Friday, March 23, 2012

Trayvon Martin and the Cult of Government Supremacy (Update, March 24; Second Update, March 28; Third Update, April 20; Fourth Update, May 17)

Editorial note: There is a revised and expanded version of this essay at

Nineteen days before Trayvon Martin was gunned down by self-appointed block “captain” George Zimmerman, Manuel Loggins was murdered by an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy in the parking lot of San Clemente High School. Loggins, a deeply religious man, often visited the school to walk on the track and discuss the Bible with his daughters, who were with him on the morning he was murdered. 

According to the most recent of several official versions of the incident, the Deputy was concerned by Loggins’ “irrational” behavior, which involved crashing through a gate and attempting to leave the scene. Even this rendering of the episode, however, doesn’t explain why a Deputy would shoot an unarmed man behind the wheel of an SUV containing two young girls.
The Deputy initially insisted that he “felt threatened” by Loggins. Within a day or so of the story becoming public, the story had undergone a critical revision:  The Sheriff’s Office claimed that Loggins had to be shot in the interests of “the perceived safety of the children.” 

So zealous were the officers for the safety of two young girls who had just seen their father murdered in front of them that the department took them into custody held them incommunicado for thirteen hours while the official narrative was being worked out. In the words of the family’s attorney, “They just incarcerated them.” 

Sgt. Loggins was black; his killer, Deputy Darren Sandberg, is white – and he’s back on patrol duty, without facing criminal charges or administrative punishment of any kind. His union, displaying its customary gift for arrogant self-preoccupation, insists Loggins was entirely to blame.

“It is heartbreaking that Manuel Loggins created a situation that put his children in danger and ultimately cost him his life,” oozed police union spokesperson Tom Dominguez. "It is unfortunate that his actions put his own children into immediate danger and resulted in his death."

That smarmy, dismissive statement irresistibly reminds me of the radio exchange between U.S. troops involved in the Baghdad massacre documented in the “Collateral Murder” video.
Eleven Iraqis were massacred in the unprovoked attack, and several others – including two small children – were seriously wounded. 

“Well, it’s their fault for bringing kids into a battle,” one of the murderers snarkily insisted when informed that small children were among the victims.
Loggins’s widow gave birth to another daughter at about the same time she buried her husband. 

Manuel Loggins and his future widow.
While this atrocity garnered a great deal of local attention, and a modest amount of national coverage, it didn’t receive the saturation coverage in which the Trayvon Martin killing has been immersed. 

Neither Louis Farrakhan nor Al Sharpton reached out to the Loggins family. As a gesture of solidarity with Trayvon, the Miami Heat basketball team was photographed wearing hooded sweatshirts, the “suspicious” attire the teenager was wearing when he was chased down and shot by George Zimmerman. The Sacramento Kings abstained from a similar symbolic display of sympathy for Manuel Loggins. 

Asked by a reporter to comment about the Trayvon Martin killing, Barack Obama pointed out that if he had a son, the young man might resemble Trayvon. The President has yet to be asked to comment about the murder of Manuel Loggins – who is one of two black Marines to be murdered by police within the space of three months.

Last November 19, 68-year-old retired Marine Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. was slaughtered by police at his apartment in White Plains, New York. Chamberlain, an elderly man who suffered from a heart condition and several other ailments, was not a criminal suspect. He had inadvertently triggered a medical alert, which resulted in a visit by paramedics.  The police, unfortunately, responded as well, and they quickly displayed their infallible gift for making matters worse.

Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. (center).
 Chamberlain ordered the police to leave. That was a lawful order the police are required to obey. They didn’t. Instead, the dozen officers who had formed a thugscrum outside Chamberlain’s door taunted and mocked the elderly man, eventually breaking down the door and invading his home. 

Once inside, the police were confronted by a terrified old man who – as documented in video recovered from a Taser – was clad in boxer shorts, with his hands at his side. This dreadful specter was enough to trigger the “Officer Safety” reflex – practically anything will – and the heroes in blue shot him with a Taser and a beanbag gun before gunning him down. 

The original story was that Chamberlain “came at the officers” with a butcher knife and – I’m not kidding – a hatchet. His son points out that his father’s heart was so weak that he couldn’t walk more than forty feet without resting. The initial account is difficult to reconcile with the footage captured by the Taser and security cameras. Furthermore, even if the old man had lunged at the cops, they had the duty to retreat: They had no legal or moral right to be in the home, and Chamberlain had the legal and moral right to evict them by force. 

Long after the incident, the police rationalized that the invasion was necessary because they weren’t sure whether “anybody else inside was in danger.” This is a matter that could have been cleared up through use of an obscure piece of technology called a telephone, a remarkable instrument that could have been used to contact either Mr. Chamberlain or his son, who didn’t live far away. But this would have deprived the armored adolescents on the police force of an opportunity to bust down a door and impose themselves on someone who couldn’t fight back. 

George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, appears to have perceived practically every black male – on one occasion, a child he described as “7-9 years old” – as suspicious

Predictably, Martin’s family believes that Zimmerman acted on bigoted motives. In the case of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., there is material evidence of racism at work: Recordings of the standoff captured racial epithets, including the “n-word,” hurled at the harmless old man by some of the officers involved in murdering him just a few minutes later.

Nevertheless, the Tolerance Police – for some reason -- haven’t made the slaughter of Kenneth Chamberlain a cause celebre.  

One much-remarked detail in the killing of Trayvon Martin is the fact that the supposedly suspicious teenager was “armed” with Skittles and a can of iced tea. This summons memories of Jordan Miles, an 18-year-old from Pittsburgh who was nearly beaten to death on the street near his grandmother’s house two years ago. 

His assailants claimed that Miles struck them as “suspicious” because he fled at their approach, and that they feared for their lives when he appeared to be armed. It turns out that his concealed “weapon” was a bottle of Mountain Dew, an admittedly toxic substance but one harmful only if taken internally. 

