The Obligatory Post-Zimmerman Verdict Post

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

You can’t improve on the classics.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    Best post-trial post on the internet. I worry about the safety of the jurors, and have been keeping them especially in my prayers.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Yep. Me too. I think Zimmerman was a paranoid idiot and Trayon a young punk who didn’t know what to do when confronted by a criminal with a gun. But I pray for the jurors and Zimmerman’s family and Trayon’s soul.

  • MaryRoseM

    This is a very tragic situation; like many that occur every single day and that do not get National attention. Both Zimmerman and Martin made decisions that ultimately lead to Martin’s tragic death. I am certain Zimmerman has gone over in his mind many times, “if only I had listened and not followed him”. We can only speculate that Martin was the aggressor and think “if only he had kept walking”. People are protesting and being angry with the verdict when they don’t comprehend from a legal perspective what is considered a crime and what is not. Of course the comments made by President Obama, Eric Holder and others who are dissatisfied with the outcome only adds fuel to the fire. Comments from the black community that say that justice was not served only reveal their very own racial prejudices. Don’t they realize that?

    • Stu

      “if only I had listened and not followed him”

      ————————
      That’s the thing. He did listen. When the police dispatcher suggested that Zimmerman need not follow Martin. He replied, “Okay.”

      The notion that Zimmerman didn’t follow the instructions of the police is a myth. (Further, a police dispatcher is not the police and can’t “order” you to do anything anyway.)

    • wlinden

      I recall that when Nixon said that Manson was “guilty”, he was greeted by an enraged chorus of “How DARE he interfere in a trial?”

      Clearly, what the federal executive is entitled to do and say depends on whose ox is gored.

  • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

    Mark, this post is irresponsible. You are hereby ordered to get in line and give an almost completely uninformed opinion about the incident and the people involved.

    • wlinden

      And if you don’t give us the answer we want, we will browbeat you until you do. This is the established procedure, as it is when someone asks “Whoyatvotinfor?”

  • ivan_the_mad

    It is shameful how so many have treated one man’s death and another man’s life as mere means to an end, in the advance of a narrative or other self interest or as a proxy political war. There should be no triumphant vindication or vindictive anger felt by the public reflective of which way they judged the case nearly a priori. There should be prayers in abundance for a family that has lost their son and a man who will have a hard road ahead.

    This is why justice is entrusted to the courts and to the juries, not a mob in a rush to rash judgement.

    May there be no more killing.

  • entonces_99

    Theodore Seeber: What’s your evidence that Martin was confronted by Zimmerman, rather than the other way around? Or that Zimmerman was a criminal at any time before he fired the shot?

    • Robert Harris

      It’s a well-documented fact that Zimmerman was instructed on the phone not to follow Martin. He may not have harmed Martin or even overtly threatened him, but he used his own judgment and this is where we are now because of it.

      That said, why should Martin have assumed that Zimmerman wasn’t some crazy or worse when he was being followed in the dark? Did Zimmerman announce himself and proceed to dialogue with Martin or did he simply approach him?

      As for Zimmerman being a criminal before he fired the shot, he had multiple violence-related felony charges in multiple cases dropped and he’s still thought by some of his family and former acquaintances to be abusive and hot-headed. He was fired from his job as a bouncer for being too aggressive with patrons of the establishment. Was he technically a criminal before firing that shot? No. Was he an insubordinate, angry, untrustworthy guy before firing that shot? I’ll leave you to consider the facts stated above so you can answer that question for yourself.

      • paulzummo

        It’s a well-documented fact that Zimmerman was instructed on the phone not to follow Martin.

        For a well-documented “fact,” it’s actually not true. Zimmerman was informing the call dispatcher of what Martin was doing, at which point the dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following Martin. When Zimmerman indicated he was, the dispatcher said “we don’t need you to do that.” He was not told not to follow Martin, though Zimmerman responded “okay” as if to indicate that he would no longer be following Martin.

        He may not have harmed Martin or even overtly threatened him, but he used his own judgment and this is where we are now because of it.

        So even though he didn’t actually threaten Martin or provoke the confrontation, Zimmerman is solely culpable here? How about the hot-headed teenager who had ample opportunity to simply walk home, but who instead chose to provoke a physical altercation?

        Will Saletan at Slate has a pretty good article that you should read. Saletan shared many of your opinions, but then actually did a little bit more digging and listened to the evidence being offered at trial. Saletan doesn’t exactly exonerate Zimmerman, but at least he had the decency to investigate matters further.

        • John Schaefer

          The Saletan piece is a good read. I’m not sure though that because Zimmerman said “okay” when he was told that “don’t need you to do that” means that he didn’t continue to follow Martin. Unfortunately, since the one party is dead, we are getting one version, linked by some other events, like the phone call to 911.

          Saletan refers to Zimmerman as a “reckless fool”, and I would agree with that assessment. That is not to say that Martin wasn’t hot headed, and didn’t make mistakes. He did. They did. It is horribly unfortunate, and tragic.

          • Stu

            If you listen to the 911 call, Zimmerman’s breathing begins to return to normal after saying “Okay.”

            There is no reason to believe that Zimmerman continued in following Martin.

            • Dan C

              Respiratory rates will provide evidence for you?

              How about: we have no other story to go on, and in this community in America, the survivor’s story triumphs. Done.

              • Stu

                In context, yes it is evidence. It’s part of the recording.

                How about we talk about the facts of the case and attempt to put the puzzle together from them? I think that a far better standard. You?

                • Dan C

                  An analysis of a meaning of what one perceives as potentially an audible change in respiratory rate is analysis, not evidence.

                  There are few facts, little uncontrovertible evidence. We have a story that seems to be that the neighborhood watch identified someone who they thought fit a description of someone who was causing trouble in their neighborhood (what exactly was that description?). The neighborhood watch man followed him. A fight broke out, most likely initiated by Martin. Zimmerman was losing the fight and shot Martin.

                  So so much is wrong with the story, not in a sense of “holes” or “lies” just…wrong.

                  • Stu

                    The tape and sounds contained are evidence. How you piece all of the evidence together is analysis. But that is how we piece together the events whether it is crime or an aviation accident.

                    Now you can assert that things are wrong with the story and I will certainly give you an ear, but I won’t give much credence if you don’t back it up with the evidence that has been presented or reasonable analysis thereof.

                    • Dan C

                      Pursuing an analysis of whether Z turned back or not based on a recorded phone conversation analyzing the respiratory rates, well that is well beyond a believable analysis.

                      In short, it is incredible. Not a credible conclusion.

                    • Stu

                      You are free to use the evidence to support an alternate account instead of making general statements about only survivors accounts being believed and implications of racism.

            • John Schaefer

              Regardless of whether or not he heeded the recommendation from 911 operator, he did get out of the vehicle, and did follow Martin. As opposed to just calling 911 and letting police handle, he chose poorly…

              • Stu

                Perhaps. But did he do anything criminal or negligent? The answer is “no.” As a citizen, you are free to get out of your car and check into what you believe is something suspicious. Where the bad headwork might come into play is doing so while armed.

                Just to be clear, the police dispatcher suggesting that Zimmerman need not follow Martin came after Zimmerman had exited the vehicle.

                • John Schaefer

                  Based on the evidence, and the lack of the other witness (Martin), the jury reached the right conclusion on 2nd degree murder. But, it is irrelevant when the call to 911 happened, or if his breathing changed. If he had previously exited, or exited after the fact does not matter. Fact of the matter is, he did exit and follow Martin on foot. You can see from the map following the link and the timing of the activities as Zimmerman portrayed them to police.

                  He SHOULD have called it in and backed off. But, he apparently likened himself to a junior G man and wanted to stake it out on his own. By following, at whatever point, he lit the fuse of the situation. I stand by my opinion….reckless fool.

                  http://www.hlntv.com/interactive/2013/06/17/zimmerman-trayvon-map-interactive

                  • Stu

                    Fact remains, Zimmerman did not break any laws in exiting his vehicle. Was it wise for him to do so? In retrospect it is very easy to say “no.” Further, as one who carries concealed I would not have exited my vehicle in such a situation.

