Did George Zimmerman Have a Reasonable Suspicion that Trayvon Martin Intended to Commit a Crime?

I believe it may be useful to compare what a police officer may have been able to do to Trayvon Martin, if he had seen him walking in the rain.

A police officer could not have stopped Trayvon Martin and temporarily detained him to determine his identity and investigate what he was doing in the neighborhood, unless he had a reasonable suspicion that Trayvon had committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime.

Whenever you see the word “reasonable,” as part of a legal test or rule, you should immediately realize that the test or rule is objective, not subjective.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that George Zimmerman actually believed Trayvon Martin was, as he put it, “up to no good.” In other words, he had a subjective hunch that Trayvon was casing the neighborhood looking for a house to burglarize or someone’s property to steal.

A subjective hunch is not a reasonable suspicion unless there were sufficient articulable facts and circumstances such that a reasonable person in George Zimmerman’s situation would have suspected Trayvon intended to burglarize someone’s home or steal someone’s property.

We know the answer to that question is “No,” because Chris Serino told him that. Based on what George Zimmerman claimed to have seen, he did not have a reasonable basis to stop and detain Trayvon Martin.

Regardless what the Zimmerman supporters say, this is an undisputed fact and conclusion of law.

Serino was right. Walking through the neighborhood looking around at houses and hanging out in the covered mailbox area while it was raining does not suggest criminal activity of any kind is about to happen.

Serino also told him that his hoodie notwithstanding, Martin was not dressed in gang attire because he was wearing tan chinos and white tennis shoes.

Therefore, a police officer would have violated Trayvon’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy, if he had stopped and detained him for a few minutes to check his identification and ask him what he was doing in the neighborhood.

Police also have a community caretaker responsibility, however, that does not necessarily involve preventing criminal activity. If an officer saw a front door open, for example, she could walk up to the open door and look inside or call out to see if anyone is home.

If she saw Trayvon walking in the rain looking around at houses, she could approach him and ask him if he needed any assistance. That type of contact does not constitute a stop because the person contacted is free to leave at any time. The protections of the Fourth Amendment do not apply to those types of contacts.

George Zimmerman passed up two opportunities to do the same thing, but declined to do so.

By the way, if you should ever find yourself in an ambiguous situation after being contacted by a police officer, just ask the officer politely if you are free to go.

If the answer is “No,” the protections of the Fourth Amendment apply to you. You can be temporarily detained long enough for the police officer to determine your identity and confirm or reject his suspicion. If the officer determines that there is probable cause to arrest, he may arrest you and take you to jail. If not, he must release you.

At any time, you may assert your 4th Amendment right to refuse to consent to a search, your 5th Amendment right to refuse to answer questions, and your 6th Amendment right to counsel. If you decide to assert any or all of these rights, do so politely.

Be advised that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right. If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI and asked to take a breathalyzer, your refusal will result in a suspension of your license, regardless if you are subsequently acquitted of DUI. You can always insist on a blood test.

Probable cause is reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed a crime. As such, it is more than reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has committed a crime.

I believe it’s now clear that George Zimmerman assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal looking for a house to burglarize or some property to steal and he hunted him down with the intent of detaining him in order to prevent him from getting away. He was so determined to do that that he intentionally and willfully disregarded the Neighborhood Watch rules and the NEN dispatcher’s admonition.

Acting as a private citizen, he had no authority or right to touch Trayvon, let alone restrain him.

Now that we have reviewed and understand the SYG law, we realize that Trayvon had the right to stand his ground and use reasonably necessary force to defend himself.

I am not satisfied that he used any force to defend himself, but if he did, he had a right to do so.

Since George Zimmerman was the aggressor, he had no right to use any force, let alone deadly force to defend himself.

Assuming for the sake of argument that Trayvon Martin used excessive and deadly force to defend against George Zimmerman’s initial use of force, George Zimmerman would have been required to attempt to withdraw from the confrontation and offer to quit fighting before he could lawfully use deadly force to defend himself.

George Zimmerman never claimed that he did and there is no evidence that he did.

Therefore, George Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. He committed an imminently dangerous act with a depraved mind indifferent to human life and that is the definition of murder in the second degree.

186 Responses to Did George Zimmerman Have a Reasonable Suspicion that Trayvon Martin Intended to Commit a Crime?

  1. Malisha says:

    Dennis, Shellie could have inflicted all those injuries on George before he left home that night. Trayvon Martin did not have George’s blood all over his hands — how did he punch Zimmerman’s face over and over and not have George’s blood ALL OVER HIS HANDS, HUH? Furthermore, Shellie would have had good reason to take to the back of George’s head with a frying pan that night; here he was about to flunk out of college and be a nobody all over again and she had high hopes, marrying a judge’s son. And that would explain George’s need to inflict punishment on some unsuspecting weaker person that night; he grew up seeing his father henpecked by his hell-on-wheels mamma and he was now getting a taste of the same kind of humiliation and some “fucking punk” was gonna pay!

    But another thing occurs to me: George Zimmerman really did NOT consider Trayvon Martin any kind of threat when he spotted him and chased him through the neighborhood, cornered him, tried to dominate him, and ultimately killed him. He did not consider him really suspicious, really violent, really threatening, or anything like that. Because if he HAD, how would he know that Trayvon was not part of a big gang of dangerous thugs? Both George AND the police knew that Trayvon was an unarmed, non-threatening, helpless kid — that’s why they did not go on “red alert” to notify every single resident of the neighborhood that night that they had to lock down and be wary because there was possible dangerous gang activity going on out there in the dark. Since Trayvon was dead, they couldn’t be sure he had appeared in the neighborhood alone; perhaps his compadres all ran away when they heard the altercation start; perhaps they grabbed their weapons and their booty and vanished. And another thing: How did the cops know, that night, that no houses had been burglarized BEFORE George apprehended “the suspect”? If they didn’t know who Trayvon Martin was, they also didn’t know if perhaps he and some co-conspirators might have committed crimes in the neighborhood earlier that evening that had not yet been discovered.

    GEORGE KNEW that Trayvon was “up to no wrongdoing.”
    The police also knew that Trayvon was “up to now wrongdoing.”
    That’s why there was no house-to-house intensive investigation that night. Everybody really knew what had happened and they all wanted to cover it up and let it “blow over.”

    • ajamazin says:

      Malisha,

      Excellent analysis.

      ________________________________

    • I really like that part about the frying pan! Let’s face it; Shellie isn’t a big prize, either. SHE had left nursing school back in 2010 and NO mention of having a job doing her cosmetology since then. I don’t know if Shellie ALSO flunked out; we’d need an accidental release of her transcripts. Your story reminds me of a behavior video of chimps I saw in a psych class eyars ago. When the largest chimp beat the crud out of a smaller chimp, THAT chimp went and beat the crud out of an even smaller chimp. It was a creepy video, to realize that insecure humans behave exactly like that.

      • Patricia says:

        Cielo –

        There is one photo floating around the internet of GZ and SZ that, in retrospect, is really sad.

        Looks like it was taken very early in their life together.

        GZ is huge – must have been in his 240 lb. era (keep in mind this is a very short guy, and check out those higher-heeled-than-need-be Highway Patrol motorcycle boots he sometimes sports.)

        Shellie is hugging him, and they are laughing.

        She is elfin, and sweet.

        The years with George have not served her well.
        So little to laugh about.

        There is no joy in Mudville …

  2. Malisha says:

    A few months after 2/26/2012, there was a heck of a storm in the Washington DC area and a friend of mine went out to try to clear some of the mess afterwards. A branch grazed his head and he came into the house looking like Frankenstein. His 12-year-old kid commented, “Dad, you look worse than George Zimmerman!” He laughed, cleaned up his two lacerations (didn’t even need bandaids, didn’t boo hoo a lot either), and went back out to clean off the rest of the deck.

  3. Dennis says:

    Frederick, could you please elaborate on why you say that you are not satisfied on how Martin decided to defend himself from a person he thought was dangerous? I am not trying to be spiteful, but I am just confused because I take your comments as saying that what Martin did to protect himself was not the right thing to do. Please elaborate on this if you have the chance. Thanks.

    • Hi Dennis,

      I meant that I’m not convinced that TM hit GZ, but if he did, he was legally justified to do so under the SYG law.

      • ajamazin says:

        I remain unconvinced that Trayvon ‘attacked’ Zimmerman.

        I believe the evidence will show his actions were either an attempt to escape Zimmerman or self protection.

        ________________________________

        • roderick2012 says:

          AJ, I agree with you. I believe that Trayvon probably elbowed Zimmerman in the face because he was attempting to get out of his grasp that is if Trayvon struck the Barney Fife wanna-be at all.

      • Dennis says:

        Thank you for responding.. I am also not convinced that TM hit GZ. Punching somebody’s face is almost like punching a wall. I feel TM would have cuts or bruises on his knuckles from impacting a very hard object like a human skull. I think it is possible that GZ ran into a tree. If that is the case, I could see that really making GZ mad, even if it was his own fault. It was pretty dark that night I believe so it is plausible. I have almost hurt myself before by running into a tree in the dark.

  4. GrannyStandingforTruth says:

    Whoa, he chased a kid that lived there into his house. Thank God that child’s father and police were there or he could have been Trayvon. That must have been a giant crush to his hero-complex with police in tow to find out that his accusation was wrong. I bet he still believed that kid was a “suspect” that got away. How old was that kid? But there is no “almost let him back out on the streets unpunished” because he has been let back out on the streets unpunished more than once behind his violent espisodes.

    • Patricia says:

      Granny, it just might be interesting if some of those beleagured families were witnesses in this trial. Make a BIG impact on the jury!

  5. Tzar says:

    “I believe it’s now clear that George Zimmerman assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal looking for a house to burglarize or some property to steal and he hunted him down with the intent of detaining him in order to prevent him from getting away.”

    I disagree, I think GZ believed Trayvon fit the profile of someone who, in order to live out his cop fantasy, he could insert into such a narrative with impunity and with minimal scrutiny. I don’t think he believed for a second that this appropriately dressed kid who walked out in the open and common areas of the gated community, who ran and hid from him, was a thug or a thief.

    • aussie says:

      Tsar, that doesn’t make sense. From one point of view, yes, if the kid is clearly an innocent, he is less likely to be armed and fight back etc. But for someone with a gun that is a minor consideration.

      He needed someone who would turn out to be a thug, or with a record, to play the part of the “bad guy” being caught by the hero. Someone with the kind of record, the cops wouldn’t ever believe if he complains about being stalked by GZ.

      Don’t forget the original intention was just to detain. It’s only when the kid didn’t co-operate, and turned out to be a terrified youngster, that GZ saw the trouble he’d be in if the kid lived to talk. Even then, he still frisked the body, hoping upon hope to find something, anything, that might be a weapon he could base his “fear for his life” on.

      • Tzar says:

        Maybe I am not being clear; I believe that GZ felt it would be easier to get away with using a black kid as fodder for his sick game versus one of another race. This is just one component of his profiling, in my opinion. I don’t think he assumed Trayvon was an actual criminal because he had at his disposal very simple ways of confirming whether he was one or not and he chose not to use them.

