.
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. Mike P

    I was not there so I can't make a fully informed conclusion. That said, it is really sad to know that people are driving around in vehicles, fully armed, ready to confront strangers they have concluded, based on little information, other than their observations, are somehow a danger to the neighborhood. He called 911 and that should have been the end of his involvement. Let the police sort it out, they get paid to do that work. In the mean time, a young man is dead because someone not qualified to be judge and jury decided to "save" his neighborhood from a person eating skittles and drinking a soda.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    To those who want to forever wait on the facts. What other facts are you expecting? The facts are clear cut as long as you respect the law and basic human rights. A boy was confronted in the streets by an armed man with unfriendly intentions that resulted in a struggle and the boy being shot. Zimmerman needs to prove his actions were not murder. A neighborhood watch captain had no right doing what he did.

    I'm sure some individuals with antiquated mindsets would like to find something they could pin on Treyvon, something that would justify gunning him down in the streets, or at least appease the conscience with the affirmation that all blacks must be guilty of something. But in the end people with this mindset used the same justifications for hundreds of years to justify the dehumanization and murder of people different than themselves.

    If Zimmerman had been black and Treyvon white he would thrown in a dank hole and no one would claim this, "wait till the facts come in" nonsense. He would have to prove his innocence instead of the parents having to prove Treyvon didn't deserve to be shot.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Well said.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MS OF NY

      Well Said.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DoubleEM

    Why would I be interested in opinion of Black person, when this situation is purely inflated based on the race of the participants? C'mon CNN, you can do better than that!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      You are the reason the U.S.A. is in deep trouble, racist.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      White people on CNN have condemned the non arrest of Zimmerman all week! Wake up idiot.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Delando

      That's the stupidest thing I have read on this subject. Think before you type

      March 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • BosMonkey

      Maybe it is inflated because of race, but something tells me that Zimmerman would've approached anyone on that dark night who was wearing a hoodie. Seems like a cop wanna-be and looking for some action. :/ Either way, the teenager is dead because this guy didn't listen to the 911 dispatcher and he is screwed through criminal charges and/or civil suit.

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

      I saw the picture of the OP and knew the outcome before even reading the story.

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

      Go kill yourself, quickly! Hurry before the sun goes down..You're loosing valuable time and breathing oxygen meant for someone else..HURRY..

      March 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    The danger of this case, if not prosecuted, is what signal does it send to those wanting to harm our children. If a preditor is allowed to hide behind the law then it's open season on them. Think about it. When a kid is cornered by a preditor we tell them to flee the attacker, if trap make lots of noise and cause a scene, and be aggresive. It sounds like that's what Martin was doing, following the protocol. If our children can no longer protect themselves when in danger what the hell kind of message are we sending?

    March 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    This is most well-written and informative piece I have read about the murder of this young man, and I appreciate the writer reviewing the laws that exist in Florida. As another reader posted, the job of Neighborhood Watch is to be alert, observe and report to the police so they can handle the situation. I'm a long-time Neighborhood Block Watch Captain, and no way are we supposed to stalk someone, carry a gun, confront that person and then shoot them. Martin was being followed by a stranger in the dark, and I would run too. Throw the murderer into prison where he belongs before he murders someone else.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • SevenTX

      I concur 100 percent. Carolyn Edgar has done an excellent job here. It's a great examination of this incident using law to support a common-sense evaluation of what transpired. This was a great read.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard Ackerman

      I could not have said it any better than this. Carolyn Edgar's op-ed piece is clear, concise, well reasoned and persuasive. How refreshing that she actually backs up her opinion with cold hard facts. She is probably a very fine lawyer.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. oldman

    Really, it doesn't matter if the boy was black, white, green or red, this should not have happened. I believe, the man with the gun should go to the chair. Self-defense doesn't cover this mans actions. Sad, very sad.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Derek

    "Bobby – It is a tough situation."

    No, it's not. Zimmerman went looking for trouble. He provoked the situation. I don't care if the kid turned around and smacked him because most of us would do the same think if someone got out of a vehicle and approached us at night. The situation would never have occurred if Zimmerman had not followed the kid.. therefore, he caused the situation to occur.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Neighborhood watch means just that... WATCH. If you feel the need to interact, call the police. If they say do not follow or engage then do not follow – with a weapon in hand, and engage.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wilfred & Vivian Galarza

    While watching CNN News this morning regarding George Zimmerman, CNN mentioned that Mr. Zimmerman was hispanic. Was that necessary? Isn't Zimmerman not a hispanic name? My question is had he been Jewish, Italian, Greek, etc. would CNN have mentioned that? Mentioning the fact that he was hispanic to seems to be racial profiling by CNN. Thank you

    March 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Look in the Mirror, Racist

      All your homies were ready to hang ZImmerman when they thought he was a Jew.

      And now that it turns out he's not, you're upset.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Wilfred...I believe they only mention that fact to try and downplay any racist angle on this. They are trying to steer away from the classical nervous, reactionary white guy, who is afraid of any african american he may encounter to something of a more rounded person, who is a minority himself and would thus be more grounded in his actions. This is meaningless to me, as Zimmerman was clearly the aggressor and should be charged this way. The race of any of the parties involved should bear no relevance (although it does), as clearly one human went after another and killed him due to his baseless fears. I hope justice is done here and that the child's family makes a financial example out of Zimmerman as well. It will not replace there boy, but should serve as some kind of deterrant to others who may take similar actions.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JJ

    Clearly Zimmerman killed this young man because he was black. Although he himself is a minoirty he is not black.. The only real minority are blacks.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • What?!

      Please, please tell me you are joking. Hispanics are right up there with blacks as far as minority issues are concerned. We're also considered a "problem" group and are blamed for all manner of bullcrap. Get real.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug2222

      I am Native American Indian and as few of us as there are in these United States, I am offended by your statement.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wilfred & Vivian Galarza

    While watching CNN News this morning regarding George Zimmerman, CNN mentioned that Mr. Zimmerman was hispanic. My question is had he been Jewish, Italian, Greek, etc. would CNN have mentioned that? Mentioning the fact that he was hispanic to seems to be racial profiling by CNN. Thank you

    March 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      CNN isn't profiling... the whole point is the father said he is a minority and therefore isn't guilty because he isn't racist.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. survivor

    you know you can rate the sanford PD under google reviews next to thier information on the web search

    March 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. oh

    cant make a race thang out of it.....darn it!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • 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 whit 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

      March 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • youloze

      not a race issue, just a wrong issue..This didn't have to happen!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Vince

    I don't see how Zimmerman gets out of this. The cops told him NOT to approach the guy. There is good reason for that. He's not law enforcement. The kid was not obliged to follow instructions or obey him. Zimmerman had no business confronting the Martin whatsoever. Walking down the street late at night is not a crime.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fRANCIS G. WENZEL

    DEAR CAROLYN EDGAR,

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONCISE REVIEW OF FLORIDA CRIMINAL LAW AS TO SELF-DEFENSE.

    REGARDLESS OF THE 911 TAPES, IF MERE PRESENCE ON A STREET WALKING IN THE RAIN ON A SIDEWALK IS ENOUGH JUSTIFICATION FOR A LAYPERSON WITH A PERMIT TO CARRY OF GUN TO APPROACH AND CONFRONT THE WALKER, GOD HELP US.

    I FEAR FOR OUR CHILDREN THAT THE SOCIETY WE ARE MAKING IS FILLED WITH DANGERS THAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCE OF MISGUIDED PERSONS RELYING ON GUN LAWS THAT DO NOT APPLY OUTSIDE OF DEFENSE AGAINST PERSONS WHO THREATEN OR USE DEADLY FORCE – CLEARLY TREVOR MARTIN WAS NOT SUCH A THREATENING PERSON.

    THANK YOU.

    FRANK

    March 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoSueMe

      Thank you, Frank. Well said.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Edwin

    Was this killing racially motivated? Certainly - Zimmerman reacted the way he did because of the person he saw, including skin color. Was it profiling? NO. That applies to law officers, not general public. As free citizens, we are free to make and keep any prejudices we want... and be honest - would you REALLY be as scared by a thin, white teenage girl as you would be by a big black teenage boy?

    That said, free citizens are NOT free to shoot those people who scare them - only those who provoke ACTUAL ATTACKS. Zimmerman probably felt empowered by his work on night watch and decided to act as if he were an actual law enforcement officer - with little or no training in how and when to use deadly force. THAT is the issue, not race: Zimmerman overstepped his authority and killed someone without justification.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  16. sww

    I always thought neighborhood watch's job was to observe and report, not staulk and kill...

    March 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Kevin

    All the people in an uproar about this, don't understand exactly how backwoods, inbred, Florida rednecks are. Being black in a "gated community" is enough to get you killed. Then the "Sanford and Son" sheriffs department won't charge the white supremacist, living-in-moms-basement, fat slob of a murderer for KILLING a 17-year-old boy carrying candy. That is how they like it in Florida. Don't worry Zimmerman, now that the feds are involved, you're going to enjoy Stark. The skinheads are gonna just give you all kinda lovin.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug2222

      How can you dare to sit there and talk about prejudice when you made a blanket statement about an entire state! I am from Florida sir. Base your accusations on the facts at hand. If this was a white teen w/ a hood, would he of done the same, I think so. I think it was the hood and the fact he was a teen male and alone. I think it was moreso the style – the hood-rat mentality and all that goes with it – he disliked and targeted this kid. He was totally wrong, his bias drove this and his need to probably prove something.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Thomas, Orlando, FL

    Excellent legal analysis. Chasing this young man, forcing the confrontation and then claiming self defense when you shoot him is a bit like murdering your parents and then asking the court for mercy because you are an orphan.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Future

      This is the same thing that I think will happen around laws about approaching kids with sagging pants. There will be the same level of confusion that we have here. There will be the same types of situations that will bring race into the picture. Oh America this great country of ours that will never let us all be free of ignorance.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Dilusiun

    Kids all around the country are told that when they are approached by a stranger they are to first attempt to run away and call for help. If they are grabbed by a stranger they are taught to kick and punch and put up as big a fight as possible while screaming help. This is what my children were taught in their stranger danger lessons. If Zimmerman has any injuries at all...well...isn't that what our children are taught to do in self defense. This story is nothing but disturbing. Injustice

    March 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dante

      Very well said...

      March 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoSueMe

      Good point. Thanks.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  20. MW

    If you know anything about the history of the Sanford PD you'd understand why they didn't chagre this guy.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stanford PD

      The DOJ will happily sort that issue out...

      March 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • SevenTX

        Stanford PD? Faker can't even get Sanford right.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • BK

      Several folks have made similar comments about this police dept ... we would like more information. What kind of problems have there been?

      March 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      There are plenty of corrupt police departments in this country... but this is not necessarily evidence of corruption. There are plenty of reasons (some good, some bad) they might not have pursued this case, and many have nothing to do with having bad people in power or having a bad department.

      That said, I'd bet the feds are looking at more than just the individual case. If there is a pattern of bad calls or corrupt behavior, I'd bet they'll find it. Heck, I'd bet someone loses their job even if nobody in law enforcement did anything wrong...

