George Zimmerman Justice or Justification

Trayvon Martin

As protests are on-going across the nation in response to George Zimmerman, I figured I'd try to approach the situation with a different perspective from both that of the protesters and that of the defenders.

Disclaimer: I don't know all the facts of this case and what I write here is what I know to the best of my ability. You don't have to take my word for it in any way. I welcome differing views on the subject at hand, but this is not intended to spark more feud that there already is.

For anyone who's unaware Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old who died on February 26th from a single gunshot wound inflicted by George Zimmerman's gun. Reports say he was staying with his father for some time after being suspended from school. It is claimed that his suspension was due to being in an unauthorized area on school grounds.

He is said to have been a good student who didn't get into trouble. His English teacher said he was cheerful and wasn't involved in violent altercations.

George Zimmerman

Zimmerman was a volunteer neighborhood watchman who on the night of the fateful incident called police about "a guy who looked suspicious". Though one witness claims to have seen Martin beating him up, no one claims to have seen what initially happened in the incident.

Many neighbors called the police after hearing what was going on, he claimed self defense and was let free. Many believe the incident was racially motivated and others say Zimmerman wasn't a racist. His attorney said that Zimmerman wept for days after the incident.

Statements For Prosecution

Martin's parents showed concern at the devastation of not only losing a son, but at the fact that charges weren't brought forth against Zimmerman. Many have criticized the Sanford police for not investigating the incident and questions are raised about it being a potential cover-up.

Trayvon was said to be coming back from an errand to the store, in-which he was carrying a can of Arizona tea and a bag of Skittles. Logs say he had been talking on his cell phone just before the incident, which was apparently his girlfriend, who didn't want to be identified. She said he told her a strange guy was following him and she told him to run. She said she heard a brief conversation and his headset went silent. Martin: "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman: "What are you doing here?"

Zimmerman is said to have made a number of non-emergency 911 calls for things like kids playing in the streets and seemingly had a tendency to call about suspicious looking African-american males. Zimmerman himself is said to have had a history of violence. In 2005 he had a charge of resisting arrest and battery against a police officer and domestic violence in 2007, in-which he had a restraining order against him. He countered with a restraining order against his ex.

Statements For Defense

Zimmerman told police he had gotten out of his vehicle to check the street he was on and was attacked while heading back. He claimed he was screaming for help and no one would help him so he shot Martin because he feared for his life. An unidentified witness says to have seen the scuffle take place and noted Martin as the aggressor.

Zimmerman's attorney said he cried for days after the incident and hadn't returned to work since. Many say that Zimmerman talked calmly to police and the phone conversation has Zimmerman say he didn't know where Martin was and he agreed to meet police somewhere.

Zimmerman is said to have had wet grass stains on the back of his shirt a broken nose and blood on the back of his head. Police statements say they had no reason to doubt Zimmerman's claims.

Media Criticisms

Many criticize the media for painting Martin as being a model student and painting Zimmerman as being a hardened criminal. It's claimed that the photographs commonly used for Martin are from when he was younger and none of them current.

The media's first reports indicated that Zimmerman was white, signaling a possible desire for more controversy. The picture of Zimmerman show him in a prison outfit, painting him as being guilty. The photo commonly seen is of him from 2005. Many say the pictures of Martin baby him when he stood over six feet tall.

My Criticisms

Many are sick of how the media poorly informs the public and distorts the truth, my main criticisms came from watching a 10 o'clock news report on the incident. The news showed footage from 2 protests that had taken place. One of the protests was led by Al Sharpton and the other was led by the New Black Panthers. I'm sure many people had less sympathy for the family of Martin upon seeing that.

What I see is the media creating division so the incident looks more like a race war than anything else. When facts aren't accurately presented, people jump to conclusions and one may wonder if the general public ever will have all the facts.

How Will This Play Out?

Much of my view on the case is based on the 911 call made prior to the incident which led to Trayvon Martin's death. For starters Zimmerman called the police reporting someone looking suspicious and the conclusion I jump to with that is Martin looks suspicious simply for being outside. I understand Zimmerman's possible concern due to apparent burglaries in the neighborhood, but that in no way excuses what ultimately happened.

He was obviously frustrated while talking to police and him using foul language about Martin, indicated not necessarily that Zimmerman was a racist, but a clear stereotype. Though he claimed he had gotten out of his vehicle to check the name of the street he was on and was attacked while heading back to his vehicle, it doesn't seem to add up.

With all his previous calls to police and the fact that he was neighborhood watch, how did he not know the name of the street he was on? If Martin was talking to his girlfriend and she apparently heard the initial confrontation before his headset went silent, one has to assume she lied about what happened.

According to an eye witness, Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating him up, but if that's the case, that still doesn't say Martin attacked Zimmerman, if Zimmerman confronted Martin and Martin got the upper hand in the scuffle, I don't see how self-defense would be a fair claim, plus it would prove that Zimmerman lied.

If Martin initiated the whole thing, then it doesn't matter if Zimmerman was racially profiling or not, he has self-defense in his favor if he was merely protecting himself. Ultimately in either case, this whole thing is stacked full of emotion and it's almost better if the public hadn't known about it.

I think the biggest reason for all the public outcry lies in the fact that Zimmerman's a free man, not because he got away, but because police took his self-defense claim without question. It's claimed that he foiled an attempted burglary earlier and maybe he thought he was doing the same thing here, but this time he wasn't wearing a superhero costume, this incident turned him into the villain, rather he wanted to be or not.

We'll all have to see how this case plays out, but until then, my heart goes out to the family and everyone else affected by this or any other tragedy.

Do you think the media creates racial division?

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Do you think Zimmerman is Guilty?

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Comments 17 comments

justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

I Don't think that we have ALL the information in this case, and I don't think we ever will. It is a sad case - if Zimmerman targeted Martin because he was black, there needs to be some kind of justice.If Martin really did beat Zimmerman up, what was his reasoning? Was he just being a tough guy and beat up someone who questioned him? Only two people know the whole story - and one of them is no longer with us...I pray for everyone involved...

fit2day profile image

fit2day 4 years ago Author

thank you justateacher, it is indeed a sad case no matter what the outcome is

Richard Fernandez profile image

Richard Fernandez 4 years ago from Detroit, MI

The Law in Florida states that self-defense HAS to be proportional. That means that in order to kill Martin Zimmerman's life had to have been in immediate danger. It doesn't matter what mischief Martin was up to, but for the record they found nothing but skittles and Ice Tea on the kid. If a guy stalked me from my hometown 7/11, confronted me for no reason, I would punch him in the face too. The bottom line is Zimmerman shot a 17-year old without just cause (FYI you can hear Martin begging for help before the fatal gun shot). Ask yourself the question what would have happened if Martin was white and Zimmerman Black? What if they were both white? A man shot another person, and that person is dead. And I have to disagree with the first two comments, it seems to have this "let the bury bury the dead" attitude. Zimmerman followed Martin like a crazed vigilante. The 911 operator told Zimmerman to back off but he refused. And like I said, Martin is not a victim only because he was targeted, he is a human being! He was shot dead! The tapes are all over the net, too. Save your prayers, call your congressman.

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Sooner28 4 years ago

The fact remains that Zimmerman did leave his vehicle and approach Martin of his own accord and against the instructions of the 9/11 operator. After that, the details get murky. There appears to have been a fight, with Zimmerman being injured, and Martin being killed.

"If Martin initiated the whole thing, then it doesn't matter if Zimmerman was racially profiling or not, he has self-defense in his favor if he was merely protecting himself. Ultimately in either case, this whole thing is stacked full of emotion and it's almost better if the public hadn't known about it."

It does matter. Zimmerman is the one who initiated the conversation to begin with. He had called the police something like 46 times this year alone. Martin may have felt threatened, and acted in self-defense against Zimmerman. Or, even if Martin attacked Zimmerman first because he felt threatened, it does not excuse Zimmerman from using lethal force to stop Martin.

I took martial arts as a kid, and one of the first things they teach you is that if you are attacked, you should fight back just enough to escape. You NEVER continue attacking until the person is dead, unless they continue to attack you. That would be an immoral use of the martial arts. It is highly unlikely Zimmerman HAD to kill Martin, even out of self-defense. Hiding behind legalities serves no purpose but to avoid defending positions. The Florida law does nothing but cause more harm.

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Whether Zimmerman is racist or not, I don't know. But it's pretty clear he is a paranoid idiot.

fit2day profile image

fit2day 4 years ago Author

I agree with you for the most part Richard, but understand that I have to put as fair of a take on this as possible. I nearly broke down when I first heard about this and it makes me even sadder when I see people calling out Martin's suspension. I just hope all the facts come out in this case. Zimmerman has the right to a fair trial, but has no right to be free without question

fit2day profile image

fit2day 4 years ago Author

As far as Zimmerman following Martin, the full tape implies that he may have listened to the order not to follow Martin. Understand my intentions here are to spark a little debate, not to support Zimmerman. I think there's problems in the defense's story and feel that his lawyer is trying to craft ways to keep him out of prison, but I can't say for sure.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Zimmerman was the neighborhood bully. That kid had nothing on him that would hurt Zimmerman. If Trayvon was fighting him all he had to do was fight back not kill him. I don't believe that he was fighting him I think Zimmerman is lying. The screaming on the tape sounds like a kid not a grown man. I believe they didn't arrest Zimmerman because he was a friend of the cops. If that had been my kid shooting someone he would be arrested and put in jail right away. Any of us would have been jailed if we shot someone. How did Trayvon put down his skittles, his tea and his phone that fast and attack Zimmerman. Doesn't add up.

