The Two Photographs of the Defendant’s Head Damage the Defense

December 17, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

After reviewing and considering the remarks by Zhickel, Grbsb, Jun and Whonoze (AKA: Treeslaw), I am going to put on my judge’s robe and issue the following ruling:

I find that neither photograph was altered and, therefore, both photographs are authentic and admissible at trial.

This is not a bad result for the State, as you will soon see.

In effect and by design, because I set it up this way, we have had our own internet version of a battle-of-experts pretrial hearing regarding the admissibility of the two digital photographs taken at the scene of the homicide by Officer Wagner (face) and the neighbor named Jon (back of the head).

The legal issue was whether the photos were authentic (i.e., originals or authentic reproductions) or fraudulent reproductions (i.e., altered).

Zhickle (nice to see your fonts again) and Grbsb in effect testified as experts for the defense while Jun and Whonoze testified as experts for the State.

There has to be a winner and on balance I decided for the defense because giving them what they want on this issue does not hurt the State’s case and I did not want to give them an appellate issue that might result in reversing the defendant’s conviction.

In other words, I am thinking strategically, or big picture, rather than focusing on the relative merits of each argument.

I predict Judge Nelson will reach the same conclusion for the same reason.

Just as I would do, I predict she will permit the prosecution to use their experts to acknowledge the distortions in the photos and explain why they are present, just as our four experts did. Such factors will go to the weight, or value of the evidence, rather than its admissibility.

The jury will decide how much weight to give to those photos. The greater the distortion, the less weight they are likely to be given.

The photos taken at the station house also will be admitted. Those photos together with expert testimony from one or more trauma surgeons should establish to a reasonable medical certainty that the defendant’s injuries, including his claimed but unverified “broken nose” were minor and inconsistent with the defendant’s narrative claiming how he got them.

The absence of any detectable trace of blood on the cuffs and lower sleeves of Trayvon Martin’s two sweatshirts and the absence of the defendant’s DNA in Trayvon Martin’s fingernail clippings also do not support the defendant’s narrative, as one would expect detectable amounts of the defendant’s blood and DNA in both areas. That is, despite the rain, detectable amounts of blood and DNA would have been present, if the defendant’s narrative were true.

In addition, the pattern of blood flow as depicted in the photo taken at the scene, before an EMT cleaned his head, shows blood flowing in a downward direction toward and curling around the lower end of his ears, which does not support the defendant’s claim that he was lying on his back. Instead, it shows that his head was upright and leaning forward, which is consistent with the defendant straddling Trayvon Martin, as several witnesses described him doing (Selma and the teacher).

These photos do not help the defense case. Considered together with the physical evidence, they appear to not only rule out the possibility that the defendant was reasonably in fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury, they also appear to rule out Trayvon Martin as the person who caused those wounds.

Given some minor scratches to his face, it appears more likely that the defendant ran into a tree branch in the dark bumping his nose and fell down bumping his head on some object, possibly a sprinkler head or cover, or possibly the edge of the cement sidewalk or a sign. Whatever caused them, it was not likely to have been Trayvon because there is no evidence that Trayvon Martin hit the defendant.

Even if he did hit him, I think the jury will find that he was legally justified to do so in self-defense because the defendant followed him first in his vehicle and then on foot into a dark area where he confronted and attempted to detain him without ever identifying himself, contrary to the police dispatcher’s admonition and the Neighborhood Watch rules.

I hope this exercise was helpful to a better understanding of hearings on motions in limine, battles between experts and the strategic considerations that inform judicial thinking.

Thanks to all of you for participating and please give me some feedback regarding whether this worked for you as a learning experience.

Admissibility of Photographs Exhibiting Defendant’s Claimed Injuries in Trayvon Martin Murder

December 16, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

We have reason to believe that the digital color photo of the defendant’s face, publicized by the defense last week and exhibited below, was altered to create the appearance of an injury to his nose. We also know from the discovery provided by the State of Florida that SPD Officer Wagner, the man who took the photograph of the defendant sitting sideways in the back seat of an SPD cruiser with the back door open and his feet on the ground, deleted his original photograph from his iPhone after he downloaded a copy to his laptop. He claims to have forgotten that he had the photograph for about three weeks before he finally remembered it and gave the copy to SPD Investigator Serino. We saw this photo in the first evidence dump last May when the State released a black and white version produced by a copy machine.

