Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Tragedy Unfolds

Trayvon Martin was killed by a gunshot from George Zimmerman's handgun. This is an undisputed fact. However, what led up to George feeling he had to shoot Trayvon is what is in doubt.

From what we can piece together Zimmerman is a self appointed neighborhood watch that has made over 40 calls to 911 over the last year. Zimmerman has made so many calls he is almost considered a nuisance to the local police. Needless to say this shows a certain zeal for being a neighbor hood watch almost bordering on obsession. Zimmerman reportedly desired to be a policeman according to some reports.

Trayvon Martin (despite the cute 14 year old he is pictured in the press) was 17 years old and black. He was wearing a gang related item of clothing, a hoodie. Now, I have worn hoodies and I am sure many of you have, there is nothing inherently damning by wearing a hoodie. However, would I wear a known gang related item in an area where it might be misconstrued? Probably not. Anyway, Trayvon, according to testimony, had left his fathers house and was walking to a local convenience store to get a few harmless items (tea and candy of some sort)when the shooting occurred.

From what has been pieced together Zimmerman spotted what he considered to be a suspicious person in an area where crime was on the uptick, someone he didn't recognize as a part of the neighborhood. He called 911 and started to follow Martin in his vehicle. Martin, noticing he was being followed pulled his hood up and started moving faster. At this point Zimmerman was told by the 911 operator not to pursue him. He did anyway, after losing him, he parked his vehicle and looked around on foot. What happens next is still not clear.

Zimmerman apparently pursued for a while, then started back to his truck, at which point he was supposedly attacked by Martin from the left rear. Now, does the act of stopping the pursuit then put Zimmerman back under the protection of the Castle law?

Castle law where Zimmerman resides states that when attacked you have no duty to retreat, that you may defend yourself up to and including lethal force from a concealed weapon. Zimmerman had a concealed weapons permit and carried a pistol.

An eyewitness has stated he saw Trayvon on top of Zimmerman, hitting him in the face and pounding his head into the concrete, pleas for help, identified as either coming from Zimmerman or Trayvon are recorded on 911 tapes. The witness went to a different window to get a better view, when he looked back out, he saw Trayvon laying on the ground and Zimmerman by him with the gun. The police showed up 2 minutes later. Zimmerman was bleeding from his nose and the back of head and the back of his clothes were wet from the grass.

So, what happened? Who knows, what you feel happened will be colored by your viewpoint. Both Zimmerman, and I am sure Trayvon, felt justified in whatever they did. Was Castle law to blame? I assume the detractors would have us all run from any confrontation, giving over anything asked us up to and including our money, health and even life before hurting someone else. However, places where you are required to flee until your back is to the wall and only then can you defend yourself, have a terrible record of fatalities. Those places that have a requirement to flee also have strict gun laws thus insuring an unarmed populace not able to defend themselves.

Zimmerman should have stopped following Trayvon as soon as the 911 operator told him to. Since Trayvon was not presenting a threat Zimmerman should have reported him, then gone on about his business. So in pursuing Trayvon, had Trayvon attacked him, Trayvon would be in the right in accordance with the Castle law as Zimmerman had become the aggressor. However, if it happened as Zimmerman has said, and, the physical evidence as presented thus far seems to support, that while he had been pursuing Treyvon, he lost sight of him and was returning to his truck, thus, no longer the aggressor, when he was attacked by Trayvon, then the Castle law comes back to being on Zimmerman's side. If Zimmerman felt that he had no other recourse, then using his concealed weapon was his right under the law.

At 6 foot and 160 pounds to 5'9" (no weight given) Trayvon had reach and possibly strength on his side. At 17 I was only 150 pounds at 5'10" and I could press 200 pounds, run 5 miles, swim a mile and was pretty fast with my hands. If I had attacked an older, out of shape man, I feel I could have won the day. The picture shown of Trayvon is not of a 6 foot 160 pound teenager, it is apparently of a 14 year old that looks maybe 5' 6" and a little over 100 pounds if that. Let's see a current High school picture. Oh, right, that wouldn't garner the same amount of sympathy.

It will be interesting to see how this tragedy unfolds, I would not want to be on the jury if it comes to that. My prayers go out to Trayvon's and George's families as both will suffer from the consequences of this for years to come.

No comments: