NBC Admits and Apologizes for Misrepresenting George Zimmerman's 911 Call

An official mea culpa and apology from NBC News for editing and distorting the meaning of George Zimmerman's 911 call in the Trayvon Martin case in a Today show segment that was repeated on MSNBC.

During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.

I wrote yesterday NBC was investigating the edit error. Good that they followed up swiftly. [More..]

What was actually said, according to the transcript (Or you can listen to the call here.):

NBC's edited version leaves out that the dispatcher asked Zimmerman the race of the person he was calling about, so that it appeared Zimmerman was the one who brought up race.

NBC isn't saying if anyone has been fired.

On a factual level, there is no more official information today on the fatal encounter than there was yesterday or the day before. I also wrote yesterday as to what has not been released that could help arrive at a conclusion as to what in fact transpired between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin:

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.)

What other evidence (not rumors) might authorities have that the public does not that would be helpful?

Update: George Zimmerman has added an Orlando attorney , Hal Uhrig, to his defense team who told WOFL-Channel 35 that Zimmerman passed a voice-stress test(which he says is similar to a polygraph) at the police station the night of the shooting.

I don't know anything about voice-stress tests and don't have time to look it up right now, but polygraphs are not admissible in most courts because they are not scientifically reliable, so I'm not putting much stock in this at the moment as an indicator of what happened.

As an investigative technique (rather than admissible evidence) it may have some public relations value in explaining why Sanford police didn't arrest Zimmerman that night -- passing the test would support a lack of probable cause to disbelieve his assertion of self-defense and arrest him.

Uhlrig's background, according to the Sentinel:

He's a former police officer, former Florida assistant attorney general, former legal advisor to the Orange County Sheriff's Office and former assistant public defender.
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    They say: (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 08:47:46 PM EST
    When asked if anyone at Today had lost their job or had been reassigned as a result of the investigation, an NBC spokeswoman said: "We will not be commenting on our course of action."

    Translation: No one will be fired. We have no credibility to protect anyway.

    Error? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 08:48:01 PM EST

    This looks much more like a deliberate smear.  NBC owes an apology to all the viewers it mislead in addition to the one to Zimmerman.

    How about some investigative reporting.  How was the decision made to edit the tape?  Who amde the decision?  Why was the edited rather than the unedited posted on the web site?


    No excuse for that for NBC (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:37:19 PM EST
    Luckily they have not been the only source for transcripts of the 911 calls. Sure makes me trust any so called 'exclusive' sources even less.

    Regarding the content, I would fully expect Zimmerman  to describe the person he had called 911 about, and that includes skin color. Nothing racially charged about that in itself, whether the 911 operator had asked about it or not. The racially charged questions are 1: would he have called 911 on a white kid at 7:30 in the evening and 2: would the police have been so quick to believe his story if the victim were not black? While those questions are purely speculative, they have to be asked.

    Ah yes, the questions that must be asked.... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 10:42:36 PM EST
    Do you still beat your wife?

    Nothing inflammatory or out of line there, is there?


    If you don't want to know how your society (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:02:55 AM EST
    is working, or how your 911 police resources are being spent, fine. I do.

    Sanford, FL (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 09:11:38 AM EST
    Sanford, FL

    Twi: 6:30am
    Sunrise: 6:54am
    Sunset: 6:22pm
    Twi: 6:46pm

    Just adding facts, it looks like it was pretty much dark at 7:30pm, considering the sun had set over an hour before and it was raining.


    Dark, sure (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:05:41 AM EST
    But no one I know considers 7:30 to be serious nighttime, a time when people are down for the night and only prowlers are likely to be afoot.

    Of course I don't know people who perform armed patrols on their neighborhoods.


    Actually I do know one person (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:10:41 AM EST
    and I would vote him most likely to be the next George Zimmerman. In fact until I saw the name George I thought it might be him. Wants to be a cop, likely to provoke a situation, but not confident enough to think he can handle it without a gun.

    so you have completely made up (none / 0) (#137)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:25:06 AM EST
    your mind about George Zimmerman.  Doesn't that make you the next George Zimmerman?

    "But no one I know considers 7:30" (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:19:59 AM EST
    But no one I know considers 7:30 to be serious nighttime, a time when people are down for the night and only prowlers are likely to be afoot.
    That's true enough.

    I would have thought so, too (none / 0) (#37)
    by Towanda on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:40:42 AM EST
    until my neighborhood experienced a wave of crimes, including home invasions in early-evening hours.  It turned out that the group committing the crimes knew that many people have not yet locked up for the night then -- their children are still "afoot" at school activities, at the library, and the like and not yet home, for example.  But those home are upstairs, as can be ascertained through monitoring patterns (and sharing that information in lockup, as we learned about one group), looking in windows, interior lighting, etc.  Some neighbors had quite a lot of stuff stolen from first floors in those hours.  

    Also, a common stupidity comes from having attached and unlocked garages and not locking the door from the garage to the house, because it "feels" like an interior door, some told police.

    I'm just posting a warning to correct this common misapprehension.  I'm not at all agreeing that armed patrols, or even any patrols, are wise practices.  


    I hear you - most of the break-ins (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:33:10 PM EST
    around here occur in broad daylight, actually. There are so many people moving in and out these days that people don't think twice about a van pulling up and hauling stuff away. That has happened in my neighborhood a couple of times.

    I guess my point is that the mere fact of someone walking around at 7;30 at night is not especially suspicious to me. Sad to say, maybe it ought to be.


    Now that you mention it, that happened (none / 0) (#44)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:57:54 PM EST
    several times in my neighborhood last year as well. They did end up catching the guys, although much of the stolen stuff was long gone...

    My general philosophy has always been (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 01:12:35 PM EST
    that I can be scared and suspicious all of the time, or I can take minimal common sense precautions and hope for the best. I have chosen the latter and maybe some day it will catch up with me, but so far, so good.

    Exactly. Whan I am fully informed (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Towanda on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 01:29:21 PM EST
    I can do what I ought to do to feel secure.

    I will admit to feeling scared a few years ago in my neighborhood, when we were hit with the crime wave -- more than just a couple of crimes that I had heard about, when I connected with a couple more neighbors to put together our information.

    I also felt suspicious -- but of our local cops, who tried to deny all that we had discovered.  But then, the police got scared of us, when we kept connecting more and more neighbors through email, and then called a neighborhood meeting.  More than a hundred people showed up . . . and so did the district lieutenant, who had been so uncooperative and dismissing of us.

    By the end of the evening, we had his cooperation.  By the end of the week, we had extra patrols -- police patrols, as we decidedly did not want others doing patrols.  And by the end of two weeks, we had the news that the group that had been hitting our neighbborhood had been caught.

    Plus, as we always have a lot of nonresidents in our neighborhood (near a huge campus), we now have fewer of the older residents looking suspiciously at the students -- because the older residents now are better informed and less scared, too, from meetings with student groups whom we invited to help us help them as well, when we also found out how many had items stolen from their cars.

    Oh, and the cops?  They're happy to have fewer calls now from our neighborhood, with fewer scared and suspicious people here.



