The Miami Heat photographed last week. A rare occasion of politics mixing with professional sports.
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That's so cool.
Regardless of the actual Martin case details, that Florida law is some scary Wild-West shit..
 Self defense laws have pros and cons, so I can understand taking either side of the issue. I agree with your first sentiment, however. I don't know what happened in this case. Very few people do. Yet, for some reason, everyone has a strong opinion. It seems like our culture has lost the art of being able to say "I don't know", which only makes it more difficult to eventually find the truth.
 Well, just looking SOLELY at the facts we see: a kid carrying Skittles and a drink was shot and killed. An unarmed black teenage kid with zero history of violence, criminality, threatening behavior. The killer was known to the police as someone who wanted to be a cop and was clearly over-zealous about neighborhood policing (see his 40+ 911 calls). Clearly, the outrage is justified at this point, no? How many more unarmed black teenagers have to die in the US?
Happier news: I'm going to see King Felix tomorrow at the Tokyo Dome, フーレーーー！！ Shame it's Oakland and not a good team..I think I would struggle to name any Oakland players right now..is Coco Crisp still with them? Cespedes the new Cuban guy?
 And the killer was not arrested at the scene. I agree, there is plenty we can say based only on what we do know.
But having said that, I will now be careful to respect our host's preferences for the character of the comments on his blog.
 I will be with Mr. Jazz and my daughter Sachi and her gramps, Jiji (Atsuo).
As for Trayvon, the "Saint." No one deserved to get shot, but he was throttling Zimmerman "the viginlante" senseless. The dude was fighting for his life. I'm sure saitly Trayvon had a history of violence. He was a football player, truant, etc., ferchrissakes. As for Zimmerman. He needed a hobby. He got one. Now his life is shit.
The problem is not race it's GUNS, fer fuck sake. Wake up America.
Why do you guys need guns? Why, why, why?
Please tell me why?
"Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.
Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police. Trayvon then said, "Well, you do now" or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose, according to the account he gave police.
Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.
Zimmerman began yelling for help.
Several witnesses heard those cries, and there has been a dispute about whether they came from Zimmerman or Trayvon.
Lawyers for Trayvon's family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.
One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him — and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.
Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest at very close range, according to authorities.
When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.
Paramedics gave him first aid but he said he did not need to go to the hospital. He got medical care the next day."
Yeah I think the facts are pretty clear in this case. It's almost irrelevant whether or not the kid attacked Zimmerman. He was being pursued in the middle of the night by a strange man. This is 100% on Zimmerman. He had no business doing anything but calling the cops. It's not his job to follow the kid, much less leave his vehicle with a gun in his hand. None of these facts are disputed. I don't care Martin was a complete delinquent or a choir boy, he has the right to be left alone .
If Zimmerman had behaved himself none of this would have happened.
I will give the benefit of the doubt that everything in  is true, and you know what? It doesn't change my opinion one iota.
He pursued an unarmed minor, after being specifically ordered by the 911 Dispatcher not to. We know this to be true because of the tapes. To me, at that point, self defense goes completely out the window. You don't get to pursue someone unprovoked, while armed mind you, and then when that person responds physically claim you were merely defending yourself. It doesn't work that way.
As for Martin having a "history of violence" I have no idea where that comes from. Because he was a football player who had been late to class and caught with weed that somehow immediately leads to "history of violence"??
 I agree (as you can tell from ).
I have my doubts about the story coming from the police now. Why didn't we hear this earlier? And the idea of Zimmerman saying he didn't have a problem seems unlike the same guy who was talking about "these assholes", etc - all that tough talk on the phone, and also the fact he was ballsy enough to pursue on foot. Then all of a sudden he's just a peace-loving dude with a gun in his belt? It's fishy. I've read he's got 100 pounds on Martin, which, if true, makes the whole scenario harder to swallow.
But again, it really shouldn't matter too much who started the actual fight - Zimmerman is still at fault.
Yeah, I agree, especially with your skepticism about what the police are saying now. (And the pictures I've seen are consistent with the weight advantage.) Enough time has elapsed for the authorities to get their story ready, and to be sure there isn't anyone alive who can contradict it.
I agree with  & 
&  for that matter.
Regardless, you have the police arrive on the scene with a dead body on the ground and a man with a gun who admits to shooting. No arrest ensues. They just take the shooter's word for it that he was "Standing his Ground". Zimmerman wants to play Cop and then the cops want to play Judge & Jury.
btw: Trayvon Martin was pursued and "Stood his Ground." If he had killed Zimmerman with his can of ice tea do you think that the police would have taken his word on that and sent him on his way?
All of the comments that followed kind of prove my point. I really don't think any of us has a good handle on the facts, so I am not sure how one could have a strong opinion. Quite frankly, I don't think most people are reacting to the actual incident as much as their politicized interpretation of it.
 I definitely agree with your point about people needing to be able to say "I don't know" more often.
And perhaps you're right in  if you're objecting to my rhetorical question about Trayvon Martin standing his ground. But there are clear facts: 911 operator told Zimmerman not to follow Martin; Zimmerman referred to "assholes"--plural--he judged Martin as part of some untrustworthy group based solely on seeing him walk down the street are two examples of very important, relevant facts. So "I really don't think any of us has a good handle on the facts, so I am not sure how one could have a strong opinion" seems quite wrong to me. Sometimes having just some of the facts is enough to have a relevant opinion. Zimmerman thought he saw suspicious activity. He called 911. The police responded. If Zimmerman had stayed in his car he wouldn't have shot anyone. These all seem indisputable to me.
 What I wrote had only to do with undisputed facts, as I noted when I wrote it. I don't see at all what's political about this. It's common sense. A private citizen - especially with a firearm - has no business following someone around - something the police told him not to do.
Nowhere have I read anything disputing the fact that he saw the kid, called him one of "these assholes", followed him in his car, got our of his car, brought his gun with him and followed him some more. There is no debate about that.
I added later that I think the police story sounds like spin but I also said it's not relevant to the fact that Zimmerman was the prime mover in this incident and has had no official consequence for that. I find that appalling. I don't know that he needs to be rung up for murder but what he did was unnecessary, and dangerous.
 Sorry, I guess I more or less just repeated this. I felt I needed to defend my integrity!
I applaud the idea of being able (and willing) to say "I don't know" more often. IMHO, this is a major flaw in all human reasoning, and a particularly acute problem in situations like this.
I also agree with the idea that this incident is really Zimmerman's fault. But from a legal perspective, if what ZImmerman says is true about Martin pinning him to the ground and repeatedly slamming his head against the concrete, the shooting is undoubtedly legal under Florida law, both criminal and civil. We may agree that's BS, but the appropriate response is to work to change the law but perhaps more importantly to work to change society so this sort of thing eventually becomes less common.
So the case will turn on what Zimmerman can prove. If his allegations are true, he should have visible injury to the back of his head and there will be some witness corroboration. There may also be telling ballistics.
Regardless, you don't need this incident to be outraged at the ridiculous level of racism in America, or as the stimulus to work to address it.
 Honestly I don't think race is important to the incident itself. Insomuch as it may or may not have informed the guy's decision to get out of the car, yeah it's a factor, but it's not a trend or some systemic thing at work. If it were a police officer it would loom larger but I see this as being most problematic in the Zimmerman's actions, not the causes of them. Obviously he's got some issues in general and if he's not officially crazy, he's at least got a screw loose. But you simply can not, as a private citizen, be allowed to creep around after people with a gun on you. Trouble. Will. Ensue.
I do see some race issues with the way the police handled it, mainly because imho if Martin was white, Zimmerman would be behind bars right now. You can say we can't know that, but come on - you KNOW it. Granted it might be because of more fear/respect of and for the white community, but that dude would be locked up.
 "politicized interpretation"? How in any way do you feel politics come into this? Merely looking at the facts we DO know, as most comments here have stated, should be enough for most people to be outraged. The guy was told do NOT pursue, he did, now a teenage boy is dead for no reason.
And anyone who thinks race has nothing to do with this incident..well, as they say, "De Nile is a river in Egypt".
 I don't think race is IMPORTANT in terms of the incident. There's nothing to draw from the race factor in this incident other than the fact that one delusional guy may have a bias. There's nothing to extrapolate there. He had no call to do what he did, whatever aroused his suspicions - race, gender, age, what have you. He might be racist but if his racism merely prompted him to call the cops, I really wouldn't care that much.
(20) Simple Qs: If Zimmerman is black and Martin white, do the cops still let him walk? If Martin is a white kid Ina hoodie does he get followed and shot? I'm confident the answers to both is 'No'.
 Already covered - in comment 
 Ah, missed that when was on the cell phone. Apologies.
 I think that's the bottom line. The irony here is that regardless of whether the shooting is legally or morally justified, when private citizens can carry pistols around in public "for self-defense purposes," then it's inevitable that some random encounters between strangers on the street will end up like this. So, ban people from carrying pistols? Not gonna happen, not in Florida (and most other states) anyway. Having a more respectful, less racist society might help a bit though.
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