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#102 Mar 21 2012 at 10:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
Tasars have ALWAYS been known to be fatal options when used correctly, in one single short burst to drop the suspect. You are, after all, electocuting someone. They just have smaller odds of killing someone than a torso, head, or thigh artery gun shot. This is why tasers were introduced to be used as an alternative to shooting someone with a gun. Not to be used in any situation where you wouldn't use a gun.
I am stunned at how ... wrong all of this is. The odds are the same as death by wrist restraints, and most of the time the associated death from tasers is due to complications due to illegal drug use or preexisting heart disease. I've never heard of someone healthy and clean die from being tased. And no, tasers were introduced for the very specific reason to be used in situations where you wouldn't use a gun. Like riots or escaping suspects of violent criminals/suspects. The ... M29 I think the model currently used, has the stopping power of a standard issue M9 beretta, but causes a fraction of a fraction of the permanent damage.

Seriously, if the fatality rate was actually that high, would the method of certification the police and military use to allow them to carry and use tasers involve being shot with them first? A lot of the deaths associated with tasers are with people who are drugged out of their minds and violent, or have heart conditions. Sorry, but just the use of one isn't "excessive force" in any way possible.
Aripyanfar wrote:
So a police officer used an item they are supposed to use in situations they would previously use a gun in, to arrest a man with no weapon.
Again, that's not right at all. Not even close. It isn't "an item used in situations they'd use a gun in," the taser is the option you use in lieu of deadly force. It's what you use when you want to incapacitate someone, not kill them. It's, in fact, one step below deadly force on the Escalation of Force chart.

It wasn't excessive force. It was, as far as the case you linked to, a so far unfortunate incident. Calling it excessive force just marginalizes actual cases of real excessive force.
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#103 Mar 21 2012 at 10:54 PM Rating: Decent
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That's all I was saying. All we can say for sure is that those six recordings had to have all occurred within the last 6 months. We can't say when exactly, or how many more there are, or frankly anything else about them.


The article doesn't make a claim one way or the other, they could have all been in the same week, day or even hour. We don't know that is why it is arbitrary use of numbers. You are guessing. The point is, why bring it up if it is unsubsantiated. Recorded saying @#%^ing coon is pretty much a bang on phrase associated to racism. Does it make this guy a racist itself, no. But him calling in 6 times is redundant, it could have been over a year or 2 years. It is a meaningless tidbit of information. It really makes no difference one way or the other.

Murder is murder and last I checked it was against the law to murder someone in cold blood, I can see this guy getting off though, simply due to lack of witnesses that have substantial evidence to the act.

But if it looks like sh*t and smells like sh*t, it is probably sh*t, and it makes no difference if he is racist or not.
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#104 Mar 21 2012 at 11:05 PM Rating: Excellent
A guy resisting arrest and then running away, I'm not too upset about him being tasered. And also what lolgaxe said. I've never heard of tasers being used strictly as a replacement for guns. They might be able to be used instead of guns in some situations, which is great, but their application is certainly more broad then that.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 12:06am by Xsarus
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#105 Mar 21 2012 at 11:10 PM Rating: Good
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And there have been 500 taser deaths in the US because? You shouldn't taser someone before you know whether they have a heart condition or are on drugs, unless it's the same situation in which you'd pull out a gun.

Given the number of time police here and abroad taser suspects they specifically suspect are currently affected by drugs...which is a known cause of taser deaths...what do you think is going on with the practical use of tasers in the field?

In Oz they are supposed to be gun replacements, with the option to escalate to guns as necessary. In Oz, you also can't use a so-called lie-detector (a.k.a. stress detector) as evidence in court or any other legal situation. They are simply disqualified as having any scientific validity as lie detectors.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 1:14am by Aripyanfar
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#106 Mar 21 2012 at 11:26 PM Rating: Decent
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... Please, for the love of all that is holy, tell me that your entire argument isn't based on information you garnered off an HBO show. Please tell me that none of it is off that show.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 1:27am by lolgaxe
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#107 Mar 21 2012 at 11:33 PM Rating: Good
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Nope. Not entirely sure what HBO do. Don't they do dramas?
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#108 Mar 21 2012 at 11:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
... Please, for the love of all that is holy, tell me that your entire argument isn't based on information you garnered off an HBO show. Please tell me that none of it is off that show.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 1:27am by lolgaxe


Oz = Australia....
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#109 Mar 22 2012 at 12:04 AM Rating: Good
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Sorry, I forgot Oz equals Australia. Anyway, to get back to this:
Aripyanfar wrote:
And there have been 500 taser deaths in the US because?
Yeah, over ELEVEN YEARS. If that's the argument to stop using tasers, then we should also remove all bathtubs and showers because in 2001 alone there were 341 cases of people drowning in them. Should we stop everything we do as human beings that causes more than 45 deaths a year? I'll be honest and say I can't think of a single thing that would be left. I could say we could just sit there, but there were 650 cases of people dying from falls involving bed, chair, other furniture ...

I'll grant you that tasers aren't a perfect solution, but, again, calling it's deployment in itself excessive is so far from the truth that it shocks me (I see what I did there) how delusional the claim is. Not only is it not the case, but there isn't even circumstantial evidence to support the claim, much less actual evidence.
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#110 Mar 22 2012 at 1:52 AM Rating: Good
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Gbaji's a @#%^ing idiot who has no real position in life and takes pleasure in arguing the edge case, regardless of subject or outcome, and the plain and simple truth is that this is probably a simple case of murder. Either way, I'm suddenly much less interested in arguing the case.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/22/justice/florida-teen-shooting/?hpt=us_c1

Any time ol' Al gets involved, it cheapens... everything, IMO.
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#111 Mar 22 2012 at 5:59 AM Rating: Good
Gbaji wrote:
On the flip side though, the law was specifically written for cases like this
.

Not according to the Republican sponsors of the bill, nor the Executive Director of Florida carry, a gun's right group.

Quote:

"This law is for innocent, law-abiding citizens who are under attack by a perpetrator," Baxley told The Huffington Post. "Anyone who is out pursuing and confronting people is not protected by this statute."

"I think they need to go back and read the statute," Baxley said, referring to the Sanford Police Department.

Former Republican State Sen. Durell Peadon, another co-author of the law, said Zimmerman "has no protection under my law."

"They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid," Peadon told the Miami Herald on Tuesday.

Gun rights advocates also question the decision not to charge Zimmerman.

"I don't see why he hasn't been arrested," said Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry, a gun rights group.

Zimmerman had no right to follow and confront Martin in the first place, Caranna noted.

"Being the neighborhood watch guy doesn't give you carte blanche to stop and question every guy you see walking down the street," Caranna said.


Gbaji wrote:
Loud voices shouting assumptions aside, we don't really know what went on that night. I don't think that those leaping to conclusions and launching into civil action are really helping matters either. Zimmerman was legally licensed to carry that gun. He was on a neighborhood watch patrol. The law was written to give people in that position the benefit of the doubt so that they aren't automatically arrested and charged in cases just like this.


See my previous response to why this law does NOT protect Zimmerman (thank jeebus).

Here's what we DO know went on that night:

- Zimmerman, the head of the neighborhood watch, was out patrolling the neighborhood when he saw Martin.
- Something about Martin's actions (walking & talking on his phone) or looks (black teenager wearing a hoodie) made Zimmerman think Martin was suspicious.
- Zimmerman contacted the Police's non-emergancy number, reported Martin as suspicious, & continued to follow Martin in his car against the instructions of the operator.
- Zimmerman got out of his car, a scuffle ensued with Martin, & Zimmerman shot & killed Martin.

Gbaji wrote:

Let the police do their investigation. I suspect there's more to this than we've heard so far.


I'd love to have some confidence in the police force in question, but it's kind of hard right now...

Facts: Zimmerman made a series of horrible decisions that lead to him killing Martin & the Police have @#%^ed up the investigation from the get go as they seem to have just taken Zimmerman's word that things happened how he said they did INSTEAD of thoroughly investigating what actually happened. Zimmerman @#%^ed up, the police @#%^ed up, & a 17 year old kid is dead and MAY not get justice because of it.

How is this situation NOT @#%^ed up Gbaji? If you wanna play devil's advocate so bad, how bout you start by telling me what Zimmerman & the Police did right.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 8:00am by Omegavegeta
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#112 Mar 22 2012 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
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I can't believe this whacko is still walking around free as a bird (probably with a loaded gun) after shooting down a child in cold blood.

It's scary that we're reverting back to barbarism - and that it's being so readily accepted. "Lol, i gots a gun i win, lol"

It's scary that there are gbaji's in this world that will make sh*t up that they have absolutely no idea about in an attempt to justify this action.

There is no excuse or reason or extenuating circumstance in the world that can be presented in this case that will elevate this action above anything but pure unadulterated murder.
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#113 Mar 22 2012 at 9:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:

The police took him downtown, questioned him, examined the evidence and made a determination that his story matched the evidence. They then decided not to pursue any charges against him and let him go. Which is precisely what the police are supposed to do.

Let me repeat (again) another part of a quote I already provided:

Quote:
Mr. Zimmerman’s claim is that the confrontation was initiated by Trayvon,” Police Chief Bill Lee said in an interview. “I am not going into specifics of what led to the violent physical encounter witnessed by residents. All the physical evidence and testimony we have independent of what Mr. Zimmerman provides corroborates this claim to self-defense.”


The police did not just take his word for it. They looked at "all the physical evidence" and "all the testimony" and found that it corroborated his story. What you (and many others) are doing is ignoring the physical evidence and looking only at a subset of the testimony, basing a judgment off of that, and then insisting that since the cops didn't see it the same way that they must be wrong, or incompetent, or something more sinister. It's you who are looking only at part of the picture and leaping to a conclusion.


Look at all the information out there, not just the stuff being shouted the most loudly. Be objective. It's not as simple as some are making this out to be. Let me be clear, I'm not precluding the possibility that Zimmerman is an evil racist who cruises around looking for black kids to hunt down and kill, but that just seems unlikely in this case. Why this kid? Why this night? I mean, it's possible he just snapped and went off on some crazed racist rampage or something, but you'd need more than just the facts of this case to make that claim.

Which is more likely? That a guy who lives in a mixed race community just out of the blue picked this one black kid out of presumably thousands he's seen walking around over the last year and decided to kill him. Or that Martin did something which gave him cause to suspect him, and then did something which made him believe his life was in danger? I've personally been accosted by neighborhood watch types in the past. And while I usually think that they're a bit overbearing and self-important, I've never fled from one, and certainly never got into a scuffle with one. I think that sometimes, people's own assumptions can make them do things which bring on these sorts of altercations. That can be said of Zimmerman's actions, but it can (and should) also be said of Martin's. The fact is that had he simply been walking along normally and hadn't tried to duck Zimmerman, and then hadn't run when Zimmerman found him again, he would be alive today.


The police took Zimmerman's word at face value without truly verifying his statement. They did a crappy investigation at the very outset. The detective sent was a narcotics detective, not homicide. They drug tested Trayvon Martin's body (because Zimmerman said he looked like he was on drugs in his call), but did not on Zimmerman (irrelevant but shows cops did not follow police procedure). They didn't even check Martin's phone. And it's LUDICROUS for you to say that it was Trayvon Martin's teenage girlfriend's duty to come forward with evidence when it's the police's job to initially run down the evidence they have on their hands. It's multiple witnesses that have come forward to say the police edited, twisted and manipulated their original statements.

Zimmerman took it upon himself to try to catch this kid who he believed was up to no good. Whatever scuffle there was, Trayvon Martin was trying to get away from a much larger man with a gun. I believe that Trayvon Martin believed that he was in a fight for his life and fought to get away. Trayvon was not using deadly force to injure Zimmerman in that context. After listening to the other 911 calls, Zimmerman shot that kid when he was screaming for help. Why didn't Zimmerman start hollering for help if he thought his life was in danger? He could have screamed at any time "Call the cops! Thief!" or something to that effect.
#114 Mar 22 2012 at 2:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Omegavegeta wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
On the flip side though, the law was specifically written for cases like this
.

Not according to the Republican sponsors of the bill, nor the Executive Director of Florida carry, a gun's right group.

Quote:

"This law is for innocent, law-abiding citizens who are under attack by a perpetrator," Baxley told The Huffington Post. "Anyone who is out pursuing and confronting people is not protected by this statute."

"I think they need to go back and read the statute," Baxley said, referring to the Sanford Police Department.

Former Republican State Sen. Durell Peadon, another co-author of the law, said Zimmerman "has no protection under my law."


Gbaji wrote:
Loud voices shouting assumptions aside, we don't really know what went on that night. I don't think that those leaping to conclusions and launching into civil action are really helping matters either. Zimmerman was legally licensed to carry that gun. He was on a neighborhood watch patrol. The law was written to give people in that position the benefit of the doubt so that they aren't automatically arrested and charged in cases just like this.


See my previous response to why this law does NOT protect Zimmerman (thank jeebus).


And see my previous post where I responded to the exact argument you are making. Those guys are in CYA mode. The fact is that the law in question has been used in the past to prevent charges being filed in cases far less like a self-defense situation than this one. They can insist that this isn't what the law says, but the reality is that this is how the law has been interpreted and enforced by the police and the courts.

And frankly, some of those statements make no sense at all. Individuals are *already* allowed to use lethal force in self defense when "under an attack by a perpetrator". They didn't need a "stand your ground" law for that case. The law was written for cases where a person *could* have avoided conflict but choose not to. It is specifically applicable in cases where the individual is acting to protect his property (as opposed to just his own life). It was written to prevent arguments in court that since you could have stayed upstairs in your room and been safe, but choose to go investigate that noise downstairs and brought a gun with you, that you can't be charged with murder for shooting the invader.

That's what the law exists for. And it's absolutely applicable to a neighborhood watch member being allowed to confront someone on the private property of the association he's a member of if he believes that person is engaged in activity which may damage the property he and the rest of the home owners collectively own. And no amount of politicians attempting to back away from this particular case change that. He was on private property. He was a part owner of that property. The "stand your ground" rule directly applies in this case. How the hell can it not?

Quote:
Here's what we DO know went on that night:

- Zimmerman, the head of the neighborhood watch, was out patrolling the neighborhood when he saw Martin.
- Something about Martin's actions (walking & talking on his phone) or looks (black teenager wearing a hoodie) made Zimmerman think Martin was suspicious.
- Zimmerman contacted the Police's non-emergancy number, reported Martin as suspicious, & continued to follow Martin in his car against the instructions of the operator.
- Zimmerman got out of his car, a scuffle ensued with Martin, & Zimmerman shot & killed Martin.


I don't see anything that Zimmerman did that is wrong in that list. He did nothing that any homeowner is not legally allowed to do. Had Martin simply talked to Zimmerman like a normal person, instead of running (and according to Zimmerman, jumping him from behind at one point), Martin would be alive.

Quote:
Gbaji wrote:

Let the police do their investigation. I suspect there's more to this than we've heard so far.


I'd love to have some confidence in the police force in question, but it's kind of hard right now...


Mob rule in action. And you think this is the right way to determine guilt or innocence? Honestly?

