressor — a reasonable person in his situation would have reasonably believed he was in danger of serious bodily injury or death, he had no other option to stop Martin’s attack, and his response — a single round fired — was proportional to the situation.
Zimmerman’s actions were fully in accordance with Florida self-defense law, an absolute defense to murder, and in no way violated Florida’s murder statutes.
George Zimmerman should never have been prosecuted. The Sanford Police and the local prosecutor refused to prosecute him on the evidence. It was only when the racial grievance industry and the Obama Administration injected themselves that a corrupt special prosecutor was charged with prosecuting Zimmerman regardless of the evidence. This was a matter of cynical racial politics, not the law.
The prosecution actually proved self-defense. The prosecutors actually proved that George Zimmerman lawfully defended his life.
The lesson of the George Zimmerman prosecution is clear: even if one lawfully employs deadly force in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law, even if one fires only a single round that causes no collateral damage to persons or property, even if there is no evidence whatsoever of racial animus, even if there is no evidence to fulfill a single element of a charge of murder, there is no guarantee that one will not be prosecuted — and perhaps even convicted — of a crime they did not commit.
Despite the fact that no “stand your ground” law was in any way implicated or invoked in the Zimmerman case, anti-gun advocates continue to argue the case as evidence of the need to abolish stand your ground provisions. Perhaps the truth might be useful there as well.
I would agree with the authors synopsis. My misgiving is that George Zimmerman put himself in that situation unnecessarily. He was after all not a policeman.
And neighbors should never band together to watch out for their neighborhood. Leave that to thee professionals down at the doughnut shop
You’re absolutely right. There was no need to follow a suspicious figure in a neighborhood already victimized by burglars. Absolutely no need for Zimmerman to care enough about his neighbors enough to spend a cold, rainy night trying to prevent their stuff from being stolen. And I’m sure, that since your neighbors aren’t police, that you’d be fine with them turning a blind eye to criminal behavior on your block.
We at TTAG constantly repeat the mantra “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.” This doesn’t just pertain to straight up self defense. The police won’t prevent burglaries, or car thefts, or vandalism. That’s up to the citizen to be vigilant and call the police when they see illegal activity. And if that illegal activity escalates into violence before the police arrive, or even before they can be called, what are you going to do?
After all, YOU’RE not the police…
What did Zimmerman do that night that should – legally or morally – have been left for a police officer to do?
I’ll address that one. A police officer is better equipped in terms of training, backup, intermediate weapons and law to address suspicious activity.
– A police officer is in uniform and so it’s harder for a suspect to claim it was just some “creepy white guy” stalking him.
– A police officer can, if necessary, detain upon reasonable suspicion rather than a citizen who can only arrest under the higher burden of probable cause.
– A police officer often has backup readily available and usually carries weapons less lethal than firearm, making it less likely (though not impossible) that the situation will so rapidly turn deadly.
And, though it’s not as relevant here, a police officer who is charged with such a duty also (often) has better resources to deal with the aftermath of such an encounter. I’m not saying George Zimmerman was doing anything illegal at all by going out there that night. But much like walking down a dark alley, sometimes what you CAN do isn’t what you SHOULD do if there are better options available. I wonder what Zimmerman would say now if he could go back in time and decide to just let the cops deal with it.
And when seconds count, the officer is only a number of minutes away.
I didn’t ask what a police officer was better equipped to do; I asked what things did Zimmerman, specifically, do, that, legally or morally, should have been left to a police officer?
Again: what specific thing or things did Zimmerman do that, legally or morally, should have been left to a police officer?
You’re absolutely correct, Hannibal, that a police officer would have been better equipped and a better choice for that situation. However, in light of recent burglaries in that neighborhood, it seems that a police officer was not available.
All true in theory but I would be interested in Darren Wilson’s take on your comments.
. Yep. Let the state take care of it. And the long slow slide into tyranny, oppression, and ultimately mass murder has begun.
