As I noted in Update 8, there are some things about the Martin case that have never “smelled right” to me. For example, the assertion that Martin walked—in the rain—to get tea and Skittles. I know kids sometimes have odd tastes, but tea and Skittles? But because I do not have access to all of the investigative files, I had to let that go, until, that is, recently. But more on that shortly.
On May 28, the Orlando Sentinel posted a series of 65 photos relating to the case. Those photos have allowed me to update some things at which I previously had to guess, including the exact location of the “scuffle.” Observe these photos of the crime scene:
Notice the following:
(1) It was unquestionably raining, and raining heavily that night. Fresh raindrops are visible on the camera lens.
(2) The yellow blanket behind the tree, apparently covering Martin.
(3) The elevation. The condos on the left (east) are higher than those on the right (west), and the terrain slopes downward toward the north.
(4) If Martin intended to run home, it would have been easy. All he needed to do was run straight down the sidewalk. On the other hand, if he intended to hide, there are a bewildering variety of places he could have done just that.
Here’s a photo apparently taken the following morning. The original from which I took the screenshot was somewhat darker. Notice:
(1) The tree on the right, which was in the first photograph.
(2) The red “X” marks the approximate area of the scuffle/and where Martin fell.
(3) The cement sidewalk squares appear to be from 3″ to 4″ in size, therefore, the scuffle, which apparently began at the top of the sidewalk “T,” ended some 12′ to 16′ south, also on the sidewalk. This is a much shorter distance than previously known, less in fact, than walking across many people’s living rooms.
(4) Again, the straight sidewalk to the condo where Martin was staying, near the end of the sidewalk on the left (east) in the photo. A fit teenager could easily have covered that distance at a run in less than 30 seconds.
(5) The large number of convenient places to hide, stash contraband and/or lay in wait. Losing Zimmerman would have been easy indeed. All Martin needed to do was remain concealed–wherever he was–and Zimmerman almost certainly would returned to his vehicle to wait for the police.
Here is an addition to the last photo that will help to orient readers:
Notice the position where the scuffle ended, and also the indicator of the location of Zimmerman’s truck. Having lost Martin minutes, earlier, Zimmerman was apparently walking back to his truck when he was intercepted and attacked by Martin at or near the top of the “T.”
Here is an updated version of the map I included in Update 4.
Notice the yellow circle originally suggesting where the scuffle ended. We now know that it ended just a few feet south of the tree, which can be seen in this map primarily by its shadow on the ground. I’ve again marked the location with a red “X.” Notice too how relatively short the distance to Martin’s temporary residence is: less than a city block.
We can now correct the earlier misconception that Zimmerman must have somehow turned south and moved some distance down the sidewalk between the condos, perhaps looking for—or as some have suggested—chasing Martin.
At TalkLeft, Jeralyn Merritt provides a fine analysis of the statements and time frames considering the most recent evidence dump. It is definitely worth your time.
Considering witness statements and physical evidence, Merritt concludes that the scuffle began at the top of the “T,” but moved slightly south:
George Zimmerman was walking back to his truck along this path, right about the T, when Trayvon popped out from somewhere and asked why he was following him. Within a minute, the encounter turned physical. The first sounds heard were scuffles and “arghs.” Not screams or cries for help. GZ was then on the ground with a broken nose. They were off the T, on the grass at the top of the path between the shared backyards. They continued grappling as they moved down the path to the back of John’s house, where they rolled onto the concrete, and GZ started crying out for help even louder, since now it was not just his nose, but the back of his head getting smacked. Trayvon was still on top of him.
The account of another witness suggests:
The only thing credible about the Teacher’s account is what she said first: She heard voices outside her home, which would be on the T, not down the T on the row of shared houses. Her reference to 10 feet outside her window is either the T, where GZ was walking back to his car, or she’s grossly misstated the distance. The voices grew louder and there was a wrestling but it was too dark for her to make out the individuals. They were probably still at the T or just off it, right where W-11 and W-20 heard the same thing. Both describe the first part of the struggle which was on grass. Neither saw what happened next when the struggle reached the back of John’s house — that it had moved from the grass to the concrete. Neither can refute what John saw, that Trayvon continued to be on top once it moved from the grass to the concrete.
Merritt concludes that lacking evidence, the special prosecutor may be trying to build a case based on motive, which is a ridiculous exercise when the evidence doesn’t support it. Where she and I part company (just a bit) is in her assessment of the value of “DeeDee’s” testimony:
The state isn’t dumb enough to rely on phone friend Dee Dee other than in a minor, supporting role. The roommates and the Teacher would be demolished on cross-examination by what they said on their 911 calls. If these witnesses are not credible, and don’t fill in the blanks as to what immediately preceded the shooting, it won’t matter much that they contradict Zimmerman in other particulars. It needs more, and it doesn’t seem to have it.
I suspect the special prosecutor is indeed that dumb. Perhaps Merritt is correct; time will tell. But we both agree about what will happen to weak and unsure witnesses on the stand and on the fact that the case of the state is pitifully weak. I would say non-existent. It is only the social/political climate that has allowed this travesty to continue to this point.
Additional Picture Information: The pictures are interesting in what they reveal about Zimmerman (these photos were taken at the Sanford Police Department shortly after the shooting).
(1) Photos 14-23 are of Zimmerman’s head and face. Despite having his injuries somewhat cleaned up, the injuries on the back of his head and face are clear and obvious, including abrasions on the bridge and end of his nose, on his forehead (multiple places), on the outside of his eyes, particularly the left eye, on the right cheekbone and on the right side of the mouth and lower on the right side of the face, at the jawline. Though people who have little experience with soft tissue injuries may find it hard to see, I have no doubt that Zimmerman has puffiness around the eyes, and the clear beginning of black eyes which will not manifest themselves in all of their glory until the following day (black eyes do not pop up immediately after blows, and bruises take time to develop as well.