Bloody nose Photo

We also have reason to believe that the digital color photo exhibited below of the back of the defendant’s head taken by a neighbor moments before the first officer arrived at the scene of the shooting also has been altered to add fake blood trails to increase the significance of two minor capillary-type injuries to the back of his head.

Back of the Head

The defense claims that these photographs prove that Trayvon Martin attacked the defendant at the T intersection without provocation as he was walking back to his truck, broke his nose stunning and knocking him to the ground, straddled him and rained down vicious punch after vicious punch to his face MMA-style, and then grabbed the sides of his head and savagely bashed the back of it against a concrete sidewalk until he thought his head would explode. Claiming that the defendant was at death’s door, the defense argues that he was reasonably in imminent fear of death or serious bodily injury when he killed Trayvon Martin.

I do not agree.

Compare these photographs to the high definition close-up photographs taken at the police station a few hours after the shooting and draw your own conclusions.

Defendant’s Face and Back of Head

Despite legitimate doubts regarding their provenance defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, flashed the two photographs in front of television cameras as he casually strolled to the podium to address the court at a motions hearing on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. Since he claims they establish the defendant’s innocence, I believe we can reasonably conclude that the defense will attempt to introduce those two photographs at the trial.

QUESTION: Are these photographs admissible at trial?

ANSWER: No, not if they have been altered.


The defense wants the photographs admitted to support the defendant’s claim that he killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense. Specifically, that they accurately depict physical injuries inflicted by Trayvon Martin that caused the defendant to reasonably fear imminent death or serious bodily injury, such that he was legally justified in using deadly force against Martin to defend himself.

Assuming each photograph accurately depicts the defendant’s physical injuries when the photographs were taken, I believe Judge Nelson will admit them as relevant and probative evidence of the nature and extent of his physical injuries and whether he reasonably feared imminent death or serious bodily injury when he used deadly force.

Note the big assumption at the beginning of that sentence, however, and therein lies the rub.

Let us begin our analysis by taking a look at the best evidence rule. The purpose of this rule is to assure that only authentic documents and photographs are admitted into evidence.

This rule provides that an original photograph is generally required when proving the contents of a photograph, unless it is unavailable through no fault of the party offering a copy of the original. If that condition is satisfied, a copy of the original may be admitted in its place if the copy is an authentic and accurate reproduction of the original. See Evidence Rule 1003.

The original photograph of the defendant’s face is not available because Officer Wagner deleted it from his iPhone. Since he was not part of the defense team, the copy is admissible, provided it is an authentic and accurate reproduction. I imagine that the prosecution will argue that it is not because it can prove that the photograph was altered from its original state.

Look for the State to move in limine to exclude the photograph from evidence on the ground that it is not an accurate and authentic copy of the lost original and that, in any event, it has been altered and would mislead the jury, if admitted.

The original photograph of the back of the defendant’s head may be available, but like the photograph of his face, it appears to have been altered. Therefore, I expect the State will also move in limine to exclude this photograph from evidence.

The outcome of the motions will depend on whether the State’s experts can persuade Judge Nelson that the photographs have been altered and do not accurately depict the defendant’s appearance when they were taken.

If she grants the prosecution motion regarding both photographs, which is what I expect her to do, then the defense will be prohibited from mentioning the photos and the jury will never see them.

Featuring: LLMPapa’s Latest Video Establishes Direction of Flight in Trayvon Martin Murder

December 15, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Here is LLMPapa’s newest video from last night, which I did not get a chance to fully absorb until just now.

Papa, this may well be your finest hour. I think you really put the evidence together and nailed what happened.

Great work!



This is the longest vid I’ve done. I started to break it up, but decided against it. There’s much I felt should be covered, so hope it’s not too long.

The background music is from Lord of The Rings.