      March 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Stopthemadness

    Zimmerman is guilty of manslaughter if not murder. He was told not to pursue yet he did. He made the statement "these A******* always get away" and then shot him with no probable cause no assumption of guilt and more importantly NO RIGHT TO ACT AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. Not only was the teen not in the wrong but the so called captain of the neighborhood watch chose to break the law and kill someone under either,

    1. Racial profiling and discriminatory practices.
    2. Personal emotional conflict with his own insecurities.

    Either way the man acted unlawfully and illegally and for the State Attny's office to not press charges, Show exactly how messed up our legal system is and makes me ashamed to be part of a country where a man can murder and no investigation is done because the guy is the "Captain Of The Neighborhood Watch" Better known as the nosey neighbors with flash lights club.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoSueMe

      I love it when I see evidence of smart people to counter all the idiocy out there. Thanks for the wise post.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Any Mouse

    George Zimmerman is long gone, probably out of the country by now. The Sanford Police Department should also be brought up on charges relating to this mess.
    I can't wait to see the civil law suits that will follow.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Ugh!

    I hope there is some really neat piece of exculpatory evidence exonorating the action of the police force. I assume they would have had the 911 tapes, I am not certain why they had not interviewed the ear/eye witnesses. i would have thought we had all left Alabama circa the 1950's behind in the past. Humans are supposed to evolve not devolve...

    March 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  24. survivor

    Taking the race out of the mix I really feel that Zimmerman is at fault. Someone black or white, hooded or not walking through a subdivision has a right to do so even if it is gated. He has no authority to question the person and no crime had been committed either. The aggressor was Zimmerman and he must be held accountable for his actions. A right to carry a firearm comes with great responsibility and he performed in a reckless manner without regard to human life. He needs to pay the price for taking a human life with just cause. This is obvious that Zimmerman was the aggressor and failed to properly handle the situation. He was the judge and jury while handing out sentencing. I am white, I carry a weapon and am embarrassed of this person actions. My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Martin and I really feel the prosecutor better do his or her job and charge Zimmerman. If not I would get the State Attorney General involved along with the FBI. You cannot go around and chase people on the street with a gun for no good reason which equals no good result. Sad sad story.

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

      I am all for the – you had the gun, you fired it, he was unarmed holding skittles and a drink school of accountability. Zimmerman used whatever pea of a brain he had, now he has to be accountable. I can be 15 feet from somebody with a pistol and that person unless they have a gun out and ready is zero threat, zero. Zimmerman has some splainin' to do to someone someday...

      March 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  25. tallguy

    1. well you can not claim self-deffense if you approuch someone.
    2. George Zimmerman is twice the size of Trayvon Martin
    3. George Zimmerman if he was a threat why didnt you report him, and went home and proctect your family and property

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

    So according to Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, if you are a 17 year old child (he's not an adult yet) and some strange guy is following you in a vehicle and asks you where you live, you're suppose to tell him? Really, this is not what we tell our children to do – give your address to a strange guy in a car following you. Zimmerman was not a law enforcement officer, so this boy had no reason to answer his question. No wonder so many kids go missing in Florida the police seem to have things a bit backward.

    My heart goes out to this family.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug2222

      You don't tell anyone anything unless they produce a badge, and even then you have the right to verify they are an officer of the law. This man must of been slowly getting his nerve up here and there, isolated incidents – has anyone checked for that?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Carlton

    What we are witnessing is the deep-seated evil some people have towards blacks in this country! Some people in this county hold this evil so deep within themselves to the point of wanting to see us totally gone! For many of my fellow black people if you have been asleep or decieved to believe things have totally changed because we have black president, I hope are awake now!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • So Sad

      I am so saddened by this.. A child's life regardless of race was taken. I am a white mother of 2 children, And donnot want to even imagine what these poor parents are going through. That man should have been in jail since the day it happned. That child seems to have been singles out. The 911 operator clearly told him to not follow..THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO ARREST HIM RIGHT THERE SHOWING HE WAS THE AGGRESSOR.. thats why this world is full of racism today...BLACK,WHITE,ASIAN,MEXICAN OR WHATEVER RACE..WE ARE ALL HUMAN AND NO ONE DESERVES WHAT THIS CHILD GOT..A YOUNG LIFE DESTROYED. WHERE IS THIS JUSTICE FOR THIS CHILD..SHOULD BE AN EYE FOR AN EYE LAW...CHASE HIM DOWN THE STREET AND DO TO HIM WHAT HE DONE THAT CHILD

      March 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Natty

        Thank you, thank you for that.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas, Orlando, FL

      Deep seated stupid is different than deep seated racism. You can't fix stupid.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • AGeek

        Have to agree here. Stupidity is genetic. At least racism can be unlearned.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  28. JJ

    Zimmerman was clearly the aggressor in the situation. Zimmerman was told by the 911 dispatcher to not follow Trayvon and that the cops were on their way but he ignored the dispatcher and followed Trayvon anyway. Zimmerman pursued Trayvon, a confrontation ensued and Trayvon was shot and killed. He was MURDERED!. Zimmerman outweighed Trayvon by more than 100lbs. How can you be the aggressor/instigator and claim self defense. What would you do if someone is following you at night, you would RUN! When has it become a crime to walk down the street with your hands in your pants and wearing a hoodie? Oh ya, when you are young black male.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Emotional replies to a situation that a person neither witnessed nor has direct knowledge of which rely on a very biased view by this writer are hardly a basis for assigning motive or a finding of fact. Additional investigation into the case may well be necessary, but it should not be politically motivated or charged with unnecessary racial undertones. The court of public opinion usually results in horrible miscarriages of justice. Take race and age (plenty of 17 year old "kids" are capable of violent action) out of the discussion. What are the facts? That is the only thing that legally matters.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Ms. Goodwin

    Reblogged this on galapgoodwin and commented:
    The National Discussion... Chime in...

    March 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  30. KMS

    I love the way this one-sided article was painted. Why doesn't everyone reserve comments until all the facts are correctly out!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      That is a lovely sentiment, but in this case, the case was closed before the police even presented it to a Grand Jury. They had no interest, apparently, in presenting the facts of the case - until people started pressing them to do so, like on this board.

      Sometimes justice is swept under the rug. Maybe it really IS the case that Zimmerman is innocent, but that is hard to imagine - he was safe in his car and NOT authorized to leave it. He had no personal property at risk. So... yes, I am willing to let a jury decide. But let's make sure it at least GETS to a jury...

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

        People are not charged in court simply because someone else demands it for their own specific reason. The original poster made a very good argument. The type of vigilante justice you prescribe has nothing to dowith justice, but your obvious opinion that Zimmerman is guilty.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Because I'm from that area and I know exactly what the Sanford Police are like.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Really? How are they and is that a personal opinion or based on some observable fact? Can you please enlighten us on your extensive background in criminal investigations, forensics and interviewing techniques.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kela

      And how was it one sided? Explain that part to me on how was her article about why Zimmerman was not arrested because of a Florida law pertains to him, but not to the victim? Explain how they told him not to follow and he did let alone chance the boy. Explain why he (Martin) couldn't defend himself and Zimmerman could. STFU!

      March 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Because it assumes motives by Zimmerman that may or may not be present. STFU .. really! If you really want an unbiased investigation, you want it explored from every angle. Yes, the writer's article is highly biased and as a lawyer, she should know better.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • tdubya

      Zimmerman's side and Sanford police was one sided as well for well over a week until the 911 tapes were released. Please!!! Im sure you did not say it was one sided then GTFOH!

      March 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brian

        It is pretty typical to have delays in the availability of 911 tapes.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • PF

      Given the facts that ARE known, it is almost impossible to see any scenario where Trayvon Martin was in the wrong.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        What exactly are those facts. Have you seen or read the police report. Were you part of the original investigation. The only thing publicly available so far is a 911 tape. While helpful, it doesn't really tell us much about what actually transpired between Zimmerman and the alleged assailant.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Father of 2 boys

      Google the police audio and listen to the tapes. The guy fired twice, once missing the kid about 20 seconds later (after prolly taking aim ) fires another shot.

      all the while the kid is screaming for his life.

      He was WALKING in the rain to get back where he was a guest and a strange man approaches him with a GUN.

      if it were you wouldnt you run and when the guy gave chase and caught you defend yourself?

      March 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        I haven't heard the tape, but I can say with a great deal of experience that assuming a 17 year old cannot be dangerous is a very big mistake.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • youloze

        @ Robert Listen to the fukn tape! No person that weighs 100 pounds less than any other person should be viewed as a threat that doesn't possess a weapon. He murdered that child and has the nerve to claim self defense only after he knew that he had just killed a child with candy and an iced tea. Murdered for walking the the MF rain..

        March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Natty

      @KMS – Are you f***ing kidding me? Incredible! What's your deal?

      March 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Probably the only rational argument presented so far. But you of course have already made a decision and made that decision based on popular hysteria instead of a full set of facts.

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

      You read it and you wanted 3 guys to help you decode the incident? Where you not capable of comprehensing the sad incident?

      March 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • JusticeforTrayvon

      KMS, if it wasn't for "slanted" articles, people asking questions, and pressure on the Police – the facts would never come out! Self Defense went out the window the minute Zimmermann stepped out of his vehicle and started to persue the child. NO CHILD should ever answer questions from a stranger, unless that stranger is the POLICE, and even then -especially in the south – answering police questions isn't even a good idea. No "neighborhood watch" person should ever get a gun and persue someone. If you think hte article is biased, I suspect it's not the only bias you have.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      On the contrary, this is completely fair, balanced and reasoned legal analysis. Zimmerman's own actions and racial epithets on the 9-11 tapes speak for themselves. And there are several other 9-11 calls from area residents and testimony reported today on ABC by Travon's friend (or girlfriend – I'm not sure). Her account is the most damning. She says that Trayvon was trying to get away and at one point he thought he'd lost Zimmerman, but Zimmerman ambushed him. Then the phone call was cut off. It's pretty clear to me and to a lot of people that Zimmerman stalked Trayvon because he was black and wearing a hoodie, cornered him and murdered him in cold blood. I don't know how you can come to any other conclusion. Trayvon had absolutely zero culpability in this situation. He didn't even confront Zimmerman (although it would have been understandable). He was just a regular high school kid watching an NBA game with his dad, out at half time getting a snack. This entire situation breaks my heart as a parent, and my thoughts and prayers are with Trayvon's mom and dad and family.

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

      Of course it was one sided. It is an opinion article.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  31. MAD

    This is a sad story to read or hear about... it is these time that justify taking actions in ones on hands...This story make me think of the movie starring Samuel Jackson" A Time to Kill"...... if the local police will not act, it make u think what are they motives and feeling for their citizens... But also, this was part of a neighborhood watch association backed by the police department…. Thus finding him guilty also make the police department look guilty…. America ask your-self, is there any laws that gives a person in neighborhood watch association to carry a firearm? If so then, does that make them a second arm of the law?

    March 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • fsdd

      He probably just had a concealed carry license. Nothing to do with the NWA

      March 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kela

        STFU Idiot!
        He did have a permit HOWEVER he was not justified using it.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  32. PJPage

    Georges Zimmerman needs to be arrested as soon as possible. There is no evidence that can justify in anyway shape or form to prove the killing was self defense. Everything that I hear on the conversations from the 911 call made by the shooter himself prove to be otherwise. It is racial profiling at its best and Zimmerman should be arrested and put in jail for the crimes regardless of how conflicted the florida laws may seem to the police department.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  33. MassMom

    History repeats itself. When Europe found itself in economic decline a charismatic leader was able to capitalize on the fear, anger, dissent, and frustration by targeting a group of people for everyone to blame. The hate rhetoric against groups of people seems to be increasing at an alarming rate in America. Politicians and pundits in the election year seem to be embracing and even promoting racial divide under the guise of political conservatism. It's rather shocking how frequently the matter of Obama's skin color creeps into the news or some op ed. The president has been linked to "radical" black figures, invites rappers to the White House, must be Muslim even though he has said time and again he is Christian...no other President in our history has been race baited and vilified in such an unrestrained manner. It's so become so commonplace we are seeing kids post racist videos mocking blacks because they too sense the unrest and are emboldened. Now you have police and citizens shooting black kids on the street because they feel threatened. No evidence of threat in either case. DanRoy Henry and now this poor young man. It's disgusting.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • esoteroc1

      your post is not relavent and free association in order to say something is stupid. its asimple case of a renta cop who is boared looking for action and he go to much.