It is that thought, let the state and their designated representatives deal with potential or actual criminal activity; that has led us to this point of time where an individual like Holder and Obama to take a clear case of self-defense and turn into the nightmare that has become George Zimmerman’s Iife.
A man that until the criminals and the racists that are Obama, Holder and all of their Ilk, turned what any good citizen should do as a civic duty into a mine field of potential and actual danger. After the fact.
Let the state care it.
I feel nauseous at the sight of this sentence and what it stands for. Abject and utter submission of one’s personal responsibility and will as a slave to one’s master.
A creed of of slaves, not of a free people.
All of which is irrelevant if the officer is not on the scene.
Let me ask it this way. What would have happened if Zimmerman had been an off duty cop?
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” – Burke (attribution)
Aye, ThomasR. Good post!
Grounding and pounding a cop would have got Tampon Martin shot. Ask Mike Brown.
“My misgiving is that George Zimmerman put himself in that situation unnecessarily. He was after all not a policeman.”
Zimmerman was in the very act of referring the matter to the police when he was attacked.
No – he wasn’t a cop. But, he was doing his civic duty by helping the cops. What is often skipped over in that part of the debate is that they were in transit to his location at the time that he was assaulted. If Martin had waited several more minutes before assaulting Zimmerman, he would probably be alive today, because the latter would have met with the police, and he would have been scared off.
What Zimmerman was apparently doing was his civic duty. He never appears to have approached Martin at all. Rather, he was just trying to keep him in sight for the police until they arrived. But, he lost Martin fairly quickly, and was walking back to his truck to meet them, when he was apparently attacked from behind by Martin, hit in the nose, knocked to the ground, etc.
This was Zimmerman’s neighborhood, and he most likely thought that he was being safe. Yes, he took a little extra risk, but since he never approached Martin, probably didn’t think that it was that much of a risk.
This is just an observation of your statement. Is the argument that Zimmerman should not have followed him kind of like blaming a rape victim for being in the wrong place or wearing the wrong clothing? I believe it is. Sure, it may be circumstantial evidence that can be used to help determine Zimmerman’s motivations, but you have to have a crime first. Zimmerman was in a place he was legally allowed to be. The physical evidence and testimony supports that Zimmerman was ambushed, that Zimmerman was not the aggressor.
Isn’t the problem with society today the fact that so few of us care enough about our fellow man to get involved?
I don’t think Zimmerman’s actions were unreasonable. If someone is breaking into my neighbor’s home, I’m going to observe from a distance at least while talking to dispatch. I may not be as “qualified” to deal with it as an officer, but that does not absolve me of my responsibility to aid my neighbor. I’m less qualified to perform CPR than an EMT or a Paramedic, but if someone is dying I’ll do my best until I can be RELIEVED by those more qualified. I’m not going to shrug and say “meh, I’m not really very qualified for this.”
One minor point. There is such a thing as a white Hispanic, as Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race. Dominicans may be black and Hispanic, Argentinians are almost all white and Hispanic, and yes, there is such a thing as an Asian Hispanic also.
I agree–but the government insists on classifying “Hispanic” as a race (even tho I suspect what they really are aiming at is the “mestizos” who make up @90% of the Latin American population), and the media follows suit.
Not in the census. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity, not a race.
This is correct. White Hispanic is an ethnicity that was granted because of a court case in TX. Hispanics who had been charged with crimes had their juries stacked with anglo jurors and a federal case created a protected ethnicity to off set this
As does the new 4473. Before this happened Hispanic was listed as a race. After it became ethnicity. I’m not really sure why it makes a difference on the form to only know if someone is Hispanic. They don’t want to know if anyone is any other ethnicity.
A little off the subject, but since you brought up race, I would mention that I am tired of hearing every black person in the United States being referred to as an “African American” Hogwash! Africa is a continent, American refers to nationality.
My wife was born in the Philippines, and is “Philippine American” But only because she became a US citizen, not just because she lives here.
Her son is a Filipino! He lives here and has a green card, but he was born in the Philippines. he has not yet gained American citizenship, so he is NOT a Filipino American, but simply a “Filipino”
Just because you have a “green” card, doesn’t mean your an American.