        How could he be so sure about Trayvon’s character when he barely could tell what kind of pants the kid was wearing- point being he knew so little about this child- he most likely could not even see his face in the dark, how could he know that Trayvon was not a resident? (RTL is 20% AA, this could have been a neighbor’s kid or guest…wild I know). Yet he could follow this kid, hot blooded, spewing vitriols and gun on his side, how can he do that when there was an easy 20% chance that this was a resident? Remember the kid that george chased into his house and wrongfully accused him of stealing a bike? the father ran out the shower to find GZ at his threshold with police in tow; No one listened to the father’s complaints at the HOA meetings. GZ was an enabled time bomb.

        I think this guy was going to shoot and kill himself someone that night in order to play hero. I think we have caught ourselves an honest to goodness crazy evil person and we almost let him back out on the streets unpunished.

      • Dennis says:

        Since Zimmerman almost certainly knew he shot the kid, his actions after the shot are very disturbing. I agree that he most certainly was trying to search the body in hopes of finding a weapon which he did not. He had at least 11 rounds left in his gun and he chooses to get on top of a kid that is clearly not a threat anymore and play cops & robbers trying to find a weapon on him. A kid Martin’s size would not be able to struggle very well after being shot in the lung/heart area. Zimmerman expects us to think Martin is Jason Vorhees and can take a bullet like nothing happened.

  6. princss6 says:

    @Patricia,

    If Jerry Sandusky can be convicted by a jury of whom half had direct ties to Penn Sate, it gives me renewed hope and pride in the US justice system.

    I think the better analogy would be if Joe Paterno was convicted of wrong-doing or better yet, PSU and it’s culture was indicted. 🙂 Sandusky was an easy case to make because he is being deemed as a “lone wolf.” and does not have the hagiography associated with him that Joe Paterno has. If jurors could move past the hagiography related to Joe and convict, then that would be something…

    @roderick

    Have you ever been to PSU? Then your argument that this was whispered about is something I take exception to as I spent 8 years there and NO this is not something the general public knew. I know there are a lot of emotions around the Sandusky case and believe me I want PSU and all involved to be held accountable despite being an alum. But please do not level that type of argument against us “knowing” because we did not. I’m in the minority sure in that I fully support the NCAA sanctions, think Joe is a lying bastard and that other high level people covered it up. I’m thoroughly disappointed with the reactions of most of my fellow alum, thoroughly to the point where I consider returning my three degrees. But I will re-iterate, this was a secret keep from the many by a few and the most powerful. I’m pissed the hell off that those few men and the culture that enabled it did not come forward and made those decisions that impacted us all. But please do not assume or put forward an argument that we as students knew what was happening. I’ve never even seen or been in the Lasch building and PSU is more like a small city than a small town! I did not know…my closest friends did not know…my friends on the periphery did not know. This was hidden and secreted away by those who had the least to lose – the powerful!

  7. Malisha says:

    I believe that in George’s mind, the crime Trayvon was likely to commit was a crime George made up in his own mind, and one for which he had already punished people: Failing to give George his propers.

    Actually, in our culture, only judges are allowed to make up crimes and punish for them. Otherwise, the legislative branches of government make up the crimes and the executive branch punishes for them once the judicial branch decides they have been committed. The only time that process can properly be short-circuited is when a judge enters an order forbidding some otherwise-legal conduct, then charges a litigant for contempt, and then punishes the litigant all in his own courtroom.

    But George did tell Serino he wanted to be a judge, didn’t he? So he could “help people.”

    My take on this is that George spotted Trayvon, judged him, and sought to enforce his own judgment; when Trayvon resisted George’s judgment and tried to defend himself from or evade the execution of the sentence George had devised, he went and got himself killed.

  8. Vicky says:

    The very fact that Trayvon’s race and the “complection” of the potential jury pool have garnered so much attention is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that racism is “alive and kicking” – not only in the south, but throughout our country. Were that not the case, the assertion that the color of Trayvon’s skin was a factor in George Zimmerman’s decision to track him and the potential for an all white jury or even a jury with one white juror and the rest black would not touch a single nerve for anyone involved in the discussion.

    We have reached a turning point in our society where the majority of citizens are no longer willing to allow racism go unchecked. And whether or not most of us want to admit it, the majority of those who are offended by overt racism, still harbor beliefs and attitudes that demonstrate a lack of cultural and ethnic respect and understanding.

    Therefore, IMO, the only way to mover forward is a willingness to have open and honest dialogue and to be intellectually and emotionally mature enough to accept constructive criticism regarding our beliefs and attitudes.

    On of my dearest friends and mentors is an 82 year old African American woman. Over the past 25 years we have taught each other a tremendous amount about racism, cultural and ethnic diversity, pride and bias. I must admit, she has schooled me far more often than I have her. The most important thing we developed over the first few years of our relationship was trust. From that came the ability to talk freely about our feelings and attitudes, where they came from, whether they were founded or unfounded and how to overcome “internal dialogue” that was in direct conflict with the public persona we were trying to portray. It has been an amazing journey and I thank God every day he placed her in my life.

    • ed nelson says:

      Hey there Vicky, I liked your comment the other day, yeah I have read Vidal’s essays, and no not his novels, I don’t get them at all, but like he said, one has to have… “a modicum of and education, to presume to attempt to take on any of his … Historical “novels,” cause, other wise, and I agree, it is complete crap!

      But, as I said, but maybe I have been .. Purged here like I was from FDL-Seminal, I think the Leathermans have decided to purge me here too, but not sure just yet, I can’t find any of my comments in the last couple a days, usually that means you are … purged. Thanks a bunch there Leatherman! as I sent you a couple a bucks, and it weren’t that many bucks, but so thank’s a bunch for your… hey! Jeesus, you are getting on a new kind of persona that ain’t all that nice, you want to tell me, I am…”Nasty”, you don’t know the meaning of it!! Hell if I was to go on my .. nasty side, I bet you would see what that is!!

      All I did was to defend my point of view from the usual shit heads that want to do some cheap bs, And yes I did say a couple of choice words… big deal, called the asshole an asshole, well so big whoopie!

      Ed nelse

      • Vicky says:

        Hello Ed, I don’t think you’ve been purged. There are so many people commenting, it’s difficult to figure out where where one conversation ends and another begins. I would be really disappointed if you stopped coming here or weren’t allowed to express your opinions. I think some folks just have a hard time catching your drift. Not many people are as well versed in “reading between the lines” as you are. Others seem to forget they can scroll on by if they don’t like what you have to say. Hang in there Ed Nelson, it makes me smile each time I see your name show up.

  9. princss6 says:

    And once again, Professor, out of the park. Today is the six month anniversary of the murder of Trayvon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all that loved him. RIP Trayvon Benjamin Martin

    Many of us know that you did not have to die and we promise to forever support your family and friends in this quest to see that you are done right by Justice as the laws of the United States of America – your birthright – are firmly enforced to hold your murderer accountable!

  10. SearchingMind says:

    @ Professor,

    I do have this question:

    If Zimmerman is declared indigent, would the State also pay the salary of D. West (Zimmerman’s second counsel) or would Zimmerman be forced to drop him?

  11. SearchingMind says:

    @ Professor

    “Assuming for the sake of argument that Trayvon Martin used excessive and deadly force to defend against George Zimmerman’s initial use of force, George Zimmerman would have been required to attempt to withdraw from the confrontation and offer to quit fighting before he could lawfully use deadly force to defend himself. George Zimmerman never claimed that he did and there is no evidence that he did.”

    Prof. you have quite succinctly summarized the defense. But your conclusions are different from O’Mara’s – I would like you and others to weigh in on that.

    Here is what O’Mara is/will be saying/implying. According O’Mara, Zimmerman was on his back with Trayvon on top of him straddling him, bashing his head into the concrete sidewalk, suffocating him and finally going for his gun while telling him “you are going to die tonight mother fucker”. As such Zimmerman could not withdraw. Zimmerman had only two options remaining: (a) let Trayvon continue suffocating you and kill with your own gun or (b) use the said gun to save your life. Zimmerman wanted to end the fighting and withdraw from the fight. Consequently Zimmerman made his intent to do so known by screaming ‘help, help, help’, etc. But Trayvon would not stop. On the contrary, Trayvon continued beating and sufforcating Zimmerman and finally started to reach for Zimmerman’s gun in an apparent attempt to kill Zimmerman. However, Zimmerman reached the gun first and shot Trayvon.

    I think O’Mara has – FOR NOW – conceded that SYG does not apply and that (it is reasonable that) Zimmerman was the initial aggressor. O’Mara is however arguing that AT PARTICULAR MOMENT Zimmerman went from being the aggressor to being the victim while Trayvon went from being the victim to being the aggressor.

    I think this is a legitimate defense argument – and if it prevails, Zimmerman wil walk – that must cold bloodedly be shown for what it is: sheer nonsense. How would the Professor and my fellow participants on this very educative site deal with the above argument if they were the prosecutor and Zimmerman puts forward the above defense.

    • Xena says:

      O’Mara’s argument is bull. If GZ could “shimmy” off the sidewalk to the grass enough to cause his jacket to raise up and expose his holstered gun inside his waistband, then his body from the hips up was free. If he could “shimmy” to free himself hips up, he could turn his torso to one side and get up.

      GZ’s story is also inconsistent. In one, he has Trayvon covering his nose. In another, he has Trayvon punching him. In yet another, he has Trayvon covering his mouth. And yet not a drop of GZ’s DNA or blood was found on Trayvon’s hands.

    • You asked,

      “How would the Professor and my fellow participants on this very educative site deal with the above argument if they were the prosecutor and Zimmerman puts forward the above defense.”

      The answer is very simple, compelling and easy to prove.

      The forensic evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman lied about the incident and was not in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

      In fact, there is no evidence that supports anything he said and it’s absolutely clear that he was not the person screaming for help.

      • SearchingMind says:

        Professor and Zena, I appreciate your comments.

        In one of his earlier blogs, the professor reflected on the concept of evil. I believe George Michael Zimmerman is EVIL – simply because I believe it was Trayvon screaming for help that night and George Michael Zimmerman knew Trayvon is a “kid”. Yet he, George Michael Zimmerman, “aimed” his gun and, while making sure not to shoot his own left hand, shot “this kid” direct in the heart. After that shot he, Michael George Zimmerman, tossed his gun aside (because he knew he has no need of it anymore), mounted the mortally wounded “kid” on his back, pressed his palms against his neck and squeezed the last breath out of him, etc. – only to let go and leave the body after he could not feel any signs of life coming from the body (otherwise he could not have stopped “restraining” the “kid”). While “this kid” was lying motionless faced down on the ground, George Michael Zimmerman proceeded to discuss the caliber of the killing bullet with a witness, told the said witness to call his wife and inform her that he shot someone (while at the same time denying knowing the kid was dead, etc.). If this is not evil, I would not know what is. I have confidence that Corey, De la Rionda and the rest of the prosecution team will expose George Michael Zimmerman for what he is: Sick and Evil. I hope that O’Mara will eventually plea insanity for this dude so that he can eventually get the psychiatric help he most definitely needs.

