This Article is About
george zimmerman
florida police department
second degree murder
sanford florida
George Zimmerman Is Arrested
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George Zimmerman is Arrested

Late on the night of April 11, 2012, George Zimmerman,28, was taken into custody after he turned himself in for the murder of Trayvon Martin, 17.

Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder. Second degree murder sentence has a maximum sentence of life in prison. Zimmerman plead not guilty, even though he admitted to shooting Martin. He says he fired his weapon in self defense.

His attorney is Mark O'Mara. His previous counsel decided not to take the case. His first hearing will be on April 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM Eastern Time.

Where has Zimmerman been since the shooting?

George Zimmerman was hiding for his safety since many made threats on his life. Even now, his location remains secret. The most the public will be told is that he is in custody with Florida's law enforcement somewhere within the state.

What is a second degree murder charge?

Second degree murder means that someone killed another person without premeditation. Still, there is malice. In first degree murder, there is malice and premeditation. Whereas manslaughter is distinguished with no malice or premeditation.

Florida law states that the accused must stand before a grand jury when the charge is first degree murder.

The case

Zimmerman was on patrol for his neighborhood watch program in a gated community. Before the program is established, members are instructed that they should not carry fire arms while doing a patrol of this nature. Instead, they should contact their local law enforcement should any suspicious behavior arise. They should not pursue possible criminals, but leave that to law enforcement. Zimmerman was instructed to follow these instructions by the dispatcher that took his call.

However, Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman still ended up in an altercation that led to the shooting death of Martin.

Why is this case receiving national attention?

Many in the black community in the South say that there is a racial element to the way this case was handled. The Sanford, Florida police department is accused of gross negligence in the way it handled this and many other cases. Key witnesses were not contacted for weeks after the crime was committed. It is believed by many that the case would have unfolded in a significantly different manner had Martin been white.

Some examples of misconduct include not looking at Martin's cell phone records. He was conversing with his girl friend seconds before he was killed. She was not contacted until weeks after Martin was killed and federal agents took over the case.

During Zimmerman's call, he made racial slurs, indicating malice. Zimmerman was released after being questioned. After the release, the police looked up his criminal background. This is normally done before persons connected to a case like this are released.

Whether race remains an issue or not, it will be hard to find people who have not heard about this case, making it harder to have a fair trial by one's own peers.


Street Talk

I agree with John, I think part of the arrest is damage control. Good article Rebecca

Reply
  about 9 years ago

That's a good way to put it- damage control. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I think the media has made a public hanging out of this. Isn't he supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in a cout of law?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I agree, he should be considered innocent until proven guilty. That is very important. It wasn't my intent to make him sound guilty. I am actually concerned about how the police department handled this case based on what the media said- but they only told us what they wanted us to know. Some of the evidence that should have been investigated right away didn't receive attention for weeks. I think that could change the outcome of the case whether or not he is at fault. What you are saying is very important. I think it's easy to lose sight of that because of the way media frames suspects in their stories these days.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Rebecca, Whatever happened, your final statements are all too true. With so much news, a jury trial seems unlikely to be possible. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Cynthia, Yes, I agree with your assertions. Have a blessed day!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks. I wonder if that bumps it up to a different kind of trial?

  
  about 9 years ago

Good question. I don't know the answer to that one. Maybe they wait until people forget about the trial, even though the law states that it must be done in a timely manner? Or maybe there is a place where people don't read newspapers or watch tv- but those people wouldn't be his peers either. I'm glad I, personally, do not have to figure that out. I did hear that his case can go before a trial judge in FL according to FL law. If said lawyer deems that it is self-defense, the case will be dismissed. If the judge says it wasn't self-defense, he can appeal it and the trial judge's judgement could be found incorrect and the case be dismissed. All of that can happen before the case is heard before the jury. So, he essentially has 3 times to go for the "self-defense" defense, if that makes sense.

  
  about 9 years ago

Yes. And I don't even watch TV or read newspapers (for years now; on a break). But! Between here and there I've seen a LOT.

  
  about 9 years ago

OK forget for a moment the race issue, I want to know, if the dead guy was assaulting Zimmerman or what he was doing when Zimmerman shot him, sorry i have not seen the news on this, i am overseas and I have not heard many details about what actually happened.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

He was walking from a convenience store to his girlfriend's house with a bag of goodies such as iced tea. Zimmerman thought he looked like he was doped up because he was walking slowly. He wasn't on drugs, but talking to his girlfriend on her cell phone- who walks normally while on a cell phone? Anyway, that's what he said in the 911 call, that the boy was walking around slowly, like he was on drugs. The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to pursue, Martin's girl friend over heard part of the altercation as well as Martin saying that someone was following him & couldn't figure out why. The phone went dead right around the time he was shot. That's a really, really brief summary. Hope you're having fun overseas!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Mostly what I hear everyone talking about is the racial slur Zimmerman made, now I am married to an Asian woman as well as the fact that I live in a foreign county where I have been on the wrong end of racism and i find it extremely disheartening, but we are talking about murder vs self defense and racial slurs or not, I would like to know how Zimmerman ended up with a broken nose and bloody face if he shot this guy from behind. There is also an eyewitness that said it was Trayvon who attacked Zimmerman, I can understand Trayvon being pissed at being followed for no reason, but that does not give him the right to attack someone if that is in fact what happened. Then there is the fact that if Trayvon was shot in the back of the head, was he shot as he was walking away because of course getting beat up does not give Zimmerman the right to kill someone after he is walking away. or were they still fighting when Zimmerman shot him??? I would very much like to know more about how and when the shot was fired...Now I am not saying either one of these guys is right or wrong, I don't have enough information, nor do I think anyone else does at this point to make that call, but I do know that it's much to soon to say for sure what happened.... Also something else that's confusing me and making me lean a bit toward the eyewitness saying that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman is the fact that while he was on the phone with the dispatcher Zimmerman said that Trayvon ran...now if Trayvon ran how did they end up in a fight unless Trayvon came back...please correct me if I'm wrong here, I am speculating on that part, but I would love to know what happened after he ran.

  
  about 9 years ago

I read a story that conflicts with the information that you read. It said that Martin was on the phone with his girl friend and realized that he was being followed. An eye witness that called 911 said that there was a person lying on the ground screaming. Then there was a bang followed by silence. That witness was unable to ID the suspect due to distance and darkness. A doctor looked at the digitally enhanced photos of Zimmerman and said he didn't see any sign of swelling or dis-figuration to Zimmerman's nose. I think I also read that he didn't seek medical assistance for the "broken" nose. Zimmerman is part Peruvian. As I said in another comment, I am actually more concerned about the police department. The black community there says that police do not follow protocol when investigating crimes against people of color. Key evidence is often overlooked. I think that it can be very confusing when we try to determine guilt and motives in situations like this because we do not have all the facts- the media ethically should not leak them nor should they try to add their opinion about guilt. However, both of these do occur and they only share what will make them the most money. Oops, another tangent. I don't think that anyone knows for sure what happened after Treyvon ran. The girl friend was able to hear some of it because the call was not dropped until just before the gun shot. I'm sure her entire testimony would be kept secret so that there could be a fair trial- if not then shame on anyone who leaks it. I hope I made sense. Thanks for your contribution.

  
  about 9 years ago

Don't know anything about this too far away for it to hit our news, but it does seem from your article that something has not been done correctly, interesting.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Since I'm not actually there, it does make it hard to be sure what is going on. The media tells you what they want you to hear. However, it does seem that important evidence wasn't looked at in a timely manner- before it would be spoiled. Thanks for the comment :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I can assure you that happens a lot here, even to whole dockets disappearing.

  
  about 9 years ago
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