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ZIMMERMAN VERDICT PART 17: THE COPS — No Comments

  1. Thanks for this installment Mas. I’ll admit that my jaw was hanging open as I read it. I’m sure I’m not the only one that was unaware of the people who had lost their jobs due to this case. What a shame.

  2. What a shame!! When does it stop? And what will it take to make it stop? We are scared to jog down the street in Oklahoma, and on top of that, have to worry about the consequences of defending ourselves. I’m ready for a change Mas. What can we do?

  3. Unfortunately, if we continue to allow politics to choose who our law enforcement leaders will be, then they may very well become the MINDFUL minions…
    It is sad that we allow good men and women who fulfill their oath to be punished by an agenda driven administration, be it local, state, or federal.

  4. Amen Mas, Amen!!! Your post echoes what I have been telling my friends, neighbors, anyone who would listen and some who did not want to listen. Law enforcement, from the dispatcher who took the 911 call to the assistant DA performed admirably in performing their duties. They did their best to ignore the political pressure that they had to of known was coming and follow the law and the constitution that underpins it. Many people like to call police officers fascist, but few of those that are so quick to use that term are aware of what fascism really is. Fascism has a closer resemblance to what happened after the state level politicians took over the case. At that point the law and the constitution became secondary to a propagandized mind set carefully crafted by those that truly understand how Hitler and his minions, with the help of a willing press were able to “fundamentally change” Germany. As in Hitler’s Germany the only people that suffered were the innocent and those standing up for what was right. I know that there will be some that will angrily respond with an example of individual police officers who they think abused their authority, and they do exist, but seldom do those ” doughnut eating, bribe taking, neanderthal, grade school drop-outs” keep their jobs very long. All of those on the Sanford P.D who lost their jobs or were otherwise disciplined can walk with their heads held high unlike the bottom dwelling politicians who can only count among their friends worms such as themselves.

  5. There are many good cops, and we need to honor them for their sacrifices. There are also the Armando Saldates, the guys who would send an inocent woman to death row and not bat an eye. The problem is that the bad ones don’t carry a card that says bad cop, no donut.
    If it were up to me, bad cops, like Armando, would be put to death for refrence, read Harold Coyle’s Trial by Fire. There would be a lot less bad cops if we executed one or two when we caught them. For my two cents, Angela Corey should be executed by a firing squad composed of prosecutors.
    I hope each of those honorable officers gets a chance at redemption, a law suit to restore their position and dignity.
    I still think that in many cases its wise to have a lawyer present when you speak. Not always, just be careful.

  6. Mas,

    I’ve heard way too many stories of good cops being punished while bad cops get away with misconduct. As citizens what can we do to prevent this? It seems to fall entirely on the shoulders of the CLEO of the agency and the politicians who appoint them.

  7. No one is safe from the politolice.

    I hope these fine officers have some recourse through their union(s) or civil service.

  8. The next time some tells says “Never talk to the police, they’re your enemy,” remember each and every one of those honest members of the criminal justice system who stood up, told the truth, and did their duty.
    —————————————————–
    OTOH, there’s plenty of exceptions, about 3000 a year THAT WE KNOW OF, including over 100 fatal shooting that are questionable, and not investigated by disinterested third parties.

    Is Rob Nifong the rule, or the exception? It seems quite certain he’s the rule, as it would have to be in a elective position such as the prosecutors hold. Mas’s recommendation of “Black’s Law” substantiates much of this (Yup!, bought it and read it).

    That said, these people did the “honorable thing”. And Angela Corey should spend the rest of her natural life in court, but as a DEFENDANT.

  9. Thank you, Mas, for telling the stories of those brave officers. I only heard about one or two of them from the media a long time ago. Mostly, their stories were ignored, till now.

    I have been very encouraged to hear about these officers standing up for the truth. Also, earlier this year many sheriffs’ departments around the country stood up and said they would not violate the Constitution by enforcing un-Constitutional laws. I am always dreaming up “what if?” scenarios about the economy collapsing or gun confiscation or other doomsday events. Now I know many LEOs are on our side, and that is comforting. I attended about seven Tea Parties in 2009 & 2010. A lot of Americans are on our side, but the media don’t want us to know that.

  10. Thanks for this up date Mas, I knew about Chief Lee and Ben Kruidbos but I didn’t know about the others that took a hit. Life can be so damned unfair, there truly was no winner in this only losers of varying degrees. I feel so bad these good people got hurt doing the right thing.

  11. “…Chief Lee wistfully told the reporter that at least, at the end of the day, he had kept his integrity.”
    I just thought it needed to be repeated. Integrity is becoming a rare quality in public life.

  12. Mas, off topic but maybe future topic. Watching senate hearings on possible intervention in Syrian civil war. Kerry testifying that our government has been supplying small arms and ammunition to civilians to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. Is this the same government that is hell-bent on disarming its own civilians? And we wonder why we have such screwed up examples of political abuse of office. Insanity. It scares me to death that there are people that believe this all makes sense. Stand by and be ready to stand up America, this is not shaping up to have a peaceful ending.

  13. as far as the prosecution is concerned …you can not lose something you never had……integrity

  14. Chris Serino was also put on the night shift. He proved himself to be honorable and truthful on the witness stand. And yes, it is shameful that so many people have been damaged by the way this case was brought. They were simply doing their jobs and did nothing to deserve what happened to them. Unfortunately, the politicians who forced this case have yet to see justice for their misdeeds.

  15. Mas, Thank you for all your thoughts and hard work you put into this case, dissecting it for all to see.
    Chief Lee was the most honest and paid his dues dismissal. The young lady Seminole County Sheriffs Dept crime watch coordinator testified on Zimmerman’s behalf. But from that point each and every law enforcement officer testifying was trying to get a conviction.
    I was very surprised when lead defense counsel was able to prompt Serino to answer “yes” to the question for the most part did he feel Mr. Zimmerman was being honest. If he had answered no, he might have looked foolish being Zimmerman passed his voice stress polygraph… Serino for the most part testified for the prosecution of the state. He showed up in a suite to depict he was still a detective when police uniform was more appropriate. No mention during trial of his demotion to patrol officer to discredit him. FBI officials, gun experts all were on prosecutions side.
    Mas, I think Mr. Zimmerman was a very fortunate man, he was honest and ran into an honest police chief, honest state attorneys office in Seminole County and was ruined by politics and at the end his honesty set him free along with, $1.5 million dollars defense fund. Without the competent defense counsels he had and the funding this could of easily went the other way and had an innocent man in prison.

    This is why I think it is best to stick to your previously posted many times over the years basic advice for armed encounters, provide minimal information, point out witnesses, assure your full cooperation to law enforcement and set up appointment with counsel to make detailed written statements… anything the police want. If it is s good self shoot and you were defending your life, you are usually good to go. Zimmerman was the exception to this and the bad politics ruined that mans life.

  16. Your comments did an awesome job serving justice to these officers along with honoring them!!!! You have done them and world a great service in this post.

  17. All of these fine people were at least given one very important gift – adversaries who don’t appear to be too clever. Or perhaps they just are arrogant. Either way, I believe, they moved too soon and their motive of revenge is very obvious. A smart person(s) would have waited and then set up these good people with impossible assignments, etc.

    I don’t think Mark O’Mara and company had a big pay day from the Zimmerman case. Perhaps MOM, as some refer to him, can take on some of these cases and seek civil judgments. His presence alone on the case will make it hard for the media to ignore.

    I also would like to see some of the unions and professional associations, that represent these victims give them some awards citing their integrity under extreme duress.

    An online petition requesting Eric Holder and President Obama to investigate these actions as civil rights violations might serve some purpose. Not that I expect either Obama or Holder to act, but it might draw some attention, especially if the petition was sponsored by some law enforcement group.

  18. Mr. Ayoob, I disagree with your scornful (IMO) take regarding people who are reluctant to talk to the police, and I think the very examples you use to contend otherwise demonstrate why talking to the police can be dangerous.

    By your own argument, /the system punished police, etc. who were honest in this case/. Think on that, and consider the little guy, the one who lacks your sophistication regarding interacting with law enforcement, let alone your prestige. Consider the poor minority teen in NYC, who if they haven’t been subject to “stop and frisk”, know someone who has, like as not.

    You, sir, may believe that police routinely put their careers on the line to protect people not in the national spotlight from the injustice their system is inflicting upon them, but a great many people out there have some little justification for saying “No, not often enough to matter”. The incident I witnessed myself aside, youtube is full of incident after incident, and when an action is egregious enough to actually make the news, their fellow officers are quick to leap to the defense of their fellow, even when the evidence is pretty clearly against him.

