The Zimmerman/Martin verdict stands for many things. It reflects “two Americas” fragmented between black and white, rich and poor, red states and blue states.

But the verdict stands for something bigger than all of that.

Interpreting the facts in the light that best favors George Zimmerman, this is what happened on the night he shot and killed an unarmed teenager: George conducted a surveillance of someone he suspected of either having committed a crime or who was planning to commit a crime; the suspect noticed the surveillance, became upset, and attacked George Zimmerman, who then shot and killed the suspect.

The lesson here is that Florida is a Surveillance State.  If you are walking anywhere in Florida, you can be watched and even followed by anyone who suspects that you are a criminal. And you must tolerate it because the person following you has the right to use deadly force if you feel threatened and attempt to protect yourself from your stalker.

The Zimmerman/Martin verdict hails the full blossoming of the Great American Surveillance State.  Anyone can follow you for real or imagined reasons. If they suspect you of a crime, they are innocent of murder if they kill you if they thought they were defending themselves.

And if you are a young black or Latino male it is probably best to stay out of Florida – and if you are already there, don’t walk alone at night.








  1. Hopefully this verdict will serve to highlight the problem with the ‘Stand your ground law’ if only someone had thought when this law was being drafted.. “this might encourage scared people to follow people of whom they are suspicious…”

    Yet this law was not applicable for Marissa Alexander who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot in response to threatening behaviour by her estranged husband.

    You know what they say ” A surveilled society is a polite society.”


  2. How would a civil action go?


  3. paulboylan Says:

    Any competent attorney would hedge an answer to that question, even if they felt optimistic.

    The easy answer is that a civil action for wrongful death would be easier to prove because the civil standard is “preponderance of the evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    In my opinion there is a preponderance of evidence establishing that Zimmerman’s negligence caused Martin’s death.

    But please remember that you need a unanimous jury to award civil damages, and in a state like Florida, which is simple packed with undereducated, ignorant gun owning racists who are predisposed to sympathizing with Zimmerman and against Martin, it isn’t possible to say with any certainty that a civil action would succeed.


  4. Point taken, PNB. Still it does seem the only option left.


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