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  1. #1 Trayvon Martin: Debunking thread 
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    In the midst of the current firestorm about Trayvon Martin, it is easily to lose sight of what is fact and what is not. This thread is dedicated to debunking the impressions, half-truths and all out lies being perpetrated by the political left about the Martin case.

    For those who don't know (or who are living under a rock):

    • Trayvon Martin is a 17-year old African American male who was shot dead by a neighborhood watch commander, George Zimmerman, 28 in Sanford, Florida, February 26, 2012, during half-time of the NBA All Star Game. (The televised game began at 7:30 pm EST. However the youth was dead by 7:17. (See next post). Trayvon was walking back to a home he was visiting in the "Retreat at Twin Lakes" gated community, after having bought Skittles and Arizona iced tea at a local 7-11.
    • George Zimmerman spotted Trayvon in Twin Lakes while out in his SUV on an errand and called the non-emergency police dispatch reporting Trayvon, whom he did not recognize, as a suspicious person. During that call, Zimmerman decided to pursue Trayvon on foot.
    • Zimmerman was carrying a 9-mm handgun and had a legal concealed weapons permit. An altercation ensued. It is unclear who started the physical altercation, but it ended with Trayvon being shot dead by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman had a bloody nose, a bleeding wound on the back of his head, and grass stains on his back.
    • Zimmerman was not charged by the Sanford Police because Florida has a "Stand Your Ground" law which allows those who feel in reasonable fear for their lives from an attacker to shoot that person.

    These are the bare bones. The case has now become a cause célèbre for the political left and the Civil Rights community, with the Reverend Al Sharpton taking the lead. Much has been made of the racial angle of the case, the "corrupt" Sanford PD, and the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law. There has also been a lot of misinformation. In the next post, I will discuss what we actually know.
    Last edited by Elspeth; 03-21-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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    Below is the list of actual facts that we know about the case. (In later posts, we will debunk some of the lies and misrepresentations.) See sources for these facts at the end of this list

    The FACTS we know about the Trayvon Martin Case

    1. Trayvon was 17 years old. He was 6'3'' and his weight is listed in the mid 140s. His nickname was "Slimm."

    2. Trayvon was a high school junior, an A/B student, and a cheerful person. He liked flying and wanted to be an aircraft mechanic.
    There are now reports that Trayvon's grades were average, although he took some advanced classes.

    3. Trayvon had no criminal record. He had been suspended from his high school the week before his death for excessive absenteeism. His high school was Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami.
    Tracy Martin now says his son was expelled for 10 days and for "being in an unauthorized area". (wiki)

    4. On February 26, 2012, Travyon and his father were visiting the home of the father's girlfriend in the gated community called The Retreat at Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes is an ethnically diverse community "half white, a quarter black, and a quarter Hispanic." (See video here for NBC news quote on diversity figures.)

    5. Twin Lakes had experienced 8 burglaries in 15 months. Most of these burglaries were done by young black males.

    6. Trayvon left his father's girlfriend's home at Twin Lakes during halftime of the NBA All Star game, sometime around 7 pm EST. (Trayvon was dead by 7:17 when the police arrived). He walked to the 7-11 nearest to Twin Lakes.

    #6 is a problem, timewise. The NBA All Star Game did not start until 7:30 on TNT. The Pregame show was at 7. Sanford, Florida is Eastern Standard Time. George Zimmerman telephoned the police at approximately 7pm. This meant that Trayvon had left the house he was visiting by at least 6:45, before the Pregame show, and probably earlier.

    Edited: March 24: We do not know when Trayvon left Twin Lakes and neither does his father. The NBA story was a lie. The real story:

    ....17-year-old Trayvon had been spending time with his 20-year-old cousin which is why his father, Tracy Martin, tells People he wasn't worried when Trayvon wasn't at home that night....

