We’re less than 12 hours since the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman verdict.
I wish now I could hop in my TARDIS and go back in time to follow the case more closely from the beginning, but I can’t. I feel like I missed a TON of crucial information and misinformation.
Misinformation. That’s my theme for these first 12 hours. I can’t even count all the craziness I saw flying around on social media last night / early this morning. Just crazy stuff.
Michael Moore claimed Zimmerman “chased” Martin down the street (never mind the little detail that Zimmerman actually lost sight of Martin and conveyed that information to dispatch).
Oh, that’s another thing. I might be wrong but dispatch = not the same thing as the police. So when they said “don’t follow him” that’s not some decree that descended from on high.
Speaking of that call, here’s a blurb from the transcript.
Zimmerman: Hey we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, 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.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
You know what, I’m just going to provide the transcript for you to read right here. I think it’s important to see what was actually said. Forgive the lengthy quote.
Dispatcher: Sanford Police Department. …
Zimmerman: Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle. Um, 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.
Dispatcher: Okay, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
Dispatcher: Did you see what he was wearing?
Zimmerman: Yeah. A dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes. He’s [unintelligible], he was just staring…
Dispatcher: Okay, he’s just walking around the area…
Zimmerman: …looking at all the houses.
Zimmerman: Now he’s just staring at me.
Dispatcher: Okay. You said it’s 1111 Retreat View? Or 111?
Zimmerman: That’s the clubhouse… [Note 3, 3rd picture]
Dispatcher: That’s the clubhouse. Do you know what the—he’s near the clubhouse right now?
Zimmerman: Yeah, now he’s coming towards me.
Zimmerman: He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.
Dispatcher: How old would you say he looks?
Zimmerman: He’s got a button on his shirt. Late teens.
Dispatcher: Late teens. Okay.
Zimmerman: Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is.
Dispatcher: Just let me know if he does anything, okay?
Zimmerman: How long until you get an officer over here?
Dispatcher: Yeah, we’ve got someone on the way. Just let me know if this guy does anything else.
Zimmerman: Okay. These assholes, they always get away. When you come to the clubhouse, you come straight in and make a left. Actually, you would go past the clubhouse.[Note 3, 3rd picture]
Dispatcher: So it’s on the lefthand side from the clubhouse?
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?
Zimmerman: The back entrance…f**** [disputed/unintelligible]
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Okay, we don’t need you to do that.
Dispatcher: All right, sir, what is your name?
Zimmerman: George…He ran.
Dispatcher: All right, George, what’s your last name?
Dispatcher: And George, what’s the phone number you’re calling from?
Dispatcher: All right, George, we do have them on the way. Do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?
Dispatcher: Alright, where you going to meet with them at?
Zimmerman: If they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the club house, and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they go past the mailboxes, [Note 3, 4th picture]that’s my truck…[unintelligible]
Dispatcher: What address are you parked in front of?
Zimmerman: I don’t know. It’s a cut through so I don’t know the address.[Note 3, 6th & 7th pictures]
Dispatcher: Okay. Do you live in the area?
Zimmerman: Yeah, I…[unintelligible]
Dispatcher: What’s your apartment number?
Zimmerman: It’s a home. It’s 1950,[Note 3, 3rd picture] Oh, crap. I don’t want to give it all out. I don’t know where this kid is.
Dispatcher: Okay. Do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?
Zimmerman: Yeah, that’s fine.
Dispatcher: All right, George. I’ll let them know to meet you around there okay?
Zimmerman: Actually, could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at?
Dispatcher: Okay, yeah. That’s no problem.
Zimmerman: Should I give you my number or you got it?
Dispatcher: Yeah, I got it [redacted]
Zimmerman: Yeah, you got it.
Dispatcher: Okay. No problem. I’ll let them know to call you when they’re in the area.
Dispatcher: You’re welcome.
Wait a second. I thought George was a white rob wearing racist?!? That’s weird. He didn’t offer up Martin’s race until ASKED. How many times have you heard that in the media? And Martin was approaching him. Also weird.
“Or he’s on drugs…” Well, that’s odd. I thought Martin was a saint of a kid just trying to get home with his ice tea and Skittles for goodness’ sake? Weird. Oh wait, it isn’t. Trace amounts of THC were found in Martin’s blood in the toxicology report. Huh. I haven’t heard that mentioned very often.
But, wouldn’t a kid be scared by being followed by a grown man? Possibly. But if that kid was 1 inch shy of 6 feet tall facing a grown man 4 inches shorter than him, might that change his level of fear?
And if he was so afraid of this man, why didn’t he use his cell phone to, oh I don’t know, call the police? Instead of complaining to a friend that was being followed by a (pardon the language but it’s necessary for this point) “creepy-ass cracker”? Well, that’s odd, isn’t it?
Those are just a few of the oddities in the case and its media misrepresentation.
If we got started on the jury instructions, self defense, the State’s burden of proof, not needing to prove innocence, etc. etc. we’d be here for quite some time. Please do yourself a favor and read the Judge’s instructions. The whole thing, it’s not terribly long. I feel it makes it clear what HAD to be proved in order for the jury to return a Guilty verdict, but I’m no legal expert.
I have copied the PDF to my site for easy access for the reader. Jury Instructions can be found here.