home

Zimmerman: Good Samaritans and Racial Injustice

The Seminole County Sheriff's office today released a statement confirming that last Wednesday, four days after being acquitted of murder and manslaughter, George Zimmerman helped free a family of four from a rollover accident. [Added: Here are the 911 calls.]

After spotting the vehicle on the side of the road, George grabbed a fire extinguisher from inside his truck, thinking a fire might break out, and with another man, freed the trapped family before first responders arrived at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle identified Zimmerman as the man who pulled him to safety. Officers spoke with Zimmerman who then left the scene. [More...]

Also today, Sanford police turned over their file on the case to the FBI. Anyone who doesn't think the outcome will be anything other than there is no case to be made is delusional. As is anyone who thinks the woefully misinformed public will believe it.

I wonder if people using social media have any idea what ignormamuses they sound like.

What's no so easily overlooked or brushed off are the number stupid tweets calling for throwing the Bill of Rights out the window because of the verdict in this case. There were calls to reduce the burden of proof in criminal cases. Calls to change the law so that the state could appeal a not guilty verdict. Calls to repeal the privilege against self-incrimination so that a defendant could be forced to testify against himself. Calls to end the requirement that a verdict be unanimous. Calls to do away with expert testimony. Calls to change the rules of evidence so that negative character evidence as to the defendant (only)could be introduced.

In my opinion, this is all happening because the public was sold a false bill of goods from the start by the media, civil lawyers for the Martin family (more here) and civil rights leaders. I think they should all hang their heads in shame. The repeated misrepresentation of this shooting as a monumental civil rights issue has polarized the public to such an extent that everyone is closing their ears to the real problems of racial injustice in the criminal justice system.

President Obama didn't help when he tied his remarks on racial profiling to Martin and Zimmerman. It was another missed opportunity to address the real cause of racial disparity. The problem is not profiling by individuals (although there's no evidence that occurred in the Zimmerman case.) It's not little old ladies in elevators or people who lock their car doors. It's not those who act in self-defense. It's the Government. It's always been the Government.

Racial inequality and economic injustice have a long history in the United States. Equal justice for all should be everyone's goal.

As the President of this country, Obama should lead and teach by his example. And that means demanding changes from his Justice Department and Congress. Not just for "African American boys," but for African American girls and all minorities, of all ages. It's unfortunate that we are now into his 5th year as President and he has done so little to reverse the discriminatory practices that have permeated the system for years.

The public needs to recognize the very real problems that minorities face in our criminal justice system. Check out the Equal Justice Initiative and incredible photographs in the 2013 Equal Justice Initiatives Calendar.

The lives of African Americans have been profoundly shaped by the era of slavery, the era of racial terror that continued from the end of Reconstruction until World War II, the era of Jim Crow and racial apartheid that produced the civil rights movement, and now the era of mass incarceration.

Too often we have appropriately celebrated black achievement and triumph in the face of these obstacles without exploring the very difficult reality of racial inequality and subordination. EJI believes a deeper understanding of this history is necessary for us to achieve the truth and reconciliation that overcoming historic injustice requires.

Check out the image of U.S. Marshals escorting six-year-old Ruby Bridges, the first student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1960.

Look at the photo of 14 year old George Stinney, executed by South Carolina in 1946.

Read the brief paragraphs accompanying the photos about convict leasing. And the photo of Black orphaned children and juvenile offenders who were forced to serve as laborers for white planters in many Southern states from 1865 until the 1940s. How could this happen?

After the Civil War, slavery persisted in the form of convict leasing, a system in which Southern states leased prisoners to private railways, mines, and large plantations. While states profited, prisoners earned no pay and faced inhumane, dangerous, and often deadly work conditions. Thousands of black people were forced into what authors have termed “slavery by another name” until the 1940s.

What about the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery that was passed in 1865? It explicitly exempted those convicted of crime.

In response, Southern state legislatures quickly passed “Black Codes” – new laws that explicitly applied only to black people and subjected them to criminal prosecution for #8220;offenses” such as loitering, breaking curfew, vagrancy, having weapons, and not carrying proof of employment. Crafted to ensnare black people and return them to chains, these laws were effective; for the first time in U.S. history, many state penal systems held more black prisoners than white – all of whom could be leased for profit.

Remnants of these practices exist today. As recently as 2010, a federal court held that “prisoners have no enforceable right to be paid for their work under the Constitution.”

Don't miss the photos of the incarcerated juveniles, or the accompanying text which states that nearly 3,000 children have been sentenced to die in prison in the United States, some as young as 13 and 14. More than 70% of the youngest ones are African American or Latino.

Or the description of how in the 1920's, more than 65,000 women were forcibly sterilized as a result of laws that banned reproduction rights for “undesirables?"

In the 1920s, many states authorized forced sterilization of thousands of “undesirable citizens” – people with disabilities, prisoners, and racial minorities – on the theory that, as the U.S. Supreme Court put it in upholding Virginia’s forced sterilization law in 1927, “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” American proponents of Eugenics, a scientific movement to “improve” the genetic composition of the human population, soon accelerated sterilization programs, which served as a model for Nazi programs implemented during the Holocaust.

Or the segregated bathrooms in 1960.

This is a fascinating, accurate and horrifying look at how unfairly African Americans have been treated by the justice system over the course of history. It has zero to do with Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman, and everything to do with the real problems of racial disparity that continue to plague and infect our justice system.

The victims of this injustice are not just African American "boys" as Obama refers to them. African American girls, Latinos, the undocumented from all over the world, are also treated more harshly.

The crux of the problem is that America has become a Prison Nation. Per capita, we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. More than 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the U.S, and nearly 60% of them are Blacks and Latinos. That's twice as many as the their percentage in the general population. (From the report described below.)

The Obama Administration needs to realign its priorities. It needs to focus on curtailing law enforcement and prosecutorial abuses, ending the war on drugs, repealing mandatory minimum sentencing laws, ending life sentences for juveniles, and stop catering to the private prison industry. We need to invest in alternatives to prison, not more prison space.

The President promised hope and change and five years into his Presidency, he has failed to deliver. It's time to let him know we don't want a discussion about ladies in elevators clutching their purses.

We need to let the President and Democrats in Congress know deflecting the attention to stand your ground laws in unacceptable. We want what Obama promised. Change. Equality for everyone, not just one minority group, but all minorities and everyone else sucked into the criminal justice system.

Take the focus off guns and Stand Your Ground laws. The right of self-defense has been recognized this country since the early 1800's. The right to bear arms is a constitutional right. There's no evidence to support that removing no duty to retreat language from state statutes will make a whit of difference in cases where there is no means of retreat.

Has anyone studied how many murders, rapes, assaults, and robberies are prevented each year by average citizens with guns?

The Florida Task Force that recently submitted a report on Stand Your Ground laws called for funding a study of that would include variables such as race, ethnicity, gender, application and fairness of the Florida's stand your ground law, including a statistical comparison with other states. No action should be recommended or taken before those studies have been concluded. The Task Force estimated that once funded, they will take about two years to complete.

The Cato Institute makes a good point in its report on criminals and armed citizen response:

Federal and state lawmakers often oppose repealing or amending laws governing the ownership or carrying of guns. That opposition is typically based on assumptions that the average citizen is incapable of successfully employing a gun in self-defense or that possession of a gun in public will tempt people to violence in “road rage” or other contentious situations. Those assumptions are false. The vast majority of gun owners are ethical and competent. That means tens of thousands of crimes are prevented each year by ordinary citizens with guns.

Less funding should go to law enforcement and more provided for prevention, reduction of recidivism and providing rehabilitative services to those leaving prison.

The President needs to realize that equal justice is not limited to one topic or group. He told the nation the other day,

Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.

That same principle should be applied to state laws that legalize marijuana. Otherwise, he's cherry-picking and perpetuating arbitrary enforcement of our federal laws.

It's time to end the focus on Trayvon Martin and stop blasting George Zimmerman who was neither charged nor found guilty of racial animosity. President Obama should not have used the case as the reason for his first conversation on racial injustice.

It's not the President's place to take sides while a criminal investigation is ongoing or a trial is underway and it's disrespectful to denigrate a verdict as I think he did by implication when he extended his sympathy to the Martin family without mentioning the Zimmerman family, and in using this case to discourage private citizens from racially profiling minorities after a jury rejected the state's arguments that Zimmerman profiled Martin. It was especially troubling that he failed to even acknowledge that Martin's attack on Zimmerman was wrong.

We don't need change for Trayvon Martin. We need change for all the minorities who are adversely impacted by the racial disparity in our justice system every day. The Equal Justice Initiative project is a good place to learn about how it began and evolved for African Americans. And we should similarly examine the historical perspective and present day injustices to other minorities. Male and female. Young and Old.

We should also put more focus on the children of the incarcerated, to whom society owes an equal chance to succeed in life. Mass incarceration deprives them of a fundamental need: the love and presence of a parent while growing up. They are blameless. They deserve better.

And there is something that everyone concerned about racial disparity and injustice should do today. Contact your Congresspersons and Senators and demand they pass emergency funding for the Judiciary. Our federal courts are quickly rapidly approaching a constitutional crisis due to sequester cuts. Without adequate funds for federal defenders and court-appointed indigent defense counsel, minority defendants will suffer the most. Our courts will come to a stand still.

Instead of using social media to act like kindergartners and make jokes about George Zimmerman, use it for something positive. Tweet Obama the link to the recently released report Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities I wrote about here. It both identifies the problems and proposes solutions. And read it yourself.

At the very least, urge Obama to support and Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Now Act of 2013 which will prohibit racial profiling by federal law enforcement.

Move past Trayvon Martin. Stop bashing George Zimmerman. Martin is not blameless and Zimmerman is not a racist. The trial is over. While the public wallows in misinformation about the case, real discrimination in the criminal justice system continues unabated. The continued focus on one shooting death that only catapulted to national prominence because the media gave too much air time to lawyers with a public relations team advocating on behalf of a single client, has taken enough attention from the real problems.

For those who need the Cliff Notes version. Here's what's needed:

• outlawing racial profiling practices by police;
• strengthening civilian review and control of local police departments;
• reforming bail policies to make release for non-violent offenders the default, and reducing or eliminating the requirement of cash bail;
• bringing transparency and accountability to prosecutorial decisions, especially charging and plea bargains;
• decriminalizing more non-violent drug offenses;
• ending the practice of adjudicating juveniles in adult courts;
• repealing mandatory minimum sentencing schemes;
• repealing zero-tolerance school discipline policies that funnel youth into the criminal justice system;
• reforming “truth-in-sentencing” laws that prevent or delay the consideration of parole;
• repealing post-conviction consequences that impede the successful
re-entry of those with criminal histories; and
• assessing the impact of political fund-raising and corporate contributions on sentencing.

If this is all too much too take in at once, start with this:

I don't expect to have more to say about the trial of George Zimmerman. It's over. Thankfully, he was not wrongfully convicted, other than by the public. I may follow his suit against NBC and matters related to the prejudicial media coverage.

(Note: Do not use comments here to accuse anyone of being a racist. Commenting here is not a right, and those who abuse it will be deleted and banned.)

< Princess Kate Delivers Healthy Baby Boy | 500 Inmates Break Out of Abu Ghraib >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • I don't know if you saw it, but (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:02:10 PM EST
    O'Mara just did an interview with Chris Cuomo, who is standing in for Piers Morgan. I'll look for the video, or if you watch the replay is was a little after half way through the show.

    O'Mara's points is the same as yours - take the focus off GZ and have that national conversation on the things you wrote about. You can tell he's a little frustrated that it's not happening that way. I found it interesting.

    I honestly can't foresee a time in the future (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:26:16 PM EST
    when any laws at all will get passed, let alone progressive ones. Obama tried to touch and open some hearts, and if you are luckier than I you did not see any of the right-wing commentary about it.

    Trying not to give up hope, believing in my heart that it is true that the arc of history bends towards justice.

    A constitutional law professor (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:48:22 PM EST
    from Cardozo in NYC writes the NY Times about Obama's remarks.

    Nothing inadvertent about it (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:10:46 PM EST
    unapologetically intentional. Jeralyn is an avid, pro-gun ownership advocate. She has often suggested private gun ownership for self protection, preceded, naturally by sufficient professional training and adequate practice.

    It's certainly no secret, surprised you didn't know.

    the comment you are replying to was (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:41:01 PM EST
    deleted for proposing a set of facts completely unrelated to this case or any case.

    You are correct about my views of gun ownership. I have been stating them here since 2002. More in 2004

    My views on the Victim's Rights Amendment are here and an article I wrote on it here. My opposition to criminal hate crime laws is here.

    Parent

    I added the photos to the post (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:25:13 PM EST
    from the calender and hope you all look at them if you don't have time to peruse the whole thing. They are really heartbreaking.

    Trying again, not sure what I did. Nonetheless... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:37:40 PM EST
    How can we expect to have any success training law enforcement not to profile when we can't get regular citizens not to accept profiling as something they have a "right" to do?

