Geraldo: Blame the hoodie for Trayvon Martin shooting as much as the shooter; Update: Florida law explained

posted at 11:00 am on March 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

As a gun-rights advocate, I constantly have to remind people that guns are a tool, not an entity with motives, and that the responsibility for its use lies with the shooter. For some reason, we have an impulse after tragedies to try to blame objects rather than people, or more likely, to blame everyone else (“society”) for the personal choices of an individual. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it taken to the extent that Geraldo Rivera does in this morning’s Fox and Friends segment on Trayvon Martin’s death:

“I have a different take, Brian, on that,” Rivera said. “I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”

According to Rivera, the so-called hoodie has negative connotations attached to it, which may inspire ill-advised reflexive reactions.

“When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark skinned kid like my son Cruz who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles,” Rivera said. “Take that hood off. People look at you and what’s the instant identification? What’s the instant association? Its crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-Eleven, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or get the old lady in the alcove, it’s the kid with a hoodie. You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangsta — you’re going to be a gangsta wannabe? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant reflexive action.”

I’ve had a number of e-mails asking me to analyze the issues in the Martin/Zimmerman shooting. I’ve struggled with it, but I can assure readers that hoodies never came up in my calculations. I do get what Rivera is saying; I had this conversation with my nephew when he was a teenager, explaining that clothes are a statement of values that get communicated instantly to the people around him, especially to those who don’t know him. That doesn’t mean that baggy pants or a hoodie makes you complicit in your own death when someone shoots you for no other reason, however, and it’s a blame-the-victim impulse to make that argument.

Otherwise, this is a tough case to explain, in part because I’m much more familiar with Minnesota law than Florida law on self-defense. Under Minnesota law, Zimmerman would have been charged with some form of homicide, probably manslaughter, if the circumstances are what we have seen in the media. Minnesota law requires that the actor using lethal force in self-defense has to first be in reasonable fear of his life or of grave bodily harm, the latter of which means losing a limb, an eye, or significant maiming and not just getting one’s ass kicked. That requires some demonstration of lethality or threat of maiming before the shooting, not just a threatening motion.

Second, and equally importantly, the actor in a lethal deployment of self-defense has to not have contributed to the conflict that required it. This is where the difference between state laws might be an issue. In Minnesota, even under the Castle Doctrine law that Governor Mark Dayton vetoed, chasing down someone to shoot them would have been a clear violation of self-defense statutes and would probably result in manslaughter charges. I’m not sure how Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is written, though; it might allow someone who got threatened to chase the person who did the threatening with the intent of using deadly force. If so, that’s incredibly stupid, but it might explain why Zimmerman couldn’t get charged in this case. Stand Your Ground laws in general are supposed to allow people to defend themselves without having to demonstrate that retreat was impossible — in other words, avoiding the need to defend one’s self from the second-guessing of a district attorney later on whether the shooter had the opportunity to run and hope the potential attacker didn’t shoot, stab, or chase anyway. They aren’t supposed to allow shooters in this situation to chase down the threat and shoot, but again, I don’t know how Florida wrote its law.

My late friend Joel Rosenberg, who was also my carry-permit instructor, taught one lesson above all else: a carry permit was not a Junior G-Man badge, especially not in Minnesota. That seems to be a lesson Zimmerman didn’t learn, and Florida may need to modify its carry and self-defense statutes to make that much more clear.

Joel literally wrote the book on carry licensing in Minnesota, The Carry Book: Minnesota Edition.  Unfortunately Joel passed away before he could complete an edition that looked at the issue nationally, but even if you’re not in Minnesota, there is a ton of good advice for those who want to pursue carry licenses and handle firearms.  My particular favorite chapter of the book is titled, “Cowardice 201: A PhD Seminar in Advanced Staying Out of Trouble,” in which Joel reveals that the true secret of karate is to run faster than everyone else.  Self-defense starts with keeping out of situations where you will likely find yourself threatened.  Joel’s book is a sobering read, literally and figuratively.

Update: I forgot to mention another point about self-defense law in Minnesota. Once the threat ends, self-defense actions have to stop as well at that moment. That means that an antagonist who stops threatening lethality can’t be attacked with lethal force in self-defense.

Update II: A reader who has a carry permit in Florida e-mails a detailed response, which clarifies Florida law and shows that it’s much the same as Minnesota’s. What follows are his lengthy comments; I’m blockquoting where he quotes:

I have a Florida concealed weapon license. You said:

Minnesota law requires that the actor using lethal force in self-defense has to first be in reasonable fear of his life or of grave bodily harm, the latter of which means losing a limb, an eye, or significant maiming and not just getting one’s ass kicked. That requires some demonstration of lethality or threat of maiming before the shooting, not just a threatening motion.

The same is true in Florida.

A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.

