The dispatch officer told Zimmerman "We don't need you to do that", (about 15 seconds in) and after that, there is exactly 10 seconds before Trayvon disappears completely, and George Zimmerman loses complete track of him. He then stops pursuing because he can no longer do so.
His breathing also begins to calm down at this point, indicating that he is no longer moving quickly. The guy is overweight and easily winded. Before the end of the call, Zimmerman is completely calm in his breathing and has agreed to meet the police officer being sent. He also expresses fear to dispatch that Trayvon may be still in the area
There is then 1 minute between the end of George Zimmerman's call and the beginning of the stream of 911 calls. In that short time, a serious enough altercation began that neighbors started calling the police. Zimmerman could not see Trayvon and had no idea where he was. A hidden Trayvon could have seen Zimmerman's SUV, by the mailboxes. Which is the more likely pursuer in this scenario?
Add this to the two witnesses--one a 13-year old black teen--who see Trayvon clearly on top of Zimmerman. One witness identifies the screamer as Zimmerman. An audio analysis is, of course, vital here.
I keep posting timelines for a reason. The foot PURSUIT you are all up in arms about was 25 seconds at most and occurred during the police call. And Trayvon actually spends a minute approaching Zimmerman's car before the pursuit. One could argue that had Trayvon simply run (instead of approaching Zimmerman's vehicle) he would have been fine. George was overweight; Trayvon was tall, skinny, and in the best shape of his life. He could have easily outrun Zimmerman, gone home and locked the door. He didn't do that.
Now in terms of his family, I don't like that the dad can't seem to tell a consistent story and that his facts keep changing. I don't like the fact that he left a teenager on suspension for drugs home alone in a house in charge of a younger child (the girlfriend's kid.) I don't like the fact that the dad doesn't contact the police until the next morning and just assumes his kid is with a cousin, whom he also doesn't call. This is just irresponsible parenting.
I don't like the fact that the fact that family's legal team can't show an honest picture of Trayvon at his current age, and that they keep flashing pictures of when the kid was in middle school. I don't like the fact that they are creating a martyr out of a kid who contributed to the situation by approaching Zimmerman's vehicle. I don't like the fact that they are insistent on tearing the country apart over a situation that is not clear cut, but has a great deal of nuance.
Now was Zimmerman overzealous? Yes, he was. Would I want to be his neighbor? Probably not.
But did he hunt Trayvon down like a dog and shoot him in cold blood?
Are Trayvon's family and defense team misleading the public?
The foot pursuit was 25 SECONDS.
It starts from 2:14 on the tape, when George leaves his vehicle, and (at most) goes to 2:39 on the tape when Trayvon disappears. For the rest of the call, George has no idea where Trayvon is.
There is then about a minute between the end of George's call and the beginning of the 911 calls. In that minute, an altercation starts. There's not enough time for a lengthy pursuit, and not even a short one, since George doesn't know where Trayvon is. He'd have to search in the dark: highly unlikely as afraid as George was.
A real, honest to God timeline of George Zimmerman's call to the police:
0.00: (a little after 7:00 pm): Zimmerman's call to non-emergency dispatch. He is in his vehicle
0.48: Zimmerman notices Trayvon staring at him.
0.58-2:06: Trayvon approaches Zimmerman's vehicle.
2.06: Trayvon changes his mind and starts to run. Zimmerman still in his SUV.
2.10: Zimmerman gets out of his SUV. (2.10-2.14)
2:14-2:39: Zimmerman pursues Trayvon on foot. He is winded. Huffing and puffing. (Windedness: 2.20-2.45 on the tape)
2.23: Dispatch asks if Zimmerman is in pursuit.
2.26: "We don't need you to do this."
2.39: Trayvon completely disappears. Zimmerman no longer sees him.
2.39-2.45: Zimmerman's breathing calms
2:45-4.11: Zimmerman and dispatch discuss where to meet police officer; Zimmerman gives his name and address, but registers fear that Trayvon might still be around somewhere. Clearly Zimmerman doesn't see him or know where he is.
4.11-5.11 (approx): Unclear. Zimmerman claims he walked back to van and Trayvon attacked him.
5.11 (approx): First 911 calls from neighbors start.
Last edited by Elspeth; 03-28-2012 at 03:47 PM.
Zimmerman, who was in his truck, told the dispatcher that the suspicious person had his hand in his waist band — suggesting he thought the teen was armed, a fact that could bolster his defense. “Something’s wrong with him. He’s coming to check me out,” Zimmerman said.
As Zimmerman narrated, the dispatcher asked: “Are you following him?”
“Yeah,” Zimmerman replied.
“We don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher said.
An interpretation of that exchange could be key in deciding whether Zimmerman acted recklessly in pursuing Martin. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, in an interview last week, suggested that Zimmerman did not.
“That’s another question we get quite often: ‘He was told not to follow him.’’’ Lee said in an interview last week. “Well that’s a recommendation or a suggestion. It’s not a lawful order.”
It doesn't matter if it's the local chief of police or the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover on the other end of that telephone line, one does not have any obligation to obey someone on a telephone.
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