Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman

Moggs Tigerpaw is a lady about whom little is known.  She’s a Second Lifer and is contributor to the well-known Vancouver blog of JMB but other than that, I have no idea where she is.  Her language is North American continent but I see “UK” in the blog url.

All femme fatales should maintain that air of mystery.  Below she writes on the Zimmerman affair, one which I admit I wasn’t really up to speed on before this.

A warm welcome and enjoy:


James suggested I do a guest post. So here it is, a serious, topical, what I call “Hard Hat” one. It has run on way longer than I planned. I hope not too long.

There has been so much said about the death of Trayvon Martin. Fatally shot by George Zimmerman. People have got very heated, sides have gotten drawn up and death threats made against George’s parents. It’s politics now.

Even President Obama has got in on the act and commented that, “if he had a son he would probably look like Trayvon”.

For anyone who does not know, this is what this is all about. I have tried to be as accurate as I can.

It’s February 26, 2012, It is a dark and rainy night in a Florida neighborhood

Trayvon, who had just turned 17, but is at lest 6 ft tall, was walking home. He has some candy and a can of Gatorade iced tea, or similar. At one point he is on his cell phone talking to his girlfriend (the LA Time says). He had on a hooded top and carried no weapons. He is of African American appearance.

He is maybe going through some teenage wildness, maybe getting in with some of the wrong people? and has been in trouble that must worry his parents.. Right now he is on a 10 day suspension from high School for being caught with a plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it.

He has been suspended from school three times in the last year. In October he was caught writing obscene graffiti on a door at his school. One time campus security officers found 12 pieces of jewellery, a watch and a screwdriver they were suspicious of when they searched his backpack, (according to a school police report gotten by the Miami Herald.)

George Zimmerman is a regular church goer, interested in criminal justice and policing and community watch volunteer coordinator who was carrying a licensed firearm that evening. He is a 5’9″ of Hispanic appearance in his late 20s.

That night he was out driving his SUV. When he saw Trayvon in the neighborhood wearing his hooded top. He is suspicious of him maybe hanging around a bit, but maybe standing talking to his GF on his phone. George calls it in to the police.

He will be well aware of statistics that say a disproportionate amount of crime is committed by teenage males and young men. There had been break-ins and a shooting in the neighborhood.

Treyvon notices he is being followed by this Hispanic looking guy in an SUV.

Maybe he is afraid of the possibility of the guy being a gangster or pervert, maybe Treyvon runs by reflex, maybe he would have taken advantage of some criminal opportunity if he saw it and feels guilty.

No one can know now. Whatever, he speeds up running off.

I really don’t think it was all that unreasonable to run, I would have been thinking about knocking on local residents doors at that point for help if I were Treyvon. But probably George had a different narrative going in his head by now and running off looks to him more suspicious. Like Sherlock Holmes said “The game is afoot”.

He follows getting out and on foot and against the dispatcher’s advice, at some point he looses Treyvon (according to associated press). George goes back to his SUV and is confronted by Treyvon there.

I don’t know if George has any real prejudice against African Americans. I don’t know if Treyvon has any against Hispanics. I don’t know of anything to really suggest either of them did… and it is absolutely not a requirement for this scenario playing out to go really badly.

Trayvon Martin

Things do not go well and George says that Treyvon attacked him knocking him to the ground, breaking his nose and banging his head on the ground. There is a whole lot of shouting out for help from either, or both of them. There is nothing I know of to contradict that. George
has a broken nose and injuries on the back of his head. Maybe that fight was even taped by the police system, but it is probably faint and needs enhancement. I don’t think you can believe everything you see on CSI.

It was during this George says he fatally shoots Treyvon at close range saying it was self defense. This is legal in Florida under a “Stand Your Ground” law. That says a person may use force (even deadly force) in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat including public areas, without a duty to retreat.

George is arrested at the scene when the cops get there and questioned at the precinct, after that he is released without charge. There is talk the homicide detective argued at the time for a warrant or charging George but the prosecutor said they didn’t have enough evidence. Either they did or they didn’t if they did they should have then. At least been very thorough checking the facts. No stones unturned.

Some people are trying to say this is some racially motivated killing. George has now been arrested again, and is in custody, charged with second degree murder,. Others are saying that it would not have happened if Treyvon had not been African American. Or it would have been looked at more carefully by the cops.

