Though I had been hoping to avoid this already over-covered subject, the endless stream of headlines on this single incident that stink of a political hijacking of due process and the American Justice system is too much to ignore.
I have to say, that though of course I am sorry that Trayvon is dead as I am sure everyone is including George Zimmerman, I am not particularly fond of either of the protagonists. So why write about this?
To be frank, it is not that the incident itself which is very newsworthy, not outside local news coverage anyways, nor that I find either of the characters interesting nor extraordinarily good, bad, brave nor cowardly. Unfortunately, murders happen in the US daily, and they happen in Florida daily. There are approximately 45 murders each day in the United States, and as shocking as that may sound, that is after steadily declining violent crime rates in the US since the early mid 1990s. New reports showed that 2010 was the safest year (in regards to violent crime) in forty years!
In any event, 45 people are still murdered (not shot in arguably self defense) each day in the US. There has therefore been hundreds of new homicide victims in America since Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman, but the media has made sure I don’t know even one of their names. As it is clear we all seem to know both Trayvon’s and George’s names. And that ironically is what actually is newsworthy and I wish to discuss. Why is it that the media has deemed this incident worthy of thousands of hours of mainstream national coverage (while ignoring so many others) and what effect has this had on justice?
Giving the benefit of the doubt to the national media, you would say that certainly there is some explanation for the interest and outrage at this story, some extraordinary set of circumstances, the fact that there are 45 murders daily in the US must be out of context. All right… let’s take a look.
Someone was fatally shot in the US on Feb 26 2012. That is not (unfortunately) extraordinary. But it was in Florida… could that be it? Nope, Florida has one murder every 8 hours and 54 minutes! Don’t hear much about those every 9 hours either. In fact, Florida has a significantly higher murder rate and violent crime rate than the national average. The shooting happened in Sanford, Florida which as a small city of 53,000 people, has shocking crime statistics.
Sanford Florida (in a 2009 report) has a violent crime rate 68.44% higher than the national average and 18.1% higher than the Florida average.
It is important to note that all these statistics count only actual crime. In the case of murders, they count homicide victims and not simply deaths (which are numbers far higher and even less reported). It is usually murder or some sort of manslaughter. This does not include people shot in self defense, killed by accident, those who committed suicide, etc etc. So for example, if Zimmerman had not been charged (as is what happened originally) or if he is acquitted, Trayvon’s death would not even count in Sanford’s very high murder rate!
So, speaking statistically of course, 45 people were murdered in the US, and even more were shot in self defense or otherwise, and the shooting (legally being argued now between self defense to manslaughter at most, definitely not murder in the first degree) of one person in a state with a very high crime rate and within a city with an even higher crime rate is one of the biggest news stories of 2012?? To be more accurate, the comparison of 1 to 45 is completely false, since the fact here is not that it was a very big story of that day (Feb 26), but rather again one of the biggest of the year when there has been thousands of murders and thousands of shootings!
All right, you may say surely Trayvon’s age is the factor I have been ignoring, as this event was tragically newsworthy due to the victim’s young age. Unfortunately also not true. By huge margins, the most likely victim of homicide (and offender of homicide as well) is a young Black male. Sanford is 30% Black, and quite racially diverse.
The situation now is looking like Trayvon could have almost been expected to be shot by statistics rather than the fact that he was shot is an unprecedented international news bonanza (as it is being treated).
At the Lighthouse, we look for the truth, wherever it may take us… so what is truly happening here?
So why the Hype?
Once the layers of political disgust are peeled back, the truth is simple enough to follow. When the incident first occurred, it was NOT national news and caused very little coverage. It was a shooting among many.
For the first 10 days, it was covered lightly only by local media. An attorney hired by Trayvon’s family starting reaching out to national media pushing for coverage. CBS and NBC were the first national giants to smell the potential here and charged in. It wasn’t until March 12th, 15+ days after the incident that CNN first mentioned it. From there coverage intensified everywhere, and dramatically increased once the Sanford police released the recorded 911 tapes. What could the attorney be offering to the media giants? Yes someone was shot, and each day that passed more people were being shot. So what? Well, the attorney was peddling race, which not only sells news and creates scandal, but also appeals to the leftist sensibilities of the mainstream media.
Amusingly, the story he had to sell looked great in those terms on paper and with few details, and it actually crumbles upon viewing of images or evidence. But the media hungry lawyer didn’t have to show all that, what he had was precious in the eyes of the liberals; something that truly was extraordinary and rare, not that a young black man was shot, not that he lived in Florida, not that he lived in Sanford, not that he used drugs and was wearing a hoody, but rather two names:
A “Trayvon” and a “Zimmerman” and it was the “Zimmerman” that shot and killed the young “Trayvon”.
