George Zimmerman's Father Relates George's Account of Encounter

This WOFL FOX 35 extensive interview last night of George Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, a former judge and Vietnam Veteran, deserves equal time with the video released yesterday of Zimmerman arriving at the jail from which so many people are deducing Zimmerman wasn't injured.

There's no resolution in the interview, we're still left with George's version vs. the Martin family's version. While he discusses what he's learned from George and others about the fatal encounter with Trayvon Martin, the interview is as much about the effect of the incident on George and the family, and the hate that the case has generated, as it is about the facts. It's long and painful to listen to because there is so much grief in his voice. My synopsis is below:

It's his understanding from George that George got out of the vehicle after speaking to the 911 dispatcher to look for an exact address to give police and that he was walking back to his vehicle when Trayvon approached him, saying "Do you have a problem?" and then punched him in the nose. He says Trayvon then got on top of George and started beating him for almost a full minute. They were on the concrete at this point and he was banging George's head into the cement. George was trying to get out from under Trayvon and get onto the grass, and his firearm became visible. He says Trayvon then said to George, "You're going to die now" or "You're going to die tonight" and kept beating on him. George pulled out his gun and shot him.

He says he and everyone who knows George knows absolutely it was George crying out for help.

He says George was not on patrol that night, he was going to the store when he saw Trayvon, and due to reports of recent burglaries in the neighborhood, called it in. He says George first called the non-emergency number.

He doesn't think Trayvon's girlfriend was on the phone with him at that last minute. He thinks the she and the lawyers are making stuff up.

He hadn't yet seen the video of George arriving at the jail. But he says his nose was broken, and his scalp cut in two places. He says George wasn't given medical attention at the scene but they may have cleaned him up.

He says George is not dealing with this well. He doesn't know if his injuries are primarily mental or physical, he's just not handling it well.

George was an altar boy, grew up in a Catholic home, and would do anything to help anyone. He's never heard any of his kids make a racial comment. He says George is color-blind when it comes to race.

He's met and talked to some kids that George mentored. Asked what their background was, he responds they were African-American. The kids told him George was their mentor. He asked them what that meant and they told him he takes them places and teaches them how to do things and they just love him. George continued to mentor them after the program ended.

He's sorry for all the hate that's going around from the Martin attorneys and everyone else, including the Congressional Black Caucus. They are just making things up about George. How he is being portrayed is just an absolute lie.

He says there are some people who no matter what happens will always portray George in a bad light and that can't be changed.

He was a magistrate judge for 8 years. He thinks Chief Lee did an outstanding job, but he's sure if police had it to do over again, police would have done some things differently.

He says the only ones who will come out well from this are the attorneys and some people in the media. He sees no good outcome for either family.

One of his final comments is that if Trayvon had gone home which was just a short distance, and George had stayed in his vehicle a little longer, we wouldn't be here tonight.

Does he sound biased in favor of his son? Of course. But so do the Martin family and their lawyers.

Conclusion: Everyone should just wait until the investigation is completed and results are released before picking one side or the other. If that's not possible, people should side with the presumption of innocence. That right, which is afforded to every person suspected of a crime in this country, is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. As the Supreme Court said in 1895, in Coffin v. United States:

The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law.

The Supreme Court quoted a litany of sources, including the law of Ancient Rome:

"Let all accusers understand that they are not to prefer charges unless they can be proven by proper witnesses or by conclusive documents, or by circumstantial evidence which amounts to indubitable proof and is clearer than day." Code, L. IV, T. XX, 1, 1. 25.

And McKinley's case (1817), 33 St. Tr. 275, 506, where Lord Gillies says:

I conceive that this presumption is to be found in every code of law which has reason, and religion, and humanity, for a foundation. It is a maxim which ought to be inscribed in indelible characters in the heart of every judge and juryman.... "To overturn this, there must be legal evidence of guilt, carrying home a decree of conviction short only of absolute certainty."

Unfortunately, guilt sells in America. But not at this site. To those who are ready to proclaim George Zimmerman guilty based on news reports and self-serving statements of those personally invested in the case, give Nancy Grace a call. Such comments are not welcome here and likely will be deleted.

Thread is now closed.

< Video of Zimmerman Night Of Trayvon Killing | Sanford Police Release Full Camera Surveillance Video >
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  • Display: Sort:
    We can give him the presumption of (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by observed on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:25:03 AM EST
    innocence while also believing he displayed horrendous, reckless judgment.

    This has to be very tough ... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:02:53 AM EST
    ... for George Zimmerman's father. I don't blame or resent him in the slightest for feeling hurt and resentful. He's a parent defending his child, and very few of us who are parent would do any different. It has to be a nightmare for both sets of parents.

    Personally, I think Zimmerman's being very ill-served by those who are claiming to represent him and speak for him (alas, including Dad), because they're apparently compounding rather than mitigating his dilemma, particularly with regards to increasingly hostile public opinion.

    I'd actually be interested in hearing how you might handle this situation hypothetically from a professional standpoint, Jeralyn, were you called in to represent George Zimmerman at this juncture, when he's finding himself in the crosshairs -- not charged or indicted, but an apparent target of this investigation.

    Were you on board and running the show, wouldn't you advise everyone linked to Zimmerman to cease talking -- or at least, work with you directly to not exacerbate the problem? These are treacherous waters he's in, and I'd think that he needs an experienced criminal defense counsel to navigate them. And given this sort of recent stuff, I don't believe that Zimmerman's current attorney is quite up to the task.


    Yes (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:23:58 AM EST
    I would either demand no one talk to the media now or designate just a few lawyers on the team to speak to the media - and insist the Zimmerman family and Zimmerman be quiet and keep out of sight until the decision comes in. I don't think his lawyer has been particularly helpful. First he said stand my ground didn't apply an then he said it did. He's spouted off before hearing from George as to what happened (according to him), which makes it seem like he doesn't know anything.

    I don't (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:03:16 AM EST
    think that the father speaking out does much of anything.

    That Robert Zimmerman thinks Chief Lee (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:19:28 AM EST
    did an outstanding job just made my mouth drop open.  Really?  "Outstanding?"  That alone puts a lot of this in perspective, for me, at least.

    I don't blame George's father for wanting to defend his son, but even I know that all these things he's saying, all these details he's giving, may ultimately do more harm than good to his son's chances, either on a criminal basis or in a civil suit.  It seems to me that a judge, of all people, would know this, and the fact that it's his son shouldn't make him oblivious to that.

    As for how this is affecting George, I wish I could summon up some sympathy for him, but I'm struggling.  I keep thinking that maybe if George had been less focused - as I think he was - on proving to the cops that he deserved to be one of them, had followed the guidlelines of every recognized/registered/law enforcement-affiliated watch program, he wouldn't be suffering so.  And neither would the family and friends of a dead kid who had the extreme misfortune to have encountered George Zimmerman.

    Does FL have parent/child privilege? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:43:11 AM EST
    Dad should keep silent about anything his son told him about what happened

    Most jurisdictions do not (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:43:00 AM EST
    have any legally recognized parent-child privilege.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01:22 PM EST
    mr. zimmerman sr. should be quiet. (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:31:49 AM EST
    the tape released pretty much (unless it can be proven to have been "video shopped") shows a neat, clean mr. zimmerman, not at all what one would have expected, based on the police report taken at the scene. there doesn't appear to be any obvious evidence of the violent scuffle both mr. zimmerman's describe, to police and now the public.

    as BTD noted yesterday, that videotape goes a long way towards weakening the "self-defense" claims made by mr. zimmerman.

    again, it needs to be pointed out, to mr. zimmerman's father, if no one else: mr. zimmerman was the clear aggressor here. it was he who followed mr. martin, at night, in the rain, in a dark colored suv. it was mr. zimmerman who stopped his vehicle, got out of it, and went looking for mr. martin on foot, a gun stashed in his pants (apparently). all of these acts by mr. zimmerman (detailed in his statement to police at the scene) lead to the inevitable conclusion, by any reasonable person (supposedly, juries are comprised of those), that mr. zimmerman was stalking mr. martin, not the other way around.

    had mr. zimmerman simply followed the advise of the 911 operator, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. it wasn't mr. martin's job (contrary to mr. zimmerman sr's assertion) to know that he was being stalked, and to run straight home from the store.

    the zimmerman family would be well advised to be quiet, from this point on, as the video evidence seems to clearly contradict the claims being made by them.

    Actually (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:37:43 AM EST
    Not necessarily. Nothing is clear about this case. Only two people truly know what happened that night:  one of them is dead and the other isn't talking.

    You said:

    again, it needs to be pointed out, to mr. zimmerman's father, if no one else: mr. zimmerman was the clear aggressor here. it was he who followed mr. martin, at night, in the rain, in a dark colored suv. it was mr. zimmerman who stopped his vehicle, got out of it, and went looking for mr. martin on foot, a gun stashed in his pants (apparently). all of these acts by mr. zimmerman (detailed in his statement to police at the scene) lead to the inevitable conclusion, by any reasonable person (supposedly, juries are comprised of those), that mr. zimmerman was stalking mr. martin, not the other way around.

    As Jeralyn said last night:

    It's unknown who was the provoker at this time.

    If Trayvon punched him first, he was the provoker/aggressor.

    Following Trayvon may make him the initiator of the entire encounter, but it does not mean he was the aggressor as to the violence between them. Aggressor is defined under Florida law.

    I would go further (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by sj on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:30:35 AM EST
    Only two people truly know what happened that night:  one of them is dead and the other isn't talking.
    I think no one knows what happened that night.  Including Zimmerman.  I think that for a couple of reasons.  

    1. Based on my own experience and observations of others, memories of traumatic events can be vastly distorted and even missing.  

    2. Given something terrible to deal with, a healthy mind will twist a memory to find a way to incorporate and live with it.  

