Apparently sick of the “Lynch Zimmerman” tone so prevalent in the blogosphere, the mainstream media and the protests over the past 19 days, supporters of George Zimmerman have begun countering that atmosphere with new photos of Martin and Zimmerman, leaked details of Zimmerman’s statement, downloads of Trayvon’s Twitter account and information on Trayvon’s disciplinary history at his high school back in Miami. Add into the pot State Attorney Angela Corey expressing doubts that there may never be enough evidence to charge Zimmerman with anything. Throw in his mother seeking trademark protection for the phrases “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon”, the Rev. Jesse Jackson calling him a “martyr”, the Rev. Al Sharpton and others vowing to keep protesting until an arrest is made, and you’ve just got a lovely stew going on down there in Sunny Florida today.
So, here are the old and new shots of George Zimmerman. On the right is his 2005 booking photo, the scary picture we’re all familiar with by now. On the left is a more recent photo, source unknown. Nice, friendly looking guy, right? Recent leaks put him at 28 years old, 5’9” and around 230 lbs. His father is white, his mother Peruvian. He and his wife have mentored a couple of black children, they’ve worked on community fundraising projects, and their friends swear George is anything but a racist.
And here are the old and new shots of Trayvon Martin. On the left is one of the more used photos of a younger Trayvon, all nice clean cut kid. On the right is a more recent photo, found on one of his social networking profiles. Nice gold in the mouth, wifebeater… looks like a punk, right? With the family photos that were released, we know he was an athlete. What’s prominent now is that he was 6’3” and 150 lbs. The digging that’s being done into his Facebook, Twitter and MySpace accounts shows his presentation of himself online to be a whole different kid… making obscene gestures to the camera, boasting about hitting a bus driver; and then there is his Twitter handle: @NO_LIMIT_NIGGA. Not exactly the sweet church-going boy we’ve been seeing.
Welcome to the world of “spin”.
George Zimmerman originally told police in a written statement that Martin knocked him down with a punch to the nose, repeatedly slammed his head on the ground and tried to take his gun, a police source told ABC News. Zimmerman claimed he had called police about Martin, whom he found suspicious, then went back to his car when Martin attacked him, punching him.
In addition, an eyewitness, 13-year-old Austin Brown, told police he saw a man fitting Zimmerman’s description lying on the grass moaning and crying for help just seconds before he heard the gunshot that killed Martin.
David Martosko of The Daily Caller has gotten access to Trayvon Martin’s Twitter tweets and has posted them online here. I know nothing about Twitter, so you’re on your own with this one.
Trayvon’s School Troubles
ABC News has learned that Martin was visiting his Dad because he’d been slapped with a 10 day school suspension after a bag with suspected marijuana was found in his backpack. Last year Martin was suspended for spraying graffiti on school grounds. The Miami Herald reported that the school guard who stopped him searched his backpack and found 12 items of women’s jewelry and a flathead screw driver. But Martin was never charged or specifically disciplined for the incident.
State Attorney Angela Corey
You’ve got to give it to the woman, she’s not sugar-coating the truth, no matter who it pisses off.
“The stand-your-ground law is one portion of justifiable use of deadly force,” State Attorney Angela Corey told ABC News. “And what that means is that the state must go forward and be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt… So it makes the case in general more difficult than a normal criminal case.” Corey said parts of the investigation might only take a few more days to complete but charges, if they ever come, could be weeks away.
She also said she would rather see prayer rallies than protest rallies; she said people should gather and pray for her and her team to be able to complete their investigation quickly.
Sybrina Fulton Seeking to Trademark Trayvon’s Name
Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton is seeking to trademark phrases with her son’s name.
According to applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the family’s attorney last week, Fulton wants to trademark “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon” for use in DVDs and CDs memorializing the slain teenager. The family said it does not want other people printing memorabilia.
“Sybrina Fulton has no desire to profit from her son’s death, but wants to protect her son’s name legacy,” said family rep Ryan Julison.
Fulton’s trademark application could be fuel for critics who contend Martin’s parents–and civil rights activists like Rev. Al Sharpton–are trying to capitalize on the killing for personal, political or financial gain.
The Rev. Al Sharpton
The Rev. Al Sharpton said today that he and other protesters intend to “occupy” Sanford on Easter weekend and pray that the city arrests Zimmerman.
As truth and reality go spinning off into space with this, here’s a hint for picking up on the subtle bias you’ll find in just about every article written: Look at how the writer uses names. Calling someone by their first name creates a sense of intimacy and personal connection – we’ve all been calling him “Trayvon”. Conversely, calling someone by their bare last name instills distance. Including someone’s full title, like “State Attorney” or “Reverend”, implies respect for at least the office. Leaving it off implies familiarity, an arm across the shoulders. Unless there is obvious sarcasm involved, those tendencies should give you a chance to know right away which direction that writer blows in.
As for Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, well, I’m reserving judgement. I hate that the young man died, don’t get me wrong. I happen to support gun control (not the way its being done, though), and am certain that the evening would have ended far differently if Mr. Zimmerman hadn’t brought a gun to the party. And no, I don’t think he should have gotten out of his vehicle. However, I don’t know all the facts that can be learned, so I think I’m going to wait. There are enough folks out there passing judgement.