An open letter to George Zimmerman: Why I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt

An open letter to George Zimmerman: Why I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt

I have a theory about life. I believe that it is important for all of us to pursue our passions in life because if we don't channel our need for the highs & lows that life hands us into something we consider important then we start creating problems and drama just to feel as if we are living life to the fullest. I don't know if that is a real theory that exists in the world already and has a name and a whole religion attached to it, it's just what I believe. You know what furthers my belief in this theory?  Your actions, George Zimmerman. Because of this, I have decided to give you the benefit of the doubt. Let's discuss the situation logically, all feelings aside. Just the facts.

I don't know much about you aside from what I read on the internet. I don't like to read the news and form my opinions about stuff based upon what other people think, so I spent some time doing research on you, Trayvon Martin, and the entire situation, thinking that maybe after the investigation we'd have more information and be able to better understand what happened that night. However, the investigation hasn't happened yet.

The police in Florida are on record stating that you have an excellent record and are an upstanding citizen. In fact you were never even arrested or given a blood alcohol test. Travon Martin's dead body was given a blood alcohol & drug test, but you were not. And maybe if the police had done a background check they would've learned that you had been arrested in 2005 for suspicion of battery on a law enforcement officer, which would have informed them that your record is not squeaky clean. If the U.S. Justice Department hadn't decided to investigate the case then you would be able to go on with your life as if this never happened. Does that make sense to you, George Zimmerman?

If you truly believe in upholding the law, then why did you ignore the emergency dispatcher's instructions to not pursue the "suspect" and to just wait on the police? At this point we have all heard the audio where you were clearly told not to follow Trayvon Martin. Why did you disobey the dispatcher's orders and, most importantly, why did you bring your gun?

According to the Miami Herald, you "called the police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011 to report disturbances, break-ins, windows left open and other incidents." If you took your job as a neighborhood watchman so seriously, then why did you never join any of the Neighborhood Watch Organizations that are recognized by the National Sheriffs' Association? In fact, their Executive Director, Aaron D. Kennard, said this in a press statement:

"The alleged action of a 'self-appointed neighborhood watchman' last month in Sanford, FL significantly contradicts the principles of the Neighborhood Watch Program...NSA has no information indicating the community where the incident occurred has ever even registered with the NSA Neighborhood Watch program."

How can you explain this, George Zimmerman? You can't say that you did not know these organizations exist, you were once a Criminal Justice student, it is arguable that you know the law better than most citizens.

Also, I understand that you own a license to carry a weapon, but you violated the rules of Neighborhood Watch by following Trayvon Martin and confronting him while carrying a concealed weapon. That does not make you a defender of your community, it makes you a vigilante. Your claim of self-defense might have been credible if Trayvon Martin had not been 100 pounds lighter than you, 11 years younger than you, and had been armed with something more substantial than a bag of Skittles. I have created this image to put a visual to the scenario.

I guess my final concern lies with your self-defense claim that I mentioned earlier. The part that I have trouble understanding is how can it be self-defense when you are the one who pursued him? From what I've read, Florida has a self-defense law that gives you the right to protect yourself if you fear that you will be injured or killed. At what point in your confrontation after voluntarily chasing down an unarmed boy who was 100 pounds lighter than you did you feel as if your life was in danger?

I know you'll likely never read this blog, George Zimmerman, but that wasn't gonna stop me from writing it. You see, next year my teenaged nephew will be 17 years old. He is a black boy who enjoys iced tea and Skittles, like Trayvon Martin did. I have given you the benefit of the doubt and looked at this situation from a logical standpoint and I have decided that not only do I believe your actions were unjust, but that the world would be a better place without you in it. There is a special place in hell for people who kill children, and as long as someone like you is allowed to roam the streets freely then children everywhere are unsafe. Maybe if you had continued with your Criminal Justice courses then you could have ended up being more to the world than a blemish on the face of society. I would feel as if the world was a better place if you marched into a police station and said "Arrest me, book me, charge me. I deserve to be punished." But at this point I guess it's too late for that.

And even if you never get arrested and jailed for what you did, I can't help but feel like justice will be served in the end. Why? Because I have another theory about life...what goes around comes around.


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    I absolutely love your blog, but have never felt the need to comment until now. This is a great post that highlights the horrible injustice the Martin family has experienced. I like how you take the emotion out of it and come to a logical decision. I was upset when I originally heard the story, but then I heard the 911 call in which you can actually Trayvon screaming for help, and then the fatal gunshot :( It was awful. He was just an innocent kid, brutally murdered. So, so sad. Hopefully the grand jury’s decision in April will bring the family justice.
    Thanks again for this post. Keep doing what you do, Nikki!

  • I've posted this earlier on other comment boards and blogs.

    To begin, I'm a member of the NRA and a strong advocate of the 2nd amendment. My wife and I both hold concealed carry permits for most of the states that allow non-residents to train and register. Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth....
    1) Given the stand-your-ground law in Florida and the evidence that the news articles claim the police had at the time, arrest was not warranted.
    2) The police have referred the incident to the state's attorney office. This is very reasonable given the circumstances.
    3) The case will be heard by a grand jury next month.
    4) The public perception that gun rights advocates are trying to justify Zimmerman's actions is wrong.