    ..."I had gone out for dinner," Tracy says. "And when I got home, Trayvon wasn't there. I tried calling his cell phone several times, and it went straight to voicemail. I wasn't that worried because he had been spending time with my 20-year-old nephew who was a responsible young man. There wasn't a panic that he wasn't at home. I figured that they had gone to the movies, because they had said they might. So I laid down, thinking they would show up later."

    It wasn't until the next morning, when Tracy's nephew said he hadn't seen Trayvon, that Tracy became worried. He called the Sheriff's department, told them Trayvon was missing and that it was unusual for him not to return home....

    7. There was some rain that evening and it was dark by 7pm. Sunset was at 6:21 pm EST that night.

    8. Trayvon was wearing a grey hoodie.

    10. Travyon was spotted in Twin Lakes walking in the rain and dark just before 7pm by George Zimmerman.

    11. George Zimmerman called the non-emergency police dispatch number for Sanford at 7pm. (This info can be found in the "Twin Lakes Shooting Initial Report". Twin Lakes PD.

    12. Trayvon was shot in the chest. New York Times

    Sources: 2012-03-17/ news/ os-trayvon-martin-shooting-tension-20120317_1_shooting-death-english- teacher-uncle
    Last edited by Elspeth; 03-25-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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    The FACTS we know about the Trayvon Martin Case (Continued)

    12. George Zimmerman (the shooter) was 28, and about 220 pounds. (Trayvon's family attorney, Jasmine Reed, described Zimmerman as "80 pounds heavier" than Trayvon on MSNBC's The Last Word, March 20th.) He is 5'9'' according to the police report.

    13. Zimmerman works as a ""forensic loan review analyst" — basically an the Maitland office of Digital Risk, LLC, a mortgage risk-management firm. (Orlando Sentinel, 3/23/12) Co-workers like him, describing him as outgoing and friendly man.

    14. Zimmerman is mixed race, a "Spanish-speaking minority" with "black relatives." According to the Tampa Bay Times:

    George Zimmerman has a white father and a Hispanic mother. He calls himself Hispanic on his driver's license. He calls himself Hispanic on his voter registration card.
    15. George Zimmerman is the son of the Zimmermans, Robert and Gladys (who is Peruvian.) Robert was in the military and later a judge. Gladys was a court interpreter (Washington Post). The Zimmermans lived in Manassas, VA until 2002, when the family moved to Florida upon the retirement of the parents.

    16. The family was known to be very religious (Catholic).

    George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch captain accused in the fatal of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, graduated from Osbourn High School in 2001.

    He was an alter [sic] server for six years at All Saints Church and he joined the Future Business leaders of America club in high school.

    “Very Catholic . . . very religious,” their neighbor Jim Rudzenski recalled Thursday. The children attended All Saints Catholic School on Stonewall Road through the eighth grade before going to Osbourn High School. George became an altar server and evening receptionist at All Saints Catholic Church. The Zimmermans “were known and respected in the community for their dedication and service,” said Robert Cilinski, pastor of All Saints Catholic Church. (Washington post, 3/22/12)

    17. According to the Washington Post, Zimmerman was actually born in Virginia and graduated high school in Manassas, VA, but, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the Zimmerman family moved to Florida about a decade ago, when George was 18. George's name was listed along with his parents on the deed to their house.

    18. According to the Sentinel, the neighbors in Manassas did not know the Zimmermans very well. Neighbors mostly kept to themselves.

    18.1. At the age of 17, George was the victim of a criminal assault. No details were given. (Washington Post, 3/22/12)

    19. In Florida, George attended Seminole State College and took classes in Criminal Justice. He wanted to be a police officer.

    20. When George was 21 (2005), he was arrested but charges were dropped:

    Zimmerman — 21 at the time — was at a bar near the University of Central Florida when a friend was arrested by state alcohol agents on suspicion of serving underage drinkers, according to an arrest report. Zimmerman was talking with his friend, became profane and pushed an agent who tried to escort him away, the report said. Authorities said he was arrested after a short struggle.

