View Full Version : New Articles and Evidence in the Martin-Zimmerman Case
04-17-2012, 03:51 PM
Above is the site I happened upon, it's where most of the following information comes from.
Dershowitz: Zimmerman Affidavit ‘Irresponsible And Unethical’ (http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/dershowitz-zimmerman-affidavit-irresponsible-and-unethical)
by Dan Linehan on April 13, 2012
Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz made an appearance on on MSNBC’s Hardball to discuss the Zimmerman arrest affidavit, and had some incredibly harsh language for Angela Corey concerning her actions in the George Zimmerman prosecution.
Dershowitz is a well-known Democrat with a column on the Huffington Post, but seemed stunned by how poorly written the affidavit was, going so far as to call it “irresponsible and unethical,” as well as Corey’s actions politically motivated. He also said that if the prosecution didn’t have more evidence for the case than what we’ve seen, “a good judge would throw it out.”
Here’s the interview:
Smerconish: Joining me now, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Professor, I’ve really looked forward to this conversation. You’ve seen the affidavit of probable cause, what do you make of it?
Dershowitz: It won’t suffice. Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin; this is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge. There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder. The elements of the crime aren’t established.
Basically what’s in the affidavit is what’s in the public domain, with the exception of a few little things that were put forward by your previous commentator. But the fact that the mother identified the voice as that of her son, of course, we all knew that was going to happen. There’s nothing in there of course either about the stains on the back of Zimmerman’s shirt, the blood on the back of his head, the bloody nose, all of that.
It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible. I think that what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation, and over-charged, way over-charged. This case will not, if the evidence is no stronger that what appears in the probable-cause affidavit, this case will result in an acquittal.Very strongly worded statements from Dershowitz, who basically stopped just short of directly claiming Corey engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by her actions.
In response to this interview, I agree that the probable cause affidavit is so thin that it's irresponsible. I do realize that a judge already deemed it as enough to warrant probable cause, but to be honest, my opinion of some of these things that are happening--Zimmerman being arrested and charged, Zimmerman being overcharged, the judge okaying a probable cause affidavit as weak as this one--are essentially political moves with the goal of avoiding potential riots. If Zimmerman were not charged, there would have likely been rioting--potentially violent and destructive rioting. So in my opinion, they're taking it through the motions, despite that the case against him is very weak and I guess to that end, we'll see what happens when it goes to trial.
04-17-2012, 03:53 PM
Misconceptions in the Trayvon Martin Case (http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/misconceptions-in-the-trayvon-martin-case)
by Dan Linehan on April 3, 2012
Despite the Trayvon Martin shooting being more than a month passed, misinformation and fallacious arguments continue to appear with great frequency.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the top misconceptions regarding the Trayvon Martin case.
Trayvon was a normal, well-adjusted teenager.
Seventeen-year-olds don’t normally have gold teeth, multiple tattoos, multiple school suspensions, friends publicly asking them for “plant” on their Facebooks, issues with graffiti, school problems with “burglary tools,” and so on.
Trayvon might not have been an out-and-out criminal, but he certainly wasn’t an average teen either.
What we do see is an escalating pattern of illegal behavior.
Multiple tattoos may be regarded by some as nothing beyond popular fashion, but without parental consent minors cannot get them.
Trayvon seems to have had several when he was only sixteen. Did he lie about his age or did his parents go with him when he got them?
In the last 48 hours, we’ve found out that Martin’s 10-day suspension (which was in effect at the time of his shooting) wasn’t the only time he was suspended recently.
In a few short months during his junior year in high school, Trayvon was suspended on three separate occasions, including one time when he was caught with a “burglary tool” and a bunch of jewelry that didn’t belong to him.
The Miami Herald claims that in October, he was caught with a ‘burglary tool’ – a flathead screwdriver – and 12 pieces of women’s jewellery. Martin insisted that they did not belong to him.
Earlier, he had been suspended for skipping school and showing up late to class. And most recently, in February, he was suspended again when officials found a ‘marijuana pipe’ and an empty baggie with traces of the drug.
Certain media outlets are still spinning the story.
NPR titled yesterday’s article, “Trayvon Martin’s Life Looking Much Like Many Teens.” (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/27/149450277/trayvon-martins-life-looking-much-like-many-teens)
From that piece:
According to the Herald, Martin was suspended from school three times in recent months, for incidents ranging from tardiness to writing graffiti on school property to having a plastic bag with marijuana residue in his backpack. He had never been arrested.
Conveniently no mention of the jewelry or the screwdriver on NPR.
Discussing someone’s character is a smear campaign.
Trayvon’s character matters deeply in this case.
Since this shooting has become an extremely polarizing national news item, everyone involved requires scrutiny. That especially holds true for Trayvon, since his actions on the night of the shooting are truly at the heart of all of this.
We have to ask ourselves, “Was Trayvon the sort of person who would viciously attack and beat Zimmerman, as Zimmerman claims?” To answer that question, we have to know as much as we can about Trayvon and how he conducted himself.
The media has spent an inordinate amount of time looking into Zimmerman’s background. For a long while the same scrutiny was not applied to Martin. That has changed now somewhat. As more facts are coming out about who Martin was, the image many people had of him turned out to be very inaccurate.
Trayvon no longer seems to be the innocent victim the media initially portrayed him as.
This is not a smear campaign. It’s not blaming the victim. In fact, Martin wasn’t the victim if he unilaterally assaulted and viciously beat Zimmerman, as every piece of evidence currently seems to suggest. More on that later.
George Zimmerman is racist.
There is no evidence to suggest that George Zimmerman is racist and quite a lot of evidence against it.
