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.
If Corey doesn't have a lot more than what's in the affidavit Owens and the lawyers listed in the article seem to be correct.
“Angela Corey’s filing against George Zimmerman bears the hallmarks of a career-ender.”
Unless you WANT to loos the case, or get it thrown out and thereby create rioting...
Could be...With the turkey we have in the WH I’d hesitate to argue against that possibility.
Angela Corey...hmmmm.....with ZERO digging, I can say two things for certainty: she’s female and liberal, and.....one thing via assumption only: she’s black.
May be wrong on the assumption part...maybe.....but not the first part.
IOW, she’s a drooling idiot who should never be allowed to “practice” law again.
OK....I looked (I had to). She’s white. Definitely right on everything else I “guessed”.
Corey is not a liberal. I know her, do you?
She is over the top in some of her accusations, that is true.
She hates the stand your ground law.
She is not running for reelection according to what she has said for over a year.
She may have something against hispanics, she is currently prosecuting for murder a 12 yo boy with a hispanic name.
lastly, she defeated someone I would call a philosophical social worker in the last election.
Bump for later reading.
My guess it that this will never get past the pre-trial hearing. Then the prosecutor can tell Jesse, Al, the Black Panthers et al that she tried and hope they don’t burn the city down.
Who is this person writing this and how important is this person? Any old person’s opinion doesn’t matter much. What matters is the opinion of the judges in the state of Florida and those on the board of the Florida state bar association.
Statists are no better than Communists.
Assuming the legal case is complete by the election, I would vote for a Republican that promised prosecution and imprisonment of Corey as a campaign pledge.
“She hates the stand your ground law.”
Based on the information in this article she has failed to uphold the law and is allowing her feelings to overrule her oath of office. She should be removed from office and not allowed to move on to a higher position.
I think that she is showing overt sign of RINO disease. She obviously doesn’t believe in the law.
I agree with you 100%
You be dead on.
Watch for the liberal tactic of putting the gun on trial. Why was Mr. Z carrying a gun if he didn’t plan on shooting someone? If he was that worried about being attacked himself he wouldn’t have gone out alone at night looking for trouble. No, members of the jury, Mr. Z loaded a gun, went out looking for trouble and the predicatable outcome was the gun, loaded, with the safety off, crawled out of Mr. Z’s pocket and did exactly what Mr. Z had intended it to do.
“That evening Martin walked to a nearby 7-11 Store where he purchased a can of iced tea and some Skittles.”
Was it ever determined that the boy purchased these items? The last I’d heard (some weeks ago) was that the store’s records of purchase for that time had been checked and there was no record of these items being sold.
Did a quick look via goggle maps. The nearest “7-11 store” is a mile away and requires you to walk under I-4 going and coming. Quite a distance to walk for a bag of skittles and a drink. Nominal time to cover this distance would be 30 minutes with in consistent sidewalks (not always present, on one side of the street or the other, etc.).
My wife and I watched Corey’s press event announcing the indictment. She was arrogant, smug, was obviously politically motivated, and sickening. I hope she gets indicted for false arrest.
Is walking a crime?
If Corey is up for reelection in a few months, why was she appointed to this investigation/prosecution? Are there no other prosecutors in FL who could have handled the case and who aren’t facing an election?
According to post #10 she isn’t running for reelection.
Nice to read such an excellent fisking of this trashy affidavit. I would love to see this thing end in a career-ending contempt charge for Corey a la Nifong.
I have yet to see anything about the source of that claim or evidence that it did or didn't happen.
And she has accused him of profiling and we KNOW that's nbot true. I hope she's out in the street next week. She's a fool.
I have asked that question in the past.
Somebody here pointed me to a story, in which a spokesman for 7-11 states that there is indeed a tape of a black man buying those items, at that store. The spokesman stated that it had been turned over to the police.
When asked what time the purchase occurred, the reply was 6:00 to 6:30.
I find that a little interesting, since Zimmerman first spots him at the clubhouse at 7:09...or at least 39 minutes for Martin to travel a mile back from the 7-11. A brisk walk would get you there in 15 minutes. A liesurely walk would take around 20 minutes. And this is on a cold wet night. To me it supports Zimmerman’s statement that he ‘was wandering around’...or not going from point A to B directly.
I have a theory...completely unsubstantiated, or course, but here it goes: St. Skittles decided to go for a walk, to the 7-11 and back...because he wanted to ‘smoke’ a little. You know, a little of that stuff he had just gotten suspended for. And, he probably wasn’t allowed to stink up Dad’s girlfriend’s place. So, he goes for the long walk, buys the munchies, and is taking it long and slow, so he can finish his smoke. Zimmerman sees him - he can’t compute why somebody would just be loitering in the bad weather, he even states to the 9-11 operator that Martin might be on drugs,...and the rest is history.
Or unless you think not charging now will lead to a riot, but that if your case is thrown out in six months or so thing will have calmed down. Either way it is a political decision that is disquieting.
Yes it was reported that the 7-11 does have tape of a person fitting Trayvon's description purchasing items. It was also reported that the tape has been subpoenaed.
What is interesting is that the media, which normally will quickly obtain copies of this type of footage from a gas station or convenience store and show it on the air, have not done so here.
Could it be that it would show a rather large person (6'2") in a hooded sweatshirt, and not the young boy whom they have created for purposes of their narrative?
Zimmerman was measured at his booking at only 5'8".
Yet the media narrative has always been of a much bigger full-grown man gunning down a young boy half his size.
Thanks for the ping.
Duke was worse because they were arrested even though nothing happened, and every single piece of evidence pointed that way.
“The Story Unravels: New Questions about Trayvon Martin’s Final Hour”
The public relations director could not specify the exact time of the purchase but said it was between 6:00 and 6:30.
The 7-Eleven, according to maps.google, is 0.8 miles from the entrance to The Retreat at Twin Lakes, a 16-minute walk. There is not much to see or do on Rinehart Road on a Sunday night, and it was raining hard. Even if he was not bringing the tea and Skittles to his stepbrother but was eating and sipping en route, Martin should have arrived back at his dad’s fiancée’s place before 6:50, and much earlier if he left the store closer to 6:00 than 6:30. According to logs (now deleted from the department’s website), Zimmerman called the Sanford police at 7:09:34.
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.”