If you believe the majority of early news reports, George Zimmerman, an obvious racist, saw Trayvon Martin calmly walking through his neighborhood, confronted him and shot him dead in cold blood. Zimmerman then claimed he killed Trayvon Martin in self defense. You were also told the police were equally racist or incompetent or whatever, and gave Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt by not immediately arresting him.
Who could blame you for being led to believe this version, particularly after a major news network intentionally altered photographs and video of George Zimmerman’s injuries to make it appear Zimmerman was unscathed. Further, Trayvon Martin’s photo, taken when he was much younger, made it appear he was a child, rather than a well-built 17 year-old high school football player.
You were also told that George Zimmerman ignored a police dispatcher’s instruction that he didn’t need to follow Trayvon, and proceeded to aggressively follow him anyway, leading up to a confrontation where Zimmerman pulled his gun and shot Trayvon out of pure hatred for black people.
The problem with the above fantasy is that the evidence doesn’t support any of it.
There was an eye witness to the initial confrontation, and that witness stated that it was Trayvon Martin who slugged George Zimmerman in the nose, fracturing it and causing Zimmerman to fall backward onto the sidewalk. The same eye witness told investigators that Martin got on top of Zimmerman, beating and choking him and slamming his head against the concrete, and that George Zimmerman was calling out for help. The witness had turned from the window or balcony of his apartment to call 911 at the time of the shooting.
There is an old adage of legal jurisprudence that your right to strike out with your fist ends at the tip of my nose, and Trayvon Martin is clearly the one who introduced physical violence into the incident, however, that didn’t justify the use of deadly force by Zimmerman — not yet, anyway.
Next, George Zimmerman did have several lacerations on the back of his head (plus the broken nose) that were consistent with his version that Martin repeatedly slammed his head against the concrete sidewalk. This was a pivotal act that constituted an act of violence likely to result in the serious injury or death of George Zimmerman, but according to Zimmerman, it was not until Trayvon Martin saw Zimmerman’s gun in his holster and was reaching for it that Zimmerman pulled his gun and shot Martin, killing him.
I’m mostly in the insurance business, having specialized in accident disability insurance for over 38 years, and I can attest that even relatively minor blows to the head can and will result in serious injury or death. Many people have a congenital weakness in the walls of the blood vessels in their brains, and when something happens to cause the wall of the blood vessel to burst, death is instantaneous. In other cases, a brain slamming inside the skull from a blow or similar trauma, will bruise the brain and cause it to swell inside the skull. This also often results in death if the victim is not immediately hospitalized to relieve the pressure through emergency surgery, and it can also result in a permanent brain injury that can disable the victim for life. Forget what you see on TV or at the movies: A single blow to the head can be fatal!
According to Zimmerman, he did not grab his gun and use it until it appeared Martin was trying to take the gun for his own use, and it was only then that Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. What the news people aren’t telling you is that Zimmerman had every legal right to use deadly force the moment Martin slammed his head into the concrete, well before Martin appeared to try to disarm Zimmerman.
What nobody in the news business is even considering is that Trayvon Martin would be facing at least 2nd degree murder charges had Zimmerman died as a result of the head-slamming, or attempted murder charges had Zimmerman survived! The evidence clearly shows that Trayvon Martin initiated the violence, thus committing a crime.
Upon examination, police verified that George Zimmerman had a fractured nose and suffered deep lacerations to the back of his skull. Police further interviewed Zimmerman and found that his injuries were consistent with his version of events, hence, they did not immediately charge Zimmerman with a crime, pending further investigation. That is what good, professional investigators do under those circumstances.
Zimmerman’s version certainly has merit. Trayvon Martin had no injuries to his face or anywhere else, except the gunshot wound — now what does that tell you?
I don’t care what Trayvon Martin’s family claims regarding Martin’s alleged good boy image: The evidence shows that Trayvon Martin hauled off and slugged Zimmerman in the nose, then jumped on top of him when he was already on the ground, preventing him from getting up. Does anyone think this wonderful “little” boy had never done this before? I’m certainly not buying that BS for one New York second, because I know better.
Did George Zimmerman have the right to follow Martin when he saw him walking through this neighborhood right after several burglaries had taken place in the same area? Sure, so long as he didn’t try to detain Martin or interfere with Martin‘s freedom to walk anywhere he was legally entitled to, and Martin didn’t exactly help matters in choosing to wear his hoodie, which partially covered his face and made him look like a typical gang-banger. But that poor choice notwithstanding, George Zimmerman not only followed Martin from a distance, but he also called the police to ask their assistance. That call to police dispatch certainly belies any assumption that Zimmerman was looking for an excuse to kill the black kid who didn’t belong there.
Trayvon Martin would be alive today had he just punched Zimmerman in the nose and walked away, but according to the eye witness, he escalated that violence by jumping on Zimmerman in furtherance of his violent act. Heck, Martin would be alive today if he hadn’t turned around to confront Zimmerman at all.
If Zimmerman had ignored the dispatcher’s advice not to continue to follow Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman would have been a lot farther away from his car than the 100 feet where the beating occurred — a lot farther. According to Zimmerman, he did not continue to follow Martin, choosing instead to wait for police to arrive and direct them to where Martin was headed. But Trayvon Martin obviously had a chip on his shoulder when he realized Zimmerman was watching him, because he made the fatal mistake of turning around and confronting Zimmerman. According to Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin asked Zimmerman if he had a problem, to which Zimmerman replied, “No”, at which time Trayvon Martin, the “non-violent” high school football player and all around good boy, said, “You do now!”, and sucker-punched Zimmerman in the face.
I don’t care what color their skin is, if I see somebody wandering around my own neighborhood who doesn’t seem to belong there, I’m going to keep an eye on them. Why? Well, I live on the tip of a mountain at the end of a 2.5 mile road that is one-way in and one-way out, and I know what my neighbors look like. In the past year or so, I know of at least three burglaries of homes near mine, two were vacant foreclosures where the burglars took all the built-in kitchen and bathroom appliances and fixtures, and the other happened when a close neighbor left on a trip and his 46” Sony flat screen TV and desk computer were stolen. I never heard or saw a thing, because that burglary took place in a heavy fog, and it is believed somebody knew the family would be away and tipped off some dirt-bag to do the deed.
I have every right to ask a suspicious stranger if they are looking for an address. Short of a restraining order, I have every right to follow anyone around any time I want to, especially if it doesn’t appear they have any legitimate purpose for being there. What I don’t have any right to do, is accost the individual or in any way interfere with his/her freedom to walk or drive where they are entitled to. I also don’t have any right to confront and then sucker punch another person, just because they look suspicious or because I think they are harassing me. Apparently, Trayvon Martin felt he was being disrespected by Zimmerman and was going to teach him a lesson about said respect.
Unfortunately, Trayvon Martin made a very bad, snap decision that ultimately led to his death, but had police arrived at the time Martin was slamming Zimmerman’s head on the concrete, it would have been Trayvon Martin facing felony homicide or attempted murder charges instead of Zimmerman. It is obvious from the many injuries to Zimmerman, compared to the complete lack of facial, head or torso injuries to Trayvon Martin (other than the gunshot wound) that Trayvon Martin initiated the violence that led to his untimely death.
Frankly, George Zimmerman is lucky he had a gun!
Carl F. Worden
Southern Oregon Militia
July 19, 2012