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PUBLIC OPINION > The Zimmerman Controversy Is Going Too Far

News 2012/04/02 21:00:00
George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin on February 26, and it took about one month for the case to reach the national spotlight. Now it's easily the most controversial item in the daily news, dividing the public at every turn. In addition to the ambiguous details surrounding the shooting, a big part of the controversy concerns its racial implications. Some suspect Zimmerman attacked Martin because of his race, and as a result the case has taken on elements reminiscent of the Rodney King case in 1991. There's even a Twitter movement called #KillZimmerman demanding street justice. We asked the public if this is getting out of hand.



No one is short on an opinion when it comes to this case, but most people can agree that the whole thing is getting just a little out of hand. One thing we noticed from both sides of the argument was a finger pointed at the media. The Top Opinion read, "Newspapers and television news don't care whether or not [Zimmerman] might be innocent or guilty so long as it drives ratings up, they'd dance for joy while America burned if they got ratings." Sadly, it's probably true. Very little has been confirmed about the case, but the media has done an excellent job at recklessly speculating.

The Dividing Line

Obviously, there was a fine political line between the left and the right; liberals tend to give Martin the benefit of the doubt, and conservatives tend to give Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt. However, a third of liberals agreed the opposition against Zimmerman is going too far. It's one thing to take Martin's side, but resorting to further violence will only aggravate tensions further.

College Controversy

One of the only non-political demographics that came close to justifying the level of controversy was college students. It could be that the issue is being tossed around at greater velocity in university classrooms, where debate is generally encouraged. High school students did not feel the same.

More Women Want Resolution

Beyond politics and the classroom, there was very little difference of opinion. We suspected men would be more willing to continue the controversy, and that was true, but only by a small margin. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what side of the fence you're on. Most people just want to take it down a notch.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about George Zimmerman. We'd love to hear from you!
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  • Mr. Won... BBoy le... 2012/05/27 00:33:25
    Mr. Wonderful
    +1
    NBC today is reporting that three witnesses that had originally supported Zimmerman's version have now switched their stories. Will be an interesting trial when it starts, probably early next year.
  • M Mosta... Mr. Won... 2012/06/11 15:26:08
    M Mostayen Billah Al Faysal
    Zimmerman did that to save himself... Its ok to do that for every human being
  • Mr. Won... M Mosta... 2012/06/11 21:53:17
    Mr. Wonderful
    Your concept is typical, but actually is total ignorance of the law. You can't first follow somebody in a car, get out and start chasing them on foot, then get it a fight with them, end up on the losing end of the fight then pull a gun and murder them then claim self-defense. All the things Zimmerman did. That isn't self-defense. Watch the trial, watch the judge instruct the jury on the law regarding second degree murder and watch Zimmerman get found guilty.

    There is no intervening cause in this case.

    Zimmerman will be held responsible BECAUSE he Zimmerman showed negligent and reckless conduct (chasing down an unarmed person with a loaded gun) .

    It is the CHASE that Zimmerman instigated that is the proximate cause of the resulting death. This means that Zimmerman's conduct played a substantial part in bringing about and directly causing Martin's death.

    You can't claim well I got in a fight with him and he was beating me up so I shot him before he killed me. No, if you weren't a world class moron playing cop with a loaded gun none of this would have happened.

    The point is a reasonable person knows or should have known if you start chasing a stranger, catch up with him, confront him and perhaps attempt to restrain him that that person will resist and you might end up in some kind...
    Your concept is typical, but actually is total ignorance of the law. You can't first follow somebody in a car, get out and start chasing them on foot, then get it a fight with them, end up on the losing end of the fight then pull a gun and murder them then claim self-defense. All the things Zimmerman did. That isn't self-defense. Watch the trial, watch the judge instruct the jury on the law regarding second degree murder and watch Zimmerman get found guilty.

    There is no intervening cause in this case.

    Zimmerman will be held responsible BECAUSE he Zimmerman showed negligent and reckless conduct (chasing down an unarmed person with a loaded gun) .

    It is the CHASE that Zimmerman instigated that is the proximate cause of the resulting death. This means that Zimmerman's conduct played a substantial part in bringing about and directly causing Martin's death.

