**updated with NBC apology**
“Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.” – Police Report, released by the Orlando Sentinel
“You can cancel second rescue. Second patient is not a gunshot.” – From 911 tape, verified through Police Report
As a backdrop, something remarkable is being done by Pres. Obama, which caught my eye, due to my lifelong involvement with culture and the arts. Reported by The Hill:
President Obama will record an introduction for the debut of a restored print of the 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird” set to air on the USA cable network Saturday night, 50 years after the debut of the classic film. ..
It’s ironic to see Pres. Obama choosing to make a statement through this historic film, letting “To Kill a Mockingbird” do the heavy lifting, but also putting himself squarely in the position of fighting the fights of the 1960s, exactly what he said as a candidate he wanted no part. The change is welcome, however subtle.
At the center of the Trayvon Martin story today is the furor over the description and impact of George Zimmerman’s injuries. The first video showed no visible signs of injury. The above enhanced photo, via ABC, reveals marks on the back of Zimmerman’s head. They did not require serious medical treatment, but were cleaned up in the squad car, according to reporting, when Zimmerman was first picked up.
From the New York Daily News yesterday:
The Daily News obtained EMS documents last week showing that a call from the scene for a second ambulance to treat Zimmerman was canceled.
His injuries were also apparently light enough for cops to take him to the station with his hands cuffed behind him, and allow him to walk unaided to an interview room.
The Miami funeral director who prepared Trayvon’s body for burial said the teenager had no bruising on his knuckles or any other sign that he had been in a brawl.
As for the broken nose claimed by Zimmerman’s attorney, the police report from which I quote at the top is critical evidence and the first that there was someone who saw “bleeding from the nose and back of his head.”
However, there is no evidence Zimmerman was treated for a “broken nose,” specifically, so that burden of proof remains unmet. A punch can produce blood without a broken nose the result. Zimmerman’s attorney may have offered hyperbole on this one.
The police report also states: “While I was in close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he’d been laying on his back on the ground.”
On the media front, it’s been incredibly confusing to get the facts, with critics often ignorant of the difficulty involved when investigating a murder where there is suspicion and accusations that detectives or police didn’t do their job thoroughly. Race and an armed citizen overstepping his bounds, while authorities try to catch up on their own mistakes, makes for a mess.
Sensational stories in the new media era leads in all directions, most of which ends in confusion on all sides.
NBC has been embarrassed by reports a tape was doctored and then released through “The Today Show,” which has spurred an internal investigation at NBC. From USA Today:
NBC is launching an internal investigation into its handling of a news story that ran on the Today show involving the 911 call from George Zimmerman on the night he shot teenager Trayvon Martin, The Washington Post reports.
Late today, NBC finished their investigation and has issued an apology [updated], with a full explanation at the Washington Post:
During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.
As for the federal investigation, this was outlined in the Los Angeles Times last week in an interview with two federal officials.
The Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, who took over for Norm Wolfinger on the case, is involved an investigating potential charges that could be filed. The federal investigation is only focused on whether Trayvon Martin’s civil rights were violated, a hate crime charge, which has a much higher burden of proof.
Cable talking heads have been citing an epithet George Zimmerman allegedly said under his breath and was caught on tape, which is close to inauble and hard to discern without a reasonable doubt, if you listen to dueling experts. The slur being alleged is “f—ing coon,” which would add weigh ta the hate crimes charge if it was said.
CNN also reported yesterday that the Martin family is ruffling feathers and making charges that are being vehemently denied by those investigating their son’s murder. From the AP yesterday, reported by ABC:
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton allege in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice that State Attorney Norm Wolfinger met with the Sanford police chief within hours of the teen’s death and that together they overruled a detective’s recommendation that the shooter, George Zimmerman, be charged with manslaughter. The letter claims a lead investigator filed an affidavit stating that he didn’t find Zimmerman’s story credible.
The prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger, called the allegations “lies” and said no meeting took place.
“I’m outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter,” Wolfinger said in a statement. “I encourage the Justice Department to investigate and document that no such meeting or communication occurred.”
It’s why there is such a furor in Florida to get the police held accountable and charges filed against George Zimmerman, which has a completely different standard that federal hate crimes.
Jeralyn Merritt brings up the audio discussion on scream identification in a fascinating legal expert post on a convention convening in New York today. From deep in Jeralyn’s post:
So unlike Mr. Owen, Pimeau thinks a test should compare a scream to a scream. Since he doesn’t have an exemplar of Zimmerman screaming to compare to the 911 call with the scream in the background, he can’t do a test the way he thinks it should be done.
The foundation of the case remains the stalking of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, who pursued the teen after being told not to, while carrying a concealed weapon, with the clear intent to confront Martin.
Zimmerman was not threatened when he began his pursuit. He was curious.
Both go against Stand Your Ground laws, which deserve review and repeal.
Trayvon Martin obviously felt threatened when Zimmerman confronted him.
Zimmerman’s zeal ended with Trayvon Martin being shot dead.