Comments

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN SPEAKS — 66 Comments

  1. Will listen as soon as I get a chance. I was just thinking the other day that GZ has been out of the news for quite a while. Hope that’s a good thing. Thanks Mas.

  2. I have been surprised that George Zimmerman has not gotten together with his attorneys and written a book. Cover both the personal and legal aspects of the case. Maybe this would allow George to pay off his debts and have a little money in the bank.

    With a bit of money George might relocate for awhile to a Spanish speaking country since he speaks Spanish. I doubt if anyone in Peru, his mother’s home country has any interest in his case. And for those who would harm him Peru is far away and an environment where they would be noticed and find it hard to operate. After say five years or so this incident will be old news in this country.

    It is not right that an innocent man should have to consider living his country for awhile. But I think by this time George has learned that reality is not always “right.”

  3. Zimmerman’s problem is not a new one. Not to argue the merits of his case but suggest we remember Bernard Goetz. It has been 30 years and he lives a life of poverty and isolation. Still hunted and life in danger today. The miscreants he shot all went on to great heights of accomplishment and contribution to society, but a guy who had this nations top clearances and maintained our nuclear arsenal is a pariah.

    Zimmerman’s life is gone. The left has tuned personal destruction to a fine art.

  4. You know, there’s kind of a flip side to this: Police officers have repeatedly stated that when citizens interact with them they should just follow instructions and if their rights are abused then take that up later in the courts. Most recently, for example, Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association President Jeffrey Follmer on December 15, 2014:

    “How about this? Listen to police officers commands, listen to what we tell you, and just stop. I think that eliminates a lot of problems. … I think the nation needs to realize that when we tell you to do something, do it, and if you’re wrong you’re wrong, and if you’re right, then the courts will figure it out.”

    http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/police-union-chief-tamir-rice-killing-justified-373082691506 at 8:10

    That misses two points: First, civil rights aren’t just laws to provide a remedy once they’ve been abused, they’re laws to prevent those abuses from happening in the first place. And, second and more to the point here, the costs of “having the courts figure it out” can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and take months to years to resolve with the police officer being likely provided a defense from public coffers while the citizen’s comes out of their own pocket. Saying “do what I say and if you don’t like it then just sue me” doesn’t solve the problem.

  5. After listening to Zimmerman’s voice and what he had to say it gives one a chance to have second thoughts about ccw and what it means if you ever have to shoot.

    As a member of the ACLDN and the USCCA, you will still get ground up like sausage in the media and probably in debt for the rest of your life.
    Thanks, Godfather, for the opportunity.

  6. Non-uncle Dave, what would be your suggested alternative to following the officer’s commands during the contact? Resisting arrest? BTW, this really belongs in one of the Ferguson commentary threads…

  7. Mas, let me answer your question with a question: What would be your suggested alternative to the high legal and personal cost to be paid by persons who kill someone in self-defense? I think that the answer in both cases is perhaps a little more restraint from the other side.

    There’s a considerable distance between following all commands and resisting arrest: the problem is that officers often consider one to be the other. There’s a considerable and growing body of cases, for example, in which officers are being held liable for arresting or assaulting bystanders or seizing equipment after they have continued to film or photograph the officers in public areas after having been ordered to stop in circumstances in which they were not interfering with the officer in any way other than merely filming. Should they just meekly stop and put away their cameras just because the officer has issued a legally-unenforceable order?

  8. Dave, a self-defense fatal shooting versus refusal to obey the command of a police officer are apples and oranges.

    Dave, I don’t know what you do for a living, but would YOU be distracted by someone standing a few feet away from you while you performed some particularly difficult work that demanded your concentration, and distraction might impair your safety? Would it matter to you if the person with the camera was yelling at you and telling you how to do that job? Cops find it distracting too, and it can compromise their safety in some situations, as well as the safety of the public.

    If you believe the officer is acting incorrectly, follow the commands and make the complaints you think appropriate afterward, through Internal Affairs and court venues if you with. To suggest physical resistance or flouting of the officer’s commands is irresponsible, IMO.

  9. Mas life is so dang complex. After watching a news report about an area LEO who sexually assaulted women when he pulled them over for traffic violations, I got asked a difficult question by my daughter. A damn difficult and upsetting question. “Dad what should I do? ”

    I won’t go into what I told her. What would YOU tell her?

