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View Diary: Trayvon Martin, White Denial and the Unacceptable Burden of Blackness in America (279 comments)

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  •  My understanding (1+ / 0-)
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    is that he doesn't have a criminal record. He was arrested but the charges were dropped or otherwise disposed of without a conviction.

    •  But Orange County Police gave the Miami (7+ / 0-)

      Herald access to the report on his 2005 arrest and his ex-GF filed an injunction against him for violence.

      There is a court order confirming the injunction filed. So the Sanford PD should have known about his past if they had looked into it

      "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

      by LaurenMonica on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 11:19:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All well and good but (0+ / 0-)

        An arrest is not a conviction. We don't know the reason but the  05 arrest ended with the charges being dismissed.  
        A restraining order against from an Ex-Gf is probably a civil case and not an conviction, either.

        Unless there's more out there, and I am not saying there isn't, it's literally true that he had no criminal record. That doesn't mean that he was "Squeaky clean" as the police put it, but it does mean that he could not be denied something on the basis of a criminal record and could truthfully answer a question about ever being convicted of a crime under oath in the negative without perjuring himself. It doesn't make him a good guy and but the statement that he didnt' have a criminal record is literally true.

        •  The DV Order Was Almost Certainly (2+ / 0-)
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          raina, Diogenes2008

          Entered into a national database, the National Crime Information Center Registry, that is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement (i.e. Florida).  DV orders are routinely entered into that database when they are issued because of the critical need for law enforcement called to a scene of possible DV to know immediately whether a restraining order already exists.  This database exists precisely so that when law enforcement (or so called law enforcement like the Sanford Police Department) encounter anyone in circumstances that might indicate the commission of a violent crime, they can find out virtually immediately whether there is any "there" there.

          If the Sanford PD did not run a search on George Zimmerman in that registry (and thus find the DV order, even if I went with your theory about it being "technically true" that he had no criminal record) it is for only one reason:

          White man shot black thug in a hoodie.  Nothing to see here.

          If they DID run it (and I imagine they did - but maybe it's because despite their demonstrated stupidity I can't imagine the Sanford PD being even that stupid) they absolutely would have found a record of the DV order that was issued against him in 2005.   And, since those orders are issued against someone only to avoid the potential commission of violence.  And that alone should have been enough for them to have said "hey, wait a minute.....this guy Zimmerman is not necessarily someone incapable of hurting someone."  

          If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

          by shanikka on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 05:39:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This misses the point (0+ / 0-)

               The point is, that literally, this idiot did not have a criminal record. They showed a copy of the order of the DV case on CNN last night. It had a civil caption on it. The ex-gf was the named plaintiff. If it were a criminal matter it would have been St. v. Zimmerman.
                 Again, this doesn't mean that Zimmerman was a good guy. He's clearly not. It does mean that he didn't literally have a criminal record since the 05 case was dismissed without a conviction  apparently because he completed some kind of rehabilitiation program in exchange for a dismissal. and the DV restraining order was in a civil case. Obviously this guy had problems and yes, the pd should not have called him squeaky clean, but in a lot of cases, not having a criminal conviction is enough to get you in the door.

            •  It Doesn't Miss the Point At All (1+ / 0-)
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              The issue is not whether he had a criminal record.  The issue is that when they discovered Zimmerman over the prone dead body of a Black child it is (or SHOULD BE) SOP to actually want to know whether the person who did the shooting just MIGHT have something to indicate that they were at a minimum just as likely to commit violence as the person that was lying their dead, i.e. might want to know if that person should be given 100% credibility without any further investigation (since that is, of course what happened) about their claim that THEY were the victim of violence and acted in self defense.

              You're missing the point and your argument is, essentially, that absent an actual criminal conviction, the police had no reason to no reason to keep some modicum of an open mind about Zimmerman's story of "self-defense."  Records freely available to the police that are used ALL the time in mere stops (not arrests) indicated that they did.

              If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

              by shanikka on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:28:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It totally missed it (0+ / 0-)

                I am the one who made the point in the first place, so I know what the point is. Someone above posted,incorrectly, that Zimmerman had a criminal record. In a purely legal sense, he doesn't. That's it. That's my point. I was merely pointing out a factual inaccuracy.  That's it.

                And this part is just bullshit:

                You're missing the point and your argument is, essentially, that absent an actual criminal conviction, the police had no reason to no reason to keep some modicum of an open mind about Zimmerman's story of "self-defense
                I've made no such argument. I don't buy the self defense argument for a second and don't think the police have handled this well at all.  The past record or lack thereof isn't even relevant as to whether this is a valid self defense claim. A convicted serial killer, where he to get out of prison, would be allowed claim self defense if he killed someone under the appropriate circumstances and someone who had never hurt the proverbial fly should go to jail if they killed someone and the circumstances show that self-defense was not involved.
                •  I Understand "Relevance" (0+ / 0-)

                  Being a lawyer at all.  We don't agree about that.  And I gave you my interpretation of your insistence about his lack of a criminal record creating some form of an excuse just fine, by telling you what I believe your argument essentially is.  If that is not what in fact you are arguing, you can just say so.

                  Or you can take the low road and just call what I said bullshit if you like, as you in fact did.  No worries.

                  If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

                  by shanikka on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:27:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                     I don't know how many times I have to repeat this, but I am not claiming that Zimmerman's record, such as it was, excuses anything. What part of "Is not an excuse" do you not understand? I am just pointing out that from a purely legal standpoint, he did not have a criminal  record. As a lawyer, surely you can appreciate the difference between a conviction and an arrest followed by a dismissal and a civil retraining order. None of this excuses either what Zimmerman did or how the police handled the matter subsequently. Both need to be investigated and if Zimmerman is not charged with murder, there's a huge problem. Heads probably need to roll in the police department as well.

                       Unless you can read minds, and as far as I can recall, they don't teach this in law school, only I can know what my point is. MY point, is simply to correct the factual record here. That's it. If you are so concerned about "the low road", why not try staying off of it yourself and arguing honestly and not  attributing false arguments to me. This is the kind of thing that can get a lawyer sanctioned, if done in a pleading.

    •  Nothing is ever erased. It is a lie. (1+ / 0-)
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      Even when charges are dismissed the information is still inside the police computers.  If they run the name, they get the information.

      Lets say a person is arrested Occupying Wall Street.  A judge kicks everybody loose because the cops didn't bother to follow any sort of police procedure and kettled people at random.  Those occupiers will not have a criminal record from the incident since the case was dropped but their names and the fact they were arrested and had the charges dropped will be in the system.  Once you are in the system, you are in the system.

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