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Zimmerman's Medical Reports Show Broken Nose and Lacerations

Update: I was able to find a copy of the actual 8 page list of discovery items released by state's Attorney Angela Corey.

ABC news has obtained the 3 page medical report from the doctor who examined George Zimmerman the day after he shot Trayvon Martin. The report was included in the discovery turned over to the defense Monday.

Zimmerman was diagnosed with a "closed fracture" of his nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury....

The report also shows Zimmerman's upper lip and cheek were bruised and he had lower back pain. The back of his head had two lacerations, one of which was almost an inch in length. [More..]

The report also lists medication he was using. He took a medication that is routinely prescribed for children and young adults with attention-deficit disorder and a sleep medication. (Please do not use the name of the drug without asterisks in your comments because it brings out spammers from other countries who auto-register and post dozens of spam comments at one time. It takes me a long time to delete them.)

WFTV News reports it has confirmed Trayvon's autopsy report shows injuries to his knuckles, and broken skin on the knuckles.

After the release of the state's affidavit was released, I began opining that the state would concede it was Trayvon Martin who turned their encounter into a physical one by slugging George Zimmerman. I expounded on this when writing about the requirements for second degree murder, and the support from his neighbors and the bond hearing.

In a nutshell, the state's theory seems to be Zimmerman improperly profiled Trayvon as a criminal, reporting him to police as a suspicious person for no objective reason. Zimmerman referred to criminals who commit home invasions, and to Trayvon (by erroneously assuming Trayvon might be about to commit a home invasion) as "as*holes" and "f*cking punks." Zimmerman's use of those words in reference to criminals and Trayvon is evidence of his ill-will and hatred, and of his depraved mind, in the act of shooting and killing Trayvon during the course of a later struggle.

The state seems poised to claim that Zimmerman's following of Trayvon, and his verbal demand Trayvon explain his presence in the neighborhood, based on his unfounded assumption Martin was a criminal, somehow provoked Martin into hitting Zimmerman and made him the aggressor.

For the reasons I explained in the above posts, the state is unlikely to prevail on such a theory. To be an aggressor, Zimmerman had to provoke the force used by Martin. Provoking a state of fear is not enough. Also, Zimmerman's provocation had to be contemporaneous with Martin's use of force against him. It can't be the result of something that happened earlier.

Profiling, following and pursuing someone is not provocation for a punch in the nose or banging someone's head into concrete.

If Zimmerman is not the aggressor, if he didn't provoke Martin's punch, he had no duty to retreat, and so long as his fear of serious bodily injury or death from Trayvon's punch and/or slamming his head onto cement was reasonable, his use of deadly force in response was justifiable. Zimmerman was not committing a crime by profiling or following Trayvon and Zimmerman had a right to be on the streets of his neighborhood.

Even if Zimmerman somehow was found to be the aggressor, all that does is trigger a duty to retreat, if possible. If retreat isn't possible, and he feared serious bodily injury or death from Trayvon's physical attack on him, he can still use deadly force.

776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or...

The statute couldn't be clearer that the actions of the aggressor must be one that provoked the use of force. The provocation also has to be contemporaneous to the use of force. See Johnson v. State:

Specifically, section 776.041 "[s]ubsection (2) precludes the initial aggressor from asserting self-defense where he or she is the individual who provoked the use of force contemporaneously to the actions of the victim to which the defendant claims self-defense.

.... we note that the initial provocation would necessarily had to have been contemporaneous to the actions of the victim, as described in subsection 2(a), to which the defendant claims self-defense.

(The other section of the statute regarding forcible felonies only applies when the defendant (not victim) is charged with a contemporaneous independent forcible felony.) Numerous cases and Florida's standard jury instructions make this clear, as does a plain reading of the statute.

But even if Zimmerman's acts of following Trayvon or profiling Trayvon as a criminal were somehow deemed to be provocation, they still had to be contemporaneous with the punch. The only thing that could be considered contemporaneous would be his asking Trayvon to explain his presence. That hardly justifies a violent punch that breaks Zimmerman's nose in response.

If Trayvon struck Zimmerman, the only issue should be whether the attack was severe enough to reasonably cause a person, in this case Zimmerman, to fear serious bodily injury or death. Even in the unlikely event the Court were to agree with the state that Zimmerman was the aggressor merely for following Trayvon for no good reason, he'd still be entitled to claim self-defense after Trayvon attacked him, unless he had the opportunity to get away. How could he retreat, if he was on the ground locked in a struggle that began with him being punched and sustaining a broken nose?

The state waited to charge Zimmerman until its investigation was complete. They had to know (or at least believe) Trayvon was the one who turned the encounter from a verbal one into a physical one. The language of the affidavit and the testimony at the bond hearing strongly suggest it did know this. As I've said before, one of the first rules of trial practice is that a lawyer, in creating a theme and a theory for a case, must accept the "facts beyond change." You build your story from that.

The state may have done its best in coming up with a theory of criminal responsibility that accepts the "facts beyond change," including that Zimmerman had a broken nose and head lacerations, caused by Trayvon punching him and slamming his head against the ground or on concrete. It may sound reasonable to some, but I doubt it is legally supportable.

For the applicable legal citations and principles, see my prior posts:

As to the state's likely theory:

Also see:

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  • Display: Sort:
    That is how the state will cast it... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Cylinder on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:09:36 AM EST
    That seems to be the basis of the state's claims, though I'd quibble with the words "chase" and "street." There's no evidence that Zimmerman brandished his weapon before firing the fatal shot.

    Cylinder (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:57:13 AM EST
    Cylinder:

    Indeed, if Zimmerman is telling the truth and got attacked while he was walking away (assuming that really is Zimmerman's claim in the first place, we still have extremely limited statements from him) then it's almost certain he did NOT brandish his gun. What kind of nut attacks a man with a gun who is no longer threatening him?

    More to the point, apparently George had no history of brandishing that gun around during all those other calls to the police.

    Parent

    possessing a gun (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:04:16 AM EST
    .

    It does not matter if there is a gun, or a knife, or a roll of quarters in your holster pocket.  The contents of pockets or holsters alone do not make you an aggressor.

    The idea than an armed police officer running in your direction is automatically an aggressor is just silly.

    .

    The idea of comparing ... (3.50 / 2) (#30)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:15:25 AM EST
    ... an armed, stranger following and approaching you at night with a police officer running in your direction is just silly.

    Parent
    100% (none / 0) (#32)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:24:08 AM EST
    .

    We are 100% in agreement.  Police or civilian, armed or unarmed, merely running in your direction does not make one an aggressor.

    .

    Parent

    Of course it doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:38:03 AM EST
    The analogy, however, is silly.  Most people would perceive an armed stranger following and running in their direction as a threat.  Not so much with a police officer.

    Parent
    Interesting indeed (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:57:23 AM EST
    .

    If I recall correctly, a police officer is more likely to commit a felony than a CCW license holder.

    BTW, I've seen total strangers running in my direction and openly armed and felt nary a threat.

    This is a bit beside the point as someone like Zimmerman whose pistol was concealed would not be known to be armed.

    .

    Parent

    Very interesting (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:54:15 AM EST
    If I recall correctly, a police officer is more likely to commit a felony than a CCW license holder.

    Which might be relevant to your analogy if: 1) it's actually true, as opposed to "IIRC", 2) the person being followed is aware of that "fact", and 3) the armed stranger running in your direction has a flashing sign indicating they have a CCW license.

    BTW, I've seen total strangers running in my direction and openly armed and felt nary a threat.

    Really?  Strangers who were following you at night?  That would be almost as believable as the analogy.

    Parent

    lol (none / 0) (#176)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:34:26 PM EST
    You appear to be mistaken (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:20:11 AM EST
    .

    Reportedly Zimmermsn's suspicion was aroused because Martin was not walking directly in the rain but gazing toward houses.

    We have zero indication that Zimmerman had identified Martin's race at that time.  Given the distance, the rain, the view from a moving vehicle with wet glass, and the darkness of the hour it and the uncertainty of his response to the dispatcher's question it seems that he most likely did not make that identification before noticing suspicious behavior.

    .

    "Gazing toward houses" (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:25:08 AM EST
    Actually, Zimmerman said Martin was "walking around, looking about" and "looking at all the houses".

    Have you seen a map of the development?  It's a condo/townhouse development with buildings set close to the street.  Apart from fixing his eyes on the ground or up at the sky (which would be strange in and of itself), it would be a little difficult for him to get home without "looking at all the houses".

    Parent

    Where? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:37:12 AM EST
    On what part of his journey home was he? Where was Martin, and where was Zimmerman, that Martin could walk for over fifty seconds in a direction that was not toward Zimmerman, then turn and walk toward Zimmerman for thirty seconds? Can you point out these locations on a map?

    Parent
    What are you talking about? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:46:19 AM EST
    My point was clear.  Apart from staring at the ground or the sky, anyone walking thought the development would be "looking at houses".

    As for your hypothetical, you have no idea what direction Martin was walking, how fast he was walking, his position relative to Zimmerman, or whether Zimmerman was stationary the entire time during the first 1:20 of his call.  

    Parent

    Homeward (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:59:42 AM EST
    So move Zimmerman around.

    The question is, can you describe a single plausible scenario that has Martin moving steadily homeward?

    Willisnewton had Martin standing under the mailbox awning for an indefinite time. I think you have to resort to such a device.

    Show me I am wrong.

    Parent

    "Such a device"? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:16:16 AM EST
    That wasn't my point, although all of these scenarios are just speculation - not a "device".

    But okay.  Zimmerman observes Martin near the Main/North entrance.  He calls the police and drives South on Twin Trees (ahead of Martin, but watching him).  Martin walks the same direction as Zimmerman toward the clubhouse.  Zimmerman turns east on TT and near the turn where TT turns North/South again.  Martin walks east on TT, and passes Zimmerman @ 1:20 into the call.

    Now - how do you walk through a dense development without "looking at the houses".

    Parent

    Zimmerman turns east on TT ... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:57:29 AM EST
    ... and stops/parks near the turn where TT turns North/South again.

    Parent
    Willisnewton? (none / 0) (#94)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:50:40 PM EST
    "Willisnewton had Martin standing under the mailbox awning for an indefinite time."

    How would "willisnewton" know that?  An "indefinite" time? Clearly that's an accurate source who came to a valid conclusion based on.....based on.....um....ok.

    Parent

    Yep, when talking to 911 (none / 0) (#35)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:28:05 AM EST
    he only said Martin looks black.  So when he did identify race, he was not certain of it.

    Parent
    Correct (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:53:50 AM EST
    .

    He used the more uncertain "looks black" rather than the more certain "is black."  And that was well after initial suspicion was raised and Zimmerman would have had more time to make a more certain classification.

    .

    Parent

    Not 911 (none / 0) (#40)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:04:57 AM EST
    Zimmerman reported Martin on a non-emergency police call.

    There are two ways to verify this.

    One is to listen to the dispatcher answer the phone, and compare with how the actual 911 dispatchers do so.

    Find a site that has the Zimmerman call and the 911 calls. It doesn't matter if the site itself calls the Zimmerman call a 911 call, as many do.  

    Huffington Post

    Axiom Amnesia

    If you listen to a few of the 911 calls you will hear the phone answered in a standard way. The person answering Zimmerman's non-emergency police call answers in a different way.

    The other way is to look at the call logs. In the heading for each report, after 'Call Source:', you see either '911' or 'TEL'. 'TEL' indicates a non-emergency call.

    In the bond hearing, the investigator got this right, and on at least two occasions a lawyer was corrected by the investigator or corrected himself.

    Parent

    You are right. It was not 911 (none / 0) (#47)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:41:26 AM EST
    But my point still holds that even when Zimmerman did mention race (well after he started following him), he was not sure even then of his race.

    Parent
    are you saying that Zimmerman's (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:28:01 AM EST
    medical records are a lie?

    And please, stop the race baiting.  How many more ways can you create to call this Latino (oh excuse me, white Hispanic) man a racist?

    He WAS wandering around according to (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:10:49 PM EST
    GZ's call to the police dispatcher though he didn't use those exact words.

    Also you don't know that he wasn't casing the neighborhood for easy burglary prospects. There just isn't any proof that he was.  The police dispatcher thought he sounded suspicious enough to send a squad car right away. The neighborhood had suffered a lot of burglaries and attempted burglaries by young black males when the race of the perps was seen as it often was, over the last year.  