Every time I hear a reporter refer to a Mexican, Black, or any other race, They seem to automatically tack that word “American” on the end of their racial identity! Is that because they all think that every one of them was born here??
Maybe I’ll start calling myself a “United states” American. Couldn’t be any worse than what people call me now!
Also – Africa is a huge continent with multiple races living on it. It doesn’t make sense for black people to have a monopoly on the title.
I don’t like it. My father is from Jamaica, therefore I’m Jamaican, yet they insist on referring to me as African American. It grinds my gears.
If you want to have fun on the next Census, when they ask for “race”, put down “human”. Drives them nuts.
Not only should we quit hyphenating people into special classes, we should quit describing all Latinos as “Mexicans.” Even people who actually are from Mexico, but who are now U.S. citizens, shouldn’t be described as Mexucans. Mexico is a country, a political delineation, and Mexican is a political identity. Once you’re a U.S. citizen, you’re an American, not a Mexican.
I remember that 1980s Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff doing a similar bit once. You can’t go to Turkey and become Turkish. You can’t go to China and become Chinese. Only in America can you come here and become American.
If you’re white and you go to the Philippines, you become American too… even if you’ve never been to America (continent or country)!
Yes, conceptually there is such a thing, however, Zimmerman does not fit that description – a description that was intended entirely to deflect and inflame the issue at hand.
It should be noted that the Sanford chief of police lost his job for not arbitrarily arresting Zimmerman. The DA, the mayor, and I believe other members of the state government in FL kept pushing and demanding the chief “just arrest him”. The chief was fired when he would not. Such is the evil power of the Leftist Elite.
After some thought on this matter I can only come up with a one word comment for holder. Asshole. Hope I don’t get deleted for flaming the asshole.
The truth has no agenda.
It’s not a flame if it’s true JWM. And this post is preaching to the choir…
Zimmerman was not a policeman – but based on the string of home burglaries in the neighborhood and the obvious need/desire for a neighborhood watch, of which Zimmerman was the captain, police presence in that community, as with everywhere else, cannot be guaranteed at the time it is actually needed. In fact, there was no police present when George Zimmerman did in fact need assistance while he was being viciously attacked.
Neighborhood Watch by local residents is EXACTLY the same response to lack of ubiquitous police presence that carrying a firearm, open or concealed, is to personal protection. Even though not officially on duty Zimmerman attempted to be the concealed weapon protecting his neighborhood. For all his faults otherwise noted in the last three years, this fact should not be discounted.
Mr. Holder makes it hard to have faith in the impartiality of the Justice Dept. He is a enabling mouthpiece for the agenda drive current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The blatant disregard for the will of the people, our laws and the US Constitution by both of these hacks nauseate me beyond (civil) words.
In a perfect world he would share a cell with his boss.
Mr. Holder plans to argue that federal law should employ a lesser standard than is currently the practice in civil rights cases, so that worthy “social justice” principles might be vindicated. The rule of law and outmoded concepts must be changed or ignored
Just another day at the Obozo Administration.
“Mr. Holder plans to argue that federal law should employ a lesser standard than is currently the practice in civil rights cases, so that worthy “social justice” principles might be vindicated.”
Anyone want to lay odds the President will do that via executive order?
Holder would look great in an SS uniform. Little death head on the cap would be just cute.
I was looking for the dress shadow. Or in this case, it would be the walking gun shadow.
Better yet, one of those Maoist, Stasi, or KGB uniforms.
Yes, preaching to the choir but +1 to all of you for not having your head in your ass!
You can’t flim flam the zim zam.
Martin was a punk, a thug and a petty thief who unluckily picked on the wrong guy. Zimmerman was in over his head and is very fortunate to be alive after being assaulted twice, first by Martin and then by the State of Florida.
The real villains of this story are Holder, Obama, Sharpton, NBC, CNN and the rest of the racial scvmbag industry, all of whom would be very delighted to use a the apparatus of a repressive, out of control state to crush anyone who gets in their way.