But you know, I can’t help thinking the arrest and charge now has a lot to do with the publicity and accusations and politics.

Well if you ask me this is more like a horrible mess of wrong conclusions jumped to by both George and Treyvon and things going from bad to worse to awful. It is turning into a perfect storm.

So why did it all fall out the way it did? Is George really some racist killer using the law to let him get away with his crime like some people are all but suggesting?

Well George’s Mother is Peruvian. Peru does have one of the worst reputations of any country in South America for crime, with pick pocketing and robbery well known and this is with things having improved, George might be more sensitive to the possibility of crime and maybe wants to keep his neighborhood safe from that.

By all accounts George is a decent enough guy, raised by good people. That there had been crimes in the area was probably why he was giving his time to the community, and that young men commit more crime than most must have been in his mind just then.

George saw Treyvon walking down a dark rainy street. Personally any tall solid young guy in a hooded top in the dark would scare me a bit. It is an intimidating look that copies how criminals dress. I bet any imaginary son of President Obama would no way be wearing anything like that looking scary in the dark. That’s often how young men want to look tho and it can be what they call a two edged sword.

Maybe if Treyvon had been wearing a letterman’s jacket I would not be writing this post.

Treyvon saw this Hispanic guy who could be anything, but was watching him in the dark, following him in a vehicle, maybe it scared him. Again, I think it would me for sure.

Treyvon, I would guess was, at least, a “typical” male teen inclined to challenge boundaries and authority. Maybe also react to fear with aggressive bravado?. George probably never went far down that “difficult teenage” road, probably was much less like to kick against the traces.

The whole situation is totally ripe with the possibility of misunderstandings and each making and acting on maybe wrong assumptions about the other. Then there is the natural prospects of
the two personalities clashing. Maybe made worse reacting against the others tone if seemed wrong in some way.

I can’t help thinking how many times there can be misunderstandings and someone takes something other than how it is intended just in normal quiet everyday life.

Most all of those chances would have been still there if they had both been Caucasian, or Hispanic or African American, or probably if they were Martian.

The whole thing feels to me like some car wreck at blind an intersection where the viewer is looking out a window on the corner and can see it but not stop it.

I wonder if people who make a big race thing of this maybe are more interested in following their own pre conceived notions than the facts, most all won’t know anyone involved. Maybe they fit the circumstances to their own prejudices and self justifications as part of their own narrative? Even stir things up.

I don’t think they are being too honest with themselves, or are doing anyone any great service. Especially a mainstream media outlet, who ought to have known better, broadcasting a doctored tape of George’s call edited in no honest way to make it sound inflammatory and so much more newsworthy.

I can so see why Treyvon’s parents might still choose to use it to get the whole tragedy looked into more thoroughly. Their son has died. Goodness knows what is going through their heads and hearts. They want to know why, maybe want someone to pay, justified or not. It might even be that they simply won’t accept any explanation that does not get them their pound of someone, anyone’s flesh.

So they get to play the race card to free up the log jam, because they can.

George Zimmerman

Other people don’t get to do that and have to find other ways of dealing with possible official slip ups and reluctance to admit possible failing when they find themselves playing a bit part in some Kafka novel.

I figure this is not so much hero’s and villains on any side more people reacting to and caught up in a rolling snowball of confused guesses and circumstances. Two people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Anyone still here? What do you all think?

25 comments for “Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman

  1. dearieme
    April 17, 2012 at 12:09

    Why illustrate the piece with a photo of Treyvon as a boy rather than as a fit 17 year old player of American football?

    The “stand your ground” law is irrelevant if (I say if) it’s true that Zimmerman was on the ground being beaten up.

    It may be that the lesson is “don’t take your fists to a gun fight”.

  2. ivan
    April 17, 2012 at 12:54

    I have the same comment as dearieme regards using the the photo of a 12 year old when he was in fact a 17 year old suspended from school for 10 days this time.

    The fact that the race card has been played shouts that there isn’t a good case against George to start with – something like the Laurence case here in the UK, keep trying them until you get the verdict the race card demands. This is not the way justice should be done or seen to be done.

    This is also trial by media, with the media taking the PC side.

