Category Archives: Justice For Trayvon
Judge Rules That Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Revisions Are Unconstitutional
Reported by Reuters
“A Florida state court judge ruled on Monday that recent changes to the state’s “stand your ground” law are unconstitutional, finding that legislators overstepped when making it easier for defendants to argue self-defense to obtain immunity for violent acts.
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Milton Hirsch said courts, not lawmakers, should set the process by which defendants can claim they were protecting themselves with an act of violence, according to the ruling posted online by the Miami Herald.
The revision shifted the burden of proof during pretrial hearings to prosecutors, rather than defendants, to show whether force was used lawfully. Supporters saw the changes backed by the National Rifle Association, the powerful U.S. gun lobby, as bolstering civilians’ rights to protect themselves.
Monday’s ruling in Miami circuit court is not binding on other state trial courts, the Miami Herald reported.
Advocates predicted the ruling would be reversed on appeal.
“It is the role of the legislature to write the laws that govern how Floridians may exercise their statutory and constitutional rights,” Richard Corcoran, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, said in a statement. “The Florida House will continue to stand with ordinary citizens who exercise their right to self-defense.”
Florida’s “stand your ground” law, passed in 2005, received wide scrutiny and inspired similar laws in other states. It removed the legal responsibility to retreat from a dangerous situation and allowed the use of deadly force when a person felt greatly threatened.
This spring’s changes were adopted over outcry that gun owners could be emboldened to shoot first.
Critics cited the 2012 death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in the Orlando area, which spurred national protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. The neighborhood watchman who killed him, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of murder after the law was included in jury instructions. ”
There were debates on whether George Zimmerman claimed stand your ground during his trial. As Reuters correctly reports, Judge Nelson included stand your ground jury instructions in those given to the jury to decide Zimmerman’s fate.
Florida Memorial University to Award Trayvon Martin a Posthumous Honorary Degree
Published using Press This
At its commencement ceremony on May 13, Florida Memorial University will present a posthumous honorary degree to Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager killed by George Zimmerman five years ago.
The private university announced Wednesday that Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, will accept a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical science with a concentration in flight education on behalf of their son.
The degree is in “honor of the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot,” the school said in a Facebook post. Florida Memorial’s Department of Aviation and Safety has a designated Cessna pilot training center, and the school also houses the Trayvon Martin Foundation. It is based in Miami Gardens where Trayvon Martin lived.
Trayvon Martin was 17-years old when he was shot and killed on February 26, 2012.
The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin – Today Would Have Been His 22nd Birthday
Trayvon Martin was born on February 5, 1995. He would have been 22 years old today.
It is because Trayvon was killed that I came to the internet in 2012. The man who killed him claimed defense under Florida’s controversial stand your ground law. Seeing racially bigoted comments, and attacks upon his family and friends, opened my eyes that America is not post-racial. Others saw this too. The Black Lives Matter Movement was birthed.
Trayvon’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have published a book titled “The Enduring life of Trayvon Martin: Rest in Power“. The 368 page hardcover book sells for $26.00. The book is available for Kindle for $12.99 and on audio CD for $35.00. It became available in bookstores on January 31, 2017.
Yes, dear brother Trayvon, you are resting in power. May your parents, and all parents who advocate against gun violence and for truth and equal justice, be strengthened and empowered to keep the light burning.
Book: Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, Written By His Parents Is Now Available for Preorder
Amazon introduces Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin:
“Trayvon Martin’s parents take readers beyond the news cycle with an account only they could give: the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement.”
“Martin was walking home with candy and a can of juice in hand and talking on the phone with a friend when a fatal encounter with a gun-wielding neighborhood watchman ended his young life. The watchman was briefly detained by the police and released. Trayvon’s father—a truck driver named Tracy—tried to get answers from the police but was shut down and ignored. Trayvon’s mother, a civil servant for the city of Miami, was paralyzed by the news of her son’s death and lost in mourning, unable to leave her room for days. But in a matter of weeks, their son’s name would be spoken by President Obama, honored by professional athletes, and passionately discussed all over traditional and social media. And at the head of a growing nationwide campaign for justice were Trayvon’s parents, who—driven by their intense love for their lost son—discovered their voices, gathered allies, and launched a movement that would change the country.”
“Five years after his tragic death, Travyon Martin’s name is still evoked every day. He has become a symbol of social justice activism, as has his hauntingly familiar image: the photo of a child still in the process of becoming a young man, wearing a hoodie and gazing silently at the camera. But who was Trayvon Martin, before he became, in death, an icon? And how did one black child’s death on a dark, rainy street in a small Florida town become the match that lit a civil rights crusade? “
“Rest in Power, told through the compelling alternating narratives of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, answers, for the first time, those questions from the most intimate of sources. It’s the story of the beautiful and complex child they lost, the cruel unresponsiveness of the police and the hostility of the legal system, and the inspiring journey they took from grief and pain to power, and from tragedy and senselessness to meaning.”
“Florida State Attorney Who Oversaw Trayvon Martin & Marissa Alexander Cases Is Defeated in Primary”
My concern is that the people in that Florida county might get another prosecutor just as bad as Corey. Please forgive my jaded view of prosecutors.
George Zimmerman Flops On Attempt To Sell Gun
It’s been said by some on this blog that we anticipated hearing from George Zimmerman soon. He’s been quiet since his suspension off Twitter for tweeting revenge porn. In these past months, I’ve refrained from writing about that, in addition to writing about other things that Zimmerman does or that involves him. Today, I’m writing about him to send a message to America — THANK YOU for not allowing Zimmerman to taint the memory of Trayvon Martin. Thank you for not allowing Zimmerman to capitalize on the anger, rage, and pain that he caused on the rainy night of February 26, 2012.
The “most hated man in America” received his gun back from the DOJ, who had possession of it since his state trial ended on July 13, 2013. Zimmerman’s best friend, Mark Osterman, called Zimmerman “the most hated man in America” in the title of his book. Osterman wrote that book before Zimmerman stood trial and as we have seen, everything that Zimmerman has ventured upon since the end of his trial has proven that people do not like him.
Yesterday, the media announced that Zimmerman was auctioning off the Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm gun that he used to kill Trayvon Martin. The auction was to open this morning on GunBroker.com, starting at $5,000. When I read that, I wondered if having the weapon caused Zimmerman such pain, then why not have it destroyed rather than selling it for popularity purposes. I mean, he purchased it for less than $300 so why would he think its minimum value is $5,000? Is he putting a value on it that he thinks is the equivalent of Trayvon’s life? Is he putting a value on it because he thinks his own name is worth that much? Or, is that his price to kill?
Now, it doesn’t matter what his reasons or intentions were, because the auction site cancelled the auction. Read the rest of this entry
The Anniversary of the Death of Trayvon Martin – Feb 26, 2016
On February 26, 2012, a 17-year old-young boy was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida. It was a rainy evening. He went to a convenience store for candy and juice. On his way back, a neighborhood watchman alleged that he was on his way to Target to get groceries when he saw a suspicious teen. He followed the teen in his truck, then on foot. Trayvon Martin was shot in the heart with a hollow point bullet by George Zimmerman.
What happened in this nation as a consequence of George Zimmerman’s actions exposed the good, the bad, and the ugly. Trayvon’s life, death, and legacy, has motivated many people of all races and from all walks of life to come together for the good, including advocating for changes to stand your ground law and gun control.
We shall not forget.
In support for justice for Trayvon, LLMPapa produced videos during Zimmerman’s pending trial. In the following, he addresses where a journalist wanted to interview him and he gives his response.
After the fire, the fire still burns. The heart goes on.
Today, let’s celebrate Trayvon’s legacy.
Happy Birthday Trayvon Martin
Three Years – Remembering Trayvon Martin
Racerrodig asked that I open a thread so people can share remembrance and their thoughts on how we heard about the death of Trayvon Martin. He also suggested that we discuss how it affects us and what we do to make relations better. Thank you, Racerodig, for your willingness to share with others.
It’s not often that I write opinion or editorial pieces, but today I’m compelled to do so in remembering Trayvon. The announcement by the Department of Justice was not limited to not charging George Zimmerman with violating Trayvon’s civil rights. The announcement included more, and I would like to address that.
In its written announcement, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote:
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a devastating tragedy. It shook an entire community, drew the attention of millions across the nation, and sparked a painful but necessary dialogue throughout the country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Though a comprehensive investigation found that the high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met under the circumstances here, this young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface. We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”
Many of us have experienced that anyone who participates in the necessary dialogue is targeted for destruction by a small group of individuals who believe there is a conspiracy which they call the “BGI.” No one has been destroyed however, and all of their efforts have not stopped the necessary dialogue. The best dialogue I’ve witnessed has taken place on this blog respectfully, and between diverse people. Some of us even have diverse spiritual beliefs, but all of them are based on doing no harm, respecting life, and promoting equality for all regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, age. Read the rest of this entry
No Federal Civil Right Violation Charges Against George Zimmerman
Hat tip to Butterflydreamer2.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Don West, said that he hopes the decision will mark the start of a new chapter in George Zimmerman’s life.
Trayvon’s parents said they are disappointed but thanked the Justice Department for their investigation.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the investigation concluded that circumstances of the case did not meet the high standard required to prove a federal hate crime.
The timing raises suspicion of the investigation and result. The federal grand jury met last year and their session ended in December. Had the federal grand jury not returned an indictment, the DOJ should have announced that much sooner than now. Zimmerman did have an attorney; Don West, who is a federal criminal defense attorney. Apparently, Zimmerman was anticipating an indictment. The question is, did the federal grand jury return an indictment, but the DOJ decide that in spite of that, they will not prosecute? Read the rest of this entry
Black History Month – Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was a 17-year-old Black teen from Miami Gardens, Florida. His life became famous in his death that brought many issues to public interest, including neighborhood watch, stand your ground law, racial profiling, and police investigations. Trayvon’s death brought attention to the justice system and cultural diversity.
Trayvon was born in Miami, Florida. At the time he was killed, he was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School. Trayvon is the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin who divorced in 1999. On February 26, 2012, Trayvon was visiting his father who was at his fiancee’s townhouse at the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida. That evening, Trayvon walked to a convenience store and purchased candy and juice. On his walk back, George Zimmerman saw him and called the Sanford Police reporting a suspicious person. According to an ear witness who was on the phone with Trayvon, after noticing that he was being closely and consistently followed by a man in a truck, Trayvon ran. The man in the truck was George Zimmerman who left his vehicle and followed Trayvon. Subsequently, Zimmerman shot Trayvon in the heart, killing him.
Putting Victims on Trial
Shannoninmiami submitted the following comment:
That is such an awesome idea- videos of the victim before the killer &co vilify them. but then I remember xena telling me a long time ago, that the victim is not on trial,
they don’t need to defend themselves! isn’t that some BS??@!! because I remember thinking of course, that makes perfect sense or THEY WOULDN’T BE the VICTIM, they’d be the DEFENDANT!
that’s true technically but things have changed. the media & the legal profession seem to be devolving into game show like entertainment sources. the ones who used to respect & speak for the victims aren’t really doing that in certain cases.
victims aren’t treated as victims. but in order for a dead victim to have a fair chance at justice they gotta be the victim.
Maybe we need a sort of special victim’s defense team who can speak out on the victim’s behalf and counter attack the killer’s allegations.
look at cases like Mike Brown & Trayvon where racist character assassination is used as a defense for murder, literally.
it seems anything goes, even fantastic stories of dead teenagers with super human strength and magical powers”
Thank you Shannon, for bringing up this subject. Today, the media and internet have changed things to where many people no longer think logically. In fact, the double-minded man is revealed more today because of the internet, and we see this when people place victims on trial.
I would like to share a portion of how I came to understand that victims are not on trial.
On December 1, 1958, Our Lady of Angels School in Chicago caught fire, killing 93 children and 3 nuns. Some of the children that died were my age. I remember seeing the photographs of those who died on television and in the newspaper that my dad brought home with him from work. So many children.
In my child, inquisitive mind, I asked my Sunday School teacher if the children had done anything wrong to die so young and by fire. My thoughts were somewhat along the lines of Santa Claus giving presents only to children who were good.
The next I remember hearing of massive death came by Richard Speck, who on July 13, 1966, killed 8 nursing students in Chicago. There was talk in the beauty shops and meat market. Rumors were passed about the immorality of the nursing students and some people disagreed that White nursing students should have shared living quarters with nursing students from the Philippines. It left me puzzled. How could those nursing students be responsible for their own deaths and why accuse the lone survivor, who was from the Philippines, of conspiring with Speck? Read the rest of this entry
Waiting On More Information About George Zimmerman’s Arrest
On Friday, George Zimmerman was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, and domestic violence involving a weapon. We have since learned that the weapon was a wine bottle.
On February 26 , 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman called the police non emergency number reporting a suspicious person. Travyon was returning from a convenience store, walking to Brandi Green’s house, where he and his dad were staying. Trayvon was unarmed.
Zimmerman abandoned his rental townhouse that same night, and did not return to work thereafter.
It was not until April 2012 that Zimmerman was charged with 2nd degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The weekend before his arrest, George Zimmerman opened a website and requested financial donations to a legal defense fund. After his arrest, the money began pouring in. Via the jail house telephone, he instructed his wife Shellie on transferring the money and paying off their debts. At a subsequent bond hearing, George Zimmerman sat in court like a “potted palm” while his wife denied knowledge of the money. George also kept hidden that he had a valid passport in a safety deposit box.
By motion of the State’s Attorney, Zimmerman’s bond was revoked. He had a subsequent bond hearing where Judge Lester stated that he believed that if it was not for the ankle bracelet, that Zimmerman would have left the country with other people’s money. Shellie was charged with perjury.
Around December 2012, George, Shellie, and Mark O’Mara were sued by a security firm for breach of contract and failure to pay.
On July 13, 2013, a jury of six women acquitted George Zimmerman. Following his acquittal, Shellie appeared in court and entered a plea agreement on the perjury charges. She then announced that she filed for divorce. Read the rest of this entry
George Zimmerman Arrested Again
Hat Tip to Towerflower.
