Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

The Trayvon Martin Case for Dummies

Written By: Bob - Apr• 13•12

Let’s try to back up and use basic facts to demystify the Trayon Martin/George Zimmerman case, as some people seem to be having a real problem understanding the law and the escalation of force.

I’ll admit at front my own short-comings: I am not a lawyer.

I will also admit my strengths: I am not a lawyer.

What I am is a blogger that has had a decent reputation for debunking misinformation provided by the media. My “secret” is that I do the basic research most journalists fail to do, and look for obvious logical inconsistencies that journalists simply don’t seem to care about.

So, what of the Trayvon Martin case?

Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old high school football player, was walking to his father’s girlfriend’s home in the rain early one evening. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old community watch volunteer 20 pounds heavier and 4 inches smaller than Martin, saw the young man, did not recognize him, and thought he was acting in a suspicious manner. Zimmerman called the police, and began following Martin, relaying information to the police dispatcher.

At some point, Martin realizes he’s being followed, and takes off. This is verified in the recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call (and seems to refute the claim made by Martin’s girlfriend that he told her he wasn’t going to run).

Zimmerman gets out of his truck and begins following Martin, apparently running, when the dispatcher suddenly asks him the following:

At 2:22, without any prompting other than the aforementioned noises and breathing, the dispatcher asks “Are you following him?” to which Zimmerman responds, “Yeah.”

At 2:26, the dispatcher says, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that,” to which Zimmerman responds, “Okay.”

Zimmerman proceeds to give the dispatcher his name. Then he says, “He ran.”

Zimmerman can still be heard breathing into the phone until about 2:39, at which point the heavy breathing stops entirely, a mere 13 seconds after the dispatcher asked him to stop following. A very calm and collected Zimmerman then proceeds to give the dispatcher his own information, directions and a description of his location for another 1 minute and 33 seconds.

Many Martin supporters are attempting to claim that Zimmerman was “stalking” Martin, and that Martin himself had the right to invoke “stand your ground” laws in his defense.

The problem with that mindset is simple. Zimmerman’s decision to follow Martin is completely legal, and in no way comes close to meeting even the most farcical definition of  stalking. Florida statutes define stalking as willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following or harassing a person.

While Zimmerman was willfully following Martin in an attempt to provide his location to law enforcement officers, he in no way comes close to the threshhold of maliciously or repeatedly following Martin. If anything, the 911 recording verifies that Zimmerman stopped even his willful following when the dispatcher told him that he “didn’t need to do that.” Zimmerman stops with an affirmative, “Okay.” and stays on the line to describe where he was. He was not pursuing Martin.

This begs an obvious question neither the prosecutor nor anyone else seems to want to address.

After George Zimmerman stopped pursuing Martin, then spent at least 93 seconds in the same location providing more information to the dispatcher, why didn’t Trayvon Martin simply go home? It appears that Martin had plenty of time to get where he was staying even at a walking pace.

Obviously, we don’t and can’t know why Martin didn’t simply go to the home where he was staying.

Instead, according to Zimmerman’s testimony, physical evidence, and all the eyewitness testimony, there was a confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman near where Zimmerman terminated his pursuit.

Zimmerman claims that Martin dropped him with a single punch, then started trying to crack his head on the sidewalk. Police investigators took his statement, looked at the physical evidence at the scene and Zimmerman’s injuries, and decided he committed no crime, and used deadly force within the law of self defense. Why?

Because following someone in public isn’t a crime. Because assaulting someone, and escalating that assault to assault with a deadly weapon by pounding someone’s head on concrete isn’t just a crime, but a felony that passes the “reasonable man” standard to invoke the right of lethal self defense. If Martin was pounding Zimmerman’s head on concrete, Zimmerman had reason to believe his life was in danger, and he is justified in using lethal force to stop the attack.

Zimmerman only fired one shot, and it was effective. He fired to stop the threat, and ceased fire immediately after that shot was effective.

Martin had no legal right to assault Zimmerman, even if he didn’t like being followed, yet there was enough apparent evidence to suggest that that is precisely what occurred.

