Zimmerman justified after all

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George Zimmerman acted in justifiable self-defense after all when he shot Trayvon Martin in his neighborhood. A witness has stepped forward to confirm an account he earlier gave police. This calls every report of “cursory investigation” and “vigilantism” into question.

What Zimmerman did

George Zimmerman is a one-man neighborhood watch force. For reasons that no one has ever brought to light, he set out to watch his neighborhood at night, and did not get help from any of his neighbors. The Miami Herald suggests that he wanted to train as a police officer, but could not. But they offer nothing more than a psychological profile. No one has ever said that he applied for, and failed to gain, admission to the Dade County Police Academy. So the Herald, like many other news organs, merely assumes that Zimmerman is a “frustrated cop wannabe” taking the law into their own hands.

The police in Sanford, FL say that he called them sixty times over several years, always to report some suspicious thing or other that he had seen. The Herald describes the kinds of things he called in:

He pursued shoplifters and errant drivers with zeal, reporting pit bulls, potholes, children playing in the street, open garage doors and “suspicious” youths — usually black males — loitering in the street.

From the above, one can psychologically “profile” the Herald writer. To that writer, George Zimmerman is a classic “tattler,” and the Herald writer was probably the miscreant whom someone like Zimmerman was always around to “tattle” on.

Zimmerman had a gun; Martin did not. But it can still be a justifiable death

Smith and Wesson M&P Victory model revolver. User: Oleg Volk; CC-BY 2.5 Generic License

On the night in question, Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin, just another “suspicious” youth loitering in the street. He called 911. He spoke to a night dispatcher, said that several break-ins had happened in the neighborhood, and reported what he saw. The dispatcher told him to keep his distance and let the police handle it. But Zimmerman probably understood something that the dispatcher would never have cared to admit. The police take an average of five to six minutes to respond to a trouble call, and that’s from the time that a dispatcher says that an officer is on his way.

What Zimmerman did next, might cause anyone to question his judgment. He moved in to face Martin one-on-one. After that, several neighbors called in saying that someone was yelling for help. One of the calls carries a man’s voice yelling the word Help three times. Then came three gunshots.

When police finally arrived, Martin lay dead. Zimmerman, slightly bloodied, said that he acted in self-defense. The problem that everyone heard about was that Trayvon Martin carried no weapon of any kind.

National and international media everywhere now assume that Zimmerman was, at best, an overzealous civilian, and at worst, a racist who scored a hit. That includes a reporter from The Philadelphia Inquirer who filed this analysis at 3:00 a.m. today. His conclusion: if the man yelling for help was Zimmerman, then he might be justified in the shooting. If not, he is guilty of murder and the police should have arrested him then.

As a result of this kind of one-sided analysis, the inevitable has happened. First, the man now holding office as President, Barack H. Obama, took time to tell the world that he mourned Trayvon Martin as if he had been his own son, before hopping on his airplane to fly to Seoul, South Korea. Second, the New Black Panther Party offers a ten-thousand-dollar bounty for the capture of Zimmerman. That is incitement to riot, false arrest, false imprisonment, or even murder.

A new witness

But now a witness has stepped forward to support Zimmerman’s account. That witness, who gave his name only as “John,” says that he saw the fight between Zimmerman and Martin. The way “John” tells it, Martin was lying on top of Zimmerman and was pounding him with his fists. “John” describes both men by the clothing they were wearing. He saw a young man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, or “hoodie,” raining blows on a supine man wearing red. Martin wore the gray “hoodie,” and Zimmerman wore a red shirt. “John” says that he yelled, “Stop!” and said that he would call police. “John” raced into his own home and upstairs to his telephone. Then, presumably, he heard the shots. When he looked outside, he saw the man in gray lying motionless on the ground. (And by the way: police said that Zimmerman had blood on his face and head, and the back of his red shirt was wet and had grass stains. That is just what they would expect if that story is correct.)

“John” told his story to WND and to the local television station. They were the first media outlets to report his story. Incredibly, The Philly Inquirer came out with its one-sided analysis, supporting Martin and the people now screaming for Zimmerman’s blood, after the account by this witness was available!

Summary

Did Zimmerman act properly? Maybe not. The police say that Zimmerman was going back to his SUV when Martin suddenly attacked him, knocked him down, and started raining blows on his face. That suggests that Zimmerman chased Martin down to ask him what he was doing in the neighborhood. He was taking a chance by doing that. Even a police officer does not face a suspect, or a “person of interest,” without another officer to back him up.

Why was Zimmerman acting alone? Probably because his neighbors blew him off. To say that he was an overzealous neighbor and simply wore everyone’s patience thin is easy to say. What is not so easy is to remember a time when neighbors looked out for one another. If break-ins had happened in the neighborhood, and Zimmerman still had no support in standing watch at night, whose fault is that? Zimmerman’s? Or the complacent neighbors’?

