June 23, 2012

TalkLeft says George Zimmerman "was not the aggressor" — "This is self-defense."

This opinion — by Jeralynn Merritt — is based on poring over the evidence.
Zimmerman... did nothing to provoke Trayvon Martin’s beating him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concrete. He had every right to respond with deadly force to stop Trayvon’s physical attack on him and to prevent Trayvon from getting control of his weapon.
Much detail — Merritt's interpretation of Zimmerman's various statements — at the link. Excerpt:
George’s suspicion was aroused because he saw someone milling around between houses in the rain. He knew this person didn’t live at the house he was standing by because it had been burglarized before and he knew who lived there. The guy wasn’t exercising. He did nothing to get out of the rain. He thought to himself, who stands out in the rain and stares at houses?...

If the state has no evidence George initiated the verbal confrontation, then the affidavit for probable cause for second degree murder contained a lie....
Read the whole thing. I'm eliding a lot.


SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

BUt of course.

Thug Travon, casing houses, sees he's been seen, attacks the observer, gets popped for his trouble.

That's always been the Occam's Razor explanation.

Doesn't prove it's true, but it is the odds-on favorite.

Doesn't fit the narrative though, especially when the initial jump to conclusions based on the name Zimmerman, caused the rush to judgement and confirmation bias sufferers to decide to double down. Always a bad strategy, though. Best to follow the truth, even or especially when it goes to uncomfortable places.

edutcher said...

Sorry, young Martin was shot because he was beating Zimmerman's head into the pavement.

Poor little Trayvon was a thug, much as the Lefties, trying to cast him as a sweet, innocent child so they can have their media lynching, don't want to hear it.

Hagar said...

I do not see all this "poring over the evidence."

There is no doubt Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman and pounding the back of Zimmerman's head into the concrete. That was observed by witnesses and is consistent with Zimmerman's injuries, the state of his clothes, etc.
So Zimmerman had to use any means available to him to escape being killed or permanently injured.

The only question that could support a charge of second degree murder is whether Zimmerman initiated the physical violence. That cannot be proved, and again, his broken nose and Trayvon Martin's bruised knuckles support Zimmerman's story.

It's not all that complicated, and the Sanford PD's original conclusions were correct.

Hagar said...

That cannot be proved, absent any evidence to the contrary, and again, ...

madAsHell said...

Who'da thunk!?!
This story is following the whole Tawana Brawley narrative.

I hope George is taking notes, and sues the bejeezus out of NBC, and Al Sharpton.

Sorun said...

Oh c'mon! It's hard finding these white on black violence stories that make us feel it's the 1950s. Don't ruin this one like the Duke rape case got ruined.

cubanbob said...

Let's wait for the trial. However if any of this is true, then as a FL taxpayer I'm going to get hit paying taxes for a huge settlement. I know, FL sovereign immunity has a $100,000 cap but if it turns out there was nothing there all along and this was a politically inspired prosecution in the end of the day the State will be obligated politically to compensate him. Too bad prosecutors and cops have judicial qualified immunity to prevent them from being sued in to ruin for their misconduct if this turns out to be the case.

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BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

"Zimmerman... did nothing to provoke Trayvon Martin’s beating him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concrete. He had every right to respond with deadly force to stop Trayvon’s physical attack on him and to prevent Trayvon from getting control of his weapon."

Ya think, talkleft?

traditionalguy said...

More fun opinionating that is, "...based upon George's version of events."

Well yes, it is George's story re-told, thoughtfully and dispassionately.

It is what the defense attorney's closing Argument will say.

The first side to present its case is always the winner until the other side presents its case. That's in Proverbs, written by a wise Hebrew Judge named Solomon.

Bender said...

Merritt has often been one of those rare specimens, a reasoned, fair-minded liberal. She often puts her defense-attorney mindset before her political in order to present an objective analysis.

KCFleming said...

Why not just lynch Zimmerman and get it over with, tradguy?

What need we any further witness? For we ourselves have heard of his own mouth his blasphemy.

jeff said...