Quote:
Facts: Zimmerman made a series of horrible decisions that lead to him killing Martin & the Police have @#%^ed up the investigation from the get go as they seem to have just taken Zimmerman's word that things happened how he said they did INSTEAD of thoroughly investigating what actually happened. Zimmerman @#%^ed up, the police @#%^ed up, & a 17 year old kid is dead and MAY not get justice because of it.


Those are not facts. Those are your conclusions. Conclusions based only part of the information and a lot of emotion. The fact is that Zimmerman did nothing which he did not have a right to do. It was Martin who made horrible choices that night, choices well out of the norm. I know that this is not a popular thing to say because everyone wants to feel sorry for the guy who died, but the fact is that he made a series of really dumb decisions which lead to him dying.

Quote:
How is this situation NOT @#%^ed up Gbaji? If you wanna play devil's advocate so bad, how bout you start by telling me what Zimmerman & the Police did right.


Zimmerman was within his right to pursue Martin. He was within his right to challenge his presence there. When Martin choose to run instead of explain his presence, Zimmerman was within his right to pursue him. When Martin attacked Zimmerman, he was within his right to protect himself, including the use of lethal force. When the police arrived on the scene, they correctly questioned Zimmerman, about 10 witnesses, and examined the physical evidence at the scene. They found that Zimmerman's account, and the physical evidence and most of the witness accounts all matched. The fact that about 3 witnesses (none of whom directly saw the event) did not match can be discounted because witness accounts *never* perfectly match up. Clearly, when two witnesses insist that they didn't hear any struggling or fighting, but there's evidence on both men of a physical fight, you can discount their claims.


The police had zero reason to think anything happened in this case other than what Zimmerman told them. Why would they? They followed the procedures and the law. But because that didn't result in an outcome that some wanted, we'll ignore what the law says, get a nice mob stirred up, and march around with the modern equivalent of torches and pitchforks and attempt to force the "justice" that the mob wants.

The police did it right. What's going on right now is mob justice. Which do you think is the better way to handle this?
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#115 Mar 22 2012 at 2:53 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Zimmerman was within his right to pursue Martin. He was within his right to challenge his presence there. When Martin choose to run instead of explain his presence, Zimmerman was within his right to pursue him. When Martin attacked Zimmerman, he was within his right to protect himself, including the use of lethal force. When the police arrived on the scene, they correctly questioned Zimmerman, about 10 witnesses, and examined the physical evidence at the scene. They found that Zimmerman's account, and the physical evidence and most of the witness accounts all matched. The fact that about 3 witnesses (none of whom directly saw the event) did not match can be discounted because witness accounts *never* perfectly match up. Clearly, when two witnesses insist that they didn't hear any struggling or fighting, but there's evidence on both men of a physical fight, you can discount their claims.


I'm going to respond with an earlier quote of yours:

Quote:
Let the police do their investigation. I suspect there's more to this than we've heard so far.


I'm plenty in agreement with a lot of what you've said previously about being innocent until proven guilty, facts being largely unknown, defending ones self, let the courts decide, etc. But if you're going to start analyzing witness testimony and jumping to conclusions as well, sorry, but you're swimming back alone.

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#116 Mar 22 2012 at 3:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
I'm plenty in agreement with a lot of what you've said previously about being innocent until proven guilty, facts being largely unknown, defending ones self, let the courts decide, etc. But if you're going to start analyzing witness testimony and jumping to conclusions as well, sorry, but you're swimming back alone.


Agreed. Gbaji started out reasonably enough here, I think. Keep him talking though, and eventually he'll fall back and entrench himself in a more biased position, which he seems to be doing as we speak. It's pretty common behavior from him.

I'll certainly advocate a reserved approach to the case. I think some people are shooting from the hip too quickly against Zimmerman with many accusations here. But I also think that Gbaji is now coming too readily to his defense (I wonder why?). There's a difference between "innocent until proven guilty" and "starting out wholly convinced of innocence and unwilling to accept other possibilities."

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 5:10pm by Eske
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#117 Mar 22 2012 at 3:10 PM Rating: Good
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If some unknown car had been following me slowly for 2-4+ minutes when it was dark, foggy, and rainy, you can sure as hell bet I'm going to be freaked the f*** out. Your first thought should be to GTFO of there, because the chances that your are in serious danger are not low at that point.

Especially if you are a black kid walking alone.
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#118 Mar 22 2012 at 3:15 PM Rating: Good
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The only conclusion that I can take away from this case right now, from what we firmly know about the circumstances, is that there need to be measures in place to keep armed citizens from needlessly escalating a situation towards violence. I think it's clear that Zimmerman did that, at the very least.

Firearms can't be used to embolden people into rash decisions. Actions like that add volatility to a situation. I can envision myriad scenarios where two people butt heads, and one is armed, where in the heat of the moment mistakes are made on both sides and someone gets shot. In those cases, I don't think I can help but lay more blame on the person who introduced the gun into the situation.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 5:16pm by Eske
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#119 Mar 22 2012 at 3:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
If some unknown car had been following me slowly for 2-4+ minutes when it was dark, foggy, and rainy, you can sure as hell bet I'm going to be freaked the f*** out. Your first thought should be to GTFO of there, because the chances that your are in serious danger are not low at that point.

Especially if you are a black kid walking alone.


I know I would be hella nervous if some guy is following me while giving the stink eye the entire time.
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#120 Mar 22 2012 at 4:08 PM Rating: Decent
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Thumbelyna Quick Hands wrote:
The police took Zimmerman's word at face value without truly verifying his statement.


You know this for a fact? Or you're just repeating what a lot of people (who are also just repeating it) are saying? According to the police, they questioned around 10 witnesses in addition to Zimmerman and the examined the physical evidence. While the media is making a huge deal of a couple witness reports which after the fact appear to contradict or dispute Zimmerman's account, those witness statements are more about speculation than reports of what they actually saw.

It's a funny thing how perceptions change after an event occurs and people start comparing notes or assumptions. We start filling in the gaps with what we think is true, but that's not always what's actually true. For example, the 13 year old boy who was walking the dog? He reported that the person on the ground screaming was wearing a red shirt. He didn't see the shot. Another witness saw someone with a white shirt straddling someone with a red shirt beating him. Then the gunshot rang out. Then that witness saw the person with the red shirt standing over the person on the ground.

Zimmerman was wearing a red jacket. Martin was wearing a grey hoodie (certainly more white than red). The point is that all of the witnesses who actually saw the struggle agreed that it was the guy wearing red (which had to be Zimmerman) on the ground being beaten. He was also the one screaming for help, even if some reported that it sounded like a kid, it was him, not Martin. People fill in the blanks. They assumed that it must have been the younger person who was screaming. The 13 year old even reported (later) to the media that it was Trayvon on the ground in the red shirt. Why? Because by then he'd assumed that it was Trayvon being beaten, so he must have been the guy he saw on the ground wearing red.

But he wasn't. The police weren't biased by later media coverage and gap filling. They looked at the facts at the time. And they were pretty overwhelming. Multiple witnesses describing what could only have been Zimmerman on the ground being pummeled by Martin. Zimmerman with grass stains on his back. Zimmerman with a bloody nose and wound on the back of his head. All the physical evidence matched the witness statements at the time. What has happened is that witnesses have filled in the gaps and in the retelling to a media looking for a good story, end out presenting a completely false version of events.


The police did exactly what they should have based on overwhelming evidence that this was a self defense case.

Quote:
Whatever scuffle there was, Trayvon Martin was trying to get away from a much larger man with a gun.


You're filling in the blanks with that assumption though. You assume that Martin didn't do anything wrong, so you fill in rationales for what happened based on that. But what if you're wrong? What if Zimmerman's story that he didn't initiate a conflict with Martin is true? What if Martin attacked him from behind as he claims? What if it was Martin who was beating the crap out of Zimmerman, who then had no choice but to use his gun to defend himself?

Are you really sure of the story you've heard in the media? For example. Do you know how tall Martin was? Are you so sure that someone you've never met and never heard of before this last week is the darling angle required for these assumptions?

Quote:
I believe that Trayvon Martin believed that he was in a fight for his life and fought to get away.


Except that there are a number of witness reports which directly contradict that.

Quote:
Trayvon was not using deadly force to injure Zimmerman in that context.


Again, witness reports and physical evidence refute that.

Quote:
After listening to the other 911 calls, Zimmerman shot that kid when he was screaming for help. Why didn't Zimmerman start hollering for help if he thought his life was in danger? He could have screamed at any time "Call the cops! Thief!" or something to that effect.


According to him, he did. Are you sure who was crying for help? Were the witnesses sure? Again, perception is a funny thing. You assume it must be the younger guy calling for help, so you interpret what you hear within that context. But are you sure?
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#121 Mar 22 2012 at 4:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
I'll certainly advocate a reserved approach to the case. I think some people are shooting from the hip too quickly against Zimmerman with many accusations here. But I also think that Gbaji is now coming too readily to his defense (I wonder why?). There's a difference between "innocent until proven guilty" and "starting out wholly convinced of innocence and unwilling to accept other possibilities."


I'm arguing against the assumption that the police must have botched their investigation because it didn't result in arresting Zimmerman (apparently). I'm also arguing that much of what is being presented to us in the media is *not* a full story with regard to what happened that night.

It's interesting, because as I dig up more and more stories, the pieces start to fall into place. Sometimes, it's one piece in one story (such as the 13 year old saying that the guy on the ground was wearing a red shirt). Then it's another (a witness saying that the person who was standing after the shot was the person who was on the ground being beaten before the shot). You start adding this stuff up and pretty soon it vastly outweighs the strong assertions being made by those who weren't there and the very non-definitive statements from a few witnesses after the fact to the media which allows for those strong assertions to be accepted. Meanwhile, some very clear information which is available (if you dig) is being just ignored by most people when they relate this case.


I suspect that when the full facts come out, there are going to be a whole lot of people who are owed an apology.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 3:17pm by gbaji
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#122 Mar 22 2012 at 4:22 PM Rating: Good
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Again, witness reports and physical evidence refute that.


Can you actually link me to an article that mentions these pieces of evidence? Because I confess none of the ones I read offer any evidence for Zimmerman's side of the story. This might just be me forgetting facts IIRC, the current stance of the police department was that they can't refute Zimmerman's claim, not that they have any particular reason to believe it.

And I agree with that system. Reasonable doubt is a very important system--it gets us closer to justice than anything else I can think of. But I haven't seen anything to confirm Zimmerman's story. In and of itself, not enough for me to call for an arrest. But compounded with the third-party testimonies we have seen, then it becomes problematic.

[EDIT]
Quote:
I'm arguing against the assumption that the police must have botched their investigation because it didn't result in arresting Zimmerman (apparently)


Well if that isn't a straw man, I don't know what is.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 6:23pm by idiggory
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Well if that isn't a straw man, I don't know what is.


This.

Screenshot

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#124 Mar 22 2012 at 4:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Oh...

I was mistaken then.
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#126 Mar 22 2012 at 5:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Ok. first report (I've linked this before btw):

Quote:
Zimmerman had a damp shirt, grass stains, a bloody nose and was bleeding from a wound in back of his head, according to police reports.


From the same article (remember that this is what he's telling the media now):

Quote:
A neighborhood eighth-grader out walking his dog said his family also called 911.

“I saw someone lying on the ground, and I heard screaming,” said Austin, 13, whose mother asked that his last name not be published. “I don’t know that it was the person on the [ground] who was screaming, but to me it sounded like a kid who was crying. It was a yell for help, and I think it was Trayvon.”



From this article, a bit about Mary Cutcher:

Quote:
The time that we heard the whining and then the gunshot, we did not hear any wrestling, no punching, no fighting, nothing to make it sound like there was a fight," said Mary Cutcher, one of the callers.


But in the previously linked article, there's this:

Quote:
Lee released a statement Thursday disputing Cutcher’s account, saying it differed from what she originally told police, which she angrily denies.

Cutcher originally gave police a statement that matched Zimmerman’s account, said police spokesman Sgt. David Morgenstern.


Assuming that they have her testimony on tape or in writing, I suppose we'll eventually know who is correct. But it seems far more likely for someone to change the story slightly over time when retelling it to the media, then for police to do so (given that they're legally "stuck" with the actual original testimony).

Then, there's this link

Quote:
Another woman said a man in a 'white top' was on top of Trayvon.



According to the police report (you all read this right?). A relevant portion:

Quote:
As I walked in between the buildings, I observed a white male, wearing a red jacket and blue jeans. I also observed a black male, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, laying face down in the grass.

I asked the subject in the red jacket, later identified as George Zimmerman (who was original caller for suspicious person complaint), if he had seen the subject. Zimmerman stated that he had shot the subject and was still armed. Zimmerman complied with all of my verbal commands and was secured in handcuffs. Located on the inside of Zimmerman's waistband, I removed a black Kel Tek 9mm PF9 semi auto handgun and holster. While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe 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.


Then, there's this

Mostly just repeats what other sources have said, but there's this:

Quote:
Eyewitness account of Zimmerman being pinned on the ground and beaten by Martin, and crying for help. Eyewitnesses can be unreliable, but the account 100% corroborates with the police data.

Sounds to me like Zimmerman saw the witness and called for help, when the witness ran inside and instead called the cops (who were already en-route) Zimmerman shot.


So. The only person wearing red, with wounds to his nose and the back of his head, was also reported by witnesses to have been the one on his back, while the other person was on top of him. Despite (a few) people later incorrectly identifying them by name (and assuming that Trayvon was the one on the ground), the physical evidence in front of the police that night *can't* be wrong. None of the witnesses saw either person well enough to identify them, only their clothes. That, and the physical evidence was certainly enough to prove self defense.


Now, we can speculate about how the scuffle started, but we can't even get to that point if people are unwilling to look at more information than just that being repeated the most by those on one "side" of this issue. Look at all the facts. At the very least, these two were both in a fight and Martin was not automatically losing just because he was younger. He was a 6 foot tall 17 year old football player. Zimmerman was a 5'9 sorta plump guy in his late 20s. It's at least misleading to just assume that Martin *must* have been the one with the disadvantage in a physical fight here.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 4:19pm by gbaji
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#128 Mar 22 2012 at 5:27 PM Rating: Default
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I was asked to provide links which supported Zimmerman's side of the story. I did just that. I thought you guys wanted more information? Apparently, some of you don't.
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We know there was a fight, so having injuries isn't really a surprise. No one has ever claimed, to my knowledge, that Zimmerman just got out of his car and shot the kid. They got in a fight. There are two questions that need answering. One, who started it? And Two, was it covered under the stand your ground act? If Zimmerman was following the kid, there's a very good chance that he's not protected by the act regardless of who started the engagement. Even if the youngster engaged first, it was with someone who (confirmed by the 911 call), had been slowly following him for at least 4 minutes. That definitely sounds like self defense.

You're relying on this white top/red jacket distinction to prove that one is false, but they take place at different times. It was a cold, wet evening. Is there any chance that GASP, he could have put on his jacket by the time the cops arrived? The jacket he may well have not been wearing while in his car (I, for one, almost never wear a coat while driving if I can help it--the lowest setting of heat is generally sufficient for maintaining a comfortable temperature).

