Trayvon Martin

Key Witness Against George Zimmerman Is Hard to Understand, Harder to Believe

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Video via The Orlando Sentinel

Yesterday and today, jurors in George Zimmerman's murder trial heard testimony from a key prosecution witness: Rachel Jeantel, the 19-year-old friend of Trayvon Martin who was on the phone with him right before the scuffle that ended in his death. Jeantel said that Martin repeatedly complained to her about a "creepy-ass cracker" who was following him and that she urged him to run, which he did. After the call was dropped, she said, she called him back about 20 seconds later, and he sounded tired from running. She said he told her he saw the man again, and she heard him say, "Why are you following me for?" She said she heard "a hard-breathing man" reply, "What you doing around here?" At that point, she said, she heard "a bump" as Martin's cellphone headset fell on the ground and "the sound of wet grass." After that, "I calling, 'Trayvon, Trayvon,'" Jeantel said. "I kind of heard Trayvon saying, 'Get off, get off.' Suddenly the phone hung up, shut off."

Jeantel's testimony, which continues as I write, contradicts Zimmerman's claim that he stopped following Martin and was assaulted by him without provocation. Her account implies that it was Zimmerman who tackled Martin, rather than the other way around. How credible is her version of events? Not very.

That bit about "the sound of wet grass" seems like an after-the-fact embellishment; I am not sure what wet grass sounds like, and it is unlikely that Jeantel knew her friend was in the vicinity of it until she read or heard accounts of the shooting long after her conversation with him. Her claim that she "kind of heard Trayvon saying, 'get off, get off'" also smacks of twisting her memory to fit the prosecution's case. As defense attorney Don West showed in his cross-examination, Jeantel's testimony has evolved over time in ways that help the prosecution.

In the courtroom, Jeantel confidently identified the person screaming in the background of a recorded 911 call as Martin. But as West pointed out, she was much less certain about that in a deposition, saying the voice "could be Trayvon," adding, "Like I said, I don't know. But it could be. The dude sound kinda like Trayvon." In an interview with prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda, Jeantel said she "heard a noise like something hitting somebody"—a detail she had not mentioned before. Today in court she declared that the sound meant "Trayvon got hit." West pointed out that she was merely speculating, since there was no way she could know that based merely on what she heard over the phone. Jeantel initially told prosecutors that the "noise like something hitting somebody" was the last thing she heard. Later she claimed to have heard someone say "get off, get off" after the "noise like something hitting somebody." Yesterday in court, she mentioned the "sound of wet grass." Today she said it was the sound of people rolling around on the ground. 

West also sought to undermine Jeantel's credibility by highlighting two lies she has admitted: She claimed to be 16, and she said she missed Martin's wake because she was in the hospital, whereas she now says she did not go because she did not want to see her friend's body. There is also the question of why Jeantel, even though she now claims to have heard crucial evidence in a murder case, did not go to the police. Initially, she says, she thought "it was just a fight." After she learned that Martin had been killed, she has said, she figured the police would contact her. She also has said that she thought since they already had identified the shooter they did not need her help. 

Over all, Jeantel is a decidedly unimpressive witness, slurring her words and speaking so softly that at times she can barely be heard, becoming increasingly testy as West highlights the inconsistencies in her testimony. Virtually all of her responses so far have included the word sir, sometimes repeated several times in the same sentence, usually tinged with sarcasm. At one point, in response to West's suggestion that Martin planned to start a fight with Zimmerman, she responded, "That's real retarded, sir." Jeantel has also leaned heavily on the phrase "trust me," which has the opposite of the intended effect. While some of what she is saying may be true, it seems clear that her recollection is colored by a desire to see Zimmerman convicted. As a juror, I would not put much stock in her account. Notably, changing just a few of the more suspect details would make what she claims to have heard consistent with Zimmerman's story. I am not convinced that Zimmerman is telling the truth either, but with star witnesses like this the prosecution will have a hard time erasing the jury's reasonable doubts.

Addendum: In the comments, Tarran points out another embarrassing moment for the prosecution, as reported by ABC News:

A teenage friend of Trayvon Martin was forced to admit today in the George Zimmerman murder trial that she did not write a letter that was sent to Martin's mother describing what she allegedly heard on a phone call with Martin moments before he was shot.

In a painfully embarrassing moment, Rachel Jeantel was asked to read the letter out loud in court.

"Are you able to read that at all?" defense attorney Don West asked.

Jeantel, head bowed, eyes averted, whispered into the court microphone, "Some but not all. I don't read cursive."

It sent a hush through the packed courtroom.

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    1. That’s what they get for no longer teaching cursive. Murderers go free.

      1. If only public schools were FULLY FUNDED!

      2. This is the first time I can remember that you comment actually dovetailed nicely with your screen-name. I’m in heaven.

      3. Three days after my first typing class when I hit 40wpm I realized cursive was for bankers and the birds. Block print capitals for life.

    2. Has anyone asked her to copy the letter in cursive, or has she admitted now that she didn’t write it?

      1. Apparently the latter. It’s impossible to write cursive and yet not be able to read your own writing. So the question is: who wrote it?

        1. So the question is: who wrote it?

          No doubt someone with immunity.

