Talk:George Zimmerman

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new incident[edit]

No conviction at this time; see WP:BLPCRIME. VQuakr (talk) 22:28, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Does Zimmerman qualify as "relatively unknown"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bpabbott (talkcontribs) 22:43, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
No. BLPCRIME isn't meant for a case like this. -- GreenC 23:09, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
There was an extensive (10 kB section) of various allegations that never came to trial, let alone conviction. Everything about WP:BLP requires conservative information, so at a minimum this information should be kept out during discussion. And in my opinion, BLP clearly directs us not to include these unsubstantiated allegations about a living person. VQuakr (talk) 00:21, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Seems reasonable to include the public record, but avoid drawing conclusions about the validity of the allegations toward Zimmerman. If the text is question isn't clear regarding which allegations did or didn't result in arrest and which did to didn't result in convictions, that should be corrected. But if the allegations are present in the public record, I think it appropriate that they are included.Bpabbott (talk) 01:22, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Had Zimmerman been "relatively unknown", the story would not appear on the main page of CNN and every major news outlet around the world. TFD (talk) 00:38, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Zimmerman likely qualifies for WP:WELLKNOWN at this point, so the issues would be WP:GRAPEVINE or WP:NOTNEWS. I think this type of thing has become a sustained part of Zimmerman's reputation and overcomes those objections. Gaijin42 (talk) 00:59, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

VQuakr, there are now 4 editors who have expressed disagreement with your interpretation. Please establish consensus for your massive deletions (nearly 10K!) and don't edit war further. Wikipedia is not restricted to convictions only, there is no red line for that. Nor does that article have "unsubstantiated allegations", it is factual NPOV reportage of major news events with V. -- GreenC 01:16, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

No, WP:BLP requires caution. The essay WP:LOWPROFILE summarizes my position reasonably well - the subject of this article is notable because of their involvement with the death of Martin, but they have not exhibited any particular desire to become or remain well-known, ie self-promotion. Devoting a third of the article to a string of legal run-ins, which made the news cycle but did not result in convictions, has a potential to have real-world effects on this person's life. This is exactly why WP:BLP requires caution when adding negative content to BLP's, and why it is not relevant that there is, as you have repeatedly noted in your edit summaries, "no consensus" to exclude the content. I simply do not think that inclusion of 10kb worth of this content in the article represents exercise of "the greatest care" in editing. VQuakr (talk) 01:45, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I posted a link at WP:BLPN to encourage some additional input to the discussion here. VQuakr (talk) 01:49, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
The media have decided that he is a high profile person, giving front page coverage to all his encounters with the law. We merely reflect that. You could consider writing to CNN, etc., and asking them not to write about him anymore. TFD (talk) 01:58, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
That is not what our policies say. Please review WP:AVOIDVICTIM: When writing about a person noteworthy only for one or two events, including every detail can lead to problems, even when the material is well sourced. We are specifically instructed not to parrot everything that reliable sources say about living persons. VQuakr (talk) 02:01, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Zimmerman is also known for his repeated run-ins with the law. He has been in and out of the national news for years one thing after the next. It's fairly irrational to censor what he is known for. Not sure how many people have to say the same thing in different ways. BLP "abundance of caution" doesn't mean removing what a person is notable for, the policy and guidelines are pretty clear on that. -- GreenC 02:58, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You're extrapolating from AVOIDVICTIM, which is a subpolicy designed to protect victimization of people only known for one or two events. For starters, Zimmerman has been a perpetrator in all 4 instances in which he was reported by the media. Additionally, he is no longer notable for one or two events anymore (not that invalidating this would invalidate the fact that he's still the perpetrator). I don't see how excluding this would benefit the article. --RAN1 (talk) 03:04, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
The stated main points of Biographies of living persons (WP:BLP) are Nuetral point of view (WP:NPOV), Verifiability (WP:V), and no original research (WP:NOR). Have any of these points been violated by the 10K content in question?Bpabbott (talk) 02:11, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
None of it is violated. It was carefully constructed and worded. -- GreenC 02:58, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
BLP is its own policy. VQuakr (talk) 06:41, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Regarding "BLP is its own policy" what are you implying that policy to be? The page WP:BLP states the main point of its policy to be Nuetral point of view (WP:NPOV), Verifiability (WP:V), and no original research (WP:NOR). I don't see any of these points being violated. If you think they are, please itemize the problems. If you think some other aspect of policy is being violated, please elaborate.Bpabbott (talk) 12:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
The same sentence to which you are referring also lists the text of BLP. Straw man. VQuakr (talk) 17:38, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think, that any "desire of becoming well known" matters here but the decision should only be based on whether somebody is of public interest/high profile. I mean the question should ask ourselves as a test is whether we would we report this in the case of another high profile personality or not and i think the answer to that one is yes. I can't really imagine any serious biography or background report on trayvor martin not mentioning these run-ins with the law, omitting them in WP would create essentially create a description of trayvor Martin being unfaithful to that reputable sources, which in the case of high profile person is a clear no-go failing core policies. I agree with Green that blocking this content would be an overreaching/misapplication of WP:BLP and WP:BLPCRIME.--Kmhkmh (talk) 04:46, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