    Citing the rare instance where police and their associates actually risk their careers to “do the right thing” (and it was indeed the right thing) only points up how rare such occurrences are, at least to those without special access to their ranks the way you do.

    I don’t advocate “never talk to the cops”, but i do say to be very, very careful when doing so. They are not your friends, they are officers doing a job, they don’t have to tell you the truth, you never know what kind of cop you are encountering, and in extreme cases, they may resort to violence with little repercussion to them.

    Last i checked, the Lee’s Summit detective who framed the husband of the woman he was having an affair with had found new employment – with another police department. Chilling.

  19. The police themselves are not the enemy. It’s the system in which they operate that makes it highly inadvisable to tell them anything more than necessary when dealing with them, and highly advisable to avoid contact with them at all costs.

  20. ” remember each and every one of those honest members of the criminal justice system who stood up, told the truth, and did their duty.”
    On the other hand, remember what honesty cost them, and how this may affect the behavior of LEOs in a similar situation in the future.

  21. Just to put in another way people’s “never talk to cops” advice: it is to an extent risk management. The risk of encountering a good-hearted & honest officer and not cooperating with him/her is almost certainly lower than the risk of encountering a less ideal officer and cooperating with him/her. From a position of vulnerable ignorance, one is rational in choosing the likely-less-risky policy.

  22. It’s interesting to see this, perhaps, as irony. An argument can be made that the prosecution of George Zimmerman — which I agree was improper — was undertaken to try to prevent activation of Florida’s minorities as a voting bloc in upcoming elections to unseat the politicians who passed the laws which Zimmerman’s defenders so strongly support.

    So all of you SYG and gun advocates bewailing Zimmerman’s prosecution and applauding his acquittal weren’t happy with him being made a martyr to keep the right-wing politicians who pass your favored laws in office? Good for you: that’s very altruistic.

    I stand by my position that Florida’s any-public-place-SYG and, especially, its self-defense-immunity laws are the villain here. Not because they had any direct effect on the outcome, but because they indirectly encouraged Zimmerman to get out of his truck with his pistol on his belt.

  23. Mas, you and I have both expressed our opinions in prior installments about why the defense did not put Zimmerman on the stand, but there’s another mystery. (Maybe you’ve answered this and I missed it.) Florida has a law — 776.032 — which gives immunity from both criminal and civil prosecution to a person who claims self-defense. Zimmerman’s lawyers waived a hearing on that law. If Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was so utterly clear and free from doubt, why did they waive that hearing and go on to the expense and risks of a full-blown trial when they could have had him held immune from prosecution at that hearing?

  24. Uncle/liberal Dave, I can only offer supposition as to why they didn’t go for the hearing. Having been told by one public defender that many judges are simply refusing them, and perhaps sensing a hostile judge, the defense lawyers might have considered the hearing a waste of time. They also were even less prepared at that earlier date, given lateness of discovery from the prosecutors.

    I have to respectively disagree with you on the Stand Your Ground element. Anyone who has been through a Florida concealed carry class, as Zimmerman had, would know that the “all I have to do is say I was in fear for my life” BS is just that.

  25. I was aware of Serino and Lee and see nothing wrong in mentioning all those who showed integrity in this farce of a case. It doesn’t mean that cops will be ‘on our side’ and that we should therefore disregard Mas’ own advice to be guarded. It’s just that those people were also victims of an injustice and deserve to be recognized for it and vindicated (hopefully ASAP).

    Katrina was an eye opener as an example of how easily the Constitution can be trampled and how LEOs can turn into the gun-grabbing arm of the enemy. But realistically, in case of an attempt at instituting tyranny in this country, LEOs and servicemen (with integrity) are a much better hope for justice than the 2nd amendment. And this case at least proved that they’re still out there and not afraid to risk their jobs. That’s my take anyway.

    This series of entries has been a real pleasure to read, Mas. Thank you.

  26. With respect to those, in the media and posting comments here, that see Stand your Ground laws as a factor in the Zimmerman-Martin case, I have to disagree. From a legal point of view, it was not a factor at all. Nor do I see SYG as a psychological factor that caused Zimmerman to be reckless or agressive. This was a straight self-defense case triggered by some mildly agressive acts, on the part of Zimmerman, that were followed by excessively agressive acts by Martin.

