“Yep, according to Judge Nelson, Zimmerman became a limited public figure unable to pursue a clear case of libel because, while doing nothing whatever unlawful himself, and conducting himself precisely as instructed by the police who managed the Neighborhood Watch Program in which he participated, became the victim of a vicious, life-threatening attack by Trayvon Martin.” (Emphasis Added)
It is at best puzzling, at worst, completely dumbfounding. Here is the Sanford Neighborhood Watch Program Handbook which was entered into evidence in the Zimmerman criminal trial. On page 15 (pages are not numbered), paragraph 10 states:
10. Remember always that your responsibility is to report crime. Do not take any risks to prevent a crime or try to make an arrest. The responsibility for apprehending criminals belongs to the police department. (Emphasis in original).
Zimmerman left his vehicle and pursued Martin in direct contravention of the clear, unambiguous and emphasized Sanford Neighborhood Watch instructions. So how was he “conducting himself precisely as instructed by the police”? Read also Trayvon Martin would be alive if Neighborhood Watch rules followed, March 14, 2012, Beth Kassab, Orlando Sentinel Is this a Twilight Zone episode or something?
Now Zimmerman claimed he only left his vehicle to find a street sign since he couldn’t remember what street he was on….in a development that only had three streets. Read the transcript of the interview between Sanford investigators and Zimmerman contained in my post: Zimmerman Killed Martin Because All Unknown Young Black Males Were Burglars To Him Please also read: Trayvon Martin’s Killer Trolls for More Dollars by Offering to Sell his Signed Autograph, Frederick Leatherman’s Law Blog
It is clear Zimmerman left his vehicle to chase Martin. When the dispatcher advised Zimmerman, who felt the dispatcher’s advise was an order, not to follow Martin, he continued to do so and made no effort to return to his vehicle. How exactly is that complying with the instructions of Neighborhood Watch or the police? I, for one, am baffled.
In the same paragraph above, Mr. Branca states that Zimmerman “became the victim of a vicious, life-threatening attack by Trayvon Martin”? (Excuse me whilst I try suppress a cough!) I ventured into just how tenuous the evidence supporting that assertion is already in my posts. Andrew Branca Has Never Seen a Self-Defense Claim He Didn’t Embrace? and George Zimmerman Did Not Kill Trayvon Martin In Self-Defense However, I will expound further.
•Zimmerman had injuries but not ones that matched the severity of the attack he described, according to Serino. If Trayvon had been banging Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer should have had skull fractures, not just cuts, Serino said.
•There were no defensive wounds on Zimmerman’s hands and just one small scrape on a finger of Trayvon’s left hand, Serino said — little evidence of life-and-death struggle.
Zimmerman changes details, makes claims inconsistent with other evidence, June 27, 2012, Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel
Zimmerman’s minor injuries do not even being to match a “life-threatening attack” As I stated above, Zimmerman pursued Martin in violation of Neighborhood Watch regulations and never identified himself though he had several opportunities to do so. If Martin hit Zimmerman, he most likely only did it once. Martin had a single abrasion on his knuckle and Zimmerman had a bloody nose and slight abrasions on the back of his head when he probably fell against a sign, the ground or even the sidewalk.
If Martin did hit him, he arguably felt threatened or was possibly verbally or physically provoked, i.e. Zimmerman grabbed his clothing and knocked his ear piece out as Rachel Jentell testified. Most conveniently, many Zimmerman supporters reject this part of her testimony but choose to believe the part where she said she urged Martin to run and he was reluctant to do so.
Why didn’t Martin run home? Zimmerman supporters have many nefarious theories regarding that question. Read: Racist Bigots and Thugs Are Clairvoyant However, there is a more innocent and probable reason. Remember Zimmerman refused to give his address to the dispatcher because he was concerned that Martin would hear it and know where he lived? Well Martin could have had the same concern and chose to hide instead of leading a stranger to his home where he was alone with only a younger relative.
As I have stated before in some of my posts on this subject, why wouldn’t a 17 year old see a strange man who was stalking him as a threat? The Sanford investigators who interviewed Zimmerman pointed out the same thing! According to Zimmerman’s statement, Martin asked him why he was following him. Zimmerman did not identify himself and instead reached into his pocket for his phone. Why wouldn’t Martin hit Zimmerman at that point? How could Martin know that Zimmerman was reaching for a phone if that is even true.
Now, as Mr. Branca and the law will tell you, you can’t just shot some one in “self-defense” because they punched you in the nose and knocked you down. Read Andrew Branca’s Embarrasing Wager Contradicts His Book where there is a link to a Stand Your Ground “debate” at UC Berkeley, where Mr. Branca sets out the criteria for a successful legal self defense defense.
Now its true that you don’t have to have injuries to claim self defense. That point is frequently spouted by Zimmerman supporters. If you are threatened with great bodily injury or death you could use deadly force. However, Zimmerman didn’t tell Sanford investigators or Sean Hannity that he shot Martin because he punched him once and knocked him down or that he threatened to slam his head on the concrete. He told them that Martin slammed his head on the concrete at least 12+ times. Yet he only had minor, insignificant injuries which needed no doctor visit and he returned to work the next day? Well that’s just ridiculous! Alice in Wonderland material!
More significantly, Zimmerman stated that Martin was straddling him and slamming his head on the concrete (I guess for the 12th or more times) just before he shot him. He stated that Martin fell forward on top of him. He didn’t say that Martin jumped up and did a dance or rolled around first! Well Martin’s head is some distance from the sidewalk. This is clear in pictures which can be seen in my post: George Zimmerman Did Not Kill Trayvon Martin In Self-Defense If what Zimmerman claims was true, Martin’s head would be right next to the sidewalk! Compound that with the absurdity of Zimmerman supposedly getting his head slammed on concrete 12+ times and only having a few scratches and the reasonable conclusion is Zimmerman is not being truthful, i.e. misrepresenting the facts, otherwise known as lying!
We don’t even have to get into the improbability of Martin somehow seeing Zimmerman’s gun in the dark where it was behind his hip and reaching for it. We don’t have to get into the fact that though Martin supposedly “viciously attacked” Zimmerman and fell on top of him when he was shot, the DNA evidence does not support Zimmerman’s statements. George Zimmerman’s DNA problem, Washington Post, 09/30/2012, FLE DNA Report This post proposes is a more probable scenario So why didn’t Zimmerman Fight Back?, Vyan, Fri. Jul. 12, 2013, Daily Kos
There is amble evidence that Zimmerman was not “conducting himself precisely as instructed by the police who managed the Neighborhood Watch Program” and there is no evidence, none, besides Zimmerman’s statements, that he was the victim of a “vicious, life-threatening attack by Trayvon Martin”.