That is actually the only rare characteristic of this whole story, not many of the 45 victims per day in the US are shot by Zimmermans, and Zimmermans virtually never shoot a Trayvon. The truth is not always nice, but we must remember that it is not the telling of the truth which is not nice, and not by not telling it that it becomes nice once again. Rather the opposite, what is shameful is that National media charged in like hungry vultures at a story solely because of the race of its protagonists, without a care in the world for truth, accuracy and especially not justice. America’s useless President of course could not help but highlight this fact by stating that if “he had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”.
The President of the US, as is usual with Obama, was not only commenting on a local matter while ignoring thousands of others and his duties as leader of the free world, but making clear that his outrage was not that an American was killed, not even that a young American was killed, but that an American who “looks like him” [black] was killed, and by inescapable implication, by a white man. Obama’s shameful gaff is understandable when one looks at the frenzied distorted media coverage… when you see your own political leanings (in this case the far left) displayed everywhere so openly, it is easy to forget that not everyone agrees and that in fact the purpose was not to be so “open” but rather to fool a large part of the population. That nuance was lost on the hapless Obama who had no problem naming the reason he was so angry.
The media was hoping to find a white Zimmerman who murdered a Black teenager and local racist “country” Southern law enforcement agency who gave him a pat on the back and let him go. As for Zimmerman, they figured he could be Jewish, in which case the story is almost just as good as its even more rare ethnically, and hopefully he is a white (German descent) “right wing extremist”. That they were hoping to find this is not the worse part (I suppose they want to sell their news and make their money), but that they did not go to look for it, but rather just declare it falsely was. George Zimmeran was tried and convicted and sentenced by the media before the week of March 12 Feb 2012 was over. He did not get any due process, a chance to present or challenge evidence, nor even to speak. The other side didn’t get that chance either, but it didn’t need it, trials by media need not attorneys nor evidence nor witnesses. The media is the all-knowing, omnipotent judge.
Could Race really explain the hype? What are the facts?
Could it be true? The media was drawn to this story solely by race? Well, I showed of how little note it is that someone is shot in the US. But this story was bigger then the presidential race for weeks if not still. There must be something extraordinary about it naysayers assured… well there is, or better said, they “thought” there was. A white man killing a young black man. Turned out Zimmerman wasn’t as right-wing or as white as they had hoped, he himself being a registered Democrat and a product of a racially mixed household (registered as “Hispanic” in his voting card)…. but whose keeping track. The truth is so pesky! So had what they thought and were told by the scummy attorney been true, would it have been rare? Let’s check.
The majority of violent crime and especially murder is intra-racial. Black on Black, White on White. However, Blacks commit a drastically disproportional number of the murders in the US. For example, in 2008, there was 5,3334 murders were committed by white offenders, and 5,943 by black offenders (out of those known of course).
No more than some 12.5% of the US population is black, and yet Black offenders were responsible for a clear majority of the murders. To understand this statistic more meaningfully, the 5,3334 murders quoted as committed by “whites” include all those committed by whites, Hispanics and some other minorities who are often considered white. As is well documented, gang activity in America today is predominately Black and Hispanic so the true statistic of how many murders are committed by the type of white the media hoped Zimmerman to be is probably much lower.
New Orleans is the murder capital of the US, with more than 95 murders per 100,000 people (with a very large majority Black offenders). Baghdad in Iraq by comparison, a few years back near the height of the violence which was often dubbed the most dangerous place on earth boasted only 48 murders per 100,000 people. We do not hear much from the national media on those 95, even though most are young black males.
Some useful statistics from the BJS (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
In 2005, Blacks were 6 times as likely to be a victim of homicide than Whites (again, that means whites including Hispanics). In the same year however, Blacks were 7 times more likely than Whites to be homicide offenders.
The pattern you begin to see here is that though most homicide is intra-racial, when it is inter-racial it is likely to be Black on White rather than the other way around. According to the BJS, in a report of total murders from 1975 to 2005:
- 86% of white victims were killed by whites
- 94% of black victims were killed by blacks
Only 6% of Black murder victims were killed by non-Blacks. Of that 6%, how many would actually be by non Hispanic Whites?
The BJS report has the most recent figures on this for 2005. In that year, 8.8% of all murders were Black on White, while only 3.2% were White on Black. Again, here the term “white” being very inclusive. To view this 8.8% compared to 3.2% evenly is a mistake, as one must consider that the “White” population referenced here is roughly 85% of the country, and the Black population roughly 12.5%. When you take that into account, as well as that that those figures include the frequent gang violence by Hispanics on Blacks (which the news does not seem to consider very newsworthy), the conclusion is inescapable; yes it is very rare for a “White” Zimmerman to shoot and murder a black “Trayvon”.
That in fact is rare enough that it is not what happened in Sanford on Feb 26. Zimmerman. More accurately a Hispanic who ironically has a black grandmother, shot and killed but did not “murder” a Trayvon.