Zimmerman and his wife were in the big brother / big sister program and mentored two black children. That doesn’t sound like the actions of a racist to me.
His friends and family have been extremely outspoken about Zimmerman not being racist from the start. Apparently, Zimmerman grew up in a multi-cultural family and has always been anything but discriminatory.
Joe Oliver, a long-time friend of Zimmerman’s, has been conducting interviews all this week about the topic as well.
George Zimmerman called Martin a “coon.”
This claim has been widely debunked.
Audio experts have attested that he said the word “punks” on the call.
WFTV had an audio expert listen to the call, and determined that the word said was “punks.”
Others think he may have said “crooks.” Several have mentioned that he could have even said “goons.” I’ve never heard of that expression, but apparently “goons” is actually part of the vernacular in Florida.
In any case, Zimmerman was highly unlikely to have said “coons” while on the line with 911. To begin with, “coons” is a fairly obscure, outdated word. Very few people under the age of sixty would use that term as a racial slur, there are half-a-dozen other offensive words that are much more commonly used.
Zimmerman has an extensive background in criminal justice. He probably wasn’t about to throw it away by littering his 911 calls with racist rhetoric. There is no record of him using any racial slurs like this on any previous 911 call.
It seems highly unlikely he would start doing so all of the sudden, forty-some calls in.
George Zimmerman was chasing Trayvon.
George Zimmerman wasn’t “chasing” Trayvon. Chasing someone implies you are trying to catch up to them — there’s no evidence that was Zimmerman’s intention.
Zimmerman was attempting to maintain visual contact. That is what he was supposed to do for his Neighborhood Watch, and that is what was being asked of him by the 911 dispatcher at the time.
This is supported by the 911 transcript (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html).
Zimmerman: No you go in straight through the entrance and then you make a left…uh you go straight in, don’t turn, and make a left. Shit he’s running.
Dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?
Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?
The dispatcher was asking Zimmerman specific questions about where Martin was going, Zimmerman was answering as needed.
Every step of the way, Zimmerman complied with the 911 operator.
When he was asking for more information about the direction Martin went, Zimmerman provided it. When he said there was no need to pursue, Zimmerman stopped immediately.
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
Dispatcher: Alright sir what is your name?
Zimmerman: George…He ran.
At this point, Zimmerman no longer has Trayvon within eyesight, and he’s no longer even attempting to look for him.
George Zimmerman should have stayed in his truck.
This is a baseless argument.
Zimmerman had no reason to think he should stay in his truck — he was reporting someone suspicious in his neighborhood and wanted to maintain visual contact with that person. He drove after them for a few minutes and the person ran away.
At this point, it makes perfect logical sense for Zimmerman to exit the vehicle to see where the suspicious person went, because he had just called them in to the police. Otherwise, the police would get there and Zimmerman would have no idea what direction to point them in.
If we listen to the 911 call it’s clear that Zimmerman was not chasing Trayvon. He was merely trying to see where he was going so he could relay this information to the dispatcher.
This fact is actually crucial to the case. Things would be different had Zimmerman actually been in some sort of hot pursuit, chasing after Martin, but he never was. Zimmerman wasn’t ever close to Martin, until Martin changed directions and confronted Zimmerman after the 911 call.
George Zimmerman started the fight.
There is absolutely no evidence of this. It seems pretty clear that Zimemrman’s goal was to report someone he didn’t recognize in his community, not to pick a fight with them.
To believe that Zimmerman picked a fight with Martin, we first have to ask ourselves why Zimmerman would want to start a fight that he would almost certainly lose, against someone who was 10 years younger than him, half a foot taller, and in excellent physical shape.
Take a look at this picture of Trayvon and decide for yourself whether you would instigate a physical confrontation with him.
If Zimmerman wanted to start a fight or harass some random teenager, why would he call 911 before doing so?
Calling in a suspicious person report does not make any sense if Zimmerman wanted to go out and start physical confrontations.
Had Zimmerman proceeded to attack Martin, the cops would have arrived a few minutes later and Zimmerman would have been arrested for assaulting a minor. There would be no valid reason for him to do that whatsoever.
The concept of Zimmerman initiating violence makes no sense in context with the rest of the evidence we have.
George Zimmerman was simply let go at the scene.
Zimmerman was not simply “released” at the scene by the Sanford police.
He was handcuffed and placed in the back of the squad car where he first received treatment for his injuries.
Police then questioned Zimmerman for five hours at police headquarters (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57405476/what-happened-right-after-trayvon-martins-shooting/) the night of February 26th. All of that was without an attorney present.
A very risky move for Zimmerman, but he apparently felt he had nothing to hide.
Zimmerman just lost the fight.
There is a certain subset of people who continue to make derogatory statements about Zimmerman along the lines of:
- He’s a wimp who was mad because he lost a fist-fight and shot the kid afterward.
- He brought a gun to an otherwise fair fight.
- Getting beaten up doesn’t mean that you get to shoot the other guy afterward.
I would agree with all of those if they applied to this case in any way, but they don’t.
Zimmerman says he was unilaterally attacked by Martin. He never wanted to fight in the first place. It’s not as if he agreed to something physical and then proceeded to shoot Martin at the end of it.
One minute he was on the phone with police, the next he was knocked down with one punch, and getting beaten incessantly. This article is too big to fit in one post, it is continued on the next post and my commentary will follow the article's conclusion.
04-17-2012, 04:03 PM
George Zimmerman was bigger than Trayvon.
George Zimmerman weighed more than Trayvon. That only matters when the extra weight in question is muscle.
By all accounts, Zimmerman was not in good shape. He was out of breath on the 911 call after jogging for only a few seconds.
Trayvon had a six inch height advantage, as well as a ten year age advantage, and was generally much more fit overall.
