Justice and Security: Neighborhood Watch Captain Attacks, Kills Unarmed Teenager

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    See above. That description of events is not consistent with what Zimmerman claims happened. Since there isn't really any evidence one way or the other, how do you prove anything?
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  3. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Couple of points.

    I don't agree that there is any racist comment on the 911 tape (nor have I seen any evidence that the police tried to hide it).

    It sounds to me like he says "Fucking CONES" as in highway marking cones.

    The vowel sound in the second word is a long "O" sound, not a long "U" sound.

    But then others claim they hear "Punks".


    Listen yourself, but it's not as clear an issue as you make it.

    The police didn't issue him any orders, a dispatcher saying we don't need you to do that is not the same as a policeman saying don't do that. (I think the dispatcher should have been more assertive)

    Then people related to Martin claim they hear him on the tape, but another impartial witness says that Martin was beating the crap out of Zimmerman and it was Zimmerman calling for help.


    As far as other info being hidden, I think you are jumping to conclusions.
    Some info has dribbled out and some initial info turns out to not be complete, but that's just the nature of this kind of story, and not necessarily an indication of any cover-up.
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  5. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    No, not just the early news repots, it's been repeated over and over in the local Florida news, so my guess is they have looked into it and there is a Neighborhood Watch program and apparently they do have "Captains", and I presume since they keep reporting it, that he was one.


    Still, it's not like you take a test or get promoted to that "rank" based on experience.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    A highway marking cone on a small suburban street and had there been 'cones' there, and he sounds like he's saying 'cones', it would have been cleared up straight away. I personally heard the word 'coon', not cone.

    However what makes this tape interesting is that the police originally withheld it from the lawyers representing Martin's family. Why would they do that?

    He called 911 and reported someone suspicious walking down the street (apparently being black and walking down the street is automatically suspicious for Zimmerman?) and he tells the operator he is going to follow him, whereupon he is told not to do that. That to me speaks volumes. You then hear him get out of breath as he starts to chase Martin.. Martin's girlfriend, who was on the phone with Martin at the time, also heard Martin's voice change and she could hear him start moving a lot faster after he reported that someone was following him and she reportedly told him to run.. This was a kid, being chased down a dark street by a stranger who gets out of his car and gave chase. He would probably have been terrified. Wouldn't you have been in his shoes?

    And yet, the voice on the tape is not Zimmerman's according to all who know Martin.. Go figure.. And another teenager who witnessed it while walking his dog also advised that he saw the scuffle and then the two separated and a few moments later, Martin was shot.. In other words, they were apart from each other. When Martin was shot, Zimmerman was found standing over Martin's body. And when the witnesses reported what they saw to the police, the police attempted to correct their eyewitness statements so that it matched Zimmerman's.. That to me is more telling, wouldn't you say? Not to mention the fact that Zimmerman weighs about 100 pounds more than Martin, who if the photos are any judge, looked quite small in stature, while Zimmerman looked like a bit of a heifer.

    So out of all these other witnesses, only one saw it as Zimmerman saw it? Really? All the others were blind and deaf and were making it up to the police at the time and before this became an international story?

    Also why weren't his clothes gathered as evidence and why wasn't he drug and alcohol tested? Why was it a narcotics detective and not a homicide detective who investigated this case? This is crucial evidence. Did he have to surrender his firearm immediately after? Why was he allowed to maintain and keep his permit to carry a concealed weapon, even after all of this started coming out?

    There are so many questions that need to be asked and now with so much evidence lost due to the police lack of action and their general incompetence, how fair do you think this trial (if there will be a trial) will be on behalf of the victim?

    As for my supposedly jumping to conclusions:

    The clothes he was wearing weren't even take into evidence..