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

        Her post IS relevent and EVERYONE has the right to express their opinion. Something she said must have hit awfully close to home for you to take the time to attack her opinion! So now I will express mine. If you can't let others speak, then don't speak yourself!

        To properly respond to her post, I personally agree with her observations. There seems to be a massive regression in thinking and understanding that is leading to more prevalent racism AND extremism in politics and religion. We've seen this pattern in history before. In my opinion, this incident with Zimmerman and the many other incidents that are happening at a more alarming rate are a symptom that we are quickly devolving in the face of hardship. I fear the worst is yet to come. I will (God willing) do my best to stand against every injustice and I DO stand against this one. I have cried many tears for the actions of our nation and the people in our nation who are so full of hate and judgement toward others. I have cried tears for Trayvon and his family. I still hope that people like the ones I see posting here against this injustice will be able to turn things around and make incidents like this one become the exception instead of the rule.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • ellid

      The President has nothing to do with this case. Why did you just devote a long and barely coherent paragraph to slamming him?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • ellid

        Sorry, I misunderstood the original post. Please ignore it 🙂

        March 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Jubril

    I had a scenario at my place, a guy was climbing my fence , i could see him from my deck , I held my gun and told him to stop, he did not respond he just hanged on to the fence, I called 911 and they told me to stay inside the house and wait, 3 minutes later, about 12 police cars showed up, turns out the guy was very high on drugs . The cops later came to thank me because the guy was so high that he could have lost his life as he had to be checked in to an hospital to detox. Zimmerman is a murderer and should be charged

    March 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      The difference, Jubril, is that you kept your cool and actually followed the advice of the police. Some might panic in a situation like that and shoot anyway.

      ...but even if you HAD shot (I'm glad you didn't), your property was clearly being violated and you had a *reasonable* expectation the trespasser meant harm to you and yours. I don't think Zimmerman can claim that.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  35. 1st

    @Momar not adding you to that group, just stating who the resemble to me.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Mike

    WE all know which party is responsible for passing these bills that make people think they have the "right to kill" and then call it self-defense. How many more inocent people and children are going to die as a result of this law? It has begun! Now it's time to hold our leader's accountable for their actions.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • scieng1

      You are right. Before this law was passed tens of thousands of people were murdered each year by gangs, drug users, rapists, and other felons. Now, some people are allowed to stand up to it without going to jail for being a victim. As a result, violent crime has dropped dramatically. It is easy to see which party profits more from violent crime (Dems) and which profits more from innocent people living safer (GOP). This is a case where a man did not follow the law, and it will catch up to him.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Edwin

        ...except the local law enforcement officers did not see fit to find this man worthy of trial until the (democratic) feds stepped in.

        So... just like Mike before you, you are making false generalizations to promote a political agenda. The truth is this: the law *sounds* good but probably has REAL flaws. Whoever passed it probably had very good intentions, but the law should be modified - or at least applied more sensibly.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Bobby

    It is a tough situation. There was a fight. There are no witnesses that actually saw the fight. They could only hear it. Both the local and State authorities and now the Fed's are involved. Hopefully, they can come up with some consistency. The general public does not have all the facts so everything is based upon emotion.

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

      Well put, Bobby. It is surprising how many people are willing to jump to a conclusion while many of the facts are still unknown.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tenkpain

      Did you hear the running commentary by Zimmerman as he went in pursuit. Not good for Zimmerman. It sure sounds like Mississippi in 1961, not FL today. But then again, the world seems to be turning backwards in states with Republican legislatures and governors.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MassMom

      Zimerman was looking for trouble. There was no reason for him to carry a gun on a neighborhood watch – the operative word here is "WATCH", not shoot. He's not law enforcement! Zimmerman was on the phone with the police and told to stay away from the kid. The kid was unarmed. Zimmerman could have walked away. He pursued this kid, provoked the situation and shot him. Zimmerman had a gun, the other kid didn't have a weapon. Those are facts and enough to arrest and prosecute. Why Florida hasn't is a whole other matter.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Iconoclast

        Again I agree with you! You took the words right out of my mouth! Well said.

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

      A fight that shouldn't have taken place if Zimmerman had simply used common sense and obeyed the police.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Of course the public is not the right venue to judge and pass sentence. But until the public got involved, the local law enforcement was willing to sweep it under a rug.

      The public is involved because otherwise there would actually be no trial.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Some facts are clear. Fact. He called 911. He stated thes a holes always get away. Intent to not let this happen again. Fact. He was carrying a concelled waepon while conducting operations as the neighborhood watchman. Didn't have the right to do in this capacity. Fact. Was he following the kid. He admitted this to the dispatcher. Fact 911 dispatcher to him not to follow the kid. He did. Fact kdi had a right to be there. Fact. Zimmerman was not a police officer. He had no authority to pursue or ask the kid anything. Fact. He got out of his car and chased the kid down. Fact. He had blood on him. Could have been the kids blood from fighting. Fact. police dept didn't do a drug/achohol or swab blood to see whose blood it was. I think some facts are in and its clear Zimmerman wwanted this to happen. He didn't want this a hole to get away.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      The police is not the judge and jury. Appears they have accepted this role. They are responsible for collecting evidence, invetigating the crime scene, finding potential witnessses......etc. the grand jury is the one that decides if enough evidence is worhty to bring charges. And a jury at the trial detemines if there is guilt or innocence. The police chief states "there is no one to refute Zimmerman's claim of self defense". Of course there isn't. The one person who could is dead. This is a convienient out for the police chief to not conduct his responsibility of due process.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  38. wwrrd

    This neighborhood watch guy was a macho egotist out there looking to start trouble. He is fully responsible, and that kid had no reason to stop and answer to that guy. That is why we have police. Put Zimmerman away.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Wendy

    I think that Mr. Zimmerman was totally wrong in this altogether and should now face the courts, admitting he was. Prevent the long drawn out hurtful trial to these parents that have lost their innocent son. If we keep allowing people to take on the role of officers even for a neighborhood watch what is our world coming to? Guns, death of innocent people, children and worst the people doing such awful acts thinking it was okay!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  40. omnescient

    I live in florida in a high end gated community and is always made to feel like i don't belong there. All the rules and security features implemented by the HOA are to dissuade minorities from moving in. in our community your child has to get a background check on their 18th birthday to continue living with you in your house....and the security director can chase you down and question why you are where you are. Take a wild guess who have been at the meetings complaining about being stopped the most ....thats right the minority residents....its ingrained in people here that if you are dark skinned you do not belong.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug2222

      You know that exists in many places – I once rented a house where the neighbors all refused to talk to me. They were angry one year when I put up a holiday tree. For some reason they thought my very black hair, and olive skin meant I was Jewish and how dare I celebrate like them. When 911 happened I was questioned all the time about my race, as were my dark hair/skinned daughters. I am Native American Indian. Yeah the original race that has no holidays for them, no days for our leaders honored, nothing.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  41. VM

    This was a well-written and thought-provoking commentary piece. May God bless this young boy and his grieving family.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  42. TomCom

    Didn't the tapes have Zimmerman saying "those ass*hole*s always get away"? then the 9-11 operator telling him not to pursue him. I think just this portion warrants a investigation.

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

      9-11 operators told him to not pursue him because if he did, he might die as well... What, you think it's that easy being the hero who brings a criminal to justice?

      What I hate is how in NJ there's no real self defense law. A bat isn't considered a deadly weapon here. There's a lot of gang affiliations here and in this town the cops don't do anything. A stabbing by a public monument where there's always cops and traffic and it passes through a main street. If a gang surrounded me, I would have no legal ramifications for defending myself.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Steven Burke

    First let me say that this incident is disgusting and an outrage. My heart goes out to this family.

    Where race does play into this scenario, I don't think it should be the primary focus. As a concealed weapon carrier, I make it a point to be responsible and know and understand the law. The use of deadly force is only acceptable in the case of defending your life or the life of another, which is in immediate, eminent danger. The use deadly force against unarmed persons is only justified in the case of "disparity of force" against you. This unarmed teenager fell into none of these categories. I don't know what kind of Barney Fife police officers handled this indecent, but they may want to get into another line of work. This is a clear case of murder. I wouldn't even be surprised if it was per-meditated.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven Burke

      Oops... "Premeditated".

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

        We need more good leaders like you! To help set an example for those that "just don't get it" when it comes to rules and proceedures. 🙂

        March 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • maggie

      If only more people were as responsible as you. Unfortunately, I think Mr. Zimmerman fell into the side of the ledger where he felt impowered by the availability of a gun. That, in combination with some obvious stereotypes he had about race (it was pretty obvious on the 911 tapes) and you have a propensity to engage in behavior that lets you hide behind the law. Mr. Zimmerman may well have been a victim here in another scenario but without investigation, who are the Sanford police to play judge and jury. A kid was killed with nothing on him to indicate malice; Zimmerman was told by the cops not to pursue. He did so anyway and he killed somebody. If that isn't probable cause for arrest, I don't know what is.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • JOH

        Cops always play judge and jury to you. They think they're gods mediating our lives. How can you call our country a nation of democracy when it's a police state?

        March 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • scieng1

      This is a real tragedy. However, if you have been stabbed before (like I was) by a concealed knife, you might have more respect for concealed weapons on the other guy. Being unarmed is only determined after the fact. There seems to be little evidence supporting deadly force self-defense in this situation, so the local officers and prosecutors should have reviewed this more carefully.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louise

      I was thinking the very same thing, Mr. Berke. Especially after hearing about what was in those tapes. It even appears that Zimmerman may have been prepping and trying to influence the 911 call to the dispatcher to make it come out in his favor when he described the "suspect" as looking like he was "acting strangely" as if he was "high on drugs." Zimmerman seems to have been CYA trying to cover his azz for the outcome. To me that is definitely premeditated. In an email to the Huffington Post one form neighbor of this gated community described Zimmerman and the other wach volunteers as nothing more than a bunch of drunken lunatics parolling the neighborhood. Another expert detective said it appeared Zimmerman was drunk after listening to the tapes.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  44. The Motley Sage

    Well put, Carolyn Edgar.

