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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Zimmerman acquitted
Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
... In Frankfurt about 30-40% of burglaries are committed by gypsy children under 14. There are only a few thousand gypsies in the town with a few hundred children. So if you see a bunch of them in your residential neighbourhood you'd have to be statistically incompetent not to keep an eye open. But you'd have to brave the automatic charge of "racist profiling". Few people dare to and so burglaries increase year after year. ...

No, it's probably because the non-gypsy 60-70% of burglars are able to take advantage of people's misdirected attention.

The fact is that profiling will lead to suspecting innocent people and ignoring guilty ones. Always. If one doesn't care about human rights violations, one should at least care about bad policing.

(BTW I did address age and sex here.)

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I still want to know whether the police responded to Zimmermann's calls about suspicious black males. I also want to know what they found. If, in fact, they found that crimes were being committed or had been committed, then Zimmermann's calls were justified.

Yes, if only you had access to some kind of world wide network of information, you might be able to answer that question! Perhaps something with the ability to search and filter that information.
I had a look. The Wikipedia page relating to this incident has this to say:

quote:
Three weeks prior to the shooting, on February 2, Zimmerman called police to report a young man peering into the windows of an empty Twin Lakes home. Zimmerman was told a police car was on the way and he waited for their arrival. By the time police arrived, the suspect had fled. On February 6, workers witnessed two young black men lingering in the yard of a Twin Lakes resident around the same time her home was burgled. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. The next day police discovered the stolen laptop in the backpack of a young black man, which led to his arrest. Zimmerman identified this young man as the same person he had spotted peering into windows on February 2.
For those who may be interested, the linked page also has two photographs of Zimmerman's injuries just after the incident.

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Porridge
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Interesting. But helpful? I'm not sure.

There's no info about the first young man's race/ethnicity in the quote. I also note he's referred to as a "suspect." What was he suspected of? Is peering into the windows of a vacant apartment a crime?

IANAL; it may be in Sanford, FL. It may even be a crime where I live. I am not young or black or male, but will here confess that I have occasionally peered into the windows of vacant places to see if I might want to call the landlord about renting the place.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:
I am not young or black or male, but will here confess that I have occasionally peered into the windows of vacant places to see if I might want to call the landlord about renting the place.

Have you then been caught five days later with stolen goods in your bag, indicating that you were almost certainly peering into said windows in search of something to steal?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Porridge
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Whoops; I really should read for comprehension.

So Z fingered the arrested young black male as the peeper in the first incident. That sounds pretty damning.

However, I refer readers to lilBuddha's info on eyewitness ID, and also to The Innocence Project info on this topic, linked to above.

Did Z know the guy had been arrested with stolen goods when he ID'd the guy? If so, might this possibly have influenced his memory?

[ 25. July 2013, 16:29: Message edited by: Porridge ]

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lilBuddha
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So, what is your point, Marvin?

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
So, what is your point, Marvin?

I think his point is that if even one of Zimmerman's calls to the police were justified then they all must have been justified (instead of bearing in mind that proverb about stopped clocks). So if Zimmerman's crime-sense is truly infallible, that means Trayvon Martin actually was a burglar, the whole story of him visiting family in the neighborhood is a fabrication, and he had it coming.

This dovetails with other poster's implicit assumptions that virtually all (~95-99%) crimes* are committed by black perpetrators. This is combined with reversing the conditional to assume that if 95-99% of criminals are black, it follows that 95-99% of blacks are criminals, so assuming Trayvon Martin was a criminal of some sort or other was just common sense and, once again, he had it coming.


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*Or at least all crimes of the sort detectable by neighborhood foot patrols.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
So if Zimmerman's crime-sense is truly infallible, that means Trayvon Martin actually was a burglar, the whole story of him visiting family in the neighborhood is a fabrication, and he had it coming.

No, he could have legitimately been staying in the community and still be a burglar. The two are not incompatible.

quote:
This dovetails with other poster's implicit assumptions that virtually all (~95-99%) crimes* are committed by black perpetrators.
I don't see these implicit assumptions. Would you please spell them out for me.

Moo

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Porridge
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I'll attempt this, though Croesos will be along shortly to make mincemeat of my efforts.

Let's look at Sylvander's assertion that 30-40% of burglaries in Frankfurt are committed by Gypsy kids under the age of 14. Sylvander says:

quote:
There are only a few thousand gypsies in the town with a few hundred children. So if you see a bunch of them in your residential neighbourhood you'd have to be statistically incompetent not to keep an eye open.


The implicit assumption is that, despite there being only a "few hundred" Gypsy children in town, you'd be stupid not to fear being burglarized when a bunch of Gypsy children show up on your street.