    As a participant, the "truth" has to be sometimes gleaned based on evidence and potentially sketchy memories of all actors in the event.  I doubt that Zimmerman has an accurate recollection of what happened that night.  A terrible thing happened.  He killed a young man.  He killed a young man who was armed only with iced tea and candy.

    He has to find a way to live with that or he'll drive himself crazy.  That doesn't mean that I think he's lying.  I don't. I just think his mind has magnified and exaggerated the wrong steps that Martin took.  And I think his mind has either taken the path of minimizing and justifying his own wrong steps, or has magnified them and taken on even more blame. Frankly, the fact that he has remained in seclusion makes me lean toward the latter.  If that's the case, he may be paralyzed with guilt.  Even as he still tries to justify it.

    It's a terrible thing.


    Head trauma and PTSD (none / 0) (#75)
    by TomMaguire on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:55:23 AM EST
    Re: "Only two people truly know what happened that night..."

    Really?  If I am a defense attorney and want to avoid relying on the Fifth, I explain that my client has experienced head trauma and post-traumatic stress from the scuffle and shooting; he has tried to be cooperative, but his memory is inevitably hazy.

    Maybe the prosecutor can have him examined and prove otherwise, but it might even be true.


    And if you put his mental state in play (none / 0) (#87)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:10:03 PM EST
    The prosecution generally gets to have their experts examine him.

    As an you'd be an officer of the court (none / 0) (#185)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 02:57:40 PM EST
    I would hope what you at least believed to be true that which you claim on behalf of your client.

    i must respectfully, but vigorously (none / 0) (#142)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:40:55 PM EST
    disagree with both jeralyn and you:

    It's unknown who was the provoker at this time.

    mr. zimmerman has admitted being the aggressor, by FL statute:

    he admitted following mr. martin, both by vehicle and on foot, after being advised not to. if i could ever figure out how to link to this site, i would link to the statute in question, the so-called "Stand Your Ground" law, which provides an actually pretty clear description of when one becomes the aggressor, and is no longer defending oneself.

    per mr. zimmerman's own admission, he was the aggressor from the start, according to the plain language of the law. contrary to how it has been portrayed, the law isn't a "wild west", shoot away law, and then claim "self-defense", although it would appear that many law enforcement agencies in FL have been interpreting it that way.

    Daily Kos has a post today, which does a decent job of eviscerating that portrayal. again, if i could (clearly, i am link challenged on this site!), i would provide a direct link.

    Following Trayvon may make him the initiator of the entire encounter, but it does not mean he was the aggressor as to the violence between them. Aggressor is defined under Florida law.

    again, given the facts and circumstances, as stated by mr. zimmerman himself, i believe this is an incorrect interpretation of the law. in fact, it was mr. martin who was acting in self-defense, not mr. zimmerman. again, this is solely based on the police report and subsequent statements made on behalf of mr. zimmerman.

    obviously, the best venue for sorting all this out would be a courtroom, with vigorous representation for all parties. no one knows what was actually going through mr. zimmerman's mind that night (at this point, he may not even know). i'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume he never intended to kill mr. martin. unfortunately, he made a series of extremely bad decisions, resulting in a tragic, unnecessary death.


    Here you go (none / 0) (#143)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:03:54 PM EST

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.--The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    If what Zimmerman said is true (and we don't know if it is or not), and Martin hit him first (regardless of whether or not Zimmerman was following him), then Martin is the aggressor.

    Of course, as Jeralyn also said, in criminal trials, any doubts or ambiguities have to favor the defendant at trial.


    No other event? (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:26:50 PM EST
    Why is Martin, who is being followed while going home from the store unable to avail himself of stand your ground when he was being followed?  He wasn't doing 1 nor 2.  Actually, Martin ran away by Zimmerman's admission.

    Zimmerman claims he has caught a suspicious person (though no evidence of any felony) and claims stand your ground.  He was wrong.

    Martin claims he is being followed by a suspicious person and claims stand your ground.  He was correct.  Seems to me, even if Martin hit Zimmerman, he was availing himself of the reasonable force of stand your ground.


    Because... (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by Addison on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:10:26 PM EST
    Why is Martin, who is being followed while going home from the store unable to avail himself of stand your ground when he was being followed?

    The Stand Your Ground law is biased in favor of the person who fires first, and fires fatally. If two people both have a "reasonable fear" of the other, apparently the best thing to do from a game theory perspective is to kill the other -- or that's how Florida has constructed the "game".


    In ordet (none / 0) (#147)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:47:05 PM EST
    1. If Martin was alive and shot Zimnerman, he would probably make the same claim.  

    2. Zimmerman says he lost sight of Martin, but that Martin came back and attacjed him.

    3. See #2

    4)As like #1, this is a moot point since Martin is dead.

    #1 is NOT a moot point at all (5.00 / 0) (#183)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 02:37:55 PM EST
    given that statute it is the prosecutor's job to assess whether and how the vicitim could have been provoked and then run down the resulting qualifications that in those circumstances would have provided Zimmerman with justification.  Far from being moot, it is the point.

    How on Earth can that transcript be read to support Zimmerman's contention that Martin came back for him? The kid ( of the a$$hole type who always gets away) bolted off.


    Following someone (none / 0) (#155)
    by lousy1 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:10:23 PM EST
    is quite different than assaulting them

    Zimmerman's admitted he stalked Trayvon (5.00 / 0) (#181)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 02:15:24 PM EST
    even after Trayvon was aware of the stalking and sought to flee. The justification is not available to one who provokes the use of force against him & it was Trayvon who was provoked here, notwithstanding Jeralyn's unfounded assertion that Martin provoked Zimmerman. Zimmerman of course saw an a$$hole of the type that always gets away and continued his needless pursuit. But that's somehow reasonable because, unlike Zimmerman according to the logic here on TL, Trayvon was suspected by this gun-toting would be one man posse & not entitled to any presumption of innocence.

    As the transcripts demonstrate Zimmerman believes when on the phone with the dispatcher that the boy is walking toward him with something in his hands, but then Zimmerman becomes agitated when Trayvon changes direction and runs, not walks, in another direction.  Zimmerman follows someone who was clearly not happy and defintely concerned about being monitored/stalked.  If that is all that happened, Trayvon had every reason to confront Zimmerman when Zimmerman later tracked him down, got out of his truck and approached; he had tried to get away from Zimmerman in the only reasonable way a person on foot has available.

    Having provoked Trayvon by continuing to follow him & approaching him on foot even after Trayvon bolted off in a different direction, was Zimmerman's belief he was in danger of death/great bodily harm reasonable?  140# teenager hitting him? Did Zimmerman try at that point escaping, exhausting EVERY reasonable means to do so?  

    No, he shot & killed the unarmed teenaged boy.

    And this transcript was available, this very conversation took place the same night Zimmerman was brought in after shooting Trayvon & claimed self defense.  

    No probable cause to think Zimmerman had committed a crime?  Are you kidding me?  And this law as you quote it somehow protects the armed pursuer not the unarmed pursued who had attempted to get away??


    In a criminal trial, yes absolutely,. . . (none / 0) (#178)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:12:44 PM EST
    but the question here is whether it was a valid justification for not arresting him. I've no expertise in this area, and I'm just reading the passage you put up, but wouldn't the police be able to arrest him if they had a reasonable belief that Zimmerman's account wasn't true?

    Also, reading the above passage, it seems to me Martin would have had to do more than throw the first blow for stand your ground to apply, if Zimmerman could reasonably be said to have "provoked" the encounter. In that case, it seems Zimmerman would have needed to reasonably believe he was in danger of great bodily harm for this passage to apply (which is why the extent of injuries after the encounter and whether it occurred on grass or pavement are all relevant).


    Not just being in great danger, (5.00 / 0) (#182)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 02:21:46 PM EST
    AND Zimmerman has to "exhaust" all reasonable means of escape.

    Of course neither applies if Zimmerman was (as some have baselessly asserted in the face of facts that Zimmerman continued pursuing  Trayvon after Trayvon saw him & ran in another direction and after police had been notified and told Zimmerman they were on their way) provoked.  That is ridiculous based on this transcript and the knowledge that Trayvon had committed no crime, was not armed, and had run away from Zimmerman.  All the above known by police that night.


    I believe the exact word of the dispatcher were (none / 0) (#154)
    by lousy1 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:08:28 PM EST
    "You don't need to do that."
     If we all felt constrained to acquiesce to that advice not much would get done.

    I can see why I would try to ascertain the location of a suspicious person for the arriving authorities


    This again? (5.00 / 4) (#157)
    by Addison on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:13:59 PM EST
    People who don't hear an implicit command to stop in that statement are trying WAY too hard to hang their metaphorical hat on some thin air. Just because a lawyer repeats that it "wasn't a direct command" over and over doesn't mean we have to check our common sense at the door. Anyone who hears the recording or reads the transcript can plainly infer that the 911 dispatcher was asking Zimmerman to stop. People who continue to pretend it wasn't a request to stop are outing themselves as either shameless or totally inept at social cues.

    Aren't you forgetting something? (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:29:52 AM EST
    George Zimmerman was a "block captain" of some variety of watch group, one that got a visit and handouts from the recognized Neighborhood Watch liaison, and he knew that one of the essential tenets of these groups is: you don't follow, you don't pursue, you don't take a weapon, you don't go alone.  You do watch, observe, and call the local police with as much information as possible.  You don't play cop.

    George Zimmerman, block captain extraordinaire, should not have needed to be told that the police didn't need him to follow the individual, he should never have been following him in the first place.


    the exact words were (none / 0) (#161)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:44:04 PM EST
    "Ok, We do not need you to do that."

    From the transcript of the call done by Mother Jones:

    Dispatcher: Are you following him?
    Zimmerman: Yeah
    Dispatcher: Ok, we don't need you to do that.
    Zimmerman: Ok

    It wasn't an instruction or command. The transcript shows he was trying to find an address to give them where the police could meet him when they arrived.

    Zimmerman: If they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the club house, and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they go past the mailboxes, that's my truck...[unintelligible]

    Dispatcher: What address are you parked in front of?

