Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Beat Goes On

So the Chief of Police down in Sanford, Florida, has "temporarily" stepped down, seeking to defuse the heat blasting his department over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. What you see above is what you get when you look for images of the admitted-shooter, and it's a booking photo from Orange Country, FL, taken in connection with his arrest in 2005 for battery on a police officer. That charge went away, pled down, then dropped, so we don't know the story there. 

Here's the big problem in this kind of situation: There were only two witnesses to the actual event, and one of them is dead. What you can prove, as a DA, is going to have to be based on circumstantial evidence. The shooter says it is self-defense, and there's nobody to say different. Did he roust the kid and then kill him? Or was he heading back to his truck when the kid attacked him?

Only one story is being offered by somebody who was there. Does he have reason to lie? Sure. Is he lying?

Doesn't matter what we think. It's what the DA can prove.

Good luck, but that's the deal–the DA has to do that beyond reasonable doubt to convict the guy. 

OJ got off with more evidence against him. As long as this guy sticks to his story? 



Chester said...

This was sent to me last night. If everything aside fromthe writers personal little comments is accurate does it change things? This whole thing needs better investigation.

Todd Erven said...

It doesn't change who the initial aggressor was.

If I was walking home or to a friend's house and a car started following me, I'd get pretty nervous. I'd get scared if they got out of the car and approached me, especially if it was in a threatening manner. In fact, I almost guarantee that I'd attack them if they got within a couple feet of me. To do anything less would be stupid, especially in my neighborhood where random stabbings aren't unheard of.

Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong or illegal and it's obvious from his phone calls to his girlfriend that he was scared of Zimmerman.

Someone shoves someone, a scuffle ensues, all Trayvon knows is that some stranger has been stalking him and is now fighting him. Even if Trayvon ended up on top and started hitting Zimmerman, does that give Zimmerman the right to shoot?

I hope not.

If someone attacks me and I get the upper hand, they're allowed to shoot me? Seems a bit shitty.

Steve Perry said...

I don't expect anybody is calling the particulars that clean, otherwise, a straight case of self-defense with a witness, we'd never have heard about it.

That there was a fight seems to be a given. Who started it and why? Kid weighed 140, shooter was 200 plus. Shooter has a history of following black guys and calling them in, plus a recored of battery on a cop. He was dogging the kid, and in the kid's position, that would have made me nervous, too.

I agreed from the git-go it should be investigated.

I wasn't there, but my gut feeling is this was a cop-wanna-be stalking somebody and looking for a chance to throw his weight around. Listen to the recordings carefully. Zimmerman didn't sound at all fearful, and when he was told by 911 to back off, he didn't. Says a lot right there.

Chester said...

My gut feels similarly. There are few possible scenarios that seem like self defense (like the walking back to the truck thing) . Given even the statements in the article the situation dosent really change alot so why the twisted narative that s out there?
Why do i forsee some anti concealed carry legislation in our future called "Trevon's Law"

Anonymous said...

Just to be fair, since you have Zimmerman's mug shot posted, here's a recent picture of Trayvon from his Facebook page.

Steve Perry said...

Fair? That a seventeen-year-old-kid is trying to look badass on his FB page? That's not a booking photo for battery on a police officer, now is it?

That makes it okay that Zimmerman shot him?

Fair is the kid alive and going about his business.

Even if he was wearing hoodie, AND a member of a gang, AND eyeballing the houses as he walked, he was a hundred and forty pound unarmed teenager who went out for candy and didn't come home because he was shot dead by a vigilante who targeted him based on his looks.

Anybody disagree with that? A show of hands?

Zimmerman's story stinks on ice. Listen to the recordings. Listen to what he said and how he said it.

DId he have to obey the 911 operator and stop following the kid? No. That he didn't?

Tells me he was looking for trouble, he found it, and a kid is dead. That's what people are steamed about.

Anonymous said...

Hand up.

1. Sanford, FL neighborhood has had a rash of burglaries.

2. They have a neighborhood watch to help reduce these crimes.

3. George Zimmerman, who is involved with the Neighborhood Watch was patrolling and spotted a suspicious person.

4. He called 911 and indicated that the person was "...staring, looking at all the houses".

5. On the 911 call, Zimmerman when first asked wasn't sure the race of the person, then as the person started walking to him, he indicated that the person was black.

