The evolution of George Zimmerman continues in the media [Reader Post]

By 73 Comments 2,402 views

In a post at Just One Minute, Tom Maguire suggests that the NY Times took its finger off the scales of justice.

Either the NY Times needs to tear out the front page or they have just delivered an epic fail. In either case, they have delivered a tilt to the scales of justice.

In a long attempt to detail the night of the Trayvon Martin killing they include this description of the fatal scuffle:

However it started, witnesses described to the 911 dispatcher what resulted: the neighborhood watch coordinator, 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, and the visitor, 6-foot-1 and 150, wrestling on the ground.

To my knowledge nobody anywhere has ever suggested that Zimmerman weighed 170 pounds [His friend did on March 27!]. I would say that the low bid I have seen is 220, although some people did remark that he looked smaller than they expected in the infamous ABC video taken the night he was brought in.

Trayvon Martin is consistently described as 140 lbs, although the police report had him at 160. The Sanford PD initial police report listed a weight for Martin but not Zimmerman; in retrospect, that will rank as one of the biggest blunders of their investigation.

I am serious – if the Times is correctly telling us that Zimmerman was roughly Martin’s size, that changes the whole theme of the scary large man stalking the overmatched boy. Do I need links to document how widespread that meme is? If the Times doesn’t correct this I’ll link up [See below].

He’s absolutely right about the weight issue. It has apparently been entirely misrepresented to us and if this is accurate it completely changes the outlook on the altercation. The source of the disparity seems to have been Tracy Martin.

I actually think the media just rode the horse that the father saddled up. That’s my guess, anyway.

I think this either this is the Times’ way of stealthily tiptoeing toward the truth without admitting the failure of the past. The problem is, the Times still has a long way to go. To wit:

Once again, they cried for the arrest of George Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watch coordinator who has claimed self-defense under a Florida law with the assertive name of Stand Your Ground.

Bill Lee, the Sanford Police Chief released this statement:

Q. Why was George Zimmerman was not arrested the night of the shooting?

A. When the Sanford Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self-defense, which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony. By Florida Statute, law enforcement was prohibited from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.

Additionally, when any police officer makes an arrest for any reason, the officer must swear and affirm that he/she is making the arrest in good faith and with probable cause. If the arrest is done maliciously and in bad faith, the officer and the city may be held liable.

According to Florida Statute 776.032 :

Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.— 776.032

A person who uses force as permitted in s. (1) 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful. (2)

Many have been critical of the law, but Dave Kopel from the Volokh Conspiracy wrote this:

Media coverage of Florida’s self-defense laws in recent weeks has often been very inaccurate. While some persons, particularly from the gun prohibition lobbies, have claimed that the Martin/Zimmerman case shows the danger of Florida’s “Stand your ground” law, that law is legally irrelevant to case. So let’s take a look at what the Florida laws actually say.

Fla. Stat. § 776.012. Use of force in defense of person

A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

So the general rule is that deadly force may be used only to “imminent death or great bodily harm,” or “the imminent commission of a forcible felony.” A person may only use deadly force if he “reasonably believes” that the aforesaid factual conditions exist. These standards are the norm throughout the United States.

(enphasis mine)

Further, about 776.032:

The Sanford police said this is why they did not arrest Zimmerman: they did not have probable cause to believe that he had broken the law. In fact, the statute does not change the law, but it apparently is effective at reminding law enforcement officers of the standard they are required to obey. Regarding arrests, the United States Constitution requires that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons . . . against unreasonable . . . seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the . . . persons . . . to be seized.” As judicially interpreted, the Fourth Amendment does not require a warrant for some arrests, but the probable cause requirement remains enforceable. The normal rule in American law is that a police officer must have “probable cause” in order to arrest someone.

The Florida law is consistent with national standards. One may respond with deadly force if one believes one at risk of imminent death or great bodily harm. The SYG law apparently overlaps statutes regarding self-defense law. The Chief was quoting the law but the self-defense sections within it are the pertinent ones.

And he concluded:

In sum: there is not a shred of support for the claim that Florida law protects, or has protected Zimmerman, if he unlawfully attacked Martin. If Zimmerman’s story is true (Martin attacked him, putting him in imminent peril of grave bodily injury, with no opportunity to retreat), then Zimmerman’s self-defense claim would be valid under the laws of Florida, New York, or any other Anglo-American jurisdiction. The particular legal changes resulting from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws (deadly force in the home/automobile; no duty to retreat in public places; Fourth Amendment arrest standard affirmation; protection from civil suits) simply have nothing to do with whether Zimmerman’s actions were or were not lawful.

