George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, and the Way of the Gun

picresized_1373850303_game.jpg
No, that's the rapper Game, in a crass, racist email in circulation since the shooting

The recent acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin is of particular relevance to Arizona.

In many ways, Florida is as racist and as gun crazy as Arizona, though here in Sand Land, the divide is Latino/Anglo more than anything else.

Like a lot of folks, I've been perplexed by Florida State Attorney Angela Corey's statement following the not-guilty verdict that, "This case has never been about race or the right to bear arms."

Of course, she's dead wrong.

What the entire country knows, is that the Zimmerman/Martin case always has been about race and guns.

I mean, is anyone really surprised that an almost all white jury of six women in the state of Florida, a state that was part of the Confederacy during the Civil War, didn't side with a black teenager wearing a hoodie?

Please.

See Also:
Harold Fish, Grant Kuenzli and the Right to Kill
Roger Garfield Released From Prison and Granted New Trial Based on Change in Self-Defense Law
Justice for Trayvon Martin Rally Tonight in Phoenix

True, Zimmerman, 29, is half-Hispanic, as his mom is from Peru.

So if Zimmerman profiled Martin, it's no small irony that in Arizona, the neighborhood watch volunteer would be at risk for being stopped by the cops.

You know, for "driving while brown."

Still, there is the reality that race affects how people are charged and convicted in this country. And blacks get the worst of it.

Stats are not hard to come by.

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378 comments
ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323848804578608040780519904.html


Rise of the Warrior CopIs it time to reconsider the militarization of American policing?
    By 
  • RADLEY BALKO

On Jan. 4 of last year, a local narcotics strike force conducted a raid on the Ogden, Utah, home of Matthew David Stewart at 8:40 p.m. The 12 officers were acting on a tip from Mr. Stewart's former girlfriend, who said that he was growing marijuana in his basement. Mr. Stewart awoke, naked, to the sound of a battering ram taking down his door. Thinking that he was being invaded by criminals, as he later claimed, he grabbed his 9-millimeter Beretta pistol.

Sean McCabe

The police say that they knocked and identified themselves, though Mr. Stewart and his neighbors said they heard no such announcement. Mr. Stewart fired 31 rounds, the police more than 250. Six of the officers were wounded, and Officer Jared Francom was killed. Mr. Stewart himself was shot twice before he was arrested. He was charged with several crimes, including the murder of Officer Francom.

The police found 16 small marijuana plants in Mr. Stewart's basement. There was no evidence that Mr. Stewart, a U.S. military veteran with no prior criminal record, was selling marijuana. Mr. Stewart's father said that his son suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and may have smoked the marijuana to self-medicate.

Early this year, the Ogden city council heard complaints from dozens of citizens about the way drug warrants are served in the city. As for Mr. Stewart, his trial was scheduled for next April, and prosecutors were seeking the death penalty. But after losing a hearing last May on the legality of the search warrant, Mr. Stewart hanged himself in his jail cell.

The police tactics at issue in the Stewart case are no anomaly. Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

The acronym SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. Such police units are trained in methods similar to those used by the special forces in the military. They learn to break into homes with battering rams and to use incendiary devices called flashbang grenades, which are designed to blind and deafen anyone nearby. Their usual aim is to "clear" a building—that is, to remove any threats and distractions (including pets) and to subdue the occupants as quickly as possible.

Enlarge ImageDaily Republic/Associated Press

Today the U.S. has thousands of SWAT teams. A team prepares to enterahouse in Vallejo, Calif., on March 20, above.

The Saturday Essay

The country's first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.

The number of raids conducted by SWAT-like police units has grown accordingly. In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred a year; by the early 1980s, there were some 3,000 a year. In 2005 (the last year for which Dr. Kraska collected data), there were approximately 50,000 raids.

A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education's SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans, though the agency later said she was suspected of defrauding the federal student loan program." more... 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

After the verdict, there is a call for reforming the criminal justice system. 

The over-criminalization of the U.S. must be dealt with. They are running out of taxpayers and jurors to keep their "industry for $$$'s" going.

Same prosecutor (same jurisdiction) who represented Trayvon Martin, was the prosecutor in the Marissa Alexander case. She sentenced Marissa to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into the ceiling. Abusive husband threatening her. 

