Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why I Didn’t Watch The George Zimmerman Trial



Thursday morning, as Judge Debra S. Nelson decided whether the jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial would be allowed to consider “lesser included offenses” like manslaughter, my 17 year old son lay stretched out on the living room couch, one eye on a television show and one eye on the screen of his mobile phone, scanning text messages from his friends. A short time later, he showered and headed off to his part time summer job in the information services department at the local high school.
My biggest concern was whether he left his dirty clothes in a pile on the bathroom floor. He did not.
Later in the day, he meandered home from work. As he often does, he caught up with one of his friends on the way home, and so his path from there to here was circuitous. He stopped at a convenience store to get a snack along the way.
My biggest concern was whether he would make in home in time for dinner. He did.
He’s a good kid. His grades aren’t great, but he’s smart and funny and has an enormous heart. He’ll get ahead in life because he likes people, he knows how to communicate, and he has a good attitude.
He’s going to be a high school senior in the fall.
After that, of course, my biggest concern will be how to pay for college.
What I’m not likely to be concerned about at any point along the way is this: My son, walking home on the streets where he belongs, being confronted by some random 29 year old with a Barney Fife complex – only with a round in the chamber instead of in his breast pocket – and an ensuing struggle, a shot being fired, and my son bleeding out on the pavement. I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen. I’m saying the risk of that happening to my son is pretty slight. Even though we live just a short distance from Chicago’s west side.
Why?
As the white father of a white teenager, it’s hard to avoid this simple fact: The odds of my son being confronted – and shot fucking dead – in those circumstances are far less than the odds of a black teenager being confronted and shot dead, in just about any circumstances.
I haven’t been able to watch the George Zimmerman trial play out on television for a host of reasons. Partly it’s because I have a son who’s 17, the same age Trayvon Martin was the day he was shot and killed, and another son who’s going to be 15 this weekend. Partly it’s because I had to watch my mother and father bury my brother John in 1991, and my mother, then a widow, bury my brother Tom in 2009. So, I have an inkling of what it must’ve been like for Trayvon Martin’s parents to bury him. Except that my brothers at least had the chance to live to adulthood. John was just shy of 36 when he died; Tom was 51 – still way too young to die, but not fucking seventeen.
But mostly I haven’t been able to watch the Zimmerman trial because of the underlying premise of the defense: Not that it was some horrible, but justifiable, mistake; but that Martin somehow deserved to die that evening in February 2012. That even though Zimmerman accosted Martin – a seventeen year old kid, fer Chrissakes – in a place where Martin had every right to be, Martin is to blame because he fought back.
Trayvon Martin was not in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was heading home to his father’s house. He had every right to be in that place at that time, and nobody – certainly not an adult who was a stranger to him – had the right to stop him, demand answers from him, follow him, badger him, or engage him in any sort of physical conflict whatsoever. So I don’t give a good goddamn who punched whom. I don’t care what he was wearing. I don’t give a damn if the 17 year old victim happened to smoke a joint every once in awhile, or engaged in the kind of masculine braggadocio that nearly every 17 year old boy engages in from time to time.
I couldn’t watch the Zimmerman trial because none of those things – what Martin may have said to Zimmerman, who threw the first punch, how he was dressed, how he may have acted in other instances – none of those things should have cost a 17 year old boy his life.
I can tell you this much. If some 29 year old jackass followed one of my teenage boys down the street, accosted him, demanded to know why my son was walking around in his own neighborhood, then got into some sort of physical altercation with my son … I can tell you, to borrow a phrase from the BBC television show Luther, it would come back on that jackass like the hand of God. I can tell you that with absolute certainty.
Then again, it’s all pretty academic when you know that nothing like that is likely ever to happen to your kid. But it’s not academic for Trayvon Martin’s parents, is it.

17 comments:

  1. You have some good points in regard to Zimmerman following Martin.
    Martin saw Zimmerman in his SUV and took off running..Why?
    Zimmerman went to see where he ran..Zimmerman on the way back to his SUV was confronted by Martin.
    Zimmerman had made it back to the T just a few yards short of his SUV.
    George was a watchman..thus his job to watch.
    Martins girlfriend stated she overheard on the phone someone ask Martin "what are you doing here?"...That is hardly confrontational by Zimmerman..Zimmerman then got the crap beat out of him...and had to shoot him.

    No your son wouldn't have got shot as he wouldn't have circled the SUV then took off running....and if he had he wouldnt have went up to the watchman as he was going back to his SUV then start slamming his head on the sidewalk.