The news media have shown the grossest negligence. They acted, no doubt, out of a wish that no person, except a sworn and salaried law-enforcement officer, carry a gun or even own one. Perhaps they also wanted to get Florida’s legislature to repeal that State’s new “Stand Your Ground Law.” For whatever reason, they completely left out the report by this witness, though that witness told his story to the police that night. And they carefully built up a narrative that was sure to appeal to the worst instincts in our society. Nobody likes a tattler; therefore George Zimmerman must be a tattler. Martins’ family supplied photos of him, when he was clean-cut and smiling for the camera. The media then said that Martin was walking down the street, minding his own business, when Zimmerman drove up to him, viciously attacked him, and then whipped out his gun and shot him dead. The key: by this narrative, Martin never provoked Zimmerman in any way.

And now the nation’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer weighs in to support that narrative, and an organization with a reputation for voter intimidation offers to pay someone to kidnap a man. Sweet.

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

62 Responses to Zimmerman justified after all

  1. The Truth Shall Set You Free says:

    You blame the media for jumping to conclusions in the Trayvon Martin killing, and yet you are doing the same thing. You have ONE witness, who reportedly saw this young man being murdered, who claims that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense and you print a story that is supposed to be fact from ONE account. How is this possible? It has been weeks since this murder occurred without anyone coming forward as a witness and now suddenly there is a witness….how convenient!

    Zimmerman’s self-defense theory is thrown out the minute that he leaves his car pursuing Mr. Martin on foot. It seems that Mr. Martin was acting in self-defense by punching Zimmerman after Zimmerman attacked Mr. Martin for no justifiable reason. The gun was used to kill Mr. Martin and there was no self defense on Zimmerman’s part as he was clearly the aggressor! I hope that all racist’s wind up in hell, and this includes the author of this twisted “news” story! All men and women are created equal, it does not matter what the skin color is or what religion is in question, or ethnicity, all humans are equal. Period!

    • “The Truth Shall Set You Free:” Re: Your March 25, 2012 at 10:43 am comment:

      If I’ve read your comment correctly, you accused the author of this news/commentary piece of being racist and desire for him to experience perdition? Shame on you! Do you realize how bigoted and judgmental you appear? If I was Mr. Zimmerman, I, certainly would not want you to sit on the jury.

      Your untoward behavior of words here, merit an apology to Terry Hurlbut!

  2. yarnoiser says:

    Fine, so we accept “John’s” new testimony as the most probable version of the story. This still leaves Martin’s death as completely preventable. Zimmerman was irresponsible, both for trying to be a “one-man neighbourhood watch force”, and for ignoring emergency services warnings to let the police handle it. A trained police officer (especially if there is more than one) is better able to subdue a suspect without having to fire his weapon. This is what they are trained to do. If Martin was merely just a “suspicious youth”, and not immediately endangering anyone, Zimmerman could have waited that five to six minutes. Furthermore, we still don’t know how the fight broke out, only who was loosing it before the gunshot was fired. Maybe he can get off with using the weapon for self defence at that time, but he should still be accountable for the actions that put him in that position in the first place.

  3. Fergus Mason says:

    This sounds highly dubious. The 911 operator told Zimmerman not to follow Martin (who was, after all, guilty of nothing more than walking down the road talking on his phone) yet he did follow him, which frankly is stalking. Some reporting suggests that Zimmerman has previously had legal issues that have involved him being accused of stalking. The author of the “Stand your ground” law – which sounds great, by the way – says that Zimmerman isn’t covered by it. He chose to confront Martin and he chose to carry a firearm while doing it; there’s at least a degree of premeditation there.

    As for the gun control angle, I love guns and I really don’t want to see their private ownership banned. At the same time I’m not at all happy about a guy who’s been accused of dometic violence and convicted of assault and battery carrying one while he follows people down the street. Here in Germany people with a criminal record or mental issues don’t get to own guns and I’m just fine with that. NOBODY except the police can carry one in public. Guess what our murder rates are like compared to yours?

  4. The Truth Shall Set You Free says:

    Why are my comments always deleted? Is it because I often disagree with your articles premises? Don’t you value differing opinions or are you one of the many conservatives who can only tolerate other conservative views such as those of Fox “News” for instance?

  5. DinsdaleP says:

    There are multiple points in this essay that justify a response.

    – Putting a bounty on Zimmerman is stupid on many levels, and hypocritical on the part of people outraged at what they perceive as vigilante justice. He doesn’t have to appear anywhere unless the authorities request him for questioning or issue a warrant, so there isn’t even cause for this nonsense. The most pressing reason to withdraw the bounty, is that Zimmerman is legally armed, and in Florida has the legal right to use deadly force to protect himself if anyone tries to take him against his will. This is just a setup for more violence and tradegy without any reason.

