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March 19th, 2012
03:56 PM ET

Opinion: Trayvon Martin, not George Zimmerman, was engaged in self-defense

Editor’s note: Carolyn Edgar is a lawyer and writer in New York City. She writes about social issues, parenting and relationships on her blog, Carolyn Edgar.  You can follow her on Twitter @carolynedgar.

By Carolyn Edgar, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Imagine the following scenario:

You are a 17-year-old boy in Sanford, Florida. You are visiting your father and his fiancée at your soon-to-be stepmother’s home in a gated community. You decide to make a late-night candy run to your local 7-Eleven. It’s nighttime and drizzling, so you are wearing a hooded sweatshirt. At the store, you buy a package of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea, then head back home.

As you are walking home, you notice a man in an SUV following you. The man gets out of the car. He’s a big guy who outweighs you by 100 pounds. He doesn’t identify himself as a police officer – in fact, you don’t know who he is. What should you do next?

According to Florida’s justifiable use of force statute, you have the right to defend yourself. Section 776.012, in relevant part:

“A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.”

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who gunned down 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in his family’s gated community in Sanford, is relying on Florida’s self-defense statute to escape prosecution. Because Florida’s self-defense law affords immunity from prosecution for those who use justifiable force, Sanford Police Department have determined they have no basis to prosecute Zimmerman.

However, as more facts come to light, it seems that Martin, not Zimmerman, was exercising his statutory right to defend himself against a reasonable apprehension of unlawful force.

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has characterized Martin as the aggressor, based on the police department’s investigation. In an interview published by the Miami Herald, Lee asked rhetorically, “If someone asks you, ‘Hey do you live here?’ is it OK for you to jump on them and beat the crap out of somebody?” Lee said. “It’s not.”

Actually, in Florida, it might be.

Under the same self-defense statute that Zimmerman is relying on to avoid prosecution, Trayvon Martin also had the right to defend himself against a perceived threat of danger. Section 776.013 provides:

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

Trayvon Martin was a teenaged boy who was walking home from a convenience store. He was not engaged in an unlawful activity. He was in a place where he had a right to be – near the home of his father’s fiancée. George Zimmerman followed him, even after being told by the 911 dispatcher not to. Zimmerman left his vehicle holding a loaded gun and began pursuing Martin on foot. It is plausible to infer that Zimmerman, not Martin, initiated the attack. The tapes indicate that Zimmerman may have been the aggressor in initiating contact with Martin. Assuming the published reports are true, Martin, not Zimmerman, was exercising his lawful right to “stand his ground and meet force with force” by engaging in an altercation with Zimmerman.

By questioning why Martin didn’t simply stop and answer Zimmerman’s questions, and characterizing Martin as the aggressor, Sanford Police Department Chief Bill Lee Jr. appears to have assessed the Martin case using the standards that apply to law enforcement officers. This is wrong. Martin was under no legal duty to obey or to cooperate with Zimmerman in being questioned, because George Zimmerman is not a law enforcement officer.

Being the local neighborhood watch captain does not elevate him to that status. Nor was Zimmerman asked by any law enforcement officer to assist in detaining Martin – in fact, he was specifically told not to follow Martin. Zimmerman is entitled to none of the presumptions available to law enforcement officers under Florida law. The presumptions of acting in good faith that are afforded to law enforcement officers do not apply to Zimmerman.

If Zimmerman provoked the altercation with Martin, he is not entitled to claim self-defense. Under Section 776.041, use of force is not justifiable under the statute to a person who initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

“(a) such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.”

Neither exception applies to Zimmerman. Martin was armed only with a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea. Zimmerman had a 9mm handgun. The 911 tapes released by the Sanford Police Department feature the chilling sounds of Martin screaming for help in the background – screams that are silenced by a gunshot. Martin’s screams and cries for help indicate that, he was not a threat to Zimmerman when Zimmerman pulled the trigger.

Sanford Police Department officials have said no evidence refutes Zimmerman’s claim that he acted in self-defense, but the 911 tapes released by the Sanford Police Department suggest otherwise. Had Zimmerman withdrawn and waited for the police to handle the situation, as he was advised to do by the 911 dispatcher, Martin would be alive today.

Under Section 776.032 of the Florida Statutes, a person who uses force as permitted by law is immune from criminal prosecution as well as civil action. In reviewing this case to determine whether or not Zimmerman is in fact immune from prosecution, the Florida Attorney General must determine whether or not Zimmerman did in fact use force as permitted by law under Sections 776.012, 776.013, and 776.031.

The attorney general should consider the strong possibility that Zimmerman provoked the attack and that Martin was acting in self-defense – in which case, Zimmerman is not entitled to immunity and may be prosecuted for the death of Trayvon Martin.

The state of Florida owes the Martin family at least an investigation into this question.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Carolyn Edgar.

soundoff (1,141 Responses)
  1. TiredODaCrap

    I think that the old man needs to go away for a long time – or get the chair, myself.
    However, I find it interesting how long it took for the media to report that there was a "struggle" that could be heard on the phone. How does anyone who was not an "eyewitness" know what truly happened?
    Hope that other Neighborhood Watch vigilantes take a step back and only report things to the cops – not try to become the cops. Why that old fool had a gun on Neighborhood Watch trip is still beyond reason!

    March 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Terence

      I find it MORE interesting that the police don't seem to know it, and the media found it first. Ain't they supposed to pull the phone record right away??? Real Keystone Cops!
      Same with Martin's clothing (not taken)
      Same with no drug/alcohol testing of Zimmerman.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Copper's Donut Shoppe

      sorry no more chair in florida

      March 20, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. popeye1128

    I agree 1000%. Zimmerman lost all claims of self defense when he was the one who pursued the young man for no real cause. I can only imagine how scared the poor kid was to have this guy chase him down and confront him in the dark with no one else around.
    Martin was the one acting in self defense by punching Zimmerman in the nose.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sarah

    This is such a miscarriage of justice. I cannot believe this man has not been arrested. I am white and I know damn well that if this had been a young white male, there would have been an arrest already.

    I send my sympathies and thoughts to the Martin family. I hope you get the justice you so rightly deserve.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Bottom line is this – unless you witnessed the event, it's all speculation. People need to withhold judgement until a formal investigation has taken place. However, I do believe it's B.S. for a non-law enforcement officer to pursue anyone.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • DC

      Oh bull. The man has admitted that he killed Trayvon. There is no "innocent until proven guilty" here. He did it; he admitted it. He should darn well have to pay for it.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      It's not true. You have a person holding a smoking gun who ignored instructions from the 911 person, pursued (he got out of his car) and shot an unarmed child in cold blood. The facts explain it quite well.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • uva187

      You just stated the most important fact! What do you call it when an armed civilian follows an unarmed civilian, confronts them, and then shoots them? I call it murder.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      The 911 tapes, lack of a weapon on Trayvon, size imbalance, Zimmerman's history, and continued pursuit of someone Zimmerman was told to not to follow allow everyone to be a witness to the extreme injustice in this case. There is enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in this case. I hope that the single good outcome of this tremendous tragedy is heightened awareness of the existence of prejudice in society and the criminal justice system.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mark Theo

    Zimmerman clearly followed, instigated and executed this assault turned murder. It should not matter what the races involved are, this was clearly an act of callous cold blooded murder. The 911 tapes say it all. Prayers and support for the family and friends of Martin.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Agreed.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • TonyInNYC

      Sounds like he wanted to kill a human being and engineered this episode as a way to do so and get away with it.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Alana

      I agree with you totally. Not a race thing for me, this is a tragic event and prayers for the family should be given.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Manny

      How many inocent people will be killed by NRA and its supporters before they come to there senses. This man should be tried with full force of law and prosecuted and punished

      March 20, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    You got the law wrong lady. the repugs changed it, you can now stand your ground and shoot to kill.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • kenji

      "standing your ground" does not mean "going after someone" do you "adults" need a dictionary???

      March 20, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Copper's Donut Shoppe

        do they use sacrasm where you come from?
        you ESL?

        March 20, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      You are incorrect, the stand your ground law is for SELF DEFENSE, Zimmerman clearly was not defending himself when he got out of his car and instigated a conflict.

      The local police dropped the ball on this one.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Copper's Donut Shoppe

        ESL?

        March 20, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
      • @Copper

        Are you an imbecile?

        March 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick winquest

      that does not mean that you can follow in a vehicle and then get out and peruse because you are a self appointed judge, jury and executioner. clearly when you have a weapon unholstered and are chasing someone there seems a strong intent to use that weapon. a cow does not give you the right to walk around with a weapon in hand ready to strike at any time as if you could walk around carrying a weapon in your hand you would be considered a threat to all of those around you.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Copper's Donut Shoppe

        psychotropic s?

        read what you wrote again.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Sadly, stooping to insult is the last resource of a week argument. I know I am, but what are you. Wow.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Copper's Donut Shoppe

        your middle school fallacies make you the silly!

        March 20, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Copper's Donut Shoppe

      this should help

      The incident sheds light on Florida's seven-year-old self-defence law, which critics say is too lenient.

      The law, nicknamed a "stand your ground" or "shoot first" statute, gives protection from criminal prosecution or civil liability to people who claim self-defence after a shooting or violent incident.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. daveinla

    So this person was there and saw everything? You people jump to conclusions.Let the facts come out first.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • uva187

      The facts are that Mr.Zimmerman followed this yourng man after police told him not to. Then the young man ended up shot. That's enough for me–Mr. Zimmerman should be in jail. If you would read the article, you would see that self defense doesn't apply in Mr. Zimmerman's case–he was the agressor in this situation because it was he who instigated to confrontation. Again, the police told him not to.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
      • mcore

        Absolutely. Zimmerman is 100% at fault and should stand trial for 1st degree murder.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Dispatchers Aren't Cops

        The "Cops" didn't tell Zimmerman anything.

        A 911 dispatcher isn't a cop and can not give anyone orders with the authority of a law enforcement officer.

        Your ignorance is stunning, but not surprising.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Dispatchers

      What a weak argument. They are trained to talk the caller through situations of varying emergency.

      So would you argue that if a dispatcher tells someone in their home to stay indoors until help arrives after a shooting one house over, that person should completely ignore the dispatcher and find the gunman simply because it was a dispatcher giving the direction and not a cop?

      What kind of argument is that? Could it be that you are sympathetic to the shooter in this story and you want to find a reason good enough to excuse Zimmerman for his actions?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Slizabeth

    I'm less concerned with the fact that there was a struggle (grass on Zimmerman's back) and more concerned with the fact that the guy with the gun followed the guy WITHOUT a gun and argued that he felt threatened enough to use deadly force.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Alana

      Wow great point

      March 20, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Your "logic" needs work

      The grass on Zimmerman's back proves there was a physical altercation.

      There's two possibilities there: Trayvon was fighting with Zimmerman and had him on his back and Zimmerman drew his gun, or Trayvon was so crazy he attacked a man who had already drawn a gun and was pointing at him.

      Neither is helping Trayvon's "victim" status.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Slizabeth

        Those are the only two possibilities you see? Then your name suits you.

        You aren't legally allowed to shoot someone just because they tackle you (Martin probably did so in self-defense, but hey, regardless). Also are you telling me Zimmerman couldn't have used his weight to get a 140 lbs boy off of him? What was Martin supposed to do if someone pulled a gun? RUN? You can't outrun a bullet. Maybe he thought he had a better shot at struggling to prevent getting shot than turning his back and getting shot by the crazy guy following him anyway.

        The fact that there was a physical altercation means nothing. A reasonable person probably would NOT have shot a smaller guy who had not shown any sign of being armed or dangerous.

        The only thing we know for certain is that Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17-year-old. That's enough in my book to warrant an arrest. Self-defense is murky situations like these is argued in court and not at the crime scene.

        Back to my original comment: Who cares about the altercation? Zimmerman followed Martin. He initiated the altercation by stalking the kid at night. If someone was following you around a neighborhood when you were doing NOTHING wrong, wouldn't you be concerned for your own safety? Martin was most likely acting in self-defense against the potential attacker behind him, while Zimmerman was following an innocent boy simply because he looked like he was "up-to-something."

        March 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joesnopy

        No, clown the kid was defending his ground because he was scared of a grown A$$ man with a gun he did not know.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • s

        there are factual statements from law enforcement, recordings of 911 calls from eye and ear witnesses, recordings of calls from zimmerman himself. "logic" would be taking these things, none of which are in dispute as being coerced or false in any way, in sum and saying, gee, the P.O.S. that GOT OUT OF HIS CAR AND CHASED THE KID was the aggressor.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    Unfortunately another article to muddy the waters and making finding the truth difficult.

    The only thing this article does point out is that if the dispute had gone in Martin's favor, he'd likely have the same claim to self-defense that Zimmerman did.

    I don't believe that and I'll quote "Zimmerman left his vehicle holding a loaded gun and began pursuing Martin on foot." Martin would have been stupid to allow someone carrying a weapon to close distance to him. Martin would have been able to easily evade Zimmerman on foot. Martin after all keeps being show in his high school football photo and Zimmerman is described as overweight.