Yeah, but she's doing it wrong. She looked at available evidence, rather than just taking Sharpton's word, and that of the network's for what they want to have happened.

Ann Althouse said...

@traditionalguy She's concentrating on Zimmerman's version because a lot of his statements have come out and there's been discussion about how those statements might be used *against* him. People are finding discrepancies and so forth. I blogged about Chris Cuomo's prosecutor's perspective the other day. This is what Merritt is responding to.

Also, since the prosecution has the burden of proof, if GZ's version is sufficiently plausible, he will win, even if the prosecution's interpretation is also plausible.

ricpic said...

On top of which, only by radically editing the tape of his conversation with 911 were the leftist scum at NBC able to paint Zimmerman a racist. The whole things a PC lynching.

SunnyJ said...

Evidence not being discussed on major sites but being investigated is the facebook posts by Trayvon regarding "Lean" hip hop drug made with...wait for it...skittles, AZ Watermelon Drink (both he had) and codeine (he was looking for connection on facebook...can sub cough syrup). Evidence in autopsy support liver damage typical of this type of drug use...and behavior described as seen by Zimmerman (eradic, jittery, pacing, aggression-which is also evidenced in facebook posts looking for beat downs)and twitter and facebook posts over past year indicate escalation of drug use and behavior issues. Also, the rush to get out a picture of Trayvon that showed him as little boy, instead of timely current picture showing him as is: much taller and heavier than Zimmerman will also be explored. The trial is going to be quite an indictment of the NBC/Sharpton way of doing business.

Perhaps, we'll even notice the manipulation of "Fast and Furios" and the contempt/exec privelege stories and have a come to Jesus moment regarding the legacy media.

Shanna said...

More fun opinionating that is, "...based upon George's version of events."

And all the evidence...and all the witness statements...

The only thing we have disputing George's version of the events is the made up story, that has zero evidnece backing it.

Mark O said...

It's actually black on black violence, at least Zimmerman is Homer Plessy black.

Hagar said...

No, Professor. "Zimmerman's version" is irrelevant, except for the one thing about who started the physical altercation, for which there is no independent witness nor physical evidence other than the resulting injuries.

All the other speculation about what led up to the fight is also irrelevant. Both were citizens with full rights to be in the area and Zimmerman had a right to be suspicious of Martin and Martin had a right to resent that. What neither had a right to do was to start a physical altercation.

Alex said...

I can see tradguy is up to his usual "let's lynch GZ YEAAHHHHHHHHHHHH"!

Jim said...

john Auston,

I got banned from Atlantic for calling TM a thug. Even though that is the exact way to describe someone who coldcocks you when he doesn't even live in your neighborhood.

Glad that AA is more liberal, in the classic sense, than the Atlantic.

William said...

When the story first broke, the media and even the President really piled on Zimmerman. A lot of the information that was first reported was factually incorrect....From what I've seen, the media has stopped piling on, but they have not tried to cart away the pile they dumped on Zimmerman. They have nowhere reported the evidence that tends to exonerate Zimmerman with the same breathless enthusiasm that they report on stories that make Zimmerman look bad.......As has been shown, Zimmerman is capable of self serving lies. His testimony that Trayvon saw his gun, grabbed for it, and said "Tonight, you're going to die", is way too neat. Still, the fact remains that Trayvon was the one beating up on Zimmerman and that the first blow was most likely thrown by Trayvon. If Zimmerman was, as his detractors say, cold bloodedly hunting down Trayvon why didn't he just shoot him.....I just don't think any fair minded person can describe this as "cold blooded murder". In the first rush of events, some public people have put their thumbs on the scale and convicted Zimmerman. We all make mistakes, but I really think the decent thing for them to do is try to correct their mistake. I, of course, include the President among this group. Can't he make some vague statement about waiting for all the facts to make a final judgment and that, in America, we're presumed innocent, etc. etc. Why can't any black person of stature say that much of the evidence points to the exoneration of Zimmerman?....Lots of famous black people spoke out in support of the Duke stripper, but I can't recall a single one who ever apologized and said he was wrong. The level of evidence that was demanded against OJ is not being demanded in the Zimmerman case.

