The Violent Gang Member in This Picture Is Easily Identifiable By His Tell-Tale Outerwear

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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256 Responses

  1. Avatar Rose Woodhouse says:

    Your pic is genius.Report

  2. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    What Rivera meant to say was that “If your black leave the hoodie at home.”Report

  3. Avatar Plinko says:

    Teenage boys wearing hoodies may well have been a “gangstah” thing in, say, 1992, but they are as universal as jeans for todays teens.

    I can give personal testimony that wearing a hoodie in 1992 was as universal as jeans for teens of those days, too.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I guess what we’re talking about is racial profiling. The best explantion I ever heard was from my grandfather (40 years on the police force). He said that racial profiling was common and a useful police tactic but contrary to popular belief, it went both ways. When I asked him what he meant he said, “Four white kids in a car driving through the projects is just as suspicious as four black kids in a car driving through an upper-class neighborhood.”

    I don’t have a problem with profiling in the course of investigating certain crimes or preventing terrorism (sorry, but in fact most terrorists ARE Muslim).  Profiling never should be the basis for an altercation though. That’s clearly what happened here and that is the difference.

    And the hoodie nonsense is just that, nonsense.Report

    • Avatar BSK in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      MD-

      The problem with profiling is that it only seems to be a one way street.  Should white investment bankers have their records scrutinized more closely since they commit an overwhelming majority of crimes related to their work?

      The notion of profiling presumes that there is something linking the characteristic begin profiled for and the crime being profiled for.  Black people might commit more crimes, proportionally, than whites.  That tells you nothing, zero, nada, zilch, about the likelihood of any individual black person of being a criminal.  There is no crime gene.  There is nothing about being black that makes someone more likely to be a criminal.  There are a confluence of factors that lead to the stats in question, none of which can be appropriately ferreted out through profiling.

      Profiling is not only morally wrong but ineffective.Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to BSK says:

        Depends on what you’re profiling.
        Art major chicks are pretty kinky.Report

        • Avatar Will H. in reply to Will H. says:

          Note the resounding silence on the part of all art majors.
          And anyone that’s dated one as well.
          Perhaps this is classified information that I shouldn’t have disclosed.
          I guess I shouldn’t be talking about all the alcoholics in the English department either.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to BSK says:

        BSK,

        Profiling is completely contexual. A blac youth out at night in a largely white neighborhood bears a little more scrutiny and the same for a white kid in a black neighborhood. A white banker get scrutiny from the FTC while at work, but maybe not while he’s on the golf course. Etc, etc.Report

        • …and because wealthy neighborhoods are overwhelmingly white, this putatively-neutral  profiling has the effect of naturalizing the ghettoization of blacks.Report

          • Would you say that there are white ghettos?Report

            • Avatar scott in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Yes, the white ghettos are called trailer parks.  I find it amusing that so much attention is focused on poor inner city minorities but almost none on poor rural whites.

               Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to scott says:

                Scott,

                dress a country boy up, and tell him to keep his mouth shut, and he passes JUST FINE. I’ve walked many a place where a black Millionaire, dressed to the NINES couldn’t go.

                Sure as shit, rural folks are poor many a place — the food don’t differ much at all from black to white (“soul food” they call it up north. It’s poor folk cooking, courtesy of the South).

                Ghetto’s still the right word for trailer parks — so long as they’re on “the other side of the tracks”Report

            • Of course there are poor white parts of town.  But poor whites aren’t as unwelcome in other parts of town as poor blacks, so I don’t know much the “ghetto” moniker transfers.

              I used to live in the suburbs of a medium-sized city, about equidistant from the poor white part of town and the poor black part of town.  People wouldn’t bat an eyelash if an unfamiliar white person wearing dumpy clothes walked through the neighborhood.  Black people often got an unsolicited police escort.Report

              • “But poor whites aren’t as unwelcome in other parts of town as poor blacks…”

                Take one of them to the projects and see how it goes.

                 Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Blacks get hassled in all parts of town.

                As for this…
                “A blac youth out at night in a largely white neighborhood bears a little more scrutiny and the same for a white kid in a black neighborhood.”

                No. Last I checked, people were free to be in communities whether they live there or not. Especially since “largely white” doesn’t mean “all white”, meaning that black kid might have a place in that community. As Trayvon did. See the link I posted at the bottom where Zimmerman called 911 on kids as young as 7. He had the police chasing idotic leads based on race, meaning they were worse equipped to handle real emergencies. Which is why profiling doesn’t work. The math does not abide.Report

              • “in wealthy parts of town as poor blacks”

                There, does that make you feel better?Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                You are also conflating two different things.

                The hostility black folks feel in white neighborhoods is from both the residents and the cops.

                The hostility white folks feel in black neighborhoods is from only the residents.  And that presumes such a hostility.

                I’ve walked through many poor, black neighborhoods.  I’m a white guy, with long hair and a beard, who tends to dress casually (jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, cap).  I’ve never had any issues in these neighborhoods, from cops or residents.

                I’ve walked through many rich, white neighborhoods, still as a white guy, with long hair and a beard, and generally dressed casually (jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, cap).  I’ve had issues with the residents, never the cops.

                This false equivalency is, frankly, bullshit.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BSK says:

                I lived in Old Town, in Chicago.  Used to be an interesting area, back when it was sorta slummy.   But when it picked up, boy howdy, it got exclusive with amazing speed.

                I had two cars stolen in Old Town.  Both were recovered on the South Side, down around 105-110 blocks of King Drive.   When people from exclusive areas start giving black kids the stink eye, they do so with a reason, if not a particularly good one.

                Winnetka, hoity-toity northern suburb of Chicago, big burglary target.   So the village repealed its ordinance against handguns.   Burglaries dropped off precipitously.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BSK says:

                >The hostility white folks feel in black neighborhoods is from only the residents.  And that >presumes such a hostility.

                Do I really need to pull that old anthropological book on spanish harlem to show that cops give white folks in colored neighborhoods a hard time? I can cite my sources, if needed.

                >I’ve walked through many poor, black neighborhoods.  I’m a white guy, with long hair and a >beard, who tends to dress casually (jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, cap).  I’ve never had any issues in >these neighborhoods, from cops or residents.

                How many times after midnight? How many times didja walk past a shot up storefront? Wouldja have known it if it hadn’t gotten repaired within the day?

                Truly, there’s a lotta difference between “poor” and “bad” neighborhoods.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Robert Greer says:

            There’s a bit of a difference in combing your hair and getting a makeover.
            I doubt seriously that scrutiny leads to ghettos.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Robert Greer says:

            I won’t deny there’s a good deal of that, but there are rich black neighbourhoods.  In the Chicago area, the Flossmoor neighbourhood has been a destination for up-and-coming persons of colour for many years.    Washington DC, overwhelmingly black, has several such enclaves:   Forest Hills is one.   All along the River Road, up by Potomac in MD is another.   Central West End in St Louis MO.

            And these are just ones I know personally.

            To the consternation of all the do-gooders and those of us who lived through the Civil Rights era, black culture in its ascendancy has recapitulated all the patterns of their well-heeled forebears.   Though schools have long-since been desegregated and redlining is against the law, people of colour seem to enjoy living in each others’ company.   And who can blame them?   Every city has its neighbourhoods.   It’s the best thing about a big city, coming to terms with the reality of the little neighbourhoods.Report

            • Avatar Robert Greer in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Yeah, I’m not saying there aren’t wealthy black neighborhoods (I used to live on the border of Kenwood in Chicago); I’m just saying that statistically, saying that black and white people are equally profiled when outside their neighborhoods is a lot like saying rich and poor people alike are forbidden from sleeping under bridges.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Robert Greer says:

                As a species, things are changing a whole lot faster than we’re evolving, heh heh.   Of course we look at someone’s face first, that’s instinctive.  If we see someone like us, we tend to put him or her in the in-group.   Me, growing up in Africa, I still sort black people out by tribal characteristics:  I can tell where someone’s from in Africa.   I simply don’t put American black people in the same pile as the Africans, and the Africans don’t go in the same pile.   I know the difference.   I have a positive reaction to Hausa and Ibo people, a less-positive reaction to Yoruba people.   No good reason for it: I know better and I still do it.

                As Americans, we’re all Outside Our Neighbourhoods.   It’s funny, ask an American who he is, he will never say “American”.   He’ll say “I’m half-Irish and half-Polish” or something of the sort.

                Look at all those krewes in New Orleans, putting on as if they were Indians.   Ask an American person of colour about their ancestry and they’ll routinely include “…and there’s some Cherokee in there somewhere.”   We know there isn’t:  we’ve done the mitochondrial DNA studies and the intermixing of black and native peoples was minimal.   The Cherokee took their slaves west with them on the Trail of Tears and have just now expelled those black descendants from the tribal rolls.

                Americans are awfully silly about all this.   People self-segregate because that’s what makes them comfortable.   If we profile, we’re also profiling ourselves, taking our identities from stupid stuff like sports teams and neighbourhoods.Report

              • Avatar Robert Greer in reply to BlaiseP says:

                As Americans, we’re all Outside Our Neighbourhoods.   It’s funny, ask an American who he is, he will never say “American”.   He’ll say “I’m half-Irish and half-Polish” or something of the sort.

                This is actually less true than you might think.  Enough people report their ethnicity as “American” that it’s often used as a cultural marker in polisci analysis.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maps_of_American_ancestriesReport

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Robert Greer says:

                Live and learn, eh?   You seem to be right. My ancestors have been here since the late 1600s in Virginia, came from Maastricht in Holland, clockmakers.   We still think of the name as Dutch.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Robert Greer says:

                Robert,

                They were having trouble with white southerners “accidentally” checking hispanic, because they identified themselves as South American.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Blaise,

                Down south in Appalachia, saying you’ve got a bit of indian in you is “code” for black. It’s a systematic whitewashing — you started out having a black grandma, your kid had an indian great-grandma. Eventually, you just call yourself white. Which, of course, is the best way to get along there. They don’t truly care whether you are white or not, just that you call yourself that, and don’t stick out too much.

                Cherokee were always the worst rejects of the Indians.Report

  5. Avatar sonmi451 says:

    He doubled down BTW, saying it’s all about saving lives.

    In his email to POLITICO, Rivera said that he tried his best to convey to Gabriel where he was coming from. “I wrote him, and I’m telling you that my mission is to save kids’ lives in the real world,” the Fox News host said. “We can bluster and posture all day long about the injustice of it all, but despite what Roland Martin or even my son Gabriel Miguel Rivera says, every hoodie should come with a warning like cigarettes, ‘caution wearing this could get you killed.’”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74403.html

    There’s a difference between parents of black or Latino kids saying something like this to their own children to protect them, and some guy on TV blathering about it’s Trayvon Martin’s fault he died because he was wearing a hoodie. Is he too stupid to know the difference?

    Your post is on Google News BTW, if you search Geraldo Rivera. You guys been upgraded from blog to news source now?

    Report

    • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to sonmi451 says:

      By “something like this” I mean “don’t wear a hoodie, there’s weird people out there like that Zimmerman guy”, not “it’s your fault if someone shot you because you’re wearing a hoodie.” My parents told me all the time not to walk alone in dark places, but if I was actually raped, they are not going to say – see, we told you not walk alone in dark places, it’s your own damn fault. Rivera is pretending like he’s acting like the parent of all these children whose precious lives he wants to save, but a real parent won’t go into the blame game. Ughhh, he makes me sick.Report

  6. This is pretty ludicrous. I wear a hoodie pretty much everyday. Recently, my employer gave just about everyone a hoodie (nice ones, to), which are all regularly worn around the office. Maybe I should start flashing gang signs and busting caps in people’s asses when they don’t get me documents on time.