That means that you can use force (BUT NOT DEADLY FORCE) to proportionally defend against imminent use of force. So if someone cocks their fist back to punch you, you can beat them to the punch. You can’t #$%&ing shoot them because they were about to punch you.

However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony

So if someone is about to kill or severely main you or someone else, you can respond with deadly force. Again, the response has to be proportional to the threat.  read 776.013, as it contains a bunch of stipulations about the use of deadly force.

Finally, 776.041:

 The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(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.

Note #2… initially provokes the use of force against himself. That might apply here.

There is no situation where a confrontation you initiated, in which you were never threatened with mortal danger, can be legally ended by you using lethal force. Zimmerman should be charged with manslaughter or maybe even second degree murder under Florida law.

My late friend Joel Rosenberg, who was also my carry-permit instructor, taught one lesson above all else: a carry permit was not a Junior G-Man badge, especially not in Minnesota. That seems to be a lesson Zimmerman didn’t learn, and Florida may need to modify its carry and self-defense statutes to make that much more clear.

They do make it clear, and the brochure you get when getting a license spells it out explicitly (this is an offical State of Florida brochure). They contain case studies where lethal force is not justified. Like it talks about one case where someone chased a robber off of their property and shot them. They were charged. You can use a
gun to stop a forcible felony, not bring someone to justice after they’ve fled. There is a case where neighbors get into an argument and one neighbor swings a garden hose at the other, who replies by shooting him. Charged. You can’t use a gun if you’re not in mortal danger. The brochure clearly explains that a CWL does not make you a law enforcement officer. I got this hammered into me really hard in the course I took (which is mandated by the state).

Here’s one of the pamphlets:

http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/forms/P-00090-DeadlyForce-0911.pdf

[end update II]


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8 9 10 12

This has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with conservatives. Why do some conservatives constantly view themselves as victims?

bayam on March 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Just STFU.

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

But again, you have no facts to back up a claim of this being a race shooting. Continuing to push it makes you look extremely prejudiced and/or stupid.

CNN has audio of him saying “f**king c**ns”.

yeah, that too.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

My evidence is the 911 call. It’s clearly racist.

Your opinion may differ, but I’m not making assumptions about the facts. You just happen to disagree with my conclusions.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

So maybe you could say “In my opinion, based off of the 911 call, Zimmerman was motivated by race”.

That would be a pretty reasonable statement. Asserting that it’s clearly racist isn’t.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Mostly I’m just ticked that this is all the DC news talks about all day, always from the perspective of Sharpton and always with the assumption that the police don’t have reason not to arrest him.

Count to 10 on March 23, 2012 at 6:45 PM

deadman on March 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Actually, Zimmerman is recorded on the 9-1-1 call as saying Trayvon Martin is running away, and then he admits he is pursuing when asked by the 9-1-1 operator. Whatever happened after that, at the beginning of this whole sad episode Martin acted correctly, while Zimmerman, at the very least, violated the principles of the neighborhood watch association and also (probably)exempted himself from the protections of the relevant Florida statute.

So, in my opinion, it is reasonable and prudent to let a Grand Jury hear the facts and decide whether or not to indict.

HTL on March 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Why do some conservatives constantly view themselves as victims?

bayam on March 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Lol, good one.

carbon_footprint on March 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

That would be a pretty reasonable statement. Asserting that it’s clearly racist isn’t.

Would it be racist if I called the cops on every black guy I saw in my white neighborhood?

What if I just called the cops on the black guys in hoodies?

Would that be okay and completely not racist?

Just wondering what the line is, here..

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

IDK if he converted or not, but Zimmerman is latino.

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Me too. I converted to latino back in ’83.

Laura in Maryland on March 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

It’s kinda fun to watch some people get all defensive based on calling out one guy, though.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

It’s not defensive to point out that we don’t have all the facts and shouldn’t make assumptions about Zimmerman’s actions or motives based on incomplete and conflicting reports.

Some fat guy with a piece starts following me and looking at me with a weird eye, I’m going to try and defend myself, period.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

And you’d know the fat guy who was following you (in the dark) had a gun . . . how exactly? You have ESP? You can see through clothes? And if Trayvon Martin knew that Zimmerman had a gun on him, why would Martin be fighting him? Wouldn’t it be more prudent for Martin to have raised his hands at that point?

AZCoyote on March 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I am so enjoying this thread today. It’s comic gold.

Assuming that’s correct, we know Zimmerman was stalking this kid, following him – with a gun – what, this kid didn’t fear for his life?

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Now you’re telling us the kid saw the concealed gun, or that Zimmerman was stalking the kid like an assassin with his gun out and drawn. You’re going waaaaay out of the known facts into pure ideology-based supposition to convict a guy of murder.

I don’t know if you’re a troll or a paid political operative. Remember, Sharpton makes more money if Zimmerman goes free.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Again, where do I draw the line to the point where I can call his actions racist?

Is calling the cops on every black kid with a hoodie racist, but if it’s raining, and he’s alone – is that okay?

What if there’s been some breakins recently? Do I then get a free pass on reporting the movements of all black males in my white neighborhood? That’s not racist, right? Maybe a little paranoid, but not racist.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:51 PM

What, Hispanics can’t be racist..?

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Considering how often we’ve been bombarded by the left in the past with the argument that ‘minorities cannot be racist’…….

Just sayin.

tdpwells on March 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Triple is right.It is a race thing. But he got the racists wrong-this is Duke lacrosse all over again. The liberals are so desperate for a white crucifixion that they call Zimmerman a WHITE HISPANIC!!!!!They wanted a “Bobby Jack” but instead they got-guilty or not-”Roberto Jacinto If an Asiaqn had done the shooting it would be a WHITE ASIAN.

The whole key here is an Obama ploy. Make it a racial thing and blame “whitey:. Triple why don’t you FODA.

MaiDee on March 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I’m not blaming whitey. I’m blaming one George Zimmerman.

Maybe whitey should stop taking it so goddamn personally.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

People have every reason to be outraged under these circumstance. That does not make you a victim.

bayam on March 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Here is the problem. You on the left have a select list of approved “circumstances” where you become outraged and the one thing they all have in common is that they are used for political gain. It is particularly pathetic coming from middle-class white internet nerds.

Remind me the last time that Sharpton marched against the black on black crime epidemic unless he was reluctantly guilted into it? No political gain in that though.

What pisses you warped individuals on the left off is that we don’t see racism as the most heinous of crimes. Hell I bet you and triple have raging erections right now at the thought of all this percieved racism goin on round hereya!

So if it is not political then why are we on here arguing about it since it seems that more people seem to be in agreement on the general questions about the case than not.

ClassicCon on March 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Have a link for that? Someone else said it was in his 911 call, as in ‘c00ns always get away’, but when I listened to it I didn’t hear that.

If he did actually say that things would be a little different.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I’m not blaming whitey. I’m blaming one George Zimmerman.

Maybe whitey should stop taking it so goddamn personally.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Hey can’t us “whitey’s” get in on some of that victimization once in a while? You have like 30 groups on your side that has developed victimization into a cottage industry…fair is fair right?

Ask Fluke. DOH!

ClassicCon on March 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I haven’t read all the comments yet but has this been linked.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin-killer-had-brushes-prior-153033731.html

Mr. Zimmerman appears to have been interested in joining law enforcement.

Cindy Munford on March 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

It’s not letting me post the cnn link, here’s a tiny link for badger.

http://tinyurl.com/6luthw3

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

HEADLINE:

Geraldo Calls For Readjustment of Racial Excuses, Latino Jews Now Allowed to Shoot Black Youths If Wearing Hoodies

UPDATE:
Al Sharpton Ordering Lobster For Entire Entourage

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

This case has everything to do with the possibility of at least latent racism in a city’s police force that demonstrated unique incompetence in detaining the shooter after a fatal shooting to obtain all facts material to the death and apparently tried to elicit answers from witnesses that would exculpate the shooter.

bayam on March 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Yeah, I would like to hear more on why the police department said they didn’t have enough to detain him.

You saying that conservatives are the ones who view themselves as victims was funny, too.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

You have like 30 groups on your side that has developed victimization into a cottage industry…

Yeah, but we’re nothing compared to christians.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Personally I ignored the story. After I saw the uproar here, I bothered with the media and I see that it does sound pretty bad but:

1)Obama says the DOJ will follow the case
2)A Grand Jury will be convened April 10 to decide
3)Sanford city commissioners conducted a vote of “no confidence” against embattled Police Chief Billy Lee
4)Florida’s Lt Gov has set up a Task Force to look at it

A lesson I learned long ago is that the media are always searching for a story and not the truth. I’ll sit back a little while longer and await the GJ’s decision. Is it as bad as it sounds? I hope not but if it is I suspect there are enough folks paying attention now (see 1-4) that it will be seen through properly.

Dawnsblood on March 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Just wondering what the line is, here..

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

If you were my neighbor, and you saw a guy alone, at night, that you didn’t recognize, with clothing that concealed his identify, and you didn’t call the police, I’d consider you to be a sh!tty neighbor.

Also, in the 911 call, he can’t clearly identify Martin as black initially. He says he thinks he is. Now, maybe he’s just trying not to sound racist, but either way it’s not a point that supports your argument.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

If he did actually say that things would be a little different.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

What he actually uttered is being disputed, but the Martins’ family attorney is stating it as fact that he said ‘coon’ in comments to the press. FWIW.

tdpwells on March 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

I don’t know where you live, but I’m kind of in a suburb and I see people I don’t recognize all the time. Should I be calling the cops like every 20 minutes? Are people not allowed to be on the street alone at night?

Thought this was a free country, just saying.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

It’s not letting me post the cnn link, here’s a tiny link for badger.

http://tinyurl.com/6luthw3

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM

It does sound like that is what he is saying, unfortunately, CNN uses the same technique that scam artist “ghost hunters” use to provide EVP’s as evidence.

It needs to be looked into, and if he is a raging racist like you yearn for then surely it would come out in his background.

ClassicCon on March 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Aren’t conservatives the same people bitching about a police state 24/7?

But its okay for a “neighborhood watch” guy to pursue, get into a fight with, and then shoot an unarmed man?

Let me ask you one thing hot air commenters – when did you stop being conservatives?

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I don’t know where you live, but I’m kind of in a suburb and I see people I don’t recognize all the time. Should I be calling the cops like every 20 minutes? Are people not allowed to be on the street alone at night?

Thought this was a free country, just saying.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

When you move out of your mom’s house and own a place of your own and suffer a rash of burgluary’s you are damn straight you will call the pigs at the first sign of strangers.

I pretty much shoot at anything under 30 years old on my street.

ClassicCon on March 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Well guys, it’s been fun.

I’m going to go out and walk to my aunt’s house for a family gathering now. It’s starting to get dark, and I’m wearing a hoodie, but I’m not that worried that I’ll be chased down and shot.

I mean, after all, I’m white.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Yeah, but we’re nothing compared to christians.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

UPDATE: Christians Claiming Victimization in Trayvon Martin Shooting

UPDATE:
Sharpton Laughingly Invites Jews to Share Lobster Fest

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:09 PM

This must be hard on Rev Sharpton, to organize the protests the day after his mom passed away.

Cindy Munford on March 23, 2012 at 7:09 PM

triple-

Thanks for the link. I do hear the F word, but the second part, even after a professional clears up the audio, isn’t clear enough to be sure. So no, I’m not willing to assign motives to a guy over a word I can’t decipher.

I got a kick out of how Cooper said they wanted you to hear it with fresh ears, then warned viewers that it was offensive. Objectivity!

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I mean, after all, I’m white.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

You’re also not very bright, which should probably be of greater concern to you.

AZCoyote on March 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Supposedly Zimmerman called the cops on a regular basis to report suspicious activity. Maybe someone in the media could do their job and see if he exclusively called in black persons, or if he called the police on suspicious behavior regardless of race.

That might be a useful data point.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Accused killer ‘spanish-speaking minority with many black family members and friends’…
REVERSAL: Obama wades in after dismissing it as ‘local’ matter…
Urges ‘soul-searching’…
NBCNEWS Sharpton stokes FL town: ‘Are you afraid of violence?’
MSNBC Host Finney Blames Limbaugh, Gingrich, Santorum For Death…
Farrakhan: ‘Soon and very soon’ there will be ‘retaliation’…
More Miami schools stage mass walk-outs…

Bmore on March 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Headline:
Sharpton Inadvertantly Invites Own Mother to Lobster Fest

UPDATE:
triple Blows Off Family Gathering to Attend Sharpton Rally at Red Lobster

(Just sticking to the facts here.)

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Supposedly Zimmerman called the cops on a regular basis to report suspicious activity… That might be a useful data point.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Another report states that there was a “typo” and he called 911 some 40 times over 11 years, not 1 year.

Don’t know the truth of it, but we can all wait, right?

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:19 PM

You’re also not very bright, which should probably be of greater concern to you.

AZCoyote on March 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

How you would define “bright” and how I define bright are two very different things.

The average rush-listener maintains that college is for turning kids into communists, creationism is a real thing that really for real happened, and thinks gay people can “fix themselves”.

So, yeah. lol.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Supposedly Zimmerman called the cops on a regular basis to report suspicious activity… That might be a useful data point.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Another report states that there was a “typo” and he called 911 some 40 times over 11 years, not 1 year.

Don’t know the truth of it, but we can all wait, right?

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:19 PM

WTH, USE YOUR SO CALLED HEAD!!! HE’S ONLY 28. 11 YEARS AS A WATCHMAN SINCE WHEN 17??

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I don’t know where you live, but I’m kind of in a suburb and I see people I don’t recognize all the time. Should I be calling the cops like every 20 minutes? Are people not allowed to be on the street alone at night?

Thought this was a free country, just saying.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

It’s a gated community. By design, it’s not an area where people from all over are not supposed to be “free” to walk through, at will.

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

It’s a gated community. By design, it’s not an area where people from all over are supposed to be “free” to walk through, at will.

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Fixed it for me.

Also, Zimmerman was part of a neighborhood watch program. He is SUPPOSED to be looking for and reporting “suspicious activity.”

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Don’t argue with me, I only report the facts, like triple.

HEADLINE:
triple Requests Position of CHRISTIAN COMPLIANCE CZAR in Sharpton’s New Government, Obama Gives Support

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:27 PM

I don’t know where you live, but I’m kind of in a suburb and I see people I don’t recognize all the time. Should I be calling the cops like every 20 minutes? Are people not allowed to be on the street alone at night?

Thought this was a free country, just saying.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

It’s a gated community. By design, it’s not an area where people from all over are not supposed to be “free” to walk through, at will.

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Mr. Martin’s father lives there, which tells me he’s been there many times and that POS zimmerman has had to have seen him before. If you are a watchman you call the cops when you see someone breaking and entering and engaging in other criminal activities and the cops take over from there.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM

or significant maiming and not just getting one’s ass kicked.

Well…..who’s to say when the maiming or limb losing begins and the ass kicking ends? I’d say as long as your ass is getting kicked…you can assume you might be in real danger of never coming out of the coma either.

Twana on March 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM

“The average rush-listener maintains that college is for turning kids into communists, creationism is a real thing that really for real happened, and thinks gay people can “fix themselves”.

So, yeah. lol.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM”

It’s a fantastic thing when someone proves themselves an ignorant moron, you obviously don’t listen to Limbaugh. As for creationism, please tell me when and how life first began or for what purpose. Since we could just have a lot of rocks flying around the universe with no purpose other than being there. Intelligent design is a valid theory unless your limited in your thinking. Limited to what your told rather than thinking for yourself. College turns more people into alchoholics, than communists. As for gay people who cares, glitter for everyone!

Hey let’s start a movement, everyone send Geraldo a hoodie and see if he gets our point!

Africanus on March 23, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Wow. triple leaves and 0bamaderangementsyndrom [sic] steps in. Do they share the same chair?

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Mr. Martin’s father lives there, which tells me he’s been there many times and that POS zimmerman has had to have seen him before.

If that’s true…why did the kids body lay unclaimed for 3 days after being shot?

“Mr. Martin” didn’t give one damn about that kid or his where abouts either.

The “kid” was sent there to get out of moms hair after being kicked out of school.

Twana on March 23, 2012 at 7:32 PM

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Ha.

You beat me to it.

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 7:33 PM

If that’s true…why did the kids body lay unclaimed for 3 days after being shot?

This part puzzles me, too.

Wasn’t he also on the phone with somebody when this all went down?

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I’m going to go out and walk to my aunt’s house for a family gathering now.triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Be sure and wear protection, you f$cking f#ggot.

carbon_footprint on March 23, 2012 at 7:35 PM

0bamaderangementsyndrom [sic], Sharpton wants you not to work so hard and to come and join the company dinner at Red Lobster. He says they’re having a good time and tossing Skittles into each other’s mouths across the table. I’ve never seen him this happy.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:37 PM

How you would define “bright” and how I define bright are two very different things.

Of that, I have no doubt. ;)

The average rush-listener maintains that college is for turning kids into communists, creationism is a real thing that really for real happened, and thinks gay people can “fix themselves”.

So, yeah. lol.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I’ve never heard Limbaugh’s radio show so I’m not sure how that’s relevant to anything in this discussion, but . . . whatever. I’m sure it makes sense in your mind (bless your heart).

AZCoyote on March 23, 2012 at 7:38 PM

carbon_footprint on March 23, 2012 at 7:35 PM

oh my goodness! lol!

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 7:38 PM

CNN has audio of him saying “f**king c**ns”.

yeah, that too.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

CNN is so full of it.
“You MAY have heard it or you MAY NOT have heard it and he MAY have said it and he MAY NOT have said it and we audio enhanced it and HE MAY have said it and HE MAY NOT have said it and if you listen you MAY hear it or you MAY NOT here it……THIS is CNN”

It’s 2012. What racist still says “coon” ?

Marcus on March 23, 2012 at 7:41 PM

WARNING:
“f$cking f#ggot” may be considered inappropriate, intolerant, insensitive, and contrary to diversity. And may get you jailed for 10-20 as a hate crime.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 7:42 PM

It’s 2012. What racist still says “coon” ?

Marcus on March 23, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Rich and privileged Peruvian whites willing to go to jail just to take out one black man.

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 7:42 PM

oh my goodness! lol!

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 7:38 PM

?

Bmore on March 23, 2012 at 7:42 PM

?

Bmore on March 23, 2012 at 7:42 PM

What? carbon’s comment was way over the top, classless, and uncalled for, but it made me giggle.

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Normally I would have to, well you know, go after him, but………..

Bmore on March 23, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Looky there……..where?…….there……..

Bmore on March 23, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Twana on March 23, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Is that true? I heard he was on the phone with his father when the incident happened? I never know what is true with these stories.

Cindy Munford on March 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM

The average rush-listener maintains that college is for turning kids into communists, creationism is a real thing that really for real happened, and thinks gay people can “fix themselves”.

So, yeah. lol.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The average MSNBC viewer maintains that they can speak with authority about a radio talk show host that they know next to nothing about, and wouldn’t know a parody if it bit them on the nose.

tdpwells on March 23, 2012 at 7:55 PM

The Grand Jury will indict, they can do nothing else at this point. The train of truth and justice left the station long ago, this is now a race-politics incident and truth is no longer operative.

clippermiami on March 23, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Here comes the big gun

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM

That hedonistic, phony christian pastor, philanderer is back in hymie-town agitating the ignorant masses?

Didn’t he advocate for a testical-ectomy on Obama?

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Mr. Martin’s father lives there, which tells me he’s been there many times and that POS zimmerman has had to have seen him before. If you are a watchman you call the cops when you see someone breaking and entering and engaging in other criminal activities and the cops take over from there.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Does his father live there? Another media report said they were at his father’s girlfriend’s. Again, waaaaay too much conflicting information here.

The last part, yeah, completely agree. Zimmerman never should have followed Martin.

BadgerHawk on March 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Wasn’t he also on the phone with somebody when this all went down?

From what I read he was on the cell phone with his girlfriend. Now…he hangs up…isn’t seen for 3 days…and she ( whom he told was being followed by some “Dude” ) never calls back to find out what happened for 3 days either?

Twana on March 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM

The Grand Jury will indict, they can do nothing else at this point. The train of truth and justice left the station long ago, this is now a race-politics incident and truth is no longer operative.

clippermiami on March 23, 2012 at 7:59 PM

fvcking idiot, is a human being life being cut short at 17 years old resonate with you fcvking idiot. maybe next time if its your family member your will think twice fvcking POS

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 8:06 PM

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I’m not sure I get the import of this. Is Jackson supporting Sharpton? Trying to suck up his scraps? Or trying to steal his thunder?

But more importantly, how does this effect Geraldo Rivera?

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 8:07 PM

part of a delegation of religious leaders trying to find a way to end the violence in Syria.

The racist idiot is in Syria? What the hells wrong with that picture when in his HOME TOWN of CHICAGO…49 shootings over a week….11 dead…including a 6 year old…and he’s in Syria when there are more dead every year in Chicago than in Syria?

Twana on March 23, 2012 at 8:08 PM

fvcking idiot, is a human being life being cut short at 17 years old resonate with you fcvking idiot. maybe next time if its your family member your will think twice fvcking POS

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Charles Blow, you need to relax a little. Commenting while mad is likely to not go too well.

tom daschle concerned on March 23, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Geraldo is on BOR and says that Bloomberg is he best mayor New York has ever had. What???

Cindy Munford on March 23, 2012 at 8:16 PM

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 8:06 PM

You got the derangement part right.

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 8:17 PM

The racist idiot is in Syria?

Twana on March 23, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Nooooooooooooooooooo….Switzerland and Belgium “Working” on finding a solution to Syria.

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 8:19 PM

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Yes, we all feel the pain of the mother and Trayvon’s family and those who knew him.

My question is why is this one murder more important, or less racially significant than all the other black kids killed across the US? A latino kills a black! Got it. Wait for the investigation! That’s the point. We don’t know, do we, which direction Zimmerman was walking after the dispatcher told him that they “don’t need” him to follow.

Only the 911 recording made this salacious national news, and probably the carry permit made it juicy to handgun prohibition advocates.

And at first it was presented as a vigilante chasing down a mild-mannered kid going out for Skittles.

But Zimmerman was aparently beaten! Who took the last three steps before the first blow? Who was screaming for help? When you can answer that we will be able to talk about the implications. Prior to knowing all that, we see Sharpton and Jackson making race-based accusations and criticisms, justifying a racial narrative, and stoking the situation to greater emotion and anger.

Riots can be promoted, you know. We care about the loss of a child, but who will be hurt next by this? And believe it or not, I’m sure we all care about all our kids, black, white, and brown.

For Geraldo to blame the hoodie is simplistic, obfuscatory and disingenuous. But that’s what makes up great reporting today, I suppose.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I don’t know where you live, but I’m kind of in a suburb and I see people I don’t recognize all the time. Should I be calling the cops like every 20 minutes? Are people not allowed to be on the street alone at night?

Thought this was a free country, just saying.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 7:03 PM

You saying if a neighborhood watch guy stops you and says what are you doing here you have the right to knock him down and beat him up? For asking you a question?

Thought this was a free country, just saying.

Paul-Cincy on March 23, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Here comes the big gun

BallisticBob on March 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Oh my at the comments on that article. If the left thinks Jesse and Al are helping, they’re SORELY mistaken.

Dack Thrombosis on March 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM

I’m not blaming whitey. I’m blaming one George Zimmerman.

Maybe whitey should stop taking it so goddamn personally.

triple on March 23, 2012 at 6:54 PM

We might, except that you can go to any number of liberal sites and see the “reverse racism” in full bay.

Overall, I agree with where you say blame should go. I’ve listened to that 911 call, and when he gets out of the car and starts huffing along, all sympathy for the guy vanishes. He was looking to confront this kid who represents all the ones that got away, as he put it in the call. The dispatcher told him not to, and he did anyway.

The Grand Jury will indict, they can do nothing else at this point. The train of truth and justice left the station long ago, this is now a race-politics incident and truth is no longer operative.

clippermiami on March 23, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I think that train left the station when the police released Zimmerman, in spite of evidence that he instigated the conflict. I personally think that Mr. Martin, armed only with a bag of skittles and an iced tea, was the one who tried to stand his ground when Mr. Zimmerman caught up to him. He died for it.

But I don’t have all of the evidence. The Grand Jury will — or at least those elements the Keystone Kops managed to collect before they cut Zimmerman loose.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2012 at 8:47 PM

One more thing about Geraldo Rivera — this is about Rivera and the hoodie, right?

Geraldo is spinning this to be about a hoodie — in order to distract from any actual culpability on the part of the kid, or to diminish culpability on the part of the Latino, or perhaps just to shoot off his mouth on national TV again. What the truth is we just don’t know.

From all the comments I’ve gotten just on this thread, it looks like — in the most general sense — a neighborhood watch guy followed too close for too long, and a guy took matters into his own hands and beat up the watcher a little too hard and a little too long, and the watcher had and used a legal gun.

How the prosecution presents this will be entirely political. And how the jury decides it will likely be entirely social.

Either way, there is greater harm coming from stoking racial and cultural tensions. They all need to stop it.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 8:47 PM

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The train left the station when the media released selectively-edited phone recordings.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM

That damn Bill Bellichick!!

dthorny on March 23, 2012 at 8:52 PM

The police went to the DA with the case who told them that there was insufficient evidence to file charges. Stop bashing the cops.

Blake on March 23, 2012 at 9:05 PM

From what I read he was on the cell phone with his girlfriend. Now…he hangs up…isn’t seen for 3 days…and she ( whom he told was being followed by some “Dude” ) never calls back to find out what happened for 3 days either?

Twana on March 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM

What makes you think she didn’t try? She said she did, but nobody answered the phone. As for hanging up, that’s not quite the same as “the phone went dead”.

The fact that she was on the phone with him is backed up by photocopies of Mr. Martin’s cellphone bill, which were provided by Mr. Martin’s father.

Part of the problem is that the 16 year old girlfriend doesn’t want to talk to the police — she wants only to talk to the Martins’ attorney. She says she’s afraid of the police — and I can certainly see why. I expect she’ll be called to testify before the Grand Jury, and her evidence (including her cellphone bill, very likely) will be integrated with everything else.

Zimmerman: “These a**holes always get away”

Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”

Zimmerman: “Yeah.”

Dispatcher: “We don’t need you to do that.”

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2012 at 9:05 PM

The train left the station when the media released selectively-edited phone recordings.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM

If the phone recordings we can play back were “selectively edited”, that was done by the police. There are copies of the nonemergency call by Zimmerman to the police — in its entirety, and two 911 calls made by bystanders to report the confrontation.

If you have knowledge of recordings which are either of better quality or contain more information than the ones provided by the media, please feel free to post the links. I’ll listen to them if you bring them.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Is this outrage over Brian Terry? Jaime Zapata? 200 dead Mexicans that have names too??? It’s not…..well…why?

ted c on March 23, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Cop warns against women dressing like hootchie-mamas and we get slut-walks. Now we’re gonna see gangstas walk

AH_C on March 23, 2012 at 9:26 PM

For all those mentioning a 3 day window that is incorrect information.

The shooting happened at around 7:20 and the young man had no ID on him. I cannot speak about a phone as that was not mentioned. The story about the young woman on the phone is new and the phone records have not been released by the attorney who spoke of them. I was wondering though why she was so upset that she did not call someone??????? However his Dad did not report him missing until 8:30 the next morning and when he did they then were able to identify the young man.

The body was not released immediately as it would not have been due to the investigation.

BTW it is the Fathers girlfriend who lives there he was from Miami and was only here do to being on a 5 day suspension from school…..

Karla1953 on March 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Mr. Martin’s father lives there, which tells me he’s been there many times and that POS zimmerman has had to have seen him before. If you are a watchman you call the cops when you see someone breaking and entering and engaging in other criminal activities and the cops take over from there.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM

It’s hard trying to sort out these conflicting reports. There was a report earlier that the father lived in this community, and then later it was clarified that he did not, and the kid was walking through it to get to his father’s community. Now, since then, I’ve read that the father’s girlfriend lived in the community.

You don’t have enough established facts to make the assumptions you just made. Not by a long shot.

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 9:28 PM

In other news:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2118785/Shawn-Tyson-said-murdered-James-Cooper-James-Kouzaris-Sarasota-Florida.html

Oh, what? You hadn’t heard about this? You need to do some “soul-searching.”–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFRy4f73HTg

davidk on March 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.

I tend to agree. Nevermind the race angle, a young stranger is running around what we are told is a gated community with a hood on. I can see where there would be at least a little bit more than passing interest in the individuals motives.

I walk my dog early in the morning and do wear a sweatshirt with a hood. On a couple occasions, I’ve had a police car slow down to take a closer look but I guess I’m old enough and few criminals commit crimes with their Cocker Spaniels for me to look threatening.

What I want to know is why Obama is all upset in this case when there are young black men being killed (mostly by young black men) all the time. In DC this week we’ve had more than a few homocides much more violent than whatever this is. For that matter, Obama never expressed the kind of concern for border agents gunned down by Eric Holder that he has in a case where there is no compelling evidence that a crime was even committed. I guess it takes the media glare from Mr. Sharpton to make a difference and, once again without any solid facts, Obama called cops stupid.

Happy Nomad on March 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Sorry that should have been due to not do to /I wish you could edit here hate typos……..

Karla1953 on March 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

The train left the station when the media released selectively-edited phone recordings.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Seriously? I’m not sure if you’re familiar with audio processing or not but all CNN’s audio tech(s) did was lower a frequency on the equalizer, basically, to clear up the voice. Hardly editing and I imagine any jury listening to the tapes could easily figure out what was said.

As a lifelong Floridian currently in the process of getting my CWFL (just stopped by the Tampa regional DOACS office last week to complete the application) I’m pretty ticked off about this bozo’s actions. Anybody meeting the criteria to get a CWFL – not mentally deficient, not addicted to drugs, completed training on firearm functions and law – knows that what this guy did (even based on the few facts that have been established) is just plain wrong, regardless of whether the SYG ends up covering his rear or not.

Sadly, no matter the outcome in this case I get the feeling we’re going to lose the protections of said law. Only takes one moron to ruin things for everybody.

Aquarian on March 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 23, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Why don’t we just go get Zimmerman and lynch him? You’ve already convicted him of murder, with no trial.

Sympathy for the victim’s family doesn’t negate the need to go through due process, with proper investigations and legal procedures. Accused criminals do still have rights guaranteed to them.

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 9:36 PM

If you have knowledge of recordings which are either of better quality or contain more information than the ones provided by the media, please feel free to post the links. I’ll listen to them if you bring them.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Here’s a better idea. Everybody needs to STFU and let the various investigations run their course. The Sanford police conducted an investigation and that was insufficient to the race instigators so now the investigators are being investigated. Zimmerman is not yet accused of any crime and his whereabouts are unknown which ticks off Mr. Sharpton’s posse which wanted to form a lynch mob (and yes I am aware of the historical context of using the term lynch mob). Mr. Sharpton has been wrong on at least two other occasions. When a slut claimed rape that never occurred in New England and when a slut claimed rape that never occurred at Duke University. Why are we to pay attention to him now- especially since he left for these media events hours after his mother died.
What decent human being does that and Mr. Sharpton is far from being a decent human being.

Happy Nomad on March 23, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Karla1953 on March 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Thanks for that clarification, Karla. That’s the problem with this whole thing. As it evolves the facts keep changing and being clarified. All the more reason not to condemn Zimmerman or anyone else in the situation.

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Here’s a better idea. Everybody needs to STFU and let the various investigations run their course.

Exactly….

JannyMae on March 23, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I normally fast-forward through Geraldo segments, but in this case I think he has a point.

Finbar on March 23, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Sadly, no matter the outcome in this case I get the feeling we’re going to lose the protections of said law. Only takes one moron to ruin things for everybody.

Aquarian on March 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM

So you’ve already convicted Zimmerman of doing something wrong? If you were lurking in some bush where all this took place, please come forward and tell your version of events.

The fact of the matter is that the Sanford police did investigate and could find no reason to charge Zimmerman. The legal analysis I heard has more to do with what protections Florida law gives under the concept of self-defense. And if there are loopholes where an armed community watch volunteer can do more than call 911 then the laws should be examined.

My fear is that Obama and the left will use this as an excuse for even greater attacks on the Second Amendment. Eric Holder failed to bring about banning guns with Fast and Furious. Outrage over this black teen being killed is their plan B.

Happy Nomad on March 23, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Maybe I’m naive, but I believe in the first amendment, and I believe in freedom of expression in what you wear (decency issues aside). And I choose to dress respectably for my own personal reasons. But the hooded stranger in a foreign neighborhood is NOT a reason to kill someone.

And the thought of having to post dress code signs to warn visitors scares the crap out of me. This was NOT the reason Trayvon was shot. He was shot for some reason we don’t know. I do NOT believe he was shot for wearing a hoodie while black.

And Geraldo Rivera, himself a brawler — and a Spitter — is so far off the mark with this that it leads me to think he’s spinning something other than the cultural influences of dress in race and crime.

flicker on March 23, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8 9 10 12