Despite the best media attempts to conceal the actual facts, it has actually become relatively clear what happened in the Trayvon Martin killing. That is, the overall pattern of events is clear. What is murky are the DETAILS. We may never know all of the details of what happened. Maybe even George Zimmerman does not kno w all of them. Thos main IMPORTANT piece of the puzzle that we know exists, but which we don't know what the information is, concerns whether Trayvon Martin suffered ANY INJURY, and exactly what were the nature of teh injuries--if any--he suffered BEFORE he was shot. That may have a lot to do with whether George Zimmerman should be charged with ANYATHING. But here is the pattern of events--facts---which is relatively clear:
1. George Zimmerman saw a figure that he thought was acting VERY suspiciously. He described suh actions in his 911 call, and they had nothing to do with RACE. In fact, there is NO EVIDENCE that race had anything to do with Zimmerman's 911 call. It is, of course, important not to look at this from HINDSIGHT. Zimmreman had no way of knowing this was merely an unarmed, 17 year old who MAY have merely been walking home, taking shelter from the rain.
2. The 911 dispatcher ADVISES (he cannot instruct) Zimmerman that the police do not need Zimmerman to "follow" the suspicious individual, and that the police will handle it. To one degree or another, Zimmerman disregards this "advice", altthough Zimmerman evidenty says that he BROKE OFF his pursuit of Martin at some point after thke "advice" was given to him. It is NOT "illlegal" to "follow" someone in this country. "Journalists" do it all of the time. The question of if, and when, Zimmerman broke off his 'following" of Martni is one of those murky details
3. The 911 call---ZIMMERMAN'S 911 call, as neither Martin nor his girlfriend evidetly called 911 before the shooting--contains a rather complete record--on a ine open for most of the time-of what Zimmerman was doing. There is NO EVIDENCE that Zimmerman made explicit THREATS, or pulled his gun. On the other hand, Zimmerman does not APPPEAR to haveve yelled at Martin that he was a "neighborhood watch " guy and just wanted to ask him some questions. However, the media itself has made much of the fact that Zimmerman had NO ATUHORITY to DEMAND that Marin stop and answer uestions. Zimmerman, as any citizen--including, even, obnoxiuis "journalists"-had the "authrotiy" to ASK Trayvon Martin questions (which Martin did not have to answer), and to follow Martin (in a non-threatening way). The 911 tapes, and even the girlfriedn, do not show that Zimmerman YELLED at Martin, pulled his gun, or otherwise tthreatened Martin.
4. At some point, Zimmerman approached Martin, or at least got cloe to him. Here is where it gets murky. Before this, we simply have a ase of George Zimmerman keeping track of a SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER for the police, even thought the police had "rejected" the "help". But did Zimmerman reach out and grab Martin? Did Martin "sucker punch" Zimmerman after Zimmerman was already pussing back and withdrawing.? These are rather crucial quesitons as to whether Zimmerman committed MANSLAUGHTWER (or no crime at all), but they do not alter the overall pattern of events. The INJURIES, or lack of them, to Trayvn Marin are CRUCIAL here as to whether Zimmerman actually ATTACKED martin (as, for example, knocking him down). It is impossible to believe that Marin coululd be attacked, and be SCREAMING for help, and have no significant bruises. As sated, that is the main important peice of information we HAVE, but do not have (referring here to the general public). Did Zimmerman reach out to Martin in a threatening way? Did Zimmerman "show" Martin his gun, in a threatening way? Three is NO EVIDENCE of any of that, but it could have happened.
5. However it happened, there was a FIGHT. No. This was not a SCUFFLE (the favorite media word early). It was a FIGHT. Zimmerman says it wsa an ATTACK by Martin--unprovoked in the sense that Zimmerman was withdrawing. But youy had one person SCREAMING--maby=be both of them scereaming. This is a FIGHT, wh--again---had no apparent rlationship to RACE. Further, it is hardly credible that Zimmerman went after Martin with MURDER in mind, as it was Zimmerman who called 911. Thus, you basically have the kind of situation youhav e on a barroom brawl, where the questin is who started the fight, and how much legal responsibility the person who ended up killing the other has for the result.
