Yes, we're supposed to wait for the police, and maybe Zimmerman was an arrogant do-it-yourselfer who decided to take matters into his own hands that night. But when you live somewhere where speedy police response isn't a given, which Sanford might be, it could be very easy to decide that you'd had enough of this crap, and you were going to see what this guy was up to and put a stop to it if you could.
Zimmerman was not a cop, he was a cop wannabe who wasn't accepted into the police academy. His job as neighborhood watch volunteer was to watch and report, not act like a cop. He had no authority -- none, whatsoever -- to go after a mere pedestrian to try to "put a stop to" "this crap" that he assumed Trayvon Martin was "up to". The Sanford police arrived within minutes of the shooting.
Trayvon Martin was doing nothing wrong and got killed because Zimmerman ASSumed he was doing something wrong, based on his looks.
When one looks at the Florida law about standing your ground it is clear a person does not have a right to follow a person who indeed belongs where they are and then shot that person and claim "self-defense". In order to show this as a fact I searched for the "self-defense" and found this:
Based upon the undisputed facts in this case and this crazy Florida statute, if Trayvon Martin had a gun, he could have lawfully shot and killed George Zimmerman. If he could have shot him, he certainly could have punched him in the nose, knocked him down and beaten him in his own self-defense. These are the undisputed facts which I believe warrant that conclusion: Trayvon was engaged in legal and permissible activity. He was carrying a phone, candy and a drink and headed for a specific destination. He was speaking on his cellphone with his girlfriend. No objective or reasonable basis existed to suspect him of any illegal or wrongful activity, except possibly "walking while black." Mr. Zimmerman, nonetheless, became suspicious and reported the "suspicious" activity to the 911 dispatcher.
The dispatcher specifically instructed Mr. Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon, but he ignored that instruction. Trayvon advised his girlfriend that someone was following him. When he began to run away from Mr. Zimmerman, Zimmerman can be heard running after him on the tape. He says something to the effect that "these a**holes always get away."
So at this point there is no dispute as to what is occurring -- Trayvon is trying to get away from Zimmerman and Zimmerman, despite the instruction of the 911 dispatcher, is chasing him. So here we have a young boy who has done nothing wrong running in fear, being chased by a large man, not in uniform, who has not identified himself in any way. We do not know whether or not Trayvon saw Zimmerman's gun, but if he did that would certainly make the conditions that much more fearful for him. I suggest that if at that moment Trayvon had a gun, he could have turned "stood his ground" and fired at Mr. Zimmerman, because under the statute: "a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have to retreat if he believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself." Force, other than deadly force, such as punching someone, is allowed when the person reasonably believes it is necessary for self-defense "against another's "imminent use of unlawful force."
What has been totally ignored in this discussion is the statutory provision regarding "aggressors," which Zimmerman clearly was. None of this would have happened if he had followed the dispatcher's instructions and not chased after Trayvon. Under the Florida statute the defense of justification "is not available to a person who initially provokes the use of force against him," unless the initial aggressor clearly retreats or withdraws and the assailant continues nonetheless. Can there be any doubt as to who provoked this chain of events? Zimmerman claims (through the police) that Trayvon hit him and was beating him. Witness accounts differ and a police video fails to show any injuries, but that claim, even if true, is hardly dispositive.
Continued at link above.
I am not saying that what I have in bold has been totally ignored at this discussion, but that is the opinion of the author of the article Judge H. Lee Sarokin, a retired federal judge.
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Thank you, stardove, for the article that very clearly explains the case for those of us who lack the writing skills or the credibility to analyze the sequence of events that lead to the loss of life. I guess we could say, too bad Trayvon wasn't the gangbanger Zimmerman believed he was, and wasn't carrying a gun, himself.
Zimmerman's conversation with the 9-1-1 dispatcher clearly shows just how many accusations he made against Martin based on racial profiling: "looks like he's up to no good", "just walking around", "on drugs", etc etc etc. Ironic part is that Martin had been at that neighborhood before with his father, even spending the night.
What has been totally ignored in this discussion is the statutory provision regarding "aggressors," which Zimmerman clearly was. None of this would have happened if he had followed the dispatcher's instructions and not chased after Trayvon. Under the Florida statute the defense of justification "is not available to a person who initially provokes the use of force against him," unless the initial aggressor clearly retreats or withdraws and the assailant continues nonetheless. Can there be any doubt as to who provoked this chain of events?
Thanks for posting this judge's opinion, Stardove. I was unaware that Zimmerman could be charged with a crime in view of what transpired for having ignored the 911 dispatcher's instruction not to follow Martin since his doing so makes him the aggressor. That his being the aggressor negates his right to claim self-defense makes sense, although as the judge says, there are still some uncertainties.
That's very interesting and certainly causes me to rethink my view on the case. Consequently, I really appreciate the benefit of this explanation of the relevant laws.
I can't relate to anyone who makes the kinds of unfounded accusations against a kid based on what he looks like that Zimmerman made in his conversation with the 9-1-1 dispatcher, coupled with his comment "these a**holes always get away" followed by "he's entering the rear entrance....f'ing coons".
That pretty much tells you where he's coming from, fingering a black kid wearing a hoodie.
Then, when you consider his record of criminal charges -- using violence to interfere with a law enforcement officer, 2 charges of domestic violence, getting fired from a security guard job for being too aggressive, I can't relate to that either, especially with his being able to get a gun and use it, considering a record like that.