28 March, 2012

Trayvon Martin: What We DON’T Know


I really don’t want to talk about this case. As I said previously, we can’t let Team Obama distract us from the real issues. However, since there’s so much speculation, and flat out wrong information out there, I thought I’d clear things up a bit. Or make things worse. We’ll see.

We don’t know: that racism had anything to do with the situation. In fact, we have no real reason to speculate that racism played any part, other than the fact that the two parties were of different races. By all accounts, Zimmerman had no personal issues with blacks, and got along well with them.

We don’t know: that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law even plays any part in the discussion. From Zimmerman’s 911 call, it appears that at some point he began pursuit of Martin. I’m no FL criminal law expert, but it appears to me that SYG would no longer apply to Zimmerman at that point, and he’d be unable to use it in his defense. However, it is possible that at that point, SYG would apply to Martin. Not that it really matters. It’s also possible that if Zimmerman broke off pursuit and then Martin attacked him that SYG would again apply to Zimmerman. As I said, I’m not a FL criminal law expert, and unless you are, you probably don’t know the answers to these questions either. And we don’t know that this last situation occurred, in any case. Or that it didn’t.

We don’t know: how this whole thing started. We have Zimmerman’s statement, but all other witnesses (that we know of at this point), saw or heard things after the problems began.

We don’t know: that Zimmerman was told by the police not to pursue Martin. In fact, at this point, the opposite appears to be true. The 911 operator said “we don’t need you to do that”. First, as I understand it, she’s not a police officer, and second, saying “we don’t need you to do that” is quite a bit different than saying “don’t do that”

We don’t know: that Zimmerman’s life was ever in danger or that he had reason to think that it might be. Witness statements and 911 calls appear to indicate that he was screaming for help and was in a fight with Martin. However, we can’t know that means his life was in danger.

We don’t know: that Zimmerman was ever even attacked by Martin; We know he sustained injuries. We know from two witnesses that he and Martin were on the ground and that Martin was on top. But Zimmerman could have attacked Martin, and they started rolling around. Or it could’ve gone the other way. We have no idea at this point.

In other words, we know very little. In fact, here’s what we DO know.

We do know: that at some point Zimmerman made a mistake, and as a result of that mistake, Trayvon Martin is dead. But what was the mistake? Was it pursuing him because of racism? Was it that he pursued him after there was no longer a threat? Was it standing his ground when he should have run? Was it thinking his life was in danger when it wasn’t? Was it just not waiting long enough for help to arrive? Was it not waiting for the police?

We don’t yet know the answers to any of these questions, and ultimately these are the questions that will determine Zimmerman’s fate. These questions are the difference between murder in the second degree, and potentially not even being charged with any crime. Or being charged with some crime at some level below 2nd degree murder.

So, next time you spout off about Zimmerman’s guilt, or even his innocence, or about the Stand Your Ground law, stop, and reflect upon what it is exactly that you do know. Unless you have better sources of information than I do (and you may), the answer is likely “very little”.

BTW, that last paragraph is specifically directed at President Barack Obama (D-USA), MSM pundits, Al Sharpton, Blank Panthers, and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). And many others. All of you have weighed in and given your opinion, once again, without being in full possession of the facts. Please stop before someone else gets killed.

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