The first thing I notice is that, even after the trial and all the evidence being spelled out in painstaking detail in court, virtually every article I’ve read that attempted to recount the events of that night got at least one major fact wrong. Most got several wrong.
Not surprising considering the state of Journalism today, but still aggravating and discouraging. And they wonder why we’re tuning out.
The second thing I notice is that every comment that I read by someone who disagreed with the verdict where they attempted to recount the events of that night, got most of what they said wrong. Apparently, the only requirement for disapproving of the verdict is not having any idea at all about what the evidence shows actually happened.
Some of the more common misconceptions:
Zimmerman wasn’t on a Neighborhood watch “patrol”. He was on his way home from Target. His activities had nothing to do with the Neighborhood watch other than his taking the initiative to call the police to report a suspicious person.
Zimmerman was not told to stay in his car. He was not informed that he “didn’t need to” follow Martin until well after he’d already exited his vehicle…in response to questions asked by the dispatcher.
Zimmerman was not following Martin immediately before the altercation began. As soon as he was informed that he didn’t need to follow Martin, he immediately replied “OK” and stopped. Any objective review of the non-emergency call between Zimmerman and the Dispatcher makes this abundantly clear. Shortly after replying “OK” to the dispatcher’s news that following wasn’t necessary, Zimmerman stated “he ran” (past tense…meaning it’s all over with and Martin is gone). Shortly after that, Zimmerman was reluctant to tell the dispatcher his home address aloud because “I don’t know where this kid is”.
Martin was not just trying to get home. Had he been trying to do so, he would have succeeded with plenty of time to spare. The top of the “T” sidewalk is only about 400 feet from the home Martin was staying in. One can walk 400 feet at a normal walking pace in less than 2 minutes. A 17 year old in decent physical shape (as Martin appeared to be) could run it in a flat out sprint in 12 to 15 seconds. Placing his gait at somewhere in the middle, call it a minute to get home and another minute to unlock the door and get inside.
Using the non-emergency call timeline, combined with the 911 call in which the shot could be heard, four minutes elapsed from the time Zimmerman lost sight of Martin and the fatal shot. By most accounts, the altercation lasted between 45 seconds and a minute. That means that Martin had at least 3 minutes to travel the 400 feet to the home he was staying in…yet the altercation started within a few feet of the top of the “T” (where Zimmerman’s keys and flashlight were found) and ended up no more than 30 feet from the top of the “T”. If Martin was only trying to get home and away from the “creepy ass cracker”, what was he doing during that 3 minutes that he was still right near the “T” as Zimmerman returned to his truck?
Zimmerman didn’t initiate the contact. Even according the the State’s star witness, the girl who was on the phone with Martin right up until the altercation began, it was Martin who initiated contact with Zimmerman.
And, Finally, if George Zimmerman was a “wanna-be cop”, why did he turn down an offer from the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator to take on a community policing position that would have had him wearing a uniform with a badge and driving a patrol car with lights?
George Zimmerman was the kind of neighbor most people like to have. The kind that takes an interest in their neighborhood and keeps an eye out for others. He WAS “minding his own business” that night…by keeping an eye out and reporting suspicious behavior in his neighborhood. He did exactly what he should have done and what I wish more people would do.
As many have said, no black (or white, or yellow, or green) “child” deserves to be shot and killed for nothing more than walking home from 7-11 with candy and a drink. But that isn’t what Martin was doing when he got shot. He was committing felony assault with a deadly weapon by pinning Zimmerman to the ground and pounding his head repeatedly against the concrete sidewalk. Sorry, but that absolutely IS grounds for being shot, no matter what skin tone you happen to have.