With the third anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin (2/26/12) coinciding with the exit from office of Attorney General Eric Holder, this is a good time to review the facts — not the narrative fantasies — of the Trayvon Martin case. As a result of this case and others, Mr. Holder plans to argue that federal law should employ a lesser standard than is currently the practice in civil rights cases, so that worthy “social justice” principles might be vindicated. The rule of law and outmoded concepts like “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” or producing actual evidence that fulfills the necessary elements of crimes must be changed or ignored so that “white Hispanics” like George Zimmerman may be prosecuted regardless of the law and the facts . . .
Should leftists like Holder be successful, the consequences for the right to keep and bear arms would be dramatic and destructive. In truth, the Martin case was nothing more than an unremarkable case of self-defense. Absent national racial grievance-mongers, anti-gun thugs, and the President of the United States and the AG seeing an opportunity to stir the racial pot and advance their agenda, it would have remained one of many such cases that occur each year, known only to those directly affected.
But because Trayvon Martin became the “son President Obama never had,” and because he became a lucrative meal ticket for the race hustling industry, and because the narrative jibed with the America-as-bastion-of-racism narrative of the legacy media, the case continues to imperil the Second Amendment to this day.
I do not write expecting to change the minds of those who champion “social justice” or who believe the narrative regardless of fact, logic and law. I write for those who must, upon occasion, do rhetorical battle with forces that would destroy the right to self-defense, the right to keep and bear arms, and would champion a violent, illegal drug-using, thug wannabe and future felon. For the facts and the law reveal unmistakably that was what Trayvon Martin was.
I will not cover every point, only the main aspects of the narrative, those most destructive to liberty. And I won’t link to every potential fact, which would render much of the rest of this article as links, but merely refer readers to the SMM Trayvon Martin case archive, where more than sufficient documentation of every assertion may be easily found.
Narrative: On the night he died, Trayvon Martin was a small, non-threatening scholar with a bright future on an errand to get snacks for a younger sibling.
Fact: Trayvon Martin was a tall, muscular former athlete, taller and much stronger than George Zimmerman. He was in Sanford, Florida because he had been suspended from school — not the first time — for ten days after being caught in possession of burglary tools and jewelry stolen from a break-in near his school. THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — was in his bloodstream and shortly before meeting Zimmerman, he had purchased blunts, cheap cigars used in smoking pot. He often expressed a preference for them on social media. He was also carrying two of the three ingredients, one of them Skittles, for a dangerous drug concoction his social media messages reveal he favored. He was not carrying — as has been wrongly reported — iced tea.
Narrative: Zimmerman racially profiled Martin and shot him because he was wearing a hoodie.
Fact: Zimmerman, the local neighborhood watch captain and well-respected in that role by the Sanford Police Department, began to watch Martin because he appeared to be casing homes by remaining outside while it was raining and walking on the grass, not the sidewalks, of homes that had been recently burglarized. Zimmerman had no idea of Martin’s race until several minutes after Martin first drew his attention. No evidence was ever developed or presented at trial of racial profiling, nor did Zimmerman so much as suggest that Martin’s hoodie had anything to do with his suspicions about Martin. Merely by observing his behavior, Zimmerman concluded Martin might be under the influence of drugs. He was.
Narrative: Zimmerman was a racist who told the dispatcher Martin was black, and called Martin a “f***ing coon.”
Fact: NBC selectively edited the recording of Zimmerman’s conversation with the police dispatcher to make Zimmerman seem racist. In fact, Zimmerman only mentioned Martin’s race in response to the dispatcher’s specific question about Martin’s race — “he looks black” — which any dispatcher would ask of any witness. CNN tried to claim that Zimmerman called Martin a “f***ing coon,” but CNN’s own audio experts conclusively proved what Zimmerman said, under his breath, was “it’s f***ing cold.” It was indeed cold and rainy that night in Sanford. NBC and CNN were forced, very reluctantly, to retract their false statements. An extensive FBI investigation revealed not the slightest trace of racism in Zimmerman’s background or actions that night. In fact, Zimmerman has at least one black ancestor, and was well-known in Sanford as a champion and friend of black people. George Zimmerman is actually Hispanic, though the media (New York Times) invented an entirely new race just for him: the “white-Hispanic.” Only last week, the Holder Department of Justice was forced to admit there would be no federal civil rights charges filed against Zimmerman. There was no evidence — none at all — to support them.
Narrative: Trayvon Martin was running for his life, and he was pursued by Zimmerman who left his truck and ruthlessly hunted him down and shot him, all against the orders of the 911 dispatcher.
Fact: Rather than confront, pursue or shoot Martin, the first thing Zimmerman did was call the police and report a suspicious person. Precisely why Martin ran isn’t known, but there is no doubt that Zimmerman was never told not to leave his vehicle. In fact, the dispatcher specifically told Zimmerman to continue to report on Martin’s actions, as any competent dispatcher would. When Martin abruptly ran, Zimmerman ran a short distance, but lost sight of Martin before he could leave his truck. Zimmerman’s only intention was to keep Martin in sight so he could report to the police who he believed were on the way. Even if Zimmerman had been actively following Martin, that too would have been entirely lawful.
