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Singal writes: "If the police video of George Zimmerman being taken into questioning shows what it appears to show, if Zimmerman really was devoid of the injuries that had been so feverishly and eagerly recounted by his defenders, then we have on our hands an absolutely catastrophic failure on the part of the media..."

Screenshot of George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, being taken in for questioning by police. (photo: ABC News)
Screenshot of George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, being taken in for questioning by police. (photo: ABC News)



George Zimmerman Video Outrage: Where Are Injuries From Trayvon Fight?

By Jesse Singal, The Daily Beast

29 March 12

 

f the police video of George Zimmerman being taken into questioning shows what it appears to show, if Zimmerman really was devoid of the injuries that had been so feverishly and eagerly recounted by his defenders, then we have on our hands an absolutely catastrophic failure on the part of the media, and one of the most dramatic, devastating examples in recent memory of the Internet’s power to decide “the facts” long before anyone has a clue what they are.

george-zimmerman-video-singal

In the eyes of many, the story about how Zimmerman came to shoot Florida teen Trayvon Martin had taken a sharp turn into Zimmerman-friendly territory this week. “With a single punch,” the Orlando Sentinel reported Monday, “Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told” the paper.

As Allison Samuels pointed out the next day, there were reasons to be skeptical of this account. Zimmerman’s call to 911 clearly revealed that he had been following Martin, and Martin’s girlfriend said she had been on the phone with him immediately prior to the incident, that she had encouraged Martin to run from the man following him, and that right before the shooting Martin had asked Zimmerman why he was being pursued. (Phone records obtained by ABC confirmed that Martin and his girlfriend had been talking right before the shooting.)

But none of these questions - which, it should be said, didn’t necessarily invalidate Zimmerman’s claims - mattered to the millions of people who had a eureka moment as they read the latest twist: of course Martin was the aggressor! They clicked eagerly, and soon a variety of ostensibly damning facts about Martin were racing around the Internet: not only the Sentinel story, but also Martin’s tweets (which show him to be guilty of nothing more serious than being a teenager) and reports that he had been found with trace amounts of marijuana and possibly stolen jewelry in his bag at school.

None of these facts had any bearing on the case at hand, of course, nor did they change what we know to be true (almost all of which comes from Zimmerman’s 911 call). But a sizable chunk of America reflexively decided that Zimmerman had defended himself against a dangerous, suspicious black teen, and they urgently spread the word. This wasn’t restricted to anonymous bomb throwers; the respectable right chimed in as well. Victor Davis Hanson, considered a conservative intellectual, wrote: “Martin is emerging not quite as a model pre-teen, Skittle-eating student with a slight truancy problem, but as a 6 foot 2 inch teen with troubled Twitter allusions to criminal activity, an obscene n-word Twitter ID, and suspensions entailing possible drug use and theft.”

Of course, that Zimmerman likely outweighed Martin by 50 pounds or more, or that the worst “criminal activity” alluded to in the Twitter account was smoking pot, or that a black teenager has a different relationship to the n-word than a middle-aged white pundit, or that Martin was not suspended for theft but for possessing trace amounts of marijuana didn’t matter. No. What mattered was that this version of events was so much more palatable and digestible than the notion that race had played a part in the death of an unarmed black teen (which is so...liberal). And that’s why the story festered and spread like a virus.

It’s a profound failure of our information environment, and it can be traced in part to a lack of skepticism. In retrospect, there was so little reason for the Zimmerman account to have changed anyone’s view of the case. Neither he nor the Sanford Police Department were disinterested observers. He, after all, was facing potential murder or manslaughter charges, and the department was shielding itself from a nationwide barrage of criticism for not arresting him.

But that’s the problem with the hyperconnected age: the Internet may not make us more prone to spreading or believing rumors, but it compounds the power of these tendencies exponentially.

The disconnect between the police report and the footage screams for an explanation.

We still, after all this noise, don’t have a good idea of exactly what happened immediately prior to the shooting. There are twists yet to come and questions yet to be answered. The official police report did, after all, say of Zimmerman that “his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of the head.” The disconnect between this report and the footage screams for an explanation.

It seems like an impossible thing to ask for at this point, given how irresistible and politicized the lure of speculation has become, but a bit of humility is called for. Over and over, we find out that what we “know” isn’t really what we know. The answer is to shut up and wait until real-life, empirically verified facts - not the viral facsimiles that so easily take their place in moments of tragedy or confusion or racial panic - come in. But don’t hold your breath.

 

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+121 # universlman 2012-03-29 16:55
These images do not appear to show a man who has just had a bloody fight for his life. Where is the blood evidence? What will the three police officers attending the scene say about his condition if they are ever questioned about this?

It looks like evidence tampering after the fact may be the story here. It would explain why no arrest - no one wanted to report it in writing and sign it.
 
 
+35 # Daisy 2012-03-30 01:31
And, if as Zimmerman says, his nose was broken...where is the bruised face. Nope, didn't think so.
Secondly, why wasn't there more of an effort to locate this kid's parents. Three days--did I hear that correctly. After all, they had a cell phone to check. Most people don't password protect their cell phone. Couldn't be that hard. All they had to do was call the last numbers to backtrack.
Secondly, Zimmerman wasn't following the rules for a Neighboorhood Watch participant. He shouldn't follow (stalk) anyone, he had no distinguishing clothing, plus he was armed and not working in a team. Should have stayed in the car and left his gun there.
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:34
Either his nose was broken or it wasn't. It's not something he could fake. It seems pretty suspicious.
 
 
+7 # hobbesian 2012-03-29 21:56
is anybody bothering to check?
 
 
+24 # Billy Bob 2012-03-29 22:14
Why are there no bandages? Never mind Zimmerman's blood. What about Martin's? If we believe that Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he was shot, why was none of his blood apparently spilled on Martin?
 
 
+22 # solange 2012-03-29 22:27
if zimmerman truly had a broken nose, wouldn't his eyes have been blackened, and wouldn't he be wearing some sort of bandage?

he cleaned up awfully well after that encounter.
 
 
+10 # brenda 2012-03-29 22:28
I had a friend that was falsely arrested and held at the police station. A newly promoted Lieutenant made the arrest, and after realizing that he was wrong, he and his buddies at the station fabricated another version of the arrest story. The released my friend shortly after with a set court appearance date, and made him sign an affidavit acknowledging their arrest claims and a statement that the police did not false arrest him. He was charged by the judge to a 6 month probation sentence and see a probation officer every month. The funny thing is that his public lawyer told him that coping a plea bargain was the best way out of the situation. Now the friend will have the incident in the public police records for anyone to see.
 