    I can't think of a single class where an instructor has not taught us to remove ourselves from a situation and to shoot only when absolutely necessary. Yes, this includes the stand-your-ground states. Unless evidence proves otherwise, Zimmerman's actions are unconscionable and certainly illegal. I feel safe in speaking for the majority of permit holders when saying that Zimmerman should be prosecuted severely should evidence indicate that he had other reasonable choices. Hiding behind stand-your-ground as a defense for poor judgment has never, and should never be tolerated.

    Finally, Zimmerman not being arrested has little or no meaning at this point. If he did not act appropriately, stand-your-ground will not and should not protect him.

  • In reply to ChicagoAl2:

    You must not have read the statute, I for one looked it up. The statute says that the person who uses deadly force CANNOT be the initiator of the assault. Even if there was a fight and Trayvon was winning the fight and Mr. Zimmerman THEN felt that serious bodily harm or his life was in danger, HE could not use deadly force because he was the INITIATOR of the fight. You can't go around killing people just because you picked a fight and you end up getting your rear end kicked by a 17 year old kid.

    Please check it out and let me know. It Florida Statute Title XLVI, (I'm not giving you the chapter and sub paragraph, you can look it up as I did).

  • In reply to beangoode:

    Hello beangoode, I'll re-read the staute if you re-read my post in its entirety. The law is as you say that it is and I'm agreeing with you. Or a better way to put it is that you are agreeing with me.

  • In reply to ChicagoAl2:

    Thank you for the respectful comment. I agree on all points. From what I can comprehend, that law really applies to someone angrily confronting you or invading your home or family in a very aggressive manner. Zimmerman clearly made a mistake and should pay for it dearly. I feel sorry for this family to lose their young son in such a manner. His last moments must have been painful. Hopefully justice will come and ensure Zimmerman's days as a free man are over.

  • At the very least, the police should have taken Zimmerman's gun away until the investigation of the incident would be completed. This is the protocol for a law enforcement officer who has killed someone in the line of duty.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    We're talking FLORIDA, Doubting Thomas - full of swarthy, dangerous Cubans and nervous Hebrews.

    And they once elected a BUSH to be their 'governor.'

    We're NOT talking about educated people here.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    good point Aquinas.

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    "If you truly believe in upholding the law, then why did you ignore the emergency dispatcher's instructions to not pursue the "suspect" and to just wait on the police?"

    I would like to point out that this is pure rubbish. You could be in the process of actively being raped, and the dispatcher would tell you to not to fight back and to lay there and take it. You could call and tell them you are being robbed and they will tell you to give up your possessions. Hell, dispatch would tell you to actually help a home invader carry out your valuables from YOUR OWN HOME!

    No. Dispatch carries no weight in this conversation.

  • In reply to Cfp Guy:

    Please tell me you are kidding. The trained dispatcher is clearly qualified to tell any citizen not to approach someone that you think might be a criminal.

    And by the way, I believe some women are trained NOT to resist their attacker because they say it may save their lives, but it is a decision that the woman must make herself. I also like the way you so callously think rape is a subject you can just toss around so flippantly in your attempt to say exactly what I don't know. (please please detect sarcasm)!!!

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    In reply to Cfp Guy:

    What's your problem? You sound as paranoid and overly aggressive as that a-hole Zimmerman! I'm the mother of a retired police officer and former police dispatcher! What;s the source of your opinion of police dispatchers? This dispatcher was given Zimmerman direction based on the guidelines of neighborhood watchers limitations, They are not police personnel, therefore, they are not authorized to enforce the law or to stop citizens, or question them! They are "watchers" only! They are directed to watch and they report any questionable issues to the police. You can't get out of the safety of your car and pursue someone, then claim you are in fear of your life from an unarmed 17 year old kid who was walking away from you! Zimmerman is your typical "cop wannabe" who couldn't make it as a cop. Real cops can't stand clowns like Zimmerman. If his that scared of young black boys, he should surrender his gun, and not leave home without his mommy!~ We would all be safer if he did so!

  • In reply to Cfp Guy:

    Both scenarios referenced in your pure rubbish principle - actively being raped and being robbed - relate to victims ‘being’ under attack. No. Dispatch carries no weight in this conversation. Usually, reasonable individuals who truly believe in upholding the law, that are not ‘being ‘ attacked, have not witnessed a crime, are in their vehicle and can retreat from an attacker, and can even watch to see if they go through the property gate; Yes. Dispatch carries weight.

  • In reply to Cfp Guy:

    cfp guy is correct. it is not a law that you must follow the instructions of a dispatcher, so by not following the dispatcher's instructions, he violated common sense, but not the law. It was reckless. The insinuation in the article that this is a violation of law is false. However, I agree with the other conclusions of the author.

  • In reply to palehoze:

    I most certainly DID NOT insinuate that obeying dispatchers is a law, what I ACTUALLY said (if you ACTUALLY read the article) was "If you truly believe in upholding the law, then why did you ignore the emergency dispatcher's instructions to not pursue the "suspect" and to just wait on the police?" The police being...ya know...upholders of the law? I mean he called the police because he thought they could rectify a potentially hazardous situation right? He didn't call them to discuss fiscal solvency, he called because he felt it was a situation that warranted police involvement. yet he left his care WITH HIS GUN and pursued Trayvon on foot. The dispatcher told him that the police were on their way & that he shouldn't pursue Trayvon, he opted not to listen.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    "if you truly believe in upholding the law then why did you ignore the emergency dispatcher", sounds to me like a suggestion that ignoring the emergency dispatcher is a violation of the law. The problem isn't with me reading carefully, it is with your prose. As I stated, I agree with the rest of your article. Zimmerman should have listened to the dispatcher. The guy is a vigilante and I'm not buying that it was self defense.

