• Wed, Apr 11 2012

Lock Up Your Kids With Hoodies Because Trayvon Martin’s Killer Is Missing

When I heard that a black unarmed teenager named Trayvon Martin had been shot and killed under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, I didn’t think that the details could get any more sickening. The fact that 28-year-old George Zimmerman was not charged at all in what read as a senseless killing of a kid seemed like the absolute worst news — until word came over the wires that his killer had gone missing.

How is this case getting increasingly more terrible?

Zimmerman’s lawyers, Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner, have officially withdrawn as his legal counsel due to an inability to get into contact with him. The New York Times reports:

“As of the last couple days he has not returned phone calls, text messages or emails,” attorney Craig Sonner said at a news conference outside the courthouse. “He’s gone on his own. I’m not sure what he’s doing or who he’s talking to. I cannot go forward speaking to the public about George Zimmerman and this case as representing him because I’ve lost contact with him.”

Zimmerman reportedly made a phone call to the prosecutor, who is nearing a decision about Trayvon’s case, as well as — most strangely — Fox News darling Sean Hannity. In an off the record phone call, Zimmerman apparently gave his side of the shooting, unbeknownst to Zimmerman’s lawyers who had instructed  him not to speak to anyone about the case. Both lawyers maintain that they would represent Zimmerman again if he reached out to them, despite that neither gentleman has ever met Zimmerman in person.

Uhrig is quoted in the Times as saying that both he and Sonner are “concerned for his emotional well-being and safety,” suggesting that Zimmerman might even be suffering from PTSD following the high profile nature of the case. Meanwhile, Trayvon’s family and attorney are simply worried that he’ll flee the country.

I don’t have children, but If I did, I can’t imagine I would sleep all that well knowing that such a man was traveling whereabouts unknown by even his legal counsel. Especially knowing that this individual, who doesn’t seem to have hesitated in shooting an unarmed teenager, is “emotionally crippled” and “may no longer be in control of his actions.” Not exactly a reassuring tidbit for parents as they flip through victim-blaming headlines.

Zimmerman’s moment of pause to pay a special ratings boost of a phone call to Fox News isn’t all that reassuring either, as a guy on the lamb most likely chooses his phone calls sparingly. And after dropping contact with even those who are working to secure him a fair trial, the sudden turn to Hannity reads as not only desperate, but chilling.

Perhaps mothers and fathers should take a page from Geraldo Rivera‘s book and keep their children of color out of hoodies for their safety. Because it looks like actually jailing those who pose racially-charged threats to kids is going to take a little while longer.

(photo: thegrio.com)

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  • Melissa

    I am so tired of hearing about this case and how race played a part in the shooting. Maybe I am nieve by I think it was a horrible accident. I have 2 kids and boy and girl, they both wear hoodies. I wear hoodies all the time as well. I don’t think that should matter. the facts and I stress FACTS are that A young man was walking at night in a neighborhood that had a string of robberies. If Zimmerman hadn’t tried to stop him to see what he was doing and a home would have been broken into our reactions would be different. We would then be asking why he didn’t do anything. Why did Trayvon not tell ZImmerman he was just walking home from the store and show his tea and candy? Was anyone there to say who was confrontational and who wasn’t? Are you God and able to pass judgement? Is everyone innocent? Why is everyone ready to jump all over Zimmerman in a situation that they don’t know what really happened, but say nothing over the six year old african american girl playing on her porch that was shot by 2 african american teenage males. Or what of the white male that was stripped and beaten by a group of african american males over St Patricks day in Baltimare? Where is the upraor and anger and call for punishment for these victims? Before pointing at injustice of white assalaint against a black victim, call for injustice at a black assailaint against a black victim. this is more comman, its happening in the US everyday. What are people going to do about that?

    • kanderson

      Why would he have to show his candy and tea to a renta cop? Zimmerman was not a cop! because if he was he would have been trained to id hiself, the suspect ids hiself after the cop, thats if the cop is undercover. TM could of thought Zimmerman was a bad guy, and he was right. Shoting an unarmed man is a coward move even in the Western days.What about an unarmed child? You wonder why this story is so big is because people like u who look at things froms a chlid killers point of view, and some of us just cant understand why.

    • kkanderson

      oh yeah. In any of those cases u mention did any of the suspected killers go free? Thank you, thats what being blind will do for u. Makes you not see the obvious.