  10. Mas, as I recall, Liberal Dave revealed he is an attorney (felt it necessary to tout his affiliation with the ACLU) a couple of threads back. He also revealed a stint as a prosecutor. My thoughts on his posts in this thread mirrors yours.

    An attorney, during a trial, who is faced with a point of law, or procedure, that he is not sure of, can ask for a recess or a moment to consult with an assistant (or to ‘check his notes”), without being berated and called stupid and inept by the judge or spectators. He normally, according to how well he wishes to represent his client (the defendant or the state) has spent some measure of time preparing, in private, with his research library or legal assistant, for this presentation in court. Picture taking and video in the courtroom is fairly new, and at the discretion of the judge. If someone intentionally interferes with the proceedings, they are promptly removed by the bailiff.

    A police officer doesn’t have the same advantages afforded him. He is expected to be fully knowledgeable of all applicable laws in every situation he might be confronted with. Since the Rodney King video, a segment of society seems intent on capturing on video the next example of police abuse. This has resulted in a seemingly endless stream of obviously edited internet postings supposedly showing these abuses. How many folks saw the complete, unedited, Rodney King video showing King throwing a police officer on top of a squad car when he first exited his vehicle? I’m not defending the officer’s actions afterward, just making a point of how a narrative can be enhanced by editing and a media with an agenda ( can we use Zimmerman/CNN as an example? ). Many of these street video journalist start out their day with a mission. An example would be the “Open Carry Texas” folks. They seem to always show up at places they know their actions will cause at least someone to be alarmed enough to call the police. Several stand by to record the interaction. If the responding officer asks for their weapon, the group immediately starts challenging his knowledge of the law. I’m sure that even Liberal Dave would admit the officer is being set up. He has been called upon by a citizen, whose peace has been disturbed, to investigate why this person is openly carrying a weapon that looks like what they’ve seen on TV being used in mass killings. The officer doesn’t know until he has interviewed the weapon bearer, who he is dealing with. He has every right (and obligation) to approach this person and ascertain not only who he is, but also what his intentions are. He also has every right to demand control of the weapon until he has finished the interview. This is where these folks seem to want to escalate tensions by declaring their 2nd amendment rights, all the while gleefully taking video to post online, berating the “stupid cop” who is violating their right to keep and bear arms. In fact, everything the officer did in this scenario was lawful and backed by constitutional case law.

    I know I drifted off subject, but my point is don’t convict anyone on videos you see on you-tube and don’t hang your hat on legal opinions coming from agenda driven pundits. You’re most likely seeing or reading only one side of the story.

    Seems as if we were warned about the perils of this by someone named Ayoob.

  11. Zimmerman had accomplices Mark Osterman was the creepy ass crack not hispanic looking Zimmerman.

    Here is proof of two accomplices. At 1:33 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WI4x2JPcOA Jeremy is talking to John Good’s wife says he warned me he’d shoot em. Yet Jeremy lied and said he didn’t know Zimmerman never went outside ect. So how was he warned? because he was with Zimmerman when Zimmerman was on the phone with dispatcher.

    At 1:44 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WI4x2JPcOA around that you hear Zimmerman from outside say Mark. Proof Mark Osterman was there.

    Note: People assumed Zimmerman got out and ran after Trayvon like the dispatcher assumed. That did not happen. WHAT HAPPENED IS Zimmerman was already out of his truck and was getting in truck riding with the window down to the back entrance. You drive with the window down on cell phone its going to give that run like sound but notice Zimmerman voice remained the same. He was not running then but he and accomplice drove to back entrance where they always get away with window down. Mark Osterman with the spare keys that was never tested for DNA moved his truck later to the T. This is why the looking for the address and Travyon doubling back or waiting to beat up Zimmerman is bogus. There is no telling where Trayvon ran only Zimmerman’s word.

  12. The moment that Mr. Zimmerman stepped out of his truck, he was in the wrong. There was no imminent threat. He had called the police. He was advised by the operator not to follow the subject. He was suspicious of the kid’s intent based upon his clothing and seemingly aimless walking. Even police officers, when alone, would be reluctant to pursue someone (not knowing if they carried a weapon) down a narrow, dark passage with foliage on either side. At the minimum, they would have their flashlight on – searching.

