It appears, gentle readers, I may be writing about the Trayvon Martin case unto eternity. This is so because Martin has been canonized as a holy social justice martyr/saint. As long as lying about the case is useful to race hustlers, we’ll be hearing about it, and I’ll be correcting the record yet again. However, now comes one Joel Gilbert with an interesting, if not confusing, allegation. He writes in The American Thinker:
After a painstaking investigation into the Trayvon Martin shooting, I have produced a film and written a companion book, both called The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America. Only after I started the project did I realize I had stumbled onto the most spectacular case of identity fraud in modern American judicial history. Thanks to the folks at American Thinker for allowing me to reveal it here for the first time.
I had originally set out to produce a documentary about the rise of 2018 Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. The more I looked into Gillum’s success, however, the more need I saw to investigate the unanswered questions of the criminal case upon which Gillum built his career.
I had followed the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman from afar and, like many others, I had grave concerns about the lynch mob mentality that drove the case.
With his dying breath, Trayvon Martin made a final, desperate request of the man who shot him, “Tell Mama ‘Licia I’m sorry.” I was the first person in the media with whom George Zimmerman shared Trayvon’s last words.
And apparently the first person anywhere. This was not raised at Zimmerman’s trial by the defense or the prosecution. That doesn’t mean Martin didn’t say it, or that Zimmerman did not say it to Gilbert, but it does raise interesting questions, among them, why, in the many opportunities he had to tell his story to the police and his defense attorneys, he remained mute about this? The SMM Trayvon Martin case archive is available here.
By examining Trayvon Martin’s 750-page cell phone records which included 3,000 photos and 1,500 contacts, I got to know Trayvon in the last months of his life. I learned he was neither the rocket scientist the media made him out to be, nor was he a thug. Trayvon was a good kid with many friends and family that loved him. “Mama ‘Licia” was one person Trayvon loved most. I learned what it was he was “sorry” for.
At the end, Trayvon was a very troubled teenager. I came to see his life as a series of betrayals, one more crushing than the next. His pain played out in reckless behaviors such as fighting, gun dealing, and heavy marijuana use. On the day of his death, Trayvon feared one more betrayal, this from the girl he knew as ‘Diamond,’ the girl who had stolen his fragile heart, the girl with whom he was on the phone up to the very minute he died, the girl who would emerge, in various forms, as the ‘star witness’ in the case against George Zimmerman.
Martin was not on the phone with anyone “up to the very minute he died.” He died after being shot while straddling George Zimmerman, viciously beating him. Gilbert sees a very different Martin than Martin’s criminal record, school record, drug use, and social media posts reveal to normal Americans. When he died he was carrying two of the three ingredients for an illicit drug concoction—“Lean” or “Purple Drank,” and had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana in his blood. Shortly before his death, he enlisted strangers, at the quick shop where he bought Skittles and a watermelon flavored drink—not tea— to buy him “blunts,” cheap cigars to be hollowed out and filled with marijuana, according to his social media posts, his favored method of smoking pot. Indeed, his parents were less than perfect, but he was already on a fast track to prison when he attacked George Zimmerman and arguably tried to kill him.
Indeed, it was 16-year-old Diamond Eugene’s recorded phone interview with Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump and ABC News that prompted George Zimmerman’s arrest and the subsequent 2013 trial.
From this point, Gilbert builds a glancing criminal case against Benjamin Crump, the leader of the Martin Scheme Team. According to Gilbert, Crump knew Rachel Jeantel was not the girl on the phone with Martin prior to his attack on Zimmerman, but Crump presented her to the prosecution as that person. It was prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda that interviewed Jeantel, in the presence of Martin’s mother, Crump, and others, itself a gross violation of normal, professional procedure.
After speaking with Benjamin Crump, for any number of good reasons, Diamond Eugene refused to ‘follow the script.’ She refused to speak with the state prosecutors or bear false witness against George Zimmerman under oath.
And what might those “good reasons” be?
Instead, the plus-sized 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel was substituted for Diamond, and Jeantel became the key witness in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. Jeantel was a fraud. She was not the ‘phone witness’ speaking to Trayvon Martin in the minutes before he was shot. She barely knew him. This witness fraud resulted in the seminal race hoax of the Obama years. I call it “The Trayvon Hoax.”