    The fact that this 'case' required FEDERAL intervention is sad. You shouldn't have even had to delve deep into the Florida law to show that Zimmerman was clearly wrong. Furthermore, how does a 'self defense' claim make any sense when you take a moment to consider obvious facts, such as:

    – Trayvon (140lbs) | Zimmerman (240+lbs)
    – Trayvon (Skittles and Tea) | Zimmerman (9mm pistol)
    – Trayvon (presumably runs reasonably fast, considering his football background) | Zimmerman (presumably runs FASTER than Treyvon, considering the fact that he caught up with Trayvon)

    So Zimmerman had every advantage over Trayvon. The result of any physical altercation between the two, then, would be grossly in Zimmerman's favor... by strength, size, AND weaponry (as we can now see). Now, let's again imagine Zimmerman citing "self defense"....self-defense against a BOY who weighs 100lbs less, unarmed, and inferior in strength. Hmmm. :-{

    March 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • maggie

      I don't understand how it can be self defense when Zimmerman PURSUED the kid in the first place. The cops told him they were on their way and not to do it. Even if the kid were loaded, it would seem to me that Zimmerman was just begging for a problem.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Motley Sage

        Yeah. I think most of the people watching this case unfold share your viewpoint. It really is sad that something as simple as this needed Federal intervention. If Carolyn stated the law correctly, once Zimmerman CHASED the kid, he broke the law of "self defense". The kid was shown to NOT be breaking any laws, and was clearly at a disadvantage on every physical level. "Self defense" is laughable in this case.

        March 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Sarcastro

    So, by ZImmerman's logic, I can do this:

    1) I can grab a loaded gun
    2) I can follow someone who is walking alone, at night.
    3) I can approach them with my gun and say "Where do you think you're going!!!"
    4) I can shoot and kill them if they try to get away or defend themselves from my very very clear provocation, even after being told by 911 to disengage.

    Yeah, that sounds like great logic to me.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • crazypete

      Hell, I can get my gun, go out to a bar, pick a fight with some bozo and when I start to loose I'll just shoot him and claim self defense. Sounds fair to me...

      March 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  46. More2this....

    Don't be so easily distracted by the motives of an attack, the reason behind this killing will eventually be determined. There is so much more to this story that authorities are investigating regarding the act alone.

    Most people are not familiar with a well known tactic used by people covered by good standing in the public eye, to exact a crime, such as murder. Many times the aggressor in an altercation will call the police prior to or during "their offensive" attack against a victim unaware, requesting help as if they are actually the one in danger. Fully with the intent to establish a false scenario suggesting that they were justified in a kill........as self defense.

    Just as in cases where a husband has killed his wife, authorities consider him a priority in the investigation. And if the Sanford local authorities fail to follow due-diligence, I would bet that the Feds would be more inclined to show them how it should be handled.

    The true question now is.....Is this murder, covered under a call for help....?

    March 20, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • miriam

      Oh come on. Trayvon was being followed by this guy and he had ice tea and skittles. He did not have a gun, a knife, or mad ninja skills. He was 100 lbs lighter than the man who was following him.

      This looks pretty darn open and shut to me, and you are really, really reaching here. I cannot see ANY way in which Zimmerman was somehow the one who was being threatened.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mik

        Um, I believe that is exactly what More2this is saying. Zimmerman tried to 'cover his rear end' by pre-emptively calling 911 to establish some kind of 'threatening situation' prior to committing his assault on Martin. That way it looks like he's doing his due diligence by contacting authorities, but really it's just a smoke screen to allow him to carry out his attack and subsequent murder.

        That's the scenario he's painting anyway, the implication that it was premeditated. I think it's safe to say Zimmerman is a hothead tough guy with a gun, and went looking for trouble, started it, and ended it. Probably to satisfy some primitive need in himself for validation, or he just gets off on power-tripping and wanted to live out some 'action hero' fantasy.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  47. TomCom

    How can the police department not charge him solely based on Zimmermans account of what happened?

    March 20, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Captain

      probably bcause he has connections with the police, did anybody has investigated any possible connection with police?

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

        BINGO. Zimmerman's attorney father is connected to that police dept. How else do you think that could Zimmerman beat the rap for attacking a cop?

        March 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  48. mg

    I think this is a great article. If I were a young person and I felt someone was following me, I'd be defensive. This young man may have thought that Zimmerman was trying to abduct him. In that case, children are always told to run and if they can't fight back.

    It's too bad that this issue is being overshadowed by race and they are trying to make this a black vs white vs hispanic debate. When you take away race, it obvious that Zimmerman made a poor decision and should at least be arrested and tried in court so that the facts can be presented to a jury.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Copper's Donut Shoppe

      "tried in court so that the facts can be presented to a jury." really?

      that's what you think happens in a trial in the usa?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • maggie

      Unfortunately, Mr. Zimmerman appears to have been motivated by race. Would he have reacted the same if it were a white teenager standing there instead? I rather doubt it.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Carl

    This is Totally RIDICULOUS!!!! Self-Defense goes to the pursued not the purser........No matter what color they are......End of discussion. With people being abducted all the time. No citizens have the right to track anyone down and not expect so form of confrontation. Not only should Zimmerman be prosecuted but the Police Chief and Prosecutor need to be removed from office as well.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      What did the prosecutor do wrong (yet)? Does the prosecutor even have the legal ability to do anything at this time? The DA might. But the prosecutor (an employee of the DA)?

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

        The DA has everything to do with it. He/she is the one who decides who will get prosecuted. But the poloice office has to do their job and collect the evidence. clearly the police didn't follow through or do a thorough investigation. We saw the two witnesses on TV stating they tried to give statements to the police department, but the police dept didn't want or need their statements.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Following up. DA has scheduled the grand jury. Why do you think the prosecutor should be fired?

      March 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  50. RR

    Cvillebanjo50
    You are a man..period. I too am licensed to carry in GA, but I am black and will handle idiots like Zimmerman

    March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  51. Avi

    Feds are investigating, let this play out. Everyone is accusing Zimmerman of murder. No one here knows what happened that night. I'm in favor of this guy being innocent until proven guilty.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Darnel

      Yeah you will say that until it happens to someone that you know. Lets see how innocent until proven guilty works with you then!

      March 20, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Copper's Donut Shoppe

        "....if a doctor has never had cancer......"

        lame

        March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomCom

      Why do you think everyone is upset? You heard the tapes and the cries of help. Then you heard the police department say they were not going to charge him because Zimmerman said it was self defense. This indicates the evidence didn't justify an investigation. From what the public has heard from the tapes this is outragous!

      March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Nobody is saying he is not innocent until proven guilty. The police chief is saying he is innocent – ignoring all of the evidence that he is guilty. Thereby not letting justice take its course leading to a jury of his peers and potentially a guilty sentence.

      This is where the outrage is comming from!

      March 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Huey P. Newton

        The only power that will ensure the "correct" out come of this is the Voice from The People... the so-called "authorities" have already began the bungling of the facts and the drawing of illogical conclusions.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reggie from LA

        BULL'SEYE!!!!

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

      Avi, based on 911 tapes and Zimmerman's own statements, I don't think there is any doubt that Zimmerman pursued this kid despite being told not to by the police, that the kid had no weapons on him when he found him, and that he shot him dead. I'm sure they'll investigate the how's and the why's because the Sanford police failed to. At minimum, he deserves to be arrested and tried for the killing. Let the jury decide whether it was premeditated, race related or justified in any way. One thing is clear - he isn't innocent of murdering a young boy.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • donn edmunds

      inoccent till proven guilty
      WHATT ABOUT THE VICTIMS RIGHTS or because he is black he has none PLEASE the facts show this idiot watch capitain was a jerk let him come here and try the same thing he will be tarred and feathered ran out on a rail to pirsion
      the age of color making a difference has been long over
      bet you would be screaming your head off of the victim was white and the capitian black
      Oh by the way I am white but retired law enforcement these watch people have always been a pain in the ass most are too stupid to believe

      March 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huey P. Newton

      ...but, with cops we are always guilty until proven innocent... anyone with a tin star "thinks" their so-called "authority" is absolute... any lame can wear a badge... and most of those lames don't know or respect the same law that We the People are presumed to be obligated to, that the lame-azz is under Oath to uphold, preserve and protect.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Some facts already point to this guys guilt. It seems people use the innocent until proven guilty. We have some facts already. How many do you need to convince that he's guilty. It always wait until the all the facts are out until its you son or relative or should I say they shoes on the other feet.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  52. TomCom

    Bottom line, the boy was screaming for help and the man shot him. This is fact as it was heard on the tapes.
    How, can the police department say it was self defense?

    March 20, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • scieng1

      That's the problem–hearing is less than half of the picture. Having a few facts makes the picture look one way and having a few more facts will change it. This is why justice is determined only from a thorough investigation and review of what actually occurred. State law enforcement should look into this, but keep the racist feds out.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sam

        Yah, because we in the south know that a black person is always guilty for something – even if it wasn't the crime they were murdered for.

        Those racist feds just don't understand our kind of common sense thinking!

        March 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lord2FLI

        The kid was shot in the back too, how much more do you need?!

        March 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • j e burton

        In 1954 a kid was murdered it was a very violent murder .When the killer was found not guilty, he admitted killing the kid and seemed very proud of it. That's how the racist FEDS got involved in these local cases. civil rights violation is a FEDERAL crime. I'LL never forget the smirk on that killer's face.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Rick

    Carolyn Edgar – RACIST... You write this article PRETENDING that you know what happened on the scene. In fact, you are likely correct. HOWEVER... since you are NOT on the scene as an investigator, you did not WITNESS the incident.. how is it that you KNOW that Trayvon Martin was NOT engaged an illegal activity?

    I personally suspect that Zimmerman murdered this youth. But I'll wait for ALL the facts before spewing racist bigotry like your article.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Alves

      Its innocent until proven guilty not guilty until proven innocent. As far as we all know the kid did nothing wrong.
      We know that Zimmerman acted outside of the law though. So there's the assumptions.

      But keep the race out of it.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • TomCom

      This incedent is more about the police department than Zimmerman. There are always idiots out there, but to have a police department not charge this man and not even do a decent job of investigating is pure racisim, period! They heard the tapes with the boy screaming for help.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • miriam

      I'm white and I see nothing racist in this article. What's wrong with you? Are you so immersed in your own privilege that you can't even see that a great injustice has been done here, and all because the kid was black?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Kurt

      Maybe you're the racist. At no time does Carolyn Edgar, the author, indicate the race or color of either Martiin or Zimmerman. She breaks down the case based on what is known and what the law is. I think it is a rational approach that attempts to remove the race card from the equation, something you conveniently overlooked.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Groo

      So you presume Zimmerman innocent until proven otherwise, but Trayvon is suspect until, what exactly? And why?

      March 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Wow Rick, I wish they would have put a picture of an older white gentleman on this article so your blood preasure would not have gotten so high.

      A black person defending another black person is not racism. However, the fact that it makes you so angry, may be.Wow Rick, I wish they would have put a picture of an older white gentleman on this article so your blood pressure would not have gotten so high.

      A black person defending another black person is not racism. However, the fact that it makes you so angry, may be.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reggie from LA

      You're not Rick Santorum are you? Sorry. Had to throw that in.
      Ms Edgar was setting up what is AUTHORITY and she did it QUITE well. How do I know? Because I have training and experience with regard to the same authorities. She doesn't have to have been on the scene. The rules and regulations are very similar universally. Zimmerman is an idiot and a murderer. Anyone who can attempt to rationalize away his stupidity is being naieve. What was Zimmerman's JUSTIFICATION? Not his gut feeling. You mean to say that because someone in a hoodie walking down a PUBLIC street (gated doesn't matter) is probable cause to be approached by a non-law enforcement figure? Edgar doesn't have provide expert counsel at all. He is A FOOL and a KILLER. Period.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  54. ELDER Scrolls

    If he were an Asian Ninja, that can of Arizona Ice Tea is a weapon of mass destruction that would be more threatening than a 9mm handgun. Not to mention the Shuriken Skittles in his pocket. So yeah I guess A Huge Mexican guy is threatened by a skinny little black kid. This was Premeditated Murder. Look out he has a beverage in his hand and a deadly bag of candy.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • sww

      yes, but according to the food police, that bag of candy and sugary drink were just as deadly as the 9mm bullet...