    If the premise is law enforcement is special and has responsibilities so specific they should be trained, shouldn't we then discourage average joe's from profiling - unless they've received the same training?

    E.g. people who perform CPR who are not doctors are generally trained in the proper technique since otherwise, they may actually injure the person they are trying to save.

    Profiling is natural... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Laura G on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:16:59 PM EST
    Profiling is a legitimate law enforcement tool and it is also natural human behavior.  People profile everyday.  'Sizing' someone up is just another term for profiling.  We make judgements on peoples speech, their behavior, how they dress, etc. You cannot make profiling illegal; it's the equivalent of thought crimes.

    Parent
    Laura, many disagree it is a legitimate (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:58:52 AM EST
    law enforcement tool-- especially profiling by race.

    Parent
    Racial profiling... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Laura G on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:04:15 AM EST
    Racial profiling and profiling generally are two different things.  

    Parent
    Institutionalizing Profiling (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:34:11 PM EST
    So the police of NYC decide that profiling is natural, and fine. So they only go to black neighborhoods and stop and frisk everyone because they all look like criminal.

    That is nuts, this is the kind of thinking that produces racist policies and institutionalizes them. This is why the prisons are so disproportionately full of black and latinos. Read the report on Racial injustice that Jeralyn posted a few days ago. it is an eye opener.

    professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, painted a disturbing picture of search and seizure practices in New York City. Over the past 10 years, under the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the New York Police Department has aggressively escalated its use of stop-and-frisk polic- ing, a move it credits with maintaining a historic drop in violent crime. In 2011, New York City police officers made 684,330 stops across the five boroughs -- a 14 percent increase over the previous year and more than double the number of stops under the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a pioneer of the "broken windows" theory of

    But stop and frisks are a very localized experience, largely confined to the 10 precincts in the city that are predominantly populated by blacks and Hispanics. Of the 684,330 stops by police in 2011, 87 percent were of blacks or Hispanics; only 9 percent were of whites. Blacks comprised 62 percent of stops and 52 percent of arrests, although only 25.5 percent of the city's population is black.27
    Most arrests following a stop and frisk are
    for misdemeanors. Misdemeanor arrests for
    marijuana possession in New York City
    have skyrocketed -- with about 350,000
    arrests over the past 10 years, a nearly
    twelve-fold increase over the 30,000 total
    arrests in the preceding decade.28 Of partic-
    ular concern, said some conference pan-
    elists, was the common practice of ordering
    suspects to empty their pockets in a stop
    and frisk, and then making an arrest for
    marijuana under a city ordinance prohibit-
    ing the possession of marijuana "in public
    view." (The possession of small amounts of marijuana in pockets or outside of public view was essentially downgraded to a violation in the 1970s.) The commissioner of police ordered officers to cease arrests for "manufactured" plain view arrests in 2011, but after dropping for a short time, such arrests have risen to previous levels.
    This targeting of minority communities for drug enforcement is the principal driver of racial disparities in the city's criminal justice system, said many conference participants: blacks and Hispanics comprise 50 percent of NYC's population, but 88 percent of all arrests.
    Perhaps most disturbing, in the view of some panelists, is that the NYPD's aggressive use of stop-and-frisk policing pro- duces little evidence of crime. Guns are uncovered in roughly .11 percent of stops; contraband in only 2 percent of stops;
    Of particular concern, said some conference panelists, was the common practice of ordering suspects to empty their pockets in a stop-and-frisk, and then making an arrest for marijuana under a city ordinance prohibiting the possession of marijuana "in public view."
    Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System
    Report
    
    and summonses and arrests or summons are issued in less than 12 percent of all cases.29 This means that nearly 90 per- cent of all stop and frisks are conducted against innocent persons, said Jones-Brown.



    Parent
    Surely, you are not suggesting (2.00 / 2) (#40)
    by FuzzyFace on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:50:10 PM EST
    that all persons in NYC are equally likely to commit crimes? Because if that's not the case, the relationship between the populace ratios and the stop/question/frisk incidences is irrelevant.

    We do know that blacks are identified as causing more than 62% of crime in NYC - it seems to me that that's the number that matters.

    And we do know that crime is down in NYC more than in other cities. Why is it not reasonable to credit police practices for that decrease?

    And well, yes - it is quite reasonable that 90% of all stop, question, and frisks catch innocents. We're not talking about arrests - just cases where the police believe that they have recognized behavior which correlates with a higher than average likelihood of criminal intent. If police developed mind-reading powers they could do better. But 1-in-10 sounds pretty good.

    Parent

    "Sounds pretty good"? (4.75 / 4) (#61)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:35:48 AM EST
    And well, yes - it is quite reasonable that 90% of all stop, question, and frisks catch innocents. We're not talking about arrests - just cases where the police believe that they have recognized behavior which correlates with a higher than average likelihood of criminal intent. If police developed mind-reading powers they could do better. But 1-in-10 sounds pretty good

    Stop and frisks are often based upon nothing more than a police officer's "hunch" or the appearance of a "suspect".  The standard required is a "reasonable, articulable suspicion" of criminal activity, which is a bar set so low it is practically meaningless.  

    If it "sounds pretty good" to you, I'm guessing you're not one of the people being stopped/frisked.

    Parent

    Yes (4.00 / 3) (#41)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:58:47 PM EST
    But if 95% of the people you stop and frisk are black that will affect the out come of crime statistics. If the police stopped and frisked white people in Wall Street, I guarantee that the ratio of arrests would swing quickly to white people causing 80% of the crime.

    The police policies, combined with racist policies that deny bail to  poor blacks, who accept a plea deal just to get out of lock up even though they are innocent, among other things skew the crime statistics.

    Parent

    why don't you just bring back (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:43:20 AM EST
    Rudy Giuliani if you want to lock everyone up. How about reading the reports that say it doesn't make the city safer. Jails should be reserved for violent criminals, not turnstyle jumpers and squeegee car window washers.

    The money NYC is spending on prison beds, food, guards and the other associated costs do not reduce crime. The money could be much better spent investing in the community and providing treatment and other services.

    And yes, you are talking about arrests with profiling and traffic stops. Especially for minor quantities of drugs.

    Why do you think the NY City Council just passed two ordinances, one requiring police to advise those who are stopped they have the right to refuse a search and the other requiring the police to state his name and badge number when first approaching the driver. The ordinances are waiting for Bloomberg to sign. A third one is under consideration that would set up an office of inspector general in NY to monitor or handle complaints.

    Parent

    That's true, but it's not what law enforcerment (none / 0) (#69)
    by melamineinNY on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:02:45 AM EST
    thinks, but the way the law is allowing them to act on it in a way that discriminates through targeted profiling of certain populations. In turn, the encouragement of it negatively shapes their perception of the targeted population, and the population's perception of law enforcement.

    Statistics themselves show that their profiling instincts are not a reliable source for identifying serious criminals, and that they're catching many small fish of statistically significant quantity, but for insignificant crimes that go unnoticed, so not statistically reported, in other districts where profiling is not encouraged. The worst example of this (?) is where a person is forced into a criminal act in the act of complying with a stop and frisk, that Jeralyn and others here have noted. I think that's the main point.

    One more thing: natural instincts don't need encouraging (or discouraging IMO) so much as to be educated and controlled. I would suggest natural profiling is one of those.

    Parent

    Please consider reading this: (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:42:30 PM EST
    that has nothing to do with what's been (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:55:03 AM EST
    happening in New York City.

    In 2011, New York City police officers made
    684,330 stops across the five boroughs -- a 14 percent increase over the previous year and more than double the number of stops under the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a pioneer of the "broken windows" theory of policing.

    But stop and frisks are a very localized experience, largely confined to the 10 precincts in the city that are predominantly populated by blacks and Hispanics.

    Of the 684,330 stops by police in 2011, 87 percent were of blacks or Hispanics; only
    9 percent were of whites. Blacks comprised 62 percent of stops and 52 percent of arrests, although only 25.5 percent of the city's population is black.

    Most arrests following a stop and frisk are
    for misdemeanors. Misdemeanor arrests for
    marijuana possession in New York City have skyrocketed -- with about 350,000 arrests over the past 10 years, a nearly twelve-fold increase over the 30,000 total arrests in the preceding decade.

    This targeting of minority communities for drug enforcement is the principal driver of racial disparities in the city's criminal justice system, said many conference participants: blacks and Hispanics comprise 50 percent of NYC's population, but 88 percent of all arrests.

    Perhaps most disturbing, in the view of some panelists, is that the NYPD's aggressive use of stop-and-frisk policing produces little evidence of crime. Guns are uncovered in roughly .11 percent of stops; contraband in only 2 percent of stops.

    In New York City, one-third of all probationers are 16-24 years old. The vast majority are young men of color. These levels of disparity are even starker in the juvenile justice system

    "There is an unwritten understanding among police that you don't arrest white kids and put them in the system, because you don't want them to
    get a record. Young people of color in poor neighborhoods have an entirely different experience of the criminal justice system," ... "Communities are being traumatized by these [policing] practices when 700,000 are stopped and searched per year. . . .

     High schoolers assume the position, and drop their backpacks when they see police roll up. Whole generations have already accepted prison as the norm. This is the destructive effect of mass incarceration on community consciousness and personal aspirations."

    Parent

    What if it was looked at statistically not... (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by unitron on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:52:16 PM EST
    ...racially, but economically?

    In other words, what different neighborhood median income level ranges account for what percentages of crimes, or arrests, or convictions?

    What's a better indicator of criminal tendencies, skin color or how rich or poor you are?

    Parent

    The comment to which I replied w/th (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:03:07 AM EST
    The link advocated profiling as good police practice. I was trying to educate the commenter that such practice is, in fact, illegal.

    Parent
    Illegal? (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by FuzzyFace on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:41:30 AM EST
    What is your basis for calling it illegal?

    Parent
    I read that whole report and found it (none / 0) (#53)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:15:35 AM EST
    confusing. It was what were NOT approved practices, but it had so many exceptions, inculding proving a negative (how many don't they stop, et.,), so I'm left not understanding.

    It's illegal BUT....a whole bunch of things that would make a charge of profiling nealy impossible to prove.

    Did I read it wrong?

    Parent

    For those of you who think (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:36:50 AM EST
    the verdict was wrong, here's a quiz you take about the case facts.

    Thanks... (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Synthesist on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:57:31 AM EST
    Thanks for this survey link Ms. Merritt.

    There are many good questions there for those who disagree with the not guilty verdict. I would encourage anyone upset about the verdict to honestly answer the survey, and follow the provided links if they have a doubt about the premise of a question.

    This survey also exposes other facts and evidence that were not testified to in court that help support the not guilty verdict.


    Parent

    Sorry, Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:57:03 PM EST
    I thought if you introduced these assertions as you did (via the quiz link), the veracity of the one unconfirmed assertion in the batch would be open to inquiry.

    Parent
    In my view, Survey question #45 (none / 0) (#88)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:20:55 AM EST
    (Were you aware of the fact that the Zimmerman case had nothing to do with Stand Your Ground law?") should have been among the very first asked.  

    Foundational to an understanding of the verdict, after so much misplaced attention over a prolonged period, is what SYG law does and does not accord.  There was no SYG immunity hearing (which, if conducted, and was unfavorable to either prosecution or defense could be appealed by which ever side to the DCA) prior to trial.

    Confusion, in the public mind, appears to continue to exist as to what role  SYG actually played in the case.  At trial, the defense position rested on self-defense and the Zimmerman story (which was not disproved by the prosecution) precluded the SYG element of a duty to retreat.

    SYG did come up at trial by the prosecution to question Zimmerman's credibility, based on Zimmerman's comments during a FOX interview, but it was not used as a part of his defense.   It seems to me that entanglement with SYG, its pros,  cons, and misunderstandings, has impacted, in a major way,  the specific case and an understanding of the jury's verdict.

    Parent

    Not 100% Correct (4.00 / 1) (#93)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:28:49 AM EST
    It would be impossible to determine whether or not SYG law had any effect on the jury. Clearly, if FL had no SYG law the jury, based on evidence presented, would have justifiable homicide due to self-defense.

    But the shadow of SYG was there. SYG was, by law, mentioned in the jury instructions. Perhaps seeing that made it easier for them to come to a difficult decision. Juries sometimes go against the law because they think that someone should be punished, a compromise decision. I can't say that this was the case here, but I think that you also cannot say that SYG had zero influence in this case.

    Parent

    "Not 100 percent correct" (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:07:40 PM EST
    It probably is not possible to achieve 100 percent correctness in presenting almost any aspect of this complicated case, but  perceptions and misperceptions of Florida's Stand Your Ground law anchor, in my view, many feelings about the case and the verdict.

    It seems to me that the Florida SYG law has been legally conflated, by some, to be a vigilante license and an accompanying get out of jail free card.  Where such beliefs exist, it would follow that  unacceptable and intolerable injustice was baked into the verdict--no matter the seeming fairness of the trial itself.