(emphases mine)

So it seems the “Stand Your Ground” law is getting a bad rap. That portion of the statute is irrelevant in this case.

The Times seems unable to drift into Bulwer-Lyttonesque imagery. It was a dark and stormy night:

A teenage boy in a gray hooded sweatshirt leaves a 7-Eleven’s neon brightness with his purchase of some candy and an iced tea, and heads back into the wet Sunday evening of Feb. 26, back to a residential complex with a forbidding gate and a comforting name.

Some of Martin’s past is noted:

He called himself “Slimm” on Twitter, and used a handle, @no_limit_nigga, that echoed a song by the rappers Kane & Abel. On Facebook, he expressed interest in everything from airplanes to “South Park,” from Bob Marley to LeBron James. On MySpace, he posted snapshots of his young life: admiring an airplane; fishing with his father; displaying a cake decorated with the words “Happy Birthday Tray.”

Omitted was Martin’s alleged assault on a bus driver five days before the shooting.

But then, reluctantly, the Times offers evidence that Zimmerman was not a racist:

But George could be a character. In middle school, a black boy named Anthony Woodson stumbled over a chair while walking into a classroom, prompting a student he did not know to joke: “Do you know how to walk, or did you trip over your lip?”

From that jarring remark, a friendship was born. Mr. Woodson said that he knew the student, George Zimmerman, meant nothing racist, mostly because of the friends sitting with him. “Two other black kids, an Asian kid and a Hispanic,” recalled Mr. Woodson, 30, now a pastry chef in Virginia. His new, bilingual friend seemed comfortable in a multicultural world.

and there’s more

Still, Mr. Zimmerman seemed to have a protective streak — a sense of right and wrong — that others admired. For example, Stephanie, a neighbor of the elder Zimmermans in Lake Mary and a family friend, recalled how George Zimmerman struck up a friendship with one of her sons, Douglas, who is autistic, swimming with him, taking him for car rides and letting him play with his dog, Princess.

“He just felt comfortable with George,” she said. “For Dougie, everything was ‘George, George, George.’ ”

Stephanie also recalled a party in early December to celebrate Mr. Zimmerman’s graduation from Seminole State College (though he still needed a few more credits to receive his associate’s degree). He shared his hope to be a judge someday with a small gathering that included two black teenagers whom, she was later told by Mrs. Zimmerman, George was mentoring.

It seemed in character. A 16-year-old boy named Austin, who for a long time has mowed the lawn at the Zimmerman home in Lake Mary, described George Zimmerman as a role model for younger boys, often providing advice while throwing a football around or shooting hoops.

“George would stick up” for a chubby boy in the neighborhood who was being bullied, recalled Austin (who, like Stephanie, asked that his last name not be used). “And if George saw bullies walking by his house, he would pull out his hose and spray them down and tell them they were wasting their time and to go and do something else.”

But then those at the Times fall back into their usual pattern:

“Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood,” Mr. Zimmerman said to start the conversation with the dispatcher. “And there’s a real suspicious guy.”

This guy seemed to be up to no good; like he was on drugs or something; in a gray hoodie. Asked to describe him further, he said, “He looks black.”

This sounds a lot like what NBC/MSNBC did to Zimmerman.

The actual words were:


We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. It’s Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle.

This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about.

911 dispatcher:

OK, is he White, Black, or Hispanic?


He looks black.

911 dispatcher:

Did you see what he was wearing?


Yeah, a dark hoodie like a gray hoodie. He wore jeans or sweat pants and white tennis shoes. He’s here now … he’s just staring.

The context of that exchange is very important. Zimmerman mentioned neither race nor clothing until specifically asked by the dispatcher.

The Times train then goes off the tracks:

Mr. Zimmerman told the dispatcher that the hooded figure was now running. He jumped out of his car to follow him, the beep-beep of his car, as recorded on the 911 call, announcing the instant that he moved beyond his understood mandate as neighborhood watch coordinator.

Again, from Chief Lee’s statement:

Neighborhood Watch programs are designed for members of a neighborhood to be “eyes and ears” for police and to watch out for their neighbors. They are not members of the police department nor are they vigilantes.

