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The Zimmerman killing of Trayvon Martin has been discussed and examined from every corner and angle by both his defenders, accusers and impartial observers.  I know that nothing new can be said about this case that hasn’t already been said.

But, every time I read or hear the latest recreation of events from the Zimmerman camp, usually with some additional detail that, for reasons never explained, was not revealed before, I keep having the same questions.

I hate playing junior detective, but I have some huge problems with Zimmerman’s account of the shooting that I have not seen addressed elsewhere.  Some of these problems are detailed below:

For brevity, I have excluded/ignored the multiple versions of Zimmerman’s account and the repeated changes to the narrative that have occurred, and have stuck with the latest version of events as best as possible

The Account:

Zimmerman spotted Martin walking through the community and called 911 to report a suspicious person.

Martin noticed Zimmerman and began running.  Zimmerman exited his vehicle and pursued him.

Zimmerman lost Martin and was on his way back to his vehicle when Trayvon confronted him asking him if he had a problem.  Zimmerman answered “no” and reached for his phone.

Martin punched Zimmerman, breaking his nose.  Zimmerman fell back, with his back on the grass and his head on the sidewalk.  

Trayvon jumped on Zimmerman, with his knees on Zimmerman’s arms, and began “slamming” his head into the concrete sidewalk.  Trayvon may have also continued to beat Zimmerman with his fists.

Zimmerman removed his sidearm.  Trayvon saw the weapon, reached for it saying something to the effect of “now you die”.  Zimmerman then shot Trayvon.

When found, Trayvon was lying face down, with his hands under his body on his stomach.  Zimmerman was standing over him, with his hands on Trayvon’s back.


1)    Zimmerman’s reply to Martin’s question:

Zimmerman was in pursuit of Trayvon because he was a suspicious person and he wanted to know what he was doing there.  When confronted by Trayvon who allegedly asked “You got a problem hommie?” Zimmerman allegedly answers “no” and tries to get his phone.   Except, Zimmerman DID have a problem; and that problem was Trayvon’s presence in his neighborhood.  Why did he not answer “I’m with the neighborhood watch, you want to tell me who you are and where are you staying?”

Are we to believe that if Trayvon had not punched Zimmerman in the nose, and instead had walked away, that Zimmerman would have continued back to his vehicle?  If so, then why did he chase Trayvon in the first place and why did he call 911?  By his own admission here, Zimmerman could also have defused the situation by identifying himself and asking Trayvon who he was and where he was staying.

2)    Martin’s punch:

Zimmerman says that after saying no, Martin replied “well you do now” and punched him once in the face, breaking his nose.  He states this sent him backward onto the sidewalk with his back on the grass.

This indicates that the blow knocked Zimmerman senseless and would have left him in pain and disoriented.  But Zimmerman was a big man, as the police video shows, and Trayvon was a welterweight at best. Even if Trayvon was able to deliver a full swing, full power, punch to Zimmerman’s face with sufficient force to break his nose, is it possible it could have had sufficient force to cause Zimmerman to fall backwards and knock him off his feet?

If you know anything about fighting, either as a participant or a viewer, you notice most people when struck in the face, fall FORWARD.  Then bring their face down and their hands up instinctively to protect the face.  The most common reaction is to bend forward and down away from the object that hit them.  If Zimmerman fell backwards, to the point he was unable to stop his head from hitting the pavement, it means he came close to being rendered unconscious.  Yet, Zimmerman claims he was still able to yell for help, even while being beaten

A punch from a bigger man to a smaller man might have resulted in a fall backwards, however, this was not the case of Trayvon and Zimmerman.

3)    Martin’s knees on Zimmerman’s arms

Ignore the absence of any reports of bruising on the arms in Zimmerman’s reported catalogue of injuries, and look at the posture that is suggested.   Martin would have been sitting either close to or on Zimmerman’s chest; at least at waist level.  His calves therefore, would have been along Zimmerman’s body and would have run from the chest to below the waist.  Martin’s feet would have been pressed against the body with his knees angling out onto the arms.  This is a natural posture for someone sitting on a body.  The feet provide stability and the knees provide balance.  

How did Zimmerman get his gun?

The gun was supposedly holstered and carried on Zimmerman’s waist.  Assuming Zimmerman had freed his arm and was able to reach for his weapon, Martin’s natural reaction would have been to draw his knee into Zimmerman’s body and press the leg along the entire length of the chest wall.  This would be needed to maintain balance.  Martin’s leg would have covered the holstered gun.  

4)    Martin repeatedly “slammed” Zimmerman’s head into the concrete:

We have seen the video of Zimmerman and know he had short, bristle cut hair on the night of the attack.  Therefore, in order to repeatedly slam Zimmerman’s head into the sidewalk, Martin would have had to use both hands at the side of Zimmerman’s head, probably using his ears as grips.  Ignoring the absence of any reported injuries to the ears, look at what having your head repeatedly “slammed” into a sidewalk can do.