    It defies belief to be honest..
  8. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    It sounds more like "punks" to me, although it's certainly not clear.
  9. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Bells this case makes me wonder about private criminal procutions. I know it's possible here but the AG can stop it if they wish to peruse the case but sounds like the family would do a better job than the state in this case
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That assumption is the reason I marked the issue as worth noticing: as far as I can discover there was and is no registered Neighborhood Watch program in that community, and Zimmerman was not part of any such group (notice that no one from Zimmerman's "Neighborhood Watch" group has been interviewed about any of this, about the training, the policies, etc - that's because there are no such people, locally, to interview).

    So where did the language come from?
  11. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    If by "private criminal prosecution" (if that's what you meant assume) you mean a civil action for wrongful death, Florida law bars that too, just as it does with criminal action.


    They can file it and see how things go, but it does not say that "it is a defense" to liability, it says the perpetrator is immune from the legal action itself, meaning a court should dismiss it without a trial. The courts might allow them to try the notion that the protection does not apply (likely in separate hearings from the wrongful death action itself), but the parents would be better off getting a conviction first, or at least letting federal and state investigators gather more information. Plus, it kinda looks like the crazy law does apply.
  12. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    No that's not what I meant. It's possible in Australia for someone to privately bring CRIMINAL procidings but the state attorney generals have the right to block it if the crown intends to procide with there own prosecution. I don't know of any cases where it's happened but it's still possible, it's just the crown has more resources do its better to leave it to the crown.
  13. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    I did not know that. There is nothing like that in the U.S., and if their were the prohibition on criminal proceedings in the same statute would almost certainly apply to those as well.
  14. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

  15. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Interesting, but apparently only in one state (Virginia). But in any case, I don't see how you could possibly hope to convict him. There simply isn't any proof that it wasn't self-defense. The only actual witness says that he saw Martin pin Zimmerman to the ground and punch him, so...
  16. Bells Staff Member

    Can you pin someone who weighs about 100 pounds more than you to the ground and keep him down and keep punching him?

    That aside..

    And also..

    And it seems that department has had similar issues in the past.. of failing to arrest criminals that is:

    Pray tell, how does one shoot someone in the back and claim self defense?

    That aside, this appears to be a recurring theme within that department, wouldn't you say?
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

  18. Bells Staff Member


    I think one of the most important things that should be investigated after all of this is the police department and their handling of this case at the scene and afterwards.. And the law in Florida needs to be looked at as it is clearly lacking in many respects.. As is the police operating procedure when confronted with such cases..
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Q-tips might be in order.
    What ever is being said on that tape, it's clearly not COON.
    There is no long O sound.

    As far as being "cleared up", there appears to be nothing to clear up, as only the blogosphere seems to be repeating that version of what's on the tape.

    Don't know that they did.
    There are likely procedures to go through to get it released.
    What evidence do you have that it was withheld from the lawyers longer than normal? Why do you think elapsed time for release was important anyway?

    Again you change the words used to suit your slanted narrative.

    The dispatcher said "we don't NEED you to do that", which is not the same as "Don't do that".

    Quite possibly.
    Does that change what happened during the fight between the two men?

    Again that's not exactly true either. A number of people have also identified it as Zimmerman's voice, and the police are saying it is Zimmerman, and a witness to the scene, who saw and heard who was crying out, said it was Zimmerman. Indeed, it's much more logical that the guy with the broken nose, fat lip and gash in the back of the head would be doing so vs the person giving him that beating.

    No, that is not true either Bells.

    As to the other witness you just quoted, the salient point is that "Mary Cutcher ... neither saw the shooting nor the preceding altercation", what she saw was after the shooting and is consistent with Zimmerman checking on Martin's condition:

    “I thought he’s holding the wound, helping the guy taking a pulse, making sure he’s okay. When she called to him three times, everything okay, what’s going on? Each time he looked back, didn’t say anything and then the third time he finally said, ‘just call the police.’”

    So again, the one eyewitness we have to the fight said it was Martin on top and giving Zimmerman a beating, not at all like your rendition of events.

