A Few Things Ill Considered

It is by now old news that George Zimmerman has finally been arrested for the unprovoked killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17 yr old African American teenager on his way home from the store with a bit of junk food. It took over a month and huge public outcry to get even this small step towards justice but it is the right first step.

But in case you need something new to get outraged about I would like to call your attention to the equally, if not more, outrageous case of Kenneth Chamberlain’s murder at the hands of Whiteplains NY police officers.

Police were summoned to the scene for a possible medical emergency, not a crime. It turned out to be a false alarm, but by the time they left, Kenneth Chamberlain was dead. Sounds pretty bad, right? Well, maybe the details offer some hope it was not so bad, maybe deadly force was necessary and unavoidable…

Let’s see:

  • The knife police claimed he attacked them with turns out to have been a butter knife taken from him before they entered
  • the incident occurred inside Mr Chamberlain’s own home
  • he was a 68 year old with a heart condition
  • against one old man, there were many police officers on the scene, some with full body armor
  • the medical alert was cancelled and the police told they were not needed
  • one of the officers replied to his protestation that he was a sick old man with “We don’t give a fuck, nigger”
  • the police spent two hours on scene with Chamberlain telling them he was all right and did not need assistance yet they ended up breaking down his door and killing him in his boxer shorts
  • family members were on scene and available on the phone to deescalate the situation but the police said they would handle it themselves
  • the police camera mounted on the taser shows Kenneth Chamberlain being summarily tasered with no initial command to put his hands up or lie down or anything
  • Kenneth Chamberlain was a black man and several of the officers were already in trouble for racism charges in other cases
  • the medical alert monitor recorded the audio of the entire incident, which no doubt would otherwise have been brushed under the rug as easily as other similar, unwitnessed atrocities

Okay, I guess the details don’t help their case. And yet the district attorney has found no reason to charge anyone with anything. Nothing. At least there will now be a federal probe but time will tell in this, as in Trayvon Martin’s killing, if justice will be done or not.

Sorry to be off topic, but stories like these really make my blood boil and at least bringing a bit more attention to this case is one small thing I can do.

Comments

  1. #1 JG
    May 11, 2012

    at least bringing a bit more attention to this case is one small thing I can do.

    And many thanks for doing so. I knew about the case but hadn’t heard this recent development — of the DA finding everything’s just hunky dory in the White Plains PD.

  2. #2 Michael Tomb
    May 11, 2012

    Been following this, and it is tragic and unforgivable. The police acted as a gang of thugs…taunting this man about his military service, demanding to be let in so they could “take a piss”. The recording is clear: at around 5 am, Mr Chamberlain kept pleading with them to understand that he was OK…that there was no medical emergency. The medical alert operator called the police several times to let them know that medical alert was resolved…their “services” were no longer needed. But the police responded as they did the family, that they needed no mediator to resolve the situation. And that situation was caused by police intentional action to demean, degrade and mock one proud , elderly man with heart and breathing problems. Dressed in Riot gear with guns drawn, outside an apartment where there was no riot and no crime reported, the police executed this poor man in his underwear…hitting him with every type of weapon that they carried. It appears they did as a bigoted act of revenge, in retaliation for Mr Chamberlain’s simple assertion of his constitutional right to be safe from such tactics while in his own home. “I’m OK, Officers” “Why do you have your guns out?” But they just kept pounding and demanding entrance. I wonder if these thugs got to take their “victory piss” after killing this ex-marine. My God..where is justice in the City of White Plains? It certainly can not be found in the police department and neither the district attorney’s nor mayor’s office.

  3. #3 Fred Baumgarten
    May 11, 2012

    This is nothing more or less than 21st-century lynching. It is unforgivable.

  4. #4 Vernon
    May 11, 2012

    Coby,

    Do you have some official information that has been released that indicates shows that it was not self defense? Based on what the principle investigator, there is nothing contradicts GZ’s statement and the witnesses to the killing.

  5. #5 skip
    May 11, 2012

    Both cases trouble me at first blush–especially since I teach future criminologists and cops. But wait until *all* the facts are in. If, after that, it turns out that the WP police acted wrongly (even murderously) and GZ indeed acted on a vengeful hunch and murdered young Mr. Martin, then yes, at that point I will agree that this is “something new to get outraged about.”

    I do love my country, but I would be less than a patriot if I did not acknowledge its ills. If either of these cases is one of them I will be the first to admit it.

    Sad says in the USA . . . .

    PS: Vernon: What have you been up to these days? Giving up on climate change faux-skepticism as your *Raison d’être*? If so I am sure I know why.

  6. #6 Snowman
    May 12, 2012

    Like Coby, I have no information about this affair beyond that which has appeared in the media. Unlike Coby, however, I do not take it for granted that only one explanation is permitted: an innocent (indeed admirable) black citizen murdered by racist white cops. I note that a Grand Jury decided there was no case to answer. Perhaps Coby believes the Grand Jury was similarly composed of racist thugs.

    As for Trayvon Martin and the ‘unprovoked killing’ (as Coby with his special insight describes it) we must wait and see what happened that night.