    By the way, Tod, I assume – and will always assume – that that is a picture of you. It should probably become your gravatar.Report

  7. Avatar dexter says:

    Good post Mr. Kelly and oh so true.  Totally off the subject, but which albums of the Stones and Beatles do your boys listen to?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to dexter says:

      The Stones are more recent and I’d have to say that he’s more of a greatest hits fan.  WIth the Beatles, it’s all of them.  He’ll listen to any of them from dawn till bedtime given the chance.  Once we were driving and the White Album was playing and when it got to Revolution #9 and I hit skip, he scolded me with, “Dad, that was a Beatles song.  You don’t skip Beatles songs.”Report

  8. Avatar James Hanley says:

    My wife also has that Green Oregon hoodie.  I have the black one.  Thank god our white hands show, or maybe somebody would already have gunned us down in self-defense.

    The Trayvon Martin case, along with having just heard a young man with Tourette’s give a talk about the intolerance he’s faced all his life primed me to be really pissed off at some comments on Will Truman’s recent post, especially the one that said,

    you pretty much know the story when you meet someone that has, say, a neck tattoo.

    Yep, just like you pretty much know the story when you meet someone wearing a hoodie.

    As the young man with Tourette’s said, “just live and let live, that’s what tolerance is.”Report

  9. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    When I see a guy wearing a hoodie, I know he’s out to videotape my defensive signals.Report

  10. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    If Rivera had been a white guy, his comments would be proof of white America’s fundamental racism.

    Instead, we have to go to the audience to find proof of white America’s fundamental racism.  (We get a bonus shot at Rivera as a Tio Tom.)Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Just to be clear:  What he said was dumb.Report

    • Avatar RTod in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Come on, saying nothing has any racism in context is as silly as saying everyone is racist.  I mean, going to the quote in the OP where they talk about how if you see a black person walking on the street the wisest thing to do is walk to the other side of the street – if we can’t talk about stuff like that perhaps being racist, what on Earth is racist?Report

    • Avatar Shannon's Mouse in reply to DensityDuck says:

      So… no pandering to Fox News viewers’ well-documented beliefs.  Got it.

      I’m glad that DD is here to point out the true victims of all this Trayvon Martin business:  Fox News viewers.

       Report

      • That was kind of responding to a mighty reeeeeach with a mighty reeeeeach.Report

        • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          As a lover/hater of Geraldo, I’d say he was sincere in this.  Just a bit behind the times.

          I mean, going to the quote in the OP where they talk about how if you see a black person walking on the street the wisest thing to do is walk to the other side of the street…

          Tod, we have Jesse Jackson on record at being relieved to spot whites behind him on a lonely street and not blacks.  We had black youths “wilding” at the Wisconsin State Fair just last summer, smacking on white people.  Some black dudes opened fire on a bus in Philly.  Did you not hear of this stuff?  Honest question.  Our media downplayed it.  Did you hear of this stuff?

          You have to go to the UK press for some of this, our media being so sensitive.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2022877/Black-people-going-white-guys-racially-charged-Wisconsin-State-Fair-mob-attacks.html

          Look, this Zimmerman guy seems like a replay of the Bernard Goetz thing.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Goetz

          This sucks.  He was definitely in “make my day” mode and looking for more trouble than he was trying to prevent.  But again, this is anomaly or near anomaly, white vigilante shoots black kid.  It’s man-bites-dog so it makes the news:  the Goetz thing was 1984, over 25 years ago.  It’s not “a sad commentary on our times” or an example of any greater phenomenon of racism.  2 such incidents in 25 years in a nation of 300 million people.

          [As for the legitimate complaint that Zimmerman should be charged, contra Mr. Ewiak I thought McArdle nailed it—that under existing law and the nature of the evidence, a conviction is unlikely under reasonable doubt.  If you think there’s unrest now, put Zimmerman on trial with a bad case, have him acquitted, and then you’ll see Rodney King riots instead of what we have now.  I was here in LA folks. for 24-48 hours, the prospect of civil war, race war, was not beyond imagining.  Google DamianFootball” Williams.]

          To return to poor Geraldo, who I think is getting a bum rap here, back when Chris Rock was brave and he was an artistic genius like Lenny, it went something like this:

           I see some black people looking at me: “Man, why you got to say that? It ain’t us, it’s the media. The media has distorted our image to make us look bad.” Please, cut the shit, okay? When I go to the money machine at night, I ain’t looking over my back for the media.

          I hear America’s #1 race pimp is heading down to Florida to insert himself into this.  Back when Chris Rock was funny, he said:

          “Al Sharpton is a Reverend like Colonel Sanders is a war hero.”

          Mister, we could use a man like Chris Rock again.Report

          • Avatar Jeff in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            You are not Chris Rock.  The fact that you feel qualified to quote him under these circumstances says a lot about you, none of it good.Report

          • “Tod, we have Jesse Jackson on record at being relieved to spot whites behind him on a lonely street and not blacks.  We had black youths “wilding” at the Wisconsin State Fair just last summer, smacking on white people.  Some black dudes opened fire on a bus in Philly.  Did you not hear of this stuff?  Honest question.  Our media downplayed it.  Did you hear of this stuff?”

            Seriously?  You can prove that over the past few years that there have been crimes committed and some of them have been committed by blacks, and so… what?  And so it’s a reasonable assumption if you do see a non-white person on the street that they’re about to beat you up, rob you or commit some kind of crime? I don’t even know where to begin with that.

            I have to be misreading you.  You seriously don’t mean that, do you?

            “This sucks.  He was definitely in “make my day” mode and looking for more trouble than he was trying to prevent.  But again, this is anomaly or near anomaly, white vigilante shoots black kid.  It’s man-bites-dog so it makes the news:  the Goetz thing was 1984, over 25 years ago.  It’s not “a sad commentary on our times” or an example of any greater phenomenon of racism.  2 such incidents in 25 years in a nation of 300 million people.”

            I’m not sure where you’re getting that I’m claiming that the actual crime that was committed (and as more facts are coming in, it is becoming increasingly likely that a crime was committed, even under the Florida Stand Your Ground Law) is an indication of overt racism.  I am saying that sitting around on a news network with everyone nodding in agreement about the supposed crime that was committed – wearing a hoody, with it’s insidious garmenty links to gansta rap – absolutely is.  Seriously, does gansta rap even become an issue of blame for the dead guy if the victim is white? It’s not like the kid was tattooed with gang tags.  He was wearing a freaking hoody.Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              Tod, I tried to delineate the particulars of the Trayvon Martin case from some greater lecture on the state of racist America.  Goetz was 25 years ago.

              You did not answer if you’d heard of the troubles from last summer, say in Wisconsin.  There were several other incidents I didn’t name.  I just wanted to know if you’d heard about the Wisconsin state fair, for starters, honestly, as part of my continuing inquiry about what news our gentlepersons of the left are actually exposed to.  [Our media rather buried it, and perhaps that was for the best, because it didn’t spread.  That would be a separate discussion, however.]

              Attorney General Holder intimated we’re not talking about race honestly, but where this conversation is going, it’s no wonder why.  The Rodney King riots and the Wisconsin State Fair thing should scare the shit out of any righteous American, white, black or purple.  Now Al Sharpton inserting himself in this isn’t the Fire Dept., it’s arson.

              As for Brother Geraldo, all I was saying was I don’t think he was fronting for Fox News White America.  I think he was trying to be incisive and relevant, but just missed the target on this one.  But appearances count—Me, if I’m black [and me being white!], if I see a skinhead coming my way, I’m doing everything I can to not get to know him better.Report

              • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Like you, I was here during the Rodney King riots. And even as a lefty, the Party comentariat did cover the Wisconsin “wilding”.

                But unlike you, I am not wetting my pants in fear of the…well, I will let you put a name to your fear.

                But lets talk about fear for a moment.

                We live in a world where a young black man knows that he could be shot dead while simply walking down the street, and hear a national tee vee anchor tell us it was his fault for wearing a hoodie. And a bunch of white people chatting on a blog saying “right on, right on, right on”.

                But you are here to assure us that it is us white people who should be fearful, that we experience injustice and outrage unlike black people. Who I guess live in a world free of consequences, free to commit crimes without fear of punishment.

                Unlike white people who constantly have to fear the heavy jackboot of The Man.

                Hey, you seem terrified of those kids in Wisconsin, who assualted people. I don’t want to cause you to completely lose your shit with panic and terror, but have you heard of why the PREVIOUS police chief of Sanford left office?

                He left office because his white son was videotaped beating a homeless guy.

                And was not arrested or charged. But then again, he wasn’t wearing a hoodie.

                And since you live here in So Cal, you must have heard of Kelly Thomas, the mentally ill homeless guy who was beaten to death by a cop in Fullerton, and the media ignored it for over a month.

                So next time you are arguing on a blog, add this to your repertorie:

                 We had black youths “wilding” at the Wisconsin State Fair just last summer, smacking on white people.  Some black dudes opened fire on a bus in Philly. We had a white kid beating on a homeless guy. We had cops beating people to death who offered no resistance. Did you not hear of this stuff?  Honest question.  Our media downplayed it.  Did you hear of this stuff?”

                 

                 Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Liberty60 says:

                I’m not wetting my pants on anything, Lib60.  But thx for your reply.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Liberty60 says:

                We live in a world where a young black man knows that he could be shot dead while simply walking down the street…

                To be clear on the statistics here, while this is technically true, odds are eleven to one that the guy doing it is black. “White(ish Hispanic) guy kills black guy” is indeed very much a man-bites-dog story. Note that Hispanics are lumped in with whites in those statistics, so non-Hispanic-white-on-black homicides are even rarer than suggested by that table.

                Also, it’s not entirely clear what happened at this point, and it may never be, but there is some evidence suggesting that he was shot while committing battery, not while simply walking down the street. Characterizing this as “Young black man shot dead while simply walking down the street” is premature and needlessly inflammatory. Zimmerman appears to have handled the situation badly, but the insinuation that he murdered Martin in cold blood is not supported by the facts.Report

              • Avatar karl in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Okay, not all the facts are in — even so, I nominate “Zimmerman appears to have handled the situation badly” as the understatement of the day.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Sorry Brandon, but that “eleven to one” is some bullshit.  You can’t generalize from overall homicide statistics to getting shot by random territorial strangers.

                Your data show that people are most likely to be murdered by those of their own race–which makes sense given that most murders are committed by family or close acquaintances.Report

              • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Citation please, that Trayvon Martin was robbing somebody’s house.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to sonmi451 says:

                He said battery, not robbery or burglary. This is presumaby built around the possibility that Trayvon threw the first punch.

                Which is still bullshit. Punching a grown man following you is a crime. Shooting and killing a child who is hitting you is not.Report

              • Avatar gschu in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                While there is certainly a possibility that Martin was committing a battery, it is an astoundingly small probability. What we know is that Zimmerman followed Martin in order to confront him. And, if the Martin’s GF is to be believed, that Martin was aware of this fact. This makes it likely that Martin was in fear of an assault (causing another to apprehend immediate and personal violence), or that this was at least a color-able claim. Being followed by a large man (whether he saw the gun or not), would seem to allow for an argument that Martin was in fear of personal violence being visited on him.

                The following is an exception to the ‘stand your ground law.”The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity” This alone should have been enough for the police to start an ‘actual’ investigation, or the prosecutor to start thinking about charging. Both the Police and prosecutor knew that Zimmerman was following Martin, against specific instructions not too. Tracking someone while packing heat seems like it should rise to the level of unlawful activity, either as assault or under some other statute.Report

              • Avatar NoPublic in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                You did not answer if you’d heard of the troubles from last summer, say in Wisconsin.  There were several other incidents I didn’t name.  I just wanted to know if you’d heard about the Wisconsin state fair, for starters, honestly, as part of my continuing inquiry about what news our gentlepersons of the left are actually exposed to.  [Our media rather buried it, and perhaps that was for the best, because it didn’t spread.  That would be a separate discussion, however.]

