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."


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.



Oh, and Black Panthers? NOT HELPING.
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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.
missmurchison 26th-Mar-2012 04:50 am (UTC)
Yes, I keep hearing, "Oh, those are old pictures, he was over 6 feet and really hulking." And, "It was an old picture of Zimmerman too, he lost a lot of weight."

As if that would have mattered even if it were true. If Zimmerman went after Trayvon and Trayvon hit him, it was Trayvon who would have been protected by the Stand Your Ground law. The kid was someplace he had a perfect right to be, and a big guy was stalking him.
roseofjuly 26th-Mar-2012 04:56 am (UTC)
He could've been the biggest, most menacing looking black 17-year-old in the fucking world. HE WAS STILL WALKING HOME WITH A BAG OF SKITTLES. All they're saying is that if someone "looks scary" (which they seem to think means being black and kind of big) it's okay to shoot them dead.
muppetfromhell 26th-Mar-2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
it's like they don't know what the word "watch" means.
mercaque 26th-Mar-2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
You know what's even worse? Zimmerman is the one who has an actual criminal record!! Some of the Florida newspapers dug up domestic violence charges and an instance where Zimmerman struck a police officer while resisting arrest.

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.
grace_om 26th-Mar-2012 04:42 am (UTC)
If he's so remorseful, he can turn himself in to correct his statement and tell the truth.
effervescent 26th-Mar-2012 05:31 am (UTC)
The effort to a) paint Trayvon as a scary, pot selling, truant black teenager and b) paint Zimmerman as a nice, remorseful (and oh so definitely not racist) man who made a mistake is in full swing, isn't it? Ugh. This pisses me off so much.
angry_chick 26th-Mar-2012 06:23 am (UTC)
And as I've said - most of the people doing it are white men.
homasse 26th-Mar-2012 07:30 am (UTC)
In full swing, yo. I've even heard people saying Trayvon must've stolen the skittles he had since he didn't have a receipt, and that's why I hate everything that is.
masakochan 26th-Mar-2012 08:38 am (UTC)
Saw that earlier today (or Sunday) on some neo-conservative website that my dad was on. It was a 'Before Media' and 'After Media' image comparison that using some total bullshit argument about the 'liberal' media trying to paint Zimmerman as a total bad guy.

And I just about had a mental case of a Windows blue-screen error + RAGE when my dad started going on about how Obama's people and the media are just ~trying to say~ this case has racial implications. And how he's just waiting to hear the 'true' facts. You know... whatever the in the name of hell his definition of 'true' facts is. Probably whatever Rush Limbaugh or someone on Fox News can come up with. FHJAKSFHSDAJHOWFUCKING- ARRRRGH.

darsynia 26th-Mar-2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
This, it's just driving me UP A WALL lately. I could not BELIEVE some Republican pundit on NPR this morning blathering about Obama's statement (that if he had a son, he'd look like Trayvon) was disappointing everyone who voted for him because we'd hoped for a 'post racial society' and Obama had to 'bring in' race to this... SMH. That and the constant news clips of Bales' wife (the man who shot those civilians in Afghanistan) talking about how he LOVES kids and would never do this... THIS IS NOT NEWS. I just... FAIL, media. FAIL.

edit: the latter is not news because of course people who know someone don't want to think they've done wrong. FOCUS ON THE VICTIMS, not the 'poor suffering wife' of the perpetrator. UGH.

Edited at 2012-03-26 05:18 pm (UTC)
ragnor144 26th-Mar-2012 10:57 am (UTC)
Oh, Zimmerman is distraught. That he even thought it was ok to go after someone with a gun that he suspected of no more that stealing is pretty disturbing. I think he is more distraught that the world knows he is a racist, not that he murdered someone.
tabaqui 26th-Mar-2012 11:46 am (UTC)
Oh, dear gods. Dude, shut up. You come off sounding like an idiot, not like someone who actually has a clue about what's going on in this jackasses head. (I have no idea how to punctuate that word.)

I bet a zillion dollars that, when talking to his 'white' friends, Zimmerman says of this guy 'well, he's like a regular guy, not like all those other n******, you know?'

nephastie 26th-Mar-2012 12:52 pm (UTC)
Also, I kinda think that even if Zimmerman had seen someone of any race even actively breaking into a house, a fatal gunshot still wasn't necessary; would that even be legal if he were "protecting" someone else's property as a civilian? I dunno, people with guns shouldn't be thinking "he's stealing a tv...he should die now". Personal firearms should be for personal and property protection (and foremost those who are responsible enough to use them), not "vigilante justice" as Zimmerman could put it politely.
hammersxstrings 26th-Mar-2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
okay, then. let's say, just for the hell of it, this WASN'T race related.

the guy should still be arrested and tried before a jury of his peers, to see if this was truly self defense (SPOILER ALERT-it wasn't), and if the end result should've been a dead, innocent 17 year old who did NOTHING to deserve being followed through his neighborhood by a man with a gun.

smdh at people who are victim blaming too. someone on FB was like, well, SOME reports are saying Trayvon punched him. dude, if someone was on my ass with a gun, i may be a tad defensive as well and trying to protect myself. JUST SAYING. last time I checked, gun trumped fist of someone who weighs 100 lbs less than gun guy.

I cannot with all the people who are trying to defend Zimmerman. I CANNOT.
baked_goldfish 26th-Mar-2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
The sheer amount of bullshit white people are clinging to to prove to themselves that Zimmerman isn't a racist, or that Zimmerman had reason to shoot. I can't even be surprised that the worst thing about this case for them isn't that a black child is dead, but that a white man was called racist.
mirhanda 26th-Mar-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
You know what, I read the title as "Black friend deFRIENDS shooter of Florida Teen" and thought it was going to be about some Facebook protest.

*slaps forehead*

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.

Sheesh, my MOM wears hoodies.
vanillakokakola 27th-Mar-2012 01:30 am (UTC)
my husbad: "hm. wonder how much he got paid"
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