Cyber Bullies Still Seeking Dee Dee to Harass and Intimidate in Trayvon Martin Murder

December 15, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I write today to resolve a disagreement between BettyKath and others regarding whether certain racist individuals who rabidly support the defendant, let-his-name-be-forgotten (LHNBF), committed the crime of witness tampering under Florida law when they participated in an internet doxing scheme to identify, target, defame, harass, humiliate, intimidate and ultimately terrify W8 (AKA: Dee Dee), a witness against the defendant.

The disagreement concerns whether proof of witness tampering requires proving that the person harassed or intimidated was a witness. For reasons that follow, the answer is “No.”

Dee Dee is not her true name. The prosecution assigned her that name to protect her identity and her privacy from the media and people like the defendant’s rabid supporters, who routinely use character assassination to destroy anyone who dares to disagree with and criticize them.

She was Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend and she was talking to him on her cell phone when the defendant followed, confronted and assaulted Trayvon, knocking him and his cell phone to the ground. Moments later he killed him with a single gunshot wound to the heart. In fact, she had been talking to Trayvon off and on for about six hours that day and during the half-hour or so before the defendant assaulted him, Trayvon told her about a menacing creepy stranger following him in a vehicle. He told her the man scared him. He ran to get away from the man.

The defendant, who did not know that Trayvon was talking to anyone on his cellphone when he attacked him, claims self-defense. Even though he was carrying a gun and Trayvon was unarmed, but for a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles, the defendant told the police that Trayvon approached him, punched him in the nose, stunning and knocking him to the ground. Trayvon then straddled him as as he lay on his back and rained down savage punch after savage punch to his head, MMA-style. Trayvon grabbed both sides of his head and viciously slammed the back of his head time after time against a cement sidewalk until he thought his head would explode. On the verge of losing consciousness, he started to scream for help, but Trayvon stifled his cries and began to suffocate him by placing both hands over his bloody mouth, bleeding broken nose, and began to press down. Hard.

That is when he felt Trayvon’s hand start to slide down his chest toward his hip causing him to suddenly remember something quite important that he had somehow forgotten. That would be his loaded gun concealed in a holster inside his pants behind his right hip. Yes, that would be the same gun that was pressing into his back as he lay on his back being pummeled to death.

The defendant told the police he did what any reasonable person would have done in the same situation. He reached back, pulled his gun out of his holster, extended his arm, aimed to make sure that he did not shoot his left hand, and pulled the trigger.

Despite the defendant’s incredibly detailed and bloody account of Trayvon’s savage and vicious assault that came within inches of killing him, Trayvon did not have any blood on the cuffs and lower sleeves of the two sweatshirts he was wearing and the only DNA detected in his fingernail cuttings was his own.

High resolution close-up photographs of the defendant’s face and the back of his head taken by police at the station house approximately four-and-one-half hours after the murder do not support his story, and he declined several offers to be transported to the ER for a medical exam. That is not surprising as his nose appears to be straight and unbroken with only slight swelling near the bridge. Two small capillary cuts on the back of his head did not require stitches or bandages and the defendant never exhibited any confusion or appeared to be in any pain at any time at the station house.

Even though the defendant’s claim of self-defense is contradicted by the physical evidence, including blood and DNA analysis, Dee Dee’s testimony is important to the case because, if true, it establishes that the defendant was the aggressor who menacingly pursued Trayvon first in his vehicle, and then on foot into the area behind two buildings of town homes where he confronted and attacked Trayvon as she was talking to him on her cell phone.

Dee Dee has been the subject of considerable speculation as to her true identity and loathsome character assassination on the internet by the defendant’s rabid supporters. I need not recount specifics because they have said everything you can imagine and worse to ruin her life and break her, destroying her character and her credibility.

Yes, they are that depraved and worse because she almost certainly is a child.

They mistakenly targeted two teenagers named Dee Dee, in Miami and Miami Gardens where Trayvon lived, and subjected them to their unique form of branding only to discover that neither girl was the Dee Dee they were looking for.

These internet thugs are salivating with excitement, sharpening their knives and still searching for the “real” Dee Dee.