    In both these cases, it appears that Coby and others have reached conclusions that fit their worldview, unencumbered by anything as tiresome as evidence.

  7. #7 coby
    May 12, 2012

    Vernon,

    I think the fact that the outside DA has finally pressed charges permits me some confidence that what has been made available publicly paints a reasonably accurate picture. (This is to explain why I don’t think I need access to any special “official” information to form an opinion). So what makes me doubt a self defense claim is 1) Zimmerman’s size and background as a bouncer and aggressive person vs Trayvon’s 70 pound lighter teenage frame coupled with the audio of someone screaming “help” over and over and over before a gunshot followed by silence and 2) his initial claim that he was jumped from behind that is contradicted by Martin’s girl friend’s testimony of what she heard on the telephone and 3) the lack of any physical evidence to support Zimmerman’s testimony that his nose was broken and his head smashed repeatedly against the sidewalk (including the video of him at the police station). Clearly the DA in charge has also found enough evidence to doubt his claim as they have charged him with 2nd degree murder.

    BTW, I am not calling for summary conviction, nor was his family, I just think a trial should determine his innocence or guilt not police officers who could not even be bothered to check Trayvon’s cell phone and find out who he was or interview anyone in the neighborhood to see if someone saw or heard something. That is the real outrage in this case for me, not Zimmerman’s actions, wrong or justified.

    And my “unprovoked” comment is describing the broader circumstances in that Trayvon was walking home from the store minding his own business and it was Zimmerman who sought out and instigated whatever it was that followed.

  8. #8 coby
    May 12, 2012

    skip, I appreciate the caution about rushing to judgement and agree, but that is the whole problem, investigation and judgement were being denied in Zimmerman’s case. In the WP case, whether or not it was murder, it was at the very least a serious disregard of standard procedures on many points leading to an unnecessary death with no consequences for the officers involved whatsoever (so far). If there had not been an audio recording of the whole thing, no one but his family and neighbors would have ever known anything about Kenneth Chamberlain.

    And, actually no, it is not *always* necessary to have *all* the facts to know some kind of grave injustice has been done, the handful in my post really seem quite sufficient. Can anyone suggest any hypothetical additional information that could possibly come out that could explain away the above?

  9. #9 coby
    May 12, 2012

    Someone up thread said: “I note that a Grand Jury decided there was no case to answer. Perhaps Coby believes the Grand Jury was similarly composed of racist thugs.

    Grand juries in NY are secret and we have no way of knowing what information the jury was given nor what charge they were asked to consider. These things are entirely in the hands of the DA. If I had been on that jury, even with all the evidence I think I know now, I might not support first degree murder charges. With enough missing context and a general desire to trust police I might not support lesser charges either. Who knows what charges were considered and how much of the available evidence the DA shared.

    So no, I have no reason to believe the grand jury was composed of anything but honest and fair minded citizens.

  10. #10 Vernon
    May 12, 2012

    Coby,

    I quit posting when I realized that “good” discussions here were totally non-productive and a waste of time. Not just here but at almost all blogs discussing warming or the lack of warming.

    I only posted this time because your “unprovoked killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17 yr old African American teenager on his way home from the store with a bit of junk food” may reflect the line spun by NBC but does not reflect any of the published court documents. So far nothing has been produced that counters GZ claim that TM attacked him. I do not know if it what he stated is true or not, but there is a witness listed in the reports that says that was TM on top of GZ, while GZ was calling for help. So yes, let us wait on the legal system but so far in the GZ/TM killing, it would appear that the modern lynching is being done to GZ.

  11. #11 skip
    May 12, 2012

    reached conclusions that fit their worldview, unencumbered by anything as tiresome as evidence.

    –Snowman

    LOL.

    Hey Snowman: Want to tell us in your own words what a trend is again? Any more secondhand Anthony Wattsisms you want to paraphrase and regurgitate for the forum? (That’s Watts with a “Wa” of course.)

    LOL.

  12. #12 Snowman
    May 12, 2012

    Coby, you cannot on the one hand say ‘I just think a trial should determine his innocence or guilt,’ yet on the other declare that Martin Zimmerman ‘has been arrested for the unprovoked killing’. If that is not prejudging the issue, I cannot imagine what is.

  13. #13 skip
    May 12, 2012

    What? No jibe at me, Snowman?

    I’m wounded! Watching the backhanded evidence of your humiliation is my guiltiest pleasure–next to Friday night gin and tonics. Quit playing possum and pretending to ignore me. We all know you’re itching to say something ignorant and laughable. You’ll cave in eventually anyway so why delay *our* gratification?

  14. #14 Snowman
    May 12, 2012

    My apologies, Skip. I do indeed owe you an insult. But you know how it is: sometimes you just can’t be bothered – particularly as on this occasion we seem to be more or less on the same side.

