Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby steve784 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:29 pm

Off topic, but while browsing had to comment that I totally agree with shaf on the Philly stuff. When I lived there over the last couple years they had their stupid "flash mobs" or so the news called it. Really it was just a pack of a hundred or so animals running wild on the street and attacking people. That wasn't racially motivated though :roll:
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby rasbatch on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:41 pm

I don't really think it matters if it's percieved as racially motivated or not.
The facts are an armed 28 year old vigilante has murdered an unarmed 17 year old and
claims self-defense. The community sees this as an injustice and I believe rightfully so. If
this Zimmerman piece of garbage goes free, there will be retribution, and that will be unjust as well.
When you have no recourse to injustice people will lash out at anyone they can.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby tifosi77 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:42 pm

Jesus Zimmerman
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Tico Rick on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:51 pm

There are such things as Jewish Hispanics. In fact, Mexico City has a fairly large Jewish population.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:22 pm

tifosi77 wrote:That said, there has been no talk (of which I am aware) of the legal status of Mr. Zimmerman to own and carry a firearm, either openly or concealed.

From articles I’ve read, he had a valid Flordia CCW permit.

Many of the posts on here and articles out there take pains to mention the point that Martin was unarmed. The fact that the other party was not armed does not prevent the lawful use of deadly force in self defense. The standard in Flordia law is that a person may use force, including deadly force, “if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.” I can think of plenty of people who would be capable of inflicting death or great bodily harm without using a weapon.

For example, say Martin had Zimmerman down on the ground and was choking him. I would certainyl say that justifies the use of deadly force, as a choke—if sustained long enough—can lead to death or great bodily harm.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby tifosi77 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:17 pm

Shyster wrote:
tifosi77 wrote:That said, there has been no talk (of which I am aware) of the legal status of Mr. Zimmerman to own and carry a firearm, either openly or concealed.

From articles I’ve read, he had a valid Flordia CCW permit.

Many of the posts on here and articles out there take pains to mention the point that Martin was unarmed. The fact that the other party was not armed does not prevent the lawful use of deadly force in self defense. The standard in Flordia law is that a person may use force, including deadly force, “if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.” I can think of plenty of people who would be capable of inflicting death or great bodily harm without using a weapon.

For example, say Martin had Zimmerman down on the ground and was choking him. I would certainyl say that justifies the use of deadly force, as a choke—if sustained long enough—can lead to death o great bodily harm.

I can think of plenty of scenarios where someone could reasonably believe their life was being threatened by an unarmed person.

Apparently Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend at the time of the confrontation. (That's one person's account, of course, and there's no recording.) That doesn't sound very threatening. And I'm no expert on stand-your-ground law, but there was no threat (credible or otherwise) of Zimmerman's death or great bodily harm until he began following Martin and initiated a confrontation. In that regard, shouldn't Zimmerman be regarded as the aggressor?

And that's not conjecture on my part, that's how the 911 call plays out. Zimmerman is observing Martin at a distance, begins following him (against the direction of the 911 operator), approaches and confronts Martin, and Martin ends up dead.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:20 pm

It would depend on the legal meaning of “aggressor” in Florida law, which is not necessarily the same meaning as laypersons would apply. It seems like Zimmerman went up to Martin and asked him what he was doing in that neighborhood. But what if Martin threw the first punch? Is initiating a conversation enough to be considered an aggressor? I would say no.

Flordia law permits aggressors to still claim self-defense. Under Fla. Stat. § 776.041(2), a party who did provoke the use of force against himself or herself may still claim self-defense if:

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.


So under (a), say Zimmerman did confront Martin, but Martin responded by punching Zimmerman to the ground, sitting on his chest, and choking him. Zimmerman would then be justified in responding with deadly force—even though he initiated the confrontation—because Martin escalated the encounter to the level of imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and Zimmerman can’t get away. And under (b), say Zimmerman tried to walk away from the confrontation, but Martin followed him and was the one who started throwing punches. That would also permit Zimmerman to plead self-defense for any subsequent use of force.

