Trayvon Martin: Picking Sides, Seeking Justice

 

WASHINGTON – CBS “This Morning” continues breaking interviews since it was launched, besting many of the cable infotainment shows, getting Mayor Michael Bloomberg who spoke out today.

“It doesn’t make any sense because you don’t want people being vigilantes… “They don’t have the training. They don’t have the expertise. There is no oversight. That is the police department’s job…” – Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg is the co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, also found on Facebook.

The Mayor goes on to say “you are betting off not having a gun,” with which many may agree, though I absolutely do not. However, I’m against the N.R.A.’s vigilante extremism.

The sponsor of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, State Senator Dennis Baxley, who was the advocate for legislation for the N.R.A.’s Marion Hammer, had this to say about George Zimmerman and the intent of the law on CNN.

“There’s nothing in this stature that allows for a person to be able to pursue and confront other people.” – State Rep. Dennis Baxley, Stand Your Ground Co-Sponsor on “AC 360″

It’s what I’ve been writing since the news of this tragedy exploded.

However, developments now have manifested that lead us into the weeds, including an interview of George Zimmerman’s father, which is above, telling what his son told him after the fatal altercation that left Trayvon Martin dead.

Here’s part of the transcript:

Even though a dispatcher told George Zimmerman not to follow Martin, his father said his son continued his pursuit to locate an address to give to police.

“He lost sight of the individual, he continued to walk down the same sidewalk to the next street, so he could get an address for the police,” he said.

“He went to the next street, realized where he was and was walking to his vehicle. It’s my understanding, at that point, Trayvon Martin walked up to him and asked him, ‘Do you have a [expletive] problem?’ George said, ‘No, I don’t have a problem,’ and started to reach for his cell phone… at that point, he (Martin) was punching him in the nose, his nose was broken and he was knocked to the concrete.”
Robert said Trayvon, “continued to beat George, and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did.”

When asked about the screams for help which were heard on a 911 call, Robert replied, “All of our family, everyone who knows George, knows absolutely that is George screaming. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind.”

George Zimmerman has a problem, which is that he had no business pursuing Trayvon Martin. That act alone puts him outside Stand Your Ground, because there was no reason to follow Martin, except Zimmerman’s judgment.

ABC News has exclusive video of George Zimmerman after he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, which is below that shows no head wound whatsoever.

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The investigation continues, with more and more information coming out as the days tick by, with public opinion lining up on a chosen side, while innocent until proven guilty is disregarded.

A “Kill Zimmerman” account is now live on Twitter to prove it.

…and what would this unspeakable tragedy be without a public opinion poll, dutifully done by Rasmussen, proving yet another reason I don’t cite that organization?

American society has become the Roman arena.

There’s a hint of a Rodney King event percolating underneath the surface, with fairness and justice having been locked out.

Taylor Marsh is the author of The Hillary Effect, which is available on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has written for The Hill, U.S. News & World Report, among others, and has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.

  

20 Comments

  1. I think it’s a bit much to assume that because there was no wound visible on the tape that there was no wound at all. The tape is pretty good but certainly not HD and is not meant to capture evidence in that manner. Certainly there was no massive open wound but you can crack a skull and barely break the skin, I’m sure that if the argument is made that GZ was assaulted there will be better more accurate and representative pictures that were taken by police that will be used as evidence. Legally you seem to be taking GZ’s fathers story at face value but claiming that in that story GZ falls afoul of the law. He doesn’t. His stopping “pursuit”, which by his story there never was pursuit he was just looking for a correct address, and beginning to return to his truck means that there is no pursuit at the time of the encounter with Martin. Not saying I buy this story but I fail to see anything in it that GZ should worry about. In this story he was legally justified and wouldn’t be found guilty.

  2. I thought the lady did a good calm job of interviewing GZ’s father, but I wish she would have nailed down the “injuries” or lack thereof. Has he been with the family all this time, how soon after the event? What medical help did he receive? Any names of medical providers? Any pictures or other evidence of blood. Describe what he looked like. What was his involvement with the police and/or DA?