Well, guess what. They better stop and lawyer up because they are in a helluva lot of trouble. Legal trouble that destroys lives.

That would be their lives.

Florida Statutes > Title XLVII > Chapter 914 > § 914.22 – Tampering with or harassing a witness, victim, or informant; penalties provides in pertinent part:

(1) A person who knowingly uses intimidation or physical force, or threatens another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, or offers pecuniary benefit or gain to another person, with intent to cause or induce any person to:

(a) Withhold testimony . . . from an official investigation or official proceeding;

(c) Evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness . . . in an official investigation or an official proceeding;

(d) Be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or

(f) Testify untruthfully in an official investigation or an official proceeding,

commits the crime of tampering with a witness, victim, or informant.

[Emphasis supplied]

Note that intimidation of “a person” to induce “any person” not to testify constitutes witness tampering.

Question: How much trouble are these internet terrorists in?

Answer: Plenty pilikia.

(2) Tampering with a witness, victim, or informant is a:

(d) Felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a first degree felony or a first degree felony punishable by a term of years not exceeding life.

(3) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from:

(a) Attending or testifying in an official proceeding or cooperating in an official investigation;

or attempts to do so, commits the crime of harassing a witness, victim, or informant.

(4) Harassing a witness, victim, or informant is a:

(e) Felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a felony of the first degree punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or a prosecution of a life or capital felony.

I have no sympathy for the people who have sought and continue to seek to destroy the “real” Dee Dee and I hope the State of Florida traces these internet terrorists back through their proxy servers and ISPs to their lairs and prosecutes them for first degree witness tampering and witness harassment.

Open Discussion about the Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, CT

December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012

This incomprehensible event today at the Sandy Hook Elementary School (K-4) in Newtown, CT, and the issues it raises merit a separate discussion thread.

28 dead (20 children and 8 adults, including the shooter)

My God, I don’t know what to say.

Mark O’Mara: Have you no sense of Decency

December 14, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

I write today to condemn Mark O’Mara for the disturbing article that he posted on his website yesterday blaming the State, Benjamin Crump, Natalie Jackson, and the Martin family for the vicious and vile character assassination of two innocent girls committed by his rabid and deranged supporters, who erroneously concluded that first one and then the other was Dee Dee. The purpose of the attacks was to terrorize the person they believed to be Dee Dee into refusing to testify against O’Mara’s client, may his name be forgotten (hereinafter MHNBF).

Dee Dee (AKA: W8) was Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend and she was talking to him on her cell phone when the defendant attacked him. She is an important witness, obviously, and Dee Dee is a fake name developed to protect her identity and assure her privacy. In other words, to protect her from the deliberate campaign of terrorism and character assassination suffered by the two innocent girls.

Fortunately for her, the strategy has been successful.

The two innocent girls were not so fortunate.

Intimidating witnesses is a felony and every person who participated in or encouraged others to participate in committing those acts is guilty of a felony. Every one of them also is guilty of conspiracy to intimidate witnesses.

No, the First Amendment does not protect witness intimidation.

I hope all of them are arrested, indicted, convicted and sentenced to prison.

The title of the article is Addressing Concerns About Cyber Attacks and Doxing

In pertinent part, O’Mara said:

“We understand that there may have been such actions directed at individuals who may be associated with Witness #8. In an October 19 hearing, the defense team requested a Subpoena Duces Tecum for the social media accounts of Witness #8; however, we intentionally did not disclose her name or any possible Twitter handle out of respect for her privacy. (We still have not been informed of her Twitter handles). If there is an individual who has been mistaken as Witness #8, and if this individual has been subjected to these practices, then we feel that those who knew Witness #8’s identity and therefore her Twitter handle, such as the State Attorneys Office or the handlers of the Martin family, have had many specific opportunities through social media or press conferences to publicly correct the misrepresentations and end the concerns — an opportunity they have yet to take. We implore them to do so now, to minimize any further damage. If they know the Twitter handles are of a person unrelated to the case, why has this not been publicized? “

[Emphasis supplied]

Notwithstanding CYA boilerplate language, scrape away the bullshit and you have this statement:

It’s your fault. Give us her social media handles, or else.