How the Media Lied
So once the media descended down upon this story, destroying any hope of justice being dealt correctly, they began by immediately shaping the story into what they wished it to be. It is unclear what parts of it were done intentionally by the media and what parts were told by Trayvon’s family and his lawyer with the media reporting it verbatim without any effort in fact checking, but it is a truly criminal chain of events since a man’s life (and justice for another) lay in the balance.
The first step was to show pictures of both characters when lying.. I mean reporting about the story. They showed the now well known husky picture of a 21 year old George Zimmerman (now he is 28) in which he looks relatively heavy if not strong. The media often stated that he was 200 pounds. By comparison, they showed a picture of Trayvon Martin at 14! He was actually 17 on Feb 26. Right off the bat, the picture of a burly 200 pound 21 year old being beaten by a skinny 14 year old begged disbelief, and encouraged a negative perception of Zimmerman.
To show these pictures without any reference to their dates and call it news in such a story crosses the absurd.
A couple of more recent pictures tell a completely different story. Zimmerman is thinner, more mature, looks smaller, and Trayvon is no longer a baby faced 14 year old, he is a 5′ 11″ young man.
Now there are plenty of pictures and information on the internet and information showing Martin in a negative light, with tattoos, violent and drug related twitter comments, his gang sign flashing friends etc. I will not get into that, this is a pitiful story and sad event (that I would have much rather not have happened, and not be writing about) and I will attempt to remain above trashing a 17 year old kid that was shot. It is sufficed to say (and important, because another man’s life and a nation’s justice system is in the balance) that he was not or at least no longer the angelic baby faced sportsman the media portrayed him to be. The reason I use the above picture of him is only because that is the one he himself chose to portray to the world in his twitter profile. It is difficult to find one in the public realm that is not too old, and not doctored by the media. Even this one was almost a year old by the time of a shooting (with such a drastic difference between 14 and 17, there is also a very significant one between 16 and 17).
A skinny 14 year old child beating a grown 200 pound man to the point that he must use a weapon in self defense is hard to imagine. By the time the truth came out, at the time of George’s arrest, the police record shows him to be at 5’8″ and 185 pounds. Trayvon was a 17 year old athletic (and apparently not scared of fighting) young man standing at 5’11”. His weight at the time remains unknown but is likely to have been similar to Zimmerman’s, if a bit less. The scenario suddenly seems much more believable (though certainly not commendable).
Now that the visual facade was set up, the lies began to roll in. The initial focus was the gun of course. They desperately wanted to find something illegal or racist about Zimmerman’s presence, his membership in the Neighborhood Watch or most importantly his carrying a loaded gun. When all those efforts failed, the media widely reported that the police instructed George during his 911 call not to approach Trayvon and that he “refused”. A transcript of the real call clearly reads that George replied “Ok” to the officer. The national inquisition was not through yet, CNN followed by every major outlet proceeded to report that the 911 recordings have Zimmerman saying “fucking coons”. Most reasonable people, believing that what CNN and company state as fact must be fact, by now had no alternative but to believe that George Zimmerman was a a racist, big scary looking man who took the opportunity to shoot a defenseless 14 year old black kid because he could.
Two weeks later, CNN had to admit their error and correct themselves, as the recording stated “fucking cold”. Too little too late, as the damage was done and their correction went unnoticed. Still furious about the fact all the regulations and laws that leftist love so much could not find something illegal about Zimmerman, his gun, and his story if it were true, they set about then to attack the laws so that they would in fact find something illegal about him. The massive attack on “stand your ground laws” was started and it will unfortunately surely be successful. These laws, which more than half the US states had, and simply allowed victims of violent crime (like home invasion) to defend themselves and their families without ending up in jail as they often did in the 90s, are now under review everywhere and will likely be repealed in some states.
The absurd part of that is that the media is trying to have it both ways. If George’s story is true, and he was being viciously beaten on the ground by a suspicious hooded man in his neighborhood, and had to use his gun to defend himself after already having called the police (who were too late by 3 minutes only), then I believe almost all would agree he should NOT go to jail. That doesn’t mean he should get a medal, a better braver man (or at least a better fighter) could have acted differently, but no medal does not mean life in prison. The media is trying to present his story as a lie, and if that is the case, he would be guilty by today’s laws too. This is what a trial is for. So is it that they think he is lying and should go to jail, or actually know he is telling the truth and still think he should go to jail because they detest the second amendment and the Constitutional right Americans have to bear arms?
Sadly, the media was just getting warmed up. Their next move was purely criminal.
NBC began to play edited versions of the 911 call, and they were widely replayed by other outlets and bloggers greatly fueling the fire.
One statement read:
This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something… He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male.
This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.
The pieces had been spliced in order to convey racism on the part of Zimmerman, at the very least, extreme racial profiling. In reality, the full transcript reads:
This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
The 9-1-1 operator then asked:
OK, and this guy, is he black, white or Hispanic?
and Zimmerman answered:
He looks black.
Later on in the conversation, Zimmerman says “He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male” when answering questions about the suspect’s appearance by the 911 operator. George is simply answering questions, there is no implied racism of any kind, and in fact the entire transcript reads like you would expect a 911 call by a concerned citizen in his neighborhood would sound like. His eagerness for the police to arrive quickly is expressed several times, he has no wish to confront anyone and definitely not to shoot anyone, he sounds like someone who wants the police to arrive.
When Fox News and others began pointing out that NBC had maliciously edited the video, NBC fired a few staff members responsible but never apologized on the air.
Finally ABC ran stories stating George had not been injured as video from the police station showed and had medical experts declaring that he had not been hurt. Some time later, the real images were released clearly showing gashes and blood on the back of Zimmerman’s head, and the medical report stating several injuries including a broken nose. ABC simply said that after “re-digitizing” the image, what “appears” to be gashes can be seen. Shameless.
The media widely reported as fact that 911 recordings and witnesses heard a shot, then a man screaming repeatedly for help, only to be silenced by the sound of a second gunshot (a cold-blooded execution). In fact of course, the recordings and witnesses reported exactly the opposite, a man screaming for help repeatedly, and when no one did come to his aid (though one witness said that he was “on his way”), a single shot was heard.
That is only a brief summary of the thousands of hours of skewed coverage on this story, by misinformation, tone, selective reporting, and outright lying. What should be clear is that regardless one’s opinion on the innocence or guilt of George Zimmerman, the mainstream media went far beyond reporting an incident and then reporting on the legal process following, but actually waged a full fledged campaign to influence the outcome of the story. That is not reporting, and that is not news.
The truth is that the media recognized this issue as 3 things:
- A potential windfall of ratings, if they can make it appeal to race relations.
- A springboard from where to campaign for gun control and against “Stand your ground laws”
- Most importantly, the potential salvation of Barak Hussein Obama in the next election.
After all, it was Obama that told us America is a horrible evil racist country and he will fix it (even though I never understood how the racist country that he needs to fix voted him President). If it is still racist because one black youth was killed by one white (…I mean Hispanic) man, then he obviously needs to do more fixing and must be re-elected. White America must pay for G Zimmerman’s sins and vote for Obama once again…
The terrible part of their scheme is that it will succeed in either case. By forcing Zimmerman to be arrested, tried and convicted when “racist” local law enforcement had let him go, Obama and the left will be social champions of “justice”. If, as the law demands, Zimmerman is ultimately released, then the outrage will be all the greater… a second Rodney King kind of trial and Americans will be shamed into voting for Obama once again. Lost of course in all of this is the idea of an independent justice system that can deal justly with George Zimmerman and others regardless of politics and race.
So this is in fact why I have taken on this issue. The chain of events are hard to believe.
The Media’s success:
Despite the fact that the Sanford Police decided to release Zimmerman since they could not charge him, despite that the State prosecutor, after reviewing the case, declared that there was no evidence to charge or prosecute Zimmerman, despite several internal county and state reviews after increasing pressure determined the same thing, after an unending, unyielding avalanche of media pressure and Federal goons sent in by Obama to hijack the judicial process, Zimmerman is now behind bars and charged with second degree murder. He first endured weeks in hiding and on the run since the media’s vitrol made him a target for murder by thousands of enraged and racist lunatics. Director Spike Lee attempted to give out his address to the public by tweeting it, though he failed and endangered the lives of an elderly couple who actually lived there. Across the country, whites have fallen victims to violent “revenge” crime. The Sanford police chief himself was so violently pressured to miscarriage justice and arrest Zimmerman that he had to resign. The wake of destruction has been rampant. Even left wing legal experts have stated that Zimmerman has been overcharged. Everyone expected some sort of manslaughter charge. Of course, the government wishes to push George into a plea bargain where he will plead guilty to some form of manslaughter due to the fear of the forces rallied against him. I hope he does indeed go to trial and we find out if there is still any semblance of law and order in the USA.
Comic if it wasn’t so tragic, the roller-coaster of now Federal, State and Media powers were not done with him yet. Furious that Zimmerman was released by posting bail as is the right of all charged suspects who do not pose a flight risk or a danger to society (he had to wear an electronic monitoring device around his angle 24 hours a day), the powers that be descended down upon him with all their fury. Combing every detail over with their powerful magnifying glass, they did not find evidence of his guilt, nor of his racism, but they did find that he may have understates his assets at the bond hearing in order to get a lower bail amount (must be the most common practice ever conducted at bond hearings. Few walk in and say, “I’m a millionaire, I hope the bail amount is so high I cannot pay it and I stay in here rotting forever”), and so happily hauled him back to jail. This way, even if he gets acquitted eventually, he can still spend the two years of his trial in jail. The left would never stop at that, they of course carried his wife off to jail as well since she was a co-conspirator in this vicious asset hiding. At that point, as much as the Lighthouse keeper hated this whole news fiasco, it was one headline too much to bear without comment.
