Shooting in Defense of Self-Defense?

Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

Photo by Flickr user WerthMedia

In the unlawful homicide of Trayvon Martin, accused killer George Zimmerman’s family are peddling his medical records from the day after Martin was shot and killed with a single bullet to the chest

Why are they putting this out? To poison the jury pool? To generate sympathy for the living shooter and make it seem as if the dead pedestrian armed with snacks was at fault? 

Zimmerman apparently had a nose fracture, black eyes, a few cuts, and two cuts on the back of his head. Martin had injuries to his knuckles. 

The difference is, of course, that the living Zimmerman’s injuries were revealed at a doctor’s appointment the day after Martin was killed. Martin’s knuckle injuries were revealed during his autopsy. 

Zimmerman is claiming that he killed Martin in self-defense. 

Yet this is a case where the known facts seem to indicate that Martin was walking home from the store when stalked and accosted by wanna-be cop Zimmerman, who was clearly upset at the prospect of a hoodie-wearing Black kid being in his neighborhood walking home. Zimmerman then disobeyed the demand of the 911 operator to not chase after Martin, and chased after Martin, accosting him

Understand that, from Martin’s point of view, he had no idea who Zimmerman was, or what he was doing. All he knew is that there was a large man who had been staring at him from an SUV, who was now chasing him down and trying to – what? Beat him? Kidnap him? Kill him? 

The only person in this situation who had the right to defend himself was Trayvon Martin – he was completely reasonable to defend himself against this unprovoked attack from an armed lunatic – by punching the lunatic in the nose, and trying to throw him off him. 

Zimmerman got his cuts and broken nose because he attacked an innocent and unarmed person. Shooting and killing Martin for getting a busted nose and cuts on his head? Totally unreasonable force from someone who admits he didn’t know whether Martin was armed. Zimmerman attacked the kid, and the kid was fighting for his life, and started beating the crap out of his attacker. Zimmerman isn’t just a dummy who should let the cops do their jobs, he’s a horrible fighter. So, when you start losing a fight you provoked and started, that gives you the right to shoot to kill? 

Nice try. 


  • No, we don’t know that’s why Zimmerman got his cuts and bruises. He might also have gotten them because he went home and punched himself in the face before going to the doctor.

    • simple, Zimmerman watched Death Wish too many times, thought he was a tough guy, picked on some kid, got his ass beat, pulled out a gun and shot said kid, but it’s “justified” because the kid was suspended from school a couple of times and smoked some pot

  • Hope he decides to take the stand.  A good DA should be able to beat him up on the stand too.

  • So, we’ve decided to shackle our ankle to Al Sharpton for good, eh?

    What are the chances Trayvon turns out to be this year’s Eric Massa? (“I’m disappointed in his retirement, and saddened by the news that his cancer has re-appeared. Best wishes to him – a principled and honorable guy. ” — Buffalo Pundit, 3/4/2010)

    • I don’t watch Al Sharpton. Eric Massa? He has the benefit of being alive. Also, I’m somewhat curious as to the comparison between a disgraced Congressman and a dead pedestrian, shot because he was guilty of walking while Skittled and Iced Tead in the 1st Degree. But I’m sure you’ll tell us how they connect.

    • Interesting troll.  Let’s analyze. 

      1. I don’t watch Al Sharpton, and I don’t know what Al Sharpton has to say about anything. I have no respect for Al Sharpton based on what he did WRT the Tawana Brawley case, but nice try trying to ascribe to me someone else’s viewpoint or opinion. 

      2. Eric Massa? You mean it will be revealed that Trayvon Martin liked to suggestively tickle George Zimmerman? Whatever the concocted similarities between Trayvon Martin and Eric Massa, the former is dead and the latter is alive. The former was killed because he was walking through his neighborhood with a hoodie and looked at a wanna-be rent-a-cop the wrong way. The similarities are SO PALPABLE. 

      • “Interesting troll.”

        It’s really not. It’s been this dude’s schtick for years! Nothing interesting about it. You post something sensible, he comes back with “Yeah? You think that? So did HITLER!!!!” or some other name that’s irrelevant to anything you said but which he thinks commands such bogeyman mystique that merely uttering the name magically refutes everything you say.

      • It may be that your instant adoption of the Sharpton position may fall as far short of vindication in the end as did your assessment of Massa’s principled nature (did he really have cancer, or was he gaming you?).

        Just trying to spare you any nasty fact-based surprises.

        And thanks for saving me the chore of looking up “troll”. Apparently it is defined as anyone who doesn’t share the author’s opinion. So, is Kelly (infra) trolling me?

        • I don’t care that you disagree. I care that you do it in such a knuckle-dragging fashion. Wait, that’s wrong, actually; I don’t care how much you drag your knuckles. I’m just pointing it out.

  • BlackRockLifer

    The NRA and ALEC both have blood on their hands, time for our laws to be written to protect the majority of responsible citizens from the crazy fringe. 

  • Well, it’s good to see Alan’s made up his mind on this case, I guess any and all things done to the Zimmerman family (or white guys in completely unrelated cities) as payback is fine and dandy.

    • I think he should be convicted, not killed. Don’t be a dumbshit.

