One last thing

I’ve been thinking about how my brothers would have beat up any stranger who was following them in the dark, who got out of his vehicle and started asking them questions. Of course they would have.

The amount of “stranger danger” that we had drilled into our heads as kids, coupled with the amount of creepy behavior we got to see thanks to my dad’s job?

There is no way that they would not, had they been in Trayvon Martin’s shoes, fought Zimmerman.

But I heard this morning that the police who arrived on the scene wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter, but the District Attorney (or State’s Attorney, whatever they have in Florida) declined and there was some speculation that he declined because of his friendship/acquaintance with Zimmerman’s dad.

And I know that well, too. My dad tried, when they were younger (though there seems to have been a change in policy) to make my brothers face the legal consequences for their actions. There just weren’t always legal consequences. They just mysteriously failed to materialize.

I don’t really have anything profound to say except that, yes, this is how the world works.

5 thoughts on “One last thing

  1. I’ve been out of the loop and until yesterday knew not one thing about it. As I read back over known and speculated facts I can only have trust in the knowledge that this is how some men act and this is a good reason those men should not act that way, even if it’s instinctual.

    –The Swagger Man, those guys who love the idea of being a cop so they can kick ass and put the punks in their place get a thrill out of listening to police scanners, being on the Neighbourhood Watch, proving their ubermanhood to teenagers and abused domestic partners. Zimmerman, by all accounts, is a classic Swagger Man.

    –The teenage boy, bored and full of hormones, boredom and sugar who is scared out of his wits.

    Like you said it just seems to be to be a sad case of “yep, this is the way the world works.”

  2. The thing that bothers me is that, if the most likely scenario is the truth–that Martin was on the phone with his friend when Zimmerman approached him after Zimmerman had been told by the dispatcher to not do that and that there was some kind of scuffle and Martin had the upper hand on Zimmerman until Zimmerman shot him (not this whole “we struggled for the gun” or “he jumped me from behind” nonsense)–I’m hard pressed to see what Martin should have done differently.

    I guess I don’t mean specifically whether he should have run for home sooner or something. I just mean, if I were telling my nephews what to do when a stranger got in their personal space, I would tell them that, if they couldn’t get away, they should fight with every ounce of their strength.

    I would never advise a kid to stand around and try to have a respectful conversation with the weirdo who’s been following him. I wouldn’t advise him to tell that weirdo his name or where he was staying or why he was in the neighborhood. I would advise him to avoid at all costs any interaction with said weirdo.

    That would be my advice. Avoid and when you can’t avoid, fight like hell.

    And a kid ended up dead doing the very thing I would advise my nephews to do.

    I find that very upsetting. Which is trite, I know. But I’m pissed that, no matter what, Zimmerman didn’t seem to have any sense of just how fucking frightening his behavior was.

  3. So there’s a law that permits people to use lethal force if they feel threatened. Is the use non-lethal force if feeling threatened also protected? Who determines the legitimacy of the threatened feeling?

  4. My understanding is that, in Florida, under their Stand Your Ground law, the prosecutor has to prove that you did not reasonably feel threatened, unlike the SYG laws in other states where it is on the person claiming self-defense to prove they had reason to feel threatened.

    So, in this case, the prosecutor would have to prove the illegitimacy of that feeling, a steep hurdle.

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