    From what I understand that's sort of standard practice to find out how sure they are of what they saw. I mean I see that all the time on what appear to be realistic police shows, the typical: "are your sure it wasn't xxxxx, and not yyyyy that you saw?", but that's TV and I'm not a policeman, still it seems like a reasonable course of action for finding out what actually happened when dealing with eye witnesses. Challenge them and see how certain they are.

    Actually I haven't seen any actual weights for either, but what we do know is that Zimmerman is 5'9" and Martin was 6'3", I'm not sure that matters, weight can be muscle or fat, and from what's been related by the one eye-witness to the actual fight, and backed up by the injuries Zimmerman sustained, it does appear that it was Martin who was doing the beating.


    But you use witnesses, like the Dog Walker above to corroborate your story, and they didn't see it like you claim they did.

    Don't know.
    How does this have any bearing on what happened?
    This isn't a case where the police are gathering forensic evidence so later they can use fiber evidence to prove that X was at the scene and did the shooting. They already know who was there and they already know who did the shooting.

    Don't know, it's a small town though, so maybe that's what they had available. I would still presume any Detective is smart enough about crime scenes to know how to handle a case like this however.

    Don't know. My guess is yes but I haven't seen anything specifically about that.
    Again, there was no question about who shot who and with what weapon.

    Don't know that he was, and as far as I can tell, nothing has "come out" that doen't seem to support his story of what happened, so until he is actually charged with a crime I'm not sure why he would lose his permit.

    Well I think ALL those questions are being asked.
    But I disagree that much, if any, evidence has been lost.
    He did have a gash on the back of his head.
    He did get a broken nose.
    He was treated by paramedics at the scene, so there are going to be medical reports.
    A witness did put him with his back on the ground and Martin on top laying a beating on him.
    His t-shirt was reported in the police report as having grass on the back, so even if they didn't keep his shirt, there is on-site testimony about it's condition.

    Did they test him for Alcohol or drugs? Apparently not, but then police are pretty good at telling if someone is acting like they are on either, so I'm not overly concerned that they didn't.

    Absolutely, and you then justify jumping to conclusions based on simple one-sided infotainment masquerading as journalism.

    So? What do Zimmerman's clothes have to do with this?

    We KNOW there was contact between the two men, how else does one get a gash on the back of one's head and his nose broken? Eye-witnesses put Martin on top before the shooting, and Zimmerman on top, holding the wound, after the shooting. So both would have been lying on the ground at one time with the other on top, so the clothes can't be used to deny the fact that there was a struggle or prove who was on top of who, when.

    I'm not saying that Zimmerman didn't precipitate this event by his overzealous prosecution of his self elected position as "watch captain".

    He did.

    But so far we've seen no evidence to justify Martin laying a beating on him either.

    And, under Fl law, once someone started beating on him to the extent that his injuries suggest that Martin did, then the law protects Zimmerman for using his weapon to defend himself.

    As I've pointed out already.

    I think the law needs rework.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but to start with I think that anyone with a CC permit that is carrying a gun and is engaged in any quasi law enforcement type activities, including what Zimmerman was doing, has to have some training to do so before they can carry a gun on one of these patrols and I think they have to also have other options for defense besides just a gun.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  20. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Sure. It's entirely plausible that a fit highschool athlete (which Martin was) could get the upper hand in a fight against a fat, out-of-shape guy (which Zimmerman appears to be). Extra fat doesn't help much if you're trying to get someone off of you in a fight. Zimmerman reportedly had a broken nose and cuts on the back of his head, which is consistent with his claim that Martin punched him and then straddled him and slammed the back of Zimmerman's head into the ground.
  21. Bells Staff Member

    I'd suggest you take your own advice for the Q-tip. Or possibly an irrigation tool as Q-tips actually push wax deeper into your ear canal, which could explain why you aren't hearing things properly..

    Rand said that she also heard Zimmerman say the slur. Later in the show, though, she said that her law office had analyzed the tape it had been given by the police and could not find that portion there.