    Charged with resisting arrest without violence, he avoided conviction by entering a pretrial-diversion program, something common for first-time offenders.
    21. In the same year, George had domestic violence related issues--both he and his girlfriend filed against each other:

    A month later, court records show, a woman filed a petition for an injunction against Zimmerman, citing domestic violence. It's unclear what led to the petition, but Zimmerman responded by filing a petition of his own the following day.

    Records show injunctions were later issued in both cases. Reached by email, the woman would not comment on her past with Zimmerman or his current situation.
    22. In 2007, George married Shellie Nicole Dean, a licensed cosmetologist. They are still married.

    23. In 2008, George had some minor credit card debit with Capital One (a little over $1000). He ended up having his wages garnished to pay off some $2,135.82 (debt plus interest & legal help). At the time, George was employed with Car Max.

    24. People who knew George as a friend (like 55-year-old Frank Taaffe) describe him as "a congenial, amiable, admirable person". Taffe further describes George as "no Rambo" who was passionate about protecting the neighborhood.

    25. Taffe agrees with Robert Zimmerman that George was "no racist".

    26. In 2011, George Zimmerman was appointed Neighborhood Watch captain after there had been a number of burglaries in the Twin Lakes community. George is living in this community with his wife. In this Neighborhood Watch position, George called 911 about 46 times in 14 months, on average about 3 calls per month.

    27. On the night of February 26, at 7pm, George is running an errand in his SUV. It is dark and raining. George called the non-emergency police number and reported "a real suspicious guy." George mentioned the behaviors of walking in the rain and looking around as suspicious. George says later in the call that the guy was "looking at all the houses."

    28. George does not initially identify race. The dispatcher asks for race, and George says "He looks black". George is only able to identify race for certain when the guy turns toward him:

    ...Now he's just staring at me

    (conversation with the dispatcher about George's location)

    ...He's got his hand in his waistband. And he's a black male.
    The dispatcher on this call is chiefly concerned with location, asking many questions about where George is and how to get there throughout the call. Zimmerman, on the other hand, seems focused on actions of the guy he is watching.

    29. George Zimmerman gives full information about himself, including name, address and phone number.

    30. George says, "These assholes, they always get away."

    31. George also indicates to the dispatcher that he is following the guy, and the dispatcher responds "We don't need you to do that."

    32. The call ends with the dispatcher agreeing to have the cops meet George "at the mailboxes".

    33. In recent weeks, another version of this tape has emerged with an expletive in it. This tape and its expletive will be handled in the debunking section. What can be said here is that even the Martin family's attorneys have backed off from that version of the tape and its expletive.

    34. George clearly tailed Trayvon for 25 seconds during the call to 911, but it is not certain what happened after the call or who started the physical altercation. Zimmerman claims to have gone back to his SUV (probable) and that Trayvon actually confronted him at the vehicle. A confrontation at the vehicle is supported by witness Mary Cutcher who describes two points of confrontation: the street/pavement and the grass behind her house. An eye witness puts Zimmerman in the grass under Trayvon who is punching him.(Fox 32 News) Zimmerman sustained a broken nose and a black eye, several scratches.(Today Show, March 25)

    From the 911 calls, we have the following information:

    • Zimmerman and Martin got into a wrestling match on the ground. Different witnesses have reported either Trayvon or Zimmerman as being on to. A 13-year old witness has described both males as lying on the ground.
    • There is a male screaming on some 911 tapes. No definite identification of the voice has been made. Zimmerman told the police that he was the one who screamed for help. Trayvon's father initially said it was not his son. Later, Trayvon's mother says it was her son.
    • One gunshot can be heard on the tape. The screaming stops after the shot.
    Last edited by Elspeth; 03-25-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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    35. From the Sanford Police report we have the following:

    Dispatch had sent two officers to the scene based on Zimmerman's phone call. Both Off. Timothy Smith and Off. Ricardo Ayala had been sent to check out "a suspicious person."