  • This is a sad story all around. I am sure the the Million Hoodie March will do wonders to help. If all of the hoodie wearers would BURN their hoodies, and all vow to change urban black culture, which is a cancer upon America, then perhaps people would not be so threatened by constant criminal behavior as to feel the need to take the law into their own hands. Ms. Lynette, why don't you use your influence to push for positive change and insist that our President do the same?

  • In reply to GGagner:

    I'm sorry but I can not agree with this. "Urban Black Culture" seems to be a blanket term used by people who need something to blame for societies woes. I am a product of Urban Black Culture, I was raised in the hood around crackheads and drug dealers and violence, I just had the benefit of having a mom who worked to get us out of that environment. The true "cancer on America" is hidden racism and classism, it does far more harm. If you truly think that wearing hoodies is ruining America then it's difficult for me to take your perspective seriously, no offense.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    Very good point, I was raised in the projects myself and we moved to a different neighborhood. That did not stop all of the white people from moving out in less than two years. I deal with racism almost everyday. Let me say this, with this law on the books I will not travel to any state that carries it. The numbers are frightening. You can get shot dead over a conversation regarding the price of something you paid for. When you are dead, you cannot testify.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    Yat them girls wearing the vs pink hoodies are so scary and theres so many.

  • In reply to GGagner:

    Wow - please remember that in this situation, there was no 'constant criminal behavior', except on the part of George Zimmerman.

  • In reply to GGagner:

    All people from all walks of life wear hoodies, and especially joggers of all size and race. If all KKK's will burn their crosses, and hog ropes, and white cone hoods and white garmets, which is far worse than any cancer. Then maybe, just maybe everyone, white, black, yellow, red people will feel less threatened by images of any group! if is baffling when folks who come across as being superior, have the audacity to fear the minority when the so-called superior can pull off such psychological tacticts. Manipulate the law, and change it to benefit their cause, such as this case with Zimmerman against an innocent young African American child! For your prejudice remarks about all this and our President of today, you should had all previous Presidents push for positive change and racism before this incident and before our now President who is being pursued in another Psychological racist war by his opposition. I suggest you make a personal change within yourself first.

  • In reply to GGagner:

    Hoodies aren't the problem here.

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    In reply to GGagner:

    Are you kidding me? You're attributing this savage murder to "urban black culture"? I'm a dignified African-American senior citizen who has never worn a :"hoddie" and hates rap music, but I've been followed around in a store by white or foreign merchant who were watching me see if I'd shoplift something just because I'm black! Suffice it to say I took my business elsewhere. I teach people how to treat me, I won't shop where I',m not respected! The cause of this tragic crime is ignorance and racism, both on the part of the murderer and the police department that are covering for him as if they are his defense attornies!. The police are should to pursue the truth wherever it leads, not to side with the murderer because they identify with him rather than the victim.

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    In reply to GGagner:

    You're so right, GGagner. And hey, if all women would stop wearing slutty clothes and makeup and all get really fat, then men wouldn't feel the need to rape them, right? Oh, and if people would stop walking around with their wallet in their pocket, then nobody out there would be able to try to rob it off them!

  • Nice post, Nikki. I was discussing this case with my 13-year-old son today and I said, summing it up in a possibly unwarranted, mommish, feather-soothing way, "But honey, I'm sure justice will be done."

    He responded simply and sadly. "Justice can't undo murder."

    If wearing a hoodie is a sign of danger, corruption, and cultural cancer, our culture has gone off the rails. Wearing a hoodie while black and teen-aged cannot possibly justify the degree of suspicion required for a fatal gunshot in response.

  • Nikki, do you think there will be riots if found non-guilty...?

  • In reply to gwill:

    i hope not, this is just terrible all around.

  • This blog and its conclusion are accurate: justice will be served. Because the crime committed by George Z has happened too many times, because these stupid impulsive crimes receive such widespread exposure and outrage, because nearly all humans have some sort of conscience, because the vast majority of humans care about decency and dignity—justice will be served. George Z will do well to consult with an attorney who is a priest and psychiatrist to admit his impulsive power psychosis.

  • another well written blog. too bad he may never read it, and even worse is the idea that the law may actually support him in this case. what has me losing sleep (literally) is that the outrage seems to be mostly from the black community, which i'm at a loss to understand. while race surely played a significant factor, why aren't more people outraged at the fact that it is seemingly legal for an armed man to stalk and kill an unarmed person, in this case a black teenager.

    i'm not a pie-in-the-sky person but i'd truly hate to believe that people don't care because this poor dead boy happened to be black.

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    In reply to misterchi:

    Hi Misterchi,

    I was watching Current TV yesterday and there were a number of white people and people of other ethnic groups. The former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, posted a hoodie picture in an effort to show her support.
    You're absolutely right that we should all be outraged that there are laws on the books that give you the RIGHT to kill someone, because you "feel" threatened. But the difference here is, Zimmerman was immediately released and not even investigated. The police investigators were on HIS side and were misquoting the witnesses. Zimmerman stalked and confronted Trayvon Martin. However, when a 70 year old black man shoots a white man, after the white man had lunged at him (as is the case with Treavor Dooley and David James), the black man is fighting for his freedom, claiming self-defense and stand your ground - FROM BEHIND BARS... So I feel you in that laws like this are all around stupid - but you have to understand the increased frustration that develops when the legal pendulum seems to only swing in one direction - opposite the favor of African Americans.