  3. Too bad Martin can’t offer his side of the story, thanks to Zimmerman.

  4. “George Zimmerman has a problem, which is that he had no business pursuing Trayvon Martin. That act alone puts him outside Stand Your Ground, because there was no reason to follow Martin, except Zimmerman’s judgment.”

    So if I understand your position correctly:

    If someone gets out of their car to see where someone they think looks suspicious went, by that act alone they waive their right to self defense?

  5. Any father who loves his son doesn’t want to see him go to prison. How far will he go to protect him? Some would go pretty far.

    Also what StockBoy said.

  6. Too bad Martin can’t offer his side of the story, thanks to Zimmerman.

    While that’s true it doesn’t constitute evidence on GZ’s guilt. Honestly if Martin had killed GZ and claimed self defense I think he may very well walk also. It’s not necessarily about just facts, if someone life was really in danger, it’s also about what people thought and felt, as if they may have believed in that one second they were at risk.

  7. Martin may not be able to speak, but his body can. The funeral director who prepared Trayvon’s body stated in an interview that there was no evidence of any altercation on the boy’s hands. If he had punched Zimmerman’s face and slammed his head, there would have been cuts or bruising on his hands from the blows.

  8. Just as some people believe the 16 y/o is tailoring what she claims she heard to benefit Trayvon, the same can be said for Zimmerman’s father’s statements.

    Just because he says he was looking for an address to give to police, doesn’t mean that’s what he was doing. When did he plan on calling them with the address he, presumably, secured? When he got back to his vehicle? He pulls out his phone after Trayvon allegedly confronts him? None of this makes any sense.

    George’s father wrote a letter to the local newspaper stating, “At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon,” the letter said,…”

    Zimmerman confirmed to 911 he was following Trayvon. Dad is getting his information from his son and, as is expected, is fighting for his son. Just as the Martin’s are doing for theirs. However, unless his father made up his belief his son never followed Trayvon, he must’ve been told that by George. Did he also NOT confront Trayvon as he states?

    Zimmerman’s actions and his words leave a reasonable mind to question how he can restrain himself from pursuing someone he has already prejudeged to be a criminal…an *sshole…they always get away.”?

    This whole case, and many of the public opinions regarding it, have been mind-boggling.

  9. If Trayvon was truly slamming GZ’s head into the concrete and had broken his nose with a punch, it ought to be evident –not only in the surveillance video, but in the police report and in the notes from the f/u hospital visit. There would be xrays– and pictures of the head wound. I’m thinking he had no bandage on his head, there was no trace of blood on his clothes, his nose did not look swollen or reddened- so his account of the attack is weakened.
    Perhaps, this all was predetermined as a legal out for him– the injuries that he needed to sustain to be able to claim self defense and avoid all charges, after he fatally shot TM

  10. The funeral director who prepared Trayvon’s body stated in an interview that there was no evidence of any altercation on the boy’s hands. If he had punched Zimmerman’s face and slammed his head, there would have been cuts or bruising on his hands from the blows.

    Now this, if it’s in the autopsy, seems to me to be important. Also the ballistic recreation of the event. If Martin was on top of GZ we should see a close range shot with a upward trajectory. These are the facts that should come out in court. I personal would wait on the ME’s report rather than the funeral director. For all we know the short time before death would tend to keep visible marking from his body. Anyone else find the Funeral director talking about Martin a bit creepy?

  11. Just as some people believe the 16 y/o is tailoring what she claims she heard to benefit Trayvon, the same can be said for Zimmerman’s father’s statements.

    While that is true there is a major difference between the two. The girlfriend is acting as a witness the father is acting as a spokesman. He just gave GZ’s side of the story.

    Just because he says he was looking for an address to give to police, doesn’t mean that’s what he was doing.

