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Statement by estranged wife

Zimmerman's estranged wife has issued a statement saying she now doubts his innocence in the murder of Trayvon. [1] Seems like a fairly significant statement that should probably be included in the article when it can be edited again. And as of this writing, Zimmerman is suspected of breaking into the apartment of his in-laws. [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Actually, she said "she believes the evidence"
  • The article you linked specifically says "they do not have any suspects"

Your attention to accuracy is astounding! Gaijin42 (talk) 15:57, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

You hit the nail on the head when you described her as "estranged". I think we should wait for the dust to settle a little bit around these divorce proceedings before we start adding every little thing she says about her soon to be ex-husband. I do agree that she can offer a unique perspective about Zimmerman, and some of her statements about him have been fairly significant, but it's also very important to remember that they are going through a seemingly ugly divorce and her comments only came about after she announced she was filing for a divorce. As far as the home being broken into, the police are investigating that incident and we can wait for their investigation to conclude. The statement I saw released from the Lake Mary police said: "There was some damage to the house. Who committed that damage, I don't know. Was it there before hand, I don't know, We're trying to figure out exactly what we have here". [3]-- Isaidnoway (talk) 16:48, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

 :: Yes it is evident that I do pay attention to detail as I am the one brought two new developments to the attention of editors. And isn't it to be expected that a man accused of murder of a child would have ugly divorce? Isn't it astonishing the lengths some editors will go to in order to keep anything not pleasant about this man out of the main article? Several people seem to be bending over backwards to try to paint a pristine picture of this man known solely for crimes. (And don't act like it's not obvious what has gone on… the home of his in-law was broken into weeks after he was detained by police at said house. And don't act like it's not significant that a wife who stood by him during the trail now agrees that he's guilty and she doesn't know what he's capable of. But continue to defend a child killing vigilante that even the police chief says is a danger to society…) (talk) 19:29, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Articles are supposed to reflect what reliable sources say - that is policy. I suppose some stories will be prejudicial to the subject, while others may be laudatory. It is not our role to pick and choose which are which and whether or not to report them. TFD (talk) 19:13, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

As to my attention to details, it says right there in the header of an article by Christian Science Monitor (a very reputable news source), "George Zimmerman is also being investigated for stealing a TV and a couch from his in-laws." [4] (talk) 19:37, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Please attend your acute detail gathering skills to our Wikipedia guidelines on biographies about criminals. Specifically: "A living person accused of a crime is presumed not guilty unless and until this is decided by a court of law." We do not typically write Wikipedia content about being being investigated for crimes. Dkriegls (talk to me!) 20:35, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
The article you linked to also says: Hudson says officers are handling the matter as a landlord-tenant dispute and want to talk to Shellie Zimmerman's parents and also George Zimmerman before deciding if a theft took place. Judging by your comments above, you are clearly biased against Zimmerman and you seem to want to turn this article into a WP:ATTACK. As far as WP:RS is concerned, just because it's reported doesn't necessarily mean it has to be included. WP:CONSENSUS is a determining factor in content as well.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 21:09, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Again, the article I added says right in its intro that he is being investigated for theft. This is an accurate statement and it is correctly cited. Please note that I didn't add it to the main article, but merely linked it here on the discussion page which is appropriate. I have cited a reputable source and I have accurately quoted them. It is in violation of Wikipedia rules for you to interpret my motives. My personal opinion of Zimmerman is not the issue. The issue is whether the statement is accurate and correctly sourced. And it is. (talk) 21:52, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Can you cite this rule? I'm sure the rest of the editors here would be interested learn how "It is in violation of Wikipedia rules for you to interpret my motives." Also, no one is interpreting your intentions, you flat out said: "Seems like a fairly significant statement that should probably be included in the article". We are simply telling you that this information violates our WP:Biographies of Living People rules guidelines. We thank you for sharing, and no one is accusing you or trying to interpret your motives. We're only critiquing the information. Dkriegls (talk to me!) 22:04, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

It is Wikipedia policy to assume good faith. All I did was offer a timely article from a reputable source and ask if others thought it would be appropriate for the article. Please don't deny that this is on-topic and well sourced. The Christian Science Monitor is one of the most respected publications in the nation. Thank you. (talk) 22:56, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

I am assuming good faith, because I'm assuming that your comments about Zimmerman on this talkpage are because you're not familiar with WP's guidelines, rather than because you've chosen to intentionally ignore them. WP:BLP not only applies to articles, it also applies to talkpages as well and it says that unsourced material that is negative or just questionable – should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion. Your comments above; man known solely for crimes and child killing vigilante are defamatory towards Zimmerman and yes, make me question your motives. Would you care to remove those comments? I'm not opposed to including this information, but rather waiting on the outcome of the investigation to determine what happened. WP is not a "breaking news" organization.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 23:43, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

I repeat: this is well sourced information. Wikipedia policy is that in order to be included in a biography of a living person, Information must be well-sourced. And I repeat for about the third time now: This is well sourced. (talk) 01:00, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

It is required that information be well-sourced. It is not necessarily sufficient. BLPs have higher standards, particularly when the very source you are attempting to use directly contradicts the statements you propose for the article. When this information is widely covered, and directly and unambiguously implicates Zimmerman, then consensus will determine if it meets the criteria for BLP and should be included in the article. It is clear that such consensus does not exist currently. Gaijin42 (talk) 23:00, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

I haven't contradicted myself at all. It says right there in the article from the Christian Science Monitor that Zimmerman is being investigated for breaking into the apartment of his in-laws. And this is only one of numerable sources that make the same statement. (talk) 23:22, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

NBC news story: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm responding to a request for input made by Legebot. I think the article is fairly balanced at this point, however brief, given the complexity of the situation. Also, it mentions via a quote that his wife is on probation but does not say why. She was put on probation after pleading guilty to lying to the court about the state of their finances which were considerably more than the Zimmermans had been claiming at his bail hearing. Activist (talk) 10:51, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Should photographs be included in this article?