 
+13 # John Locke 2012-03-30 08:45
Brenda that is a common practice for both the police and the Public defenders office...and the media will then destroy the victom's good name for a story that will shock and draw in listeners or readers, The media today has become the enemy! and many in the police have also become the enemy.
Depending on the state he should be able to have the whole thing sealed or expunged in time and off his record.
 
 
+1 # Gengis 2012-03-30 15:15
Now that he has a record, it will be a lot easier for the police to get arrest warrants for him as well as other things to harrass him. He had better keep as much out of sight as possible. Anywhere near a demonstration or anthing like that and back in he goes.
 
 
+18 # DaveM 2012-03-29 22:39
When written accounts and photographs created at the same time disagree, which do you believe?
 
 
+6 # Robert B 2012-03-29 23:11
I have long believed that the Internet is basically the fourth layer of the cerebral cortex. If it were actually part of the brain, your head would be the size of a Volkswagen. There are two parts to this: (1.) on the plus side, the Internet makes people a lot smarter than they would be without it, and (2.) on the minus side, humans can be plenty stupid even with a larger brain. The Internet expands both capabilities.
 
 
+19 # Helen Marshall 2012-03-29 23:15
It isn't just the "Media." The police took this man into custody. There is no physical indication in this video that supports the claim that Zimmerman was attacked. Why don't the police speak to this falsehood?
 
 
+7 # Texas Aggie 2012-03-29 23:17
There are said to be witnesses to seeing this kid pounding the piss out of Zimmerman. They don't, however, admit to seeing Zimmerman shoot him, which suggests that either it was much later that Zimmerman shot him or that the witnesses are making it all up.
 
 
+10 # gslover60 2012-03-30 11:30
The phone log of the girlfriend's call proves "this kid"--I assume you mean Trayvon--was talking on the phone just before Zimmerman shot him. So it couldn't have been "much later". And a man who has a body on top of him, pounding him, and shoots that individual will be drenched in blood. Sure, he could wipe it off his face and hands but his clothes would be soaking in it. So these specious attempts to find an excuse for a cowboy chasing a kid coming from the store reveal the underlying assumption that there had to be something wrong with a black kid in a white neighborhood.
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:32
Considering that Zimmerman obviously did NOT have the piss pounded out of him, since he was unscathed, I think we can figure out what's going on with any witnesses to the contrary.
 
 
-46 # Jmac 2012-03-29 23:34
In regards to the video here's a real brain buster, umm maybe he cleaned himself up before arriving at the police station to make a statement, no one's going to go walking around with blood platered and caked on his face and the video is very distant and wont show and bruising or swelling that soon after an attack.
As for the size and hight differnce between Zimmerman and Martin while Martin was a teenager he still had a significant hieght difference and advantage in strength and youth especially since he was a football player.
Zimmerman is almost 30 and looks substantially out of shape compared to a strong 17 y/o. martin is not the cute little 12 y/o that seems to keep flashing everywhere.
Media outlets need to stop broadcasting every little detail that's leaked and then is twisted by supporters on either side. While i believe Zimmerman made a very bad judgement call, Martin is not the paragon of sainthood that his family keeps saying he was with back up voices from jesse jackson, Al Sharpton and local lawmakers who are using this to further thier own agendas. heck the kids own parents trademarked thier son's name reasons being obvious and am sure suggested by thier lawyer.
Let the police finish thier investigation and if it's not on the level have the state get involved. The Feds don't need to get involved unless they are going to start applying hate crime laws equally and boy that would just screw alot of people up other than whites wouldn't it?
 
 
+23 # pbbrodie 2012-03-30 12:23
You don't "arrive at the police station to make a statement" in handcuffs in the back of a police cruiser. The police had obviously just brought him from the crime scene. So, when would he have had any time to clean himself up? Also, if he was wet on his back, as the police claimed, why isn't the back of his jacket wet? That would be very obvious from the camera angles.
As for the state investigating the actions of the police, you haven't been following this too closely or you would be aware that the state attorney's office has already rubber stamped the police actions.
 
 
-8 # Jmac 2012-03-30 17:06
if you've been in ANY shooting where you pulled the trigger you get cuffed and taken into custody period. as for his jacket being wet, maybe he didn't have it on at the time.
shootings are never rubber stamped, go shoot some one and tell me how it works out for you.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:26
Since you seem to be an expert in how shootings go, why is it that there are so many discrepancies between what we heard and what we can see with our own eyes? There doesn't seem to be any evidence AT ALL that Zimmerman was ever in a scuffle.
 
 
-4 # Jmac 2012-03-31 09:04
maybe he was maybe he wasn't all i said was that the video was inconclusive becasue of it's quality. how you get the opinion that i'm completely exonerating zimmerman i have no idea. read what you want to see i guess.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:06
You seem to be going out of your way to give Zimmerman the benefit of doubt, but not extending the same courtesy to the dead boy.

WHY IS THAT?

What evidence do you have of Zimmerman's injuries other than his word? It's his word vs. the word of Trayvon Martin's ghost. We KNOW Martin was shot to death. We don't know AT ALL that Zimmerman was injured. In fact, we have NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that he was injured.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:31
Witnesses said he waited by the corpse he just shot until the police arrived. How would it have looked to shoot a young boy and say, "tell the cops I'm washing off the evidence"?

About the height difference, Martin certainly was a bigger target than he would have been if he was a smaller target.

Zimmerman is also not the pudgy guy in the mug shot from when he beat his wife. He's in shape now. Not that that matters. He had the gun and Martin didn't run away fast enough.

How many rape victims and murder victims need to be the "paragon of sainthood" in order to get their case to trial?

What would be the basis of applying a hate crime investigation against Martin? What is your evidence that Martin was guilty of ANYTHING on the night he was shot to death by the stranger who stalked him with a deadly weapon and shot him to death?
 
 
-10 # Jmac 2012-03-31 09:14
You don't have to be an innocent person to get your case to trial, i was saying that as soon as his issues came to light the parents freaked out I'm sure encouraged by thier lawyer to help thier case. Zimmerman's no saint either but his family didn't start jumping up and down when it was mentioned.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:08
Zimmerman's parents have already weighed in saying that Martin was threatening Zimmerman's life. How could they possibly know this? They weren't there.

If you don't have to be an innocent person to get your case heard, what is the reason for bringing up inconsequential comments that have nothing to do with the case?
 
 
+23 # dick 2012-03-29 23:53
Wow. Does that look like someone who just had his head repeatedly slammed into the sidewalk? If he had a "head wound" why wasn't he taken to a hospital? Concussion watch? The story here may be more about the Sanford police than about the SYG law. Some of the other SYG killings may also be more about cops & prosecutors. It never did make any sense, in a # of cases, when the police said of someone who shot an unarmed victim, "Well, the (white) guy said he felt threatened, so I just let him go." That dog won't hunt. Time to pressure Sanford, Florida, Disney, etc., with "Hell no, we won't go" until they clean up their NRA-WalMart inspired mess.
 
 
+28 # Michael S. Cullen 2012-03-29 23:58
If Zimmerman had a broken nose, let's see the medical report, signed by a physician. Isn't anybody even asking for such a report? Wouldn't a judge ask for evidence that Zimmerman sustained injuries?
Michael S. Cullen, Berlin, Germany
 
 
+2 # AMLLLLL 2012-04-01 10:45
Even a nose that's been hit would issue enough blood to register on Zimmermann's shirt and jacket. Considering the ineptitude of the local police, I would say that any head injuries would be from getting Zimmermann into the squad car.
 
 
+6 # Rick Levy 2012-03-30 00:06
By the same token, Martin's defenders do not have the right to demand Zimmerman's conviction without a fair trial.
 
 
+23 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 09:16
It can't go to trial if no one is even held in custody and charges aren't even filed.
 
 
+17 # Salus Populi 2012-03-30 09:41
Hmm. A "fair trial" in a white supremacist state. Like they gave the killers of Emmett Till over 50 years ago. Yep, Georgie is one of us, he prob'ly really felt threatened, nemmind the evidence, let im go n give'im a medal for shooting down an obvious threat to our clean and mostly lily-white naybahood.

Sorry, people of color or little or no means, or unconnected with the local power structure [Zimmerman's dad is a judge] never get a fair trial in the World's Largest Prison Camp; depending on the "system" to bring just-us in any case involving race is like expecting jackals to become vegetarians.
 
 
-6 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:25
That's a crock, racisim goes back and forth no matter what group is involved. Whites have no majority ownwership on racisim whatsoever.
 
 
+7 # jhosay 2012-03-30 00:13
If the people we are supposed to trust to keep law and order are criminals themselves, what are we to do?
Perhaps the only good that will come from this is that similar laws to the one passed in Florida will not be passed in other states.
 
 
+23 # Liberalthinker 2012-03-30 02:14
I am outraged that the tragedy ,which is the death of a 17 year old boy, has been turned into a circus of misinformation ,apparent cover-ups and allusions to criminality of an unarmed kid who was armed with Skittles and a cold drink in a styrofoam cup. A kind conclusion about Mr. Zimmerman was that he was a "Barney Fife" being very important. Now with the defense of his behavior by his friends and a neighboring newspaper I feel NO kindness ...Jesse Singal is entirely correct ...Don't hold your breath for justice to be done.
 
 
+4 # Salus Populi 2012-03-30 02:25
"Screams for an explanation"? Say, rather, clearly paints Zimmerman, a "good old boy" whose father is a judge and therefore obviously close to the police department in the racist redoubt in northern Florida, as a scheming liar and deliberate, cold-blooded murderer who should face first degree murder charges with a hate crime kicker, and death by lethal injection for his crime of race hatred. And the "Sentinel" -- what a militaristic, reactionary name, redolent of the antebellum attitudes that still permeate the Old South -- should be condemned for the racist hate sheet that it is. America doesn't *have* a race problem: America *is* a race problem, and all the media-fostered sanctimony in the world can't whitewash this scab of a country's prurient interest in killing blacks and teenagers and assassinating their memory. This wasn't the reicht-wing hate sheets all by their lonesome; this was the mainscream mass whoreporate media in full panoply, leering at a falsified picture that reinforced the national mood of racist hysteria.
 
 
-3 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:26
where is this Judge that's his dad? this has not come out in the news at all.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:18
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/29/george-zimmermans-father-claims-trayvon-martin-beat-his-son-threatened-his-life/

Are you telling me you don't listen to FOX NEWS?!?
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 23:23
I've never been given thumbs down for supplying a link before. Interesting reaction to a simple fact.
 
 
+13 # BobbyLip 2012-03-30 04:53
Violent death of black teen not covered or investigated by the media? They didn't cover it because IT WASN'T NEWS! In America it wasn't news. It was just another SO-WHAT moment. Who's on "Dancing with the Stars?"
 
 
-25 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-30 05:13
Read the police report, it says the EMTs cleaned him up, according to CNBC...
 
 
+25 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 09:00
Why doesn't your comment surprise me?

Apparently EMTs can suddenly UN-break a nose too, huh? The did a good job cleaning all the stains off of his shirt. Are you refering to the EMT laundry service? Why couldn't they afford bandages to put on him?

From the looks of the video, there wasn't anything for them to clean up except the police report.
 
 
-6 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:50
billy bob ever been punched in the nose? it doesn't always break and it's not always bloody. you eyes might swelll up in the next 24 hours though.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:16
I've never had to lie about a bunch of serious injuries and then pretend to have excuses for why they're invisible.
 
 
+6 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:41
Either it broke or it didn't. We were told it was broken. We were told Martin was on top when he was shot to death, which would have probably bled all over Zimmerman. We were told Zimmerman had his head pounded into the pavement. If someone pounded your head into the pavement it wouldn't take much crack your skull and kill you. It would be pretty impossible to endure all of these injuries without ANY visible signs.
 
 
+19 # riverhouse 2012-03-30 09:23
Then let's see the EMTs report. Whenever they appear at a scene they are required to write a report. If they treated Zimmerman, there is a written and detailed report.
 
 
-6 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:27
wow you went against the grain on that one, how dare you...lol
 
 
+41 # Ralph Averill 2012-03-30 05:18
Purely for the sake of argument, what if Martin really did beat up on Zimmerman? Zimmerman was stalking him. That is threatening. Why did Zimmermen have the right to stand his ground, but Trayvon Martin didn't? If Zimmerman's head was beaten bloody, why wasn't he taken to the nearest ER? Zimmerman was armed. How did Martin even get close enough to him to beat him up? None of it washes.
Failure of the news media in a racially charged situation? What else is new.
Misinformation on the internet? The internet is the greatest force-multiplie r of misinformation ever invented.
 
 
+27 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 09:01
You're right. If anything, Martin would have been the one "standing his ground".
 
 
+11 # Pallas 2012-03-30 10:24
I didn't see your posting before I sent my own, below. Obviously, I agree, and, frankly, I am stunned that people aren't screaming this from rooftops. Is it even being considered by those making decisions in this case? It ought to be perfectly obvious - unless one accepts the premise that a black kid is by definition threatening, and a stalker with paler skin is not.
 
 
+6 # switepine 2012-03-30 05:31
I notice there is almost a casual "Swagger" to his walk and demeanor. It is outrageous that this man walks free yet today. What harm would it have been to hold him and do more thorough investigation, instead he was nearly treated as if he was a man who had just hit a god with his car!
 
 
-3 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:29
no one walks swaggering in handcuffs, he had a pretty hang dog expression on his face.
 
 
+14 # stonecutter 2012-03-30 06:45
Last evening, an MSNBC reporter showed an enhanced snapshot of the back of Zimmerman's head from the clip of his perp walk into the police station. From the video itself, no damage is visible, but in the snapshot, there IS some damage, albeit NOT bloodied or bandaged.

So the critical questions are: Does the Sanford PD have a CSI unit or team? Were they called to the scene? Was Zimmerman photographed by a CSI tech at the scene of the incident, BEFORE any EMT's worked on him? Why wasn't his head bandaged, or his alleged "broken" nose? Was blood evidence collected by the police?

If such evidence exists, it will eventually surface, assuming an objective investigation is being run. If not, then either Zimmerman is lying, the investigation is being/has been screwed up, and/or the Sanford police have every reason to cover-up their incompetence, or worse criminal complicity in protecting him.

In a key scene from HBO's "Game Change", Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt tells Palin news is now "just entertainment", and the worst aspects of her "mistakes" (galactic ignorance) will be forgotten by the viewing audience in a cycle or two. He may be right about the transparent phoniness or stupidity of politicians, but the Martin killing is something else entirely. It strikes at the collective moral center of this society, such as it has become; it won't be forgotten soon, if at all. It's a watershed moment in the ongoing metastasis of racism.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 00:25
Well said. But, it could also be a watershed moment of things starting to turn around.
 
 
-20 # minkdumink 2012-03-30 06:46
cmon you people,ease up on this innocent man,skittles dont leave a big mark,but if you look close you probably can see some chocolate marks.
 
 
+15 # Pallas 2012-03-30 10:39
So what? Trayvon had every reason to feel threatened, which gave him the right to fight back (if he did). The onus is on the person who terrorized him. How can you claim self-defense if your own actions scared the other person into defending himself against you? Seasoned assassins could use that ruse to get away with any number of murders.

Under the law, Trayvon had the right to defend himself against a stalker, so one has to look at who provoked all of this in the first place. The problem here is that the authorities seem to have acted under the assumption that only one party could possibly have felt threatened. Was the kid supposed to know he was scaring the heck out of people just because he was walking down the street? But Zimmerman should have known he was frightening Trayvon (running away is a good indication). Why is that justifiable?
 
 
-8 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:31
key is once you've domnited the situation you're supposed to back off. if martin confronted him and then initated physical violence to the point where zimmerman felt his life was in danger then he too had the right to act in self defense ther's no easy answer here.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:15
Unfortunately, Martin wasn't armed, so he was defenseless against a bullet from the person who was stalking him.
 
 
+8 # Pallas 2012-03-31 09:06
The answer may not be easy, but it revolves around who began by threatening whom. How do you dominate the guy with the gun without incapacitating him? Your line of reasoning opens the door to premeditated murders committed by goading someone into self defense, killing them, and then claiming they were a threat to you. There has to be a point at which the original aggressor takes, or is burdened with, responsibility.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:09
Well said.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 23:27
Pure logic. I wonder why your comment would seem like anything but common sense.
 
 
+1 # Pallas 2012-03-31 17:31
I'm not sure common sense is a common attribute.

(And I do say that with a self-deprecator y smile on my face, but it doesn't show up in print.)
 
 
-1 # 1984 2012-03-30 11:06
Whaaaaa?
 
 
+14 # fredboy 2012-03-30 06:54
Zimmerman obviously stalked and confronted Martin. When Martin turned, as any of us would have done if a stranger is rapidly stalking us and we feel endangered, Zimmerman likely panicked. This exposes the problem with the law: He had a gun.

In most confrontation and fighting scenarios, people panic. That's why the dispatcher ordered Zimmerman to stay in the car.
 
 
+5 # wfalco 2012-03-30 06:56
This story is not about race, although many would like it to be. The real story remains unknown. Tragically the young man will never tell his side.

If rational thought and dialogue ever occurs I am assuming it is possible(if not probable)that the killing was a complete misunderstandin g by both parties involved.

My scenario:
Zimmerman as the slightly unstable neighborhood "watchman." Florida lax gun laws and the "stand your ground" abomination of a law empowering someone like Zimmerman into thinking the law is on his side- regarding the right to shoot.
(Doesn't it seem Zimmerman is someone who might be a bit grandiose and over-zeolous in his role as a neighborhood "hero"?)I am just guessing, of course.

Trayvon Martin:
A young 17 year old with a bit of swagger(the same swagger I had at that age-for the record I am white.)
What 17 year boy with a little sports background (I believe he had played football)would not confront some older, awkward guy following him? Back in my day I would have been ready to "throw down" with this doofus.

End result:Certainl y a confrontation of some kind. Likely profanity filled argument with at least a threat of fighting.And there you go in a state with Wild West laws. Any threat,however meek, can be handled with a gun.
 
 
+21 # Pallas 2012-03-30 10:45
"Race" comes into it because of the apparently overwhelming assumption by authorities that Zimmerman had every right to feel threatened, while it seems Trayvon did not. Zimmerman was suspicious of the kid because he was black. Trayvon at least had a good reason for feeling threatened. He was being stalked. The way things appear now is that a judgment call was made at the scene, and that call did not take into consideration how badly Zimmerman might have been scaring Trayvon. Self defense seemed only to apply to one party, and that one the original aggressor.
 
 
-3 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:32
well said.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 23:28
Of course what you're refering to is conjecture. The facts that are widely known are pretty unambiguous.
 
 
+16 # wwway 2012-03-30 07:33
Americans still have to put up with police corruption and vice but with the stand your ground laws we can't trust a citizen neighborhood watch representative.
If you were minding your own business while walking through your neighborhood at night and you noticed someone paying attention to your presence would you know who they were or why? Zimmerman didn't have a uniform on or any way to display his purpose to Trayvon. This is why every American who values their freedom and liberty must always be vigilant of their government representatives and fight off any laws that allow a return to the wild west.
We are all Trayvon Martin.
 
