Zimmerman Spoke In Public Forum A Year Ago In Support Of Black Homeless Man Beaten By Son Of Sanford Florida Police Officer And Covered Up By Corrupt Department

May 24, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman accused a Florida police department of corruption more than a year before he shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, saying at a public forum the agency covered up the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a white officer.

Zimmerman’s public comments could be important because the Martin family and supporters contend the neighborhood watch volunteer singled Martin out because he was black. Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father. His supporters have said he is not racist.

Zimmerman, who claims the Feb. 26 shooting was self-defense, was initially not arrested. But after nationwide protests and an investigation by a state prosecutor, he was charged.

Zimmerman is free on bond awaiting his second-degree murder trial for shooting Martin. Martin was walking back to a townhome he was staying at when he got into a fight with Zimmerman, who shot him in the chest at close range.

“I would just like to state that the law is written in black and white,” Zimmerman said during a 90-second statement to Sanford city commissioners at a community forum on Jan. 8, 2011.

The forum took place days after a video of the beating went viral on the Internet and then-Sanford Police Chief Brian Tooley was forced to retire. Tooley’s department faced criticism for dragging its feet in arresting Justin Collison, the son of a police lieutenant.

“I’d like to know what action the commission is taking in order to repeal Mr. Tooley’s pension,” Zimmerman said to the commission. “I’m not asking you to repeal his pension; I believe he’s already forfeited his pension by his illegal cover-up in corruption in what happened in his department.”

Trayvon Martin was talking on his cell phone when he was shot and killed in February.

The Miami Herald first reported details from the January 2011 community forum Wednesday. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the tape from the meeting.

In the speech, Zimmerman said he witnessed “disgusting” behavior by officers when he was part of a ride-along program, though the agency said it did not know when, if ever, Zimmerman was in that program.

“The officer showed me his favorite hiding spots for taking naps. He explained to me he doesn’t carry a long gun in his vehicle because in his words, ‘Anything that requires a long gun requires a lot of paperwork and you’re gonna find me as far away from it.'”

Zimmerman also said the officer in question “took two lunch breaks and attended a going away party for one of his fellow officers.”

Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett and interim police chief Richard Myers were both unavailable for comment.

Tooley’s successor, Bill Lee, temporarily resigned his post following a no-confidence vote by city commissioners.

Lee offered to resign permanently, but his commissioners turned down his request. He is on paid leave.

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Alan Dershowitz: The Only Real Expert Commenting On Zimmerman Case – Bogus Charges Must Be Dropped

May 18, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – A medical report by George Zimmerman’s doctor has disclosed that Zimmerman had a fractured nose, two black eyes, two lacerations on the back of his head and a back injury on the day after the fatal shooting. If this evidence turns out to be valid, the prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman — if she wants to act ethically, lawfully and professionally.

There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional.

She was aware when she submitted an affidavit that it did not contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She deliberately withheld evidence that supported Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. The New York Times has reported that the police had “a full face picture” of Zimmerman, before paramedics treated him, that showed “a bloodied nose.” The prosecutor also had photographic evidence of bruises to the back of his head.

This Feb. 27, 2012 photo released by the State Attorney’s Office shows George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin, with blood on the back of his head. The photo and reports were among evidence released by prosecutors that also includes calls to police, video and numerous other documents.

But none of this was included in any affidavit.

Now there is much more extensive medical evidence that would tend to support Zimmerman’s version of events. This version, if true, would establish self-defense even if Zimmerman had improperly followed, harassed and provoked Martin.

A defendant, under Florida law, loses his “stand your ground” defense if he provoked the encounter — but he retains traditional self-defense if he reasonably believed his life was in danger and his only recourse was to employ deadly force.

Thus, if Zimmerman verbally provoked Martin, but Martin then got on top of Zimmerman and banged his head into the ground, broke his nose, bloodied his eyes and persisted in attacking Zimmerman — and if Zimmerman couldn’t protect himself from further attack except by shooting Martin — he would have the right to do that. (The prosecution has already admitted that it has no evidence that Zimmerman started the actual fight.)

