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George Zimmerman not expected to face civil rights charges

George Zimmerman not expected to face civil rights charges

In other news, water wet, fire hot, self-defense against felony aggressor lawful

The Washington Post reported yesterday that “The Justice Department is not expected to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”

The reasons why appear in the 10th paragraph of the story:

Mark O’Mara, the lawyer who represented Zimmerman, said that approximately 40 witness statements collected by investigators in 2012 indicated there was no evidence to support a civil rights prosecution.

“I was watching the whole case pretty closely for two years, and they didn’t do anything except take those 40 statements,” O’Mara said. The statements “suggested that George acted in very non-racist ways. He took a black girl to the prom. His best buddy was a black guy. He mentored two black kids. He sought justice for a black homeless man beaten up by a white cop’s son.”

“To those who have seen civil rights investigations and civil rights violations,” he said, “it looked as though the Department of Justice was just placating pressure that existed by suggesting there was an ongoing investigation.”

George Zimmerman, immediately following the vicious attack upon him by Trayvon Martin

(George Zimmerman, immediately following the vicious attack upon him by Trayvon Martin)

It should be noted that those 40 witness statements, collected not by mere “investigators” but by a swarm of FBI Special Agents sent to Sanford FL for that specific purpose, were conducted months prior to the trial even starting.  Indeed, I obtained my personal copies of those statements in the pre-trial discovery file well before jury selection even began.

Anybody reading those reports would have seen instantly that not only were there no facts on which to support a Federal civil rights action against Zimmerman, what facts were collected ran counter to such an action, as noted by O’Mara.


(George Zimmerman blood on back of head)

Despite this, Eric Holder claimed just last month, in a news conference about the recent unrest in Ferguson,

That investigation’s ongoing. There are active steps that we are still in the process of taking. There are witnesses who we want to speak to as a result of some recent developments.

What evidence of racial animus they might suddenly discover after two years of fruitless investigation was not specified.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.


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darkknight3565 | October 2, 2014 at 11:30 am

Frank Taafe, the “best friend” of Zimmerman, said a few months ago, “What I know of George and his tendencies and also my opinion is that he racially profiled Trayvon Martin that night because if that had been a white kid on a cell phone, walking through our neighborhood, he wouldn’t have stayed on him the way he did and that’s a fact and I believe that in my heart.”

Unfortunately, comments like these don’t matter. Zimmerman will continue to be a free man, signing autographs at gun shows and threatening those around him. And Martin will continue to be dead for having committed the crime of defending himself.

    Martin is dead because he picked the wrong ‘crazy ass cracka’ to fuck with.

      By minority standards, Zimmerman is Hispanic-American. Martin committed felony assault, and likely attempted murder, against a Hispanic-American. I’m surprised that Hispanic-American leaders did not stage a counter-protest to the Democrat-led (Obama et al) lynch mob. Their interest in their community is notoriously selective.

      Spiny Norman in reply to rokiloki. | October 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      “Creepy-ass cracka” is the amusing term DeeDeeDontReadCursive used.

    The only person responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin, is Trayvon Martin.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      darkknight3565 in reply to Andrew Branca. | October 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      I disagree. Punching someone who is obviously following and probably menacing you in the nose may not be smart, and might be “vicious”, as you put it, but hardly justification for that person to shoot you dead.

      The wounds on the back of Zimmerman’s head are minor, as evident by the picture you posted. They are not at all consistent of someone having his head bashed repeatedly on a cement pavement. In fact, if Martin was on top of him as Zimmerman described, and it was as dark as Zimmerman claimed, Zimmerman would not have been able to unholster a gun he admitted was back holstered, nor would Martin have been able to see the weapon clearly enough to attempt to wrestle it away from Zimmerman, as Zimmerman also claimed.

      My observation is that when it involves a young Black male, the standard for self-defense is often far too low.

        Humphrey's Executor in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm

        Michael Dunn, the “loud music killer”, and Theodore Wafer, the Detroit front porch killer, might disagree with you about a supposed low standard for self-defense against black youths.

        kermitrulez in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

        Did you actually watch the trial or read any of this site’s coverage?

        Gremlin1974 in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm

        The only thing that is obvious is your complete lack of knowledge of the facts of the case.

        Immolate in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        Willful ignorance of this case may be tolerated on other sites, but not here. I’ve never seen anyone give themselves a roundhouse kick in the nuts before today. I hope you survive the self-inflicted injury but fail to procreate.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm

        “I disagree. Punching someone who is obviously following and probably menacing you in the nose may not be smart, and might be “vicious”, as you put it”

        It is also assault and grounds for arrest and prosecution. “Following” someone, a.k.a walking the same direction as someone, is not reasonable grounds for you to throw the first punch, it is certainly not grounds for you to attack someone who is “following” you from ambush.

        Zimmerman is free because he was found innocent by a jury of his peers, because they looked at all the evidence and believed that Mr. Zimmerman acted in lawful self defense. In the end their opinions are the only ones that matter, deal with it.

        Exiliado in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        You should tattoo the word ignorant across your forehead.

        darkknight3565 in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm

        To clarify, I am pointing out that in the good ole days, using deadly force was only justifiable when an attacker was attempting deadly force and no possibility of exit existed. In other words, killing someone was only justifiable when the attacked had no other choice.

        But of course nowadays deadly force is justifiable if the attacker quotes gangsta rap lyrics on his Facebook page.

          “when an attacker was attempting deadly force”, like when Trayvon Martin was slamming Zimmerman’s head against the sidewalk, “and no possibility of exit existed”, like when Zimmerman was lying on his back with a 5’11” thug sitting on his chest.

          The US has traditionally been a “Stand Your Ground” jurisdiction, NOT a duty to retreat jurisdiction. To put it in your terms, “in the good old days” Stand-Your-Ground was the norm.

          Today there are 34 states that have NO legal duty to retreat as a condition of lawful self-defense.

          Half of those states had previously (generally in the 60s-70s) foolishly adopted duty to retreat laws, and they have more recently adopted Stand-your-Ground to repeal those misconceived mistakes.

          The other half of so-called “SYG” states have NEVER BEEN duty to retreat states, and so never had to adopt an explicit Stand Your Ground law.

          Today, only 16 states are duty to retreat states. (That would be a minority of states, if the math is too hard.) And everywhere that Stand-Your-Ground is drafted as legislation, it wins. Yes, even AFTER Zimmerman. (Ohio is next.) Duty-to-retreat is on the losing end of history, thank God.

          FYI, ignorance is never attractive, especially in the service of a racist political agenda.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Bruce Hayden in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 5:20 pm

          To clarify, deadly force can be used in Florida when the person using deadly force reasonably believes himself to be imminent danger of great bodily injury or loss of life (I am sure that I missed something here – which is why AB is the expert here). And, the infamous Florida Stand Your Ground law removes the duty to retreat. Of course, Zimmerman had no ability to retreat, so SYD was actually legally irrelevant in his case. So, not sure what state law you are trying to utilize, but it sure isn’t the law in Florida, where the incident occurred and the trial took place.

          Bruce Hayden in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 5:22 pm

          Listen to AB, and not to me here – he is the expert on self-defense law. I am not.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to darkknight3565. | October 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

          Those “Good old days” of which you speak only happened in your own delusional thought processes.

          Also, even in duty to retreat states that duty only applies if you can retreat in complete safety, not you must retreat regardless of circumstance.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        I think that the reason that everyone here thinks that your post is beyond the pale is that AB here went through the evidence and the law in regards to Zimmerman in great detail. He followed the trial, gavel to gavel, listening to all the testimony, putting a lot of it up here, etc. Moreover, he is a legal expert on self-defense, which means the privileged use of force. And, if you follow his posts on LI, you too will ultimately learn when force is legally justified, and when it is not.

        To start off, the amount of force utilized by Martin was not legally justified or privileged. Actually, no level of force was legally justified on his part. Being stalked rarely justifies any level of force in response, and, in this case, Zimmerman had lost track of Martin at the time of the attack, and was returning to his truck, to await the police, who were on their way there to meet him. Which means that, since Martin’s attack on Zimmerman was not privileged or legally justified, it constituted aggravated assault, at a minimum. But, arguably, the jury verdict suggests that it was actually attempted murder, both the bashing Zimmerman’s head into the concrete and the attempted strangulation (and,yes, both could have been guilty of felonies here, instead of just Martin, if Zimmerman had overreacted). So, Martin committed aggravated assault when he punched Zimmerman in the nose, knocking him to the ground, then either committed two more acts of such, or did worse, by committing attempted murder. If the police had arrived a couple minutes earlier, it is likely that Martin would be languishing in prison right now, convicted of one or more major violent felonies (and, note, that this is the sort of thing that 17 year olds are most often tried as adults for, so likely no relief because he was not yet 18).

          platypus in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

          It was more than in great detail; it was akin to a free legal seminar for which he could easily have charged a few hundred dollars a head. Instead of being grateful that someone of such quality will take the time to teach on a blog, certain people think he’s no better than they are because they know they ain’t too bright (the short bus they rode to school was a big clue).

          ConradCA in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 3, 2014 at 12:22 am

          Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman, pinning his knees to the ground and wailing away at his head. This is deadly force because Zimmerman was unable to defend himself from these blows and it justifies Zimmerman’s use of deadly force to defend himself.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

          Actually I would like to clarify, I think he is a delusional twit who needs to seek professional help.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm

        In fact, if Martin was on top of him as Zimmerman described…

        As for where Martin was at the time of him being shot – the expert testimony at trial was that the only place he could have been was on top of Zimmerman, leaning over him. That is the only plausible way for the bullet holes in his hoodie and body to line up, esp. given the difference between the GSR, etc. on both of them (i.e. the hoodie had fallen forward due to gravity).

          darkknight3565 in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm

          I have not read everything Branca has written so perhaps I’m wrong, but frankly he doesn’t strike me as someone with anything particularly enlightening to say, about the Zimmerman case or about anything else.

          Also, you are reciting almost verbatim Zimmerman’s version of the attack – that Martin just jumped out of the bushes and started hitting him while he was innocently returning to his truck to await the police like the good little angel he is – but I think there is reason to doubt this self-serving account of the events for that night.

          One is that no one has thus far been able to give a reasonable explanation for why Martin would do such a crazy thing in response to be stalked or menaced by a stranger.

          Secondly, police photos of the scene don’t show any bushes that a 6′ teen would choose to hide behind.

          Thirdly, Zimmerman’s injuries are not consistent with someone who was getting his head pounded on cement.

          Fourthly, Martin’s body was found face down on the grass feet away from the cement Zimmerman claimed the shooting took place. If the shooting occurred the way Zimmerman described, I would think that Martin would have been found on his back on the cement.

          Of course I’m no medical examiner. But one of the medical examiners for the case – Dr. Shiping Bao – argues that there is no way Martin could have been on top of Zimmerman when he was shot because Martin was shot in the back.

          Ragspierre in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

          So, you’re saying, “I’m ignorant, and proud of it”.

          Which was evident to a lot of us from your first post.

          Ah, yes. Dr. Bao.

          Truly one of the highlights of the State’s case against Zimmerman.

          The medical examiner who showed up with scrawled speaking points on bits of paper, then refused to share them with the defense. As he is required to do by law.

          That Bao.

          Awe. Some. 🙂

          Almost as good as the State’s ME Dr. Rao. You know, the one who was fired for washing her feet in the sink at work. Who’d been fired from her last job and rescued by Corey. Who gave ME testimony without ever having actually seen the body. Yeah.

          Awe. Some. 🙂

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        jayjerome66 in reply to darkknight3565. | October 3, 2014 at 12:08 am

        You’re a dope.
        Does someone help you tie your shoes?
        Suffer from dizzy spells?
        Having eyesight problems?

        I’ll give you one unassailable fact to chew on, tho when you’re brain synapses don’t fire right, it probably won’t register:

        Zimmerman’s gun was holstered WHILE HIS HEAD WAS BEING SMASHED AGAINST THE SIDEWALK. If he was armed, and meant to harm the child-pornography sharing Trayvon (you know, all those photos of naked 14 and 15 year old girls on his mobile phone)why did he let the illegal gun seller (those photos of guns and the emails to buy and sell them, also on his phone) pound his head like that? Was that just a trick, a ploy, so Zimmerman could shoot KO Trayvon (the one punch phenom liked bragging about punching people in the face) and create the illusion it was in self defense?

        I bet you think OJ was really innocent too, right?

        Oops that was suppose to be “pinning his arms to the ground with his knees”

        Sharpshooter in reply to darkknight3565. | October 3, 2014 at 3:55 am

        Excuse me?

        Were you repeatedly dropped on your head as a child, or instead, did you have to go through years of state schools indoctrination, with your nose up someones butt, to achieve such stupidity?

        Tell you what; go troll somewhere else and come back when you get into junior high school. And tell your handlers that, despite what they told you, opinions based on fantasies are not worthwhile for our attention.

    Ragspierre in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 11:58 am

    And you’ll continue to be fatally stupid.

    Do you remember what Taafe said in his testimony at trial? Under oath?


    Are you a troll, or just a blithering fucking idiot? You know what, just for the sake of argument, let’s say Zimmerman DID “profile” Martin and follow him? So fucking what? Does that justify a sucker punch to the face and bashing his head into the ground? Absolutely not. That wanna-be thug got what he deserved and punk ass bitches like you had better constrain your little fantasies to the keyboard or you might one day find the same fate. Fuck you.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Please provide a link to your assertion regarding Mr. Taafe and his statements. Here we deal with facts and evidence and yes sometimes best guesses based on facts and assertions, not unsubstantiated statements that seem to run contrary to fact.

      Taafe may very well have made such statements. He’s a nut, and nuts say all kinds of crazy things.

      Heck, some people even believe in catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming.

      I notice that he didn’t say any of this under oath, subject to cross examination, when it might have mattered. Things that make you go, hmmmm.

      Some people simply can’t wrap their minds around the reality that committing aggravated assault upon an armed man may get them shot dead.

      Shrug. Cognitive ability is on a bell curve, just like most everything else.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | October 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm

        I don’t recall Taafe being called as a witness by EITHER side.

        Which, if that’s true, is a VERY suggestive observation.


          Taafe did NOT testify at trial. I’m not even aware of him being deposed.

          Frankly, is there even any record of Zimmerman referring to Taafe as a “friend,” or is even that just another product of Taafe’s hunger for attention?

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | October 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm

          Precisely my point.

          The guy is a froot-loop of the first water, and the State and defense avoided him like the plague.

          ALSO, he was the devil incarnate to the moonbattery until…smear Zimmerman, at which point he’s the soul of veracity.

          Sad, really…

    platypus in reply to darkknight3565. | October 2, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Your sarcasm effort might work if there was a drop of truth in it.

    We’d like to help you out – which way did you come in?

    (note to professor – this ain’t the White House; lock the door!)

    The only reason Zimmerman was brought to trial is because Tyrant Obama the Liar and his reelection campaign decided to use this case to lie their way into power. Hitler used the Jews stir up hatred and motivate the German people into giving him political power. Tyrant Obama the Liar persecuted Zimmerman to make Blacks hate and vote for him.

“…He took a black girl to the prom. His best buddy was a black guy. He mentored two black kids. He sought justice for a black homeless man beaten up by a white cop’s son.”

And the Justice Department and the media still carried on. The rest of us would have been screwed.

Another Voice | October 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm

The statement by Eric Holder on the perpetuation of an ongoing investigation is at the heart of what makes Holders position as A.G even more egregious than the convicted A.G. Mitchell. The legacy of Holder for turning our countries judicial system into a political appendage of the executive with no limitations, not even a prosecution on the charge of contempt, using a race card as a “get out of jail” free card.

So, Martin followed Zimmerman, mounted a surprise attack, then proceeded to assault him on the ground. Unfortunately, there are people today who still wish that Martin had murdered Zimmerman.

    Ragspierre in reply to n.n. | October 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Well, another outcome would be for Zimmerman to have been reduced to a vegetable for the rest of his life, or confined to a wheelchair.

      It’s possible, even likely, that Martin would not have stopped the assault of his own volition, which would have produced one of two outcomes: abortion or vegetable.

      However, I am referring to the response of the mob following the incident, not Martin’s actions throughout. The mob not only did not demonstrate concern for collateral damage, but to this day still wonder what if. What if it was Zimmerman and not Martin… that lay dead on the ground.

      If it was an isolated response, then it could be dismissed as happenstance; but, we know that this is a recurring theme, which is selectively elevated to exquisite focus, and other times left – properly – to the local jurisdiction.

Thank God that Zim was not a white anglo male.
He’d be in the slammer for sure.
Sad times we live in.

Interesting how this also comes to light AFTER Eric Holder decides to resign.

Dare I say, “That’s mighty white of them to drop the charges”?

Henry Hawkins | October 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm

If you’re hunting ducks, they make duck calls for that. But if you’re hunting trolls, just post ‘Zimmerman’ anywhere in the blogosphere.

While the Zimmerman/Martin Circus was playing in Florida, three young black thugs beat a white teen to death up North. I’m sure we all remember the massive media coverage this got, right?

White kills black = Media feeding frenzy plus wall-to-wall racists popping out of the woodwork.
Black kills white = “Yawn.”

How in the world did we get to this place?

“In other news, water wet, fire hot, self-defense against felony aggressor lawful”

Awwww, you left out Women have secrets and sky blue, lol.

First and foremost it astonishes me that some people still want to rehash the TM shooting itself. Especially here at LI. Over done, not guilty. I do however, have to admit seeing the GZ photos again bothered me. The blood and the look on his face! I just hope he can find some kind of normality someday. This DOJ decision is another step towards that. I am glad to finally see it happen.