Zimmerman Did Not Shoot Trayvon Martin In Self-Defense: UPDATED

George Zimmerman claims that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense to prevent Martin from seriously injuring or killing him. According to news reports, Martin punched him in the nose fracturing it and was slamming the back of his head against a sidewalk when he shot him. The police and the prosecutor’s office agreed that he killed Martin in self-defense because the police released him after interviewing him about the circumstances of the shooting and the prosecution did not seek a grand jury indictment charging him with a crime.

Let’s take a look at Florida’s stand-your-ground self-defense statute to determine whether we agree or disagree with their decision.

The stand-your-ground law in Florida simply means that a person has no duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense.

The Florida statute provides:

776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony;

(Emphasis supplied)

Florida Statute 776.013(3) adds two important conditions; namely, the person who uses deadly force must not be engaged in unlawful activity and must have a right to be where they are.

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

(Emphasis supplied)

More importantly, pursuant to Florida statute 776.041(2), the person who uses deadly force cannot claim self-defense if he is the aggressor, unless,

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

(Emphasis supplied)

Zimmerman was not a law enforcement officer and we know from his 911 call that he ignored the 911 dispatcher’s admonition not to follow the “suspicious person” whom he called about. We also know that nothing Zimmerman said about the “suspicious person” was reasonably suspicious. That is, the facts and circumstances that he described (i.e., walking down the sidewalk while Black and wearing a hoodie) would not cause a reasonable person to suspect that Martin was committing a crime.

Nevertheless, Zimmerman initiated contact with Martin and apparently attempted to detain him without waiting for police to arrive. Since Zimmerman was not a police officer, he had no right to detain Martin and Martin was free to leave without identifying himself or answering any questions. Zimmerman would be considered an aggressor under Florida law, if he used or attempted to use any force to prevent Martin from walking away.

Also, under Florida statute 776.012, Martin could have stood his ground and would have been entitled to use force, but not deadly force, in self-defense to prevent Zimmerman from assaulting him. He would have been entitled to use deadly force in self-defense under 776.013(3), if Zimmerman were attempting to inflict serious bodily harm or kill him.

This case does not appear to be complicated to analyze. Zimmerman ignored the 911 dispatcher’s advice and, according to his own version of what happened, he attempted to detain Martin without a reasonable suspicion to believe Martin was committing a crime or lawful authority to detain him. Therefore, Zimmerman was the aggressor and Martin was entitled to stand his ground and use force to prevent Zimmerman from assaulting him, including using deadly force, if necessary.

We do not actually know if Martin used any force because the police videotape of Zimmerman arriving at the police station does not support Zimmerman’s claim that he sustained a broken nose and abrasions to the back of his head. But even if Zimmerman did sustain those injuries, (1) he was the aggressor, (2) Martin was entitled to use force in self-defense, (3) and Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense is barred by the statute.

At this point, racism and corruption appear to be the most likely explanation for the failure to arrest and prosecute George Zimmerman for intentionally killing Trayvon Martin.

UPDATE:

Two independent voice analysis experts using different analytical methods have compared George Zimmerman’s voice from his 911 call to screams and a gunshot that are audible in the background during a 911 call from a neighbor calling for police assistance regarding the confrontation between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin that was going on behind her house.

Both experts have excluded George Zimmerman as the source of those screams to a reasonable scientific certainty.

CAUTION: The recording may cause emotional upset.

In addition, EMS documents obtained by the New York Daily News do not support Zimmerman’s claim that he sustained physical injuries during his confrontation with Trayvon Martin.

Based on George Zimmerman’s declared intention during his 911 call to follow Trayvon Martin, ignoring the 911 operator’s warning not to do so, and what now appear to be Trayvon Martin’s screams, I think we can reasonably conclude that George Zimmerman, who was armed and fired the fatal shot, confronted Trayvon Martin and was the aggressor.

Zimmerman’s claim that Martin, who was unarmed, was the aggressor breaking his nose and slamming the back of his head into a cement sidewalk, is not supported by the evidence.

Therefore, Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense should be rejected and he should be charged with intentional murder.