Why would Crump pull a witness switch? Why would the prosecution be so gullible?
Her full legal name is Brittany Diamond Eugene. And, in getting to know this young woman, I was introduced to Miami’s urban youth culture, a culture that thrives on some mix of sex, drugs, gangs, texting, clubbing, shopping, and social media. Diamond’s particular Haitian-American milieu featured its own unscrupulous subspecialty: identity switching.
Who knew about the witness fraud? Any number of interested parties profited from the hoax. The railroading of George Zimmerman, for instance, helped Trayvon Martin’s biological parents shift the blame from their parenting deficiencies to a racial scapegoat. They extracted a huge settlement from a homeowners association and cashed in on book and movie deals.
The family attorney, Benjamin Crump, got his slice of the insurance payout and forged a national identity as a civil rights champion. The old school race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson reestablished their relevance and refreshed their cash flow. Of even greater significance, politicians like Gillum and President Barack Obama successfully exploited Trayvon Martin’s death to harvest votes and win elections; power!
Gilbert argues the media is responsible for the Martin hoax, and in this, he is partially correct. As I’ve often written, the case allowed them to push many of their favored narrative lines: an evil white-Hispanic–a new race they created because Zimmerman was actually Hispanic and only white people can be ultimately racist and evil–racially profiled and murdered a budding pilot/scholar who was only trying to bring home Skittles and tea for his little brother. That none of that was true was beside the point. The story was too good to check. But the prosecution, aided by the Obama DOJ, were the primary culprits.
Gilbert ends his article by promoting his book and documentary film.
Is Gilbert right? Was a fraud that could, and should, get any attorney disbarred and prosecuted actually carried out? Pushing a fake witness in a murder trial is, at the very least subornation of perjury, and arguably, obstruction of justice. Rachel Jeantel had her own attorney apart from Crump. It is not possible to think too poorly of the prosecution in this case, so it is possible they were involved as well, but on a more realistic level, it makes no sense.
Witnesses are reluctant to testify every day, everywhere, and everywhere they are compelled by subpoena. Diamond Eugene’s testimony could not have had any real effect on the case. What mattered was not what she or Trayvon Martin talked about before he decided to ambush and try to kill George Zimmerman, but what happened during that attack, unless, of course, Eugene could testify to Martin’s spoken intentions to attack Zimmerman.
Another significant question is where and how did Crump come up with Jeantel, and where did Jeantel get her testimony? In Gilbert’s account, she was entirely unrelated to the case, knowing nothing about it, and precious little about Trayvon Martin. Did her attorney, Crump, and/or other members of the scheme team recruit her? Pay her? Write and coach her testimony? She plainly did not want to be there, and if everything she said was a lie, she committed perjury on a grand scale, and anyone involved with her suborned perjury at the least.
Where did they dig her up? What was the connection that brought her to Crump’s attention? Why didn’t he find a far more compelling, intelligent, convincing and sympathetic witness? How could Jeantel, apart from being paid, be convinced to risk a perjury conviction for someone—Martin—she apparently barely knew?
Another question is what did the prosecutors know? As I noted in Update 11: The Dee Dee Interview—Kaboom!, de la Rionda’s interview of Jeantel was a disaster. Her comments appeared to indicate she’d been coached by de la Rionda. And there was this exchange late in the interview:
BDLR: Alright, listen, I know this has been very hard for you. But I do appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today, and obviously you know we record all this, because we’ve had a recorder right in front of you. But I do thank you from the bottom of my heart that you’ve come forward, and you’ve agreed to give this statement today. OK? I know this is very hard I can tell by looking at you, that you’re very emotional about this. It’s very understandable…
Dee Dee: [Makes a kind of “uh-uh” sound].
BDLR: …because you cared about him. But all we’re trying to do right now is seek the truth here. That’s why I’m taking this statement.
Dee Dee: I got guilt.
BDLR: Huh? [Obviously surprised]
Dee Dee: I got guilt.
BDLR: You’ve got guilt?
I actually do feel sorry for BDLR here. She just dropped this bomb on him and he has no choice but to ask the obvious question and try to at least contain this explosion. He knows he probably can’t defuse the bomb.
Dee Dee: Mmm-hmm [Yes].
BDLR: Why do you feel guilt?
Dee Dee: Real guilty.
Dee Dee: Real guilty.
BDLR: Why do you feel real guilty?
Dee Dee: Real guilty.
“Oh please, please…save me…I’ll try this…”
BDLR: Because you were talking onto the phone and you couldn’t do anything about it?
Dee Dee: I ain’t know about it.
“Oh my God…”
Dee Dee: I ain’t know about it.
BDLR: You didn’t know what had happened to him?
Dee Dee: Nuh…
BDLR: You’re saying, right? In terms of you were on the phone…
Dee Dee: ‘Cuz I know him.
BDLR: OK. Alright.
Dee Dee: [Unintelligible]
By this time, BDLR is probably grateful that he might be able to leave the room alive. And then Dee Dee throws him a bone that he might have tried to chew a bit earlier in the interview, but he is too disheartened to even nibble it. Clearly, BDLR just wants to get out of there.
Dee Dee: He would never fight, that’s the problem.
BDLR: He was not one of those people?
Dee Dee: Hmm-mmm [No].
Any competent prosecutor should, at the least, have been suspicious of Jeantel, and should never have conducted an interview with Martin’s mother, and a variety of others, present, in Martin’s mother’s home. Was the prosecution so desperate for a conviction they were willing to overlook what any competent prosecutor would recognize as a lying, terribly bad witness, a witness whose testimony would badly damage their case? Possibly. Or were they assured by Crump and/or others Jeantel would be ready and able to help them convict Zimmerman? Whatever the situation, she further damaged an already horribly flawed case. Her testimony was a debacle that should ever after be included in law school textbooks as a warning to future prosecutors.
Her first day of testimony was an epic disaster. She was rude, sullen, almost unintelligible, a textbook case of every prosecutor’s nightmare, and their frustration was evident. See Update 33.2 and Update 33.4 for that testimony. Defense attorney Don West handled her with kindness and patience and the utmost professionalism, and so did Mark O’Mara in his closing. Even the Judge, Debra Nelson, who was very much in the tank for the prosecution, was appalled. By the second day of her testimony, however, someone obviously got to her. She was no less inarticulate and dim, but more polite. The prosecution, in its closing arguments, actually apologized for her, complaining they didn’t get to choose their witnesses! So much for the prosecution’s star witness.
Actually, Jeantel was far from the only witness disastrous for the prosecution. Witness after prosecution witness actually proved self-defense, reducing the trial, and the prosecutors, to farce. As I, and Mark O’Mara said, it was the backward, Bizarro World case, where the Defense argued facts, evidence and the law, and the Prosecution behaved like stereotypical B-movie sleazy defense attorneys.
Considering Gilbert’s current allegations, one might think Gilbert right: Jeantel was a fake witness. But that’s a hindsight observation made to fit a contemporary assertion. The interview with de la Rionda, as disturbing as it should have been for the prosecutors, does suggest Jeantel had direct knowledge of the case, or at the very least, was very carefully and intensively coached, perhaps even by de la Rionda himself. Amazingly, at the trial, she made new assertions that were not in her interview with de la Rionda. They were not helpful to the prosecution. Did she make them up herself, or were they also coached? Clearly, she did not have the intelligence to sustain such a fraud on her own, which raises the question of why anyone planning to perpetrate such a fraud would choose such an obviously inadequate, even dangerous, vessel?
Did the prosecution suspect, even know, Jeantel was a fraud, even if they were not in on perpetrating that fraud? If they so much as suspected it, they had a legal, ethical obligation to tell the judge. Considering the judge in this case, even if they did, she might have done nothing about it. What a mess.
Gilbert may be right, but at the moment, I’m seeing no convincing reason to believe his assertions. Even his assertion that Jeantel was substituted for Eugene for a financial windfall doesn’t hold up. Jeantel—even Eugene– was never essential to the shakedown. I suppose I’ll have to buy his book and go from there. More when it’s necessary, gentle readers.