    What I do believe is a more likely scenario is that Zimmerman approached Martin. An altercation broke out. Which one of them started the physical altercation may remain a mystery forever (only speculation and Zimmerman's story to who started it). In the course of this physical altercation, Martin becomes aware that Zimmerman has a firearm. Around this time, Zimmerman likely realizes that Martin knows he's carrying a firearm as well. The result: adrenaline results in a significantly more serious physical altercation where both parties are in fear for their life. The result, self defense for both parties.

    Now if Zimmerman started the physical altercation his claims of self-defense should protect him from a Murder 1/2 charge, but he should be charged with manslaughter. If Martin started the altercation, then self-defense might be warranted.

    Lastly: 911 dispatchers many times are not police officers. They always tell you to let police or fire handle the situation to limit their liability. Poor example, but to make a point. If you call 911 about a burning building with a baby inside, 911 will tell you that the police and fire are on the way and to let them handle it. Because if they tell you to go inside and you get hurt, they are liable.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Dave, you can imagine all you want about what "likely" happened. Your analogy to a burning building is completely off point. No one was in immediate danger. The bottom line is, Zimmerman had no, absolutely no reason to follow Mr. Martin, and was instructed not to. He can then be heard to make some comment about "Them always getting away with it." These are facts. If you want to "imagine" what happened, you can just as well imagine that aliens came down from outer space, possessed Mr. Martin and controlled his hand forcing him to shoot the young man. That's almost as likely an assertion as yours which is also not based in fact.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Dave is 100% correct

        You weren't there, and it's clear that you understand nothing about self-defense laws, the legal status of police dispatchers, or anything else of any significance here.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slizabeth

      There are just so many things wrong with your comment, in my opinion.

      There isn't a legal responsibility to flee when you feel threatened (ie: a person is following you). Martin was within his rights to turn and face someone creep who is following/watching him. (I would have.) Zimmerman followed after Martin. That obviously wasn't in self-defense, and it initiated a dangerous situation that led to Martin's death. That's why I feel that he should be charged with something.

      Saying that the 911 dispatcher said that only to limit liability is STUPID. They said that to prevent exactly what happened from happening!

      In self-defense cases, you are only allowed to use force nearly equivalent to the harm you are threatened with. If someone slaps you, you can't pull out a gun. Martin was unarmed and unlikely to be strong enough to exert deadly force using his slight body weight. So deadly force seems really disproportional to the situation.

      And just because he's shown in a picture wearing a football uniform doesn't mean that he's a) fast, b) good, or c) more likely to be able to hide from a creeper who is chasing him with a gun. Way to promote a stereotype.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
      • KnowitAll

        In reading these comments, one thing is abundently clear, no one know exactly what happened and no one know what the Florida law really is. to those individuals that are saying let the investigation be completed and see what the results are, i appluade you. To the other know it all, you appear you do not and let's just wait until the investiaqgtion is done. That is unless you have some special ability to see into the past and have first hand knowledge of the situation. p.s. if you do, ocntact the Feds, cause they are about the spend a bunch of money looking for Earhart and you can save all of us tax payers some onmey.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Your statement is nothing but a clustercuss.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • ConcernedParent

      Agreed...Poor example. Very poor example. Martin was not doing anything that was life threatening to anyone.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    Zimmerman needs to be prosecuted. This is not the wild west of the 1800's. If nothing else the failure to follow instructions from law enforcement when he was told to wait for police and to back off. This could happen to anyone's kids if allowed to stand here. What if someone is new to the neighborhood? I would not have answered to Zimmerman either if I didn't know who he was. I've taught my children to ignore strangers or scream just like Martin did. How this could possibly be self defense is beyond me. The fiance should get a restraining order for this guy.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tex71

    Too bad Martin didn't have a gun.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • uva187

      The sad thing is that if Mr. Martin had a gun, he would be in jail right now, held on a murder charge. He probably would be convicted too.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. chippy1

    Mr. Z has all the attributes of a bully in the clothing of a community activist. Had this been Germany in the '30s he would be one of the brown shirts beating up Jews.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ref

      Illegal thinly veiled Nazi reference. 2:00 in the box

      March 20, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. harold

    Why are we talking about self defense? This is a lynching plain and simple.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex UK

      Incredible... only in America... Regardless of the many moral and ethical questions of carrying weapons in public...How can one man kill a child in cold blood and be left to walk the streets. When I lived in America I had a wonderful time, felt comfortable but always had that niggling feeling that the person next to you could have a weapon of muder in their possession, sanctioned by law.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      Call it what you want, but this is what a significant percentage of white America has become – irrationally fearful. People frown upon the mention of politics in a case like this, and they reject being categorized as mindless and under cult control, but these people HAVE been re-programmed to see and think irrationally as victims, no matter what the facts show to the contrary.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
      • csam18

        You must have not read that Zimmerman is Hispanic and not White as you're assuming with your comment.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SilverHair

      This jerk was told NOT to pursue (tapes). Go after him with all the legal tools available.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Realist

    Zimmerman, think John Wayne Gacy. If I was a 17 year old kid, I'd be scared too!

    March 20, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. ds

    Good article. One thing I want to point out is that anyone that carries should follow the basic elements before they use lethal force: Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy or AOJ as the police know it. Ability means the the other person has the power to cripple or kill you, Opportunity means the situation is such that the other person can use his ability against you and Jeopardy means the the other persons actions or words give you a reasonably perceived idea the he intends to kill or cripple you. Following these points Zimmerman was the attacker and should be held accountable. By the way I live in Florida and am white if that makes any difference to people.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Here's the thing ... in the absence of witnesses, we have to take the word of the survivor. When the survivor is a uniformed police officer, that's entirely reasonable (up to a point). When the survivor is not wearing a uniform, and is not a police officer, then it makes no sense to afford that survivor the same credibility as a police officer.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Nope. You have an adult mail with a smoking gun in his hand a dead unarmed child. Also white if anyone cares.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Gail

        He was not a police officer.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
      • Lord2FLI

        There are at least two eye witnesses (i.e. they are describing what they are seeing to the dispatcher) from the seven or so 9/11 calls, very odd the police did not interview them.

        Also the article isn't stating this, but that neighborhood did not have a neighborhood watch, Zimmerman appointed himself to that position without the consent of his neighbors.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
      • csam18

        Hispanic Steve.. not White. Not a race issue, just a trigger happy wannabe cop.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Essence

    Ok – so let's take race out of the equation.

    A young man is walking through an unfamiliar neighborhood and notices that he's being followed. He runs. The person following the young man pursues him, approaches him in a hostile nature & proceeds to ask why is the young man in the neighborhood. The young man reacts aggressively as 90% of all teenagers would because a) why are you following me? b) who are you to approach and ask me why am I simply walking down the street?. I could see if the young man was being rowdy or disruptive but he was just walking...down...the...street. The neighborhood watch leader saw him & immediately assumed the worst. It's not a black or white thing – its a common sense thing. Why would you chase & approach a stranger at night in a hostile manner and then shoot him when he attacks you? How would the young man know that George Zimmerman was really in the Neighborhood Watch – think about all the murderers, robbers & kidnappers who pose as police officers.

    Yes – race has become a huge issue in this case but if you strip away the racial factor, the case is still very controversial. Trayvon Martin had a strong reaction to being following relentlessly and George Zimmerman's reaction to getting his ass kicked by a kid was to end that young man's life. There will be no winners in this situation. The Martin family lost a son and George Zimmerman will have to handle the guilt of what he's done for the rest of his life.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I agree with you, it seems like Zimmerman got his ass whooped by Martin. But He was not part of any neighborhood watch...

      March 20, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
      • shootmyownfood

        A neighborhood watch has no legal authority to detain.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
      • csam18

        Yup. It's neighborhood watch, not neighborhood cop.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • F1484

      Your post was a good way to demonstrate why Zimmerman was wrong to those people out there who just believe racism magically disappeared after centuries of being ingrained in society. With that said, now let's put racism back into it. Why? Because, it is important to understand how this tragedy came to be. As you said what Zimmerman did made no sense. Except in a bigoted mind it makes perfect sense. I don't think Zimmerman considered himself to be a racist, bigoted, or prejudiced. A lot of people think you have to hold active membership in the KKK or want to lynch a black person to fall into those categories. That's not true. There's a such thing as soft racism and we see how it played out here. In Zimmerman's prejudiced mind this unknown black kid had to be a criminal. How many times does he say as much on the tape? Racist ideology blinded logic. He was so convinced this kid was a threat he failed to see that a grown man chasing after someone 100 pounds younger and his junior, first in a car and then on foot, with a loaded gun, is the true threat. He was so convinced this kid was a criminal and that he was doing the right thing. It probably never occurred to him that Treyvon could be innocent until they pulled the skittles from his dead body. The man was operating on assumptions the whole time. Racist assumptions. That's why identifying racism is important.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
      • ConcernedParent

        Good points. Mr. Zimmerman may not be racist (hating of another race and thinking your own race is superior) but he clearly had a prejudice (an irrational hostility directed toward a race based on supposed characteristics). It seems he pre-judged this kid based on his age and race.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  17. Lauren

    This op-ed piece really hits the point home. Private citizens have no right to run after people demanding to know what they are doing or where they are going. It kills me that this young man was harassed and then killed. Law enforcement officers have years of training in dealing with situations. As a cop's wife, I know that the last thing my husband ever wants to do is use deadly force. He will try anything to avoid it, including using his brain and other tools to analyze a situation. This guy, not a cop, is running around with a gun and claiming "stand your ground" defense, which is laughable. He was not at his house and he was the pursuer. The Sanford Police should have made the arrest and let the lawyers sort it out later. They missed the opportunity to do the right thing. The State Attorney is also dropping the ball. Let's hope the feds can do right by this family.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  18. Louise

    I said all along what this attorney is saying. Even before the 911 tapes were released I said Zimmerman was the aggressor. Whatever came about after that was at his hands and his alone. He should be held totally liable. Since more and more information has come forward, it only validates everything I've already known and said. I'm not an attorney and I have no education whatsoever in the field of law, but this is common sense. There is no rocket science needed here. This is a clear case of Zimmerman stalking another individual, no different than a kidnapper, child rapist (which the state of Florida seems to be infamous for harbouring), an abductor stalking his/her prey and then pouncing. Trayvon is the victim him. He's also the hero in that it's apparent that he was trying to protect himself and get away from a what he preceived in his mind to be a potential kidnapper and child predator. He did what parents and self-defense experts have instructed their children and students to do in case of a potential kidnapper or predator attempting to harm them. If there was any resistance on Trayvon's part in the form of atttempting to fight off a possible abductor it was in self defense and Trayvon was the one who should be protected under that SYG law. One law enforcement expert on another news outlet stated after listening to Zimmerman on those 911 tapes he appeared to be drunk. It's standard procedure after such a shooting happens the shooter is suppose to be given a drug and alcohol test. Apparently Sanford police didn't even do that. They failed. They failed the Martin family. They failed fellow Foridians and they failed their own law enforcement profession and makes a mockery out of the term TO SERVE AND PROTECT. and TO LET NONE LIVE IN FEAR. Trayvon must have been terrorfied and was running for his life. Not only should Zimmerman be prosecuted, but that Chief of police along with his cohorts who evidently attempted to protect Zimmerman should be investigated and prosecuted as well. They are unfit for duty and should be charged with dereliction of duty. 'NUF SAID!

    March 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • chippy1

      here, here, well said.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • ConcernedParent

      Outstanding.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  19. Realist

    Try puting yourself in this kids shoes for a minute. You're new to this area, out after dark going for a snack, when a dark SUV starts follownig you. Then a heavy set man gets out and trails you. First thought is "I'm being chased by a pervert" and I'm alone and scared! What would you do as a 17 year old kid?

    March 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  20. Joe33

    I am a staunch supporter of our 2nd Amendment Right and God-given (or nature/universe if you are so inclined), inherent right to self-defense. And I am a licensed concealed carrier. First, I always try to err on the side of caution when judging situations of violence. I wasn't there and did not have to make split second decisions while violence and chaos were occuring. However, I have had to make those decisions before. It is not like in the movies. In addition, the media is so often F.O.S., so I read what they have to say with a grain of salt. That being said, given what has been reported so far / the 911 tapes, it sounds to me that Mr. Zimmerman's situational awareness was HORRIBLE. It does not sound like Mr. Martin's presence or behavior represented ANY sort of imminent threat. Mr. Zimmerman is an unqualified civillian who CHOSE to escalate a situation when it did not need to be escalated, ignoring the advice of the 911 operator. Mr. Martin was not vandalizing, burgling, assaulting etc. He was walking in a neighborhood. I would expect my son to be VERY wary of someone following them in a car and prepare to defend himself if that person exited the vehicle. Based only on what we've heard so far, it appears Mr. Zimmerman should go on trial for manslaughter. I don't personally believe it was murder by the legal definition nor do I think racism was involved. Stupidity was involved. Mr. Zimmerman did not use good tactical awareness at all. RIP Mr. Martin and prayers out to the family. Tragic.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Ref

      Racism is stupidity and both were involved here. This guy needs to go up the river for a long time.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Joe33

        Ref,
        You may be absolutely correct. Racism could very well be a factor.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Alana

      Excellent points. I agree with you totally. I also do not believe that it was a racially issue, rather than a "teenage" issue. Meaning that here is a teenage kid walking through a neighborhood with a hood on. Words were probably exchanged as we know teenagers are not that polite now-a-days. I agree with at least a manslaughter charge, but it can be classified as murder if it can be proven that he intended on shooting to kill when he exited his vehicle with his gun in hand. Murder is all about intent, so if I was the prosecutor, I most likely would file manslaughter charges. But something needs to be done, this man cannot get away with taking a child's life without recourse.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Sammi

        You say racism wasnt involved but if it were a Caucasian kid woukld he have been considered a threat in a gated community? Or would he have automatically be considered to be "home"

        March 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Copper's Donut Shoppe

      you talk too much and are boring.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  21. Kirshar12

    I happen to agree with Patriot1, despite not having all the facts, it was reported that Zimmerman pursued Martin and therefore provoked the confrontation. To me, that alone denies him the use of "self-defense".

