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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. The First Kiss

    Excellent issues altogether, you just gained a logo new reader. What might you recommend about your put up that you simply made some days ago? Any positive?

    April 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tena

    If Trayvon had no marks on his hand, could he have used an open hand to bash Zimmermans head on the ground?

    March 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jwhitlock

    If the person shot was white and the shooter black, there would not have been this much uproar, Why can it not be brought out about the kids history? This is racism, but not against blacks, it is against whites. Obama SHOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN INVOLVED. If again if he was white, Obama would not have said anything. Obama is as much white as black. He is not our first BLACK president.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kerry

      I think you must be feeling a little woozy, Mr. Whitlock. Maybe you should lay down, take a nap, get some rest...

      March 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • jb

      Your comment is just speculation...but probably right. If the shooter had been a black man, and the person shot a white teen, the outcry would not be the same. I doubt a "black shooter" would have walked though. He'd be in jail with a homicide charge, probably murder 1, with a very high bail if any bail at all. Think about that and "recognize fool". I'm white, by the way.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        Mr. Whitlock, I am concerned with how easy it is for you to blame the media, the dead kid, reverse racism, the President..., anyone other than 1) the individual who initiated the situation and who pulled the trigger, and 2) the Florida Legiislature, who wrote the legislation that allowed, and possibly demanded the Sanford police not arrest and charge this man so he could be judged by a jury of his peers. Had he been arrested and charged, none of this would be happening, and America has a right to be outraged.

        April 2, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael

    BOB again you have a formula with an equal sign with both sides of the equation saying the same thing only one is correct and therefore it is not equal, you are confusing yourself when you are trying to show you know something that you don't.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MAFV

      Question to all posters. Does the Stand Your Ground Law apply at all to Trayvon? If so, does that make Zimmerman the aggressor?

      March 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        The "Stand Your Ground Law" has never applied in this case, period.

        March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • MAFV

        Why? Isn't Trayvon protected by the law just as Zimmerman is clamining to be.

        March 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. michaelmariano

    I am a white male. Denhunter is clearly not seeing the facts due to what I see among us white males which is nothing but unAmerican blantant racism. Trayvon Martin legally can bash George Zimmermans face as much as he wants, he can beat him to death. That is what the law states. George Zimmerman under the law can not lay one finger on Trayvon according to the law. Trayvon was going home and doing nothing illegal. George Zimmerman went into pursuit and thus has to face the consequences of his decision, either he gets beat to death threatening a man going to his home, or he shoots a man going to his home and spends his life in prison. Either way that is George Zimmermans decision.

    March 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      If George Zimmerman is the one we hear screaming for help during the neighbors call to 911 that has been aired on TV, then I think someone would have helped him. I don't think it was Zimmerman calling for help. I think it was Trayvon right before he was shot. If there was a fight no one would have been shot if George Zimmerman did not have that gun, but I believe he never would have approached Trayvon without that gun. Self- defense does not me you can kill someone who is unarmed because you are losing a fight you caused. One more time, if Zimmerman had not brought a gun with him, he never would be able to claim self defense IF he was getting his ass kicked, which I don't believe happened the way he says it did. But you are right he had no right or authority to approach Trayvon at all.

      March 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ben

    First of all, no one knows exactly what happened, all we have to go off of is Zimmerman's account (which should obviously be questioned), police reports (which should be taken as the truth), and eyewitness accounts.

    The police are now corroborating much of Zimmerman's account, including the part that it was in fact Martin on top of Zimmerman. Who the screams belonged to can not be determined as of now.

    So, why everyone is putting so much blame on Zimmerman is beyond me. He sees an unfamiliar kid, doesn't matter if he's black or white, in his neighborhood and obviously he believed he was up to no good, why else would he call the police? He follows the kid to see what's up, which is completely lawful and as a member of neighborhood watch, a responsibility. Eventually, he begins to walk back to his car, then gets attacked, with the kid saying "Do you have a problem?" and after a response of no, saying "Well now you do." With the police corroborating much of Zimmerman's story, I don't see how people can be this outraged with this response by Zimmerman after being attacked by an unprovoked kid.

    This is all assuming the police corroborations are true, I'll eat my words if it turns out they're not, but right now, that's all we have to go off of.

    And Ms. Edgar, saying that Martin reacted in self defense is pretty ridiculous given this account, attacking someone without provocation is never self defense. And you can't just make up a story to say that he felt threatened by this man, your 'self-defense' defense of Martin is predicated on the fact that the screams were Martin's and Zimmerman was on top of Martin, which has no factual basis. It's a terrible situation but look at the big picture before you come up with these conclusions.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    Remember folks, if George Zimmerman is your folk hero, you really need to re-assess your life.

    March 26, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Well said!!!! It's one month after the shooting and now their smearing Trayvon Martin.

      March 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • iwjwefepwfej

        I agree one thousand percent! No one has the right to defend himself against someone who is blacker.

        January 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Laurel

    Is there not a similar case where a black man shot and killed a white man in Florida, and unlike Zimmerman, the black was arrested. It would be good for CNN to discuss these two cases together showing the similarities and differences.
    Also, if instead of Trayvon, it was an off-duty cop that Zimmerman shot to death, would the Sanford police have allowed Zimmerman to remain unarrested? Can CNN please ask this question of the Sanford Police, and other related officials in the justice system in Florida?

    March 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • iwjwefepwfej

      If things were different, they wouldn't be the same.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. johnfrichardson

    Yes, this article gets it exactly right. Trayvon Martin was stalked, confronted by a threat and then murdered for defending himself in a situation in which it was his perfect right to do so.

    March 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Well said sir.

      March 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      Conclusions without facts = STUPIDITY

      March 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Your statement concludes there are no facts, which is the conclusion you made according to your own formula, you just called yourself stupid, and you are correct BOB.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mahesh Fernando from CA, USA

    It seems to me [by following the case] this Zimmerman guy was waiting to kill somebody to show his fire power. If somebody thinks that, his SUV or his personal belongings are more valuable than a human being, "God Bless America"

    March 25, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • johnfrichardson

      He clearly sought out a confrontation where none was remotely necessary or even justified. So yes, if not Trayvon Martin this night, probably someone else some other night.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marc

    Listen to the calls, he was screaming for help and then gets shot. When you scream for help your in a submissive role. If it was only about obtaining him then why shoot him if he's submitting to you pointing a gun towards him. Doesn't make logical sense to shoot a kid who sounds like a kid who looks like a kid as he screaming for help. And one more thing why didnt the call to 911 come from him after he shot this young man if all he was doing was protecting him self.

    March 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigbiz2

      Quit lying!! Multiple eye witnesses say that the towering 6'3" hooded football player was on top of 100 lb overweight 5'2' hispanic watch captain and it was the watch captain that was doing the screaming.. The whites that were there were too afraid (as usual ) to come to his aid being afraid of the towering hooded black man.So just called 911 theyself.The thug as is the modus operandi sucker punched him in the back of the head from behind.Try being logical for once in yo life .The father of the shot agressor even told police it was not his son on the tape screaming.Case investigated ..case closed..

      March 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • yastru

        What eye witnesses ? The video of eye witnesses here clearly state that the voice belonged to the deceased.

        Here is the link: http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2012/03/19/bts-florida-martin-teen-shooting-witnesses.wkmg

        So please, you stop lying.

        March 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • johnfrichardson

        When someone stalks you in a vehicle and then confronts you when all you are doing is walking home, you are wise to be afraid and have a right to defend yourself. I indeed had a similar experience when some black teens stalked me (a white guy) and one got out of the car and pointed a gun at me. Fortunately, I had enough money on me to make the robbery worth it for them when I refused to get in the car. Having experienced what it is like to know that fear, I sure as hell don't identify with Zimmerman because he happens to be white. I identify with Martin, because he was a victim of the creepy, frightening crime of stalking even before he was murdered. No one deserves to experience what he experienced that night.

        March 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • WWebb

        Zip it bigbiz2.

        March 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Quit lying? Take your own advice, you got it all wrong Trayvon Martin weighed 140lbs, that fat hispanic you claim was 5'2 weighed 240lbs those multiple witnesses you imagined are a pigment (pun intended) of you that imagination. George Zimmerman never identified himself as a Neighborhood watc volunteer to the police or to Trayvon Martin during the lengthy 911 call, he never told the police he was armed with a 9mm handgun something the police who had hoped to make contact with George Zimmerman when they arrived should have been told. Stop trying to justify this killing, Zimmerman murdered an unarmed young man who he stalked and shot in cold blood.

        March 26, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Greg

        The bigots and Republicans of the world desperately want this case not to be perceived as it actually is: an innocent child carrying candy from the store was stalked and murdered by a lunatic and the police didn't care until the story got picked up on the Internet. They are making up stories and witnesses that don't exist to try and spin it the way they want. Pathetic.

        March 26, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Rick

        Actually...an eyewitness said that Zimmerman was on top of Martin. The scream stopped the moment the shot was fired. Hard to scream when a 9mm bullet rips through your chest.

        March 26, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        A 6ft 3" football player was he wearing a football jersey hoodie?, all those witnesses and none was willing to help their neighbor George Zimmerman, how did they know he was 6'3" I thought he was sitting on Zimmerman, Was he a football player? He weighed 140lbs dude, stop making it up as you go along!

        March 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RK

    and just to be clear, there appears to be a need for an investigation with final closure.

    I don't know all of the facts, my post was purely at those that are using this to stoke the unrest. While at the same time, many of these same ones are SILENT over the many other cases occurring frequently in this country (what was it in Chicago last weekend, 36 people SHOT, where is obama on THAT for instance? How about THIS AUTHOR?? Did SHE write an article about the mayhem in Chicago last weekend? What about the kids shot there while sitting on a porch? Where is the national outrage over those events? So why this one? Is it because those with an agenda see an opportunity to score points for an agenda? Just asking..)

    March 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      This killing and the outrage is what's here and now about this child that was murdered. Why this killing? That must be a rhetorical question. Why not this one? Why not this outrage? What was your response about Chicago or everywhere else at the time it was happening?? The issue here is about what happened with Trayvon Martin and why his killer has not been arrested and charged. There's no productive reason for you to ask that question now. The whole world is focused on this and that's what is happening right now.

      March 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnfrichardson

      I concur that there needs to be a thorough investigation. A lot of the outrage is precisely that the police seem totally uninterested in pursuing one, At a minimum, we need to know what the training of this neighborhood watch group is like. Was Zimmerman a loose cannon or are they all on the look out, ready to accuse any black man wearing a hoodie of being a criminal. NO ONE has disputed that ALL that Martin was doing was going to the 7-11 for candy and ice tea and then walking HOME. NO ONE should be accosted by vigilantes or cops for doing that. Now, WITH an investigation, SOME mitigating facts may arise regarding when and why Zimmerman finally shot Martin. But there would have been NO confrontation between them at all had Zimmerman simply left an innocent man alone.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Well said sir, an innocent young man who was committing no crime, and who Zimmerman was observing committing no crime but chose to stalk and kill, any mitigation at all should be minimal because pursuing someone and starting a confrontation does not give anyone the right to shoot and kill them, you can always defend and protect yourself, but killing an unarmed person is at least manslaughter. If a person you are having a confrontation with pushes you away, that doesn't give you the right to shoot them, you can only use the force necessary to stop them. In this case because Trayvon because Trayvon was not committing any crime, Zimmerman should have left him alone. Zimmerman never told the police he was armed nor did he identify himself as a neighborhood watch volunteer to either the police or Trayvon, during the 911 call we all heard.

        March 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RK

    interesting article. And the comments, well given todays screwed up society and lack of critical thinking, to be expected.

    1st of all for the author: the right to defend yourself exists at all times. Some don't like the fact that we have this right. Some are silly enough to try and say, because someone challenges their 'right' to be someplace, they have a right to 'defend' themselves.. against what, a question? A question is a perceived threat? (note some years ago, I was out jogging, cops stopped me, asked me some questions, I answered and then asked 'why'.. did I perceive a 'threat' because I was asked questions. NOPE... turns out they were looking for someone and I happened to be in the area they were looking. Just doing their job.. Wish I had the liberal mentality, I could have sued for 'harrassment' or 'attacked the cop' because I was 'threatened' by his questions as the author seems to be using for justification IF this kid attacked the one who shot.

    but the bigger problem society has is, as rahm emanual stated, never let a crisis go to waste. There will always be those who look to USE situations, people for their own agenda. So why for instance did obama feel the need to jump in now? Oft said, obamas civil war thru the pitting of segments of society against each other is already under way. Look at how he 'scored political' points in the fluke incident (but no words for the conservative women attacked unnmercilessly by liberals?? go figure) and now this one...

    and look at how many even on here are trying to 'score agenda' points by foaming at the mouth..
    bottom line its a mess, one is dead, another is being found guilty without the facts being totally and conclusively known by a side of the spectrum out to support their own agendas (again, never let a crisis you can USE go wasted. Its why this side making all the noise says little when the 'incident' doesn't aide their cause)...

    and since this side has an agenda and is USING this incident, its why this will blow up into something much bigger. Because the liberal side controls the mainstream media message, they will get their collective message ironed out and the game will be on. Martins death will be used to promote this agenda, and like many others the libs claim to 'care about', when the usefulness is over, he will quickly fade away from the mainstream, replaced by the next 'opportunity'.

    NOTE: not saying some don't truly care, but there is a large segment of the liberal spectrum that has demonstrated their willingness to USE a tragedy. And they have demonstrated that while they claim to 'care', the 'agenda' is the priority, the incident is merely a tool for many of them.
    and thats really sad... but you see it so often, you can see it coming when it happens. Was fluke for instance, a PLANNED event limbaugh stepped into, she was used, allowed herself by some indications to be used for an agenda. Martin wasn't planned, but darn if the libs aren't willing to use the event none-the-less... aren't they???
    aren't some of YOU here as well??
    creating an 'issue' based on an event? Will you who claim to care, even remember his name once it disappears off CNN? NY Times front pages?? Doubt it, for you will be looking for the next 'event' to feel sorry for won't you.

    yep, I am ticked off at how this has evolved into something much larger than what occurred. For there are a lot of other events out there where the skin color is reversed, or its black gangs shooting kids sitting on their front porches in south Chicago. But you dont' see this 'level' of 'outrage' now do you??? Nope, no points to be scored by commenting on something like that... so the same ones claiming to care now, you don't hear from them do you... you don't hear their 'anguish', yet, this kind of things are happening every day in this country...

    thats what ticks me off about this event... its how some on the left are USING this event for their causes, claiming to care, while its repeated over and over again and they don't say a friggin word.

    March 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      You typed a long passage which was mostly some agenda about something that started to drift off into wasteland of your manifesto, but you started out wrong when you said you were out jogging and the cops stopped you and asked you questions. Zimmerman wasn't a cop and didn't have the authority to stop anyone, It seems that someone who typed so much, understands very little. Self defense doesn't mean that you can shoot someone you accosted first and then when they "DEFEND THEMSELVES" you can pull out the handgun you carry and shoot them and kill them, that's murder. The handgun you never told police you had in all that time he was on the phone with the police and never said he was a neighborhood watch volunteer to either the police or Trayvon during the 911 call that was played.

      March 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kerry

      Hey, guy. Don't know if you caught this, but there's this story about a 17-year old, unarmed kid, minding his own business, who was shot and killed by a 28-year old neighborhood watch guy who should not have been armed. Seems the local cops chose not to investigate or press charges because of some wacko Florida law. Whaddaya think about that?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • iwjwefepwfej

        Why do you hate hispanics?

        January 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Phil Hewupp

    The author of this 'story' is biased as is the mainstream media in general. The truth will come out. Mr. Zimmerman will be exonerated and Mr. Zimmeman will start legal proceedings against all the hacks that distorted the incident and put his life and freedom in jeopardy.

    All of you hack writers will be in court.

    March 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • dk76

      she happens to be a lawyer and i'm assuming you know the law more than she does

      March 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        And as a lawyer she has no business trying to make a profitable argument on facts and proof already looked at by professionals that she dissembles to deceive.

        March 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        And as a lawyer she has no business trying to make a profitable argument on facts and proof already looked at by professionals that she dissembles to deceive
        Professionals? Surely you jest sir! She pointed out the law with passages from the law that anyone can understand. You seem to be upset with her for doing so. If you think that these" Professionals" as you call them did their job, that explains why you are attacking someone who understands the law that you don't!

        March 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        ...the hell are you talking about???

        March 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • SM

      Mr. Zimmerman is guilty of killing a child. There are 911 calls in which Zimmerman says he is following the child, and the dispatcher told him not to. The kid was in self defense, here. Zimmerman deserves to be under arrest right now and needs to be in jail.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sylvia

        Plain and simple, George Zimmerman is a murderer and should be where he belongs – in jail awaiting trial.