  3. April 17, 2012 at 13:58

    Dearieme, Ivan, that’s not Moggsy’s fault. She sent the text and I found some photos to go with it. Now, not knowing anything about the case, I took the first free photo which came up. If you can point me to the url of a more recent photo, I’ll put that up instead.

  4. Moggsy
    April 17, 2012 at 14:21

    Ivan/Dearieme, Thanks for your comments.

    I didn’t give James any pics, but I am glad you picked up on my point about Treyvon being 17, 6 foot tall ond on suspension, shows you are paying attention to the post ^_^.

    I think this might be a publicity shot his family used and maybe gives a false impression, but, to be fair, lots of times, say with teens, the pics used by the media are posed shots several years out of date. I think I saw one of Treyvon in a hoodie on the net.

    The stand your ground aspect of the law does have some relevance. It has been discussed a lot to do with all this. Also maybe in saying George could have shot Treyvon within the law being provoked less than he said he actually was.

    The whole law is longer than just a few words and will work like some decision flow chart (if then or).

    I think there can’t be much doubt the killing of Stephen Lawrence in London was most likely a race hate killing. It is an absolute fact that he was murdered. Unprovoked it looks like.

    Someone did it for sure.. Should who ever did it be allowed to get away with murder? Is that ok Ivan?

    I read one or more of the supects fathers were gangsters and might have reached out to mess with the police investigation. That would be bent cops… does not have to be racist ones.

  5. April 17, 2012 at 15:08

    I highly doubt Zimmerman is racist.

    Stand your ground law does not apply if Zimmerman’s account is correct; if a person is physically attacked it comes under simple self-defense.

  6. April 17, 2012 at 15:39

    Way too much speculation, plus you’re using outdated photos.
    “Treyvon notices he is being followed by this Hispanic looking guy in an SUV.”

    At night, how do you know the ethnicity of the driver of that car over there?

  7. ivan
    April 17, 2012 at 15:42

    Moggsy, James has explained about the pictures and I have to admit finding anything other than those is hard – the race card in play. the following give a non PC view.

    While the Lawrence case in the UK could have been a hate crime it was never proved that it was. The race card was played for all it was worth and as a consequence the UK has lost one of its main common law protections – that of double jeopardy, now they can hold as many trials as necessary to get the verdict they want; not a good idea.

    You ask if I think someone should be allowed to get away with murder, that is rather like asking a man if he has stopped beating his wife – no matter what your answer is you can be condemned. My take on the getting away with murder aspect is that if someone has stood before a jury and been acquitted then that is the end of it – it should not be possible to try them for the same crime again.

    Unfortunately, in this day and age, people are no longer taught to think for themselves. This independent thought has been replaced by a group emotional response orchestrated by the MSM and spin merchants, hence any popular response is suspect and should be discounted. Because of this there will always be questions about the validity of trials that get wide media coverage.

  8. April 17, 2012 at 15:45

    “The very randomness of choosing Zimmerman, the contempt for the basic facts of the case, has become part of the message. The message is the same. The facts don’t matter.”

  9. Lord T
    April 17, 2012 at 16:35

    I’m all for stand your ground but it went very grey for me when the guy was pursued. During the pursuit he turned, standing his ground.

    We will never know what his intent was. The facts however available do not support George imo. I suspect he will go down for this.

    His stupidity, and I mean that, in using stand your ground as defence means this will be used againts all law abiding gun owners and weaken their case.

  10. Moggsy
    April 17, 2012 at 20:56

    Lord S. maybe a hint of nitpicking and ignoring the main point of the post?

    I don’t know how much light there would be. Not really speculation tho, maybe speculation about when, but I am trying to narrate.

    I expect most people could tell it was a SUV, or at least a vehicle. It was a SUV and George is a Hispanic looking guy. Sooner or later Treyvon would surely have been aware of those facts. The thing I was saying was being trailed in the dark has scary making possibilities.

    Bob, I don’t see anything says he is either.

    Ivan. I do agree your point about double jeopardy.

    But I just can’t think of any other believable reason or contributing reason in the S. L. killing . These two incidents are to me poles apart (also an ocean and a continent).

    To me in a way, race crime or not, is almost a side issue. To me a crime is a crime and it should be investigated and prosecuted even handedly, in the same way no matter. The law should be color blind. But realising it can be one motivation.

    As for should someone be allowed to get away with murder? It is not a loose/loose question at all, don’t say it is.