I feel bad for the mother. Her son just went to the store for candy and ended up dead.

fit2day profile image

fit2day 4 years ago Author

Moonlake, I wonder the same thing as far as the police go. Sad part is that if the case is police cover-up, then it'll be even tougher to prosecute Zimmerman than it already is. Thanks for commenting

Frustrated 4 years ago

People believe what they want to believe as is clear with a few of the responses above. A few facts, Martin is over 6' tall and alleged at between 140 and 160 depending on which media outlet you listen to, he is not the 12 year old child in the pictures that are circulating. The biased media will report that a 17 year old is a man when it suits their purposes but in a different situation 17 is a child. Zimmerman is 5'9" and alleged between 170 and 250, again depending on which media outlet is reporting. Recent pictures make him appear to be on the lower end. Eyewitnesses have stated the one screaming for help was Zimmerman. You weren't there, I wasn't there. When the 911 operator told Zimmereman, "You don't need to do that" in regards to following Martin, he replied, "Okay". There is enough national attention at this point that the case will be reviewed thoroughly. The NBPP has no moral right to be putting bounties on any one. If the KKK or similar group did so, the Feds would be calling in the national guard forcing them to disband. And Obama says nothing about what this group is doing? Very sad state of our country right now. Everyone has the right to freedom in this country however it appears certain groups have more right to abuse our constitutional rights with the support of liberal media, Hollywood and even our president. Why is there no talk of the shooting of a white man in Mississippi by three black men? Why is there so little talk of the Iranian woman beaten to death in her home in California? These are two examples of hate crimes that will get little attention. Why? Because the first is an assault on a white man and the second on an Iranian. The value of a life seems to be at the discretion of the media. All three being tragic events and I am sure so many more exist daily. The media and the president need to be a catalyst to improve all race relations, not further divide. The NBPP have no right to preach hatred any more that the KKK and skinhead groups do. They do exist but in my opinion, should not. They are a hate crime simply by existing. If you support any of them, you support hate.

Bi-racial father 4 years ago

Good post, frustrated. I agree with you. I have raised my children as best I can to follow the laws of our country and respect not only authority figures but LIFE!! One mistake I see that George made was he should have identified himself as part of the neighborhood watch group giving Trayvon the opportunity to rethink his next steps. If someone came up to me, punched me in the face and was able to gain the upper hand pounding my head into the ground, I would be in a situation to do whatever necessary to preserve my life. It is a tragic situation, any life taken that could have been avoided is. However...hindsite is 20/20. Can we move on as a society and find a way to learn from this? I don't know. If it was my son, I would be outraged and initially demand retribution as the Martin family has. I would view my child as perfect and not one that could do any wrong. That is a fantasy, though. My son is human and will make mistakes as I have in my life. I just hope and pray that he is never in a situation like this. I pray for the Martins, George and for the judicial system to follow the law and not ignorant public pressure. The New Black Panthery Party attitude reminds me of a 1600s witch hunt. Stop the hate now!!!

fit2day profile image

fit2day 4 years ago Author

Sorry, but the reality is that race relations are dependent on how we treat one another, the media shouldn't determine that, but many of us allow the media to influence too much of our thinking. What happened here was a tragedy and so is what happened in California, Mississippi, and what happens all around the world. The NBPP shouldn't have a voice in this or any case, but the media used them to create unnecessary tension.

The media is a business and most of the time their goal is ratings rather liberal, conservative, whatever.

justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

fit2day- it is extremely sad how the media can manipulate any situation to fit their need for ratings...whoever is right in this case - and whoever is wrong - I just pray for justice...

Kevin Remisoski profile image

Kevin Remisoski 4 years ago

Hi fit2day. Thanks for the article. I also wanted to point out that there is a typo in the last 7 words of the second to last paragraph. Actually, it is the seventh to last word in that paragraph.

Regardless of all else, without concrete evidence to suggest that Zimmerman is in fact guilty, there is more than sufficient reasonable doubt to find him innocent of this crime. It is truly sad that people would rather focus on character assassination than the facts.

bryan 4 years ago

Zimmerman is a thug and murderer who should be shot like a dog

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Sooner28 4 years ago

Bryan, vigilante justice is not the answer.

Richard Fernandez profile image

Richard Fernandez 4 years ago from Detroit, MI

Quite the contrary Kevin, in Florida the burden of proof is on Zimmerman to prove that lethal force was necessary.

srp 4 years ago

This is how i think its going to play out,first off I think the situation is awful, second I do think George should't get off 100% I think he should do some time.

Anyways, I think he just might get off or do a little time and some community service all and all I think hes going to be a dead man as soon as he hits the general public. Its sad but I honestly think that people are going to take the law into their own hands like he did. Hope he doesnt encounter an angry watch man that happens to "stand his ground" sorry George.

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