Trayvon Martin: Strange Bedfellows

Imagine that you are attacked. Someone punches you, knocks you to the ground, and starts banging your head against the ground.

You are in fear for your life. You use deadly force to defend yourself. You call the police.

The police interview you, and you tell them your story. A witness corroborates your story. The police take pictures of your injuries, take your fingerprints, swab your hands for gunshot residue. “We’ll be in touch,” they tell you. “Don’t leave town.”

Your attacker’s parents call for your arrest, calling it “justice.” Their demand is multiplied a thousandfold as the ignorant masses, as well as officials from the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, and the ACLU demand your arrest.

Never mind that someone has offered a $10,000 reward for your kidnapping (calling kidnapping “capture”): when the ACLU calls for your arrest, you have a PR problem. (You might even consider taking rodeo clown / congresswoman Frederica Wilson up on her offer to arrest you for your own safety.)

The mob’s anger is understandable. Given the state of the US criminal justice system, if the black guy had shot the white guy, the black guy would be behind bars by now.

Sometimes it happens—often it happens—that the police arrest someone who didn’t commit a crime. Even if there is probable cause, it screws up the arrestee’s life, costs him lots of money, deprives him of his freedom for a time or forever. There’s generally nothing the innocent arrestee can do about it.

If that is what the mob calls “justice,” I’m against it.

Government should, as far as possible avoid arresting people if it’s not clear that they’ve committed a crime.

Encouraging the government to arrest Zimmerman doesn’t serve as a protest against the rushed arrest that a black man would likely have suffered in the same situation; instead, by seeking to make such treatment the norm, it validates it.

As well as asking ourselves how we would want George Zimmerman treated if he had killed our son, we should all be asking ourselves how we would want George Zimmerman treated if he were our son. Because Zimmerman probably doesn’t have another killing in him (most killers don’t), but what we let the government get away with doing—to say nothing of what we encourage them to do—is what they will do over and over again.

It’d be funny, if it weren’t so sad, seeing the NAACP and the Nation of Islam (not to mention the ACLU) encouraging the government to make snap judgments and arrest people without a full investigation. Having taken that position, next time, when it’s a black guy defending himself against a white guy, they won’t have a lot of room to complain.

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
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74 Responses to Trayvon Martin: Strange Bedfellows

  1. Mike Paar says:

    No one but Zimmerman knows what actually occurred and what was said before the screaming began and the witness began observing. What we do know is that Martin would be alive and this entire sordid mess would have easily been avoided if Zimmerman hadn’t interjected himself in business where he didn’t belong. Imagine that it’s you who is being followed and harassed while innocently returning from a short trip to the store. What many folks don’t understand, indeed they cannot even begin to comprehend is having their every movement regarded as suspect as many young blacks do. The outrage isn’t so much at the killer either, but at the ease in which he was allowed to move-on with his life. The outrage is directed at law enforcement. And the lead investigator himself felt charges were in order, but the DA refused to accept them. My feelings on this are quite simple. Had the neighborhood bully not had a gun this encounter would have ended with someone getting a butt whipping instead of a young man’s life being snuffed out under questionable circumstances. But with Zimmerman’s past history, he was going to kill someone sooner or later, no doubt about it. He’d have made a good cop, as he wished to be, as he’s typical of their mindset.

    • Zimmerman may have been the neighborhood bully (or busybody, as Cernovich says), deserving of a beating, and yet not been breaking any laws.

      So if Martin assaulted him for being a busybody, no matter how sympathetic the action Martin was legally in the wrong. Because being a busybody isn’t being an aggressor.

      I don’t care how much of a badass you (the general “you,” not you specifically, Mike) think you are: if you take a swing at someone, there is a chance that you will wind up dead or maimed.

      So what do we do with all of that? Arrest Zimmerman because he seems a loathsomely familiar type, even though he’s broken no law?

      • Lets look at the facts that we have available. Zimmerman, a loathesome self-appointed vigilante (his own words betray him “these a**holes always get away with it”) was patrolling his neighborhood in his van. He exited his van to follow Martin on foot. When Zimmerman called police about it, he was asked “are you following him.” Zimmerman replied “yes… fk*n coon.” I heard it, you heard it… all of America heard it. Except for Joe Oliver, Zimmerman’s friend. He claims he heard the word “goon,” a term of endearment according to his 17 year old daughter. At that point Zimmerman was told by police dispatch “that won’t be necessary.” Zimmerman continued to follow this teenage boy (the deceased). Martin (the deceased) demanded to know of Zimmerman “Why are you following me?” We do not know what exactluy occurred right then. We all heard the audio recordings of Martin crying for help. Witnesses at the scene reported that they heard a boy (the deceased) crying for help and then a gunshot. A teenager is dead and a loathesome fellow is arrested. Zimmerman claimed his nose was broken, yet there are no photos of his broken nose. He didn’t go to the ER to have it looked at. We next see Zimmerman in handcuffs at the police station. You can see his face in the grainy video… his nose doesn’t appear to be broken (I had my nose broken by an errant fastball… I bled like a stuck pig and my nose was swollen as big as a pineapple. Zimmerman’s wasn’t, there didn not appear to be any blood on the front of his shirt from a bloody nose and he did not seem to be in any physical distress). He also claimed his head was banged on the ground, the police gave a cursory look but did not seem to be alarmed or even interested.

