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Thread: Trayvon Martin

  1. #1
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    Trayvon Martin

    Now linked to the martial arts....
    Zimmerman's lawyer: Cub Scout leader, martial-arts expert, one-man law firm
    10:55 p.m. EST, April 3, 2012|
    By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel
    (Courtesy of FOX35 / Apr 03, 2012)

    Craig Sonner has never defended a client accused in a homicide, but he now represents George Zimmerman, the man at the center of one of the nation's most racially divisive shootings in years.

    And Sonner predicts he'll have no problem clearing Zimmerman.

    "I believed his story of how he was defending himself," said 47-year-old Sonner, a one-man Altamonte Springs law firm. "I've already got a number of experts lined up to take this one I don't think we're going to have a problem exonerating George Zimmerman."

    Sonner had not paid much attention to the case and all the media reports about it until Zimmerman's father called, asking for help.

    "Then George called me," Sonner said.

    That was more than two weeks ago. Sonner says he now talks with the 28-year-old Zimmerman at least once and sometimes several times a day, depending on the day's events.

    At first, Sonner advised his client and his family to say nothing, but the story about Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, kept growing.

    There were rallies and marches in cities across the country. Al Sharpton and the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People traveled to Sanford. Members of Congress called for an arrest.

    Finally, on March 23, Sonner decided to change course. Someone had to publicly defend Zimmerman, to say that he was no racist and that his claim of self-defense was legitimate.

    So Sonner drove to Lake Mary to do an interview at WOFL-Channel 35. Minutes after walking out of the studio, his phone wouldn't stop ringing, he said. When he got back to his office a short time later, network-news trucks were stacked up outside his office.

    He flew to New York and made appearances on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS.

    But he made perhaps his biggest media splash March 26, when he walked out of an Orlando studio minutes before airtime, leaving Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word" on MSNBC, fuming and spending several minutes angrily interviewing an empty chair.

    It prompted Jon Stewart on"The Daily Show" to air a parody.

    "I live in New York City," Stewart joked. "I see a lot of people yelling at chairs. None of them have TV shows."

    Sonner said the night he walked off the set that the "only reason I'm talking now is that this case has spun so out of control," he said. Zimmerman "is not a racist. This was a case of self-defense."

    And Sonner is no longer Zimmerman's lone defender.

    Late Tuesday, veteran Orlando-area criminal-defense attorney Hal Uhrig, who often works on cases with Sonner, announced that he was joining the defense team.

    He is confident of their client's self-defense claim, Uhrig told WOFL, in part because Zimmerman has already passed a voice-stress test, something similar to a lie-detector test, administered by Sanford police.

    Both lawyers said they never have met Zimmerman face to face.

    "Because of the danger he faces, we communicate only by phone," Sonner said.

    Worked for FDOT

    Sonner has been a lawyer since 2001. Before that, he worked 10 years as a highway engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation, where he designed bridges and resurfacing projects, managed road-sign-inspection paperwork and oversaw permits in the Lake City region.

    "When I was in school, I liked math and physics and sciences and always had an interest in construction and buildings," he said.

    He lives in Oviedo with his wife and two children, a 7-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl. He's a Cub Scout leader, and the family is active in church, according to friends.

    He's also a martial-arts instructor. He has a black belt in aikido, a form of self-defense that allows practitioners to defend themselves without injuring their attacker. He teaches classes in it twice a week in Orlando.

    "He's a great guy. He's a man of impeccable character. He's dependable, very reliable, very ethical," said Andrew Storie, who worked alongside Sonner when both were assistant state attorneys in Seminole County from 2003-05.

    Storie now has an office in the same building as Sonner.

    "He's not a publicity-seeker," Storie said. "He would be the antithesis of that. ... He's not seeking self-glorification."

    Life, education

    When Sonner was 14, his family moved from Illinois to Knoxville, Tenn., where he sang in a choir and raced sailboats competitively, he said.

