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Tuesday
Mar272012

Trayvon Martin Investigation-By-Media Devolves Into Victim Blaming

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.

From Mediaite:

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.

From CNN:

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."

Exactly.

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.

Obviously.

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.

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Reader Comments (12)

Thanks Danielle. One of the disturbing things about this is how long Zimmerman and the police have had to come up with "their version".

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I am losing patience with this whole ugly, evil scene. And I know I'm not the only one. But I guess we would be wrong to buy guns, go to the shooting ranges and join the NRA so that we can stand guard over our children. I guess we would be wrong to surround Zimmerman's house until he is arrested. I guess our anger about this is just wrong. Our demand for justice is just wrong.

George "hispanic-not-racist" Zimmerman is a terrorist and he should not be walking the streets. He will kill again. And when he kills a white child, I guess then he'll be charged with murder.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Harris

GREAT ARTICLE!

But this is the thing, I DONT CARE IF TRAYVON WAS NINO BROWN, WHERE does the neighborhood watchman get off carrying a GUN, AND if you HAVE A GUN and have been able to use it or trained to use it you expect me to believe you are the VICTIM and not the aggressor. HOW is this possible no ...ima tell you what happened


OK..

zimmerman sees a black kid assumes he's a 'hoodrat' he must look NOT so big as to where he can take him, because if he knew about the bulgaries wouldnt that inspire FEAR in his heart if he REALLY thought TRAYVON was a criminal, he would NOT have followed a REAL criminal but would have waited for the police if he was SOOOOO SCARED.

NO what happened was

he saw someone he wanted to harrass and he thinks all black people are criminal or whatever and he got the CRAP BEAT OUT OF HIM (that is if his story is true) BUT even if he DID GET the CRAP BEAT OUT OF HIM he deserved it,

NOW he kills a kid, didnt get arrested and if ANYBODY should be crying self defense it was TRAYVON!

NOT to mention to ADD complications, im from UPTOWN and zimmerman didnt have a uniform on. YOU GO FOLLOW ME IN MY HOOD, and confront me? IF a WHITE man confronts me in my yard with no uniform i MIGHT answer his question, But if some GUY i THINK is puerto RICAN CONFRONTS me in MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD, and he has a GUN.. its ON! (no offense to puerto ricans but you know what im saying)

YOU do the MATH!!! IN FLORIDA TOO???? Come on!

TRAYVON didnt know who this DUDE IS and Is thinking Im going to DIE tonight and it would be ON! So people can say whatever they WANT this was the POLICE departments FAULT because IF ZIMMERMAN IS A WATCH captian he needs to be TRIED like a REGULAR GUY who shot somebody!

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeme

I have examined this and looked at it from every side and I do not understand a few things. One thing I don't understand from the statement given by the friend and the attorney is why did Zimmerman follow the kid and get out of the car even though he was told by an authority not to? The other thing I don't understand is that from friend, and his attorney they state that Zimmerman was attacked by the kid and he was merely getting back in the car to go home. This confuses me because if he only wanted to see where the kid was going, why did he have the gun readily available for use? He had to have immediate accessibility to it in order to get into this struggle that he claims he did with the kid - so where and how quickly did he get the gun to shoot at close range after getting his nose broken and his head banged on the concrete? To me it implies that he had the gun on his person ready to use it as he went to the grocery store - which is what his friend and the attorney state that he did before the trouble started or otherwise it makes no sense that he had it readily available when he got out of the car to see where Trayvon walked off to. There is nothing in any of the statements that supports him having the gun ready to use make any sense. I don't know much about guns - but don't you have to take off the safety to use them? How was he beat up on the ground with a broken nose, a bump on his head etc. wrestling over a gun with a teen and somehow shot the kid at close range but did not go back to the car to defend himself? How did he then end up on the kids back as the witnesses states? Something clearly does not make sense and the story is becoming very convoluted. The gun was on him as he followed Trayvon if what his attorney and friend states is true. That is the only explanation that makes any sense. The question I have now is why did he have it on him?

I am ignoring the friend and his defense of Zimmerman. Who wants to look at their friend and realize that they have possibly aligned themselves with a person who may have killed someone due to racist ideologies and the person you killed looks like I or my family members ? Denial and defense. A good friend who does not want to look foolish, that is all. The reasoning for the language he used is ridiculous. That explanation is not a real defense, this is desperation.

