The Morning News Wants to Know: Would Trayvon Martin Have Been Allowed to Drive Away from Forney Traffic Stop?

Categories: Media, News

GeorgeZimmermanTruck.jpg
A still from the dash cam of a Forney police car shows an officer talking to George Zimmerman during a traffic stop Sunday.
We'll probably never know why a recently acquitted George Zimmerman was speeding through North Texas on Sunday afternoon with a gun in his glove compartment, not that it matters much. He was the subject of a run-of-the-mill traffic stop. That it happened in Forney and there was a gun involved is funny in a random kind of way, but the incident is just an empty piece of celebrity gossip that probably doesn't deserve anything by way of serious discussion.

That hasn't stopped at least a few commentators from mining the case for broader implications. The Dallas Morning News offered two examples yesterday afternoon by its editorial board members, Jim Mitchell and Ralph De La Cruz.

Mitchell takes the "Why-the-hell-am-I-writing-about-this??" approach:

I feel a bit unclean by writing about a TRAFFIC STOP -- the kind that takes place everywhere. Even as I say "enough is enough," merely mentioning this story adds to the circus coverage.

I'm assuming that having the gun in the glovebox and being stopped in Texas -- which has a reciprocal weapon-carry agreement with Florida -- is why the officer didn't make a bigger deal about the weapon. And I'm not going to wade into whether another person with a lower profile would have been treated differently. We will never know.

My main point is this. Think what you will of George Zimmerman. When do we allow this guy to blend into the crowd?

That's an easy one: once the celebrity Zimmerman unwittingly stepped into when he shot an unarmed teenager fades, which will be a while.

De La Cruz, meanwhile, asks the same question of the traffic stop that the rest of the country was asking of the Trayvon Martin verdict: Would he have gotten off if he were a black teenager?

The whole thing took about five minutes and Zimmerman was let go with a verbal warning and a "have a safe trip."

Which left me wondering ...

You know how everybody played the "what-if" game during and after Zimmerman's trial in the death of Trayvon Martin?: What if Martin had been white? What if Zimmerman had been black?

Well, what if it had been a black teen who had been caught speeding while carrying a gun in the glove compartment?

What if?

That one's also easy. Considering that teenagers, black or white, can't get a concealed handgun permit in Florida or Texas (unless, in the latter case, they're in the military), the discovery of a gun in the car would have led to an arrest or, at the very least, seizure of the weapon.

There's an interesting conversation on race to be had about Zimmerman's acquittal for killing Trayvon Martin. About Zimmerman's traffic stop, there is not.

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115 comments
Obummer
Obummer

Yo Abraham Lincoln said, "Let not himz whoz iz uh houseless pullz downz da cribz o' another, butz letz himz werk diligently an' build onez fo' himselfz, thus byz examplez assuring dat hiz ownz shallz bez safe fromz violence whenz builtz inz da hoodz.”

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

You do not need a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed pistol in your car in Texas.  You need to 18 and not a felon.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Here's the thing -- outside the Metro areas, cops are pretty good at telling who is a Good Guy and who is a Bad Guy.  Guns are real quick shortcut to that.  If someone has a gun, the cop is going to base his Good/Bad opinion on three things:

1) Does the guy have a CHL?  (If yes, Good Guy.)

2) Does the guy have the gun in a holster?  (If yes, Good Guy.  Bad Guys don't use holsters.)

3) Did he inform the cop (either verbally or by handing over CHL)?  (If yes, Good Guy.)

If you are a known Good Guy, especially a Really Good Guy (meaning that you were yes on all three) then it isn't uncommon for the cop to let you go with a warning.  It's sort of a smaller set of the Professional Courtesy that they give to other cops.

Toasty Ryder
Toasty Ryder

This dude sure does get around, god damn.

Kelly Bullard
Kelly Bullard

I agree with Damien, ...instead of going through life with a chip on your shoulder, try being the change you wish to see. No one is born with strikes against you. You can CHOOSE to have strikes against you or CHOOSE to change the perception of those around you.

Kelly Bullard
Kelly Bullard

Ummm, you seem to have left out the rest of his description...you know, the "Drug use, possession of stolen property, an enjoyable view of violence" part of what Damien said. And you are mistaken...all teenagers are NOT like that. Not all teens do the things Trayvon did and get suspended several times during one school year. Not where I live anyway.

Kelly Bullard
Kelly Bullard

It looks like they can go on forever, it's been dead since the verdict. LOL

Kelly Bullard
Kelly Bullard

LOL....and did he have a license to carry a firearm as well?

Kelly Bullard
Kelly Bullard

@ Ambellelina ...And it is interesting to me that everyone that says that (like you and Nicholas just did) are the ones who will never be willing to help make a difference and actually change society's view ...cause then you guys wont have anyone to blame things on.

Brian Wirt
Brian Wirt

A black teen carrying a gun in the glove box driving through Texas would have been pulled out of car and shot, with officer claiming self defense.

Dylan Sellman
Dylan Sellman

wtf sensationalist bullshit, are you dropping to the level of vice magazine now observer?

Christopher Stone
Christopher Stone

However some of us still do feel an effect similar to racism through our self fabricated 'monetary caste system' that we have so proudly built. Even those of the same race (Caucasian in this example) can be looked down upon or as 'lesser than' simply because of something such as the amount of money one makes. Also, Zimmerman is not Caucasian so kindly take your sights off the group lacking melanin here please. I'm tired of hearing comments such as "HURR HURR I guess this was a right back at'cha for O.J." Please, I know what you're implying. Stop trying to start shit people.

