Predictably, the tragic shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin has turned into another round of "What did the victim do to cause his own death?" instead of "Why is George Zimmerman acting as a vigilante, sentencing a kid he stalked to death because of possibly winding up on the losing end of a fist fight Zimmerman instigated?"
It's disappointing, but ... alas, not surprising.
From ABC News:
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch crime captain who shot dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, originally told police in a written statement that Martin knocked him down with a punch to the nose, repeatedly slammed his head on the ground and tried to take his gun, a police source told ABC News.
Zimmerman had claimed he had called police about Martin, whom he found suspicious, then went back to his car when Martin attacked him, punching him.
The new information is the most complete version yet of what Zimmerman claims happened on the night of Feb. 26 when he shot and killed the teenager.
In the police report, Zimmerman claims Martin went for his gun, which I would have done too if a crazy guy with a gun was following me while I was doing nothing, got out of his car and confronted me.
But that's just me and me being aware of all the terrible things that happen to people when they are accosted by strangers with guns.
Then there's this ridiculousness.
But the most bizarre thing about Oliver’s interview with host Chris Matthews was his explanation for that racially-charged 911 call.
“Were you surprised when you heard he used the racial slur?” Matthews asked. “The f’ing c-word. Were you surprised he used a term like that?”
Oliver said he’d listened to the tape over and over, and concluded that Zimmerman had either said “coon” or “goon,” and proceeded to offer strange mitigations for each. “There are a lot of parts of this country where people proudly call themselves coon-asses, Louisiana, in particular” and added that he didn’t know “too many people under 40 that use that term as a racial slur.”
I’m not even sure what he’s saying there…that Trayvon ventriloquated the word “coon” into Zimmerman’s phone as a boast about the Cajun heritage of his own ass? What the effing eff is he talking about?
And more ridiculousness.
Oliver says, “Well, I spoke with George yesterday as a matter of fact and was able to get some more details about what happened. The report that was released yesterday is what George told me, what happened, where the report stops he filled in the blanks for me as well. And unfortunately at this time I'm not able to discuss that, but basically it fills in the gap between what happened when Trayvon and George came face-to-face and by the time the gun went off.”
He continues, “[Zimmerman’s] extremely remorseful, even though he took someone else's life in order to save his…. Race had nothing to do with it.”
“What it had to do was George living in a community that had been victimized by a number of burglaries and on his way home from the grocery store, he saw a suspicious individual," Oliver says. "And as someone who has taken the responsibility and volunteered to keep an eye out for his neighbors, he made a call to a non-emergency phone line and did what he thought was right and it turned out horribly wrong.”
Oh, so you had a lot of burglaries lately? Well, I guess that makes it all OK that you shot and killed someone who wasn't a burglar. I'm sure shooting and killing the one person not seeking to harm anyone prevented future neighborhood crime.
Maybe this is The Hunger Games and Martin had to get shot to keep all of us hoodie-wearing, Skittles-eating, ice tea-sipping "nigras" in line for the sin of electing Barack Obama president of the United States. I don't know. I'm grasping for straws here, dealing with this level of stupid.
Zimmerman's lawyer/friend is also claiming there are other witnesses who back up Zimmerman's story, but are those real witnesses or the ones who say the police tried to coerce them into saying that was Zimmerman on the ground crying and pleading for his life when all they did was hear the fight, or was he talking about witnesses like the one who saw Zimmerman straddling Martin on the ground.
A woman who says she and her roommate witnessed the final moments of Trayvon Martin's life told Dateline NBC that George Zimmerman had "his hands pressed on his back" and "never turned him over or tried to help him."
Mary Cutcher told Dateline that she and her roommate both saw Zimmerman "straddling the body, basically a foot on both sides of Trayvon's body, and his hands pressed on his back."
Cutcher added that Zimmerman told her and her roommate to call the police.
"Zimmerman never turned him over or tried to help him or CPR or anything," Cutcher said.
Also, much is being made of Martin being suspended over possibly having an empty bag of marijuana in his backpack at school which proves ... um ... he's a 17-year-old? He goes to school? He once was possibly near some marijuana? How did his school suspension make Sanford, Fla.'s own personal Dark Knight execute him?
He's not the hero Sanford needs, but obviously the nut job they deserve based on this crappy police investigation and Florida's insane "Stand Your Ground" law, which I still argue could easily be applied to the victim here if Martin had gotten the gun away from Zimmerman and shot the crazy man stalking him.
Said Martin's mother:
"All I've got to say is they killed my son, and now they're trying to kill his reputation."
It doesn't matter if Martin was a good or bad kid. It doesn't matter what Martin wore. It doesn't matter that the neighborhood was the home of Martin's father's girlfriend. It doesn't matter if Martin defended himself against Zimmerman as Zimmerman was A) not a cop, B) a complete stranger, C) stalking him, D) 100 lbs heavier than him and 28 years old, E) packing heat and F) told by the 911 dispatcher to leave the kid alone and stay in his car.
It also doesn't matter if Zimmerman had good intentions, was a nice guy and had "black friends." None of this matters as none of that explains why he felt the need to confront then kill Martin for the "sin" of walking while black.
Said the Martin family attorney in response to all this "justification" of shooting an unarmed teen, not robbing anyone:
"Its real simple, if George Zimmerman had done what a neighborhood watchman is supposed to do -- watch -- Trayvon Martin would be alive today," he added.
"Trayvon Martin does not have to identify himself to a stranger," he noted. "George Zimmerman never identified who he was to Trayvon." "If he (Zimmerman) doesn't get out of the car ... if he doesn't act as if he's the police, none of this happens."
None of this matters because Martin is dead and Zimmerman instigated the entire incident based on his "hunch." An incorrect hunch that Travyon was a criminal intending to rob someone in the neighborhood, when he was not. And no matter what Zimmerman thought, Martin should not have died over it. Getting into a fist fight -- you started -- with a kid should not be a death sentence unless Trayvon Martin is secretly Tony Jaa and could murder you with his knees. But Trayvon Martin was not Tony Jaa, people get in fist fights all over America everyday. Losing a fist fight does not equal death penalty for either party. It might mean an ass whooping, but an ass whooping both parties walk away from alive.
And for all Zimmerman's claims about injuries that he didn't immediately go to the hospital for, his lawyer did not see, that the police did not investigate, this mostly sounds like classic victim blaming as it couldn't possibly be the fault of the guy with the gun that night. Must be the kid who wasn't robbing anyone, walking back to his dad's girlfriend's house after shopping at the 7-11.
Shooting and murdering a guy you honestly thought was a criminal but wasn't a criminal isn't the kind of mistake everyone shakes hands and goes, "It's all good "over. Saying it was "an accident" that somehow the kid caused doesn't absolve you of this aggression.
But nice try.