Sunday, July 14, 2013

Florida rules that stalking and killing a black child is legal

If people don't believe racism is alive and well, I tell them to go to Twitter. They have these handy things called hashtags: #. And you can follow it yourself. It's on full display there every single day and night.

Today, racists are crowing and happy with themselves. So don't tell me this hasn't strengthened and emboldened them. I can read for myself. Last night, after the announcement of the verdict in George Zimmerman's trial, they were gloating and joking that nationwide, "blacks and white liberals are furious"--and they were enjoying the HELL out of it. So before you say my headline is over the top, go over there and read, and then get back to me.

Trayvon Martin's murder has been ruled justified. And he was an innocent boy doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG.

Let's review.

A grown man (with an ongoing wannabe-cop fixation) followed an unarmed kid talking to a girl on the phone; jumped out of his car and stalked him (directly against 911 advice, even though he blatantly lied and told the 911 operator he was abiding by their advice) and then pointedly picked a fight with him, at night. The boy thinks he's a freak or pervert and says something like that to his friend on the phone. The white man's first words to him are "What are you doing?" instead of "Hey, I'm 'Neighborhood Watch,' what's up?" and there is a fight, in which the kid feels he is being attacked by a pervert, and fights back. Zimmerman, who deliberately broke 'Neighborhood Watch' rules by being armed and stalking a suspect, shot him in cold blood.

If the races were reversed? It is impossible to imagine, isn't it? Would a black man stalk and shoot a white kid without being arrested immediately and pleading out right away?

There wouldn't even have been any trial.

As Tavis Smiley commented this morning on TV: Under existing "Stand Your Ground" laws, it is understood that George Zimmerman could legally "stand his ground"--but Trayvon was not permitted to stand HIS ground and fight back. His act of fighting back against a strange attacker, was seen as proof that he was dangerous and deserved to die.

And so, there has now been a trial. A bad one. A trial with no African-Americans on the jury. Let me ask you, if the above reverse-race scenario occurred, would the jury trying the black man (if he didn't plead out, which he would have) be all black?

Again, it's a laughable reversal, isn't it?

It would never be permitted to happen.

Travesty does not cover it. This is a seriously racist country, and some places (like here and Florida) are obviously far worse than others. And plenty of racists defend Zimmerman's stalking-behavior and murder. (Right-wing commentator-queen Ann Coulter promptly tweeted "Halleluyah!" after the verdict was announced. )

It is open season on black males in the South. Well, let me amend that... the recent award-winning film FRUITVALE STATION, about the murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland, reminds us that it isn't just the South. Certainly, I saw comments on Twitter from as far away as the UK, saying rah-rah George Zimmerman.

I remember asking one frenetic Twitterer why they thought Trayvon seemed so "suspicious"; he looks like any one of the random regular kids in my neighborhood. I walk at night around here and I pass them all the time. They have their late-night candy in their hands, just as Trayvon did. They are polite and say hi to me, nodding amiably; I have never been afraid. One of the Twitterers said WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!? HE LOOKED SUSPICIOUS, HE LOOKED DANGEROUS!

No, he didn't. Only if you believe all black kids are intrinsically scary, could you claim such an outrageous thing.

It was due to the torrent of racist tweets that I knew what the trial's outcome would be, and said so, repeatedly, on our radio show. Local activist Traci Fant went to Sanford, Florida during the trial and called our show, making the same prediction. We knew that Zimmerman would be set free. He speaks for too many people; he is their hero.

The sacrifice of Trayvon Martin appears necessary to sustain the heart of racist America, since we now have a black president. The racists couldn't get rid of Obama, so this is their consolation prize. That's the only thing I can figure out.

I am deeply ashamed of our country and court system today.


Comments welcome, as always, but PRO-ZIMMERMAN COMMENTS WILL BE DEALT WITH VERY HARSHLY. As far as I am concerned, if you are pro-Zimmerman, you are a racist and I will be addressing you that way.

If you are pro-Zimmerman and somehow believe (i.e. lying to yourself) you are "not racist", you will hereby convince me that the race-reversal I offered above, could actually happen and the outcome would be exactly the same. There will be no other pro-Zimmerman discussion allowed here. NONE.

Take it to Twitter. They wallow in it over there.


bryce said...

totally FUBAR.

DaisyDeadhead said...

I just added the tag FUBAR, bryce, thanks for reminding me.

JoJo said...

It's really messed up. Esp. w/ that black woman in FL getting sentenced for 20 yrs for firing warning shots at her abusive ex husband.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't wish the prison system on my worst enemy, or on George Zimmerman.

I wouldn't want to weaken the presumption of innocence either.

But... what is *wrong* with the people cheering this case?

Saying that this proves racism is dead when an afaik all-white jury [one member being Hispanic doesn't make her non-white] allows a white man to kill a black boy?

Saying that Martin was "attacking" Zimmerman, when Zimmerman was the one with the gun and was the one pursuing Martin?

