Friday, March 23, 2012

Was Trayvon Martin the Aggressor?

12 Comments:

Blogger Billiam said...

Maybe later, but my problem with this whole thing is this: The Police advised Zimmerman not to follow the kid. Seems to me, that would make him the initial aggressor, wouldn't it? The guy isn't a cop, and if the kid wasn't trespassing on his property, or accosting him, or for that matter, doing anything illegal, then Zimmerman is guilty in that HE escalated the situation. Do I have it wrong?

6:21 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

Weak.

9:26 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

>> Weak. <<

Hurts when the standard narrative of racial victimization falls apart, doesn't it?

9:30 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

>> then Zimmerman is guilty in that HE escalated the situation. Do I have it wrong? <<

Zimmerman had a right to follow somebody whom he thought to be acting suspiciously. Was it imprudent to do so? Sure. Was Zimmerman excessively aggressive? Probably.

But if he was actually being physically assaulted and shot the attacker, he's not legally guilty.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zimmerman went out of his way, against the advice the orders of police, to put himself in a position in which he felt threatened. This guy will get off because Florida seems concerned to err on the side of shooters instead of victims. It seems, though, that whatever the law is it shouldn't cover cases in which you actively try to put yourself in situations in which you might need to defend yourself with lethal force.

"Hurts when the standard narrative of racial victimization falls apart, doesn't it?"

Nothing about this video undermines a narrative of racial victimization. Zimmerman is heard muttering a racial epithet in the context of saying that "these people" never get caught. As you admitted he was excessively aggressive. In doing what? Pursuing a young black kid while carrying a gun.

I'd say all the signs of racial victimization were there before any shooting started.

One last thing: I seriously doubt that you would have posted something analogous (something defending the shooter) if Martin (who had clearly felt threatened) had shot Zimmerman in self-defense. Let's not pretend that there isn't an element of "protecting the white male" (who in your world is always the REAL victim) underlying your post.

1:23 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

I seriously doubt that you would have posted something analogous (something defending the shooter) if Martin (who had clearly felt threatened) had shot Zimmerman in self-defense.

I doubt you would have bothered to post any objections to my post if I had posted something analogous (defending Martin if he had shot Zimmerman in self-defense).

These issues need to turn on the facts of the case, not your stereotypes about who should be seen as a victim and who as an oppressor.

2:10 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

whatever the law is it shouldn't cover cases in which you actively try to put yourself in situations in which you might need to defend yourself with lethal force.

I disagree. If Zimmerman was merely following Martin, wanting to make sure he did not get away, he did not forfeit his right to defend himself if Martin turned and attacked.

BTW, I'm not saying that is what happened, merely that the testimony of the witness implies that.

This issue is clearly more complex than a simple narrative of racial victimization would have it.

You remember the Duke lacrosse rape case, right? How did that turn out?

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I doubt you would have bothered to post any objections to my post if I had posted something analogous (defending Martin if he had shot Zimmerman in self-defense)."

But you never would have posted something about that because your favorite victim group is the white male. It is no accident that this bit of evidence that supports Zimmerman's claim is the first thing you decided to post about this case.

The thing is, your schtick is quite obvious to anyone who reads this blog. You hope to convince people with the following type of bad argument: Because sometimes events that look racially motivated turn out not to be, it follows that there are no events that are racially motivated, and so people should stop whining about racism in this country.

This bad argument is what was behind your question "remember the Duke lacrosse case?"

8:38 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Because sometimes events that look racially motivated turn out not to be, it follows that there are no events that are racially motivated,

No, my argument is that since there are sometimes events that look racially motivated that turn out not to be, we should withhold judgment until all the facts are in.

And this was the "first thing I posted" since it was the first thing I saw at odds with the prevailing media narrative.

I generally try to post stuff that isn't all over the place -- and I beat Drudge with this.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer, nor will my opinion on the matter affect its outcome.

Kid goes to the convenience store for snacks to watch the NCAA tournament.

Guy calls the police, suspecting the kid of...what, exactly? Wearing a hoodie? Being black? Liking Skittles? Singing a song? We are left to imagine.

Police tell him to chill out and leave the kid alone.

Instead, he goes out after the kid armed with a gun.

Kid tells his friend on the phone that someone is following him, obviously feels threatened.

Kid ends up dead of a gunshot wound and the neighborhood watch guy claims self defense.

I'm sorry, this doesn't seem pretty darned suspicious to you? None of us know for sure what happened in those key moments, but I have to say I don't feel good about this Zimmerman guy and the role he likely played in the kids death. He hasn't had a trial and I'm not convicting him without one, but I have to say he isn't looking good in this to me.

If it's the case that the kid attacked Zimmerman, it seems to me that it's he who'd have the "self defense" case here, after being followed by a strange man through the street. Zimmerman may --MAY--have shot the kid in self-self-defense.

Seriously. Describe for me a scenario--including motivations--for the kid attacking Zimmerman without provocation.

10:43 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Zimmerman may --MAY--have shot the kid in self-self-defense.

It would be ironic if Zimmerman did shoot the kid in self defense, in a confrontation he (Zimmerman) provoked.

Describe for me a scenario--including motivations--for the kid attacking Zimmerman without provocation.

Maybe Martin attacked this truculent guy who was demanding to know what he was doing there.

That's hardly "unprovoked," but if that happened, Zimmerman is probably off the hook.

I doubt Zimmerman would physically attack Martin. Zimmerman had a gun, and it's a lot easier to intimidate somebody with a gun than beat them up.

And when they finally did get into a fight Zimmerman was getting the worst of it (until he got his gun out).

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not this incident had a racial component, it does highlight the fact that "stand your ground" is pretty stupid law. A could punch B in the nose, have B respond by tackling A, and THEN shoot B and A would be off the hook as far as the law goes.

Or, he could punch B in the nose and B could merely SAY that he is going to kill A. If A thinks he is in danger and shoots B, he's legally off the hook.

The problem is this law does nothing to protect someone from another person who wants to kill them. All you have to do is claim that you thought your life was in danger (and have no witnesses) and then shoot. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to show that it was not a self-defense situation; it is not on the defendent to show that it was. Sadly, the only other witness besides the shooter is ofen dead.

For further evidence of its absurdity, as reported in the Tampa Bay Times: "In 2008, two gangs in Tallahassee got into a shootout where a 15-year-old boy was killed. The charges were dismissed by a judge citing the 'stand your ground' law."

Hey, they were all just defending themselves.

As bodies pile up down there, residents can thank the gun lobby.

2:41 AM  

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