But let's examine this a little more closely. For ease of computation, let's say there are 200 Gypsy kids in town. Let's also say there are 200 burglaries annually, and that 80 of these burglaries (40%) are attributable to the Gypsy kids.

How many Gypsy kids are doing these 80 burglaries? Even if every one of these 80 thefts was committed by one single different Gypsy kid, you'd have a minority -- 80 -- of little delinquent Gypsies and a majority -- 120 -- of law-abiding Gypsy kids.

And isn't it far more likely that the 80 burglaries are actually attributable to a much smaller number -- say, 20 Gypsy kids who commit 4 burglaries each?

So in fact it's statistically competent to assume that a bunch of Gypsy kids in your street are simply out for their afternoon constitutional. It's statistically INcompetent to assume you're in danger of being burglarized.

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Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
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lilBuddha
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Frankfort main has nearly 3/4 of a million people. The larger urban area over 2 million and the surrounding metropolitan region over 6 million.
Even should those Gypsy children be very active in their burglary trade, those numbers are miniscule. Frankfurt would be nearly the safest city on earth. Instead....

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:

And isn't it far more likely that the 80 burglaries are actually attributable to a much smaller number -- say, 20 Gypsy kids who commit 4 burglaries each?

So in fact it's statistically competent to assume that a bunch of Gypsy kids in your street are simply out for their afternoon constitutional. It's statistically INcompetent to assume you're in danger of being burglarized.

Given the numbers you made up, your conclusion is warranted. But aren't I just as free to make up different numbers - like instead of there being 200 burglaries annually, there being 20,000 annually, with an average of 40 burglaries per gypsy kid? It's still possible that you could have 20 kids committing 400 burglaries each, but you start to run into some time constraints.


Without some real numbers, the entire discussion is meaningless.

But even if we take your numbers at face value, we ended up with 20 burglars out of 200 gypsy kids, or a 10% probability that a randomly selected gypsy kid is a burglar.

If you told me that there was a 10% chance that the man walking past my house was a burglar, I think it would at least be worth checking that the windows were secured, don't you?

Sylvander actually described "a bunch" of kids. What's a bunch - half a dozen? The chance of 6 randomly selected gypsy kids from your model all being non-burglars is close to 0.9^6 (53%), so there's a 47% chance that there's at least one burglar amongst them.

This model rather strains the limits of believability, though. If the set of gypsy kids contains some burglars and some honest kids, isn't it more likely that burglars will tend to associate with other burglars, and honest kids will tend to associate with other honest kids?

Then you have to consider the prior probability that a burglar or an honest kid will be taking a stroll along your street. Is it a street where many people take their evening constitutionals? Does your street lead somewhere that people want to go? Or is there little reason for someone out for an honest walk to be there?

Let's stick with your "10% of gypsy kids are burglars" again, and suppose that I saw a gypsy kid in my back garden. The probability that that kid is a burglar is, I would say, close to 100%. It's not exactly 100%, because there's an outside chance that an honest kid could be in my garden pursuing his dog, which had slipped its leash or something. If the kid is not in my back garden, but instead on the street looking at my house, and I live on an obscure back street, he's probably a burglar. If I live in the centre of town, we're probably close to the 10% chance of him being a burglar.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
So, what is your point, Marvin?

To answer the question "did any of his previous calls to the police turn out to be justified?"

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I think his point is that if even one of Zimmerman's calls to the police were justified then they all must have been justified

Oh please. You say "justified" as if we're only allowed to be suspicious of people who are actually planning crimes, but suspicion doesn't work that way. If there was some way to perfectly and infallibly identify which people on a street are criminals planning a burglary and which are innocently strolling somewhere then that would be lovely, but until that day all any of us have to go on is instinct and experience. If I saw an unknown young male loitering in the rain or looking through windows in an area with a high crime rate, I'd be suspicious as well.

What the wikipedia link says is that less than a month prior to the shooting Zimmerman identified a suspicious character but the police were too late to the scene, meaning the suspicious character got away and less than a week later robbed a house. To me that explains why Zimmerman would be keen to keep tabs on the next suspicious character he saw so that the same thing wouldn't happen. OK, he was in fact wrong about the motivations of the next suspicious character he saw, but that doesn't make his suspicion wrong in and of itself.

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Sylvander
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There was unclarity about the procedure: The burglaries as I understand it are usually committed by groups of 2 to 6 children (sometimes they split into smaller independent groups). They get driven there by an adult relative who waits somewhere round the corner. It is a fast business.

