Last year when I wrote about the George Zimmerman case for Yahoo (in three parts), I was definitely, initially more defensive of Zimmerman but urged that we all wait for the facts. Here are some facts gathered by black conservatives who side with the Trayvon Martin family/prosecution & do not believe Zimmerman’s self-defense claims. Interesting & admittedly, some of these are things that brought up questions in my mind & others I didn’t know, like the fact that there was no grass tall enough to hide Martin’s 5’11’ height (#19 on this list). Personally, I think that many on the left & right have had a knee-jerk reaction, to automatically oppose the other due to political tribalism. The fact that Al Sharpton was involved in this case (he was asked to) I think also caused some to oppose him because they don’t like him or his involvement in prior cases. I don’t have enough fingers & toes to count the number of times a person (usually on the right) has brought up the Tawana Brawley case & Al Sharpton’s involvement in it, when discussing this case. In philosophy, we call that a genetic fallacy, which is rejecting an idea because of the source rather than it’s merits. For some, since Al Sharpton is involved & believes Zimmerman is guilty, Zimmerman must therefore, be innocent of murder & his claims of self-defense more plausible. Do you see how fallacious that is? Sharpton being wrong about Tawana Brawley doesn’t mean he’s wrong about George Zimmerman, or that Zimmerman acted in self-defense as he claims.
Likewise, some on the left will not even consider the possibility that Zimmerman may have shot in self-defense & won’t view this in any other way other than through their own political or racial prism. If the right-wing mostly supports Zimmerman, he must be guilty. I have examined both sides & can’t make up my mind completely, but I don’t believe Zimmerman’s version of events entirely, and I won’t pretend to because that’s the consensus on my political “side”. Equally, I won’t condemn him just because I’m black or the fact that most on the left support him either. I’ll wait for the verdict & accept it. We must respect the rule of law, not the media or the mob – on either side. For my liberal friends who think all black conservatives defend Zimmerman, you’re wrong. In the end, only the thoughts of the six, female jurors matter.
Here is the list compiled by Black Conservatives for Trayvon as it was posted, but I’ll add that #23 is not entirely accurate because there is video evidence that Trayvon Martin was wearing his hoodie, at least part of the time he was in the store. That doesn’t prove any criminality on his part though. It was raining outside and perhaps he chose not to take it off because he wasn’t going to be in there for very long. In any case, it’s not illegal to wear a hoodie and I wear them all the time (and I’m a black American), particularly in the winter while jogging, am I a criminal or thug too? If anyone is wondering why I am sharing this, it’s simple – for balance. I’ve used plenty of keystrokes already in Zimmerman’s defense & I won’t censor my uncertainty regarding his claims. It’s called objectivity:
Trayvon Martin Killing: Fact Sheet
***GET THE FACTS***
This tragedy and subsequent trial has brought race relations in America to a fever pitch. Most people are responding according to their cultural and racial biases and NOT the facts of the case. The following, documented facts cannot be disputed. If you are interested in truth and justice, review the following facts and see if they do not reshape some of your opinions. No matter what your race or political affiliation, the following facts cannot be disputed:
1. Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Walking around in the neighborhood is not a crime nor suspicious for a 17 yr old teenager… at 7:30pm.
Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away”
2. Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:
Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”
3. Prior to the release of the 911 tapes, Zimmerman’s father released a statement claiming ”At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.”
4. Zimmerman was carrying a 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.
5. Martin weighed 153 pounds at the time of death. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds and was 204 pounds at the time of shooting.
6. Martin’s English teacher described him as “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.” He was not a ‘bad’ or ‘troubled’ student. He got a mandatory suspension from school because he had an empty bag w/ marijuana residue.
7. Martin had no criminal record.
(New York Times)
8. Zimmerman “was charged in July 2005 with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer. The charges appear to have been dropped.” Additionally, he had been previously entered into an anger management program for domestic violence assault on a girlfriend.
9. Zimmerman called the police 46 times between Jan. 1, 2011 and the shooting on February 25th, 2012.
10. According to neighbors, Zimmerman was “fixated on crime and focused on young, black males.”
11. Zimmerman “had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics”
12. A police officer “corrected” a key witness. “The officer told the witness, a long-time teacher, it was Zimmerman who cried for help, said the witness. ABC News has spoken to the teacher and she confirmed that the officer corrected her when she said she heard the teenager shout for help.”
13. Three witnesses say they heard a boy cry for help before a shot was fired. “Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy.”
14. The officer in charge of the crime scene also received criticism in 2010 when he initially failed to arrest a lieutenant’s son who was videotaped attacking a homeless black man.
(New York Times)
15. The police did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol. A law enforcement expert told ABC that Zimmerman sounds intoxicated on the 911 tapes. Drug and alcohol testing is “standard procedure in most homicide investigations.”
16. George Zimmerman took Mixed Martial Arts classes for at least a year before the incident. A physician assistant who treated George Zimmerman’s injuries the day after he said he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense testified that she had treated Zimmerman before, and that he told her he’d had been involved with mixed martial arts several times a week.
(Central Florida News)
17. The detective originally on the case was stopped by the chief of police from filing charges and arresting Zimmerman for manslaughter. When he insisted on filing the charges, he was demoted from detective back to night beat officers.
(VIDEO: CNN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG3l8g2S5Kc)
18. Zimmerman claims to have been looking for an address in a gated neighborhood with ONLY 3 streets that he is the self proclaimed neighborhood watch captain of… and he has lived there for 4 years. Also, the street he claimed to be looking for an address from had obvious street numbers on it.
19. His original claim was that he was sucker punched after Martin jumped from the bushes and attacked him. There are no bushes tall enough to hide his 5′ 11” body in the neighborhood anywhere near the incident.
20. The gun George Zimmerman used was designed to be loaded and ready to shoot. It was also concealed in a holster behind his back. His gun had to have been loaded when he pulled it out to shoot Martin, which is inconsistent with his assertion that he was afraid of the unarmed teenager.
(VIDEO: CNN http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/03/george-zimmermans-gun/)
21. The actual shooting took place +40 feet away from where Zimmerman claimed he was attacked and immediately knocked down and claims he was unable to flee from. They had to have scuffled and rolled on the ground in front of 2 different residences (leaving no dna or forensic evidence behind) before being shot.
22. In addition to the 3 different accounts from Zimmerman not adding up, Zimmerman claims that he was screaming for help as he reached for his gun and shot the boy. In the phone recording, the screaming for help immediately stopped once the gun was fired. He says that the threat was eliminated and therefore he didn’t need to scream anymore. But, he was adamant that he didn’t know that he shot him or killed him when interviewed by the police.
23. Though dark, it was 7:30pm on a Sunday evening. He was walking, not running, in a neighborhood that he was SUPPOSED to be in as he was heading back home to take the candy back to his 12 yr old (soon to be) step brother. According to the video in the store, he didn’t have his hoodie on. That didn’t take place until it started raining.
24. Zimmerman’s original attorney’s decided NOT to represent him once they spoke to him and found out the facts of the case. This was dismissed in the media as them being ‘opportunist’ and only wanting publicity.
Click HERE to visit “Black Conservatives for Trayvon”
Everyone have a blessed & productive day! Until next time…