Saturday, July 20, 2013

Deconstructing the Trayvon Martin Murder Trial and Aftermath

Having been a police officer and detective for some 26 years, I have seen many criminal trials. Most criminal trials, including homicide trials, developed around the Prosecution presenting a narrative as to what occurred and the evidence that backs up their narrative; the Defense then tries to poke holes in the narrative to create reasonable doubt. The strength of the Prosecution's narrative usually determines whether the suspect is found guilty or innocent. In the Trayvon Martin case these roles were reversed which shows the weakness of the  Prosecution's case. The Defense had a defensible narrative backed by evidence that George Zimmerman, as a neighborhood watch captain, saw a suspicious person (Trayvon Martin), in his gated community and called the police. The police told Zimmerman not to engage the suspect and they would send a patrol car. Zimmerman followed Martin and at some point lost sight of him. Martin than then came up behind Zimmerman, overpowered him and took him to the ground, where he proceeded to pound his head on the sidewalk. Zimmerman, who was legally carrying a concealed firearm than shot Martin one time and Martin died of his wounds. Now, before I continue, I should say this narrative is in dispute by some. There are many who believe that in any altercation between a black and white , the white is always the instigator. Therefore you have a contingent that believe that Zimmerman stalked and attacked Martin, and when Martin got the best of him, Zimmerman shot him. Probably the most compelling argument against this is Zimmerman's past behavior. Zimmerman was well known to the police because he had made numerous calls regarding suspicious people in his neighborhood and not once in all those incidents did Zimmerman ever even contacted one of these people he was calling on. With absolutely no evidence to the contrary, the idea of this counter narrative being a defensible narrative it is nothing more than wishful thinking.

The Prosecution must now take a defense posture and try and poke holes in the Defenses narrative;  this  reversal almost never leads to guilty verdict, which is why most cases of this kind never go to court. The tactics include, minimizing injuries, overstating differences in statements, minimizing the strength of the evidence and a great deal of conjecture and demonization of the defendant and witnesses. These are all things juries hate the most about trials, especially when it comes from the Prosecution as they are usually held to a higher standard. Examples of this were the injuries to Zimmerman that included a broken nose and two lacerations on the back of his head; to the prosecution this was a bump on the nose and a couple of scraps. The Prosecution called the  Medical Examiner from Jacksonville, Valerie Rao solely as a witness to minimize Zimmerman's injuries. Rao said Zimmerman's head didn't reflect that his head was being slammed with great force into a sidewalk as he claims and her contention was that Zimmerman's injuries were insignificant to show the Prosecution's contention that Zimmerman's life was not in danger. The problem with this is first, Rao never examined Zimmerman but simply looked at photos and the photos of his injuries. The so called  "bump" on Zimmerman's nose showed a somewhat disfiguring injury; his nose flattened against his face. Further there is not necessarily a correlation between the surface injury of a head wound and a resulting concussion. Concussions often do not result in cranial bruising or bleeding, which can be seen in an MRI. Usually doctors have to rely solely on the symptoms articulated by the patient. Further, if a person's head is banged against concrete, any resulting lacerations are a result of the skin being parted between the victim's skull and the sidewalk; it would be malpractice for any doctor to declare a person with similar injuries to Zimmerman, as being insignificant and not worth a thorough examination to determine of the person has a concussion. Below is the common photo showing Zimmerman's injures on top and the more graph photot that was rarely shown on the bottom.

Next you have the prosecutions 3 different  versions of the incident by Zimmerman; by all accounts they were simply minor variations. One variation that was touted by the Prosecution was Zimmerman first said that Martin jumped out of some bushes before we was attacked. Later Zimmerman said he wasn't sure if Martin actually jumped out of the bushes, he just assumed so because Martin seemed to come out of nowhere; an absurdly similar statement. There is also a  question during the fight, when Zimmerman was on the ground and Martin on top of him, whether Zimmerman pulled both Martins hands off his mouth or one when Zimmerman said Martin tried to grab his pistol. Another was a question about Martin's hand position at the time of the shooting and some other minor differences that Zimmerman told a friend. All of these can easily be chalked up to a person trying to recall an incident that will probably the most stressful and horrifying incident in his life. 

So, why would the Florida State Attorney file charges against Zimmerman, , if the above is even mostly correct. Well, even a low information voter would surmise, if they didn't know already, that Trayvon Martin was black and George Zimmerman is not. But from the very beginning racial bias that was ruled out.  The Sanford Florida lead investigator in the case,  Det. Chris Serino, said he thought Zimmerman profiled Trayvon because of his attire and the circumstances — but not his race. The FBI investigated the case and reported that after interviewing nearly three dozen people in the George Zimmerman murder case, they found no evidence that racial bias was a motivating factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. If nothing else, it is a fact that Zimmerman had called the police on numerous suspicious subjects in his neighborhood of all races for years and never had a violent encounter for years. Even when Zimmerman called the police on Martin, it took a coaxing from the 911 operator even to get his race.

