'Stand Your Ground' Rejection of the Day

Favorite
'Stand Your Ground' Rejection of the Day
- -

Despite the heated debate over Florida law since the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, said today that "the facts don't seem to support a 'Stand Your Ground' defense."

Instead, O'Mara said the incident is just a standard self-defense case, because Zimmerman didn't have the option to retreat:

People look at "Stand Your Ground" and immediately think somebody's standing there with deadly force -- be it a gun or a weapon -- and having the opportunity to back up but not having the need to under the statute.

I think the evidence in this case suggests that my client was reacting to having his nose broken and reacted to that by screaming out for help.

[dailyintel]

George Zimmerman News of the Day

Favorite
George Zimmerman News of the Day
- -

Evidence made public today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman includes graphic, tearful testimony (heads up -- audio link is a tough listen) from a woman who says Zimmerman sexually abused her for a decade, starting when they were children.

The woman, identified as Witness 9, says Zimmerman "always was just, you know, very charming and personable with everyone … and just would laugh and entertain everybody... But he was different behind closed doors with me":

It started when I was 6, he's almost about two years older than I am. He would put his hands under my pants, under my underwear. He would put his hands down my shirt and just rub and grab my chest. We would all lay in front of the TV and he would reach under the blankets and try to do things. … I would try to push him off, but he was bigger and stronger and older.

Witness 9 spoke with Sanford, FL, police in March. She said she only came forward after the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin because "this is the first time in my life that I'm not afraid of him."

Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, had tried to keep the interview from being released. He argues, naturally, that it "is not relevant" to the case, and will "serve to reignite and potentially enhance the widespread public hostility toward Mr. Zimmerman."

[dailyintel]

Another Follow-Up of the Day: George Zimmerman Reenacts Trayvon Martin Shooting

Favorite
- -

The material collected by investigators after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin was released today by George Zimmerman's lawyers on his website, and includes the results of a voice stress test that Zimmerman passed, a video re-enactment, a handwritten statement, and audio interviews.

Here are excerpts from Zimmerman's version of events, according to the newly released material:

"He took my head and slammed it against the concrete several times, and each time I thought my head was going to explode and I thought I was going to lose consciousness." "I started screaming for help. He told me to shut the f**k up, and I was suffocating." "I didn't want him to keep slamming my head on the concrete so I kind of shifted. But when I shifted my jacket came up…and it exposed my firearm. That's when he said you are going to die tonight. He took one hand off my mouth, and slid it down my chest. I took my gun aimed it at him and fired."

In related news, Sanford City Police Chief Bill Lee was fired Wednesday following widespread criticism of his department's initial investigation into the shooting.

[abc]

This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day

Favorite
This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day
- -

The Trayvon Martin gun-range target was bad enough. Then a bunch of white kids had to go and launch multiple #Trayvoning Facebook groups (that have since been removed).

Trayvoning is like Tebowing, except totally the opposite -- white (and apparently, black) kids pose as a gunshot victim, wearing a hoodie, and holding Skittles and an iced tea, which is what Martin had on him when George Zimmerman shot him to death in February.

Facebook group members said they were merely combating "racism against whites": "White people are becoming more and more oppressed."

[hypervocal]

Shepard Fairey Piece of the Day

Favorite
Shepard Fairey Piece of the Day
- -

Ebony magazine commissioned street artist Shepard Fairey (of Obey and HOPE fame) to create artwork of the late Trayvon Martin to accompany a piece in this month's issue.

Fairey writes:

I have followed Trayvon's case closely and I think any compassionate human being can relate to Trayvon as a brother or son and would want to see a thorough investigation into the killing of an unarmed person. In my portrait I wanted to emphasize Trayvon's humanity as well as the public outcry for a just investigation into his death.

[twbe]

In Case You Missed It of the Day

Favorite
In Case You Missed It of the Day
- -

Special Prosecutor Angela Corey on Thursday released several videos, crime scene photos, witness interviews, the autopsy report, and more documents relating to the February 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, and the new evidence begs the question: Can you "stand your ground" if you were the instigator?

Police reports written that night make it pretty clear Zimmerman took a beating -- they say he had a bloody face and nose, and bleeding to the back of his head. The reports also include two witness accounts that back up Zimmerman's version of events, describing a man on his back with another person wearing a hoodie straddling him and throwing punches.

Officer Christopher Serino, the lead investigator on the case, wrote that Zimmerman could be heard "yelling for help as he was being battered by Trayvon Martin."

Still, one investigator concluded: "The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement."

[hypervocal]

Follow-Up of the Day: Zimmerman May Be Charged With Hate Crime

Favorite
Follow-Up of the Day: Zimmerman May Be Charged With Hate Crime
- -

George Zimmerman, currently facing second-degree murder charges in the February 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, also may be charged with a hate crime. According to Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV:

WFTV has learned charges against George Zimmerman could be getting more serious. State prosecutors said Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, profiled and stalked 17-year-old Trayvon Martin before killing him, so the FBI is now looking into charging him with a hate crime. Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin in February during a confrontation. However, he claims the shooting was in self-defense. He's facing a second-degree murder charge, which carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. But if Zimmerman is charged and found guilty of a federal hate crime involving murder, he could face the death penalty. FBI investigators are actively questioning witnesses in the retreat at the Twin Lakes neighborhood, seeking evidence for a possible federal hate crime charge.

[globalgrind]