Jay Z on "mall cop" George Zimmerman


‘A professional law enforcement officer is taught not to profile.’

Has Jay Z been to NYC recently? I grant you that the written training materials provided to the police probably tell them not to engage in racial profiling, but what they learn from the other officers is a different matter.


Zimmerman isn’t a mall cop. He’s an insurance agent. Maybe he wanted to be a cop, but that’s a different thing.

Problem is Jay Z has the same level of disrespect for real cops. Just another pundit making inflammatory comment to get attention for something he doesn’t even understand himself. When did Boing Boing become TMZ?


jayz talking about “professional law enforcement officers” this dude really has joined the 1%…

I think Jay Z knows that real cops profile people. That line is a dig at cops disguised as a complement. He is calling out cops who do racially profile as unprofessional. I may be wrong but it fits a lot better with what I know about Jay Z than the idea that he doesn’t realize there are racist cops.

Edit: For all those wondering “a complement to what?”, I swear that one day I will say “compliment” when I mean it.

Professional law enforcement are taught to profile. Professional law enforcement do what Zimmerman did every day with no trials and no culpability.


More like a hall cop (hall monitor)

Respeck Mai Authoritai!!

To understand JZ you must know where he comes from and where he is now. Born in projects during a time when police officers did patrol or care for the folks that lived there created a great district in the police. Those that did patrol were corrupt as it was the only way they could survive. NYC had great crime problems as JZ grew up.

Fast forward in time to now. JZ is a wealthy man and may sing about his roots but does not live anywhere near his roots. NYC is is a much safer place because of better police tactics and targeting those who commit the crimes, which happen to be black. The “Stop and Frisk” tactic that many attack has saved more black lives than any other police program.

But JZ does not live in this reality anymore. His child was born in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, not Brooklyn. He travels to exotic locations that no one in his old neighborhood would dream of. Good for him. But he has to react to the Sanford FL shooting to keep whatever credentials he has with the black community (Touring with Timberlake not helping).

I’m sure JZ has a lot of acquaintances that carry guns and have shot and killed people. It is part of his culture. Are these folks “Mall Cops”? No, they are “keeping it real”. In JZ’s world if a black man kills someone, anyone, it is because they deserved it.

Citation please?

You seem to be simultaneously accusing him of not being black enough and arguing that he is black so therefore he sees nothing wrong with blacks murderers …

In the full article, Jay Z seems to equate attacking someone who is creeping on you with “standing your ground” – he reaches that conclusion by equating following someone with attacking them.

If that were what standing your ground meant, I would certainly be opposed to it. (though it would certainly have helped justify the Iraq war)

Presumably he is not trying to be technically correct under the law but rather to express outrage about how one-sided the system is. Even in the worst interpretation of what Martin did, he launched a pre-emptive attack against someone he believed to be stalking him. We may not think that is a good thing, but if we think that’s not a good thing, then how can we say that shooting Martin dead was a good thing?

It seems to me that if Martin was scared for his life because Zimmerman was following him, then he has been proven, in retrospect, to be correct. He may have made the wrong decision about how to handle that threat (he may not have, too) but I think Jay Z’s analogy is completely fair.


There seem to me to be two very different things happening here.

  1. Someone feels threatened by the physical presence of a weirdo and so attacks him.

  2. Someone who is currently being attacked fears for his life, and so uses the weapon he’s carrying to protect his own life.

In both cases, we’re stuck relying on the purported feelings of the participants, but only in the latter case does that explanation, if legit make the action not criminal.

Applying “stand your ground” to a situation where you throw the first blow is obscenely dangerous, and would justify attacking anyone you felt to be “menacing”. (I suspect that if that interpretation were to stand, black men would find life in America that much harder, given the number of people who are on some level scared of them.)

As far as the whole case, remember, we’re only trying to establish reasonable doubt. The question is whether it would be reasonable to believe that Zimmerman a) did not directly start the physical altercation, and b) feared for his life. Since the prosecution did not present enough information to make that version of events completely unreasonable, there’s no ground for a conviction.

Would things have played out differently in the court if Zimmerman had been a black man? Dunno, and I don’t feel like I have the knowledge to comment. But I don’t think that the fact that some people face injustice under the law means we all should.

Remember that we only have Zimmerman’s word that (1) Martin started the fight and (2) Martin did not see the gun until they were already fighting.

Read this: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/florida-stand-your-ground-law-yields-some-shocking-outcomes-depending-on/1233133 In many situations the defendants started the fights. In some situations the victims were shot in the back. People claiming “stand your ground” are more likely to go free if the victim is black.

Who is arguing that?


But we don’t have anyone’s word otherwise. The question at hand is not whether we can reasonably doubt this story, but whether we can dismiss it as entirely unreasonable.
(Edit to add: The knowledge that Zimmerman was carrying a gun would not have justified Martin attacking him. Though, if the gun were drawn and pointing at him, Martin would have had both a “stand your ground” defense and a right to claim self-defense for attacking, because pointing the gun would have legally constituted assault already. But that would only matter if that version of the story were true beyond a reasonable doubt. Only the incriminating stuff has to meet that standard, not the exonerating stuff.)

That question seems ironic when you just spent a paragraph explaining that “stand your ground” laws appear to be unequally applied against blacks – and when you did it in response to my concern that a more liberal interpretation of “stand your ground” would be disproportionately bad for blacks.

This case, and all cases should be weighed on their merits, not based on the race of the parties concerned. That that appears to happen in other cases has no bearing on this case, even if that apparent systematic injustice does warrant attention on its own.

(edit: clarified the last clause)

(edit again, and I feel bad for thrice editing a post, to add: Although I believe that stand your ground in principle is not just “fair”, but that the alternative “duty to retreat” is very unfair, I don’t think it relates meaningfully to this case, as it was argued.

My understanding is that if there were no such standard, then Zimmerman could have been faulted only if it was clear that he could escape without injury after it became clear that a physical altercation was inevitable. So far as I know, there is no evidence of this, and that was not argued in court – though, of course, why would it be, given the existence of “stand your ground”?)

Didn’t want to edit anymore, but wanted to respond the the link you posted, which I read (mostly) despite the fact that telling someone to go read a 3400 word article is not exactly good faith arguing.

  1. She confuses Castle Doctrine with Stand Your Ground over and over. (Your home is your castle)

  2. She speaks of inconsistent application of the law, and unintended consequences as thought both were unique to “stand your ground” defenses. The same could be said of the standard self-defense claim.

  3. She summarizes cases that most likely generated hundreds of pages of documentation and hours of testimony in one or two sentences, then calls them legally equivalent. They might be, and that might justify the claim of inconsistent application, but 30 word case summaries written to prove a point don’t establish that.

(sorry for the zealotry. I’m not in the States, and no one where I live cares enough about this case to argue its merits. plus I’m bored)

edit: oops, “they”, not “she”

There is the lack of Zimmerman’s skin cells under Martin’s fingernails and the lack of blood or injuries on Martin’s hands besides some abrasions on his left-hand (he is supposed to be right-handed).

If someone flashes their gun at you, what exactly are you supposed to do?

My “Who is arguing that?” question was in response to your statement “But I don’t think that the fact that some people face injustice under the law means we all should.” => Who is arguing that everyone should face injustice? Some people are pointing out that Martin probably feared for his safety. Is that unfairly using the idea of “stand your ground”? Zimmerman was following him, so it would be reasonable to think it would not stop. Why would he assume that Zimmerman had good intentions? Where was Martin supposed to retreat to? Lead Zimmerman to his house? How could Martin safely run from a gun?

Technically the “stand your ground” law was not used by Zimmerman’s defense, but it was it was mentioned in the jury instructions.

You could have just read the bullet points :slight_smile: [FYI, everyone can see your edits by clicking the pencil icon in the upper right.]

How so? I thought that the “castle doctrine” involves someone who is trying to break into your house, while the “stand your ground” law applies everywhere else. If I lived somewhere with “castle laws” (but no “stand your ground” laws) and someone was walking up my driveway, would I have the right to confront them or would I be expected to close my door and lock it?

So the discussion of “stand your ground” laws is not worth having?

I guess that means more for you to read …

I’ll admit that I didn’t pay much attention to the case in progress. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to establish exactly, but unless you think it establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not fear for his life as he fired into the young man standing over him, it’s sort of a red herring, isn’t it?

Like I said, if feeling menaced by a person is enough to permit an aggressive attack, black men are gonna get a lot of pepper spray in their eyes, and suffer a lot of cheap shots from people who feel frequently and disproportionately menaced by black men. Even if Martin’s offense were justified under stand your ground (which it should not be), Zimmerman would still be in his right to defend himself.

I really am confused as to how this is so controversial, aside from media hype. The “plausible alternate hypothesis” (and I’m not sure I’d say the “Zimmerman started it” argument qualifies) approach to arguing a case works to exonerate someone, not to prove their guilt.

If I had to guess, I’d imagine there are several cases a year that demonstrate exactly the sort of racism that everyone is imagining in this case, some of them murder cases. Yet, this case, a case that nearly every legal expert under the sun agrees with, has become a flashpoint. It’s like it was hand picked by conservatives and people who favor racial divisions in America to make some people look uncritical and others heartless.

But no one is trying to apply a stand your ground law to Martin in a court of law - he’s dead. It’s a rhetorical device. It is pretty hard to say that Martin could not have reasonably been afraid for his life since he actually ended up dead.

In nearly every jurisdiction on earth you get in more trouble for shooting someone who punched you than punching someone who followed you. You can’t tell me the whole world is thinking backwards and Florida has it right.


That’s a terrible warping of the case as it was presented to the jury. Very few jurisdictions would punish using a weapon to defend your own life from an attacker more harshly than attacking someone for following you. Every single state in the US recognizes the case, as it was presented to the jury as self defense. Aside from gun laws, virtually every jurisdiction would permit someone to use a legally held weapon in self-defense in this situation.

This was not a stand your ground case. Stand your ground was relevant insofar as it meant that the jury didn’t have to consider the possibility that a man on his back can flee an attacker standing over him. But again, virtually every legal expert looking at the case has said it was self-defense, not stand your ground, as presented in the courtroom.

I promise you, I really don’t understand. Are you not badly distorting the case on purpose? Are you not trying to make this case fit a narrative that it doesn’t for political ends?

Again, a warped perspective. If I attacked a cop, and actually overpowered him, I feel like he might use a gun against me, and potentially kill me. Is it therefore acceptable for me to attack a cop – and anyone else who might potentially have a weapon?

This is such a weird thing for me, because I really don’t understand why it seems ok to everyone to argue in bad faith about this.

It seems like everyone on the left has given up on “innocent until proven guilty” and “beyond a reasonable doubt”, and adopted the behaviors of conspiracy theorists. (I consider myself still nominally on the left, and someone who believes that liberalism usually has the stronger case, aside from certain types of identity politics)

(Edit to add: Do you at least see how solid Zimmerman’s case looks to someone like me? That the presentation of an [to me much less plausible] alternative theory shouldn’t affect the case unless it somehow established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

I’m sure this “I don’t get it” schtick seems like a scummy rhetorical put-on. It’s not. I really do find myself politically adrift lately as people and causes I had, not long ago, considered my own have veered into territory that makes no sense to me.)