6. Zimmerman was LOSING the fight. No. It does not MATTER who wa"screaming". The clear indicatins are that Zimmerman was losing the fight--on the bottom wiht his hed being banged against the gournd/concrete. Was Zimmerman is reasonable FEAR of HIS LIFE at this point? It is hard to say It is certainly possible. Does the law really say that Zimmerman had to WAIT for a fractured skull to defend himself (after which he would have NO chance to do so)? No, that is absurd. Still, in a worst case scenario, Zimmerman might have been required to take a BEATING rather than resort to deadly force. KHowever, if Martin iniated the attack, this is probably not true.
Okay. The outlie of events is clear. Zimmerman thought Martin was acting suspicioiusly--even in a bizarre manner. Zimmerman follows Martin to keep track of him for the police, keeping the police on the phone ofr a good part of the time. At some point, without it being clear who started it, a fight ensues. Zimmerman is LSOING the fight. He either "panics", or is in "reasonable" fear fror his life and/or phyysical safety (in a mjor ay, such as brain damage, etc.). There COULD (media-type speculatin here) have even been a struggle over the gun, as Martin saw it and tried to grab it. Martin ends up being shot dead. RACE has NOTHIGN to do with all of this. Even if you want to SPECULATE as to whether Zimmerman would have acted differently with regard to, say, a "white" HOMELESS person, that kind of specualation is irrelevant.
What, then, is the WORST case scenario for Zimmerman? It apears to me that the WORST CASE scenario for Zimmerman is what is known as an INCOMPLETE case of self defense. That is, Zimmerman was LOSING a fight. He obviusly acted in what he regarded as self defense,. But does the law allow that to completely excuse the killing? This probably turns on whether Zimmerman PROVOKED the fight m abd hsyt iw nycg Nartub was tge aggressir, It is like a bar fight where tow men are arguing. If one man is WALKING AWAY, it does not really matter whether he "started" a verbal argument. That does not mean he can be physically attacked. But if a man actively starts the PHYSICAL confrontatin, he will usually not be allowed to avoid a charge of manslaughter becaue he is LSOING the fight. The ONLY way it makes any difference as to who was 'screaming" for help is whether it shows that Zimmerman started teh physical confrontation, while Maring was to end up in the process of finishing it (wining th efight).
But where does it leave zimmeman, in this "wrost case" scenario (hwere he provoked the physical confrontation in the first place)? It leaves Zimmerman in a positioin of "defending" himself in a LOSING fight, but without,perhaps, full, legal justificatin for his actions. That, of course, is known as MANSLAUGHTER> However, just what is the appropriate punishment for this "wrost case" (from Zimmrnan's pont of view) scenario? If Zimmerman was realy on the bottom, wiht his head being pounded agaist the ground, it becomes hard to see how he could facea MAXIMUM kind of sentence. Two to five years seems about the most he SHOULD face (unless POLITICS forces this LYNCHING to continue). PROBATION doesnot seem out of the questin . at wort, you have a man who PANICKED, under physical duress, when--perhaps-he "started" the fight in the first place. Not much there.
Thus, we have this attempt to give NNATIONAL importance to a single POSSIBLE homicide, which amonts to---worst case scenario, unless there are some really "game changing" facts we don't know--the kind of "manslaughter" that might occur in an ordinary barroom fight gone out of control. Have we, as a society, gone NUTS? I will answer that. Yes, we have note nuts. There is no way this case shuld ever have been USED to rev up RACIAL HATRED and F=EAR in this country. Of course you can understnad the Martin famiy wanting "justice". However, George Zimmerman is entitled to "justice" also, which means he should not be chrged for POLITICAL reasons.: RACIAL political reasons. But the main EVIL here is turning this relativelyl insignificant case into a INDICTMENT of "white America" as oppressors of black peple. We MUST get BEYOND RACE in this country. If only our media would LET us--even help us. But they are the WORST raciss around (in the fundamental sense of DEFINING people and events based on RACE).
I hae said in this blog that George Zimmerman cannot be considered a hero in this case. Even if it turns out he ws liegally justified (which, actually, we will probably never know for sure, whether or not he is convicted of some sort of homicide), Zimmerman ended up kiling an unarmed man, when surely that did not HAVE to happen. Similarly, despite the media attempt to portray him that way, Martin could NOT be regarded as a "hero" here. His INJURIES before the shot that killed him will be rather telling on just how much tthe aggressor he was. However, the media does nott seemto ask what MARTIN could havbve done to avoid this. He COULD have called 911. BOTH he and his girlfriend could have done that. Is it really true that a fit, 17 year old boy could not OUTRUN Zimmrman? Maybe. But maybe not. Were Martin and his girlfirend PLAYING A GAME (sorto of "taunting' Zimmerman)? Again, this is media-tpe SPECUALATION, but at leastt as pluasible as most of the media speculation out there. It is MORE plusible than the EVIL idea that this was alll about RACE (when the facts suggest otehrwise). Nope. Martin does not come across ss soe sort of "hero" here. Now do we expect a 17 year old to be a "hero". Maybe not, However, it is also true that we now of MANY 17 year old "kids" out there who have committed MURDER. The idea that 17 year old "boys' are automatically innocent children is absurd. No, it does not appear that Martin did anything prior to the "fight" to justify being KILLED. At the same time, did Martin go a little BERSERK int he fight, and did he "lash out" in a more violent physical attack than ZIMMERMAN'S actions justified? What if ZIMMERMAN had ended up being killed: either with his own gun or with a fractured skull. Would there be this national DEMAND that Marin be chrged with MRUDER, and ARRESTED? You may say that would not hapen because Martin, as a black young man, was sure to be arrested and charged. I am t so sure of that. And, if he were, I am not so sure that there would not stil be people calling MARING the "cictime" of a racist America that wanted to lynch him (as George Zimmreman is being, figuratively, lynched). One thing IS sure. If Zimmerman had ended up dead from a deadly consussoin, or brain damaged, Zimmerman might consider it a bad "trade off" for being what I regard as a "hero". And if ther were no Zimmrmans out there willing to "fight" (figuratively speakng, but risking real danger) for their nieghborhod, maybe we would be woreoff.
The questions in this case are complex. However, the overall pattern of events does NOT show that this POSSIBLE case of mansluaghter deerves all of this national hysteria-stirred up mainly by a RACIST media out of control. We, as a society, need to do beter than this. But we have gne NUTS (as cases like the Casey Anthony case show). It SHULD have been possible for peple to questin the original decisoin not to charge Zimmerman without this RACIAL HYSTERIA. But, in a society gone INSANE, it obviusly is not possible There are jsut no boundaries. Our media is totally UNINTERESTED in FACTS "Justice"in this country is supposed to be INDIVIDUAL justice, not RACIIAL justice where racial grouops get to demand their "ound of flesh" to satisfy them as a racial GROUP.
There is nothing about this case that juftifies this kind of natinal hysteria. George Zimmerman MAYBE should have been chrged with manslaughter. It will be a travesty of justice if POLITICS forces a charge of intentional murder. You think that is not possible? I hae hearsd some peole say that Zimmerman is facing the rest of his life in prison. Absent some really gross and obvius new "revelation" (which wouuld be susicious in itself at this late date), that is abusrd. It would be eqully absrd to charge Zimmerman with some kind of Fedrerl HATE CRIME. Taht would merely kproge that the "hate crime" law is all about POLITICS--to be used to "get" people when it is POLITICALLY useful to do so.