  • Nikki, I sincerely hope you get this worked up about the Wichita Massacre, The Channon Christian/Chris Newsom murders, or the recent gasoline attack in New York, with the black perps saying "You get what you deserve, white boy". But I imagine that wouldn't fit your narrative.

    And sorry, a 17 year old, 6'2" football player is not a child anymore; especially when we have to worry about 12-year old shorties running around the hood with .22 snubnoses. Not to mention your thinly veiled desire for street retribution against Zimmerman.

  • In reply to Chenjesu:

    What is your point regarding the 17 year old, 6'2'' football player not being a child anymore? That has nothing to do with being shot and killed. He was walking through his community not being a threat to anyone and was approached by a complete stranger.

    I'm sure if it was your family member or friend you would be upset and disappointed in how this case is being handled. No one has the right to take anyone's life. That was not Zimmerman's job, nether was it a right in the cases you are using to make your point.

  • In reply to Chenjesu:

    I have no idea what you are implying by "I imagine that wouldn't fit your narrative." idea.

    I get worked up over any civil injustice. I hate the way illegal immigrants are handled, I hate the fact that gay people still don't have the right to marry, I hate that "minority" communities are not receiving comparable education when compared to non-minority communities, I take issue with all of it. Injustice for one group of people leaves room for injustice for us all, and if you can't understand that then there is nothing I can say to you until we are on the same level mentally.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    Great blog post Nikki. Anytime race is discussed, it is always a heated discussion. Always.

    I'm glad that you followed up with your reply on other acts that happen across this country that are wrong, not just for african americans, but for other minority groups and minority communities. It is equally as sad and disturbing.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    I think he's referring to the narrative that the MSM pushes; whites are BAD BAD BAD, and the blacks are wonderful. All the cases the above poster referenced were heinous ANTI-WHITE crimes committed by blacks. But the lousy national media won't touch them, and that's why most people have never heard of them. The fact that you could explicitly point out injustices against illegals, gays and minorities, but not explicitly point out injustices against whites, speaks volumes about where your true allegiences lie. If you can't see the double standard, you're either in denial or secretly glad it's happening.

  • In reply to darklord:

    I'm not gonna diginify a cry for attettion from someone who calls his/herself "darklord." I didn't explicitly say I'm pro- Straight White American so that means I'm pro-violence? Do you know that you sound dumb as hell? I swear people need to proof read their comments before they leave them, I just get sick of people sounding stupid as hell on MY blog's comment board

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    In reply to Chenjesu:

    I agree 100 % , I do not see anybody in Chicago, protesting or marching in regards to TEN people dead, one of which was a 6 yr. old girl who died in her Moms arms. In Chicago, they call it "gun violence". I call it Gangsta Terrorism. Domestic Terrorist's that are untouchable because of the Race Card! A Chicago Cop was attacked by a Gangsta and shot in the neck, nearly died from blood loss and has a bullet still in him, next to his spine. No Jesse Jackson, No Al Sharpton or any Civic Leaders calling for the "Everybody Killers" to be investigated by the Justice Dept. This kind of one sided protection and tolorance is only going to lead to more violence. We have a Black Culture of Gangsta Rap, that brags about Bust'n A Cap in a pig (cop). The Gangs need to be given an ultimatum... Lay down your guns or lay down your lives. Enough is enough, when you start killing kids and cops, I do not care what happens to you.

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    In reply to Dan Cox:

    Dan: several protests and programs are under way to stem violence that lead to those most recent and unfortunate deaths. That you have heard nothing of them doesn't mean it't not happening or that there isn't concern. It may be an indicator that you aren't in the loop or interested in doing the work of community activism and youth empowerment. That officer's death is unfortunate and ridiculous, but justice will be served in his case. I have no doubts about that. Will justice be served in Trayvon's case? That remains to be seen. Gangsta Rap is one aspect of Hip Hop and certainly not all there is to Black Culture. So I find that comment truly disturbing.

  • In reply to Dan Cox:

    It's hilarious how you stated "We have a Black culture of gangsta rap" when it is a documented fact that gangsta rap is mostly purchased by white kids. I do agree that the opportunist "black leaders" should speak up on both sides of the fence, but c'mon Dan. Sales of "gangsta rap" have been declining since 2001, most of the music on the radio is NOWHERE NEAR gangsta rap. If you don't believe me then go look at the Billboard charts. So I guess you'll have to go back to the drawing board and figure out another way to blame black culture for America's woes. But what do I know? I'm just a black rapper.

  • In Chicago Last weekend 45 minorities were shot. 10 of them killed. Most likely shot by other minorities. There is no outcry. The ministers have not said one word. Have you seen any press conferences from ANY black politician? No. Any words fron Jesse Jackson? yea right? They are all in the pockets of the gangs and are spineless. One hispanic shoots an unarmed black kid and everyone comes out of the woodwork to protest.

  • In reply to MarcusS:

    Let just pretend that we did not know their race. The problem lies in the fact that a man shoots an unarmed teen and police fail to thoroughly investigate the incident.

    Why is it ok for the police not to do their jobs?

    Why was it sufficient for them to take his word that it was self defense when he approached the "unarmed" black teen who happened to be walking home from the store with a can of iced tea and candy in his pocket.