        March 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kerry

      Hey..., what a conundrum!!! Are oxymorons invisible to morons???
      If the MAINstream media is targeted toward the MAINSTREAM, is it really biased? Should it not be skewed left or right to be biased?

      March 24, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • MH

      And proceedings should follow to break up the racist hate group that is the New Black Panthers, arresting those that made a public threat to Zimmerman's life.... js

      March 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        You must be sippin the same Kool-Aid as Zimmerman, maybe you can be in his cell mate, he's going to jail.

        March 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phyllis

    Carolyn, this was well written and I thank you for breaking it down from a legal perspective. There is absolutely no reason George Zimmerman should not be behind bars pending his trial. We can leave race completely out of this and Zimmerman is still guilty. He broke all the rules and if he had only listened to the dispatcher and NOT followed Trayvon, he would still be alive.

    As for him being suspended from school, whether it was for excessive tardiness or for drugs as some reports have said, that’s a moot point and one has nothing to do with the other. He was not seen outside of the complex selling drugs. Even Zimmerman making the comment, “He looks high” was suspect. He was walking back to the house in the building and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. He clearly told her, “There's a guy following me.” He was obviously scared. If Zimmerman had a bloody nose it was because perhaps Trayvon Martin feared for his life. He had no idea who this man was.

    Justice for Trayvon Martin.

    March 24, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  16. Darnelle

    I agree with a few of the assumptions you make in the article. However, this does not mean that he should have jumped the fence to get into the gated community. Zimmerman could reasonably expect that he was tresspassing. There were at least a dozen recent reported burglaries in that complex that matched the profile of Trayvon. It is also rumored that the reason why Trayvon was suspended for school for ten days when it happened was because he was found to be in possesion of drugs. You would agree that this could cause the irrational behavior Zimmerman observed when he made the 911 call.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kerry

      Jumped the fence..., suspended from school..., possession of drugs...! You are hilarious!!! I love you, man!!!

      March 24, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
      • me2

        what color is that kool-aid??? you really need to gain a little knowledge before sharing glenn becks...I mean your opinion

        March 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • InUrArea

      Truly remarkable – even if Trayvon had been suspended for drugs(that is just wild speculation). How would Zimmerman know this? He didn't he just made a wild assumption, like you obviously have and you know what they say when you assume. You make an ass of yourself

      March 24, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • dk76

      kids only get time off from school when they're caught with drugs in school these days? in my days, they call the cops and I would get sent to juvenile detention.

      March 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • WWebb

      Wow Darnelle – Where the heck are you getting your facts from?

      You are so far off base here.

      March 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • MH

        You guys need to keep up! All the pictures of Trayvon in the media are at least from 5 yrs ago. Trayvon is now over 6ft tall and in good shape. Eye witness account claims that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman slamming his head onto the sidewalk, which explains why his head was bleeding on the backside, in addition to having a broken nose. One of Trayvon's friends was asking for weed on his myspage page, so as hilarious as that may be, he was known for doing/dealing drugs. You dont get suspended from school for 10 days for minor infractions but the files are sealed and the parents are not talking about it (wonder why).

        March 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dagobert II

        CNN is now reporting that Martin was suspended from school (and thus 'visiting' his father in Florida) for possession of a bag with traces of marijuana in school. There are also more recent (and far less flattering) photographs of Martin on the internet. Reports have surfaced that there are witnesses indicating that Martin did indeed attack Zimmerman. As more facts surface, these facts seem to support Zimmerman's story and the decisions made by the local police in this case.

        March 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        None of what you stated matters, George Zimmerman didn't have any information about Trayvon Martin, actually it was Zimmerman who had run-ins with the law, so trying to smear Trayvon Martin, sounds like the last act of a desperate man who knows he can't justify what happened to Trayvon Martin, it was murder.

        March 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  17. CP

    What's truly amazing is how so many can view the exact same set of facts and reach such differing conclusions! As a suggestion, forget race and go directly to proper protocol. Police respond to a 911 emergency call and find that someone is dead. The person found at the scene admits to the shooting. Should not the police, as a matter of protocol, arrest this person until such time that the facts may be sorted out? Just seems sensible to me.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  18. rastavibes

    why does it seem like all African American kids are supposed to obey anybody that stops them to ask why are you here or what are you doing.What would happen if Z was black n the kid was white.....that bring up an issue of trust african americans do no trust cops or people in authority because they always seem to be accusing or suspecting them of something. I am in my forties and on weekends we play football (soccer) with friends my age and some yonger why do the cops ocationally come to the field to ask what are we doing(if we have on shorts and tee shirt on a soccer field what could we be doing) Seems as though people come off being very stupid dealing with African American men, which is why I think Z may have felt dissed by Treyvon because he did not stop to answer his questions. People have to stop thingking that African American men are more powerful than they look

    March 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Id like to think the cops asking what you are doing want to join but are too shy to ask

      March 24, 2012 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  19. KintzCNN

    Zimmerman, it is reported, took a four-month law enforcement course with the Sheriff's department.

    Was it an all-day course? A 3-credit (3 hours per week) school course? What?

    When did he take it?

    Zimmerman's friends stated that he wanted to become a police officer.

    Interesting details coming to light these days.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  20. JOHN

    Well,it is very difficult for most Americans to understand a behavioral problem,like the one that Zimmerman presents,is not doubts that he must be a extremely racist person,any one with common sense will realized this,because the recording is very clear he ask the dispatcher,the answer was,DO NOT FOLLOW HIM,but he went after the kid,because the kid was Black,why is so difficult to any regular person to see that? We all know,that a very few racists will harm a person,and this case is one of them. This guy is very dangerous to any minority member. We love to hide or denied that Hispanics,more specifically Cubans and Mexicans hate Black people. I know Florida perfectly,I go there frequently,because I have family there ,and I have Cubans friends and we talk about racism every time we get together,and they have no problems recognizing that they hate Black people.One of them told me the other day that he doesn't like Democrats and now more because how can they elect a Black President?so they hate President Obama more because he is Black,they say :This is a white country chico,why the hell we have a Black President, and Mexicans in the other side hate Black People and white people (they call white people (Gabachos) offensive term to call a person.
    One more thing, There should not be any investigation, Zimmerman killed a unarmed kid,he have to pay for it,he must go to jail,if he does not, we can't trust our Justice System any more. The Police there needs to forget about friendship and do their job properly,there is no excuse for a criminal to be free,just because he killed a Black Kid.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • john crawford

      Why is it that every time something like this happens, the race baiters, "community leaders", "activists" etc. come out of the woodwork and cry RACISM...... I am so sick and tired of everything being turned into a race issue. If people disagree with the presidents policies, they are "racists".... but if you criticized the exact same policies of a white president, it would NOT be racism. Can't ANY of you see that this is purposely done to divide this country and its people against each other? Why does race have to be interjected into situations on all levels today? If this zimmerman guy was in the wrong.... HE NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL.... but for the love of God.... stop making everything racial....

      March 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        By any means necessary, forget about who is fanning the flame of as you call it "race baiters" you sound jim crow, mad at black people for demanding change. This is what it's taken to bring this story to the attention of the world and shine the light on this local police chief and the police force without it we wouldn't be talking about it. All kinds of people are outraged and I suspect given the tone of your comment if the roles were reversed and Trayvon Martin was white and George Zimmerman black you would be concerned about justice not who is calling for justice and how there doing it.

        March 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ronnie12345

        It bothers how you say people are quick to race bait well your to quick to refuse its happening are you really that st**id that you think racism is no longer relevant. Come on look at society we are still divided we stay with our own because we insult other races besides our own.

        March 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ronnie12345

        Death has triple after this law became thats enough for me to repeal it.

        March 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Paul

        We all know if you are born white you are a racist right? because racism is a white problem correct? So why should people change if thats the supposed case? The shame of this is 1) a person is dead and 2) The Race of those involved is more important to everyone than understanding and making damn sure this doesn't happen again requardless of peoples race. Problem is this guy was told by Police officers to stop following him and he continued, that is what is wrong with this scenerio. If he had listened as he should have Trayvon would not be dead and Zimmerman would not be facing murder charges. Maybe Zimmerman was racist to some degree but that is not where this went South, he disobeyed a direct order by Police to stop following him. Zimmerman could have let the police handle the situation instead of pressing the issue. Besides he failed to identify himself as a Neighborhood watch which may have diffused the issue before it got to the point it did. So point in case this is far less about race and more about one man's poor judgement, maybe these neighborhood watch programs need more oversight or better coordination with local law enforcement so people are trained better on how to handle situations and keep them from becoming fatal, as I see it this is where the disconnect lies but problem is also going to be who and how is something like that funded. Racism comes in all colors and as imperfect human beings we all are succeptable to it.

        March 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        Your points are well-taken. The other part of the race question beyond the presumption of bias on Zimmerman's part is the belief amongst many, that the police department was too willing to sweep this investigation under the because of Trayvon's race.

        March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Bribarian

    ya and I guess Carolyn was present during this right?

    March 23, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard Ackerman

      No more than you or I. You might also want to consider that no judge or member of any jury that has ever convicted or acquitted a person of a crime, has ever witnessed the crime that they are passing judgement on actually taking place.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  22. BillyOmaha

    I agree whole-heartedly with Ms. Edgar's opinion. I wrote the below in response to another op-ed as to why we aren't seeing a prosecution in this case:

    There is "no confusion" on anyone's part. The vast majority of Americans wants Zimmerman prosecuted for killing of Trayvon Martin.

    I am a Second Amendment enthusiast and supportive of Florida's stance on gun possession.

    What I must be witnessing in this case is a deliberate attempt by the District Attorney to refuse to perform their duty to prosecute Zimmerman. By exercising their "discretion" in a self-serving and capricious manner by not bringing the case in a timely manner two purposes will be served:
    1- The public will be outraged that a young man (it make it so much more salacious that he is Black) is killed and the Justice System claiming it hands are tied and it can't make a case against Zimmerman and
    2- The Justice System with it politicians that are against the 2nd Amendment will use the lack of prosecution to demonize the NRA and gun ownership.

    Do you doubt this claim that this is happening, the deliberate failure to prosecute a killer of young Black male in order to gain political capital to restrict gun ownership? Do you buy the argument that "we can't arrest him because the witness is dead and he claims self-defense"? That is B.S.. District Attorneys all over this country bring charges against individuals with far less evidence than is clearly apparent in this case.

    Bring the charges, make the case for at, a minimum, negligent homicide and let the jury decide.

    This isn't the case of the Right going too far on guns, it is a case of the Left using a victims life as ammunition in a political campaign.

    March 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  23. DF

    For me Zimmerman's claim that Trayvon was the aggressor doesn't add up. This kid is minding his own business, he tells his girlfriend about some creepy guy falling him, we can hear on the 911 tapes that it is Zimmerman who verbally confronts him...in what world does it make any sense that a 17yo boy is going to physically attack a man who is considerably larger and is carrying a firearm? It doesn't. Frankly the Sanford Chief of Police should be embarrassed at his own comments and at the actions/inaction of his department. Even the author of the Florida 'stand your ground' statute weighed in and said that law doesn't apply to Zimmerman.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  24. stu

    This is asinine, don't get me wrong it is tragic when ever a young person dies but this is ridiculous. The young man was exhibiting criminal behavior and was shot. It was not racial profiling because Zimmerman reffered to him as black on the 911 tapes it was simply a way to describe the young man to the police. Read the police reports listen to the tapes, the shooting was justified. It is not the police chiefs fault it is not the laws fault it certainly isn't the guns fault. If it were an African-American who shot an African-American or a white who shot another white no one would have turned it into this movement for "justice". Zimmerman acted within the law, and therfore his actions were justified, hence he was not charged...again I find it to be very tragic this young man lost his life but it was justified.

    March 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard Ackerman

      Stu .... If I think you are exhibiting criminal behavior (whatever I happen to think that means at the time) can I shoot you too?

      March 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        How is it the press released a minuite by minuite report on 911 – meanwhile all the articles say is that the girfriend was on his phone all day to this date?

        March 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Great question Richard Ackerman, Can we stu?

        March 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • DF

        Your question perfectly illustrates how absurd stu's logic is.

        March 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        The florida state laws are corrupt for just that reason –
        “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.”

        “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.”

        you can try to defend yourself from ?imminant threat ? but get killed if you do anything – the weasels -

        March 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JVJ

      LAst time I checked WWH (Walking While Hoodied) wasn't criminal behavior, just evidence of hipsterism. Evidentely when you turn it into WWB&H (Walking While Black & Hoodied) you're probably about ready to do some crimes.

      Might want to reanalyze that statement..

      March 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      stu, what's assine is your comment, if he was exhibiting criminal behavior, what was it and who decided it was criminal behavior? George Zimmerman was not and is not qualified or authorized to determine that and you don't seem to understand the law or the rights and protections afforded citizens of this country. Trayvom Martin was being followed by a man he didn't know, who never identified himself to either Trayvon or the police as being a neighborhood watch volunteer, never told Trayvon he was on the phone to the police and never told the police he was armed with a 9mm gun. I know the claim that Trayvon Martin was exhibiting criminal behavior fits your scenario of what Trayvon Martin was doing but you're wrong. Unless you have independent firsthand knowledge or you witnessed what happened you are assuming facts that are unknown. George Zimmerman had no legal right or authority to detain, question or impede Trayvon Martin's progress, to claim that this shooting was justifiable shows your lack of understanding. If I decide that you are exhibiting criminal behavior according to you, I can shoot and kill you and be protected by the law right?

      March 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • iwjwefepwfej

        Yo have no proof that Z detained or impeded M in any way. In fact, the non-emergency recording proves that M got away and that Z had no idea where M was until No_LImit_Punk doubled back and sucker punched him. Good riddance to bad trash!

        January 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Your own comment says that "M got away" got away from who or what? The little punk got away? A lot was made about how big and threatening M was but you refer to him as a little punk, did you know Trayvon personally? You're preconceived ideas seem more in line with Z. I think Z was the real punk he never would have pursued M if he wasn't armed, and if he wasn't armed he wouldn't have been in the position he claims of being fearful he would lose his weapon.
        He could have told M he was on the phone with the Police and that he was armed, something he didn't even tell the police. Z was hoping for a confrontation something he mostly likely would not have done if he didn't have a gun. Now no doubt you've been suckered punch before did you shoot that person? Or someone who may have accidentally stepped on your foot? Stop drinkin' Z's kool-aid.

        January 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • DF

      The kid was walking home with Skittles and a drink while talking on a cellphone. How in the heck can you say he was exhibiting criminal behavior. Zimmerman saw a black teenager and racially profiled him. Shame on you!

      March 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        He's probably refering to the news report about the police verifiying there was a scuffle between the two, with both recieving wounds. -

        March 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        They have video too.

        March 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        So according to the ny attorney that wrote this, the press following someone is using unjustified iforce ? and thats without the pictures.

        March 23, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        Thoes 911 operators are so dam stupid they try to talk people out of sending any assisstance when called and asked for – because their specialists .

        March 23, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
      • iwjwefepwfej

        Everyone knows that people who eat skittles never commit crimes.

        January 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      The article is a perfect example of banter that lawyers barter favors from judges for.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • sk madison

      Apparently, with George Zimmerman patroling the streets, we will no longer needs police officers, judges, or jurys. He got it covered... Really???

      March 23, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcepan

      Troll – scroll down and see that "stu" has been repeating this same comment in the hopes of getting this exact response from us. Just ignore him.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      stu, there's no way to get you wrong, you are wrong!

      March 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyle GP

      Is your real name Stu, or G Zimmerman..... Seems to me that you and Z are one and the same because you both share the same warped logic exhibited by inferior and deranged individuals. I hope and pray that you don't volunteer in your neighborhood as night watchman, otherwise, more innocent lives will be wasted.

      March 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        well said!!