And something is wrong with self-defense law if you can kill someone to defend yourself from someone defending themselves from you. It could happen in a very tragic situation, but it should be one more reason to require de-escalation whenever possible.

Ann ODyne said...

no improvement since 1964.
Mississippi Burning.
Trace it back to those uptight fanatic religious zealots landing at Plymouth Rock and their kind shot Chief Geronimo in the back after lying to him.
No better in Australia either. I despair.

Sevesteen said...

There is plenty of screwups to go around in the Zimmerman case. It's reasonably likely that Zimmerman was too wrapped up in protecting his neighborhood. It is reasonably likely that Martin wasn't a cute innocent 13 year old, but rather a high school student in enough trouble for drugs and theft that his Mom sent him away to try to break the cycle. It's plausible that Zimmerman was jumped on the way back to his car, also plausible that Martin thought he was being stalked or set up for something, and at least in his mind justifying striking first. Also plausible is that Zimmerman tried to detain Martin, and Martin was legitimately trying to escape.

There are several different stories of prosecutorial misconduct with discovery, especially regarding evidence recovered from Martin's phone. Apparently an IT worker was fired for bringing that to light. There were places where the media was caught severely manipulating the facts, particularly editing out the the 911 dispatcher asking about Martin's race to make it sound like Zimmerman said "This guy looks like he's up to no good … he looks black."

Despite the media's harping, Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with the criminal part of this case, and wasn't used as a defense. Do you really want people who appear innocent in a self defense situation arrested anyway? Do you really want people to lose their right to defend themselves if they don't obey criminals who tell them to leave a public place?

There was a good bit of evidence against the Media and the Prosecutor's version, and not enough against Zimmerman's. Trial by Media shouldn't be part of our justice system. Innocent until proven guilty is vital, and more important than any one case--in this case, the state's case simply wasn't strong enough.

(And my primary interest is as a gun nut, not as part of a racist White-Hispanic family)

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen, I was astounded that Rachel Jeantel was not (seemingly) prepared to testify. She seemed to have NO expectation at all that her account would be attacked point by point. She was not coached on her demeanor, etc.
Nasty pundits kept saying "she isn't coachable!" and blahblahblah, but after the media had her for dinner, the next day her demeanor DID improve, so she WAS able to learn fine when she had to.

The prosecution didn't even TRY, is what it was.

When I had to testify in court (nothing half this important!), I was carefully coached to lose the attitude, sit up straight, be polite, etc. When I saw that they put an angry 19-year-old on the stand, unprepared, it made me furious. (NOT putting her down, I'd be angry under the circumstances too!)

It really speaks volumes about the ineptitude of the prosecution.

Sevesteen said...

I suppose the prosecution could have done a better job in a few areas, but I think there really wasn't anything to try with. Had Martin been a white punk sent to live with his father due to discipline problems at home, the initial police investigation would have been similar...the difference is that without media pressure it would have been allowed to stand.

The rules of evidence for the media are quite a bit different than the rules of evidence in court. In every case where I have personal knowledge of a story that made the news, the media got key facts flat wrong. Most people I've asked share the same experience.

As for the woman firing a warning shot at her ex--I haven't followed the story at all closely. I have seen reports that she went to where HE was living (they had both lived there, she had moved out months prior), had an argument, then retrieved a gun from her car and returned. In general I'm in favor of women using guns to defend against men who beat them, but if ANY of that is true, she was in the wrong.

Side note, warning shots are almost always illegal in almost all states.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen: Had Martin been a white punk sent to live with his father due to discipline problems at home, the initial police investigation would have been similar

Zimmerman would not have stalked a "white punk". His behavior rested upon the idea that Trayvon looked "suspicious"--and he was wearing NO gang colors, paraphernalia or anything like that. There was NO reason to think he was suspicious, unless, as I said in my post, you think black males are suspicious just because they exist.

This was the genesis of the incident. You either believe Zimmerman was out of line for stalking him, or you don't.
If you believe Zimmerman was within his rights to GET OUT OF HIS CAR, armed, and follow Trayvon, you are making pro-Zimmerman arguments, and I would appreciate you stopping that now.

the difference is that without media pressure it would have been allowed to stand

It could also be that nobody thought to cover up the story, since initially, Trayvon's death was not regarded as important, just as Zimmerman was not given a toxicology test, but Trayvon was. (why?) They accepted Zimmerman's version immediately, did not tape his first police interview, and allowed his friend the US marshal to take him home.

A black man who shot a white kid? You think they wouldn't even tape the interview? It is this juxtaposition that blows everybody's mind. Because that simply would not happen.

Re: white punks, for instance, THIS CASE was considered "important" and therefore the records adequately sealed so that nobody could "agitate for justice"... since it also involved several diff jurisdictions (just to make it dicey).
The other difference in that instance was the police shooting a white kid (not exactly innocent, since he was driving drunk, which of course is not an executable offense, last time I checked), and Zimmerman was not a cop, although he seemed to think he was.

The rules of evidence for the media are quite a bit different than the rules of evidence in court.

