So when Bill Cosby was recently asked about the Martin/Zimmerman incident, his reply was this:
“We’ve got to get the gun out of the hands of people who are supposed to be on neighborhood watch,” said Mr. Cosby, whose remarks were the first he has made publicly about the case.
“Without a gun, I don’t see Mr. Zimmerman approaching Trayvon by himself,” Mr. Cosby explained. “The power-of-the-gun mentality had him unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations.
“When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody,” he said.
There is so much fail in this statement, I will have to tackle it a piece at a time. I have so far tried to remain mostly silent on this case, because we all know that the press lies to sell more advertising, and we don’t have all of the evidence, but I simply must weigh in here.
1 Zimmerman was not on “neighborhood watch” at the time of the shooting. According to his statements, he was on his way to Target when he spotted someone walking in the rain behind a row of houses. This made him suspicious, so he called police.
2 Also according to Zimmerman’s statements, it was Travon Martin who approached George Zimmerman and initiated the contact. Before Martin’s approach, Zimmerman was simply following him. Martin approached Zimmerman, initiated contact and then punched Zimmerman in the head, knocking him to the ground. Once Zimmerman was on the ground, Martin sat on top of Zimmerman’s chest and began pounding Zimmerman’s head into the pavement.
Even though the only witnesses to the incident only saw things from the point in time where Zimmerman was on the ground with Martin on top of him and didn’t see what started the altercation, the ones who have come forward have not contradicted Zimmerman’s account. Zimmerman’s account of this event is also supported by the physical evidence: There were cuts on Zimmerman’s head, and grass on his shirt. Witnesses heard someone yelling for help, and this can also be heard on the 911 tape. According to the funeral director (who is admittedly not a forensic examiner), there were no signs of a struggle on Martin’s body, aside from the gunshot wound. However, we know from witness statements and from the screams on the 911 tape that Martin was involved in a physical altercation with Zimmerman.
If you are in a struggle where someone can be heard screaming for help, but you are not uninjured in that struggle, that indicates that you are the aggressor. For, again according to witnesses, one man was sitting on the other, and the one on top was seen striking the one on the bottom. It is unlikely that the one on the top is the one screaming for help. This all seems to support Zimmerman’s account of events.
The only question here is in who initiated the altercation. Did it go down like Zimmerman claimed? Or did Zimmerman initiate the fight? The police questioned Zimmerman immediately following the shooting, and have done so on multiple occasions since. Even though he had no knowledge of what the other witnesses had to say, and very little time to work on a story, no glaring inconsistencies have emerged. Lies are seldom this airtight. I lean towards believing that Zimmerman’s story is the truth. Until and unless something else is revealed to contradict this chain of events, I think this was a lawful use of lethal force in self defense.
3 I carry a gun. I do not carry a gun so I can kill people. I carry a gun to protect myself from the unlawful initiation of force by others. You do not have to worry about my gun unless you intend on attacking me. I suppose Mr. Cosby would be happier if Martin had simply pounded Zimmerman’s head into the concrete and given him a brain injury, like what happened to this guy.
Many have tried to say that “Stand your Ground” is at fault here. That is incorrect. Stand your ground simply says that I do not have to run away before defending myself. Even if that law did not exist, there are only two possibilities here:
Either Zimmerman initiated the fight, which would not entitle him to the claim of self defense at all; or
Martin initiated the fight, which with Martin sitting on his chest, made it impossible for Zimmerman to attempt to flee.