Update: Surprise, the weight figures the media was pushing for Zimmerman were nowhere near accurate.
While he weighed 240 lbs. back in 2005, he has lost a considerable amount of weight in the last seven years. Zimmerman is described by friends as currently weighing only 170 lbs.
Zimmerman is currently 5’8 / 170 lbs. (http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Friend-George-Zimmerman-scared-for-his-life/-/1637132/9722180/-/e55273z/-/index.html)
George Zimmerman had no right to pursue Trayvon.
Zimmerman saw someone in his neighborhood who looked suspicious and he had every right to follow-up with them and talk to them without being assaulted.
In this case however, Zimmerman never even got the chance. He never got close enough to ask Martin anything before he lost visual contact, then headed back towards his truck to meet police.
It was Trayvon’s voice screaming for help on the 911 call.
This is probably one of the most critical misconceptions of the case. When the 911 tapes were released, nearly everyone assumed it was Trayvon screaming for his life on the recording. It was horrifying and very emotional.
But the evidence shows this terrified voice was actually Zimmerman’s, not Trayvon’s.
The only witness to the assault (This is probably one of the most critical misconceptions of the case. When the 911 tapes were released, nearly everyone assumed it was Trayvon screaming for his life on the recording. It was horrifying and very emotional. But the evidence shows this terrified voice was actually Zimmerman’s, not Trayvon’s. The only witness to the assault describes Zimmerman as being on the bottom in a “ground-and-pound” position, screaming for help. That witness told them, “I’m going to call 911,” and ran inside to do so. On the 911 recording we continue to hear Zimmerman’s screams for help.) describes Zimmerman as being on the bottom in a “ground-and-pound” position, screaming for help. That witness told them, “I’m going to call 911,” and ran inside to do so.
On the 911 recording we continue to hear Zimmerman’s screams for help.
There is a continuity there — between what the witness saw (http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/state/witness-martin-attacked-zimmerman-03232012), and what we hear on the tapes. Zimmerman was screaming for help when the witness first saw the fight, he was still pinned down and screaming for help when the 911 call was recorded.
Zimmerman was screaming for his life as Trayvon continued to beat him, even after a witness told them directly that he was calling 911. This alone shows that Trayvon had no regard for any sort of fair fight.
George Zimmerman is white.
For those who don’t already know, Zimmerman is hispanic. Half-white on his Father’s side and half Peruvian.
This misconception is understandable, as Zimmerman was documented as being white in the original Sanford police report (http://www.wagist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Twin-Lakes-Shooting-Initial-Report.pdf).
George Zimmerman disobeyed 911 orders.
Zimmerman did not ever disobey 911 dispatcher orders. If you listen to the tapes, the dispatcher says, “We don’t need you to [follow him.]” And Zimmerman says, “Ok.”
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
The conversation continues, and it’s obvious from his tone of voice that Zimmerman is no longer actively pursuing Martin.
How exactly would Zimmerman have caught back up to Martin after the call, when he couldn’t keep up with him in the first place?
Trayvon was justified in punching Zimmerman.
The only way Trayvon would have been justified in punching Zimmerman would have been if Zimmerman successfully chased Martin down until he caught up with him. Even then, it would have been questionable.
But that is not the scenario we are dealing with. Martin initiated the confrontation, and almost certainly didn’t feel threatened while he was fighting Zimmerman.
Martin had him pinned to the ground and continued to beat him incessantly while Zimmerman was screaming for help. There is no justification for that.
It has anything to do with hoodies.
For a few sentimental days, large groups of people were taking photos wearing hoodies to show solidarity with Trayvon Martin.
There’s nothing wrong with that per se, except that this case has nothing to do with hoodies. Trayvon was not shot because he was wearing a hoodie or any other article of clothing.
Trayvon was shot because he continued to viciously beat a man ten years his senior, while that man was crying out desperately for help. A man who had done nothing to him except briefly follow him as part of his Neighborhood Watch duties.
George Zimmerman was remorseless after the shooting.
Multiple witnesses who arrived after the shooting saw Zimmerman trying to stop Martin’s bleeding. This alone signifies how much Zimmerman didn’t want to shoot Martin. He simply had no other choice after being pinned down and beaten.
Friends report that Zimmerman cried for days after the shooting (http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2012/3/26/trayvon_martin_frien). When you consider that Zimmerman was the victim of a violent crime he wanted no part of, this reaction makes sense.
George Zimmerman was a vigilante.
This is a misunderstanding of the word “vigilante.”
What Zimmerman was doing was absolutely routine, everyday, neighborhood watch stuff. Driving around and reporting anyone suspicious that he didn’t recognize. Being the “eyes and ears” of the community.
If anything, what Martin did to Zimmerman was vigilantism. Martin assumed Zimmerman was up to no good when he saw him following him, and took it upon himself to dish out his own brand of justice.
The Florida “Stand Your Ground” law applies.
As far as I can tell, it wouldn’t make any difference whether Florida had a “Stand Your Ground” law or not in this case.
Anywhere in America, if you are being pinned down and beaten in the head, your life is in danger and you have a right to defend yourself against bodily harm with deadly force.
“Stand your Ground” doesn’t apply when you’re pinned to the ground and being beaten.
Trayvon was only standing his ground as well.
Trayvon had rights in this situation. He had the right to confront Zimmerman and ask why he was being followed. He had the right to be offended and upset about any racial profiling he perceived Zimmerman engaging in.
And if he felt like Zimmerman was about to attack him for some reason, he may have even had the right to initiate violence to defend himself.
But Martin had no reason to feel threatened by Zimmerman when Zimmerman never even came close to catching up to him, and was only following from a distance.