        March 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Anne

    As a black woman, I am also heartened to see people of all races, and of differing political affiliations, looking at this situation and seeing it exactly for what it is. The fact remains that Zimmerman was spoiling for a confrontation and ended up murdering an innocent young man. I also firmly believe that if someone instigates a confrontation and gets his tail whipped, he has no right to claim self-defense especially after he commits murder. The actions of that police department added insult to the injury of Trayvon's parents and other loved ones, because they chose to accept Zimmerman's narrative with no questions asked. Even worse, they did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol, while they tested Trayvon during the autopsy. They checked Trayvon's background and there were no run-ins with the law.
    Yet, they claimed Zimmerman's record was "squeaky clean" in spite of the fact that he has had run-ins with the law,
    including battery of a police officer and domestic violence. I am also glad that Zimmerman cannot fall back on the Stand Your Ground law in Florida as a defense, and that there was a no-confidence vote on Chief Bill Lee for his department's mishandling of a case they thought they could sweep under the rug.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Lou

      It's unfortunate you and many more of the CNN interviewees and interviewers are taking this one sided, inflammatory, racist stance. You don't know what happened (nor do I); just what is said and reported. That rhetoric is not designed to get the truth, but to prosecute Mr. Zimmerman, regardless of the truth. This is all being done to create pressure to accomplish your agenda. Now CNN will probably give coverage and interviews to that self promoting, polarizing racist Al Sharpton.
      Why don't you ease off the inflammatory, racist rhetoric and let justice happen without the biased pressure?

      March 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        Notice that the same people that accomplished nothing but collect and make money to create confusion to divide, are involved.

        March 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Richard Ackerman

        Lou .... I think you are way out of line here. All that she said was that "Zimmerman was spoiling for a confrontation and ended up murdering an innocent young man". The simple fact is that: 1) He is NOT a law enforcement officer and has none of their authority. 2) He was wandering around the neighborhood carrying a concealed deadly weapon. 3) He specifically pursued and confronted this kid AGAINST the wishes of the police department. 4) He killed an unarmed person. There is nothing racist in what she said. By the way, since you seem to like to see things along racial lines, I am white.

        March 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Really Lou, would that be your concern if it was your 17 year old child murder by this killer, don't make it about race, all kinds of people are reacting to this.

        March 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      1. How'd he get a weapon if found guilty for battery of a police officer ?
      2. Why didn't the 911 operator send a officer for assistance when asked, instead of arguing with him ?
      3. why approch someone if armed ?
      but that doesn't raise the dead.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Anne, well said.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  26. MrK

    You have 1) a clear case of murder – Zimmerman stalked the kid, he was armed and the kid was not, he dismissed 911 orders to stop following him around. That alone means he can't say he fealt threatened. You don't stalk the individual you are afraid of. What he was trying to do, was try to get some kind of evidence on tape that would make it sound like he was justified because he 'felt afraid' and was 'in fear for his life'.

    2) Not only did the police not arrest him, they didn't confiscate the murder weapon, they let him keep it (even though he has a record of assaulting a police officer). In fact, if any investigation was done, it was of the victim, instead of the perpetrator. They did blood tests on Trayvon Martin, but not George Zimmerman. They made no efforts to contact the parents, even though they had the victim's cellphone.

    3) Conclusion

    From the very time they arrived at the scene, they were determined that George Zimmerman would not prosecuted for this crime, which is coldblooded and premeditated murder.

    He is 'hispanic', but what does that mean? What about his dad – Zimmerman is not your average Hispanic name. Could his dad be in the Klan, like the police officers, and is that why they immediately knew that they should cover this up?

    March 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Were they on public or private property ??????

      March 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • sk madison

        I believe the victim was headed to a back to a home in the gated community, where he was a guest...

        March 23, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      If it looks like a duck quacks like a duck, it's a coverup!!

      March 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  27. wondering

    Trayvon was shot in the chest, and yet, from all reports, Zimmerman didn't have blood on the front of his Tshirt from the shot. Wouldn't Zimmerman then have had to be at least a few feet away when Trayvon was shot?
    If so, and if Zimmerman still thought Trayvon was a threat, then Zimmerman would have had to assume that Trayvon was going to lunge for him, based on a former known history of Trayvon running away.
    If Trayvon had suddenly gone into attack mode during those few missing minutes, but was several feet away from Zimmerman when Trayvon was shot, then why didn't Zimmerman shoot Trayvon in the leg instead of the chest?
    Even the stand your ground law allows "deadly force" only if it's reasonably believed to be necessary.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      If your aunt had testicles she'd be your uncle, add as many variables as you want it's still murder of an unarmed person

      March 23, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  28. truegoddess

    I have worked as an unarmed security guard for over 10 years. I am female 5 foot 4 inches tall. Once I detained and escorted not one but THREE teenage youths from the corporate towers. Two of those boys towered over me. I accomplished this without backup/assistant or causing physical harm. How? I am a trained professional. One thing I would love to see come from this case is more mandatory traiining [nation wide] for all security personnel to include neighborhood watch personnel. A public servant must earn and have the public's trust. Lastly, to all the men and women who do their jobs with respect and integrity. Keep doing it and God Bless!

    March 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      You were lucky, thats all.
      The training is nothing more than how to respond in court.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • sk madison

        You do realize that people can be apprehended with shooting them? Or do you prefer the kill'em all and let God sort'em out approach?

        March 23, 2012 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        What are you, a former gladiator ?

        March 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  29. fintastic

    I'm not getting this story..... Martin WAS UNARMED!... If Zimmerman was an actual police officer, would he have been allowed to discharge his weapon? What happens when a police officer shoots and kills an unarmed man?...

    March 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      What legal reason is there to attack a police officer ?

      March 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • sk madison

        Maybe you should ask Mr. Zimmerman.

        March 23, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Richard Ackerman

        Maybe that's just the point ... If there is NO legal reason to ever attack a police officer, then there certainly is never a legal reason to attack (and kill) an unarmed kid.

        March 23, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Hector Martinez

      Excellent point. Zimmerman was either a vengeful racist, stupid armed thug, who couldn't control his temper, or idiot trying to be a Charles Bronson style vigilante cop. He obviously didn't have any fear of killing somebody and Florida's laws helped him with that. Whatever, it looks like murder to me. The stupid stand your ground law is a joke in this case, considering physical size difference and no bruises or signs of struggle were found. Shame on the Stanford P. D.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  30. Judy K

    I am hearbroken and devastated that RACISM is repeatedly showing its ugly head. This was an injustice to Trayvon and We the People must fight for his justice. This person, Zimmerman is just INSANE and no telling if he was intoxicated or high on drugs himself. I'm sure he wasn't evaluated for that. Zimmerman is a psychopath and a danger to society.
    He needs to be incarcerated, for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou

      All we know is what has been reported so far. You do not know exactly what happened, nor do I. But you are throwing out a bunch of inflammatory accusations. You are the racist. Let justice take it's course without the biased media pressure.

      March 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        We would be wrong to dismiss race as factor as we would be to attirbute this incident exclusively to race. The question needs to be asked and answered.
        Further, as popular as it has become in recent years to blame the media for inciting emotions, were it not for the media attention, this situation would have been swept under the rug without an investigation of the facts – leaving no opportunity for justice to be decided, whether for the victim or the shooter.

        March 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. JOSE0311USMC

    DISARMING PEOPLE -–BANNING GUNS WILL ONLY BENEFIT THE BAD GUYS....THE BAD GUYS DO NOT FOLLOW THE GUN LAWS...THE GOOD PEOPLE WILL BE THE VICTIMS...THE BAD GUYS WILL CONTINUE TO CARRY A GUN..

    March 21, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • joetex

      You're of the same mold as Zimmerman...THE IDIOT MOLD!

      March 21, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Quadg

      In the UK criminals dont bother with guns for most crimes. As its a mandatory minimum 5yr prison sentence for possession.
      so if a criminal has a gun, its not in his pocket, its buried in some woods somewhere or in his girlfriends knicker draw. it is not pushed into your face when they try to take your wallet... good old stop and search laws prevent this.
      And if they have a pistol then they are a criminal.. dead easy to spot..
      knife crime has replced gun crime and knife crime is much easier to survive... run away. its next to impossible to fataly stab someone who is running away. 1000's of years of running away from predators with huge pointy teeth has given us natural body armour against stab wounds from behind.. overlapping ribs stopping punctures at a downward angle and big shoulder blades.
      a man chasing you can not get the leverage or force to stab upwards while he is running.. so just run.
      good luck running from a gun.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • neil

      except in countries like the UK and Ireland – gun crime is practically non existent compared to the US, the cops dont carry guns because gun crime is that rare; guns are so hard to get hold of that even when there is a gun related murder its usually confinded to inter-criminal murders for the simple reason its too much effort for crinimals to obtain such a weapon for anything less. The US gun laws are crazy period.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Vernon

      I agree one hundred percent with JOSE0311USMC gun laws will only effect the honest gun owners in the US. I am a retired Police Sgt. With over 20 years experience and it is always the same the bad guys are going to get their guns regardless of any laws. There are some laws in some States that is suppose to prevent people that have committed felonies from having handguns and assault rifles and I cannot remember how many of those folks I have arrested over the years for having guns they are not suppose to be able to get. The bottom line is they will have their guns even if a law is past. A gun control law is not the answer ,public awareness and training are our best tools.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Innocent people are killed by legal guns owners too, so it's not just about who has the guns or will have them, I have no problem with gun ownership by lawful people but understand that just having a weapon doesn't make you safe and there are many things to consider when you use a gun. You need guns to protect guns to keep them from being taken. You have to safeguard the guns you have. I was an Air Force Security Policeman and I went to work each day with a .38, an M-16 w/120 rds of ammo or GAU, a M-79 grenade launcher and M-60 machine gun. I didn't feel safe. When we were relieved for meals we had to have personnel stand guard over the weapons. Having a weapon is not the panacea for protection you need more than that.

        March 23, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • stu

      This is asinine, don't get me wrong it is tragic when ever a young person dies but this is ridiculous. The young man was exhibiting criminal behavior and was shot. It was not racial profiling because Zimmerman reffered to him as black on the 911 tapes it was simply a way to describe the young man to the police. Read the police reports listen to the tapes, the shooting was justified. It is not the police chiefs fault it is not the laws fault it certainly isn't the guns fault. If it were an African-American who shot an African-American or a white who shot another white no one would have turned it into this movement for "justice". Zimmerman acted within the law, and therfore his actions were justified, hence he was not charged...again I find it to be very tragic this young man lost his life but it was justified.

      March 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        What criminal behavior was being practiced by the victim in this case?

        March 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marcepan

        "stu" is a troll, reposting the same obnoxious paragraph in the hopes of getting us riled up. Please disregard him.

        March 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Richard Ackerman

        Stu .... Sine you like to re-post your old comment I will repost my old response to your comment. And how about an answer to my question this time. If I think you are exhibiting criminal behavior (whatever I happen to think that means at the time) can I shoot you too?

        March 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      a topic for a different subject, a good guy was murdered by a guy who was pretending to be a good guy who had a gun

      March 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Ike

    A surefire sign that a person is a racist is when they complain about others using the "race card"? What, you expect us to believe that if we all just never talk about racism as if it doesn't exist that it will all go away? Puh-lease...

    March 21, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  33. Ann Howe

    A good student according to his teachers, a decent boy, look at that intelligent, honest face. We need young people like that who would grow into responsible adults. We have lost one of the good kids ... we have all lost ... Zimmerman should have been charged, his bac should have been tested, he should have been in jail while facts were searched out and studied. It makes me fear ... it makes me want to leave for another country the other side of the pond. God help Trayovn's family to deal with this horrific loss.

    March 21, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • jon dark

      i understand your fear ann and it's kustified, if this was my kid believe me people would pay for rhis, zimmerman, the chief of police and anyone else involved in his death, i'm white, and i know blacks that should be shot but i don't believe just any black person should be shot just because he's black, this was a good boy, he deserved better, i'll tell ya what i'm thinking, i live i pa but i'm thinking about going to this gated community and walking around til someone stops me then pulling out my 9mm and shooting them because i'm in fear of my life, gated community or not zimmerman had no reason to stop this boy, he is not a cop, when i first heard this story and zimmerman was not taken into custody to even get his side of the story i flipped, i thought how crazy are the police in that town, then i read the new law, but does that law allow you to follow a 17 year old, unarmed person and kill him on a whim, if thats the case then the people of fla shoud get together and have that law changed because like this incident anyone could say they were in fear of their life and kill someone, think you people, this is a stupid law, get it changed...

      March 21, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Blahma

      I don't know about you, but that photo is old. I'd like to see what the kid looked like at 17, not 12 or 14. This whole event stinks of media exploitation.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        You may be right, Blahma, but replace Trayvon's name with your own child's name in these articles and discussions. Then try to imagine what kind of justificaton you would want to see before accepting this outcome as rational and right.

        March 21, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        FAMILY WANT THE KID TO LOOK HARMLESS..THE YOUNGER HE LOOKS, THE MORE PEOPLE WILL SIDE WITH HIM.

        March 21, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Chuck

        Ahh, I see. So looking like a "scary" black teenager is justification for being shot, then? Moron.

        March 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        what, you want to see a picture of a 17 year old boy when he was 12 because what? are you really George Zimmerman?
        and what is it you think stinks cause it doesn't seem as though you care about Trayvon Martin

        March 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. cla2112

    Well, no matter what you call it, there's parents without a son now. Race should not matter, an innocent boy is murdered by Zimmerman, using race as a factor is only going to ignite tension and blur the real facts surrounding this tragedy.

    March 21, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Race matters because if it had been a little white boy walking around the neighborhood, Zimmerman would have driven right by. Zimmerman assumed because the child was black that he was a troublemaker. The very essence of racism and hatred demonstrated proudly and publicly by the Florida State legislature. Congratulations. Just one more notch in your belts.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        If the Florida Gov. appoints a new prosecutor, what happens to the old one ?

        March 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Anna

    Zimmerman is Latino NOT white Zimmerman is a laid and a murder. Zimmerman was arrested before for attacking a police officer. If he was being attack why would he follow his attacker? It doesn't make sense. America is like Nazi Germany.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      ZIMMERMAN LOOK MEXICAN TO ME ?? OR SOMEONE FROM SOUTH AMERICA OTHER THAN MEXICO.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        This discussion of Zimmerman's appearance, ethnicity, nationality, or race is really trivializing the killing of this young man. The race of the two parties is only relevant with regard to whether it was contributory to the events leading up to the shooting. If a review of the 911 logs of his dozens of calls indicate that he tended to single out minorities (or youth, or kids in urban fashions, ect.), it is what it is.
        In any case, we are faced with a black kid who happened to be killed or a dead kid who happened to be black. I would like to know why. And, I would like to see justice served.

        March 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Vernon

      Just wanted to say that the United States of America is nothing like Nazi Germany and I really do not believe it will ever be. This is a horrible tragedy but Mr. Zimmerman does have rights that say he is innocent until proven guilty and the Police should not bend under the pressure from the Press or NAACP while they are conducting their investigation. Anna we still have rights here that people in Nazi Germany did not have at that time.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  36. wondering

    I notice from the girlfriend's tape that when Zimmerman cornered Trayvon, Trayvon asked him, "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman had the opportunity to tell Trayvon who he was at that point, but he didn't. I wonder if Trayvon ever found out that Zimmerman was the Neighborhood Watch "captain".

    March 21, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      The issue here is emotion v. law
      http://www.walb.com/story/17147174/shocking

      March 21, 2012 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I have been making that same point, that during the 911 call Zimmerman never identifies himself as a neighborhood watch person to Trayvon or to the police, nor did he tell the police he was armed. He should be arrested immdiately and charged with first degree murder.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  37. gideodog

    When will CNN run stories on BLACK HATE CRIMES? Mr. Zimmerman is Hispanic so they're putting him in the White bag to make their case. Race baiting is the only story running.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • tired of bs

      Which black hate crimes are u referring to? And the news is 400 years behind in reporting to CONTINUED WHITE hate crimes. Get out of denial and get your head out of your ass.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carol Channing

        Gd article . But there are so many nazi like trolls in these forums, it's difficult to have any reasonable intelligent conversation. What they don't realize is this is beyond politics when both republican and democratic leaders are outraged that this 250 lb bully stalked and murdered an innocent individual with no repurcussions.

        Chief Lee will face charges and no longer have a job, that is certain. And now , thank God, with legal impartial investigations from the DOJ, FBI and Grand Jury, Zimmerman will definitely be in prison for life on first degree.

        March 21, 2012 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
      • john thompson

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,539927,00.html

        March 21, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Blahma

        How about the growing numbers of Flash Mob attacks by blacks on innocent non-black bystanders? Would that be a good start?

        March 21, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        While these dumb-ass flash mobs are a problem that needs to be addressed, the answer to your question is, "No." It is not appropriate to use an unrelated, though troubling, situation as a distraction from the subject of this discussion.

