Since the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the conventional wisdom among people who agree with the verdict is that Trayvon Martin punched him first, so the teen was responsible for the fight that led to his tragic death. The claim about the punch is entirely coming from Zimmerman and could be a lie -- no one else saw it -- but let's assume for the sake of argument that it's true.
There's still a justification for Martin punching him in self defense, based entirely on Zimmerman's own words in the interview he gave Sean Hannity of Fox News.
Zimmerman told Hannity that when he saw Martin walking on the street while inside his car, Martin reached for something at his waist. This gesture was something he interpreted as a violent threat:
Hannity: You said he started from almost the beginning in that 911 call, you said he came towards you, and he seemed to reach for something in his waistband. Did you think that was a gun?
Zimmerman: I thought he was just trying to intimidate me.
Hannity: To make you think that there is a gun?
Zimmerman later gave Hannity this explanation for how the fight began:
Zimmerman: He asked me what my problem was.
Hannity: Expletive problem?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir. And I was wearing a rain jacket, and I had put my cell phone in my jacket pocket, as opposed to my jeans pocket where I normally keep it. And I immediately went to grab my phone to this time call 911 instead of a non-emergency, and when I reached into my pants pocket -- because that's where I keep it out of habit -- it wasn't there, and I was shocked. I looked up and he punched me and broke my nose.
Put yourself in Martin's shoes, based on the scenario exactly as Zimmerman described it in that interview. An adult male has been behaving strangely and following him, first in his car and then on foot. It's dark and a heavy rain is falling, making these actions even more suspicious.
He has traveled on foot away from the street to a place behind condos near his residence, and there's Zimmerman again. Martin confronts the man to find out why he's being followed and the man doesn't explain. Instead, he quickly reaches for something in a waist pocket.
At that point, does Martin have any way of knowing the man isn't reaching for a gun?
Zimmerman's own words make the case for Martin punching him first to defend his life. Reaching for something at your waist in that situation is a threat, and we all know that Florida's Stand Your Ground law removed the obligation of anyone to remove himself from a potentially dangerous situation before using force.
If Martin punched Zimmerman believing he had a gun, it was a fear that had a basis in fact.
-- Rogers Cadenhead
Keep reaching. Utter nonsense. Martin still had the option to run away. And he didn't even bother to cal 911.
Oh and your own words disprove your claim:
"Reaching for something at your waist in that situation is a threat,"
So therefore, the moment Martin first reached for his waistband Zimmerman was clearly being threatened.
Martin still had the option to run away.
If you run away from someone near you who you think is taking out a gun, you could get shot in the back.
Remind me why you think Zimmerman had a duty to retreat, but Martin, in your scenario, does not.
Under Stand Your Ground, no one has an obligation to retreat. It's a terrible law that causes situations to become fatal that could have been avoided.
But Zimmerman was a reckless and dangerous idiot for getting out of his car and following Martin with a gun at his hip. He wasn't a cop. The dispatcher told him he should not follow Martin. Neighborhood watch volunteers are told never to patrol their neighborhoods while armed. He ignored all of that, and now he gets to live the rest of his life with Martin's death on his conscience.
"Put yourself in Martin's shoes..."
Thank you. That's something I haven't heard much in the media and something I keep saying to friends a family. On top of Zimmerman following him in the dark, he knew his brother was home at home. One of the police officers was saying it was a shame Martin was so close to home but he didn't keep going. Why would he go home if someone was following him and he knew his brother was there alone?
"Stand your ground" amounts to legalized dueling. Two guys get in a fight and they both have the right to stand their ground. Whoever survives is innocent.
Our legislators are dim bulbs who have never, and probably couldn't, kill a chicken, pig, cow, or deer but fantasize about blowing a bad guy away. Of course that describes a good part of the electorate which is why they were elected.
For a moment lets forget about what we are told from the two involved. Let examine the personalities and their histories. Lets get some information who there people are. Then lets talk.
Dude, great observation ! you are smarter than the State of Florida Prosecutors as they never mentioned this.
Can we please stop talking about stand your ground laws? That law had nothing to do with this case. Even if it did, how in the world could Zimmerman retreat when Martin was on top of him bashing his head into the concrete?
"Why would he go home if someone was following him and he knew his brother was there alone?"
You mean his eight year old brother? Who leaves an eight year old home alone to begin with?
Stand Your Ground was included in the jury instructions, and Juror B37 said on CNN that it factored into their decision to acquit Zimmerman.
Chad Joseph, the son of Tracy Martin's fiance, was 14 when the shooting occurred. Until you get a better grasp on the facts, go comment somewhere else.
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