    Rand is a lawyer representing the Martin family.

    I shall correct my language then.

    So why did he follow even though the 911 operator told him that they (police) did not "need" him to do that?

    Yes. An unarmed teenage boy was killed because he was the black kid walking to his father's house and the over-zealot self appointed neighbourhood watch 'captain' saw a "fucking coon" acting suspiciously and decided to chase him, whereupon Martin stood his ground and defended himself before he was shot at close range..

    Eyewitnesses placed Zimmerman sitting on Martin's chest when he shot Martin..

    I believe it is only one person who has identified it as Zimmerman's voice and the rest, witnesses to the shooting and those who knew Martin advised it was Martin's voice.

    Unless you wish to claim that Martin's parents don't know the voice of their own son?

    I linked an article earlier when one witness saw them separate and on the grass before Martin was shot..

    Actually Cutcher advised that Zimmerman was not doing anything to help Martin.

    A woman who says she and her roommate witnessed the final moments of Trayvon Martin's life told Dateline NBC that George Zimmerman had "his hands pressed on his back" and "never turned him over or tried to help him."

    Zimmerman's lawyer, when shown part of the interview being aired Sunday night on Dateline, emphasized that his client would be claiming self-defense.

    "I think there were efforts made to render aid to Trayvon," Craig Sonner told NBC's TODAY show.

    Mary Cutcher told Dateline that she and her roommate both saw Zimmerman "straddling the body, basically a foot on both sides of Trayvon's body, and his hands pressed on his back."

    Cutcher added that Zimmerman told her and her roommate to call the police.

    "Zimmerman never turned him over or tried to help him or CPR or anything," Cutcher said.

    Because you help someone you have just shot in the chest by holding their body face down into the ground by pressing on that person's back?

    The police did CPR, Zimmerman did not. On the contrary, Zimmerman pressed his body face down into the ground with his hands on Martin's back.

    'Are you sure you saw xxxx' is very different to correcting an eyewitness and telling them that 'no, the voice you heard was Zimmerman's and not Martin's', before the police had even heard the tape of the 911 calls..

    I can assure you, it is not standard practice to tell an eyewitness what they saw or heard. Quite the contrary. That's the kind of stuff that gets cases thrown out of court and charges of police tampering being made.

    Zimmerman weighed 100 pounds more than Martin.

    While it was Martin who may have done the beating after he was pursued by an armed man down darkened streets, it was Martin who stood his ground against his pursuer and was shot and killed in the process.

    Like your claim that one witness saw Zimmerman checking Martin and helping him after he had shot him when the witness actually saw the complete opposite and Zimmerman was pressing on Martin's back as Martin lay face down on the ground?

    Are you aware that they did drug and alcohol tests on Martin, but not Zimmerman? And isn't it standard operating procedure to gather evidence, including the clothing worn by shooters who kill people? It is here.

    Not only did they fail to even check or collect the evidence to corroborate Zimmerman's story, they also failed to bother trying to identify Martin, who had his cellphone on him when he was killed:

    They bagged Martin’s body and took it away, labeling him a “John Doe,” even though they had his cellphone, which anyone, let alone law enforcement with a shooting victim, could have used to easily identify a person. They tested Martin’s corpse for drugs and alcohol. Zimmerman was not tested. Neighbors say that Zimmerman loaded things into a U-Haul truck and left the area.

    It defies logic really..

    Like police officers who attempt to correct eyewitness testimony and then we have this gem..

    A volunteer community watch captain who shot an unarmed Florida teenager to death last month had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics, a homeowner said.


    Zimmerman, who patrolled the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in his own car, had been called aggressive in earlier complaints to the local police and the homeowner's association, according to a homeowner who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    At an emergency homeowner’s association meeting on March 1, “one man was escorted out because he openly expressed his frustration because he had previously contacted the Sanford Police Department about Zimmerman approaching him and even coming to his home,” the resident wrote in an email to HuffPost. “It was also made known that there had been several complaints about George Zimmerman and his tactics" in his neighborhood watch captain role.