    Walk to a store near ... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:55:57 PM EST
    Also you don't know that he wasn't casing the neighborhood for easy burglary prospects. There just isn't any proof that he was.

    ... your home.  Buy something.  Now walk back.

    Now what evidence do you have that you weren't "casing the neighborhood for easy burglary prospects"?

    The police dispatcher thought he sounded suspicious enough to send a squad car right away.

    The dispatcher has no idea whether Martin looked suspicious.  He's relying entirely on Zimmerman's vague description.  (i.e. "looks like he's on drugs", "walking about", "looking at the houses", etc.)  Police will always send a car to check out someone who's being described to them as suspicious.  Mother Theresa could be walking down my street and I could call the police to have them check her out.  She would be "walking around", "looking at the houses", wearing a habit/hoodie, etc.

    Parent

    The police dispatcher would (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:21:55 PM EST
    be unlikely to send a squad care, which is a limited resource, if the didn't think Zimmerman made out a decent case for the late teen being suspicious.

    Parent
    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:40:53 PM EST
    You're familiar with the Sanford PD's guidelines for dispatching squad cars?

    Like I said, I could describe Mother Theresa in such a way as to warrant a squad car ... quite easily, in fact.

    Parent

    Almost forgot (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:45:00 PM EST
    What evidence do you have that you weren't "casing the neighborhood for easy burglary prospects" on the way back from the store?

    Proving a negative can be extremely difficult ... more so for someone who's been killed.

    Parent

    Yman--There have been regular assertions (none / 0) (#194)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:18:50 PM EST
    that Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong or even suspicious, when we don't know that to be true at all. We don't know either way.  

    Taking your bloody time getting home in the rain, wandering around looking at houses in a neighborhood that's suffered at lot of burglaries and attempted burglaries from young black guys when he's a young black guy, and looking to Zimmerman like he might be on drugs, would make me suspicious as well. I think it would make most people.

    Parent

    Telling (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:20:35 PM EST
     
    Taking your bloody time getting home in the rain, wandering around looking at houses in a neighborhood that's suffered at lot of burglaries and attempted burglaries from young black guys when he's a young black guy, and looking to Zimmerman like he might be on drugs, would make me suspicious as well. I think it would make most people.

    Says much

    Parent

    Ahhhhh ... the "black guy" thing again (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:26:56 PM EST
    Not an answer.  How do you prove someone walking through a neighborhood where they're living isn't doing something wrong?  How fast do you have to walk down your street to prove you're not "casing" houses for a burglary?  How do you walk through a densely populated development without "looking at houses"?  What does "looks like he's on drugs" mean, with no details to support it?

    Pffffttttttt ....

    Parent

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:29:11 PM EST
    Is this a troll designed to defame TalkLeft or Jeralyn? At no point has Jeralyn painted Trayvon Martin or his family in such a disgusting light or with such abhorrent and "purple" rhetoric, so why are you? And why are you referring to "George" as "Jorge" over and over again?

    I agree that comment should be deleted but (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:39:12 PM EST
    While I don't expect that commenters comment to be long for this site because it potentially defames the Martin family too much, it is good for even just a few seconds to see some of the bile and obvious contempt that a few of the commenters here have for George Zimmerman thrown back on Trayvon Martin's family and their very obnoxious and money seeking in my opinion lawyer.

    Parent
    Defames them "too much"? (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:51:17 PM EST
    What would be the right amount of defamation directed at the martin family and their lawyer, in your opinion?

    BTW - I didn't see the comment, but: 1) there's been nothing defamatory written about Zimmerman here, and 2) how do you justify defamatory comments made about the Martin family - who's son was killed - because you don't like some of the comments about Zimmerman?

    That's some very interesting logic.

    Parent

    Heehee (2.00 / 0) (#172)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:28:08 PM EST
    Cute, Yman, cute.
    No defamation AT ALL is what I meant.
    The comment that was deleted -and it was not one of MY comments- seemed to be associating the Martin family with the bad behavior of their lawyer and implied something other than grief has been the prime cause of their actions.

    And as for "nothing defamatory written about Zimmerman" perhaps you should ask Jeralyn about some of the comments about him she's had to delete over the past few months. You might also concede that at this point not a single one of you that backs the prosecution of this case is in any position to do more than speculate as to what Zimmerman's motives and actions of that night were, though you've sure put him and his family through the ringer.

    I also have yet to see a single one of you denounce the fact that he and his family are in hiding at this point. Apparently this is how Yman wants trials to be conducted in America.

    Feel good now?

    Parent

    you must be new here (none / 0) (#177)
    by CST on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:35:15 PM EST
    and not reading very hard:

    "I also have yet to see a single one of you denounce the fact that he and his family are in hiding at this point"

    There were numerous discussions about threats early on, and they were absolutely denounced.

    But if you're not actually looking for something, you probably won't find it.

    Parent

    CST (none / 0) (#183)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:43:41 PM EST
    Yes,I am new here as far as this discussion is concerned. I was last here in 2006, under a different name that I totally forget right now.

    But more to the point, I've participated in the last 3 threads on this issue and haven't seen a single denunciation, EVEN THOUGH I just learned that it wasn't only Zimmerman in hiding - his father and a few other relatives are hiding as well.

    Perhaps you could link me to a few denunciations from the past 3 threads other than something like a single "oh how horrid" a month or two ago? Thanks.

    Parent

    the last 3 threads (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by CST on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:49:11 PM EST
    no.  Frankly a lot of us, myself included, have been avoiding them.  But early on in the case when there were vocal threats, etc.. it was absolutely discussed at length and denounced.  As far as I was aware there hasn't been anything new on that, and the tempest has died down to some degree.

    But no one here supports that, and frankly, your insinuation that a lack of current and constant commenting indicates support for such actions is pretty offensive.

    Welcome to TL.  I would suggest that commenting in 3 threads is not nearly enough to make a statement like that about the people who comment here regularly, on this issue or any other.

    Parent

    What would seem to be confirmed (none / 0) (#190)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:09:23 PM EST
    Is that it's more than just George Zimmerman in hiding. What isn't confirmed yet at least that I've heard today is that Zimmerman's lawyer received a threat during the night he was to get the discovery.

    I don't think this has "died down" as much as you'd like to believe, CST. Look for riots when or if he is acquitted.

    Parent

    I imagine (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by CST on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:29:39 PM EST
    if riots occur I won't have to go looking for them.  I also apparently have a bit more faith in people than you.

    Threats against him, his family, or anyone associated with him due to this case are illegal and should be investigated to the fullest extent, not to mention obviously wrong.  But a lack of commenting on said subject doesn't indicate support of those actions.

    Parent

    Oh please, stop with the riot stuff again (5.00 / 2) (#201)
    by ruffian on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:38:47 PM EST
    Not only you, I know, but others. That is such a smear on the people of Florida.

    Parent
    Seriously? It has to be ... (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:59:26 PM EST
    ... from the last 3 threads to be valid?

    The death threats against the Zimmerman's have been denounced on TL, but probably no in the "last 3 threads" because; 1) the threats weren't germane to the topic of the threads, and/or 2) we don't feel the need to condemn things that are obviously wrong.

    For the record, I also condemn child abuse, killing puppies, torturing animals of all types, and any music by Ke$ha.

    There - that should set the record straight.  Well, ...

    ... for three threads, at least.

    Parent

    I applaud you for (none / 0) (#188)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:06:32 PM EST
    being a decent human being as concerns death threats to defendants in criminal trials.

    That still doesn't mean you didn't treat me unfairly and obnoxiously, but I'm glad to see we are on the same side for something.

    Parent

    Not the point, but thanks. (none / 0) (#193)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:15:12 PM EST
    My heart is just bursting with joy at the good news.

    Parent
    I just saw that (none / 0) (#138)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:17:02 PM EST
    cmment and deleted it.

    Parent
    Also. (4.67 / 3) (#84)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:34:12 PM EST
    The various injuries to Zimmerman and Martin have nothing to do with who initiated the struggle. They add nothing but gore, and a bit of corroboration to Zimmerman's story of the after-effects. The injuries reported here are consistent both with a scuffle initiated by Zimmerman AND a scuffle initiated by Martin.

    I think a portion of the state's case will be looking at inconsistencies in Zimmerman's statements, whether to the police or to family/friends. The hand over the mouth coupled with the screaming. The "movie gangster" quips Zimmerman has Martin saying coupled with a narrative that includes a "surprise" attack from behind. Etc. Some of the stories from the mouths of those around George Zimmerman don't mesh together very well. This is not worth a conviction, but the state may use it to discredit Zimmerman's version(s) of events.

    I'm guessing there's more evidence out there on both sides, so we'll see what the verdict is. I don't foresee a conviction based on the present evidence, though. The larger societal and policy issues at play here seem to get even more important if Zimmerman is exonerated under current law, but that discussion is for other sites.

    Slight clarification... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:47:49 PM EST
    The "movie gangster" quips Zimmerman has Martin saying coupled with a narrative that includes a "surprise" attack from behind.

    ...that "Zimmerman" is George's father, Robert. Robert was relaying what his son (apparently) told him (source), but as far as I know George Zimmerman hasn't himself publicly related the dialogue between himself and Martin that night.

    Parent

    Say whaa (3.50 / 2) (#1)
    by MoeizW on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:17:51 AM EST
    "Profiling, following and pursuing someone is not provocation for a punch in the nose or banging someone's head into concrete."

    I just can't shake the feeling that if a black man chased down (insert ANYONE here) with a gun, the idea that he isn't an 'aggressor' would be preposterous.

    Has there been any evidence of Zimmerman brandishing or showing his firearm? If he did, wouldn't that put Trayvon in fear of his life (and empower him to defend himself)?

    Or can you only defend yourself when you're getting your ass kicked after following someone?

    there's no evidence (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:31:28 AM EST
    he chased him brandishing a gun or showing it. The state hasn't alleged that, it has only said Zimmerman improperly assumed Trayvon was a criminal and followed him. It says a confrontation ensued and does not say Zimmerman initiated it or even that a gun was displayed during it.

    Your injection of race via an unfounded assumption that Zimmerman "chased" Trayvon "with a gun" is inappropriate. I'm not going to let the thread get hijacked into a discussion of racially disparate treatment based on your false and unfounded assumption. Responses to the race-baced allegation in this comment will be deleted.

    Parent

    "Your injection of race..." (3.50 / 2) (#15)
    by MoeizW on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:05:36 AM EST
    I forgot; the American legal system is oblivious to race.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    As for the state never alleging that Zimmerman brandished the gun, you're right - the first persons to claim that Trayvon attempted to disarm Zimmerman either before or during the fight were Zimmerman's own defense attorneys.

    How you disarm a 'hidden' gun is beyond me.

    Parent

    MoeizW (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:47:24 AM EST
    Apparently a lot of things are beyond you.
    Since there seems to have been some sort of physical struggle it is not preposterous to suggest:
    A. Trayvon never knew there was a gun until he was shot with it
    B. Trayvon felt or saw the gun when he was on top of Zimmerman, panicked and tried to either "take Zimmerman out" with the head bashing or to get the gun out of his holster, and a panicked Zimmerman shot him.

    But that just doesn't play as well as Zimmerman acting totally out of character and brandishing his weapon all around, I guess.

    Parent

    I can't shake the feeling (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:54:53 AM EST
    that if this altercation had taken place between Zimmerman and a guy of English and Polish extraction, everyone would be referring to Zimmerman as the person of color and everyone's knee jerk race card would get pulled in his favor rather than against him.
    It is 2012, we have a black president because in the GE a majority of Americans went to the polls and voted for him.  It is time to change the narrative on victimization.

    Parent
    ps (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed May 16, 2012 at 07:25:07 AM EST
    generally, unless you are insane or hyped up on pcp (do people even get hyped up on pcp anymore?), when someone "brandishes a gun" your LAST response would be to approach them and punch them in the face.

    Parent
    You might punch them in the face once.. (none / 0) (#89)
    by redwolf on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:39:14 PM EST
    to try to disarm them but after that all you would be doing is trying to wrestle the gun out of Zimmerman's hands.  No time for adding black eyes.