                I was at the WI State Fair that night.  And every other night that week.  I hit the fair a lot.  Don’t do cream puff’s though.  Gross.

                1) Drunk young people do stupid shit.  More so when they are in larger groups

                2) The reports are largely exaggerated.

                Loud white teenagers wreck stuff (and pee on houses): Every night after the races or fireworks

                Loud black teenagers wreck stuff: Thugs coming in and targeting the good white folks in stallis.

                 Report

          • Tod, we have Jesse Jackson on record at being relieved to spot whites behind him on a lonely street and not blacks.  We had black youths “wilding” at the Wisconsin State Fair just last summer, smacking on white people.  Some black dudes opened fire on a bus in Philly.  Did you not hear of this stuff?  Honest question.  Our media downplayed it.  Did you hear of this stuff?

            Tom,

            Sometimes when I walk down a lonely street, especially at night, I get afraid if I see a black person approaching me.  I am afraid because I believe that he is more likely to mug or otherwise attack me.  If he were white, I’d be less afraid.  In fact, if we accept certain assumptions–that we live in a racist society or that the particular neighborhoods I travel through have a lot of racial tension–maybe there is something to justify my fear and to justify my decision to be more alert and  to pick up my pace so I pass him sooner.  Chicago is such a violent city–and so much of that violence seems, accurately or inaccurately, so racially tinged–that it would be foolish to walk alone without at least being aware of one’s surroundings and avoiding the suspect neighborhoods.

            But it’s still racist, or at least has something to do with racism.  Do you at least see the argument?

            I am wrong to assume that the person I see coming is going to do me harm.  I am wrong to assume that just because someone hails from a certain neighborhood they are dangerous.  My assumption is a marker of my immaturity and is my problem.  I do my fellow citizens this disservice almost everyday.  I’m acting out of habits and rationalizations, some of which in the circumstances seem right at the time but that I know involve an invidious assumption about a person who I don’t know and about a class of people.

            But what I do still implicates racism, in this case mine.  What Geraldo said was racist because it was trying to justify the attitude that I adopt and he was trying to justify it in the context of someone who, from the current news accounts, apparently stalked a young boy and shot him.  And Geraldo, apparently, wanted to be clear that this whole mess wouldn’t’ve happened if the boy had simply not worn a hoodie.Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

              Pierre, stipulated that Geraldo screwed the pooch here with the hoodie.  I’ll go with the skinhead argument.  I want nothing to do with the fellow based on first glance in the lonely street scenario.  Esp if I’m black.

               

              This is not racism.  This is common sense.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                No. It’s racism. You are lying when you say otherwise.Report

              • Tom,

                I agree with BSK that it is racism.  I will say, though, that it’s both common sense and racism.

                In some ways it is common sense, because most people “know,” as I “know,” that we live in a dangerous world and have to act in  a way to minimize that danger.  People like me often choose to see and to define the instances of that danger along lines of racial difference.  There is also a wider “common sense” that simply says when one is walking alone, it is important to be aware of one’s surroundings and know who is around you and let them know you know they’re around you.  I don’t think that common-sense notion of ambulatory safety need necessarily be racist.  But in practice it often is, or at least I choose to observe it in racial cadences.  I’ll grant that street encounters are at least occasionally dicey, but to suggest that racism isn’t implicated at all–which I read you to be asserting, correct me if I’m wrong–is naive.

                What I’ve said so far in this thread (this comment and the one you responded to) is a difficult thing for me to acknowledge publicly, and this is one of the times that I’m glad that I comment pseudonymously and not under my own name. It’s difficult to acknowledge, because I don’t see myself, at least in the near future, changing my decisions.

                Sometimes it’s as if I and the person I see on the street are each members of two opposing armies which have nominally declared a truce but between which exists still a lot of tension.  He and I are wary of each other and not sure if we can trust each other, and we make the decision, sometimes the same decision, either to trust or to be cautious and to define the terms of that trust or caution along race lines.  We could have a lot in common, our values could be fundamentally and diametrically incompatible, or something in between.  But we don’t know because we don’t make the effort.  I can’t control his decisions.  But I can control mine, and too often I choose the easy path of making the assumption that I know full well is unjust.

                I apologize for the martial metaphor.  It has certain resonances of “race war” that I do not wish to entertain or encourage.  But sometimes, rightly or (mostly) wrongly, I see things that way.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

                The unfortunate reality is that we are largely socialized to have such reactions, and moreso the older you are. By and large, most representations of people of color in broader society were negative. Coupled with the tendency to overgeneralize the actions of individals of marginalized groups with those groups as a whole, it is natural and understandable to react differenty to a situation depending on someone’s race. That it is natural and understandable makes it no less racist. Fortunately, man is a rational being, capable of overwhelming instinct*. I will admit to also sometimes responding differenty based on gender or ethnicity or race or religion. But I also try to stop myself, assess my reactions, and adjust if they are inappropriate, which they often are when these things are informing them. One need not be yelling out the n-word or deliberately seeking to treat black folks guilty to be racist. One need not be a morally corrupt individual to have racist or prejudiced thoughts and reactions.
                The primary problem with the logic proposed here is that it is not illogical. When a white person tenses up around a black guy in the street, rarely are they thinking, “Statistically speaking…” They are generally emoting. And if they are thinking that, they are wrong. Black folks may commit a statistically higher percentage of crimes based on their proportion of the population. Relying on that fact in your treatment of people is flawed for two reasons: first, it tells you nothing of the likelihood of any individual black person’s criminality; second, it ignores the true picture, which is that while a disproportionate amount of crimes might be committed by blacks, the overwhelming majority of black people are not criminals, violent or otherwise. What I mean by this last point is that maybe blacks, at 20% of the population, commit 40% of the crimes BUT only 10% of blacks are criminals (numbers are illustrative). Flawed logic, but we don’t think logically; again, we emote.

                * What I find most interesting about this is that it is often conservatives who defend this mindset, but who also champion the notion of resisting urges. They often claim that gays should live a chaste life. They do not extend this exact same logic to people giving into flawed prejudicial thinking. It is almost as if they find homosexuality worse than racism. Almost.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK says:

                (Thisi is obviously a topic I am passionate about. If folks are interested in a guest post on it, I might be able to make that happen.)Report

              • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to BSK says:

                Two responses:

                First, I agree with what you wrote above.

                Second, I would love to see a guest post.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK says:

                Thanks, Pierre! I’ll touch base with The Powers and see what can be done. Might not happen for some time, which is probably okay since these issues persist even outside of stories like these.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK says:

                Note: first line of second paragraph should read “not logical”. That is the sort of typo that matters.Report

            • Avatar Will H. in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

              The big thing in St. Louis in recent months is the knockout game.
              Young kids, usually in a group, randomly swing on someone to see if they can knock them unconscious.
              And a lot of times, they’ve got a brick or something.
              Not race-based though.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Pierre Corneille says:

              It’s not racism. It’s Bayesianism.Report

          • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            “That shit wasn’t about race … that shit was about fame. If O.J. wasn’t famous, he’d be in jail right now. If O.J. drove a bus, he wouldn’t even be O.J. He’d be Orenthal the Bus Driving Murderer.

            So you gotta look at OJ’s situation. He’s paying $25,000 a month in alimony, got a another man driving around in his car and fucking his wife in a house he’s still paying the mortgage on. Now I’m not saying he should have killed her… but I understand.”

            Yeah. We could use some Chris Rock right about now.Report

          • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            Did you not hear of this stuff?  Honest question.  Our media downplayed it.  Did you hear of this stuff?

            I did! But, then again, I read the Drudge Report and any time a black kid so much as smacks a white guy Action Drudge News is on the scene!Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            TVD,

            go read field negro. He’s got some white boys out to hunt down black boys in the inner city (think itwas philly, don’t quote me). Within five years ago. And that’s just one case — I’m sure field’s got five more in the past five years. Want me to pull them??? No, why dion’t you do it. Because you care so FUCKING MUCH about white boys getting beat up by blacks, you gotta read about it in foreign papers? No, you don’t read them every day do you? (if you do, I’ll apologize).

            What about the people what forced shit down a retarded black girl’s throat? All white folks — you really gonna say that wasn’t racially motivated?Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          “That was kind of responding to a mighty reeeeeach with a mighty reeeeeach.”

          Reading your OP, where you claim apropos of nothing that Fox News’s demographic is mostly white, gives me the impression that you want the takeaway to be “Here’s a situation where a hispanic guy is talking trash about a black man shot by a hispanic.  White people are responsible for all this!”Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              I’m not the one who wrote the OP.  You put it there, and you put it there for a reason.

              Obviously you think it was just some throwaway line that didn’t mean anything.  Maybe you could explain why it’s there, then.

              “omg why u harp on 1 tiny bit of my post” because you fucking put it there, and you put it there for a fucking reason, and I want you to fucking own that reason and fucking tell us what it was.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I’m not OMGing because you’re harping on one little part of my post.  I’m saying that you are looking to have an argument against a very specific point of view, and since that point of view is not my own that you might be better off finding someone that has that point of view rather than doing a clumsy extrapolation to make that point of view mine.

                You seem to want to take me to task for claiming that all white people are racists, and that is why Martin was shot.  And if I believed either of those things, I’d take me to task as well.  But I don’t, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find me making either one of those claims.  Besides, haven’t we already had this discussion in Ethan’s post, where I not only agreed with you but quoted you?  But, for the record:

                I do not believe that Martin is dead because he was black.  I think with all the evidence that’s piling up, it appears that Zimmerman was going to find somebody that needed shooting sooner or later, and I’d be surprised if race was going to have anything to do with it.  Was race a factor in the police deciding to initially do a piss poor investigation?  I suppose it’s possible, but since I don’t see any evidence of racism I don’t see a reason to go there.  Police just being lazy and awful at their job seems like as plausible an explanation as any.  Which is why if you go back and reread the post you’ll see that I never once called this a racial killing that the police let slide because they’re racists.  That was the insinuation you made that got me to say “reeeeach.”

                But to address where I was critical…

                I still maintain that race (and, as I also said) fear of the younger generation were absolutely buttons that were pushed on Fox & Friends.  As I’m sure you know, TV talk shows aren’t run like talk radio.  Rush Limbaugh sits in a chair and has to talk for hours on end, and is quite able to go off of bizarre rants every now and then.  (As is some AIr America host, who I would name if I actually knew the name of an AIr America host.)  But TV is different.  Things aren’t scripted, exactly, but they are heavily outlined.  Each show has producers that go over what people (including guests) are going to say when they’re doing their “spontaneous” talks and interviews, and even coach them, to make sure that the programming is relevant, keeps to schedule, and is not so mind achingly dull that people turn the channel.  So what Rivera said was not some spontaneous thing he spouted.  It was something he and everyone else knew ahead of time that he was going to talk about.  Which is why I say that I don’t believe there wasn’t anyone, including his producers, who would have been hip attractive 20-something gals, that wouldn’t have known that hoodies are a pretty universal outerwear.

