Zimmerman: Self defense or murder?

This is a discussion on Zimmerman: Self defense or murder? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by shockwave When Zimmerman starts in on the "It's a black male," "Black kid," etc., and the dispatcher is going, "OK, we got ...

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Thread: Zimmerman: Self defense or murder?

  1. #46
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    When Zimmerman starts in on the "It's a black male," "Black kid," etc., and the dispatcher is going, "OK, we got a black teenager..." It's heading in that direction.

    In one of the stories on this case, we have an account from neighbors saying that Zimmerman was asking residents to "be on the lookout for black kids." So he had profiled the burglars in his mind and Martin fit the profile. What's important for us, as defenders, is to learn from this incident.

    Your firearm is with you for personal protection against violent assault. It's not your badge that you use to thwart crime and bring suspected wrongdoers to justice. Bear in mind that Zimmerman's actions here threaten our rights to own firearms for personal defense. He makes us all look bad - what he did is what the anti-gun crowd is worried about.

    OOOooo K .. so Zimmerman told the dispatcher that the kid in question was black. Unless I'm going color blind... The kid was black... The dispatcher confirmed the kid was black... and yep... the kid was still black. How is this racist? This is just fact... Like most folks here I'm trying to be open minded, and look at this incident honestly. I'm not saying that Neighborhood watch guy is or is not racist. I'm saying "I DONT KNOW!" I'm not suggesting that Neighborhood watch guy was correct. I'm saying "I DONT KNOW" but I'm leaning towards him being charged with some form of negligent homicide.

    Just to put my comments into some perspective... I happen to be a tactical model myself.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Most here fell Z was at fault, and he probably will be found at fault. But consider this: What if the kid had been found to be in possession of a firearm, or burglary tools, or drugs? Z then most likely would be the hero of this story. Not too may decades ago SCOTUS had to tell LEOs that "running form the police" was not justifiable cause to shoot at the fleeing perp. Not too many decades ago chasing someone who was suspicious and fleeing would be considered totally acceptable in most circumstances. What if he wasn't the NW Capt, but simply a homeowner who spotted a strange kid in the neighborhood?

    Remember not too long ago Joe Horn of Texas shot burglars who were leaving his neighbor's house, after telling a dispatcher he was going to shoot them, and the dispatcher telling him not to shoo them, and got off scott free.

    Society today expects citizens to avoid conflict and call 911 to let the LEOs handle everything. But then we complain when we OC and somebody calls the LEOs on us. Some here espouse the theory that their CCW is only for their protection, others believe that their CCW can benefit others in certain circumstances. Who is right or wrong?

    Mr. Z may have felt he was acting in the best interest of himself, the community and society in general when he approached the kid. Certainly a chain of unfortunate events ended in the death of a child, however I'm not convinced that Mr. Z's actions rise to criminality beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Nothing would change if he was a home owner or the head of the neighborhood watch. He had no additional authority.

    "Some here espouse the theory that their CCW is only for their protection, others believe that their CCW can benefit others in certain circumstances. Who is right or wrong?"

    In Florida both are scenarios could be justified. The key condition that MUST be met is that you "feared for your life". This is important to understand. For example...If I were Zimmermans neighbor and I saw the kid coming at him with a knife with the clear intent of stabbing him, I am allowed to "stand in his (Z) shoes" and fear for Zimmermans life and taken action to protect him.

    In this situation I would never have pulled out my gun to protect him. As a neighbor I probably would try to break up the fight but never would have resorted to using deadly force.

    However, this raises an interesting question... if I saw Zimmerman draw his gun against an unarmed youth and I "stood in the youths shoes" would I be in trouble for protecting the youth by shooting Zimmerman?
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  4. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    but I'm leaning towards him being charged with some form of negligent homicide.
    Considering that the Sanford Police Department has stated that there is no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim of self defense Under what statute do you believe the States attorney is going to be able to successfully prosecute him for negligent homicide?

