Skip to comments.Walking Papers? The Incredibly Thin, Speculative Zimmerman Affidavit (Interesting article)
Posted on 04/17/2012 1:01:47 PM PDT by jazusamo
Angela Corey's filing against George Zimmerman bears the hallmarks of a career-ender.
Last week, Florida prosecutor Angela Corey stunned many within the legal establishment when she announced her office was filing a second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman. The four-page affidavit of probable cause filed by Coreys office shocked legal experts, ranging from liberal Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and liberal law bloggerJeralyn Merritt to conservative former prosecutorAndrew McCarthy and talk show host Mark Levin, among others.
The affidavit starts out typically, listing the names and qualifications of the two investigators used by the special prosecutor. It then begins to build a case against George Zimmerman:
On Sunday 2/26/12, Trayvon Martin was temporarily living at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community in Sanford, Seminole County, Florida. That evening Martin walked to a nearby 7-11 Store where he purchased a can of iced tea and some Skittles. Martin then walked back to and entered the gated community and was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman. Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.
Not one paragraph into the meat of the affidavit, Coreys team already made two unsubstantiated claims.
First: there is no publicly known evidence that supports the contention that Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin. Zimmermans 911 call made no reference to skin color or apparel until the the police dispatcher started pressing for a better description. If Coreys team had evidence that Zimmerman racially profiled Martin, they should have included it here. They did not, which not only undermines the profiling charge in this case, but in any federal civil rights case the U.S. Department of Justice may have been considering.
The second unsubstantiated claim: they say Martin was not committing or preparing to commit a crime. Zimmerman became suspicious because he saw a figure who struck him as a person casing houses for burglary potential. Unbeknownst to Zimmerman at the time was the fact that Martin had been suspended from school for the possession of a burglary tool. We dont know what Martin was thinking, but his actions were erratic enough to prompt George Zimmerman to want police to investigate.
That represents a lot of unsubstantiated speculation by a prosecutor trying to build an affidavit to support a second-degree murder charge, and thats just from the first substantive paragraph.
The next troublesome claim is the lead sentence of the following paragraph:
Zimmerman, who also lived in the gated community and was driving his vehicle, observed Martin and assumed he was a criminal.
Perhaps it is hair-splitting, but there is no evidence to support Coreys claim that Zimmerman assumed Martin was a criminal. In his first comments on the 911 call, Zimmerman claims he saw a real suspicious guy acting erratically: Like hes up to no good or hes on drugs or something. Its raining and hes just walking around looking about.
Zimmerman was merely reporting suspicious behavior, just as our own Department of Homeland Security advocates with its If You See Something, Say Something campaign, which has been created and promoted by cabinet officials appointed by the Obama Administration. Zimmerman saw someone acting suspiciously, and did precisely what DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano wants citizens to do in that situation.
The prosecutor then made another claim not supported by the recorded evidence:
The police dispatcher then informed Zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer.
The second half of that claim is a complete and apparently willful misrepresentation of the conversation between George Zimmerman and the police dispatcher. The closest the dispatcher ever gets to telling Zimmerman to wait for the officer was when Zimmerman was attempting to follow Martin, and the dispatcher told him, precisely: Okay, we dont need you to do that.
In response to the dispatchers comment which isnt a command, but an ambiguous statement Zimmermans response is Okay, and an immediate termination of his attempt to follow Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman spends the next 93 seconds more than enough time for Trayvon Martin to reach where he is staying, even at a walking pace in one location talking to the police dispatcher, informing the dispatcher that he is on the way back to his truck, and that he will meet the responding officer by the mailboxes.
Angela Coreys team is misrepresenting the actual events as they occurred in order to fabricate a claim that George Zimmerman disobeyed police orders. Proving her behavior is one matter, but to be found deliberately misrepresenting the evidence is certainly grounds for considering disbarment.
The affidavit contained further problematic statements. The next one:
During the recorded call Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood. Later while talking about Martin, Zimmerman stated these a**holes, they always get away and also said these f***ing punks.
John Work, a multi-decade law enforcement veteran, caught something in this prejudicial paragraph that Id missed on my first reading:
Either Zimmerman and the investigators who wrote the affidavit knew there had been burglaries in the neighborhood, or they did not know about any burglaries. Its not possible to credibly say that anyone, including the defendant, felt that crimes had been committed. If, in fact, there was or was not a series of unsolved burglaries in that neighborhood, the cops should have included that fact in the affidavit. Its a lie of omission, either way.
Coreys affidavit then made even more unsubstantiated claims:
Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.
The affidavits claim is in direct opposition to the facts as recorded on the 911 call.
Zimmerman was not instructed of anything. The use of that particular word creates the impression that Zimmerman was affirmatively told commanded not to do something. That isnt what occurred. The dispatcher spoke ambiguously: We dont need you to do that.
Then, the affidavit makes the completely unsupported claim that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin, even as the 911 call indicates that he stopped following Martin and was stationary for more than a minute and a half before attempting to return to his truck to meet with the responding officer. This, again, appears to be a misrepresentation by the prosecutor, unsupported (and possibly refuted) by the known evidence.
The affidavit also makes the completely unsupported claim at the end of that paragraph that Martin was trying to return to his home.
There is no evidence of the sort. The timeline strongly suggests that having evaded Zimmerman initially and with Zimmerman terminating his pursuit and then heading back the way he came Martin had plenty of time and a direct, unobstructed path home had he chosen to return directly home. We dont know where Martin was or what he was doing between the time he fled Zimmerman and when the confrontation began. What we do know is that Martin had an opportunity to make it home, and chose not to do so for reasons we may never know.
The affidavit continues:
Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued. Witnesses heard people arguing and what sounded like a struggle. During this time period witnesses heard numerous calls for help and some of these were recorded in 911 calls to police. Trayvon Martins mother has reviewed the 911 and identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martins voice.
Zimmerman confronted Martin.
This is supposition, apparently based upon the recollection of Martins girlfriend. There is no physical evidence or eyewitness supporting this charge.
The next part of that crucial sentence has already been ripped apart by legal experts the passive and a struggle ensued.
This entire case hinges upon who started the confrontation and then escalated it into a deadly force event that left a young man dead. If the prosecution has evidence that Zimmerman indeed triggered the confrontation and initiated the struggle, then Zimmermans self-defense claim becomes much harder to support. If the events occurred as Zimmerman described it with the confrontation initiated by Martin, the physical assault initiated by Martin, and Martin then escalating the fight to assault with a deadly weapon by attempting to smash Zimmermans head on the concrete and the evidence supports Zimmermans claims, then we have a justified use of deadly force in self-defense.
Sybrina Fultons contention that the voice she heard crying for help on the 911 calls was her son certainly adds emotional pain to the case; her claim is not one I would personally wish to challenge at a trial if she is called as a witness. However, competent attorneys routinely cast doubt on such testimony, perhaps by citing confirmation bias and the trauma of losing a child. No known audio experts have come forth to claim they can confirm with any degree of certainty that the voice calling for help is Martin. I would venture that Fultons claim is included in the affidavit only to elicit an emotional response from the public, which would be a grandstanding ploy, and perhaps an especially cynical one by a veteran prosecutor seeking reelection just a few months from now.
There are simply no facts in this affidavit to remotely support the charge of second-degree murder according to Floridas statute, which reads :
The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree
There is nothing in this affidavit nor among the publicly known facts about the case nor even among the allegations from the victims family or their attorneys that comes even remotely close to reaching the depraved mind standard. At most, the prosecutor would face making a difficult manslaughter case, and even then would risk having the lesser charge thrown out for insufficient evidence.
I am comfortable with saying that Coreys multiple references to Justice for Trayon during her press conference combined with this breathtaking affidavit strongly suggest a political motivation.
I live and work in central North Carolina, just miles away from where an overzealous, politically minded prosecutor named Mike Nifong attempted to railroad athletes from the Duke University lacrosse team in a similarly racially charged environment just a half-decade ago.
Nifong was disbarred and found guilty of criminal contempt for his actions. Angela Coreys affidavit against George Zimmerman looks to be treading dangerously close to that same path.
Does anyone know if an autopsy was performed on Martin to determine whether or not he had drugs in his system?
It would give us all a chance to see who he really is...Don't judge a book by its cover?? I don't hang with slobs or druggies....I like GOOD books.
OK You got the sex from her name. Minimal digging would reveal that she's a conservative Republican with a reputation for putting criminals behind bars. That a large number of criminals are young minority males did not make her appointment popular with progressives.
With both white and black bigots unhappy with her prosecuting Zimmmerman. it looks like she's exatly the prosector needed in this case.
Ha, that is a great screenshot. “DA says the case should not be tried in the media”, on the Nancy Grace show — the most corrupt, biased, demagoguing Court of Public Opinion in the country.
they fired on law enforcement officers
Section 219 of the Texas code allows that, if the officer uses unnecessary deadly force upon someone.
The written rule of law won in that case, and the Branch Davidians were acquitted of murdering the agents.
I’m afraid the rule of written law will lose here, just like in that OJ mess.
At least no riots over that, unlike Rodney King.
Could be. She's certainly a clown.
Nothing like painting with a broad brush. If you ever make a post that isn't pure demagoguery I'll be amazed.
The first person I thought of when the “affidavit” was filed was Mike Nifong.
Doh, you got me. I should have listened to the little voice in my head that said, “whoa, those are some pretty big hands for a lady lawyer.”
This sleazy affadavit includes the word “profiling” solely to incite prejudice against the defendant. In the PC world, racial profiling is considered a great sin; but the affadavit omits the word “racial.” They want readers to ASSUME racism, and to ASSUME that profiling is somehow illegal, and thus indicative of Zimmerman’s depravity. That is absurd.
Zimmerman called the police to report a suspicious person who did fit the profile of many burglars: dressed to obscure identity, wandering about aimlessly in the rain at night, right next to homes rather than on the sidewalk.
Is there a law that makes it illegal for citizens to size up others based on appearance or conduct? If so, perhaps someone can show us where to find it. The entire population “profiles” constantly every day, and darn well better.
Yes...but the results have not been made public.
People: The entire thing was crafted to appease the black community while assuring that, as a matter of law, Zimmerman will never be convicted. This is clever political-judicial maneuvering at its best. Murder requires intent; they will NEVER prove intent, so the charge will fail...exactly as planned. Apologies to George for having to go through this, but civil peace requires some sacrifice. By the time this trial concludes with a not guilty verdict, Obama will be out of the WH, Holder will be a defendant in federal court, and Revs. Jesse and Al will be in newer, greener pastures...
I wonder why they haven’t been released. Well...not really. The non-release tells me plenty. If he was clean, his parents would have used the fact to further their case. They would be shouting it from the rooftops.
I’m pretty sure we have a grandstanding, appointed Special Prosecutor at work here.
This lame, overcharged case shouldn’t hold up. I am hopeful that Corey, upon seeing that her over-charge won’t cut it, will herself sue for a much reduced charge.
Defend her all you want. Facts are facts....and they obviously don’t seem to matter much to this woman. I don’t care if she’s Republican, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist, or Saturnian. She’s done an incredibly foolish, stupid thing here and doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of getting a conviction.
Don’t EVEN try to tell me this isn’t politically motivated; I’ll call serious bulls**t on ya. I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.
Zimmerman will never be convicted....Certainly hope you're right. Could be setting this up as an intentional fumble, but just as possible it's a railroad job.
but civil peace requires some sacrifice....Same could be said about giving up your free speech rights, or your guns, or your ability to assemble . . . . and why should anyone expect an innocent man (inferred by your comment) to just suck it up for me/you.
Obama will be out of the WH...That's assuming 1) Romney and the RNCe actually go after N0bama, 2) 0bama continues to step in it and 3) that Zer0 actually allows the election to go forward if it appears it will not turn out the right way.
Obviously you read my post at night albeit you were not born last night....I don’t see how you can interpret my post as defending her. If you think that, we have to agree to disagree on that point.
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