Stand Your Ground Marissa Alexander
http://justiceformarissa.blogspot.com/

eeecuzin
eeecuzin

This is so pathetic. Even with the bias from the media, asshat sharpton a b movie director with holding of evidence hiding his criminal activity  benefitting travon the truth still managed to avail. I even see where the elected losers are pushing gun control again. Just like the left said about ovomits documents" too bad live with it " Justice prevailed.

xhibitsb
xhibitsb

Debra Milk has been transferred to the 4th Ave Jail in Phoenix AZ.  I'm going to start a sit in or a march downtown Phoenix I could some supporters.  I find it necessary to make a detail (not lengthy) flyer to raise awareness on who Debra is.  She has been damaged by the Arizona Judicial System.   I am 15 minutes from downtown.  My name is Belinda I am the woman Armando Saldate Jr extorted for sex in 2009 as a Constable.

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

God bless the jury for making the right decision!

kschaeff
kschaeff

Thank you for this wonderfully insightful and well-researched opinion piece, Steve Lemons.  So excellent, in fact, that it appears from the vast number of hateful comments that you've rattled the cage of every bigot in Maricopa County.  Well done, sir.  Here's another excellent article that pretty well sums up the return of Jim Crow:  http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/07/18/zimmerman-verdict-and-resurrection-old-jim-crow

Best wishes,

--Keith Schaeffer

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

That would be a bigger lie than the one's he tells.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

It's great to see the public outrage about another crazy states' broken justice system, yet remain mute on Arizona's broken system where thousands of people have been railroaded in Arizona's injustice system. 

Innocent people have been  buried alive in Arizona, in their #1 business model -- the mass incarceration of Arizona's people -- so a handful of profiteers (carpetbaggers) can get obscenely rich. 

Wake up folks and work on the mess in your own backyard, that puts ALL the people at risk for serious harm and destruction. Your lawmakers and elected officials have sold you out!

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Action! Pardon Marissa Alexander. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-marissa-alexander/61v410Yl

Florida  injustice:  Melissa Alexander, a young mother with a Masters degree and a job, fires  warning shots in the air (domestic violence / abusive husband) and is sentenced to 20 years in prison by the same prosecutor who represented Trayvon Martin,  while George Zimmerman, got out of his car, against police orders, to hunt down a young man, used his gun to shoot and kill 17 year old Trayvon Martin. 

Who controls the courts, the Governor selecting the state attorney to replace the county attorney who poorly represented him?  As the state attorney, Angela Corey's performance in her post-conviction interview was shameful. She had just lost the case, and sounded like she was at an awards benefit instead. 

Broken criminal justice system in Florida; draconian mandatory minimum sentencing, sentencing disparity in Florida?  Confusing "stand your ground" laws by ALEC that put ALL at risk for serious harm.

"Stand your ground" laws put ALL at risk. Draconian mandatory minimum sentencing also put ALL at risk for decades in prison -- defacto life sentences. 

Time to get rid of over-criminalization and the double standard in a broken criminal justice system.  What happened to "equal justice for all"?  

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Fl State Attorney Angela Corey appointed by Gov. Scott, to replace the  DA/County Attorney for the Zimmerman trial. It would be like Brewer removing MCAO Montgomery from the Arias case and putting AG Tom Horne in his place. Imagine that. 

Folks need to listen to Angela Corey in her post-verdict interview with the media. She just lost the case and went on and on, like it was an awards performance!

We agree with what Alan Dershowitz had to say. 

Harvard's Alan Dershowitz: Zimmerman Special Prosecutor Angela Corey Should Be Disbarred | RealClearPolitics


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/07/14/alan_dershowitz_zimmerman_special_prosecutor_angela_corey_should_be_disbarred.html


ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

African-American young boys and men end up dead or incarcerated. Lets get real about the rhetoric in this blog.


"THE HOUSE I LIVE IN" - Sundance Award-winning documentary by Eugene Jarecki, filmmaker Exposes Economic, Moral Failure of U.S. War on Drugs. 2 of 2 - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioYkho-iyN8 

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

I just find GZ's self-serving version of events less than credible based on his cop fetish, frustration that the others got away (47x in 52 wks prior to shooting!), the choice to insert himself into the equation, his knowledge and use of police jargon, his knowledge of self-defense laws and that he sounded too much like the police report of an officer's statement in a questionable shooting - as if he made sure to spit out the highly subjective terms describing Trayvon, yet he was vague about where he was supposedly attacked, the timeline didn't. Plus his own two previous arrests involved violence and anger.


The whole thing was so easy to avoid. Wonder if his Dirty Harry moment lived up to his fantasy?

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Time to get rid of the "vigilantes" and citizen posse's as well. The HOA "cops" are the worst.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Time to reform draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws in Florida and Arizona, as well other states.  Draconian laws created when crime was going down in the '90's. Private prison corporations lobbied for them to create the private prison boom that's led to the mass incarceration of America, #1 Jailer in the world. A shameful statistic. Wake up folks it's your tax dollars going to enrich the prison profiteers.


ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@xhibitsb  The manifest injustice that has been done to Debra Milke over 22 years ago is the tip of the iceberg of decades long abuse of power by the MCAO. The 9th Circuit Court requested an investigation of the Maricopa County Attorney's office.  Long overdue. 

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

There certainly seemed to be an effort to railroad Zimmerman. Do you know what Martin was doing in Zimmerman's neighborhood?

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

@kschaeff Race card denied. This was a self defense case, not a race case. If you looked at the evidence you would see Zimmerman took a black girl to the prom, tutored black children in his home, protested the beating of a black homeless man named Sherman Ware by white police officers. Furthermore GZ's great grandfather was black.


jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

You're right. The right of self defense endangers all of society. When attacked, so called "victims" should submit. If the attack is intended to be fatal, have the good grace to die quiety. Think of the children.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Arizona is on track taking your tax dollars to make the private prison corporations profiteers obscenely rich.  No different then Florida, where GEO leads the way. 

Signed contract August 31, 2012 - ADC Ryan and CCA behind closed doors, while you were on vacation -- for 2,000 CCA private corporation prison beds. 

June 12, 2013 - Capital Review / Appropriations meeting, chaired by Senate Judiciary Chair, Senator Shooter (storming the classroom in Yuma fame), told the public they could not speak. ADC Ryan made his presentation. Within minutes a vote was taken and the committee passed a new $50,000,000, 500 bed Super-Max prison -- Arizona does NOT need. Other conservative states are voting Super Max prison out, they are taxpayer boondoggles and a failed system.  Cruel and inhumane as 30,000 CA prisoners have been protesting this treatment. Why is Arizona following the failed mass industrial prison complex of California! 

Wake up folks, who wants to live or visit a "prison state" --- not good for the tourist business, unless this is how the "system" gets new, unsuspecting customers.

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

@fratdawgg23 You forgot the part where Trayvon comes back 4 minutes later from 70-100 yards away and attacks GZ breaking his nose, pounding his head into the ground, and trying to grab his gun.

Not guilty-self defense

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

@jonnyquest  Martin's dad was staying a few days with his girlfriend Brandy Green. Trayvon had been suspended from school and his mother sent him to stay with his dad because she could not handle him.

Rather then punishing Trayvon,Tracy Martin let him walk the streets while he and his girlfriend were out partying.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@truthseekeraz  

Never fire a warning shot.  It's just as illegal to fire a shot into the air (or ceiling) as a warning as it is to fire one to celebrate, since it isn't using deadly force in self defense.

If you are in fear for your life, shoot the attacker in the center of mass, enough times to neutralize the threat, then stop.  Given modern medicine and good response time by paramedics, you probably won't even kill them.

 

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@truthseekeraz this chode sirandy thinks its cool to talk about other peoples kids being killed truth..(directed at me)..dont waste your time with he/she..as ron white said, "you cant fix stupid" 

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

It's hard to find the truth behind all the emotion in this case. Do you know what Martin was doing in Zimmerman's neighborhood?

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

@yourproductsucks@fratdawgg23You are a liar.

“Robert J. Zimmerman served as a full-time magistrate from 2000-2006. Please be advised that in Virginia magistrates are judicial officers, but they are not considered "judges" and do not possess trial jurisdiction. More detailed information on the role of the magistrate in Virginia is available on Virginia's Judicial System Website .”


During that time period you did not even need a college degree for the position.


ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@yourproductsucks @fratdawgg23  And that's another can of worms, since most of Arizona's judges are former prosecutors. Prosecutors collude with the police to get their "easy" convictions. And everyone makes more $$$'s and moves "on and up" the political ladder  in Arizona.  

Decades of that "sick game" being played out in the Maricopa County Attorney's office, where innocent peoples' lives are destroyed daily in the courtrooms like their lives are worthless. Cunning and sick.

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@sirandyinga @david_saint01 still waiting on you to admit you wouldnt like some stranger following you around, or your child. its kind of laughable to me you think a person being followed has no right to stand their ground, and defend themselves to what they perceive as a imminent threat to them

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

@david_saint01@sirandyinga If he continued in that direction the crime scene would not be 70-100 yards away moron. When you FOLLOW someone you end up close to THEIR destination idiot.

Trayvon either made it back to the place he was staying or was close to making it back to there.

Sybrina Fulton on Good morning America:“…Trayvon as an average teenager that was minding his own business, that wasn’t committing any crime, that was coming home from the store and was feet away from where he was actually going,”


How come Trayvon died 70-100 yards away if he was just FEET AWAY like Sybrina Fulton claimed?