    – It’s also ridiculous to assume that anyone questioning if the “Stand your ground” laws need to be modified also want to take away guns from law-abiding citizens. Much of the objection to these laws comes from law-enforcement personnel, who expressed valid concerns that the open-endedness of how “self-defense” is defined and treated could create a cover for crimes. As the law stands, I could walk through a park at night, shoot a random person, and then claim he was the one attacking me and that I was defending myself. Just as with Zimmerman, hte provisions of the law require that to be enough for the police to accept my story and end any investigation of liability. To any reasonable person, that’s a serious flaw in laws designed to reduce crime, not allow loopholes to commit them.

    – For someone who’s interested in covering all sides of the story, you’ve left out a few points about Zimmerman. He was involved in a domestic abuse incident with his ex-fiancee in 2005. He was also arrested in 2005 on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer, although the charges were later dropped. These are facts, not opinion, and the facts describe a man with aggression-control issues.

    – Whatever his zeal in acting as a member of an unregistered watch, there’s a huge difference between reporting potholes and nuisances and pursuing someone while armed, with the intent to use deadly force if you feel you need to. His profile doesn’t fit that of a person who could be relied on to follow orders from law enforcement (he didn’t) or manage a stop-and-question situation without requireing deadly force (he didn’t). This is not just my opinion – Chris Tutko, director of Neighborhood Watch for the National Sheriffs’ Association, said Zimmerman broke some cardinal rules:

    First, he approached a stranger he suspected of wrongdoing.

    “If you see something suspicious, you report it, you step aside and you let law enforcement do their job,” Tutko said. “This guy went way beyond the call of duty. At the least, he’s overzealous.”

    Second, Zimmerman carried a handgun. Police departments and sheriff’s offices that train volunteers advise them never to carry weapons — though Zimmerman broke no laws by doing so because he has a concealed-weapons permit.

    “There’s no reason to carry a gun,” Tutko said.

    – Zimmerman was in a car, and could have pursued Martin from his vehicle to keep the police aware of his current location. He ignored police advice to back off, and even then, could have maintained a pursuit from his car. The only way for him and Martin to get into a physical altercation is if Zimmerman drove after him, exited his car, and confronted him.

    – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush agrees that Zimmerman’s decisions went past the intent of the “Stand you ground” law in that state:

    “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”

    – Finally, in your zeal to defend Zimmerman because his potential culpability is somehow a threat to your Second Amendment rights, you seem to be going out of your way to ignore the perspective of Trayvon Marting in this. Race aside, here’s a good kid, going to the store, and on his way home he’s stalked by a guy following him in an SUV.

    I’m caucasian, Terry, so this isn’t a race issue. I’m also a parent, and I’ve trained my kids, both boys and girls, that if a stranger approaches in a car and calls out to you, they need to do one thing immediately – RUN! This was not a uniformed law officer, this was not a marked police car. As a parent the last thing I’d expect a smart teen to do is to stop and let a stranger approach him, day or night. Saying “I’m in the neighborhood watch” carries as much weight as “I have a puppy that needs help – come here”. If the stranger got too close and confronted me, and I couldn’t get away, my kids and I are trained to attack enough to stun and throw the aggressor off balance enough to get away safely. My sensei teaches that as a self-defense principle – flee, and if you can’t, then confront, and if you have to confront, don’t let up until your attacker isn’t going to get up again to follow you.

    Martin was the one doing no wrong, walking in the neighborhood he was residing in. If a stranger continued to follow him even after several attempts to evade, and then got out of the car to confront him, how is anything Martin did at that point NOT a more appropriate case of “Stand your ground” than what Zimmerman did.

    Except Zimmerman had a gun, after shooting Martin he was the only one left alive to tell the story of what happened.

    I don’t want any law-abiding person’s guns taken away, Terry. But I don’t want law-enforcement wanna-be’s with anger issues to feel emboldened by a self-proclaimed title and a gun to ignore the advice of the police they claim to respect, and create confrontations where none exist. I want my kids to feel safe walking the street, and to know that no one but a uniformed cop has the right to stop and question them, and that running from strangers, and fighting them off if you can’t, is the right thing to do.

  6. rpeh says:

    Leaving aside the veracity of this testimony for a moment, if you truly believe lethal force was justified when one person was armed with a gun and the other with a packet of Skittles… you have a very different value system from me.

    I see you have also ignored the offensive racial insult used by Zimmerman.