    Parent
    As I recall, didn't Defendant (3.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:44:17 AM EST
    Carry his handgun in his waistband as opposed to in a holster?  If so, it seems likely the handgun was visible to the victim when Defendant verbally confronted him.

    According to this article (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by rjarnold on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:52:18 AM EST
    "Zimmerman wore it on a holster inside his waistband, according to a police report." It was also described as "a gun so small and light you can carry it in your pocket undetected." Also from everything I've read, it was very dark, so taking all this together I think there is a very good chance that Martin did not see the gun.

    Also, we don't know that Zimmerman confronted Martin, it could easily have been the other way around.

    Parent

    Thanks for the info re (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:59:49 AM EST
    the holster. I need to stay away from these posts as I can't figure out how the victim. Could have defused the situation and saved his own life. Very sad.  

    Parent
    Six Ways (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:23:36 AM EST
    Speculative response to a speculative question:

    1. Going home.
    2. Leaving the area, possibly calling his father to pick him up on the way home from the restaurant.
    3. Calling 911.
    4. Discussing the situation with Zimmerman without punching him.
    5. Walking away after Zimmerman was on the ground.
    6. Beating Zimmerman up with only his fists, without striking his head against concrete or grabbing for his gun.


    Parent
    Wasn't the victim's father (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:27:57 AM EST
    Gone somewhere w/ his fiancee?  And wasn't the victim going "home"?

    Parent
    Who Was The Victim? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:07:01 AM EST
    We don't know that Martin was a victim. Calling him that presupposes that the shooting was unlawful, which is the main point in contention.

    Tracy Martin and Brandy Green went out to dinner. Did you see the word 'restaurant'?

    If Martin had gone home, he would have been there within a minute of Zimmerman losing sight of him, at least a minute before Zimmerman's police call ended, at least three minutes before the fight started.

    Parent

    Talk about speculation (none / 0) (#11)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:14:51 AM EST
    How was Martin supposed to know that Zimmerman lost sight of him?  ESP?  The timing thing is bizarre.  

    Parent
    The Timing Thing (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:01:01 AM EST
    How was Martin supposed to know that Zimmerman lost sight of him?

    I didn't say he did. I was just using that moment as a reference point. I was estimating how long it would take Martin to get home at a slow walk, after Zimmerman no longer saw him running.

    Take any other moment on the timeline, including when Zimmerman's police call first connects. The answer is the same. Martin had time to get home, and time to spare.

    I know there were reasons Martin might have chosen not to go home. I said so a long time ago. The point is he could have done so, and if he had he would probably be alive today.

    Parent

    Six answers (none / 0) (#12)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:27:44 AM EST
    1. He was going home
    2. Silly.
    3. Eh. Hindsight.
    4. It appears they were arguing with each other. You don't know what they said to each other that could have led to the punch in the nose, if that was indeed the first punch that landed.
    5. Walking away?  Zimmerman wasn't knocked out or even incapacitated and claims to have been screaming for help.
    6. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And isn't it true that a lot of statements that he made do not make sense in terms of the injuries that he described. Did he not describe to the police that Mr. Martin had him on the ground and kept bashing his head on the concrete over and over and just physically beating him with his hands?

    GILBREATH: He has said that, yes.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And isn't it true that there is evidence that indicates that's not true?

    GILBREATH: Yes.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he also not state that at some point, he the defendant -- did he not state or claim that the victim in this case, Mr. Martin, put both hands one over his mouth and one over his nose so that he couldn't breathe?

    GILBREATH: Yes.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And all of sudden that's when he was able to get free and grab the gun. Or I'm sorry, Martin was grabbing for the gun, did he not claim that too at some point. climb that?

    GILBREATH: Yes."

    Parent

    Going Home (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:07:10 AM EST
    He was going home

    Martin had plenty of time to get home before Zimmerman got off the phone with the police dispatcher.

    There is no evidence that Martin could not have chosen to go home instead of trading words with Zimmerman.

    Crump's Maarch 20 presser:

    He says, I'm not going to run. I'm going to walk fast. At that point, she says Trayvon -- she hears Trayvon say, why are you following me. She hears the other boy say, what are you doing around here.

    There's nothing to show whether Martin or Zimmerman chose to close the distance between them, but since Martin spoke first it seems more likely it was he. It might have been both of them.

    In any case, there is also nothing to suggest that Zimmerman was in any way hindering Martin from going his way. Martin chose to stand and trade words with Zimmerman, until one of them got physical.

    Martin could have gone home earlier, while Zimmerman was on the phone or in the two minutes afterwards. If he was at last going home when he encountered Zimmerman, he could have gone ahead home instead of stopping to speak with him, for all we know.

    Bond hearing:

    O'MARA: Zimmerman confronted Martin, those words. Where did you get that from?

    GILBREATH: That was from the fact that the two of them obviously ended up together in that dog walk area. According to one of the witnesses that we talked with, there were arguing words going on before this incident occurred. But it was between two people.

    O'MARA: Which means they met. I'm just curious with the word confronted and what evidence you have to support an affidavit you want in this judge to rely on that these facts with true and you use the word confronted. And I want to know your evidence to support the word confronted if you have any.

    GILBREATH: Well, it's not that I have one. I probably could have used dirty [sic; probably error for 'thirty'] words.

    O'MARA: It is antagonistic word, would you agree?

    GILBREATH: It could be considered that, yes.

    O'MARA: Come up with words that are not antagonistic, met, came up to, spoke with.

    GILBREATH: Got in physical confrontation with.

    O'MARA: But you have nothing to support the confrontation suggestion, do you?

    GILBREATH: I believe I answered it. I don't know how much more explanation you wish.

    O'MARA: Anything you have, but you don't have any, do you?

    GILBREATH: I think I've answered the question.

    It seems clear that 'confronted', as used in the probable cause affidavit, is not to be understood to mean that Zimmerman was doing anything to prevent Martin from going his way.


    Parent

    Who's Silly? (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:12:54 AM EST
    2. Silly.
    3. Eh. Hindsight.

    First time I've seen 'hindsight' in regards to Martin calling 911. I think you are the one being silly.

    If Martin was afraid of the stranger knowing where he lived, calling 911 would be the logical thing to do.

    The usual reason given for his not doing so, is that he had heard of the racist reputation of the Sanford PD. That's plausible.

    I don't know of any evidence of what Martin had heard about the SPD, or any evidence that he had ever expressed an opinion about it.

    If going home and calling 911 were both ruled out, the next logical choice would be to leave the complex by the back exit, getting onto a busy street where there would be witnesses to anything that happened, and open space to see if anyone was following. This is silly how, exactly, please?

    Then he could have called his father and told him about the situation. Most likely his father would have cut his dinner short and come to pick him up. If the stranger was still following on foot they could lose him easily. If he was following in his car they could drive into Orlando and report the situation to the Orlando police.

    I think that would be the best Plan C, if Martin were on his own. Chad complicates the picture.

    That the stranger would break into houses randomly, and possibly hurt Chad, would be far-fetched. But if I were in the situation in which I'm picturing Martin, I know I would never forgive myself if something like that happened after I walked away.

    In that situation, I might decide the best option, Plan D, would be to talk to the stranger, try to find out what he wanted, and maybe convince him to go away.


    Parent

    Defusing (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:39:29 AM EST
    You don't know what they said to each other that could have led to the punch in the nose, if that was indeed the first punch that landed.

    Right.

    We don't know who threw the first punch. We don't know that it wasn't Martin. We don't know that Martin could not have 'defused the situation and saved his own life', by not throwing that punch.

    Zimmerman wasn't knocked out or even incapacitated . . .

    Cheryl Brown has said that her son Austin thinks he was watching someone lying on the ground for about ten seconds before he was distracted by his wayward dog. During that time it seems the person on the ground wasn't even trying to stand up.

    Zimmerman . . . claims to have been screaming for help.

    This isn't just something Zimmerman 'claims'. It is supported by an eyewitness with no known reason to lie.

    Parent
    It wasn't throwing the first punch, if he did (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:58:33 AM EST
    as I believe for reasons I've stated to be most likely, that gave Zimmerman a right to lawfully use deadly force against him.

    It was Trayvon's continuing to slug Zimmerman in the face repeatedly after he had given him a bloody and possibly (which turned out to be the case) broken nose, while pinning him to the ground as he screamed for help, and especially his repeatedly bashing Zimmerman's head against the concrete sidewalk, which could cause a concussion, coma or even death, which did so.

    As you implied above, if Trayvon had merely thrown the first punch, knocked Zimmerman to the ground, not bashed his head against concrete, and gotten up and left as Zimmerman screamed directly to eye and ear witness John for help, Zimmerman would have have no legal right to shoot Trayvon in claimed self defense, and would likely be found guilty of second degree murder or at least manslaughter.

    Trayvon would have still been guilty of assault and battery, but likely alive, and if dead, owed justice.  

    Parent

    Total agreement (4.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Cylinder on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:28:51 PM EST
    IMO, the broken nose and merely corraborates Zimmerman's narrative that he was attacked. That injury alone doesn't (IMO) rise to [i]reasonable fear of death or GBH.[/i]

    The head injuries are clear evidence of reasonable fear.

    Parent

    Overreaction to a broken nose (none / 0) (#86)
    by Cylinder on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:36:49 PM EST
    Putting aside the head injuries, however, I would place overrreaction to a broven nose as an imperfect justification claim, which would be manslaughter. By itself, IMO, that would not rise to deparved mind.

    Parent
    Yeah good analysis. (none / 0) (#192)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:13:40 PM EST
    I agree with that.

    Parent
    Do we have information (none / 0) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:56:47 AM EST
    on where the skittles and drink were found in relationship to the site of the "confrontation?"    I don't recall, off hand.

    Parent
    Nothing Solid (none / 0) (#53)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:03:42 AM EST
    There was an early report that both items were found in Martin's pockets. The sourcing was vague, something like 'police say'.

    Parent
    Thans. (none / 0) (#55)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:16:07 AM EST
    Conflicts (none / 0) (#63)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:31:19 AM EST
    Cheryl Brown has said that her son Austin thinks he was watching someone lying on the ground for about ten seconds before he was distracted by his wayward dog. During that time it seems the person on the ground wasn't even trying to stand up.

    You're selectively quoting that interview which was quite balanced and adding your seems which wasn't in the interview at all and ignoring that the mother made clear that her son couldn't tell at the time whether the person on the ground was the one screaming for help.

    "Zimmerman . . . claims to have been screaming for help."

    "This isn't just something Zimmerman 'claims'. It is supported by an eyewitness with no known reason to lie."

    I see you edited my quote but anyway, he apparently also claimed in one of his statements that Martin had his hand over his mouth before he shot him (see bail hearing).  I think the accounts I've read indicated that the screaming lasted until the gunshot.  Even the Brown interview you linked to says that.

    Parent

    Huh? (none / 0) (#175)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:32:10 PM EST
    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And isn't it true that there is evidence that indicates that's not true?

    GILBREATH: Yes

    Broken nose and cuts on the back Zimmerman's head seem conclusive that Martin had him on the ground beating his head into the concrete.

    And isn't there a witness that says he saw that?

    Parent

    I think it's clear (none / 0) (#10)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:07:18 AM EST
    that the prosecution is going to argue that Zimmerman confronted Martin and that there was an argument between the two before the physical fight.  O'Mara did a good job of objecting to the former during the bail hearing but I think that's where they are headed.

    From the bail hearing:

    "DE LA RIONDA: And sir, you were asked about the next paragraph here that Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued and you were asked a lot about what "confronted" means. If Mr. Martin was minding his own business and was going home and somebody comes up to him and starts accusing him (inaudible), wouldn't you consider that a confrontation?

    GILBREATH: Yes.

    DE LA RIONDA: That is, Mr. Martin didn't turn around and start -- he was minding his own business and Mr. Zimmerman's the one that approached Mr. Martin, correct?

    O'MARA: Let me object at this point you honor. Though great leeway is given and I guess this is cross-examination, the concern is that he's talking now about evidence that is completely not in evidence.

    LESTER: What's the objection?

    O'MARA: The objection is he is presenting facts that are not in evidence to the witness.

    LESTER: Sustained.

    DE LA RIONDA: Why did you use the word "confronted" sir?

    GILBREATH: Because Zimmerman met with Martin and it was compiling the facts that we had along with the witness statements of the argumentative voices and the authoritative voice being given from one of the witnesses and then the struggle that ensued that came from several witnesses.

