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Update: Trayvon Martin Case Developments

Update: Trayvon Martin Case Developments

There have been more significant developments in the Trayvon Martin case in the past 24 hours, following yesterday’s revelations that Sanford police had wanted to arrest George Zimmerman but were over-ruled.

ABC has obtained surveillance footage (watch below) in which there’s nothing that visibly indicates Zimmerman’s head was bashed or his nose broken — no apparent swelling or blood on his face or clothing.

This appears to contradict Zimmerman’s story of being violently beaten by Martin as well as the initial police report which noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose and his lawyer’s story.

The surveillance video shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed.

Richard Kurtz of Roy Mizell and Kurtz Funeral Home in Fort Lauderdale who received Martin’s body has said that he did not see any evidence that Martin had been fighting anyone.

He told HLN’s Nancy Grace there appeared to be a gunshot wound in Martin’s upper chest area, but he received the body after the autopsy was completed so it was difficult to tell whether he had other injuries. He also could not determine the bullet’s entry or exit point (Martin was found lying on his front, according to police reports).

“As for his hands and knuckles, I didn’t see any evidence he had been fighting anybody,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz noted that he was not a forensics expert but said that he has handled the bodies of many homicide victims in his career.

He told MSNBC:

“I could not see evidence like he had been punching somebody as the news media say he was punching … It just did not add up to me.”

George Zimmerman’s father, Robert, has given an interview to a Florida Fox affiliate, and speaking about the President’s widely praised comments said he “never foresaw so much hate coming from the President.”

He said that Trayvon Martin threatened to kill his son so he had no choice but to kill Trayvon or risk being beaten to death.

Trayvon Martin’s phone records corroborate his girlfriend’s account that he was on the phone with her just moments before the shooting, yet Robert Zimmerman told the interviewer that she’s lying about talking to him.

Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s mother, has told the Washington Post what a Sanford detective told her happened February 26.

According to this detective, Trayvon walked up to Zimmerman’s vehicle and asked why he was following him. Zimmerman denied following the youth and rolled up the car window.

Minutes after Trayvon walked away, Zimmerman got out of his vehicle. Then came the second encounter, according to Tracy Martin’s recollection of the detective’s account. Trayvon Martin appeared from behind a building in Zimmerman’s gated community, approached him and demanded, “What’s your problem, homie?”

When Zimmerman replied that he didn’t have a problem, Martin said, “You do now.” The unarmed teenager hit Zimmerman, knocked him to the ground, pinned him down and told him to “shut the [expletive] up.”

During the beating, Zimmerman pulled his gun and fired one shot at close range into Martin’s chest. “You got me,” the teenager said, falling backward.

The supposed use of the line “What’s your problem, homie?” has been much mocked.

Despite the new evidence, those with law enforcement expertise have cautioned that it remains difficult to predict if Zimmerman could be successfully prosecuted — or prosecuted at all.

Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke with a former homicide prosecutor who told him:

The “self-defense” defense is one of the most difficult defenses for prosecutors to overcome, and the Florida statutes actually give immunity to individuals who believe that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent what they believed was imminent death or great bodily harm. I know you’ve seen the actual statute (Fla. Stat. 776.013) but here is the relevant section

(3): A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. (emphasis mine).

Note, whether the use of force is reasonable rests in the mind of the accused, and the accused need not fear that death is imminent, only great bodily harm. This is a critical detail that almost all of MSNBC is overlooking.

What Zimmerman did was bullshit, and he should be held accountable. But under the events he allegedly described to the police, the prosecution is going to need some strong evidence that Zimmerman is lying, not about small details but about the essence of the fatal encounter, if they wish to charge him. That could come from forensic evidence or the 911 calls, but short of that, Zimmerman will be presumed innocent.

Other developments

The New York Times has investigated the impact of the case on Skittles, which Martin was carrying and sales of which have skyrocketed. This has led to requests that the makers, Wrigley, give some of those profits to charity.

As divisions are so sharp in the case, the company has had to perform a high wire act. They released this statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Trayvon Martin’s death and express our sincere condolences to his family and friends. We also respect their privacy and feel it inappropriate to get involved or comment further as we would never wish for our actions to be perceived as an attempt of commercial gain following this tragedy.”

Unsurprisingly, that settled little. Things have continued to keep getting worse and worse for both Wrigley and Iced Tea maker Arizona.

Apart from the threats from the New Black Panther Party — condemned by all including actual Black Panthers — Spike Lee has been in hot water for sending out a tweet supposedly pointing to the address of George Zimmerman. It was actually the address of a older couple. He’s now apologised.

“I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address.It Was A Mistake.Please Leave The McClain’s In Peace.Justice In Court,” Lee tweeted.

And in a really disturbing development, Rasmussen has done a poll on whether Zimmerman is guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.

