What do you think of the authorities’ handling of the Trayvon Martin case?

Prosecutors in Florida have announced that they are charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. Today’s Question: What do you think of the authorities’ handling of the Trayvon Martin case?

  • Bill

    Its turned into a big reverse racism case. Pretty soon the “white majority” will be a minority in this country. Then what?

  • Valerie

    It took too long for him to be charged. I’m glad it came to light, otherwise Zimmerman would have gone free. Now that there has been pressure on the Florida justice system, I think they are finally doing the right thing.

  • John

    A white kid in North MPLS was riding his bike to deliver a plate of food to a neighbor last Friday (8:34PM) and was gunned down (for his bike) by 3 black males. Cold blooded murder! I had to hunt for that news.

    Happens all the time. If its white on black its racism, but if its black on white its a random act of violence. And RT Rybek didn’t mention it in his speech on crime this week, racist.

  • Kathy

    While Trayvon’s death is tragic, in some ways, I’m less concerned about getting Zimmerman behind bars and more concerned about what appears to be — at a minimum — a police department and a city with a long and ugly history of racism. Anyone who knows Sanborn knows that it has struggled with race issues for years.

    Let’s focus on cleaning up Sanborn and other remnants of racism and let the justice system deal with Zimmerman

  • George

    There are plenty of holes in the case against Zimmerman. When he’s acquitted, expect riots of the kind that followed the Rodney King verdict. And then watch the media and the ‘usual suspects’ sympathizing with the people out smashing windows.

    btw….what the heck is a ‘White Hispanic’? And has anyone actually looked at a picture of Zimmerman? If he’s White then I must be an albino.

  • Hiram

    The authorities have not avoided the perception that their prosecutorial decisions are excessively influenced by public opinion and pressure. They really messed up.

  • Kurt

    It seems a lot of times there is an initial presumption of guilt (Jon Benet Ramsey case) or innocence (K Mart parking lot case) that drives an investigation until the investigation has wandered too far down a particular path to ever arrive at the truth. This may be another one of those times. What’s done is done. Now we’re left with the trial phase. What could possibly go wrong there?

  • HD

    Whether Zimmerman is guilty or not, there is no way he can get a fair trial.

    Almost every news report I have seen have turned this incident from a homicide investigation into a racially motivated hate crime. We will never know all the facts, because people are out to even the race score.

    And yet, I can’t help but wonder how things would be different if we changed races on the cast of characters. Events after the death would not have been anywhere near as controversial if Trayvon would have been any other race. That, my friends, is pure racism.

  • Gary F
  • Pat

    Zimmerman should have been charged two months ago. Had Martin taken the shot and Zimmerman been the victim, there would have been no question about an arrest.

    This was clearly a combined act of racial bias, and loosely interpreting a “stand your ground” law that protected a killer from justice. Now a jury can decide what actually happened.

  • Mark in Freeborn

    Poky, to say the least.

  • Gary F
  • jdre

    If this story has nothing to do with race, then it must not have happened in the USA. Zimmerman, son of a judge, was let go WITH HIS GUN the night of the killing; Trayvon lay in the morgue three days before his cell phone was used to find family. This is so wrong, for reasons that have nothing to do with race. It took weeks for the media to pick up this blatantly bizarre story: this is wrong, has nothing to do with race.

    But race touches everything in our nation. There are many who say we should move past race, and they fall into two camps: those who have been doing anti-racism WORK for so long they want it to end; and those who want someone else to do their anti-racism WORK for them.

    Since then Zimmerman, his family, and his posse from the National Socialist Movement have condemned most of the nation’s Black leaders for “reverse racism” ignoring Trayvon’s support from leaders from other ethnicities, including most whites, who have called for him to be charged.

    We must move beyond racism by confronting our privileges, by being traitors to this absurd collection of prejudices we call “race.”

  • Heather

    Interesting law. It puts the burden of justice squarely on the shoulders of a dead person, and seems to encourage people to not leave a living witness around.

  • Tawana Brawly

    If he is acquitted and they riot, look for the 100% discount of flat screen TV’s in the hood.

  • First of all I would like to thank the media for getting all facts wrong when this story first hit the national stage. If Zimmerman is found not guilty and there are riots in the streets the media should point a finger right at themselves, the doctored video and spliced 911 tape were complete inventions of the media. Once the media reports something and it fits a person’s preconceived ideas there is almost nothing you can tell that person to change their mind…now we have a whole segment of the population who have already convicted Zimmerman without a trial. To make it worse I see these people who could not even imagine that Zimmerman acted in self defense on the cable news networks (especially CNN, which usually tries to be impartial), I even saw an anchor arguing with a witness/neighbor of Zimmerman refuting his story. This really isn’t about race, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson just want it to be…they should also accept some blame for the riots if and when they occur. I think the authorities were taking their time but we’ll never know if they were just being very thorough or they simply buckled to public pressure. The only thing anyone should want is for this case to be fully investigated and for justice to be served but this case is no different than any other case out there.

