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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Massad Ayoob

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN AND TRAYVON MARTIN: WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The death almost a month ago of 17-year old Trayvon Martin at the hands of appointed neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman has become a cause célèbre that has even drawn the notice of our President, who notes that if he had a son he would probably look like Trayvon.  I’m seeing some defending Zimmerman, and most demanding his head on a platter, and a whole lot of people who don’t understand how the justice system is geared to approach these things.

As I’ve said earlier in this blog, in answer to reader query, we don’t know enough about what happened to rush to judgment yet, whether that judgment is justified self-defense, murder, or manslaughter.  The police have made it clear that there is evidence that has not yet been made public, and may not be put forth until the Grand Jury examines the case next month.  Some issues:

The autopsy results, including toxicology screen, have not yet been released. If it turns out that the young man who died was fueled by drugs known to cause violent behavior, could that change our perceptions? That knowledge is not yet in our hands. (Reportedly, Zimmerman was not tested, and police indicate that he showed no signs of drug or alcohol impairment.) My advice to YOU if YOU’RE ever involved in a shooting: request to be taken to a hospital to have a blood sample and toxicology screen taken. A “negative for everything” result will prevent false allegations later that you were drunk or drugged-up when you pulled the trigger.

The death weapon was a Kel-Tec PF9 semiautomatic 9mm pistol. It has been reported that the gun was recovered with a full magazine and that only the chambered round had been fired. This is a condition we associate with something preventing the gun from cycling a fresh round from the magazine into the chamber after the shot was discharged. One thing that can cause that is another man’s hand wrapped around the pistol, retarding its slide mechanism.  This would indicate, as could certain gunshot residue patterns or cuts in certain places if found on Trayvon Martin’s hand(s), that a struggle for a gun was taking place when the fatal shot was fired. This would clearly change the shape of the case. But – WE DON’T KNOW YET.

Both men, according to initial reports, were “squeaky clean” in terms of their background. We now know, meh, not so much.  There were allegations of domestic abuse against Zimmerman, and a conviction for resisting arrest, in his past. Young Mr. Martin was in the complex in the first place so his dad could straighten him out after being kicked out of school for a week…for what, we don’t know.

          Pundits who don’t all seem to understand the concept are tying this shooting in to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law much more than they should. There is conflicting evidence/testimony as to whether Martin approached Zimmerman or vice versa in the penultimate moments before the physical fight that led to the fatal shot.  There is, in short, not yet enough information for any of us outside the investigation to formulate a solid opinion.

Update: Turns out that the Trayvon Martin Facebook page mentioned here last night was the wrong Trayvon Martin; that has been deleted with my apologies, and thanks to those who flagged me to the error.  Also, HuffPost reports that Trayvon had been suspended for chronic truancy, but another source notes that his school’s posted rules do not prescribe that length of suspension for that minor an offense. Meanwhile, the college George Zimmerman had been attending has suspended HIM, due to the current controversy.

My advice? Let’s all “stand our ground,” not participate in the rush to judgment, and wait for the facts and the evidence to become available to us 300 million jurors in the Court of Public Opinion.

 

 

147 Responses to “GEORGE ZIMMERMAN AND TRAYVON MARTIN: WHAT WE DON’T KNOW”

  1. Ashram Says:

    At last, the only sensible blog providing opinion of this case by explaining what’s going on now and resists any urge to take a side except, perhaps, to let due process of law work.

    If there’s not enough information to ascertain anything, then any conclusions from those not in the know is nothing more than speculation.

  2. Joshua Says:

    It has been reported that Martin was suspended for tardiness, for what that’s worth.

    That the slide my have been prevented from cycling by another person’s hand on it, indicating a struggle for the weapon, supports neither side, IMO. Even if Zimmerman had decided to execute Martin in cold blood, Martin might have tried to grab the gun in self defense. This is an interesting piece of trivia, but IMO, is completely inconclusive.

    I agree with you on the “wait and see” approach. My primary outrage thus far has been that the police have not even bothered arresting Zimmerman. Maybe, under Florida law and case precedent, this case is far more cut-and-dried than it seems, but given what we do know about the case, it’s shocking to me that a jury (or a grand jury) wasn’t even going to be given the chance to hear the evidence.

  3. Joshua Says:

    I’d also like to say that I don’t think we should read too much into the photos you find on his FB page. Lots of 17-year-old kids post posturing and strutting pics and vids to the Internet. I can remember the insecurity of that age well, and the things I did to try to inflate my status among my social peers. The chances that Martin was actually a gang member are extremely slim. IMO, anybody who looks at those pictures and seriously believes they’re more than adolescent posturing is letting their stereotypes overwhelm their reason.

  4. Cate Lynn Says:

    My issue with this case is that, until there was a public outcry, no further investigation was planned. Every untimely death should be deserving of an investigation into the circumstances. It seems from reports that Florida police and prosecutors are citing the Stand Your Ground Law as reason for inaction in some questionable circumstances. I wonder if this is not an effort to use public outrage to overturn a statute they don’t like. Stand Your Ground Laws give us an important safeguard if we must kill in self defense. However, they should not be used to excuse dereliction of duty by law enforcement. For police or prosecutors to shrug their arms and do nothing based on nothing but a claim of self defense does no one justice. Criminals will also attempt to justify their actions. A system that is fair and equitable must at least thoroughly investigate, review evidence and attempt to discover the facts.

  5. Amy Says:

    WRONG Trayvon you’ve got there. Here’s the murdered Trayvon’s actual facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/people/Trayvon-Slimm-Martin/1353307542

  6. Human Being Says:

    Monsters make excuses for monsters who kill innocent children. Just wait until Judgment Day! This life on earth is short and temporary.

  7. Mary Says:

    It would be nice if you had picked the Facebook Page of Trayvon Slimm Martin. I guess to you guys, they all look alike. That’s Trayvon Martin from Georgia, but nice try anyhow. Keep looking.

  8. Pat Carver Says:

    Thank you Massad! Ever the voice of reason. Would that the main stream media treat this with as much discretion and balance.

  9. Rob Says:

    “conviction for resisting arrest”

    From what I’ve read he was charged with assaulting an officer and the prosecutor dropped the case because all he did was remove an officers hand from his friends arm. Not hit the officer or anything but just removed the hand.

    I’ve heard about the Domestic stuff but nothing about resisting arrest.

    A good blog. Too bad the media has already decided Zimmerman is guilty. I’ve got a bad felling that if Zimmerman isn’t charged, and personally I don’t think they will charge him, that we are going to have some rough protests in the coming weeks.

  10. Tom Archer Says:

    What really scares me here is the alleged steering of witnesses by the police. If it’s true, that could be evidence of something really sinister going down.

    Allegedly, one witness told police that she heard Martin screaming for help, at what point a police detective told her “No, you heard Zimmerman”

    If that’s true, that’s way over the line for police conduct. You don’t steer witnesses. Especially when someone is dead.

    I think things do look pretty bad for Zimmerman, too. Martin was a scrawny little kid. Reports say he was around 140 pounds. Zimmerman is nearly 100 pounds larger and 10 years older. Still, this older, larger man who was explicitly told not to follow Martin by 911, decided to chase him anyway.

    Put yourself in Trayvon’s shoes. Would you be scared or suspicious of a big guy following you after a while?

    Going off your talks, if Trayvon was unarmed, even if he attacked Zimmerman, I think it would be a VERY hard sell to convince a jury that a 140lb unarmed youth poses a deadly threat to a large adult.

    People are pissed because of the flippancy of the police. If the steering thing is true, I want to see some heads roll over this.

    I will concede that we don’t know all the facts, but what we do know now isn’t looking good for Mr. Zimmerman.

  11. Dave Strange Says:

    Fantastic write up and perspective, not to mention a great reality check. It’s easy to armchair quarterback this thing from the outside and your advice is perfect. Thanks for chiming in here!

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Agreed. This is mostly an attempt to fire up passions to affect other agenda’s(?) agendii(?)

    Racism and anti-gun sentiment is flying high here. I don’t know what happened. Releasing the 911 tapes only added to the fire.

    Let’s wait until the investigators finish investigating.

  13. Matt Says:

    Autopsy report will make TOTALLY undeniable whether Trayvon Martin was – or wasn’t – so close to Zimmerman when shot that self-defense really is plausible.
    Also, if anyone doesn’t think that the beverage can Trayvon Martin had is a “deadly weapon,” just see what happens if you swing at a police officer with one in your hand. You’ll either be shot – or charged with assault with a deadly weapon. (How much does a full 12oz. can weigh?)

  14. Tom Archer Says:

    Also, I’m surprised a Kel-Tec actually worked. When will people learn and save the cash for a nice CZ-75?

  15. john Says:

    You’ve got the wrong Trayvon Martin facebook page referenced in your article chief.
    Those pics aren’t the same kid who was shot.

  16. Ray Horvath Says:

    I have not followed the case but have heard a lot of politicians speaking about it despite the lack of facts. Thank you for a clear article stating the most obvious fact — that we don’t know enough to draw conclusions yet. Of course, when you don’t have an agenda, the facts and the truth are a lot easier to dispense.

  17. Stu Mulne Says:

    Mas:

    +1

    Remember Richard Jewell…. Guilty as hell all over the press and various forums. Until it turned out that he wasn’t!

    Too soon to say here, in this case, but you can bet Zimmerman should be buying plane tickets to someplace we don’t have extradition from, at least until Zero is out of office.

  18. David Swain Says:

    Very good piece, Massad. I’m glad you found the Facebook photos, as I heard they were out there but hadn’t seen them yet. The police report lists Trayvon Martin as 6′, 160 lb, not the small child in the dated photos released by his family. I wonder why you say “conflicting testimony” regarding the fight. One eye witness to the fight, interviewed on an Orlando TV station the day after the shooting, stated that one guy was on top of another, beating him up. The guy on the ground was in a red sweater (Zimmerman) and was yelling “Help! Help!” The eyewitness turned to go to the phone and heard a shot, and then saw that the guy who had been on top was the one who got shot. None of the other witnesses (that have ben reported in the news) gave conflicting information. They had a poorer view or only heard the cries for help, not knowing which person said them. Obviously, at the time of the shot, Zimmerman could not retreat, and thus Stand Your Ground is moot. Not known, as you point out, is how the fight started. Those of us who carry have an obligation not to provoke a fight. Zimmerman says he didn’t start the fight, but we’ll probably never know that piece of information. As such, the police could not charge him – no evidence to dispute his claim of self-defense.

  19. Enjoy Every Sandwich Says:

    The Virginia Citizens Defense League email newsletter mentions rumors (no confirming data available yet) that anti-gunners are going to exploit the Martin case to push their agenda: “Oh, the antis are going to try to change our laws to be a “must retreat” state, at least when out in public. I’m told that an ex-federal prosecutor is already starting to talk about such an idea in the media, but I haven’t found a link to anything as of the time I am writing this.” I think this is quite plausible.

    In my opinion, some of the pundits may be linking this incident to “Stand Your Ground” out of ignorance, but others know perfectly well what they’re doing.

  20. Tom Archer Says:

    Matt, If I was unarmed and there was a man much larger than me stalking me, you’d be DAMN sure I would hit him with my iced tea bottle.

    Martin was allegedly on the phone with his girlfriend at the time of the incident, and if that’s true, his last words were “Why are you following me?” before he was pushed or struck hard enough to dislodge his headset.

    At that point, it’s on. I’m going to hit you with whatever I have until you go down, because you’ve instigated a fight. Ergo, Martin may have hit Zimmerman with his tea bottle, and he was in the right to do so.

  21. naro10 Says:

    There are hundreds of black youngsters killed or injured by other blacks for every case of a black youngster killed by a white person. In Chicago alone there are a dozen shootings by black against other blacks on any given day. There are hundreds of innocent white people killed or injured by blacks for every case of the opposite. The black community should focus on black on black crime as it is the cause of 99% of death of black youths in this country. Stop using this case to deflect attention from the real problem.