Skull fracture or concussion is the most common likelihood in this instance.  Even a simple fracture will be evidenced by symptoms of headache and/or pain at the site of injury. Loss of consciousness following the blow is also likely.

If the injury is severe, the individual may experience weakness, confusion, fatigue, seizures, dizziness, vomiting, drowsiness, speech difficulties, and vision problems, or may display early symptoms of inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, which include a stiff neck, confusion, and fever.

By Zimmerman’s own account, he experienced none of these symptoms.  He did not even complain of a headache or stiff neck.  His reported injuries were bruising and lacerations.  Now it may be said that Trayvon lacked sufficient strength to hit Zimmerman’s head against the concrete with the necessary force to cause a skull fracture, however, we have already seen that Trayvon supposedly was strong enough to knock a grown man weighing at least 50 lbs more than himself flat on his back with a single punch.  That he would then not be capable of inflicting a severe injury on him when slamming Zimmerman’s head against concrete, is less than believable.

5)    Zimmerman’s shot:

Zimmerman was armed with a 9mm automatic pistol.  By his own account, he shot Trayvon while Trayvon was sitting on top of him, punching and/or slamming his head into the concrete.  This means Trayvon would have been leaning toward Zimmerman’s head and the shot would have been at point blank range.

Those who know handguns will tell you that the 9mm is a powerful weapon.  It is used by military and police forces because of its stopping power.  A round fired at point blank range should have gone right through Trayvon’s body, especially, as Trayvon was described as skinny and weighing 140 lbs.  The bullet should  have struck the nearest object, a building.  But it didn’t.  There are no reports of this spent bullet being found in wall of any building.   The bullet, so far as latest reports are concerned, was still in Trayvon’s body when he was autopsied.  

6)    Trayvon’s position after being shot:

This is the one that bothers me the most.   Trayvon would have been leaning forward toward Zimmerman’s head during the attack.  If he was reaching for Zimmerman’s weapon, he would have been leaning slightly to the side when he was shot.  

There is no way I can come with him being face down, with his hands on his stomach.

If he died instantly, he would have fallen forward on top of Zimmerman.  Zimmerman would have then be forced to roll Martin off of him and this would have put Trayvon on his back.  If Martin fell sideways, Zimmerman would still have to crawl out from under him and Trayvon’s body should have been on its side.  The ground was flat, so Trayvon’s body wouldn’t have rolled.  The only way, Martin could be face down, would be if, after being shot, he stood up, got off Zimmerman and then collapsed, falling forward.  But that isn’t what Zimmerman says happened.  The latest story is that after being shot, Martin said “you got me” and died.

Maybe some of these problems will be resolved as the investigation continues and more details come to light.  But simply on the face of what Zimmerman was claiming on the night he shot and killed Trayvon, the failure of the police to fully investigate the circumstances of that night and to answer these questions prior to releasing Zimmerman without charge is in itself the biggest problem I have with this story.


Do you think there will ever be justice for Trayvon?

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| 261 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    “Tax and Spend” I can understand. I can even understand “Borrow and Spend”. But “Borrow and Give Tax Cuts to Billionaires”? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:35:28 AM PDT

  •  Also: the eyewitness who Anderson Cooper (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    interviewed last night could not see the figures well enough to make out who was on top as they wrestled, but he was sure they were on grass, nowhere near a sidewalk.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:51:37 AM PDT

  •  My main issue is that Zimmerman was not (0+ / 0-)

    covered in Martin's blood. I do not know about ballistics but it's surprising to me that Z was not hit by a jet of blood from the entry wound. Would a report from a pistol quarerize a wound form burning it?

    Indicates the shot was possibly fired at longer range and not while Martin was on top of him.

    However an eye witness did say that Martin was on top of Z and that after he went upstairs the shot was fired and the positions reversed.

    Face down could be consistent, if Z slipped out from under M.

    The main trouble is that Z was being a vigilante. Quite a poor one at that.  

    A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

    by Salo on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:52:47 AM PDT

    •  That witness is not credible based on accounts... (0+ / 0-)

      I have read.

      He was only heard about after the details of Trayvon's death were revealed and his account differs from those of other witnesses who were interviewed by police.

      As for Z crawling out from under M, it may be possible but not convincing.  The more likely action of someone who is underneath a dead weight is to push it sideways while simulateously pushing up with their shoulders.  Z would have also had to get past M's legs which would have been on either side of him.  Pushing him off and over would have freed him more easily than sliding out from under.

      “Tax and Spend” I can understand. I can even understand “Borrow and Spend”. But “Borrow and Give Tax Cuts to Billionaires”? That I have a problem with.

      by LiberalCanuck on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:04:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well here's a point blank shot. (0+ / 0-)

        All a pistol needs to do is hit a bone and it stays in the body.

        I've slipped out from under a few bodies btw. :-)  It's easier than lifting a dead weight. Bodies are very heavy. Best to just slither out.  

