First of all, there’s no reason to believe Zimmerman followed Martin after the police told him not to, which is the linchpin of much excited reporting.
Zimmerman told the police, his friends and his lawyer that he walked back to his car after hanging up with the police and was waylaid by Martin. No witnesses have told the press otherwise.
We don’t know if — as the NFM has baldly asserted — it was Martin yelling “Help!” during the struggle. Before the case became a nationwide sensation, the lead detective told the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel that the police had played all the 911 calls for Martin’s father, and he said the voice crying “Help!” was not his son’s.
(The father has subsequently retracted that.)
Before the shooting was even a twinkle in the eye of MSNBC, an eyewitness gave a detailed account to the local media, indicating that it was Martin who was on top of Zimmerman, pummeling him, as Zimmerman screamed “Help!”
The police report says Zimmerman’s nose was bleeding and his back covered in grass stains when they arrived at the scene. His lawyer and friends say he was treated for a broken nose the next day.
There’s no sense in arguing in public about such facts. The medical records exist or they do not.
Of course, the information contradicting the media’s fantasy comes to us only in the form of witness statements and police reports appearing in the press, not as evidence in a formal criminal investigation.
It’s hard to tell where the NFM’s suppositions are coming from inasmuch as they simply report their version as hard fact. But all their evidence seems to come only from Martin’s family and girlfriend. Can we start trying all criminal defendants based exclusively on the testimony of the victim’s friends and relatives?
Among the reasons to be suspicious of the media as impartial judges of the evidence is that they keep showing us snapshots from Martin’s childhood, rather than any recent photos.
Without doing research, the average person would think Martin was a slight 12-year-old whippersnapper at the time of the shooting, rather than a strapping 6-foot, 160-pound 17-year-old. Indeed, he was 3 inches taller than Zimmerman, according to the police report.
Why aren’t they showing us Zimmerman’s baby pictures? (And why didn’t we get to see baby pictures of the Duke lacrosse players? I bet they were adorable.)
CNN ceaselessly reported the allegation that Zimmerman could be heard in the background of one 911 call using an archaic racial epithet. Before playing the tape, correspondent Gary Tuchman first announced what the slur was supposed to be (“f*****g coon”).
There’s nothing like suggesting the answer in advance to improve reliability! Police should try that in lineups.