                    But even if we want to characterize Zimmerman’s actions as reckless, similarly reckless are those of Martin. It is completely unwise to walk up close to the homes of people you don’t know in a neighborhood where you don’t live. That causes suspicion. It was unwise for Martin to come back to the scene. If he felt threatened, he should have ran away and/or called 911 on his cell phone instead of his girlfriend.

                    And I bring up the breathing and 911 transcripts (all actual evidence in the case) because as we have seen here there is a myth that Zimmerman was “told to stay in his car by the police and he disobeyed that order) which is simply false. Part of attempting to come to the proper conclusion on something is actually setting an accurate accounting of what happened. I can’t see why anyone would disagree with that.

                    • John Schaefer

                      Stu, I said earlier that Martin made mistakes, too. Martin should have left and went back to his father’s house. But, he was apparently angry about being followed.

                      As for Zimmerman, you just never know who you are dealing with on a dark, rainy night…yet alone in the sunlight. I’ve walked through dark neighborhoods before, but always try to stay in the light. Because, you NEVER know.

                      Further, I never said that Zimmerman broke any laws in exiting his vehicle. If he was that concerned about someone walking through his neighborhood and putting his hand in his waistband like he was concealing something, he should have let the police handle it. It is foolish to follow someone whom you believe may be carrying something suspicious in their waist band.

                      While not guilty of second degree murder, he is morally guilty of killing a man. He’ll have to live with that the rest of his life. And yes, he still is a reckless fool.

                    • Stu

                      “Morally guilty?”
                      I don’t believe either of us are in a position to say that. Too much mind reading is required and I certainly don’t have such skills.

                      I can also speak to specific decisions as being “good” or “bad” and on that we have much agreement, but the motivations also are simply not part of my vision.

                    • John Schaefer

                      I’m not reading his mind – as I don’t know his true motivations. But, he followed him, and he killed him. Thou shalt not kill. Criminally not guilty, because of reasonable doubt. Morally wrong. Unless I am misinterpreting the 10 Commandments, and the basis of most Western Law, I would say that I am quite allowed to make that judgement.

                      On another note, what is truly troublesome in all of this, is that all of the evidence is based on Zimmerman’s account. Because Martin is dead, there is no evidence to either support, or contradict what Zimmerman said what happened. There is the girlfriend who proved to be a terrible witness. He SAID that he wasn’t following him, or he said “okay” to the dispatcher doesn’t mean that he didn’t continue to follow. It’s just his word. You can believe that if you would like, but he obviously had reason(s) to say that.

                    • Stu

                      It’s “Thou shall not murder.” Taking a life in defense of your own is morally acceptable. That’s why knowing his heart and mind in this matters because as far the law goes this meets the criteria of self defense.

                      As to the evidence, the point is that what is available, to include the 911 call, eyewitness account and forensics all support Zimmerman’s account. You can’t use a presumption of lying without reason to support the presumption. If he is lying, he is either an incredibly smart mastermind or “crazy lucky” that multiple investigators couldn’t pull apart his story. I think both such possibilities are very unlikely.

                    • John Schaefer

                      Funny, Stu. Because every time I have seen the 10 Commandments it is “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, or “You Shall Not Kill”. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm Thou shalt not murder introduces reasoning into the equation, and would make the death penalty and abortion acceptable. We both know they are not.

                      As to a presumption of lying… it is not about lying. It is a presumption of self interest on behalf of Zimmerman. That is human nature, and should be expected. Why would he give up information that may incriminate himself?

                      Further, what about how the jury was instructed to think about the verdict? “The judge told the jurors that the prosecution had to prove that the
                      killing was not self-defense. This meant that the prosecution had to
                      prove that Martin was not the attacker—very hard to do, since Martin was
                      dead and no one besides Zimmerman saw the fight begin.”

                      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/07/george_zimmerman_and_self_defense_why_it_was_too_easy_for_him_to_get_off.html

                      So, we have a jury that is instructed that the prosecution has to prove that it wasn’t self defense. The only other witness is dead. The living witness is certainly wishing to avoid jail time. I think it’s a fair bet that we can say that Zimmerman had some self interest involved.

