The peasants are pounding at the proverbial gate.
They demand more Trayvon Martin coverage.
They kind of demand it like a child demands a hamster. At first it's fresh, new, stimulating. Then, several months go by, and the hamster becomes a forgotten relic. A reminder of things unnecessary. A puff ball in a mound of turds.
And while many of you would love to leave Trayvon and Zimmerman and Stand Your Ground and all of the senseless pandering to fester in a mound of steaming rodent feces, I think we need to come to a conclusion as to what we just witnessed. What do we actually know about what happened? What can we reasonably guess? What's a bunch of emotional bullcrap? What the SAM HELL DO SKITTLES (other than being sugary sweet and delicious) HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? WHO CARES IF ZIMMERMAN IS HALF LATINO? Why is everyone freaking out? What idiot said this was the grown up Trayvon?
Apparently no one noticed that a 32 year old famous platinum rapper with an LA tattoo on his face could not have been a 17 year old adolescent from Florida.
This is an indicator of just how far we've wandered from anything remotely true. And since kangaroo courts are being held all over the internet and likely all over the United States, let us convene our own kangaroo court right here.
I give you, the trial of George Zimmerman:
For this first segment, I'm going to ignore anything about race or previous character concerns. This just deals with what we know of what happened.
Here is what we know:
George Zimmerman was specifically excited about being involved in the neighborhood watch. So much so that he called police 46 times since 2004 and often took a very vigilant, almost paranoid approach to neighborhood watch. He carried a gun because of a pit bull complaint, but began using it on neighborhood watch assignments anyway. Neighbors reactions to his vigilance were mixed. Some felt that he was truly investigating thefts (which there had been a rash of) and others felt he bordered on paranoid and authoritarian. Apparently, he once ran a youth down for stealing a bike just based on "looking suspicious."
Ok. Break. We know this type. He ain't the grand wizard of the KKK, or the Son of Sam, or even someone cool and tough like Rambo. This is a community college student, trying desperately to make his life matter, and attempting to find his self worth in a neighborhood watch program. He wanted to be Clint Eastwood, but wound up being Paul Blart: Mall Cop instead. Look like Tarzan, police work like Jane.
So there is enough evidence to confirm overzealous behavior on Zimmerman's part, but nothing to suggest that he was violently running down black people at his own leisure. What this is is the worst Hemingway hero, ever.
Meanwhile, it doesn't really matter who Trayvon was prior to the shooting, because Trayvon isn't on trial. Except for the weed in his system at the time of death...because weed makes you paranoid. Especially for someone younger and smaller, who may not have been as experienced as your Bill Walton or Snoop Lion types.
BUT here is a link to a conflicting opinion: the autopsy results revealed that THC traces were too low to have likely been consumed in the past 24 hours, either that or the amount was so negligible that paranoia could not have resulted. A link to the article: a neuroscientist's opinion.
This is relevant later. And now...the full 911 call.
This video captures the call in its entirety. From it we learn several things:
- Anyone remember The Blair Witch Project? That's what Zimmerman sounds like here. Super freaked out but stupid enough to give chase anyway. He's sounds like a child lost at sea talking about the thing Martin is holding and hand near his waistband, but follows him anyway. Also, he nearly poops his pants over Martin looking at him hard.
- Everyone made a huge deal about him saying "coon." I never heard "coon"...but there was a lot of incoherent mumbling. He did call him a "punk" and an "asshole" definitively, though. This suggests that Zimmerman had Trayvon labeled as a threat before approaching.
- Zimmerman was warned several times by law enforcement not to approach, but did anyway. Instead of peeling off and meeting the cops at the location of his choosing (clubhouse, etc.) Zimmerman specifically asked them to call him on arrival for a meet-up. To me that is a slight indicator that Zimmerman approached Trayvon, and not the other way around. But, that's conjecture. NOT FACT, NECESSARILY.
- Since Zimmerman is oddly stalking him through an apartment complex (which is creepy and threatening), it is not without possibility that Trayvon Martin went on the offensive and struck first. But it is not without possibility that Zimmerman instigated contact or confrontation suspecting that Martin was armed (and just ended up getting physically bested). Either way, Zimmerman had moved in an authority and a responsibility way outside his position and was totally out in left field on this one. Even if Martin was a burglar (which no evidence confirms), this show of aggression was over the top.
The main issue was the following, the paranoid behavior, and the odd ranting about "they always get away with it." Nothing here infers racism explicitly. And the trial isn't about racism. The trial is about murder. To me, beyond a reasonable doubt, a wrong was committed by Zimmerman. It doesn't seem right that he walks in this case: excessive force was used and his paranoia at work, negligence, and inability to follow directions resulted in the loss of a life. Trayvon's age, ethnicity, sociological background are irrelevant, as is the background of the defendant. Ethically, Zimmerman is guilty of at least manslaughter. Murder shows premeditated intent, and that's more of a stretch if you're talking reasonable doubt.
If I get to write the laws, Zimmerman goes away for a while.
I'd also give everyone a llama, because they spit at people and that's funny.
Legally? Well that depends on the Florida Stand-Your-Ground Law, which we'll look at next.