ACLU Reverses Course on DOJ Investigation of Zimmerman

There must have been some heated discussions going on behind the scenes at the ACLU for it to do a 180 degree u-turn on whether the Department of Justice should investigate George Zimmerman to determine whether a hate crime prosecution was appropriate. I'm not surprised, just relieved the organization came to its senses.

On July 14, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero issued a statement on behalf of the organization that was titled, "Honoring the Memory of the Trayvon Martin (Next Steps for Systemic Reforms.) It called on the DOJ to investigate whether George Zimmerman's committed a federal civil rights violation or a hate crime by shooting Trayvon Martin.

This case reminds us that it is imperative that the Department of Justice thoroughly examine whether the Martin shooting was a federal civil rights violation or hate crime.

On July 18, 2013, just 4 days later, the ACLU wrote this letter to Attorney General Eric Holder protesting even the consideration of bringing federal civil rights or hate crime charges against George Zimmerman.

We are writing to clearly state the ACLU’s position on whether or not the Department of Justice (DOJ) should consider bringing federal civil rights or hate crimes charges as a result of the state court acquittal in the George Zimmerman case.

Even though the Supreme Court permits a federal prosecution following a state prosecution, the ACLU believes the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution protects someone from being prosecuted in another court for charges arising from the same transaction. A jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and that should be the end of the criminal case. (my emphasis.)

The letter then goes on to make two points I have made here repeatedly: (1) The Department of Justice should address the systemic problems of racial disparity inherent in the criminal justice system, including taking steps to actively put an end to racial profiling by police, and (2) the Government can teach by example. On the second point, which I raised yesterday before coming across this letter, the ACLU says:

We realize that the alleged conduct of private citizens like George Zimmerman is beyond the scope of the End Racial Profiling Act and the Department of Justice Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. But average citizens can be influenced by the conduct of law enforcement, and problematic practices by public officials can increase the likelihood of bad judgment and actions by private actors. Further, the killing of Trayvon Martin has touched off a range of emotions across the country and is another harsh reminder that police actions can be motivated by racial bias. (my emphasis.)

The letter is signed by Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office and Jesselyn McCurdy, Senior Legislative Counsel for the Washington Legislative Office. Copies of the letter to Holder went to Charlotte Burrows, Associate Deputy Attorney General and Roy L. Austin, Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General, DOJ Civil Rights Division

As I wrote here about President Obama's remarks yesterday,

I am all for protesting the racial disparity in our criminal justice system. But put the focus where it belongs: On arbitrary and unfair laws that disproportionately affect minorities, police misconduct, too much discretion vested in prosecutors, and overly harsh sentencing laws and guidelines. Leave George Zimmerman out of it.

And earlier, about the legacy of this case:

The problems of racial disparity and arbitrary enforcement of our criminal laws are real, systemic and need to be addressed. Criminal defense lawyers see it and fight to correct it every day. From charging decisions to plea offers to sentences, the system is not fair and everybody knows it.

But this case has never been representative of those problems. And perhaps most unfortunate of all, as a result of the false narrative created by the lawyers for grieving parents who tragically lost their son -- a narrative perpetuated by a complicit and ratings-hungry media -- any attempt at meaningful reform is likely to fall on deaf ears for years to come.

That's exactly what's happening now. Thousands may turn out to march, but millions will close their ears because of what they see as the unfair connection to George Zimmerman, a man with no history of racial animus, who a jury determined was not guilty of any crime at a trial at which no one alleged he acted out of racial animosity, and the connection to Trayvon Martin, whom they do not view as an innocent, but as someone who committed an unprovoked physical assault and unfortunately lost his life because the person he assaulted lawfully defended himself.

Others who will be turned off: Those who know that stand your ground laws had nothing to do with Zimmerman being found not guilty. He would have been found to have acted in self defense with or without the duty to retreat language, because the testimony and evidence at trial showed he had no place to retreat to once attacked by Martin. A duty to retreat presupposes a means of escape is available.

Because so many object to the use of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman as poster images for reform, it is unlikely any meaningful reform will result for the thousands of minorities who do not receive equal or blind justice and who are languishing in our prisons in disproportionate numbers. The blame for this, in my view, lies with the family lawyers, the media and the prosecutors.

This is what happens when the public is sold bubbe meisseh (fairy-tales and make-believe.) Watch this Martin family lawyer tell Greta Van Susterern: "I have a greater duty beyond being an attorney and that's to be a social engineer."

And then brag Zimmerman wouldn't have been arrested but for the public outcry. (Curiously, she says the outcry is from black people, brown people, white people, Republicans, Democrats, Christians and Muslims. Why no inclusion of Jewish people?)

Of course she doesn't mention the outcry was the result of the lawyers' misleading if not outright false portrayal of the shooting, the police investigation and the evidence, and their blatant demonization of Zimmermann in the media as a "cold-blooded murderer."

This week I also wrote about a new report about how to reduce and end systemic racial injustice by a coalition of some of the most esteemed criminal justice groups in the county. The report talks about the debate the country needs to have:

Do our laws, policies and practices reflect public consensus on these priorities? If not, what needs to change? How do we move the system away from a paradigm focused on arrest, punishment and social control of communities of color to one that focuses on healing and restoration?

How do we avoid using courts as the dumping ground for difficult or seemingly intractable social problems? (my emphasis.)

The problems that need to be addressed are the ones outlined in the report. The criminal justice system was not designed to cure every conceivable social ill. Those needing equal justice are those who are languishing in our prisons, not Trayvon Martin. Equal justice is needed for those who are profiled by police, not George Zimmerman.

As I've been saying for weeks, instead of focusing on the misfortune that befell one individual and his grieving family, stemming from a single, unplanned, spontaneous shooting on a dark and rainy night in Florida, about which public opinion will always be divided, we should demand change for the very real victims of racial injustice. At least the ACLU, after a false start, now has it right.

< R.I.P. Helen Thomas | Standing Up For the Constitution >
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  • Display: Sort:
    You know what else I'd like to know? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:55:01 PM EST
    This was a "gated" community, right?  Weren't there security guys at the gate or gates?  Where were they that night?  Who was supposed to know about the comings and goings of the residents?  Was it possible for someone to gain entrance to the neighborhood without having to go through some sort of security?  Could Zimmerman have called the gate guy and asked about someone fitting Martin's description?  "Oh, yeah, that sounds like Ms. Green's guest."

    I apologize if this is common knowledge - I didn't follow this the way others have; that was me who asked about the calls Zimmerman made over the years, because I didn't know the answer.

    Anne, I do not believe this (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:57:51 PM EST
    is a guarded gated community. Many of these in Florida - just a gate for a modicum of security.

    Not true and photos have been avaible all year (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by lily on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:42:51 PM EST
    The front gate is not manned nor does it seal off the community. The front gate is usually open, the back entrance is not secured with a gate, the perimeter was not completely fenced at the time of the incident.