Young Mr. Martin was living with his father because he had been suspended from school again on suspicion of burglary.
“It was that M-DSPD internal affairs investigation which revealed in October 2011 Trayvon Martin was searched by School Resource Officer, Darryl Dunn. The search of Trayvon Martin’s backpack turned up at least 12 pcs of ladies jewelry, and a man’s watch, in addition to a flat head screwdriver described as ‘a burglary tool’.”
Read more at http://patdollard.com/2013/06/trayvon-martins-involvement-in-local-burglaries-covered-up-by-media-school-police/#RIsJciM6BrvhIDS2.99
I believe Mr. Martin was acting suspiciously and Mr. Zimmerman saw him. I also believe if Mr. Zimmerman had addressed the would be thief in a polite manner initially it may have not become an incident. But I could be wrong.
Zimmerman never confronted Martin, so why would you think it would be different? You’re living with another myth. It was Martin that confronted Zimmerman (thus leading to the claim of self-defense).
I did not say he confronted him aggressively or otherwise. Let me clarify. If Zimmerman had engaged Martin and called out to in a polite manner. Example: ” Excuse me sir, are you looking for some ones house?” That may have prevented an violent incident. Maybe not. Don’t know for sure but it is something I would have done.
And in so doing, you would have done more than Zimmerman himself did. Zimmerman made no effort to “engage” Martin whatsoever.
Your story is as interesting and an equal narrative to the one published by the leftist media. The rightist media told a story very similar to yours. If you heard the news in South Carolina you would have heard this narrative.
I have a different take.
Martin was not an angel. The “lets hang our protest about the mistreatment of black mails on this case” folks seized the opportunity.
Zimmerman has social problems. He was not accepted into the police academy and like some mall security guards considers himself a crime enforcer. That he was found by police “guarding” a motorcycle/gun store that had been burglarized
trumps all of his dating anger issues. That the police found out the next day that he was never asked to patrol by the owners, is significant.
It wasn’t a racial incident. It also wasn’t an ideal case to hang a gun rights argument on. If a black youth approached a larger white guy and took a beating other blacks would say, “What did you think would happen?” Zimmerman was ignorant to think that he could approach anyone without expecting some response. Sometimes the person is frightened by being followed. From reading this site I say you expect Martin to defend himself if he was being followed. If you reverse their races and Martin shot Zimmerman, who would you support?
Reverse the races? Seriously?
The facts are the facts. The law is the law.
GZ’s statements dovetailed with witness testimony, 911 recordings and physical evidence. Sanford Police and DA refused to prosecute him in spite of tremendous political pressure to do so. Because they had no case.
No, I would never say that being followed justifies a violent act of defense, no matter the races involved. And as far as I have read, Zimmerman did not at any point make contact with Martin, at all.
If you’re understanding from reading this site is that simply being followed justifies a violent reaction, then I will politely say that you have misunderstood. The only appropriate time to draw, if we’re being specific to armed self defense, or to use violence if we are being generic, is when someone poses a threat to your life. If Zimmy had had his pistol out while pursuing, Martin would have been perfectly justified and even I would have acknowledged that he died trying to save his own life, but Zim didn’t do that and Martin attacked a man who all evidence suggests posed no threat…until his skull crashed into concrete.
Now, it is technically true that Zim may have drawn his gun first and attempted to murder Martin, but if this is the case, no evidence has survived.
And in the end, he wasn’t “guarding” the place, either. He was simply parked there, IIRC.
There is no evidence whatsoever that Zimmerman approached Martin, and evidence (including the trial testimony of Rachael Jentel) that it was Martin who approached Zimmerman.
“Being followed” is not unlawful, and is not evidence of imminent use of unlawful force. As such, “being followed” does not statutorily justify the use of force in self-defense.