    Are you really defending this murder?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      There are four ways that I can defend murder:

      1. It wasn’t murder, but suicide or accident.
      2. He didn’t do it.
      3. He was legally justified, acting in self defense or the protection of his home.
      4. The killing was otherwise excusable.

      In this case, Option 3 above applies. Say what you will about his judgment. But when the guy got him down on the ground and started to beat him within an inch of his life, he had no further choice but to draw and fire.

      • DinsdaleP says:

        “He was legally justified, acting in self defense or the protection of his home.

        That’s only speculation on your part, Terry, and since this happened on a public street it can only be about defense of self, not of home.

        A boy was walking back from the store to the house he’s staying at, doing nothing wrong in the process. That somehow seems suspicious to Zimmerman, who reports it to the police, but then ignores them when they tell him to back off. He not only continues to follow the boy, but at some point makes a choice to exit his car and confront him directly in person.

        Neighborhood watch or not, that choice to confront removes the shield of self-defense in this situation, because Zimmerman was the one who initiated the confrontation – he was the aggressor.

        You’ve also sidestepped my point above about “stand your ground” applying to Martin as much as Zimmerman. While walking home from the store, a stranger in an SUV starts following him, and the Martin’s first choice is to evade him and continue home. The person in the SUV continues to stalk him, and at some point pulls up, gets out, and approaches Martin. Why is that not a reasonable threat to Martin’s safety and person, and if the confrontation that Zimmerman initiated led to a fight, how does “Stand your ground” not justify Martin defending himself with force against the stalker, even if he threw the first punch?

        If Martin had a gun and shot Zimmerman for approaching him at that point, you’d likely be defending him and frankly so would I. Zimmerman’s created the situation, lost control of it, and when it led to a fistfight that he was losing, resorted to deadly force against an unarmed opponent. You don’t even need to bring race into the equation – Zimmerman was in the wrong on objective points, and it cost an innocent teen his life. You don’t need to defend the man to defend the right to bear arms, and people who misuse that right as he did need to be held accountable.

        • Fergus Mason says:

          “Neighborhood watch or not”

          “Not,” as it turns out. Zimmerman appears to have been pretty much self-appointed, from all that I’ve read. He just did a few night classes on crime prevention then started prowling the streets with his Kel-Tec gangsta special.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            This goes to your basic lack of awareness of American individualism. Nobody appoints neighborhood watchmen. All such persons appoint themselves. They are volunteers.

            Now if he had pretended to be a deputy sheriff, that probably would have been over the line, unless the local sheriff had sworn him in. He did not pretend to be that.

            He probably would have liked to have been part of a watch force larger than one. But his neighbors blew that off. So he carries the burden all alone.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            OK then. So what’s the difference between a neighbourhood watchman and a guy with a history of violence and stalking prowling the streets with a cheap pistol?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I refuse to answer that question, because it’s obviously loaded. You have bought, hook, line and sinker, into the Mainstream Media narrative. “I do not approve of unauthorized, untrained, un-sworn civilians walking the streets at any hour of the day, armed with deadly weapons.” Is not this just more of the same?

            A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

            From the Constitution of the United States, Second Article of Amendment.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Is it not the case that most Neighborhood Watch members in the USA are part of an organised group which liases with the police about their activities?

            By the way, how is a guy who’s been arrested for assault and battery and ordered by a judge to stop stalking his ex-girlfriend, who then decides to prowl the streets following people at night, part of a “well-regulated militia”?

            Indeed I don’t want to see untrained, unsworn, unauthorised people walking the streets with deadly weapons. That’s not because I want to see the people disarmed; I don’t. It’s because I know exactly what happens when firearms get into untrained hands. This case seems to pretty much illustrate my point.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “I do not approve of unauthorized, untrained, un-sworn civilians walking the streets at any hour of the day, armed with deadly weapons.”

            As I said, no I don’t approve of that. George Zimmerman had no need to be carrying a pistol. He deliberately put himself in a position where a confrontation was likely and then escalated that confrontation to the point where he killed someone. He was not a courageous hero of his community; he was a dangerous loose cannon.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “He was legally justified, acting in self defense or the protection of his home.”

        Uh what? IF Zimmerman was getting filled in by Martin it’s only because he’d put himself in that situation. I don’t know how it’s regarded in the USA, but I was always taught that one adult male getting smacked by another UNARMED adult male is not justification for use of lethal force.

        The girl Martin was talking to on the phone says that he told her he was nervous because “some strange guy” was following him. Zimmerman had already been told by the police NOT to follow Martin. How was he acting in self-defence? He engineered a confrontation.