      • princss6 says:

        @SearchingMind…

        I have to agree and that only brings us through the night in question. His multiple and repeated lies…his blaming it on God….his sending out the attack dogs on Trayvon while in prison to muddy the water in the media…nah…nah…sorry…Evil to me, too!

    • Patricia says:

      O’Mara’s argument fails the second that he states Trayvon was on him and “going for” Zimmerman’s gun.

      Zimmerman claims he “forgot” he had a gun until somehow he read Trayvon’s mind, in which Trayvon could “see” Zimmerman’s gun – still in its holster – that was sandwiched between Zimmerman’s ass and the St. Augustine turf in the ground underneath him.

      Just run the video of Zimmermen re-enacting this farce the next day for the detectives. Listen to his words. Zimmerman pats the location on camera and tells the cops in plain English where he carried the gun. NO hesitation.

      I don’t care how far Zimmerman claimed his jacket rode up when he shimmied away from the sidewalk, supposedly then allowing Trayvon to “see” his weapon and go for it.

      The gun was on Zimmerman’s back.
      He tells the cops that, AND HE SHOWS THEM.

      If “show & tell” by the killer is not good enough for Bernie de la Rionda – what is?

      • rayvenwolf says:

        Apparently its not even good enough for his defenders to acknowledge. They’d rather deflect or ignore the fact their hero gave himself away in that moment. At the same time his flub about “his mouth…my mouth” He made the mistake TWICE. Once in the re-enactment and also in his interview before the stress test.

      • gbrbsb says:

        Oh thanks so much Ravenwolf, I knew I heard the “his mouth… my mouth” slip more than once but couldn’t for the life of me remember where. Yep, and he did several slips like that, I am sure I recall “he… I screamed” but I can’t remember which interview.

  12. Xena says:

    Professor, thank you so much for breaking that down to explain it. I so appreciate your blog and thank you for allowing me to participate.

  13. Patricia says:

    To Roderick2012 –

    Roderick, I followed the Sandusky case minutely and recognized all the armamentum that the prosecution had, as you acknowledged.

    And then … you go on to say (dismissing the prosecution’s efforts, and the strong evidence – much of it circumstantial – that you just listed) “The area surrounding PSU is small town America and everyone knows how gossip flows in this town. After years of whispers I believe they were attempting to save face after the allegations against Sandusky made international news.”

    For shame! Half the jurors had direct ties to the University, many long-standing. There was world-wide concern that this jury would fail, either under pressure or from self-interest.

    Yet they came in with a unanimous verdict.

    Now you diss them by saying “they were attempting to save face.”

    I have served on many juries and not one started out, on first polling, as unanimous. Do you know how hard juries work? To review all the evidence, fit the pieces of the puzzle together, to request re-readings from the record, and to bring along dissenting jurors who may not have started out with open minds, who may not be receptive to science or logic, who may feel disrespected or ignored – but in the end, rallied by the other jurors, carefully bringing forth the science and the logic – the jury reaches a verdict. No jury I served on ever hung. We took our duty seriously. We were a team, serving in the interest of justice.

    I will not dispute this personal statement you made about me: “Your comparison to and understanding of race is not very good.”

    Roderick, everybody’s “understanding of race” is different, based on their exposure to racism and that of those they love.

    Can only those who would stand up and say “I am not a racist” contribute toward the conviction of George Zimmerman?

    BTW, who has any right to claim, “I am not a racist!” in this society?

    I do know prejudice of various types (I’m an immigrant; my family is intermixed Caucasian, Native American, Asian). In my family “Namaste” is the traditional greeting and farewell, acknowledging the sacred spirit within each of us.

    If you want to state I have “a poor understanding of race” I will grant you your right to your opinion. Because … it’s yours.

    You may “laugh out loud” over the prospects for this case.
    I find it no laughing matter.
    A young life was lost.
    It is worth fighting for.

    I will not accept your broad-brush painting of jurors as prejudiced and uncaring, nor will I accept that the prosecution will be incompetent, that the overwhelming forensic evidence is met by a yawn, and that the defendant, if he testifies, is suddenly compelling, straight-forward and trustworthy.

    My statement is this: Zimmerman is charged with Murder 2.
    Not Murder 2(R) … for race.

    You may not like this statement, and I will be quick to say Trayvon Martin was targeted for many reasons INCLUDING race, but will go on to say that winning justice cannot be accomplished by ASSUMING all jurors will be blinded by racism and unwilling to absorb and understand forensic evidence, testimony, exhibits and compelling argument by the prosecution.

    Yes, you need a good jury selection team. But once the jurors are set, don’t treat them like a bunch of prejudiced bozos, no matter how rampant you may feel overt or subconscious racism pervades this country.

    Don’t condemn all gun owners as “gun nuts” when most gun owners think Trayvon Martin is the worst thing that ever happened to gun owners in this country – many of whom steadfastly refuse to join the NRA.

    Get prejudice out of your mind and appeal to the jury’s intelligence, respect for the law and sense of fairness.

    The point is to win THIS trial.
    To win THIS trial for Trayvon Martin and his family.
    To win it by applying the law applicable to Murder 2.
    By not showing prejudice towards jurors.

    By giving them all of the evidence, linked by a credible narrative.
    Let the jurors feel they are eyewitnesses, every step of the way.

    And in summation, by sending them to the jury room as warriors –
    for truth and justice and the memory of young Trayvon Martin.

    Whether that makes me also a racist, I do not know.
    I make no claim, either way.

    I do know this: I am a tactician, and I never LOL at death.

    Thanks, Roderick, for reading.

    • You said,

      “The point is to win THIS trial.
      To win THIS trial for Trayvon Martin and his family.
      To win it by applying the law applicable to Murder 2.
      By not showing prejudice towards jurors.”

      I recommend adding,

      “To win this trial for this nation and all people everywhere.”

      We need to stand up for the Rule of Law and for Justice, regardless of race.

    • You knocked it out of the park, Patricia!

    • princss6 says:

      Thank you Patricia for singling in on the line that drove me crazy. I could go on for pages describing the cultural landscape and the ability to keep much hidden. I do not like the innuendo that this was an open secret and thus everyone having anything to do with PSU is culpable. I reject that analysis and will unequivocally state I had no idea that a man I once was pretty cool was a pedophile and another man I held in great esteem, covered for him. To imply that any of the regular folks did is bordering on serious defamation and I won’t abide being defamed when I had no knowledge.

      Going back up to read the rest of your post. I just had to stop there to thank you.

      • princss6 says:

        “I had no idea that a man I once was pretty cool was a pedophile ”

        SHOULD READ…

        I had no idea that a man I was THOUGHT was pretty cool was a pedophile…

    • princss6 says:

      Hi Patricia –

      You said:

      “…like a bunch of prejudiced bozos,…”\

      That’s just the issue. We aren’t fearing the out and out prejudiced bozos. They probably won’t make the jury. The polite, ambivalent racists is who we fear. Those who have taken in this culture which is decidedly anti-black but who never think of race so they say. The color-blind racists if you will.

      I think there is a possibility that given the evidence, people can see past their filters. And like you, that is my hope. I suspect, the farther away you may be from Sanford, the easier it may be for some to see through the filter. But if you are in Sanford and you fear the black thugs, evidence may be damned. But I cant agree that we must assume there are no filters in place. This would be contrary to all we know about American society.

      I think it is an interesting area to debate. Unlike the Professor, I don’t think ignoring race will lead to a higher ground. I obviously do not think by combating racist and criminalizing stereotypes that I am in the mud with the defense. At some level if the prosecution doesn’t address it, this is a continued attempt to dehumanize Trayvon.

      In the end, I will say that I appreciate you and the Professor and many others even addressing the elephant in the room. Some places who fight for Justice want to sanitize this case of race even in discussion. It is there, if ignored, it will be exploited by the defense. So my question is, how could the prosecution address it? I don’t think putting Trayvon’s mother up on the stand will address it. We only need look at the common thinking about “black motherhood” to understand that many will hold his mother more culpable than GZ. So, let’s flush this out if nothing more for a better understanding among the allies for Justice. 🙂

      • Sandra E. Graham says:

        I believe the prosecution should maintain focus on GZ being a grown man with a gun following a kid. The vast majority of people – have opinions about race and may not convict once they allow that opinion enter their mind. The man vs child aspect will have a greater impact because racist or not — no one wants to see a child harmed. Trayvon could be anyone’s son. Don’t bring race into it. Trayvon Martins Mom will keep the focus on race relations outside of the courtroom – the dialogue will continue and GZ will be in jail.

        • princss6 says:

          We live in a society where practically only white virgins can be raped (and if you ever had consensual sex with your rapist forget about getting a conviction)…Basically where a whole lot of people would not have done what GZ did but would have been suspicious of Trayvon, child or not. To find GZ guilty would be to find that part of themselves guilty that crosses the street or hold their purse tighter when they see young black men. I would have to think the Prosecution is sophisticated enough to do this…it seems that there is a perception that what many of think is needed is on one extreme – The Malcolm X prosecution vs the David Duke Defense. No one is suggesting such a thing. As I stated before, to assume that that jury is going to go in and see Trayvon through the eyes that we see him, is a recipe for disaster. racism, prejudice, lives in the vacuum of things unsaid.

      • Patricia says:

        Princess, I am a practical person.
        I want the prosecution to win this case.

        First, to honor the memory of Trayvon;
        to bring justice to his parents’ grief,
        and for our country –
        one further notch toward perfect justice
        to which we imperfect individuals aspire.

        I am glad The Professor pointed out
        that third aspiration. I concur.

        So I am thrilled that you would ask,
        how does the prosecution bring out the “casual racism”
        with which Zimmerman chose and treated his victim?

        That is what I want to see explored.

        My first suggestion, other than the obvious of having his truly decent, respectable parents in the courtroom, (and a photo-montage of Trayvon up on the big screen, if permitted) is to run the audiotapes of the 2/29 interview by Chris Serino.

        Serino comes across loud & clear. He identifies himself as “half white, half Puerto Rican” and speaks with a modified Bronx accent – sounds JUST LIKE a TV cop! – so the jury will see Serino as a voice of experience as well as the voice of authority.

        He goes on and on about Trayvon being a “good kid” – student, kid with a future, good family. And George just shrinks and mutters.

        I believe that the prosecution has to stress
        that Trayvon was “A KID WITH A FUTURE”
        for even subtle racists to focus on what happened.

        All parents consider their kids to have a future.

        It is time for even deeply-ingrained “closet racists”
        to stop and think: “Just like my kid … ”

        I have never thought lecturing the jury about the evils of racism in the country would sway hearts – so I am certain that de la Riondo and company won’t do that.

        Trayvon’s race will be visible – as the prosecutors stress that his loss, and the loss of his potential – is a loss to all of us.

        If you will give me a little more reading time, I will tell you of a racist incident that I experienced (where I was the racist) that examines the subtlety of racism that you addressed.

        The first time I skiied in Europe, I was lodged on a remote mountaintop for two weeks. My American companion had a reaction to antibiotics that made the skin peel off her face due to high-altitude sun. She never hit the slopes again.