                    • Stu

                      Yes, you do see “kill” but the original meaning is indeed “murder.” Even the word “kill” meant something different during the era of the KJV. Otherwise, with your reading of it, to take a life for reasons of self-defense, or the defense of others is a sin. Is that what you are saying?

                      Does Zimmerman have self-interest? Sure. So does the prosecution. That’s why we stick to the evidence presented.

                    • John Schaefer

                      Stu, you are wrong. It is KILL. NOT murder. The Church is against state ordered MURDER – the Death Penalty. The Church is against abortion. You are twisting KILL and MURDER to suit your argument. It is flawed.

                      And, yes the prosecution has self interest, too. But, it goes to the fact that there was ONLY one side to the story. Zimmerman’s account.

                      The verdict was not guilty – because of reasonable doubt. The verdict wasn’t that he was innocent.

                    • Stu

                      John,

                      You are simply mistaken. The Church is not against Capital Punishment in principal but rather argues that it is not needed.

                      CCC2267 is applicable. Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

                      If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

                      Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”68

                      CCC2263 speaks of legitimate self defense: The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.

                    • wlinden

                      I understand that the Hebrew word is the one that means “murder”.
                      What you have seen “every time” is not evidence. After all, most of us were probably taught that “In the Middle Ages, everyone believe the world was flat.”

                    • John Schaefer

                      The Catechism of the Catholic Church: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm

                      The Church apparently hasn’t changed the wording then.

                    • Stu

                      But it does explain how it uses the word “kill” and it does not include self-defense or capital punishment.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Actually, I was originally saying that Martin was at least partially culpable- for not following the orders of a man with a gun.

      • entonces_99

        That said, why should Martin have assumed that Zimmerman wasn’t some crazy or worse when he was being followed in the dark? Did Zimmerman announce himself and proceed to dialogue with Martin or did he simply approach him

        Martin was perfectly entitled to be wary when he saw he was being followed by a strange man at night with almost no one around. What he wasn’t entitled to do was, on the basis of nothing more than his suspicions, start whaling on Zimmerman. If you find this difficult to grasp, try switching the colors: if a 17-year-old, 185-pound, 5-foot 11-inch white kid was walking through the ‘hood, and a big black guy saw him and thought the white guy might be up to no good and started following him to find out, while the white kid might think, “OMG, big scary black guy,” he would have absolutely no right to use that as an excuse to jump the black guy, punch him in (and possibly break) his nose, knock him to the ground, and start pummeling him, MMA-style. If the cops came upon him doing that, you can be sure he’d be charged with aggravated assault–if not for a hate crime–and for murder if he killed the guy. If the black guy was fortunately to be armed, and pulled out his gun and shot his assailant, I can’t imagine any jury in the country convicting him. Most people would think the racist punk picked the wrong black guy to pick on, and got what he was asking for.

        • wlinden

          But that would be DIFFERENT. Because… because….ahhh, you’re a racist!

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I’m saying it doesn’t matter who Zimmerman was- other than the fact he had a gun. If a crazed serial killer kidnaps you at gunpoint, the safest thing you can do is *follow orders* until and unless you have a reasonable opening of distraction. If a cop points his gun at you and yells “freeze” you freeze, not because he’s a cop, but because he has a GUN POINTED AT YOU.

      This isn’t rocket science!

      • Imp the Vladaler

        I’m pretty sure that the advice given to women who are facing kidnapping or rape is to struggle and do whatever you have to do to get away, and by all means don’t get in his car.

        Not that this necessarily has anything to do with the Martin-Zimmerman incident.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          I’ve heard this so often that I decided to google “criminal” “weapon” and “don’t resist”.

          of course I found this first:
          http://thompsonjustice.com/iowa-criminal-lawyer-procedure/if-stopped-by-the-police/

          Which is what to do if you are stopped by the police, even if you are innocent.

          And then there is this:

          http://www.seattle.gov/spd/publications/Prevention/Brochure_Personal.pdf

          Only if you are grabbed do you fight. If there is a weapon involved, DON’T RESIST!

          • Imp the Vladaler

            Resisting the police? Bad move.

