The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - A Thought Too Long For Twitter
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A Thought Too Long For Twitter|
I know the Florida cops seem a bit sketchy in the Trayvon Martin case, but I gotta say – between Spike Lee exhorting his Twitter-followers to go harass the wrong Zimmerman, forcing an elderly couple to move, and a bunch of racist assholes hacking Trayvon’s email address (and changing the default passwords to the charming “niggerniggernigger”), it seems that the private methodologies aren’t any better.
Look, I don’t know what happened between Trayvon and Zimmerman. I’m watching the news, but the news is frequently fucked and often provides the wrong evidence – those of you too young to remember the OJ Simpson case as it went to trial won’t remember the tons of “breaking news!” that turned out to be absolutely false, and that was in the days before Twitter gave rumors lightning-speed.
Now, I have my suspicions about what happened, but that’s why I want a full court investigation. With due process. And lawyers reading all the evidence in to be debated by professionals. And procedures to make sure that fairness on all sides is mandated. I don’t necessarily trust myself to be fair and objective.
This is why there are courts. In the aftermath of a murder, there’s going to be emotions spilling out on all sides, both on the side of the murdered and the person accused of murder. And just as I want Texas to grant the benefit of the doubt to its death row cases, I want the benefit of the doubt to go to George Zimmerman. Specifically because I do believe he’s guilty, and I don’t necessarily trust that a bunch of long-distance reporting will get me the information I need to determine what really happened (or at least not enough to feel comfortable making calls that will affect the rest of his life).
This is why we have all the systems in place to force an objective look at it. Because as humans, we’re all flawed. Hopefully, between the existing rules and enough public outcry, something resembling justice will happen. It often does.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/202771.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.
Tags: politics, race
And, I should add, if it turns out that a) George Zimmerman did what I think he did, and b) the laws aren't enough to get George Zimmerman in trouble for that, then I want the laws changed so that this behavior doesn't happen again.
|Date:||March 30th, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)|| |
Okay. Given that:
1. The Florida "Stand Your Ground" laws can be read -- and, in fact, are being read -- to say that what Zimmerman did is not something that criminal charges can be brought for. From that position, how do you get him into the court system?
2. How can we be sure that the people of Florida don't like the law the way it is? They voted for the legislators that
drafted it accepted the law as written by the lobbyists and for the governor who signed it into law, so how do we in other states tell them we'd like them to change it?
It's probably important to note that it's not just Florida with some version of this law.
|Date:||March 30th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)|| |
to say that what Zimmerman did is not something that criminal charges can be brought for
What Zimmerman claims to have done. AIUI this law extends the defences available to include a whole lot of things; but surely it doesn't allow anyone to just go out and shoot anyone they please? Many (probably even most) people charged with crimes offer a defence; that doesn't seem to (in general) prevent them from being arrested and charged with the crime.
Why hasn't Bono told us how to feel about the Trevon Martin situation? I feel lost without his guidance.
More importantly, where are the 30 celebrities singing the trevon song?
i've a few questions of my own...the much-shown mugshot of zimmerman is from an arrest in 2005. when he was arrested for assaulting a police officer, charges were dropped as the police officer was undercover. he also has a history of domestic violence. why does he STILL have a carry permit?
he chose to carry the gun. he was told NOT to follow the kid, told that the police would handle it. he chose to keep following. he chose to get out of the car. he chose to confront trayvon. and ultimately, his choices led to a young man dying. those are *facts*. the video of him in the police station with no blood on him, no injuries visible from the alleged beating that he suffered under trayvon's hands.
for that matter, no signs of fighting on trayvon's hands according to the funeral home director. there are a lot of undisputed things there that dont add up to the "well it was the 'stand your ground' law!" defense being thrown out there.
i dont know.
|Date:||March 30th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)|| |
Am playing devil's advocate here a bit but:
Map of area:http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j88/rockdiamond/path.jpg
I think GZ was dumb to follow the kid, but most likely he was just doing it so that he could point TM out once the cops turned up, or was trying to locate TM again after he lost him behind the houses.
An ambulance must have been called to the scene (gunshots heard etc) and they had a good 1/2 an hour to clean GZ up before he got to the police station. If we're talking minor lacerations to the back of his head, there's probably no need to bandage them. They would've plugged his (allegedly broken) nose too. It's quite likely those injuries would not be visible on grainy CCTV footage.
Trayvon wouldn't show any bruising etc, as you only bruise for a short time after you die. There's no reason to think that no signs of fighting = fighting did not occur.
One witness stated they saw one person on top of the other. In 911 calls you can hear scuffling and cries for help. Plus, someone got shot etc. I think it's almost certain that a physical altercation did occur.
Personally I think GZ is a grade A douchebag/asshole who shouldn't have followed TM, who shouldn't have even been on a neighbourhood watch detail in the first place. I also think there's a strong likelihood that self-defence will stand up in court when it comes to the actual shooting.
Ultimately we won't be able to decide a thing until police reports, injury reports etc are released to the public.
There's a lot of questions, but I don't know how relevant all of them are. Take the funeral home director. Is he on the record? Can he be brought up on charges for (possibly) selling his story to the media? Does he want attention? I don't know this guy from Adam, and I sure as hell don't trust random people even if they're saying what I think probably happened.
There's a lot of facts being thrown around right now. They all seem relevant. Who the fuck knows?
And as Snippy has noted, it was not *facts* that he was told NOT to follow the kid. He was told it wasn't necessary. There's a huge difference. Likewise, videos are sometimes distracting.
Look, I think he's guilty. But I'm as guilty as anyone else of cherry-picking my data. I'd rather have it somewhere that cooler heads with reasons to get ALL the evidence can show up.
"he chose to carry the gun. he was told NOT to follow the kid, told that the police would handle it."
The exhange was:
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Okay, we don’t need you to do that.
That isn't telling him not to follow him; at best it's ambiguous. Later in the call, the dispatcher agrees without objection to have the officers call when they reach the area, rather than meet at a fixed point. That would imply he was going to try to keep track of Martin.
At this point what we know is that Zimmerman followed Martin and that an altercation between the two culminated in Martin being shot. What happened in between is not well established.
Did Zimmerman head off Trayvon and confront him? Did Trayvon come from behind? I certainly don't know, and the publically available evidence seems inconclusive.
Which one initiated the physical confrontation? Though several of the callers witnessed the fight, none of them identified the initial agressor. One seemed to identify Martin as having the upper-hand, but that wouldn't matter if Zimmerman had initially attacked him. Alternately, even if Zimmerman had been actively following Martin, it would not justify assault.
At this point, I'm unwilling to make a judgement either way. It seems equally plausible that Zimmerman had an overzealous response to an unknown person walking after dark in his neighborhood, or that Martin had an overzealous response to an unknown person tailing (and possibly questioning) him.
One thing that would seem to bolster Zimmerman's credibility is that he called the police and confirmed they were en route before the alleged commission of a felony.
(Also, the "stand your ground" law is a bit of a red herring. According to his account, he was on the ground and being assaulted. That would fall under a far less contraversial definition of self defense.)
The video is supposedly from several hours after Zimmerman was questioned on the scene and had first aid supposedly applied. A bloody nose would be cleaned up by then, and visibly bleeding scratches treated. I've also read that he went to a hospital for treatment, which if the report is true, there will be medical records.
There's so much media blitz on this that I don't know which side to believe anymore. Too much possible misinformation or spun truth. Believe me, I'm not coming out for Zimmerman here, but there's just not enough hard info for me to totally come out against him either.
With the way everyone jumps on so little information, I can't help but think of Bonfire of the Vanities.
I should really read that some day.
Florida is a bunch of fucked up crackers, plain and simple. This "we cant arrest him" stuff is bullshit. If they want to, they can arrest you for any reason or no reason at all. The cops clearly didnt want to, in this case. If Zimmerman had shot an old white man or a pretty young white girl, he'd be in jail.
|Date:||March 30th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)|| |
I agree that the private methodologies aren't any better. But damn - that the guy wasn't arrested and that it's possible he will never be arrested - is a horrible, infuriating injustice.
|Date:||March 30th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)|| |
But...why? Why is it an injustice that he wasn't arrested? If he has broken no laws, wouldn't his arrest be an injustice?
Edited to add: Should he be arrested just so you can feel better?
Edited at 2012-03-30 06:29 pm (UTC)
I am absolutely willing to give George Zimmerman a trial. I'm actively enthusiastic about giving George Zimmerman a trial.
The people I am completely and totally unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt to, any more, are the Sanford, Florida, police, who have demonstrably falsified a police report, and attempted to intimidate at least one contradictory witness, in order to get out of having to explain why they didn't arrest the uninjured middle aged white skinhead who was standing over the gunned-down body of an unarmed black teenager.
It is still theoretically possible that Zimmerman is innocent, although any case that he's innocent will have to explain why everything that he and his lawyer have said about the case so far was a transparently easily debunked flat-out lie. Still, he might have some reason to lie other than that he killed that kid for no good reason, so he could be innocent. Yes, we absolutely should let a jury decide that.
But we can't do that if the cops won't let them. And, so far, the Sanford, Florida cops are all fiercely determined not to do that.
|Date:||March 30th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)|| |
You assume that arrest is not just normal but obligatory in similar circumstances. Based on what?
|Date:||March 30th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)|| |
This is incorrect in a couple of places.
The Florida police did indeed file for an arrest warrant for GZ immediately after he was taken in for questioning following the incident (the police have no reason to arrest him on the spot if the suspect is coming in voluntarily for questioning. They can decide what to arrest him for at any time after that).
It was the florida prosecutors who held off issuing the warrant initially, and then later declined to issue one at all after determining there was not enough evidence to charge GZ with anything.
GZ not being arrested had nothing to do with the police.
Edit: Also, don't ignore the fact that GZ was questioned for five straight hours following the incident, and again the following day by police detectives. GZ also passed a voice stress test.
Can you clarify which parts of the police report were falsified, cos I've read it and it seems pretty legit to me?
Edited at 2012-03-30 09:43 pm (UTC)
Zimmerman is not white. he is mixed-race hispanic and white. Calling him a "middle aged white skinhead" is incorrect.
The issue of whether he's arrested is a red herring. The issue is whether he is charged with a crime. Whether an on-the-spot arrest happened means little beyond spotlighting police's questionable judgment as to whether they had probable cause to make an arrest.
Problem with the Stand Your Ground law is that the person standing his or her ground just has to feel threatened. But if you're paranoid, you always feel threatened (I suspect this is actually the case with Zimmerman) therefore does this not allow a paranoid individual to shoot anyone at anytime?