Ordinarily I would agree, but I know of incidents of individuals not following the directions of emergency personnel - including 911 operators - who were charged and convicted of crimes ranging from interfering emergency response to interfering with a peace officer, to obstruction of justice.
However, these were California cases and I'm no lawyer. I have no ideas what Florida law is.
I still say there's a difference between "assuming" and having a strong suspicion based on news reports as a working theory until hearing otherwise. While we're not assuming things, let's not assume that all black folks, or even all black folks at Trayvon rallies, or all any folks at them, have a one-dimensional blaming view of Zimmerman. I've heard no few interviewed who *are* making assumptions about guilt, but also some who actually aren't, and attend a rally "in case", because it's an interesting event, because there are issues being discussed that they care about, etc. I believe in due process of law (except when the mood is on me to overthrow governments worldwide and declare myself Supreme Queen of Stuff, that is); however, I'm not at all comfortable coming down too hard on people whose view of this case is heavily colored by appearances *because of long and painful experience that IS based on race*. Let them talk out their feelings and frustrations in public, say I. They're entitled to free speech, and it hasn't really been all that many years since many of them wouldn't have been entitled to it in many states, for shame. Let them go through what they're going through. If they're wrong and have to change their views, let them go through that too. It ain't gonna kill us. But the New Black Panther Party calling for reverse vigilante action, with a Wanted poster on Zimmerman and reward out, *is* dangerous in this instance, I think. I heard a scary interview on CNN with a member or associate last eve who was not only assuming Zimmerman's guilt, but was woefully ignorant of several key points of law. This was a potential "citizen's arrest" I for one don't like to have to contemplate. Finally, I heard an interview today with Joe Oliver, former CNN correspondant, black man, and apparently a friend of George Zimmerman, that does give me very serious pause. He says he doesn't know Z.'s whereabouts, but has spoken with him, and Z. is very remorseful, cried for days after the shooting, and is being treated for PTSD. I don't know what to think now, and I'm not assuming anything.
Laurie we're talking semantics here. There are a lot of people - not all - making a lot of statements making a lot of assumptions about this case. It may be out of frustration or suspicion, and it may be from experiences or a history of discrimination, but assumptions are being made.
Jesse Jackson - "If it's black on black, that's one thing. If it's white on black, it's a hate crime."
Al Shapton -"Arrest Zimmerman now!"
Tracy Martin - "The temporary step down of Bill Lee is nothing. We want an arrest. We want a conviction, and we want him charged for the murder of our son."
The New Black Panthers announcing a bounty on Zimmerman.
All show assumptions about evidence and guilt.
Having said that, the investigation has shown no signs of doing anything right, causing people to become frustrated with thejustice system.
Chances are some people are too angry and frustrated to let it happen, but we need to let the justice system do its job. Perhaps more importantly, those investigating the killing need to get off their collective @rses and DO their jobs.
I've never disagreed that there are people making assumptions about Zimmerman, dear Don! I've repeatedly acknowledged that they exist. You yourself have made at least one about him by referring to him in a recent post as a "clown". Maybe he's not one, and maybe he was really defending himself, just as maybe he's not a racist. I'm just defending those of us who might seem to be making assumptions who actually aren't, and some who are because I feel for why they might be. I'm pursuing some finer points to be thought-provoking. Considering nuances and complexities and the very real and pertinent realities they represent isn't merely hashing out semantics. There's more than one way to look at and feel about some of these points of discussion, that's all.