    You can't claim well I got in a fight with him and he was beating me up so I shot him before he killed me. No, if you weren't a world class moron playing cop with a loaded gun none of this would have happened.

    The point is a reasonable person knows or should have known if you start chasing a stranger, catch up with him, confront him and perhaps attempt to restrain him that that person will resist and you might end up in some kind of a struggle. Bringing a loaded gun to that situtation puts the full weight the law on you, the idiot stupid enough to instigate this whole stupid chain of events.
    (more)
  • adam ggg M Mosta... 2012/04/04 05:23:49
    adam ggg
    +4
    If you start a fight with someone and they start kicking your ass... it doesn't matter if they worship Satan and swear at Nuns. If you pull out a gun and shoot the guy you started a fight with, you need to go have your colon checked in prison. It is just that simple.
  • Mr. Won... adam ggg 2012/04/04 20:50:06 (edited)
  • Miss UT 2012/04/04 02:14:48
    Miss UT
    +3
    Where do I vote???? Public outcry is the only thing that is keeping this out in the open...otherwise it would have been swept under the rug a long time ago...just like the police dept tried to do.
  • joe mauro 2012/04/04 02:12:49
    joe mauro
    +2
    this is the tip of the iceberg in florida,when the police or security people are the boss and not the law you have all the earmarks of a police state thats the whole point who is the boss the cop or the law?When and where the cop is the boss injustice is commonly the result!
  • ur XLNC-PWCM 2012/04/04 02:12:43
    ur XLNC-PWCM
    +3
    Yes, it is. NBC has a LOT to answer for with their editing of the actual recording. The people that weighed in and the way they weighed in AND the particular individuals that weighed in, BASED ON THE RACIST EDITING, should ALL be thrown in jail for trying to incite a lynch-mob mentality.
  • Mr. Won... ur XLNC... 2012/04/04 03:26:11 (edited)
    Mr. Wonderful
    +4
    Oh look... another conservative distorting the truth. How typical. NBC did what every tv network does every day. EDIT. The way the right wing loons are barking at the moon they try to make it sound criminal or something. All NBC did, was are you ready... take out what the 911 dispatcher said. Now why would they do that? Because what matters is what ZIMMERMAN said. Besides, nobody is hiding anything. The 8 911 tapes in their full unedited version are on the Sanford web site. Now calm down by stroking your picture of Rush Limbaugh or whatever else right wing nuts do when not bitching.
  • ur XLNC... Mr. Won... 2012/04/04 13:38:41
    ur XLNC-PWCM
    +1
    YOU are the presumptuous one.
  • adam ggg ur XLNC... 2012/04/04 05:27:18
    adam ggg
    +3
    Rofl... you did listen to the original which they edited? In the non-edited version it still didn't change the fact that the 911 dispatcher told him not to follow, but he did. He followed, a fight broke out, Zimmerman brought a gun to a skittles and iced tea fight. I hope Trayvon got in a few good shots before getting shot, but true justice will come when Zimmerman is getting his oil checked by his new cellmate.
  • ur XLNC... adam ggg 2012/04/04 13:36:38
    ur XLNC-PWCM
    +1
    I am NOT suggesting that Zimmerman is innocent! I am suggesting that the Black Panthers, Sharpton, and Jackson and everybody that wants to lynch up Zimmerman NEED TO BACK OFF! The dispatcher asked a question regarding a description and NBC edited to spin these jerks up. It needs to be determined whether Zimmerman was ambushed or not. This would not have occurred, if he would not have followed or exited his vehicle.
  • Mr. Won... ur XLNC... 2012/04/04 20:57:11
  • ur XLNC... Mr. Won... 2012/04/05 03:30:04
    ur XLNC-PWCM
    You aren't worth responding to.
  • Mr. Won... ur XLNC... 2012/04/05 03:36:32
    Mr. Wonderful
    More right wing blather. How typical once you're painted into a corner.
  • ur XLNC... Mr. Won... 2012/04/05 03:41:08
    ur XLNC-PWCM
    I don't feel like I'm painted into a corner. In order for YOU to achieve such an accomplishment, you would have to say something that had some validity. You haven't. You refuse to use facts!
  • Mr. Won... ur XLNC... 2012/04/05 03:50:54
    Mr. Wonderful
    Wow, that didn't take long... especially after you just finished saying I wasn't worth responding to. Giggles. You right wingers are all alike. Ignorant as the day is long. I quoted from the actual police reports. That would be factual. As anyone else done that? If so, I didn't see that post.