        The skiiers were always escorted by an instructor/mountaineer because the runs were remote. I was the only American and the only English-speaker. (I could speak French, as some other skiiers did – but you know how the French are to Americans … )

        I was new to German – like a typical skiier, I could the essentials – beer, breakfast and a doctor. But as the days progressed, I grew lonelier and lonelier for casual conversation.

        Then one day I found myself in a cable car with three other people, all friends speaking German together – a white couple and “a black guy.”

        My heart leapt! I beamed! I was wearing my red-white-blue anorak with my US ski patches. At last! Someone from home! Someone who would recognize me as an American, and chat wih me!

        It is not in my character to intrude, but (out of desperation, I suppose), I did. Don’t recall what I said. Likely commenting on the “firnschnee” or something (spring snow condition, i.e., “corn snow”). I just wanted to hear an American voice. Any casual conversation would do. Just looking at that guy, I was bonding. He was my countryman.

        “The black guy” (AKA “the American”) stared at me, startled.

        He said nothing. He had a gentle smile, eyes wide, but did not join in conversation. His friends stopped chatting (more polite than I, they did not interrupt).

        I kept babbling, filling in the silence. Nothing connected.

        Then the other man reached out, kindly laid a ski-mitt on my arm, spoke in clear, but accented English. He said, “He doesn’t speak English. He is German. His father … we think, you know, the war … ”

        My heart tumbled a thousand meters into the valley below. The new friend I longed to know, was not to be. I had valued him BECAUSE he was black, for no ther reason than that I assumed this made him an American.

        I had, in fact, PRE-judged him, on the color of his skin. I proved to myself, in that blinding moment of truth, that I could be as PREjudiced as the next guy.

        This happened decades ago. One of the life lessons we all learn. I am looking for such epiphanies to happen to jurors in this trial, those with vestigial racism buried beneath a veneer of social correctness.

        The prosecution can bring this about, with Trayvon’s life history. It is not just the President saying “this could be my son.”

        It is for white jurors to see this, too.

        Let’s comment together for other ways the prosecution can do this. I think it is important for this case.

        Thanks for reading, Princess.
        I am learning from your comments.

        • princss6 says:

          @Patricia – I had to stop midway through because you raise a really, really good point! You illustrate how Serino can serve as a proxy, an authority, someone who may hold the same values clearly as the jurors who is saying Trayvon was a normal teenager. Good point.

          I’m going back to read the rest…:)

    • roderick2012 says:

      Wow. I am glad my response spurred you to respond with an essay, but I stand by my statement that Sandusky’s abuse was common knowledge well before the stories of his abuse went public and he was arrested.

      All I am saying is that Sanford has had lots of issues with race in the recent past and if you believe that it won’t adversely impact this case then we can agree to disagree.

      Furthermore the Florida Sunshine laws allow for the release of the jurors names after the case.

      In the Casey Anthony case the judge delayed the release by a month or so but there were a couple of jurors who moved out of state because they felt their lives were under threat. One female juror moved back to Michigan stated that if her coworkers would have her head on a platter if they knew she had helped aquit Casey Anthony.

      Think about people who have lived their entire lives in Seminole County and have to continue to live there after serving on a jury which delivered a verdict which was unpopular to the locals. I doubt that you would want to be that person.

      I don’t believe that everyone is a racist but in my 40 years I have never seen so much racism ( since the OJ Simpson case) until this case uncovered how deep the racial divide is in this country.

      Honestly this case would not be a front page story if the economy were not on the brink of collapse and a black man were in the White House.

      • Patricia says:

        Roderick, not turning this into a debating society, but Trayvon Martin’s story went nationwide because he was an unarmed teenager, legitimately on home turf, who was gunned down vigilante-style by a so-called “Neighborhood Watch Captain” with a concealed weopons permit — and the local police chief, against the recommendation of his investigators, decline to press charges.

        Want anything more gut-clenching than that?

        Obama’s approval rating outshines his opponents.
        Over 90% of employable adults ARE employed.
        Tough times for those without jobs, but s-l-o-w-ly we are pulling back from the economic abyss.

        This issue is not poitical but I agree absolutely
        that race as an issue, in Sanford, IS an issue.

        My message to the prosecution is: bring the toughest case you can muster, forward. With science, forensics, recorded police interviews – everything you got. Seek jurors from other Counties if that is your best judgment. If they can convince Zimmerman to cop a plea for at least a 25 year sentence, go for it!

        But can you see GZ agreeing? Naah …

        So these are the cards we are dealt.

        We play them as if “the next Trayvon’s” life is at stake.

        And it is.

        The “next Trayvon” to be shot vigilante-style,
        may not, in fact, be … black.

        This is what the jury must think on:

        The rule of law transcends race.
        It could be YOUR kid.

      • princss6 says:

        “but I stand by my statement that Sandusky’s abuse was common knowledge well before the stories of his abuse went public and he was arrested.”

        You are wrong! It was not common knowledge. Did you NOT read the Freeh Report. No investigative body has ever stated it was common knowledge and as someone who was there in State college from the late 80’s to the mid90s, I can tell you, that is a bald faced lie. Of course, for some, who have never even been on campus or the surrounding area, that’s an easy excuse. If you live in a major city with an athletic team, you tell me that you know exactly what happens in the locker rooms. You don’t and we didn’t. And I’m offended that you would attempt to throw so many people under the bus with such a weak argument.

        This is something you’ve made up based on painting far too many with a broad brush. You have no right and no knowledge of State College or the surrounding area…you only rely on, it must have been common knowledge because it was a small town. University Park is nothing like a small town. 80,000 students are matriculating on that campus alone, not to even add in staff and administration. It would take a good hour to walk from one end of campus to the other end of the campus.

        So you can stand by it but you are wrong. It was not common knowledge that Sandusky was a pedophile using PSU football to abuse boys. That is a specious argument based on nothing tangible other than you wrongly believing the area in question is Mayberry. The main contention and why PSU is in trouble is because a few men hid what Sandusky was doing from law enforcement and everyone else! You lack the fundamental understanding of this case if you don’t see that is what happened!

        • ajamazin says:

          Perhaps you are taking the comments too personally.

          ________________________________

          • princss6 says:

            And you wouldn’t, honey. Roderick made a blanket statement that would include me as “someone who had common knowledge.” I knew at some point someone would chime in (not surprised it is you) that doth protest too much. But hell no, to accuse others by the virtue of being in a small city that they knew and I was one of those people – yes I take that damn personal because I don’t condone pedophilia in any way shape or form. Perhaps you could have offered something a little more substantitive than _doth protest too much.

          • ajamazin says:

            princss6,

            You were notcited by name orsingled out.

            You are aware you are posting anonymously and Roderick can not see you from his kitchen window,yes?

            ________________________________

          • princss6 says:

            Ignoring Aja. Please do the same.

    • roderick2012 says:

      Thanks for responding with a book, but I still stand by my points.

      For the Sandusky case you will never convince me that after all of those incidents over more than a decade’s time that no one NO one had an idea that Sandusky was a pedophile?

      Someone prevented the police from further investigating allegations made by Victim 6’s mother in 1998. Two officers allegedly overheard Sandusky admit that he molested her son, but charges were filed against him. Then the janitor saw Sandusky committing a foul act on a minor and two years after that McQuery caught Sandusky in the shower with another boy.

      Maybe I watch too much tv but common sense tells me that if that many people witnessed that many incidents over that length of time they didn’t just keep it a secret. People talk. Husbands talk to their wives. Friends tell other friends especially about someone who was associated with PSU.

      There was speculation among the media if persons so closely associated with PSU would be able to convict Sandusky. Thankfully the testimony was so devastating that Sandusky’s attorney’s weren’t able to counter it with their bs.

      As for the potential Zimmerman jury your hyperbole drowned out the reasonableness of the rest of your post.

      Remember it only takes one juror out of six to prevent Zimmerman from being convicted so no I am not claiming that all whites are racist but O’Mara’s theatrics are directed at one or two potential jurors who may have negative perceptions about young black men.

      The problem with this blog is that everyone agrees that Zimmerman murdered Trayvon and the only people who attempt to counter that idea are kooks who aren’t able to offer coherent counter-arguments.

      Unfotunately, the law can’t keep kooks off juries.

      • princss6 says:

        saying no one knew and saying it was common knowledge or whispered about are two completely different things. Do I suspect more people knew than we know about to date? Yep, I do. But I draw the line with you saying it was an open secret. That is categorically not true and you are tarnishing a lot of people in the process.

      • ajamazin says:

        Some need to face reality.

        ________________________________

  14. Sandra E. Graham says:

    Re: GZs request via e-mail for a status on crimes in the neighbourhood – if there were any open cases. 2 weeks before the murder. Why would he ask that question!!

    Maybe because he would be the hero in solving the open case. Hence – suspect caught and killed – case closed.

  15. Teatime says:

    “Based on what George Zimmerman claimed to have seen, he did not have a reasonable basis to stop and detain Trayvon Martin. Regardless what the Zimmerman supporters say, this is an undisputed fact and conclusion of law.”
    I haven’t heard any Zimmerman supporters say otherwise. The point is moot anyway, because there’s no compelling evidence that he every tried to do any such thing.

    “I believe it’s now clear that George Zimmerman assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal looking for a house to burglarize or some property to steal and he hunted him down with the intent of detaining him in order to prevent him from getting away.”
    That’s anything but “clear”.

    “He was so determined to do that that he intentionally and willfully…”
    Intentionally *and* willfully.. GZ is *doubly bad*!

    “Acting as a private citizen, he had no authority or right to touch Trayvon, let alone restrain him.”
    Yes, but he didn’t… so…

    “Now that we have reviewed and understand the SYG law, we realize that Trayvon had the right to stand his ground and use reasonably necessary force to defend himself.”
    I haven’t ‘realized’ this…

    “I am not satisfied that he used any force to defend himself, but if he did, he had a right to do so.”
    Heh.. the prosecutor already admitted he did, but if you don’t think the evidence is compelling enough…

    “..George Zimmerman would have been required to attempt to withdraw from the confrontation and offer to quit fighting before he could lawfully use deadly force to defend himself.”
    Screaming for help is a pretty clear indication he wishes to withdraw and no longer wishes to fight. Oh, and TM was on top of him so….

    “George Zimmerman never claimed that he did and there is no evidence that he did.”
    Right.. no evidence at all. Not that it matters anyway, because GZ never attacked TM.

    “Therefore, George Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. He committed an imminently dangerous act with a depraved mind indifferent to human life and that is the definition of murder in the second degree.”

    The GZ-haters love it when you say that 😉

    • Professor:..George Zimmerman would have been required to attempt to withdraw from the confrontation and offer to quit fighting before he could lawfully use deadly force to defend himself.”

      Teatime:Screaming for help is a pretty clear indication he wishes to withdraw and no longer wishes to fight. Oh, and TM was on top of him so….

      It’s really detestable for Zimmerman to claim a kid’s final screams as his own. It makes my blood boil.

      • Patricia says:

        SouthernGirl2, no jury is going to accept Zimmerman’s attempts to record “screaming” as what they just heard on the 911 tapes.