    Zimmerman: I don't know, it's a cut through so I don't know the address.

    ....Dispatcher: Okay do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?

    Zimmerman: Yeah that's fine.

    Dispatcher: Alright George, I'll let them know to meet you around there okay?

    Zimmerman: Actually could you have them call me and I'll tell them where I'm at?

    Dispatcher: Okay, yeah that's no problem.

    Maybe he did get out of his car to find the exact address so when police called his cell phone he could give it to them. It's not outside the realm of possibility.


    and maybe Zimmerman did (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 02:53:03 PM EST
    and that might be useful at trial but it hardly withstands even casual scrutiny much less provide much in way of support for the prosecutor's no probable cause at that time conclusion. Zimmerman was admittedly following him as he says this.  The more reasonable inference is Zimmerman did not know where this pursuit would lead him and could not give the police his expected whereabouts, so call me.

    They had agreed to meet by the mailboxes no?  George, upon further reflection, had another idea.

    BTW, on duty police officer says to you "we don;t need you to do that?"  Don't do it.  Free advice.


    you can read the whole transcript (none / 0) (#162)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:44:55 PM EST
    here, sorry I forgot to include link in above comment.

    Transcripts (none / 0) (#173)
    by star on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:45:14 AM EST
    Thanks Jeralyn for the transcripts. Make so much more sense to read the actual documents and understand facts rather than going by the media spin. The way media is handling this while issue is really reprehensible.
    I do not see anything racial in Zimmerman's demeanor initially. He seems to agree to NOT follow Martin as well.
    Wonder if the shooting happened anywhere near the mailbox in front of the houses where he was supposed to meet with the cops? That he did not the address of the place was standing at is totally possible. If he was behind ( in between) row of town houses, it is very possible he might not know behind which address he is.

    I thought it was telling (none / 0) (#179)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:17:13 PM EST
    That he keeps seeming to be genuinely  worried that Martin had "something in his hands"  that he pulled from his waistband, i.e. the infamous Skittles.  But he couldn't tell that at the time and kept reporting it.

    I can have sympathy for his father... (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:24:55 AM EST
    imagine what this poor guy is going through...one day you're living your life doing your thing and the next you have the most hated last name in America, your son the most hated man in America.  I can't imagine.

    Not as bad as what Trayvon's parents are going through of course, but sympathy is not a finite resource, at least not in my heart.

    I once worked with a friend . . . (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:38:04 AM EST
    who was an applied mathematician, working in the field of image analysis. There are ways of blowing up grainy pictures and recovering more detail than one might think possible.

    Though in this case I doubt it matters. The testimony of the paramedics who treated Zimmermon and any subsequence medical records will carry far more weight than any pictures.

    Edger's comment (none / 0) (#85)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:09:03 PM EST
    has been deleted. First, this thread is not about the Zimmerman jail video. Second, he is not a forensic expert performing expert analysis.

    You're right, I am not not a forensic expert (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 04:46:22 AM EST
    performing expert analysis. And I have not claimed to be.

    I am also quite offended by your thinly veiled inference that I claimed to such.

    I am however quite capable of taking a screenshot and enlarging one cropped out section of it.

    I'm sorry it it doesn't show what you'd like it to show.

    I have always known you to be very fair and even handed in the 7 years I've been posting here Jeralyn.

    You surprised me tonight.


    To me the question in this case. . .. (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:26:30 AM EST
    is not the guilt or innocence of Zimmerman, which can only be decided in a court of law, but if the police were carrying out a full investigation of what happened. It floored me when I read tht no one had interviewed the woman who Martin had been on the phone with in the minutes before he died. I was a witness in a court case, because I was responsible for keeping the phone records of an apartment complex where both the accused and the victim in an assault complex took place, and the police of course were extremely interested in those records. I just couldn't imagine the police not getting the victims phone records and doing whatever they could to talk to someone Martin had called in the last minutes of his life.

    Now there may be a reasonable explanation for this, but because of this and other events (particularly the police chief making public statements that were seen as deferring to Zimmerman's version of events), whether justified or not, the perception grew that the authorities couldn't be trusted to do a thorough investigation. And once that happens, it doesn't work to ask people to withhold judgement and weight for the results of the investigation, and they're going to start speculating and taking matters into their own hands. Although now that the case has received so much publicity and a new prosecuter has taken it over, perhaps people really could have some faith in the process and be patient until the investigation is complete.

    Very well said... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:46:12 AM EST
    though I don't see how people's faith can be restored at this point, as it relates to this case.

    If the new special prosecutor files charges, it will look like they are just appeasing the mob to some.  If they don't, it will look like they covered up a cover up to others.  


    Grand Jury (none / 0) (#56)
    by star on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:14:17 AM EST
    will be more credible. I am not sure people on either side of this argument will be happy with a single individual (spl.prosecutor) making a decision in this case.

    the prosecutor now says (none / 0) (#93)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:28:36 PM EST
    she may not need a grand jury, she can make the call.

    Of course she can and should have a month ago (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:02:11 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#45)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:39:22 AM EST
    How do you know what the police have with regards to phone records?

    And how will that verify the contents of any conversation?

    The girlfriend has talked to the Martin family lawyer.  That's it. Couldn't she also be a person with a vested interest in telling a story to fit a particular narrative?


    That's all true. . . (none / 0) (#47)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:51:29 AM EST
    . . . and things I thought about subsequently. Although they did have his cell-phone, and the power of subpoena. ABC news was able to get the records, so I think the police should have been able to as well. But who knows; perhaps they attempted to interview her early on and she refused.

    Again, I'm not certain of any of this. I'm trying to describe how the perception the investigation was lax grew. Even this perception turns out to have been error, I don't think it was baseless. And when people lose faith in the integrity of the investigation, you see what we've been seeing. For myself, I'm was satisfied when I heard they'd appointed a new prosecutor, and I hope they'll investigate the original handling of the case, as well as the case itself.


    As Jeralyn pointed out (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:03:29 AM EST
    We have no idea what has or is being investigated.  Did the police drop the ball? Entirely possible.  Did they have their hands tied because the way the law is written?  Also entirely possible and not mutually exclusive of a bungling.

    I suspect the girlfriend will be interviewed in time.


    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by sj on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:35:13 AM EST
    I suspect the girlfriend will be interviewed in time.  
    If for no other reason than the public outcry.

    But important interviews should be held as soon as possible, while memories are still fresh.  They do have a shelf life.


    Absolutely (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:45:18 AM EST
    there's a reason that tv show is called 48hrs. That's the critical time parameter and anything recounted after 48 hrs deteriorates exponentially.

    It's really just common sense. You want to get statements from interested parties asap, before they have time to comport themselves and start building narratives that most of us would do i.e. versions most beneficial to ourselves. In police investigations time is of the essence.

    The Sanford Police Dept. certainly knows that and the interesting question is, did they seemingly drag their feet with the conscious knowledge that recreating the exact sequence of events gets murky after 48 hours and could give plausible deniability to the party they wanted to protect?


    Mr. Crump, the Martin family attorney, has been (none / 0) (#69)
    by Angel on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:37:38 AM EST
    quoted as saying he will turn over call information and the girl will be interviewed by federal investigators, not by the Sanford police department because the family no longer has any trust in them.  

    Please don't present (none / 0) (#92)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:24:12 PM EST
    statements from Martins' lawyers as fact. They are not.

    According to Diane Sawyer and ABC News, the girl's parents would not let her be questioned by police, only by lawyers

    Her parents asked that only an attorney be allowed to ask her questions.

    Here is the quote from Mr. Crump, and it's from (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Angel on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:40:59 PM EST
    the ABC News website.  Is this okay to post?

    The lawyer said he would give the details of the phone call to the federal investigation.

    "We're going to turn this over to the Justice Department because the family does not trust the Sanford Police Department to have anything to do with the investigation," said Crump.



    I'm trying to make a point. . . (none / 0) (#90)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:19:18 PM EST
    . . .that goes beyond whether the police actually did drop the ball in this case or not, which is that the perception that authorities are fair minded and will diligently investigate a crime are crucial in a society that value withholding judgement until an investigation is completed and the presumption of innocence. That's something I don't think I fully appreciated before.

    Once a sufficient number of people no longer trusted the authorities to carry out a thorough impartial investigation, whether that was justified or not,  you have lots of people speculating on what happened,  trying to draw conclusions from the limited evidence that is available. the case taken to the media, both supporters of the defendant and the victim's family trying to frame the public debate in their favor, and so on.


    I think the lawyers have a vested interest (none / 0) (#55)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:12:48 AM EST
    in insuring the young lady's credibility.

    They should as she would be potentially subject to cross examination if charges are ever pressed.


    Right now (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:16:47 AM EST
    It appears that only Ben Crump, the Martin family attorney, has spoken to the girl and that's where the Martin family are getting their information from.

    Young Lady (none / 0) (#64)
    by star on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:27:23 AM EST
    is right. She is a teen who was in considerable shock and sadness when she initially came out with the statement. That a call was made around the time frame can be corroborated with phone records. But what exactly was said between them is totally based on what the teen says.

    Based on her conversation with Martin, Zimmerman did eye Martin suspiciously and Martin was aware of that. Beyond that, her phone conversation really does not shed an accurate light on the last one minute of Martin's life. She obviously had no idea that Martin was in mortal danger or injured or she would have told Martin's dad when he filed a missing person complaint the next day. I believe Martin was identified after a couple of days after the incident.


    The police reports Jeralyn linked to last night (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Angel on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:33:03 AM EST
    show a date on the reports of 2/27/2012, and in one of those reports Treyvon Martin is identified by name, birth date, juvenile status, and height and weight.  So, what I'd like to know is when they knew who he was, when the parents were notified, and when those reports were written.

    I was wondering the same thing when I saw (none / 0) (#94)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:29:05 PM EST
    the police report. Exactly when/if did they try to contact the family?

    I have yet to see a credibly sourced timeline of all the events. If someone has one, please share.


    Her credibility (none / 0) (#78)
    by TomMaguire on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:00:35 PM EST
    As to assuring her credibility, getting her statement before the 911 calls were released would have been helpful.

    Instead, we are asked to believe that it took the family three weeks to realize that Trayvon (a) liked to talk on his phone all day, and (b) had a girlfriend.  

    I may have fallen off the turnip truck at night, but it wasn't last night.

    And it doesn't matter - whether Crump kept her hidden or not, her testimony is tainted by possible exposure to the other calls; if her story dovetails perfectly, well what does that mean?

    The defense will feast on this.

    As best as has been reported, the police dropped the ball on this.


    I understand all Zimmerman's friends and (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:09:16 AM EST
    family's impulse to defend him, but really they are not helping. Just in the first part of that statement, I see something that just does not sound true. Was he following Trayvon to get an accurate address for the police? I just don't believe that.

    I wondered if George's car has GPS, (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:34:58 AM EST
    and if so, he wouldn't have needed to get out of the car to look for an address - and even if he didn't have GPS, this was a guy who patrolled the neighborhood all the time and had to have known it like the back of his hand.  Now, his father said he was out running errands - I can't speak for anyone else, but when I'm doing that, I know where I am.  Did George not know where he was going that he had to check where he was?  He certainly didn't have any trouble telling the police where to meet him after he shot Trayvon.

    There is very little about George's version that makes sense, but I am especially troubled by Judge Zimmerman's comments essentially blaming this on Trayvon - that if only he'd made his way home with all due haste, maybe this wouldn't have happened.  

    Guess he doesn't want to consider that if his son had stood down when the police told him they did not need him to follow Trayvon, Trayvon would probably still be alive.

    What a sad and sorry mess this is.


    The "looking for a street sign" ... (none / 0) (#80)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01:28 PM EST
    ... as a reason for following Martin seems particularly contrived, since Zimmerman lived in this community and patrolled it regularly.  It's a fairly small development with only 3 streets.

    Makes no sense.


    GPS? (none / 0) (#81)
    by TomMaguire on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:02:31 PM EST
    I do have GPS and it is rarely accurate on street addresses to the nearest house.  Not even close as in 'hand grenade close'.

    If he got out to check for a house number, it makes sense; street sign, no.


    I didn't (none / 0) (#82)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:05:41 PM EST
    Take his comments as "blaming Trayvon."  I took it to mean that, but for the actions of one minute, and had they both done things differently, we wouldn't be here.  Trayvon was not shot in the back, as if he never saw it coming or as if he was running away -he was facing Zimmerman somehow. There was obviously a confrontation - there are recorded cries for help.  If either or both would have walked away....

    Which raises another point.  Zimmerman told the police he was crying for help.  There are witnesses to corroborate they heard someone crying for help, plus it was recorded.  If he's concocting his story, and it was instead Trayvon's cries, how would Zimmerman know that anyone or anything picked those cries up so he could lie and say the cries were his?


    Trayvon, as far as we know, (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:45:48 PM EST
     was walking - to his father's fiance's home, after an uneventful trip to the store for iced tea and Skittles; Zimmerman, by his own account wasn't just walking - while he may have, as his father suggests, been out doing errands, at some point, he was in his car following Trayvon, and then out of his car following Trayvon.  The only reason Zimmerman has to get out of his car to continue to follow him is if Trayvon's path takes him away from the street.  

    If I'm Trayvon, I might think that getting away from the street, but still taking a route home, will be the end of the creepy stalker in the car.  But when Trayvon realizes the guy has gotten out of the car to continue to follow him on foot, he is, according to what he allegedly told the girlfriend, scared.  Did he try to "lose" Zimmerman, and end up coming toward him instead of away?  Very possible.  Also possible that Zimmerman, knowing the neighborhood as well as he did, and perhaps believing Trayvon didn't belong there and wouldn't be as familiar, was the one who tried to cut Trayvon off at the pass, so to speak, leaving them face to face at some point.

    We just don't know.  But if Trayvon were the confrontational type, why didn't he confront Zimmerman while he was still in the car?  Do you think a guy whom the judge has reported his son said, "you're going to die now" or "you're going to die tonight" would have felt any compunction not to go pound on Zimmerman's window?  Come on.

    I'm sorry, but there are a whole lot of ways this didn't have to end this way - and I'm having a very hard time putting any blame on a kid walking down the sidewalk, who was reacting to being followed, by car and on foot, by someone he didn't know for reasons he didn't know.

    Trayvon walking down the street: no problem.

    Trayvon cutting through the area between the townhouses to get home, because he's being followed: non-confrontational, no problem.

    Trayvon possibly trying to lose Zimmerman once he realized Zimmerman was on foot: non-confrontational and reasonable, no problem.

    Zimmerman following Trayvon in his car, on a night when his father says he wasn't on patrol: reasonable up to the point where he calls the cops to report it, but following someone in your car is confrontational.

    Zimmerman getting out of the car to follow on foot: escalates the confrontational aspect of the situation.

    Zimmerman either confronted by Trayvon who, not being familiar with the neighborhood, ends up face to face with Zimmerman, or Zimmerman tries to outsmart Trayvon by cutting him off at the pass: more confrontational, and closer to going out of control.

    Tell me, how does a kid who's been trying to "walk away" the whole time, now walk away once he's face to face with Zimmerman?  Does Zimmerman say, "hey, man - calm down - I'm with the neighborhood watch and I'm just trying to do my job?"  If he did, that's an important thing that hasn't come out.

    No, Judge Zimmerman has to know that if his son stands down when the cops tell him to, no one dies.


    Your theory works (none / 0) (#110)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:57:59 PM EST
    Up tp a point.

    Unless you are speculating that Zimmerman would have shot Trayvon, no matter what.

    The scenario you leave out is that Trayvon sees a strange guy approaching him and makes a dash for his father's fiancee's without saying anything to him.  

    The girlfriend says she begged Trayvon to run and he said that he wasn't going to do it.  The girlfriend also says that Trayvon initiated a "conversation" by asking why he was being followed.   If that is true, of course he has the right to ask, but he already told her he was going to walk fast, so had he just done that, he probably would still be alive.


    Just quessing, but (none / 0) (#167)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:00:33 AM EST
    with his girlfriend on the phone and a situation rapidly escalating, maybe a little bravado crept into the picture. Wouldn't be the first time a boy goes a little further than he would were he alone and having a girlfriend observing could cloud his judgement.

    Like I said, just guessing. but, I remember, more than once when I was dating wishing I could just walk away but being afraid that my date would think me a wussy.

    Testosterone might have contributed to this tragedy.


    Local news (none / 0) (#116)
    by star on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:12:25 PM EST
    Local Orlando News 6 said yesterday that Trayvon was not walking on the street. he was behind a row of townhomes and Zimmerman spotted him from a side street. He then stopped his car and went behind the town homes to check out(if only he had not done it ..) . he lost track of Martin . at that point cops asked him to pinpoint the location and he started walking back to get the exact street name. what happened after that is what is in dispute.

    I live in a gated community very near Sanford . sometimes it is difficult to assess from behind homes, which intersection of streets would be best to give as a driving direction. I have had the same difficulty while having my sons pool party . I had to walk out and stand on the street to direct my guests along the best route even though i knew all the street names.

    There is no denying that the whole sad mess could have been avoided had Zimmerman heeded the 911 operator and stayed in his car. rest is all a sad sad mistake. Wish all sides would calm down and let all facts come out. I am afraid to think what will happen if there is not enough evidence to arrest  or prosecute Zimmerman. emotions are so high and heated. Local Schools are seriously considering how best to deal with a riot situation in case grand jury or spl. prosecutor does not have enough evidence due to  compromised investigation to arrest this guy.  


    What is the source of the information (none / 0) (#118)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:23:59 PM EST
    that the TV station was reporting, that Zimmerman managed to spot Trayvon from a side street, walking behind townhomes?  Is that from Zimmerman, from the police, from Zimmerman's father?

    I'm sorry, but this does not sound like something Zimmerman "just happened" to see while out, as his father says, running errands.


    Be not afraid, change the law (none / 0) (#131)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:48:27 PM EST
    "I am afraid to think what will happen if there is not enough evidence to arrest  or prosecute Zimmerman."

    If there is a prosecutorial decision to not arrest & charge it will not be from a lack of evidence establishing what any sane jurisdiciton would find a legally sufficient basis to arrest & charge, it will be due to the operation of an insane, NRA supported, ALEC-written stand your ground law only recently enacted by the State of Florida.


    I am more and more tending to believe that the (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:32:02 PM EST
    cries were Zimmerman's, although hearing them they do seem to be from a younger man. The picture I am getting is of someone that is a mixture of fear and bravado. I do not have a hard time believing it was him.

    I'm sure there will be investigative results that tell us something about that.


    The accusation of the made-up phone call (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:22:45 AM EST
    hit me the same way; it makes me think the judge is in serious denial about what happened, and it also makes me wonder if this is a role the judge has played before.

    The man's certainly not helping his son, that's for sure.

    Take this with a grain of salt... (none / 0) (#111)
    by shoephone on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:58:50 PM EST
    I just heard Ed Schultz (caveat: I'm not a big fan of his, but happened to be listening anyway) say that ABC News claims to have copies of the girl's phone records, and that a call was intiated between her and Trayvon Martin at 7:12 p.m., five minutes bfore the police showed up on the scene. But I can't find anything on the ABC News website about that. If it's true, then everything Zimmerman's father said in that interview should be summarily dismissed.

    no it shouldn't (none / 0) (#145)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:44:56 PM EST
    the fact of a phone call doesn't tell us what was said. The girl gave her version weeks later and her mother directed she only be questioned by lawyers (i.e. Martin's lawyers, not police.) Link was provided in another comment.

    If it is proven the girl had that phone call (none / 0) (#159)
    by shoephone on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:43:56 PM EST
    with Martin just before the scuffle and the shooting, then Zimmerman's father -- who stated, unequivocally, that there was no phone call between them and that "she made it up" -- then nothing he says has any crediblity with ME and a whole lot of other people.

    the phone call was not recorded (none / 0) (#160)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:56:18 PM EST
    there's no way to know what they talked about. The only recording is oone in which she tells Martin's lawyer what they talked about.

    Also she says his phone went dead at the moment of contact between them. So it doesn't tell us anything about who initiated the violence.

    So  yes,  Zimmerman's father would be wrong if actual phone records (rather than what Martin's lawyer gave ABC and the feds, but withheld from Sanford, consisting of a phone bill her father came across weeks later) disclose there was a call between them around the time of the encounter. But it doesn't invalidate the rest of the story and it doesn't confirm she was telling the truth about the words spoken. She's hardly a neutral witness and she waited weeks to come forward.

    Why didn't she call the police immediately upon learning he was dead? Why bring it to the Martins' lawyers and put in a condition that only the lawyers could ask her questions about it?


    She had to be hospitalized (none / 0) (#175)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:30:31 AM EST
    because of the shock of all of this.

    Empathy for all involved, not just the accused, would be in order.


    Wouldn't ypu (2.00 / 0) (#188)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:04:16 PM EST
    Call someone for help if you heard a scuffle and then couldn't reach the party to whom you were just speaking? One who thought he was being followed?

    And was she being treated for shock for the entire last month?


    Yes, I would call someone (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 04:27:36 PM EST
    in that instance. Bear in mind, though, that I am 60 years old.She is a teenager. I can imagine that, at her age, I might not have called the authorities.

    And, yes, it is entirely plausible to me that she was in shock and probably is still somewhat shocked by what happened.

    It sounds like you expect teenagers to respond like adults would, and I don't understand that.


    I guess I was an unusual teenager then (none / 0) (#192)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 07:27:26 AM EST
    Because I wouldn''t have thought twice about at least telling my parents if someone I loved told me he was being followed, I heard a scuffle, lost the call, and then couldn't get him back on the phone.

    Unless you're saying teenagers aren't that sensitive or smart. I don't believe that.  I suspect she did tell someone and adult dropped the ball.


    Justice? (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Richjo on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:05:51 PM EST
    I agree that George Zimmerman is entitled to a presumption of innocence when he goes before a court of law and his life and liberty are in jeopardy at the hands of the government. Equally important however is that the police, and private citizens who attempt to take it upon themselves to enforce law and order be held accountable for their choices.
    I have yet to hear anyone suggest that George Zimmerman be locked up and the key be thrown away without a trial and proper legal proceedings. I also don't find it unreasonable to suggest that someone who has killed an unarmed person who has comitted no crime has taken actions which would more than justify a full legal proceeding to allow an impartial arbiter to determone if their actions were justified, rather than allowing police and prosecutors to make that judgment. The role of the defense attorney in our system is not to be on the side of the criminal, but to defend the criminal as a means of ensuring that the police and prosecutors exercise their power in a just and fair way. That will only occur in this case by proceeding to the part of the process where the adversarial nature of our system comes into play. To suggest that we not proceed to that point immediately is to me simply a means of empowering what very well may be a bias and corrupt police and prosecutorial apparatus.

    And on a final note, appeals to the presumption of innocence in this case seem quite perverse to me. If George Zimmerman had done that we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

    I do not understand the value (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:43:16 PM EST
    of discussing the father's statement Jeralyn.

    You state you do not want speculation or self serving uncorroborated statements.

    This post is everything you state you do not want.

    I think a better approach is to acknowledge you are not interested in speculation adverse to Zimmerman.

    That's fine. You are a criminal defense attorney and naturally gravitate towards defense positions.

    That is not my perspective and this will be my last word on the Zimmerman issue at Talk Left. The reality is your approach precludes discussion of issues that go beyond the specific case. There really can be no policy discussion given your insistence that nothing adverse to Zimmerman can be discussed.

    I respectfully dissent with how you are handling this.

    You are the one who (none / 0) (#123)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:31:25 PM EST
    posted the surveillance video and your impression that it casts doubt on Zimmerman's version. Having done that, this one deserves equal time. Neither one, as I said, resolve the issue of what happened.

    But one is a (5.00 / 6) (#129)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:42:53 PM EST
    see-with-your-own-eyes kind of thing (the police video), and the other (the Robert Zimmerman interview) is offering a combination of what George told his father, and his own opinions.

    One is an it-is-what-it-is thing; the other is, I think, a pretty blatant effort to influence public opinion based on hearsay and a lot of speculation and opinion.

    While neither one resolves what happened, the Zimmerman interview attempts to do exactly that, while the video - the one BTD posted and the full 6-minute version you posted - doesn't purport to explain anything.  

    Maybe it's me, but I don't think those two things are on equal footing.


    So what? The issue is not whether (none / 0) (#172)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:32:23 AM EST
    Zimmerman is guilty or not but whether there exists probable cause to arrest & charge, which is always a one sided decision by the state.  BTD's positing of the video and his comment that is casts doubt on Zimmerman's version goes directly to whether or not there is probable cause to arrest, after all it is only Zimmerman's claim of having stood his ground that puts probable cause in doubt, at least in the minds of people other than, for example, myself.  Anything that undermines Zimmerman's claim adds to the level of proable cause that in my view has existed since the night of the shooting.

    I have to agree with Jeralyn, BTD. (none / 0) (#133)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:51:30 PM EST
    And to be fair to her, she's already stated, in response to an earlier query from me, that she doesn't necessarily agree with the ad hoc methods of those who have tasked themselves to publicly defend George Zimmerman.

    Again, nobody is not presuming innocence (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:32:44 PM EST
    the issue is why have there been no charges?  He admitted shooting Trayvon Martin, killing him.  The other issue is what happened to my earlier comment making the same point?

    Presumption of innocence applies to an accused.  Zimmerman has not been accused of anything.  And that, given the facts, is the travesty people are upset about.  Charge him and the you can worry about presuming his innocence.  Nobody is denying Zimmerman his day in court or arguing to relieve the prosecutor of the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If Zimmerman is allowed to remain free and never be charged simply by saying, "I felt threatened by a 140 lb teenager's pummeling me with lethal force" then that is outrageous & there is something terribly wrong in Florida.

    The framing of the issue in your post, i.e., presumption of innocence, is wrong and is intended, imo, to deflect attention away from the outrageous workings in this case of the Florida stand your ground law.  The man admitted to the killing and has stipulated to enough facts to provide probable cause for his arrest and charging in any normal jurisdiction.  

    I don't know how you can claim to be interested in defending Zimmerman, from what?  What charge?  The only accountability he has faced is the court of public opinion, which you want to stifle, at least on TL.  If he is ever arrested , charged and found guilty it will be because enough people looked at the reported facts of this case & were sickened that the police and or the laws of the State of Florida let this guy off completely after he shot & killed an unarmed teenaged boy.


    he is a suspect (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:46:50 PM EST
    under criminal investigation. The presumption of innocence applies to him. If you are uncomfortable with that, then you'll need to comment elsewhere.

    Don't put words in my mouth (none / 0) (#169)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:07:40 AM EST
    I have repeatedly aknowledged Zimmerman's presumtpion of innocence,I am not the least bit  uncomfortable with it. It has nothing, NOTHING to do with whether or not Zimmerman should have been arrested & charged. I have repeatedly stated the correct standard for arrest as being probable cause. See below for why I think there there has been ample probable cause since the night of the shooting even given the odious stand your ground law in Florida.

    Why there have been no charges (none / 0) (#148)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:06:14 PM EST
    It's the law in Florida.

    776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.--

    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force...(unless victim is a police officer)

    (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful. (my emphasis)

    What's your hurry? They didn't have evidence that night his version of events was not accurate. They collected evidence, have sent it for testing, interviewed witnesses, etc. If the results of their investigation cast doubt on his version, he'll be charged.

    Investigations don't happen in days or even weeks. Lab tests take a while. No one wants to make a mistake. It's not like he's going to flee the country. Be patient.

    It would have been in violation of Florida law to arrest him the night of the shooting. If Floridians have a problem with the law, they can work to change it. They can't deny its application while it is still law.


    I would be interested in a source (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:41:10 PM EST
    that clarifies that the investigation was continuing all of these weeks.  Instead, I read the statement from Sanford police, weeks ago, that the decision had been made -- and now we know that it was made by the state's attorney, right away -- that Zimmerman would face no charges.

    I don't have any sense that, absent the (5.00 / 5) (#150)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:47:54 PM EST
    outcry from the public, there would have been any more than a cursory, CYA investigation at all; I do have a sense that the Sanford PD, with the blessing of the district attorney, believed the book had been closed on this matter.

    Yes, and I now have found (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:18:36 PM EST
    that's what was stated weeks ago by the Sanford police:  They were done, they were turning over all of their results to the state's attorney -- who already, as the Sanford police knew, had overruled any charges filed on Zimmerman.

    The outcry began after the statement by Sanford police, after Martin's family and others had waited weeks for the system to work, to only then be able to review the reasons for the judgments made.


    they continued the investigation (none / 0) (#164)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:00:47 AM EST
    from the first night. Police don't charge people, prosecutors do. Police investigate and turn their findings over to prosecutors who decide whether to bring charges.

    Here's the Sanford letter of Feb. 27 telling the community the investigation was ongoing.

    They sealed the crime scene, interviewed witnesses, collected physical evidence and sent it for analysis. You can be sure they got phone records and other things as well.

    Their decision not to arrest based on no probable cause at that time does not mean they didn't continue the investigation.

    Here is tSanford's letter of March 21 published on its website saying the investigation had been ongoing and now that it was complete, they submitted their findings' to the State's attorney's office.

    They also say they asked DOJ for help. This has been investigated. What we don't know are the results.


    You said it (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:24:25 AM EST
    "Their decision not to arrest based on no probable cause at that time"

    That is the issue. And that has absolutely zero to do with the presumption of innocence.

    "This unarmed teenager who I outweigh by a 100 lbs attacked me after I had called the cops on him, was told I didn;t need to follow him yet did and I shot & killed him after he punched me in the nose"

    And what else, "he saw the gun I had on me and that made me think he would grab it and kill me????"

    No probable cause here.  And if that is the result of the operation of Florida law then why on Earth is it not politically correct on Talk left to take issue with that?  It's not like you yourself don't rail against whatever laws,e.g.,  drug laws, sentencing guidelines etc. that you believe further injustice.  You just this AM complained about the injustice of Blago's CoS receiving a 10 day sentence.  Well guess what?  That's proably the law too.


    You're missing the timeline (none / 0) (#176)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:31:20 AM EST
    that is telling.

    Hurry? shooting was end of Feb, it is now (none / 0) (#168)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:02:26 AM EST
    over month later.

    And the statute you quote states the standard for arrest as "probable cause." which has nothing, repeat nothing to do with the presumption of innocence.

    Trayvon was unarmed.  Uncontroverted.

    Trayvon weighed 140 lbs.  Uncontroverted.

    Zimmerman followed and stalked Trayvon.  Uncontroverted.

    Zimmerman admitted shooting Trayvon.  Uncontroverted.

    Zimmerman claims Trayvon punched him in the nose after Trayvon confronted him about being followed, th eonly lethal force Trayvon could have been employing was punching a 28 yo man who outweighed Travon by over 100 lbs. Uncontroverted.

    Run all the forensics you want but don't tell me there was not probable cause to arrest the shooter on the very night of the shooting even given the statute you quote.  A

    fter being told by authorities not to, Zimmerman initiated a confrontation with an unarmed teenager half his size and then shot & killed him. That is justified how exactly?


    No one here is (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by indy in sc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:35:41 PM EST
    saying that witnesses and others who cooberate Zimmerman's claim of self defense should not be allowed to speak or should be readily dismissed.  As many have said, it is clear that Zimmerman's family must be in pain for what their son is going through regardless of whether Zimmerman was the chief architect of his own pain.

    What people here have been most outraged about from the posts I have read, has been two things:

    1.  That this case would never have seen a trier of fact without the public outcry.  Honestly, I truly believe in the presumption of innocence--but that is within a court process.  It seems pretty clear, IMO, based on the application of "Stand Your Ground" by the DA who was physically there, in and of itself odd, with less than thorough crime scene work and the extremely delayed subsequent investigation, that some Sanford authorities preference was for this to never see the light of day.  It would not have seen the light of day without the usual (and some unusual) suspects getting involved and making sure it couldn't be swept under the rug.

    2.  The shoddy police work.  There is so much here that has been better stated by others, so I won't go into it all.  The bottom line of it is that the errors and omissions by the police are not to Zimmerman's benefit nor are they to the benefit of those who think the killing was not justified.  In other words, the pursuit of justice here may be insurmountably compromised and that is worthy of rage regardless of whose account of events you are more inclined to believe.

    The law in Florida (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:45:28 PM EST
    PROHIBITS an arrest in these kinds of circumstances, exceot when the evidence clears a very high hurdle, which is probably why the state's attorney told the police they didn't have a case.

    That's not to say he couldn't be arrested LATER.

    You should be upset with the actual law here.


    I am (none / 0) (#132)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:48:51 PM EST
    Not being able to arrest someone (none / 0) (#134)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:54:52 PM EST
    Is different than the police screwing up.  Did they screw up?  Maybe, but not because they didn't arrest him that night.

    Somebody or something is very screwed up (5.00 / 4) (#137)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:03:36 PM EST
    as evidenced by the lack of an arrest and charges given the admitted and reported facts to date, in my view.  And the develoment of all the "new" facts people are commenting on in this thread would never have happened if the public outrage, muted as it must be here on TL, were muted everywhere else.

    I am also upset with the law... (none / 0) (#135)
    by indy in sc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:56:44 PM EST
    but I think it was misapplied here. I think "Stand your Ground" is a ridiculous law that should be reviewed and, if not completely repealed, amended to   be just a presumption that the state has to overcome at trial rather than prohibit arrest.

    In this case, the moment Zimmerman left his car, the state had enough evidence to overcome Stand Your Ground and arrest Zimmerman.  The police had the 911 tape where Zimmerman replies in the affirmative when asked if he was following Martin.  That his representatives are now saying he left the car to look for a street sign is less probative than Zimmerman's own admission in the middle of the act.

    Furthermore, as you point out, all the subsequent evidence could have led to an arrest (see my point #1 above).  This is the reason for the outrage.


    Well (none / 0) (#139)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:19:47 PM EST
    A licensed Florida State Attorney, who is much more familiar with the state criminal code than anybody commenting here, I think, disagreed.

    In order to override the Stand Your Ground law, the state has to show that Zimmerman was the aggressor, a term also carefully defined in the criminal code.  Getting out of your car does not, in fact, make you an aggressor, so your theory makes no sense.

    Now, maybe it can be shown by subsequent actions that Zimmerman was rhe aggressir, and in which time, under the law, he will lose the ability to successfully argue SYG.


    You seem insistent (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by indy in sc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:36:22 PM EST
    that I be upset with the law to the exclusion of being upset with the police and Sanford authorities.  As I stated, I'm upset with all three.  I disagree with you that the law was correctly applied by the DA, who is on my list of Sanford authorities I am upset with.

    A licensed FL attorney may be more familiar with this law than me, but the person who drafted it may be more familiar with it than this attorney.  

    Doesn't really matter--either way in my lay opinion, they had enough to overcome it both that night and in the month and counting that followed that night.  I stand by my original comment.  


    The video is painful to watch (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:02:05 PM EST
    Richard Zimmerman understandably wants to believe the best of his son, and reports what I presume George Zimmerman told him uncritically. I wouldn't expect otherwise.

    I do feel some sympathy for George Zimmerman in all this. His life is ruined, and I doubt very much he set out with the idea of killing Trayvon (otherwise  I don't imagine he would have called the police). It does make me wonder if there was a way of heading off this tragedy before it happened. Even if it was legal for him carry a gun while acting as a community watchman, it was surely a bad idea, especially given how much he seemed to have invested in being a community watchman, and the degree he got involved in trying to solve cases. Would it have been possible to intervene somehow? One story described how at a police coordinator who met him at  a neighborhood watch meeting emphasized they were not to confront people. (I haven't figured out how to put in links yet)

    I think Richard Zimmerman's appeal would have been more effective if he could have shown some empathy for the loss of Trayvon Martin and his family. Instead, he talks about other peoples' hate. Even Obama's brief words are characterized as being hateful. One can legitimately argue if what the President said was appropriate, given there's an ongoing investigation, but it certainly wasn't hateful. If Richard Zimmerman could have said something like, he understands why people would react so strongly when someone so young dies, but they have to understand his son was only defending himself, it might have come across better.

    That's the main subtext as I see it (none / 0) (#153)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:40:09 PM EST
    running through many of the comments "defending" Zimmerman here and elsewhere (excluding Jeralyn's of course) - that Trayvon and Trayvon's death doesn't matter. That he and the life he'll never live aren't even worth considering, are worth nothing or even less than nothing, that only poor poor Zimmerman, his awful predicament generated by "hate" is all that matters. That Trayvon "got what he deserved" for having the temerity and uppityness to be black on the street in public and therefore "suspicious", and wearing a friggin' hoodie no less, and he didn't even have enough respect to get on his knees and say "yes, massa" to Zimmerman, but instead attacked what he saw as a mortal threat to his life. And lost. Permanently. Gone. Dead. Dismissed as worthless.


    One stanza out of a song, written for another context, but poetically applicable here, from Neil Young...

    There's one more kid
    That'll never go to school
    Never get to fall in love,
    never get to be cool....

    -- Keep On Rockin' In The Free World


    Also How to make links: here


    One other point (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:08:00 AM EST
    It's interesting, and somewhat moving, that both Robert Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin's parents both insist they're certain they hear their son's voice when they hear the cries for help on the 911 tapes. I believe they're both sincere.

    This is new to me: (none / 0) (#3)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:51:38 AM EST
    "One of his final comments is that if Trayvon had gone home which was just a short distance. . . ."

    What is this reference?  Everything I have read said that Martin was going from the store to his (father's fiancee's) home, was yards from the home.

    Now we're hearing, second- or third-hand or whatever, a reference that imputes that Martin was wandering around?  A map of that gated community is needed.

    Since when must I bolt from my house (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:14:54 AM EST
    To the store and back in order to not be accosted by someone in the neighborhood watch as well?  At a time when the nation fights obesity everyone needs to be outside walking and exercising. It is just flat out absurd to me that my children and I can't be outdoors and presume to be safe from law enforcers.  He wasn' t doing anything wrong.  He was living there.

    As you requested: (none / 0) (#5)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:38:08 AM EST
    Type in "1215 Twin Trees Lane, Sanford, FL" on Google Maps. As you'll see, The Retreat at Twin Lakes is a rather confined middle-class condominium development. The approximate site where Trayvon Martin was shot will be just to right of the Letter A, along the walkway you see between the condos.



    No, he's just saying (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:18:34 AM EST
    Since Martin was so close to home at the point he encountered George, he just should have gone home. Instead of, as George says, creeping up around him and engaging him in conversation and then punching him.

    Isn't it possible that Martin (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by observed on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:19:02 AM EST
    was talking to a suspicious charcter to see what he was doing?

    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:00:44 PM EST
    but Zimmerman is our potential defendant here so we can't speculate as to that.

    It's also possible Trayvon was shown or saw the gun and he wanted to knock down Zimmerman before taking flight.

    But not of that matters, Trayvon at 140 lbs was using lethal force on this guy at 275 lbs or something? C'mon!  Zimmerman tracks him down after stalking him, after being told by 911 not to? Zimmerman initiated this confrontation, whatever it was, and he shot & killed Trayvon, none of that is in dispute.  Yet in Florida he is not arrested or charged with anything and is not even seriously investigated until the recent  media uproar. What gives?  In any sane jurisdiciton he'd be charged, the prosecution would have to prove his guilt and Zimmerman would have to prove self defense.

    But in Florida we do not even get there despite the dead teenager and the admitted shooter.  Shooter tells the cops I was being threatened and that's apparently the end of the matter.

    That's nuts.


    275 140? (none / 0) (#158)
    by lousy1 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:19:22 PM EST
    Not the numbers I've seen. Do you really think that "You don't need to do that." should be construed as an order?

    What I think is that if anyone should receive (5.00 / 0) (#180)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:46:34 PM EST
    the benefit of the stand your ground presumptions in this case it is Trayvon, not the shooter.

    That does not (none / 0) (#74)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:52:09 AM EST
    compute nor comport with what is said here.  It's an interesting and revealing inference, is all.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#101)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:45:38 PM EST
    He was "close to home" - the place where he was staying.  He was close to his destination and I don't think the senior Ximmerman in any way meant close to his actual residence.

    That's why a map marking (none / 0) (#113)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:05:00 PM EST
    the paths that Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman took would be helpful, and with timelines, as Zimmerman's father is stating that Martin did not just go (to his father's fiancee's) home.  

    Now, was Martin going in a sensible, linear path until he was being followed by a guy in a car, and then Martin deviate to go on a path that could not be followed by a car?  Was Martin still going in a sensible, linear path until he took a turn that put him in Zimmerman's path again?  Or was Martin going in a sensible, linear path after the first confrontation that Zimmerman initiated, but then Martin deviated to confront Zimmerman?  Or was Zimmerman going in a sensible, linear path but then deviated to track Martin some more?  Etc., to determine which was the confrontational one, and when.


    The 911 audio experts (none / 0) (#8)
    by TomMaguire on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:53:23 AM EST
    Hey, Jeralyn, I see you are enjoying the conflicted life of a liberal defense attorney again.

    I concur with Zimmerman's dismal PR strategy.  My question: apparently the defense (if it ever gets that far) will put up a parade of family members swearing the voice on the 911 tape calling for help is George (and one witness on the ground reportedly confirms that).

    The prosecutor will put up a parade of Martin family members swearing the vise if Trayvons (or if they lack that parade, I really don't see how we get to trial).

    So - knowing that we are hearing background noise on a telephone call, rather than something from a sound studio;

    presuming that we lack past audio tapes of Trayvon screaming in pain;

    and presuming that Dick Cheney is not available to torture George Zimmerman so we can get a tape of him screaming in pain,

    can FBI audio wizardry really give a conclusive answer as to whose voice we are hearing?  I would think the defense would hammer on reasonable doubt.  But in your experience, is audio expert testimony likely to be conclusive and compelling in this case?

    As to locale, the tip to use Google Maps (especially with the aerial satellite view) is a good one.  Several bloggers have posted clips and tried to pin down the locale based on the police report and the 911 Zimmerman call (and it is not that hard - I think I am right on my third try).

    Per the police report, the shooting occurred on the walkway behind/between the townhouses of 2821 Retreat View Circle and 1231 Twin Trees Lane (per the map, everyone's back view opens onto a common pedestrian walkway.

    Trayvon was a guest at a house in the 2600 block (per my intel which I am sort of trusting but can't verify) on Retreat View Circle, so he was on a perfectly logical path home and maybe 50-75 yards from home.

    That makes the father's story a bit puzzling.

    Oh, last stray thought for defense attorneys - how likely is it that George can claim that a combination of blows to the head and post-traumatic stress have left him a bit foggy; he has tried to cooperate with police but can't be held accountable for gaps and lapses?

    That's assuming someone tries to put him on stand and he wants to avoid invoking the Fifth.  Or if he wants to duck a false statements charge, if charging him with something becomes the overriding political priority.

    Wouldn't they be able to compare the voice print (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Angel on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:48:57 AM EST
    from Zimmerman speaking on the 911 tapes to the screaming part to determine if it was in fact Zimmerman screaming for help?  And surely there is a voice recording of Trayvon somewhere that could be used to print his voice for comparison as well.  Any experts here?

    They are doing analysis now (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:26:14 AM EST
    Of both the screams heard that night yelling for help and of the alleged racial epithet uttered by Zimmerman.

    Analysis (none / 0) (#86)
    by TomMaguire on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:09:38 PM EST
    They are doing analysis of the tape but...

    I am pretty sure my speaking voice on a 911 tape is quite different from my 'screaming in pain and fear' voice.  I naturally hope I would maintain my manly demeanor while getting beaten down but I have heard of men whimpering like babies.  No personal experience on either end of such a scenario.

    So I remain curious as to whether tapes of normal speaking voices will even be helpful in matching screams,and would stand up in court.


    I've read they can do voice recognition by using (none / 0) (#96)
    by Angel on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:33:18 PM EST
    samples of the subjects.  For instance, they have Zimmerman's natural speaking voice on the 911 tapes, they have a voice or voices screaming on the 911 tapes.  They can get a controlled sample of Zimmerman repeating the same things heard on the 911 tapes (the screaming parts) and use those for comparison.  They might also be able to get voice tapes of Martin, perhaps even with video. Also, people have distinct patterns to their voice and distinct ways of saying certain words, etc.  I think if they put everything they have towards the analyses of these tapes they can probably figure out who was doing the screaming when.  

    Tom, on voice analysis (none / 0) (#112)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    Read this article by Owl Investigations. It's very thorough on the procedures, requirements and how courts have treated it. I used them as experts in an aspect of the McVeigh case, spent a lot of time at their offices in NY, and learned a lot from them. I was very satisfied with their work professionalism.

    Preview is for cowards... (none / 0) (#9)
    by TomMaguire on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:56:25 AM EST
    "swearing the vise if Trayvons"

    should be "swearing the voice is Trayvon's"

    Rick Perry had a word for that.

    LOL (none / 0) (#28)
    by sj on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:22:27 AM EST
    I enjoyed reading your comment.  The content was thoughtful and trying to interpret the intended wording was kinda fun.  Did auto-complete help you with that? Or a voice-to-text?

    Zimmerman's injuries (none / 0) (#27)
    by star on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:02:34 AM EST
    There is so much speculation about Zimmerman and police faking his injuries.

    My sister fell down from a ladder last month when painting a mural indoors. She was in shock, could not sit up for a good 5 minutes. We decided to drive her to the hospital just in case something was broken. there was no blood or anything. not even real swelling.
    at hospital we found out she had her nose broken  (they did not bandage it, cant really do much for a broken nose other than put ice on it), one rib cracked and another bruised badly and ligament torn on her knee. we did not even think the nose was hurt until we had it checked out by docs. so the lack of blood gushing out of zimmerman in this video does not mean he did not have his nose broken.
    Another important factor is the altercation between zimm and tryvon lasted under a minute. there cant have been too many punches or a real boxing match.

    Even though we are not privy to (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:45:57 AM EST
    the totality of information, there are valid reasons for the skepticism with which both Zimmerman's version of events, as told through a police report and various people close to him, and the police department's reports and statements, are being greeted.

    What you have is an overzealous  - Zimmerman's co-captain's description of him - neighborhood patrol "captain," whose 911 calls had a focus on "suspicious" black men, and a police department with documented history of mishandling and in some cases, initially ignoring, crimes committed against black people.

    Taken together, I think you have a lot of people beginning to believe that George Zimmerman may have fabricated what he felt was a believable scenario that justified the shooting, and a police department a little too willing to assist in that effort.  With it now being reported that both the police chief and the district attorney were both present at the scene, and that a homicide detective's belief that Zimmerman should be arrested and charged was overruled, it's getting harder to believe that something less-than-kosher wasn't going on.

    Is it possible George Zimmerman got punched in the nose and didn't bleed?  That's a question that needed to be answered by the collection of evidence at the scene, both on the sidewalk, his own and Trayvon's clothing.  Have such tests been done?  We don't know.

    Maybe there's a lot more we don't know; I just don't think, when all is said and done, that even if we know everything it is possible to know, this case is going to conclude to anyone's satisfaction.

    I have just been finding it very interesting that this is normally a place where the police have zero credibility, but I have lost count of the number of times the Sanford PD's reports and statements have been taken as "proof" of the sequence of events and to support Zimmerman's claims.


    And the fact that witnesses remain uninterviewed (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:20:00 AM EST
    While we discover that Zimmerman's dad was a judge can't be ignored in my mind.  Was he a judge who had jurisdiction in Sanford?  What sort of social connections do the Zimmerman's have with Sanford law enforcement?

    He is a retired magistrate (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:24:17 AM EST
    And maybe the witnesses just haven't been interviewed yet?  Maybe people talking to the media now really aren't credible witnesses?

    What about Trayvon's girlfriend? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:22:37 AM EST
    Who was on the phone with Trayvon at the time?  And why were officials showing up at the scene who had not shown up under similar circumstances before.  Was a retired judge on the phone too?

    She was NOT (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:35:38 PM EST
    On the ohone with Trayvon "at the time".  She supposedly said she heard a scuffle and the phone went dead.  She was on rhe phone with hin a couple of minutes before the shooting.

    And Zimmerman had called 911 already - maybe that's why the police showed up soon.


    Ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by ks on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:43:25 AM EST
    That's simply absurd hair-splitting.  Of course she was on the phone with him "at the time" in any reasonable interpretation.  Are you actually saying that although she was apparently on the phone with him until the confortation since she wasn't talking to him DURING the actual fight itself therefore she wasn't on the phone with him "at the time". Utter nonsense.

    the police showed up because (none / 0) (#108)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:53:30 PM EST
    the dispatcher directed them to after speaking with George. Read the police report.