There is also no evidence that Zimmerman was actually following Martin. In fact, Zimmerman had lost sight of Martin before Zimmerman ever got out of his vehicle. Zimmerman said on the phone that he couldn’t see Martin, and didn’t know where Martin went. The only reason he got out of his vehicle was to try to see where Martin went (following the instruction of the NEN operator to “keep an eye” on Martin). And when the NEN operator said that they didn’t need Zimmerman to do that, Zimmerman stopped.
From Rachael Jentel’s testimony, Martin knew that he had lost Zimmerman, and was right by Brandi Green’s home. From that same testimony, it was Martin who made the decision to approach and to accost Zimmerman. That decision proves that Martin was not “frightened” by Zimmerman.
By all means, take the link to my Martin case archive and there you will find the facts, facts which are faithfully reflected in this short article.
Good article, Mike McDaniel. Thank you.
Not just Florida law, but morality as well. Don’t forget that one of the points antis try to make is that the laws are wrong in Florida.
Not just Florida, but a distinct majority of states these days have abrogated by statute the common law duty to retreat. It isn’t that you shouldn’t retreat when you can safely do so, because you most often should. But, that you no longer have a legal duty to do so. The problem with the common law duty of retreat is that the defendant often has seconds, if that, to identify an avenue of safe retreat, and the prosecution has, and has often found, such avenues of retreat after months of research and trial preparation, and without the sort of vision centering that is seen in most such self-defense situations.
A couple of additions.
Arguably (and likely accepted by the jury), it was Martin who was the initial aggressor and who escalated the fight to the use of deadly force. But, it wasn’t just Martin beating Zimmerman’s head into the concrete that constituted the use of deadly force, but also probably his attempt to strangle Zimmerman when he apparently cried to cry out for help. I should add that the only real witnesses that thought that it was Martin yelling out for help were his immediate family, and that testimony was somewhat discredited by expert testimony by the defense that it is hard to identify a voice in this sort of situation, because voices calling for help in this sort of situation sound very different. Sometime along the way, she did say that Martin was not trying to kill Zimmerman, just beat him up. But, as I pointed out above, by hitting his head against the concrete, and trying to strangle him, Martin escalated the level of force above the level of merely beating up Zimmerman. (And, yes, the actual standard for self-defense here was not the level of force being used, but rather that Martin put Zimmerman in an imminent reasonable fear for loss of his life or of great bodily injury – which the use of deadly force by Martin did).
Also, Jenine, the “girlfriend” essentially confirmed in her testimony that Martin had gotten most of the way back to his father’s girlfriend’s house, then turned around and sought out Zimmerman to give him a beating. And, why shouldn’t he have been able to do so? He was not only taller and stronger than Zimmerman, in much better shape, but much faster on foot.
Finally, you only addressed the first part of Stand Your Ground. You are technically/legally correct that it was never relevant because Zimmerman, with Martin astride him, pummeling him MMA style, was never in a position to retreat, and what SYD does is eliminate the Retreat Doctrine as a prerequisite for self-defense. A distinct majority of the states have done just like Florida did, and abrogated the common law retreat doctrine – partially, at least, because it is unfair to defendants, since under that doctrine, they have seconds, if that, to find an avenue of retreat, and prosecutors have months to find such, without the narrowing of vision that comes from self-defense situations.
But, the other part of Florida SYD, that was often mixed up with the MSM is that at the same time that Florida abrogated the self-defense duty to retreat (real SYD), it also implemented self-defense immunity from both criminal and civil litigation. If a defendant can prove self-defense in an immunity hearing beyond a preponderance of the evidence level, courts can grant them such immunity, which also includes attorneys’ fees. Many expected that the defense would just flush the case early, and avoid trial, by requesting such a hearing. But, they didn’t, and the suggestion has been made that the reason for that was that the defense did not want to tip its hand prematurely as to their trial strategy, witnesses, etc. Actual trial was safer because the burden of production was on the prosecution, and the level of proof required was beyond a reasonable doubt. Still, it apparently is not clear whether or not the immunity hearing has to be held before the criminal trial, and some have thought that the reason that Martin’s family never sued Zimmerman for wrongful death was that the latter could get his attorneys’ fees paid by having and winning such a hearing, if sued.