        Earth to Teatime:
        George doesn’t scream. He squeaks.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        Zimmerman is too callous to scream.

      • Teatime says:

        It’s hard to believe someone with absolutely no injuries would be screaming like that.. while causing injuries to someone else.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        Teatime, please tell me that you are not that dense that you cannot see or understand that a child terrified would scream for help if someone is pointing a gun at them and telling them that they are gonna die. Please tell me that you’re not that mentally challenged.

    • Xena says:

      “I am not satisfied that he used any force to defend himself, but if he did, he had a right to do so.”
      Heh.. the prosecutor already admitted he did, but if you don’t think the evidence is compelling enough…”

      @Teatime, what you are probably referring to is during the bond hearing when the prosecution said that Trayvon was standing his ground. That’s not saying that Trayvon used physical force of any kind on GZ — just that if he did, he had the right to do so. The lab report is now available, and it provides that no DNA or blood foreign to Trayvon Martin was found on his hands. The forensics do not agree with GZ’s story.

      • Teatime says:

        The prosecutor didn’t use the word ‘if’. It’s unimportant, my only point is that it’s obvious that Martin attacked Zimmerman at some point so you may as well acknowledge

    • rayvenwolf says:

      Teatime: Here’s an exercise for you. Go listen to the 911 call with the screams in the background. Then come back and give us a time reference for when GZ was being smothered.

      here’s a hint, if he couldn’t manage that, I doubt you’ll be able to.

      GZ claims he kept screaming help over and over. The screaming/yelling in the background is clearly more than just help.

      And everyone’s fave question – if he was screaming why did he go silent after firing the shot? How did he mentally go from screaming bloody murder and for his life to calmly getting up and straddling the dying body of Trayvon Martin AND asking a complete stranger for help?

    • @rnsone says:

      On other sites,his supporters seem to be dwindling.

  16. Professor~~in the Casey Anthony case, they went to Pinellas County and picked the 12 jurors there and I believe it was 4 alternate jurors. They were brought back to Orange County and sequestered.

  17. bettykath says:

    It may be that the “crime wave” was GZ’s imagination that every kid playing in the street and every open garage door was a crime waiting to happen. Oh, yes, and any kid wearing a hoodie walking in the rain.

    Sorry, when I start snarking it’s time for me to quit.

    • Xena says:

      According to some records I read, from 9/23/11 to 2/2/12, GZ made 5 NEN calls.
      9/23/11 – Open garage door
      10/01/11 – Loitering
      12/10/11 – Man who served at his graduation party expected to be paid, but GZ had not hired him.
      1/29/12 – Little boy playing in the street
      2/2/12 – The call about a suspicious person outside of Taaffe’s house.

      I have my own theory about GZ and neighborhood watch.
      http://blackbutterfly7.wordpress.com/blogs/was-george-zimmermans-neighborhood-watch-a-cover-up/

      • Sandra E. Graham says:

        You definitely have something there. But, more information needs to be brought to light to be able to make the connections. Do you think we ever will. Phone records would be a good start. But the phone record thing has bothered me. GZ talking with his wife over the phone while he was in jail about their phones – having to get new phones, etc.. I don’t think GZs phone records would tell us much. I think they may have had more phones used for other purposes – the disposable kind. I think Shelly had to move that vehicle before it was impounded. There was evidence in that vehicle. Your theory has me thinking again because it does fit in to my theory as well. Someone commented on the Zimmerman vehicles and how they could afford them. I thought nothing about it until now. Thinking cap ….on.

      • Sandra E. Graham says:

        I was thinking more along the selling drugs line rather than petty theft and burglary.

      • Rachael says:

        Xena, sick as it sounds, I’ve often thought that as well. I keep trying to get it out of my head because it is almost too bizarre, but there is just something about it that makes so danged much sense.

        • Patricia says:

          Rachael and Zena –

          Why, it certainly was reasonable for George to call in a police complaint on the guy who expected to be paid for working at George’s “Graduation Party.”

          After all, it wasn’t a real GRADUATION party.

          So the guy wasn’t REALLY hired to work at the NON-graduation party.

          So the NON-hired guy really couldn’t expect to be paid.

          So, what did the NON-paid guy have to complain about?

          George, however, was the VICTIM of all this NONsense.

          Hmmmmm … can Bernie de la Rionda get this non-paid, non-hired guy who served at the non-Graduation party on his witness list?

          Even the most hard-core racist or classist or any other kind of putz on a jury would not put up with a guy who stiffs the waiter at his Non-Police Science Graduation Party.

          Do it with a straight face.

          I’m serious about this. What would be O’Mara’s cross ????

      • Dave says:

        Hmmm….Zimmerman as Fagin. It sounds plausible. If true, though, I would expect GZ to have a more up-to-date knowledge of language used by young African Americans even if his “boys” were white and/or Hispanic.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with snarking.

      Humor, even dark humor, is good for the soul.

      My sense of humor is pretty dry, but if you look for it, you’ll see it.

      When in doubt, you can always use a snark tag.

  18. Digger says:

    I have asked this before and no response. Does anyone know if there was ever any real evidence that anyone had been breaking and entering which George Zimmerman claimed and which he said he had reported. Did any of the residents of the complex report to the local police any break-ins?

    • Not sure, but I believe all of the open investigations had been solved and the cases were closed.

      I think Serino said that.

      Once again, it looks like GZ was making stuff up.

      • KA says:

        If I remember right, there is also an email from the police representative for the NWP to GZ two weeks before the murder stating there was no open cases and the last one had a suspect in custody.

      • gbrbsb says:

        Certainly an entry line learnt by rote because he starts so many of his 911 calls “we’ve had some break-ins in this area….”

    • patsyfritz@aol.com says:

      Digger, I can’t give you the stats (hope others have them) but GZ said he got exercised about crime prevention because a neighbor across from him had an illegal entry (a “hot prowl” while the woman was home). Apparently another incident was his bike and BBQ were taken off his back porch area. I think there was one other burglary but I have no details.

      • TruthBTold says:

        Also, weren’t the crime occurrences over an extended period of time? Can’t recall, but at least a year or so I believe. It wasn’t occurring on rapid succession in a short amount of time. I can’t stress enough how bad of a choice GZ made that night. Doesn’t exercise good judgement at all.

        • Brown says:

          @Truth
          taken from second discovery dump page 237

          Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
          Count of Incident Reports for the R@TT
          3/15/2010 – 03/14/2012
          ALL OTHER LARCENY 3
          BURGULARY 7
          CRIMINAL MISCHIEF 2
          DEALING IN STOLEN PROPERTY 1
          DRUG OFFENSES 3
          FRAUD-CREDIT CARD / ATM 1
          INTIMIDATION 1
          LARCENY-THEFT OF BICYCLES 2
          LARCENY-THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLE PARTS 1
          MISC CRIME 1
          NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 1
          SIMPLE ASSAULT 6

          GRAND TOTAL 30

      • Digger says:

        Thank you all, my interest is in wondering if the police actually investigated any of these crimes. Suspicion leads me to think that GZ himself has done some vandalism if actually any did occur. There is nothing to substantiate his statement that he was going out to buy supplies, groc, etc. the evening he pursued Trayvon.

      • rayvenwolf says:

        There was an arrest made like a week to two weeks right before Trayvon was killed regarding one of the recent robberies.

  19. Brown says:

    follow thread

  20. Brown says:

    follow the new thread

  21. Justme says:

    Case #1 – I know the Professor’s blog didn’t address the specific issue regarding the recusal of Judge Lester but was just wondering if you had an opinion about it, especially considering the response that the state filed yesterday?

  22. Case#1 says:

    More on Topic:

    What is going on in the Zimmerman’s case is not an exercise of understanding reasonable behavior. It is an exercise in racialized/class based space.

    What the Zimmerman supporters are defending, but will never admit it is the notion that TM didn’t belong there, and thus, that gave GZ every right to figure out who he was and why he was there.

    In short, they are already coming from an irrational perception. Once you start from an irrational emotions, it just all becomes rationalization rather than reason.

    In fact, the thin line between reason and rationalization can often be defined by the irrational that defines the argument.

    The more irrational the real reasons are, the more likely it is that you are listening to rationalizations.

    Americans don’t like to think of themselves as racist so that define it in extreme terms like the KKK so they can exclude themselves from the definition.

    When you speak of a reasonable suspicion here, its a language that has no real meaning because the fruit is poisoned from the root.

    This is the real challenge that the prosecution faces: How to discuss this assumption that the jury may also have about “reasonable suspicion” without triggering their need to protect their racialized space as legitimate. If they can do that, they will go along way to winning the case.

    • KA says:

      “What is going on in the Zimmerman’s case is not an exercise of understanding reasonable behavior. It is an exercise in racialized/class based space.”

      With this I absolutely agree. We are fighting a larger battle.

    • KA says:

      Most people do not understand or recognize the impact, framework, or existence of implicit and systemic bias.

      • Case#1 says:

        Yet, to win this case, the prosecution will have to address it, because “polite” middle class people may think such things, but they will never say it. So decisions will be made, without, ever addressing the underlying assumptions that allowed them to think of the suspicions as reasonable. No juror will ever say “a black kid like that didn’t belong there.” They are smart enough to set up rationalizations that give the appearance of reason, and will just repeat mantra-like “well, he had reasonable suspicion, and i would have too.” Polite, quiet, and totally racist. I expect its that kind of unspoken truth that OMara will attempt to use to find self defense in a case like this.

        • Patricia says:

          Picture for a moment Pope Benedict slowly walking through that evening’s rain on Retreat View Circle. White cassock and Gucci shoes and all.

          If THAT’s not “out of place” what would be?

          Then picture in your mind what went forward with George Zimmerman, only morph Trayvon Martin’s image into the Pope.

          So … WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

          In total number of lives lost, NO DIFFERENCE.

          I have only recently been thinking that it would be a STRATEGIC MISTAKE for the prosecution to try this case BASED ON RACE.

          While Sanford as a community appears to be uptight racially from a historic viewpoint, I expect this will be a mixed-race jury.

          I think the prosecution needs to ask the jury from day one to frame the issue as one member OF THE HUMAN RACE murdering ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RACE.

          Every human being has some mental idiosyncracy. All people will have some early reservation against a stranger who looks very diferent from themselves … or their tribe. There is that vestigial “racism.”

          BUT JURORS HAVE BRAINS.

          I think the prosecution will fail if it exhibits a belief that ANY juror is racist. They must find “the better angels within” ALL JURORS.

          If Jerry Sandusky can be convicted by a jury of whom half had direct ties to Penn Sate, it gives me renewed hope and pride in the US justice system.

          Based on the evidence, the prosecution CAN win this case.

      • Rachael says:

        “a black kid like that didn’t belong there.”

        A black kid like what didn’t belong there. Are there no other black kids there?

      • KA says:

        Yes, he prevalent thought that if he did not say “coons” he must not hold racial bias.

        I agree that has to be addressed. I think “humanizing” Trayvon might be key to that. I suspect his mother and families testimony is key to that.