 
+13 # gslover60 2012-03-30 07:52
So, I'm wondering: Does the "stand your ground" law apply only to individuals packing heat? Because if Trayvon Martin was pursued and did fight back (although it doesn't appear he was able to put up much of a fight, if any, before being shot), wasn't he entitled to stand HIS ground? And why isn't anyone gleefully jumping on the story of his "brutal beating" of Zimmerman defending Martin's rights under Florida's asinine law?
 
 
+8 # wfalco 2012-03-30 10:54
My understanding is the "stand your ground " law is referring specifically to "packing heat."
I believe it is legal to use deadly force with gun if one feels he is being threatened by imminent danger.
The overwhelmingly Republican legislature down here in Florida are nothing more than yes men to almost every corporate lobbyist that makes his way through Tallahasse with a fat wallet.
And the gun lobby is packed with dough.
 
 
-1 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:34
it's not specifically refering to carrying a fire arm, it's the use of any physical force upto and including firearms to defend yourself.
 
 
+1 # Daisy 2012-03-31 15:12
Who keeps voting for the Republican legislators?
 
 
+5 # colvictoria 2012-03-30 07:59
The media should have been a bit more precise with the information about this video. I don't see a date on the video. Was this the arrest made after Trayvon Martin's murder? Was this a video of a previous arrest? I had read that he has had previous arrests for violence against women.
Date or not George Zimmerman was itching for a fight. He carried that gun that evening and followed Trayvon until they had a confrontation. If someone was following me with a gun and came towards me you bet I would defend myself. Trayvon did just that and because he is Black and fought back Zimmerman's self fulfilled prophecy came to light and Trayvon is dead.
Thanks to the NRA, ALEC and other right wing groups this is the state of affairs in our great nation. People are being murdered everyday because some argue that we need to arm ourselves to protect ourselves from criminals. The African American community (here in Chicago) is pushing for conceal carry because crime is rampant. In my opinion this will only make things worse and make police shootings more prevalent.
With our economy getting worse by the minute we will all at some point know someone who has been gunned down or we ourselves will become a victim to this insanity.
 
 
+9 # riverhouse 2012-03-30 08:24
If the police at the time observed any injuries to Zimmerman on which they based their lack of arrest then they would have taken photographs of those injuries at the police station. If the EMTs observed and treated any injuries to Zimmerman they would have a written report of those injuries and their treatment at the scene. If the paramedics saw an open head wound or a bleeding broken nose they would have required Zimmerman to be transported to an ER and if he refused they would require him to sign a release. All of those documents regarding Zimmerman's physical condition immediately following the arrival of the police and EMTs should be available for scrutiny to substantiate Zimmerman's claims. There appears to be no evidence on Zimmerman's shaved head of any injury there, nor is there any blood on the front of his shirt from a bloody broken nose.
 
 
+8 # gslover60 2012-03-30 08:44
Well, as Harpo said, who you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?

"Said to be witnesses"? I heard the so-called "black friend" interviewed. He knows Zimmerman only distantly, but he quit his job (apparently) to defend him. Zimmerman's father has money. The phone logs say a great deal more than anonymous witnesses about who is lying.
 
 
+8 # Bodiotoo 2012-03-30 09:16
Martin was the one on self defense...but his girlfriend had it right. Run away and as fast as you can...
Mr. Zimmerman should be facing at minmum a manslaughter charge. This case needs to be examined in a court of law.
 
 
+4 # Bodiotoo 2012-03-30 09:26
and if Martin was on top beating Zimmerman, Zimmermnan's clothing should be trenched in blood from the victim...and how does Zimmerman then get into a position of straddling Martins body that is face down? I was hit by a car and the PD followed the ambulance to the hostipal to photgraph all my injuries...ever y little scratch!
 
 
+29 # Pallas 2012-03-30 09:43
Does it matter if Zimmerman felt threatened? I think the real question is whether TRAYVON felt threatened. Weren't his rights also protected under the "stand your ground" law?

If I were peacefully walking home in my neighborhood and found I was being stalked by a stranger in an unmarked vehicle, I would be totally freaked. The longer it went on, the more freaked I'd become. I might even try to run, as Trayvon purportedly did. If the stalker then got out of his vehicle and approached me, with or without a visible weapon, I might be terrified enough to pull a gun if I had one. Trayvon did not, but IF - and I stress the IF - he fought back with his body, who can blame him? Does the law only apply if the one who claims mortal fear is the one who is not black?

Trayvon had every reason to feel terrorized and threatened, and was therefore justified if he stood his ground and fought. Supporters of the law need to acknowledge this. When did it become legal to terrorize someone into defending himself and then to claim he was the aggressor? That could become a racket.

I am concerned that Trayvon's rights under the law are not given more attention. As long as he felt he was acting in self defense, it doesn't matter what he did. I want to hear supporters of the law actually stand up for it. If they believe in it, they have to admit TRAYVON had a right to defend himself, if he did, and it's up to the shooter to explain why he provoked him to self defense.
 
 
+4 # mjc 2012-03-30 09:49
All of the cover their ass stories came weeks after the actual shooting and seem not to know about the audio tape with Trayvon's girl friend. Absolutely amazing! Most recently Zimmerman's son? or some relative of his claims that Zimmerman suffers post traumatic stress about the shooting. Yeah, sure, but he's alive. And this relative said that Trayvon physically hurt Zimmerman before he managed to find his gun and shot Trayvon as he was pummeling Zimmerman...Zim merman on the bottom. Yet no blood on Zimmerman at such close range and totally unbelievable by forensic examination. Zimmerman is still free and cowering in some hiding place.
 
 
+1 # mjc 2012-03-30 10:23
jThe relative was a brother, an older brother according to CNN.
 
 
+11 # DLT888 2012-03-30 10:11
The funeral director has publicly reported that Martin's body showed NO indications at all that he had been in any kind of scuffle before his death. No marks at all, and combined with this video of Zimmerman, says it all. If not for the internet, we wouldn't know the truth. The media in the US LIES. The cops in the US LIE. The lawyers and judges in the US LIE. Now they are learning we find out the truth anyway. Zimmerman is a LIAR, the son of a judge who is lying for him now. This was a calculated murder based on race. Does Zimmerman look scared or upset in that video? He's as cool as a cucumber and walks in like he's one of the cops!
 
 
+6 # dick 2012-03-30 10:51
Zimmerman looks to be a killer. The SYG law looks to be a loser. But as I MEANT to say earlier, cops & prosecutors seem to be the central & common problem in multiple cases: Armed (white) guy executes, not wounds, unarmed victim, "I felt threatened, so I killed him." If some of these murderers were sent to prison, maybe other wannabe killers would think twice. Now it's time to send to prison any law enforcers involved in cover-up, accessory to murder after the fact, aiding & abetting homicide, conspiracy, obstructing justice.
And time to BOYCOTT Florida until they clean up their act.
 
 
-6 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:36
so blacks using the same defense would be prosecuted right? if they had a CCW license i seriously doubt it.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:13
Who's "THEY"? This isn't about "blacks". This is about one kid armed with a bag of Skittles who was stalked at night by an armed man who shot him to death. Can you accept those facts?
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:14
By the way, if Martin had the loaded weapon and shot Zimmerman for following him, wouldn't he have been justified as "standing his ground"?
 
 
+5 # Pallas 2012-03-31 07:13
Quoting Jmac:
so blacks using the same defense would be prosecuted right? if they had a CCW license i seriously doubt it.


I strongly suspect that a black man using the same defense WOULD be prosecuted in many cases, CCW license not withstanding. At the very least, his alibi would be more closely scrutinized and a real investigation would take place. It is unlikely the authorities would take a self defense claim at face value if the shooter were black, or at least a black kid in a hoodie. They might even look deeply into whether or not the shooter had been stalking or harassing the victim before the fatal confrontation. I think a lot more attention would be paid to who actually initiated the hostilities and who was really defending himself.
 
 
+8 # 1984 2012-03-30 11:00
Jmac: I can't believe you could possibly think that Zimmerman had the opportunity to clean up blood from his face!!! I don't think police would tamper with evidence which supported their own claim of blood and bruises. This is simple logic, Jmac.
No matter what a person's height or age is, the person with the 50 pound advantage will always win. Why do you think prize fighters are put into different classes based on WEIGHT??!?!?
If you are not sure of your belief of events, better to stay silent and wait, than to propose such ridiculous possibilities.
 
 
-5 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:38
1984 I'm 5'8" and 200 lbs but i would always be leery about getting physical with someone 6" taller than me. reach, hieght always have an advantage
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:12
It wouldn't matter if you knew you were packing heat and if the person you were "fighting" was running away.
 
 
-4 # Jmac 2012-03-31 09:26
Billy Bob I was talking purely on physical builds not wether or not a gun was involved.
Just like every other post you comment on here you only read what you want to see. on several of your posts i actually gave you a thumbs up while you disagree with everything not in your narrow view of the world.
 
 
+5 # Pallas 2012-03-31 09:42
I believe the point is that the gun matters. You might be leery about getting physical with someone 6" taller than you, but if you knew you were packing heat, a lot of that "leery" would evaporate.
 
 
+1 # Martintfre 2012-03-31 09:48
Sam Colt made a 98 lb women equal to a 250 lb rapist.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:11
As Pallas said, the physical builds are irrelevant once a gun is involved.
 
 
+3 # 1984 2012-03-30 11:02
And what were they all talking about for so long after they got out of the car, before they walked through the door. I think they just never anticipated this murder would get such national attention.
 
 
+1 # Daisy 2012-03-30 15:17
From what I've read elsewhere Zimmerman’s father, a former magistrate judge, came forward Wednesday night to defend his son, alleging that Trayvon said “you’re going to die now” before decking Zimmerman and battering his head into the sidewalk.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/george-zimmerman-lost-job-party-security-guard-aggressive-ex-co-worker-article-1.1053223#ixzz1qdVtvtPu

Maybe Zimmerman dropped the 'daddy-is-a-jud ge' thing on them sometime before the prosecutor decided not to prosecute.
 
 
+4 # boudreaux 2012-03-30 11:22
Like with everything, we will have to wait and see what the end results are going to be.
 
 
+9 # mudwoman 2012-03-30 13:00
Who cares if Martin WAS a "6 foot 2 inch teen with troubled Twitter allusions to criminal activity, an obscene n-word Twitter ID, and suspensions entailing possible drug use and theft." A: none of those are capital offenses; and B: how would Zimmerman have known anything more than the fact that he was 6 foot 2? The right's attempt to excuse their guy is lame on its face!
 
 
-9 # freeone 2012-03-30 13:16
This all sounds like TRIAL BY MOB. Whoever is the loudest WINS ????
 
 
+7 # worldviewer 2012-03-30 13:45
Why does a gated community need a neighborhood watch?
 
 
-7 # Martintfre 2012-03-30 14:26
Quoting worldviewer:
Why does a gated community need a neighborhood watch?


My guess, for the same reason they needed a gate.
 
 
-2 # Martintfre 2012-03-30 14:25
If Zimmerman persued and then killed martin - then I want Zimmerman prosecuted.

If martin attacked Zimmerman and he shot back in self defense then he has a right to do that.

The legal system and the courts should correctly settle this.

Evil is as evil does.

But to have a gang like the Panthers offering a bounty - that is criminal solicitation they should be prosecuted.
I would want the KKK charged if they offered a bounty for any one as well.
 
 
-6 # Jmac 2012-03-30 16:39
Yea not many have talked about this. evidently it's okay for them to do it but if the KKK or aryan nation did it THEN it's racist.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-30 21:11
Who's "them"?
 
 
-2 # Jmac 2012-03-31 09:31
Billy Bob, Blacks there I said it for you. I figured with the Black panther reference you could add it up.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:15
Are blacks a single entity or a group of individuals? Do you speak for all blacks, or just those you'd like to paint with a very broad stroke? It's unfortunate "blacks" can't speak for themselves and need you to tell us what "they" think.

The references to "blacks" and "they" gives us a window into YOUR thinking a lot more than anything else. It calls the rest of your logic into question. It puts a red flag on your remarks telling the rest of us that you have an agenda that goes way beyond the facts of the case.
 
 
+3 # Pallas 2012-03-31 20:08
It's not OK for ANYONE to do it, Jmac. Let's be clear about that.

So I'm afraid I have to object to the "them" phraseology. "They" are not a monolithic entity with a hive mentality, like millions of little human bees all thinking the same thoughts and coordinating their actions via ESP. "They" are as individual and diverse as "we" are. Some of "them" are even conservatives!

THAT'S what's racist - the division into "we" and "them." It's ALL OF US, all not wanting to be attacked or vilified or sidelined or ignored or categorized or tormented or deprived of our constitutional and legal rights because someone does not like the way we look. It's what we DO that matters.

And what was DONE here is questionable. Just take color out of the equations, all of them - the killing, the investigation, and the bounties - and you will find ACTIONS by the instigators that are unacceptable, or at least deserving of further scrutiny.
 
 
+2 # Pallas 2012-03-31 07:29
[quote name="Martintfre"]
"If martin attacked Zimmerman and he shot back in self defense then he has a right to do that."