    If you use google maps you discover Florida is a land of limestone formations, lots of lakes and sink holes define the shape of developments. The notion of a gated community in Florida seems to be quite relative, planned housing built around a lake or seasonal pond.

    RTV community was a healthy mix or renters and owners and very racially and economically diverse.

    The term "gated" like so many other terms deployed in the fabricated narrative was meant to imply something which turned out to incorrect.

    Kids from the nearby high school used the cut-through regularly.  


    How 'not true'? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:07:42 AM EST
    I said it was not guarded, and the gate does not provide complete security. Unless you are going to argue about my usage of 'modicum', in which case I give up.

    I live 25 miles from RTL and see developments like it every day. It is maybe a slighytly above average central FL middle class housing development. I agree that the term 'gated community' gave a false impression of opulence to those not familiar with the area.


    no argument (none / 0) (#54)
    by lily on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:00:02 AM EST
    on this question
    I am fascinated by the geologic swiss cheese like formation the substrate in Florida, the sinkholes and pond everywhere.

    lily, I don't know when the picture (none / 0) (#16)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:09:12 PM EST
    was taken for this version of google maps, but the back gate on So. Oregon Ave. that AmericanPyscho linked below shows a closed gate. The front one is open and you can see how to slip in between the brick and the wooden/whatever posts those are.

    If it's an updated picture, maybe they added a gate. I can't remember if the ones in court showed a back gate or just the entrance. These are more close up than what I've seen before except for the front.


    I think we can assume as news coverage (none / 0) (#17)
    by lily on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:27:20 PM EST
    from residents said anyone could walk through the sub-division undeterred.

    Healthy mix? (none / 0) (#77)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:36:02 PM EST

    "RTV community was a healthy mix or renters and owners and very racially and economically diverse."

    The resale value of the houses decreased by half or more in the housing crash, which meant one could rent there more cheaply than before, and a lot of Section 8 housing in the area had apparently been taken out of availability as well, so you had some renters there that previously (like when the place was being designed) wouldn't have been able to afford to live there.

    Probably including the Zimmermans.  


    emmanuel burgess ' parents (none / 0) (#190)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 12:06:45 PM EST
    also rented, as did Brandi Green and the neighbor next to John Good at 1231 who didn't testify at trial.

    That's what my understanding is, too. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:20:11 PM EST
    At least I don't remember anything during the trial about it. I think it's kind of like security at storage places. You have a code but there's not anyone watching except video, and I don't think they even had that. At least I only saw video from the clubhouse.

    Maybe they had it and it wasn't working, but I honestly don't know even about cameras.

    Anne - I didn't know the makeup of those calls until tonight either, so don't feel bad. In the trial, as far as I can remember, they only went back until August.

    I also don't remember seeing fencing other than the gate. So I don't even know if the place was fenced in. I think it wasn't, but I'm not positive.


    There was a gate camera... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:30:43 PM EST
    ...in addition to the clubhouse camera, but the gate camera wasn't working that night.

    Apparently a cable was damaged by a mower or something.


    i live in a gated community in FL (none / 0) (#98)
    by donatella on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:11:38 PM EST
    and non residents have to show ID to enter in vehicles.  Anyone can walk or bike into the neighborhood.  I've biked through most of the gated communities around here and have never been stopped.

    me too (none / 0) (#115)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:46:42 AM EST
    At least when I am not on my sailboat in the Keys where I am now.  But mine is a little different.  One road in/out going past a long time resident's house.  He and his wife are retired, like me, and will often call the police if they see a stranger.  The house also overlooks the gated and locked pool and multiple homeowners have called police about non residents jumping the fence to use that pool.

    Any lawyer will confirm a pool in Florida is viewed by the courts as an 'invitational hazzard' and should be fenced and locked.

    I suspect that is why the only security tape in this case was from the club house where I expect the pool is.

    HOA and condo laws, declarations, and rules are a real trip.  Even if there are no locked gates simply posting a no tresspassing notice has legal ramifications.


    Anne: (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Aunt Polgara on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:15:24 PM EST
    The available evidence seems to point to Martin gaining entrance to the RTL via a break in the fencing at the northwest corner of the complex, not via one of the 2 official gates (which to my knowledge were not guarded).

    What "fence"? What evidence"? (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:25:17 AM EST
    There was no "fencing", so no "break" along the side of RATL between Oregon Avenue and S. Oregon Avenue until after the shooting when they installed what I call a metal railing.

    There was no evidence of where Martin entered the Retreat. Conjecturing from where GZ claims to first see him, he could have entered through one of the so called "short cuts" albeit the one at the side of Taffe's is not imo likely as; a) it is not in line with any exit he had from Colonial Village if he walked through there, b) it is further in from Oregon Av. if he was returning along the road, c) it is not in line with RVC towards the clubhouse the route GZ claimed TM walked once inside RATL, d) it is at the bottom of a very inclined possibly muddy terrain which to try to tackle at night with no torch and in what look like spanking new white shoes imo is too bizarre.


    gbrbsb: (none / 0) (#60)
    by Aunt Polgara on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:06:20 PM EST
    There was no "fencing", so no "break" along the side of RATL between Oregon Avenue and S. Oregon Avenue until after the shooting when they installed what I call a metal railing.

    Actually, there is fencing on the back sides of the homes. You are correct that there isn't a separate perimeter fence, but there is fencing all along the back sides of the homes, which serves as fencing for the back sides of the complex.

    Perhaps you interpreted my comment about a "break in the fencing" to mean "broken fence." "Break in the fencing merely means a "gap." Does my comment now make more sense to you?

    There was no evidence of where Martin entered the Retreat. Conjecturing from where GZ claims to first see him, he could have entered through one of the so called "short cuts" albeit the one at the side of Taffe's is not imo likely

    Actually there was evidence from GZ's claim of where he first saw TM, introduced by the prosecution when they introduced GZ's statements to the police. The jury was free to believe, disbelieve, or consider it of little importance to the case. Please note that I most assuredly did not say that the evidence (based on GZ's statements) proved anything, only that it suggested where TM entered the complex.


    TL's photo archive confirms there is NO fence... (none / 0) (#71)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:01:24 PM EST
    If you are referring to a wall with a hedge on top as shown in thethe Bing map on TL's photo bucket that is not a fence but a retaining wall for the higher terrace on which the block is built, and it has a hedge barrier on top presumably to prevent accidents which if you use Bing using "bird's eye view", and turn the dial so as North is to your left) so as you can observe it from the other side you can see more clearly how it was constructed as the hedge still hadn't grown at the time of their maps.

    If you are referring to what at first glance appears to be wooden fencing from near the road up to the first third of Taffe's block 6 house block, it is in fact merely a series of tall posts with a fan trellis attached to each, and is used for fanning shrubs into a flattish screening hedge, and what in the UK we refer to as espaliering and/or pleaching. As you can see here, here and here there are NO horizontals between the posts so you can walk between them as they are merely support posts for plants.

    I know what a "break" in a fence is, indeed proportionately it could well be more gardens, (front and back) are fenced off in the UK than in the US where you have a lot of open "yards". But in this case "there is fencing all along the back sides of the homes, which serves as fencing for the back sides of the complex." is incorrect.

