Home Main Category Personal Defense

Zimmerman trial begins w. critical defendant quote, a warning if you're ever involved

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
You may have by now heard that the prosecution in the Zimmerman case has opened with a direct quote Zimmerman made during the search for Martin, prior to the shooting:

"Effing punks, these a-holes, they always get away."

Here's the link to the Fox news story:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/24/prosecutors-defense-set-to-make-opening-statements-in-george-zimmerman-trial/

Now I don't know whether this is an accurate quote from Zimmerman but it should be an absolute wake-up call to all of us who are prepared to use lethal force, if necessary, in self defense. This comment may really turn the jury against Zimmerman.

My personal opinion about Zimmerman is that he was ever-so-slightly of the vigilante mindset and was looking for something "to do" and that he may have actually escalated the situation. Whether Martin was guilty of anything is not the issue. The question is: Did Zimmerman overreact and therefore is guilty of something? I think "yes" although I also think 2nd degree homicide is too much.

But my posting isn't as much about the Zimmerman case as it can serve as a very strong reminder: Anything you say may come back to haunt you!

Whether the police are your friends or not, they will still be required to testify about any random or off-the-cuff statements you might make in the heat of the situation. Neighbors might overhear you. Your cellphone call will be recorded. A single wrong word can cook your goose.

As per many experts who've offered advice regarding how to respond in a self defense scenario, part of that response is how you react verbally. If you yell "Stop or I'll shoot!" it's a heckuva lot different if you yell "Stop you xyzxyz mf--- (insert any racial comment here) or I'll shoot!".

I know it seems silly but practice makes perfect, and if you quietly teach yourself a set of neutral comments to make in the terrible event that you really do have to use lethal force, you can then parrot those comments more comfortably and more easily to the police. Be as neutral and non-braggy as you could ever be, even to the point of sounding goofy. But telling the police "I shot that damn @&&@** right in the brisket!" will not win you any points with the county attorney and just saying "I feared for my life" is lots better.

I recommend that you practice "statements to the cops" just as you might practice "defending the home". That is, you may already use a carefully unloaded gun, then move around the house or property, memorizing fields of fire and retreat or defense pathways on your property, using a tac light or whatever, rehearsing the scenarios.

I'd add to the physical "practice" some verbal practice too --- imagine you're making a statement to the crime scene police, what do you say that's very very neutral and non-inflammatory? Rehearse those phrases. And remind yourself that you need ONLY speak to the police as much as necessary, then your attorney. NEVER to the press and NEVER to friends or neighbors.

Another thing... when you're chatting with pals, be careful how you say things. It might be fun to joke and bluster, saying "Myself, I'd blow those SOBs out of their shoes! ha ha" but then imagine your pal sitting in a witness box, prosecuting attorney or civil lawsuit attorney, "Now, Mr. Smith, exactly what did Sam say about self defense shooting during that July 4th BBQ? And remember, you're under oath."

Shiver... Lots better if you're laughing with pals and you say "Well, I try to blow the dickens out of paper targets and have fun doing that, but a real person? I'd never shoot someone if my life or the life of a loved one weren't in danger."

Your thoughts on this? Thanks...
«13

Replies

  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    It is the actual quote. One only has to have paid attention to the news and heard it repeated (edited, of course) to know it's true.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,920 Senior Member
    In the prosecutors opening remarks he states..."He got out of the car with a fully loaded semi-automatic pistol and TWO flashlights" then brings up the multiple flashlights on a couple of occasions.... Another lesson....never carry more than one flashlight....

    With the "joke" in his opening statement, I sense that Zimmerman's lawyer isn't acting in his clients best interest.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    With the "joke" in his opening statement, I sense that Zimmerman's lawyer isn't acting in his clients best interest.

    Agree. Fox said that the knock-knock joke fell flat on the jury. It fell flat for me too. Very stupid way to open a defense, criticizing the jury selection and therefore criticizing the jurors. Dumb.