The physical evidence seems to indicate that Zimmerman was down on his back at some point. When police arrived, he had a bloody nose, blood on the back of his head, and grass stains on the back of his shirt. Whatever happened, he didn’t just walk up to Martin and shoot him.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Factorial on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:59 pm

Shyster, if you were walking down the street in the hood (ha ha to that idea) and a man started staring at you, coming toward you, and possibly having a gun out, what would you do? Pull out your gun and shoot him first thinking you are in imminent danger? It could happen in a matter of seconds and you would have to make a split second decision. Whether this was racial or not, the shooter was definitely in the wrong to create this situation especially after being told by the police to not pursue the victim.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:37 pm

Factorial wrote:Shyster, if you were walking down the street in the hood (ha ha to that idea) and a man started staring at you, coming toward you, and possibly having a gun out, what would you do? Pull out your gun and shoot him first thinking you are in imminent danger? It could happen in a matter of seconds and you would have to make a split second decision. Whether this was racial or not, the shooter was definitely in the wrong to create this situation especially after being told by the police to not pursue the victim.

If he had his gun out, sure I would shoot him. If not, I would watch him carefully, perhaps with my hand close to where I would draw. (I do have a CCW permit and regularly carry.) I’ve never heard anything about Zimmerman already having his gun drawn as he approached Martin.

While Zimmerman certainly helped create this situation, that is not enough, by itself, to charge him with homicide as the recent petitions, rallies, etc. are demanding. This is especially true in light of the burden found in Florida’s Castle Doctrine for charging a person who claims self-defense. Police cannot even arrest or charge Zimmerman unless they have probable cause that his use of force was unlawful, and the law explicitly recognizes that people who are the original aggressors can, under some circumstances, still claim self-defense. Unless the evidence is there to rebut the presumptions in the law and charge Zimmerman with an unlawful use of force, the people who are signing those petitions and attending Al Sharpton’s rallies are demanding nothing more than a modern lynching. Damn the law, damn the lack of evidence—we want him in jail!
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Hockeynut! on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:48 pm

Everything I've read seems to indicate that Zimmerman will walk due to the Fla law. That has to be one of the most screwed up modern laws I've ever heard of, btw.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Firebird on Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:50 pm

I don't even think Stand Your Ground applies here.

He didn't "Stand His Ground", he tried to take ground.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:42 am

Shyster wrote:
Factorial wrote:Shyster, if you were walking down the street in the hood (ha ha to that idea) and a man started staring at you, coming toward you, and possibly having a gun out, what would you do? Pull out your gun and shoot him first thinking you are in imminent danger? It could happen in a matter of seconds and you would have to make a split second decision. Whether this was racial or not, the shooter was definitely in the wrong to create this situation especially after being told by the police to not pursue the victim.

If he had his gun out, sure I would shoot him. If not, I would watch him carefully, perhaps with my hand close to where I would draw. (I do have a CCW permit and regularly carry.) I’ve never heard anything about Zimmerman already having his gun drawn as he approached Martin.

While Zimmerman certainly helped create this situation, that is not enough, by itself, to charge him with homicide as the recent petitions, rallies, etc. are demanding. This is especially true in light of the burden found in Florida’s Castle Doctrine for charging a person who claims self-defense. Police cannot even arrest or charge Zimmerman unless they have probable cause that his use of force was unlawful, and the law explicitly recognizes that people who are the original aggressors can, under some circumstances, still claim self-defense. Unless the evidence is there to rebut the presumptions in the law and charge Zimmerman with an unlawful use of force, the people who are signing those petitions and attending Al Sharpton’s rallies are demanding nothing more than a modern lynching. Damn the law, damn the lack of evidence—we want him in jail!


But you are arguing the case from the defensive side of things. And I am telling you that if I am on the jury, I am not buying it. What you say did not happen. Zimmerman instigated the whole thing and from what the girl on the phone said, he was the one who initiated the physical altercation by shoving the kid around. The kid - let's call him by his last name, Martin - had every right to defend himself. If I have a scary looking dude first follow me then attack me, I am thinking he is some kind of criminal or a crazy person and I'm fighting for my life. His self-defense claim will not apply. Neither will the Stand Your Ground thing because Martin had every right to be at the site as a guest of somebody. You are also dismissing statements from 3 separate witnesses who reported hearing screams for help that the girl on the phone identified as coming from Martin.