This is a fact-specific case, in which much turns on what the jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt. It must resolve all such doubts in favor of the defendant, because our system of justice insists that it is better for 10 guilty defendants to go free than for even one innocent to be wrongfully convicted.

You wouldn’t know that from listening to Corey, who announced that her jobs was “to do justice for Trayvon Martin” — not for George Zimmerman.

As many see it, her additional job is to prevent riots of the sort that followed the acquittal of the policemen who beat Rodney King.

Indeed, Mansfield Frazier, a columnist for the Daily Beast, has suggested that it is the responsibility of the legal system to “avert a large scale racial calamity.” He has urged Zimmerman’s defense lawyer to become a “savior” by brokering a deal to plead his client guilty to a crime that “has him back on the streets within this decade.”

But it is not the role of a defense lawyer to save the world or the country. His job — his only job — is to get the best result for his client, by all legal and ethical means.

Listen to the way a famous British barrister put it in 1820:

“An advocate, by the sacred duty which he owes his client, knows, in the discharge of that office, but one person in the world, that client and none other . . . Nay, separating even the duties of a patriot from those of an advocate, and casting them, if need be, to the wind, he must go on reckless of the consequences, if his fate it should unhappily be, to involve his country in confusion for his client’s protection.”

The prosecutor’s job is far broader: to do justice to the defendant as well as the alleged victim. As the Supreme Court has said: “The government wins . . . when justice is done.”

Zimmerman’s lawyer is doing his job. It’s about time for the prosecutor to start doing hers.

Dershowitz, a defense attorney, is a professor at Harvard Law School.
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Police Reports And Witnesses Back George Zimmerman – Yet He Still Faces Bogus Charges After Killing Druggie In Self Defense During Brutal Beating

May 17, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – Two police reports written the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin said that Zimmerman had a bloody face and nose, according to police reports made public today.

The reports also note that two witness accounts appear to back up Zimmerman’s version of what happened when they describe a man on his back with another person wearing a hoodie straddling him and throwing punches.

It has been such a contentious case that even the evidence is being disputed.

The police report states that Trayvon Martin’s father told an investigator after listening to 911 tapes that captured a man’s voice frantically callling for help that it was not his son calling for help.

But Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, claims that is not true. The Martin family lawyer Ben Crump told ABC News that Tracy Martin initially listened to a distorted version of the 911 calls and said he could not identify the voice. But when he listened to a second tape that had been “cleaned,” “He immediately broke down in tears because he knew it was his son calling for help,” Crump said.

The new information is part of a trove of documents released by the Florida State Attorney today in the case against Zimmerman, who is charged with second degree murder for the Feb. 26 killing of Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American male.

Zimmerman, 28, is a multi-racial Hispanic man who volunteered for the neighborhood watch committee who claimed that he shot Martin in self-defense after the 6-foot tall, 160 pound teenager knocked him to the ground, banged his head against the ground and went for Zimmerman’s gun.

The documents start with a criticism of Zimmerman’s decision to follow the teenager, who Zimmerman said was looking suspicious.

“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,” an investigating officer wrote.

Zimmerman claims he got out of his vehicle to find a house number to let police know where he saw the allegedly suspicious person, and while returning to his car was knocked down by a punch in the nose and attacked by Martin.

Two police officers reported that when they arrived at the scene of the shooting, Zimmerman seemed to have a battered nose and bloodied face. One wrote that his “facial area was bloodied,” and the back of his clothing was soiled with wet grass.

“Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of his head,” Officer Ricardo Ayala wrote.

Another officer wrote, “I saw that Zimmerman’s face was bloodied and it appeared to me that his nose was broken.”

Witnesses, whose names were redacted from the report, also lent support to Zimmerman’s version of what happened.

“He witnesses a black male, wearing a dark colored ‘hoodie’ on top of a white or Hispanic male and throwing punches ‘MMA (mixed martial arts) style,'” the police report of the witness said. “He then heard a pop. He stated that after hearing the pop, he observed the person he had previously observed on top of the other person (the male wearing the hoodie) laid out on the grass.”

