Bob Owens

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

For stupid people: A guide to “stand your ground” in the Trayvon Martin case

Written By: Bob - May• 16•12

Important medical evidence was released yesterday in the Trayvon Martin case.

George Zimmerman suffered a fractured nose, two black eyes, lacerations on the back of his skull with significant bruising, and a minor back injury. Trayvon Martin’s injuries were the single bullet wound fired at point blank range, and skinned up knuckles. Martin had no defensive wounds. The evidence seems to support George Zimmerman’s claim of firing his gun in justified self defense after being brutally assaulted in a very one-sided affair.

As you may expect, the medical evidence was immediately discounted by Trayvon Martin’s supporters, who have a significant emotional attachment to their version of events. They’ve attempted convoluted mental gymnastics in attempting to convince themselves that the evidence shows Martin had to defend himself. How do they get to that conclusion? By ignoring all logic and reason.

Some of them do bring up a worthwhile, question, however, when they ask why Zimmerman was allowed to defend himself, and Martin wasn’t.

Their argument (based upon multiple conversations on Twitter) revolves around the belief that George Zimmerman had no right to follow Trayvon Martin through the gated community. Some go further, and assert Zimmerman was “stalking” Martin. They claim that Martin had the right to defend himself against someone following him.

This is a factually incorrect argument.

First, they need to understand that it is perfectly legal for a citizen to make a “suspicious person” call to 911, even if that person has committed no obvious crime. “Profiling”  is not racist, and is used by every law enforcement agency in every country in the world, and has been throughout human history. It simply means that someone is engaged in atypical behavior warrant further scrutiny.

Zimmerman made his phone call to 911 based upon Martin walking slowly and looking at houses, which he perceived to be “casing” houses for possible burglary. As there had been a rash of recent break ins committed in that neighborhood, this was an entirely logical decision. All he wanted to do was have police come and make sure that this mysterious hooded figure walking slowly in a cold rain was not one of the criminals that had terrorized his neighbors recently in a rash of crimes.

Martin noticed he was being followed, and apparently attempted to evade Zimmerman. This is also entirely logical behavior from Martin’s perspective. Most of us would attempt to lose someone obviously following us, and the more intelligent of us would place our own call to 911 (Martin did not).

The first clear mistake in judgement by either man was when Zimmerman left his vehicle in attempting to keep an eye on Martin’s location for police. He did not break any laws in doing so, and it is laughable to assert he was “stalking” Martin.

Stalking has a very specific definition under Florida law. Zimmerman’s following Martin did not come close to meeting those criteria. Nonetheless, it wasn’t smart for Zimmerman to leave his vehicle, even though it was his legal right to follow Martin in public.

Martin had legal rights as well. He could not be assaulted or detained by Zimmerman, and he owed him no explanation for what he was doing or why he was there. But as Zimmerman’s 911 call seems to show, Zimmerman has zero interest in making contact himself with Martin. He simply wanted to know where Martin was, so that he could direct the authorities to him so that they could check him out.

When the 911 dispatcher surmised that Zimmerman had left his vehicle and was actively trying to follow Martin on foot (because of his heavy breathing while running), he said very clearly in the call, “We don’t need you to do that.”

This would not have been a legal order to stop his pursuit as some have dishonestly portrayed, as a dispatcher carries no legal authority, even if he demanded Zimmerman stop. But it wasn’t an order, in any event.

“We don’t need you to do that” is about as passive a statement as the dispatcher could have made. In any event, the call records Zimmerman’s response.

Zimmerman says “okay.” Then his breathing returns to normal over the next 93 seconds of the call, as he relates to the dispatcher information about his now-stationary position so that responding officers just minutes can find him.

This is crucial evidence.

Zimmerman had terminated his ill-advised though entirely legal following of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was on the phone  in a recorded 911 call for another one minute, 33 seconds after terminating his pursuit before he ended the call.

What happened next is the question  for which we don’t have clear answers, though they are becoming clearer.  Zimmerman and Martin obviously met. There was some sort of brief conversation, and then the fatal fight. Zimmerman’s testimony is that Martin threw the first punch and dropped Zimmerman, then Martin jumped on top of Zimmerman and began to pummel him.

Martin supporters have attempted to claim that Martin had the right to confront Zimmerman under “Stand your Ground” laws, and that he had a right to “defend himself” against the man pursuing him.

Trayvon Martin did in fact have every right and reason to ask George Zimmerman why he was following him, and had he chosen to use his mouth instead of his fists, it is likely both men would have survived their meeting without a scratch.

Trayvon Martin did not have any legal right to launch an assault on George Zimmerman for merely following him.

That is simply a legal fact. It is not up for debate. That is the law.

Martin dropped Zimmerman, and then not only pursued his assault, but escalated it into assault with a deadly weapon when he began smashing Zimmerman’s head on the concrete sidewalk. It is legally no different than if he picked up a piece of  concrete and used it as a weapon.

At that point, battered, bruised, mounted, and fearing for his life, George Zimmerman allegedly drew his Kel-Tec PF-9 from his holster and fired a single shot into Trayvon Martin’s abdomen at point-blank range, presumably from his back, with Martin still on top of him.

This is justified self defense in every state in the union, under centuries-old common law that predates the founding of this nation. Florida’s version of the “stand your ground” law was irrelevant to the actual shooting, and is only relevant in that it provides criminal and civil protections so that someone in the unfortunate situation of protecting their own life cannot then be sued into poverty by bottom-feeding personal injury lawyers, like Martin family Attorney Benjamin Crump.

Trayvon Martin  could not cite “stand your ground” laws as an excuse for attacking Zimmerman, because someone following you, at a distance, is not something that comes close to meeting the standard of reasonably believing:

…it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Nothing in George Zimmerman’s known actions came close to the “reasonable man” self-defense standard upon which “stand your ground” is built. He was obviously not committing a forcible felony,and had not laid a finger on anyone. There was nothing in his behavior (following someone in public) that could be construed as an imminent threat to Trayvon Martin’s life.

The first crime that took place is when Trayvon Martin punched George Zimmerman in the face, which was aggravated assault.

The second crime was when Martin escalated the fight by mounting Zimmerman and continuing his assault, escalating it further into assault with a deadly weapon when he began smashing Zimmerman’s head on the concrete.

At this point, with Trayvon Martin on top of him, beating him severely enough to fracture his nose, blacken both of his eyes, and cause multiple lacerations on the back of his skull, George Zimmerman was in a position where a “reasonable man” would assume his life was in imminent danger of being terminated by an assailant that would not stop his assault. He pulled his weapon, and fired a single shot, terminating the threat.

All known eyewitness testimony, recorded 911 call information, and medical evidence strongly suggest George Zimmerman’s perception and explanation of events of that evening are as consistent as you can expect a person to recall.

Trayvon Martin did not remotely have a “stand your ground” defense for his assault. There was no reason for him to believe that a man following him at a distance posed an imminent lethal threat. Nor was there any indication that at their meeting Zimmerman initiated a lethal force scenario.

Only Zimmerman, after Trayon first committed assault and then escalated it, has a reasonable defense case.

Those are the facts as we now understand them. Ignore them at your peril.

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  1. Moron says:

    You must really be a moron for this posting.

    “Only Zimmerman, after Trayon first committed assault and then escalated it, has a reasonable defense case.”

    Please tell me you are not too dense to see how flawed this is.

    If Zimmerman,armed, approached a “suspicious” teen first, he has no recourse to claim self-defense. He invited the confrontation when he first stalked and approached an unarmed kid half his size. Advised against by police, he still tried to take the law into his own hands. One can just as easily say Trayvon was acting in self-defense when approached by Zimmerman, and thus Zimmerman is the attacker and Trayvon is the victim (how most of the world sees it).

    Further, you biases are extremely transparent here. To mention Trayvon’s killing as just a “single bullet wound and skinned-up knuckles” then to go on to say Zimmerman was brutally attacked, shows that may be it’s you who we should be regarding as stupid, and not your readers.

    Advice: get out from your little red-neck bubble and out of the shooting range with Scooter and Uncle Bubba. Get an education (they are extremely common now!), and get into the world. I’m sure you may have the support from your local small town hillbillies on these kinds of fallacies and f*cked-up values, but to the rest of the world, believe me when I say we think you are an absolute moron who holds the civil progress of humanity back. Go kill yourself.

    • david7134 says:

      It is clear that Moron has received one of the finest of educations from our public system. Only someone in that system could use his form of logic and bigoted prejudice.

      It is amazing that I have been approached in a strange neighborhood and not tried to kill the individual who lived there and was concerned about my presence. I just very kindly indicated my business and went about it. But I don’t have the privilege of being black and the fact that everything that I do is ok and correct and that I am afforded every privilege, as well as being passed along without effort.

      If this had been two whites, two blacks (very, very common in every city, or two Asians, then there would be no news. As it is, it was a hispanic and a black man, so we must make more of the affair than it really was and we must lynch the poor hispanic.

    • Bob aka "Melensdad" says:

      Nice to see you commenting about BIAS when you use Martin’s first name and Zimmerman’s last. Nothing subtle there!

      Oh and you say that Martin is 1/2 the size of Zimmerman when evidence shows that Martin was 3 to 4 inches taller than Zimmerman an only about 20 pounds lighter.

      Further you seem to ignore the evidence that Zimmerman stopped following Martin and that Martin was long gone, but you insist that Zimmerman somehow magically confronted Martin?

      And you make light of the DEFENSIVE wounds on Zimmerman and ignore the OFFENSIVE wounds on Martin.

      Then you go on to insult the author and claim he lives in some sort of a bubble? Might want to exit the bubble you seem to have erected around yourself and look into the facts.

    • MKEgal says:

      You picked an appropriate screen name. At least you’re honest that far.

      “If Zimmerman, armed”
      Since FL does not have legal open carry (unless going to or from fishing), Zimmerman had to have been carrying concealed, so his being armed wasn’t known until he had to defend his life. Maybe if they allowed open carry Martin wouldn’t have attacked & he’d still be alive… to keep doing whatever it was that got him suspended from school.

      “approached a “suspicious” teen first”
      Completely legal.

      “he has no recourse to claim self-defense”
      Other than what’s been so nicely & clearly explained in the article here.

      “He invited the confrontation when he first stalked and approached”
      Following from a distance in order to be able to tell police where the suspicious person is neither stalking nor approaching, nor is it illegal.

      “an unarmed kid half his size”
      An athletic 17yo who was several inches taller & not much lighter than the man he attacked (who was more than twice his age). People his size & age go into basic training in the military. At least, the responsible ones do.

      “tried to take the law into his own hands”
      Enough with the cliches already.
      He was doing what any responsible citizen & good neighbor would do – alerting police to possible criminal action in his community.

      “One can just as easily say Trayvon was acting in self-defense”
      Only if Zimmerman had actually confronted Martin & somehow put him in fear for his life. Instead, there’s the 911 recording saying that Zimmerman had stopped following & stood still, then returned to his car before Martin attacked.

      “and thus Zimmerman is the attacker and Trayvon is the victim (how most of the world sees it)”
      You don’t really want to use that argument, do you?
      Most of the world used to think that people who weren’t white weren’t human, & could be treated as badly as livestock with no legal consequences.

      Zimmerman didn’t go after Martin.
      Zimmerman followed from a distance & reported suspicious behaviour to police.
      That comes nowhere near the required standard for self-defense on the part of Martin. (Imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.)

      “To mention Trayvon’s killing as just a “single bullet wound and skinned-up knuckles” then to go on to say Zimmerman was brutally attacked”
      Well, those are the only injuries Martin sustained.
      Compare Martin’s offensive wounds & the wound from being stopped in his attack to the wounds he inflicted on his victim.

      “Get an education… you may have the support from your local small town hillbillies”
      How many degrees are enough for you to accept that someone isn’t a redneck or hillbilly? (3, working on a 4th here)
      How large of a city do I have to live in before it’s not a small town? (595,000 here)
      In fact, I live in the most dangerous city in my state. That’s why I own & carry a pistol for my own protection.

  2. Cole says:

    I agree that everything prior to Martin bashing Zimmerman’s head into the ground is immaterial. It’s kill or be killed at that point. And Zimmerman has every right to defend himself.

    As to ‘Moron’, please… please attack someone you believe is following you. We’ll see how quickly you get locked up. You don’t have a right to self-defense because someone else is on the same sidewalk. That’s what you’re advocating. That’s how insane you are. Quit with the lame trolling. We all know, despite your lies, that Martin was BIGGER than Zimmerman. We all know Martin approached Zimmerman after he had quit his surveillance. We know these things because of men like Mr Owens doing the leg work your leftist media won’t do. And yes we get it with the redneck jokes – you are a horrible bigot. We understand. Go back to your gutter with the rest of your Nazi pals.

  3. Wildman7316 says:

    Mr. Owens,

    I am going to have to disagree with you slightly as to one of your Statements:

    “Martin had legal rights as well. He could not be assaulted or detained by Zimmerman, and he owed him no explanation for what he was doing or why he was there.”

    Looking at Florida Statute Title XLVI Crimes Section 810.09:

    Subsection (2)(b) states in part “If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to the offender by the owner of the premises or by an authorized person,”, an “Authorized person is defined in Subsection (3) “As used in this section, the term “authorized person” or “person authorized” means any owner, his or her agent, or a community association authorized as an agent for the owner”.

    Mr. Zimmerman being an Owner AND a member of the Community Watch appointed by the Community Association, he would be an “Authorized Person”.

    This being the case, HAD Mr. Zimmerman “confronted” Mr. Martin and asked “What are you doing here?”, under Florida Law Mr. Martin either has to explain why he is NOT Trespassing or leave the area.

    You are correct in that as Mr. Martin did not appear to be (and in fact was not) Armed, Mr. Zimmerman could not take Mr. Martin into custody while waiting for the Police to show up.

  4. Al Reasin says:

    Wildman7316, good find on the law.

    I have done the same thing as Zimmerman in terms of following suspicious people, without his community watch position. I actually never have called the police since there was no known criminal activity in the areas where I profiled and followed people. I only do it for the greater good, so to speak, and would immediately call the police if criminal activity was seen. I have, though, over the years called them for such things of open doors at closed businesses or unlocked gates at businesses. So I guess I have actually done more illogical actions than Mr. Zimmerman based on the authors opinion, but no one I tracked has ever turned on me.
    If Mr. Martin caused the confrontation, that would seem to be in line with his actions at school that have been revealed. A responsible kid in a strange neighborhood would, in my opinion, seeing he was followed would go to where he was staying; not confronting the person following him and maybe calling the police if he was really scared. I have come across too may teenagers who are just plain punks and have no respect for authority or any fear of consequences.

  5. Joe Doakes says:

    Bob, best analysis applying the law to the specific facts of this case that I’ve seen yet. Thanks for making us smarter!

    Joe Doakes, Saint Paul
    (Bachelor of Arts, Juris Doctor, Ordained Minister)