        You say no one but Zimmerman knows what happened. Yet Joe Oliver claims to know what happened… he is claiming to be Zimmerman’s friend and he speaks on Zimmerman’s behalf. Yet, in responding to some tough questioning by Lawrence O’Donnel, Oliver admitted he hadn’t spoken to Zimmerman since a few weeks prior to the killing; he said he never knew of Zimmerman’s criminal past; he never knew of Zimmerman’s aspirations to become a member of Law Enforcement… for someone purporting to be close friends witnh Zimmerman, Oliver knows very little about Zimmerman.

        Zimmerman profiled Martin, stalked him, and determining that this “a**hole” would not get away on his watch, Zimmerman pulled out his 9mm and murdered Martin. If Martin “took a swing at Zimmerman” (which you so easily report as if you were watching the whole grisly event), Martin was standing HIS ground. Not the other way around. Zimmerman cannot claim to be acting in self-defense if he is the one stalking and provoking Martin. If you bait somebody into a fight and in the interim get your a** kicked, you do not have the right to whip out your Glock 9mm and then kill him, claiming Stand Your Ground and self-defense. Well, that is unless you live in Florida.

      • Mark Bennett says:

        The return key is your friend, Richard.

        And yes, if you bait someone into a fight and get your ass kicked (you are allowed to say “ass” here), you may have a right to defend yourself. Self-defense is not available as a defense in Florida if you “initially provoke[] the use of force against” yourself, but whether you provoked it is a jury question. Did being a busybody provoke the assault? Maybe. It was clearly a stupid thing to do: if he was close enough for Martin to hit him, he was close enough for Martin to take his gun away from him and feed it to him.

        More on Florida’s self-defense law soon, and why the police may have had a legal duty to release Zimmerman.

  2. Jackie Carpenter says:

    Mark,

    I understand your stance. My problem with this situation (other than the obvious that Martin is dead for no apparent reason – skittles, tea and a hoodie in the rain) is the 911 call. It is readily apparent to me that Zimmerman profiled Martin. No, I am not saying Zimmerman is racist. However, he made a snap judgment based on appearance and, in particular, clothing. Think about it though. It was raining. Is it unusual to hunch over and pull up a hood on your clothing to shield yourself from the rain? No, of course not. Yet, Zimmerman justified in his mind that this kid was suspicious. What happened next is a vicious cycle that occurs with police officers and black men. Black men see the police looking at them and become suspicious of the intentions of the police. Here, Martin was sufficiently aware of his surroundings to notice that Zimmerman was following him, he expressed concern and tried to vary his walking speed. In the meantime, Zimmerman was following Martin because, in Zimmerman’s mind, Martin was suspicious. It’s a vicious cycle.

    All in all, there is a 911 tape where Zimmerman is saying Martin is suspicious and says that he is indeed following Martin. Next thing you know Zimmerman is shooting and killing Martin supposedly in self-defense. I can be trite and say the moral of the lesson is: Don’t bring Skittles to a gun fight. However, Martin obviously did not use deadly force against Zimmerman, if he started a fight, and I remain unconvinced that he did. Therefore, Zimmerman was unjustified in using deadly force against Martin. Notably, if Zimmerman was the aggressor than how can you claim self-defense or stand your ground when you were in physical pursuit? There is something quite shady about this case, and not just because I am black. I am upset that people seeme to think my race has something to do with my judgment on this case.

    • Maybe Zimmerman was the aggressor. Maybe not.

      I’m unconvinced too, but the grass stains and injuries to the back of ZImmerman’s head would (if true) suggest that he didn’t pull a gun on Martin until he was on his back.

      So investigate, gather all possible evidence. If you think you might be able to convince a jury, arrest him. Arresting him only to lose the case isn’t going to help anyone.

      • That’s not how the system works in Florida… And don’t be so quick to call the Masses ignorant… Some people who are protesting know more than you and more than the reporters about how the system works in that part of Florida…

      • Mark Bennett says:

        Are we talking about how the system works or how it ought to work? Because if you want the system to work badly for everyone so that it seems more fair, I’m opposed.

      • How it is supposed to work according to Florida law…. An arrest should have been made… But the value of the life lost wasn’t worth it…. Have you checked the law? Some of the ignorant masses, some of whom are licensed attorneys and criminal defense attorneys in Florida, know the law and are protesting…..

