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    Martin v. Zimmerman: The media at its worst

    Everything I initially wrote about the Trayvon Martin killing was based on network news reports. And it was almost entirely wrong.
    Did the media demonize George Zimmerman?

    Did the media demonize George Zimmerman? Credit: werthmedia/Flickr

    In my KOMO radio commentary of March 23, 2012, I said the following about the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman:

    “Thinking of 17-year old Trayvon the way we’d think of our own kids is exactly how to view this tragedy. The man who police say shot him, George Zimmerman, is a 28-year old CrimeWatch volunteer, who apparently did just about everything a Crimewatch volunteer SHOULDN’T do, such as following the 17 year old teen when a 911 dispatcher advised him not to, confronting him when he had no business doing so, and shooting him. Mr. Zimmerman was not standing his ground against an aggressor, he WAS the aggressor.  And Trayvon Martin received the death penalty for walking home in the rain wearing a hooded sweatshirt, and carrying a pack of candy.”

    Everything I said was based on what the network news media had been reporting, and continued to report for months. And it was almost entirely wrong. 

    Eyewitness testimony and physical evidence backs up George Zimmerman’s claim that he was neither the physical aggressor, nor even “standing his ground” that night. He was confronted by an angry Martin, who knocked him down with a punch to the nose and proceeded to pummel him. (There is no evidence of a “fight,” but abundant evidence of an assault). 

    Trayvon Martin was shot not “walking home in the rain wearing a hooded sweatshirt,”but while straddling Zimmerman MMA style, beating him senseless, bloodying his face and punching or pounding his head against the concrete sidewalk.  

    The most disputed question that night — who was screaming for help before the shot was fired by Zimmerman? — has family and friends on both sides divided. But it raises another question that essentially answers itself: Who would more likely scream for help? The person being beaten, or the one doing the beating?

    One of the most important, and remarkably under-publicized facts that came out at trial is that one of the detectives, while interrogating Zimmerman at the police station that night, told him that the entire incident had been caught on surveillance video. The detective was bluffing, but Zimmerman didn’t know that. His reaction: “Thank God”.

    “Thank God.” How many people who do something wrong, lie about it and are told it’s on tape react that way? 

    Zimmerman certainly made mistakes that night; he should have stayed in his car. But they were mistakes in judgment. So weak was the criminal case against him that many were predicting his acquittal two days into the trial before the defense had even presented its case.

    So why are so many people upset and angry about the verdict?

    Because they still believe what I believed in that commentary a year and a half ago.   

    The news media, aided by activists like Al Sharpton, made this entire saga about race from the very beginning. When the racial narrative didn’t fit, the media distorted evidence, doctored audio tape or misled the public about the facts until it did. As Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said after the verdict, the press turned Zimmerman, a man who mentored young African American school kids, into a “monster.”

    Columnist John Nolte from Bigjournalism.com (the people who caught NBC editing a tape to make Zimmerman appear racist) compiled a superb timeline of the media’s race-crime narrative, supplemented with links. Some highlights:

    On March 13, 2012, Al Sharpton interviewed the Martin family’s attorney Benjamin Crump, who described Zimmerman as white and claimed that it was Zimmerman who approached Trayvon Martin. The Associated Press had also erroneously described Zimmerman, a Hispanic, as white.

    On March 21, 2012, CNN falsely accused Zimmerman of muttering the word “coon” when he called authorities. That was false, but not corrected by CNN for two weeks, long after it had influenced the media angle that Zimmerman was motivated by racial hostility.

    Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!


    Posted Mon, Jul 15, 10:30 p.m. Inappropriate

    Not guilty and not too bright but bright enough to defend himself.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 7:21 a.m. Inappropriate

    Carlson can believe what he wants about "the media," of which he is a card-carrying member of long-standing (perhaps you forgot this John), and of the truth of the Zimmerman case (a fool who provoked a murder of another), but to call Alan Dershowitz a "liberal" is cause for anyone who knows Dershowitz's recent track record to considering filing a libel suit against John Carlson for distortion of the truth.

    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 10:17 a.m. Inappropriate

    Swifty, there is a significant difference between news media and op-ed media. Clearly, Carlson is speaking of the supposedly objective news media, not the editorial media that he is a part of. News Media is based on reporting what's happening in the world. In theory, somewhat without bias. Editorial or Opinion media, such as Talk Radio, doesn't pretend to be unbiased.
    Isn't that self-evident?

    As to Dershowitz, perhaps he not radically leftist enough for you to want to include him in your definition of liberalism. But clearly, years of public commentary show he is left of center in the majority of his positions. That's how one determines general labels such as Liberal and Conservative even if he doesn't pass your particular litmus test. I suspect you don't like some of his positions (perhaps on the middle east or what constitutes torture) so you have decided to disqualify him from being in your club. "It is good to be the King", i suppose.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 8:57 a.m. Inappropriate

    Carlson prefers as I do, to believe the facts of the case unlike yourself. The truth is that Zimmerman was on Neighborhood Watch, which means he desired to help protect his neighborhood against the ongoing crimes. My bet is that you don't have the courage to put yourself in harms way to protect anyone or anything but yourself. Furthermore, if you bothered to review the facts, you would know that George was asked by the dispatcher what race the individual looked like and following that, he turned back toward his vehicle at which time he was attacked by Martin and George rightfully defended himself against the perpetrator.


    Posted Thu, Jul 18, 9:16 a.m. Inappropriate

    The facts are George Zimmerman had called 911 46 times in the past about suspicious people in the neighborhood and 46 times they were African American males, in spite of the fact the neighborhood population is only 10% black.

    The neighborhood HOA, the one George Zimmerman was vigilante volunteering for, settled with the Trayvon Martin family early. They knew they were liable.

    George Zimmerman chose not to use the Stand Your Ground Defense because he would have had to take the stand and submit to cross-examination.

    Dos Equis

    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 7:51 p.m. Inappropriate

    True. He would have had to explain why Martin's body was 30 feet away from the concrete if his head was being bashed on the concrete.

    Of course, we all know his scratches were not consistent with anyone having their head bashed on concrete.


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:05 p.m. Inappropriate

    Every thing I have heard and read said Zimmerman was NOT on NW but was going to Target.

    Zimmerman did not put himself in harms way by attacking an unarmed boy with his loaded gun.

    The only one in harms way was Martin.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 7:29 a.m. Inappropriate

    The defendant didn't use the Stand Your Ground Defense. If he had, he would have had to take the stand.

    Dos Equis

    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 8:12 a.m. Inappropriate

    I appreciate reading Mr. Carlson's perspective on mass media coverage of the Zimmerman trial.

    Journalists are the only professionals who do not have to answer to a licensing board or governing body. They are supposed to police themselves and each other in exchange for the free speech rights they are supposed to help champion. Sadly, they usually circle the wagons and blame the victim when irresponsible journalism is published or broadcast and exposed.

    Good for Mr. Carlson for holding his colleagues' feet to the ethical fire.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 10:56 a.m. Inappropriate

    After the verdict the typical headline/theme was how sad it was that Zimmerman had been exonerated.
    "A sad day" sort of meme. It's as if the media did not attend at all to what evidence was presented. It was supposed to become part of the Narrative, evidence be damned. Nice article, John.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 11:16 a.m. Inappropriate

    Wow, the author's take on the subject still stinks. The trial didn't prove any of the "facts" he asserts, but the defense did introduce reasonable doubt into the prosecution's case. That's all they had to go with the jury.