    Everything else is speculation.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  22. blaze23

    Bottom line. Lowest common denominator. Zimmerman is NOT a police officer. He has ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to pursue, question, or attempt to detain ANYONE. Martin had ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to stop for this man he didn't know and answer his questions. If Zimmerman was stupid enough to actually believe that every kid walking through his neighborhood in a hoodie is looking to jack someone ... then he should have reported it to the police and let them handle it. He was on the phone with dispatch at the time and that should have been enough. The ONE AND ONLY reason this situation escalated to a boy losing his life was Zimmerman deciding to play act at being Dirty Harry. Zimmerman confronted Martin with absolutely no reason for doing so, and when Martin stop up for his rights Zimmerman shot him in cold blood. Zimmerman caused this entire incident from beginning to end. He pursued, he confronted, he pulled a gun and murdered a child. Period.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  23. kamanakapu

    What dose this term "Report abuse" supposed to mean and has anyone ever 'reported abuse'? Its difficult to determine the exact purpose of CNN's Comment page because it seems as if all CNN is interested in is 'Report abuse'! How about terms like Like, Dislike, Reply and Off topic? CNN seems uninterested in developing an interesting Commentary page like that of the Huffington Post or AlterNet. CNN ought to get rid of whoever is in charge of their comment page and hire someone else.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  24. Maggie P

    Things are not always black and white. Its possible that Trayvon played a part in Zimmerman fearing for his life. I heard a 911 call where Zimmerman stated Trayvon had his hand in his waist band like he was packing a weapon. I wouldn't put it past a teen to do so. Combine Trayvon pretending to have a gun w/ Zimmerman's vigilantism and Trayvon ends up dead.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • FactsPleazDC

      Maggie P – Listen to the 911 tapes. Zimmerman made that statement FROM HIS CAR – right before the dispatcher told him not to follow Martin.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Z

      That is the most ignorant thing I've heard! Seriously?!

      March 20, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony_SI

      Mr. Zimmerman got out of his car, and that where you lose the self defense argument. Zimmerman belongs in jail.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • F1484

      Are you really that blind Maggie? Really? So if Treyvon was scratching his butt, would it have been alright for George to assume he was reaching behind his back for a piece and shoot him? Maggie wake up! This isn't some unfortunate misunderstanding, as the police would have you believe. A boy is dead. There is no justification for that boy being dead. George Zimmerman's 911 call demonstrates the racist mindset people who don't wear blinders in this country suspected he had when this story first broke. Yet people like you still can't help but see the potential threat posed by a young black male.You look for reasons to mitigate the atrocity of the kids murder. Who knows Maggie, perhaps Treyvon could have put out Zimmerman's eye with one of those skittles right? I wonder if you would be as critical of the kid in this situation if your child, or a family member, were being stalked by a strange black man in a vehicle, attempted to flee, was pursued by that black man, and then shot to death. I'm sure a lot of the people here trying to defend Zimmerman with statements like "innocent until proven guilty," (An ironic statement given the assumptions Zimmerman made about his victim, and one that does not apply to the court of public opinion.) would be demanding the swift execution of the thug if that were the case.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • DC

      Yes. It's entirely possible that the 17 year old kid this grown man was stalking with a gun in his possession defended himself well enough that his attacker became afraid of him and killed him.

      Where do people like you come from anyway?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveB

      Then Zimmerman should not have approached him! The fact that he carries a gun does not make him a off duty police officer

      March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat M

      Maggie, I bet you clutch your purse really tight when you walk past an African-American person. You are probably fearful of anyone of color. I bet you also think it's okay to kill a person of color out of fear, right? Your comment plays right into the stereotype many young, African-American males face in this country, that they are aggressive, on edge, seeking to rob and pillage, and ready to snap at any moment. Trayvon was trusting that he was safe in that neighborhood. He had every right to be there. You, Miss Maggie, have it all wrong. You need sensitivity training and the last thing you need is a licensed weapon.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      I wouldn't be surprised if Martin WAS pretending to have a gun. If he could bluff his way out of being abducted or murdered by making Zimmerman think he was armed, he should have. The poor kid was only guilty of WWBIH (walking while black in hoodie).

      March 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Zaperdon

    I think this article is wrong in the sense that it assumes that Zimmerman was the aggressor but we don't know that and the police seem to think Martin was the initial combatant. Also, Ms. Edgar suggests that it is Martin that is screaming for help just before the gunshot. Again, this is contrary to the witness reports that I have read about. Thirdly, she fails to mention the most telling evidence and that is the physical injuries to Zimmerman that required medical treatment. Also, what isn't being mentioned here is the fact that there is evidence to suggest that Martin had extensive involvement with the Florida juvenile courts. Although there is no criminal record accessible to the public in relation to Martin, there is evidence of his parents being summoned to family court on multiple occasions in regards to their son's Juvenile court record. Also, the article fails to mention that Martin was suspended from school for 10 days at the time of his death and that was why he was visiting his father at the time. I wish this whole episode hadn't happened, but it did and we need to follow the evidence before jumping to any conclusions. Writing misleading or inaccurate articles won't do anything but enrage the public over something that may or may not of happened.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • D.WOODS

      Zimmerman may have needed to seek medical treatment because of wounds but that doesn't justify him shooting to kill. Martin had no weapons and felt threatened so it was his right under that law to defend himself. If Zimmerman felt that threatened by someone (who he was bigger than and obviously had an advantage of a gun) he couldve shot to injure and give him time to call the police rather than shooting to kill. Martin's juvenile record is irrelevant in this case because he was unarmed and on grounds where he belonged. No matter how you try to put Zimmerman was wrong.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • kurtinco

      Zimmerman stalked his victim first in a van, then on foot after being specifically ordered not to by authorities. He is a murder and deserves life in prison for taking a young boy's life. Are you really trying to justify this murder by suggesting because the boy was suspended, which was clearly unknown to murderer-Zimmerman, that he deserved to be stalked and ultimately gunned down by an over sized man with an over sized sense of his own self importance with a fully loaded semi-automatic weapon? Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Rider

      It doesn't matter what the kid's record was. Zimmerman was specifically told to not follow him, yet he did, and with a loaded handgun no less. Even if Martin attacked Zimmerman first, don't you think that it is most likely because a large man with a gun was following him? There is no way to justify what Zimmerman did. He is a coward hiding behind the fact that no one can dispute his claim because the only true eye witness is dead.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • ConcernedParent

      It would appear (based on the tapes) that Mr. Zimmerman became the aggressor when he stated that these #@% always get away, left his vehicle (with a loaded weapon) and chased after this kid. In addition whatever issues this kid may have had in school does not give Mr. Zimmerman the right to chase him down. What crime did this child commit?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • tonya

      OK Zaperdon, are you saying that the bias here is against Mr. Zimmerman. Based on the information your stating I hope not. Just reading what you have written, I'm not gonna even review it because it will never hold up in a court of law. First reason untill you say Trayvon was guilty as per the Dept of Justice, your gonna have to prove without a shadow of doubt he was guilty. Now the information you bring forth juvenile records and school suspensions wont serve as a defense and here's why what your saying is so absurd: regardless of the FACTS on why I'm in your neighborhood doesn't give you authority to make a decision based on pre-cons:the reason why Trayvon was on suspension if he was, doesn't have anything to do with a walk to the corner grocery store to buy snacks that I would assume every American has the right to do: You bringing up such foolishness as a rebuttal to murder is VERY IRRITATING; you can not justify a murder with those pre-cons; if that was the case America would be a nazi forum; what your saying is hash and shouldn't be apart of this debate; he has no convictions of any sort, Mr Zimmerman has ben convicted and had it expunged to protect his ability to be a cop of som sort; your talking misdemeanor juvenile activity that which to as of this dat has not produced any convictions and won't because Trayvon is gone; as for school suspensions if that had any merit it would be bias because 40percent of American kids are suspended every year. You would need more than that to support your conclusions That "Trayvon" as you stated was the "combatant". Dude be for-real now go wake up obviously your dreaming!

      March 20, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • DC

      So what? Being suspended from school means he deserves to be shot in the street like a dog? Have been arrested (for what? Trespassing? Curfew violation? Drinking?) means that he deserves to be chased down and shot while screaming for help that never came?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Sadly, this article is right on point. From Mr. Martin's perspective, he was the one being harrassed. Mr. Zimmerman may have, indeed received injuries from Mr. Martin standing his ground. And they may appear defensive because Mr. Zimmerman provoked the attack and then had to "defend" himself from Mr. Martin trying to protect himself. I think the most important parts of this story have to do with the 911 operater saying to him, "Are you following him? We don't need you to do that." And then Mr. Martin can be heard to say, "They're always getting away with it." Clearly he had it in his mind to put a stop to people always getting away with it. At that point, from Mr. Martin's perspective, Mr. Zimmerman became the aggressor, and as this article rightly notes, Mr. Martin then had every right to protect himself.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
      • tonya

        Clearly stated. It's clear-thinking individuals like this that makes America one of the best places to live even in it's current conditions;America is still one of the best.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
      • Zaperdon

        You are speculating

        March 20, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandy

      It doesn't matter what kind of trouble that boy may or may not have gotten into in the past. What matters is on that night he wasn't doing anything wrong. HE was being stalked by a stranger. He had a right to defend himself. Zimmerman had NO right to be stalking or harrassing that kid and he sure as all damn had no right to shoot him. All the articulate counter arguments in the world don't conceal this common sense fact.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • FactsPleazDC

      Zaperdon – You're not serious, right? Zimmerman knew none to this. Facts are – can of Arizona Ice Tea and a bag of Skittles; chased by someone not a cop; his screams for help RECORDED on the 911 tapes; shot and killed 70 feet from his stepmother's home.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • dlaw

      let us assume that Martin was the aggressor as you suggest..let us also assume that the interpretation of Florida's self defense law's is accurate. It would still appear that Zimmerman was wrong for any action he took after he exited his vehicle..If there were evidence to support the conclusion that Martin punched Zimmerman in the face while he was in his vehicle, then forcefully opened Zimmermans door and continued the assault and Zimmerman then fired his weapon I would agree...self defense "could" possibly be justified, otherwise the elephant in the room is why did Zimmerman pursue him?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Alana

        BOOM!! You said it all

        March 20, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • NJ

      The article assumes zimmerman was the aggressor because he WAS THE AGGRESSOR, there was no logical reason for him to leave his vehicle and follow this young man, he could have tracked him just as easily in his vehicle; the only purpose for him to get out was for confrontation; and placing myself in the young man's position I'd be scared as hell too if some random guy came out of nowhere accosting me most likely not even announcing who he is, his comments made on the 911 call wreak of racial profiling; this man has no business acting as an agent of the police, and the deapartment should be sued for every penny allowed.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • JohnQuest

      The Boys criminal record has no Bearing on this case.

      Self-Defense appears to be in question, consider the following:

      Is it reasonable to believe that the person screaming for help is the 250lb ARMED Mr. Z or the 140lb UNARMED Mr. M?

      If you conclude that the screaming was Mr. M. (as I do) then the self defense claim for Mr. Z is questionable (read Big Fat Lie)

      March 20, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Jones10

      Take race out of the question and Zimmerman is clearly at fault. Zimmerman is clearly the aggressor – pursued in car and then on foot. Large, Adult Man with Lethal Weapon chasing Smaller Unarmed Youth – that's hunter and prey. True they haven't positively identified the voices on the tape, but if it were Zimmerman screaming immediately before the gunshot, the screams would've been something like "STOP! OR I"LL SHOOT!", not cries for somebody to "Help Me!" Think the voice analysis is just to dot the i's and cross the t's. As for Zimmerman being hurt – how many cases nowadays are solved because the victim managed to fight back before his/her death and some DNA evidence was found. Many victims fight back – that's just the instinct of self preservation kicking in. Lastly, neither Zimmerman nor Martin's past actions have anything to do with this. Neither had any knowledge of the other and was not a factor. Even if Martin was a thug with 2-strikes against him walking down the street, that didn't give Zimmerman the right to chase, start a physical confrontation and kill him. That would be vigilante justice – and the reason it is outlawed is because people can make mistakes and kill innocent people like Martin was. Murder is murder – no matter who the people are or what their history.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • bufnymom

      Zimmermen was the agreessor the second he got out of his truck, with a gun. Don't we all teach our children about stanger danger? I taught my daughter from a young age if a stanger approaches you on the street to yell, scream, punch, kick and make as much noise as possible. From the 911 tapes I have heard this is exactly what Martin did. What he was suppose to do, defend himself from a 240lb man,in the dark whom he did not know and who had no authority to detain him. Zimmerman must go to jail for justice to be served although it will never bring this young man back.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • chippy1

      so tell me how a 90lb teenage boy becomes such a threat to a hulking adult-with a gun-that the adult has to shoot him?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Jose' Valiente

      1. It makes no sense when you can follow a stranger with your gun, demand what he/she is doing. then if he/she defends his/herslef, you can kill the person claiming self defense when you were the instigator of the conflict. that means that if you want to kill someone, just follow the person, threaten the person and if the person tries to defend his/herslef and then just shoot him/her. you can claim self defense and get away with murder.
      2. What would happen if Zimmerman was black and the kid was white? Would Zimmerman be in jail right now?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat M

      Okay Zaperdon, so a suspension record equals a death sentence? Is this what you're trying to say? Vigilante justice is justified because Trayvon was on suspension from school? OMG. I cannot believe you are trying to say that Trayvon Martin played a role in his being shot. The only role he played was being a young, African-American male walking in a relative's gated community, wearing a hoody in the rain. His role was that of an innocent victim of the racist, fear mongering, gun toting paranoid police wannabee.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • bigdil

      You are right on. This commentary could be correct but, frankly, nobody really knows yet. This opinion, and most of the comments that follow, are nothing but ignorant race-bating from both sides. It's too bad that no one seems to understand the concept of balanced and responsible speech anymore.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  26. woodofpine

    Give Florida condo or community assn. nazis guns and here you are! Give a man a whistle and he'll blow it, give him a handgun...