And Martin certainly didn’t have the right to continue to beat Zimmerman indefinitely, while Zimmerman desperately screamed and pleaded for help.
There is simply no way that behavior can be justified by saying, “Trayvon felt threatened.”
George Zimmerman has no reason to be carrying a gun.
It should be obvious from this case that Zimmerman had every reason to want to carry a gun.
When someone is willing to assault and beat you simply for approaching them, and so many other people are willing to justify and even rally behind their actions, it’s quite a dangerous society we live in.
It’s about race.
I saved this for last because it’s the biggest misconception of them all.
Very little of this case has to do with race. Everything here is about violence and assault.
George Zimmerman shot a black teenager. That does not make him racist, because that black teenager had decided to beat him to a pulp.
I’m fairly certain most gun owners who conceal/carry would shoot anyone who was pinning them down and beating them mercilessly. Race simply does not factor into that equation.
If George Zimmerman had shot a white teenager who was viciously attacking him, would anyone be saying he had racist motivations? It’s highly doubtful. The majority of people would say, “Of course he shot him, he was being pinned down and being beaten in the head in his own neighborhood.”
The only aspect of the case that truly relates to race is whether the initial 911 call would have been made if Trayvon wasn’t black.
While we can’t answer that for certain, I believe the answer is yes.
George Zimmerman took his job as Neighborhood Watch very seriously, he called in all sorts of stuff, I believe he called Trayvon in because he didn’t recognize him, not because of his color.
There had been a massive string of burglaries in the area (http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/BurglaryReports.pdf) (pdf) in the preceding months.
Guess how most of the merchandise was recovered? From reporting suspicious people in the neighborhood.
So this exact type of “suspicious activity” reporting was proven to be effective only weeks earlier. Of course Zimmerman is going to use it.
Rpt Date: 2/7/2012 15:06 Reporter: B65567 Blake, James Clearance: 0 Open Narr. Type: S
Mod By: SANFORD\jhlake Mod Date: 2/7/2012 15:55 Related Case Number: 201250000751
On 02/07/12 at approximately 1300 hours, I responded to area of 1540 Retreat view Cir in reference to a group of suspicious person(s).
Sanford Dispatch advised that there were four males on bicycles in the area, that one of them was possibly a suspect in this case.
Upon arrival myself and Ofc. M. Hickley made contact with three black males and one white male on bicycles in a cut through area of the complex (a grass area were Retreat at Twin Lakes backs up to Colonial Village Apts). The white male had on a white t-shirt and jeans (one black male had on a black shirt and black beanie cap, the other black male had on a red hat and red shorts and the last black male was wearing a black shirt, black jacket and jean shorts and black shoes.)
Ofc. L. Rivera then arrived on scene; while he and Ofc. Hickley were checking the identifications of the subjects, I made contact with the caller Arnold Arms and lain Beard. Arms and Beard both stated that the black male wearing the black jacket, black shirt, jean shorts, and black shoes was the same black male they saw in the area of 1540 Retreat View Cir on 02/06/12. They also provided a sworn written statement advising that Burgess was wearing the same cloths that he was wearing on 02I06f12.
While Ofc. Rivera and Ofc. Hickley were trying to verify the identify Mme original gave a false name), I asked Ransburg if
I could look through his back pack that he was carrying. Ransburg gave me permission to look through his back pack, to which I found two laptop computers. One of the computers was an Apple Macbook Pro, I then asked Ranshurg if the Apple computer belonged to him, to which he replied no. It should be noted that with out any hesitation — told me that the Apple laptop was his computer and that he had bought it last night. l then ran the serial number on the Apple computer (WQOZZRSPATM) through FCIC/NCIC. The computer came hack stolen out of Sanford and came hack to this case number. The other computer came back with negative results at this time.
If no one had been calling in suspicious people in the neighborhood, this mini-crime spree would never have been solved.
Twin Lakes is a small gated community, Zimmerman knew who lived there and who didn’t. He didn’t recognize Trayvon.
That seems to be Zimmerman’s sole motive for calling Trayvon in, nothing more. He wanted to keep his neighborhood free from theft, and reporting suspicious activity had worked well for the community in the previous months.
I am well aware that this is an editorial piece, but there are also important facts and items of evidence to take from this piece, such as George Zimmerman's actual weight. The media falsely portrayed him as being 240 pounds, and when I saw him walking through the station on that video, I knew that something wasn't right, I initially thought "that guy is 240 pounds? How is that even possible?" And it turns out I had reason to question the weight figure the media was putting out there. Zimmerman weighed 170 pounds, only 10 more pounds than Martin. Martin was both taller and younger than Zimmerman and in one of the misconception bullet discussions above, the writer mentions the observation that Zimmerman can be heard to be out of breath on the call to police dispatch after only a few seconds of either running, jogging, or even walking quickly, so he clearly wasn't in the best of shape. I would venture to guess that Martin was in better shape than Zimmerman and more physically fit, as Zimmerman had been working for the last seven years to lose weight anyway. I would say that in terms of textbook probability, this new piece of information is crucial and sways the likelihood of what happened in favor of Zimmerman's story.
I also agree with the writer that there is no evidence that the shooting was based on race, I agree that the only person who can say factually whether or not Zimmerman called the police because of Martin's race is Zimmerman himself, and he denies this. It is also interesting to note the information that Zimmerman and his wife were involved in the big brother/big sister program and had mentored two black children. Like the writer mentions, that sort of involvement doesn't really fit the agenda of a racist at all. Why would he have done that if he were a racist?