    DE LA RIONDA: But prior to that confrontation, Mr. Martin was minding his own business? Is that correct?

    O'MARA: Again, your honor, we point to -- and this is not in evidence and he cannot present it that way to the witness.

    LESTER: Sustained.

    DE LA RIONDA: Mr. Martin, the route he was taking was towards his house, correct?

    GILBREATH: Yes.

    Earlier:  "DE LA RIONDA: And isn't it true that the route that Mr. Martin was going to or I should say the 17-year-old young man was going to was in the direct -- he was going directly to where he was living, where he's -- where he was staying, is that correct?

    GILBREATH: Yes."

    Parent

    In the waistband holster (none / 0) (#6)
    by Cylinder on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:01:11 AM EST
    Zimmerman carried his KalTec PF9 via an inside the waistband holster. Florida law forbids open carry by civilians - even those with concealed carry permits.

    Parent
    the police report (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:48:48 AM EST
    the officer says  after handcuffing Zimmerman, "Located  on the inside of  Zimmerman's waistband, I  removed a black Kel Tec 9mm  PF9 semmi-automatic handgun and holster."

    Parent
    Wow (2.33 / 6) (#20)
    by kmblue on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:36:40 AM EST
    An inch long laceration.  How did he stand it?

    IMO, it would be a mistake... (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Cylinder on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:50:47 AM EST
    IMO, it would be a mistake to challenge the severity of Zimmerman's wounds. The state's own expert would have to answer some inconvenient questions.

    How many blows to the head does it take to cause death or great bodily harm?

    Describe the mechanism and affects of concussive injury.

    Are the affects of concussive injuries cumulative?

    etc...

    Parent

    Has anyone (4.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:25:17 AM EST
    ever died from a head wound that left only an inch-long laceration?

    Parent
    sure (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:35:26 AM EST
    it is not the length of the laceration that matters.  If you sustain a concussion you don't need any laceration at all.  Your brain can bleed on the inside,it can swell up and kill you with out a single cut on the out side.  


    Parent
    BTW, I was agreeing with (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:06:10 AM EST
    Cylinder.  May not have been clear.  I was adding another tough question if the state chose that path.  People die from head wounds all the time without cuts.

    You could also ask, can a head wound create great pain and strike intense fear in the victim while only leaving a one-inch laceration?

    Parent

    If someone had me down and was (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:35:51 PM EST
    banging my head into the concrete I would be in fear of being killed.

    Am I in the minority?

    Parent

    I am a huge advocate (1.00 / 1) (#210)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 17, 2012 at 06:24:24 AM EST
    for gun rights. I own many a handgun myself. I wholly believe the right of the individual to defend himself. However, George Zimmerman put this incident in motion. He followed Martin, he got out of this car. To me, that's the linchpin. Zimmerman got out of his car. You can't provoke an incident and then, when it turns out bad for you, claim self defense after killing an unarmed person. Just doesn't pass the smell test for me. I don't know if it's murder. A trial should sort that out. And I do believe a trial is required here. But it seems Zimmerman at least committed manslaughter.

    cpinva (none / 0) (#29)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:11:41 AM EST
    You could have saved yourself the trouble of typing that because you DO NOT know why Mr Martin looked suspicious to Mr. Zimmerman. The closest thing we've gotten about that question so far is a few statements Zimmerman made to police where it appeared to him that Martin was scoping out the hood.

    Others here have speculated on what it might have looked like Martin was doing and thus what Mr. Zimmerman may have thought.

    But not you. You assert that you know.
    Kindly call the prosecution with your evidence right now, please.

    cpinva also italicizes 'gated' (none / 0) (#123)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:46:31 PM EST
    ... without noting that this was a majority-minority gated community - probably on the order of 35% "looks black", allowing for the incidence of dark-skinned hispanics in Miami metro area.

    If GZ routinely profiled black kids as suspicious, he'd have had one very busy neighborhood watch.

    Parent

    Geography (none / 0) (#124)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:48:28 PM EST
    Sanford is not near Miami

    Parent
    So.What? (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:39:52 AM EST
    wait, i remember now! I believe the word is profiling! seriously, that's exactly what he did, and it will be hard to get around that.

    Hard to get around what?  Zimmerman, as a private citizen, is allowed to profile anyone he wants.

    Not only that (none / 0) (#39)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:55:24 AM EST

    but there is nothing wrong with profiling behavior.

    Parent
    Profiling gets too (none / 0) (#42)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:34:02 AM EST
    exaggerated as a bad thing.  Everyone profiles all the time, it is necessary.  It is often times the only way to protect yourself from harm.

    Sometimes it is bad.  For example, an AA shopping in a store getting followed and harassed simply because he is black is a bad thing and should be stopped.  

    But sometimes it is not bad.  If I see someone at night climbing through a window in someone's back yard wearing black clothes carrying a flashlight, I am going to profile that person as a thief and call the police.  There could be many honest explanations for what that person is doing but I am being a good citizen profiling that person as a burglar in that circumstance.

    So just because Martin was profiled does not mean anything.  The question is why?  What was he doing the caused Zimmerman to take notice of him?  Was Zimmerman justified or not?  We know the state is not going to make the argument it had anything to do with race.

    Parent

    Response (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:36:49 AM EST
    "Profiling gets too exaggerated as a bad thing" when you are not the one likely to be profiled.  It may look rather different if you are.

    Parent
    It's just a lame tactic RFK (3.50 / 2) (#80)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:24:29 PM EST
    They ignore the common usage and instead use the most generic literal form of the word/term (e.g. discrimination, profiling) and apply it too broadly so that it's all equalized. Toss in some evo-pysch and you're off and running

    So, discriminating against someone because you don't like their sports teams becomes the same as discriminating against them because of their sex because it's "all discrmination" and so on.  

    Yeah, I know it's transparent and sophmoric but there we are...

    Parent

    I get profiled every day. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:06:07 PM EST
    and so do you.

    Parent
    Buckeye (none / 0) (#74)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:10:45 PM EST
    This is correct.
    But to be fair, he or she is talking about the effects of profiling when its done by someone in authority. Those can be deleterious. Still, even that type of "official" profiling is happening to everyone these days since they've expanded it to airports and other forms of mass transit.

    Parent
    People in authority profile me all the time (none / 0) (#85)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:34:15 PM EST
    As you said above everytime I use an airport or drive by police cars or enter a club, etc.

    My point is profiling carries a very very negative connotation to such an extent that it implies guilt. Profiling is as natural as breathing.  We all do it and have it done to us everyday.  The real question is, why am I being profiled?  What is your justification?  And more importantly, what actions (if any) does the profiler make?  That is what makes profiling good or bad.

    The state in not going to argue Zimmerman profiled based on race.  So that is out (we can all agree if he profiled martin purely due to his skin color, that would be bad) since there is no evidence he did that.  But Zimmerman clearly profiled Martin.  The question is why?  Even though Martin was unarmed and not doing anything wrong, Zimmerman may have been justified in profiling him.  He should not be condemned just because he "profiled".

    Parent

    Zimmerman causing the whole mess (none / 0) (#105)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:11:55 PM EST
    by inappropriately profiling Martin is NOT out. It's exactly what a huge chunk of the public already believes, and even if the prosecution doesn't bring it up, the jury will think of it all on their own, and likely base their decision on it.

    I think race was not a factor, but people who want it to be true will find ways to convince themselves of that.

    Parent

    That's backwards (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:12:08 PM EST
    "What was he doing the caused Zimmerman to take notice of him?"

    Caused Zimmerman?  There is absolutely no evidence that Martin was doing anything other than walking home and talking to a friend after buying some stuff at a 7-11.  He was not "someone at night climbing through a window in someone's back yard wearing black clothes carrying a flashlight."

    You have the question backwards and putting the onus on the wrong person. It should be that given what Martin was doing why did Zimmerman take notice of him?

    Parent

    Except, no (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:18:17 PM EST
    At least not for the SYG hearing (if needed).

    All Zimmerman has to show is that he was in fear of great bodily harm or death and he could not retreat and the case is dismissed.

    Parent

    I don't know ks, I am asking (none / 0) (#91)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:43:37 PM EST
    My point is about the original OP implying guilt because Zimmerman "profiled" Martin.  That means Zimmerman must be guilty because Martin was not doing anything wrong.  I am taking exception to that.

    In my example, I am not wrong profiling the guy climbing through a window in the middle of the night.  It could turn out the guy lives there, just happened to be dressed in black and carrying a flashlight for an innocent reason, and locked himself out of his house.  But I am reasonable to profile him as a potential buglar and call 911.

    We do not know yet why Zimmerman took notice of Martin and why he was concerned with Martin's behavior.  People tried to imply it was due to race.  But there is no evidence of that and the state is not going to make that argument.  So if it was not his race, then why?  Could it be that Martin was walking back and forth talking into a headpiece that Zimmerman could not see?  It was dark and Martin was wearing a hoodie.  Zimmerman may have saw someone walking back and forth talking to himself flapping his arms around.  It would justify Zimmerman's statement that Martin looked like someone on drugs or crazy.

    Parent

    What Zimmerman said on the recording (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:06:03 PM EST
    of his call to the police dispatcher was that Trayvon was wandering about in the rain, looking at various houses (implying he wasn't going directly to some location he might be staying at or visiting), and looking like he might be on drugs.  He only said Trayvon looked like he might be black when the dispatcher asked if he was black, white or Hispanic.  I believe GZ also said he didn't recognize him as living in the neighborhood.

    Note as well that the police dispatcher thought that sounded suspicious enough to send a police car to Zimmerman's location right away.

    Parent

    Dear State Prosecutor's Office, (3.67 / 3) (#110)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:16:05 PM EST
    I've always thought the state should round up all the teenagers in the development, then get a whole bunch of random teenagers from Sanford, and see if George Zimmerman can pick out which ones lived in his neighborhood and which didn't. The idea that he knew, by sight, who did and didn't live in a fairly sizable neighborhood always struck me as fanciful.

    I want to note that IIRC Zimmerman never said "he didn't recognize [Martin] as living in the neighborhood" or anything like it (correct me if I'm wrong). That has been an accretion added on by some of his defenders, and it's a weak one.

    It is true that Zimmerman never offered Martin's race unprompted. But he answered immediately. So he had a decent idea/guess about Martin's race at the outset. Otherwise he would have said, "I'm not sure" or "I'll check" instead of immediately giving the answer that Martin looked black.

    Parent

    Another letter for the state (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:31:26 PM EST
    Dear State Prosecutors office:

    I've always thought the state should round up all the racial agitators in this case -for public safety, of course. It's always struck me as rather fanciful that a hispanic man with an african american grandfather and african american friends would racially profile a black youth whom he wasn't even sure was black 'looks black' but some people insist on bringing this into every nook and cranny of the conversation presumably because they know they don't have much of a case otherwise.

    I want to note that Zimmerman never brought up race at all until he was asked about it. The racial element has been asserted by a bunch of people who wish Zimmerman so well that he , and other members of his family are currently in hiding, showing for all to see that the laws of this state are powerless against some types of anger and prejudice.

    It is true that race would seem to play little or no part in this case as we don't know what precise behaviors were exhibited to make Martin seem suspicious to George Zimmerman.

    I want to thank you for patiently putting up with so much bulldokey and offer you my best wishes in fullfillng your duty to see that justice is done whether that leads to an acquittal or a conviction.


    Parent

    Um, okay. (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:39:37 PM EST
    Well, this is less a reply to me than an explosion of frustration that happens to use my subject line's rhetorical device.

    But I'll answer a couple points:

    The ancestry of the "profiler" does not disqualify them from racial profiling. And, in any case, latinos and blacks are not socially identical by any means, certainly not for the purposes of profiling each other. That said, I also don't think race is necessary to the idea of profiling -- in this case or generally.

    Also, I agree with you that it is virtually impossible to legally prove that Zimmerman racially profiled Martin that night save for an admission on his part. The "profiling" would have to be assumed by the facts of the event -- that Zimmerman thought Trayvon was up to no good for no objective reason, and therefore he MUST have "profiled" him according to some subjective bias.