We are discussing incidents that occurred after the death of Martin. What is their relevance to him? VQuakr (talk) 06:41, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Why does CNN write stories about Zimmerman that do not relate to the killing? Have you written to them to complain? Because we are supposed to cover the details of any subject in proportion to how they are covered in reliable sources. TFD (talk) 07:53, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
@The Four Deuces: you have repeated this argument a few times, and you have not become less wrong with each repetition. Low profile is being conflated with notable here, but per BLP: Many Wikipedia articles contain material on people who are not well known, even if they are notable enough for their own article. These are two difference concepts. That policy section also links WP:LOWPROFILE, making it clear that the essay is not just about BLP1E. Anyone who is a public figure is likely notable per WP:GNG, but not everyone who is notable is a public figure. Again WP:AVOIDVICTIM is explicit in telling us not to parrot the coverage of news outlets. VQuakr (talk) 17:38, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Came here after reading about Zimmerman's most recent run-in, was surprised to see no mention of it in the article. VQuakr, I agree that BLP is a very important policy. But when you construe the policy to omit large chunks of appropriate, cited biographical content, then your interpretation of it is getting in the way of the rest of WP policy. The point of WP:LOWPROFILE is to identify articles whose subject qualifies them as deletable under BLP1E, not to pick out subjects whose articles deserve special treatment. Your applications of AVIODVICTIM and BLPCRIME are also incorrect, as Zimmerman isn't a victim of anything and is not a "relatively unknown" person. Zimmerman is, quite obviously, notable at this point. Therefore it is our responsibility to not unduly omit relevant facts about his life post-Martin shooting. Again per UNDUE, the middle two incidents from the 10k revision should be trimmed to a couple of sentences each like the others; the 10k revision is too much. But the fact that he isn't an attention-seeking celebrity doesn't preclude him from a neutrally- and comprehensively-written article about his life. Deadbeef 13:48, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

I've restored the section with a fairly large trim per WP:UNDUE. The section on his shooting of Martin could probably stand to be slightly longer but that is mostly a matter of taste. Deadbeef 14:18, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Nope. Covering these individual arrests and complaints, which never would have gotten a word in most other biographies and never, ever would have qualified as significant coverage for a personal not already notable, has the net effect of dominating the article. Per WP:UNDUE and WP:AVOIDVICTIM these need to be excluded until (if ever) a conviction is secured. VQuakr (talk) 17:38, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
The WP:AVOIDVICTIM policy states the content should be "completely sourced, neutral, and on-topic". If that is not the case, please provide specifics so that the content may be corrected. The WP:UNDUE policy is about neutrality of a viewpoint. Meaning that if wiki is to express a viewpoint it should be given weight consistent with its "prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public." I don't see how the article is taking on a viewpoint. If you think it is please clarify what that viewpoint is and how it is not prevalent in reliable sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bpabbott (talkcontribs) 19:16, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Should the police record section be reduced[edit]

Consensus is fairly clearly against this change. Number 57 17:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the "Other encounters with police" sub-section be changed from this to this ie. everything but convictions removed.

