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Author Topic: Martin and Zimmerman
G2
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Anybody have an idea of what actually happened here?
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Wayward Son
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Nope. And probably no one ever will. [Frown]
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G2
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How would we not? We have at least one eye witness, and Zimmerman himself. What makes you think we will never know what actually happened?

[ March 26, 2012, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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AI Wessex
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Why should we try to guess what happened from TV interviews with Zimmerman's attorney and other people he or the media have drawn out? There will be an investigation and trial, which should yield the information. Until then it's a hypothetical debate.

G2, if you have listened to the eye witness and Zimmerman, what do you think "actually happened"?

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Wayward Son
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quote:
How would we not? We have at least one eye witness, and Zimmerman himself. What makes you think we will never know what actually happened?
Because witnesses often do not see the entire incident, and Zimmerman is too involved in it to be completely reliable.

When I use the term "actually happened," I mean the actual facts of the entire incident. Who did what, and when? Was it threatening? How did the other person respond? Was it an overreaction? Etc.

All of these details are lost now that one of the participants is dead. And, as I said before, I doubt the witnesses saw everything. (Have they contradicted each other yet? [Smile] ) So, no, we do not know, and probably never will.

Of course, if you are really curious about what actually happened here, why are you asking us, instead of Zimmerman and the witnesses? [Wink]

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vegimo
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Check the wiki - especially the first and third recorded calls on the right-hand side of the page.
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AI Wessex
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Facts is facts, you know. My wife and I have seen accounts of Robert Zimmerman's age as 26, 30 and 36, as well as "an older man". Facts is facts, you know.

Edit: Vegimo, thanks for pointing out the wiki site. There's a lot of information there, both to the facts and to the ambiguity.

[ March 26, 2012, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
How would we not? We have at least one eye witness, and Zimmerman himself. What makes you think we will never know what actually happened?
Because witnesses often do not see the entire incident, and Zimmerman is too involved in it to be completely reliable.

When I use the term "actually happened," I mean the actual facts of the entire incident. Who did what, and when? Was it threatening? How did the other person respond? Was it an overreaction? Etc. All of these details are lost now that one of the participants is dead. And, as I said before, I doubt the witnesses saw everything. (Have they contradicted each other yet? [Smile] ) So, no, we do not know, and probably never will.

That's a weird way to put it, "All of these details are lost now that one of the participants is dead". All of these details? Only Martin could have possessed them all? We may not get all of the details now but we can certainly get many of them, perhaps even most.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Of course, if you are really curious about what actually happened here, why are you asking us, instead of Zimmerman and the witnesses? [Wink]

Because this is an interesting phenomena that is occurring. Because Zimmerman has been forced into hiding after become the target of death threats and a bounty. Because I don't know the witness personally and doubt I will go to Florida to talk to him - why would he talk to someone he does not know?

It's interesting that you think "all these details" you mention are lost without Martin's input. The only way that works is if you start from the perspective that only Martin would be honest and Zimmerman would lie - meaning you are predominantly taking the position that has been created by the media.

There is a broad narrative at work here and I'm curious who's buying into it as its been fed to them and who's not. There's a lot going on here, so much so that Obama felt he could mine it for votes (not to mention all usual suspects that seek profit from racism). This story is starting to morph a bit as facts come out and the narrative begins to crumble a bit.

Good catch on the link vegimo.

[ March 26, 2012, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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msquared
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I think the stand and defend defense is out the window. Once Zimmerman followed Martin after the police told him not to, I think he can not claim he defended himself.

msquared

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AI Wessex
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G2, you seem to be saying that the victim would not have a useful perspective on the crime, that we can get all the information we need from the person who killed him and the witnesses, who the wiki indicate tell stories that don't uniformly line up behind Zimmerman's account (which changed over time).

Why do you have such a strong opinion and what exactly is it?

[ March 26, 2012, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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AI Wessex
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"I think the stand and defend defense is out the window. Once Zimmerman followed Martin after the police told him not to, I think he can not claim he defended himself."

That at least seems clear since that is on the original taped police call from Zimmerman. Also, his lawyer is saying he won't try to use that as a defense, presumably because he was following Martin and Martin wasn't armed.

[ March 26, 2012, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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JoshuaD
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This entire story smelled of spin and appeal to popular emotion from the beginning. I haven't followed it closely, but it's immediately obvious that there's more to this story than "sweet innocent boy (black and in a hoodie) shot by big meanie who is a racist."
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
This entire story smelled of spin and appeal to popular emotion from the beginning. I haven't followed it closely, but it's immediately obvious that there's more to this story than "sweet innocent boy (black and in a hoodie) shot by big meanie who is a racist."

By "the beginning", you mean once it got national attention, a week after the kids had been killed?
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AI Wessex
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I agree that the story is being spun. The spin on all sides is based on conjecture, bias (if not prejudice) and more than anything else, on incomplete information. That's why it's pointless to argue about it until a complete investigation and trial has happened. And after a verdict is handed down there will likely be more spin.

Joshua, do you think there is nothing more to the story than what Zimmerman's side has been saying?

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TommySama
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quote:
There is a broad narrative at work here and I'm curious who's buying into it as its been fed to them and who's not. There's a lot going on here, so much so that Obama felt he could mine it for votes (not to mention all usual suspects that seek profit from racism). This story is starting to morph a bit as facts come out and the narrative begins to crumble a bit.
Yes, Zimmerman has become a modern example of a privileged object of power-knowledge. He is the lone vigilante and racist, the folk-hero and property defender: he is the bat.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
We may not get all of the details now but we can certainly get many of them, perhaps even most.
Many, but not all. We will never know Martin's stste of mind. We'll never know if he felt threatened. We'll never know how he viewed Zimmerman's actions. We'll never know why he did what he did.

Those are a lot of pertinent details.

quote:
It's interesting that you think "all these details" you mention are lost without Martin's input. The only way that works is if you start from the perspective that only Martin would be honest and Zimmerman would lie - meaning you are predominantly taking the position that has been created by the media.
Now you're projecting. I haven't been following the story, so I don't know what the "position that has been created by the media" is. And I doubt Martin would be more honest than Zimmerman.

But Zimmerman, and others, can only speculate on what Martin was perceiving and thinking. Only Martin could have told us that.

So, no, without all the participants, you are not going to get the whole story.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
This entire story smelled of spin and appeal to popular emotion from the beginning. I haven't followed it closely, but it's immediately obvious that there's more to this story than "sweet innocent boy (black and in a hoodie) shot by big meanie who is a racist."

By "the beginning", you mean once it got national attention, a week after the kids had been killed?
Yes. That's why I said "This entire story". To be crystal clear, I meant "This entire news story", i.e. the stuff you see when you turn on the television or log into facebook.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
AI Wessex: Joshua, do you think there is nothing more to the story than what Zimmerman's side has been saying?
I don't have an opinion, and I haven't tracked who said what and the details of the case. I stated what I thought really clearly. I'll quote it again:

"JoshuaD: it's immediately obvious that there's more to this story than "sweet innocent boy (black and in a hoodie) shot by big meanie who is a racist."

Everyone on facebook, in my office, etc., is buying into that absurdly simplified story by looking at internet memes and listening to the night time news.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Everyone on facebook, in my office, etc., is buying into that absurdly simplified story by looking at internet memes and listening to the night time news.
Yep. And that's why we have trials. Because the Court of Public Opinion is so easily manipulated. [Smile]
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TCB
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It's good to avoid a rush to judgment, especially after the Duke lacrosse case. But the government's assumption up until a week ago was also ridiculous - that a large man was assaulted by a skinny boy and was forced to kill him in self defense, even as it seems the boy screamed for help. End of story, no need for an investigation, let alone a jury trial?

Without the outcry of people like your friends and coworkers who viscerally sensed injustice, no one in Florida would even be investigating this case.

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jasonr
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quote:
Because witnesses often do not see the entire incident, and Zimmerman is too involved in it to be completely reliable.
I'd at least like to hear his side of the story, biased as it might be. Other than his claim of "self defence" we have basically nothing from him.

Without at least hearing Zimmerman's story, there's no way to evaluate his credibility so it's impossible to have an intelligent opinion.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
[QB]
quote:
We may not get all of the details now but we can certainly get many of them, perhaps even most.
Many, but not all. We will never know Martin's stste of mind. We'll never know if he felt threatened. We'll never know how he viewed Zimmerman's actions. We'll never know why he did what he did.
He was on the phone at the time with his girlfriend, and he told her that he felt threatened. Does that count?
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AI Wessex
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It's a jigsaw puzzle. That's a piece.

[ March 26, 2012, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Pyrtolin
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The simple facts that we do know- a man shot and killed a kid, and has atively admitted to such.. Because Florida's law is completely backwards, the kid is being presumed guilty until proven innocent of assaulting the man, and being dead makes it problematic for him to get a trial, never mind mount a defense.

It may well be that the kid actually did threaten the man, but he should be proving such in court, especially given that he has actively confesses to the killing rather than being allowed to to exploit a loophole that allows him to deny the kid due process.

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cherrypoptart
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> It may well be that the kid actually did threaten the man, but he should be proving such in court...

Don't you have that exactly backwards and the authorities need to prove that Zimmerman is guilty?

Or does this man really have to prove he is innocent?

Did O.J. have to prove his innocence? Or just create some doubt?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Don't you have that exactly backwards and the authorities need to prove that Zimmerman is guilty?
They know he's culpable, he's already directly admitted it, unless you're claiming someone else pulled the trigger. He doesn't have to prove guilt or innocence, that's irrelevant here. What needs to be evaluated is the level of culpability; if he was being attacked, Florida law says that he was justified in using lethal force, so can use that as his defense to avoid any penalties. The only actions that are in question are the boy's. If the boy was guilty of assault, then there are no penalties for the man's actions, if the boy was not, then the man's actions are not only explicitly murder, but the kind of murder that sends an intimidating message that people who walk through that neighborhood can expect to be gunned down, just for their skin color.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
> It may well be that the kid actually did threaten the man, but he should be proving such in court...

Don't you have that exactly backwards and the authorities need to prove that Zimmerman is guilty?

Or does this man really have to prove he is innocent?

Did O.J. have to prove his innocence? Or just create some doubt?

This guy shot and killed an unarmed minor. Presumption of innocence doesn't mean we assume he had a good reason, it means we regard him as legally innocent until due process proves otherwise. Its the due process that seems to be missing here.
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AI Wessex
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Official:
quote:
State and federal authorities, including Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi, say their review will take time, and pleaded for patience. "What we do know," said Bondi, "is a 17 year-old boy was walking home and now he's dead. And when you have questions like that, they need to be answered."
Anybody disagree with this?
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
It's a jigsaw puzzle. That's a piece.

It's a Rorschach test.
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AI Wessex
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True, but it should be less of one as more pieces are added. I wouldn't expect G2, our resident drive-by dirt bomber, to stick around and defend his alternate view, but otherwise it's good that most everyone else who has an opinion wants to learn more.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The simple facts that we do know- a man shot and killed a kid, and has atively admitted to such.. Because Florida's law is completely backwards, the kid is being presumed guilty until proven innocent of assaulting the man, and being dead makes it problematic for him to get a trial, never mind mount a defense.

It may well be that the kid actually did threaten the man, but he should be proving such in court, especially given that he has actively confesses to the killing rather than being allowed to to exploit a loophole that allows him to deny the kid due process.

More simple facts - Zimmerman was beat up pretty good, broken nose and a bleeding injury to the back of his head that allegedly should have been stitched among other more minor injuries. A eye witness saw Martin straddling Zimmerman and beating him; the screams for help overheard on 911 calls are reportedly Zimmerman's as Martin pounded Zimmerman's head into the ground. Unless you have some evidence to imply Zimmerman's injuries were self-inflicted, then Martin did a *lot* more than threaten Zimmerman.

quote:
... Zimmerman recounted Martin challenging him by saying, “You got a problem with me?”

“Zimmerman said no,” the official said, citing Zimmerman’s account. “Martin said, ‘Now you do,’ and then punched him in the nose.” The exchange was first reported by the Orlando Sentinel, which also said Zimmerman had told police that Martin got on top of Zimmerman and began slamming his head into the sidewalk.

Zimmerman's story matches up with eye witness reports, his injuries and state when police arrived on scene are also consistent with that story. I don't think there is any doubt that a physical confrontation was going on and Zimmerman was getting beaten pretty badly by Martin and it's not unreasonable for Zimmerman to be fearful that Martin would not stop. Repeatedly slamming someone's head into a sidewalk is a life-threatening situation no matter how you slice it.

Other simple facts about Martin are coming out: he "... was kicked out of school a total of three times, according to the documents: First for truancy and tardiness, then in October for the graffiti and finally in February after he was found with a 'marijuana pipe' and an empty baggie with traces of marijuana." Martin was also caught with 'burglary tools' and a small collection of women's jewelry. If you were to go by news reports up until yesterday, you would only know that Martin "majored in cheerfulness", hugged babies and was physically the same as the 4+ year old pictures presented in media stories. You'd never know about things like "... correspondence with Martin on Twitter before he died alludes to an incident with a bus driver. "Yu ain't tell me you swung on a bus driver," Martin's cousin wrote to him on Feb. 21." Perhaps more details about this prior physical confrontation by Martin will come out as it seems to be relevant to this case but obviously Martin is not the cherub faced angel The Narrative™ is making him out to be.

As it currently stands, I think Zimmerman will be exonerated from a criminal perspective. In a few months, we'll move to the civil phase of this.

[ March 27, 2012, 10:12 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by msquared:
I think the stand and defend defense is out the window. Once Zimmerman followed Martin after the police told him not to, I think he can not claim he defended himself.

