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GZ and TM storm
GZ erred* the second he saw TM that night. He could have conducted himself in an appropriate manner and found satisfaction as to the identity of TM. His was frustrated because he had a feeling of power amplified by his weapon and a desire to bring about a fantasy outcome of securing this "bad guy" but he could not control the "suspect" if he simply waited for the police to arrive.
Self defense...I don't buy it! This whole situation seems like some weird type of event which could in some way fit under the catagory of a "crime of passion". The scenario that played out that evening had nothing to do with TMs world. He was visiting and his psysical appearance was stereotypical. I think something important has been overlooked and this is that GZ (the watch comander?) seemed to be very comfortable with a faulty conclusion. GZ seems to act and report as though he is sure TM is a burglar. Even after he knows he was incorrect in this conclusion that he invested in and that his subsequent error- led action resulted in TMs death.....GZ claims to have no regrets. I don't understand how GZ can not regret that. GZ lived there, he was very involved in an effort to raise the neigborhood's level of vigilance. Of course...this is a good thing. The problem is a question of personal responsibility. For me, the race factor derails the truth of this tragedy. GZ did not lust to kill a black person, he lusted to at least be instrumental in the apprehension of a "suspect" and wrecklessly got into a real life real time reality that he was unprepaired for. I think that is what actually happenned that night. GZ is probably not a monster he probably is a human who erred.** At the end of the day the best value of this real life event is that it affords our country a vital opportunity to refine our carry permit rights and constraints. The people we pay to carry loaded and off-safety and ready-to-fire weapons are constrained by predepoyment training and post event evaluation. The intent of the laws around stand your ground and self defense is to protect TM in this scenario...... not GZ. TM was not interested in GZ...GZ was interested in TM. GZ witnessed no act of TM that required any kind of intervetion. GZ interjected his body, his loaded weapon and his arguably questionable mental preparedness into the life of TM. We know TM was not a burlar but even if he was a burglar (not a serial killer...not an insane out of control person) GZ's need to somehow fight the recent crime in his community resulting with him discharging his weapon into a human being is problematic. I did not witness the GZ/TM storm. The imperical data convicts GZ because he willfully interjected himself into TMs life with a leathal weapon and lost control of the situation and chose to regain control of the situation by killing a person whose actions never indicated any discernable crime. Self defense......? Nope...
GZ made a decision to utilise the power of his handgun to bring the nightmare he himself caused to the end he himself fancied when he started pursuing TM. We know he wanted to find some way to keep TM from "getting away" before the police got there. He acted irresposibly to that end....he lost control and killed an innocent man. Not really a monster but he is guilty of manslughter and perhaps 2nd degree murder.
I don't know what happenned between GZ and TM that evening. I have formed an opinion. I heard GZs account and I saw the photos of his injuries and I learned that TM was making a store run for some snacks and was close to his destination when he encountered GZs unwelcome attention. TMs mindset was pedestrian and confrontation does not exist here until this very moment. He was talking on his phone to a friend as he was returning with the things he had set out to procure. GZs mindset is much more exotic. He is concerned and committed to protecting his neighborhood from an onslaught of THIS burglar. TMs thinking processes were dramatically impacted by GZs when TM realized that someone was watching his every step. Now we are in a situation which has instantly changed the thinking processes of TM. GZs thinking processes changed a little bit earlier the very moment he saw TM and formulated the opinion that TM was something other than a kid on a walk. What do I think of TM based on my own private opinion of what took place that night? I like him! He fought for his right to be free to take a walk. In the same situation and especially at his age, I would have been angry that someone was watching me for no good reason that I knew of but I'd have probably retreated and been more willing to avoid confrontation with a stranger. What do I think of GZ based on my own private opinion of what took place that night? I like that he fights for his right to pursue a sense of security for his family and his neighbors. I think he is unprepared to be in the neighborhood watch much less a law enforcement officer. I know he is a human being and therefore vulnerable to making mistakes. If as a N/W partisipant I confront a stranger in freespace in my neighborhood while I am in my car and I am carrying a pistol I would find a certain distance that afforded some safety perception for the stranger while providing some measure of buffering from danger for me and I'd say "hey...sorry to bother you .... I'm on the N/W and we just had a