The elaborate math models above have many speculative absolute figures, but imo have one major flaw. I am not interested in knowing whether (and with what likelihood) a random gypsy child I encounter somewhere is a burglar or not. I say it is likely to be if and only if I see a few in my residential part of town.
Your math models assume a random distribution of people in a city. That is not so. The gypsies do not live in the suburban residential areas (but a 40 min cycle ride away in the centre) and hence normally no groups of gypsy children are out playing in the streets. The likelihood of such a playgroup accidentally strolling into the outskirts is much smaller than the likelihood that they have come there for some purpose. I don't know whether the likelhood they want to burgle is 20 or 80 percent (they may just be begging, visiting someone or whatever). But in any case large enough to keep an eye open. Literally.
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
No, it's probably because the non-gypsy 60-70% of burglars are able to take advantage of people's misdirected attention.

You boldly assume that keeping an eye on one group means ignoring all others.
In any case the fact that there are other burglars is neither here nor there. The fact I cannot solve all problems does not mean I shouldn't start with solving any.

Btw the children are too young (or allege to be) to get convicted. If they get arrested, they are verbally warned and are taken back to the parents or "uncles" and "aunts". These then take them to further burglaries (sometimes to get arrested repeatedly) and after a few months (when the authorities might be moving in to have the kids taken into custody, a lengthy process, or the children are looking too old) send them home to Bulgaria and Romania to be replaced by others imported for the purpose. It is quite a disgusting form of human trafficking with parents at home colluding but that is another story.

My point with the example is: It all rests on the information that a large share of burglaries are attributable to a small group easily identified (and possibly a group rarely seen in the area, like young black hoodies). So would one not have to ask whether crime in Zimmerman's area was disproportionately often committed by young black men?
IF so, then it would be wrong to be suspicious of all groups alike. You'd look at that group more closely than others. On the same grounds that you look out for men rather than women. And for teenagers rather than octogenarians. That is neither racism, ageism nor sexism, it is common sense. You neglect the potential female old white burglars but still reduce the one part of the problem you can. I know that feels unfair if you are an innocent young man (been there) and worse if you're black. It feels unfair even when you are not quite so innocent.

I don't get the posts about how "there is so much racism in the US". So? Does it mean that any conflict between black and white has a racist element? No. This one for instance apparently does not from all I have read so far (Thanks Marvin). But it is a convenient card to play (as OJ Simpson demonstrated).
It is possible to stereotype incidents. This form of stereotyping is just as bad as stereotyping people because it blinds you to impartially checking facts and looking for the truth.

I suspect that the anti-racist activists would have referred to Zimmerman as a "Latino" had he been shot by a white man. Showing that their perspective is more about highlighting a perceived societal problem than about understanding what happened.

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Tukai
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quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:


What the jury had, bottom line, was substantial reasonable doubt about Zimmerman's culpability under the law as it now stands for murder in the 2nd degree or for manslaughter.

This seems to be confirmed the interview given by juror B29 on American TV [ which would BTW be way against the law and practice in most other countries]. In essence she said that she thought Zimmerman "got away with murder" but there was not evidence at the trial to convict him under the law.

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Porridge
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

Without some real numbers, the entire discussion is meaningless.

Yeah, and The Ship can close up shop on that account.

Even real numbers translate into percentages of a given population. Percentages suggest that (as Croesos pointed out earlier) it's a minority of any given group which is likely responsible for illegal activity.

The problem? We're not sure which ones. This results in our attaching our suspicions to ALL members of an identified group.

When we view most or all members of the identified group with suspicion as potential lawbreakers, we are profiling, and statistically speaking, we're wrong. Most members of any given group will prove to be as law-abiding as most members of any other given group.

Gypsies in particular have a longstanding reputation attaching to them of being crooks, child-stealers, and so on. How much truth is there to this reputation? I dunno. Other groups have longstanding (and false) reputations attaching to them, too; the Protocols of the Elders of Zion springs to mind.

Our suspicions, though, are virtually a definition of "prejudice" -- pre-judging someone who has not (yet) stolen from us by assuming that s/he is about to.

Meanwhile, while we glue our attention to the one we "suspect," an actual thief from some other group can take advantage (as Soror Magna suggests) of the fact they're not being watched like a hawk and commit a theft.

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quetzalcoatl
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Reminds me of that Woody Allen line: 'we hate black people, because we think they have big dicks, but we hate Jews even more even though they have small dicks'.

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Sylvander
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quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:
When we view most or all members of the identified group with suspicion as potential lawbreakers,

Who does? You are arguing against a straw man.
We are talking of members of a particular group behaving suspiciously, out of the ordinary. Where would that be "all" or "most"?