    I have to disagree, because there was NO evidence presented at trial on where TM entered RATL that night. GZ never said TM entered by Taffe's house merely that he saw him standing in Taffe's at the front. There has been plenty of conjecture, if you

    The "fence" you see on the escarpment is a) is not a "fence" more a protective balcony to prevent people falling down what is quite a steep escarpment, b) for there to be a "break" or a "gap" in a fence it has to continue on each side which in this case it does not as is clear in the Bing Maps view relevant to the cut by Taffe's house as there the land is flat and


    when you link to one of my photos (none / 0) (#193)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 12:21:20 PM EST
    can you please link to the jpg version without an "html" at the end so the entire collection doesn't come up? Thanks.

    What a mess, clicked "post" by mistake ! (none / 0) (#81)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 04:42:10 PM EST
    So sorry. I meant to shorten my previous reply to you, add another link or two, and delete last paragraph which repeats the first.  I also needed to correct a mistake, i.e. the hedge is grown in the Bing maps, but what you see better in Bing is a higher terrace further down from Taffe's with a retaining structure topped with what looks like a wire safety barrier and trelis for growing a hedge similar to that near Taffe's... but NO fence! Check out TL's library page 9 and three relevant photos on page 11 which leaves all pretty clear.

    I didn't finish the 2nd to last paragraph either, and I don't recall what I was going to say except that conjectures abound, e.g. according to Taffe the FBI thought he entered through the cut through nearest the road and affirms there was no fence (see from 0:48 to around 3:00 of the video "Taking the Taaffe Tour at Twin Lakes"). In any case how TM entered RATL was, iirc, NOT in evidence, (GZ merely said he saw TM in his front yard) so there is nothing to say he didn't take the short cut nearest the road and walk up to Taffe's, but that's where it started to rain harder so he turned back and went via the mailboxes to take cover.


    Rachel testified (none / 0) (#185)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 11:06:38 AM EST
    he told her he was taking the shortcut to the mailboxes because it was raining.  During cross-examination by Don West she said,

    "JEANTEL: The rain had caught him. From when he got caught by the rain. And he did a shortcut to the mailing area.

    Don West questioned her about whether it could be the mailboxes at a neighboring complex but she said it was RATL because he also said it was the complex where his father lived.

    WEST: Do you know if that was the mail area that was in the complex where he was staying, or was that, perhaps, in another complex in between the story and where he was staying?

    JEANTEL: The complex that he was staying on. Because I had asked him where he was at. He say he's in a place where his father is staying at.

    There was fencing? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:23:03 PM EST
    Is the break in the fencing what they kept showing as "the short cut"?

    The fencing came later. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:20:56 PM EST
    It wasn't there the night of the shooting.

    The neighborhood was gated against cars more than against pedestrians.


    Or "cut thru" maybe not short cut (none / 0) (#13)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:27:06 PM EST
    And the area near Frank Taaffe's house... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:25:59 PM EST
    ...from where it's theorized Martin re-entered the neighborhood is not THE cut-through, but is on the other side of the neighborhood from it.

    The cut-through is either the portion of Twin Trees Lane that runs west to east and on which Zimmerman's truck was parked when he got out of it, or it's the east-west stretch of sidewalk that forms the top of the "T".


    people have referred to the shortcut (none / 0) (#191)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 12:09:44 PM EST
    as a cuthrough -- they weren't confusing it with the cutthrough where GZ parked near TTL. It may not be an accurate description, but they weren't confusing the two. They used cutthrough to mean the shortcut.

    What Evidence? (none / 0) (#26)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:28:42 AM EST
    The available evidence seems to point to Martin gaining entrance to the RTL via a break in the fencing at the northwest corner of the complex

    I don't know of any evidence of how or where Martin re-entered RATL on the night of 2/26/12.

    Recent photos of the pedestrian gate at the main (north) entrance show the gate has no lock installed.  


    GZ said in his August 6 call (none / 0) (#192)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 12:19:29 PM EST
    to non-emergency when he called to tell them he spotted the guy who matched Beltaran's description of the guy who broke into her house that he would meet officers at the back gate to let them in because there is no code there.

    Dispatcher: Okay. Do you want to leave your name or number?
    George: I can leave my name and my number; and, I'll actually be at the back gate to let the
    officers in because there is no code there

    So the back must have had some kind of barrier to get in through the back. I thought you needed to punch a code to get into the front, but I'm not sure about that.


    It's not barricaded with guard posts... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by AmericanPsycho on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:24:03 PM EST
    There's a gate at the front of the community that operates with a keycard.  (streetview here, http://goo.gl/maps/r76AX ) The aerial view suggests that it does operate.  Here is a view of the rear entrance  http://goo.gl/maps/ePgYv

    But if you poke around a bit you'll see that the fence can easily be jumped and it doesn't go all the way around, ie the section where Trayvon entered http://goo.gl/maps/6ByOG


    So, a somewhat fenced community (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:56:54 PM EST
    would seem to be a better description.  

    And that describes a lot of neighborhoods anywhere.

    And with the Florida property crash, which affected that community, I read but not in mainstream media -- a context of class and economic decline that is ignored to emphasize race -- I weary of description of it as a "wealthy" community, an assumption based on misunderstanding the meaning of "gated" there.


    Homeowners really lost value quickly (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lily on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:26:46 AM EST
    in that gated community, townhouse sold for $250,000 and drop during the crash to $100,000.
    I wonder how many owners felt pressured to settle with the Martins because they were underwater and unable to sell their property or renegotiate mortgage terms due to the outstanding suit.

    More than likely (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:28:10 AM EST
    the HOA insurer made the decision.

    There was NO fence to jump ! (none / 0) (#34)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:37:29 AM EST
    Indeed there is no boundary "fence" around RATL. Along the roads there is a brick wall, and now since the shooting they have installed a tall metal railing where there was nothing before. Taffe confirmed this in interviews and there are plenty of walk through videos on YT where you can check this out.

    Forgot to link you to a closer ground view... (none / 0) (#47)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:43:44 AM EST
    so you can view better that what you believe is a fence is in fact NOT a fence, merely a series of tall posts with a fan trellis attached, as used for fanning and/or bushing shrubs into a flat screening hedge, and what in the UK we refer to as espaliering and/or pleaching. As you can see there are no horizontals between posts to make a "fence" so you can walk between them as Taffe noted.

    They.. (none / 0) (#68)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:34:35 PM EST
    has since added a fence after the shooting.  It is one of those wrought iron types.   Aghast lives in Sanford and took pictures of the change and posted them in the forum.

