Many George Zimmerman supporters declare that Trayvon Martin (“TM”) was the aggressor in the physical confrontation that led to his death. One reason cited was the fact that GZ had “defensive” injuries”, i.e., two small abrasions on the back of his head and a bloody nose. However, if TM inflicted these “injuries” it is not evidence that he started the fight or was the aggressor. GZ may have started the fight or provoked it. He could have pulled his gun or took a vain swing at TM who then retaliated.
According to GZ’s own testimony, TM saw GZ watching him from his car and following him on foot. When TM supposedly confronted GZ, GZ did not identify himself but reached into his pocket? Why wouldn’t TM consider that to be a threat? How was it unreasonable for TM not to consider the possibility that GZ was reaching for a weapon? GZ’s actions, could easily be construed as aggressive and provocative? That would make GZ the aggressor. At that point, if TM had attacked GZ, he could have done so because of a reasonable fear that GZ would kill him or inflict great bodily injury. How do we know that GZ did not draw his gun at that point?
TM had the same right of self-defense that GZ claimed. He was not engaged in criminal activity and was in a place he was legally entitled to be in. A gun can kill you. Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea cannot. However, outside of GZ’s taped interview, there was no evidence presented at the trial that TM hit GZ first or was the aggressor. Conjecture and argument are not evidence.
One Zimmerman supporter stated the since GZ was screaming TM was the aggressor. Even if GZ was screaming, that did not mean that TM hit him first or was the aggressor!
There was witness testimony from Goode who indicated that he may have seen TM on top of GZ. (Note there was also testimony from a witness who said she saw GZ on top of TM) Goode also testified that he was not sure that TM was hitting GZ. Even TM was hitting GZ, it was not very hard considering that all GZ had was a bloody nose and it does not indicate that TM started the fight or was the aggressor. No witness saw the beginning of the fight or who started it. TM could simply have been “winning” the fight at that stage. Rich Lowry, a conservative commentator stated as much. GZ was the only remaining “witness” who could offer testimony on how the fight started and who started it. Inasmuch as GZ killed TM, TM can’t testify so GZ’s credibility needs to be scrutinized, i.e., should he be believed?
In taped interviews which served as his testimony (playing these tapes was a prosecution misstep as it allowed GZ to “testify” without being cross-examined) GZ made several statements which are contradicted by common sense and the forensic evidence. Here is the interview with Sean Hannity.
1. GZ states that TM jumped out at him from some bushes.
In his reenactment there were no bushes at the location that GZ indicated that TM jumped out at him. It is strange that TM ran from GZ then attacked him while he was on foot? If that is even true, TM could have considered GZ a threat that he could not evade and then resorted to fisticuffs in self-defense.
2. GZ claimed TM hit him 12+ times in the face so hard that his head was pounded against the pavement each time.
GZ had two small abrasions on the back of his head and a bloody nose. These were mild injuries for which he did not even him seek secondary medical treatment. Common sense tells you that his injuries would have been much more extensive if his statement had been true. He should have suffered from a LOS, concussion and/or skull fracture, and even a coma or death. His face would have suffered much more damage than a bloody nose.
The Florida crime labs could find no trace of GZ’s DNA under TM’s fingernails or on his hands which is of course contradicts GZ’s statements. Here is the DNA report. Here is the FDLE DNA analyst’s testimony at trial.
There was also only one small cut on TM’s finger which is inconsistent with him hitting GZ so hard and so many times. The attorney he retained to represent him in his domestic violence case, Jayne Weintraub, pointed out that inconsistency when she stated that Zimmerman’s story was not true
3. GZ claimed that TM saw his gun and grabbed for it and he had to wrestle it away from TM in order to shoot him.
The Florida crime lab was unable to find any of TM’s DNA or fingerprints on the GZ’s gun.
How could TM see GZ’s gun when it was dark and the gun was in a holster on GZ’s back?
4. GZ claimed that TM’s had his hand over his mouth and held him down, yet he was the one screaming.
The Florida crime lab was unable to find any of GZ’s DNA on TM’s hands or under his fingernails. Why was there no blood on TM’s hands from Zimmerman’s bloody nose?
How could GZ scream when TM’s hand was over his mouth. How could TM reach for GZ’s gun, cover his mouth, and hold him down with only two hands?
5. Though I don’t believe it was presented at trial, GZ claimed TM pinned him on the concrete and yard as he pummeled him and that he fought off TM and managed to hold TM’s wrists to get his gun out of the holster.
Some GZ supporters claim that the law of self-defense states that only the mindset of the person pleading self-defense is important. If this was true, any paranoid person would be able to justify shooting someone for no reason other than their own delusions.
The law, in and of itself, cannot prove that GZ acted in self-defense. The issue is not one of law, but of fact! The law states that, in so many words, a valid affirmative defense of self-defense, requires that the “shooter” have a reasonable belief that he would suffer imminent death or great bodily injury. The issue of whether GZ had a reasonable belief is one of fact, not law!
If you ignore (or at the very least discount) each of GZ’s statements (1-5 above) which are not supported by the forensic evidence (in fact, in some cases, they are contradicted by it) then, there is no basis for GZ to have had a reasonable fear of death of bodily injury.
He was just engaged in a fist fight. He had already called the police and they would arrive any minute and the fight would have been over then. The George Zimmerman Trial For Dummies, by Dr. Kristine Randall, July 10, 2013
How could he claim that he had a reasonable belief that he would suffer imminent death or great bodily injury when he voluntarily left his car and pursued TM? I submit that he felt safe because he was armed.
IMHO, GZ had no reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury. That would have given him motive to lie about TM’s actions in order to conjure a situation where such a fear could be construed as reasonable.
Ironically, enough, the right wing bloggers, commentators and tweeters have demonized Trayvon in order to justify believing GZ’s story. Calling him a thug, etc. Arguendo, even if he was a thug, he was not engaged in criminal activity that night and was armed with only Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea. GZ cannot retroactively justify killing TM, even if he turned out to be a thug and there is no indication he was anything but a troubled teen.