        2. I believe in testimony she said her friend wrote it but the words are hers.

          1. I see. So she can’t read it even knowing what it says. I’m sure the jury will buy that.

        3. The same person who wrote Obama’s memoirs?

        4. It’s impossible to write cursive and yet not be able to read your own writing.

          I don’t know about that. I’ve had a hard time sometimes reading things I wrote in cursive. I recognize the scribbles as mine, but to hell if I can tell what it says. But I also have really shitty pendmanship. Still, at least I was taught cursive, and most of the time can at least figure out what I wrote even if it takes a while.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if the real issue isn’t that she can’t read cursive but that she can’t read, period. Product of FL public schools and all.

          1. I don’t think all the blame should reside with the schrools considering the main barrier most people have to overcome is their own inertia. She just strikes me as the type that would still be illiterate even if she was somehow miraculously made to attend tops schools.

            1. True, it could just be that she’s fat, lazy, and stupid.

              1. So I take it that you could say the same about many lawyers who use secretary services for their notes? Or, in your mind, is it better to give a letter to a grieving mother that may be harder to read had it been written by yourself?

                The thought doesn’t matter, only your assumption that she is illiterate, and the value aesthetics is worthless. I hope you do not go to many florists… or to too many funerals for that matter because you may quickly develop poor opinions of your loved ones giving gifts.

            2. “…considering the main barrier most people have to overcome is their own inertia.”

              And from the looks of the picture above, we are talking about a LOT of inertia.

        5. It’s impossible to write cursive and yet not be able to read your own writing.

          I can assure you that there are times that I cannot read my own writing. Literally and figuratively.

          You are correct that it is impossible to write cursive yet not (in general) be able to read cursive.

          I still think the prosecution is basically wasting taxpayer money on a show trial so the black community can’t criticize them for not prosecuting. Basically a publicly-funded reelection campaign. But there will be a number of people that simply want revenge on their target whether the target is guilty or not.

    3. She can’t read the letter, or she just can’t read?

      1. “I can’t read cursive”.

        The “or any other writing” was silent. When you realize that she’s 19 and a rising senior it all makes sense.

        1. “Learn to read? Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

    4. What’cha talking about Willis?

  1. No way they go for murder with these witnesses and the evidence at hand without the media furor. No way.

    1. I wonder if they overcharged him on purpose, knowing that the chances of presenting a convincing case for second-degree murder in these circumstances is just ludicrous. Maybe the prosecution just went all meta.

      Nah. Racist, etc.

      1. Overcharging is standard operating procedure. Get pulled over and blow a 0.05? They’ll charge you with DUI though the threshold is 0.08, and then tell you you can take a plea bargain of Reckless Driving or go to a jury and be convicted of DWAI. Not that I know from experience or anything.

        1. I asked about this the other day. Under what circumstances can someone be convicted of a lesser offense? Obviously GZ could plead guilty to one, but what if he doesn’t? If he wasn’t charged with (say) manslaughter, can the jury find him guilty of it anyway?

          1. Okay, I’ve thought about this and checked some stuff–manslaughter is a lesser included offense in Florida. They may be either trying to get him to eventually deal for that lesser charge or to get the jury to give it to them later.

            1. I can see the jury giving him manslaughter, but there’s no way they give him murder 2. He’d be a fool to plea to manslaughter when it is already the worst possible outcome.

              1. Even manslaughter seems a stretch. The prosecution would have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that GZ was not just defending himself. I don’t see how that’s possible.

                1. I agree with this, too. He wasn’t going to be charged with anything, apparently, before this got politicized. I think the cops and state attorneys were a little too dismissive of the possibility of a charge to begin with, but they were likely right.

          2. I dunno. I’m just someone who gets railroaded because I can’t afford a lawyer, and the job of a public pretenders in my experience is to convince their clients to take a plea deal.

            Meanwhile a friend of mine who admittedly caused an accident while driving with a 0.15 BAC got the case dismissed after giving three grand to a lawyer who is friends with the DA.

            1. In cases of selective enforcement the only facts that matter are who you know and how much money you have.

            2. Meanwhile a friend of mine who admittedly caused an accident while driving with a 0.15 BAC got the case dismissed after giving three grand to a lawyer who is friends with the DA.

              The American Justice System at work, ladies and germs.

        2. That’s fucked up. I hope you called them on their bullshit.

          1. It’s standard operating procedure. Overcharge and hope they can’t afford a lawyer. If they can’t afford one, then they’ll take a plea. They have no other choice. Public defenders only negotiate plea deals. They rarely if ever take cases to court.

            1. How the hell can you not afford a lawyer? They’re only a few grand.

              1. They’re more than that for murder if they aren’t PDs. That’s a lot of hours, dude.

                1. No, I was referring to being arrested for a DUI. As reprehensible as our bullshit DUI money stealing machine is, it at least is pretty streamlined if you grease the wheels appropriately.

                  1. Yeah, that’s a big industry down here (probably everywhere), and they just have a bag of procedural tricks (for most cases), so I think you’re right about the fee.

            2. sarcasmic is exactly right.

              And not only is it overcharge, it is also overfine as well.

              I’ve seen kids (19 or 20) from the ghetto charged in non-ghetto courts with a misdemeanor… and a $5K fine. There is no way the kid has $5K, so he’s going to have to steal or sling to come up with it. So he either can’t pay and does time for a silly alcohol possession charge, or he is encouraged to fund the government by committing worse crimes.

