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Trayvon Martin Ripples: Attorneys Take On Profiling As NRA Defends Stand Your Ground

| March 26, 2012

George Zimmerman: He chased after the ground he then stood on.


The day after Gov. Rick Scott tapped an outside prosecutor to investigate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and formed a task force to review the state’s stand-your-ground law, a group of Tallahassee criminal defense lawyers moved to shed more light on racial profiling in Florida.

Calling themselves the Roundtable for Justice, the attorneys said Friday they’ll review arrest records for violent felonies in Florida’s 20 judicial circuits. Co-founder Chuck Hobbs said the group will use private funds to collect the data via public records requests to analyze possible racial profiling and misconduct by police and prosecutors.

“We are going to show the world that racial profiling exists in every stage of the criminal game, from arrests to charging decisions to judicial decisions after trials or with plea bargains,” Hobbs said.

The Feb. 26 shooting death of the unarmed Martin by neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman has spurred shock across the country. Zimmerman, 28, claimed he shot Martin, who was black, in self-defense. He has not been charged.

“[Martin] was trying to retreat,” said attorney Craig Brown, a member of Roundtable for Justice. “He was trying to get away from this man who followed him and shot him in cold blood.”

On Thursday, Scott tapped State Attorney Angela Corey of the 4th Judicial Circuit as special prosecutor, replacing Seminole County’s Norm Wolfinger. The governor also created the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, to be led by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who is black, and tasked the panel with reviewing the stand-your-ground law – but only after Corey’s investigation into Martin’s death is done.

Meanwhile, National Rifle Association lead lobbyist Marion Hammer – one of the architects of the stand-your-ground law now figuring prominently in debates over the Trayvon Martin shooting death in Sanford, Florida – says she won’t be baited into arguing the merits of the law while the case is still being investigated.

In the wake of last week’s growing outcry over the fact that the acknowledged shooter, George Zimmerman, has not been charged, Scott, too, says further action should await the results of the investigation. And in any case, Hammer said Monday, “the law should not be on trial. The law did not do anything wrong.”

Members of the black legislative caucus have called for a review. “I have seen the media predict that nothing will change,” Hammer said, “and that’s probably because the media understands that there’s nothing wrong with the law.” The bill’s sponsors, Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and former Sen. Durell Peaden, R-Crestview, say the law was never intended to cover pursuit – as may have been the case in Martin’s death – but rather the defense of one’s home, the so-called Castle Doctrine. “They got the goods on him. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid,” Peaden, a Republican, told the Miami Herald. “He has no protection under my law.”

Hammer doesn’t dispute that.

“It is difficult to give an opinion when you don’t know the facts of the case,” said Hammer. “But based on what I have read in the media, the Castle Doctrine does not apply in this case.” New facts emerged over the weekend, however, that may make the so-called stand-your-ground law applicable. Zimmerman’s lawyer said it was Martin who attacked Zimmerman, broke his nose and was banging Zimmerman’s head into the ground when he fired in self-defense. The lawyer, Craig Sonner, told ABC News that he will argue self defense and the stand-your-ground law will likely apply.

Martin, 17, was killed as he walked to the home of his father’s girlfriend home in Sanford.

Lawmakers changed the state’s self-defense law in 2005, allowing people to stand their ground and shoot – rather than retreat – if they think they are in danger.

Members of Roundtable for Justice defended that law, but they said it shouldn’t be applied in the Martin case.

“If it had been one of our clients and he had been a black kid [who] stated that he was standing his ground and shooting in self-defense, he would have been arrested and his family would have had to hire us,” said Annabelle Dias, who said she’d litigated stand-your-ground cases going back to 2006. “We’re just concerned that it was racial profiling in failing to arrest Mr. Zimmerman at the appropriate time.”

Hobbs said it will take about nine months to get the arrest records for review and analysis. The group will analyze the data and provide it to the task force, which will not meet until after the investigations into Martin’s death are over.

“The work of preventing another death due to the stand-your-ground law cannot wait until the Trayvon Martin investigation is complete,” Hobbs said.

