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 Post subject: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:11 am 
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I only found out about this yesterday, I'm just shocked over how poorly the police are handling this investigation.

Quick summary...17 year old Trayvon Martin was visiting family in Sanford, FL. He was walking back to the family home one night, when an overzealous neighborhood watch guy followed him because he was "suspicious". Neighborhood watch guy shot & killed Martin in "self defense" (because Skittles and iced tea are apparently deadly weapons).

Anyway, this whole fiasco seemed a bit screwy from the start, but now the 911 calls have been released. In the calls, you can hear Martin screaming for help, then getting shot; which makes a claim of self defense seem pretty forking implausible. But even after hearing those tapes the police have yet to arrest/prosecute the shooter. What the hell?

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/family-slain-teen-hold-press-conference/nLTxw/

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/sanford-911-calls-released-teens-shooting-death/nLWWS/

Clearly, I think this sucks and the Sanford police are acting like douche bags, but please, share opinions, further details, etc.

ETA a better article that sums up the whole story http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/15/3494117/witnesses-in-florida-teens-death.html


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:55 am 
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This story was on Gawker a few days ago and there have been some posts on Dissenting Justice about it. Apparently the officer who could have made the arrest also has a history of refusing to do so when the victim is black: http://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2 ... -case.html

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:56 am 
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This is so sad and horrible.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:11 pm 
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The officer doesn't know how the law works. He's stating that the self defense claim overcomes probable cause to arrest, which it simply doesn't. That is SUPER wrong. Self defense is a defense to be brought in court (either preliminary hearing or trial). It does not prima facie vitiate probable cause to arrest a person, particularly when the evidence in support of the claim is so weak, as it is in this case.

This makes me so angry.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:42 pm 
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This is nothing short of a modern-day lynching and it makes me sick. I cannot even imagine being the parents and family of this child.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:45 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
The officer doesn't know how the law works. He's stating that the self defense claim overcomes probable cause to arrest, which it simply doesn't. That is SUPER wrong. Self defense is a defense to be brought in court (either preliminary hearing or trial). It does not prima facie vitiate probable cause to arrest a person, particularly when the evidence in support of the claim is so weak, as it is in this case.

This makes me so angry.


Yeah. That statement is bullshiitake. It's not up to the invesgitating officer(s) to decide whether a case should be declined due to a self-defense claim. And even if Zimmerman reasonably thought he was in danger, he still had a duty to retreat before resorting to deadly force. He should have been arrested at the scene. And the whole statement about the investigation being "colorblind" in the third article - I call bullshiitake on that too, because I think we all know charges probably would have already been filed if the races were reversed.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:47 pm 
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fatcat wrote:
I call bullshiitake on that too, because I think we all know charges probably would have already been filed if the races were reversed.

Without a doubt. Without a doubt.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:35 pm 
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I couldn't listen to all the calls because the one where you can hear him screaming for help just wrecked me. This Zimmerman guy sounds like someone who thinks he should take the law into his own hands. Did you see the breakdown of how many times he called 911 in a year? It was ridiculous.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:46 pm 
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fatcat wrote:
Yeah. That statement is bullshiitake. It's not up to the invesgitating officer(s) to decide whether a case should be declined due to a self-defense claim. And even if Zimmerman reasonably thought he was in danger, he still had a duty to retreat before resorting to deadly force. He should have been arrested at the scene.


Right - and it already appears to be an undisputed fact that Zimmerman disobeyed instructions from the 911 operator and pursued the victim. He's going to be hard pressed to show that he retreated in those circumstances, just as I imagine he'd be hard pressed to show that he was defending against what could reasonably be construed as deadly force when he shot the teenager who was armed only with iced tea and skittles.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:47 am 
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As far as I understand it, one of the reasons Zimmerman isn't in jail seems to be because of the Stand Your Ground law in Florida which basically means that self defense extends to public spaces and a person doesn't have to retreat when they feel their life is danger. They can take matters in their own hand. This is absolutely nuts.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:21 am 
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This whole story makes me so sad. I made the mistake of listening to the 911 calls before bed last night, and I was up until 3am with a lot of anxiety/sadness about the whole issue. The thoughts that kept running through my head: why did Zimmerman shoot the teenager even though the teen was screaming for help? Did Zimmerman just go up and attack the boy? Why the hell was Zimmerman walking around with a loaded gun? It doesn't seem like self-defense if he approached the teen himself and questioned him. Is it possible that Trayvon was scared because a big man was approaching him, so he was acting in self defense (which would explain why he started running away, and the alleged bloody nose that Zimmerman had)? And at what point does two people wrestling--one of them who is much bigger, and the other one screaming for help--require the use of deadly force?

I keep looking at pictures of Trayvon in his football uniform. It's just too much.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:43 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
He's going to be hard pressed to show that he retreated in those circumstances, just as I imagine he'd be hard pressed to show that he was defending against what could reasonably be construed as deadly force when he shot the teenager who was armed only with iced tea and skittles.


But he isn't being "hard pressed." The police are on his side, and said that they aren't arresting him for fear of a wrongful arrest lawsuit.

Quote:
“That is the circumstance we are dealing with: If we arrest, we open ourselves to a lawsuit,” Sgt. Dave Morgenstern, a spokesman with the Sanford Police Department, said. “I would have to say I don’t think we have conducted a racially biased investigation at all.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/us/91 ... nager.html

Quote:
“The evidence doesn’t establish so far that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense,” Chief Bill Lee of the Sanford police said this week, responding to why Mr. Zimmerman had not been arrested. He said he would welcome a federal investigation. “We don’t have anything to dispute his claim of self-defense at this point.”

Echoing a view held by many blacks in Sanford and elsewhere, the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said the police appeared to be protecting Mr. Zimmerman.

“Had Trayvon been the person who was the triggerman, they would have arrested him from Day 1 and they wouldn’t have given him bail and he would be sitting in jail,” Mr. Crump said. “Zimmerman is free and sleeping in his own bed at night.”

Frustration also grew after the parents said they had been told by detectives that Mr. Zimmerman had a “squeaky clean” record. They knew this, the detectives said, because Mr. Zimmerman told them. But Mr. Zimmerman had been arrested in 2005 on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a police officer. The charges were later dropped.

The police said it took them some time to run the check.
......
Mary Cutcher and her roommate said they heard Trayvon pleading. Then they heard a gunshot. They rushed outside and saw Mr. Zimmerman standing over the teenager. Ms. Cutcher said she did not think it was self-defense and added that the police took only a brief statement, despite her efforts to go into detail.

In a statement Thursday, the police said her statement to them matched Mr. Zimmerman’s.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/us/ju ... von&st=cse

This case just shows how cheap the life of a young man of color is.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
jordanpattern wrote:
He's going to be hard pressed to show that he retreated in those circumstances, just as I imagine he'd be hard pressed to show that he was defending against what could reasonably be construed as deadly force when he shot the teenager who was armed only with iced tea and skittles.


But he isn't being "hard pressed." The police are on his side, and said that they aren't arresting him for fear of a wrongful arrest lawsuit.


I know. What I mean is that were the case not being handled properly, he would be hard pressed to make out his defense. As it is, they're obviously taking his extremely suspicious statements at face value...

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Jesus. This is sickening and infuriating. We lived in a predominately black neighborhood in Sanford for about six years when I was a kid, and it seems like things haven't changed. I remember police harassing young kids that were just playing in their yards.

Can the family press criminal charges without an arrest? Can they do anything?

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:02 pm 
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There is a petition created by Trayvon's parents: http://www.change.org/trayvon

And a FB page - he was such a sweet looking kid.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice- ... 5035593734

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Okay, here is the Florida Statute 776.013 regarding use of deadly force. It includes this subdivision for instances not involving dwellings/cars:
Quote:
(3) 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.


Under the facts as currently, publicly known, there is no way Zimmeran had a reasonable belief that he was subject to imminent death or great bodily harm, which is required for such a defense. I also don't believe that it is a defense available to Zimmerman since he was the initial agressor and there is no evidence that Trayvon Martin was committing a forcible felony. The police department's blatant disregard of the law is infuriating.

edit: There's also this statute:

Quote:
776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) 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.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:21 pm 
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From Tampa Bay Times, Florida's largest newspaper: Stand Your Ground: A Killer Defense?