    If a relative of mine..plays cat and mouse{running when seeing him} with a watchman then attacks him and starts slamming his head on the sidewalk...I will be sad and angry yes..but I can not blame the watchman.

    Martins phone was filled with texts about fighting and all the people he had beat up...but more compelling was he was bragging about himself while associates were telling him to slow down.
    One of the final texts on that phone to martin was "You bes quit that shi_ before someone plants one in your chest."

    Pretty convenient for the state to not allow such...after all Martin was painted an angel..its best to keep it that way hey.



    If a relative of mine..plays cat and mouse{running when seeing him} with a watchman then attacks him and starts slamming his head on the sidewalk...I will be sad and angry yes..but I can not blame the watchman.

    Martins phone was filled with texts about fighting and all the people he had beat up...but more compelling was he was bragging about himself while associates were telling him to slow down.
    One of the final texts on that phone to martin was "You bes quit that shi_ before someone plants one in your chest."

    Pretty convenient for the state to not allow such...after all Martin was painted an angel..its best to keep it that way hey.

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  2. Gee, Dave, it doesn't take long for some self-righteous asshole to come the defense of some other self-righteous asshole, does it?

    Zimmerman is a murdering piece-of-shit. Anybody who defends him is also a piece-of-shit.

    Gosh, I hope that didn't come off, like, too strong. Then again, if Trayvon Martin was my son or nephew and some piece-of-shit drive by commenter decided that Zimmerman was,somehow, an authority figure to be respected and obeyed, then they might have to call REAL cops to keep themselves from getting smacked around.

    Pro-tip: Anonymouse douchebag, go be a fucking tonetroll someplace else.

    Perhaps, someday, you can experience that special feeling of a parent whose child is murdered by some self-important fuckwad with a gun, just because.

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    1. Self defense is not murder,lets try a simplified scenario of the event while changing the details slightly but still have the same outcome.
      Lets say your wife is sitting in her apt and she sees a guy that what appears to be scoping the units.{and a rash of breaks ins have been occurring} She calls the police,while on the phone he runs when he sees her on the phone. She goes outside to see where he ran to keep a current location on the guy...The police tell her "we dont need you to do that,she says ok and heads back to her apt.Before she gets to her house he returns,she ends up getting your head slammed into the sidewalk repeatably...she has to defend herself if possible...getting her head slammed on the sidewalk is not a simple punch attack but rather an attempt of murder....Now according to your logic she would be a self righteous murdering asshole and you would also be a self righteous asshole if you stood by her side.
      The only thing different in the incidents is the man is now a woman and instead of getting out of a vehicle one walks out of the apt.

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    2. Me again,
      6 people after hearing the facts all disagree with you democommie.
      The fact is there never was a case here...Over a course of a year we have gone from "Man lays and wait to execute young black boy...police do nothing as the kid was black"...to a trouble young man who during the last months of his life went from good kid to a kid who rapidly turned to guns drugs theft and violence...A child whos own mother lost control and sent him to his father.
      I at one time was a troubled adolescent..I was a good kid..when I switched schools upon moving..the other kids were different..being recognized was no longer a matter of being good...but now the risk taker the tough guy..I spent many years of my life locked up.
      What it actually took me to stop was being locked up for something I didnt do...it was a cold slap in the face...I changed who I associated with and found I could have that same level of excitement in my life :not by impressing them that dont matter...but by having a good feeling about myself as a person...merely a switch of fuel if you will.
      I have no cause...no affiliations/ for me its about self judgement about myself and what is right in the entire schema.
      You are a victim..I dont say this to sound like a jerk...but you got used and played...they threw the bait out you took it...nurtured it and multiplied it.
      By the looks of your picture you are old enough to know better...again not trying to sound like a jerk...as we age we gain experience...Did you really think that the police refused to arrest a man that shot a young black child because he was white?
      When we hear bullshit like the case we have...we research it to find out what really happened.Think about it...Do your homework...do not believe what you hear but rather research it. I say this to people during voting time as well...forget what a candidate says but rather his history and vote accordingly..Stop being so gullible well over half of what you hear,read etc are lies...the only real news you will ever get is what time school will be out and whats for lunch.Be very skeptical when it come to anything that has to do with politics there is always an agenda....Additionally how would the news sound as the truth in this case? When you can truthfully answer that you can truly free your self from the hooks.

