Skip to main content

"I think things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason: He never would have been charged with a crime."
--Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman Defense Attorney--

Like many other things about murder of Trayvon Martin, this one is hard to take.  Besides being completely and laughably false what with Stop & Frisk, Death Penalty Prosecutions,and Drug Arrests. I invite Mr. O'Mara to join us over here in objective reality.  But it also strikes me as going out of your way to be an asshole.  If ever there was a time to for a defense lawyer to practice some humility, this would be it.  My initial reaction was one of visceral anger. But the more I thought about it, the more I believe it's actually symptomatic of an even larger problem.  Privilege.  Let's look at some of the privileges extended to Mr. Zimmerman.

Remember this was a reluctant investigation at best. The Sanford Police Department were ready to take Zimmerman's word on what went down.  He wasn't arrested initially.  There are pictures of him walking around the Sanford Police Department seemingly without a care in the world.  Was Zimmerman inebriated that night?  How about prescription drugs usage?  We'll never know, since a toxicology was never done on him.  Guess whose blood the police did check? Trayvon Martin's.  And we can all react in faux-horror as Martin's test came back with a small amount of THC.  GASP We also got to hear about Trayvon Martin's suspensions from school rather than the separate domestic abuse and resisting arrest charges for Zimmerman.  The key is that Martin got to be painted as a criminal even though he was never in trouble with the law.  Meanwhile, the person with an actual rap-sheet gets way beyond the benefit of the doubt.  But the privilege didn't stop with the lack of the initial investigation.  It extended well into and even after the trial.

Speaking of benefit of the doubt, here's Juror B37 extending that privilege while speaking to CNN:

"I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods and wanting to catch these people so badly that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong," she said.
So some vandalism happens in the neighborhood and he just gets to kill a kid? I mean, sure I was a little upset at first, but now that I know his heart was in the right place, it's all good.  Brutal slayings always go down much easier when we know the killer has a good heart.  Sadly, Juror B37 didn't stop there -- but her statements are very illustrative.  She continued:
"He had a right to defend himself," the juror said about Zimmerman. "If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him, or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right."
How about the screaming heard on tape?  Trayvon's family and friends now say it's him on the tape, but Zimmerman's folks say it was George.  Personally, I think it was Trayvon.  It just sounds like the screams of a kid.  But being that I've never heard Trayvon Martin speak, much less scream, I can't be sure.  Similarly, although I've heard Zimmerman speak in self-serving interviews, I've no idea of what he might sound like while in distress.  So it's a wash.  You can't go by either set of witnesses since both accounts from the families conflict with one another.  Not only that but both have emotional reasons to want to believe it's their guy who was screaming for help.  A reasonable person and more importantly, an unbiased juror, should ignore the screams in this context since it's impossible to tell.  Let's see what Juror B37 has to say about those screams according to Reuters:
"I think it was George Zimmerman's. All but probably one (juror agreed)," she said.
The bending over backwards to make it OK to kill another human being is simply mind-blowing.  What about Trayvon Martin's rights?  What about Trayvon Martin's fears?  He is after all, the person who died as a result of Zimmerman's actions.  I spoke about this in the Florida Style Justice post but there's simply no space at all in this juror's mind for Trayvon to be the victim.  For any of these jurors, I imagine.  All this despite the fact that of the two individuals, George Zimmerman is the one with the police record, not Trayvon Martin.  George Zimmerman is the individual with the history of violent confrontations, not Trayvon Martin.  George Zimmerman is the one who disobeyed the 911 operator's orders to NOT follow the supposed perpetrator.  George Zimmerman is on tape angrily cursing "Fucking punks. These assholes, they always get away."  But somehow it's Trayvon Martin who gets described as angry.  Yet despite all of these facts against Zimmerman, he gets the privilege of being thought of as "a man whose heart was in the right place."  Then again, why expect sympathy for Trayvon Martin from the juror who described the peaceful protests before Zimmerman was even charged, as "riots."  Good thing this case wasn't about race.

