Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:40 pm

doublem wrote:I think I'm more disturbed by someone firing a gun in this situation than the racism thing.


I know. Couldn't he instead have just fought back or tapped him in surrender? Zimmerman probably freaked out that was getting beat up by a black guy. If he really did use the word "coon" to describe him, then, yes, he had racist feelings toward the kid.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:50 pm

Shyster wrote:
Sarcastic wrote:That was my question also, Shyster, just forgot to post it earlier. I mean, if 2 dudes go to the woods and there are 10 witnesses who see them go off somewhere, then one comes out and says he killed the other dude but it was self-defense... then what, since no one saw him actually do it, he gets off? That doesn't seem right to me. This Zimmerman case is going to court and to the jury, as far as I know, so it will be the jury that decides what happens. I continue to believe he will be convicted.

Imagine the converse, though. Say I follow you into the woods with the intent to beat and rob you. Ten witnesses see us both go in. But none of those witnesses see me jump you, knock you to the ground, and choke you. Unfortunately for me, you have a CCW permit, and you manage to draw your weapon and fatally shoot me. There's no doubt you are the one who killed me; nobody else was around, all those witnesses saw us, and your gun and ammunition were the “murder” weapon. You are promptly charged with homicide. Would you be happy facing decades if not life in prison on a homicide conviction because you can't prove that your use of force was lawful? Where's the proof I attacked you first? Where are your witnesses who saw you being choked? My family will no doubt swear up and down that I was a good boy who would never so such a thing. With no witnesses to what happened, I hope you like your new cellmate.

This law makes it easier to claim self-defense and shifts the burden from the actor having to show the use of force was lawful to the police having to show that it was unlawful. I fully support these laws. It's a basic part of criminal law that the “right” outcome is not always reached. Innocent people sometimes go to jail, and guilty people sometimes go free. Law enforcement isn't perfect. But compare the possible negative outcomes with and without laws of this type. With the law, it is more likely that people who did not, in fact, lawfully use force in self-defense will go free. Criminals will get away with homicide. But without the law, it is more likely that people who did use legitimate self-defense will end up in prison. Innocents will end up convicted of murder. Between the two, I would always prefer a law that errs on releasing the guilty over one that errs on convicting the innocent.


There are certainly two sides to this issue. I understand what you mean and why things often become so problematic. And it is why we have a judge and a jury. How will they feel toward Zimmerman or testimony from.. whoever, the cop, Z himself, Martin's friends may be called in to talk about him. This is a really interesting case to me on many levels, including the conduct of the police department that seems to be in trouble here.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Ron` on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:29 pm

This story is like many before, twisted by the media for value to a race issue. Having grown up in a public housing project in the late 60's I always doubt the media reports. People are people, race hate is driven internally and externally more now by the media. It just stirs up the masses to cause a bigger problem.

When you have to protect yourself, that's another story. It's just because you have to. Because someone already stabbed you or hit you with a baseball bat. Because someone has a gun pointed to your head or they are already shooting at you. Most people have never been in that situation. It's a short span of time to make a decision. This is what todays media preys on.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:39 pm

Race aside, is it appropriate to use a gun when another person is using fists (assuming for a moment that Zimmerman is being truthful)?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:52 pm

Things get more complicated. The other witness said Martin was on top. Now two women say Zimmerman was on top.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/25/10854229-witness-zimmerman-never-tried-to-help-trayvon-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."

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."
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby DelPen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:52 pm

MWB wrote:Race aside, is it appropriate to use a gun when another person is using fists (assuming for a moment that Zimmerman is being truthful)?


Absolutely. If you are getting beaten to death and you can stop it with a bullet it's justified provided you didn't go searching for a beating.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:57 pm

DelPen wrote:
MWB wrote:Race aside, is it appropriate to use a gun when another person is using fists (assuming for a moment that Zimmerman is being truthful)?


Absolutely. If you are getting beaten to death and you can stop it with a bullet it's justified provided you didn't go searching for a beating.


How often does a person get beaten to death? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to understand the justification here.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby DelPen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:58 pm

Sarcastic wrote:Things get more complicated. The other witness said Martin was on top. Now two women say Zimmerman was on top.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/25/10854229-witness-zimmerman-never-tried-to-help-trayvon-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."

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."


Not sure what makes that more complicated. They don't refute the first witness who gave his statement to the police immediately and Zimmerman's story that it was self defence.

Let's say for a second that this was self defense, what person would care if the guy who was trying to hurt them was dead or not? I wouldn't give two thoughts to the person I had to shoot under the circumstances because I had no other choice.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:58 pm

Sarcastic wrote:Things get more complicated. The other witness said Martin was on top. Now two women say Zimmerman was on top.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/25/10854229-witness-zimmerman-never-tried-to-help-trayvon-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."