    This is an unusual although not unique situation. You perhaps recall that a precedent was set when Coby and others were trying to drum up support for a petition that would have banned a new Canadian TV network before it even took to the air. Like censors everywhere, they insisted they were motivated not by an urge to silence those with opposing views, but by lofty ideals. (Remarkably, the fact that the petition had been drawn up by a US, not Canadian, group of doubtful provenance seemed not to bother them.)

  15. #15 skip
    May 12, 2012

    I am never on your “side”.

    If you coincidentally share a view with me it is just Brownian motion compromising your otherwise outstanding and well documented record of absurdity.

    I’ll bide my time. Soon enough you will copy and paste Anthony Watt’s latest nonsense, or stagger us with your technical incompetence and scientific illiteracy. I’ll have my fun then.

  16. #16 Vince Whirlwind
    May 13, 2012

    “Trayvon was walking home from the store minding his own business and it was Zimmerman who sought out and instigated whatever it was that followed.”

    What a poor bit of analysis.

    If I see somebody walking down my street, go out to say hello to them, they attack me and I kill them in self-defence, then by your execrable logic, I am the person who “sought out and instigated” what followed.

    Your other lines of thinking are similarly flawed: Trayvon Martin was 70lbs lighter? So he was young and fit while Zimmerman was fat. This doesn’t say anything about their respective motivations, actions, or ability tgo hurt each other. Appalling – right up there with witch-burning.

    You’ve basically assumed one guy must be an innocent victim because he’s black.

  17. #17 mandas
    May 13, 2012

    I tend to agree with a lot of the comments here, and I will await the evidence before reaching a conclusion on these issues. After all, that’s just good science.

    I did have a great laugh though, and I want to thank snowman for his comment at post #6:

    “….In both these cases, it appears that Coby and others have reached conclusions that fit their worldview, unencumbered by anything as tiresome as evidence…..”

    The irony was overwhelming!!

  18. #18 coby
    May 13, 2012

    a precedent was set when Coby and others were trying to drum up support for a petition that would have banned a new Canadian TV network before it even took to the air

    The above statement is a purposeful lie. It is referring to this post which was about stopping proposed changes to existing Canadian legislation that was being requested by Fox News North. This new Canadian network was free to take to the air as long as it abides by the same regulations as all other broadcasters.

    The regulations in issue required that any broadcast representing itself as news must not knowingly present falsehoods as facts. This is a requirement Fox has successfully defended against meeting in the US and wanted similar privileges in Canada, I leave it to readers to wonder why.

    Snowman continually exploits this freedom to lie in his blog comments here, it is little wonder he would like institutions like Faux News to enjoy it as well.

  19. #19 Snowman
    May 14, 2012

    Like all those who would suppress free speech, Coby takes refuge in claims of high-mindedness. There was only one purpose in the petition he urged people to support: to shut up Sun News (which has, of course, nothing to do with Fox News). Does anyone imagine that he would have been similarly outraged if the proposed network had come with green/liberal credentials more to his taste? Of course not.

    I think it was the Canadian commentator Mark Steyn who observed recently that anyone can be in favour of free speech as long as it is freedom for Barney the Dinosaur to sing ‘I love you; you love me.’ The acid test is willingness to permit views with which one disagrees or even finds offensive.

    I have mentioned before that I am a regular visitor to Canada and greatly admire the country and its people. Nevertheless, there is an anti free speech strand in Canadian society (epitomised by the infamous Human Rights Commissions and Article 13 of The Canadian Human Rights Act) that is deeply depressing in a Western democracy. Coby, alas, is very much in that tradition – the tyranny of nice, as it has been called.

  20. #20 Wow
    May 14, 2012

    “Like all those who would suppress free speech”

    The speeches exhorting the faithful to kill the infidel americans are banned free speech.

    Kiddie porn is banned free speech.

    Copyright infringement is banned free speech.

    Or are you going to say these are all abhorrent to you, and that people should be free to spread their word on these subjects freely?

    “that is deeply depressing in a Western democracy.”

    But if the people generally want such limitations on speech, then in a DEMOCRACY this is what happens.

    Why do you hate democracy so much and merely want to dictate what others are allowed to call a democracy?

  21. #21 Wow
    May 14, 2012

    “If I see somebody walking down my street, go out to say hello to them, they attack me and I kill them in self-defence, then by your execrable logic, I am the person who “sought out and instigated” what followed.”

    Now, if that is what you, a strong agile fully grown and armed man say happened, then I’m left wondering how an unarmed teenager nearly half your weight left you in so much fear of your life and safety that you had to shoot that someone dead.

    Let me tell you this: the Chinese authorities stated that the student run over by the tank was holding a molotov cocktail, therefore the tank commander was within their rights to mow him down, if the student did not deign to move.

    And to ensure this is what is believed, they ensure that there is no footage of the incident.

    YOU are that Chinese authority.

  22. #22 Snowman
    May 14, 2012

    Is Wow really such a simpleton that he cannot see the difference between incitement to criminality and the expression of political views? His inability to argue coherently or even understand the nature of the debate is a constant wonder.

  23. #23 Vince Whirlwind
    May 14, 2012

    WoW:
    “Now, if that is what you, a strong agile fully grown and armed man say happened, then I’m left wondering how an unarmed teenager nearly half your weight left you in so much fear of your life and safety that you had to shoot that someone dead.”

