Zimmerman Arrest Affidavit Says Word Used Was "Punks"

Here's the affidavit of probable cause submitted for the arrest of George Zimmerman on second degree murder charges for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. It is written and sworn to by States' Attorney Special Investigators T.C. O'Steen and Dale Gilbreath, both former investigators with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department. They don't believe there was a racial slur.

During the recorded call Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood. Later while talking about Martin, Zimrnerman stated "these a*sholes, they always get away and also said “these f*cking punks.”


If any independent or further investigation was conducted by the State's Attorney's office, it doesn't show in the Affidavit. It's a recitation of what they gleaned from the information provided by the Sanford police, and some re-interviews of selected witnesses.

Your Affiants, along with other law enforcement officials have taken sworn statements from witnesses, spoken with law enforcement officers who have provided sworn testimony in reports, reviewed other reports, recorded statements, phone records, recorded calls to police, photographs, videos, and other documents.

There's no reference to forensic testing. The only finding from the autopsy report is that Trayvon died from a gunshot wound.

Incredibly, it claims without support that Zimmerman was "profiling" Martin. It misrepresents what the dispatcher said to Zimmerman, calling it an "instruction" not to follow Martin. (The dispatcher said, "We don't need you to do that" to which Zimmerman responded "Ok.")

It says, without providing a basis, that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon. It then says a struggle ensued, at the end of which, Trayvon was dead. It says witnesses heard arguments, a struggle and cries for help. It does not say anyone saw the actual struggle. (It doesn't refer to the one witness, John, who told police on his 911 call he did observe the struggle and has later said Zimmerman was on the bottom crying out for help.)

The only support for its belief the voice crying for help was Trayvon's is his mother's identification. There's no reference to Zimmerman's father or brother saying they believed the voice was Zimmerman's, or that the officer at the scene overheard Zimmerman say he cried out for help.

It makes no reference to who initiated the physical struggle. Or that Zimmerman was observed bleeding at the scene. It only says "Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued." Translation: The struggle followed Zimmerman's verbal confrontation.

Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued. Witnesses heard people arguing and what sounded like a struggle. During this time period witnesses heard numerous calls for help and some of these were recorded in 911calls to police. Trayvon’s mother has reviewed the 911 calls and identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin's voice.

The only independent investigation they mention, interviewing witnesses, is the least reliable method of investigation they could have pursued. New versions of witness statements are inherently unreliable. These statements are the product of "post-event information." in which the witness' current memory is a co-mingling of actual memories from the event and information learned later, from the media and others.

The likelihood of error in these later statements is even greater if they were made after they "pooled information" with other witnesses, learning what others thought they heard and saw. Memories influenced by post-event information and pooling of information are major causes of faulty eye-witness identification, which in turn is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in this country.

Affidavit = FAIL. That a judge signed off on this as establishing second degree murder which according to Florida jury instructions and case law requires the killing be done with "ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent" is perplexing, to say the least.

But it seems the state has probably foreclosed a conviction on a federal hate crimes charge. With state investigators swearing under oath Zimmerman said "punks" instead of the alleged racial slur, even if others disagree, there's no way it will pass the proof beyond a reasonable doubt requirement for a hate crime conviction.

< George Zimmerman's First Court Appearance | Stand Your Ground and Self Defense >
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    That this is minimal information (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Towanda on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:03:40 PM EST
    from the investigation and not necessarily all information known -- more forensic results, for example, as noted here, and "incredibly" little in other ways -- comports with my understanding that prosecutors don't tell all that they know at this point but only enough to establish probable cause.

    Correct?  That they save some for discovery, trial, etc.?

    That's certainly what (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:04:08 PM EST
    all the legal/crime shows on TV say (which is the entire extent of my knowledge of legal procedure!)

    the affidavit is thin gruel, (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 11:05:51 PM EST
    because it needn't be a bold, hearty stew, to meet the minimum requirements of the relevant statute, a simple broth will suffice. arrest warrants, with far less substance, have been signed off by judges before, rendering the definition of "probable cause" a multiple-choice quiz, rather than a constant standard.

    given the (as described) poor initial investigation conducted by the sanford police, which was itself curtailed when the local state's atty. told them not to arrest mr. zimmerman, there is probably more evidence that simply hasn't been completely analyzed. all state's atty. corey required was enough to justify the warrant, and that's what we got.

    thin gruel is enough (none / 0) (#55)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 11:18:23 PM EST
    Says it all right there I think.