6. On the 911 call, Zimmerman said that he thought the person was on Drugs.

7. On one of the 911 calls, for 45 seconds a person is heard screaming "help" over and over, until the shot was fired. From the sounds of the screams, it sounds like the person is being attacked.

8. One eyewitness said that "I saw a MAN laying on the ground that needed help. He was screaming."

9. Another eye witness said "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,"

10. George Zimmerman was wearing a RED sweatshirt. Trayvon Martin was wearing a GRAY Hoodie.

11. When police arrive seconds later, they find George Zimmerman with a bloody face (Reports say a broken nose), lacerations on the back of his head, and grass stains on his back.

12. Police find an unidentified black male dead at the scene, with a gun shot to his chest.

13. Homeowners at the time ALL made statements to the police, which supported the statements of George Zimmerman.

14. Zimmerman had claimed that the black male had attacked him repeatedly, and was about to attack him again when Zimmerman shot him.

15. About 12 hours later, Police identified the body as Trayvon Martin, after his father contacted them. He thought that Trayvon may have been arrested becasue he had not returned to his house.

16. Trayvon Martin, 17, was 6'2", did NOT live in the Sanford neighborhood, he lives in Miami. He was visiting his father, who lived at his girlfiriend's condo.

17. Trayvon had been suspended from his Miami High School for 10 days for undislosed reasons at this point.

18. Toxicology reports have not been released on Mr. Martin.

19. Florida Law allows a citizen to protect him or her self from bodily harm.

The way Florida law is set up it is only going to matter who attacked whom first. Who threw the first punch. I'm sorry Trayvon is dead, but you and I know that you can't go around hitting people with out fear of deadly consequences.

Steve Perry said...

What happened is still under investigation, and the immediately verifiable facts at this point are that one guy is dead and other guy isn't.
f the shooter hadn't been following the dead kid, I expect he'd still be alive.

The dead guy, if he was 6'2" and weighed 140 was a toothpick, armed with a box of Skittles.

The live guy continued to follow the one he was about to kill after he'd been told by 911 not to do it.


Whatever the shooter said during the call remains to be verified, but telling the cops the kid had his hand stuck into this waistband is bullshit -- the kid wasn't armed, why would he do that? This is what somebody planning to claim self-defense says when it turns out the guy he shot was unarmed. "He had something in his hand. He stuck his hand in his waistband, I thought he was going for a knife or a gun, I was in fear for my life."

Sure. And why did you put yourself into a situation where you were in fear for your life? You aren't a cop.

Nobody not there knows for sure what really happened. Your guess is as good as mine. Mine is that the shooter followed the kid, rolled up on him and asked him what the fuck he was doing around these parts, and the kid got lippy. Fists flew and the shooter caught a couple. He pulled his piece. End of fight. If I'm walking and somebody comes up and asks me what the fuck I'm doing there, my response is apt to be What the fuck business is it of yours?

Legally, they don't have much of a case, I said so to start. Did the guy say "Fucking coon?" If you want to hear that you can, but while the first word is clear, I'm not sure of the second. I doubt he said "Fucking cold," as it's being claimed. Check the weather report for the date -- high seventies, low in the fifites.

But you can bet that if the feds dig around and find out that Zimmerman has a history of being racist, somebody is going to try to make that case. Best he has led a quiet, clean, legal life in the last few years, because they are going to turn over every rock looking for what's under them.

You aren't supposed to bring a gun to a fist fight.

Somebody is dead and we know who killed him. How and why, we don't know for sure, and it deserves to be checked out more than, Oh, well, black gangster got shot, too bad.

Or don't you think so?

Anonymous said...

I'm all for letting the Grand Jury sort this mess out which they will be doing in accordance with the law. And if Zimmerman is convicted of manslaughter, he serves his sentence to completion. It just seems that others have tried and convicted Zimmerman already without knowing all the facts. I hope he gets a fair shake, but I've got to wonder if that's even possible at this point.

Steve Perry said...

Justice would be good; failing that, at least application of the law as fairly as possible. If he gets off, he's gonna be looking over his shoulder, and if he is not guilty of anything, that sucks. But he capped the kid, and any time you shoot somebody and get tagged for it, there are consequences.

