Skip to comments.Zimmerman Tapes: Variations Versus Differences
Posted on 06/23/2012 6:54:39 PM PDT by marktwain
We need another thread to continue the analysis of the George Zimmerman statements, interviews with police and crime-scene re-enactment.
So many were released yesterday, I doubt anyone but true case afficionados have listened to them all. I know I haven't. Yet across the internet, people are cherry-picking, pointing to minor variations as if they are contradictions affecting the totality of George Zimmerman's version of events.
If George Zimmerman told the exact same story over the course of days, people would say it was rehearsed and false. Variations are to be expected, human memory is not like a video recorder, it changes over time. So what is a reasonable test? How about this? [More...]
Forensic document examiners (handwriting experts) compare a known document to an unknown document to determine whether the same person wrote both. The known document might be a letter the person wrote in the past. The unknown document might be the ransom note.
One test for concluding if the same person authored both is whether there are a substantial number of similarities in the absence of a significant dissimilarity. Only a significant dissimilarity is considered a difference. Put another way: Are there are a sufficient number of significant characteristics and an absence of any significant inexplicable differences
A variation is not a difference. It is not a significant dissimilarity. How do these experts tell whether something is a variation or a difference? That's subjective, up to the examiner. (And why handwriting analysis is not considered science -- it's too subjective.)
Here, since we're dealing in the court of public opinion and with opinion not science, we can all be like document examiners.
There may be many variations in George Zimmerman's multiple accounts, but which, if any, amount to a significant dissimilarity that rises to a difference over a variation, and warrants someone concluding the essential elements of his version are not true?
My opinion: This is self-defense. Zimmerman was not the aggressor, he did nothing to provoke Trayvon Martins beating him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concrete. He had every right to respond with deadly force to stop Trayvons physical attack on him and to prevent Trayvon from getting control of his weapon.
Heres my interpretation of Georges version of events, which undoubtedly will be disputed bhy the state. Again, these are not undisputed truths, but my interpretation of Georges version.
Georges suspicion was aroused because he saw someone milling around between houses in the rain. He knew this person didnt live at the house he was standing by because it had been burglarized before and he knew who lived there. The guy wasnt exercising. He did nothing to get out of the rain. He thought to himself, who stands out in the rain and stares at houses? He did what the Sanford Police had instructed members of the community to do when they see something suspicious. He called the non-emergency number for the police to report his suspicion.
He pulled over at the clubhouse to make the 911 call. Trayvon walked past him, staring at him and turned down Twin Trees Lane. He drove to Twin Trees Lane while he was still on the phone with the non-emergency dispatcher and parked at the cut-through, in front of the white truck which happens to be located at 1211 Twin Trees Lane. He saw Trayvon go down the path between the shared backyards. Then Trayvon returned and circled his car. The dispatcher tells him police are on their way.
George tries to give him directions to where his truck is parked. The dispatcher isnt understanding him (perhaps because the dispatcher didnt realize George had moved his car from the clubhouse to the cutthrough.). Then Trayvon took off running. The dispatcher asks him which way Trayvon had gone. He gets out of his car to look. He says toward the other entrance, and confirms to the dispatcher that would be the back entrance. The dispatcher tells him they dont need him to follow Trayvon, and he says okay. But he still wants to tell the dispatcher where he is so the cops can find him, and he doesnt know the name of the street since there is no street sign. Trayvon had gone off and was out of his sight.
He keeps walking to the front of Retreat View Circle to get an address. He had a flashlight but it wasnt working. His purpose at this point was not to follow Trayvon, who had left the immediate area. He told the dispatcher he would stop following him and he did. He continued walking to Retreat View Circle to get the address for the dispatcher to give the cops who were on their way, and hen he then turned around to walk back to his car.
Just west of the T Trayvon appeared out of the darkness and confronted him. He (GZ) was right by the bushes along the side of the house at 1211 Twin Trees Lane. Trayvon was on the shared back path, in back of 1211 Twin Trees Lane. Trayvon confronted George, asking him if he had a problem. He said he didnt and reached for his phone to call 911. As he reached for his phone, Trayvon punched him, he stumbled. Trayvon got on top of him and started banging his head into the cement. His body was on the grass, his head on the cement. He struggled to get up. As they continued struggling, George was crying out for help. Trayvon put his hands over his mouth and nose and told him to shut the F* up. He thought he was going to lose consciousness.
A neighbor behind them (W-6, John, at 1221 Twin Trees Lane) yelled out asking what was going on and if he should call 911. George yelled for help again. He wanted W-6 to help him get away from Trayvon, rather than call 911, because he knew police were already on their way. But W-6 went inside to call 911. No one came to help George as he kept struggling to get out from under Trayvon. W-6 says they were moving as they were struggling, first in the grass, then onto the sidewalk. As George tried to move so his head would be onto the grass and he could get Trayvons hands off his mouth and nose, his jacket lifted and his gun was exposed. Trayvon reached for his gun and told him he was going to die.
At that point, in my opinion, anyone in that situation would reasonably fear serious bodily or death. He was unable to extricate himself. He was justified in using deadly force under traditional self defense principles even without Stand Your Ground. But Stand Your Ground also applies. He was in a place he lawfully had a right to be a public area in his community. He was attacked. He did nothing to provoke a physical assault. He reasonably feared imminent serious bodily injury or death. He had no duty to retreat, but even if he did, since he was unable to extricate himself by any lesser means, he was justified in using lethal force.
George used one arm to pin Trayvons hand against him, and with the other, unholstered his gun and shot Trayvon in the chest. Trayvon didnt die right away. He was still talking, and George thought he missed. He heard Trayvon say something like You got me. Not realizing his shot hit Trayvon, and thinking Trayvon had something in his hands he had been using to hit him, he got out from under him and on top of him to separate his arms.
Zimmerman did not violate any law by getting out of his car. He didnt violate the law by reporting Trayvon as suspicious or trying to keep tabs on him while waiting for police. The dispatcher asked which way he had gone and for an address. Its perfectly reasonable he would get out of his car to locate one if none was visible from where his car was parked.
He told the dispatcher to have the police call him because he had been unable to explain to the dispatcher where he was located . His truck wasnt at the mailboxes. It was at the cut-through by Twin Trees Lane. Why should he have to drive it back to the mailboxes? He thought he could better explain where he was to the police when they arrived. Theres no duplicity here or sinister intent.
Trayvon confronted Zimmerman. Both GZ and even phone friend DeeDee say Trayvon initiated the verbal confrontation. Witnesses 11 (the first 911 caller) and her housemate Jeremy , W-20, who live at 1211 Twin Trees Lane, first heard the sounds on the north side of their house, which is to the west of the T. They think it moved around the corner to the back of their house, along the shared path, where they first heard the yells for help. W-11 says in interviews with police the men were moving as they were struggling on the ground. W-6 says he saw them move as they struggled from the grass to the concrete behind his house. Trayvons body is situated behind his house. In the re-enactment, George points to 1221 Twin Trees Lane as where the neighbor lived who he asked for help rather than call 911.
W-13, who lives at 2861 Retreat View Circle, also at the top of the T, came out right after the shot. Georges face and the back of his head was bloody. He took the photo of the back of Georges head. When police arrived and handcuffed George, George asked him to call his wife and tell her what happened. He told W-13 he had no choice, he had to shoot Trayvon. W-6 heard George say he acted in self-defense.
Why George followed Trayvon or thought he was suspicious is irrelevant to whether this was self-defense in my opinion. Even if he did follow him, which he denies, instead saying he was looking to see which direction he had gone and for a street address, that is not provocation for a punch in the nose.
While Trayvon didnt break any law by not going back to where he was staying though he clearly had time to do so, or by remaining at or returning to the area of the T, he did commit an act of unlawful force against Zimmerman, ,by attacking him without adequate provocation.
Weve seen no evidence or witness statement to suggest that GZ intended to capture or detain him for police. There is no witness who saw the initiation of the physical encounter or evidence that GZ initiated either the verbal or physical encounter. There is no evidence weve seen that that would justify Trayvons physical attack on Zimmerman.
Zimmermans injuries are consistent with his version of the attack. Zimmerman says he cried out for help. The witnesses statements the night of the event support Zimmermans version of events, even as to the struggle beginning at the T and then moving down towards W-6's house.
If the state has no evidence George initiated the verbal confrontation, then the affidavit for probable cause for second degree murder contained a lie. The affiants swore Zimmeman confronted Trayvon and a stuggle ensued. But not a single witness statement says Zimmerman verbally confronted Trayvon. Zimmerman, and even Dee Dee, say Trayvon confronted Zimmerman first, asking why Zimmerman was following him. If the state had no evidence Zimmerman confronted Trayvon before the struggle ensued, that should be dealt with by the Court.
There is no animus or hatred or ill-will in this case. There was a guy hanging out in the rain for no apparent reason, looking at houses, including one that had recently been the subject of a break-in, in a neighborhood in which there had been several recent break-ins. Zimmerman considered and discounted other possibilities such as that the guy was not wearing workout clothes or exercising. He knew the guy didn't live at the house where he was standing. He could not figure why he wouldnt try to get out of the rain. He did what Sanford Police told citizens to do: He called the non-emergency number to report him.
I see variations, but I see no significant dissimilarities. I see nothing that amounts to a contradiction or a difference. I see a valid claim of self-defense.
What do you see? And remember to state your opinions as such, and not misrepesent disputed facts as undisputed truths.
I see something so clear cut that I would advise Zimmerman to request a bench trial. The margin of error in jury decisions is significant, and you don’t want to take that risk when you are truly not guilty, especially with these facts. I would move for a directed verdict of acquittal at the close of the prosecution case and expect it to be granted, without a lot of delay, based on what has been shown of discovery so far.
Wow..wonder when they will boot her off of TalkLeft?
Excellent summary. The most telling thing about this case is that Zimmerman’s injuries are consistent with his version of what happened. This case would be dropped by 99.9% of prosecutors anywhere. This case is a political lynching...and the Governor of FL and the AG can end it immediately. End it before we vote you out
“.......I would move for a directed verdict of acquittal at the close of the prosecution case and expect it to be granted, without a lot of delay, based on what has been shown of discovery so far.”
The defense team most definitely will ask for a directed verdict of acquittal—it would be judicial malpractice if they didn’t. And the presented facts (based upon what we’ve seen so far) would certainly merit such a directed verdict.
However, it’s not the facts & law that will be driving the judge at that point. It will instead be the judge’s cowardliness. And, being driven by that clear cowardliness, the judge will deny the motion. It’s very sad that we have this situation with “public servants” such as this judge, but IMHO that’s what we have here.
I’ll go you one further. George Zimmerman may have gotten out of his SUV for 2 reasons:
#1 was to see exactly what the street name was. You get just a little stressed and you easily forget things like street names, especially since you don’t live on that street.
#2 - He wanted to keep Martin in sight as long as possible. He knew the police were on the way. He new as long as he kept him in sight he could tell them exactly where he was. Remember, they had several break-ins and the suspects had gotten away clean.
There was NO REASON for Zimmerman to confront Martin. Zimmerman knew the police were on the way. All he had to do was keep eyeballs on Martin so he could get checked out by the police. THAT IS NOT AGAINST THE LAW AND IS NOT A PROVACATIVE ACTION!
It seems clear-cut, but if I were GZ I wouldn’t entrust my fate to the judge who has been on the case so far. He seems to have the attitude that whatever Benjamin Crump wants, Benjamin Crump gets.
The prosecution has no case and would be laughed out of court if it put Dee Dee on the witness stand. It has no witnesses and has been trying to find something — anything — but it has nothing. Everytime it thinks it has something, it backfires on them. The governor needs to cut his losses, fire Corey and appoint somebody who will bring this thing to an end quickly. Surely this public lynching of an innocent hispanic is an embarrassment to the people of Florida.
Very good analysis. Many in America sent Zimmerman money because they see this for what it is. The lynching of a Hispanic man to satisfy race baiting, power hungry, violent mobs and a lying media. What a shame even the good police chief was fired and Zimmerman’s father is hiding out in motel rooms just because the Democrat party wants to work up the mobs and threaten lives and worst of all...the state of Florida is enabling them to do so instead of standing against them.
I heard earlier that he was under the influence. The word "Hashish" comes from the Arabic for ASSASSIN...
Or is it the other way around?
Ahhh, Jeralyn Merritt the author of the article owns the blog Talk Left. Very solid legal analysis on Zimmerman. Her latest is worth a read too: George Zimmerman : Witness Support and Legal Recap http://www.talkleft.com/story/2012/6/24/122557/873
After getting a load of the Judge’s decision over the perjury bail suspension, I think he’s not all that trustworthy. Seemed to me, he was trying to assist that activist prosecutor to extract a plea deal through issuing threats about the case.
Zimmerman’s lawyer would know best about that, but I don’t trust the guy. This is a political trial. At least one juror will see through this race-baiting scam and bust up the mob.
This account missed an important piece of information.
Remember Zimmerman said - to the detective - that he squirmed while Trayvon was on top of him to get his head off the sidewalk so Trayvon would not be able to slam his head on the concret anymore. He said that his jacket pulled up, exposing his gun. He saw Trayvon looked at the gun and said Zimmerman was going to die. Then Zimmerman grabbed the gun and shot him.
Good question. Per CNN:
"Toxicology tests found elements of the drug in the teenagers chest blood 1.5 nanograms per milliliter of one type (THC), as well as 7.3 nanograms of another type (THC-COOH)"
And when the Team Skittles wants to say that it was too little to be meaningful, in Nevada 2 ng/ml for THC and 5 ng/ml for THC-COOH means that one is too impaired to drive a car.
However the precise levels of cannabis in Martins urine have not been released, probably because they would show that TM had recently, perhaps just hours before, smoked marijuana, and was still quite high from it. Concentrations of THC can rise to 100 to 200 ng/ml after marijuana use, and then typically fall to below 5 ng/ml within three hours of it being smoked. That's a big drop in a short time.
This would mean that GZ was correct when he told 911 that the person he was watching looked like he was on drugs or something. He was. And he was in possession of it as well -- in his blood and urine.
Team O'Mara should require that TM's full urine test be turned over, immediately after it is tested for other street drugs and concoctions as well. Team Crump will have a fit.