This is my first attempt at writing a diary. Try to be patient because this is an emotional experience for me. Also, because so many in this community have done a tremendous amount of work on this subject, I thank you and I apologize if I am duplicating any diary themes or offend you.
I am not a lawyer but that should not be a requirement to offer my ideas about this case. I find the verdict very disturbing. It keeps me awake at night. It does not make sense to me if I exclude the absurd and race.
My entry point occurred last year when I read that a white man had shot an unarmed black boy. But I did not pay attention until I read that they were fighting. I asked myself “How did they get close enough to fight?”
That was the point that piqued my interest. Then I started seeing varying information about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The basic impression I had was that Trayvon deserved to die (not from this site) because he was a bad person.
I read about the fight that Trayvon started because he punched Zimmerman for no reason. I read that it was not illegal to follow somebody to talk to them. I read discussions about stalking and stand your ground.
Through all these discussions I slowly began to form a picture of what I believe happened that night: Zimmerman assaulted Trayvon with the intent to detain him and when he resisted Zimmerman killed him.
The problem for me is that I did not closely follow the trial because it was bizarre and every time I tried to follow it I would wonder what the prosecution was doing.
But then that verdict came back and I heard that Trayvon was hugely responsible for his death and that horrified me because unlike President Obama: I could be Trayvon Martin in 2013.
Race relations are not abstract constructs. Every day, I am aware that I may encounter a life threatening situation simply because of the color of my skin. As I pondered the night that Trayvon died, there are two recent incidents that allowed me develop a more coherent hypothesis about Trayvon’s death.
One night, I was going to get my mail and I noticed a SUV with dark tinted windows parked down the street from the mailboxes. Normally, cars do not park there. It was quite disturbing because I live in an upscale gated community.
The second incident terrified me. I was looking for a business not far from my home and I entered a store to ask directions. There were three people there. As soon as I stepped through the door all three gave me a menacing stare and I did not walk any closer. I raised my hands to show that I meant no threat. One young man abruptly asked: “What are YOU doing here?” There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was not welcome and that I should not take another step. I said “Sir, do you know where xxx is?” He told me and I backed out of that store. That experience was so life changing that I restrict my shopping to very few stores.
When I recalled that second incident I was able to figure out what I believe happened to Trayvon. This is my opinion based on limited information because every time I learn something new an even more horrifying picture emerges of the night that Trayvon Benjamin Martin died. It is that horror that forces me to write this based on what I remember reading and not provide detailed support.
Trayvon’s hoodie is the key to understanding everything. What bothered me was the constant insistence that there was nothing wrong or illegal with Zimmerman getting out of his car. I believe there is.
Zimmerman threatened Trayvon. He got out of his car to further that threat i.e. he mounted an assault. And I believe that assault is illegal. How do we know that Zimmerman was threatening Trayvon? He told us that he was. In order to accurately describe Trayvon (particularly his dark skin and young age) at night to the police Zimmerman had to see Trayvon’s face because his hoodie obscured his other features. If Zimmerman looked in Trayvon’s face then it is reasonable to assume that Trayvon look at his face. We know that Zimmerman was angry enough to let his contempt for Trayvon be recorded. Zimmerman maintained facial contact long enough to “creep” Trayvon out. Trayvon ran because he was frightened and he lived in a concealed carry state. That is the action that any parent would expect from their child.
Zimmerman got out of car but Trayvon had no idea who he was. But more importantly, Trayvon had no idea why would he get out of his car. Instead of follow civilized protocol Zimmerman did not identify himself “friend or foe” thus the sound of his car door closing had to frighten Trayvon even more. There simply was not enough time to safely get home and be sure that he was not followed. The only logical thing for Trayvon to do was hide from this unidentified potential threat.
The dispatcher told Zimmerman “…we don’t need you to do that” because that person could not evaluate the situation. They had to allow Zimmerman to use his own judgment to evaluate whether a situation demanded immediate action. The problem is that Zimmerman did not exercise good judgment.
It was seven in the evening. If Zimmerman had been rational he would have alerted the residents to a potential danger and he would have averted killing Trayvon. He had three tools to use: his voice, a flashlight and his loaded weapon. I don’t know if there are any recordings of Zimmerman calling out to Trayvon from a safe distance. I don’t know if there are any reports of neighbors stating that they heard Zimmerman issuing a warning. I don’t know if there are any reports of Zimmerman shining his flashlight from a safe distance while he looked for Trayvon. I don’t know if Zimmerman did anything to indicate that he followed basic human protocol to show that HE was not threatening Trayvon.
If he did not then I submit that no reasonable person would assume that Zimmerman was not a continued existential threat and thus would have remained hidden to avoid him at all costs!
But let’s assume that Trayvon decided to counter attack Zimmerman he would have to plan and use the tools available: Skittles and his Arizona Ice Tea beverage. He would have opened the Skittles to use them as a distraction and then use the beverage as a bludgeoning tool. And most importantly, he would not want to be distracted by his mobile.
Even if he were anticipating Zimmerman’s assault he would have used the beverage as the only weapon that he had. I don’t remember any indentations on Zimmerman or the beverage can indicating that it had been used.
Zimmerman had total control of the situation. The time of day and the tactical layout of the area meant that with a flashlight he did not need to place Trayvon, himself or any of the residents in danger.
Zimmerman said in his reenactment that Trayvon jumped out of the bushes. That makes no sense because there are no bushes where he indicated that there would be. And Trayvon did not use the beverage to knock Zimmerman unconscious. That indicates that Trayvon did not have time to react to Zimmerman because Zimmerman mounted a surprise assault on him (most probably near bushes).
I have yet to find any information that indicated that Zimmerman identified himself or why he was assaulting Trayvon. Based on his police interview I speculate that Zimmerman tried to detain (kidnap since Trayvon committed no crime) the suspect for the police and a fight ensued. Zimmerman shot Trayvon and he succeeded in detaining Trayvon after he shot him.
Although I have read that Jeantel’s testimony is not reliable it is the most reasonable explanation consistent with verifiable information. If you discard her testimony the fact that Trayvon continued to maintain communication establishes a consciousness to avoid contact with Zimmerman.
When I heard that Zimmerman had formal MMA training I thought I was living in opposite-land. When the prosecutor’s failed to question Zimmerman’s level of fighting experience (offensive and defensive) I stopped watching for a while.
I awaited proof of the injuries Zimmerman sustained in the fight. All I saw were ridiculous bloodied photos. They were ridiculous because they obscured the wounds. I wanted to see photographs of the scar tissue on his scalp of this “vicious” attack.
I won’t go into the fight because the sound of Trayvon yelling for help and hearing that fatal shot was too much for me. I wonder if Zimmerman was required to vocalize the notes on a scale. But even if you discard my opinion about the cry for help then I defer to the people there. How many people recognized Trayvon’s voice as the cry at the time of the incident? Surely, if it were Zimmerman somebody would have reported that they recognized it. Although, the Federal government is not involved I believe that they have the technology to verify that it indeed is Trayvon crying for help.
And just when I thought I could take no more I found out that Trayvon was shot through the heart. How many people are shot through the heart?
When juror B37 said that Trayvon got mad and that he bore a “huge” responsibility for his death I choked. She was parroting stereotypical racist memes similar to what I was reading on the internet. It made sense if you assume that that animation was accurate and to assume that you would have to suspend a sense of self preservation. No reasonable person would do that!
As it stands Trayvon Martin committed no crime and thus there is no rational explanation (excluding the grossly insensitive and illogical comments of juror B37) for Trayvon Martin’s death. His only crime appears to be walking while black and that terrifies me.