The Real Facts of the Case
This article is not about the full specifics of the case and I will stay away from excessive detail, but below is an overall summary of the actual known facts.
George Zimmerman himself called 911 (the non emergency number) and reported a suspicious young hooded black male walking around inside his gated community. Zimmerman was part of the area’s Neighborhood Watch and this was exactly his job. It is a known fact that the neighborhood had a chain of burglary and break ins where the suspects had escaped. In one prior incident, George Zimmerman called the police and the suspected thief had been caught and arrested. And no, Zimmerman had not shot him. Zimmerman did have a loaded gun, and had not only the Constitutional right to so, but a permit and concealed carry licence as well.
The 911 recordings show him acting perfectly reasonably and hoping the officers arrive in time. They also show that Trayvon was staring back at George menacingly (understandably as he was probably thinking “what does that guy want from me”) and at one point began to threateningly approach him. After that, George tells the operator that he seemed to have changed his mind and fled instead. Zimmerman exited his his vehicle to follow him. The operator tells him that this is not necessary and George replies “Ok”. The call ends only a few short minutes before the officers arrive, but by then Trayvon was shot and dying. In those few minutes, a host of other people called 911 who heard fighting going on, and a man screaming for help… finally one shot (both the “help” and the shot are heard in the background in several of the recordings).
George had remained on the scene, waited for the officers, and as soon as they arrived though he was emotional and seemingly hurt, he told them that he had a gun and he had shot Trayvon. He raised his hands and surrendered to the officers. CPR was administered by arriving officers and paramedics to Trayvon, but he was ultimately pronounced him dead about 15 minutes later.
Zimmerman was placed under arrest immediately at the scene when officers arrived. The Sanford police conducted a full investigation into the shooting. Zimmeran was interrogated for over 5 hours (not a nice experience), statements from several witnesses were taken, the 911 calls were carefully reviewed, phone records and evidence from the scene was collected, and all the other regular steps required in such a situation were taken. They had in their custody a man admitting to having shot someone, it is no light matter, not taken lightly, and it is actually very difficult to be released from that uncharged.
Zimmeran passed a lie detector test, consistently told his version of events, and the next day took reconstructed the incident at the scene for police. Pictures were taken of Zimmerman’s injuries and medical records including the autopsy for Martin were added to the record.
An important issue has been to find out who was screaming out “help”. To imagine that it was Trayvon screaming “Help” frantically as he pounded Zimmerman on the ground is odd. To imagine that it was Zimmerman who was pounding and beating Trayvon mercilessly (without causing him any noticeable injuries) while he screamed “Help” until he got tired of hitting him, and shot him in cold blood borders on absurd (and then George had to then beat himself around the face and head to cause himself the injuries that he somehow did not cause on Trayvon). Trayvon Martin’s father, was played the 911 recordings and was asked if that was the voice of his son screaming “Help”. He said “quietly” that it was not. Of course by now, he has reversed his position in the media.
The overall story is very clear. Evidence of what exactly happened in those crucial minutes and in the fight is very scant of course, but any evidence the police did find was either unclear or supported George’s story. As they themselves admitted, they could not find ANY evidence that disputed his story. This included the statements by witnesses, the forensic evidence at the scene, the 911 recordings, and the medical records of both Trayvon and Martin. Finally, levels of Marijuana were found in Trayvon’s blood.
As the media uproar got in full swing, even witnesses and/or their family members started to change their story in order to get media interviews. However, the record of their initial statements to Police is unequivocal, the lighter skinned man (who some witnessed called Hispanic, a detail the media did not realize until much later), was on the ground being beaten by a darker man (in the words of one witness throwing “punches MMA style”). He was screaming for help (eye witnesses said “he” whereas those who only heard, of course did not specify or know who was screaming for help) until finally a single shot was heard. Than the man who had previously been underneath the darker assailant, was now standing up while the latter was motionless on the grass.
Most strikingly here is the fact that a single shot was fired, and at close range (indicative of the struggle). Why didn’t George keep shooting, especially if he wanted to make sure Trayvon died and did not live tell the tale. Even while punched, and in the heat of the moment, with the fear that is heard in the recorded “helps”, to only shoot once is actually an exemplary amount of self control. It tells of someone wanting to stop an assailant but no more. His conduct afterwards, in cooperation with the police was full as it was before, it must be remembered he is the first one to have called the police.
