Comments about ‘In our opinion: The lessons learned from Zimmerman trial’

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Published: Tuesday, July 16 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Self-Defense Is A Civil Right
Los Angeles, USA, CA

There is no evidence that Zimmerman "confronted" Martin. It is also not illegal for a neighborhood watch volunteer to profile someone who fits the description of the people who had burglarized the neighborhood.

Self-Defense Is A Civil Right
Los Angeles, USA, CA

There was no evidence presented at trial that Zimmerman started any altercation. The altercation began when Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose. Frankly if my neighborhood had neighborhood watch volunteers I'd be sadly disappointed in them if they did not follow people who acted suspiciously--i.e. looking around as if they were casing the joint.

Durham, NC

Profiling - racial or not - is a problem... it is part of human nature. People are "profiled" daily on their race, their religion, their weight, how they dress, the car they drive, this list goes on and on. Sometimes those profiles are correct... sometimes not. Regardless, it is a problem that entangles society as a whole.

And while victim in this case surely didn't deserve the "profiling" he received, he is also partially responsible for creating the environment he found himself. I tell my own kids that how they present themselves is their responsibility, and that they have to take some ownership on the message they send to other people about who they are.

For example, my boys have had to wear collared shirts to school - no t-shirts - because I want them to show the teachers they respect the environment they are in. They are not a school to play, but to learn. How we present ourselves tells people what we want them to know about us.

My oldest loves to wear hoodies... but he is white... and it doesn't carry the stigma with it does if my less complexionly challenged child did... which is not just.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

And why are young black men treated with suspicion? Anyone ever seen the statistics on race based crime? African Americans make up only 14% of the population but they commit over 50% of the violent crime. This isn't racist, this is simple fact. From The Color of Crime web site citing FBI statistics:

"Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery."

Is this racist? Facts are facts.

Tooele, Utah

Stand Your Ground, while discussed by the media had no part in this case (yet). Unfortunately statistics show that most crime is generated by black young males. Taken as a whole, including Chicago, where so much so called "black on black" crime takes place is included in those statistics. 92% of crimes against blacks is committed by blacks. How is an outsider (ie not black) to look at those statistics? It only happens in Chicago? Unfortunately again the question is why do so many young black males feel they need to do crime on any body, which "sets" people up to be suspicious of black young men? The poverty answer is incomplete as there are more poor white people in America. Does the fact that 70% of black children are born to unwed mothers related to this? Hard questions that are NOT asked because of course you will be called a racist. But we have people that cannot see the forest because of the trees. They are "in" the demographic but cannot find a solution but are unwilling to allow anyone to comment objectively on the problem. Bill Cosby has commented and has been criticized.

Sandy, UT

I am disappointed in the Deseret News as part of editorial is based on assumed facts. Where is the evidence that Zimmerman started the altercation? Yes, he may have followed Martin to see what he was up to, but there is no evidence that he initiated the contact. Second, the defense did not rely on the stand your ground law. That law says you do not have a duty to retreat. The defense asserted that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and had expert witnesses that supported Zimmerman's claim. It was a straight self defense claim.

Yes it is true that that certain ethnic groups are looked at with more suspition than others. However, statistically these groups also commit more crime. (Hispanic males are also viewed as potential threats and one could argue that the assumptions in the editorial are evidence of that). There real story here is that we should all avoid altercations because they can have tragic outcomes. The second, lets stop beating the racism drum.

While society needs to overcome its biases, those groups needs to step up and address the issues which lead to high crime rates.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

"It is proper to confront attitudes based on skin color that influence judgment."

Do you mean the fact that even though 93% of all murders of blacks are committed by blacks, a tragedy involving a Hispanic male and a black male is evidence of white racism because it is convenient to the narrative of the Obama Department of Justice and Al Sharpton?

Ogden, UT

This case has brought to light the trend to use race as a crutch for personal issues. If people don't get what they want they blame the government, their parents, race etc. This is a product of our entitlement society. The reaction to the Zimmerman case is a modern lynch mob. The court of public gossip didn't like the verdict so they will get him one way or another no matter if it's right. This is the mob mentality in full force. No federal charges will be brought against Zimmerman because there is no evidence to convict Zimmerman.

Samaria, ID

" In the end there seemed to be plenty of evidence to convict Zimmerman of poor judgment, but not enough to convict him of a crime."

That statement is what has me puzzled about the outcome of this trial. I know there has been second guessing across the country about the jury's decision and the debate will continue for a long time. But as much as my personal feelings say that justice was not done, the fact is that justice was done. A trial was held and a jury of his peers decided George Zimmerman was not guilty of the crimes he was charged with. Just like the OJ Simpson trial, there will be many, perhaps myself included, who will forever assume the jury got it wrong. But that is the system we have and it was put into action, just as planned.

But considering the quoted statement, even in light of Florida's Stand Your Ground law, isn't the fact that Zimmerman provoked the incident proof that he was responsible for the death of Travon Martin? If not second degree murder, wouldn't manslughter at least be appropriate?

Durham, NC

" I'd be sadly disappointed in them if they did not follow people who acted suspiciously"

Ah yes.... walking through his "own" neighborhood while being black.... very suspicious. Heaven forbid. Perhaps he should have been wearing a sign saying "I live here - not casing the place".

I think Martin does have responsibility if he was walking around acting all "gangster"... just like if white kids were walking around looking all red-knecked. The thing most people in prison have in common is not the color of their skin, but their economic status and education level. That factor crosses all ethnic boundaries.

But yes, people will be suspicious of people wearing baggy cloths, or "wife beaters" and lots of tattoos, or skin headed and wearing mostly black. It is a fact of life. And our kids need to know what it means when they emulate these "styles".

But this would have never happened if Zimmerman had followed the dispatchers direction to not follow. He had done his job, identified what he thought was suspicious activity. He should have disengaged as instructed. Martin should not have confronted him... and Zimmerman should not have been following him. He was told not to.


What is really a shame is that this trial was so biasedly presented to the public by the media. From the onset Martin was portrayed as an innocent child. Only pre and early teen photos were shown depicting him as an innocent. Eventually one photo showing a darker side surfaced but it was quickly pushed under the rug. Heaven forbid that anyone would dare make him out to be the instigator. Whether or not he was an innocent I don't know and to be factual neither do the rest of us. It was a shame that a young man died. It is always a shame when violence leads to someone death.
With one mother saying that was her son's voice on that recording and the other saying no it was her son's. Witnesses such that they were could only say what they think they saw.
Only two people know what happened. One is dead and the other didn't testify.
Get over it America. If you really want to protest protest an injustice, protest the incessant gang violence that takes many more innocents from us without even a whimper from the media.

Los Angeles, CA

1) Mob rule is bad; cool, calm, judicial review is good.
2) Better to let one guilty man free, than to convict an innocent man.
3) Facts, evidence and proper procedure make a case, not hysterical shouting and rioting!
and finally
4) Vote the lazy, ineffective politicians out of office, and get some one who will write and pass good laws in the seat of Government.
Thank you

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

"Lady Justice" wears a blindfold as she holds the scales of justice. Using race does not serve justice unless race was the factor that caused the death.

Testimony showed that Martin was walking close to houses in an area that had had criminal activity. Zimmerman was serving on a neighborhood watch. He was obligated to watch everyone in his neighborhood. He did not recognize Martin as someone from the neighborhood. Was the "profiling" generated because Martin was black or was it generated because Martin was walking somewhere that didn't fit the neighborhood, i.e., he was not using the sidewalk. Yes, it was raining and some think that Martin was just trying to stay dry. We'll never know.

Where is the outrage when Zimmerman has been called a "white Latino"? If the race of Martin should have played no part, then why is it appropriate to use Zimmerman's race, and then to call him a "white Latino"?

Zimmerman was found not guilty. Everyone involved will live with the memory of that night. Martin cannot be brought back. Martin was a human being. Zimmerman is a human being. Leave race out of it.

Riverside, CA

DN, I believe this is the first time I've been disappointed in one of your editorials. This case deserves an honest assessment of the facts not political correctness.

Where is the evidence that Zimmerman "confronted" Martin rather than just observed him? Where is the evidence he was guilty of "poor judgment"? Zimmerman thought Martin looked and acted suspiciously and that was probably a reasonable conclusion under the circumstances. It's reasonable to observe someone and/or call the cops if you believe someone is up to something, especially if you're part of neighborhood watch program.

The only evidence we have is that Martin started the altercation and pummeled Zimmerman while on top of him on the sidewalk. Zimmerman endured the beating for 45 seconds, an eternity in that kind of situation, before using his weapon.

El Centro, CA

The Chief Persecutor I mean Prosecutor was indicted by a criminal Grand Jury for falsifying the Affidavit for the arrest warrant. If there wasn't enough evidence for an arrest warrant, you are naive to expect a conviction.

New Haven, CT

Deseret News shouldn't have an editorial like this unless its writer has legal background. First, stand your ground wasn't an issue in the case at all.

Second, no evidence was presented at trial of racial profiling. Evidence was presented that Mr. Martin was profiled because of attributes of recent criminals in the neighborhood, but not his race.

Third, (significant) evidence was presented that Mr. Martin committed a felony assault against Mr. Zimmerman.

Fourth, the case was likely won on account of Florida's unusually high burden of beyond a reasonable doubt placed upon the prosecution to rebut defense evidence of self defense. If the case had gone the other way, an appellate court would have been forced to reverse because the prosecution did not meet this burden. Zimmerman will likely prevail in a suit against the SA's office as well for this reason.

It is understandable that the Deseretnews wanted to push a politically correct angle on this. However, it is irresponsible in light of the black-on-hispanic and white assaults that have occurred as a result of this verdict already.

St.George, Utah

A large number of citizens in America appreciate this opinion piece written by the Deseret News.
It shows a perspective on this situation which many people, for whatever reasons, tend to overlook.
As time goes by, documented legal facts that are no longer controlled and hidden in the Florida courtroom by George Zimmerman's attorneys, will be published for the public to study and explore. America will see the truth about George Zimmerman, a man who has had numerous negative encounters with law enforcement.
And........ a man with extremely questionable skills in telling the truth.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Another lesson to learn: Do not buy Skittles at 7-11 and walk home--if you are black.

As Justice Holmes said, "I do not do justice; I enforce the law. They are not the same thing." The law prevailed, but not justice.

Salt Lake City, UT

Exactly! This is what everyone is so upset about. Even though both sides unnecessarily escalated things resulting in a tragic death, the fact remains that it feels like this all started because a black teen was considered suspicious despite just walking through a neighborhood carrying a phone and convenience store items.

Provo, UT

I'm sorry but whoever wrote this article is listening to the wrong talking-heads on t.v and in our government. Not to mention is disregarding some very important facts of this case that caused Zimmerman to be suspicious of Trayvon.

First of all, profiling is something we do everyday and is needed for any intelligent person to make an educated decision on how to act in situations. The lies that have been told about profiling being wrong is just plain ridiculous. If a police officer is told that a suspect has white-skinned male with brown hair and is wearing a black jacket does he go looking for a brown-skinned female with black hair wearing a dress??? No! The same goes for Zimmerman who was acting as neighborhood watch. Several burglaries had happened in his gated community and witnesses had described the suspect as dark-skinned, wearing a hoodie. Well lo' and behold who does Zimmerman find wandering the neighborhood late at night? Bingo! Of course he calls the cops and of course he has to get out of his vehicle to get the address of where Trayvon is hanging out. Case closed.

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