According to Rachel Jeantel, in a sworn statement,  Trayvon made it to the place he was staying at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfVTM8sqz4k about 9:19 

Zimmerman Trial Day 4: Jeantel: When phone reconnect, TM said he was in back of his father fiance's home.

These are 3 people on the Prosecutors side who Trayvon either made it back or was close to making it back.


Waiting for you to explain why the crime scene was 70-100 yards away from where TM was staying at buffoon.








david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@sirandyinga @david_saint01 lol you just said it right there! "he lost him"..so, why did he continue in that direction genius? lol i keep telling you, were just going to go round and round on this..learn im not going to give up on that FACT, and move on..or continue to waste your time trying to convince me of something i will never believe..lol thats on you..the verdict is what it is..im not upset about that really..there was reasonable doubt. My issue is with people thinking he had a right to follow a kid, PERIOD, based on some unfounded suspicion..even though the guy he talked about with the robberies had been caught the week before. Thus, he really had no right to follow him..unless he made a predetermination about martin with no basis or merit, other than his appearance..which is called "profiling". and cops technically arent allowed to profile (though we know they do anyways)., so you do the math..now, dont talk about other peoples kids the way you did..admit you wouldnt like someone assuming youre a criminal and following you around, or your child..and have a nice day 

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

@david_saint01@sirandyinga Why talk about following since GZ never followed him after the dispatcher asked him not to.

Dispatcher: What’s your apartment number?
Zimmerman: It’s a home it’s 1950, oh crap I don’t want to give it all out, I don’t know where this kid is.

Rachel Jeantel: "Trayvon lost him"


How do you follow someone when you don't know where they are fool?

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@sirandyinga @david_saint01 @truthseekeraz dude you have been insinuating that the entire conversation..that because of "suspicion" it gave him the right to follow him...but you never answered my question about how you would like it being followed around by a stranger..so, im going to take that as a no..typical republican/tea kook.."do as i say, not as i do". youre done little one..bye bye 

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@sirandyinga @david_saint01 @truthseekeraz ps my father put me in boxing at age 11...i was always taught to run..but when you run, and they continue to follow, then what do you expect the kid to do..crawl up in a ball and hope for the best? like i said..use some common sense. if no one is around to help, teaching a child to defend themselves is prudence, not "thug" behavior..whats so hard to understand about this concept? better to be prepared, then suffer the consequences. oh, and you are fighting a losing battle trying to call me out to people ive been commenting with for years..they know me, you dont. 

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@sirandyinga @david_saint01 @truthseekeraz your lack of intellligence regarding stalking kids is amusing to me..dont blame me when some parent, or the kid, reacts..i tried to explain to you the dangers of doing so..you choose not to listen. So, go follow someones kid around..see how that works out for you 

sirandyinga
sirandyinga

@david_saint01 @truthseekeraz Davey the moron stated that he would teach his kids to attack others who "follow" them and I said don't be surprised if the end up like Trayvon. Rational people teach their kids to call police and flee rather than act like thugs.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@sirandyinga @yourproductsucks @fratdawgg23  You bring up a good point. They can have the power of a judge over people's lives, sending them to jail with little education. Time to discuss the low standard for judges who have so much power and so little education.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@Cozz @truthseekeraz

Did George Zimmerman's Father (retired SC judge) Talk To Sanford Police The Night of Trayvon Martin's Shooting? | Crooks and Liars


http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/did-george-zimmermans-father-talk-sanford-p
April 03, 2012 07:00 PMDid George Zimmerman's Father Talk To Sanford Police The Night of Trayvon Martin's Shooting?By karoli

"It certainly appears that he did, as Lawrence O'Donnell uncovers in this segment.

Robert Zimmerman, retired Virginia Supreme Court magistrate and father of George Zimmerman, has been making the rounds for media interviews with Fox News exclusively. He's cloaked in shadow, of course, so he isn't identified. In those interviews, he was asked whether the police knew he was a retired magistrate and whether that might have had an impact on their decision to let George Zimmerman go free that night without taking his clothes or keeping his gun, or doing any of the usual investigation that police do when they find a dead kid laying on his stomach with his hands underneath him."

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@truthseekeraz You are as out of touch with reality as they come.  Zimmerman's father was not a judge in Arizona, so your dilusional mantra is meaningless.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Read "Jingle Jangle" by Jim Rix,  the Ray Krone story, of an innocent man who spent almost 20 years in prison, death row, two trials and then exonerated 11 years ago. 

The same prosecutors are still in the "system" protecting their malfeasance and prosecutorial misconduct, null and voiding Arizona's justice system.

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