    Sure but in a legal proceeding there is supposed to be some evidence before concluding something is a lie. I have yet to hear anything that directly contradicts that statement. Even if Martin said someone was following him that doesn’t mean that GZ wasn’t just looking for an address and going in a similar direction to Martin.

    Zimmerman confirmed to 911 he was following Trayvon.

    Please link to where that was said. After he was told that they didn’t need him to follow I don’t believe he ever said that he was following Martin anyway. Mind you I don’t think it really matters but ……

    Zimmerman’s actions and his words leave a reasonable mind to question how he can restrain himself from pursuing someone he has already prejudeged to be a criminal…an *sshole…they always get away.”?

    That would give you a state of mind but how about a pattern of behavior? Has GZ regular confronted suspicious people before? Have there been assaults, even if justified, on suspicious people? If he just wanted to attack Martin then why not call the police after? Good question but only half answered and I don’t hold the same opinion of the reasonable conclusion. Mind you I don’t think it matters if he followed Martin except that if he did it contradicts his story and that is something that can get you convicted.

    This whole case, and many of the public opinions regarding it, have been mind-boggling.

    I would agree but since I think our view may be a bit different the way I mean that may be different than you. Honestly I have no issue with anyone thinking the Guy is guilty. My first thoughts were pretty much that but looking at what people seem to think is iron clad proof of something, well it leaves me a bit perplexed. Like because somehow the police haven’t given it to the news so it’s not evidence. That rumor and innuendo is evidence. The lack of understanding of the legal system in general and mind you I’m far from an expert but still.

  12. If Trayvon was truly slamming GZ’s head into the concrete and had broken his nose with a punch, it ought to be evident –not only in the surveillance video, but in the police report and in the notes from the f/u hospital visit. There would be xrays– and pictures of the head wound

    I somehow don’t find the video as conclusive as you do. I agree that if he is trying to use those injuries in his defence he will have to show proof and I’m just as sure the police have pictures that show his injuries, or lack of the same, much more clearly than the video. You can crack your skull without breaking the skin and while black eyes and swelling are normal with a broken nose they do take time to appear and if minor may never have gotten very bad. By the way the original uniformed office did indicate on his report that GZ had grass stains on his back and a injury to the back of the head.

    Perhaps, this all was predetermined as a legal out for him– the injuries that he needed to sustain to be able to claim self defense and avoid all charges, after he fatally shot TM

    Seems a bit much. The Florida statute doesn’t require any injury or any risk of death to claim self defense. Honestly a simple narrative of “I was looking for a suspicious person I saw in my neighborhood and on my way back to my car someone jumped out of the shadows swinging at me and I shot them” would legally justify the shooting in Florida. Even without the stand your ground law because neither story gives a good time for him to get away without risk. Florida has a high crime rate and juries err on the side of self defense.

  13. thanks Taylor. I think if Mr. Zimmerman insists he was injured, the DA will exhume Trayvon’s body if Zimmerman is charged and goes to trial. Even with preservation and some deterioration, it would be evidence. God, this whole thing is sad.

  14. If Martin wasn’t given a full post mordum then his parents should sue and they should replace the police Chief, DA, and ME’s office. Of course I think the likelyhood of that should be zero and the whole idea is why I think the speculation is a bit strange. Sure the funeral home said something but why people are treating that as evidence when everyone should know there is a full autopsy report the ME will have to submit to the DA. We will not, should not, get to see this until after a trial but because it isn’t on the news doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  15. sorry post mortem

  16. “While that is true there is a major difference between the two. The girlfriend is acting as a witness the father is acting as a spokesman. He just gave GZ’s side of the story.”

    The reason this information is important is because the father is making statements to “facts” that he is getting from his son and has already been proven not accurate. Do you really need me to cite a link to the 911 call where he confirmed he was following Trayvon? I believe everyone who’s following this case has heard that. My skepticism is aroused by Trayvon’s, based on Zimmerman’s 911 call, rather innocuous activity, yet he garnered Zimmerman’s attention AND pursuit (regardless if he discontinued, which can’t be proven, either) when he judged Martin as “These *ss holes…They always get away.”…”he’s up to no good.” Yet, his 911 play-by-play don’t reflect any laws being broken.