      • Mark Bennett says:

        See, you’re talking about how the system works. I say that Zimmerman’s case has been handled as such a case ought, regardless of the race of the players.

        I’m interested in a criminal-defense lawyer in Florida publicly calling for Zimmerman’s arrest. Send me a link.

      • You forget, I practiced criminal law in Florida… And here is a link to a website from a PD’s Office in Florida that discusses what happens when there is an arrest (please note the section where it describes the judge passing over the case to give the state attorney an opportunity to investigate the charges).

        http://www.pdo1.org/rights.html

      • Here’s one link to a story that discusses criminal defense lawyers in Florida on tHe other side of the debate. Bennett, their are many such other articles… And many of the “ignorant masses” who are defnse lawyers are taking action and doing more than protesting.

        http://flaglerlive.com/36213/nra-stand-your-ground

        Thanks for letting me post here… I think I will find the time and start blogging again.

      • Mark Bennett says:

        They have information we don’t have, too:

        “[Martin] was trying to retreat,” said attorney Craig Brown, a member of Roundtable for Justice. “He was trying to get away from this man who followed him and shot him in cold blood.”

        Way to represent the criminal-defense bar!

      • Mark Bennett says:

        The linked page is silent on when a person ought to be arrested, but the process sounds a lot like that in Texas’s non-direct-file counties.

      • Alex Bunin says:

        There is now a video released by ABC showing Zimmerman completely unscathed right after arrest. It lasts for several minutes and shows him walking from all sides. It is at the very least, inconsistent with his version of head injuries, blood, and potentially broken nose.I do not think one becomes part of a mob simply by questioning the police and prosecution’s actions in this case. Had that not been done, the case would simply have ended with no further investigation.

      • I agree with Mark.

    • Mike Paar says:

      Jackie, it’s my experience thus far that you can quickly unmask the racists with regards to this case just by them looking for some justification for the killing of Martin. Many believe as did the NOPD officer who posted “Act like a Thug Die like one!” on the internet before he was suspended and subsequently resigned.

      Very, very few whites can imagine how it feels to be constantly subjected to “driving while black”, and feeling as though you’re under house arrest because anytime you step outside you’re under constant surveillance by law enforcement or others just because of your skin color or the way you dress. For many, what this ultimately leads to is an attitude of disgust. Treat me like a thug and I’m going to act like one. Respect me and I’m going to respect you likewise.

      You come up behind someone knowing you are armed and having the bravado that packing a firearm often gives one, then start to harass, question, and intimidate someone, then it is you who has provoked the confrontation, and you no longer enjoy the reasonable doubt that would otherwise be afforded had you been simply minding your own business. Regardless of grass stains or injuries to the back of your head.

      You can’t pick a fight then pull your gun once you begin to lose. This, I believe, goes to the very heart of this case, and is why Zimmerman should have been arrested on the spot.

      I KNOW your race has nothing whatsoever to do with your feelings about this case. You simply expect Zimmerman to be treated the same as he would have been had Martin been a 40-year-old white businessman attired in a suit and tie and forced to confront some wanna-be-cop. It’s called justice, plain and simple.

      BTW, I admire your abilities as an attorney tremendously.

      • Mark Bennett says:

        Very, very few whites can imagine…

        Bullshit. Plain and simple.

      • Ric Moore says:

        How so bullshit? He said very very few. I think that is reasonable. That didn’t have to include you, but from your response to what he said shows he touched a nerve. I’d dwell on that during your meditations. It’s a certainty that you have no clue what it is like to be under suspicion 24/7 from the day you were born. Sure, you can make the attempt for empathy, but sympathy that arises from experiencing the same hurt, would be a very unlikely notion in your case, unless you were openly gay all of your life as a white guy. Only if you have been under parole/probation would you have an inkling of what blacks in America have had to put up with during the last 100+ years. I’m glad that the Black Community is on this case. The coward Zimmerman started it, the coward Zimmerman finished it with a gun. And that is how it has been for the Black Community for ages. You bet they are not going to just let this be swept under a rug without all the facts being presented at bar.

      • Mark Bennett says:

        It’s a condescending discussion-terminator. So’s this: “Only if you have been under parole/probation would you have an inkling of what blacks in America have had to put up with during the last 100+ years.”

        There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Ric.

      • Mike Paar says:

        I was in no way insinuating Mark is a racist. I know he is not and would never suggest something so absurd. I was merely pointing out that many of those who have expressed an opinion to me regarding this case would quickly reverse their opinion if the victim had been a white middle-aged businessman attired in a suit and tie. THAT should have no bearing on one’s opinion unless you are a racist.

      • Mark Bennett says:

        If I had thought you were insinuating that, I’d’ve been much less gentle with you. No, the bullshit is that it’s a black thing that very few whites could understand. It takes a little work, that’s all, and when we say “you wouldn’t understand,” we’ve already given up on that work.

