Jun 02 2013
George Zimmerman is going on trial for shooting an unarmed kid (Trayvon Martin) as he strolled through his neighborhood chatting with his girlfriend on the phone. This threatening act (walking and talking) raised warning flags for Sheriff George, self-proclaimed neighborhood watch captain who somehow forgot neighborhood watch are never armed and should never confront people. Zimmerman called in this suspicious African-American kid to police, but when Zimmerman’s stalking finally unnerved young Trayvon Martin – who then tried to flee – Sheriff George violated all aspects of neighborhood watch training and went after Martin armed.
What ensued has never been fully understood, and may never be. But one thing we do know is Goerge Zimmerman’s account is fictional – since physics and forensics prove beyond a doubt what did happen could not have happened the way Zimmerman claims.
Recently a news segment was presented that went over some of the evidence. But as usual it missed the most obvious fictions in Zimmerman’s claims, while actually demonstrating them through reenactment. Before we go to the video, it is important to review the testimony to date from Zimmerman. (Most of this was presented in an earlier post)
A friend of Zimmerman’s provided this testimony to police on what George Zimmerman told him happened (Record 52 from this record of evidence, starting page 77 – click to enlarge):
What is described would be something like this position:
Butt on stomach, knees at ribs. George Zimmerman himself gave nearly identical statements that night and the day afterward.
At one point in this video, where police are asking Zimmerman to go over events, Zimmerman claims Martin ‘sat up’ after being shot and said ‘you got me’ (which is pretty dumb, it was more likely ‘you shot me!’). So clearly Martin was mounted on George’s stomach leaning over, if he “sat up” when shot.
During this interview, more physically impossible claims come out into the open.
First off, Zimmerman demonstrates where he wears his holster, which is on the right hip and basically on his back. He unconsciously shows this when he talks about grabbing for his gun:
Then he claims Trayvon Martin, sitting on top but apparently with x-ray vision, sees the gun under his hip. Even with Zimmerman standing and from the side I cannot see where Zimmerman’s hand is in this picture. Put yourself square in front and close and it is clear there is NO line of site to the gun or holster. Like I said, only x-ray vision could find that gun which would be pinned to the ground under Zimmerman’s back and likely his jacket as well.
Then there is the a second problem. With Martin’s butt on Zimmerman’s stomach, getting the gun out of the holster is problematic. Zimmerman takes this challenging action one step further by claiming he has to pin Trayvon’s reaching hand to his own side WHILE pulling the gun out of the holster. A holster pinned between his back and the ground. When Zimmerman shows this trick it becomes evident the limitations of the human arm and wrist come into play:
I have never seen a draw quite like that, especially laying on your back. He cannot physically reach his gun on his hip while pinning the Martin’s arm to his side – plain and simple.
In his reenactment video, Martin is sitting on his stomach when Zimmerman claims he pulls and fires the gun. And that is when forensics and physics expose the fiction once again.
I have noted many times the trajectory of the bullet in Martin’s body does not fit with the positions Zimmerman claims he and Martin were in. Here is one person’s estimate of the trajectory from the autopsy reports:
And here are the shooting angles available to Zimmerman from the position he claims he was in when he shot Martin:
Not even close in terms of trajectory inside Martin’s body. There is no straight path from the gun through the chest from this position. None.
Now let’s go to the latest reenactment and see how they try to match the trajectory of the bullet to events. First we see the person acting out Zimmerman’s role laying on the ground. When you watch the video, note how he pulls his his toy gun from the same basic place as Zimmerman – his waistband over his hip and from under his coat. But the person playing Zimmerman had to pull the gun BEFORE he got on the ground! This because it is impossible to pull a gun from under a coat (not to mention out of a holster you wear inside your pants) when you are laying on your back (pinning coat and holster to the ground – click to enlarge):
OK, some things to note from the above image. The guy playing Trayvon Martin is not sitting on the stomach of the man playing Zimmerman. If he were, the man on the ground – even though he pulled his gun prior to laying on his back – would have almost no way to get the gun pointed towards Martin. Knees and arms would block the aim of the gun. For this to work, Martin needs to be standing like we see here – which is why Zimmerman is in so much legal trouble.