Thank you for your respectful response. I did not mean that a gun should come out just because you are being followed.
My point is from what we do know, this was not a racial incident.
I see it as my instructor has repeated, “stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things.”
Martin didn’t need to become aggressive. Zimmerman should have considered the wisdom of following this man.
Both were within their rights to be there.
Zimmerman was within his rights to defend himself.
What was in Martins backpack or his record, while showing possible intent would not be cause for prosecution. He could have been picked up for questioning. At that point he had not burglarized any house. Zimmerman’s predisposition to be in the wrong place, being a pseudo cop, his brandishing of a firearm, his violent episodes with his girlfriend and fingering his gun during a police stop, point to someone who might not be the poster child for responsible gun ownership.
I see two people with poor judgement.
Wow, you sure don’t let facts get in the way of your condescension, do you? Pseudo-cop? Brandishing? Fingering his gun during a police stop? Say what?
As for the alleged “violent episodes”: the one girlfriend was crazy, and recanted. Shelley (his ex-wife) dropped her charges after the surveillance video showed that it was she who attacked Zimmerman, and not the other way around.
The Narrative quite successfully assassinated the character of George Zimmerman, and that assassination continues.
Facts? Multiple person’s testimony?, cell phone evidence,? Trayvons “girl friend” confirmation? Forensic evidence? Oh, pisha! Not important! It’s all about the narrative. Some people just can’t accept that Zimmerman was not the aggressor in this case.
Thanks for the facts about his girlfriend and exwife. The others reports are accurate.
You keep missing that I agree he had a right to defend himself. He shouldn’t have had to. Defending gun rights shouldn’t cloud this.
My trainers stress not getting into situations.
If he wasn’t following him why did Martin notice him? If Zimmerman had died would have been worth some private property. My characterization of Zimmerman is what Courts, Cops, Dr. etc. do. If you have priors you are treated differently than the citizen with no record. Zimmerman’s behavior denotes someone with some issues. Yes he brandished a weapon in an intersection. Yes he was “guarding” the motorcycle gun shop in asked. Yes there is police footage of an officer asking him to stop touching the pistol during a traffic stop. In my State you would have been shot!
Zimmerman was driving his vehicle, on his way out to the store. He saw Martin loitering as he drove past. He pulled over at the clubhouse to call NEN. Martin then walked toward Zimmerman’s vehicle, circled it, saw Zimmerman on the phone, and then took off running.
Also: you need to clarify what you mean by “following”. The way it is often misused in this case is as “pursuit”. Zimmerman went in the direction he saw Martin go before he lost sight of him, but he did not pursue Martin. He couldn’t, because he didn’t know where Martin was.
I think that it went beyond loitering – Martin was walking around, in the rain, on someone’s front yard, appearing to look into the windows. Zimmerman didn’t say this – but it sure sounds to me like Martin was casing the place for a burglary.
Zimmerman was not getting his head bashed into the ground. If that had happened he would have had hematomas to the back of the head instead of small lacerations. His nose was swollen and possibly broken as a result of getting punched in it. As far as i can tell Zimmerman was only struck one time in the nose. You people are so hell bent on focusing on the fact that this kid was a thug but neglect to point out that Zimmerman is still getting into trouble on a regular basis, and in fact is a thug as well. I enjoy reading TTAG articles but this is based more on bias narrative than logic. As far as the facts of the case, no one knows them all, but there are some and they are used very inappropriately.
Even the prosecution’s medical-expert witness testified that Zimmerman’s head was hitting the concrete multiple times. Nice try, though. Maybe you should have testified for the prosecution, instead?
Not “possibly” broken; broken. The medical report was part of the trial evidence, and clearly indicated that his nose was broken.
Even if true, how would that be relevant? There is no “number of times struck in the nose” standard in the Florida self-defense statutes.
Martin was a thug.
