The Trayvon Martin case, with apples and oranges

I’m sure by now that many of you have heard about the Trayvon Martin case, the unarmed 17 year old black male who was gunned down by volunteer neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman. The case has caused a public outcry that has gone on for more than a month now and has once again sparked the debate over guns, race, and constitutional rights. To me the incident is clear cut, the Sandford police department clearly failed in handling this case and Zimmerman should not have been let off the hook so quickly given the events in question.

  1. Trayvon Martin was clearly minding his own business that night, he was not commiting any crime, he was not armed.
  2. Trayvon was walking through a public area, he was not on anybody’s property.
  3. Zimmerman decided to persue Martin against the requests of the police dispatcher to leave this to the real police to investigate.
  4. Trayvon was unarmed and was clearly being stalked by Zimmerman.
  5. Trayvon was shot, Zimmerman claimed it was in self defence.
  6. None of the witnesses could account for what exactly sparked the incident (some witnesses came out claiming they saw the fight)
  7. Trayvon can’t defend himself that night, Zimmerman can.

Whether you believe that Zimmerman is innocent is besides the point, his words should not have been taken so readily as a confirmation of innocence. A thorough investigation should have been carried out, his parents should have been given the chance to persue this further. Zimmerman is clearly the confirmed killer in this case, he is not merely a suspect of Trayvons death, he must demonstrate his innocence as with many other cases in the same light.

Most rightwingers and Zimmermans defenders  have not been taking the attention this case has been receiving very well. Putting aside the arguments for Zimmerman, posters on various websites have been accusing the Trayvon supporters and the media of being biased in this particular case as compared to others. They cite a number of incidences involving murders which they insist are of the same circumstances, yet not given an equal amount of attention merely because the victims are white (or not black). It’s the whole ‘whites are treated badly because of political correctness’ ploy, I’ve certainly heard it before. But let’s look at these other recent cases being cited by Zimmerman supporters as evidence that Trayvon’s case is racially biased against none-blacks, are we comparing apples with oranges here? I certainly think so when we go down case by case. It’s any wonder why these folks can’t link us to the details of these other cases:

3 black men killed a young white male, where’s the outrage??

Let’s have a look at this case:

A student was shot to death at a Mississippi State University residence hall late Saturday night, prompting campus-wide alerts as authorities searched for suspects who fled the scene.

In this case the suspects, reported as 3 black males, had fled the scene. We don’t know who the killers are and there is a full investigation going on to find them. Unlike the Trayvon case, the killers have not been definitively identified, and they have not been let off the hook mainly over a plea of self defence. Apples and oranges!

Black man rapes and murders white woman

A horrific incident, a black male raped and murdered a white woman, why isn’t this getting as much attention as the Trayvon case though?

A dying 83-year-old Jacksonville woman gave her daughter a brief description of the man who raped and beat her after breaking into her home Saturday, Jacksonville police said today.

Christopher Lemar Johnson, 20, is charged in the slaying of Emma Jean Beasley, police said. Johnson was arrested Monday. Police arrested him based on witness identifications – though not the victim’s – and fingerprints found at the scene, an arrest report said.

“They [investigators] did a super, super job,” said Geneva Griffin, the mother of Beasley’s son-in-law, Danny Griffin. “Thank God.”

Hold on, the guy was caught and charged, the son in law saw justice? The police actually did their jobs in this case? He wasn’t let go? He didn’t plea stand your ground? Maybe the old women attacked him first huh?

And then there is this case, the one being cited as being almost identical to that of the Trayvon Martin case. A black man in Greece, New York, shot an unarmed white teen after he thought they were breaking into a ca (updated, they were actually breaking into a neighbours car). The case is explained rather well here in comparison to the Trayvon case:

Scott shot Christopher Cervini in 2009 in Greece on a windy and rainy night. Scott saw Cervini and his friends rifling through neighbors’ cars. He went outside with a gun as his girlfriend called police. Scott confronted Cervini and said the youth ran at him. Scott shot Cervini dead.

Police wasted no time charging Scott with murder. A grand jury knocked the charge down to manslaughter. Scott testified in his own defense. A jury acquitted him.

Scott was charged right away. No charges have been filed against George Zimmerman,

What? Scott actually appeared in court to have to defend himself? Police didn’t just let him off the hook?

