Telling someone you don't need them to do something, and telling them NOT to do something are very different things.
Originally Posted by Static_Martyr
Neither of them were justified in following the other, no matter who was the pursuer. But if Trayvon really did follow Zimmerman back, attack him, and start slamming his head against the ground, I might say that Zimmerman was actually justified in defending himself with his gun.
As for when and where the altercation happened; I'm just really not convinced by the hypocrisy of the defense here. Zim was justified in following Tray, Zim was justified in using the gun because he feared for his life, but Tray wasn't justified in following him back (assuming that's what happened)? What the defense basically boils down to is, "Yes, Zimmerman provoked Trayvon by creeping him out, stalking him, and generally doing things that would make a normal person fearful at night in the rain, but since Tray went back towards him instead of running away, he's the one responsible." It's odd to me how this is only ever presented from Zimmerman's perspective, and Trayvon's is completely ignored.
If Zimmerman was the pursuer, he should've asked Martin what he was doing, explained why he was suspicious. If Martin was the pursuer, he should've asked Zimmerman why he was following him. Neither of them had reasonable cause to start a fight with the other. If Zimmerman was the one who started the fight, he was completely 100% in the wrong and completely guilty. However, we can't prove who started the fight. There were no witnesses apparently. So because it's possible that Martin started the fight, got the upper hand very quickly and was slamming Zimmerman's head against the ground, causing Zimmerman to defend himself with his gun, he has to be found not guilty due to innocent until proven guilty.
What is the reasonable thing to do if you feel you are being followed or stalked? What is the reasonable course of action? You don't want to lead the potential stalker back to your house where your family and younger siblings are, especially if you suspect them of being armed. Trayvon doesn't know what Zimmerman is planning at this point. So let's say he DOES circle around and follow Zimmerman for awhile (which I don't believe for one second, but let's say he did). Let's say that a conflict ensues. This could be framed as a defensive conflict, in which Trayvon felt he had to drive away the stalker so as not to lead him to his home address. As someone who has been stalked, I can attest to the fact that it's very unnerving to think of a potentially armed stranger following you to your home and possibly harming friends or family.
Actually, that's exactly what I'm saying - either of them could've been the pursuer/instigator. I've also talked with friends of mine lately who see it the same way. Most of Zimmerman's strong supporters are incredibly one-sided, but they're not worth discussing anything with.
It really sickens me how it's simply taken for granted that Zim was the default "defender" in every possible case. He's pretty much given the BOD wherever it could be perceived that he was defending himself, while Trayvon is not given the same BOD; I haven't heard even one person defending Zimmerman acknowledge the possibility that the opposite could also be true. Is it possible that Zim was the defense, and Trayvon assaulted him? I suppose, and on those grounds we'd have to find him not guilty because of the reasonable doubt thing. But in terms of ethically discussing what happened and what was done wrong, I simply don't buy the defense; it relies on too many charitable assumptions about Zimmerman and his character, while simultaneously relying on too many unflattering assumptions about Trayvon.