The prosecution could have fought to bring in Zimmerman's history of calling 911 and cops constantly, over nothing. Building a case against his character, painting him as a dangerous vigilante, if that was a cornerstone of the prosecution -- would have been allowed in. Just like prosecutors painted John Gotti as a mobster because of who his friends were, and Jodi Arias as a stalker because she shimmied in Travis' doggie-door after he changed the locks on her. (they also tried it against Casey Anthony and failed) Establishing a pattern of behavior is a tried and true prosecutorial method...but they didn't even try, as I said. There was PLENTY of Batmanesque behavior from George throughout his whole life, to work with, if they had simply tried. But either 1)they were too afraid of alienating the law-and-order types on the jury, or, sadly 2) they were too lazy and inept to do the deep research this kind of prosecution requires. And ask Juan Martinez, it DOES require a lot of work, long hours and dedication.

And we haven't even broached the subject of why black men are not on juries, which has to do with the racism of the criminal justice system, arresting and convicting them more often, while Jack Sterling and other white thieves who steal millions are walking free. Don't get me started. And no, do NOT tell me "blacks commit more crimes"--since all those Wall Street thieves that ruined the economy were NOT black men. "Crime" is defined as whatever the white male property-owners who wrote the Constitution and the law, decide it is. Otherwise, why is the entire firm of Goldman Sachs not imprisoned?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Do you think firing warning shots, not harming anyone, deserves a 20 year sentence? Really? Surprised to hear a gun nut say that.

If it was a white woman, would that make the sentence any more outrageous to you? Asking seriously.

It is always a good thing to juxtapose race, gender, sexual orientation, etc... if you want to be sure you are being fair. i.e. I can't imagine a white man in Florida getting more than probation or a year at most, for warning shots. Can you?

If not, then you should be outraged at a different sentence for anyone else. IF you care about justice.

Like they say, no justice, no peace.

Sevesteen said...

Martin was wearing a hoodie on a rainy night. In the rain, I'd probably have the hood up. It was almost an hour after sunset (and I think, but don't know that twilight is shorter in Florida than farther North) Was there a lot of Martin's race visible for Zimmerman to see while following? Witnesses didn't necessarily know which man was on top, one described "the taller one" rather than "the darker one". 'Acting suspicious' can be entirely based on movement and situation, with no identifying features visible.

My argument is reasonable doubt. I don't think there was a good guy in this. I don't think Zimmerman deserved to be beat up for following, I don't think Martin deserved to be shot for walking aimlessly in the rain, or even if he was actually guilty of whatever Zimmerman suspected him of planning. If there is a small but reasonable chance that Martin attacked Zimmerman without sufficient reason, and that Zimmerman was really getting his head slammed into concrete, then reasonable doubt requires a not guilty verdict. I wish Zimmerman had stayed in his car. I wish Martin had stayed in school, or had stayed at his father's house. Barring that, I wish there was video of the whole incident so we could know exactly what happened.

There are circumstances where I think warning shots should be legal, but only if "aimed" shots would also be legal. Guns are essentially last ditch escape tools--if you have successfully escaped, then retrieve a gun and go back you've given up the moral and legal high ground. Calling it warning shots doesn't change what it really was--armed intimidation (or maybe she's just a really bad shot...). Should someone who points a gun and demands your wallet be treated as a pickpocket or overly-aggressive panhandler if he doesn't actually shoot you? No harm, no foul? I'm generally against using a gun to get your way, even if shots aren't fired.

Anonymous said...

I see Daisy knows little or nothing about this case.

There are plenty of big name lawyers on both the left and the right who not only predicted this outcome but said the case should never have been brought in the first place. Jeralyn Merrit at Talkleft, Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection, and of course Dershowitz are a few. The argument is there was not enough evidence to ethically charge Zimmerman. The initial police investigation was set to go before a Grand Jury - there may or may not have been a trial on a manslaughter charge- and that would have been the end of it until Ben Crump, various race baiters including the Black Panthers and the State AG got involved and took it out of the local SA's hands for no reason ever disclosed and decided on a charge of 2nd Degree Murder which was laughable on the face as they had no evidence to back that up whatsoever.

Angela Corey is the States Attorney in this case, she was the one that sentenced that woman to 20 years for the 'warning shot'.
She claimed the media were lying and that the shot was at the husband and that the two children also claimed so. I think she is above the law and lies as it suits her but your mileage may vary.

Regardless, you've never grown out of your 60's and 70's radical mindset about race. Too bad George Zimmerman had to become an 'honorary cracker' to you and so you are unable to judge him fairly. I wonder if you even watched the trial. I've been following the case for over a year and watched nearly every minute of the trial and this verdict to me seems just. It's a shame the state chose to lie to put Zimmerman on trial and its a shame that "Saint Skittles" is being compared to freakin EMMIT TILL by the race baiters but that's how these things work. The larger story is actually about huge corruption and violations of due process at the highest levels of the Florida judiciary which has probably ended up ruining the lives of thousands and thousands of poor blacks, whites, and browns, but so long as we focus on 17-forever-going-on-12 Trayvon that will never be addressed.