      2. I don’t know what they really think. However, I bet there are some at the state attorney’s office who don’t actually want a conviction, because they aren’t convinced of his guilt. But they obviously feel that it’s “politically impossible” not to pursue a murder conviction. The political pressure was enormous, I’m sure, probably including pressure from Martin’s “dad.”

        1. I have small doubt that without the shameless grandstanding of a certain publicity-whoring race pimp, Zimmerman would not have been charged with anything.

          However, I bet there are some at the state attorney’s office who don’t actually want a conviction, because they aren’t convinced of his guilt.

          That and the political pressure argument seem most plausible to me. With national attention focused (once again!) on Florida, they felt they had to do something. Anything. Even this farcical trial.

          1. the shameless grandstanding of a certain publicity-whoring race pimp

            Do you mean Sharpton, Jackson, or Obama? You’ll have to be more specific.

            1. All three?

        2. Absolutely this. I can’t think that the DA would have gotten off easily with pleading Zimmerman to involuntary manslaughter. This case begs for a very public airing of the scant evidence for or against Zimmerman, if for no other reason than giving the prosecution a plausible out. Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission and all that.

          1. What about Zimmerman whose life is being wrecked so the career politicians can avoid pain?

            1. And why would this matter to law enforcement?

              1. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am sure it won’t, but it should matter to people that vote in elections. Today Zimmerman, tomorrow any one of us they can tread on to climb the career ladder…

              2. It doesn’t.

          2. Shades of Harold Fish.

      3. I suspect they overcharged him expecting him to take a plea to manslaughter or something. Unfortunately for them, he called their bluff.

        I hope for his sake that if he does walk, he gets the hell out of Florida as fast as he can.

  2. Boy the prosecution sure did a bang up job prepping their star witness.

    1. Dude,

      Consider what they have to work with. She’s not very smart, she is very ill-educated, she is clearly telling different stories to manipulate the people she is talking to (that’s the point of evolving stories generally), and she’s the sort of person who takes the time to share a picture of her “court nails” with her facebook friends.

      If she is telling the truth, it’s a shame because the guy who murdered her friend will get off because of her un-credible behavior.

      Personally, I don’t find her credible at all.

      1. …and she’s the sort of person who takes the time to share a picture of her “court nails” with her facebook friends.

        Fucking gold.

        1. Facebook? C’mon, we all know that racial disparity has prevented her from getting the high-speed internet access she’s entitled to!

          1. We need Tony w/o spaces to come and explain the “canon of human rights” to us, like the right to Facebook, marriage, and government-run healthcare.

      2. All of the above are things that should have been discovered before they let her on the stand.

        How the fuck did they not know she couldn’t read her own letter?

        Florida has some of the dumbest prosecutors I’ve ever seen in my life.

        1. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but prosecutors aren’t always the top of the profession. Part of that is relatively low pay. A bigger part of that is the huge role politics now plays in the office.

          In other words, it ain’t just Florida. Ask OJ about that.

          1. Feature or bug that our government becomes less competent as it becomes more evil?

            1. Inevitability.

            2. Feature. A more limited government usually includes a feature of having some level of accountability to the public. As that fades, the need for restraint, competence, and honesty decreases.

            3. Feature. If it became more competent, we’d be in major trouble.

                1. Stop copying me. Stop copying me.

          2. I think quite a few prosecutors and DA’s have their minds focused more on getting a judgeship than doing their current jobs.

        2. Prosecutors get so excited when they have a media sensation case that they get…sloppy. I mean, this is their future career on the line! Truth, justice, fuck that shit! Career-maker!

          1. Two words: Mark Fuhrman. The prosecution gets the conviction if they’d known about the problems with him.

        3. In her defense, she had a friend write it for her, and she is up front about it.

          It wasn’t even a gotcha: the defense was trying to confirm the letter in evidence was the same as what she had dictated. Something that usually is pretty pro-forma. What a train wreck.

          1. So she was unable to confirm at the time that what was written is what she said SINCE SHE CAN’T FUCKING READ.

            They uh, prolly shoulda figured that out before they put her on the stand. How did the prosecution not realize what a disaster this was going to be?

            1. I don’t think they care.

              They don’t really care if they convict him or not. Just that they are seen to have made a college try.

              They would prefer to convict him, if they can, but their political aspirations won’t be fatally set back if he walks.

              1. This isn’t a college try. more like Kindergarten.

              2. Hey if they don’t convict, the worst case is that their next job will be on cable news as a legal analrapist.

                1. It wasn’t the pronunciation that bothered me.

              3. This. This is a politically motivated prosecution.

  3. The photo is obviously racist.

    1. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

      1. Drunk isn’t so bad.

    2. Is it just me, or does she look like she has Down’s Syndrome?

      1. I’m going with a bad case of hyperthyroidism, given the goiter.

  4. A ridiculous witness for a ridiculous case. Isn’t politicization of possible crimes great?

    1. The Duke lacrosse team says *redacted*. Racist, etc.

  5. “and speaking so softly that at times she can barely be heard”

    Your honor, I move to exclude this witnesses testimony…she’s a low talker!

    /Jackie Chiles

    1. You put the balm on?!? Who told you to put the balm on?!?

      1. Just apply two fingers of the patented oily balm to the affected area.

        1. Way to go, NutraSweet.

  6. Why would the prosecution call a witness who admits Trayvon called Zimmerman a “cracker”? I thought their goal was to show Zimmerman was the racist?

