Comments about ‘Kathleen Parker: In many ways, Zimmerman trial forces us to face our own biases’

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Published: Tuesday, June 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

What I see here, MOST LIKELY, would have been a routine "confrontation" between two people, EXCEPT that one had a gun.

Had Martin had the gun instead of Zimmerman, the tables most likely would have been turned.

Yes, guns can protect people and often do. But, had there been no gun, we may have had a fistfight, but no one in the morgue.

Does anyone think that if Zimmerman was a trained, uniformed police officer that this would be an issue?

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

This case is nothing more than political correctness run amuck. Has anyone seen the photos of Zimmerman's face? You know, the one taken by the police that shows him all bloodied up? As a former cop, I was justified in using deadly force against an unarmed suspect if I was in danger of being overpowered and if I was in danger of death or serious bodily injury. If Zimmerman was being overpowered by Martin, as is evidenced by the photos, then according to Florida law he was justified in using deadly force.

If a cop can shoot in these circumstances, then why not a civilian?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"If a cop can shoot in these circumstances, then why not a civilian?"

Who do you believe felt more threatened? Martin was minding his own business, walking down the street talking on his cell phone. He was doing nothing wrong.

He was then followed by someone he didn't know who initiated contact.

We do not know how it got physical, and that is a key issue, but Zimmerman was obviously the one who pursued Martin and initiated the confrontation.

So, if I pick a fight with someone who gets the better of me, I can then shoot them?

amazondoc
USA, TN

@Mainly Me --

"If a cop can shoot in these circumstances, then why not a civilian?"

A cop wouldn't have been in those circumstances. That's what police training is for.

Zimmerman is just a cop-wannabe who saw an opportunity to make himself into a hero.

If Martin had had the gun instead of Zimmerman, there wouldn't have been an altercation in the first place. Martin had absolutely zero interest in Zimmerman. Martin was on his way home, minding his own business, until Zimmerman accosted him.

Henderson
Orem, UT

"This case is nothing more than political correctness run amuck. Has anyone seen the photos of Zimmerman's face? You know, the one taken by the police that shows him all bloodied up?"

What was Zimmerman even doing so close to Martin in the first place? Martin wasn't doing anything other than minding his own business.

You can't stalk someone, get all up in their face, start a fight with them, get your rear handed to you, and then kill them with a gun, and then claim self defense.

That's not how it works.

I doubt the prosecution has enough for murder... But I'm pretty confident we will get Zimmerman for manslaughter. And thank goodness too. That poor boy should be alive today.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

It's hard to claim stand your ground when you initiated the hostility in the first place.

This whole tragedy could have been avoided if he had simly listened to the dispatcher and not persued.

A 17 year old kid who was minding his own business sees a guy with a gun in a confrontational mood. Fight or flight kicks in. He chose fight.

The only self defense was the kid who ended up dead. Not the man who initiated and escalated it.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

It was not illegal for Zimmerman to watch/follow him. He had every right to do so against someone that looked suspicious. It turns out that suspicious person as a known drug abuser and had been kicked out of school for drugs.

I too would be worried about drug users walking around my neighborhood.

Treyvon attacked him instead of just walking home, as there was plenty of time to do.

Zimmerman protected himself appropriately after Treyvon jumped on him and attacked him.

SoCalChris
Riverside, CA

This would never have been filed if it hadn't been so politicized. No way to prove Zimmerman did a thing wrong beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is the state where a jury found reasonable doubt in a slam dunk case against Casey Anthony.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@Chris B
So if someone is following you as you walk home from a store that wouldn't make you suspicious or nervous at all? What if someone confronted you, while you were walking home, doing nothing illegal, that wouldn't make you nervous either? If someone was following you, confronted you, then left, then came back holding a gun wouldn't that make you really nervous? I know I would be scared, on edge and it would be very possible i'd go after them to try and get away.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

@Noodle,

If I thought someone with a gun was following me and I had ample time to go to my house and lock the door, that is what I would do. Additionally, if I had a cell phone(as this known drug user did) I would have called the police.

Instead, he hid in a dark corner and waited(instead of going home and/or calling police) and jumped and attacked Zimmerman.

I applaud Zimmerman for looking out for his community. It is sad he lost his life, but anytime a known drug user is off the streets, its not entirely a bad thing.

amazondoc
USA, TN

@Chris B --

"He had every right to do so against someone that looked suspicious."

"Looked suspicious"??

The only thing that "looked suspicious" about Martin is that he was Walking While Black.

"I too would be worried about drug users walking around my neighborhood."

Zimmerman had no idea of Martin's background. And marijuana usage is not given the death penalty. This wasn't even crack or heroine -- just pot.

And incidentally -- pot makes people LESS aggressive, not more. ;-)

Also, according to the coroner's report, his blood level of pot was "so low as to almost certainly not be connected to recent intoxication." -- despite Zimmerman's claim that Martin was on drugs at the time of their encounter.

"Treyvon attacked him instead of just walking home"

Trayvon was stalked by a man with a gun. He was most certainly not the instigator here.

Zimmerman was known to be a racist bully who "was fired for calling HR hotline so many times...he would complain about each and every manager and employee". He chronically called police to report ridiculous things like open garage doors.

Zimmerman was out looking for trouble -- and when he couldn't find any, he created it himself.

UT Brit
London, England

@Christopher B

"but anytime a known drug user is off the streets"

So smoking weed should be an automatic death sentence? What about those abusing prescription drugs? I think you just condemned the majority of the US to death.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

What did Zimmerman do when he thought something was wrong?

