The more I look into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the more messed up the entire situation appears to be. I theorized in my post yesterday that George Zimmerman, the shooter, suffered from a hero complex. After doing a little more research my suspicion is even strong:
SANFORD — The people at the Retreat at Twin Lakes had been missing bikes, grills and a few times thought strangers were casing their town houses.
When the homeowners association wanted to start a neighborhood watch, only one man stepped up: George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old who admitted to shooting an unarmed Miami Gardens teenager and who is now the focal point of a race-related scandal of national proportions.
Interviews with neighbors reveal a pleasant young man passionate about neighborhood security who took it upon himself to do nightly patrols while he walked his dog.
Licensed to carry a firearm and a student of criminal justice, Zimmerman went door-to-door asking residents to be on the lookout, specifically referring to young black men who appeared to be outsiders, and warned that some were caught lurking, neighbors said. The self-appointed captain of the neighborhood watch program is credited with cracking some crimes, and thwarting others.
Being the only applicant for a neighborhood watch isn’t evidence of a hero complex in of itself but the combination of that, being a criminal justice student, and his actions on the night of the shooting point in that direction. Many people are putting a lot of weight into his warnings to neighbors about “young black men.” I’m not touching that with a cattle prod, not because I’m afraid of being labeled a racist if I don’t agree with the generally accepted sentiment, but because I lack knowledge about Zimmerman’s statements. That is to say the community wanted to establish a neighborhood watch after items started going missing and if there were witnesses that reported the suspects to be young black men Zimmerman’s statement could have been based on those accounts. On the other hand Zimmerman may have simply been stereotyping, I haven’t a clue.
Back to my original point, Zimmerman’s possible hero complex. Zimmerman became the community’s neighborhood watch, was a student in criminal justice, and decided to pursue a person he believe to be suspicious even though he was instructed not to by a 911 operator. The last part is where my suspicion ultimately stems from. Most people would avoid a confrontation that can ensure by pursuing a person unless there was solid reason for doing so. From the evidence I have available Zimmerman had nothing but a gut feeling, certainly not something you would potentially put your life at risk over. In addition to that the police were on their way, why risk your life for nothing more than a gut feeling if the police are en route to take care of the situation? To me it just doesn’t add up.
With that said I don’t have all the evidence at hand so I’m speculating on evidence that I’ve read in news articles. My final judgement is meaningless, that’s the job of juries, but it’s still an interesting case to mull of in one’s mind. I’m still fearful that any chances of a fair trial, if this goes to trail, are gone. Anybody ruling in Zimmerman’s favor would be risking a permanent label of racist and that makes it in everybody’s best interest to rule him guilty regardless of the evidence.
4 thoughts on “More on the Martin Case”
The only way this ends with anything resembling justice is if Zimmerman decodes he is guilty of murder, and confesses. At this poiint due to mishandlings by the local PD the evidence in the case has become questionable not including that which was never collected, and a truly impartial jury can only be found by rounding up some Amish.
Yeah, unfortunately this entire situation is a mess and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever find out what actually happened. As we are fond of saying in the computer field, garbage in, garbage out. The police fucked up from the start meaning we’re likely to end with unusable data in the end to determine the actual facts.
We sure don’t know what happened, and he might have a hero complex, but I have to take issue with your analysis in a couple places.
Listening to the 911 call (the first link I found with the audio was here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOpGAOXL5Uk), we can hear that he wasn’t “instructed” not to follow by the 911 operator. First of all, the operator wouldn’t have any authority to do so, and secondly…
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: We don’t need you to do that.
I have also seen lots of folks fixating on Zimmerman telling the dispatcher that Martin was black, as if that proves a racial bias. But again, listening to the 911 call, the dispatcher takes Zimmerman through a standard list of questions, starting with race, clothing and age.
(While the blog entry is biased, the full transcript here looks accurate: http://brightnepenthe.blogspot.com/2012/03/walking-and-running-away-while-black.html)
I would also suggest that the interest in the neighborhood watch and the criminal justice classes are perfectly consistent with someone who wants to make a difference in his community. Many aspiring police officers start out as volunteers, reservists or other non-sworn public safety employees.
That’s not to say that pursuing a stranger in the dark shows wisdom or good judgment, of course, but as a neighborhood watch volunteer, Zimmerman may have had a very good idea that the ***holes usually DO get away before police arrive. That can be tremendously frustrating to somebody with a strong sense of justice.
Hindsight is 20/20. It is likely that Zimmerman didn’t perceive much danger in following a teen whom he outweighed by 60 pounds. Nonetheless, the police found a dead Martin and a wounded Zimmerman, with a bleeding face and a grass-covered back, indicating a high likelihood that Zimmerman had been struck in the face and knocked down.
Did things get out of hand? Pretty clearly, yes. How? We have no idea. It might be self defense, and it might be murder. But it’s a little premature to start the conviction process.
There are certainly numerous errors with my analysis. As I said I’m working with imperfect data and ultimately speculating on this issue from the standpoint that my information isn’t very good.
Thanks for this, from what I’ve heard the tapes had been released to a few people but not made public. I’ll have a listen when I get home, it’ll probably shed more light on this issue than anything else I’ve had access to.
As I said that alone didn’t bring up my suspicions, it was that combined with his actions, at least as best as I understood them. I do know many people join neighborhood watch programs with good intentions in mind, not because they desire to be heros.
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