It was in April of 2012 that NBC News edited audio of George Zimmerman’s call to Sanford, Florida police to make him appear racist. So obvious, and easily checked, was that edit that MBC was quickly exposed and widely ridiculed. However, the damaqe was done, and to this day, many believe that false video to be the truth, see Zimerman as a racist, and believe Martin’s death to be racially motivated. Several low level NBC employees were fired, and as I reported in Update 18 on December 10, 2012, the O’Mara law Group has partnered with the prestigious Beasely Law firm of Philadelphia to sue NBC on behalf of Zimmerman.
On Feb. 1, Brietbart News reported that Steve Capus, President of NBC News, was either fired or resigned. Speaking of the multiple frauds perpetrated by NBC News under Capus’ direction, Brietbart wrote:
The rap sheet against Capus isn’t troubling, surprising, or even disturbing — it is breathtaking:
1. During last year’s presidential election, Andrea Mitchell was caught manufacturing a Romney gaffe where none existed.
2. During last year’s GOP primary, Ed Schultz edited video of Texas Governor Rick Perry to make him look racist.
3. In April of last year, the “Today Show” was caught editing audio of a 9-1-1 call to make George Zimmerman look racist.
4. In August of 2009, Contessa Brewer sliced and diced a photograph so it wouldn’t look like a black man attended a Tea Party carrying a firearm.
5. Just this week, NBC News maliciously edited video of a town council meeting to make it look as though Second Amendment civil rights activists heckled a parent who lost his son in Newtown.
This isn’t bias; this is committing outright fraud in pursuit of a political agenda. And it is no coincidence that every single one of these incidents aided and abetted Obama directly or whatever his agenda was at the time.
It is certainly possible that NBC, in light of the Zimmerman suit, decided to minimize its losses by firing Capus, leaving it free to argue in court that it has done everything possible to atone by getting rid of everyone who had a hand in the fraud against Zimmerman. “It’s not our fault! We were betrayed by rogue employees, and look! We fired them, see?”
That it took so long to remove Capus is indicative only of NBC’s lack of journalistic ethics and basic human decency. However, expect NBC’s attorney’s to trumpet the firing of Capus–and lower-ranking employees–in Zimmerman’s suit against the network.
It appears the Orlando Sentinel is less circumspect about journalistic ethics these days. In a February 5 article, Sentinel reporters Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner wrote:
On a day when a gospel choir stood on the Seminole County Courthouse lawn, singing “Happy Birthday” to Trayvon Martin, Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson dealt his killer a series of setbacks.
Not “alleged” killer. The remainder of the article takes an equally informal tone.
One might be tempted to think the system is working to deny Zimmerman the resources and time he needs to mount an effective defense. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asserted that Zimmerman should not be granted additional time to prepare and that he did not need expert witnesses. Judge Debra S. Nelson agreed in part and denied a continuance of the June 10 trial date.
It was also reported that the defense is nearly out of money and that O’Mara may have to petition the state to fund Zimmerman’s defense.
Another contentious issue has been the recording of an interview of “DeeDee” by Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump. I analyzed de la Rionda’s interview of Dee Dee in Update 11, and noted In Update 18 that Crump was present for de la Rionda’s in-person interview with her, though de la Rionda did not, in the transcript of that interview, reveal his presence or the presence of Scheme Team attorneys Daryl Parks and Natalie Jackson.
The court initially ruled that O’Mara could depose Crump, but Crump’s attorney Bruce Blackwell presented an affidavit from Crump claiming he did nothing to edit or change the transcript of his Dee Dee interview. Judge Nelson postponed the Crump deposition indefinitely.
The Sentinel continued:
The judge did hand O’Mara a victory Tuesday: She ordered the state to put witness 8 on the phone for a mini-deposition to allow defense attorneys to question her about the names she used on Twitter and Facebook.
Zimmerman’s lawyers say they need those before they sit her down for a full-blown deposition so they can track what she posted on the social media sites and question her about that.
According to Mr. de la Rionda, the defense doesn’t need expert witnesses? This is ridiculous on its face, and a continuing indication of the prosecution’s less than ethical behavior in this case. The defense is indeed entitled to expert and any other witnesses necessary to produce a competent and aggressive defense of George Zimmerman. Mr. de la Rionda surely knows this?
It is not unusual for defense attorneys to try to draw out the pre-trial process for as long as possible, usually for less than legitimate reasons. However, considering the evidence that the prosecution in this case has been slow-rolling and withholding discovery due the defense, one might expect Judge Nelson to be a bit more willing to allow O’Mara some leeway in this matter. She has been more generous in other matters, such as:
Martin’s School Records:
On January 16, the Orlando Sentinel reported that O’Mara finally received Martin’s school records.