      March 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Huey P. Newton

        ...or a cellphone. Remember...?

        March 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Marie

    Listening to the 911 calls, someone was calling for help for a while before the shot went off. I doubt it was Zimmerman who was armed and outweighs Martin by 100 pounds.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  56. klaw

    I honestly don't understand how Zimmerman can claim self defense when he initiated the confrontation. He clearly went against the advice of the 911 operator when he voiced his intent to follow Trayvon, thus Zimmerman SHOULD lose all claim to being a victim. For the local police to waive off charges and say "well he was acting in self defense" is a horrible miscarriage of justice. It may not hold up to trial but it should at least be moved forward.

    The equivalent is to say you can instigate a fight, and then upon realizing you are LOSING that fight, result to deadly force and claim it was all a matter of self defense.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  57. gggg

    Zimmerman is an a$$4ole who was looking for an excuse to use his toy. A rent-a-cop wanna be moron who should be prosecuted for murder. If ignorance of the law is no excuse, then ignorance of the proper way to approach someone is also no excuse. As soon as he ignored the police instructions to NOT APPROACH, he was responsible for anything that happened. If I were dumb a$$ Zimmerman, I'd be looking over my shoulder for quite some time to come from now on. If the police and DA do not try for justice in this case, someone else is going to. I would guess that we will read that Zimmerman was shot or beat up very badly within 3 months. I will not weep when it happens. People like him represent the lowest common denominator of humanity and to be honest, we could do without them. C'mon, he shot a kid for asking for help to loud! For that, I hope he lives a very long and painful life.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  58. pat

    if the 911 tapes have the young man screaming for help BEFORE the gunshot..... that would be quite strange to see the man with the gun as acting in self defense.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  59. Jason

    I think the article makes a good point. I'll admit to being on the fence before this because it doesn't seem you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt what happened (not that I thought Zimmerman should go unpunished). At the very least I was hoping Florida has some sort of anti-vigilante law that they could use to go after him. But, I think this commentary points out an ordinary citizens can't provoke a situation then call the outcome self-defense. Still probably can't get him for first degree murder (that requires malice afterthought and some other conditions) but maybe second-degree or negligent homicide, along with some other miscellaneous charges.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  60. Cvillebanjo50

    I live in the state of North Carolina and I possess a concealed carry permit . The reason I possess this permit is because one I am a grown man and can do so if I choose (great thing about living the United States) and secondly to protect myself from nutcases like Zimmerman. Just because you possess a concealed carry permit does not mean you are a community vigilante. The law clearly says you can not pull your concealed weapon to scare someone or you can be charged. Zimmerman's gun should have never left his waist band until he felt threatened. Every time I see this young man's picture in his football uniform I want to cry. If you were confronted by a man late at night walking home from buying candy who had you at gun point and he did not identify himself as a police officer what would you think? This young man was probably scared for his life and thought he himself was being robbed and fought for his life and lost his life by a man playing super hero. Also I am white because I'm sure someone will bring up the race card.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  61. Krishnamoorthy Gowribai

    this is murder/hate crime.i do not care whether the person who did this is a black/hispanic/white.He should be punished for taking away the life of an innocent kid.

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

      I hate it how they are trying to use Zimmerman's ethnicity to say he's not racist. I'm Mexican, my family and relatives are all Mexican, and I have quite a few uncles and aunts that are really racist. Being racist is not exclusive of white people, so having darker skin does not automatically excludes racism from a person's behavior.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
      • Cvillebanjo50

        Thank you Beatriz for having a clear and just understanding of the word Racist

        March 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        Very, very well said, Beatriz!

        March 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Jason

    Sounds to me like some racist hick saw a young black kid and thought to himself no way any black people can live in my gated community.... i'm going to shoot him. How can there be no reason to put this man on trial? Clearly he was told not to engage the kid, but he did anyway... this is murder, not self defense. If some guy, got out of a car with a gun in his hand that had been following me, I would be just as scared as this poor kid, and try and get the jump on this person. The man deserves to be thrown in prison. Theres no justification for him to shoot the kid, and this further my resolve why gun laws need to be strenghened in this country.... there are too many idiots with guns in this country.

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

      There are even more idiots who ILLEGALLY own and use guns to commit crimes. This is a rare case where the gun is legally owned by the suspect. The gun isnt the problem. Banning guns will just empower more criminals. Zimmerman is a criminal. Criminals dont obey laws. End of story.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Jason

        That makes perfect sense. Just about as much sense as John Lott suggesting more guns would equate in less crime. Where do you think the illegally owned guns come from? Do they fall out of trees? Build themselves? No. All guns originate from some form of legal ownership... whether they're stolen or not they came from somewhere. Get rid of the guns, get rid of the violence. Better yet, make bullets harder to get maybe that will help. One things for sure if this idiot weren't allowed to carry a gun, this poor kid wouldn't have been shot to death.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Copper's Donut Shoppe

      only one change needed "racist hick" must be changed to "educated north eastern us gentleman."

      March 20, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Joe33

        And one only need to change "Copper's Donut Shoppe" to "Trolling anti-intellectual drivel".

        March 20, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  63. Jason

    If Zimmerman doesn't end up in jail for a long time, what does it show? It shows that you can shoot anyone, any time you feel like if you claim that you felt threatened. Especially if your victim is black.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  64. miriam

    Oh God, a 17 year old kid should be able to walk to the store, buy snacks and walk home without some crazy adult stalking and killing him. I feel such sorrow for the parents and the rest of Trayvon's family. I cannot understand why Zimmerman is not in jail, and what the police think they are doing. They should all be fired or jailed themselves, if they cannot uphold the law to protect the innocent among us.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  65. Sandy Joan

    An eloquently written piece that finally addresses the real issue: Tayvon's right to defend HIMSELF against a stranger with a gun. I hope justice is done in this case. I would hate for every criminal in Florida to claim self-defense when their victims dare to fight back.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  66. jay

    nothing will be done with this situation. i think you all are forgetting that FL police killed a vacationing tourists a few years ago and nothing came of it. why would they do anything about this situation? both victims deserve justice and neither will get it. FL govenor and the AG are corrupt and none of this is going to be fixed because there is too much money at stake in the background. http://reason.com/blog/2012/01/17/the-prosecutor-who-cleared-nick-christie these same prosecutors are the ones who will let both these incidents go. i hope i'm terribly wrong and that both families get justice. if you think the murder of a kid walking with skittles and iced tea by a civilian is bad then how about a man strapped/bound to a wheel chair and repeatedly pepper sprayed until death days later! BOTH ARE MURDER AND BOTH DESERVE A FULL TRIAL!!!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  67. Patrick

    Since Zimmerman is clearly capable of chasing down and shooting an unarmed teen, does this now mean that it is reasonable to see him as a deadly threat if you see him on the street and under Florida law it is now ok to shoot him down?

    March 20, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • eric

      I certainly would

      March 20, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Scary, but a good point.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Kirsten

      I think that is a very valid point!

      March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Lokust

      This case almost makes me with Dexter Morgan was real, because Zimmerman surely belongs on his table. But in all seriousness, not prosecuting him for murder will almost certainly spark a wave of vigilante behavior, and that's the last thing anyone needs.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  68. Bob

    The only problem with this article is if the fools out there beleive it they are in big trouble. This lady assumes that the person has the brains to know they are the victim and the smarts to know when to instigate it. Example: A fool fights the police because he/she thinks they are being falsely stopped. Yep that will turn out well. How about just keeping your mouth shut, hands where they can be seen and be polite (even if your doing nothing)..........problem solved.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • eric

      zimmerman is not a police officer

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

      BLAH BLAH BLAH!
      You are neither coming off as clever or intelligent by splitting hairs that have no place being split. Get over your white, national, or whatever faux pride you're riding and see the situation for what it is.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • MNTaxpayer

      What if he was YOUR son?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      I believe she covered that aspect thoroughly, pointing out the difference between being challenged by a police officer bearing legal authority v. by some guy with no genuine authority to which Martin or anyone else would be answerable.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Cliff

    there were two people involved in the altercation; trayvor and zimmerman. only one is left. zimmerman says it's self defense. we have no reason to believe zimmerman lied. if the races were reversed, someone would claim that was racist too. why can't we say that zimmerman is telling the truth and that this is a tragic situation?

    March 20, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jed

      Cliff, I guess you haven't heard the dispatch tape? The one where Zimmerman called in and said he's going after him and they're not going to get away with this again... Well, you should- it may just enlighten you a bit!

      March 20, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Alves

      The 911 tapes prove otherwise. Zimmerman clearly instigated it.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Onoku

      Everything that I have read and heard about this situation leads me to believe that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation. The police told him not to pursue the kid and he obviously ignored them. That in itself leads me to question his judgement. When listening to the 911 recordings, the screaming for help does not sound like it is coming from an older man but a teenage boy. Does it make sense to you that this boy would attack an older man then start screaming for help? Nothing in this case leads me to believe that it was Zimmerman who was acting in self defense.

      I am an advocate of exercising second amendment rights and I have praised Florida's "stand your ground law" many times, but I do not believe it applied in this case. Situations like this, where CCW holders go around trying to play vigilante cops is why people try and strip us of our second amendment rights.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      How can it be self defense when Zimmerman was safe in his car? How can it be self defense when Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher who told him not to follow Martin? How can it be self defense when Zimmerman got out of his car and confronted MArtin–although he had no legal grounds to do so? Instead we should just take the word of the guy who lived simply because he's the only one left? That's your belief? Wow, you're a defense attorney's wet dream of a juror.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Natty

      Cliff, why don't you just go jump off one? You must be brain damaged. Or...?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Natty

      As a matter of fact, if Trayvon bashed this m.f. after being persued and questioned, that is as it should be. They should drop Zimmerman off deep in Liberty City and let him persue and question some of the brothers down there! Tough guy!

      March 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Kristie

    This article about sums it up.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  71. Teresa

    wow Jaden it's a good thing you wasn't born a monkey.. God is good.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  72. Kenoscope

    A firearm vs a can of tea... Yeah, self defense... Sure it was. It was murder plain and simple so don't ask me to be a member of that jury. I was a police officer a long time ago, I still know the difference between a brightly colored can of tea (which in this case is twice the size of a soda can) and a firearm. First Degree Murder, to the CHAIR with this murderer.

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

      it is strange–trayvon had some tea. while zimmerman was a teabagger.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph Alves

        Which makes you the tea-baggie?

        March 20, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  73. Joseph Alves

    I live in Florida, have a CCW, carry everywhere, and I'm Republican. I believe people are being unfair attacking our stand our ground laws in Florida, attacking guns, and CCWs. None of these are the problem. No matter what laws you make, crime happens, people break the law. Zimmerman did not act within the law so the law is not the problem. The law was broken. Getting rid of CCWs won’t stop those who break the law!
    I do agree with the writer of this article that the kid who was murdered was the victim. According to Florida law (which was broken) you can stand your ground but cannot pursue an individual who is no longer a threat. So if someone takes your wallet you cannot shoot them in the back or chase them down with the gun. The crime is already done. You cannot use a gun to "gain leverage" in a confrontation. A gun is only to be pulled out when there is imminent threat to a person’s life or they occupy a dwelling (house, car, boat, tent, etc) that you are legally occupying.
    Zimmerman had no business chasing this kid down, initiating an attack, and killing him. It's flat out murder. Had the kid seen Zimmerman and forced his way into Zimmerman's car it would be a different case, but that is not what happened. If I was walking down the street minding my own business and Zimmerman started chasing me with a gun I would have killed him and I would have been cleared.
    This is an unfortunate case where the wrong guy had the gun. Kinda like the hundreds of robberies, rapes, and murders that happen because the victims aren’t armed but the thugs are (illegally). This just happens to be the very rare case where the thug is the one who is legally armed and the victim isn’t. Legally armed or not, he broke the law and murdered this kid. The fact that Zimmerman was legally carrying the gun should not be an issue. What’s it matter if he’s the one murderer who is legally carrying or the thousands who are illegally carrying? Cops murder people too. Should we ban all police or should we make sure they don’t try to act above the law? The Sanford police messed up this investigation. Just going off the tapes you can see that Zimmerman was the aggressor.
    So stop picking on guns, ccws, and our right to hold our ground and start going after the real problem, those who break the law.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Fearfighter1

      Good post man! Good point....l

      March 20, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jpwolf

      Amen, good comment. This guy better see the inside of a jail cell, or things will get out of hand quickly there. You are 100% right, the laws are good, Zimmerman pursued Martin, who was obviously frightened. He ignored the dispatchers orders and shot an unarmed child. If they do not make this situation right, there will certainly be more violence in the future.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational

      Agreed. Altough I don't posses any firearms but don't think arguing about arms control helps at this juncture. Zimmerman seemed to be obsessed with keeping his nieghborhood free of criminals and ended by taking the law into his own hands! If not a gun he would have used a baseball. The point is – Even if the 17year old was tresspassing, which he wasn't, Zimmerman should have waited for police to come and do thei job. Once he decide to take law into his hands then weapon used was mosre of choice and availability – baseball, gun, etc

      March 20, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph Alves

        Well if someone trespasses all bets are off. I'm not going to wait to see if they have a gun. Florida law doesnt require you do. No one has any business trying to get into my house and if they try I'll shoot questions first ask questions later. But there's a huge difference between someone trying to enter my house which I can only assume is to harm me, and someone minding their own business walking down the street.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • miriam

      I doubt that 17-year-olds are allowed to carry a concealed weapon.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph Alves

        You are correct. You have to be 21.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Alves

      Yeah the point is Zimmerman is a criminal and broke the law. Ban guns, he'll break the law just like all the felons out there who illegally possess guns.

      Legally owned guns prevent more crime than they cause. For every story you hear like this where someone who legally owned a gun killed someone you'll hear 1,000 about someone who killed someone with an illegally owned firearm.

      Guns are illegally in Mexico. Working really good down there.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • IDEAS and IDEALS not ideologies

      You made a valid point and such a law is necessary to protect victims who acted in self defense from prosecution. But the comes short in that it gives blanket cover to anyone who claim self defense as long as contrary could not be verified. The Sanford PD doesn't even the obligation to investigate. I think there is very little value placed on the life of the victim in this case. My only problem is that the state of FL assumes that every legal gun owner is a law abiding and reasonable citizen (You cannot cure stupid). The other issue I have with this law is the relatively low standard for justifying to taking another life. The state of FL had abdicated its duty to protect its citizens and visitors by keeping this law as currently written.
      Mr Alves, you appear to be an intelligent, law abiding citizen with a good understanding of the law in its intent, that is beyond its letter, but if gun owners aren't held to greater responsibility I am afraid Mr Martin won't be the last victim of this law.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • donn edmunds

      good post I agree completely as another ccw carrier in the west

      March 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe33

      Exactly right and dead on Joseph. Gun laws have not, do not, will not EVER stop illegal gun purchases and crimes committed with guns. Laws cannot produce morality, common sense, logic, situational awareness etc. Zimmerman acted like a tool and now he must pay. And a child lost their life because of his stupidity.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jUSTICE

      Good post. I hope you don't live in that county of Florida though. I have a feeling a jury is going to award this kids family a few million dollars on behalf of that inept police dept.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  74. DariusNDallas

    OK, Just WHO is this George Zimmerman, and WHOM is he screwing downtown (apparently quite well) to render himself so untouchable by the law?... The same law that would have had Trayvon Martin behind bars before the body was cold, had the situation been reversed.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Alves

      Well actually Trevor would have been set free according to the law since Zimmerman was a threat and chased him down.

      The law isn't the problem. It's the idiots in the police department not correctly enforcing it.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Sammi

        Can you please give the deceased the respect of saying his name correctly! ITS TRAYVON!

        March 20, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph Alves

        Typo, get over it.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  75. Jed

    Great article- these things happen and make you wonder what the hell is wrong with our society. A man cannot hunt down another human being unless that person is wanted or the hunter is a law enforcement officer. That fact alone is enough to say that this self-defense claim is BS. How can you have such a damning 911 tape in which Zimmerman was following the victim, talking about it and being told not to by dispatch that is seemingly being thrown out??? This baffles me. He's claiming self defense police!!! He was following the victim and confronted him after being told not to. Then to flip around and claim self defense?

    When I've thought of self-defense in the past, the main thing I think about is, can you get by doing anything else other than using deadly force? In other words, can you escape the situation without killing someone? To even think that this man couldn't have escaped this situation is absurd. It seems he was the aggressor and escalator the whole time.

    This case is pure and utter bull S#$@. It has nothing at all to do with race. It has to do with our rights to defend ourselves with force and when we cannot defend ourselves (ie. after hunting an unarmed man down) with force, or worse, deadly force. If somehow the aggressor in this case, better- the murderer, is somehow not charged with murder 2 within a week, I may just fly down from MN to join the protests.

    This just shows the worst of America and the worst of "good intentioned" bad people.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Smith

      Florida's SYG law says that Martin was under no obligation to retreat. He was permitted to use deadly force to protect himself against great bodily harm, Unfortunately, Zimmerman's force was greater. But the law is pretty clear: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html

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

      Actually, you can "hunt down" another human being legally. Shoplifting is an example, trespassing in most states would be another, Burglary is another good example. However, use of deadly force is generally not covered unless the subject represents a clear and present danger to life; a fleeing subject is not representing such a hazard. You do not need to be a law enforcement officer to arrest someone for violating a law in your presence. Most states have citizen's arrest statutes, subject to the requirements above, and most require that any subject so arrested be turned over to the nearest available magistrate or representative as soon as possible. Likewise, most states do not require that citizens inform any subject of their rights; apparently, the courts believe that an arresting citizen may not be aware of the full rights of another.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  76. us1776

    Zimmerman will receive justice one way or the other.

    You don't murder an innocent boy in his own neighborhood and get away with it.

    .

    March 20, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  77. musings

    Another beautiful black male killed before his time. I cannot imagine the grief and fear of being a mother of such a child. He's doing just what my son did – buy those Skittles and Arizona iced tea – but my blond kid had far less likelihood of being of interest to a paranoid Neighborhood Watch guy. By the way, our neighborhood is trying to make this kind of thing official, while in reality the place has been here for more than 100 years with just nosy neighbors keeping it one of the safest in America. There is ONE break-in, and suddenly the political opportunists think we should start circling the wagons. It will end in tears.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Well if we are going to use the race issue here also state he was killed by a Hispanic.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Pat M

        Charlie, just how do you know Zimmerman is Hispanic? "George Zimmerman" sounds like a Hispanic name to me. Yeah, right. It 's hard for you to believe Trayvon was killed by a white, racist, paranoid, police wannabee? It's easier for you to swallow if he is Hispanic? Give me a break.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Huey P. Newton

        Zimmerman is NOT a Hispanic name... are you looking at ALL the facts???

        March 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • s

        his father says he was raised in "a multiracial" family. one assumes daddy's last name is zimmerman and mommy is hispanic. did YOU look at the facts?

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

      Zimmerman was both Hispanic AND White...they are not mutually exclusive of eachother. Hispanics come in all shades and colors and races. THIS particular Hispanic was White. Hispanics can also be racists...not just whites. carry on.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  78. calvin

    Its so sad to read all the racist remarks! I am so glad GOD is not like Man and does not see COLOR!!! Soon all shall see and no that Racism is of the Devil!!

    March 20, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  79. Joe

    That's exactly America does not need, GOMER ZIMMERMAN PYLE'S running around pretending to be civil servants!!!!!! What a joke, the guy is a mentally ill clown licensed to carry a weapon around and harrass people. THE REALLY FUNNY PART IS I'LL BET THIS GUY IS A MENACE TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD ANYWAY.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • musings

      It seems to me that all the adrenalin built up around terrorists and scary news stories of school shootings has to find an outlet.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  80. Joe

    That's exactly not what America needs, GOMER ZIMMERMAN PYLE'S running around pretending to be civil servants!!!!!! What a joke, the guy is a mentally ill clown licensed to carry a weapon around and harrass people. THE REALLY FUNNY PART IS I'LL BET THIS GUY IS A MENACE TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD ANYWAY.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Hisarrow

      Gee, that comment is not fair to Gomer Pyle. Even he wouldn't have done what Zimmerman did.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  81. Texas Lady

    I can't believe they are waiting this long to at least lock up this "probable" murderer before he goes in hiding and runs away. He is guilty and that poor boy should be alive today. What will it take for someone to finally do the right thing for once! May God Bless Trayvon Martin and his grieving family. I pray and hope you find the justice you deserve. I am on your side – FOR SURE!!

    March 20, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  82. Mac Lorry

    The Sanford Police Department has their heads up their a**. The known and knowable facts of the case are in themselves probable cause that George Zimmerman was stalking Trayvon Martin with malevolent intent. Often people instinctively know when they are being stalked and being Trayvon Martin wasn’t doing anything wrong and being he thought he was in a civilized and law abiding neighborhood, he openly approached Zimmerman to find out what the guy was doing. Had Trayvon been armed and killed Zimmerman that would have been self-defense, not the other way around.

    Some county, state, of federal prosecutor with jurisdiction needs to charge Zimmerman with murder, arrest him and let a jury sort out the facts and claims. That’s the system and Trayvon Martin is owed at least that much in the way of justice.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  83. Tony

    The reality is that none of us knows what really happened. All commentary is based on speculation and opinion. Of course, CNN is making it headline news because a white man killed a black man and any time they can use racism for headlines, whether it be real or perceived, they use it. The police are investigating and if they determine it was a crime, they will act accordingly. Any commentary or proffered opinion without the benefit of actual facts (which none of us have) simply shows the bias of the person making the comment.

    CNN – you really should be ashamed. You post a picture of the decedent when he was 12 years old to further enrage those who have already decided this was racially based. Have some integrity.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • CC

      Actually, Zimmerman isn't white. Pay attention to the details before commenting.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Javier

      A scared, unarmed kid walking home is followed by a larger man weilding a gun. He runs *away* from the man, who then chases him down and winds up shooting him. It doesn't matter if Zimmerman was scared. Zimmerman had the opportunity to follow from a distance, to avoid the confrontation, and to let the police do their job. The kid had no such options. Obeying a stranger that is following you in a car and weilding a gun an option. Zimmerman wasnt defending himself or his home. He was attacking an innocent pedestrian, and when you guess wrong using lethal force you go to jail.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Elle

      Zimmerman is Hispanic....and the "commentary" is based on the evidence released. It is an explanation of the FACTS released.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Huey P. Newton

        Zimmerman is NOT a Hispanic name... THAT IS A FACT!

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

      Tony if you were paying any kind of attention Zimmerman is hispanic not white. So how are they making this a racist thing. Its a right and wrong thing. Secondly its been reported by more thenn CNN that the Sanford Police Department has a problem pressing charges against ppl who commit crimes against minorites mainly ppl of african decent.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Elena

        Hispanics can be of any race and religion. Please remember this. I have Hispanic friends that are White, Black, Indigenous, Asian, and a mix of these races. I also have Hispanic friends that are Jewish, Catholic, Protestants, Atheists, etc. etc.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kenneth

        Racism is not just between black and white. Racism is a prejudice based on race not skin tone. Those who infer that because Zimmerman is Hispanic then there is not a race issue are sadly mistaken. Regardless this case exemplifies what is wrong in these "United" States. We continually categorize cultures and hold each individual within said culture accountable for the negative acts of a few. For instance, the klan was a white racist group but not every Caucasian person is a racist. Some believe the NAACP is racially motivated but not every person of color is affiliated with the NAACP. Zimmerman, like ANY other person regardless of race, who commits a crime in this nature should be punished to the full extent of the law. Our problem is that we pick and choose who to punish based on feelings. So what if someone is a member of your church, someone you grew up with, work with, admire, or have some form of celebrity. If a crime is committed then in the words of the late comedian Robin Harris, "Gotta go Gotta go". Look at the Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hilton's of the world and then look at the TI Harris' or Michael Vicks. If someone is guilty STOP LOOKING AT THE FACE and judge the act ... fairly ... equally ... FINALLY!

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

        Why is it so hard to understand that Hispanics can be white. Being whte and hispanic are NOT mutually exclusive. Zimmerman was both white and hispanic. Hispanics can also be racist...not just whites. The fact that he is a White Hispanic, has nothing to do with the fact that he's a murderer. leave race out of it.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Alves

      Coming from someone who doesnt think CNN has integrity as well I will have to defend their picture. The picture they show of Zimmerman is a mug shot that is even older than the victims. Its from 2005, seven years ago..

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

      I don't care about the race issue. If it had been a white teen and a white man, the news would be equally disturbing. We can't have people playing cop and taking the law into their hands. Zimmerman had no grounds to approach Martin – this is a free country you're not supposed to be able to stalk someone, pursue them on foot (against the law enforcement's directions), shoot them & claim self defense. Of course he's going to claim self defense, Martin isn't around to tell his side of the story.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Darnel

      Tony you are so wrong. There are facts in this case. Fact: Trayvon Martin was NOT armed with any weapon to cause any threat besides a bag of skittles and a can of tea. Fact: George Zimmerman is not a police officer and did not have the right to pursue Trayvon Martin. Fact: Trayvon Martin was screaming for help which indicates that he was not the aggressor. Fact: George Zimmerman directly disobeyed the police when they told him not to pursue Trayvon Martin. What do you mean by saying that we don't have facts? Don't blame CNN for putting the story out, blame George Zimmerman for acting like an insane idiot and taking an innocent life.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • ruducky2

      Your premise about CNN is simply bogus. I won't presume to speculate what causes you to believe what you have posted but what I will point out to you is something that you apparently need to hear. While the U.S. has come a long way in reducing racism the fact of the matter is that it still exists. By chastising the press for pointing it out you are allowing it to continue.

      Would this incident have reached national attention if a white neighborhood watchman shot a white kid. Probably but maybe not. Would it have been suppressed (by CNN) if a black neighborhood watchman shot a white kid, not very likely.

      I have seen people 'play the race card.' It is bogus. But the card plays both ways. Your post is playing it to dismiss the significance of the event based on race.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational

      Exactly the point! If none knows and police still investigating – as you said – then explain why the shooter was not picked up for questioning? I thought police generally is more active in grabbing "person of interest" even when they are not charged with any crime. Here we have the shooter who needs to be thoroughly questioned....

      March 20, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Hatchcover

      The point is the police weren't doing their job! BTW – you think the police were doing their job as they arrested Rodney King? Dang videos – in this case (audio) – And I do have an opinion based on facts that are available.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Southernquilts

    I heard on CNN this morning, that the Justice Department as well as the FBI are now involved in the case.

    In my opinion, Zimmerman is Mexican; facial structure, color, build and accent. He has a history of nonsensical 911 calls. For some reason, Mexicans and blacks do not like each other. I don't understand why the dislike.

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

      He is Mexican IN YOUR OPINION? That's not really open to your opinion, it is either true or not.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        HE DOES LOOK MEXICAN...BEING A PR HISPANIC GUY , I SHOULD KNOW...BUT HE COULD BE SOMEONE FROM SOUTH AMERICA OTHER THAN A MEXICAN...

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

      There's a whole lot of Mexicans in Florida... Not. Stop being ignorant.
      He could be Cuban, Colombian, Puerto Rican.
      Why is race even involved in this? Bringing race in and making assumptions could cause more important facts (Zimmerman's connections) to be overlooked.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Louise

      To southerquilts. You are wrong when you say Mexicans and blacks don't like each other. Mexicans and blacks get along just about at the same rate ane more so as whites and Mexicans. They also inter-marry. However, the Mexican culture is pretty much like the American culture with its light skinned and darker skinned citizens. With that there's also racism and bigotry sometimes geared towards the darker skinned Mexicans. Apparently, Zimmerman considered himself white.As proven on the 911 tape when he said "these a**holes always get away." Where Zimmerman likely thought that call to 911 would help him, instead it appears they alone just might convict him. btw–Actually Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic. I'm not sure where he might have gotten his racist beliefs from. Most likely from members of the Sanford police dept who, it seems had adopted him as they little mascot.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Joe

    Zimmerman had no right to stop, detain, or question anyone!!!!!!! Let him come to Texas and pull that stunt, he'll be dead the first time he does it.

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

    Does America want Mr. Zimmerman cruising their neighborhoods with a gun questioning people???? If that guy stopped my kids I would end his career immediately.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Southernquilts

      The Homeowners Assoc. did NOT appoint Mr. Zimmerman as a watchman. He did this on his own.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT ??

        March 20, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  87. Saffron

    Also, something I haven't seen listed here but have read elsewhere, is that Mr. Zimmerman allegedly has multiple police records for assaulting people.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Alves

      If that was true he wouldnt have a CCW. He was arrested in 2005 for assualt on a police officer but charges were dropped. And that right there is why they shouldnt have dropped his charges. Because if you drop the charges he has no records and is eligable for a CCW when in reality he shouldnt have been.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  88. leslie

    From the details i have read in this story, there is zero proof that trayvon martin did ANYTHING to provoke zimmerman. he was black, wearing a hoodie, and walking at night: which incited enough fear in the heart of zimmerman to kill him. i believe, after listening to the tapes, that zimmerman was fearful of young black males in general, decided that martin was a threat simply because of his appearance, and decided to be a "hero" by taking someone that he deemed dangerous off the streets. he was terribly, heart-breakingly wrong, and instead of being a hero, he became a murderer. Arrest him.

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

      You are totally right. Not only that, but even if the kid said something to "provoke" him, it does not mean that you can shoot him. If you ask me "do you live here?" and I say "f you", that does not give you a right to shoot me. Zimmerman should go to the slammer for life.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  89. thomas

    If Zimmerman was scared then, he should be terrified, now. Even if he gets off with the courts, someone is going to find him, and show him what "vigilante justice" is like on the receiving end!

    March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  90. Joe

    I don't know why we have to have a legal explanation, this guy shot & killed someone on the street. He had no authority to approach this man with a gun. I would have done the same thing defended myself. What is wrong with America today?????

    March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I WAS IN THE MILITARY FOR 4 YEARS. I TRAINED EVERYDAY ON THE PROPER USE OF A WEAPON....I DO KNOW THAT IF A COP-SECURITY GUARD-MILITARY M.P. ORDER YOU TO STOP AND YOU REFUSE ? YOU ARE ASKING FOR TROUBLE...ACCORDING TO THE 911 CALL , THAT DID HAPPEN......NOW IF YOU ARE ODER TO PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND YOU REFUSE ? YOU ARE ASKING FOR TROUBLE.... IF YOU PUT YOUR HANDS IN YOUR POCKETS ? YOU CAN BE SHOT AND NO FAULT OF THE COP–M.P. –SECURITY GUARD..... DID THAT KID PUT HIS HANDS IN HIS POCKET ?? DID HE GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT HE WAS GOING FOR A GUN ?? POLICE HAVE SHOT MANY WHO PUT THEIR HANDS IN THEIR POCKETS. JUST A POINT.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph Alves

        Where was the cop or security guard? Zimmerman was niether. If he would have stopped me like that he would have been the one dead.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Jason

        Zimmerman is not police and has no right whatsoever to question or order anyone. At all. Stop defending a murderer.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
      • F1484

        I, and my brother, were in the military for 5 years each. You can't just pop someone because they didn't follow your instructions. What you're saying is not true. If you were in the military you know well of the rules of engagement, use of deadly force, and escalation of force. If anything the military is a bit unreasonable in just how much they expect you to do, in some situations, before pulling your weapon. One last thing, Zimmerman is not military personnel, law enforcement, or even a security guard (a position with no authority) so you should probably do more research before trying to appear as an authority.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        TIME WILL TELL.....BUT THERE WERE NO OTHER WITNESSES ....

        March 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
      • tonya

        You know what these jerks keep coming with bullish, Mr.Zimmerman was not a legal person of law, he wasn't even a registered neighborhood watch captain. He was a nobody. A complete NOBODY! Get it already, Mr. Zimmerman had no right to approach that kid-No Rights. He will be prosecuted in court behind this-don't worry about that, he will have his day to explain what the hell he thought he was doing and he better have a good attorney to represent him -BETTER THAN YOU MORONS ON HERE DEFENDING HIM NOW!

        March 20, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Cvillebanjo50

        They must have skipped critical reading skills in basic.........Zimmerman was neither a M.P. Security Guard, or Police Officer giving him no right to follow or apprehend anyone.

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

        you are a liar...........clearly you have never served in any sort of military at all...........what sort of person has to use a forum about a murdered child to feed some imature need to pretend you are more than you really are....i imagine its posibly the same kind of fragile mind that follows a 17 year old kid and shoots him because he is black and that makes you nervous......people like you are disgusting.....go troll some random chat room where the rest of your kind hang out =)

        March 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • ColbertFan21

        Although I admire your military service, you really need to read everything BEFORE posting! Zimmerman was NOT a police officer, MP or anything else. A citizen does not have to put their hands up for any moron on the streets who orders them to, unless of course, they are being robbed or assaulted at gun point and don't want to get shot...looks like that's what happened. Zimmerman was the thug here. He was a self appointed wanna be. Please read the facts BEFORE posting! Zimmerman was TOLD by the 911 operator NOT to follow the boy, but he did it ANYWAY! It was the boy screaming for help on the 911 tapes, not Zimmerman.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Huey P. Newton

        I COME FROM THE HOOD... AND TRAINED FROM LIFE AND DEATH EXPERIENCE ... IT TAKES A FRACTION OF A SECOND TO KILL OR DIE... YOUR TIN STAR, RANK, M.O.S. OR PRESUMED "AUTHORITY" CANNOT PROTECT YOU- ALL DAY EVERY DAY... AND JUST AS YOU "THINK" YOUR SO-CALLED "ORDER" IS GOING TO COMMAND IMMEDIATE COMPLIANCE, THERE ARE THOSE THAT CAN LOOK INTO YOUR EYES AND QUESTION YOUR SO-CALLED "AUTHORITY" AND DECIDE TO DEFEND THEIR RIGHTS TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROPERTY- TO BE FREE FROM ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE- THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, ETC. FROM EVEN "YOU"...