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."


It seems entirely possible that both happened. One started on the bottom, then turned the other over and ended up on top.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:00 pm

DelPen wrote:I wouldn't give two thoughts to the person I had to shoot under the circumstances because I had no other choice.


At what point would you feel you had no other choice? As soon as a person punches you? When someone pushes you? At what point do you decide that it's time to shoot instead of use some sort of equal force back?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:02 pm

In what part of the body was Martin shot?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:03 pm

DelPen wrote:
MWB wrote:Race aside, is it appropriate to use a gun when another person is using fists (assuming for a moment that Zimmerman is being truthful)?


Absolutely. If you are getting beaten to death and you can stop it with a bullet it's justified provided you didn't go searching for a beating.


Well, yeah. I'd bite a guy's nose off and rip his ear off if it meant I got to protect myself. I shoot if I have a gun and have no sad feelings about it whatsoever. But, again, the jury will have to consider many factors, including if it was Zimmerman who started the fight -- Shyster already gave an example that even an attacker has rights, but I think the final opinion will be based on a wide number of things. If I am on team defense, I do not let go of the 'coon' thing.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby DelPen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:04 pm

MWB wrote:
DelPen wrote:I wouldn't give two thoughts to the person I had to shoot under the circumstances because I had no other choice.


At what point would you feel you had no other choice? As soon as a person punches you? When someone pushes you? At what point do you decide that it's time to shoot instead of use some sort of equal force back?


If I'm getting the crap beat out of me, I manage to slip away and try to escape but they come back at me. Not saying that is what happened here but it is justifiable plenty of times to use lethal force to protect yourself if you see that as the only way to survive an altercation.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:06 pm

MWB wrote:
DelPen wrote:
MWB wrote:Race aside, is it appropriate to use a gun when another person is using fists (assuming for a moment that Zimmerman is being truthful)?


Absolutely. If you are getting beaten to death and you can stop it with a bullet it's justified provided you didn't go searching for a beating.


How often does a person get beaten to death? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to understand the justification here.


I have seen too many videos where someone got beat up so badly, he had neurological damage for life as a result. I would fight tooth and nail to prevent getting stricken in the head or getting my spine damaged. There is no mercy for my attacker if I'm defending myself.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:10 pm

MWB wrote:It seems entirely possible that both happened. One started on the bottom, then turned the other over and ended up on top.


That's what I started thinking after I wrote that. Still, the defense may use it as lack of compassion or something. Or maybe the other witness is an acquaintance and lied. I wonder if they're going to have the trial on tv somewhere. I'd probably watch it.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:28 pm

DelPen wrote:
MWB wrote:
DelPen wrote:I wouldn't give two thoughts to the person I had to shoot under the circumstances because I had no other choice.


At what point would you feel you had no other choice? As soon as a person punches you? When someone pushes you? At what point do you decide that it's time to shoot instead of use some sort of equal force back?


If I'm getting the crap beat out of me, I manage to slip away and try to escape but they come back at me. Not saying that is what happened here but it is justifiable plenty of times to use lethal force to protect yourself if you see that as the only way to survive an altercation.


What if you started the altercation, then found that you were getting in deeper than you thought. Would you be okay killing the person who was originally defending himself? There's just so many different scenarios in this, I doubt we'll ever know what really happened.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:34 pm

MWB wrote:What if you started the altercation, then found that you were getting in deeper than you thought. Would you be okay killing the person who was originally defending himself? There's just so many different scenarios in this, I doubt we'll ever know what really happened.


What I wonder is why he didn't just shoot him in the leg. If I have a gun, I don't aim for the head or torso. It's the leg or shoulder or something. Nevermind. Now that I think about it, he must have had the gun in his pants or had a gun holster (as they were wrestling on the ground). They both probably struggled to get control of it and it went off. Did they say where exactly he was shot?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Ron` on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:37 pm

It's all in the moment, do you have time to blow a knee out or do you center the person. You don't know, unless you are there and experiencing what is happening.
Last edited by Ron` on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Rylan on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:37 pm

I was always taught that if you are going to shoot someone, shoot to kill. That way they cannot tell their side of the story.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Ron` on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:42 pm

The previously posted comment about how often a person gets beat to death shows how little most know about such things. It happens every day in every country. Race isn't typically the cause either.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby tifosi77 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:13 pm

By all accounts, Zimmerman is a good guy who was looking out for his neighborhood. That doesn't necessarily mean his actions were warranted or justifiable, and that is going to be next to impossible to ascertain clearly thanks to the bungling nitwits of the Sanford police department.