That is completely irrelevant, except that he decided to assault someone, and in so doing commit a forcible felony and put that person in mortal fear. Fortunately for his chosen victim and unfortunately for Martin, that victim was armed and therefore able to defend himself.
There is no evidence that Zimmerman is a thug. Too trusting? Sure. Terrible at picking women? Definitely. But a thug? No evidence.
Actually, it’s based on facts and evidence. That facts, evidence, and testimony converge to exonerate Zimmerman completely merely means that the logic is icing on the cake.
Speaking of logic: how can unknown facts be used, appropriately or inappropriately?
There are facts. Almost all of the relevant facts are known. They were used appropriately at trial, when the prosecution essentially proved Zimmerman’s self-defense case for him.
True – no one knows all of the evidence, except maybe the trial attorneys. But, many of us watched or read a lot of the testimony during trial, and do know most of what was admitted (and what wasn’t – including much of Martin’s social media stuff, likely because it was more inflammatory than probative).
Here’s the thing. Ms geneteal said something on the stand that no one talked about. martin made it to his back yard and then went back to Zimmerman. This explains why zimmerman didn’t see martin when he walked passed the back yard area to the next street. Those plants were not big enough to hide someone and I am really sure zimmerman was looking hard trying to see if he could find martin. I don’t buy his story he went to find out what the street name was as he never told the dispatcher. I have no doubt he went looking for martin to keep an eye on him until the cops showed up.
As for martin, the presence of thc means almost nothing. Pot does not make people aggressive. But it does make them more paranoid. Martin has a history of aggression and burglary. He bragged about it. I have no doubt he was casing the neighborhood. He knew he wasn’t going to be there long and the area was more affluent then his neighborhood. He didn’t like that Zimmerman was tailing him and instead of going in to his house he decided to teach the little man a lesson. But he picked the wrong guy to attack. Instead of continuing in a life destined for prison with no chance of parole, he is roasting for eternity.
You point out what I have always said. Testimony seemed to prove Martin was just steps from where he was staying. He could have simply gone inside and that would have been the end of it. Instead he let his street fighter mentality take over and went looking for a fight. A fight he lost.
The problems Zimmerman has had since this happened would never have seen the light of day if he hasn’t been persecuted by an out of control social justice system. Right now every single minute of his existence is under the microscope of public opinion. How many times an hour does someone in this country get a speeding ticket, in an argument with a girlfriend or spouse, make a stupid decision, etc, and it doesn’t make CNN? Only if your a person that the social justice clowns have it out for will anyone hear about it.
I live in FL. I also have a firearms manufacturing license. I hope like hell I never have to use lethal force to defend myself or family because I can only imagine the headlines and nonstop persecution by the left. Stuff like racist white southern hillbilly assault weapons building lunitic kills innocent black child who was on the way to take his grandma to church for asking for bus fare.
The “pot does not make people aggressive meme” has been discredited many times. Like alcohol there are mellow stoners, happy stoners, sad stoners and mean stoners. Michael Brown was under the influence and according to trial testimony so was Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez was seen toking up 90 minutes before murdering Odin Lloyd.
I remain to be convinced that pot can make you aggressive. But, what I think that all can (hopefully) agree with is that it decreases judgment. And, arguably that is what happened with all of these young men. Though, my memory is that Martin’s pot was probably a day or two earlier. Brown is the one who seems like he was as high as a kite. And, that may have been why he was able to take maybe 4 .40 rounds, and keep coming. At least until the two head shots. He was very big, but also probably very stoned.
You are engaging in semantics. If a bunch college students gets high in the dorm they will hang around eating pizza and saying “Oh wow” after every phrase. If a bunch of Crips get high they will hang around eating pizza until one of them says “let’s take out Juwan from the Bloods down the block and then go and do a drive by. Marijuana is like any drug. Its effect vary from person to person and milieu to milieu.
We have gone from reefer madness to reefer gladness. Neither view is correct.
It’s not a “meme.” Don’t use words you clearly don’t know the meaning of. Pot doesn’t make you aggressive, and just because you have two examples of somebody committing a crime shortly after they smoked up doesn’t mean the WEED MADE THEM DO IT. You seem like the type who blames violent video games for mass shootings.