I thought I had seen it all.

Speak the Truth Chris Serino for Yourself and for Trayvon

December 13, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Do the right thing Chris Serino.

Do it for the innocent kid who did not deserve to be executed for walking home after dark in the rain carrying a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles for his little brother and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone.

Speak the truth.

You and I both know that you did the wrong thing when you “corrected” ear witnesses at the scene of the murder that night and told them that the person shrieking for his life was the defendant and not Trayvon Martin.

The defendant, not Trayvon, carried that gun to the party and, despite knowing Tim Smith was on his way and due to arrive within minutes, he deliberately provoked the confrontation by getting out of his dry and warm vehicle and pursued Trayvon in the rain and cold until he found him and killed him.

You know that what I say is true.

You went through a gut-wrenching crisis investigating this case, didn’t you?

You started out to put this case to bed, but in spite of your efforts, it did not work out for you, did it?

Chief Lee and State Attorney Wolfinger are pursuing other interests and spending more time with their families.

You’re working the graveyard shift, but at least you saved your job.

You saw the tsunami coming in time to get to high ground.

You’re a survivor.

And you’re smart.

But your life on that graveyard shift is empty and cold, isn’t it?

How often do you think of Trayvon and feel his terror in those final moments before the defendant blew him away and left him alone and dying in the wet and cold?

I’ll bet he haunts you even when you are awake and his shriek is branded to your soul.

No one is perfect, Chris.

As long as our hearts beat and we continue to breathe, we have the possibility for redemption.

I believe and I believe you do too.

I know I do not have to explain to you what it means to have a come-to-Jesus moment.

Whether you realized it or not at the time, you committed to that path on March 13, 2012, exactly nine months ago today, when you wrote those three drafts, eventually recommending the State Attorney prosecute the defendant for manslaughter.

Well, you have arrived.

It’s time to stand-up and be the hero you always wanted to be, no matter the consequences to you personally.

Finish what you started nine months ago.

Do it for yourself.

Do it for Trayvon.

Speak the truth.

The Gladys and Robert Zimmerman Jr Show on Univision

December 12, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 (12/12/12)

I received yesterday the following English transcript of an interview of Robert Zimmerman, Jr., and his mother, Gladys Zimmerman. The interview was conducted by Jorge Ramos of Univision and forwarded to me by Elliott, an old friend at Firedoglake. The interview was conducted in Spanish, Gladys Zimmerman’s native language.

On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM, Univision Network Public Relations wrote:

Below is the English-language transcript of Univision’s Spanish-language interview with Robert Zimmerman Jr. and Gladys Zimmerman. The Spanish-language transcript can be found following this transcript. If you have any questions, please contact Jose Zamora:


Program: Al Punto with Jorge Ramos
Content: Interview with Robert Zimmerman Jr. and Gladys Zimmerman
Air date: December 9, 2012


JR: Jorge Ramos
RZ: Robert Zimmerman Jr.
GZ: Gladys Zimmerman

JR: In his first conversation with Spanish-language TV, joining us here in the studio is Robert Zimmerman, George’s brother. Robert, thanks for being with us.

RZ: Hello, Jorge.

JR: Thank you very much for being here. Thank you. And via satellite, his mother, Gladys Zimmerman, who for safety reasons does not want her face to be shown. Mrs. Zimmerman, thanks for being with us.

GZ: You’re welcome. Hello, Jorge.

JR: Let me start with you. Of course, you’re Peruvian and speak Spanish very well, and this will make this interview with you much easier. The first question is, where is George at this time?

GZ: George is in Seminole County, under court order.

JR: What were the conditions the court imposed on him? Can he leave his home?

GZ: Oh, yes, he can leave home from 6:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening.

JR: And does he do it or is he afraid he’ll be recognized?

GZ: There are days he has to do it, mostly for his mental health.

JR: Of course, I assume that at this time, beyond coming and going for basic necessities, I guess he’s not working or doing anything to make a living. Right?