(2) Photos 24-28 are of Zimmerman’s hands. These photos clearly support his statements: they are unmarked, as one might expect if he wasn’t able to land any effective blows on Martin.
(3) Photo 29 is a head to toe frontal image of Zimmerman, which reveals him to be 5′ 8″ and about 170-180 pounds at most. He is far from the huge, hulking monster depicted in the narrative.
(4) Photo 35 is most interesting. In this black and white image, Zimmerman is apparently sitting, handcuffed in the back of a SPD vehicle shortly after the officers arrived. His nose appears obviously damaged/broken, and fresh blood is apparent on the end of his nose and in his mustache and beard.
Analysis: As with every bit of new evidence that has, to date, come to light, all of this evidence supports Zimmerman’s account. If there is anything unusual about this case it is the remarkable uniformity of the evidence–as it is currently known. In most cases, things are not quite so clear. This would seem to indicate that Zimmerman has been telling the truth from the beginning.
This is a legal term much studied and used by the police. It is as much misunderstood by the public. A police officer has reasonable suspicion when his experience and observed circumstances lead him to believe that someone might be about to commit a crime or might be in the process of committing a crime. In this case, the officer may conduct what’s known as a “stop and frisk.” In other words, he may stop and detain that person, and pat down their outer clothing to assure himself they aren’t carrying weapons that could be used to hurt him, and may keep that person there for a brief, reasonable time—say 15 minutes—for the purpose of identifying them, finding out what they’re doing, and running warrant checks.
Reasonable suspicion is a lower standard than probable cause, which is facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable police officer to believe that a specific crime has been committed and that a specific person has committed it. Reasonable suspicion gives an officer cause to investigate and to restrict the movements of a citizen for a short time. Probable cause gives an officer the power to arrest that citizen.
Keep in mind these legal terms are applied to the police acting in their role as police officers. The term “a reasonable police officer” is meaningful because the courts assume police officers, because of their training and experience, are far more likely to be able to identify criminal behavior than Joe Average Citizen. Joe AC may see two men talking while Reasonable Police Officer, watching the same two people, sees a drug transaction underway.
As a neighborhood watch captain in a high crime neighborhood (as noted in Update 8), George Zimmerman may have arguably been more capable than the average citizen at identifying potentially criminal behavior, but because he was not a police officer, he has no power to stop and frisk anyone. However, any citizen can watch and/or follow any other citizen and may approach and speak with them whenever they like. When he met Trayvon Martin, he believed—with far more justification than one might have imagined—that Martin was acting suspiciously. Zimmerman told the police dispatcher:
We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. . .This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.
As I reported in Update 7, Martin was in fact on drugs, more specifically marijuana. There is also more than sufficient reason to believe that Martin’s drug use was of long standing and preceded his visit to Sanford. The Conservative Treehouse has done an exceptional job explaining one of the things that previously bothered me about this case: the combination of tea and Skittles.
Before going further, I encourage you to take this link and view the 7-11 security camera footage of Martin. It is essentially the same footage shown from two different camera viewpoints and in two run modes. The first view is from Martin’s right side as he stands at the counter and is run in real time. The second appears to be the same footage, but from the viewpoint of a security camera over the clerk’s right shoulder. This sequence is unusual in that it is in stop action slow motion, essentially leaping from frame to frame.
As you watch, pay attention to these factors:
(1) Martin is wearing loose-fitting tan pants and an over-sized, dark gray hoodie with the hood up. He is also wearing a large button of some kind on his hoodie. Apart from a few seconds when he turns directly toward the first camera, it is difficult or impossible to see his face.
(2) According to the coroner’s report, Martin was 5’11” tall. The baggy hoodie makes him appear to be much taller and heavier than he actually was. This might have served to confuse anyone viewing him.
(3) Martin is constantly swaying back and forth as he stands at the counter. Notice that he frequently unsteadily sways into the front of the counter and rests there, apparently steadying himself. At one point, he rests his right hand on the counter, also apparently steadying himself and keeping himself from toppling onto the counter—his upper body simultaneously leans far forward. His movements—even in real time—appear show and halting. Had I encountered Martin during my police days, I would immediately have suspected him of being under the influence of something. This certainly makes Zimmerman’s observation that Martin was under the influence of drugs entirely reasonable.
(4) The reddish beverage can and Skittles Martin are purchasing are clearly visible, particularly in the second sequence.
(5) At one point, Martin points to something behind the counter (cheap cigars), but the clerk apparently refuses to sell it to him. Their conversation and Martin’s intent are obvious.
We now return to the work of The Conservative Treehouse. Their update 26, part 1 is available here, and their update 26, part 2 is available here. I recommend you take the time to read both articles completely.
One of the great advantages of the internet is that no one blogger need do everything. There are always others with differing interests, fields of expertise and focus who can help to provide a much more complete picture of events that one might otherwise find, particularly with the Lamestream media and their focus on a given narrative rather than the truth.
For those who prefer to keep reading here before venturing elsewhere, both of the articles provide information about Trayvon Martin you won’t see elsewhere, including photos, an interview with his mother, specific and relevant information such as Martin’s U-Tube account, as well as his postings on Twitter and Facebook, his interest in MMA-type street fighting, and his many and specific drug use references.
As I mentioned in Update 8, Martin did not, in fact, purchase tea, though the SPD evidence form—which appears to have been done by Officer Ricardo Ayala (it’s hard to determine) mentioning the beverage found on Martin indicates otherwise:
The officer placing the beverage in evidence listed it as:
One (1) Arizona brand name tea can located and collected from a top [sic] the medical blanket lying over the victim.
Here’s a photo of the can on that yellow blanket. It is not tea, but Arizona brand
watermelon fruit juice cocktail. As a police supervisor I would always demand the highest degree of accuracy from my officers, particularly in handling evidence of any kind, however, it is likely that at the time, the officers involved did not put two and two together and saw it only as a generic “tea” drink of some kind. There is no evidence of any attempt to conceal its true nature.
While I was current with all of the contemporary drug substitute concoctions when I was patrolling the street more than a decade ago, such things change quickly and there are regional differences as well. I too did not immediately put two and two together.
Why is this significant? According to TCT’s Update 26, part 1, as early as July, 2011, Martin was interested in and inquiring about the ingredients of “Purple Lean,” which is a concoction of:
Purple Lean (Drank) is an intoxicating beverage also known by the names lean, sizzurp, and liquid codeine. It is commonly abused by southern rappers and wannabe suburban teenagers. It is a mixture of Promethazine/Codeine cough syrup and sprite, with a few jolly ranchers and/or skittles thrown in.
Promethazine with codeine, consumed in such large amounts as is popular with such southern rappers as lil wayne, slim thug, and Big Moe, produces an opiate-like high that is potentiated by the Promethazine.
Promethazine by itself will not produce a high. The beverage must be sipped slowly, and not guzzled, in order to avoid unconsciousness and/or life threatening overdose.
Why Jolly Ranchers or Skittles? Pure sugar;added “kick.” TCT Update 26, part two reveals the one essential, and two most common ingredients in the mixture:
(1) Robitussin cough syrup (DXM cough suppressant),
(2) Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail, and,
On the night he was killed, Trayvon Martin went to the 7-11 and purchased two of the three ingredients necessary to make “Lean,” a dangerous and much abused drug concoction about which he and those he knew often spoke. As I wrote in previous articles, all that I’ve learned about Martin indicates a young man on a steep and rapid downward slide toward jail or worse. The work of The Conservative Treehouse paints a very convincing portrait of a young man on an even more steep and rapid slide than I was at first able to detect, and what is most damning and convincing is that the evidence is in Martin’s own words and actions–and those of his associates:
To the contrary, it’s likely that a young man like Trayvon would consider Robitussin an easily obtained standby for times when marijuana was unavailable. In his own words he has already expressed his opinion that it gives him ‘the same vibe‘ – and he is in fact likely to PREFER the DXM as it’s less likely to get him ‘roped‘ (busted).
TCT suggests that Martin was a drug dealer, and Martin’s communications suggest that possibility, however, it is certain that marijuana was not his only personal drug interest.
In a followup article, TCT provides fascinating video footage from the 7-11 that indicates that Martin did not leave the 7-11 at 6:24 PM, but hung around outside and was caught on camera interacting with three other young males. As you’ll see in the videos, they likely should not be expecting MIT scholarship offers anytime soon. A bit more than a minute later, they enter the store, apparently with money given them by Martin. One of them purchases several “blunts” (cheap cigars drug users often hollow out and fill with marijuana—Martin apparently tried to buy these earlier and was turned down), and they again interact with Martin outside the 7-11 before all leave. TCT provides evidence that Martin’s blunt use was well known to his associates; it would appear that the hoodie was not the only symbol by which Martin was known.
It took Martin 40 minutes to walk ½ mile—in the rain—from the 7-11 until the point where Zimmerman saw him. An average adult, walking at a brisk pace, can easily cover a mile in around 15 minutes. A relatively slow jogging pace would be around 9 minutes for a mile. What was he doing? TCT proposes a compelling, likely scenario that encompasses many elements I’ve previously suggested.
Again, I recommend reading The Conservative Treehouse’s three articles completely.
This information raises even more troubling questions in a case overflowing with them:
(1) Did Martin have Robitussin or another source of Codeine or DXM—none was apparently found on him–waiting for him at home?
(2) In past articles, I raised the possibility that Martin may have been carrying marijuana and ran from Zimmerman to hide it. Remember that he was carrying a cigarette lighter, but no cigarettes (it’s not known if he was a smoker). There is no doubt that teenage drug users putting together concoctions like “Lean,” often steal some or all of the ingredients and go to some lengths to conceal them from adults. Is it possible that Martin may have had Robitussin or a similar cough syrup and hid that as well?
(3) The Martin family attorney and the special prosecutor had the evidence forms and the photographs. Were they aware that Martin did not purchase tea? If the special prosecutor was aware of this, they told yet another lie on the affidavit, where they wrote:
That evening Martin walked to a nearby 7-11 store where he purchased a can of iced tea and a bag of skittles.
It is possible they didn’t realize this, or if they did, didn’t put two and two together. Juvenile drug trends are often fast-changing and adults can be slow to keep track. However, if they did know this, as Alan Dershowitz wrote, special prosecutor Corey would be wise indeed to hire a very good attorney.
(4) The media also had the evidence forms and photographs before releasing them to the public. Did they fail to put two and two together, or did they know what was up, and maintain the “tea and Skittles” charade to prop up the rapidly deteriorating narrative?
(5) Why did it take Martin so long to walk, in a soaking rain, back home? What was he doing? The blunts provided him by the three young men and the marijuana markers in his blood and urine suggest an obvious answer: He was smoking pot.
(6) Most importantly, the police and special prosecutor had all of the 7-11 video. They—and particularly the special prosecutor—must have known about Martin’s interactions with the three others at the 7-11 and what it meant. That, or they are amazingly incompetent. Did they purposely withhold this information too from the affidavit? From the defense? Remember that as much as 50% of the evidence in this case has not yet been released, even to the defense who, under the law, is entitled to every scrap. Perhaps this is a large part of the reason why it has not been released.
As with every new revelation in this case, Zimmerman’s account remains not only undamaged, but is in many ways, strengthened. While George Zimmerman will not be in the running for Pope at anytime in the near future, the more we learn about his character, the more he seems to be a young man who had the kinds of minor failings many young men experience at one time or another in early adulthood, but a young man who was very much together for a 28 year-old. Trayvon Martin’s character does not, in contrast, hold up well at all.
Some will no doubt scream that I am blaming the victim, am a racist, etc. To them I can only suggest that it is Martin’s record, and most meaningfully, his own words and actions that effectively indict his character. And in this case, since we know he was under the influence of at least marijuana before he encountered Zimmerman, his history of drug use, and his drug use that day and/or night, are material factors and will be allowed at trial. This is particularly true since Zimmerman’s first words to the police dispatcher indicated his suspicion that Martin was affected by drugs, a suspicion that has been proved to be fact. Even though Zimmerman only suspected drug involvement—he could not know with certainty—Martin’s drug involvement is a significant factor in this case and can only contribute to Zimmerman’s self-defense argument. In other words, it’s not a matter of character assassination, but law, and Martin himself has made it so.
As I’ve repeatedly said, this case is about—must be about–Florida law, not “social justice,” or any other social or political concern.
We know (from Update 7) that Martin had marijuana in his bloodstream and urine, and that the levels in his blood were high enough to indicate intoxication in some states (Florida has a no tolerance law—any amount is sufficient). However, the levels in his urine have not been released. I’ve suggested that this is so because those levels are likely so high as to make it painfully obvious that Martin was smoking marijuana—and a considerable quantity of it—in the hour before he met Zimmerman. This might account for the fact that he had none on him. Perhaps he didn’t need to hide any as he had already smoked what he had. If so, this not only blows the prosecution’s case out of the water, it reduces it to tragic farce.
The Duke Lacrosse Connection: As I’ve mentioned before, a number of bloggers have suggested that there is a connection between this case and the Duke Lacrosse Case. Until now, I’ve not significantly pursued that line of thought, however, the more I learn, the more likely it is that the Martin case will follow the tragic path of that prosecutorial debacle. For those needing to refresh their memory, I recommend this “Start To Finish Case Narrative,” from K.C. Johnson’s Durham-In-Wonderland blog. Johnson, a history professor, is the most authoritative voice on the net (anywhere, actually) on this case, and his book—Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case–is the definitive account.
While the Martin case is still developing, many significant and disturbing parallels are already present:
(1) Both cases involved black “victims” under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
(2) In both cases, the accused willingly cooperated with the police (and passed “iie detector” tests).
(3) In both cases, race was a fundamental factor in pushing prosecution.
(4) In both cases, powerful political and social forces were brought to bear in the service of the narrative.
(5) In both cases, the media relentlessly pursued the narrative, ignoring any evidence that would conflict with it and demonizing any who disagreed.
(6) In both cases, evidence and/or the law would have prevented an ethical prosecutor from pursuing charges.
(7) In both cases, the prosecutors, knowing this, pursued charges anyway and reaped political benefit from their malfeasance.
(8) In both cases, the prosecutors lied to the courts.
We know that in the Martin case, the prosecution’s lies are, for the moment primarily those of omission. For example, they knew Martin had been using marijuana, yet claimed in the affidavit that when he met Zimmerman, he was not breaking the law. However, the case is yet young and there are many troubling possibilities, such as those mentioned in this article. In the Duke case, the prosecutor, Mike Nifong, knew that the defendants were innocent, yet he hid evidence, and relentlessly persecuted them anyway. He ended up disbarred, lost his pension, and was convicted of lying to the courts, though he spent only a single day in jail.
It remains possible that there is some amazing and previously unfathomable body of evidence that will completely reverse what we know about this case, but that seems most unlikely. As I’ve previously noted, if Angela Corey is wise, she will drop this case. If she does not, it is likely not to end well for her and those that follow her.
I’ll continue to report on this case as more information becomes available. Thanks for your attention and great comments.
UPDATE, 06-01-12, 1430 CST. I’m seeing some early indications on the net that George Zimmerman has apparently had his bond revoked. This supposedly has something to do with money received for his defense via the Internet prior to his arrest, but I’m not getting any confirmed details at the moment. I’ll research it and likely end up with another full update in the near future. I’ll reserve additional comment about this latest development—which some will no doubt tout as more significant than the development of electricity—until I have something informed and worthwhile to say. Stay tuned!
It’s interesting how I never made the connection between Skittles and drug abuse…but then, I have a terrible Skittles habit. I’m 30 and I still eat them, so it didn’t ring odd to me at first.
Otherwise, great update.
Once again, I am stunned bu the hypocrisy of those complaining about the media convicting Zimmerman doing all they can to exonerate him. I noticed in the pictures there were also a lot of places for Zimmerman to hide and ambush Martin.
Also your failure to mention that Terry v. Ohio requires the reasonable suspicion must be based on “specific and articulable facts” and not merely upon an officer’s hunch. Zimmerman’s verbiage clearly indicates a hunch.
Zimmerman was pursuing Martin. Martin realized this, and saw it as a threat. After that whatever he did was in his own self-defense, placing the whole confrontation at Zimmerman’s feet. He was the instigator, and as such losses the ability to claim self-defense.
Martin ran AHEAD of Zimmerman. If he was scared he could have easily made it home before Zimmerman even made it to the top of the ‘T’. Zimmerman was on the phone with dispatch. He KNEW the police would be arriving shortly. Yet you would have us believe that it was Zimmerman who hid and ambushed Martin? Do you realize how incredulous this version of events is? How would Zimmerman even know that Martin was still in the area? The narrative the prosecution has spun is falling apart like a soup sandwich yet people such as yourself refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe there is an alternate explanation which exonerates Zimmerman.
I wouldn’t have you believe that Zimmerman hid, I posted that to show how ridiculous it is to imply that Martin hid anywhere.
We don’t know for sure what happened in the critical moments of this incident. We do know what was happening right before it. Zimmerman was pursuing Martin after having just expressed his frustration that “these assholes always they always get away,” and according to the girl on the phone with Martin, the teen was trying to get away.
So what I am wondering is what happened that made Zimmerman suddenly stop pursing the person he saw as a threat to his community; And what happened to make Martin suddenly abandoned his goal making it home before that guy chasing his caught up with him. Your assertion that Martin was in possession of drugs makes that concept even harder to swallow/
To make Zimmerman’s story work, one would have to abandon everything we know about human nature and accept the highly improbable assertion that two people suddenly and without warning reversed their direction at the exact same time. And when one factors in Martin has trace amount of THC, a drug which reduces one’s aggressiveness and Zimmerman was tweaked out on prescription speed (ie Adderall), a drug known to cause users to have an increase in aggression, agitation, anxiety, delusions, hallucinations and hostility. It’s very reasonable that Zimmerman’s long-term addiction to this stimulant left him delusion, which would explained why he constantly called 911 to report suspicious people causing trouble, (some less than 10-years-old) as well as the aggression and hostility present in his profanity-laden call to 911.
Now, I am willing to look beyond that and hear from Zimmerman as to what caused his change of heart that night, and I would hope a jury would be open to hear his account as well.
Of course they will filter his story through his level of credibility, and that is what this entire case will hinge on, Zimmerman’s credibility. And, considering:
“George Zimmerman was ordered back to jail on Friday for misleading the court …”
I don’t know how credible Zimmerman will be perceived after he has been found by the court to have lied in the one and only time he spoke on his own.
And I disagree that “all of the known evidence indicates that it was Martin, under Florida law (and the common law) that was the instigator of an assault.” I don’t see anything but presumptions such as the one about Martin trying to make “LEAN” which is about as ludicrous as as your comparison with the Duke case.
The only thing those two have in common was the race of the victims and the accused were a motivating factor. At Duke race motivated the prosecutor, In Sanford, race motivated Zimmerman. But what Duke had that makes your comparison an apples to first edition Hemingway novel comparison, was the DNA evidence that undeniably exonerated the lacrosse players. There is no such evidence here.
What truly boggles my mind is your attempt to act as if you have no skin in the game and these posts of yours are not meant to defend Zimmerman. If that is really the case, why do you spend so much effort selectively posting evidence in support of the story told by a known liar, wife beater and general abuser of women with a clear delusional paranoia about young black men, who thinks beating up cops is a fine way to spend the evening,
I would think there are those far worthy of your attention. Unless of course there is some trait about Zimmerman you admire.
Mike McDaniel said:
Thanks again for your comments, but with one exception, I think I’ll let my readers–particularly those who have been following this series from its inception–determine whose presentation of the facts is, well, factual, and whether my analysis is plausible and reasonably explains the many unknowns in this case.
As to my “attempt to act is if you [I] have no skin in the game and these posts of yours [mine] are not meant to defend Zimmerman,” I would suggest that you might be engaging in a bit of projection. I’m presenting the facts as they are known at the time of the posting of each article. I then engage in analysis of those facts. You obviously disagree with that analysis, which is perfectly fine and even encouraged on this scruffy little blog, but equating that with defending Zimmerman is neither logical nor accurate. I often find myself, in analysis on a variety of news stories, “defending” people and ideas I find personally repellant. This is so because I am not defending those persons, but principles and attempting to point out fact and probability. To the extent that I am presenting myself as though I have no skin in this game, it is so because I have no skin in this game, in any way. May I suggest you simply accept this in good will and the spirit of reasonable discourse? Thanks!
Mike McDaniel said:
Hypocrisy? If Zimmerman is exonerated, it will be under the law rather than the influence of the narrative or anything I or anyone has to say. However, since you raised these issues, you won’t mind if I address them?
There is no evidence whatever that Zimmerman hid or ambushed Martin. All of the known evidence–which I’ve repeatedly reported–indicates precisely the opposite.
Regarding the Terry decision, I did not get into it in detail simply because, as I wrote, it applies only to the police in the pursuit of their official duties. I specifically noted that Zimmerman was not a police officer and so was not bound by that, or any other decision binding the police. All Zimmerman or any citizen needs in order to watch, even follow, approach or speak with another citizen is the desire to do so. None of these actions gives the person being watched, followed, approached or engaged in conversation grounds to attack. An actual threat would have to be words or actions apart from and in excess of what I’ve just described. Again, all of the known evidence indicates that it was Martin, under Florida law (and the common law) that was the instigator of an assault. There is, again, no evidence to the contrary, and therefore, Zimmerman’s self-defense claim is valid.
As I’ve often noted, there may be substantial evidence that will eventually lead to another conclusion, but we’ve yet to see it.
Thanks for your comment!
The problem is, your arguments are perhaps the most well formed and dispassionate I have seen, So much so that I know you are too intelligent to actually believe,
“All Zimmerman or any citizen needs in order to watch, even follow, approach or speak with another citizen is the desire to do so. None of these actions gives the person being watched, followed, approached or engaged in conversation grounds to attack.”