Please sign Support or Oppose below.

Note: previous discussion in section above. Notifying participants: @Kmhkmh:,@VQuakr:,@Bpabbott:,@The Four Deuces:,@Gaijin42:,@RAN1:,@Deadbeef: -- GreenC 19:13, 11 January 2015 (UTC)


  • Oppose Zimmerman is WP:WELLKNOWN and his run-ins with police is a central part of his life history and biography as evidence but substantial coverage in multiple reliable sources. He is known for his many run ins with police it is a central aspect of his notability. -- GreenC 19:13, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Poll is irrelevant per WP:NOTAVOTE. Produce a BLP-compliant reasoning instead; none has been presented so far. Please also note that compliance with WP:BLP is not subject to local consensus. VQuakr (talk) 19:46, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Apparently you are the one who decides when something is BLP-compliant or not. -- GreenC 19:51, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Not at all. But it does not matter if four editors or forty disagree with me; decisions are made by consensus not majority vote. There are numerous dispute resolution methods available; this RfC is one of them. Due to WP:BLP's requirement for exceptional caution, our default is, of course, to exclude the material from article space while the issue is being discussed. VQuakr (talk) 19:55, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Consensus refers to the primary way decisions are made on Wikipedia, and it is accepted as the best method to achieve our goals. Consensus on Wikipedia does not mean unanimity (which, although an ideal result, is not always achievable); nor is it the result of a vote. Decision-making involves an effort to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Please explain how any legitimate concern has not been addressed. I think all concerns express and been addressed either by modifying the content, or by explaining why the concern is not in violation with Wikipedia's policies.Bpabbott (talk) 01:14, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
RFCs aren't polls, but they are a place where the merits of arguments are considered. The arguments here for restoring the material seem to be that the Zimmerman is a well-known public figure, sources reporting his law enforcement encounters are reliable and verifiable (both in compliance with BLP), and excluding said run-ins would violate NPOV per the principle of due weight. Your argument is based on the assertion that none of these arguments are based in BLP policy, which does not seem to be the case. If you want to reduce the profile of those incidents as they are presented in the article, you might gain more support, but as it stands general consensus is to restore the material, which is in line with WP:BLPREQUESTRESTORE, which states consensus is needed to restore material without significant change. --RAN1 (talk) 01:33, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
The section was reduced from about 10k to 7k in a recent edit by Deadbeef. The 7k version is what is linked in the RfC proposal. -- GreenC 02:17, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Zimmerman's various brushes with the law are an important of understanding his personality and biography. They are widly reported in the media and it is inconceivable to me that any proper biographic article would not consider them. Hence not mentioning them at all and creating the impression the trayvor Martin case was his only brush with the law is aside from being a violation of WP:UNDUE and WP:NPOV simply bad encyclopedic writing. However while this imho dictates that they need to be mentioned it does not settle the amount of detail and how much of the overall article should be devoted to it, this is open to editorial judgement and an potential option for a compromise. It is imho arguable to shorten that section by providing a summarizing account and a more tense style. This also assure that there is no WP:UNDUE issue of a separate kind and to address AVOIDVICTIM concerns. But let reiterate a wholesale removal is no-go from my perspective.