I hope you don't apply your illogical I-am-so-unprejudiced-I-never-make-assumptions-attitude if you see a group of skinheads clad in black leather, carrying lighters and petrol canisters just walking around the neigbourhood of an apartment block full of refugees. Nothing illegal there, mind. You walk past, not wondering. Maybe some stereotyping would be helpful in the real world?

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
This dovetails with other poster's implicit assumptions that virtually all (~95-99%) crimes* are committed by black perpetrators.

I don't see these implicit assumptions. Would you please spell them out for me.
[Roll Eyes] I don't know why I include these links if no one is going to follow them. If we follow the assumption of posters like Marvin about the paucity of non-black crime, the mathematics of getting a non-biased set of 46-0 trials means that at least 94% of criminals committing crimes of the type that are subject to observation by foot patrols (or car-level observation) must be black.

quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
I hope you don't apply your illogical I-am-so-unprejudiced-I-never-make-assumptions-attitude if you see a group of skinheads clad in black leather, carrying lighters and petrol canisters just walking around the neigbourhood of an apartment block full of refugees.

I find it telling that you consider the petrol-cans-and-lighters ensemble to only be suspicious if there are some kind of outward skinhead signifiers.

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Porridge
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Sorry; I failed to pay sufficient attention to this post, due to haste.

quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:

I don't get the posts about how "there is so much racism in the US". So?

It's possible that you don't "get" this because you don't live here, with our particular history, our particular baggage, and the particular problems it creates for those of us who do.

I can't speak for others, but I'm not talking about overt, conscious racism most of the time. That's largely absent from present-day U.S. culture, either because most of us who ever considered black people as less than human have died out, moved beyond that belief, and/or now keep such beliefs hidden because they're no longer socially acceptable.

Understand, though, that racism -- or more accurately we might call it "separatism" -- was built into our social institutions in much of this country for substantial chunks of our history.

When a society's very structures are built around efforts to maintain one group's privileged status by ignoring the needs, concerns, and rights of another group, that society creates a class of people who understand, and must hold, two conflicting sets of beliefs simultaneously.

You know you are human. You know you have human rights, dignity, talents, hopes, value; it's part of your survival kit. At the very same time, you also "know" -- because your society confronts you with this knowledge at every turn -- that you are less than human; that your "rights" are utterly contingent on the whims of privileged others rather than enshrined in any law; that your dignity ends at your epidermis; that your talents, however substantial, have no intrinsic worth except to you alone; and that every one of your hopes, however small or humble, hangs by the thread of some privileged other's permission, and not on anything you yourself can supply.

You constantly encounter a society which loudly proclaims its egalitarian ideals while it simultaneously demands that you get waited on last (if at all) at the corner store because "egalitarian" does not apply to you. On the bus (if you're allowed to board one), you sit in back, or you stand, and you surrender your seat to any white who demands it -- even if seats are available elsewhere (this was going on within living memory!). On the sidewalk, you've learned to step into the gutter so an approaching white need not risk polluting himself by brushing against you.

Laws meant to protect "persons" from needless harassment and unjust proceedings do not apply to you, so your relationship to society is that of a non-person. There is no law or custom on which you are able to rely or to which you can expectantly turn, because all these social structures have been shaped to protect the privilege of others.

As a result, we've created together a society in which a substantial portion of the populace has expended, and must continue to expend, vast amounts of its human energy simply maintaining some shred of self-value.

How else do we explain the recent past? Where does an utterly devalued person obtain the drive to get out of bed at 4:00 a.m. to polish the floors of an office they might otherwise be barred from entering? What does such knowledge cost any human being compelled to confront it? How does s/he continue living, while constantly being reminded, a hundred times each and every day, that s/he has no value?

That's an immense and crushing psychic burden to bear. It has crushed many, and continues to.

Nor does the burden simply vanish when the events and institutions upholding/requiring it begin to change. How can individuals trust in such changes, when the institutions themselves have demonstrated, time and again, over the decades, that they cannot be trusted?

This is what has prompted so many demonstrations in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict.

Further, as individuals, we are brought up by those who have lived through a past we have not shared. Our parents' pasts and their experience are what they use to teach us how to survive, not in the present, but in the hostile environment in which they lived. So mistrust remains even where the reasons for it may -- may! -- be disappearing.

And alas, are also re-appearing. Take a look at North Carolina's new proposed voting rights legislation.

That is the "so." It's real, it's palpable, and it informs our perceptions, accurately or not.

The past informs the present. There remains a current of mistrust which poisons the social pool. The formerly/maybe currently privileged mistrust a society which is busy betraying that privilege. The un-privileged cannot trust the appearance of these new/emerging equalities; they may be temporary or illusory. And neither group, as groups, can quite trust how the other will react. Will the un-privileged use its new powers to violent punish those who once oppressed them? Will the privileged use its remaining power to renew and restore their status by violence? There is fear on both sides.