As far as racist motivations, there is two things to say. Firstly, just because you were to find that in fact George Zimmerman was a racist, that does not automatically convict him of murder, which is the way this has been portrayed from day one. There is this mad treasure hunt to find a shred of evidence from a witness, a social network account, an email, a recording, anything… where George once said “nigger” or anything else racially insulting. Amazingly, with the kind of magnifying glass that has been applied on him, his past and his life by millions of dollars of investigative journalism against him, it is amazing that this has not been found. Being racist is not a crime, and it certainly is not the crime of murder.
Evidence of rampant racial hatred by Zimmerman would be PART of the evidence against him in a trial. The alleged crime remains the same… actually killing someone in an illegal fashion (manslaughter, murder etc), but racist past can be part of your argument which shows MOTIVE on why he would have killed that person. People don’t often kill others without any motive or reason, so a motive is a big part of a case. However, everyone needs to keep their wits about them, and realize that even if he was found to hold racist views, as many of all races do, the government still needs to prove him guilty of murder.
Having said, so far it seems that not only was Zimmerman not the White neo nazi the media was hoping for, but actually quite far from that. There is testimony that protested along with others against the Sanford police department in an earlier incident where a black homeless man was beaten. He counseled young black youth, he has Black friends that have spoken out in his favor and said they never saw any evidence at all in him of any racist views. He himself is racially mixed and has some African ancestry, is a registered Democrat and despite the media’s best efforts, including evidence fraud, we have yet to see ANY evidence of ANY racism whatsoever.
The Legal Realities
Having summarized the basic case above, as opposed to what has been widely disseminated in sensationalist form, the legal conclusions are plain to see. In no legal way, can George Zimmerman be convicted of any type of manslaughter or wrongful death of Trayvon. And to charge him with second degree murder is criminal.
The reasons for this are very simple. As is well known, the American Justice system is based on the fact one is “innocent until proven guilty” and that someone must be proven “guilty beyond the reasonable doubt” in order to be convicted.
No one except Zimmerman knows precisely what happened in the moments before the confrontation, no one saw exactly how the beginning of the fight developed (the earliest witness already saw George on the ground being beaten), and perhaps more importantly, no one else knows exactly how the firearm came to be fired. Did Martin go for the gun when he saw it? Did he yell “now you gonna die” at Zimmerman as he has stated? Did George simply try to pull the gun in order to threaten his attacker and order him to stop, when Trayvon started struggling for it? Or did George Zimmerman as has been implied by the left, diabolically think inside his head as he was being beaten in the street in the darkness by a 5’11” suspicious hooded young man
Look, he is hitting me, I have already called the police, I have already screamed out for help several times and no one has come to my aid, this is my chance to kill me a black man, I surely will get away with it because of Florida’s “Stand your Ground Laws”
and fire his weapon once in Trayvon’s chest, confident this would kill him without any need to fire again? Well… Maybe I suppose. No one knows and I suspect no one will even know for sure what went on in both these character’s heads at the time. Unlike many pundits, I will be the first to admit that I do know what happened that unfortunate night. What actually IS clearly known is that there is damn near close to beyond the reasonable doubt that Zimmerman is no murderer, did not intend to murder that night, but obviously ended up in a tragic fight that he was losing badly and beyond that was being beaten when already on the ground, was screaming for help for a couple of minutes and finally because of having no other option or because his assailant himself struggled for his weapon, decided to shoot ONCE in self defense.
Admittedly, some doubt remains of course, and that scenario could be wrong, but there is the complete and utter absence of any evidence to the contrary. You cannot get close to “beyond the reasonable” doubt that Zimmerman committed murder that night.. you have a GIANT doubt. And a political, agenda, a vicious guess, and a GIANT doubt is not the standard for conviction in the good ol’e US of A.
Every piece of evidence has backed up part of Zimmerman’s story. His back was wet from the wet lawn when the officers arrive, he was bleeding from the head and nose. Everyone heard him scream for help, he himself sorry about having shot someone immediately said that he was calling for help, but “no one came to help me”. To be honest, I started out not being a very big fan of this George, thought that though he was no murderer, he seemed classless enough, a bit creepy, eager to be a a police officer and to carry a gun, and ended up not being too brave.
However, the more one looks at this story, the more decent he ends up appearing, and at the end of the day his only crime is either not fighting back or not fighting back well enough; by being beaten up by a 17 year old he lost lots of respect. But being a bad fighter, or at least a worse one than Trayvon does not a murderer make. Even that has to be put into context because nothing in the record that has come out says anything about Zimmerman fighting. Zimmerman stated that Trayvon swung at him first, hit him in the face and down he went. Where I come from, that is when a fight is over, unless the downed opponent wishes to get up and continue. Pouncing on a guy after you already suddenly cold-cocked him and smashing his head on the ground is no longer a fight, it’s an assault, a crime in itself, and apparently makes you liable to get shot.