--Kmhkmh (talk) 21:45, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I would not characterize my removal as wholesale, since I did leave the one incident that resulted in an effective guilty verdict (the 2005 pre-trial diversion program). I absolutely disagree with your claim that we should include the other incidents as "important of understanding his personality" - this is precisely the wrong reason to keep the content, and precisely why I think cases in which the subject was not proven guilty should be excluded. VQuakr (talk) 02:56, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually it is absolutely the right reason for inclusion (provided it does not violate policies, which imho it does not here). The "legal" threshold is to protect privacy and to avoid victimization in cases of less known people, which however doesn't really apply to Zimmerman. You cannot restrict of a person to legal convictions in particular not if external sources do otherwise.--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:59, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Accepting pre-trial diversion is pretty much pleading guilty, whether a conviction is recorded or not. One would not accept diversion if one was innocent. It is relevant to what the subject is most notable for. AlanStalk 16:22, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Reliable sources determine what is signficant about a subject and we report that. TFD (talk) 22:23, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Objections have been discussed and, in my opinion, resolved. If other objections remain, they should be documented in sufficient detail that the objections may be verified and resolved.Bpabbott (talk) 22:52, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per comment above and note that VQuakr is currently eligible for a block per WP:3RR, which I would support. Deadbeef 23:24, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Zimmerman isn't a victim, and even if he were, per Green Cardamom he is well-known for his interactions with law enforcement. Furthermore, the contentious material is well-sourced and verifiable, making this a non-BLP issue. --RAN1 (talk) 01:06, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As long as there are reliable sources on the subject. Fraulein451 (talk) 17:55, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The other encounters with police have verified, reliable, secondary sources to back them up, not simply just arrest records. Those arrests contribute significantly to the public's understanding of George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin case. Dmrwikiprof (talk) 21:22, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Neither: Just follow the cites - report what is is and in proportion to the external coverage, and otherwise try to just follow the WP policies such as WP:BLP. Stating a desire or policy or seeking a poll over what should be included seems seeking which of two flavors of WP:OR to do. Markbassett (talk) 17:05, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Comment: OR doesn't apply to consensus-making, could you please clarify how that applies here? --RAN1 (talk) 02:27, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per pretty much every other comment here. Summoned by RfC bot. Coretheapple (talk) 01:30, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Zimmerman is WP:WELLKNOWN through his own volition, so WP:AVOIDVICTIM does not apply. He agreed to do interviews with Fox News, CNN, and Univision. He accepted an invitation to appear at a gun show in Florida and sign autographs/pose for pictures. He also agreed to participate in a celebrity boxing match, which was his idea (match never happened). He voluntarily listed an autographed painting on ebay, capitalizing on his name/notoriety. These are not the actions of someone who wishes to retain a "low profile". Isaidnoway (talk) 23:28, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Summoned here by bot. I agree with most of the opposing statements made above by other users. Zimmerman is quite notable for his encounters with law enforcement and it is important to include them in his biography. The material being discussed has proper and reliable sources, therefore it shouldn't really be an issue. The encounters discussed are verified and sourced. I think at this point the discussion is a non-BLP issue. Cheers, Comatmebro ~Come at me~ 01:08, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Zimmerman is a well known person and the source of his being well known can mostly be attributed to his dealings with law enforcement. To minimise topics relating directly to his notability would be a violation of WP:UNDUE and WP:NPOV. AlanStalk 16:33, 5 February 2015 (UTC)


