Streams

Racial Profiling, Stand Your Ground, Injustice in the Trayvon Martin Case

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It’s been two years since an unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in July.

Legal analyst Lisa Bloom covered the trial for NBC. In her book Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It she discusses covering the trial and outlines what she sees as the major mistakes made by the state of Florida that guaranteed it would lose the case. Bloom tells Leonard in this interview that the prosecution blundered by downplaying the issue of race in the courtroom when it should have been central. “I believe racial profiling is at the heart of the case, not only for Zimmerman, but for the police who did a lax job of investigating the case, for the jury, and I have new info from the jury room that substantiates this, from the judge who didn’t want anyone to talk about racial profiling even though it was so obviously a part of the case,” said Bloom. “Not just in that courtroom, but for all of us.”

Guests:

Lisa Bloom

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Comments [40]

@Steve

So what...

Your outlining a reasonable response of Mr. M to Mr. Z's assault does not make Mr. Z's action not an assault.(You will contend that Mr. Z had no intent to harm, and I will respond that how was Mr. M supposed to know that)

What kept Mr. Z from being charged for the assault - illegally following someone and making them fearful for their person is clearly defined by the FL statute - was the fact that Mr. M was dead and dead men tell no tales.

That's the biggest problem with 'Stand Your Ground'. It increases the impetus to be 'the last man standing' which can only increase the amount of blood spilled.

Feb. 27 2014 01:30 PM
Steve

@MarkInAstoria,
"feel the same way had the human been a black man shooting a white teenager?"

YouTube the Roderick Scott case. I would like to read your views on it.

Feb. 27 2014 12:54 PM

I haven't yet heard the interview. But as usual the comments section brings waves of nausea, as a reminder of how racist and small-minded the apologists/defenders are.

An unarmed teenaged black male was murdered by an aggressive, bigoted, and spineless young man, who's father just happened to be a local magistrate. He wasn't even held by the local police station, who had instructed him on a phone call to back off from the incident. The guy had just MURDERED someone. The whole thing stinks to high heaven. There's only one person in this incident who could be perceived as a thug, that is by anyone with at least half a brain and a whole beating heart. Put it this way, would those of you defending this lout, who is now prostituting himself out for "celebrity" boxing, feel the same way had the human been a black man shooting a white teenager?

And what's with the bogus, nonsensical RW meme repeated here by two different posters, the half-witted analogy that the incident is like two people coming together in a car crash? It doesn't even make sense. But then again rarely do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glen Beck, from whom such inanity no doubt emanates, either.

Make no mistake there's a New Jim Crow afoot for some time now, if it ever went away at all. A conveniently forgotten passage of American history is that period after Reconstruction in which the South in effect through its bitterness at losing the war and having their free labor taken away found other ways to enslave and abuse the black population through harsh laws. Today it's Stop & Frisk and the school-to-prison pipeline, then it was vagrancy laws and prison debtors. "Slavery By Another Name" is a film everyone should see to really understand the effects of the long-standing ugly psyche of white supremacy and its breeding of black inferiority through subjugation. It explains the underlying sediment to a race problem that still hasn't been resolved with an honest national discussion.

Defenders of this bigoted coward are sickening.

Feb. 26 2014 11:30 PM
Roy from queens

@Steve Roy, how did Zimmerman attack the young man? Please explain.

Steve, I didn't post Zimmerman attacked Martin. I was giving a general example while having an educated guess based on the FACT Zimmerman approached Martin FIRST, despite being told not to. So, don't defend a fool, okay?

Feb. 26 2014 05:37 PM
Gabbo

This is a simple case of 2 dummies coming together into a car crash. Here’s all you need to know. Trayvon dies 25 yards from Zimm’s car, a distance he can cover in less than 5 seconds! His house is 100 yards away. Yet, the fight happens 4 minutes after Zimm gets out of his car. 2 of the 4 minutes, Zimm is still on phone with police and 2 minutes that Trayvon is on the phone with his “gf”. Timeline, Ballistics, and Logistics are all Zimm’s side. He’s a grade A moron, but Zimm is still innocent of murder. And anyone who supports Trayvon is also a moron. It’s an open/shut case.

Feb. 26 2014 04:58 PM
Steve

Roy, how did Zimmerman attack the young man? Please explain.

Feb. 26 2014 03:39 PM
Roy from Queens

@Steve @Roy I'm not in the Zimmerman fan club. I despise wannabe cops but Zimmerman man didn't break the law by following. The reason he became the wannabe cop of his community was because his neighbors were robbed continually and the police couldn't really help. He set up a bad scenario by being a a pretend cop but the young man attacked him with violence. That's just a fact.