    I know... (none / 0) (#89)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:38:31 PM EST
    In the uk we call them (wrought) iron railings, and it was erected within a year of the shooting, because 7 months ago the video "Taking the Taaffe Tour at Twin Lakes" has Taffe commenting on them around 1:20.

    photos and fencing (none / 0) (#186)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 11:40:35 AM EST
    (I have to do a series of comments due to number of urls.)

    this is the "fencing" I think people are referring to. Also see here.



    more shortcut and "fencing" photos (none / 0) (#187)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 11:41:49 AM EST


    here (note that 1360 may be 1350, I can't remember right now but it's not relevant.)


    even more shortcut and "fencing" photos (none / 0) (#188)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 11:42:38 AM EST
    Aerial photo showing 7-11 (at bottom) and road to RATL

    People entering through shortcut

    This is Brandi McClellan (Austin's sister) showing Geraldo's brother the shortcut by Taafe's house.

    If he came in by either of the two shortcuts, it would have been faster to turn right to go home rather than left and to the mailboxes.


    no it doesn't have guards (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 01:08:24 AM EST
    and the security cameras weren't working and he apparently took the shortcut into the neighborhood from the road to Frank Taaffe's house at 1460. That's where GZ said he first spotted him and Rachel testified he took the shortcut.

    IMBW, but I don't think you can mean... (none / 0) (#51)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:37:06 AM EST
    RJ's "shortcut", which as per her note/letter/statement handed to SF:

    "It started to rain so he decided to walk through another complex because it was raining to hard. He started walking then noticed someone was following him. Then he decided to find a shortcut cause the man wouldn't follow him."

    would place TM taking the shortcut by Taffe's house AFTER he noticed GZ following him, therefore by logic it would place GZ following TM in his car from OUTSIDE of RATL.

    IIRC, not even the State tried to show GZ was following TM from BEFORE he entered RATL, so perhaps you mean something else or I missed some evidence and/or RJ changing the event sequence of the shortcut. Could you be confusing RJ's "shortcut" with when she said TM was going to "run from the back"?


    as I said, her trial testimony was (none / 0) (#189)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 11:56:11 AM EST
    it was raining so he took a shortcut to the mailboxes of RATL. She denied he went to another complex first, but couldn't explain why it took him almost 40 minutes to get to the Complex. She also had never been there and didn't know where shortcuts or the mailboxes were.

    WEST: So knowing that Mr. Martin left the store at 6:23:49, or thereabouts, and Mr. Zimmerman saw him in the retreat at twin lakes complex at 7:09:34, are you able to tell me about what you and Mr. Martin talked about during that time period and where, if any, where he went other than to the complex where his father's fiancee was staying?
    JEANTEL: That night?
    WEST: Yes.
    JEANTEL: The rain had got him. The rain, the rain got -- he got caught by the rain. He was at mails ping place, the mailing area.
    WEST: Did he tell you then as he left the store that it started to rain?
    JEANTEL: Yes.
    WEST: And that he ran to the -- or walked quickly to the mail area?
    JEANTEL: Shortcut.
    WEST:  Pardon me?
    JEANTEL: A shortcut to the mailing area.
    WEST:  A shortcut from where to where? Do you have any idea?
    JEANTEL: No.
    WEST:  But he told you that he was going to run over to the mail area?
    JEANTEL: Yes.
    WEST: Do you know if that was the mail area that was in the complex where he was staying, or was that, perhaps, in another complex in between the story and where he was staying?
    JEANTEL: The complex that he was staying on. Because I had asked him where he was at. He say he's in a place where his father is staying at.
    WEST: It's also been indicated that it's about a mile, give or take a little, from the store to the complex where he was staying.
    JEANTEL: No, I don't know where -- I don't know -- I never been there.
    WEST: You don't have any idea, then, what the distance might be?
    JEANTEL: No. I never been there.
    WEST: So what I'm trying to understand from you at this point is, do you have any idea where Trayvon Martin went between leaving the store at about 6:23 in the after -- in the late afternoon before the phone call was made at 7:09:34?

    George's cell phone records show he called the non-emergency number at 7:08 (they didn't pick up until 7:09:34) and TM didn't start walking back from the store until 6:29 or 6:30, so that's still almost 40 minutes to go from the 7-11 to Taaffe's house (another view of shortcut)which is less than 1 mile.


    On (none / 0) (#196)
    by morphic on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 06:02:50 PM EST
    Youtube, most of the walkers took ten to twelve minutes to get to the complex from the 7-11. If Trayvon had gone right, instead of left to the mailboxes, it's doubtful George Zimmerman would have ever seen him.

    In S Florida (none / 0) (#39)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:30:34 AM EST
    Gated communities provide an illusion of security, they are not any more secure.

    It amazes me almost an entire thread here (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:57:38 PM EST
    is devoted at this point, post-acquittal, to this suject. (And that I am reading it!)

    Fed charges seem like double jeopardy (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:05:25 PM EST
    to me too, and I hope the DOJ does not do that.  I agree it is high time energy is directed elsewhere.

    Would be extremely ill advised (none / 0) (#18)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:32:42 PM EST
    But would not be double jeopardy under the current state of law. However, there is a case challenging that status, Roach v. Missouri.

    The ACLU is just reminding us (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by scribe on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:44:58 AM EST
    that in the Obama administration the proper greeting among non-profits is "welcome to the veal pen".

    I have little doubt they, like many other Dem-leaning organizations, got the word early (like, spring 09) that supporting Obama was the sine qua non for future corporate donorship.  Not to mention that the ACLU lost no small amount in the Madoff scandal and probably (I haven't checked the massive dockets in the Bankruptcy court) got hit for even more in the clawback suits.

    In other words, they were being led by their funders until their members started screaming.

    The point is, from minute one of this Obama's thrust has not been to improve race relations.  It has been to attack "stand your ground" laws specifically and self-defense laws generally.  The appeals to "my son would have looked like Trayvon" and more recently "I would have looked like Trayon 35 years ago" were cynical ploys to rally the many people who are still in love with the image of him to follow him in his ongoing crusade for gun control (among other things).  Given that the Heller and MacDonald decisions both defined self-defense as a "fundamental right" protected by the Constitution, his approach is to try to so limit and cabin that right as to make it about as useful as the reporter's privilege and the First Amendment when applied to non-corporate publishers (wikileaks, I'm looking at you).


    Thank you for the cite (none / 0) (#61)
    by txantimedia on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:15:58 PM EST
    I'm reading it now.  I fully agree that the Feds trying someone for the same offense is an abridgement of the Constitution, and it has long bothered me that they can get away with it.  Hopefully the Court will so rule in this case, and put an end to this violation of rights.

    Uh, so... (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by bmaz on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:01:03 AM EST
    ...the same kind of dynamic that occurs in every jury chamber in the country every day as to give and take, consideration and ultimate agreement on a verdict happened here in this case? And Ben Jealous and the Crump brigade are going to manufacture that into a racial thing too? This is just getting sick.

    The number of calls re race (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:04:56 AM EST
    and the total number of calls was stated in the trial, as I recall?  And I know that I read it elsewhere before that -- probably here -- as I have tried for weeks to clarify these facts with so many people who just want to parrot media misreporting.

    And I also remember a discussion here, months ago, that clarified that he said "f*cking punks."  That also then was reported elsewhere, more widely.