    Speculation based on who was how fat and so on reveals precisely zero about the facts of what happened.

    People who prefer speculation to facts are clearly trying to drive their own political barrow.

    Some speculation of my own: If the facts were on your side, you wouldn’t need to speculate in this manner. Maybe. Either way, your need to change a 16kg difference in weight into “nearly half his weight” is indicative of bad faith on your part, or maybe just stupidity.

    If Zimmerman was 116kg (and he looks kind of chubby), that would make Martin a lean, muscled 100kg teenager.

    I don’t see any sensible reason to think of a 100kg, 186cm teenager as incapable of beating the crap out of anybody.

    And the rampant nonsense being emitted about this case by the PC brigade inclines me to doubt very much that Zimmerman was in the wrong.

  24. #24 Wow
    May 14, 2012

    “Speculation based on who was how fat and so on reveals precisely zero about the facts of what happened.”

    And WHO speculated about how fat someone was?

    Oh, that was you, vinny:

    “So he was young and fit while Zimmerman was fat.

    Posted by: Vince Whirlwind | May 13, 2012 4:05 PM”

    But then again, you’re not worried about the facts. YOU MUST PROTECT THE THIN BLUE LINE.

    Arseholes.

  25. #25 Wow
    May 14, 2012

    “he cannot see the difference between incitement to criminality”

    Nope, Still Speech.

    You’re merely using a humpty-dumpty defence. It’s not free speech if YOU say it isn’t.

    But nobody made you boss of the world.

  26. #26 Snowman
    May 14, 2012

    Wow, is it really possible that you are as terminally dense as you appear? Vince Whirlwind wasn’t claiming that one was fat and the other was fit. He was merely illustrating the absurdity of drawing conclusions based upon an apparent difference in weight. Honestly, Wow, you have the reading comprehension of a seven year old. No, a five year old.

  27. #27 skip
    May 14, 2012

    you have the reading comprehension of a seven year old. No, a five year old. –Snowman

    Why don’t you demonstrate to us the age equivalency of your *mathematical* comprehension and tell us what you think a “trend” is?

    LOL.

    You begged us to just “forget it”–the same groveling plea you made a few months ago after you were caught foolishly believing and mindlessly repeating–Anthony Watts’s idiocy.

    But guess what, Snowman, I’ll never forget it, and nor will I let you.

  28. #28 coby
    May 14, 2012

    For the record, again: I do not oppose the free expression of political views, I oppose the freedom to use a broadcasting license to intentionally state known falsehoods under the guise of news.

    Snowman, if you repeat this lie about me again, I will just delete your comments. It is too time consuming to correct you every time. It is easier for you to attack the straw man, I know, but I won’t allow it again in this thread.

    Supreme irony @22:
    Is Wow really such a simpleton that he cannot see the difference between incitement to criminality and the expression of political views? His inability to argue coherently or even understand the nature of the debate is a constant wonder.

    Is Snowman really such a simpleton that he cannot see the difference between intentional deception using the authority of a licensed news broadcaster and the expression of political views? His inability to argue coherently or even understand the nature of the debate is a constant wonder.

  29. #29 Vince Whirlwind
    May 14, 2012

    If we’re worried about news broadcasters being intentionally deceptive, can we ask them why they use a photo of a 13-year-old Trayvon Martin to illustrate a story about what happened to a 17-year-old Trayvon Martin?

    Do you think it’s curious that people who (quite rightly) hate Fox News’ deceptions have made no objections to this particular bit of deception?

  30. #30 Vince Whirlwind
    May 14, 2012

    WoW:

    Let me remind you what you said:
    “… an unarmed teenager nearly half your weight…”

    That would make Martin not much more than 16kg, and Zimmerman not much more 32kg.

    Clearly you are a deluded buffoon.

    And rampant nonsense like yours only exacerbates my scepticism of the whole story.

  31. #31 mandas
    May 14, 2012

    Vince

    I think that everyone would object to any news organisation which intentially misleads viewers/readers by using false or deceptive information. It’s just that some – as you have pointed out – are more false and misleading (or should I say fair and balanced) than others.

    As I said earlier, I think I will wait until I see the evidence before drawing any conclusions on this issue. But one thing I will conclude is that it was completely wrong for Zimmerman to shoot Martin. I don’t care if he was being attacked (which is probably doubtful, but I will wait and see the evidence). It is wrong to use lethal force to fend off an attack that could probably be prevented by other means (such as not following Martin when he was told not to do so by the police).

    But that probably says more about the fucked up culture of carrying guns in the USA than anything else. And anyone who doubts that there is a huge element of racism in this issue only has to read some of the news coverage and events that are occuring because of it. Take these couple of examples:

    newsfeed.time.com/2012/05/14/man-sells-out-of-trayvon-martin-gun-range-targets/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-cornell-sun/citing-trayvon-people-all_b_1496841.html

    But the one article – if true – that causes me to lean more towards Zimmerman being guilty is this one:

    http://bostonherald.com/news/national/south/view/20120504george_zimmerman_told_police_that_trayvon_martin_circled_his_suv_source_says

    You have to ask that if Zimmerman was inside an SUV with the windows up, why didn’t he just drive away? Why did he get out of the vehicle and follow Martin? But hey, make up your own mind.