I see this point a lot right now and I don't think it's relevant. There is no crime in following someone - the implication trying to be made by The Narrative™ is that Zimmerman stalked Martin and shot him in cold blood. That's not true. Zimmerman did not feel the need to defend himself until after a broken nose and a few head slams into the sidewalk. Even if you're following someone, they are not justified in initiating a violent physical confrontation and severely beating you.
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AI Wessex
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G2, thanks for responding (seriously).

"Other simple facts about Martin are coming out: he "... was kicked out of school a total of three times, according to the documents: First for truancy and tardiness, then in October for the graffiti and finally in February after he was found with a 'marijuana pipe' and an empty baggie with traces of marijuana."

What do you think about Zimmerman being arrested and pleading guilty to assault on a police officer? That would indicate a history of violent confrontation.

We know that Zimmerman was told not to follow Martin, but he did follow him in his truck and then when Martin noticed he was being followed and ran, Zimmerman got out of his truck and followed him on foot. It's a dangerous neighborhood, as Zimmerman's supporters have pointed out, so what should Martin have assumed?

"There is no crime in following someone"

There is no crime in strolling around in one's home neighborhood, either. However, if I saw someone following me in a van as I walk slowly, I certainly would be suspicious of them.

"As it currently stands, I think Zimmerman will be exonerated from a criminal perspective."

He may, especially given the lack of unanimity of the eye witness accounts and the lack of any police investigation at the scene at the time of the shooting.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
It's a jigsaw puzzle. That's a piece.

It's a Rorschach test.
This is probably right.
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Wayward Son
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While poo-pooing The Narrative(TM) you seem to be hearing on the news, you realize you are creating your own, one with as little evidence?

Without stating so, you are implying that Martin turned and attacked Zimmerman for no reason. That Zimmerman's actions were completely reasonable, and Martin was the aggressor, perhaps seeing him as a target he could rob or just have fun slamming the guy's head into the concrete. You imply that Martin was a Bad Dude, and Zimmerman was the Responsible Citizen who did nothing but what any Responsible Citizen would do.

The truth is doubtlessly somewhere in between. Muggers rarely try to rob those stalking them; there is too great a chance that the other guy is better armed than them. Martin was most likely acting in self-defense, at least in his own mind. He felt threatened. The main question is whether Zimmerman did something that justified Martin's actions, or did Martin over-react.

The irony is that, if Martin had killed Zimmerman instead, Martin would be off scott-free, too, according to Florida law. [Roll Eyes]

You are right, G2, that the situation isn't as black-and-white (pardon the pun) as The Narrative(TM) would suggest. But neither is your narrative, which is just as black-and-white, and doubtlessly just as untrue.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
While poo-pooing The Narrative(TM) you seem to be hearing on the news, you realize you are creating your own, one with as little evidence?

That is, at least partially, my point. However, my narrative is at least based on more facts (like the police report, eyewitness accounts, sustained injuries, etc) rather than relying on older photos and casting the roles to benefit political ideology.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
The main question is whether Zimmerman did something that justified Martin's actions, or did Martin over-react.

What, in your opinion, justifies breaking someone's nose and straddling them so as to pin them down and repeatedly slam their head into a sidewalk?

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
The irony is that, if Martin had killed Zimmerman instead, Martin would be off scott-free, too, according to Florida law

That would only be true if Zimmerman was pounding the hell out of Martin.
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AI Wessex
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Why do we have to have an opinion at all? This will be investigated and we won't have to select which aspects of the infotainment material is believable and which isn't.
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Viking_Longship
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Even if Zimmerman initiated the fight if Martin was beating his skull against the sidewalk I think he's got a good argument that the gun shot was in self-defense.
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AI Wessex
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Zimmerman was following Martin without identifying himself (or did he say something to Martin?). Martin knew he wasn't armed. If he had known Zimmerman had a gun would he have stood his ground or run away? Did Zimmerman follow Martin knowing he could defend himself with his gun if the tables were turned? Does that imply a presumption on Zimmerman's part? I assume Zimmerman had a gun permit since he hasn't been arrested for illegal possession, but I haven't heard that mentioned yet.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
What, in your opinion, justifies breaking someone's nose and straddling them so as to pin them down and repeatedly slam their head into a sidewalk?
If I were alone on a dark street and a man started to pull out a gun with the intention of shooting me, that is precisely what I would do, or worse. Wouldn't you?

quote:
That would only be true if Zimmerman was pounding the hell out of Martin.
You don't have to be being beaten to be threatened, G2. See above.

Admittedly, it helps... [Smile]

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