You're making no sense. If someone I don't know comes to me and attacks me, don't I have the right to defend myself? Zimmerman's no police officer, so why, unless Zimmerman was courteous, should Martin acknowledge him as a person of authority? The REAL COPS should have been involved.

Feb. 26 2014 03:37 PM
Steve

@Roy
For me the use of the phrase "white hispanic" is fascinating. Why would the NY TIMES use such a description? Only one reason, to fan the flames and get views.

I feel the media trolled people into a race uproar that didn't exist in this case. Most people got trolled. It was brilliant & disgusting troll job by the media.

Feb. 26 2014 03:17 PM
Steve

@Sheldon

You didn't really answer my question whether someone has a right to beat another person with their hands that's standing 20 paces away, even following like a paparazzi.

I didn't understand your comment.

Feb. 26 2014 03:05 PM
Steve

@RUCB_Alum

Mr.M: What you following me for?
Mr. Z: Why are you circling houses?
Mr.M: I'm not but it's none of your business.
Mr. Z: I'm calling the cops.
Mr. M: Fine call the cops.

Feb. 26 2014 03:02 PM
Steve

@Roy I'm not in the Zimmerman fan club. I despise wannabe cops but Zimmerman man didn't break the law by following. The reason he became the wannabe cop of his community was because his neighbors were robbed continually and the police couldn't really help. He set up a bad scenario by being a a pretend cop but the young man attacked him with violence. That's just a fact.

Feb. 26 2014 02:54 PM
Roy from Queens

@Roger from New York
Some of the comments posted here serve to confirm why Martin was murdered and why Zimmerman was acquitted - and why this sort of tragedy will continue to happen. Many people just don't want to listen to the intelligent analysis presented by Lisa Bloom. The beauty of a show like this one is that we all have a chance to learn from someone who has done a great deal of careful analysis into the case and has the expertise to understand the legal nuances. She presented new information as well stemming from her own conversations with a key witness. But many people don't want to listen to rational discourse, or may be dominated by their own prejudices. In the end, Bloom may have been too optimistic. No solutions are evident to deeply embedded racial bias coupled with an obsession with guns - a combination which makes the US stand out in the world.@

Thank you, Roger. Glad someone noticed that whenever there's a racial issue, the oppressors act like they're victims of the people they have animosity towards and type horse manure. They're just like high school bullies who don't like it when the nerds fight back...sad...

Feb. 26 2014 02:00 PM
Roger from New York

Some of the comments posted here serve to confirm why Martin was murdered and why Zimmerman was acquitted - and why this sort of tragedy will continue to happen. Many people just don't want to listen to the intelligent analysis presented by Lisa Bloom. The beauty of a show like this one is that we all have a chance to learn from someone who has done a great deal of careful analysis into the case and has the expertise to understand the legal nuances. She presented new information as well stemming from her own conversations with a key witness. But many people don't want to listen to rational discourse, or may be dominated by their own prejudices. In the end, Bloom may have been too optimistic. No solutions are evident to deeply embedded racial bias coupled with an obsession with guns - a combination which makes the US stand out in the world.

Feb. 26 2014 01:53 PM
Jonathan Dowell from Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Despite in agreement with much of what Ms. Bloom said in her interview today, after listening to her promote her book about the Trayvon Martin case, it just felt like she is a sheltered elitist writing books that receive praise from other sheltered elitists. What I often heard in media reports about the Trayvon Martin case is members of the Black community implying, or saying outright, that young black men have the right to be verbally abusive, physically threatening, or both, toward anyone who confronts them without justification. What if Trayvon Marin had responded to George Zimmerman by saying that he meant no harm, that he lived nearby, and was just in a hurry to get home so he cut through the development Zimmerman was patrolling? All accounts seem to suggest that Trayvon's immediate reaction was hostile and could reasonably have been perceived as threatening. And why would it be otherwise when many people are telling young Black men that they have the right to react this way if they feel they are being treated unfairly? George Zimmerman was the adult in the situation and deserves virtually all the blame. Everything he did contributed to the tragic end to the confrontation. If there a standart vetting process for all neighborhood watch candidates, Zimmerman would have failed abjectly. Talk to any person (of any race or gender) who has been assaulted, mugged, or raped by a large, physically imposing man (of any race!): Many of them have a surprising degree of sympathy for their attackers. These people do not need an opportunist like Lisa Bloom to increase the anger and mistrust in society. And I'm afraid that this is exactly what her book, according to the law of unintended consequences, will end up doing. Shame on WNYC for having such an obvious self-promoter as a guest on such a wonderful show!