    I can understand your take on it I guess you feel everyone’s liberty and rights being protected should trump. I am not saying you are wrong either, I think on the whole I agree. (It’ is maybe like paying ransome to pirates. Not paying is best for everyone except the one ransomed.)

    But it does not make it *right* that someone gets away with murder, just that it is the lesser evil. It happens in criminal justice all the time it is called “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” .

    Lord T. Near as I can tell George tried to follow, in his vehicle, and then on foot, but lost Treyvon. Then George went back to his vehicle and Treyvon came to him where he was standing by his vehicle and confronted George. I don’t think the SYG defense if George actually used it and it is not the media bringing it in absolutely needs a firearm, just allows for a person not to have to back away from a confrontation, and allowing deadly force.

    I do kind of get the feeling I am being a beaten up some just for posting about a situation some of you don’t think is fair or just. I do wonder how much you read of the post and how carefully because that is basically what I was saying. Why I posted.

    Is that pic of George in an orange ‘county issue’ outfit? Maybe needs a different one also?

    I’ll put it simply.

    I don’t see in all this that there is anything to make a reasonable person think George is, or was, racist. I don’t even think there is anything to suggest the cops didn’t investigate properly because they were racist. If I thought there were I would surley say so. I do wonder about the cops or the system’s competence and diligence maybe. I do think they needed to be very sure there was no fault in George’s actions. They should not have left it till they were .

    Most of the campaigners with their placards “Jail for Zimmerman” seem to be pretty much divorced from reality. They have him convicted in their minds already with no room for anything else. All they are caring about is solidarity, not thinking or actually examining all the facts. They all just want to scream loud enough to drown out anyone else who disagrees and have themselves a lynching. Like the Paris revolutionary mob. To me they are the ones with and making racist assumptions.

  11. ivan
    April 17, 2012 at 21:37

    Moggsy, your last two paragraphs above is a fair comment and should be so – BUT – for reasons best known to the present, he played the race card and once anyone plays that card everything changes, usually for the worse, justice and everything that goes with it is tossed out of the window.

    When the race card is played people cease to think and just react as they have been taught to. This reacting does not, and never will. make it right.

    This case, and to a large extent the Lawrence case, will never come to a complete conclusion. They can’t, the race card has been played and emotions take over from logic.

    Please don’t think I’m beating on you – I’m not, at least I hope I’m not, but I do know that justice can not be done when the race card is played and emotions rule. What you have done here is make people look at themselves and think – something which a lot of people find hard.

    Yes there is a later picture of George in a nice shirt with tie.

  12. April 17, 2012 at 21:51

    I don’t know about the race issue here, but, as only one of the men was armed surely he could have defended himself from further attack by wounding the other in the leg, arm , shoulder, whatever? And if he wasn’t skilled enough with his weapon to be able to do that, he really shouldn’t be taking on the job of neighbourhood watchman, voluntary or not.

  13. Wolfie
    April 17, 2012 at 22:46

    Isn’t this just a twist on the “bonfire of the Vanities” script?

    Exactly how many school suspensions does a black kid need these days to be called a hood?

    When the president of the United States is siding with Al Sharpton I think it’s time to emigrate.

  14. April 18, 2012 at 00:15

    Twilight: you evidently have never had to use a firearm to shoot at a moving target. Wounding a person is not as easy as shown in the movies, otherwise the police would use it. Hitting a person in the arm or leg is actually quite difficult; many police have been taken down by a blade while trying to hit a moving person up close. Also, shooting in the shoulder can be deadly; a bit to one side or the other and you can hit either the brachial artery or the sub clavicle artery, either of which will bleed you out in seconds. I have known police who have shot criminals several times to the center of the body, and still had the criminals shoot back, or physically attack.

  15. April 18, 2012 at 02:47

    Lord T: the evidence shown says that Zimmerman will walk a free man

    Twighlight: when you get your nose broken and you are on your back getting your head smashed into the ground; I don’t think you aim, you just shoot

  16. April 18, 2012 at 05:08

    Bob G, Lord Nazh ~~~ Understand your points, and would agree had Martin been armed also – he wasn’t – Zimmerman was in no danger of his life, nor was anyone else who might have appeared on the scene – at least not from Martin.
    Not a fair fight was it?