In any one of the 50 states, this scenario is already safe from conviction of murder for sure and manslaughter as well. Clear cut case of self defense, and no evidence to the contrary. The often quoted Florida “Stand your Ground Law” is just icing on the cake. The reason for this is that there is a clear difference between self defense cases and those involving common criminals.
Common criminals and real murderers most often deny being the perpetrator at all. The government has a huge burden of proof to show that the suspect in fact killed the victim. On the other hand, in self dense cases of law abiding citizens, the suspect is sitting nice and pretty for the police to arrive (as was George) and right away admit to having done the deed. So right off the bat, they are under huge suspicion of guilt, they already admitted to it. Now it is up to them to prove all sorts of high standards for self defense, depending on the state. The most famous of course is that you have to have exhausted your options for “retreat”. In most states, one has a duty to retreat before exercising force in self defense, otherwise you end up in jail too. For many years, this worked fine as it just ensured that psychos don’t go around shooting everyone in self defense. However, in the 90’s the leftists courts started to demand ridiculous standards for this duty and convicting good honest people.
For example, if a father is hiding with his wife and children in his bedroom while there is a home invasion going on, and eventually ends up shooting and killing the suspects when they enter his bedroom, he often would have ended up in prison. Why? Well they will ask him during cross examination if his bedroom is the only one in his neighborhood without a window.. Oh there was a window? So why did you and your family not escape out the window instead of shooting our poor “victims”? Too high you say? Two stories? Who ever died from a two story fall, you prefer killing people than hurting your legs a little bit?
And so in the early 2000’s came the “Stand your Ground Laws” They meant to take away that court’s ridiculous power in these cases and say a man has no duty to retreat. It is his attacker that has the duty not to attack him.
So in any event, this is simply icing on the cake for Zimmerman. The self defense part is clear, so if the prosecution would rely on all sorts of “why did you not run instead, why did you not retreat” this additional law protects him from that.
Amusingly, pundits on both the right and left have struggled to say that the media is wrong in applying this law so famously to this case, and that in fact, “Stand your Ground Laws” (particularly, Florida’s) is irrelevant to the case. The leftist media wishes to talk about it, in order that they get repealed. However, more extreme leftist pundits wish to disassociate the case from the law in order to be able to prosecute and convict Zimmerman. If the law does not apply, he can still go to jail they celebrate! The media cares less about what happens to him personally, again they are simply using this issue to help Obama, to get ratings, and to along the way repeal a few conservative laws.
The leftists arguments have centered on “unlawful activity” stated in the law. Basically, the idea that one who claims stand your ground right, must be engaged in lawful activity, and that the person he defends himself from, unlawful one. They try to say Zimmerman was participating in unlawful activity to begin with or that Trayvon had all the right in the world to be where he was and committed no unlawful activity. Of course, nonsense. Zimmerman was doing normal Neighborhood watch activities, and carrying a gun lawfully and was inside his own Gated community. Nothing unlawful there. They will attempt to focus on the the fact the 911 operator told him it was not necessary to follow him as proof of his illegality. However, again, firstly, Zimmerman’s answer to this was “OK” and not the refusal painted by the media (he stated he was on the way back to his car when he was confronted) and secondly this was only a suggestion by an officer, not an order that must be carried out. In fact, it wasn’t even in the form of a command, it was “we don’t NEED you to do that” which is different than “Don’t do that, that is illegal”. As far as Trayvon’s unlawful activity, it’s of course not the fact that he was walking, of course he had a right to do that (and let’s assume he had a right to be inside the private gated community), he wasn’t shot for walking… the unlawful activity began when he started beating Zimmerman and bashing his head against the ground.
Using similar pitiful logic, the lesser right wing pundits (like Ann Coulter) have wanted to disassociate the Stand your Ground Laws from this case in order to save them from the oncoming liberal wave that will wipe them out. Their logic has been based on the simple fact that Zimmerman was on the ground being beaten, and therefore had no option to “retreat”. In fact they argue, that it was a clear case of regular self defense, and no stand your ground is needed since Zimmerman did not make a choice to “stand his ground” and not retreat.
That is all well and good, but the problem with that is that it is focused on one (arguable) instant… once George is on the ground screaming for help being beaten. The problem is that no one will argue in the case that at this point is when he should have retreated, which is why it is pretty dumb to make this argument. They will firstly be arguing that that moment never in fact happened, that it was Trayvon who screamed for help, etc etc. But more importantly, Zimmerman’s duty to retreat they will argue, happened over and over and he ignored it. He should have never approached to begin with, should have never approached armed to begin with, should have stayed in his vehicle as told, should have waited for the officers, should have retreated when Trayvon confronted him, should have retreated after the first punch before Trayvon was on top of him etc etc.
And this is a fair point, you cannot go around starting fights in the street, in order to be attacked, and then get your “ass kicked” and shoot people. That is why in order to “stand your ground” you must be the victim of the aggression and not the instigator of it. In any event, the law does very much apply as an additional level of protection over Zimmerman on top of the regular self defense laws.