    That's what I gather, as well (none / 0) (#61)
    by Towanda on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 08:30:13 AM EST
    but as we say here, I'm not a lawyer.  So it's interesting that the lawyer posting this expects more was needed simply for probable cause.  We'll have to wait and see whether charges are dismissed.

    No mechanism for dismissal (none / 0) (#93)
    by expy on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 05:40:50 AM EST
    As far as I can figure with Florida procedure, there is no mechanism for the defense to move for dismissal based on asserted insufficiency of evidence, nor would an attack on the probable cause affidavit result in dismissal of the information. (The affidavit is simply required to support the custodial arrest - see Gerstein v. Pugh,  420 U.S. 103 (1975)

    Florida law allows a "motion to dismiss", but it is the equivalent of a demurrer or motion for summary judgment, appropriate if there are no contested issues of fact. Essentially the motion is premised on the argument that even if all the facts asserted by the prosecution are true, the defendant cannot be convicted of a crime, either because the conduct alleged is not criminal, or the prosecution is barred for a reason such as the statute of limitations.

    Of course there is the alternative procedure of the "stand your ground" immunity motion, but that puts the burden of proof (by preponderance of evidence) on the defense.

    (Note: I am a retired criminal defense lawyer, but not in Florida -- so there may be other motions that I am not aware of -- I am primarily basing the above on my reading of Florida statutes and court rules).


    wev (5.00 / 0) (#82)
    by sj on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 02:51:33 PM EST
    There really IS no discussion.  Just more and more outlandish what-ifs.

    Yes (none / 0) (#85)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 03:04:55 PM EST
    Like presuming we know what happened during and after the call.

    Well, gee, there was (3.00 / 2) (#56)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:26:08 AM EST
    zero indication during his call that he felt in any way threatened or was anywhere near Martin.  I think it's not unreasonable to deduce from that that whatever happened between the two of them happened after that call, no?

    Well, gee, that is one deduction (none / 0) (#60)
    by Towanda on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 08:26:06 AM EST
    that can be made, based on what has been said -- but there are other deductions that can be made, and there have been too many changes in what has been said in this case for me to claim to have the evidence for only one deduction.

    You may be privy to information in this case that no one else has, of course.


    No need to be nasty (none / 0) (#92)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 06:33:09 PM EST
    I deleted her nasty comment (none / 0) (#94)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 01:59:10 PM EST
    it was out of line. Personal insults are not allowed here. Watch the tone, comments should read like a conversation not a slamfest.

    It's more than zero (none / 0) (#62)
    by Lacy on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 08:51:25 AM EST
    If you listen to Zim's voice quavering on the tapes just before the disputed words, you might rethink that. That is the one thing on the tape in his favor...that he sounds scared to death...In fact, at one point, when asked his name, he could only get out his own first name. (Could give you a link but...)

    That doesn't necessarily have to (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 09:33:26 AM EST
    be fear; it could just as easily be the adrenaline of the chase.

    As for him not being able to get out his last name, note how that passage plays out:

    911 dispatcher:

    Are you following him? [2:24]


    Yeah. [2:25]

    911 dispatcher:


    We don't need you to do that. [2:26]


    OK. [2:28]

    911 dispatcher:

    Alright, sir, what is your name? [2:34]


    George. He ran.

    911 dispatcher:

    Alright, George, what's your last name?



    Just as the dispatcher is asking his name, George sees Trayvon run - George isn't too scared to give his whole name, he's distracted by trying to talk to the dispatcher and keep an eye on Trayvon at the same time.