    March 20, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  27. Dre

    I don't understand why this man is still free. The kid had NO obligation to talk to Zimmerman. Zimmerman was a armed stranger to this kid...of course he ran. He was running for his life!!! I'm sure the kid was scared to death, of course he was going to fight once Zimmerman caught him. He didn't know who or what Zimmerman wanted with him!! Zimmerman was not a cop!! Zimmerman was much bigger than him and could obviously overpower him. Why shoot him? The cops were on the way..all he had to do was apprehend him and wait for the police to arrive. The poor kid was screaming for his life!!! I don't like to play the race card, but we all know if the races were reversed the black man would have gotten arrested on the spot! No one can deny that!! Where is the justice???? This case blows my mind.....

    March 20, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  28. bigdil

    What this situation does not need is more spin from commentators with clear political agendas and only superficial knowledge of (or interst in) the facts.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  29. woodofpine

    This is the stuff one gets when the NRA sleeps with the Tea Party, ambiguous unnecessary red neck gun freak laws! I'm a Florida attorney that owns hand guns. When this law was passed, we could see the train coming a mile away.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  30. Joanne

    Really Jaden, what is it with you and this "monkey love" comment. It's really offensive and telling.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  31. Patriot1

    We don't have all the facts. However, the fact that Zimmerman left his vehicle after being told by the Police not to ostensibly under the guise of neighborhood watch, and then shot an unarmed person does not meet common sense.

    By leaving his vehicle in pursuit of somebody means that exactly, he pursued the kid. Now he is hiding behind a law.

    Having been a former community association president, you can have a community watch without weapons, and if you do feel the need, nonlethal varieties would be the next step here. I have never met Mr. Zimmerman, but the fact is he put himself in that spot, the fact the was packing irrespective of the law, and that he pursued the victim, well, hard to argue self defense.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  32. Steve

    how nice of this broad to lay out what exactly happened!
    she doesn't know a thing. all speculation to this point
    seems like she is not following her black principle of innocent until proven guilty
    the kid was up to no good

    March 20, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Z_2k

      "the kid was up to no good"

      How can you state this ? You have no factual basis for this statement. Is your name Zimmerman ?
      Prove this, or retract it. Put up, or shut up.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Panther

      Role Reversal...

      March 20, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Simeon Namore

      You're a dimwitted troll, Steve. Also, you should stay off my lawn.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Saying

      yep, walking home from the convenience store with Skittles and a can of iced tea, about 90 feet from his soon-to-be stepmother's door...sounds to me like the kid was up to no good...Steve, I am sure glad to get your non-racist, purely objective and fact-based verdict...NOT

      Just Saying

      March 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • kamanakapu

      quote: seems like she is not following her black principle of innocent until proven guilty
      the kid was up to no good

      First you propound the 'innocent until proven guilty' principal than charge him for being 'up to no good'. Which is it?
      Was he 'innocent until proven guilty' or was 'the kid was up to no good?'

      March 20, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • shootmyownfood

      Black principle? Seriously? "Innocent until proven guilty" is the law, dude, not some ACLU thing. It may not always look that way, but it IS the law.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • chippy1

      steve were you watching the action with your personal predator drone?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      That's clever, Steve. First when you disagree with someone demean them. That always gives your argument more weight. Secondly, I'd suspect you'd most likely be the first one screaming for "innocent until proven guilty" if it were your rights on the line. I suppose one could construe that I'm demeaning you with that comment, but I make it in response to your word "black" in that sentence. Our founding fathers meant for rights to apply to all of us, and it's terribly sad that you would think they apply specifically to minorities, when in reality isn't it sad that they were actually envisioned in a time when our country did not afford such rights to persons of non-caucasion extraction. Sadly you don't seem able to comprehend any of that, do you?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  33. Billy Davis

    The Police Chief should be fired for trying to defend a murderer. That's not his job.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  34. meagan

    JUST PLAIN SAD. SOME PARANOID IDIOT KILLED AN INNOCENT KID AND IS GOING TO GET AWAY WITH IT. LETS HOPE THE FEDS STEP IN AND DO THE RIGHT THING. THIS FLORIDA POLICE DEPT. HAS CERTAINLY LEFT THE COUNTRY DOWN ON THIS ONE. RIP TRAYVON.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • chippy1

      don't you know florida is the "plantation state"? its on the license plates

      March 20, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  35. Chris Mainard

    Thank you for such a common sense write up. I am amazed and appalled when things that seem so CLEAR are muddied by BS. Where I come from, you don't use a gun unless you are faced with one. A can of Arizona Ice Tea a gun does not make. Rot in Hell Zimmerman.
    Signed, disgusted white guy from Boston.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  36. Tired of this in Florida

    Just how many "Martins" have to be killed in Florida before someone is properly prosecuted, under the law?

    March 20, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  37. Dolly

    Well written and reasoned article. Zimmerman will ultimately be charged with murder and a hate crime. It is not a crime to walk around wearing a hoodie in the rain carrying a bag of Skittles and a Arizona Tea. I propose they line up Zimmerman and Bates the guy who killed the 16 Afganistans and execute them both with one bullet once they are convicted. Flip a coin who stands in front. They are both self-appointed judges, juries and executioners.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  38. bird

    Imagine this scenario, fools like Carolyn Edgar stop making suppositions and deal in facts. Where is she when an unarmed White person is killed during a robbery by a black person? That doesn't hit her radar? It will never cease to amaze me how these bottom-dwellers come out of the woodwork whenever they can try to use race to their advantage.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Get a life

      Dear Bird (brain), this unarmed BOY, was shot not because he was robbed, but because he was black. plain and simple, so its not the same

      March 20, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • woodofpine

      Whose the bottom dweller? The victim here wasn't a 'robber', he was a convenience store customer walking home. The shooter defied law enforcement instructions and initiated a conforontation that ended in shooting. What are the odds that a white kid would've been followed?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Tampa

      Zimmerman is a murderer plain and simple, and hiding behind a self defense law does not change that. Zimmerman was told by the police during the 911 call HE made, to STOP following the teenager. He didn't. He is just another self righteous beligerant white who himself needs to be executed for murder. Before you run off at your ignorant mouth some more, I'm white, and a RESPONSIBLE gun owner.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
      • Rol

        This zimmerman fellow sounds like a trigger happy vigilante. this poor kid was enjoying the night watching the game, heading to the store at the half to get some refreshments and this goon thinks he is Charles Bronson and kills him?? This guy should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and the homeowners association that is associated with this animal should be sued to the hilt by this poor family!!! What a shame!! and I am a right wing, gun owning citizen. Sorry this is why we do have gun ownership laws to screen out goons like this from ever owning handguns and terrorizing the citizenry.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Just Saying

        Dan, I agree with you. For what it is worth, I am also white. Unlike you, I don't own a gun, but I know how to use one and have, in fact, carried one in the military. What Zimmerman did was flat out wrong. Based on the tapes, he was concerned that the kid was black and he disobeyed instructions from law enforcement not to follow or confront the kid. he is guilty of, at a minimum, manslaughter. It should be up to a jury to decide how high his level of guilt rises. It could rise to second degree murder.

        Just Saying...

        March 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Stacy

      Name 2 incidents where this has happened?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • F1484

      "It will never cease to amaze me how these bottom-dwellers come out of the woodwork whenever they can try to use race to their advantage."

      Oh, the irony.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
      • Sadness for Trayvon and the Martin family

        Yeah, only white people should get to use race to their advantage!

        March 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • juskishi

      i completely agree. it's funny how no matter what, people like carolyn edgar automatically jump to the defense of another black person SOLELY because he/she is black. there really is a racism problem in this country but it's not whites that are the cause of it.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
      • ConcernedParent

        Agreed there is a major race problem in this country. All around. Every race has individuals in it with issues regarding race. However, saying it isn't a white issue is just silly and not based on reality. A child is dead after buying candy. Let's focus on that and not trying to add more pain. We should be better than this people.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Hustles

      Bird why don't u just do us all a favor and fly away? The subject of the story is not questioning the fact that both white and black people cause harm or death to each other. Where in America can a black man committ such act and not be arrested and prosecuted? Not in this lifetime, so when society keep seeing the unbias justice people like you feel like you can get away with murdering folks. But people are getting sick and tired of being victimized without justice being served.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Simeon Namore

      I note that you put "White" in caps and "black" in lower case. Why is that?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Teresa

      Mr. Bird. Please acknowledge that all races have their criminals, but not all blacks are thugs, not all whites are serial killers, etc,, (just examples). I have 5 brothers, all educated, financially secure, with "A"student kids that may or may not at times wear a hoodie. You're answer implies it's OK to stereotype.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • kamanakapu

      Only the white people can be racists because it is only they who maintain that they are a separate (and superior) race from that of the afro-centric (human) race inasmuch as their white ancestors did not come from africa but came from another (indeterminable) planet.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
      • Carl

        That's very funny and I like it. As a white person, who scandusly enough, believes in evolution, I enjoy reveling in the fact with one of my coworkers that we ALL technically came from Africa.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • VSM

      She wouldnt have had to comment, seeing as the black person would have went to jail!

      March 20, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jose' Valiente

      If the shooter was black and the unarmed young man a white kid. the shooter would be in jail facing charges

      March 20, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  39. Alberto

    Give me 5 minutes with this Zimmerman coward...

    March 20, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  40. Derrick Reaves

    A similar law was just updated here in Mn. As I ponder the few facts I know of this case 2 things come to mind. A) shouldn't neighborhood watch 'captains' or watch people in general KNOW the people in their neighborhoods they are watching? B) was it 'reasonable' for Zimmerman to feel his life was threatened? This MAN outweighed this BOY by 100 lbs.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  41. WMoonFox

    "Zimmerman left his vehicle holding a loaded gun and began pursuing Martin on foot."

    There are no facts to support this assertion. The author purports that Zimmerman initiated the attack based on this sole assumption, which the only surviving witness disputes. Carrying a concealed weapon is perfectly lawful for anyone with a license to do so, and it is in no way the same as brandishing, which is suggested by the language above.

    It may be reasonable to assume a defensive posture when somebody gets out of their vehicle and proceeds to question you on the side of the road, but it is not reasonable to beat the crap out of the guy for it - that's escalation at best, and grounds for violent response from Mr. Zimmerman.

    Again, I would like to point out that we do not have all of the facts in this case. Inventing "facts" to fill this void, as the author does here, benefits nobody in the long run.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Z_2k

      Would you then concede that Zimmerman did in fact leave his vehicle and pursue Martin on foot, and in possesion of a loaded gun ?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
      • WMoonFox

        I believe that Zimmerman himself concedes this point. Having a loaded gun and brandishing it are two completely different concepts, though. Simply being in possession of a pistol does not imply ill-intent.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  42. Jay

    Ms. Edgar- Wow. Since you were clearly there and know all of the facts with certainty, you should get right down to the police station and file a report. Thankfully your eye-witness testimony will clear this up quickly. Oh wait...you mean you weren't actually there? Have really no idea what you're talking about? Yikes...pretty scary, really. How about we let the investigation to run its course? When actual FACTS are known, your piece may be spot on. Of course, it may not be. Lets all get up off the "jump to conclusions mat" and see how this plays out before pretending like you have a clue as to what happened there....

    March 20, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Thomas (Miami)

      For all of you who have blasted this story – I invite you to look VERY CLOSELY at the very first line of the article: "Imagine the following scenario:" – Before you are so quick to destroy the author – how about understanding the meaning of the very first sentence, the author was simply painting a scenario. All of the suppositions she makes fits the scenario she has created. Is the scenario true or not – we don't know? But the state attorney's office should consider it (and all other facts and scenarios) when performing an investigation.

      How about a little common sense and thorough reading before you throw your bias and subjective comments into the mix. Just saying....