  32. #32 Snowman
    May 15, 2012

    Well Coby, at the risk of having my comments deleted, here goes: the fatal flaw in your argument is that it assumes – indeed it requires – the possibility of a fundamental, objective assessment of truth. Now, this may not be a problem in the everyday realm, but it becomes a quagmire when we consider news with a political dimension.

    Your definition of lying is opinion that offends your worldview. You will deny that, of course, and no doubt you are sincere in your denial. But everyone thinks he is sincere. I don’t suppose there ever has been a villain (not that I am suggesting you are such) who thought ‘yes, I am a thoroughly wicked individual and my policies are going to cause untold misery, but I’m going to pursue them anyway’.

    The impossibility of agreeing objective reality in public affairs is the reason why truth-in-broadcasting legislation, noble though it sounds, invariably leads to the suppression of inconvenient ideas. This is as evident in the UK (vide the BBC) as it is in Canada with the CBC. How could it be otherwise? In both countries the dominant broadcaster is state funded, staffed by individuals who believe in the underlying concept. Accordingly, they relentlessly, almost exclusively, generate current affairs programming that commends itself to the liberal/left. Not that I object to that. What I do object to is the exclusion of other views. The antidote is to allow a free marketplace of ideas, one untrammelled by virtuous-sounding but ultimately corrosive notions of ‘truth’. Does this mean any broadcaster can say anything? Of course not. The law already provides adequate remedies against incitement to criminality, fraud and libel. No overarching ‘truth’ clause is required.

    But we have covered this ground before and – occupying different realities as we do – we will never agree on this or anything else. One final question, though: why do you confine your concern to broadcasters – or would you like to see newspapers (and blogs) similarly required to meet your definition of truth? Actually, that’s not my final question. It is this: could you give an example of the sort of lies that your truth rules would prevent, explaining why other legislation is inadequate to prevent these falsehoods?

  33. #33 skip
    May 15, 2012

    I don’t suppose there ever has been a villain (not that I am suggesting you are such) who thought ‘yes, I am a thoroughly wicked individual and my policies are going to cause untold misery, but I’m going to pursue them anyway’. –Snowman

    In your very best moments, Snowman, that is no doubt exactly what you say.

  34. #34 Christopher Winter
    May 15, 2012

    A bit late, but it still deserves correction:

    “It is by now old news that Martin Zimmerman has finally been arrested for the unprovoked killing of Trayvon Martin…”

    The highlighted name should be “George.”

  35. #35 coby
    May 15, 2012

    “George”, yes. Fixed, thanks.

  36. #36 Vince Whirlwind
    May 15, 2012

    Mandas, part of the problem with your analysis is that you are looking at the situation through the prism of your own culture.
    Whether America’s gun culture is “fucked up” or not (it clearly is) is hugely irrelevant when it is the culture in operation in this situation.
    Beyond that, you do what many do and claim that Zimmerman should have stayed in his car (refer back to my “saying hello to someone on the street” scenario) – Zimmerman is perfectly entitled to get out of his car, just as he is perfectly entitled to follow somebody and perfectly entitled to talk to them.
    Similarly, you say the fault lies with Zimmerman for using lethal force to fend off an attack when he could have avoided it by running away. If local culture and local law allow you to stand your ground, then that criticism of yours is invalid.

    A perfectly reasonable version of events says that Zimmerman confronted an outsider in his gated community, was assaulted by the outsider, and defended himself as per the mores of his land resulting in the intruder’s death.

    The alternative story put about by a variety of people who mostly seem to to want to egg on some race riots to improve their ratings, plus some unashamed racists, is so full of holes and deceptions I’ve decided scepticism is probably a good approach.

  37. #37 mandas
    May 15, 2012

    Sorry Vince, you are wrong.

    If – and I will continue to go with ‘if’ until the evidence is in – Zimmerman was sitting in his SUV, and was so afraid for his safety that he wound up the windows and called the police (as he alleges in the media report) – then he was completely wrong to get out of the car and follow Martin, especially as he was specifically told not to by the police.

    Your ‘perfectly reasonable version of events’ does not sit with the facts as they are known, nor with the allegations that Zimmerman himself has made.

    And I am not looking at this through the lens of my culture. I have actually lived in the USA (Alabama, which is not far from Florida as you would know), and a large part of this problem can be directly attributed to America’s gun culture. If the facts are that Zimmerman got out of his car to follow Martin after he already admitted that he was afraid for his safety (I said ‘if’ again), then he would only have done so because he knew that he was armed and that Martin was not. Either that, or he is a complete moron (also possible I admit).

    And if you – a large, armed person – gets out of your car to follow an unarmed, smaller person, then it is impossible to draw any other conclusion than you were going to confront that person with your weapon. To suggest that he was attacked for no reason, and that he was forced to defend himself, beggars belief. He may well have had to defend himself, but I would also like to suggest that would have been because Martin was fearing for HIS safety, seeing a larger man following him and confronting him. Zimmerman may well have been supposedly within his rights to stand his ground (a stupid law, but the law nonetheless), but it does not fit the information at hand that he was ‘standing his ground’. Rather, it would appear that he provoked the confrontation knowing that he was armed and that Martin was not.

    But of course, all this is conjecture and based on media reports and hearsay, but it does fit the information provided. Your version does not. But then, as I said, I would prefer to wait for the real evidence before I draw any final conclusions.

    I am not coming at this from a racist perspective – and I would make the same hypothesis if they were both white, latino, black or otherwise. Some people obviously are, and there is definitely a large element of racism which permeates the USA, particularly in the south (I have lived there as I have said).

    You are correct – skepticism is warranted. But it would appear that the police do not share your view, because if they were skeptical they would have at least questioned Zimmerman at length over his story, which appears from media reports to be full of contradictions and at odds with common sense. I wonder why that is?

  38. #38 Vince Whirlwind
    May 16, 2012

    Mandas – you say Zimmerman “shouldn’t get out of his car” – why?
    Is this a bit like the “she wore a short skirt” rape charge defence?
    What you and all the limp-lefties and reformed civil-rights-advocates-turned-racists seem to be missing here is that there is nothing you do which can make you in any way responsible for a crime of which you become the victim UNLESS you provide consent to the perpetrator.

    And self defence remains a legal response to being a victim of a crime.

    Saying “he walked into it, therefore he’s not allowed a defence of self-defence” is complete bull.

    Also, you say “police told him not to follow Martin” – this is another part of the fabricated narrative which doesn’t stand scrutiny so well. Do us all a favour and quote the actual words used, and the rank of the person issuing them and we can judge for ourselves whether this claim has a factual basis.

    I notice you make the claim that Zimmerman intended to confront Martin with his firearm. You have zero evidence that this intent existed, and I’m not aware of any evidence that this is what in fact transpired.

    You seem to be getting carried away with the black-victim-white-perpetrator narrative which is so full of obvious holes (like, Zimmerman not even being white, for starters) and transparent deceptions it would seem like a very unwise position to take if you have any respect for fact and evidence over emotions and belief.

    Sadly, Zimmerman is set to become a political scapegoat who will be sent down to placate a bunch of troublemakers and racists. I doubt he will get the support Dreyfuss got, but he sure deserves it at the moment. At the moment, in a civilised society, he is to be presumed innocent of any crime. The uncivilised ruckus to the contrary is fairly unedifying.

  39. #39 Wow
    May 16, 2012

    “you say Zimmerman “shouldn’t get out of his car” – why?”

    He already said, vinny.

    +++
    If – and I will continue to go with ‘if’ until the evidence is in – Zimmerman was sitting in his SUV, and was so afraid for his safety that he wound up the windows and called the police (as he alleges in the media report) – then he was completely wrong to get out of the car and follow Martin, especially as he was specifically told not to by the police.
    +++

    However, you didn’t read, did you.

    “Is this a bit like the “she wore a short skirt” rape charge defence?”

    Nope.

    But if a woman was in fear of her safety, why did she go back to that creepy guy’s house?

    It’s more a “why are you bringing up rape?” question.

  40. #40 en ucuz
    May 16, 2012

    he cannot see the difference between incitement to criminality”

    Nope, Still Speech.

    You’re merely using a humpty-dumpty defence. It’s not free speech if YOU say it isn’t.

    But nobody made you boss of the world.

  41. #41 Wow
    May 16, 2012

    Whinny Virlwind: Let me remind you what you said:

    “So he was young and fit while Zimmerman was fat.

    Posted by: Vince Whirlwind | May 13, 2012 4:05 PM”

    Are you so terminally in love with Snowjob that you post here where your idiocy is skewered and your butt so hurt by your wounded and undeserved pride, just so you and that barnpot can persue your love-fest of political infantilism?

  42. #42 Wow
    May 16, 2012

    “If the facts are that Zimmerman got out of his car to follow Martin after he already admitted that he was afraid for his safety (I said ‘if’ again), then he would only have done so because he knew that he was armed and that Martin was not. Either that, or he is a complete moron (also possible I admit).”

    Or that he wished to shoot the guy dead, to protect his wounded pride.

    Pre-meditated murder.

    I believe this is illegal even in Texas.

  43. #43 mandas
    May 16, 2012

    Vince, you very neatly elucidate the hollowness of your arguments with these statements in your last post:

    “…What you and all the limp-lefties and reformed civil-rights-advocates-turned-racists seem to be missing here…”
    “…You seem to be getting carried away with the black-victim-white-perpetrator narrative which is so full of obvious holes…”
    “…Sadly, Zimmerman is set to become a political scapegoat who will be sent down to placate a bunch of troublemakers and racists….”