"Black race victimism  is they way civil rights activist like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson make their living. Their interjection into any incident is designed solely to drive a wedge between races and try to retard any progress in race relations."

Black race victimism  is they way civil rights activist like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson make their living. Their interjection into any incident is designed solely to drive a wedge between races and try to retard any progress in race relations.They latched onto this case as a way to increase their stature and forward their twisted message of racial inequality and victimism through continued  race baiting; i.e. "The only reason Martin is dead is because we was profiled and shot by a white man because he was black"; ignoring the actions by Martin that led to his death.  Again this is absurd as Zimmerman had reported many suspicious persons, many of them black before and the only one that resulted in any altercation at all was the incident with Martin. The simple reason was Martin was the only person that had ever decided to physically take on Zimmerman for following him. Martin's reasoning was explained by his girlfriend Rachel Jeantel. Even though her testimony was carefully coached  by the prosecution and some of which contradicted the evidence, she quoted Martin as  saying on the telephone he was being followed by a “creepy ass cracker”. Jeantel is so immersed in her lower class black culture of drug use and partying that she didn't even realize that “creepy ass cracker” is a pejorative. Just like the "N" word in the South,  "cracker" becomes a non-pejorative only through common usage and immersion in a isolated subculture. The end result was obvious, the fact that is was Martin  attacking the “creepy ass cracker” who was following him not only placed the blame for the incident on Martin, but it showed if there was any racial bias going on, it was with Trayvon Martin acting on it, not Zimmerman.

 "..we also have the President personalizing the incident by saying "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago"; one wonders if that means a 17 year old Barrack Obama would have beat down a "creepy ass cracker"".

With the acquittal of Zimmerman, Al Sharpton and the other race-baiters have turned their attention to a federal civil rights trail for Zimmermann. Even though there is simply no basis for such a trial, is is probably a 50/50 proposition that one may occur. First you have the Attorney General, Eric Holder and his infamous speech in 2008 when he said, "Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we average Americans simply do not talk enough with each other about race..", in other words average Americans tend to ignore racial inequality. we also have the President personalizing the incident by saying "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago"; one wonders if that means a 17 year old Barrack Obama would have  beat down a "creepy ass cracker" because he was following him. So the chances of a federal trail based solely on the racial bias of Holder and President Obama is likely.

I would also be remiss by not commenting on the media that has been part and parcel of the race baiting, trying to drum up protests from the black community at large; the media even invented a new racial identity for Zimmerman, calling him a White/Hispanic. First the media as a whole continued to use photos of Martin taken when was 13-14 and not the 17 year old want-to-be as his later photos and facebook entries showed before they were expunged.

You also have NBC "News" doctoring Zimmerman's call to the police making it appear that Zimmerman was racially biased; as mentioned earlier the police dispatcher had to prompt Zimmerman to describe Martin's race. In totality you have the media at large trying desperately to create the allusion of a racial incident. The media continues this allusion by slanted coverage of the Al Sharpton organized "Justice for Trayvon" protest rallies by not reporting the protests are only drawing a few hundred protestors in large cities and only couple of dozen protestors in smaller cities. Further there is also a disconnect between many of the protest rallies and even President Obama, regarding the Stand Your Ground laws in Florida and elsewhere. The fact is the Zimmerman defense never claimed immunity from the Stand Your Ground law, but it has become a rallying point nonetheless and I would not be surprised if Al Sharpton is perpetuating this ignorance to use it as a protest issue that is more provocative than the nuance of a self defense motive. 

Finally there are the civil rights activists that are calling for large and nationwide protesters to pressure the Federal Department of Justice to file a federal civil rights case against for Zimmerman.   The tactic seems to completely ignore the rule of law that is supposed to protect individuals against the tyranny of the majority, or the loudest group; or the tyranny of criminal trials based on populist pressure or politically expedient rational. In other words those believing the their protests will force a federal trial are hoping the very laws that protect civil liberties will be violated in this case.


In a strange turn of events Zimmerman came across a traffic accident where he assisted extracting a family from a rolled over SUV and put out a fire with his own fire extinguisher. Zimmerman Saves Family of Four in Florida Car Crash; the end result of being saved by Zimmerman is the family is in fear for their safety from the left ling wackos that will not allow any information to go unchallenged and demonized if it runs counter to their race polarization narrative. 

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