It's only as individuals, and at the level of positive personal experience that we take small, personal steps toward gradual rapprochement. We make inching progress. It is agonizingly slow. It takes time beyond our lifetimes, and some of us sink into despair or flare out in rage because one small life is all any of us has.

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Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

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Gwai
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Good explanation, Porridge. Actually, I wonder if Australia might be another country that would well understand the of the underlying issues because of a similar societal history of institutionalized racism (albeit against a different people.) Or am I way out of the ballpark?

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
My point with the example is: It all rests on the information that a large share of burglaries are attributable to a small group easily identified (and possibly a group rarely seen in the area, like young black hoodies). So would one not have to ask whether crime in Zimmerman's area was disproportionately often committed by young black men?

As previously noted, the neighborhood in question is about 20% black*. It can't be that uncommon to see black people there.

Also, that seems like a lot of words just to get across the idea "it's not racism to assume all black people are burglars if all burglars are black".


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*Possibly more, since the U.S. Census categories of "Hispanic or Latino" and "Black" are not mutually exclusive.

[ 26. July 2013, 15:15: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Porridge
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# 15405

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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:
When we view most or all members of the identified group with suspicion as potential lawbreakers,

Who does? You are arguing against a straw man.
We are talking of members of a particular group behaving suspiciously, out of the ordinary. Where would that be "all" or "most"?

[Roll Eyes]

Alas, this "man" has flesh, blood, bones, wife, children -- the full catastrophe, to slightly paraphrase Zorba the Greek,

In the example you offered earlier, you asserted that that a householder who sees a group of Gypsy kids in his neighborhood would be smart to keep a sharp eye out, or words to that effect.

I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that this group of kids were strangers to the householder; that, in other words, the householder would have no way of knowing what this particular group intended.

Standing lookout on these kids, then, is based on the assumption that they are likely to intend theft. Since we've already demonstrated that a minority of the burglaries mentioned earlier are committed by a minority of the Gypsy kids, this assumption is statistically unsupported.

The householder is "painting" this group of kids with the evil intentions of a minority of the members of the group they belong to. In short, see any group of Gypsy kids (and btw, my experience is that kids of just about any group you care to mention tend to hang out in groups) and start counting the spoons.

That is making assumptions about people the householder doesn't actually know and about whose intentions he is simply guessing. It is assuming that any group of Gypsy kids, based on the actions of a minority of Gypsy kids, is up to no good.

He could, of course, be right, and the kids will proceed to rob him blind. If so, he'll have passed Prejudice 101 and moved on to Confirmation Bias II.

[ 26. July 2013, 15:47: Message edited by: Porridge ]

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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It seems like the only "safe" way to behave is to suspect literally everyone of being a potential criminal. After all, if we suspect no-one then we are very quickly going to get robbed. And we're not allowed to only suspect some, because that's prejudiced. And it's utterly pointless to only take action once we're sure of someone's intentions, because by then it's too fucking late.

Am I right?

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Shipmate
# 11076

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Surely the householder may notice said gypsy children, note that they do not live in the neighborhood and be more aware of them. He doesn't need to even notice their ethnicity to do that, for one thing. To put it another way, I have heard many black men talk about how much it sucks that whenever they walk into stores in certain towns, the shopkeeper follows them around suspiciously. I am a white and the few times that has happened to me as a teen I quit patronizing the store. I could do that because stores don't generally treat me as a criminal. I'd rather occasionally have stuff stolen then treat a whole group of people as criminals.* You're right. It's not the most efficient thing I could do, but it is a little more Christian, perhaps.

*Thus increasing hugely the chances that they will become so, also

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
It seems like the only "safe" way to behave is to suspect literally everyone of being a potential criminal.

<snip>

Am I right?

Only if you find yourself completely lost without the handy skin-colored guides by which all criminals seem to identify themselves.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10706 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Tukai:
quote:
Originally posted by Porridge:


What the jury had, bottom line, was substantial reasonable doubt about Zimmerman's culpability under the law as it now stands for murder in the 2nd degree or for manslaughter.

This seems to be confirmed the interview given by juror B29 on American TV [ which would BTW be way against the law and practice in most other countries]. In essence she said that she thought Zimmerman "got away with murder" but there was not evidence at the trial to convict him under the law.
For a juror, whose job it is to decide whether someone is guilty of murder - and I'd like to emphasise that murder is a defined legal concept - to deliver a not guilty verdict and indicate her agreement with that verdict, but to still say it was murder is demented.