  • Mick

    They “f”ed up in the beginning. Stupidity of the system. Better late than never with the arrest.

  • James

    I would like to think that if I (a white guy) shot and killed someone, for any reason, I would be arrested for something (murder, manslaughter, etc.), held, tried, found guilty or not guilty and then allowed to get on with my life, in our out of prison.

    That seems to be what is happening now in Florida. If it had happened more timely, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

    Let’s hope Zimmerman gets a fair trial.

    And if he get off on the basis of “stand your ground” and too many people think that outcome is unjust, I hope the authorities re-think the law. Several times already in Florida, someone who provokes someone else into reacting violently, and then guns the reactor down “in self defense,” has been found not guilty of a crime. Zimmerman stands a good chance of getting off.

  • The ultimate authority Cause & Effect (God) created the event, now revere & understand it. Justice that condemns & punishes the children of Cause & Effect hasn’t been working. If we do not forgive, we are not forgiven, for if we hate, we receive and give hateful spirits.

  • Jim G

    The authorities were slow to investigate because of “Stand Your Ground”. Now they have created a real mess: one they deserve. A Grand Jury was never convened to consider 1st degree murder charges. In my state that would have been the normal procedure. How did justice become so unjust? It now depends on whether your state of residence is Minnesota, which does not yet have this law thanks to Governor Dayton’s veto, or Florida and the other 20 states who have cavalierly adopted them. These “Stand Your Ground” laws are bad for our state and nation. They encourage our most violent people to use the most deadly force available, not the necessary force required to control an incident.

  • georges

    Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey stated that the murder charge was not a result of pressure from family or racist groups, but was indicated by the facts.

    Curiously, she did not let us know what those “facts” are.

    Fact is, of the 7 billion living people on this planet, only one (1) knows what happened during the Zimmerman/Martin confrontation. Only one. And that one is, of course, Zimmerman.

    Many claim to know, but they do not. Only one knows. But that doesn’t stop the leftist/racist/democrats. They cannot resist the opportunity to further divide the citizens. And thereby increase their own ability to dip into the hindpocket of the Taxpayers of These United States.

  • GregX

    I think that Florida law isn’t Minnesota law and I should read up on that before I comment on how Florida authorities are performing. George Zimmerman seems to me to be the poster-child for conservatively wrong use of a poorly written law. REaders of the law shoudl be seeking the middle intent of the law … not the last nth degree hairs thickness of rationality on the outer rind of the law.

  • georges

    No one need be afraid of the “stand your ground” laws. They just codify the “natural” law. You know, the natural law that gives each individual the absolute right to defend their own life when attacked.

    When one defends ones own life, in any U.S. State, SYG law or not, one will need to show, if there is any evidence to the contrary, that one feared bodily harm or death from the actions of the perpetrator. That ones response was “reasonable”.

    SYG is not unreasonable. For a State to say that you cannot stand your ground IS unreasonable. It infringes on your ABSOLUTE right to defend yourself. Imagine being told by the government that you must run from someone who is perpetrating a crime against your person. You may be old, disabled, ill, or merely a slow runner, doesn’t matter, the State says you must run for your life rather than defend it. Calculate your running abilities and the criminals, and hope you can outrun the young guy(s). And, you better calculate correctly.

    There are worse things in this world than a criminal losing his life. Such as the rest of us losing our Natural Rights.

  • William

    I am a retired police sergeant from a major city, and a former investigator for Public Defense.

    I don’t believe for a second that Zimmerman acted in self defense. What I do believe is that the Sanford police helped George Zimmerman create the ‘self defense’ story.

    I have seen other police departments do the exact same, by ‘creating’ a scenario that can not or is extremely difficult to question.

    It was dark. No eye witnesses to the altercation. It was just a ‘black’ person who was shot. A ‘defense’ is needed to protect the caucasian shooter and the ‘stand your ground’ law. The prosecutor only received the ‘created facts’ of ‘self defense’.

  • Alison

    They handled it poorly. It doesn’t really matter though; with no witnesses other than the accused, the defense already has their reasonable doubt.

  • Tom

    I do not know what to think of the authorities handling of this case until I know more facts about the case. In my opinion, the tabloid style, sensationalized news coverage only adds to our racial problems.

  • JasonB

    It’s hard to know what they have been doing behind the scenes. What we do know is what the media is showing us. And some of that is disappointing.

    Every photo of Zimmerman is the one that looks like a mug shot. And many TV news outlets zoom in on his close-set eyes as if to convey the image of a madman. Also, I have not heard anything that suggests Zimmerman was targeting Martin specifically because he was black. Yet people are reacting like this is what the shooting is all about.

    All this while downplaying the fact that Zimmerman is Hispanic/Latino and thus a minority himself. Had it been Zimmerman who was shot by a European white guy, I’m sure the media would still see this as a white-on-minority crime.

    If anything, it shows the pressure authorities come under when the press gets a hold of a story and begins to shape it into whatever image they want.

  • Julie

    What I do not understand (and hope the lawyers on Talk of the Nation NOW can answer is), Under what language in the Stand your Ground Law was Zimmerman arrested?? Given Zimmerman did not have to retreat or apparently, fully consider any other means of defense before the use of deadly force. Is it the circumstantial evidence that it is not self defense case? Or is there language in the law that allowed the arrest? True… the inquiry will now determine guilt, but what was the just cause??

  • georges

    We must always be skeptical of what the liberal media chooses to show us.

    Remember the Rodney King beating tape? I bet I saw it 300 times in the 14 months leading up to the aquittal verdicts of the 4 LAPD officers. Every time the video was exactly the same, 4 cops beating a poor black fellow laying on the ground.

    Then, when the riots started after the verdicts, the very next day, all of a sudden we see an expanded version of the video. We then could see Rodney King, a giant of a man, standing up, charging wildly at the cops, like a drug crazed madman, unaffected by taser and baton, uncooperative in the extreme, trying everything he could to keep from being captured, as he knew he would be returned to prison for his parole violations.

    Why did we not see that part of the tape all along? Why did we see it only after the riots started, and the media became afraid they had really done a bad thing by manipulating the news.

    56 people dead, thousands injured, 1,100 buildings destroyed, a billion dollars in damages. All because the Liberal Media conspired to deceive the people by lying to them.

    Always disbelieve the liberal media. They have an agenda. And they don’t care how they achieve it.

  • Ann

    I am so glad that Georges told about the Rodney King case. Fortunately I happened to see the whole video before the trial. So I wasn’t influenced by the biased version shown by the media.When ABC finally showed the whole tape after the trial, Peter Jennings seemed bewildered that he received so many phone calls from people that were alarmed that they were finally seeing the whole truth. However the Zimmerman case does seem to indicate a bit of a power hungry attitude in Zimmerman. He probably should have stopped following Martin when the police officer told him, “we don’t need you to do that.” I have seen this attitude in some security guards and police officers who treat people in a demeaning way (even white women like me.)

  • Ann – [However the Zimmerman case does seem to indicate a bit of a power hungry attitude in Zimmerman. He probably should have stopped following Martin when the police officer told him, “we don’t need you to do that.” I have seen this attitude in some security guards and police officers who treat people in a demeaning way (even white women like me.)] *** See now there you go again…there are no witnesses that back up the claim that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after this suggestion by the 911 operator. In fact, the only version of the story that has been corroborated is that Zimmerman stopped following Martin after the 911 operator told him to stop following and went back to his vehicle. According to Zimmerman (and a witness) Martin confronted Zimmerman outside his vehicle, punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground and then began to bash his head into the curb…that’s when Zimmerman used deadly force and fired his weapon. There were other witnesses after the gun shot but to that point there was only Zimmerman’s story and another witness who backs up his story. I’m not blaming you for not knowing any of this, but I will blame the media for not doing its job and reporting all sides of a story (or at least just report parts of the story that can be verified).

  • Lawrence

    Frankly, I’m disappointed because Zimmerman should have been a suspect long before it got to this point even if he claimed self defense. An unarmed single youth was walking home from the store with a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea. Zimmerman notes immediately that he’s black, ASSUMES he is suspicious, ignores the police warning to stay in his car, says to the 911 caller that these people always get away with stuff, and pursues Martin with a gun. Now Martin has NO burglary or vandalism tools with him; he’s NOT wandering around the community with other youth, and he DOESN’T possess drugs. He’s NO WHERE near Zimmerman’s property, and he is NOT sneaking around homes and trying to find an illegal way of getting into one. He’s literally walking home and talking on his cell phone to his girlfriend. Yet, the POLICE, believed Zimmerman’s story, RETURNED Zimmerman’s weapon to him, and really only began investigating this case when the race card was played. At NO point, during the police interview with Zimmerman did the cops assume Zimmerman may have intentionally picked a confrontation with Martin, or that Martin, may have been trying to protect himself from HIS truly, dangerous assailant, Gary Zimmerman. Zimmerman himself clearly WASN’T doing what he was supposed to do. I hope the police finally get this right and imprison Zimmerman for murder. Martin is dead because Zimmerman a) neglected to ask questions and challenge his own stereotypes about black people, b) decided he would ultimately decide this for himself which he had no legal standing authority to do; and c) went way out of his way to pursue Martin and shoot him if he in any way resisted Zimmerman, whether or not Martin was doing something illegally or legally.