Zimmerman used bad judgement in leaving his vehicle, and Martin exercised bad judgement in not immediately returning home when he discovered he was being followed.

Both men made bad judgement calls, but it wasn’t until Martin allegedly assaulted Zimmerman that the first crime took place and a deadly turn of events was put into motion.

Ultimately, the facts seem to support Zimmerman’s use of deadly force to stop Trayvon Martin’s potentially deadly assault upon him.

It is sad that one life was ended and many lives ruined as a result of the decisions made that evening, but ultimately, George Zimmerman seems have sufficient grounds to claim self-defense.

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  1. DonS says:

    Good point on Zimmerman’s breathing.

    Here is a map of the event:

    It looks like Zimmerman did head a bit off his path to confront Martin, but still, Martin must have come back, he had plenty of time to get home.

    On the one shot thing, my understanding is that Zimmerman’s Kel Tek jammed and failed to feed the second shot.

  2. Sean says:

    Logic and Common Sense? Bob you are soo not making any friends with this. OTOH None of my statements about this have made me any friends either.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    Martin had a cell phone. If he was afraid of Zimmerman, why didn’t he call 911?

  4. Eyeroll says:

    “Martin had a cell phone. If he was afraid of Zimmerman, why didn’t he call 911?”

    And say, what, “Hey, yeah, I’m sneaking around yards casing these houses to see if there’s anything I can steal real quick, and there’s some Hispanic dude following me around and talking on his cell phone. It’s freakin’ me out, could you maybe send a car to check him out? Thanks. Peach and Love, Peace and Love.”

    • Biggie says:

      You meant to say a “White Hispanic dude” right?

      Sorry, I had to.

      • Eyeroll says:

        Actually, I meant to say “. . . there’s some Hispanic dude who looks older and less fit than me, and therefore I assume I can beat his head against the sidewalk until he’s helpless or brain damaged or dead, and I haven’t even given a moment’s thought to whether he might have the means to defend himself against such a vicious and life-threatening attack, and — BANG — WTF? That white hispanic shot me, before I even had the chance to finish crushing his brain on the sidewalk. RACIST!!!!”

        Yeah, that was it.

  5. TiaMart says:

    Bob…. You wasnt there and u dont kno wht happen! He still shouldnt have shot the kid, the kid was crying for his life something tht u left out, Zimmerman didnt have no bandages on when he was takin back to the station he look completely fine! If Zimmerman feared for life y was Trayvon the one crying for help then Zimmerman shot Trayvon secs after trayvon last cry for help? Thts also on the 911 call. Zimmerman is the one need to be dead damn Maniac!

    • Bob says:

      Anyone speak jive?

      • Sean says:

        That’s not Jive. That’s terminal stupidity. cases like that *shrug* It’s like Ron White says..”You can’t fix stupid”

    • Robert says:

      1) The blood was cleaned off after the medics got there. The wound would have stopped bleeding and clotted by the time he got to the station. That’s a no brainer.
      2) The scream for help has not been positively identified as Trayvon’s. If it was Trayvon, then it’s logical he screamed after he was shot trying to bash Zimmerman’s brains out on the sidewalk.

  6. Ignatius J Donnelly says:

    Is this White Hispanic business the the in joke on consernut blogs and radio?
    It ain’t that funny and it sure as hell ain’t that funny when it is repeated ad nauseum.
    Come up with your own rhetoric.

  7. Robert says:

    Thanks for the clarified description of this. I’ve been suspicious since day one of this fiasco. When I realized the early on published photo of Trayvon was from when he was 12 years old, I realized it was slanted prejudicial and began to smell a stink about the whole thing. When comparisons were made in the media to the Emmett Till case in the early 50’s, I knew this kid was being made into a martyr for somebody’s hobby horse.

  8. bunsy says:

    the dispatcher didnt ask zimmerman not to follow martin from what i’ve read or heard. she stated they, the police, didn’t need zimmerman to follow him.