Related stories:

Congressman Dons Hoodie for Trayvon; Escorted Off House Floor

Update: Sanford Police DID Want Zimmerman Arrested

Zimmerman Lawyer Walks on ‘Hardball’ Interview

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134 comments

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6:09AM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

.The evidence show's that Trayvon did in fact pursue and attack him ,I am 61 years old and have lived in the ruff parts while in my early years and this does happen and is being in puresute because he is black and it against all logic. In this universe a young man can jump on anyone because of a verable confrontation is attempted murder like Trayvon did so all you whiners can stop it if it happens to you you would cry like a baby this kind of living has got to stop and raising children like cattle should be unexcepted wearing those clothe's and his attitude cost him his life .if someone come's around me dressed like that it is reasonable to look and watch them he was asking for unreasonable attention of a burgler and got it .He then reacted badly and acted like a back street hustler .
We should not have to live this way in America like a women is free to walk the streets late at knight but can't because of ass hole's like Trayvon stalking people .He should have excepted the message that George showed him and went home but he chose to attack him so that made it attempted murder .All those little diagnostic you inmature people are trying to pull and make it some thing it isn't need to look at real life or go join the Army and go see reality in life so we all can live in a better world for all of us please .That is my appinion and nothing more than my life experience a person should and does have the right to protect themself in the state of Florida .

12:08PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Jesus christ this happens EVERY DAY somewhere in the U.S. Just because it's a BLACK kid it's made national headlines. How about all the other parents out there, what because THEY ARE NOT BLACK, oh so it doesn't get any attention. This "F"ing president of ours in a RACIST along with his other black sidekicks. VOTE THIS A Hole out!!!!!

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/trayvon-martin-a-national-call-to-action-say-lgbt-groups.html#ixzz1rHyJTqmb

12:56PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

The only people I hear standing up for Zimmerman are trigger happy type people that would have no problem shooting someone just for a kick.The only people that seem to be carrying guns besides Police are idots!!!Some of those Police themselves are idiots!!These are kids that never grew up and have always wanted to be the Lone Ranger.They want to be cowboys and play cops and robbers.Some probably have manhood issues so they need a big gun.

8:12PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Trayvon Martin is dead for doing nothing but trying to get home from the 7-Eleven. I see no point in dragging this out, the media has made a mess in this case. Your fighting he said she said thing here. We need the truth not more lies, it makes no difference who fought who or who started it. Zimmerman went above and beyond the law here and attacked a innocent young man. Now justice needs to do it's job and arrest Zimmerman for murder/manslaughter. I can't believe that America has come to this. My prayers goes out to Treyvon's family and friends.

10:53AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Murder is still murder. Even if you get into a fist fight and you pull out a gun, how the HELL is that a fair fight?!

5:03AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I read in my local media that the Republican presidential candidates refuse to take aim at US gun laws. santorum said "This is not a firearms issue, it is a human issue." Furthermore that he enjoyed an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association and criticised Romney for once supporting some gun control in Massachusetts where he was governor. Also reported that when Santorum took time to fire a few rounds from a 1911 Colt, a supporter yelled out "pretend it's Obama" That is a worry but not so much as Santorum's logic.

If the issue is not firearms but humans, why are these humans allowed to carry guns everywhere. As another post indicated, a Conservative Australian leader recalled civilian weapons after a massacre ib Tasmania, That doesn't mean that there are no civilian weapons in the community but rather that there are very thorough and stringent checks on those applying for gun licences. It doesn't prevent illegal weapons or shootings but it certainly reduces the death bu gunshots and limits the mentally unbalanced, gun-happy idiots from gaining a gun licence.
Would-be vigilantes would not qualify.
Of course guns don't kill, just as motor vehicles don't. It's the idiot behind the trigger or the wheel and God only knows how many of those there are out there.

4:27AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Zimmerman should not be forgiven for this.

4:35AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Nothing appears to have changed since the days of the "wild west." How many more people will have to die before these ridiculous laws get changed?
Any nut can get a gun. I am so tired of hearing "people kill people, not guns".

7:47PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Lis G. - Thanks for your post. I had heard earlier that two people had died. I'm so sorry that it's now up to seven. What a shame that our society is so based on guns and violence. We have thousands and thousands times more murders than almost any other country due to our Wild West mentality. And, I believe we are by far, per capita, the most violent country with the most murders and shootings. Guns are just so easy to pull the trigger on and end people's lives, and then to say, I'm sorry afterwards.

And, statistics have proven that hundreds of times more friends and family members are accidentally killed with guns, than bad guys are. Many, many, families have lost their children due to their casual, accepting, attitude towards having guns in the house. Very, very, sad!

7:13PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

I have just heard on the news bulletin that a gun toting civilian has killed 7 people at a Christian College in California. The 43 year old perpetrator has been apprehended. I don't know what his problem was but obviously he had one and yet was allowed to bear arms. And at a Christian college too.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the victims' families. I believe there is another victim - the shooter whose government sanctioned his "right" to carry a gun. So sad.

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