Steve Koch said...

Nobody knows how the fight started (except for Z man).

It is very probable (because of witnesses, cuts on back of Z man's head, and wet back of Z man) that just before Z man shot Trayvon, Trayvon was on top of Z man, banging his head into the concrete. Witnesses and tapes indicate that Z man was yelling/screaming/crying for help but nobody helped him. Z man could either let Trayvon keep banging his head into the concrete until he was unconscious (which might occur on the very next blow) or he could shoot Trayvon.

Threatening Trayvon with the weapon would most likely have simply enabled Trayvon to take the weapon away.

Unless Z man started the physical fight, it is probable that Z man is not guilty of anything.

leslyn said...

Same old, same old. Speculate the direction you want the facts to go, including what Z and M were thinking.

ndspinelli said yesterday,

"I do know this. NOBODY here KNOWS what happened that night."

traditionalguy said...

The Professor is correct. The burden of proof is on Trayvon Martin to convict Zimmerman beyond a reasonable doubt.

That said, a hung jury is all the Martin family can really expect.

But the usefulness of public criminal hearings of the evidence in unwitnessed homocides will again have defused the deep feeling of injustice among black teenage men that secret DA decisions created here.

Synova said...

"Unless Z man started the physical fight, it is probable that Z man is not guilty of anything."

And the accused is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

Is there any chance at all that Corey will be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt (that's not just a TV thing, right?) that Zimmerman started the fight?

As for the deeply infused feelings of injustice for young black men (and their parents who have "the talk" with them) who's fault is THAT? Not Zimmerman's. Not the fault of anyone who cares about the truth or the law or equally applying the law.

I think that a couple of local newsies got fired for editing the 911 tape for maximum racial drama, but the journalist creators of the term "white Hispanic" and Al Sharpton and his lot, sleep soundly and self-righteously in their beds at night.

Rick said...

A hung jury, split along racial lines, will do wonders for our society.

Cedarford said...

As I recollect, Jeralynn Merritt was one of the 1st commentators on the Left to strongly question the veracity of the "oppressed and violated" Nubian Princess, Crystal Gayle Mangum.

She caught a lot of heat from ideologues on the Left for violating "The Narrative".

But she was right and ended up looking pretty smart = while her "You gotta Believe" Lefty colleagues, progressive Jews in the media, Duke Faculty, racist blacks and Mike Nifong ended up looking pretty bad.

As for the Nubian Princess, she went on to more whoring and drug abuse. An arson charge for trying to burn down her Section 8 housing while her Chilluns was in the place...then finally convicted of 1st degree murder for stabbing her BF/pimp.

(The feelings of Trad Guy are unknown...perhaps he thinks it is all the Lacrosse players fault because they failed to call a Hero government employee. Who would have advised them that having a party and beer - then hiring strippers as entertainment was not something the heroes at 911 or elsewhere keeping lowly Americans safe and nurtured was not sanctioned by The State.

Thus the whole Duke Rape case was avoidable...had they only called a 911 Dispatcher on their plans and done as the government employee in authority had advised. )

PS, Trad Guy, I heard that Crystal has adorable pictures of herself at 12...and was only stripping to buy Skittles for "they chilluns".

Big Mike said...

@leslyn, you're evolving, which is probably about the best any of us can expect from you.

All of the available evidence, including the tox screen of the late Mr. Martin, the marks on his knuckles, and the injuries to Mr. Zimmerman support precisely one conclusion: Trayvon Martin started the fight, and Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson assisted Mr. Zimmerman in finishing it.

(OK, it was a Kel-Tec 9mm, not a S&W .44 Magnum, but the line is still appropriate.)

Bruce Hayden said...

Also, since the prosecution has the burden of proof, if GZ's version is sufficiently plausible, he will win, even if the prosecution's interpretation is also plausible.

Ann is of course correct here. The state of Florida has to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt (other states apparently have lower thresholds, but all, I think, put the burden on the state). This means that if either interpretation and story is equally plausible, then Zimmerman walks.