DaisyDeadhead said...

Clarence, are you still hanging around the blog where you were once accused of being a white supremacist? ;) Just asking.

Question: Why would anyone say that about you, Clarence? Especially someone you claimed to RESPECT? Certainly, you sided with him over me, which told me a lot about you. (Bros before hos, I think is the expression?) Since you respect him, let me ask: does this mean he was right about you being a white supremacist? If not, why didn't you get upset about that accusation?

I think you've shown some racial bias previously, haven't you?

You say I know nothing about the case, but you have offered no new facts of the case here. The fact is that in Florida, as the judge instructed the jury, the definition of "manslaughter" also means putting oneself in the position to make such an event happen. Zimmerman did that.

I knew a biker who went into a bar, had a violent fight picked with him by a guy who accused him of sleeping w/his wife (witnesses galore, who testified to this) and so he fought back, unintentionally killing the guy by hitting his head against the wall. He was convicted of manslaughter under the Florida definition.

Why is Zimmerman less guilty than this guy?

Probably because Zimmerman wasn't known as a biker, but just as a cuddly "neighborhood watch" guy--i.e. a gang member with a good reputation instead of a bad one.

Regardless, you've never grown out of your 60's and 70's radical mindset about race.

THANK YOU! What a nice thing to say. I sometimes worry that I will buy into the "color blind" okeydoke of our times, and we see the results of that bullshit in this trial, don't we?

I wonder if you even watched the trial.

About 80% or so.


Speaking of white supremacy, I like how you can't be even bothered to spell his name correctly: Emmett Till.

Actually, bad comparison. Emmett Till actually did something to piss off some rednecks, while Trayvon did absolutely nothing. (If so, besides fight back, as I would have done also, EXACTLY WHAT did he do?)

Also, Rodney King is a bad comparison, since at least RK was allowed to live.


I know what you mean.

Can you believe that some working class white men are STILL believing the lies perpetrated by the same system that oppresses them? Some of them are SO deluded they join the "men's rights movement" or spout white supremacist/right-wing crap because it makes them feel better about the fact that (for example) they can't find a wife and have no children. Seriously!

You might want to look up the psych terms, "displacement" and "projection" -- since its terribly obvious.


DaisyDeadhead said...

BTW, Clarence, we will be discussing the contemporary phenomenon of white racists who think they aren't racist but very obviously ARE, on today's radio show. How timely is that?!?

I will be quoting your 60s/70s remark, since I think you have a point. In our present times, whites have not been openly confronted in the same way that we were back then, and we are much poorer for it. And consequently, we get racist verdicts like this one.

Hope you will tune in, 5pm EST.

Livestream here. Website/podcast here.

LarryE said...

Daisy -

When I see what you sometimes put up with, I'm sometimes glad I don't get the same traffic you do. :-)

For now and for here, I'll just say that personally, I have no patience with the "if only" arguments punctuated, as always, with the implicit deep sigh, an argument that strips the case - that is, Zimmerman - of all agency, as if what happened was "an act of God" rather rather than the act of a person.

Gorgeous Gregg said...

Glad to see Daisy is still able to get you involved Sevesteen. I hope you'll understand that I am addressing your points in part because I believe we may have some common background.

The question of what sort of kid Trayvon Martin was should never have been allowed into court. I confess readily that I didn't watch the trial, so perhaps his character was not besmirched, but if it was, that alone is a travesty. There is no way he could have defended his reputation, as Zimmerman shot and killed him. Trayvon Martin's supporters used an older photo of Trayvon to put as human a face on him as possible, but I believe the public got to see more recent photos though, and I never saw one which made me think that Trayvon was a dangerous character.

Zimmerman wasn't "wrapped up in defending his neighborhood", he was an armed man roaming his neighborhood looking for a confrontation IMO. He was indeed a vigilante. I don't ascribe racist intent at the beginning, he didn't know anything about Trayvon when he first began to suspect him, but it's clear to me that once he realized that Trayvon was black, he decided that he was right to suspect that he was "up to no good", and he decided to ignore the admonition to stay in his truck.

Was the media out of line? Sure. I suspect they were. They usually are. Shouldn't matter except in as far as we should push them to do a better job.

If self-defense was not used, then on what basis did they not convict? Zimmerman admitted to shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. Maybe you're asserting that stand your ground laws and self-defense are different.

Innocent until proven guilty...of what? Of shooting and killing an unarmed 17 year old boy who did nothing wrong? GUILTY. Period. That much is certain, and the fact that he walked with nothing but a bit of inconvenience, a few days behind bars and a cloud over his head. Hardly fair recompense for snuffing out a life...and then running.

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely no clue who called me a White Supremacist or, if indeed, anyone ever did. If so, I have no idea who or why as I hardly ever comment on racial cases and the blogs that me and you have been on together are about gender and not race. I'm simply not signing in here because I don't want to give out any personal information from my google account.
I don't know if you have more than one "Clarence" in mind, but I'm the same one you know from Feminist Critics and Genderratic.

I'd give you 'evidence' but you clearly aren't interested in THAT. You have your bigoted and rather stupid mind made up and really, I could give a shit less what 'good' you might have done in the past when you try to get a guy who wouldn't be welcome at any Conservative Citizens Council meetings lynched because you can't try to work toward a colorblind world.

No, I don't think this case had a racial component. You could try to find out WHY Zimmerman felt the drug using, fight loving, product of a broken family was suspicious but you don't want to, it doesn't fit your silly narrative.

Let me put it to you bluntly Daisy: Since your favorite thing to do with anyone who disagrees with you about racial matters is to call them a racist esp if they are white (though as this case shows it doesn't matter) you have no credibility on this issue whatsoever and you are actually rather a blight for both people who are trying to help defendants in the criminal justice system as well as those who are working toward a truly color blind society.


P.S. I actually had your back a few times there against Dungone but your deluded mind has already went into sexist territory as well. "Bros before hos" my ass. I actually backed you when you had good ideas and I praised you when you showed your knowledge of feminist history, but you prefer to ignore all that and launch into some sort of weird rant. If you aren't on meds you might want to take some. I think you are starting to mix things up.


DaisyDeadhead said...

Clarence, it's RIGHT HERE. Dungone is the one who called you a white supremacist. He wrote and I quote:

Anyone who thinks that Clarence and I agree on a lot of points must be incapable of anything but the most black and white thinking possible. I don’t agree with Clarence on the vast majority of the things he believes in. In some cases, I believe that believes the right thing but for the wrong reasons, in other cases I believe that he recognizes the right problems but comes up with really bad solutions, and in most cases I believe him to be blinded through an ideology that he refuses to give up in spite of all the evidence in the world that he is flat out wrong. But most of all, I think that he embodies what I think is typical of uneducated individuals who engage passionately in intellectual debates without having the critical thinking faculties to know their head from their ass.

It’s not really complicated. Clarence is conservative and errs on the side of white supremacy. I am a social democrat who has done all the things in life that someone like Clarence believes are moral virtues espoused by his ideology, but hasn’t actually done himself. So it makes for some very comical flame wars when Clarence tries to use emotional arguments and silencing tactics that are so typical of right wingers, but yet every time he does so I can pull something from my personal experience that trumps his ability to use shame against me.

And you let it all slide. I guess you didn't read it at the time? My mistake then.

I was rather hoping you'd eat him for dinner, since he's a total fake and hasn't done shit. (Except win the Nobel prize and everything.)

Clarence: You could try to find out WHY Zimmerman felt the drug using, fight loving, product of a broken family was suspicious but you don't want to, it doesn't fit your silly narrative.

1) You could have said all of that about ME when I was 17 years old too... but then I am a white female and not under suspicion. (PS: And I learned THAT from you guys over at Genderratic/Feminist Critics, and suddenly you vacate your MRA ideology?)

2) Are you maintaining that Zimmerman could tell all of that about Trayvon just by LOOKING at him? Really?

How so?

Are you serious? You sound even worse than you usually do. This whole thing must have your back up.

Really, I'm asking. A kid walking around with Skittles and talking on the phone is "dangerous"? What did he DO that was dangerous, at that exact place and time? Not three weeks previously at his school (which Zimmerman didn't know anything about... or are you claiming he DID know Trayvon?).

There was NO reason for Zimmerman to leave his car. Period. If you think so, you are endorsing vigilante behavior... and sure, 'take race out of it' (which is a joke) ... and it's STILL vigilante behavior. It was the cops' job to deal with potential troublemakers, not Zimmerman's. He broke THREE rules of 'Neighborhood Watch'--which he claimed to represent. What justification do you have for that?

You present no facts, because you don't have any.

Speaking of Dungone, I hate to agree with him (since he hates me too), but you ARE using the "emotional arguments and silencing tactics that are so typical of right wingers" he mentions... however, the "personal experience" he speaks of is all made up, so unfortunately, his claims to best you in arguments is bullshit, and you usually win.

Yes, thanks for having my back in certain instances. I should have the good grace to say so.

But in this instance, you are simply dead wrong, pardon expression.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Wow! Prominent Men's Right blogs Genderratic, Feminist Critics and A Voice For Men have NO MENTION AT ALL of the Zimmerman verdict. Fascinating! -- since I certainly heard from MRAs at the time of Martin's murder how this case was PROOF of how men routinely fall under suspicion (see my comment above) in a way that women routinely do not.

I even agreed with them!

I guess they are not into ALL men's rights anymore, huh? Silly me, I thought they were serious, but I see they got the memo, and they are all about WHITE MEN'S RIGHTS now. Not ALL men. (At least the Good Men's Project is an notable exception.)

I guess I stopped commenting on Men's Rights blogs just in the nick of time. This blatant hypocrisy would be a bit MUCH for me to stomach.

Anonymous said...