04-17-2012, 04:20 PM
Evidence that Trayvon Martin Doubled Back (http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/evidence-that-trayvon-martin-doubled-back)
by Dan Linehan on March 29, 2012
A – The Clubhouse for Retreat at Twin Lakes.
B – Community mailboxes.
C – Where George Zimmerman parked his truck.
D – Brandy Green’s Townhouse, where Trayvon was staying.
E – Zimmerman stopped and completed his 911 call for approximately eighty seconds.
F – The fight and shooting took place in this area.
G – Eyewitness “John’s” townhouse (http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/state/witness-martin-attacked-zimmerman-03232012).
Let’s take a look at how events unfolded during the original 911 call Zimmerman made to report Trayvon as a suspicious person.
We can match things up on the map with the 911 call pretty much step-by-step.
0:15 – The best address I can give you is the clubhouse. [A]
0:45 – He’s just staring at the houses. Now he’s staring at me.
1:00 – He’s coming towards me.
1:20 – He’s coming to check me out.
2:08 – Shit, he’s running.
2:14 – Sound of truck door being closed. [C]
2:20 – He’s heading towards the back entrance. [referring to E]
2:25 – Are you following him? Yep.
2:45 – He ran… Zimmerman stops and completes the 911 call. [E]
4:05 – Call ends.
Here’s an estimate of Trayvon’s route back to Brandy Green’s townhouse with 911 call times included:
Martin is initially reported as hanging out near the clubhouse, looking at houses and acting suspiciously. Then he walks by Zimmerman’s truck at around 1:30 on the 911 call and proceeds east.
At 2:08, Trayvon starts running. Six seconds later, we hear Zimmerman leave his truck to see where he went.
While Trayvon runs south towards Brandy Green’s townhouse, Zimmerman continues east, and remains on the line with the 911 dispatcher.
At a slow jogging pace, Trayvon is estimated to have arrived back at Brandy Green’s townhouse at around 2:40 on the 911 call.
Trayvon may have gone inside the townhouse, but it seems more likely that he remained outside to see if Zimmerman was still following him and just continued talking to his girlfriend over the next few minutes.
After a few minutes, Trayvon seems to have walked north, back up the sidewalk to confront Zimmerman about why he was followed.
Here’s an estimate of Zimmerman’s route to the main road with 911 call times included:
George Zimmerman leaves his truck at 2:14 and reaches Retreat View Circle just over thirty seconds later at 2:45.
He agrees to stop pursuit at the dispatcher’s request. After the 911 call is complete, Zimmerman begins to head back to his truck to meet the police. At this point, he claims he was confronted by Trayvon, and walks a few steps down the sidewalk south to respond to him.
As we can see, it appears unlikely that Zimmerman ever “chased down” Martin. Zimmerman only pursued long enough to maintain visual contact to see what direction Trayvon was going.
Zimmerman traveled his entire route in around 30 seconds, he only went a very short distance and did so specifically to tell the 911 dispatcher where Trayvon had gone.
It wasn’t until several minutes later that their altercation took place, when Martin apparently doubled back to confront Zimmerman.
John, the eyewitness who lives in [G], picks up the account from there (http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/state/witness-martin-attacked-zimmerman-03232012).
I think this information is very revealing. There's an updated article which I'm going to post momentarily which explains a few more things, but these images with the audio and the police call times shows us some interesting things. At 2:08 or slightly after in the phone call, Zimmerman loses Martin in terms of a visual. He says something to the effect of "he started running" and then continues making exclamations about how he can't see where he is or which direction he went. If Martin had started running at 2:08 in the phone call and continued making his way home by pace of a full-out run, a light jog, or even just a quick-paced walk, he would have easily been able to stay far ahead of Zimmerman and lose him while. safely reaching his destination.
It has been pointed out on several sites I've visited that maybe Martin thought Zimmerman was a crazy and didn't want to lead him directly to the residence at which he was staying. That's a distinct possibility, but even if that were the case, the only way for Martin to attempt to lose the potential crazy from his perspective (Zimmerman), would have been to continue along that straight sidewalk between the townhouses southbound a ways past his actual destination, as there are really no cut through areas in between the townhouse building structures on either side of the sidewalk. So if he maintained even a quick walking pace, stayed ahead of Zimmerman in terms of visual, he could have then looped around the sidewalk, taking a left around the side of the east townhouse structure (at which he was staying). Even if Zimmerman somehow made it all the way down behind the townhouses on the sidewalk (which was clearly not the case, nor was it really even possible for Zimmerman), Martin would have been on the other side of the large townhouse structure and would not be visible to Zimmerman, so he could enter the residence at which he was staying safely without fear of leading the potential crazy (Zimmerman) to where he was staying and all confrontation would have been avoided.
Somehow, however, this didn't happen, somehow a physical altercation occurred at Point F on both of those maps, which leads to the logical conclusion that Martin either stayed and waited for Zimmerman or doubled back from his intended path heading south and went toward Zimmerman (north).
04-17-2012, 04:43 PM
About Those Audio Forensic Experts… (http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/about-those-audio-forsenic-experts)
by Dan Linehan on April 3, 2012
Two experts in the field of forensic voice identification, Tom Owen and Ed Primeau, were hired by the Orlando Sentinel to review George Zimmerman’s call to police along with the 911 calls right before the shooting.
They both decided the voice screaming for help on the 911 calls was not George Zimmerman, and each expert arrived at that conclusion by independent methods.
Tom Owen is mentioned first in the article. He’s described as a forensic consultant for Owen Forensic Services, LLC.
Let’s take a closer look at the process he used.
After the Sentinel contacted Owen, he used software called Easy Voice Biometrics to compare Zimmerman’s voice to the 911 call screams.
“I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else,” Owen says.
