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
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.