    Personally, Zimmerman is NOT the sort of example I want to represent armed self defense. Myself, I'm prepared for self defense, but unless I were a sworn, certified LEO, there's NO WAY I'd pursue a shady character prowling around the neighborhood. The only exception might be if I were in "hot pursuit" (directly connected with the crime) of someone who'd physically attacked me or a loved one. And maybe not even then.

    Hindsight is 20-20 but Zimmerman would have been best advised to stay in his damn car! and report suspicious people to the actual, real, police. Neighborhood Watch is means what it says, "Watch" (not take action).
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    In the prosecutors opening remarks he states..."He got out of the car with a fully loaded semi-automatic pistol and TWO flashlights" then brings up the multiple flashlights on a couple of occasions.... Another lesson....never carry more than one flashlight....

    Humor aside, Jay, what's the prosecutor's idea about mentioning the 2 lights? I don't get the implication, good or bad.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Humor aside, Jay, what's the prosecutor's idea about mentioning the 2 lights? I don't get the implication, good or bad.

    I don't get it either Sam. But I don't make too many judgments on how the main stream media describes anything. I also believe that maybe Zimmerman was a little too enthused and eager to pursue Martin. But my jury is still out on whether he's guilty of murder or self defense. I think he may have escalated the situation, but from what I've heard, Martin was no saint either. I believe that Zimmerman will be found guilty, but maybe he's not guilty of First degree murder. I think he'll get convicted of a lesser charge.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,920 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Humor aside, Jay, what's the prosecutor's idea about mentioning the 2 lights? I don't get the implication, good or bad.

    Sam, I have no idea why two flashlights are so ominous....if he had got out of the car with a partially loaded semi-automatic pistol and a single flashlight, would it have altered the outcome of the incident? I think not.

    The news channels continue to insist on displaying a picture of a 12 year old Martin....

    You know why lawyers wear ties....Right?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    Actually it is commonly taught to have a backup flashlight. Clint Smith teaches commonly "Two is one and one is none." Meaning that any man made device can fail and it is important to have two if an item is critical. FWIW I always have two flashlights at my bedside.

    http://watchsix.blogspot.com/2009/04/2-is-1-and-1-is-none-clint-smith.html

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,920 Senior Member
    Me too....apparently we could both be in big trouble if we blast a bad guy because of our plethora of illumination devices.....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    Living in the Orlando broadcast area, I'm kind of glad the Zimmerman trial's started. It means that we'll be that much closer to it being over. However, for those outside the area, some info...
    1. The primary newspaper for the trial is the Orlando Slantinel, er... Sentinel. They're anti-CCW, anti-Stand Your Ground, and pro gun control. It's quite evident in their editorials. Don't expect their news reports to be too unbiased, and take 'em with a grain of salt.
    2. Local broadcast journalism is pretty clueless. All of 'em. They really don't know what's going on, so their info can be sketchy.
    3. ALL news media is playing up Martin's youth and Zimmerman's failed bid to be a police officer.
    4. Florida's Stand Your Ground law allows for the use of deadly force even if you instigate the altercation. You do have to try and break off the confrontation and basically be forced into firing. This is a fact that's been somewhat missed.

    The most important thing this should remind us is... if you're carrying, DON'T GET IN A FIGHT!!!! You won't win, and if you pull your gun, right wrong or indifferent, you will be painted as a cold-blooded killer. If you do have to use deadly force, you'll probably need to be beaten to a pulp before people will believe you needed to use it. Not commenting on Zimmerman, just observing how things have gotten painted.

    I have my own ideas about Zimmerman, but I'll hold off until more information is released. I don't like to comment out of ignorance.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Criminal charges dropped, civil charges......hit Zimmerman for everything you can. Kinda like OJ.

