With all of the passionate hype being put forth by people on both sides of the issue, it is hard to know the truth of what happened the night Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot seventeen year old Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman has said that Martin was acting suspiciously and attacked him, and that he fired the deadly shot when Martin was trying to grab his gun. Police and witness reports said that Zimmerman had cuts on his face and the back of his head, which would seem to substantiate his claim of self-defense.

The dead young man’s family and friends claim he was an innocent child who went out to get candy and was gunned down by a trigger-happy racist. Trayvon Martin was black and Zimmerman is half white and half Hispanic.

I’m not at all surprised that the race card was played immediately, and I would have been disappointed if Al Sharpton hadn’t said he was going to Sanford, Florida to help “see justice done” and Jesse Jackson hadn’t jumped into the media circus, looking for his share of face time in front of the cameras. That was as inevitable as the swallows returning to Capistrano every year.

I’m also not surprised that there are so many people rushing to condemn George Zimmerman. The New Black Panther Party has offered a $10,000 reward for him, even though at this time he has not been charged with any crime. Politicians from coast to coast are calling for investigations. I think that the only person who must love him right now is Casey Anthony – he’s damn sure replaced her as the most hated human being in all of Florida!

The thing is, none of us was there, and none of us knows exactly what happened that night. There is a lot of conflicting information coming out, some of it no doubt fabricated. The photos we are seeing in the news show Trayvon Martin as an angel-faced child. But other photos, which some say are not of the same person, show a much older, much more menacing young man. We have learned that he was suspended from school three times; once for drug possession (a baggie with marijuana residue in it), and for spraying graffiti on school property. A news report I read said he was also found in possession of several items of women’s jewelry and a screwdriver, which some law enforcement officials would describe as a burglary tool.

Critics of George Zimmerman say that when he called 911 to report what he believed was Martin’s suspicious activity, the dispatcher told him not to follow the young man, and that since he did, he proved that he himself was looking for trouble. A little over two years ago we encountered an armed burglar in our motorhome, and after I disarmed him and he fled, I was talking to the 911 dispatcher when he started coming back toward me. While still on the telephone, I pointed my pistol at him and told him if he took one more step I would kill him. The dispatcher told me to lay down my weapon and wait for police to arrive. I replied that the police weren’t there, and she wasn’t in a dark parking lot with him, I was. Fortunately for both of us, after I warned him twice, he fled. Would Trayvon Martin still be alive today if Zimmerman would have listened to that 911 dispatcher? Or would Zimmerman be the one lying on a slab in a morgue, if Martin was the aggressor Zimmerman said he was?

We will never know that. But there is one thing we do know.

Despite all the claims that George Zimmerman gunned down a child in cold blood, despite’s his mother’s cries that “they killed my baby,” Trayvon Martin was not a child. He was about 6’3” tall and weighed 150 pounds. I know grown men that aren’t that big. And seventeen is not a child. At seventeen you can join the Army and be taught to kill. At seventeen you can get married in many states. And juvenile detention facilities across the country are filled with killers much younger than seventeen years old. Ask any corrections officer working at one of those places, or the families of their victims, just how “childish” some of them are.

I know just how deadly somebody can be at a young age. I saw more than a few Vietcong soldiers who were only about fourteen, and some even younger. I was only a year older than Trayvon Martin myself at the time. Nobody considered me a child.

I also had an older brother, Frank, who at age 34, was shot to death in front of his wife and children by a sixteen year old mugger. My brother was not that child’s first victim, or his last.

Trayvon Martin may have been many things, from an innocent victim, to a prowler out looking for trouble who found it, depending on who you want to believe. But he wasn’t a child.

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35 Comments on He Wasn’t A Child

  1. Kimberly F. says:

    Nice to see you back Bad Nick and I agree 1000% My grandson is on his third deployment at age 22. He shipped out the first time at 18. I wish he was still a child, but he is no longer.

  2. Chris says:

    well said

  3. Richard D. says:

    Damn Nick I thought you were a poor but honest scribe until now. I want to hear more about the burglar you ran into. Whats that all about?

  4. Martin Dockery says:

    Nick, you may have already seen this from my facebook page: But this plays along with your post
    This is a comment that I posted on my own FB page, and wanted to share here….Here’s a question for everyone, including the Press… As sad as it was about the young man that was was shot last week, why doesn’t the death of a 24 year old Correctional Officer-(A State Law Enforcement Officer) for the State of Florida cause the same OUTRAGE??? Where are my elected officials, why do they not publicly demand justice or a investigation in to Sgt. Thomas’s death. Does the death of a devoted Correctional Law Enforcement Officer rank so low in the Florida daily business that even the State AG could not comment. Based on what I hear and read, we the Public Employee’s are a item that can be disposed of as our elected officials see fit. Today I am so outraged in the conduct of everyone of our elected officials of both parties. This lack of respect is has only added to the mounting list of reasons to show you, “the elected official”, that you are also disposable and will be tossed to the wayside come November……Martin Dockery, CO-Sgt (Retired)

  5. Arletta Moore says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. My son is 17 and very much a child in my eyes. But he’s taller then me and outweighs me by 40 pounds. What would I do if confronted by another boy his age in the dark? No matter what really happened everybody will lose here. Mr Zimmerman has already been tried and convicted in the media that is for sure. Even if exonerated his life is ruined.

  6. Charlotte Draeger says:

    I have to ask if your opinion would be the same if Trayvon Martin would have been white and Zimmerman was black? And on the other hand, would the rest of the public be reacting the same way if the roles were reversed? Just playing devils advocate here.

  7. Pam says:

    What’s wrong with letting a jury decide? That’s my problem with all of this. There is so much conflicting information. When an unarmed 17 year old with no arrest record gets shot it shouldn’t be up to bloggers and protesters to decide. This seems to be a classic example of why we have a court system. Charge Zimmerman and let him present his case to a jury.

  8. Jim says:

    Welcome back bad Nick we missed you

  9. sandy says:

    none of us were there so who knows what happened.

  10. Butch says:

    To Richard D.

    It Happened December 5, 2009.

    Here is the link to the blog, the day it happened:

    Scary ready, you’re welcome.


  11. Julee Meltzer says:

    omg, you are forgetting one major thing here Nick. This boy (and 17 years old is still a boy, no matter what) was UNARMED! I have to assume you don’t have any children, because most parents are suffering right along with this boy’s parents. We can only imagine having our child walking home from the store and being hunted down by a scared and violent white guy. I realize that you are pro-gun….but this case is sooooo extreme, a boy whose only crime was not being white was gunned down…even when Zimmerman was told to back down. We cannot condone vigilantes in this country. I am really sad that you felt the need to disparage this innocent victim.

  12. Bonnie says:

    I am disgusted by the fairy tale created by the media and professional agitators. We are a nation ruled by laws. If Trayvon really was an innocent victim of a vicious racist, then there will be an arrest and trial. However, justice does not mean arresting someone to placate the mob.

    And why is this incident more tragic than the shootings in Chicago where 10 were killed and forty injured, or the dousing of a young boy with gasoline and setting him on fire in Kansas City as he walked home from school or the beating and sexual assault of an elderly couple in Oklahoma, the wife dying of her injuries?

  13. Jim says:

    The media hounds, the reverends, and the politicians need to remember what happened to the poor guy who was accused of the Atlanta bombing a few years back.
    Lets just hear the facts ….. Please stop the circus.

  14. Doug says:

    Oh, give me a break! George Zimmerman went overboard! How on earth can you justify a Neighborhood Watch person getting out of a car where he was safe and pulling a gun on an unarmed teenager and then pulling the trigger and calling it self defense? He wasn’t watching the teenager mug someone that would have required immediate action. He confronted a “stranger” in the neighborhood. That’s all. And the teenager ended up dead. This could have been avoided and should have been avoided. They could have caught him later when the police arrived.