The software compared that audio to Zimmerman’s voice. It returned a 48 percent match. Owen said to reach a positive match with audio of this quality, he’d expect higher than 90 percent.
“As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen says, stressing that he cannot confirm the voice as Trayvon’s, because he didn’t have a sample of the teen’s voice to compare.
That raises some concerns. Tom Owen apparently compared Zimmerman’s normal speaking voice on a dispatch call, with high-pitched, terrified screaming that was recorded in the background of later 911 calls.
In our world, “that’s the home run,” Owen says.
I was pretty stunned that he could be so sure. After all, the computer program is looking for similarities in the vocal patterns. How many can it possibly find when pattern A is completely normal, laid back speech and pattern B is hysterical screaming?
I wanted to investigate this a bit further and looked into downloading the software Tom Owen used.
But this proved to be extremely difficult, a license for the software costs nearly $5,000 (http://www.easyvoicebiometrics.com/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=easyvoicebiometrics).
That’s a pretty hefty price to pay to test this software out…
After a few more minutes of research, I found out that the Easy Voice Biometrics web domain is actually owned by Tom Owen himself.
So what Tom Owen is actually doing here, is using his own home-grown software to attempt to determine the similarities in speech markers between two radically different types of voice patterns and claiming that it is accurate “beyond scientific certainty.”
Beyond scientific certainty is a pretty strong statement.
There doesn’t seem to be any disclosure in the Orlando Sentinel article that Tom Owen owns EasyVoiceBiometrics.com, nor any that he was using his own software package to do the analysis.
I’m not sure whether the Orlando Sentinel author (http://bio.tribune.com/JeffWeiner) realizes it, but that could easily be construed as a conflict of interest, particularly when the software is currently being sold for $5,000 per license. There’s an extremely transparent profit motive for Tom Owen to promote his product in any way that he can, especially at that price.
Since Tom Owen has staked his reputation on this, and has said point-blank that this software is so accurate that he knows “with reasonable scientific certainty” that it’s not Zimmerman on the 911 calls, the software must at least be extremely thoroughly tested, right?
I emailed Mr. Owen to double-check.
Doesn’t sound reassuring, does it?
It also says, on Easy Voice Biometric’s own web site, that the software is less than a month old.
This is especially strange, because the Orlando Sentinel article says:
As recently as January, Owen used the same technology to identify accused murderer Sheila Davalloo in a 911 call made almost a decade ago.
How could Owen have been using the same technology in that case when the web site says the software was only released three weeks ago?
It lists a launch date of March 7th, 2012 on the news section of the site (http://www.easyvoicebiometrics.com/index.php?app=cms&ns=xmodnewsrss_detail&ref=easyvoicebiometrics):
Since Owen referred me to TracerTek.com, I checked out that site as well.
TracerTek.com (http://tracertek.com/) and EasyVoiceBiometrics.com (http://easyvoicebiometrics.com/) appear to be using the same web site template, just with different information filled in.
It appears Jeff Klinedinst is involved with both. He is listed as the VP of Marketing on TracerTek and he did the YouTube demo videos for Easy Voice Biometrics.
Here’s a demo video Jeff put together for Easy Voice Biometrics.
The software appears to work fine if someone alters their voice slightly, or if there is light music playing in the background.
But there certainly isn’t anything in the demos about Easy Voice Biometrics offering “reasonable scientific certainty” when someone is screaming in panic on the background of a 911 call.
So where exactly is this “scientific certainty” coming from?
The second expert, Ed Primeau, doesn’t “believe” in Biometric Analysis, but doesn’t say why.
Not all experts rely on biometrics. Ed Primeau, a Michigan-based audio engineer and forensics expert, is not a believer in the technology’s use in courtroom settings.
Ed simply listened to the recordings. Then he decided the noises were Trayvon Martin because of the “tone of the voice” while reading Mother Jones (http://www.audioforensicexpert.com/2012/03/29/audio-authentication/trayvon-martin-in-the-news).
“I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background, without a doubt,” Primeau says, stressing that the tone of the voice is a giveaway. “That’s a young man screaming.”
Nevermind that there was an eyewitness to the fight (http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/state/witness-martin-attacked-zimmerman-03232012) who clearly states it was George Zimmerman yelling out for help. Or that Zimmerman is cited in the original police report as saying he was yelling for help. Or that the yells much more accurately portray someone who is screaming during an assault, rather than someone begging for their life at gunpoint.
Both Primeau and Owen report that they are credentialed by the American College Forensic Examiners Institute (http://www.acfei.com/).
Sadly, it turns out there is an entire suite (http://www.abreboard.us/sites/) of these “American Forensic Board” sites, on almost any topic you can think of, which all seem to be ran by the same person, a gentleman named Dr. O’Block who claims to have nearly a dozen degrees (http://www.droblock.com/about.html) himself.
Once again, most of these sites (http://www.abreboard.us/sites/) use the same basic template and only change cursory details, making it difficult to gauge how legitimate the boards are, if at all.
Tom Owen also lists things like this:
Instructor “New York Institute for Forensic Audio” 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998,
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,2006, 2007
As prestigious as the “New York Institute for Forensic Audio” sounds, there is no such brick and mortar institute. It is actually a “division” of Owen Investigations, LLC (http://www.owlinvestigations.com/classes.html). Tom Owen is basically claiming he was an instructor at his own unaccredited university.
I’m sure we’ll hear more about this in the upcoming weeks, since both of these “experts” have sparked a lot of controversy with their statements and placed their reputations on the line.
The so-called audio "experts" sound sketchy at best. Tom Owen seems to be shamelessly self-promoting his own product, which is what he used to make his "decision" regarding the case, and the notion of his product even being legitimate or able to distinguish "beyond scientific certainty" is laughable at best. Also, like the writer of the above article noted, it's a complete conflict of interest that he used his own product to come to his conclusion, but of course, the mainstream media either didn't do the investigation necessary to note that fact, or they blatantly omitted it. And Owen's method was said to have been used at a prior date, but he used his own product, which hadn't even been released when it was said to have been used in a prior court case. Very unreliable. Neither of the "audio experts" seem like their testimonies would hold any water in a trial, which could very well be why the prosecution's probable cause affidavit simply didn't even utilize their testimony.
04-17-2012, 05:06 PM
The Missing 2:30 & DeeDee’s Testimony (http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/the-missing-230-and-deedees-testimony)
by Dan Linehan on April 4, 2012
Media outlets have been reporting on a “missing minute” in the Trayvon Martin case, between when George Zimmerman’s original phone call to police ends and when 911 calls from Zimmerman and Martin fighting start coming in.
There’s actually considerably more than a minute missing during that time.
This is due to widespread confusion about when Zimmerman placed his original call to police. Many write-ups claim his call began at 7:11, which is incorrect.
At 7:11 p.m., Zimmerman, who was in his truck, spotted Trayvon. There had been a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood attributed to young black men, and Zimmerman was wary of someone he did not recognize walking along the path that goes through the back of the townhouses, his father later told a local TV station.
7:11:12 is the time that the ticket notes were first saved at the dispatching center, but Zimmerman’s call connected at 7:09:34, two minutes earlier.
Here’s the connection time:
With a review of notes saved further down, we can confirm a 7:09 contact time for Zimmerman’s call to police.
At 7:11:59, the dispatcher writes an update that the subject is running away. This event wasn’t reported by Zimmerman until more than two minutes into his call. The dispatcher could not have saved that update after only forty-seven seconds.
Using the proper connection time for Zimmerman’s call, we see that note being saved two and a half minutes in, exactly when we would expect it to be there.
Timeline of events
Here’s Zimmerman’s call to police with proper timing synced.
And a map of the Retreat at Twin Lakes complex.
As I’ve written about previously, Trayvon Martin had plenty of time (http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/evidence-that-trayvon-martin-doubled-back) to make it back to his temporary residence, Brandy Green’s townhouse, if he had wanted to.
Position [F], where Martin’s shooting occurred, is only 35 yards from where Zimmerman’s truck was parked [C], and only 70 yards from Brandy Green’s townhouse [D]. It would only take Trayvon around 30 seconds to jog that distance, less if he actually ran.
Until now, it has been somewhat of a mystery why Martin never made it back to Brandy Green’s townhouse when he was so close, and how he and Zimmerman ended up at position [F], so close to Zimmerman’s truck.
Had Martin jogged straight to Brandy Green’s when George Zimmerman first reported him running at 7:11:42, he would have been there by 7:12:12. Considerably before Zimmerman could even finish giving police directions to the complex.
Here’s an estimate of Trayvon’s route back to Brandy Green’s townhouse:
This has baffled the police investigating the case as well. They couldn’t figure out why Trayvon didn’t simply go to Brandy Green’s if he felt threatened, especially when he was so close. All reports had indicated he was heading that direction.
At a safe distance from Zimmerman, near the rear entrance of the complex, Trayvon receives a call from his girlfriend DeeDee (http://abcnews.go.com/US/trayvon-martin-arrest-now-abc-reveals-crucial-phone/story?id=15959017#.T42fL9Xef9p).
Most cellular providers round down the seconds at the start of a call. We see a phone call from DeeDee that began at 7:12pm, but it could have began anytime between 7:12:00 – 7:12:59.
Rather than simply going inside Brandy Green’s townhouse, talking to DeeDee seems to have given Trayvon some motivation to double back and confront George Zimmerman.
We’ve seen several pictures now of Trayvon on social media that would lead us to believe he wanted to look tough. It may not be much of a stretch to think he wanted to look tough for his girlfriend as well.
Zimmerman is wrapping up his suspicious person call and walking back towards his truck from position [E].
Trayvon is heading toward Zimmerman’s truck as well, from somewhere around position [D]. He’s still talking to DeeDee on the phone, walking quickly.
Zimmerman hangs up his call to police.
This marks the beginning of the “missing” two minutes and thirty seconds between the end of Zimmerman’s call to police, and the first 911 call at 7:16:11.
While we don’t know all the details of what happened during this time, we do have some information that we can reconstruct the major events with.
The first bit that helps us is from a Reuters article published yesterday (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/03/us-usa-florida-shooting-trayvon-idUSBRE8320UK20120403).
Sanford police have stopped talking to reporters about the case, and Serino has never spoken publicly about his role in it, but here is how Martin recalls what Serino said: “He told me Zimmerman’s story was that Zimmerman was of course following him and that Trayvon approached his vehicle, walked up to the car and asked Zimmerman, ‘Why are your following me?’ Zimmerman then rolls his car windows down, tells Trayvon ‘I’m not following you.’ He rolls his car windows up.
At first take, this sounds like Martin and Zimmerman had a prior confrontation before Zimmerman’s call to police, while Zimmerman was still in his truck. But it’s pretty clear by listening to that call, Zimmerman had not yet spoken to Trayvon.
That implies Zimmerman and Martin didn’t just have one confrontation over the upcoming minutes, they had two. The first one occurring at Zimmerman’s truck at position [C]. The second one at position [F].
Zimmerman gets back to his SUV and is waiting for the police to arrive. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the window, it’s Trayvon.
“Why are you following me?”
Trayvon starts to walk away, then runs, between buildings. He heads towards position [F], in the backyards between the complexes, cutting south of Townhouse G to get there.
Zimmerman decides he wants to keep Martin in sight. He had already lost visual on him once. He leaves his vehicle once more and also heads towards [F], most likely via the sidewalk above [G].
Both Zimmerman’s and DeeDee’s statements seem to agree on that.
“Trayvon got nervous and he said he gonna run around from the back, so he ran from the back and said he had lost him,” said Dee Dee, but Martin said that, just a few seconds later, Zimmerman was behind him again.
“Trayvon walks off. Zimmerman said he started running between the buildings. Zimmerman gets out of his car. He comes around the building.
Zimmerman and Martin run into each other at position [F].
From Zimmerman’s perspective, Trayvon is waiting for him. From Trayvon’s perspective, Zimmerman had just told Trayvon that he wasn’t following him and now here he is, doing it a second time. Trayvon is likely getting fed up with it.
“When he saw the man behind him again he said this man is going to do something to him. And then he said this man is still behind him and I said run.”
Trayvon is hiding behind the building, waiting on him. Trayvon approaches him and says, ‘What’s your problem, homes?’ Zimmerman says ‘I don’t have a problem.’
Within ten seconds the fight has begun. DeeDee gets hung up on.
“Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again, and he didn’t answer the phone.”
Zimmerman starts to reach into his pocket to get his cellphone, and at that point Trayvon attacked him. He says Trayvon hits him. He falls on the ground. Trayvon jumps on top of him, takes his left hand and covers Zimmerman’s mouth and tells him to “Shut the fuck up,” and continues to pound on him.
The first 911 call comes in. There’s loud screaming in the background.
One shot is fired, after approximately a minute and fifteen seconds of fighting and screaming.
Six additional neighbors call 911.
The possibility that there was not just one, but two confrontations does help explain several things.
For one, why DeeDee’s testimony (http://abcnews.go.com/US/trayvon-martin-arrest-now-abc-reveals-crucial-phone/story?id=15959017#.T3yDPMw0usI) has seemed so confusing at times — she’s not relaying just one interaction Martin had with Zimmerman like most of us assumed, she’s bringing up two separate encounters she listened to, spaced only around a minute apart.
This description of events seems to be exactly what Zimmerman has been telling police since the beginning, since it’s essentially how the police described the incident to Tracy Martin the next day.
Trayvon still seems to have doubled back towards Zimmerman after he first started running at 7:11, but he went on to initially confront Zimmerman at his truck, rather than point [F].
None of this can tell us for sure how the fight began or who initiated physical contact.
Since it seems like Zimmerman’s main goal was to stay in touch the with police throughout the evening, it still seems unlikely that he would intentionally start any physical altercation knowing that they were on their way.
That being said, Zimmerman definitely missed an opportunity to identify himself at his truck, which potentially could have helped to de-escalate the situation.
This article is important in updating the information relayed by the previous one entitled "Evidence that Trayvon Martin Doubled Back." Also, I agree with the writer's conclusion that "none of us can tell for sure how the fight began or who initiated physical contact." I also agree that seeing as Zimmerman had called the police minutes prior to the physical altercation, it would be unreasonable to assume that he initiated the altercation. Also, we have to take a moment and remember that Zimmerman was actually not bigger than Martin aside from weighing 10 more pounds, but that would not be considered a significant advantage in a fight, especially considering Martin's overall size (height and weight) and the fact that he was younger and more physically fit. So even if Martin had the opportunity to size Zimmerman up, the argument that he wouldn't likely have initiated a physical altercation with Zimmerman doesn't hold up as much as it did before the crucial fact of Zimmerman's actual size became apparent. Zimmerman did not weigh nearly 100 pounds more than him and it certainly wasn't visible as such, because it wasn't so. The more things that come out regarding this case, the more confident I am that Zimmerman truly acted in self-defense. That's not me stating my opinion as fact, because no one knows who initiated the physical contact, and that's what it is all going to boil down to in trial. But it seems unreasonable to me to assert that Zimmerman would have started the fight and his story that Martin had him on the ground and reached for his gun seems a lot more believable with the evidence that's been compiled in these articles.
W.E.B. Du Bois
04-17-2012, 05:17 PM
Question: I see Trayvon's disciplinary problems at school are brought up, but at the same time you criticized my bringing up Zimmerman pushing a police officer, picking up and throwing a drunk woman and allegations from his ex-fiance that he pushed her and the restraining order she filed against him as irrelevant. What's the standard here on bringing up people's criminal or disciplinary records?
04-17-2012, 05:48 PM
Question: I see Trayvon's disciplinary problems at school are brought up, but at the same time you criticized my bringing up Zimmerman pushing a police officer, picking up and throwing a drunk woman and allegations from his ex-fiance that he pushed her and the restraining order she filed against him as irrelevant. What's the standard here on bringing up people's criminal or disciplinary records?I never actually said that your arguments bringing up Zimmerman's history were outright "irrelevant," my exact quote was:
To me, Zimmerman's prior record is no more relevant than Martin's prior record
That's an opinionated statement and it doesn't in any way suggest that Zimmerman's prior record is "irrelevant," it suggests that I feel that Zimmerman's prior record and Martin's prior record hold the same degree of relevance in the case.
But with regard to why that's even posted? I just wanted to post the whole article as an informational piece. Personally, I don't feel that Martin's disciplinary past is necessarily relevant, like I similarly don't feel that Zimmerman's past is necessarily relevant. But I felt like being thorough, so I copied and pasted the entire article. At first I was going to pick and choose what to copy, but I figured that could result in counter claims of alleged "cherry picking." So rather than risk that, I posted all of it for it to be viewed in entirety and scrutinized as such.
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