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

        Reading a comprehending should be your first order of business. Your second order should be finding the Caps Lock button on your keyboard. The all caps just make you look more I.G.N.O.R.A.N.T than you already are!

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

        lol

        March 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  91. jon

    Another stupid person who thinks he is a cop "fearing for his life" (from an unarmed young boy). Put this guy away so he can really fear for his life!

    March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      JON---–WE NOW KNOW THAT HE DIDN'T HAVE A WEAPON.. WHEN A COP STOP YOU, HE DOESN'T KNOW THAT ? AFTER HE SEARCH YOU, HE WILL KNOW IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A WEAPON.....GANGS ALL CARRY A WEAPON.... IF I WAS A SECURITY GUARD ON DUTY AND I SEE SOMEONE AND ORDER HIM TO PUT HIS HAND UP ? IF HE REFUSE AND PUT HIS HANDS IN HIS POCKET ? I WILL SHOT HIM...HE BE BE GOING FOR A GUN.. I DON'T KNOW IF HE IS ARM OR NOT ...

      March 20, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Patrick Keenan

        Once again you make the argument that he had authority to question/stop him. ZIMMERMAN HAD NO POLICING AUTHORITY WHATSOEVER IN THIS SITUATION.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • jboh

        NOT A COP. NOT A SECURITY GAURD. JUST A CIVILIAN LOOKING FOR TROUBLE. "THESE A++OLES ALWAYS GET AWAY" THAT ONE STATEMENT ON 911 TAPE SAYS ALL THAT NEEDS BE SAID. VIGILANTE MURDER.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • tonya

        You know what your waiting on facts right? What more facts do you need, Ok so the kid reached in his pockets for skittles right? So why didn't Mr.Zimmerman just shoot him dead at that point? Oh you want us to beleive Trayvon reached in his pockets for skittles, scared Mr.Zimmerman and that some how Trayvon was able to wrestle Mr.Zimmerman down beat him badly and then at that point Mr.Zimmerman reached for his gun. Doesn't even make sense right? Because that's not what happened! DAMN I WISH I HAD MY LAW DEGREE...LIKE RIGHT NOW, I WOULD HELP WIN THIS CASE FOR FREEEE..
        Ther's no way any of that would have happened like that because Mr. Zimmerman would have shot Trayvon before there was a fist fight. We do have proof there was a fist fight becaue 911 calls and witnesses atest to that. Don't think your gonna foola jury this kid wrestled this guy down and mr. Zimmerman couldn't get his weapon and started screaming help and out of nowhere he managed to get the weapon then shot this kid in self-defense. No what happened was Mr. Zimmerman approached Trayvon and said "what are you doing" and Trayvon said "why' and then Mr. Zimmerman pushed the kid with the "I'm a wanna be cop push" and the kid "pushed him back," then what started off as "I'm a beat your ass kid situation" turned into "no your not" and "who in the hell are yo"u then he started get scratched and knulled by the kid and the big weak wanna be cop shot the kid because he couldn't beleive the kid would defend himself. PUT THAT KID BEATING MURDERER IN JAIL-HE IS A THREAT TO SOCIETY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        March 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      SHOOT, FOR THE SPELLING COPS.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Huey P. Newton

      ... putting him away is not good enough! HE DESERVES THE DEATH PENALTY! And, it should be a Public Execution as a symbol to all those in so-called authority (real or fake) of the penalty for utilizing Unjustified and Deadly Force.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  92. F1484

    CNN is running breaking news. This is going to grand jury. A teen girl claims she was the last to speak to Treyvon. He was on the phone with her as Zimmerman followed him. He asked "why are you following me?" She says she could hear Treyvon being pushed or tackled.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  93. Saffron

    Even if the kid hit him (which I do NOT believe one bit), you can not justify shooting (and especially KILLING) a KID armed with a bag of Skittles.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      AGAIN, IF HE LOOK LIKE HE WAS GOING FOR A GUN ?? IF HE WAS PUTTING HIS HANDS IN HIS POCKETS ?? THAT IS A REASON TO SHOOT..... A COP WOULD SHOOT YOU IF YOU GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU ARE GOING FOR A GUN...WE DON'T KNOW...........I DO KNOW THAT IF A COP TELL YOU STOP AND YOU PUT YOUR HANDS IN YOUR POCKETS ? HE CAN SHOOT YOU DEAD.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
      • ColbertFan21

        Hey Dumba$$...he WASN'T a cop!!! Can you not read, or do you just read what you want to? Do you have someone screwing with you who is reading this stuff to you and leaving out the important parts? Here's a thought...maybe you're a kid killer too.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Frank

    It's always sad when a young person is taken from us, but my problem is with everyone already making up their minds on what happened without all the evidence being revealed. Anderson Cooper & his "distinguised" panel already made up their minds up on what happened & convicted this guy in the media. Going as far as saying if this was a white kid being shot it would be a different story. Talk about a racist comment. Here's an update, no one was white in this scenario, so just stick to the facts. Also, CNN get your facts straight, you are suppose to be a reputable news agency. First on the Anderson Cooper show you report the suspect as being Hispanic. Then on Wolf Blitzer the suspect is reported as being white & now today the suspect is once again Hispanic. Check your facts. Let the investigation play out.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • F1484

      You are aware that those two things are not mutually exclusive, right?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • RTB

      Hispanic is an ethnicity; white refers to race. The majority of Hispanics in the US consider themselves white and a good many are decended from Europeans who immigrated to different parts of Central South America. Look at Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy. he was both Hispanic and white.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        I CONSIDER MYSELF WHITE....I THINK LIKE THEY DO. I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH WHITES.....I'M A PR GUY....I DO MARK SPANISH ON THE U.S. CENSUS ..

        March 20, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick Keenan

      There is one aspect of this Frank that you fail to see. Zimmerman was told to stand down, by the 911 dispatcher (FACT). Never once did Zimmerman indicate that there was a CLEAR and PRESENT danger (FACT). He actually contradicts himself by saying Martin first was coming towards him, but then says he is following Martin (these are on the 911 tapes released) (FACT). As to your call that because he is half Latino that he cannot be racist is laughable. Racism exists in all shapes. Just because the are both considered "minorities" (a term I shudder when used) does not mean anything. And actually if this was not just a white kid, but a blue eyed, blond hair girl (they seem to matter the most), we would not even be having this discussion, the guy would be in jail on 500K bond.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph Alves

        LOL seriously. Why do people only think whites can be racist? Go to SoCal and see first hand the racism between blacks and Mexicans.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
      • WMoonFox

        "Racism exists in all shapes."

        Indeed it does. Implying that Martin was shot "because he was black", combined with suggestions that white victims would receive more or better justice, is a veiled blanket statement against white people, and racist in itself. Yet, these statements are thrown about as if they are simple fact, and any who disagree are labeled as bigots.

        We do not know all the facts of this case; we do not know the character of the people involved. Suggestions about racial tensions which are not readily apparent from the few facts we do have, or about the motives and intentions of the people involved, are based entirely on personal bias - and that bias to date is based by and large on racism... from both sides.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
      • ADA2012

        There would be no bond.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Alves

      Well I agree on the racism part but that's it. There is no proof that the cover up has anything to do with race. Why does everyone think they need to throw the race card? They need to knock that off. It doesn't help anything. Instead of crying racial foul they need to start looking at who Zimmerman is connected to and find out the real reason this is being covered up.

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

        I agree....

        March 20, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Darnel

      Frank...it seems like you are so upset with CNN and Anderson Cooper for putting out so called false information. Are you upset at all with George Zimmerman??? Do you believe that George Zimmerman had the right to kill Trayvon Martin??? Just curious to know your opinion.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Melna

      FYI: Being hispanic and white are not mutually exclusive of eachother. Hispanics come in all races and colors. Mr. Zimmerman is a White Hispanic.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elena

      Hispanics can be of any race. Please learn your facts. I am Hispanic and white, I have Hispanic friends that are white, black, asian, indigenous or a combination of these races.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Sanaa Castillo

    I've read reports indicating that Zimmerman is currently a Criminal Justice major, which could mean that he knew about that "stand your ground" law...or to use self defense whenever you do things like this. What they have failed to mention is Zimmerman's ties to the local police department, as a Criminal Justice major, if he made any connections with adjunct professors from local law enforcement, if he interned for college credits at any of the local law enforcement departments, if he joined any associations like the National Association of Criminal Justice or other as a student and networked by those means. Why is Zimmerman being protected by the town of Sanford when this is clearly an unjust murder? Is Zimmerman's father former law enforcement? My neighborhood watch doesn't allow our people to carry guns, it's surprising that the neighborhood in Sanford does? Zimmerman is being described as Hispanic/Latino Christian/Catholic (possibly due to his mother), but his last name appears to be European Jewish (his father). I also heard that Trayvon's parents were attempting to reach him for three days on his cell phone, but the Sanford Police made no attempt to locate his parents....is there any truth to that?

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

      Not a criminal justice major. The Sheriff said, "he is a college grad who took "a" course in criminal justice."

      March 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louise

      Ms Castillo, it turns out Zimmerman was NOT a criminal justice student. That was a lie originally initiated by Chief Lee and his cohorts in an attempt, for whatever reason, to protect Zimmerman. It turns out Zimmerman is allege to have been taken some general education courses at some local community college. Also, why they tried to play up the fact that Trayvon had been suspended from school for 10 days for something about violating school policy (which could mean something as simple has wearing a green shirt to school on a "yellow shirt day." They failed to mention that Zimmerman had been arrested for assault on a police officer back in 2005. Why did they try to demonize the victim, Trayvon? And make like Zimmerman was this super hero. Zimmerman should have been charged a long time ago with abuse of the 911 system. Those police involved, along with the chief, should be charged with attempting to divert attention from and cover up a murder.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  96. REC

    The sherifs department needs to be investigated along with the State Atterny Generals office for colusion in COVERUP AND WITNESS TAMPARING, as well as the usual DELAY tactics in cases invalving du-process for black victoms.

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

      And you need to go back to school to learn how to spell.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        I HATE SPELLING COPS.

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

        Tony you're ignorant, he/she doesn't need to to know how to spell in these times...all you need is spell check.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
      • JOSE0311USMC

        THAT IS RUDE . TELLING SOMEONE THAT THEIR SPELLING SUCKS–THAT THEY SHOULD GO BACK TO SCHOOL...RUDE THING TO SAY......HE PROBABLY SPEAKS SEVERAL LANGUAGES ...HE COULD BE SMARTER THAN YOU , TONY...JUST BECAUSE A PERSON SPELLING IS BAD ? IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU ARE SMARTER ...JUST A POINT.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Comeon

        Let's focus on the argument which is relavant to the news here. Person's ability to spell, or not, is irrelevant.

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

        go police the internet somewhere else.......no one here gives a crap about anything you have to say.......ever =)

        March 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • j e burton

      Why did he follow the kid? Why did he get out of his car? When did he feel his life was in danger?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  97. wcb2009

    Would someone just arrest and throw this loser in Jail already? The trial will determine who was at fault. My bet is on the guy with the gun.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  98. TiredODaCrap

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

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

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

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

      sorry no more chair in florida

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

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

    March 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4