I think the gun adds to this story - and there is no answer or real dissussion for it as of yet. Maybe Trayvon saw the gun as he noted the guy following him and decided to fight with everything he had and not just give up his life. I don't know when some folks are going to get that AA's raise our kids to run and to fight when necessary when danger arrives to get those few seconds to get away just like they tell their kids to do. We love and adore our babies too.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNikita

One of the things that bother me is seeing his mom. She looks so lonely and hurt; and I wish in my dreamy way that she and the dad were together so he could reach out to her and they console each other physically. But I know he is engaged to someone else; but they both look like they need someone to give them some physical support.
What a tragedy for this family to endure.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergail

I just dont know what to say. Im mean really nothing about trayvons past has anything to do with why he was murdered. I dont care if he smoked weed or not. I dont care if that football picture of him is from third grade or three months ago. I dont care if he had a gold grill in his mouth or not. I dont care if his cousin tweeted about him taking a swing at a bus driver is true or not.
What I do care about is that Trayvon was not doing anything wrong and his murderer was not even arrested. I can say this as a 38 year old black woman if I was walking home at night and I saw someone in a car, who is clearly not the police, following me and I tried to get away from them and then I saw them getting out of their car and they were bigger than me and they started asking me " none ya business questions" not only would I not answer them, but they would they get cussed out and I sure as hell wouldnt wait for them to attack me first. I would assume they were up to no good and I would act accordingly, especially if I saw they had a gun. They have already proven to me that they mean me harm by stalking me and I dont have to wait for them to strike first before I try to defend myself.
If thats what I would do as a grown woman I cant expect more from a 17 year old child. Zimmerman was the one behaving in a suspicious manner, he was the one with a gun, he was the one following folks around at night. If he had stayed in the car his nose wouldnt have gotten broken,his head wouldnt have been bashed ( if it really happened in the first place) and Trayvon would still be alive. End of story.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovely

Fyi, Snob, "coon-ass" is a term referring to Cajuns, sometimes used pejoratively, at other times affectionately. But Zimmerman's lawyer is just blowing smoke: there is no Cajun in this awful event. Zimmerman is being described in the media as "Hispanic," but no other information is provided. The implication is that if he's Hispanic, he couldn't be racist. That's total and utter hogwash. There's racism in every Latin country in this hemisphere, some of it quite virulent. His defenders are putting out all sorts of false "information" in the hopes of obscuring what is blatantly obvious. Zimmerman is guilty as sin and needs to be put under the jail.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhoodoowah

Danielle, thank you so much for this. I'm a little down seeing some of the comments being left

"What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Wait for all the facts first. There are 2 sides to every story. And if I was Zimmerman, I would have shot him too. If I even thought for a split second that my life was in danger, shoot first, ask questions later."

Really....I just can't...I'm really starting to loose faith in people.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeautyIAM

@gail. Having a man in her life is not going to affect a damn thing. And I doubt neither she nor TM's dad are handling things alone or are refusing to support each other just because they're divorced. Stop brainwashing yourself into thinking that way.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjmac

Someone put this bitch on ice, already! This Jack Ruby wannabe is really shining a light on what a cesspool the Floridian 'justice' (commence sequence to unroll eyes from back of the head) system is. I hate the hardness that's forming in my heart, because to my mind and fantasies, the only that this poor baby did 'wrong' was lack the physical strength to pound this monster into giving up and go on fly away from that wretched town--which, I believe has just won the America's Armpit And Sorrow Of A Nation Award. I pray for the safety and dignity of the good and honest residents of that rubbish heap of a place, because clearly nobody else seems to care about what happens to them. Impotent rage, that's all I'm feeling.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo 'Mama' Besser

This article sums up perfectly what I always felt, Martin's race and hoodie have nothing to do with his character. What Martin did in the past, does not take away from the fact that he was unarmed and without a criminal record. Zimmerman is clearly a bigot if he feels like "they always get away" yet surprisingly HE (Zimmerman) GOT AWAY, this time and for those previous assaults on police officers. I would also find the guy in the car following people with a loaded gun and no badge to be more suspicious than a young man walking home. For Zimmerman, there are no excuses, he needs at least second degree murder but I have a funny feeling that Zimmerman intended to kill someone that night if he was going around with a loaded gun.maybe first degree murder is better if they every charge and arrest Zimmerman.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeedee7789

@jmac I'm considering your 'message" but your tone was mean spirited to me. It wasn't necessary to say to me "stop brainwashing yourself" I was just expressing something.

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergail

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