    The two officers were in radio contact. Off. Timothy Smith had arrived first. When he arrived at Twin Lakes, Smith was told by dispatch of reports of shots fired (the other 911 calls). Ayala heard these reports en route.

    Smith approached the addresses he was given and found Zimmerman (whom he identifies as a "white male") in a red jacket and blue jeans, and Trayvon ("black male") in "a gray hooded sweatshirt" (Officer Ayala will later call this a sweater) face down in the grass.

    Zimmerman tells Smith that he has shot Trayvon and that he is still armed. He complies will all of Smith's requests. Smith removes the gun from Zimmerman's waistband.

    Smith notes about Zimmerman: "his back appeared to be wet and covered in grass as if he had been laying [sic] on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of his head."

    Officer Ayala comes on the scene and deals with Trayvon's body, while Smith watches.

    Ayala notes that Trayvon Martin is lying face down on the ground, his hands underneath his body and is dressed in a "gray sweater", blue jeans, and sneakers.

    Ayala cannot "get a response" from Trayvon.

    Another officer, Sgt. Raimondo arrives at the scene and is unable to get a pulse from Trayvon. Ayala and Raimondo turn Trayvon over and administer CPR.

    Another Officer, Sgt. McCoy arrives at the scene and takes over for Ayala.

    Sanford Fire Department paramedic pronounces Trayvon dead at 19:30 (7:30 pm).

    Sanford Fire Department arrives and takes Zimmerman back to Smith's police car for "first aid". Smith overhears Zimmerman say to the Fire dept. "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me."

    Smith does not question Zimmerman, but takes him back to the police station for questioning. Zimmerman is questioned by another investigator.

    36. From another article, we have this:

    Zimmerman told police that Martin attacked him from behind as he was walking back towards his truck, and it was fear for his life that prompted him to fire his Kel Tec 9mm handgun.
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    1. But, but, forgot all the other witnesses that have appeared on TV, on youtube, on tape! What about all them????

    Most of these witnesses have not given their statements to the police. Whether this is the fault of the Sanford PD or not is not clear, but until there are clear statements to the police--under the penalty of making false reports--we cannot take these new and exciting witness statements as fact. Not even Mary Cutcher.

    Sanford police has put out a call in recent days for witnesses to come forward. We will see what comes of it.

    2. But Trayvon's girlfriend says that she was on the phone with him and that Zimmerman pushed him.

    Trayvon's girlfriend was not interviewed by the police, only by the family attorneys.
    Trayvon's girlfriend assumes Zimmerman's instigation of the physical conflict. She was not an eyewitness, and is basing her assumption on suddenly being out of contact with Trayvon.

    3. But George Zimmerman is a RACIST! He picked out Trayvon because he was black.

    The people who know Zimmerman describe him as not racist. However, there is no way for us to tell the inner feelings of the man.

    Trayvon Martin, sadly, matched the profile (young black male) of the previous burglars at Twin Lakes. Had the previous burglars been Hispanic or Armenian or white, Zimmerman might not have given Trayvon a second look. It's hard to call this some kind of deep, personal racism. It's profiling, of course, but not necessarily racism.

    And no, not all profiling is racist. If a rapist is 6'2'', has red hair, and a tattoo, then guess what type of man going to get a second look if he seems to be looking into the windows of women's homes? Is that fair to the innocent? No. But there has to be a way to find criminals.

    4. The police and the media are saying that Zimmerman is white so he must be white!

    Uh, no. We have already seen that Zimmerman is his adoptive name and that the man himself is multi-racial. He self-identifies as Hispanic in every way. (see the third post above)

    The police are often unclear about race; I knew a girl from Lebanon who got stopped by a cop for speeding; the cop started talking to her in Spanish! I am not sure about all the various designations in Florida, but it's easy to make a mistake.

    And as for the media, they are either just lazy or (in some cases) they may have an agenda.

    5. But Trayvon was just a boy! A little boy!

    I know that Mary Cutcher described Trayvon as "a little boy" but that's really misleading. Trayvon was 17 and 6'3". He's taller already than most men. He is not little in any way. Skinny yes, but skinny doesn't in any way equal helpless, especially in a male that age.