    Set aside all the conjecture and race baiting in the news stories there is no evidence that Zimmerman instigated a criminal contact.
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  5. #49
    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Well I think a grand jury should look into it. They can ask Zimmerman to explain his side of the story.


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  6. #50
    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    I am beginning to wonder if Zimmerman had a CCW Badge....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasgo View Post
    I think the shooter is in big trouble and at least headed for a financial disaster from legal fees. A life changing event.

    1)Justified use of deadly force would require that the test of immediate threat of bodily harm must be met. From early reports, the youth had no weapon.
    Just for discussion sake, it appear that test was met when Zimmerman found himself on the ground with the other
    fellow on top of him. Keep in mind that this happened in a place where both equally had a right to stand their ground, and
    one was acting (it seems) with some authority to be the watchman for this gated community. In that capacity
    he was justified as anyone living there would be, to approach a stranger and inquire what they were doing
    within the gates of this gated community. It is no different than you or I confronting someone in our fenced
    back yard. We have every right to do that. And if the person so confronted knocks us to the ground and jumps
    upon us, and beats us with fists to where we fear for our life, we have a right to escalate the force.

    Everyone here who seems to want an indictment is forgetting that you have to be able to get a conviction with
    evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. The information in play leaves a great deal of doubt about what happened.

    The theories that Zimmerman set the kid up, that he provoked the incident, are theories which appear to lack
    evidence to back the conjecture. They may be right. I sort of suspect they are correct, actually. He might be a POS and a cold blooded murderer too. But, there is an absence of evidence.

    SIDE NOTE-- unrelated, but it does have to do with not going with the emotions of the crowd, and the self-defense
    defense.

    Before John Adams was a member of the Continental Congress he found himself as defense council for British soldiers accused of murder. The so called Boston Massacre.

    Emotions were high against the British soldiers and he and his family feared for his safety for having agreed to take the case.
    He won acquittals for all of the officers involved and I think 5 of 7 enlisted men. The issues were pretty much the same
    as here; was it self defense or was it murder? Our elementary school history books imply murder, as does the historic
    name of the incident, but that was not the conclusion of the trial court which was not comprised of English military officers, but of "American" judges and ordinary citizens doing jury duty.

    When I say "American" judges I merely mean folks born and raised on our continent, and the trial took place
    under the ordinary rules of procedure for criminal trials in that day.
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  8. #52
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    I think this whole thing might be a prime example of unintended consequences.

    Don't blame the police for not arresting Zimmerman, they can't. Their statement says they can not find any evidence to contradict his claim of self defense. In some of the initial reporting of the incident it stated that Zimmerman had injuries to his face and the back of his head. It also stated that police observed grass clippings on the back of his shirt consistent with him being on his back on the ground.

    Florida law prohibits arrest in a case where self defense is claimed unless they have something that refutes the claim:
    (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
    Without any eye witness to contradict him all the police have is Zimmerman's statement. Unless they can find forensic evidence that proves he is lying there is nothing they can do about it.

    It is not the police letting Zimmerman walk, it is the laws of the state of Florida.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    "For their part, the Sanford police statement is: "We found no evidence to contradict Mr Zimmerman's statement."

    It appears as though Mr. Zimmerman himself initiated the confrontation, escalated it, then responded lethally with a huge disparity of force. What elements of his statement might indicate otherwise, or would need contradiction in order to present the facts to a grand jury for consideration?
    The point being omitted is that this occurred within a gated community; presumably on private property jointly owned
    by the HOA. He was acting with consent as a watchman. It is not unreasonable for a watchman to go up to someone
    and engage them in conversation about what they are doing in a particular place at a particular time. It is not unlawful
    for anyone to do that anywhere; of course on the general street no one would because you'd expect to be told to bug off.
    Now here, within the gated enclosure is a different story. Sadly, we have no recording of what was said, how, in what tone.
    We can conjecture and no more. What we know is that somehow Zimmerman found himself on the ground being
    pounded. Now, I have to say that seems odd given the alleged 100 lbs he had on the dead kid. OTOH, if given that
    size disparity he was knocked down and being bested, I can easily see where he feared that the guy on top, the kid,
    was a skilled fighter who was about to do him great harm which must be answered with greater force.