    I can only conclude, then, that the continued misreporting is not incompetence but willful by media.  Most of the reporting is national -- AP, networks, etc. -- and, unlike small-town media, the nationals have sufficient staff to get it correct.

    They must not want to do so.  They must like the  the ratings for repeating untruths -- and/or this is entertainment for the masses to divert them from the lack of jobs, the class wars, and the economic decline far beyond a few blocks in Florida.  

    here is the truth about the prior (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 01:19:52 AM EST
    calls to non-emergency that were introduced at trial. There were six total.

    The state has said from day 1 he said punks, that's what they used in its affidavit and what was introduced at trial. What anyone else think they heard is irrelevant.


    Yep, I had read it here (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:43:38 AM EST
    from the trial.  

    Unfortunately, on that and the other misinformation constantly perpetuated elsewhere, I fear that it is all too relevant in communities like mine, where the lies were repeated yesterday by civil rights "leaders" who are proving to be mindless followers.

    Reading the reportage today, I crossed a few more off of my ever-shorter list of leadership for whom I had held hope.  They were getting much wrong even on some of the facts reportedly correctly in media.


    They're not mindless. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by redwolf on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 01:10:25 PM EST
    They're normal people who don't realize the news is mostly propaganda.

    We've all believe that our news isn't propaganda and that the US doesn't have a system of propaganda like Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany did. But we do.  Almost news is propaganda serving what group or another.  Where as the soviets would simply made up the "truth" from whole cloth and the Nazi would stage false flag operations our preferred system of propaganda is the slant. Instead of lying about the facts our propaganda organs leave facts out and distort other facts. Instead of Zimmerman being beaten by martin we go right from Zimmerman following martin to Zimmerman shooting Martin.  Instead of Zimmerman being asked about Martin's race and Zimmerman not being sure right away we have Zimmerman making it a racial issue right away though the media editing the phone call.

    Most people just believe the slant as presented because why would the news deceive us? It's hard for average people to fight propaganda when they don't even realize that it's propaganda.


    Actually, no. Many are not the (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:08:38 PM EST
    low-information sort; these are well-educated and usually well-informed sorts who abhor squawk radio and tv and almost always are the first to question nonsense in the media and media frenzies.  They well know when they see propaganda in other cases.

    But not about this case.


    Mindless followers (none / 0) (#38)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:03:50 AM EST

    Whatever you do, don't call them "low information voters."



    IF we take Juror 37 at her word, (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Teresa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:18:29 AM EST
    the manslaughter question was sent out for whomever the "holdout" was. She said when they couldn't answer the non-specific question, they read the law in the instructions and that answered the question.

    I'm not sure how out of the norm that is, but I can see it being on every news show tomorrow. If it's just normal juror interaction, they're doing a real disservice to that jury (any jury really). I was hoping Judge Nelson could keep their identities secret forever, but I read she can't. It sounds like friends and relatives have already outed her anyway.

    What a mess.

    Thanks for the quotes on 'holdout' (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:01:44 AM EST
    The last one to agree is not necessarily a holdout. It does seem like normal jury business to me.

    My interpretation of her remarks (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:34:49 PM EST
    was that the hold outs reticence was not based on interpretation and weighing of facts but on confusion understanding the charging instructions.

    J37 indicated that the question revolved around the third section of instructions, self defense, overriding a finding of manslaughter. Manslaughter was listed previously.

    If this was the case then it seems that last juror resolved the question properly


    Another reason not to pursue federal chages (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ahsing on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:36:05 AM EST
    is that the case would likely end up at the Supreme Court. This means the Court that just undermined the voting rights act would get a swipe at civil rights and hate crime laws. And they would do so on a case where the foundation for the charges for extremely weak, giving them a good basis for challenging those laws as intrinsically prone to abuse.

    Atre you sure that (none / 0) (#40)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:39:36 AM EST
    taking repealing hate crime laws would be a bad thing.  I have a hard time recalling a case where they were needed.

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:43:57 AM EST
    I have a hard time recalling a case where they were needed.

    Matthew Shepard, James Byrd, Jr.  Ring a bell?


    I have always opposed (3.50 / 2) (#48)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:55:50 AM EST
    hate crime laws on this site. Punish the underlying crime, rather than the thought behind it. I've written op-eds on this. Murder already carries life or death, you don't need the thought element.

    I understand this argument (none / 0) (#111)
    by ahsing on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 01:28:00 AM EST
    but haven't yet given it enough thought to decide whether I agree for sure. I'm not sympathetic to the notion that specifically racial mass murder like Hitler is worse than largely random mass murder like Stalin.

    That said, I don't trust this court getting its hands on these issues, especially if the case before it is as weak as one based on Zimmerman would have to be. I would have to give more thought to what exactly I would expect Scalia to pull, but I expect it would amount to using the fact that this case as a civil rights matter is largely a political stunt to argue that criticism of racial bias in the legal system is intrinsically a political interference in the proper business of the court, and therefore never to be given legal standing. I'm worried this case could provide a pretext for ruling out a lot of challenges to the legal system based on the premise that it exhibits racial bias.


    If I recall correctly (none / 0) (#42)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:47:05 AM EST

    The laws against murder cover those cases pretty well.



    Maybe the hate crimes involving murder (none / 0) (#58)
    by Yman on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:38:22 AM EST
    Of course, out of 7,254 hate crime offenses in 2011, only 4 were murders.

    Not needed for other offenses either (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by bmaz on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 01:39:39 PM EST
    So called "hate crimes" not only serve to criminalize thought and First Amendment expression, even if it is ugly and detestable expression, they also place crimes against one class as being worse than crimes against another similarly situated class. Both are patently objectionable results Constitutionally.

    They don't criminalize thought (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Yman on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:20:50 PM EST
    If all you do is think about committing a hate crime, you can't be charged with anything.  Like other crimes, there must be an act associated with the intent.

    BTW - If they are "patently objectionable Constitutionally", how do you suppose they haven't been struck down since they were first enacted in 1871?  In fact, in Wisconsin v. Mitchell, the USSC unanimously held that  penalty-enhancement hate crime statutes do not conflict with free speech rights, because they do not punish an individual for exercising freedom of expression.  To the contrary, they held that such laws allow courts to consider motive when sentencing someone for a crime, which is entirely permissible under the Constitution.

    The federal government and 45 states have hate crimes on their books.


    And there were only 7 rapes (none / 0) (#67)
    by txantimedia on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:12:20 PM EST
    and clearly that's not something covered under the criminal statutes, right?

    There were also 677 aggravated assaults and 1336 assaults.  Those wouldn't be covered either, right?

    There were 131 robberies, 124 burglaries, 158 thefts, 24 arsons and 2,125 incidents of vandalism, destruction of property, etc.  No help from the criminal laws there either, right?


    Is the FBI (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:48:55 AM EST
    Researching all aspect of the case?

    Particularly will they be verifying, contradicting or further delving into Martins phone, text,email and social postings as well as interviewing social media friends who have posted familiar comments on his pages?