    Significantly, the pictures that have been released of Trayvon are from when he was younger, when he really was a "little boy". A current picture, with him standing full height (maybe next to his mom) has not been released. This is highly misleading. It leads people to believe that the heartless and heavy Zimmerman identified a "mere child" as a potential burglar and killed him. What Zimmerman did see was a 6'3" man.

    By the way, how tall is George Zimmerman? I can't find that information anywhere, although the fact that he is "80 pounds heavier" than Trayvon abounds. How tall is Zimmerman? (I'll bet it's under 6'3").

    6. You are such a RACIST for pointing this out! You just want Zimmerman to go free!!!

    What other reason could I have from wanting to see through this flood of emotion?

    Think about it.
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    7. But Zimmerman IS a racist!!! He said "f--ing c--ns!" in his call to the cops!!!!

    Ah, my children. Here we go:

    You all mean this clip, right?

    Well, guess what?

    That copy of the tape (with Zimmerman allegedly saying "f--ing c--ns") is actually doubted by the Martin family's own attorneys.

    On "The Last Word" (MSNBC) March 20th, Lawrence O'Donnell did an entire segment on the tape in the middle of the show. He was on fire, damning Zimmerman with the help of Martin family attorney, Jasmine Reed. O'Donnell tried to get Congresswoman Corinne Brown on board, but the Congresswoman said that she did not hear the expletive, that she only heard the dispatcher tell Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon.

    Then, suddenly, in the last segment of the same show, Reed does an about-face, after getting off the phone with her law firm:

    Jasmine Reed: "And, I actually got a call from my office while we were on break. And, um, there's something in the story we need to correct.

    My office has been analyzing the tapes, even as I have been on air. And I know that the version we heard tonight, it appears that the words "f--ing"--the terms "f--ing coons" were used.

    But the official version that we have from the police department, uh, you don't hear those expletives.

    Um, so where the version stating "f--ing coons" comes from, we don't know. So at this time, until we can verify that is an original copy from the Sanford Police Department, the family cannot stand by those terms because we don't know where that version came from."

    March 20, 2012
    Last Segment: Perceived Racial Overtones in Trayvon Martin Case.

    So, kids, if Trayvon's own attorneys can't trust that tape, why should you?

    (And if Congresswoman Brown refused to play along, maybe she knows something we don't.)
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    8. But, but, Zimmerman is CRAZY! He called 911 46 times in 14 months!! And all about black suspects!

    Uh, no. He's not crazy.

    He volunteered for his HOA's neighborhood watch and took the job seriously.

    46 calls in 14 months averages to a little over 3 calls per month. 3 calls in 30 days for someone who is looking for suspicious behavior? That's not bad.

    In my old neighborhood, we had some loud partiers. Many of my neighbors called 911 EVERY WEEKEND, Fridays and Saturdays. That would be 8-10 calls a month per person. And that was just for loud noise.

    It sounds like Zimmerman was actually quite reasonable.

    Now in terms of his calling about black suspects:

    1. The Sanford PD had only released 6 of the 46 911 tapes yesterday. 4 of these were about young black males, but there is no way to extrapolate from this small sample the other 40 calls.

    2. George Zimmerman was concerned about the rash of burglaries at Twin Lakes. The suspects of these previous 8 burglaries were "young black males." Zimmerman's 911 calls make perfect sense in this context. Was it fair to the innocent? Of course not. It never is. (And I've covered the unfairness of profiling elsewhere.)
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    9. But, but, Zimmerman wasn't a real Neighborhood Watch guy. He was self-appointed!!11!!

    You're mixing up two things here.

    1. Zimmerman was not affiliated with the national Neighborhood watch and had not been for their training.

    2. Zimmerman was not self-appointed. He volunteered and his Homeowner's Association appointed him.

    When the homeowners association wanted to start a neighborhood watch, only one man stepped up: George Zimmerman...