  15. Bill Daines says:

    I said this during my career in LE, do not confront, watch from a distance, get as much info on the suspicous individual for the dispatcher. “Gee”, if I go unshaven, wear my grubby clothes, my hoody etc I may look homeless, maybe suspicous, but did I do wrong, hell no!!. If I have contact by phone to a complainant watching some one, and say do not approach or follow, I mean just that!! The dispatcher did right by saying do not follow, he ignored!
    This situation is going to make a bad spring and summer. I’m sorry for the situation and what may follow. I’m glad to be retired! Bill

  16. Bad Nick good to see you on the platform again. I have to agree with you on these items:

    1. We don’t know what really happened, and we won’t ever know all of it.

    2. At age 17, height 6’3″, weight 150, that was no baby.

    3. The race issue is certainly key here. Sharpton and Jackson are sure getting face time, and the news media has something cool to spend their advertisers’ money on.

  17. Denise Gray says:

    Seems like we have lost the American concept of innocent until proved guilty. People should never be tried in the press and by a mob mentality. What a mess this country is in!

  18. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Bad Nick,
    Welcome back, we’ve been missing you.. Gotta agree with you on the
    media ‘binge’.. While watching all of the circus on TV, nobody’s watching the White House, where the real crimes are being commited
    I’ll have to agree with Bill, also, ‘you called for assistance,you
    were told to NOT get involved, you didn’t listen’…
    Lucky for me we DON’T HAVE TELEVISION!!!

  19. Dee Walter says:

    Well said! Times and people haven’t changed a bit since the early 50’s. Doubt if it ever will be. Welcome back bad Nick!

  20. Dale says:

    The police did one thing very wrong: they did not follow proper procedure in evidence gathering. If an LEO had shot Trayvon, they would have confiscated his gun and all clothing, including belt. This way it would have shown the justice system working. Now, the evidence that might have helped to settle the matter is gone and there is nothing to support what Zimmerman is saying.

    The police in Sanford, FL is not a well run department and there is a lot of discrimination in that area. Been in this area the last three winters and there have been other instances of this via corruption and other things “overlooked” by police officials.

    If the police had followed procedure, then no one could be yelling that they wanted justice done.

    And to Butterbean: Is there anything in the world that you comment on where you don’t show your prejudice to the White House?

  21. Rob Fox says:

    What we know for certain is that one life has been extinguished and that another is responsible. What we can see is that the stench of xenophobia and racism is so alive in 21st century American. Shame on a nation.

  22. A very reasoned article. I agree that a rush to assume that the 17 year old was an angel is pure media hype. His record refutes that. As you say, we may never know what really happened, and the media clowns would like us all to assume that since the dead guy was black, the other guy must be guilty. Sadly, that is the world we live in.

  23. IMHO this is nothing but an attempt by the left to divert attention from Obama’s gaffes and failures.

    They have so distorted the truth of this incident that the lazy who only bother to get their news from NBC, CBS and ABC have no idea what really happened.

    And this disgusting media circus in Congress only shows just how desperately we need to make major changes there this November.

  24. Robert Wang says:

    When Zimmerman continued the pursuit after being told to cease the action he lost me.

    The “wanna be cop” mentality is a dangerous one and this wing nut appears to be one of those. It is way to early to make a conclusive judgement but your article is great food for thought about what will be very interesting story as the ‘FACTS’ come out.

    Your personal experiences have skewed your objectivity (as expected) on this issue-quite normal and very credible that you mentioned it.

    In the end it is my suspicion we will find the case will be found to be of a man out to play “Vigilante” on his own and he will be held accountable.

  25. Finn says:

    Hi Nick, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and enjoy it, thanks. Here is some video of Zimmerman as he arrived at the police station immediately after the shooting:


    He does not appear to have suffered ANY trauma of any kind. It seems to me that he was abusing Florida’s laws to go human hunting.