    If the AG gets his Federal trial I don't think he can rely on the defense having insufficient access to exculpatory evidence again.

    It would be in the states interest to uncover the veracity of that evidence

    Could this be related to Sabrina's recent admission that TM may not have been a Saint.

    The FBI is only investigating Zimmerman (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:00:38 AM EST
    The role of the prosecutor is to prosecute, not defend.  In order to prosecute, the feds need to write a paper that makes allegations of fact that it claims it will prove at trial, where one of the allegations is that Zimmerman was animated to action by racial animus.  I see no barrier to that, any more than the state had a barrier on the evidence.  Just claim Zimmerman's frustration had reached the boiling point (depraved mind), and that his frustration was racially based.

    The deciding factor for pressing charges will be the size and apparent determination of the public mob.

    There is no reason to think a federal judge would allow the evidence (relating to Martin) that Nelson found inadmissible.  The role of the court is to convict while giving the appearance of a fair trial.


    When (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by morphic on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:37:21 AM EST
    the dispatcher asked George what ethnicity Trayvon was, George replied "he looks blacK" How can there be a racist claim when the alleged racist, part black himself, isn't certain if Trayvon really was black?

    Just like the state trial (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:57:29 AM EST
    The threshold for bringing charges isn't the strength of the evidence, or even the presence of it.  The prosecutor puts his tale before the jury, and lets the jury decide if the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction.

    I'm not saying that is how the criminal justice system is supposed to work, my point is that it can be put in motion for show, and the prosecutors are willing to put on a show if enough people demand it.


    Cboldt (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:06:49 AM EST
    is aware of that.  He , research postings and analysis of this case in unsurpassed.

    I think he is being a bit cynical.

    It's as if the Feds could try Gandhi on a Civil Rights violation after NYC failed to win a indigency conviction


    Getting back on topic (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by txantimedia on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:28:44 AM EST
    I'm glad that the ACLU got it right, but it should have gotten it right to begin with.

    Some clarification is in order (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:13:41 AM EST
    If you meant that the NYT printed articles that indicated some people thought GZ was a racist, that's just reporting. But, your post reads as if the NYT itself never authored  "an article or column that did not claim GZ was a racist."

    If that's what you meant, it's simply not true. If you have proof, please show it. If not, I would ask that you clarify it.

    Jeralyn has a very strict rule regarding facts and opinions.

    The great majority of mass murders (5.00 / 3) (#130)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:50:50 PM EST
    are committed by young white males of middle class or privileged backgrounds. Are you advocating profiling all young white males meeting that criteria and viewing them as potential mass murderers?

    Is that proven? (none / 0) (#155)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:39:09 PM EST
    And is it relevant?  The majority of people in the US are white.  I'm pretty sure the majority of mass murderers in Japan are Japanese, what does that tell us?

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:46:05 PM EST
    The difference, as Chauncey DeVega made clear on Saturday, is that when white men commit mass murder we don't hear how their skin color, their maleness, or their social class were contributing factors to their acts. As Peggy McIntosh famously wrote in her White Privilege Checklist, we see whites as individuals whose moral state reflects their individual will. In other words, white men kill simply because they are "sick" or "evil." When men of color murder, it is because they are both those things and because of factors uniquely attributable to their race....

    ...White men from upper middle-class backgrounds expect to be both welcomed and heard wherever they go. When that sense of entitlement gets frustrated, as it can for a host of complex psychological reasons, it is those same hyper-privileged men who are the most likely to react with violent, rage-filled indignation



    Thanks for providing such a good answer (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:54:32 PM EST
    while I was gone.

    Your habit of troll rating (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:36:36 PM EST
    factual, well sourced answers to your questions is rather annoying to say the least. If you do not want factual answers to a question, then can I suggest that you only ask questions of those people on the site who agree 100% with whatever your position happens to be.

    I erased those ratings (none / 0) (#175)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:28:59 AM EST
    no one should give a 1 rating based on point of view. A 1 is for a troll comment or site violator or an unintelligible comment. I can't erase ratings for individual comments, only all ratings by a particular commenter.

    Seems to be a losing battle, MO. (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:23:36 PM EST
    There's no such thing as consistency. Apparently, you get to make false, unsubstantiated claims if your name is Darby or Isabella. Otherwise, no dice.

    all you have to do is alert me to them (none / 0) (#176)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:30:00 AM EST
    and they will be gone.

    If you have a question or need me to substantiate (none / 0) (#183)
    by Darby on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 10:45:10 AM EST
    Facts of the case, please let know. Sorry if I missed it!

    The Media coverage on this (none / 0) (#1)
    by Semanticleo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:43:18 PM EST
    reminds me of the McMartin case.  There was abject hysteria from the public over this matter manufactured in the minds of horrified parents who assigned magical truthiness to the children.

    How many times has the Press failed the American public in the drive for ratings, circulation and ad revenue?  Why must all the genuine journalists be outliers, outcasts amongst their peers?

    It's the American Way.

    the media also failed (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:11:55 PM EST
    out of pure ignorance.  They simply did not do their homework.  I noticed that most of them were sincere.  But they were ignorant and they just repeated the same crap story-line everyone else was telling.
    This is the problem with the 24/7 news networks with their overpaid infotainment stars.

    the media continues to fail (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by lily on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:45:33 PM EST
    while cooking tonight we made the mistake of listening to SF based news talk show, not one thing she stated was accurate,yet she drummed up racial hate. Quite distressing.

    The media is lazy. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:26:12 PM EST
    With a few exceptions that are obvious, they are not biased, in someone's pocket, etc. They are just lazy and do not do the homework.

    The people I know are not lazy (none / 0) (#83)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 05:52:55 PM EST
    But they have much, much less time to report a story because of major and ongoing cutbacks.

    no no no (none / 0) (#113)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:29:47 AM EST
    how can you claim they are not biased and in someone's pocket?  Not all of them, but for many it is a combination of all, so some of the above.  Fox, not biased?  MSNBC, not a hotbed of liberal idiots who are so open minded their brains fell out?  I have two words for you, Piers Morgan.
    Don't get me wrong, there are a few very good people on msnbc, but all of them hit a wall they can not see over at some point.  
    Fox, I can't speak to, you couldn't pay me to watch it. The outright bold faced lies I have heard there inspire in me feelings of anarchy that are not healthy.

    "It's the American Way" (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Nemi on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:36:55 AM EST
    Nah, seems more like a global 'trend'. You know: "A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes".

    As Bob Somerby,  among others, has pointed out for years, if fake facts are repeated sufficiently often, they'll eventually be regarded as true facts. And that's when getting out the real truth becomes a task almost always doomed to fail. :-(


    In 2004 I wrote an article (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by txantimedia on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:23:58 AM EST
    titled No One Fact Checks Any More.  The article was about an AP article reporting a meteor that struck Chehalis, Washington.  It took me about 10 minutes to debunk the story.  The person reporting it did not exist.  The Mayor of Chehalis denied that there had been any such report and said he had no knowledge of any reports of damage in the area even though the reported size of the meteor would have caused extensive damage and death in the surrounding area.

    The AP later withdrew the story.  The AP subscribers who picked up the story later deleted it but never printed retractions.  So any screenshots or printouts of the story would still remain with no correcting information.

    Note that there was nothing controversial about the story; no politics, no deaths reported, no bias angle to report, no special interest group angle, etc., etc.  Yet they still printed a complete falsehood without even bothering to do 10 minutes of fact checking.

    The fact checking took place after the story had been published.

    Everyone knows that retractions of falsehoods are never as widely disseminated as the original falsehood.  That's exactly what's going on in the Zimmerman case.  The original lies are still believed by many, and the corrections, if they have been made, are ignored or not noticed.

    A clear example of this is the "white Hispanic" label.  Had anyone ever heard that label used before?  That was the media's "correction" when it was "discovered" that George was Hispanic, not white.

    George is half white.  Obama is half white.  Yet they don't call Obama a "white black".  People would laugh if they did.  It's silly.  Yet the "white Hispanic" label has now entered the lexicon, and George will forever be labeled that way simply because the media couldn't be bothered to do any fact checking before "reporting" that he was white.

    In Latin culture, George would be known as a mestizo - a mixture of several races.  If the media wanted to be accurate, they could call him a mestizo Hispanic.  But accuracy obviously isn't important to them.


    White Hispanic (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by chrisvee on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:42:23 PM EST
    Yes, it's been used before.  It's not a media correction.  White refers to race and Hispanic refers to ethnicity.  These are US Census Bureau definitions.

    Isn't George bi-racial or interracial (none / 0) (#102)
    by Darby on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:33:16 PM EST
    His grandmother IIIRC is black

    Grandfather Is Black (none / 0) (#137)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:45:53 PM EST
    No, his great-grandfather was black (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Towanda on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:42:32 PM EST
    which reminded me that we have made some progress.  

    A century ago, George Zimmerman would have been called an "octoroon."  

    And, as this is a law blog, that reminded me that a famous "octoroom" in our legal history was Homer Plessy, denied his civil rights despite looking a lot more "white" than does George Zimmerman.  

    But the media frenzy sorts needed Zimmerman to be white.  Too bad they weren't around for Plessy.


    It's just not as sexy (5.00 / 2) (#182)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:48:27 PM EST
    if Zimmerman was "a person of color"

    it was a media correction (none / 0) (#116)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:11:49 AM EST
    George Zimmerman, is as white as Obama is.  His mother's side of the family is black and native american. Afro-Peruvian is black just like Afro-American is black.  Look at the family pictures.
    The person you are answering may not be aware of census questions, but you may not be aware that those questions are really pretty lame.  They just do not fit anyone except white people.

    No (none / 0) (#135)
    by chrisvee on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:41:11 PM EST
    If it were a media correction and addressing your point he would be identified as Black Hispanic.  Are you saying that's how he self identifies?

    He self identifies (none / 0) (#138)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:46:22 PM EST
    as "Hispanic".

    Does (none / 0) (#148)
    by chrisvee on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:49:44 PM EST
    He only self identify for ethnicity and not for race?

    White Hispanic (none / 0) (#160)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:53:12 PM EST
    has been used for the likes of Cameron Diaz, Charlie Sheen, and Frankie Muniz, none of whom resemble George Z much.  He has a German name, so initial news reports pegged him as white, and it fit the narrative so well.

    I do not understand this meme (none / 0) (#37)
    by Leopold on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:46:18 AM EST
    About blaming 'the media' for "whipping up racism issues" or "misinforming the public resulting in pro-TM protests".

    To my eyes and ears, the media has fallen along the same fault lines it always does.  Listen to hannity, Limbaugh, etc and you'll get pro-GZ spin. Listen to maddow and others, you'll get the other spin.  This case hasn't changed any of that. It's all very predictable and there is spin and bias on both sides, as per usual.

    That includes the usual blogs, and their typical biases. I've seen no surprises here through any of this.  


    Maybe it would clarify things (none / 0) (#64)
    by txantimedia on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:27:01 PM EST
    if you separated supposed "news" organizations from opinion shows.  Hannity, for example, isn't a news show any more than Piers Morgan is.  The "reporting" on this case wasn't done by talk shows.  It was done by supposed "news" organizations, but those have been co-opted by political interests for a long time, so it's not surprising you might consider Hannity news.  It's almost a distinction without a difference.

    Well, it's quite difficult to (none / 0) (#78)
    by Leopold on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:50:43 PM EST
    separate news organizations from opinion shows these days IMO. Fox News? CNN? MSNBC? NY Times? NY Post?

    Nevertheless, even the 'actual news organizations' have their typical slants and biases. And they have not been very surprising relative to this case. The sides taken in this case are completely predictable for most media outlets.

    The same for the blogs, and even us commenters on blogs for that matter.


    I've seen incredible slant (none / 0) (#84)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 05:56:18 PM EST
    and inaccuracies in media that I might normally trust, such as the NYT. I do think this case was different, in part because TM's parents had lawyers and a PR person early on, and neither GZ's family, nor Sanford authorities were talking.

    Lawyers - publicists plus: (2.00 / 1) (#99)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:20:21 PM EST

    • A coterie of race grievance factions and quasi celebrities

    • The helping hand of DOJ "facilitators"

    • Various post ACORN, government,funded advocacy groups

    McLaughlin Group on Zimmerman (none / 0) (#4)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:46:16 PM EST
    More than half of this Friday's program was devoted to the remarks of Holder and Obama related to the case.  I guess the Sunday talk shows will be similar.  Pat Buchanan thought that Obama's remarks were incendiary and wrong while Eleanor Clift, Mort Zuckerman, Clarance Page and John McLaughlin thought they were spot on and showed presidential leadership.

    I hate it when I agree (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:31:33 AM EST
    with Pat Buchanan.

    if it's just gossip or unconfirmed, there isn't an (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 01:10:22 AM EST
    need to spread it here. Please don't reprint rumors.

    this refers to a deleted comment (none / 0) (#195)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 12:36:15 PM EST
    not juror B-37

    So what happens... (none / 0) (#69)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:42:25 PM EST
    when or if the DOJ can't find anything to charge Zimmerman with?  Do we keep going on with this?  What will the protestors do next?  Accept it?  Seems doubtful.

    Legislation (none / 0) (#70)
    by txantimedia on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:54:09 PM EST
    IMO (none / 0) (#79)
    by ding7777 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:55:44 PM EST
    it would be legislation to remove the immunity from civil suit - gotta keep the lawyers happy

    I think TalkLeft needs a FAQ on the forum (none / 0) (#85)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:07:26 PM EST
    so that we could deal with the statements we hear over and over. Examples include: GZ provoked the fight. TM was armed only with fruit juice and Skittles. GZ would have been acquitted if the PD had done a better job of interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence.

    Just something simple that we could point people to.