    1. Only whites are capable of “bad” racism, didn’t you know that?

      1. Well, whites, and really light-skinned Hispanic males with Anglo names.

        1. I believe Zimmerman is a German name

          1. I think I just found his motivation. Zimmerman is awful close to Glimmerman. He was emulating his hero/pseudo-namesake!

          2. Isn’t that Bob Dylan’s real name?

          3. Eh, I was thinking of “George,” as in king, Washington, etc.

          4. Lots of Germans in Mexico since the 19th century.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G….._to_Mexico

    2. She said that “cracker” wasn’t a racist term, so it’s okay.

    3. It’s perfectly OK for black people to call white people crackers, honkies, whiteys, or any other disparaging ethnic slur for whites all they want. Whites, OTOH, are not allowed to use the words nigger, jigabo, moolie, porch monkey, etc. even in a joking non-serious context like I’m doing here. Ever.

      Because OPPRESSOR CLASS or some such PC horseshit. I have trouble keeping up with the latest PC excuse for why racism against whites is not only acceptable but encouraged, but that sounds about right.

      Also, Zimmerman’s racism is evident based solely on his ethnicity (white hispanic, whatever the fuck that is).

  7. Hey, stop hating on the Future Mrs. Albo. Our babies will be fat, low-talking treasures.

  8. Alt text FAIL.

    1. Even slightly humorous alt-text would be, well, racist, etc.

      1. I was expecting “HEY, HAY, HAI.”

    2. “May now kung Bantha poodoo!”

      Happy now?

      1. I’ll give it an 8.8

        1. Does Zimmerman have a scrappy and attractive twin sister? If so, this could end badly for Ms. Jeantel.

    3. “I’m sorry, we called Rachel Jeantel to the stand, not the creature that ate Rachel Jeantel.”

      1. 9.3 you RACIST

  9. Jeantel said that Martin repeatedly complained to her about a “creepy-ass cracker” who was following him

    I guess we know which one was the racist

    1. Yep, Zimmerman. All creepy-ass crackers are racist.

  10. The problem with this situation is that I find it highly likely that two people each did something stupid and one of them came out dead: Zimmerman as mall ninja, Martin as black guy gonna teach this stupid cracker a lesson.

    Zimmerman doesn’t belong in prison simply because he was the better-prepared one who ended up alive, even if for the sake of argument we ignore the problem of the scarcity of physical evidence to back up personal accounts.

    1. If I were a betting guy, this is exactly what I think happened. Zimmerman was overzealous; Martin got pissed off too easily. But we’ll never know.

      1. I think we will. Just not during or immediately after this trial.

    2. Martin as black guy gonna teach this stupid cracker a lesson.

      This, knowing what we know about Martin’s background. And I’d give odds that he said as much to Rachel in his last phone call, and that a bunch of her squirreliness comes from having to cover up that fact.

      Gotta love the detail about hearing the sound of the phone falling on wet grass! That’s some hi-fi cellphone service the two of them had. An iPhone on AT&T isn’t nearly that good.

      1. And I’d give odds that he said as much to Rachel in his last phone call, and that a bunch of her squirreliness comes from having to cover up that fact.

        That also explains why she was reluctant to go to the cops. She’s too stupid to come up with a good lie. Needed some help.

        1. If only she had known the cops would gladly give her one.

          1. The kid who was driving the car that hit me on my bicycle totally admitted that he ran the light and that it was his fault, until him and his father talked with the cop for a half hour or so. The cop helped them get their lies straight to match the false report. The cop was so shameless about it it was sickening.

            1. It is how they are trained. All of them are like Dunphy. They know just enough about the law to be dangerous and how to coach a witness to lie properly.

      2. I’m sure the prosecution coached her to recall details of the crime to improve her credibility, so she ‘recalls’ details she could not have possibly known.

      3. Can you hear me now?

    3. I’m thinking now a reasonable charge might actually be something more like disturbing the peace: this feels like a duel-gone-bad because one side was woefully under-armed.

  11. As a member of the prosecution team, I really resent this offensive article. Do you know how hard we coached her for this? How many hours it took us to get this far?

    Her initial statement to my team was,

    “Yo cracka! Everyone straight up knows that wetback foo done whacked the brother. Sheeeet! And don’t you be axing me to be callin no cracka fools ‘sir’ this or ‘sir’ that.”

    1. ‘Merkin, you really are a loathsome human being.

      1. Don’t encourage the scumbag by responding, Tonio.

      2. That was pretty funny, though.

  12. While some of what she is saying may be true, it seems clear that her recollection is colored by a desire to see Zimmerman convicted.

    You have to understand that sometimes, when the verifiable facts aren’t sufficient to persuade people to do the right thing, you have to embellish a little. You know, give testimony that’s “fake but accurate,” like the “evidence” of Dubya’s National Guard service. (Or, for that matter, Dubya’s evidence of WMDs in Iraq.)