    Once they engaged, I have no idea what really happened. There was no need for it to happen. Mr. Zimmerman was not a police officer. He was a member of a Neighborhood WATCH. And in September, 2014:

    LAKE MARY, Fla. –
    George Zimmerman threatened to kill a driver during a road rage incident in Lake Mary and later showed up at the man’s workplace, according to police.
    http://www.clickorlando.com/news/george-zimmerman-threatened-to-shoot-man-in-road-rage-incident-florida-police-say/28030558

    Not the best CCW horse to back.

  13. Listened to the interview, almost makes me want to reconsider even carrying at all with everything he and his family have been put through. 2.5 million in debt, no job prospects , and a bounty on his head. Yea he has his life but it isn’t much of one now.

  14. Liberal Dave, I have a question for you. I’ve been retired for ten years, so I freely admit there is case law that has come about since I left law enforcement that I’m not up to date on.

    On the subject of video taping law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties, I know some states and, I believe, municipalities, had laws regulating these activities, making it illegal. I know that, at least some of these laws have been overturned ( found unconstitutional ) on appeal.

    Have any of these cases made it to the Supreme Court? I ask because, if not, only those under the jurisdiction of the appeals courts that have ruled on those laws would be affected, leaving other jurisdictions with these laws still enforceable.

    I have no experience with these laws as it was never against the law where I served. I come this site to learn like others.

    I have to agree with you, if these laws have been found universally unconstitutional, and officers are arresting folks for this violation alone, this would be an abuse. From my experience though, if these cases we’ve seen “documented ” on the internet are true, complete depictions of events, and if the officer’s actions ignored case law for their jurisdiction, the officers involved would be dealt with severely by their departments. If not, you’ve got a legitimate gripe in my opinion. If the depiction is contrived to only show the narrative of the video poster, while hiding other actions that led up to the confrontation, you and others have been duped.

    No animosity toward you. I enjoy adult discussions on differing points of views.

    I apologize for straying Mas.

  15. Long Island Mike, to answer your question, I would tell your daughter exactly what I told my daughters: if they’re being pulled over and are suspicious as to the officer’s true identity or intentions, they should get on their cell phone immediately to 911 and request police presence, preferably a supervisor, at that location.

  16. Texas aw on resisting is interesting:

    PC §9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.

    (b) The use of force against another is not justified:

    (2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection (c);

    (c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:
    (1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and
    (2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer’s (or other person’s) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.

    What I tell my students is:
    1. Do what the cop says. Don’t resist unless your alternative is getting seriously hurt.
    2. Even then, don’t plan on getting away with resisting without a lot of luck and videotape.

  17. First, let me wish everyone here a very Merry Christmas. Though we disagree over things, I respect you very much and hope that you and yours have a warm, joyous, and safe holiday season.

    Second, Mas, it would indeed “matter to [me as a LEO] if the person with the camera was yelling at you and telling you how to do that job” and the legal standard is that the photographer cannot interfere with the officer if his right to film is to be preserved. At the moment some sources say that your cannot “physically” interfere, but I think it goes beyond that and probably would not allow verbal interference. Let me note that I said above that I was only talking about “circumstances in which they were not interfering with the officer in any way other than merely filming.” Photography, as an expression of First Amendment rights, is public oversight over the government and is important in a free society. To, as you say, “follow the commands and make the complaints you think appropriate afterward, through Internal Affairs and court venues if you will” gives police officers a veto power over that oversight and the right to hide evidence of their activities from public scrutiny. While photography may be distracting, as you say, to the officers, it is a distraction which they are constitutionally required to put up with (and which departments are increasingly requiring them to put up with, see below.) Disobedience of those orders is not irresponsible: issuance of the orders, especially with the arrogant expectation that they will be unquestioningly obeyed is irresponsible.