      • Mike Paar says:

        BREAKING: Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman

        http://news.yahoo.com/trayvon-martin-video-shows-no-blood-bruises-george-194108003–abc-news-topstories.html

  3. shg says:

    What’s fascinating is the amount of information, misinformation, irrelevant information, and actual thought being put into this case. If only this much effort to figure out “what really happened” happened in every case.

    I’ve gone back and forth on this a few times already, as more information comes out. The only thing I’m sure of is that if Zimmerman didn’t have a gun, Martin would not be dead. While Z may have been in fear for his life (though I’m far from pursuaded it was objectively reasonable), there is nothing to suggest that Martin would have killed him. We could thus have a big discussion of right and wrong with one less dead person. But then, I’m neither a gun fan nor a Texan/Floridian, so what do I know about when a man needs killin’.

  4. Ric Moore says:

    Just maybe Martin didn’t want some mad man following him home? Bottom line, an unarmed young man was killed, and there is no excuse for it. Zimmerman was/is a coward hiding behind a gun, playing at being a cop. Convict saying, “You want respect? You GIVE respect”. Zimmerman will make a lousy inmate, until he gets drug into a shower for a real beat-down or two, to straighten out his perspectives. I’ve seen it happen and what happens next is a blooming miracle. He’ll wise up and become very respectful.

    He could have said, “Sir! I’m with the local Neighborhood Watch. Do you live here?”, with a smile and proper attitude, and things would not have gone the way they did. Instead he played bad-cop, while disrespecting the orders of the dispatcher to stand down. He would have made a lousy cop. He didn’t respect the voice of a woman, either.

  5. Thomas Stephenson says:

    Unfortunately for Zimmerman, his lawyer seems to be joining in on the media circus around the case.

    • Mark Bennett says:

      Isn’t it always so? Someone should start a blog about lawyers who milk their clients’ high-pub cases for personal publicity. Lawyers who dream of being on TV could read it and learn not to make mistakes like this one.

  6. Larry Standley says:

    Here is an interesting ling to some interesting questions (some of which i think are interesting, others not so much)

    : http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/28/454206/trayvon-martin-5-unanswered-questions/?mobile=nc

    The new police video tonight is disturbing. The D.A. stepping is disturbing. All things look larger under a microscope, and when major media coverage gets added to the equation – things get complicated real quick. It sickens me how some “non-locals” have interjected themselves into the equation – to me – for attention or power posturing sake.

    Bottom line: On that night, if the D.A. at this jurisdiction’s Intake had done his / her job and followed the triage advice of the detective in charge – who was closest to the situation nearest to the time of the alleged event – then the process would have gone as it should. 1) Arrest (based on Investigating Officer’s recommendation / Probable cause; 2) G.J. Investigation; then if Indicted a public Trial somewhere in THAT jurisdiction and no news cameras would have arrived in droves. Then, 3) hopefully a fair and just trial for all persons involved could have occurred.

    Now, however – it’s beyond a mess. I am intentionally staying away from pondering over this or that account of what allegedly happened on the night in question (other than my comments already made regarding the police video released tonight) I leave this up to the Investigators, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and witnesses who know more about the intimate details than I and hopefully an examining trial / Grand Jury type investigation, at a minimum, at some future date. This nightmare needs to get back on track inside a courtroom and off tweets, pandering, publicity, commercial selling vendors. To be fair, I understand why it has come to this though – over the lead detective’s wishes, the prosecutor working intake refused charges – for further investigation.

    As a former prosecutor having worked too many intake nights to even remember, If the lead investigator told me he had a “dead body case” and could articulate to me sufficient articulable facts that the officer can swear to under oath that gives him / her reason to believe probable cause was present to show, someone didn’t act as a reasonable and prudent person would have – defensively – while looking at the case from the suspect’s point of view – and the basic elements are present, the case would have been filed and moved on down the line to all the many stages in the system, with all the system’s safeguards: Right to a lawyer, Jury trial, Examining trial, Indictment, confrontation of any accusers, subpoena power, ETC. You know, back into a courtroom where the Constitution rules the day – not the media.

    I predict some sort of G.J. type inquiry and no matter what the result is, if indicted, the Defense can ask for a change of venue to Guam. If a no Bill…….God help that County and all people involved in the specific allegations on both sides. It will definitely take God’s guidance to sort this out in a Just manner – hopefully.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Larry Standley

  7. Mike Paar says:

    After having had rested the night with this subject on my mind, I now wholeheartedly believe the reason that Zimmerman was not charged is directly related to his father’s previous position as a judge.

    Think about what your reaction would have been the first time you read of this case IF the headline had read “Retired judge’s son not charged after killing”. The media diverted this into a racial debate all the while downplaying what is likely the most obvious point.