The Fallacy of “The truth can only emerge in Court”
Finally, a great many otherwise reasonable people, bloggers and pundits have also advocated a fair-sounding opinion that I actually find very dangerous. In fact, I believe a great portion of the well meaning American population, due to the confusion of the coverage, can be found backing behind this theory. Namely that we must have a trial, due process, for all the facts to come out and justice be served. To that end, people support that he was arrested and charged so that there can be a fair trial and the truth emerge.
This is not only not nesesarily true, due to the dangers and uncertainties of legal proceedings now days, it is a a very dangerous way of thinking. The trial by jury itself is meant to be a (revolutionary) check on the power of the prosecution (the state), it is the final step needed in conviction; but by no means is it meant to be the way in which we decide who to charge to begin with.
The government is not meant to go arresting everyone, and then through a fair trial conduct its investigation to find if the charge had merits. This is the purpose of a Grand Jury (which Florida curiously avoided in this case) in which the state must show that a “preponderance of the evidence” points to the guilt of the suspect if not “clear and convincing evidence” (a higher standard) in order to indict someone and charge him. This is especially true with crimes as serious as murder.
When a suspect is charged, it should be AFTER the state has conducted a thorough investigation, weighed the facts carefully and strongly believes that the suspect IS guilty AND that they may prove so in court (both of those qualifications are false in the present case, but no one cares). Once they show evidence of this to the Grand Jury, they may proceed to charge the suspect and trial. The trial is there to MAKE SURE that the government is right, since no power can be trusted to be its own infallible judge, and serve as check and balance on the state’s power.
The trial IS NOT the place where the investigation takes place… it is not where “all the truth can come to light”. A prosecutor who charges suspects in order to find out if they are guilty is abusing his power of arrest and indictment and is himself guilty of criminal abuses of power.
So simply put, when police and prosecutors cannot even convince themselves AND a Grand Jury that their suspect is guilty, they have absolutely no right to charge an individual or bother him in any way. A thorough investigation is the state’s job to perform prior to any indictment. That thorough investigation did take place in this case initially, and Florida decided to release Zimmerman uncharged. That is before the media firestorm.
What is in Store?
As much as I have been surprised at how little negative information they have found against Zimmerman, I fear the huge powers that have now ganged up against him.. he does not seem like the cleanest character ever and they will dig and dig, manipulate, distort, lie and make up everything that is needed to destroy him. The process already began with revoking his bail, and dragging him and his wife to jail. In truth it began when after being fully cleared by a murder investigation, he was suddenly re-apprehended and charged with the Dept of Justice, the FBI and every other state and Federal Agency looking into him. Had he been charged to begin with and declared innocent, the right against Double Jeopardy would forbid him to be recharged. Unfortunately for him, however, he did better than be declared innocent the first time, the prosecution and police themselves found no evidence to even charge him in the first place. So because of this, he has no Double Jeopardy protection.
Even if he is acquitted there will be state and federal civil suits against him for wrongful death and perhaps other criminal charges by the Federal government for depriving Trayvon of his civil rights. He is in for a long ride. This is the OJ Simpson case in reverse. No one ever arrested him for hiding his assets. And instead of no evidence against him, in that case there could not be any MORE evidence. BUt the power of the left is strong, it made sure OJ walked (until he set foot in Nevada some time later, haha) and is trying to make sure Zimmerman won’t.
Of the few things left in the USA of its great past is its Justice System. If it continues to be hijacked by politics and sensationalist media whims, it will further America’s decline into oblivion. It used to be that all the powers on earth could not harm an American with truth behind him, he did not need fame or even money to defend himself. The incorruptible court would demand the biggest burden of proof “beyond the reasonable doubt” before it took away a man’s freedom. True enough, a few guilty people went free this way, but it stopped innocent men from being deprived of life and freedom, and when others were found guilty, it was with great confidence that their guilt was real.
Today the Federal and State governments ignore masses of crimes, due to overload of the system, and high cost of prosecution, they release vicious criminals far too early due to the same reasons, but when the roller coaster gets rolling against one man, the massive resources at their disposal makes it impossible to stand against and the innocent and guilty man are washed away all the same.
In this case, the media already made its bets. A conviction of Zimmerman makes Obama a hero who corrects injustice, and an acquittal of him (as the law demands and should happen if there is any justice left in Florida) will create havoc and rage, playing right into Obama’s hands. Only a surge of truth, of accurate information, concerned citizens who wish to know right from wrong, truth from propaganda before they vote, before they state their opinion, a citizenry that reads my blog!!.. can save freedom. The second amendment is in jeopardy, the justice system is in jeopardy, all of it, along with the rest of America and freedom are in danger of falling to the leftists dreams.