Zimmermans supporters, many of who have obvious political motivations, are obviously trying to throw anything and everything against the kind of attention this case is receiving, and they are looking very desperate by the moment. It really doesn’t help their case with a recent surveillance tape that popped up showing an unshaken unbruised Zimmerman (1) (we await a medical report from the EMT’s to confirm Zimmermans supposed injuries).

The core issue here, the one that ignited the kind of public outcry to this point, was the very casual handling of this case, despite the facts at hand. Do the victims of those other cases matter any less than that of Trayvon? No of course not, but the people who took the lives of those other victims were ultimately held accountable in court, the victims were given a proper investigation and those suspects of the one case involving the university student are being persued by police. The fact is that unlike those other victims and their unfortunate circumstances, Trayvons death was sweeped under the rug by the police department. Zimmerman, the self admitted killer, had his words and accounts of that night were taken as gospel. Why police did so, many argue racism, some argue age discrimmination, but the police obviously didn’t do their job. If anything those other cases and the handling of the killers, all black, is very telling compared to that of Zimmerman, a white hispanic neighbourhood watchman with a history, who was so readily let off the hook.

Rest assured, although the police department thought they were done with the case, the public wasn’t. Zimmerman didn’t account for his actions neither did the police department, and as the result they saw the consequences. Just because you have a gun, doesn’t mean you can ignore the consequences of your actions. Zimmerman will have his day in court.



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14 Responses to The Trayvon Martin case, with apples and oranges

  1. stars4free says:

    “Maybe the old women attacked him first huh?”
    83 year old woman attacked him first, and than got raped? Are you just trying to be stupid here?

    “What? Scott actually appeared in court to have to defend himself? Police didn’t just let him off the hook?”
    Because NY does not have stand your ground law.
    Zimmerman did have his day in court, hope you can be satisfied now.

    • 1. Had you actually bothered to understand that comment, I was being sarcastic. I wasn’t trying to argue that the 83 year old actually attacked the man.

      2. It doesn’t matter whether or not NY had a stand your ground law, Scott, the shooter of Christopher Cervini, was held accountable, he wasn’t released without question that night. Why is it so hard for you to see this huh?

      How did Sanford police initially react to Trayvons death again? Hmm let’s recount it.

      A dead unarmed 17 year old boy with skittles and iced tea. The killer, armed, clearly older, claims defense. No evidence corroborating Zimmermans claims that night and I’m sorry, having some bruises is evidence of a fight or a struggle, not evidence of who started the confrontation. Despite this, police release Zimmerman without charge, they didn’t even bother to identify Trayvon when they released him. They bothered to test Trayvon for substances though but Zimmerman, did they test him?? Nope. And yet they just released him like that? No I’m sorry but that is shocking on the side of the police and the fact that nobody can compare a case where the police reacted the exact same way to a murdered white victim is fairly evident that the police acted in bias. Racism was a factor in how the police initially acted. I know it, you KNOW it. People will not forget this case.

      • stars4free says:

        For you to even attempt to compare the TM case with the 83-year old woman case is only bringing in question your sense of judgment. Even you noticed a crucial “self defense” element missing and try to make up for it with your insensitive sarcasm which only makes you look like some kind of a monster. How would you feel if the victim was your mother?

        In NY if they ask:” Did you try to run the other way” and you answer “No” the cops HAVE TO arrest you – by law, not by choice. Scott answered “no” and was arrested. In Florida this is not the factor. If the cops at the scene thought there was something fishy they would have arrested Z rather then risk their department for the sake of one man. Z later passed 2 lie detector tests and plenty of other evidence supported his testimony. If you take race out of these cases, the most logical stance is to either support or condemn the shooters. But to say that in one case killing was justified but in the other it was not would be inconsistent. And this inconsistency really could be a result of the observer’s racial bias. If our mission is to look for racism under every stone, that’s where we can find it.

        I agree that people will not forget this case, the media and so called “civil rights” groups will not let people forget it, unlike the Scott’s case. Racial bias perhaps?

  2. “For you to even attempt to compare the TM case with the 83-year old woman case is only bringing in question your sense of judgment.”