    Despite Mas’ praise of Norman Wolfinger, I can’t shake the view that this case was mishandled in the early stages. My view is that Mr. Wolfinger should have gone to a Grand Jury right away with a manslaughter charge and that he should have told the Martin family that he was doing so. Instead, he declined, on his own volition, to charge Zimmerman at all for over 40 days. This gave the Martin family (who clearly already had a deep-seated distrust of the Justice System) the idea that a bunch of “white men” had got together in a “smoke-filled room” and decided to give Zimmerman a pass and sweep Martin’s death under the rug. This impression could have been avoided by getting the facts out into the open and by letting a Grand Jury decide whether the manslaughter charge should proceed to trial or not.

    Once the Martin family got the idea that Justice would not be served in their son’s death, they grabbed a lawyer and began a local media campaign to put pressure on the prosecutor and local police to act. I think local pressure was all they wanted in the beginning.

    Unfortunately, a bunch of race-mongers and other political types saw this story as a “good one” that they could “use” to push their political agenda. So, they went to the NBC and CNN kennels and turned loose the media dogs who immediately went into full cry. A (deliberately) garbled version of the shooting went Nationwide and (as they say) the rest is history. From my prospective, the mishandling of this case (in the early stages) was the snowball that triggered the avalanche.

  27. Non-uncle Dave, I firmly disagree with your statement that self-defense statutes are a problem with this, or any, case. Would you have it be illegal to follow a “suspicious person”? What constitutes a “suspicious person”, please?

    At the risk of sounding like I’m forwarding a straw-man argument (I’m not trying to do this, and bear in mind that in any case, lawyers will test the limits of any law or ruling), are you contending that following a “suspicious person” is acceptable, as long as you are unarmed?

    You didn’t go into detail, but contending that Zimmerman acted in a way that somehow should be illegal, by getting out of his vehicle makes no sense at all, when dragged across what my limited understanding makes of the legal system.

    The problem with laws is that the more detailed and specific they become, the more loopholes that are opened. “The large print giveth, the fine print taketh away” doesn’t just apply to contracts, IMO.

  28. [ My view is that Mr. Wolfinger should have gone to a Grand Jury right away with a manslaughter charge and that he should have told the Martin family that he was doing so.]

    He scheduled the case for the “next session” of the grand jury. You’re presuming that there’s a grand jury always in session or that one can be immediately called. I don’t know about Sanford, but that isn’t true where I live.

    I remember the announcement that the case was scheduled, so presumably the Martin family did also.

    Regardless, if Zimmerman being acquitted of murder didn’t satisfy the opponents, him being no-billed for manslaughter wouldn’t have either.

  29. Here come the liberals. Blaming the stand up for yourself laws. I guess the ones who say you should wait for the authorities, have never been assaulted, or would wrather cower in the wake of criminals and hope they do their deeds and spare them. I don’t know what it is about liberals that makes them want to put their full faith in the government. I, for one, want the right to protect myself. Give up the whole “if Zimmerman would never have left the car, nothing would have happened.” If Little Treyvon hadn’t assaulted Zimmerman, nothing would have happened either. You libs hold on to one non illegal act by Zimmerman, and ignore all the laws that were broken by Treyvon, like assault and battery. I’m sick of it. Use you common sense.

  30. Thank you Mas. The Light of Truth may overcome darkness of evil, but sometimes it needs a little help from a good pen. You continue to do that.

  31. Mas, I cannot support you on this.

    Yes, I support the actions of the LE people you named. Hooray for them. Give me an email address and I will send money to the attorneys who represent them.

    But you again, come down in favor of the “many” who are “good,” as opposed to the “few” who are bad. And yet for every example you cited, I can cite NUMEROUS egregious examples of the opposite with 5 minutes on youtube.

    Mas, I have spent 20 years defending LE. And frankly I’m done. There are just too many examples out there of BAD cops for me to keep defending cops as a whole.

    I don’t call the cops to protect me. Thanks, I do that myself.

    What I call them for is to investigate a crime that’s already happened. In MY jurisdiction, by-and-large they do that very well and kudos to them. I know, both the CLEOs and a good number of the LEOs in my jurisdiction. (Local and County). They are mostly good eggs. But there are a couple that I can identify with even minimal contact as people who are going to or have already been a
    “problem.”

    Sure enough, on looking at the archives of my local newspaper, the guys I’ve identified as “problem children,” have long histories of abuse complaints, some of which are very serious.