  22. Long Island Mike Says:

    Barry and his cohorts in the Communist Party USA, know that they are going to have a tough run in November. With three years of wildly inept and failed left wing policies, they have been alienating even left wing supporters from 2008. So back to basics. They need to polarize the masses. The solution is to use a case like this to gin up some summertime riots in the urban areas. Barry can come out like the “reasonable” man, the savior. The post constitutional, post racial, intellectual who will ride the wave then calm things down. I hear Charlie Sheen saying …”winning !”.

    They WILL lynch this guy Zimmerman, either figuratively or literally. No different than the KKK. To them, the kid and Zimmerman are almost irrelevant. It is the narrative that is just perfect for the cause. Remember these are a dedicated cadre of radicals. They have very little regard for human life, the cause is everything to them. If a couple of hundred die in these urban riots, like happened back in the 1960′s, it will be a small price to pay for a saved election. Barry will have another 4 years to fundamentally transform America.

  23. OldGeekChick Says:

    Very well written article on this issue. My contention, though, is that however this played out…it appears that Zimmerman had absolutely no business being a self-appointed neighborhood watch leader, and, as i have read in other articles, the police themselves well knew that Zimmerman had a propensity to go against their suggestions in these situations, which he willingly and knowingly placed himself in. if someone is going to put on the mantel of a caped crusader, then much more training with weapons should be mandatory. i also question the reasoning of the local police not to have suggested zimmerman’s permit to carry be up for suspension, at the least. i don’t understand why zimmerman thought having a permit to carry gave him the right to wander the neighborhood seeking out trouble…to me, that goes against the very foundation of self-defense. in that respect, i believe zimmerman should be culpable.

  24. chuck broad Says:

    to Mary says…now that sure was a rascist comment you made..shame on you for being an obvious rascist…..the boy does not look like my son….but that doesn’t matter to me ( even though it does to obama from hs comments yesterday), but i totally agree with the articles main theme ..that please, let us all seek justuce and let the legal system work through this so that we all know the truth..if there is guilt..let it be established legally..if ther eis innocense …for eithe rparty..let that also be established through the rule of law.

  25. Lady Says:

    I agree that no one knows the facts of the case, and should reserve opinion for when they come out. I have a lot of respect for Massad and enjoy his postings a great deal. That being said, the first mistake here is in posting pictures of the wrong boy. People who look at what you’ve posted, Massad, because of your reputation, will blindly believe it to be true. Clearly, it is not. They are not the same boy. So, all the talk of “gang signs” and possible gang involvement only serves to fan the flames of opinion against Trayvon Martin. Anyone who has enough sense to not just blindly follow and believe will take the time to SEE that they are two different people, while also knowing that the wisest thing to do is reserve opinion for the facts, whenever they are made known. The right to carry a gun is, in addition to that right..a privilege. Morals, ethics and the law come in to play with this right. Regardless of how this case turns out, it should be a lesson in those qualities to all of us.

  26. boatwright Says:

    I often enjoy your writing but in this case I am sad to see you spout some wait and see while slandering those young man with the wrong fb page and hints of gang relation. I feel the the gun community is going to be quick to demonize this boy to keep antigun feelings at bay. Imo ,if ,as is the apparent feeling that the boy murdered, perhaps he should have been in possesion of something more than a can of soda. I think you should wait and see, and not just say that and show your real bias.

  27. Milt Says:

    Witness: Martin attacked Zimmerman
    http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/state/witness-martin-attacked-zimmerman-03232012
    A witness we haven’t heard from before paints a much different picture than we’ve seen so far of what happened the night 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. The night of that shooting, police say there was a witness who saw it all. What Sanford Police investigators have in the folder, they put together on the killing of Trayvon Martin few know about. The file now sits in the hands of the state attorney. Now that file is just weeks away from being opened to a grand jury. It shows more now about why police believed that night that George Zimmerman shouldn’t have gone to jail. Zimmerman called 911 and told dispatchers he was following a teen. The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to. And from that moment to the shooting, details are few. But one man’s testimony could be key for the police. “The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: ‘help, help…and I told him to stop and I was calling 911,” he said. Trayvon Martin was in a hoodie; Zimmerman was in red. The witness only wanted to be identified as “John,” and didn’t not want to be shown on camera. His statements to police were instrumental, because police backed up Zimmerman’s claims, saying those screams on the 911 call are those of Zimmerman.
    Oh and by the way, Zimmerman is a Hispanic mother in Latino father is white and in a multicultural family, meaning white, black and Latino. Of course the media is not letting that bit of information out. They want to fuel the fire by have everyone believing it was a white on black incident which far from the truth!

  28. Saigh Says:

    As I have had much respect for you, I am very disappointed that you do not bring up that Zimmerman FOLLOWED Martin. This is a known fact. The police then did nothing. He did not “stand his ground” he STALKED the boy. Even if Martin was dangerous, I do not believe that stalking someone gives a CIVILIAN the right to shoot them down. Even if Martin did attack him, which eye witness say did not happen.

    It is actually clear this was mishandled. I live in a “Castle Law” state but let me say that if even a known criminal broke into my home with a weapon and I shoot him/her, I expect my local police to cover all the bases to make sure it was truly self-defense. That’s the risk I take in owning guns, that’s what I was taught in my defensive shooting classes (taken from someone you train). I do not expect a unquestioned walk.

    I think it does the gun community a dangerous disservice to even consider that when we DO have as many facts as we DO have on this, that this irresponsible vigilant is given any sign of support and to go after a TEENAGE boy for being a TEENAGE boy and putting up the photos you have makes we who are responsible gun owners look seriously bad. I can’t believe you would do that!

  29. Joshua Says:

    @Rob: From what I’ve read he was charged with assaulting an officer and the prosecutor dropped the case because all he did was remove an officers hand from his friends arm. Not hit the officer or anything but just removed the hand.

    I’m laughing here, Rob, because, all my life, I have been taught that you do not lay hands on a police officer, ever, under any circumstances. You say, “all he did is remove the officer’s hand from his friend’s arm,” as if that’s a small thing. I’m not the least bit surprised that he was arrested. The only thing that surprises me is that the charge was dropped. He must have had a good lawyer. Mas is welcome to chime in as to his opinions about people “removing his hands” from someone who he has felt it was appropriate to lay them on, in the context of his official duties as a police officer.

    @David: Not known, as you point out, is how the fight started.

    Exactly, and as you point out, we will never know. A person has a right to self-defense until the threat is neutralized. With a firearm, this usually means that the threat is bleeding on the ground or has fled the scene. When defending one’s self with fists, the line is much less clear-cut. Again: WE DON’T KNOW, but what would you do in Martin’s place? Hypothetically speaking, a man who outweighs you by 100 lbs runs you down in the street and initiates physical contact. Somehow, you get lucky and get him on his back. Are you going to then say, “Okay, dear sir. You are clearly at a disadvantage. I shall be on my way.” Or are you going to keep hitting him until he stops resisting?

    My point is that the witness’s testimony is inconclusive unless we can determine how the altercation began, and since Martin is dead, we will only ever hear one side of the story.

    @Long Island Mike: They WILL lynch this guy Zimmerman, either figuratively or literally. No different than the KKK.

    Whoah! I think you got a little carried away there. Unless they’re going to hang Zimmerman from a tree without a trial and then cut his genitals off, they’re not LITERALLY lynching him, and it is DEFINITELY different than the KKK. Let’s be respectful to the people who were actually lynched by not “taking their name in vain” as it were.

  30. Joshua Says:

    @Saigh: He did not “stand his ground” he STALKED the boy. Even if Martin was dangerous, I do not believe that stalking someone gives a CIVILIAN the right to shoot them down. Even if Martin did attack him, which eye witness say did not happen.

    IANAL, but I think this question is not as cut and dried as it might seem. It seems to me that the question is which party first acted outside the bounds of the law. If Zimmerman broke the law first, then he should not be protected by the affirmative defense–or at the very least, his protection should be drastically weakened. It’s easy to hate on Zimmerman’s actions if you think that there were racist motivations for them, but if you look at just the facts, I think it gets a little murkier.

    Consider what you would do if you saw a person who you judged to be up to no good in your neighborhood. You can define that however you want, but you legitimately believe that they are about to commit a crime. Of course, you call the cops. Do you also walk out into your front yard to get a better view? Do you walk onto the sidewalk? If they go around the corner of the block, do you walk to the corner so you can see what direction they went? If you do, are you now “stalking” them?

    My point is that there is a viewpoint from which nothing that we know that Zimmerman did is in any way illegal. Bad judgement? Maybe. But it’s not illegal to walk down the street behind another person. It’s not illegal to stand and watch what a person does on a public street. And, given that, I think it may be harder than it seems to negate Zimmerman’s self-defense claim simply because he was following Martin.

    Heck, even if he approached Martin and confronted him, the self-defense claim may stand. If I see someone peering into my neighbor’s window and I go out and say, “Hey. What are you doing there,” and then they attack me, can I claim self-defense? You betcha. That is what Zimmerman is claiming happened. You can believe it, or not, or withhold judgement, but the claim in and of itself seems consistent with self-defense to me.

    Like many people, when I listen to the 911 tapes, I hear a person who targeted a suspect not because of any reasonable articulable suspicion, but just because he was “looking at houses” and “walking slow in the rain.” I don’t know whether race came into it, or maybe he was jumpy because there had been previous break-ins, or maybe he has a stereotype about kids in hoodies being criminals, or maybe he just didn’t have a cup of coffee that morning, but I think that Zimmerman probably misjudged Martin that day. Even still, people are allowed to make mistakes in judgment, as long as they don’t break the law because of them. And, on the face of it, I’m not convinced that anything that we know Zimmerman did (from the 911 tapes, for example) constitutes illegal behavior.

  31. Billy Brown Says:

    I agree we should wait for all the facts to come to light. Arm chair detective are a forever getting it wrong cause they don’t wait on the facts. Maybe it was murder, in which case give him prison time. Maybe it was one bad decision in the young mans life, it happens and no one knows why, maybe it was a total miscommunication, punish to the degree appropriate. The one thing I hear is people who have no clue as to what actually transpired, taking one side or the other and beating there chests crying foul! Everybody needs to sit down, take a breath, shut up and let the wheels of justice work thru it. Not even the president should be making comments on what he has no clue about. He has much larger things on his plate, that’s why he has a cabinet full of people to handle such things. All in all public opinion is worth very little if you want justice, isn’t that why we don’t allow vigilantes? Niff said.

  32. Dave Says:

    Everybody just has to wait and see what ALL the facts are before judgement.
    In the words of an old wise man,(sorry Mas) “what part of the Elephant are you standing next to”

  33. Dean Weingarten Says:

    Here is the statement from the Sanford City Manager. Everyone should read it before making a judgment. (in another forum, the picures shown were also found to be from a different Trayvon Martin:

    Fellow Citizens:

    There has been a lot of media attention to the recent incident where George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. This is indeed a tragic situation and has caused a flood of questions and strong emotions from within our community, the region and nation. On behalf of the employees of the City of Sanford, Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends of Trayvon Martin. As a father, I can only image the pain Trayvon’s family must be going though. In an effort to continue to be as responsive as possible to the public seeking information on the incident, I have asked Chief Lee to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this matter. Below are his responses. Please understand that since this is still an ongoing investigation, the Police Department is limited in what information it can publicly release.

    The City of Sanford is committed to insuring that justice is served and, therefore, the City of Sanford has contacted the United States Attorney General’s Office for assistance in this matter.

    The men and women of the Sanford Police Department extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Martin family. This is indeed a tragic situation. The death of anyone due to violence, especially a 17 year old young man, is morally appalling. As this incident has generated a lot of media attention, we wanted to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

    Why was George Zimmerman not arrested the night of the shooting?