You can’t tell me that if you we waking home, alone at night and some guy starts following you, watching you, stalking you, that you wouldn’t perceive that as a threat? Now let’s arm the guy and your argument is preposterous. If some tweaker is watching me, following me, and then finally approaches me and I see that he is armed, well as they said in Tombstone, he better skin that Smoke Wagon pretty quick. Any jury that would see Martin walking home as suspicious behavior would have to see an armed adult following a teenage boy. Its up to Zimmerman to convince a jury that Martin made the first move. And if he accomplishes that, he has to also convince them that Martin wasn’t acting to defend himself from the “tweaker Mexican” who won’t stop following him. While not a single bit of the evidence even tries to address why both Zimmerman and Martin would simultaneously abandon their perspective goals and suddenly reverse direction. Nothing at all that explains why Zimmerman would just let another one of ““these assholes … get away.”
You can’t continue to focus on trace amounts of THC in Martin, while ignoring Zimmerman’s amphetamine habit, especially when Zimmerman’s habit is more likely to cause one to “believing things that are not true” and have “feelings unusually suspicious of others.” Zimmerman’s tweak was more likely to produce “mania ” and “aggressive or hostile behavior,” and expect anyone to buy your claim that you are “presenting the facts as they are known at the time of the posting of each article. I then engage in analysis of those facts.” You have spent a lot of time SPECULATING on the importance of a Twitter Message that Martin didn’t even write, yet spend no time discussing the fact that Martin has history of aggressive and violent behavior. You try and make Martin out to be a thug for having a screwdriver in his backpack, yet Zimmerman chasing people armed and willing to kill is acceptable to you. You tried to imply that Martin’s tattoos honoring his mother and grandmother were menacing, yet never even mention the four tattoos Zimmerman has, including sinister looking theatrical masks and a large cross across his torso. In some circles the theatrical masks are meant to symbolize a persons association withe the stage. For those not involved in live theater, like Zimmerman that could stand for “play now, pay later” and are actually gang tattoos. (http://bit.ly/9CSyC4).
The more I find out about Zimmerman the more dangerous and thuggish he seems. The more I learn about Martin, the more like a typical teenager he appears,
Malaka Quihodreos said:
“He was the instigator, and as such losses the ability to claim self-defense.”
Thank goodness your lack of knowledge of the laws surrounding this case speaks volumes to your purposeful ignorance and bias when speaking on any level in regards to this case. I submit to you Florida Statute 776.041:Use of force by an aggressor. Even IF Zimmerman could be considered the “aggressor” (Remember that in Zimmerman’s 911 call he described how Trayvon was advancing at him with his hand in his waistband… presumably to threaten/scare Zimmerman into believing that he had a gun) the level of violence perpetuated upon him in return for simply following Trayvon, albeit aggressively, most certainly would put virtually any citizen within reasonable fear of the imminent loss of their life or severe bodily injury, thus justifying a self-defense claim
Once again, great analysis and write up Mike. I appreciate the perspective of a former police officer, and current teacher. I agree that police officers are trained in what behaviors/interactions to look for. Unfortunately the term “profiling” has been co-opted by those that have turned it into a strictly racialist term. The use of that term in the PCA, and put in quote marks, had clear and negative intent. Defense Atty. O’Mara handled that beautifully in the bail bond hearing when questioning Det. Gilbreth.
The prosecution had the tapes from 711 early on in the investigation. If they were honest they would have observed TM’s unsteadiness while standing at the counter, paying for his purchases. They would have seen his interaction with the 3 stooges, and the obvious purchase for him of a blunt. They had the 911 tapes, where GZ said that the suspicious person looked like he was on drugs or something. They had the tox report, which showed weed in TM’s system. No wonder Angela Corey decided to bypass a Grand Jury. As she said in her presser, she was seeking “Justice for Trayvon” for his sweet sweet parents. Be danged with equal justice for GZ, and her future career as a state prosecutor.
Atty. O’Mara is a sharp cookie, and I’m sure he will have TM’s clothing tested for weed and/or blunt residue. They should also check the 711 bag that TM carried the Arizona drink in. I’m still curious why the can wound up in TM’s sweatshirt pocket, and the bag was discarded near the scene of the incident. It seems that if he was considering a confrontation, he would have just dropped the bag with the can in it. If, as the prosecution claims, that GZ confronted and attacked TM, while he was just walking home, TM would have just dropped the bag with the can in it when he would have been attacked. Because the bag was right there, TM had to have taken the can out of the bag while he was out of GZ’s view, and possibly getting rid of contraband.
Would the medical examiner have been able to test TM’s hands/fingers for pot residue? If he had smoked the blunt on his way home, wouldn’t the ME be able to determine that? The autopsy doesn’t say anything about it, but apparently the state only stuck a small portion of the tox report onto one of the pages. I didn’t see any request by the state to seal the full tox report.
It will be interesting to see what decisions Judge Lester makes today with respect to sealing discovery documents.
I think that CCCC’s comments are a nice contrast to Mike’s. On one hand Mike always tries to keep an open mind towards the fact that there may yet be something that may yet be presented that will vinticate the prosecution’s acts, while on the otherhand it is clear that CCCC has made up his mind and is dimissive of anything that counters his view and readily embraces anything, even blatant absurdities, that supports it.
CCCC is adking us to believe that on a cold, dark, rainy night, Martin could tell that Zimmerman was carrying a CONCEALED weapon or that Zimmerman’s tatoos make him a likely gang member. If leaping to conclusions were an olympic event, CCCC would be a medal contender.
Funny that when Martin’s tattoo’s honoring his mother and grandmother are used to paint his as a potential thug, you are silent. I don’t think for a single second that Zimmerman is/was/could be a gang member. Gangs have a hierarchy, and unless Zimmerman can be at the top of any hierarchy he has become aggressive. We can see that when he has dealt with the police, and from the stories his coworkers tell of him.
If you care to know the truth, I was mainly outraged that Zimmerman was not charged in the first place. With the intervention from his father, and the lies his family was trying to sell to the media, it was clear they were trying to hide something.
After the charges were filed, I began to learn things more positive about Zimmerman, and I soon abandoned any idea his actions were racially motivated. I was actually starting to see how Zimmerman might have actually be the victim of circumstances, and that the killing could have been a horrible accident.
Then, I happened upon this series which, I admit does offer a token “we don’t know all the facts yet,” is such a slanted attack on the dead child through assumptions, slight of hand and misdirection while completely ignoring the undisputed facts that point to Zimmerman as man with a violent and present. Just look at how he shifted the recent developments that once again show Zimmerman as dishonest to a discussion of who knew what and when.
I am more than willing to accept Zimmerman’s story, but I need it to make sense, and I need him to account for the lies he told. I am just waiting until someone supplies the event that caused Zimmerman to just stop following Martin, the person he has moments before described as one of those assholes who always get away. Then I want to know what happened at that exact same moment that made Martin to stop trying to elude Zimmerman and attack him.
If Zimmerman can explain that then he can convince me he acted in self-defense. That is the only thing that matters. What Martin did at the 7-eleven doesn’t matter. What Martin may or may not have told some twitter friend about what he did or didn’t do to a bus driver doesn’t matter. What Zimmerman did or did not to to fellow employee, cops, etc doesn’t matter. But until Zimmerman can explain why it was he suddenly gave up on his mission to make sure this asshole didn’t get away, his story doesn’t make sense and when a story told by a man known to lie doesn’t make sense, Ockham’s Razor suggest we look at the most obvious conclusion. And the most obvious conclusion is the drug-addled, violent tweaker, liar who wanted to catch Martin is lying.
While I still agree with mike’s version of the acount, it is nice to finally see a civilized discussion taking place regarding another view. The mainstream media would be well served to take a lesson from this debate. Cccc; good job ( even of I don’t agree )
Why Thank-you, Tom. While I never expect change anyone’s mind, I do appreciate when someone at least gives my arguments credit for their civility. Mike, of course, is equally responsible for that. And, since I haven’t yet done so, I want to thank him for allow such a diametrically opposed viewpoint an unfettered voice on his stage.
Mike McDaniel said:
Welcome and thanks! We try to run a clean shop here.
Why did Zimmerman stop following Martin? Because he lost him.
A typical teenager is suspended from school three times in the last 7 months, the last time for 10 days?
I understand GZ said asshole and fucking punks to the dispatcher.
The totality of evidence is overwhelming against Trayvon violently assaulting GZ. You can keep hanging your hat on the really really bad words GZ used.
Mike McDaniel said:
Thanks for reading and for your comment. May I add just a bit of clarification? Zimmerman’s use of obscenities was directed toward (A) criminals that had been harming his neighborhood, and (2) the weather.
@Craig, but he continued to look for him, After he admits to the dispatch that he has lost sight of Martin, he makes it clear he would not be returning to his truck.
CCCC , though we don’t have the statement directly from Zimmerman, it was stated that after he got off of the phone he went to the far side of the cut off to get as address, presumably as the last place he saw Trayvon. At least that is my opinion, as I can not see another reason to get an address from that side. This is when George changes direction, as his truck is in that direction. You also state that George has to provide you with a reason why Trayvon changed directions. Please can you tell me why and how George is supposed to know this? No one can IMO as the only one who knows is Trayvon (and possibly the girlfriend). IMO we will never know why Trayvon would or did change directions from running to his temporary residence. The best we can do is speculate. Opponents of George speculate that he wasn’t going to let “these a-holes get away” as his motivation, and in your own words that he was a drug-addled, violent tweaker, liar, means that you have used Georges past and present as a factor to make your argument. Therefore to find out why Trayvon may have changed his direction we must consider Trsayvons past and his possible use of drugs of different types and his twitter and facebook and oovoo accounts to answer that question. So to boil it down to simplicity-If you consider one as to motivation you must consider the other as to motivation. Is it speculation with circumstantial evidence? Of course. Is it all we have? again the answer is of course. Does it completely answer the questions? That would be ,NO definitely not, but they are possibilities. I would also like to point out some of the fallacies as to why they are irrelevant and not factual, but assumptions but others have done that very well for me.
To Mike again many thanks for your time and effort and viewpoint as a former law enforcement officer on these matters.
Mike McDaniel said:
You’re most welcome.
it was stated that after he got off of the phone he went to the far side of the cut off to get as address, presumably as the last place he saw Trayvon.
On 02/26/12 he called back after an initial 911 call concerning a black male with a “bomber hat” and corrects the address to Frank Taaffe’s house, Retreat View Circle 1460, if I remember correctly. Obviously he does that since that is were the man has moved at a later point in time. What sense would it make to look for an address on a different road? How do you know that is were he last saw Trayvon?
Before asking the dispatcher, could the officer once he arrives on the scene call him? He suggested TM was heading towards the back entrance–thus maybe trying to get away–what would he need an address besides the one he already gave if the object is moving? How and why does that make sense to you?
If he intended to return to his car on Twin Trees after having looked up an address on Retreat View Circle, what would that be good for? Once police arrived, assuming it was his intention to return to the car, he could easily point out the direction to them. No?
Strictly I do not understand why he is so insecure in his repeated description were his car is parked. I know people are often slightly handicapped in giving directions, but still. He lived in the community for three years, he coordinated the Neigbhorhood Watch helpers, and the all have addresses. So even if he didn’t study it, to start with, he must have realized the pattern of the numbers on the diverse streets at the time.
Twin Trees first takes a left and then a right and finally another left towards the back entrance. It would be easy to describe his location based on this very simple fact. What explains his troubles and his feelings of frustration, in the exchange do you think? That the dispatcher wants an exact address while he just told him the object is moving towards the back entrance? That he keeps asking all these irrelevant questions, thus preventing him from following and observing the subject further? Maybe?
How do you know George Zimmerman was not high on speed from crushing and snorting a couple of his Adderal pills?
This drug is abused,commonly, and is very hard to quit using- has a high addiction quota. There are special programs designed for Adderal addiction.
How do you know Zimmerman is telling the truth about anything?
And a can of tea or soda would be a damn good weapon if you were going to attack some dumb ass who is following you into a dark walkway after following you in his truck.
It was found in Trayvons pocket.
George is a pathological liar and that is why he is back in jail. He has a police record of assault, on both a woman and a police officer. He has been fired from a job for bullying. George is an dumb ass.
George is not what you think he is. He is very likely a speed addicted thug who shot this teen for no good reason whatsoever. A teen who was walking about talking on the phone, like every single modern teenager I know these days.
You all are misguided to say the least.
Mike McDaniel said:
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. There is no evidence that Zimmerman was under the influence of any drug. I recommend this article by my former co-blogger on that issue. In addition, the Sanford Police–who would have had this issue in mind–saw no evidence of drug or alcohol impairment that night.
We know that Zimmerman is telling the truth because his statements are backed by considerable physical evidence and witness testimony.
To my knowledge, Zimmerman does not, in fact, have a criminal record, particularly on the issues you mention.
Regarding his being fired for bullying, to my knowledge, a single, as yet unidentified person has accused Zimmerman of some kind of “bullying” whatever that might be, at a workplace years in the past. I do not believe there is any evidence that he was ever fired from a job for that reason. If you have such evidence, I’d very much appreciate a link.
I don’t know what kind of person George Zimmerman is. I only know what the evidence reveals. That’s what I report and we discuss here.
TM’s body looks like it is about seven or eight sidewalk squares from the intersection. Your X looks like it is at the fourth or fifth sidewalk square.
Mike McDaniel said:
Hi there and welcome to SMM. I placed the “X” on about the 5th square because we did not then know–and do not now know–with certainty precisely where the majority of the “struggle” took place. With the release of Zimmerman’s reenactment it now seems that the scuffle begin very near the “T” on the east/west sidewalk and moved south. After Martin was shot, he apparently moved some distance further south. My placement of the “X” therefore still seems a reasonable approximation, particularly compared with what we originally believed might have happened as illustrated in the graphic. That original estimate, judging by nothing more than the final position of Martin’s body, was clearly off by a considerable margin.
Are you saying you believe Martin moved, or was moved more than a foot or two after he was shot? From Zimerman’s account it seems like Martin’s body wound up just to the right or the left of where the ground struggle took place. So the struggle happened exactly on the spot or adjacent to where Martin’s body is pictured. It is possible Martin stood and tried to stumble away and then fell. But maybe Zimmerman would have recounted that if it had happened. And according to Zimmerman the struggle took place at about the second or third square. I suppose the “X” may represent an average between the two locations being the discrepency in Zimmerman’s story.
Mike McDaniel said:
Good questions indeed. You’ve pretty much answered your own question here. In my experience, people who are shot, even if they expire shortly thereafter, seldom merely drop to the ground in the exact place where the bullet struck them. Zimmerman’s reenactment suggests that not only did Martin sit up and move some distance himself, but Zimmerman, believing that he missed and afraid Martin might renew the attack at any second, grabbed Martin and took–or followed–him to the ground and tried to restrain his hands. I suspect this movement was to the south of the area in which the struggle (defined as the place where Zimmerman was on his back with Martin astride him) took place. Exactly how far south? That’s hard to say with certainty, which is why the placement of the “X”, or any such marker, must be a guesstimate. I’m guessing such movement would be in the neighborhood of five feet.
Thanks for your comment!
Yes, it is certainly possible Martin moved quite a distance after being shot. And I certainly understand why zimmerman might leave that part of the story out. Having to go after and jump on a guy who was just shot… let’s just say easily omitible an action to have had do take.
I have two other theories that may explain the discrepancy, I think without being too far out there. Perhaps it was even a bit of all three that happened combined to explain the situation.
2. Perhaps before the ground struggle, there was quite a bit more movement taking place. Some shuffling about like boxers getting into position, jockeying for ground, squaring up. A lot of ground could easily be covered sidestepping about. Maybe even a couple shoves or grabs before the ground struggle. That much movement could certainly be forgotten about or mismeasured by Zimmerman. He did actually explain some movement “trying to push him away” while falling from the initial punch.
3. Perhaps Zimmerman had actually turned left and went down the path and the entire struggle took place more or less the way it was describe, just further down the path to approximately where the body was found.
These are the only three reasonable explanations I’ve been able to come up with concerning this discrepancy.
Thanks for reading.
Pingback: The Trayvon Martin Case, Update 20: A Suspicious Gap « Stately McDaniel Manor
Pingback: The Freddie Gray Case, Update 28: Trying To Con Honest Men | Stately McDaniel Manor
Stephen Paddock said:
KA-POW! George Zimmerman’s gun sang Trayvon Martin such a sweet sweet lullaby.