Well Daisy:
Since you haven't yet banned me, I'll answer your question.
The original narrative was that Trayvon was heading straight home from the 711.
It's .8 miles from the 711 to Brandy Greens house.
6:24 is when he leaves the 711 verified by CTV.
When does Zimmerman first call about him? 7:09

Now right there that tells you he wasn't going straight home. He might have been hanging out in areas to keep out the rain, or maybe he didn't care and was just talking in the rain , wandering around. There's all sorts of innocent things he could have been doing and some not so innocent(such as casing houses, we'll never know), but it's pretty obvious he didn't 'walk straight home'.
From the time Zimmerman says "he's running" to the non-emergency number operator to the time that Trayvon's phone goes dead with RJ is almost 4 minutes on the dot.
That's when the fight started.
At any time during those four minutes when he was less than 300 feet from his fathers girlfriends house did Martin:
A. Tell RJ he was scared? No.
B. Call 911? No. He stayed on the phone with RJ so clearly he wasn't scared to TALK on the phone. So...why didn't HE call the police?
C. He's 11 years younger than Zimmerman, approx 50 pounds lighter and 5 or so inches taller. I don't believe Zimmerman could outrun him or catch up to him why didn't he go home? It's not like his home is in some isolated area where the scary man can break without any neighbors to hear or help. Brandy's home is a row home and her neighbors were pretty much all home on both sides of the walkway that night.

We don't know why Zimmerman felt Martin was suspicious exactly except for what is on the 911 tape. We know he didn't talk about race till he was asked, and at first he wasn't sure. We know he said this kid was wondering around in the rain off the sidewalk. We know he said the kid looked like he was on drugs , and in fact we know that Martin was a fan of "lean" and MJ and had some THC in his system though we don't know if it was from that day or a few days prior. It's also possible that on a dark winter night some kid with a hands free headset might look like he's waving his arms around and talking to himself. We just don't know.

Another thing we can pretty much put to rest is that Zimmerman was actively chasing Martin. Even if he got out of his truck and set off running after Martin the time frame between when the door opens and the dispatch asks him if he is following Martin is 15 seconds give or take one or two. Zimmerman says 'ok' when told 'we don't need you to do that'. Indeed , you never hear Zimmerman breathing hard let alone out of breath the whole call.

Anyway, it's reasonably clear that Zimmerman didn't run Martin down, that Martin either could have easily reached his temporary home or was there for a bit (RJ's testimony) and came back (due to where his body was found and all the evidence both witness and physical took place). RJ said he told her he wasn't frightened.

There's a heck of a lot of this that doesn't add up or make sense esp if you buy a simplistic narrative of Zimmerman hunting this kid down like a dog. Whether it was a tragedy because Zimmerman was a wannabee cop who got scared when some kid beat him down or a tragedy because a scared or angry TM (maybe he lied to RJ about being scared; or maybe, and less sympathetically he thought he'd teach this guy a lesson. There's no way he'd know Zimmerman was armed cuz it was dark and the gun was concealed)attacked first we may never know. But racial animus esp from a guy who had a black grandpa, fought against the police when they beat down a black homeless guy and mentored AA kids and whom the FBI already did a racial investigation on and found nothing is a bit much.


DaisyDeadhead said...

Clarence: The original narrative was that Trayvon was heading straight home from the 711.

"Original narrative?" From whom? Not from Trayvon, since he is dead. We don't know WHAT he was intending, do we?

Now right there that tells you he wasn't going straight home.

So what? I never walk straight home. I go the longest route, to get some additional exercise.

So, young black men need to go straight home. Got it.

Tell RJ he was scared? No

I take "there is some creeepy ass cracka following me" to mean that he WAS scared, of course.

I guess you hear what you want to hear. Imagine that.

So...why didn't HE call the police?

Excuse me? Seriously?

You are admitting Trayvon should have felt like he was in danger, that Zimmerman was a dangerous person?

Glad to see you admit that, at least.

So why didn't he go home?

Why should he have to go home? Are you saying young black men shouldn't be out on the street?

Honestly, do you hear how you sound?!?

We don't know why Zimmerman felt Martin was suspicious exactly except for what is on the 911 tape

Of course we do. Wake up, Clarence.

had some THC in his system

Which means he was even MORE peaceful and mellow than usual, of course.

What did Zimmerman have in HIS system, and why was he ruled automatically sacrosanct after a murder and we never got to find out?

Zimmerman noticeably blew up over 100 lbs after he was subjected to regular drug testing, didn't he? Points to regular meth use, of course.

(see, I can throw around baseless accusations too, its fairly easy to do)

Another thing we can pretty much put to rest is that Zimmerman was actively chasing Martin.

How did he get to him then? Zimmerman claimed they were "going the same direction"... and has never wavered from that version.

So you doubt Zimmerman's version, then?

There's a heck of a lot of this that doesn't add up or make sense esp if you buy a simplistic narrative of Zimmerman hunting this kid down like a dog.

It adds up fine, but to racists looking for excuses to kill a black kid who "should have gone home"--I'm sure it never will.

