Editorial: Getting Trayvon Martin's case right

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  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 3, 2012 12:48 p.m.

    They are trying to start a race war. This is a perfect opprotunity for activists who claim they are for equal rights and racial unity to capitalize on. I don't see through their lies for a minute. It the people who aren't racist who get labelled as racist and it's phony activists who are the real racists. They fear unity. The government wants racial division so they will have more power over people. They don't care about living in harmony and peace with one another.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    April 2, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    To Rifleman | 2:01 p.m. March 29, 2012

    You said: I didn't make this a race issue. Jesse Jackson did.

    Actually, that’s not accurate. George Zimmerman is the one who made this a racial issue. He is the one who voiced the racial slur (one I can’t repeat here and still have this message posted) when he got out of his car to follow Martin.

  • Sally in England Crawley, England
    April 1, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    This killing is different because the teenager who killed the two men from my country has been arrested, charged, gone to court and been found guilty. These are both terrible things to have happend. Mothers have lost their beautiful sons here. The difference is the police were not going to arrest and charge anybody for killing Trayvonn. If this fuss had not been made Zimmerman would be home and dry and justice would not have been served and more importantly seen to be served. I don't think Trayvonn's parents want revenge, they want justice. If someone had done this to one of my sons, I would move heaven and hell to get this man brought to justice and I wouldn't have cared if he had written grafitti on a door at school, or smoked the occasional joint, my son did that at 16 and is now a teacher. The man who did this to this child needs to be brought to justice

  • rblack Fulton, NY
    March 31, 2012 9:32 p.m.

    The media in general has not been presenting "facts" in this case. The media has been presenting opinions and hype. Unfortunately, the "facts" are not known. Zimmerman isn't as big as the old pictures used show him and Martin is not as young (or small) as the old pictures of him show him. Did an altercation need to happen because a young man was walking through a neighborhood? No. Should someone be able to defend theirselves if they are threatened with bodily harm? Yes. Did Martin just walk through the neighborhood? I don't know. Was Zimmerman truly threatened with bodily harm? I don't know. This much is known... If Zimmerman had not followed Martin, he would not have been put in a position of deciding whether force was necessary. Does that error in judgement alone justify putting him away for a few years? I don't know, however, I have to wonder how I would feel if either individual was my son.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    Martin is depicted as a choir boy and Zimmerman as a monster. Neither seems to be accurate, but either way, wearing a hoodie is not a capital offense.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 30, 2012 5:00 p.m.

    @ Flying Finn: "Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on February 27th. Were you expecting the investigation to be completed on Feb. 28th?"

    No - but I expected it to be started sometime before the middle of March.

    Why are you and Rifleman so opposed to an investigation into the circumstances of this case?

  • fuziz Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2012 3:17 p.m.

    If Martin attacked Zimmerman first that still does not answer the question of the case. Martin was being followed by some guy he didn't know. Martin may have attacked Zimmerman out of concern for his own safety. Although guns are guns and are not a problem in and of themselves, I think the problem is in the mentality of those who like to arm themselves to the teeth, hoping for some desperate struggle where they get to defend themselves with the gun. I think Zimmerman is among that group. It sounds like,aside from the fact that he may face charges, Zimmerman still feels awful about killing a young man who attacked him with his fists. It's a lesson for the arm yourself and hope for trouble crowd - Even if your self-defense fantasy comes true, it will not feel as good as you had hoped.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    March 30, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    If a police officer had shot Treyvon, there would had been a full investigation and the officer would be on paid leave. What have they done in this case except accept Zimmerman's statement that it was self defense against a boy with a pack of skittles?

    What will stop someone from stalking zimmerman and shooting him?

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 30, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    first off the police had already swept it under the rug and had no plans to investigate further, secondly i notice you did not bother to refute the rest of kalindra's post or any of the other responses to your post as rifleman that point out the person that shot the tourist was put on trial and convicted.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    March 30, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    Kalindra said "The murder of Trayvon Martin has never been fully investigated"

    Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on February 27th. Were you expecting the investigation to be completed on Feb. 28th?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 29, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    To Rifleman: The difference is that Tyson was, arrested, tried, and convicted of murder. He is currently serving a life sentence. I don't think you find anyone arguing that one murder is better than another. People are just questioning the actions of our legal system in the aftermath.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    March 29, 2012 8:50 p.m.

    Actions have consequences. Years ago I had a friend who worked at a pizza hut. One night he kicked someone out of the restaurant for being rude. When he closed up that night, the guy and two others were waiting for him and his coworker in the parking lot. The first thing he did was take his crowbar and lock it into his truck. The reason was that he didn't know what he would do with it in the middle of a fight.

    The local police are going to be well-trained when they carry guns. A neighborhood watch program is good, but their training should basically be how to call 911 if they see something and how to stay out of trouble.