    Third, Dennis, I don’t believe that there have been any cases in which the issue has made it to the Supreme Court (I could be wrong on that, but I can’t recall a case), but on November 24 the Supremes declined to review the 7th Circuit’s ruling that the Illinois law making it illegal to audiotape police activity was unconstitutional. That point has been a sticking point in the videotaping legal issue with some states contending that it was acceptable to shoot visuals but not sound. At least the 4th, 9th, and 11th Circuits have held videotaping and photography to be a constitutionally protected right and in a letter to the Baltimore Police Department in 2012 the U.S. Justice Department not only confirmed the existence of the right but said that there was no binding legal precedent holding the opposite:

    http://www.aclu-md.org/uploaded_files/0000/0311/doj_guidance.pdf

    The right to videotape has been upheld so many times, moreover, that police departments are now training officers that it is unconstitutional to interfere with taping. See:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-cops-told-memo-filmed-article-1.1898379

    in which a recent NYPD memo to its officers says, “Members of the public are legally allowed to record police interactions … Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or ordering the person to cease constitutes censorship and also violates the First Amendment.” As to your other points, I certainly don’t disagree that citizen-shot (or, for that matter, police-shot) videos cannot be manipulated or edited to give a false impression, but that’s not the point here, which is the question of immediate and unquestioning compliance with all police orders. (And I wasn’t touting my ACLU membership, by the way. If you’ll go back and read it in context, I only mentioned it with the purpose of admitting — I meant it to be wryly, though I may have botched that by being too subtle — that though I was a prosecutor that my legal/philosophical point of view as a prosecutor may have been somewhat atypical of prosecutors as a whole.)

  18. Mas, I have heard another variation that advises that you should do what you said, but also added that you may choose a better place to stop if you feel unsafe. For example you should turn on hazards to let the officer know you have gotten the message and then proceed at or below the speed limit to a safe location (such as occupied well-lit parking lot or police station parking lot).

  19. Steve, that can be good advice too, but it’s better advice if accompanied by the person in question being on the phone to police dispatch. The dispatcher can relay to the officer that the driver of the subject vehicle is on the phone with 911 and concerned about the officer’s identity, and keep things from evolving into a “slow speed pursuit.”

  20. Ron Rogers, the police investigated the alleged threatening incident. No charges, and the complainant himself said he didn’t want to press charges, which makes the allegation against Zimmerman sound like BS to me.

    Bob Goldman, you’re new here, and all are welcome here including dissenting voices. I hate to have to welcome you by saying that not only am I not hearing what you’re hearing when the Zimmerman 911 tape is played, but no one else seems to have heard it either. Far-fetched is the kindest thing I can say about the theory you’re putting forth.

  21. Mas, you may recall that I voiced concerns during your GZ series about what I felt was a lack of concentration on the lessons to be learned from his experience and what others might do differently in similar situations that could help them avoid what has happened to Z, essentially the loss of his life as he once knew it. You did not take kindly to my gentle criticism, which I couched within an appreciation for all that you do.

    Z has now confirmed in the first-person exactly what I was talking about; he knows what he could have done differently and fervently wishes he had retreated from a situation which was a potential, but not active, threat.

    Others upthread are now questioning their choice to carry the means to protect the lives of themselves and those they are responsible for. Eff that! Good people and society itself are being very well served by concealed carry as witnessed by substantial declines in violent crime, in contrast to what was/is predicted by media, their masters, and the hidden agenda they pursue, but that doesn’t fit their narrative so of course the public will hear much more about the aberrations of firearms usage than their successful use in defense and deterrence.

    So, if you can legally carry and are comfortable doing so, by all means do! But train, train, train but retreat, retreat, retreat if at all possible. You want to be prepared to do what is necessary when/if the time comes, but you sure as hell hope it never will…as the sad case and the sad words of George Zimmerman so eloquently prove.

  22. Liberal Dave, thanks for the response. Wasn’t casting aversion on your ACLU affiliation. You and I are both pretty up front on which side of the aisle our thoughts are likely to come from.

    Another question if you will indulge me. I don’t recall you having said this, but I’ve seen several comments posted in the past on this site from others, insinuating that police were prone to lie/commit perjury in court. Of course I reject that strongly. Anyone familiar with law enforcement should know that if an officer is caught in a lie, he becomes useless as a state witness in any future prosecutions, resulting in termination or being assigned to a position where they will no longer be making arrests. Have you as a prosecutor or defense attorney ever caught an officer in a lie/committing perjury? If so, what action(s) did you take?