GZ: Unfortunately, Jorge, no. And I doubt that in the future or near future he’ll be able to work and make a living.

JR: Let me start by talking about this case, and I understand that due to legal reasons, there are many things you cannot talk about. You tell me what you can and you cannot talk about. But…

GZ: Sure.

JR: … when you first found out that your son had been involved in this incident in which he shot Trayvon Martin, how did you find out?

GZ: I found out from him.

JR: What did he tell you?

GZ: He told me he’d had an incident and that, unfortunately, he’d had to use a weapon to defend himself.

JR: Regarding the weapon, how is it that George has access to weapons? At home, was it customary to be armed? Was that something that the Zimmermans did?

GZ: Look, let me tell you, we have lived in Virginia most of our lives. We’ve lived there for 31 years, and George lived there for 17 years of his life. He was born there, grew up there, he graduated from high school there, and then he came to Florida. It’s in Florida that the law is different in the sense that people can get weapons, get a license and can carry them. The same thing happens in Virginia, but here I’ve noticed that people can get a weapon, what they call a concealed weapon, and carry the weapon, and it’s no big deal.

JR: And did you know that George had a weapon?

GZ. The reality is that I didn’t know that George had a weapon.

JR: And did you know if George was involved in neighborhood watch activities in the area where he lived?

GZ: Yes, I knew he was helping out, he was very worried about the home burglaries that had happened. I’m familiar with those houses, and I couldn’t believe there were so many burglaries, especially in a gated area, you know?

JR: Very well, and now, I want to get to the point. As you know, your son George is accused of Trayvon Martin’s death, and many people in the United States suspect that he did it for racial reasons. However, you and his lawyers insist that it wasn’t because of race, but rather to defend himself from a personal attack. What is your interpretation? What happened?

GZ: George is not a racist. My family is not racist. That will come out in the evidence. What will also come out in the evidence and what has been seen lately is the photo of my son after he was beaten up. My son defended himself for dear life. The young man who attacked him, for reasons we do not know, left a mark behind and thank God there is a photo that can show that mark. If it weren’t for that mark…

JR: Are you referring to the color photo that shows your son with wounds on his face?

GZ: Exactly. That photo that was turned over to the defense in black and white, and now it has been turned over, thank God, in color, shows how my son was attacked. According to young Martin’s autopsy, he had no marks on him, except the bullet that went into his chest, which unfortunately, killed him.

JR: Well, you say that George wasn’t racist. There are many people who assert that if Trayvon Martin hadn’t been wearing a hoodie and hadn’t been African-American, he’d be alive today. That is, they suggest that all this was motivated simply by the fact that Trayvon Martin was African-American.

GZ: No. This happened because Trayvon attacked my son. If Trayvon Martin hadn’t attacked my son in the savage way he did… Look, Mr. Ramos, if somebody punches you in the nose, I can’t imagine the pain it can cause. But to be punched in the nose, to fall down to the ground, to have someone jump on you and hit you fiercely and bust your head open every time you try to get up, and bang your head against the pavement, and for a neighbor to open the door and say, “Stop, because I’m going to call the cops,” and for that neighbor to provide the description of the person who was hitting him, the one who was lying on the ground, using what they call MMA style, mixed martial arts. I had never seen that sport, but I saw it on YouTube and I was shocked at people getting hit so aggressively.

JR: Now, wasn’t your son’s reaction in using a weapon excessive? Couldn’t he have defended himself in some other way?

GZ: Well, I can’t tell you because I’m not in his shoes. But the only thing I can tell you is this: show the photo of my son like that, in color, and play the tape, that tape in which he asks for help, in what many witnesses say is my son’s voice. Even Trayvon Martin’s father, Mr. Tracy Martin, says that it is my son’s voice. Show those two things together.

JR: I emphasize, you have told us in this show that George is not a racist. I understand, of course, that George and your son Robert went to Peru on several occasions, and you well know that in Latin America there is a lot of discrimination, not only against indigenous groups, but also among people who have darker skin. What did you teach your children regarding the discrimination we have in Latin America? How did you raise them?

GZ: Look, Mr. Ramos, in Peru we have a saying that basically says, “If you’re not one thing, you’re another,” which means that if you don’t have Indian blood in you, you probably have some African blood. In my family, we’re proud of our Afro-Peruvian heritage. My kids know their aunts and uncles; they know our roots, and my roots aren’t with non-Hispanic whites. My roots are Afro-Peruvian. So they have been brought up, not just here at home as a family, but in school, not to notice peoples’ skin color. I call them “my kids” because they are part of my family, because skin color doesn’t mean anything to me either.

JR: Mrs. Zimmerman, as you know, President Barack Obama weighed in on the issue when he said that if he had had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon Martin. How do you respond to that?

GZ: Well, at the beginning it hurt a lot, but now that I know how things developed, because, honestly, Jorge, at the beginning I barely even watched TV. My husband and my doctors forbade me from watching TV. It has all been really traumatic, but now that I’ve seen how Trayvon Martin’s family’ lawyers have presented this case; I don’t blame the President, because they fooled him, too. All of this has to be set straight: all the lies that have been told by Mr. Crump, by Ms. Nathalie Jackson through Ryan Julison of Julison Communications. It all needs to come out, but they told a lie to the nation, to the whole world, and even the President himself.

JR: Mrs. Zimmerman…

GZ: That’s how I feel about this now.

JR: Mrs. Zimmerman, I’ll come back to you in a moment. Now I’m going to go to your son Robert, who is with us in the studio. Robert, thanks again for joining us on Al Punto. Your brother George Zimmerman’s legal team has filed a lawsuit for defamation against NBC. Why?

RZ: Well, George has explained in his own words how they made up a racial narrative, because the facts of this story just weren’t sensational enough for people who wanted to report more. So words like white, black, and gated community were used from the beginning to speculate about what had happened, which was very, very different from what really happened on that day.

JR: The debate is centered on whether your brother acted out of racism or self-defense. What do you know about that? What has your brother told you?

RZ: Well, as a brother, I know we need to ask why Trayvon Martin punched him. You know? Lots of people are focusing on what George did. He did the same thing he did 40 times in one year: he called the police. What George did is that same thing that was done 400 times over 13 months where he lived, in a neighborhood of less than 200 homes around there. Four hundred calls to the police: why? Because there were a lot of robberies, there was a woman with a baby who was just months old, in her bedroom while her house was being robbed, and people were afraid. So I think that what George…

JR: But is this the first time that George has used a handgun to defend himself this way?

RZ: Oh, yes. In the state of Florida, handguns are licensed, but you have to keep them concealed. Back where we were in Virginia, as my mother started to explain, the law is totally opposite. Even without a license, you can carry a handgun just like I have done when I’ve gone out to shoot at a public range as long as it’s in sight.

JR: Do you know if George had a handgun?

RZ: Yes, yes, I had always known that both George and his wife had a permit for that gun. There was an attack, or, an alleged incident in which they could have been attacked by a dog, but that has nothing to do with our case. But at that time a police officer suggested to him, “Look, if you’re so afraid of that dog and if these people don’t keep it under control, it’s better for you to be armed than to wind up in the hospital.”

JR: Okay. So, what’s the next step? What are you folks emphasizing in the defense the fact that you are a Hispanic family?

RZ: No, Jorge, because I think that would be going, well, going backward on the progress we’ve made about race. We are an American family, and what happened that night was a tragedy. That’s what it has always been for our family, but for us to say, “We’re Latinos, and so Latinos need to take our side rather than someone else’s because that person is of a different color,” that wouldn’t be right, either. Now, what has surprised the public is that we are not non-Hispanic whites. That photo of George where he has very light skin is because it was a photocopy, that photo doesn’t look like him. And if that photo had been published in color, if people had known something more about George than just the word non-Hispanic white like they put on all the posters when they were offering $10,000 for him dead or alive, for turning him in…. Well, if they had known something about what really happened that night, maybe we wouldn’t have gotten to this point, but looking ahead, we need to make it clear that not only are we not racists, but the United States, and the whole world are watching us: as my mother said, “They even fooled the President.” Racism in this country is a game that pays really well. Lots of people are looking to make a buck, and there’s a lot of money to be made by alleging racism. You don’t even have to prove it.