Yes – I checked to make sure this wasn’t his arrest from 2013. I even went directly to the Sheriff’s website and entered his name to be sure.
George Zimmerman was arrested Friday evening and has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Domestic Violence, involving a weapon.
There’s no news on it yet, however.
As soon as something is published, we’ll update it here.
George Zimmerman’s Pity Party Call-In
Since no one was paying him attention, George Zimmerman called into the Armed American Radio to express how his life has gone and stays downhill since he killed unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
According to Raw Story, George told Armed American Radio;
“I don’t really remember what normal is,” Zimmerman said. “I’ll tell you that I’m not working – I enjoyed working, I enjoyed being a productive, taxpaying member of society. I haven’t worked since the incident, so in terms of the violent threats, the bounty on my head, I haven’t seen on any of the bounty posters an expiration date.”
The “bounty” was for an arrest. He’s not working because he thought that his supporters would financially support him. That turned out to be a disappointment. George even started a blog and after 2 months, turned off the widget that reports the number of views because they were so low. His blog has one comment from one supporter. People don’t want to be associated with him anymore than they want to be publicly associated with the blogger who commented on his blog.
THE MANY FACES OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN
Jahvaris Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s Brother, Celebrates Graduating From College
Frank Taaffe Testified Before Federal Grand Jury
It happened today around noon EST. Before entering the courthouse, Frank Taaffe spoke with reporters.
Frank Taaffe is a former vocal supporter of George Zimmerman, who felt no shame using racial slurs and denigrating the Black race. Today, he appeared before the federal grand jury.
The FBI began investigating George Zimmerman in or about April 2012. To the State of Florida, they released interviews of individuals, some of whom testified of Zimmerman’s racial animus and others who did not. Because of that George Zimmerman’s supporters assumed that the FBI closed its investigation. However, pre-trial, Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, attempted to get the FBI’s file on Zimmerman and was told in open court that the investigation was ongoing.
In September 2013, I posted an article on how the Department of Justice prosecutes hate crimes, supported by the statements and experience of Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California. Read the rest of this entry
Federal Grand Jury Scheduled To Hear Evidence On George Zimmerman
The other day, a photo of a subpoena made its way around Twitter from Frank Taaffe to Nancy Grace. I decided to wait for confirmation before reporting it. Today, Orlando Sentinel reports that the federal grand jury is scheduled to hear witnesses, and that Frank Taaffe has indeed, been subpoenaed to testify.
For those not familiar;
On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman killed 17-year old Trayvon Martin, shooting him in the heart. It started with Zimmerman making a “suspicious person” call to the non-emergency number (NEN) of the police department. While Zimmerman was on the phone, Trayvon ran. Zimmerman got out of his truck and followed Trayvon. Minutes later, Trayvon was dead with Zimmerman claiming self-defense.
Frank Taaffe became the main advocate for Zimmerman, alleging that Zimmerman had rights to racially profile Trayvon because there was a group of Black teens in the community committing crimes.
A jury of 5 White women and 1 Latina acquitted Zimmerman. The initial aggressor part of self-defense law was omitted from the jury instructions. During deliberations, Taaffe told Nancy Grace where the jury stood on voting, and it turned out to be true. Taaffe did not say how he obtained the information. Read the rest of this entry
Death and Racism
Hat tip to Glenn Robinson for tweeting out the article.
The article on The Root hit me hard;
Reject the “He was a good kid” or “He was a criminal” narrative and lift up the “Black lives matter” narrative. Those who knew him say Brown was a good kid. But that’s not why his death is tragic. His death isn’t tragic because he was on his way to college the following week. His death is tragic because he was a human being and his life mattered. The good-kid narrative might provoke some sympathy, but what it really does is support the lie that as a rule black people, black men in particular, have a norm of violence or criminal behavior. The good-kid narrative says that this kid didn’t deserve to die because his goodness was an exception to the rule. This is wrong. This kid didn’t deserve to die, period. Similarly, reject the “He was a criminal” narrative surrounding the convenience store robbery because even if Brown did steal some cigars and have a scuffle with the shopkeeper, that is still not a justification for his killing. All black lives matter, not just the ones we deem to be “good.”
It caused me to think back about why, during the George Zimmerman case, I did not debate nor defend against accusations that Trayvon was a “thug.” Here we are again with Michael Brown, and there are folks trying to posture Michael as deserving of death because he was not a “good kid. “
The quote above explains what I have not been able to put in words. In essence, those arguments for justification convey that there are good Blacks who deserve to live, and bad Blacks whose lives should be cut-short. That standard is defined by people through racially bigoted eyes that are never satisfied. If they cannot find anything to use to criticize the victim, or when their attempts are proven false, they attack the family, and even attack extended families. Read the rest of this entry