Called police

What did Treyvon do IF he thought something was wrong?

Hid and waited to attack.

Treyvon had a cell phone with him.

He easily could have called police.

He did not

Interesting.

He easily could have gone home after first noticing Zimmerman.

He did not

Interesting

He chose to attack him instead.

I applaud Zimmerman for looking out for his community, calling police when seeing someone suspicious(turns out intuition was correct, known drug user), and for protecting himself appropriately when attacked.

Its sad Treyvon chose not to call police

Its sad Treyvon chose to wait and attack Zimmerman instead of going home, and again calling police.

Zimmerman did the right thing.

Treyvon did not

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@Chris

Additionally, if I had a cell phone(as this known drug user did) I would have called the police...It is sad he lost his life, but anytime a known drug user is off the streets, its not entirely a bad thing.

=================

Wow...just wow.

The kid used marijuana. I bet, that there are more kids his age that have at least tried marijuana than have not. Even if it were otherwise, marijuana use does not deserve a death penalty.

You also sound as if Zimmerman was fully aware of this kids history. What you are proposing is similar to the government coming to yuor home without cause, going through your stuff finding an article of contraband and saying "Good thing we checked"

Justification after the fact just doesn't work.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

1. Antagonize a kid.
2. Kid thinks he has to defend himself and does so.
3. Shoot the kid in order to defend yourself from kid you antagonized.

Does it seem smart to give anyone the ability to get in a hostile confrontation with someone and then as soon as the person reacts back give both people the right to kill the other in self-defense based on stand your ground?

amazondoc
USA, TN

@Chris --

"What did Treyvon do IF he thought something was wrong?

Hid and waited to attack."

Your attempted rewrite of history is really amazing.

In reality, Trayvon was apparently ON the phone at the time of the attack.

The person who was on the phone with him has submitted written testimony that Trayvon called out "why are you following me?" just before there was the sound of a crash, and the line went dead.

Trayvon didn't have TIME to call police, much less have time to hide as you have claimed.

"I applaud Zimmerman for looking out for his community, calling police when seeing someone suspicious(turns out intuition was correct, known drug user), and for protecting himself appropriately when attacked."

A pot smoker is not a danger to society, Chris, no matter how much hysteria you might try to spread. Smoking pot only makes you a danger to potato chips -- not to a neighborhood watch.

And also notice that, though Zimmerman did call police, he then proceeded to ignore what they told him. He was specifically told that the police did NOT want him to follow Martin -- but he did anyway.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I hope we're not going to attempt to try this case in comments to the opinion section of a Utah news paper. We get all together too much of that judge and jury in the Opinion section as it is.

Fact is... none of us know what was going on in either man's mind, or every detail and motivation leading up to what ultimately happened (in any objective detail). We only know what the News has released, and that is usually presented in as salacious a manner as possible (to sells papers).

We don't need to judge him here in the Opinion section. Let's let the jury do that.

We don't have all the evidence, but we obviously have PLENTY of prejudice (one side or the other). Let's wait and see what the court decides. That's all that matters anyway isn't it? I mean we are still a country based on the "rule of law" (not a country ruled by mobs stoked up on racial tension a case like this will provide).

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

amzonte,

Yes Treyvon was ON(good job on emphasis, although your point falls flat) the phone. Meaning it was more than accessible to call the police.

Or are you suggesting that since he was talking to someone else it would have been impossible to end that conversation and call police?

He could have been ON the line with police in seconds.

He chose not to.

It may have taken 10 seconds.

Again, treyvon chose NOT to call police. Zimmerman did the right thing and did

"He was specifically told that the police did NOT want him to follow Martin -- but he did anyway."

IN typical liberal fashion we have statements that are at best disingenuous, falsehoods more likely.

The exact words from the dispatcher were when asked if he was following this kid were "We don't need you to do that"

Far cry from "specifically told NOT to follow" which again is a lie.

Zimmerman was simply told he didn't NEED to.

NEVER was he told DONT.

It was his legal RIGHT to follow

His legal RIGHT to CARRY

And his legal RIGHT to PROTECT

Good job Zimmerman! Way to protect yourself!

thatthatguy
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I really don't see how this had to turn into a confrontation. A better scenario would have been:

[SCENE 1]
*We see George Zimmerman on neighborhood watch in the cab of his vehicle, when he sees an unfamiliar figure wandering down the street. According to neighborhood watch procedure, he calls the police. Not assured by the response he's gotten from the police dispatch, Zimmerman decides to take the law into his own hands...*

Zimmerman: Excuse me, I'm [name] with the neighborhood watch. Do you live around here?

Martin: My dad's house is right down there. Why are you following me?

Zimmerman: There have been reports of prowlers in the area, and I just want to make sure you get home safe. Can I offer you a ride?

Martin: No, I'd rather walk.

Zimmerman: Have a good evening.

Martin: Thanks.

*Zimmerman makes a note of the time, location, and description of the young man he met.*

[END SCENE]

So, what went wrong?

mcclark
Salt Lake City, UT

Zimmerman will go to prison because of a lack of common sense on his part. Those who defend him do so only because they worship at the alter of The Gun. Anyone who defends his actions show they do not have enough common sense to carry a gun. He was in no danger, he initiated the confrontation. And the only one who is saying the kid attacked him is Zimmerman. We can't ask the kid because he is dead.

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