Closing per request at WP:ANRFC. I have also reviewed this earlier discussion prior to reading this discussion for better context. Speaking of context, that plays an important role in this discussion. The short conclusion for those who like to read bold print is that editors were opposed to using photo #2, but there was a consensus of editors in favor of using photo #1 (not for the infobox).

Editors who opposed both photographs argued that both are contextualized during the period of his arrest, and therefore are inappropriate to use out of context to present a person in a false or disparaging light, and also noted that it is not necessary to have an image. Editors who specifically did not support image #2 agreed with this assessment, but did not agree that image #1 casts a negative light on the subject. Editors argued that #1 does not violate WP:MUG because 1) although it is technically related to the crime, there is nothing apparent in the picture to suggest it, 2) the accompanying caption is relatively neutral.

Importantly, editors emphasized that a should a better quality and free image turn up, it should be considered as a replacement. I, JethroBT drop me a line 06:09, 6 November 2013 (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.

RfC: Should one or more of these photographs be included somewhere in the body of the article? (not infobox)

  • Photo #1. Caption: "George Zimmerman, 2012"
  • Photo #2. Caption: "Identification Photo used in court proceedings; taken at Seminole County Sheriff's Office in 2012"
Notes on RfC
  1. An exhaustive search of the web for photographs of Zimmerman that are not trial related was conducted. There are three known pictures from before the shooting, but they are rights holder unknown (presumably Zimmerman). Due to Wikipedia Fair Use restrictions it is probably not possible to use them since public domain pictures of Zimmerman exist, or could likely be made to exist. Thus the only pictures of Zimmerman available are trial related, there is no prejudice or bias in choosing trial related pictures, rather that is all that exists to document Zimmerman visually on Wikipedia.
  2. Picture #1 and #2 were selected from the Commons pool based on previous discussion for as neutral a pose, background, expression and context as possible.

-- Green Cardamom (talk) 18:09, 3 October 2013 (UTC)


Please !vote Support or Oppose. "Support" votes say which photo.