Feb. 26 2014 01:33 PM
Estelle from Brooklyn

A laptop is not a life. Zimmmerman following Martin the way he did was not justified. He had called 911 and was told to back off. That's what he should have done. He wasn't tailing a murderer.

Feb. 26 2014 01:29 PM
Roy from Queens

@Steve For me this tragic case if very clear. A wannabe cop was given a right to carry license and he collided with a young man that was a tough guy. It was like a car accident with two bad drivers. Legally, Zimmerman did nothing wrong yet most of the blame was on him. The screams were Zimmerman's. Also, he did profile but he profiled by age, dress and race --looking for the type of teenager that broke into his neighbor's homes and stole a laptop.
It's hard to prove that someone didn't fear for their life and Roderick Scott also was deemed innocent and was never even touched, let alone beaten, by the boy he shot.

I find this author is off the mark and biased. It's so important NOT to give a wannabe cop the right to carry. However, at the end of the day no one has the right to put their hands on you.

If that's true, why the hell did Zimmerman had the COMMON SENSE to leave Martin alone to the REAL COPS to handle him or asked him what he was doing in the area in a polite way? Can anyone who's in Zimmerman's fan club answer that?

It's like the recent Michael Dunn case. If you have a gun to defend yourself and you have NO CLUE if some "thug" has one or not, why start trouble to begin with? Instead, every wing-nut wants to be Raylan Givens from "Justified", and I like that show. I also know it's not real.

Feb. 26 2014 01:27 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@Steve, As a defender on the second amendment, I have no problem with shooting someone that is getting the crap beaten out of them but you are not a lawyer.

That's why I believe, if Trevorn Martin had a gun that night, he may still be alive.

Feb. 26 2014 01:24 PM

@Steve

"It's against the law to put your hands on another person and beat them. Even if they follow you at 20 paces away. Yes, Zimmerman was playing cops and robbers but he committed no crime."

Mr. Bad and I have gone over whether simply following someone is enough to constitute assault. I say yes, Mr. B says no. Here's the Florida statute : An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

Mr. Z assaulted Mr. M. Mr. M's battery of Mr. Z was not a reasonable response but pulling a gun to stop the beating is a predictable sequela. In another venue, if I attack you because I think you are going to jump me, it's called the Bush Doctrine

Feb. 26 2014 01:19 PM

@john from office

"African Americans are to blame for the perception that they do more crime then other groups, some even like the image. Gangsta culture exist."

If you think that so-called 'gangsta culture' is the origin of America's perception of African Americans as criminals you are more naïve than I would have expected. Are you over 21?

Also, blaming the victim is not cool but you keep it right up.

Feb. 26 2014 01:04 PM
Steve

@Sheldon from Brooklyn...It's against the law to put your hands on another person and beat them. Even if they follow you at 20 paces away. Yes, Zimmerman was playing cops and robbers but he committed no crime.

Feb. 26 2014 01:01 PM
john from office

Wow, blacks are being hunted down by evil whites. I guess they don't do any crime, have great families and never ever gang bang.

Ms. Bloom is a white liberal bleeding all over the studio floor.

African Americans are to blame for the perception that they do more crime then other groups, some even like the image. Gangsta culture exist.

Feb. 26 2014 12:51 PM
Steve

For me this tragic case if very clear. A wannabe cop was given a right to carry license and he collided with a young man that was a tough guy. It was like a car accident with two bad drivers. Legally, Zimmerman did nothing wrong yet most of the blame was on him. The screams were Zimmerman's. Also, he did profile but he profiled by age, dress and race --looking for the type of teenager that broke into his neighbor's homes and stole a laptop.
It's hard to prove that someone didn't fear for their life and Roderick Scott also was deemed innocent and was never even touched, let alone beaten, by the boy he shot.

I find this author is off the mark and biased. It's so important NOT to give a wannabe cop the right to carry. However, at the end of the day no one has the right to put their hands on you.

Feb. 26 2014 12:47 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

"young, black men rob,mug and threaten people more than any other demographic, by far.."

Bernie: Do you know that for a fact? I'm sure you don't. And you are being disingenuous with your "obviously, trayvon martin was not a criminal and was killed for no reason. Based on your quote above, obviously he was.

I'm not going to be P.C. Is it a perception, rightly or wrongly, that a disproportionate amount of urban street crime that may be committed by men that happen to be black? Absolutely. Do there men commit these crimes because they are black, or because of other factors? Poor parenting?

You can make the same argument about any other ethnic group and "other types" of crime, yet no one will blame the entire group.