Z was an ass clown that has been arrested five times for acts of violence since he murdered that kid. He’s an ass clown that continues to jeopardize my 2nd Amendment Rights and you gentlemen are mistaken for defending Z. Defending him makes all of us look like fools. The kids was never a threat and Z’s life was not in danger. I run a neighborhood watch as an HOA President. Good day, sirs.
Any convictions? Any charges that weren’t dropped quickly after arrest?
Using deadly force in self-defense is, by definition, not murder.
How does Zimmerman jeopardize your rights? Why is defending someone who was violently assaulted for no reason, and who acted in self-defense in response to that assault, somehow mistaken?
Hit and run much Jack?
When you make statements counter to all evidence available, then that makes you look the “fool(s)”, not us.
Jack is neither are neighborhood watch captain or a gun owner. He is some leftie doing a “Moby.”
that continues to jeopardize my 2nd Amendment Rights
No, he doesn’t.
Also, there’s not a lot of Zimmerman “defending” going on here. What is mostly happening here is the relaying of facts and testimony presented at trial.
How is the fact that he’s an assclown relevant to this case? Stop worrying about “looking bad,” it’s really pathetic and besides the point.
“Facts?…We don’t need no stinkin’ facts.”
So did George get his pistol back yet?
Can we say “Racialist Progressive PIG”? Holder lost so many times he’s pissing in our soup and crapping in our salad on the way out the door.
That sums the whole thing up in succinct, point-by-point installments.
“Eric Holder’s parting shot: It’s too hard to bring civil rights cases”.
So Holder is in favor of introducing ‘whitie’ witch hunts, or legal lynching’s. Throw out the rules of evidence – bring on the hearsay.
Sounds like a racist to me! Sounds like someone with a perspective that would qualify for KKK membership.
From the lead: “In truth, the Martin case was nothing more than an unremarkable case of self-defense. Absent national racial grievance-mongers, anti-gun thugs, and the President of the United States and the AG seeing an opportunity to stir the racial pot and advance their agenda, it would have remained one of many such cases that occur each year, known only to those directly affected.”
My take: The main reason this case became so notorious was the false, doctored and misrepresented, NBC news broadcast of *selected portions* of the 911 tape to make it *appear* Zimmerman was acting out of ‘racist’ motivations. Were it not for that act of deception by NBC, this case would have remained “unremarkable”.
Coming from NBC, that deception should hardly be a surprise, given their criminally loose concept of truth in reporting.
Remember how in 1993 Dateline NBC phonied up filmed crash tests of GMC full size pick-up trucks to support their falsified report that the frame mounted side saddle fuel tanks exploded on impact during a side impact collision? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_C/K#Sidesaddle_fuel_tank_controversy
These media conflict instigators never let lies stop them when in search of an audience. Playing the race card with Zimmerman, they sure generated a doozie with their falsely portrayed report on Zimmerman’s self-defense shooting of *little* (remember the misleading picture the media incessantly used) Martin.
I put the blame for this false furor squarely at NBC’s doorstep. Without their dishonest reporting, all the antis and national racists would unlikely have even noticed the event, but being opportunists as they are, they saw a juicy opportunity with NBC’s characterizations and tried to capitalize on it for their own personal and political benefit.
Yeah, I think it’s hysterical that the news media was so concerned that Brian Williams might “lose his credibility” over his lies about his helicopter being under fire. My reaction was “What credibility? He’s a media puke, he has to be lying.”
Nice summary. A couple of legal analysis blogs did yoeman’s work on covering and analyzing this story throughout – one distinctly “right” and one distinctly “left.” They are worth reading vs. the rest of the dross.
“He was not carrying — as has been wrongly reported — iced tea.”
As I recall, he was reported to have a watermelon-flavored beverage for his “crank”.
Oh, and not to be too picky, but shouldn’t this be “The George Zimmerman case”? Just askin’
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