Goodbye Clarence. Enough kkk shit.

I know how to Google the St0rmfront if I want them. I don't.

Sevesteen said...

I'm generally an armed man when roaming my neighborhood. I'm not looking for trouble, I'm probably just walking my dogs. I don't own anything I'd kill to keep, I won't use my gun to protect property. However I will investigate the few suspicious looking people in my neighborhood (once a year if that) or odd sounds on my property and I probably won't put my gun away first.

I didn't say that self defense wasn't used as justification, I said that Stand Your Ground wasn't used. Stand Your Ground appears to be very misunderstood, in large part because it is often mischaracterized as "shoot first", or as legalizing "he made me nervous so I shot him", when it is nothing of the sort. For those against Stand Your Ground, what part of the actual law (rather than the media version) do you object to?

See this for a better explanation: "This guy looks like he's up to no good … he looks black."

Read more:

"Hardly fair recompense for snuffing out a life...and then running." Huh? Running?

Sevesteen said...

Sorry, wrong link in my previous post, should have been

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen, you should ask this in the voice of that pig, Maxwell, who does the Geico commercials:

You are not seriously asking me to look at a Fox News link, are you?

And I have nothing against Stand Your Ground per se. The problem is that like most laws, it does not seem to be applied equally to everyone.

Once more, with feeling... my question is: Was Trayvon allowed to stand HIS ground? Why or why not?

The fact of Trayvon "standing his ground" seems to be the whole reason (white) people are using as proof that he deserved to get shot.

So is EVERYONE allowed to stand their ground, or just white people?

Why are you defending this recklessly irresponsible person, Sevesteen? Just because he carries a gun, and you do too?

We talked about this kind of white denial of racism on our radio show today.

For instance, Clarence says:

But racial animus esp from a guy...

Racism 101: All white people are racist. Period. (The fact that opinions on this case are so heavily racially divided, is further evidence of this.) We are raised in a culture that teaches us racism from the time we learn to speak. Our task is to be aware of this and work AGAINST it, not indulge it and make paternalistic, damaging assumptions. Further, all people, of all races, learn animosity towards other races too. Therefore, to make such a statement, as if anyone is exempt from "racial animus" is ridiculous, naive and totally unaware. (In short, this statement tells me that Clarence hasn't even been through Racism 101, and consequently is thoroughly unqualified to pronounce on Zimmerman's racism.)

WHY do we do this? Gregg thinks its simply because this racial ignorance benefits us. I think it goes deeper than that, and appeals to our existential need to feel superior to someone. When we are called racist, we recoil from that, because suddenly, we are deemed morally INFERIOR, not SUPERIOR. The whole superiority-gestalt gets turned on its head.

On the show, we analyzed excerpts of Anderson Cooper's interview with juror #b37-- wherein she patronizingly said this about Trayvon and Rachel: "I think it's just the everyday life, the type of life that they live, and how they're living, in the environment that they're living in." Which is WHAT exactly? She had no knowledge at all of the particulars of Rachel Jeantel's life! Further, she was NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW any details about Trayvon's life either, IF she was telling the truth about not having followed the case in the media before being seated on the jury. (stealth juror?) So what the hell was THAT shit?

Thus, we see that the racist assumptions are staggering.

Whoever defends this verdict is not seeing clearly.

(And I wonder why that might be?)

DaisyDeadhead said...

And one more thing.

Sevesteen: Despite the media's harping, Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with the criminal part of this case, and wasn't used as a defense.

Juror #b37 believed that it did, you realize?

During her CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, she said: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.

Did Trayvon have the right to defend HIMSELF from bodily harm too?

Sevesteen said...

No, I didn't mean to paste a Fox News link here, it was a mistake caused in part by using Windows at work, Linux at home. That was suposed to be a Youtube link to Masaad Ayoob discussing Stand Your Ground.

There's a problem with ignorant jurors--I've heard several sarcastic jokes about fate being decided by a roomful of people who are either unemployed or not smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Again--what part of Stand Your Ground laws as written do you object to?

It's a serious question. It seems to me that other than its association with this case, you would be in favor of most of its provisions.

Police and prosecution need a preponderance of the evidence to hold someone in jail or require bail? Ayoob described a case from a few years ago where a black man with a carry license defended himself against two white attackers, and was arrested and held on a 6 figure bail. 6 months later, prosecutors dropped most of the charges, lost the remaining ones--but in the meantime the man was evicted from his home for being in jail, but the notice was sent to his home. When he didn't' respond (because he was in jail), they dumped all his possessions in the street.

That's what Stand Your Ground is supposed to prevent.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen: It seems to me that other than its association with this case, you would be in favor of most of its provisions.

I did a whole radio show about this topic at the time of Trayvon's murder, AND a follow-up blog post, highlighting my concerns. I pointedly linked it in my post.

Again, I don't have a problem w/anyone defending themselves. But do you see how in this case, one person is understood to have that right and the other was not?

Why do you suppose that is?