    When the Sanford Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony. By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time. Additionally, when any police officer makes an arrest for any reason, the officer MUST swear and affirm that he/she is making the arrest in good faith and with probable cause. If the arrest is done maliciously and in bad faith, the officer and the City may be held liable.

    According to Florida Statute 776.032 : 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—

    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

    (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

    Why weren’t the 911 tapes initially released?

    There are exemptions to the public records laws for active criminal intelligence and for ongoing investigations. In this instance, the 911 calls made by neighbors in the subdivision, and the non- emergency call made by Mr. Zimmerman are all key to the investigation by Sanford Police Department. In consultation with the Office of the State Attorney, the Sanford police department had decided not to release the audio recordings of the 911 calls due to the ongoing investigation. Many times, specific information is contained in those recordings which is vital to the integrity of the investigation. At the time, it was determined that if revealed, the information may compromise the integrity of the investigation prior to its completion. The 911 tapes have since been released.

    Why did Mr. Zimmerman have a firearm in his possession while acting in the role of a neighborhood watch member?

    Mr. Zimmerman holds a concealed weapon permit issued from the State of Florida. He is authorized to carry the weapon in a concealed manner wherever Florida Statute dictates. Neighborhood Watch programs are designed for members of a neighborhood to be “eyes and ears” for police and to watch out for their neighbors. They are not members of the Police Department nor are they vigilantes. Training provided by law enforcement agencies to Neighborhood Watch organizations stresses non-contact surveillance of suspicious situations and notifying police of those situations so that law enforcement can respond and take control of the situation.

    Mr. Zimmerman was not acting outside the legal boundaries of Florida Statute by carrying his weapon when this incident occurred. He was in fact on a personal errand in his vehicle when he observed Mr. Martin in the community and called the Sanford Police Department.

    If Zimmerman was told not to continue to follow Trayvon, can that be considered in this investigation?

    Yes it will; however, the telecommunications call taker asked Zimmerman “are you following him”. Zimmerman replied, “yes”. The call taker stated “you don’t need to do that”. The call taker’s suggestion is not a lawful order that Mr. Zimmerman would be required to follow. Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon.

    Why was George Zimmerman labeled as “squeaky clean” when in fact he has a prior arrest history?

    In one of the initial meetings with the father of the victim the investigator related to him the account that Mr. Zimmerman provided of the incident. At that time the investigator said that Mr. Zimmerman portrayed himself to be “squeaky clean”. We are aware of the background information regarding both individuals involved in this event. We believe Mr. Martin may have misconstrued this information. What about media reenactments of the shooting incident? Any media reenactments of the shooting incident are purely speculation. To date the Sanford Police Department has not released any rendition of the events of the evening to anyone other than the Office of the State Attorney. The renditions we have seen are not consistent with the evidence in this case.

    The Sanford Police Department has conducted a complete and fair investigation of this incident. We have provided the results of our investigation to the Office of the State Attorney for their review and consideration for possible criminal prosecution.

    Although the Police Department is the target of the troubling questions, let me assure you we too feel the pain of this senseless tragedy that has dramatically affected our community. Therefore, as we move forward and strive to answer the questions that are a point of controversy in the community, we ask for your patience, understanding and assistance in getting the correct information to the community.

    Thank you,

    Norton N. Bonaparte, Jr., ICMA-CM City Manager March 19, 2012

    http://www.freerepublic.com/%5Ehttp://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Zimmerman_Martin_shooting.pdf

  34. Jeffrey C. Anthony Says:

    Thanks much for the more sane approach to this one.

    One of my favorite jokes for the last 10 years has been “Don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve already made up my mind!”

  35. hinckleybuzzard Says:

    *sigh* I’m glad to see the prudent and responsible article had its intended effect of damping down wild-eyed speculations, inflammatory assumptions and jumping to conclusions. /not. Get a grip people. The facts will come out in due course.

  36. drstudmonkey Says:

    Wow, logic and facts in the middle of a storm of fury and bloodlust. You should receive the 2012 Atticus Finch award for pointing all this stuff out.

  37. monty mcfly Says:

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty ? Come on.

  38. Dumb Says:

    This kid had no right to turn around and try to fight zimmerman. He got what he deserved.

  39. Justin Says:

    The “just wait for the facts to come out” people are sort of missing the point. Of the course of a month the police have done their best to put the whole thing to bed. The victim’s family had to sue to hear the relevant 911 tapes. The additional national scrutiny would not have been warranted a day, or week, after the shooting. It is warranted now.

  40. Long Island Mike Says:

    Joshua….

    “Whoah! I think you got a little carried away there. Unless they’re going to hang Zimmerman from a tree without a trial and then cut his genitals off, they’re not LITERALLY lynching him, and it is DEFINITELY different than the KKK. Let’s be respectful to the people who were actually lynched by not “taking their name in vain” as it were.”

    I did not misspeak sir. If I were Mr. Zimmerman I would be very careful. When the New Black Panther Party and Minister Farrakhan want you dead that is something to consider serious. Maybe you missed these articles. Please read the following:

    http://praisehouston.com/4249652/minister-louis-farrakhan-on-trayvonget-up-and-do-something/

    http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/new-black-panther-party-poster-george-zimmerman-wanted-dead-or-alive

  41. Wendy Holder Says:

    How come there wasn’t as much stink made about two blacks setting a White college student on fire? Too bad the White race doesn’t stick together like the Blacks do.

  42. Dedicated_Dad Says:

    The police gather evidence then turn it over to the DA – who ultimately decide whether or not to hand it over to a Grand Jury. The GJ then decides whether there’s probable cause to believe whatever happened was a crime that should be prosecuted.

    In THIS case, the DA – after reviewing all the evidence and witness testimony – determined there was no crime, that Z acted lawfully, in self-defense.

    I cannot blame the family for acting in their grief – but I DO blame all the others – especially the race pimps and hustlers – for turning this into what it has become. If they get their wish, and others die as a result, I hope G*d holds them accountable for the innocent blood on THEIR hands.

    You’d THINK – given the long history of black folks being lynched without due process – they’d be averse to the whole thing.

    Apparently you’d be WRONG.

  43. Dedicated_Dad Says:

    I accidentally posted before adding the following:

    Those wishing to fan the flames of racial tension are deliberately skewing the facts.

    They’re posting pics of a smiling boy, age about 14 or so. Martin was – by other evidence – no longer that boy, and had not been for several years.

    On the day he died, he was 17, 6’2″ and a football player. The police report – using info from his 2-year-old state-issued ID – said 6′/160#, in reality he was a 6’2/180#+ athlete. By any measure, this was more MAN than “boy”.

    Put plain, the media is describing a “grown man” Zimmerman shooting a “little boy” Martin – in reality Martin stood almost half a foot taller than Zimmerman, and while their weights may have been equal, one was a young athlete while the other was an obese, middle-aged man.

    Add this to all the other facts, and it’s quite clear that the race pimps and hustlers – aided by a compliant media – are concocting a narrative to fit their destructive agenda. WE MUST NOT LET THEM FURTHER DIVIDE US!!

    EVERYONE needs to back off, settle down, and wait for the TRUTH to come out.

    Lynching Zimmerman will solve NOTHING.

  44. dede Says:

    TRAYVON MARTIN DOES NOT HAVE GANG PICTURES THROWING UP SIGNS THAT IS A WHOLE NOTHER TRAYVON MARTIN FACEBOOK THAT STAYS IN GEORGIA YALL ARE JUST TRYING TO FIND ANY LITTLE THING TO MAKE THE BOY LOOK LIKE A THUG THAT ZIMMERMAN DRUNK ASS DISCRIBED ON THAT 911 CALL BECAUSE HE HAD A HOODIE ON THE GIRL WHO TRAYVON WAS TALKIN 2 ON THE PHONE CLEARLY STATED HE PUT HIS HOOD ON BECAUSE ZIMMERMAN KEPT WATCHIN HIM THEN HE STARTED RUNNING AND WE DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT KNOW WHAT ZIMMERMAN ACTIONS WERE DURING THIS 911 CALL HE PROBABLY WAS FOLLOWING HIM POINTING A GUN AT TRAYVON THE WHOLE TIME WHILE HE WAS TALKIN ON THE PHONE WITH THE OPERATOR HE WAS ITCHING TO KILL ANY BLACK BOY WHO STEPPED IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD FIRST AND IF IT WAS ZIMMERMAN SCREAMING WHICH I KNOW IT WASNT BUT IF IT WAS THATS BECAUSE ZIMMERMAN IS A GOOD ACTOR AND HE ONLY DID IT JUST INCASE THEY ARRESTED HIM, SO HE COULD HAVE A GOOD ALLABY! TRAYVON HAD EVERY RIGHT TO FIGHT BACK HE WAS ONLY 17 YEARS OLD WITH SOME BIG ASS PIG ASKING HIM WHAT IS HE DOING HERE HE HAD AND IPOD IN HIS EARS I WOULDVE BEEN SCARED FOR MY LIFE I WOULD HAVE FROZE UP AND WOULDNT EVEN BEEN ABLE TO FIGHT SO TO YOU TRAYVON IF YOU DID FIGHT BACK I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE SOILDER AND MAY YOU REST IN PEACE!~

  45. oisin og Says:

    Waiting until the full facts have been ascertained and disclosed is surely good advice.
    However, the attitude of the police department is not reasuring. They effectively tried to draw a veil over the whole incident and only released information when pressed by the media to do so.
    To take blood samples from the dead boy with a view to getting a toxicology report and not to do likewise to Mr. Zimmerman is dreadful “scene of crime” practice.

  46. Karl Staaf Says:

    Thank you for this Mr Ayoob.
    Theres only the political correct version (racist bla bla) of this reaching us over here in Sweden so you gave me more meat on the bones and also some things to thing of before casting judgment on any of the involved.

  47. Chris from VA Says:

    Watch means watch. Zim pursued on his own and initiated the whole incident.

    Sad to see internet trolls and haters spew on this blog…

  48. Kevin Says:

    The facts
    Mr Zimmerman armed with a hand gun stalked and pursued a minor child, who he later killed. This after ignoring a dispatchers advice, that could have saved this boys life. We know this because this is what Zimmerman claimed to police, or mentions to the dispatcher.

    The Supposition
    As the head of the Neighborhood Watch I would think Mr. Zimmermann would be the first one to uphold the tenets of Neighborhood Watch and not pursue a minor child that he as not seen in the commission of a crime. I support the right to possess a concealed weapon. I also think that once you choose to carry, both your responsibility and liability goes up exponentially. This child is a victim of Zimmerman’s eagerness to right wrong, and secondly his choice to carry a hand gun. Some want to say that it is wrong to judge Zimmerman and let the courts decide. To those people I would say that you are correct. But I would also say that the same consideration was not afforded this child by Mr Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman was judge, jury, and ultimately executioner, albeit reluctantly. Zimmerman pursued someone that there is no evidence did anything wrong. The only evidence that Travon did anything, is that he may have Stood His Ground and attacked a perceived threat on a dark and rainy night. Taravon’s girlfriend claims the he thought he was being followed and made an effort to evade the threat. If this young boy attack Zimmereman who is 100lbs larger than him, and some how bested him this would speak to this child’s desire to protect himself. I think Travon could be said to have been Standing his Ground. At which point Zimmerman should have learned his lesson after taking the beating and later a boxing class. I think those were his screams, ultimately explaining why he needed to carry a gun in the firs place.

  49. Dawn Says:

    This is probably the best and most mature blog I’ve seen so far. Great job guys at expressing your opinions in a more peaceful manner and not calling each other obscure names. I agree that we should all wait for every detail to come out of this case. I also agree that as of now it doesn’t look good for Mr. Zimmerman or the police department. IMO, they did not do a thorough investigation before the outcry. I honestly wished that he obeyed the advice of the dispatcher and not follow Trayvon. I know if I thought someone looked suspicious to me, I would contact authorities and let them know the details of my concerns and stay if a safe haven. No way would I follow them or instigate. Very unfortunate tragedy.