    Corrupt prosecutors are anything but the exception. And nowhere in the entire country is this more true than right here in Harris and Montgomery counties. Everyone in the Houston area has witnessed this type of preferential treatment so often that it should have been painfully obvious to all from the very beginning.

    • Mark Bennett says:

      It may be both.

      My reaction would be the same as it is now: how we treat the least-privileged among us should be improved to match how we treat the most-privileged. Not the other way around.

  8. Victoria Washington says:

    I practice criminal defense in a major metropolitan area, not only do I practice criminal defense, my practice is limited solely to death penalty defense. I am also black, female, gay, and Jewish. I am a mother and a grandmother. I mention all the above only so you may know it is through life experience as “the other” that I view the whole Trayvon Martin issue.

    I know what it is like to teach a black male how to navigate in society SAFELY. I also know what it is like to try to tell a testosterone filled teenager to “back down and back away”…knowing that is likely NOT going to happen (regardless of race). Unfortunately my grandson could have been Trayvon because despite the lectures and teachings, he believes he is still “a man” and he wouldn’t run..even in the face of a gun. I am not blaming Trayvon for not leaving the situation, I am understanding him as a man child wanting to stand his ground. It cost him his life.

    I also understand an arrest means absolutely nothing. Nothing. If you can’t get a conviction because of the rush, what was the point of the arrest? There are a lot of fishy things going on with this whole case, better it play out NOW then after Zimmerman’s arrest. Any defense lawyer on this page can make mincemeat of the state’s case even at this point. Witnesses have been on TV providing impeachment material; every Tom, Dick, and Harry politician on TV (try to find a fair and impartial jury) putting in their 2 cents; bounties on the man’s head. I don’t know what justice requires in this case, but I do know what Due Process requires and I don’t think Zimmerman’s going to get it.

    I also think it is true, white people cannot understand what it is like to be a person of color in this world. It’s not possible. One can empathize, but no you can’t take our journey and claim to understand. Perhaps “understand” is not the word we should use. It’s like a man telling a woman, “hey I understand the pain of labor because I passed a kidney stone”…tell your wife that and she will hit you in the head with a skillet. I’m not sure how many whites were

    We all have our journeys without trying to assign “who suffers more” to the journey. Respect it and each other. I don’t know if Trayvon is another Emmet Till or if Zimmerman is another Duke Lacrosse. I don’t think justice for either of them is possible anymore, no matter what it looks like.

    • Mark Bennett says:

      I think we lost part of your comment: “I’m not sure how many whites were…”

      • Victoria Washington says:

        you’re right….I was going to say I wasn’t sure about how many whites were responsible for the deaths of black people, but I do know that the majority of black males are killed by other black males and I am more afraid of black men killing my grandson than a white watchman.

  9. Ava Green says:

    You make a lot of assumptions (related to innocence) as to why someone like Zimmerman should not be arrested, and then you go on to criticizes assumptions (related to a guilt) as to why someone like Zimmerman should be arrested. I fail to see the logic. You asks that we assume certain facts to be true, that corroborate’s Zimmerman’s story, this to me is saying imagine if OJ Simpson hadn’t killed Nicole, arresting him would infringe on everyones rights. You then go on to explain why an arrest would be wrong in this scenario and how the govt should avoid arrests unless its clear a crime was committed, I think most logical people would agree with this conclusion. I think what is upsetting in this case is that there was overwhelming PC to make an arrest, and if not, there was enough PC to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if Zimmerman had committed a crime, was the witness who spoke to Zimmerman interviewed? Was the witness who stated the police coerced her into changing her story? Did the officers assume that Zimmerman was innocent without investigating the crime? I don’t think anyone supported a rushed decision as Zimmerman, was free for several weeks after the facts started to surface. I think what is upsetting to many is not a rushed decision, but this case did not appear to flow through the proper channels as it should have. And in response to your concern that rush decisions won’t help blacks in the long run, I don’t think blacks have any fear of the same laws applying to them as whites, the Baldus study and an in-depth look at our criminal justice system shows that simply is not reality.

    • Mark Bennett says:

      Is the paragraph really such a novel concept?

      None of us know what happened there. As a guy who has handled several cases that got media attention, I can tell you that the media get it wrong at least as often as they get it right.

      The law presumes Zimmerman innocent. The mob presumes him guilty. I side against the mob. As a criminal-defense lawyer, I find that I usually am fighting against one mob or another of people who think that this defendant deserves less process than the law allows.

      I agree that there was plenty to start an investigation. I haven’t heard anyone in authority say that there would have been no investigation. But—see my next post—the law required that Zimmerman not be arrested unless there was probable cause to believe that he hadn’t acted in self-defense.

      I don’t oppose a competent and thorough investigation; I do oppose crying for his arrest, rather than a thorough investigation, based on what the media says happened. We ought to be calling for the standards to be ratcheted up for everyone, not lowered for the white guy because a black guy might not have gotten the same break.