 Miles, who stands 5’6” and weighs about 160 pounds, was swarmed by three large adult males, who slugged him, kicked him, and beat him with a club improvised from a tree branch. 

The attackers were police officers, who weren’t prosecuted or subjected to administrative punishment.  As is customary whenever a Mundane is left bloody by the ministrations of the State’s high priests of coercion, Miles was charged with “aggravated assault,” which presumably took the form of flailing his arms while bleeding on his sanctified assailants.

 When those charges were dismissed, the police union – in a typical fit of corrupt petulance – conducted a mass “sick-out” as a protest. This had the unintended, if short-lived, effect of making Pittsburgh’s streets just a little safer. This crime was quickly forgotten, and Miles’s family recently received a trivial, tax-subsidized settlement from the City of Pittsburgh. Once again: This episode, which offers several strong points of similarity to the Trayvon Martin killing, didn’t ignite a nation-wide firestorm of media outrage.

Every week – perhaps every day – innocent young black men are beaten and killed by armed strangers who act with impunity, and often in circumstances quite similar to those in which Trayvon Martin was killed. The perpetrators of those assaults are police officers. George Zimmerman was a self-commissioned “captain” in a Neighborhood Watch program with which he had no formal affiliation.

For some reason the Sanford Police Department saw fit to treat him like a cop by granting him the kind of “qualified immunity” usually afforded only to fully accredited members of the exalted brotherhood of state-sanctioned violence. 

Civilian disarmament advocates have implicated Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law  in Trayvon Martin killing. The Sanford Police have refused to charge Zimmerman, insisting that “under the law, it had no call to bring charges,” reported the New York Times

Enacted in 2005, Florida’s “Justifiable Use of Force” statute (Title XLVI, Chapter 776) recognizes that an individual has the natural right to use deadly force when confronting the threat of “death or great bodily harm” from an intruder or an aggressor. This does not apply when “The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in … [a] dwelling, residence, or vehicle,” or if the individual who employed the defensive force “is engaged in an unlawful activity….”

 Martin, an unarmed teenager with no criminal record, was headed to his father’s home in the Miami Gardens gated community. Although he was described by Zimmerman to the police as a “suspicious individual,” Martin had an unqualified legal right to be where he was.
In his 911 call, Zimmerman told a police dispatcher that “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something…. These a**holes always get away.” Zimmerman actively pursued Martin, after being specifically instructed that this was unnecessary.

When Martin noticed Zimmerman, the teenager – who was speaking to a girlfriend via cellphone – made reference to being “hounded by a strange man on a cellphone who ran after him, cornered him and confronted him,” as summarized in an ABC News report.

“Why are you following me?” Martin asked Zimmerman. A few moments later, Zimmerman shot Martin with his 9 millimeter handgun. Several witnesses reported hearing the teenager cry for help before the shot was fired.

“They’re wrestling right in the back of my porch,” one witness told a police dispatcher. “The guy’s yelling help and I’m not going out.”

For some reason, police investigating the matter “corrected” one key witness, a local schoolteacher, by insisting that it was Zimmerman, not Martin, who had cried for help. This makes little sense: Zimmerman was armed and outweighed the frightened teenager by more than 100 pounds. (Again, one can’t help but be struck by the similarity between this incident and countless others involving actual police assaults on helpless victims.)

In addition to “correcting” one eyewitness, the Sanford PD pointedly ignored the testimony of Martin’s girlfriend, to whom the victim expressed his own fears about the unidentified man who was stalking him.

 Zimmerman’s original story, as summarized by the Miami Herald, was that “he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on when [Martin] attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck.” Zimmerman claims that he shot Martin “because he feared for his life” – a conjuration uttered by every police officer who has ever gunned down a helpless person.

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee – who has been compelled to resign – pronounced that he was satisfied with Zimmerman’s version of the incident, moving quickly to wrap up the case because “there is no evidence to dispute the shooter’s claim of self-defense.”  The police released him without testing him for drugs or alcohol.

Zimmerman, who was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer in 2005 – has called the police to report “suspicious” black males 46 times since January 2011. Neighbors have described him as “fixated on crime” and have complained about his “aggressive tactics.” 

An aggressor, of course, isn’t “standing his ground.” During the February 26 incident, Zimmerman pursued Martin, who had a legal right to be where he was. By creating the confrontation, Zimmerman was the aggressor. He had both the moral and legal duty to retreat, rather than to escalate the confrontation by employing force of any kind.

Florida’s self-defense law, like similar statutes elsewhere, makes an exception for law enforcement officers. Although he was not employed by a police department and not an official member of the volunteer neighborhood watch, Zimmerman clearly considered himself to be acting in a law enforcement capacity. For reasons yet to be made clear, the Sanford PD uncritically accepted Zimmerman’s self-characterization, granting him the kind of “professional courtesy” commonly extended to members of the privileged fraternity of official coercion. In doing so they went so far as to tamper with eyewitness testimony on his behalf.

 According to ABC News, “The Sanford Police Department says it stands by its investigation, and that it was not race or incompetence that prevented it from arresting Zimmerman but the law.” Under the terms of the Florida state statutes, however, Zimmerman committed an act of criminal homicide, not justified self-defense. Yet the civilian disarmament lobby – most likely working in collaboration with police unions – moved quickly to implicate the “Stand Your Ground” law in the killing.

 Police unions, the civilian disarmament lobby, and the state-centric media all subscribe to the idea that the government should have a monopoly on the use of force. This is why they oppose “stand your ground” and “castle doctrine” laws recognizing the individual right to armed self-defense. 

The opposition of police unions has become particularly acute in recent months as they have lobbied against “castle doctrine” laws in Minnesota and Indiana that explicitly recognize the natural right of citizens to use lethal force against police officers who unlawfully invade their property or threaten their lives.

Yes, the familiar cast of prejudice profiteers and racial ambulance chasers – who failed to be moved by the racially charged police murders of Manuel Loggins and Kenneth Chamberlain -- has helped turn the killing of Trayvon Martin into a public works project. But the ideology that has propelled this issue to the top of the media agenda isn’t a variant of racial collectivism: It is the even more murderous doctrine of government supremacism, under which Zimmerman’s lethal actions would be considered entirely appropriate if he had been swaddled in a State-issued costume. 

Within six months we should see a plethora of bills -- supported by a coalition that includes the Brady Campaign and police unions -- bearing Trayvon Martin's name, all of which will seek the repeal of "Castle Doctrine" and "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws.

 Update: It begins....

"Where is the outrage over every single one of the thousands of children and teens killed by guns?" fulminated totalitarian nanny statist Marian Wright Edleman of the so-called Children's Defense Fund on March 24. Edleman condemns what she calls  "gun slinging Americans unrestrained by common sense gun control laws" -- that is, laws that fail to provide a monopoly of violence to the most lethal segment of society, the State's enforcement caste. 

"As a nation, we must aspire and act to become the world leader in protecting children against guns rather than leading the world in child victims of guns," Edleman continues, reveling in the pureile fallacy that evil inheres in the inanimate object called a "gun," rather than the malevolent will of an individual who employs it to harm another. 

"We need a relentless, powerful citizens' voice to break the gun lobby's veto on common sense gun policy," Edleman declares, using the expression "common sense" as a functional synonym for "civilian disarmament."

Second Update: Where are Zimmerman's Injuries? 

"You fail to mention that Zimmerman had a bloodied nose and blood on the back of his head," complained an anonymous commenter below, reciting -- as if it were incontestable fact -- a second-hand assertion made on the shooter's behalf.

Surveillance video taken shortly after the shooting makes it clear that Zimmerman -- who was arrested, but not held, by the Sanford Police -- appeared to be uninjured. He sustained no physical trauma whatsoever -- unless the purported life-and-death struggle with Trayvon Martin is somehow to blame for the 28-year-old's male pattern baldness.

No wounds, no blood -- no evidence of a beating.

Eyewitness accounts establish that some kind of a physical struggle took place -- but the notion that Zimmerman was nearly beaten to death by Trayvon impossible to sustain. 

Third Update: Here they are ...

... in a photograph taken minutes after the shooting, before he was "cleaned up" by paramedics. Although the wounds clearly weren't life-threatening, they are garish and appear painful -- and clear evidence that Zimmerman was getting the worst of a fight he precipitated with an unarmed teenager he accosted without justification.
In a documented cell phone conversation with his girlfriend just before the shooting, Martin expressed concerns over being shadowed by Zimmerman, who pursued Martin on foot when the young man tried to flee. The girlfriend heard Zimmerman confront Martin, demanding to know who he was and what he was doing. In his account to the police, Zimmerman said that after talking to Martin, he reached for his cell phone, at which point he was "jumped" by the teenager. A Zimmerman family friend was told that when George reached for his phone, Martin saw the guy's gun -- and that this provoked the fight.

If this version is accurate, it was Martin -- not Zimmerman -- who acted in self-defense: He was an unarmed teenager confronted in the dark by a stranger with a gun, and was fighting for his life.
The investigating detective wanted to hold Zimmerman on suspicion of negligent homicide; this charge seems entirely justified. Second-degree murder, in my view, is not, and if I were on a jury presented with that charge I would vote to acquit. 

It's pretty clear that there was a fight...

... and Zimmerman was getting the worst of it.  We still don't know how it started, or which party was actually "standing his ground" in the face of a mortal threat. An eyewitness to the altercation who didn't see its beginning told the police that Martin was crying for help shortly before he was shot -- but the investigating detective insisted that she got that incredibly important detail wrong.

Another recent report claims that there were traces of marijuana in Martin's blood, which is interesting but entirely irrelevant to the question of self-defense. Zimmerman was never tested for alcohol or drugs.

A special -- and urgent -- appeal

Regular readers of Pro Libertate are aware that this blog has been my primary means of supporting my family since October 2006, when I lost my last "regular" job. In recent months I've been working full-time (and then some) for Republic magazine. While that engagement offers many compensations, a living wage is not found on that list. I am hopeful that this will eventually change for the better, but pending that happy day I still have a family of eight people for whom to provide. 
Our circumstances recently took a "sudden but inevitable" turn for the worse": For the second time in three years, our landlord has decided to allow the home in which we're living to go into foreclosure. He quite thoughtfully informed us about this four months after he stopped paying on the mortgage.

We could really use any help we can get -- and I'm willing to provide something in exchange for it.

I've recently received a case and a half of my most recent book, Liberty in Eclipse: The War on Terror and the Rise of the Homeland Security State, and I will send a personalized copy to every person who donates twenty dollars (or more). Please contact me (WNGrigg [at] msn [dot] [com]) with a mailing address.

Thank you so much, and God bless!

Dum spiro, pugno!

Dum spiro, pugno!


Anonymous said...

a truly great article-thank you

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grigg, first you abuse us with two cases of black men being injured or killed by white officers and thereby infer the same thing has happened in the Trayvon Martin case. This is mere subterfuge on your part.No white man killed Trayvon and his actions were certainly suspicious.
If G. Zimmerman was self-appointed as you report, why had he not been arrested for impersonation?
As every single 911 call confirms, the two were wrestling in someone's back yard. You fail to mention that Zimmerman had a bloodied nose and blood on the back of his head. It seems to me Trayvon was not so innocent after all.
Please don't start with all that Zimmerman was so much heavier than Tryvon.Weight has nothing to do with it. Zimmerman is clearly a couch potato and Trayvon a six foot tall football player.
You also fail to mention Trayvon was on a five day school suspension. Why not?
Or why is a picture of a younger Trayvon shown nationwide instead of a most recent one? This has the makings of a Hollywood tear-jerker.
So Mr. Grigg, stop jerkin' us around!

Lefty Mongtard said...

But I thought we were gonna have a post racial socialist utopia after we elected the messiah in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Its only going to get worse before it gets better. Its a discrase!!!

William N. Grigg said...

No white man killed Trayvon and his actions were certainly suspicious

... to someone who finds skinny black teenagers innately suspicious, perhaps. Martin's "actions" consisted of buying junk food and minding his own business. In what sense would this be "suspicious" to a reasonable person?

If G. Zimmerman was self-appointed as you report, why had he not been arrested for impersonation?

Because he was acting as a volunteer member of a civilian neighborhood watch, not as a police officer.

As every single 911 call confirms, the two were wrestling in someone's back yard. You fail to mention that Zimmerman had a bloodied nose and blood on the back of his head. It seems to me Trayvon was not so innocent after all

... because he was successfully defending himself against an armed aggressor? Zimmerman precipitated the conflict and was getting the worst of it until he murdered his victim. Stalkers and assailants who commit armed aggression cannot claim "self-defense." If Martin had invaded a home and shot the owner after losing a fight, would he be able to claim in those circumstances that the injuries he received proved the victim "was not so innocent after all"? Under what passes for your logic, he could.

Please don't start with all that Zimmerman was so much heavier than Tryvon.Weight has nothing to do with it. Zimmerman is clearly a couch potato and Trayvon a six foot tall football player.

Does this mean that obese stalkers have a right to gun down physically fit victims who resist?

You also fail to mention Trayvon was on a five day school suspension. Why not?

Is it your belief that this was known to Zimmerman when he began to stalk Martin? In any case, that detail isn't relevant here: Martin had no criminal record, wasn't involved in criminal activity, and posed no threat to anyone.

"This has the makings of a Hollywood tear-jerker."

Or, as I point out above, a coordinated campaign to disarm law-abiding Americans. That campaign will benefit greatly from efforts to depict this episode in terms of ethnic collectivism.

Anonymous said...

I have been following this case since it first made news. What is often ignored is that there was an eye-witness named John who was interviewed by a local TV news channel. According to this witness, he saw Zimmerman on the ground being beaten by Martin. Terrified, the witness ran back into his house, called 911, then ran upstairs to look out the window. By that time, Martin had been shot and was lying still on the ground. Zimmerman sustained injuries in the fight and other witnesses said that he was in shock after the shooting.

What we are now witnessing in the formation of nation-wide lynch mob that demands Zimmerman's arrest AND conviction. The Federal Government has moved in, shoving aside constitutional local government, to ensure that outcome of this case satisfies the lynch mob.

Swazi said...

I have to say, those police justifications are always good for a laugh. What they perpetuate, however, is not.

Anonymous said...

to anon,

is this the same witness that changed his story after being questioned by police? i'm losing track myself. and that's just one witness. what about the 911 calls and the conversation martin was having with his girlfriend.

but let's say what he saw is true? it does not change the fact that zimmerman admittedly followed the kid (no crime), and cornered him (per martin's girlfriend). we will never know who started what, but martin's actions alone put him in a bad spot.

imagine had zimmerman been stalking a "suspicious" person in a hoody, a type of a-hole who always gets away with those kind of things, followed him, cornered him, took a few blows, shot him, and then it turned out to be a girl?

the question is this, what would a normal person do, who was trying to avoid someone stalking him, if cornered.

zimmerman started this confrontation that is certain. i think the cops are covering for him. maybe because he acted just like they do.

had zimmerman been more responsible, he would have kept his distance and notified the police if he saw a crime take place.


The Mob Rules said...

I made a Kony 2012 internet meme on my parent's computer...I saved Uganda.

Tone.Are said...

George Zimmerman :: THE NEW WHITE

Bob said...

Freedom-hating fundamentalist statists like Marian Edelman make me sick. She is a state-of-mind Communist and exploits kids (like other state worshipers) for their own dangerous political ends.

Anonymous said...

Zimmerman is hispanic

Should not have anything to do with the case but the rent-a-mob is clamoring for the White man to pay for this "crime".
Not saying he was justified as it appears.....murkey at best, but if its going to be a racial thing it needs to correctly ID the race.

William N. Grigg said...

but if its going to be a racial thing it needs to correctly ID the race.

Unless one of the two principals in this incident has a Romulan or Klingon ancestor, they were both from exactly the same race: Human. Fixating on an ethnic dimension of this episode will advance the real purpose of this generated furor, which is civilian disarmament.

I don't give a gust of flatulence in a wind tunnel over the question of Mr. Zimmerman's precise ethnic background, or whether Trayvon at the time he was killed didn't resemble the cherubic individual depicted in most media-provided photographs. The core issue here is the non-aggression principle: Which of these two was the aggressor?

jb said...



This time you lost your objectivity.

William N. Grigg said...

jb -- I'm an opinion journalist, which means that in the strictest sense I have no objectivity to lose: I am promoting a point of view, and make that fact obvious to the attentive reader. I do strive to be fair, however.

This isn't a story about race; it's a story about the non-aggression principle. This is true despite the best efforts of melanin-obsessed people of contending varieties. What matters here is, first of all, not what either of the parties looked like, but what they did; and secondly, the use to which the needless and unjustified shooting of Trayvon Martin will be put by people who want to abolish the right to armed self-defense.

Lawrence said...

I have issues with this article, but this comment is about your house.

If you have been living there and making payments, you might want to talk to the lender about staying. In this market they will not want to lose money on an empty house. You might even get to pick it up, that's how my parents got their house about 45 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Come on Grigg, you are jumping the gun by describing the shooting as "needless and unjustified". Cut the rehtorical bullshit. The physical evidence has Zimmerman having been on his back on the grass, a broken nose, and a large gash on the back of his head. That paints a picture of Trayvon smashing Zimmerman's face, knocking him to the ground, and getting on top of him to continue the abuse. I'd give the average person 10 seconds at best in that situation before death. Far fewer if the ground had rocks on it or if there was a sidewalk there.

Are you really telling me that in that situation you would not pull the trigger? That instead you would take your beating?

And quit equating what Zimmerman did to that of a stalker. This "stalker" garbage started in the MSM a few days ago and has caught on, and it is completely disingenuous. If you are driving in your own neighborhood, see someone suspicious, and get out of your car to ask them what they are doing. THAT IS NOT STALKING.

To date this looks like a case of self-defense, we will see if more information becomes public that alters that idea. And don't ever equate a case of self defense with overactive police executing individuals.

William N. Grigg said...

The physical evidence has Zimmerman having been on his back on the grass, a broken nose, and a large gash on the back of his head.

The only "physical evidence" provided to the public so far is the dead body of an unarmed teenager. The picture you describe, and embellish through speculation, has been painted through strategic leaks from the Sanford PD. If Zimmerman was beaten as severely as we've been told, it's odd that he didn't go to the hospital immediately -- and that we've not seen photos of those grave injuries.

Are you really telling me that in that situation you would not pull the trigger? That instead you would take your beating?

I'm telling you that I wouldn't provoke or precipitate a fight of this kind in the first place, as Zimmerman did.

And quit equating what Zimmerman did to that of a stalker. This "stalker" garbage started in the MSM a few days ago and has caught on, and it is completely disingenuous. If you are driving in your own neighborhood, see someone suspicious, and get out of your car to ask them what they are doing. THAT IS NOT STALKING.

Trayvon Martin's comments to his girlfriend made it clear that he perceived Zimmerman as a stalker; the available recordings make it clear that Zimmerman pursued Martin -- who was behaving himself and minding his own business -- after being specifically instructed not to do so.

Martin was an invited guest who had done nothing wrong, and he found himself being tailed, pursued, and accosted in the dark by a pushy and truculent stranger. Why shouldn't he have perceived Zimmerman as a stalker?

To date this looks like a case of self-defense, we will see if more information becomes public that alters that idea.

When we're confronted with the dead body of an unarmed teenager, the default assumption isn't that the gun who pulled the trigger was acting in self-defense -- especially when the shooter had needlessly precipitated the confrontation, and the dead teenager had expressed fears about the man who had been following him.

Anonymous said...

The Zimmerman/Martin incident has all the hallmarks of an overwhelming policy: we leave fact-finding to the judicial branch. If Zimmerman had been charged, as he should have been initially, he would have had the chance to tell his side of the story to the judge or jury. That's the precise reason we have trials in the first place. The fact the police have taken over the function of determining whether charges should even be filed is just more proof that we've entered a police state.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this punk was the one acting like a cop by attacking Zimmerman. Think about all those people that get attacked for filming cops in public. I believe they also have the right to shoot the real aggressor just like Zimmerman did.

Larken Rose said...

Context matters. Saying that someone saw Martin beating up Zimmerman, by itself, means nothing. If some thug (with or without a badge) decides to randomly assault me, and you happen to look in at the wrong time, you might see me hitting, or even shooting him. It matters who STARTED it; who was the aggressor and who was the defender? It sounds a lot like Zimmerman was an aspiring fascist, thinking it was his business to harass and assault people based on empty suspicions (or something worse). And it seems the cops recognize a fellow megalomaniac spirit enough to instantly take the side of the attacker. Gack.

Anonymous said...

Several of you have made statements about the 911 calls "clearly" show Zimmerman pursued Trayvon. The recording I have heard unequivocally shows no such thing, although it was admitted that CNN edited it for time. In the 911 call on their website the 911 operator tells Zimmerman he does not need need Zimmerman to pursue the suspicious looking individual, and Zimmerman says "okay".

If we assume that they edited out a large section of the call, demonstrating that he did pursue the suspicious looking person, so what? In what world is it even remotely considered a crime to walk up to someone and ask them what they are doing?

Police report says there were multiple injuries to Zimmerman's head and face, does not mention any injuries to Treyvon. Either Zimmerman picked fight, and sucks royally at fighting, or Treyvon initiated the fight and got in a few hits before Zimmerman drew his weapon.

Does anyone have any information regarding injuries to Treyvon that may have been sustained from a fight?

I am amazed that so many want to paint Zimmerman as a "stalker" when, at most, he walked up to Trayvon and asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood. Treyvon could have walked away, he could have run away, he could have remained silent, he could have answered Zimmerman, he could have called the police himself. This fact pattern would not ever alert anyone to use the rhetoric of "stalker" if it hadn't escalated into a fight. And I still see zero evidence that supports the idea that Zimmerman initiated any type of fight.

Asking someone a question is never a justification to turn and attack that person. If you don't like that then you need to move to a country that lacks a first amendment.

RustyShackleford said...

Frankly, I find the attempts to demonize this kid disturbing. If you're so convinced that he was the initial aggressor (though it's pretty dishonest to have a firm position either way at this point, given the scant evidence), why can't you let the evidence stand on its own?

Anonymous said...

Even the term "civilian disarmament" seems in adequate, as the police, at least in principle, are supposed to be civilians (even though they are, in practice, an army of occupation). Maybe a still more expedient term would be "taxpayer disarmament," reflecting the split between the productive class and the political class.

Anonymous said...

They had a protest in my city over this.
Except for some TeaParty rallies and a one hour protest against The Fed, since Obama got elected nobody protests nothing in my city, and now this? It's kinda out of the blue and out of character.

Strange thing is (and I'm no racists and I'm not Fixating on an ethnic dimension of this episode, I'm just observant) I noticed from the photo on my local paper it seemed all the protesters were black,... oh but that's not the strange part. The strange part is, suddenly I'm seeing unusual acting black dudes all over town like I've never seen before. I couldn't even describe it if I had two pages.

You know when Bill or George or any super big hot-shot comes to town there's this influx of black guys walking around in leather jackets (I'm guessing they're security trying to act like the locals) well, this latest group isn't like that at all. For half of them it's more like they're on a vacation cruise with extra wads of cash to spend.

I've been spending some time in the stores myself lately and I keep bumping into these People everywhere, from the conversations I overhear it's obvious they're not from here and they are spending like crazy. ... This ain't exactly a tourist town.

Maybe it's an odd series of numerous coincidences I suppose, but then again, it seems to me the protest groups in my area are being bussed in from somewhere, I heard a town name mentioned several times,... dang it I can't recall the name.

I've read about protestors being shipped in, in other cities for other reasons, but this is the first time I've ever seen it here. ... not that it hasn't happened before.

I thought it was interesting, maybe others would too?

The term, "community organizer" comes to mind for some reason. That, and it doesn't look like Pat Buchanan is going to see the Obama of Tampa any time soon.

Anonymous wrote, "I am amazed that so many want to paint Zimmerman as a "stalker" when, at most, he walked up to Trayvon and asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood."

That's hilarious, in a sad way. Just meander up the the guy and meekly and innocently in a non-threatening way ask? Riight, As if. ... Are you a girl?

realtalk said...

According to court records George Zimmerman is the son of retired Supreme Court Magistrate Judge Robert J Zimmerman, his mother Gladys Zimmerman is a court clerk....He has three closed arrests 7/18/05 for resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer div 10........8/9/05 for domestic violence div 44..... And again on 8/10/05 domestic violence div 46.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? What planet are you from?

Rufous H. Byrd said...

Both sides of this debate have failed to ask another question: Cui Bono?

I disagree with many who think race to be irrelevant in this issue. It's very the State. "Left" and "right" are political oppositions and both "sides" are playing their part wonderfully.

The "right" usually loves to pretend they are "tough on crime;" they largely support the war on drugs; the continuance and propagation of innumerable obscure and often contradictory laws; etc. The State should be a tough taskmaster no matter the social and economic circumstances of the perps. They will get their day in court even if they have little to no choice in accepting the asinine deals presented to them by the parasitical lawyer class. The poor, in general, but minorities in particular, simply cannot afford the bond, court fees, etc.

The "left," on the other hand, loves noting more than "social justice" which means idiotic laws against thought and intention (at least those of certain people); they provide the very economic and social conditions which infantilize their ethnic pet projects with welfare housing, medical care, Federal subsidies in the form of checks, food stamps; they believe in progressive taxation that usually only progressively goes up; a bloated bureaucracy full of psychopaths who willingly coerce the wealth of others and skim a large percentage off the top for themselves as "administrative costs."

No. Race issues are exactly the axle-grease that promotes the State to come wheeling in whenever there's a problem they've already exacerbated by throwing bones to both "sides." Both have played their part magnificently in this case which will only result in some "Trayvon Martin Act" which will only penalize us and give the State yet more power.

Anonymous said...

What I know is this:

1. the main stream media is doing the 'reporting'

2. the whole thing has been politicized

3. the whole thing has been put into the racial arena.

My conclusion: the truth, as it exists in reality, will never be entirely known.

A fact: Someone violated the non aggression principle and Grigg is correct to state so. The violator, whomever that may be, is the proximate cause. If Martin, he has paid; if Zimmerman, he should pay.

Anonymous said...

Sandberg and his colleagues will still do great long after the case grounds to dust.

They take care of their own.

(By PK, 4 generations of government payroll including a cop, a justice of peace and a government employee.)

Anonymous said...

Suspensions, taking a swing at a bus driver, caught at school with a women's diamond wedding rings and earings "a friend gave me", burglary tools (for Show & Tell, right)...

I think Zimmerman was a busybody cop-wannabe douchebag who may well have fired his gun without justification, but I am also gonna go out on a limb and predict that next year, and for the next 50 years, school will be open on Trayvon "No Limit N----" (his Twitter handle) Martin's birthday.

Cynical in New York said...

Looks like the "beating" that Zimmerman took turns out to be false.;_ylt=AktrTDu87tGUItsSZCFVjces0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNtcHE4OGJqBG1pdANKdW1ib3Ryb24gRlAEcGtnAzg3N2Vk

Lemuel Gulliver said...

What can one conclude from all this? In America, it seems, there are two classes: the Rulers, and the Ruled. The rulers are the rich, who can buy servants anywhere (including in statehouses and on Capitol Hill); successful con men who have talked themselves into political power; and anyone bearing a title and uniform of some sort. Even those who merely sport a TSA badge, or a judge's robes, or a city councillor's ID, or a meter-maid's ticket book. The ruled is Everyone Else. And everyone aspires to rule someone else - anyone - even if it is only their work subordinates, or their wife, or their children. I think this American phenomenon may be justifiably called the triumph of fascism. It is a national mindset, a national sport, a national hobby. Everyone craves the power to order someone else to obey their most perverse whims and fancies. Even landlords, homeowner's associations, and garden clubs. However, it gets dangerous when this national addiction to coercive power is directed at those who can fight back, like Iran, China, Russia, and other "others" who possess nuclear weapons. The American national sport, of dominance over everyone, might perhaps then potentially become not so satisfying, after all.

PS: Perhaps mandatory estrogen injections for men, or the outlawing of tight underwear for all males under 35, might be the answer to this dominance addiction. Perhaps we should set up a new Cabinet agency, the Department of A Kinder Gentler America, and hire tens of thousands of armed enforcers with body armor, plexiglass shields, and billy clubs. We have already mandated total equality between the sexes. I have therefore decided that as a man, I want the opportunity to get pregnant and bear children. I demand it as my human right, (since our sanctified Founding Fathers decreed that all men and women are created equal,) and I want the taxpayers to pay for the medical costs. (I am on pension, so I don't pay taxes. Ha, ha, all you working slobs.) Perhaps this more complete gender equality can be the first order of business for the Department of A Kinder Gentler America. God bless this great country.

Anonymous said...

Although the entire situation is unfortunate, I found that there could quite well be a "learning moment" if one examined the way the mass media directed the narrative. That was the big story, I'd say. Look at how they manipulate people into a frenzy.

NBC News is being excoriated in some circles for selectively editing audio of the 911 call placed by George Zimmerman just before he killed Trayvon Martin.

In the NBC segment, Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
The full version, though, unfolds like this:
Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”
Zimmerman: “He looks black.”