      March 20, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
      • Jay

        Imagine this scenario...someone named Thomas, from Miami responds to a comment from someone named Jay. Purely hypothetical, mind you...

        lol...seriously?

        March 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Thomas (Miami)

        And your point is.....what? Investigation by its very nature allows for the creation of different scenarios and then analyzing facts in evidence to see if they support the hypothesis. You then eliminate those hypothesis if they don't fit the facts – then arrive at a conclusion.

        So once again, I ask you...your point is...what?

        March 20, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
      • juskishi

        actually, if you had any common sense you'd realize the scenario in which she is suggesting is the first 2 paragraphs of the article. after that, she is attempting to imply facts from her own personal opinion. last i checked, she didn't witness anything but is solely jumping on the race bandwagon.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Thomas (Miami)

        Since we are attacking "common sense," yes its true – she started her argument based on a supposition and then try to argue facts that are "still in question" – but it does not take away from the fact that she painted "ONE POSSIBLE SCENARIO" and painted the basis of her article around that supposition. The article's problem isn't one of opinion – its one of journalism – if she had maintained the initial thread of her article "imagine this scenario" and painted her suppositions around the premise of "what if," – we wouldn't be having this discussion. That's the fault of the article – its original premise is sound. And after reading the article several times, I don't see anywhere where she is bringing race into the issue – where she specifically said race was a motivating factor in this crime – so how is she jumping on the race bandwagon????

        March 20, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat M

      Jay, you imbecile. You say "let the investigation take place." What investigation are you speaking of...the one not done by the Sanford Police Dept. or the one in process with the U.S. Justice Dept.? I'm sure you were talking about the police dept.'s case, which there was none, which is why the investigation is now in DOJ's hands. Use your damn common sense. Trayvon Martin had skittles, with 2 "t's", not a 9 with 2 "m's"!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  43. Kay

    Anyone who thinks this shooting has nothing to do with race is kidding themselves, and have obviously NEVER experienced being mistreated based on race. It's not a pleasant feeling.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • juskishi

      very true. i have been the target of racism many times living in downtown cleveland. i have been called names and pushed by black men solely because i am a white guy. groups will hover around you and try to instigate violence while one of them records what's going on on their cell phone camera.

      how come black people and the naacp always support a black person no matter the evidence or lack there of? i'm white and don't care the race of someone who commits a crime but wait to hear the facts before trying to judge for myself what really happened. it's just the oj simpson trial when black people around the country celebrated when he was found innocent. why celebrate? everyone knows he did it. yet because he was black and the victims were white, it was reason to celebrate? truly pathetic.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
      • DC

        Poor, poor you. It's so hard being white in America.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
      • juskishi

        to DC

        oh, so racism is ok as long as it's against white people? i see how it works. maybe if the al sharptons and jesse jacksons o the world would stop playing the race card all the time and only speaking out when a black person is a victim of a crime and not when they are the one committing the crime (especially when it's a racially modivated one ie "hate crime") then maybe we wouldn't have the racial separation we have in this country.

        poor poor you for feeling racism is ok as long as it's against white people.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
      • juskishi

        to DC

        oh, so racism is ok as long as it's against white people? i see how it works. maybe if the al sharptons and jesse jacksons o the world would stop playing the race card all the time and only speaking out when a black person is a victim of a crime and not when they are the one committing the crime (especially when it's a racially motivated one ie "hate crime") then maybe we wouldn't have the racial separation we have in this country.

        poor poor you for feeling racism is ok as long as it's against white people.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
      • VSM

        juskishi, as an African_American, im sorry these things have happened to you, but are you saying that you've never had a confrontation with another race (other than black)? Regardless of your experience, what happened to this child is wrong. My sister was assaulted by a white man, but I don't think all white men are rapists. Find it in your heart to think of this child as an individual. He wasnt the one who attacked you, so why blame him for what some other black person did to you?

        March 20, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
      • hopper

        The racism in this comments thread is crazy. You people reek of it.

        Yeah, it's blacks who have been racists against whites. Give me a break.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
      • larryag

        you are a moron

        March 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  44. coder

    its appalling what happened.....but what does it matter??

    All government will do what's in 'their' best interest – not the interests of other humans

    Governments are not people.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      The American government is SUPPOSED to be "of, by, and for the people," and if you feel that it is not you must ask WHY? We can't throw our hands up in despair, we have to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. My guess would be greed. These politicians are so in cahoots with big business, everything they do is to benefit big business. The sad thing is, they convince us "little people" that it is in OUR best interest. We have to wake up.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  45. Really?

    Absolutely shameful. Seems as if when this country takes a few steps forward, we also take twice as many steps back.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  46. Jen

    The victim blaming and excuse for Zimmerman here are appalling. If this was a black guy who had shot a white 17 year old, this wouldn't even be a discussion and all of you know it.He killed an innocent kid in cold blood; the kid is screaming for help. He deserves to go away forever.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike H.

      Makes you wonder why the Sanford Police Dept. is not seeing the common-sense in what happened? This was a cold-blooded murder, pure and simple, and police cover-up.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • juskishi

      if this was a black guy who killed a 17 year old white kid, you'd have the naacp, al sharpton, jesse jackson and the rest speaking out that the shooter is really the victim and that the white kid was secretly a klan member and the black guy was simply defending himself but is being portrayed as the criminal by the racist media. THAT's what would happen because that actually is what happens in that scenario.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
      • VSM

        Ask the many black men in jail for crimes they committed where Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson were when the were incarcerated. I guarantee you there were no Sharptons or Jacksons coming to their aid. You do the crime, you do the time. They get involved only when there is an outcry from our community that justice is not being served fairly. I thought I might be able to reason with you, but it's clear that you are the reason for Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons. We need them to protect us from you and people like you. Unfortunately, people like you, are also in law enforcement, they're judges, bosses or other people who have the authority to significantly affect our lives. Don't go to your grave with a chip on your shoulder, get some counseling.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  47. sp3

    finally somebody pointed to the fact that it was the victim who stood his ground. Perhaps Floridians will eventually recognize that there is something wrong with the law which determines who is right by the fact who is the last man standing. Wild West is a beautiful myth but living the myth in the real life leads to nasty consequences

    March 20, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  48. John

    It's absurd that one armed citizen is following another unarmed citizen. I don't want any armed people following me. I don't carry a gun and don't need other armed citizens following me. Do we need that? This person needs capital punishment for murder. The victim's life is taken away at a very young age. The victim can never get out of prison in 20 yrs like this murderer will. It's absurd.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike H.

      Right on. Totally absurd this vigilante is getting away with murder.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      You know what a concealed weapon is? One can carry a gun in his/her pocket or in his/her belt. With all the guns in the US one cannot be too careful about who is carrying and who is not. Road rage can lead to a shootout on the highway or streets. Too much alcohol can lead to shots being fired at a local bar.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  49. SteveFL

    First, most posters must get their facts straight along with the author of this story. I live in Florida and I am a staunch defender of the Stand your ground law...the writer states "Sanford Police Department haven't determined they have no basis to prosecute Zimmerman.". This is a blatantly false accusation. In Florida the State Attorney, not the police decide the charges that someone will face, this case is still under review by the State Attorney.

    There is a similar case a few counties away where a young black kid unlawfully brought a gun to a local bowling alley. When a fight broke out, he shot another teenager also black, he was not arrested and a decision was made not to prosecute under the stand your ground law. This law is color blind.

    March 20, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Reggie

      I much money will I win if I guess you was white and making this statement. Also, there is not such thing as sin and everybody love everybody. Wake up!!

      March 20, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
      • English = Good

        Please learn English before posting a response.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • RIchyFL

      Thank you Steve. Nice post, you would think and Attorney would know how the system works, might work that way in New York, they severely restrict the right to carry and defend yourself, probably why they have so much violent crime as compared to Florida. Here is another attorney I would not hire.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
      • F1484

        I wouldn't go touting Florida's low crime statistics seeing how it appears people have used laws like this to literally get away with murder.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Mom23

        How is it defending yourself when YOU persue THEM? If he would have stayed in his car and not followed the CHILD AS THE 911 DISPATCHER INSTRUCTED HIM TO DO, what is there to defend?

        March 20, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
      • juljo

        You ought to check your facts RichyFL.

        US Census reports. Florida's violent crime rate is nearly double that of New York.

        http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0308.pdf

        March 20, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
      • SteveFL

        Once again for the ones here who can't seem to understand. Zimmerman may indeed still face charges, it is up to the state attorney. However, one thing seriously in Zimmermans favor is that he was bloodied in the face and the back of his head. Therefore, there was some altercation. He was not told by the police to stand down....he was told by a 911 dispatcher, who in Florida has less authority than a crime watch patrol.

        There is nothing illegal about confronting someone to determine their intentions...it is from there that this situation got out of hand. Zimmerman was licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Florida. In order to receive this license you must undergo background checks and classroom training. He is not some yahoo, running around with a loaded gun.

        Let the State Attorney do their job before you criticize, Zimmerman may face criminal charges. If not, you can be confident it has nothing to do with race. Do yourself and other readers a favor and read up on the state attorney: http://www.sa18.state.fl.us/nwbio.htm....RlchyFl thanks for your complementing post.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
      • tonya

        Just bullish. OK I understand you feel like you have a sense of education that has given you grounds to make declarations like this, because you are a facts kind a guy or however you would say that, we know types like you very well, sorry for stero-typing I'm just fed up with stupid educated bullish. I'm eductaed as well and before I consider my education, my race, my worthiness in all things I consider the victim. They should teach this in law school. If I was a lawyer which I'm about 2 years away from, I wouldn't take a case where If I had proof that the victim was actually a victim of a crime. To me that's pointless and is irregardless to human life and the prospects of it. You make cases for individuals who have been wronged by another individual or someone who deems if neccesary a second chance. By the mere fact this man just emptied out on this kid makes him prosecutable in my book and I wouldn't promote his freedom or argue for him in court. If things were the way he said they happened why hasn't his attorney made a public statement to the family and community. Is the indidvidual sorrounded by vigilanties or what. We haven't herad from this guy, only jerks that insists they have enough facts to support Mr. Zimmerman acted in self-defense;like get a bloodied nose and scratches behind his head, and WHERE are the PITCURES to prove this. If it was so great of a beaten he recieved from this kid, the first protocol would be take pitcures any law enforcement personnel can you tell you that, I sincerely regret that people like you are still in that shouting match about the so-called evidence of the "beating" I DOUBT that kid beat Mr. Zimmerman like your saying beyond a shadow of a doubt and maybe you believe that too but are too racist to admit it.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      This guy got out his car followed the young man with a loaded gun while on the phone with 911, 911 dispatcher clearly instructed the man not to pursue this young man that police is on their way and he clearly disregarded their orders. And now he claims self defense? SOMETHING IS CLEARLY WRONG WITH THIS SCENARIO!

      March 20, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      What's the body count for the thirty years war, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and all the other wars fought to stop "heresy", Cardinal?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • VSM

      Steve, would Zimmerman's face be bloodied had he stayed in his car as instructed by authorites?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  50. Chris

    Ms. Edgar needs to get her facts straight. In several places in her article she states Zimmerman was a "neighborhood watch captain". Several articles I have read state Zimmerman was, in fact, not even a member of this particular neighborhood watch AND had been told by the police dispatcher to remain in his vehicle. If you go by this information, Zimmerman should be charged with, and tried for, first degree murder. Why this has not happened is a complete and total miscarriage of justice. The chief of police in this case needs to be fired, along with anyone else involved.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  51. j

    I wasn't there. From what I have read this was a bad situation, made worse by the Neighborhood Watch system; BUT, I have to believe that had the young man simply turned and explained who he was, where he was going, etc., the situation would have ended better. It seems to me that the Neighborhood Watch folks are not well enough trained as the normal protocol is for them to SPOT the situation and call the P O L I C E .... not take action on their own. That is the protocol under which most Neighborhood Watch groups are organized. Were I the Chief of Police of Sanford, FL, I would be pulling the Neighborhood Watch people [who are usually organized under the Americorps system] in for additional training as well a evaluation, background checks and other such safeguards. It seems to me that this situation could have been avoided by more training. BTW, I hail from St. Augustine, just up the road, and remember well the mentality of people in FL. I have had to use lethal force both as an officer and a private citizen...so I have an idea of what Mr. Zimmerman is feeling. Again, better trained and disciplined people make a difference. Neighborhood Watch is a valuable tool for law enforcement which is always shorthanded when the members are well trained.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • alex

      This man's own statements in the 911 call ,would at least suggest a bias : . These what? Teens? Pedestrians? Blacks?
      A bias-motivated crime is a hate crime. The Federal Government has the authority and the duty to investigate it. And they should.This type of violence against the most vulnerable in our society : minorities,women,kids ( any color)cannot be accepted as "normal" ,ever. The race of the "captain" is irrelevant. The race of this child doesn't matter but what the captain thought of it , does matter. Bias especially in someone walking around with a gun and ready to use it, matters.I am white, all I see in this kid is a child the age of my own who went to buy candies and was killed.It demands a serious investigation as any other murder.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
      • tonya

        This guy J is a vigilante of some kind, He is willing to support the statement of Mr. Zimmerman before giving any of the evidence a thorough investigation. He is on the wrong side of society, for sure. I thank God that there are people from every community in America that supports Justice For Trayvon and people like this absurd vigilante won't have the majority say in decisions concerning this case in the weeks to follow.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • mang

      if your kid was being followed around in a car, and then chased on foot, by a stranger, would you expect them to stand there and answer questions, or would you want them to get out of there? if zimmerman was a cop, sure, martin should have spoken to him and answered his questions. but he was NOT a cop, he was just some creep with a gun following a kid.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
      • rc

        Perfectly stated. No one should have the right to confront anyone else with a weapon unless it is a police officer and they identify themselves as a police officer. On the other hand, We should not rush to judgment until we hear all the facts, not just those the media is reporting.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Did you teach your children (assuming you have them) not to talk to strangers? Would you want your child to stop and answer a strange man approaching them, or would you want him to run like crazy?