The dispatcher asked if he was following Martin, and when Zimmerman said he was, he was told, “we don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman, who had already lost Martin, replied, “OK,” and told the dispatcher he had lost Martin and had no idea where he was. It was about four more minutes before Martin, who was hiding somewhere in the immediate area, surprised and confronted Zimmerman, broke his nose with a sucker punch, knocked him to the ground, straddled him and repeatedly swung at his face and beat his head on a concrete sidewalk. There is no evidence, physical or testimonial, that Zimmerman so much as landed a single blow on Martin.
Narrative: Trayvon Martin was unarmed, was screaming for help, said “don’t shoot,” was shot in the back, had his hands up in surrender, or was, in some other vaguely defined or suggested manner, an innocent victim of murder.
Facts: Martin did not have a weapon, but was far from unarmed. His use of a concrete sidewalk to repeatedly bash Zimmerman’s head constituted the use of a deadly weapon under the law. In addition, after knocking Zimmerman to the ground with his first blow, he was astride Zimmerman, pinning him to the ground, raining blows on his head and face “MMA ground and pound” style, as explained by a highly credible eyewitness. Zimmerman’s consistent and unchanged accounts, voluntarily given to the police long before he retained an attorney, reflect this reality, including the fact that it was Zimmerman screaming for help.
Witnesses, including Martin’s brother and father, initially identified the screaming voice on the recording as not belonging to Martin, while Zimmerman’s father and another relative identified it as Zimmerman’s. The call to the dispatcher of an eyewitness inadvertently recorded much of the assault, and no plea to “don’t shoot” or anything similar was recorded. Forensic evidence supports Zimmerman’s account. With Martin straddling him, pinning him to the ground, repeatedly beating his head against the sidewalk, Zimmerman fired a single round from near contact range into Martin’s chest. The evidence — the angle of the wound — makes it clear that Martin was leaning forward over Zimmerman’s prostrate form when he was shot.
Narrative: Zimmerman used the “stand your ground” law to get away with murdering Martin.
Fact: Florida’s “stand your ground” provision had no bearing on the case and was never invoked either before or during the trial. Because Martin was pinning Zimmerman to the ground and beating him, giving Zimmerman no possibility of escape or retreat, it was entirely irrelevant.
Narrative: Martin’s “girlfriend,” with whom he was on the phone while he was hiding from Zimmerman and as he was ambushing Zimmerman, proved that Zimmerman was a racist that hunted and murdered Martin.
Fact: Rachel Jeantel’s testimony was a disaster for the prosecution. She was revealed to be a serial perjurer, made statements on the witness stand that she had never before told anyone, and had no evidence that contradicted Zimmerman’s account. Actually, she confirmed that it was Martin who angrily and aggressively confronted Zimmerman, and confirmed virtually every other element of Zimmerman’s account. The prosecution illegally withheld from the defense the exculpatory — even incriminating — contents of Martin’s cell phone.
Narrative: Zimmerman demonstrated evil intent and a depraved mind because he carried his gun with its chamber loaded and used hollow point ammunition.
Fact: This was an argument of the prosecution presented at trial. Even the police carry hollow point ammunition and carry their handguns with loaded chambers, which is the correct and completely lawful thing to do. This argument is utterly irrelevant to self-defense, technically incompetent, and carried no weight with the jury.
Narrative: Zimmerman didn’t have to use a gun. He put himself in danger, and his actions weren’t self-defense; they were murder.
Fact: While one can argue tactics, nothing Zimmerman did was against the law. Nothing he did or said made him, under Florida law, an aggressor. Nothing he said or did removed self-defense as a viable, lawful option. Prior to being confronted and sucker-punched by Martin, Zimmerman had not exchanged a single word or gesture with Martin, nor had he done anything but observe him, at the request of the police dispatcher, from a distance.
As far as Zimmerman knew, Martin was long gone, and for four minutes, he totally lost contact with him. During that time, it was conclusively proved in court that Martin could have been home, indoors, and never again seen by Zimmerman, but he chose instead to remain outside, hiding in the rain, and for reasons known only to him, waiting to ambush Zimmerman.
Zimmerman found himself beaten and bloody, potentially losing consciousness, under continual assault, and afraid for his life. Under Florida law, and under the laws of most other states, all of the requirements for the use of deadly force in self-defense were present. Zimmerman was innocent — he was not the aggressor — a reasonable person in his situation would have reasonably believed he was in danger of serious bodily injury or death, he had no other option to stop Martin’s attack, and his response — a single round fired — was proportional to the situation.
Zimmerman’s actions were fully in accordance with Florida self-defense law, an absolute defense to murder, and in no way violated Florida’s murder statutes.
George Zimmerman should never have been prosecuted. The Sanford Police and the local prosecutor refused to prosecute him on the evidence. It was only when the racial grievance industry and the Obama Administration injected themselves that a corrupt special prosecutor was charged with prosecuting Zimmerman regardless of the evidence. This was a matter of cynical racial politics, not the law.
The prosecution actually proved self-defense. The prosecutors actually proved that George Zimmerman lawfully defended his life.
The lesson of the George Zimmerman prosecution is clear: even if one lawfully employs deadly force in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law, even if one fires only a single round that causes no collateral damage to persons or property, even if there is no evidence whatsoever of racial animus, even if there is no evidence to fulfill a single element of a charge of murder, there is no guarantee that one will not be prosecuted — and perhaps even convicted — of a crime they did not commit.
Despite the fact that no “stand your ground” law was in any way implicated or invoked in the Zimmerman case, anti-gun advocates continue to argue the case as evidence of the need to abolish stand your ground provisions. Perhaps the truth might be useful there as well.