    From CNN (none / 0) (#117)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:19:31 PM EST
    Martin was visiting his father's fiancee, who lived in the gated community in Sanford, a racially mixed northern suburb of Orlando.

    Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person. He described Martin as black and said he was acting strangely and could have been on drugs.

    Zimmerman said he got out of his SUV and followed Martin on foot.

    "Something's wrong with him," he told a 911 dispatcher, according to the contents of a call released by authorities. "Yep. He's coming to check me out. He's got something in his hands."

    The teenager started to run, Zimmerman said. A 911 dispatcher asked Zimmerman whether he was following Martin, and Zimmerman said he was. The dispatcher said Zimmerman did not need to do that.

    Retired Magistrate (none / 0) (#58)
    by star on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:18:53 AM EST
    He is a retired magistrate from Virginia and a vietnam vet. From local news in Orlando, Zimmerman family is not originally from Sanford. I think only George Zimmerman moved to Florida as an adult. He grew up elsewhere.

    I read that Zimmerman was living (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:27:18 AM EST
    With his parents in Florida and was a college drop out.  If Trayvon being found with an empty bag that had had weed in it deserves to be weighed then certainly someone of Zimmerman's age living with his parents and aimlessly dropping out of college deserves to be weighed also.

    Grew up (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by star on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:39:36 AM EST
    Zimmerman grew up in Manasssas Virginia. His father was a magistrate there . I am not sure if he is currently living with dad or not.
    I mentioned where the dad worked as a judge, in answer to someone posting about him influencing the Sanford police. I am not sure if a retired magistrate from another state can really have too much say in how this incident was dealt with . I suspect more a comradeship between Zimmerman himself and the cops, since he is a regular with them with his paranoid calls, and also his hero worship and aspiration to be a cop. It might be interesting to find out if he was familiar with any of the cops on the scene before this incident.

    he was a (none / 0) (#89)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:15:31 PM EST
    magistrate judge for the  Virginia Supreme Court for 8 years. He lives in Virginia. (That's where Zimmerman grew up.) He was not a judge in Florida or in Sanford.

    Further, according to Kristi Wright ... (none / 0) (#138)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:19:15 PM EST
    ... of the Virginia Dept. of Legislative and Public Relations (per ABC News):

    "Please be advised that in Virginia magistrates are judicial officers, but they are not considered 'judges' and do not possess trial jurisdiction. More detailed information on the role of the magistrate in Virginia is available on Virginia's Judicial System Website."

    (Emphasis is mine.)


    I believe he was a Virginia magistrate, ... (none / 0) (#121)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:22:47 PM EST
    ... although I could be wrong. Jeralyn, do you any idea where Robert Zimmerman served on the bench?

    The special prosecutor (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:03:10 AM EST
    Appointed by the governor in this case said they have his clothes and are running tests.

    Paradox (none / 0) (#50)
    by Addison on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:01:26 AM EST
    Another important factor is the altercation between zimm and tryvon lasted under a minute. there cant have been too many punches or a real boxing match.

    The tamer the fight the less justified the response by Zimmerman. So, they ought to be careful about that.


    "A bloody nose" (none / 0) (#76)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:56:56 AM EST
    -- unquote Mr. Zimmerman's lawyer.

    You have sources to dispute that adjective from his lawyer regarding his client's nose, not someone else's nose?


    Iron Mike (none / 0) (#88)
    by TomMaguire on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:14:38 PM EST
    "there cant have been too many punches or a real boxing match."

    That is what they said about several of Mike Tyson's fights that ended early in the first round.

    I still remember a friend of mine walking back from the bathroom and asking "Did I miss anything?"  Only the whole fight.


    What altercation? (none / 0) (#100)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:42:13 PM EST
    I have seen the tape and until it is enhanced or there are photos, the statements are conflicting.

    MSNBC enhancement (none / 0) (#115)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 01:08:43 PM EST
    There was an enhanced shot of the other video that shows a mark on his head.  It looks like a small round spot that would be consistent with hitting a pebble.  So Zimmerman on the ground at some point is possible, but will need to see if there are any marks on Martin's knuckles.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#35)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:38:20 AM EST

    I was hoping Jeralyn's post might be the kind of thing that would hopefully cool things down.  The link was intended as an example of why cooling was necessary.

    Sorry that I bollixed it up.

    I thought your post was clear. (none / 0) (#38)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:48:55 AM EST

    You can add to that the case of an elderly couple who had to leave their home and stay in a hotel after receiving hate mail because a bunch of irresponsible people including Spike Lee tweeted their address mistakenly saying it was Zimmerman's. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-03-28/news/os-trayvon-martin-wrong-zimmerman-20120327_1_spi ke-lee-william-zimmerman-retweeted?tw_p=twt

    I think a public outcry was necessary, because it's not clear a thorough investigation of what happened would have have occurred without it, but in some cases it's gone too far.


    please put your links in url format (none / 0) (#109)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:54:47 PM EST
    long urls skew the site and I have to delete the entire comment. Use the link button at the top of the comment box.

    What Spike Lee did was awful. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:42:23 PM EST
    I don't often agree with you, so I try to note whenever I do. I was appalled at what he did.

    I have no problem with people commenting publicly on a case that's gripped the country, as we're all doing here. But one doesn't encourage or incite others to go an extra step and take matters into their own hands, i.e., hunt down either the protagonist or antagonist on his or her own for the purpose of harrassment -- or worse. That's exactly how people get hurt and / or find themselves in a world of trouble. Two wrongs don't make a right, and Spike Lee should be ashamed of himself.

    In my opinion, public pressure was absolutely necessary in this case because I fear that the matter would have otherwise been dropped by the Sanford authorities. But now that national attention has been focused on events in question and state and federal authorities are involved, we the general public need to take our foot off the gas, and let the due process of law resume its course.


    apology accepted (none / 0) (#163)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:46:01 PM EST
    but please do not ever post such a link on TalkLeft again.

    We'll know. (none / 0) (#52)
    by Addison on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:04:47 AM EST
    I'm fairly certain there will be clear phone records of the call if it took place, as at least one personal cell phone was involved (Trayvon's). I have heard his phone had gone missing, not sure if it's true but it shouldn't matter in terms of getting the records. As cell tower systems and 911 tapes are sync vis-a-vis a standard time, they can match the time of the call up with the time of the gunshots on the 911 tape. This should not be difficult, and we'll likely know objectively whether the call took place and for how long (though not its contents).

    According to ABC News, the call ... (none / 0) (#122)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:29:23 PM EST
    ... between Martin and his 16-year-old girlfriend back in Miami has been verified, and they showed copies of the phone records on one of their reports. It revealed that the first phone call commenced a few minutes before the shooting, with a second phone call immediately following, which aligns with his girlfriend's statements to ABC News that they were abruptly cut off and she tried calling him back.

    the verfication was a (none / 0) (#125)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:34:22 PM EST
    document provided by Martin's lawyers from a phone bill. The police have subpoenaed the actual phone records, I'd wait for them to be released before forming a conclusion.

    Agreed, although ... (none / 0) (#140)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:25:53 PM EST
    ... I'd be surprised if the actual phone records showed anything markedly different.

    But then, given that you and I had a recent mutual experience with electronic records disappearing into the ether, perhaps I shouldn't be. Sometimes, things can happen with technology that are almost totally inexplicable. ;-)


    The NSA probably has a recording of the call (none / 0) (#126)
    by BobTinKY on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:34:40 PM EST
    total information awareness

    The cell phone call should be very easy to verify (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:43:41 AM EST
    We also have a program on our new cell phones to find them.  It also shows me where my husband and son are on GPS.  Maybe such records as even location of the talkers is available.  The phones automatically log in where they are from time to time.

    And while we're quoting (none / 0) (#84)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:06:30 PM EST

    When the investigation is complete, people will have answers. Until then there are only leaks and unnamed sources and statements by people with a particular agenda.


    This blog mostly discusses cases that have been charged or  are headed to trial or appeal -- where there are court documents and official documents to go by. It is very distasteful to be covering an investigation this way, and I have only written a few posts on it. . . .  Without a time frame and more context, [this video] is meaningless.

    On the subject of not trying things in the media, (none / 0) (#103)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:46:17 PM EST
    one thing that bugged me was when suddenly people were focussing on what was alleged to be a racial slur Zimmerman muttered under his breath. It's very easy to become convinced you hear things that aren't there in a garbled message ("I buried Paul. . ."). Maybe there are ways to establish what he actually said, but having thousands of people listening to audios uploaded on youtube isn't one of them.

    please keep this discussion (none / 0) (#105)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:49:54 PM EST
    to the father's interview. thanks.

    Sorry, will do. (none / 0) (#106)
    by RickTaylor on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:51:20 PM EST
    Not the full interview (none / 0) (#107)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 12:51:21 PM EST
    My comment on this last night was deleted.  Basically, it was 'shut up, shut up, shut up' because this father's statements can be used in court.

    Look for his full comments on who hates him.  I might be naive, but I had a very negative reaction to his beliefs and don't see how his son could never have been influenced by his father's views and isn't bias an issue in this situation?  It could be a legitimate legal strategy to confuse issues, but bringing out someone who is blatantly non-factual (he accuses others of saying there were two shots) and boy oh boy... the comments not included in this clip, do not reflect well on the families values.

    Wow (none / 0) (#120)
    by Towanda on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:05:32 PM EST
    I see what you mean.

    Eh... (none / 0) (#190)
    by Addison on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 05:23:01 PM EST
    Apparently the transcript leaves plenty of room for doubt, according to many.

    The comment you are reply to (none / 0) (#191)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 03:29:49 AM EST
    is now deleted for falsely portraying the contents of the 9/11 call. The transcript is here.

    It's one thing to have an opinion on what the call meant, and people do disagree on that, but it's another to factually misrepresent the actual statements made during the call, which is what the deleted comment did.


    Hmm (none / 0) (#193)
    by Euro News Magazine on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 04:11:26 AM EST