  13. Or the typical “testilying” by cops.

    1. What’s sick is that the term was apparently invented by cops.

      1. And it’s hardly a secret. Yet people continue to believe cops in court.

  14. OT, but related:
    “How innocent man’s DNA was found at killing scene”
    …”the same two paramedics who had treated Anderson for intoxication at a downtown San Jose liquor store in November had responded to Kumra’s home just hours later.”…

    Guy’s spent 5 months in the slammer even though:
    …”he had an airtight alibi – he was drunk and unconscious at a hospital when the victim was killed in his mansion miles away.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/ar…..624971.php

    Yep, those DNA tests are absolute proof! Of something.

    1. Eye witness testimony is unreliable. Fingerprints are unreliable. DNA markers are unreliable. You want all the criminals to go free don’t you?

      1. “You want all the criminals to go free don’t you?”

        Damn. Can’t fool you, can I?

  15. She claimed to be 16, and she said she missed Martin’s wake because she was in the hospital, whereas she now says she did not go because she did not want to see her friend’s body. There is also the question of why Jeantel, even though she now claims to have heard crucial evidence in a murder case, did not go to the police. Initially, she says, she thought “it was just a fight.” After she learned that Martin had been killed, she has said, she figured the police would contact her. She also has said that she thought since they already had identified the shooter they did not need her help.

    Unfortunately, she sounds like she may be very poorly educated which is almost universally going to make for a bad witness.

    On her not going to the funeral and twisting her reasons for not doing so, I’m not sure I there’s any reason to cue dramatic music on that story change.

    I don’t know her relationship with Martin, but when you’re close to someone, going to the funeral can be traumatic.

    For instance, if my daughter died, it’s very possible I may not attend the funeral. To most outsiders, that’s fucked up, but I’d have my reasons and if I bothered to make them known (which I won’t) people might understand more.

    It does sound like there’s a lot of coaching that’s occurred by the prosecution- or details that have come into “clarity” only because she now knows what happened via media reports.

    1. I actually feel sorry for her. It is pretty clear to me that the reason she lied in the first place was because the government showed up and pressured her and she told them what they wanted to hear. Now she is on the hook for lying when she never would have lied had it not been for the government.

      1. Which reminds me of the best explanation for the whole Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas brouhaha. She tried to torpedo his nomination anonymously, but when her role became public she had to keep going with misleading information (she had been sexually harassed, but not by Thomas, and her friends got the timeline wrong, and thought she had meant Thomas) and trivialities (jokes he’d made).

    2. Is she poorly educated or just stupid? You can’t educate stupid.

      1. Stupid. The bell curve has to have a left half doesn’t it?

      2. “Is she poorly educated or just stupid?”

        Yes.

    3. She and Martin were friends from elementary school.

      If it was too traumatic to go to the funeral, she could have just said that.

      The series of lies and otherwise hard-to-explain lapses of common sense on her part just makes more probable what I think happened. Of course she didn’t call the police after hearing Martin was dead: was she going to say “Yeah, in our last phone call he said he was going back to teach that cracker a lesson”? No, she just shut up and only got involved to this degree because the family is looking for any possible crumb they can use to make their case.

      1. If it was too traumatic to go to the funeral, she could have just said that.

        see: Uneducated or Stupid.

        Be careful not to presume that people have full control of their own emotions, thought processes or have any insight or self awareness.

        The series of lies and otherwise hard-to-explain lapses of common sense on her part just makes more probable what I think happened.

        I agree. It appears the prosecution coached someone who couldn’t be coached once the line of questioning went in a new direction.

        No, she just shut up and only got involved to this degree because the family is looking for any possible crumb they can use to make their case.

        I also agree. I’m sure Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton are waiting in the wings for the civil suit.

    4. It really doesn’t help that no one talked to her until well after shit was underway, by which time gaps in actual memory were patched up with known details and wishful speculation.

    5. She is undoubtedly very poorly educated. On top of that, she is just plain dumb. I would guess an IQ in the 75 range.

      If she is the prosecution’s shining light, then I am considering amending my prediction from hung jury to acquittal.

  16. As a juror, I would not put much stock in her account.

    So conviction inbound.

  17. What a farce. I saw a clip a few minutes ago where the prosecution was arguing that Martin’s solution to everything was to call the cops. Ah, doesn’t that put lie to the theory he is some kind of crazed racist vigilante? Last I looked vigilantes don’t call the cops.

    I think the reality is that this case is being brought at the behest of the national Democratic Party and the White House and they want an acquittal. If the guy is convicted, the black community will forget about it and if anything whites will be angry. But if he is acquitted, the White House can use the media to continue to lie so people have no idea what a joke this thing is and have a ready made issue to drive black turnout.

    1. I don’t think the White House could give a shit less.

      It’s local government and they’re trying for a conviction because they don’t want riots if he gets acquitted.

      1. I think the national Dem party cares about this. If they didn’t, it wouldn’t be getting any coverage. Why else did the media ever cover this case in the first place if not because someone in the Obama campaign thought it needed to be and told them to do it?

        1. John, the media rarely needs to take actual orders from Democrat politicians. They naturally know what to do to help the cause.

          Plus, the media often covers big stories just because they are big stories. Of course, the media helped make this a big story because it fit the narrative of the epidemic of young black men being killed by white racists (or something), so they can hardly ignore the whole thing now.

          1. But this shouldn’t have ever been a big story. It was only a “big story” because the media made it one. Think about the kind of local criminal cases that go national. The always involve women or children. When is the last time a male on male murder that didn’t involve a celebrity or wasn’t an obvious hate crime like the one in Jerrell, Texas got this kind of coverage?