    Parent

    The reverse could easily be true (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:26:11 PM EST
    Young black man sees presumably white guy watching him, gets p!ssed off for being "profiled," was actually just on the phone with his girlfriend, not casing the neighborhood, but now he's mad. Comes toward Zimmerman to "check him out" (aggressive?), talks to his girlfriend on the phone about it (according to her statement via the family's attorney), runs away but he's still angry, so he goes back to kick that guy's butt.

    Could that have possibly happened? Given the amount of anti-white rhetoric we're exposed to, given the amount of violent music and games youth pay attention to, given the glorification of the gangsta look, is it even remotely possible that a young black man could get angry enough to sneak back up behind the guy who was watching him and sucker punch him? Especially since it's reiterated over and over, from grade school through college, how awful white people are toward people of color. Could a young black man racially profile Zimmerman as white and have an angry response to him?

    After months of media manipulation, it's hard to even imagine this little boy with skittles doing something like that. Let's hope the jury is open to the facts more than interracial politics.


    Parent

    The problem is that the word (none / 0) (#48)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:42:59 AM EST
    profiling is now synonymous with racism in many people's minds. Even the hint of it could poison a juror's opinion. In fact, it it's not mention in court, jurors will bring it up themselves.  

    Parent
    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:50:43 AM EST
    Like the word "discrimination", which is not a bad word, nor is it illegal to do.  Employers "discriminate" all the time when hiring - they just can't do it based on certain characteristics.

    "Profiling" is also done all the time - by every single person on the planet.  You "profile" potential dates, employers / employees, and people you may want to do business with. You profile every time you walk down a dark street alone.  Law enforcement is not supposed to use just a person's race to profile, but they certainly are within their rights to profile based on behaviors.  As Zimmerman was a private citizen, he was under no such restraint.

    Parent

    Wrong-- (none / 0) (#97)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:55:15 PM EST
    The Supreme Court has said in case law that race can be one factor among several that police may use to profile or judge where someone seems suspicious, under some circumstances.  However race can't be the only factor.  It certainly doesn't seem to have been here from Zimmerman's call to the police dispatcher, and we don't even know if it was a major factor.  Making it the only factor wouldn't normally be illegal when done by a police officer but it would get any evidence obtained following such profiling throw out.

    For example police can find it suspicious that an expensive car driven by a late 20's looking white male in an inner city black (or Dominican) ghetto area without any major entertainment venues nearby looks suspicious, particularly if it's driven around and around, rather than going directly somewhere.  Illegal drugs obtained during an ensuing stop and search might well not be throw out of court as evidence.

    Here Zimmerman wasn't

    Parent

    And Zimmerman wasn't a cop. (none / 0) (#98)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    Racial profiling someone as looking suspicious in a neighborhood when combined with other factors, such as him wandering around in the rain, looking at houses (perhaps casing them for burglary of which there'd been a lot of by young black males in Zimmerman's neighborhood over the last year), when done by a civilian who's not a law enforcement officer definitely isn't illegal.  

    Nor is following such a person for a reasonable amount of time in order to keep him or get him back in sight so as to be able to tell the police when they arrive where he is so they can question him.

    Parent

    Excellent synopsis Jeralyn (none / 0) (#46)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:38:41 AM EST
    If it goes to trial, Mara still has to contend with jurors who are easily swayed into thinking Zimmerman inappropriately profiled, then followed and attacked an innocent young black man. It'll be hard to shake the public opinion created by the oft repeated phrase, "armed with only a bag of skittles." There's always the possibility a jury will agree he couldn't escape during the beating and therefore he didn't commit murder, but that he antagonized Martin or was somehow more responsible for the situation and therefore deserves to be punished with any lesser crime available.

    Depending on the jurors personal experiences, they could be either 1) immersed in the white guilt taught throughout our nation (if so, likely to think poorly of Z), or 2) they could be fed up with the amount of criminal activity by African-Americans in their local area (likely to be more open to the possibility that Martin was either casing the neighborhood or just spacing out wandering around or standing in front of a house staring while on a phone call).

    I'd like to see the security video from inside the 7-11 Martin went to.


    Dont see how the state meets its burden (none / 0) (#56)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:34:47 AM EST
    I think the medical evidence establishes the reasonableness of Zimmerman's belief that he was under threat of great bodily harm, even if it is not yet occurred (I did not recheck the precise statutory language). Thus, the state would now be compelled to prove that he provoked the confrontation, I just don't see how they do within the legal definition, even though he plainly did in a nonlegal sense.

    It seems more likely than not that Zimmerman acted poorly, and may have "provoked" the physical confrontation in the nonlegal sense.  But that's not the applicable legal standard.  I just don't see any way for the State to meet its legal burden, prove provocation in the manner defined by law, at least beyond a reasonable doubt. I just don't know what evidence they provide. It may be equally likely or even more likely that Zimmerman provoked the confrontation, I just don't see how they ever prove it.

    As Carson would say on Downton, it is a "wicked law" if he is completely exonerated.


    How do you know (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:55:52 AM EST
    Thus, the state would now be compelled to prove that he provoked the confrontation, I just don't see how they do within the legal definition, even though he plainly did in a nonlegal sense.

    His story is that he was walking back to his truck when Martin came up from behind him.  The police cannot tell who initiated the fight.  Are you saying that Zimmerman had no right to be on the street watching Martin or asking him his business so that's how he "provoked the confrontation"?

    Parent

    Easy in a nonlegal sense (none / 0) (#70)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:02:09 PM EST
    As an aside, the prosecutors are clearly implying that they will present evidence that Martin did not "double back".  

    But to the point, Zimmerman provoked the overall confrontation by profiling (falsely), following, pursuing and engaging in a verbal argument with Martin.  It's how Martin may have responded to that that might give Zimmeran a legal out as Jeralyn has laid out well here.  

    Parent

    None of which (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:10:32 PM EST
    You know.

    Profiling - he's allowed to do this.  Why is this a difficult concept to understand?  

    Following / Pursuing - was he? When then confrontation started?  You have absoltuely no idea, yet you state it as fact.

    Engaging in a verbal argument - Again, you are merely speculating.  All we know is that "Dee Dee" said she heard someone ask Martin what he was doing - is that your definition of "engaging in a a verbal argument?"

    And is that really "provocation"?  Is it really ok to hit someone for asking you a question?


    Parent

    is it really okay to shoot someone (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by CST on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:18:28 PM EST
    for hitting you?

    Parent
    If they are bashing your head in (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:19:04 PM EST
    And you can't get away.

    Yep.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#79)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:21:28 PM EST
    If you reasonably fear great bodily harm (again, the statutory definition may be slightly different).  The medical records seem to meet that standard, for better or worse.

    Otherwise, the defendant needs to have to have "provoked" the confrontation to lose immunity, which is described legally in some fairly precise terms that it would appear difficult to prove

    Parent

    legally you're probably right (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by CST on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:33:45 PM EST
    Which is why I haven't been commenting much.  Because personally I have a very different standard.

    I can handle the fact that legally he might be in the clear, since I do think the law should err on the side of the defense.  There's no point in wasting another life on what was probably just a horrible misjudgement/mistake.

    What I can't handle is the spin being put on this to make it "okay" (not directed at you).  Does anyone really think Martin deserved to die that night?  Reading this thread that's the impression I'm getting.

    Parent

    Could not agree with you more (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:38:52 PM EST
    There is a substantial difference between the state being unable to prove what appears to be an overcharge, and stating that GZ was fully in the right morally.

    I can accept the former, but am far from the latter  

    Parent

    RKF-- (none / 0) (#206)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:00:50 PM EST

     
    There is a substantial difference between the state being unable to prove what appears to be an overcharge, and stating that GZ was fully in the right morally.

    I can accept the former, but am far from the latter  

    If Zimmerman wanted Trayvon to die I would agree with the later, but I seriously doubt he did.  His black friend said he cried for days afterwards.   I think he just wanted for force Trayvon to stop, and hadn't been able to by other means.

    How much great bodily harm do you think someone is morally required to risk or suffer before you think it's morally ok to shoot them?  Did he have to actually suffer a concussion and maybe black out, or go into a coma, thus being completely unable to defend himself or use his gun, before he could use it?  Only then it would be too late and he couldn't?   Does he actually have to have his leg bones splintered in many pieces by a huge rock slammed down on it, causing him to maybe be a cripple for life, before being morally entitled to shoot, so he would have the same happen to his other leg too?


    Parent

    I don't think (none / 0) (#90)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:41:35 PM EST
    ANYONE thinks Martin deserved to die that night.

    Parent
    what about a false narrative? (none / 0) (#149)
    by willisnewton on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:32:07 PM EST
    I think the prosecution may contend that GZ is putting forth a false narrative, even if they can't prove key points. How does this play itself out?

    For sake of discussion we will assume GZ's narrative is not any any way different from what we SEEM to know through proxy.

    Here are some hypotheticals (and GZ never takes the stand, his defense being his statements to police only, and this aspect is instructed not to bias the jury as is the law)  - pick one that an impartial jury hears and votes to convict on M2 or a lesser charge, and detail please:

    No proof of any of this is implied or inferred, these are hypotheticals for purpose of discussion!!!  (keep in mind we do not know what the prosecution has or doesn't have, and for the third time these are hypotheticals only)

    I'll try to put them in rough order of importance but who knows if this is right or not

    A - He says he wore green sox when he wore blue.  
    B -   He is heard on the recorded call saying Trayvon has his hands in his waistband but video confirms his hands are in plain view at all times
    C - he claims he didn't follow TM in his car from the clubhouse to the cut thru, but he did as shown on clubhouse video
    D - he claims he did not know the race of the teen, at first but later had been witnessed admitting he did
    E - He claims he had stopped following the teen while he was still on his recorded phone call but a witness places him clearly searching behind bushes while speaking into his phone
    F - He claims Trayvon came up behind him but a witness says they walked towards one another face to face, each closing the gap equally
    G- He claims he did not close the gap between the two, but a witness saw him do it and THEN TM threw the first punch, knocking him to the ground, etc
    H - A witness confirms everything as GZ says it happened except that as TM was atop GZ, it was actually TM calling for help as he flailed against his opponent savagely.  Voice analysis corroborates this and no expert is able to refute it.  O'Mara argues trauma and GZ's meds have contributed to his confusion, a false memory, not a false narrative, he claims.  Experts battle about meds and memory inconclusively.  
    i - GZ claims there was no last moment foot chase, but a single eyewitness sees two people in the dark chasing one another behind the townhouses in a short but unmistaken "quarterback scramble" that leads to both tumbling to the ground, and then GZ is seen being punched in the nose by TM with both people on their knees, no longer a "sucker punch" but in the midst of a confrontation no one can say who started.  TM gets on top quickly, etc
    J - GZ was witnessed clearly starting the fight, throwing the first punch or lunging for the teen who feints and dodges, and then GZ is seen losing badly crying for help and having his head bashed on cement.   Trayvon is heard threatening his life after seeing the gun and making an obvious grab for it.  
    K - GZ witnessed clearly starting the fight and the resulting battle is inconclusive or unwitnessed at all
    L - GZ starts the fight as seen on Hi-definition video with dolby sound and later self inflicts his own injuries as well.  Then he has tea with Satan, both dancing a merry jig above the fallen teen's body.  

    Where does the line get drawn in a case with only one survivor to tell the tale?  


    Parent

    Because they are amusing (none / 0) (#205)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:57:31 PM EST
    "A" means acquitted, "C" means convicted.

    A. Acquitted.
    B. A
    C. A
    D. A
    E. A but only because of the legal standard
    F. C
    G. A that first punch by TM would be big
    H. A if all the other evidence stays the same and a witness admits it was Martin on top pounding away on GZ in fear for his life
    I. c
    J. A but only because of the legal requirements and if they have manslaughter I could see the Jury convicting him of that OR C
    K. C
    L. A. You'd think they'd convict but you forget the awesome perception bending and persuasive powers of the Father of Lies. They'd probably see in their minds eye GZ sipping tea in a meadow with his granny and crying, saying how sorry he was that TM attacked him.

    Parent

    RKF-- Not quite right. (none / 0) (#150)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:34:05 PM EST
    Even if you were the aggressor you still can IF you made all reasonable efforts to flee (SYG is out) once you were in serious danger, AND you reasonably fear great bodily harm (concussion, coma) or death if you don't.  Then also you can shoot.

    See Jeralyn's discussion of Florida criminal law statute 776.041in the post in chief.

