As The System Implodes and Tyranny Explodes – Trayvon Martin

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Politics
Tags: , ,

The special prosecutor investigating the shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Monday ruled out using a grand jury in the case, meaning her office alone will decide whether to charge shooter George Zimmerman with a crime.

By: Barbara Liston
ORLANDO, Florida | Mon Apr 9, 2012 7:56pm EDT

The case has captured national attention because of race and Florida’s controversial self-defense laws, prompting demonstrations across the country including one on Monday that temporarily shut down the Sanford Police Department in the town where the shooting took place.

Martin, 17, was black and Zimmerman, 28, who has not been charged, is white and Hispanic.

Sanford police declined to arrest Zimmerman after the shooting, saying they found no evidence to contradict his account that he acted in self-defense. Police cited Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people to use deadly force against adversaries when they fear great bodily harm or death.

But defense lawyers with experience litigating “Stand Your Ground” cases say Zimmerman, if he is charged, faces significant challenges in order to assert immunity under that law.

Zimmerman has created a website to raise money for his legal defense and living expenses while he awaits the decision over possible charges against him.

The website, called, offers one of the first publicly available comments from Zimmerman since he went into hiding after the shooting on February 26.

“I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage,” Zimmerman says on the home page.

“As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life.”

The state attorney who initially investigated the shooting, Norm Wolfinger, had said the case would go to a grand jury on April 10. The panel, a group of citizens who meet in secret to hear evidence without defense witnesses or cross-examination, would have decided whether to charge Zimmerman.

But Wolfinger, facing withering criticism, removed himself from the case on March 22. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, also under fire for his handling of the investigation, stepped aside the same day.

Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Angela Corey, a seasoned state attorney in Jacksonville, to take over the case as special prosecutor.

“State Attorney Angela Corey has decided not to use a grand jury in the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation,” her office said in a statement on Monday. “At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment from this office.”


Corey’s decision appeared to confirm her reputation as a prosecutor who does not shy away from deciding how to handle difficult cases.

Lawyers for the Martin family and for Zimmerman called Corey’s decision unsurprising.

“We are not surprised by this announcement and, in fact, are hopeful that a decision will be reached very soon to arrest George Zimmerman and give Trayvon Martin’s family the simple justice they have been seeking all along,” Benjamin Crump, a Martin family attorney, said in a statement.

“Courageous move on her part,” one of the lawyers representing the Zimmerman family, Hal Uhrig, told CNN. He also said the decision was expected.

Unlike some states, Florida law gives prosecutors the option of allowing charges to be decided by a grand jury except in cases involving a possible death penalty.

“It’s very bold on her part,” said David Weinstein, a former Florida state and federal prosecutor now in private practice in Miami. “She has no qualms about whatever decision she is going to make. She is not going to let it be passed off on somebody else.”

Relatives and supporters of Zimmerman say he was attacked by Martin and feared for his life when he fired his 9mm handgun, which he was licensed to carry.

Should Zimmerman face charges and attempt to claim immunity under “Stand Your Ground,” he would face legal challenges, experts say.


The first hurdle would be a special evidentiary hearing in front of a judge, where Zimmerman would have the opportunity to argue he deserves immunity. But to convince the judge, Zimmerman would have to present a “preponderance of evidence” that he acted in self-defense, which under the law means he has to show he had “reasonable belief” that such force was necessary.

That is a high bar, and difficult to prove, criminal defense attorneys said.

In cases where the facts are even remotely in dispute the judge is likely to deny the “Stand Your Ground” immunity motion, said Ralph Behr, a Florida criminal defense attorney who has filed eight motions for immunity, all of which have been denied.

More typically, a judge will choose to have the case go to trial, where the defendants must take their chances with a jury, he said.

“Judges do not readily grant these (immunity) motions because they know they can pass it on to the jury,” said Carey Haughwout, the elected public defender for Palm Beach County.

Monday’s demonstration, which followed protests around the country and prominent figures demanding Zimmerman’s arrest, took place outside the Sanford Police Department.

The crowd forced police to temporarily close the station to the public, suspend some services such as fingerprinting and move routine business to the city clerk’s office.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Longstreth and Daniel Trotta in New York and David Adams and Kevin Gray in Miami; Editing by Xavier Briand and Lisa Shumaker)


Trayvon Martin: Disinformation, fake reporting fueling the illusion of an ‘American Race War’

Patrick Henningsen

April 10, 2012

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting and the ensuing media circus, a new beast has reared its ugly head – this time in the form of media disinformation and race-baiting reports threatening to propel America in the direction of a new race war.

On Saturday April 7th, journalist Michael Miller’s Miami New Times blog clumsily ran with a report entitled,“Armed Neo-Nazis Now Patrolling Sanford, Say They Are “Prepared” for Post-Trayvon Martin”.

The Miami New Times report claims that National Socialist Movement’s mascot, Jeff Schoep, dubbed “The Hollywood Nazi” because of his adherence to TV stereotypes, is leading armed Neo-Nazi patrols of Sanford, Florida to protect white residents from black violence. But there’s only one problem – it isn’t actually happening. contacted the Sanford Police Department on Sunday, looking for  confirmation on the Miami News Times story, but according to the department’s office of public information, “We can confirm there have been no reports of any Neo-Nazi, or armed Neo-Nazi patrols in Sanford.”

The Miami New Times have since updated their article to retract their earlier reports of armed Neo-Nazi patrols in Sanford.

Where there are racial extremists, expect to find the Southern Poverty Law Center(SLPC) nearby. In this instance, the SPLC seemed to be perfectly synchronized with the release of the Miami New Times claims, running their own story touting this latest news, warning Florida residents that:

“The neo-Nazi, National Socialist Movement (NSM) has announced that it will be conducting patrols in Seminole County, Fla., to protect “local citizens from the area who are concerned for the safety of their families.” The group says it is prepared for “racial violence” in the Sanford area, where the Martin shooting occurred, and that is has been “contacted by dozens of local citizens” supposedly seeking protection…

… The NSM announcement pointed as evidence of impending racial strife to the recent comments by New Black Panther Party (NBPP) leader Mikhail Muhammad that the group had started a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” campaign to bring justice for Trayvon Martin. Muhammad said the group was offering a $10,000 bounty for the capture of George Zimmerman, the alleged shooter in the case.”

Schoep describes his Neo-Nazi NSM as a “white civil rights organization,” and describes himself as the white equivalent of the black activist Reverend Al Sharpton.

On the other side of the controlled left-right cut-out coin, the New Black Panther Party  is calling out for a new race war, and said to have joined forces with “Million Hoodies for Trayvon Martin Coalition”, both groups demanding ‘immediate justice’ through the apprehension of George Zimmerman.

Unfortunately, this same Miami News Times imaginary report of armed Neo-Nazis patroling Stanford, Florida, was rapidly disseminated on dozens of other ‘progressive’ websites over the weekend, including news site Raw Story written by their Associate editor Muriel Kane, and Democrat Party-oriented website LA Progressive written by Julie Driscoll.

Chicago-based ‘liberal Democrat’ Julie Kindle Driscoll, who also runs a website entitled Politics Anonymous, a partisan website whose content is aligned with Democrat Party talking points, takes the fake Neo-Nazi news report to another level, employing overt race-baiting, subtley inciting Zimmerman haters in her article:

“Somebody needs to remind these demented zealots that the angry, hostile, violent, armed, murderous killer was a white Hispanic dude, George Zimmerman.”

This level of retaliatory tabloid sensationalism is hardly surprising, if not irresponsible, considering that writer Driscoll and other bloggers are simply drawing off of a fake news report  in order to form their own biased verdicts on the George Zimmerman case. Their commentary will normally stay along left vs right1% vs 99%, or black vs white political lines. In Driscoll’s case, it’s a prime example of the writer declaring herself as judge, jury – and executioner of George Zimmerman – all the while concealed behind a cloak of her left-leaning ‘opinion’. Although posing as news, this type of writing can hardly be classed as journalism.

Yet, Driscoll also seems to be running cover, in part, as an apologist for the New Black Panther Movement, as she goes on to claim here:

“It should be noted that, while the New Black Panther Party … committed no crimes; offering a $10,000 bounty for a “citizens arrest” is not breaking any laws.”

These are only the initial first shots fired in what appears  to be shaping-up as a partisan-driven, media and political race-baiting festival – one which could very well develop into a real race war on the streets of America.

A number other major media ethical violations are already on the books, most notably TV network NBC’s own humiliating admission that it had in fact edited and then aired audio clips of George Zimmerman’s 911 call to the police in order to give the impression that the caller was ‘racial profiling’ the victim Martin. This level of deception by the media is nearly unprecedented to date, further eroding the trust between the media and the public. The identity of the producer was not disclosed.

In this atmosphere radical partisan disinformation and emotive news reporting, it’s more important than ever for American media consumers to separate real news reports from the type of hyped-up, divisive reports chronicled above.


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