A second witness described a person on the ground with another straddling him and throwing punches. The man on the bottom was yelling for help, the witness told police.

The documents state that Zimmerman can be heard yelling for help 14 times on a 911 call recorded during the fight.

Yet another witness described the confrontation in emotional terms.

The witness heard “someone yelling, almost crying. Then I heard a gunshot.” The witness wrote that he or she “saw a man on top of a guy laying on the ground. He was putting his hands on his neck or chest.”

The man asked the witness to call 911.

“He stood up and took a couple steps away and put his hands on his head and then walked back over to the guy on the ground. He looked at him for a minute, then started to walk away toward the road. That is when the police walked up,” the witness wrote.

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

Martin’s death sparked public outrage after police released Zimmerman without any criminal charges for the killing. Zimmerman was later charged with second-degree murder, and the killing provoked widespread debate about racial profiling.

The autopsy also shows that Zimmerman shot Martin from a distance of between 1 inch and 18 inches away, bolstering Zimmerman’s claim that he shot Martin during a close struggle.

Martin’s autopsy report also revealed that there was a quarter-inch by half-inch abrasion on the left fourth finger of Martin, another indication of a possible struggle.

The teen, who lived in Miami, was in Sanford while serving a suspension for a bag of marijuana being discovered in his possession. Martin had THC, the drug found in marijuana, in his blood on the night of his death, according to the autopsy. His family told ABC News that it was “trace amounts” of THC.
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Dead Druggie’s Autopsy Finds Injuries To Knuckles That Support Victim’s Statements That He Was Attacked

May 16, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – WFTV has confirmed that autopsy results show 17-year-old Trayvon Martin had injuries to his knuckles when he died.

The information could support George Zimmerman’s claim that Martin beat him up before Zimmerman shot and killed him.

The autopsy results come as Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara continues to go over other evidence in the case.

O’Mara wouldn’t comment on the autopsy evidence, but WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said it’s better for the defense than it is for the prosecution.

WFTV has learned that the medical examiner found two injuries on Martin’s body: The fatal gunshot wound and broken skin on his knuckles.

When you compare Trayvon’s non-fatal injury with Zimmerman’s bloody head wounds, the autopsy evidence is better for the defense, Sheaffer said.

“It goes along with Zimmerman’s story that he acted in self-defense, because he was getting beaten up by Trayvon Martin,” Sheaffer said.

The injury to Martin’s knuckle also fits with Zimmerman’s story that before he shot and killed Martin, Martin had broken his nose and knocked him to the ground, slamming his head on the sidewalk.

But Sheaffer said there could be another explanation for Martin’s knuckle injury.

“It could be consistent with Trayvon either trying to get away or defend himself,” Sheaffer said.

Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed teenager almost three months ago after calling 911 to report the teenager was acting suspiciously.

Zimmerman said Martin threw the first punch and that he opened fire in self-defense after his screams for help went unanswered.

The FBI was not able to determine whether it was Zimmerman or Trayvon who could be heard crying out for help in 911 calls.

The defense is trying to decide what evidence it wants a judge to keep confidential before the media gets a chance to see it, but WFTV is being told that could happen in the next week or so.

In the meantime, there’s new information surfacing about Zimmerman.

ABC News said it has obtained Zimmerman’s medical report from the day after the killing. According to ABC, the report shows Zimmerman had a broken nose and abrasions on the back of his head.

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Medical Records Show That Zimmerman Got A Brutal Beating Before Shooting And Killing Druggie Who Attacked Him

May 15, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – A medical report compiled by the family physician of accused Trayvon Martin murderer George Zimmerman and obtained exclusively by ABC News found that Zimmerman was diagnosed with a “closed fracture” of his nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury the day after he fatally shot Martin during an alleged altercation.