    • Jen

      Kanderson: Exactly, except one little quibble. Zimmerman wasn’t even a rent-a-cop; he was a community watchman. The big difference there being that (according to the police coordinator for the watch group Zimmerman led) he wasn’t supposed to be carrying a gun period, whereas rent-a-cops do. NPR did a series of interviews with community watch leaders across the country and that was one thing many of them pointed out, why the hell was he even carrying a gun?

    • Fabel

      Just adding on to say he was SELF-APPOINTED community watchman. The community didn’t make him a watchperson, he decided to just BE one. He called the police something like 50 times within the past year about the same bullshit; it was only a matter of time before he took it too far.

  • Cee

    Hide yo kids, hide yo wife Hah.

    Ahem, all jokes aside, this guy does not seem right. The fact that he created a website with a blaring American flag asking for donations is awkward. What exactly are these donations for? For visiting his page and reading his paragraph? A congratulatory donation for shooting a kid carrying skittles?

  • Julie

    Most all the media is putting zimmerman in the worst light possible while holding martin up as a saint. What are you going to do when you find out zimmerman was accosted and attacked by Martin? If there is a trial all the ugly details of both sides is going to come out – be careful what you wish for – also wonder if he is proven he followed the law in Florida and is acquitted will you then stop looting and raising hell?

    • Jen

      Congratulations! You just managed to prove the point of all the articles about Trayvon’s murder while completely missing it yourself!

  • Megan

    @Jen- It’s like Melissa mentioned: the neighborhood had had a string of robberies before the shooting. Did you (and every one who points out he had a gun) stop to consider that maybe, just maybe, because of the recent crime Zimmerman felt safer carrying a gun while he patrolled the neighborhood. What do you think would’ve happened if he stumbled upon a robbery in progress? He probably would’ve been killed. I don’t blame him one bit for carrying protection. But, then again, the first life lesson my father ever taught me was not only how to properly use a gun, but how to discern when my life is in enough danger to justify using one in self defense.

    • Jen

      God. You people literally make me sick. The lengths that you will go to try and justify what is nothing more nor less than cold blooded murder is honestly all the proof anyone needs to explain why this case is important.

      Keep on living in your little world where murdering a kid carrying nothing that would endanger anyone but a diabetic is “justified self defense”. Of course, I’m guessing that since that kid happened to be black and in a hoodie he has already proved to you what a “threat” he was.

      Once again, I thank you for making the point and missing it all at the same time. It is a skill so many undercover racists have mastered.

    • Megan

      @Jen- I’m sorry, but are you calling me a racist? On what grounds? Most of your comments here mention race at some point or another so it seems to me that you have far more problems with race than I could ever dream of having.

    • Jen

      Megan: You really don’t know what racist and racism mean, huh? I guess that’s the reason so many people can blindly support a cold blooded murderer when he shoots an unarmed black teen, but shout to high heaven about the injustice of playing the “race card”.

      And the part that tipped me off that you are at least a tiny bit racist is that you think that stalking an unarmed black youth with a concealed weapon and then shooting him qualifies as “justifiable”. I’m guessing you wouldn’t take the stance if a man with a gun followed one of your babies home and shot him/her no matter how much “lip” they gave him.

    • Megan

      @Jen- At first I laughed at this, but then I read it again and was pissed right the fuck off. First of all, your not-so-subtle way of telling me I’m not intelligent is completely ridiculous. Seriously, where the fuck did that come from? No, you’re right. I must NOT know what racist or racism means… even though my own mother was disowned by her father because she chose to date a black man. Nope. Must have been some other reason!

      Secondly, I’m completely blind to race, which is what has allowed me to look at this whole case objectively (which is, from the sound of it, something you are incapable of doing). I don’t see a white man killing a black teen. I see a man patrolling his neighborhood like people have appointed him to do, armed with a weapon due to a recent increase in crime in that particular area. I also see a boy walking around on a dark and rainy night who doesn’t normally reside in the neighborhood because, if he had, I’m fairly certain the man would’ve seen him at some other point in time and recognized him considering the neighborhood is on the smaller side.

      Thirdly, the man didn’t “follow him home”. They were no where NEAR the boy’s home. And last I checked, breaking someone’s nose and bashing their head into the ground is not considered “giving lip”. Where the fuck are you coming up with this dumb shit?

      Lastly, yes playing the race card in something like this is not only uncalled for, but it’s fucking stupid. In fact, playing the race card in ANY situation is fucking stupid. But, last I checked, the only people to play the stupid fucking race card are African-Americans (now, I know how you are so don’t go getting your panties in a twist. That’s not me being racist, that’s me making an observation of our modern society and the dynamics of ALL races in this country [btw, just so you know, there's more than two races in this country... wasn't sure you were aware. I know that sometimes it's hard to allow new information into such a small mind]).

      Have an awesome evening, Jen! :D

    • Jen

      Thanks. I was afraid for a minute I was going to have to prove just how incredibly, horrifically awful you people could be, but then you went ahead and did it for me.

      There is no such thing as being “color blind”. There’s only being privileged enough to not have to deal with racism on a regular basis and not giving a shit about other people.

      George Zimmerman is a murdering scumbag and the police are racist jerks, but it’s the random people on the internet standing up for them who really make me lost faith in the future of this country.

    • Jen

      Megan: Thank you for proving me right! It’s really helpful when racists expose themselves and their backwards beliefs because it makes it easier to tell who we should stay away from. Being pissed “right the fuck off” because someone calls you out for being racist instead of being pissed off about actual racism is a huge clue that you don’t care about anyone but yourself.

      PS: Being “color blind” or “race blind” is ONLY something those of us privileged with not being constantly judged for our skin color can claim to be.

    • Megan

      How did I prove you right? Please, give me some examples of how I am a racist. Is it because I don’t side with Trayvon Martin? Is it because I choose NOT to follow popular opinion and make my own instead? That makes me a racist in your eyes? Jesus.

      And I’m sorry, but defending myself against assholes like you who decide to label me as racist for no reason does not mean I don’t care about anyone but myself. I cannot even begin to fathom how it is you’ve connected the two.

      I’m beginning to understand that you are just a very angry individual. Very bitter for whatever reason. So, I’m sorry if there’s been people in your life that have wronged you, but I would suggest against flinging the term “racist” around so flippantly. You are being incredibly disrespectful to someone you don’t even know, and I do not appreciate it one bit.

    • Jen

      So let me get this straight? In a comment you use the term “race card” without batting an eye, assert that African Americans are the only ones playing the race card and how fucking stupid it is that they do so and then you want me to point out how I can tell you are a racist? It would be hilarious if it didn’t speak so clearly to how seriously f’ed our country is right now.

      And I don’t think you are a racist because you don’t “side” with Trayvon Martin. I think you are a racist because you have a very obvious bias against Trayvon Martin and the only explanation I can see for you siding with the wackadoo who stalked and shot an unarmed teen is because that teen happens to be black. I asked you before if you would still be siding with Zimmerman if it had been one of your “suspicious” looking children that he had followed for several blocks (witness testimony) and shot while they screamed for help (audio and witness testimony) you’d be so quick to find every single excuse you could to explain away a murder. You choose to ignore that one because I think the answer is pretty clear.

      Oh, and please don’t complain about “assholes like me” attacking you, curse at me continuously and make racist comments repeatedly and then complain that you are the one being disrespected.

    • Megan

      @Jen- Do you even understand the meaning of “race card”?

      “…an idiomatic phrase that refers to exploitation of either racist or anti-racist attitudes by accusing others of racism.

      Believe it or not, in modern American society, it IS the African-American people who play the “race card” most often. That is a factual observation and does not in any way, shape, or form, make me a racist. In fact, based on that definition, YOU are currently exploiting an anti-racist attitude by accusing another (me) of racism. Would you like to be the pot or the kettle, Jen?

      And where, in all of my comments that I have directed towards you, or the article’s author, have I shown an obvious bias towards Trayvon Martin because, “the only explanation you can see” is that he was black? Did it ever occur to you that there are always more than one explanation for something? Or are you perfectly content with calling a stranger a racist only because their opinion differs from yours?

      Btw, I don’t have any children. There’s no way I can honestly answer that question so I won’t even try to.

      Lastly, I have never cursed at you. NOT ONCE. With the exception of calling you an asshole (which you have proven yourself to be) I haven’t even insulted you so your attempt to justify your utter rudeness is completely invalid.

      In closing (by which I mean I will no longer be replying to your asinine comments), it would greatly benefit you if you cease being so dense and ignorant. Open your eyes, not everyone shares your thought process.

    • Another Steph

      Megan, just wanted to point out a couple of factual errors in your argument:

      * ‘I don’t see a white man killing a black teen. I see a man patrolling his neighborhood like people have appointed him to do.’

      Zimmerman wasn’t appointed by anyone except himself.

      * ‘Thirdly, the man didn’t “follow him home”.’

      In the 911 calls, Zimmerman says something (I forget what exactly) that suggests that he’s following Trayvon Martin, the 911 operator says, “Are you following him?” and Zimmerman says, “Yes.”

      And a few gaps in lopic:

      * ‘Did you (and every one who points out he had a gun) stop to consider that maybe, just maybe, because of the recent crime Zimmerman felt safer carrying a gun while he patrolled the neighborhood. What do you think would’ve happened if he stumbled upon a robbery in progress?’

      Strawman argument at it’s best. Zimmerman didn’t stumble upon a robbery, so let’s just stop using that argument. No, seriously, stop it. I can accept that carrying a gun made him feel safer, but he didn’t stumble upon a robbery – he stumbled upon a kid with candy. Literally, a kid with candy.

      * ‘And last I checked, breaking someone’s nose and bashing their head into the ground is not considered “giving lip”.’

      Nobody knows exactly what happened in those final moments. What we do know is that Zimmerman made several calls to 911 speaking angrily about a suspicious kid in a hoodie. I’m more inclined to believe that the angry 911 caller was the one to provoke the attack but even if I’m completely wrong and Martin lashed out for no reason – do you honestly think that’s a good enough reason to shoot someone dead? That’s not a rhetorical question – I’m curious as to whether you genuinely believe what you’re saying.

    • Megan

      Steph:

      I don’t know about you, but if someone in my neighborhood decided to take it upon themselves to be the neighborhood watch, I’d be grateful whether or not I gave them my verbal blessing.

      It was actually Zimmerman’s heavy breathing that caused the operator to ask whether or not he was following him. He never made a comment that suggested he was.

      I never said he stumbled upon a robbery. I asked what if he had. It’s a perfectly legitimate hypothetical question, so no, I will not stop using it.

      This one gets me the most, “speaking angrily about a suspicious kid”. What? His 911 call was very calm and collected. Also, it’s been proven that Martin did in fact double back in order to confront Zimmerman.

      Now, your question: Do I think it’s a good enough reason. Well, let’s look at it through Zimmerman’s eyes. Not too long after some crime happened in the area, Zimmerman sees a kid he’s NEVER seen before, walking around at night in the rain. What’s his immediate reaction? Suspicion. I don’t blame him for that. It’s a small enough neighborhood that regular residents would be able to recognize other regular residents. So he calls 911 to report it. If he had NOT called 911 and confronted him instead, resulting in the same deadly confrontation, I’d be singing a completely different tune. Blah blah blah follows the kid when Martin starts running blah blah blah actually COMPLIES with the operator although he is not required to yadda yadda yadda turns around back towards his truck to meet police. Bam! Out of nowhere Martin decides he wants to confront him, so what does he do? Instead of going HOME he goes back the way he came and confronts Zimmerman by punching him in the face, getting on top of him (all the while screaming “why are you following me?”) and starts slamming Zimmerman’s head into the ground. Considering how violent the nature of the attack is, the only proper assumption you can make in a moment like that is that your attacker has a weapon and will use it. So yes, I do believe that is reason enough. Martin could have just as easily had a knife instead of candy, pulled it out and stabbed Zimmerman. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s stupid to assume that people are generally good and you don’t need to protect yourself. It would be awesome if it was like that, but it isn’t and never will be. This is a violent world and I would prefer to everything in my power to stay alive.

    • Another Steph

      Megan,

      And if a crazy person decided it was his responsibility to arm himself and patrol my streets I would not be grateful. In fact, I would be effing pissed that I now have to feel like I need to show this vigilante a photograph of any unfamiliar person I wish to invite to MY house, lest he pull a gun on them in the name of ‘protection’.

      I’ve had another listen to the 911 tapes and you’re right, it was his heavy breathing that caused the 911 operators to ask if he was following him. Moot point. The point is, they asked if he was following and he said yes. Voluntarily following someone is not the action of a man who is scared for his life.

      I never said that you said that he stumbled upon a robbery, I said that it’s a strawman argument. He didn’t stumble on a robbery. If he did, we wouldn’t be having this debate. But HE DID NOT STUMBLE ON A ROBBERY. He stumbled on a KID carrying CANDY. It’s not a legitimate argument. It didn’t happen. I’ve conceded that he may have been within his rights to carry a gun due to previous robberies, but he DID NOT stumble on one that night.

      I guess ones perception of Zimmerman’s state of mind during those 911 calls is subjective. He did not sound calm and collected to me – he sounded intensely angry. Statements like, ‘These assholes alway get away’ suggest to me that he’s angry.

      I’m assuming you were there that night, since you seem to know so much about what happened between Martin and Zimmerman. Oh what, you weren’t? Well then I guess you, like everyone else, has no FREAKING CLUE what happened that night. We can only guess based on the calls and witness testimony, none of whom actually saw what happened. But if it happened like you say, actually I would not assume that someone slamming my head into the ground had a weapon that they were willing to use because if they did, would they be freaking using it?

      Seeing an unfamiliar kid in the neighbourhood is not cause for alarm, I don’t care how small and well knit the community is. I have randoms walking in and out of my property all the time and my neighbours, in my small, well knit community, have never raised an eyebrow. Are these residents supposed to get approval whenever they want to invite someone new over?

      I’m just glad I live in Australia, where the trigger happy nutjob population is nonexistent.

  • Ratatat18

    What’s “AWAL?” Is that like “AWOL?”

    Just wondering.

  • Megan

    The title of this article seriously pisses me off. Lock up your kids with hoodies? Really, Koa?

    I’ve been on Zimmerman’s side since the very beginning. Unlike the people who are calling for his head, I know what it’s like to be in a seriously life threatening situation. You don’t have time to think, you only have time to act. If you stop to think, you’re dead. Then, when all is said and done, the gravity of situation hits you like a fucking Mack truck and you become so violently ill you pray to God that he strikes you dead right there.

    NO ONE, let me repeat that, NO ONE will ever know how Zimmerman felt in that instant– whether he truly felt endangered or not– except for Zimmerman. This media circus is absolutely disgusting. Sharpton and Jackson, NBC, and all the other bloggers and article writers who throw Zimmerman under the bus rather than utilize their critical thinking skills are a joke and they add no intelligent thought to ANY discussion here on the web. Then Mommyish had to go and do the same. damn. thing. Consider this my official flounce. I’m out.

    • Jen

      Wow. The racists REALLY don’t like being called on their nonsense, huh?

    • Another Steph

      Ha ha ha, it’s so funny the way that you equate a man in a gated neighbourhood voluntarily following a kid with a ‘life threatening situation’ where you ‘hardly have time to think’.

    • Megan

      Steph, If you had someone on top of you, beating your head into the ground, would you choose to assume he had a weapon of some sort on him and could possibly use it on you? Or would you decide to assume your attacker was unarmed? Even then, it is entirely possible to beat someone to death with just your fists.

      You should ALWAYS assume your attacker is armed. ALWAYS.

    • Another Steph

      As I said in my other comment, if someone was using brute force instead of a weapon, no I would not assume that they had a weapon they were willing to use.

      I thought you said you were out. Guess you just can’t stay away, huh?

    • Megan

      Well, considering I had originally signed up for notifications via e-mail, they won’t stop coming and I guess I can’t really resist a debate (especially one that is void of calling me a racist every other sentence without any legitimate reason behind it. Thanks for not doing that, btw).

      I’m going to go ahead and make an assumption that you’ve never been in a full on brawl before, have you?

    • Jen

      Megan: Two tips. You can unsubscribe so you don’t have to try and justify your views which are becoming more and more apparently ridiculous. Also, if you don’t want people to call you racist you should probably avoid using the type of rhetoric embraced by groups like Stormfront.

    • Megan

      Ah, yes, the ol’ “Your views are ridiculous because they don’t align with mine” way of thinking. Oh well. So much for intelligent debate!

      I was trying to be courteous but I see you are just as bad as Jen was. I will never understand how just because I’m not calling for the death penalty or life in prison for someone I’m suddenly a racist. Oh well! Not like I’m missing much in life not being friends with ya’ll (thank god for that)!

    • Another Steph

      I guess it depends on your definition of a ‘full on brawl’. I went to a pretty rough high school and was attacked by a gang of girls on three occasions. What does that have to do with anything?

      I don’t necessarily think you’re a racist. I don’t know you, how can I make that call? But I do think that you have an alarmist attitude, and I think that you’re letting your personal experiences blind you to something that’s pretty darn obvious to the rest of us.

    • Another Steph

      Oh, and I think you’re misattributing this comment to me:
      Megan: Two tips. You can unsubscribe so you don’t have to try and justify your views which are becoming more and more apparently ridiculous. Also, if you don’t want people to call you racist you should probably avoid using the type of rhetoric embraced by groups like Stormfront.

      That one was Jen.

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  • Jake

    It makes me sick that the picture of Zimmerman you’re using is edited to make him seem more white than he actually is. Here is the original
    http://rollingout.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/George-Zimmerman-racial-slur.jpg

    You people who think you are saving the African American race by saying that this hispanic man killed this 17 year old, 6 foot 3, football playing, drug dealing teenager JUST because he was black are more racist than the people who actually logically think about this case and read the evidence before crying racism. You should all be ashamed.