      March 20, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Docc

        Thanks Kay. I was waiting for someone to say that. What if this guy was a kidnapper and not a neighborhood watch person.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I'm sure the kid was taught not to talk to strangers. Why would you stop and answer questions for some nut who's following you and being agressive. That's your cue to run, not answer questions.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • walkintheirshoes

      seriously???? Zimmerman ws NOT in a law enforcement uniform and there was NO VALID REASON for this child to stop and show his 'traveling papers' to this stranger following him home-he must've been terrified!!!! You should be ashamed of yourself for even slightly suggesting this kid was at fault!! This man needs to go to prison and the officers involved in the investigation need to be fired. period.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • tonya

      You are absurd. We can tell by your statement you are involved in Law enforcement. As far as being short-handed on cops that's why neighborhood watch programs are needed; Mr. Zimmerman wasn't a registered neighborhood watch captain and I dont care and nobody else about being short-handed it is never an excuse to settle for mediocre wanna be law enforcement personnel allow them authority to kill and then stand by them when you know a s well as everyone else they have acted in error of some kind;whether it's hate, a mistake, or an accident; being short-handed is not an excuse or reason to support and legitalize their error. Mr. Zimmerman has admitted to the murder but he has yet to apologize at any level of compassion which invigorates the debate around him killing Trayvon Martin. He looks to be a rouge suspect and his intentions are becoming more visisble as this case get's investigated more better. I suggest you reach out to Mr. Zimmerman in a professionaly way ask him to allow himself to be questioned and make a public appeal to his community, he owes that to the Sanford community and of course he owes a lot more to Trayvon Martin's family, meaning a probable cause of intent or a appeal of some kind.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Shan

      Trayvon Mitchell had NO obligation to stop and answer any questions that Mr. Zimmerman asked him. Zimmerman is NOT an officer of the law. I think it is unfair to state that "had he stopped and answered Zimmermans queations" things might have turned out differently. Zimmerman was WRONG!

      March 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • VSM

      Do you have children? I do. The first thing you teach them is not to talk to strangers. Put yourself in this kids shoes. It's late at night, he's being followed. The man, at some point, approaches him. How about you walk down my street, and I ask you if you belong here. First of all, last I checked this was a "free" country. What gives him the right to question anyone about their comings and goings in a public place. A lot of "ifs". If the boy would have just answered the man's questions...if mr. zimmerman would have stayed in the car...oh how about..if the boy would have never visited the gated community in the first place...sure things would be different. But the fact is there is no law that says Treyvon had to speak to stranger. There is no law that says that he can't be in that particular neighborhood. However, we do have laws about taking another individuals life.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  52. demarian

    Jaden wow we know you are a racist by your response but please to attempt to read or listen to the 911 calls zimmerman was never chased, you have no right even if you are a police men to demand someone to show you whats in their pockets unless they have committed a crime but in your simple mind being black is crime to you. Please explain how zimmerman was justified in killing an unarmed innocent AMERICAN Citizen. i know how you racist love to claim to be patriotic. also please provide your address and i will personally show you how the military trains us how to shoot. one shot one kill

    March 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  53. HeyZues

    Nice analysis. Now please educate me as to how and why licenses to carry a concealed weapon are dished out? It seems from this just about anybody can get one?

    March 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Tom Maguire

    "You decide to make a late-night candy run to your local 7-Eleven. It’s nighttime and drizzling..."

    Well, he was out around 7PM, about a half hour after sunset.

    I agree that had he managed to beat Zimmerman to death he could have argued self-defense, and Zimmerman would not be in a position to contradict him. Crazy law.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Karl

    God bless Florida – the sunshine state where everything is still OK with the world: whites can shoot blacks without being prosecuted. What's the problem with you guys? Give us more guns and more arbitrary laws and we'll shoot even more!

    March 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • bogusboggs

      Zimmerman's Hispanic, smart guy.....

      March 19, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • KatieBell

        Hispanic (or Latino) is an ethnicity, not a race.

        March 20, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
      • rgl

        yes, zimmerman is a WHITE hispanic person.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
      • big gulps

        Then I guess Obama is a white, black guy

        March 20, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Lol – so now it is convenient to relabel a Hispanic as White. This just has to be twisted into racism for you folks to understand it.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
      • Paul

        According to the census, hispanic is a race.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • 1st

      @Shawn, What do America mean by their labels of people, such Hispanic-American, Asian-American, African-American etc. Racist ignorance will be the death of America.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  56. MIMI

    So in other words anyone can find and hunt down Zimmerman and blow his brains out and it will be ok. It's good to know that. I feel a lot better now.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Me too MIMI!!

      March 20, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  57. TK

    Why is Zimmerman still free? He has taken the life of another human being. The assumption that being black, male dressed a hoodie and tennis shoes at night means there could be no plausible reason to be unchaperoned in a gated community. Hooray! Look at how far we've come.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  58. MieMie

    So when they find out that it wasn't Zimmerman screaming for help will they then try and find out what else he is lying about? SMH

    March 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • true

      some times young kids can be verry agresive propose a thret we have agrsive kids now adays , sad to see this happen the bible says lay hand on no man u never know wht may happen mabe this kid should have ben tought better its sad to see this happen a lesson to learn back off lay no hand on any one and obey the law it is good and it will love u in many ways !

      March 20, 2012 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
      • Liz

        Your response has so many grammatical and spelling errors that I have no idea what you said. If your reading comprehension skills are as poor as your writing skills, I have a feeling that your response was about as well thought out as Congress's most recent budget.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Paul

        I couldn't follow it either.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  59. MieMie

    I don't like that the police chief is taking Zimmerman's word and not basing his ruling on all of the evidence before him. He can't get the other person's side of the story because he's dead. It sounds like Zimmerman made up some of his story to suit what would sound best.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIMI

      Apparently this is something that Zimmerman most likely has done before as well as the police in Sanford. This is why they are not trying to arrest him because a whole can of worms may be exposed. As a matter of fact; I wouldn't be surprised if some of those good old boys killl off Zimmerman to stop him from talking. Hell he may be already dead. Has anyone seen him lately?

      March 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  60. ELDER Scrolls

    Trevon used to be alive like you, but then he was murdered to ground

    March 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Kyon

    Its Gotta be Murder

    March 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  62. HOLY RIGHT OF EVIL AND GOOD. TRUE DUALITY

    He killed him as a racist motherfuker, put him away

    March 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  63. p-body

    murder

    March 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  64. River

    There are many creepy pedophiles attempting to kidnap kids and teens, stories are in the news nearly every week in Florida about this. In school, kids are now taught by visiting police officers not to let anyone capture them and take them into their cars.
    Trayvon would not have responded positively if this strange man, Zimmerman, pulled up in his vehicle and told him to come over, come with me, answer my questions. And, the kid would have ervery right to run or try to scare off someone he thought was following him.
    Zimmerman had no right to get out of his vehicle, and pursue the kid, much less touch him in any way and definitely he had no right to shoot the child.
    There are kids with disabilities walking around our neighborhoods, what if Zimmerman had shot a kid who was autistic or hearing-impaired or simply didn't speak English? Would that have been acceptable and unquestioned by the Sanford PD as well?
    The Sanford police have messed up royally by not arresting Zimmerman.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • VSM

      Good point River.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Les

    You said it!! Blacks do feel they have power over White people, in which they do not. I stand up to people in general, but blacks know where I stand with them. Blacks think this is their world, in which it is not.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • kdh

      Les hell is waiting for u and thats my opinion.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      As a 'Black, I don't care where I stand with you. And of course, it's your world.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      How's your trailer park doing, Les?

      March 20, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • 1st

      @Les, Black's do not feel they have more power than white's, if so we would have brought war to white's since the founding of this country. Now knowing you , you might say we were not smart enough. I'll say to that we as Black's fought in every American War, even when so-called patriot's didn't, The Tuskegee Airmen flew over Berlin, and were the Pride of the war. Through White guilt and fear you and others might make that statement on Power, for fear we would oppress White's as they try and try again to do to us, but GOD is good and no evil will ever triumph, for everything there's a season. Learn to Love.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • VSM

      Les, im black, and I dont have power over you. If I did, you wouldnt be an idiot!

      March 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Robert

    Blacks like it when whites are afraid. Very often black instinctively anticipate white fear and a white persons quick retreat.But blacks do not like it when whites stand their ground and show no fear. The situation is unfamiliar to them. Often blacks get confused in such a situation, do not back down and get hurt very badly. Black bad behavior has its consequences. Whites of tired of being victims of blacks.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • kdh

      Roberts u speak of black as thought they all have a one track mind,obviously u dont know any black people. You must get your info from fox news eithier way u sound uninformed which is so sad. no wonder we have a case of a kid getting shot for being black.Sound like a bunch of Zimmerman without the murder. So steorotypical

      March 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        You have never encountered whites who wanted to avoid you? You are the stereotype. The blind to reality stereotype.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • cobra6

        Hey Robert, I'm white, and I certainly want to avoid you.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • ms b

      robert mr. zimmerman has not right to even stop this young man! he committed a crime and should be held accountable for his actions.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Zimmermans' nose and the back of his neck were bleeding. Trayvon was seen on top of Zimmerman wearing a white shirt. Zimmerman was wearing red sweatshirt. He was not a little boy if he punch and beat a grow man. Your black victimhood spiel is getting old and tired. People are becoming aware of black crime and do not want to be victims. But blacks are to self minded to give anyone aside from themselves a fair shake.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • cobra6

        Robert, tell me what the "black crime" was in this case. Name a single statute of law that was clearly broken by Trayvon.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
      • VSM

        Robert, I feel like Im wasting my typing skills on you, but check your facts. There are more black on black crimes than there are black on white crimes. Reading these posts are making me feel helpless. I really hope white people dont really feel the way you do...and to all white people reading this post. Im black and I dont want to hurt you. The thought never crosses my mind and I feel pretty confident speaking for the majority of blacks in this country. We dont want to harm or cause fear to any of you. We are too worried about the same things white people worry about, bill, security and health.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • lunarmantra

      It sounds like you are the stereotype. You sound like an insecure power hungry plantation/slave owner from the 18th century.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • rgl

      racist nonsense.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Lawabiding

      If you reverse the words white and black in your ridiculous statement, this would read exactly like an 1800's propaganda letter. You are only stating how you wish blacks would feel toward you.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • 1st

      White's have been torturing Black's for hundreds of years, on a larger scale. Why is it being promoted here that Black's have a thing about threatening white's, in America a Black man limited rights, since the founding in the court of law, through America's double standards. "BE REAL WITH YOURSELF, CAUSE YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF FIRST".

      March 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • bobba

      Much of black violence has direct roots to the systemic racism in our country that has ghettoized a community, robbed it of opportunities, criminalized it's men, and left them in a situation of having no hope for a fair shot. No hope of becoming successful in this world.

      These situations have given rise to an anger, and a lashing out, which white people are baffled by and don't understand. Well think hard and try to understand. It's not right to look at an oppressed people that have suffered injustices and inequalities for hundreds of years in this nation, some of which still persist today, and to then ask..."Why can't they be different?", "Why can't they be more like us?".

      It is the unfortunate history of our nation, that Whites too often overlook the very consequences of their own past and present sins. Look in the mirror.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Typical Black racist excuses

        Blacks are victimized by Black criminals far more often than by Whites.

        Yet morons like you are always ready to make excuses for Black thugs.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Casey

    Jose Baez is the BEST LAWYER.
    522 Simpson Road
    Kissimmee, FL 34744
    407-705-2626

    March 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Justin

    IT WAS SELF DEFENSE....CASE CLOSED!!

    March 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayLykes

      Idiot. Zimmerman started the confrontation and therefore cannot claim self-defense.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Casey

        Call Jose, he has a plan...The way Sanford Police seen it, it was self defense..Plus in FL you can claim self defense...What business did a black person have walking in a white neighborhood to begin with...also what business did he have in a gated neighborhood? If he did not stop and then when confronted by security he put up a fight, what do you think the police would do?? They would shoot the suspect too..It would be as self defense...It is another way for some black people not wanting to work and want to sue a police department..Let Zimmerman have his day in court and he will win..

        March 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      I am praying for you that this does not happen to you you see the bible instructs us to even pray for our enemies. I pray to God that this never happens to some one you love. Justin before you make snap judgements based on prejudice and emotion consider the facts thats what a jury would do . Mr Zimmerman will be arrested and charged with murder thank God and we will all be a better community when he is arrested as for you be careful about your judgement remember you reap what you sow..