  • georges

    The post at 3:23 pm is proof positive that some people have a vast amount of knowledge.

    Almost none of which, alas, turns out to be true.

    It is, indeed, sad to note that in this country, in this day and age, quite a few of the self-knowledgeable types find their way onto juries.

    They know only their own self. Their own “feelings”. No matter how opposite of the actual facts their feelings turn out to be, they will always be true to their own self.

    Recently, the Daily Circuit had a guest who pointed out that in the 1950s only 10% of high school seniors said that they were Very Important Persons. Today, 87% “feel” that they are VIPs. It didn’t take long for rational thought to be completely replaced by self-aggrandizement, once liberal teachings took over the homes and the schools.

  • Steve the Cynic

    It’s hard to know what to think. Most of the comments here from both sides are so obviously skewed by confirmation bias and agenda-driven selection of “facts” that the discussion is worse than useless. It seems to me, though, that the pro-gun ideologues are trying a lot harder to twist the facts to make their case than the anti-gun ideologues are. Their defensiveness suggests to me that they’re less confident of the rightness of their cause in this case than the other side is and have a sense they’re going to lose this one.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “Always disbelieve the liberal media. They have an agenda. And they don’t care how they achieve it.”

    And that’s not true of the conservative media?

    I remember the ’70s and ’80s, when the main-stream media really did have a liberal bias, and I used to rail against it. But they havent had one since the early ’90s. That’s when they started bending over so far backwards to prove that they didn’t have a liberal bias that they’ve actually developed a slight conservative bias, which is okay by their corporate executives and shareholders.

  • georges

    A black women shot a white woman several times, killing her. Then she took the white woman’s newborn baby.

    Now, there are those who would call this a hate crime.

    But that cannot be. Whites are never really victims of specialty crimes. Those are reserved for the correct hue and cry.

    We must view this as an intervention. A rescue. The woman is saving the baby from growing up unjazzed in America.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Where and when did that happen, georges, and where can one find independent information about it?

  • georges

    Two days ago. Montgomery County, Texas (Houston).

    It has been all over the news. Don’t you get the news? It’s a big story.

    Google Verna Deann McClain.

    Learn all about it.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I often don’t pay attention to local news from other parts of the country. That incident wasn’t covered in the Strib. The local newspaper that reported it didn’t make it sound like a hate crime, just something bizarre. So I’m at a loss to see why you thought it was remotely relevant to the Trayvon Martin case, georges. I’m guessing it was just a convenient red herring.

  • georges

    Tis always sad to see someone so unfortunate as to get their news from the Strib, which has been voted the most liberal newspaper in the USA.

    As I stated, it was a big story all over the country, in the major news outlets, etc . Not suprising tho, that the Strib ignores it. As I said….not the proper hue and cry.

    If the white woman had been the shooter, and the black woman the shootee, ahhhhh, then we would have had full front page Stribification.

    It is always good to get ones news from diversified sources. If you can broaden your news source base, you can avoid the one-eyed monomendacity such as is provided by liberal rags like the Strib.

    You know, the Strib has even printed the inane ramblings of Keillor (many times), as if there is something of value there (other than a good belly laugh for all rational people). Really. Hard as it it to believe that anyone would give credence to such nonsense, it is, nonetheless, true.

    Sometimes biscuits merely give one the strength to spew what never needs to be spun.

    Do yourself a favor. Diversify. Get all the news, and all the acute angles.

  • Steve the Cynic

    But, georges, I read the article from the local paper where it happened (hardly a “liberal rag”) and I’m still mystified why you think that bizarre case has any remote connection to the Trayvon Martin case, or why any “liberal” or “conservative” issue is raised by it. Whatever it is, it’s certainly not a “hate crime,” as the victim was apparently chosen at random, and race doesn’t seem to have been a factor. Apart from the bizarreness of it, it doesn’t seem to have any national significance. The only reason the corporate news media are covering what would otherwise be a mere local crime story is because lurid sensationalism sells. As I said, it appears you brought it up as a convenient red herring.

    By the way, by whom was the Strib “voted the most liberal newspaper in the USA,” and why should I care about their opinion? That kind of factoid is utterly meaningless, IMO.