                Now, do I think that a bunch of illuminati-like men sat in a dark room and scripted things for nefarious purposes, as Mike suggests I do?  Of course not.  But I do feel like any of these shows, on the right or the left, is loathe to report stories that can’t at best fit their political narrative, or at the very worst not go against it.  Consider some of the stories that Tom talked about, where black kids committed crimes.  If those became national stories that they had to talk about, can you imagine Air America (or Rachel Maddow for that matter) reporting on them in some way that didn’t come from an angle that made everything conservatives fault?  I certainly can’t  – anymore than I can imagine FOX looking at the Martin case in a way that framed it, for example, against the right-supported Stand Your Ground laws that stand to make the right look bad.  (And FWIW, I am not sure that SYG laws are going to help Zimmerman once all the facts are in, so I don’t actually think they are to blame.  However, since the police initially let him go and chose not to peruse an investigation because of ((according to them)) the SYG law it’s going to be used successfully by the left, fair or not.)  These things don’t make me angry, but they do make me roll my eyes.

                But what Rivera did (and what Fox & Friends producers let him do), in my opinion, went well beyond the pale of the “everything’s the liberals fault” / “everything’s the conservatives fault” narrative schtick that these shows and network usually do – and it did make me angry.  Rivera didn’t try to frame the story in some way that made this tragedy the fault of liberalism, or some law passed/prevented by Dems.  He framed it in a way that made it the fault of the kid – the kid –  that was shot. And he did it by connecting gansta rap and images of kids wanting to be perceived as a criminal menace to the kid despite the fact that none of this was in any way connected to any single fact that surrounded this case – save for the fact that Zimmerman, wen asked what the boy was wearing, said “a hoody.”  In my opinion it wasn’t clumsy thinking, it was a vile way to make this story about something that wasn’t white racism (which as I’ve said, I don’t think was the case in reality but has certainly become the dominant public perception) or anything regarding SYG laws.

                Now, I suspect that you don’t agree with any of what I’ve just said.  Who knows, you might well think that only the left “infotainment” news shows try to reframe stuff to make the other side look bad, and the right ones are pure as the driven snow.  Or maybe you think Rivera is a loose cannon, and maybe once the cameras were off everyone told him how wrong he was about hoodies.  Or whatever.  And that’s cool, and we’ll just have to agree to disagree, or you can argue with me and try to convince me I’m wrong – something I’m always willing to consider.

                But if you’re looking to argue against the guy that thinks all white people are racists and Martin was killed by all the white people in the world because he was black, you need to find someone else to take up that banner against you, because it’s not what I think and it’s not what I said.

                ps – Also – dude, chill. I’m a guy on the internet you disagree about something with.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                (And FWIW, I am not sure that SYG laws are going to help Zimmerman once all the facts are in, so I don’t actually think they are to blame.  However, since the police initially let him go and chose not to peruse an investigation because of ((according to them)) the SYG law it’s going to be used successfully by the left, fair or not.)

                Since

                1. The SYG laws as currently interpreted were the cops’s justification for letting Zimmerman go with no further investigation, and
                2. The a real investigation is now being done only because the story went national, and there was no guarantee of that.

                I think the SYG laws are completely relevant to a discussion of this case.Report

              • I’m not saying that they are irrelevant.  I’m saying that the reason Zimmerman was let off without an investigation is going to end up being less about the actual SYG law, and more about the way this police department chose to use it.  That the police might end up using it as a way not to investigate crimes seems to me to be well worth discussion.

                All I’m saying is, unless the facts end up being very different than what they now appear to be, once an investigation is completed the SYG law is not going to protect Zimmerman.Report

              • Avatar karl in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Isn’t how a law is used pretty much all that really matters?  And considering that this law was originally intended to discourage charges being brought against the use of lethal violence it is relevant indeed.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to karl says:

                Um… Yes, which is why I said it was relevant.

                The part that we still don’t know, that will be a bigger test (and potentially a bigger black eye for Rubio and other pols that pushed for these laws) is when an investigation is actually done, will charges of any kind be brought up against Zimmerman – and if they are, will the SYG law successfully act as a shield against a conviction?  I believe the answers to these are two questions are going to be yes, and no, respectively.

                If I’m wrong, the law is clearly crap.  If I’m right, the law may still be crap but will have not interfered with doing the right thing in this one case.

                As to the police choosing to what degree they do or don’t follow laws to make their jobs easier, I feel confident they’ll be able to figure out ways to do that with or without the SYG laws.Report

              • Avatar karl in reply to karl says:

                Yes, you said that.  What I’m trying to get my head around is the difference between “If I’m wrong, the law is clearly crap” and “If I’m right, the law may still be crap but will have not interfered with doing the right thing in this one case.”

                Maybe I’m too focused on the idea that this law (among others) is intended to be crap by your definition — and “this one case” will be made the fall guy for the crap law, providing cover for its original ill-intent.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to karl says:

                I think what I’m suggesting is that the law isn’t supposed to protect the Zimmerman’s of the world, it’s supposed to protect the Martins – assuming Martin was armed.  If Zimmerman is convicted of anything, I can see bill proponents saying – “See, it didn’t kick in because it wasn’t supposed to, so it’s working so far.”

                As I say, I don’t know that I will agree, and as far as I’m concerned even then I think someone will have to prove to me that it isn’t a terrible idea, but I will agree that the Zimmerman/Martin case wasn’t the – ahem – smoking gun that kills these bills that Zimmerman getting off would be.Report

              • Avatar karl in reply to karl says:

                Agreed, these laws may be threatened if Zimmerman gets a pass.  What we don’t know, though, is precisely how the other few dozen incidents that never were investigated or tried went down.  That this case was headed down that same path leads me to believe that the law was invoked by the police just as it was intended — but reality got in the way…. this time.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                I think he was just trying to find an angle of a “greater societal issue” where he could make the story compelling on a personal and individual level. Something along the lines of, “Do not store these two common household chemicals together.”
                That sounds like the Geraldo I know.
                “It’s the kid’s own fault for getting shot” does not sound like the Geraldo I know.
                I would put the story more in the “Car seat causes infant deaths” category.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                “I do not believe that Martin is dead because he was black.  I think with all the evidence that’s piling up, it appears that Zimmerman was going to find somebody that needed shooting sooner or later, and I’d be surprised if race was going to have anything to do with it.”

                I have to disagree. Looking at the records of Zimmerman’s most recent 911 calls, which focused almost exclusively on black males (including a 7-year-old… Not a typo), I have a hard time saying race didn’t factor into Zimmerman’s actions. I agree that he was looking for someone who “needed shooting sooner or later.” I am of the belief that being black and male were enough to qualify someone as needing a shooting by Zimmerman’s standards. I’ve linked to the records below… It is hard to scroll down to grab the link on the iPad.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to BSK says:

                And that’s the way it’s going to play out in court if the feds handle the prosecution.
                Issues of bias are most often established on circumstantial evidence.Report

    • Geraldo is about as much of a minority as I am.  His mom’s fully European, and his dad was Puerto Rican of the Spanish conquistador variety.  Just because your name is Hispanic doesn’t mean you don’t regularly benefit from racial privilege.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Robert Greer says:

        Is there any meaning left to “racial privilege” when non-whites are now able to benefit from it?

        Or are you admitting that it never actually meant anything at all, but was a nod-and-a-wink way of calling someone a racist (and then immediately turning around and denying it, letting you paint that person as a stupid person who overreacts to things.)Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Did you read what Robert wrote? Geraldo is Hispanic (his ethnicity) and white (his race).

          An individual’s privilege (or lack thereof) is based on several factors and is not static. Obama suffered from racial prejudice during his primary campaign but benefitted from gender privilege when held up against Hillary.

          Deliverately oversimplifying something and than complaining that it doesn’t fit our nuanced world is just silly.Report

        • I don’t like to call people racist, just because it’s so psychically painful for most people to think of themselves as racist that they’ll shut down the debate if they’re called one.  But I’m totally comfortable with calling Geraldo a racist, because people who aren’t racists don’t say shit like Geraldo did.

          Besides, why wouldn’t non-whites be able to benefit from racial privilege?  What would you call it when an Asian-American says “We don’t have to worry about profiling against Arabs, because they’re dangerous”?Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Robert Greer says:

            I don’t see the racist element in what Geraldo said, and I doubt seriously that he is a racist.
            What he said wasn’t very well thought out.
            That doesn’t make him ignorant or a blowhard, etc.
            Everyone does that from time to time.
            Not everyone does it with a camera and a microphone, which is why we’re still talking about it.
            I know this wasn’t the first time that Geraldo stuck his foot in his mouth.
            And I know it’s not the first time he’s been upbraided both publicly and ruthlessly.
            You got to hand it to the guy for climbing back up on the horse.
            I know enough about Geraldo to believe that his heart is in the right place.
            He’s just out in left field on this one.
            When that happens, then this happens.
            It’s not hard to figure out.Report

  11. I wear hoodies all the time, and have since I was a teenager.  I am the single least “street” person this side of Madeleine Albright.  The person who introduced me to the term “hoodie” was an ex-boyfriend of mine who was the most cosseted person I’ve ever met. The garment is ubiquitous, and meaningless as cultural signal.Report

  12. Avatar Chris says:

    Everytime I see one of these guys, I think I’m about to get jacked:

     

     Report

  13. Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

    You know what signals “dangerous criminal” to most people in this country even more than a hoodie, or tattoos?

    Having black skin.

    Hard to take it off, though, so you just go through life with most people thinking you’re a bad guy. You learn to live with it, but the distrust is right there in people’s eyes no matter what you do.

    This is something that most people will never understand, mostly by choosing not to understand.Report

  14. Avatar BSK says:

    A few thoughts…

    First, I thought I read something that it was raining during the incident and in interviews with police, Zimmerman said one of the suspicious things about Trayvon was that he didn’t have an umbrella or a raincoat.  If this is the case, A) it is perfectly logical that he had his hoodie on and up and B) it creates a perfect damned-if-do, damned-if-don’t situation wherein you might be suspicious regardless of your hoodie situation.  I’ll see if I can find info to confirm this, so take it with a large grain of salt for now.

    Second, I have no doubt that race played a role in a variety of ways in this situation.  I’m not going to talk about that right now because I think one of the biggest issues here transcends race.  If Florida’s (and other states’) “Stand Your Ground” laws continue, we have declared it to be open season.  White, black, male female, young, old, in a suit or in a hoodie, if the law was correctly applied here, all a murderer has to do is utter five magic words: “I feared for my life.”

    Over on Balko’s site, in his post about not posting about it, someone said something along the lines of, “What stops a rapist from murdering his victim and claiming self-defense when she fought back?”  I don’t really want to go down that road of analogizing.  But it made me think of a few more things.  First, what if Trayvon lived?  What if Zimmerman simply pummeled him instead of shot him?  Would the cops have showed up and said, “Nothing to see here.”  Would they have arrested Trayvon?  Would they have written it off as a minor dust up between a grown man and a child?  Second, along these same lines, Zimmerman seems to have broke several laws regardless of whether he is guilty of manslaughter or murder.  Last I checked (and, again Balko has plenty of evidence to confirm this), simply disobeying an officer is enough to get someone arrested.  I believe that a 911 dispatcher is a member of the force and Zimmerman ignoring his directives is troubling.  He then followed a child through the dark of night.  Stalking?  Predator laws?  No?  And then he initiated a physical altercation.  Even if he only shot Trayvon after Trayvon turned the tables and pinned him with his hands around Zimmerman’s throat, the only reason an altercation existed was because Zimmerman created one.  Last I checked, it was illegal to walk up to people on the street and get physical with them.

    But Zimmerman said the five magic words… “I feared for my life.”  Which not only made his guilt with regard to the killing vanish, but his guilt for all of these other potential crimes vanish.

    As much as this is about profiling and racism and hoodies… it is about much more than that.  These laws make killing okay and, in fact, seem to incentivize it, since they wash away all the other crimes which likely would have been pursued sans the murder.

    Seriously, I’m going to throw up.Report

    • Avatar Plinko in reply to BSK says:

      Over on Balko’s site
      Are you the B.S.K.in the commentariat at The Agitator? I never put the two and two together.

       I believe that a 911 dispatcher is a member of the force and Zimmerman ignoring his directives is troubling.
      Could vary by jurisdiction but I’ve never heard of 9-11 dispatchers being sworn officers before, I’m pretty sure this is not applicable.

      I think it’s only possible for the issue here to be one of two things, and we need to figure out which one it is before determining what to do.

      1. We have an egregiously awful law on the books that gives people a free pass to kill someone without legal consequences provided certain circumstances are present. This might not be the intent of the law but now would be a good time for those on the right to start walking the walk about unintended consequences of legislation.

      2. We have some egregiously awful police conduct, which as Balko also pointed out is not unique to this case. The solution to this problem is unrelated to the Stand Your Ground Law.Report

      • Avatar BSK in reply to Plinko says:

        Plinko, I am (always written as “BSK”, never “B.S.K.”).  I haven’t been too active recently, so if there is another person you’ve seen regularly commenting recently, it is probably someone else.  Do you comment there?

        It’s very possible that I am wrong about the dispatcher.  However, it still seems as if the killing somehow mitigates the other broken laws.  Again, if the police arrived and found Zimmerman on top of Jayvon, punching him, would he have walked away?

        There is also the really uncomfortable chicken-and-egg, cyclical situation we create.  Zimmerman goes after Jayvon.  Javyon is scared and fights back.  Zimmerman reads Jayvon’s fight as a threat to his own life and kills him.  What?  Would Jayvon have been justified in killing Zimmerman?

        Seriously, I’m close to barfing.  I can’t get the sound of his wailing (and I have no doubt it was him) in the background of the other 911 call out of my head.Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK says:

          “always written as “BSK”, never “B.S.K.””

          I fear that came off douchier than I meant it, as if I was correcting you.  I only meant that I never include periods.  If you saw someone with periods, it was definitely someone else.Report

        • Avatar Plinko in reply to BSK says:

          I did comment a time or two, didn’t care for the community and so quit rather quickly. I read it regularly and occasionally foray into reading the comments.

          You’re right about how sickening this all is, but I’m still unsure of what we can do to make sure it doesn’t keep happening. There is no possibility for me that we’ve already seen a gross miscarriage of justice, I outline the two possibilities only because, to me, the distinction is important in terms of what needs to be done to keep it from continuing to happen.Report

          • Avatar BSK in reply to Plinko says:

            Yea, I waded away from the comment culture as well.  Nothing like here.

            See my link below about the actual statute.

            There is little we can do to stop people like Zimmerman from doing what they are going to do.  There is a hell of a lot we can do to hold them accountable for it, which MIGHT act somewhat as a deterrent.

            Honestly, Zimmerman’s actions are not as worrisome to me as the police.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to BSK says:

      And then he initiated a physical altercation. Even if he only shot Trayvon after Trayvon turned the tables and pinned him with his hands around Zimmerman’s throat, the only reason an altercation existed was because Zimmerman created one. Last I checked, it was illegal to walk up to people on the street and get physical with them.

      Is it known for a fact that Zimmerman initiated a physical altercation? I haven’t seen any confirmation of this.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        What I’m getting at is that :”Zimmerman approached Martin and started shoving him around, Martin fought back, and then Zimmerman shot him” is a perfectly plausible story, consistent with the facts as I understand them. But so is “Zimmerman approached Martin to question him, Martin took offense and attacked him, and then Zimmerman shot him.”Report

        • Avatar scott in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Come on we don’t need any facts. We all know that Zimm went out on a rampage to murder the first black person he saw. Therefore he should immediately be executed.Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          And that defense is made in court. If the cops had their way, it wouldn’t need to be.Report

        • There is the second 911 call, though, where you hear repeated begging right before the shot.  Should it go to trial, I think that will make it hard for Zimmerman (who as I understand was 100 lbs larger) to explain.Report

          • Avatar BSK in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            I’m young and haven’t experienced much in the way of the horros of the world. That audio might be the single worst thing I’ve heard.Report

          • Avatar Mr. Blue in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            Are you talking about the 911 call from the neighbor? Is it clear who is screaming?Report

            • Avatar BSK in reply to Mr. Blue says:

              Yes. I have little doubt it’s Jayvon. But I’ve been wrong before.Report

              • Avatar Mr. Blue in reply to BSK says:

                I listened to it and thought it was Trayvon, but I was told it was Trayvon before I listened. One witness told reporters way back when this started that Red Sweater was yelling for help and almost immediately after there was a gunshot and Red Sweater was standing and the guy who was assaulting him was dead on the ground.

                I’m trying to look at this from a defense attorney’s angle. It seems possible that they can argue that it was Zimmerman screaming for help. I can’t listen and be sure that it’s not. I definitely want to know more and am glad that the feds are investigating. I want to hear more about the initial investigation. I wonder if there’s voice analysis that could sort out whose voice it was.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Mr. Blue says:

                I heard they didn’t know whose voice it was. If I had to bet money, I’d bet heavy it was Trayvon. It was ver high pitched, plus the wailing before and after the shot were very similar. Last, it makes more sense that the person about to be shot was crying for help than the person who did the shooting.

                I admit it is far from conclusive but based on all the facts, I’m confident it was Trayvon. Chilling. Haunting even.Report

        • Avatar Plinko in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Even if your possible versions are true, the former is surely felony murder, the latter would be a plausible manslaughter case that would require defense in court, and that’s discounting the eyewitnesses and the 9-11 calls more or less completely.Report

          • Avatar Scott in reply to Plinko says:

            Why do you believe this could possibly be felony murder? What felony was zimm commiting that would cause this to be felony murder?Report

            • Avatar BSK in reply to Scott says:

              Stalking a minor? Assault? Trespassing?Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Scott says:

              What felony was zimm commiting that would cause this to be felony murder?

              Murder.Report

            • Avatar Plinko in reply to Scott says:

              Assault is what I was thinking of.

               Report

            • Avatar scott in reply to Scott says:

              Sorry, none of you are right.  Trespassing a felony really?  Do you know what a felony even is? Try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony  Assault doesn’t count for felony murder b/c of the merger doctrine, you have to assault someone in the process of murdering them.  As for felony murder it has to be a killing during a violent felony like rape, robbery, arson, kidnapping, etc. Try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_murder_rule.

               

               Report

              • Avatar Plinko in reply to scott says:

                Aggravated stalking and plain old murder both qualify for felony murder in Florida. I’m not sure what qualifies as terrorism but that also counts in Florida, and trying to scare kids out of your neighborhood because they’re the wrong skin color sounds like it would qualify in some jurisdictions as terrorism.

                I am not sure if the assault can be counted as merged into a murder if they’re separate acts (as far as I know assault and murder don’t need to be merger but that’s probably up to state statute)- but the stalking or terrorizing are separate acts clearly and so can probably qualify.

                The point is that there is no plausible claim tit didn’t require a serious investigation to determine the facts. With what we do know, that the possible grounds for justifiable homicide would be extraordinarily slim. The result of the investigation ought to tell us what crimes, if any needed to be tried. There was no investigation until this started to become a big controversial issue.

                A kid is dead, that kid did approximately nothing wrong and there’s nothing out there at all to suggest he did.

                It’s sickening, if you can’t see that, you do need some serious help.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Plinko says:

                Stalking is a crime involving repetition, two or more acts.
                Terrorism is a crime involving multiple deaths or property damage above a certain amount.
                Murder cases are most often tried with “lesser included offenses,” which means that if the defendant is acquitted on murder, he may still be found guilty of manslaughter or aggravated assault.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to scott says:

                Scott-

                It is increasingly obvious that you are an apologist for Zimmerman and his actions.  I won’t presume to know why you feel this way, but the fact that you do is pretty evident.  If you want facts to back this up… well… just reread all of your statements here.Report

              • Avatar scott in reply to BSK says:

                BSK:

                If asking that all the facts be determined before folks fly off the handle makes me an apologist then so be it.  I am an attorney and I deal in facts unlike you who declared that it is too bothersome to wait to find all the facts. I’ve never made any statement about Zimm’s guilt or innocence just that all the facts should be ascertained.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to scott says:

                ROFL.  Scott, has Zimmerman paid you a retainer fee or something?   Doing a little pro-bono work or something?   Filed a discovery motion, have you, since you’re so willing to tell everyone here how wrong they are.   There’s nothing more idiotic than a jackass with a JD and an opinion.  You don’t have the facts, any more than anyone else.

                Here are few facts.  Decedent is shot 26 Feb.   Sanford PD botches the investigation, releases the shooter without even a background check.    Mar 9, family demands the release of the 911 tapes.   Sanford PD starts to stall.  12 March, ABC News starts uncovering other eyewitnesses.

                And you choose to defend Zimmerman?Report

              • Avatar scott in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Blaise:

                Actually the thing that is more idiotic is a jackass without a JD that thinks they know something about criminal law.  We have several here who fit that bill.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Opinions are like assholes.   Everyone’s got one.   You aren’t of counsel in this case.  You haven’t filed a discovery motion.  Don’t tell people what they know and don’t know.Report

              • Avatar scott in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Blaise:

                I can certainly tell folks they are wrong when they suggest that assault or trespassing are predicate felonies for felony murder. That is just moronic.  I’ve never represented that I have any special knowledge of this case. I’ve just urged that all the facts come out before we condemn Zimm, however that seems to be too much to ask for some around here for whom such things are too burdensome.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                How very professional of you.   This may explain your dangling of fish bait over Imagining how loudly Jesse Jackson would howl upon arrest.   When’s the last felony murder case you took to a jury trial?   I wouldn’t bring you on to handle a traffic ticket with your level of competence.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to BlaiseP says:

                That’s what caselaw is.
                It means that an attorney or a court was wrong on a matter of law.
                Those citations you see in various documents– those mean that some attorney or a court went against the law.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Who here has condemned Zimmerman (how cute you have a little nickname for him… Zimm)? All I’ve seen is folks asking for or demanding a full investigation and/or trial.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I’ve just urged that all the facts come out before we condemn Zimm, however that seems to be too much to ask for some around here for whom such things are too burdensome.

                What facts could possibly change the initial judgment? That his lawyer claims he was acting in self-defense? How is that a relevant fact?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to scott says:

                How do you feel about the fact that it took a nationwide uproar to start a real investigatio?Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to scott says:

                In Florida, trespassing can indeed be a felony.
                Trespassing in a construction site is a felony.
                I think that trespassing in a gated community would be as well, but I may be wrong on that one.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Plinko says:

            The first one is murder, the second is not. The distinction strikes me as somewhat important.Report

  15. Avatar Katherine says:

    Thank you, Tod (and great choice of photo).

    I have a hoodie.  It says “World Vision 30 Hour Famine” on it.  I’m pretty sure Mr. Rivera wouldn’t find it threatening.  This is blatantly about race – Rivera even says s: “When you see a black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street”.  Maybe Rivera does that.  Normal people don’t.

    Either way – to state the blatantly obvious that shouldn’t need stating: no, someone’s race or clothing choice shouldn’t justify or excuse murdering them.Report

    • Avatar BSK in reply to Katherine says:

      “Maybe Rivera does that.  Normal people don’t.”

      How are we defining normal?  My fear is that Rivera might not be alone in doing that or, at least, wanting to do that.  Those folks might be the minority, which I suppose would make those who don’t (or don’t want to) “normal”, but I doubt having that feeling is an exception.  Which is incredibly sad.Report

    • Avatar LauraNo in reply to Katherine says:

      As a teenage girl, I crossed the street when I saw (white, mostly) construction workers because I knew I was about to be verbally abused. But I can’t recall EVER crossing the street because someone was black. For Rivera to say such a thing is ridiculous. He is pandering to the FOX crowd.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Katherine says:

      How’s Geraldo’s nose?
      Still broken?
      It’s good to see you’re still on the job!

      —GWAR
      from SlaughteramaReport

  16. Avatar BSK says:

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.041.html

    “776.041?Use of force by aggressor.—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.”
    It would seem that Zimmerman should have had to do a lot more than simply tell cops at the scene what happened to qualify him for either of the two exemptions.  So, yes, the police work was shitty, at best.

    Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to BSK says:

      I read a write-up somewhere that had a few quotes from the author of the bill.
      He was fairly upset about the way that the law is being used.
      I kind of suspected that this was against the intent of the legislature when I first heard this story.
      Doesn’t look good in an election year.Report

      • Avatar karl in reply to Will H. says:

        You’re taking a lot for granted in assuming that the legislature had an “intent” other than giving the gun lobby a reach-around.  It seems that they passed this thing because somebody shot and killed a burglar (who was still outside the residence, I think) and had to wait a few months before not being charged.  Truly, the idea that killing someone might lead to an investigation is just too outrageous — something must be done!Report

  17. Avatar MFarmer says:

    “No, it’s hard for me to look at this as anything other than an attempt to help assuage one’s older, white audience into the comfortable narrative that if bad things happen to blacks it’s their own fault, that today’s devil music is destroying our nation’s youth, and a general, clucking “Kids today!” shout out.”

    This is what you got from what Rivera said? Really. I’m not as conspiratorial as you are. I think this is all on Geraldo, trying to “relate” as a hispanic who’s been profiled by what he wears. So, you really think Fox executives got together and said “Let’s assuage the old people’s fear regarding this Martin situation. These old white people, you know, they don’t want to think that an innocent black kid was murdered and no one did anything to prosecute the killer. Let’s get Geraldo to say something about hoodies so that it looks like the kid caused his own death. If we can make the old white people feel better watching us because we hold Martin responsible for his won death,, they will watch us even more and we’ll sell more products to them.”

    This place is becoming sad.Report

    • Avatar LauraNo in reply to MFarmer says:

      I don’t think anyone believes execs got together and planned Geraldo’s language. Accusing someone of that is …sad. Geraldo did what nearly all the FOX …um, announcers? do. Spin the story into something the right wing old white crowd would want to hear instead of something or some truth they do not want to hear. There is a reason they watch FOX after all, and it ain’t for their fair and balanced reporting. And when exactly would Geraldo have been profiled for what he wears? I don’t think hoodies were commonplace in his youth, nor anything else old white men would call ‘ghetto’.Report

    • Avatar ktward in reply to MFarmer says:

      I think this is all on Geraldo, trying to “relate” as a hispanic who’s been profiled by what he wears.

      You must be talking about his  ‘stache. That thing IS criminal.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to MFarmer says:

      Do you really take Fox Noose seriously?   C’mon.   Of course they’re going to assuage the old people’s fears and horrors, anointing their privy parts with wrinkle creams and salves of dubious provenance.   Can’t have those oldsters actually slamming their fists on the coffee tables and yelling “Margaret, this is just bullshit, someone killed a kid for no good reason!”

      Bad for business in the Land o’ Fox.   Don’t ask rhetorical questions if you don’t want them answered.   Even good solid gun owners get sick of this sort of shit.Report

      • Avatar MFarmer in reply to BlaiseP says:

        ” Of course they’re going to assuage the old people’s fears and horrors, anointing their privy parts with wrinkle creams and salves of dubious provenance. Can’t have those oldsters actually slamming their fists on the coffee tables and yelling “Margaret, this is just bullshit, someone killed a kid for no good reason!””

        See, Laura? Now, I expect an apology. There are plenty of paranoids, conspiracy theorists here.Report

        • Avatar MFarmer in reply to MFarmer says:

          But, I have to say, Fox Noose was very clever. You guys are so witty and caustic it’s almost an unfair advantage.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to MFarmer says:

            So, do you take Fox News seriously?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Mike’s an Above The Fray Both Sides Do It! kind of guy, BP. For him, Fox News is no different than every other media outlet cheerleading for their Team. You don’t get that, and hold on to the belief that there are objective facts and arguments to be made. And that spells Trouble. By implicitly criticizing Fox News you’ve revealed a fatal character flaw from which there is no remedy, but which NonPartisans are immune: you’ve signaled that you aren’t Above The Fray. That means everything you say from now on will be dismissed as nothing more than Grunts and Shouts signaling Tribal Identity for all to see.

              You’ve undermined your own credibility, BP.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Stillwater says:

                Woe is me.   But seriously, did I ever have any credibility?   Out here on some blog, at the end of some spiral lane of the galaxy?   Hell is other people, the philosophers tell us.

                In serious reporting and intelligence gathering, no one source of information is enough to reach a conclusion.   Nature has never yet equipped any of its creatures with a single eye.   Prey species get one on each side of their heads, predators get a pair pointing forward.   The turtle gets two separate vision systems, one for above the water, the other for below.   That curious factoid I got courtesy of a neurobiologist I worked with for some time.

                When it comes to Frays, I generally try to get the drop on my competition from the high ground.   Better perspective and better fields of fire.   I’m not so much Above them, rhetorically, far from it, for there is no Winning out here in this place.   But there is Losing:  those who take their facts from many sources can safely form their own opinions.   Those who start with the Opinions and try to find Facts to support them shall ever come to grief.Report

  18. Avatar scott says:

    People want to make this just about race or clothes instead of the all the components of the event.  If you are wearing a hoodie at night in Florida that may be more suspicious than wearing it at others times like during daylight in cold weather.  Just like if you are white and wear a rain coat into a bank during the summer when it is not raining.Report

    • Avatar Murali in reply to scott says:

      Nothing wrong with wearing a hoodie at night. It keeps your ears marginally warmer. I also dont remember Florida being so warm that a hoodie at night would not prove useful (especially if it were raining)Report

    • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to scott says:

      Were you ever an adolescent?

      Teenageres wear whatever is cool, regardless of weather.

      Unlike middle aged professionals who wear charcoal black three piece wool suits in summer because…well shut up thats why.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Liberty60 says:

        Good point, Liberty.

        Having watched three kids grow up, it was my observation a good deal of what passes for Cool is formed up by what the poor kids are wearing, not because they want to, but because they have to.   The baggy pants phenomenon, f’rinstance, my son contends it arose from poor kids wearing their older siblings’ jeans.   The one brave girl who wears her mother’s stuff from the back of her closet sets a fashion trend.

        Go to any fancy French restaurant and you’ll be served the food evolved by peasants.   The intricate concoctions of the old French court are ancient history.   Can’t get the ingredients, anyway.   All those fancy terrines, it’s meatloaf, folks.   Coq au vin, yesterday’s reheated chicken.

        Though there’s no accounting for taste, there is for style.Report

        • Avatar FridayNext in reply to BlaiseP says:

          Actually it is my understanding is that the baggy pants phenomenon, as well as the unlaced shoe phenomenon is based on what people who are in jail may look like after they have had their laces and belts confiscated.

          I have absolutely no reference to point to on that, but that was always my interpretation.Report

  19. Avatar ktward says:

    On Rivera: It’s been so many years now that I’ve considered the man a barker of sensationalism, I pay no more attention to what he says than I do the tabloids at the grocery check-out with the “Alien Discovery!” headlines. (Are they still discovering aliens these days?)

    On Fox & Friends: I don’t watch the show, but near as I can tell they’re notorious for spouting a lot of demonstrably stupid stuff.

    Mr. Kelly is, of course, spot on: anyone who isn’t an old white person has got to be saying to themselves, WTF? My kids are in college, they’ve been wearing hoodies since elementary school. My son used to travel around the country with Drum Corps and they *all* wore hoodies everywhere they went —  White kids, Black kids, Latino kids, Asian kids, girls and boys alike. My daughter pulls her hoodie up sometimes when her hair is dirty and she’s walking into a store. Even at night. In Chicago.

    For whatever reasons, it’s been a tough slog trying to convince some ordinary, largely apolitical folks that Fox News is truly a ghastly source for news and opinion. It occurs to me that this bizarre broadcast–a meeting of moron minds if there ever was one–might very well finally open some eyes.Report

  20. Avatar BSK says:

    Say, “A 17-year-old young man was shot dead.”
    People are outraged.
    Add, “He was black and that might have neen a contributing factor.”
    Some people say, “Let’s wait for more facts.”

    I’m back to puking.Report

    • Avatar MFarmer in reply to BSK says:

      That’s because you are morally superior. It’s tough being so righteous is such an imperfect world. Hang in there.Report

      • Avatar BSK in reply to MFarmer says:

        People’s selective calls for “more information” are bothersome. The wails of a child pleading for his life and the dying are indeed puke worthy.Report

        • Avatar scott in reply to BSK says:

          BSK:

          Yes it is so bothersome to ask that folks get all the facts before they lynch someone.  There is now a story out there that there was a witness that corroborates Zimm’s story.  If true, I hope you choke on your liberal righteous indignation.

           

          http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/state/witness-martin-attacked-zimmerman-03232012Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to scott says:

            Dude, you need help.Report

          • Avatar BSK in reply to scott says:

            My point is not that we shouldn’t search for justice. My point is that many folks seem selective in when they want facts probed and when not. I’m sure Trayvon would have appreciated Zimmerman taking the time to verify the facts around his presence and intentions that night.

            The cops botched this from the start. Plain and simple.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BSK says:

              Hell, if only the cops /had/ handled this instead of some idiot civilian running around with a gun……Report

            • Avatar scott in reply to BSK says:

              BSK:

              Funny that is not what your previous posts sound like.  “Some people say, “Let’s wait for more facts.”

              I’m back to puking.”  That hardly sounds like someone that wants to take the time to collect all the facts.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to scott says:

                You realize there was a context to that statement, right?  That is sort of how words work.  When you put a bunch of words together, their proximity to one another is rarely random.  Read the WHOLE statement.Report

              • Avatar scott in reply to BSK says:

                BSK:

                How about another one of your quotes in its entirety, “People’s selective calls for “more information” are bothersome. The wails of a child pleading for his life and the dying are indeed puke worthy.”  Much better to condemn rather than be bothered with facts.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to scott says:

                What “facts” are you speaking of?  The link you provided?  Hardly a fact… there isn’t even a direct quote from the supposed witness.

                I listened to the tapes.  I’m confident it was Trayvon.  They are haunting.  If you didn’t listen to them, maybe you should actually examine the facts.Report

              • Avatar scott in reply to BSK says:

                BSK:

                “I listened to the tapes.  I’m confident it was Trayvon.  They are haunting.  If you didn’t listen to them, maybe you should actually examine the facts.”

                There you go again.  You are confident confident that it was Trayvon but you assume so without really knowing for sure.  You are ready to condemn Zimm without even knowing that there might be a witness and you still seem ready to condemn him without even knowing what the witness might say.  Surely the testimony of an eyewitness would make a difference, right?  As an attorney I deal in facts, not conjecture or assumptions about how I might like things to be in order to satisfy my world view. Sometimes that requires waiting and keeping my mouth shut until investigations are done and the facts come out.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK says:

                It has been a month.  The reason we don’t have the facts necessary is because the police botched the investigation.  No, “botched” is too generous.  They simply neglected to properly investigate.

                Have I once called for Zimmerman’s head?  No.  I’m calling for a proper investigation.  I’m calling for him to have to present his affirmative defense in a court of law.  I’m calling for an open and honest trial to seek justice.

                You are putting words in my mouth because it suits the conclusion you’ve already drawn about me and about this case.

                I’m outraged that some folks only seem to insist on patience when a black kid is the one lying dead on the ground.  If you can’t share that outrage.. well…Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK says:

                Some facts:

                1. Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away” [Orlando Sentinel]

                2. Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:

                Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
                Zimmerman: “Yeah”
                Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”

                [Orlando Sentinel]

                3. Prior to the release of the 911 tapes, Zimmerman’s father released a statement claiming “[a]t no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.”[Sun Sentinel]

                4. Zimmerman was carrying a a 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. [ABC News]

                5. Martin weighed 140 pounds. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds. [Orlando SentinelWDBO]

                6. Martin’s English teacher described him as “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.” [Orlando Sentinel]

                7. Martin had no criminal record. [New York Times]

                8. Zimmerman “was charged in July 2005 with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer. The charges appear to have been dropped.” [Huffington Post]

                9. Zimmerman called the police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011. [Miami Herald]

                10. According to neighbors, Zimmerman was “fixated on crime and focused on young, black males.” [Miami Herald]

                11. Zimmerman “had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics” [Huffington Post]

                12. A police officer “corrected” a key witness. “The officer told the witness, a long-time teacher, it was Zimmerman who cried for help, said the witness. ABC News has spoken to the teacher and she confirmed that the officer corrected her when she said she heard the teenager shout for help.” [ABC News]

                13. Three witnesses say they heard a boy cry for help before a shot was fired. “Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy.” [Miami Herald]

                14. The officer in charge of the crime scene also received criticism in 2010when he initially failed to arrest a lieutenant’s son who was videotaped attacking a homeless black man. [New York Times]

                15. The police did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol. A law enforcement expert told ABC that Zimmerman sounds intoxicated on the 911 tapes. Drug and alcohol testing is “standard procedure in most homicide investigations.” [ABC News]

                16. In a cell phone call moments before his death, Martin told a teenage girl that he was “hounded by a strange man on a cellphone who ran after him, cornered him and confronted him.” “‘He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,’ Martin’s friend said. ‘I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.’ Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin. ‘Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’” [ABC News]

                17. Police have Trayvon Martin’s cell phone but never contact his girlfriend.[Miami Herald]

                18. Zimmerman told the police “he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on when Trayvon attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck.” “He said he feared for his life and fired the semiautomatic handgun he was licensed to carry because he feared for his life.” [Miami Herald]

                19. The incident occurred in a tiny gated community Zimmerman patrolled regularly. [Miami Herald]

                20. Zimmerman was not a member of a registered Neighborhood Watch group. Zimmerman also violated basic Neighborhood Watch guidelines by carrying a weapon. [ABC News]

                21. The police reports were amended to bolster Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. “Initial police reports never mentioned that Zimmerman had a bloody nose or a wet shirt that showed evidence of a struggle.” [Miami Herald]

                22. Police ignored witness whose account was different from Zimmerman’s.“One of the witnesses who heard the crying said she called a detective repeatedly, but said he was not interested because her account differed from Zimmerman’s.” [Miami Herald]

                23. Zimmerman still has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in the State of Florida. [ThinkProgress]

                http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/18/446768/what-everyone-should-know-about-about-trayvon-martin-1995-2012/?mobile=nc for click-thrus on the source links.

                Does any of this mean that Zimmerman should be in jail with the key thrown away?  No.  That is what a trial is for.  The local police and DA seem disinterested in having Zimmerman stand trial.  That is a goddamn shame.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to BSK says:

                That list is good work.
                As a matter of your own interest (ie, credibility), I would say that you need to comb through there with a critical– critical— eye and determine what is relevant and what is not.
                That will prevent you from getting sidetracked, and make your argument more persuasive and more cohesive on the whole.
                There’s some fluff in there.
                But it’s good work.Report

  21. Avatar BSK says:

    “But starting in 2011, Zimmerman’s calls increasingly focused on what he considered “suspicious” characters walking around the neighborhood—almost all of whom were young black males.

    On April 22, 2011, Zimmerman called to report a black male about “7-9” years old, four feet tall, with a “skinny build” and short black hair. There is no indication in the police report of the reason for Zimmerman’s suspicion of the boy.

    On Aug. 3 of last year, Zimmerman reported a black male who he believed was “involved in recent” burglaries in the neighborhood.

    And on Oct. 1 he reported two black male suspects “20-30” years old, in a white Chevrolet Impala. He told police he did “not recognize” the men or their vehicle and that he was concerned because of the recent burglaries.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/23/did-trayvon-shooter-abuse-911.html

    LWB… Living while black…Report

  22. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    From what I can tell, Zimmerman wasn’t any kind of official agent; under the law, he was just a guy with a CCW permit driving around the neighborhood.  He didn’t have the authority to tell Martin to do any damn thing at all.  And, according to the witnesses, Zimmerman initiated the confrontation; the 911 operator can put him in the car, and the eyewitness can confirm that he had left the car to confront Martin.  So, presumably, Zimmerman chased Martin down and started attacking him, at which point Martin defended himself.

    Meaning that if the “stand your ground” law applied to anyone, it was Martin.  Otherwise it would be legal to provoke a fight, lose, shoot the other guy in the back, and then claim it was self-defense.Report

    • Avatar BSK in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Not only that, but the ‘stand your ground’ law, if interpreted as it has been here, incentivizes murder.  If the cops rolled up and found the two tussling or Martin lying on the ground hurt but not dead, I struggle to see how Zimmerman isn’t arrested, even if Martin is unable to speak.  But because he shot him and invoked ‘stand your ground’, he isn’t.  What the f?

      Fortunately, the ‘stand your ground’ law explicitly does not protect someone who does what Zimmerman did.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Otherwise it would be legal to provoke a fight, lose, shoot the other guy in the back, and then claim it was self-defense.

      As far as I can tell, that’s how SYG is being applied.  IANAL, but it seems to me that, by itself,  “reasonable fear imminent peril of death or great bodily harm” is a ridiculously weak standard for justifying deadly force.

      • Since it doesn’t mention how the situation began or escalated, then, sure, it can be in a fight you started before you realized that you’re not Samuel L. Jackson, you’re Crispin Glover.
      • Since it mentions no additional responsibilities for people carrying concelaed weapons,.it also means you can provoke a fight with someone who’s unarmed and has no idea what the consequences of fighting back might be.
      • The time period is not specified.  If it means “at some time during the altercation”, then it can include shooting someone you’ve neutralized who’s now staring at the gun, begging for his life.

      Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to DensityDuck says:

      So, presumably, Zimmerman chased Martin down and started attacking him, at which point Martin defended himself.

      The “and started attacking him” is the point of contention, is it not? If that’s true, hang him high. But to the best of my knowledge that remains speculative at this time.Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        That’s the thing. Do we have any corroboration on who started the fight? Zimmerman denies that he did, but there is reason to suppose that he is less than completely honest. A character profile of the Martin makes it unlikely that he would start the fight. (He being and A and B student who was always cheerful etc. That’s just not the kind of guy who starts fights with strangers)Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Murali says:

          Murali, you’re forgetting the McArdle defense: that Martin turns on Zimmerman and attacks him, and Zimmy responds by pulling the trigger. I mean, she’s right, isn’t she? We can imagine that scenario, can’t we?Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to Stillwater says:

            I can imagine that, its just less probable than the alternative. As it stands, there is sufficient cause to pursue the investigation and maybe even arrest the creep.Report

          • Avatar aaron in reply to Stillwater says:

            Wow, she really wrote that?  Could you put a link up, as I would like to see that one.Report

            • Avatar kenB in reply to aaron says:

              It’s here — Stillwater’s being unfair though. She just said that if she were on a jury and nothing more were known than what’s known right now, she’d have to acquit (probably due to that pesky “beyond a reasonable doubt” thingy).Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to kenB says:

                Yes, KenB: I cited directly McArdle back @ comment #51.  Also Volokh:

                “Florida law, though, clearly resolves this: “A law enforcement agency … may not arrest [a] person for using force [in a self-defense situation] unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.”

                So in Florida, the police must have probable cause to believe that the defendant wasn’t acting in lawful self-defense in order to arrest the defendant. It’s not enough to say, “we have probable cause to believe that you killed the victim, so we’ll arrest you and then sort out later how strong your self-defense case is.”

                Got that?  In other words, the burden of proof is reversed.  Volokh goes on to say “I can’t speak with confidence to whether in the Martin/Zimmerman case the police indeed have such probable cause,” but it’s clear neither do the commenters and commentators here or elsewhere.

                http://volokh.com/2012/03/24/can-the-police-arrest-someone-for-homicide-when-its-clear-he-killed-but-likely-in-self-defense/Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                ““Florida law, though, clearly resolves this: “A law enforcement agency … may not arrest [a] person for using force [in a self-defense situation] unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.””

                The cops seem to have ignored all probable cause that didn’t fit the narrative they preferred. They “corrected” one witness who said it was Trayvon who was crying for help. There are reports that the report was amended after the fact to add Zimmerman’s previously unreported injuries. Several witnesses have claimed the police would not take their statements and/or would not return their phone calls. They did not do a drug or alcohol test on Zimmerman, which is SOP in homocides. Add this to a history of corruption in the Sanford PD and it all becomes very questionable. Again, they botched the investigation, which makes it very hard to accept their word at this point.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to kenB says:

                McArdle:

                <i>But could there be a scenario where he–wildly inappropriately–followed this guy, and brandished his gun, and then much to his surprise, the teenager tried to wrestle the gun away, and in the ensuing struggle, he got shot?

                Does that seem the most likely explanation to me? No. Could I rule it out? Also no. And that’s reasonable doubt.</i>

                Well, no it isn’t reasonable doubt, unless the defense suggests that scenario and the physical evidence is consistent with it.  You could suppose she has nefarious motives for getting that wrong, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she’s just clueless.Report

              • There is a lot of amateur criminology in the comments @ the Volokh post to that effect.  I’ve gotten into this as much as I care to at this point; I just pass it along for those who are into litigating these “events.”  I steeped myself in the details of the last “event,” the Troy Davis case, and have found that many words are traded to little effect or edification.

                I see that filthy murderer Mumia is off Death Row and it’s just as well.  No good can come of giving him justice.  Perhaps two wrongs will make a right afterall.Report

              • Avatar scott in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                TVD:

                There is a lot of amateur criminology in the comments here as well. All this talk about reasonable doubt reminds me of the OJ case.  If folks could find reasonable doubt for OJ then they could surely find it in this case.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to scott says:

                Scott, I’ve surveyed the battlefield here enough to see the fog of war is far too dense to discuss this.  The only useful inquiry here is in the mob psychology angle, what people think, say and do in the absence of the actual facts.

                Better we’d spent more time on the NCAA brackets.  At least you could turn a buck off that.  The only one who’ll make a dime off this is Al Sharpton.  That is the insult piled upon the injury.Report

              • Avatar kenB in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                <I>Well, no it isn’t reasonable doubt, unless the defense suggests that scenario …</I>

                Well, there’s been no trial and no defense at all, so I’m not sure how this is a reasonable objection to a hypothetical statement.  Should we never ever say prior to a trial “I wouldn’t convict because I think scenario xyz provides a reasonable doubt” because they have to wait until a defense lawyer says it?

                <I>…and the physical evidence is consistent with it.</i>

                Is the physical evidence not consistent with it?  I haven’t read up on the details.