            The other link is about theft. Yeah, your wallet or wristwatch isn’t worth your life. But as soon as there’s a physical capture, you resist.

            • Stu

              There are ways to “resist” law enforcement by asserting your Constitutional rights.

              But, as to the point of never getting in a car when ordered by an assailant, absolutely correct. NEVER GO WITH THEM. RESIST AT THE SCENE.

      • Chaucer

        Someone should have told Maria Goretti this. She might not have made it to sainthood, but she would have lived a long life, maybe… Or are knives different?

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Maria Goretti, while a heroic example in her defiance, would not have been morally culpable had she given in. You’re dangerously close to saying that rape victims deserve it because they don’t resist.

          • wlinden

            I suspect Chaucer of resorting to IRONY, or perhaps even SARCASM.

            • Andy, Bad Person

              Curse my bald-faced literalism yet again!

    • Dan C

      Why should Martin have been stalked?

      In terms of what happened, in much of the initiation of the fight, we have only the survivor’s story to go on.

      Why so so much fear? I negotiate and have lived in far more serious and violent environments with little or no fear for over 25 years. Never with a weapon, nor have I ever thought I should be armed.

      I think it says something that liberal women who are social workers walk into ghettos and public housing on the routine every day and yet there is a palpable sense of constant fear from others. What is that about?

      This whole, “defend myself” bit is an inflammatory bit of rhetoric that has hurt the community, usually by folks who have little real risk.

      • Stu

        The term “stalking” has a specific meaning. Zimmerman was not “stalking” Martin.

        • Dan C

          What is stalking?

          If I walked down the street and someone started following me, talking in his cell phone, and pretty much giving an indication I was a threat in some way, stalking does not cover his actions? I cannot claim to be worried about this man’s intention, should not feel harassed, or consider his behavior threatening? Explain the definition of stalking, because on this I am confused. “I stalked my prey.” “I saw him enter the community and stalked him like a hunted beast,” which is a potential description of the “following behavior” I noted in the example I gave.

          I think that is an ok vocabulary choice. Is it a legal definition- I do not know. But I think it is a decent word choice.

          • Stu

            Stalking does have a specific meaning in the legal sense and Zimmeran’s actions did not meet this definition under Florida law (simple google search can find the applicable statutes).

            You are free to follow someone down the street and talk on your cellphone while doing so. If the person you are following feels threatened, they can call the authorities.

            Here is a question. Was Martin doing anything that would cause suspicion? Focus on the question exactly and don’t read anything into it. I’m not asking if he was doing anything illegal because there is no reason to believe such prior to the assault. I’m just asking if he actions warranted suspicion?

            • Dan C

              1. M did nothing suspicious.
              2. Do I understand you considering Z as morally praiseworthy in what I term stalking?
              3. I have not indicated M’s actions as anything acceptable. He is culpable for assaulting Z, no question. I have No love for hus violence.
              4. Fear-mongering is the first sin here. It is sport in America today, a pretense of a constant assault on our lives. Rubbish.

              • Stu

                1. Did nothing suspicious? Were you there? Zimmerman called the police because Martin was walking up in the yards of the town homes very close to the actual buildings. In every neighborhood I have lived in, that would be odd and “suspicious” behavior even if the individual in question had no bad intent.
                2. I reject your use of the term stalking. Following someone down the street while on your cellphone is not stalking them. It’s not immoral nor illegal.
                3. Haven’t made any assertions otherwise.
                4. Who is fear-mongering? I think you are off on some wild conclusions.

                • Dan C

                  I consider the avoidance of the question of Mr. z’s moral praiseworthiness very informative. My presumption is you have more than affinity for him, but find this his actions admirable?

                  • Stu

                    I think your entire opinion on this incident is based on presumptions, thus your desire to not talk about the evidence.

                    • Dan C

                      I have read your analysis of the little evidence that exists and have also noted your reluctance to assess the paucity of evidence present.

                      I disagree with your analysis.

                      You reject my analysis of the lack of suspicious activity on the part of M. You present his reported activity as fact and the interpretation of this reported activity as fact.

                      You have further presented Mr. Zimmerman as a morally praiseworthy agent in this matter.

                      I do not argue law, in general, but do note that the laws of Florida have led to this tragedy. The tone of civil life in Florida, in which there seems to be a Wild West sense of needing to drive around carrying blaze of fear.

                      There should be no such fear in America, yet there is.

                    • Stu

                      “You have further presented Mr. Zimmerman as a morally praiseworthy agent in this matter.”

                      ————
                      Stop making shit up.

              • wlinden

                What is “hus violence”?

                • Dan C

                  It means “his violence” and my bad typing.

                  • Stu

                    As an aside, Disqus allows you to edit your comments.

            • William

              Stalkers don’t call the police like Zimmerman did.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    I know! Let’s all fight about this!

    After all, none of us were there. Nor were any of us investigating officers, nor were we on the jury. None of us are family or friends of Martin or Zimmerman. So I’m sure we all know exactly what happened. What better way to spend our time?

    • Stu

      Alternatively, we could discuss the evidence like adults to better discern the truth.

      • Imp the Vladaler

        If that happens successfully here, I will eat an entire roll of aluminum foil.

        • Stu

          Ouch…my teeth.

          Will you make it into a hat first? Then you get a “twofer.”

          However, your sentiment is not unreasonable at all.

          But I would like to see good conversation on this aimed at the truth.

      • wlinden

        Or, we could actually NOT second-guess the jury, instead of assuming that they could not be trusted to arrive at an equitable verdict.

      • Mark S. (not for Shea)

        We don’t know the evidence. We know what our “Happy Meal” media has dished out to us in between shampoo commercials and updates on what Amanda Bynes is doing this week.

        • Stu

          No, I’m fairly confident we know the evidence at this point. One just has to go to multiple sources to get it.

    • Nellie

      Agree.

  • *sigh*

    Mark,

    It seems that although you have chosen to take the high road, those in the comments have chosen to take the low road. Such a shame. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why the followers of Christ feel it is so important to browbeat each other over this. It’s high time we move on and keep all parties in our prayers.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      Luke 18:11-12 comes to mind.

  • Sus_1

    I apologize if I’ve missed this point in the comments here. If Zimmerman had not been carrying a gun, it’s very unlikely that he would have had his head bashed and a young guy shot dead.

    As far as I know, neighborhood watch organizations do not recommend that their members patrol while armed. Some organizations actually prohibit it.

    It wasn’t Zimmerman’s job to patrol the neighborhood against break-ins. I wish he had stayed in his car until the police arrived.

  • D.P.

    I’m a middle-aged white man. On two occasions when I was a young man I had the experience of being followed by someone when I was alone. One time was in the dark on my college campus when I was probably 20 or so. The other time was in a mall when I was a few years older. Both times were very scary to me. I was afraid to go home (in the first case) or to my car (in the second case) for fear of being followed there. Yet at the same time I was hesitant to seek out a cop or security because quite frankly I feared it might make me look silly for being scared. I was not inclined to turn and confront the person because I’m by nature a pretty non-aggressive person. (And no, I don’t suffer from paranoia – those were the only two such incidents I ever had.) Some people, however, respond to fear with aggression – we’ve all heard of fight or flight. I think there’s a lot about the psychology of fear that has not been addressed in the Zimmerman-Martin incident. Even if it is addressed, I doubt that it will make Zimmerman guilty of breaking the law. But it may make the case that it is very poor judgement for an armed individual to follow somebody the way Zimmerman apparently did. And by Zimmerman’s own admission he never tried to identify himself to Martin. Many have pointed out that Martin could have run home. But have they considered that he may have feared he would be leading the person to his home, where his younger step brother was? Obviously we will never know because he is dead. I do believe Zimmerman to be guilty of bringing on the situation, even if he didn’t realize it at the time. It’s just a matter of whether there were any laws he could be charged with breaking that could be proven. I had hoped there would be, but the prosecutors apparently didn’t find any. The bottom line is that the idea of armed neighborhood watch men following people would not make me feel my neighborhood was safer but would rather make me fear for my own safety when I go for a walk or my teenage children’s safety when they walk to a friend’s house or the local convenience store.


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