      March 20, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  69. Kevininvancouver

    I think this article is wrong in the sense that it assumes that Zimmerman was the aggressor but we don't know that and the police seem to think Martin was the initial combatant. Also, Ms. Edgar suggests that it is Martin that is screaming for help just before the gunshot. Again, this is contrary to the witness reports that I have read about. Thirdly, she fails to mention the most telling evidence and that is the physical injuries to Zimmerman that required medical treatment. Also, what isn't being mentioned here is the fact that there is evidence to suggest that Martin had extensive involvement with the Florida juvenile courts. Although there is no criminal record accessible to the public in relation to Martin, there is evidence of his parents being summoned to family court on multiple occasions in regards to their son's Juvenile court record. Also, the article fails to mention that Martin was suspended from school for 10 days at the time of his death and that was why he was visiting his father at the time. I wish this whole episode hadn't happened, but it did and we need to follow the evidence before jumping to any conclusions. Writing misleading or inaccurate articles won't do anything but enrage the public over something that may or may not of happened.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terence

      You're right in one sense. We don't know who threw this first punch. But....
      Lets remember... Who followed who? Who stalked who? Who harrassed who?
      The point of the article is self-defense law in Florida. It's who's afraid of who.
      Why would Zimmerman be afraid if he's carrying the gun?

      March 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Henry Perkins

        Sounds to me your a monkey.

        March 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sandra

        Terence, maybe we do know who threw the first punch...it is being reported that ABC has transcripts of a cell phone call in progress (with a young female friend) when the young man stated that he was being followed and cornered by a stranger. He was knocked to the ground during this conversation and then he was shot. I'm sure it will all come out in the end if t his is indeed true. Apparently Community watch are not to be carrying a weapon in the first place.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Patryk

      Kevininvancouver... I am so happy to know that you were there and can attest to all the facts....... Now, If an officer of the law tells me to "stand down", I, being a law abiding citizen, should do so... Yet, this person chose to take it upon hisself to chase and gun down an innocent citizen.... I'll say this, if someone is chasing me with a gun in their hand, damn straight I'm going to fight back.... It's just a shame that "Martin" didn't beat this "Wannabe Cop"'s head completely in... BUT, he would be in jail now... Wouldn't he????

      March 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • shootmyownfood

        "Neighborhood watch" does NOT equal "officer of the law." It's just some random volunteer, one who has supposedly volunteered to watch and call the police if something happens in their neighborhood. Are you in the practice of bowing down to anyone who demands you respond to them? Wow, I need a servant – call me.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Lynne

      You are completely lying. I mean lying for absolutely no reason other than some sick twisted notion that you need to demonize this dead child. You sick pervert. Trayvon Martin has had NO involvement with the juvenile court system in any way. Zimmerman is on TAPE telling the dispatcher HE is chasing this child. You complete satanic freak.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kevininvancouver

        Actually he does have involvement with the juvenile court system and this will come out eventually – I'm sure of it. Also, he was suspended from school at the very time he died.

        March 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Zaperdon

        I read on a police blog that there are some juvenile arrest records – and that he was suspended from school for bullying a younger kid. I don't know if it was true or not but that is what it said on this cop bulletin board I visited.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Agreed. The media is inclined to lynch Mr. Zimmerman in the court of public opinion without knowing all the facts, instead based on emotion and speculation.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • 1st

        @Kevininvancouver&zaperdon, What do this have to do with this case.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      A couple of facts:

      1. Martin was UNARMED.
      2. Martin was 140 lbs., Zimmerman is 250 lbs.
      3. Several witnesses have reported Martin screaming for his life BEFORE the shot is fired.
      4. Martin had every right to be there. If a stranger stopped and got out of his car like Zimmerman did, then started running after you, what would you do?
      5. Per the Examiner: In July 2005 Zimmerman was charged with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer, although the charges were dropped.
      6. Huffington Post reported that Zimmerman “had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics.”

      March 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kevininvancouver

        I do agree with most of what you said
        However – we don't know who it was that was screaming on the tape.
        There is not a shred of evidence that Zimmerman at anytime ran in the direction of Martin
        It has not been confirmed in my mind that he was 140lbs – infact, I read on one police bulletin board that he was 180lbs
        There were no police reports of Zimmerman hassling anyone in the community previous to Martin's death
        I read the huff article and I think it mentions that the neighbors are now mentioning this instances that happened with Zimmerman

        March 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • VSM

        Ken, you've just given all the reasons Zimmerman should have been arrested. Or do we make it a habit of letting someone kill someone else and go home to sleep in their own bed. No, you kill someone, you go to jail, and you let a jury of your peers determine if you were justified in killing that person.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Coco

      I don't care what this young man has on his record, nor do i Zimmerman, but I do know that this kid was murdered by Zimmerman...and he shouldn't have been...there is no reason for a an armed citizen to murder an unarmed citizen when the later didn't confront him....you can twist the article all you want, and I see what you are trying to convey, but what we do know is that the 911 operator told him to stay in his car and he didn't he followed the kid for what reason? he didn't have one. & now somebody is dead....

      March 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aes123

      I believe he was suspended 5 days for tardiness. The school has said he was a bright student who wanted to study engineering. They have said he had no history of violence at school. Check the Miami Herald.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      A) Trayvon Martin did NOT have a criminal background. That's a lie! And even if he did, he's a juvenile so it would never come out nor would YOU even know about it. B) George Zimmerman had blood on him but he did NOT need medical attention. Thats another LIE!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Kevin, please provide the evidence or proof showing that Martin was suspended and that he had a juvenile record...
      Proof came out that Martin was running AWAY from ZImmerman. Proof came out that Zimmerman CHASED after the kid even after being told not to do so (911 tapes)
      We don't know who was screaming for help, it could have been Martin screaming for help after being assaulted by Zimmerman. It could have been Zimmerman screaming for help, after trying to assault Martin, but Martin fought back, punched him and pushed him down. Both were fearing for their lives but Zimmerman had a gun. Under Florida Law (one of the most stupid law ever) you can stand your ground and you can't anymore. Martin stood his ground by using his fists (maybe) and his strenght, Zimmerman used his gun. Unfortunetly, Zimmerman is protected by the law so he will not be charged for 1st degree murder. However, the the evidence suggests that he should be charged for aggravated assault on a juvenile leading to wrongful death. That could be tie with negligence, the judge could give him 5 to 10. The police department obviously failed to follow standard procedures in dealing with such a situation, they failed to detain a suspect to a murder, Martin's family could sue.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  70. James

    I keep seeing people assuming from the name George Zimmerman that he's white, I've seen his picture and he looks spanish to me, he even had a spanish accent in the 911 calls. I can understand though if people are saying that the police aren't doing their job well because I'd agree with that. From everything I've seen and heard it sounds like straight up murder that Zimmerman committed. You cant claim self defense when you put yourself in a situation like that.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  71. CBrooks

    This is really sad about a 17 year old being shot by a ex criminal carrying a gun. Being a new resident to Central Florida it is scary to see that a ex-inmate can shot and kill a 17 year old CHILD with no form a defense and he can claim self defense. Even worse is no one in the development never came to the childs defense. He is guilty and killed a defensive child!

    March 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevininvancouver

      Zimmeman wasn't an inmate at anytime in his life. However, that could soon change.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  72. What the F???

    Mr Zimmerman figured he would handle business and show who's boss in is neighborhood! The last time I checked they called guys like this Vigilantes! And I do believe there are laws on the books against that!! And the Sanford police! Comn? REALLY?? This is just gross and a pure distortion of justice...

    March 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  73. trex

    ......So a self appointed ARMED vigilante, driving a CAR, looking for "azzhos", then finding and FOLLOWING his "subject", then after DISREGARDING ADVICE from 911, closes on his TARGET, and ASSAULTS his target, and his TARGET fights back not knowing this creep, and then THE ARMED, MOUNTED VIA CAR, PHYSICALLY MUCH LARGER SELF APPOINTED VIGIANTE SHOOTS AN UNARMED KID AND KILLS HIM. Must be Florida, because the KILLER IS FREE and the KILLEE is DEAD.,

    March 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • trex

      ..........Florida................THE TEA BAGG ERS PARADISE...........SHOOT THEN ASK QUESTIONS LATER.........THEN LET THE KILLER AND MURDERER OUT FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE................................no justice in florida because the tea bag ger government and police.....................................

      March 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • trex

      ......................Florida government and Florida police.............................their pictures are in the Dictionary, by the word.........................inbred.....................

      March 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  74. George

    It's going to be really tough to get any justice in this case unless the Feds step in; this red-necked police chief sounds like somethingout of those old Dodge commercials! It boggles the mind how he can actually defend this inbred bullying low-life!

    March 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • What the F???

      Says to me STAY OUT OF FLORIDA and especially Sanford!

      March 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Etoya L

    By no means this is self defense when a grown man armed with a deadly weapon over power a seventeen year old young man unarm and take’s his life. What kind of message are we sending to our young adults walking in our foot steps in America. My son is fourteen should I be afraid?

    March 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sedrick

      If you son is anything but white, you should be worried

      March 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Lewis

    That’s the scary thing to me– people being judged on how they appear, but this time it isn’t about a job or threat of being arrested. It’s a private person with a gun.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Kevininvancouver

    I think this article is wrong in the sense that it assumes that Zimmerman was the aggressor but we don't know that and the police seem to think Martin was the initial combatant. Also, Ms. Edgar suggests that it is Martin that is screaming for help just before the gunshot. Again, this is contrary to the witness reports that I have read about. Thirdly, she fails to mention the most telling evidence and that is the physical injuries to Zimmerman that required medical treatment. Also, what isn't being mentioned here is the fact that there is evidence to suggest that Martin had extensive involvement with the Florida juvenile courts. Although there is no criminal record accessible to the public in relation to Martin, there is evidence of his parents being summoned to family court on multiple occasions in regards to their son's Juvenile court record. Also, the article fails to mention that Martin was suspended from school for 10 days at the time of his death and that was why he was visiting his father at the time. I wish this whole episode hadn't happened, but it did and we need to follow the evidence before jumping to any conclusions. Writing misleading or inaccurate articles won't do anything but enrage the public over something that may or may not of happened.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • What the F???

      Are you insane? or just stupid and in support of killers? There is NEVER a rational for pulling out a powerful handgun because you got your butt kicked! If zimmerman had let the police do their job none of this would of happened! What the H*ll is wrong with people? Oh wait! Canadian! Blame Canada, Blame Canada...

      March 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michiko

      Hmm, so all that makes it okay to kill him? If someone approaches you with a gun would you not fight for your life? Those yells are obviously from a kid. You are nothing more than a common racist. If it were you son murdered I doubt you'd be so indifferent.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Etoya L

      Zimmerman is a big guy. Martin was a small frame boy who was unarmed. I don’t see where you said the young man has a record for murder . If Zimmerman would have let the police handle the situation as told by 911 we would not be talking about this today.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • midgesmom

      I think you need to read this article again ! The man was chasing him after being told not to. Listen to zimmerman's 911 call !! This man was out to get the kid.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patryk

      Tall people know that they are tall..
      Short people know that they are short.
      Stupid people don't know that they are stupid. Therefore, we have to tell them....
      Kevininvancouver, YOU ARE STUPID....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Debbie

    I taught my children to beware of strangers approaching them – especially in the evening. Yell as loud as possible while running away as fast as you can. Zimmerman was no better than an armed thug that night. My continued prayers for Trayvon's family.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Charles

    Every time I think about this situation it really bothers me. As an American who happens to be black, of course I am aware of our country's history with racism but I'm also aware of the progress that has been made in that area. That progress has been made because of blacks, whites, latinos, and others. I have never accused anyone of racism.

    However, something about this case makes me feel that Zimmerman treated Trayvon the way he did because he was black. I have a 7 year old son and every time I read about this situation my mind wanders to him and the fact that there may be "Zimmerman's" out there who will target him. The thought of something like this happening to him without me being there to defend him is almost unbearable to think of. This has to stop.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      I do not know from reading the article if Mr. Zimmerman believed if Mr. Martin was black at the time he approached him. He had his hood up, it was night, and raining.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aes123

        He told 911 he was black . . .

        March 19, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  80. rasheada

    One sad thingtesting of all individuals directly involved but in this case, they only tested Trayvon for drugs and none were in his system. Sad. is that after the murder, normally it is standard to do drug

    March 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      The police chief should be investigated for malfeasance. To not test the shooter for alcohol or drugs is not sop. This person was as stated a "self-appointed" watch person. The other people who lived there had filed complaints on zimmerman for bulling behaviour and coming onto their property without permission. One man stated that zimmerman was caught looking into his windows at night. This type of behaviour is creepy and would have eventually led to an assault or a shooting. To have an emergency meeting about this individual before the shooting should have raised red flags.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  81. justicefor7

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    • “Verizon Raped My Family – Press Release”
    • “Verizon Raped My Family – Requesting Criminal Punishment”

    From there you can access the other letters through the recent post.

    I am a man who has stood up against racism, discrimination, bullying, harassment, hostile environment, belittlement, threats, and retaliation, all while working for Verizon Communications, as they conspired to terminate me.