    Contrary to his father’s assertion, it’s clear he did follow Trayvon. What’s not known is for how long.

    Because Jeb Bush, the guv who signed “Stand Your Ground” into law, Rep. Dennis Baxley and former Sen. Burrell Peaden have publicly stated Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply under the circumstances, because Zimmerman pursued Trayvon, doubt as to Zimmerman’s veracity should’ve been considered.

    Of note, it’s been reported that the lead investigator felt there was enough to arrest Zimmerman. So, even if Chief Lee disagrees, the fact there was a discrepancy between he and his lead investigator should’ve automatically triggered deeper scrutiny of the alleged facts.

    It just seems incomprehensible, that a person can shoot another, claim self-defense, then only his version of events are taken as gospel while mitigating other FACTS that lead one to question if he wasn’t looking to provoke a conflict in the first place. See: Zimmerman’s 911 call that night.

    No doubt you’ve heard the reports of the numerous 911 calls he’s made previous to 2-26. According to a neighbor, he also had one real criminal collar to his record…a a neighborhood watchman! His desire to be a police officer, preoccupation with young black males as far as “suspicion” goes, his statements the night of 2-26 to 911, a conflicting public statement his father has made on his behalf, he’s armed, and following martin with no real probably cause…I always believed this was the kind of evidence police used to determine if a persons statements and actions fit their story.

    It seems highly incongruent to me. If he had just called 911 and reported a suspicious person, there wouldn’t be much fodder to question his intent. He didn’t…he judged the lad to be “up to no good”, and I believe his mentality was such, from his own words, that “this a**hole wasn’t getting awa”…especially when trayvon ran.”

    EElis, with the exception of my obvious conclusion, everything I’ve related has been widely publicized. You can find the info online. I don’t mind if you disagree with my take on events that makes me question, “what the hey?!”, but are you really questioning what has been reported?

  17. I would echo EEllis – there should be no need to exhume the body if an adequate autopsy was performed.

  18. EElis, with the exception of my obvious conclusion, everything I’ve related has been widely publicized. You can find the info online. I don’t mind if you disagree with my take on events that makes me question, “what the hey?!”, but are you really questioning what has been reported?

    Questioning the framing of that info and how it’s presented. First don’t care who was telling GZ’s side of the story that it’s his dad and might lie seem minor when he is just repeating his story.As to the following……I don’t care that he did follow as it’s legal and to me not unreasonable, but it is an issue if his story changes of contradicts what happened. We don’t have the story he gave the detectives so we can’t be sure how accurate his dad was and we also can’t ask questions to try and get GZ to clarify things said so while I would expect it to come up in court I doubt it will be a big deal. We might of just meant he didn’t follow after the 911 call and that is totally within the other evidence we have available. Martin ran when he saw GZ and it was 4-5 min later that the confrontation happened. It’s clear whatever happened directly before the incident GZ was not following Martin. It is also clear that Martin, who ran out of the view of GZ, could of gotten to his fathers girlfriends house, about 100 yards away, many times between the call to police and the shooting. GZ made many calls to the police, over years and almost no 911 calls, again a way of presenting info that doesn’t accurately portray events, but did quite often call the non emergency line. This is over years. I don’t find that number alarming in a heavy crime city with someone who is involved in his community because GZ was. He and his wife volunteered and reported by the LA times they mentored 2 black teenagers taking them on day trips, seemingly similar to a big brother program. What a racist!!

  19. EE, do you have a link for this?
    He and his wife volunteered and reported by the LA times they mentored 2 black teenagers taking them on day trips, seemingly similar to a big brother program. What a racist!!

  20. Not off hand but the story has been around and can’t be hard to find. I just remember reading it at the end of one of their stories.

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