  • Support Per previous discussion. Photo #1 a neutral photo and caption. If there is consensus also include #2, or instead of. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 16:38, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
  • support Just like most of the photos of celebrities in wikipedia, our photos of them suck. We take what we can get that is licensed or fair used appropriately. Although #2 would normally run afoul of WP:MUG it is not obviously a mug shot (there is no height chart behind him, he isn't holding up a sign, etc). It could just as easily be his driver's license photo. However, I hold no special love for these two photos. I also support replacing them immediately if and when better photos become available. Gaijin42 (talk) 18:28, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Either or both photos. Preference is #1 as it is applicable to the case. Binksternet (talk) 18:45, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion of one or more photos. Between the options of photo 1 and photo 2, photo #2 is preferable because it is of higher quality (clear and sharp as opposed to blurred like photo 1). Dezastru (talk) 18:57, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Addendum: the caption proposed for photo #2 is problematic under WP:MUG, inasmuch as Zimmerman was acquitted. The proposed caption should be changed to read simply, "George Zimmerman in 2012". The photo itself does not appear to show Zimmerman in a negative or false light (hair is not disheveled, it is not a classic combination of front view with side view traditionally prepared for police bookings, he does not appear to be under duress, and there are no police booking numbers or markings evident to indicate that it is a booking photo as opposed to a driver's license or passport photo, or a self-portrait from an automated photo booth), so there should be no other problem for inclusion under WP:MUG. Dezastru (talk) 22:56, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Either or both pictures would be fine. Copy Editor (talk) 20:04, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, as per other editors. Boneyard90 (talk) 21:17, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose both. WP:MUG reads: "Images of living persons should not be used out of context to present a person in a false or disparaging light. This is particularly important for police booking photographs (mugshots), or situations where the subject was not expecting to be photographed." This is not just about mug shots: "Images of living persons should not be used out of context to present a person in a false or disparaging light." This is not the article on "The incident that transpired in Sanford, Florida, in the time period February 26, 2012 to July 13, 2013, involving George Zimmerman". This is the article on the entire life of George Zimmerman. Notice the title of the article. George Zimmerman was found not guilty at trial. The photographs being suggested undoubtedly cast Zimmerman in a "disparaging light.". Bus stop (talk) 10:36, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose both per Bus Stop comment above. This article does not have to have a photo. There are many low notability BLP's on WP that do not have photos. Later when another photo is available, one that is not a police photo and does not disparage the subject, then that new more appropriate photo can be used.--KeithbobTalk 20:18, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support #1. The image doesn't show him in a disparaging light at all and would fit perfectly in the "Trayvon Martin shooting and trial" section. It's just a shot of a simple walkthru at a crime scene that is usually done with suspects, witnesses or victims. As a side effect it would show readers how he looks like, a common "urge" when reading about a person. But I agree that although the mug-shot looks just like an ordinary portrait, per BLP it cannot be used as a lead image in the infobox and I personally think it would be difficult to make it fit into the proper section w/o being POV even if context and a NPOV caption is added.TMCk (talk) 22:05, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose both per WP:MUG. Instaurare (talk) 04:15, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support #1. Subjectively, #2 seems fine, but there have been credible WP:MUG issues raised. I think these issues are less compelling in the case of #1, and I agree with TMCk. Maybe someone should try to contact the subject and request a public domain pic, which would solve this issue. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 11:22, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose both per comments by Bus Stop above. We should just wait until a good picture comes along. I do not know what that picture will look like though. Banishing a gun? Buying a hot dog? Shaking hands with his lawyer? Pulling people from an overturned SUV? Richard-of-Earth (talk) 20:14, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support #1. Agree that #2 poses WP:MUG problem, but curious as to how #1 was obtained and if it is truly in public domain. --- never mind just read the accompanying info after it occurred to me to look. :) Wickedlizzie (talk) 21:27, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support #1. Not a great photo, but if it is the best available that meets our BLP policy then I suppose it is better than nothing. VQuakr (talk) 05:09, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support #1.I really do not see any explanation why this photo would be contrary to the policies. The only Wikipedia policy invoked here is wp:MUG which states that image "should not be used out of context to present a person in a false or disparaging light". First of all, this photo is not out of context. This person is notable solely because of his trial, so this photo is perfectly in context. Second, I don't see any reason this photo presents him in "a false or disparaging light". He is dressed normally, his face is calm, he is in no way being "in a false or disparaging light". The wp:MUG policiy also states that we should not use police mugshots (which this one is not) or photos "where the subject was not expecting to be photographed" (It is obvious that he did expect to be photographed). So, this photo perfectly fits into wp:MUG policy. Vanjagenije (talk) 09:23, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
He was found not guilty. In accordance with WP:MUG a photo should not be used out of context to present a person in a false or disparaging light. In the context of the outcome of the trial, the photos presented above disparage Zimmerman. These were photos from a time when he was under a cloud of suspicion of being legally culpable for the death of a person. He was eventually cleared of those charges in a court of law. It doesn't matter if we are talking about a photo that is literally a mugshot or simply a photo that clearly relates to a crime of which a person has been exonerated. As a practical matter, most photos taken between February 26, 2012 and July 13, 2013 are going to be ineligible for inclusion in this article. We would need a photo unrelated to the Trayvon Martin shooting. I doubt that we are going to find such a photo from that period of time. Photos before or after that period of time are more likely to be consonant with his innocence as established by due process. Bus stop (talk) 23:36, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
"In the context of the outcome of the trial, the photos presented above disparage Zimmerman.... As a practical matter, most photos taken between February 26, 2012 and July 13, 2013 are going to be ineligible for inclusion in this article." This is a wildly overbroad interpretation of WP:MUG. The policy does not say that no images taken during a period in which a person was under investigation for or being tried for a crime can be used. In fact, when the language we now have in WP:MUG was originally being discussed, an initial proposal would have had the policy specifically read, "Mugshots resulting from a false, illegal or wrongful arrest should not be used in a living person's biography. This includes cases where the person was later cleared of all charges, or where all charges were dropped. Exceptions may be made where the subject has reproduced the image in their own published or self-published writings." That language was rejected in the discussion. In subsequent discussion, an argument was advanced by some contributors that all mugshots are inherently demeaning and should never be included in articles subject to BLP policy. That argument also failed to gain consensus. One editor who argued strongly for excluding all mugshots cited a ruling from a United States Court of Appeals, which held that "The double-shot picture, with front and profile shots alongside each other, is so familiar, from 'wanted' posters in the post office, motion pictures and television, that the inference that the person involved has a criminal record, or has at least been in trouble with the police, is natural, perhaps automatic" – again, the images under discussion in the Zimmerman case do not fall into the double-shot or "wanted" poster category. Several of the contributors in the discussions also noted that consideration should be given to whether the mugshot was recognizable as a mugshot. The contributor who had cited the court ruling, for example, later in the discussion wrote: "I think there is a big difference between a situation where a mugshot is the only free image available and a situation where many usable free images exist. In the former case, we should crop the photo to only show a face-on image, with no profile view, sign board, height markers or other mugshot giveaways. The caption should not indicate it is a mug shot." (In other words, the kind of image we have in photo #2.) Dezastru (talk) 02:03, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
This person was found not guilty. Find a photo consistent with his innocence. If it can be found within the time period February 26, 2012 and July 13, 2013 that is fine. But this article is on the whole person. He was not convicted of a crime yet the photos being suggested relate to a crime. That is disparagement. Find a photo of him playing the piano if he plays piano. WP:MUG is clear that we should not be using photos that disparage. As an aside, many of those arguing for these photos are arguing that Zimmerman is only notable for one event. Those are arguments for deletion of the article. The general rule in many cases is to cover the event, not the person. However, as both the event and the individual's role grow larger, separate articles become justified. We have two articles besides this one: State of Florida v. George Zimmerman and Shooting of Trayvon Martin. Do we not have sufficient coverage of this event already in those two other articles? OK—there is sufficient interest at least among Wikipedia editors for an article on George Zimmerman. But this is not necessarily an article on the "Shooting of Trayvon Martin" or the "State of Florida v. George Zimmerman". This is an article on the entire life of the person in the title of the article. This is an innocent man. Not because I say so. We are writing an article about a man found not guilty after a jury trial of wrongdoing in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. At the conclusion of the trial Judge Debra S. Nelson said to Zimmerman "You have no further business with the court." There are no strings attached. He is not semi-innocent. Wikipedia has to use photos consistent with his innocence. That is the "context" in which we view Zimmerman. Images of living persons should not be used out of context to present a person in a false or disparaging light. There is nothing remotely "guilty" about Zimmerman. Therefore if we have pictures of him at the piano (if he plays piano) those would be appropriate for a man who is completely innocent of any crime. Bus stop (talk) 03:04, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
You continue to cite WP:MUG without acknowledging that the photos under discussion here are qualitatively different than the kinds of photos that were intended when WP:MUG was drafted. If there are alternative photos of Zimmerman in the public domain, the burden is on you to identify them. (Incidentally, the jury's verdict was "not guilty." It was not "innocent.) Dezastru (talk) 03:28, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I do not agree that there is any immediate need for a photo of Zimmerman in this article. Bus stop (talk) 03:39, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Just because it doesn't appear to be a police booking photo does not negate the fact that it is indeed a mugshot taken of an individual who was arrested and charged with a crime at the time the photo was taken. Suggesting that we just ignore the fact that it is a police booking photo by slapping a neutral caption on it is exactly the reason we have WP:MUG and WP:BLP.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 04:43, 21 October 2013 (UTC)