  17. April 18, 2012 at 05:52

    If you think someone on the ground (with a broken nose) and their head getting banged into the ground isn’t in danger of their life; then the discussion is pretty much over

  18. April 18, 2012 at 09:14

    Hell, I’m really struggling to get a line on this one. Nazh seems to make sense. I seriously don’t know what’s right or wrong on this one.

  19. Moggsy
    April 18, 2012 at 09:39

    Ooh. Lots more comments, thank you people.

    Ivan. It must have been Tryvon’s parents played the “race card” I think, or one of their advisers.

    Yes The water is far too muddy concerning the Lawrence killing. I do suspect bought cops did the muddying.

    I think you have a point about the “race card” damaging justice in the end.

    Twilight. Firstly I think training with a firearm, especially a pistol is to shoot at the centre of mass and fire two shots. I was told it is called “double tap” When you don’t have time to think training takes over like it is meant to. But on top of that it sounds like the two of them were rolling on the ground maybe with Treyvon on top winning and banging Georges head on the ground. It couuld be he just managed to pull the pistol and shoot point blank.

    Bob, on “if he was attacked”. Would’nt it dpend on where you were counting from? Before he was attacked he might have had a choice to remove or try to remove himself from the confrontation, but didn’t take it, there the SYG would come in wouldn’t it?

    If you think George wasn’t in danger, or convinced he was, while being attacked by someone bigger and probably stronger having his head beat on the grouind then I am not sure when you would ever think that.

    Hope I didn’t miss anyone out.

    I do think cool heads should keep an eye on this, and really try not let politics and the race industry railroad natural justice. Or be intimidated out of speaking up.

    And it does not do for “whites” (caucasions?) and I guess this must include hispanics at least this time to have some counter reaction and not see no wrong in George no matter what like seems to be happening with treyvon’s party.

    James, I think there are several different right or wrongs here, so it makes it difficult.

  20. April 18, 2012 at 15:40

    Twilight: you have never been attacked by someone trying to hurt you, have you? A lot of people are crippled and killed by “unarmed” attackers. You would be surprised at the amazing amount of damage that can be done to the human body during a fight with no weapons other than the ones we are born with. I’m sixty years old, and have a bad back, heart, and shoulder. If some 19 year old attacked me, I could easily be killed or maimed with a punch or kick to the wrong spot; would you call that a “fair” fight?
    The only fights that are fair are the ones in movies or in competition sporting events; real fights bear no semblance to them.

  21. April 18, 2012 at 18:02

    BobG ~~ Zimmerman is not 60 and, as far as we know did not suffer any physical weaknesses- if he did he should not have been acting as neighbourhood watch.

    We have only Zimmerman’s word as to how the incident developed. He had been told to remain in his vehicle by someone at 911 (emergency services) – if he had followed instructions none of this would have happened. Seems almost as though he was looking for trouble.

  22. April 18, 2012 at 19:19

    But if he is telling the truth about being knocked down and having someone on top of him, he was in definite danger. According to his story, he was heading back to his vehicle when he was accosted by the young man. Until we know all the facts in the case I don’t believe we can say he is guilty of anything. There have been too many times when people have been tried by the media when they were not at fault.

  23. April 18, 2012 at 20:00

    True enough, Bob. 🙂

  24. April 18, 2012 at 21:48

    And he was not told to remain in his vehicle; he was informed that they didn’t need him to follow Travyon (after which he said ok; and has stated that he did not).

    George wasn’t talking to 911; he had called the non-emergency number (police) and was talking to a dispatcher; someone without authority to make citizens do anything

  25. Moggsy
    April 19, 2012 at 06:51

    Lord Naz, Maybe having “authority” depends on if the despatcher was an officer, or a civilian employee. But it does not sound like he was actually ordered to do anything anyway.

    Woolfie, I missed your comment “Exactly how many school suspensions does a black kid need these days to be called a hood?” before.

    Well he was surely a “hoodie”, but I would guess no more suspensions than any kid, depends on what the suspensions are fore mostly doesn’t it?

    As for hoodies (the garment). To me they seem mostly designed to intimidate and conceal the wearers identity, to no good purpose.

    I don’t like them and feel intimidated by people who do wear them. Maybe that is what the wearers want? They certainly don’t seem to care if they do and being honest I think having people wearing them brings a neighbourhood down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *