Aside from the racial angle, the nature of the case against George Zimmerman is slowly coming out. ABC News is reporting that it is not the actual fight between Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman but Zimmerman's reaction to the shooting that will be the basis of the prosecution's case.
Of course psychological and physiological response to being involved in a deadly force incident is varied and not evidentiary to the actual legal basis for lawful use of deadly force, but Zimmerman's less than melodramatic response to shooting someone who was trying to kill him will be the basis for an appeal to the jury to convict him for murder for appearing to certain witnesses to be less than contrite.
A closer look at the witness statements and audio testimony taken in the immediate aftermath Trayvon Martin's death provides the first insight into George Zimmerman's behavior after he shot the unarmed teen.
A man listed as witness 13 was one of the first people to approach Zimmerman minutes after the shooting. He saw him bleeding from the back of the head and nose. Zimmerman asked the unidentified man to call his wife for him.
"Let her know what's happening, been involved in a shooting and will be held for questioning," the witness told the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. "He was more like, talking like he was having a hard time, looked like he just got his butt whipped ... not like he was in shock, not like, 'I can't believe I just shot someone,' but like, 'Just tell my wife I just shot someone,' like it was nothing."
ABC News/Yahoo May 18, 2012 by Matt Gutman and Seni Tienabeso
Of course we know that Zimmerman had just got his butt whipped. That is why he had to shoot Trayvon; getting your head bashed in on the sidewalk, your nose broke, and being punched in the face repeatedly will force you to act to save your life.
Perhaps Witness 13 will volunteer to experience getting his head bashed in and see what he would do to survive? Just kidding, I don't think he will.
A woman identified as witness 5 walked out of her home after hearing the altercation to find Zimmerman standing over Martin's body. She said she asked him what was going on and he curtly said just, "Call the police."
And that is quite appropriate. If you have just stopped someone from assaulting you, the police should be called. Was she expecting a statement concerning the incident?
And more interesting is why she did not attempt to help Zimmerman when he was on his back getting an ass-whopping? She appears to be unconcerned about violent crime right outside her door. There is, by the way, a legal obligation to assist someone in distress.
The woman told police that Zimmerman, 28, examined Martin's body as he slowly paced back and forth when the police arrived. She watched as they checked the teen's body and turned him over, eventually starting CPR. But he was already dead for five or 10 minutes, she said.
"I do honestly feel that he intended for this kid to die," witness 5 told investigators. "If you're in self-defense, shoot him in the leg. He's a 17-year-old, scrawny little kid. You get into a physical fight with him. ... I think the kid was running for help."
Really? And just how did she know that Zimmerman intended for Trayvon to die? Is she psychic? Can she read minds? Clearly Zimmerman did not tell her that or it would have been in the report. What is missing is most important. There is nothing that suggests that Zimmerman was anything other than the victim of the thug Trayvon and he acted in self-defense.
Perhaps Witness 5 wanted Zimmerman to wail, rent his garments, and gnash his teeth. However that is not what happens during the psychological reaction to such a traumatic event. Quiet shock is the most common reaction to shooting someone in self-defense.
And why did she say "honestly?" That, according to experts, means she is lying. It is a reaction to the lie she is telling herself. She has to let the world know that this thing she is saying is different from when she usually speaks. She is waiving a red flag, telling the world that her testimony has been corrupted. If someone has to tell you this time they are telling the truth, the truth is not something you are getting. As we shall see below.
Zimmerman’s reaction to the fight and his use of deadly force was not only reasonable, he was obviously concerned with the consequences of using deadly force. Such an act is significant in one’s life. One is changed forever and one knows that there may be consequences. I am certain he was not expecting to be the object of a racial lynching and subject to the unethical and illegal use of the prosecutorial powers of the State, but nothing he did or said immediately after the shooting indicated a guilty conscience.
And just how did Witness 5 conclude that Trayvon was running for help? She did not see any part of the events preceding the second confrontation, nor the fight itself.
In fact Witness 5 seems to have been coached by the investigators or had her memory corrupted by later and inaccurate press reports. Trayvon was not running anywhere, he was assaulting Zimmerman. Twice she also refers to Trayvon as a “kid,” once as a “skinny kid.” This is even more evidence of after the fact-corruption of her statement. She would have had no knowledge of Trayvon except in the most recent months of seeing his baby pictures in the media. Clearly the investigators must have coached her to say this or allowed post event information to color her statement. A big No-No in the world of professional investigative procedure.
In any event, Trayvon wasn't running anywhere immediately preceding the second confrontation. After initially evading Zimmerman by running, he walked back from the home he was staying at to confront Zimmerman.
She also appears to have watched too much television where people are always getting shot in the arm or leg by a movie star playing a sheriff or cowboy.
Well, honey, that does just not happen in real life. When using a firearm you can't just shoot to wound, much less shoot a small target like a leg or arm. They are constantly moving and shooting for such a target is dangerous and irresponsible since one is quite likely to miss. In real life, nobody gets winged in the arm or leg except by accident, when a center-mass shot misses.
In fact, all law enforcement and the military throughout the United States are taught to shoot center mass of a target, of an assailant. Why? Because the center mass of a person's body is the largest target and consequently the target least likely to be missed, preventing rounds from going elsewhere, like into an innocent bystander, or through a window or door into a residence striking a neighbor.
Shooting center mass of a person's body is also where many vital organs are, and law enforcement in particular wants to stop someone who is subject to deadly force. And the only way to stop an assailant, who, for instance, is beating your head on the concrete, is to cause traumatic injury to their heart or lungs, forcing them to stop assaulting you.
Law enforcement shoots to stop, not to wound. And center-mass is where law enforcement is trained to shoot.
But the world's ugliest woman, Angela Cory, should know this. As the State's Attorney and former Assistant State's Attorney for the Jacksonville area, she was involved in making prosecutorial decisions about numerous police shootings, none of which she prosecuted. The cops, who shot center-mass, and killed felons committing crimes, were innocent of any crime, just as Zimmerman is innocent of any crime.
But it appears that the world's ugliest woman is basing her prosecutorial strategy not on the facts of the fight between Zimmerman and Trayvon, but on perceived reaction of Zimmerman to the shooting.
For there is no reason for the investigators who spoke with any of these witnesses to be in any way concerned with Zimmerman's reaction to the shooting. Since he was not jumping up and down for joy shouting that he finally got a notch in his gun, the opinions of witnesses as to what Zimmerman was thinking, what his reaction was, or what they though Zimmerman should have done is irrelevant. A qualified investigator knows this and that any opinions of the witnesses will not be allowed in court.
So why is the prosecution harping on this with its leaks? Why ask the witnesses what their opinions were? In fact the alleged investigators should have only asked relevant questions that elicited facts from the witnesses.
What Zimmerman did, ask someone to call the police, was the correct thing to do. The police needed to be notified and an ambulance as well. Of course, as most attorneys advise their law enforcement clients involved in a shooting incident, he should have said nothing more. But what he did say, like call my wife, is not indicative of anything, much less criminal intent. For one thing, in this country has the right to remain silent. Remaining silent is not evidence of guilt. Nor is an innocuous statement like "Call my wife" evidence of anything; certainly not the mens rea for murder in the 2nd. Nor is the opinion of a half-wit, who with no articulable evidence, accuses someone of intending to kill someone.
I hope Zimmerman's attorney brings a suit for libel and slander against Witness 5.
This case does bring up serious issues concerning the investigation by the Sanford Police Department and the State's Attorney's investigators:
Police said they believe Martin noticed he was being watched and "was in fact running generally in the direction of where he was staying as a guest of the neighborhood."
Here the stated conclusion is, as is said, counter-factual. Trayvon confronted Zimmerman well away from his temporary residence, and, as has been shown, doubled back to confront Zimmerman. If Trayvon had been running from Zimmerman he would have been home in less than a minute, but Trayvon returned in a fit of murderous rage to attack Zimmerman, a premeditated act, unlike Zimmerman, who acted in self-defense without any premeditation.
Multiple witnesses and injuries sustained corroborate Zimmerman's account that he was involved in a serious altercation with Martin, one that police say could have been avoided if he did not leave his car as directed by the 911dispatcher. The investigator said the tragedy was avoidable.
My emphasis. Of course, that conclusion is irrelevant and inflammatory. In any event, Zimmerman was not instructed by dispatchers to do anything, they told him that he did not need to follow Trayvon, and Zimmerman eventually complied with that request, mostly because he lost sight of Trayvon, who was running away, but would later return to attack Zimmerman. Additionally, the dispatcher had no legal authority to instruct Zimmerman on any course of action.
For law enforcement investigators, their function is to present facts to a prosecutor, who makes a decision whether there is sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for a criminal conviction. Investigators just present facts. Commentary about whether an incident was avoidable is irrelevant to their function. It is highly unethical to make such a statement in an investigative report.
One could just as well say that Zimmerman is guilty because he was there in the first place. If he had not been patrolling at all, the tragedy would have been avoided as well. If he had not bought a house in the neighborhood, this would not have happened. If he had not volunteered as a community activist with the neighborhood watch, this never would have happened. One cannot place the blame for a death on an act that was anything other than the act itself, unless the preceding acts were also crimes.
In any event, that is an admission that Zimmerman acted lawfully. It is clear that the police do not truly believe there is any evidence that Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense.
Here the investigator is blaming the victim. The victim is guilty because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The investigator is saying that people should cower in their homes at all times to avoid being a victim.
This is even more egregious because there is no law against confronting or speaking with someone in public. It was not illegal for Zimmerman to confront Trayvon, as the initial incident between the two has been described. Asking someone what they are doing on private property is not illegal. It is not evidence of a crime. But that is what the prosecution is trying to push on the public.
Angela Corey wants to criminalize being a victim, criminalize being a concerned member of the public, to criminalize public participation in the fight against crime. Angela Corey wants to make Florida safe for criminals.
And that is why Zimmerman Must Die—he is now the Emmanuel Goldstein of race relations in this country.