Zimmerman is currently having his day in court, no matter what the verdict is, expect hysterical condemnation from the losing side. This is a good example of Hippodrome factionalism existing even in the 21st century.
Checking the web before posting, if the prosecution loses there is already rumbling that this will be prima facie evidence of a corrupt Criminal System of Justice. The claim is the only way the D.A. could lose is intentionally, by throwing the case. I’m also finding a lot of backpedalling on the MSM websites
I have observed the people who know enough (or think they know enough) about this case to form an opinion, will invariably have strong feelings supporting one side or the other. This judgement seems formed by mere exposure to the discussion about the case than the actual facts of the case, pro or con. Indeed I find it worrisome that people can have such strong emotions about this incident given that much of the discussion involves gossip and innuendo instead of critical thinking skills and factual evidence Seriously, if you’re angry at George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin, can you step back and ask yourself, what thoughts created my upset? Can I be sure those thoughts are true and not produced by mediapathic reporting?
I have my own bias, when it comes to a shooting, I care more about the justification, (is it self-defense or is a murderer trying to game the system), and less about the actual personalities involved. Spend enough time studying the politics of crime and punishment and you develop techniques that help you maintain a distance from the very real misery suffered by the very real people involved
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I approached the case from a different perspective. I was looking at the ‘logic’ of the incident. I was troubled by the first ‘news reports’ about the case. Opinions were proffered as evidence. One day there would be interviews asking Martin’s mother if they thought Zimmerman was a maniac or a monster, the next they would interview Martins father, asking if he thought Zimmerman should be executed or get life in prison, and a dozen other questions that were just not that relevant to establishing evidence of a crime. What the courts refer to as hearsay was being presented as fact.
Things got weirder, “hoody’s” were all over the news, then it would change and everyone is now talking about Zimmerman stalking Martin. A couple of days later and the new topic is how Zimmerman had profiled Martin (and yes I know the above isn’t necessarily in chronological order). What piqued my interest enough to start actively looking into the case were either the reports on The Smoking Gun &or the OP-EDs of what became known as ‘the Talk’. If you’ve forgotten, this was the story about how every black parent would have to talk to their children and warn them that all white people stereotype all black people.
This stereotyping by all white people would lead them to believe that all black people were dangerous, just from the color of your skin, and how if you weren’t careful, you might scare a white person, who would then shoot you, since white people were all stereotypers. This transcendent hypocritical nonsense was an actual part of the news cycle for a few days, (again I might be wrong on the chronology maybe I discovered The Smoking Gun evidence first)
Smoking Gun? The Smoking Gun is a website devoted to the posting a “Large collection of public documents on crimes, celebrities, politicians, and the FBI”. Their website was one of the first places I found when I decided to do a little research. While there I found 3 pieces of evidence that led me to form an opinion on what was important to me whether or not this was a legitimate Defensive Gun Use (DGU).
- A photo of a Police Officers note that Zimmerman’s back was damp and had grass stains http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/teg/tsg/release/sites/default/files/assets/zimmerman14.jpg
- Photo of note by a Police Officer detailing his observations of George Zimmerman as having a bloody broken nose and bruised face http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/teg/tsg/release/sites/default/files/assets/zimmerman15.jpg
- A photo of a Police Note with an eyewitness account of Trayvon Martin straddling George Zimmerman punching him “mixed martial arts” style, during an interview in the 1st hours of investigation .http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/teg/tsg/release/sites/default/files/assets/sanfordpd1.jpg
Here it might be useful to expound on the difference between objective evidence vs hearsay evidence. Objective evidence is stuff you can point to or hold in your hands, touch, see, hear and so on. Hearsay is pretty much everything else=).
An Anonymous phone call claiming Zimmerman is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, is hearsay.
A photograph of a LEO’s handwritten note recording an eyewitness account is objective evidence to the fact that there was a report, which may be useful when evaluating the eye witness testimony the report contains.
A photograph of a person is objective evidence, although relevance is determined by when the photo was taken.
Again, I started out questioning the legitimacy of the shoot, and I had quickly found strong evidence that justified this as a DGU. And the fun wasn’t over
- A picture of 12 year old Trayvon was used to depict a cherubic cheeked little boy, instead of a current picture of the 17 year old, 5′ 11″, 156 pound young adult.
- NBC was caught editing Zimmerman’s 911 call from that night to cast Zimmerman in a bad light
- CNN reported Zimmerman had used the racist epithet “coon”, then had to retract it when it was shown the word was cold.
- Although there has been considerable media attention linking this incident to Florida “Stand Your Ground Law”, and prosecutors have shown that Zimmerman attended classes where the “Stand Your Ground Law” was analyzed, it is irrelevant to the case at hand and the defense isn’t expected to use it in Zimmerman’s defense. Simply put, you don’t need to invoke stand your ground when you’re flat on your back
- The media has constantly labeled Zimmerman as a ‘Neighbourhood Watch Captain’ and reported he was ‘On Duty’ patrolling the neighbourhood. Actually, when he spotted Trayvon, Zimmerman was leaving the neighbourhood en route to the grocery store
- A factor in the original (evidence based non-political) decision to treat it as DGU? When told the struggle between Martin had himself had been caught by a video surveillance camera, Zimmermans response was “thank God”. There wasn’t a video, remember the Police can tell you any lie they want when investigating you for a crime
- Trayvon Martin, who used the sobriquet No_Limit_Nigga on social media, spent time extolling the virtue of a concoction known as Purple Drank, made from cough syrup, a watermelon flavored drink and skittles. Martin was filmed buying watermelon tea and skittles at a 7/11 shortly before his death.
- Martin’s social media chats reference illegal drug use, blunts (cheap cigars filled with marijuana) were a common topic, note THC was found during Martins autopsy, and one of the reasons Zimmerman called in was Martin acted stoned
- Martin’s social media accounts show immersion in hip-hop aka thug culture and features guns, drugs, etc
- The woman who testified that Trayvon was scared because he was being followed, wasn’t scared enough to call for help when she lost contact with Martin
- And on and on and on
This is just a smattering of the problems surrounding the case from my perspective. I am happy with my opinion, that this was a justified shoot that fits the parameters of Defensive Gun Use. What I find disturbing is the behaviour of state actors in reference to this case, although it does happen, politics should not trump the Rule of Law. There is more evidence of malfeasance by state actors in pursuing this case, than evidence George Zimmerman purposefully killed Trayvon Martin
One last thing, Zimmerman brought the rope they are trying to lynch him with.
If you are ever in enough danger that you need to resort to Defensive Gun Use, remember that after the shots you made to stop the threat to your existence, you are not finished defending yourself. Beyond telling the police you were in fear for your life and acted to stop the threat, keep your trap shut. If you, like George, think you’re safe to cooperate with Law Enforcement Officers, then you might end up in the hot seat. Don’t give statements, don’t take lie detector tests, don’t make video taped walk throughs with the police. It is an unfortunate fact but the police and District Attorneys are not always on the side of the law abiding citizen, and they can tell any lie they want attempting to get you for a crime. Even a half-way decent lawyer can make sure you don’t give them a chance to hook you up. If you choose to practice defensive carry, you need to give as much attention to preparing for the aftermath of such an event as you do your gun handling skills. Find someone you can trust to have your back, then make sure they are cool being your backup. After calling the Law to report your DGU, call your friend and have them come babysit you. You need to make sure they know enough about this area of the law that they can prevent you from giving the Criminal Justice System rope they can tie into a noose
Keep Your Powder Dry=)