    We have a LE climate in which the “thin blue line” has held itself to be utterly unaccountable and feels it can act with impunity. This is a climate ripe for abuse, which any jackass with a youtube connection can see.

    No, I don’t trust the cops. And I tell my students not to EVER talk to the cops beyond bare minimum, because the police, the people I always USED to think were on the side of the good guys, aren’t. They’re on their own side. Which is the maximum number of arrests and convictions, regardless of harm or foul or evil intent. That’s not the Le I grew up wiith and it’s not the LE you’re talking about. You’re 30 years out of date my friend.

  32. Bill,

    My thoughts exactly. Check out the Officer Harless videos on Youtube and then read the story about how he was protected for so long hiding behind that blue line (more like a curtain). That outrageous story wasn’t covered here because it paints the police and the system in a bad light…despite multiple requests for Mas to cover it. It’s right in his wheelhouse (police, officer safety, concealed carrying, firearm laws, etc.).

  33. Josh from Oklahoma: As Mas can tell you, my position on this is highly nuanced. As for what actually happened, I believe GZ did not do anything which was not his legal right to do and that the evidence strongly suggests that TM took the first illegal step which resulted in GZ needing to lawfully defend himself with deadly force. You say, Josh, “You libs hold on to one non illegal act by Zimmerman, and ignore all the laws that were broken by Treyvon, like assault and battery.” I don’t hold on to any illegal act by GZ because I can’t see any evidence that he committed one, and I think TM’s assault justified GZ’s self-defense. But Mas himself (see Mas’ last article before this one) acknowledges that it’s possible to come to “a better understanding of how bitter people are when they’re singled out as suspects for their color, and followed suspiciously for that reason, and why some are angry enough about it to think that Trayvon Martin was right to physically confront and assault the man he perceived to be following him.” Do I think GZ’s actions justified TM’s actions? No, absolutely not, but at the same time I have to say that this is the very type of thing which make police departments tell neighborhood watch groups to never carry guns even if they have permits and never to get out of their cars when they see something suspicious. Mas in his books makes it very clear that if it is at all possible to avoid confrontation which might lead to the need to use deadly self defense that only a fool would not do so. GZ was thus a fool to get out of his truck, though Mas waffles in this case about GZ virtuously attempting to assist the police by getting out of the truck to answer their questions (which they never asked him to do and did not even mention until he was out of the truck) about where TM went and what the address was. My contention is that the average person — GZ might be an exception, who knows — would have had some concern about the possibility of a confrontation and its physical and legal outcome if they were not armed and made immune by Florida’s SYG-anywhere and immunity laws and would have likely stayed in their vehicle, as police departments want them to do, and let the police deal with this kid who, at that point, had done nothing illegal.

  34. Nemo (and a bit more for Josh from Oklahoma): I wanted to write my last answer above before writing this one so you could read that one first. No, I would absolutely not want to make what GZ did illegal (nor do I think that it was in fact illegal), unarmed or lawfully armed. There are circumstances in which, as dangerous as it might be, that following a suspicious person is more prudent than not doing so. But in the average situation, we need to discourage this kind of action by making clear the risks involved so that one will do it only when there is no other reasonable choice. Average citizens are not trained or equipped to handle physical confrontations with escalating amounts of force and a person followed in this way, especially an innocent person, is very likely to be more willing and likely to misperceive the intent of and assault a good Samaritan who follows them in this way than they are a uniformed peace officer. Josh from Oklahoma says, “I, for one, want the right to protect myself.” But GZ wasn’t protecting himself when he got out of his truck, he was playing junior g-man, and I suspect that’s what folks like Josh, with all of their distrust of LE, want as well: not only the right to protect themselves in, as MAS puts it, the gravest extreme, but the right to be their own self-appointed police force wherever they happen to be. Josh, you say, “I don’t know what it is about liberals that makes them want to put their full faith in the government.” I won’t address that hugely overbroad statement in general, but in this instance I put more faith in a uniformed, trained police officer with a range of force from a nightstick, to Mace, to a Taser, to a sidearm, to not spark — or at least only use such force as needed to stop — an unnecessary physical confrontation than I would in an armed citizen with only a 4-hour concealed carry class, a handgun, and an overconfident attitude.

