ONTD Political

Black friend defends shooter of Florida teen

9:01 am - 03/26/2012
Black friend defends shooter of Florida teen

George Zimmerman is not a racist and cried for days after shooting dead a black Florida teenager, a black, longtime friend of Zimmerman said on Sunday in a sympathetic portrayal of a man maligned by critics as a trigger-happy bigot.

Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic, shot Trayvon Martin, 17, in what he said was self defense during an altercation in the gated community Zimmerman was watching on February 26 in Sanford, Florida. After attracting little notice initially, the case gained widespread attention, sparking protests and renewing a national debate about race.

"He couldn't stop crying. He's a caring human being," Joe Oliver, 53, a former television news reporter and anchor in Orlando who has known Zimmerman for several years, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Oliver's wife is a close friend of Zimmerman's mother in law, who told him Zimmerman cried for days in remorse after the shooting. He also spoke directly with Zimmerman on Saturday.

"I mean, he took a man's life and he has no idea what to do about it. He's extremely remorseful about it," Oliver said.

Oliver's account differs from the withering criticism Zimmerman has sustained from demonstrators across the country who have demanded his arrest and accused him of racial bias in targeting Martin.

Celebrities have taken up the cause of justice for the teen, many wearing the "hoodie" or hooded sweatshirt that Martin wore in a style popular with black youth. President Barack Obama said "all of us have to do some soul-searching" as a result of the tragedy.

"I'm a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color," Oliver said.

Sanford police did not arrest Zimmerman, saying the evidence could not disprove his account of self-defense, though the case is under review by a state special prosecutor and the U.S. Justice Department.

Zimmerman dropped out of public view shortly after the shooting and his whereabouts were unknown. The New Black Panther Party, an African American organization taking its name from the radical group of the 1960s, has placed a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman.

"All these people who are threatening George, what makes them any better than the person they think he is?" Oliver said. "You've got all these people wanting to lynch the man and they don't know the whole story. There are huge gaps that are being filled in and interpreted without evidence."

'LEAP TO CONCLUSION'

As a black man, Oliver said minorities are often unfairly treated, but he believed Zimmerman was simply doing his job as a neighborhood watch volunteer by growing suspicious over an unfamiliar person walking through a neighborhood that had suffered some break-ins.

Martin lived in Miami but was with his father on a visit to his father's fiancée's home inside the gated community.

"I understand how they're able to leap to the conclusion. You have a dead teenager. This guy is white so it must be a hate crime. There's going to be evidence to come out that basically will justify George's concern," Oliver said.

"He (Zimmerman) confirmed for me that he was not the aggressor. But I did not go into details as to how it got to that aggressive point," Oliver said.

A lawyer representing the Martin family disputes Zimmerman's self defense claims, saying he "stalked" Martin against the instructions of a 911 operator.

"It seems Joe Oliver and Geraldo Rivera are in agreement that this senseless shooting is somehow Trayvon Martin's fault," Benjamin Crump said, referring to the celebrity journalist's comment that "Trayvon Martin would be alive today but for his hoodie."

"Had Zimmerman simply stayed in his vehicle, Trayvon Martin would be pursuing his dreams," Crump said.

--

THAT IS THE FOR-REAL HEADLINE, Y'ALL.

Oh, and Black Panthers? NOT HELPING.
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kyra_neko_rei 26th-Mar-2012 02:16 am (UTC)
"I mean, he took a man's life and he has no idea what to do about it.

Demand to be charged, plead guilty, insist that the law be changed because it enables the kind of thinking he was doing at the time to be expanded into murder?

Admit publicly to wrongdoing, at least?

I mean, there's real remorse, and there's I-want-this-to-go-away remorse. There's real remorse, and there's realizing you fucked up your own life remorse. There's real remorse, and there's regret at realizing how much people think someone who acts like you is a monster.

Having your buddies present you as the real victim doesn't suggest you're too aware of anything but the effect on yourself.

Edited at 2012-03-26 02:16 am (UTC)
hinoema 26th-Mar-2012 07:28 am (UTC)
I mean, there's real remorse, and there's I-want-this-to-go-away remorse. There's real remorse, and there's realizing you fucked up your own life remorse.

You got that in one.
booksforlunch 26th-Mar-2012 02:19 am (UTC)
Okay people! *claps* Let's pack up here! Show's over, the "black friend" has spoken. There's really no need to dally!
roseofjuly 26th-Mar-2012 04:48 am (UTC)
LOL I know right?
bmh4d0k3n 26th-Mar-2012 02:19 am (UTC)
*sigh*
moonshaz 26th-Mar-2012 02:38 am (UTC)
"I mean, he took a man's child's life and he has no idea what to do about it. He's extremely remorseful about it," Oliver said.

There, fixed that for you.

Man, indeed. The BOY was 17 years old, douchewagon.

As for being remorseful...



[edited to fix fucked-up html]

Edited at 2012-03-26 02:40 am (UTC)
moonshaz And one more thing...26th-Mar-2012 02:42 am (UTC)
As a black man, Oliver said minorities are often unfairly treated, but he believed Zimmerman was simply doing his job as a neighborhood watch volunteer by growing suspicious over an unfamiliar person walking through a neighborhood that had suffered some break-ins.

Okay, IF we buy that he was "doing his job" by "growing suspicious," that still does not justify his continuing to STALK a teenaged boy AFTER the 911 operator TOLD HIM NOT TO, much less shoot said boy down in cold blood.
leprofessional 26th-Mar-2012 02:43 am (UTC)
No 'black friend' meme/gifs? I am disappoint.
lovedforaday 26th-Mar-2012 02:47 am (UTC)
Of course.
kyra_neko_rei 26th-Mar-2012 02:50 am (UTC)
"I'm a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color," Oliver said.

Because being his friend doesn't make you privileged or anything.

Newsflash, dude, people treat their friends differently than they do random strangers. Just because somebody's willing to treat some people as individuals worthy of regard, doesn't mean they won't use race as a shortcut to assume things about some random stranger.

Sometimes racism is simply the view that human status for the Other is yours to hand out or deny.
roseofjuly 26th-Mar-2012 04:53 am (UTC)
He's not even his friend! There are three degrees of separation between this guy and Zimmerman. I am only passing acquaintances with my partner's mom's friends' husbands. They couldn't give any reliable statement about me other than "she's a nice young woman." They could speculate that I wouldn't do anything like this, and they could certain say "she's never given me any reason to believe..." but that's because I don't hang around them enough to give them any reason to believe anything about me.

I mean it's possible that this is a really close friend of his mother-in-law's and they're over there all the time, and that these two men formed an independent friendship, but somehow I doubt it. I've been with my partner for 11 years and I don't have any independent friendships with any of his mom's friends' husbands. They could've just as easily titled this "Black person who happens to have a passing acquaintance with Zimmerman defends him."
angry_chick 26th-Mar-2012 02:53 am (UTC)
White people are driving me nuts. Specifically, white men.

Seriously, of all the pro-Zimmerman remarks that I've seen, they've almost all been by white men. What the FUCK.
lovedforaday 26th-Mar-2012 02:58 am (UTC)
Got to protect the person that did what a lot of them would, or wish to, do.
bluelarkspur 26th-Mar-2012 02:58 am (UTC)
Okay, fine, let's remove the racial angle for a second. So what? The fact remains: a teenager was walking home, unarmed; he was trailed and accosted by a much bigger, older man; he was shot and killed.

The difference is that if he had been white, his killer would have been taken to trial and had to give his self defense excuse to a jury.

Being sorry doesn't cut it. A lot of people are sorry for their actions. But just the fact that Zimmerman is waiting for it to "blow over" shows that he doesn't understand that he killed an actual human being.
roseofjuly 26th-Mar-2012 04:54 am (UTC)
Not to mention that even if there was no racial angle there would be a LOT more investigation going on than just 'lol well his argument seemed legit.'
poetic_pixie_13 26th-Mar-2012 03:03 am (UTC)
mirhanda 26th-Mar-2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
Except this article is about his mother-in-law's friend's black husband defending the murderer.
beoweasel 26th-Mar-2012 03:14 am (UTC)
As a black man, Oliver said minorities are often unfairly treated, but he believed Zimmerman was simply doing his job as a neighborhood watch volunteer

But that wasn't his job. The Neighborhood Watch didn't want him! HE appointed HIMSELF as a watchman. And besides, saying he was 'just doing his job' is complete bullshit, and you know why? Because It's not the Neighborhood Watch's job to act as judge, jury, and executioner, they're simply to inform the police of illegal activity, and Zimmerman did MORE than that, he stalked and innocent man, confronted him, and then shot him dead.

Oh, and I like how people on the Internet are apparently circulating FAKE images of Trayvon Martin, making him look like a 'scary black man' as if to justify Zimmerman's claims of self-defense. But hey, POST RACIAL SOCIETY, Y'ALL.
supermishelle 26th-Mar-2012 03:30 am (UTC)
After all that dismissive bullshit I saw go down at the mothership today regarding racism, I'm sorry, I just can't deal with this rn.
roseofjuly 26th-Mar-2012 04:40 am (UTC)
Oliver's wife is a close friend of Zimmerman's mother in law

Wait a second - Zimmerman's wife's mother's friend's husband? That's his "black friend", as the headline declares? HAHAHAHAHA!

I have to laugh because otherwise I'm just gonna get angry. Why do white people think that we are friends because I made eye contact with them once? And then decide to trot us out as their black friend when they do some racist shit?

Although I got to fault this Oliver dude. Especially since he used "lynch" to refer to the demanding of a white man who killed a black kid.
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