JR: George, thanks for being here with us. I appreciate it a lot.

RZ: Thanks.

JR: Mrs. Gladys, thanks for joining us. Before we go, I just wanted to ask why you decided to talk to us, and why we are concealing your face. Do you fear for your life?

GZ: Yes, I fear for my life. I have to protect it, and I have to protect my family. I have an 88-year-old mother to take care of. If I have to come out in defense of my son, the best way I can do it is by keeping my identity concealed. We’ve come on Univision because we trust that it’s a news organization that will get to the truth, and I would love for it to be a Hispanic news organization that goes all the way in search of the truth.

JR: Gladys Zimmerman, thanks for speaking with us.

GZ: You’re welcome.

JR: Robert Zimmerman, thanks for being here.

RZ: Thanks, Jorge.

JR. Thanks to both of you.


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Judge Nelson Denies Defendant’s Motions to Modify and Clarify Conditions of Release in Trayvon Martin Murder Case: UPDATED with LLMPapa’s Latest Video

December 11, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 1212

Judge Nelson denied the defendant’s motions to modify and to clarify the conditions of his release.

The defendant’s motion to modify the conditions of his release was a request to terminate GPS monitoring and lift the travel restrictions. After Mark O’Mara opened by asserting the defendant’s innocence and supporting that claim with his revisionist history of the case, including waving a document with color copies side by side of the two manipulated photographs of the front and back of the defendant’s head, Bernie de la Rionda mocked the request with a righteous rant about the defendant’s desire to travel so that he could appear in public and sell more copies of his autograph.

He also mentioned that Jose Baez had turned over two memos from Chris Serino dated early in the investigation when Serino and others were considering recommending that the defendant be charged with second degree murder.

Judge Nelson denied the motion without comment.

The defendant’s motion to clarify the conditions of his release was an effort to obtain permission to contact friends. Judge Nelson denied the motion noting that Judge Lester had imposed the conditions and there had not been any material change of circumstances to alter those conditions. She noted parenthetically that she did not see any prohibition in the order that would not allow him to contact his friends.

In other words, the motion was a waste of the court’s time.

An earlier motion asking the court to order the prosecution to disclose the identities of all witnesses who had identified the defendant as the person screaming in the background of the 911 call was resolved by agreement of the parties.

There was no argument about the defendant’s motion to seal the defendant’s emails, text messages and journal entries. Apparently, the motion was not timely and will be taken up at the next motions hearing.

The next motions hearing is scheduled for January 8, 2013.

UPDATE: LLMPapa’s latest video.

Tomorrow is Motion Day in the Trayvon Martin Murder Case

December 10, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

I have just about fully recovered from food poisoning, but I am still a bit spaced out, so please bare with me.

Tomorrow is motion day in the Trayvon Martin murder case and one of the more interesting motions is the defendant’s motion to seal his text messages, emails and journal entries until both sides can review them. O’Mara claims release of the evidence will “adversely affect the proper administration of justice in this case, and may make it impossible to find an appropriate jury unaffected by this information.”

He must be referring to that select group of racist bigots and right-wing wackos to whom he constantly pitches his disinformation campaign.

There are reports that he sent Tracy Martin an abusive email and used the N-word “when referring who to look out for when on patrol in his Sanford, Florida neighborhood.

I do not believe the civil suit against NBC has any chance to succeed, but I believe it certainly opened the door to publicize his use of the N-word, assuming he did so.

[H/T to Rachael for providing the links to those two reports]

He also wants to be relieved of the burdensome GPS bracelet that he has to wear.

Well, I guess I would too, but I did not shoot to death a peaceful and nonviolent Black teenager who was armed with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone while walking home in the rain. I am getting really tired of his incessant whining. I think he should be in jail because he is a danger to the community.

Regardless of my opinion, the time period within which to have moved for reconsideration of Judge Lester’s orders expired long ago, so this motion should be denied as untimely.

What do y’all think about these motions?

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