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:01 p.m. Inappropriate

    Wonder what proof he thinks was shown. The "facts" will never be known because Zimmerman will never tell the truth. He was a vigilante. He glanced at a young black boy, decided he was guilty (of what, being black?) chased him down and executed him.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 12:23 p.m. Inappropriate

    The trial had the wrong subject. Zimmerman should have been convicted for being stupid and having a gun, for getting out of his car, for using incredibly bad judgement...at the end it may have been self-defense; we'll never know. But we do know, if at all reasonable, that this did not have to happen. We can only guess whether he was racial biased but we sure as hell ought to begin to queston who is carrying a gun...this is a failure of our national and individual stupidity!


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 1:20 a.m. Inappropriate

    Zimmerman had a permit for his gun, and was acting legally when he got out of his car.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 12:35 p.m. Inappropriate

    Apparently you're unaware of our constitution and 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Zimmerman was lawfully carrying to protect himself and defend against Martin who attacked him. Zimmerman knew how to use his weapon and used in a manner that was clearly self defense. Frankly it should never have gone to trial. Had he been unarmed, it's likely Zimmerman would be the one killed and the media wouldn't have covered it and people like yourself wouldn't care, just move along.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 12:24 p.m. Inappropriate

    The trial had the wrong subject. Zimmerman should have been convicted for being stupid and having a gun, for getting out of his car, for using incredibly bad judgement...at the end it may have been self-defense; we'll never know. But we do know, if at all reasonable, that this did not have to happen. We can only guess whether he was racial biased but we sure as hell ought to begin to queston who is carrying a gun...this is a failure of our national and individual stupidity!


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 1:29 p.m. Inappropriate

    Self-styled me-too wannabe cops like Zimmerman are a menace. I've seen the type before. They have a definite "us vs. them" mentality, and anyone who isn't a cop or a wannabe cop is "them." If Zimmerman had been required to carry a single bullet in his shirt pocket, a la Barney Fife in Mayberry, this death would probably have been averted, because Zimmerman would have had a lot less force to back up his Junior G-Man swagger. If the neighborhood watch guy on duty that night was a pensioner sitting on his front porch, it would certainly have been averted, because the watcher wouldn't have had a chip on his shoulder. There are a lot of Zimmermans in this world, and they are a danger to us all.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 1:22 a.m. Inappropriate

    Yep, everyone's supposed to cower. Well, nope, that won't happen. Word to the thugs: The next guy you attack might be armed, so don't do it.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 12:38 p.m. Inappropriate

    No people like Martin and heads in the sand people like yourself are a danger to us all. There are neighborhood watches for a reason, 'to watch' because the police cannot be everywhere. It just so happens that Zimmerman, who was asked to report more information on the individual, Martin and he was subsequently attacked and rightfully defended himself.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 2:07 p.m. Inappropriate

    Please dear God tell me how much longer we have to suffer John Carlson? Please dear Jesus can someone take him off the air, pull his invective crap off the Internet and spare us. Please, please. I'm begging. Is this Seattle or Alabama?

    'It's all big media's fault.' Now that's a tired old, Nixonian refrain if ever there was one. Honestly. Come on Crosscut, why do you insist on giving this man a forum? Obviously, you are bending over forward and back to appeal to "red" Washington's rural population, but can you really get along here if you continue to alienate, annoy and thumb your nose at progressives?

    By the way, Crosscut, you allow Carlson to denigrate and belittle Al Sharpton, but how's your record with African American columnists?

    Yeah, I thought so.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 4:35 p.m. Inappropriate

    Heaven forfend you should be exposed to opinions you disagree with! How distasteful! It's a violation of your constitutional rights to be free from alienation, annoyance, and nose-thumbery!


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 1:23 a.m. Inappropriate

    Al Sharpton deserves all the belittlement and denigration that can ever be heaped upon him.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 12:44 p.m. Inappropriate

    My how liberals hate the truth. You can lead a liberal to the facts but you cannot make them think.

    You don't want to listen to John Carlson, or hear him? Don't then. Can you figure that one out on your own without someone telling you?

    Carlson appeals to those who love this country, the constitution, freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It would appear that you prefer the government subsidizing your life at taxpayer expense. All that creates is dependence, i.e. slavery to the government to tell you what you can and cannot do. Have fun on that road.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 2:08 p.m. Inappropriate

    So, again, I ask a simple question of the editors, publishers and board of directors of the increasingly right-wing CROSScut -- how is your record with presenting the voices of African-Americans? It is a fair question since you have given John Carlson a forum to denounce Al Sharpton and because race is an issue here, unless you have your head in the sand. It's also a fair question because a quick review of your masthead shows very little color indeed. Unless somehow mysteriously, the publicly available photos are not reflective of Greg, Mary, Berit, Joe, David, Michael and Knute. Your board of directors also has the racial make-up of a certain jury in Seminole County, Fla. No wonder you promote the views you do. Too bad Crosscut cannot be more fair or balanced.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 4:38 p.m. Inappropriate

    OJ Simpson was not on trial for being an egotistical, narcissistic, insanely jealous ex-husband; he was on trial for murder. Mr. Zimmerman was not on trial for being a self-important, somewhat juvenile, neighborhood gadfly who should not be carrying a pistol. He was on trial for second degree murder or, failing that, manslaughter. When arrested the police let him go because what he did, tragic and stupid, was not murder; it met all the benchmarks for self defense. There may have been some kind of criminal case to be brought against Zimmerman (irresponsible gun ownership?) but that's not the case that was filed. Immature overreactive terror is not a crime. I don't think the jury had any choice.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 7:59 p.m. Inappropriate

    Well said.

    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 8:44 p.m. Inappropriate

    If Zimmerman hadn't seen himself as a play-pretend cop-in-waiting this would never have happened. Zimmerman accosted Martin. The only reason he got himself into the position of having to "defend himself" was because he was "out on patrol" looking to make just one more of many annoying calls to 911 saying he'd found an annoyingly dark-complexioned youth in his gated community. Then he encountered a young man who was willing to "stand his ground" (and so why is Attorney General Holder so anxious to sweep these laws away?) and was getting his butt rightly kicked when he decided to use lethal force. Force he would not have had to use if he had followed the instructions of the 911 dispatchers (who probably hoped, after so many annoying calls, that he would just go away). This isn't a "stand your ground" story. It's not a race story. It's not a gun story. It's a story about the self-appointed "please, please, let me be a real cop" neo-vigilantes like Zimmerman and the havoc they create in what remains of a rule-of-law society.

    so now we enter a Brave New World in which the government spies on our every movement and transaction. What will the next generation of Zimmermen do? Start putting up cameras that they monitor from their basements? Start capturing and recording cellular phone traffic in their neighborhoods? All with the hope that they'll finally be accepted by the "cool guys" and made a member of the "real cop" club? Something to think about.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 1:19 a.m. Inappropriate

    If Travon Martin hadn't accosted Zimmerman and pounded his head into the sidewalk, he'd be alive today. Rule #1 in the 21st century: Don't attack a stranger. He might be armed.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 12:47 p.m. Inappropriate

    Too bad the naysayers can't see the truth for what it was in the case. It's so easy to be an armchair quarterback when not faced with reality as Zimmerman that night.


    Posted Fri, Jul 19, 5:03 a.m. Inappropriate

    There is ZERO evidence that Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman. That's just Zimmerman's story.

    Rule #2 in the 21st century. If you're stupid enough to ignore directions from the police to not follow a law abiding citizen and caring a gun, prepare to have your life ruined by your stupidity.

    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 7:59 p.m. Inappropriate

    An excellent article by John Carlson, who got it exactly right.

