This morning, Megyn Kelly conducted an excellent interview with both Alan Dershowitz and Bernie Goldberg regarding George Zimmerman and the issues that will define a successful claim of self-defense. Kelly did a marvelous job of handling the give and take between her guests, leading to specifics like a “perfect” and “imperfect” self-defense being explained by Dershowitz…who then went on to claim that it doesn’t make any difference WHO started the initial encounter.
In Florida, the defendant is accorded “perfect” self-defense even if he started the confrontation. Many states have “imperfect” self-defense that would consider the fact that your actions may have led up to the confrontation, and thus you would not be safe from criminal prosecution. Kelly said she believes the prosecution’s case will in all probability come down to the written testimony of the police officer who wrote that the incident could have been avoided had Zimmerman not confronted Martin. Dershowitz’s response? “There is no such thing as a “But-If” clause. Really, an excellent interview.
Treeper Jello333 provides this to the tip line: It looks like Crump and the media are about to start a new tactic: “If only Zimmerman hadn’t left his vehicle none of this would have happened. So it’s all ultimately his fault no matter what happened later.” So here’s my answer to that:
Less than a minute before getting out of the truck, the dispatcher tells George “Alright, just tell me if this guy does anything else.” George says OK. Then right after George says “He’s running”, the dispatcher says “He’s running? Which way is he running?” And it is THEN that George exits the truck and starts following Trayvon. Within a few seconds the dispatcher realizes this, asks if he’s following, and then says “Ok, we don’t need you to do that.” Whereupon, within a few seconds, George STOPS.
So, if someone in a position of some authority/importance asks you to let them know if a suspicious person “does anything else”, and later asks you “which way is he running?”, could you possibly believe that person is, in effect, saying to you… “Try to keep an eye on this person if you can.” ??? And if that’s what you’re thinking, but you’re in a vehicle as this suspicious person starts to run out of view, what might you do? YES! You just might leave the vehicle in order to follow (at a distance) that person so you can continue to give the dispatcher the info he has asked for!
In my opinion, George was only doing what he believed the dispatcher was ASKING him to do. Which of course also includes STOPPING when asked to do so. This could be important to this case if they try to push the “He shouldn’t have gotten out of his truck” argument.