  23. Mas, I included the URL because there was more to the story. What really concerned me was that the “non-complainant” called the police a second time alleging that Mr. Zimmerman was outside his place of business. It also concerns me that the complainant, according to Mr. Zimmerman, during their first confrontation knew who he was implying bias. The article also relates a domestic dispute where the woman who called police, later declined to press charges. Especially in domestic disputes, that does not mean that it did not happen. It might be unfair, but with this track record, it is unlikely that a North Carolina sheriff would issue him a CCW. I think that we can assume that not all North Carolinians with a CCW are even-tempered and possessed of good judgement, but I doubt many have an arrest record other than traffic offenses. To date, I have not heard of an NC CCW holder being arrested for the misuse of his firearm. Then again, under NC law, there are VERY FEW instances where you are authorized to use your weapon outside of your home. Our laws are both narrow and purposely vague giving the DAs too much leeway. Litigation and expense are highly likely.

    On the other topic, I think that you should do exactly what a sworn officer tells you to do, unless it places your life or well-being at risk. For example, I am handicapped and there are some orders I’m unable to comply with unless it’s fall down. {;*)) The same issue occurs in the military. You are told that you do not have to comply with an illegal order. Oh boy! You had better be right and it might be best to follow a relatively innocuous illegal order and report it later.

    An officer can be under stress from a recent incident that has nothing to do with you. Do not add to his concerns! One night I was stopped for a broken tail light in AZ. The officer was very nervous and very short. Thank heavens my passenger was an AF bird colonel in OSI. He immediately twigged to the actual situation. The officer had his weapon partially drawn. In further conversation with the colonel setting the officer at his ease, it turned out that someone driving the same model and color Volkswagen with NC plates had shot a police officer in the next town over! You never know the particular environment that an officer is operating in. They deserve the benefit of the doubt. In 75 years and 7 traffic stops (3 tickets) I have only met one unfriendly officer and have never been asked to step out of my car. So, I only know what I would do if I was ordered to comply with the officer’s commands. Comply.

  24. Mas there are more people that heard it too but mainly after the trial was over. Listen again are you listening to the 911 from Jenna? The procecution didnt want to prove this case. You hear Jeremy in the background as he is talking on the phone with neighbor John Goods wife in the background as she called him to ask what’s going on.

    This was a setup by the home owners association to catch the next burglar although Trayvon wasn’t one they racially profiled him and Zimmerman goofed up and shot him when all he was supposed to do was keep him til the police came that’s why you also hear crying at the end of the 911 tape, why the f he shoot him, he’s dead, and more after its quiet and Trayvon was shot and no longer screaming. Jeremy was an accomplice. You hear him running in from outside from the patio talking to his wife out of breath. Even a witness said she saw Jeremy outside but he lied and said he wasn’t and never looked outside but was only getting knife but you hear Jenna say shhh Jeremy get up here etc..

    Zimmerman went to Osterman’s house not because he was scared but to get their story straight as they lie out of the murder and say it was self defense when it wasnt when at least 3 people were chasing Trayvon to lead him into the dark path behind the president of the home association’s house.

  25. Its the truth, though. What are the odds that Zimmerman neighborhood watch would kill someone behind the house of the president of the Home Owners’s Associations house unless that was a planned place to catch a burglar again they weren’t trying to kill but just hold till the police got there. Zimmerman goofed up and shot Trayvon trying to play cops and robbers. Its dark behind those houses and no working cameras thats a perfect place.

    All it takes are a couple a people to lead someone somewhere they want them to be by cutting them off and signaling to each other with flashlights never knowing many people are following him while he’s also not fully aware because hes on the phone and a teenager.

    *****Zimmerman slips up and admits others were following.***** Zimmerman to detective in reenactment video: He kept staring at me looking around looking around to see who else was….I don’t know why he was looking at 3:10 http://m.youtube.com/watchv=PX1sxARNq_c and at 5:10 in reenactment you will see Mark Osterman removing planted light fixtures from Jeremy/Jenna’s yard that was used to block cameras from seeing what was happening at the T. (Notice the white thing in the hands of the guy with the grey T-shirt on. That’s Mark Osterman.) The giant light was used here to block at the East Pool area http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_frFpwNgZE blocking T and brighter than any of the other simliar lights. Why have a light so bright you can’t see anything going on in the camera around the outside of the East Pool? It was a planted light different from all the other lights.

    The police, detectives, some witnesses, his accomplices who pretended they had no involvement, the prosecution covered this up/didn’t try to prove case. After so many people donated to a murderer. I don’t think letting them know they donated and supported a guy who had accomplices helping him was to get out to the public so they kept it as Zimmerman vs Martin only when it wasn’t and they know it wasn’t. I really don’t know why covered for Zimmerman. The NRA was involved and Zimmerman was the son of a former judge and nephew of deputy sheriff I don’t know but I do know Zimmerman lied and had accomplices.