    Laws have consequences. Having a law that says you can stand your ground like this means that you may get things like this happening and there isn't anything that can be done to satisfy the dead man's relatives who feel that justice should be served. I don't think Zimmerman should have done this, it should have been illegal, but it wasn't.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    @ Rifleman: The right to bear arms may belong to the people, not the state, but that doesn't mean people can go around willy-nilly shooting each other - which was the point of Mike in Texas.

    As for the comparison with this case and the shooting of the two white tourists by Shawn Tyson: the murder of James Cooper and James Kouzaris was fully investigated at the time it occurred and a suspect was identified, charged, tried, and ultimately found guilty and sentenced.

    The murder of Trayvon Martin has never been fully investigated - which is the source of the outrage. There is no debate that Zimmerman was following Martin. There is no debate that Zimmerman shot Martin. Zimmerman had the right to defend himself, but so did Martin. Why weren't the circumstances investigated? Why was Zimmerman given a pass?

    There is no comparison between the two cases. (It is hard to have an outcry over the police not doing their job when they have done it.)

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 29, 2012 5:19 p.m.

    How is this case different than other cases? The difference is that we know who the shooter was, and until the social media campaign to bring some public interest to it the killer had been told he was not going to be charged. This murder happened on February 26th. So while the new prosecutor has only had the case since Thursday, the Sanford PD has had it for 2 months.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    My question is that per the video that showed Zimmerman after the shooting, there isn't any blood on his shirt! If he shot Martin in self defense, how far away from him was he? When someone gets hit in the chest, the blood is going to splatter, and if you were in combat with an unarmed person, one would suppose that you had to be pretty close to them when the shot was fired. Otherwise, just pull the gun and take control of the situation.

    No blood is pretty telling to me.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    Re: Mike in Texas
    "For example, you generally cannot use deadly force to protect property."

    No one is suggesting that deadly force should be used to protect property, and I least of all.

    The 2nd Amendment permits me to defend my life and the lives of my loved ones, and the US Supreme Court concurs that this amendment applies to individual citizens and not the states.

    You are far more likely to get killed by a drunk driver than by someone with a firearm. Perhaps we should put more controls on access to alcohol ..... or automobiles.

  • UT Brit London, England
    March 29, 2012 2:15 p.m.


    Where is Shawn Tyson now and where is Zimmerman?

    Why is this case only being investigated now after a public outcry?

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    March 29, 2012 2:11 p.m.

    Rifleman. I really don't care one way or another if the State of Utah chooses to have a state gun. I am not concerned about image. I am however, concerned about the passage of laws that are mostly done to pacify or edify the Gun Lobby. At common law there have always been limits on self defense. For example, you generally cannot use deadly force to protect property. Look up the case law on the use of unattended spring guns for example. And there have been cases where someone was killed while breaking in because of an unrelated emergency situation. I don't know anything about the case you site, but I do believe that we continue to invite violence with our unremitting push to eliminate reasonable controls on the use of deadly weapons to the benefit mostly of sellers of guns. Unwise, Unwise.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2012 2:01 p.m.

    Re: Mike Richards
    "Why make this a race issue? "

    I didn't make this a race issue. Jesse Jackson did.

    Like I asked above: "How is this killing anymore tragic than the one perpetrated by a black teenager,Shawn Tyson, who gunned down two Brits who wandered into his turf last April. Why didn't Obama condemn that black man for a double killing that was even more deplorable?"

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    @Mike Richards;

    For once I'm in 100% agreement with you.

    @those defending Zimmerman's "self defense" argument.

    What if Trayvon was simply defending himself from someone he identified as a stranger/stalker following him? What about his right to "stand his ground"? Had the killing been the other way around, you can bet your booty that Trayvon would have been arrested and held until a "thorough investigation" was completed, yet he could justifiably have claimed "self defense" from the man stalking him with a gun.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 29, 2012 1:39 p.m.


    Why make this a race issue? A LIFE was lost. Don't be a pawn of those who are trying to make this a racist issue.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    jpjazz: "...Distinguished Professor at Stetson Law..."

    Given the Wild West connotations of this case, you gotta love that title.

  • thpslc Holladay, UT
    March 29, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    Mr. Mountanman,
    Zimmerman hasn't been tried and convicted... ...or charged!

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    There seems to be much uncertainty as to whether Martin fought Zimmerman. There are the alleged witness reports that Zimmerman was on the ground with Martin pounding on him, but also the conflicting reports that Zimmerman had no injuries. While reserving judgment and waiting for more (and reliable) information to come from the official investigation, the observation that Martin may have been hitting Zimmerman by itself is insufficient to defend Zimmerman's action. Trayvon Martin could easily have been acting in self defense himself, standing his own ground against a larger, older, armed aggressor. We'll probably never know exactly what happened, but the fact that Zimmerman left his car against the 911 operator's recommendation and the report that Martin told his girlfriend on the phone he was walking faster to avoid a man following him lend credibility to the idea that Zimmerman initiated the aggression and that Martin was defending himself. The key question is who initiated the violence.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    Re: Mike Richards

    How is this killing anymore tragic than the one perpetrated by a black teenager,Shawn Tyson, who gunned down two Brits who wandered into his turf last April. Why didn't Obama condemn that black man for a double killing that was even more deplorable?