    And that's why George ends up asking the dispatcher to have the cops call him when they get there, so he can tell them where he is, rather than sticking with what he and the dispatcher originally decide, which is that the cops will meet him where his truck is.  That change in plan comes after he tells the dispatcher that Trayvon ran: in my opinion, the only reason for that was that George didn't want to have to stay by his truck til the cops got there - he wanted to go on the move after Trayvon.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#69)
    by Lacy on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:14:06 AM EST
    The transcript obviously cannot show and verify the quavering and/or fear that's on the audio tape for anyone to hear. And I said that as a positive for the Zimmerman defense position.

    And there is a pause between the name spoken ("George") and "He ran"..but the transcript cannot show that either...and the operator had to coax him with "Alright George, what's your last name?"  And that same "quiver" I point out is there in those words also. So it's just as I said.


    I've listened to the tape as well, (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:51:10 AM EST
    and I also hear the quiver, but given what was being said in the 911 call, I think there's a good possibility that what you're hearing isn't fear, but adrenaline and being a little out of breath from following Trayvon.

    Also, think about the last time you were on the phone while trying to keep an eye on something that was going on in front of you - I think the "coaxing" by the dispatcher is because just as George starts to give his name, Trayvon "ran" and George has difficulty staying completely present in the phone call while watching where Trayvon is headed.

    The most damning part of that call is that after George tells the dispatcher that "he ran," George tells the dispatcher that instead of him meeting the cops where his truck is, George wants the cops to call him when they get there so he can tell them where he is.  To me, that says George had no intention of staying with his truck - he wanted to go after Trayvon.


    That was my impression too (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:57:33 AM EST
    He's out of breath from and talking at the same time, and distracted doing two things at once. I never got the impression he was fearful.

    Except (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:02:55 AM EST
    A few seconds before the dispathcer asks him to tell if Martin does anything else.  Zimmerman then says OK and gives directions for the police to come in by the clubhouse. Then Zimmerman says (for the first time)

    "He's running."

    At which point the dispatcher tells him that they don't need him to do that and he says OK.

    And the fact that he tells the dispatcher his name and number, and almost his address, and that yes, he would like to meet the police when they got there, tells me, at least, that there doesn't seem to be any willfulness or malice present (a big factor in a second degree murder charge).

    I took his change of heart as to where to meet the police to be that it the layout of the nieghborhood seems pretty confusing and he was wanting to keep his eye on Martin.

    YMMV, of course, but I think there's something for everyone to interpret in their own way in this case.


    You have the sequence of events out (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:48:04 AM EST
    of order - see the relevant portion of the transcription that I posted.

    Once you get the sequence right, your theory weakens considerably.


    No, I don't think I do (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:39:36 PM EST
    Just as the dispatcher is asking his name, George sees Trayvon run

    This is an incorrect statement - he's already told the dispatcher that Martin is running before he is asked for his name.  And the dispatcher asked Zimmerman to tell if Martin did anything (such as, wait for it, running)

    I'm reading starting at around 1:30 of the transcript - your comment doesn't pick up until 2:24. Zimmerman says (for the first time) -"He's running " at 2:08.

    911 dispatcher:

    Let me know if he does anything, OK?



    911 dispatcher:

    We've got him on the wire. Just let me know if this guy does anything else.



    These a$$holes. They always get away.

    When you come to the clubhouse, you come straight in and you go left. Actually, you would go past the clubhouse. [1:39]

    911 dispatcher:

    OK, so it's on the left hand side of the clubhouse?


    Yeah. You go in straight through the entrance and then you would go left. You go straight in, don't turn and make a left.

    He's running. [2:08]

    911 dispatcher:

    He's running? Which way is he running?


    Down toward the other entrance of the neighborhood. [2:14]

    You're right - but I still don't think that (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:57:50 PM EST
    helps you much; if he's been on the run "following" Trayvon, that certainly explains the quality of his voice.

    And I still believe the only logical reason for telling the dispatcher to have the cops call him when they get there so he can tell them where he is, is because he didn't intend to stay with the truck.


    So what? (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 01:05:53 PM EST
    Does that mean he would definitely follow Martin and disobey the dispatcher?  Or could it mean he would walk up the block to a) spot Martin to keep an eye on him for when the police arrived to better describe Martin? Or b) check around to see if something was out of place in the neighborhood or c) to see if anyone else in the neighborhood was out?

