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This is an article orignally written after the fact with some edits for accuracy. At the end of the article is an update those looking for more up to date details including analysis by Alan Dershowitz, police reports, police photos, and a link to the video reenactment Zimmerman did for the police and other information. Also there are links to information about the story including a short biography of George Zimmerman and a fox news story that includes audio from the only witness as well as the photo of the back George Zimmerman’s head taken by man at the scene. Those that think they know George Zimmerman and what happen the links at the end of the article are a must read.
The world has been inundated by the story of Trayvon Martin. The tragic case of a seventeen year old who got shot after apparently deciding to take a short cut at night behind some townhouses in a gated community. A community Martin had went to so he could live with his father for awhile. The seventeen year old’s choice of routes appropriately raised the suspicions of George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer driving by. He stopped his truck and tried to get Trayvon’s attention to find out what he was doing but Trayvon ignored him and kept on walking. Details not widely mentioned in reports of the incident is that this all happened at night and in the rain and that the gated community had been burglarized several times in the proceeding months. All of the this is pretty much without contention. It is what followed that is being hotly debated.
In an abbreviated version, based on Zimmerman’s recollection of events and the 911 tapes, he called police and let them know what he was seeing. He told the dispatcher he was watching a suspicious person which looked like he was on drugs and was up to do good. When Trayvon tried to run away George tried to follow which the dispatcher suggested he not do. George said okay stopped and subsequently lost track in of Trayvon as he ran away in the dark. As George got back to his truck Trayvon popped up and confronted George asking him if he had a problem. He then, according to George, punched George in the nose knocking him to the ground and jumped on him. While on top of him George said Trayvon reportedly started to bang George’s head on the pavement (from the grass police said he had on his back part at least part of him or even all of his body was on grass) and said he was going to kill him. This is when George said he feared for his life and reached for his gun and the shot rang out that ended Trayvon’s life.
Trayvon’s family’s version and the one getting all the media play is a bit different. To paraphrase it Trayvon (often shown as a slight child in a picture from when he was thirteen) was minding his own business when George chased him down and shot him like a dog. An account that is filled with all the anguish and anger that comes with losing a child to violence.
The versions are more then a bit different but the fact is the police report does say George had a broken nose and injuries to the back of his head (also confirmed by his neighbors as well as backed up by medical records) and grass on his back. This seems to be collaborated by the police footage (despite ABC’s claim) that shows an apparent wound to the back of the head. A witness also states Trayvon was on top of George. Other video showing Zimmerman with developing black eye and slightly misshapen nose also seem to back up George’s story as does the fact the funeral home director stated publicly that Trayvon’s body had no injuries except the bullet wound (which confirms he was not the one being assaulted). There is little doubt that George was attacked based on the evidence. Of course there are also the famous phone tapes that purport to show someone screaming help before the shot that ended Trayvon’s life (Parents first said it wasn’t their son then said it was, others including George’s parents say the screams were Zimmerman’s of course there is also the possibility of them coming from a third person observing the events. No definitive answer on that as of yet.). The truth is even with the police report, the phone records, George Zimmerman’s injuries and all the other physical evidence there are still many questions left unanswered.
No matter how this matter ends up it is a tragedy. The fact that the media has helped hype it as some sort of racial incident has only compounded it. George, a Hispanic, comes from a racially mixed family with black relatives and hangs out in a racially mixed crowd. His father claims he has even mentored black youth and more recently it was reveled George was the driving force behind getting justice for a black man assaulted by the son of a white police officer. Not the profile of a racist. In making a non-racial tragedy into a racial incident the media is setting up the possibility of even more violence and at a minimum plays into the hands of bigots of all races.
What the media is doing is what it always does in these types of scenarios, adding fuel to the fire. Some outlets were initially even claiming George shouted racial epitaphs at Trayvon, a charge that has in no way been substantiated. As the media even now continues to inflame racial passions the facts slowly coming out are showing that the tragedy likely had nothing to do with race.
The hypocrisy of the media in hyping this is unfortunately par for the course. When there was an outbreak of groups of black youths attacking random white victims last summer the media acted predictably. The crimes, if reported at all, were reported with little mention of the race of the attackers and the victims. The setting on fire of a thirteen year old for being white was similarly underplayed. One can also count on the violence happening within black neighborhoods to be ignored. At the same time if a black person is attacked by someone white or presumed to be white all hell breaks out. In the media’s eyes murders involving blacks only count if the victims is black and the perpetrator is white. Black people killing black people is of little concern and neither is a black person killing a white person. It seems that there is an unwritten rule that black on black and black on white crimes are to be covered up and ignored while white and black crimes are to be exploited to the fullest.
Unfortunately the media coverage of this event misses one big point. As tragic as Trayon’s case is the bigger tragedy is the bloodbath happening in minority neighborhoods everyday. A bloodbath that is being fed by feelings of hopelessness and despair. Feelings that have their origins in exactly the type of divisive rhetoric now coming out of the main stream media and so called black civil rights leaders.
A responsible media would of reported the facts and downplayed baseless accusations. It would of tried to report the facts and avoid the type of exaggerations that inflames racial tensions. The modern main stream media is of course not responsible and this is of course not what happened. The media saw a chance to play on racial tensions and jumped at it. The media splashed white guy kills black youth across the world, the fact he was Hispanic was omitted until the alternative media called them on it. Even then he was called a white Hispanic, white was too key to the narrative to let it go. Exaggerations and specials on racial issues followed further inflaming the racial tensions. Of course helping things along were the usual race baiting suspects, namely Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. A pair that has done nothing to fight the epidemic of black and black violence but never seem to pass up a chance to whoop up racial passions. A cynic, or a realist, might believe this is due to the fact they both have gotten rich exploiting racial divisions.
This is all nothing new, the left leaning main stream media is always too quick to say damn the facts and go forward with their predetermined narrative. Remember the Duke lacrosse players or how about Tawana Brawley? Even the recent shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords was exploited for political gain despite the leftest leanings of her insane killer. In this case if tensions rise and more blood is spilled the MSM as well as Sharpton and Jackson will see it as a call to exploit the situation even more.
The reason for such deep and blatant hypocrisy can be found in one of the main ideas that drive progressive liberalism. The idea the the world is made up of opposing dichotomies. From their viewpoint the world is made up of exploiters and the exploited, a viewpoint that leaves little room for individuals. In essence they cannot see the trees for the forest, or at least their preconceived view of the forest. Individuals to them disappear into a fog of race, sex and preconceptions. In their world the rich nearly always are exploiters of the poor and whites exploiter of blacks, there is no room for any other narrative. Anything that does not fit their worldview is ignored and individuals become irrelevant. Black on black or black on white violence is just violence but white on black violence is inevitably racist and exploitative.
Their worldview also leads them to label all that oppose them as supporters of what they see as the root causes of the world’s problems. In this paper thin way of thinking conservatives who stand in their way are also somehow responsible for things like the Trayon Martin tragedy. They cannot afford to dig deeper or think of people as individuals because to do so would be like pulling the string on a knitted sweater. Their whole world would unravel.
It is likely that the tragedy of Trayvon Martin could of been avoided if Trayvon had took a more normal route home or if George Zimmerman would of called out less threateningly and identified himself as a member of the Neighborhood Watch (something as of now no one knows if he did). It could of also been avoided if Trayton would not have resorted to violence, something he probably had been conditioned to do. In the end this tragic story seems to be the result of a clash of attitudes and circumstances that spiraled out of control and nothing more.
If this made you think pass it on
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke (From George Zimmerman’s Web Site)
For those interested in more facts on the incident they may want to check out these sites:
Z6mag has a good run down on more facts on this case but does dwell a lot on Trayvon. Has link to 911 audio.
George Zimmerman’s Web site (currently off line)
Wounds noted by medical officials the day after his altercation with Trayvon was ”closed fracture” of his nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury. Bascally what the medical report states in layman’s terms is George was beaten up. (The ABC report can be found here.)
Additionally Trayvon’s autopsy has been released and besides the death wound only notes bruising and broken skin on his knuckles. Something that again is consistant with George’s story. This is not to mention a witness statement saying Trayvon was on top going MMA on George. The evidence released to this point has led Alan Dershowitz, an outspoken critic of the Zimmerman affair, has now declared George is innocent and charges should be dropped.
As most are aware Zimmerman was charged with murder in the 2nd degree. Basically what one who murders someone but doesn’t plan it ahead of time is charged with. His bail was set at $150,000 dollars which he was able to post after some days of trying to raise money. He was rearrested because the how he got the money to make bail was not mentioned.
Since then the Eric Holder’s justice dept. has hinted at possible hate crime charges. Hate crimes in and of themselves are questionable (click here for more on that) but against Zimmerman it seems even more so. To charge George, who is himself partially black and has spent substantial amounts of time mentoring black youth and being an activist within the black community, with a hate crime is absurd.
The initial assessment by this site was that this was a clash of attitudes that got out of control. The evidence seems to point more and more to the attitude being Trayvon’s more then George’s. It is hard to blame a kid for taking things too far and being at least partially responsible for his own death but denying facts does no one any good. It is also become evident that the case against Zimmerman is weak to say the least. Certainly George could probably of done something different that night and probably wishes he did but the evidence points to Trayvon as the initiator of the violence that ended in tragedy that night.
To summarize, Trayvon was shot in the chest at close range while, according to witnesses, he was on top of George and beating him and slamming his head into the ground. This all happened near George’s truck on a rainy dark evening. George and at least one witness says he was yelling for help before he finally resorted to shooting Trayvon, an act that took Trayvon’s life but might very well of saved George’s.
The prosecutor on the other hand says Trayvon was yelling for help just before George, who had tracked him down, shot him. This seems to suggest that it was premeditated murder. Maybe this all is meant to insinuate that the second degree murder charge is somehow a break for George who could of been facing murder one. Of course if Zimmerman really did shoot Trayvon as he begged for help then he would be a monster deserving of the death penalty. The problem is the prosecutors claims seem to go against the evidence and in reality they are trying to bolster and overcharging of the case.
The Prosecutor’s Case for Charging Zimmerman
The prosecutor’s report sets up a scenario where George followed Trayvon and confronted him. This confrontation it implies led to a fight where Trayvon was killed. The case reportedly is based on three things (although there may be facts not reveled to anyone yet):
1. The Prosecution claims the screams are Trayvons based on his mother’s statement (although his father initially said they were not). [There is also a unofficial report from a purported expert that says the screams are not Georges but this is not part of the affidavit. The prosecution also does not mention George's statement that says he was calling for help and that his parents, relatives, and neighbors all confirm it is his voice they hear calling for help on the tape]
2. The prosecution claims George followed Trayvon after he was instructed not to do so and confronted Trayvon (this is an often repeated claim but according to George he said okay to this request, clearly heard on the 911 tapes. He also says he subsequently lost track of Trayvon as he ran away. He does admit to walking down the same sidewalk between the townhouses as Trayvon but Trayvon was long gone at that point and was no where to be seen, according to George. George’s justification for walking the same sidewalk was to go to the front of the building and get the house number for police.)
3. The mind set of George noted by the fact that he said these “assholes always get away.” (not noted is the fact the community had been repeatedly victimized lately and this is what George was talking about)
The prosecutor also has mentioned before a conversation that Trayvon purportedly had with his girlfriend that night. Of course hearsay is inadmissible in court let alone third hand hearsay so why she mentioned it is questionable. In the bond hearing they also referred to unspecified inconsistancies in George’s statments with George denied.
The truth is none of this really adds up. Either the prosecution has a pile of evidence that no one has seen or this is a political move by the DA office. This is an opinion shared by Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz.
In his most recent comments on the subject Dershowitz has now stated publicly that the prosecution of George Zimmerman is immoral and stupid. In the interview on Fox News above he has even said the prosecutor should probably be seeking a lawyer as she has without a doubt broken the law. Additionally the evidence in the public domain is piling up and none of it is helpful to the prosecution. In fact everything so far seems to point to Zimmerman telling the truth and likely his innocence.
If this ever goes to court the prosecutor will have a lot to explain. Like why she thinks a person with no wounds but a mortal bullet wound and bruised knuckles would be screaming help and a person with multiple wounds from an assault was not. Also if George was following Trayvon how did they end up at George’s truck? If George continued to follow after he agreed not to by saying okay to the dispatcher instructions not to follow then why was he at his truck getting ready to head home (which is where he told the dispatcher he would meet the cops). The truth is the prosecutor’s statements and the storyline she presents (as sketchy as it is) seems very strangely disconnected from the physical evidence, something she has made no attempt to explain.
The only real evidence to support the prosecutor’s case so far is the mothers claim, which the father initially disagreed with, that the screaming is her son’s. Even this is a case of he said she said as George’s parents make the same claim. There certainly are things the prosecutor is holding onto but the affidavit is very weak and goes against all the evidence in the public domain. Maybe there is blockbuster evidence no one knows about but it seems unlikely at this point besides this indictment is so weak it is likely to be thrown out before a court case begins.
It could be they are trying to avoid a riot by doing a dog and pony show. Pretending to go after George and slowly releasing information over time to quiet the naysayers before eventually dropping the case. On the other hand there is also a real possibility that, as Professor Dershowitz suggested, this is just a way to railroad a plea out of Zimmerman for blatantly political reasons. In other words the tragedy continues on.