  • In reply to MarcusS:

    There has been outcry, it just has not been national. There was outcry about the 6 year old girl that was shot for sure. But it's true, there was little national attention.

  • In reply to MarcusS:

    There was outcry, I for one, constantly speak out. Second, Jesse Jackson and his poverty pimp family never can stand up for me. They use whatever advantage they have to enrich their friends and family, but that is another blog. This case is horrific. A young man lost his life based on the rampant crime happening all over the country. Young black men are at risk, especially the ones who just happen to dress a certain way. This is sad.

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    In reply to MarcusS:

    I agree there absolutely needs to be work done and an outcry because that level of violence should be unfathomable, but it's not.
    If I may venture are you planning a rally? Written a letter? Spoke to your alderman, Called the Mayor office? Gone to the neighborhood to speak and assist these children? We as citizens of our fair city can not sit and wait on a response to come from the top down. We can call for action from the top down, but we must act from the bottom up as well.

  • George Z is victim too, a victim of a culture obsessed about petty street crime whist imperial powers commit war crimes against humanity in the name of vested interest and economic growth. Our gun laws, our legions of unqualified vigilantes are crimes of policy imposed on us by the same criminal mindset of imperial power—theft from and murder of the rightful owner standing between us and our lust for oil, land, gold and other illusive gratifications for our pending mortality. This culture of violence that we allow century after century has to stop now because our technology now will either destroy us or make life a meaningless caldron of fear, turmoil, sorrow and despair. If violence and force has become some sort of warped commodity, we need to pull it off the shelf, ASAP.

  • The worst part of this whole tragic story is that the Sanford police chief and his department did nothing to investigate the incident. They let the nutjob walk right out the front doors of police headquarters just because he claimed that it was he (Zimmerman) who feared for his life when he was pinning Trayvon to the ground and pulling the trigger to snatch Trayvons life away. Bad job accomplished chief Bill Lee!
    You hit the nail on the head Nikki...Karma: What goes around comes around.

  • On the other hand, this kid was seen on top of Zimmerman, punching him out. no doubt, self defense.

  • In reply to correcto:

    If a complete stranger, non-police officer is aggressively following me on the street, and confronts me about what I'm doing there, I reserve the right to defend myself. Just because Zimmerman couldn't hold his own in a fight he picked doesn't give him the right to murder the kid.

    Are you seriously suggesting that you can run up on a stranger and get in their face without expecting any potential retaliation?

  • In reply to correcto:

    When did it become OK to pull a gun in a fist fight? "Punching him out" in no way implies "attempting to murder him".

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    In reply to correcto:

    He was being actively stalked by a psychopath what do you expect him to do, pretend he's religious and play dumb victim?

    The pity is, he wasn't armed and then the zimmerman psycho would be dead and the good guy would still be alive.

  • The only problem, Nikki, there was a witness who saw Trayvon on top of Zimmerman beating him and saw Zimmerman crying for help. I understand you could care less about what really happened, but it's food for thought..

  • In reply to jimboster:

    So you're saying that Trayvon isn't allowed to fight back with his fists when stalked and confronted by a total stranger with no authority?

    If Zimmerman picked a fight and was getting his but kicked for it, then rightly so. That in no way justifies lethal force. This is a fist fight! Are you saying that if two high school students are fighting in the playground it would be justified if one pulled out a pistol and murdered the other?

  • In reply to jimboster:

    that's interesting. a 160 pound kid managed to get on top of the 250 pound guy and basically beat him up. but then this 250 pound guy got free, got to his gun (which he couldn't have done earlier for some reason) and shot the kid in the chest. ok...if that's what happened.

    but the 250 pound guy wouldn't have gotten beaten up if he hadn't started stalking the 160 pound guy (who might also still be alive).

    additionally, if that is what happened, then the "no retreat" law STILL doesn't apply because the 250 pound guy initiated and instigated the incident, which, even if he were a police officer, which he isn't, would NOT pass the deadly force test.

    so, if that's the neighbor's story, i'm glad trayvon at least whooped that fool's ass before he killed him. neighborhoodie watch that.

  • In reply to misterchi:

    The law only says that you are not required to 'retreat'. It doesnt say that you cant follow, cant follow from a safe distance or maintain a visual on someone. Im not sticking up for this dude, but you should leave the police work up to the police.

  • In reply to Cityguy:

    These particular police have a terrible record when it comes to favoritism. There are multiple cases where officers' sons and volunteers at the department have been let off, or not investigated at all, for assaults and killings.

  • In reply to Cityguy:

    trayvon's parents tried leaving the police work up to the police and here's what it got them:
    -an unsecured crime scene
    -an incomplete interview of the shooter (no blood test to determine bac or drug use)
    nearly a month later and what should be a simple investigation given the fact that there are multiple eyewitnesses including 911 tapes, and there still hasn't been any progress made.

    additionally, to the "stand your ground" law (as i mislabeled it in my earlier comment), it is not applicable in the instance that you pursue someone else. in this instance, mr. zimmerman became the aggressor.

    your reaction is exactly why people are angry and upset. the situation, if handled correctly by police in the first place, could very easily been investigated and brought to resolution. we wouldn't be having this discussion and trayvon would be just another black kid killed before he turned 18. but, regardless of whether mr. zimmerman is ultimately absolved of guilt (which is a possibility), the problem that mr. zimmerman caused has been exponentially exacerbated by those same police you want us to trust to do their jobs.