      People of a different race are not the enemy here. The government is the enemy.

  10. Ava Green says:

    PC for self defense should have been defeated by the 911 tapes which is direct evidence that Zimmerman decided to chase Trayvon before killing him, despite the fact that 911 operators had been called to the scene and were in the process of responding to the call.

  11. Mike Paar says:

    Joe Horn also ignored the 911 operator when he murdered the two Hispanic burglars by shooting them in their backs with a shotgun. At the time, I just chocked that injustice up to our DA’s ignorance along with the stereotypical Houston, Texas redneck attitude that it’s open-season on undocumented immigrants.

    Joe Horn, and Zimmerman, too, had made their minds up to kill and neither of them were going to be dissuaded by someone on a phone line. The adrenaline was flowing and someone was going to die. Though I have always doubted Horn would have chosen to murder a couple of blond haired teenagers, and I don’t think Zimmerman would have killed someone he didn’t consider to be a “coon” (his word, on tape, to the 911 operator).

    FWIW, There have been cases where people have been charged after disobeying a direct order from an 911 operator and choosing to take the law into their own hands. They were probably blacks or Mexican though. Easy targets, both in front of a gun as well as behind it…

    • Joe Horn was justified. A felony was being committed, and it was shown that the 2 guys he shot, were past criminals, and, if I am not mistaken, one of them was an illegal alien.

  12. Ava Green says:

    Here is a quote from Police Chief Bill Lee who said there was not enough evidence to arrest George Zimmerman, who followed Martin in his SUV and ended up confronting the teen before shots were fired.
    “In this case Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense,” Lee said. “Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”

    So in your opinion what is needed to establish probable cause to dispute Zimmerman’s claim of self defense?

    • There was witnesses that said Martin had Zimmerman on the ground, pounding his head on the ground. Zimmerman has cuts an abrasions on the back of his head and face. How can you rule anything but self defense?

  13. Ava Green says:

    Or would a chase plus the use of a racial slur f-ing coons be enough? Hypothetically speaking. Or do we need more of a smoking gun?

  14. Ric Moore says:

    A question here. If Zimmerman was put into handcuffs, and hauled in, wasn’t he under arrest?

    • Mark Bennett says:

      Cuffed, stuffed, and taken to the police station sure looks like an arrest to me.

      Someone may have decided after that that a mistake had been made, and that a more thorough investigation was required to comply with the statute.

  15. Ava Green says:

    It’s my understanding that officers can cuff and detain someone without an arrest. But I’m sure someone will provide you with an insightful condescending response.

  16. The media’s reporting of this, was total bull. The media ought to be held accountable for what happened. They post a picture of Martin, when he was 12, they fail to show pictures of Zimmerman’s head, they fail to tell you about the witnesses. AND, they alter the 911 call. They should be called in front ot a judge, and fined like hell, placed in jail and pay a hefty judgement to Zimmerman.

  17. well, I saw a video last night, that showed Zimmerman with cuts and abrasions on the back of his head and face, at the time of the incident. Why do you think there was not an arrest? Should he have been following the guy? maybe, maybe not. Was it a crime to follow him? I don’t know. Was Martin within his rights to attack Zimmerman? Of course not!

    • Randy Stevens says:

      We don’t know that. There are facts that may have transpired that would give Martin just cause to do something that produced Zimmerman’s injuries. The surprising charge of 2d degree murder makes me think maybe those facts occurred, but none of us out here know. Yet.

      • Mark Bennett says:

        We don’t know anything. We’ve been fed a reality show by the media. We won’t know anything before we see the trial, and we might not know anything even then.

      • Charles Collins says:

        You are right in that none of us know what is truly fact. the only person that knows the whole story is Zimmerman. There is contradicting evidence, being given to us. I think it is totally wrong of people like Nancy Grace, giving the story to people, in the manner they are. She is like a televised National Enquirer. I can’t believe she gets the attention she does. I predict that Zimmerman will get off.

  18. Ric Moore says:

    It was noted tonight that Florida has a “Sunshine” law, so that the trial will certainly be a fully televised media circus. While I still think Zimmerman was a brainless cowardly bully, he certainly deserves a fair hearing and trial. No doubt about that. Florida also has a “contributory negligence” statute, but it is used only for automobile accidents. Too bad it couldn’t be used here.