So let's check the scoreboard once again.  George Zimmerman, a man with a history of violence, precipitates a series of events that ends with him killing Trayvon Martin.  Initially, there was no investigation save for him giving his story to the cops.  He was never checked for alcohol or drugs in his system.  Because of the public outcry, an arrest and investigation finally get underway about six weeks later.  The trial concludes with him being found not guilty of neither murder in the second degree nor manslaughter.  The first juror to speak out about the deliberations describes Zimmerman as a nice guy with a big heart who "got in a bit too deep" while Trayvon is the one who "got mad and attacked him."

No wonder Mr. Zimmerman and his lawyers seemed bothered by the fact that there was a trial at all.  I mean look at George, and then look at Trayvon.  'Nuff said, right? Is it any wonder that Zimmerman asked African-Americans for an apology regarding their rush to judgment?  No, seriously he did.  Let's pick up the story from Politicsusa:

The real kicker came when Zimmerman accused African-Americans of rushing to judgement and asked everyone who he claims rushed to judgement to apologize to him. Zimmerman said, “I can’t guess to what their motives are. I would just ask for an apology. I mean if I did something that was wrong. I would apologize.”
Ah yes, rush to judgment.  Sort of like what you did by racially profiling Trayvon Martin because he was walking slowly in the rain.  It's a wonder the universe doesn't rend itself apart by the sheer force of irony.  Incidentally, I wish someone would tell me the optimal speed brown people should travel on the streets. Running used to be the suspicious thing but now it seems that leisurely strolls are out, too. It's almost as if everything we do is suspicious to some people.

But I digress.  Zimmerman manages to strike the same discordant note that his lawyer hit after the trial.  Terrible? Yes.  Going out of your way to be an asshole? Of course.  But that's not all it is.  That's pure unadulterated privilege talking.  The idea seems to be that he was just supposed to kill another human being, give a statement, then take his gun and go home.  Oh right, that's what basically happened initially.  The extraordinary privilege had a bit of a hiccup with an actual trail commencing.

After the verdict Jay Smooth tweeted "The fundamental danger of an acquittal is not more riots, it is more George Zimmermans."

So stop me if you've heard this one before but:  in Florida a white man no authority whatsoever, carrying a concealed weapon, precipitates a fight with an unarmed Black kid doing nothing illegal.  The argument escalates into the Black kid being shot dead.  The white guy claims self-defense.

But Mr. Zimmerman and now Michael Dunn are members of a very exclusive club.  And membership has its privileges.

Originally posted to The Non Blogosphere on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by RaceGender DiscrimiNATION and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  two things: 1) diary neglected to mention (12+ / 0-)

    that gz's dad (the judge) called the county attorney's office at 10pm the night gz murdered tm & asked the state not to press charges, which turned out to be a big factor in disregarding det. serino's intial findings that charges of manslaughter were warranted 2) juror #37 said in the interview w/ac that gz was only guilty of bad judgment -- !! -- which, i guess means that if a drunk driver kills someone, all they're guilty of is bad judgment & should be allowed to go on w/their life, drinking & driving as usual, w/out any repercussions, penalties, etc. -- ??? --truly bizarre.

    •  Please provide link to evidence of #1. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  bluezen - GZ's father was never a judge (5+ / 0-)

      He was a magistrate in one of the mid-Atlantic states where the position is like a court clerk, a responsible job but not one with judicial authority. GZ's father never went to law school, was never a judge, and never had any official role in any Florida court. In an interview with the FBI Chris Serino later claimed he was pressured into his manslaughter recommendation.  

      The "George Zimmerman's father was a judge" tale was debunked shortly after Zimmerman's arrest.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 09:29:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. (9+ / 0-)

        Although it suits your bias to diminish what Magistrates do, your characterization is untrue. Court clerks, for example, do not have any of the following powers that Virginia Magistrates do. Zimmerman's father was a Magistrate in Virginia.

        (1) To issue process of arrest

        (2) To issue search warrants

        (3) To admit to bail or commit to jail all persons charged with offenses subject to the limitations of and in accord with general laws on bail

        (4) The same power to issue warrants and subpoenas as is conferred upon district courts

        What does a magistrate do?

        The main job of the magistrate is to provide an independent, unbiased review of complaints brought to the office by police officers, sheriffs, deputies, and citizens and determine whether there is probable cause for a warrant or summons to be issued. “Probable cause” is a reasonable belief based on facts that would cause a reasonable person to feel that the accused committed the offense.