    I can't believe the stupidity of some of the commenters here, who blame this on Zimmerman. What did Zimmerman do? Go up to someone in his neighborhood, who he had never seen before, and ask him what he was doing there? Is there some sort of law against that? Is there any reason why he should not have asked someone what he was doing?

    The instigator of this incident was clearly Trayvon. Trayvon punched Zimmerman in the face and had Zimmerman on the ground pounding Zimmerman's head into the ground. And there are racist fools in this comment thread who are blaming this on Zimmerman. Who assaulted whom? Have you been able to figure that out yet?

    Commenters say that if Zimmerman had not gotten out of his car this would not have happened. The bigger point is that IF TRAYVON HAD NOT ATTACKED ZIMMERMAN, TRAYVON WOULD STILL BE ALIVE.

    Which is the crime: getting out of your car in your own neighborhood? Or punching someone in the face and slamming his head into the ground?

    At least the jury got the verdict correct.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 9:26 p.m. Inappropriate

    You're absolutely right: guns don't kill people, sidewalks do. That all-white, 1000 percent non-Black jury believed Trayvon was armed with a sidewalk. So, by their logic, at least it was a fair fight, right? Disgusting. Racist gun nuts in this country are still angry about the outcome of the Civil War. It would be best if the South could secede. Florida? Texas? South Carolina? Who bleeping needs em?


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 10:28 p.m. Inappropriate

    So, if you are attacked by someone stronger and a better fighter than you, you have no course of action other than just to allow the better fighter the beat the crap out of you as much as he wants to? Zimmerman should have just allowed Trayvon to possibly kill him? Or you believe that nobody has ever been killed or critically injured by being beaten and having their head pounded into the pavement? You believe in the law of the jungle: the better fist fighter wins? Or, maybe you think there was a referee standing nearby who was going to stop the "fight"?


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 6:39 a.m. Inappropriate

    Trayvon Martin is a martyr, a hero. He died standing up to a gun-toting bully. Hiding behind his concealed pistol, Zimmerman was the provocateur. He was mad about property crimes in the neighborhood he pretend patrolled. How can anyone, who is not a bigot, blame the teenager for resisting the vigilante? What, you think the uppity boy should have bowed his head to the white man?

    The wrong person lost his life that night, but he did not lose it in vain.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 10:36 p.m. Inappropriate


    "Man beaten to death in Irvington Tuesday July 16, 2013, 8:56 AM

    "(AP) — Authorities say an argument led to the fatal beating of a man in Irvington. Forty-seven-year-old Donnell Smith was found lying on Springfield Avenue late Friday night. He was taken to University Hospital in Newark, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday. The Essex County Prosecutor's Office says Smith died of blunt force trauma. No arrests have been made."

    But, at least nobody got shot. So, that's a good outcome, right?


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 11:30 p.m. Inappropriate

    You feed at your colon to much, instead I recommend that you spend time in a library. It's a place where you can read, it's an action that you might have heard of but seldom practice.

    You might have found this gem if you knew where and how to look for things.



    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 1:17 a.m. Inappropriate

    The prosecution excluded the one potential black juror because that juror watches Fox News.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 10:37 p.m. Inappropriate

    In John Carlson's words:

    "Everything I said was based on what the network news media had been reporting, and continued to report for months. And it was almost entirely wrong."

    Exactly how clueless do you have to be to think the news media doesn't get most stories wrong or sensationalizes them? And for someone who is a talk show host not to know this?

    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 4:43 a.m. Inappropriate

    The important fact: Carlson is a journalist who called journalists out for their irresponsible reporting and he did so publicly. We need more of this from the profession, so I am all for reinforcing the behavior with a grateful pat-on-the-back (did I thank you, Mr. Carlson?).

    My anecdotal observations tell me that most journalists protect each other when there is an accusation of biased, inaccurate reporting, or plagiarism, so the lies continue. Caveat emptor: news consumers like you and me are generally on our own. I am one who just won't accept it as the norm in "best practices" journalism, no matter how much it seems to be increasing.

    Look at the growing list of disgraced "award-winning" journalists: Gerald Posner, Jayson Blair, Judith Miller, etc. High-profile examples abound. They all were accused. Their colleagues and editors initially stood by them. Then more evidence damned them and they were finally shunned, disgraced and out-of-work.

    Many journalists lie or hide facts to produce a more sensational tale for self-promotion and the promise of an award. Some get caught.

    Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. God forbid.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 7 a.m. Inappropriate

    Hilarious. Carlson is not a reporter. Ask him: he probably doesn't even make the claim. He is a professional opinion spinner, not a first-person fact-gatherer. Like a blogger, he feeds off the work of journalists, he takes what he wants from what he reads and watches on TV and adds his opinion to it -- but he does not gather and report news. I'll eat these words if Carlson can prove that he's done any on-the-ground reporting in Seminole County in that past 12 months, but I'm willing to wager he has not. Armchair opinion-spinners haven't witnessed anything. No way. His work belongs on the editorial page, next to George Will and the Heritage Foundation, which is why it's so odd to see it intermixed with the "news" content from real journalists here.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 8:50 a.m. Inappropriate

    Fair enough, AHoffman. I see your well-stated point.

    Regardless of what role Carlson fills in the wide-ranging press-as-entertainment spectrum, I am glad to see him calling out journalists who are slaves to the sensational.

    If that seems hypocritical to you, I get it.

    It is simply refreshing to me. I do not care who carries the message or why they carry it, but anyone who confronts the press about reporting that is less than transparent, open, and accountable helps generate important public dialogue.

    Just look at the number of comments here.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 12:51 p.m. Inappropriate

    Do we have to spell it out for you? Carlson is someone who's h-o-n-e-s-t about the reporting and when he gets something wrong, he corrects himself, unlike the vast majority of the media. It's that simple. Hope you can understand, if not listen more to Carlson and you'll learn.


    Posted Tue, Jul 16, 10:37 p.m. Inappropriate

    It's safe to say that no cure for cancer was coming from the duo of Martin and Zimmerman.

    One called the cops and the other called someone dumber then himself. Why didn't he call 911 instead of a post. Was it that police thingy?

    In the end the smarter of the two prevailed.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 5:26 a.m. Inappropriate

    I could buy all of the speculation about Zimmerman's motives and actions if he HAD spoken to Martin about why he was following him. He told the police officer that he didn't identify himself as neighborhood watch.

    Perhaps if Zimmerman had introduced himself and/or asked Martin what was he doing in the area, the whole "misunderstanding" could have been rectified.

    But if someone is following me, and I'm an adult, and they don't identify themselves, I'm going to assume the worse. Martin was only 3 weeks into his 17th year. Why are we expecting more out of the teenager than the adult.

    And the Stand Your Ground defense was part of the jury instructions.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 8:14 a.m. Inappropriate

    John, you seem to have accepted the defense's claims and ignored the testimony of Rachel Jeantel. I agree that the media tend to oversimplify, but aren't you doing that again, just in the opposite direction?

    In Jeantel's account--she being the closest thing to an eyewitness--Zimmerman pursued Martin, who tried to get away from him. If Trayvon Martin--a 17-year-old--jumped on George Zimmerman, it was likely only after being chased by Zimmerman and made to fear for his life. If an armed, hostile man were pursuing me and he caught up with me despite my repeated attempts to run away from him, I might feel desperate enough to punch him, try to disable him before he could attack me. That wouldn't make me the instigator.

    There are things we'll never know, such as, when did Zimmerman reveal that he had a gun? And who jumped on whom? And how did the altercation escalate? And who was screaming for help? And how long did who chase whom? The defense convinced a jury that there was reasonable doubt about the prosecution's version--which is a far cry from proof that the defense's version is the right one in every detail.