    If Treyvon did turn on his stalker and beat his ass, he’d be assigned a portion of the 2nd degree charge, with Zimmerman getting the rest of the percentage of the charge. Then he’d serve out the time percentage attributed to him. Not a bad notion? I kinda like that. Ric

  19. Charles Collins says:

    Read this, for another point of view. I know you have heard the other side by the National Stirrer (Nancy Grace) on TV.
    http://nation.foxnews.com/george-zimmerman/2012/04/05/zimmermans-father-speaks-out-hannity

  20. Travon Martin’s was exercising his constitutional right to travel. When that right was infringed by George Zimmerman the resulting dead occured. But for the trespass on the fundamental right to travel the dead would not have occured. If you beieve for one second that this trial is going to end without race being a cornerstone issue you are in a srerious state of denial on the state of race relationships in this country. All the flash point races are involved. African-American. Anglos, Jews and Hispanics. Many of your comments metnion the NAACP, Nation of Islam etc., however you failed to mention the Black Church is in full support of the activities in the Black community in support of the Martin Family and Friends. Ultimately this will be adjudicated as a Hate Crime.

  21. Pete Strom says:

    No matter which side you come down on and everyone seems to have a side, it is time that we have a national discussion on race. In the south, where I live, race continues to a cancer that goes into remission for a while and then returns when issues like this case arise. We need a cure!

    • Mark Bennett says:

      Pete, I believe it’s innate, biological. If we didn’t group ourselves by race we’d group ourselves by something else.

      The disease is not bias, but denial of bias. The best we can to do is recognize, each of us, that it’s in us, deal with it, and talk about it.

  22. Randy Stevens says:

    Um, what? Tried Google translator but couldn’t get a match…

    • Mark Bennett says:

      From his name, I gather that Mr. Hopkins is a follower of the sovereign-citizen movement.

      From his rhetoric, I gather that Mr. Hopkins wants race war…despite the fact that the black man has been losing the race war in America for the last half-millennium.

  23. Nathani el Hopkins says:

    If you step on my foot and I give you reasonable notice that your foot is on top of mine then you respond with “put your foot in your pocket.” I immediately knock you flat of your ass and commence to stomping a mud hole in it. Which of us are guilty of a crime?We all believe that Zimmerman would not die of natural causes in the state pen. The verdict would be made as easily amongst the inmates of his guilt as it was not guilty by the stacked all white/jew jury. The weak ass position of gz having a right to defend himself and get full protection of any law is a bunch of racist b.s. The difficulty of finding standing for the federal jurisdiction of civil rights violations is an outright lie. They had no jurisdictional problem with filing suit against the New Black Panter Party for a verbal altercation of one member and one poll watcher, but the murder of a Black child by a grown ass jew man is problematic is glaring evidence proving this entire dog and pony show is racist at its core. Gz interfered with Tm Constitution Right To Travel and Freedom of Movement that alone gives the JD jurisdiction in this matter. “Where there is an injury there is a remedy.” The dead body proves the injury. The REMEDY will follow in court or by any means necessary, and on that all may depend. In the words of the Hood, “Just as show as a wild bear will shit in the woods this ain’t nearly over. What goes around comes around from now own. You murder a black minor, now you will face Black adults; just as show as a wild bear will shit in the woods, it ain’t over.

  24. An ordinary descendant of kidnapped African enslaved under the laws of this country. The lame logics or theory that the one who starts a fight can become the victim of that fight deserving the right to defend themselves with due force including the death of the one that was breaking no laws makes no sense unless it equally applied. If it was that means that every African American in the United States of America having parents kidnapped by the Europeans and Americans has a legal right to use all necessary force in the secondary half of the on-going war. I do agree that hate is very much an important element of this entire fraud in the name of justice. Hate will be the central issue when this goes into federal court as all now know is going to happen. I believe that a Hate crime that results in the death of the hated carries a death penalty. In the Old Testament and Mosaic law its worded as a life for a life. In canons of the Catholic Church its termed as a “just war.” I think that we may all agree that when a grown ass man run down and shoot a hollow point bullet into the heart of a child of another race that murder occurred at the hands of a hateful heathen and the righteous have a duty to balance the scales of justice in the name of God Almighty. Talk hate to the ones that enslaved, tortured and murder the innocent Africans in this country under the law and blessing of the Christian Church. I would love to discuss this with you in person. You have my permission to contact me any day or night at a reasonable time.

  25. Ric Moore says:

    I looked up the stats after hearing them mentioned on MSNBC. 94 percent of black murder victims are killed by other blacks. Yet 85 percent of whites murdered are murdered by another white. So much for the argument that only blacks typically kill members of their own race. Too bad “contributory negligence” only applies to fender benders in Florida. “Yes, yer Honor, we’ll take 50% contributory negligence in a manslaughter charge. which would give the Defendant 2 years maximum in a minimum custody facility with work release and we can close this case.”

  26. The most successful revolutionary fighter of all time, Jesus, the Hebrew warned all his followers for all times to always remember they [the system] hated him first. We were assured by the teachers of Jesus, and his followers that we would be labeled as haters among other false labels. I know that you know about as much about me as I know about you, if I had the interest I could learn much more. However, its not about you, in this fight its not about those who behind infinite personalities and fronts hate the lost of control over their surroundings. There are over 40,000,000 African descendants in your mist despite our losses in the long ongoing conflict we’ve had in our march to full independence from all forms of cultural, economic and racial oppression all have suffered at the hands of those who brought most of our grandparents here shackled as slaves. July 4 is when our hell legally started in this country. When America won its independence from Britain the horrors of the Transatlantic Slave Trading began. No, I do not hate you or those who hate me and mine. Hate clogs the mind and slows physical reflexes. A angry or hate filled person should never take another’s life for any reason because the dead person becomes the subject as oppose to the issues involved. The issue here with our son Trayvon Martin is the control of the dominate race in this country over the minority race in this country, that’s the issue. There has been a White Flag of surrender here. There has been a peace treaty or accord signed, the struggle continues. The racial demographic in this country are changing at break neck speed there are no legal, religious or public policy control valves that will change that natural fact. In short order the Anglo race in this country will be re-labeled as a minority and protected by majority law from the unbridled control of the majority. It ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun. Let this plain statement be made to your and your readers; the days of you killing and murdering our youth with impunity are over. You will stop on your own or we will make you stop. No matter how well you choose to pretend not to understand what this is all about will in no way stop our rapid and substantial respond when you individually or by proxy through your racist institutions murder our youth start ducking the counter attacks will occur. 40,000,000 strong unites in the Declaration for You to stop killing and murdering our youths. Out of all the years we have been forced to share the same space with you to breath the same air with you its still generally amazing how stupid you are thinking how stupid we are. Black on Black crime! Who among you gives a fling F about a bunch of young Black men killing each other in the Hood? You do care about the insurance rates, property values etc. but not the death of another Black child. Closing by reminding you to calm down by remembering we do not care what you think one way or the other because its not about you. We are the oldest race of people on the face of the earth that should tell you something about our ability to survive on this very hostile earth. Leave us alone, George Zimmermans of the world leave our children alone then we will be able to live in peace on the same land breathing the same air in a majority/minority status which nature itself will control. With all respect for all Truth at all times.

    • Mark Bennett says:

      When America won its independence from Britain the horrors of the Transatlantic Slave Trading began.

      Your history is shoddy. Dark-skinned people started selling dark-skinned people to fair-skinned people for shipment across the Atlantic in the late 15th Century.

  27. Are you suggesting that legalized African Slavery was taking place in America, now the United States, before the end of the Revolutionary War? Slavery in different parts of the world was common under different names, “baloney is still baloney no matter how thin its sliced.” Slavery is slavery. No person can be party to any activity prior to the conception of that person the same applies to countries. America was not guilty of the sin of slavery prior to becoming America. Names are important. The White men credited as the founding fathers of this country built on the backs of my people were slave owners. Jefferson, Washington etc. African Slavery as practiced in the U.S. was the cruelest in the History of Man. Jews were enslaved by Africans. Jews financed the Trans Atlantic Slave trade in major part. Hundreds of thousands of people of color are legal slaves in the prisons in this country. This will be aired during the fed trial. Zimmerman is a Austrian Jew. The Martins are aboriginal to this land under Treaty law. They are not alone; we are 40,000,000 strong and increasing daily. It won’t be long. You have more bullets, we have more sperms. We were the first to come and will be the last to leave. This is our country built on our backs. We are the First Nation the second river flows into Ethiopia. Get the pretender off the thorn the Black man has come to claim his own. Aman.

    • Mark Bennett says:

      Are you sug­gest­ing that legal­ized African Slav­ery was tak­ing place in Amer­ica, now the United States, before the end of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War?

      Absolutely. Saying otherwise is pure ignorance, as is most of your screed.

  28. Ric Moore says:

    Looks like you are right again, Mark!

  29. Ric Moore says:

    Nathani, I have ten cents to bet that if you found yourself as a defendant you would want Mark to handle your case. While my guts tell me that Zimmerman was guilty as sin, of no less than racial profiling and abject cowardice, while using a gun to finish what he started, BY FLA STATUTE what he did was legal. And, I would expect my defence attorney to use the law to “get me off” …no matter how ~repugnant~ it seems to anyone else. So would anyone, for that matter. Otherwise, it’s back to the lynch mob era, which wasn’t that long ago. Your stance is a moral stance, while Mark’s is purely a legal stance. Again, I wouldn’t PAY Mark to take a moral stance, as my attorney. Neither would you nor anyone else, seen in that light.

  30. Behold, this mere man knows how to count to (3) without including (1), its a miracle! Breaking News – One Million (1,000,000) and more of my ignorant brother and sisters will TRAVEL to the Mall in the District of Columbia this August to ASSEMBLE and PETITION our government to redress our specific grievance in all matters associated with the murder of our son Trayvon Benjamin Martin. The other thirty nine million will be on standby to cover any potential losses. Would you like to meet us on the mall?

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