        I have never met someone who held racial bias, believe that they were racists.

        The dynamics of that social phenomena are vast.

      • Case#1 says:

        Rachel,

        At least to me, one aspect of this case is also class. ‘A black kid like that” means “good blacks’ versus ‘bad blacks.” I am a lawyer. if you listened to me on the phone, as I have been told, “you sound white, I didn’t know” in interviews. Yes, people say that in moments when they let their guard down a for second before it goes back up. What do they mean by that? What does the woman who mentioned Zimmerman speaking like that mean? They are discussing issues of race, yet, but also class. I sound “white” because I come from a top law school and undergraduate educational system, and I don’t speak in the imagined “Ebonics” that lower class blacks are suppose to speak in. The kind that Zimmerman used in describing how Martin talked on the night of the killing. His lies about what he claims Martin says was about race, yes, but also class. He wasn’t describing the “good blacks’ like me or Obama. It was describing the bad ones. So, its complicated.

      • roderick2012 says:

        Patricia says:I have only recently been thinking that it would be a STRATEGIC MISTAKE for the prosecution to try this case BASED ON RACE.

        Seminole County 2011:

        White: 82%
        Black: 12&

        I think the prosecution should ask for a change of venue.

      • Rachael says:

        If they ask for a change of venue, who picks it and on what basis?

      • Rachael says:

        I mean should it be granted. Lol. Im tired.

      • bettykath says:

        Case#1, You’re words about race and class assumptions ring true. Zimmerman’s first accounts of Trayvon’s words were pretty much what he imagined a young black thug would say. As it’s become apparent that Trayvon’s parents are educated and well spoken, he’s changed the words that Trayvon supposedly said.

        It also bothers me that young Black kids who speak as Zimmerman assumes, also get killed without justification. Class matters. Those who aren’t in the middle and upper classes seem to be expendable. If Trayvon were one of them, that would have been the end of the investigation. There are plenty of examples, even where the shooter is known, especially if they are cops, that it is assumed that the Black kid is expendable and the shooter goes free. Poor parents grieve too.

      • Case#1 says:

        Betty,

        This is a really big issue, including in states like NY and even CA where its clear lower income blacks are targeted, in part, for race, but also class.

      • Rachael says:

        Sigh. Yes Case#1. So true. Another night of tears.

      • roderick2012 says:

        Patricia says:If Jerry Sandusky can be convicted by a jury of whom half had direct ties to Penn Sate, it gives me renewed hope and pride in the US justice system.

        Based on the evidence, the prosecution CAN win this case.

        I wholeheartedly disagree with your attempt to compare the Sandusky case to this one because you leave out many facts that lead up to Sandusky being convicted:

        • A janitor failed to tell authorities he allegedly caught Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in a campus shower a dozen years ago, among them:.

        • A district attorney declined to charge Sandusky over a 1998 molestation allegation even though the detective who investigated thought it was a solid case. The DA, Ray Gricar, disappeared in 2005 and was declared legally dead last year.

        • And, famously, coaching assistant Mike McQueary saw Sandusky having what he believed to be anal sex with a young boy in 2001. But his report to Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz went nowhere. McQueary’s dad testified that during a conversation, Schultz said he was suspicious of Sandusky, and NBC reported last week that emails between former university President Graham Spanier and Schultz aiming to keep McQueary’s allegation from going further were turned over to the attorney general.

        The area surrounding PSU is small town America and everyone knows how gossip flows in this town. After years of whispers I believe they were attempting to save face after the allegations against Sandusky made international news.

        Your comparison to and understanding of race is not very good.

        The overt racism that this case has exposed is about survival. The gun nuts who are fearful that their arms will be taken away have been brainwashed by the NRA to believe that they are under seige from the black hordes who are railroading their hero Zimmerman.

        Look at the comments across the internet which speak of some conspiracy between Holder and the special prosecutor’s office and let’s not forget how crazy the President’s benign comments about the case were turned into some type of race baiting by people on the Right.

        Look at the slander and bile that the professor and his partner have attracted just because he’s exercising his 1st Amendment right to discuss this case and his conclusions have made the Zimmermanbots insane.

        If Zimmerman is tried in Seminole county the best the prosecution can hope for is a hung jury. LOL

      • KA says:

        If only 12% are AA, and I believe in the neighborhood something like 20% were of a minority, then would it not seem unusual that 100% of GZ’s were based on “suspicious” AA males? Statistically, that would be an extraordinary percentage considering the community makeup.

      • roderick2012 says:

        Orange County:
        White: 70.0%
        Black:21.7%

        Volusia County:
        White: 85.2%
        Black:10.9%

        Brevard County:
        White: 84.4%
        Black: 10.5%

        Unfortunately these aren’t the percentages of registered voters from which the jury pool will be chosen and given the fact that both sides can eliminate jurors for various reasons there is likely to be no blacks among the final 6 jurors.

        Good luck to the prosecution on seating a jury that will convict their martyr Zimmerman.

      • Sandra E. Graham says:

        Patricia —- I am with you on that!!!! For this case to be won by the state, it is best to use the approach you have suggested. I think sometimes the legal profession believes a jury is made up of a bunch of straw men. No one will ever know what goes on in the mind of a juror. Keep race out of it. There is enough evidence to present without having to introduce the race card on either side of the court room.

        • Patricia says:

          Sandra, good jury selection for intelligent jurors open to hearing the evidence from both sides – then treat them as intelligent, not prejudiced. Jurors work incredibly hard in the interest of justice.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        BettyKath, I agree with everything you said, especially about the mindset that black kids are expendable. You hit bulleye with that comment because it is true. The problem is that it has always been like that since slavery. Blacks have been dehumanized as subhuman—animals. Nonwhites are seen as dispensable and in the way of so-called civilization. Yet, they use uncivilized and brutal savagery to achieve what they consider advancing civilization. It is an illustration of the structure and rationalization behind white supremacy and how it controls and eliminates people of color.

      • edgySF says:

        fyi, Sanford is in Seminole county:

        82.4% White
        9.5% Black or African American
        0.3% Native American
        2.5% Asian,
        <0.1% Pacific Islander,
        3.1% from other races, and
        2.2% from two or more races.

        11.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

    • Sandra E. Graham says:

      How would you approach the jury about the issue. This case is but one of many. Rather than have a jury of ones peers, would you suggest the system be changed to have a jury of lawyers in order that the difference noted can be assured.

      • roderick2012 says:

        Sandra, if you’re addressing me I was attempting to point out that the prosecution has hurdles seating a jury that would convict Zimmerman since a larger percentage of whites believe that he killed Trayvon in self-defense than does the general population.

        O’Mara is very mindful of this fact and that is why he spoke at a gun nuts’ convention last weekend and that is why he is attempting to portray Zimmerman as some victim of some broadbased racial conspiracy by President Obama, AG Holder and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

      • Sandra E. Graham says:

        roderick2012 – Actually I was addressing Case1. If I may ask you a question about your comment:

        a larger percentage of whites believe that he killed Trayvon in self-defense than does the general population.

        Where did you get your stats from since you are talking percentages. I would like to see them.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        @roderick, there are many whites that believe Zimmerman is lying, and even some of those that believed him at first saw the light after his Hannity interview. The ones that still support Z would still support him regardless because of their hatred and fear of blacks and some have a political agenda. However, I understand your concerns as well since justice is hardly ever served when it comes to a crime committed against blacks. And you have a point, especially with the current purging of black voters from the voter’s registration list that is taking place at this present time. And with Florida being the good old south and one of those states that racism is set in stone so to speak I do understand why you feel that way. In addition, you did raise some legitimate and good points.

        I have lived through Jim Crow, watched my cousin being escorted by the National Guard through an angry white mob on television; some of my kinfolks were murdered in their struggle for freedom. Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King actually did eat dinner with my kinfolks at their home and meet with them, and Thurgood more than once. I witnessed in person the first Watts Riot from the beginning, lived through the Black Power Movement and knew some of the original Black Panthers personally. A couple of them grew up on the same block as some of my kinfolks that have live on that street for years. I worked for Office of Civil Rights and now I am old, I use the Internet to fight against injustice. I learned to smell racism because in order to survive in America it was mandatory.

        In essence, all of my life the struggle for justice and equality for blacks has been interminable in America and more than likely will continue when my time is up on this earth. Some people have hatred embedded in their DNA. Racism is institutionalized, taught, and drilled, persistently. into people’s mind through multimedia, politics, and in the home. However, the younger generation might be the ones to kill racism because their minds are more open to seeing people different from them as human beings and the multicolor of their friends clearly shows that. The young people get it! It’s the old folks that don’t get it. Nevertheless, I pray that justice is served in the case of Trayvon.

        Getting down off my soapbox and going back and sit in the corner and watch, pray, and learn.

        • ajamazin says:

          I think you would be shocked at the level of racism that simmersbelow the surface in the US.

          I was stunned and disgusted to discover the vast majority of my”friends”, acquaintances, and people within whom I come into contact,[ I am referring to whites]believe Zimmerman was justifiedin defendinghimself against the “thug”, Trayvon.

          ________________________________

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        @Roderick, I forgot to add that there are many whites that are standing up and voicing that they do not believe Zimmerman and want to see justice for Trayvon.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        Well, ajamazin, I feel sorry for those who hide their true feelings and pretend in the open that they want to see justice for Trayvon, but behind closed doors in the company of whites only, say that Trayvon the “thug” got what he deserved. That’s makes them not only racist but deceivers as well. People actually do reap what they sow and what they’re doing is sowing a seed of deceit that will one day spout up in their own household and they’ll get to experience firsthand an experience similar to Trayvon.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        And ajamazin, with the latest mass shooting faze happening these days in schools, theaters, public places, well…need I say more. Yep, people do reap what they sow!

      • Xena says:

        “Case#1, You’re words about race and class assumptions ring true. Zimmerman’s first accounts of Trayvon’s words were pretty much what he imagined a young black thug would say. As it’s become apparent that Trayvon’s parents are educated and well spoken, he’s changed the words that Trayvon supposedly said.”

        Yet, GZ is on tape using profanity. He evidently has a double-standard. Before he came into physical contact with Trayvon, he had already applied some choice words towards him. Maybe the prosecution should bring this out at trial. If nothing else, the jury may see GZ as the low class person.

        • The prosecution needs to stay on the high road.

          By playing the race card, the defense has descended into the gutter where it evidently intends to remain throughout this case.

          I’ve said it before and will say it again. This is a disgusting and blatant in-your-face appeal to racial fear and hatred.

          That is what this defense is all about and it’s shameful.

      • Roderick wrote: Good luck to the prosecution on seating a jury that will convict their martyr Zimmerman.”

        I sort of find that comment offensive because it makes the assumption that all whites are prejudiced against blacks. I am a “white hispanic” like Zimmerman and I find what he did absolutely barbaric and criminal. People of MANY races and backgrounds spoke up after Zimmerman was released. Justice is just not blind but color-blind. I think if they can seat an honest jury, they will be able to convict.

      • roderick2012 says:

        Cielo Perdomo says: People of MANY races and backgrounds spoke up after Zimmerman was released. Justice is just not blind but color-blind. I think if they can seat an honest jury, they will be able to convict.