    This case was brought to light by Zimmerman supporters themselves in an effort to compare it to the case of Trayvon hence the reason I addressed it. Another example of you not paying attention to the article.

    “Even you noticed a crucial “self defense” element missing and try to make up for it with your insensitive sarcasm”

    There was never a debate that Christopher was innocent or that he could hypothetically use the ‘self defense’ argument, the point of that particular case was the way in which police responded. The reason why Zimmerman supporters initially brought the 83-year-old woman case was to argue the fact there wasn’t as much media attention being paid towards it because the victim was white. The glaring difference, however, that people like you fail to recognize is the fact of how police immediately responded and charged the individual in that case to appear in court, in contrast to that of Trayvon Martin. Do you get it now? Do you understand? I suggest you read the article again.

    In NY if they ask:” Did you try to run the other way” and you answer “No” the cops HAVE TO arrest you – by law, not by choice. Scott answered “no” and was arrested. In Florida this is not the factor.”

    You continue to argue that Scott could not have used Stand your ground there for he was not released unlike Zimmerman, this is irrelevant to the point of the article. Zimmerman supporters initially compared Scotts NY case to Zimmermans case to argue the lack of ‘outrage’ and ‘media attention’ mounted at that case in comparison to Zimmermans case where I once again pointed to the obvious difference here, that Scott was arrested immediately, that his testimony wasn’t taken to gospel, that the individual that died at Scotts gun was identified by police well before Scott was released.

    You continue to argue that Zimmerman was released merely because the stand your ground law allowed him which is really beyond me. By your logic, any person responsible for shooting somebody else and killing them (whether armed or unarmed) without any witnesses, without any evidence proving they shot in self defense, could immediately be released by police without further question and without charges. What part of the stand your ground law does it say this in police procedure? Better yet lets get an example since you’re so adamant that this is standard police procedure.

    Can you find me an example of one case in Florida or any other states with Stand-your-ground, I’m only asking for one case, which involved a murder of an:

    1. Unarmed white victim,
    2. Where police released the killer and did not charge him that same night based solely on a self defense claim, no witnesses and no other evidence, no court appearance.
    3. Where the victim lied unidentified by police well after their killer was released,
    4. Where the victim was clearly killed well outside the shooters private property or any other private property they did not belong in.

    Surely you have another case like this in a Stand-your-ground State you can refer to right? Since this is just common procedure by police apparently because of this law. Unless you have an actual case to compare with, you’re just wasting my time with your excuses of how police handled the case initially.

    • stars4free says:

      I can not tell you that the case meeting your specific criteria does or does not exist, but I can tell you it would not change your mind one bit, your believe that we are a racist society. Or would it please? After all, we now have a no guilty verdict, Zimmerman’s day in court as demanded by TM supporters and, to be honest, I doubt it has changed your or anybodies mind. To me this was yet another example of media exploiting racial sensibilities for profit. How many times is the black community going to fall for the same trickery?

      • Stars4free, do you not see a problem here? You can’t find me a single case in Florida or any of the ‘Stand-you-ground’ states where police treated a murdered white victim in the same way. You can’t. Why is that? You’re quick to forget Stars4free how this outrage started out in the first place, the fact police reacted so casually to the death of this black teenager. Had they treated him in the same manner as they treated all the other victims there wouldn’t be this level of outrage.

        You know in Wisconsin, one of the States with a Stand-your-ground law, a 76 year old white man shot and killed and unarmed 13 year old black boy. You know what the key evidence to this case was? Video footage where it clearly showed the 13 year old boy trying to run away from the gun. The 13 year old had done nothing, he didn’t attack this man or even attempt to attack him. A gun was pulled out and aimed at him and why? Because the elderly man suspected him of stealing something out of his house. Of course there was zero evidence of this. Thankfully because of the video footage this man was found guilty:

        “The surveillance video provides a clear view of what happened. Spooner emerges from his house and confronts the teen, who is retrieving his family’s garbage cart from the street. Spooner points a gun at Darius, who quickly moves back a few steps. Spooner

        then talks to Darius’ mother, who’s standing on her porch out of view of the camera, and Spooner briefly points the gun in her direction. Moments later, Spooner points the gun back at the boy standing a couple of feet in front of him. He fires, hitting Darius in the chest.”