  • In reply to jimboster:

    "I understand you could care less about what really happened." Really? You don't know me, I'm just some music chick with a blog to you, so keep your assumptions to yourself. I didn't mention racial motivation one time in this blog because I haven't found any tangible proof that Zimmerman might be racist other than hearsay from his neighbors. I'm objective. And I wish Trayvon had been able to get on top of him and actually beat his ass, that way this whole thing would be a case of a teen being in trouble for whooping an armed adults ass instead of a case of him being murdered and the person who shot him not being charged.

  • and in other news...

  • I have no beliefs either way. I listened to the tapes. I have never heard either persons voice before. I cannot tell who was yelling for help.
    The Police report states that Zimmerman was yelling for help. Also that he was bleeding on the back of his head and that he claimed he was 'jumped'. If the ballistics show that he was on the ground and fired up into the kid, then things might be different. I wasnt there.
    Unfortunately, without all the facts, everyone else has figured Zimmerman was the bad guy, based on 'statements' that are either hearsay and may not even fit the timeline for all anyone knows. Heck, they say they heard a slang term and I couldnt hear it and I listened to the tape about 20 times.
    But for now, the only thing that I am assured of, is that Trayvons parents are Racists. They say 'they know' how a white kid would be treated differently. And nobody knows. They can guess all they want. It may even be correct, but to say they know shows their racist ignorance because they continue to slander 'white' people, police and anyone else, without knowing any facts.

  • In reply to Cityguy:

    Does it really matter who was winning the fist fight? You don't bring a gun to a fist fight! Getting slugged in the nose does not mean your life is in danger! What is wrong with you people? Have you ever been in a bare-hands, physical altercation before? If so, do you think that you or the other person deserved to die over it?

  • Hey Nikki! this guy was arrested some years back for resisting arrest. Ironic huh?

  • In reply to Evan Moore:

    LoL. Fortunately for him he didn't even have to resist this time, they just let him go free.

  • Zimmerman is screwed.

    From what I know (admittedly not much more than the rest of the liberal mob), if I were on a jury I would vote to acquit.

    I listened to the tapes. Zimmerman sounded tentative and a bit afraid. He wanted the police to meet with him as quickly as possible. He also mentioned that the black dude was staring at him, and then said the dude was approaching his SUV.

    Zimmerman should have stayed in his vehicle. He apparently wanted to track the dude until the police arrived, but he could not maneuver his vehicle down the narrow footpaths behind the homes. I don't think Zimmerman was looking for a confrontation.

    He started to follow the dude on foot. The black dude, at 6' tall, had 3 inches in height on Zimmerman, and being younger and thinner than Zimmerman, was in better physical shape. The black dude, as reckless as Zimmerman was dumb, probably turned on Zimmerman so as to teach the "cracker" a session. What the black dude did not take into account was that the cracker had a weapon and was slow-witted enough to use it.

    It has been stated that Zimmerman has been in trouble with the law. The black dude was serving a week suspension from high school at the time, so I don't think he was a future Rhodes scholar either.

    The real problem is the sea of guns afloat in the US. But on that score the cat has long been out of the bag, and there is not much anyone can do about it. Whites think most blacks have illegal access to guns, so they push legislation to give them legal access to guns "to protect themselves."

    Nevertheless, Zimmerman is screwed. He is a dumb guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was carrying a gun.

    And so it goes ...

  • In reply to don’t use my name:

    Interesting..... I'm a member of the NRA, 2nd amendment proponent and have concealed carry permits for a number of states (including Florida) and I would have no problem convicting this guy. Stand your Ground is in place to protect the innocent in situations where deadly force is the last option. I haven't read one single thing to show that Zimmerman didn't have other options. Personally, if I were on the jury, I would not let him hide behind stand-your-ground.

  • In reply to don’t use my name:

    "The black dude, as reckless as Zimmerman was dumb, probably turned on Zimmerman so as to teach the "cracker" a session."

    So you're making up details of the story now? Do you know how stupid this sounds? You actually felt comfortable putting words in the mouth of a dead teenager? But you think you are in the position to call Zimmerman dumb?

    Damn that's stupid. Wow. That's just idiocy right there, you have amazed me.

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    İ have been following this case from turkey and befor moving hear i lived in tampa fl and this case has gottin out of control İ dont believe that zemmermin is a real bad person but like alot of people he has made a grave mistake and has to pay for the mistake. no one has the right to confront anyone if a crime has not accord walking with your hoddie on in the rain is what a hoddie is made for, dispatchers are the line between life and death and why do you call them if you dont really on them to give you the right answers and dispatchers have a good sence of the law this guy made a disscision to take the law into his own hands and like alot of wannaby cops he did the wrong thing and killed a child, the dispacher cleary asked are you following him and he said yes dispatcher WE DONT NEED FOR YOU TO DO THAT at this point the child was being stalked witch in the USA is a crime called stalking the police are hideing something or refuse to act for some thing that thay are not telling the public maby that a narcotics officer did the investigation not a qualified homicide officer that would have asked the right questions, in the end all the smoke will clear and zimmermin will face jail but then the trure court battle will begine and dont be suprised if he gets off FLORİDA is a state that rather but away a j walker rather then a murder.

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    Zimmerman is just another psychopath, he was prowling the streets looking for a victim. He is a stalker and a criminal.

    He needs to be executed as the feral animal he is.