        March 21, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      you need a guide dog gideodog

      March 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  38. jt35

    good article. it's obvious from some of the posters on this article that the fact that she states the codes and the specific words of the law do not get in the way of their own prejudices. her quoting the law for all to consider in the context of this case seems to be some "manipulation" or "lawyer speak" to prove her point, not just a simple statement of the law. well, don't let facts get in the way of your beliefs. zimmerman was the aggressor. zimmerman is not a law officer. zimmerman cannot produce any evidence he correctly identified himself and why he was pursuing martin. zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed 17yo on his way home from the store. the police initiated no investigation to rule in or out the facts as zimmerman stated them, despite the fact that there was an unarmed dead teenager. there was no investigation. there is no verification that zimmerman told the truth. there is verification that an unarmed boy on his way home from the store was shot by an unkown person pursuing him in a vehicle.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • wondering

      Agree. My understanding is that the police never even tested Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol. They tested Trayvon.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • fintastic

      Was Martin armed??????.... I see no mention of this in the original article.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Maurice

    CNN needs to get on their job and do better reporting. I WANT EVERYONE THAT READS THIS to go back and listen to when Zimmerman is talking to the dispatcher right before the dispatcher asks if he was following him. Zimmerman mumbles "fu cking c00ns". this is clearly murder and racially motivated. This case has FEDERAL all over it. this guy should face capital punishment for taking the life of young innocent blood.

    March 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • wondering

      You are right! I finally checked that out myself. I thought people were misinterpreting Zimmerman's other comment about "getting away". But this is an entirely separate comment at about the 2:20 mark on the Zimmerman 911 tape.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  40. simon

    i though O Bama was to be the great healer but his actions speak of the great divider. could this be the cause

    March 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • SevenTX

      You missed the topic by a mile. Try reading the story and post relevant comments.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donald

      Are you really that stupid, or is this supposed to be a joke?

      March 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Moses

        Nope. He's really that stupid.

        March 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • F1484

      Sorry, but PRESIDENT Obama cannot magically remove the racism from your heart. You and your ilk have to do that on your own.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • The Motley Sage

      I tell you what....

      I'm a black man. I was in DC (on 14th and U Street) on the night Obama was elected. When I got there, there was this euphoric sense of unity that I have never felt. There were whites, blacks, hispanics and latin americans (I'm told there's a difference), you name it... EVERYone was happy and on the same page for once. White women were coming up giving me hugs for no reason. Complete strangers were taking photos together. We marched to the White House and cheered. All because Obama got elected.

      So having experienced that and seen it with my own eyes, I'm not certain I understand your comment. #thatisall

      March 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Dagobert II

    Ah, just call it an abortion and we can all quit worrying about it.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • SevenTX

      That's what your mother called it but somehow you survived.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Huey

    This is America's answer to all her problems, Martin Luther King, bang, Malcom X, bang, Nat Turner, bang, Black Panther Party, bang bang bang bang, all of those unknowns, bang bang bang kill kill kill. What ever happen to the suggestion of the Department of Peace? You know what happen, bang.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • simon

      i though O Bama was to be the great healer but his actions speak of the great divider. could this be the cause?

      mayb he is flat out scaring people to death

      bl ack theo logy
      cri ti cal race theory
      b. ay ers work with the pan thers

      March 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Randy

    There is no doubt at this point that Zimmerman escalated the situation by confronting Martin, and it doesn't appear Zimmerman even had a justifiable reason to approach and/or question Martin as near as I can tell (although the whole story isn't known yet). Zimmerman should have stayed in his vehicle as the dispatcher suggested.

    Walking after dark in a gated community is not an offense, and neighborhood watch captain or not, Zimmerman had no valid reason or authority to stop, question, or interfere with Martin. That's for the police to do.

    I'd bet that Zimmerman thought he was going to "roust some punk" and get strokes for being a hero. When Martin didn't "cooperate" the way Zimmerman, things deteriorated and Martin was shot. This whole thing was ENTIRELY avoidable, and like it or not, Zimmerman is the one to blame for what happened.

    Frankly, if a much larger person approached me with a gun, I'd be more than a little apprehensive, and I might very well strike the first blow in order to protect myself against what I thought was an assault. I don't know if that's what Martin did or not, but if he did I can certainly see why. Chase after me in the dark with a gun? Better expect me to fight you.

    Zimmerman made all the mistakes in this situation, and he can't justify his actions no matter what is said now.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pianoman

      your comment reads like a good way to get shot. I think I might just tell the guy I'm staying at my step mother's place and try to avoid any trouble with a person who would question me with a gun in his hand

      March 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • CC

        There is no indication that Zimmerman had the gun in his hand when he approached. However, there is reason to believe that Martin had no way of knowing who Zimmerman was or what his intentions were. The statements by the girl Martin was talking to on the phone show that Martin was scared and didn't know who was following him.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Randy

        "your comment reads like a good way to get shot. I think I might just tell the guy I'm staying at my step mother's place and try to avoid any trouble with a person who would question me with a gun in his hand"

        What makes you think I don't carry a firearm as well? :)

        Yep, in my state we can legally carry a pistol, and I have for over 30 years. If you approach me with a gun out, be prepared for a defensive response.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kate

        Right. Then after you tell the guy with the gun where you are going, he takes you there, robs the house, and kills everyone inside. You know this can happen. Why would this poor young man think anything other than a criminal is chasing him and plans to hurt him.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tdm

        Do you really think this young man was even given the opportunity to answer when he was asked what he was doing in the neighborhood? It's very easy to say what you would have done in this situation. Too bad Trayvon wasn't given the time to contemplate what he should have done. If you were being chased by a man carrying a gun, I don't think your first thought would be, let me engage this man in civilized conversation to determine why he is pursuing me. Most responsible parents teach their children to run or yell for help if they are being chased by a stranger. Not stop and give the person a chance to kill, rape, rob or assault them. Exactly what world do you live in?

        March 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Why would you expect to get shot? Would it be because Trayvon Martin got shot? Would you be expecting this person that you didn't know would approach you without identifying himself and ask you what your doing here? It was none of his business why Trayvon Martin was there and we teach our kids not to talk to strangers. Not even a sworn law enforcement official had the right to question Trayvon Martin without probable cause and this was private property. Trayvon Martin had rights too, if you don't understand that then no wonder you would answer his question.

        March 23, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  44. Greg Morgan

    I don't approve of people carrying firearms around in public, but if you do, and you are ever approached by George Zimmerman, just remember that he is a threat to innocent people, so you might want to make sure you shoot before he does. Since he has already proven himself to be a threat, you can rest assured that the Florida law that Zimmerman wants to use to justify what he has done will be even more likely to justify your shooting him.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Woodzilla007

      And I don't approve of people carrying Greg Morgan around in public...

      March 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      These types of ridiculous laws enacted by vigilante legislators have sprung up around the country. I wonder if anyone has kept a body count.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Blahma

        Actually, these laws have done a lot of good. I'm all for them.

        March 21, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        I am curious as to how you would define the "good" done by the Florida law that appears to be protecting the shooter in this case.

        March 21, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Yes sir!!

      March 23, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  45. JOSE0311USMC

    KEEP YOUR COMMENTS SHORT..NO ONE READ THE MILE LONG COMMENTS-JOHNNY SEVEN-–EVE PEELE...

    March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • mjira

      I've read them in their entirety and have found them well worth it and interesting. Please speak for youself and don't assume you speak for others.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon dark

      hey jose, who the hell died and made you the boss, mind your own business idiot...

      March 21, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  46. Edward R.

    The Sandford chief of police should be fired

    March 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Eve Peele

    Rae Ann Pointer? Omg, even if Zimmerman had bruises the tapes clearly indicate it was Trayvon screaming for his life. Of course he is going to try to defend himself when he is being followed and then threatened. If you saw a gun wouldn't you try to defend yourself? Wounds or not, he had 100 pounds more on the kid and he was in control with a pistol in his possesion. Listen to the tapes, who sounded in control when they made the call? Who sounded irritated that another one gets away. He was told not to follow the boy. A boy who did not do anything but was walking along in a gated community at night trying to return to his fathers home. You don't have children clearly otherwise you would better understand this situation. This young boy was profiled. In the night, what could Zimmerman really see? He states he was on drugs or clearly doing something. How does he know if he was in his vehicle at the time he made this call to the police. He was making the call to cover himself. He has been looking for something like this for a while now. Considering in 2011 he has made over 46 calls of this nature to the police and like Zimmerman said they always get away. Well his intentions this time were, not this time. If he had stayed in his vehicle until police arrived none of this would have had to happen. But to say that Zimmerman was in the right and because he had bruises because this young terrified boy couldn't understand why he was being followed and questioned when he wasnt seen running out of a store, or the community or climbing out a window or looked like a thug if you could even see that much in the dark. I mean really listen to the tapes. Why would Trayvon be screaming if he weren't the one in danger? You can tell the cry of a young boys voice versus the cry of a man of 28 years old. As I said, listen to the tapes. Zimmerman was clearly annoyed, irritated and making assumptions that the boy was on something because he was walking. He didn't say he was swaying and stumbling about. How can you tell if someone is on drugs in the dark from that distance while in your vehicle unless you can clearly see their eyes? The only way you could tell in the dark and assume he was on drugs or up to no good was if he was unable to walk, or stumbling. I have seen many teens drunk or on drugs while driving or walking in my neighborhood it's not hard to identify. Each time I have called the police on these individuals it was because of their behavior and sure enough each time, I saw the police arrest them. Not hard to tell if someone is on something and Zimmerman never mentioned it on the phone that he was stumbling about. The police have always asked me how do you know they are drunk or high, and I am able to say because they are doing this or that. So Trayvon is the unfortunate, innocent victim who was profiled by a man who had no authority what so ever to be questioning this boy, getting out of his car and following him when told not too, and he just wanted to cover himself by making the call. Not saying he had intentions of killing the boy, but wanted to use his little authority to feel like a big man. I hope his days are over for good. This is clearly a case of racism and profiling. That is why he said "they" always get away. "They" meaning who? Kids, black kids? Who is they? And then to say the kid is checking me out and oh he is coming my way, coming towards me. He wanted it on tape so that it would appear he was the one in danger and being threatened. After 46 calls in just one year, either this is a really bad area where the police should be not a community worker, or after 46 calls he has been looking to find some one to bully and never was able to get the approval by the police to do so and they also never made it in time as he states on the tapes, so this time he was going to take care of it himself. I mean really, even if a 17 year old boy tried to beat up a 28 year old man that weighs over 100 pounds more, who do you think has the upper hand or strength I should say? Look at how small that boy appeared and out of all the pictures that were displayed of him, you could see he was a good kid. Well its absurd to say anything more. Can't convince someone when they want to see what they want. Zimmerman would be lucky if he is tried to have you on his jury.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Everything you posted is very accurate and as more facts come out it's clearer to every fair, reasonable minded person that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin that he did so with malice and bias because of Trayon's race. The fact that he had bruises or grass stains may only mean that he fell and injured himself while following Trayvon. Zimmerman never told Trayvon Martin or the police he was armed, he never identified himself as a neighborhood watch volunteer, and his mindset during this call is disturbing and evidence of bias against this young man. He should be arrested and charged with the first degree murder of Trayvon Martin immediately, there is no law which can mitigate what he did.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  48. Nobody N. Particular

    In most states, self-defense is an affirmative defense (that is to say, "I did it, but I was justified"); in those states, this is an admission of responsibility and therefore requires an arrest and an investigation to see if the claim can be substantiated. Once the investigation is complete all the evidence should be handed over to the DA, and the DA make the determination if it was murder or self-defense, the police DO NOT determine who will be prosecuted. In my home state, which recently passed a Castle law (only applies within your home or business, not the street) you have to meet four criteria to claim self-defense:
    1. You MUST be in immanent threat of death
    2. A reasonable person, if in the same situation, would agree that it is immanent threat of death (requires a jury to make that determination)
    3. You cannot instigate or antagonize the situation to the point it became life threatening (that includes following or chasing people)
    4. You only use the force required to stop the threat (given the size difference no gun was necessary, even assuming Martin was the aggressor)

    In this case, its clearly not a self-defense issue, Mr Zimmerman chose his victim because of his race then pursued him like some sort of prey, even after being advised by 911 operator not to engage the youth. Young Mr Martin didn't realize he didn't have a chance, and maybe tried to defend him self (justly) from this threat, only to be murdered in cold blood. Mr Zimmerman should be facing murder charges, and the sheriff should be standing right be side him as an accessory after the fact. If the sheriff and his deputies had followed the mandate of "Serve and Protect", they would have investigated the scene as crime scene and arrested Zimmerman until the investigation was complete.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blahma

      Ah, but he's not. And you know what is really sickening? Zimmerman's parents have huge influence in that community. The real tragedy is that the media refuses to cover that angle. Zimmerman's father is a retired Virginia magistrate judge and his mother a court clerk.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Nobody you put it very succinctly in a way we can all understand that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin in cold blood. He should have been arrested and charged just the way you laid it out.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  49. Eve Peele

    Also what's so outrageous is we are going to take the word, "the word" of Zimmerman just because he volunteers or is employed to do community watch. So if he asked Trayvon what are you doing here? How do we assume, Trayvon didn't respond and tell him? Why is it we can assume Trayvon's intentions, but not Zimmerman's? This is definitely racism and the Sanford Police Department play a large role. The are all corrupt. When I first moved there, I was in parts of the state where at the gas station racial fights would break out between an African American and a (sorry to say) red neck. It was always the red neck starting the trouble. I would see confederate flags hanging in the windows of homes and was told by my son's high school teacher who was from New York that it is still alive and well here in the south. She advised me to get out that it will never change. I can't tell you how many times, I was called a Yankee. I was in shock and couldn't believe that this was still an issue. I said I am neither, wasn't there nor were my ancestors. We had no idea where we were living and moved at the time there becomes it was the only place my husband could find employment. We left without him having a job to come back to that's how bad it was. So if you think it is dead, it is not. But back to Trayvon, if the Sanford Police believe that an unarmed 17 year old boy was a danger to a heavy set 28 year old armed man, then they have their heads screwed on wrong. Again, to question if those cries for help were of Trayvon or Zimmerman is absurd. I don't know them, but as a parent or a person with half a brain, you can identify the sound of a young mans voice crying for help versus a man of 28 years old crying for help. His voice would have been deeper as it was when he was just talking on the phone to the police. He was the one who sounded spacey on the phone and slow in his speech. Also, did he sound like he was annoyed when making the call or did he sound like he was threatened in anyway? I didn't hear any fear in his voice. I heard annoyance and the comment about these a****les always get away, just indicated to me that the police never get there in time and he was going to make certain this time, someone was not going to get away. He was on a mission to make certain that he would take matters into his own hands. He didn't not sound alarmed, concerned but irritated that another one gets away. It's all so clear that you have to be either in denial or stupid not to be able to identify just human behavior and intent. Here we assume it ok to say that Trayvon was the threat but no one will say that it was Zimmerman that was the threat and looking for trouble. I just can't wrap my mind around this.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      So, in short anyone who disagrees with you is simply stupid. The recorded phone call cannot tell the entire story anymore than video tape can. Investigations are rarely so simple, that a single piece of information is the only factor in determining what happened.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robairdo

        As soon as Zimmerman pursued Martin against the direction of the 911 operator he became the aggressor and is guilty of man slaughter.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Sorry Roberdio, but that is not correct. You may feel that way, but legally he was not directed by a police officer not to intervene but a dispatcher and the dispatcher only said that they didn't need him to do so, not that he couldn't do it.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • CC

        He was the aggressor period. Chasing down another person is an aggressive act. We are talking about a skinny 17 year-old compared to a heavy set adult male. Martin has full rights under the law to defend himself from the aggressor Zimmerman.

        That Zimmerman was told not to pursue is just added proof. He was not merely told that they didn't need him to. The tone of the police dispatch was clearly saying don't follow. Regardless, of being told, he did it anyway, but it doesn't make any difference because he was still the aggressor.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • jon dark

        robert if you can't see that zimmerman is a downright murderer then you're as stupid as the chief of police of that town, you should keep your idiotic comments to yourseld and let normal people debate this issue...

        March 21, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
      • jon dark

        robert if you can't see that zimmerman is a downright murderer then you're as stupid as the chief of police of that town, you should keep your idiotic comments to yourself and let normal people debate this issue...

        March 21, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
      • JC

        Sure. But that would assume that law enforcement was willing to do an investigation. Here, that's not the case. Reverse the facts. Black man on neigborhood watch follows white boy to the supermarket. White boy gets shot. Black man would be prison, denied bail, and eventually tried and convicted of first degree murder. This is a racially motivated hate crime, and Florida "law enforcement" is refusing to investigate and prosecute this murder because of the victim's race.

        March 21, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
      • C

        How can you try to justify the stalking and murder of an unarmed teenager!!!!! There are no doubts Zimmerman condemed himself he was never in any danger. He was older bigger than his victim and armed !! the only reason Zimmerman is not in jail is because the police don't want to arrest him . But if you think I am wrong please tell what threat this boy posed

        March 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  50. jUSTICE

    POLICE IN SANFORD, WHERE IS TRAYVON’S PHONE?

    March 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  51. jUSTICE

    ASK POLICE IN SANFORD, WHERE IS TRAYVON’S PHONE?

    March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Unless the call itself was recorded, the best it can do is provide the phone numbers or pictures that might be relevant to the situation. As a piece of evidence, it might not hold a great deal of value.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • LISA C

        So what you are saying.....Trayvon SHOULD NOT have been walking to the store, he SHOULD NOT have had his hoodie on, he shouSHOULD NOT have run? He sSHOULD have let someone fthat was following him question him? If someone was following your child (at 17 he is STILL a child) they should stop and be questioned?

        Zimmerman admitted that the boy was walking slow....his so called only crime. Please explain to me what this child did wrong to get shot?

        March 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Slickoops

    It seems a lot of posters don’t ether know the law, or bother to read the article. I personally fell “Z” man did not go into the situation to kill, but he put himself in the situation, so he needs to be executed in my opinion. “Z” man had no more right to confront the young man, than us. Or to even approach YOU and ask what you are doing. It was a gated COMUNNITY (meaning more than one person lives within the gates) and not “Z” man personal private property. This is America, remember what you were taught in Civics(if you even took it). There for “Z” man was the aggressor, I’m not in law enforcement or a lawyer.(it’s just plain common sense) The police seem to be covering something up, or are totally clueless about law enforcement. The feds will bring” Civil Right Violations” against “Z” man and hopefully against the clueless police and district attorney. I’m glad I live in AZ were we can carry concealed weapons without permits and shoot people like “Z” man for being aggressive.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Slick, look at your first sentence and you should have stopped right there. You are right, most people do not know the law, including yourself. The writer of the article tried to fit the law to meet her own biased opinion. A lawyer none the less, who certainly should know better.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Slickoops

        Show me something different on a Federal Level , not FL law or keep your opinion to your self FOOL

        March 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Florida law is the only thing that applies at this point unless a federal grand jury determines there has been a civil rights violation.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Just so you understand, there is not federal question here outside a Civil Rights violation. The Feds use a grand jury system and getting a Civil Rights charge against a non-government official in this type of case is probably unlikely. Not opinion. Look it up.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • CC

        A civil rights violation is more likely against the Sanford PD than against Zimmerman. Zimmerman would have to be shown to have had specific intent in his actions, which is not likely considering what he said during the call.

        The Sanford PD is a different story. Their actions appear to have been intentionally directed at trying to manipulate to support a claim of self defense. In so doing they appear to have made several serious errors. It is quite likely that they violated the civil rights of Martin's family to a fair investigation of their son's death.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eve Peele

      Slickoops,I am in total agreement with you. You are right! I live in Colorado and it is the same here. But yes, the Sanford police are covering something up.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Papi Chico from Fort Worth-Dallas

      WOW. I like the gun carry laws in AZ. I am moving to AZ. Wait a minute. Isn't that the state that profiles mexicans? I was born in the U.S., but I am of mexican descent and may look mexican. No. Forget it. I don't want a "Zimmerman" experience in AZ.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Old White Conservative

    Carolyn, Right on. Trayvon had no obligation to retreat under Florida law. In fact, he did try to retreat as evidence so far indicates. The cop wannabee on a power trip screwed up. That's it. The Sanford PD blew it off. There may not be enough evidence to convict Zimmerman because the cops are inept and probably biased. Interestingly, when you carry a concealed weapon in a responsible manner there is no need to inflict harm. You hold the ultimate power. Most police officers NEVER draw their weapon. Too bad cop wannabee Zimmerman did not realize that.......

    March 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking American

      Old White Conservative .. THANK YOU!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • LISA C

      Very well said!!!! Thank you

      March 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Gwynne

    Unfortunately, ignorant yahoos think owning a big gun is a license to hunt down anyone they set their sights on. Imagine this poor child's fear being followed by an armed and threatening bully. Now imagine your daughter or wife being confronted in your neighborhood by a large strange armed man demanding that she stop and be detained. You bet I would run screaming bloody murder all the way. I hope they make an example of this idiot and lock him up forever. Otherwise, none of us will be safe from armed wannabe cops who would shred any sense of OUR freedom and threaten us all and .

    March 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      You are assuming way too much. Unless you know Zimmerman, were at the scene, and know what was going through either of their minds, it is very difficult to assign motivations or other feelings and thus to arrive at the judgement you have assigned.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom

        Keep talking, Robert. Your killing your case...too technical, no humanity, too officious, too cynical and arrogant. But, keep talking.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • mjira

        we can deduce what was going through the victims mind by the conversation he was having with a friend on his cell phone at the time. He was being watched and then followed by a stranger. and btw itwas &:00 in the evening, nowhere near what most would call latenight

        March 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Rae Ann Pointer

    When someone tries to beat you to death, you defend yourself. That's all Zimmerman wanted to do when he shot Martin. Zimmerman never used force on Martin. Martin initiated the force.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robairdo

      Yeah Martin is going to attack someone 100lbs heavier with a gun? If Zimmerman had listened to 911 operator none of this would have happened. He is GUILTY of manslaughter.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Honest131

      ZImmerman initated force when he engaged. He had a gun. He got out of a car and sought conflict. He has no right to detain. He isn't a police officer. He has no right to demand answers of another man. He has no right to say "You better tell me who you are." He had no rights, he initiated the conflict by chasing the kid, and regardless of if the kid smacked him around or not, he was unjustified in pulling the trigger. You don't get to kill another human being because they hit you. It requires that a reasonable person would perceive that deadly force is required to prevent loss of life. This doesn't pass the sniff test.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        So exactly what is your sniff test? He weighed 100 pounds more than the assailant so he must be guilty. He had a gun so of course he's guilty. He should have stayed in the car and thus he was guilty because he then became the aggressor. How tidy that answer seems to be and how completely wrong it is at the same time. Have you asked yourself any of the hard questions. Was the gun ever presented prior to the shooting? Who was verbally aggressive during the encounter? Who was the first to become physically aggressive? Was the assailant physically capable of causing great harm? What verbal or physical indications were presented by either party? Those are the right questions to ask, not your nonsensical crap.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Honest131

        Robert,
        Zimmerman jumped out of the truck to confront him. He doesnt have a legal right to do that. He is the one with the gun. He is the adult. He was supposed to be in control. Ask a simple question. Who should have feared? Zimmerman initiated, he should not have feared. The kid walking down the street feared. He has a right to defend. At some point the aggressor decided the tables had turned and used his weapon. That is ILLEGAL! It is against Castle Doctrine. Your questions arent relevant.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • mjira

        It seems some think if you want to kill someone you can just instigate a fight and if they hit you back you can draw a gun and while they are on the ground screaming help for their life , you can shoot them?

        March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking American

      Rae Ann .. in case you haven't read the story. Trayvon Martin was 17 years old. George Zimmerman is 28.

      In case you've fotgotten, a 3 year old girl who couldn't defend herself was killed by her own mother in the state of Florida. Everyone outside the state of Florida knows this to be true. Her mother was acquitted by a jury made up of citizens of the state of Florida.

      Children are abducted and murdered by STRANGERS everyday in the world we live in. We teach our children not to talk to strangers, to call for help, and to FIGHT BACK if approached by a STRANGER.

      George Zimmerman was the ADULT. An ADULT who believed incorrectly that the young black male he saw in "his" neighborhood was up to no good. He followed that young black male against the instructions of law enforcement.

      Trayvon Martin was the CHILD who was followed, then approached by a STRANGER, not knowing why this STRANGER was following him. He had every right to defend himself.

      I assume by your name that you are a woman. I pray that if you are ever followed by an adult male, white or black, who outweighs you by 100 lbs, that you will not just get into a car with him or even stop to answer his unlawful questions. I pray that if you decide to fight a STRANGER who appears to be pursuing you for no LAWFUL reason, that he does not shoot you and then claim he was defending himself.

      It really is just that simple.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Actually, it is nowhere close to that simple.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • s

      so what you're saying is it's perfectly o.k. to tail someone in your car, get out with a loaded gun, chase them down and shoot them if they ask you why you're following them. have you read nothing else besides this one op ed piece or are you just stupid?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      Zimmerman initiated force when he chased Martin down (which he did by his own admission). The 17 year-old Martin has the legal right to defend himself from a much larger unknown adult male who was chasing him. That makes Zimmerman the aggressor, and as aggressor he has no legal rights under the stand your ground statutes.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      And what would you do if some guy in an SUV was following you home, clearly tracking you, then got out of the car to confront you without identifying himself in anyway – and he's older than you and larger by 100 lbs? If – IF – Trayvon struck first he might just have been lawfully "standing his ground" against someone who was already in the midst of stalking and an assault. And please, the idea that this fully grown adult, with a gun no less, who was appreciably larger than a 140 lb teenager, was in fear for his life is insulting to everyone's better judgement - unless like most bullies he's that much of a coward. One more point; will you explain to me how a young man with a bag of Skittles in one hand, an iced tea in the other and a cell phone at his ear that he's talking on, is going to plan and carry out an assault?

      March 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      What could he have used to beat Zimmerman down? All he had was a pack a skittles and tea, If I recall correctly.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Rae Ann Pointer

    Zimmerman was defending himself. Police verified his wounds.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robairdo

      Against an unarmed teenager 100 pounds lighter. Maybe the wounds were from Martin defending himself against Zimmerman.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Yes, against a teenager/athlete 100 pounds lighter and probably in a lot better shape. The 100 pounds means very little. Bigger is not an automatic win as you propose.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Majestic_Lizard

      They verified that he had been in a fight. The 911 tapes verify that Zimmerman started that fight. If you had an IQ above room temperature you would understand that.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        I would say my IQ is well above room temperature. However, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that your is equally high. Please use it.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • LISA C

      The boy was walking home minding his business...at what point did he start a fight with Zimmerman. You and Robert are married and have nothing else better to do but rile up everybody emotionally. Please you and Robert put away your hoods!!! I also hope you and Robert never have to loose a child...although it would serve you right!!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        PEOPLE I HEAR THAT FLORIDA HAVE LAWS THAT WE DO NOT HAVE AROUND HERE....SO TIME WILL TELL...IN TEXAS IF SOMEONE BREAKS IN YOUR HOUSE, YOU CAN SHOOT HIM DEAD EVEN IF HE DIDN'T HAVE A GUN.....IS DARK, HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSE TO KNOW IF THE PERSON BREAKING IN IS ARM OR NOT ?? IN ILLINOIS YOU GO TO PRISON FOR DEFENDING YOURSELF...WE NEED THAT TEXAS LAW IN EVERY STATES....SOMEONE BREAKS IN MY HOUSE ? I'M GOING TO SHOOT TO KILL....WHY SHOULD I TAKE A CHANCE ??

        March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        Please take your meds, Sir.

        March 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      I think we all have a pretty good idea just how much the words of the Sanford Police Department are worth in this case. There's a reason the FBI and a Grand Jury are now involved, because of the value of just those words.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon dark

      rae RE YOU AND THIS IDIOT ROBERT RELATED TO ZIMMERMAN, YOU MUST BE TO BE TALKING SO STUPID, YOU 2 ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE ON EARTH WHO CAN' SEE THAT ZIMMERMAN WAS WRONG FOR SHOOTING THIS BOY, HE IS NOT A COP, GET TI??? he has no rights here, he was told not to persue this boy, are you following you friggin idiot, even if this bot became aggressive he was not a legal threat, he was not armed so zimmerman even pulling his gun on him was the threat, was the hell do you and this stupid f – – – of a man have to hear to understand zimmerman is clearly in the wrong here, you're just lucky i don't know you to i would beat the living hell out of you and i'd like ya to pull a gun on me, i'd fee it to you, idiots...

      March 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • DF

      You're wrong in that while the police may confirm that Zimmerman had markings consistent with an altercation...that alone proves nothing more than that an altercation took place. If I punch you in the stomach and you punch me in the face and give me a bloody nose...your logic is the police would see I have a bloody nose and therefore you must be the aggressor. My bloody nose doesn't prove who threw the first punch. Apply some common sense!

      March 23, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  57. eg

    good article

    March 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Me

    Given that the evidence, as it has been presented to date, is d@mning against Zimmerman, it needs to be said that we, the public, still have not heard his side of the story and what prompted him to disregard 911's advice and pursue this young man, confront and ultimately shoot him. In short, what was he thinking and why was he thinking it? Anybody who is leaping to conclude that it was racial profiling, as logical as it may seem, may or may not be correct. The true answer may only come out in a court trial, but it remains a crucial, missing piece of the puzzle.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Honest131

      In the end, Zimmerman initiated. Zimmerman chose to engage. He chose to get out of the vehicle and force a confrontation. And he had a gun. And he wan't a cop. Unless he saw the young man point a deadly weapon at another person, he has no legal right to engage. He is a private citizen. Period. Private citizens are no allowed to walk out into streets with a gun and confront people walking down the street. There is no way to make this work. I am considered pro-gun. I have a CCW. I would still prosecute this guy.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Let be clear Honest, you have no clue what the law allows or doesn't allow. Citizens in every state can affect an arrest, defend themselves and confront people so long as they do it within the legal construct of the law. Most people have chosen to shut their doors and close the shutters. In some cases they actually call the police. As a resident of the apartment complex he has every right to ask someone what they are doing there. That might not always be the best course or action or the wisest, but it is not against the law.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • CC

        Nobody has the right to "affect arrest" when there is zero indication of any crime being committed. No private citizen has the legal authority to detain or question another citizen who is acting lawfully (and even Zimmerman's statements on tape do not support any idea that Martin was acting in any way unlawfully). As the author above notes, Martin has no duty to submit to questioning by a private citizen, and he has every right to feel threatened by the adult male who has chased him down in the dark.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        THE KID COULD OF PUT HIS HANDS IN HIS POCKETS ?? A COP WOULD SHOOT YOU FOR DOING THAT...MAYBE ZIMMERMAN THOUGHT THAT THEKID WAS GOING FOR A GUN ?? IS POSSIBLE.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • CC

        JOSE0311USMC,
        You are not allowed to shoot someone just because they put their hands in their pockets. No, a police officer would not shoot someone just for placing their hands in their pocket because for all they know the kid could be trying to get their ID.

        Besides, since Martin was acting legally and was being chased by a much larger adult male, he had the right to defend himself.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  59. jUSTICE

    Any moment now the GOP presidential candidates will chime in with opinions.

    Newt: If that black kid had been cleaning the schools floors at this gated community this never would have happened.

    Mitt: This is horrible, I don't know any of those police officers but some friends of mine own most of the police depts.

    Rick: Was that kid buying condoms? If he was the shooting was justified.

    RonP: I think I've been to that city.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Padman23

      boy can tell you have an open mind

      March 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Padman23

      Justice requires an open mind.......where is yours

      March 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        I AGREE. KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinking American

      Robert, the law does not allow you to approach and then shoot a kid who kicked your ass because he was AFRAID of you.

      Why is that so hard for people to understand. The ADULT in the situation, Zimmerman should have stood down. Period.

      I dare any adult male reading these comments to go out tonight, follow a child in your vehicle, get out of your vehicle and approach them and see what happens. If you don't get pooped in the face, you'll be lucky. I guarantee you, if you approach my daughter, she will do more than give you a bloody nose and you will not have the opportunity to get up and shoot at her as she runs home.

      The issue here SHOULD NOT be race. The issue here should be frightened child versus wannabe hero adult. Period. George Zimmerman should not get a pass because he scared some innocent kid into beating his ass.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • sarahsmart

        AMEN!

        March 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • LISA C

      love it!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Padman23

    I agree with it possibly being profiling......but why can't the profiling be something like......young punks breaking into apartments.....why do we have to assume Zimmerman was doing it because he was black.......we need to not ramp up the racial hysteria either because here is the thing.....black, white, asian or Latino......what appears (because I dont know him) to be a nice 17 year old is now a dead 17 year old .......the reason for the crime is irrelevant because if he had no cause it was wrong.......

    March 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robairdo

      As soon as Zimmerman pursued Martin against the direction of 911 he became the aggressor, irregardless of who initially started it and is guilty of man slaughter.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Padman23

        and your point is???