Zimmerman faces a second degree murder charge for the Feb. 26 shooting that left the unarmed 17-year-old high school junior dead. Zimmerman has claimed self defense in what he described as a life and death struggle that Martin initiated by accosting him, punching him in the face, then repeatedly bashing his head into the pavement.

Also today, a trove of documents are being examined by lawyers for both the defense and prosecution as part of discovery in Zimmerman’s trial — including 67 CDs worth of documents, video of Martin on the night of the shooting, his autopsy report and videos of Zimmerman’s questioning by police.

Zimmerman’s three-page medical report is included in those documents that the defense could use as evidence.

The morning after the shooting, on Feb. 27, Zimmerman sought treatment at the offices of a general physician at a family practice near Sanford, Fla. The doctor notes Zimmerman sought an appointment to get legal clearance to return to work.

The record shows that Zimmerman also suffered bruising in the upper lip and cheek and lower back pain. The two lacerations on the back of his head, one of them nearly an inch long, the other about a quarter-inch long, were first revealed in photos obtained exclusively by ABC News last month.

But the report also shows Zimmerman declined hospitalization the night of the shooting, and then declined the advice of his doctor to make a follow-up appointment with an ear nose and throat doctor.

In addition to his physical injuries, Zimmerman complained of stress and “occasional nausea when thinking about the violence.” But he was not diagnosed with a concussion. The doctor noted that it was “imperative” that Zimmerman “be seen with [sic] his psychologist for evaluation.”

According to the report, prior to the shooting Zimmerman had been prescribed Adderall and Temazepam, medications that can cause side effects such as agitation and mood swings, but in fewer than 10 percent of patients.

A neighbor told ABC News that the day after the shooting he saw Zimmerman as he spoke to officers outside his home. He too recalled seeing black eyes and significant swelling — as well as a bandage over his nose.

Moments after the shooting Zimmerman told eyewitnesses he shot Martin in self defense. He later told officers his head was being pounded into the pavement and that he feared for his life, but that it was only when Martin seemed to reach for the gun wedges in his waistband that Zimmerman drew his weapon and fired directly into Martin’s chest — killing him.

The medical notes may bolster Zimmerman’s claim that he acted in self-defense because he was being attacked. However, the prosecution contends that Zimmerman instigated the confrontation after profiling the teen, who was walking home after buying skittles and ice tea. They prosecution says Martin was breaking no laws and was not disturbing anyone as he walked back to his father’s girlfriend’s home.

Zimmerman was granted a $150,000 bail and has since been in deep hiding since his April 20 bail hearing.

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Florida Woman Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Shooting A Wall In Her Own Home – Fired Warning Shot While Protecting Herself From Abusive Husband Who Tried To Strangle Her – Same Prosecutor Who Is Pursuing Bogus Charge Against Zimmerman For Protecting Himself

May 12, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

The case, which was prosecuted by the same state attorney who is handling the Trayvon Martin case, has gained the attention of civil rights leaders who say the African-American woman was persecuted because of her race.

After the sentencing, Rep. Corrine Brown confronted State Attorney Angela Corey in the hallway, accusing her of being overzealous, according to video from CNN affiliate WJXT.

“There is no justification for 20 years,” Brown told Corey during an exchange frequently interrupted by onlookers. “All the community was asking for was mercy and justice,” she said.

Corey said she had offered Alexander a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence, but Alexander chose to take the case to a jury trial, where a conviction would carry a mandatory sentence under a Florida law known as “10-20-life.”

‘Stand your ground’ plea rejected

The law mandates increased penalties for some felonies, including aggravated assault, in which a gun is carried or used.

Corey said the case deserved to be prosecuted because Alexander fired in the direction of a room where two children were standing.

Alexander said she was attempting to flee her husband, Rico Gray, on August 1, 2010, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall.

She said her husband had read cell phone text messages that she had written to her ex-husband, got angry and tried to strangle her.

She said she escaped and ran to the garage, intending to drive away. But, she said, she forgot her keys, so she picked up her gun and went back into the house. She said her husband threatened to kill her, so she fired one shot.