        It’s obvious that whenever someone mentions race people see things that aren’t there.

        First off all white people won’t be in the jury pool, but a small percentage of Floridians will be chosen to be in the jury pool for this case and a larger percentage of whites believe that Zimmerman acted in self-defense that night than do blacks. That’s a simple fact.

        I stated in another post that these jurors will have their names released after the trial and they will know that going into the trial that they will have to face their neighbors and the public for the rest of their lives.

        As for ‘an honest jury’ that’s a relative concept. Most people believe that they are honest and objective but no one really is and that’s why it won’t be difficult for O’Mara to find that one juror who won’t believe that Zimmerman is guilty regardless of the facts.

        Also why do you believe that jury consultants exist?

        If racism doesn’t exist then why was OJ Simpson’s civil trial held in Simi Valley after he was aquitted by a jury in downtown L.A.?

    • princss6 says:

      Wonderful post. Have you had to address issues like this in cases you have argued? If so, how were you able to introduce this vital element into the case?

    • Tzar says:

      excellent thoughtful reply

  23. Case, your post is far from “off topic.” Very well stated! Not only has Professor Leatherman offered me a wonderful lesson in some of these legal matters, posters like you continue to stretch my understanding. Thanks.

  24. Case#1 says:

    Great post.

    I want to go off-topic for this comment.

    As a lawyer working in another area of law, can I just thank you for this:

    “Whenever you see the word “reasonable,” as part of a legal test or rule, you should immediately realize that the test or rule is objective, not subjective.”

    I wish my clients, and, indeed, the public understood that legal analysis in many areas often, at minimum, will require a reasonableness standard, or an objective (whatever “objective” is defined as through case law) standard rather than a subject (“I can just go in there to argue what I feel like on Law & Order”) standard.

    I think one of the problems with the general public is that they believe legal analysis is all just “made up” because its not a science where you input information into an equation, and an answer is spit out. So, they think because there is no definitive answer, that means there is not a reasonable parameter of answers that are more likely than others.

    Again, continuing to speak off topic, this results in Americans not understanding what is and is not corruption as far as the legal system is concerned because they think its all subject to manipulation and is lacking in meaning.

    Going back on topic, that means you get posts like this one:

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2012/8/24/174924/166

    The core of her argument although she claims to be arguing “objectively” is actually subjective. Yes, she uses the word “reasonable”but she does not offer any standard by which we can test whether she’s making a legally reasonable argument.

    This is something I see with my clients too. They will say something that’s unreasonable, but they think because they can make up a rational for it,t hat makes it reasonable as a legal standard.

    I have to explain to them that this is not Law & Order. They don’t get to make up the standards as they go. That if they did, that would be corruption.

    I know I am meandering, but I really do think one of the reasons our country is breaking down is that people do not understand concepts like this.

    I don’t think Zimmerman understands it either, and I am also not certain whether his lawyers understand it. I know they got to argue the case they have, but there have been moments where I questioned their legal skills.

    • Rachael says:

      Yes, thank you very much!

    • KA says:

      It is why mass guns in the general population scare me.

      What is the measure of someone having “reasonable fear”? We all develop cognitive maps based on our own biased and self serving experiences with life so what is “reasonable fear”?

      If there is an objective standard for that, then unfair stereotypes would be allowed to be used for legal arguments.

      Of course, I am not naive enough to think they not used in court pandering to the likely cognitive maps of mainstream jurors today.

      • Case#1 says:

        Well, we know from Jim Crow and other laws that the courts are more than capable of enshrining bigotry into law. I don’t think we can ever eliminate such issues. All we can do is be aware of them, and hope to use them in such a way as to win in situations like this where someone unlawfully kills another person, and relies on the poorly thought out assumptions of the population to try to win their case.

      • princss6 says:

        “All we can do is be aware of them, and hope to use them in such a way as to win in situations like this where someone unlawfully kills another person, and relies on the poorly thought out assumptions of the population to try to win their case.

        Thank you for stating this so succinctly. It is exactly what GZ hoped to do…precisely.

    • Sandra E. Graham says:

      Well — if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck ….. I think most people know the difference between right and wrong and what is reasonable. A 16 year-old drinking in a bar may seem reasonable, acceptable to some and not to others. Laws are written and passed by legislators representing their constituents after debating and voting on what the majority view is reasonable by society’s current standards. So, I disagree that one of the reasons the country is breaking down is because people don’t understand the concept. Rather, I think the legislators and judicial system are NOT understanding society’s current standard of acceptance. Are their any people left in prison when from a time when a prison sentence was reasonable for stealing a loaf of bread. No – it is society that determines reasonableness – not the other way around.

      • Xena says:

        Sandra, I understand what you’re saying, but there are many efforts in society to disobey laws without there being any consequences. For instance, there is a “sovereign citizenship” movement that has misled people so badly that words cannot describe it. Some of the arguments of Zimmerman supporters sound very much like, if not exactly like, the arguments of “sovereign citizens.”

      • princss6 says:

        speaking of sovereign citizens….don’t they advocate getting two passports because one day the government will suspend passports forcing us to be unlawfully detained within these borders?

      • Xena says:

        @Princess6. “speaking of sovereign citizens….don’t they advocate getting two passports because one day the government will suspend passports forcing us to be unlawfully detained within these borders?”

        I’m not sure, but do not doubt it. Like the majority of their conspiracy theories, there is an inconsistency. if the government was not allowing citizens outside of the country, a second Passport would not be honored either. Or maybe they believe the U.S. Border does not include the States of Texas and Montana. (Snark)

      • princss6 says:

        @Xena – I can’t remember their rationale, lol. I was doing some research around the time that it was discovered that GZ had a second passport. I ran across this one website that was a little too dense to delve deeply. However, when googling information on a second passport, all of the websites seem to lead to these anti-government types.

    • Xena says:

      @Case#1, thank you, thank you, and yes, yes, and yes. I am not a lawyer but for almost 3 yrs, managed the first internet based Legal Self-Help Center in the State of Illinois. In that position, I could not go beyond the scope of information and automated form programs on the legal aid website. I could give procedural information, but not legal advice.

      One of the automated programs is for a motion to revoke default judgment. The program has a pull-down menu with requirements that the court considers to revoke a default judgment. Nine out of 10 times, the pro se litigants had a reason that was not among the requirements. That meant for the next 20 minutes, they told their story.

      No matter how many times I informed them that the program was developed by attorneys and the requirements were those recognized by the court, (and there was nothing I could do to change them), they continued to give their reason(s) and those communications generally ended with them saying that the courts are corrupt. (sigh)

      But the one situation that stays with me the most was when a woman argued that the summons was improper because her name is not “aka.”

    • princss6 says:

      In line with what you are saying – I’ve been disappointed in the arguments MOM has put forward. I guess, one measure of a vigorous defense would be the number of motions filed. I was looking for more complexity and brilliance of legal arguments. That has yet to come to fruition.

      • LOL! Well, with Zimmerman making a total mess of whatever story of the week he’s concocted, I don’t think MOM could develop any legal argument that wasn’t already outdated by the time he had it written! Is there a motion to get your client to shut the eff up?

  25. Rachael says:

    The prosecution rests. LOL

    BTW, Professor – fantastic entry.

  26. Rachael says:

    “Did George Zimmerman Have a Reasonable Suspicion that Trayvon Martin Intended to Commit a Crime?”
    NO!!!!

    “I am not satisfied that he used any force to defend himself, but if he did, he had a right to do so”
    I don’t know how many times I have said the exact same thing.

    KA and diaryofasuccessfulloser- I could not agree with you more. It seems to me a better answer would have been first to identify himself and and ask if there was something he could help with. Or something. Anything but what he did. What an idiot.

    • TruthBTold says:

      Exactly KA. Considering he did have a problem, his response was ridiculous. To answer the question, a resounding NO.

      • KA says:

        It is almost like he was proving that he will not say, in a situation, what he really thinks or knows.

        Like he, himself, proved him that he was not credible.

        He describes a problem he had with him (“on drugs”, “suspicious”, “something is “up”, “looking at houses”, calls NEN) in his statement and then (in his version) when asked, he misleads. That shows an intent to “mislead” Trayvon overall and get him to think something that was not reflective of the true situation.

        SO can the Prosecution ask “so, you clearly had a problem with Trayvon as you stated, why did you lie?”

        How does he get out of that? He was scared? He already said he was not when he got out of the car.

        I can’t think of a credible answer or motive to mislead Trayvon.

      • gbrbsb says:

        KA and TBT: Imo there is an easy answer… It never happened!

        I cannot believe that when Trayvon asked “Why you following me?” (DD’s version), or even “What’s your/do you have a problem (homie)?” (GZ’s versions) GZ replied “I don’t have a problem” while, according to his own story, BEFORE Trayvon allegedly punched him, he looked for his phone to call, no NOT the non emergency 311 with whom he had just been talking but the full fledged emergency line 911!!!

        And for what? I mean, wtf 911 emergency was GZ going to report? Before the alleged punch what merited a 911 call? Fear? Because he “did not want to confront him”, as he replied to Serino when asked why he didn’t ID himself ? I think not as calling 911 in front of a suspect is confrontational!

        I hope De la Rionda crosses him about his intent to call 911 because imo it is so bizarre it could never have happened that way. More likely, as DD heard, to Trayvon’s reasonable question given the circumstances (and very brave of him) GZ retorted angrily “What you doing around here?” and Trayvon being the teen he was and intimidated after GZ’s pursuit did not reply with the respect of authority GZ needed to prove his own self esteem (remember his chat with Singleton about “authority”) and told GZ to F-off while moving away making GZ go livid at what he saw as a f***ing whippersnapper (and a black one at that!), and GZ saw red and lunged to grab/retain him, (“get off, get off”) and the rest a short argument and scuffle the neighbours heard ensued… a mix of the various theories put forward throughout this blog.

      • gbrbsb says:

        Should have said something more like: “… calling 911 in front of a suspect who has his hand in his waistband, on drugs and up to no good is extremely confrontational and never advisable, unless, of course, you have a gun ready…”

    • Sandra E. Graham says:

      I think the best he could have done is to keep on driving and to mind his own business. GZ had no right to even ask Trayvon what he was doing whether he identified himself or not. GZ had no reason and no right.

      If it were me, I wouldn’t care if he was neighbourhood watch or not — I would have told him it was none of his business what I was doing. He was NOT a security guard patrolling the neighbourhood in an identified vehicle. He was not a police officer in an identified vehicle.

      • princss6 says:

        No, he was a stranger in a truck with tinted windows who I’m sure sat and watched Trayvon as he stood taking cover near the mailboxes, then followed him in that truck with tinted windows as he walked towards home.

      • Pat deadder says:

        I think the reason GZ said he wasn’t scared was he didn’t want them to think he had his gun already out as I believe he did.There is no way he began his pursuit without his gun out.He just thinks he can out smart everyone.He is such a angry egotistical coward.