        March 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  61. TOOHARD

    America why is it that the black man is so feared in this country? You keep on pushing, you keep on judging , you keep on oppressing, your day is coming. America as a Man Of Color , we have enough to deal with. Most of our own making and stupidity, however there are a lot of responsible men of color. Is it that some of you other people of color are evil and heartless, and want everything for themselves. I don't know , I'm just asking. I'm from the Alabama, and I'm sure the good ole boys are wearing their suits, ties,and badges , but i don't know them, and today if i did i would respect the position.Here like everywhere else in this country the black society is being targeted by extremist who will sooner or later experience the same fate as we do. Like this kid i mind my on business ,and when i sometimes go back to the community i grew up in , i'm targeted by the same stereotyping as this kid, and i work with judges, lawyers ,and the d.a. office every working day. It's 2012 we who are trying to better ourselves are done playing the game. If you want to target someone, let it be drug dealers,drug manufactures, child molesters, rapist, of all color. When you start allowing people to be killed and you don't even attempt to do anything about it ,alarms me. Don't like to use the race card in everything, but i will call it like i see it. From the history of these types of news articles and America, this is racism from the police to the perpetrator .

    March 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Padman23

      not everyone thinks the way you believe.....otherwise there would be more chaos.....when people on both sides of a situation like this make it about color then they are making it a racial problem........

      March 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Padman23

      not every person thinks black people are less than...........but when the leaders of a group of people put a badge on themselves that they are oppressed (Al Sharpton and the duke lacross players) then everyone in that group suffers....

      March 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Rae Ann Pointer

    Free Mumia...I mean Zimmerman.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bufnymom

      Zimmerman made himself the agressor by following this young man and confronting him under no authority to do so. If you were appraoched by a man, with a gun, who did not have a badge or identify themself as a police officer, at night wouldn't you yell for help, punch, scratch or kick them to defend yourself. This young man was probably afraid he was being abducted. If ZImmerman stayed in his truck, as he was told to do in the first place, his freedom wouldn't be on the line and the Martin's would not have had to bury thier son. Tragic all around but Zimmerman is absolutely guilty of a crime here. He had no authority to stalk, detain or interview this young man and the 911 calls prove he did all three.

      Let's hope the grand jury gets this right.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      OK. You're joking now. :-) Good debate though!

      March 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  63. BobOso

    I've read a lot of speculation of what happened that night. Only two people know for sure, and one of them is dead. But it is hard to imagine a situation where Mr. Zimmerman felt compelled to use deadly force against an unarmed teenager that is 100 pounds lighter than he is.
    The correct action in this case would be to present it to a grand jury. If they rule it was self defense, then that is justice even if you disagree with the outcome. So far, there has been no justice, only an opinion by the police.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Padman23

      absolutely we should send him the grand jury

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

      In cases like this one, it would be highly unlikely that the police would not have presented the information to the county prosecutor. Anyone know if that was the case and the result?

      March 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jUSTICE

      WHERE IS TRAYVON’S PHONE?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Joesnopy

    I saw a Florida lawer say on TV saying even under the new Florida State law Zimmerman will go to jail based on the 911 phone call. Yes the phone call is enough to put the clown away. He said the State keep dropping cases because the the Family can sue the State if the State bring cases like this to court because it is a bad law as we all see now. So yes the kid was black this time but just wait until a white kid gets blown away by a latino and then we will see the law be removed. It is just a matter of time before it happens.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robairdo

      As soon as Zimmerman pursued Martin against the direction of 911 he became the aggressor and is guilty of man slaughter.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  65. MAFV

    What I'm most irritated about is the concept that if you're not white you can't be racist....what a bunch of bologne. I work with Hispanics excusivley and they are dogmatic about not liking African-Americans. They do not hire blacks nor do they work in their establishments. Everyone knows that many Hispanics think their white. Racism is alive and well in Hispanic communities. Even in their own country, black is looked at negatively. If you're white, yellow, green, purple..black or brown, you can be a racist. This should not be a shock to the world "black men have been targeted for 100's of years in this country".

    March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      Hispanics ARE 'white'. But then the fact is so are 'Blacks' too. Race is a social construct alone. It's only 'reality' is that we imbue to it. In itself, ethnically and genetically, it really doesn't exist, any more than brown haired-ness, or green eyed-ness. Where I come from Hispanics are generally included in the social construct 'white' in most cases, even when they themselves self identify otherwise. This 'white' stuff is the greatest fiction of all. I have never seen any white people really. Fact is there's no such thing, any more than their are really any 'black' or 'red' people. It's all a bunch or socially constructed balderdash.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  66. michael

    It really doesn't even matter if Zimmerman was acting in self defense. By shooting him he broke the law by showing force beyond reasonable means to protect oneself from a child with candy and a soda can. He's guilty either way.
    The law also states: "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.” – clearly Zimmerman did not follow this law, self defense or not.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Smith

      You mean "*including* deadly force."

      March 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      When Martin allegedly attacked Zimmerman it wasn't with a knife or a gun but his bare hands. By definition Zimmerman was literally looking for trouble (re: "neighborhood watch"). You are SO right that Zimmerman had no legal right to use deadly force against an unarmed "assailant". He couldn't have just taken the beat down he earned for by illegally detaining a citizen engaged in lawful activity? What a coward. And now this kid is gone forever. If Florida doesn't prosecute then Floridians need to act to change their laws.

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

        That would come as a great surprise to the many murder victims beaten to death by stomping, kicking, choking and blunt force trauma.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • bigbiz2

        A haw!! I was waiting for a stooopid comment about Neigborhood Watch..Even in your beloved South Africa run by corrupt blacks they have neighborhood watch patrols to try to stop the meteoric rise in Blacks rapin,robbin and murdering other blacks since they kicked out the whiteman...You should try it ..wouldn't hurt to volunteer ...btw ..court ordered community service don't count...

        March 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Put the blunt down

        March 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for making a statement pretending you actually understand it.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • ADiff

        Nicely put. Apt.

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

        Robert, how many of those murder victims were murdered by a child that they were following for no reason? You're trying really hard to make a dead KID the criminal here.

        Face it man, not every black kid walking at night is commiting a crime. Just like every neighborhood watch captain isn't a racist.

        I don't think Zimmerman is a racist. I think he's just another wannabe cop who still does know what PROTECT AND SERVE means.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  67. JB

    Sounds like he profiled, judged, then executed the kid. Zimmerman is a murderer and a danger to society.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      That goes way to far. Executed? Where do people get that mentality. Profiled? Isn't that always the excuse for throwing down the racial victim card?

      March 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  68. civic

    in philadelphia, neighborhood-watch targets black people specifically.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  69. PoBoy

    That police chief is a bumbling, lying idiot. At a minimum, he should have taken Mr Zimmerman in for questioning. Do you think for one minute, that if the roles were reversed, he would have simply accepted Trayvon's word that it was self-defense and sent him along on his merry way. I highly doubt it, and any rational American would doubt it too.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robairdo

      The good ole boys network at play again. Such a shame what a handsome young man.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jUSTICE

      SANFORD POLICE, WHERE IS TRAYVON’S PHONE?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  70. civic

    those neighborhood-watch, cop-wanna be's should be made illegal.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Why? Neighborhood's with crime watch programs tend to be safer.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  71. csam18

    I foresee the Chief of police being asked to step down. "If someone asks you if you live here, is it right to start beating the crap out of them? no.".. umm.. if it's a police officer okay.. if it's some random dude that's 100 lbs bigger than you which you noticed following you in the middle of the night and then aggressively confronting you? YES! With the amount of child abductions and stuff lately, I believe if this young man did become aggressive, he had every right to do so. Zimmerman will be going to jail, and someone in the police force is also going to be held accountable. Mistakes left and right.. it's disgusting on many levels.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      I think you've misunderstood. The Chief was referring to Martin's having attacked Zimmerman when challenged by Zimmerman. If Zimmerman asked Martin who he was and where he was from, and Martin responded by physically attacking Zimmerman, and Zimmerman believed he might be armed in some fashion...then what? What that would be is a scenario that is covered by Florida law, and allows the use of deadly force. It wasn't speculation about Zimmerman attacking Martin, but Martin attacking Zimmerman the Chief was talking about, as a hypothetical.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike Smith

        The law uses the words reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm." Even if Martin did attack him, do you really think Zimmerman had reasonable grounds for fearing for his life?

        March 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • CC

        Not only is it merely supposition that Martin responded with force, Martin has the RIGHT to respond with force. He had been chased and accosted by a much larger unknown adult male at night. Under the law Martin has the right to defend himself it that situation (a situation that most would feel threatened in). Zimmerman was not a police officer. He has no legal right to stop or question Martin and Martin certainly has no legal responsibility to comply. He is allowed to feel threatened in such a case. In pursuing Zimmerman was the aggressor. He was not acting in self defense regardless of who pushed who first.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rae Ann Pointer

      Zimmerman may weigh 100 pounds more but that extra fat doesn't mean extra muscle. Martin was a football player (did you see the picture?) and younger. He was all muscle. Why would Martin attack a man who was only following him and try to beat his brains out?
      How believable is it that Zimmerman was going to "abduct" Martin? A comment like that just throws your argument out the window. You are racist plain and simple just like Martin was.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • mjira

        if the "football player" was so much more fit than Zimmerman, how come Zimmerman was able to catch up with the young man who was running? Perhaps Zimmerman should've just followed the kid until the cops got there, rather than confront him? Then Martin would still be alive- although he would not have just "gotten away". And Zimmerman would've been revealed for the assuming fool, racist or not, that he was.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rastaman

        Are you serious? Trayvon Martin was racist now? You are very obviously an ignorant RACIST a**hole! Point blank. Just go crawl back under your rock! Incredible statement and very revealing.

        March 22, 2012 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Honestly, you read a lot about 17 year old black male's being abducted in a gated community? Should Zimmerman have approached the young man? I'm not sure it was the greatest idea in the world. Did he have a "right" to do so. Absolutely. Being in a private neighborhood where no one recognizes you might bring up the real possibility someone might ask you what your doing. Especially, if that neighborhood has a crime problem. I just looked at the crime map for Sanford. Some areas of the city aren't so great. Could that have been the case in this situation?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  72. TELawrence

    I CARRY A GUN LEGALLY and it actually must have the effect of PERFECT COURTESY, and avoiding trouble at all costs. It is totally foreseeable that, when carrying a gun, ANY altercation will end up involving that gun.

    AVOID ALTERCATION IF YOU CARRY A GUN OR FACE DIRE CONSEQUENCES FROM FORESEEABLE TROUBLE!

    March 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      You said it perfectly, man. The person carrying the gun knows or should know that any conflict with them will end with the use of that gun. Consequently, that person has a higher duty to not become involved in conflict of any kind or face the consequences.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • ADiff

        Not at all inevitable. Simply because one is armed does not mean one need brandish, much less use, the weapon, simply because one is in a confrontation. This is one reason I think 'no back down' laws and assumptive justification laws are such a bad idea. It's virtually an open invitation to commit legal murder as I see it. Something along these lines is reasonable, but these laws as they stand now are far too broad and generic. There needs to be at least SOME accountability for the use of deadly force!

        March 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      Really excellent advice. A firearm is a good thing to have if one needs it. But using one to try to solve anything other than a clear threat to life or limb (or in some cases property), will only make things much, much worse. And 'starting' or 'getting into' anything when armed is very ill-advised. The whole point of being armed is to be able to 'get out' of threatening situation...so why put one's self IN any, eh?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • arod71

      you are absolutely correct. Since you carry a gun, you also carry more responsibility.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gaeboi

      Good Point TELawrence! There is a level of responsibility that each person should take when carrying a gun. Why didn't he just stay in the car as told?

      March 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Cindy

    What the f was a neighborhood watch guy doing carrying a loaded 9mm on his "rounds" in the first place? Seems to me he went looking for conflict and thought his piece would do the talking if he got any sass. I'll bet you anything Zimmerman thought he could throw his weight around and entertain himself by putting a scare into a young, black kid and got more than he bargained for. Since when do neighborhood watch fools have a right to question or detain ANYONE? Do we really want vigilantes roaming our streets and harassing us at will? Prosecuting Zimmerman would make other would-be cowboys think twice.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      perfectly said

      March 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rene B

      This is well said! I 150% agree with you!

      March 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  74. ¿Cómo puede alguien CON VOTO EL SENTIDO COMÚN PARA LOS REPUBLICANOS?

    ¿Cómo puede alguien CON VOTO EL SENTIDO COMÚN PARA LOS REPUBLICANOS?

    March 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Livin' N TX & FL - FML

      Now how about in German? No Latin! Ask us in Latin. That would be impressive.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Tren

    Why is Zimmerman stalking kids in the first place? This disturbs me. Would you want zimmerman stalking your son or daughter strolling home from the store? He is dangerous and should be off the streets. iThe 911 operator clearly told him not to follow the teen! ) Clearly, he was on a mission that night- The HOA vigilante coward– Clearly, this guy is a racist filled with anger and hatred. it's a diversified neighborhood where everyone seems to get along just fine- most people are good and are not racist....Zimmerman is the problem! Zimmerman has some two hundred other calls to 911 in two years? Afterall, I can see how a bottle of ice tea and a pack of skittles can be threatening....Sounds like zimmerman is either a sick freak of a failure as a human being or a wanna be cop who was rejected. Either way, I hope he's off the streets soon for a very very long time. Until then, keep your sons and daughters safe.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Wow! Now, there's some objectivity.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Comment peut-on Avec le vote de BON SENS POUR républicains?

    Comment peut-on Avec le vote de BON SENS POUR républicains?

    March 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • rh

      Je ne sais pas :(

      March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gaeboi

      je ne sais pas aussi! Peut-etre parce que ils se pensent recevoir un "status quo".

      March 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  77. HOW CAN ANYONE WITH COMMON SENSE VOTE FOR REPUgLICANS

    HOW CAN ANYONE WITH COMMON SENSE VOTE FOR REPUgLICANS

    March 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      DEMOCRATS ARE PRO ILLEGALS--THEY ARE NOT ENFORCING THE IMMIGRATION LAWS,,,,,MID RODNEY WILL ENFORCE THE IMMIGRATION LAWS....AND HE PROMISE TO FINISH THE BORDER WALL...AMERICA IS BEING INVADED BY ILLEGALS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD...DEMOCRATS ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT..

      March 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • katahdin

        President Obama has deported more illegals in three years than Bush did in 8 years. Look at the facts.

        March 21, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Lisa

        Your comment has nothing to do with the topic.

        March 22, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Ben

    Regardless of criminal cases, the Martin family has enormous grounds for civil suit against the police and particularly against the killer. We saw this in the OJ SImpson case: the burden of proof in a civil trial is much lighter than in a criminal case. Even if the killer does no jail time, he could easily forfeit the rest of his life crawling out from under the financial judgment any reasonable jury would award the family.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      It might surprise you that the police have no legal requirement to protect you or even do a good investigation. I think their legal liability exposure here is pretty limited. For Zimmerman, not so much.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • soulcatcher

        That's why the feds are involved because the police may be guilty of a federal crime. That might weaken the PDs defense a bit.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Soulcatcher, no offense but you have no idea what you are talking about. The Feds are involved because its a political decision to get involved as a potential civil rights violation. That violation has nothing to do with the police department but everythign to do with Zimmerman. If the roles were reversed, you would see DOJ leave their offices.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        FLORIDA HAVE LAWS THAT WE DO NOT...DIFF LAWS IN DIFF STATES.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • s

        FROM NOW ON I AM GOING TO PUT EVERYTHING IN CAPS BECAUSE WHAT I SAY IS IMPORTANT AND YOU BETTER LISTEN RAWR RAGE RAWR

        March 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        IN ILLINOIS IF SOMEONE BREAK IN YOUR HOUSE AND THEY DO NOT HAVE A GUN, AND IF YOU KILL THEM? YOU GO TO JAIL.....BUT NOT IN TEXAS AND IN OTHER STATES

        March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        Robert – your misleading people about the Police and Law. there is a legal requirement for the police to act. You people are so full of crap, it's suprising your father didn't trade you for a monkey when you were small.

        March 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa

        The police have no legal requirement to do a good investigation? Please tell me you're kidding!

        March 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      With no criminal conviction OJ was taken to civil court for what ??? A blatant embezzelment and fraud by the parents and illegal proceeding based on whar act ? What did he do ?

      March 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Who brought drugs into OJ's childrens house ? is that a fact ?