That lady is in the best position of ANYONE to assess the EVIDENCE. Not whatever she 'feels' in her heart or gut. If even she realised there wasn't evidence of murder, then why the fuck come out and say he got away with murder?

Killing is not murder. It's as simple as that. Murder is a specific type of killing. We have laws that define what murder is and isn't. If she thinks that there ought to be some kind of sanction for killing someone after foolishly helping to set up a situation, or for racial profiling, then say so. But it's not MURDER for God's sake.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
That lady is in the best position of ANYONE to assess the EVIDENCE. Not whatever she 'feels' in her heart or gut. If even she realised there wasn't evidence of murder, then why the fuck come out and say he got away with murder?

Have you considered the possibility that as a private individual she doesn't feel bound to only hold opinions that are "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the same way that would be required of her as a juror? In other words, she may be fairly certain Zimmerman's actions amounted to murder, but not be completely free from reasonable doubt on the subject.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10706 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
It seems like the only "safe" way to behave is to suspect literally everyone of being a potential criminal.

<snip>

Am I right?

No, that's called paranoia, and they have medication for it these days.

The thing is, figuring out who should be suspected of being a criminal is the wrong way to go about preventing crime. It makes more sense to make people's lives better in the first place so that they make better choices.

Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
That lady is in the best position of ANYONE to assess the EVIDENCE. Not whatever she 'feels' in her heart or gut. If even she realised there wasn't evidence of murder, then why the fuck come out and say he got away with murder?

Have you considered the possibility that as a private individual she doesn't feel bound to only hold opinions that are "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the same way that would be required of her as a juror? In other words, she may be fairly certain Zimmerman's actions amounted to murder, but not be completely free from reasonable doubt on the subject.
She doesn't even think it should have gone to trial, for God's sake. It wasn't even close.

For a juror to go on television and say this is grossly irresponsible in my view. She's not getting the chance to be interviewed because she's just some private individual.

All she's going to achieve is further unrest. And a little bit of redeeming herself by saying 'see, I'm not a bad person, don't hate me'.

It'd be different if she was somehow arguing for law reform, but I don't see much of that. All I see is a woman saying there's so little evidence that the case shouldn't have gone to trial, but dammit, in my heart I still want him to be guilty.

You know what? I'd personally quite like him to be guilty of some things as well. So change the fucking law. But the amount of law changing required to make Zimmerman guilty of murder would be extraordinary.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

Am I right?

Not even close.
For the argument, let us say all burglers in Florida are Black. Does it follow that all Black people are burglers? Or criminals of some sort? Given the numbers of Black people in the Orland area and in Zimmerman's neighborhood, the chances of any given Black person being a criminal is low.
As to the one call Zimmerman made which might have been accurate, proves nothing.
Who are you raping today, Marvin? In my personal experience, 100% of rapists are white men. By your logic, you are suspect.

--------------------
I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
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# 15405

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
It seems like the only "safe" way to behave is to suspect literally everyone of being a potential criminal. After all, if we suspect no-one then we are very quickly going to get robbed. And we're not allowed to only suspect some, because that's prejudiced. And it's utterly pointless to only take action once we're sure of someone's intentions, because by then it's too fucking late.

Am I right?

I suppose it depends on what you want to be “safe” from.

Look, there really are people among us who are up to no good. We all know this. We’re all justified in taking reasonable precautions to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and whatever else we value.

I’ve lived through a burglary: one door broken down, all portable pawnable items taken, my other possessions trashed. Two white guys were seen nearby carrying away my TV set; cops assumed they were the burglars (no one was ever apprehended). The aftermath was tough, financially and emotionally.

Should I now be wary of white guys? That’s a pretty daunting proposition, since about 45% of the people I deal with on any given day are white guys. Standing that much “guard” over that many people is a psychic burden beyond my load capacity, especially since the majority of these white guys are perfectly fine people.

Instead, I look at security arrangements in any building I’m thinking of moving into. I have a sturdier door now and lock it and the windows when I leave home. I lock my car when I exit it.

I’ve lived through one mugging at gunpoint: sheer fear, loss of valuables, another difficult aftermath. One black kid, maybe 19-20 (and he was shaking), aimed his gun at me.

Should I now be wary of all black kids? Again, a daunting proposition: I have a black client about that age, a black neighbor (maybe a bit older), and (when I was teaching) black students that age. Shall I quit my job, move house, avoid teaching ever again? Sorry, that’s a psychic burden I’m not equal to, especially when none of these black kids pose any noticeable threat to me, and all but one seem pretty mellow (my client is not mellow).

Instead, I changed the way I carry my valuables. I leave jewelry off if I have to be out alone in a high-crime area.

