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Saturday, July 13, 2013

TRAYVON MARTIN was not an angel - a Cranky rerun

TRAYVON MARTIN was not an angel

I am too relaxed from my weeks on the shore to have any opinions for Cranky opinion Saturday, so here is a re-run from April least it is topical.
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man. Opposing opinions are welcome (wrong, but welcome) please, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head!
By now everyone knows the story. February 26, a 17 year old black teen was coming back from a store to his fathers home. He was carrying a bag of skittles and a soda. The young man was cutting through yards, wearing a hoodie style sweatshirt, the preferred apparel of hoodlums. He was unarmed.

George Zimmerman, a white man (half Hispanic) was on neighborhood watch. There had been break-ins in the area and Zimmerman was looking for suspicious people.

Trayvon appeared to be suspicious. A black teen in a predominantly white neighborhood cutting through yards in a jacket designed to cover his identity is suspicious. Zimmerman rightly called into 911 to report a suspicious person. He was told not to follow the stranger, the police would come; the police would handle it.

Zimmerman followed Trayvon. At some point there was a confrontation. Trayvon was shot and killed. Zimmerman was questioned, released, and remains free based on a Florida law which allows deadly force if someone’s life is in danger.

Groups around the country are demanding Zimmerman’s arrest. The shooting of a young black teen by a white man seems to be clearly racist and people are demanding justice.

Trayvon was no angel. He was out of school, suspended for possession of traces of marijuana. Schools do not check angels for traces of marijuana. He also had a history of fighting and clearly was not the kind of kid to back down from a confrontation.

Trayvon was no angel. Trayvon should be alive today to perhaps grow up into a productive citizen. Lots of seventeen year olds are not angels. Most of them grow up and become productive citizens. Many of our brave military men today were no angels at seventeen. Many of our police and firefighters were not angels at seventeen. It is part of the personality trait of heroes. Many start out as tough kids with a chip on their shoulders. They ought not to be shot at seventeen.

I don’t think George Zimmerman is a racist. I think he is a wannabe hero who also has a chip on his shoulder. Why did he continue to follow Trayvon? Why did he carry a gun? Approaching a potential criminal takes training. Police know how to stop and question someone without causing a confrontation. Zimmerman obviously did not.

Apparently Zimmerman and Trayvon got into an altercation of some sort. Was Trayvon concerned that Zimmerman was a threat to him: a white guy calling out "hey you?" Probably. By what authority did Zimmerman have to follow Trayvon? None.

If the police had been allowed to do their job, they would have stopped Trayvon in a non-threatening way; they would have asked a few questions and maybe escorted him to his father's house to confirm his story. They would have ended the incident with “Sorry to have bothered you; you have a nice day now.”

Trayvon and his father would have thought the stop an example of racism and to an extent would probably have been correct, but Trayvon would be alive to grow perhaps into a troubled adult, more probably into a productive citizen.

This whole incident is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for Mr. Zimmerman. I am sure he wishes he could have that day back. Whether he is ultimately arrested or not, his life is and will remain a mess. I don’t think he is a bad or evil man; I think he is a stupid man with a hero complex.

Should Mr. Zimmerman be arrested and be charged with a crime. I don’t know. All the facts are not in. With all the publicity I am sure that his actions will not be whitewashed.

Regardless of the outcome for Mr. Zimmerman, I hope this tragedy will help assure that police actions are taken by trained police, and not armed untrained self-appointed vigilantes with a hero complex.

It is not surprising that subway vigilante Bernard Getz pulled his gun and fired when in a confrontation. It is not surprising that George Zimmerman pulled and fired his gun when Trayvon apparently challenged his authority.

There is a reason that most police officers retire without ever discharging their weapon while on duty. 
The preceding has been the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.


  1. Plenty of mistakes all around, Cranky. I doubt Treyvon was an angel, and it's safe to say Zimmerman isn't the brightest bulb in the pack, either. If you take all the emotion out and just look at the facts, the state has NOT proven Zimmerman guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Too any crucial pieces of evidence have been disputed by credible witnesses, and they know they will not get a guilty verdict. That's why another option was introduced at the last minute: manslaughter. The state is hoping that the jurors will want to convict Zimmerman of SOMETHING, and this is their vehicle. If they do, look for appeals to fly fast and furious.


  2. I don't hate Zimmerman the way I hated Jodie Arias, but Zimmerman is the guilty party here. But for his actions Martin would be alive today, just as you've explained. My hope is that Zimmerman is found guilty of the mildest charge and sentenced for a short time. He won't be safe on the streets anyway.

  3. Like most of us, I'm stuck in front of the T.V this Saturday afternoon hoping to hear the verdict. I thought I knew a lot about this case before it came to court. I've watched the whole trial and I can truthfully say, I am so glad I'm not a juror on this case. I'm still not sure who's side I'm on. I can relate to both parties.

  4. it is a tragedy for all involved.

  5. If Zimmerman goes free those of us with tan skins from this summer better be wary of taking a shortcut this fall with a hoodie, because idiots get to make the choices.

  6. The court of public opinion is filled with wannabe jurors, but I feel that only those who heard every minute of the trial are sufficiently armed to shoot off their mouths in voicing a verdict.

  7. Well said.

    My initial problem with this incident was the fact that Zimmerman pursued Treyvon after he'd been told NOT to. That makes him the aggressor from the get-go, and by extension, Treyvon the one in defense mode. Can a "stand your ground" law apply to a person who initiates the contact? I don't know. I haven't followed the case very closely, and even though the verdict may have been declared today, I haven't heard it yet, because we were out all day. Guess I'll wait until tomorrow and read about it in the paper.

  8. No one was an angel in this case. I'd respectfully argue, Cranky, that not being an angel as a teenage boy doesn't warrant the death penalty. But I'd also agree that the Zimmerman jury reached the right verdict under Florida law.

  9. So apparently I am not the only one who has commented on a post without reading it all the way through.

    At least we can agree to agree!

  10. What a mess! I was on facebook and saw one of my white fb "friends'" posting of 3 mugshots of black men who robbed and killed a white woman (her picture included) with a caption asking why that story is not getting the attemtion that the Martin/Zimmerman case is getting. I thought it sad; like playing a game of one-upping. A black child is dead. A young white woman is dead. It's not a black problem. It's not a white problem. America has a problem, deep-rooted, that needs to be fixed.


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