  26. Ron Butler says:

    You are correct in that we will probably never know what really happened. Have to disagree with several points however. Zimmerman had no idea who Trayvon was nor what type of person he was. His past record, good or bad, is totally immaterial to what occurred that night. Since when is it illegal or unacceptable to be a young black male walking down the street with a hoody on at night? Zimmerman’s life or safety was not being threatened when told or instructed not to continue “following” (I believe his words) Trayvon. How do you explain the frantic phone call from Trayvon? Does it sound like he had “attacked” or was attacking or escalating the confretation with Zimmerman? Can you truthfully say with a straight face if Trayvon had been a white teenager and shot by an adult black, that the shooter wouldn’t have been taken into custody immediately? Yes, we still have a level of racism in our society towards young “suspecious” black males! And Butterbean, I do believe that the beginnings of publicity about this event started from Sanford and the social media of the internet, not the White House which you like to blame for everything! I suggest you look up the real definition of “liberal” in Websters, which you so like to disparage, not the twisted terminology that the far right attempts to define it! Oh, that will get some excitment going again!

    BTW – Robert Wang hit the ball out of the park with his statements. Right on Robert!

  27. Ron Butler says:

    Nick, forgot to add. I agree with you that he wasn’t a child. But 17 is still immature even as they approach 18 and on into early adulthood, no matter what their physical size is! I’ve seen a 15 year old male with a heavier beard than I have ever had, but that didn’t make him close to an adult!

  28. tom says:

    Nick already said “none of us was there, and none of us knows exactly what happened that night”. But all your readers that held a contrary opinion still think “Zimmerman following Trayvon” is a solid fact.

    First of all, there’s no reason to believe Zimmerman followed Martin after the police told him not to, which is the linchpin of much excited reporting.

    Zimmerman told the police, his friends and his lawyer that he walked back to his car after hanging up with the police and was waylaid by Martin. No witnesses have told the press otherwise.

    There was at least a minute of silent unknown before Zimmerman yelling “Help!”.

    So, should you hold your blaming on Zimmerman?


  29. Sam Weibel says:

    Several commenters have said the same thing,The Media has taken this and ran with it and given the Black Preachers (Sharpton) etc, another opportunity to spread hate across the front page. One said wait till this summer, This summer is already here, in several places looters have used this incident as an excuse to condone criminal activity. Where will it end. Who knows, And one more truth. To a mother a child is a child forever so I can’t blame this mother for feeling this way.No matter how big or strong he is.One of those nobody i gonna win contest’s…

  30. Norma says:

    Bad Nick Blog = The Voice of Reason!

  31. bucky says:

    I agree with those who say wait till the trial and all the facts are in. The media have a field day with all the race issue stuff. We all knew Sharpton would show up, and give his usual garbage.

  32. Bill S. says:

    There is a vast difference between a neighborhood watch and a vigilante. There is also a vast difference between a neighborhood watch person watching and notifying the proper authorities and a vigilante stalking. The only thing someone in a neighborhood watch needs to be “armed” with is a radio or cell phone. Zimmerman was a gun armed self appointed vigilante no matter how you rationalize it.

  33. Allan says:

    Well said Nick. This may have had nothing to do with race. The media made it into race issue and some national figures including the President helped to escalate that slant. It is to bad that this man-boy was killed. Unfortunately the facts have become so distorted that we may never know the truth. We will only know what the lawyers and press tell us. My grandson who is white wears a hoody at times as do some of of his friends black and white and hispanic have never considered thier shirts as racial. I just don’t buy the profiling angle especially since Zimmerman was Hispanic. The press edited events and pictures to “make news” and stir up the public. We can no longer rely on them for reporting the truth

  34. J. DARWIN SODER says:

    When blacks kill blacks there is no outrage. Interracial crime is a more grievous act than intraracial crime. According to FBI stats, young blacks kill at 10 times the rate of young whites and Hispanics. There are about two-and-a-half times as many white and Hispanic victums of black killers as there were black victims of white and Hispanis killers. Here in Florida I remain wary of black faces in dark places. This is not racism, just common sense.

  35. Nick, when I was a kid (60+years ago!) our gang might roll a drunk, sadly, today a kid will kill you period! can we blame it on TV?

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