Training provided by law enforcement agencies to Neighborhood Watch organizations stresses non-contact surveillance of suspicious situations, and notifying police of those situations so that law enforcement can respond and take control of the situation.

Mr. Zimmerman was not acting outside the legal boundaries of Florida Statute by carrying his weapon when this incident occurred. He was in fact on a personal errand in his vehicle when he observed Mr. Martin in the community and called the Sanford Police Department.

Nowhere does Lee state that Zimmerman cannot follow Martin. The phrase “non-contact surveillance” implies that he can indeed follow Martin and observe. Only when Martin flees and Zimmerman takes up the chase of Martin does the dispatcher suggest that Zimmerman not chase him, to which Zimmerman replied “OK” and from the audio one can easily believe Zimmerman stopped when asked.

The Times:

Sanford police have said that once Mr. Zimmerman declared that he had shot Trayvon in the chest in self-defense, they were barred from arresting him by the state’s now-famous Stand Your Ground law, the broadest protection of self-defense in the country. It immediately requires law enforcement officials to prove that a suspect did not act in self-defense, and sets the case on a slow track.

Angela B. Corey, the state attorney for the Jacksonville area who has been appointed special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case, said that the controversial 2005 law has changed the rules for prosecutors. Making arrests, filing charges and securing convictions are more difficult and time consuming. Now, she said, “There is a different standard.”

As we have seen, SYG is part of the law but the actual SYG portions are not relevant to this case. This is something a whole lot of people seem to be missing.

We’ll be revisiting it.

And in another Times story, we find a little nugget. A “female voice” says

“There’s a black guy standing up over him.”

And guess what?

George Zimmerman: Enhanced Video Shows Injury

And this letter from the Zimmerman family to the NAACP should put an end to the “George Zimmerman is a racist” meme.

“Do you know the individual that stepped up when no one else in the black community would?” the family member wrote. “Do you know who spent tireless hours putting flyers on the cars of persons parked in the churches of the black community? Do you know who waited for the church‐goers to get out of church so that he could hand them fliers in an attempt to organize the black community against this horrible miscarriage of justice? Do you know who helped organize the City Hall meeting on January 8th, 2011 at Sanford City Hall??”

“That person was GEORGE ZIMMERMAN. Ironic isn’t it?”

“The main point for this letter is to explain to you that the black community has labeled George a racist without any investigation at all,” the letter continued. “Regardless of the fact that George personally spoke to many of your constituents, not one has stepped forward and said, ‘Hey I know that face. That is the Hispanic guy that was standing up for Sherman Ware. That was the only non‐black face in the meetings for justice in this case.’”

“You know as well as I do that there are many NAACP followers that recognize George from the Ware case as well as many other good things that he’s done for the black community.

We have heard so many complaining of the way Trayvon Martin is being treated on the blogs, but George Zimmerman is getting slammed and few are asking for the truth about him.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

73 Responses to “The evolution of George Zimmerman continues in the media [Reader Post]”

  1. 54

    The Strategic MC

    @John Cooper:

    Call Off the Race-Baiters� George Zimmerman Passed Lie Detector Test Immediately After Shooting

    Always remember this: It has never been about the truth. It has always been about the narrative and the $$$.

  2. 55

    Mike O’Malley

    Here is a bit of additional background to help explain what motivated George Zimmerman to get out of his car when the police dispatcher told him that the police did not need him to do so.

    Olivia Bertalan was home alone with her infant son one morning last August when a man came to her door, knocked, and rang the doorbell. She peered out a window, didn’t recognize the man and called police when another man came to her back door.

    Bertalan, 21, ran upstairs and locked herself and her son in a bedroom as the second man entered her home, which was in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated, middle-income neighborhood of 260 townhouses in Sanford, Fla., outside Orlando. Terrified, she and her son cried as the man tried to turn the knob of the door where they hid. Both men ran when police arrived, but not before stealing a laptop and digital camera.

    “It was terrible,” said Bertalan, who moved from the neighborhood last month after about half a year, because of this and other burglaries. “I’m sure he could hear me in there because my son was crying, and I was crying. … Who knows what would have happened if the police hadn’t been there.

    I can take an educated guess though …

    Olivia Bertalan said it was George Zimmerman’s wife, in fact, who helped her to identify the burglar who stole her laptop. Bertalan didn’t know Zimmerman well, but said he was helpful and “sweet” after the crime, inviting her to call them anytime if she felt afraid or needed anything.

    Officers eventually identified the person who burglarized Bertalan’s home as a neighbor. He was arrested but released because, as Bertalan understood it, he was a minor. Both he and the other man were black, according to the police report.

    After the crime, Bertalan said, she was afraid to come home and find things missing. She and her husband got a dog, as advised by police.

    “There was definitely a sense of fear in the neighborhood after all of this started happening, and it just kept on happening. It wasn’t just a one-time thing. It was every week,” she said. “Our next-door neighbor actually said if someone came into his yard he would shoot him. If someone came into his house he would shoot him. Everyone felt afraid and scared.”

    Now let’s allow one particular fact from the story of Mrs. Bertalan’s close encounter inform our consideration of the Martin – Zimmerman story: the person who burglarized Bertalan’s home was a neighbor., a teenage male.

    Zimmerman’s Twin Lakes Community Was on Edge Before Trayvon Shooting

  3. 56


    Mike O’Malley
    hi, you have a good story there, this is the second one which include the help of ZIMMERMAN,

  4. 57

    The Strategic MC

    @Mike O’Malley:

    Very good piece of information.

    Sorry, I know that some are severely troubled over the prospect of profiling, but you direct resources towards the reasonable (70 year old chinese grandmothers are not usually suspected in property crimes; they do, however, cheat at Mah Jong) and the “known” knowns.

    What do you want to bet that the authorities in Sanford, being very aware of the crime activity/statistics in Zimmerman’s community, concluded that his initial interest in T.M. was reasonable?

    People with an agenda also know this, hence the unethical editing of the 911 audio tape and the “F’n Coons” distortion.

  5. 58

    Mike O’Malley

    @The Strategic MC:

    Very good piece of information.

    Thank you. I hoped this would be helpful information

    Sorry, I know that some are severely troubled over the prospect of profiling

    Let’s not presume that racial profiling entered into the Bertalan household home invasion or the Martin-Zimmerman incident. The most significant underlying driver of violent crime in America is fatherlessness.

    Let’s consider the

    Burglars wear dark clothing and gloves and carry prying tools. In addition, burglars must deal with a multitude of potential threat’s, such as increasingly sophisticated alarm systems, metal bars on doors and windows, guard dogs, and neighborhood watch groups. Not knowing the homeowners’ whereabouts causes additional anxiety. Burglary is, for the most part, a stealth crime that depends on opportunity.

    In contrast, confrontation generally is considered the key element in home invasion robberies. Home invaders prefer to make direct entry into a targeted residence. In fact, the entry is often dynamic – relying on sheer force, false pretense, or various forms of impersonation. The violence associated with home invasion robbery generally occurs during the initial confrontation with victims, in order to establish control quickly and to limit the likelihood of later identification by the victims. However, mounting evidence suggests that many home invaders enjoy the intimidation, domination, and violence of the offense.

    Unlike the majority of burglars, home invaders carry items that connote control and confrontation, such as firearms, handcuffs, masks, and tape. Because the threat level inside a residence rarely is known in advance, the offense almost always is committed by more than one offender. These offenders often develop well-organized plans and divide specific tasks among themselves. One or more of the home invaders usually control the victims while the other offenders systematically ransack the residence.

    Home invaders usually target the resident, not the residence. They may make their selection in a variety of ways, often choosing women, senior citizens, or drug dealers.

    Violent crime hits home: home invasion robbery

    People typically think of a home invasion as a robbery or a burglary. While in most cases this is the intended crime to be committed, in several cases home invasions occurs with the intent to commit a rape, an assault or even a murder. … According to a report by the United States Department of Justice, 38% of assaults and 60% of rapes occur in the home during an invasion.

    Home Invasion Statistics

    The profile of the Bertalan household home invasion significantly differs from what George Zimmerman observed during the Martin-Zimmerman incident. However, the Bertalan household home invasion can help us understand why George Zimmerman might have chosen to get out of his vehicle and continue non-contact pursuit/surveillance on foot.

  6. 60


    The Strategic MC
    SOMEONE ask before if there was a sign for community watch,
    YES and a big one too, I just saw it on a link leading at the NEWS BEAST,
    it must have made the criminals very angry at GEORGE ZIMMERMAN,

  7. 61


    Mike O’Malley
    another very good one on your last comment,
    this post is easyer to get now,
    I will stick around here, at this point where we are in the case,
    it seems to be best here,

  8. 62

    Mike O’Malley

    @ilovebeeswarzone: @The Strategic MC:

    And now the story shifts again. Trayvon Martin does indeed turn up on a 7/11 security camera video tape. It appears as though this tape will confirm the skittles and tea story making Trayvon’s girlfriend the source however. But now there is a problem:

    But a video does exist. The public relations director of 7-Eleven told me that, according to the company’s manager of security, a store camera captured an African-American male (she wouldn’t commit to “young”) purchasing a bag of Skittles and a can of tea (she wouldn’t say that it was “Arizona” tea). The hard disk with the video was removed after the story broke, and it has been subpoenaed by investigators for the state and/or county. The company has not made it available to the media. 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, 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.

    Just as Martin did not go straight home after he first spotted the neighborhood watch captain, so, too, he apparently did not go directly to Brandy Green’s apartment from the 7-Eleven. What exactly he was doing between the time he entered the gated community and the moment Zimmerman noticed him will probably never be known. Though there may be some plausible explanation for his behavior, the idea that he was simply returning from a selfless errand when he caught Zimmerman’s eye seems less and less likely.

    The Story Unravels: New Questions about Trayvon Martin’s Final Hour

    Why would a healthy young male without an umbrella spend 35 minutes or more likely even a longer time walking 0.8 miles back to the apartment of Brandy Green in the rain at dusk?

    Jeff Lipkes observes:

    From the start of Zimmerman’s phone call, Martin had about six minutes to get home. But the teenager was apparently not interested in returning to the apartment of his dad’s fiancée and reporting the suspicious man to 911. He was shot about 550 feet from where Zimmerman began his call, about 300 feet from Brandy Green’s apartment.

    And don’t forget, George Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle when Trayvon Martin approached him unseen from behind to confronted and decked him. Trayvon Martin had successfully evaded Zimmerman but chose to backtrack away from Brandy Green’s apartment toward his nemesis instead.

  9. 63


    Mike O’MALLEY
    THANK YOU, IT’S BLENDING TOGETHER,yes we are getting to know what was his intent,
    as if we didn’t know, but now the proofs are coming,
    did you hear about the forensic research yet?, or will it be kept out of public knowledge.
    by this time they must have it,

  10. 65

    The Strategic MC

    @Mike O’Malley:

    And now the story shifts again. Trayvon Martin does indeed turn up on a 7/11 security camera video tape. It appears as though this tape will confirm the skittles and tea story making Trayvon’s girlfriend the source however. But now there is a problem:

    Wow. Interesting stuff.

    So the tea and skittles narrative may be correct, although the new timeline and T.M.s activities are now subject to renewed scrutiny.

  11. 66

    Mike O’Malley


    I saw something on Free Republic not long ago today relating a rumor that the special prosecutor will bring charges in the next couple of days. She a Republican and has a lot of experience prosecuting homicide. From what I can tell she has a reputation for being tough. If so I expect that George Zimmerman will be well represented too. In the interest of justice this is good. I just hope POTUS et al haven’t so poison the potential jury pool that George Zimmerman can not get justice if he is innocent.

  12. 67


    Mike O’Mally
    is there some conflict here?
    I learn at FOX today, the one in charge COUTNER[name not sure if okay]
    he or she said , there won’t be jury representation, and said it is not needed,
    what can we believe?

  13. 68

    Mike O’Malley

    @The Strategic MC:

    If someone could nail down when Tracy Martin left the Green residence for dinner I wouldn’t be shocked if Trayvon in effect turned down an opportunity to have his dad drop him off at the 7/11 and instead chose to depart on foot soon after he was no longer in a situation where he would have to account for his where-abouts to his dad. Just wondering …

  14. 69

    Mike O’Malley


    I think that report indicated that the special prosecutor did intend to bring the case before the local grand jury that is being impaneled tomorrow because she did not need to do so. She was still investigating the case and she has the authority to bring charges without using a grand jury. I can’t imagine when a petit jury might be chosen.

  15. 70


    Mike O’Malley
    on 68
    I heard that DAD MARTIN
    and with all we heard it is less likely, for me

  16. 71


    Mike O’Malley
    she did intend , because she did not need to do so.
    not understand did , because did not
    maybe the “BECAUSE” should be a ” BUT”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *