Why is George Zimmerman allowed to roam free tonight?

Requiring people to run only ensures that bullies will continue to bully others.

Actually, it doesn't. That entire culture is built around the concept of fighting for dominance as opposed to killing for survival. A bully, especially a stupid one, won't stay alive long enough in a society where the second option is "shoot-to-kill." Sooner or later, he's going to threaten the life of some kid, and the kid's parent has a justifiable reason not to run. Dead bully.

LarryC wrote:

Actually, it doesn't. That entire culture is built around the concept of fighting for dominance as opposed to killing for survival. A bully, especially a stupid one, won't stay alive long enough in a society where the second option is "shoot-to-kill." Sooner or later, he's going to threaten the life of some kid, and the kid's parent has a justifiable reason not to run. Dead bully.

The Warrior poet, Eric Wright aka Easy E wrote:

With a gat it don't matter if you're smaller or bigger

InspectorFowler wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
Jeff-66 wrote:

Zimmerman has an attorney now, and that attorney says Stand Your Ground does not apply in this case.

He must've hired the worst attorney possible. The "Stand Your Ground" law changed the way you could claim self-defense specifically outside the home.

But you must specifically fear for your life before you can use lethal force.

Stand your ground laws basically say that if you are attacked at any level, you don't have to run before you can defend yourself with an appropriate level of force. To me, it's common sense that you shouldn't have to run - if you're able, you should be allowed to defend yourself from any level of attack. Nobody can defend you but you.

With GZ's story to the police now out, it makes more sense why his attorney said it. Whether or not there's a duty to retreat, the inability to do so makes that point moot.

LarryC wrote:

Actually, it doesn't. That entire culture is built around the concept of fighting for dominance as opposed to killing for survival. A bully, especially a stupid one, won't stay alive long enough in a society where the second option is "shoot-to-kill." Sooner or later, he's going to threaten the life of some kid, and the kid's parent has a justifiable reason not to run. Dead bully.

As a guy who was severely bullied as a child, I've got no problem with this! Just kidding ... but not really.

The other thing about duty-to-retreat is that you may later be judged on "retreat" options that you weren't aware of and hadn't considered.

Am I supposed to run, turning my back to somebody I'm afraid of?

Am I supposed to get to a staircase - the most dangerous place to fight?

Am I supposed to try to get on a cell phone and request assistance in the middle of a confrontation?

I think you're sort of missing the point. A duty to retreat law doesn't say, "Run first, but then kill the guy if running doesn't work." It says you must reasonably exhaust all opportunities to exit the situation, and then you may still only respond with a reasonable level of force. In other words, if you are walking down the street, and a man begins shouting racial slurs at you and puts his hands up as if to fight, you have to run before you can defend yourself, if running is possible. He likely won't chase you - he'll feel like it "worked". The next person he wants to racially target will get the same show.

It's like my dogs - they bark and bark at people walking/jogging by my house. But those people keep on walking, so the dog learns, "Hey, not bad! I bark and those people went away! Barking must be totally effective!"

I won't keep arguing with you, Larry, but I will repeat my stance that I think duty-to-retreat laws contribute to a culture of fear where somebody who is under attack is double victimized when they feel like they must run before they can defend themselves. First they get attacked by the bully, then by the law if they choose to stand their ground.

Martin's family looks to trademark slogans "I am Trayvon" and "Justice for Trayvon." This will ensure that all revenue from sales of future Trayvon lines of fashion hoodies, bumper stickers, DVD collectibles, and related merchandizing stays with the family.

Well, I'll have to agree to disagree. I'll say that I live in Colorado, and even working as a cop I almost never see incidents where our no-retreat laws cause problems.

Also, it's super dry out here.

Also, we have a statute about riding animals while drunk that I pray fervently I get to enforce someday.

So it's a good state.

Paleocon wrote:

The New Black Panthers are asinine. I can't see how their input benefits this situation one iota.

I make no claims that it does. Just saying I wouldn't want to be GZ when this is over, either in prison, or out.

I agree that duty to retreat is a good policy meant to de-escalate things. It's not about establishing blame so much as it's about establishing expectations and setting things up to avert tragedy.