        Imagine if there was no video and this 76 year old man claimed defense? Imagine he claimed all the same things that Zimmerman would have claimed. How do you think this case would have gone? Oh yes, people like you would be making excuses for Spooner.

        Do you have an actual case to compare where police reacted the same way they did with Trayvon in the case of a murdered white victim? I’m waiting.

  3. stars4free says:

    Think about what you are asking here. Your starting premise is that the cops were negligent. From there you theorize that the reason for the negligence was their racial bias, in other words, these cops were racist. What is you proof that the cops were racist? Basically, that I can not disprove that the cops were racist. But my inability to disprove your theory does not make your theory true. For example, I can come up with a theory that 85% of people who say Trayvon is innocent are subconscious racists. I ask of you to prove that this 85% number is not correct. Since you can not, I erroneously conclude that 85% number is in fact correct which makes my theory true.

    If It’s your theory the burden of proof is yours too. So far your proof is this: no racial opposite of this case can be found. But that does not prove that the cops were negligent because they were racist. Maybe they were incompetent. Maybe they were friends with Zimmerman’s family. There could be a lot of reasons for their negligence, one of which maybe racism, but by no means the obvious one—unless the observer himself is racially biased. After all, we are already pretending that Zimmerman is white in order to make this tragedy an example of white racism. And even if we assume that a Black person would be treated differently, that does not make this a case of racial discrimination, rather It makes a Black person’s treatment a case of racial discrimination

    Furthermore, before we make a jump to the reasons for the negligence and another jump to cops racism, we have to prove that your starting premise is, in fact, true. Were the cops negligent in this case? Just because they acted with more vigor in some other case does not mean they were negligent here. Maybe they acted properly here but overreacted in the other case. What were the conclusions from the police response investigation? If improprieties were identified there will be a lawsuit and the reasons for the police negligence will become known and then we can look into the racial component. If cops were wrong It would not come as a surprise, the police makes a lot of mistakes all over the place. But if cops acted lawfully, your premise is false and so is the claim or racism.

    What bothers me is that we are so desperate to bring racism here that we violate a legal principe of judging each case on its own merits. A murder is a murder. Maybe an innocent life is take away unjustly. If we believe that race of the two people involved, the color of their skin, makes a murder a bigger or a lesser crime are we not racially discriminating and therefore, by definition, being racist? If Trayvon was white or asian, if race was a non issue, it would not make this crime any lesser but it would not become a national news either. There might not even be a trial in my opinion. It’s as if people don’t really mind that Trayvon lost his life so long as racism is not involved. We know that if he had been killed by the black man’s hand we never would have heard about Trayvon Martin because the media itself is guilty of racism for ignoring victims of blacks-on-black crime which constitute 93% of black murders.

    • “Think about what you are asking here.”

      There’s not much to think about what I’m asking, it’s simple really. I asked you to provide an example of a case where police treated the murder of a white victim in the same way they treated Trayvon. I’m waiting.

      “Your starting premise is that the cops were negligent.”

      They were negligent in the way they treated Trayvons case, and I do believe that race was a factor in their decision. The fact you cannot even find me a similar case where police treated a white murdered victim in the same way is just another example of this.

      ” Basically, that I can not disprove that the cops were racist.”

      Again I asked you to find me a similar case to Trayvons where police treated the murder of a white victim in the manner (considering you insisted they were following typical procedure). I asked you for one case and you have yet to provide me with one. You continue insisting to me that police initially reacted to Trayvons murder in the correct manner, but you have absolutely nothing to show for it. What more is there to debate with you? The rest of your post is trivial to the hard facts of this case.

      “If Trayvon was white or asian, if race was a non issue”

      If Trayvon was a white kid and Zimmerman was black then this case would be a none issue because Zimmerman would already be in handcuffs in jail without bond awaiting trial. Damn straight about that.

      I asked you to present another case similar to Trayvons which involved a white murdered victim where police reacted in the same way. I’m waiting. Please don’t waste my time further with your excuses.

    • At this point I’ve decided to mark your last comment as trash stars4free. Frankly I’m only really interested in debating the hard facts, not your personal views on the Trayvon case.

      You claim police treated Trayvons murder as they did in all their other cases involving white victims, yet you have nothing to show for this. You could not even to link me any hard sources proving that the way police acted in Trayvons case was standard procedure. You really have nothing. All you’ve done is attack my article and that is it.

      Racism and bias in the law system had alot to do with the way police treated Trayvons murder that night. Racism and bias has alot to do with your attitude on here. Frankly the life of black teenager is of little worth to people like you. In your eyes they were probably up to no good anyway hence the fact you haven’t bothered to actually look into this objectively. You feel no need to provide solid sources behind your arguments because you just believe what you believe.

      Not one case, not one case involving a murdered white victim where police acted in the same way. Not one.

      • stars4free says:

        “At this point I’ve decided to mark your comments as trash stars4free. ”
        Expected. Liberals really only believe in one kind of freedom of speech—their own—all other must be silenced. Nonetheless, the society as a whole benefits form an open dialog. For that reason I will repost our entire conversation in a separate blog, that is if you don’t object. Thank you for the discussion, our disagreements notwithstanding.

  4. “Liberals really only believe in one kind of freedom of speech”

    Who’s blocking your freedom of speech? You’re on my blog buddy and I’ve asked you repeatedly to provide sources for your argument and yet you refuse.

    the society as a whole benefits form an open dialog

    This isn’t an article about ones personal beliefs on race and racism. If it was and if this is the kind of conversation you want, one that can go all night, this isn’t the place to have that. This is about the way police initially treated Trayvons death, this is what sparked the outrage. Had police managed Trayvons case in the same manner they treated similar cases involving white victims there wouldn’t be the kind of outrage there is today. You continue to insist that police reacted correctly and within procedure but thus far it’s been a personal belief of yours. I’ve asked you repeatedly to provide a similar case with a murdered white victim where police acted the exact same way and yet you can’t seem to provide one. I’m not interested in your personal belief in this matter, I’m interested in the facts, something you can’t seem to provide.

    Lastly, regarding whether I am happy Zimmerman got his time in court, I am. Far too many times these cases of law enforcement negligence and bias over black victims gets swept under the rug. Trayvon’s case changed that, it brought necessary media attention and shook law enforcement in Florida to change their tone. The additional plus is the fact Zimmerman got his face plastered all over the media. Had it not been for those concerned citizens who brought this case to light, we would’ve moved on not knowing the kind of injustice that was committed.

    “For that reason I will repost our entire conversation in a separate blog”

    I sincerely hope so, and I hope you post the link to my blog as well.

    Thank you.

    • stars4free says:

      “Had police managed Trayvons case in the same manner they treated similar cases involving white victims there wouldn’t be the kind of outrage there is today.”

      Outraged people are irrational people. The whole nation scrutinized police conduct here and yet no lawsuit has been filed because there is no evidence of negligence. Got it? No evidence, no lawsuit, no negligence. There is you proof. You see, according to you, we all missed something—except you and your outraged friends. If you are so confident, file a lawsuit and be a hero. Or a fool.

      “The additional plus is the fact Zimmerman got his face plastered all over the media.”

      Now I know what you’re all about—you are calling for Zimmerman’s head. Hey, don’t be such a coward, go get it yourself!

      • Are you still here?

        Outraged people are irrational people.

        You mean the irrational people who brought to light police negligence and bias over the death of a black teenager? Sandford law enforcement who immediately took the testimony of the killer to gospel and released him that very same night? Without even bothering to identify the victim who was killed? Oh yes but Trayvon was black anyway right? Blacks are always up to no good so what’s the fuss right? What should you care?

        Got it? No evidence, no lawsuit,

        Not sure about that, Trayvons parents may have something in the works in the coming future. There’s also the fact police decided to eventually charge Zimmerman after insisting that there was no need to charge him after what? 45 days?

        I’ll assume that you still haven’t found another case in which police treated another murdered victim in the same way? I’m still waiting.

        Hey, don’t be such a coward, go get it yourself!

        You want to talk about cowardice? Like profiling and stalking an unarmed and innocent teen and then using your gun on him when you can’t hold you’re own? The only cowards here are people like you and Zimmerman. You hide behind your guns and you hide your bigotry because you’re too cowardly to deal with things like real men.

        You have anything further to say?

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