  • Listen, nobody here was on the actual scene. Everyone can play monday morning quarterback all day long, without knowing the "actual" facts. What you know, is what the news media keeps harping on, what "they" let you hear. I am not defending anyone in this case, because I was not there. Was Zimmerman wrong? maybe, did he go beyond his civil duties? maybe. But no one knows exactly when the gun was actually brandished. Maybe, and this is playing devil's advocate, maybe it fell out of his pants during the struggle, and maybe they both went for the gun once it fell. Then in that case, either one can be in "fear for their life". Regardless of who was the owner of the gun, since he is legally allowed to carry a firearm for whatever reason he might have wanted to. Let the facts come out, and the case be investigated before you judge. Sad to hear that just because its involving two members of different races, it automatically becomes a race issue. Regardless what happens, no one knows the truth, except Zimmerman, and Trayvon.

  • In reply to Me1234:

    as you say, no one was there but Zimmerman and Trayvon so how do you know.

    However, one thing that WE ALL KNOW is that this 17yr old boy was crying for help and was shot to death!

    You have a good day.

  • In reply to anneefan68:

    UMMM... that was the point of my response if you failed to understand. That I do not know and neither do you, nor anyone judging or placing blame. I will have a good day, and so should you.

  • Nikki Lynette,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. This was a terrible loss to the african american community. I am a mother of three young african american males, ages 23, 21 and 14. That could have been one of them and I could just imagine what Trayvon's parents are going through.
    My heart aches for Trayvon and I don't know him, but I know that I too have three "black boys" that is a target to racial injustice.
    I pray that this could one day be put aside so the common good. However, it never will! I work in an office and I am the only black and I experience the fact that I am"black" all the time. My spirit can feel the bias decisions being made, and laugh to myself and wonder if they will ever change. The answer is NO! We have to stand up as a people and not settle for the racial injustices that still seem to linger on across the United States.

    Once again, thanks for your blog.

    By the way, Mr. Zimmerman should be ashamed of himself and if he has children, turn himself in for what he has done.

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    you know you are right we the public in the great city of chicago were not there İ am in Turkey. but if you are in the right and have nothing to hide then why is zimmermin hideing and why not come out and tell your side (zimmermin) and to your devils advocate dream of a struggle for a gun if you have been watching the police have said that zimmerman said he never lost control of his gun Dream on twilight zone he is as guilty as sin witch is what he did shooting an unarmed child with SKİDDLES in his hand.

  • Keep in mind I'm responding out of disgust for the situation and not directing this toward anyone person directly. I'm no lawyer; I just love to research and facts.

    The 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights within the U.S. Constitution is as follows:

    "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    A Militia, according to Merriam-Webster and referred to within this Amendment, is essentially military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.

    The so-called "Stand-Your-Ground" law is in reference to Florida Law Title XLVI (26) Crimes, Chapter 776 Justifiable Use of Force.

    Let's exclude the news article claims for now and consider actual evidence that anyone with reasonable hearing ability and English comprehension can understand – the actual 9-1-1 recordings of the call made by Zimmerman himself. Immediately after confirming the actions of Zimmerman, a 9-1-1 operator explicitly told Zimmerman, who was in possession of a gun while driving in a car at the time of the call, to NOT pursue Trayvon, who was on foot on a sidewalk in the rain, and whom Zimmerman himself deemed and clearly stated looked "suspicious" based on what clothes Trayvon was wearing. Stand-Your-Ground is eliminated when you completely ignore authorities. Therefore, Zimmerman is being labeled as a vigilante since he took the law into his own hands. His actions were clearly unconscionable.

    Having a right to carry a gun does not make you an authority over the law. I myself am not a gun owner, but I do believe that people have a right to protect themselves. I also believe that proponents of gun possession laws twist the meaning of those laws to skirt personal responsibility when met with the liability of guilt.

    During other 9-1-1 calls made by neighbors and witnesses, you could hear the screaming and the gun shot.

    Let's think about this: You're in your own vehicle, assume a stranger on foot looks suspicious, open your window to talk to them, call police, tell them you see someone suspicious, describe their clothing, admit you're following them, say to police that the person is coming toward you, yet you get out of your vehicle to confront them. That makes no sense. Why not just drive off to avoid confrontation? How threatened can you be if you initiate interrogation with someone you don’t know while possessing a gun?

    Not trying to be funny, but this sounds like the actors in a scary movie that see ominous danger and chooses to investigate their demise out of curiosity instead of eluding it altogether.

    The fact that he wasn't arrested has a lot of meaning and is very relevant. He shot and killed someone; this situation is not trivial, it is a violent crime. The fact that he was not taken into custody even to further investigate Zimmerman's reasoning behind killing a 17-year old child is baffling and unfair to those who have loved ones in jail or deceased because of acts of violence while propagating that the law precludes one from being accountable for and attesting to their actions under the law.


  • In reply to researchGeek:

    You wrote - I also believe that proponents of gun possession laws twist the meaning of those laws to skirt personal responsibility when met with the liability of guilt.

    As I've written previously in this blog, I'm a member of the NRA, 2nd amendment proponent and have concealed carry permits for a number of states (including Florida) and I would have no problem convicting this guy. Your 'belief' does not support the facts.