National anger over this has a basis, I understand it, and maybe it's just Zimmerman's bad luck that he has become the focus of all that anger. He did, however shoot the guy, and it certainly seems to have been altogether preventable. You are allowed to guard your castle, but you aren't allowed to go forth and preemptively strike because *maybe* the guy you shoot *might* be a problem down the road.

Of course, we did that in Iraq, so there's that sterling example ...

Anonymous said...

The link to the picture I posted earlier has changed the picture to a fox video about the "new" witness because they could not verify the picture as being Trayvon.

So I went looking. After 25 pages of Google images I could not find a single picture that wasn't Trayvon at 10-12 years old or, for that matter, one that didn't show Zimmerman in his penal jumper. I think this shows the direction the media have been pushing this case.

You took umbrage to the picture I posted saying that it shouldn't matter what the kid looked like, but we all know any potential jury is going to remember what was in the media and the images they promoted. I do hope justice is done and not revenge.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

Point #1:
So has mine - but we haven't killed anyone yet.

Point #2:
Again...See above.

Point #3:
Not something I would say is a reasonable point; Who was he to say what was or was not suspicious? What did he BASE that suspicion on? Race? A hoodie? The skittles? Define your (or his) terms. Was he photographing windows of darkened houses?

...Or was he simply being aware of his surroundings while trying to make his way home?

Point #4:
So what? I do that in my own neighborhood. Of course...I'm white.

We also only have Zimmerclit's word on this...Not a single "witness" claims to have seen Treyvon doing so.

Point #5:
Uh-huh. And...?

Point #6:
WITH NOTHING TO SUPPORT THIS! Did he have a joint hanging out of his mouth? Was he talking to invisible people? Trying to flap his arms and fly? Zimmerfuck gave no basis for his conclusion, and I'm willing to bet you he had none aside from his own xenophobia.

Point #7:
"From the sounds of the screams, it sounds like the person is being attacked."

Umm, no - it sounds like they're LOSING A FIGHT. Being attacked sounds like "Hey, Bill, did you catch the game last ni-

What the fuck? Hey, buddy! Watch where-

Jeezus! Arrrgh! He's got a knife! Look out!"

My point is, the call captures sounds of a struggle - not the intricacies of WHO did WHAT.

...But we know who was STALKING whom.

Points # 8, #9 and #10:
So, we have an altercation (I'm lumping your last three points into one, as they are the most closely related in your post) and it LOOKS like Treyvon got the upper hand.

What we DON'T have is evidence of Zimmertwats story, either way. We have a man who stalked a boy, got into hot water and shot him dead. Boy armed with Skittles, man armed with gun.

Kobe Bryant couldn't slam-dunk this case any better.

Points #11 and #12 are insignificant, excepting as referential corroboration that Zimmerfag was on the bottom.

Point #13:
Supported WHAT, though? That Treyvon was looking into windows, or that he was beating the shit out of Zimmerprick until he was shot? One thing I know from firsthand experience; Witness statements conflict, even in the most public of affairs. .

Since the witness statements haven't been released, I would venture a suggestion that this post is closer to "iffy" - like the entire incident.

Point #14:
HOW THE FUCK DID THE BLACK MALE GET ZIMMERCUNT OUT OF THE CAR?!?!?! If the "Black Male" attacked him, he must have done more than followed him around in an automobile.

Looking at the lions from across the cage is one thing...Going into the cage, armed & covered in steak sauce is something else.

Zimmershit knew what he was doing, and so do all of us: Spoiling for a confrontation.

Points 15 through 19 have no bearing on the facts, other than coincidental. They certainly don't convict Treyvon out of hand any more than that idiotic "gangsta" Facebook photo does. The kid took a stupid picture - there are about a million of dumb ones with me in them on the internet. It proves nothing.

Anonymous said...

From the Orlando Sentinel

Steve Perry said...

Sure. That's the right story for self-defense, isn't it? He sucker punched me, knocked me down, and I was in fear for my life, so ...

It might be true. Who is there to say different?

Still and again, check and see how many times Zimmerman followed other suspicious folks in his neighborhood, and how many times he called 911 to report them. I heard a news report yesterday said he made forty-some of those call in the last year.

I expect those recordings will be examined for content, but I find that many calls in itself cause for wonder.

Vigilantes do run some risks of getting into trouble.