            And don’t tell me it is because a white guy killed a black guy. That happens dozens of times or probably hundreds of times a year in this country. But those stories don’t get covered.

            This story was picked up at the national level because the Obama campaign wanted it to be.

            1. You’re right that it never should have been a national story, and that Obama and the media made it one. Where I disagreed with you is in saying they wanted an acquittal. I think they wanted a conviction, because then their base would be happy and they could claim Racial Justice was done. But they were blinded by ideology and didn’t think this would turn into such an obvious farce, and didn’t think: “Gee, if he’s acquitted, there will be riots, and that won’t help us in 2014.”

              1. We will see how it works out. What scares me is how the media is lying about this case. If the truth comes out, no one will riot because it is such a farce. But the media is doing everything it can to make Zimmerman look guilty.

              2. “Gee, if he’s acquitted, there will be riots, and that won’t help us in 2014.”

                I hadn’t really thought much about that. But I wonder if we will see riots? And I’m curious how the White House would respond.

                1. I suspect the fringe left is really, really frustrated right now, what with Obama turning into a Bush/Nixon mashup. They’d love to blow off some steam with a bunch of demonstrations against “racism,” and at least some of those will turn violent.

                  Also, note that in recent years, there have been scores (maybe hundreds) of cases of mobs of blacks attacking whites and Hispanics and running riot through convenience stores and malls. An acquittal would be a perfect trigger for some more of those.

            2. i think it’s more the gun control angle than racial. slightly more anyway.

              1. It’s all of it. Gun control, racism, self-defense, class warfare.

                1. Race + gun control + stand your ground + the conservative group ALEC (which wrote SYG laws).

                  A couple of useful demons: The racist “white hispanic” who profited from the Kochspiracy to allow Wild West shootings.

                  By the time the premises of the narrative started falling apart, they were already invested in the story.

                  I mean, it has national significance, not like a “local story” such as Gosnell.

        2. It’s just media sensationalism. White man kills black boy! More at eleven!

          1. There are a ton of cases like that. There is nothing special about this case. The media picked up on it for entirely political reasons. It was an election year and it was something the Obama campaign wanted covered.

            1. Sure, Red Tony. Whatever you say.

              1. Why don’t you just say “okay John I never thought of that and I have nothing to say in response”? I guess saying Red Tony takes less typing and lets everyone know that is what you mean.

                I have to hand it to you. That is pretty smart.

                1. I never thought of it because it’s absurd.

                  White man shoots unarmed black boy after following him around in the dark. Pictures show a young boy with a nice smile and a soccer ball. The all-American kid, taken down by a racist white motherfucker.

                  Don’t need no orders from Obama to turn that into a national story. It’s got legs of its own.

                  Blaming Obama is like Tony blaming Booosh, hence the Red Tony.

                  derp

                  1. yeah,

                    Sarcasimic there isn’t a private list serve where various Dem media hacks get their talking points straight. And it s not like the White House doesn’t routinely invite lefty media to the White House to discuss strategy. I guess they just all happen to say the same thing at the same time out of coincidence.

                    If the White House wants something covered, it gets covered. If they want it buried, it gets buried.

            2. John, you still propose no reason for this case in particular being the big story. If there are a ton of cases like it, why not one of the others? Or all of them?

              Personally, I think that it got picked up at first because of the SYG thing. The media hates gun rights and self defense all on its own, without need for political direction.

              1. If there are a ton of cases like it, why not one of the others?

                Timing. This happened during the election cycle. And why not all of them? Because you can only tell so many stories.

                1. Are there a ton of cases like it? I don’t think so. Links please.

                  1. Where white men kill black men? Sure. Black on white crime is more common. But white on black crime is not nonexistent.

                    Is it your position that Zimmerman is the only white man who killed a black man in 2012? I doubt that seriously.

                    1. The only one? I didn’t say that. It’s just a convergence of stuff that made that story popular. I don’t think Obama had anything to do with it.

                      Whatever.

                2. Yes there are tons of black kids killed every day, but 99.9999% of them are killed by other black kids or the cops. I don’t think this one is as common as you say it is.

                  1. Less than nine months after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in central Florida, another black teenage student was killed under suspicious circumstances.

                    Michael David Dunn, a 45-year-old vice president of Dunn & Dunn Data Systems in Vero Beach, was in Jacksonville this past weekend for his son’s wedding. The Orlando Sentinel details what happened on Friday when Dunn, a gun collector, encountered Jordan Russell Davis, a student at nearby magnet school Samuel W. Wolfson High.

                    http://thinkprogress.org/justi…..ell-davis/

                    1. hey, and actual white man who shot a black teenager!

        3. Of course they do, this case is about FEELINGS. FEELINGS get voters to the polls, not equal application of the law or logic or rationality or any of that retarded shit.

    2. Why in the world would the Democratic Party and the White House want an acquittal? There will be race riots, and that’s not going to help them with independent voters next year.

      I think it’s just the result of typical leftist emotion-driven thinking. They just didn’t think it through.

      1. Why would race riots hurt Obama? He could act as the great healer. It would get the black base out for the midterms. It would get whites to feel guilty and assuage their guilt by voting for Democrats.

        If the White House thought race riots would hurt them, they never would have made this case a national issue.

