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The Aftermath of the George Zimmerman Case, Part 1: The Trial, the Evidence and the Verdict

From American Thinker
August 31, 2013  |   By Jonathan Cohen

The aftermath of the verdict in the George Zimmerman case has been as depressing as the actions and atmosphere during the 17 months preceding the trial.  The misuse of state power for political purposes and the deliberate misleading of the public by much of the media concerning the facts of the case pre-trial, has been matched in the aftermath by the threats by the US Department of Justice to retry the case in Federal Court and the refusal by many politicians and members of the press to explain the verdict as stemming from the evidence presented at trial. The collection of witness testimony, physical evidence and the forensic evaluation of the gunshot wound that clearly pointed towards Zimmerman’s innocence. In coming to grips with the verdict’s implications one must begin with an understanding of the actual evidence in the case. This is the first article in a three part series about the case.  This article is devoted to a synopsis of the key evidence in the trial, highlighting the misconceptions that have been promulgated frequently in the media’s reporting. In the second, the role of the media, the lawyers and the racial divide will be explored. The third article will reflect on how racial history impacts how people viewed the case.

Facts in the case

The map below is a useful aid in understanding the evidence in the case. Zimmerman’s truck was located on the map at the cut through crossing Twin Trees and leading to the top of the T which leads to the east section of Retreat View Circle. It is the point from which he started walking along the cut through towards Retreat View. The phone call to the dispatcher begins with Zimmerman in the truck and continues as he follows the path. The distance from the “T” to Brandy Green’s Townhouse is about 80 yards. That gives a perspective of the relative distances involved in the movements of Zimmerman and Martin. The X marks where Trayvon Martin was shot.

In understanding the confusion on the part of people discussing the case in the aftermath of the verdict it is important to clear up some misconceptions. These mistakes are the result of pre-trial misstatements of facts in the media and also follow from a failure to correct them in the media commentary that accompanied the reporting on the trial. TM house denotes Brandy Green’s townhouse.


1.  “The death of Trayvon Martin happened because George Zimmerman disobeyed a policeman’s order to stay in his car and not follow Trayvon Martin.”

The following facts are clear from the transcript of the call that George Zimmerman made reporting a suspicious person.

  • George Zimmerman was never told to stay in his car.
  • George Zimmerman was never told to return to his car.
  • George Zimmerman was not ordered to not follow Trayvon Martin. He was only told he did not need to do it, a suggestion made to protect the police department from future liability as well as common sense to protect the safety of George Zimmerman.
  • George Zimmerman answered the dispatcher’s suggestion by saying ok and from the recording of the call it is clear that he stopped following him.
  • George Zimmerman told the dispatcher at 2:35 that “he ran” suggesting that he had lost sight of Martin and at 3:40 he expressed fear about saying his address out loud because he had lost sight of Martin. It would have been impossible for Zimmerman to have followed Martin if he did not know where he was.

2.  “Trayvon would not have been killed if Zimmerman had not kept him from returning to the condo where he was staying with his father.” (Henceforth we will refer to this place as Brandy Green’s townhouse).

This is contradicted by the following

  • There were about 4 minutes between the point in time that Martin ran towards Brandy Green’s townhouse and when he encountered Zimmerman at the intersection point at the top of the T where the fight apparently began. That meant that Martin had four minutes to walk or run about 100 yards to Brandy Green’s townhouse, a distance he could have easily covered in less than 20 seconds.
  • According to the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin told her that he had returned to Brandy Green’s townhouse and that he had lost sight of Zimmerman.
  • In further conversation with Martin, Jeantel testified that Martin saw Zimmerman again and confronted him verbally at that point in time which is about 7:15:55. From all witnesses, this encounter took place at the top of the T and not in front of Brandy Green’s townhouse which is about 80 yards south of this point. For whatever reason, Martin chose not to go home. That was his decision and had nothing to do with Zimmerman impeding him.

3.  “Trayvon Martin was racially profiled by George Zimmerman”.

This is contradicted by the phone call to the dispatcher.

  • The conversation transcript is as follows. The time into the recorded call is the first item in parenthesis and the actual time of day is in the second.

George Zimmerman: We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. It’s Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about. [00:25] [7:11:59]
911 dispatcher: OK, is he White, Black, or Hispanic?
George Zimmerman: He looks black.

  • It appears at this point that Zimmerman is unsure that Martin is black. Thirty seconds later after Martin approaches Zimmerman’s car and he has a closer look, he tells the dispatcher

George Zimmerman: Yeah, now he’s coming toward me. He’s got his hands in his waist band.
And he’s a black male.[1:03] [7:10:37]

In other words, he now confirms that Martin is black from which it can be inferred that he was initially unsure. Given the darkness and rainy conditions at the time, it is highly unlikely that Zimmerman could have identified Martin as Black when he first became suspicious of him. Furthermore, it is known from earlier recorded calls that Zimmerman, for purpose of identification, did not hesitate to mention the race of people he saw whether they were white or black. The likely reason he didn’t initially volunteer the race of Martin was that he simply didn’t know.

4.   “George Zimmerman confronted Trayvon Martin”.

No evidence of this was presented at the trial.

  • The location of the confrontation was at the intersection point of the T (an east-west cut through between two streets and a path leading south from this path). Zimmerman said he was walking towards his car which means he crossed this point heading west. From Rachel Jeantel’s testimony it can be inferred that Trayvon was heading north to the intersection point from Brandy Green’s townhouse. The most likely explanation was that they accidentally arrived at this point at about the same time. Given the row of town houses lining the T and the dark and rainy conditions, it is very unlikely that either had been aware of the other’s proximity at the time they encountered each other. From the testimony of Rachel Jeantel and the information given by Zimmerman, it is likely that both were surprised by suddenly seeing the other.
  • From both the testimony of Rachel Jeantel and the information given to police by George Zimmerman, Trayvon initiated the ensuing exchange of words. There are various versions of what precisely was said and it is likely that neither Jeantel nor Zimmerman remembers the exact words, but it is clear that Martin was the first to speak.

5. “It is not clear who was calling for help”.

Continue reading



One response to “The Aftermath of the George Zimmerman Case, Part 1: The Trial, the Evidence and the Verdict

  1. Pingback: The Aftermath of the George Zimmerman Case, Part 1: The Trial, the Evidence and the Verdict | L'horreur islamique

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