Again, let me ask: Do you agree that Trayvon ALSO had the right to defend himself?

I've asked you several times now.

Gorgeous Gregg said...

OK. Now that I have time available to respond a bit to Clarence, here ya go.

My father's name was Clarence. I believe there was a talking mule named Clarence. I suspect you resemble a mule more in your attitudes than my father. Unlike you, my Republican father saw the racism that surrounded him and realized that black folks suffered because most whites assumed they were better than their black neighbors. He knew that being constantly subjected to a society which denigrated everything about you could lead to despair and anguish, eventually leading to anger, violence and chaos.

My father disliked nothing as much as he disliked chaos. Steady was what he preferred, and he believed that one could not keep an entire people trapped under a lid while the water boiled and keep things steady. It was this essentially conservative nature which made him a Republican. He wanted an environment which was good for business, and a system like what we had in the 1950s Deep South was inconsistent with that stability.

OK, now to your particulars.

You start out really strong with "Daisy knows little or nothing about this case." One would have to think that you are working under the misapprehension that the people who read what Daisy has to say don't know anything about her. Daisy knows little about almost nothing. She knows a lot about a lot of things, and she is voracious with her courtroom watching.

Then you go on at some length about "big name lawyers"...well excuse me if I think we average folks are able to look at evidence and reach a conclusion without the benefit of being "big name" people. Like Juror B37, you seem impressed by individuals perhaps more than you should be.

You reveal yourself when you go off on Ben Crump, "Various race baiters including the Black Panthers and the state Attorney General"

First off, the Black Panther Party is no more. As Monty Python might say it, "the Black Panther Party is no more. It has ceased to be. It is an ex-party". Surely a man as world wise and up to date on what the "big name lawyers" are thinking would know that the Black Panthers can no more push an agenda than you can keep two thoughts in your head at the same time.

Mr. Crump is Trayvon's family lawyer. What was he supposed to do, let it ride? And Florida's Attorney General, Pam Bondi, a Republican, is a race baiter? For realsies?

Then you point out that the woman who pushed for a 20 year sentence against a black woman who shot her house was the same person responsible for the Zimmerman prosecution, which she bungled so badly that "not guilty" was possible, and you don't see how that bolsters the argument?

Next you step up to the plate and knock the "stuck in the 60's" slow pitch for a home run. You imply that it was Daisy, not society, which has decided that Zimmerman is white instead of non-white. I am astonished that so few people were calling Zimmerman a "man of color" until people began accusing the system of racism because they allowed the trial of a living killer to be taken over and used to assault the character of a youth not able to speak for himself because Zimmerman had killed him.

Your own diatribe besmirching Martin's name and reputation are all the evidence needed to convict you of the racism we all suffer from. Yours may be a tad more developed than mine.

Near the end of your screed you say that Emmit Till is not comparable to Trayvon Martin, implying that Till was blameless and Martin somehow culpable. I grew up in the Deep South. Daisy did not. You may not have either, but I did. I am 55 years old. Believe me please when I tell you that I have met white people who believe Till got what he deserved because he whistled at a white girl.

Until you can see the sad similarities between what a mob did to Till has in common with what happened to Martin, effective communication is beyond me.

Gorgeous Gregg said...

Zimmerman has been in hiding for weeks over concerns that he is in physical danger. A fringe group put out a $10,000 bounty on his head, which drew a swift rebuke from activists who were aiming to draw attention the Martin case.

And not even a "hello" Sevesteen?

Gorgeous Gregg said...

Emmett Till was not killed by a mob, but by two men. Even so, I have heard, in my youth, white people saying that Till got what was coming to him because he whistled at a white girl.

Mike B said...

Daisy, thanks for a wonderful post which includes inescapable conclusions about the racism of this incident and trial.

Sevesteen is wrong about Stand Your Ground having nothing to do with this trial. It is the law of the land in Florida and was therefore a part of the defense, even if the attorneys didn't specifically mention it. It was mentioned specifically in the jury instructions and in the deliberations according the the greedy juror B37 who's writing a book about it.

Sevesteen said...

I don't listen to the radio show. Once the weather gets me off the motorcycle for my commute I may if it's available as a podcast.

I went back and checked the link--I still don't know your reasoning behind objecting to Stand Your Ground--it appears to be "Idiots might think it's OK to shoot other people even if the law doesn't say that". I asked a bunch of specific questions there, got no answer from you.

Stand your ground had no more relevance to this case than Florida's ban on open carry. Both are the law, both involve guns, neither was a factor for these circumstances. (Maybe a juror was confused--nowhere near the dumbest thing I've heard a juror say)

If Martin had survived, there's a good chance HIS story would have been accepted well enough that reasonable doubt would have allowed him to go free, even if he killed Zimmerman. "Crazy dude said he'd shoot me unless I went with him, so I jumped him when it looked like he was going for his gun".

Gregg, the context where you used hiding was technically true, but disingenuous in context.

Sevesteen said...

Not too far from how I feel:

(And this time I've checked that I pasted the right link before I click Publish)