    Jeremy and Jenna hurried up and got married so they wouldn’t have to both testify especially since both are lying. Jeremy should have been there talking at trial. He damaged himself by saying he warned me he’d shoot em to Amanda Good, John Good s wife.

    The back of Zimmerman’s plants were not dirty to have been on his back which points to Trayvon being on his knees begging for his life while Zimmerman was standing the whole time. Zimmerman’s clean pants http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/09/1214336/-DNA-Report-does-NOT-support-Zimmerman-s-claim-that-Trayvon-Martin-caused-his-injuries

    Thank you for listening. Have a good one!

  26. First off, I think the police have a hard , unappreciated job. That being said, when you put on a weapon and the mantle of a powerful wealthy govt, the constitution is the counterweight to that power. Filming a police officer may be irritating to a cop but frankly so what. Our rights are irritating, messy and above all essential. The constitution was not written to make police comfortable, they were written to safeguard our rights and those rights are paramount.

  27. Also with accomplices involved Zimmerman might not have been the one to shoot Martin. I can only prove Osterman and Jeremy was there. John Good and Frank Taffee could have been involved too. Gang members take the blame for each other especially if one is trying to get in a gang but until I can for sure prove it was someone else I’m sticking to Zimmerman shooting Martin but no gun shot residue on Zimmerman is interesting. Someone got to Martin first the guy with the white t-shirt that witnesses said was on top. Jeantel – he sounded like an old man, What are you doing around here? Was that Frank Taffee she heard?

    There was Zimmerman’s DNA and two other people’s DNA on his gun but we will never know who those two different DNA’s were from because they didn’t want us to know Zimmerman was not alone when Martin as killed. They never tested Zimmermans spare keys anyone could have drove his truck to the T.

  28. First, I want to extend my thanks – once again,to Mas for providing ALL of us with yet another timely, much-needed learning opportunity. Kudos to Dennis for his always-appreciated words. Ron Rogers, great input – the concept of “obeying a police officer” is debated – at best, in our “modern” era.

    RE: Mr. Bob Goldman. – I only want to know the source of his “theory.”

  29. First let me say I agree with the verdict and believe the political establishment tried to railroad George Zimmerman.

    However, I believe George made his first mistake in joining the neighborhood watch and as I understand taking his position really seriously, filing numerous reports prior to the Martin encounter.

    I am in favor of cooperation with the police, but believe I can do this without the benefit of a neighborhood watch group. I do not want the community to look at me as some type of “associate/junior police officer.” Or worse view myself in this manner.

    I believe, George only got out of his vehicle to provide a better location to the dispatcher and this a lawful act. However, I have to ask myself if he would have done this if not the captain of the neighborhood watch. I certainly as a private citizen would have stayed on the phone in my vehicle and given the general location and put on my flashers, whatever to signal the police, when they responded to the general area.

    So my major take away from this incident is let the police to the policing and do not become active in a neighborhood watch to the point you go on patrol. Sure hosting meeting with the police is fine to obtain info and making reports from the safety of your home or vehicle is fine, but do not in any way interact with a potential criminal unless it is unavoidable. Or maybe I should say put yourself in a position where the criminal can force an interaction, as I believe it was George’s intention to maintain distance.

    If George had stayed in his vehicle the police would have responded and George would have gone on his way. If Martin had seen George in his vehicle and approached with violent intent then Martin would have been clear aggressor. But I suspect in that case George would have just driven away and report this to dispatcher on the line.

    Again I support the verdict, but believe in letting the police do the policing and if I must get involved doing so from the safest position possible. To me this is the big lesson of this whole affair.

  30. Bernard Goetz has been mentioned.

    Hmmm . . . one crucial difference between Zimmerman and Geotz (and please correct me if I’ve got the facts wrong) is that George Zimmerman confined his statements to the facts of what had happened and why he’d fired the fatal shot. Bernard Goetz shot himself in the foot by shooting his mouth off with some macho-BS. “You seem to be all right, here’s another,” doesn’t play well.

    I hope George Zimmerman gets his life together.