        Magistrates can issue arrest warrants, summonses, bonds, search warrants, subpoenas, and civil warrants. Another important duty is to conduct bond hearings to set bail in instances in which an individual is charged with a criminal offense. A magistrate may also accept prepayments for traffic infractions and minor misdemeanors. Source

        A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

        by edg on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 12:56:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hind sight is always 20/20 but... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ticorules, ramara, appledown, myboo

      Why did Prosecution seem to take GZs statements and interviews with the Stanford PD as having any accuracy or credibility at all?  They should have emphasized that from the beginning he was subject to a potential murder charge and everything he did was to defuse that possibility.

      They should have followed the whole chain of events and ask at every point, was GZ in fear of his life?  At every stage the response would have been NO! He had a gun.

      When GZ afraid for his life when he was following TM in his car?  NO! He had a gun.

      When he got out of his car to follow TM even after the 911 operator told him not to, was he in fear of his life?  NO! He had a gun.

      When he finally confronted TM was he really in fear of his life?  NO! He had a gun.

      I think the prosecution was half assed at best.  They seemed to just be going through the motions because they were told to.

      I'm embarrassed by my state, again.

      Holy Cow!!! 06/18/2013 and I've got my mojo back!!!! A new signature will be written shortly.

      by Josiah Bartlett on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 01:46:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The prosecutors (4+ / 0-)

        The prosecutors weren't "going through the motions."  Do you think a prosecutor lines up to take a big case only to half ass it?  No.

      •  consciosness of innocence (0+ / 0-)

        If GZ were a hardened criminal, he would have
        simply said to the first officer on scene.

        "I believe I need to excercise my fifth amendment rights
        and 6th amendment rights"  

        If he had an attorney there, the attorney wouldn't let him
        give a statement to the police but would have entered a written statement of the very least information.

        The attorney would have also insisted on seeing all the 911 tapes, the crime scene photos and crafted a very smooth statement.  

        GZ figured he was innocent and could explain it all.  

        a hardened killer would have lawyered up on the spot.

        •  Seriously? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          myboo, retLT

          Not getting "lawyered up" proves absolutely nothing.  You don't need a lawyer if you're innocent is the kind of thing TV show cop on Law & Order would say to a suspect just before an interrogation.

          There's no shame in having representation.  And certainly not having a lawyer doesn't point to anyone's innocence.

          It's clear Zimmerman didn't think he did anything wrong but that points more to character failings rather then guilt or innocence.

  •  just a minor nitpick (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita

    remove the apostrophe from "its" in the title. "It's" is always a contraction for "it is" and "its" is always a possessive.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 07:46:21 AM PDT

  •  Sanford FL, notorious racist city...Jackie (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MartyM, a2nite, Youffraita, Tonedevil

    Robinson and his wife were run out of town...just saw that yesterday. I saw the recent movie but forgot the name of the Florida town until yesterday.

  •  Isnt' juror 47's husband in some way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    connected to OMara?

  •  maybe the judge should be arrested for (0+ / 0-)

    interfering with an investigation?

  •  throughout Zim's statement to police (7+ / 0-)

    on the night he killed Trayvon, he consistently refers to Trayvon as "the suspect."

    http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/...

    Also - good article by Leonard Pills - "Wake the Hell Up"

    http://www.heraldonline.com/...

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:04:44 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for that eye-opening post (6+ / 0-)

      Oh the irony of it all. That written statement where he keeps referring to Trayvon as "the suspect" is actually labeled "suspect statement" on every page.

      •  lets just call it what it was (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        white blitz, Ticorules, Wee Mama

         photo trayvon_zps3d893158.png

        Tired of hearing crazy voices? turn off FOX News. Single Payer: healthcare for all of God's living creatures in America.

        by ca democrat on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:24:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed.. (0+ / 0-)

          ...by a society which has been scared into believing there are boogie-men behind every door and in every crevice.

          It's always been this way. However never before in history has there been a way to deliver lies directly to those most vulnerable to being duped. Since the advent of radio then tv/cable and now the instantaneous delivery of almost any information delivered right to your hand, never before have "ideas" been so available. It's made it easier than ever to collect enough money from True Believers.

          The world is changed. GZ is going to be a side-note. Trayvon Martin is now a symbol for tens if not hundreds of thousands of Americans galvanized to act. Mr. Martin will have laws named for him. GZ is a nothing.... a punk. A "wannabe" which the lowest category of Loser. I really don't care what happens to him. Unless he devotes his entire life to helping disabled Hatian children IN Haiti, he will never redeem himself.

          "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

          by CanisMaximus on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 02:11:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  GZ has cop delusions (4+ / 0-)

      He keeps imagining himself to be the cop he'd always wanted to be (despite being rejected by the police department, and in fact fired from his job as a security guard)

  •  This may in fact be true. (4+ / 0-)
    "I think things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason: He never would have been charged with a crime."
    He wouldn't have been charged, he would have been killed.  Perhaps 'accidentally'.  If he survived his 'arrest', then of course he would have been charged, and would now be sitting on Death Row.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 08:27:10 AM PDT

    •  ^^^ this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ticorules, appledown

      If a black guy was found at a presumed crime scene in possession of a firearm with a dead citizen nearby, there is a pretty good chance he would get shot almost as soon as a police unit arrived on the scene, whether he made any threatening moves or not. Almost anything is perceived as a threat under these conditions - a cell phone, a wallet, keys, even empty hands. Tempers are short, trigger fingers are twitchy - especially if the suspect is a person of color. To say Trayvon would have gotten the same kind of pass George did is deceitful beyond description. They didn't even Mirandize him, for Christ's sake.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 07:37:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Take a look at SYG cases and how many of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical, patbahn

      those that were charged were acquited by the jury.

      http://www.tampabay.com/...

      When he first said that, I thought it was outrageous, but after reading through some of the database of SYG cases at the Tampa Bay Times, I understand what O'Mara was really saying.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 06:22:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prolly meant 'No pol. pressure if GZ were black (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical

    It seems that what O'Mara meant by his odd-sounding "never would have been charged with a crime" remark is the following: "GZ was arrested only because of political pressure. Had GZ been black, it would then have been a "black-on-black: crime, and people like Sharpton would in that case not have taken this up and made the noise that they did to generate that political pressure."

    Makes sense from his perspective that there was no evidence to charge GZ in the first place. Right?

    Also, recall that in the same presser, O'Mara said this:

    He said the country "absolutely" needs to have a conversation about whether young black males are treated differently in the criminal justice system -- but said that conversation is a separate topic from what happened the night Zimmerman and Martin met.
    which shows that he does think that there is some cause for concern on the "black males and the criminal justice" topic, and therefore it basically negates the interpretation you and others have given to his "never would have been charged" remark.

    In order to understand O'Mara's thought process further, it helps to read this

    Zimmerman Trial: African-American Intern Speaks Out

    CNN interviews Channa Lloyd, the mysterious African-American intern who's been assisting George Zimmerman's attorneys throughout the trial. Her very presence at the defense table has raised questions in the racially charged case and set Twitter abuzz. But the 34-year-old, third-year law student in Orlando, Fla., tells CNN that before accepting the volunteer position, she asked lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara if Zimmerman was racist.

       "He said, 'No, I wouldn't work for him if he was.' " When asked why that was important, she said, "Being African American, even if he was a client in need of representation, I don't know that I would have been able to divorce that. You have to have the proper representation and people who can do that."
    Given these, there is no reason to think that Mr. O'Mara does not have good a moral compass.
    •  If O'Mara has a good moral compass ... (8+ / 0-)

      why did he tell so many lies? Examples: Lying about the relative heights of Zimmerman and Martin (only a 3" difference). Lying about the duration of the fight (it was not 4 minutes. It was less than one minute). Lying visually with the 20 pound dummy when it is physically impossible for a 158 pound teenager to lift the torso of a 205 pound man in the manner O'Mara demonstrated. Lying by showing a piece of concrete when all evidence indicate the fight took place upon grass.

      A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

      by edg on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 01:04:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  After hearing statements MOM (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ticorules

      made after the trial, I came to the conclusion that he's racist.

      Who doesn't think GZ is a racist.

      Well OK then.

