In Update 51, posted only a few weeks ago, I ended with this:
The SMM archive has every detail about the case, including a 2017 attempt to portray Martin as a smiling, aspiring Charles Lindbergh (Update 49).
Of course, none are so blind as those that will not see, but for anyone seeking the facts about the death of Trayvon Martin, the archive has them. One day, I hope to be able to finally put this series to a long deserved, final slumber.
The Travyon Martin Case archive is available here. Sadly, it now seems that day must be postponed yet again. Yesterday, July 30, 2018, I watched the first episode of a five-part series titled: Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. Produced by The Paramount Network and aired on Black Entertainment Television, judging by the initial episode, the series is a blatant social justice narrative disguised as a documentary. The Los Angeles Times provides proof:
The directors of the documentary, Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, said they wanted to expose what they called the systemic racism that contributed to the not-guilty verdict, as well as to provide an opportunity for Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, to share their story on the screen for the first time. “Rest In Power” was inspired in large part by the 2017 book ‘Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin’ by Fulton and Martin.
‘We have a chance to take this series and use what the country has learned from Trayvon Martin, both the positive and the negative backlash, to [understand] the Trayvon Martin to Donald Trump syndrome of America,’ said Furst.
Furst and Willoughby provided their take on history and the law as well:
It was a turning point in the country,’ Furst said. ‘You had the first African American president and you had some people foolishly saying that we were living in a post-racial America. And when Trayvon Martin was killed, it was an awakening for a lot of people that certain things hadn’t changed and that there was going to be far more Trayvon Martins than Barack Obamas. And that realization, that pain, that sense of injustice motivated a lot of people to act, and it changed the landscape of our country.’
Added Nason, ‘Trayvon Martin came from a middle-class family where black and white people could identify with him. At the same time in 2012, social media was becoming a platform where young people could have a voice, they could record the injustice. So I think those two elements helped bring Trayvon Martin’s story to the forefront.
I was one of a few Internet sites covering the Martin case in detail. I watched every moment of the trial–heard and saw all the evidence–and was also fortunate to be able to speak with Don West, who with Mark O’Mara, were George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys. The facts–what few are presented–could not be more different than those presented by Furst and Willoughby.
I’ll review each of the five episodes. Because readers can find the facts of the case in the SMM archive–a good place to start might be Update 32, the beginning of my direct coverage of the trial–I’ll add details only to correct the blatant misrepresentations and outright lies presented in the series.
To begin, however, this case–if the rule of law and justice are the point–had nothing to do with race. It was a textbook instance of legitimate self-defense, provoked entirely by Trayvon Martin. The inept, corrupt, unethical prosecutors actually proved self-defense. It was indeed blown up into a racial cause-of-the-moment, but the facts of the case certainly couldn’t sustain the racial narrative. In fact, the Obama FBI intensively investigated George Zimmerman in the hope of prosecuting him for a racist hate crime, and discovered that not only did he have a black ancestor, he had annoyed the Sanford Police Department by publically defending a black man. Not only was there no evidence of racism by Zimmerman. The FBI found exactly the opposite and closed their investigation.
These were the recurring themes of the first episode, all intertwined with excerpts from depositions, interviews, and carefully edited clips from Zimmerman’s call to the Sanford Police:
1) Trayvon Martin was a virtual infant, an innocent budding scholar, football player and aviator, though the assertion about Martin’s passion for aviation didn’t appear until about May of 2017. I wrote about it in June of that year.
2) Martin was carrying Skittles and wearing a hoodie. Both are somehow indicative of his virtue and Zimmerman’s evil, and both have assumed mythic significance despite having no bearing whatever on the case.
3) Zimmerman was a white racist who racially profiled, pursued and murdered Martin, who was only walking home from the 7-11.
4) The Sanford police did not immediately arrest Zimmerman because they are racists, and so is everyone that doesn’t buy the social justice narrative. Their refusal to arrest him because there was no probable cause, was even more racist.
5) Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows white racists to murder little black boys at will.
6) It’s the NRA’s fault, Donald Trump is evil too, and Martin’s parents are virtual saints.
The episode is told primarily from the viewpoint of Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, and his Mother, Sybrina Fulton. They were divorced and not living together when Martin was killed. Other Martin relatives play small roles. A major player is race-baiting attorney Benjamin Crump, the head of the “Scheme Team” of race-baiting lawyers, who saw, and realized a big payday in the Martin case, and who were instrumental in whipping up racial hatred with the more than willing help of the Obama Administration, including Mr. Obama, who, knowing nothing of the facts of the case, said:
If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,’ Obama said. ‘When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.
If Mr. Obama’s kids were thug wannabes, budding criminals whose social media posts featured misogyny, violence, drugs, guns, and bragging about beating people, it might be an apt comparison.