    As a grandmother of biracial girls, I look at Trayvon Martin's picture and I see a kid. George Zimmerman looked at him and saw an enemy, a "punk," someone who "always gets away with it." The way people read this case seems to have a lot to do with which emotional response they have to the sight of a young African-American male dressed like a typical teen. I understand why parents across the nation feel so angry--those of us who love children with brown skin want to protect them from paranoid armed vigilantes, and it's very hard to understand why George Zimmerman is getting his gun back after demonstrating such a poor ability to tell the difference between his fearful fantasies and reality.

    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 8:27 a.m. Inappropriate

    So when you look at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of the Rolling Stone what do you see?


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 2:20 p.m. Inappropriate

    It's funny because all the other media in this town had something to say when the verdict came out. Not Crosscut. I had wondered why and now they offer the stylings of John Carlson?

    The media got somethings wrong and a lot right. So Carlson saying everything in his first paragraph was "almost" wrong is correct.

    What seems to get overlooked are the following facts:
    - Trayvon was going home. He bought his goods at the 7-11 and was walking back to his father's. Zimmerman started following him and reported it to 911 (who then told him NOT to continue but he did). Trayvon noticed him following him.

    So stop - you're a kid walking home and some guy - who you think is acting suspiciously - follows you. Wouldn't you be nervous?

    So Zimmerman follows Trayvon but loses him. He is clearly unhappy and says (as he has in the past), "They always get away." (I'm leaving out his crude language.) Zimmerman clearly wanted something to happen and was not happy it wasn't going to. So he keeps searching. Meanwhile, Trayvon is on the phone with a friend, complaining about being followed.

    That doesn't really sound like a thug to me. Why get on the phone? Why not just hunt Zimmerman down?

    And then? Well, no one really knows because we only have Zimmerman's story. Obviously, Trayvon fought back against someone who was following him.

    I had teenaged boys and my observation is that there is a lot of posturing and aggression if they feel backed into a corner. They often feel they have to defend themselves. Trayvon, yes, who was the child in this situation, probably fought back. His friend on the phone heard him say (and this, unlike the screams for help, was not disputed) - "get off, get off."

    I think Zimmerman accosted Trayvon and Trayvon defended himself.

    Zimmerman got himself precisely into this situation and well, he had a gun.

    But now, as someone on Facebook said, Zimmerman gets to have the same experience that countless teens of color have every day. People who avoid you on the street. Call you names. You don't get jobs that you should be qualified for.

    To continue to try the victim is wrong.

    The question isn't what the media did wrong - it's what George Zimmerman - the adult in this case - did wrong.

    It's also the question of what exactly do we tell our teenaged sons to do when they walk the streets?


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:16 p.m. Inappropriate

    I cannot imagine being a young black boy, or the parents of one. I would not know how to explain this travesty of justice, this murder.

    Are black kids supposed to allow strangers to accost them? Trayvon Martin ran away from the stranger but that didn't stop him. Zimmerman hunted him down.

    Poor kid, he must have been afraid a perverted pedophile was after him. Little did he know Zimmerman was a gun crazed crazy man intent on vigilante justice.

    Zimmerman well knew the man what had burgled condos in that community had been arrested weeks before.


    Posted Wed, Jul 17, 3:06 p.m. Inappropriate

    Also, straight from a juror's mouth in an interview with Anderson Cooper.

    Cooper asked her about why Zimmerman kept on. She said there had been a number of "robberies" (it is unclear whether she meant burglaries). She said that "George" had been worried and probably just wanted to see someone get caught.

    And he did.


    Posted Thu, Jul 18, 4:49 a.m. Inappropriate

    We learned from the media that Zimmerman is a "white Hispanic." That's the kind of racist hairsplitting the Germans did -- their word is "mischling" or crossbreed. His grandfather, a CIA agent, married a Cuban Hispanic, and his father, a career military man, married a Peruvian Hispanic. At least one of the forebears of these women was a black man. Some, the Black Panthers, but not just them, referred to him a "Jew Hispanic," on the basis of the name but nothing else. Why didn't the media call the president a "white African American?" If they didn't do it for him why resort to the scurrilous racially-charged term "white Hispanic" when referring to Zimmerman?. The DOJ is now calling for secret denunciations on which to railroad Zimmerman on a "civil rights" charge. This is a family of public servants over generations, well known, and devout Catholics. The Cuban grandmother was interviewed about her faith sustaining her after having to leave Cuba in a Washington Post article in 1997. Zimmerman's only crime, and for which the DOJ is going to try to send him to prison for life, is that he is a crossbreed. If they succeed no one with one white grandparent will ever be safe from persecution in America.



    Posted Thu, Jul 18, 9:23 a.m. Inappropriate

    Some good posts on this topic. One of the more thoughtful comes from fellow Crosscut writer Carole Poole. Let me address her concerns, as they echo those of other people as well.

    Rachel Jeantel has now said that she believes Trayvon struck the first blow. This corresponds with what George Zimmerman said, and also synchs with his facial injury and the lack of any marks, cuts, bruises, torn clothing or abrasions on Trayvon. There is no evidence that Zimmerman ever touched him.

    Second, Carole says "there are things we'll never know", such as "who jumped on whom? How did the altercation escalate? Who was screaming for help?

    We may not "know", but we've got a pretty clear idea, from four sources of information: 1) George Zimmerman's injuries, 2) No injuries (except bruised knuckles) to Trayvon, 3) grass stains (it was raining) making it clear that Zimmerman was on his back. Trayvon had wet stains on both knees, where they were planted while pummeling Zimmerman. A key eyewitness backed up that evidence. 4) Zimmerman's account of what happened. As I said in the piece, when he was told the beating/shooting was caught on tape, he expressed relief: "Thank God."

    Finally, another poster, Ahoffman asks whether I'd done any first hand reporting on the incident from Florida. No, and that is the point of the piece: that the reporting done was driven not by truth but by a racial narrative wracked with distortion, falsehoods and fabrications. The media "covering" the story repeatedly misinformed the rest of the news media, including me, as well as the public at large.

    Posted Thu, Jul 18, 10:26 p.m. Inappropriate

    Going thru what "is pretty clear" - one troubling item. Zimmerman said Martin hit him in the nose and indeed the photos show blood coming from his nose. Zimmerman said Martin had his hand on Zimmerman's mouth. And yet the coroner said there was zero blood on Martin's hands. Hmm.


    Posted Thu, Jul 18, 9:06 p.m. Inappropriate

    The entire trial of George Zimmerman seems like a pack of lies. And John Carlson, you sound like you're making up stuff yourself. For instance you say the grass stains were 'making it clear that Zimmerman was on his back.' You've done 0 research on this case. Very little is clear about it since there is only 1 side being told. The funny thing about killing someone. The person with the other side of the story is dead. So quit spinning this story like you know exactly what went on. You don't. No one does, except perhaps Zimmerman.

    Where are the photos of Trayvon's bruised knuckles as with Zimmerman's bloody head? Where's the evidence John? Zimmerman himself said he wasn't being beaten. He said Trayvon grabbed his head and was pounding his head against the sidewalk. 25 times to be precise.

    Posted Thu, Jul 25, 6:56 p.m. Inappropriate

    Questions the state should have brought out in closing. Also, Trayvon was 30 feet from the sidewalk. The shooter with the scratches on his head got by with murder.

    Zimmerman gave 4 different accounts of what happened. The media sloughs this off with no verifying or investigating.

    If Zimmerman had stayed in his truck there would have been no confrontation.

    The only evidence that Martin attacked Zimmerman is the liar Zimmerman saying so.