    What I find sad and also insulting is it seems just about every last right winger posting on this topic wants to cut Zimmerman all kinds of slack. Why is that? Are you also racists, and bigots? Sure seems that way since you defend a stupid doofus that killed a kid in cold blood for no reason, then if that isn't bad enough you're the ones trying to manufacture all kinds of lame excuses why it might have been alright to Zimmerman to shoot. Pathetic. Shameful, but hey, you're right wingers. That's kind of conduct is expected from your crowd. Just look how you clods shamelessly attack Obama and engage in hateful remarks about him from everything from his name, to his birth certificte and religion.
  • ur XLNC... Mr. Won... 2012/04/05 13:45:24
  • david colon 2012/04/04 01:22:02
    david colon
    +1
    Two wrongs don't make a right!!!!
  • Robin B 2012/04/04 01:05:12
    Robin B
    +4
    Totally out of bounds, leave it up to the race batters like Al Jessie and the new black panthers. I seem to remember the same battle cry against 6 Duke Lacrosse players that turned out to be the innocent victims of a lier.
  • Mr. Won... Robin B 2012/04/04 03:30:35
    Mr. Wonderful
    +3
    Get real. Rush limbaugh, your hero, lies 3 hours a day, every day and you right wingers clap. And talk about editing, Limbaugh is the king of editing trying to deliberately try to distort almost every piece of audio tape he uses. Oh... that's different, right?
  • Robin B Mr. Won... 2012/04/05 02:27:45
    Robin B
    Difficult to stay on topic when you can't support your rant!
  • Mr. Won... Robin B 2012/04/05 03:37:48 (edited)
    Mr. Wonderful
    The only ones ranting are right wingers and gun nuts. Which are you, both?
  • Robin B Mr. Won... 2012/04/05 05:44:01
    Robin B
    Name calling how classic.
  • adam ggg Robin B 2012/04/04 05:30:24
    adam ggg
    +4
    So Zimmerman had a right to kill that kid? Even if Trayvon was beating his thick head into the pavement... did Zimmerman have the right to stalk the kid and start the altercation which 911 dispatchers told him not to do? If Zimmerman had died of a broken skull... it would have been self defense. Zimmerman had the gun. Zimmerman seems to be implying that he forgot he was armed while chasing a kid down at night.
  • Mr. Won... adam ggg 2012/04/04 21:05:00 (edited)
    Mr. Wonderful
    Even that part of Zimmerman's story is fishy. One reporter on the scene forget whom made a very astute observation a few nights ago. Martin's body was found face down, his hands under his body, facing 180 degree away from the sidewalk. If we're going to assume till we know better Martin was on top of Zimmerman as one witness suggests and Zimmerman from underneath shoots him, he logically would fall backwards and land on his back. There is one part of a video tape that lasts a second or two that clearly shows Martin's body in the grass facing away from the sidewalk. Out of respect to the family I think they stopped showing it. It was on both CBS and CNN.

    Question #1 how does Martin's body end up face down?

    Question #2 how does Martin's head end up end facing away form the sidewalk if he was pounding Zimmerman's head into it?
  • Robin B adam ggg 2012/04/05 02:30:37
    Robin B
    I don't know, nor do you. I will wait for the facts, you should try it.
  • Leek Hototrot 2012/04/04 00:58:58
    Leek Hototrot
    +2
    What are your numbers for each group interviewed? Numbers can always be skewed to make a point. This just looks like in this group more conservatives were interviewed, and more conservative women were interviewed than anyone else.
  • Mr. Won... Leek Ho... 2012/04/04 03:32:41
    Mr. Wonderful
    +6
    SoadHead is so slanted to the right if it was a boat it would like this:
    titantic
  • Badger 2012/04/04 00:10:05
    Badger
    +2
    Innocent until proven guilty that is the law. At this point I seriously doubt he will get a fair trail because the media has figuratively allowed the public to lynched him.