I’ve survived a rape by an Hispanic guy armed with a knife. Hours of abject terror in fear of my life; some physical injuries (minor), some major ones (emotional/psychological). Long, extremely difficult aftermath.

Should I now be wary of all Hispanic men? Yet another daunting proposition calling for changes I can make only at significant (though not necessarily financial) cost to myself, especially when the Hispanic guys I deal with all seem like scholars and gentlemen.

I still have the occasional flashback (happened a long time ago). I moved away from that area. I take other kinds of precautions.

The fears our fantasies generate about The Other do not protect us. In fact, I think they render all of us less safe, by eroding trust, by creating misunderstanding, by influencing actions that, intended or not, create ill-will, can lead to violence, and even sometimes kill.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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You know what? The best evidence of Zimmerman lacking the intent to kill is that he let nearly 50 other black youths get away alive.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
What the wikipedia link says is that less than a month prior to the shooting Zimmerman identified a suspicious character but the police were too late to the scene, meaning the suspicious character got away and less than a week later robbed a house. To me that explains why Zimmerman would be keen to keep tabs on the next suspicious character he saw so that the same thing wouldn't happen. OK, he was in fact wrong about the motivations of the next suspicious character he saw, but that doesn't make his suspicion wrong in and of itself.

Your summary presumes that Zimmerman's reidentification of the burglar with the person he'd reported was correct. The link doesn't say that he was shown an identity parade. There are numerous reported cases of eyewitnesses identifying the first black male they're presented with as the person they saw at the scene of the crime.

In any case, I haven't heard that anyone has claimed that Martin was looking in windows.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
# 3216

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quote:
Marvin the Martian: It seems like the only "safe" way to behave is to suspect literally everyone of being a potential criminal.
You may personally suspect anyone you want for whatever reasons, we have no thought police here. The problem is when there is a formal or informal system of law enforcement in place that gives room to racially prejudiced suspicions and acts on them.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
quote:
Marvin the Martian: It seems like the only "safe" way to behave is to suspect literally everyone of being a potential criminal.
You may personally suspect anyone you want for whatever reasons, we have no thought police here. The problem is when there is a formal or informal system of law enforcement in place that gives room to racially prejudiced suspicions and acts on them.
There's a serious problem with having an informal law enforcement system, full stop. I believe the colloquial term is vigilantism.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
You know what? The best evidence of Zimmerman lacking the intent to kill is that he let nearly 50 other black youths get away alive.

By that logic nobody ever has the intent to kill.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
You know what? The best evidence of Zimmerman lacking the intent to kill is that he let nearly 50 other black youths get away alive.

By that logic nobody ever has the intent to kill.
No, for several reasons. The first is that some people have a history showing a propensity for violence. The second i can immediately think of is that people form an intent to kill in specific circumstances. My whole point is that Zimmerman had been in the same circumstances repeatedly.

You were one of the people suggesting notions of Zimmerman wanting to stalk and hunt a young black man with his gun. It's sheer fantasyland stuff, mister. That doesn't mean I think what he did was smart or even right, but there's simply no evidence for a deliberate murder plan here. The only time there was any 'evidence' for it was at the very start of this story when he had mental images of a shadowy gunman carefully aiming at a teenager.

The alternative of course is that Zimmerman is a criminal mastermind who repeatedly called police to draw attention to himself, did it again when he'd found the right victim, and worked out a way to get his victim on top of him so that the gun made contact with the victim's clothes but not his body.

You wanna suggest Zimmerman is a criminal mastermind?

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Who are you raping today, Marvin? In my personal experience, 100% of rapists are white men. By your logic, you are suspect.

You expect the old "all men are potential rapists" line to get a rise out of me? It's what feminists and the like have been saying for years. Apparently, that's one piece of profiling that's perfectly kosher and laudable.

So sure, you can be suspicious of me if you want. You wouldn't be the first woman to cross the road rather than walk near me purely because I'm a man. I've long since stopped being offended by it, and frankly if that policy does work to make those women safer then why the hell would I argue that they shouldn't do it?

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
You were one of the people suggesting notions of Zimmerman wanting to stalk and hunt a young black man with his gun.

[Confused] So he didn't want to, but something made him do it anyway? Demonic possession? Alien mind control? Exactly what are you suggesting overrode Zimmerman's will to make him take actions he didn't want to take?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10706 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
You were one of the people suggesting notions of Zimmerman wanting to stalk and hunt a young black man with his gun.

[Confused] So he didn't want to, but something made him do it anyway? Demonic possession? Alien mind control? Exactly what are you suggesting overrode Zimmerman's will to make him take actions he didn't want to take?
I'm talking about intent to kill. We don't only kill people when we intend to kill them.