I'd like you now to provide an argument for the other side. Since you're a lawyer, you may find it a fun exercise. And listen to Martin's lawyer talk to the press.. the 37 minute video (3rd from top). I totally agree with what he's saying.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/20/10780286-florida-stand-your-ground-law-could-complicate-trayvon-martin-teen-shooting-case
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby TheHammer24 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:06 am

Image

^ I think this image captures my sentiment. I am not taking sides, and I am guilty of the image's implication, but at the end of the day the message really underscores a serious problem in this country.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:11 am

That girl with the "look" sign is wearing a Duke hoodie...I'm calling shenanigans.

On a side note, I am most certainly guilty of this prejudice (right word for it). But you know what's funny? I only get that uneasy feeling when I am around a major metropolitan center like Philly, primarily due to the things I've witnessed and heard about.

When I am home in Altoona or something (yes, there are black people there), I don't feel uncomfortable in the slightest. Even where I live now (about 20 miles west of Philly), I would say half the residents on my street are black. But it's a lot of families and a very gentrified neighborhood. We get along awesomely with our neighbors here as well.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby TheHammer24 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:25 am

shafnutz05 wrote:That girl with the "look" sign is wearing a Duke hoodie...I'm calling shenanigans.

On a side note, I am most certainly guilty of this prejudice (right word for it). But you know what's funny? I only get that uneasy feeling when I am around a major metropolitan center like Philly, primarily due to the things I've witnessed and heard about.

When I am home in Altoona or something (yes, there are black people there), I don't feel uncomfortable in the slightest. Even where I live now (about 20 miles west of Philly), I would say half the residents on my street are black. But it's a lot of families and a very gentrified neighborhood. We get along awesomely with our neighbors here as well.

Lol, a lot of Northwestern Law students wear their Duke hoodies from undergrad. What are you calling shenanigans for.

I think we're all guilty of this kind of prejudice -- I certainly am -- and look at my stance on social issues. I'm saying that it's a problem, and maybe it's a problem without a solution.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:28 am

I was joking about the shenanigans thing. And you're right, I think most of us (admittedly or not) get that kind of visceral reaction from time to time.

Truth be told, I really don't think there is a solution for it, and I think trying to eliminate that is a pipe dream.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby TheHammer24 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:34 am

shafnutz05 wrote:I was joking about the shenanigans thing. And you're right, I think most of us (admittedly or not) get that kind of visceral reaction from time to time.

Truth be told, I really don't think there is a solution for it, and I think trying to eliminate that is a pipe dream.

Yeah, man. How can you stop yourself from "fear." That's like trying to convince someone afraid of flying through logic. It doesn't work. We should perhaps, then, focus on other overt problems of racism and hope this issue wanes as we become a more integrated society.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:37 am

I think the problem, especially for people like me, is that the vast, vast majority of the crime and violent crime that is committed in my geographical area is committed by that demographic. Whereas back home, where there was really nothing notable like that, I never, ever had that fear. And it's not something that can be attributed to population differences either, because it's per capita.

My prejudices were completely nonexistent until I moved outside of a metro area and saw stuff day-to-day. My wife, who was about as anti-prejudice as anyone I have ever met in my entire life, has slowly but surely developed those same prejudices over the last three years as she's lived here.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:42 am

Great conversation by the way, and happy that it has been confined to the less inflammatory posters
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:47 pm

Sarcastic wrote:I'd like you now to provide an argument for the other side. Since you're a lawyer, you may find it a fun exercise. And listen to Martin's lawyer talk to the press.. the 37 minute video (3rd from top). I totally agree with what he's saying.

The counter-argument would be that Zimmerman, by following and confronting Martin, provoked the use of force and/or was the aggressor himself. Because he was the aggressor, the burden of proving that the use of force was lawful should shift to Zimmerman. As he likely cannot, then he should be convicted of at least manslaughter if not a level of homicide.

I watched the clip with the lawyer for Martin’s family. He has some problems. First, a significant amount of what the girl on the phone would seek to testify about could be considered hearsay, and as hearsay it would be inadmissible. I think she could also be impeached, although doing so would run the risk of looking scummy, a la: "You were Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend? Did you love him? Did you love him enough to lie about the phone conversation you had with him? Etc."

Also, I was not impressed how the lawyer answered one of the questions. After complaining that Zimmerman hadn’t been arrested, one of the reporters asked him about the requirement in Florida law that there be probable cause that force was unlawful in order to arrest someone who claims self-defense. The lawyer responded by essentially accusing the local police of being racist. That’s not an answer. And that attorney can say all he wants about this case, but how (including whether) it’s prosecuted is up to law enforcement and the local prosecuting attorney.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby PensFanInDC on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:51 pm

If I said "yes" to the question posed in the picture would I be a racist?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:55 pm

The guy holding the "sus" sign does seem a little suspicious, now that I think about it.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Hockeynut! on Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:00 pm

The dude holding "pic" looks white. They must had kidnapped him and forced him to participate in the photo. :shock:
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Sarcastic on Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:02 pm

Shyster wrote:
Sarcastic wrote:I'd like you now to provide an argument for the other side. Since you're a lawyer, you may find it a fun exercise. And listen to Martin's lawyer talk to the press.. the 37 minute video (3rd from top). I totally agree with what he's saying.

The counter-argument would be that Zimmerman, by following and confronting Martin, provoked the use of force and/or was the aggressor himself. Because he was the aggressor, the burden of proving that the use of force was lawful should shift to Zimmerman. As he likely cannot, then he should be convicted of at least manslaughter if not a level of homicide.

I watched the clip with the lawyer for Martin’s family. He has some problems. First, a significant amount of what the girl on the phone would seek to testify about could be considered hearsay, and as hearsay it would be inadmissible. I think she could also be impeached, although doing so would run the risk of looking scummy, a la: "You were Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend? Did you love him? Did you love him enough to lie about the phone conversation you had with him? Etc."

Also, I was not impressed how the lawyer answered one of the questions. After complaining that Zimmerman hadn’t been arrested, one of the reporters asked him about the requirement in Florida law that there be probable cause that force was unlawful in order to arrest someone who claims self-defense. The lawyer responded by essentially accusing the local police of being racist. That’s not an answer. And that attorney can say all he wants about this case, but how (including whether) it’s prosecuted is up to law enforcement and the local prosecuting attorney.


http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/22/10808864-police-chief-receives-vote-of-no-confidence-over-handling-of-trayvon-martin-case

The police department will have to answer and I see the chief either resigning or being fired and I do feel there are serious questions that need to be raised whether we are dealing with racism or incompetence. Watch the 2nd video where Bonaparte is being grilled by the visibly upset host and Al Sharpton where they bring up a lot of good points, IMO.

As far as Zimmerman, I think a lot of it will depend on the jury. If am looking at what I know right now, I convict him. Not of a hate crime, but of defying 911 and going out on his own and being the sole cause of what happened. It didn't have to happen. He was instructed to stay away. If you listen to the video above, they mention he was not a trained patrol officer or even officially hired by the community.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:13 pm

Shyster wrote:This is especially true in light of the burden found in Florida’s Castle Doctrine for charging a person who claims self-defense. Police cannot even arrest or charge Zimmerman unless they have probable cause that his use of force was unlawful, and the law explicitly recognizes that people who are the original aggressors can, under some circumstances, still claim self-defense.

How on earth is the Castle Doctrine even applicable here???

Shyster wrote:I watched the clip with the lawyer for Martin’s family. He has some problems. First, a significant amount of what the girl on the phone would seek to testify about could be considered hearsay, and as hearsay it would be inadmissible. I think she could also be impeached, although doing so would run the risk of looking scummy, a la: "You were Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend? Did you love him? Did you love him enough to lie about the phone conversation you had with him? Etc."

I'm not a lawyer.... but isn't it an exception to hearsay if the person claimed to have made the statement is deceased, particularly homicide cases where the alleged victim is the one making the statements?

shafnutz05 wrote:When I am home in Altoona or something (yes, there are black people there)....

What?? I thought they both moved in 1999??

Sheesh, I move to California and 'Toona gets 'diversity'...........

:P
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