• The idea that the mug shot depicts him in a negative light, is a ridiculous argument. First of all, as others have noted, unless told so, one wouldn't even assume that it was a mug shot. It actually looks more like a portrait. Then there is the argument that this is a page about his overall life and not just his killing of Trayvon Martin. Ok. Fair enough. But, you see, not just anyone can get a Wikipedia biography page. Wikipedia requires that one be notable in some way. So, what was it that made Zimmerman notable? Ah, yes… the fact that he killed Trayvon Martin. While it is true he was found "Not Guilty" (by jurors who say they were in tears at feeling pressured to deliver that verdict [5]), even Zimmerman admits that he killed Trayvon. He even issued an apology to Trayvon's family [6]. But before I get off- topic… let's not forget that while this is a biography page, it is the biography page of someone notable solely as a defendant in a murder case and who has remained in the media spotlight solely for subsequent encounters with the police. If you try to disassociate Zimmerman from his being the defendant in a murder case, then you take away his one claim to notability, in which case it would actually make more sense to nominate this biography page for deletion, rather than contest the inclusion of information regarding his sole source of notability. (talk) 20:23, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Is Mr. Zimmerman under arrest? Is Mr. Zimmerman incarcerated? Is Mr. Zimmerman still on trial? Ah, no...he was acquitted. And if we are going to use the logic that "you really can't tell, it looks more like a portrait", then lets snag his 2005 booking photo and we can justify using it by telling the readers the orange jumpsuit he is wearing is really just a Halloween costume, because he dressed up as a pumpkin. And it is painstakingly obvious how he acquired his notability, the question is - do we disrespect him by using a mugshot of him in an WP:BLP article? BLP says that "the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment". To me, that means we err on the side of caution and not use an image of him that represents one of the most humiliating and degrading experiences of his life - being booked into a correctional facility. Being photographed for a mugshot and fingerprinted and strip searched and being forced to bend over and spread your ass cheeks while you cough and being housed in ad-seg is extremely humiliating and degrading. Especially so for Mr. Zimmerman who was forced into hiding because of an onslaught of negative media coverage, despite the fact he unequivocally maintained his innocence and was denied due process throughout this whole incident. If there is even a slight possibility it could cause harm to Mr. Zimmerman, then our editorial judgement should tell us not to use a police booking photo of him.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 16:18, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Is George Zimmerman notable for anything other than the fact that he killed Trayvon Martin? Ah, no.... that's all he's known for. That is his single "notable" achievement which has apparently warranted a biography page on Wikipedia. Does the mug shot pertain to Zimmerman's single claim to notability? Ah, yes.... (And, yes, we're all aware that Zimmerman was found not guilty. In your repeated reiteration of that fact, you continually leave out the fact that his acquittal was handed down by jurors in tears, one of whom said "in our hearts he was guilty," [7] and that it sparked widespread outrage throughout the country, resulting in unprecedented demonstrations and protests of hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of people. And then there is also the thing about the President of the Nation even taking the unprecedented action of talking about it from the White House: Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.) (talk) 04:29, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that because a juror was emotionally impacted by serving on the jury and returned with a verdict of not guilty, that it's now OK to disrespect Mr. Zimmerman? It doesn't make any difference if they were doing cartwheels on the courthouse lawn or if tears were streaming down their faces - the undisputed fact remains - they returned with a verdict of Not Guilty. And I would also remind everyone that Mr. Zimmerman is keenly aware of how his image is being portrayed in the media and has taken legal recourse by suing NBC for broadcasting information about him that was used out of context and presented Mr. Zimmerman in a false and disparaging light. Furthermore, the answer to your question "Is George Zimmerman notable for anything other than the fact that he killed Trayvon Martin? Ah, no....that's all he's known for," leaves out a crucial fact to this discussion - he is also notable for being found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 16:02, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not "suggesting" anything. I'm flatly stating something everyone knows: the only "notable" thing that George Zimmerman has done, the only thing that has warranted him even having a biography page on Wikipedia, is that even by his own admission (and apology) he killed Trayvon Martin. It's hilarious how you and several other editors are attempting to divorce this man from the only thing he has done to warrant even being mentioned on Wikipedia. Stop attempting to bury this very obvious point. (Hilarious that you are inserting this idea that he is "notable for being found not-guilty." The term "notorious" would probably apply better because I have already stated numerous times, his acquittal was delivered by jurors in tears who felt in their hearts that he was guilty, sparked outrage throughout the world and even internationally [8], and elicited unprecedented commentary by the most powerful man in the world. Oh, and what was this all about, again? Oh, yes.... the fact that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. You know, the single thing he ever did that gained him notoriety, notability, thus earning him, apparently, a Wikipedia biography article. Stop trying to bury the obvious here....) (talk) 20:09, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
You just don't get it, you completely ignore that his trial and subsequent acquittal was a notable event. Why do you think the jurors were crying? Why do you think there was "outrage" and "unprecedented commentary by the most powerful man in the world"? What was this all about? Oh, yes...he was found not guilty. Immediately following the shooting, there was outrage calling for Mr. Zimmerman's arrest and the president made comments then as well, all notable and directly related to that timeframe of the aftermath of the shooting. But the jurors crying, the outrage and the unprecedented comments by the most powerful man in the world that you reference came about as a direct result of a notable event - his being found not guilty. The jurors emotional response was a direct result of him being found not guilty. The outrage throughout the world was a direct result of him being found not guilty. The unprecedented comments by the most powerful man in the world was a direct result of him being found not guilty. I totally agree that his initial notability was acquired from the shooting and killing of Mr. Martin, but ignoring that his acquittal was a notable event as well reeks of WP:IDONTLIKEIT.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 23:04, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
And what was that trial about? Oh, yes.... the fact that he killed Trayvon Martin. And Barack Obama's speech was about the injustice of the fact that Zimmerman was found not guilty of -- what again? -- ah, yes: the murder of Trayvon Martin. (There is a distinction here. Zimmerman admits to the killing after all.) No matter how you dice it, this man -- I repeat for about the sixth time here -- is notable only for the fact that he killed Trayvon Martin. Every other thing that he has been in the media about -- being found "not guilty" (by a jury that said they were in tears), multiple subsequent encounters with the police, etc. -- would not have received any media coverage if not for the fact that he had become notable/notorious solely for killing an unarmed child. You cannot divorce his notability from the fact that he killed Trayvon Martin. That is the ONE thing this man has done that has warranted mention on Wikipedia in any context. This is a "biography page," but there is nothing in this man's biography that would warrant a page on Wikipedia other than the fact that he killed Travyon Martin. (talk) 02:12, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
"And Barack Obama's speech was about the injustice of the fact that Zimmerman was found not guilty of -- what again? -- ah, yes: the murder of Trayvon Martin." The jury found the evidence matched a justification of self-defense and found Zimmerman not guilty. By the date of Zimmerman's acquittal, under stand-your-ground in Florida, four out of six blacks charged with homicide of whites where SYG was applied were found not-guilty. If a white president went on TV and complained about those defendants not being found guilty of murder, my reaction would be the same as my reaction to Obama's complaint: that's abuse of authority undermining the legal system and contributing the hate that some gleefully heap on a man found not guilty in a court of law. 30% of the beneficiaries of SYG have been black, yet blacks are 16% of Florida's population; SYG is a law that disproportionately benefits black victims who have had to defend themselves.--Naaman Brown (talk) 15:33, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I have already stipulated how Zimmerman initially acquired his notability and that it is the sole reason he became notable. And yeah, I kinda accepted that fact about 18 months ago. And yeah, I know he admitted to shooting and killing Martin in self-defense. And yeah, I realize that no one would know who he is if it wasn't for this fact. And yeah, I know the jury was in tears. And yeah, I'm not trying to divorce his notability from the fact he shot and killed Martin. But none of that negates or diminishes the fact whatsoever that subsequent events that arose out of the shooting were notable as well. C'est la vie.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 06:02, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. Shooting and killing an unarmed child in the name of "defense," and later being acquitted solely due to a controversial law in Florida called "Stand Your Ground," will make one notable. Sad but true. (talk) 20:18, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
One, child? a 5'11" 170lb 17 year old could enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps with parental signature. Two, unarmed? 6% of US homicides are committed by "unarmed" assailants using hands or feet--nationally 800+ per year. Three, the jury acquitted Zimmerman because the evidence showed a reasonable person in his position would be in fear of death or greivous bodily harm. Common law self-defense. The defense did not invoke SYG: the judge added that to the jury instructions. "unarmed child" keeps calling up Martin's self-presentation on social media as some kind of gangster wannabe, images Martin posted but everyone seems to want to keep out of sight.--Naaman Brown (talk) 15:52, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