And no, I don't think words like stalk or hunt are particularly apt for what Zimmerman actually did, either. But I specifically don't think there's any evidence for stalking or hunting WITH HIS GUN. There simply isn't any evidence that he had his gun with him for the purpose of using it. As I've pointed out before, this is the USA we are talking about, where people carry guns out of a vague inchoate sense it might be useful someday.

[ 26. July 2013, 19:27: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I'm talking about intent to kill. We don't only kill people when we intend to kill them.

And no, I don't think words like stalk or hunt are particularly apt for what Zimmerman actually did, either. But I specifically don't think there's any evidence for stalking or hunting WITH HIS GUN.

You mean ". . . aside from the fatal bullet wound"? The fact that Zimmerman had a gun with him that night seems to be one of the less disputable facts of the case.

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
There simply isn't any evidence that he had his gun with him for the purpose of using it. As I've pointed out before, this is the USA we are talking about, where people carry guns out of a vague inchoate sense it might be useful someday.

So he didn't have his gun with him to use, just with the idea that it would be useful? [Confused] If something is going to be "useful", doesn't that imply it's going to be "used"?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
You expect the old "all men are potential rapists" line to get a rise out of me? It's what feminists and the like have been saying for years. Apparently, that's one piece of profiling that's perfectly kosher and laudable.

Not attempting to "get a rise" out of you. I am demonstrating the problem with your logic.

--------------------
I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Antisocial Alto
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# 13810

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
It seems like the only "safe" way to behave is to suspect literally everyone of being a potential criminal.

Actually, in my experience working retail, that's exactly what we're supposed to do. I remember a training exercise on the computer where we were supposed to pick out the most likely person to be committing a theft, and the whole point was we couldn't tell.

Not sure if watching everyone equally was actually more effective at stopping shoplifters, or whether the company was just afraid of getting sued for profiling.

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Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
We don't only kill people when we intend to kill them.

True. Sometimes a killing happens by accident, or through reckless disregard, or by neglect. I don't think Martin's death quite falls into any of these categories, though.

Zimmerman didn't "neglectfully" carry his gun into the situation; packing heat was apparently an habitual action with him (he was, after all, en route to the grocery store with it). While I personally might consider this action "reckless," carrying a concealed weapon is now legal in 50 states, so from a legal standpoint (IANAL) how can this be considered "reckless?" And certainly Martin's death was not an accident.

We seem to have created a new category of human-inflicted death whose primary characteristic appears to be impunity for the inflicter.

We did this by turning the concealed-carrying of weapons into a sort of community norm, and coupled that to the ambiguities inherent in SYG.

While SYG apparently played no role in Z's defense at trial, it does seem to have been the lens through which local police originally viewed the incident, which in turn seems to have affected the amount and quality of evidence gathered and the speed with which the incident was investigated.

It's possible that if local police were pursuing this investigation as a case of manslaughter (for example), and not self-defense under SYG, the prosecution might have had more, different, and prompter evidence on which to build a case. Again, IANAL; but if I get another chance to help repeal SYG in my own state, I will work hard to do so.

If I could repeal every concealed-carry law across this country (military and police excepted) I'd do that too.

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
There simply isn't any evidence that he had his gun with him for the purpose of using it.

I'm trying really hard to think of some other reason to carry a concealed gun, other than for using it. Clearly not to intimidate people because it's concealed. Maybe because, although he had absolutely no intention of ever using it, it made his dick feel longer?

Nah, I really can't think of any. Can you?

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Gwai
Shipmate
# 11076

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Not evidence that Zimmerman was guilty, but the guy is so sketchy: I mean faking rescues, really?

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Chesterbelloc

Tremendous trifler
# 3128

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Uhuh. Sounds like a really neutral source, I must say, Gwai:
quote:
Now, none of this proves that anyone helped Zimmerman stage anything with regards to his role in rescuing victims in this crash [...] The more I think about this, the more I hope there is some real smoking gun that comes out of all of this. I’d love for Zimmerman and all involved with what is beginning to look more and more like a complete scam to go down in flames. Surely there is a broken law in here somewhere. We just have to find it.
[Roll Eyes]

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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Gwai
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Yeah, definitely a biased source. The evidence is interesting though.

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Porridge
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I'll confess that as soon as I first heard this news about the rescue, I found it fishy (my prejudices showing). The fact that I half-heard a subsequent story about the rescued family's refusal to be interviewed heightened my suspicions (though I can imagine many legitimate reasons for refusing to come forward about an authentic rescue connected with George Zimmerman).

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Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

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