Shyster wrote:In response to tif:
No, the law does not prevent an investigation. In fact, the police presumably would need to investigate to obtain the probable cause. And I will say that so far as I know the police in this case hardly did any investigating to begin with. They didn't screen Zimmerman for drugs, they didn't canvass the neighborhood in an attempt to identify the victim (his body was in the morgue for several days as a John Doe), and I'm not sure how much they did in the way of gathering other evidence. A lack of faith in the police force in this case might be fully justified.

Yes, this is absolutely what I'm getting at.

It seems like all the things you cite were immediately cast aside the moment "self defense" was invoked. And I don't think that's the nature of the SYG law at all.

Also, where exactly did the shooting happen? Was it on a street? In someone's yard or lawn? A big part of the SYG law presumes that the person using the force must be where they are lawfully. I'm not entirely sure that being the neighborhood watch guy inherently brings with it carte blanche authority to trespass.

Sarcastic wrote:BTW, did you watch Maher tonight? They said that Zimmerman used the word "coon" in that 911 call. I think they were talking about the word that was hard to figure out because he started whispering, but some thought it was the N word (I thought it was the word 'bs' or 'punk' but wasn't sure... I guess someone used special equipment to finally figure it out). Well, if that goes to the jury and they hear about that, he is screwed.

There is absolutely ZERO possibility that what he said was 'coon'. I was watching the show, and when he said that I nearly threw the remote at the TV. Making claims such as this massively diminish the impact of legitimate calls of racism...... if there is any racist action here, it's most likely by the Sanford PD.

Shyster wrote:This law makes it easier to claim self-defense and shifts the burden from the actor having to show the use of force was lawful to the police having to show that it was unlawful.

I agree, but that doesn't seem to be what's going on in Sanford.

Sarcastic wrote:Things get more complicated. The other witness said Martin was on top. Now two women say Zimmerman was on top.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/25/10854229-witness-zimmerman-never-tried-to-help-trayvon-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."

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."

1) From what I've heard, Zimmerman had a good 100 pounds on Martin.

2) That story is talking about the immediate aftermath of the shooting; *bang*, Martin collapsed, Zimmerman stood over him, not rendering aid (which I don't think he would be required to do in that situation). It does not say the witness reported seeing Zimmerman on top during the struggle.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Ron` on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:23 pm

Tifios, it's all about the media and people that don't understand the reality of the moment. The media preys on this type of story...
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:23 pm

Ron` wrote:The previously posted comment about how often a person gets beat to death shows how little most know about such things. It happens every day in every country.


Is that factual or perception? I understand that people get beaten to death, but my perception is that it's generally more than one person beating one person to death, not a one on one situation. Maybe I'm wrong though.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Ron` on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:33 pm

I believe that to be factual and can be proven by searching the media. I believe that most beating deaths are inflicted by an individual, not a group. There have been several stories recently in the local press that would support this. None of which reached this national mass media frenzy. None of which were racially motivated. Rage motivated maybe, but not how the media is trying to portray this story for effect.

That's the moment you are caught in as it happens. It's a tough call how you chose to act and protect yourself.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:23 pm

tifosi77 wrote:By all accounts, Zimmerman is a good guy who was looking out for his neighborhood.


By what accounts? His parents? He could be the world's biggest prick for all we know. Also, Martin's friends and family and teachers all say he was the nicest guy. When I look at their pictures, I know Zimmerman is the scary one and he is the one who went after the other guy.

There is absolutely ZERO possibility that what he said was 'coon'. I was watching the show, and when he said that I nearly threw the remote at the TV. Making claims such as this massively diminish the impact of legitimate calls of racism...... if there is any racist action here, it's most likely by the Sanford PD.


Sounds like he did. Google it. I tried to substitute different words but 'f'ing coons' sounds by far the most probable.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002449632
http://www.dominionofnewyork.com/2012/03/20/florida-tv-station-zimmerman-mutters-pucking-coons-in-911-tape/

^ Change pucking to you know what in the second link because I'm getting *** trying to post it.

1) From what I've heard, Zimmerman had a good 100 pounds on Martin.


That's an argument for Martin because this would enable Zimmerman to overpower him and get on top.

2) That story is talking about the immediate aftermath of the shooting; *bang*, Martin collapsed, Zimmerman stood over him, not rendering aid (which I don't think he would be required to do in that situation). It does not say the witness reported seeing Zimmerman on top during the struggle.


It says he was straddling Martin. That means he was sitting on top of him. It does not say that he was standing over him. Unless you think he shot him while standing, then sat on him in case he wasn't dead enough and wanted to get up.
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