ABC Acknowledges Zimmerman Police Video Shows Head Injuries

ABC News acknowledged today that the police video of George Zimmerman being taken into custody following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin shows injuries to the back of his head. It says a forensic enhancement it commissioned allows the injuries to be seen.

Forensic enhancement wasn't needed. As I showed here, the injuries were noticeable from ABC's original footage. You just had to look. Here's the screengrab I got back on March 29. [More...]

Maybe ABC can ask its forensic analysts to look at Zimmerman's jacket and nose. It looks to me like there's a large vertical streak of blood on the front of his jacket, which could be from a nosebleed. It also looks like there may be a bandaid across his nose, although I can't tell that for sure because it's faint and could be the light.

As I've opined before, I don't think the police video tells us what happened that night. It is just a piece of the story. But the media has not been responsible in its reporting. Good for ABC for acknowledging the video does shows head injuries. I just don't buy that it couldn't have looked closer and seen them when it first obtained the video.

On a related note, NBC is conducting an internal review to see who is responsible for the truncated version of the 911 call broadcast on the Today Show which distorted Zimmerman's comments by leaving out that the dispatcher asked him the race of the person he was calling about, so that it appeared Zimmerman was the one who brought up race.

The actual transcript:

The media coverage of this case has been so one-sided in my view, I've stopped writing about it until there are new developments coming from public officials. That may not be anytime soon, since the state's attorney has said it won't be releasing any more information.

In my view, here's some of what has not been released that is necessary to arrive at a conclusion: The results of the autopsy and the forensic examination of both Trayvon and Zimmerman's clothes; the conclusion of the state's forensic experts on who cried for help (rather than the media's experts); Zimmerman's medical records of treatment; photos of Zimmerman's injuries taken that night; statements of the paramedics at the scene who provided first aid; Zimmerman's recorded interviews the night of the incident, reports from the next day when he reportedly did a reenactment at the scene with police and his subsequent interviews; cell phone records from the phone company (as opposed to a phone bill produced by lawyers for the Martin family); reports and any camera surveillance photos from the convenience store; and witness statements taken the night of the shooting (as opposed to what witnesses later told the media.)

Given the public outcry, I think the authorities will go out of their way to view conflicts in the evidence as warranting charges so that a jury can decide. In other words, if Zimmerman's account is contradicted in any way by other reliable evidence, there will be an arrest and charges. Only if it holds up in every way, will there be no charges.

Update: Latest example of poor reporting is MSNBC today which reports on the federal civil rights investigation into the shooting, saying the feds are examining Zimmerman's prior 911 calls as part of the probe. It refers to the call sheets of the 911 calls, saying they don't provide the answer, and omits that the actual calls which do provide the answer, are also available.

The call sheets show that five of seven phone calls Zimmerman had made since last August involved what he viewed as suspicious activity by young men identified as "black males." But the call sheets do not indicate whether Zimmerman was asked about the race of the suspects or volunteered that information.

The calls themselves are available to listen to, having been made public and posted on the Seminole County Sheriff's page under media links, here. If you need a login, you can get it here. The login info was provided by the Public Information Officer of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office on March 29. On the calls you can hear whether Zimmerman was asked about race or volunteered the information.

Update: Thread now closed, discussion continued here.

< ICE Arrests 3,100 Immigrants in Six Day Sweep | Bill Clinton: Happy Whether Hillary Runs Or Not In 2016 >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    My perspective. (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by Radix on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:01:02 PM EST
    There are only two salient points here,

    1, Had Zimmerman listened to the police, none of this would have happened. If but for...

    2, Trayvon Martin is dead, for having the temerity to go out in public.

    Points (3.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 07:59:08 AM EST
    or speculations.  As far as we know Z complied with the suggestion that he head back to his vehicle, and it may well have been M's temerity to physically attack the shorter man that was the "but for" decision that lead to his tragic death.

    That was more than a suggestion (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by RickTaylor on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:54:15 AM EST
    Listening to the audio, the operator says, "Are you following him?" and when Zimmerman replies, he says quickly and in a firm tone of voice, "Ok, we don't need you to do that."

    The operator is being polite and non-confrontational, as I'd imagine people in that position are trained to be, but if I were in that situation and someone associated with law enforcement said that to me in that tone, I would not take it as a mere "suggestion"; the operator was not happy with Zimmerman following the suspect and didn't want him to. Getting the words precisely right is difficult, but I think it could be fairly said the operator advised him not to follow him.

    On the other hand, I don't believe the operator's instruction was a lawful order either (and the police chief Bill Lee has said as much). But if it were established that Zimmerman continued to follow Trayvon even after that exchange, then it seems to me that would be relevant to deciding whether or not Zimmerman could be said to have provoked the confrontation.


    BTW (1.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:29:08 AM EST

    Even if Z ignored the advice he got over the phone, at the very most that might be considered a provocation to the person giving the advice.  Ignoring that advice cannot be considered a provocation to Martin, who was unaware of that advice.

    I agree, (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by RickTaylor on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:43:17 AM EST
    I don't think ignoring the advice would itself have been a provocation. I just think it would be relevant to determining whether a provocation actually occurred. And even then, in my opinion it would certainly not be the deciding factor; it would be one piece of evidence that would have to be weighed alongside all the other pieces of evidenced introduced at a trial.

    BTW? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:22:34 AM EST
    That's a strange assertion.  As far as I know, nobody has claimed that Zimmerman ignoring the advice of the dispatcher was a provocation to Martin.

    Could be (none / 0) (#84)
    by Buckeye on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 08:58:02 AM EST
    and IMO, it is not a clear cut that the police told him not to follow Martin the first time.  I think they say "we don't need you to do that" which is not quite the same thing as "do not follow him."  Telling someone you do not need them to do something is not the same as telling them you do not want them to do something.

    Donald (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:31:45 PM EST
    Zimmerman's bigger problem for me is the statement, "these a$$holes, they always get away" before pursuing Martin.

    It can be a short distance from gun carrying self described watch captain to vigilante, and that was where Zimmerman likely crossed that bridge.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:40:27 PM EST
    IMHO, That particular statement DOES speak to Zimmerman's state of mind, particularly when he subsequently leaves his truck and commences pursuing Martin on foot.

    It's 1:40 p.m. out here in the islands and I've still got work to do before I head home, so I'm signing off. Aloha.


    Also, Zimmerman's statement (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:52:13 PM EST
    that the guy looked like he was "up to no good, like he's on drugs or something."

    Yes,that was a disturbing remark. (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:40:58 AM EST
    Translation:  'black dude wearing hoodie having the gall to walk around my neighborhood'

    We'll see what the tox report says. (none / 0) (#80)
    by jpe on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 07:08:32 AM EST
    Why, so what? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:49:55 AM EST

    Obviously.... (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:21:31 PM EST
    if the poor kid smoked some weed 3 weeks before he was killed, Zimmerman was right to be suspicous and to fear for his life.  (snark alert)

    That 911 call with the person seemingly.... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by magster on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:41:02 PM EST
    ... screaming for help and for mercy, and seemingly silenced when the gun is shot is certainly one of the most chilling things I've ever listened to.

    If that screaming was not from Zimmerman, I can't fathom a reasonable justification for his shooting Martin. The admissibility of the experts' forensic analysis of the tapes and the voice identity might make up for the Sanford PD's investigative failures immediately after the shooting if an arrest of Zimmerman occurs.

    Based on Jeralyn's other post, (none / 0) (#81)
    by jpe on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 07:09:27 AM EST
    it doesn't seem likely that the "experts'" opinions will be admissible.  

    Even if there is a head wound on the video (5.00 / 6) (#48)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:30:38 PM EST
    and the paramedics say they treated a head wound that was apparently not serious enough to warrant hospitalization ...if I'm on a jury and you are trying to convince me that the only way you had to save your life against an unarmed 17 yr old was to shoot  him  dead...I'm not buying it.

    Ruffian (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:33:21 PM EST
    Zimmerman doesn't want you or me on the jury.

    I like to think I am a fair person and would be a (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:46:35 PM EST
    good juror. I would have a hard time with this one though.

    I should have been more clear (none / 0) (#53)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:49:13 PM EST
    obviously the potential charges could make it extremely questionable or a slam dunk from my point of view.

    Me, neither (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:28:04 PM EST
    But I think that's one of the problems with allowing people to wander around with concealed weapons.  You know that old saying, if all you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Zimmerman is a big boy and fully capable of defending himself against a rather scrawny teenager with a can of iced tea in a fight, seems to me, which he would have done if he hadn't had a gun in his pocket.


    Even if the 17 year old (3.00 / 2) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:47:49 PM EST
    was around  6' and weighed 160? (see the police report Jeralyn provided us)

    Yes, even if (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:01:22 AM EST
    I seriously doubt anyone would have ended up dead in this encounter if Zimmerman had not been armed.

    Agreed but (3.00 / 2) (#136)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:51:29 PM EST
    it was perfectly legal for him to be armed.

    And it seems to me that the point is, and we have no real proof of this, is that Zimmerman broke off his following and that Martin turned and attacked him. There may or may not have been words exchanged before the fight.

    It is very usual in fights that whoever hits first wins. It is very usual that people yell and scream while in fights. Both people. What I have seen on video indicates that Martin punched Zimmerman and when he got Zimmerman on the ground he started pounding his head on the ground.

    And we shouldn't put too much into the size difference. Physical condition, speed/reflexes, willingness to hit first all come into play. I have seen some much smaller guys whip much bigger guys.


    "No REAL proof"??? (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:24:55 PM EST
    And it seems to me that the point is, and we have no real proof of this, is that Zimmerman broke off his following and that Martin turned and attacked him. There may or may not have been words exchanged before the fight.

    It is very usual in fights that whoever hits first wins. It is very usual that people yell and scream while in fights. Both people. What I have seen on video indicates that Martin punched Zimmerman and when he got Zimmerman on the ground he started pounding his head on the ground.

    No "real" proof?  How about no "proof" at all .... merely Zimmerman's self-serving statement.

    BTW - What you "have seen on video"?  Presumably, you're talking about the video of Zimmerman being taken to the police station.  The video which shows (at most) some type of mark on the back of Zimmerman's head.  This does not remotely establish that Martin punched Zimmerman or that he was "pounding his head on the ground".


    I said that really badly. I in no way (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 08:06:15 PM EST
    thinkway think he should have himself arrested or anything like that. I just think thwart of that stand your ground law that keeps cases like this out of the courts is wrong.

    Agree with you when (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:32:01 PM EST
    you put it that way.  But really, who among us wants to be charged with murder and have to go to trial?  Zimmerman undoubtedly thinks he did the right thing.  We all do.  But this may be getting to a point where he'll want to have a court case so he can defend himself.

    I'm not the first person to observe the irony of this incredible vigilanteism against Zimmerman in pursuit of what everybody thinks is vigilanteism on Zimmerman's part.

    Spike Lee, I'm looking at you!


    Very true (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:07:16 AM EST
    I think a lot of it has gone too far.  and of course what Spike Lee did was inexcusable.

    "We all do" (none / 0) (#87)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:42:36 AM EST
    Huh?  What do you mean by that?  I don't want to misinterpret what you are saying.

    I think "we all do" is meant to (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:21:03 AM EST
    reflect that we all think that whatever we do is the right thing, not that we all think Zimmerman did the right thing.

    At least that's what I believe the commenter intended it to mean.


    Ah ok.. (none / 0) (#106)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:56:40 AM EST
    I can see that.  Thanks.

    disagree even with that.. (none / 0) (#114)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:49:47 AM EST
    alot of us (me excepted) have done impulsive things that that "small still voice" told us we should think twice about..

    Z sounds like a conflicted man to me: a cops-calling, "Cops"-watching (I'm betting) guy who charges out into the night with a loaded gun; and, on the otherhand, hands out flyers in order to get justice for a homeless man..


    Uh, not that it will matter (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:45:37 PM EST
    but your:

    Was Zimmerman falsely accused of a crime like the Duke guys who were accused of rape?  No, he openly admitted to shooting Martin.

    .....is wrong.

    At this time the police have not arrested Zimmerman and accused him of a crime. And self defense is not a crime.

    the comment you are replying to (none / 0) (#61)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:33:47 PM EST
    was deleted

    Wait a second (none / 0) (#88)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:54:00 AM EST
    Sorry Jeralyn but you really aren't being fair here.  You deleted my and Donald's posts  replying to the ridculous comparison to the Duke case but don't delete the post in which the comparison is made?   C'mon now...that's hardly the neutral stance you're claiming to uphold.  

    the comment (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:13:51 PM EST
    had other assumptions presented as fact that resulted in its deletion.

    It's your house... (none / 0) (#178)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:24:49 PM EST
    So I guess saying nonsense like "this is the Duke case all over again" is ok but responding to such foolishness is not ok here.  Alrighty then.    

    Actually, (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by RickTaylor on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:58:25 AM EST
    saying "ABC Acknowledges Zimmerman Police Video Shows Head Injuries" is not quite the whole picture. I finally watched the segment. At first a man in a tie describes them as what appear to be gashes or welts. But then when they go to show the video, they say it's "some sort of mark or gash." Then a commentator says, "what you're able to see in this enhanced video is marks on the back of Mr. Zimmerman's head."

    I don't think ABC knows what the video shows, whether its "marks" or "gashes." I'm sticking to my earlier degree that until someone with a medical degree and some sort of experience of analyzing these images speaks up, I'm not going to assume that anyone knows what they're talking about. And presumably if Mr. Zimmerman was injured, those injuries were documented by the paramedics and by any doctor who subsequently treated him. What those documents eventually show or don't show will be far more important than footage from a surveillance camera.

    sounds like ABC is, once again, (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:12:05 PM EST
    in restore-calm-and-move-onto-the-next-news cycle mode..

    When things are getting too controversial, adhere to the official damage-control narrative as closely as possible. Before people start rioting and ABC gets blamed for whipping them into a frenzy..


    Does it matter? (none / 0) (#162)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:28:42 PM EST
    I the video shows wounds.

    You can call'em cuts, gashes, whatever.

    But they are still wounds.

    And the video doesn't matter?



    I can't tell what those marks are. (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by RickTaylor on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:16:14 PM EST
    If you're able to tell with certainty those are wounds, good for you. But that's not obvious to me. I just see two lines; they might be wounds, they might be artifacts of shading or his hair. It's not obvious to me what they are, and I don't have the background to make such a determination.

    In my defense, I'll point out I also resisted when people argued that the video clearly showed he had no wounds. On another blog that I typically like, I warned the blogger he was getting into tin foil hat territory when he argued the video showed there were no wounds and therefore a police officer filed a false report and that he didn't think Zimmerman had ever really received first aid as stated in the report. I've also been skeptical of people who declare they can hear with certainty what Zimmerman said under his breath, when it just sounds garbled to me. I'm even beginning to suspect I can't necessarily trust an expert who says he's done such and such a test and has concluded with a high degree of certainty the voice screaming isn't Zimmerman.

    One day, ABC news broadcast this video and declared there was no evidence of any wounds. A few days later, they show the same video, and say there's evidence of two gashes. .. or marks. .. or something. The only conclusion I've come to with any degree of certainty is that I cannot trust ABC news.

    If a medical doctor or some expert in a relevant field who seems to know what they're talking about, or even my old friend who I haven't seen in years who specializes in image processing for a living, says oh yes that looks like a pair of such and such wounds, it looks like they've been treated with medical glue, they're typical of . .  then I'll sit up and take notice. But until then, I don't know what either that video or that still photo proves.

    And just to point out, you and others have been rightly cautioning people against leaping to conclusions, and bearing in mind what we do and do not know. This is a laudable goal; a great deal of this case for me has been learning one thing after another that later turns out not be true. I've learned I really have to be skeptical about what I hear from both sides of the debate. But then if you're going to encourage people to resist jumping to conclusions, you should be consistent in that, and support them whether the conclusions they are resisting jumping to are ones you share or not.

    And ultimately, as I argued in my post, all of this is irrelevant. The reports we are not currently privy to, the reports by the paramedics on the scene and the medical records of any doctor who treated Zimmerman (or lack thereof) matter far more than a surveillance video. Those are what are important, and presumably they'll come out either when there's a trial or when the investigation is finished. Until then, we're all just playing games, speculating with our limited information.


    I'm just gonna say (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by CST on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:02:43 PM EST
    that this is why when people say things like "guns don't kill people, people kill people" those of us who believe in strict gun laws don't buy it.

    It's so much harder to kill someone with no gun.  If Zimmerman had the presence of mind to realize that not every situation requires him to carry a weapon - like say - driving around his neighborhood, this situation would not have unfolded this way.

    Personally, I am not for "stand your ground" I think there should be serious consequences for shooting someone - even if they hit you first.  And I think Zimmerman has no good reason to be driving around his neighborhood with a loaded gun.  He's not a cop.  Even if he was trolling for break-ins, he should not be out to shoot them.

    Yes, I do believe in gun control, no I do not think anyone has the right to kill an unarmed teenager because they're scared.  And if he'd left his gun at home this would have never happened.  Which is something I bet Zimmerman himself wishes he had done at this point.

    Bottom line, people with guns kill people a lot more easily than people without guns.

    this thread is not about gun control (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:17:05 PM EST
    please stay on topic

    what I'm also saying (none / 0) (#122)
    by CST on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:05:30 PM EST
    is that even if Zimmerman's story checks out 100% I still think he is 100% in the wrong and should be charged with manslaughter by his own version of events.

    And (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:38:21 PM EST
    You keep saying that the police had probable cause to arrest him.  Probably - in most jurisdictions, but the Florida law creates problems.

    From Prawfsblog - a law professor from Northern Kentucky explains it:

    So what is truly distinctive about Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law? It is this: while self-defense conventionally is just that -- a defense, to be raised at trial -- self-defense under the Florida law acts as an immunity from prosecution or even arrest. Section 776.032 of the Florida Statutes provides that a person who uses deadly force in self-defense "is immune from criminal prosecution." This odd provision means that a person who uses deadly force in self-defense cannot be tried, even though the highly fact-intensive question of whether the person acted in self-defense is usually hashed out at trial. The law thus creates a paradox: the State must make a highly complex factual determination before being permitted to avail itself of the forum necessary to make such a determination.

    Not only that, Section 776.032 provides immunity from arrest unless the police have "probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful." Again, the law creates a Catch-22: police cannot arrest the suspect unless they have probable cause, not just to believe there was a killing, but also that the killing was not in self-defense; and where, as is often the case, the defendant is the only living witness to the alleged crime, the police likely will not be able to form probable cause without interrogating the suspect.

    You don't know he was scared either (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:51:17 PM EST
    He is a football player being followed by a shorter man (who he didn't know was armed). We don't know if he was scared, because we can't get inside of his head.

    Football player? (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:07:18 PM EST
    Why does this tidbit keep cropping up?  Is being a HS football player supposed to imbue one with special abilities other than the ability to play football?  Such a strange implication going on there.

    Also, while we can't read Martin's mind, we know from Zimmerman's own words that the "football player" RAN AWAY from him.  


    The implication is that (1.00 / 1) (#158)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:24:01 PM EST
    he was a tall, strong guy, and that it is a huge assumption that he would be scared of Zimmerman.

    So... (none / 0) (#164)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:37:20 PM EST
    You can imply that since Martin was a tall, you don't know how strong he was, guy therefor.....insert implication....and it's ok.

    But it's a "huge assumption" for me to imply  that his actually running away from Zimmerman indicated he was scared of him?  

    Wha...?  You're inferring from an irrelevant fact about Martin's life while I'm talking about something that actually happened between him and Zimmerman?  That's ridiculous.


    Both are assumptions (none / 0) (#169)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:47:51 PM EST
    For me to be more accurate I should have inserted the word "likely" before using the word strong. But I have never met a football player who benched less than 150.

    But we definitely don't know he was scared, it is an assumption as well.


    Similar but not the same (5.00 / 0) (#174)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:09:58 PM EST
    My comment is based on something that can be verified and happened between the two parties.  I don't think it's a big reach to say that running away from somebody indicates fear.  

    Yours is based on increasingly one-off speculation that's not really relevant.  Btw, 150lb bench press?  That's not a big bench press at all.    


    Zimmerman's own words (none / 0) (#154)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:16:15 PM EST
    Also said that Martin came back to him.

    Big difference (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:32:34 PM EST
    My former can be confirmed while your latter cannot.  The running away is indicated in 911 call while the coming back to him is merely Zimmerman's after the fact statement.

    Thank you Jeralyn (4.25 / 4) (#29)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:12:22 PM EST
    for keeping us on the straight and narrow.  It seems to me many of the comments are assuming facts that have not been properly established?

    yes I'm just seeing that now (none / 0) (#60)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:29:49 PM EST
    and will probably clean it. Again, commenters, don't present disputed items as fact. This is not day 1 and everyone now knows what is uncontroverted and what is disputed or conjecture by one side or another in the case and in the investigation.

    Media performance on this (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:23:29 PM EST
    has been as atrocious as anything I've ever seen, and opinionator types have been utterly appalling.  Somebody should make a list of the things everybody "knew" to be true that have already turned out to be utterly false and ginned up out of seemingly nowhere.

    Not being a defense attorney, I'm not inclined to be particularly sympathetic to Zimmerman, but geez, can't we manage to base our personal judgments on facts rather than rumor and speculation and some sense of fair play?

    Can't tell you how grateful I am, Jeralyn, to have a lefty site that's intent on squashing rumors and just dealing with what we know.  The rest of the blogosphere is a charnel house as far as actual thoughtfulness on this is concerned.


    Thank you (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:12:51 AM EST
    I appreciate the support. I'm trying to keep the agenda-driven speculation and false assumptions out of comments here, but it's so prevalent everywhere it's hard to keep up with. But I will keep making an effort to prevent it from infecting this site,

    Th #1 false assumption is your own, (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:22:14 PM EST
    namely that Trayvon could not possibly have felt under attack and his life/bodily harm at risk.  It underlies your whole viewpoint and that of the ongoing failure in Sanford.

    You want to argue that assumption of lack thereof at trial, fine that's fair game.  You want to use it to prevent an arrest and indictment & trial altogether, that's something else entirely.


    Only one man that is alive knows what happened (3.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:17:36 PM EST
    And he is Mr. Zimmerman.

    He has the right to his innocence until the state of FL proves otherwise..

    Since this whole media broo ha ha started hundreds of people have been murdered in this country with zero attention.

    Everyone needs to relax and let the system work this out.

    Too many people on both sides are projecting their particular politics onto what is an unfortunate and sad incident.

    The media's handling of this case has been shameful from Geraldo on down.   Nobody knows what's happened but in our 24hour news cycle that doesn't mean the media can't make a collective ass of themselves pretending that they do.

    This is the Duke rape case all over again.   Maybe Zimmerman is guilty and maybe he's not but the race charged rush to justice is Duke all over again.

    Condition precedent to FL proving guilt (none / 0) (#111)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:33:00 AM EST
    is that an arrest  be made and charges pressed.  That does not implicate Zimmerman's presumption of innocence, an arrest would be based on a finding of probable cause to believe Zimmerman committed a crime.  It is the ongoing finding otherwise in light of the known and admitted facts that has prompted the nationwide incredulity and resulting media circus of which you complain.

    No (3.00 / 2) (#144)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:33:09 PM EST
    Fact Trayvon was a young black male walking in a rural area of Florida being trailed by a white guy in a pickup, a situation where the history in the Southern US does not suggest a happy outcome for the young black male

    Not a fact at all.  Zimmerman is Hispanic.


    Either Zimemrman first laid a hand on Trayvon or Trayvon laid a hand on Zimmerman, that is a logical, indisputable fact

    And you don't know which it was.

    Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race; (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:58:57 PM EST
    he's been hyped as Hispanic because of the associations most people make when they hear it - that he's "brown."

    Wish more people understood the distinction; hope you will be as fervent in your correction of those you hear referring to his race as Hispanic as you were in responding to his race as white.


    All I know (3.00 / 2) (#152)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:14:37 PM EST
    Is that his own family considers themselves Hispanic.  I guess you could disagree wirh them. - what do they know?

    And since crime data is kept by the FBI and other jurisdictions and they make a distinction , I guess it's fair to ask what do they know as well, especially as there is a difference between white on black crime and Hispanic on bkack crime.

    But commenters here apparently know better and it certainly fits a better narrative for Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow to talk about, doesn't it?


    You sure you "know" that? (none / 0) (#159)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:25:13 PM EST
    That doesn't seem correct.  Btw, nice use of liberal bogeymen/women.

    Ok, so he is Hispanic (none / 0) (#166)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:41:09 PM EST
    by ethnicity and White by race. We can all agree on that. However, most people when meeting him would consider him to be Hispanic.

    The post jbindc was responding to (now deleted) was calling Zimmerman white in order to fit it into the history of racial tensions in the South, and argued that this all played in the back of Trayvon's mind causing him to be scared, which is an absurd stretch to make an assumption on.


    Like I said earlier. (1.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:20:20 PM EST
    Both these young men lost something that night.

    Martin lost his literal life and Zimmerman also lost his life, though it wasn't physical.

    They both made mistakes.
    The 911 dispatcher advised Zimmerman not to follow.
    Martin's girl advised him to run.

    Neither young man followed the good advice that was delivered by their phones, but these are young men in the dark, and what do you expect.  

    On the other hand, Zimmerman was in pretty constant contact with 911 and trying to get help.
    Martin and his girl had phones in their hand and didn't call 911.

    I believe both men were in the right, being where they were, doing what they were doing even though it was very foolish and then maybe the following happened:

    Zimmerman decided to return to his car having lost Martin, but Martin hadn't lost Zimmerman and back tracked and as a young 17 year old football player might do (and God I have been one too) decided to turn the tables on the man in the dark who had been following him, and attacked!

    At that point, for a few seconds to a few minutes, any law in any State would support a self defense claim by George Zimmerman.

    What? (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by ks on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:29:31 PM EST
    "...but Martin hadn't lost Zimmerman and back tracked and as a young 17 year old football player might do (and God I have been one too) decided to turn the tables on the man in the dark who had been following him, and attacked!"

    Back tracked?  There's no evidence of that and we will probably never know who attacked! whom first.  


    Let's please remember, Gerald, that ... (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:25:23 PM EST
    ... Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old minor, while George Zimmerman was a 28-year-old adult. You know as well as I do that by virtue of their own youth, teens don't yet possess the life's experiences necessary to ensure the probability of foolproof judgments on their part. That Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend rather than calling 9-1-1 is completely irrelevant, and is not reflective of any fault on his part.

    I realize that I'm probably comparing apples and oranges here from a legal standpoint, but if the law assumes in matters of alleged sexual encounters between children / adolescents and adults that the minor child cannot legally give his or her consent, then it really baffles me why so many would presume to now hold a teenaged boy legally responsible (at least partially) for his own fate in a life-and-death encounter which was clearly instigated by an adult male.

    George Zimmerman was the adult here, not Trayvon Martin.

    Zimmerman's own past reveals him as someone with a demonstrable capability for violence; not so for Martin.

    Zimmerman was the one actively pursuing Martin while armed with a 9mm pistol, for no apparently credible reason other than his own racist paranoia about "f***ing c00ns" -- not vice versa.

    Indeed, young Martin had every right to be where he was that night, and was only trying to make it back home safely, while the elder Zimmerman's actions were that of a vigilante who clearly ignored the directive of the 9-1-1 dispatcher to cease his pursuit of his quarry.

    In my opinion, we're creating a false equivalency in any assumption that both were culpable parties in this confrontation. They were not.



    Not to mention that it would for sure (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:08:23 PM EST
    occur to pretty much any black teenager in this country that calling in the actual cops had a very good chance of his being assumed to be in the wrong and getting arrested.

    In what way was Zimmerman in the right (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:36:21 PM EST
    by following Martin to begin with and calling 911 on him? Martin was not doing anything wrong. 'suspicious behavior' - c'mon.

    calling 911 is what (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:53:40 PM EST
    neighborhood watch groups and the feds tell people to do. The feds new program, If You See Something, Say Something is a prime example. They have signs telling people to call the police or 911 if they see suspicious behavior. What's suspicious is subjective. These programs are all bad ideas. But they exist.

    Are you saying (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by Towanda on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:19:59 AM EST
    that Neighborhood Watch is among "these programs" that "are all bad ideas"?

    The real Neighborhood Watch, that is -- voted for by the majority of residents, supervised, trained, maintained, etc.


    Towanda, the message is (none / 0) (#91)
    by observed on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:11:47 AM EST
    "Vigilantism is bad".
    It is forbidden to suggest that vigilantism + guns is bad. Zimmerman was exercising his constitutional right to bear arms---he did nothing wrong, EXCEPT for the vigilantism.

    Yes, that is really troubling to me (none / 0) (#79)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:19:26 AM EST
    I was at an HOA meeting a couple of weeks ago. We don't have neighborhood watch, but the board members were encouraging people to call 911 for everything, like kids cutting through back yards on their way home from school. The reasoning is that you don't want to get on the wrong side of the kids in case they retaliate - have the police come out and yell at them instead. As if the kids won't know who called the police.

    The other reasoning they gave was that repeated calls to the police from our neighborhood will raise awareness by the police and perhaps get more patrols through here. Who really wants that?

    Luckily there were only about 5 people at the HOA meeting to hear this stuff....


    Good lord... (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 08:42:00 AM EST
    what horrible advice...I weep for the youth of this country, I really do.  It is worse than I thought.

    Cutting through yards was a way of life for me as a child, and all the yards had fences, unlike many of these Fla developments where there are no fences.

    Luckily I lived in this thing called a community, where the neighbors either didn't mind, or if they did they made my parents aware.  No one would dream of calling the precint, never mind the emergeny f*ckin' hotline!!!

    All this fear and suspicion ain't healthy...sh*t it is deadly, as this sad case has shown us.  I swear I totally don't understand my species sometimes, I feel like an alien.


    That's ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Towanda on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:21:39 AM EST
    and that's why a well-trained, well-run Neighborhood Watch program can help reduce calls to police, because it introduces neighbors to each other to talk to each other first about far simpler solutions to real problems.

    (I do not consider kids cutting through yards to always be real problems, for pity's sake.  Of course, if kids do damage, that's different.  But  just cutting through is common in my neighborhood, among neighbor kids who know which paths to use and to not do damage, because now we all know each other and can just call each other, if need be.)


    By the way, about HoA's (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Towanda on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:22:50 AM EST
    I'm learning a lot about HoA's from this story and know to avoid them in our next move.  Ugh.

    Well, to tell you the truth (none / 0) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:12:01 PM EST
    I had nosy neighbors call the cops when they saw somebody "suspicious" around my (first-floor) apartment in the middle of the night, and the cops arrived just as this guy was trying to jimmy one of my windows, unbeknownst to me.

    It's really not an unreasonable thing to do when you spot a stranger, of any race, wandering around after dark.  But he should have called 911 and left it to the police to deal with.  It is a "gated" community, not a place where there's constant legitimate foot traffic at night going to and fro.


    I could easily agree with that if it had been (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:15:00 AM EST
    late at night. But 7:20 is barely after sunset here in late February. And he was walking on the street and sidewalks.

    We have break-ins in our neighborhood too, and I do worry about it so I sympathize with that worry. It just seems Zimmerman took it to the extreme with his repeated calls - as he said, 'they always get away'. Perhaps because most of the people he was calling 911 about weren't doing anything wrong.


    Wow, right out of the blame the victim (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:29:02 AM EST
    textbook, chock full of false equivalencies and subtle innuendo.  "Very foolish" to be walking home from the store.  Very foolish to run away from a stranger following you in a truck.

    Very foolish post in my view.


    That's a reasonable theory except (none / 0) (#65)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:05:50 PM EST
    Martin's body was found in between two rows of houses, not anywhere near Zimmerman's truck, from what I can tell from the maps now being produced by NBC and NYTimes.  See my comment above.  I may be misunderstanding the maps, but that's what it looks like to me.

    But I agree this does strike me as a situation where two individuals probably each saw the other as illegitimate and threatening.  Martin, as far as we know, had no way of knowing Zimmerman was a self-appointed amateur cop on patrol.  He likely thought he was about to be mugged.  What he did about that I have no idea, and we may never know for sure.

    What I do know is that untrained self-appointed $$$holes shouldn't be prowling around looking for evil-doers in the middle of the night, and especially not armed, and especially if they have a history of unnecessary violence, as Zimmerman apparently does.


    he does not have a (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:49:23 AM EST
    "history of unnecessary violence." He was never convicted of a crime of violence. He was arrested in 2005 at a bar. He was with a friend and cops were conducting an undercover sting to nail minors getting drinks. He shoved an officer who had gotten into a beef with his friend. (The sting may have been blown, increasing the ire of the cops, but that's supposition.) The charge was reduced and then dismissed entirely after George took some alcohol classes. In his application to police academy, he said the officer shoved him first and he didn't know he was a cop. Regardless, shoving someone is not particularly violent and certainly not indicative of a tendency to shoot someone.

    In a second incident,  he and his ex-fiance each filed for civil restraining orders against the other. Both requests were granted. There were no criminal charges or convictions.

    He does not have an unnecessary history of violence.


    He has a long history of carrying (5.00 / 0) (#109)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:23:18 AM EST
    a concealed weapon even when on neighborhood watch "patrol" looking for bad guys.

    We can argue about how violent that is but even you began your comments on this horrific affair with the observation that packing a firearm was inappropriate, I would add unnecessary, for neighborhood watch members.


    Bob, you get a concealed (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:03:01 PM EST
    carry permit so that you can carry a concealed weapon.

    Neighborhood Watch has nothing to do with that.


    Neighborhood Watch has (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:59:46 PM EST
    everything to do with that; while no one is disputing that it was legal for him to be armed, there is no recognized, law enforcement-affiliated program where community volunteers are encouraged to conduct their activities while carrying.

    George Zimmerman undoubtedly knew that - he attended the presentation to the community by the local volunteer coordinator, who left all kinds of instructive and informative material with those in attendance (it strikes me that he wanted to be part of a citizens' patrol, but didn't want to be bound by the rules and regs of a recognized, registered, affiliated group).

    So, he was carrying while out running errands; once he decided he was going to get involved and get out of his car to track this suspicious person, the first thing he should have done, after notifying 911, was secure the weapon off his person.  Or take the clip out so it couldn't be used to shoot anyone.

    Honestly, the dearth of common sense in this case is attaining Grand Canyon proportions.  George Zimmerman was a cop wanna-be who desperately wanted to be a hero; well, I guess he's finding out - too late for Trayvon Martin, sadly - that being a cop, or acting like one, isn't about being a hero at all.


    I think the initial question raised (none / 0) (#135)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:30:27 PM EST
    was the propriety of neighborwatchers doing their thing while armed.

    He wasn't (none / 0) (#138)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:02:47 PM EST
    On an "official patrol", as I recall.  He was on his way out somewhere and saw Martin.  There had been a rash of break-ins in this racially diverse neighborhood and he apparently stopped what he was doing to report Martin.

    He was carrying his gun with him under his CCW permit


    False assumption (none / 0) (#173)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:08:13 PM EST
    you see him in a picture for his youth football team when he was younger and assume he's playing high school football.

    Was he? I've never heard it said anywhere that he played football in high school. The uniform you see is not from any high school he attended in Miami.


    But, just as you expressed your viewpoints as fact, I responded in kind.

    Thanks Thanin. I note that J removed (none / 0) (#131)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:55:29 PM EST
    the comment I was responding to, and for the exact reason I stated in my comment...

    To be fair... (none / 0) (#1)
    by ks on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:36:48 PM EST
    Why do ABC's forensic video expert trump the Orlando Sentinel's voice analysis experts?  Just because you agree with the former?  If you are going to credit a media's expert you agree with then you should be open to one you might not agree with.

    Overall, some of the reporting has been pretty irresponsible on both sides.  It's clear that they are running with the hottest leak from whichever side.  

    I'm not placing a value (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:00:54 PM EST
    on ABC's forensic exam, just the opposite. I'm talking about ABC using a forensic now as an excuse for failing to examine their exclusive footage more closely to see what was obvious the night they posted it. It was there for anyone to see. But instead of admit they made a mistake, they are claiming they only see it now because of a forensic exam.

    Amen to that (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:10:01 PM EST

    Forensic enhancement wasn't needed. As I showed here, the injuries were noticeable from ABC's original footage.

    Yes, but where is the sensationalism in that.  Another case of too good to check.


    Technically (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:56:22 PM EST
    The voice analysis experts said there's a 48% chance that the screams are Zimmerman 's.  Not high, grant you, but almost 50-50.  They never said it absolutely, 100% wasn't him.

    I'm sure there will be other voice and experts out there who will find differently, just as there will be video experts to challenge this finding.


    No, that's not right (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by ks on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:14:06 PM EST
    He didn't say a 48% chance.  He said a 48% match.  The expectation was a greater than 90% match and since it didn't come anywhere near that, the expert exculded it being Zimmerman's voice.  That's reasonable pretty standrad stuff. Also, the Sentinel got another experte independent of the first one and he also excluded Zimmerman.  

    I read that story this morn, too, and (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Towanda on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:41:25 PM EST
    anyone ought to do so before trying to explicate what those percentages mean.  You summarize it well, ks, as to suggest that 48 percent means anything like a 50-50 likelihood is so wrong.    

    Basically, the experts agree that there's about a 10 percent chance that it was Zimmerman's voice.


    Technically speaking. .. (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by RickTaylor on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:00:27 PM EST
    Technically speaking, that's not quite right either. The probability that that's Zimmerman's voice is either 1 or 0, depending on whether it is or it isn't.

    What they're saying is that the probability a genuine sample of a person's voice would give less than a 48% match another known sample of their voice is less than five percent; so that this constitutes statistically significant evidence the voice is not Zimmerman's. Or at least that's what I learned in statistics.

    Regardless, I hope they'll be able to get a sample of Traymon's voice and test his as well. If that gave a strong match when Zimmerman's didn't, it could be rather compelling evidence. On the other hand, if neither voice matched it might indicate something was amiss.


    I'd think the Martin family or ... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:39:28 PM EST
    ... Trayvon's school would have to provide recent audio of him from within the last 12 months or so. Adolescent male voices will change rather markedly as significant physical growth occurs between 14 and 19 years of age, and will then further deepen in pitch and resonance as the adolescent matures physically into full adulthood sometime between ages 19 and 22.

    The first time I heard those haunting screams on that 9-1-1 call -- well before Zimmerman's verious spokespersons began claiming publicly that they were HIS screams -- I almost immediately assumed that they belonged to Trayvon. The pitch just sounded too high to be the voice of a fully mature adult male.


    I can't make any sense of those screams (none / 0) (#62)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:53:00 PM EST
    under any scenario so far advanced.  They sound to me much like the horrible screams of that poor guy that was about to have his head cut off on video by some terrorists some years ago as they advanced on him with the knife. (Not Danny Pearl but another guy, a soldier I think)

    They're screams of utter terror of imminent death or maiming.  People don't scream like that when a gun is pointed at them unless they're completely helpless because they've been tied up or cornered with no escape, which didn't happen here, and people who point guns in quiet neighborhoods don't let multiple ear-splitting screams go on before shooting or backing off.

    And vice versa, Trayvon Martin didn't have any weapon on him, like a machete or something, that could provoke such screams of terror from Zimmerman (if the voice analysts are somehow wrong).

    I don't get it.

    Anybody got a theory that makes sense here?


    People scream in fights all the time (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:58:20 PM EST
    that have nothing to do with whether or not they are winning and losing.

    And yet (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:44:31 PM EST
    At least parts of Zimmerman's story fit what evidence we kniw of, while the narrative the Martin family has been putting out there doesn't.   Hmmmmm.....  2 sides with conflicting interests putting out conflicting "evidence".....

    What "narrative" is the Martin family (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:06:39 PM EST
    putting out there that doesn't fit the evidence?

    Yeah really... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by ks on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:21:18 PM EST
    All they've said is that their son was unarmed and minding his own business headed home when he was followed and then killed and they want the ADMITTED shooter to be arrested and tried for it.

    OTHOH, Zimmerman has had plenty of time to craft his narrative and even with that, it's kind of questionable.

    The "back tracked" thing is odd because it goes against the grain of the current evidence.  According to Zimmerman's own words in the 911 call, Martin was actively trying to avoid him to the point of running away from him.  That doevtails with Martin's girlfriend account that he was trying to avoid Zimmerman.  

    But yet, based on only Zimmeran's word, we are supposed to buy that then Martin back tracked?  Seems unlikely.  


    it still doesn't rule him out completely (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:07:41 PM EST
    I'm not saying I know it was Zimmerman, but this is not the slam dunk case many people think it is.

    Stand Your Ground (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:10:07 PM EST
    What I don't understand, is why Trevon didn't have the right to stand his ground if he felt threaten by Zimmerman.  Certainly if it's OK to shoot someone one, it's OK to attack them if you feel threatened, is it not ?

    Which to me points out the obvious flaw in the law, if both parties feel threatened, any resulting violence is not prosecutable.

    He probably does (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:18:51 PM EST
    What he didn't realize is the other guy, the one that that had just finished saying, "These a$$holes, they always get away" was carrying a gun and a bag of skittles was no match.

    In Other Words... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:29:50 PM EST
    ...and my new favorite saying, Don't Bring Skittles to a Gun Fight.

    Name Change (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by ks on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:21:24 PM EST
    The name of the law should be changed from "Stand Your Ground" to the "Last Man Standing".  Or maybe since that's usually the person with a weapon, maybe it should be changed to "Dead Men Tell No Tales".

    it's not just feeling threatened (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:28:28 PM EST
    it's feeling threatened and in fear of serious bodily injury after being physically attacked.  

    Fla. Stat. § 776.013

    (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    Both sides? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ks on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 03:45:16 PM EST
    That could just as easily apply to Trayvon but we'll never really know because as I said, "Dead Men Tell No Tales".  

    Are you not able to appreciate (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:48:34 AM EST
    how a young law-abiding black male in small town Florida, with every right to be there, being followed by a larger white guy in a pickup truck, followed even after attempting to run away,  just might reasonably conclude he is being attacked & needs to confront his pursuer?  And this assumes everything in Zimmerman's favor. i.e., that Zimmerman is not lying and attacked or confronted Trayvon on his own initiative.

    It's OK if you can't. Apparently some state prosecutors can't.


    "physically" is nice word (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:03:20 PM EST
    to import into the statute, but I will play along.  Trayvon, in  this context, was entitled in the context of these events, to reasonably conclude he was  physically under attack.  Did he have to wait for the bullet to be fired fom the gun he had every right to suspect Zimmerman was carrying?

    Zimmerman is argued to have behaved reasonably in acting on his belief Trayvon might have been armed.  He wasn't of course.


    "is attacked" (none / 0) (#121)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:04:59 PM EST
    not "after being attacked."

    Trying to understand (none / 0) (#24)
    by RickTaylor on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:40:10 PM EST
    jbindc earlier quoted this passage

    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.

    Does that mean that if Zimmerman were have found to have "provoked" the confrontation (whatever that means), then stand your ground would no longer apply unless he reasonably believed he was in danger of great bodily harm or had clearly indicated he wanted to withdraw from the confrontation?

    I'm not making an argument; I'm honestly ignorant about these matters and trying to understand them.


    Provoked is about starting a fight through words (none / 0) (#45)
    by redwolf on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:06:10 PM EST
    or actions.  Basically you can't use stand your ground is not a defense if you start a fight with someone.  

    However if you start a fight with someone, they knock you down and start kicking you in the heads and you fear they are going to kick you to death then you can use lethal force against them, only if you can't escape.  

    In this case Zimmerman could have claimed stand your ground as long as he didn't throw the first blow or use fighting words to incite Trayvon.

    Stand your ground doesn't apply to this case unless Zimmerman threaten to shoot Trayvon(A crime) and Trayvon attacked Zimmerman to prevent his own murder (Following someone is not enough to justify attacking them).  Zimmerman's story of being penned and beaten is covered under normal self defense law, not stand your ground.


    you're a young black man being relentlessly (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:36:10 AM EST
    followed by a heavyset, older white guy in a pickup truck in Florida, even after you try to run away from this truck.

    Can't imagine why Trayvon might ever have thought he might be in danger of being killed or severely injured.  Whatever reason could there be? It's not like there's been a history of that sort of thing in that region of the country.


    Scott, I think it's quite obvious that ... (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:29:38 PM EST
    ... given this case and others, the right to invoke the "Stand Your Ground" law goes to the survivor of the confrontation.

    Speaking as someone who, while not an attorney, has extensive experience in the drafting of statute (including three years as chief clerk for the State Senate Judiciary Committee), I think the "Stand Your Ground" law in phuquing insane.

    Self-defense used to be an affirmative defense, in which one had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant took action in the face of a clear and imminent threat in order to prevent loss of life -- either his, hers or others in the immediate vicinity.

    But thanks to the NRA and "Stand Your Ground," decades of established criminal law has now been turned on its head in Florida and elsewhere. The burden of proof has been shifted to the prosecution to definitively establish a defendant's state of mind, that he or she either was NOT, or could NOT have been, in fear of his or her safety when acting to take the life of another.

    In instances such as these, when there are no other witnesses to the confrontation, that new threshold is essentially having to prove a negative, which may well be impossible for the legal authorities to overcome.

    As far as I'm concerned, "Stand Your Ground" has now been proven to be the contemporary equivalent of lynch law.



    Since Zimmerman's story (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:05:20 PM EST
    Is that he turned back around and went back to his truck and Trayvon attacked him, it channges things.  At that point, he would, would not have been "following" Trayvon.

    Except... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by ks on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:15:14 PM EST
    The altercation didn't take place at his truck.

    So? (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:50:11 PM EST
    His story is he went back towards his truck and Martin came up and hit him.  An altercation ensued whereby Martin got him on the ground and slammed his head into the cement.

    What does the fact that they weren't at his truck have anything to do with whether Martin (were he alive) coyld claim the Stand Your Ground law?  If Zimmerman's story is true and Martin hit him first, then Martin was the aggressor and Zimmernan may have good standing to invoke SYG.


    The Zimmerman family used the 'going back to his (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:42:03 PM EST
    truck' info to make it seem like Martin should have been able to tell that Zimmerman was standing down and leaving. When I first heard their story it sounded like Martin must have practically stopped him from getting in the truck, when in fact, whether he had reversed direction or not, he was not near his truck.  

    From what I can tell from the map (none / 0) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:58:49 PM EST
    they showed on MSNBC tonight, Martin's body was found nowhere near Zimmerman's truck.  He'd seen Zimmerman and gone in back of one row of houses to get away from him (bending over backwards to be fair, for whatever reason he wanted to avoid Zimmerman), and Zimmerman would have had to follow him to keep him in sight.

    So Martin, seeing Zimmerman appear behind the houses coming after him, could have doubled back to confront him.  But from the map (and I gather the NYTimes has one up today, too), one thing that definitely didn't happen was that Martin confronted Zimmerman at his truck.  Far as I can tell anyway.


    you cannot say what definititvely (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:09:28 AM EST
    did or did not happen.  You have an opinion, based on media reports and maps.  Please do not state your opinions as definitive facts. Thank you.

    We don't really know anything about this case (none / 0) (#74)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:34:10 AM EST
    The only thing we know for a fact that Zimmerman did wrong (based on what is known in public) was that he followed Trayvon in the first place. Even if he viewed him as suspicious, it did not make sense to follow him. It's also absurd that he was carrying a gun while acting as a Neighborhood Watch (for obvious reasons).

    However we don't really know anything else about the case:

    We don't know exactly why he viewed Trayvon as suspicious.

    We don't know if he continued to follow him after the dispactcher told him to stop.

    We don't know how they got into a fight, who the aggressor in the fight was, or who was crying for help.

    We don't know the extent of Zimmerman's injuries. We don't know if Zimmerman's life was actually in danger.

    We don't really even know what Zimmerman's and Trayvon's characters besides simple portrayals we are told in the media. (They are both obviously more complex than anything we've heard.)

    Because of that it's absurd that this case is being portrayed as one of the greatest injustices ever, when we have no idea what happened.
    Thank you Jeralyn for being a voice of reason on this.

    One injustice consists of what the police (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by observed on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:53:51 AM EST
    did or did not do after Martin was killed.

    We DO know Zimmerman continued pursuit (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:30:15 AM EST
    after being advised not to, it's in the transcripts.  As is Zimmerman's statement, "these a$$holes always get away."

    As regards the rest of your unknowns only a couple are relevant to the question of whether there exists probable cause to have arrested Zimmerman. For example, why in determining whether there is probable cause to arrest Zimmerman does it matter why Zimmerman found Martin suspicious? We know Martin was walking home from a candy store. We need relative character assessments?  Really? Zimmerman's injuries, treated as they were and revealed as they may be on tape, do not appear life threatening nor do they provide any information as to who inflicted those injuries.  It is assumed based on Zimmerman's account that Trayon inflicted the injuries.  We know the plethora of opportunities Zimmerman had to avoid a confrontation.

    Resolving the relevant unknowns in the light most favorable to Zimmerman, and in light of what is known via Zimmerman's admissions and the call transcripts, leads me to conclude Zimmerman should have been arrested. Having put Trayvon in reasonable fear for his life, Zimmerman's invocation of the stand your ground law required the prosecutor to examine the reasonableness of Zimmerman's fear and Zimmerman's inability to do anything except shoot Trayvon even if one assumes Trayvon attacked Zimmerman. That fatal altercation comprised the final moments of what had in fact been a much lengthier interaction between the two that began not when punches were thrown but when Zimmerman began tailing Trayvon in his truck.


    commenters have been warned (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 01:27:05 PM EST
    repeatedly not to present their interpretation as fact. You do so repeatedly. I have deleted several of your comments for doing do. Please stop.

    One of your comments was quite long. Since you spent a lot of time writing it, I saved it and can email it to you if you'd like.

    But I will not allow you to present your interpretation as fact. And the topic is the video, not race.


    We don't know that.. (none / 0) (#134)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:21:37 PM EST
    Umm.. here is a link to the 9/11 call: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/20/george-zimmerman-s-911-call-before-trayvon-martin-s -death-audio.html

    He says "these a**holes always get away" way before they told him to stop following him. He says OK to that order and apparently momentarily stops and we don't know if he continued to pursue him after that since there isn't any public evidence that shows he did. People who assume he did are just using speculative reasoning.

    And I agree that some of those unknowns are only tangentially relevant to Zimmerman's guilt in the case. My point was that many in the media are acting like they KNOW the answers to these questions, when we obviously don't know. Many have assumed that Zimmerman felt he was suspicious because he was black and wearing a hoodie (which paints him as a racist), and this goes against the primary reason Zimmerman said on the 9/11 tape, which was that he looked like he was on drugs.

    And I don't see how anyone can say the tape definitively shows the extent of his injuries. The police photos and hospital records (if they exist) will be much more reliable evidence. Even if the injuries aren't bad enough that they could have put his life in danger, he could reasonably claim that his life was in danger from a) having his head hit by the sidewalk (though we don't know if he was close to the sidewalk) b) getting punched in the nose (which can kill someone), or c) if Trayvon reached for the gun (which again, we don't know if this happened). I know this sounds like a blatant attempt to move the goalposts, but I feel that the question of whether his life was in danger will be more important than the question of the extent of his injuries. Hopefully these claims can be backed up or debunked by an eyewitness. I find it doubtful that an eyewitness will debunk Zimmerman's story, because the police report stated that the eyewitnesses did not contradict his account. The only witness who has reportedly said Zimmerman's life wasn't in danger, was someone who did not even see any of the events happen.


    Um... (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:00:46 PM EST
    That is indeed a blatant attempt to move the goalposts.  Full stop.  IMO, the extent of his injuries is going to be important especially given the melodramatic tales told about them in their media apperances.  Particularly by Zimmerman's brother who claimed he was told by his brother that he feared "brain damage" and was on the "verge of unconscious" and so on...  Though if you buy that tale of Zimmerman being that out of it, it's strange that he coould've noticed Martin going for his gun, stopped Martin from getting his gun, got his gun and then shot Martin all the while on the "verge of unconscious" lying on his back with Martin on top of him.

    Also, there are conflicting witness accounts of the struggle.   Btw, now we're at death via a punch in the nose?  Really...? I think the golaposts are in Siberia by now.


    My point was (none / 0) (#155)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:16:35 PM EST
    making the assumption that he has injuries, the extent of the injuries matters less, as long as there is a reasonable case that his life was in danger. If his head was getting banged by the sidewalk his life was in danger (and he risked brain injury). Even if there weren't considerable injuries to the back of his head, he was at risk of having a serious injury and possibly death if he was in fact having his head hit against the sidewalk.  

    None of the eyewitnesses who saw pieces of the event contradicted George's story, at least none that I've heard of. The two roommates who heard the event and then came out say that George's life was not in danger, but they did not see what happened and seem to be making several assumptions.


    ks you are misrepresenting (none / 0) (#179)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:28:25 PM EST
    facts. And your bias is evident in every comment you make. You will be banned if you continue to misstate facts.

    There is only one person who claims to have seen the actual struggle, a witness named John, who says Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman and Zimmerman cried for help, at which time he ran upstairs to call 911.

    The women who heard the struggle and cries for help didn't see the actual struggle. They said after the gunshot (after the struggle was over) they saw Zimmerman straddling Trayvon. They didn't see the stuggle.

    And no one saw the struggle at the moment of the gunshot.


    Jeralyn, let's be honest here.... (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:01:44 PM EST
    Misrepresenting facts?  Nonsense.  I said there are conflicting witness accounts period.  I didn't say there were conflicting witness accounts about part of the struggle that was seen.  

    In any event, I'm not claiming to be unbiased.  Unlike you.  Most of the posters here are biased.  I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice but you are hardly neutral and you seem to be rather one-sided in your approach to the posts here.  There's rampant speculation going on for both sides but, imo, a lot of posts that you perceive to be anti-Zimmerman are getting the big stompy foot.  

    Like I said, it's your house but if you want to have a "Just the Facts" approach, then have a real one.  If not, then don't pretend.  Either way, have at it.  I'm done with this subject in your threads.


    On the 911 tape (none / 0) (#151)
    by RickTaylor on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:14:29 PM EST
    He says OK to that order and apparently momentarily stops and we don't know if he continued to pursue him after that since there isn't any public evidence that shows he did.

    There was less than 30 seconds on the 911 tape between when Zimmerman said Trayvon was running, and when the dispatcher advises him not to pursue him. So the location of the shooting in relation to the truck may turn out to be relevant in trying to determine whether Zimmerman continued to pursue him after being instructed not to or not.


    Bob TinKy (none / 0) (#167)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:41:14 PM EST
    complains about the deletion of his comment saying what he wrote is indisupted truth. Far from it. Among the disputed matters he presented as fact:

    1.    Claiming the "admittted and transcripted facts" are that "it was Zimmerman who continued to pursue and confront Martin after having done so for some period prior to the call." ho confronted whom is disputed and what happened and for how long prior to the call is not a fact.

    2. Claiming Zimmerman carried & displayed a loaded firearm. The displayed part is disputed. He says it became visible while Trayvon was on top of him beating him

     3.  Claiming Zimmerman followed a black teenager because "he looked suspicious" : The transcript shows he wasn't even certain he was black when he phoned in the report, he was asked "what race" and responded "he looks black". On the call, after he says Trayvon started walking towards him he says "And he's black" which can be interpreted as he was now able to answer the question with certainty.

    1.  Claiming Zimmerman provoked Martin: this is disputed

    2.  Claiming Zimmerman's version is "ludicrous" and "nonsense." That is opinion and not factual.

    3.    Mistating the law on self-defense and stand my ground, especially as to burden of proof.

    And that's just the first few paragraphs.

    The facts of the encounter are far from settled. As I've said repeatedly, you may not present your interpretation and opinion as fact. It's confusing to others and misleading.


    Not true (none / 0) (#172)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:07:30 PM EST
    that the transcript shows he continued pursuit after being told he didn't need to follow him. His response to the 9/11 dispatcher after being advised following Travon was not necessary was "okay." His father says he then began walking back to his truck. So it's disputed, not fact, that he continued to follow Trayvon after that point. From the transcript, it appears he acquiesced to the dispatcher's statement.

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

    There is nothing in the transcript that proves he continued to follow Travon after that.

    If you listen to the call, you can hear him get out of his car which happens right after the dispatcher asks him " He's running? Which way is he running?" He may have gotten out of his car to see which way he was running. He then answers "Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood." The dispatcher then asks "Which entrance is that that he's heading towards?" After he answers is when he's asked if he's following him and when he says "yeah" is told he doesn't need to do that. This entire exchange took about 15 seconds on the tape.

    Also his statement about a** getting away was before, not after, he was told he didn't need to follow Trayvon.


    I would also add that much (none / 0) (#139)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:09:22 PM EST
    of what we have heard has been misinformation or one-sided accounts. For example, we've heard dozens of times that there was a hundred pound weight difference between the two, but now a New York Times article states that Zimmmerman only weighed 170, while Trayvon weighted 150 and was 4 inches taller. (We don't really know either of their weights, but this has been used to help the narrative.) We've heard that Zimmerman continued to pursue Trayvon though that is just speculation. We've heard that Zimmerman made 54 calls to 9/11 in the past year and a half, but now it's known that it was over 6 years, and that many of those were to a non-emergency line. Then there was the blatant distortion: "He looks suspicious, he looks black."

    I think the media tries to get people outraged, since people watch more when they are outraged. I think I read somewhere that viewership tripled on CNNHN during the climax of the Casey Anthony case. They obviously succeeded in this case, which is absurd when so many facts aren't clear.

    The Sanford PD report (none / 0) (#140)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:16:45 PM EST
    Yes... (none / 0) (#143)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:31:52 PM EST
    And 6ft even.  

    The point is none of these (none / 0) (#147)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:55:51 PM EST
    weight estimates are reliable, yet it a huge narrative is that a smaller boy is being followed by a larger man nearly twice his size, and that it is not possible Zimmerman's life was in danger from someone so much smaller than he is. Now we know that there weights could have been very similar. Or not, but these narratives aren't appropriate as long as there is considerable doubt about what the actual numbers.

    No that's not a "huge narrative" at all (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:14:49 PM EST
    You're being overly dramatic for effect.  Zimmerman seems a good amount bigger though he's not as tall as Martin was.  

    I guess huge (none / 0) (#161)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:28:08 PM EST
    was a poor word to use there, but it is still something that I've seen repeated a lot that has a very weak basis. Here is Ed Schultz:

    "George Zimmerman was 28 years old and weighed 250 pounds. Trayvon Martin was 17 and weighed 140 pounds. He has no criminal record whatsoever."

    He doesn't know any of that to be true.  


    Not true? (none / 0) (#168)
    by ks on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:42:51 PM EST
    "George Zimmerman was 28 years old and weighed 250 pounds. Trayvon Martin was 17 and weighed 140 pounds. He has no criminal record whatsoever."

    He doesn't know any of that to be true."  

    Actually, isn't most of that true?  Zimmerman - 28.  Martin  - 17.  Martin - no criminal record.  The weights might be off moreso Zimmerman than Martin but that's it.


    I meant the part about the weights (none / 0) (#170)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:52:44 PM EST
    He shouldn't have reported those weights as facts in order to help a narrative, even if they were based on what Martin's lawyers were saying. What he did was obviously inappropriate.

    It doesn't help (none / 0) (#156)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:17:49 PM EST
    That the media keep showing a picture of Martin from when he was something like 13 years old with a baby face.

    It also doesn't help (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by CST on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:18:54 PM EST
    that Martin is dead, so he's not here to tell his side of the story.

    forensic evidence (none / 0) (#176)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:13:13 PM EST
    should be able to tell his side of the story.

    They should have at least tried to (none / 0) (#171)
    by rjarnold on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:57:10 PM EST
    get more recent pictures earlier, and they should have made an attempt to find a non-mugshot picture of Zimmerman. I think using nothing but a mug-shot for a couple of weeks was insanely biased and obviously swayed public opinion.

    Zimmerman hires (none / 0) (#175)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:12:13 PM EST
    defense attorney Hal Uhrig this afternoon.

    thanks, just started new thread (none / 0) (#182)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:24:28 PM EST
    here about the new attorney and NBC.