  27. KA, I have thought of that very thing. An educator in the public school system, even I would not respond to a teen’s questioning of me in that tone the way GZ says he did. I would immediately resort to the, “Hold on, Sweetie. I don’t want any trouble. I’m part of the neighborhood watch and I…” There is no reason GZ should have said anything else BUT identify himself at that point. But, “Naw, man, I don’t have a problem…” doesn’t explain or accomplish anything.

    I so wish, somehow, GZ realizes that he MUST tell the truth about what happened that night.

    • KA says:

      If he didn’t identify himself, he would of,at least, told him “No, sorry I thought you looked lost in the rain and maybe not from around here, can I help you?”

      If he thinks the adults in a jury will actually relate to his childish (and supposed) response to Trayvon, (which is the crux of his his innocence in this supposed “self defense” claim), I think he is delusional.

      • rayvenwolf says:

        I don’t think GZ could afford to let the reality of Trayvon and what he was up to barge in on his fantasy. IF after talking with Trayvon, GZ still perused/followed and eventually stopped and detained Trayvon while waiting for the cops, his neck would have been firmly on the chopping block. The second Trayvon told the cops that the two of them had already spoken and he had told GZ where he was going, etc, the jig would have been up and gone.

        It is only some small twist of fate that GZ did not kill someone who was an actual resident of R@TL. His nonsense of knowing everyone is just that. R@TL is what 240-260 units? Let’s 2/3rds of those homes were occupied by at least 3 people each. There is no way GZ would have even know HALF of those people by sight alone. And while his supporters refuse to acknowledge that fact, the rest of us cannot.

        Of course it doesn’t make a difference really whether Trayvon was a visiting guest or a resident. George went well beyond his duty not only as a member of the NWP, but also as a decent human being.

        I think that is in part why GZ fled and hid out at MO’s from the moment he was released. Somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind he knew he could have killed a resident and that if he had, going back home would not have been a good idea, no matter how good his story was. Gated communities are like small towns – gossip spreads like a wildfire.

      • edgySF says:

        I agree rayvenwolf: GZ fixated.

    • TruthBTold says:

      @Diary,

      Good post, but your last paragraph is so spot on. He really does. It is so obvious that he is holding back critical factual information as to what really happened that night.

    • Sandra E. Graham says:

      Trayvons answers would not have been good enough for Zimmerman.

    • @rnsone says:

      I agree, and TM suddenly snapping after being allegedly told that,is unbelievable.

    • fauxmccoy says:

      maybe it was teens that were mentoring george?

      /snark off

    • princss6 says:

      “I so wish, somehow, GZ realizes that he MUST tell the truth about what happened that night.

      Agreed.

  28. Patricia says:

    Professor, while I do not consider that Zimmerman called 311 when he possessed any “intent” to murder Trayvon Martin, I do believe that by NOT identifying himself to the NEN dispatcher by both name AND as “Neighborhood Watch Coordinator” for his Home Owners’ Association, within the first minute or so of his call, this shows his INTENT to pursue, apprehend and detain Trayvon – against the law.

    In fact, the dispatcher, Sean, had to ask, “Do you live in the area?” That should have immediately triggered Zimmerman’s response: “Yeah, I’m the neighborhood Watch Coordinator.”

    He did not to acknowledge that because he did not want to place barriers (the requirement that NW volunteers may not pursue or detain) in the way of his pursuit by admitting, up front, that he knew that both were prohibited.

    I do believe, but cannot prove, that George was NOT heading out shopping. Again, if he were, he would have said he was ” …. on his way to Target without a list of domestic tasks to follow (“cooking for the week,” which I consider more embroidery).

    Most people would be simply specific as to why they were out on a miserable night like that.

    I believe, but again, there is no proof (yet) that Zimmerman was tipped off by an associate who had earlier seen a lone, young, black male entering the developmen or already on its street. The reason for my belief is because Zimmerman had a fully developed, embroidered story when he called 311 (some heard pages turning during the recording).

    It struck me that he was ALREADY on the hunt for his quarry when he spotted Trayvon Martin and called 311.

    Phone logs may tell us more – GZ’s, and friends.

    He then refused to stay in any specified area so that the arriving police officer could find him. He wanted to prowl after his quarry – so asked Sean to have the officers “call me when they get here.” That confirms my belief of what Zimmerman’s intent was during the ENTIRE interaction with NEN.

    In fact, when he first turned the ignition key in his truck that evening and headed out into the night …. to capure his quarry.

    “As ye sow, so shall ye reap … “

    • Sandra E. Graham says:

      Without any doubt, Zimmerman violated Trayvons Right to Privacy as soon as he spotted Trayvon at the cut-through. To spot someone, then sit in wait, continue to follow in a vehicle and on foot for no apparent reason proves it. Trayvon was doing nothing wrong and was immediately deemed to be a suspect. No reasonable person would have assessed the situation in that way. Trayvon was talking on the phone, carrying a 7-11 bag indicating he was returning from the store. If he were acting suspicious, when Trayvon spotted Zimmerman in his vehicle, Trayvon would have simply stepped back into the darkness until Zimmerman passed. Because Trayvon was wearing tan pants and white sneakers, blending in with the darkness was obviously trying to hide from anyone. Rather, he walked on by, right past Zimmermans vehicle. No reasonable person could have assumed Trayvons appearance and actions were anything more than a kid coming back from the store.

      I do not believe Zimmerman was going anywhere near a Target that night. For him to leave is warm home in a cold rainy night would have been for something extraordinary (tongue-in-cheek – unless he is a smoker). He left his home because he was up to no good and somethings wrong with him.

      During an interview, he says he didn’t remember having his gun with him. Then the story changed and I think it changed because he doesn’t carry his gun all the time. He would like to leave the impression that he wasn’t afraid of a problem excalating. However, he all of a sudden realized – well hey I have a gun with me! No. If he carried a gun all the time he would not have said that. I conclude — he does not always carry his gun but he knew he had it that night and he knew he was going to use it.

    • CherokeeNative says:

      Or, Patricia, as Frank Taffe would say, “when you plant corn, you get corn.” Great comment by the way.

  29. KA says:

    The part that I rarely hear discussed based on Zimmerman’s own account (which I will use his own words) when Trayvon asked him if he “had a problem” and he replied (by his own admission) “No I don’t have no problem”. I cannot think of a more childish response.

    That right there is a problem for me. Is he 12 years old? That response is not the action of a responsible adult and the one that makes me suspect that Zimmerman has never mentored any teens.

    That is not how any adult that has a heart for kids (as he claims) actually speaks. It is the opposite of anything a rational adult in a “mentoring” role would even think to say.

    It is also telling of his intention. He clearly knew that Trayvon was aware he was being followed (that is why he was angry and attacked according to Zimmerman, right?).

    I do not believe that exchange happened the way he said, I tend to think what DeeDee said is logical to the situation, but for Zimmerman to even write that and think it was “normal” for that siutation is telling of some significant issues in GZ himself.

    • princss6 says:

      I’m wrapping my mind around your comment, KA. It resonates. If what he says is true, he is trying to convey that he was submissive in the face of this teenager. It may point to something traumatic happening when he was a teenager. When something traumatic happens, they say that people stay in that moment and can’t move past it. Him recounting this story where he puts himself on the same level, nay, submissive to a teenager is very telling.

    • Pat deadder says:

      Also I believe Dee Dee said when asked to describe Trayvon she replied ” that he was a Momma’s boy”.She seemed to be embarassed when she said this.So I’m thinking GZ ‘s potrayal of him was so far off base.

      • It was reported that Trayvon Martin had tattoos on his wrist. One of the names of his Mom and the other was of his deceased Nana. The racists tried to portray TM as a “thug” when it became known that he had “tattoos.” When it was posted that he had his Mom and Nana tattoed on his body, not a word from these demons! LOL! I also pointed out to these ignorant people that Skinheads and Neo-Nazi’s have dozens of Tattoo’s plastered all over their bodies. How come they are not criticizing that?

    • edgySF says:

      “No I don’t have no problem”

      That was a lie, wasn’t it?

      GZ called NEN on TM.

      He had a problem, and he lied about it.

      Even in his lies he lies.

      A reasonable, sane adult would have something like, “well, yeah…I’m NW captain and we’ve had some break-ins. I don’t recognize you. Do you live around here? I called the cops because I don’t want any trouble.”

    • @rnsone says:

      You’re right,someone that has mentored others clearly would’ve chosen a better response than that.Something more diffusing.But a lie none the less…

    • Angelia says:

      I don’t believe the exchange happened the way he said it either. I believe that DeeDee’s exchange happened first. I believe GZ’s exchange happened last (after the phone disconnected and immediately prior to the full altercation) and was Trayvon’s response to GZ’s attempt to detain him.

      I believe that both of GZ’s responses to Trayvon’s questions were in a hostile tone and meant to intimidate, and I believe that GZ intentionally omitted the early part of the exchange, in order to cover for the fact that he continued to “follow” Trayvon and to prevent himself from being asked why he didn’t simply answer Trayvon’s question about why he (GZ) was following him. I also believe there was more that was said between the phone disconnecting and the exchange during which GZ “reached” for something (I believe his gun).

      The argument described by ear witnesses gives me an impression of an exchange lasting longer than 5 short sentences. Perhaps not much longer. But, certainly long enough for someone inside a house to hear loud voices, realise it’s an argument and not a person speaking loudly to someone at a distance, and to recognize that there is an older male, dominant voice. From that perspective, I believe that GZ had to have spoken more than two sentences. Certainly more than just the one that he claims.

  30. ajamazin says:

    No.

    Next question, please.

    • gbrbsb says:

      Great answer, short and sweet!

    • SearchingMind says:

      @ Ajamazin

      “No” or ‘yes’ is NEVER an answer – in a forum like this. We need you to think through your answer and tell us how you came to the said answer. In other words, we need you to lay bare your thought-process.

      • gbrbsb says:

        Of course you are correct, but very rarely something seems so black and white that it deserves such a rotund answer even if only for effect. I think this is how the usually very prolific thinker Ajamazin saw it, and considering Profs question and the facts we know to date her answer sounded perfect, but if she later develops it with her processes that would be fantastic too.

      • bobgnote says:

        OK, GZ has a scrip, which includes Schedule II CS Adderall, an amphetamine, prescribed for ADHD. He somehow devised, to leave his vehicle, to apprehend TM, when SPD was en route. GZ executed one, fatal shot, fired straight in, and I understand no GSR was on GZ’s red jacket, which is unseemly, for various GZ-described scenarios. SPD didn’t charge GZ, and they didn’t test his blood, for excess or deficient dosage, of his dangerous prescriptions. I don’t know how to say anything, but NO, to letting a tweaker carry a gun, but failing to test his blood, while TM gets slurred, for residual cannabis? I wonder which SPD besides Bill Lee need to get summarily fired, to possibly ding Sanford, for defense responsibility, in a civil suit? The straight scratches and gouge on the back of GZ’s head look like fabrications. O’Mara likes to challenge judges. Hmmm. I know what this looks like, to me! Ask me about voter ID laws, every Presidential election, since 2000! Somebody is crooking, in Florida, I really believe.

  31. Justme says:

    Great blog as always Professor!! Always look forward to reading.

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