I have read this very illuminating and insightful article on the Trayvon Martin shooting, from a writer on FireDogLake who goes by the name Masoninblue. He was a criminal defense lawyer and former law professor and his arguments have convinced me that (1). Zimmerman is the aggressor and (2). Zimmerman is a liar.
His full article can be read here: http://my.firedoglake.com/...
I also linked to the article (his personal blog version), in two of my comments on diaries related to Martin-Zimmerman.
To see his credentials click here:
Let me start with why I believe Zimmerman is the aggressor via this lawyer’s arguments.
This lawyer does a pretty thorough job in mapping Zimmerman’s intent from Zimmerman’s own conversation with the dispatcher. Judging by this conversation we know that Zimmerman wanted to apprehend Martin because he felt that the police would not arrive on time and Martin would run away.
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.Now who initiated the force before Martin died?
7:10:39 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.
7:11:08: Dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?
[Ambient sounds are heard which may be Zimmerman unbuckling his seat belt and his vehicle's "open door" chime sounding. The change in his voice and the sound of wind against his cell phone mic indicate that he has left his vehicle and is now walking. The dispatcher seems to pick up on these changes and sounds concerned when he later asks Zimmerman if he is following Martin.]
Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?
Zimmerman: The back entrance…fucking [disputed/unintelligible]
[This section of the recording has been the subject of much speculation. Some suggest that Zimmerman has just made a racial slur, but the audio is not clear.]
7:11:22: Dispatcher: Are you following him?
7:11:25: Zimmerman: Yeah
7:11:26: Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
7:11:28 Zimmerman: Ok
Dispatcher: Alright sir what is your name?
Zimmerman: George…He ran.
Dispatcher: Alright George what’s your last name?
[A clicking or knocking sound can be heard here]
Dispatcher: And George what’s the phone number you’re calling from?
[Clicking or knocking sound is heard again]
Zimmerman: [phone number redacted]
Dispatcher: Alright 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?
[For the remainder of the recording, Zimmerman sounds distracted. The knocking sound occurs several times during the final exchange with the dispatcher]
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, that’s my truck…[unintelligible]
7:12:10: 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.
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, oh crap I don’t want to give it all out, I don’t know where this kid is.
7:12:40 Dispatcher: Okay do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?
7:11:42 Zimmerman: Yeah that’s fine.
7:12:43: Dispatcher: Alright 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?
7:12:49: 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 you’re in the area.
7:13:02 Zimmerman: Thanks.
Dispatcher: You’re welcome. – Call Ends 7:13:07
Martin’s girlfriend calls him at 7:12 pm, which has been verified by cellular phone records for both phones.Obviously the man saying “what are you doing here,” is Zimmerman since there were only two people on this exact location at this exact time.
Through counsel for Martin’s parents, she provided a statement in which she said
Trayvon expressed concern about a man following him. She told him to run. Then she heard Martin say,
What are you following me for?
This was followed by a man’s voice responding,
What are you doing here?
She said that she heard the sound of pushing and then Trayvon said,
Get off me, get off me.
Martin’s headset suddenly went silent. She attempted to call him back immediately, but was unable to reach him.
But notice something else. Martin said “get off me, get off me,” not Zimmerman. Hence, it seems to me that Zimmerman has initiated physical force and contact with Martin, which gives Martin enough ground to fight back.
Now to Zimmerman’s lie.
Zimmerman claims he followed the dispatcher’s advice and was returning to his vehicle when Martin approached him from behind his left shoulder and asked him,If Zimmerman indeed was returning to his vehicle as the dispatcher asked then Martin would not say “why are you following me,” but rather “why were you following me?” Martin’s girlfriend corroborates this statement of Zimmerman’s.
Why are you following me?
[Note the use of the present tense, which suggests he has not given up looking for Martin, is not returning to his vehicle, and is not approached from behind]
Something else we must consider is that the witness named John who recalled that Zimmerman was on top of Martin screaming for help recanted his statement in part claiming that “I am no longer sure he was crying for help.”
"At first, I thought it was the person on the ground, just because, you know, me thinking rationally, if someone was on top, the person on the bottom would be yelling," he said.John goes on to say:
Now, though, he said, "I truly can't tell who, after thinking about it, was yelling for help just because it was so dark out on that sidewalk. You can't see a mouth …"
The black guy was on top," he told FDLE Investigator John Batchelor. "The guy that was on the ground, under him at that point, wrestling, was definitely a lighter color."Now this description does not necessarily turn Martin into an aggressor. This description can very well mean that Martin pinned Zimmerman down because (1). Zimmerman was hurting him or (2). Zimmerman was about to hurt him.
It was dark outside, he said, and at first, he thought he was witnessing a dogfight. When he stepped to the door, he realized it was two people on the ground wrestling.
The person on top was either hitting or pinning the other to the ground, he said. The person on the bottom was struggling to get up.
He yelled at them to stop, he said, "Hey, cut it out," and thought they would, but they didn't, so he stepped inside and headed upstairs to call 911.
He heard a loud pop, "like a rock hitting a window," he said.
When he looked again, the person who had been on top, he said, was "in the grass not moving while the other gentleman has his hands in the air … The one guy that was on the bottom said, 'I shot the other guy in self-defense. The gun is on the ground.' "
Two independent voice experts claim that Zimmerman is not screaming for help:
Tom Owen, forensic consultant for Owen Forensic Services LLC and chair emeritus for the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used voice identification software to rule out Zimmerman. Another expert contacted by the Sentinel, utilizing different techniques, came to the same conclusion. . . ” you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen says, stressing that he cannot confirm the voice as Trayvon’s, because he didn’t have a sample of the teen’s voice to compare.I arrive at the same conclusion as this lawyer:
Given Zimmerman’s state of mind and intent, I believe he was the aggressor and did not act in self-defense. I also believe he attacked Martin while Martin was talking to his girlfriend and Martin may have struck him with the cell phone several times in self-defense causing the injuries treated by the EMT.