  •  "If Trayvon Martin Was White, George Zimmerman (11+ / 0-)

    would have been convicted." And I guarantee you, Mr. O'Mara, Zimmerman WOULD NOT have been treated with kid gloves by the Sanford police department - he would have been drug tested, and his story about "self defense" would have been scrutinized very carefully. Zimmerman was given the benefit of the doubt by the police (and the jury) due to his skin color - if the victim's skin color had been white, Mr. Zimmerman would be sitting in jail.

  •  Thanks nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 12:08:33 PM PDT

  •  Reasonable doubt and burdens of proof (8+ / 0-)

    Ticorules,

    You are conflating the verdict with how society feels about George Zimmerman, and using the passing comments of Juror B-37 to support your position.  

    I think Zimmerman was entitled to be acquitted.  I say this because I actually take "reasonable doubt" and "burden of proof" seriously.  I also think that Zimmerman was entitled to be acquitted based on self-defense, and not "Stand Your Ground."  I say this, once again, because I actually take "reasonable doubt" and "burden of proof" seriously.

    At the same time, George Zimmerman acted hastily that night, either because he wanted to be a hero, or he is such a frightened individual than any stranger in the neighborhood looked like a potential criminal to him, or because he is consciously or unconsciously racist (or, more likely, all three).  George Zimmerman bears the most responsibility, and perhaps even all the responsibility, for what happened that night.  I do not wish Zimmerman ill will, and I think it would be wrong for people to completely ostracize him from society.  But he has a debt to pay to Martin's family and society, and I believe that he will be made to pay it in some fashion.  His life will never be the same, if for no other reason than that he will always have to live with knowing that his actions resulted in someone's death.

    What you identify in your post as "privileges" are privileges that defendants are entitled to -- and are supposed to -- have.  Zimmerman was presumed innocent.  The jurors were supposed to presume that his heart was in the right place, that he acted with a subjective belief that he was at imminent risk of great bodily injury, and that he acted reasonably in the midst of the physical assault the jurors were supposed to presume he was taking.  

    Please don't mistake those "privileges" as things that Zimmerman will walk around with outside the courtroom.  I am confident that he will not.

    I am a criminal defense attorney, and I see on a daily basis the enormous, destructive power that prosecutors wield on a daily basis.  "Heroes" like Angela Corey are the same people -- literally -- who prosecute individuals for firing warning shots into the ceiling.  "Heroes" like Bernie de la Rionda and John Guy are the same people -- literally -- that try to send defendants to prison for decades for possessing a few grams of crack cocaine.  If you are serious about having a fair criminal justice system, you better get serious about "reasonable doubt" and "burdens of proof."  And you better get serious about making sure prosecutors understand the destructive impact of bringing criminal charges against a citizen, let alone convicting them, and that, in deciding whether to bring a criminal charge, they should never think about the value that securing a conviction might have to their career.

    My last point, which is a bit off topic, is that the police's decision not to arrest Zimmerman that night was the best thing that ever happened to the prosecution.  Had Zimmerman been arrested, he would have invoked his Miranda rights, lawyered up, and would have never spoken to the authorities.  The prosecution was greatly benefitted by its ability to take multiple statements given by Zimmerman to pick apart the inconsistencies.  Whether this was a happy accident or a strategic consideration by the police is beyond me, but it is absurd to pretend that the 45-day delay in Zimmerman being arrested was some sort of detriment to the prosecution's ability to convict him.

       

    •  I couldn't disagree more (3+ / 0-)

      First of all, it is entirely possible to take the concepts of "reasonable doubt" and "burden of proof" seriously without coming to your conclusions.

      Of course Zimmerman has the presumption of innocence.  But what jurors aren't supposed to presume is that anyone, defendant or otherwise "has a good heart."  That needs to be demonstrated and proved to the jury.  Now as for before the trial, most people don't get to shoot someone dead in the street and just go home afterwards.  Once again, the police never checked Zimmerman for alcohol or drugs.  For all we know the reason Trayvon looked suspicious to him was because he was high as a kite that night.  We'll never know.

      We have a person with no authority whatsoever appointing himself neighborhood watch commander carrying a concealed weapon. We also have a kid whose walking to the store.  Captain Vigilante precipitates a fight with someone much smaller than him who wasn't armed.  Those are the facts not in question.  For the rest we have to take Zimmerman's word for it.  And his story isn't believable.