  50. Randy Says:

    Nice job Mas,

    What a hornet’s nest.

    One fact that could be easily checked: On the night in question, what was the temperture? I understand it was raining but was it cool enough to require a hoodie? Us yankees in the north don’t wear them untill it’s below 40 degrees or so. Ding, Ding, Ding, If it was 70 degrees or so I would say someone wearing a hoodie would be suspicious.

    If Tryvon were white, or conversely, if Zimmerman were black, would this even be a story?

  51. truth Says:

    Dsedicatd Dad is right in that no one has all the facts an this is being portayed as a man killing a small child. I’ve seen other blogs reffering to parents telling their 8 and 12 yrolds to be careful. If the boy was 8 yrs old I’m sur zimmerman would not have gone after him. Was it right for him to chase down Trayvon probably not he could have ben armed and gotten harmed himself I think the point of dedicated dad and this article is that people and the media are making this tragedy fit. Political agenda or racial agendas. Its okay for black panthers to put out reward to kill Z? Let me buy some skittles and sport a hoodie and join that protest! We need to stop being sheeple and look at the whole picture.

  52. basicblur Says:

    Much discussion ’bout this over at Gun Rights Media.org. Many are quick to hang Zimmerman, but some of us have been digging for all the info we could find (and it ain’t from the talking heads on TV!), so we’re now tossing out theories based on what we’ve been able to find.

    I think I have enough info now that I now have my own idea of what happened (Neighborhood watch, past records, hoodies are irrelevant):
    1. Zimmerman driving home from errands etc (did not leave his house and hop in vehicle to go ‘on patrol’).
    2. He sees Trayvon and follows in his vehicle.
    3. Trayvon runs, Zimmerman leaves his vehicle to pursue, but after being told “we don’t need you to do that”, he replies “Okay” and breaks off pursuit (based on his breathing going from heavy to normal during 911 call).
    4. Trayvon returns to Zimmerman’s position (if Zimmerman broke off pursuit, how else could they have met?)
    5. Trayvon asks Zimmerman “why you following me?” (on recording)
    6. Zimmerman asks Trayvon “why are you in this neighborhood?” (on recording)
    7. Scuffle breaks out (on recording, but who initiated still unknown).
    8. Trayvon apparently gets the better of Zimmerman and has him on the ground.
    9. Zimmerman shoots (we don’t know where in the entire encounter the gun came out).

    Based on what appear to be the facts in the case, I’m guessing the above is 70 to 80% correct, but the last 20% is what will (or should) determine this case?

    1. We don’t know when the gun came out. If Zimmerman pulled the gun early in the encounter (after Trayvon questioned him, or after he questioned Trayvon), advantage Trayvon (he had a right to defend himself).
    2. If Trayvon was the one who initiated the attack immediately after Zimmerman asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood, advantage Zimmerman (he has a right to defend himself), and I have no problem with the gun coming out if it was done while Zimmerman was on the ground with Trayvon getting the better of him.

    I’d have to see an explanation, but at this point I’m not believing Zimmerman’s story that he was attacked from behind, based on the phone conversation (someone initiated physical contact almost before Zimmerman could finish his question to Trayvon). I’m assuming Zimmerman was facing Trayvon while they were each questioning the other. I guess Zimmerman could have turned away as he was finishing his question, or could have been asking it as he turned to walk away, but under the circumstances, I find it unlikely.

    AFA the cuts on the (back of?) head, I still don’t know where they came from, if it even matters whether they were on the front/back, but at this point I’m thinking they probably didn’t come from a sucker punch from the rear.

  53. Rich Says:

    Such passions. To me, the only time it is ethical for me to use a gun in self-defense is if my efforts to not use a gun are futile. In my mind, the very first effort I should make, given nobody is being threatened and no crime seems to be taking place is to turn around and walk the other way. Certainly, if I was following someone who just “looks suspicious”, in my mind that makes me the person who instigates the incident if one occurs. That’s what you have phones for.

    There are too many people out there who want to fix bayonets and get the bad guy. The right of firearms ownership and of self defense also carry with them significant responsibilites. If you are going to claim and exercise the right, then you, by default, also bear the responsibility. Shooting unarmed kids is irresponsible on it’s face and should have been investigated to a much greater depth a month ago. It’s crap like this that threaten gains that have taken decades to acheive.

  54. Susan Jenns Says:

    I am a 65 year old woman. If I were followed by George Zimmerman,at night, as I walked alone, and I had a gun with me, I would, if he persisted in approaching nearer to me, shoot him with nary a qualm. I would then finish my walk home and notify police I had stood my ground.
    George Zimmerman’s medical report from the night of the murder is important. I would be interested in the type of injuries he sustained while “defending” himself. Certainly the Sanford Police had him evaluated by a physician immediately. Trayvon’s Autopsy report will provide important evidence also. It’s not cut and dry, despite all the passionate outbursts. There seems to be plenty of solid evidence to tell the tale

  55. Jeff Says:

    To me, this whole terrible thing does an injustice to anyone who is involved in a self defense shooting in the immediate future, if they’re in the right. No matter the circumstances, Zimmerman is an IDIOT! His actions were so stupid he deserved to get his ass beaten……Can you imagine how threatened young Martin felt? I’ve worked in sworn law enforcement, as have most of my family, and have no sympathy for criminals of any degree. But this Zimmerman is a wannabe POS. If I’m involved in a righteous shooting to defend me or mine, I don’t want this turd’s actions coloring the legal determinations of my actions. If I were Zimmerman I would relocate far, far away and change my name and alter my looks.

    ps This evening I wore a hoodie while walking the dogs on a stormy, rainy evening. But I did have a G19 in my belt…….and I KNOW the rules.

  56. Jack Says:

    As for this particular case we as Americans all want a proper investigation which would be done. I don’t think protesting, making all this public out cry was needed, it was under investigation by the Sanford Police Department and being turned over to the local States Attorneys Office for their objective investigation. Every citizen of the State of Florida or any other state for that matter gets that treatment, we don’t get special prosecutors, FDLE, FBI, Justice Department and the President of the United States to help us when we are victims of crime. I was a police officer for 25 years and NEVER recall a President of this country ever getting involved or saying anything about how a local police department handled matters such as Cambridge Police Sgt. with the beer summit and this kind of case. He has more important things to worry about like two wars going on, the brink of WW III, the brink of an economic melt down….

    This case needed time to investigate and come to a conclusion as to what happened that night and will criminal charges be brought or not.
    Also the Stand Your Ground Law does not apply here but it is an excellent law that was long overdue and needed. Every human being has the basic right to defend themselves without having to retreat and while retreating many people use to get killed. Many people have used this law since it has came out to save their lives and at least 20 other states have adopted it.

  57. Joshua Says:

    @Long Island Mike: I did not misspeak sir.

    I misunderstood, Mike. I thought you were referring to the police as lynching Zimmerman. My apologies.

  58. Marc-Wi Says:

    Mas, I just read Michael Bane’s blog posts for Friday and Saturday. Another voice of sanity in the wilderness. I think they bear reading.

  59. Rod P Says:

    First of all “Thank-You Mr. Ayoob, for adding some Clear-Thinking, (And some darn Good Advice); to this shooting that happened in Florida. As for the President (that has a Law degree) and knowing that whatever he says “As a Leader of the U.S. would add Fuel to the Fire, to come out and say “If I had a son, it would look like Trayvon Martin! That is so wrong, for a President of the U.S.A. To come out and say this, without knowing the facts; is wrong and dangerous to Mr. Zimmerman’s “Constitutional Rights. How about if someone said “If the guy down the street from me “That is serving 25 to life for murder” had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin! This falls under An Old-Saying “Same shoe, but on a different foot.

  60. Jim Macklin Says:

    For those who haven’t read the Florida aw that matter right now…
    Title XLVI
    CRIMES Chapter 776
    JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE View Entire Chapter

     776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
     (1)A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
     (2)A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
     (3)The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).
    History.—s. 4, ch. 2005-27.

  61. Invader Zim Says:

    @Joshua : Whoah! I think you got a little carried away there. Unless they’re going to hang Zimmerman from a tree without a trial and then cut his genitals off, they’re not LITERALLY lynching him, and it is DEFINITELY different than the KKK. Let’s be respectful to the people who were actually lynched by not “taking their name in vain” as it were.

    -The Black Panthers (new) have placed a 10,000 dollar bounty on Zimmerman’s head.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/os-trayvon-martin-new-black-panthers-protest-20120324,0,1231157.story

    “When asked whether he was inciting violence, Muhammad replied defiantly saying: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

    -Clearly no one’s jumping to conclusions, and obviously there aren’t any crazy radicals out there who would take Mr. Muhammad’s offer a little too seriously.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AySYPMy1Ejw

    “The muder of Trayvon Martin and the failure to arrest his killer, the Sanford Police lying about George Zimmerman’s prior record and attempts to coach witnesses sends a message to our Black children…..

    Black men must send their own message to the George Zimmerman’s of the world if justice is not served in this case…….nuff said.”

    “Creepy ass, vigilante Zimmerman followed and then chased Martin. He lost him and somehow they ran into each other in the apartment complex. Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose and Zimmerman fell on the ground and hit the back of his head. Zimmerman then shot Martin. Zimmerman should have stayed his bitch ass in the car, or took his ass beatin like a man. He was getting beat up and punked out and shot the man. He should have stayed his bitch ass in the car, his hoecake ass need to go to jail.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrJNKZLVlPA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISN1RCxko2Q

    -And there aren’t any individuals who would respond to racially charged situations with suggested violence, epithets, and death-threats.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/gainesville-high-school-s_n_1290929.html?ref=mostpopular

    “this sensitivity — or sometimes, lack thereof — seems to create a bit of an identity crisis among schoolchildren. Some black students say they feel ostracized for acting “too white.” One Connecticut middle school student said he was stabbed in the back with a pencil by a peer who thought he wasn’t acting “black enough.”

    or worse.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1uz1wGZzgs

    See? The black community just isn’t capable of producing a knee-jerk overreaction like vigilante justice or mob violence, especially on issues pertaining to race. That only happens with “other groups”. No one with any grasp of the real world would ever suggest something like that as even being possible. :)

    Zimmerman, guilty or not guilty, has nothing to worry about whatsoever. This media feeding frenzy is perfectly harmless, as always. :)

  62. Glenbo Says:

    Amazing how much info about what happened in this incident many of the posters here have, when they weren’t there. Most of them could join with al sharpton calling it murder, when they still don’t know jack. Like Mas says, and he knows from many long years of experience, wait until the investigation is finished. Only then will we know what happened.

  63. Allan Says:

    “at the hands of appointed neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman”

    I’ll grant you a simple typo with ["self-appointed"]. But Neighborhood Watch really had nothing to do with it at all.

    George WheresZimmerWaldoman dropped the nationwide org’s name a lot, but that is the only connection. In Zimmerman’s mind, where he was still too afraid to actually go to the police academy. Besides, he could grant himself unlimited “authoritah” playing at being an indy cop in the gated community.

    He was “leader” of no one and nothing. He was alone, not even working for the gated community as an official volunteer security guard. Just a guy with a car, a gun, and lots of bad preconceptions about who he is and who Trayvon was.

    The reason Zimmerman didn’t become a real Neighborhood Watch Block Captain is the same: too restrictive, didn’t allow for his (1) armed (2)patrolling or (3) confrontational habits. None of it. There is and was no Neighborhood Watch program there according to national.

    There was only frustrated George in the gated community, aching for a badge and the power and legal authority to shoot many bad guys.

    Thanks to Florida, his play-acting didn’t have any preventative or corrective intermediate step like “avoid the danger, don’t seek more of it,” so when he thought wrongly that he had intercepted a criminal who didn’t belong there, he did everything wrong. The proof is he is essentially uninjured but he killed an unarmed 14-year-old boy half his size and weight, never has said anything lke Trayvon had a weapon, he, just some guy, closely tailed and followed a pubescent boy armed with a gun, and kept it up till he was fine and the child was dead.