    (I said the same thing several days ago. In fact not only do I completely agree with her analysis of this case, I came to most of the same conclusions in stages prior to this post.)


    Parent

    Actually (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:11:23 PM EST
    We know most of it.  

    Profiling - what you are avoiding is that the profling of Martin set the events in motion.

    Following/Pursuing - We know this as well as indicated in Zimmerman's call and if you read the bail hearing transcripts, the prosecution seems to think they can prove that he continued to follow Martin after being advised not to the dispatcher.

    Verbal agrument - Again, see the bail hearing.  Both sides seem to indicate that witnesses heard an argument which "DeeDee" (in the usual quotes I see), seemed to hear part of. You don't know that the punch came directly after that question.

    In any event, Zimmerman may have a legal out but trying to pretend that profiling, following, persuing at night and issuing a verbal demand to a stranger who is not doing anything illegal and has a legal right to be where he is, is not a provocation is dubious.  

    Parent

    What legal difference does (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:20:57 PM EST
    that make??

    He was supposed to profile people as looking suspicious or not as the volunteer neighborhood watch captain.  Police were fine with him doing that and had responded to many of his prior calls to them about suspicious acting and looking characters.

    Parent

    A jury could see it differently (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:49:45 PM EST
    1. Profiling - If they think it's just plain wrong to profile, if they equate profiling with racism, he's sunk. If they believe that in areas that have a high number of a particular ethnic group committing crimes, it makes sense to suspect a member of that group who is standing around looking at a house, then his original suspicions will seem justified and not held against him. It won't matter what set the events in motion because they will believe that Zimmerman's intentions were good - reporting suspicious activity to the police.
    2. Following - Many people think it's completely inappropriate to have followed Martin. The blogosphere is full of claims that the police specifically told him not to. Other people think it's reasonable to see where the guy took off to so Zimmerman could tell the police where to look for him. I personally understand following him, and may have done it myself if I could safely do so. Zimmerman's own words (these "a-holes always get a way") make me think he really wanted to know where the guy ran to so the cops could find him. The fact that Zimmerman started his call to the police saying there have been numerous break-ins in his neighborhood makes me think he's acutely aware that cops don't always come quickly to reports like the one he was making, or come at all. Was his desire to find the kid enough to make him grab him once he found him? If so, he was the aggressor. Well, we don't even know if he ever found him, right?  
    3. The girlfriend's statement - The lawyers report that she said she knows Trayvon was pushed because the phone went dead. That sounds made up to me. Makes me not believe the rest of what she says. Also, she waited three weeks to provide information, and the family stands to gain big bucks off this.  
    4. Provocation - Even if Zimmerman racially profiled, followed and eventually found an pursued Martin, if he didn't touch him, if it was all words until one of them threw a punch, and if there's no way to tell who initiated the physical altercation, will a jury decide he's guilty of murder? Or will they go for a lesser crime to punish him for what they think he should have done differently?


    Parent
    Myleftmind- You make good points. (none / 0) (#147)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:28:54 PM EST
    As far as 4 goes I think a jury acquits.  Unless they believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman wasn't acting in self defense out of a reasonable belief that he was in danger of serious bodily injury (concussion, coma) or death, he's not properly guilty of ANY crime.  There might be a hung jury especially if there are a lot of blacks on it (given the huge emotions about this case in most of the black community) but there won't be a conviction I don't think.  However I think it will be thrown out by the judge in an immunity hearing.  

    As for 1, much the same thing.   I think a high percentage of blacks are likely to see it that way especially given all the (I believe) intentionally misleading information which Crump and the PR firm he engaged Julison Communications fed to the black community including potential jurors through a complicit media (liking the racial scandal of his story), judging from internet discussion of this case, but not a high percentage of whites or Hispanics.  Also O'Mara should be able to get jurors black or otherwise who have such absolutist views about profiling, equating it was racism and discrimination, thrown out of the jury pool for cause.  


    Parent

    KS- No that wouldn't amount to provocation (none / 0) (#137)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:14:13 PM EST
    permitting Trayvon to physically attack him under Florida law. It wouldn't make him the aggressor.

     

    In any event, Zimmerman may have a legal out but trying to pretend that profiling, following, persuing at night and issuing a verbal demand to a stranger who is not doing anything illegal and has a legal right to be where he is, is not a provocation is dubious.

    First of all there is no evidence that GZ was pursing Trayvon in an effort to catch up to him, rather than merely trying to keep him in sight, or regain him in sight, which later is what he indicated was his aim on his call to the police dispatcher.  

    Second we don't know whether Trayvon was casing the neighborhood for easy burglary targets or not.  That's what Zimmerman evidently suspected again from his call to the police  dispatcher.  

    Third questioning Trayvon is not a legal provocation make him the aggressor under the meaning of Florida self defense law.

    This is from a Florida criminal defense lawyer (who thinks this case is likely to be thrown out at an immunity hearing, as I have argued):

     

    What is more, there is no precedent in Florida law indicating that conduct short of "physical contact" provides justification for the use of force, or amounts to "provocation."

    http://www.southfloridacriminallawyersblog.com/2012/04/why-trayvon-martins-case-may-not-go-to-a-jury .html


    Parent

    I don't think the prosecuters are clearly (none / 0) (#111)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:17:37 PM EST
    implying that at all from the testimony elicited by O'Mara of one of the two lead investigators, at the bail bond hearing.  

    The investigator admitted there was no evidence as to who started the fight.  I also don't think they have evidence as to who approached who in the end.

    There's no evidence that Zimmerman want to do anything be regain sight of where Trayvon was.

     

    Parent

    Why would it be so awful if he's exonerated? (none / 0) (#60)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:06:12 AM EST
    Zimmerman may actually be completely innocent of what you are now accusing him. What if Martin was casing the neighborhood, what if he's committed other crimes in the past, and Zimmerman's instincts were right on. He called the police, he did the right thing. Then when the kid ran, he may have gone to see where he went so he could tell the cops where to look for Martin so they could question him. When he couldn't easily see where he ran off to, he came back to his car. If that's what happened, it sounds very reasonable to me. The police have certainly caught many criminals with exactly that process: Get a report of suspicious activity, investigate, realize the suspect was wanted for other crimes and arrest him.

    I once saw a teenager reaching into my car window to steal stuff and I came over to stop him. He ran away and I called the cops, but while I was on the phone I realized they'd never get there in time to find him, so I followed him. If I had seen him enter a neighborhood house, I would have given the address to the police. Even if the cops never showed up, which is entirely possible, I could have found out who he was and maybe even talked to his parents about what he did. Unfortunately, he looked behind him and realized I was following him and changed directions to slip off between two houses. The police showed up about 55 minutes later.

    I completely understand Zimmerman's frustration (which I hear on his call to the police) of criminals getting away before the cops take action. Zimmerman had already reported a crime in progress, and they actually stopped a burglary. Are we now to think it's not OK to try to help the police catch criminals? If he went to see where the suspect went, but not to confront him, it may have been helpful to the police in spite of the dispatcher saying they don't need him to follow the suspect. You don't know what happened that night. You don't know what Martin was doing. Zimmerman may be an aggressive jerk who caused this entire mess, or he might have just done the right thing and gotten attacked, punched and head smashed for his efforts.


    Parent

    It seem to me that the state (none / 0) (#69)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:58:54 AM EST
    needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that GZ provoked the actual physical confrontation that resulted in TM's death.

    At this point I not see how they can do that.

    Confrontation. (none / 0) (#92)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:44:01 PM EST
    Or convince a jury that Zimmerman's actions vis-a-vis pursuing Martin rose to a level that made Martin the "victim", at which point he had the right to stand his ground.  It's like a Russian nesting doll of self-defense. Jeralyn says pursuit doesn't rise to a level warranting aggressive self-defense, and I think that may be correct -- but the state may still argue that point.

    Additionally, I view GZ's pursuit of TM as "contemporaneous" with the fatal scuffle. "Contemporaneous" does not mean "simultaneous". It was part of the same episode, the same encounter, the same time-bounded event. Jeralyn disagrees there, but I can't see a way to separate the two in terms of an incident or a mindset. In any report these "two" events would be written up as one long action and not two incidents.

    But the defense has a huge leg up here, because (a) so far it apparently can't be proved that Zimmerman initiated physical contact and (b) Martin can't testify as to the non-physical threat he felt due to Zimmerman's words or actions.

    Parent

    But (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:52:28 PM EST
    If Zimmerman's story is true and he turned around and walked away, then it, by definition, is not part of the same encounter.  A new, separate encounter ensues when Martin then follows him and a fight breaks out.

    Parent
    I disagree. (5.00 / 0) (#99)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:06:03 PM EST
    I disagree with that idea entirely. To directly rebut your point, who knows what Martin thought Zimmerman was turning around for. To get a weapon? To load his gun? To get a friend who was waiting in the car? Any of those would create the idea of a single encounter in Martin's mind -- and his mindset surely matters even if it can't be known due to how events played out. But I don't even bother with that. Two men were involved in an event, an encounter, an incident that night and and it was the same "encounter" all the way through, determined by the same contemporaneous set of circumstances, actions, and assumptions. At certain points the roles may have shifted and flipped, but roles and advantages often shift within the same encounter.

    Parent
    Jeralyn can correct me (none / 0) (#106)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:13:12 PM EST
    But I believe what you are feeling about this incident has nothing to with what happened legally.  Of course, the prosecution will argue that it was one long event that led to the Martin getting shot.  

    The defense, on the other hand, will argue that (if true)when Zimmerman stopped following Martin, then a new sequence of events started.  Martin did not have to follow Zimmerman - he could have continued on home, so under this scenario, Martin is the one initiated the event that eventually and unfortunately led to his death. Would you follow someone if you thought they had a gun or they were going to get a gun?

    That's why there is the confusion.  This is not as clear cut as you would like it to be.

    Parent

    Ugh... (3.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:25:12 PM EST
    ...you are distorting everything I said and it's tiresome. You yourself note that the defense and the prosecution will have two different definitions of what constitutes a single "encounter". That is basically exactly what I was saying, although I am noting that I agree with the prosecution here -- although I don't think that will be enough to get a conviction with the current publicly-known information.

    I used the verb "feel" to indicate that this is my opinion on it, that it is not clear cut. I know perfectly well that I don't know what happened, and so noting that certain things are my opinion and "feeling" is the proper thing to do. It shouldn't be attacked. That my admission on the doubt (a doubt shared by all "sides") in the case is followed up with you saying, "this is not as clear cut as you would like it to be" is incomprehensible to me.

    If you disagree with me, if you agree with the defense/Jeralyn that it was two encounters, that's fine -- say so. But please don't take my expression and admission of a universal doubt and condescend to me about things not being clear-cut. Don't repeat back to me that "the only thing that matters is Zimmerman's mindset", as if I hadn't already noted that Martin's mindset can't be part of the case (except through the vulnerable testimony of his girlfriend).

    Parent

    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#119)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:39:23 PM EST
    you thought I was condescending - I didn't mean to be, I just figured you didn't really understand so I was trying to explain, because you stated as a fact something that is not actually a fact:

    Two men were involved in an event, an encounter, an incident that night and and it was the same "encounter" all the way through, determined by the same contemporaneous set of circumstances, actions, and assumptions.

    You also said this:

    ..and his mindset surely matters even if it can't be known due to how events played out

    And actually, no, it doesn't matter what Martin's mindset was - even if he would have survived the shot.  If Martin survived and could testify, he could surely say what he thought - he was afraid, he was mad, etc., but it still wouldn't matter because the only thing that matters in a self-defense case is what Zimmerman thought at the time.

    Parent

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#125)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:48:32 PM EST
    Thank you for clarifying what you meant.

    I said:

    Two men were involved in an event, an encounter, an incident that night and and it was the same "encounter" all the way through, determined by the same contemporaneous set of circumstances, actions, and assumptions.

    That was just a re-statement of what I'd already said -- and already referred to as my view and what I thought. Since you were replying to that comment, I didn't think I needed to restate that it was my opinion.

    And actually, no, it doesn't matter what Martin's mindset was - even if he would have survived the shot.  If Martin survived and could testify, he could surely say what he thought - he was afraid, he was mad, etc., but it still wouldn't matter because the only thing that matters in a self-defense case is what Zimmerman thought at the time.