    Was Martin "armed" with anything? (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:05:16 PM EST
    Now oculus (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:23:03 PM EST
    That isn't a frequently asked question in some places :)

    his fist and a (none / 0) (#194)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 12:34:58 PM EST
    piece of cement.

    Didn't you mean (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:20:25 AM EST
    "GZ would have been [ found guilty ] if the PD had done a better job of interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence[?]"

    Repetitive Statements (none / 0) (#88)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:18:25 PM EST
    I think that many of the people making emotional statements about this case care much about legal definition. For many, the fact that GZ followed TM at all, is a provocation. And, I am not sure that you are going to be able to make a case for the Sanford PD, as they were incredibly sloppy. I would even guess that had the victim been a white person wearing a suit, that they would have not treated the murder scene so casually, racism? maybe..

    So, as well intended your call for a FAQ sheet is, I doubt that those who are angry about the verdict will gain any solace from the legal facts of the case.


    SPD Sloppy? (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by bmaz on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:40:50 PM EST
    From all the disclosure I read and saw, the SPD may not have done a CSI like perfect job, but it was not that bad at all as homicide investigations go. Now the medical examiner's office had some serious lapses, but that is a separate entity, not SPD. SPD marked out the scene, collected evidence, collected audio and video evidence, collected digital evidence on both Zimmerman and Martin etc., took a boatload of witness and neighbor interviews that were competently done, and grilled Zimmerman several different ways and times.

    Were there a few lapses, yes but overall it was far from the worst homicide investigation I ever seen and was easily in the median or better range. Now, what Corey and FDLE etc did once they took it all over is a different matter, but I did not find the original SPD job anywhere near as deficient as has been commonly bandied about in the press and among many commentators.


    Oh (none / 0) (#97)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:11:15 PM EST
    Well not sure who was responsible. I thought forensic unit was part of the Sanford Police.  The clothes put in plastic, bagging the hands, and general forensics seemed to be pretty sloppy. OK, I have never followed a murder case, so I do not know what is standard, but it seemed that a lot of info was lacking.

    And I have not read any news about the case. All my info has been from TL.


    There (none / 0) (#179)
    by morphic on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:26:47 AM EST
    simply is no evidence that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after he said "okay." His breathing slowed, the wind noise died down, and he appeared to be conversing rather casually with the dispatcher. Add the fact that multiple witnesses had the confrontation beginning west of the T, than moving south. Basically, after roughly six minutes after Martin was said to have run, Zimmerman was about the same place the phone conversation ended . He claimed he was heading for his vehicle. If you're a detective, there's no way to prove Zimmerman was lying. What did they expect the SPD to do?

    read the forums (none / 0) (#164)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:19:41 PM EST
    they are well organized. Virtually every topic has been analyzed and contain links to the discovery and pleadings, hearings and trial.

    I did the link wrong (none / 0) (#87)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:17:03 PM EST
    I am surprised (none / 0) (#105)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:45:50 PM EST
    that experts in the trial failed to bring up the possibility the TM was using his palms, forearms or elbows as weapons,

    The latter two are more viable if TM had a low mount ( straddling the hips) on GZ at sometime during the struggle

    I think (none / 0) (#107)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:30:02 PM EST
    He said his head was repeatedly being forced back into the cement. The also said he was being smothered and struck with a hard object.

    45 seconds is a long time. Fighters are not restricted to using the same strikes.

    As a teenager I was (none / 0) (#128)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:31:37 PM EST
    most certainly profiles as where most of my friends regardless of race.

    I can't say the shop owners were incorrect in some of their suspicions

    "Some" - heh (none / 0) (#132)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:14:24 PM EST
    If a shop owner suspected every, single person of being a criminal, they'd be right "some" of the time.

    So given the vastly, disproportionate number of crimes committed by men, should they be profiled?


    A wise (none / 0) (#153)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:15:32 PM EST
    shop keep would keep his eyes on teenage boys. Particularly if he sells alcohol.

    Is that profiling?


    I guess we can forget all of my FAQ requests (none / 0) (#134)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:35:28 PM EST
    The accusation that Trayvon was looking into the windows got zapped also.

    Sure. I'm aware of women and men (none / 0) (#140)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:04:55 PM EST
    both taking different "precautions" when in certain situations with men vs the same situations with women.

    You're not aware of such things?

    Not really (none / 0) (#141)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:12:01 PM EST
    Although, I guess it depends on what you mean by "certain situations".  Men going into stores being followed by the shopkeeper just because they're me?  No.  A woman (or a man) being nervous about a man following them?  Sure.  Then again, ...

    ... that's not "profiling".


    Correction (none / 0) (#143)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:14:41 PM EST
    "... being followed by the shopkeeper just because they're men"

    From (none / 0) (#144)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:21:32 PM EST
    merriam webster
    : the act or process of extrapolating information about a person based on known traits or tendencies <consumer profiling>; specifically : the act of suspecting or targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior <racial profiling>
    [my bolds]

    Seriously? (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:11:49 PM EST
    A woman being nervous about a man following her is not gender profiling - ya know, ... the thing we were discussing.  It's based on his behavior.

    This is what I was discussing: (none / 0) (#158)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:48:15 PM EST
    So given the vastly, disproportionate number of crimes committed by men, should they be profiled?

    sb: "profiling" noun (none / 0) (#146)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:27:23 PM EST
    Profiling (none / 0) (#157)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:47:04 PM EST
    Shoplifting is one of the few crimes in which women's rate of offense (or teen girls', anyway) probably exceeds that of men.  It would be unsafe for citizens not to consider men, especially strangers, more of a threat to them, and bad policy for the police not to consider men more likely than women to commit most types of crimes.

    Question about SD and SYG laws in Florida (none / 0) (#161)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:09:09 PM EST

    If Oscar Pristorius gunned his girl friend down after a heated fight, in that gated community where Trayvon Martin was killed #instead of in South Africa#, could his legal defense team use Florida's self defense and SYG laws to get him acquitted, arguing that he feared for his life during the fight he had with his girl friend? Note that his girl friend is dead and nobody else other than him #since there were no witnesses# knows what really happened that night.

    off topic and the two cases (none / 0) (#167)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:27:03 PM EST
    have nothing in common. They were not strangers. Do not hijack the thread. I live-blogged all of the bail hearing in that case, check it out if you want to know what happened.

    I hope I got the objectionable (none / 0) (#168)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:29:14 PM EST
    comments people have referred to. I also deleted a ridiculously long comment reprinting an article from somewhere. I didn't read it. This space is for comments not reprinting articles or documents you read elsewhere.

    The topic is also the DOJ investigation.

    My meaning WAS clear (none / 0) (#177)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:27:38 AM EST
    Should men be profiled based solely on their gender, as opposed to your pretzel version - "taking different "precautions" when in 'certain situations' with men vs the same situations with women".

    Correct (none / 0) (#184)
    by Darby on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 10:47:14 AM EST
    That is why Zimmerman was suspicious of martin