Several weeks ago, 28-year-old George Zimmerman spotted 17-year-old Martin ambling around the Retreat at Twins Lake gated community in Sanford, Florida and called 911 to report suspicious behavior on Martin’s part. Zimmerman followed Martin throughout the complex by vehicle and on foot, against the 911 operator’s recommendation. At some point, Martin and Zimmerman scuffled, and Zimmerman shot Martin.
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee told reporters there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest the shooter: “In this case, Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense. Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”
Never mind—the left wants him arrested, charged, and prosecuted anyway. They’ve jumped to the conclusion that the attack was unprovoked and racially motivated. Civil rights groups insist the Sanford Police Department and Seminole County State Attorney’s Office are racist.
Zimmerman had served as captain of the neighborhood watch patrol and had been instrumental in eradicating a recent rash of crime. The Retreat had endured dozens of burglaries and a shooting in the past year, with residents having called the police hundreds of times to report suspicious activity.
Homeowner association secretary Cynthia Wibker testified on Zimmerman’s behalf: “He once caught a thief and an arrest was made. He helped solve a lot of crimes.” Resident Frank Taaffe believes Zimmerman’s motives were benevolent: “I just know he’s a good person and really cares for the neighborhood.”
Police records support Zimmerman’s account of the shooting. Their report notes that officers “found Zimmerman bleeding from the nose and back of his head. The back of his shirt was wet and had grass clippings on it, as if he’d been on his back on the ground.” Zimmerman’s bloody nose and the testimony of one resident who witnessed the scuffle suggest that the 6-foot, 3-inch Trayvon Martin was punching Zimmerman.
The witness told reporters, “The guy on the bottom [Zimmerman], who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911. When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top [Martin] beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”
Early reports suggested that two gunshots bracketed a male’s cries for help. Later reports clarified that there was only one gunshot. The number of shots and their timing is critical. The earlier, disconfirmed view suggested that Zimmerman shot Martin, Martin cried for help, and Zimmerman shot Martin to shut him up. The newer view suggests Martin was pummeling Zimmerman, Zimmerman screamed for help, and Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense. Supporting this interpretation, Martin’s father, upon hearing the 911 call, confirmed that the cries were not those of his son.
Two female witnesses, roommates Mary Cutcher and Selma Mora Lamilla, initially buttressed Zimmerman’s account, but Cutcher went to police days later and changed her story, claiming officers on the scene hadn’t been interested in everything she had to say.
Sergeant Dave Morgenstern disputes Cutcher’s account of the investigation, calling it “inconsistent with [Cutcher’s] sworn testimony to police. Actually, officers who were canvassing the neighborhood looking for potential witnesses the evening of the shooting contacted her, and she said she did not want to get involved.”
The latest version of Cutcher’s story is that “there was no punching, no hitting going on at the time, no wrestling.” Cutcher conceded that whatever fighting took place was over before Zimmerman and Martin had reached her backyard. She admits it was possible that Martin had subdued and was attacking Zimmerman.
Cutcher hasn’t provided any evidence that what she told police the night of the incident was incorrect. She merely claims she may have read too much into what she saw. Her admission doesn’t invalidate other witnesses’ reports or Zimmerman’s grass stains and wounds.
Additional testimony from Cutcher and Lamilla revealed that Zimmerman’s behavior after the shooting was not that of a man who knew he’d committed an unprovoked murder against an innocent bystander, let alone a vicious hate crime.
On Tuesday, Anderson Cooper interviewed Cutcher and Lamilla, the latter of whom stated, “By that time [of witnessing the scene], you hear like a shot—like some other noise. I run away from my backyard and I look at the person [Zimmerman] on his knees on top of a body [Martin].”
Cutcher added that Zimmerman was “straddling him. One [leg] on each side, on his knees, with his hands on his back. I immediately thought, Okay, obviously if it’s the shooter, he would have ran. I thought, He’s holding the wound, helping the guy, taking a pulse, making sure he’s okay.”
So Cutcher implied that if Zimmerman had killed Martin unjustifiably, he would have run away. Instead, he stayed at the scene, tenderly holding Martin’s wound, taking his pulse, and remaining with him until police arrived.
The national rush to judgment, the left’s abandonment of presumption of innocence, and the death threats that have forced Zimmerman to leave his home, abandon his job, and flee to an undisclosed location are all belied by the flimsiness of the case against him as a hate crime felon.
Once again, as with their smears against the Tea Party as racist, their campaign against Sergeant James Crowley in the Henry Louis Gates phony racial profiling case, and their uncritical acceptance of a black stripper’s disproven claims she was raped by white Duke fraternity brothers, liberals’ interest is never in justice. Their interest is in using tragic cases like Trayvon Martin’s to perpetuate a society tormented by specious racial grievances and a permanently victimized minority underclass.
- Anderson Cooper Interviews Witnesses To Trayvon Martin Shooting (mediaite.com)
- Family Of Miami Teen Killed In Central Florida Calling For FBI Probe (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Sanford, FL police chief steps aside ‘temporarily’ in fallout from teen’s death (fox2now.com)
- Trayvon Martin: The Three-Week Old Story, Politics and Florida’s Right-To-Kill Law (themoderatevoice.com)
- Outrage, protests grow over shooting of unarmed Florida teen (cnn.com)