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  3. I wasn’t going to play on this one, but “Perhaps, someday, you can experience that special feeling of a parent whose child is murdered by some self-important fuckwad with a gun, just because.” Pushed me over the edge. What a typical liberal view, ‘I disagree with you, so I hope something horrible happens to you.’
    So, outside of the shooting, I would think that Democommie would like GZ. He is a card carrying dem, voted for O twice, minority, went out of his way to challenge authority when the son of a cop beat up a homeless guy, plus he mentored a couple of black kids who were having a tough go if it.
    GZ and TM deserved all of the respect that one human owes another. Open for debate is who showed or failed to show respect.
    Dave, with all due respect, your 17 year old and TM have almost nothing in common beyond being 17. The points I raise below are not to denigrate TM. However, the key questions that must be answered is who was the aggressor, who was screaming and finally, was it reasonable that GZ feared for his life. Only one person who can testify was there at the start of the fight and he is prejudiced. So we have to look at other clues to see if it is possible to find answers. Barring being able to find answers, GZ is innocent by lack of evidence.
    TM’s phone was password protected. His social media was encrypted with another password that saves all of his social media in files that have non-standard extensions to make them hard to find. Not many people that I know go to the trouble of using two passwords to get to their social media, especially with the amount of time TM spent on his phone, nor do they hide it in non-standard files.
    The social media on TM’s phone was not admitted into evidence because they could not be verified as being his. They could not be verified because the prosecutors failed to provide the social media to the defense until the last minute. This prevented the defense from having time to depose the correspondees who could have verified that the information came from TM.
    Based on his social media, TM was a user of a hip-hop cocktail called Lean or Purple Drank. On the night of his death he was carrying two of the three ingredients of Lean, Arizona Watermelon Punch and Skittles. The third ingredient, cough syrup, may or may not have been at the house, but we will never know. Consumption of the Lean cocktail creates physical changes in the brain and has led to the death of at least one hip hop artist. That he smoked pot is a no never mind in this case.
    TM attended a Miami Dade school. The district has its own police force. The chief of that force, who was fired because of this case, decided that minor criminal offenses would be addressed administratively rather than criminally, so there would be no criminal record. TM was a frequent ‘visitor’ in this administrative system. The reason he was in Sanford was because he was expelled for having burglary tools and stolen property in his possession. This was not his first expulsion. His mother was quite clear that he was going to live with his dad because she couldn’t handle him.
    Also based on TM’s social media and pictures, he was a frequent participant in fights, often as the aggressor. After one fight, he commented that he was going to fight the guy again because he didn’t bleed enough. He also had comments about trying to sell a gun and trying to buy a gun. Bravado or not, we will never know.

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  4. TM attended a Miami Dade school. The district has its own police force. The chief of that force, who was fired because of this case, decided that minor criminal offenses would be addressed administratively rather than criminally, so there would be no criminal record. TM was a frequent ‘visitor’ in this administrative system. The reason he was in Sanford was because he was expelled for having burglary tools and stolen property in his possession. This was not his first expulsion. His mother was quite clear that he was going to live with his dad because she couldn’t handle him.
    Also based on TM’s social media and pictures, he was a frequent participant in fights, often as the aggressor. After one fight, he commented that he was going to fight the guy again because he didn’t bleed enough. He also had comments about trying to sell a gun and trying to buy a gun. Bravado or not, we will never know.
    His dad, dad’s GF and GF’s son knew what kind of kid he was. Phone records show that GF’s son (Chad) called TM 9 times beginning 5 minutes after the shooting. TM’s dad (Tracy) called TM only once after Tracy and Brandy (GF) got home. So, TM is out, Chad is home by himself, a bunch of police cars and emergency vehicles roll into the neighborhood (flashing lights, sirens) and Chad tries to call 9 times with no answer. Tracy and Brandy get back at around 10:30 (or maybe later), still lots of police presence, Chad tells them that TM went to the store and hasn’t returned. Tracy tries to call once and goes to bed. So Dave, if there were police all over your neighborhood, your 17 year old wasn’t home and wasn’t answering his phone, would you go to bed?
    As you have heard, the devil is in the details. Based on phone records from the time GZ spotted TM until TM and DeeDee end their call is about 6 minutes (7:19 until the gunshot). When GZ and TM spotted each other, TM was approximately 1400 feet away from where he was staying. Traffic lights timed for pedestrians use 3 feet per second, which is a really slow walk. At that rate, TM could have been home in 7:45. A healthy 17 year old, being followed by a creepy ass cracka, could cover the same distance in less than a minute.
    Now ask yourself how long did the physical part of the confrontation last, 1:09 or longer? 1:09 is a pretty long fight. We know it was longer than 0:42. We know it was less than 3:13.
    7:09:34 – GZ calls Seminole County Comm non-emergency
    7:13:40 - GZ’s call to Seminole County Comm ended
    7:15:44 - TM and DeeDee’s call ended (2 minutes later)
    7:16:11 - the first 911 call connected (27 seconds later)
    7:16:53 – gunshot (1 minute 9 seconds after TM and DeeDee’s call ended)
    Nothing I have seen would tell me that GZ was an in your face, take the first swing, kind of guy. He is a follow at a safe distance and call the cops kind of guy. He carries a gun because he is scared of his own shadow kind of guy. He had reportedly been taking MMA for a while, but clearly had no skills or self-confidence, or he could just be a Grammy-level actor.