      Zimmerman's lived there for years.  It's not believable that he got out of the car to check the street address. Especially after the "These fucking punks. They always get away" statements.  Nor the super-villain-esque way Trayvon was supposed to have spoken.  "Who says "You got me" after being shot through the heart?

      To say nothing of the actual fight where Trayvon starts out 100+ feet from Zimmerman and then closes that distance in the second it took for Zimmerman to look down for his phone.  And we haven't even gotten to Trayvon supposedly putting one hand over his mouth, another over his nose, and his magic third hand was reaching for the gun that there's was no way he could have known Zimmerman had.  

      According to Zimmerman the gun was on his backside under a jacket and a shirt.  Trayvon, in the dark, and the rain was supposedly straddling his chest at the time.  So how is his third hand reaching behind himself and under Zimmerman for a gun he never knew about?  

      If you want to say the prosecution didn't prove their case, fine.  The jury seems to agree with you.  But somehow despite all of Zimmerman's stories, despite him profiling Trayvon, despite him angrily cursing on the 911 call, somehow he gets to be the "guy with a good heart."  Meanwhile Trayvon gets to be "angry."  Jury B39 seems to have really felt bad for George.  That's why she must have done some mental gymnatics to have glossed over all of the numerous holes in his story to make it OK to stalk and kill a kid.

      The entire post is predicated on Zimmerman and his lawyers seeming to be bothered that there was a trial at all.  How dare we expect an investigation and trial?  Not to mention the whole if Zimmerman was black there would be investigation nonsense.  If that isn't privilege talking, I don't know what is.

      I have exactly zero sympathy for George Zimmerman.  If he's ostracized from society I won't lose any sleep.  Here's a way to avoid ostracism, stop profiling, stalking and then ultimately killing kids.  Trayvon Martin's parents on the other hand, deserve plenty of sympathy.  Not to mention all of the brown families everywhere who have to explain to their kids why walking from their homes is now a suspicious action punishable by death.

      •  good heart (0+ / 0-)

        the jury doesnt have to presume he has a good heart
        but they do have to have the state prove he has a bad heart.

        To you GZ has a bad heart? Where was his membership
        in the Klan? Where was his pictures in his stormtrooper gig?
        Where were the facebook pictures of him punching black people?

        The evidence against him was pretty run of the mill, which is why the judge wouldn't let any of it be in the record.

        He had a beef with his ex wife. It's not like he hospitalized her.  When he was 20 he had a beef with a cop in virginia.
        wow.  

        You really need more.  Can you get me the tattoos of  a burning cross on his back?  How about the long digital record of racist rants about how blacks are wrecking florida.?

        •  I don't need more (0+ / 0-)

          Again, juror 39 saying Zimmerman had a "good heart" is not a neutral position.  What makes her say that?  Why is he cursing on tape about "These fucking punks. They always get away." Yet it's Trayvon Martin who get's described as angry?

          This seems to be based on nothing but Zimmerman's word, which is highly suspect.

          I don't recall saying Zimmerman had a "bad heart."  The point I was trying to make was how can the dude with the record of violence (his ex-wife, the undercover cop) who decides to follow a kid for walking slow in the rain, ends up killing that kid, and still be described as a good guy.

          Now as for all of your racial imagery, I'm pretty sure you can have "bad heart" without pictures of you punching black people on Facebook, wearing Nazi paraphanalia, or having Klan membership.  

          Also you do understand that you seem to be saying that as long as you don't hospitalize your wife, you can do whatever you want to her right?  That's worrisome for the women in your life.

          •  the judge dismissed any mention (0+ / 0-)

            of zimmermans past because it was all run of the mill.

            The only record zimmerman has with his ex is she asked for a protective order and so did he. The police never charged him with a domestic violence beef. it's a pretty low bar
            for a DV arrest. If the cops didn't arrest on that, it's
            pretty low grade opera.

            i didn't see the cops arresting zimmerman for assaulting his ex. i didn't see a medical record on that.

            if a florida superior court judge tosses it, it's tossed.

            both incidents were 8 years prior, with no significant
            judicial intervention.  

            http://www.law.cornell.edu/...

            if Florida rules are much like Federal rules, they wouldn't be admittable.  GZ wasn't convicted of the issue with the cop, it went to pre-trial diversion. He wasn't convicted of anything
            with his ex-wife, they were civil orders.

            you make the guy out like he's a comic book villian, when
            it's pretty minor league stuff.