    Martin, if alive, could've given an alternate story (facts accompanied by mindset) wherein he was also legally operating under self-defense statutes based on his take on the encounter. He's not alive, so he can't. But in the prosecution's attempt to argue that it's a single encounter, the possibilities of what the encounter could have been (as separate from the defense's version) should be taken into account as they present their case. Martin's potential mindset(s) is a part of building the idea that there are credible alternatives to the defense's version. That is what I was referring to.

    Parent

    Right (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:55:50 PM EST
    But the prosecution doesn't have the luxury of presenting "credible alternatives" - they must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  "Credible alternatives" leads to reasonable doubt = acquittal.

     

    Parent

    Indeed. (none / 0) (#134)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:01:26 PM EST
    And, as I said:

    Jeralyn says pursuit doesn't rise to a level warranting aggressive self-defense, and I think that may be correct -- but the state may still argue that point.

    ...and elsewhere in the thread (not saying you should have read it, just pointing out where else I agree) I noted:

    I'm guessing there's more evidence out there on both sides, so we'll see what the verdict is. I don't foresee a conviction based on the present evidence, though.

    The prosecution "should" introduce the idea of credible alternatives, even if it can't produce evidence of them. The notion that Martin had a take on all these events is not a notion that should go unstated. Martin's potential mindsets should be introduced as an idea, even if Martin's actual mindset can't be known and can't be a part of the case. None of that will get them a conviction, though, they'll need evidence (which they may not have).

    Parent

    "self defense" or SYG? (none / 0) (#133)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:59:00 PM EST
    One is a defense; one is an immunity claim.

    Either way, the only thing that matters isn't what Zimmerman thought at the time, it is whether a judge - in the case of a SYG claim - or a jury - in the event of a trial - believe what George Zimmerman says he thought at the time - not what someone else says he thought, or what someone else thinks he was thinking.

    My hunch is that if they go SYG, the judge will punt, and a trial will go forward; once in trial, Zimmerman can put on a self-defense case, but not without Zimmerman taking the stand.

    Either way, the only way Zimmerman can pursue those claims is with his direct testimony, subject to cross-examination, and it's not clear to me if that's going to be his best option.

    If nothing else, all this discussion has to have highlighted the problems with SYG laws, something it appears a lot of judges can also see, which is why prevailing on a SYG claim isn't the slam-dunk a lot of people seem to think it is.  And thank goodness for that.  If they start rubber-stamping those claims, we're back in the wild, wild west again, and all that matters is making sure you're the last one standing.

    Parent

    Either SYG or self defense (none / 0) (#146)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:27:09 PM EST
    At an SYG hearing, Zimmerman's mindset is the key - was he in fear of GBH or death and could he retreat?  If the answer is yes, the case is dismissed and he is immue from further prosecution and any civil liability.

    If the judge punts (and I agree, I think he will), Zimmerman's mindset still is the key to the defense at a trial, as he will claim self defense.  The criminal defense attorneys can help me out here, but that is Zimmerman's only defense, and I don't see a way around him not taking the stand, since he is putting his mental state in play as the crux of the case.  He isn't arguing "the gun went off accidentally", or "it wasn't me" or "it was Martin's gun" or anything else - he will strictly argue self-defense, so the jury will have to hear what his mental state was at the time. No one else can argue that.

    This case turns on one thing and one thing only - what did George Zimmerman perceive at the time of the shooting?

    Parent

    You keep ommitting one extremely ... (none / 0) (#163)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:01:18 PM EST
    ... important element that goes beyond Zimmerman's subjective state-of-mind.  Zimmerman must not only have perceived himself to be in fear of GBH or death - his fear must be reasonable.

    IMO, that's going to be the focal point of the case.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#165)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:05:12 PM EST
    And if his story is true - that he was being beaten severely (and his injuries are consistent with that) - and that the witness who said Martin was on top of him - I don't think it will be a far stretch for any fair person to feel his actions were reasonable.

    Parent
    Rather (none / 0) (#166)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:06:04 PM EST
    It won't be a stretch to say his fear was reasonable.

    Parent
    That's a HUGE "if" (none / 0) (#168)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:16:37 PM EST
    The witness merely saw an altercation with Martin on top (at the moment he saw them).  As for the injuries being consistent with a "severe beating", I don't think it will be a far stretch for any "fair" person to feel the injuries were merely the result of a fistfight and his actions were unreasonable.

    Parent
    It should be interesting to hear (none / 0) (#174)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    how this plays out. How do you decide when a beating is sufficient for the victim to reasonably fear GBH? I would think that that threshold would be different for someone who was, for the sake of argument, on his back with another on top of him, striking him, than it would if both were standing for example.

    Parent
    That would probably be a factor, ... (none / 0) (#180)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:38:27 PM EST
    ... but it's going to depend on all the circumstances.  There are lot of fistfights (probably daily) with one party on top of the other which end without the use of deadly force.  The bigger issue is, without a witness to the entire assault (particularly at the moment that deadly force is used), you only have the defendant's story and any physical evidence which corroborates/contradicts the story.

    Parent
    Fair enough, although I'm not sure (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:52:11 PM EST
    that these fistfights you mention preclude one or the other of the combatants to reasonably fear GBH.

    Parent
    It's good that SYG isn't rubber stamped (none / 0) (#161)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:54:21 PM EST
    but in some states you're actually expected to leave your house if an armed robber breaks in. Imagine trying to round up your kids and sneak out of your house, hoping to not run into the creep stealing from you or another armed accomplice outside. Just crazy.

    I think you're right, this will probably go to trial. We'll have race riots if it doesn't.

    Parent

    Response (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:03:21 PM EST
    SYG has no relevance to the hypothetical scenario you describe. In no state that I'm aware of are you compelled to retreat from your home. That's a vestige of the English common law, which is largely adopted by every state except from Louisiana.

    Further, self-defense of another, including family members, would also be recognized independent of the duty to retreat.


    Parent

    Well, that (none / 0) (#173)
    by Zorba on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:28:40 PM EST
    makes more sense.  Thank you.

    Parent
    Weak or no castle laws (none / 0) (#202)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:47:14 PM EST
    Idaho, Nebraska, New Mexico, Vermont, DC, even NY.

    Parent
    NY, DC, (none / 0) (#203)
    by Zorba on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:50:05 PM EST
    and even Vermont, don't necessarily surprise me in this.  But New Mexico, Nebraska, and, especially, Idaho??

    Parent
    MyLeftMind is incorrect (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by Yman on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:12:26 PM EST
    The mere fact that a state is designated as having a "weak or no specific castle law" does not mean that you would be required to round up your children and leave your home if an armed robber were breaking in to your home.  From the wiki entry:

    These states uphold castle doctrine in general, but may rely on case law instead of specific legislation, may enforce a duty to retreat, and may impose specific restrictions on the use of deadly force.

    IOW - These states may not have codified the doctrine, but may have case law applying it.  Moreover, each state's laws re: defense of self/others still apply.

    Parent

    That, to me, (none / 0) (#171)
    by Zorba on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:25:42 PM EST
    is a bit much- the part about expecting victims to get out of their own houses. If an armed robber broke into my house, I'm afraid I'd shoot first and face the consequences later.  I don't know what the law is in Maryland, but if my family is threatened, too bad for the home invader.  The heck with property, but our lives?  A different story.  We live way out in the boonies, and police response time is very, very slow.
    I actually had a former neighbor (a state policeman) tell me once "If you have to shoot someone outside your house, drag him inside the house before you call the cops."  Not that I would shoot someone outside my house, unless they were firing on the house, or otherwise directly threatening me or mine.  But I thought it was kind of surprising to have a state cop tell me this.  I asked him "Well, wouldn't the police be able to tell, what with drag marks and their investigation and such?"  And he said "This isn't like the TV shows."

    Parent
    And no (none / 0) (#108)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:15:06 PM EST
    the only thing that matters is Zimmerman's mindset.

    Parent
    Correct! (none / 0) (#121)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:41:38 PM EST
    This is correct.
    Zimmerman's mindset and if he had reasonable fear will be the keys to any SYG or self-defense claims.

    Parent
    ks (none / 0) (#71)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:04:37 PM EST
    Please don't state what Martin was doing as  you don't know.

    Depending on when that 711 video was taken, it's definitely possible we'll be able to put "going straight home" to rest. On the net some people think he was lost. Others think he was hanging around somewhere doing some drugs. Those are possibilities, but we don't know enough to know if either of them is true. Jeralyn has speculated he may have looked suspiciously like he was on drugs to Zimmerman if he was just waving his hands around talking on his hands free celly. It was a dark night after all, and Zimmerman might not have been aware of such a device. I sure wasn't when I first learned of this case and I have computer and technical degrees. I simply don't do the "cell phone" thing very often with my six year old celly, and I've hardly kept up with that market or that technology. I mostly landline or Skype.

    Regardless, there's lots of speculation and few facts.

    You're kidding, right? (3.00 / 2) (#87)
    by ks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:36:54 PM EST
    You try to nanny me and say we don't know what Martin was doing and then you go on to offer even more baseless speculation?!  

    There's no evidence that Martin was lost, or hanging around somewhee doing drugs or that Zimmerman didn't know what a Bluetooth was, or that Martin was casing homes or committing, or even attempting to committ, any crimes.  

    You should probably take your own advice.

    Parent

    You are missing his point. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Buckeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 12:52:55 PM EST
    The poster that responded to you used words like "depending upon" and "its possible" and "those are possibilities but we don't know enough" and "speculation"...etc.

    His point was that you were not doing that.  You are stating speculations as facts.  You do not know anymore than any of the rest of us right now.  

    Parent

    Buckeye, that poster (none / 0) (#102)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:09:51 PM EST
    Seems to have a knack for deliberately missing the point. Next, he or she will probably insinuate you are a bad or stupid person for agreeing with me.

    Those are trollish behaviors: one reason I don't think this poster is going to stick around.

    Parent

    Check the poster's commenting history, (5.00 / 0) (#107)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:14:09 PM EST
    sj's been here a long time.

    Parent
    she is not a new commenter (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:26:55 PM EST
    but has been warned several times not to state disputed facts as true. She chatters for guilt and is apt to be limited in comments if she keeps doing that.

    Parent
    willisnewton (none / 0) (#112)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:20:02 PM EST
    What will hang larger in this case and might answer your questions are two things:

    The 711 tape which will be time-stamped and presumably can tell us when Trayvon entered and when he exited the 711. This will tell us if he was going "straight home" as the 711 wasn't that far away.
    And the tape at the clubhouse as it will help place one or more of the people in question.

    Your post there was very long and I really don't feel like writing an equally long post regarding all the assumptions in it. One can find innumerable "timelines" and map dissections on the web, but all of them are based on our current incomplete information, though I can easily point out that most of these seem to indicate more holes in the idea that Trayvon was running or walking straight home at any time than poke holes in Zimmerman's story. Currently we still don't know all of what Zimmerman told the investigators he talked with the first two days, and until we know that and have the other information, how can we impeach his statements?

    um, okay? (none / 0) (#155)
    by willisnewton on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:46:58 PM EST
    Let's say TM went to the 7-Eleven at noon and looked in every window on the way back to the clubhouse, multiple witnesses confirming.  Later, GZ and TM stare at one another by the clubhouse, but neither speaks.  Then, TM leaves the clubhouse on foot, walking in the street.  Relevance?

    And yes, there are other timelines and maps.  We'll likely see quite a few at trial.  But I am asking here because there are semi-reaonable people to respond.  

    You just moved over about three columns towards tinfoil hat however with your 7Eleven theory.  

    Parent

    willis (none / 0) (#179)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:38:17 PM EST
     You disappoint me.
    Drop the tinfoil hat crap. If you want to know why the 711 and clubhouse are potentially important, you could ask for more clarifcation. I heard some unconfirmed rumors about what time Martin supposedly went to the 711. If those rumors are true, then he was not just heading back home and was clearly doing something else when prior to meeting Zimmerman. Something else..such as casing places to rob them, smoking a joint, talking to other galpals on his cell phone... who knows? The CD and DVD videos might solve that issue to my satisfaction.

    But more to the point you assume several things with your long post only two of which I am going to deal with here:

    A. How do you know how far from where he was shot that TM ended up?
    B. That you have the correct order and sequence of events and that Zimmerman's comment about going back to his truck wasn't taken out of some larger context.