    While not a law of my liking, its is not what  was often portrayed.  For example,  SYG immunity hearings findings can be appealed by either the prosecution or the defense, and even, the judge can ask for an appellate review of his decision.  And, statistics appear to demonstrate that successful claims are not a slam dunk in the least.  

     It is true that at trial a self-defesne claim in a public place includes the element of having no duty to retreat and the right to stand your ground and meet force with force if sensed to be necessary.

    However, Zimmerman did not have a SYG immunity hearing, and his defense, as I understand it, did not deploy the SYG law, including use of  "no duty to retreat" since it was the position of the defense that Zimmerman was not able to retreat given the story he told. A story that was put into evidence by the prosecution but not disproved.  

    None of this is to say that elements, if not the entire law itself, did not intrude into the case,  It would be hard not to given the attention given to it starting before Zimmerman's arrest and not ending even  after the verdict.     Indeed, one juror, that we know of, noted its inclusion in juror instructions and seemed confused about its role and meaning.  

    How it played into the final decisions, I do not know--only confirming, in my mind, how the SYG law and what it really accorded to the case was a big piece of those misunderstandings that may exist for the verdict rendered.

     I am hopeful that any shortfall in achieving 100 percent correctness is related more to the absoluteness of the survey question that prompted my comment than to my take on important foundations to understanding or misunderstanding the verdict.

    Parent

    Wrong (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34:09 AM EST
    SYG was, by law, mentioned in the jury instructions

    No, it wasn't mentioned "by law". It was one line in the standard jury instructions - but it was never mentioned as a law.

    Parent

    Depends on what squeaky meant (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:38:39 AM EST
    By "by law."  Was the trial court required to instruct as to SYG?

    Parent
    It is Required Text in FL Jury Instructions (none / 0) (#103)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:42:16 AM EST
    By law.

    Parent
    Better provide some support for that assertion. (none / 0) (#104)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:44:45 AM EST
    The only time (none / 0) (#105)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:52:22 AM EST
    the words "stand" and "ground" appear together are on p. 12 of the jury instructions.

    If George Zimmerman was not engaged in unlawful activity and was attacked in any place he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    So yes - the WORDS were used together in a sentence.  But it is not the SYG law.

    And I highly doubt that many people in the jury voir dire (and in most of America) had even HEARD of the SYG law prior to this case.

    Parent

    Yes Exactly My Point (none / 0) (#106)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:59:52 AM EST
    However, even though a person must raise their entitlement to immunity from prosecution before trial. They are not prohibited from raising their self defense argument at trial. See Mederos v. State, 102 So. 3d 7, 11 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012) ("A defendant whose motion to dismiss was denied is not precluded from submitting the matter to the jury as an affirmative defense in his criminal trial.")

    And the self defense instructions that are submitted to the jury contain the updated instructions that allow a person to stand their ground when utilizing deadly force, rather than the old instructions that required an attempt to retreat first.

    Hornsby

    Parent

    Juror #37 (none / 0) (#145)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:55:33 PM EST
    on Anderson Cooper stated that it was discussed by the jury and that it was part of the decision making process.

    Jurors discussed Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground self-defense law before rendering their not-guilty verdict in George Zimmerman's trial, one of the jurors told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
    ...
    "The law became very confusing. It became very confusing," she told Cooper Monday night. "We had stuff thrown at us. We had the second-degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, then we had self defense, Stand Your Ground."

    Juror B37 mentioned Stand Your Ground a second time of her own accord, saying the jury ultimately made its not-guilty verdict Saturday night based on the evidence and "because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground."
    link



    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:05:03 PM EST
    She may THINK they had the SYG law in the jury room, but they didn't.

    Parent
    Well that is quite a statement from you (3.50 / 2) (#151)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:10:25 PM EST
    You now know more about what was discussed, what was in her mind and what helped frame Juror #37's decision than she did.

    Why doesn't this surprise me.

    Parent

    Because I know (2.00 / 1) (#156)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:29:24 PM EST
    What was and wasn't allowed in the jury room. They could have discussed the law as it has been in the news, or what they thought the law was, just as they could have discussed pink elephants with tutus dancing around or if they like the color of GZ's suit that day in court.

    And since there were no lawyers on the jury, especially those who are experts on the law, I feel very comfortable in saying that, no, their verdict was not based on the SYG law, since that has to do with immunity from prosecution and civil litigation.

    And I AM surprised that you don't get it, since you are usually on the ball.

    Guess you are having an off day.

    Parent

    Maybe you are having a off day. (3.50 / 2) (#161)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:51:59 PM EST
    or maybe you are just having fun with rhetorical tricks.

    In the jury room perception is everything. Jurors make their decisions based on their interpretation of the law and the evidence presented.

    Now maybe Juror #37 didn't have the same understanding of the Stand Your Ground as you do.

    "The law became very confusing. It became very confusing," she told Cooper Monday night. "We had stuff thrown at us. We had the second-degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, then we had self defense, Stand Your Ground."

    Whatever Juror #37's interpretation of Stand Your Ground was, it was by her own words in the jury room and impacted her verdict.

    Juror B37 mentioned Stand Your Ground a second time of her own accord, saying the jury ultimately made its not-guilty verdict Saturday night based on the evidence and "because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground."


    Parent
    From what I understand... (none / 0) (#177)
    by Cashmere on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:28:46 PM EST
    Stand your ground was mentioned in the jury instructions, as it is Florida law, but the defense did not use stand your ground as part of their case defending Zimmerman.  In other words, I believe that the confusion comes from the defense's decision NOT to have a hearing on Stand Your Ground, seeking a judges ruling and thereby giving immunity to Zimmerman based on Florida's Stand Your Ground law, because, their view (defense), was that Zimmerman could not retreat as he was being "forced" to stay where he was, on the ground.  The view of the defense is that it was a simple case of self defense (which they can also seek immunity from civil suits for as well, even after the acquittal.. it did not have to be argued prior to the criminal trial).  Many thought O'Mara would seek this immunity prior to the trial and hope for immunity and avoid the jury altogether, but I think the defense knew that Judge Nelson was unlikely to rule in their favor and felt a jury was their best bet.  Now, they can seek immunity and likely have a different judge.

    Juror 37 stated that the law was confusing and they had to consider so many things, murder 2, manslaughter, self defense and stand your ground.  She indicated the evidence and stand your ground was what ultimately convinced them.  As it was part of the jury instructions, even if there was no Stand Your Ground hearing, they were still allowed to consider it in their ultimate decision.  As the jury instructions state re: Stand Your Ground, I believe the jury determined that Zimmerman was not engaged in illegal activity, and he was attacked... and therefore had no duty to retreat.  The Defense argued in a sense that Zimmerman was never able to retreat as he was punched and never had any control during the fight and essentially had to shoot Martin to avoid imminent death or harm.  They did a good job, they won, and I believe they were right in their argument and the jury was correct in their acquittal, considering stand your ground or not.

    Full self-defense jury instructions with the reference to "Stand Your Ground":
    "At issue in this case is whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense. It is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder, and the lesser included offense of Manslaughter, if the death of Trayvon Martin resulted from the justifiable use of deadly force.

    'Deadly force' means force likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

    A person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.

    In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

    If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    In considering the issue of self-defense, you may take into account the relative physical abilities and capacities of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

    If in your consideration of the issue of self-defense you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find George Zimmerman not guilty.

    However, if from the evidence you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman was not justified in the use of deadly force, you should find him guilty if all the elements of the charge have been proved."


    Parent

    Thanks for all of the information (none / 0) (#183)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:20:25 PM EST
    even though I have read about Florida's SYG law including the first part of the actual text and have a fair understanding of it.  It has 4 basic components and the first 2 deal with the use of force and only the last 2 deal with immunity from prosecution and civil litigation. The language of the text defining the use of force is pretty easy to understand.

    Also, I had no problem believing Juror #37 when she said that SYG (however she understood it) played a role in her deliberations. To claim, as some do, that SYG played no role in the trial to me does not seem to be an accurate statement, since one of the jurors said not once but twice, that it did. Your interpretation, mine or jdindc's of that law and the evidence presented at trial really doesn't matter since we were not part of the jury. The only people's whose opinion really mattered were the six women on the jury. They found Zimmerman not guilty.

     

    Parent

    The first question... (none / 0) (#175)
    by unitron on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:13:31 PM EST
    ...should have been about what kind of beverage Trayvon was carrying.

    If you say iced tea, don't bother with the rest of the questions, you've already failed.

    But SYG should be the second question.

    I see even you aren't fully free from the confusion.

    There is no SYG immunity hearing.

    There's just an immunity hearing, based on the immunity portion (776.032) of the Florida Justifiable Use of Force law.  You do not have to be "standing your ground", i.e., not retreating, as the law down there allows you to not do, even though you have an avenue of retreat.

    Not retreating does not magically make justifiable a use of force which would otherwise not be, and the use of force has to be justifiable, or at least they have to not be able to prove that it wasn't, to qualify for immunity under 776.032.

    SYG just removes failure to retreat as a disqualifier of what would otherwise be recognized as a justifiable use of force.

    Parent

    this is the immunity statute (none / 0) (#181)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:58:21 PM EST
    pertaining to stand your ground. It is separate from the statute on justifiable use of force. The justifiable use of force statute lists the ways in which a killing may be justified. One way is if the killing fits within the immunity statute.

    Florida's standard instruction 3.6 on self-defense says

    Read in all cases.

    In deciding whether defendant was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge [him] [her] by the circumstances by which [he] [she] was surrounded at the time the force was used.  The danger facing the defendant need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force.  Based upon appearances, the defendant must have actually believed that the danger was real.

    No duty to retreat. § 776.013(3), Fla. Stat.  See Novak v. State 974 So. 2d 520 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008)  regarding unlawful activity.  There is no duty to retreat where the defendant was not engaged in any unlawful activity other than the crime(s) for which the defendant asserts the justification.

    If the defendant [was not engaged in an unlawful activity and] was attacked in any place where [he] [she] had a right to be, [he] [she] had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand [his] [her] ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if [he] [she] reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to [himself] [herself] [another] or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    Define applicable forcible felony from list in § 776.08, Fla. Stat. that defendant alleges victim was about to commit.

    Here is how the instruction was changed after passage of the SYG/Immunity statute. Among the changes was to include the language there was no duty to retreat if the person is in a place he has a right to be and not engaged in unlawful activty.

    Parent

    MO Blue:You questions you asked me (none / 0) (#112)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:14:29 AM EST
    can be answered in Jeralyns link

    Parent
    Nope (none / 0) (#147)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:58:56 PM EST
    Yep (none / 0) (#192)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:23:35 PM EST
    Still nope - false information (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:36:06 PM EST
    in your accusations and in the link. Regarding the link:

    please don't repeat the assertion (none / 0) (#144)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:36:19 PM CST
    it just spreads the character attack. You could just say you think the question about jewelry contained false information.


    Parent
    Wrong. The info is there .. if you want (none / 0) (#195)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:39:41 PM EST
    To read it.

    Parent
    Information including that on the link (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:34:04 PM EST
    in the quiz completely contradicts your accusations. Even you admitted earlier today that the link in the quiz said exactly the opposite of what you have claimed. Go back and read the Miami Herald link that was provided for #14 and then tell me the information contained in that link is not the exact opposite of what you continue to claim. Go back and read the transcript of Zimmerman's statement to the non emergency number and then tell me that you can find the word window anywhere in the statement where it asks what Martin is doing. Here I will even provide you a link to the transcript.

    Parent
    The article absolutely supports my earlier (2.00 / 1) (#207)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:55:44 PM EST
    Statements. I think I am the better judge of my statement, not what you might have twisted it into. I also, don't need a link to the NEN transcript, as again you are trying to twist what I said to fit your paradigm.

    Parent
    Miami Herald article used as the source (5.00 / 2) (#216)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:43:14 PM EST
    for #14 clearly states:

    No evidence ever surfaced that the jewelry was stolen.

    How about this:

    Miami-Dade Police confirmed that it had been asked by school police to help identify the property taken from Martin's backpack. It notified school police that the jewelry did not match any that had been reported stolen.

    That is completely opposite of what you claimed in your comment in the Standing Up For the Constitution Thread and again today in this thread. Both of your comments have since been deleted.

    I didn't twist anything about what you claimed Martin was doing that night. As I stated, your accusation relied heavily on the the word "windows." Once again I challenge you to find the word windows in that transcript. I don't have any paradigm other than a preference for sticking to the truth opposed to your preference for making sh!t up.

    Parent

    I never said that Zimmerman made the claim (5.00 / 1) (#219)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:00:05 PM EST
    In the NEN call, he has many statements where he expanded on he NEN call, where he said that Martin was staring at the homes .

    I also said, in response to angry guy claiming, a black student suspended for marijuana use  is thought of less favorably Than  A white student.  I said any student with a backpack of women's jewelry, wedding rings etc and burglar tools is up to no good. As to whether or not they were stolen, a link was provided earlier today, now since deleted, that can answer that question as well.