    The meeting was attended by Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, the detective assigned to the investigation and an unnamed member of the city council, according to the homeowner’s association newsletter.

    It doesn't disturb you that he still has his license?

    Apparently the police took his gun, but not his permit:

    Zimmerman no longer possesses the gun he used to kill Martin. But he still has a permit to carry a concealed weapon—and, thanks to Florida's gun laws, he still has the right to buy a new handgun instantly and travel to 35 other states while packing heat.

    Comforting, isn't it?

    I am concerned that they did not.

    What we do have is a dead teenager and a neighbourhood watch captain driving around with a loaded weapon and instead of 'watching' and reporting to the police, he took the law into his own hands and chased down an unarmed teenager who then stood his ground and he then shot that unarmed teenager. And what was that teenager doing that caused Zimmerman to take after him with a gun? He was walking home with a packet of lollies and a can of iced tea. Huge crime!

    We also have reports of Zimmerman's neighbours filing complaints with the police about his aggressive tactics in his neighbourhood watch role. Not to mention the fact that the police detective involved in those complaints was the same detective who is now investigating this case.. And a police department with a history of protecting people who attack and shoot black people.. really.. it defies belief.

    You don't think being chased by a strange man who gets out of his car to chase you on a dark street warrants defending yourself against strange armed man?

    You mean the broken nose and cut on the back of his head that did not even require a trip to the hospital.. a beating given by someone who weighs 100 pounds less than you? On an armed man carrying a loaded weapon with a record of aggressive behaviour and a police record for assaulting a police officer? That's the line you want to go with there?

    Neighbourhood watch is not about driving around local streets with a loaded weapon and making yourself out to be a quasi police officer and instead of 'watching', as the name suggests, actually getting out of his car and chasing unarmed teenagers down for doing nothing more than walking home with a packet of lollies and a can of ice tea.
  22. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    The same Florida law also permits Trayvon Martin to use deadly force against Zimmerman for stalking and attacking him - with a deadly weapon, no less!

    Or rather, it would, if Martin had survived instead of Zimmerman. This law basically legalizes gunfights - and is already being systematically abused by criminal gangs to wage large gun battles without fear of legal prosecution. It's completely inane.

    Did you read the part where he calls Trayvon Martin a "fucking coon" - to a 911 dispatcher, no less - minutes before accosting and murdering him?

    Carrying a gun and ignoring warnings from a 911 dispatcher not to engage are not "appropriate" actions for a neighboorhood watch participant. They are explicit violations of the standard neighborhood watch guidelines. They are, moverover, exactly the sorts of things that dangerous wanna-be vigilantes tend to do, and which the rest of us do not tolerate exactly because they lead to outcomes like this one.

    When has that ever been exclusive of somebody being racist? Especially considering the circumstances and the consequent incentives for said friends and family to exculpate him.

    But, to be clear: nobody is saying the guy is a card-carrying Klan member. Just your usual oblivious racist who treats black, male youths with a level of unjustified suspicion and double-standards that result in drastically different treatment and assumptions.

    Although, the real offense here is the Florida institutions themselves are similarly racist and so back him up instead of arresting and charging him.

    Possible, but bear in mind that Zimmerman outweighed Martin by over 100 pounds. I have roughly zero sympathy for an armed dude who stalks and accosts a kid half his size at night. The rational presumption on Martin's part would have to have been that Zimmerman was a dangerous criminal intending to do great bodily harm - or worse - to Martin. Which also happens to be exactly the truth.

    And that we have no actual evidence of this besides Zimmerman's own word, after the fact, when the cops have showed up in response to him killing an unarmed black kid half his size.

    Or so he says - yet he didn't bother seeking medical attention for this supposed broken bone.