But, of course, they aren't. The physical evidence, contemporaneous statements, etc., almost all support Zimmerman's story. Right now, I think that he could probably prove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, which is exactly the opposite of the burden required here.

But, as I noted before, the other thing to keep in mind, in why the Martin family and their attorney are working so hard to cast doubt on Zimmerman's story, is that if he gets immunity from prosecution, it extends to any wrongful death suit they may bring against him (to try to grab part of his defense fund, etc.) And, the burden of proof for the state is much lower at the immunity hearing than at trial.

Mr. T. said...


I don't believe Mangnum has been convicted yet. Indicted yes, and has been declared mentally fit to stand trial (which the AG bizarrely said was not so to be sued), but not yet convicted. I'm sure if she had Professor Johnson would have that on his blog in a heartbeat.

Give it time-Durham is too busy with the Nifong/Group of H88/far-left/et. al's-approved corrupt-now removed clown, Tracey Cline.

bagoh20 said...

As has been stated, all that matters is who started the physical assault.

Nobody, even an idiot or a novice, when armed with an handgun, would start a fistfight with anyone, let alone someone younger and bigger than themselves. Would you? No. Would you if you were not an idiot and had some training, which Z did? Absolutely not. It's a ridiculous scenario.

In addition, when you look at the recent history of both men, for a number of reasons, one looks likely to start a fight, and one does not.

In addition, Z was heading back to his truck and M had more than enough time to make it to the house where he was headed, and never confront Z, unless he doubled back in order to confront Z.

The only possibility the prosecution has is to say that Z brandished the gun, and that made M fear for his life and attack Z in self defense. That would leave both men acting in self defense, due to a misunderstanding, still leaving Z not guilty. Of course, there is no evidence at all showing this happened.

This case isn't even close.

Anonymous said...

Even the lib-tards are finally pulling the cover from their eyes and realized the Zionist propaganda.

LOOK AT THIS:http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=23e_1332772669

these creeps actually went through the effort of doctoring the photos to make "sweet little trayvon" look younger than he actually was.

In reality he was a typical ghetto thug, who was using drugs (probably dealing them too).

JAL said...

The charge that Corey made does not fit the evidence they had. (Which TalkLeft mentions.)

Is there legal recourse against the prosecutor?

That's what's behind the pressure on the Zimmermans over the money thing.

Convict them of something to distract from her malpractice.

JAL said...

The civil suit thing is the catch.

I think I read that if GZ were charged the Martin family could bring a civil suit. If he were not charged (in FL) they could not bring a civil suit. So maybe Ms Corey, after she prayed with the Martins, was inspired.

On the other hand, if GZ's defense team is sharp, the Martins may regret pursuing this. I feel for them, in the loss of their son, but after this trial he may not remain the cherub they want people to remember. Of course, that can be explained away as we back into the middle 20th century in the postracial Obama Race Relations Revival.

Meanwhile, I have heard there are a flock of FBI agent looking at it to see if Zimmerman can be charged with violating Martin's civil rights. (!!11!1!) Not too many people in charge seen to give a flip about George Zimmerman's civil rights.

With Holder running DOJ ... gee, wonder what might happen???

All this of course, about a man who is innocent until proven guilty right?

There needs to be some accountability here so cases like this don't get run off the tracks. Or don't get prosecuted to start with.

How about tweaking that "immunity" for the prosecutors and cops so they are more careful. (The SPD seemed to have figured it out.)

The fact that the video was made shortly (day after?) after the incident is powerful as the tsunami of accusations and false information was weeks away from hitting, so it's not like a re-write occurred to answer the critics.

Kirby Olson said...

This is a good line of thinking. The left tried to lynch Zimmerman without trial, based on his supposed race. Wrong about everything, they have now largely dropped the case, much as it is now considered uncivil to mention the Duke case. The left frames things wrongly, so their interpretations are always askew. The basis of American law is innocent until proven guilty. The basis of leftist thought is innocent unless white and male.