        1. I don’t see how riots would help bring out the base, or make whites feel guilty, or give him an a chance to act as a “healer.” The trope of Obama as Racial Healer lost any power it had years ago.

          The White House makes lots and lots of stupid decisions. These are same people who are sending fighter jets and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. If they are that deluded and stupid, of course they are deluded and stupid enough to think that prosecuting Zimmerman would be a good idea.

          1. Race riots bring polarization to the voting blocs. Polarization is largely a good thing for the DNC/GOP. So I think they both stand to gain from it.

            1. The Republicans gain if he is convicted. Whites get pissed off and feel like he was railroaded by the media and the Dems. That is why the Dems are better off with an acquittal.

          2. I don’t see how riots would help bring out the base, or make whites feel guilty, or give him an a chance to act as a “healer.”

            Blacks feeling angry and disenfranchised wouldn’t come out to vote to get rid of the evil Republican House? Especially after the media spent weeks telling them how Republicans don’t care and wanted Zimmerman to go free?

            And white liberals will certainly feel guilty. That is what they do. “We need to get out and vote and get a Dem Congress or the country is going to explode”. They would eat that shit up and forget all about the NSA.

            1. After the mid-sixties riots we got President Nixon. After the Rodney King riots we got a Republican House. I don’t think riots by racial minorities help Democrats at the ballot box.

        2. If white people are mostly convinced that the prosecution failed to make a case even close to their charges, then black rioting isn’t something you can fix by doing the liberal thing, unless that now extends to throwing people in jail without evidence.

          Conservative whites are going to be hostile regardless, moderate whites are going to see the rioters as having no justifiable cause, and liberals aren’t going to see much in the way of a crisitunity. So what does it get them? Well, another chance to trial-run lockdowns and martial law, I guess, just like Boston and LA.

          If the White House thought race riots would hurt them, they never would have made this case a national issue.

          My guess is, they didn’t think that far ahead, and just thought it would be helpful for tainting the image of SYG and further disarming the peasants. But since Sandy Hook, it’s a little obsolete, not that they don’t try to raise the non-sequitur of SYG whenever they can in discussing the case.

          1. The gun angle is a good point. The original take on this story was “evil southern state has this horrible law that allows white men to hunt young black men for sport”. After Sandyhook, they didn’t need this story anymore to tell that.

            1. Yes and yes. I hadn’t thought of the “disarming the peasants” angle, but I’m sure that’s another reason the national media jumped on this story. If Martin had died by hitting his head on the concrete, they’d have been less interested, but GUNNNNZZZZZ.

      2. Broken windows. Duh.

    3. I saw a clip a few minutes ago where the prosecution was arguing that Martin’s solution to everything was to call the cops. Ah, doesn’t that put lie to the theory he is some kind of crazed racist vigilante?

      I’m assuming you meant Zimmerman, not Martin. The prosecution probably doesn’t care if their story is consistent, all they care about is whether or not by the end they can convince the 12 idiots in the jury box that “Zimmerman is a racist asshole who deserves to be ass raped in prison for several year for blowing that sweet angelic little black boy” or some such shit.

      1. Just a technical point, there are only six people on the Zimmerman jury (and IIRC four alternates).

        The only criminal charge in Florida that requires a twelve-person jury is capital murder.

        1. Didn’t know that. That means the prosecution only has to convince 6 idiots. Hooray!

      2. …for blowing away that sweet angelic little black boy

        Paging Dr. Freud…

  18. At one point, in response to West’s suggestion that Martin planned to start a fight with Zimmerman, she responded, “That’s real retarded, sir.”

    That’s hilarious considering she’s at best borderline mentally retarded.

    1. And I wonder if anyone on the jury might have a mentally disabled relative and take offense? What a train wreck this has been for the prosecution so far.

    2. Well bitch, at least I can read.

  19. Oh. My. God.
    *Facepalm*

  20. This case is starting to look more like an episode of Judge Judy.

    1. Judge Wapner coulda handled the whole thing in 11 minutes.

  21. If the witness can’t read lit,
    You must acquit!

  22. You have to love the double standard here. If it turned out that Zimmerman had uttered the N word within two days of the shooting, he would be done. But Martin apparently before the confrontation referred to Zimmerman as a “stupid cracker” and that is not an issue.

    1. CHECK YO PRIVILEGE BITCH

      1. The surreal world we live in.

        1. Blame the patriarchy

  23. Good thing that “EBT card” isn’t written in cursive.

    1. ooooooo SNAP!

        1. And I thought the usage of my extensive knowledge of governmental assistance programs went largely unnoticed. Yay!

  24. So the “star ‘witness'” for the prosection is most likely a perjurer. Seems somehow perfectly appropriate for this sham.

  25. “Key Witness Against George Zimmerman Is Hard to Understand, Harder to Believe”

    Leftist take: “Jacob Sullum outs self as racist.”

  26. She claimed Martin was running? Gotta call BS. He was only 100 yards from his house. It would have taken him no more than 15 seconds to get there.

    1. And if he was running, how did Zimmerman catch him? I am thinking an 18 year old in good shape could outrun a medium sized guy in his 30s.

      1. See what television and the internet have done to the physical state of our youth?!

        1. And Martin was a HS football player even. The NFL is going to be really boring in a few years when all the players are out of shape land whales.