The next snap shows the man playing Zimmerman pulling the gun and pointing it at the pretend Martin:
This position does work forensically, but it completely blows Zimmerman’s account out of the water. Here Zimmerman is standing, not mounted or straddling. How could the man playing Martin be reaching for the gun under the back hip of the man on the ground? How could the gun be held like this if Martin was sitting on Zimmerman’s stomach, with his knees on Zimmerman’s ribs? How could Martin – after being shot – “sit up” and speak his last words on this Earth?
This scenario works if – and this is all speculation on my part – if Martin was getting off of Zimmerman. Then it would be possible for Zimmerman to finally reach for his gun. Probably while holding Martin by the collar or something so he could not run away a 2nd time.
Update: This interview is pretty damning (and long). In it the detective lays out all the holes in Zimmerman’s statements. Tons of them. It is why the trial should have been called for in any event. In it, at time mark 28.03, Zimmerman does state he was holding Martin’s wrist with one hand and then shot him in the chest with the other. If you combine this with the bullet’s trajectory, then it is likely Martin was on his feet trying to pull away when he was executed. So the above scene does work, but only of Martin is trying to get away – and likely screaming for help as he tries to flee.
BTW, the detective correctly notes Zimmerman had no legal right to confront Zimmerman. Not for the crime of walking through the neighborhood. Something too many Zimmerman defenders fail to recognize. ‘Armed’ does not mean empowered to play cop. – end update
This is what I think happened, especially given the goofy dialogue Zimmerman claims Martin used during the altercation. That dialogue fits Zimmerman more than Martin. I think Martin was trying to get away and Zimmerman held him while he pulled his gun.
The audio of Zimmerman’s testimony the night of the shooting is pretty clear on what Zimmerman claimed happened:
- At time mark 14:59 Zimmerman states Martin stops slamming his head against the concrete and puts his hands over his nose and mouth. To do that and hold his hands in place would indicate Martin is sitting on him, pushing down the clamp off his breathing.
- At time mark 15:32 Zimmerman claims as Martin bangs his head again (while reaching for the gun…) he shoots him. Martin holding Zimmerman’s head while Zimmerman shoots just does not work with the above forensics.
- At time mark 15:40 Zimmerman confirms he is on his back, Martin is ‘mounted’ on top of him. Not standing.
Zimmerman’s written statement is also clear. Zimmerman stated over and over again Martin was on him, holding him down, trying to suffocate him. Which of course makes it impossible for Zimmerman to be the one screaming for help on the audio – screams that end with the gun shot.
Zimmerman is locked into the claim Martin was straddled on top of him, with Martin’s hands on Zimmerman’s head, and with Martin reaching around Zimmerman’s back for his gun, when Zimmerman pulled his gun and fired. But that is the one position that cannot work with the bullet’s path or the limitations of the arm and wrist. The physics of the evidence confirms Zimmerman’s statements are fiction. And that will be his undoing. Forensics cannot prove what actually happened, but with Martin dead and Zimmerman admitting he did the shooting, all you need to prove is Zimmerman’s alibi is fiction and he should be found guilty.
Update: Jazz Shaw at Hot Air cannot understand why Trayvon’s actions and activities outside his night time walk and talk the evening he was shot is not evidence. It is clear why – the only person on trial is George Zimmerman, and George Zimmerman was the one armed and who put himself into harm’s way. Shaw does not seem to think Martin, who suffered from being a typical American teenager with all the typical screw ups, had a right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. He seems to think Zimmerman should be able to prove his SUSPICIONS of Martin, gleaned from glances on a rainy Florida evening, were somehow prescient.
For Shaw, I give the obvious analogy. When a woman charges a man with a violent rape (and for the sake of argument, let’s assume she was a victim of violent rape), does the defense have a right to bring up her dates from years past, her romantic evenings with other men, or a one time drunken binge (which nearly everyone has done once)? Of course not. If the events were at different times (or years) to the incident at triak, they are not germane. Victims do not need to be pure angles to receive justice.
Martin does not have to be some reflection of 1950’s family fictional child to be provided justice. That is just silly.