Let's say that two citizens meet, neither one intending violence, but both believing the other intends violence. If both of them retreat dutifully, tragedy is averted. If either one of them retreats while the other one just stands there, tragedy is averted. If one of them retreats and the other pursues, tragedy occurs (and the guy who pursued without actually intending violence is a moron.)

Let's say that two citizens meet, both intending violence. They're not going to retreat, even if it is their duty to do so. Tragedy happens.

Let's say that two citizens meet, citizen A does not intend violence, citizen B does. If citizen A retreats, the only time he'll be worse off than immediately defending himself is if B is able to attack while A is retreating. (And if it's clear that will happen, A doesn't have to retreat in the first place—his back is against the wall.) The worst case scenario is that A could have defended himself in the initial situation, but is now in a position where he cannot defend himself effectively.

Now, let's look at the same scenarios without the duty to retreat:

In the first case, neither citizen has a duty to retreat. If neither one does, the situation might escalate as they both continue to believe that the other one is after them. They both fear for their lives, and they start shooting. Tragedy. They might retreat even if they do not have the duty to do so, in which case the tragedy is averted.

In the second case, nothing changes. They're just going to fight it out no matter what.

In the third case, if the initial situation is favorable to the non-aggressor, he doesn't have to retreat and will be able to defend himself. (However, the aggressor is a moron for attacking someone in a place that gives them the advantage.)

--

My take on this is that the up sides to a duty to retreat are much larger than the down sides. Having the duty to retreat helps prevent tragedy when law-abiding citizens incorrectly identify a threat. It makes it clear that their duty is to first get clear of the threat if possible, and then to defend themselves if they cannot get away. Because of that, if there is no actual threat, the situation is likely to deescalate.

Not having the duty to retreat allows a law-abiding citizen to take advantage of the situation if threatened with violence in a situation where they initially have the advantage, but will lose it if they retreat. Not only is it questionable whether retreating to a less-safe place is required by duty to retreat, but it's less likely that someone will be attacked when they have the advantage.

--

Edit to add: I think this is one of those things that varies a lot depending on culture and expectations. I've talked about this kind of thing extensively with my brother-in-law. He grew up in Chicago, in some not-very-nice neighborhoods. I grew up in Spokane, in an area that was pretty safe. Our approaches to dealing with violent situations are way way way different. And which one is better really depends on setting—particularly, whether violence is usual or unusual in the area.

If violence is unexpected and rare, the non-aggressive approach of backing off and giving the aggressor what they want and then reporting the incident to the authorities works quite well. Stuff is just stuff. This doesn't happen to you that often, so you're not losing a lot. You're reducing the risk of bodily harm. etc.

If violence is expected and common, things are different. Not standing up for yourself means that you're going to get identified as an easy mark. The risk of injury is worthwhile as an alternative to being targeted for the same kind of thing over and over again in the near future.

--

Finally, I think duty-to-retreat makes a ton of sense when trying to shift from the one kind of society to the other. Think of a swaggery old-west sort of scenario, and what duty-to-retreat means there. The expectation [em]has[/em] been that everybody defends himself, because there's nobody else to do it. As cities grow, however, and the law becomes more well established, you want to discourage that sort of thing. You've got more people around, and more friction between people, and you need to shift that default behavior.

Once the rule of law is well established, it's a lot easier to choose between the different possibilities depending on what seems to be working better. As long as there isn't a wild-west mentality in general, neither rule ought to result in a [em]large[/em] amount of tragedy.

I guess I support the duty-to-retreat model because I'm used to living in safer places, and I see the tragedy of a death when nobody meant any real harm as being quite a bit larger than the tragedy of somebody coming to harm when there's at least one bad actor already involved.

Paleocon wrote:

The New Black Panthers are asinine. I can't see how their input benefits this situation one iota.

CNN's LZ Granderson speaks out against the NBP's $10K bounty, and calls for justice, not revenge.

InspectorFowler wrote:

Well, I'll have to agree to disagree. I'll say that I live in Colorado, and even working as a cop I almost never see incidents where our no-retreat laws cause problems.

It's very possible the wisdom of a Stand Your Ground law may vary by jurisdiction.

Jeff-66 wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

The New Black Panthers are asinine. I can't see how their input benefits this situation one iota.

CNN's LZ Granderson speaks out against the NBP's $10K bounty, and calls for justice, not revenge.

They are, as a group, utterly asinine, as Paleocon already noted. I'm just annoyed this group of barely-known half-wits that the actual Black Panthers have disowned can get their names in the paper.

I've seen people say that Zimmerman was actually on his way back to his vehicle when the confrontation occurred. Anyone seen any evidence of this either way? I know in the MSNBC's 9-1-1 tape Zimmerman says he lost sight of the kid and it sounded like he was going to be waiting for an officer to arrive.

rosenhane wrote:

I've seen people say that Zimmerman was actually on his way back to his vehicle when the confrontation occurred. Anyone seen any evidence of this either way? I know in the MSNBC's 9-1-1 tape Zimmerman says he lost sight of the kid and it sounded like he was going to be waiting for an officer to arrive.

Well considering the evidence is his statement of events.... Supposedly there is now a witness also but details of their version fits whats going on so far. f*cked up. Something about seeing an altercation (vague on the details) running upstairs to call 911 and hearing a gun shot? Thats the last version I heard.

No matter what happened the cops have royally f*cked this thing up.

Here's a synopsis report of what the various "witnesses" are saying in this case.

To illustrate how wonderfully reliable eyewitnesses are ... one swears it was GZ on top, straddling TM, and that it was TM that was whining (his word) pre-gunshot, and that the whining immediately stops post-gunshot. Another witness swears it was TM on top straddling GZ, and that it was GZ that was doing the whining.

And yet another twist to this mess...

The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News.

But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney's office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn't enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.

Wolfinger stepped down last week.

And, then there is this (from the same link):

One complicating factor in the investigation was that the first detective to interview Zimmerman about the shooting was a narcotics officer rather than a homicide detective.

At the very least, the entire Sanford PD should be fired.

Jeff-66 wrote:

Here's a synopsis report of what the various "witnesses" are saying in this case.

To illustrate how wonderfully reliable eyewitnesses are ... one swears it was GZ on top, straddling TM, and that it was TM that was whining (his word) pre-gunshot, and that the whining immediately stops post-gunshot. Another witness swears it was TM on top straddling GZ, and that it was GZ that was doing the whining.

I've seen a lot of docs at this point that have hammered home the point that "eyewitness testimony" is rather unreliable.

Phoenix Rev wrote:
One complicating factor in the investigation was that the first detective to interview Zimmerman about the shooting was a narcotics officer rather than a homicide detective.

At the very least, the entire Sanford PD should be fired.

Yeah, if they'd done their jobs correctly, whoever was at fault, this doesn't become nearly the mess it's become.

Now, I may be a pessimist, but since Al and Jesse have gotten involved, this (at least from what i've seen) has immediately devolved into a "racism against whites" thing, with the requisite Facebook postings about the media being racist by not reporting on the shooting of a white couple by an African-American (excluding that said shooter has been arrested and is in jail for said crime). I have a distinct sense that despite all of this, Zimmerman's going to walk. Only two people really know what happened that night. One is dead, the other has the entire Sanford PD and several major news organizations on his side.

IMAGE(http://www.malor.com/gamerswithjobs/colbert_trayvon_case.jpg)

Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Illinois), escorted off House floor for wearing a hoodie during his speech.

I guess the presiding congressman, a white republican from Mississippi, felt he was a security threat

SANFORD, Fla. - The lead investigator probing the deadly shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin wanted neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman arrested and charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, ABC News reports.

Investigator Chris Serino of the Sanford, Fla. Police Department wanted the 28-year-old Zimmerman behind bars, but the state Attorney's Office said there was not enough evidence to lead to a conviction, sources told ABC.

Link. The article doesn't fit with the narrative so far that the police showed up and treated Zimmerman with kid gloves because he had shot a black kid. Instead it puts the decision not to arrest Zimmerman in the hands of the prosecutor.

I still wonder if the problem for the state's attorney is some specific quirk of Florida law that places a burden on the state to show that a shooting was not self-defense, rather than the traditional rule that places the burden on the shooter to show that the killing was justified.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...

I umm. There's a lot of things wrong with that article, but I have to grudgingly admit some of his points are valid. As a "racialist," as this board has labeled me, even I'm not okay with the term "white Hispanic." Not only does it not make any sense, it seems intentionally misleading.

Seth wrote:

There's a lot of things wrong with that article, but I have to grudgingly admit some of his points are valid. As a "racialist," as this board has labeled me, even I'm not okay with the term "white Hispanic." Not only does it not make any sense, it seems intentionally misleading.

What color is a hispanic?

Funkenpants wrote:
Seth wrote:

There's a lot of things wrong with that article, but I have to grudgingly admit some of his points are valid. As a "racialist," as this board has labeled me, even I'm not okay with the term "white Hispanic." Not only does it not make any sense, it seems intentionally misleading.

What color is a hispanic?

I think the idea is that the color shouldn't matter =/

PAR

par wrote:

I think the idea is that the color shouldn't matter =/

So the census and demographic researchers should just ignore race entirely? If that's the case, why are we talking about a black kid getting shot by a white vigilante, and not just saying a kid got shot by a vigilante?

Funkenpants wrote:
Seth wrote:

There's a lot of things wrong with that article, but I have to grudgingly admit some of his points are valid. As a "racialist," as this board has labeled me, even I'm not okay with the term "white Hispanic." Not only does it not make any sense, it seems intentionally misleading.

What color is a hispanic?

Depends on the Hispanic. If you want to bring up that discussion, go find the last race thread, I dont think it's locked. If Sharpton was using "white" as a descriptive term, he would've said "brown with pink." Pretty sure he was using the word as a generalized racial term, just like everyone else.

btw, Zimmerman:

IMAGE(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--J6pfJJOxeU/T2FQsjfL0UI/AAAAAAAAAP8/knulmbxY1Bo/s400/George-Zimmerman1.jpg)

Funkenpants wrote:
Seth wrote:

There's a lot of things wrong with that article, but I have to grudgingly admit some of his points are valid. As a "racialist," as this board has labeled me, even I'm not okay with the term "white Hispanic." Not only does it not make any sense, it seems intentionally misleading.

What color is a hispanic?

What color is an Asian?

No Jonah, noone in the black community is talking about or address Black-on-black crime, and because the justice department is headed by a black man, this means that the entire criminal justice system in this country did a 180 and became pro-negro. The issue here is not, apparently, systems set up to protect people and given extraordinary power over human life in that vocation, abusing and misusing that power.

"The Real Racists" (I should get the phrase trademarked, I really should) are the ones who don't believe that, by the end of the Reagan administration, racism had been banished like the Balrog, forever and ever amen.

Funkenpants wrote:

why are we talking about a black kid getting shot by a white vigilante, and not just saying a kid got shot by a vigilante?

Because the shooter wasn't a vigilante because he was or wasn't white, and it seems highly likely that the kid who got shot was shot because he was, in fact, black. It doesn't do anyone any good to pretend race doesn't matter when it seemingly does, but it also doesn't help to tie race into something if it was not a factor in the first place.

I honestly believe that if Zimmerman were a black man, and everything else happened exactly the same way, it still wouldn't be all that important what race Zimmerman belongs to; he still (allegedly) would have shot someone for mistakenly thinking they were a threat, due to the color of their skin. It would ramp up the irony meter pretty far, though.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:
Seth wrote:

There's a lot of things wrong with that article, but I have to grudgingly admit some of his points are valid. As a "racialist," as this board has labeled me, even I'm not okay with the term "white Hispanic." Not only does it not make any sense, it seems intentionally misleading.

What color is a hispanic?

What color is an Asian?

What color is an orange? Does a root beer float?

Really I don't think the race factor in this story should take precedence over the fact that Americans are so scared of everyone not in their monkeysphere that killing them is a justifiable response.