–News Service of Florida

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30 Responses for “Trayvon Martin Ripples: Attorneys Take On Profiling As NRA Defends Stand Your Ground”

  1. They should reveiw the profiling thing…Profiling Zimmerman as a white man is reverse profiling….Hes a latino not a white guy…SO I wish every one would quit making this about race and maybe about focusing on changing the statistics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its amazing they post a pic of Trey at 13 and not at 17 flipping off a camera with his pants almost to his ankles…Its sad that no one knows the damn facts in this case nor does the crappy media report facts. Its all about ratings and a story…Zimmerman maybe guilty then again maybe not, but half of the time by the time the police arrive the damage is alway done. So if from what Im getting he chased the ground he stood on then Tray did engage him with no need..Im wondering if we are ever gonna get the real story instead of this BS about being racisim..Amzing how the media portrays Zimmy as a white man…A life was lost sadly I hope with all this media franzy that you get the results your looking for or all of you in the media is gonna look really stupid!!!

    • SAMUEL N. COOPER SR. says:

      PLEASE YOU’LL THE MAN KILL THIS YOUNG MAN WITH NOTHING TO HURT HIM WITH HOW CAN A UNARMED MAN HAVE THE POWER ON A MAN WITH A GUN CANDY AND TEA WAS NOT A FIGHTING TOOL I BELIEVE THAT HE GRAB THE YOUNG MAN TO SEE HIS FACE AND MAYBE HE HIT HIM IN THE NOSE AND THEN HE PULL HIS GUN AND THE YOUNG MAN WAS BAGGING FOR HIS LIFE AND THEN HE SHOT THE TEENAGE DOWN IF IT WAS YOUR SON WILL THAT LAW BE GOOD STAND YOUR GROUND IS YOUR PERSONAL STUFF HE SHOULD NEVER FOLLOW THAT YOUNG MAN CALL THE POLICE AND LET THEM DO THERE JOB ARRESTING PEOPLES THAT DOING THE WRONG THINGS THIS YOUNG TEENAGE WAS JUST TRYING TO GET TO HIS FATHER GIRL FRIEND HOUSE AND THERE IS NO WRONG IN THAT . NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEAN JUST WHAT THE WORD SAID WATCH , WATCH ,AND RACE IS NOT A FACT IN THIS MATTER THE MAN KILL A YOUNG MAN HE WALK HIM DOWN SOME OF YOU PEOPLE CARE MORE ABOUT THE THINGS OF THE WORLD THAN YOU DO A BOUT LIFE THIS MAN WAS WRONG LAW/RACE DOES NOT FIT THIS CASE THAT COLD BLOOD KILLING EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT BECAUSE IT NOT YOUR SON WATCH THE WAY YOU TALK THINGS CAN HAPPEN IN YOUR FAMILY TO

  2. As someone who started a Neighborhood Watch program after finding spent 9mm casings in my backyard which led to six drug busts, when did we lose our ability to preserve our communities?

  3. Sheri Mallery via Facebook says:

    I agree Shawn. The word racist and racism is just thrown around this country way too much any more!

  4. GOP says:

    If this situation was a black neighborhood watch person shooting a white teenager, you would have none of this hooplala..

    • Rocky Mac says:

      Sheri: The word racist and racism is thrown around this country because it is live and well. Come out of your little corner of the world. It is all around us. In this case it all started with the word “hoodie.” God forbid, if a black neighborhood watch person shot a white teenager……none of this hooplala??? Are you kidding me??? In this mentality he would have been hung upside down by the extreme racist out there. And Shawn, what are you implying that because this kid posted a not so nice pix of himself then this murder should not be an issue. I’m shaking my head, what is wrong with our society? Sick, sick, sick.

    • The Truth says:

      You’re right, the black man would be hung before anyone even finds out.

    • Layla says:

      Don’t be so quick to think this is racist. I know that every attempt is being made to make you “think” that, but I believe this is being politically motivated and ginned up to garner support for the President.

      MOST OF THE TIME, issues like this one are dealt with very handily by law enforcement and the community, if left alone.

      Ask yourself “who benefits by hollering race”? Certainly not the people.

      • The Truth says:

        It’s comments like these that make me never understand the conservative point of view. Why in the world would this bolster the President’s chances of getting re-elected? Whether this was racially motivated or not, at this point most of those who are going to vote for Obama have already decided. This incident isn’t going to change anything.

        I wish people would stop looking at this in a political way and start looking at this as a mother, father or brother and sister. A young boy was killed. The facts are that this man followed this boy for NO REASON other than suspicion. This is why things like this should be left to the police. If this man did not overstep his boundaries, this young boy would still be here.

  5. Patrick Delsordo via Facebook says:

    you can thank the 2 biggest RACISTS in AMERICA…..AL SHARPTON & JESSIE JACKSON…. NEVER hear racist chants when a black man shoots a white man, or how bout when a black man shoots a WHITE FEMALE COP!! POINT BLANK…. didnt hear al, or jessie on that one… RIP DEP. PILL

  6. B. Claire says:

    Racial Profiling in FL…are you kidding…just look at any ‘chat’ …misconduct by police and prosecutors…it’s rampant. The only question will be how little some people [civilians & police] have come since the 1950’s

    NRA POV…redux…
    The NRA paid good money for:

    …..Former Gov. Jeb Bush and the 133 state lawmakers…

    …..and similar #s for the other 20 state’ ‘lawmakers’ with similar laws

    In turn:

    These Republican/Conservative “leaders,” knowing their flock [not a particularly Mensa sorta crowd] liked shiny objects that went boom, the bigger the better, would follow like little ducklings. ‘What do you mean I can only buy 67 guns per day?’

    They gobbled up inane talking points like ‘Guns don’t kill people, people do.’

    Meanwhile NRA sits back and counts their tons of gun manufacturer and ‘the end is near-better build a bunker & buy lots of guns’ membership dues cash.

    Pretty much like “Corporations Are People”…Listen 99% of American workers…give us your money and you certainly don’t need no stinkin ‘rights.’

    The uber irony: these same little ‘ripped off’ ducklings can’t vote fast enough to willingly give all their hard earned cash and all their hard earned rights over to their Republican/Conservative/NRA & other Corp “leaders.”

    What a mess they’ve made …eliminating a middle class…without which this little USA experiment is struggling mightily.

    • Layla says:

      B, if you want to know if “corporations are people”, just ask the man busy bailing them out to the tune of record breaking trillions over the past 3 years while our families are homeless and jobless.

    • cynthia says:

      Funny you should mention that B. I was just mentioning to hubby we need to get a Bunker put in out back before December gets here. Do you know any good contractors who can do that ? Thanks !

  7. GOP says:

    Patrick you are right. As long as we have this liberal in the White House they are intitled.. Obama preached when running for office that he would unite all of us. Instead he has driven us further away from each other and has driven a wedge between us..

    • The Truth says:

      Ah yes, I knew this would somehow be Obamas fault. He’s not the one dividing this country, the conservatives are. Not all of them, just the ones who watch Fox News and listen to the garbage that is spewed from that awful network. Listen to yourself, jumping to conclusions and blaming our president for allowing this to happen.

      It’s because of people like you that I have lost faith in our society.

      • Layla says:

        Not blaming the prez, THE TRUTH, saying he benefits from it. These two men Sharpton and Jackson sick back over the past few years and watch young blacks being gunned down day and night in cities like Chicago, Boston, DC and say NOTHING. And NOW they come out of the rocks they’ve been hiding under?

        That’s an insult to the parentsand memory of every dead black (or otherwise) child in America.

  8. Kip Durocher says:

    Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people.

  9. GoodFella says:

    New information was just leaked. Trayvon actually walked up to George according to witness statements and asked him if he had a problem and then stated “you do now”. He proceded to punch him in the face and then when he fell to the ground, he grabbed Georges head and started to slam it against the sidewalk. Looks like George had every right to defend himself. The 17 year old was a 6 foot 2 football player and could have killed Zimmerman if he had not defended himself. It was Zimmerman yelling for help not Trayvon. And oh by the way, Trayvon was suspended for five days from school for having marijuana in his backpack on school grounds. So lets cut the B.S. about the so called nice young boy, call it like it is and stop sugar coating it. This just shows how ignorant alot of these folks are, who started a march and all this crap without even knowing the facts. George is not guilty and Trayvon was the bi product of bad parenting.

    • The Truth says:

      Where do you think this information came from? There was no witness that heard Trayvon say this. This is coming from Zimmerman. What do you think he’s going to say? He’s going to say whatever he can right now.

      The fact is this man should not have been following this young boy. If this boy had a gun and felt Zimmerman was threatening him, and then he shot him he’d be okay according to the stand your ground law. It’s sad that our society has turned into a kill or be killed society.

  10. w.ryan says:

    Please…somebody…give me hope!!!

  11. Flagler Native says:

    An Afro-American attacks and beats a Latino. Latino defends himself and gets grief. Go figure. You gotta love the “New America.”

    If this were reversed roles I’m sure Latino’s or whites for that matter wouldn’t be able to march due to the outrage in the Afro-American community. It’s ok for me to be called a “cracker” by a black but I can’t say nothing to them. This is reverse discrimination in my book.

    I suggest all us whites and Latino’s get together and put together a “march against a march.” I wonder how quick we’ll be shut down and labeled racist, but it’s ok for them to do it….Freedom of speech..LOL, yeah right… only if your dark in this country.

  12. B. Claire says:

    Some people are so desperate to protect bad law enforcement and crazy gun nuts that they put words in the mouth of the dead, who can not come back and protect themselves.

    At least get the non-facts right. Trayvon was not suspended for five days for having marijuana in his backpack. It was 10 days for an EMPTY plastic bag with residue.

    Takes a lot of gall to try and point the finger at this murdered child’s parents. Pathetic.

    This murderer –and the Sanford Police–lost his ‘right’ to use this hideous new law when he left his car with a loaded gun after he was told, on tape, “DON’T”!

    The fact that the police did none of the normal crime scene procedures and sent the murderer on his totally free & clear way is beyond absurd.

    • Chuck says:

      You forgot about the stolen jewelry he had in his bag. Not to mention the fact that Zimmerman was taken into custody the night it happened. Plus he was already out of his car and was going back to his car when he was told not to pursue. And the fact that Trayvon actually confronted Zimmerman. Don’t just read what you want to believe.

  13. farmer says:

    TO the truth.; there was 1 eye witness named John who mostly verfify Zimmermans story.It is sad that the press is only reporting what they want to report,.

  14. farmer says:

    Hope the complete truth comes out.

  15. Christie 2012 says:

    The leader of the new black panthers offers $10,000 for the death of Zimmerman and no one blinks an eye. Lets reverse that an say the KKK had the same offer out there for a Black or Jew. The shit would hit the fan…

  16. CONCERNEDCITIZEN says:

    This is the most stupid thing I have ever seen in my life. If it were a 17 year old white boy you would have never even heard a peep. But a black 17 year old!!!!! OMG. People get a life Sharpton,Jackson ETC. Stop making this whole damm thing a RACE war!! That crap ended years ago. Geeze it’s bad enough that if an african american dosent get hired over a white man it’s a freaking racial issue. Please get a friggen life!!!

  17. Layla says:

    Trayvon Martin’s parents already have arranged for a patent on their son’s name and are in Washington at this moment, getting ready to speak to Congress.

    Is this what it is going to take for the rest of us to be heard?

    I’m sorry people, but this is the most used death this country has ever seen. Who paid for this attorney and the trip to Washington. I doubt the Martin’s have the money/had the money before their son was killed.

  18. Geezer Butler says:

    In light of new information that’s coming to light, it may very well be a case where the shooting was justified. Trayvon actually slammed Zimmerman’s head on the pavement repeatedly.
    He wanted to kill or severely injure Mr. Zimmerman.

    Lovely young man huh? Only savages or felons fight like that. He ended up getting shot due to his killer instinct. That same killer instinct was going to surface one day in the form of a mugging or hold-up, I’m sure.

    It was premature of me to berate Mr. Zimmerman, and I retract any negative comments I may have issued him.
    Those photos of the fresh-faced,13-year-old kid vs the burly-looking, unshaven, earring-wearing Zimmerman mugshot really threw me. “Never judge a book by its cover.” A good adage to remember!

    I should have known. I was duped.

  19. JL says:

    Wow. Reading these comments. I’m stunned. Racism is alive and well in America. That’s so unfortunate. Trayvon did not deserve to die. And unfortunately the facts are, because he was a black teen with a hoodie, Zimmerman thought he looked “up to no good”. He judged him without meeting him, based on his appearance. And then stalked him, and then shot him. Now it’s not for us to judge Zimmerman, a jury should have that task. But right now, it appears you can shoot a black teen because he “looks like he’s up to no good” and get away with it. Do you people honestly believe that that kid came out of no where and jumped Zimmerman? Really?? If you do, then I have some prime swamp property for sale I’d be glad to show you. Come on. None of us know the true facts. And we may never know, because by letting Zimmerman go, no one did anything to preserve any evidence. Do I believe this guy just because he said so? No. I don’t. I did listen to the 911 tapes. I do believe Zimmerman was following him. And you know what, had Zimmerman minded his own business and went home, Trayvon would have went home and would be alive. Let’s stop judging all black teens and assuming they’re up to no good. That’s just not true. Are there some, yes. But most pediphiles are white men between the ages of 25 and 40. Should we now assume all white men between these ages are guilty? No. Trayvon was walking home, talking on the phone to his girlfriend, trying to get out of the rain when some guy decided to stalk him and follow him. The poor kid had no idea what this overweight latino guy was up to. Clearly, it was Zimmerman who was up to no good that night.

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