    That's what I would go for.
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    RE: the Zimmerman Prosecution > For me, the object lesson to be learned is never call the police until the incident is over. The police and the D.A. are happy to prosecute the victim as eagerly as they are to prosecute the criminal - whatever it takes to put another check mark in the WIN column. By not calling the police for anything, I only have to worry about the bad guy. One enemy at a time, thank you.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    All six jurors are wimmen...what do ya'll think about that?

    Politically motivated prosecution puts it mildly. I'm not saying he is an angel (neither was the "Victim"), he did some stupid things leading up to the shooting. Months ago the defense said (?) it wasn't about Florida's SYG law, anti-gun groups wanted to use the law as "See, we told you so........." and get it struck down.

    Probably continue to be a media circus.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    I have my own ideas about Zimmerman, but I'll hold off until more information is released. I don't like to comment out of ignorance.

    My stance, as well.

    I will say that the deck seems to be stacked against him, as far as getting past all the politics and finding out what is actually relevant to the law. I'm betting that his lawyer has told him to consider this trial to merely be the first step, and that there may not be any actual justice until his case gets well into the appeals process.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    All six jurors are wimmen...what do ya'll think about that?

    Politically motivated prosecution puts it mildly. I'm not saying he is an angel (neither was the "Victim"), he did some stupid things leading up to the shooting. Months ago the defense said (?) it wasn't about Florida's SYG law, anti-gun groups wanted to use the law as "See, we told you so........." and get it struck down.

    Probably continue to be a media circus.

    Either not guilty or hung jury.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    That district attorney is a real piece of work- - - - -if he loses the prosecutor gig he could be a passable dramatic actor. Zimmerman's lawyer should be strung up by his private parts for his feeble attempt at comedy- - - - -and it wasn't even remotely funny! I get a feeling Zimmerman is going to get railroaded.
    Jerry
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Criminal charges dropped, civil charges......hit Zimmerman for everything you can. Kinda like OJ.

    That's what I would go for.

    Not in Texas, if deemed a justified shoot you are protected from civil suit here. (If you don't prosecute-no lawsuit) We be protected here, don't know about Fla. That's why I love this place!

    I personally am still up in the air about this case. I think that if Zimmerman did go in looking for trouble he was wrong but I also think there is more to how the young man acted back at him than is being said.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    I don't get it either Sam. But I don't make too many judgments on how the main stream media describes anything. I also believe that maybe Zimmerman was a little too enthused and eager to pursue Martin. But my jury is still out on whether he's guilty of murder or self defense. I think he may have escalated the situation, but from what I've heard, Martin was no saint either. I believe that Zimmerman will be found guilty, but maybe he's not guilty of First degree murder. I think he'll get convicted of a lesser charge.

    We're pretty much in agreement here, I think. re. Zimmerman getting convicted of 1st deg however, that's not possible, as he's only charged with 2nd degree. Whether the jury can decide to convict him instead of manslaughter (a high-level civil offense) instead I don't know the Florida law on that. I've not heard any of this so I'm guessing the verdict (if they reach one) will be guilty or not of 2nd deg, no lesser charge conviction allowed.

    Re. Zimmerman overreacting, that's where I think he did wrong. He seems to be a LEO wannabe and in the heat of the matter, got overenthused and pursued Martin when he had no real justification to do so, he being a total civilian.

    This has nothing to do about the Florida self defense law or "no retreat needed" clause (which we have here in Texas too). The law itself is sound, as I see it.

    The question is whether Zimmerman overreached his role. At first I had thought "no" but now I'm less certain and tend to think he made his own hot stew to lie in. Martin was obviously a punk and was up to no good. But did that give Zimmerman the "authority" to pursue? I think not.

    Pro-2A and pro-self defense advocates would perhaps do well not to hang their agenda signs around Zimmerman's neck, because he's not the ideal example needed. At least that's the way I see it.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    That district attorney is a real piece of work- - - - -if he loses the prosecutor gig he could be a passable dramatic actor. Zimmerman's lawyer should be strung up by his private parts for his feeble attempt at comedy- - - - -and it wasn't even remotely funny! I get a feeling Zimmerman is going to get railroaded.
    Jerry

    Hmmm... Teach, I can only base my opinion on what I saw in excerpts from the opening statements but I thought the prosecutor did a superb job -- low key, assured, businesslike, no yelling. And Zimmerman's attorney? That "joke" was total stupidity.

    But railroaded? Maybe not. Maybe the Florida law is just and correct and armed self defense is also correct but maybe also, Zimmerman exceeded that law and is actually guilty. In other words, he may deserve being convicted and isn't really being railroaded. I dunno.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    RE: the Zimmerman Prosecution > For me, the object lesson to be learned is never call the police until the incident is over. The police and the D.A. are happy to prosecute the victim as eagerly as they are to prosecute the criminal - whatever it takes to put another check mark in the WIN column. By not calling the police for anything, I only have to worry about the bad guy. One enemy at a time, thank you.

    Here in Texas that doesn't seem to be the case, thankfully. Recently we've had several "storeowner shoots robber" and "homeowner shoots robber" and police are apparently happy to give a medal out to the shooter, or so it seems that's their attitude, county attorney and grand jury too. None of these people were indicted or saw any trouble from the officials at all.

    I tend to disagree with the concept that the police are my enemy. At all times throughout my 3 near-shooting incidents in Texas I was given the utmost respect and good treatment. On 2 of those occasions, a cop offered his suggestion "You shoulda shot the guy" with a chuckle but I'm unsure how much he was kidding.

    Regardless, it seems to bring lots of doubt onto your head if you do NOT call the cops. The fact that you phoned 911 first seems to establish your willingness to use deadly force as a last resort.

    As I say, this is how it seems in Texas -- I of course pay close attention to local self-defense (or pretended self defense) incidents and I simply do not see any harshness from police or prosecuting attorneys directed toward the shooter, if the shooting is justified. But of course, the climate of law enforcement may easily be different where you live.

    Now, we get the normal bunch of drunk arguent shootings too, cases where Joe shot Eddie because Eddie and Joe were drunk and Joe got off the first shot or was the only one armed. And then, the shooter may find himself in a world of hurt.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,150 Senior Member

    The most important thing this should remind us is... if you're carrying, DON'T GET IN A FIGHT!!!! You won't win, and if you pull your gun, right wrong or indifferent, you will be painted as a cold-blooded killer. If you do have to use deadly force, you'll probably need to be beaten to a pulp before people will believe you needed to use it. Not commenting on Zimmerman, just observing how things have gotten painted.

    I have gotten in that argument here on the board before. If you carry, there is no fighting. You deescalate or leave or both. If someone punches you or swings at you, you leave. You don't fight back, you don't taunt, you don't do anything but deescalate and/or leave. You have a gun. You are the one with deadly force. Nothing you do (punching back) should ever be something that 6 (or 12) jurors could ever construe to be escalating the fight. Think about it: The guy shoves you, you shove back... he punches you, and you knock him down... he pulls a knife, you shoot him. YOU escalated it when you knocked him down. You continued the fight while KNOWING you have a gun.

    Zimmerman made a bunch of errors. Is he guilty- no. Will he be found guilty? Probably.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    Yeah, I remember the flack, but you're right. Heck, most competent self defense trainers tell you not to get into a fight. Seems like some get too worried about their pride, and not enough about what else might happen. Me, if I can deescalate or leave, I'm good with it. I know I'm a man, don't need to beat on someone and risk legal trouble to prove it.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 660 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Agree. Fox said that the knock-knock joke fell flat on the jury. It fell flat for me too. Very stupid way to open a defense, criticizing the jury selection and therefore criticizing the jurors. Dumb.

    Personally, Zimmerman is NOT the sort of example I want to represent armed self defense. Myself, I'm prepared for self defense, but unless I were a sworn, certified LEO, there's NO WAY I'd pursue a shady character prowling around the neighborhood. The only exception might be if I were in "hot pursuit" (directly connected with the crime) of someone who'd physically attacked me or a loved one. And maybe not even then.

    Hindsight is 20-20 but Zimmerman would have been best advised to stay in his damn car! and report suspicious people to the actual, real, police. Neighborhood Watch is means what it says, "Watch" (not take action).

    First off while Mr Zimmermen was indeed the neighborhood watch guy he was not "on duty" at the time. He was headed out to do some shopping. Thus while some want to point out that a neighborhood watch guy is not supposed to be armed on duty they do not seem to make the distinction that he was not "on duty".

    Seems to me that he was following Mr Martin at a distance to see where he had gone to so that he could tell the police that when they showed up, not pursuing him. Also seemed to me that the 911 tape I heard bore that out, seemed the he got out of his truck and was following, then the dispatcher heard something in his breathing and asked was he following Mr Martin, then when mr Zimmerman said he was the dispatcher told him we don't need you to do that and it sure sounded to me like Mr Zimmerman said ok and his breathing changed back to a more normal level. I believe I may have done exactly that same thing but not "knowing" all of what transpired I can not say for certain I would have.

    Love the bit about is walking in the rain suspicious activity. No walking in the rain isn't but peering into windows would be suspicious in my book and at least one account had Mr Zimmerman notice Mr Martin specifically because he was peering into the "clubhouse" window. Not simply because he was walking in the rain.
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 660 Senior Member
    Me, if I can deescalate or leave, I'm good with it. I know I'm a man, don't need to beat on someone and risk legal trouble to prove it.

    Love that attitude sir. I wholly agree. Have been called some names because I wouldn't ablige the fool and it aint made no difference in my life where if I had obliged it probably would have.
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,728 Senior Member
    IMHO....Zimmerman is a "wanna-be JBT" and acted accordingly. He took matters into his own hands when he should not have. He should have reported the suspicious activity and kept his distance until the proper JBT showed up.

    However, I don't believe he is guilty of murder in any degree. Manslauter at best.

    The young thug Martin may have had it coming (I dont know), but Zimmerman acted out of bounds.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Michakav wrote: »
    IMHO....Zimmerman is a "wanna-be JBT" and acted accordingly. He took matters into his own hands when he should not have. He should have reported the suspicious activity and kept his distance until the proper JBT showed up.

    However, I don't believe he is guilty of murder in any degree. Manslauter at best.

    The young thug Martin may have had it coming (I dont know), but Zimmerman acted out of bounds.

    Pretty much how I see it too. Manslaughter would be the appropriate charge. Agreed.
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 660 Senior Member
    If Mr Zimmerman was a wannabe care to explain why he didn't go for the COP idea when it was offered to him?
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    This whole Zimmerman thing is bad Ju Ju any way you look at it. Neither were/are angels.........:angel2:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,728 Senior Member
    If Mr Zimmerman was a wannabe care to explain why he didn't go for the COP idea when it was offered to him?

    COP?
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 660 Senior Member
    Michakav wrote: »
    COP?

    Citizen On Patrol. Seems they give ya a uniform nd an auto with radio.

    http://www.nacop.org/whatarecop.htm

    Seems to me if he was indeed a "wannabe" that he would have jumped at the offer.
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,035 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    That district attorney is a real piece of work- - - - -if he loses the prosecutor gig he could be a passable dramatic actor. Zimmerman's lawyer should be strung up by his private parts for his feeble attempt at comedy- - - - -and it wasn't even remotely funny! I get a feeling Zimmerman is going to get railroaded.
    Jerry

    It sure is a good thing they have photographs of Zimmerman's smashed face/nose and lacerated scalp. He took a heck of a beating from that kid. How long to you let somebody kick the crap out of you before you use deadly force? The DA and the mainstream media is sure getting some mileage out of the "Skittles & Tea" vs "a Gun" comments. Zimmerman likely wouldn't have been charged at all, were it not for the ravings of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. It's beginning to look a lot like the OJ Simpson farce of a trial all over again.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement