Earlier I posted the security video of George Zimmerman being taken into police custody and questioned. On the video, not the clearest images for sure, it looked as if Zimmerman had no injuries. Recently his medical pictures were released and they clearly show that he had taken a battering.
And to that I say... so what.
There are people who will say that the pictures prove that Zimmerman was attacked and had to defend himself. All those pictures prove is that George Zimmerman was in a fight and apparently didn't do so well. What the pictures do not prove is who instigated the brawl. Who threw the first punch or shove? Who initiated the final confrontation? Before I go any further I want to say that I am not an extremist in this case. I do not believe that Zimmerman purposefully went out that night to kill anyone. Even Trayvon Martin's mother said in an unguarded moment that she didn't believe that man went out that night to intentionally kill her son. That said, I do believe that George Zimmerman is guilty of killing Trayvon Martin and he should do jail time. Maybe the prosecution over reached in charging Murder 2 and not manslaughter which I think most people would agree is what happened.
There are three sides to any dispute. There are the perspectives of the two people involved and then there's the truth of what happened and how it happened.. The job of the judicial system is to determine the truth based on where the two perspectives agree and don't agree along with any concrete evidence. But there's one thing about human nature that has to be taken into account when trying to determine the truth about an event. People don't want to look like assholes. What I mean is no one wants to willingly admit they share fifty percent or more of the blame for the issue. There has to be a victim or innocent party and each side will claim that its them. In an effort to do just that each side will consciously or subconsciously tweak their perspective to show their innocence or victim-hood.
In the Martin/Zimmerman case there is only one perspective, the story of the events as told by George Zimmerman. In the absence of Trayvon's side of the story all we have to go on is the evidence of the case and how much George's story jibe's with it. The broad points match up to a certain point:
*Trayvon Martin went to a store in the neighborhood he was staying. Security video from the store shows just that.
*George Zimmerman first saw Martin as he was walking back to the house and followed the teen in his car. His 911 call record agrees with that.
*Trayvon notices a man following him and tells his girlfriend whom he was talking on the phone. She testifies that she told Martin to run. At the same time on the 911 tape Zimmerman tells the dispatcher that Martin is running. That matches.
Then Zimmerman hangs up with 911. All of this information matches up. Other than giving his opinion that Martin looked suspicious, Zimmerman never states or claims he witnessed him committing a crime or doing anything illegal at the time he observed him. After the police arrive and searched Trayvon's body, they never reported that he had anything illegal or any weapons on his person. So other than being unfamiliar with George Zimmerman on that fateful night, all evidence, reports and statements show that Trayvon Martin was doing nothing wrong or illegal before his clash with Zimmerman.
Everything matches up to this point.
Various witnesses attest to hearing and seeing two people struggling on the ground and hearing a shot ring out. During the time between the 911 call and the struggle on the ground no one saw who started the fight or how the two came to blows. Martin's girlfriend claims to have heard the initial clash on the phone and said she heard a sound as if Martin was pushed then the phone hangs up. This is the most crucial point of the case. Because this time period proves who was the aggressor and instigator. If Trayvon had survived his wound he would most definitely have an opposing perspective on how the chain of events went. I would suspect that his story from the beginning up to the clash would match up as well but then the two stories would diverge widely at the point of the final confrontation.
Since we can't get Martin's side of the story we only have Zimmerman's side to go on. Remember when I said people don't want to look like assholes? I believe that George Zimmerman has motivation to lie. Either outright or by omission but he has motivation. When the police questioned him about the fight, he says that Martin attacked from behind as he was going back to his car. That's interesting considering that Martin ran away from him. Also his statement to the police was initially questioned. During the fight, while Trayvon was pounding on Zimmerman, he told detectives that the teen said "something like, "you're going to die tonight". According to reports, the detective thought it sounded overly dramatic and contrived. They also questioned whether his injuries were consistent with the number of blows he claimed to have sustained.
All of this suggests to me that Zimmerman tweaked his perspective to better match up with a victim status. It explains why Trayvon Martin's actions are so threatening and dangerous. He had to attack Zimmerman from behind. He had to make life threatening statements during the struggle. Going by Zimmerman's side of the story there is no doubt in anyone's mind that he was the victim of an unprovoked attack. Why would Zimmerman lie, you may ask? Because anything less than defending himself/pure victim status means jail time and a lot of it. Whether he lied on purpose or not is hard to tell. I would think that the shock of killing someone would have a significant affect on how honest and forthright one is going to be when asked what happened.
The police also have a stake in this. There's heavy speculation that they bungled the initial investigation and the fallout of finding out that the police and DA made a series of errors could result in a number of people losing their jobs. So right or wrong the police have to defend their investigation if for no other reason than not to come off looking like the Keystone Kops. If there is a racial element here, I believe that its how the police treated the crime scene, which was in a very jaded fashion. The cops and DA's ruling on the case essentially gave Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt even though we now learn there were quite a few doubts about his story. Those questions were never explored at the time and going by reports of how the cops and DA handled the case it seems to me they looked at Martin, saw a young black male dressed like a typical young black male criminal, assumed Zimmerman was telling the full truth and decided the thug probably got what he deserved, marked it self defense, toe tagged the body and moved on.
It didn't matter that the teenager didn't do anything wrong up to the point of the fight. Only after a media frenzy and public outcry did Sanford PD even bother to start looking into the doubts of the case. The biggest question that I see that anyone in SPD or the DA's office didn't care to ask was if Zimmerman is claiming self defense then self defense from what?
Yeah, I know, they fought but that's just part of the series of actions that led to a young man getting killed. Even though Zimmerman was getting his ass kicked in a fight that doesn't mean his actions were legally self defense. And how did they get to a fight in the first place? How does a man going to a hardware store end up shooting someone? How does a teenager going to a convenience store to buy junk food end up dead and how does all of this happen in a gated community?
I said earlier that there are 3 sides to a dispute. Unfortunately because Trayvon Martin is dead, we have 2 sides, George Zimmerman's perspective and the truth as measured against all the evidence that agrees and disagrees with Zimmerman's story. With that in mind there seem to be two scenarios that could have happened that night in my estimation.
1. Things went exactly as George Zimmerman said. He saw a young man acting strangely, called it in to 911, the man saw Zimmerman watching him and ran away then circled back and attacked the town-watch man from behind. A scuffle ensued and Zimmerman, getting pummeled by the wild acting thug, screaming for help pulled his gun and shot the teen in self defense.
2. Zimmerman seeing a young black male dressed in the same style as number of young black males who have committed crimes in the neighborhood, became suspicious and called 911 to report it. Trayvon, noticing he's being followed by a stranger in a car, ran away from him. Zimmerman, frustrated by the fact that "these assholes, they always get away" continues to follow the teen but loses him. At some point they meet up again and a confrontation ensues. According to Trayvon's girlfriend who was on the phone with him, she could hear the two talking to each other. Martin asked, "Why are you following me for?" and Zimmerman demanded, "What are you doing around here?" then she hears what she said sounded like Martin getting pushed and what sounds like Martin saying "get off, get off" then the call ends. From that point things escalate to a fight and Zimmerman, getting the worst of it, pulls his gun and shoots Trayvon.
In one scenario, Zimmerman is innocent and the attack unprovoked.
In the other scenario Zimmerman is the pursuer to a fleeing Martin and is at least fifty percent of the reason things escalated to a fight.
Which scenario seems more likely to you?
The photos of a battered George Zimmerman only prove that Trayvon Martin fought like a Comanche that night. I keep hearing about how Zimmerman feared for his life. But it was Martin who fled and from the looks of Zimmerman it was Martin who fought the hardest. So who really feared for their life that night?