    Parent

    zimmerman gave many statements (none / 0) (#223)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:13:49 PM EST
    here is the handwritten one he wrote the night of the shooting. He talks about Martin looking into homes. It is discussed at length on the forums and probably here at the main site.

    Parent
    Racial disparity post Booker and Gall (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jjr on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:09:51 AM EST
    Here is a more useful address of Holder in regards to racial disparity than his recent interest in stand-your-ground laws. The US v Booker(2005) and Gall v US (2007) decisions made the US Sentencing Commission's guidelines advisory rather than mandatory. There was significant concern at the time of Holder's address as to whether handing judges sentencing discretion would increase disparity. I have been looking through a lot of statistical research on this issue. It seems that there is little increased disparity post-Booker. The consensus seems to be that much of the disparity in sentencing occurs in prosecutor's charging decisions and subsequent plea deals rather than in judge's decisions.
    State sentencing commissions with the power to set discretionary guidelines seems like it should be a good model to help address racial disparity, given the right appointees.  It would seem, the commission members should have a great deal more knowledge of the criminal justice system than state legislators.
    The bullet above, "bringing transparency and accountability to prosecutorial decisions, especially charging and plea bargains", seems to be one of the keys to improving disparity in sentencing. I am not sure how that bullet gets turned into specific policy.

    While i agree with the main point (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:50:09 AM EST
    of your comment, I cannot help thinking that you are painting with too broad a brush. IMO the majority of the long time "liberal" members of the TL community have not responded as you describe.

    There is no question in my mind that (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:41:51 AM EST
    you are as passionate an advocate for fairness across the spectrum of our judicial system as anyone I can think of, and I can't tell you how much it pains me to read what you want Obama to do about the ongoing injustices and inequalities because it just isn't going to happen.

    I mean, given his actions, his approach to crime, his willingness to ignore 1st, 4th and 5th Amendment rights and principles, no one should be suffering for one nanosecond under the illusion that Obama has any interest in rejecting the authoritarian model in which much of these disparities flourish.

    If we wait to address these problems at the point of entry into the criminal justice system, we have already lost; yes, we can do something about stop-and-frisk policies, and we can address profiling, but if we aren't dealing with the underlying societal problems, we're always going to be playing from behind.

    What happens when these authoritarian policies meet policies designed to benefit one class of people at the expense of another?  Poor people with no options, no voice and no opportunity getting sucked into the criminal justice system from which many of them will never emerge.

    And even if Obama were of a mind to set things right, what's the first objection he's going to get?  "There's no money for that."  We have a Congress that appears to be useful only to those who really don't need the help.  We have state legislatures in the hands of Republicans obsessed with sex and abortion and who find budget problems a great way to cut funding for programs that help support the old, the very young, the sick and the poor.

    It isn't just Obama who doesn't have his priorities straight.  We have become a nation that doesn't like poor people, or sick people, or old people.  We don't like brown people or foreign people.  We don't want to see the connections between poverty and crime, we just use crime statistics to prove why it is that poor people are so unacceptable that prison is the best place for them.  We don't want to "give" them anything, because that might encourage more people to want to be poor, right?

    No, not everyone feels this way, but there's a lot of it.  We're electing people who think this way, so why are we so surprised when we got policy and law that reflects this mindset?  Why do you think progressives and liberals were so annoyed and angry with so many of Obama's nominations and appointments?  Because they came from the authoritarian model, from the ranks of Republicans.

    I have to stop here, because I could go on for a long, long time on these subjects.  It would be my suggestion that if you want to focus on racial and other disparities, and you want people to let go of whatever connections they've made with the Zimmerman case, that you help them do that by letting go of Zimmerman.


    Couch Potato? (1.00 / 1) (#79)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:51:33 AM EST
    Hard to tell what you are saying here Anne. Are you just continuing your everlasting ongoing reflexive spiel about how bad Obama is, or are you seriously encouraging people to just sit around and wait until Hilary or someone better is president, because you do not believe in political activism?

    If the former, well that is to be expected, if the latter that is nutty. We all should write, call, tweet our congresscritters and the WH, and send money to organizations that lobby for judicial reform.

    Doing nothing, as you suggest is really a bad idea, imo.

    Parent

    If you have so much trouble with my (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:25:04 AM EST
    comments, you should probably not read them; I sense that it's difficult for you to distinguish between the actual, written words on the page and what your imagination leads you to believe I've written.  

    Once again, though, I am struck by how devoid of substance your comments are; perhaps that is because you are just "continuing your everlasting ongoing reflexive spiel" about how bad I am.  

    Those with basic reading skills will discern that have not, did not and would not suggest that "doing nothing" is the way to go.  I didn't think it was necessary to tell people to call, write, tweet, fax, write letters to the editor, etc. but apparently, you think omitting that means I'm suggesting that we all just sit on the sofa and pop open another beer.

    I note that you did not speak at all to what you see as Obama's priorities, what you think the chances are he will address these issues, how you think we can bring sanity back to state legislatures and the Congress, but I guess it's so much easier to attack the opinions of others.

    Sometime, you should look up the definition of "heckler."


    Parent

    Trouble? (3.00 / 2) (#102)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:40:48 AM EST
    I have no trouble pointing what you are advocating is wrongheaded. If you want to write comments to a fawning audience start your own blog. And attack the commenter.. your favorite response to anyone who would dare criticize any of your comments, is pretty silly.

    Your comment was telling people that nothing will change under Obama. You stated that as a fact. If that were accepted by others as you accept it, it is clear that you are advocating passivity not activism.

    ...I can't tell you how much it pains me to read what you want Obama to do about the ongoing injustices and inequalities because it just isn't going to happen.

    ...no one should be suffering for one nanosecond under the illusion that Obama has any interest in rejecting the authoritarian model in which much of these disparities flourish.

    And even if Obama were of a mind to set things right, what's the first objection he's going to get?  "There's no money for that."

    And not just Obama, so why bother?

    It isn't just Obama who doesn't have his priorities straight.  We have become a nation that doesn't like poor people, or sick people, or old people.  

    Oh, and giving advice to Jeralyn as to what she should be posting when she has relentlessly posted about racial injustice here at TL over the years?  

    It would be my suggestion that if you want to focus on racial and other disparities, and you want people to let go of whatever connections they've made with the Zimmerman case, that you help them do that by letting go of Zimmerman.

    Pretty presumptuous.  Sounds like maybe you should stop reading TL, if you are having so much trouble..

    Parent

    Do you not know the difference (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:59:58 AM EST
    between "advocating" and "making an observation?"

    Because I wasn't advocating, I was making the observation, and expressing my opinion, that based on his track record, Obama isn't going to be making the kinds of changes Jeralyn wants him to.  

    It wasn't about "why bother?" it was about "facing reality."  If we can't identify where the roadblocks are, or the route we need to take to get around them, how are we ever going to get where we want to go?  

    Where do you want to go, and what do you see as the best route to get there?  Do you have reason to believe that Obama and the Holder DOJ are inclined to make the kinds of changes Jeralyn is advocating for?  

    As for my "presumptuous" suggestion to Jeralyn, I'm not saying anything here that I haven't shared with her off-blog; she's a big girl and if she objects, she can let me know.  

    Parent

    OK (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:02:22 AM EST
    I wasn't advocating either.. just observing.  lol

    Parent
    We're all aware what you're doing. (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:11:11 AM EST
    You could teach Obama a thing or two about "transparency."

    lol

    Parent

    Did you know (1.00 / 1) (#83)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:03:50 AM EST
    That Zimmerman is a democrat who voted for Obama?
    Maybe you need to let go of Zimmerman or at least your inability to see that he is the victim of a lot of left wing hate mongering.

    I am convinced that one of the reasons we do not get a grip on the problems of the poor and disenfranchised in this society is that the 1 percent keeps the rest of us at each other's throats.  Zimmerman is a good illustration of this.  People have no clue of who he really is, but stuck him in a box and that is enough for them. We do that to each other.  The right hates the left and the left hates the right.

    The left loves the poor, but not the poor on the right.  The poor and lower middle class on the right is despised for being stupid, trailer trash, gun totting, don't know who they should vote for, clinging to their religion etc...

    Parent

    I am not among those constantly (5.00 / 5) (#96)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34:29 AM EST
    posting comments about Zimmerman, the case, the trial, the evidence, the verdict, the laws, so perhaps I am not the one who needs to let go of this.

    I don't particularly care who Zimmerman voted for or what his party affiliation is - that's his business, not mine.  Given that I've been married to a Republican for almost 33 years, I'm well aware that party affiliation is not the sole determinant of whether someone is good or bad.  

    Everyone goes into a box - you complain that poor George was put in a box, but you don't see that you had him in one, too - it was a different box, but still, a box.  And there was a corresponding box for Trayvon, no?  You think he wasn't put in a rhetorical box?  Maybe you didn't read those comments.

    And when you speak of the left, you need to speak for yourself, and not put all of us who have liberal views into boxes, either.

    Parent

    Stop and frisk is about oppression. (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by redwolf on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:50:46 AM EST
    It's about punishing the entire group of people so that they become second class citizens.  

    I am white... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by DebFrmHell on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:56:48 AM EST
    and I have felt the discrimination to which you refer.  I have been followed around stores, chased away from businesses, never eye contact with anyone because they were fearful, and have been denied access to public restrooms.

    I agree, it is dehumanizing and sad.

    Being Caucasian does not automatically come with privileges.  Just saying...

    DebFrmHell (5.00 / 5) (#97)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34:32 AM EST
    Everyone has been profiled.  The difference, which is crucial for me to communicate, is what life is like if that is not an occasional occurrence.

    I, for example, have had a woman get drunk and make an unwanted sexual advance.  It was unwanted and very uncomfortable.

    But for me to say that because it has happened to me 4-5 times in my life, I understand the position of women for whom it occurs once a day or once a week is preposterous.  I would never denigrate their reaction to their experience in the way that I am seeing here.

    Never.

    There is a difference when you cannot take off your skin and put on a new uniform.  Or when you cannot escape the perceptions and profiling and it becomes a regular and normal part of their lives.  

    I was profiled this week.  I was profiled last week.  I will probably be profiled in some way in the coming weeks.

    That means I see it very differently than someone who faces it occasionally.

    That is the message I (and really Obama) was trying to pass to broader America.

    But what we now see is that even the most "liberal" people can ignore what their fellow americans struggle with when it does not fit into what their own experience is.

    Parent

    A thoughtful, non-argumentative comment. (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:05:04 PM EST
    Thannks.

    Parent
    I am really angry (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:08:54 PM EST
    with Jeralyn and commenters I formerly saw in a different way to be completely frank.

    However, I do think that there is a need to have a voice balance out some of the opinions here.  

    To do that I have to calm down.

    Parent

    Keep writing ABG (none / 0) (#160)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:51:23 PM EST
    I learn more from you than you'll ever know. When I read J's post, I thought of you and how damn mad it made me that you experience that.

    Parent
    "J's post" (none / 0) (#164)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:00:07 PM EST
    I mean her entire article, not a comment. I followed all her links. I'm going to read it again tonight. It made me angry and sad that in 2013 this conversation is even needed.

    Like I've said before, sometimes I'm not proud of this country.

    Parent

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:25:01 PM EST
    This case has really exposed a wide disconnect that many of us on the left kind of swept under the rug after Hillary and Obama made amends.  

    The issues never really left.  We just turned our focus on the conservatives.

    But even on the left, there is a wide gap between perceptions that fuels a lot of misunderstanding.

    Parent

    maybe you should stop viewing (none / 0) (#232)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:36:48 PM EST
    things through your subjective lens of what's liberal and what is conservative. Not only do you seem centrist to me, you express far too much intolerance of others for me to consider you liberal or even progressive.

    Parent
    I am NOT (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by DebFrmHell on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:36:28 PM EST
    denigrating your experience.  I said that it was sad and dehumanizing.  

    So no, I don't know what it is like to be profiled next week but I know what it was like for 9 long months.

    And it took me a very long time to come around and that was only after I got back on my medications.  Now I get to face that people who know me think of me as "Manic-Depressive" first and that is a "skin" I can't change either.

    Parent

    yup (none / 0) (#87)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:19:18 AM EST
    I've been in stores when I guess I looked like I couldn't afford the merchandise.  But I never let it bother me when I was followed.  I figured that was their problem if they were so small minded they couldn't see past my old comfortable shoes and bohemian skirts.

    Parent
    Ohhhh, so it was the way you were dressed (5.00 / 5) (#99)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:36:22 AM EST
    that led to you being "discriminated against." In other words, it was dependent on what you felt like taking out of your closet that day. Something you could change the next day, if you felt like it.

    Unlike the color of your skin, something you can't change.

    Got it. Thanks for the illumination on what it's like to suffer discrimination.


    Parent

    Thank goodness it is falling off the news cycle (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:34:38 AM EST
    Especially now that there is something favorable in the news about Z, it has really gotten quiet.