And that last article you linked says that the "sole" witness saw Zimmerman being pinned, but the police report lists multiple witnesses. It's also fully possible that, in the fight we know happened, Trayvon at some point had the upper hand. That obviously does not mean he had to be the aggressor, and we know he didn't keep the advantage.

Also, I have serious problems believing that he hit Zimmerman on the back of the head with a pipe, and all Zimmerman had was some minor bleeding.

[EDIT]

According to your links, Trayvon was about 6 ft, but 160 pounds. He may have been a football player, but not in the way you are trying to get us to imagine.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 7:43pm by idiggory
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#130 Mar 22 2012 at 6:39 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
We know there was a fight, so having injuries isn't really a surprise. No one has ever claimed, to my knowledge, that Zimmerman just got out of his car and shot the kid. They got in a fight.


Not that he just got out of his car and shot Martin, but Mary Cutcher (whose interview has been aired many times and is one of the prime sources being used to argue that Zimmerman should be charged with murder) absolutely has been claiming that there was no fight immediately prior to the shot being fired (and thus, he had no reason to shoot):

From this article

Quote:
This was not self-defense,” Cutcher said. “We heard no fighting, no wrestling, no punching. We heard a boy crying. As soon as the shot went off, it stopped, which tells me it was the child crying. If it had been Zimmerman crying, it wouldn’t have stopped. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting.”

She and her friend say they heard the sounds from a few steps away, where they were inside beside an open window. Seconds later, they dashed out to find a boy face down on the ground and a man standing over him, a foot on each side of the body on the ground, with his hands pinning the shooting victim down.

“I asked him, ‘What’s happening here? What’s going on?’ ” said Cutcher’s friend, Selma Mora Lamilla. “The third time, I was indignant, and he said, ‘just call the police.’ Then I saw him with his hands over his head in the universal sign of: ‘Oh man, I messed up.’ ”

The women, who were the first on the scene, said they saw Zimmerman pacing back and forth.

“I know what I heard. I heard a cry and a shot,” Mora said. “If there was a fight, it did not happen here where the boy was shot. I would have heard it, as this all happened right outside my open window.”

The women think there may well have been a physical altercation between the two, but it must have taken place in a different spot, where Zimmerman perhaps had a chance to compose himself and draw his weapon.


She's directly claiming that they got into an altercation, then Martin ran away, Zimmerman followed him, cornered him, and shot him in cold blood. Her account to the media is one of the reasons there's so much outrage about this. But her account is absolutely contradicted by several other witness accounts. I'll gladly link and quote them if you want, but it's really not that hard to find if you spend some time looking.


Quote:
There are two questions that need answering. One, who started it? And Two, was it covered under the stand your ground act?


I agree. But I don't think that drawing emotional responses from clearly incorrect accounts of events like from Cutcher help us make those determinations. Clearly, they were fighting right up to the moment the shot rang out. The 13 year old boy walking the dog said he saw one person on top of another with them fighting, then his dog got away from him, then he heard a shot. It couldn't have been that long a period of time. Martin's girlfriend said that she heard the two have a verbal exchange right before the call was disconnected (which she assumes was from Martin being pushed, but it could have occurred as a result of any sort of action). That call ended 1 minute before the shot was fired (confirmed by numerous 911 calls). By itself, you could argue that they had a physical fight, then Martin ran away, and Zimmerman chased and shot him, but what about other witnesses? There's a woman who said she saw someone with a white shirt on top of another person right before the shot was fired. Another man saw pretty much the exact same thing.

At the time the shot was fired, it's pretty clear that Zimmerman was in a physical conflict which met the criteria for self defense. The only possibly contravening issue is if he initiated the physical conflict. And for that, we have no witnesses (except Zimmerman himself).

Quote:
If Zimmerman was following the kid, there's a very good chance that he's not protected by the act regardless of who started the engagement.


I'm not sure that's correct. Are you suggesting that a homeowner in a gated community can't even approach someone else and ask them what they're doing? As long as Zimmerman didn't initiate the physical confrontation, he absolutely should be protected (stand your ground or not). He's got a right to walk wherever he wants within that complex (and so does Martin). Neither has a right to assault the other, of course. But simply approaching someone isn't a crime and isn't sufficient grounds for violent response.

Quote:
Even if the youngster engaged first, it was with someone who (confirmed by the 911 call), had been slowly following him for at least 4 minutes. That definitely sounds like self defense.


To attack someone because they're walking towards you? By that logic, Zimmerman could have shot him when he first saw the kid. You don't get to assault someone just because they're walking along a sidewalk. That rule applies in both directions. Also, according to Martin's girlfriend, Zimmerman asked Martin what he was doing in the area, and Martin responded by asking why he was being followed. Then the line disconnected. Now, I'm certainly speculating here, but it would seem to me that one of the most reasonable questions to ask someone like Zimmerman in that case is "who are you" or "why are you asking me this". It's got to be something that someone on a watch patrol gets a lot, and his answer should have been something like "I'm the neighborhood watch captain". Now, we can assume that instead of giving this simple answer which he's probably given a hundred times when he approaches someone while on a patrol, he decided in this case to jump on Martin and attempt some form of citizen's arrest, but it seems to me that if he started by asking Martin what he was doing, he would continue with conversation as long as possible. Remember, he's already called the cops. He's got time on his side. He has no reason to escalate this into a physical confrontation. Since we know from the girlfriends story that he did initiate a conversation first, it just seems unlikely to switch tactics.

It seems far more likely that Martin panicked and attacked Zimmerman the second his back was turned (just as Zimmerman reported to police). Or something else happened which caused an escalation. I don't know what that was. You don't know what that was. But to assume that Zimmerman initiated it is speculation at best. And in the absence of evidence that he did anything other than he claimed he did, the law has to give him that benefit of the doubt.

Quote:
You're relying on this white top/red jacket distinction to prove that one is false, but they take place at different times. It was a cold, wet evening. Is there any chance that GASP, he could have put on his jacket by the time the cops arrived? The jacket he may well have not been wearing while in his car (I, for one, almost never wear a coat while driving if I can help it--the lowest setting of heat is generally sufficient for maintaining a comfortable temperature).


My understanding is that he got out of his car while on the phone with the police initially (you can hear the door chime, and then it sounds like he's walking in the audio) and it was a couple minutes later when he encountered Martin in the complex (while both were on foot), and when the conversation started, Martin's phone call ended, and a minute later a shot rang out. While I suppose it's possible that he could have run back to his car and gotten his red jacket and put it on, and technically the police report doesn't say that the grass stains were on his jacket (just on his back), that's also just speculation. We could speculate a whole bunch of possibilities.

I agree that this is an area that would be useful to clear up. Were the grass stains on the back of his jacket? There were several witnesses who saw him immediately after the shooting (including Cutcher). Did they report what he was wearing at the time? Also, given that so many witnesses were around after the shooting, is it really likely he went back to his car and put the jacket on? I'd think that would have been particularly suspicious, don't you?

Quote:
And that last article you linked says that the "sole" witness saw Zimmerman being pinned, but the police report lists multiple witnesses. It's also fully possible that, in the fight we know happened, Trayvon at some point had the upper hand. That obviously does not mean he had to be the aggressor, and we know he didn't keep the advantage.


I missed any reference to a "sole" witness. Where is that mentioned on the linked page?

And I agree that doesn't tell us anything about who started the physical altercation. But there is *zero* evidence anywhere to allow anyone to assume that it was Zimmerman. But the entire claim that this was an unjustified shooting rests on that assumption. This is why the police didn't charge him with a crime. There's simply no evidence that he committed one.

Quote:
Also, I have serious problems believing that he hit Zimmerman on the back of the head with a pipe, and all Zimmerman had was some minor bleeding.


I've been hit over the head with a tire iron hard enough to make me nearly black out (actually watched the floor tilt with no perception of being off balance, then watched it tilt back to level as I recovered). I did not have a scratch as a result though. Just a huge freaking bump on my head. It's absolutely possible to get hit over the head and not bleed from it (or only bleed a little bit). It depends where you are hit.


Quote:
According to your links, Trayvon was about 6 ft, but 160 pounds. He may have been a football player, but not in the way you are trying to get us to imagine.


He's also not the small helpless child that many others are making him out to be. Much of the claims that Trayvon must have been a helpless victim rest on the assumption that he was so much smaller and weaker than Zimmerman that he would never have decided to start a fight with him. Clearly, that's not necessarily the case though. It just seems like those assumptions are leading everything in this issue. If you assume Martin was the innocent victim, then a witness report of a man straddling another man and hitting him is assumed to be Zimmerman beating up Martin, and the cries for help are therefore assumed to be from Martin, and everything sure seems to be damning towards Zimmerman's actions.

But take away that initial assumption, and the whole story changes. And when you dig through enough of those eye witness statements, and you read the police report, it becomes increasingly obvious that the guy people saw on top beating the other guy was Martin. And it was Zimmerman who was crying out for help. And now that really damning situation you thought you saw at first evaporates (or it should anyway). And you're left, as you have correctly pointed out, asking one question: Who initiated the physical confrontation?


IMO, that's the only remaining issue here. If Zimmerman started the fight, then everything that follows is his responsibility, including the shooting of Martin. But if Martin started the fight, then everything Zimmerman did meets the criteria for self defense.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 5:40pm by gbaji
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#131 Mar 22 2012 at 6:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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I really don't care how the fight itself played out. All I need to hear is the call Zimmerman made to the police to know that he went against police instructions and turned himself into the threat.

I'd fight with all my heart to beat him up and get away, too, if a stranger trailed me the way Zimmerman trailed Martin, and then ran me down when I got nervous and tried to take evasive manoeuvres from this wildly creepy use of a non-cop/ambulance/fire car.
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#132 Mar 22 2012 at 6:56 PM Rating: Default
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Aripyanfar wrote:
I really don't care how the fight itself played out. All I need to hear is the call Zimmerman made to the police to know that he went against police instructions and turned himself into the threat.


At the risk of being overly pedantic, he did not go against police instructions. He was told he "didn't need to do that". He was not ordered not to. And frankly, the police have no authority to tell him not to follow Martin. It's his choice. Dispatchers are told to say that so as to cover them legally if something happens. Absence of such a statement can be interpreted as support for the action being taken by the civilian, and can result in lawsuits if anyone gets hurt.

Don't confuse a stock CYA statement by the police as an order he ignored. He's taking responsibility for his own actions, but he's also fully within his rights to follow Martin. There's nothing illegal about that Zimmerman was doing.

Quote:
I'd fight with all my heart to beat him up and get away, too, if a stranger trailed me the way Zimmerman trailed Martin, and then ran me down when I got nervous and tried to take evasive manoeuvres from this wildly creepy use of a non-cop/ambulance/fire car.


Then you'd be the one breaking the law. Martin has no more right to assault Zimmerman as Zimmerman has to assault Martin. What's interesting is the number of people who seem to think that Martin would be justified in attacking Zimmerman in response to Zimmerman merely following him, yet those same people also insist that Martin didn't start the fight. IMO, it seems far more likely that Martin, acting on exactly the sort of assumption you speak of, choose to jump Zimmerman when he got the chance without waiting to figure out *why* Zimmerman was following him, then that Zimmerman, who has no reason to escalate this into a physical fight, and who's apparent motivation is purely to keep Martin in sight until the police can arrive, would randomly decide to attack him.


Obviously, this doesn't prove anything either way. But if you believe that Martin was as freaked out as you stated above, then isn't it possible that he initiated the physical fight?
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#133 Mar 22 2012 at 7:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm with Ari there. If it's true that he was following the teen for 2-4 minutes, slowly creeping behind him in his car (headlights in dark, foggy conditions making him invisible), then there is absolutely no reason for the boy to Trayvon to have seen him as anything but a threat. I don't think initiating a fight would be the wise course of action, but I do think it would have been a justifiable response to being tailed. You should probably note that it's actually one of the more common ways hate crimes play out--it is, in every way, a threatening situation. Trayvon was scared--his girlfriend's testimony proves it. She was telling him to run from the guy, because she was terrified he'd be hurt.

And the 911 call proves that this is what happened. It also proves that Trayvon DID try to lose Zimmerman first, which was his attempt to disengage, but was caught again.

Which is precisely why just about everyone connected to the law in question has denounced Zimmerman as being protected under it. Regardless of if he actually aggressed, his actions could not fail to present himself as an aggressor. There is no legitimate reason to be followed for several minutes on end at walking speed by a vehicle.

And let's be fair--it was an act of aggression. Zimmerman's intent wasn't to attack the kid (probably), but it was absolutely to intimidate and control him.

[EDIT]
Quote:
Don't confuse a stock CYA statement by the police as an order he ignored. He's taking responsibility for his own actions, but he's also fully within his rights to follow Martin. There's nothing illegal about that Zimmerman was doing.


Actually, it can be construed as harassment in a variety of states.


Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 9:14pm by idiggory
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#134 Mar 22 2012 at 7:13 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Martin has no more right to assault Zimmerman as Zimmerman has to assault Martin. What's interesting is the number of people who seem to think that Martin would be justified in attacking Zimmerman in response to Zimmerman merely following him, yet those same people also insist that Martin didn't start the fight. IMO, it seems far more likely that Martin, acting on exactly the sort of assumption you speak of, choose to jump Zimmerman when he got the chance without waiting to figure out *why* Zimmerman was following him, then that Zimmerman, who has no reason to escalate this into a physical fight, and who's apparent motivation is purely to keep Martin in sight until the police can arrive, would randomly decide to attack him.


Obviously, this doesn't prove anything either way. But if you believe that Martin was as freaked out as you stated above, then isn't it possible that he initiated the physical fight?


No, I think it's much more likely that Zimmerman initiated the assault by going from merely following to approaching, and Martin fought back, and was shot for doing so. I'm pretty sure the phone conversation with the girlfriend hints towards Zimmerman escalating it to physical contact.

Also, from what I have read, the boy wasn't in a place he shouldn't have been. It was his family's neighborhood.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 9:13pm by TirithRR
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#135 Mar 22 2012 at 7:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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If you listen to the whole call as provided earlier in the tread, Zimmerman was not just told that he "didn't need to do that". The dispatcher tried at least twice to get Zimmerman to stop pursuing Martin, by asking him to park in a specific place, and then when Zimmerman refused to park and stop pursuit, the dispatcher tried to get him to go rendezvous with police at one of the entries to the community, which would, again, have stopped Zimmerman from pursuing Martin if he'd only complied.

Zimmerman clearly demonstrates within the first minute and a half of the call that he has presupposed Martin is a neighbourhood burglar, something that he also clearly didn't have enough evidence to conclude. The dispatcher takes the possiblility seriously, but he also wants police on the scene to handle the investigation of a teen on the street at night, and for Zimmerman to stay out of it.