  35. The Chief and the officers that were fired should sue the city. They followed the law. Gov. Scott should have kept his nose out of it. The grand jury would have concluded that Zimmerman was defending himself according to the law.
    Remember, a condo or townhouse is private property the same as your yard. Zimmerman has every right to question as to where he was going. All Martin had to say that he was visiting his father and girlfriend. Zimmerman would ask what number, check his directory and say have a nice day. The defense attorneys missed the boat on not pursuing that this happened on private property.

  36. Where I live we have a lot of drugs under the surface. Our police chief and his wife the judge (then prosecutor) used to have a company that provided “security” for the “greek” college kids parties. The naive might see a conflict of interest… Ironically they are not the bleeding hearts one might expect. To my point, it will be a crap shoot as to who shows up and handles your case most of the time. And as others have pointed out, there is a lot of complicated internal police politics. I am fond of saying the police are only as good as the politicians who are their bosses.

  37. We need to send a message to all the ones who did not do their jobs and just went along with the politics to advance their careers.

  38. “All it takes for evil to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke. George Zimmerman said that the guys always get away. The cops take too long to get to the crime scene. We all know Treyvon was up to something. Why would he otherwise be looking in windows? And Liberal Dave, you’re going to have to pay attention on this one. I never said GZ did anything illegal. In your first response you said that I said liberals hold on to an illegal act by GZ and that you can’t see any evidence that he committed an illegal act. What I said was that you libs hold on to a non illegal act by GZ. The act, of course, is him getting out of the car in the first place. And secondly, if you think that the only training that GZ has in firearms is a 4 hour course. That to me shows how dis-illusioned you are about firearm owners and concealed permit holders. GZ knew his rights and he knew what he was doing when he dropped the hammer on TM. His life was in danger and he did what was necessary to preserve his own life. Also, if you think cops are well trained, you are also out of touch. How many cop shootouts have been reported where dozens of rounds were exchanged and not one hit was made? I would hate to see some of these guys with mace,tasers, and clubs. They would make a terrible mess of things. I was an Army Drill Sergeant and know how many weeks it takes to train an individual with no past experience to be proficient with a firearm. It sounds to me like you need to gain a little life experience and some first hand knowledge of defending yourself before you attack one of the things people like me hold dearest, which is the right to protect myself and family.

  39. I’m not saying all cops are not well trained. I know cops who could be anything in the world and they choose to be cops. And they are extremely good at what they do. Very well trained and professional. But to put them in the same category with the ordinary small town beat cop is just as wrong and ignorant as putting all gun owners into the same category as Adam Lanza. To just assume that any cop that responds to an emergency call where my life is on the line, is going to be better trained and more prepared than I am is outrageous. But Dave, you have the choice and freedom to make that decision. You can make your choices and I’ll make mine.

  40. Here I thought we were talking about the cops who did their job and there’s the old Zimmerman debate again: “he shouldn’t have played hero – not that there’s anything illegal in that”. Cue in the Seinfeld music.

    It’s been said before that had Zimmerman been a woman, and had she been almost raped by some guy in a dark alley forcing her to shoot him in self-defense, there wouldn’t have been any trial or outrage. And any questioning of her motives, dress, flirtatious manners or judgment for not staying in the kitchen or with hubby to protect her would’ve been thrown out, certainly under pressure from feminists in particular and liberals in general.

    So what is the difference here?

    It’s clear that most of us, just like Mas has advised for as long as I can remember, know that we should steer clear of trouble as much as possible. But to look at a man whose ethnicity is not clearly obvious (hoodie at night) and determine that one should not come out of their car because any interaction could end up in violence IS racist. You see a dark-skinned male and you’re armed? Run! You stick around and you’re taking your life in your own hands, my friend! Is that what you’re saying Dave? I think so. Not condemning Martin on every count is validating the fact that a man can’t walk up to another in his own neighborhood without getting assaulted.

    And as much as we know (or think we know) how minorities feel about being treated as suspicious or dangerous, and how unfair and damaging to their psyche and self-esteem it may be (I have no doubt), I still find it incredibly offensive to advise to treat them like wild animals that can’t be approached without caution because, you know, they’re unpredictable and violence-prone due to a long history of abuse and paranoia.