    It Bugs Me (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:36:41 AM EST
    1.  That this whole discussion about racial profiling comes from the dubious notion that Trayvon Martin's death was a result of it, apparently an idea bought into by the president of the US.

    2. There is much better evidence that the reason that Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman are celebrities now is that a small group of plotters were able to manipulate the media in order to profit financially from a commonplace police blotter incident.  I think the definitive book on the case will treat it from that angle.  Was it just luck or was it genius that saw it would work?  


    I would (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by DebFrmHell on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:39:47 PM EST
    hate to see either of you go.  I appreciate the time you take to make thoughtful comments.

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#137)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:42:18 PM EST
    Speaking for myself only..... (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by vml68 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:22:59 PM EST
    When you start your comment with "Ok white, privileged people", I am already put off and don't really want to read what you have to say. And, I am BROWN.

    When I read "AngryBlackGuy", I think aggressive with a chip on his shoulder. I don't know you so I could be completely off the mark. All I know of you is the handle you chose to represent yourself with and your comments here. So, have I profiled/judged you? Yes, I have, based on what little you have shown me.

    I will freely admit that when I walk by a group of young not so well dressed black males, I automatically tense up and "clutch my purse". Not because I think they will rob me but because I am bracing myself for some kind of lewd or vulgar comment. I am a reasonably attractive woman but not model good-looking by any means. Yet, I cannot count the number of times I have got a nasty sexual comment from this particular demographic. If I am wandering around the Financial District and I see a Black man in a suit, I don't tense up because the most I am expecting is an appreciative smile. So,

    Sorry, I hit post too soon. (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by vml68 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    So, don't always assume someone is a racist sometimes people have a reason for their reaction.

    Parent
    that comment was deleted as (none / 0) (#227)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:25:25 PM EST
    insulting and name calling

    Parent
    Answer me this, Batman (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:34:26 PM EST
    HOW is this about race?  Where is the proof, the evidence?

    We have a recoreded call to the NEN operator where GZ doesn't say the race of the suspicious person, and even after he is asked by the dispatcher, he is hesitant in his answer and not completely sure.

    Now, maybe he's the world's best actor or criminal mastermind that he planned it all, but I doubt it.

    This is the crux of the racism accusations -  that he "stalked and racially profiled Martin."  So I ask you - besides "feeling" that racial profiling was in play here because you, and many African-Americans have experienced this before, where is the proof? I'm not diminishing your experiences - that must be horrible to have that feeling, but what more do you have besides a feeling? Why doesn't this question get answered?

    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:55:46 PM EST
    I have it out of my system to some degree.  I hope we can begin to move on from this case.

    I am sad that the divide remains this wide, but hopefully this case will help to explain reactions in another unrelated case that may be difficult to understand culturally.

    They tried to ID him. No one there (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:15:30 PM EST
    knew him. I need to find Jeralyn's post on the changing timeline of Ms. Green and Mr. Martin, but they returned home late and Tracy tried to call TM. The police tried to ID him that night through his phone but it wasn't working.

    I don't know why they didn't see the crime tape and lights, right there by her home, and get scared. I would have if my son wasn't home and wasn't where he normally lived. I guess they didn't hear or see anything, but I don't know how her son didn't. I would have stayed up until my son came home and gone looking for him.

    They did take statements from any witness they could find. I agree on the forensics screw ups.

    that comment was deleted (5.00 / 3) (#202)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:30:48 PM EST
    there was no screw-up on identifying him. He had no identification, no one had reported him missing and his fingerprints weren't in the system. Serino testified he was more concerned with identifying TM that night than interviewing GZ. It was Singleton who did the lengthy interview of GZ that night and Serino just stopped in at midnight to after asking a few questions.

    Tracy didn't call Trayon's phone until 12:50 am while Chad called Trayon's phone repeatedly getting no answer until midnight. Chad says he didn't hear anything so he didn't know anything had happened. Since he says he was in his bedroom which is at the front of house, and the police cars with sirens and flashing lights that entered from the back entrance on RVC would have passed the house, and many parked at 2841 RVC, I don't know how that is, but that's what he said. If he didn't take off his headphones during his attempts to call Trayvon, I don't know how he would have known if Trayvon answered.

    Tracy called the police at 8 something Monday morning and the police sent a unit right to his house with a picture to see if he could identify him.

    Criticizing the police when the deceased has no ID, his fingerprints aren't in the system and no one has reported him missing is just silly.

    Parent

    Corey faces sanctions in other case (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:25:29 PM EST
    Orlando Sentinel:
    The office of State Attorney Angela Corey faces potential sanctions and will have to pay thousands of dollars in taxpayer money after failing to turn over all documents in a wrongful termination case filed by a former employee.


    I'm very impressed... (5.00 / 2) (#222)
    by Synthesist on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:12:20 PM EST
    Ms. Merritt, I have to admit that I'm pretty far on the other end of the political spectrum from where you are, but I must say that I have been greatly impressed by your politically impartial stance regarding this Zimmerman case. You have steadfastly stood by your principles as a defense lawyer that a defendant must only be tried of charges in strict accordance with our rights under the Constitution. We need more people like you, on both sides of the political spectrum, who can resist the easy path of blind political party loyalty to instead have the integrity to fairly weigh all of the facts in a case like this. It was also very brave of you to point out the injustices of people on the left, like "civil rights" groups falsely fanning the flames of racism, politicians caving into those false claims, and even the president's very inappropriate and off the mark comments about the not guilty verdict.

    I have noticed that you have been attacked by some of your fellow liberal allies here because they just can't accept the fact that this case did not proceed and end with a guilty verdict as they hoped it would. Apparently, they just could not put their politics aside. That it is just so unfortunate and unfair. But I now have a great deal of respect for you! I will now check your blog when researching a case, especially any case where it appears that a defendant is getting railroaded as George Zimmerman was in this case.


    thank you Synthesist (none / 0) (#228)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:26:48 PM EST
    I sincerely appreciate your comment.

    Parent
    And "being suspicious" (5.00 / 4) (#224)
    by itscookin on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:14:03 PM EST
    beats becoming a crime statistic. I reserve the right to drive with my cars door locked, to carry my bags in a way that makes them harder to rip off my person, to choose not to use ATM machines if there's a crowd of people lurking nearby, and to avoid groups of people who make me uncomfortable. The President can ask us to be less suspicious of each other, but reality is that we need to be. Especially if you're a woman alone.

    Sadly I Have (5.00 / 1) (#233)
    by Richjo on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 12:17:36 AM EST
    a feeling that we will have as much success addressing the "real issues" of racial disparities in the criminal justice system as OJ did finding the "real killers".

    Criminal Defense Attorney Weighs In (5.00 / 5) (#235)
    by JFAP on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 01:59:20 AM EST
    I was relieved to hear your opinion on the Zimmerman case.  I was beginning to feel as if I was insane. So ironic that those accusing Zimmerman of being a racist (a word thrown around as casually as "nice" --everything that's okay is "nice" everything that isn't is racist) when the hysterical left (to twist a phrase) has defamed Zimmerman, called for another trial, gotten people fired and threatened death to all with Zimmerman's DNA--are the ones acting like racists.  When I have to hear Whoopie Goldberg and the ladies of The View (there's nothing else on at that hour) condemn someone with their twisted, prejudiced and ill-informed analysis, something is frigteningly wrong.  And when my own beloved President doesn't set it right--I feel like a person without a country.

    On the subject of judicial reform: in the face of what has happened, I question this blogger's call for  "strengthening civilian review and control of local police departments." I don't trust the general population.

    Do you really want these emotion-driven, evidence-ignoring people--who are manipulated by the media and by politicians who need to incite black America in order to add to and strengthen their constituency--to have MORE control?!!

    Most of them are conflating the already presumptous conclusion that Zimmerman profiled and stalked Trayvon with being guilty of murder and or manslaughter.   Most of them seem to think that profiling means that you can't be suspicious of a black man even if there were over 400 burglaries committed in your neighborhood by different black males.  I suppose if victims tell me they were robbed by a black male,  I should be on the lookout for a chinese female.

    As you said, no evidence of profiling.  Stalking does not mean that if you see someone who ignites reasonable suspicion or fear that you can't watch them and try to keep them in view until the police arrive.  Bad decision or not, it's not stalking.  And it's not murder.

    I read news accounts that pretended to be unbiased stating that Trayvon was "murdered."

    I think Zimmerman should sue "The View" and every other tv, radio and news show or reporter who edited out salient portions of the evidence to make him look guilty of something; who made statements of "fact" calling him a racist, or stating he was profiling, or lying about the case.  

    Honestly, though I have defended Black teenagers and men--guilty and not, Asian males, Hispanic and white (though Hispanic is caucasian) I have not seen a difference in the outcome that showed race disparity.  Most often the victims of the crime are the same race as the defendants. The only thing that is true is that when the defendant is a gang member, OH yeah, then there is a bias toward guilt.  But, that's not racist.
    That's about knowing something about gang bangers.
    Maybe, not knowing enough, but just enough to be angered and fearful. But it's not racism.

    I have worked with many gang bangers. They do dress a certain way and do have a culture that could put fear in the hearts of many. So if a nice guy thinks it's cool to dress and talk like a gang banger,  how is the man/woman on the street to know if that kid approaching him is a gangster or just a good kid wanting to look and sound like one?  And then again, I have loved all my gang bangers. But I wouldn't ever want them to think I gave them a dirty look.  

    I've digressed, but maybe not.  My point is, you cannot turn around history without a number of things occurring:  time; laws; rehabilitation; education; creating self-esteem; jobs  and the government can't do it all. (Things have changed enormously for the better--just in my lifetime. And, if you haven't noticed, there aren't enough jobs for anyone.) There is a lot of denial about the responsibility that must come from the individual and from his/her family.  

    When a kid's family is not present and guiding him, or is in denial and makes excuses and blames racism for every ill that befalls their kid, that doesn't help that child.

    If your kid wants to dress like a gang banger, then tell him not to whine if someone crosses the street when he approaches.  As someone very wise told me, you can't change others, you can only change yourself.

    I think when teenagers of any race go into an upscale (or low scale) store, they are watched--and tell me it's not for good reason.
    More kids shop lift than people, of any age, drive drunk.

    True, I'm in Los Angeles where juries are diverse and judges bend over backwards to be fair--or if not they don't show favoritism according to race.--except I did have one Asian judge who was unusually harsh to an Afgani female defendant who had victimized a black couple. My thought was he was overcompensating for the common view that Asians don't like blacks--so he laid it on the Afgani.

    I don't know what happens in the south or anywhere else. I would like to see many of the changes you mentioned. Prosecutors are not going to be more transparent. But, I do wish that the public wouldn't think that they know what jurors should have done. The public needs to know that the pundits and newscasters and media hustlers are all just trying to make a buck and stir up trouble for their own agendas. That's not where one should get information. (You would think the news media would be the place--but choose wisely.)  Unfortunately, the Zimmerman bashers really don't care about the truth. They
    are as bad as they accuse Zimmerman of being.
    He is not responsible for the history of hate and fear.  But the bashers are sure adding to it.
    Shame on them.  If you have a principle against
    racism and bigotry and prejudice, then LIVE by it yourself.  Don't just shout racist when it serves you. And make sure when you do accuse someone of such a heinous thing,  you do it b/c the facts are there to support it, and not because you're pasting the entire history of the world and your own prejudices where it doesn't belong.

    just when I thought people could not (5.00 / 1) (#236)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 09:03:36 AM EST
    get more petty and hateful, people are trying to prove George Zimmerman was not at the scene of the accident to pull those people out of the car.
    I saw a news report from a church service, or afterwards I guess, where everyone was up in arms and convinced this was a hoax to make Zimmerman look good...some sort of conspiracy.
    Now it has gotten so bad the police are going to have a news conference.

    What is so shocking that Jeralyn (4.50 / 2) (#229)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:27:46 PM EST
    would be interested in, and inform us of, a criminal case. I came here when she covered the Duke Lacrosse case.

    That was covered for a long time, and like this case, had a forum because there was so much discussion.

    This is what she does. If it doesn't interest you, take a break, but don't criticize her for being what she is. This is why she has this blog and it's frustrating to read people complain.

    I'm sure there may be a case some day I don't agree with her on. But, I'll listen to what her legal points of view are and might change my mind, like I did in this case. She paid for the discovery which enabled us to see the same things the lawyers saw. I'm grateful for that. I've also been educated on problems with our justice system. That interests me in the same way that poor people, children, the disabled and the elderly are treated. It's all part of caring, to me.

    My question is . . . (3.50 / 2) (#24)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:38:53 PM EST
    How long will be it before I hear about some African American shot and killed by a white-African American?  How long till I hear about an African American shot and killed by a white Native American?

    Too late (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Char Char Binks on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:45:48 PM EST
    There was a Native American in Oklahoma, with Native American plates on his truck, Jacob England, who was always called Native, but suddenly became white in the media when he murdered a black man last April.