With regard to the WP:MUG policy, it may be useful in the current discussion to review the issues that were discussed when the language in that policy was adopted in August 2009. The primary impetus appears to have been a need to decide whether a mugshot of Prof. Henry Louis Gates should be included in either his bio or an article about his having been arrested for breaking into his own home. There are several discussions in WP:BLP talk archives #22 and 23. Dezastru (talk) 23:05, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

  • The two images proposed for inclusion constitute disparagement. This is because George Zimmerman was completely exonerated of the crime for which he was tried. The two suggested images very strongly relate to the crime for which the subject of the article was completely exonerated. To depict him that way would constitute figurative tarring and feathering of the subject of the article. The article can remain without a photo until such time that a suitable one becomes available. Bus stop (talk) 03:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
For the umpteenth time: he is notable solely for having killed Trayvon Martin. No one would know who he was if he hadn't killed Trayvon Martin. It doesn't matter that he was found "Not Guilty" in this regard, because the killing of Trayvon is the sole reason he is notable. The fact that he was found "Not Guilty" of murder (though even he admits to killing Trayvon) does NOT change the fact that if not for the fact that he killed Trayvon, no one would know who he is and he wouldn't have a Wikipedia biography page to begin with. You and a few other editors here really need to just come to accept this fact. It's rather astonishing the back-bends you are attempting in order to avoid the obvious. (talk) 04:21, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
This is not relevant to a discussion about a photo per WP:MUG. The text at WP:BLP1E and WP:BLPCRIME suggests we should give consideration to not having an article here, but I think the consensus is that the extended duration of the coverage makes a biography worthwhile. VQuakr (talk) 05:13, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Obviously the article should be deleted according to's argument. But if the article exists, it should not contain disparaging imagery of George Zimmerman. Bus stop (talk) 12:50, 9 October 2013 (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.


National Sheriffs' Association, not "Sheriff's" (this article is protected). That article title, the organization's webpage, and their logo all say "Sheriffs'", and it makes more sense as an association of sheriffs than of one specific sheriff. 2601:8:B500:862:D59:82E6:AAB5:4AF0 (talk) 04:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Fixed. Dwpaul Talk 05:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Zimmerman arrested

Media is reporting Zimmerman was arrested after disturbance call. [9], [10]. Sheriff's office to release details.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 20:23, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Saw it. Zimmerman qualifies for WP:WELLKNOWN at this point, but I think WP:BLPCRIME still says this should stay out of the article, until he is actually charged with something (or at least until we nkow for sure what the story is, and not "according to an anonymous source...". Also, should stay completely out of the shooting article, unless he ends up convicted/restrained/ etc (which would likely end up with him losing firearms rights, which would be relevant to the main article) Gaijin42 (talk) 20:29, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Apologies for my incorrect writeup of what was reported. CNN said that the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said that Zimmeran was arrested in a news release, that isn't "according to an anonymous source..."?Shiningroad (talk) 21:23, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
That he was arrested did come from an official source. The details are anonymous. We don't know what he was arrested for, if he will be charged, who else was involved, etc. We do not have nearly enough sourced information to satisfy WP:BLP at this time. Gaijin42 (talk) 21:30, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
It will be nice to have all that information, but we have a very reliable source(s) saying he was arrested. We can say "He was arrested by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office on Nov. 18, 2013", we don't have to wait for all information about the incident, unless you believe there is room for doubt that he was not arrested, which would be hard to see given the new mugshot photo on CNN. Also BLPCRIME is to protect low profile individual's privacy and Zimmerman is not low profile. BLP only goes so far in protecting people who are low profile, it wasn't meant to protect higher profile individuals from negative press in reliable sources. --Green Cardamom (talk) 21:56, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
CNN now reporting he was "charged Monday with aggravated assault, domestic violence battery and criminal mischief, after an incident at his girlfriend's home in central Florida."[11] Dwpaul Talk 22:21, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

He has now been charged, which puts things into a more includable category imo. aggravated assault, domestic violence battery and criminal mischief. Allegedly pointed a shotgun at girlfriend.

Agree that this pretty clearly merits inclusion in the article. VQuakr (talk) 22:25, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting the same charges [12]. Zimmerman has been charged with aggravated assault, battery domestic violence and criminal mischief, and being held without bail. Deputies said Zimmerman was reported to have pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend, 27-year-old Samantha Scheibe. He also broke a table, pushed her out of the home and barricaded the door with furniture. Deputies received a call from Scheibe around 12:30 p.m. Monday and when they responded and went into the home, Zimmerman was there and was not armed. He was arrested and booked, said Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. We have enough RS to merit inclusion at this time.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 22:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Bond set with conditions

Bond was set at $9000 with conditions and there are new allegations, how much detail do we want to get into on this new case.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 18:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

9k bond seems pretty low. Prosecutors asked for 50k. Interestingly, this judge is the one who previously recused herself from the TM case. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:19, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I moved his 2005 arrest and the other domestic incident to his bio section when I expanded it, should we move that back down to the encounters with police section. There really seems to be a pattern of domestic violence in this man's life.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 19:43, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I think they can be moved down all together. This case is largely he said/she said, since they both called the cops (although he is certainly the one in jail, and maybe he was just smart enough to call the cops again to create doubt). My guess is that the charges get dropped/plead out, and a restraining order is granted, which will mean the end of Zimmerman and legal firearms. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:54, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I think he called 911 for just that - to create doubt. I agree it's a he said/she said case, and we'll have to wait and see if she (or the state) decides to aggressively pursue it. If she does, then I think the prosecution will ask for jail time. He'll probably want a trial at that point.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 20:06, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

According to this story, The girlfriend and her mom has been talking to the media for ~3 weeks, trying to get national media interviews,specifically "looking for payment", which nobody offered - which increases the likelyhood that this situation goes into the deep weeds imo.

Zimmerman to not face federal civil rights charges

Not covered by secondary sources, but during a SYG congressional hearing Sen Lindsay Graham says ~1:30 "Do you agree with Holders decision not to pursue federal charges in the TM case". Ron Sullivan from Harvard Law School then goes into reasons why the decision is correct. Sybina Fulton is sitting immediately next to him during the question, and Sen Graham addresses her at around 4:20 . John Lott is also on the panel, and is asked some statiscical questions about race-on-race crime.

Gaijin42 (talk) 16:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Some what contradicted by secondary sources saying a decision is still pending (from 2 days ago), but Graham may have some inside baseball too. Gaijin42 (talk) 16:25, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Height and weight

His height and weight are mentioned in the infobox, sourced to a police report of him as an inmate. Since his physical attributes are irrelevant to his notability (unlike that of an athlete), I think we should remove them per WP:BLP (especially WP:NPF). Ypnypn (talk) 01:55, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

But size was relevant to the physical altercation, that is the ultimate source of his notability isn't it? (Height and weight at that time, current height and weight I agree are irrelevant)Gaijin42 (talk) 13:57, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
I've moved this earlier discussion to the bottom of the page because I came here tonight with the intention of making the same suggestion as User:Ypnypn (and then noted it had been brought up before). Every time I see GZ's height and weight in the Infobox (and the connected footnote) I think they are extraneous and excessive details that do not belong in a BLP. In response to User:Gaijin42, GZ's physical attributes (then or now) are not the cause of his notability; his poor decisions are. If anyone wants to know whether he was capable (in terms of his stature) of defending himself (assuming defense was needed) against his ultimate victim without a weapon, these statistics are available (as noted) in the source. I do not think they belong in an encyclopedic article about someone who is notable only because of their involvment in a killing. It almost makes it seem like an article concerning an athlete (where these kinds of statistics would be relevant). Propose removing height and weight (and footnote). Dwpaul Talk 03:12, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, the inclusion of these statistics without an explanation of why they are there appears to me to be an attempt to make an implicit argument concerning whether the killing was justified, hence violates WP:UNDUE. Dwpaul Talk 03:31, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
WP:UNDUE says nothing about implicit arguments. It says things should be discussed relative to their presence in reliable sources - and the size of the participants in the shooting was extensively covered in the media (often incorrectly), and the trial. Certainly the size is not the source of his notability, but it is relevant to the incident which IS the source of his notability. Gaijin42 (talk) 15:38, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Im sure I could find many more. Gaijin42 (talk) 15:47, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

If you think it is important to note that the relative size of the participants was extensively covered in the media, perhaps that information should appear in the body of the article. It should not be offered (implied really) as an unexplained set of statistics in the Infobox, as if it was a baseball card. Since the decedent's height and weight do not appear there with the survivor's, the statistics offer no useful information to the reader without additional research. We do not need to (nor should we) try to introduce every piece of information offered at trial here, even if reported by media. Dwpaul Talk 15:50, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Stories specifically dedicated to Zimmerman's weight (gain)

Gaijin42 (talk) 15:57, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

And what is the point of that? His fluctuating weight after his arrest has nothing really to do with the case for which he is notable, nor anything to do with his height and weight at the time of his arrest as currently included in this article. Once again, just because media reports (or speculates) on something doesn't mean it should appear here. Dwpaul Talk 16:02, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Your opinion about what is notable or not is WP:OR. It is extensively covered by reliable sources, that is by definition what is notable in wikipedia terms. Gaijin42 (talk) 16:16, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
If it is so notable, it belongs in the body of the article, not in the Infobox. Dwpaul Talk 17:06, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Mug shot picture now appropriate?

Earlier, there was considerable discussion about whether it was appropriate to have a mug shot picture of George Zimmerman on this page. The continual argument against was, "He's not even charged with a crime...." Well, now he IS charged with a crime.... (talk) 19:29, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Please review WP:MUG. The argument is not "He's not even charged with a crime...." but "He has not been convicted of a crime." VQuakr (talk) 21:37, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Actually, BOTH arguments were made regarding the mug shot. Now, he IS charged with a crime, and it remains to be seen if he is convicted.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Encounters with police section needs to be retitled and expanded

The latest incident where he was arrested and charged with assault with a weapon needs to be its own subsection. ScienceApe (talk) 01:17, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Why would this need to be a subsection? How do you reconcile your opinion on the degree of coverage to afford this arrest with WP:BLPCRIME? VQuakr (talk) 02:13, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I would like to know why as well this incident is deserving of it's own subsection?-- Isaidnoway (talk) 02:19, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Maybe because it's the second time he has been charged with a crime regarding a gun. Just a stab in the dark here.... (talk) 22:46, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
It's already mentioned in the encounters with police section, the question is - why would this incident merit it's own subsection?-- Isaidnoway (talk) 05:31, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

South Park episode about George Zimmerman

South Park aired an episode last night that was about George Zimmerman. This is a very popular and notable cartoon. Should this be mentioned in this biography page?,0, — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

That has nothing to do with him. Saturday Night Live and other shows make fun of people all the time, but we don't add information about that into their articles. Dream Focus 22:23, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually it is about him, did you read the article titled "'South Park' skewers George Zimmerman, stand your ground laws"? It is absolutely notable, it shows his continued influence in and on American culture. This wasn't a mere mention it was the topic of an entire episode titled "World War Zimmerman". And yes, we do add appearances on big shows like this, in particular when it's part of a larger cultural debate. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 22:41, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
It pretty obviously is inspired by the subject of this article. Does it add anything useful to the understanding of the subject, particularly given our requirement of being caution per WP:BLP? If there really is much sentiment that this is worth adding, I think it merits a discussion at the BLP noticeboard. VQuakr (talk) 23:04, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually the first step is someone needs to make a proposed addition. The source itself is reliable and of a notable subject (presumably), the question is how to use it in the article so that it is shown to be useful in the article. If you then disagree on whatever grounds (BLP or take your pick) start a discussion somewhere appropriate. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 23:30, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Context matters in BLP as well as anywhere else. I personally have reservations about adding this in any way to the article, but I agree that no real conclusion can be reached (or useful noticeboard query made) without a draft proposal. VQuakr (talk) 23:50, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
It has been carried in mainstream media and therefore should be mentioned. TFD (talk) 07:41, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Not only was George Zimmerman the subject of an entire episode -- World War Zimmerman -- but the episode was give a glowing review by Marcus Gilmer of The A.V. Club, who gave it an A−, describing it as excellent satire, concluding, "Some of those moments were brutal but it in a meaningful, impactful, and, yes, even funny way. That's what satire does when it works: It scorches.",103877/ (talk) 23:14, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Think this is as notable (not) as the South Park references to MechaStreisand. --Naaman Brown (talk) 11:16, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Support : While South Park may be nonsensical and funny at times, it does commonly reflect not only current culture but changes in behaviors in society. Just as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, South Park makes the point of its writers through satire. Further, the episode, according to Nielsen carried millions of viewers. It should be included badboyjamie talk 10:55, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