Fulton begins, emotionally breaking down, when she said that when she got home from work, Trayvon was usually there. On the day he was killed, Martin was living with his father at his girlfriend’s home in Sanford because Martin was serving a ten-day school suspension for drugs, and possession of stolen property and burglary tools. Underlying her narrative were many photos of Trayvon as a baby, and a young child. Skittles and hoodies were mentioned, and Fulton claimed the Stand Your Ground law: “gives people the right to shoot and kill a 17 year old boy.” This theme would be continually raised throughout the hour.
SYG, common across America, merely removes the duty to retreat in use of force cases. If attacked, one does not have to run away. They may remain where they legally are, and use proportionate force to defend themselves. All of the other facets of lawful self-defense still remain. Florida’s SYG law was not at all applicable to the Martin case, and was never raised in the trial. It was not applicable because Martin ambushed Zimmerman, broke his nose, knocked him to the ground, straddled him, and continually, viciously beat him, repeatedly slamming his head into a concrete sidewalk. Zimmerman could not retreat.
Black Lives Matter protests were displayed, more photos of a smiling, cute and “so affectionate” very young Trayvon were continually shown. The episode did display two of the most famous photos of Martin in thug mode, but very briefly. Very brief mention was made of his criminal activities, and only a single school suspension–he had several–was presented.
There was a brief excerpt from the 7-11 security video showing Martin in a hoodie buying skittles and a watermelon drink–two of the three ingredients for a drug substitute concoction–”Lean,” or “Purple Drank”–Martin bragged on social media about using. The video did not show Martin trying to buy cheap cigars–he was refused–with which to make “blunts,” which Martin also bragged about using. Martin talked a couple of young men into buying some for him. To make a blunt, one hollows out a cigar and fills it with pot. Martin had pot in his system when he attacked Zimmerman, though the defense chose not to use this during the trial.
Excerpts of Zimmerman’s initial call to the Sanford Police were played. Zimmerman is calm and collected, but the tape abruptly cuts off after the dispatcher asks Zimmerman if he’s following Martin and Zimmerman replies “yes.” The audience didn’t hear that moments later, the dispatcher told Zimmerman he didn’t need to follow Martin, and Zimmerman immediately stopped. The edit leaves the impression Zimmerman is hunting Martin. Actually, the dispatcher twice told Zimmerman to keep reporting on Martin’s actions. This too is ignored, as is the fact the dispatcher had no lawful authority to tell Zimmerman–or anyone–to do anything.
Brief, edited excerpts of the 911 tape are played, including screams and what sounds like a shot, but I suspect that shot was edited in. It’s much too loud compared to the rest of the clip. I’ve heard the actual tape, and the shot is much more quiet and of a different timbre. Fulton soon announces that “they”–presumably the police and anyone that is not a social justice cracktivist–“can’t account for 71 seconds, and it changed America.” It’s difficult to know what this might mean. There is no “missing” time in this case–no missing 71 seconds–and it’s not mentioned again.
Martin had no ID, and wasn’t positively identified until the next morning, which provided the opportunity for more emotional footage of Martin’s parents, and more baby pictures. Martin was a cute, smiling baby, which is obviously the point.
There was a brief clip of Zimmerman’s voluntary walk through of the crime scene. His head and face were bandaged, which required more baby photos of Trayvon for balance. We’re then introduced to Benjamin Crump, who announced Trayvon was “profiled, pursued and shot in the heart,” which occasioned more baby photos.
A member of the Scheme Team of racialist lawyers introduced the theme that the Neighborhood Watch at Zimmerman’s gated neighborhood was in fact racist, established to harass innocent black people, and Zimmerman, the Captain of the Watch was, of course, the chief, self-appointed racist. Zimmerman was said to have made a large number of calls about black people, and a few very brief excerpts from his calls were played. In each case, he mentioned that suspects were black only in response to a dispatcher’s direct question about their race.
During my early coverage of the case, I determined that Zimmerman made as few as one call per week to the police, and no more than three. Considering his position, and the fact that his gated neighborhood was being constantly burglarized–mostly by young, black males–the director’s implication is deceptive at best.
The neighborhood watch was under direct police supervision, as was Zimmerman’s position as local watch Captain. During the trial it was established the police thought so highly of him in that role, they offered him a more formal position, including his own police vehicle, which he declined. He was pursuing a law enforcement degree. However, the thrust of the episode is that Zimmerman was a self-appointed, racist vigilante. Then things got weird.
Crump again cried “racial profiling,” and Jeb Bush was blamed for the Stand Your Ground law, which again, had no more bearing in the case than a law prohibiting frightening horses pulling carriages. This led to blaming the NRA, specifically Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, who supposedly changed self-defense laws to sell more guns, which makes it easier to get away with murder. Fulton was very upset that police officers decide who gets arrested for crimes, not lawyers.
This is, of course, the role of the police in the criminal justice system. Officers determine probable cause and make arrests on that basis. Prosecutors prosecute, or not, based on their ability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The episode ignores the fact the local prosecutor declined to prosecute because there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman–he acted in self-defense–let alone proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Next was video of Zimmerman being interviewed, specifically when he took one of two lie detector exams (he passed both), in this case, a “Voice Stress Analysis.” Displayed on screen was this legend”
George Zimmerman passed the test
There were 9 questions
None were about race
Where to begin? Any “lie detector” exam, whether polygraph or VSA, requires a limited number of yes or no questions dealing with specific facts of the case. No examiner would ask generalized, emotionally charged questions “about race.” Such examinations are brief, not wide-ranging, lengthy interrogations.
Crump immediately followed, outraged about race, and admitted he intended to make the case all about race. The implication was this was necessary and justified because the police were racist and would not provide justice–social justice–otherwise. He, with ample Obamite help, eventually succeeded when Florida’s governor and AG appointed a special prosecutor with a mandate to prosecute Zimmerman regardless of the facts. That’s certainly how the special prosecutor exercised her charter.
Fulton appeared again to assure viewers she was talking about the case because she “wants people to know what’s going on.” What’s “going on” is the contemporary Black Lives Matter “white cops–and George Zimmerman–are killing black men and getting away with it,” meme.
Crump returned to inform viewers “George Zimmerman had a 9mm gun. Trayvon Martin had a bag of Skittles.”
There was a quick mention of Zimmerman’s past arrest for assault on a police officer. No mention was made of the fact that a couple of plainclothes alcohol enforcement agents jumped on one of Zimmerman’s friends in a bar without identifying themselves, and Zimmerman went to his aid. He didn’t hurt anyone, and the case went away.
Crump appeared again to involve–wait for it–Al Sharpton! Sharpton declared that he would push the racial angle on his TV show, and a brief clip of him doing just that was shown.
Next was information about the Mayor of Sanford ordering the Police to release all related tapes. Jeff Triplett, the Mayor called the demands to break proper investigative protocol and release the tape “a PR nightmare.” The implication was the police were trying to hide something. A portion of Zimmerman’s original call followed:
Dispatcher: ‘Are you following him.’
Dispatcher: ‘we don’t need you to do that.
The tape was cut off there. Had it continued, the audience would have heard Zimmerman telling the dispatcher he stopped, and also telling him he had lost Martin, had no idea where he was, and was walking back to his truck to meet the officers that were on their way. During this time–at least a four minute span–Martin could easily have made his way home, even if he slowly walked–gone inside and never been seen again. He chose, instead, to hide in that rainy night and ambush Zimmerman.
Fulton appeared, to say it was Trayvon’s voice crying for help, confirmed by Tracy Martin. No mention was made that Tracy, when he first heard the tape, said he was sure that voice was not Trayvon. It was only later, when he had a significant financial interest, that he changed his mind.
This was followed by scenes of demonstrations featuring people in hoodies, and carrying posters of Trayvon in a hoodie with the “We are all Trayvon” legend. This was followed, in rapid sequence, with Barack Obama telling us if he had a son he would have looked like Trayvon, President Trump saying, “We will make America Great Again,” and several kneeling, black football players. I’ll leave it to you, gentle readers, to make the connections.
The first episode was nothing more than social justice agitprop. It was the well-known Trayvon Martin narrative, having little to nothing to do with the facts of the case. There was a very brief showing of a photo of Zimmerman, his nose broken, his face and head bloody, and if one looked carefully at a few other brief exposures of Zimmerman, one could see bandages. This was an apparent attempt at some sort of balance, but to put it in Trumpian terms–since the directors have already involved him–the series begins 90%+ focused on the narrative–attacking George Zimmerman and white America–with less than 10% on fact.
Readers might remember the media invented an entirely new race for Zimmerman: “white/Hispanic.” Despite his last name, Zimmerman is Hispanic, but to fit the narrative of an evil white man murdering a helpless little black boy, he had to be at least partially white. This too was ignored in the episode.
There seems little doubt where this series is going. The only question is likely to be how far the directors go into social justice wonderland, how well they do their best to keep the racial pot stirred, and how badly they ignore the evidence that legitimately acquitted George Zimmerman in a court where everything, including the judge, was arrayed against him.
I’ll continue to report on each episode. Readers might like to keep an eye out at Legal Insurrection, where Law Of Self Defense guru Andrew Branca plans to also review each episode. Branca also covered the Martin case, and we often referred to each other’s articles.