Valarie King
Valarie King

Damien that's stupid too....you are the part of the problem

Valarie King
Valarie King

That's a stupid title to an article...that person should be fired...gives media a stupid name

Paddy Martini
Paddy Martini

Did Trayvon Martin have a driver's license? Hopefully some intrepid reporter can get to the bottom of this important question.

Ambelleina Warwillow
Ambelleina Warwillow

"treyvon had been documented as having a short temper, being argumentative and violent, and having issues with authority" aka "being a teenager."

Tisha Dandridge
Tisha Dandridge

Do you know or are you related to Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin? So how do you form your assumption that Zimmerman is and was acting like a saint with the officer and Trayvon would have been rude and disrespectful? smh

Ryan Bell
Ryan Bell

This is the biggest bullshit hypothetical ever. No one will ever know. Stop the race baiting. It's a tired old liberal tactic to ensure votes and readership.

Grace Gonzales
Grace Gonzales

Thank you for pointing that out .. No anyone of a different race would have been charged or even shot who knows. If no one speaks up LOUDLY nothing will ever be done.

BrAndy FisHer
BrAndy FisHer

why keep dragging this topic on??? the jury chose its verdict end of story! regardless if we like it or not....

Sherry Long
Sherry Long

No. Trayvon or anyone else of color would be given a ticket immediately and most likely dragged off to jail.

Joe Downey
Joe Downey

martin would have been a Red Stain on the Highway

Jerry Probst
Jerry Probst

I should be more precise ... the whole stretch of Hwy. 80 between 557 and the Dallas county line is a notorious speed trap. I drive through frequently, I know the road well.

Gale Prado
Gale Prado

I'm so sick of the race baiting.

Kelly Bullard
Kelly Bullard

It seems he just cannot get away from you guys! That's what he is trying to do here, but he cannot escape the media, it just keeps following him because of ignorant articles like this one.

Ambelleina Warwillow
Ambelleina Warwillow

It is interesting to me that the people who claim others are crying victim/playing the race card are often the ones who will never have to deal with the actual effects of racism (not just name calling) on a personal level because, let's be honest... http://youtu.be/TG4f9zR5yzY

Kelly Bullard
Kelly Bullard

I'm so tired of listening to this BS racist crap. If Trayvon was doing what GZ was doing on sunday, YES, he would have been arrested. Because Trayvon was a minor, would not have been old enough to have a firearm or a license to carry one. GZ is an adult who has every right to do what he was doing. He was simply travelling in his own vehicle, with his own legal license to carry his own personal firearm, and not breaking the law except for the speeding. Have you ever just got off with a warning? I think we all have... Geez.

Christopher Stone
Christopher Stone

While there is truth in what you speak, having the mind state of a victim does nothing for the progression of our society. Furthermore, why even make a juxtaposition between two people of different races and the hypothetical outcome of this situation based on that? It seems you and others making the same comparison are simply trying to incite a race based argument. I feel that commenting on what 'would have happened' had he been black, is pointless and unnecessary in my opinion.

Jerry Probst
Jerry Probst

LOL Forney is a notorious speed trap. What is suspicious is that this guy got a verbal warning. The cops out there don't give verbal warnings they give tickets.

Diane Ray Morris
Diane Ray Morris

Nicholas. Brown. You are.exactly my case in point. Wah...wah...wah. WOMP. Get some dip for your chip!

Diane Ray Morris
Diane Ray Morris

This is news? Why is it even being reported? George, get out of Texas. Our media is so ignorant and people are so gun crazy you are like a sitting duck. Not to mention the right fighters. Ridiculous. I will say this, I was surprised the cop was professional. That isn't the case most "routine" traffic stops. I don't have an opinion about you one way or the other...but the metroplex probably isn't a good fit for you. Too many "in the name of" arses here. Our local media is a joke. Channel 4 anchors and field reporters can barely form a sentence. Trying to listen to field reporter Dion Anglin or whatever her name is makes me wanna slap my TV at times to help her spit it out. Basic words seem to be tongue twisters for her! Have a nice day! :)

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

How does he want the attention? This is the first you've seen or heard from him since the verdict.

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

What a poorly written statement. Congratulations.

Dan Pham
Dan Pham

Who cares anymore? George Zimmerman just wants the attention now. The media has made him famous

Johnny Hernandez
Johnny Hernandez

"De La Cruz, meanwhile, asks the same question of the traffic stop that the rest of the country was asking of the Trayvon Martin verdict: Would he have gotten off if he were a black teenager?" No, De La Cruz is NOT "asking the same question of the traffic stop as the rest of the country." There isn't a question to ask. The man was tried and found not guilty on all counts by a jury of his peers. He was stopped and let off with a warning. Wheres the story here?

Nicholas Brown
Nicholas Brown

Really lol that's the joke of the day. Travon Martin would have just got out of jail so that they could make sure every law enforcement is checked across the USA on a black male with a tinted truck with a licensed gun. Even if he had sufficient means of funds (Legal ) to get out, even if he had a license to carry a gun - wouldn't matter. A Black-male has a strike against him soon as he is born. Ignorance is Blissful.

John1073
John1073

Did guy get pulled over for speeding? Yes. Where is ticket for speeding?

russp
russp

@BobSicaucus 

Please sir, don't bring facts and common sense into the argument. Only stories that allow people to cry racism are  allowed. How else will Sharpton, Jackson and Price manage to keep the support of their followers. 

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