        • DinsdaleP says:

          So here’s the unloaded question for Terry. How were any actions by Martin, including the physical component, not legitimate self-defense on his part considering he was confronted by a strange man who wouldn’t stop following him?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            The most reliable account that I have seen, says that Zimmerman said a few words to Martin, then walked back to his automobile. And then Martin attacked him from behind, knocked him down (thus accounting for the grass stains and dampness on Zimmerman’s jacket), started to bang Zimmerman’s head against the ground (thus accounting for the scalp wound), and was pummeling Zimmerman about the face with his fists (thus accounting for the bloody nose) when the witness walked up and yelled, “Stop, or I call police!” Martin did not stop. The witness went into his townhouse to make the call. And in the meantime, the situation became untenable, so Zimmerman drew and fired.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “The most reliable account that I have seen, says that Zimmerman said a few words to Martin, then walked back to his automobile. And then Martin attacked him from behind”

            Except that’s Zimmerman’s account, isn’t it? All that the witness “John” claims to have seen was the two of them fighting on the ground with Martin on top.

            Now, if Zimmerman was attacked from behind and knocked down while returning to his vehicle (therefore presumably on the pavement) why did he have grass stains on the back of his jacket? And why did he approach Martin in the first place?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Because Martin rolled the guy over onto his back. That accounts for the grass stains on the back of the jacket, and the scalp wound on the back of the head. If Zimmerman had fallen prone, and Martin never flipped him over, he’d have a laceration on the forehead.

            Either way, the case against Zimmerman, that the mainstream media have carefully built to push their gun-control and race-baiting narrative, is unraveling. Rapidly.

          • DinsdaleP says:

            If Martin tackled Zimmerman from behind, why were the grass stains on the back of Zimmerman’s clothes?

            Also, the premise of “Stand your ground” is that it allows one to take the initiative in self-defense. So how again is Martin not presumed to have been defending himself from a strange pursuer?

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “If Zimmerman had fallen prone, and Martin never flipped him over, he’d have a laceration on the forehead.”

            If Zimmerman had fallen prone he’d have had a laceration on his forehead – and probably on one cheekbone – anyway, whether Martin then flipped him over or not. In any case, why bother to flip him over? It’s much easier to control someone and fill him in if he’s face down.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Not necessarily, if he was able to break his fall as he went down.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Break his fall? At 5 foot 9 and 18 stone? I think not.

            In any case, why would Martin then flip him over? Why not just keep him face down where it’s much easier to go to work on him and – just incidentally – prevent him using a gun if he happens to have one?

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “beat him within an inch of his life”

        There’s no evidence that this happened. As in, no evidence AT ALL. No police report that Zimmerman had the broken nose his ambulance chaser now says he had and, in any case, a bust hooter isn’t exactly a life-threatening injury.

        I have to say that if someone had been following me for several minutes for no apparent reason, then approached me, I’d have a more than passing impulse to bop him one myself.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Click through to the articles where the witness tells his story, before you dismiss it so fast.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            I have read the statement. Note how it only says who was winning the fight when he saw it, NOT who started it. Note also that there are multiple other witnesses who say Martin called for help, not Zimmerman.

            In any case if someone had been stalking me for several minutes at night, then approached me, I may well feel it appropriate to hit him. Don’t tell me it wouldn’t have occurred to you, too.

  7. yarnoiser says:

    It doesn’t need to be “murder” for it to be both morally sickening, and demonstrate that Zimmerman is a danger to society. Whatever you want to call a guy who walks around with a pistol at night looking for trouble, it still cost a man his life. I’d be perfectly fine with this guy being charged with manslaughter or criminal negligence, as long as he’s held accountable, and for goodness sake, stopped from wandering the streets at night with a gun looking for trouble.

  8. Some logical observations:

    (1) It’s a shame that the Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton merchants of race baiting have to descend upon this scene and stir people up.

    (2) It’s too early to make the type of judgments now being made by the Black Panthers. They would do well to make sure that they do not intimidate voters again, this 2012 election. They need not be emboldened to act as vigilantes, simply because they were given a pass by Obama and his Attorney General.

    (3) It should not be assumed that the youth was defenseless. If, indeed, he was beating on Zimmerman, it wasn’t as if he didn’t have a pair of offensive fists.

    (4) Obama should stay out of this and lay off of his not asked for, community organizing / agitating skills. He should call off Sharpton and Jackson and tell the Black Panthers to leave the premises.

    (5) The media should have nothing to say, accept report all of the alleged, – especially since they have been sitting on the biggest story of the recent past, that being Obama’s many deceptions and his ineligibility to be legitimate president due to him not meeting the Constitutional requirement of being a “natural born citizen.”

    • Fergus Mason says:

      “the Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton merchants of race baiting”

      That’s ridiculous and hysterical.

      “It’s too early to make the type of judgments now being made by the Black Panthers”

      No, it’s just completely inappropriate in any circumstances whatsoever. Law enforcement is no more the function of the Black Panthers than it is of stalkers with a cheap pistol.

      “it wasn’t as if he didn’t have a pair of offensive fists.”

      Or defensive fists. You know, the sort of fists you’d use to defend yourself if some guy followed you for several minutes as you walked home at night then came up to you, very likely holding a gun, and asked what you were doing.

    • DinsdaleP says:

      ” It should not be assumed that the youth was defenseless. If, indeed, he was beating on Zimmerman, it wasn’t as if he didn’t have a pair of offensive fists.”

      I don’t see how people are so willing to ignore the obvious, and throwing up the publicity-seeking antics of others as a smokescreen.

      Trayvon Martin was doing nothing wrong. He was walking home from a store to the home he was living at, and minding his own business. He was only a suspicious threat in the eyes of Zimmerman. Martin was the one feeling like he was being intimidated and threatened by the stranger following him in an unmarked SUV.

      It was Zimmerman who chose to continue to stalk him despite being instructed not to by the police department.

      It was Zimmerman who caught up to Martin, exited the car, and approached him in person.

      It was Zimmerman who initiated the confrontation that escalated into a fight.

      Why is the only presumption of “Stand your ground” as justification for action being applied to Zimmerman, and not Martin? It was Martin who was followed and confronted by an adult stranger after attempting to withdraw at least once, and then the stranger confronted him in person? That’s about as clear a justification to use force in self-defense as there is. If any of my kids was in this situation and couldn’t get away, they’re trained to defend themselves and to be as forceful as they need to in order to get away.

      Hopefully there’ll be some conclusive voice-patter evidence as to who was doing the yelling for help, but in the end it’s irrelevant. Even if Zimmerman was getting beaten up in a fight triggered by his confrontation, all he had to so was yell “Stop – I have a gun!”, or just pull it out and show it. Being knocked to the ground or getting hit hard in the nose is not excuse to justify deadly force. Zimmerman was reckless, impulsive, disobeyed the instructions of the legitimate authorities, and resorted to deadly force where none was needed. You don’t have to bring in race or Second Amendment rights to admit that this person did something wrong through his choices, and an innocent person is dead because of it.

      There needs to be accountability.

      • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

        Didn’t you read the two articles that carried the story of that other witness?

        I see that I’m not finished with this case.

        • Fergus Mason says:

          Terry, you ignored every single one of DinsdaleP’s points.

          Zimmerman initiated the confrontation despite having been told not to follow Martin by the police. Trayvon Martin is dead as a direct result of Zimmerman’s actions and there has to be accountability for that. This is a case of a completely unnecessary death caused by one man’s bad judgement and irresponsible behaviour.

  9. cjt1101 says:

    Scenario for you Terry:

    You’re walking down the street at night. You notice a guy following you in his car. You walk faster. He keeps following. Then he pulls ahead of you, parks the car, jumps out, and comes at you. He’s aggressive; right up in your face. He doesn’t identify himself but he demands to know who you are and where you’re going. He’s carrying a gun and he’s not shy about making sure you know it. You try to walk past him and he grabs your arm, restraining you and yanking you back. You shove him with your free arm. He takes a swing at you and connects. You swing back and connect even harder; he goes down but he’s clearly not unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.

    Now you have two choices. You can retreat and let the armed aggressor make the next move, or you can go to the ground with the guy in the hopes of incapacitating or restraining him until the police or some other form of help arrives. You decide that the only way to ensure your safety is by going with option two. As you’re doing so, the guy pulls out his gun, shoots, and kills you.

    This happens in a state with a “stand-your-ground” self-defense law. Is the guy who killed you protected by it?

    Spoiler alert: The answer is “no,” because even a stand-your-ground self-defense law doesn’t apply to an aggressor who seeks out and then initiates a physical confrontation. In fact, the only person who is protected by any kind of self-defense law here is you, because AT ALL TIMES, your actions were motivated by a reasonable fear that you were in danger of great bodily harm. Of course, you’re not really in position to claim self-defense because you’re dead.

    To be clear: I’m not, for one second, saying that this is what happened between Martin and Zimmerman, because I don’t know. I’m just identifying a scenario in which (1) “John’s” story could be 100% true, but (2) Zimmerman still wouldn’t be in position to claim self-defense. Even if you accept every iota of “John’s” story, nothing about it gets us any closer to knowing who the initial aggressor was. All John can tell us is who was winning the fight at one point in time, not who started it.

    So even with John’s account, you don’t know whether Zimmerman was justified. If the headline of this post and your inclination to exaggerate the facts in Zimmerman’s favor (from “he was being punched” you get “he was being ‘beat[en] within an inch of his life'”? That seems like a bit of a leap) are any indication, you clearly WANT him to have been justified. But I wonder if that isn’t more the product of your natural inclination to automatically align yourself against anything that you identify as a liberal cause.

    Whatever the reason, I agree with the commentor above who pointed out that this post is flawed in the same way that so many of the media accounts it complains about are. That being said, I also agree with this post’s frustration over the way Jackson, Sharpton, and (God help us all) the New Black Panther Party have injected themselves into the conversation.

  10. […] comments on CNAV‘s earlier article bespeak ignorance of the Neighborhood Watch program and concept, the true background of Trayvon […]

  11. Terry – Re: Your March 26, 2012 at 7:50 am comment,

    I look forward to another commentary of yours about this whole unfortunate incident.

    But, be that as it may, I find it disconcerting that some of the comments following your present commentary are assuming a whole lot. These people find it so easy to believe and accept the news media whose reputation has to be severely questioned, as to their non reporting regarding Obama’s deceptions and not meeting the “natural born citizen” requirement for being a legitimate US president.

    Having stated the above, I posted the following on my Facebook general page about 5 times last night. Each time my comment was deleted. Witnessing what I see about this young man’s shooting demise, I am left no alternative than to even more question the mainstream news media.

    Following were my censored comment. And, please note the link that was also deleted along with my comment:

    I came across this site. Interesting, indeed:

    I always thought that the media’s portrayal of Trayvon Martin was like an adolescent’s picture. This website apparently, reveals more of what he looked like, at age 17, along with some other interesting information. It leads one to believe that Trayvon Martin wasn’t the daisy that the news media would like everyone to believe.

    As this blog states:

    “There has been a lot of analysis about the character of George Zimmerman in the media, and surprisingly little about Trayvon Martin…….”

    http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/was-trayvon-martin-a-drug-dealer

    • Fergus Mason says:

      What you have provided as “evidence” to a dead link entitled “Was Trayvon Martin a drug dealer?” Well, I did some quick digging and the answer to that question seems to be “Nobody knows, but there is no evidence that he was.” This speculation seems to be based on the fact that a black teenager dressed and spoke like, duh, a black teenager.

      Last I heard, abysmal dress sense wasn’t grounds for being shot.

      • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

        A report has since crossed my console that has Martin’s parents admitting that there was more to his ten-day suspension than his presence in an “employees only” or “faculty only” place. A lot more. He had traces of marijuana in his book bag. That fits the narrative that he was dealing in marijuana.

        • Fergus Mason says:

          “That fits the narrative that he was dealing in marijuana.”

          Or equally the narrative that he liked to smoke>/i> marijuana, which is hardly uncommon. In any case it has nothing to do with the night he was killed. It can’t even be argued that he was buying Skittles because he had the munchies, because the police tested his blood (although not Zimmerman’s) and there were no drugs in his system.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Put it together with some of his Facebook postings, and it looks as though he were dealing, not just using.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Perhaps. Equally, perhaps not. The posting – which isn’t by him, in any case – is utterly incoherent. Maybe his friend was asking him to share his personal stash. May be a “nigga needa plant” is some ghastly slang term for a fishing tackle shop, pork butcher or synagogue (although Martin described himself as christian.) In any case it’s irrelevant to the question of whether or not he was unlawfully killed because George Zimmerman couldn’t leave well enough alone.

        • Here’s some information. As long as some people are so cool to accept what the mainstream news has been reporting, – I suppose this information from this web link can be thrown into the mix:

          “Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin:”

          Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/26/2714778/thousands-expected-at-trayvon.html#storylink=cpy

      • Fergus: Re: Your March 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm comment,

        Were you replying to my comment? If you were, what “dead link” were you referencing? The link I left, is apparently, working. I just checked it. Your reply comment has me scratching my head. What is your point?

        And, – what of my comment? Are you attempting to make more of what I stated? All I basically said, was that there is more to this whole “case” than meets the accepting eye. I think that I substantiated my comment. If you choose to accept (hook, line and sinker) what the mainstream media is apparently, attempting to convey, – then, that is your gullible privilege.

        • Fergus Mason says:

          I just checked it again and it’s working now. It wasn’t earlier but I found exactly the same content on another, ahem, blog.

          I know lots of people with their mother’s name tattooed on their arms. One of them has the Military Cross. Similarly, whether or not Martin was involved in minor crime is a) speculative and b) largely irrelevant. The question here is, was he unlawfully killed by a wannabe cop who confronted him against police advice while stalking people around his neighbourhood?

          • Fergus: Re: Your March 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm comment:

            Here’s what you say (allege):

            “…..The question here is, was he unlawfully killed by a wannabe cop who confronted him against police advice while stalking people around his neighborhood?” [Your words]

            Perhaps, the [your] “question,” is for you, but not in a court of law. I think it material your assumption of “wannabe cop.” Why do you seem to drum up background information of Zimmerman, connect some dots, and in the same token, (apparently) think it irrelevant to do the same with Martin?

            Also, from what I understand, there was no “police advice” that you reference, unless the 911 operator was a police officer and identified himself, as such, to Zimmerman.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “unless the 911 operator was a police officer”

            As I understand it he called Sanford Police directly; that’s certainly what the audio implies. In fact the operator’s first words were “Stanford Police Department.”

        • Fergus Mason says:

          *sigh*

          Mr Bickel (I’m not going to address you by your forename because I don’t know you well enough,) do you have children?

          If so, how would you feel about your children being followed down the street at night by a guy in a vehicle? How would you feel if that guy stopped the vehicle, got out and demanded that your children tell him what they were doing there? How would you feel if the guy in question had a history of violence, had been ordered by a judge to stay away from his ex-girlfriend and was carrying a gun?

          Would you be at all concerned at this? I certainly would.

          • Fergus: Re: Your March 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm comment,

            Even if the 911 operator was a police officer, according to the story, Zimmerman allegedly said, “OK.” He then was allegedly returning to his vehicle when he was allegedly attacked by Martin who was using his arms and fists to beat on Zimmerman. Thus, if this scenario did indeed transpire, Martin was not “unarmed.” [No pun, intended]

            Now, why can’t you say “allegedly” when you go on and on? No! You accept what has been the cut and dried version by what you heard by the mainstream media. Personally, I think that people who conclude as you do, have ants in their pants and have the metal capacity of an old Western lynching mob.

            The reality is, – all of us will have to wait for those in authority, and the system, to sort this out. In the meantime, it does no good to stereotype and assign guilt and blame, unless you just want to needlessly argue, online.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            I think the lynch mob menatality, Nr Bickel, belongs to you. After all, you’re the one supporting the nutter who, for no apparent reason, was carrying a lethal weapon on the street.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Thus, if this scenario did indeed transpire, Martin was not “unarmed.””

            So what was he armed with, apart from iced tea and Skittles?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Hands and feet. And if you don’t think those are weapons, you haven’t seen a world-class martial-arts match. But you know that those are weapons. You trained in their use as such, did you not?

  12. scholar65 says:

    I would like to know Terry where are you getting this information about Zimmerman walking back to his truck? Is that factual? Can anyone attest to that but Zimmerman, because if not then it can only be an assumption. No one can prove that Zimmerman was walking back to his truck and was attacked from behind. Hek if I was Zimmerman I’d say anything too. The other witness is dead. He can’t disprove my statements. Also if Zimmerman was walking back to truck how do you explain the girl hearing the dialogue between Martin and Zimmerman? Do we totally disregard that fact as even she heard nothing at all or is it that the dialogue happened when Zimmerman was walking away and Martin attacked him? Seems like common sense type questions with common sense type answers doesn’t it?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Yeah, well, hey: no one can attest that Zimmerman acted as you accuse him of acting. And in any criminal trial, the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” I have raised doubt that I consider more than reasonable.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “no one can attest that Zimmerman acted as you accuse him of acting.”

        I think it’s beyond reasonable doubt that he acted in a way that legitimate Neighborhood Watch members are not supposed to, that he ignored police advice not to follow Martin and that Martin is dead as a direct result of Zimmerman’s actions.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Since you have demonstrated your ignorance of “legitimate Neighborhood Watch” procedure in America, as opposed to where you are currently stationed, your statement has zero or even negative probative value.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Since you have demonstrated your ignorance of “legitimate Neighborhood Watch” procedure in America,”

            Well no actually, I haven’t. In fact my criticism of Zimmerman’s actions in terms of what legitimate Neighborhood Watch members are supposed to do comes from the Sanford PD’s Neighborhood Watch manual, helpfully provided by you. You’re aware that it tells Neighborhood Watch members not to do what Zimmerman did, right?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Wrong. You clearly missed the entire thrust of that manual, which is to dispel the notion that Neighborhood Watchers are vulgar tattletales and busybodies.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “You clearly missed the entire thrust of that manual, which is to dispel the notion that Neighborhood Watchers are vulgar tattletales and busybodies.”

            Actually you clearly missed the entire thrust of that manual, which is to dispel the notion that Neighborhood Watchers are to confront people in the street.

            Zimmerman wasn’t doing what the manual says Neighborhood Watchers are supposed to do, was he?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            You and I weren’t reading the same manual.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            I was reading the manual you linked to. You know, the one that says on page 2 that Neighborhood Watchers don’t confront people and leave that to law enforcement.

  13. […] Zimmerman justified after all […]

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