    Sounds like a wise philosophy to me! (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 01:29:48 PM EST
    I don't see why that's relevant. (none / 0) (#66)
    by jpe on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:51:32 PM EST
    Zimmerman cited a handful of facts - the time, Martin's proximity to houses, etc - for his suspicion.

    Zimmerman cited the time? (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:26:36 PM EST
    The 9-11 transcript indicates that Zimmerman based his suspicions on the fact that Martin "looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something" - no idea of the factual basis for that.  He also said  he's just "walking around", and "staring, ... looking at all the houses".  This appears to be the only "fact" (if true) that Martin articulated as the basis for his suspicions.

    Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 09:35:58 PM EST
    Also said "OK" after the dispatcher said they didn't need him to follow Martun.

    After thay, he then gave his full name and phone number, told the dispatcher that he lived in the neighborhood, and said that he was going to wait for the police and where exactly he would meet them.

    Those are facts too.

    Doesn't exactly seem like the thing somebody would say if he was ready to go looking for trouble.


    Were you responding to my post? (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:13:01 PM EST
    Because I never said Zimmerman was "ready to go looking for trouble".  I was pointing out that the sole "facts" that Zimmerman cited for Martin's suspicious behavior was his "walking around" and "looking at all the houses".  He never cited the time or his proximity to the house, as jpe claimed.  Even if he had, I'm not sure what's suspicious about walking down a sidewalk or walkway - which would, by definition, be close to the houses - or the fact that he was doing so at 7:30 PM.

    Those are out of context "facts" (none / 0) (#103)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:01:51 PM EST
    you either didn't listen to the tape, or you are leaving out a piece intentionally to attempt to make your case. You can't fault NBC and then do the same thing.  While he was following Martin, Zimmerman told 911 to call him back and he'd let them know where he was. This came not long after the "these a$$holes, they always get away" comment from Zimmerman.

    Just my opinion, from the change in Zimmerman's voice and quicker breathing. He is chasing after Martin during the end of the 911 call when he tells 911 to call him back.


    I should also add (none / 0) (#104)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:18:18 PM EST
    it sounds like Zimmerman loses sight of Martin after chasing him as Zimmerman specifically says he doesn't want to give his address to 911 since he doesn't know where Martin is anymore.

    Just that in my view, none of those things (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:41:42 AM EST
     are reason for suspicion. I think Zimmerman had unfounded suspicions, and that may play into the effectiveness of his defense.

    So walking at 7:30 in the evening is suspicious? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Angel on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 09:20:45 PM EST
    Based on that reasoning I guess my neighbors should have been worried while I was out at 8:30 this evening taking a stroll through the neighborhood.  

    The funny thing is (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:02:17 AM EST
    I would bet all the money I have that if you had had a rash of break-ins in your neighborhood,  (especially on a circle on a gated communitu) and you saw someone who wasn't from there and that you didn't recognize, and they were just wandering around in the dark and the rain, there is no way (if you're honest) that you can tell me that you wouldn't think twice about it and think that was perfectly normal.  There is no way that you wouldn't at least pause and see what they were doing or where they were going -black, white, green, or purple.

    And no, your neighbors shouldn't have been worried because presumably, they recognize you and know you live there.


    I regularly encounter all of those circumstances (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:33:27 AM EST
    except that we don't have a gate. Maybe the presence of a gate would make me more suspicious of strangers in the neighborhood. But I have never yet slowed down to give a stranger a second glance. If I made that a habit I would be doing that all the time in my neighborhood. It is full of teenagers of all skin tone, and their friends, that play ball or hang out in the street, and come and go until around 10 at night.

    sure, if one of them was peeping in windows or trying to get in doors, I would call the police. But just looking at the houses? no way.


    By the way, even if you intend to later rob (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:36:23 AM EST
    a house, is it a crime to walk down the street and look at it?

    In other words, what exactly were the police (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:46:15 AM EST
    supposed to do with Trayvon Martin if they had gotten there before Zimmerman encountered him? Ask him for his papers? It is not against the law to walk on the public areas in a public community, even if it is gated. What right would they have had to harass him?

    The whole thing is just BS from start to finish.


    in fact (none / 0) (#136)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:05:51 AM EST
    if you do not live there, and are not legitimately visiting someone, you have no right to be walking in the public areas of a gated community.  You would probably be escorted out. The cops would have checked with his father's girl friend to see if he was visiting there that evening. They would be perfectly with in reason to do so.

    You sound as if (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:45:13 AM EST
    you believe that just because a community is "gated" that automatically all residents are acquainted with and would recognize all other residents.  Also as if it would be notable should any of the residents occasionally invite and have guests.
    And no, your neighbors shouldn't have been worried because presumably, they recognize you and know you live there.

    Just so you know, a "gated community" is just like a community.  With a, you know, gate.  Where some residents know each other but not all.  So "presumably" you're happy with your presumption, but to me it looks more like a big, flawed assumption.

    There is no flaw in my assumption (3.50 / 2) (#97)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:00:02 AM EST
    All I said was that if you had a rash of break-ins in your neighborhood, your liberal sensibilities would be thrown out the window, and you too, would at least give pause and check out someone in your neighborhood whom you knew didn't live there and whom you had never seen before.

    Nowhere did I say you would necessarily have to call the cops, but you WOULD be a bit more curious as to who was there and what their business was. Of course, it's easier to assume I said something, because, like the media in this case, it better fits your narrative.

    And hey - I live in an apartment building - one of many in a complex. I may not know my immediate neighbors, and I don't see them very often, but yes, I have a general idea who is supposed to be walking around our hallway (need a key or fob to get in). I also have a general idea what cars are supposed to be parked near mine in the garage.  I think people who live in gated communities with a clubhouse also do so for a reason, and especially on a cul-de-sac / circle, those people would have an even better idea of the regulars, and yes, their guests.

    The flaws in assumptions are that you and many others here, assume that the story the Martins are telling is the absolute truth and the story Zimmerman tells is not.  Since no one actually DOES know the truth, except George Zimmerman, then for you to pooh pooh the idea that someone walking around a neighborhood couldn't be perceived as being suspicious or acting suspicious, is well, downright silly.


    Call me silly then (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:06:58 AM EST
    because we have had rashes of break-ins over the years and I have never acted the way you claim I would.

    Also a Silly Billy over here... (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    my house got robbed and my sensibilities held strong...I didn't even report it.  Still not suspicous of strangers unless they give me a reason to be.  A good reason, a real reason...bedwetting paranoia doesn't count.

    I consider the inside hallway of an apartment (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:09:28 AM EST
    building to be private property. Not the same as a public street, even if there is a gate at the entrance. So yes, people are not supposed to be in your hallway without a key, and that would be cause for curiosity at least.

    My mistake (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:21:37 AM EST
    I didn't know that Martin was wandering hallways.  /snark

    Even you admit that you don't know all your neighbors.  So are you so suspicious of everyone you see?  Most people aren't.  Most people -- even here in Baltimore -- just say "hi" and keep walking.