  • In reply to ChicagoAl2:

    LOL, sorry. I thought I corrected that before I posted it. I believe most gun possession proponents adhere to their personal responsibilities in accordance with the laws; from your response I would assume you do as well. However, to use "self-defense" as an excuse to skirt personal responsibility when met with the liability of guilt is simply unfair and unjust. Any claim of "self defense" should be investigated and proven - not taken at someone's word.

    Having a gun for protecting yourself, family, and for hunting game if you so choose is okay with me. It's when you possess a gun to express your bravado and inflate your ego, thinking you're tougher and thinking you can command respect simply because you possess a gun is where there is a problem.

  • In reply to researchGeek:

    You donot know what happened, so you have no right to call it a violent crime. It was an unfortunate event, thats all thus far. And I wish people would quit referring to Travon as a child, like he's 9 yrs old and frail an innocent. He was larger than an average American Male adult out at 10:30 at night with a hoodie on. Had he had an umbrella (since it was raining) or been walking a family dog, I guarentee you GZ wouldve had no suspicions about him. And yes, a hoodie has a stigma attached to it.

  • use "self-defense" as an excuse to skirt personal responsibility when met with the liability of guilt is simply unfair and unjust. Any claim of "self defense" should be investigated and proven - not taken at someone's word.


    .....when you possess a gun to express your bravado and inflate your ego, thinking you're tougher and thinking you can command respect simply because you possess a gun is where there is a problem.

    Agree. But let me add that in my experience, Zimmerman is the exception and not the rule. It might be hard to contemplate given the tragic circumstances but the overwhelming majority of permit holders don't carry to be involved in situations, we carry to simply be left alone.

  • I thought you really were keeping an open mind. I do not believe Zimmerman is without guilt in this terrible tragedy. When Trayvon was bashing in Zimmerman's brains and nobody was helping to get him off, at what point is he allowed to use dealy force? Only in his own last dying breath? I base this view on the recently released interview of the only eye witness that I am aware of:

  • In reply to visteo:

    Pursuing someone that you think may be up to no good is the job of the police. The law and training are very specific when it comes to deadly force and stand-your-ground. From what I've read, Zimmerman was the aggressor. As I've written before, if the evidence doesn't show otherwise, stand-your-ground is NOT a defense. But the legal hurdle that Zimmerman must overcome is why he decided to pursue.

  • In reply to ChicagoAl2:

    BUT, its not illegal!!!! Perhaps bad judgement, but legal none the less. Nothing GZ did was illegal.

  • Well said. I have never read your blog before but when it appeared on the 20 most read entries, I had to check this one out.

    I think you have Zimmerman pegged. Your research and well written article lead to an easy conclusion. And I agree. The world doesn't need armed vigilante "wanna-be-but-never-will-be-a-cop" citizens like this guy. You went at this with an open mind and considered the facts logically...only one conclusion can really be drawn from what you have found out....

    My prayers and heart go out to Trayvon's family. As a mother, I cannot imagine this happening to my son. Trayvon's life wasn't the only one ended by that bullet.... So needless and so sad :(

    My prayers are also for your nephew. I pray he never encounters anyone remotely like Zimmerman.

    You have a new fan in this 30-something-mother-of-two-white-police-woman. Thank you.

  • Looking at Trayvon's beautiful face in the pictures we see online, it's hard not to shed tears for the loss of this precious man's life. At the same time, a balanced view should also take into account the effects of his life on others. Granted the agony of Trayvon's parents, but what about the agony of the people that Trayvon negatively affected at school and the larger community through theft, (robbery?), and other criminal activity?

    If Trayvon's life is not to be wasted, then people shouldn't look to immediately blame George Zimmerman (who was risking his life to protect his community), or the Republicans, or the tea party people, or anyone else, they should really look in their own backyard and ask if they're truly interested in creating a safe and lawful community for us all. In doing so, they should do everything possible to hold people like Trayvon accountable to uphold those laws.

    Why was Mr. Zimmerman working on a community watch in the first place? Because he was attempting to protect his community from people just like Trayvon Martin, people who are unconcerned about the pain that they bring to other people's live. Until you realistically address the pain of these real innocents, then this type of situation will recur again and again.

  • Hmmm, Its not illegal to approach someone, Its not illegal to ask them what theyre doing, Its not illegal to carry a handgun on neighborhood watch if you have a permit and its not illegal to disregard a police dispatchers suggestion. Did GZ use bad judgement? Maybe, possibly, I wasnt there and dont know the specifics of what unfolded. Perhaps TM felt threatened by a guy in a car following him, who knows. All I know is that everything GZ did up to the point before actually engaging TM was not illegal. None of us knows what transpired between the two. Liberals are all the same, you think and react with your heart and not with your mind. I firmly believe GZ used poor judgement at some point that night. But to call him a murderer without knowing anything that happened just because the kid was black is plain stupid. I guess no one saw the recent story of how two Hispanic Police officers in LA beat a 37 yr old white man to death? And it was all caught on video!!! Wheres Al Sharpton on that one? Oh, it was a cracker that died, no biggie. TM was anywher in the realm of 6'-6'1" tall and 160-170lbs. Thats larger than the average adult male in America!! So to say that GZ knew without doubt the age of TM and that he shouldve been able to man-handle him is silly rhetoric. When 17, I was 6'2" 174lbs and could handle just about anything someone my size or smaller threw at me. By 19 I was already an ametuer boxing champ! I dont know TM's personal abilities or background, but to paint a picture of what he was with absolutely no facts to incriminate GZ is no more than a modern day lynch mob mentality! Shame on all of you.

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