    I think Zimmerman hunted him down, accosted him and told him he was going to kill him. Then Martin shoved him down and began calling for help.

    None of Zimmerman's versions add up.


    Posted Thu, Jul 18, 9:39 p.m. Inappropriate

    John Carlson's piece doesn't demonstrate the news media at its worst. It shows the right wing talk show taliban at their worst. Or at their typical.

    This crime scene photo shows that George Zimmerman's story is a lie from top to bottom.


    George Zimmerman testified that Trayvon was banging his head against sidewalk. 25 times to be precise. Somehow he pulled his gun, which was pinned in back of his waist against the ground, and shot Trayvon directly in the heart (all while being knocked senseless by Trayvon Martin).

    Yet look at the photo. The body is at least 10 feet away from the sidewalk. What did Zimmerman do after he shot Trayon and his body went limp on top of him? Did he toss him 10 feet away from the sidewalk? No, he lied. Trayvon was never pounding his head against the sidewalk because they were nowhere NEAR the sidewalk.

    Posted Thu, Jul 18, 9:43 p.m. Inappropriate

    Here is a police video of George Zimmerman at the police station. Not a mark on his head (after being pounded 25 times into the sidewalk) and no bloody nose.

    And it also shows a full frontal shot with his t-shirt. And not ONE DROP of blood on his shirt.

    So tell me John Carlson, how does a person shoot someone who is on top and not ONE DROP of blood drips onto the person underneath?

    As you say, "clear that Zimmerman was on his back." So how did he shoot Trayvon on no blood dripped on him?

    Posted Fri, Jul 19, 1:28 p.m. Inappropriate

    I also knew that Zimmerman was going to be found not guilty around Day 2 of the trial. When you see someone you don't like, stalk him and then kill him and the law protects you...then the law is wrong.

    I'm sorry but if I'm walking down the street and see someone following me in their car and then later following me on foot, I'm going to assume that person is going to rob or hurt me in some way. I'm not going to run home because the person will then know where I live. I'm not going to call the police because they will make me the bad guy. So the only real solution is to confront the guy that is following you.

    Terrible law and a tragic ending.

    Posted Fri, Jul 19, 3:41 p.m. Inappropriate

    Richard Borkowski represents the birther/truther side of the Zimmerman case. He even denies Zimmerman was injured! Richard, if you're going to comment on the thread, you'll sound less foolish if you actually read the article preceding it. I point out that ABC questioned whether Zimmerman was injured when it aired a grainy video of him that didn't show apparent injuries. Had it enhanced and sharpened the video, it would have shown clear injuries as noted by numerous witnesses, including the police. I guess Richard's fallback position will be that his injuries were self inflicted.....

    Posted Sat, Jul 20, 8:38 a.m. Inappropriate

    John, your response is so utterly predictable. It's so typical of elitist conservatives who go postal when challenged on their opinions. What exactly is the "birther/truther side of the Zimmerman case?" What are you possibly talking about?

    Normal Americans enjoy a back and forth give and take discussion of differences of opinions. That's what I was doing. Expressing my opinion. Not so with you Mr. Carlson. For some reason, you believe that you hold a monopoly on 'the truth' and then resort to mean spirited name calling and nonsensical comparisons to bully those that have different opinions.

    This is America Mr. Carlson, not China. We have a Constitution that protects free speech and differences of opinions. Grow up and quit ranting like a little boy who had his toys taken away from him.

    Posted Sat, Jul 20, 11:53 a.m. Inappropriate

    Name calling???? Richard, please read each one of your posts and count the number of names, slurs and insults you use in place of reasoned discussion (I counted nine). Your posts stand out precisely because you use them in place of facts and evidence. Most progressives on this site prefer more civil and respectful exchanges.

    Posted Fri, Jul 19, 3:42 p.m. Inappropriate

    Re: Carlson's sweeping remarks condemning the "media" (he only mentions ABC, NBC, PBS, CNN - supposedly "liberal" outlets. One wonders if FOX and others more Rightward were more pure in their reporting. He doesn't say), we can dispute some of his conclusions, but he touches on the most obvious point (whle glossing over it) - that Zimmerman "made mistakes in judgement," that he "should have stayed in his car." Of course, had he done the latter we wouldn't be having this thread.
    What's without question:
    - had a white person in a hoodie walked by, Zimmerman would have stayed in his car.
    - if race, the subject of all the discussion Carlson finds so disturbing after the verdict, didn't run through this case like a river, as it has through so much of our history, he still might have stayed in his car. But a black man in a hoodie? As the President so eloquently said today, of his own experiences - black men are often followed as they walk through department stores, people inside their cars lock the doors if a black man approaches, and on and on.....
    The conversations before, during, and after the Zimmerman trial were full of race because of that history, because - decades after our civil war and the end of slavery - we're still looking for a way to move beyond color in our judgements. The best counter to Carlson, and something far more probing, is simply to read the President's remarks this afternoon

    Posted Fri, Jul 19, 5:17 p.m. Inappropriate

    Mike, you simply don't know whether Zimmerman would have called the cops if a white kid who wasn't from the neighborhood had been acting the same way. That is pure speculation on your part with zero evidence to back it up. Ditto for your conclusion that Zimmerman would have stayed in his car. In fact, the lead detective said that Zimmerman wasn't profiling Trayvon because of his race. Even the PROSECUTION said that the case wasn't about race. Race was elevated in this case by activists, opportunists, and a pliable, accommodating media that wasn't doing its job. For the media, race trumped accuracy. For some media outlets, it still is.

    Posted Fri, Jul 19, 8:45 p.m. Inappropriate

    A big question here is why Crosscut choose to prominently showcase Carlson's views on the Zimmerman case in the first place? And why was Carlson's diatribe presented as news and not labeled opinion, even though most know he rises from talk radio's echo chamber. Mostly, Carlson is a special interest advocate, pushing his own agenda.

    Crosscut intermixes this type of partisan advocacy and opinion with its otherwise decent journalistic content. But that creates a credibility problem, doesn't it? How can the public trust Crosscut's coverage of the legislature, mayoral candidates or school board issues, when Crosscut's coverage of the other important matters is handed over to gadflies?


    Posted Fri, Jul 19, 11:18 p.m. Inappropriate

    Some marks go to Carlson for taking the media to task, but really this isn't about what the media got wrong when and by how much. Two people stood their ground on that night, and one kid lost his life because he wasn't armed. The racial overtones are largely correct. Not because Mr. Zimmerman may or may not have profiled the young Mr. Martin. Race played a part because so many instances in Mr. Martin's life had already convinced him that help would not be available and that the person stalking him was dangerous.

    The stand your ground laws are morally bankrupt. What about Marissa Alexander now serving 20 years after standing her ground against an abusive husband? The take away here is to make sure you finish the job so that only your story is told.

    You cannot look at these two stories and say this isn't about race.

    Posted Sat, Jul 20, 12:49 a.m. Inappropriate

    John, the case wasn't about race, of course - not in court - but race runs through all of it like a river. Leave out the media - simply look at the reactions in black communities across America. They've been there, profiled each day of their lives. Read the President's remarks today; he knows, as no other President before him.
    Of course I'm speculating re: suggesting that Zimmerman wouldn't have roused himself for a white kid in a hoodie, but I'd bet money on it.

    Posted Sat, Jul 20, 8:46 a.m. Inappropriate

    Mike, you hit it right on the head of the nail. This case was ALL about race. Even during the trial, the lawyer verbally attacked Trayvon Martin's girlfriend, asking her, "Do you understand English? Do you speak English?" Because of course, black people don't speak proper english. It was disgusting to hear.

    Unfortunately John Carlson is a programmed talking head for the 'Christian Conservatives', which consists of baby boomer white people who attend church but hate poor people and black people. And love war.

    For some reason the racist Christian Conservatives love these 'Stand Your Ground' laws and like a good lapdog, John Carlson is an obedient servant to them. The outrage over these 'Legalized Murder' laws will continue.

    Posted Sun, Jul 21, 5:39 a.m. Inappropriate

    Same media and race baiters would claim valid self defense if Zimmerman had been shot dead even if with his own gun. Only mob rule gave us this sensationalized televised trial and only mob rule pushes for federal civil rights charges.


    Posted Sun, Jul 21, 10:49 a.m. Inappropriate

    Here is the official condemnation of George Zimmerman by the National Sheriff's Association, which runs the Neighborhood Watch Association program, of which George Zimmerman was NOT affiliated with. Zimmerman was a lone vigilante who had no clue of the goings on at the building complex or he would have been familiar with who lived there.


    “The Neighborhood Watch Program fosters collaboration and cooperation with the community and local law enforcement by encouraging citizens to be aware of what is going on in their communities and contact law enforcement if they suspect something – NOT take the law in their own hands,” continued Executive Director Kennard. “The alleged participant ignored everything the Neighborhood Watch Program stands for and it resulted in a young man losing his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Trayvon Martin during this terrible time.”

    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 10:04 a.m. Inappropriate

    Oh boy. I think this whole discussion illustrates just how torn we are about any incident that involves race - even though race may not be the central issue. Looking at the facts - I don't see what other conclusion the jury could come to regarding the law.

    Did Zimmerman make an assumption about Trevon - likely. Should he have stayed in his car - yes. Should Trevon have just backed off and not been agressive (he was on top of the puggy Zimmerman) - yes. Was the shooting justified - I don't see how a jury could convict on murder or manslaughter given the facts.

    Zimmerman is certainly guilty of an ethical lapse and poor judgment - with tragic consequences. Seems unlikely that Travon would have punched him if he knew Zimmerman was packing and thus paid the ultimate price for his agression. Sad all around.

    But - I'm white. No one looks at me sideways when I enter a store, get on a bus, or walk down a dimily lit street. I can imagine though, why folks of color see this through a differnt lens.


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 6:21 p.m. Inappropriate

    Zimmerman followed Martin, stalked Martin, chased Martin down and accosted him. Martin had the right to defend himself against this strange man who didn't identify himself. Zimmerman knew when he got out of his truck that he was going to kill Trayvon Martin, a young boy, an unarmed boy, who was minding his own business and doing nothing illegal and had already run away from the strange man once.

    I'd bet money Trayvon Martin didn't punch Zimmerman until Zimmerman threatened him with his gun. Then he jumped on him began and calling for help.

    This was a cold blooded murder. The jury got it wrong again, just as it did with OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony.


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:20 p.m. Inappropriate

    Zimmerman claimed he went to find the address. There are three streets in that gated community. He had live there for several years and didn't know the names pof the three streets?

    Martin was near Zimmerman's friend's condo yet Zimmerman had to hunt the address.

    This cold blooded murder will go down in the annals of history just as the senseless murders of other young black boys. I just pray some changes will be made so that Trayvon Martin did not die in vain.


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:26 p.m. Inappropriate

    Zimmerman claimed he went to find the address. There are three streets in that gated community. He had live there for several years and didn't know the names pof the three streets?

    Martin was near Zimmerman's friend's condo yet Zimmerman had to hunt the address.

    This cold blooded murder will go down in the annals of history just as the senseless murders of other young black boys. I just pray some changes will be made so that Trayvon Martin did not die in vain.


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:28 p.m. Inappropriate

    Zimmerman claimed he went to find the address. There are three streets in that gated community. He had live there for several years and didn't know the names pof the three streets?

    Martin was near Zimmerman's friend's condo yet Zimmerman had to hunt the address.

    This cold blooded murder will go down in the annals of history just as the senseless murders of other young black boys. I just pray some changes will be made so that Trayvon Martin did not die in vain.


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:29 p.m. Inappropriate

    It's a lot of trouble to post here. The captchas are impossible to read. Why don't they make them easier to read or just use post numbers like many forums do?


    Posted Mon, Jul 22, 8:34 p.m. Inappropriate

    gatorgirl, it is true that Zimmerman was following Trayvon Martin, but there is no evidence that he "chased" him, and no evidence that he "accosted" him. The testimony from several of the prosecution's witnesses actually helped Zimmerman, which is why many people were predicting his acquittal before his attorneys even began his defense.

    Posted Tue, Jul 23, 10:17 p.m. Inappropriate

    John Carlson, I'm not sure why you're so biased against a 17 yo kid who was unarmed, minding his own business, and just wanted to walk home and play video games.

    That's exactly what would have happened if 1) George Zimmerman had left his gun in his truck or 2) if George Zimmerman had followed orders from the police dispatcher to WAIT for the police and to NOT NOT NOT follow or pursue Trayvon Martin. There is zero evidence that Zimmerman identified himself as a neighborhood watch volunteer, so Trayvon Martin left to feel afraid and most likely felt he was going to be attacked, lynched or mugged by this guy.

    As gatorgirl says, this murder will be remembered forever as the tragedy that is, fueled by the racism in Florida and the 'legalized murder' laws that exist there.

    Posted Tue, Jul 23, 11:36 a.m. Inappropriate

    We know that Zimmerman would never have met face to face with Martin had he stayed in his truck as he should have done.

    We know that Martin ran away and hid from Zimmerman. Yet, they still met up. Why? Because Zimmerman went looking for Martin. If he didn't accost him, what was the purpose of him hunting him down?

    We know Martin's body was 30 feet away from the concrete.

    We know that Zimmerman's friend who testified is a wife beater. I didn't believe a word of his testimony Saying something under oath doesn't make it the truth.


    Posted Tue, Jul 23, 12:26 p.m. Inappropriate

    Much of this is speculation - which doesn't rely on fact. Unfortunately we will never know exactly what happened - but based on the know facts and testimony of witnesses, I don't see any other legal outcome. If Zimmerman would have stayed in his car or Trevon decided to not use violence as a tool he would have been alive.


    Posted Tue, Jul 23, 7:32 p.m. Inappropriate

    A strange man followed a teenaged boy, an unarmed boy who was not engaged in any illegal activities on the night he died.

    This boy ran away from the strange man. Yet the strange man exited his vehicle and found the unarmed boy, who had every right to be walking where he was walking.

    Why would this unarmed teenaged boy not have the right to defend himself from the strange man who had been following him?


    Posted Wed, Jul 24, 9:20 a.m. Inappropriate

    Well, your speculation is just that. A jury has to make a finding on fact. They did.


    Posted Wed, Jul 24, 4:08 p.m. Inappropriate

    I have no quarrel with the jury or it's decision.

    I have a problem with the state and their presentation. I think because of a poor prosecution by the state a guilty man is free.

    Oh well, we've seen it before with Casey Anthony.

    If you can't do the time, do the crime... in Florida.


    Posted Wed, Jul 24, 9:48 p.m. Inappropriate

    Mr Carlson, how can you look at the scratches on Zimmerman's head and believe his head was pounded into the concrete? According to the PA, the scratches were too small to require a band aid.

    How do you account for the body being 30 feet away from the concrete?

    It's one thing to agree with the verdict, it's quite another to drink the Kool-Aid.


    Posted Wed, Jul 24, 9:53 p.m. Inappropriate

    Juror B-37 claims Martin was at fault for walking so late at night. She didn't even know the shooting took place shortly after 7 PM.

    She also quoted Serino's statement that the judge ordered stricken from the record and ordered the jurors to disregard it.

    O'Mara and Serino are both aware that the spoken word cannot be unheard.


    Posted Thu, Jul 25, 5:53 a.m. Inappropriate

    The new film about Oscar Grant was screened somewhere in Seattle last night. He was killed at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland by a BART officer. I've read the theaters are full of sobbing moviegoers at screenings of this film in other cities.

    Dos Equis

    Posted Thu, Jul 25, 6:59 p.m. Inappropriate

    A juror who voted to acquit George Zimmerman says she owes Trayvon Martin's parents an apology.

    Juror B29, who voted to acquit George Zimmerman, says she now feels he got away with murder but there wasn't enough evidence to convict him.

    The second juror to speak publicly about George Zimmerman's trial tells ABC News she feels the neighborhood watch volunteer got away with murder for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. But she says there wasn't enough evidence to convict him under Florida law.

    Juror B29 told Robin Roberts in an interview made public Thursday that she favored convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder when deliberations began. But by the second day of deliberating, she realized there wasn't enough proof to convict him of a crime.

    Juror B29 is the second juror to go public with what went on during deliberations earlier this month. She allowed her face to be seen and used her first name, Maddy, unlike Juror B37, who was interviewed on CNN last week with her face obscured.


    Posted Fri, Jul 26, 8:20 a.m. Inappropriate

    Yea. OK. Two jurors said they couldn't convict him because they took their duty seriously and stayed within the parameters of the law. Good. That's what they are supposed to do. And they fullfilled their duty. What's the point?


    Posted Fri, Jul 26, 12:10 p.m. Inappropriate

    It's news, surprised you don't know that.


    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 10:33 a.m. Inappropriate

    Trek -

    The POINT is that the law is bad and needs to be changed. This incident clearly proves that. If a 17 yo kid can't walk home from a 7-11 and be safe from a paranoid stalker with a gun, the law needs to be changed so he can. The problem here Treker is that the law protects the paranoid stalker rather than the 17yo unarmed kid.

    Keep in mind that in this case, the stalker was on the phone with the police who said DO NOT FOLLOW THE KID. DO NOT DO IT! So he ignored the police dispatcher as well.

    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 12:45 p.m. Inappropriate

    Richard Borkowski distorts what the dispatcher told George Zimmerman.
    The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he knew what direction Trayvon had headed. Zimmerman wasn't sure, so he got out of the car to try and find him. When the dispatcher was aware that Zimmerman was out of his vehicle, he said "You don't need to do that." Zimmerman's next words? "OK". Then, according to Zimmerman, he stopped and headed back to his car where Trayvon confronted him.

    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 1:11 p.m. Inappropriate

    According to the pictures and where the confrontation took place, that is not possible.

    Zimmerman should have stayed in his truck and should not have followed the boy.


    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 7:08 p.m. Inappropriate

    John Carlson -

    Have you ever entertained the notion that someone accused of murder might perhaps lie? Has that ever entered your mind?

    As gator girl says, it's impossible that what you say is true. It's a physical impossibility. If it were true and Zimmerman were next to his vehicle, Trayvon's body would have been near the vehicle too.

    At no point did the dispatcher ask if Zimmerman had gotten out of his vehicle. He asked him if he was following Trayvon.

    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 1:08 p.m. Inappropriate


    According to Zimmerman. What a laugh. He gave 4 different accounts of what happened. He made his wife commit perjury while he sat in the courtroom "like a potted plant" per the judge.

    Zimmerman is a murderer. He knows it. Much of the world knows it. He just got by with it, like Casey Anthony did.


    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 4:09 p.m. Inappropriate

    Attorney Burris said he was "dumbfounded" that the prosecution did not invoke the Florida statute that invalidates a self-defense justification if the person claiming it is the aggressor.(One prosecutor, in analyzing the case, told the Bradenton Herald that Zimmerman's pursuit of the unarmed Martin could be considered a threatened use of force that could have defined him legally that way.)

    Prosecutor Hammer agreed. "What I thought was wrong here, was that you had the stand-your-ground argument there, but there should have been another instruction that said,‘if you are the aggressor, then you cannot avail yourself of the stand-your-ground law.’ I think that might have been more helpful to the jury because then that would have given them some basis to consider that if George Zimmerman in fact touched, approached, aggravated, and started this, then he couldn’t say I got self-defense without showing that he had tried to retreat."



    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 7:19 p.m. Inappropriate

    John Carlson says I distort what the dispatcher told Zimmerman. In fact, Mr. Carlson is spreading propaganda and being extremely dishonest in his analysis of the 911 call.

    The dispatcher asked George Zimmerman, "Are you following him?"
    Zimmerman answered, "Yes"
    The dispatcher responds, "Ok, we don't need you to do that."

    At NO point did the dispatcher ask or discuss if Zimmerman was out of his vehicle. He suspected Zimmerman was running after Trayvon because he could hear the wind noise. He told Zimmerman to stop but the wind noise continued, indicating Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher and continued after Martin.

    Some other comments from Zimmerman on the 911 call:
    "Something's wrong with him."
    "These assholes. They always get away."
    "Shit. He's running."

    Zimmerman's problem here is that for some reason, he immediately assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal when in fact he was guilty of nothing. He had not committed a crime. He was not planning to commit a crime. He was simply walking back to his Dad's apartment to hang out with his friend.

    Posted Sat, Jul 27, 11:52 p.m. Inappropriate

    Here are some quotes from the 911 phone call that Zimmerman made to Sanford police.

    "We're had some breakins in our neighborhood and there's a real suspicious guy at Retreat View Circle."

    "This guy looks like he's up to no good, on drugs or something. He's just walking around looking about."

    "He's just staring, looking at all of the houses. Now he's staring at me."

    "Something's wrong with him."

    "I don't know what his deal is."

    "These assholes. They always get away."

    "Shit. He's running."

    "Are you following him?"


    "Ok, we don't need you to do that."

    Zimmerman's problem from the beginning is that he assumed Trayvon was guilty for some reason even though he states on the 911 audio that Trayvon was just walking around. And he ignored a directive from the Sanford police to NOT run after Trayvon. Zimmerman was the aggressor and the prosecutor did a crappy job in Martin's case. Even in Florida, it's illegal to run after a person, provoke a fight and then shoot the person you provoked.

    Posted Mon, Jul 29, 10:53 a.m. Inappropriate

    Your assessment is mostly correct regarding the phone conversation. But none of that is agaist the law. You digress into speculation regarding the supposed chase scene and suggestion that Zimmerman provoked a fight - all of which we just do not know.

    Juries have to make a decision based on fact based on testimony and evidence - and must make a decision to convict if it is beyond a reasonable doubt. It wasn't a lousy prosecution, it was a lousy case and shouldn't have even made it to a trial.


    Posted Mon, Jul 29, 10:54 a.m. Inappropriate

    That's exactly why Zimmerman hung up instead of keeping the dispatcher on the phone. He knew he was not supposed to follow Trayvon.

    I can't believe anyone would think Martin started this. All Zimmerman had to do was stay in his truck and wait for police. He didn't because, "These assholes. They always get away".

    Zimmerman murdered Martin in cold blood. How anyone could accept his tale that Martin started it and he was in fear for his life is beyond me. Under self defense, he had a duty to retreat.


    Posted Mon, Jul 29, 11:24 a.m. Inappropriate

    gatorgirl, please tell the intelligent Crosscut readership how you retreat when you're pinned on the ground having your head punched or pounded on concrete?

