The Trench Reynolds Report

All Crime Is Personal

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Once again the internet is in total outrage over something and that would of course be the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. This time though there are two schools of outrage. One side says that George Zimmerman is a racist who was looking to a kill a black kid while the other says that Trayvon Martin was a thug and that Zimmerman was well within his right to defend himself. However even with two avenues of outrage both sides are wrong.

On the one side George Zimmerman was clearly in the wrong. He contacted police about a suspicious character in his community and the police instructed Zimmerman not to follow him and that they would be there soon. Zimmerman willingly chose to ignore that recommendation by police and took matters into his own hands. On most levels that makes Zimmerman a vigilante. While there had been a spate of burglaries in the community it wasn’t Zimmerman’s job to apprehend anybody. In the worst case scenario if Zimmerman stayed put some property may have been damaged or stolen. Now you can give me Martin’s alleged criminal behavior at school all you want but that’s immaterial. Zimmerman had no idea who Martin was or his supposed history.

On the other hand this had nothing to do with race. Last year I spent the better part of the year in my late mother’s development. I’ve seen how people in these communities act. No matter how affluent or not outsiders are always viewed as intruders no matter what color they are. Add the rash of robberies that I mentioned before and you could see why Zimmerman called the cops. Adding race into the mix doesn’t help anyone. For each false claim of racism a true hate crime may be doubted because of it.

Here’s how I think it went down. Zimmerman sees the 6’2″ Martin and calls police. Police tell Zimmerman to stay put, instead he pursues Martin in his SUV. Zimmerman gets out and Martin asks him why he’s following him. Words are exchanged and a scuffle ensues. Martin gets the best of the less than athletic Zimmerman. Zimmerman pulls his gun and shoots Martin. Now from what I understand about Florida’s self-defense law according to the law Zimmerman was within his right to protect himself. Agree or disagree with it, that’s the law. You can’t go back in time to change it. Morally though Zimmerman was definitely overstepping his role as neighborhood watch by pursuing Martin.

What will probably happen is the same thing that happened to Bernie Goetz. While Goetz was only charged with illegal possession of a firearm he lost a $43M civil suit to one of the men he shot. Zimmerman will rightly lose a wrongful death suit when it’s brought against him.

12 thoughts on “Trench on the Trayvon Martin shooting

  1. Scott W. says:

    I’m tired of this being a race issue as well.  A friend of mine who happens to be black, stated the following on his facebook concerning the issue.

    “Black kids with hoodies on have been killing each other for years, but we call it gang violence.. We need to stop running to race to solve our problems.. It has never worked. We all have to live on this earth together, and blaming every tragedy that does not involve two people of the same race on race will never get us closer to the goal of ending racism. ”

    Anytime someone is killed by a person of the opposite race, it’s automatically assumed it’s a hate crime. Martin may have been up to no good that night, who knows, but Zimmerman, a you said, should have not pursued him. The question also arises as to how Zimmerman approached him and how he responded when he was asked as to why he was following Martin. We may never know the true events of that night, but to turn it into a racial issue because Florida’s judicial system is all screwed up, is just stupid. 

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  2. Your_Pal_Nancy says:

    So what is your opinion on whether or not George should have been arrested that night?

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    1. Scott W. says:

      You probably didn’t direct this question toward me, but in my opinion, he should have been arrested that immediately and charged. I haven’t been following the case, but at the minimum, he should be charged with manslaughter. As an employee of corrections, I often screen inmates for employment in the prison and sometimes look at the crime versions. The system, especially with plea bargains is all screwed up. You have older fellows in there that the case was obviously self-defense (My state doesn’t have a self-defense law)  and they get 10 to 20 for murder, and then you have some younger guys living the “Thug life” that straight out murder another gang banger and they get 3 years for manslaughter. The entire justice system is messed up. If you have a good lawyer, you can almost literally get away with murder. 

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      1. Your_Pal_Nancy says:

        I was asking Trench, but I always welcome other people’s thoughts and opinions. I agree that GZ should have been arrested and at the very least the whole case should be investigated. I am with you 100% on plea bargains, all they are is an easy way to close the case and done. The lazy way out for the judges and lawyers IMO.

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    2. It depends on the wording of the self defense law. If the law says that pursuing Martin negates self defense then yes he should have been arrested. 

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      1. Scott W. says:

        He did pursue, so therefore it could be considered that Martin was defending himself and was shot in cold blood by a wannabe Robocop. There are many ways that this story could be twisted and only three know exactly how it went down Martin, Zimmerman, and God. In the complete end, justice will be served.

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      2. Your_Pal_Nancy says:

        I know George is fat and Trayvon was tall, but I have a very hard time believing a grown man could not subdue and 14 year old without shooting him. It’s hard for me to write it off as self defense, even if Trayvon initiated the physical confrontation. Like Scott said, we’ll never know for sure what happened.

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        1. Scott W. says:

          He was 17. 

          Trench, you may want to fix that.

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          1. Your_Pal_Nancy says:

            17 makes more sense!

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          2. Sorry, typo. It’s fixed. 

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  3. Furandfeathersmommy says:

    I have been following this case daily, as I live very close to Sanford, and by the day I am more confused… there’s new witnesses, new info on police reports, etc etc. Trayvon is 17, not that it matters, and Zimmerman is not protected under Floridas “self-defense” law. The lawmakers themselves stated it. Not sure if I’m allowed to post my source for this but here’s the link:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/03/21/george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin-_n_1371171.html

    In my opinion, Zimmerman should have been arrested that night, as he was, BUT held…

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  4. CynicalMe says:

    According to two voice analysis experts the screams on the 911 tape don’t belong to Zimmerman…

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/01/10963191-trayvon-martin-case-audio-screams-were-not-george-zimmermans-2-experts-say

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