Feb. 26 2014 12:46 PM

Sorry, Leonard, the likelihood of a stop and frisk is higher in Newark (some reports say ten times higher!) but NYC holds the worldwide record for stop and frisks!

Get the lead right.

Feb. 26 2014 12:45 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Judtin (Justin?), Ms. Bloom said the gun was in a holster in the back of his pants, not in his hand, so no, Trayvon Martin didn't see it in his hand.

John, please say what evidence you're talking about.

bernie, what are the statistics behind your "by far" statement, & what's your source?

Feb. 26 2014 12:44 PM

150 years of considering African-Americans to be skels, perps, pimps, hoes, gangstas, etc. Minority cultures are often made to carry the burden of 'the other' and are easily stereotyped as 'criminal'.

You could be from Mars but spend six weeks in America and you'll suspect Black people, too.

Black people commit a lot of violent crimes but they do not commit all the violent crimes. Some folks have a tough time accepting that...

Feb. 26 2014 12:42 PM
sanych

In what type of neighborhood does Mrs. Bloom live???

Feb. 26 2014 12:35 PM
Amy from Manhattan

If the prosecution didn't charge George Zimmerman w/manslaughter, he was acquitted only of murder. Couldn't he still be charged w/manslaughter? Doesn't the prohibition of double jeopardy apply only to the charge he was acquitted on? Or did the DA just decide not to bring a separate charge of manslaughter after the 1st trial?

I didn't think there would be a guilty verdict because no one but the 2 people involved saw clearly what actually happened. But I didn't know the prosecution would fail to even object to a witness's being asked about an unrelated incident w/people who just happened to look like the victim.

And Leonard, I have to say that I think your joking mention of "stand your ground" during the pledge break was inappropriate.

Feb. 26 2014 12:31 PM

Zimmerman was overcharged. A manslaughter case was 'winnable'. The murder case was not. Was the overcharge incompetence or ambivalence for the 'facts of the case'? We'll never. However, from this side of the story, I'd lean toward ambivalence. The outcome in the more recent Dunn case restores some of my belief that justice is blind in Florida.

Feb. 26 2014 12:28 PM
sanych

Like mother, like daughter.

Vaulchers...

Feb. 26 2014 12:27 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I don't know if Zimmerman is or was a bona-fide racist. I do know that he was and is a sociopath that stalked an innocent man to his death.

The tragedy is, the way Zimmerman's supporters and some right wingers, leveraged many in this country's resentment of young black men, by retroactively and successfully making Trevorn Martin out to be a "thug" because he may have done innocuous things like "smoking pot" in the past.

Feb. 26 2014 12:24 PM
bernie from bklyn

obviously, trayvon martin was not a criminal and was killed for no reason. but we have to address the bigger question- why are people scared and suspicious of young black men in this country? is it because all people (black people included) are racist and mean spirited? or are there reasons why people feel this way, even if it is irrational in most cases? can we ever address the bigger picture? young, black men rob,mug and threaten people more than any other demographic, by far, and that's a fact. can we ever address this without it turning into a black/white issue?

Feb. 26 2014 12:23 PM
John from Bklyn

It would be socially and professionally incorrect for Lisa Bloom to agree with the jury’s verdict.

She does not address evidence indicating that Trayvon probably was an active burglar who might have been casing the homes.

Also, her description of Zimmerman’s injuries are downright deceptive.

Feb. 26 2014 12:23 PM
John from Bklyn

It would be socially and professionally incorrect for Lisa Bloom to agree with the jury’s verdict.

She does not address evidence indicating that Trayvon probably was an active burglar who might have been casing the homes.

Also, her description of Zimmerman’s injuries are downright deceptive.

Feb. 26 2014 12:22 PM
George from Manhattan

Racism is still alive here on this board and in Florida apparently.

Feb. 26 2014 12:19 PM
Judtin from Brooklyn

So she thinks Trayvon Martin saw Zimmerman
With a gun in his hand and then punched
him?

Feb. 26 2014 12:18 PM

Zimmermans father was a va supreme magistrate.
How did that influence the justice system in favor of George.

Feb. 26 2014 12:17 PM
oscar from ny

I was extremely happy when o.j Simpson, Casey Anthony and Zimmerman were acquiteed

Feb. 26 2014 12:13 PM
The Truth from Becky

No point in debating this issue again, she is just trying to sell a book containing her one sided opinion.

Feb. 26 2014 12:12 PM
The Truth from Becky

Strategically released on the second anniversary of the crime.

Feb. 26 2014 12:11 PM

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