    Posted Mon, Jul 29, 2:52 p.m. Inappropriate

    His head was not pounded on the concrete. If Martin had pounded his head on the concrete, he would have had at the very least a severe concussion. His two scratches that didn't require a bandage according to the PA were not the result of being pounded on concrete.

    I firmly believe Martin knocked him down and began begging for help when Zimmerman pulled his gun. Help never came and Martin was murdered in cold blood.


    Posted Mon, Jul 29, 11:29 a.m. Inappropriate

    Richard, my last comment was meant to be a reply to you.


    Posted Mon, Jul 29, 2:59 p.m. Inappropriate

    My favorite lie of Zimmerman's is that his head was pounded on the concrete 30 times. It even better than his lies about his financial position.

    My head hit the concrete once and it required an ride to the hospital ER in the emergency rescue truck and a two day hospital stay. My head was sore for months and the grapefruit sized bump lasted weeks.

    Zimmerman's lies were the cause of his bail being revoked, then raised and his curfew being made earlier.


    Posted Mon, Jul 29, 3:29 p.m. Inappropriate

    Hmmm. Witness put Martin straddling Zimmerman and pounding him. Zimmerman has broken nose, cuts on face, cuts on back of head. Only bruises on Martin were on his knuckles.

    Not difficult to follow.


    Posted Tue, Jul 30, 2:10 p.m. Inappropriate

    Zimmerman's nose was not broken. He knew that, that's why he didn't go to an ENT for treatment. It wasn't broken. The black eyes were a result of his nose injury.

    Martin's hands proved he didn't pound Zimmerman.


    Posted Tue, Jul 30, 4:35 p.m. Inappropriate

    I think it was Senator Moyinhan that said - "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts". You need to research better.

    From the court medical records on Zimmerman:

    The diagnosis: a closed fracture of the nose, two black eyes and two cuts to the back of his head. http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimmerman-medical-report-sheds-light-injuries-trayvon/story?id=16353532

    [Note: a closed fracture means that the fracture did not penetrate through the skin and black eyes are a common symptom of a fractured nose] and..

    Martins knuckles were bruised consistent with a fight. http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/autopsy-results-show-trayvon-martin-had-injuries-h/nN6gs/

    This stuff is easy to find. Don't confuse opinion with fact.


    Posted Tue, Jul 30, 8:18 p.m. Inappropriate

    A broken nose cannot be diagnosed without an X-Ray, unless it's a compound break.

    If they had any evidence of a broken nose it would have been introduced at trial. I saw his PA testify, saw her say his injuries were minor, didn't even require a band-aid.

    You had better read the autopsy report for the injury to Martin's one finger.


    Posted Tue, Jul 30, 10:09 p.m. Inappropriate

    Yea, was only a doctor who reviewed him and reported to the court. Autopsy DID say Martin had bruised knuckles. WTF - stop lying


    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 8:27 a.m. Inappropriate

    The autopsy report did not mention any bruising on Martin. There was none. "Other than the gunshot he only injury found on Martin's body was a 1/4" X 1/8" abrasion on his left ring finger - the only injury on either hand."


    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 9:02 a.m. Inappropriate

    Speaking of lying, read the autopsy report.


    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 9:30 a.m. Inappropriate

    Well I guess we could have an argument that the world is flat also -

    "The medical report from George Zimmerman’s family doctor after the Trayvon Martin shooting shows that Zimmerman’s nose was broken; he also had a pair of black eyes, two lacerations on the back of his head, a bruised upper lip, and a back injury. He was examined by the doctor the day after the shooting. The three-page medical report will likely be used as evidence for the defense.

    ... the Trayvon Martin autopsy shows that other than his gunshot wound, the only injury on Martin was that the skin on his knuckles was broken."

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2012/05/report-trayvon-had-bruised-knuckles/#2T3CR0rk5fU8gZhF.99

    The autopsy diagram on the last page and the doctor's script of the report clearly indicates he had bruised knuckles on both hands - WHICH WAS TESTIFIED IN COURT. Medical personnel testified about this in the trial (read the transcript) and that Zimmerman had a broken nose (verified by a doctor the day after he got punched by Martin) and that he had cuts to the back of the head and on his back.

    Making stuff up is not an argument.


    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 8:36 p.m. Inappropriate

    I read the official autopsy report again and it does NOT indicate any bruising, just the scratch on his ring finger that I posted the dimensions of earlier.

    Please post a link to an autopsy report where you say it shows bruising on Martins hands.

    Also, you keep posting news reports about Zimmerman's nose. None of the medical reports give a definitive diagnosis of a broken nose, just the referral to an ENT to check for a broken nose. There is no evidence of a broken nose.


    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 8:39 p.m. Inappropriate

    I read the official autopsy report again, including the drawing and it does NOT indicate any bruising, just the scratch on his ring finger that I posted the dimensions of earlier.

    Please post a link to an autopsy report where you say it shows bruising on Martins hands.

    Also, you keep posting news reports about Zimmerman's nose. None of the medical reports give a definitive diagnosis of a broken nose, just the referral to an ENT to check for a broken nose. There is no evidence of a broken nose.


    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 3:48 p.m. Inappropriate

    Treker -

    George Zimmerman was the aggressor. He was the one who went after Trayvon Martin. Do you deny that?

    Do you not agree that IF Zimmerman had just ignored Martin, he would have gone home to his Dad's apartment and nothing would have happened?

    Trayvon Martin was NOT out to cause trouble that night. George Zimmerman was. He was a paranoid cop wannabe looking for a confrontation. And he found one of his own making.

    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 4:19 p.m. Inappropriate

    No one has any idea who was the initial aggressor - there were no witnesses, no evidence, and the only one who was there - Zimmerman provided his story.

    What is know is that there was not evidence of a fight - but evidence of an assualt. Only one party was beat up (Zimmerman) and only one party had evidence of having hit someone (Martin).

    I agree that Zimmerman was wrong and should have stayed in the car. But that is not agaist the law. It was a poor choice and an ethical mistake. On the other hand, Martin appears to have been the aggressor - from the physical evidence. He's on top of Martin and pounding him - action after that is self-defense. We, and the jurors only have several items to go on - phyical evidence (Zimmerman's injuries, Martin's knuckles), eye witness testimony (who saw Martin on top pounding Zimmerman), and the statements given to the police by Martin.

    There was no reason that this should have even went to trial.

    And that is why we have a rule of law with clear parameters on reasonable doubt. You can't convict on speculation. This was a tradey that could have been defused by either party: Zimmerman stays in car; Martin doesn't attack.


    Posted Thu, Aug 1, 9:47 p.m. Inappropriate

    Quite obviously he was the aggressor. If he had not been, he would have stayed in his truck.


    Posted Wed, Jul 31, 4:22 p.m. Inappropriate

    ...opps. I meant ....statments given by Zimmerman - was not trying to be funny. And yes, I get the point that Martin could not tell his story. But - in a court of law you have to deal with the facts and reasonable doubt.


    Posted Sun, Sep 15, 7:56 p.m. Inappropriate

    Perhaps this story is worth revisiting....

    George Zimmerman 'a Sandy Hook waiting to happen', police chief suggests


    Posted Sun, Sep 15, 8 p.m. Inappropriate

    So now the medical examiner is saying the whole trial was thrown in favor of Zimmerman and he's suing the state for $100 million.

    "He says their general attitude was that he got what he deserved," Attorney Willie Gary told Channel 9.

    "He wanted a question that would have allowed him to explain to the jury with scientific evidence how there was no way Trayvon Martin could have been on top of George Zimmerman," Gary said.

    Gary said that question never came.

    Attorney for Trayvon Martin medical examiner preparing $100M lawsuit


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