    Parent
    survey says . . .! (3.00 / 3) (#19)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:31:55 PM EST
    A few days ago, one of the major networks (not NBC/msnbc) ran a poll of the public on their views of the Zimmerman trial verdict.  If I recall correctly, it was in fact done professionally by Rasmussen reports.  If I recall correctly, also, it showed 48% agreed with the verdict . . . 31% disagreed and some other % had no firm view.

    So the  public, by a plurality, also exonerates Zimmerman . . .  The problem is that some of the 31% is ready to do violence to get their way.

    Rasmussen is known as a (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:33:22 PM EST
    right-leaning polling operation.

    Parent
    Completing Polls - Monday Pew Poll (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:38:02 PM EST
    The survey found a split to the verdict overall: 39 percent said they were satisfied that the jury found Zimmerman not guilty on all counts in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, while 42 percent said they were dissatisfied.


    Parent
    And then there is the poll from... (none / 0) (#230)
    by DebFrmHell on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:31:42 PM EST
    The Global Grind.

    Who Do You Think Started The Fight Poll from July 1,2013

    George Zimmerman  34.31%  (7,453 votes)  
    Trayvon Martin  57.15%  (12,412 votes)  
    I still don't know.  8.54%  (1,855 votes)  

    Total Votes: 21,720

    Parent

    WOW, no kidding? (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:43:42 PM EST
    Did Homeland Security raise the alert level?

    I bet it's "blood in the streets, Red" by now.

    better hurry up and respond; I don't know what it is but somehow people I respond to get deleted.

    Get your obviously superior intel out now!

    Parent

    It took me over an hour to read and (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:50:36 PM EST
    delete the objectionable comments on another thread today, some of which were simply outrageous in their accusations. Comments get associated with me and TalkLeft. If I'm online, I delete them as I see them. I really can't keep spending hours a day moderating comments. It takes away from the time I have to write. And posting garbage comments is disrespectful of the time and research I put into my posts. I'm tried of people who take the comments section for granted. I'm trying to allow for reasoned discussion with all points of view, but they devolve too quickly into trash talk when one person posts something objectionable and instead of reporting it to me, others quote it and respond, further perpetuating it. And when I see junk come up in google with talkleft  as the source, it's just unacceptable.

    Parent
    you never would have survived (2.40 / 5) (#76)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:44:24 AM EST
    the 50s.

    Are you really going to continue to talk about your feelings about people clutching their purses or locking their car doors?  
    Honestly, the President sounded like a fool making those comments.  He's president, he has nothing to complain about and frankly I don't believe he had the nerve.  He grew up in privilege thanks to his Typical white woman grandmother and has/had almost nothing in common with Trayvon Martin.
    I wonder if you or the President can consider that those people who hurt your feelings by looking at you sideways also have life experiences and maybe, just maybe had even tougher lives growing up than you did?  Stop looking at the world in terms of you being victimized. That old lady who clutches her purse has no power over you and she has no obligation to you.  She has her one life to live just like you do and she doesn't have to do it trying to make up to you for slavery and decades of institutional racism.  You think as poorly of her as she does of you.  So get past it.
    Let's talk about isms.  I think there are a lot of black women who would tell you that sexism has been a bigger hurdle or at least as big a hurdle in their lives as racism.  

    TeresaInPa (5.00 / 7) (#85)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:15:24 AM EST
    You have no idea what I may or may not have survived.

    But I can tell you that my father survived the 50s, my mother survived the 50s, my grandparents survived the 50s.

    Another heads up:

    They believe that the symptoms of profiling and subtle racism inherent in things like clutched purses and locked car doors is every bit as important as I do.

    To be frank:  You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and when people that actually face such things try to tell you why they are important and why they are crucial hits on a daily basis to our self worth and value (and more importantly the worldview of our children) you dismiss it as trivial.

    And then you wonder why on earth are these black people so angry about things.

    Answer: when slaves were freed but Jim Crowe followed, we were asked "why are you so angry, things were much worse before?"

    When Jim Crowe was defeated but we were still struggling with equal pay and being able to live and work in the same places, we were asked "why are you so angry, at least you can use the same bathrooms?"

    When conservatives paint black people as welfare queens who are lazy, we were asked "why are you so angry, you have the same opportunities as everyone else, the past doesn't matter?"

    And now when we are telling you, directly, in no uncertain terms, that the daily experiences we have with subtle racism not only have profound effects on us but are also evidence of the sort of racism that has juries disproportionately convicting back defendants, that has black job interviewees with the same credentials as white counterparts getting jobs at a lesser rate, and that has the conservative party redistricting the country to prevent people of color from having any local voting power, you say "why are you angry, you wouldn't have made it in the 50's?"

    Your comments are frankly evidence of everything I am talking about but that's not even the sad part.

    The sad part is that you don't even see it.

    Parent

    Are you kidding? (2.29 / 7) (#111)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:12:28 AM EST
    I should have known you would answer with even more focus on "me me, holy self righteous me".  
    Of course I know all about that.  I grew up at ground zero in guilty white liberal land.  I spent endless hours of my life examining every bit of racial injustice, reading the books, taking the classes, having the boyfriends and the friends and the experiences and the consciousness raising and doing everything but being black.  For years there wasn't a race card I wouldn't play. There was no single issue more important to me except maybe gay rights and I am not gay either.
    In college in the 70s I had a bad experience, actually two of them that could have made me a bigot.  I prided myself in the fact that I did not allow a group of black men at college to make me think differently about black men in general, I still don't.

     You are doing fine, but all you seem to want to do is claim how hard it all is, poor you.  My point is...that woman clutching her purse MIGHT HAVE HAD IT WORSE. Did you ever consider that?  And whether she did or not, she does not owe you anything.  It is not up to her to make up for past injustices. You have latched on to a case that has nothing to do with racism to wallow in racism.  That is the problem.  That is why many people are not sympathetic and why they are critical of the way President Obama spoke out.  

    Maybe we need a blog for isms, because I don't think Jeralyn wants this blog to become that.  But we could have a blog where all we would do is argue about who suffered more from their ism...racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobicism...

    Parent

    I'm (none / 0) (#205)
    by chrisvee on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:39:59 PM EST
    not AA but I am a liberal.  And I hear what you are saying but more importantly I see it. Almost every day sadly.

    I don't suppose that's ultimately of much value because you certainly don't need me to validate your experience.

    Just...your words aren't in vain.

    I'm somewhat reminded of the passion with which I posted about the misogyny directed towards Sara Palin and Hillary Clinton not so very long ago.

    Parent

    what liberals will remember (2.00 / 2) (#73)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:22:42 AM EST
    Liberals will remember that a young black male was tragically killed but black civil-rights leaders made the entire issue out to be the color of George Zimmerman's skin.  That's what liberals will remember.


    How would you know? (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:40:15 AM EST
    Are you a liberal?  Did someone leave you with the impression that you speak for liberals?

    You certainly don't speak for this liberal.

    Parent

    Liberals (2.00 / 2) (#80)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:56:03 AM EST
    Group identity creates loyalty issues which make it difficult to be true to the facts, so I don't consider myself a Liberal. However, my views align far more consistently with liberals than with conservatives so I consider myself liberal in that sense.

    However, my comment is one of fact, I'm not being a spokesman for the group.  Liberals see that this issue was made out to be about George Zimmerman's skin color. Many happen to agree that it is about Zimmerman's skin color.   But the facts utterly fail to support that view. And that's my real, unspoken, point: the truth is a constant gentle irresistible pressure that will erode future liberal support for these same black civil-rights leaders. Their days are numbered.

    Parent

    Are you claiming that you are a liberal? (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:47:41 AM EST
    Has their been an election which designated you as the official spokesperson for any recognized liberal group?

    As a liberal, I want it clearly understood that you speak for yourself and not for me.

    Parent

    I am speaking for myself (3.00 / 2) (#92)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:25:47 AM EST
    in a room full of largely white people discussing vigorously why black people who are not otherwise represented here have it all wrong when it comes to their own feelings about race.

    I would love to move this discussion to the chat boards over at The Root and reengage so that there is a true diversity of opinions on this issue.

    If I left (and a few others stop posting) you would have 20-30 people chatting vigorously about the experiences and expectations of people who aren't even here.

    And the crazy thing is that I think folks would believe that they were really having a deep and informed discussion.

    Parent

    no one is telling you how to think (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:07:36 PM EST
    I am saying the President should not have tied his experience of being profiled by women in elevators  to George Zimmerman and that the President should be addressing the problem of racial profiling and disparity in the justice system. No one is telling you or any other person of color how to feel.

    We get how you feel. You constantly say so. I'm focused on people who are adversely affected by the systemic and institutional discrimination in the justice system. I wish the President would focus on them too.

    Parent

    They are connected Jeralyn (4.00 / 3) (#178)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:54:56 PM EST
    The idea that the woman clutching her purse is completely unrelated to the cop profiling men in hoodies is  . . . fairly incredible to me.

    They are directly linked.  If you can't see that, it is no wonder that you can't see the perspective of a black President trying to explain it to you.

    Parent

    The bottom line is (5.00 / 2) (#208)
    by itscookin on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:38:04 PM EST
    If you're going to call me a racist for putting my personal safety over your feelings, I can live with that.

    Parent
    very interesting commentary from all (none / 0) (#209)
    by ZtoA on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:56:20 PM EST
    IMO these comments are ALL about the big picture. Its just SO big and the political is the personal and the personal is the political. It is impossible to really put boundaries on issues like this. I am very appreciative of hearing multiple voices on this.

    Parent
    you are speaking for yourself (5.00 / 3) (#166)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:13:08 PM EST
    I am trying to give a voice to the tens of thousands of people adversely affected by racial injustice in the criminal justice system. I am expressing my view that President Obama should be addressing them as well.

    Every time you post about yourself you take attention from the issue I am raising.

    I don't know how many times I can say that this blog and the coverage of the Zimmerman case is not about the larger societal issues of race and guns. For a year, I warned readers not to go astray into those topics. The criminal justice system is not designed to cure every conceivable social ill.

    Your attempts to label me and readers here as not fitting within your paradigm of what is liberal or progressive when we are not discussing the topic you are discussing is insulting.

    You want to complain about the number of times you have felt racially profiled by individuals while going about your life. I don't doubt that's true. But it has zero to do with George Zimmerman. And the problems I am addressing are not social problems but problems in the criminal justice system. If you have experience about being unfairly treated during an arrest or while in jail, I would like to hear it. Otherwise I wish you would stop deflecting attention from the problems I am focused on that affect tens of thousands of minorities, male and female, young and old, of multiple races and ethnicities.

    Parent

    Thanks for the tip about The Root, (none / 0) (#117)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:32:12 AM EST
    I've been doing a little reading there and despite the expected nuttery from some, there are some very interesting comments.

    Here's one, do you agree with black dude's response?:

    White dude says: "If only black people could understand people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have more in common with David Duke than MLK."  

    Black dude responds: "If only WHITE folks would UNDERSTAND, Sharpton and Jackson are NO MORE important to Black folks than David Dukes is to White folks."



    Parent
    Holy cow do I agree (4.60 / 5) (#122)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:00:48 PM EST
    One of the infuriating parts of this whole discussion here is this idea that when we all went to the Friday Night Black People Meeting where we decide how the kids should wear their pants and what to get angry about next, that Meeting Leaders Sharpton and Jackson used their portion of the meeting to tell us how we should feel about this case.

    Honestly, I have not heard or read one thing that either Sharpton or Jackson has written or said about this case.

    NOT ONE THING.

    It is extremely insulting for people to assume that because Sharpton, Jackson, Smiley or West said something, we are all following like sheep.

    It's denigrating.

    Parent

    if you haven't heard what (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:44:26 PM EST
    Al Sharpton has said about this case then you know nothing about this case. He used his TV show to discuss it constantly, he appeared at rallies, he organized rallies over it. Go over to You Tube and watch. There were numerous articles in the mainstream media about whether MSNBC should allow him to wear his dual hats.

    Why don't you read Eric Zorn's articles at the Chicago Tribune about the case. He is one of the few journalists who read all the discovery and followed the proceedings throughout. He is also African American. He's also cited TalkLeft's coverage frequently. Here's one of his recent comments.

    Parent

    This comment confuses me. (none / 0) (#165)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:06:46 PM EST
    You seem to be saying that Sharpton was responsible for a lot of misinformation - so why would we know nothing about the case if we didn't hear or see any of what he said in the media?

    One of the reasons I didn't follow this case in the media is because they have such a track record of getting stuff wrong, leaving things out, not being willing to spend the time to provide enough detail, and so on.  Most of the time, I don't consider myself to be better informed for having taken the media's word for anything.

    So, while ABG and those of us who didn't listen to Sharpton don't perhaps have as much appreciation for how significant the misinformation and manipulation were, it also means our opinions and perceptions were not colored by media coverage.  

    Every day, here, I would read increasingly agitated posts and comments about the media coverage, and I wondered, why would anyone keep going to the media if they were consistently proving they couldn't get it right?  To me, it seemed the equivalent of banging one's head on the wall, complaining about how much it hurt, and then doing it all over again the next day.

    Parent

    There's more than one way to not know (none / 0) (#176)
    by cboldt on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:14:23 PM EST
    I don't have much in the way of first hand awareness of what Sharpton had and has to say about the case, because I avoid the news.  I know much more about what Crump has had to say, because he was directly involved in providing evidence.

    Just saying, it is possible to know little about what Sharpton had and has to say about the case, and know a substantial amount about the case.

    FWIW, I also don't know what Hannity had and has to say (other than the Zimmerman interview).  My teevee is on either Turner Classic Movies, or baseball.  I find that rots my brain plenty, and I don't think I could take the stronger stuff.

    Parent

    Are you sure Eric Zorn is African American? (none / 0) (#191)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:16:53 PM EST
    He looks white.

    Parent
    Thanks. I think I know how you feel, (none / 0) (#124)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:08:24 PM EST
    as some people assume that people who think like me must listen to and follow like sheep people like Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.

    It is denigrating.

    Parent

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:11:21 PM EST
    People (most people) are far more complicated than the boxes we want to put them into.

    Whenever someone makes an absolute statement about what someone should think or is thinking and leaves no room for the person to respond or explain deeper meanings, you get in trouble.


    Parent

    Yet you seem to make sweeping broad judgments (5.00 / 3) (#162)
    by lily on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:59:14 PM EST
    aimed at whites about alleged white privilege.

    Parent
    Well said ABG, peace. (none / 0) (#129)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:17:09 PM EST
    The "putting-people-into-boxes (none / 0) (#132)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:23:02 PM EST
    Propensity seems to flourish in blog comments. I doubt most commenters would do this to a person they were really talking to.

    Parent
    Your sarcasm is hugely more effective than (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:14:01 PM EST
    those talk radio bombasts.

    Parent
    Ha! No talk radio bombasts for me, (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:20:47 PM EST
    100% of my political exposure is right here on TL. It's all I can take!

    Parent
    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#197)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:56:37 PM EST
    Why was sharp ton standing with the martins at their press confernce?

    Parent
    You know ABG not once have I (none / 0) (#133)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:30:11 PM EST
    claimed that AA's have it all wrong when it comes to their own feelings about race. In fact, my  comment you linked to was made to strongly state that woodchuck64's did not speak for me in the comment below. I totally disagree with his premise and I would no more try to tell you were wrong in what you feel than I would jump off a ten story building.

    what liberals will remember (2.00 / 1) (#73)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:22:42 AM CST
    Liberals will remember that a young black male was tragically killed but black civil-rights leaders made the entire issue out to be the color of George Zimmerman's skin.  That's what liberals will remember.

    No deep and informed discussion on my part. Just strong disagreement with woodchuck64's POV.

    Parent

    Maybe I should have made my reply (none / 0) (#141)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:26:21 PM EST
    short and sweet like Yman's.

    Ease up there, tough guy

    My response was to woodchuck64, not you, ABG.




    Parent
    See my reply to Yman (none / 0) (#81)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:56:27 AM EST
    See Yman's response (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:12:20 PM EST
    Couldn't say it better myself.

    Parent
    Wrong (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:19:18 PM EST
    it was, for the umpteenth time, about the assumptions made about TM at the start. It wasn't about GZ's skin color.

    Parent
    Wrong? (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:16:16 PM EST
    If I could imagine Sharpton, Crump, et. al. holding a press conferences denouncing a black George Zimmerman for profiling an unarmed teen as a criminal, I might be able to see your point.  If I could imagine thousands of protests throughout the United States after the acquittal of black George Zimmerman, I might be able to see your point.  But I guess I just have a failure of imagination.


    Parent
    Nonsense (none / 0) (#186)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:32:04 PM EST
    Nobody would have heard of Martin if Zimmerman was black, or even if he was correctly described as biracial.

    Parent
    I agree the case is over (1.50 / 2) (#33)
    by Dexter on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:14:04 PM EST
    and I agree with and respect the verdict.

    But, can we please stop reporting on whatever Zimmerman does for the rest of his life?  I could give a crap about how many people he rescued.  It happens every day by many civilians and many professionals.  It's past time to move forward from this case.  JMHO.

    Or just not permit (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:44:48 PM EST
    comments to any further posts on this ubject.

    Parent
    thank you but I'll decide (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:35:17 AM EST
    what I write about and when to allow comments.

    Interesting that you focused on the Samaritan part when there are 2,000 words accompanying it with a serious discussion of racial disparity in the criminal justice system.

    I have no interest in snide, drive-by comments. I will just continue to delete them so that readers who are looking for substantive views in comments are not distracted.

    Parent

    "I will just continue (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Nemi on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:48:11 AM EST
    to delete them so that readers who are looking for substantive views in comments are not distracted."

    Thanks. Much appreciated.

    Parent

    This is interesting: (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:06:44 PM EST
    After spotting the wreck and pulling over, the 29-year-old volunteer watchman grabbed a fire extinguisher from his car and checked for signs of a blaze before freeing the family, Sean Vincent, a spokesman for his legal team, told the Daily News.

    "George was able to help the family get out of the car before the first responders got there," Vincent said.

    No mention in the New Testament of the good Samaritan having a spokesperson (other than Jesus.)

    Oculus (4.75 / 4) (#3)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:18:49 PM EST
    He met with his lawyers last week and has talked to them several other times, per O'Mara. They found out about this from the media, not from GZ. Don't act like he promoted himself.

    The people in the car made it public, not him.

    Parent

    Oculus that's insulting (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:46:09 PM EST
    the News does not say he called them. It says he told them. It's obvious they called him for a reaction. Here's what happened.

    Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for George Zimmerman's legal defense team, said when Zimmerman spoke with his attorneys on Friday, the car wreck didn't come up.

    The defense team, Vincent said, first heard of Zimmerman's involvement when media reports surfaced Monday.



    Parent
    Why is anyone speaking now on behalf (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:28:01 PM EST
    of Mr. Zimmerman?  No appeals and he purportedly wishes to be left to carry on with his life.

    Parent
    Maybe (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:00:51 AM EST
    Zimmerman has a DOJ investigation hanging over him, federal and civil charges that may or may not be filed against him, a pending civil suit of his own against NBC for libel, and threats against his life, the lives of his friends, his defense team, and his family.  Did the Good Samaritan of the Bible have to deal with any of that?

    Parent
    if you aren't interested, please (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:28:09 AM EST
    scroll on by.

    Parent
    Good question. (none / 0) (#18)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:31:51 PM EST
    Sanford PD claim they put out the press release (none / 0) (#52)
    by lily on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:15:12 AM EST
    I think it wise to put a bit of distance between himself and the vigilante justice crowd by using the voice of spokesman. Zimmerdown time.

    Parent
    Paying it forward (none / 0) (#23)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:38:48 PM EST
    IMO.

    Parent
    It seems (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:01:13 AM EST
    that this is keeping in line with what we actually DO know about him - he wants to help.

    Parent
    CNN: 70 23933 comments (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:41:05 PM EST


    Well holy cow (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:15:22 PM EST
    I thought you were joking and that must be total comments for the whole trial. I hit "oldest" and that really is comments on this car wreck!

    No wonder the media would like to keep it in the news if that many people take the time to comment. I guess what I read about plunging ratings must be true. Unbelievable.

    Parent

    Pretty disgusting. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:17:00 PM EST
    Why would I get deleted? (none / 0) (#16)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:25:53 PM EST
    and why do you assume I'm talking about a recent case in the news?

    because it is the Zimmerman case that (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:42:21 PM EST
    is under discussion and you posted a scary scenario of being chased down in your neighborhood. The implication was clear.

    Scare tactics are no substitute for rational discourse.

    Parent

    I also deleted the response to it (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:44:53 PM EST
    Your revised comment is fine. I have no problem with people disagreeing with views expressed here. Inflammatory comments that distort I do have a problem with.

    Parent
    I do get... (none / 0) (#32)
    by fiver on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:07:59 PM EST
    How being a defense lawyer might make you feel differently about gun control. I mean giving the government another excuse to lock up people when 99% of gun owners  behave appropriately is certainly troublesome. Still, how can you not look at Australia with 10 times fewer gun deaths per 100,000 people and not think "hey, maybe they're doing something right"?

    your other comment was deleted (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:32:24 AM EST
    for profanity. Also please don't repost links to trash talk at other sites. I have no intention of promoting trash talk, and that's what it was, a biased, slanted inaccurate portrayal of the facts, presented not as opinion, but fact.

    Parent
    Some think guns (none / 0) (#48)
    by DennisD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:46:59 AM EST
    embolden people to get into situations they otherwise wouldn't unarmed.

    Here is one data point (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:47:30 AM EST
    .

    Whenever I carry (usually in the company of my beautiful bride) I make double plus extra effort to sniff out and avoid any situation where drawing it may be required.

    Your "embolden" assessment may say more about your opinion of others than those others themselves.  BTW, are you emboldened to drive extra fast and reckless with your seat belt on?

    .

    Parent

    First, I wrote (none / 0) (#169)
    by DennisD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:38:41 PM EST
    "some think" guns may embolden people not that I necessarily do. However, I do find it interesting that you claim carrying does alter your behavior.

    Parent
    No evidence (none / 0) (#60)
    by hoffy97 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:55:00 AM EST
    No evidence to support it, plus I'm not sure what situations it would apply.  Provoking an attack removes the self defense and stand your ground protection, as does engaging in illegal activity, so I'm not sure how much room there is for this to "embolden" people.  There's no proof that Zimmerman was "emboldened" because he had his gun; it sounds like something he always carried, plus there was no proof he did anything illegal.

    It also sounds a bit like victim blaming.  You're saying they are putting themselves in a situation to draw an attack so they can defend?  It's in the same vector as blaming rape on women dressing provocatively.

    If you have a legal right to be somewhere or do something, you have the right to defend yourself.

    Parent

    Provocation and Rape? (none / 0) (#63)
    by DennisD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:22:01 AM EST
    I kindly think you've misunderstood.

    Parent
    Guns can amplify stupidity... (none / 0) (#172)
    by unitron on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:56:32 PM EST
    ...but it has to be there in the first place.

    So these people that "some" are thinking about would still find ways to go about being stupid with or without possession of a gun being involved.

    Parent

    SPD Turned over Evidence (none / 0) (#59)
    by cboldt on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:45:47 AM EST
    Understanding it is a minor point in your post, but the SPD turned over the evidence, Zimmerman's gun in particular, to the FBI.  I think this is a wise move on the part of SPD.  It has no right to seize property outside of probable cause, and I view turnover as sound lawsuit avoidance practice.

    If true that is pretty bad (none / 0) (#67)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:55:14 AM EST
    .

    ...SPD turned over the evidence, Zimmerman's gun in particular, to the FBI.

    Zimmerman is getting death threats left and right and they want to deny him effective means of self defense.  Hard to believe.

    .

    Parent

    Not to worry (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:09:41 AM EST
    CLEVELAND (CBS Cleveland/AP) -- A non-profit gun rights group is collecting donations to buy George Zimmerman a new firearm.

    The Buckeye Firearms Foundation created the "Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund" to raise money to buy him a new gun after the Justice Department placed a hold on all evidence related to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
    ...
    Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.
    link



    Parent
    he already got another firearm (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:57:52 PM EST
    which was in the car he drove to Jacksonville so he could be arrested at the beginning of the case. (8/11/12)It was placed with his private property and supposed to be returned to his family. He got it because of threats during the time people were calling for his arrest. It's in the discovery.

    Upon the completion of booking Zimmerman into the Seminole County Jail, SA Rodgers transferred a Fabrique Nationals Herstal (FNH) Five- seven handgun cal. 5.7 X28 SN# 386201358 and three magazines with ammo.to SAS Duncan. SA Rodgers stated that the handgun and magazines were the property of Zimmerman.

    On April 12, 2012, SAS Duncan transferred the Fabrique Nationals Herstal (FNH) Five- seven
    handgun cal. 5.7 X28 SN# 386201358 and three magazines with ammo to SAS David Lee.

    I don't know if it was returned or not, but it was not placed in evidence, but inventoried with his personal property and marked for return. (See also pages 89 and 90 of the 284 page discovery.)

    Parent

    It is, indeed ... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:14:13 AM EST
    Zimmerman is getting death threats left and right and they want to deny him effective means of self defense.  Hard to believe.

    ... "hard to believe".

    Not sure who "they" is, but no one is preventing Zimmerman from getting a gun - assuming he hasn't already.  The gun is being held along with all evidence, pending the outcome of the investigation.  In fact, according to Fox News (heh), Zimmerman already owned more than one gun before the shooting.  Not to mention the fact that Zimmerman's own attorney said he should never carry that gun again:

    O'Mara said Zimmerman "should never carry again" the gun that he used to kill Martin, though he will be able to retrieve the weapon now that evidence is being released in the case.


    Parent
    I hope you have a saved copy of your post (none / 0) (#72)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:35:18 AM EST
    as it will likely be deleted because of the way you linked.

    You have to learn to use the link button above the comment box (the "chains" icon).

    Highlight a word or phrase in the body of your comment.

    Copy the url you want to add to your comment.

    Click on the link button/chain icon which brings up the link box.

    Paste the url into the link box.

    Click OK.

    You might want to make a copy of your post now, if you do not already have a copy of it.

    who are you talking about? (none / 0) (#206)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:45:36 PM EST
    There's no "parent" under your post.

    Parent
    The comment that I replied to was deleted (none / 0) (#213)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:26:59 PM EST
    as I suggested may happen...

    Parent
    I don't think (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:25:26 AM EST
    Yman's comment was directed at you.

    I noticed it wasn't part of the news article (none / 0) (#115)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:22:31 AM EST
    but have been able to find it through google.

    Obama co-sponsored Illnois SYG (none / 0) (#134)
    by lily on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:34:45 PM EST
    Not really (none / 0) (#143)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:34:53 PM EST
    The bill that Obama co=sponsored was an amendment to a self-defense law first passed in 1961, as opposed to an "SYG" law, the first of which was passed by Florida in 2005.

    "No, President Obama Didn't Support a "Stand Your Ground" Law in Illinois"


    Parent
    One Illinois attorney disagrees. (none / 0) (#157)
    by HereIBlog on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:36:25 PM EST
    Does Illinois Have a "Stand Your Ground" Law?

    Question:
    Does Illinois have a "stand your ground" law, like the one in Florida?

    Answer:
    Yes. Article 7 of the Illinois Criminal Code includes a law that is similar to Florida. It's a "self-defense" that can defeat both criminal and civil liability.

    The three main parts of the Illinois law apply to the use of force: "in defense of person," "in defense of dwelling," and "in defense of other property." ...



    Parent
    Then he would be wrong (none / 0) (#184)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:21:37 PM EST
    The law in Illinois that the author is referencing is not like Florida's SYG law.  The Illinois law is merely a codification of the common law Castle Doctrine, under which the occupant of a residence/home has no legal duty to retreat from an intruder who is unlawfully and/or forcibly attempting to enter the residence/home.  It's a doctrine that dates back to the Roman Empire, and has since been adopted through English common law into our own laws.

    SYG laws (like Florida), OTOH, take the Castle Doctrine to a new level.  They remove the duty to retreat from other locations, including public locations ala Zimmerman/Martin.  The Illinois law extends the Castle Doctrine to allow someone to prevent trespass to and/or tortious/criminal interference with property, but unlike Florida does not extend it to anyone who is not engaged in unlawful activity - in any location where they have the right to be - as does the Florida SYG law.

    Parent

    Sounds like you're talking about... (none / 0) (#200)
    by unitron on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:23:21 PM EST
    ...immunity, not SYG.

    They are not the same thing at all.

    Parent

    Ease up there, tough guy (none / 0) (#140)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:22:13 PM EST
    My response was to woodchuck64, not you, ABG.

    please don't repeat the assertion (none / 0) (#144)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:36:19 PM EST
    it just spreads the character attack. You could just say you think the question about jewelry contained false information.

    ABG, can you comment on (none / 0) (#152)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:14:56 PM EST
    the problem of racial disparity and injustice in the criminal justice system and how it affects the people adversely affected by it and their communities? That is what I am discussing.

    It looks to me like addressing those (none / 0) (#159)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:45:20 PM EST
    disparities won't get too far if we can't even agree at the most basic, person-to-person, levels what racism is or what it means, and I think that's one reason why things are so out of whack at the institutional level.

    Seems like there are people who think it was the egg who came first, and those who think it was the chicken: those who think that the statistics showing higher rates of crime in the black community means that racial profiling makes sense, versus those who think that when you stop and frisk and profile more people of one race, the stats are going to skew disproportionately toward a higher incidence of crime by that group.

    My gut tells me that we have to start at the most basic levels: education, housing, employment, health.  We're always so proud to say that this is America where everyone has equal opportunity to succeed, but the reality is that we don't.  Those who start lower on the ladder have farther to climb and get less help doing it, and have more baggage to carry.

    The better we are at addressing life in our communities, the narrower the gaps across the board, and I think that carries forward to the criminal justice system.

    Parent

    Progress can be made w/o addressing everything (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by jjr on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:56:50 PM EST
    Poverty rates in the early 80s were about the same as they are now. Violent crime rates were slightly higher, and property crimes were higher. Yet the incarceration rate is about four times higher now. Incarceration is expensive. Many states passed "get tough" laws with no idea how they would be paid for. One study I read on the the mass incarceration transition in Arizona showed how the need for new prison space was paid for later by a multitude of new fees. Reduction of disparity and incarceration rates does not require addressing the issue of growing economic inequality or how to fund proposed changes.
    The increase in incarceration is not the result of increasing individual acts of racism.
    The most significant causes of mass incarceration and also, to a great extent, disparity are the result of institutional practices that can be deduced and improved by looking at data.

    Parent
    so long as Congress keeps overfunding (none / 0) (#163)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:59:34 PM EST
    law enforcement and prisons there will be no money for that.

    That Obama and Congress don't want to make those investments is no reason to stop advocating for them. If enough voters made it clear that's what they want their elected officials to do, they'd start to listen.

    Reducing crack cocaine penalties took 15 years and while they still aren't equal, they did get substantially reduced and it was because they could no longer ignore public opinion. They ignored the reports and advice of the Sentencing Commission for years, but it wasn't until public pressure mounted that they acted at all.

    If I believed change was impossible, there would be no reason to blog.

    Parent

    But as long as there's no investment (none / 0) (#167)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:20:13 PM EST
    in seeing that people's basic needs are met, there will never be less of a need for money for prisons and law enforcement.

    Does adding lanes to highways and widening roads mean there are fewer cars on them?  No.  But until we spend money on mass transit and stop the development sprawl, we will keep needing more and more cars, and more and wider roads and highways.

    It's not an either/or thing, Jeralyn, or at least it shouldn't be; this is something that needs to be addressed on multiple fronts, at the same time.  And that should be part of the public opinion push, too.

    My larger point is that we can't even get this small community to agree on what racism is and what it means, and if it's public opinion that's going to help drive the change, then that has to coalesce in a way that furthers that change.

    Parent

    True (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:44:31 PM EST
    We aren't solving all the crimes that have already been committed, and we aren't stopping crime, so cutting funding for law enforcement doesn't seem to be a logical position.  It would make more sense to advocate for the money to be funneled to different law enforcement priorities, rather than to advocate for cutting funding.

    Parent
    which is why the larger topic (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:57:31 PM EST
    of racism in society is beyond the scope of this blog. Discussion of it brings out the worst in people, and the conversation sinks to gutter levels whenever it is introduced. I have no intention of spending hours every day moderating comments to weed out the offensive ones, when they are not even on the topic I am writing about.

    I am intent on keeping the focus of this blog on criminal justice issues. That the President chose to discuss his views of racism in society in the context of a criminal case in which racism was not an issue or element just because the public was discussing it, warrants my pointing out why that was not an appropriate context and how his particular comments perpetuated the false perception that Zimmerman's case had something to do with racial profiling .

    The public does not get a vote in criminal trials. Either do blog commenters. They get to express an opinion on the outcome and have the right to attend and in some cases view the proceedings.

    Trials are not about society and morality. They are about whether the individual charged committed a crime.

    There are so many places readers can express their views on larger societal problems. They are not relevant to this particular criminal case, which along with the larger problems within the criminal justice system is what I am writing about.

    Parent

    We talk about all of the issues (none / 0) (#188)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:53:09 PM EST
    when did a switch flip and we become limited to the fact of criminal cases?

    Is this some change and is it why Big Tent Democrat doesn't post here anymore?  

    Been meaning to ask about that anyway.  Love to get his take on this case, but he disappeared.

    Parent

    He wrote about it at www.dailykos.com (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:05:01 PM EST
    on 7/21/12. Title: The majesty of the law. He posts under his real name of Armando.

    He says he will be back in a couple of weeks after the site completes its coverage of Zimmerman.  

    Parent

    Typo alert (none / 0) (#204)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:36:21 PM EST
    The date is 7/21/13.

    Parent
    Will this site complete its coverage of Zimmerman? (none / 0) (#211)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:13:31 PM EST
    i won't be covering (none / 0) (#225)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:18:49 PM EST
    Trayvon Martin and those perpetuating the story that this is a civil rights case.

    I will continue to comment on inaccurate media coverage and efforts to mislead the public and maybe any future civil lawsuits.  Not very often though.

    When DOJ closes its civil rights review and announces there is no basis for charges, I'll probably write a post on it.

    Parent

    TL was founded by JM to talk about the Politics of Crime, iow, "the larger problems within the criminal justice system".

    When BTD started posting here, that was when the "change" happened and TL became what you are familiar with, ie, where we "talk about all of the issues."

    Parent

    that is correct (5.00 / 2) (#217)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:55:38 PM EST
    the name of the site is Talkleft: The Politics of Crime.  I write about criminal justice issues and cover elections from the view of who will promote criminal justice reform. I write about law enforcement abuses and wrongful convictions. I also write about civil liberties (immigration, electronic surveillance, gay rights), juvenile injustice, inmates and prisons) court decisions in criminal cases. The only exception I can remember is my writing about changing the age for social security and that was because I could potentially be personally affected by a change.

    BTD writes about the broader issues in politics.

    He does not share my view on Zimmerman and has chosen not to write here while the case is still being covered.

    The site has not changed. There has always been criticism of Democrats as well as Republicans, but my view is that Republicans are worse.

    If you are somehow expecting this site to be a cheerleader for Democrats or centrists you won't find it in my writing and never have.

    My purpose in blogging has always been to inform the public in hopes of changing heir views on criminal justice issues and the rights and need for fair treatment of those suspected or accused of crime. I happen to believe that change is more likely to result when the public demands it rather than from lobbying efforts. I did the lobbying for years before giving it up and starting this blog.

    I strongly recommend you not criticize the focus of this blog. You have the choice to read it or not read it, not to tell me what to write about.

    Parent

    I love that ou are an independent (5.00 / 1) (#221)
    by Darby on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:07:19 PM EST
    Even if I don't agree with all your positions.  ( actually I may, just haven't  read beyond Zimmerman here)

    Parent
    actually I am not an independent (5.00 / 2) (#226)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:24:43 PM EST
    I am a lifelong Democrat. But that doesn't make them above criticism. I am an equal opportunity critic. And I don't toe party lines, as is evident from my support for gun rights and opposition to victims rights/hate crimes legislation. My views on immigration are far more progressive than Democrats. I would not make people go home and go to the back of the line and pay money to return. I would put family reunification first.

    The Democrats will never be liberal enough for me, but as I said, Republicans are worse. Sometimes Republicans get it right, such as on some privacy issues and on forfeiture abuses and when they do, I say so. I also agree with their "nanny state" arguments.  

    Parent

    There are Democrats who are Libertarians (none / 0) (#231)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:35:22 PM EST
    Libertarians support everything you mentioned. Do not know your stance on free trade and health care. BTD used to write about non crime issues.

    Parent
    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#210)
    by ragebot on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:06:39 PM EST
    Why did you post that congress funds LEOs and prisons.  Not to say the feds have completely clean hands but most crimes are state (or county or local).  I am a land use guy (joint degree I urban planning/JD) and have seen way too many counties in Florida (and Georgia when I consulted there) make sweetheart deals to get a prison built.  Aside from the public school system it is common for a prison to be the largest employer in some rural counties.

    Even in, progressive/liberal states this is not uncommon.  While putting basically urban folks convicted of a crime out in the sticks probably does not help rehabilitation, not to mention making it harder for family visits

    I don't see the feds as the answer, even if Obama tried to push it and it is even a taller order to expect the states to do it.

    Parent

    have you looked at the federal budget (none / 0) (#214)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:37:05 PM EST
    and seen the amounts spent on private prisons and money given to the states for law enforcement? I've written many posts on this with source links to the actual budget numbers.

    Parent
    Yes, for sure TP (none / 0) (#168)
    by Leopold on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:29:33 PM EST
    It is ideas and values that define political philosophy, not some blog commenter stating that they are a liberal while espousing right-wing ideas, or vice versa. Fer sure. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, etc.  I don't care what label you put on yourself, if it doesn't match the underlying values and philosophy.

    I wonder TP if you think I care whether you or anyone else agrees. I don't have a 'list of suspects' (hyperbole much?) - I'm just expressing my opinion to ABG that he is mistaking the comments of many here for being based in a liberal philosophy,  which they clearly are not.  Most of those commenters have been banned or have left or are not participating in these threads anymore.

    comment deleted for (none / 0) (#218)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:59:22 PM EST
    misstating my coverage of this case.

    this thread is now closed (none / 0) (#234)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 01:42:11 AM EST
    Our threads close at 200 comments. If you see a comment reply box, please ignore it. The thread is closed.