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  5. So, assuming that GZ approached TM. That doesn’t leave much time for conversation, (try walking up to someone and asking them what they are doing there, and time it) basically GZ asked what TM was doing there, TM responded and somebody threw a punch. So, if DeeDee is telling the truth and GZ approached TM at the Tee, then why TM was still at the Tee and where was he the first time GZ passed the Tee. I realize that TM had every right to be there. GZ also had every right to ask him who he was and what he was doing. TM could then choose to respond or not.
    When TM was in 7-11 he had a button on his hoody and a headset on his phone. When GZ first saw him, he had a button on his hoody. When he was found, the button and the headset were in his pocket. That could indicate he planned something. The button was important to him; it is possible he took it off to keep if from getting damaged. We will never know. It was raining and the headset would allow TM to keep most of himself and his phone dry. DeeDee never mentioned him taking the headset off. Since she noticed the sound of wet grass, I would propose that she would have noticed if he took the headset of either during or between conversations.
    Also, the cries for help. What a red herring that was. The reason TM’s dad (Tracy) didn’t think that was his son crying for help the first time he heard the recording is because he knew his son. He knew where and how TM had been raised. He knew there was no way his son would be screaming for help. His son would take it like a man. Every person who testified that they knew who it was screaming was telling the truth. Just none of them were in a position to know the truth. The recording was a 911 tape of a cell phone conversation of screaming that was a distance away and was affected by the rain. Even the experts couldn’t tell who it was. GZ on the other hand, screaming for help was in his M.O. The first thing he did when he saw TM was call the cops. Of the two, GZ was the screamer.
    If you listen to GZ’s call, he noticed TM because he acting unusually. It was night, it was raining, TM was not walking as if to a destination or jogging as if for exercise, but wandering around looking at the houses. GZ’s description of TM walking slowly by his car looking at him, was most likely an unusual behavior from GZ’s perspective. From TM’s perspective, he was letting GZ know that he knew he was there, that he knew GZ was watching him and that TM was not afraid of him.

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  6. The hoody is a piece of clothing that can keep your head warm and dry or keep someone from seeing who you are. Having your social media double protected/encrypted can be because you are a geek, you think it is cool or you have something to hide. Most people don’t want the trouble of entering two passwords to get to their social media. Taking the button off and putting it in his pocket, could be something or not. Having two of the three ingredients for Lean, could be planning a great high, or just liked the taste.
    The bottom line is that up until the time the first punch was thrown, nobody had done anything illegal or really wrong. When GZ pulled the trigger, the entire equation changed. Part of the problem was cultural, GZ lived in a different culture than TM, TM responded appropriately for his culture and GZ responded appropriately for his. Before you play the race card, this has less to do with race and mostly to do with socio-economic status.
    I think GZ is an idiot. I think if he hadn’t been carrying, he would have gotten his ass kicked well and thoroughly. I think if TM did figure out the GZ had a pistol and had gotten his hands on it, I think TM would have been the one on trial and not GZ. I think there is a chance GZ is guilty of manslaughter, however I think he will get off on self-defense because there is insufficient evidence to prove that he was the aggressor. If he is convicted, I think it will be successfully appealed, the defense will get to try TM as the aggressor through his social media and GZ will be acquitted. Not very pretty, but unfortunately that is the extent of the evidence.
    On a side note, I don’t think DeeDee is stupid. Actually, I think she if very smart. If you read her two depositions and listen to her testimony, she said exactly the same thing each time. That is really hard to do. Thus I believe that she is smart, had a good memory and is coachable.