    This term "quasi law enforcement role" means "vigilante," yes?

    By the way, have you looked up how many of those calls were to report black youths doing nothing in particular? This wasn't the first time he targetted black kids for no defensible reason. It's just the first time he killed one.
  23. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Nah, this part of the story has no legs.
    Impartial people don't agree with you.

    To me he clearly doesn't say COONS, but CONES, (and I know you don't live here, but that racial slur is really archaic), but with that long O sound clearly audible, I don't believe your version will last.

    Yeah, a lawyer for the Martins is not an unbiased source.

    As I said, he's over-zealous.

    No, you can't assert that he called him a "fucking coon" Bells.

    Breaking a guys nose, fattening his lip and putting a gash in the back of the head is not defending himself though.

    Not when the only eye-witness to the actual fight has Zimmerman on the ground and Martin bashing his head against the pavement.

    No they don't.
    They have him there AFTER the shot was fired.

    I thought he’s holding the wound, helping the guy taking a pulse, making sure he’s okay

    Prior to the shot, Martin is on top of Zimmerman.

    One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him — and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.

    Yeah, the one eye-witness above who actually saw the fight and heard it LIVE who said it was UNEQUIVOCAL that it was Zimmerman crying for help.

    Yeah, a poor recording like they have can make it much harder to identify, but luckily we have an Eye Witness who was there and can tell us who it was.

    Ah, you are going to have to quote that again Bells, can't fine ANY testimony like that in any articles.

    As far as I know only ONE person saw it, is quoted above and that's not in their version.

    And yet earlier Cutcher said: “I thought he’s holding the wound, helping the guy taking a pulse, making sure he’s okay. "

    So not turning him over doesn't mean he wasn't trying to help by putting pressure on the wound.

    Yeah, if that's where the blood is coming from (exit wounds tend to be much worse than entry wounds)

    Just because he doesn't do CPR doesn't mean he wasn't trying to stop the bleeding.

    No it's not Bells. Questioning witnesses can be done by challenging their statements.

    So you've seen the autopsy report Bells?
    You've weighed Zimmerman?

    So? Unless Zimmerman pulled his gun prior to the beating, Martin had no right to beat him like he did. No witness has said that was the case.

    Nope, that was the SAME witness.

    I'm sure it is standard practice during an autopsy.
    As to clothing, you still haven't made a single argument as to the value of his clothes to this case.

    No, they did collect evidence and testimony and so far, all I've seen seems to corroborate his story. I've yet to hear a single piece of evidence that clearly disputes anything Zimmerman has said (and considering the heat the police are getting on this, I do believe if they catch him in even one lie I think he is toast)

    BS, this isn't TV. You can't find out who someone is based on their phone without a Warrant. If it's my phone you found you couldn't even unlock it to find it's number or recent numbers dialed etc, besides, I'm not sure why you think identifing him as fast as possible was such a critical issue. I'm guessing the police would expect to be called by someone looking for him.

    Not particularly comforted or worried about it Bells, but then the New Black Panthers did put out a $10,000 bounty on him, so yeah, since he hasn't been charged with a crime I see no legal reason they can take away his permit.

    Again, based on what?
    No one has said he was acting like he had been drinking or on drugs.

    No Bells, he didn't just stand his ground. In Zimmerman's account, he was walking back to his car when Martin hit him. No one has come forward and said that's not what happend, but what we do have an eyewitness to is that a 6'3" MAN was beating the crap out of someone by pounding their head into the pavement.

    Sure, stand your ground, that doesn't give you the right to lay a beating on him.

    But the law does NOT require you to wait UNTIL the person beating you does serious personal injury Bells. The fat lip, the broken nose and the gash on the back of the head is probably sufficient to justify the legal basis for acting based on the fear of serious personal injury.

    Not my line Bells, but then I don't think a prosecuter can use any of those to negate the legal basis for Zimmerman's fear of serious personal injury.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012

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