When it comes to that Martin/Zimmerman case, I have no opinion except that Zimmerman is an asshole. I don’t know the details and don’t suppose anyone except Zimmerman does. I didn’t follow the trial, but I suspect that the truth was not heard by the jury. It almost never is. No matter.
There are three responses to perceived imminent grave threats that a person might be given to: flee, freeze, or fight. Though it can be argued that we, the highest of primates, should in all cases think our way through to the most “appropriate” response, in reality it’s practically impossible to do so without rigorous training and any who say otherwise are either delusional or lying. I have never seen anyone without rigorous training act in any except his or her hard-wired manner in the face of an imminent grave threat. I’ve seen people who had rigorous training revert to type when the threat was out in the uncontrolled really world, too. Pigstrosities with their whatever training do it all the time, like when they kill people who weren’t threatening them or when several of them together empty their weapons into a guy just because they don’t know where the sound of gunfire is coming from.
Myself, my hard-wired response is fight. It kicks in of its own accord once that reptilian part of my brain senses that there’s a mortal threat before me, and in that instant my ability to think rationally switches off. My single purpose becomes the elimination of threats. I’ll do things that I would recommend strongly against in rational moments, and afterward I usually wonder, “Man, what the hell were you thinking?”. I wasn’t thinking. I was eliminating threats.
I’ve been in situations similar to what I suspect Trayvon Martin’s was, being stalked on the street by someone unknown to me. No one being stalked can assume anything but the very worst intent on the part of the stalker. I don’t mean that as in “it would be unwise to assume anything but”, but as in “it’s impossible for a human mind to assume anything but”. There are no shades of grey in being hunted. My first priority if I was near my home was always to lead the stalker away from my home, then to then lose him/them if possible, and ambush him/them otherwise. I was usually able to evade them.
I don’t know anything about that neighborhood in Florida, but in my experience in unsavory neighborhoods muggers and random punks just looking to do harm for its own sake will often claim to be neighborhood watch. Neighborhood watch is a popular claim because they really are watching the neighborhood. For likely victims. My all-time favorite mugger’s engagement line, though totally irrelevant, came by way of one seriously scary looking dude who said he was selling Girl Scout cookies — I was probably the first target who ever laughed right out loud at that. Anyway, non-vigilante neighborhood watch dipshits don’t confront people. They wander around being conspicuous, and they call the pigs if they see something suspicious. If a guy accosts me claiming to be neighborhood watch, then as far as I’m concerned he’s a serious threat. If he escalates my estimation of the threat, then we’re going to dance. The choices are all his, right up until they’re not any more.
As I said at the start, I don’t have an opinion about the Martin/Zimmerman case. I’m not qualified to have an opinion other than the one that the behavior Zimmerman copped to proves him to be the worst kind of asshole.