    I am a man who is trying to hold his family together while in the process of trying to fight for my rights to be heard. I am a man who has brought up his family on morals, discipline, character, hard work, dedication and conviction to believe that good things happen to good people. I am a man who could not be more proud of my family for all their trust and faith in my conviction. I am man who is a proud servant in my community and deserves to be heard, as I am begging for JUSTICE!

    I have learned that: “If you have no Money, A lot of Power, unlimited amount of Connection and resources, you have no chance at receiving justice within our country!

    Even though I know this to be true, that justice of only for the few, I refuse to allow Verizon to beat me! I will fight them until I die. I will never give up, I will let the world know of the abuse I suffered and the lack of justice I have received.

    Neal W. Dias

    March 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Aes123

    Zimmerman stated that "those a**holes always get away". Then he followed Martin after being instructed not to. That one statement gives his intent. He was going to make sure this "suspect" would not get away. Zimmerman was not only told by the dispatcher, he also received that instruction when he went to neighborhood watch training with the police dept. his training was to observe and report from a safe location. This guy was a cop wannabe. He made 46 calls to 911 in a year. Three times he pursued people he suspected had committed a crime. This is 100% vigilante behavior, and needs to be prosecuted for what it is.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Josh

    If I am walking down my street at night and a guy twice my size gets out of his car and starts walking toward me, I am going to put my guard up. I don't know this person I don't know his intentions; and when I see a gun the "Fight or Flight" response kicks in. Now I do not know if Mr. Zimmerman made it known that he was armed or not but it seems to me like Trayvon's Fight response kicked in and he began to defend himself. Mr. Zimmerman was looking for a confrontation. In Mr. Zimmerman's 911 call he tells the dispatcher "he's (Trayvon) running now", and he begins to pursue him. Any notion of self-defense went out the window the minute he began to pursue Trayvon. One last thought: When a police officer shoots someone he has to turn over his firearm and is put on paid leave until there is a FULL investigation. The Sanford Police Department just took Mr. Zimmerman's word for it.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  84. alex

    One kid, on foot, unarmed and a man in a car with a loaded gun. Who is a threat to whom ? It is horrific that someone displaying such ignorance,cowardice and hatred could be trusted with a gun, in a position of power over someone's life.
    This is a hate crime ,against a child, and I hope they prosecute it as such.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  85. jim

    If the roles were reversed and the shooter was black, he would be in jail and facing crininal charges. If some one approaches me and he is not in a uniform or flashing a badge, I am under no obligation to answer ANY questions.In my mind he is probably a crazy person and thus a threat to my well being.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  86. erikastruth

    Reblogged this on erikastruth and commented:
    Great legal breakdown of the self defense laws that George Zimmerman is trying to use. Without a doubt Zimmerman, an armed self-appointed neighborhood watch capitan, was the aggressor. Stepping out of his vehicle and approaching Martin made him the aggressor! As the article states any action taken by Martin are self defense.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  87. gina

    It was MURDER!!!!!! There has been no JUSTIFICATION as to WHY Zimmerman felt he needed to get out of the car and follow this young man!!!! He did his duty by calling for the police. If nothing is done the Feds need to get involve because there is no reason why a 17 year old boy who went to buy skittles and an Arizona Tea should be dead.....and I am sorry if I see someone following me and chasing me yes I am going to run and be scared and a lil confused as to the stupid comments of why he was in others back yard....Zimmerman probably was showing his gun.....he can claim he is not a racist but he has clearly shown otherwise....as to the picture they have shown of him ummmmm does that look like a mug shot to anyone?????

    March 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Was it murder because he was black....sounds to me you are black...you were not there to see Martin pull a gun out and pointed to the victim....

      March 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carl

        How does a black person "sound" when you read the words they might have written? I'm caucasion by the way. I'm not sure I've been able to discern anyone's race from any of the comments posted here except when they have specfically stated. Does it make anyone's comments less valid depending on their race? Shouldn't the merit of their argument be based on its logical content and its relevancy to the article we all read as well as the assessment of the factual content that they gleaned from the article? You can disagree fine, but shouldn't it be because you assess the information differently as opposed to what their racial heritage is?

        March 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  88. Hammer

    It is time for the nation to talk about racism feelings between some Hispanic and African Americans toward each others.It seems like nobody want to talk about Zimmerman being Hispanic with African Americans in his family.Seem like most of the news does not want to mention that.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      We'll get right on that as soon as George Zimmerman is arrested and charged appropriately. We'll work on Latino/Black Racism right after the trial, ok?

      March 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1st

      @Hammer, do you know their family relationship in regards to your statement. I know someone who's not racist but have some in their family. Stop it, that's like, I'm not racist I have Black friends, after a racial statement was made by them.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  89. Bakes, Esq.

    Brilliant analysis.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  90. beezer

    I think we an all agree that there is AT LEAST enough in this case that it needs to be tried by a Judge and Jury. In my honest opinion, Zimmerman needs to be arrested for Investigation of First Degree Murder. Sounds like the police really dropped the ball here.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Larry

    Ok if the boy was a threat, wouldn't he have to approach the car. It clearly states the man left his vehicle after being told not to. He left his car with one intention. To kill a black man. Blame the media for portraying all young teenage blacks as menaces to society. I live in Texas. When a blacks commit a crime, the news always points out their race and show their picture. Some young white teens were breaking in homes (I know this because I work with someone who lives on that street) and the news covered it as 3 males were arrested! I knew immediately, must have been white. We know this, too bad whites don't, or just that nieve...

    March 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Joe

    Fry him.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  93. DONNA DAVIS

    I SEE THAT BLACKS ARE STILL GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT. HOW COULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR THIS YOUNG MAN WHO SHOT AND KILLED A TEEN STILL BE ALLOWED TO WALK FREE WHILE ANOTHER FAMILY PLAN A FUNERAL. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Myles

    This is so sad. We probably can't achieve squat by making Kony infamous, so maybe George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department should be made infamous! This is an outrage!

    March 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  95. JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON

    Thank you for so clearly laying out the law in this case. To me the police clearly botched this investigation and afforded Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt in-lieu of conducting a thorough and unbiased investigation. They failed to even drug test Zimmerman the night of the incident which is standard procedure in such cases. So unfortunate that "bias" has caused a bright young man to senselessly loose his life and preclude the police dept in just using plain old "common sense" I mean "INVESTIGATION" THAT'S YOUR JOB, THAT'S WHY YOU WERE CALLED, THAT'S WHY YOU WERE THERE!! . The Sanford police chief needs to be fired!! Shameful to disregard the victims family in such manner by not even enforcing an arrest.. All of AMERICA is upset white/black/purple/green/yellow is doesn't matter what color you are this is an INSULT to the collective consciousness of TRUE Americans who believe in liberty and justice for ALL!! and JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON!! and God Bless and comfort his family and loved ones!!

    March 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • drew

      drug testing is standard issue in supposed SD shootings?

      March 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Justice

    If Trayvon was approached by Zimmerman then how could he be of a threat if Zimmerman started the altercation then his claim of self-defense cannot be used it would be different if Trayvon approached Zimmerman but the facts are that Zimmerman approached Trayvon with an intent to start an altercation it doesn't matter what the dispatcher said but if u saw no wrong doing but take it upon yourself to start an altercation then that is grounds to be arrested and charged this stinks all the way to hell and I hope the Federal Justice system looks into this and maybe past cases extensively

    March 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • drew

      VERY true, he saw no forcible felony in progress and therefor had no grounds do approach, make contact, or shoot travon martin. even if travon gave him a world class ass whooping for following him, your not allowed to start fights when your armed. at the very least he needs to be brought up on manslaughter or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (10 years)

      March 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  97. drew

    this article is written under the assumption that it was martin who was screaming for help in the audio recordings and not zimmerman. however we're not sure yet who was screaming for help in the tapes. i do believe zimmerman started the whole thing, made very poor choices, and should probably do some jail time for being negligent while armed with a firearm. mrs edgar you should not write irresponsible articles that try to pass off your opinion like it was fact.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice

      I would be inclined to agree with you but the facts are that the cries for help stopped after the gunshot and the mother of Trayvon recognized her sons cries you can not tell a mother that is not her son voice that she raised,

      March 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • drew

        ok but if we're gonna say zimmerman was screaming for help why would be continue to scream for help after shooting martin? the gunshot would end both of them screaming right? i was unaware of the mothers recognition of her sons voice but honestly zimmerman's mother could say the same thing.

        March 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Sir,
      You are an American idiot! If you did read the article fully then you are painfully aware the beginning of the piece tells you this inan opinion. But it is a very well written opinion. And, it is probably very correct in the presumption of facts. Zimmerman should NOT have been armed and simply observed Martin who, no doubt, would have returned home, where his father could be questioned if need be. YOU should take care not to come across as a member of the KKK – which you have done and done well.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • drew

        please tell me why zimmerman should not have been armed. last time i checked here in florida you can be armed almost anywhere you want anytime you want as long as your a law abiding citizen AND obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. granted the man is a moron for escalating the situation while armed and therefor should spend some time behind bars for it, but he had the right to be armed. once again your assuming opinion as fact, and the name calling does you no service either.

        March 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      Why would a person carrying a gun, who got of his car and followed a unknown man, that he knows he's bigger than, be afraid? If he was so afraid, why did Zimmerman get out of the car and confront him? I believe Zimmerman approached Trayvon, because Zimmerman knew he had a gun, and that gun made him feel invinsible. Trayvon was shot twice! That means that the first one was most likely muffled, during the struggle (All the 911 calls only hear one shot). Okay, Even if there was a scuffle and Zimmerman was knocked down, why would someone with a gun, call out for others to help him? But let's go with that ....Zimmerman on the ground yelling for help and then Trayvon say's "Please don't kill me" (also in the background of a 911 call). Zimmerman shoots him anyway, because even with a gun and the other person saying "Please don't kill me", he's still afraid for his life. Hmmmm.......that doesn't even remotely sounds plausible....but then again what would I know about "Fear of the Black Man"! A fear so intense apparently that entire police department and bloggers without all the facts....still empathize with Zimmerman!

      March 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emmett

      This was murder plain and simple. trayvon did nothing wrong and was killed by a racist, self righteous, police wannabe, who probably knew that the racist police department would back him up. he should be prosecuted for murder. The police captain should be charged as well..

      March 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  98. KJ

    I agree with Teri, the phone call to 911 was just a set up so he could justify his actions. He made it sound illegal to walk in the rain with a hood on. He murdered that boy plain and simple.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Jim

    So by saying the magic word "was self defense" YOU or ME could be killed and the killer go home.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Yes Jim if you're white and kill a minority. And people can say all they want oooo there's the race card again, well my mother always said, if it looks like a duck and and acts like a duck, well you get the message..

      March 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • drew

      well you kinda have to prove it

      March 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sean

        not really, this case shows that

        March 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Teri

    This was 1st degree, premeditated murder.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I’ll make it quite simple for the State Attorney’s Office and the city officials in Sanford, Florida. Mr. Zimmerman should be charged with false imprisonment and 2nd degree Murder. The Sanford P.D. police chief should resign or face termination for incompetence.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Frank

        Either that or Felony Murder... false imprisonment for sure, escalating to a felony due to Zimmerman's possession of a firearm, escalated to Felony Murder when he used it to kill Martin. This is a no-brainer and the fact that the DA is slow playing a simple arrest and charge indicates some sort of cover-up in progress, which will ultimately fail due to the exposure of this case. Only a matter of time now – bye-bye Sanford police chief, he won't be keeping that job for too much longer when all is said and done.

        March 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jaden

        Tony,
        You are either BLACK yourself or a monkey love.. I am sure if there was an issue in your life that the Sanford Ploice Dept would not respond to you quickly and you had to make a split decision in a matter of seconds.. Your life or a monkeys life....You pick to safe yours..If that monkey was charging after me of refused to display thier hands or what was concelled in his pocket, I shoot to kill also... Thats what they teach you in the police acadmey and in the United States Military..I do support what the State Attorneys Office is doing and I do support the Sanford Chief of Police and the SCSO.

        March 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Momar

        Jaden,

        If the Sanford Police Department were the ones to initiate contact with the victim this situation could have been prevented because they would have identified themselves and do everything rightful in the eyes of the law to ensure the victim made it safe to his residence. But alas we have Zimmerman who was trying to do whatever he was trying to do. If he was trying to imitate law enforcement he failed horribly at it and should have listened to the Police Dispatcher when they told him not to follow the victim.

        I'm not sure which branch you served in (or are currently serving in), but it's a fact that the United States Military has NEVER taught us to stalk a kid in the evening with a loaded weapon, and shoot him in cold blood. If you believe that this is true I please urge you to see the nearest Chaplin for yours and others sakes. Your opinion is yours on whatever your racial views are and of this current event (and myself and others help fight for everyone to express it) but please do not compare the actions of Zimmerman to those currently serving or have served in law enforcement or the United States Military.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
      • 1st

        @Jaden, respect the dead, why would you call him a monkey. Why so much hate, you and others like you make up the worst of this country. LEARN TO LOVE.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • 1st

        @Momar, Jaden,Zimmerman, KevininVancour & zaperdon maybe the equivalent to Staff Sergeant Bale.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drowlord

      Almost certainly not first degree murder. 2nd degree murder and voluntary manslaughter both seem that they may fit. Of course, CNN has provided us with a lot of emotional rhetoric and speculation and virtually no fact. As usual.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
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