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Weighing in on the Florida v. Zimmerman trial… A 10-4 perspective
It is very unfortunate that Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old young man, lost his life on his way home from a nearby store with only an Arizona tea and Skittles in his possession. My heart goes out to his parents and the family including the loved ones that were directly impacted as well as those that can relate to his situation under like circumstances.
After I initially heard about this case I gravitated towards the support of Martin rather than George Zimmerman because of the issue that he followed an alleged ‘suspicious’ person (which happened to a black male in hoodie walking in a light rain) that per testimony he described as a “kid” after being instructed by a 911 operator to not do so… and that “kid” ended up being dead. Was it illegal for Zimmerman to follow the teenager? No. Was it stalking? No. Was it a compromise of judgment considering you have police en route (to whom which you have called) to remedy the situation? Yes. There are many speculative questions that we could be asked but the following is one thing we know for sure. If Zimmerman had not followed Martin on the night of February 26, 2012 he would not be dead by the hands of the man on trial today for 2nd degree murder.
In addition to stating my perspective on this case I want to also address some of the Trayvon Martin supporters who have expressed bias in regard to this tragic incident. I find it stubborn and illogical that some of you have a notion that Martin didn’t strike Zimmerman at all. Here’s why… How many people aside from competent 17 year old males would not have at least tried to fight for their life? If able, you can expect one to do anything possible to preserve their life if they felt it were in imminent danger. After all, the alternative would be for him to just accept a life-ending bullet to the heart while not trying to prevent it. The reason I think these theories come into play is because one assumes that if he may have hit him he would be wrong or unlawful. Not necessarily true.
I am a conservative Texan who believes in the right for someone to ‘stand their ground’, although I wasn’t raised to think nor believe that ‘standing your ground’ has to include the aid of a gun. Again, there are many different speculative situations we can make about this case but I want to concentrate on what has transpired in the court of law in Florida. My logic and interpretation of the evidence leads me to believe that George Zimmerman was the aggressor during the altercation between him and Trayvon Martin. (This all leads back to him following…) Secondly, to support that claim, I find it very hard to believe that an appointed Neighborhood Watch Coordinator whom has lived in the residential area for more than 3 years would not know the address of where he was located the night of the killing; not to mention that there are only 3 streets in the entire neighborhood (Plus there’s a townhome with the address displayed under a light in clear view where Zimmerman exited his vehicle – 211). Let’s also not forget the fact that he had previously made several emergency and non-emergency phone calls about suspicious activity with no problems of giving an address to police in that appointed position. The alternative… You mean you have an appointed Neighborhood Watch Coordinator who doesn’t know his 3 street neighborhood?? Yea, I’m not buying that one. Sorry.
We know at some point the two met up and a struggle occurred. Per testimony Zimmerman says Martin approached him in the dark after yelling at him. Now, remember there’s a light rain and it’s poorly lit in the area the two are standing at this point. It is very hard for me to process the fact that Zimmerman, a man that knowingly has a concealed weapon (which he carries virtually all the time -per testimony) would not have pulled it out before Martin was within arm’s reach of him. Keep in mind Zimmerman already believes that Martin is a potential threat to his neighborhood and is acting rather ‘suspiciously’ as he walks in the rain with “his hand in his waistband”. Let’s also not exclude the fact that Zimmerman believes Martin is “on drugs or something”. I can’t speak for all of course but how many concealed handgun owners do you know, with the weapon on their person, that would run into a poorly lit area that you don’t know (remember he doesn’t know the address) chasing a person that you believe is a threat to your neighborhood, acting suspicious with their hand in their waistband, possibly high on drugs without drawing your weapon once the alleged criminal begins to approach you yelling obscenities? Listen, I have some friends that are law enforcement and everyday citizens (many on Facebook) with their concealed-carry permit that would have already took control of the situation at that point by drawing their weapon without allowing this type of threat to endanger them.
Let’s keep moving forward… My perspective from the evidence presented allows me to draw conclusions that once the two were in a struggle (after Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose and bloodied it – remember this…) both at some point or another were on top of each other. Not hard for me to believe at all and here’s why… Zimmerman, regardless of how “soft” he is, has had extensive training in MMA or Mixed Martial Arts; 3hrs a day, sometimes more than 3 times a week, over a year’s time-span. Even if he wasn’t the best, at some point a natural reaction to his training will eventually kick in – if not immediately. Martin could have just as easily been on top during a portion of the struggle, even if only momentarily. Keep in mind he’s fighting for his life at this point because by now he has seen the gun.
We know that George Zimmerman sustained injury to the back of his head. That is a fact. The question is how did it happen? Per Zimmerman’s testimony Martin hit his head repeatedly onto the concrete sidewalk in the area they were struggling. Well, I’m going to be quite frank here… The two minor cuts to the back of his head could not logically have occurred by “repeated” hits to the concrete at full force, up until the point he begins to lose consciousness. I’ve witnesses children fall onto their knees on concrete and have worse abrasions. Additionally, no one witnessed Zimmerman in a ‘foggy’ or ‘dazed’ state including EMS, police, and detectives. Remember when I said “remember this”? Well, Zimmerman also claims that Martin was trying to suffocate him by placing his hands over his mouth and nose while he was trying to yell for “Help!”. Oddly enough, none of Zimmerman’s blood was found on Martin’s hands, fingernails, body, or clothing. Why is that important? By Zimmerman’s account the first physical contact between the two was from Trayvon Martin punching, breaking, and bloodying his nose. Now surely, with a broken bleeding nose his (Zimmerman) blood would have got on Martin’s hands when he tried to suffocate him. Naysayer’s say the rain could have washed it away though, but what about the blood from the fingernails? What about blood that would have got onto his clothes? The blood from Martin’s body wasn’t washed away by the rain.
Pay attention. I want to talk about something that is really rather shocking to me and should be to you too! After the killing of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman had his weapon confiscated by police as a standard procedure. So, please tell me WHY there were not ANY of Martin’s fingerprints on the gun (he supposedly grabbed the gun –per testimony) or ZIMMERMAN’s!! How in the world would there not be any of Zimmerman’s fingerprints on the gun that he just got done using moments before police arrived on the scene? Has anyone (mainly the State of Florida; Prosecution) even cared to look into this? Even if Zimmerman had worn gloves that night, although we know he didn’t, he would still have his OWN fingerprints on the gun considering it’s his and he carries it on his person virtually all the time! Something about this fact is very wrong and has slipped through the cracks of the prosecution’s case.
Here’s my theory to this anomaly… Certainly Zimmerman would have his own fingerprints on the gun and if Martin’s prints were on the gun it would be consistent with Zimmerman’s testimony. So again, why were there NO prints? Well, obviously someone wiped them clean. Now the question is who and more importantly why?! The only reason a person would wipe fingerprints off of his weapon in my logical opinion is that so they could also get rid of something else that was incriminating to the case. That something else could be another person’s fingerprints or physical evidence such as blood, hair, or any type of DNA. Did someone else intervene during or after the killing? Did Zimmerman use his own weapon to inflict his own injuries? Who knows for sure but that should have been the prosecution’s job to present a theory as to what caused there not to be any fingerprints at all on the handgun used to kill Trayvon Martin.
The State of Florida fumbled and they fumbled quite a bit during this trial in my opinion. Here’s why… There are too many unanswered questions in addition to the previous that the prosecution left out. Why didn’t they call Mary Cutcher to the stand? Why didn’t they call other witnesses to the stand to testify that it was Trayvon Martin screaming for help (as noted by the defense attorney Mark O’Mara)? Why didn’t they prep the Medical Examiner, Shiping Bao, or better yet why did they call him to the stand without doing so? Why did they allow Shiping Bao to testify after Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother? Why didn’t they use a year’s time to select an adequate Sound Analysis Expert? Will we ever know who was screaming for “HELP” or know if Zimmerman uttered the word “coons”?
This leads me to my final and most important question of them all… Why didn’t they prove ill-will, hatred, or spite as it’s the requirement for 2nd degree murder in Florida? Some may feel undoubtedly that the State of Florida did prove 2nd degree murder but more than likely these are individuals who may not have been paying close attention to this case or too emotionally invested in this case to see the facts presented in the court of law. “F-ing punks!” “These a-holes, they always get away” – these are statements that I believe demonstrate spite considering moments later a 17 year old black male is killed but other than the powerful opening statements of the trial when have we heard the prosecution use these words to prove spite? Occasionally, here and there, but it wasn’t convincing or nearly as powerful as the opening statements. Ill-will? Perhaps when Zimmerman testified that he spread and held Martin’s arms out after he shot him in the heart? Nope. Once Shiping Bao testified he could change his opinion every hour under oath and that Martin could have possibly lived for 10 minutes after he was shot in the center of his heart - that created reasonable doubt. Remember, the jury is only making their decision based on what is presented in the courtroom. What about hatred? Maybe when Zimmerman decided to follow the suspicious teenage black guy right? That one is going to be a long shot. In order for that to resonate with the jury you would have to know that Zimmerman was the aggressor. Other than the fact that we know Zimmerman undoubtedly followed Martin do we know for sure who the aggressor was based on the facts of the case presented in the courtroom? I personally don’t think the prosecution nor the defense proved beyond a reasonable doubt who the aggressor was although from a logical standpoint and in my heart I feel it was Zimmerman. Unless the jury (not what we think) draws the conclusion that Zimmerman was the aggressor because he followed Martin the ‘hatred’ theory is out of the window. I do believe however the State of Florida did prove manslaughter and I’m not the only one because Angela Corey and her team of prosecutors are now asking Judge Nelson to put manslaughter on the table the eve of closing arguments. Let’s hope Judge Nelson allows the jury to be able to select from manslaughter in addition to 2nd degree murder because if not I believe the chances are very high that George Zimmerman will be acquitted [If there is a 2nd degree murder conviction I'm sure it won't be an easy one for the jury]. The prosecution team should have utilized their time, tactics, and strategy better for this case to seek a 2nd degree murder conviction as well as allowed John Guy to be more engaged throughout this trial.
This was anticipated to be the trial of the century and whether unfortunately or disappointingly it was not. This case also had many racial overtones to it prior to June 10, 2013 but during the actual trial a minimal amount existed. I was asked this question throughout the entirety of this case – from start to present day. “If the victim would have been a white or non-black male and the shooter a black male, do you think the sequence of events played out in this tragedy would have been the same?” My answer unfortunately, “No”. My reasoning… Whether you accept it or not in certain circumstances, not all, it is very hard for black American men to be held on an equal platform. However, as a proud black man, I’m an advocate for invoking change and restoration among our race and nation rather than to point the proverbial finger and blame the opposition. To my fellow Americans, “united we stand, divided we fall”.