      March 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  79. memphisdave

    If, as it usually is, the truth is somewhere in the middle, this vigilante began the altercation thinking the kid didn't belong there, which probably caused the kid to fight back in self-defense, which then led Zimmerman to feel his safety was in danger, so he shot. A terrible and racism-infused mistake–which ought to get you manslaughter at least.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      You're probably about right there. And in any reasonable legal context there's be at least some accountability for showing the poor judgement to put one's self in that situation, then use deadly force when it (in objective hindsight) was so uncalled for... But under Florida laws this may not be the case at all, and the shooting may provide no grounds for any criminal charges at all. As other posters have pointed out, not so for torts! All-in-all a foolish willingness to rush into danger and a poor performance in a crisis may cost this young man so much that at times he'll envy his victim.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Jim in Florida

    The Police Dept doesn't have the final say in who they charge – this will be sorted out by the State's Attorney and the Grand Jury.

    I suggest all of you who smugly declare that Zimmerman is guilty of murder let the process play out. If it does and you don't ;like the result then that's too bad. Allow the judicial process to work.

    I can assure you I didn't like the result in the OJ trial and the Casey Anthony verdict, but that was the end result of the process.

    Don't jump to conclusions and CNN should stop flaming the fires of the race card and the insinuation of racism – this case won't be handled by CNN, by the NAACP or the ACLU or the host of other normal players – allow the judicial system to work.

    iI am sure it will be easy to get the Obama and Holder Show to intervene – Holder is quick to jump tot he aid of billy club wielding Black Muslims intimidating voters so I am sure he will work hard to hang the white man involved here.

    Facts don't bother Holder anyway.

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

      Interesting... I applaud your call to defer judgement to the legal process... And it is rather amazing the degree to which Holder (and by reference Obama) have lost the confidence and to some extent even the perception, or objectivity and advocacy on behalf of ALL Americans in so many folks out there. That's a shame...regrettably not one the administration seems to see fit to address.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Livin' N TX & FL - FML

      Seriously? You are suggesting that we "allow the judicial system to work". But, all the while it's a system you don't even believe in yourself?! The US AG is gonna "hang the white man". Ignorant...

      March 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • AH

      To Jim in Florida - before you conclude that the Justice dept. will "hang the guy because he is white" you should know the guy is NOT white.

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

        All the DOJ need know is he's not 'black', so they can take off the gloves and do their worst, with no fear for the reprucussions. He's Latino? That only makes it even easier to haul the guy through the Federal version of a political Auto de Fe.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Andrew

    I find it curious the gunshot came AFTER the cries for help.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      The question is "who" was crying for help. It may turn out to be neither one of the people involved.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • admire

        so you think the guy pointing the gun might be crying for help?........hnhnmnmnnm it all make sense now

        March 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Why would you think that is not possible? You do want justice, correct? Meaning that all possibilities must be considered.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • FEL121

        Well Mr. Zimmerman made certain no one would ever know who was calling for help, or at least he thought he did, now we know their is a witness tot his crime and your hero will soon be behind bars where he would have been if a real police department had handle things and not the chief of Podunk county.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        ZIMMERMAN IS ALREADY CONVICTED IN THIS ROOM....KEEP IN MIND HE CALLED 911 ....KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • PoBoy

      Why do you find that curious? You are engaged in a struggle with someone carrying a gun. They pull the gun out, and you scream for help! There is nothing unusual or curious about that.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gaeboi

        PoBoy? Is that some type of New Orleanian screen name? Just curious. I can't believe your even questioning if the screams came from Zimmerman. That poor boy was defenseless. What if this happened to any of the young men in your family; how would you feel.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        WHAT IF ZIMMERMAN SAW THE KID GOING FOR A GUN ?? ANY SIGN THAT HE WAS GOING FOR A GUN ?? POLICE SHOOT PEOPLE FOR THAT..

        March 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  82. goh

    Zimmerman was NOT a member of any Neighborhood Watch program. There is no such program registered for that complex. He was just a guy who took it upon himself to "police" the complex where he lived with his father. He was attending college, majoring in criminal justice. So he planned on going into law enforcement, and was playing "cop" until then.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TELawrence

      THE NEW AMERICA – where any citizen MUST comply whenever it's demanded "SHOW ME YOUR PAPERZ!!!"

      March 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Does Florida law require that a Neighborhood Watch program be registered?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        NO

        March 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I WISH MORE PEOPLE WOULD DO THAT....THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO COULD USE GUYS LIKE ZIMMERMEN.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        Yeah!!! The South side of Chicago sure could use a few more idiots with handguns!

        March 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Ramona C. Williams

    It is easy to say "don't make it racial", when one is not the brunt of the racism. If this was a white kid, he would have continued on home-safely. My daughter lives in a nice affluent neighborhood, while visiting her and her family my husband and I saw two siblings (who happen to be black) walking to the corner store-which happen to be a Valero gas station (closest thing to corner store). Walking to the corner store is a rite of passage in the black community. It is just what kids do; more importantly, they ought to be able to do that without being killed. This was an over aggressive individual that murdered an innocent kid. It is what it is

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

      Unfortunately, it isn't what it is? You have now decided it was racial, assigning a racial motive behind Zimmerman's motives all because the kid was black and walked to a store. You know nothing of the neighborhoods history or Zimmerman's. Take of the racial blinders and ask yourself, what do you really know about this case and once you answer that question, I would ask what that says about you.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • TELawrence

        "I DEMAND THAT YOU SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS! IDENTIFY YOURSELF! I AM MORE OF AN AMERICAN BECAUSE I AM AN AUTHORITY FIGURE WITH FULL LEGAL RIGHT TO STOP, DETAIN, HARRASS, ASK QUESTIONS AND DEMAND PAPERS!"

        Failure to comply with lawful commands by Neighborhood Watch shall be treated HARSHLY! (even in your own neighborhood)

        March 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Paulette

        Robert:

        I am 41 years old and can not think of one case where a white kid was shot for just walking down the street. It is curious to me that these misunderstandings only seem to happen to non-white children. The logical conclusion is that race is somehow a factor

        March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cathy L Kennedy

        How do you explain his 911 call when he replies "these **** always get away" or "he has his hand in his waistband and he is wearing a hoodie" and disobeying orders to stop stalking him...It says it all!

        March 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gaeboi

        Do you understand that people like Zimmerman and Boles (the military guy that killed Afghans) are starting situations that show what's wrong with our society? It's always us and them; never we. Zimmerman was told to stay in the car and the 911 operator stated he said, "I'm tired of these A-H's". Now did he mean black or criminal we don't know, but still he killed a young black kid. Someone on my facebook stated he kid went through an ordeal like that, but walked away, but he was white. So, you'll never have an account of this happening to a white kid. Just because you state there's no racism involved doesn't mean that there isn't. Zimmerman needs to answer for this and so does the PD.

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

        Paulette.... I can. And pretty recently too. Random crime doesn't especially respect 'race', however much it may be far more prevalent in some social communities than in others.....

        March 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  84. KP3205

    What is not discussed in this opinion piece and I really haven't heard much about is that Trayvon was on his cell phone with his girlfriend when he was being followed. That recording will be interesting to hear when the family's lawyer hands it over to the authorities. Another interesting point, Hernandez made over 40 calls to 911 since Jan. 1 of 2012 with alerts mostly involving black males in the gated community. And since when does a community watch captain need to have a concealed weapons license and need to carry it while on watch while in a gated, primarily white community? Just some thoughts.

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

      First it might tell us that the community was frequently targeted by criminals and they felt a need to have a neighborhood watch. It might also tell us that Zimmerman was a bit paranoid. Since I don't live there, how many of those 40 calls were substantial enough that it resulted in some type of police action? That might be a clue and contain a lot less conjecture.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aviate

        Regardless, he had no right to confront the kid and was explicitly told by the 911 dispatcher not to do so. He made himself into judge, jury, and executioner. He was the aggressor and it is laughable to presume otherwise in light of the facts. If he gets off by claiming self-defense, we might as well disband the courts and abolish the police because we will be back in the days of the Wild West where vigilante justice reigns supreme.

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

        Zimmerman "had no right" to ask Martin who he was and where he was from? Nonsense. Zimmerman had every right in the world to do that. Of course Martin also had every right to tell him to F-off and keep walking. But Martin did NOT have the right, all other things being equal, to physically attack Zimmerman in response to the questions. Was that what happened? It appears to be what Zimmerman has said (and backed up with at least some believable physical evidence as I hear). Under Florida law, as they say, 'that's that', case closed. Is there reason to believe otherwise? Now that is the case at hand.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rosa

        A lot of neighborhoods are burglarized each and every day, but that does not give an individual the right to stalk and kill someone; because he feels uncomfortable because he sees a hooded black teenager in the neighborhood. First and for most he is not a cop and he was told to cease and desist. He disobeyed the law right there. Second of all, a mother and a father's son is "dead". Do you comprehend that. Would you feel that it would be okay if you had a son walking from the store in that neighborhood at night and George Zimmerman shot and killed him? I beg to differ. You are callous and cold hearted because you feel that it was okay for George Zimmerman to take a life because the neighborhood had been burglarized. What happened to buying a security system for your home. It is what I did. You do not seem me being a neighborhood vigilante and killing unharmed teenagers. George Zimmerman shouted racial epithets on the 911 calls. He has that boy's blood on his hand and no good will come to him for that. Even if justice is never served, he will never have a good life based on that fact a lone. He to another life for nothing. The boy was not breaking into anyone's home, and the key fact is it could have been any black person in that area at that time and George Zimmerman would have killed them. God forbid if a black person's car would have broke down in that neighborhood, George Zimmerman, the assassin would have killed them. Do you go to church. If you don't you need to go badly!

        March 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • noteabags

      "And since when does a community watch captain need to have a concealed weapons license and need to carry it while on watch while in a gated, primarily white community"

      Most conservative Americans think it's perfectly fine to be armed at all times.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Jim

    You are 100% correct. I only pray that our justice system thinks of what you have said and does the right thing in putting this guy behind bars. They need to protect the children in that community from this monster.

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

      Pretty strong there Jim. Monster? You know Zimmerman personally?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • csam18

        He murdered an unarmed kid. I think it fits.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • sentoria quick

        I don't know Zimmerman personally, but to shoot a child while their constantly screaming for help, wishing and hoping someone hear his cries is considered as a monster in my eyes as well.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy L Kennedy

      I couldn't have Said it any better! To Trayvons' family, I am behind you all of the way. God Be With You.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      If he's a "monster", then so am I, so are you, and so are ALL the posters here.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  86. stopping in

    What I would like to see is Zimmerman's location during his 911 calls, a map of the neighborhood and a pinpoint of the kids destination. That would be the best way to determine who the instigator was. But obviously, Zimmerman at some point thought the kid was "checking me out" "coming this way". By the end however the kid was running away trying to reach home. If I were walking in the dark and saw some dude sitting in his car on the street on his cell phone staring at me...I'd probably be nervous too. The following is all conjecture. The kid probably walked in past the main gate; where Zimmerman was likely located to keep an eye on the community entrance, and therefore by necessity at some point would have been walking towards him. He then got past that point at which time zimmerman began slowly following. Zimmerman saw the kid start to run (who wouldn't a vehicle is following you) which made Zimmerman excited he'd caught someone. He jumped out and assailed the kid who starts yelling for help because someone is now accosting him. there's a struggle and Zimmerman wipes out the gun and shoots him. Seems the most likely scenario, but we'll (hopefully) see. Issue is no one took the time to look out their window as to what was actually happening so we have one account...the shooter's.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  87. alcourts

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    March 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  88. s

    i would like to see addressed this issue of the P.D. saying that zimmerman was not legally obligated to follow the dispatcher's directions. he was told by dispatch to NOT follow martin. are we saying that the dispatcher is not a law enforcement member? when i call the non-emergency police number, the guy/gal on the other end always identifies him/herself as an officer. are 911 dispatchers not law enforcement officers in FLA? that's something else, now i think of it, because reports are he called non-emergency. did he call 911 as well? just a sticking point for me from day one, that statement that he didn't have to obey what dispatch said, whether he called one or the other or both.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Smith

      Some reports say the call was to a non-emergency number. Obviously this was a call to the police, but apparently may not have been a police officer answering. (Hopefully not some guy in Mumbai!)

      Anyway, believe it or not, you don't always have to do what the cops tell you. In this case, the police could not have *ordered* Zimmerman not to follow Martin, but it was clear from the tone that it was not a just a request.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  89. BluedHawK

    Thank you for a very well-written, accurate article on this tragic story.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Nomad

    this is a classic case of monday morning Quarterbacking. This scene could have played out so many different ways. We need to wait until the shooter tells his side to pick it apart. Just my 2cents.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cj Richards

      You're 2 cents is worth just that...

      March 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dougie

        There's no framework or scenario in which Zimmerman's actions are excusable. Period.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • R.R.

        Actually Cj , you're allowing him too much credit

        March 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MG

      How can we find out anything, if they are not even questioning him. Just took his word for what happened and let him go home. No thorough investigation has been done yet. That is why others are stepping in (FLA State attorney and others).

      March 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Lubeck

      Nomad, you post is extraordinarily ignorant. By your standards, we would be still contemplating if African American slavery in this country was good or bad.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Lubeck

      One reason problems like this even exist is because of people like "Nomad".

      March 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  91. wassup

    A lot of this can be simply explained by simply saying, it's Florida! This vigilante, wannabe po-lice stuff is so common especially in small towns where young men have a lot of time and energy on their idle hands nowadays. It's incredible that an incident hasn't developed long before this! The folks in that gated subdivision and his tough-guy pals must be so damn proud of this guy running around with a gun and takin' care of business the good-'ol Southern Pride way!

    March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Dan

    The article, in my opinion, is spot on. Mr Zimmerman obviously initiated the confrontation. That "fact" alone eliminates his self defense claim. If the Grand Jury does not return an indictment there is something very seriously wrong with the system in Florida. Mr. Zimmerman should at least stand trial and defend his assertion that he was acting in self defense.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Eve Peele

    Why is a 28 year old man given a 9 mm hand gun for neighborhood watch. To question if those screams for help on the tapes were that of Zimmerman are insane. You heard Zimmerman's voice on the tapes, does that sound like the screams of a man of his years or a boy of 17? I am outraged at this. Zimmerman already profiled this boy it was clear on the tapes. He got out of his vehicle why? Zimmerman states that he was coming towards him and checking him out. Could it be the boy was walking in the direction of Zimmerman because that was the same direction as where he was going to be with his father. The direction of his fathers home? Why has this man not been arrested? He was not assaulted and if he was in a physical altercation with Trayvon it was because the boy was defending himself. It is so damn clear it's shameful. If this man is not brought to justice or arrested, then we might as well all be armed and make a call to the police and say we are being threatened and shoot anyone we feel like and say it was self-defense. Zimmerman was the one who sounded like he was on drugs. Has he been tested? No, he hasn't even been arrested. Yes, if it were the other way around this black boy would have been arrested immediately. It's the south, racism is still alive and well there. I lived there and left because of it. How sad for the family to lose their boy, to hear his crys for help and no justice is served. Again, who gives a gun to a community watch person? Security guards can't even carry a gun to protect themselves. Florida has always been and always will be backwards. I am sorry for the family and will pray that their loss is not in vain. Just by looking at the boy, you can see he is clearly the victim and was a good kid by each of the pictures posted of him. You can see in his eyes his sould was good. I am ashamed of our justice system and even more of the police department. Something is not right and I believe it is racism on the part of the police department and our justice system. Just another black boy killed, who cares right? It is all so clear, you have it on tape and hear the boys cries for help. That was not a man's voice crying for help and why would Zimmerman cry for help when clearly he had no reason when the boy was not armed. Even if he thought he was in danger from this young man, you wouldn't cry for help when you are the one carrying a 9 mm and clearly see nothing in the hands of the one supposedly threatening you. I can't even begin to say what I feel all but anger and outrage! If I lived there, I would be in front of that police department protesting and making a scene that this Zimmerman be arrested now. Zimmerman, you have someone on your side. Trayvon is in a better place anyways, because if this is how our country is who wants to live in it anyways. He was looking for trouble when he was told not to follow him for his own safety as well and what did he do? He got out of his vehicle and followed him and killed him. Talk about profiling and looking for a reason to kill. If this Zimmerman has man in the past year 46 phone calls to the police for what he thought could be possible trouble, then he was and has been waiting for it. If that gun hasn't been taken away from him and he is still serving the community, this will happen again. The man is clearly paranoid, you can hear it in his voice by the assumptions he was making. Again, something is not right. Something really stinks here. Daddy must know someone. I don't know what else to say other than this is one of the saddest stories I have ever heard. My prayers go out to the family and I will be praying that justice is served. If it is not, then their is always Karma! It's real!

    March 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Stevens

      No one gave him a 9mm. He bought it and carried it legally. Maybe that's the problem.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Jim

    I wholeheartedly agree, the young boy is the victim, not Zimmerman. And the loss of a child...that would be Hell. However, the parents and now so many others chant "racism". What a crock. Race card, race card, everywhere, every time. This whole situation in and of itself is what's horrible, there's no "racism" involved and not even outright murder. The neighborhood watch guy seems like a gun-happy moron, put him away for a very long time...but it's not racism.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • What?!

      Read the story again and read what Zimmerman says.

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

      It became racism when the police chose to be the judge and the jury. who made the calls , and further more why did they make them. they told the moron not to pursue this kid, and he did. The police didn't do their job according to race.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • tmare

      Are you honestly saying that you believe the same thing would have happened to a 17 year old blond haired, blue eyed boy? You are either being naive or dishonest.

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

      Do you really think he would have called 911, followed the kid, confronted, and shot him had he been white? Really?

      Treyvon's only "crime" was "Walking While Black." Zimmerman turned it into a death sentence. Reverse the roles–assume Martin got hold of Zimmerman's gun in a struggle & shot him. Do you really think the Sanford PD lets him walk away scot-free? Not a chance in the world...

      March 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      You are clueless.... Do you think if the kid was white he would have been treated with the same "accusations" of being up to no good? This is Florida! Deep south. Racism lives and thrives in the minds of the ignorant, and obviously Zimmerman is ignorant! He should have been arrested immediately! Neighborhood watch is just that, WATCH, not get a gun and shoot people!

      March 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • d

      Regardless of color. Zimmerman should be held responsible. He gunned down a child due to his own insecurities (wanting to be something he wasn't) Why continue to follow the chld/ Why get out of your vehicle? Zimmerman was out looking for trouble and he found it...by killing a child. He should go to jail.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Jim

    I predict Zimmerman will get off. The police don't seem to be too interested in pursuing this case. Zimmerman is a coward who gunned down an innocent kid for no reason.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      You were there? Please do tell....

      March 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • 1safechick

        We're you there ADiff? No. Thing certain is that an armed 'vigilante' killed an unarmed teenage boy.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        Let's look at this situation conversely: Master Martin, full-knowingly, sought and gained the attention of Mr. Zimmerman who was on watch in his SUV. Martin intentionally lured Zimmerman on a trail of pursuit until he was able to flush Zimmerman from the safety of his vehicle. Martin then confronted Zimmerman seeking to use his substantially smaller, lighter frame and atheletic agility to his advantage over the larger, heavier, more mature Zimmerman, only to be surprised to find that Zimmerman was armed with a loaded handgun. Regretting his poorly-thought out decision to bait and attack Zimmerman, Martin was overcome with fear and began to scream for help, surprising Zimmerman, causing him to discharge his handgun out of fear and reflex.
        Case closed!

        March 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      @Kerry. You should be a fiction writer with that kind of imagination.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        Yeah, I could write it, but even I could not believe it.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Whatsinaname

    Zimmerman is guilty of willful murder, plain and simple. Whether he ever serves a moment of jail time will depend entirely of the efforts of federal investigators. It is painfully obvious that the Sanford Police Department is staffed and managed by racists. A community to steer clear of if you are black.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • dg

      Wow.
      I was betting on how many posts I would read before the word "racist" came up, and sure enough, the very first post.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • 1safechick

        That because it IS racist.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dispell the rumor

      Zimmerman had a damp shirt, grass stains, a bloody nose and was bleeding from a wound in back of his head, according to police reports.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • s

        over and over and over again dispell touts the fact that it's been reported that zimmerman had a bloody nose, grass on his back, and a "wound" on the back of his head, while COMPLETELY ignoring the 911 caller who told dispatch that the guy with the white shirt (zimmerman) was on top, the gunshot, the woman crying that the guy on the ground (martin) was dead. never mind the whole following him in the dark in his car, getting out, chasing him, possibly losing him (per the girlfriends statement), finding him again, cornering him, confronting him, shooting him dead. never mind if the fat f**k had just stayed in his car and not followed AS DIRECTED BY THE DISPATCHER, there would have been no confrontation whatsoever, there would be no question of self defense. troll.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • csam18

        Damp shirt: it was raining.
        Grass stains on pants: when he knelled over the kids body after shooting him.
        Bloody nose and wound on back of head: probably when the kid freaked out and tried to defend himself from some big dude who was following him in the middle of the night.

        This guy is going to jail, and someone in that police department is going to step down.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  97. JohnnySeven

    So, the columnist is a voice analysis expert. It appears she as with many others have pre-formed an opinion of guilt without all the facts and a complete investigation of the incident. It may very well be Martin's voice pleading for help, but that is a job for the investigators to determine. Opining that "I think it was Martin's voice" doesn't necessarily make it so.
    For all of yuou who think or state that the incident was racially motivated, get a life.
    If after a thorough investigation, the fault lies with Zimmerman, what we may really find out is that Zimmerman simply is a loose cannon and the end result may have been the same regardless of race.
    Hoodies and tennis shoes are currently very popular with teens and I have witnessed white kids profiled simply because of wearing a hoody and Nikes.
    While I don't deny that racism still exists, IMHO it is not nearly as prevalent as it has been even 10 years ago.
    Additionally, using the author's logic, I could surmise that if I returned home and discovered a burglar in my garage and attempted to stop the subject and said burglar defended his/herself where I was committed to use force up to and including deadly force, then the burglar becomes the victim because I am not a LEO? Are you for real?
    I am not diectly or indirectly comparing the aforementioned scenario to the incident with Trayvon Martin. I am however questioning the columnist's logic about who is and isn't a victim.
    If Zimmerman is found to be responsible then he'll have to face the consequences.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terence

      It appears that the police have pre-formed an opinion of innocence without doing ANY work.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • SallyinChicago

        Terrence, I like that.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jrogers

      no, you cannot compare coming home to a burglar in your house to Zimmerman chassing this boy down.

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

      no, you cannot compare coming home to a burglar in your house to Zimmerman chassing this boy down. Also, this article is an opinion piece but anyone listening to the tapes can hear that the voice yelling for help in a boy

      March 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • imanartist

      Martin's own father has said it was his son's voice crying for help – what more validation do you need?? Wrong is wrong – admit it.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dispell the rumor

        Help – me got shot... that's what is needed

        Zimmerman had a damp shirt, grass stains, a bloody nose and was bleeding from a wound in back of his head, according to police reports.

        Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446_p2/trayvon-martin-case.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

        March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • csam18

        Dispel the rumor, you're an i d i o t. You take that as a good reason to shoot this kid? Let's totally disregard the fact that this guy followed the kid in the dead of night.. confronted him when told not to, then shooting the kid in the chest right? It's obvious that you think Zimmerman was in the right, which makes you as equally stu pid.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Your analog is very dumb to say the least, in your home you have the right to protect and defend yourself. But on your street what right has anyone that is not a law enforcement office has to question you or follow you? Can you try putting yourself into the victim's shoe for a second? Or do you really think it can't happen to you?

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

      i would say you missed the points in the article entirely.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ronnie Smith

      So..JohnnySeven... I assume you know the difference between confronting a burgler in your own garage and confronting someone on the street. One's called defending you and your property, the other is called assault/murder. And yes, voice experts will have to decide but folks can still listen and form an opinion.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • TELawrence

        And you still can NOT legally MURDER someone for a Property Crime – Death Penalty for Garage Burglary!?! It must be about Self Protection only.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amazed

      You obviously did not hear the tapes because if you had heard those blood curdling screams for help, you would know that there was no reason a 250 lb., 28-year old man armed with a loaded gun would have been that terrified of a 140 boy armed with Skittles. This is not rocket science. It is common sense.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dispell the rumor

        Zimmerman had a damp shirt, grass stains, a bloody nose and was bleeding from a wound in back of his head, according to police reports.

        Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446_p2/trayvon-martin-case.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

        March 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      JohnnySeven – In the excerpts from the OP, the quoted law says "....who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be...." therefore any burglar in your garage would not become the victim.

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

      Under your scenario, the burglar would not full under the statute because he was engaged in an unlawful activity and did not have the legal right to be in your home. I think the author's point regarding Zimmerman not being a LEO is that the Sanford police seem to be giving him the presumption that he was acting in good faith which is only reserved for LEO's.

      My main issue with the author's analysis is that she assumes that it is Trayvon screaming on the 911 tape. That may very well be the case, but I don't think we have enough facts at this point to make that determination.

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

      Couldn't one argue that racism is as at the same level as 10 years ago, just a little more discrete in practice?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • d

      The police have a responsibility to investigate when a dead body results from a situation. For the police chief to say that this kid was the aggressor without ANY proof whatsoever is irresponsible, reprehensible, and should result in his immediate removal. And why can't they charge this guy? He killed someone. It's up to him to prove that it was justified.

      Just wait...if this clown gets away with murder, there will be many more to follow. All you have to do is place a fake 911 call, claim you were threatened, and according to the police in this Florida town, you can kill anybody you want!

      March 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        The pilice Cheif wasn't even an initial respinder to the incident, good luck with the defamation lawsuit against your corrupt organization.

        March 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      JohnnySeven-Give me a break this most definitely is a race issue. And I have heard the tapes over and over again and the man on the tapes certainly do not sound like the screams you hear at the end. Again why would the guy with the gun scream. I hope George Zimmerman goes to jail for the rest of his life-and if he doesn't I hope he meets a fate far worse than Trayvon's. He was NOT law enforcement, he was told NOT to follow that kid and he did. The kid by his pictures do not look like a punk-some 17 year old kids look like adult men, not this kid he looked like a kid! The beginning of the tapes show that Zimmerman is a racist-the beginning of those tapes he made a comment about Tray being black and then said something unable to be heard on the radio followed by "they always get away". He is a POS and I truly hope that justice happens here, but if not I certainly hope Karma catches up with him sooner rather than later!

      March 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  98. thetallguy

    1. You can not shoot someone in self-deffense if you are approuching them, chasing, or stalking them with a weapon
    2.George Zimmerman the Dispatcher, asked "are you folling him?"
    3. you answered "yes"
    4. what did the dispatcher tell George Zimmerman, "we do NOT need you to do that/"
    5. George Zimmerman approuched Trayvon Martin with a 9mm. and asked "What are you doing"
    6. Trayvon had the right to keep walking
    8. George Zimmerman ingaged and stop the teened not only physically but with a 9mm.
    9. George Zimmerman why didn't you listen to the dispatcher.
    10. thanks to George Zimmerman we will walk in the rain, disobey the Law, abuse children , kill someone and get away with it.....
    Trayvon Martin Rest in Peace im sure JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL

    March 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  99. CaptainObvious

    I too am an attorney. This article is spot on. There is no self-defense claim for Zimmerman. He will go away for a very long time. Unfortunately, that will not bring back a beautiful boy. My heart aches for his family and friends. May God bless and comfort them in this time of absolute need.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue This

      Sure you're an attorney...

      You've heard one side of the story from "activists" more concerned about the color of the two parties' skins than the facts of the incident, and you're sure you "know" the truth?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • CaliAtty

        The facts are, of course, still developing but what is known comes directly from the police department. The so-called "activists" are simply highlighting the contradictions as evidence of racial bias. But let's be clear, it is because of the FACTS that this story is in the news and it is because of the FACTS that the FBI and the DOJ has taken an interest, not because of a few "activists."

        March 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa in SC

        There is no doubt as to what the truth is, the dispatcher clearly told the murderer to NOT follow the boy...he chose to go after him anyway. The law clearly states you can't go after someone and then claim self defense.

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

        Really? Only heard the 'Activitsts' side of the story? Seems I've heard the audio 911 tapes, the interviews with the Sanford PD folks, the parent, the list of what he bought at the 7-11...and seen where hundreds of thousands of folks are outraged by the lack of charges.

        You clearly seem to lump lots of information into the 'activists' and race-calling stereotype. Does reading outrage OpEd pieces written by minorities cause you to doubt what the rest of the solar system sees here?

        Why do you suppose that is?

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

        There are no contradictions of the facts, caliatty. Only Jealous stockgobbing by mr. spats.

        March 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliAtty

      This issue has made the rounds in the halls of my law firm as well. No matter how the issues are presented, even favorable to Zimmerman, we all agreed that a self-defense strategy will not stand successfully. In fact, everyone has complete confidence that Zimmerman will be appropriately charged. The real issue for me, however, what will happen to the Standford P.D. Their investigation was clearly shoddy and appears to have serious bias against Martin. For example, a cell phone was recovered next to Martin's body. According to immediate family members, their numbers were in the phone: Dad, mother, and uncle (or aunt, I can't remember). Yet, the PD allowed Martin's body to remain in the morgue for three (3) days despite having the resources to locate his next of kin. This is an issue the P.D. definitely needs to answer.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Denhunter

        My oh my! A black woman siding with a 6'2" black man who knocks a Hispanic man down and is witnessed pummelling him in the face. I mean, really, what a shock! f you are lawyer, I would think you would be laughed out any judge's chambers during pretrial. You are ignoring the critical rule of law, all pertinent facts and relying on baseless speculation in your analysis. But the most offensive thing is that in order to make your case, you lie.

        The important part of the statute is 'forcible felony', and it's part you give short shrift. The only eyewitness has your 6'2" black man pounding the Hispanic man in the face on the ground. The back the Hispanic man's clothes are dirty and grass stained. He has a open cut on the back of his head. He has a broken nose. THAT is the forcible felony in this state. What the lesbian couple had to say added nothing. They arrived AFTER the shooting.

        You lie when surely you know that chubby little Zimmerman (you call him a 'big man', but he's just short and fat, like MOST Peruvians) was unsucessful in catching the 17 year old 6'2" football player. You know, but you fail to note that Zimmerman called BACK to the police, after losing the Martin, and was on his way to his truck to meet them . At this point, on the phone with 911, Zimmerman tells he is headed back to the truck, but the black man is coming toward him. As the girl friend says, it is THEN that the black man confronts Zimmerman and says 'what are you doing following me?' Zimmerman responds 'what are you doing here?' and for an answer he gets knocked down, and HE begins to scream. Though the baby daddy claims he nows KNOWS it was his son, he was adamant about it NOT being his kid yelling, until he was told by his personal injury lawyer that it hurt the case. THEN he changed his story to being 'CERTAIIN' it was his son. You ignore that Martin had outrun Zimmerman. He was safe and there could be no perception of danger. But he went BACK to ZImmerman for a fight. He got one and died.

        If your son is shot close to your front door, how is it you don't know about it for three days? Where are you? Who is watching the young boy who was supposedly the Skiddle recipent? Are your neighbors not talking to you? You don't ask around when he doesn't come back from the 7-11? THREE DAYS??? Really? You don't call 911 and say 'my child is missing!!!' for three days? Either that is a lie, and they knew exactly where he was and why, or they didn't care a bit about the deceased until contact was made with the PI lawyer and the prospect of 'getting rich' was raised.

        Though your legal analysis is shoddy, and is clearly colored by YOUR color, I will give you credit for pointing out that this is all about the money recovery on the civil case. If Zimmerman doesn't get charged, the personal injury lawyers who are shoving these pictures of a young boy in front the public to incite anger and violence, KNOW this is a scam. If they can sucessfully attack Zimmerman's self defense claim, then and only then they will get paid. If they cannot, they will not receive a dime, and all the expenses and costs they have expended and THEY have to eat them. This is about a personal injury recovery. Absolutely, positively nothing else. And you and your 'whole law firm' know this. Or should.

        March 24, 2012 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Kerry

        I have to give you credit, Denhunter, for your assembly of a fine script. Unfortunately, one minor hole persists on your central plot: how many gazillions do you imagune Mr. Zimmerman would have to be worth to attract these hoards of personal injury attorneys?

        March 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Check you grammar what are you talking about?

        March 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Double check and make sure you didn't miss any ethnicity in your bizarre post

        March 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Susan

        DeaHunter, there are so many factual errors (such as the fact that Trayvon hasn't played football for three years and weighed a mere 140-150 pounds, so he was hardly the big, scary football player you're trying to portray him as), but the whopper is your claim that the parents were somehow MIA about his disappearance. His father called and reported him missing immediately. It was the police who completely bungled things by not using the boy's cell phone to contact "Mom" and "Dad" to try to identify him. They let him sit in a morgue and let his parents suffer for three days because they were so incompetent.

        March 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Aaron

    This is all too familiar a story told time and time again; its almost like an American foke tale. I'm so happy to see Americans of all racial and social backgrounds agree that this act commited by Zimmerman is
    atrocious and callous.
    Taking a more profound look, if Zimmerman, a civilan, gets away with murdering Trayvon Martin, there will be many similar stories to follow. Not just in that region of the country but other places as well. This is sad because this was a good young man with lost of promise.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
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