I think that's a questionable assertion. Zimmerman was stalking Martin, and Martin's behavior - running away - suggests he was frightened and felt threatened. That implies MARTIN was the one with the right to a self defense move, while Zimmerman was the instigator and the aggressor. As you say, let's hope the courts sort it out, but, given the sloppy-to-non-e xistant investigation, people are understandably concerned that the case may not be investigated thoroughly or objectively.

As for the bounty offered by the new Panthers, I don't hear anyone here condoning or defending that. I think the thrust of this forum is AGAINST vigilante "justice," not for it.
 
 
-1 # Martintfre 2012-03-31 09:28
I said IF .. note the important qualifier IF Martin attacked...

The rush to judgement is disturbing - and making a bad situation worse.

The Panthers who are calling for a bounty need to be brought to justice them selves - that is a criminal act of solicitation , encouraging others to join in a crime.

While I am not an medical expert - IF Zimmermans nose was actually broken I would think he would look like a racoon for several weeks with two black eyes.
 
 
0 # Pallas 2012-03-31 10:37
[quote name="Martintfr e"]I said IF .. note the important qualifier IF Martin attacked...

I did see the "IF." My point is that IF Martin attacked, it seems he may well have been acting in self defense and, if so, he probably had a right to defend himself from an apparent stalker. One then must look at why he would have felt compelled to act in self defense. This is why we need a thorough, objective investigation. It's the lack of such an investigation that has most people upset.

I don't see much support being expressed in this forum for the Panther bounty. It's irresponsible at best, and possibly criminal, as you suggest.
 
 
-2 # Jmac 2012-03-31 09:34
This thread has moved to "If you're not for demanding Zimmerman being strung up from a tree without a trial then you're a racist" forum.
 
 
+2 # Pallas 2012-03-31 10:45
I don't see many people in this forum calling for vigilante justice. Quite the opposite. I believe the main point is that there ought to have been a thorough investigation and there wasn't. Hopefully, now we will get one, followed by a trial if necessary. No one's calling for a lynching, just pointing out why it looks like the case has been mishandled.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:19
Your comments on this thread have been a pleasure to read. Keep up the good work.
 
 
+1 # Pallas 2012-03-31 17:35
Thank you; and likewise.
 
 
-4 # skeptic 2012-03-30 16:37
You're kidding right? Just because you can't see an injury from a $50 security camera on the roof, you assume there are no injuries? The police report noted a bruise on the back of his head and blood coming from his nose. I guess you think this is just another cover up from those racist cops?

Let's be real here. He wasn't an "average" teenager. Average teenagers don't carry around stolen jewelry. Was he a monster? Probably not. But he had been expelled from school and MAY have been looking for easy money. Rodney King was no monster either, but he's blown his millions and had trouble with the law multiple times after his eventual victory in court.

Florida's goofy guy law allows you to shoot somebody if you feel threatened. If you are holding a gun on somebody and they punch you, sorry, that's all you legally need. Don't like it? Change the law. But please spare the vitrol, which is clearly trying to just stir people up.

I identify myself as a liberal, which means I believe in a woman's right to choose, freedom from persecution for sexual choices etc. But when I see another liberal making a stupid argument that make ALL liberals look like left wing nut cases, I get angry.

We have a court system in this country and we shouldn't be trying to get around that.
 
 
+5 # mudwoman 2012-03-31 12:16
Quoting skeptic:
Let's be real here. He wasn't an "average" teenager. Average teenagers don't carry around stolen jewelry. Was he a monster? Probably not. But he had been expelled from school and MAY have been looking for easy money.


Again,Zimmerman would have no knowledge of any of that. From what we know (and that is the problem, I guess), TM looked like an average teenager, with no real distinguishing characteristics other than wearing a hoody while black. Zimmerman's description of the kid did not involve "Yeah, he's 6 ft 2, wearing a hoody. Further physical description? OK, I can clearly see he's been expelled from school. And he's carrying around stolen jewelry. Oh, and I just noticed this, too - he's looking for easy money." All Zimmerman could tell was that he was a tall black kid in a hoody. TM's history should not matter in any of this, because he LOOKED like any other tall black kid in a hoody WITHOUT any such a record.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:21
You're right. On the other hand, Zimmerman looked like a stalker who was definitely up to no good and looking for a victim. This wasn't due to his appearance but HIS ACTIONS.
 
 
+2 # Pallas 2012-03-31 14:54
Clearly and succinctly put. This whole tragedy - including the botched investigation - was due to people NOT drawing a distinction between APPEARANCE and ACTIONS.
 
 
+1 # wfalco 2012-03-30 19:03
This article is over a day old and I still feel compelled to comment.
Skeptic is correct about sparing the vitriol.
But please folks, a little background information on Florida (I live in Tampa.)
My middle/working class/foreclose d on neighborhood(ty pical older area)is integrated.One sees occasional groups of all white or all Black kids walking around together-but one also sees mixed groups. Blacks, whites, and Hispanics. All together and all wearing the clothes of the day (lots of baggie pants etc.) Some of the scarier kids, in my view,are the white kids trying to emulate Blacks-particul ary celebrity Hip Hop/Rap artists.(With all the tatoos etc.) I have volunteered with youths of all ethnicities and,take my word, the Black kids are looked up to.
This is why it is very difficult to buy into the media frenzy which is the result of older Blacks (many from out of the area)overwhelmi ngly determining the incident as racial. I seriously doubt the half Hispanic Zimmerman was the red faced cracker the protesters would hope him to be. So what we have here is "failure to communicate"-an d this failure is largely the result of older white libs and Blacks who would love a return to their glory days of rebellion against the white establishment. I am all for purposeful rebellion, but directed at the state.
 
 
+1 # Salus Populi 2012-03-30 20:27
Was the gated community that Zimmerman was "protecting" an integrated community like the one you describe, with blacks, hispanics and whites walking around together?

Somehow I find it hard to believe that, in that case, they would be gated. Gated is usually because the people that live there, or the designers and builders of the community, are afraid of strangers wandering into their community, since strangers are almost always, in their estimation, 'up to no good' -- especially if they are visibly different.
 
 
0 # Jmac 2012-03-31 09:36
Yes Salus gated communities are built with the express purpose of keeping out minorities.
 
 
0 # wfalco 2012-03-31 16:05
Quoting Salus Populi:
Was the gated community that Zimmerman was "protecting" an integrated community like the one you describe, with blacks, hispanics and whites walking around together?

Somehow I find it hard to believe that, in that case, they would be gated. Gated is usually because the people that live there, or the designers and builders of the community, are afraid of strangers wandering into their community, since strangers are almost always, in their estimation, 'up to no good' -- especially if they are visibly different.



The neighborhood was very integrated. In fact the values of the town houses had dropped dramatically the past few years.
Many had foreclosed and are now being rented. I am not certain but I think that some may be Section 8 subsidized.
Working class Florida (I am not referring to rural areas) is very integrated. The kids all hang out together with many Blacks as leaders. I have a 12 year old who thinks Black kids are the best athletes and cool to hang around. He is a little more into the hip hop culture than I would prefer. This is why it is difficult for me to believe what occurred in this case does not involve some gray areas.
 
 
+2 # Pallas 2012-03-31 16:40
Even integrated neighborhoods harbor individuals with racist attitudes, some of them deeply racist. They just don't tend to express them openly all the time. Yes, there may be gray areas in this case. That is why we need an investigation! Right now, the gray area is why there was none.
 
 
+2 # Salus Populi 2012-04-01 09:19
Good to hear it. Fear of the stranger is not confined to one race; gated communities are definitely intended to keep "undesirables" *out.* They are a manifestation of the deep paranoia that characterizes U.S.an culture in our twilight days. Crime has been falling, according to FBI statistics, for around 20 years now, yet the sure-fire hits on television are all about rampant crime and terrorism. (A survey a few years back found that the more TV you watched, the more exaggerated your view of crime as an "epidemic" was.)

Trayvon's story, replete with lies from the reicht-wing blogosphere,has been extensively explored. So, what about Zimmerman's background? A guy who liked to drink; had been employed as a bouncer in illegal, under-aged house parties, and was fired for being too violent -- throwing a drunken woman across the room and twisting her ankle -- a man against whom whose ex-fiancee had taken out a protection order; who was forbidden under Florida law from owning or carrying a gun, but whose father was a "retired" magistrate -- a judge -- so that apparently the law was never enforced against him; a man who "liked to be in charge" and throw his weight around. And who frequently called the cops to report suspicious black men.
 
 
+3 # Pallas 2012-03-31 08:13
I appreciate your defense of your state and neighborhood, but it's a mistake to generalize from your area to less tolerant ones. I live in Florida, too - south of Tampa - and my town is NOT integrated. I'd have left long ago if I'd been able. Black friends came to visit once, and as soon as they left I was approached by neighbors who wanted to know just who those people were and what they were doing here. When I said they were northern friends who'd been looking at property on the east coat, there was quick panic and the hot question, "They aren't thinking of moving HERE, are they?" When my friend later wrote and said a nearby development seemed promising, I drove out there and had to tell her that, given the number of pick-up trucks, rifle racks, rottweilers and Confederate flags I had seen, it didn't sound like a good idea.

You are lucky to live in an integrated area. I grew up in one, and this place was a bit of a shock. Things are slowly becoming a bit less monochromatic, but when I first moved here the Klan was still demonstrating openly in a nearby city. This town remains blessed with active militias and the outspoken "patriots" who man them. My first thought when this story broke was,"How many militias are active in Sanford?" That may be unjust, but it reflects my own Florida experience. The communication failure you perceive may not be due to nostalgic older liberals so much as to ignorance of what goes on in less cosmopolitan places than Tampa.
 
 
+2 # Jmac 2012-03-31 09:37
Well said, i think you're making too much sense here though.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-03-31 13:22
Your experience sounds similar to mine when I lived in Texas.
 
 
+1 # Pallas 2012-03-31 14:35
I wish that surprised me....
 
 
+1 # Pallas 2012-03-31 15:52
There are probably many parallels. What a shame.
 
 
+6 # Bodiotoo 2012-03-31 09:04
This
Stand Your Ground" law has more to do with defending yourself
when attacked...not stalking an individual anf then standing your ground. Zimmerman was the intiator, period, if he was hit by Martin it is clearly Martin that was standing up for himself. It may not have been Zimmerman's intent to shoot anyone, but it was Zimmerman that created the situation...aga inst the dispatchers order. You light a fire and get burned you can not the fire did it by itself.
 
 
+2 # Neferterri 2012-03-31 15:18
Level heads need to prevail. This crime is bringing a lot of underlying, deep seated anger and hate to the forefront from all sides, both black, brown and white. Racism is a world wide problem and includes everyone, all classes and every society. This case will not be whitewashed. But level heads need to prevail.
 
 
0 # mjc 2012-04-01 10:00
To get at the truth now, especially with the police videos and revelations about Trayvon being suspended from school, will be virtually impossible. The police certainly won't be happy to tell you what you see in the video is just a cleaned up version of Zimmerman and they will be loathe to reveal to you WHY they allowed him to return home without appearing before a judge or having been arrested. Reading the posts above makes me wonder if anyone is really assimilating the various scenarios with any sort of open mind.
 
 
+3 # TheCoyote 2012-04-01 12:32
Another small point: according to reports, including police reports, Trayvon Martin's body was found four or five feet away from the concrete walkway between the houses, and his body was face down facing away from the walk where he supposedly pounded Mr. Zimmerman's head. That's curious but explainable. What is less easy to explain is the fact that Mr. Zimmerman had to park his car and run around two corners to confront this young man. I suspect that in the end we'll have a story of a young man being confronted by a stranger who, with no visible badge of authority, begins to question him. When I was a teenager i would have first, tried to walk away, and when he confronted me again I would have told him to stay the hell away from me. The altercation that followed was a tragedy and a crime.
 
 
+3 # Free Tibet 2012-04-01 17:36
Autopsy shows that Trayvon Martin's hands showed no signs of having hit anyone. He can be heard repeatedly screaming "Help" until the you hear the gunshot. Then it is quiet.

Zimmerman followed that kid, confronted him, and murdered him when the kid was screaming help for all the neighbors to hear so that they would call the police or intervene.

Zimmerman has a father who is a judge. Clearly, there won't be justice unless there is an uproar to shine light on this.
 
 
+3 # TheCoyote 2012-04-01 12:38
I have written before about the simple fact that we are, and maybe never have been, "one nation, indivisible." We have always been divided by race and by class from the very beginning. Now that the enormous and growing income inequality, the reduced opportunity to rise above one's origins, and the clear racist caste that marks our country, has been exposed, this fact has never been clearer.
Ironically, it seems to me, historically, that the only time we have ever had a sense of common identity is when we, as a nation, are either under attack or engaged in one of the many wars that mark our recent history. And even warfare seems to have less power now to unite us. How sad that we have no sense of community.
 

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