    Well, it certainly seems that you have made up your mind doesn’t it? Zimmerman a ‘scapegoat’ huh? Couldn’t you wait for the evidence to see whether or not he actually is guilty? And of course, it is all our fault because we are all racist lefties who want to hang the poor innocent man who dared to defend himself against the black man. Way to confirm that your views on the issue are ideological rather than evidentially based!

    How about you go back and read what I actually wrote, rather than trying to tear down the strawman of your own construction? You know, where I said things like this:

    “…But of course, all this is conjecture and based on media reports and hearsay, but it does fit the information provided. Your version does not. But then, as I said, I would prefer to wait for the real evidence before I draw any final conclusions….”

    As I said, I will await the final evidence and the trial before I draw any final conclusions. But there is one simple thing that cannot be denied. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, and that need never have happened. If Zimmerman had remained in his car and allowed the police to do their job – and not followed Martin contrary to the wishes of the police – then Martin would be alive and Zimmerman would not be under arrest for murder. Do you get that?

    Zimmerman’s arrogance and belief that he was entitled to take the law into his own hands and confront someone with a weapon resulted in the unnecessary and completely avoidable death of a minor. End of story. And no spin can ever change my belief that that is wrong.

  44. #44 Wow
    May 17, 2012

    “…You seem to be getting carried away with the black-victim-white-perpetrator narrative which is so full of obvious holes…”

    Actually it seems to be Vinny who is getting all het up and concentrating on the colour of the skin of the participants. Maybe as part of the persecuted minority he feels that he’s being unfairly treated by having to admit that there are white arseholes out there who love nothing more than to kill an uppy nigger.

  45. #45 Vince Whirlwind
    May 19, 2012

    Zimmerman wasn’t even a white man. The whole anti-white narrative that has been invented around this case is absolutely laughable.

    And I hope you enjoy having egg on your face, as the anti-Zimmerman story continues to fall apart:

    http://web.orange.co.uk/article/news/trayvon_martin_pics_show_zimmerman_injuries

    You lot just have to learn to give up on irrational belief and show a lot more scepticism when the media attempts to whip up a concocted story of outrage to suck you lefties in.

  46. #46 Vince Whirlwind
    May 19, 2012

    Let me remind WoW what I said:
    “…there is nothing you do which can make you in any way responsible for a crime of which you become the victim UNLESS you provide consent to the perpetrator.
    And self defence remains a legal response to being a victim of a crime.”

    You keep bringing up some vague story concerning some direction you imply or assert that the police may have given Zimmerman, but when I ask for details, none are forthcoming.

    Like the rest of your narrative, it seems entirely based around secondary sources or pure speculation. And contrary to your assertion, Mandas, *your* version of events does *not* fit in any way with the facts that are known nor with the law.

    So I will repeat another thing: It is perfectly legal to approach a stranger in the street and talk to them. It is perfectly legal to ask them what their business is. It is perfectly legal to follow them. If Martin felt he was being harassed, then there are remedies against that in civil law.

    What is *not* legal, is what Trayvon Martin did, which is to criminally assault somebody in the street.

    And when somebody criminally assaults you, you *are* entitled to use force against them in self-defence.

    The longer this goes on, the more I am starting to think that Zimmerman is going to end up with a multi-million dollar civil rights case against the government for participating in politically-motivated persecution against him.
    I hope a very good lawyer takes him on and takes these black racists to the cleaners. It must be ironic for you to be facing the fact (if you can face it, that is) that so many of these “civil rights activists” are just as bad as the racist rednecks they purport to oppose.

  47. #47 skip
    May 19, 2012

    Look Vince:

    I don’t know the all the facts of this case, but guess what: Neither do you. There *is* evidence that GZ is an aggressive jerk and a bigot. It is entirely possible that he started something physical that he could not finish but with his firearm. He is the only (living) person who ever knew the whole story, and I doubt we’ll hear anything self-incriminating from him.

    Is there guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? My casual reading of the evidence tells me, No–but that is a far cry from your narrative of a politically correct cabal of reverse-racists railroading a straight up guy merely exercising his “right” to approach someone on the street.

    The prick will most likely walk, but please spare us this quixotic gloating.

  48. #48 mandas
    May 19, 2012

    skip / wow

    I wouldn’t waste my time anymore on Vince. He has clearly made up his mind that Zimmerman is simply an innocent bystander that was just going about his business, when an aggressive black thug assaulted him for no reason, and he was forced to defend himself.

    As I have been saying all along – I will await the evidence and the trial before drawing any definitive conclusions.

    For those of us who do prefer evidence, here is some actual evidence here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/trayvon-martin-911-audio-_n_1354909.html

    I like the one where Zimmerman says:

    “These assholes always get away”

    I also like this exchange between Zimmerman and the police dispatcher:

    “Are you following him?” the dispatcher asks.
    “Yes,” Zimmerman responds.
    “We don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher says.

  49. #49 skip
    May 19, 2012

    It gets worse.

    Snowman’s favorite footy team–Chelsea–won the Champions League today. No doubt his bliss will energize another 40 posts of unmitigated stupidity.

  50. #50 Wow
    May 21, 2012

    > Like the rest of your narrative, it seems entirely based around secondary sources or pure speculation

    Says Vinny, the Queen of Presumption.

    If you’re following someone they CANNOT have caused you to fear for your life.

    NOT. POSSIBLE.

  51. #51 Vince Whirlwind
    May 28, 2012

    Are you paying attention, WoW?

    This is the line that your source has deliberately misconstrued as a police direction,

    “We don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher says.

    See? You’ve been conned by people emitting PR to try to turn this story into something it is not.

    And Mandas, I’m very happy you are now backing away from believing the spin and are now happy to wait for justice to take its course. That’s quite a change of tune there, although asserting that I’m somehow trying to say that “Zimmerman was an innocent bystander going about his business” tells me you are *still* having trouble telling the difference between what you imagine to be facts and what are really facts.

    And Skip, if Zimmerman being an “aggressive jerk and bigot” is somehow relevant, then presumably we can speculate about Trayvon Martin’s character in the same way? His school suspension over drugs? His facebook photos posing with handguns? Do these things give us an insight into what actually happened? Or would they be distractions used by somebody pushing a political barrow?
    Luckily, contrary to what you’re trying to get over, there *were* witnesses, so if the lynch-mob fails in its bid to have its way with Zimmerman, we can be reasonably reassured that it will be thanks to the actual evidence, not despite it.

  52. #52 Vince Whirlwind
    May 28, 2012

    WoW seems a bit confused:
    “If you’re following someone they CANNOT have caused you to fear for your life. NOT. POSSIBLE.”

    How about we change “have caused” to something involving a different tense?
    And how about we stop coming to conclusions based on “if”s, speculation, and hind-casted scenario-building and concentrate on the facts? Think you can do that?
    Did Martin assault Zimmerman?
    Did Zimmerman defend himself?
    Those are pretty much the only questions you need to find answers for.
    Not how fat they are. Not imaginary directions from police. Not how *you* imagine people should react in a given circumstance.

  53. #53 mandas
    June 6, 2012

    Its amazing what you find on the net if you look around. It would appear our friend Vince is either an Australian, a foreigner who likes to comment on Australian blogs, or has a double here in Australia.

    What is equally apparent is that both Vinces are racist jerks. I found these interesting comments on the ABC “The Drum” website. They were made by someone called ‘Vince Whirlwind”, and relate to Australian Aboriginals and the historic “Mabo” native title case:

    Exhibit : I just had an exhibition of photographs some of which had Aboriginal stone-axes as paraphernalia in the image. One viewer casually commented on ‘them rocks there’, never knowing what he was looking at. Ignorance is bliss but to all our detriment …
    Vince Whirlwind : Yeah, because stone age technology just has *so much* to offer us, doesn’t it?

    “….In any case, stone-age nomads do not own land, do not create nations, and barely qualify as societies even. …”

  54. #54 Vince Whirlwind
    June 14, 2012

    What an interesting observation, Mandas.
    When caught propagating lies and propaganda, eg, “The police told Zimmerman to blahblahblah”, you decide to indulge in a bit of ad-hominem.

    To address your tangent, how about listing for us all the benefits that stone-age technology has to offer us?
    What “detriment” ensues from ignoring stone age technology?
    What benefit is there in mis-applying the 19th-century concept of “Nations” to primitive societies?

  55. #55 Wow
    June 14, 2012

    Nope, an insult is not an ad hominem, Vinny.

  56. #56 mandas
    June 25, 2012

    As you all might imagine, as my scientific training is in Parks and Wildlife Management, I take a great interest in fire as a tool for ecosystem management. For those of you who are interested, here are a couple of recent papers on the subject – I have also provided a couple of brief statements from the papers you can get a feel for what they are about (there are lots of others I can provide if you would like to read them:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/vp4256q8ut700788/

    “…..Aboriginal people and their associated knowledge systems provide valuable alternatives to Western scientific paradigms. Aboriginal people have experienced major demographic and cultural change in the post-colonial period, including the loss of access and ownership of land. Unmanaged wildfires now dominate contemporary fire regimes. with Aboriginal burning largely restricted to some Aboriginal lands. Scientific studies have linked recent changes in fire regime to the decline of key taxa, such as granivorous birds, small-sized to medium-sized mammals and fire-sensitive vegetation types……”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2004.01233.x/abstract;jsessionid=6926779282A18699E4CB5BD56D5A5256.d04t04?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

    “….Ecologists have only recently acknowledged the past history of Aboriginal burning. Its purpose was to maximise plant and animal food resources.

    We are only now discovering the importance of Aboriginal land management practices to the Australian ecosystem. In the past, the European settlers dismissed Aboriginals as a primitive stone age culture with nothing to teach our obviously technologically superior culture. But we were wrong.

    Unfortunately, there are still a few people who still think that the Aboriginal culture and knowledge is inferior. But we have a name for people who think that other races and cultures are inferior to their own – despite all the evidence to the contrary. See if you can guess what that name is.

Current ye@r *