    Without training, he handled it all wrong. He was even unwilling to listen to the 911 operator tell him clearly not to follow. There should have been no pursuit because there was no crime.

    Nobody helped George out and said, “unless you are armed and imagine you know better than the pros, again, George.” He had no right or cause to stalk him, to hunt, corner, and kill him for no reason except his own imaginary fears inside his head, his clear-cut racial profiling, and the fact that he spoke and acted like a law-ignorant thug, eager to shoot someone.

    And then his father started with his lying, starting by saying George never followed Treyvon.

  64. Fruitbat44 Says:

    Just two my pennyworth; but I 100% agree with Mas post, stick to the facts and not opinion.

    And it is difficult to tell what a fact is under these circumstances; “allegedly said/did/heard/saw” can all too easily become “said/did/heard/saw.” And even reliable sources like Mas’ blog can make mistakes. :-(

    Just to clarify the “Stand your ground” laws; do they mean that if someone breaks into your home there is no legal requirement for you to retreat, or deescalate, the situation? Is that correct? And is this relevant when a home owner goes outside their home?

    Anyhow something we can all 100% agree on is to hope, and pray if that’s your want, that the truth will out and that justice will be done.

  65. Allan Says:

    an unarmed 17-year-old boy

  66. Marcellous Says:

    Lets be real, if the shooter was black his fate would have already been decided. This whole stand your ground law in this case is a joke. Do you really think that they would say this for a black killing a white, or any other race.
    Another thing, we get one black president and individuals mainly whites, always have something negative to say. Lets flip the script, we have always had white presidents and look at what shape they left us in. So who,s really messing up?

  67. Unlce Dave Says:

    A grand jury should be looking at this stuff. The media has a track record presenting only those facts that sell stuff. WE also have those with a track record of speaking out before all the facts are out in order to gain support for themselves. WE also have those that will not be happy unless some sort of mess is stirred up in a major election year.

    We need to ask this question aloud: “If people choose to riot and people are hurt as a result… is it anybody but the rioters fault?” I don’t see this really beining about Mister Zimmerman right or wrong… I see him being used as a convient excuse to create the next LA style riot in order to leverage power brokering for profit. Can you not hear somebody saying for a million dollars I can see you don’t have a riot?

  68. ohiotrooper Says:

    Now that The “New” Black Panther Party has issued a $10,000 “bounty” on Mr. Zimmerman’s head, where is the organized out-cry of “Racism” over this despicable reaction?

  69. Jack Says:

    I think the Black Panthers $10,000 bounty on Mr. Zimmerman is totally Illegal. That in itself is insightful of a hate crime, violation of Mr. Zimmerman’s Civil rights, why does the FBI not investigate them for trying to become the law enforcement authoritativeness interfering with Government business…
    Where is all the media attention complaining about that bounty???
    I feel it is totally wrong to try to make a citizen arrest when a case in under an investigation, that is only for some in progress situation of holding someone there until police arrive. Not for hunting down and arresting every US Citizen who you feel has committed a crime. We are getting a totally one sided Liberal media biased spin on this, they are lynching Mr.Zimmerman in the press.

  70. Justin Says:

    I agree totally. Howling for blood and demanding justice without exactly knowing what’s going on has never solved anything. It reminds me of the “Free Hat” society on SouthPark. I have mentioned a few details as well as my opinions in my blog as well. http://cowparts.blogspot.com/2012/03/innocent-vengence-or-guns-don-kill.html

  71. Randy Says:

    It occurred to me that, if after the Grand Jury meets and fails to return an indictment, we will never really know what happened. Grand Juries usually are done in secret. Only if they Do return an indictment and a trial takes place, will the truth really come out. This could be a long drawn out media circus. Since the President has decided to latch on to this unfortunate shooting and use it as a stepping stone to a second term, this pot could easily keep boiling until the next election.

  72. Magnus Says:

    I see alot of free shopping at the Walmarts and Targets after the aquital. Lol going to be a splended spring or summer this year. And yes this is about gun control and nothing else…… Nobody would have said anything if the boy was white and the man was black. This is race politics by the left. Good luck everybody hopefully it dont get ugly!

  73. Ned Says:

    Trayvon Martin was NOT suspended for tardiness according his parents in a report by the Miami Herald. He was suspended for something akin to trespassing. The rumor in Miami is that he was frequently suspended. Here is the Miami Herald account:

    “Trayvon had nonviolent behavioral issues in school, and on the day he was killed, he had been suspended for 10 days from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in North Miami-Dade.

    ‘He was not suspended for something dealing with violence or anything like that. It wasn’t a crime he committed, but he was in an unauthorized area [on school property],’ Martin [his father] said, declining to offer more details.”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/22/2708960/trayvon-martin-a-typical-teen.html

  74. Gary Says:

    This case is rife with misinformation put forth in the news media, because most media outlets have been reprehensively biased in the coverage.
    Putting aside the urine-poor job of the media, a question comes to mind: How did an out of shape and overweight Zimmerman chase down a high school football player? That makes absolutely no sense. Recall the claims of Martin’s girlfriend…she claimed to be on the phone with Martin and advised him to run. If he ran or even walked fast, Zimmerman would be in no shape to catch Martin. Also recall that Zimmerman claimed to have been going back to his vehicle, after he lost sight of Martin. Putting these together, it appears Martin started the confrontation, not Zimmerman.
    I would like to agree with Mas, that we wait until the investigation is completed but I have a feeling that facts will not matter. Anyone recall the name Richard Jewell? How about the Duke Lacross team? Don’t expect the feds to do any better job of investigation either. The track record of the F.B.I. is nothing to brag about. Too many irresponsible politicians on the state and federal level have already jumped on the lynching train, without facts in hand. I seriously doubt Zimmerman will get a fair trial, if it comes to that. The politicians will do whatever they have to in order to avoid riots. Facts be damned.

  75. Kevin Says:

    I wish Zimmerman went to one of your classes.

    I wonder if the fact that Zimmerman had a gun made him more likely to track Martin.

    Some Quotes from Mas

    “Don’t Let The Gun Make You Reckless
    Circa 1970, armed citizen Richard Davis invented the Second Chance vest, concealable body armor that for the first time could be worn constantly on duty, under the uniform, by any police officer. Some alarmists speculated that “being made bulletproof” would cause cops to become reckless. Those fears turned out to be totally unfounded. As any officer who has worn armor can attest, the vest is a constant reminder of danger and, if anything, makes its wearer more cautious.

    It is much the same with concealed firearms in the hands of responsible private citizens. People unfamiliar with the practice fear that “the trigger will pull the finger,” and armed citizens will go looking for a chance to exercise their deadly power. This, too, is a largely unfounded belief.

    The collective experience of ordinary, law-abiding people who carry guns is that they don’t feel a sudden urge to go into Central Park at three o’clock in the morning and troll for muggers. They learn that being armed, they are held to what the law calls “a higher standard of care” and are expected to avoid situations like traffic arguments that could escalate and, with a deadly weapon present, turn into killing situations.

    Like an officer’s body armor, the armed citizen’s gun is a reminder of danger, a symbol of the need for caution. The late, great big game hunter and gun writer Finn Aagard once wrote, “Yet my pistol is more than just security. Like an Orthodox Jewish yarmulke or a Christian cross, it is a symbol of who I am, what I believe, and the moral standards by which I live.”

    Know What You’re Doing
    You wouldn’t drive an automobile without knowing the rules of the road. Do not keep or carry lethal weapons for defense without knowing the rules of engagement. It is a myth to believe that you can shoot anyone in your home. When Florida rescinded the requirement to retreat before using deadly force if attacked in public, the anti-gun Brady Center introduced a publicity campaign claiming that the new law allowed Floridians to shoot anyone who frightened them. This, of course, was blatantly untrue, but a great many people believed it to be so because “they heard it on TV” or “they saw it in the paper.” Such dangerous misconceptions can cause the tragic death of people who don’t deserve to be shot, and can get good people sent to prison.

    It is the practitioner’s responsibility to “learn the rules of the road” when they take the path toward armed self-defense. There are many firearms training schools, and at least one, the author’s Lethal Force Institute, specializes in teaching the rules of engagement. Information is available under the LFI section at http://www.ayoob.com. It is wise to take local classes that emphasize the rules of “deadly force decision-making.”

    At the very least, once you’ve found a carry gun that works for your needs, it’s a good idea to acquire another that’s identical or at least very similar. If you have to use the first gun for self-defense, it will go into evidence for some time, and you want something you can immediately put on to protect yourself from vengeful cronies of the criminal you were forced to shoot. If the primary gun has to go in for repair, you don’t want to be helpless or carrying something less satisfactory while you’re waiting to get it back.

    Use Common Sense
    The gun carries with it the power of life and death. That power belongs only in the hands of responsible people who care about consequences, who are respectful of life and limb and human safety. Carrying a gun is a practice that is becoming increasingly common among ordinary American citizens. Common sense must always accompany it.”

  76. Matt Says:

    Another factor: NIGHT. What time of night was it when this happened? For all those yelling “hate crime,” could they tell the difference between a black kid in a hoodie and a white kid in a hoodie at that time of night?

  77. Mike Says:

    It is plainly obvious that many of you posting here have no powers of reason, that you have already made up your mind. If you study the actual evidence, this kid made his bed. Should he have died?

    Who really knows? None of us were there, none of us know what really transpired. To make up your mind one way or the other only serves to illustrate your ignorance.

  78. Mark Says:

    Zimmerman has a valid CCW permit from Florida. That includes a state and Federal background check. He could not have the criminal history that he is being accused of if he has a valid CCW. http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/weapons/cw_license_eligibility_requirements_web.pdf
    And I read that Martin was suspended from school for illegally being in a restricted area… basically ‘criminal trespassing’.

  79. Tom606 Says:

    Wow, what a hornet’s nest this situation has stirred up. While most of the respondent’s to this blog have been calm and rational, there are a few wild eyed fanatics, all on the left, who are already convinced George Zimmerman is guilty of premeditated murder by viciously gunning down an alledgedly scrawny little black kid minding his own business. What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? George Zimmerman has not even been arrested and charged yet, much less on trial and yet the liberal media and left wing kooks have already convicted him because he’s not particuliarly bright and attractive, plus he shares the same first name as their most hated former President, W.

    We have to let the system, however imperfect, work towards resolving this incident. Maybe Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin, and maybe he wasn’t, but we will have to wait and find out. It is totally irresponsible and even criminal to advocate for and declare a bounty to have someone assassinated because he did something unpopular in the eyes of the public, especially that section of the population who sees themselves as the downtrodden and disadvantaged masses in this country. Those folks are just waiting for any excuse to cause trouble and get free stuff as in the aftermath of the Rodney King incident and many others of that type.

    This case is much more than just a shooting involving a white and black person, however it eventually turns out. It is about rational people vs fanatic savages urged on by the liberal media and hate fueled groups like the Black Panthers and Nation of Islam who seek the destruction of our nation. George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin are merely pawns in the liberal agenda to radically change society in America. If Zimmerman is proven in court to have murdered Martin, then he should get what he deserves, hard time in prison. But if he’s proven innocent, he should remain free and not live in fear for his safety from criminal groups who want him dead.

    Please, someone give “dede” a dictionary and explain how to use that little dot between words, also known as a period. I do believe he/she has set the world’s record for the longest, all capital lettered sentence. The prize should be some grammar lessons.