We are entitled to receive the school records because some information in Trayvon Martin’s file could be relevant in the defense of George Zimmerman,’ the website for Zimmerman’s legal defense said Wednesday.
The records from Miami-Dade schools have not been made available to the public, but portions could be revealed later, according to Zimmerman’s legal team
‘If any detail of the school records should be considered relevant in the course of a Self-Defense Immunity Hearing, only the parts deemed relevant to the case will be entered into evidence,’ the website said.
That hearing could happen in April.
Obviously, the records will be used to paint a very different picture of Martin than the media and Scheme Team narrative:
The school records could damage Trayvon’s reputation. Police have said Trayvon was serving a 10-day school suspension at the time of his death after being caught with an empty marijuana baggie.
Zimmerman’s legal team pledged it would not “demonize” the teen.
‘A number of parties have expressed concern that we will use information found in the school records to ‘demonize’ Trayvon Martin,’ the website for Zimmerman’s legal defense said. ‘The Zimmerman defense has no intention to demonize Trayvon Martin.
“The school records could damage Trayvon’s reputation.” Indeed. There has been substantial speculation, including apparent evidence of three separate suspensions in a short time prior to Martin’s death. It has been widely reported that Martin was in Sanford due to a 10-day suspension for what may be an assault on a school bus driver. These records will surely shed light on these allegations and provide more factual information.
Whatever damage might be done to Martin’s reputation is the fault of no one but Martin. In contemporary education, for a student to be suspended from school even once normally requires either a very serious stand-alone violation of school rules and/or the law (drugs, weapons, assault, etc.), or is the result of a long string of lesser offenses such that the student involved has become so disruptive and/or aggressive it is not reasonable or safe to keep them in school. Three suspensions in a short time are, of course, far more serious, and a ten day suspension–there seems to be no doubt about the fact of that–is normally a final step before absolute expulsion.
Can these records be legitimately used in court? Yes, so long as the judge is satisfied that Martin’s character and behavior as revealed in the records have a direct bearing on the issues at hand in the case. These are issues well established in law. Any judge would also consider the extraordinary public assault on Zimmerman’s character, a process that is ongoing. Evidence of drug involvement, gang involvement, violent tendencies or behavior, or evidence of involvement in burglary or theft on Martin’s part would obviously be directly related to this case.
Remember that it was Zimmerman’s observation of Martin, who appeared to him to be drugged and/or casing the neighborhood, that started the incident. Martin’s violent response to Zimmerman is well established, and he was found at school in possession of women’s jewelry not his own, and a burglary tool. His social media presence was very much “thuggish” and often spoke of drug use. At the time of his death, he was carrying two of the primary ingredients for a drug concoction known as “drank,” items he purchased shortly before the encounter with Zimmerman (he did not purchase tea), and there is evidence of marijuana in Martin’s blood.
It is likely we’ll be hearing a great deal about these school records as the self-defense hearing draws near, and certainly in that hearing.
The court has ordered the FBI to produce all relevant records and evidence of their investigation, including communications between the FBI and the prosecutors and police.
O’Mara likely has several goals here. These records are necessary to enable him to avoid being surprised in court. They will confirm–or not–what FBI experts have already testified. And most importantly, they will provide information that might lead to additional discovery. No doubt there is information helpful to Zimmerman–the FBI investigation apparently found no evidence of racial bias on his part–that the prosecution does not want O’Mara to have. I suspect this might also lead to additional information of improper behavior on the part of the prosecution.
Martin’s Cellphone and A Suspicious Gap:
New court paperwork reveals that prosecutors have unlocked a great deal more information from Trayvon Martin’s cellphone, including satellite-tracking information that shows where it was in the days leading up to his shooting.
But if it also lays out the teenager’s movements Feb. 26 — the day Trayvon was shot and killed by George Zimmerman — prosecutors have not released that to defense attorneys.
Ethical prosecutors would have turned over such obviously pertinent information without argument or concealment. Withholding evidence only makes their case look week and is a terrible public relations move. No prosecutor with a strong case is reluctant to provide evidence to which the defense is entitled, if for no reason other than to demoralize them and to encourage them to settle the case.
One of O’Mara’s frustrations, he wrote, has been getting Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda to fully disclose evidence in the case.
Information from Trayvon’s phone is one example. The Android-powered smartphone was found near his body, its battery dead, the night of the shooting. It’s a key piece of evidence because a young Miami woman [DeeDee] says she was on the phone with him moments before the shooting and overheard the conversation between Trayvon and Zimmerman.
Attempts to crack the phone without a password caused the police to be locked out. They shipped it to experts that were able to recover its data.
It shows you within 10 feet where the phone is,’ O’Mara told the Orlando Sentinel.
De la Rionda provided those new findings to defense attorneys Jan. 18, O’Mara wrote, but with a gaping hole.
‘While the analysis includes GPS locating records for Mr. Martin’s phone for all of the time he was in the Sanford area, specifically absent is any such data from February 26, 2012, the date of the event,’ O’Mara wrote.
‘Maybe it’s coincidence, but I’m way past [believing it's] coincidence,’ O’Mara said.
There also seem to be missing phone calls and text messages, he wrote.
De la Rionda’s office did not respond to an email asking for comment.
O’Mara’s motion also complains about prosecutors not providing him information about the young woman who says she was on the phone with Trayvon in the moments just before the shooting.
She was 18 years old that day — not 16 as Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump identified her — O’Mara said, and prosecutors have not provided enough information about her to allow him to subpoena her Twitter and Facebook records.
The judge earlier authorized those subpoenas.
It is particularly foolish for the prosecution to withhold the GPS data for February 26th. Not only will they be court ordered to produce it, if it is particularly helpful to the defense their withholding of the evidence will not help their credibility with the judge, to say nothing of the public view of the case.
Among the factors still unknown is precisely where Martin was from the time he left the convenience store until Zimmerman first saw him. How much time did he spend in a given place? What was he doing there? It appears, from store video, that he enlisted several young men to buy him at least one “blunt” (a cheap cigar which is hollowed out and filled with marijuana) which he may have used to smoke pot on the way back to Zimmerman’s neighborhood. If phone records show him remaining stationary in an out of sight or out of the way place for some time–Martin took far more time than was necessary to walk back home–that might explain Martin’s behavior, and would certainly be something the prosecution would not want to come to light.
And as I noted in Update 18 Crump has apparently lied about Dee Dee’s age in an attempt to hide her and as much about her as possible behind the screen of juvenile records privacy law. However, that particular cat now seems to be out of the bag. I doubt it will be helpful to the prosecution.
In past articles, I’ve speculated that Ms. Corey and perhaps even Mr. de la Rionda might find themselves joining the ranks of disgraced prosecutors like Mike Nifong. If what Mr. O’Mara is claiming is true, if only half of it is true, that possibility seems yet more likely.
It is unsurprising that Zimmerman might be running out of money. As cases of this type drag on, absent a wealthy benefactor or benefactors, public interest tends to lag and cash tends to run out for the defense. The prosecution, particularly in a politically charged case, has a bottomless public purse upon which to draw. For unscrupulous prosecutors, forcing the defense to exhaust its resources is a common tactic.
What’s that? You argue that de la Rionda has successfully resisted O’Mara’s request for a continuation? And you think that proves he is not trying to bankrupt the defense?
If, as O’Mara argues, de la Rionda is hiding and withholding evidence, forcing O’Mara to go to court to get each and every piece, it is he, not O’Mara, causing delay. Arguing that it is O’Mara that is being slow is nothing more than projection, and particularly cynical and calculated projection at that. Remember that de la Rionda can take his time, secure in the knowledge that every obstacle he puts in the way of the defense is costing O’Mara time and money and making it harder for Zimmerman to be truly afforded justice.
It’s easy to spend other people’s money, particularly when “other people” are taxpayers, a group being poorly served in this case.
NOTE: Brietbart News has recently posted an interview with George Zimmerman’s brother, Robert. It provides some perspective on the effect this case has had on Zimmerman’s family.
UPDATE, 02-14-13, 1730 CST: Regular reader “Joel” comments:
This is not an issue I have–to date–dealt with in any depth, primarily because much will depend on the outcome of the case. However, there are some things we know with certainty, and some that are being strongly implied.
We know that the prosecution could not sustain the charge against Zimmerman in its charging affidavit. It lacked sufficient probable cause–to say nothing of convincing evidence–to fulfill the few and simple elements of the offense. The same is true for the perjury charge lodged against Shelly Zimmerman. In addition, there may be substantial evidence that they colluded with private attorneys with a financial stake in the outcome of the case, and with the media. There may also be evidence that they are not doing their duty under the law to provide evidence the defense is due.
As with the Nifong case, while these matters may not eventually amount to specific violations of criminal law, they are certainly gross violations of legal ethics, and under the rules governing those admitted to the bar in any state, would require inquiry. It is also possible that documents filed with the courts, and statements made to the courts–as in the Nifong case–could constitute crimes. Again, these are matters very much in flux at the moment. In such cases, the coverup of unethical behavior usually leads to the commission of actual crimes such as perjury, conspiracy, etc.
In any case, the initial venue for these issues will likely be the state bar, with any criminal proceedings arising out of that. As I’ve also written, it remains to be seen whether political concerns will overpower justice in the Florida courts. As the self-defense immunity hearing draws near, expect the racial grievance industry, coordinated by the Scheme Team and fully aided by the media, to be screaming at the top of its lungs in the hope that the court of public opinion–and the threat of racially inspired riot and civil unrest–will trump all.