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Martin/Zimmerman: Fuel For The Democrat Attack Machine

Recently, the Huffington Post Enquirer ran a post regarding the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, entitled Trayvon Martin Case: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law At Center Of Shooting. The unwritten implication of this article is that enhanced self-defense laws, such as Florida’s, grant protection to murderers.

The left have already begun spinning this killing into an attack on Republicans. Note, for instance, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski making a sloppy attempt to connect this shooting to Rush Limbaugh. Jay at The Right Sphere reports Media Matters has already begun spinning this tragedy for political points in a number of posts.

Let’s debunk the assertion that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law somehow protected Zimmerman. To do so, we need to examine the 2006 changes to Florida’s Justifiable Use Of Force law, specifically, the portion contended here- Zimmerman’s immunity from criminal prosecution:

776.032 (1) A person who uses force as permitted (…) is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force (…) As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

Stated in plain English, Florida requires police officers to establish probable cause before arresting someone for using force in self-defense. This is a far cry different from HuffPo’s claim:

The Florida law lets police on the scene decide whether they believe the self-defense claim. In many cases, the officers make an arrest and leave it to the courts to work out whether the deadly force is justified. In this case, however, police have said they are confident they did the right thing by not charging 28-year-old George Zimmerman.

The failure, then, isn’t with the “Stand Your Ground” law- a point which even Al Sharpton concedes- but with the failure of Sanford police to thoroughly investigate the shooting. The recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call alone debunks his self-defense claim. From Doug Mataconis’ excellent article:

The police on the scene appear to have reached the conclusion that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense, but the 911 calls from that night raise some doubt about just how much danger Zimmerman was actually in, and the extent to which he may have pursued Martin despite being told by a 911 operator not to do so.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, the author of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, wrote this op-ed for FOX News, summing up the issue thus:

Mr. Zimmerman’s unnecessary pursuit and confrontation of Trayvon Martin elevated the prospect of a violent episode and does not seem to be an act of self-defense as defined by the castle doctrine. There is no protection in the “Stand Your Ground” law for anyone who pursues and confronts people.

The “pursue and confront” phrase is especially applicable here: While Florida has a very well-written and well-articulated law on self-defense, it is one of the few states which has no statute authorizing private persons to use force to pursue and arrest fleeing criminals. Even if Florida did authorize this use of force, however, Zimmerman still wouldn’t be justified, because Martin had committed no crime.

The anti-gun crowd, however, never let facts or the law stand in the way of their political agenda.

This law, championed by Republicans and vilified by Democrats, was contentious when it was passed in Florida in 2006; now there’s a murdered boy, and a wrongful claim of self-defense. This is an election year, and the Democrat attack machine feeds on accusations that Republicans are “bitter clingers” and racists.

Take this for what it is: the Democrat attack machine working to make all Republicans look like George Zimmerman’s accomplices and enablers.

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  1. Very nice piece of citizen reporting here Alex. I,m in Florida, my brother lives in Sandford, and the local newspapers are really using this to promote gun control 24/7. Yes, the investigation was flawed, the police chief resigned recently, and this looks like an isolated incident of a citizen wanting to protect the neighborhood that went too far.
    Of course here in Florida and across the nation they are also injecting the implied racism into this story, which has already been debunked 100%. Frigging leftist political opertatives posing as journalists have no shame- zero.

  2. This is a police problem and everyone should be letting the police deal with it. Jessey Jackson should not be allowed to “incite a riot” by standing there with his damn bull horn bellowing insenuations towards White people, and all these Black Anti-White organizations are just looking for trouble and using this as another excuse to rile up White HATE that Obama supports, and has already stuck his Black nose into a place where it doesn’t belong.

    Here are the facts so far. This Black boy shouldn’t have been wandering around in a gated community to begin with, he should have gone straight home after he got what he went to buy. This neighborhood is no place to be wandering around, at night, dressed in dark clothing, with things in his hand that couldn’t be identified in the dark. Secondly, Zimmerman shouldn’t have been following the Black boy, and was carrying a gun on him, like he was a self appointed armed guard. That was wrong. Didn’t the Black boy’s girlfriend tell him to get the hell out of where he was? Didn’t the Black boy think that where he was when he knew Zimmerman waz following him think he ought to get the hell out of there?

    See, the whole situation is screwed up. Zimmerman shouldn’t have been following the Black boy. The Black boy shouldn’t have been where he didn’t belong. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    The question of “What would Zimmerman done if it had been a White boy? What would he have done if it had been a Mexican boy?” YOU CAN’T ASK THAT QUESTION BECAUSE IT CANNOT EVER APPLY TO THIS SITUATION. THE ANSWER CAN NEVER BE ARRIVED AT BECAUSE THE BOY WAS BLACK NOT WHITE, NOT MEXICAN, HE WAS BLACK.

  3. Now I’m going to tell you something that will really anger you or make you think: Blacks commit 96% of ALL crimes in the United States in any one given year.

    Do you know where that fact came from? Something the KKK said? Something that some back woods red neck bigot said? It had to have been a White person who said that, right? WRONG!!

    That fact came for the U.S. Justice Dept., and the FBI reports based on accumulated reports for years up to 2000 from all police departments and state police and sheriff’s dept.’s.

    Surprised, huh?

  4. What does that “ALL” crimes mean? All crimes means exactly that. They include but not limited to, break-ins, robberies, holdups, mugging, rapes, theft, shop lifting, auto theft, auto break-ins, knifings where the victim was not killed, knifings where the victim was killed, murders, murders using objects other than a firearm, murders using a firearm, assults, assults and battery, etc.

    Got it? All crimes. The remaining percentage is taken up by Whites, Mexican’s, and Asians, Arabs.

    Now, that was up to the year 2000, which didn’t include 9-11 which put Arabs way up on the list of races of people other than Whites who are the worse at committing crimes in America. 16,000 people a year are murdered in America. Most are killed by Blacks. What can I say? Facts are facts. If any race needed to get it together it’s Blacks. When I hear the news at 6 on my local stations I hear some report about somebody who was assulted or hurt in some way, or mugged or something, and the reporter says, “A man did….” you know whatever. Well, when they described who this “man” was it always turns out to be a Black. Sorry, but a fact is a fact.

  5. Yeah, and in this case it turned out to be a White guy who did the killing. So? Now, let’s see the police reports for that night of Black’s who were killed by other Blacks, and all other crimes committed by Blacks that same night. And let’s look at reports of crimes committed by Whites just to be “fair” and “equal”. You liberals do want things to be “fair” and “equal” don’t you? You’re always whinning about it so I figure you would want to know how many crimes were committed by Whites that night, and, yeah, this crime as well. See, I want to be fair but I’m not going to ignore the facts about crime in the U.S..

  6. The police chief temporarily stepped down because SOMEONE THREATENED TO KILL THE CHIEF, and the Chief didn’t want to impact his team or any investigations.

    Frankly, there’s so much misinformation and subjective interpretation of the data that is out there, that all we, as individuals, can do is wait patiently for the police and criminal justice system do its work. An eye witness reported that Zimmerman was being beaten by this 17-year old man, bashing Zimmerman’s head into the ground and punching him repeatedly. Apparently, at one point, Mr. Martin got up and started walking away, then came back and proceeded to attack Zimmerman again. Zimmerman’s clothes were covered in blood, and the back of his clothes were wet from having been on the ground.

    Again, I don’t know the truth. We’ll have to wait and see. And all these publicity hookers need to sit down and shut up.

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