    Bernard Geotz is, according to Wikipedia anyway, currently involved in squirrel rescue.

  31. Mas,
    Now that we have practically all the information on the GZ case available, would you consider making a short documentary (say, one hour) of the video proceedings with your comments? Not everybody will have the stomach or the time to watch the entire trial, but distilling the most important sections of it in one narrative and with your analysis would be extremely useful.

  32. Ron Rogers. Please go check the 911 tape and the court transcript. First the dispatcher said about following Martin..”We prefer you not do that.” (not an order) Zimmerman had STOPPED following Martin, and was on his way back to his truck, when MARTIN ATTACKED Zimmerman. An informed opinion is always best when you get the facts first.

  33. Mas, everyone I have talked to almost even after the trail said that in the back of there mind they though he was guilty. I keep up with his on going ordeal as much as I could. I wished everyone could have heard George Zimmerman himself on AAR. When he first made the news I considered him neither guilty or innocent. But after the police found no reason to arrest I saw he was innocent but the DA was stepping in and I knew if he didn’t have the funds to fight this he was going to jail. As a member of the ACLDN I hope this and the things I have learned will be enough to find me innocent.

  34. Two NYPD officers were executed today. Shot through the head as they sat in their squad car.

    Hopefully Mayor DeBlasio is re-thinking his earlier words of encouragement to the haters. Maybe he and Obama will muster enough brain cells to realize that words have meaning, especially when coming from supposed leaders, and that there are those in this society, who in their semi-literate, evilness, will act with very little encouragement.

    Rest in peace brothers. May God cradle you in His loving arms.

    Haters, there is a special place for ya’ll too.

  35. Haters, I wrote my previous comment in anger, while experiencing strong emotions upon hearing of the assassination/execution of these two NYPD officers. I survived a similar attempt once (they lost the element of surprise and aborted).

    I sincerely hope that you re-evaluate your direction in life, lose the hate, before you arrive at the destination you’re heading for.

  36. Oh, and one person’s posts on this thread are reminding me of B.A.P. (Bullshit Asymmetry Principle)

    There is a slideshow on it here: http://www.slideshare.net/ziobrando/bulshit-asymmetry-principle-lightning-talk?qid=60f777fd-ff60-48ef-88a6-47fbcd3252db&v=qf1&b=&from_search=4

    However it comes down to: “The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.”

    Which of course doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile refuting BS, and indeed in the case of George Zimmerman it is very worthwhile indeed. But it does mean it’s hard work.

    Meanwhile keep in mind the quote which I first heard attributed to a Judge hearing a case in which it was alleged that Heavy Metal records contained secret messages from Satan. Okay, the original story maybe apocryphal and the quote has been used by a boatload of other people, but I feel it is appropriate here:

    “I believe in keeping an open mind, but not one so open that one’s brain falls out.”

    🙂

  37. I think the lesson to be taken from these situations is to keep yourself out of trouble in the first place. Don’t do anything that will attract the attention of bad guys or police. Do your best to keep yourself invisible to law enforcement, and miscreants alike. Avoid places where these kinds of people hang out, and if you run across any, don’t engage, don’t interact, and don’t make any connections. If you do attract their attention, be the most boring person on the planet, disengage immediately, and leave the area. I realize that police have to interact with citizenry, but the rest of us don’t have to.

    Had Zimmerman, Goetz, or any of these police officers spent time and energy avoiding their adversaries, they’d be living their lives with their savings intact, their reputations untarnished, and their lives protected.

  38. At the risk of swerving off topic, I’d like to hear the actual, real world results of a person not pulling over immediately when instructed to do so by a LEO, and continuing to drive while calling 911 or looking for a well lighted, safe location. My experience suggests the officer would become enraged at someone not submitting at once. There is at least one incident of a state trooper, on his dash cam video, trying to drag an elderly woman out of her car while she is still secured by her seat belt. When unable to extract her (all the while cursing and demanding she stop resisting, as she is trying to explain that she is not. I believe the result was that he dislocated her shoulder) he pepper sprays her. I suggest something like that would be the result more often than an officer remaining calm and professional as he follows a person driving slowly with the four way flashers on.

