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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executivehpfan 26th-Mar-2012 12:24 am (UTC)
I seriously head-desked after I saw the title.

What in pluperfect hell.
homasse 26th-Mar-2012 12:27 am (UTC)
What kills me is, that wasn't the headline yesterday - they added the "Black" in.

porcelain72 26th-Mar-2012 12:27 am (UTC)
Do people not understand that most racists don't in fact go around spouting off hate speech all the time? They know better than to do that. I'm sure that if you asked Zimmerman he'd say that this guy is "one of the good ones."
pistol_eyes 26th-Mar-2012 01:04 am (UTC)
why is that so hard for people to understand? People actually think that someone has to be wearing a white hood and carrying a burning cross to be racist.
evilgmbethy 26th-Mar-2012 12:31 am (UTC)

jeez, poor Zimmerman, it must be so hard to murder someone and then not get arrested for it. ugh.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
letsgtsomeshoes 26th-Mar-2012 12:58 am (UTC)

ikr. He had a car. He had a gun. He had 100+ pounds on the kid. He admitted to following a 17 year old and even still pursued him after police told him not to. How is he in any way not the aggressor?
schmanda 26th-Mar-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
lunchy 26th-Mar-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
But he cried for a really long time you guize, can't we just forgive him for killing an innocent teenage boy based on his race and let him go on with his life?
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
babysinclair 26th-Mar-2012 01:01 am (UTC)
He wasn't a cop and the 911 dispatcher said not to follow Trayvon.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
mollywobbles867 26th-Mar-2012 12:55 am (UTC)
I don't give a shit. A child is dead because this ass decided to follow him, approach him, attack him, and shoot him. He should be arrested.
pistol_eyes 26th-Mar-2012 01:09 am (UTC)
oh yeah, I'm sure he's remorseful, since he hunted and senselessly murdered a human being.

I'm starting to believe that The New Black Panther Party are a group purposely meant to distract from whatever issue is a hand. I was really happy last night when Tim Wise told Don Lemon "gurl please" when he tried to bring them up.
milleniumrex 26th-Mar-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
They're basically a troll group. If I didn't know better, I'd say racists set them up as a straw man to attack.
mizsphinx 26th-Mar-2012 01:10 am (UTC)
Black friend or not, I'd like to see how Mr Joe Oliver would take it if some white hispanic dude killed HIS child and was allowed to walk free. It's always easy to stick your head in the sand when the shoe's not on the other foot. I don't care if he bawled until his eyeballs turned blue, the fact of the matter is: He. Killed. A. Child. HE KILLED A CHILD!!! How in green heaven is that so hard for people to understand? Regardless of race, Trayvon's parents are in suffering. Zimmerman needs to accept his due punishment.

That is all.
roseofjuly 26th-Mar-2012 04:46 am (UTC)
There's always some black guy who's willing to stick his head in the sand. I read an article earlier today about a variety of black parents who said that they are having to have "the talk" about racism against young black men with their black boys earlier than they anticipated because of this murder. All except for this one black father who was basically like "I'm not teaching my kids that they are seen any differently than white people because then they'll think it's true. Even if it is. And yeah, I know they will find out eventually - maybe at the wrong time - but I don't care. And yeah, I know I may be naive but whatever."
astridmyrna 26th-Mar-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
"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.

Which is why Zimmerman went to the police and said "I murdered a boy because I'm a racist. Please take me to jail so I can start my sentence because I am the dictionary definition of a murderer."

mastadge 26th-Mar-2012 01:23 am (UTC)
MTE. If he's so remorseful it's very clear what he should do about it.
schmanda 26th-Mar-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
"Up until this point, because he was there and he knows what happened, and because he's not in jail, he's been very confident—naively—that this will all blow over,”' Oliver said on Good Morning America.

he's been very confident... that this will all blow over
he's been very confident... that this will all blow over
he's been very confident... that this will all blow over

Edited at 2012-03-26 01:28 am (UTC)
kyra_neko_rei 26th-Mar-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, the part where someone died will totally blow over.

Menstruating Circe on a pincushion, that is the most asininely counterproductive "help" I've seen since . . .

. . . is he trolling?
communion 26th-Mar-2012 02:00 am (UTC)
i stopped at black friend. i'm surprised they didn't add "black best friend" to the title.
roseofjuly 26th-Mar-2012 04:47 am (UTC)
He's not even his friend. He's his wife's mother's friend's husband.
chaya cried for days26th-Mar-2012 02:00 am (UTC)
doverz 26th-Mar-2012 02:06 am (UTC)
I can't even come up with a response to this.
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