    • This is asshattery in its concentrated form. Unlike @google-d342f733952ced9a9836107811dbb79f:disqus you don’t ascribe someone else’s opinion to me, you merely erect a strawman argument from my opinion. Of course, in criticizing Zimmerman’s clumsy, and ill-advised vigilantism, I would certainly not endorse or agree with anyone threatening or committing violence against Zimmerman.  I merely wish for him to be prosecuted and convicted, despite his legal team’s continual efforts to try this matter in the press. 

      After all, Trayvon was Black and wearing a hoodie. Wink wink, nudge nudge. 

  • I love White Fright coming from your Detractors, Alan!

  • Got it all figured out, eh Bedenko? No need for a bothersome trial, etc, The Great and Powerful Alan has spoken.

    And Ismael, Alan lives in the lilly-whitest, wealthiest zip in the area, so easy on the White Fright stuff, k?    

    • That must be why I said “he should be convicted.”

    • Actually, I think there should absolutely be a trial. What I’m objecting to here are two things: 

      1. Zimmerman’s attempts to gain sympathy and otherwise try this in the press; and 
      2. The way in which the media have treated this as some kind of blockbuster news. It’s not. It’s quite reasonable given that Trayvon Martin thought he was being attacked. To use the parlance of the right wing, Mr. Martin was “standing his ground”, as it were, against Zimmerman’s attack. 

      Zimmerman had not business “neighborhood watching” his way into a fight, and when he did, he quickly began to lose that fight. 

      Clearly, then, when the teenager you attacked without justification fights back, you just shoot him to death, right, @JimBass56:disqus ?

      As for my zip code, it has nothing to do with anything, and I can assure you that when a Black kid walks along my street, I don’t call 911, chase him down against police instruction, accost him, and then shoot him dead. 

  • I have been re-reading this post for hours trying to find the sections where he calls for vigilante action, invokes Al Sharpton, or hopes that Zimmerman’s right to a trial by jury is abridged.

    Could one of you strawmen help me out here?

  • I agree @Mike_Chmiel:disqus …..I did the same thing. re-read the post to see where the trolls got their bait.

    Trial or not, we aren’t even having this conversation if Barney Fief had just listened to the cops and stayed in the damn car. He was emboldened by the fact that he had a gun, and he was hopped up on his fear or disdain for a stereotype.

  • in_flagrante_delicto

    If you think there should be a trial, why did you call the killing an ‘unlawful homicide’? As a lawyer, shouldn’t you–even more than the lay person–adhere to the dictum ‘innocent until proven guilty’? Well, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you must have a polymathic knowledge of Florida law, including the state’s particularly byzantine judicial history of case law involving Castle doctrine statutes. 
    Oh, what’s that, you’ve never been a member of the Florida Bar? This essay is pure ideology; a polemic worthy of Bill O’Reilly. If I were a client, I’d be wary of choosing a lawyer whose personal beliefs cloud his ability to be objective. 

    • Thank you for your concern-troll. 

      I called the homicide “unlawful” because that my opinion of what happened. You may differ, and a jury may find differently, but that doesn’t affect my opinion.  Neither a lawyer nor a layperson has any legal duty to adhere to the presumption of innocence outside a courtroom setting.  (Perhaps the media have such a duty, to call it an “alleged murder”, but I’m not reporting news here – I’m offering opinion).

      (By the way, “dictum” has a very specific legal definition, and the presumption of innocence within the context of a criminal trial is hardly “dictum”. It’s quite binding). 

      The court and jury, when Zimmerman is tried, will be admonished that the state has the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt, and that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.  I am neither the court, nor the jury. 

      At no time, of course, did I suggest that my opinion regarding this incident is “objective”, nor should it be. 

      And if you select your lawyer based on that lawyer’s “objectivity”, you’re an idiot. A lawyer has a duty zealously to represent his client within the bounds of the law. That hardly sounds like an task to undertake in an objective manner. 

      And by the way, Florida’s Castle Doctrine statute doesn’t apply to “gated community parking lots”.  I even linked to a right-wing publication, so you couldn’t accuse me of not being “objective”. 

      Have a fantastic day.

      •  “And by the way, Florida’s Castle Doctrine statute doesn’t apply to “gated community parking lots”.”

        Now this one requires an explanation.  I read the article and the law and I do not see how your statement applies.

        • Certainly. I link to an article that quotes Florida’s “Castle Doctrine” statute, which specifically and exclusively applies to, ”
          a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle”. Based on the facts as we now know them to be, Trayvon Martin was not present in Zimmerman’s dwelling, residence, or trying to steal Zimmerman’s vehicle. On the contrary, Trayvon was legally upon the gated townhouse community grounds when Zimmerman confronted him and a fight ensued. 

          If anyone had a right to self-defense, it’s Trayvon Martin – without regard to the “Castle Doctrine” statute the earlier commenter cited. 

          •  True, the statue to be applied would be 776.012 ”Use of force in defense of person.—A
            person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against
            another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that
            such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another
            against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is
            justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to
            retreat if:(1) He
            or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent
            imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or
            to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.”Basically Stand Your Ground applies.

          • in_flagrante_delicto

            This is the tragedy of the situation. Both men were ‘standing their ground’. The way the law is written neither of them were at fault that night, and now we have a populace clamoring for answers that don’t exist. It’s like something out of Aeschylus. 

            A more productive activity might be looking at cultural situation that led to this tragedy. Why did Zimmerman feel the need to patrol the neighborhood? Why was he allowed to purchase a gun? Why do we have laws that promote the vigilante ethos?

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