Zimmerman seeks to censor prosecutors.
Yahoo! News: “Profiled”
“Self-appointed neighborhood watch captain”
Murder suspect George Zimmerman’s defense team wants these “inflammatory terms” banned from the opening statements of his trial. Jury selection begins on Monday.
“Some of these terms are disparaging, inappropriate, and if used in trial would serve only to unfairly prejudice the jury by eliciting unfounded connotations and unfair emotional responses,” defense attorney Mark O’Mara wrote in a motion to the court.
Prosecutors say Zimmerman, a volunteer crime watchman in his Sanford, Fla., neighborhood, profiled, pursued and fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Zimmerman, a licensed gun carrier and part-time criminal justice student, says he fired in self-defense after being attacked and beaten.
Zimmerman also wants to ban certain phrases from opening arguments:
“He got out of the car after the police (or dispatcher) told him not to.”
“He confronted Trayvon Martin.”
Motions seeking to limit evidence in a trial is not uncommon, but they seldom target phrases or characterizations.
It doesn’t sound like they’re confident about the verdict. They basically want to ban any mention of the incident that put George Zimmerman in that courtroom.
George Zimmerman’s brother spreads racist non-argument.
George Zimmerman is currently awaiting trial for the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager he shot and killed in what he claims was self-defense.
His brother, Robert Zimmerman, stands accused of being really racist about it on Twitter.
Robert sent out a flurry of tweets Sunday evening, all containing the same image. It compares a Martin with purported photo of 17-year old De’Marquis Elkins, who was arrested Friday for allegedly shooting and killing a 13-month-old baby during a robbery.
He tweeted the same photo three times, tagging several media personalities, the National Rifle Association, and amazingly, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Of course, people had plenty of questions — like, “WTF planet are you from where any of this makes any damned sense at all?”
“I get it. You’re out to smear your brother’s victim,” replied @Pinkomomma.
“so now it’s acceptable to murder a teen for flipping the bird to a camera?” asked @juniper_breez.
Zimmerman tried to offer an explanation that the image could imply something other than black teenagers who have fingers are likely to shoot people. “Pics like those R usu[ally] prod[ucts] of raising kids w/a cash/cars/bit*hes mentality,” he tweeted.
He probably should stay away from arguing about the way people have been raised. After all, if George’s brother is sending out racist pics, what’s that say about the the family in which Zimmerman was raised? And that line of thinking does not lead people to think good things about his guilt or innocence in the shooting of an unarmed black teen.
If Robert Zimmerman thinks he’s helping here, he’s so wrong.
‘Stand Your Ground’ Rejection of the Day: Despite the heated debate over Florida law since the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, said today that “the facts don’t seem to support a ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense.”
Instead, O’Mara said the incident is just a standard self-defense case,because Zimmerman didn’t have the option to retreat:
People look at “Stand Your Ground” and immediately think somebody’s standing there with deadly force — be it a gun or a weapon — and having the opportunity to back up but not having the need to under the statute.
I think the evidence in this case suggests that my client was reacting to having his nose broken and reacted to that by screaming out for help.
WFTV has learned charges against George Zimmerman could be getting more serious.
State prosecutors said Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, profiled and stalked 17-year-old Trayvon Martin before killing him, so the FBI is now looking into charging him with a hate crime.
Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin in February during a confrontation. However, he claims the shooting was in self-defense. He’s facing a second-degree murder charge, which carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. But if Zimmerman is charged and found guilty of a federal hate crime involving murder, he could face the death penalty.
FBI investigators are actively questioning witnesses in the retreat at the Twin Lakes neighborhood, seeking evidence for a possible federal hate crime charge.
Martin was unarmed when he was shot to death, police said, and some accuse Zimmerman of targeting the teenager solely because of the color of his skin.
It would be a tough avenue to follow. “What the government would have to prove is that Mr. Zimmerman acted out of hatred toward African-Americans,” says WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer. “That’s why he came into contact with him. That’s why he shot and killed him.” Proving Zimmerman engaged in racial profiling may not be enough. But it would simply be an enhancer; if they failed to prove the Hate Crime charge, it wouldn’t absolve him of any murder charges.
Trayvon Martin gun range targets sell out — because many ‘conservatives’ are really just assholes.
An unidentified entrepreneur admits he is trying to profit off Trayvon Martin’s death by selling gun range targets featuring the teen who’s death has sparked a nationwide controversy.
Although Martin’s face does not appear on the paper targets, they feature a hoodie with crosshairs aimed at the chest. A bag of Skittles is tucked in the pocket and a hand is holding a can resembling iced tea.
Martin purchased both items minutes before he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February, according to police.
Zimmerman’s lawyer believes this sort of thing isn’t helping his client. “This is the highest level of disgust and the lowest level of civility,” says attorney Mark O’Mara. “It’s this type of hatred — that’s what this is, it’s hate-mongering — that’s going to make it more difficult to try this case.”
According to the report, the seller — a prick who wisely wishes to remain ananymous — says the targets “sold out in 2 days.”
There are a lot of real assholes out there.
Wall Street’s whining gets even more absurd.
Nick Confessore of the New York Times has a big story in the forthcoming Sunday magazine about Obama’s sour relations with Wall Street and the impact it’s having on fundraising.
Buried in the story is an extraordinary anecdote: Wall Streeters are so upset about Obama’s harsh populist rhetoric that they privately called on him to make amends with a big speech — like his oration on race — designed to heal the wounds of class warfare in this country.
Yes, because with the Trayvon Martin tragedy still very much a news story, it’s such a good idea to start comparing being asked to pay your fair share with racism. A black kid can’t walk down the street without getting shot dead and a Wall Street CEO can’t drive his Bentley around town without someone giving him the finger. Pretty much the same thing, really.
Further, the ultra-rich are handing out money to Republicans, not Democrats — so the Democratic president should aid in the Republican messaging. Because that’s just the right thing to do. One must make sacrifices to repair the terrible inequalities suffered by the unimaginably wealthy.
I have two pieces of advice for the Wall Street Whiners; “shut up” and “stop it.”
“I’m Not Racist, But ___”
One thing I think we can learn from the Trayvon Martin shooting and its aftermath is that there are one helluva lot of rightwing racists in America. As revelations go, it’s not much of one. All you have to do is tune in Rush Limbaugh to have that one confirmed.
But another thing we can learn about rightwing racists is that they don’t seem to understand what racism actually is. And we get no better demonstration of this fact than this story from The Grio:
A letter, sent via the City of Sanford’s official letter, and addressed to the city manager, decries the treatment afforded the currently suspended police chief, Bill Lee. It faults the now familiar villains, according to Lee’s defenders: Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the country’s African-American attorney general, Eric Holder.
“Dear City Manager Bonaparte,” it begins. “The racist travesty that took place in Sanford should not be laid to rest and the city should not move on until there is a thorough condemnation of the Rabid Racist Ni**ers and their organizations, along with the irresponsible media, that formed a treasoneous [sic], anti-American, vigelante [sic] feeding frenzy race riot. Ni**ers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, and that dancing baboon of the New Black Pu***es should be in jail, preferably shot.”
Mr. Bonaparte is black. And letters sent to city officials via the Sanford website are public record.
The letter was sent by Gary K. Keats, “a 71-year-old retired urologist from nearby Clearwater, Florida, [who] stands by every word.” We know Keats is a wingnut, because the report tells us, “During the late 1990s, Keats posted frequent comments on a website belonging to the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, an ultra-right wing non-profit founded in 1943 to fight the Social Security Act.” More on them here.
But here’s the clincher; “Asked if he considered himself a racist, Keats replied, ‘no, not really.’”
We’ve all heard it — “I’m not a racist, but [insert incredibly racist comment here].” And that’s pretty much what we’re seeing with Gary K. Keats. The fact is that the vast majority of racists don’t know that they’re racists. You’ve got a few neo-Nazi, white power types who take the label proudly, but the average racist is a racist in denial.
I think the good news here is that we’ve managed as a society to associate the word “racist” with “wrong.” It’s wrong to be a racist and even the racists seem to agree with that. But an average racist sees themselves as right. If they’re right, then they obviously aren’t wrong, and therefore just as obviously can’t be racist — no matter how racist the things they say sound. They think they’re telling “hard truths.” They know it’s confrontational, but it “needs to be said.”
In fact, as Keats demonstrates, it’s the people who complain about racism who are seen as the real racists. Everything was fine until them uppity northern blacks come down and start raising trouble — well, fine except that whole dead-kid, cops-let-the-shooter-walk-away thing. It’s people who bring up race who are the racists. And if they bring up race, then the wingnut gets to too. It’s only right. In his mind, Keats isn’t at fault for throwing the n-word around — blame Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Eric Holder for that. They started it with their focus on the victim’s skin color. He probably thinks he’s just fighting fire with fire.
If you want an insight into racist commenters on blog posts and news stories, there you go. They don’t know they’re racists. The good news is that if you call them out on their racism, they’ll be offended — because they know racism is shameful.
The bad news is that they have no earthly idea what the hell the word “racism” actually means.