Also what is interesting is how this story has given cover to other various issues of even greater importance. O's newest Executive Order taking over everything in peacetime and the five year citizen data storage thingy, and the O impeachment bill in congress.

Anonymous said...

The big story is the reaction of the media? If you really believe that, you have a very Collectivist outlook, and I have this personal predjudice that All Collectivists Are Worthless, Unreasoning Douchebags. The real story here (in spite of the attempts of many AWAs (Assholes With Agenda) from all wavelengths of the political spectrum to hijack it is that a teen-ager who was doing no apparent harm _may_ have been stalked and murdered with no justification by a wannabe Pig and subsequently afforded a fabricated defense by said Pigs because they ultimately decided that he was on their side of their "thin blue line". The actual events may have been different from that scenario, but what little (vastly insufficient at this time, and certainly distorted by the AWA) objective evidence has been presented to date does not appear to favor Zimmernan's version of events.

Also, attempts to exonerate Zimmerman from possible motivation from racial prejudice by identifying him as Hispanic are beyond laughable. First, when last I checked, those who are preoccupied with such attributes classify Hispanics (Latinos, et al) as Caucasian. Second, I have the personal acquaintence of many Hispanics who are virulently prejudiced against Blacks. Hell, I know Dominican Republic ex-pats who despise Puerto Ricans and Mexicans on the basis of ethnicity.

Darren McPhilimy said...

Several commenters are wrong to suggest that Zimmerman attempted to question Martin about his presence in the neighborhood.

According to Zimmerman's own account:

"Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.

Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cellphone, he told police. Trayvon then said, "Well, you do now," or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose, according to the account he gave police."

I would certainly consider the actions of someone who stalked me first by vehicle and then on foot in the dead on night and then failed to identify himself or state his reasons for following me to be a threat. Even a police officer must identify himself under such circumstances according to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law :


776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.---
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law...

If police officers must identity themselves in such circumstances it would seem reasonable that any cop wannabe should be held to at least the same standard. But Zimmerman did not identify himself or say that he was acting as a member of a Neighborhood Watch. At that point any reasonable person would consider fight or flight. Martin chose to stand his ground as the law permits.

willb said...

Mr. Grigg,

These neighborhood watch groups are suppose to "watch," not "enforce."

Allowable officious conduct should not include shooting the neighborhood pets, or gunning down the children.

Anonymous said...

Hey, did you notice the news now about the case?
It says that we've been prejudiced by the photographs@! Isn't that sick?! Zimmerman looks just as beastly in the recent photograph and Martin would be just as undeserving of Zim's 'attention' if he were slightly taller and older. In fact Zim looks even more powerful when he's less pudgy.
I don't have a direct link but it's on and

Anonymous said...

WG, you have a fine blog, and 99% of the time you're spot on. This time however, you're wrong. Trayvon was CLEARLY attacking Zimmerman. This was a clean & legal shoot per Florida law. Please, "man up" and admit that you got the facts WRONG.

William N. Grigg said...

Trayvon was CLEARLY attacking Zimmerman.

When did this "clearly" happen, and why?

We have the unsupported word of the shooter that he was attacked, which is certainly what he'd be expected to say. Yet a witness to the confrontation via telephone has offered a sworn statement that Martin was in fear of Zimmerman -- a belligerent stranger who stalked him and then pursued and accosted him. We have independent, contemporaneous proof of Martin's state of mind, and only Zimmerman's after-the-fact rationale to claim that the killer was acting out of fear for his life.

Martin, per the witness mentioned above, retreated when Zimmerman pursued him -- that pursuit is confirmed by Zimmerman's 911 call. The witness likewise heard Zimmerman confront Martin, something he had specifically been instructed not to do so.

Per Florida law, Zimmerman was the aggressor, and Martin had the right to stand his ground if a physical confrontation occurred. Zimmerman had no right to accost Martin, and both the moral and legal duty to retreat. His story was pungent with falsehood, which is why the investigating detective (who saw Zimmerman's injuries, such as they were, first-hand) initially wanted to charge him with negligent homicide, which strikes me as a pretty sound assessment of the event.

Mike said...

Mr. Grigg,

So far as I can tell, you have this pegged. Refreshingly so considering the knee-jerk and utterly counter-productive response of the "gun crowd".

One of the cowardly "anonymous" comments above even suggests that the survival period for a full-grown man being punched is "less than ten seconds"....What nonsense.

I submit-Boxing.

Also, I'm, by this reasoning, dead many times over. When I was younger, I worked as a bouncer in a rough nightclub-I've been punched by large angry men(including on SEVERAL occasions the drunken, and pathetic, flailing of off-duty police)...a single punch is not a big deal-many can be a problem, but do not justify lethal force.

Anonymous, have you ever tried to kill anything-let alone a large mammal-without a weapon? It is much more difficult than you think.

The response from the self-defense and gun crowd should have been-"It is too bad Treyvon didn't have a weapon." HE clearly was in a position where he needed one.

We can speculate as to why that has not been the response....

It is my sincere hope your living situation reaches a positive resolution-I'm impecunious at the moment myself, so I can offer little but my best wishes.

Curt said...

many can be a problem, but do not justify lethal force.

When you are laying on the floor, taking MANY punches... at which time do you say, "Okay. This guy is going to kill me or cause great bodily injury?"

After you have been knocked out, then you can shoot?

Anyhow, you are right on so many counts, but you are wrong on this one Will.

William N. Grigg said...

Curt, I appreciate your comments and your politely expressed disagreement. :-)

RHN said...

Mr. Grigg,

As an avid reader of yours, it's doesn't surprise me that you're the lone voice of reason on the Trayvon Martin case.

It's to be expected that the civilian disarmament crusaders would appropriate Trayvon's corpse as a mascot. More frustrating, however, is that respectable libertarian writers are casting knee-jerk aspersions on Martin's victimhood, seemingly in reaction to his portrayal in the media as an anti-gun martyr.

I detest media racializing and anti-gun activism as much as anyone, but this cynicism runs contrary to the evidence, which suggests Zimmerman murdered Trayvon. And writing articles about entirely irrelevant photos or Twitter user-names is not only ad hominem circumstantial, it also serves to further racialize the case (and in no flattering way).

As you elucidated so well, even if Trayvon was an ignorant roustabout, he was perfectly *allowed* to be one so long as he wasn't hurting anyone else.

So, where are Zimmerman's injuries? Isn't the burden of proof on the killer to demonstrate he acted in self-defense? Why hasn't he been asked to? Isn't it reasonable to investigate a boy's death, and to allow his killer to testify before a jury of his peers (that is, his non-costumed, non-criminal peers)? And when have libertarians EVER trusted an LEO spokesman's assurances that, "These aren't the droids you're looking for"?

As awful and tasteless as attempts to martyr Trayvon for the anti-gun cause may be, efforts to make Zimmerman a martyr for gun-owners and *just* practitioners of self-defense is far worse.

Anonymous said...

No, attempts to say anything good about guns are far worse. For you. What's worse for everybody else is to make self-defense a suspicious thing, and lower yet, to say a 250lb giant was a 50lb child and a latino was a white to make a shameless bid for black supremacy. This is like media circus with the lacrosse team.

lafortuna said...

"We still don't know how it started, or which party was actually "standing his ground" in the face of a mortal threat."

That's the most reasonable thing you've said about the Martin/Zimmerman incident: we don't know who was standing his ground and who was the aggressor - and a prosecutor may not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that i was Zimmerman. That's the reason for the Murder Two charge. It's an attempt to intimidate Z. into taking a plea, because the case itself is difficult to make.

I agree that Z. should have just left Martin alone, and that he profiled Martin. If Zimmerman had threatened martin, put his hands on him, or flashed his pistol, you could argue that Martin was in legit fear for his life. But no one saw Zimmerman do such a thing, and it's just as likely that Martin attacked Zimmerman because he was outraged at being profiled and harassed.
FL law says that an aggressor loses his right to stand his ground, and must exhaust all possible means of escape before resorting to lethal self defense. Zimmerman was arguably an aggressor or provocateur to the fight with Martin, but just as arguably, he HAD exhausted all means of retreat once he landed prone on his back, and Martin straddled him - flight or de-escalation at that point would be difficult if not impossible.

Also, you could argue that even if Trayvon started out defending himself, once he'd knocked his attacker supine, pinned him to the ground, and continued to rain punches down on him, his role at that point changed from defender to aggressor.

Or maybe not. Maybe, because Zimmerman was armed, Trayvon was afraid to let up on him until Z was unconscious or until Trayvon had control of the weapon, for fear that if he let Zimmerman up he'd be shot. Maybe maybe maybe.

Zimmerman should have left Martin alone. Whether his actions just prior to the fight were illegal or just unwise I'm not sure. That's what juries are for.

lafortuna said...

RHN, as far as the burden of proof goes, as I understand it there is less burden of proof on the shooter, thanks to SYG laws. In FL the shooter claiming self defense can file a motion to dismiss, pretrial, and if he can prove by a preponderance of evidence - a much lower standard then beyond reasonable doubt - that his actions were defensive, the judge may dismiss the case. In Z's case, I don't think he'd make the "preponderance of evidence" hurdle to get the case dismissed, but the prosecution may not be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that his claim of self defense is false either. SYG makes self defense a somewhat less 'affirmative' defense than in jurisdictions without such laws.

As far as your question "why hasn't he been asked to do so yet" well, it's because they haven't had the trial yet.


This is certainly the proverbial "can of worms" to open, but here goes.
The facts present themselves: Both parties were in a public or public accessable area.
G.Zimmerman, no matter what capacity he had assumed for himself had every right to be there.
T.Martin: Likewise above.
A confrontation occurred.
Now, with updated information, we can see that Zimmerman did indeed sustain injuries from an apparent assault.
In the application of Deadly Force it is only necessary that the VICTIM believes that they are likely to receive serious bodily injury or be killed by the assault to respond with deadly force.

Question: At what point can a distant observer determine what is actually the probablility of "serious bodily injury" or likelihood of death? That decision is reasonably and lawfully left to the victim to be able to articulate. For anyone to proffer that they can determine what constitutes a deadly threat to another in the imminence of the moment is a fallacious argument totally without moral grounds.
Yes, mistakes can be made in the heat of the moment that can result in tragedy, i.e. the intruder shot in a home turns out to be a family member coming home late.
These types of incidents could certainly be curtailed if people would seek proper training in personal defense. However, humans are lazy animals and quite arrogant especially about supposed rights of self-defense.

Question: What should Martin have done?
My answer would be: The same thing that Zimmerman was doing. Call 911,
back off, and leave the area.
Oh! you say that I want Martin shot in the back, huh?
In the hard reality would anything now be different except there would be no question of Zimmerman's actions.
Other concepts in the use of Deadly Force will come into play in this upcoming circus. One of which is the concept of "Disparity of Force". Which takes into consideration the physical differences between two combatants,i.e. size, strength, age, skill and some others. Presuming of course it was not a "mutual combat" as described by statute.
The State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was the aggressor and that he initiated the combat. Zimmerman has already established his "affirmative defense" and now must justify his actions before a jury or "cop a plea". As far as any information I can glean Zimmerman was not engaged in any unlawful activity. Neither was Martin.
The "Stand Your Ground" law is not usually worded as such but as " duty to retreat.." depending, of course, that the person invoking the statue must not have been engaged in any unlawful activity at the time.
Race baiters see this incident as a chance to promote themselves as champions and to instigate more racial distrust and hatred. They profit from it.
If truth wins out, and I pray it does and regardless of Zimmerman's culpability, this case will set some precedence that will be resounding.
Many have called for immediate repeal of "stand your ground" laws nationwide thereby facilitating that all must retreat from criminal assault regardless of the preclusion that might exist. This is a heinous concept and deprives the law abiding of any standing to defend their lives at all.
Forbid it Almighty God!