    Seems to me there's a lot of speculation going on with big gaps of information.


    Bearing in mind that this is all opinion (5.00 / 0) (#78)
    by sj on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 02:35:23 PM EST
    and communication based, here is how I would interpret that.
    Or could it mean he would walk up the block to a) spot Martin to keep an eye on him for when the police arrived to better describe Martin?
    I don't think so.  If he was just going up the block the location of his truck would be just fine.  He would be in line of sight when the police arrived
    Or b) check around to see if something was out of place in the neighborhood or c) to see if anyone else in the neighborhood was out?
    Are you saying that he would have dropped his interest in Martin -- a real-live-suspicious-person -- in the interest of possibly finding another suspicious "thing."  I don't think even you think that's likely.  Sure, it's a possibility.  It was also a possibility that he could go straight home.  Or stay in the truck.  All of those things were possibilities until they didn't happen.

    I have no idea (none / 0) (#79)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 02:39:33 PM EST
    Just as we have no idea that he continued to run after Martin after the dispatcher told him not to.

    That was my point.


    And I think Anne's point (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by sj on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 02:47:02 PM EST
    was how she interpreted that action.  She even states that it was her opinion.  Her opinion can't be wrong OR right.  It's an opinion, not of statement of fact.  Your opinion can't be wrong OR right.  It's an opinion, not a statement of fact.  

    An interpretation can ultimately be shown to be demonstrably false, but all you are doing here is trying to discredit an interpretation, while validating your own.  

    It sure took up a lot of space.  I can't believe I even tried to follow it.


    Funny (none / 0) (#86)
    by Lacy on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 03:41:11 PM EST
     But the very person whose "opinion can't be wrong" happened to get several postings with some very useful audio clips deleted here yesterday after complaining the opinions stated annoyed her...And the audios, now gone, allowed commenters to hear for themselves.

    It wasn't the links to the audio (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by sj on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 04:24:54 PM EST
    that was the problem.  It wasn't even your opinion. It was your [repeated] declaration[s] as if it were fact.  Also one could reasonably decide that you had become a chatterer.  

    Having said that last part, however, I think a lot of chattering gets by.  Not that it's always a bad thing.

    And, while it was handy to have them, the links to the audio are there to be found should one desire.


    Yes (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 04:17:33 PM EST
    But when that opinion is based on faulty information, ad Anne's was and she admitted it, then why is it bad to point it out?  It may not chamge her opinion, but at least she has the full load to make that opinion.

    Overall, it means he had no idea of the (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 02:57:35 PM EST
    accepted, standard, protocols for "neighborhood watch" programs/volunteers, which is why, in my opinion, there has been a virtual blackout on anything to do with structure, operation or membership of the community's program.

    Regardless of what a volunteer sees, or thinks he or she sees, volunteers are not supposed to take any action, other than to report their observations to law enforcement; they are not supposed to function as substitute cops until the real ones arrive.

    And before you remind me that "we don't really know what happened,' I should remind you that Zimmerman is on tape acknowledging that he is following Zimmerman.

    The only other action he should have taken, had the community had a standard watch program, was to get the telephone tree notification system going to alert residents of a possible problem, and that police were on the way.


    He is on tape (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 03:03:50 PM EST
    Admitting to following Trayvon up to the point where the dispatcher said to stop and he said OK.  After that, we DON'T know what exactly was going on- why is that so hard for people to grasp??

    And I don't disagree about what he should have done, but all of that is irrelevant.


    First of all, the dispatcher didn't tell (5.00 / 0) (#87)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 03:55:00 PM EST
    Zimmerman to stop following Martin, he said "okay, we don't need you to do that," which wasn't an order and sounds like something that could be responded to with, "oh, that's okay - I don't mind."

    Is that what Zimmerman said?  No, but what he was told might have been way too open to interpretation by someone who was already taking matters into his own hands.

    Where was Zimmerman's truck in relation to where the shooting took place?  Take a look at the map, here.  When George Zimmerman spoke to the dispatcher, he initially said this:

    911 dispatcher:

    Alright, where are you going to meet with them at?


    Um, if they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the clubhouse and, uh, straight past the clubhouse and make a left and then go past the mailboxes you'll see my truck. [3:10]

    Look at the map, then consider how George changed his mind about where he would meet the cops - why?  There's just no logical reason, other than that he knew that where his truck was, was not where he was likely to be.


    Which proves my point (2.00 / 0) (#89)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 04:19:23 PM EST
    That is - we don't know what happened.

    Thank you.


    As Jeralyn said, it is a misrepresentation... (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Gandydancer on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 01:49:38 AM EST
    ...to call what the dispatcher said an "instruction". So let's not sneak that assertion back in, en passant, by way of saying that Zimmerman "disobey[ed] the dispatcher". Justify it or drop it - stop assuming it. Please.

    Practically everyone notices that the "instruction" to Zimmerman not to follow, if that's what it was, is expressed ambiguously. Less noticed is that the assertions that "[the] police dispatcher informed Zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer" and "instructed Zimmerman not to [pursue Martin] and that the responding officer would meet him" just don't match the phone call. Instead the dispatcher asks "...do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?", and, after an affirmative response asks "do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?" Zimmerman says yes, then asks "Actually could you have them call me and I'll tell them where I'm at?". To which the dispatcher replies "Okay, yeah that's no problem... Okay no problem, I'll let them know to call you...

    Let me repeat that, for clarity. The dispatcher is perfectly ok with Zimmerman not meeting the arriving officers at all. And he has no problem with Zimmerman not returning to the vicinity of his car or the mailboxes to meet the officers, but instead expresses no objection to Zimmerman doing whatever he intends to do until the officers show up and call him.

    The clear implication of the Affadavit, undermined only by apparent illiteracy and inability to consistently write diagramable sesntences on the part of the affiants, is that the dispatcher instructed Zimmerman to wait where he was for the officer(s) to show up. But that's not spin. It's simply false.


    I didn't hear fear in his voice... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 09:24:19 AM EST
    I thought he sounded a little "slow", if you will, or maybe drunk.  Could just be the quality of the recording, or my frame of reference, we New Yorkers talk fast.

    Lacy's comment is false (none / 0) (#96)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 02:12:10 PM EST
    The sequence as you can listen here, is he answered his name is George and then said "he ran" and the dispatcher then asked what his last name is and he answered immediately. Further false comments will be deleted.

    Dispatcher: Are you following him?
    Zimmerman: Yeah
    Dispatcher: Ok, we don't need you to do that.
    Zimmerman: Ok
    Dispatcher: Alright sir what is your name?
    Zimmerman: George...He ran.
    Dispatcher: Alright George what's your last name?
    Zimmerman: Zimmerman

    If you want to make stuff up, do it elsewhere. And do not state your opinion of disputed facts as fact.


    Who knows, but "punks" seems likely... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Addison on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:13:42 PM EST
    ...I always heard "cokes", meaning that what I heard was halfway between the proposed racial slur and "punks". So "punks" seems very possible.

    Besides that, this reads like an incredibly basic summary of the case as envisioned by those who think Zimmerman committed a crime. Nothing new, right?

    Yeah, i have never heard anything clear (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:57:11 PM EST
    enough to determine the word. Sounds more like a C than a P at the start, but not beyond a reasonable doubt, to me anyway.

    Yup. To me it sounds like a "puh" (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:05:02 PM EST
    at the start of the word, and definitley not a "coo," and the end of the word sounds like a hard "k," not a soft "n."

    Anyway, it's now been settled, legally. (I presume)


    I haven't listened to it (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:12:36 PM EST
    but I find it incredibly hard to believe a 28-year old man would use the supposed "racial slur" being discussed.  I don't think I've heard it once in my entire life, and before this case, I'm not sure I could've even told you what it meant.  It's just not used anymore, not because people aren't racist, but because we've moved on to new slurs.

    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Addison on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:25:27 PM EST
    Well -- and this is separate enough from the case that I won't elaborate much further -- I've heard the word many times and from all ages, though in my experience it's rural whites who'll use it anymore (not Zimmerman's demographic). Sometimes it's spoken with venom, sometimes in a "joke" manner, but it's hardly a rarity in many areas.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#24)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:01:41 PM EST
    And even if nobody here has heard it, language use and particularly slang varies really widely from area to area and community to community within an area.

    Yes, it seems a rather old-fashioned word, but we're in no position to say it couldn't have been used because we haven't heard it in our communities in years.

    I don't know what he said.  I happily leave it up to audio experts, etc., to figure that out-- if it can be definitively established at all.


    Are you saying that the prosecutor's (none / 0) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:31:20 PM EST
    conclusion that the word said was "punks" is not good enough for you?

    Why would anyone take (none / 0) (#32)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:53:09 PM EST
    an elected prosecutor's word at face value? It's not rational. She's a politician and if her lips are moving assume she's lying.
    Analyze the evidence and try like hell to understand your own limitations. That's the job of the citizen.

    Except (none / 0) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:57:16 PM EST
    they are appointed not elected here.

    That's what I get (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:10:55 PM EST
    for taking comments at face value.

    Nonetheless I would would not take anything proffered by the state or the defense at face value. Stick to the evidence.


    And the word "c**ns" would help her case (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:08:34 PM EST
    whereas "punks" not so much...

    Help? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:35:45 PM EST
    In what way? If one assumes the only issue is winning, perhaps.
    Potentially, hypothetically, she sees her job as calming the racial tensions and presenting Florida as a great place to visit as their main attraction is tourism/conventions.

    y bet is that she wants to win.

    Could be that she's already won (none / 0) (#50)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:28:07 PM EST
    If no Europeans canceled their trips to mouse world that might have been considering it before the press conference. All in a days work and very practical.

    Wiki (none / 0) (#58)
    by Rojas on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 06:37:51 AM EST
    Angela B. Corey (born October 31, 1954) is an American attorney currently serving as the State Attorney in Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, which includes Duval, Nassau and Clay counties. The first woman to hold the position, she was elected in 2008.

    Sounds like a real piece of work...

    In 2011 Corey's office oversaw a case in which 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez was accused of killing his two-year-old brother. Corey sought and received a grand jury indictment Fernandez on charges of homicide and aggravated child abuse, and decided to try him as an adult.

    Yup, I've read the word (a lot, recently!) (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:17:07 PM EST
    but I don't think I've ever anyone actually say it. And definitely not from anyone who can't tell you first-hand WW1 stories...

    speaker issues (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:29:21 PM EST
    How could it have been "settled legally" (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:54:42 PM EST
    at this stage of the proceedings:  Information filed.  

    Fair enough. ianal, obviously. (none / 0) (#45)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:09:03 PM EST
    Come to think of it, it sounds (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:05:14 PM EST
    more like the 'c-word' more usually used as a slam against females than either of the other two options. Some men call men that word.

    It does not say why Zimmerman thought (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:17:33 PM EST
    Martin fit the profile of someone that did not belong in the neighborhood and was about to commit a crime. I wonder if he told the police his reasoning?

    Are police free to testify in court about what Zimmerman said at the scene?

    His reasoning... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Addison on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:25:55 PM EST
    The 9-1-1 calls give his reasoning (sort of).

    He said Martin:

    looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about


    he was just staring...he's just walking around the area...looking at all the houses


    something's wrong with him. Yup, he's coming to check me out, he's got something in his hands, I don't know what his deal is.

    This may not be exhaustive rationale for why Zimmerman started following Martin around (he can state he saw and thought more, but not less), but it does curtail what Zimmerman can say struck him as unusual about Martin's presence in the neighborhood.


    thanks - I think his process of assessing that (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:53:38 PM EST
    information is what the affidavit refers to as 'profiling'.

    In general, I don't like the use of the noun-turned-into-verb word 'profiling' being used to describe the process of determining that someone fits a profile.  Seems like sloppy shorthand to use in a legal document, especially this one.


    How long are you going to beat this horse? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Angel on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:40:45 PM EST
    You've told us repeatedly what YOU heard.  Take it to the prosecutors if you think they are wrong.  Good grief.

    I deleted it (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:56:00 PM EST
    it's besides the point. The point is what the affiants swore to in an affidavit. Lacey's further comments on this topic, already posted many times on other threads, will be deleted.

    Thanks. Doesn't matter what we hear, it's what (none / 0) (#26)
    by Angel on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:06:28 PM EST
    the experts hear.  And I can't help but wonder if they've had enough time to do a definitive analysis of the tapes, both related to exactly what was said by Zimmerman as well as identify who was doing the screaming.  What do you think, if you don't mind answering.

    The prosecutors no doubt know. (none / 0) (#52)
    by Lacy on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 09:46:08 PM EST
    They could be retaining that truth as a bargaining chip for a plea.  Zimmerman knows what he said, and knows a jury will hear it also...a serious jury, not like some dilettantes. That could push him to a manslaughter deal. And if that doesn't work, those clever prosecutors can let the defense make it's claims but have the jury "discover" the truth for themselves from the tape during deliberations...Presto, 2nd Degree Murder...Very clever of the prosecutor.  

    Sorry (none / 0) (#53)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 11:00:30 PM EST
    this won't be a true or false test. It never is. Bring extra #2 pencils.

    Are 911 operators allowed to give (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:13:59 PM EST
    direct orders, or are they trained to use words like 'we need' and 'we want'? How are citizens supposed to know that those words amount to orders? Common sense should work, sure, but failing that?

    Failing that? (none / 0) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:21:01 PM EST
    you have a second degree murder charge filed.

    I just hate to think we could have (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:31:57 PM EST
    avoided a tragedy with a little assertiveness training for 911 operators.

    Or (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:39:20 PM EST
    one less gun permit.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#34)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:00:05 PM EST
    one less Zimmerman if that were the case.

    Oh puhlease. (snk.) (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:57:10 PM EST
    Blaming this tragedy on the 911 operator (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by shoephone on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:54:04 PM EST
    is really a stretch. (And that's me being understated.)

    I don't believe (none / 0) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:58:53 PM EST
    Ruffian is blaming here, but rather looking at how to prevent a recurrence in the future.

    Not blaming. But it is one fork in the (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:39:09 PM EST
    road at which this could have been averted. We'll never know if Zimmerman would have obeyed a more direct order anyway. But it is interesting that they chose to word the affidavit as if he was given one - it tells me that is part of what they think he did wrong.

    The people who pick up 9-1-1 calls (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:58:44 PM EST
    are not sworn law enforcement officers.  They are civilians who received training to do the job of picking up the calls and referring them to the proper agency.  

    It tells me (none / 0) (#57)
    by Rojas on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 06:33:12 AM EST
    That they are dishonest. They lack integrity. Fundamentally someone like that should never hold a position of authority over another person.  

    But it is interesting that they chose to word the affidavit as if he was given one...

    Do we know (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 07:10:02 AM EST
    If he didn't obey this "order"?

    You know what stands out to me? (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 09:23:07 AM EST
    That when the dispatcher asks George if he wants the police to meet him, George first gives the dispatcher directions to where his truck is parked, and then after the dispatcher confirms that he will have the police meet him there, George changes his mind and says,
    "Could you have them call me and I'll tell them where I'm at?"

    Now, I don't know what that says to you, but what it says to me is that George didn't want to just stay put and wait for police, he wanted to get on with following Trayvon.

    So, my question is, where was George's truck in relation to where the shooting took place?

    That ought to tell us something, I would think.


    That passage is the one thing that has always (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Angel on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:14:38 AM EST
    stood out to me as well.  I think that can be damning to him.  

    My understanding (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:07:36 PM EST
    is that it actually wasn't a 911 operator but the non-emergency police line, which neighborhood watch types are instructed to call instead of 911 unless they see an actual crime in progress.  I think in most jurisdictions, neither of those are staffed by officers, btw.

    I have no idea whether they get training on how to deal with official or unofficial neighborhood watch types.


    I read that, too (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:36:40 PM EST
    as just more evidence that many media -- and many in the justice system -- are so confused about all of the differences in police numbers to call, options within Neighborhood Watch chapters, official NW training vs. vigilantes, etc. -- that they must live lovely lives that never necessitate actually calling cops and coping with crime.

    Perhaps they have their servants deal with messy details like looking up numbers, writing down licenses, and the like?


    I've called 911 (none / 0) (#31)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:49:38 PM EST
    a few times over the years, and each time the first thing they've asked was "is this an emergency?", which at times left me connected where I was and others they connected me elsewhere. I answer with the assumption that "emergency" means a life is at risk.

    that's correct gyrfalcon (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:07:47 PM EST
    Zimmerman called the non-emergency line.

    the neighbors called 911.

    The City of Sanford says on their website:

    If Zimmerman was told not to continue to follow Trayvon, can that be considered in this investigation?

    Yes it will; however, the telecommunications call taker asked Zimmerman "are you following him". Zimmerman replied, "yes". The call taker stated "you don't need to do that". The call taker's suggestion is not a lawful order that Mr. Zimmerman would be required to follow. Zimmerman's statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by

    Of course, I suppose that something (none / 0) (#47)
    by Towanda on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:15:45 PM EST
    can be raised by the prosection in the very fact that he did not call 911, that he did not consider the situation an emergency vis-a-vis the Florida law's (as I understand it from explanations here) requirement that a shooting is justified only when the shooter feels threatened.  That is, a threatening situation would cause a call to 911 (certainly a lot easier than the longer number).

    This would depend upon the timeline, though -- the amount of time between this call and when Zimmerman killed the boy.


    the emergency didnt arise (none / 0) (#49)
    by jpe on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:27:11 PM EST
    until the alleged beating that Z took.  Accordingly, that he didn't call 911 before the incident is irrelevant.

    Non-emergency call (none / 0) (#63)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 08:53:04 AM EST
    It was a non-emergency police call. This is easy to verify. Just listen to the dispatcher answer the phone, and compare to how the actual 911 dispatchers do it.

    Dispatchers do not give orders to civilians (none / 0) (#39)
    by oldmancoyote22 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 07:51:28 PM EST
    My sister-in-law is a dispatcher.  What the person on the phone told Zimmerman is pretty standard.  It's a liability issue.  They pretty much will always caution civilians not to put themselves in any danger.  Otherwise, if the caller gets hurt, it could come back on them in a civil suit.  Or so she said.  

    One thing my sister made very clear is that too much attention is given to the "order" from the dispatcher.  She had no authority to order him to do or not do anything.  It's not against the law to ignore a dispatcher's advice.  

    This, of course, is beside the point of whether or not Zimmerman chose to follow Trayvon after the caution given by the dispatcher.  Still, it's instructive to me that the investigator apes that language.  

    I get the sense that this is more about therapy for the outrage than any real demonstration of probable cause.  It's very thin gruel, at the moment, in my opinion.  


    It surprises me the woman taking Zimmerman's (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:01:02 PM EST
    call volunteered the advice at all.  For liability reasons.  

    it's a man taking his call (none / 0) (#95)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 02:06:07 PM EST
    you can listen here.

    Is your sister-in-law (none / 0) (#46)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:11:18 PM EST
    a sworn law enforcement officer? I know many dispatchers used to be.

    As far as I know (none / 0) (#48)
    by oldmancoyote22 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:21:08 PM EST
    she is but I've never really asked.  

    From affidavit" [Zimmerman] "assumed (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:13:32 AM EST
    he was a criminal."  Surprised issuing judge did not ask a few questions about this conclusory statement by affiants before issuing the arrest warrant. Or maybe he did and it is all recorded but sealed by the court.  

    Disagree with Jeralyn re affiants including information obtained from sworn witnesses and judge issuing the arrest warrant based on affidavit including such information.  IMO, this is proper re arrest warrant affidavit.  Trial attorney can, of course, challenge reliability and credibility at trial, if not at a statutory hearing on immunity.