    By the way

    but you WOULD be a bit more curious as to who was there and what their business was.
    No. I wouldn't.  My neighborhood did once have a rash of burglaries. My home was one of those that was burgled.  While I felt violated that someone had entered my home, I never, ever viewed random pedestrians with more suspicion.  I wouldn't want my neighbors looking at me that way, why would I do that to someone else?  I'm really not sneaky that way.  

    And I didn't see my neighbors behaving any differently than they did before the burglaries. In fact, it was after that rash of burglaries that my neighborhood voted against establishing a NW program.


    Get a grip jb (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:24:39 AM EST
    this is total nonsense.
    The flaws in assumptions are that you and many others here, assume that the story the Martins are telling is the absolute truth and the story Zimmerman tells is not.  
    Alos, I would appreciate it if you would stop attaching this kind of cr@p to our conversation when it has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with anything I've said.

    More and more you are sounding silly.


    Well we know one thing sure (none / 0) (#108)
    by ks on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:43:45 PM EST
    The Martin who was actually involved in the incident, Trayvon, isn't telling any stories.

    Though it is a false equivalence... (none / 0) (#110)
    by ks on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:49:36 PM EST
    I would be interested in hearing what "stories" he imagines the Martins are telling.  

    turn on the news (none / 0) (#115)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:47:40 PM EST
    they make allegations every day

    "Allegations"? (none / 0) (#121)
    by ks on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:56:33 PM EST
    What does that even mean?  The Martin's main complaints have been about the police and, in particular, the DA's handling of the incident.  

    In terms of the incident itself the only things they've added have been to give the general public an idea of what Trayvon was doing before he encountered Zimmerman, probably the girlfriend call, and, from their perspective of course, who Trayvon was as a person.  


    I think you should be speaking only (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:21:59 PM EST
    for yourself, addressing only what your assumptions would be, and not trying to tell everyone else what they would or wouldn't do, feel or think.

    Have you looked at the map of the complex?  There are a lot of homes in it, and I think it's fair to guess that not everyone who lives there knows or could identify everyone else who lives there, or could identify on sight who the residents' guests are at any given point.  It's just not how people live these days.  People who live in gated communities may do so not just for whatever the perceived safety factor is, but because they want to live in relative privacy.  Most people want that - the ability to live without people breathing down their necks, watching their every move.  It's why I live in the country, with a multiple-acre buffer zone around us - we like the privacy it provides.  I've lived on my street for almost 30 years, and I haven't met everyone, and there are only about 15 houses over a 2-mile stretch.  

    The worst assumption you make here is that we all believe the Martins and don't believe Zimmerman.  What skepticism exists with respect to Zimmerman has a great deal to do with the fact that he killed someone - someone who might be alive today that we would never even have heard of, but for the fact that Zimmerman broke pretty much every rule and procedure that people in community watch programs are supposed to adhere to.  If he stays in the car, and lets the cops look into his reported suspicions, Trayvon Martin isn't dead, and isn't even a story.

    And what is the deal with constantly characterizing Trayvon's movements - or anyone else who might be on foot in that neighborhood or any other - as "wandering around?"  What's next, "lurking?"  I guess "walking" wouldn't connote the appropriate level of suspicion, but in your quest for fairness, it would be nice if you recognized what appears to be your own bias and the resulting less-than-fair, rhetorical tactics.  


    Oh, one more thing (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:48:20 AM EST
    You shouldn't be so careless with your money.  :)Most people are not so naturally suspicious.

    You all crack me up (2.00 / 1) (#119)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:09:06 PM EST
    I usually get jumped on around here for being too "pro-prosecution" (whatever that means), yet you all have definitely made up your minds about what really happened that night without any real clue. I'm honest enough to say I don't really know.  The really funny thing is that you are all in an uproar if your comments get deleted because they "don't support the mission of this site", yet are strangely silent when the situation is reversed.


    By the way, when you say you don't look at strangers in your neighborhood -ever- with suspicion?  I don't believe you.  I think you may make honest attempts not to do that and you tell yourself you don't, because that's the politically correct thing to say, but it actually IS human nature to look with a jaundiced eye to that which is out if place or doesn't look right.  Of course that's different for everyone, but I've read enough of your comments to know that you are all VERY suspicious people who question people's motives and ideas all the time .  If you don't agree with a point of view expressed here, or a source that is quoted, you dismiss it immediately and in its entirety, even without checking to see if it has any merit. Even if it turns out to be true - you all respond with "Yeah, but....". No deaths have occurred because of your suspicious natures as far as I know, but the mental process you use to make those snap judgments is exactly the same as your interpretations (which may or may not be correct) of Zimmerman's that night.

    Like I said, hilarious.

    Physician, heal thyself.


    You are talking nonsense again (5.00 / 0) (#122)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:01:37 PM EST
    Nonsense in big long paragraphs.  First of all, I don't appreciate being a treated as place to hang a diatribe that is generic in nature.  If you wanted to say this it should have been its own thread.  Because you are lumping me in a whole bunch of stuff that a) doesn't apply to me, and 2) probably doesn't really apply to anyone because it's all lumped together.

    I have expanded thoughts on how nonsensical this nonsense is, if you're interested in details.  I saved it to another file and I would be happy to share it with you.

    You have a very ...interesting... sense of humor.  What you find "hilarious" is -- dare I say it? -- nonsensical.


    Still putting words in people's mouths; (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:37:24 PM EST
    that's one reason you feel jumped on: people tend not to care for others telling them what they think or feel or believe.  Almost no one here has made up their minds about what really happened, definitely or otherwise, at least if repeated expressions of "we don't really know," or variations thereof, are any indication.

    Have people been trying to put what we do know together and make sense of all of this?  Yes - and you are one of them, admitting you don't really know and yet feeling free to weigh in with your own interpretations.  So, how does that make you more honest than anyone else?  What's different about your speculation?  Not much except your continued insistence that we can or can't or do or don't really believe this or that.  And you have no motives, I guess, even though you have a history here, too, even if it places you on the opposite side on some issues.

    As for being suspicious of people's motives and ideas, I can only speak for myself and say that, yes, I am ragingly suspicious of much of what the media dishes out, and what politicians dish out, and I'd have to say that there is good reason for me to feel that way.  Funnily enough, you have expressed that same suspicion with respect to the media in this case, as has Jeralyn - as have all of us.

    I guess you would prefer to just let one side rule the day; hey, I'd probably feel that way, too, if for once in a blue moon, I happened to be on the same side as Jeralyn, and was enjoying the freedom to say what I felt without getting a warning from Jeralyn - trust me when I say that we all get that, we do.

    So, let's stop pretending there is anything hilarious about any of this, and hope that, wherever this is all leading, that the Martin family gets some kind of closure they can live with, that if the evidence supports charges against George Zimmerman they are forthcoming, that if not, Sanford, Florida and cities around the country don't erupt into violence, and George Zimmerman and his family can one day show their faces in public without their own fears of vigilante justice.


    I see a difference between noting that (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 04:30:47 PM EST
    I don't recognize someone and being suspicious of them. At least it feels different in my own head. I can't speak for yours.

    And yes, I question the motives of people who do unusual things that make the news...not people who just walk down the street without introducing themselves and telling me why they are there. And I am not much more prone to suspicion at 7:30 pm than at high noon.

    If that is different from you, fine. I understand George Zimmerman better now.


    Give me an example of something (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 04:44:01 PM EST
    a stranger to a neighborhood, walking to an friend's house, could do to avoid looking suspicious to someone with your mindset.

    Really, it is information we all need to have to avoid being stopped by the police, at best.


    most people make snap judgements (none / 0) (#138)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:49:33 AM EST
    the difference is in who is being judged.  "oh, oops, Zimmerman is Latino?  Well he is WHITE Latino, so he is still racist, I am positively positive".  
    Can you imagine we would even be talking about this case if George Zimmerman were a black man?  We never would have heard of this case.  But the reality is that the biggest threat to the lives of African Americans are other African Americans. Where's the opportunity for self flagellation by the guilty white liberal set in that conversation?  So we never have it.

    I live on a one-street subdivision with three (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by Angel on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:37:23 PM EST
    protruding cul-de-sacs, hardly an area where anyone who doesn't live here would drive or walk.  Still, I don't know all of my neighbors by sight, nor they me.  So in essence many of us are strangers to each other and would therefore be suspicious under the referenced scenario. Yet no one ever calls the police when the so-called strangers are just walking the streets minding their own business.  I see no difference in this than what Trayvon Martin was doing.  That's the entire problem in a nutshell.  Zimmerman thought he had the right to make judgment on who did and who did not belong in "his" neighborhood. Unfortunately, it was a fatal judgment.

    Except that (none / 0) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:49:24 PM EST
    this isn't an area with a lot of foot traffic, I keep pointing out...

    In the neighborhood I used to live in, the little grocery store closed at 6, and even if it was broad daylight in mid-summer, there weren't many people walking down the street after that.


    I don't know how you know that (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:30:49 AM EST
    this isn't an area with a lot of foot traffic
    I mean it isn't an area with the coffehouse/restaurants/shopping foot traffic, that's true.  But it looks rather like one of my old (ungated) neighborhoods.  Or rather, apartment complexes.  And, shockingly, neighbors did visit one another.  And, shockingly, it was more likely kids would be about than their parents.  And, even more shockingly, they were more likely to use the greenbelt commons than the street.

    I'm not sure what your point is here.  

    In the neighborhood I used to live in, the little grocery store closed at 6, and even if it was broad daylight in mid-summer, there weren't many people walking down the street after that.
    What does the fact that your grocery store closed at 6 have to do with the convenience store where Martin bought his skittles?

    Nothing, really, just (none / 0) (#109)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:46:41 PM EST
    that without some reason to draw people to the neighborhood, there was little foot traffic after 6:00.

    But I don't know the neighborhood in question, obviously.  If there were lots of other people out and about that evening at the same time, it paints a very different picture.  But so far, we haven't heard that that was the case.


    There is a whole lot of space (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:27:09 PM EST
    between "lots of" foot traffic and "none".  Occasional pedestrians should be unremarkable.  I'm sure people have dogs, kids study together, sneak out to see boy/girlfriends, go to convenience store, etc.

    There was a guy with a gun (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Towanda on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:10:52 PM EST
    driving and walking around the neighborhood, after all, and apparently that went unnoticed by most neighbors -- until he used the gun.  

    And like the victim, the guy with the gun says that he was on an errand.  Yes, from experience, I would suspect that the proximity of a convenience store causes a considerable amount of pedestrian as well as vehicular traffic there.  


    Rain = Hoodie (even in Florida) (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by BillC on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 04:18:49 PM EST

    The irony is that rain is a "legitimate" reason to don the hoodie's namesake.   The undoctored 911 recording "exonerates" Martin of wearing "suspicious attire" -- which is one of the more dishonest talking points used to imply that Martin had it coming, notwithstanding all other details.  


    More facts (none / 0) (#26)
    by vicndabx on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:25:00 AM EST
    Looks like there's a fair amount of lighting in the area.  

    Google maps


    I agree. (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:18:17 AM EST
    It was a dark and rainy night in an apartment complex in Florida.

    As opposed to, say, It was a dark and rainy night in Times Square, or It was a dark and rainy night on a cattle ranch in North Dakota.

    I think most of us can get the picture.


    the only reasons those questions (none / 0) (#135)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 06:43:16 AM EST
    still "need" to be asked in 2012 is that it is still so easy and effective to grab the race card and beat everyone over the head with it.
    Everyone is supposed to forget that for several decades now Latino people were included in the category of "people of color", now they are white again (unless obviously of African heritage as many Cuban and others are..)again because it is, in this case, convenient.  You can't very well pull the race card when one person of color kills another person of color.
    I know an actual racist.  I know him very well and when this case first hit the TV his response was interesting.  First if all, he had no idea Zimmerman was Latino.  He assumed the guy was German only. His first reaction was that Zimmerman was in trouble, he had lost it and murdered this kid based on race.  I had no reason to believe it had anything to do with race and assumed that if anything it had to do with age, hoodies, kids hanging out after hours and break in fatigue. I think if Zimmerman is anything he is an ageist and a want a be cop.
    I used to be the first person to jump in to the deep end of the race pool with my floaties, nose plugs and goggles.  I had no idea how much those goggles blurred my vision.  I have no intention of insulting you, but you are going to see this all a little clearer one day.  Just because you can take something, twist it in to a pretzel, hang it upside down, spray paint it, leave it to dry, dunk it in mustard then view it sideways and it looks like racism, doesn't mean it is racism.

    MY memory is fine (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:35:31 AM EST
    Since you provide no statement or link, I'll assume you are talking about the witness identified as "John".  Here is what "John" has stated:

    "The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911," said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.

    John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot.

    "And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point."

    There are no witnesses witnesses claiming that Martin was trying to "open his skull on the pavement".  There are no witnesses claiming Martin was bashing Zimmerman's head on the pavement.  He didn't even say he saw Martin hit Zimmerman.  There is one witness who has stated he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman and Zimmerman yelling for help.

    See the difference?

    As far as the "physical injuries", do you mean the barely visible marks on the enhanced video?  First of all, there's no evidence about how those marks got there.  Moreover, you would think that "trying to cave in his skull" would leave enough of a mark to at least require a bandaid.

    tbat comment referring to (none / 0) (#73)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 09:40:43 PM EST
    Martin "clocking" Zimmerman has been removed.

    Laceration (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:38:16 AM EST
    I am not getting into this argument, but a couple years back i got hit over the head with a brick.

    The blood coagulated very quickly because of my hair it was noticeable, but it didn't look near as bad as it felt.  It was pretty close to the same area as Zimmerman's.  I had a white jacket/shirt and there was barely any blood on it.

    And I was extremely drunk,so my blood was thin.  This is actually a hilarious story ofter referred to by my friends as the "Hit in the head with a brick story". Patron

    The real dumb part is I didn't go to the hospital because i knew they would shave it, and a couple days later I was throwing a huge New Years Eve bash.  I'm not that vein, but sort of.  I wrapped a pillow case around my head and hoped that I would wake-up, I did, and the party was awesome.  There was some blood on the pillow case, maybe a cup, but even then when I looked in the mirror, my dark hair hid it well.

    Last time I shaved my head, there is a huge scar, big enough to have me rethinking my vanity that day.  I just don't think the head bleeds as much as one thinks it would.

    My point is that I wouldn't put the whole case one the notability of a head wound.

    I wouldn't either (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:37:09 PM EST
    My point is that I wouldn't put the whole case one the notability of a head wound.

    OTOH, I would also hesitate to draw conclusions from anecdotal stories (i.e. "And as mentioned above, I know for a fact that getting hit in the head with a brick doesn't leave much of a trace in terms of blood.").  While your head wound may not have bled much (BTW - a cup of blood is quite a bit), many head lacerations bleed heavily.  I've had two, small cuts to my head that bled like crazy - hitting my head on a gravel road and getting hit with thrown stone.  My oldest son also hit the top of his head on the bottom of an elevated deck and looked like he stepped out of a horror movie.  In each case, the bleeding stopped within @ 10-15 minutes and required no stitches.

    I think the reason people are focusing on the severity of Zimmerman's wounds is because it is one of the few pieces of objective evidence to date that can be used to corroborate or impeach Zimmerman's version of the events.  But I don't think anyone's "putting the whole case" on it.


    I Wasn't Drawing Conslusions (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:13:55 PM EST
    Just stating what happened to me.

    A cup of blood is a lot, but that is what was on the pillow case in the morning, certainly not after the incident, at the time there was a little blood on the jacket/shirt which was white.

    I would also add, that I am tall and I when I was on a ship, I hit my head hard on a monthly basis, one time I even knocked myself out.  My skull looks like the moon.  Never any real blood.

    I do have low blood pressure and my skull is over 6 feet in the air, so maybe it's me.

    And for the record, I am not on Zimmerman's side.  But I thought the video tape 'proof' was BS because of my experiences.


    Seems to me the question (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:10:30 AM EST
    isn't how much any given head wound bleeds, but for how long it bleeds.  Let's postulate that Zimmerman did get his head bashed against the concrete.  The blood would be mostly on the ground behind him.  When he got up, there might be more blood-- on the red back of that jacket.  A fairly small superficial  wound might well have stopped bleeding and started to coagulate by the time the cops and EMTs got there.

    Personally, I think it's at least morally, if not maybe legally under FL law, immaterial whether Martin smacked his head on the concrete or not.  I do think it's wildly unlikely that even the Sanford police would have allowed him to claim injury if there weren't fairly obvious signs that he had been injured.

    That doesn't excuse killing a guy, in my book.


    Can you please not speculate? (none / 0) (#80)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:28:48 AM EST
    Please stick to the reported facts. Thanks.

    I admit I originally hesitated to reply to this (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by RickTaylor on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 01:40:16 PM EST
    because it seemed to me so obviously in violation of the guidelines we've been given not to present speculation as fact that I assumed it would be deleted.

    Since it's still here, I'll point out the only video I've seen of the witness you mention is here. Perhaps you're aware of testimony he gave later that I am not; if so, I'd appreciate a link. But here at least, he doesn't claim to have seen how the fight started. He doesn't claim that Martin initially "clocked" Zimmerman, as you  put it. He doesn't say that Martin was trying to "open Zimmerman's skull on the pavement" as you put it. He only saw a portion of the fight, he did not see how it began, and he did not see the actual gun shot.

    And even if he did say all the things you're claiming, witnesses do sometimes get things wrong, and if there's a trial his testimony will have to be weighed alongside all the other evidence in the case.

    Of course his testimony is important, because he testifies that at least during the portion of the struggle he saw Martin was on top, and because he seems to be the only person in a position to testify as to who was screaming for help. But you've gone way beyond that in your account.

    And going back to check the thread, I see Yman's already made all these points.

    I just got around to (none / 0) (#74)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:03:41 PM EST
    reading that "clocked" comment and deleting it.

    Also you are correct that "John" "saw a portion of the fight, he did not see how it began, and he did not see the actual gun shot." He is the only one to have seen them "wrestling" and says Martin was on top of Zimmerman, and that Zimmerman cried out to him for help, and that he told Zimmerman he'd call 911. But he never said he saw anyone throw a punch or anyone's head get bashed into the concrete.

    That comment was out of line.


    Perhaps so (none / 0) (#84)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:14:26 AM EST

    But Zimmerman's nose is in a condition constant with being punched (clocked in the colloquial) , and the back of his head is in a condition consistent with violent contact with the pavement.

    Perhaps Martin had no hand in producing those injuries, but that seems implausible at the most generous.



    It seems to me that the only reason (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:58:10 AM EST
    you feel Zimmerman's alleged injuries are consistent with being punched in the nose and having his head slammed into the pavement is because this is what Zimmerman - via his father - said happened.

    I mean, isn't it possible that in a struggle, Martin's shoulder could have banged into Zimmerman's nose?  Isn't it possible that, because it was raining, Zimmerman could have slipped in a struggle, fallen and hit his head on the pavement, with Martin's involvement being incidental and not deliberate?  I don't think that scenario is any less believable than yours.

    And I raise these possibilities because we still really do not know what happened; we have the story of the man who shot Martin, and we have various and conflicting witness accounts.   Are you wrong?  I have no idea, but this is a situation where someone ended up dead, and I think we have to consider the possibility that Zimmerman's version of the events is about portraying himself as a victim who only acted to save his own life.  And maybe that is what happened, but I think there's a lot of room for skepticism, and it deserves the utmost attention and investigation because someone died; whether the evidence will prove that skepticism justified is something that remains to be seen.

    And, Jeralyn, if you're reading this, the only way to prevent people from speculating is to either (1) not write about it at all,  (2) impose a total ban on discussion of it even in the open threads, and if you do write about it, (3) don't open these posts to any comments.


    Not all (none / 0) (#88)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:16:06 AM EST

    you feel Zimmerman's alleged injuries are consistent with being punched in the nose and having his head slammed into the pavement is because this is what Zimmerman - via his father - said happened.

    It is because there is no other reasonably plausible explanation for those injuries given the witness John's description of the portion of the conflict that he saw.



    But there are other witnesses (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:36:00 AM EST
    whose description of what they saw/heard does not match what "John" saw.

    No one was witness to the entire incident - those who have come forward have contributed bits and pieces, some of which conflict, so it's still a puzzle that is missing a lot of pieces - enough pieces that no one person's version should stand as the only "reasonably plausible explanation."


    You mean the PORTION where ... (none / 0) (#89)
    by Yman on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:32:56 AM EST
    ... all he saw was Martin on top of Zimmerman - no blows, no "head slamming".



    We know more than that (none / 0) (#106)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:25:24 PM EST

    We know that John thought the situation worthy of a 911 call.  

    So you may be right and perhaps Martin was tickling Zimmerman with a feather and got Z laughing so hard it sounded like screams and he screamed for help and the head injuries had absolutely no connection with Martin at all.  Fat chance.



    How much straw do you ... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Yman on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:54:07 PM EST
    ... go through when dreaming up these arguments that no one is making?

    We know that John thought the situation worthy of a 911 call.

    Yep - because he saw two people struggling and one person calling for help, ... nothing about someone hitting someone else, and nothing about anyone's head being "slammed" on concrete, and nothing about trying to "cave in his skull".

    OTOH - given the faint marks/scratches on the enhanced video, refusal to go to the hospital and lack of so much as a bandaid, ...

    ... you might be on to something with your "feather theory".


    I am not going to let (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:55:10 PM EST
    a few biased commenters who insist on speculating stop me from writing about what I want to write about, which in this case, is primarily the mob mentality in rushing to a conclusion of guilt and the media distortion and bias.

    I can prevent people from misrepresenting the facts on this site and I will.

    Speculation based on unsupported or erroneous facts is not acceptable.


    Apart from the marks on his head, ... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Yman on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:44:45 AM EST
    ... which are "consistent" with "violent" (or mild) contact with any number of objects other than concrete, what makes you say his nose is "in a condition constant with being punched"?

    a fair trial is not prejudging (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by marvc on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:15:44 PM EST
    After reading all the comments to this thread, I am struck by two points that did not seem to be present:
    1. some commented that Trayvon was walking about in the rain looking suspiciously or looking as though he was acting in a manner that was suspicious -- yet the only person we have who has made that allegation is Zimmerman himself. Perhaps Martin did act that way; or perhaps, Zimmerman needed his remarks to the 911 folks to reflect that idea in order to get police to respond.

    2. Over the past few weeks after watching many newscasts on this subject and after reading many articles/posts/blogs, I recall that it is noteworthy that Zimmerman does not actually live in the immediate area where he saw Trayvon walking, suspiciously or otherwise, but in fact, lives on the far side of the complex from where he was when he saw and chased after Trayvon. It is doubtful, with all due respect to the lengthy discussion about neighbors recognizing one another and/or noting unfamiliar people in their neighborhood, that if Zimmerman lived on the other side of this sizable gated community that he would have recognized few, if any, of the people who might actually live in that area of the complex.

    Just thought I'd throw that into the mix, Jeralyn.

    thanks for your comment (none / 0) (#132)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:20:13 AM EST
    I deleted your second comment because your suggestion that Zimmerman's wounds were self-inflicted as a cover story  for murder is exactly the kind of rank speculation I have repeatedly warned will be deleted. When these baseless, unsupported theories show up in Google, they become associated with me and TalkLeft. Google doesn't bother to differentiate between commenter and host unless the reader clicks to read more. I am not willing to be associated with such comments.

    Sanford police have said Zimmerman's story matched their evidence, so apparently they didn't think there's an oddity with his route or his injuries. Even if you don't trust the Sanford police, the state's attorney and FBI will have scrutinized his version and medical records from top to bottom looking for inconsistencies. I'm happy to wait for their opinion.


    the first version of this post (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:27:54 PM EST
    went haywire due to a coding error and I had to delete the original and repost.

    and this changes anything, how, exactly? (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:23:52 AM EST
    aside from the fact that a trial is the best place to try a case, let's consider the video tape and police report, neither of which are currently in dispute, as to existence and source.

    the videotape: taken roughly 30-45 minutes subsequent to mr. zimmerman's initial 911 call. it shows a casual scene, no readily apparent injuries to mr. zimmerman, no obvious blood stains on his clothing. none of what a reasonable person would expect to see, based on the vicious, violent encounter describe by mr. zimmerman.

    the police report: first official documented account of the event, based on mr. zimmerman's own statements to police at the scene, within roughly minutes of the shooting itself. mr. zimmerman describes the events leading up to the fatal shot, including the attack from behind, the broken nose, and the pounding of the back of his head, repeatedly, against the concrete sidewalk, all by mr. martin, leaving mr. zimmerman in fear for his life. it includes conflicting (and questionable) eyewitness statements, which appear to conflict, to some degree, with mr. zimmerman's description of events.

    combined with the video tape, questions as to mr. zimmerman's credibility do arise, compounded by the amazing correlation of his statement, to the requirements of FL's "Stand Your Ground" law. one does get to wondering....................

    actually, i stopped,

    Do you still beat your wife?

    it turned out she enjoyed it, taking all the fun out of it for me. what can you do?

    you should wait for the forensic evidence (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:44:45 AM EST
    and not think you can make a determination based on the video and the 911 call. The video does show apparent injuries to his head, nose and in my view blood on the front of his jacket which could have been from his nosebleed. He also may have a bandaid over his nose. So it's in dispute and the best evidence will be photos taken at the police station not the grainy video.

    The 911 call ended before they encountered each other and doesn't answer anything about the actual confrontation.

    The evidence has not been released to the public. In additions to photos, police collected clothes from both, sent it for testing, there's an autopsy report and much more as I listed above.

    What is your need to substitute your opinion for fact and evidence? You weren't there. None of us were. Why not just wait and  withhold judgment instead of declaring either one of them at fault without being aware of the evidence?


    Waiting for forensic reports would, in my (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:12:04 AM EST
    view, includes not concluding anything on Zimmerman or his clothing is  "blood."

    that's why I stated it as "my view" (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 04:42:59 AM EST
    I looked at that pic from different security angles and multiple times, trying to figure out what else it could be. I came up blank. I am not arguing it is blood, only that it appears to me to be blood. Which is why I'm curious about the results of whatever test they perform on the clothes. I'd like to see if I was right.

    More Importantly... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:52:34 AM EST
    ...it proves that the facts we are basing conclusions on aren't actually facts, they are edited distortions of facts.  It makes everything suspect.  

    And as mentioned above, I know for a fact that getting hit in the head with a brick doesn't leave much of a trace in terms of blood.

    So I am going to default to your first sentence and let a jury figure it out.  To me it's not nearly as cut and dry as it once was in my head.


    Who is this "we" (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:11:34 PM EST
    you speak of? Speak for yourself.

    You know for a fact that (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:28:43 PM EST
    getting hit in the head with a brick did not leave much of a trace of blood on your clothing, or on your person, but you have already told us that your hair absorbed most of it.

    George Zimmerman's head was clean-shaven.

    And, more importantly, we have only his word - through a third party - that his head was pounded into the pavement.  How many times, how far off the ground was his head, would his struggling tend to minimize the effect, was there blood on the sidewalk where he says this took place?

    There are all kinds of questions like this that cannot be answered by what happened to you, or to me, or to anyone else.


    Well Anne (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:34:16 PM EST
    I thought is was a given that I wasn't running a 'hit in the head with a brick' experiment, you know and concluding some point.  The fact is I didn't bleed much and I got hit hard enough to knock me down and I am pretty solid.

    My point was that I know from personal experience that a bad head injury doesn't have to look bad, that is a fact.  I don't remember stating this to be true of everyone, more to the point that it's possible.  The wording isn't clear, but that is what I mean.  "I know for a fact that a head wound doesn't have to produce a lot of blood."

    Just seems to me like a lot of people think there should be a lot of blood, is this common knowledge I have been left out on all my life.

    And again, I am not down with Zimmerman, but that doesn't mean I have buy all the 'evidence' hook, line, and sinker.  Especially when that evidence is in direct conflict with my personal experiences.


    My larger point, Scott, was that (none / 0) (#56)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:56:29 PM EST
    you had hair to absorb the blood, enough to prevent you from bleeding all over yourself, and Zimmerman didn't; your perception is that you didn't have much bleeding, but if you had no hair to absorb and hide it, I wonder if your experience would have been the same.

    Just before I turned eight, I had a head wound that bled like nobody's business.  My parents were getting ready to go out and I wanted to be outside, while they wanted me in.  We compromised with me sitting on the front porch with strict orders not to venture off of it.  Well...my friend from a couple houses down saw me sitting there, and came up to join me on the porch.  She convinced me that we could run from the porch down the front lawn to the curb and back again before anyone even knew I had moved.  We did this a couple times, me thrilled at getting away with something.  The last break for freedom occurred as it was getting closer to being dark - we ran down the front lawn and as I had done on all previous runs, stuck my arms out to brace myself on my Dad's car before turning around and running back.  The lack of light prevented me from seeing that this time, my outstretched arms were going to go right through the half-open window, and my forward progress would be stopped by my head slamming into the door frame.

    I opened a couple-inch gash on my browbone, my friend fled to her house to get her mom, who was a nurse, and I had to go in and explain to my parents how I managed to split my head open while sitting on the porch.  My dad had me hang my head - streaming blood - over the toilet while he got the shaving cream off his face and my mom got a towel and some ice.  He especially appreciated my friend's mom appearing on the scene to lend her medical help while he was running around in his boxers.

    Needless to say, my parents' plans for the evening were ruined, and we spent a couple hours in the ER, in the city - closest hospital then - on a Saturday night - always a great place on a weekend evening.

    Was it the back of my head?  No - but it was still my head - the part that had no hair on it to absorb anything - and it bled like a river.

    Lucky for me, my parents were grateful enough that I hadn't killed myself, and figured the experience was enough of a punishment.


    In my view the best evidence of the severity of (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:54:14 PM EST
    his head wound is that the police or paramedics did not take him to the hospital for observation. They are not known to be reckless in such cases.

    The key point (none / 0) (#15)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:03:32 AM EST

    The key point in the deleted audio is it shows the basis for suspicion was Martin's apparently odd behavior.  One would think that in the rain, a pedestrian would take a direct route to cover rather than scoping out the neighborhood.

    The other thing it shows is that in response to the dispatcher's question Zimmerman's answer showed that he was not certain of Martin's race.  That should be no surprise given the lack of light at that hour, the hoodie, and the rain.


    Perhaps if I was being followed by (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:09:58 AM EST
    someone in a car I would get off the road even if it was not the most direct route. Perhaps I would be looking around for someone that might be able to help me, or to see if there was anyone helping the guy in the car, or to see how far I was from an address that is not my home and I might not be used to finding at night in the rain.

    Plenty of reasons to 'scope out the neighborhood' as you put it.  


    I agree completely (3.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:18:13 AM EST

    Martin was apparently not very familiar with the neighborhood of cookie cutter dwellings.  To an outside observer like Zimmerman someone looking around to try to get his bearings and looking around for opportunities will be indistinguishable.  As such it is in fact suspicious.



    When you're looking for ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 09:03:18 AM EST
    ... "suspicious activity", pretty much anything looks "suspicious".

    One of my points was that Zimmerman may (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:51:08 AM EST
    have in fact provoked the so called suspicious behavior by following Martin to begin with.

    Yes, i suppose you are right. (none / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:48:54 AM EST
    Someone looking for only one thing sees only one thing.

    "Scoping out the neighborhood"? (none / 0) (#77)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:59:26 PM EST
    That's totally non-factual.  It's Zimmerman's apparent suspicion of what Martin was doing, when he was, in fact, chatting with his girlfriend on the phone at the time.  How many guys do you know who "scope out the neighborhood" while they're on the phone with their honeys?

    Come on.


    In Jeralyn's defense. . . (none / 0) (#25)
    by RickTaylor on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:19:26 AM EST
    I have seen posts that were arguing on Zimmerman's behalf deleted. Also, she does have a life outside this blog, and I'd imagine is neither able nor interested in monitoring it 24/7 to deal with objectionable content as it arises; patience might be in order. I also appreciate she goes to the trouble of making this blog available, which includes editing it to keep to what she believes are appropriate standards.

    That said, I'd definitely agree the original post in this thread was inappropriate, to say the least, if we're keeping to a standard of not presenting speculation as fact.

    That's fair. (none / 0) (#64)
    by ks on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:51:58 PM EST
    Legal recourse for Zimmerman? (none / 0) (#31)
    by BillC on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:51:54 AM EST
    I think it beggars belief to say that this was an innocent mistake given the tone of the original stories where the "altered" 911 call was featured and got everyone's juices flowing.   Their retraction seems to be very deficient.  The question then becomes, if he is acquitted or remerges from the grand jury intact or partially so, does he have recourse to sue?  

    He is a public figure not by choice.  What's more, the altered tape was used as part of a broader narrative to present him before the public as the racial profiling villain.   This is far worse than using the prejudicial mugshot where he is heavier than he currently is (while using dated photos to show a "younger" victim of middle-school age).  

    In a related context this is far worse than cherry picking the Michael Mann/CRU emails to allude to research fraud given the nuance "needed" (not really) to decode what was going on there.   Mann may have grounds to sue (though his suit would bring undue credibility to the people who defamed him), but Zimmerman's case is more clear cut I think.  There is no "trick" here (not that there was really one in the other case).

    On the other hand (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:57:34 PM EST
    At least one Florida lawyer who practices in this area, thinks that the Homeowners' Association can be held liable in a civil lawsuit if Zimmermann is arrested and convicted.

    The people who could end up paying the financial price for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin are, ultimately, the homeowners of the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in Sanford, experts say.

    If their crime-watch program captain George Zimmerman gets charged with and convicted of killing Trayvon, the community's homeowner association and property-management company will likely be sued by the victim's family regarding the way the watch program was established and operated, said Donna Berger, a lawyer who specializes in homeowner-association law.

    "They may wind up getting sued and getting hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and damages," said Berger, who works with the South Florida law firm Katzman, Garfinkel and Berger. "Who will pay is every member of the association, and they will have to make special assessments. ... It's a cautionary tale for other associations."

    This, in my opinion, is why there has (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:00:35 PM EST
    been near-total silence from anyone associated with either the HOA or other members of this alleged group; the one person who has spoken out identified himself as a block co-captain, but even he has not been heard from recently.

    Yes, exactly (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by sj on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 04:00:51 PM EST
    A point I made the other day.  The HOA has been conspicuously silent.  If I were Zimmerman I would be feeling rather bitter about that.  

    I wonder if the sign is still up.


    What about (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:11:42 PM EST
    a wrongful death civil suit? Couldn't you do that without Zimmerman even being arrested? I don't know law and certainly not Fl law but I'm wondering if nothing happens in the criminal case then the civil courts might be a place where the family could sue?

    Not relevant to the OP or my comment (none / 0) (#61)
    by BillC on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 04:02:35 PM EST
    The liability of the HOA is not an issue here.  (It certainly may be an outcome even if he is acquitted or not charged or indicted.)  

    The question is even with a retraction, is there sufficient damage out of the tube to make the smear to his reputation as a "racial profiler" (i.e, a racist) indelible, thus paving way for a libel/defamation suit against the network's news arm for altering the original tape to create such a clearly predictable image?   Retractions are frequently ignored even when they are given the same visibility as the original "mistake."  Once again as an example beyond the heat of this case, even some reasonable scientists still think that Mann committed "some kind" of fraud despite the out come of the many investigations and this has been used to justify not fighting "teach the controversy" legislation as aggressively as it should be resisted.   Once again, its often not enough to retract (or even acquit).


    Legal recourse? (none / 0) (#63)
    by ks on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:50:43 PM EST
    It's not a question of "legal recourse".  Zimmerman can sue whomever he pleases but, if his team is truly worried about an image being presented of him as, you put it, a racial profiler, then they really need to muzzle his friend, Frank Taaffe, who, imo, is doing a much better job of it in his friend-of-Zimmerman interviews than the NBC incident.  

    Wouldn't he need to show malicious intent? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Angel on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:43:37 PM EST
    That's easy enough. (none / 0) (#67)
    by jpe on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:54:35 PM EST
    They knew they were editing it, and they must've known that their particular edits portrayed him as a racist.

    "they" is not in evidence (5.00 / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:04:45 AM EST
    It's much more likely to be a he or a she.  Whether that person had a bad intent or was just stupid and sloppy, who knows.

    The "they" in this case were quite obviously going to be aware that the tape was widely available on the Internet and every other news network, and they would literally have to be insane to think they wouldn't be caught out with such an obvious and critical distortion.

    It's nonsense.  Some intern screwed up.  That is all.


    This was more than an intern's mistake (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:13:02 AM EST
    This was approved from a higher up.  This wasn't just a tape that got cut off too soon - there was deliberate editing out of text in the middle of the exchange.

    Just like this week's People Magazine, which shows a photo of Trayvon Martin from about 7th grade, looking like a little boy, to this screw upby NBC - the media has a narrative to tell and as usual, they aren't interested in anything that doesn't fit that neat little  pacakage.

    No, this was most certainly not some intern's error.


    I don't think you (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:42:47 PM EST
    know much about how news organizations of that size actually work.

    And again, it makes zero sense to have done this deliberately given how widely available the tape and transcript is.  By the time NBC did this, that tape had been played on countless news programs.


    I was thinking it had to do with time - (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    that there was only x amount of time for that segment, and they cut something  - maybe not just the tape - to get it in under the time alloted.

    Whether whoever was doing the editing thought the parts eliminated were not that important, I have no idea, but I'm not sure any motive either way should be assumed or ascribed.


    Bingo (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:18:00 PM EST
    Didn't even have to be time that particular evening, just the general high pressure to compress things as much as possible and some lower-level employee knocking him/herself out to do what the bosses have decreed.  Sound bites from politicians and others, for instance, are now down to less than 10 seconds almost always.

    But the idea that this was some sort of deliberate plot to smear Zimmerman by editing an already widely known conversation, directed from all the way up at the top of NBC, is just laughable.

    This ain't the Nancy Grace show, after all...


    Not an in intern but "seasoned" (none / 0) (#134)
    by BillC on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:31:57 PM EST
    This apparently wasn't a "Carl-the-Intern" but, via Reuters, a "seasoned staffer."  We can expect dishonest hacksterism from Fox News or Press TV (who air "interviews" under duress), but you'd think more experienced mainstream news people at the network that gave us the exploding truck would have a better feel for things to avoid when editing for time.  This may not be Nancy Grace but it is a homicide case and the stakes are high, if these were tapes that were doctored to pander to the "Martin-had-it-coming" crowd, we'd be screaming blue murder on this.

    This makes the most sense to me (none / 0) (#117)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:54:57 PM EST
    Has anyone who criticizes the photo (none / 0) (#116)
    by sj on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:54:20 PM EST
    thought about how sad it really is that there appear to be so few photographs of this young man?  Instead of thinking conspiracy you may want allow a little empathy (!) or compassion(!!) in.  This applies to Zimmerman as well.  

    I think I'm going to annoy the heck out my son by taking lots and lots of photographs.


    To be entirely fair (none / 0) (#130)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:23:18 PM EST
    I'm not sure this is the result of there not being photos available.  The news orgs probably grabbed something off a Facebook page or the like when the story first broke, just like they grabbed the 2005 mug shot of Zimmerman.

    Then those get into the folder to be used for the follow-ups, and daily news orgs don't even have time to revisit the pix available to find something more recent these days.  They've been slashed to the absolute bone, particularly in the research staff.

    Combine that with the generally low standards for accuracy, and those pix end up as the iconic ones seen everywhere.


    That could be (none / 0) (#131)
    by sj on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:14:19 AM EST
    I noticed that some stories have started using a better picture of Zimmerman now which is good.  But really, if they went to Facebook -- that's all they've got?

    Good Photos and Bad Images. (none / 0) (#133)
    by BillC on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 01:12:23 PM EST
    A cautionary tale to make sure your online "image" is one to make your mother (and lawyers) proud.  Pardon the dark humor on a serious subject but this is the 21rst century equivalent of making sure you leave the house with clean underwear (especially now that colleges are snooping FB profiles in the admissions process).  But in all seriousness, if you don't have a (flattering) professional portrait on your company webpage, your personal social account should have your best face forward and don't give potential detractors more ammo than they can conjure up out of whole cloth (which they will anyway).  There was considerable mileage from the "he-had-it-coming" crowd with the images of Martin wearing grills and otherwise looking "tough" (irrelevant since Zimmerman could not have seen his any such [removable] accessories from that distance in the rain -- all he could see is relative size-weight-color, apparel and general behavior).  Also, I suspect that one of the reasons the family may have submitted far younger photos of Martin than his true age at death was because like any grieving parent they forwarded images their "baby" -- the only way they could see him as they started the grieving process.  I can't begrudge the parents on that.  Add to it the fact that by the time into their teenage years, the offspring now have more control over their image -- and images and are free to no longer present themselves as "mommy's little angel". In my experience,"good" photos may begin to plummet at this point save for sears portrait studios (but not always done), school photos (every teen's mortal enemy) and vacation candids, and good shots don't begin to show up again until they realize that it's time to grow up and get respectable jobs.

    The public figure doctrine isn't there because (none / 0) (#68)
    by jpe on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:55:45 PM EST
    of the consent of the figure; it's to ensure robust speech.  Whether he is a public figure by choice is no matter.

    comments deleted (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:36:32 PM EST
    that were pure race-baiting and off-topic.

    As usual, (none / 0) (#69)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:37:54 PM EST
    people tend to focus on pieces of information that reinforce their previously held beliefs. In this unfortunate incident, people have been mislead by the family, the neighbors and the news. It's doubtful that they'll change their opinions now, even if they're told the truth. I've talked to people who were almost disappointed to hear that Zimmerman is Hispanic. They had this whole incident pigeonholed and are not pleased that it may be more complicated than a racist white on black murder. If they heard that Zimmerman said the kid was black, they may not hear or care that the police asked what race he is. That little fact doesn't fit into their preconceived opinions.