Zimmerman refuses direction, continues pursuit in his car, talks to the teen from his car, continues pursuit in his car when Martin backs off, refuses more direction, leaves his car and runs the lone teen down on foot, while refusing more direction. Zimmerman's behaviour is clearly hostile and aggressive. I would say that his behaviour is hostile and aggressive to anyone that doesn't know Zimmerman's motivations, and doesn't know that Zimmerman is not a criminal himself. BUT the first part of the call makes it clear Zimmerman IS hostile and aggressive in his motivations. "These ass-holes always get away with it" indicate he's feeling frustrated and angry towards a presupposed burglar. He doesn't have justification to believe with any certainty that Martin is a burglar, but he's convinced in his mind that Martin is the neighbourhood burglar. Therefore his logic train is already compromised, and his motivations ARE hostile towards Martin.
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#136 Mar 22 2012 at 7:23 PM Rating: Good
Based purely on what's written in this thread, Zimmerman became the aggressor the moment he left his vehicle with the gun.

ALSO: I'd be very interested to see the report indicating distance and direction when the gun was fired. Nothing here says one way or another.
gbaji wrote:
He has no reason to escalate this into a physical confrontation.
Unless he's a racist @#%^ looking to tool up a black kid.
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#137 Mar 22 2012 at 7:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:

Then you'd be the one breaking the law. Martin has no more right to assault Zimmerman as Zimmerman has to assault Martin. What's interesting is the number of people who seem to think that Martin would be justified in attacking Zimmerman in response to Zimmerman merely following him, yet those same people also insist that Martin didn't start the fight. IMO, it seems far more likely that Martin, acting on exactly the sort of assumption you speak of, choose to jump Zimmerman when he got the chance without waiting to figure out *why* Zimmerman was following him, then that Zimmerman, who has no reason to escalate this into a physical fight, and who's apparent motivation is purely to keep Martin in sight until the police can arrive, would randomly decide to attack him.


Obviously, this doesn't prove anything either way. But if you believe that Martin was as freaked out as you stated above, then isn't it possible that he initiated the physical fight?
Wait, so tailing an unarmed person is "self-defense", but trying to fight off an armed person cornering you after you were already running from them is "assault?"

(Self-appointed) "Neighborhood watch captain" is just a nice way of saying "unhinged vigilante."
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#138 Mar 22 2012 at 7:36 PM Rating: Good
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Sweetums wrote:
gbaji wrote:

Then you'd be the one breaking the law. Martin has no more right to assault Zimmerman as Zimmerman has to assault Martin. What's interesting is the number of people who seem to think that Martin would be justified in attacking Zimmerman in response to Zimmerman merely following him, yet those same people also insist that Martin didn't start the fight. IMO, it seems far more likely that Martin, acting on exactly the sort of assumption you speak of, choose to jump Zimmerman when he got the chance without waiting to figure out *why* Zimmerman was following him, then that Zimmerman, who has no reason to escalate this into a physical fight, and who's apparent motivation is purely to keep Martin in sight until the police can arrive, would randomly decide to attack him.


Obviously, this doesn't prove anything either way. But if you believe that Martin was as freaked out as you stated above, then isn't it possible that he initiated the physical fight?
Wait, so tailing an unarmed person is "self-defense", but trying to fight off an armed person cornering you after you were already running from them is "assault?"

(Self-appointed) "Neighborhood watch captain" is just a nice way of saying "unhinged vigilante."


Obviously. Cause one was a little punk, up to no good, starting to make trouble in the neighborhood.
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Sweetums wrote:
gbaji wrote:

Then you'd be the one breaking the law. Martin has no more right to assault Zimmerman as Zimmerman has to assault Martin. What's interesting is the number of people who seem to think that Martin would be justified in attacking Zimmerman in response to Zimmerman merely following him, yet those same people also insist that Martin didn't start the fight. IMO, it seems far more likely that Martin, acting on exactly the sort of assumption you speak of, choose to jump Zimmerman when he got the chance without waiting to figure out *why* Zimmerman was following him, then that Zimmerman, who has no reason to escalate this into a physical fight, and who's apparent motivation is purely to keep Martin in sight until the police can arrive, would randomly decide to attack him.


Obviously, this doesn't prove anything either way. But if you believe that Martin was as freaked out as you stated above, then isn't it possible that he initiated the physical fight?
Wait, so tailing an unarmed person is "self-defense", but trying to fight off an armed person cornering you after you were already running from them is "assault?"

(Self-appointed) "Neighborhood watch captain" is just a nice way of saying "unhinged vigilante."


Obviously. Cause one was a little punk, up to no good, starting to make trouble in the neighborhood.


Now it's playing in my head, you bastid. Smiley: mad
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#140 Mar 22 2012 at 7:52 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I'm with Ari there. If it's true that he was following the teen for 2-4 minutes, slowly creeping behind him in his car (headlights in dark, foggy conditions making him invisible), then there is absolutely no reason for the boy to Trayvon to have seen him as anything but a threat.


Or, and I'm just spitballing here, a neighborhood watch person on patrol?

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I don't think initiating a fight would be the wise course of action, but I do think it would have been a justifiable response to being tailed.


You think initiating a fight is a justified response to someone merely following you? It's not btw. I have a legal right to follow anyone I want on any property I legally have access to anytime I want, for whatever reason I want. I don't even have to be a member of any sort of watch at all. And if someone decides to just jump me in response *they* are violating the law.

The correct response would have been for Martin to simply continue walking along the street. I'm not saying get into the car with the guy or anything, but we're talking about a car driving in a gated community. He shouldn't be too concerned that there are like gang bangers preparing a drive by or some creepy stalker dude coming after him. Most rational people might be a bit concerned, but wouldn't plan some sort of ambush, and certainly wouldn't run away.

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You should probably note that it's actually one of the more common ways hate crimes play out--it is, in every way, a threatening situation. Trayvon was scared--his girlfriend's testimony proves it. She was telling him to run from the guy, because she was terrified he'd be hurt.


First off, his girlfriend has never provided 'testimony". She's provided an unofficial account to a lawyer, who has related some parts of that to the media. That's not the same thing.

That aside, how he felt doesn't justify any sort of violent action on his part. His fear was irrational in this case. Had he simply allowed Zimmerman to approach him and question him, everything would have been sorted out right off the bat, and he'd have been home eating his skittles 5 minuter later. Instead, he allowed his own fears and imagination to get the best of him, ignored the most likely explanation for Zimmerman's behavior, leaped to god-knows-what assumption, and proceeded to escalate the whole thing into a life or death struggle.

His death was tragic and completely needless. But while I know that this is really hard for the emotional crowd to accept almost certainly his own fault. He overreacted to the situation.

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And the 911 call proves that this is what happened. It also proves that Trayvon DID try to lose Zimmerman first, which was his attempt to disengage, but was caught again.


Which doesn't mean anything. If you run away from me, and I run (sounded more like Zimmerman was walking briskly) around a corner and encounter you again, as long as I don't attack you, I haven't done anything wrong. You don't get to decide that since I *might* do something bad that you can do something to me first.

Everyone is making a big deal about Zimmerman pre-judging Martin, but Martin also pre-judged Zimmerman. And if that caused him to initiate the actual physical attack, then Zimmerman did act in self defense. Self defense doesn't require that I not walk near anyone else who might attack me.

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Which is precisely why just about everyone connected to the law in question has denounced Zimmerman as being protected under it. Regardless of if he actually aggressed, his actions could not fail to present himself as an aggressor. There is no legitimate reason to be followed for several minutes on end at walking speed by a vehicle.


There's no reason why someone can't do that though, is there? Is there an actual law saying that in a residential zone, you may not slow down and match speeds with a pedestrian in order to have a conversation with them? Is there a law saying that someone on a citizen patrol can't actually drive anywhere near someone they think is suspicious, or call the cops about it, or attempt to find out who the person is and why they're there? I must have missed the passage of that law.