burgulary last night so we are kind of jumpy...I'm George...whats your name?" GZs neighborhood watch had reason to anticipate the crime of home invasion based on recent events. I recall no account of murder in these reported crimes. GZ tells us that he did not confront TM. He told us he got out of his car to get a street name and address to better assist the police enroute ONLY afer TM was out of sight and that while he was out of his car TM snuck-up and confronted him and attacked him and so he had to use his weapon to stop TMs attack. Thinking processes are critical to the truth of this event. TMs thinking process began as a walk from the store to the house and according to GZs account TM became transformed by anger and the "snack man" turned into the "attack man". We know from a witness these two people got into a fight. GZ tells us that he allowed himself to get close enough to a fellow he thought was a burglar to get into a fist fight while he was concealing a ready-to-fire handgun and yet....he does not know of anything he would change if he had it to do over again and that he has no regrets that he killed TM because the outcome was played out "according to God's plan". Well...I can only guess here but it sounds to me like GZ wants us to believe he acted as the instrument of the good lord and relieved the world of an extremely dangerous and preditory monster of a person and the beauty part is that he acted in justifiable self defense while doing so. The facts that we know tell me that at a minimum GZs is lying when he says that he has no regrets. I don't blame the jury for the verdict. Just in writing this and re-writing this I have managed to find at least two added arguments to my side of the ledger and although I had a strong opinion almost the very night I heard about the case based on "we don't need you to do that"....I JUST MIGHT BE WRONG!!! I think they should have returned a manslaughter conviction because GZs account, including the position of the holsterred handgun in relationship to the fighting postion of TM, and the fact that he left the protection of his car to get a streetname when he knew the streetname and if he really needed it he could have put the car in drive and rolled right to the corner, and the condition of the back of his head which he claims was smashed repeatedly on a concrete sidwalk.... but those wounds on the back of his head were cuts and if his head got smashed on the sidewalk even once there would have been swelling around the wound and furthermore, sidewalks are flat hard surfaces so let's say a pebble caused that cut between the surface of the concrete and his head....that would have really left a boo boo!... and the characterization of TM as a wild angry 17 year old ready and willing to beat another man to death and who had caught him by surprise and instead of smacking him over the head with the can of tea he begins this life threatening bludgeoning with a left hook and... this all started when GZ first saw TM and with absolutely no good reason....believes he has inadvertently encountered a burglar who must be stopped and to this day he and others who have spoken on his behalf claims there is nothing to regret as a result of GZs actions that evening? This is reasonable doubt.
what will the dream of g. zimmerman be when some night his subconscious presents the riddle-senario in which he is in a stand-your-ground confrontation with his conscience.
TM began a wreckless and vicious attack that was out of all proportion to the encounter with the neighbrhood watch guy. thats the way it happenned and GZ, while guilty of being a goofball, is also the unfortunate victum of circustances wildly accelerated by an uncharaceristically aggresive TM
GZ is a guy who failed to exercise due caution and ended up in an encounter that impacted the life of an innocent person and this impact devolved into a fistfight in which TM lost his life. Manslaughter
In the manslaughter scenario GZ had an opening to retreat but instead chose to pull his weapon and to hit the "10-ring".*** 2nd degree murder.
I don't think GZ is necessarily a rascist killer. GZ and TM had a horrible encounter in a perfect storm scenario involving a heightened fear of neighborhood break-ins, a fellow who is all barney and no andy trying to make some sort of "citizen's arrest", and a spunky kid (whose sterotypical appearance inspired the hatred and defeated the reasoning of watch commander GZ) didn't retreat when challenged by a stranger whose thought processes had already assigned much to TM (evidenced when calling in his prejudcial suspicions to the police) which were not applicable.
Racism is a word I often misuse when prejudiced is a more accurate description of one's behavior. I am guilty of prejudicial behavior. I think fat people tend to be vulnerable to denial and wealthy people to arrogance. This strategic admission serves to make the point that I suffer from prejudicial thought patterns without indicating some of my more race-specific prejudicial thoughts. Racism speaks more to what greased the wheels of the state of slave labor which existed in America for soo many years and what "permitted" our early genocidal treatment of native Americans on both sides of the Peidmont and then west of the Mississippi.
*"F"ft up ** "F"ft up bad ***bullsey...killshot (not.. say.. a shot to the shoulder)
juror b37 tagged the VN Vet as the def ME