    I also witnessed a DUI arrest in Iowa one night outside a restaurant where a not involved bystander was talking on his cell phone, and a state trooper overheard something the person with the phone said as the trooper was handcuffing the DUI suspect. The trooper demanded the caller put down his phone, and when he didn’t immediately comply, the trooper slapped it out of his hand and took the caller into custody as well (with handcuffs).
    There was no need for that reaction on the part of the trooper as the caller was presenting no threat to the officer. It was just his ego that was offended, and one of the worst things you can do to cause trouble for yourself is to offend a cop’s ego or fail to display the proper level of intimidation.

    Standing up for your rights during a traffic stop is a very bad idea. This is what I have advised my daughter, along with checking her headlights and taillights (both to be certain they are working and that they have not been marked in some way, a favorite tactic of local cops in may cities) and license plate light, never using high beam headlights in town etc. All of these are an excuse for a stop which the cop hopes he can turn into an arrest or a chance to intimidate a citizen. Before anyone denies this takes place, everywhere, remember, a lot of people know a cop or two, and sometimes they like to brag about the things they get away with.

    This is also why I am strongly in favor of body cameras on every cop everywhere. The body camera will result in cops acting calmer and more professionally and will also reveal to those with an agenda who the real antagonists are, as in the Ferguson, MO. case. It should also be a career ending act to attempt to alter, destroy or erase any image captured by these cameras.

  39. @Dennis: You ask if I experienced cops lying and what I did about it as a prosecutor. It’s a difficult question, but the simple answer is this: As an attorney (prosecutor or otherwise) I have an ethical obligation to not allow any of “my” witnesses to commit perjury by lying under oath. I did have occasion on a few instances while a prosecutor to know that a police officer intended to lie under oath and on those occasions I did not allow them to testify, which in at least one instance resulted in the charges being dismissed against the accused. On at least a couple of occasions I also informed the police department’s internal affairs office of the facts and let them know that the officer’s testimony would not be acceptable to our office in future cases. I don’t know what happened to those officers, but I do know that I never again saw any cases from them (but that could have just been luck of the draw as they were officers I only rarely saw cases from in the first place). These cases were, by far, the exception rather than the rule, however.

  40. Saturday’s execution of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos was a tragic, vile, and despicable act and my heart breaks for the families of those officers and their department.

    Some — and I’m absolutely not pointing the finger at anyone who posts here — are presenting the idea that Police Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter are incompatible either-or positions. That’s presenting a false choice. Both matter profoundly and what’s important is preserving both with equal value.

  41. Dave, if there’s anything all of us here can agree on, I think it’s this:

    All Lives Matter.

    Hashtag not required…

  42. Liberal Dave, again, thanks. Your response mirrors my experiences. A police officer that lies/perjures is neither tolerated or allowed to continue their career. I salute your actions in the example you cited. The continued respect of judges and juries for officers is dependent on preserving this trust.

    I completely agree, with your closing comment. All lives matter. Respect for others matters. Hate for others is universally wrong. Hate the deed, not the person.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a safe and happy holiday season.

  43. Yes all lives matter but for many black lives don’t matter to people in those all lives matter. When a black teen is murdered well its time to justify why the cop or wanna be cop had a right to shoot him even if Trayvon had no DNA of Zimmerman to prove he even touch him, even if Eric Garner was chocked to death on camera, even if Wilson said he had a fractured eye socket yet had no injury on his face in the picture which proves cops and wanna be cops lie which equals all white lies matter when it coming to killing some black which is why black lives matter is being brought out even though all lives do matter.

  44. Bob Goldman, you are of course entitled to your opinions, but you would benefit greatly from reviewing the facts as opposed to the MSM narratives of the three cases to which you refer.

  45. Long-Island Mike: WHERE did you get your information on Bernard Goetz?
    What accomplishments of his victims/attackers? Death by overdose? Incarceration?
    And what “top clearances”?
    Where do people come up with this stuff?

    GZ was found not guilty. Case closed.
    Were mistakes made? Always. Every action can be theoretically improved via hindsight.

  46. Hey Mas are now only allow narratives from Fox News as only side story that matters on your blog???? Hard tell two sides story when one side story is dead. Hey Mas may you heard this dead people tell no tales. So only side story where getting told is right from one side because there a live because other side to dead come tell what happen. Really tell tale of not getting two side of story when only side story seem matter one come from person that alive. I hate say this Mass facts in those cases very messy Mas even if out comes where not. George Zimmeran been any thing but saint had few issue with law sent his event.