    They discussed the topic with Zimmerman when the watch captain knocked on their door late last year. Zimmerman seemed friendly, helpful, and a “pretty cool dude,” Ibrahim Rashada said.

    Read more here:
    What these two statements indicate to me is that the Twin Lakes HOA asked for a neighborhood watch person and allowed Zimmerman to do the job with their blessing. However, the HOA never bothered to check into what neighborhood watch really was and what kind of training was required. Otherwise, they would have sent Zimmerman for training.
    Last edited by Elspeth; 03-21-2012 at 11:24 PM.
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    10. But, but, the police didn't contact Trayvon's dad for THREE days with the news that they had Trayvon's body.

    Ah, another timeline problem. I've been wondering myself where the 3-day figure came from. According to Trayvon's dad on Al Sharpton's Politics Nation (MSNBC) today (March 21), here is the story of finding out about Trayvon from the police.

    Rev. Al: Why did it take the police so long to contact you? Do you know?

    Mr. Martin: Uh, actually, I contacted the police, myself.

    Rev. Al: So they never made the contact.

    Mr. Martin: I did the initial contact. I called the, uh,--Trayvon was missing, I called Missing Persons, filed a Missing Persons report. Um, at that time they sent officers out. They dispatched--they told me they were going to dispatch a couple of--dispatch a unit to the residence. They called back about ten minutes later and asked me what he had been last seen wearing. And I gave a description of him.

    Um, I told them what he had on.

    Rev. Al: Now how long had he been missing when this was going on?

    Mr. Martin: Uh, since he had left the--since he left the house, which had been over 12 hours, 12 or 13 hours.

    Rev. Al: OK, and then what happened?

    Mr. Martin: Uh, three units pulled up. There was a marked car, an unmarked car, and a service aid car, which the service aid car, was a chaplain in it. Um, I didn't know it because he just had on a regular uniform.

    Uh, the first officer that approached, I identified myself, told him I was filing a Missing Person's report. The second officer approached. Um, he introduced himself as a major crimes investigator. At that time it didn't register to me. He asked me to describe my son. I described him to him. He told me give him a second. He walked to his vehicle, got a folder, came back, asked can we go in the house. We went in the house, uh, he asked me to sit down. I sat down. He pulled out a picture of my son on the ground dead. Asked me was that my son. I confirmed that it was....
    So, boys and girls, it looks like it wasn't three long days until Mr. Martin found out about Trayvon. In terms of missing persons, it looks pretty routine. Trayvon leaves the house before 7pm (when Zimmerman saw him). Let's figure he left sometime between 6:30 and 6:45 pm. The 17-year-old doesn't return that night. Mr. Martin calls the police early the next morning (7 am or thereabouts, according to his own timeline.) The police arrive immediately and, after double-checking, confirm that Trayvon is dead.

    12-13 hours people.

    Not 3 days.
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    11. But the police didn't even go through and check Trayvon's phone and find his father's number!!!

    Another interesting point, cleared up by the Martin family attorney, Mr. Crump, on Al Sharpton's politics nation:

    Rev. Al: Now Attorney Crump, why couldn't--if Trayvon had a cell phone--why couldn't they have looked at the cell phone and traced the numbers and called somebody?

    Mr. Crump: Well, it's one of the things you would have asked yourself. The police have subpoena power--they could have subpoenaed those records and stuff to find out who he was. But even more relevant that that, Reverend Al, is that they could have knocked on the doors around that apartment complex....

    So the answer, supplied very hurriedly by Mr. Crump, is that the police could not search Trayvon's cell phone without a subpoena. In other words, to look at the records that night, the police would have to have found a judge to give them permission. And in a small suburb in Central Florida on a Sunday night after 8pm, they probably wouldn't have found one.

    My guess is that the cops would have gotten that subpoena the next day if Trayvon's dad had not called at the start of business Monday morning.

    And look how quickly Mr. Crump moves on to another topic.
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