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:43 pm 
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WFTV.com had a report saying that Rev. Al Sharpton was going to being joining in a local protest on Thursday.

Has anybody read anything about whether or not Zimmerman's whereabouts are known? All I have seen is that he left his house but no mention of whether or not the police even know where he is.

I haven't read anything that would convince me that the police did ANYTHING correctly in handling this case, other than responding to the 911 calls.

And all the information coming out about Zimmerman is making me more angry...(I started to type out a long rant here, but it is just making me more upset).


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:31 am 
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Not only is there a death of a young man, his family's pain and suffering and the shooter going free, but the story on Fox News will be how the liberals are playing the so called 'race-card'. Because this isn't cut and dry the story will also be how Zimmerman is being victimized by the liberal media for just asserting his right to defend himself. They'll play into the fears conservative white America has about young black men and crime.

It makes me so angry and sick.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:32 am 
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I know it is fashionable to always assume the worst of FoxNews, but I will be really shocked if O'Reilly doesn't discuss this from the side of the boys' family. Ditto Greta and everybody on The Five.

I flip back and forth among all the news channels, and, avoiding crepe like Hannity/Huckabee, etc there isn't all that much difference when it comes to news reporting. O'Reilly has obnoxious social views, but I like watching him because he is almost always fair and his interviews are usually pretty good. He is commentary anyway, not news.

From what I could tell, CNN and FoxNews were running pretty much exactly the same heart wrenching footage. I don't think anyone can spin this, though I guess Hannity might try. I won't listen to find out.

If the local authorities do not act to fix this (well as much as it can be fixed considering a child is dead), they deserve whatever they get. That clip of the boy's father trying not to cry keeps running through my head. Of all the crepe to happen lately, this seems to be grabbing me most, maybe because it is so utterly senseless, unjust, and wrong. I don't understand it at all, and I don't want to live anywhere that I do understand it.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:31 pm 
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If serious consequences aren't doled out for this, there should be hell to pay. I am so upset about this that I honestly don't know what to do with it. I have a seventeen year old son, and all I can think about is how he would feel if some gun-wielding, frustrated Rambo started chasing him while he was walking home. Of course, we are white and middle class, so that is unlikely to happen (for which I suppose I must be grateful)....but WHAT THE fork? I won't listen to the tapes because I honestly don't think I could handle it. We live in Massachusetts, where everyone can't just walk around with concealed weapon like it's Dodge forking City, but with all the government legislated pre-abortion technological rape, having to defend my right to control the size of my family, and the fact that teenagers can be gunned down for having the effrontery to walk down the street, I increasingly feel that I don't want to live in this country anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Zimmerman's own tape is pretty damning. He says things "looks like he's on drugs", "they always get away", and then worries that Treyvon saw him and was looking his way, because obviously no one would be suspicious of a bubba following them with their car. The most damning part of the call is when he says "he ran" and you can then hear that familiar sound of air rushing by the phone receiver. So this kid was running and he kept following him, either in his car or on foot.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Imitation Of Chris wrote:
Zimmerman's own tape is pretty damning. He says things "looks like he's on drugs", "they always get away", and then worries that Treyvon saw him and was looking his way, because obviously no one would be suspicious of a bubba following them with their car. The most damning part of the call is when he says "he ran" and you can then hear that familiar sound of air rushing by the phone receiver. So this kid was running and he kept following him, either in his car or on foot.


Right...that's the worst part about it. Zimmerman approached Trayvon (literally ran after him) and then shot and killed him. I just don't understand how that qualifies as self defense.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:17 pm 
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I just don't want the topic of racial profiling to be disregarded or dismissed. And it's not like people on Fox News haven't done that before or change the story to a more conservative angle. And you know things have gone off the rails when O'Riley* becomes the unlikely voice of reason on Fox News.

*My phone spellcheck wanted to change 'O'Riley' to 'Orally')


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Update: there will now be investigations at the federal and state levels : http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/03 ... ned#update

It only took a forking month.


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