    •  Absolutely not "entitled" to be aquited, but was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kentucky DeanDemocrat

      entitled to a fair trial. I think the prosecution did a reasonable job of proving GZ's account was false beyond a reasonable doubt even if the jury didn't.

      The prosecution didn't seem to be able to prove that every self-defense scenario was impossible beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't feel that should have been the standard. If the defense had presented a plausible scenario of self-defense, then I would be OK with the verdict- not happy, but OK.

    •  Spoken like a true defense attorney. (3+ / 0-)

      I too believe strongly in the presumption of innocence, but that and "reasonable doubt" are very consistent, I think, with a guilty verdict.  

      The undisputed evidence (as opposed to Zimmerman's self-serving, wild-west narrative that was never subject to cross-examination) demonstrated that he was an angry man who carried a loaded gun, who was frustrated with "those punks," and who thought he was looking at another one who wouldn't "get away" this time.  He followed him carrying a loaded gun.  After that, no one  knows exactly what happened until the unarmed kid was dead, but it would be perfectly reasonable for a jury to conclude that the angry guy with the gun remained the aggressor throughout, and that when Trayvon resisted "arrest," he shot him.  This "punk" didn't get away, did he?

      The statements he made demonstrate that he's a liar.  Why take his word for anything?

      I strongly disagree with your conclusion that it was good for the prosecution to have put Zimmerman's "testimony" (yeah, the juror called it that), his entire defense, into evidence without having to take the stand to present his self-defense theory subject to cross examination.  Talk about a freebie.  It's clear in hindsight that the taped statements humanized Zimmerman to the jury, and the unarmed kid's voice was never heard except through Jeantel, and for some inexplicable reason she was found to be not credible.

      I can only conclude that at least some of the jurors found it easier to believe that a black guy is always the scary one.  Other jurors, it appears, just got bulldozed in the jury room.   It happens.

      The presumption of innocence and the "reasonable doubt" standard would have survived a guilty verdict just fine.

      •  you just proved reasonable doubt (0+ / 0-)
        no one  knows exactly what happened
        that's called reasonable doubt.
        •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

          Not knowing exactly what happened during the fight does not mean a juror would necessarily have a "reasonable doubt" as to whether Zimmerman remained the aggressor.   The only evidence we're sure of shows that Zimmerman was a vigilante nut who meant to bring this kid in.  He either shot him to win the fight, thinking he'd lose otherwise (different from thinking you're about to die, especially given the superficial wounds) , or to make sure Trayvon didn't get away.  

          I pay Zimmerman this back-handed compliment:  he wasn't a coward, or he wouldn't have followed this "dangerous looking" guy in the first place.

  •  So (5+ / 0-)

    If Trayvon had had a gun, and if he shot and killed Zimmerman, because he (Trayzon) was standing his ground and in fear for his life, then do you think Trayvon would have been arrested right then and there?  Or would he have been given the same nonchalant treatment the police gave Zimmerman?  Yeah, right.

    America, where freedom isn't free, but it is for sale.

    by rlharry on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 05:10:02 PM PDT

    •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)

      The fact that people think that Zimmerman was treated like any other person who shot and killed someone is part of the problem.

      There had to be a huge public outcry just to get the police to do their job.  That is investigate the killing of a dead kid!

      •  More to the point, at least for me.. (5+ / 0-)

        is Trayvon was an UNARMED dead black kid who had no reason ever to imagine himself in danger in the place where he lived. The conclusion I would draw, were I a young black male in America, although I knew it already but now have orders of magnitude reinforcement of it - NO PLACE IS SAFE.

        Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

        by OrdinaryIowan on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 07:50:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  depends upon the facts (0+ / 0-)

      it TM had shot GZ at point blank range in the chest?

      how about if TM had shot GZ in the back of the head
      with the trajectory indicating GZ was kneeling on all fours?

      what if GZ had a broken arm, and 4 busted ribs,
      a ruptured testicle and had been shot through the throat
      at 3 foot distance while he was on his back?

      which ones are consistent with self defense and
      which with a beating or execution?

  •  Great diary! Thank you! (4+ / 0-)

    The gall of the asshole and his client are beyond my comprehension.

    "I mean if I did something that was wrong. I would apologize."

    So, then, where the fuck is the apology???

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 05:15:33 AM PDT

    •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

      Sometimes it feels like I'm yelling into the wind when writing these.  So thanks for reading!

      •  I heard that wind! This diary really is a great (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ticorules

        one-stop shop for all of the info I needed this morning on this case.  It was like a mouthful of fresh gunpowder. Mmmmmm.

        The gall of those fuckers is astounding.  How anyone can dance in the endzone when someone died is beyond my comprehension.  Show some humanity, if you have it.  I guess they don't, or they don't believe somehow that Trayvon is deserving of it.

        Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

        by Floyd Blue on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 10:35:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  these people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ticorules, Kentucky DeanDemocrat

    "...and wanting to catch these people so badly..."

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 05:16:20 AM PDT

  •  THIS smells like manslaughter to me... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ticorules

    "But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong," she said.

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 05:17:09 AM PDT

  •  This is the best diary I think I've seen on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ticorules

    this whole farce of a trial...

  •  Tipped & rec'd-O'Mara is an a_s clown for saying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ticorules

    many inconsiderate things about the trial.

    "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

    by appledown on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:43:37 AM PDT

  •  There were reasons for the blood/Alcohol tests (0+ / 0-)

    in TM's case, his body was in custody with the ME
    who would do this as part of a routine forensic exam.

    in GZ's case, he was interviewed by police immediate
    to the shooting and for several hours afterwards, as well as having been treated by EMTs.  I imagine if the police officers or Detectives thought he was impaired, they would have ordered a blood draw or breathalyzer.  None of the officers noted on the report that he was slurring his words, having trouble with his balance, gait, etc.

    They may have thought there was no reason to do a drug test on GZ.

  •  Michael dunn is being held without bond (0+ / 0-)

    his punishment phase is already started.

    the judge thinks he's a flight risk and
    at risk of not showing in court.

  •  Just my opinion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ticorules

    In the end , this jury of six concerned, unbiased white Mom's, assured the nation with their verdict, that it is completely innocent and of "Good Heart "( according to their maternal judgement and the Law), that an armed private citizen of self imposed title, and no particular authority, can follow at night, gun in hand, anyone"s DAUGHTER , at a few steps distance, and demand she answer his questions at gun point. Or perhaps answer questions in his vehicle? Perhaps her manner of dress he feels demonstrates prostitution? ( After all, prostitutes are bad people, who he might not want to get away?) She might feel she has no right to fight back, for fear of being shot. ( remembering the outcome of this trial) She might not run away, after all, he seems like an authority figure? This SYG definition, which governs the new definition of self defense is a thinly veiled hunting license for the clever at heart. IT BEGINS WITH THE RIGHT TO LEGALLY STALK A VICTIM, GOD DAMN IT!!  It's the Barney Fife Syndrome, without a tin badge at best, and a serial killers MO at worst. All through this trial they insisted it was NO CRIME TO FOLLOW A PERSON? The law is flawed IMO because when challenged in a court of law, under the "no reliable eye witness to the killing,catch 22",  it is completely subjective to the whims of race, gender, and likeability ( example: He's handsome, he must be telling the truth? Shes fat and black, she must be lying?)  These mother's all were in a position to THINK about what went on, and that if there was NO George Zimmerman, there would be no dead Travon Martin. The rest was pure evidential speculation, that they based entirely on the fact that the killer had only his story and a good heart? A good fuckin HEART??? Travon Martin did not have a good heart, it was blown out at point blank range by the person with a better ( working)  heart! The verdict was not fact based, but more a popularity contest between the Good hearted Vigilante killer, and the angry black teen, never taking into consideration the LAW that allowed it to transpire. These Mom's were some kind of special and supported a law that encourages stalking and confrontation, and yes, that includes your daughters too! I do not like this vague SYG law, it is dangerous, and inflammatory, as can be seen by this predictable verdict outcome, with good reason.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site