@Green Cardamom: you have claimed several times that Zimmerman is "well known". This may be true, but it does not make him a WP:PUBLICFIGURE. By linking WP:WELLKNOWN without complying with the text of the policy, you give the impression that you are familiar with the linkbox text but not the policy itself. VQuakr (talk) 19:46, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

@VQuakr: Yes, policies need to be followed and yes arguments cannot simply be settled by a poll. Having said that however, you should not confuse your interpretation of the a policy with the policy itself. The same goes for weighing all the (potentially conflicting) policies involved here. A poll not being an ultimate decision tool on its own can nevertheless be used to get better overview of the positions and assessments of a larger group of editors and their interpretation of the policies. Moreover your last edits were close to edit warring, so I suggest that you refrain from editing the article for now and wait for the results of the RFC.--Kmhkmh (talk) 21:29, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

@VQuakr: Given that Zimmerman was satirized in the South Park episode "World War Zimmerman", I think Zimmerman easily qualifies as a public figure.Bpabbott (talk) 01:07, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

@VQuakr: Per Deadbeef and the definite oppose consensus above, this does not constitute a BLP issue. Bear in mind that any further reverts are likely not to be considered protected from 3RR under BLP. --RAN1 (talk) 01:11, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

FYI all, this page is on my watchlist so it is not necessary to ping on every reply. I noted WP:NOTAVOTE above, but I do concede that it is rare on Wiki to get a 6-1 vote on just about anything. I still am unable to reconcile, though, how this content can possibly be in compliance with "guilty until proven innocent". The subject has been (effectively if not technically) found guilty of exactly one offense - shoving a cop in 2005. The incident for which he is notable, shooting Martin, has received broad coverage and should be in the article. The other incidents, though, should not convey any guilt onto the subject: a 2005 reciprocal restraining order, two 2013 domestic disturbance calls (one of which briefly resulted in charges which were dropped, the other of which resulted in no charges), a 2014 traffic incident allegedly involving threats but no arrests or charges, and a recent arrest with charges. Can anyone name another BLP in which we report on domestic disturbance calls and traffic stops? Reliable media have reported these incidents, probably because it fits a narrative that sells well, but our policies require us to be more conservative. VQuakr (talk) 02:26, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Not sure in the question is facetious, but the OJ Simpson page does appear to me report on incidents with similar merit, or lack thereof. However, I don't think the OJ page justifies doing the wrong thing elsewhere and am sympathetic to your reasonable words. Perhaps some words should be added to avoid promoting the view of guilt? Bpabbott (talk) 02:46, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
No, the question was not meant to be facetious. VQuakr (talk) 02:51, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Look at it this way: Bill Cosby is a comedian. His page reflects that (and is larger than Zimmerman's because Zimmerman's notability is spun out over multiple articles.) All of the allegations against Cosby over sexual assault have been, as of yet, unsubstantiated by anything. But those allegations are widely reported and noteworthy in discussing his life, so a not-so-small portion of his page is dedicated to discussing them. It doesn't matter that he has not been convicted of sexual assault; the allegations were reported by multiple, reliable sources, and that is why they are in the article. It would be whitewashing his page not to include them, and that is the problem here. Deadbeef 02:52, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
There are a few differences. Cosby has settled out of court - civil actions not legal but still something. More importantly, Bill Cosby's career choice makes him a public figure, a term with precise legal meaning that has been conflated with notability by some editors in this discussion. VQuakr (talk) 02:59, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Even though Wikipedia is not a court of law, I will mention that under the U.S. definition of public figure, Zimmerman is probably an involuntary public figure due to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. At this stage, there have been several sources documenting his incidents, so under Wikipedia's definition of public figure he is not exempt from sources that report allegations against him. We do not apply the standard of innocent until proven guilty to describing allegations, that is reserved for saying the suspect committed a crime. Btw, if you want to come up with a more tempered version of the allegations, you should use your userspace to create a draft due to the edit warring. --RAN1 (talk) 03:15, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
George Zimmerman is a public figure. He hired a PR firm to represent him, and he played his fame to sell unremarkable artwork for high prices that normally wouldn't sell at all. -- GreenC 14:05, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Encounters with Matthew Apperson" section header[edit]

I percieve that revert somehow strange since until recent development it was part of the police encounters section (for 8 month?). I don't have strong feelings tho and let others blow the chime to decide.--TMCk (talk) 00:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Might as well file the rest under "encounter with his estranged wife/girlfriend/etc.--TMCk (talk) 00:11, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Hispanic American[edit]

Does Zimmerman describe himself as Hispanic American? GingerBreadHarlot (talk) 20:02, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 August 2015[edit]

Last paragraph says: "In August 2016, Zimmerman began selling..."

It should say: "In August 2015, Zimmerman began selling..." Ipalladino (talk) 19:15, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting wait.svg Already done Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 20:01, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Comments on Virginia TV shooting worthy of inclusion?[edit]

A while back, a user protested the potential deleting of his offenses, reasoning that it was insightful of his personality. That's the only argument I could make for including his comments on the Alison Parker and Adam Ward deaths, critiquing the president as well, but I don't know where it could be placed. What does everyone else think? -Informant16 28 August 2015

What source(s) do you propose using? In what context did he make the comments? VQuakr (talk) 01:56, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
ETA - alleged offenses, and per the overwhelming majority above it was a lot more than one user. VQuakr (talk) 01:58, 29 August 2015 (UTC)