Originally Posted by Ataturk
I suppose it's possible the fight was just a big misunderstanding, but it looks more like Martin was just angry at Zimmerman for suspecting him. Zimmerman never even got a punch in, but Marin blackened both his eyes, broke his nose, and slammed his head on the pavement. Maybe Martin really just wanted to beat Zimmerman up, but is it a "tragedy" that he went too far and forced Zimmerman to kill him? I really don't think so.
Let's assume that Martin was pissed at Zimmerman for following him. And let's assume that Martin reacted to this by assaulting him. I think those are not unreasonable assumptions. I think it's fair to assume two further things: 1) Martin probably wasn't going to use lethal force, because he was pissed that a guy was following him. Teenagers (even ones who spoke pot, have tattoos, and get suspended from school) don't just attack a random person following them with the intent to kill or even to cause significant bodily harm; and 2) Zimmerman may have feared Martin was going to use lethal force.
That's the misunderstanding that I think is tragic. Martin mistakenly assumed he was being followed and made a bad decision to confront Zimmerman with force. That's Martin's fault. Zimmerman mistakenly thought Martin was going to use lethal force and used more force than was necessary to diffuse the situation. Is that's Zimmerman's fault? Legally, it may not be. However, he still killed a guy that almost certainly had no intent to kill him. That doesn't change what Zimmerman may have perceived, but it's still a misunderstanding.
That also doesn't make Zimmerman's decision legally wrong. If he feared for his life, then lethal force is justifiable. I get that. Nonetheless, even assuming the worst about Martin, it's highly unlikely that Martin actually ever intended to use lethal force. That doesn't mean Zimmerman should sit there and take it, and it doesn't absolve Martin of responsibility. It's just tragic that the situation got to that point.