        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

        by Salo on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:31:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He ought to stand trial (0+ / 0-)

        For at least manslaughter. An inquest system would be useful.

        I'm amazed inquests are not automatic in the US. If someone gets killed in the UK there is always an inquest.

        Guilty people normally clearly point themselves out in such proceedings.

        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

        by Salo on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:50:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Item 6 (0+ / 0-)
    Trayvon’s position after being shot:

    This is the one that bothers me the most.   Trayvon would have been leaning forward toward Zimmerman’s head during the attack.  If he was reaching for Zimmerman’s weapon, he would have been leaning slightly to the side when he was shot.  

    And, Zimmerman would have been covered in blood.  He's lying.
  •  What's more, why is there no blood from Trayvon's (0+ / 0-)

    wound on Zimmerman's clothing or body?

  •  Here's my thought. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    I fell against a coffee table last year, striking the back of my head, and requiring two staples. It wasn't a very big cut, just deep. About a 1/2 inch to an inch long.

    I bled EVERYWHERE!

    Head lacerations bleed far more than is indicated by the size of the cut. If he truly had much more than abraded or broken skin (and if his bald head was beat against the sidewalk repeatedly, it would most certainly be more than abraded) he would have blood all over him, his shirt, his pants, etc.

    If I wanted government in my uterus, I'd fuck a senator

    by second gen on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:04:54 AM PDT

  •  i think zimmerman told Martin he was a cop (0+ / 0-)

    he couldnt have said i am just some nut who is stalking you . he gave Martin a reason
    martin didnt believe him and fight ensued. maybe zimmerman pointed his gun at martin and martin tried to take it away and they scrambled for the gun

    If martin was shot standing up or trying to get away he would have clutched at the wound and then fell forward.

    also we know zimmerman didnt tell the truth-why? somethiog about his actions he knew would be wrong in order to claim self defense. so he covered things that showed something different.

  •  9 mm still fairly small caliber (0+ / 0-)

    No matter what range, it could have easily either lodged in or ricocheted off a scapula or other such large bone and remained in Trayvon's body. This is a very common occurrence with 9 mm.  And even if it had gone through (although I do not believe there is an exit wound), it would a have an upward trajectory (according to Zimmerman), and could be anywhere- a roof, a gutter, bush or tree, mechanical vent of an outdoor AC unit....

    In any case, I don't believe one word of Zimmerman's story.

    •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the diarist means well but I'm going to guess each point can be agrued about.  

      Point blank, higher power than a 9mm and it lodge in the skull. Nxt time dear, give direction eh?  

      Other points deconstructed to follow.

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:36:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Trayvon Was Found On His Stomach.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, a2nite

    w/ his feet facing the sidewalk.  Witnesses say the fight occurred on the grass.

    By all accounts the fight lasted one minute.  That must have been one jam packed minute for all these various locations to have taken place.

    A diagram of the street layout shows where Zimmerman's car would be parked, then a row of houses.  The fight occurred in the back of those house in a central walkway where people commonly walked their dogs, etc.  There were rows of homes w/ patios & glass windows.

    It was an amazingly reckless place to pull a gun.  If my life was in danger, I would have just started screaming in a bloodcurdling manner.   But I don't carry a gun w/ me now or ever.

  •  disagree (0+ / 0-)

    It is not very hard to knock a bigger person off their feet, I've done it myself.  While a professional fighter will move towards a punch, most people will move their heads backwards, putting themselves off balance.

  •  Wouldn't Trayvon have fallen forward (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    having been shot while sitting on top of Zimmerman? If he fell onto him why is there no blood from Trayvon on the front of Zimmerman?

    The witness said Zimmerman jumped up rather quickly and started walking away. After having been in a fight for his life and having sustained head injuries that Zimmeman's brother said left him close to losing consciousness, he just jumps up and walks away from the body.

    The EMTs treat his wounds in the back of a squad car. His life threatening head injury. In the back of the squad car. He's not had his neck immobilized nor is he taken to the hospital nor did he sign a release form.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:58:58 PM PDT

  •  Impossible to Determine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All the details of what happened between Zimmerman being ordered not to go after Martin, and Zimmerman killing Martin.  There are many possibilities including this one:  Zimmerman shot Martin immediately, in cold blood, then straddled his body in order to simulate the appearance of a fight.  He then screams for some time, as if in distress, then fires a shot in the air and stops screaming.  This may seem unlikely but I doubt anyone can show that it's not a possibility.

  •  Something else to add to #4 (0+ / 0-)

    If Zimmerman's head had been slammed into the concrete that often, he'd have had a helluva time walking even with assistance.  But on the surveillance video, he was walking with practically no trouble at all.

    If I'm Angela Corey, I'd give some pretty serious consideration to racking Zimmerman up for false reporting in addition to manslaughter (or second-degree murder).  The police report is a baldfaced lie.

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