    Folks, this isn't about two people meeting on a downtown street and getting into it. You can't judge it
    as you would that circumstance; where Zimmerman would clearly be our of order (if I may use that term).
    Don't forget that this took place in a spot where his approach and inquiry of the kid was justifiable.

    What we really don't know, and will never know, is who initiated physical violence. Who "laid on hands" first?
    And even then, as I wrote in earlier posts, this may be one of those tragic situations where BOTH parties
    were fully justified by their actions and yet there was an horrifically bad outcome.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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  10. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Don't blame the police for not arresting Zimmerman, they can't. (deleted stuff for brevity)
    It is not the police letting Zimmerman walk, it is the laws of the state of Florida.
    Precisely.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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  11. #55
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    The key to the term "Neighborhood Watch" is WATCH and report to 911, this guy followed the teenager after being told by 911 dispatch not to making it look like a case of looking for trouble.

  12. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    I am beginning to wonder if Zimmerman had a CCW Badge....
    I did wonder if this was the case...

  13. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    I think this whole thing might be a prime example of unintended consequences.

    Don't blame the police for not arresting Zimmerman, they can't. Their statement says they can not find any evidence to contradict his claim of self defense. In some of the initial reporting of the incident it stated that Zimmerman had injuries to his face and the back of his head. It also stated that police observed grass clippings on the back of his shirt consistent with him being on his back on the ground.

    Florida law prohibits arrest in a case where self defense is claimed unless they have something that refutes the claim:


    Without any eye witness to contradict him all the police have is Zimmerman's statement. Unless they can find forensic evidence that proves he is lying there is nothing they can do about it.

    It is not the police letting Zimmerman walk, it is the laws of the state of Florida.

    As I read the statute Quoted it's up to the police to make the initial determination that it was self defense. As I have stated in several other posts. 90% of shooting investigations are decided on proximity, and forensic evidence. In my opinion there are enough dynamics to warrant some level of criminal investigation. I'm not saying that neighborhood watch guy
    should be charged with murder. But just from the known facts he owns a large % of the results of the incident. I dont understand how anyone could imagine this a clear cut case of self defense. While I usually side with the police and give them the benifit of the doubt... I have to wonder if something else is going on here. I could see them stating something like "This investigation is on going", or "Mr Z is cooperating fully and we feel he's not a flight risk" but to issue a statement so soon after the shooting that we dont have any evidence contrary to what he told us?... and thats it?

  14. #58
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    Under the statute as explained... In Florida one could commit the perfect murder... Just claim self defense.

  15. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    It is not unreasonable for a watchman to go up to someone
    and engage them in conversation about what they are doing in a particular place at a particular time. It is not unlawful
    for anyone to do that anywhere;
    Agreed, but that is not what Zimmerman did. Listening to the 911 call, Zimmerman seemed to just follow the kid and never approached him nor asked him anything. Zimmerman admits the kid actually ran away at one point. There was NO dialogue from Z.

    I don't think I'd like someone stalking me like that. Would you? If you've got a problem with my presence then speak up and ask me what I'm doing there. You know as well as I, that would be the first thing the police would do. I would find it disturbing and suspicious to have someone stalking me in this manner.
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    I'm curious as to if anyone else has seen the only picture of George Zimmerman that has been released by the media.
    George_Zimmerman.jpg
    I'm wondering why he is wearing a a prison jumpsuit in it.

    I still don't believe that the kid was on top of Zimmerman especially after investigating the information that was brought up here.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1911_Kimber View Post
    Listened to the files again...

    On the call from Z, he described T as wearing a grey hoody... In the 3rd tape the lady said she saw a guy with a white T-Shirt on top of the other person... Unless the hoody was lost during the struggle, Z was on top of T...

    Food for thought
    I want to hear Zimmerman tell us what happened.

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