    Finally, once again, we don't have all of Zimmerman's testimony. Until we see that, I once again ask..how can we impeach any of his statements or even be absolutely sure they ARE his statements? I will also point out that about the only timeline that we know for sure at this point is the one concerning Zimmerman's and "Deedee"'s phone calls.

    Parent

    The bruised and lacerated knuckles of (none / 0) (#122)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:44:38 PM EST
    Trayvon Martin are also strong corroboration of GZ's story, whereas we've heard nothing from leaked police sources of bruising or lacerations on Zimmerman's hands.

    It's possible that Zimmerman didn't get off a single punch or anyway one to Trayvon's head or other vulnerable area before the gunshot.  The apparent lack of bruising or lacerations on Zimmerman's knuckles contributes to evidence that it's more likely than not that it was Trayvon who started the physical fight.

    No, because Zimmerman *could* have (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:52:38 PM EST
    shoved Martin or hit him in some fashion that did not leave any marks on either of them.    So, we really and truly in all likelihood will never know who started the scuffle, who hit whom first.  

    Parent
    True. It's not proof beyond a reasonable (none / 0) (#129)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:55:43 PM EST
    doubt that Zimmerman didn't start the fight, but it adds to a substantial pile of individually small circumstantial evidence that its more likely that Trayvon did.  

    Parent
    There is so little detail in that (none / 0) (#141)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:21:29 PM EST
    ABC story that it just seems ludicrous for you to even attempt to offer the kinds of conclusions you have.

    Parent
    You also have no detail on the extent (none / 0) (#148)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:31:22 PM EST
    and degree or exact location of the bruising and lacerations on Trayvon's knuckles, or even if they were consistent with having been incurred that night; if you want to posit that Zimmerman's head injuries were the result of his head being bashed into the concrete, perhaps we can also posit that in whtever struggle was taking place, Trayvon's hands were also bashed or slammed into the concrete.  

    I mean, if we're going to speculate, let's consider all the possibilities, shall we?

    Parent

    I didn't make it up (none / 0) (#153)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:41:56 PM EST
    that Zimmerman's head was bashed repeatedly against the sidewalk it's what he told police, one of the prosecution's two lead investigators admitted on the stand in response to questioning by O'Mara.

    Further the lacerations to the back of his head are consistent with that, as is John's eyewitness testimony and where the fight occurred.

    That's not speculation whatsoever.

    Parent

    Nonresponsive, Doug. (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:23:46 PM EST
    The point was that we know practically nothing about Trayvon's hand injuries, and certainly not enough to state with any specificity how they occurred or even when they occurred.  All you have on the head injuries is what we've been told Zimmerman told police, which isn't necessarily the same as what actually happened.

    So...if Zimmerman's head can be injured by it being bashed into the concrete, I think it's reasonable to speculate that Trayvon's hands could have been bruised and lacerated the same way - by "making contact" with the sidewalk.

    But, but, what about Zimmerman's nose and his lacerations?  We just don't know the whole story, Doug - something you tell people all the time whenever they broach something that doesn't fit with the scenario you've settled on; you might consider taking your own advice.

    Parent

    Yes, Doug1111 (none / 0) (#157)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:48:19 PM EST
    But to be fair:
    1. We don't know how many times his head was pushed into the concrete. Presumably it happened accidentally once if they were struggling partly on grass and partly on concrete. In short, it might have been more a "scrape" than a "slam".
    2. We don't know the full details of the doctors report. I'm not sure they did any deep scans or anything.

    Yes, it's true that some here want to "poo-poo" the injuries that Zimmerman received. This is only a slight step up from what many were doing over the last 2 months where they denied he received any at all. But progress is progress.

    Fact is, the injuries on his head do not prove a bout of repeated head-slamming, though except for a few, I think we all agree that IF such a thing happened that alone would be a legitimate excuse for deadly force. People have died from single blows to the chin or head, sometimes with just the knuckles on a fist.

    Parent

    Maybe he was just "emotional" (none / 0) (#132)
    by RKF on Wed May 16, 2012 at 01:57:24 PM EST
    You know how "they" are.

    It is amazing that someone that derides the logical abilities of other races never exhibits any to aspire to.

    Work through some logical fallacies, starting with false dilemmas

    You're saying the funeral home director lied? (none / 0) (#135)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:06:13 PM EST
    Is that not libel?  And the fact that you bring up his race says more about you than it does him.  

    Angel (none / 0) (#136)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:09:44 PM EST
    What would you call it when he said there were no lacerations on Trayvon's knuckles and the coroner says there were? Are you asserting its the coroner who lied? Isn't that libel?

    On the other hand, this is a mainstream news report. Maybe they are lying or somehow wrong. It wouldn't be the first or the fifth time in this case. If they are wrong about the coroner's report I hope Mr. Funeral Home sues them for every thing they are worth.

    Parent

    I'm not calling anyone a liar so don't try (none / 0) (#143)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:22:55 PM EST
    try to put words in my mouth.  Have you seen the autopsy photos?  Have you seen photos of the body when it was received by the funeral home director?  No?  I didn't think so.  So you really don't know the condition of the body when the funeral home director got it, now do you?  

    Parent
    It's true I don't know (none / 0) (#152)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:41:39 PM EST
    Angel:

    True, I don't know, but I'd be really surprised if bruised knuckles and presumably skin too on a dead body could heal. Maybe the skin (heard skin cells live a few days on most people after they die) but any deeper tissue damage I would think it would be extremely unlikely.

    Regardless, I think this sheds light on why Crump wanted the autopsy sealed.

    Parent

    The Orlando Sentinel reports (none / 0) (#159)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:51:00 PM EST
    that Martin's knuckles were scraped too.

    Parent
    So? (none / 0) (#182)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:40:24 PM EST
    Just adding details (none / 0) (#189)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:07:45 PM EST
    Why so defensive?

    Parent
    So what if his knuckles were scraped and the (none / 0) (#196)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:21:59 PM EST
    paper reported it?  Doesn't tell us how badly they were scraped or how they became scraped...in other words it's just a bunch of words that tell us absolutely nothing more than "there were scrapes."  Big deal.

    Parent
    As opposed to (none / 0) (#200)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:34:37 PM EST
    just bruised - which could have happened days before and were healing.

    Still don't know why you are so defensive for more facts to trickle out.

    Parent

    that comment was deleted (none / 0) (#139)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:18:24 PM EST
    for accusing the director of lying.

    Parent
    Why isn't it etremely likely that he was (none / 0) (#158)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:48:32 PM EST
    lying Jeralyn?

    It's his job to dress exposed parts of the body for the viewing.  

    Parent

    Jeralyn, Slayersrenzo-- (none / 0) (#167)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:12:46 PM EST
    If you watch the first two minutes of this video of an interview the funeral director gave to a local news station, I'd be amazed if you don't think it's extremely likely he was lying, in light of the coroner's report.  I'd be amazed if you don't think an impartial jury would conclude he was lying if called to the stand as a prosecution witness (which of course he won't be).

    http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2012/05/15/update-23-trayvon-martin-shooting-the-manipulations-a nd-agendas-begin-to-show/


    Parent

    No it's not libel. (none / 0) (#156)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:47:13 PM EST
    You're also attacking a straw man. I didn't flatly say he did or that that there's proof positive that he lied, I said he evidently did, and explained why, or what the evidence was that he did.  He has to dress lacerations and bruises to exposed flesh that will be seen during a viewing, as he himself said when making his evident lies.  

    Parent
    Problem is you DO NOT KNOW what the body (none / 0) (#162)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:00:55 PM EST
    looked like when the funeral home director received it.  Why can't you admit that?  And, by the way, Jeralyn said she deleted your post because you accused the funeral home director of lying.  

    Parent
    willis (none / 0) (#140)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:19:48 PM EST
    Please keep your comments to comments not treatises. I know you are passionate about the case, but this space is for comments. If you want to write articles, you need to get your own blog.

    shorter version of treatise, in comment form (none / 0) (#170)
    by willisnewton on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:25:09 PM EST
    I feel the location of the body proves GZ is lying.  Found in between the back to back townhouses, there simply is no innocent explanation for his being there if he was "returning to his truck" as he seems to claim.  If his statement given as to why he didn't return to his truck is as we think it is (via his proxies,) his reasoning for still wandering about for so long, (way longer than it would take to return to his truck) is that he was looking for a street sign.  I find that hard to swallow, especially of you consider the place where the body (and the struggle, as he tells it) took place - in a spot where there are no street signs, and on a path that leads not to his truck but towards TM's home.  If he did indeed take the dog walk path to "See a street sign" or "return towards his truck" then he very likely walked past TM more than once and missed several witnesses as well.  

    I'd like to see the case as some others do, so cut and dried.  But I can't get past the things that don't make sense to me, like how anyone is supposed to find it credible that GZ stopped looking for TM before he entered the dog walk area.

    And it disturbs me to know I can't look at the case without being colored by this conundrum, which suggests that GZ is putting forward a false narrative that dovetails somewhat with the truth, but doesn't ring true in the end, no matter how I try to imagine it.  

    If you care to join me on daily kos, I post under the same name and have hosted diaries about this case there a few times.  Be advised however that even though it is a progressive site generally visited by educated people, discussion there is not really moderated like this one and there are those who post in odd ways on occasion, derailing a lot of good discussions.  

    thanks all.  

    Parent

    Why isn't Willis a troll? (none / 0) (#197)
    by RickyJ on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:23:21 PM EST
    I am old enough to remember discussing the OJ case with people as passionate and misguided as Willis.  The ProJs thought that if you can ask enough unanswerable questions about the case, then that was reasonable doubt.  Willis seems to think that everything depends on establishing exactly what Zimmerman's motions were.  Zimmerman is not charged with trying to catch sight of Martin after his call with the dispatcher ended.  Willis seems to be obsessed with that.  He also hasn't been charged with lying to investigators.  Zimmerman is not guilty if the jury thinks it is reasonable (even if unlikely) that he

    1. Didn't physically start the fight with Martin &
    2. Had a reasonable fear that he would be dead if he didn't shoot Martin.

    Go ahead and huff and puff as you try to follow the boys around the housing complex and beg people to join you. I am finished with trying to drum some sense into you.


    Parent
    You say toMATOe, I say TOmatoE (none / 0) (#181)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:39:21 PM EST
    apparently, this gated community has some history of young, black male persons having committed some crimes in it. which mr. zimmerman was aware of......... believe the word is profiling!

    And I would say it was belief based on experience.

    Sanford PD Investigation (none / 0) (#208)
    by Cylinder on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:18:36 PM EST
    The New York Times chimes in on what they claim were defeciencies in the SPD investigation:

    The killing of Trayvon Martin here two and a half months ago has been cast as the latest test of race relations and equal justice in America. But it was also a test of a small city police department that does not even have a homicide unit and typically handles three or four murder cases a year.

    An examination of the Sanford Police Department's handling of the case shows a series of missteps -- including sloppy work -- and circumstances beyond its control that impeded the investigation and may make it harder to pursue a case that is already difficult enough.



    Few things (none / 0) (#211)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 17, 2012 at 08:40:10 AM EST
    1. If your argument is that you were being beaten on the ground and had to shoot because someone is on top of you, the shot should come from close range (I mean the guy is sitting on you).  The shot was at "intermediate range" which has a fairly specific meaning. Greater than 2 feet from what I can find.

    2. If you shoot someone on top of you, do you have blood on the front of your shirt.

    3. If the shooting occurs after the parties are standing or coming to their feet, the immediate danger requiring lethal force seemingly decreases.  In other words, it could be that it doesn't matter how the fight that left Zimmerman with his wounds occurred. If the parties had separated enough to communicate or engage in discussion, it may reset the standard of threat required to justify lethal force.

    I point this out not because I believe everything in 1-3 above but to suggest until we actually know the second by second narrative set forth by the prosecution, all of this discussion about the state's case being weak/strong are just the sort of speculation that means little at this point.  Interesting, but no one other than the prosecution knows the story they will tell.  Given the focus on the case and the time spent,  the only thing I know is that it is likely to be a tad bit stronger than Jeralyn is suggesting.  The state may still lose but there are PLENTY of scenarios with all of the facts that we have that could be combined to create a strong case.