11 Responses to Zimmerman Did Not Shoot Trayvon Martin In Self-Defense: UPDATED

  1. enochered says:

    So you insist on ignoring all of the EVIDENCE, Martins grazed knuckles the witnesses whom saw him astride Zimmerman and the lacerations on Zimmerman’s head and his broken nose. You have no way of knowing that Zimmerman ignored the advice to stop following Martin, if that advice was actually given. However we do know that the 911 call was “doctored” to suit the agenda of the controlled press. You present yourself as a “Law” related Blog, while it is quite clear that you are prepared to ignore procedure in favour of hearsay and speculation. Everybody is lying apart from the folk who have no knowledge of the event itself.Black kids on the street have little to fear from people like Zimmerman. This case is attracting attention because of its rarity. The real threat to black kids, despite Zimmerman, are other black kids. Those are the facts. These are not opinions, these are the facts. There is more black crime against whites, than there are white against black, whatever you try to propagate. There is a man lying in a coma not too far from where Martin was shot. He was hit in the had with a hammer, thirteen times by two black men. It is hard to find any reference to this in the press and when you do it does not mention the colour of the two men. Why do you think that is? .

  2. stobberdobber says:

    You know you should be ashamed of yourself as a lawyer for placing an opinion here not based on all the evidence. He is innocent until proven guilty. Your so called facts are wrong also. Will you make a public apology about getting your “facts wrong” now that there is evidence of Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries? Now that there is no evidence of racial profiling? Too many to go on with. You are as bad as the main stream media putting out false and partial information with your opinions and not waiting for all the evidence to come out before making your opinion.

  3. enochered says:

    well masonblue, it is beginning to look more and more as if your assumptions were way off the mark. What you say looks like cold-blooded murder to you, in the light of EVIDENCE is beginning to look more and more like a stitch-up of Zimmerman. It appears he was attacked, of course we only have the word of witnesses for that,.Martin was not a child, he was 6 foot 3 inches tall and a footballer, well used to tackling big men. He also had a screwdriver in his back-pack along with items of jewellery. He would of course need his back-pack to carry his sweeties home. Zimmerman was injured and the call he made to 911 was tampered with. One has to be careful before joining a witch-hunt, it can lead to bad things. I’m not too up on the “good brain” business but if I were you I wouldn’t believe it.

    • Don’t agree with your facts. According to the police report, Martin was 6’1″ and he weighed 155 lbs. Don’t know if he played football, but he was as skinny as a rail, and I doubt he could have overpowered Zimmerman.
      Still, I could be wrong. We’ll have to wait and see.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. Thanks for this, counselor. You give good brain.

  5. Thanks for this, Fred. You give good brain.

  6. enochered says:

    Yours and other remarks which have been made about this case are based on supposition and nothing more. All of this supposition appears to be based on the belief that Trayvon Martin was an innocent, attacked by Zimmerman. .His attack on Zimmerman is being in some way justified, because of his colour. In other places, the wearing of a hood is seen as a means of hiding your identity but that as they say is another story. If Martin, was feeling aggrieved by being monitored by Zimmerman, who was engaged in some form of security work,and was keeping an eye on him, decided to teach Zimmerman a lesson, or even wanted to make a get-a-way before the police turned up can hardly be granted the right to use deadly force against Zimmerman. whom was doing no more than I might do, should I feel that my own or my neighbours premises were being cased. It does not provide Martin with any excuse to attack Zimmerman. In reality we should not be deciding guilt in advance of a Court’s decision. There has been virtually no counter balance in the reporting of this event, what kind of justice can Zimmerman now expect should he be charged under this form of pressure.

    • masonblue says:

      In other places, the wearing of a hood is seen as a means of hiding your identity but that as they say is another story. If Martin, was feeling aggrieved by being monitored by Zimmerman, who was engaged in some form of security work,and was keeping an eye on him, decided to teach Zimmerman a lesson, or even wanted to make a get-a-way before the police turned up can hardly be granted the right to use deadly force against Zimmerman. whom was doing no more than I might do, should I feel that my own or my neighbours premises were being cased.

      Wearing a hoodie is merely a clothing style. There is nothing menacing about it.

      Zimmerman was armed; Martin was not armed.

      Martin went to the store and was on his way home. There is no evidence that he was “casing” the neighborhood. He had no reason to assault Zimmerman to “teach him a lesson,” and he had no reason to run from the cops.

      Instead, the evidence indicates Zimmerman was the aggressor and an aggressor cannot claim self-defense. For example, he would have been the aggressor, if he had attempted to detain Martin and Martin would have been entitled to use force in self-defense to prevent that detention.

      There is no evidence, however, that Zimmerman sustained any injuries, so it is unlikely that Martin attacked him.

      The terrified scream in the background on the 911 call from the neighbor sounds like a kid about to be executed, not an armed adult.

      Certainly looks like an intentional murder to me.

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