    Why was there no outrage from the black community when the victims were white?

  • jpjazz Sandy, UT
    March 29, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    Florida's Governor, Zimmerman's attorney and many other legal experts have stated that the Stand Your Ground Law does not apply in the Martin case. It is the anti gun faction that is using this case to try the statute.

    "Judith Scully, the William Reese Smith Jr., Distinguished Professor at Stetson Law, added that, for the law to apply, you have to prove you are the one under attack."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 29, 2012 12:28 p.m.

    What facts have been verified?

    1. Mr. Zimmerman was told to NOT proceed by the 911 operator.

    2. Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. Martin had some kind of altercation AFTER Mr. Zimmerman was told to NOT proceed.

    3. Mr. Zimmerman shot and killed Mr. Martin.

    4. Mr. Zimmerman was not inside his own home and he was not on his own property.

    5. Prior to the "altercation", the only cause for alarm is that Mr. Zimmerman did not recognize Mr. Martin.

    Those facts tell us that Mr. Zimmerman could have prevented the altercation had he listened to the 911 operator. We can suppose that, without an altercation, that Mr. Zimmerman would not have shot Mr. Martin.

    A citizen is allowed to use deadly force to protect himself or others who are facing a deadly threat. If Mr. Zimmerman claims that he was facing a deadly threat, could he realistically claim that he was NOT responsible, in large part, for that "deadly threat"?

    We may know more after all the available facts are presented, but this looks like a tragic killing that could have easily been avoided.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    So when it's Josh Powell it's ok to convict the guy in the media, even though he denied killing his wife. But when it's Trayvon Martin we should reserve judgement. When it's comes to trials by the media, the only factor that makes this different is the color of the victims skin. Just sayin

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    Re: Mike in Texas

    In two recent decisions the US Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment applies to individual citizens and not the states. Luckily for the man in Springville he had a loaded handgun in the closet when an intruder broke into his home.

    I'm guessing you weren't in favor of our adopting a state firearm .... the Browning Model M1911.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 29, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    stand your ground law=legalized murder.

    Just annoy someone until they finally cave into your provocation. Murder them. And then fall back on this nonsense that you were merely "standing your ground."

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    March 29, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    I dare say that more than a few people will get their fair share of 15 minutes of fame from this case. It would be a pity if this man was hung by the hysteria of the masses. We don't know the facts, but for some reason we get indigent from what little we know, even the highest office in the land gets involved. This man deserves a fair trial, in a court, not in the public meadia.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Only fact that matters is that Trevon Martin is dead because Zimmerman chose to pursue.
    He was told he did not need to pursue, and he ignored that advice.

    Conservatives used to espouse personal responsibility, but now they more often take a position of "blame the other guy". That seems magnified when a gun is involved. Perhaps conservatvies worry that if we find fault with the shooter, we'll find fault with owning guns, so the shooter must always be right.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 29, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    A video of Mr. Zimmerman being taken in for questioning on the night of the shooting has just surfaced. There is no evidence of bruising or bleeding. Also, the lead investigator recommended filing charges, but his superiors overruled him because "we'd never get a conviction".

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    March 29, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    How about the fact that Utah is one of the 22 states that have such a "stand your ground law"? Just how wise have we been on the issue of Guns? I think not very.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    Getting the case right is the only thing standing between justice and a lynching.

    Politics has no place in this criminal investigation.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 29, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    Zimmerman is guilty! Already tried and convicted in the courts of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the Black Panther Party, just like the Duke Lacrosse players.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:10 a.m.

    It seems clear to me that the two were fighting before the shooting, but there are a lot of questions that probably will never be answered to anyone's satisfaction.

    What started the fight? Did Mr. Zimmerman try to physically restrain the boy and the boy was just trying to fight off this stranger? Or did Mr. Zimmerman simply try to find out who this suspicious guy in his neighborhood was, and the boy attacked him?

    Did Mr. Zimmerman have opportunities after the fight started to let it go without having it escalate into deadly violence, or was he justified in using deadly force to defend himself?

    Was Mr. Zimmerman acting out of legitimate concern for the well being of his neighborhood, or did he have prejudices and a lust for power that propelled him into this confrontation?

    Will even a thorough investigation ever reveal the answers to these questions?

    Finally, do many of the parties speaking out even care what happened, or do they simply want to use this incident to further their own political agenda, so they will ignore any evidence that may point to something different than what supports their agenda?