          1. The NFL is going to be really boring in a few years when all the players are out of shape land whales

            Have you seen the Browns defensive line? (don’t worry if you haven’t, most of their opponents haven’t seen anything that would be described that way, either.)

          2. Nah, the players murder people during the off season just to spice things up.

    2. But, those 100 yards were through grass so wet that it could be discerned from a falling cell phone. So, it was more like Martin was swimming, and we all know how blacks are at sw… RAAACIIIIST!!!

  27. In all fairness, Cheezy Ritz are definitely a creepy-ass-cracker.

  28. Have some compassion for her. She does anything other than try to hang Zimmerman the community will turn on her.

    1. Sadly, you are correct. In her community, “telling the truth” probably counts as “snitching.”

    2. You mean the pervert community?

  29. You have to wonder at this point if Zimmerman will even testify.

    1. Not, if his lawyers feel they’ve got it in the bag.

      There’s always a risk your client will get asked a question you failed to prepare for and answer poorly or even just hesitate in a manner the jury interprets as guiltily.

    2. He shouldn’t.

  30. So the main witness (besides the defendant) is considered not trustworthy because she is uneducated and was caught making an excuse for not going to the funeral?? That’s great :/

    1. I think the lies, half truths, and constantly evolving story are the more important factors against her credibility than her stupidity or her lame initial excuse for missing the funeral.

      1. this is way too easy… the main point of her testimony is that that the defendant actively followed the victim. memories fade and yeah obviously she is quite intimidated by the case. whether she once lied about her age (who of us never did?) or whether she can correctly distinguish the sound of “wet grass” from “dry grass” is just secondary.

        1. It’s not “just secondary” because all the other lies go against her credibility as a witness. Why believe her “main point” when we can’t trust her about other things?

          Besides, as pointed out around here by John and probably others, “actively following” is not a crime, nor an excuse for an assault. It’s just that the prosecution has so little to go with that it seems like a “main point.”

          1. well…”actively following” resulting in homicide might very well be a crime.

            and the inaccuracies are simply not relevant enough to ignore a complete witness account. I lied about my age many time before (cheaper tickets, etc.) and like all human beings I have an imperfect memory, with details fading in and out. does that make me unfit as witness (i hope it never comes to that)? does it imply that I would make up a complete murder accusation? of course not.

            1. She didn’t witness anything – she only heard partial information from a biased observer and other sounds from a chaotic environment.

              Aside from that – if you honestly don’t believe that the number of inconsistencies in her story shouldn’t make you suspect of all else she utters… well… just wow – I mean if your mechanic was this inconsistent would you still take your car there?

              1. yeah. it’s called an ear witness…
                and to me it sounds very much like that the defense attorney is simply riding the fact that she is insecure, intellectually not a match to him and she doesn’t always express herself accurately right away. does that prove that she is talking out of her ass all the time? nope

                of course, i might be wrong… i think it is too early to tell and we will know more once the case is closed

            2. I don’t get the sense that she is some one trying to overcome human foibles

    2. For some inexplicable reason, uneducated liars are not considered good witnesses.

  31. I am not sure what wet grass sounds like

    I know what it smells like though, so I’m automatically qualified to be law enforcement, right?

    1. At least a law enforcement canine I would think.

  32. Well, CNN loves her. They think she’s a “strong” witness who’s “authentic” and “never wavers” from the essence of her story.

    1. Are you kidding? Seriously? Gads, I knew CNN was a cesspool of PC bullshit, but that seems like a new record for them.

      1. & lying that directly about this is a good way to stock racial tensions.

        Contemplate he gets acquitted and think how confused those who listened to CNN will be.

        Wasn’t the evidence there?
        Wasn’t the witness great?

  33. And if you check the phone record, you’ll see that simply by the times indicated that for her to have heard Martin having a ‘confrontation’ with Zimmerman we’d have heard it as well–because, according to the time, it occured while Zimmerman was on the phone with the dispatcher.

    Again, no motive, no supposition, just time.

    1. Really? Wow, that seems like proof of perjury.

      1. There are already two admitted lies in her testimony without it. Apparently perjury has been suspended in the quest to jail Zimmerman.

        I do not know why the call logs haven’t been entered–maybe they have. But they were among the first things shown when this whole thing started. ABC has them.

        She was on the phone with Martin at 7:04, Zimmerman calls at 7:09. She says that the confrontation happens here somewhere. But we know it hadn’t happened before 7:09, so it had to happen after that time–but Zimmerman was talking to the police. She says Martim hung up or she lost the call somewhere in here and she called back but he didn’t answer. This happened at 7:12–Zimmerman was still talking to the police. He hangs up at 7:13.

        When could she have heard a confrontation?

    2. Yeah. Someone should point out this obvious contradiction to the court. The case would be closed right away

      1. You’re a hell of an apologist, EPB. Is there anything at all that could be proven conclusively false in her testimony that would call her credibility into serious question in your mind?

  34. I know her! She’s behind the cash register at my local McDonald’s.

    1. No way. She has a job? Good thing the register tells her the correct change.

      1. They don’t tell change at all now – the register automatically dispenses the change into a little cup so the customer can take it. Still have to count out bills, though.

      2. “As for where she works, Jeantel reported, “My mama n daddy do all the work I just spend it.””

        -The end of The Smoking Gun thing on her

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