The Great Hippo wrote:
I'm really not a fan of the Young Turks (I dunno, something about the host -- grates me? Maybe that's unfair), but I liked this
summary of his issues with the whole Zimmerman trial and what he found to be outrageous about it.
I don't know the details around this case; I'm not very well-versed in law. I think the thing that bothers me most -- in press coverage, in the discussions I see, and in general -- is when we keep moving away from the fact that a young man was shot and killed in a confrontation that absolutely did not need to happen.
While true, that fact is so generalized that focusing on that alone doesn't get us anywhere. Certainly, it isn't of much use in determining guilt or innocence. Violent confrontations in general do not need to happen, yet not all of them are equal.
I don't know if Zimmerman should be in prison. I do know that I would prefer to live in a culture where people do not think it is okay to arm yourself with a gun and proceed to stalk then confront a young man just because he's black.
Stalk is not quite the correct word here. Stalking has implications that either do not apply here, or are wildly unproven. Did Zimmerman observe Trayvon, report on him to 9-11? Sure. That's not so much stalking as standard behavior for community watch folks. If they don't do that, what good are they?
I'm gonna watch and critique the video. I'm skeptical that it starts with proclaiming outrage, because claiming a need for rage of any kind tends to set off my hyperbole detectors. Anger and the like very rarely improve situations, and more moderate claims like "why the verdict was wrong" would be a more reasonable sort of disagreement in most cases.
First, the obvious skepticism over the "watch" is worrying. Yes, it was authorized. It would have taken the producers maybe ten seconds on google to figure that out. The skepticism and ambiguity is intentional, I think, in order to frame Zimmerman in a poorer light.
Next, they blame the cops. Well, cops showed up after all was said and done. They then took Zimmerman into custody, collected evidence, and interviewed witnesses. That's what cops do. They weren't there when the confrontation happened, and obviously could not have prevented it. Claiming that the police neglected to conduct a toxicology report on Zimmerman, and that this is always done in such cases is a little disingenuous as well. Toxicology reports ARE often done in unusual deaths....to the dead person. It establishes cause of death, etc. Zimmerman was not the dead person. The police don't routinely test everyone...even in cases of crimes...for illicit substances. They need some sort of reasonable suspicion, generally speaking, because police being able to test you for whatever without that would be kind of an illegal search issue. They're deliberately misrepresenting things again to try to frame Zimmerman in the worst possible light...because there isn't any evidence that he was drunk or high, and they had no warrant, they literally could not test him. You must also remember that at this point, Zimmerman had multiple injuries, so the police decision to turn him over to a paramedic was pretty reasonable.
Sure, Zimmerman wasn't formally arrested...because he was complying with the police. They didn't need to. They took his gun, took physical evidence, interrogated him at the police station that night, ran him through a lie detector test. The police were doing due diligence here. Criticizing them for NOT throwing the constitution away seems strange.
Describing him as "pursuing the kid" is also not reasonable, especially on the basis of the tape. The tape makes it quite clear that Zimmerman lost contact with Trayvon, and he continued to converse with the 9-11 operator. That's...not hot pursuit. That's a standard observe and report. We have no witnesses or other evidence of Zimmerman pursuing Trayvon at any time, so saying "we all know that" is...pretty terrible reporting. Also, saying "dispatch told him 'don't do that'" is demonstrably wrong. Dispatch said "we don't need you to do that". Zimmerman then said "ok". The fellow here is trying to frame this as Zimmerman ignoring instruction to go chase Trayvon down, but the exchange is nothing like that at all. Outright mis-quoting in order to describe the scene incorrectly is pretty terrible, especially when the dispatcher explicitly disagreed with this re-interpretation when testifying.
He then listed a lot of accusations against Zimmerman. Accusations are not convictions...shit, they're not even arrests. The case that police should treat you differently because of a couple old accusations that never went anywhere is pretty worrying. Yes, police should check out accusations. If they come to nothing, you should be treated like anything else. Incidentally, Zimmerman's actual record isn't perfect...the fellow in this clip COULD have legitimately cited an offense, but he didn't...did he miss it? Did he get all his information from a few minutes on twitter? Neither Trayvon nor Zimmerman have perfect records...but in neither case were their records really relevant. Did Trayvon smoke pot at some point? Yeah. So what? The histories of both were imperfect, but had no bearing on the current incident unless you really stretch for a connection.
People celebrating the acquittal? That's legitimate. It is different from celebrating death. The death happened the night of the incident. If you wanted to celebrate that, you did not need to wait for the trial to do so. No, folks celebrating the acquittal were probably mostly happy because of the acquittal. They saw it as justice being done. Certainly Zimmerman was happy that he wasn't going to jail, and no doubt his family and friends share the sentiment. I'm sure the same happens to defendants all the time...this was just publicized because the media has been following this case, and thus, the whole affair became a bigger deal.
Ah, then the reporter claims that Zimmerman had to be the aggressor. His evidence? "You'd have to be stupid not to understand that". Lovely. Insults are always such a convincing substitute for evidence. The physical evidence doesn't bear this out. The witnesses don't bear this out. Yes, we can't be absolutely, 100% sure...but when the evidence is pointing only one way, taking the other side and insulting those who disagree is not the intelligent response.
Describing it as "Martin resisted. They fought." is deceptive. Look, we learn about proper grammar early on partly because of these things. Martin resisted what, or who? That's an obviously incomplete sentence. Why are we trimming out all the context? Is it because the context makes your side look bad? Resisting is a word with defensive connotations...the idea that Martin was defending himself is very, very far from the claimed "indisputable". You've got a witness placing him pinning Zimmerman to the concrete, striking him repeatedly. Self-defense is not the only possible explanation for Trayvons actions there. Not even a very convincing explanation, even.
He then goes on to denigrate "Zimmerman's fanboys". Obviously, there's no pretense of objectivity here. But he goes on to say that they claim "[Trayvon] shouldn't have resisted". It's pretty easy to see bullshit claims when they use the language of the side they are not attributed to. Pro-lifers describe abortion rights advocates as "pro death", for instance. Abortion rights advocates do not, invariably preferring monikers like "pro-choice". In actual fact, googling "Trayvon shouldn't have resisted" returns absolutely no results. Anytime you get an absolute zero results from google, it is NOT what all the fanboys are saying.
Ugh, I'm not even halfway through the 11 minute clip, and this has already gotten obscenely long. I'm calling it quits on this terrible human being.
I suspect what grates you about the host is his attitude. He's strongly opinionated, and has this attitude of believing that he is obviously right. I also find that grating, especially when the person in question hasn't bothered to check...anything. In fact, it goes beyond negligence, because he goes beyond merely repeating untruths and lies, inventing wholly new ones. I don't know what more I can say, except that I believe intentionally inventing lies for the purpose of spreading hatred is perhaps among the closest things to true evil that exists in this world.