    He graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a degree in civil engineering and went to work for the Indiana Department of Highways, then moved to Lake City and FDOT, according to a state job application. He left that career in 1997 to enter law school.

    "I heard people criticizing lawyers and the system and so on," he said. "I thought, 'Well, if I didn't like the system, I needed to get involved.' "

    He graduated in 2000 from Ohio Northern University College of Law, then worked as a substitute schoolteacher in Gainesville for six months while waiting to be admitted by The Florida Bar, the application said.

    He was hired in 2002 by the State Attorney's Office in Seminole County, where he worked for three years on misdemeanor cases, many involving drunken driving. Then he went into private practice.

    As of Tuesday morning, neither Sonner nor Zimmerman had talked with anyone in the office of Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, the state attorney appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to take over the investigation and decide whether to charge Zimmerman.

    If she convenes a grand jury, Zimmerman will be there, Sonner said. If she calls, saying she's going to file charges, Zimmerman will surrender.

    "It's still true that we're cooperating fully with law enforcement," Sonner said.

    The basis of his defense: Florida's stand-your-ground law, which allows a person who reasonably fears imminent death or great bodily harm to use lethal force.

    rstutzman@tribune.com or 407-650-6394
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    The optics on this case are terrible.
    Everyone has jumped to a conclusion and some people are utterly convinced the guy did no wrong while others consider his crime to be racially motivated hate.

    It really needs to cut through all that BS noise that everyone is making and get it in front of a jury and hear it all, witnesses, all of it.

    This happens once a week. I am curious as to why this story in particular is really sticking. I bet at least one person got shot in America for all the wrong reasons while I was typing this.

    I feel bad for the kid and his family. But I feel worse about the turmoil in the society that is trickling into other expressions of racial violence and hatred.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  3. #3
    Yeah but if what we think to be true is true then the investigation was botched from the get go therefor there won't be a fair trial for either of them.

    So now we have two sound experts saying it was not Zimmerman screaming for help despite his Zimmerman's father saying his son said it was him and he knew his sons voice.

    I agree we need to sit back and wait a sec. But the facts here are really frustrating and I can't see anyone getting a fair trail here. the cops went to the witnesses and when some said Trayvon was the one screaming for help they said "no that was George".

    One thing I do know is that if you have a car, get out, stalk somebody with a gun, they have every right to stand their own ground and defend against the aggressor regardless of the aggressors feelings and thoughts. George Zimmerman's father said George said Trayvon said "I'm gonna kill you, you're gonna die tonight" or close to that. But why would he scream for help if he was intent on committing murder?



    So far TWO weapons groups have stepped up to pay for the Zimmerman defense. What lobby does that when they don't even know the facts yet? Only extreme ones. Everyone else waits to see what is most likely the truth then jumps on the bandwagon(that's dumb too BTW).

    Whatever happens, this is gonna get ugly. Look at Liz Trotta coming out and criticizing black newsmen for telling their own stories of police racism. She feels they should only report mild facts. As if their own experiences aren't real cause they are on the news. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black Trotta is one of the most opinionated biased newswoman I can think of. They don't want a real discussion on race. They are offended by the discussion. I'm not, but then I'm not threatened coz I'm racist. I question their beliefs and motives to hush the subject. They have no problem giving out addresses and detailed info on abortion workers, but a race debate? Hell no, that's not cool at all. Bullsh1t. Fox and MSNBC, the former a bit more than the latter, are NOT news!!!

  4. #4
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    I can foresee riots happening if Zimmerman is exonerated. Which to me is ridiculous, but that's the way it will probably play out. I don't know if he's really guilty or not. I tend to think he probably is, since he was told not to get out of his car and follow Martin yet he did. That being said, it won't be up to me to decide.

    What really bugs me is that this case is getting so much attention, when so many kids like that are getting shot every single day, but because of the racial undertones, everybody suddenly cares about this. What if every unjustified killing, every actual murder, got this reaction? Then we might actually make a difference in this world; that it's not acceptable regardless of the color(s) of the people's skins.

    And now all of a sudden, everyone wearing a hoodie is supposed to be your best buddy? When I was almost mugged one time (managed to avoid it in interesting fashion), it was a young black kid...wearing a hoodie. Unfortunately, it's a stereotype, an awful one, but one that has some basis in fact. A man working near my home in a small market was shot to death by another guy in a hoodie. It happens all the time.

    Let's all make real changes for the best and see things from all perspectives, not just in this case, but in life.

  5. #5
    Greetings,

    What is most interesting about this situation is that when events like this occur, the media busts its collective a$$ trying to keep it local in order to avoid a national response. Going national, could the motivation be the money that stands to be made off this unfortunate event during tough economic times? Or, has Trayvon Martin become the Crispus Attucks of our time, being used as a catalyst for change? If the former is true, what is new? If the latter is true, then, who is pulling the strings of our emotions? And what agenda(s) has been prepared for us to accept with open arms? And what will be the cost?

    I think that too much time has been allowed for Zimmerman to concoct a story. We may never get to the truth. What is evident from the phone recordings is that Zimmerman was operating with negative attitudes and clearly disobeyed instructions.

    mickey

  6. #6
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    So now we have two sound experts saying it was not Zimmerman screaming for help despite his Zimmerman's father saying his son said it was him and he knew his sons voice.

    This whole thing is one bad nightmare. Zimmermans brother also tried to claim the voice was his brother as well. Glad that voice specialists stated the one screaming was NOT Zimmerman.

    Yeah i can see people causing a rukus over this if zimmerman gets away free. I know some people who have stated they were going to get PAY BACK which means they will start attacking innocent white people.

    anyways, this year is proving to be a little wild so far. Crimes where i live have been picking up lately. i have my eyes open wider than before now.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

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  7. #7
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    There's a lot of people out there who couldn't give a rat's @$$ about Trayvon Martin, but who will use this incident as an excuse to riot or commit other crimes. Then they continue to reinforce and give even more truth to the stereotypes which they claim are baseless.

    As for who may also use this event to push some agenda, that was my thought when the shooting happened at the Korean school in Oakland a few days ago. It sure doesn't seem like the original excuse given that he was "picked on because of his poor English" is even close to valid when all of his victims were also Asian immigrants.

    Not to get too off-track, but I find it interesting that the Martin-Zimmerman incident has completely blown the "Kony 2012" thing out of the headlines. BTW, the intersection where the guy behind the Kony film had his big meltdown is one I pass through every day to and from work.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hskwarrior View Post
    ... have stated they were going to get PAY BACK which means they will start attacking innocent white people.
    Which is extra silly because the dude's half hispanic...
    What would happen if a year-old baby fell from a fourth-floor window onto the head of a burly truck driver, standing on the sidewalk?
    It's practically certain that the truckman would be knocked unconscious. He might die of brain concussion or a broken neck.
    Even an innocent little baby can become a dangerous missile WHEN ITS BODY-WEIGHT IS SET INTO FAST MOTION.
    -Jack Dempsey ch1 pg1 Championship Fighting

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by hskwarrior View Post
    This whole thing is one bad nightmare. Zimmermans brother also tried to claim the voice was his brother as well. Glad that voice specialists stated the one screaming was NOT Zimmerman.

    Yeah i can see people causing a rukus over this if zimmerman gets away free. I know some people who have stated they were going to get PAY BACK which means they will start attacking innocent white people.

    anyways, this year is proving to be a little wild so far. Crimes where i live have been picking up lately. i have my eyes open wider than before now.
    It's the new campaign finance laws from 2010. I'm telling you. Unlimited political funds is wreaking havoc on your democracy(if you can even call it a real democracy at this point). The money is dividing the country along UN NATURAL lines, cause the truth is that 3/4 of the US pop. is progressive. Progressives just don't vote in the same percentages as the other side. If voting was compulsory and everyone actually did vote the Dem's would win all the big elections in the mixed states by some serious landslides. Why do you think they went after ACORN so hard. It registered democratic voters that prolly wouldn't have voted otherwise. And whats real sad is that even tho they were absolutely vindicated BY LAW, weak Dem's pulled their funding anyways. Puss1es that they are and all!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Pork Chop View Post
    Which is extra silly because the dude's half hispanic...
    Out of all the large population races in the US, Hispanics are BY FAR the most racist to wards African-Americans, blacks or whatever you wanna label that group. See what happens when a black man walks thru a gang controlled Hispanic hood. Doesn't even matter who he is, he's gonna get thumped at the very least. I have never encountered more racism in my life(towards AfroAmericans) than from Hispanics, especially in Cali. I'm told it's the same everywhere, but I know for sure in Cali.

    HSKWarrior can prolly speak to that better than I can tho. 80% of the Hispanics I know over 50 or incredibly racist, a bit less as you get younger. Then you have the thugs, and part of that is about gang control, but the racism is very alive in that life.

  11. #11
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    I sense 1bad65 just dying to get on this thread...
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  12. #12
    I first became aware of this story on March 8. It's sad that it took so long for the national news to pick up on it. If it wasn't for indy media and their persistence I doubt the majors would have even noticed.

    When did you guys first heard the story. I remember when I first saw the story I saw all this drama coming. I sat back and waited to see how long it would take for somebody to bring it up here.

    I like how at least some people are saying they want to wait till the whole story comes out before they make any concrete judgments. Too bad it's a small minority. Gun nuts are all over Zimmerman and libs are all over Trayvon. This should`t be politicized until after the trial, then we can talk about how this relates to policy. I hate all this here-say bullsh1t. Nice too see that at least a few experts have weighed in on the tape and shut down the whole Zimmerman was crying for help thing before the neo cons ran with it too far.

    I doubt 1bad even reads these convos if he can't participate. It isn't in his nature to care about stuff he can't rant about. I would bet that he doesn't even look here often at all, if ever.

  13. #13
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    I was always told that there were only 2 races of people. White folk and them what want to be white. Racism is present in all races. Bigotry is a common occurance amongst all cultures. Most racial groups have their racial leaders. And if one of their number gets killed, they will most always yell racism. Blacks kill more blacks, hispanics kill more hispanics, and whites kill more whites than any other races. But when one of their numbers gets it from another race, there is always going to be someone to yell racism. It happens all the time.
    I grew up during a time when society was segrigated. If you were not white you did not get to ride in the front of a bus, drink at the water fountains in public areas, eat in a cafe with white customers, all sorts of things like that. For what it is worth, asians were all considered to be japanese, and it was very shortly after a war with them. Everyone clearly remembered the atrosities they committed, and even though the chinese hated them just as much, the chinese were lumped with them. I could not enter the front door of an eating establishment, drink from a water fountain in public, or ride in the front of a bus. Racism will always be with us, and we can not force others to abandon their racist opinions.
    Jackie Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    Out of all the large population races in the US, Hispanics are BY FAR the most racist to wards African-Americans, blacks or whatever you wanna label that group. See what happens when a black man walks thru a gang controlled Hispanic hood. Doesn't even matter who he is, he's gonna get thumped at the very least. I have never encountered more racism in my life(towards AfroAmericans) than from Hispanics, especially in Cali. I'm told it's the same everywhere, but I know for sure in Cali.

    HSKWarrior can prolly speak to that better than I can tho. 80% of the Hispanics I know over 50 or incredibly racist, a bit less as you get younger. Then you have the thugs, and part of that is about gang control, but the racism is very alive in that life.
    Agreed if they want to play this as a racial angle they need to address the issues between the Latino community and African Americans.

    I recall a local radio host confronting Jessie Jackson and al sharpton about why they have refused to talk about this and they just shut down and refused to answer him. The Mexican street gangs are trying to do an ethnic cleansing down in California and people are to afraid to talk about it

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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterKiller View Post
    I sense 1bad65 just dying to get on this thread...
    Not gonna lie, I lol'd...
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