Zimmerman had as much right to be there as Martin did. He had a right to approach Martin and engage him in conversation. Martin, of course, has a right to run away if he wants, and Zimmerman has a right to chase him. Up until the point where one of them actually attacks the other, neither has committed any offense.

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And let's be fair--it was an act of aggression. Zimmerman's intent wasn't to attack the kid (probably), but it was absolutely to intimidate and control him.


His intent initially was almost certainly to keep track of where Martin was until the police arrived. Assuming they did meet face to face at some point (as the girlfriends story claims), his intent was likely to determine who Martin was and almost certainly to identify himself as a member of the local watch. We obviously don't know exactly what happened, but I can't imagine any reason Zimmerman would have to do anything else.

That doesn't preclude him assaulting Martin, but we can't assume that happened just because it could have.

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Don't confuse a stock CYA statement by the police as an order he ignored. He's taking responsibility for his own actions, but he's also fully within his rights to follow Martin. There's nothing illegal about that Zimmerman was doing.


Actually, it can be construed as harassment in a variety of states.


Only if he continues following and bothering him past the point at which any legitimate interest or concern has been resolved. Someone approaching a person they don't recognize in a gate community who appears to be acting suspicious to ask them what they are doing is a perfectly legitimate thing to do and absolutely is *not* harassment.

I guess my issue here is that both of their actions were fueled by not knowing who the other person was and what he was doing. But Martin responded to that lack of knowledge by ducking into side streets, and walking in different directions trying to "lose him", and then ultimately running when Zimmerman attempted to approach. Zimmerman acted as a normal person does. He approached in his car. He called the police just in case this person was dangerous. He attempted to approach him to question him, and the guy ran. He circled around and encountered him again.


Remember that he absolutely has a right to approach someone he thinks looks suspicious. Police recommendation aside, he has the right to do that. He's on common property. He's been authorized by the home owners association to do exactly this. This idea that he must not only refrain from physically engaging with someone, but must actively avoid even being within sight or speaking distance or risk justified assault is frankly absurd. None of you would think that Zimmerman would be justified to assault Martin just because he thought Martin was acting strangely, so why think that Martin would be justified to attack Zimmerman for the exact same reason?
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#141 Mar 22 2012 at 8:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
How he felt doesn't justify any sort of violent action on his part. His fear was irrational in this case. Had he simply allowed ZimmermanMartin to approach him and question him walk home freely, everything would have been sorted out right off the bat, and he'd have been home eating his skittles 5 minuter later an innocent boy would not be dead. Instead, he allowed his own fears and imagination to get the best of him, ignored the most likely explanation for Zimmerman's Martin's behavior, leaped to god-knows-what assumption, and proceeded to escalate the whole thing into a life or death struggle murder.

His Martin's death was tragic and completely needless. But while I know that this is really hard for the emotional crowd to accept almost certainly his own Zimmerman's fault. He overreacted to the situation.



Ya, Martin's fault alright. That kid shouldn't have thought he could walk to a store and buy stuff.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 10:03pm by TirithRR
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#142 Mar 22 2012 at 8:09 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Dispatchers are told to say that so as to cover them legally if something happens. Absence of such a statement can be interpreted as support for the action being taken by the civilian, and can result in lawsuits if anyone gets hurt.


Shockingly enough, they're also (or, actually) told to say that because civilians (Zimmerman) are not deemed capable of effectively handling matters such as the very one we're discussing.

But please, don't let the truth get in the way of your zeal. Ya fucking hypocrite.
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#143 Mar 22 2012 at 8:10 PM Rating: Default
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Sweetums wrote:
Wait, so tailing an unarmed person is "self-defense", but trying to fight off an armed person cornering you after you were already running from them is "assault?"


No. Attacking someone who's done nothing more than follow you is "assault'. Protecting yourself from someone who attacked you (even if you were tailing them) is absolutely "self defense".

Jumping someone because "he was following me and I was scared" isn't a legitimate legal defense. Ever.


Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 7:10pm by gbaji
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#144 Mar 22 2012 at 8:17 PM Rating: Default
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Eske Esquire wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Dispatchers are told to say that so as to cover them legally if something happens. Absence of such a statement can be interpreted as support for the action being taken by the civilian, and can result in lawsuits if anyone gets hurt.


Shockingly enough, they're also (or, actually) told to say that because civilians (Zimmerman) are not deemed capable of effectively handling matters such as the very one we're discussing.


It's kinda irrelevant what the police think a civilian can or can't handle in this case though. The police did not order Zimmerman not to follow Martin. Zimmerman had every right to follow Martin if he wanted to. Everything else really doesn't matter, does it?
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#145 Mar 22 2012 at 8:18 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Eske Esquire wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Dispatchers are told to say that so as to cover them legally if something happens. Absence of such a statement can be interpreted as support for the action being taken by the civilian, and can result in lawsuits if anyone gets hurt.


Shockingly enough, they're also (or, actually) told to say that because civilians (Zimmerman) are not deemed capable of effectively handling matters such as the very one we're discussing.


It's kinda irrelevant


And yet you went and said it anyway. I'd suggest that such deliberate misrepresentation undermines your credibility, but, well, you know the rest.

Edited, Mar 22nd 2012 10:19pm by Eske
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#146 Mar 22 2012 at 9:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Sweetums wrote:
Wait, so tailing an unarmed person is "self-defense", but trying to fight off an armed person cornering you after you were already running from them is "assault?"


No. Attacking someone who's done nothing more than follow you is "assault'. Protecting yourself from someone who attacked you (even if you were tailing them) is absolutely "self defense".

Jumping someone because "he was following me and I was scared" isn't a legitimate legal defense. Ever.

"Following" is about the most dismissive way I would put it except for "coincidentally walking in the same direction." From the girlfriend:

Quote:

“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” Martin’s friend said. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.”

Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.

“Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”


There's pleading and begging on one of the 911 tapes. The wailing is mysteriously cut short after a gunshot.
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#147 Mar 22 2012 at 9:51 PM Rating: Excellent
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, really. Gbaji blames rape victims for their rape, why wouldn't he blame the 17 year old negro kid walking home from the store with a soda & some skiddles for being shot by the neighborhood watch captain? I mean, it's obvious by his actions - ya know, getting shot & killed and all - that he must have deserved it.

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#148 Mar 22 2012 at 10:49 PM Rating: Excellent
In the past when garbaji prompted a string of invective from me I've avoided calling him racist because I wasn't entirely sure.

Now I am. Gratz, garbaji, you're even a worse person than I had imagined.

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#149 Mar 23 2012 at 12:09 AM Rating: Good
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Only if he continues following and bothering him past the point at which any legitimate interest or concern has been resolved. Someone approaching a person they don't recognize in a gate community who appears to be acting suspicious to ask them what they are doing is a perfectly legitimate thing to do and absolutely is *not* harassment.


And if all he did was approach, this would be a very different conversation. Slowly tailing someone while they walk home in the dark, with your headlights blaring, is a very, very different monster.

But Sweetums said it best.

And if you would get off your white male privilege horse for a second, maybe you could tune in to how most people would feel in that situation.
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#150 Mar 23 2012 at 4:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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In a moment of levity, I'm having fun scanning the comments section of The Blaze article where Allen West came out fully in support of the investigation and a trial for Zimmerman.

Side with the left just once, and a Tea Party darling becomes a, as one commentator said, "like stays with like" race-baiter. Ah, extreme right-wingers...
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#151 Mar 23 2012 at 4:59 AM Rating: Good
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Do you argue with him in hopes of changing his mind or just to people know that you can remain vigilant against his trolling? I will add that I think it's terrible that a young man died so needlessly.
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