    It’s 2013 and we can’t have it both ways (blacks are exactly like you and me… but just be careful with them): now Zimmerman isn’t a criminal but an idiot for having dared getting close to a black male at night and checking him out. Absurd.
    And what if Zimmerman had been gay and trying to pick Martin up?! The assault would’ve then been a hate crime and a completely different matter. Why? Because the heart of the matter here is that we put on trial the right to self-defense and to care about one’s community. And this, my friends, is typical liberal mind game: be an apologist for everyone and every behavior, no matter how vile and criminal in the name of compassion and understanding of human nature’s weakness while attacking all that make a stand, a personal stand to protect against that. It is being a man and/or acting like one that doesn’t pass muster.

    Makes one wonder if Zimmerman got off because he wasn’t actually that good at being a man. I’ve always been told that you had to be perceived as victim to win the legal fight…

    And no offense to any LEOs, but had Martin been confronted by them and copped the same attitude he did with Zimmerman he might’ve ended up filled with bullets that night, not pierced by just one.

  41. All of those folks punished for doing the proper thing – gosh. Zimmerman owes those people . . . . . .

  42. Mas, I was not aware of the extent of the injustice that these officers had to endure in the pursuit of truth.

    While some here seem to misguidedly suggest that the bigger part of the job is to be politic, it is refreshing and faith-restoring to hear of the kind of police that is less dramatic but every bit as heroic as risking one’s safety to save an innocent in the street.

    Thank you much for bringing this out. Wish somebody in the “mainstream” would relay the story in a broader venue.

    To the Reply comments generally: Was surprised at the extent to which personal emotion seemed to inform some comments. Had not noticed it so much on other sections of this series.

    For example, speculation about Zimmerman’s mind-set and thinking, presented as if the commenter thought it was fact ( to justify attenuated conclusions about SYG and Fla SD laws); also, the suggestion that the article was somehow “scornful” (huh?) regarding folks talking or not to police; and, then the enthusiastic implication that these officer’s sacrifices were of no merit because it seems all cops are generally bad, and it is reasonable to “give up on them”.

    Not sure what to make of these kinds of comments, showing up here.

  43. The problem seems to be that the wrong people were fired or demoted and the wrong ones are still in place.

  44. We should get excited because a group of public employees did their jobs? Really?

    Sorry, but the fact they are all being demoted and fired for doing their jobs only proves the points you are in denial about. The system is against you. If you happen to work for that system and do something they don’t like, you get the shaft just like the rest of us.

    I’ll stick with “never talk to the police”. Whether you’re dealing with a good cop or a bad cop it’s still the best legal advice you’ll ever receive for free.

  45. Otto, you write:”I’ll stick with ‘never talk to the police’. Whether you’re dealing with a good cop or a bad cop it’s still the best legal advice you’ll ever receive for free.”

    Sir, I don’t know what your experience with the criminal justice system is that leads you to that conclusion. You’re welcome to share that experience here. In my case, my recommendations are based on 40-plus years in the criminal justice system, in the varying roles of arresting officer, investigating officer, prosecutor, and expert witness for both sides. I’m sad to have to say it, but the advice you’re giving for free is worth what you’re charging for it.

  46. [ LarryArnold – He scheduled the case for the “next session” of the grand jury. You’re presuming that there’s a grand jury always in session or that one can be immediately called. I don’t know about Sanford, but that isn’t true where I live.]

    I am afraid that you are missing the point. The issue is not how fast a grand jury can be called but how soon the act of taking it to the grand jury was initated.

    Look at the timeline of events for a moment. The shooting happened on Feb. 26th. The case was not handed off, by Chief Lee, to the State Attorney until March 12th. Even as he handed the case off, Chief Lee was making statements that pre-judged this case as self-defense.

    However, within 2 days of the shooting (long before the case was formally handed to the State Attorney), the Martin Family was already running to hire Benjamin Crump and to kick off the media pressure. What made them jerk the trigger so fast? Was it a deep-seated distrust of the justice system? Or did the Sanford cops (and Chief Lee) already give the Martin family the impression that “self-defense” was a foregone concludion?

    My point is that there was too much “pre-judging” of this case going on (right from the start) and by all sides. The Sanford police “pre-judged” that it would be difficult to overcome a self-defense claim (and clearly let the Martin family know that) and the Martin family “pre-judged” that the Sanford cops were going to accept Zimmerman’s self-defense claim and that nothing would be done unless they applied media pressure to force the police to act.

    There must have been some public relations failures (very early in the investigation) that helped initiate these actions by the Martin family and that started the “snowball” rolling.