    I am not on the jury I do not have the facts of the matter, so I delay judgement on the person. The incident is a tragedy in and of itself, that fact that "race" is being used is just sad.

    The concept of race was created by people as a means to subjugate and dehumanize others. To use race for any reason just reenforces this concept and justification of inhumanity to fellow humans.

    Humanity will always find a justification to be cruel and kill; generally via some subjective concept (religion, race, sex. etc)
  • bigfoot 2012/04/04 00:03:35
    bigfoot
    +5
    it is only going too far because the Sanford Police did not or were prevented from doing their job.Zim belongs in jail charged until proven otherwise with murder.my personal opinion is Zim is guilty of murder.Zim with out that gun was a coward.Zim tried to intimidate Trayvon because Zim was more mature,had the gun and larger than Tray.Zim miscalculated what fear can do to a 17 year old skinny 140 lb football player,who believes at that age,a man doesn't run.it also indicates to Me,Tray did not know Zim had the gun.Zim knowing he has his gun,is Very Aggressive in his questioning.to the point that Tray is frighten to the point of Feeling the need to protect himself.Tray does what has become in his Football training,he tackles Zim,who lands on his back and hits his head.NOW! a real Angry Zim gets up[hear the TAPE with Cries of Help?] ,those CRIES of Help are Identified by the FBI as belonging to Trayvon.Trayvon Is Free of Zim because His Voice STRONG and not Muffled As It Would Be If Someone Particularly two- 100 lbs plus on your chest was holding you down.Zim a distance from Tray shoots him.
  • Mr. Won... bigfoot 2012/04/04 03:38:48
  • adam ggg bigfoot 2012/04/04 05:32:58
    adam ggg
    +1
    Why did the Sanford Police allow for George's father to get involved and be present at the station as well as at the return to the area? Their hands weren't tied... they were favored behind their backs and they will pay for it if they just stand there looking stupid. Hence the dude steps down while it blows over so he doesn't have to answer to the involvement of Zim's judge daddy.
  • bigfoot adam ggg 2012/04/04 18:57:14
    bigfoot
    sounds reasonable.
  • Corkey bigfoot 2012/04/05 20:50:18
    Corkey
    Amen!!!!! So sick and tired of people wanting to blame Trayvon for getting shot, like he deserved it. Zim called police they stated over 52 times for other waste-less crimes that weren't even crimes. Sounds like to me he was just paranoid.
  • bigfoot Corkey 2012/04/05 21:43:20 (edited)
    bigfoot
    you have it Right Corkey.Trayvon was the victim of a well known and politically well connected mentally unbalanced son of a Judge.the crime by itself would have been a little more than routine had it not been for the introduction of the Stand Your Ground Law,signed by J Bush,with NRA Rep present,a weapon in the hands of a unstable person,without a professional reason to do so,tracking a 17 yr old slightly built teenager of color for yards, after being told not to follow him.you know the rest.bottom line is,if justice is not served,Zim is a dead man walking victim of the same law.both shooter and victim are the Victims of the RWNJ Political Agenda.thanks for your comment.
  • WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/03 23:13:15 (edited)
    WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA
    +5
    You mean the press is going too far? Yes.
  • Mr. Won... WhereIs... 2012/04/04 04:12:35
    Mr. Wonderful
    +1
    If it wasn't for the press this would have been swept under the rug. Rather than bitching about the media you should thank them for bringing this front and center on the national stage where hate crimes belong and for sure this was a hate crime.
  • Flamingolady 2012/04/03 21:30:19
    Flamingolady
    +2
    They need to investigate and then abide with the conclusions of the investigations. The coverage is getting monotonous!
  • adam ggg Flaming... 2012/04/04 05:34:28
    adam ggg
    They investigated. For all of a few hours. At that point they had to abide by the stupid Stand Your Ground I'm a Damn Psycho law which puts the burden of police work back onto the victim. They weren't going to investigate the killer any further until the media got involved.

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