  80. Tim Says:

    I am grateful and in agreement with Mr. Ayoob’s lucid comments. However, given we all have our theories, I’ll share a few which seem to me fair to both parties. It was reported that it was raining at the time. Martin was most likely cutting between houses to get out of the weather and get back in time for the rest of the game on TV. Teenage kids (especially boys) do this all the time and when I was young I did the same. In Zimmerman’s eyes he was trespassing and casing houses. Under the circumstances, had I been Martin, my first reaction at being spotted or even called out to would have been to keep moving and ditch the guy. However, there seems to have been a point where Zimmerman headed him off, using his vehicle, perhaps. As Martin, at this point, I would have considered giving up my attempt to flee, engage Zimmerman and try to explain myself. After all I’ve done nothing wrong but I know I look suspicious. Zimmerman around or shortly before this time exited the vehicle thoroughly P.O.ed or excited or both and began pursuit on foot determined to apprehend the “suspicious “trespasser”. It is entirely possible Zimmerman (out of breath or not) was in no mood for explanations and was determined to physically detain Martin. If I had decided to “stop and explain” only to be met with an attempt to grab me, I’d have exploded with fear, rage, and incredulity and fought for my life doing my best imitation of a Honey Badger! Ultimately, in their wildest dreams, I don’t think either Zimmerman or Martin thought it would end the way it did. Neither entirely guilty or innocent. A horrible tragedy (for all involved) precipitated by preconceptions, misunderstanding, and both parties not respecting the right to personal private space.

  81. Tim Says:

    I failed to mention the despicable Black Panthers move. That’s more than a threat and should be aggressively pursued by the F.B.I.

  82. Wendy Weinbaum Says:

    As a Jewess in the US, I can only say the the lynch-mob hysteria now being stirred up by the Monolithic Media is but one more reason why all REAL Americans now put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!!

  83. Ryan Says:

    The reason Zimmerman was not drug-tested or BAC tested is because the police did not have probably cause to do so. He claimed self-defense, had wounds and there wwas an eye-witness account corroborating his story, and he exhibited no signs of being under the influence. WHile it would have been helpful to his cause if he had voluntarily requested it, unless there is a policy of FL statute requiring it, the police are actually FORBIDDEN by the bill of rights from doing so, as it would constitute unreasonable search and seizure. Just my $0.02

  84. GDC Says:

    If i remember correctly and i may not but i believe is is illegal for ANYONE, even the Police, to own a gun if they have a domestic abuse conviction. So Zimmerman would NOT have been able to get a CCW which he did have. Cops ere being fired because of that.

  85. GIGI Says:

    Zimmerman was suspended from school….Martin was suspended from LIFE!!!

  86. Dave Workman Says:

    Nicely done, Mas.

  87. Joshua Says:

    @Fruitbat: Just to clarify the “Stand your ground” laws; do they mean that if someone breaks into your home there is no legal requirement for you to retreat, or deescalate, the situation? Is that correct? And is this relevant when a home owner goes outside their home?

    Obviously, Mas is the person in the room most qualified to answer this question, but until he speaks up, I’ll do my best to answer your question.

    I believe that the description you provide above accurately describes “castle doctrine,” not “stand-your-ground”. Castle doctrine has, at least in some cases, and possibly generally, been found to also apply to one’s yard, driveway, and so forth. I just read about a case in PA where a person was attacked in his yard and shot one of his attackers. The article pointed out that, although castle doctrine probably wasn’t required in this case, it would have applied.

    Stand-your-ground takes castle doctrine one step further by positing that, as long as you are somewhere where you have a legal right to be (e.g. in public, on the street, at a park, whatever), you have no duty to retreat. If you reasonably feel threatened, you may defend yourself with lethal force.

  88. Joshua Says:

    While most of the respondent’s to this blog have been calm and rational, there are a few wild eyed fanatics, all on the left

    In case you care, when you write sentences like this, you alienate people like me. I abhor the left/right dichotomy and think that it has done more harm to our political climate than nearly anything else you can name. But I identify with a lot of things that are associated with liberals, and so when I read statements like this, I think that you mean them to apply to me. Even if you were to respond, “Oh, well, you haven’t been a wild-eyed cook. I’m not talking about you.” That’s kind of like saying, “You’re not one of those gang-banging n***ers. You’re a NICE black person.” Thanks. I’m still offended. All I’m saying is, I think there is a lot that everyone who comments on this blog can agree on, and it doesn’t really contribute positively to the tone of the conversation to start bringing a bunch of left-vs-right political bullshit into it.

  89. Dann in Ohio Says:

    “Let’s all “stand our ground,” not participate in the rush to judgment, and wait for the facts and the evidence to become available to us 300 million jurors in the Court of Public Opinion.”

    Goodness Mas, don’t you realize that would require intelligent, rational thinking…

    Dann in Ohio

  90. Mike Says:

    This is a picture of the actual Trayvon Martin, the one from Miami Gardens, not Georgia.

    http://i.imgur.com/ahztA.jpg

    It is ridiculous that the mainstream media refuse to air this photo. I know they have it, because I have sent it to every one possible.
    The only news site who has run the picture is Drudge Report, and I sent it to him. Kudos to Drudge for trying to bring some balance to the reporting.

    It seems to me that this is a self-defense case based on the witness’ statement regarding the fight and George Zimmerman’s injuries. Once Trayvon had Z on the ground in a supine position and continued beating him past the point of Z calling for help, he became the aggressor.

    The standard for lethal force in Florida is to prevent serious bodily injury or death, and a sustained beating to the head while it’s resting on the ground meets that standard. They stop UFC fights when a fighter is in that position. Why? Because you can die that way. Trayvon Martin did not stop, and got shot for it. He should have shown some class, sad to say, stopped the beating and run the 70 yards to his home.

  91. Joshua Says:

    Partially redacted police reports from the incident.

    http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Twin%20Lakes%20Shooting%20Initial%20Report.pdf

  92. Jo Ann Says:

    Was or was not GZ a member of an official police neighborhood watch; or a volunteer patrol person or what? In our state/county, volunteers cannot carry a weapon whether or not they have a CCW. Now I can see why.

  93. Bob Sullivan Says:

    Mas: One for your next column.

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/1_dead_1_injured_in_marthas_vi.html

    The story that I’m hearing is lady fears estranged husband. Files for a restraining order. Judge denies. Husband breaks into house, and attempts to kill wife with shotgun. Despite being wounded, wife returns fire and terminates threat.

    This woman is a hero, and her story should be told around the world. Bet her self esteem is roaring right now!

  94. DeDe Says:

    Facebook pictures and school suspension is totally irrelevant here,what matters is someone is dead and someone else is living freely.I agree a conclusion drawn at this time would be prematurely but as in another case the shooter normally doesn’t escpae from being charged which is what is making the case such an outrage.However,the Stand Your Ground Law has little to do with it,Zimmerman aka Rent a Cop took it upon hisself to follow after being asked not to.God knows what happened so even if Justice isn’t served vengeance is the Lord’s!

  95. Mad Saint Jack Says:

    Not Convicted.

    Zimmerman had been arrested in 2005 at a UCF-area bar and charged with resisting arrest without violence. He completed a pretrial-diversion program, meaning the case was officially dropped, and he wound up with no conviction on his record. It’s not clear when, but police did check Zimmerman’s criminal record and know about that arrest.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/south/view/20120324trayvon_martin_cases_myths_half_truths

  96. Bobby Says:

    I remember here in Panama City, FL a few years ago when Martin Lee Anderson died in the Bay County”s boot camp for juveniles. Governor Charlie Crist paid the Anderson family just under seven million dollars. The black community all over the south raised hell, blaming the guards of murder. All of the guards were found not guilty in a court of law. Martin Lee Anderson died of cicle cell, a disease he had since birth, and his family knew.

  97. Laid Back Says:

    People are painting Zimmerman as a psychotic Jewish man, and the teen as an innocent child.

    Lets all wait for the facts

  98. Kevin Says:

    I would say that Martin’s unalienable Rights were being deprived by Zimmerman. After all we can all agree that we want to be left alone, stay out of my business. I think this is not the case when my actions infringe on your rights. We fought to major wars in this country for I argue, the same reason that Martin may have fought Zimmerman.

    Martin now no longer has either Life or Liberty.

    “The 17th-century cleric and philosopher Richard Cumberland wrote in 1672 that promoting the well-being of our fellow humans is essential to the “pursuit of our own happiness.”[2] John Locke, in his 1689 “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” wrote that “Civil interest I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things…” Locke wrote in his 1693 Essay Concerning Human Understanding that “the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness.” [3] The first and second article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776 and written by George Mason, is:
    That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

    The United States Declaration of Independence, which was primarily drafted by Jefferson, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The text of the second section of the Declaration of Independence reads:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    An analysis of Jefferson’s use of this phrase was provided by Garry Wills, in his book Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.[7] While arguing against the commonly held belief that Jefferson took this phrase – but lightly – from Locke’s “life, liberty, and property”, Wills also argues against the belief that Jefferson was merely offering some vapid nicety, to which the government could not be held to account:
    When Jefferson spoke of pursuing happiness, he had nothing vague or private in mind. He meant a public happiness which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness

  99. wg Says:

    Orlando Sentinel has Zimmerman’s side of story–case gets even more complicated.
    http://tinyurl.com/cubcgvq

    Yahoo News has similar news but includes Zimmerman’s claim that Martin went for his gun.
    http://gma.yahoo.com/trayvon-martin-shooter-told-cops-teenager-went-gun-030349812–abc-news.html

    ABC News has reason for suspension from a Martin family spokesperson.
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/family-spokesman-trayvon-martin-suspended-school-pot-residue-16004108

  100. Long Island Mike Says:

    Mr. Z belonged to a block watch group. There is a perfect right of every community to form such a group when under attack by the criminal element or else threatened. If you think otherwise than I will just have to disagree. I have lived in drug infested neighborhoods, I only wish folks had the balls to form a counter group back then. A community doesn’t have to have a vote on a block watch. Folks just need to gather together and do it. If you don’t like your neighbors trying to protect themselves, and you, then move the heck out. Alaska has lots of open acreage.

    I just happen to be reading “negroes with guns” by Robert Williams about the under reported ARMED civil rights movement. Folks of any color have a right to protect themselves by any means necessary. That applies to the individual and the group. Just because others or the police (who may in fact be racists like Bull Connors, or corrupt like in New Orleans) frown on it. The state doesn’t have your best interests in mind.

    BTW in the continuing storm of misinformation, I have heard that Mr. Z was the one out on an errand. He wasn’t on “patrol” by himself. This may turn out to be a pure chance encounter that ended up bad. As Joe Biden might say, No Big F’g Deal. It happens every stinking day on the highway. Heck it happens every day in Chicago. 50 people shot just last weekend there. No biggie to the commie left. No MSM coverage at all.

  101. joe sixpack Says:

    We need all the facts in.

    All the people condemning the stand your ground law are ignorant and haven’t the first clue as to what the law actually does, if he chased him down he wont be able to hide behind that law, it was written for the benefit for the person in defense, not the aggressor.

    whether or not this incident was motivated by racism (which has yet to be determined) people need to calm the comments.

    The media isn’t helping referring to Zimmerman as “White Hispanic” all in an effort to fuel a racism angle.

    The “new” blank panther party isn’t helping putting a “bounty” on Zimmerman head.. it sounds to me like a public contract on his life.. most other people would be in prison for it.

    When the racism boils over im sure Martin will be oh so happy that violence is done in his name. /sarcasm

  102. North - Gun Blog Black List Says:

    “rush to judgement”, Mas, is standard play on the news. The idea is to make as big of a story as possible with very little information.

    Everything is treated like “Name That Tune”.

    First note: Shooting in Florida

    Second note: Black child dead

    Third note: Whitish guy was the shooter

    I can name that tune in three notes! We’ll go with “Racist Child Killer” as the lead for the news!

  103. James Says:

    Latest news

    http://gma.yahoo.com/trayvon-martin-shooter-told-cops-teenager-went-gun-030349812–abc-news.html

  104. ca Says:

    Every politician, from the WH down, who has commented on this story, has done noting but flame the situation for their own self promotion.

  105. woof Says:

    Why has the media continued to show an old pic of Trayvon, making him look like a young boy? Why the white-wash of his background by the media? Why? For ratings? To agitate the public?
    Why has Trayvons mother submitted application for trademark of her sons name to market T-shirts, dvds, etc? WTF?????

  106. Nicholas Baker Says:

    Turns out Trayvon was suspended for getting caught with drugs at school (weed) NOT truancy. Hope you were wrong about the drug screens for the boy.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0326/Trayvon-Martin-was-suspended-from-school-at-time-of-death-report-says

  107. basicblur Says:

    The facts continue to slowly dribble out!
    MULTIPLE suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/26/2714778/thousands-expected-at-trayvon.html#storylink=cpy

    Not that this will have any bearing in a trial if there is one, but he’s slowly looking like less of an “angel” than the media has portrayed him (is anyone surprised?).
    It also only seems fair since only one side has had the field when it comes to using Zimmerman’s past record against him (not that his record will matter any more than Trayvon’s).

  108. Mike Says:

    The Miami Herald is reporting that Trayvon Martin was suspended for violating their zero tolerance drug policy, as he was found in possession of a bag with marijuana residue. That’s not particularly damning of him. What is, however, is the report that he was also caught vandalizing school property, trespassing, and was in possession of both a burglary tool(a long flathead screwdriver, which would have earned him a weapons expulsion in most schools) and a bunch of women’s jewelry. He had wedding rings, diamond rings, necklaces and a watch, which he claimed “a friend” gave to him, but he didn’t name the friend. There is also a Tweet from his brother on the link I provided earlier in which his brother asks “You didn’t tell me you swung on a bus driver”.

    It appears Mr. Zimmerman was confronted and sucker punched by Martin after he returned to his vehicle, and was being pummelled at the time of the shooting.

  109. Fruitbat44 Says:

    Joshua – Thank you for the clarification.

  110. Dave Says:

    Zimmerman was clearly being attacked…read the police report linked below. Grass stains on his back, bloody back of his head, bloody nose…corroberates his account of shooting in SD.

    http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Twin%20Lakes%20Shooting%20Initial%20Report.pdf

    At the 2:00 minute mark of the video below an eye witness, who just happens to be black(only mention since race was already brought up), says he saw zimmerman on his back.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/trayvon-martin-shooting-details-emerge-facebook-twitter-accounts-180103647.html

    Not sure of how everything un-folded leading up to the altercatoin…that’s what this hinges on. But the skinny football player could’ve avoided the older heavier guy if he really wanted I’m sure.

  111. Tom606 Says:

    I regret that “Joshua took offense to my opinion about liberals. However I don’t write with an eye towards being politically correct and call things what they are, not what the masses prefer to hear.

    Sure, there are liberal guns owners, but they are not on our side. Examples include “Hanoi” Jane Fonda and Diane Feinstein, who is licensed to carry a gun in California, but wants to disarm the rest of the population.

    Fiery rhetoric and using terms like “n***ers” and “bullshit” doesn’t go well with presenting yourself as being calm and rational. You may be a passionate chef, but I’ll never call you a “wild-eyed cook”!

  112. Jim March Says:

    OK. I’m going to say something pretty radical here. The RKBA movement in general will be better served if Zimmerman does 10+ years in prison.

    If that happens, it will be obvious to even the most dense sorts that the FL “stand your ground law” had nothing to do with this.

    Another factor is Zimmerman’s history of making 911 calls on “suspicious black males” along with phrases (by Zimmerman) such as “I don’t know what they’re doing” – in other words, the sole point of suspicion seems to be race. Those are going to cream him in civil court, and could very likely be a factor in state or federal criminal court. This video is “slanted left” in a major way, but it does accurately quote from his previous (and numerous) 911 calls:

    http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=18328&title=police-state-america—zimmerman-paranoid-about-black-males

    From everything I can gather, Zimmerman is what most police departments call a “strange ranger” – somebody who wants to “play cop” but likely couldn’t pass the psych eval. We do not ever want to mix the concepts of “CCW holder” and “strange ranger” and I’m sorry but Zimmerman did on a bunch of occasions.

    I hope it ruins his life.

  113. Hanza Says:

    Profiling young blacks makes sense

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/profiling-young-blacks-makes-sense/

  114. Marcus k. Says:

    The media and the court of public opinion have never been wrong about anything except for the 2006 Duke lacrosse scandal and Richard Jewell being the Atlanta Olympic Bomber and ___________________________. Lets get all the facts first!

  115. Jacob Morgan Says:

    Marcus is right about the Duke case. That was too good not to be true to the media and the race hustlers. It was just the case they dreamed about, only the evidence was to the contrary, which was of no concern until the defendants lawyerd up.

    In this case, it is too good not to be true to the media, the gun grabbers, the race hustlers, and the current admin that is trying to distract from an epic fail first term.

  116. wg Says:

    Mr. Marsh,
    Using my handy-dandy Self-Defense Laws of All 50 States by Mitch and Evan Vilos, under Florida Law, in self defense claims, a probable cause hearing is necessary before an arrest. Unless a judge rules in that probable cause case that Zimmerman may be arrested, he is immune from a civil suit for the shooting (See FSA 776.032 –page 110-111 in Vilos book.

    Btw, I highly recommend the book if you are interested in plain talk about states’ various self defense laws.

  117. Sick Simpering Tyrannass Says:

    I think that GZ had the greater responsibility in that he was carrying a gun. He had deadly force on his side, was in a vehicle and was specifically told by the ‘police’ to NOT follow the person. GZ chose to ignore the advice, leave the safety of his vehicle and so follow TM.
    He then got into an altercation with the 17y/o and ended up shooting after initiating the encounter.
    Would Zimmerman have left his vehicle if he were unarmed? Did having the Kel-Tec make him feel safer/give him courage to follow an unknown individual? He had no idea that this would turn out to be a teenager. Could have been an armed career criminal. Stupid, careless and negligent. Impulsive at best.
    IMO there is no way that GZ does not have the ultimate responsibility for this tragic occurrence.
    And here is that scenario. GZ gets out of the car and follows TM, taking his gun out ‘just in case.’ TM sees the gun and panics, grabs at it, hits and knocks GZ down, gun goes off and kills TM.
    I don’t know what that charge would be nor do I know what happened. We don’t have enough information and likely never really will.

  118. Frankie Says:

    Vey fair and balance article, I have always said wait to see 1st, then you have the media sensationalising and race baiting. The whole thing is sad. I will keep my personal opinion to myself, thanks for a great write-uo.

  119. Randy Says:

    Let’s get this strait about the weight thing. Zimmerman’s weight was a 170 pounds and trayvon’s weight 140 pounds. You know what is stupid about all this is know about 90% of all these people running around with there hoods up i know for a fact that none of them know what even happend. and where in the hell does racisim fit in here i just don’t see it. It would of went down the same know matter what the color? They keep acting like trayvon was a little kid that he was not. I don’t even know what happend know body does yet. All these black adults up running around like they know something we don’t no know more than the rest of us.

  120. Roger Says:

    A few names from here in the UK for you. James Kousaris, James Cooper and Shawn Tyson. The former two names were friends from the UK having a holiday in Florida. Shawn Tyson then 16 robbed the two friends at gunpoint, made the strip in the street then shot them both in cold blood. This hardly touched the US news but then Shawn Tyson was black and the two victims were White. No allegations of racism here just the realisation that Tyson was all ready a habitual criminal. David Cameron our prime minister did not state that his sons look like either if the poor victims, presumably he has not asked Obama if his son would look like Shawn Tyson. The families of the victims have wrote to Obama 3 times and as yet have had no reply. You really do have to wonder why! Shawn Tyson has been found guilty and justice and reason has prevailed. In the treyvon/Zimmerman circus though I severly doubt it will. In passing, I do not believe the KKK or similar ‘orginisations’ have ever offered a reward for someone to get Shawn Tyson. Undoubtably had they done so the FBI would have, quite rightly, had them locked up before teatime the same day!

  121. Dr. F. Ling Says:

    Lot’s of leaps here. Let’s clarify that the police never ordered GZ to stop following according to their records. Rather they made a recommendation, which, it appears he followed. If he had the gun out it is likely that TM would have just fled. Regardless, based on physical evidence and witness testimony no charges were brought.
    GZ had been functioning and was recognized as a neighborhood watch volunteer for years in a gated community that is mostly made up of minorities. He mentored two black children, during the same years.
    At this point there is no evidence supporting a criminal charge.
    There is no evidence that GZ’s action was racially motivated.
    It is likely, if he survives, go to a civil court, where negligence demands a much lower threshold of proof.
    While the Feds may wish to collaborate in the investigation (and it might be helpful at this point) they have no credibility if they don’t also investigate the New Black Panther party and others for conspiring to deny GZ his civil rights.

  122. Randy Says:

    Did you ever hear about the one were a guy was walking thru an apartment complex and some guy jump out and shot him then yelled it was self defence?

  123. David Swain Says:

    Massad, You should post another update. While you had the wrong Facebook Trayvon Martin, The Daily Caller has located Twitter photos of the correct Trayvon Martin. Coincidentally, the language and posturing of the correct Trayvon is the same as that of the other Trayvon. His Tweeter comments are quite disturbing as well. Morover, we now know that Trayvon was suspended three times from school, and the most recent time (the suspension he was serving at the time of the shooting) was for having an empty marijuana baggie in his book bag at school. The book bag also contained several pieces of expensive women’s jewelry for which he had no explanation. The point of discussing Trayvon’s character is to address the question: was he an innocent 14-year old child (in the photos released by his family) who was simply buying some candy that night, or was he a young man with the temperament to attack someone he saw following him, as Zimmerman claims? We will probably never know who attacked whom. Without testimony to the contrary, there does not appear to be any evidence to justify charging Zimmerman. Others have commented that Zimmerman shouldn’t have followed Trayvon. True, he shouldn’t have. But it was legal to do so, and he claims he was returning to his car at the suggestion of the dispatcher (and he says “OK” on the 911 call after the dispatcher’s comment). The issue is who became aggressive first.

  124. Randy Says:

    Truth is black people are more racist than white people!!! I got bad news but slavery has been gone a long time but the black parents teach there kids that white people are bad and tell them what we used to do to them. so they grow up thinking white people are bad and racist and that we all owe them something. Problem with that is i wasn’t around back then when they was treated that way and im glad i wasn’t. there thinking just hasn’t changed. they are racist around white people you see it all the time even on tv. sorry but i don’t owe nobody anything because im not racist.

  125. Randy Says:

    I’LL TELL YOU WHO GETS THIS CRAP ALL OUT OF CONTROL IS THESE BIG MOUTH NEWS PROGRAMS LIKE NANCY GRACE THAT DETERMANS EVERYBODY IS GUILTY WHEN SHE SAYS SO? HER SHOW IS NOT A COURT OF LAW BUT EVERYBODY THINKS EVERYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF HER MOUTH IS THE TRUTH BUT IT’S NOT BELIEVE ME SHE GETS PAID BY THE RATINGS OTHER WORDS THE MORE SHE GETS A RISE OUT OF PEOPLE THE BIGER HER PAY CHECK IS. BECAUSE IT CAUSES PEOPLE TO BE SEEN THE WAY SHE WANTS THEM TO BE SEEN.JUST LIKE OPRAH AND OBAMA HAD NO REASON TO BE PUTTING THERE TWO SENCE IN WITHOUT KNOWING THE FACTS OF WHAT HAPPEN? NOBODY KNOWS WHAT HAPPEN!!! AND THEY WON’T UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION IS OVER. THATS WHY EVERYTHING GOT OUT OF CONTROL IS BECAUSE OF THESE PEOPLE.THATS LIKE GIVING ALL THESE PEOPLE THE GREEN LIGHT TO ACT LIKE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS AND THATS WHATS HAPPEND. NOW IT’S TO OUT OF CONTROL WATCH SOMEONE ELSE WILL PROBERLY END UP DEAD OVER THIS.PEOPLE DON’T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE TO WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!!!! BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE LISTING.

  126. gus valle Says:

    all this hysterical hype! Let the judicial process take its course and THEN, when FINALLY in possession of ALL the facts, lets ALL make an informed assessment of the case. So far all I see is a lot of posturing from professional media whores and questionable political i.e. black leaders. Where does it say that when a white person commits violence on a black person its racist? How about when a black person does it to a white person? Social justice? we seem to have our values all mixed up. Lets be frank with each other. A black person can easily walk through a white neighborhood in safety. However, just take a stroll through a black neighborhood and see what happens. Lets cut the crap. Real race hatred usually come from the black community.

  127. candace delaney Says:

    While I agree, we need to step back and let justice take its course, also agree that no one seemed to be ready to bring the question of justice into the matter until the public outcry. There seems to be a flaw in Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, or the impliment there of. Florida police seem to be willing to take the shooters word that it was self-defense and walk away. That is making this all fodder for those who promote anti-gun legislation.

    removing all the hype; it seems Zimmerman was told NOT to follow the boy. Zimmerman was IN a deadly weapon and had the protection of his vehicle, which also provided him with a means of escape. For him to be out of his vehicle, with a gun in his hand, was itself confrontational. That left the kid to “stand his ground”, and for it, he was shot.

  128. Long Island Mike Says:

    OMG…14 people shot in Miami today. This must be caused by evil white people ! Gotta go hide. The crazy white people are shooting everyone…..oops….maybe not.

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/03/31/2-dead-12-hurt-in-mass-shooting-in-north-miami/

  129. Patrick Says:

    Personaly I am sick of this case. Im turning my tv off for a week. I remeber when I was in the Army when Dr King was shot. Black soldiers on post were actually going around and beating up white people in retaliation. I know because I was there and got beat up for no reason. You wont find that in the history books anywhere. I now live in Montana where there are less than 5,500 blacks total and few hispanics. Here we dont put up with that EEOC crap. Here the better man gets the job!

  130. Harrell Graham Says:

    The following link is an excellent piece de-constructing the misinformation surrounding this case. Highly recommended.

    http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/misconceptions-in-the-trayvon-martin-case

  131. Wolf Says:

    Massad,

    I was surprised that you didn’t immediately question Zimmerman’s actions. The man actively sought out a confrontation. While armed. He followed Martin first in his vehicle then on foot, the latter after being specifically told by a 911 Operator not to do so. I have taken several courses from you in the past and have always had nothing but the highest respect for your opinions on the realities involved with carrying a firearm and the justification of the use of deadly force. I understand the “facts” were not fully available, they still aren’t even though he has now been charged. But the FACT he INSTIGATED the altercation has been clear from the first.

  132. Wolf Says:

    Massad,

    as there is no edit function I’d like to amend my comment. I STILL hold your opinion in the highest regard!

    Wolf

  133. Louise Cate Says:

    Great post Massad!
    We certainly should wait for all the facts before lynching Zimmerman! And hopefully as the madeup “facts”created by the main stream media will be discounted.
    · What do we think we know about George Zimmerman? He is about 5’9″ and 170 lb. He worked as a security volunteer for his housing area without any problems for 11 years. He called the police department to report Trayvon’s suspicious behavior and tried to follow Trayvon so he could inform the police of Trayvon’s location. Zimmerman lost Trayvon and was on his way back to his car when he claimed Trayvon knocked him down and was slamming his head against the concrete. Fearing for his life, Zimmerman shot Trayvon. Police records of Zimmerman’s head wounds and his wet, grass stained back substantiated his account.
    · What do we think we know about Trayvon Martin? He is about 17, 6’2″ and 170lbs. He has been expelled 3 times from school for a variety of reasons, including defacing school property and having a marijuana bag and 20 pieces of jewelry in his backpack. Trayvon’s twitter account records read like a gangster wannabe. His twitter account reveals an angry, rebellious boy who showed little to no respect towards anyone or anything.
    · 93% of the young black men murdered in the USA are murdered by other young black men. If Trayvon had been murdered in the same place by a young black man, Sharpton, Jackson, and Obama would NOT have said anything. Just as none of them have said a thing about the 600 other young black men who have been murdered by young black men since Trayvon was killed. If Zimmerman were black, this story would NOT get any news coverage!
    · The police took Zimmerman to jail in handcuffs, but they didn’t arrest him because his explanation of being attacked by Martin fit what the police saw when they picked Zimmerman up. His nose and the back of his head were wounded and require medical attention. His back was damp and grass stained from the damp grass he was on while Trayvon banged his head on the concrete sidewalk that ran between the backyards of the buildings. I believe the screams were screams of agony as Trayvon bashed Zimmerman’s head against the concrete. When Zimmerman was able to pull out his gun and shoot Trayvon, the screams stopped. Zimmerman had worked as a volunteer security person for 11 years without any problems and he had called the police and was waiting for them to come check out Trayvon. It is highly unlikely that Zimmerman attacked Trayvon, but the hotheads should at least wait until all the facts are in before calling for a lynching.

  134. R Daneel Says:

    M Ayoob says in his article to not rush to judgment and what do some of the commentators do?

    Rush to judgment.

  135. Bill Meinhardt Says:

    I am waiting for the evidence to determin whether this was a justifiable use of force or not.

    However, there is several things that can be learned from this case by those of us who choose to carry a deadly weapon.

    1. A firearm is not an accessory to be displayed like jewlery. when you choose to carry, you become a gunfighter. You can no longer engage in horse play or social violence. If you get into a fight and you are loseing the fight, you may have to use the weapon to retain it.

    2. Anything you say or post on the internet, any sign you post or bumpersticker you put on your vehicle will be used to show that you had a depraved indiffrence regarding the taking of a human life and that you were just itching to pull that trigger.

    3. Any statements you make to bystanders or police in an excited state of mind will come back to haunt you. You need an Aty whether you think you do or not.

    I was a Deputy Sheriff and I can attest that almost everyone that I ever put in jail, talked their way into jail.

  136. RichNH Says:

    An interesting discussion Glen Beck had with Alan Dershowitz regarding the charges of 2nd degree murder in this case. Alan D. has what to many will be a surprising position I think.

    http://web.gbtv.com/media/video.jspcontent_id=20878243&source=GBTV

  137. Joey Says:

    I’m not sure where you got your false information but the police reports that have been released, very clearly state that there 7 rounds recovered, 6 in the magazine and one loose from the chamber, one shell casing. So much for your theory about a struggle for the gun. Zimmerman is guilty as sin.

  138. Mas Says:

    Hey, another Joey!

    The information came from the Orlando newspaper, pretty much the “journal of record” on this incident, a few days before the blog entry.

    Joey, tell us why you feel the defendant is “guilty as sin.”

  139. A Kennedy Says:

    WOW, you read through the comments and they are quite diverse. I have read responses from so many of you who are name calling, defending one or the other or attacking one or the other. Based off of everything I’ve read and seen in the media, there are a lot more questions then answers regarding this case and I don’t see how so many of you could have made up your minds about the guilt or innocence of either of these men. I’m curious how Zimmerman will ever get a fair trial if this is the climate of the jury pool.

    I haven’t made up my mind but I will present these statements to the crowd:
    -Should an individual have to wait till their attacker has actually had the chance to cause irrepairable damage to them or worse before they defend themselves? (heck no!)
    -As for comments by at least one of you about how much damage a 140 lb young man can do, get in the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr and find out and then come back with your comments. That being said, the Autopsy stated that he was 5′ 11″ tall, 158 lbs. Although Zimmerman was older and heavier, Trayvon had about 4 inches on Zimmerman.
    -A beer can or any other hard object can do a significant amount of damage, up to and including kill a person. (every one of you has watched enough TV to understand the term “blunt force trauma”

    I know it sounds like I’m defending Zimmerman but I’m really not. He might have shot Martin in cold blood but I don’t know that, nor do any of you. You may have decided that but not based off of anything more than speculation.

    If Trayvon Martin was approaching Zimmerman acting intimidating or threatening in any way, should George Zimmerman have run away or accepted whatever violence the young man wanted to act upon him?
    If you say yes then you’re not being honest.

    Now, if Zimmerman executed Martin for no reason, which seems rather unlikely although possible just as anything is possible, then I hope that it is realized during the investigation and trial and I hope he is punished to the fullest extent of the law but the armchair investigators of America need to stop frying him in their little mental electric chairs. Retract your claws and understand that a case like this where two individuals where know little to nothing about the other are involved in what seems to be a random violent encounter, the investigation can be very complex and things are rarely what they seem.

    I am not quick to jump against Zimmerman mainly because he was part of a neighborhood watch program. A proactive group of people who volunteer to keep an eye on their neighborhood for the good of the community. That volunteer duty could likely put them in harms way if not put their lives at risk and at least as far as this case is concerned could threaten an individuals freedom. I suppose that allows me to at least think of him (Zimmerman) as being a decent citizen. Now, I’m not ignorant enough to think that decent citizens don’t end up commiting crimes but I tend to think they do it less often and that they are less likely to have bad intentions. I know little to nothing about Trayvon but I have seen enough to take from it that he wasn’t a model citizen.

    Leave this matter to the REAL courts.

  140. James David Says:

    Assad, you are always so level-headed. I sure am glad that you’re sill around and doing what you do.

  141. Aleta Says:

    Louise Cate in your above post (on April 11th, 2012) you applauded Mr. Massad for a great post because he opined not to rush to judgement about this case or assume facts not in evidence. You were right to applaud Mr. Massad but didn’t get the spirit of his blog. Why do I say that? Because now that discovery in this case has been released by the prosecutors (information they will use to attempt to prove there case), we know that most of your assertions in your post are wrong.
    As examples of your misstatement of facts: Trayvon was 5’11 and 158lbs according to the autopsy and GZ was a renter in this neighborhood where the neighborhood watch had only been in effect for less than a year (not 11 years as you suggest…that would have made GZ 17 years old when he supposedly started NW).
    If you really believe what Mr. Massad has blogged about above, you must also not spread false information about this case and leave it to a jury to decided (after hearing ALL of the evidence) whether this was an act of Justifiable Homicide.

  142. Tony T Says:

    So.
    Many of the facts have come out.
    What was Zimmerman supposed to do?

  143. Richard Bates Says:

    What is the latest on his case. Since it is not being showed on the news now we don’t know what is up on the trial. Seems he Zimmerman is being railroaded still and is having to deal with this for over a year now. If this was truly self defense we have a real problem in our nation. Massad, can you tell us what you know as of today?

  144. Mas Says:

    Richard Bates, the last I’ve heard is that trial is scheduled for June 2013.

  145. CHARLES Says:

    I know this is a pretty old thread, but the trial starts in five days, and honestly, I am a little worried. I’m not sure as to how hot things will heat up with Trayvon Martin back on everyone’s mind, but I am a little afraid when the verdict comes down. There will be more protests, but this time it will be 10x worse, probably ending in riots. Zimmerman will probably have to go into hiding for the better part of next decade. After reading up on both sides, I think the physical evidence is in favor of the defense. If Mr. Ayoob is called in to testify, I think the prosecution should go ahead and throw in the towel.

    Zimmerman will most likely get an acquittal, unless the jury is comprised of black mothers.

  146. John in Maine Says:

    Mas,

    Have you been following the news about the trial? Just wondering if you plan on giving us your two cents or if you plan to wait it out. I’ve been monitoring the trial, and I must say, from my perspective, I don’t feel that the judge is being neutral. Maybe it’s just me.

    JC

  147. Sharpshooter Says:

    Interesting, in the extreme, all the assertions made early
    on in the thread, that turned out to be utter and complete BS.

    The Miami schools, the prosecution team, the politicians…from outright fraud to completely schizophrenic delusional.

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