“I believe when he threatened to kill me, that’s what he was absolutely going to do,” she said. “That’s what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here.”

Alexander’s attorneys tried to use the state law that allows people to use potentially deadly force anywhere they feel reasonably threatened with serious harm or death.

But a previous judge in the case rejected the request, saying Alexander’s decision to go back into the house was not consistent with someone in fear for her safety, according to the Florida Times Union newspaper.

A jury convicted Alexander in March and Judge James Daniel denied her request for a new trial in April.

Daniel handed down the sentence Friday after an emotional sentencing hearing during which Alexander’s parents, 11-year-old daughter and pastor spoke on her behalf.

Several people had to be escorted from the courtroom after breaking out singing and chanting about a perceived lack of justice in the case, but Daniel made a point to say that he had no choice under state law.

“Under the state’s 10-20-life law, a conviction for aggravated assault where a firearm has been discharged carries a minimum and maximum sentence of 20 years without regarding to any extenuating or mitigating circumstances that may be present, such as those in this case,” Daniel said.

Brown, the Jacksonville congresswoman, told reporters after the sentencing that the case was a product of “institutional racism.”

“She was overcharged by the prosecutor. Period,” Brown said. “She never should have been charged.”

Brown has been more complimentary about Corey’s work in the Trayvon Martin case, where her office filed second degree murder charges against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the February 26 death of the unarmed African-American teen-ager.

That case provoked nationwide protests demanding Zimmerman’s arrest after an initial police investigation released him under the “stand your ground” law.

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Three NBC Employees Get The Boot After Editing Audio Of Zimmerman Phone To Give Listeners The Impression He Was Racially Profiling Druggie He Latter Shot And Killed In Self Defense

May 5, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Three employees of NBC or an NBC-owned television station have now lost their jobs because of editing changes to a call made to police by George Zimmerman on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.

Lilia Luciano, an NBC News correspondent based in Miami, is no longer working at the network, spokeswoman Amy Lynn said. Her departure came as a result of an investigation into her March 20 “Today” show report on the Martin case.

Each of the reports on either “Today” or NBC’s Miami station WTVJ involve editing of Zimmerman’s phone call to a dispatcher that emphasizes his identification of Martin as a black male. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Martin, a case that has increased racial tensions.

In the report involving Luciano, audio of the police phone call was edited to insert a reference to Martin’s race that had been made later in the conversation.

Last month, an NBC News producer was fired in connection with a March 27 “Today” show report where a tape of the call was edited to suggest that Zimmerman volunteered to police that “this guy looks like he’s up to no good. He’s black.”

The broadcast portion of the audio had deleted a part of the conversation where the police dispatcher asked Zimmerman about whether a suspicious male he was reporting was “black, white or Hispanic.” Zimmerman answered, “he looks black.”

Lynn said today that NBC News’ investigation into the reports has ended.

In an investigation about a separate incident, reporter Jeff Burnside of WTVJ lost his job because of a March 19 report on the dispatcher’s call that similarly edited out the dispatcher’s question that prompted Zimmerman’s characterization of Martin as black, said Matt Glassman, spokesman for the NBC-owned station.

The WTVJ report did not air on any other NBC stations, he said.

Last week, WTVJ aired an apology to its viewers for the report on some of its newscasts, and posted it on the station’s website. The statement said that “an error in editorial judgment was made in which a question from the operator was deleted which could have created the impression that Mr. Zimmerman’s statement may have been singling out Trayvon Martin because of his race.

“We take this incident very seriously and apologize to our viewers,” WTVJ said. “After conducting an extensive investigation, we are putting a more stringent editorial process in place to ensure this does not happen again.”

NBC News did not immediately respond to questions about whether the “Today” show has addressed the misleading reports on the air, or whether there are any plans to do so.

Brent Bozell, founder of the conservative media watchdog the Media Research Center, said NBC still has not come clean.

“The truth has been withheld from NBC’s own viewers now for more than one month,” he said. “Do the network executives at NBC think that this is acceptable?”

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