This is merely entertainment. In addition to being about the G. Zimmerman/T. Martin incident and subsequent trial, the show addresses related American issues. The source says "The audacious "South Park" on Wednesday skewered stand your ground laws, George Zimmerman, racial prejudice and the death penalty." This is not anything of lasting importance. Obviously it includes G. Zimmerman but there is nothing in this particular entertainment skit that goes beyond the rehashing of what has already transpired and which has been reported on. The juxtaposition of G. Zimmerman to unrelated concepts (such as the death penalty) is only done here for entertainment purposes. It is all tongue in cheek[13]. No source is saying this sheds light on anything. G. Zimmerman is not the "stand your ground laws … racial prejudice and the death penalty." Furthermore Zimmerman is a private individual; Barbara Streisand is a celebrity. An entertainment entity of little further significance, in relation to Streisand, has even less place in a biography of a private individual. This is of no importance and doesn't belong in the Zimmerman biography. Bus stop (talk) 19:22, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Low profile individuals don't hire PR firms to represent them.[14] They don't engage in social media campaigns.[15] He may have been low profile at one time but not anymore. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 07:34, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

If it's not of lasting importance, then why did Wikipedia give it an article called World War Zimmerman? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

An appearance on South Park is absolutely notable when there are reliable secondary sources that discuss it. The only question is how to neutrally add it to the article, and where to put it. If anyone reverts, we discuss for a bit, refine the wording, and if there is still no consensus start an RfC. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 07:34, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

The bit about the South Park episode strikes me as trivia, and I think it has no place in this article. Maybe it could go in an article about the television series itself, however. TheScotch (talk) 11:13, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Estranged wife describes Zimmerman as "ticking time bomb"

This is the second time he has been referred to as a ticking time bomb. The first time being the police chief who likened him to Sandy Hook waiting to happen. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

In this case Katie shamelessly dropped the ticking time bomb, saying "doesn't he seem like a ticking time bomb?" and of course his wife responded "yes he does seem like a ticking time bomb" - she was agreeing with Katie's characterization, not initiating it. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 20:09, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
It appears that his newest ex is piling it on as well. A local Florida station is reporting that his ex-girlfriend described Zimmerman as alone, depressed and fascinated by guns and said she feared him, but stayed with him because she thought she could help him. The ex-girlfriend's mother told the station that Zimmerman sent a text message with a still image from an intimate home video of Scheibe and Zimmerman to the ex-girlfriends daughter.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 23:25, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Which puts this woman deep into the woods - she is accusing zimmerman of choking her, and sending her 8 year old porn, but she stayed with him and apparently convinced him not to leave a few weeks ago, by telling him she was pregnant (which she isn't) all the while asking for money for national interviews. Zimmerman may very well be a loose cannon, and unstable, but this womans credibility is dropping like a stone, very quickly. (that said, even an un-credible story can probably quailfy for a restraining order, which would end zimmerman's firearm ownership) Gaijin42 (talk) 00:57, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
WP:BLP violation redacted VQuakr (talk) 01:25, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Is the conversation in this section intended to and/or likely to generate improvements to the article? If not, please see WP:NOTFORUM. Also, please take just a moment to sign your contributions to talk pages with 4x~. Dwpaul Talk 01:15, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Spoofed on SNL

This should probably be mentioned on the Media Perceptions section:,0, — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:02, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

This is good. Would like to see another source outside Orlando his hometown. With some social commentary of broader significance, beyond "he appeared on this show and it was lulz". -- Green Cardamom (talk) 09:45, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Leonard Pitts | Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman - who's the real thug?

USA Today likens Zimmerman to OJ Simpson

Interesting perspective that could be included in the article: (talk) 07:25, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

I read the article and it's reasoned and supported. However it's an Opinion column, not a news story under editorial control. Although opinion pieces are allowed with reservation on Wikipedia, when making such a large claim as "Zimmerman is another OJ" we need more than a single opinion piece, by one journalist. Don't see how it would pass BLP. With that said if Zimmerman goes down the path predicted there is no doubt more will pick up on the OJ analogy. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 09:41, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
USA Today is under editorial control and that is what's relevant when determining reliable sourcing. Opinion pieces are also allowed if they are attributed accordingly. I don't think it's necessary to find other columnists who share the same opinion/analogy between OJ and Zimmerman either, the shooting article is chocked full of opinions by single author's. The pertinent questions are whether it improves the article and is there consensus to add it - or if someone wants to be WP:BOLD.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 18:57, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I personally don't care, but I think that's a fairly aggressive interpretation of the existing rule for opinion pieces, and considering how acrimonious this article has been - it's not my fight. The thing I see here is that the Opinion piece is by a journalist, it's like who cares what one journalist believes (unless it's someone well known). And opinion pieces are by their nature not the viewpoint of the paper, they always have disclaimers. The editorial control is limited by design. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 20:00, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't care either, but it's certainly not in any way an aggressive interpretation of the rule for opinion pieces. WP:RSOPINION says that: Some sources may be considered reliable for statements as to their author's opinion, but not for statements asserted as fact without an inline qualifier like "(Author) says...". A prime example of this are opinion pieces in mainstream newspapers. When using them, it is better to explicitly attribute such material in the text to the author to make it clear to the reader that they are reading an opinion.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 05:50, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Right the spirit of RSOPINION is to primarily credit the author as the source. Which leads to the question if the personal opinions of DeWayne Wickham are important enough for inclusion on Wikipedia. We should examine who Wickham is, as a source. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 08:13, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Wants to drop charges and be with him

The girlfriend now says she no longer wants to press charges against him and instead wants to get back together with him. According to court documents filed by Zimmerman's attorney, she gave a sworn statement in which she wrote, "I do not want George Zimmerman charged." No surprise there, I guess.-- Isaidnoway (talk) 22:46, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

According to investigators this happens all the time in domestics cases. Victims get scared and afraid to go forward. (talk) 04:48, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
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