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  7. So, my strawman is that GZ is a wimp. TM is a young man growing up in a tough world/neighborhood who was not a wimp. GZ and TM got into it based on differences culture. They both behaved appropriately for their culture, but clashed because of differences. I think that the evidence of who they are shows that TM would have been the aggressor, GZ was the screamer and both of them lost.

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  8. I agree with Good Greg. I have been following the case pretty close,the more we know,the more we find out this was not a police cover up as we were told in the beginning.Not that I 100 percent believe Zimmerman's account of the details either,but there is nothing to show it was not self defense as stated.

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  9. The jury returned. It appears I was right. My next strawman is that there will be no civil damages lawsuit. The rules of evidence are "more lenient" and the Martins won't want Trayvon's dirty laundry aired at the trial.

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  10. Two self-righteous assholes, my bad for getting the count wrong.

    George Zimmerman is a murdering piece-of-shit.

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    1. LOL still wrong I was number two remember Zimmerman then me now Greg.
      Hey Demmocommie dont forget them jurors those 6 self righteous bitches right?...makes 9.
      Let me save you the trouble of a response...will be easy as you offer nothing factual.

      "Fuck all you self righteous bitches and assholes...didnt you guys hear he laid and waited to execute a 12 year old black boy and the police refused to do anything because he was white !!!..Them self righteous police bastards."

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  11. Anonymous and Good Greg, you're actually so ignorant I feel sorry for you both. And no need to respond as I won't be returning.

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  12. Attacking the "messenger" boys does not dispute the facts of the case.
    Martin had a violent history...He rolled the dice one to many times and died that night.
    I feel for the Martin Family,but they must accept that the actions of their child are the cause of his death.

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  13. I post this for my own vanity, for it is likely no one will read it.

    I have been called self-righteous and ignorant. I am amused by this. Self-righteous, being smugly morally superior, is pretty funny. I struggle way too hard to be morally superior to anyone, except maybe those asshats at Westboro and their like. But that sets a pretty low bar. Ignorant, yes I am. I struggle every day to become less ignorant. Ignorant being to knowledge what hunger is to food. That is why I read the evidence, read the testimony, Google Earthed the site, plotted the times and distances, and looked at the facts, not the rhetoric.

    I have read with great interest the twitter posts of the low information posters. Here is how they saw the case...

    Zimmerman is a confirmed racist and probably a card carrying KKK member.(who is a also a registered dem and voted for O)

    Trayvon is a sweet little angelic 12 yo who was merely going to get a bag of skittles for his dad's GF's son and a can of tea for himself. (skipping the fact that he is 17, that it was Arizona Watermelon Fruit Punch and that the Fruit Punch and skittles are ingredients in Purple Drank)

    The court was rigged against Trayvon and racist. (Ignoring that the proscecutor lied on the affidavit to even get the charges filed and ignored exculpatory evidence, plus tried to hide the double password protected texts, posts and pics)

    The jurors were either the stupidest jury ever or the most racist. (ignoring the comments from courtroom observers that they were attentive and took notes the entire time and they were selected by both sides)

    That Trayvon was somehow just walking through the complex minding his own business when GZ stalked him, confronted him, attacked him and then gunned him down. (Ignoring the times based on phone calls, GZ's recorded call and DeeDee's testimony.)

    Finally, somehow a single finding of self-defense, based on a pretty much total lack of evidence to the contrary, somehow makes it open season on people of color in the US.

    Gotta love those low information voters.

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  14. See how the outrage of a young kid being shot in cold blood by a racist causes much vocalism throughout the nation.
    Very understandable as that would be an outrageous act.
    What I find outrageous is these people are not outraged by the fact that the state just shot one of the dirtiest games of pool in history in an effort to wrongfully convict a man of murder to appease a public that was lied to from the beginning in regard to what happened that night.
    Nothing that George done justified Martin trying to kill him.
    The cold hard facts are Martin went back to where George was not to far from his vehicle then proceeded to bust his nose and started slamming his head into the sidewalk.Martin referred to Zimmerman as a creepy ass cracker according to Martins girlfriend.
    Martins family sees an actual hate crime committed by their son cause his own death...They contact an attorney as the girlfriend of Martin knows what happened.He then intentionally presented these partial truths to the public which led us to believe there was an assassination.Hopefully the puppets can figure it out from there.

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