                <I>You could suppose she has nefarious motives for getting that wrong,…</i>

                …but then you’d be deranged.  She could indeed be mixing up “reasonable doubt” with “shadow of a doubt”, but people manage to do that all the time without having racist or fascist motives.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to kenB says:

                The point is she’s making a prior-to-trial argument about his legal guilt based on an absurd hypothetical. She’s trying to say in advance of a trial that the guy is innocent.

                She’s either an idiot or someone with an agenda.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to kenB says:

                Well, there’s been no trial and no defense at all, so I’m not sure how this is a reasonable objection to a hypothetical statement. 

                Because she invented it out of whole cloth.  There’s equally no disproof that Trayvon got the gun away from Zimmerman and tried to shoot him, but was holding it backwards at the time.

                She could indeed be mixing up “reasonable doubt” with “shadow of a doubt”, but people manage to do that all the time without having racist or fascist motives.

                Indeed.  She is most likely, as I’d already said, to be simply clueless.

                And that she seems much less exercised about the fact that someone could murder a kid and get away with it than she has been in the past about people walking away from underwater mortgages, well, I won’t attempt to explain that one.Report

              • Avatar kenB in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                She said she’d love to see the guy behind bars.  She also prefers to talk about things that a million other people aren’t already saying, and her real point (justified or not) was that a trial and acquittal would arguably be worse than no trial at all.  But obviously she hasn’t engaged in the requisite amount of ritual denunciation to persuade the McArdle Derangement Syndrome sufferers not to make backhanded or even fronthanded accusations of racism or authoritarianism or whatever the hell it is that you lot are accusing her of.

                 Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                whatever the hell it is that you lot are accusing her of.

                I twice said “clueless” and Stilwell said “idiot”.. Take your pick.Report

  23. Avatar suzie Q says:

    People that profile are terrorists if they act on their FEAR not FACT to harm someone wearing certain attire!  Based on what you are saying that anyone that attacks someone based on attire worn would definitely make them a terrorist if they went after that person and hurt them or killed them without cause other than attire.  I find that you probably have a very simple mind.  Sorry just calling it like I see it, as I am a 50 year old woman and I wear hoodies and have never been threatened or shot at.  REALLY CMON!Report

  24. Avatar cojonius maximus says:

    Jesus: “Let one among you who is without sin cast the first stone” (Turns to face the crowd as he sees a hand raised holding a rock) “ Not you mother! “

    I think that we better get all the facts before we jump to “Rivera-esque” conclusions. In the mean time, you urbanites better batten down the hatches for a Rodney King Reaction .  The shit that may be getting ready to hit the fan is why one needs a high capacity semi-automatic rifle.Report

  25. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    Seems every two-bit racist has jumped all over this Trayvon situation.

    The New Black Panthers have put out a 10,000 USD bounty on Zimmerman.

    For those of you who don’t know who these guys are, they’re as nasty a bunch of Jew Haters and racists as you’ll ever meet.   I give money to SPLC.   This situation in Florida will get worse before it gets better, mark my words.Report

    • Avatar BSK in reply to BlaiseP says:

      That is horrible.  Should it be found out that their bounty led to violence, they should be prosecuted as strongly as possible. The idea that things like this help situations like these is laughable.Report

      • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK says:

        (Quietly waiting to see if anyone chimes in HERE to insist that we reserve judgement until more facts come out…)Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BSK says:

        Ain’t no joking around with these NBP types.   Racism is an equal-opportunity sin, folks.   Anyone can be a racist.   Anyone.Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to BlaiseP says:

          Blaise-

          My first comment was 100% sincere.  I am just as bothered by the NBPP as well.  As I said, I sincerely believe they (or at least those involved in the bounty) should be held liable if someone takes them up on their offer.  Zimmerman being killed vigilante style further perpetuates the horrible and extrajudicial actions that have gotten us to where we are.

          My second comment, I believe, is relevant.  As I said above, it is troublesome that some folks reserve their “Let’s wait until all the facts play out” mantra for when it is a black kid dead.  I’m curious if those folks will call me to task for denouncing the NBPP in the same way they are calling me out for insisting on an arrest and trial for Zimmerman.  I’m not going to make a “silence is deafening” argument, as we’ve recently talked about the lack-of-merits to such an approach, which is partly why I explicitly named it as I did to allow for explicit engagement of the point.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to BSK says:

            They could be prosecuted for conspiracy if anyone did anything or even agrees to.
            Depending on the manner of agreement, they could be prosecuted under the RICO statutes, either criminally or as a civil matter.Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to BlaiseP says:

          Blaise-

          My first comment was 100% sincere.  I am just as bothered by the NBPP as you.  As I said, I sincerely believe they (or at least those involved in the bounty) should be held liable if someone takes them up on their offer.  Zimmerman being killed vigilante style further perpetuates the horrible and extrajudicial actions that have gotten us to where we are.

          My second comment, I believe, is relevant.  As I said above, it is troublesome that some folks reserve their “Let’s wait until all the facts play out” mantra for when it is a black kid dead.  I’m curious if those folks will call me to task for denouncing the NBPP in the same way they are calling me out for insisting on an arrest and trial for Zimmerman.  I’m not going to make a “silence is deafening” argument, as we’ve recently talked about the lack-of-merits to such an approach, which is partly why I explicitly named it as I did to allow for explicit engagement of the point.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BSK says:

            Oh yeah.   Of course you were sincere… I was more responding to you opening the jaws of the weasel trap about Reserving Judgement.  Zimmerman, based on what I guess we’ve all seen as the usual dump truck full of factoids have been unloaded, is something of a mystery.   Him I can reserve judgement on for the moment, though I am dead-set against the exercise of deadly force by untrained civilians.   There are some Second Amendment and Self-Defence issues involved in that case, ones we can’t idly dismiss.   And I don’t think we have, around here.  Let the courts and the investigators deal with this tragic case.  On that, I think we can all agree.

            But these NBPP types are a prima-facie case of destructive vigilantism.   Every time one of these horrible incidents which involve black kids emerges, or some Rodney King beating or its like comes up on the radar, here come the fire-breathing NBPP to cause no end of trouble.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to BlaiseP says:

      Zimmerman is not a fugitive.  Offering a  bounty for his “capture” is solicitation of a felony (kidnapping).  Why isn’t Mikhail Muhammad under arrest?Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        An excellent question, Mike.  The FBI should be all over this Mikhail Muhammad like stink on shit.Report

      • Avatar scott in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Mike:

        Imagine how Jesse Jackson would protest if he was arrested?

         Report

      • I’m not one to defend vigilanteism, but I think it’s fair to say there are disanalogies between Zimmerman’s actions and the bounty on his head.  Blacks have good reason for wanting to work outside the criminal justice system, because the biases and lacunae in the system that disadvantage racial minorities are significant and undeniable.  Zimmerman and his defenders, meanwhile, can count on the law to protect them.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Robert Greer says:

          I don’t think it’s fair.  I believe in Equal Justice Under Law.   If law enforcement has failed Trayvon Martin, and this seems to be the case, the press has stepped in to do its job in this case, there’s your working outside the justice system, done right.

          Now it’s the law’s turn.  We will see what Florida’s going to do about justice for Trayvon Martin and his family.

          The past history of legitimate grievance combined with the tragedy of present grievance has always been a powerful lure for every sort of extremism.   This is a nation of laws, not of men.   Zimmerman is in hiding.   Presumably he’s got an attorney now.    Let the law take its course.   No amount of condescending to persons of colour, aw-shucks-ing about Biases and Lacunae will bring back Trayvon Martin.   If equality is to mean anything, let the law protect Zimmerman until he’s convicted.

          Until then, seconds out.Report

          • Avatar Robert Greer in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Meh.  Even a legal system with facially-neutral rules and procedures can be fundamentally racist.  We like to think that court cases are determined mostly by precedent and neutral legal reasoning, but in reality cases rarely line up with unambiguous statutes or settled legal doctrine: Nearly all of the legal standards for determining criminal conduct make reference appeal to what the hypothetical “reasonable man” would do, and slightly different fact patterns make it difficult for courts to systematize their rulings on these matters. It’s in this wishy-washy context that judges (who are overwhelmingly white and upper-class, and usually male to boot) and juries (which are often perfect representatives of societal racism) make their decisions, which seems to me to be a good explanation for the vast differential in white and black incarceration.  The rule of law is a noble ideal, but it is chimerical.

            Cheers,

            ThrasymachusReport

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Robert Greer says:

              I shall now disobey one of my own sovereign rules about quotations and insert an entire poem.

              Law, Like Love

              Law, say the gardeners, is the sun,
              Law is the one
              All gardeners obey
              To-morrow, yesterday, to-day.

              Law is the wisdom of the old,
              The impotent grandfathers feebly scold;
              The grandchildren put out a treble tongue,
              Law is the senses of the young.

              Law, says the priest with a priestly look,
              Expounding to an unpriestly people,
              Law is the words in my priestly book,
              Law is my pulpit and my steeple.

              Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose,
              Speaking clearly and most severely,
              Law is as I’ve told you before,
              Law is as you know I suppose,
              Law is but let me explain it once more,
              Law is The Law.

              Yet law-abiding scholars write:
              Law is neither wrong nor right,
              Law is only crimes
              Punished by places and by times,
              Law is the clothes men wear
              Anytime, anywhere,
              Law is Good morning and Good night.

              Others say, Law is our Fate;
              Others say, Law is our State;
              Others say, others say
              Law is no more,
              Law has gone away.

              And always the loud angry crowd,
              Very angry and very loud,
              Law is We,
              And always the soft idiot softly Me.

              If we, dear, know we know no more
              Than they about the Law,
              If I no more than you
              Know what we should and should not do
              Except that all agree
              Gladly or miserably
              That the Law is
              And that all know this
              If therefore thinking it absurd
              To identify Law with some other word,
              Unlike so many men
              I cannot say Law is again,

              No more than they can we suppress
              The universal wish to guess
              Or slip out of our own position
              Into an unconcerned condition.
              Although I can at least confine
              Your vanity and mine
              To stating timidly
              A timid similarity,
              We shall boast anyvay:
              Like love I say.

              Like love we don’t know where or why,
              Like love we can’t compel or fly,
              Like love we often weep,
              Like love we seldom keep.

              WH AudenReport

          • Avatar MFarmer in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Mr. Blaise, I’m with you on this. Ditto, brother.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to MFarmer says:

              Thankya bruvver.   There is but one principle of justice and it is equality before the law.   Every other facet of society can entertain prejudice and predisposition but not our justice system.    If we cannot believe in its power to enforce the rules which must govern us all, we are lost souls.Report

  26. Avatar Will H. says:

    I had thought of commenting earlier concerning what type of place Sanford is. After I looked at a map of where this shooting happened, I feel compelled to speak; at least to a crowd such as this, that might not have that information readily available.
    I just found out the place in Lake Mary where I used to work is right at two miles from the scene of the shooting. I used to take 46 in to the city, because I lived on the other side of Geneva (interesting place). I drove down that road with Hurricane Charlie behind me, and made it back less than 5 minutes before the storm hit.
    My information is dated somewhat, as I haven’t lived there for about seven years now; but it’s still valid.
    Sanford stretches along from one side of the Orlando metro to the other along the north. It’s really a city of contrasts. I’ve seen some fairly wealthy people there (think retired entertainers), and the part over by the airport is more of rough neighborhood.
    This is a nice place, by any standard. Gated communities are very common; some really big ones there, and a lot of them have guards at a gate.
    Twin Lakes sits between Lake Jessup (colloquially known as “Gator Lake”) and Lake Monroe.
    I want to say more about the place, but really, I am terribly saddened by this. Shocked, really.
    I didn’t know that was the place they were talking about.
    For some reason, that hurt me on a personal level.Report

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