I think I’m finally pretty up-to-date with the posts on this site, and I haven’t seen anything related to what I’m about to say. But if it’s already been discussed, and I’ve just missed it, sorry. I guess I’ll just have to be embarrassed that I went to all this trouble for nothing. Oh, and another thing, I partly agree with this recent comment by Sundance:
“… we know that the details surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin are no longer the matter at hand in determining the outcome for George Zimmerman. Indeed, if those details or facts ever truly were what mattered, they are not now. That train has long since passed the station of justice.”
As for public opinion, at least for the majority of people in this country, I think that’s right. But I still think a whole lot of people can be convinced they’re wrong (as evidenced by how many have seen the light over just the past couple weeks). And when/if this case ever goes to trial, these kind of details are gonna be VERY important, at least if we get a fair jury empaneled. So I hope you’ll bear with me with what I’m about to say, since it very much DOES involve “details and facts” of the case.
Alright, what I wanna talk about is the recent “leak”, that George Zimmerman supposedly told cops that Trayvon Martin “circled” his truck before he walked away and then took off running. Some in the media have used this new info to imply that GZ is lying about something. “Why didn’t he mention that to the dispatcher? Hmm… very suspicious, eh… maybe he just made up the story about ‘circling’ later on, once he knew he was in trouble after the shooting.” And I’ve noticed a few comments here on this site that sounds like people are a little concerned about this. Some also think the “unnamed source” who leaked this might be lying about what GZ said in his interrogations that night. For example, Aussie said, “in the transcript, Zimmerman states that TM is staring at him. There is no mention of TM circling his vehicle. That is just another of those unfounded rumours.”
But right off the top, let me say this… I do NOT think the “source” is lying. I think George DID say Trayvon “circled” the truck. And if so, that could be either good or bad for GZ, depending on which of these two is true:
If in fact Martin DID circle the truck, that strengthens Zimmerman’s case… showing that not only was Martin NOT the scared little kid they claim, but also showing that he was confrontational, even threatening. On the other hand, if Zimmerman made that up, then it clearly weakens his case. It makes it look like he knew he’d better make TM look scarier than he actually was.
Some will say, “But, there’s no way Zimmerman can prove he’s telling the truth about that, since he didn’t mention it to the dispatcher.” Right? Wrong! I think there’s circumstantial evidence of the “circling” right there on GZ’s 911 call. And that’s the whole point of this long post.
So, we’re gonna need the tape of the call, and we’re gonna need a map of the neighborhood. This first link is to GZ’s unredacted 911 call.
This second link is to the pic you have here on this site, the map of part of GZ’s neighborhood. I know there’s no scale on that map, but I used the actual Google map to make measurements that I refer to later on.
So what evidence do we have that Zimmerman is telling the truth about this? As I said, I think it’s right there on the tape. When I first heard the 911 call, something about it didn’t seem right. Mainly Zimmerman’s description of Martin and his actions as he approached the truck, and how LONG that description went on. Also the fact that, starting at about the 1 minute mark and continuing for over 30 seconds, GZ’s voice seems to change slightly at various points as he’s describing what TM is doing. But once I heard about the supposed “circling” statement, something clicked.
But before I get into that, I have to make a quick note about where the truck was parked. I’ll admit I’m not even sure if there’s been any police statement or something, telling us exactly where it was. If so, I haven’t heard it. So how do we know? Obviously most people seem to believe it was around the location marked on the map, since I’ve seen that several places online. So if there has been a definitive statement, and we KNOW for a fact where the truck was parked, there’s no reason to go into a debate about it. But whether or not WE, the general public, know for sure, quite obviously the police know where it was parked. So it’s not like any “research” we do in that regard is gonna help out Zimmerman’s case. It was parked where it was parked, and the cops already know that, so GZ has nothing to prove or disprove in that regard. However, for our own benefit, and so we can continue our “research”, it’s important that we decide where we think the truck was.
I believe it WAS parked about where it’s shown on the map, though I personally think it was a little to the left of there. And the fact that it’s on the south side of the street is, I think, of some real significance. I’ll explain why I think it was parked there, and its significance later on, toward the end of this post,
So anyway, where were we?…
Starting at the 0:29 mark of the tape (and continuing till 0:41), Zimmerman starts trying to describe Martin. Presumably there’s still some distance between the two, at least at the start of this description. But it’s clear that as GZ speaks, Martin is getting closer. The reason we know this is that starting at 0:42, Zimmerman says, “He’s here now. He’s just staring, looking at all the houses. Now he’s staring at me.”
But how close is “here”? I’m gonna base my guess on a couple things. One being how far he may have walked during the previous 13 seconds (during the description); and two, just a common sense idea of what “here” means. Actually I’ll do it in reverse: How would you define “here” in this situation? Obviously it means much closer than he was originally, and now close enough for GZ to start feeling uncomfortable (based on his voice). So I’m gonna say “here” can’t be much further away than about halfway past the first building on the north side of the street. (I’ll say more later about why I have him on the north side at first). That would be about 70’ from the truck. Which would mean that if at the start of the description (at 0:29), Martin was just leaving the mailboxes, he walked about 120’ in 13 seconds (when GZ says “He’s here now”). That’s about 6 mph, a VERY fast walk, nearly jogging for most people. But based on what GZ is saying, I doubt TM is moving that quickly. And so it’s likely he had already left the mailboxes before 0:29 on the tape. Even so, it looks like to begin with he was moving fairly quickly. We can only guess why. But just about at that point (0:42), it’s clear he either stops, or at least slows down a lot. And you’ll see in a minute that whether he’s halfway past the first building, or maybe even CLOSER when GZ says “He’s here now”, it strengthens his claim of the “circling” to come.
0:42-0:49 — “He’s here now. He’s just staring, looking at all the houses. Now he’s staring at me.”
Alright, here I’m putting Martin in front of the building on the north side of the street, about 70’ to the northwest of the truck. It seems that at this point TM is just standing there. Or maybe he’s walking slowly, hard to tell. But either way, he’s clearly now much closer than he was to start.
0:50-0:59 — Dispatcher asks for verification of the address, and GZ says that’s the clubhouse. The dispatcher asks, “He’s near the clubhouse right now?” And GZ says, “Yeah now he’s coming towards me.”
I think this is when Martin starts to cross the street to where Zimmerman is. Oh, and obviously the “yeah” at the beginning of his response to the dispatcher’s question (“He’s near the Clubhouse now?”) was not correct, and to me is a sign that Zimmerman is (rightly so) a bit preoccupied and not paying complete attention to the dispatcher. The same can be said for why he never actually said Martin was “circling” the truck. Anyway, it’s obvious based on the next few seconds that at this point Martin is very close to the truck.
Oh, and listen closely when he says “now he’s coming towards me.” What’s that noise? Could it be where (as the article reported) GZ “was so unnerved by the teen’s behavior that he rolled up his window”?
Now the next 30 seconds is part of what I referred to earlier, when I said the first few times I heard this tape something didn’t seem right.
1:01-1:10 — “He’s got his hand in his waist-band… yeah, he’s a black male.”
1:11-1:14 — Dispatcher asks how old he thinks he is, and GZ says “He’s got a button on his shirt… late teens.”
1:17-1:30 — “Mm hmm. Something’s wrong with him. Yep, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. Why can’t you just get an officer over here?”
During this whole time, GZ’s voice seems to change slightly at various points in his description of what TM is doing. Listen. Does it sound like he’s still sitting calmly, facing one direction (as I think it sounds like at the first of the tape)? Or does it now sound like he’s shifting positions or something? Could this be George reacting (turning this way and that), to watch someone as they circle his car?
1:30-1:35 — Dispatcher tells GZ an officer is on the way, and to let him know if “this guy” does anything else. GZ says, OK.
While this has nothing to do with my analysis here (Ha! I’m an “analyst” now!), I’ll just remind everyone that this 5 seconds right here is a big reason GZ got out of his truck and followed Martin! The dispatcher unknowingly ASKED him to do that! And just as an aside, note the dispatcher, even though he knows GZ described TM as “late teens”, does NOT call him a “kid”. Nope, it’s “this guy”. Oh well, back to the issue at hand…
Up till this point, up till a little after 1:30, it’s obvious that Martin is NOT moving away from Zimmerman, especially the comment about “something in his hands.” He can see the front of him (unless of course he’s holding his hands behind his back…. not very likely IMO, and makes no sense when combined with his other comments). But now…
1:37-1:40 — “Ahhhhh…. these assholes, they always get away.”
When Zimmerman utters these words, it only makes sense if Martin now IS moving away from him. So, can we agree that by about 1:35 Martin has begun to move away from Zimmerman, to the point that GZ no longer feels threatened? And that up till this time, he was moving TOWARD him (or stationary, or around him)?
Alright, time to do some more calculations; you’ll see why in a minute. (By the way, if anyone wants to play along, 1 mph is ~ 1.5’/second, which is VERY slow. Try walking that speed on a treadmill sometime and you’ll see it’s actually kinda hard to walk that slowly.)
From 0:42 (“He’s here now…”) to 1:35 (Martin now moving away) that’s 53 seconds. I’ve placed Martin about halfway past the first building on the north side of the street, around 70’ from the truck, at the start of this time. Where should we place him once we know he’s past GZ’s truck? Well, at just after 1:30 he’s obviously still there, but by 1:37 he’s not (“they always get away”). So let’s say he’s been moving away for about 5 seconds. But how fast is he going? If we measure the distance between just past the truck, and the furthest away he could be when GZ says “He’s running” (based on line-of-sight to the north of the building he eventually ran around) that’s about 150’. If he went that distance in a little over 30 seconds (1:35 to 2:07), he was moving no more than about 5’ per second. (If he started running sooner, he was walking even slower at first.) So if Martin was walking that speed as he finally started moving away from Zimmerman, he would only have been around 25’ past him. Which means from the “He’s here now” at 0:42, and where we know he was past Zimmerman at around 1:35, Martin advanced a straight-line distance of a grand total of less than 100’.
You beginning to see where I’m going with this now? If Martin was walking straight past Zimmerman, and he went about 95’ in 53 seconds, he was walking about 1.8’ per second, or just over 1 mph. And as I noted above, that is VERY slow. I’m telling you… try walking that slowly on a treadmill… especially if you’re 6’3”. Is it POSSIBLE that Martin was actually doing that? Yes, but only if nothing Zimmerman says during that time has any link to reality. If George was high, then yeah, maybe he just judged everything totally wrong. Otherwise….
Otherwise Martin clearly was NOT just walking very slowly past. The prosecution would have us believe that Martin just left the mailboxes, walked past Zimmerman, perhaps slowing a little to look at the “man who was following him”, and then walking on past. But no matter how you look at it, Martin MUST have been walking much faster at the start of his movement (near or at the mailboxes) than later on. And then for some reason, beginning at “He’s here”, he clearly stopped or slowed way down. That’s the MINIMUM that Martin did. But now listen again to the tape. Listen to how GZ describes what TM is doing, listen to the changes in his voice, while picturing in your mind Martin slowly approaching, and then walking around (once or twice) the truck, “checking me out”. Martin had PLENTY of time to do just that.
But still, there ARE other possibilities, no matter how unlikely. So what are some possible scenarios for how Martin walked toward and then past Zimmerman?
1) He started from the mailboxes, walked very quickly (nearly jogging) until getting halfway (or more) toward GZ (“here”), at which point he slowed WAY down, maybe stopping for a few seconds, and then continued again till he was past GZ, still walking very slowly.
2) He started from somewhere nearer than the mailboxes, which means he didn’t have to walk quite as fast to get “here”. And then once he got “here”, the remainder of his walk was similar to #1. No time in this scenario for TM to do half the stuff GZ claims he did.
3) He started at the mailboxes and just walked in a steady, slow pace the entire way, which again seems to be totally contradicted by what GZ said on the tape.
4) He started from somewhere nearer than the mailboxes, and just walked in a steady even slower pace the entire way…. but same problems as #3.
5) And then there’s this one: He started from somewhere nearer than the mailboxes, walked quickly until getting halfway (or more) toward GZ (“here”), at which point he slowed WAY down, maybe even stopping. But THEN, instead of just continuing on, he crossed the street and walked around the truck once or twice “checking him out”, then slowly walked away.
Now is there any definitive PROOF that any of these was the way it actually went down? Nope. But listen to the tape, and use a little common sense based both on the times, distances, and words/tone of Zimmerman. Put all that together, and tell me which of the 5 scenarios makes the most sense. (Or you’re welcome to add an additional scenario, if you have one in mind.)
A lot of what goes on in court cases is based on simple common sense. When there’s no absolute proof of something, but it’s clear from the circumstances that one specific “something” makes a lot more sense than any other alternative, then that point nearly always wins out.
Oh, and one little unexpected benefit of all these calculations (assuming they’re accurate), is that it shoots down Dee Dee’s supposed claim that Martin said “I’ll just walk fast”. Other than possibly from the mailboxes to “here”, TM clearly did NOT “walk fast”. Quite the opposite.
Shifting gears a little now. Near the beginning of this post, I promised I’d explain why I think which side of the street Zimmerman was parked on is important, and why I think there’s good evidence to assume where he DID park. And if the following seems like a lot of detail for no reason, just bear with me; I’ve got a reason.
First we’re gonna need a link to the Google map of the full neighborhood:
I think it’s obvious the truck must have been parked on the east-west part of Twin Trees. If it was on the north-south part (to the east of there), GZ wouldn’t have been able to see TM when he was over by the Clubhouse. And if it was right next to the Clubhouse, GZ wouldn’t have had to explain to the dispatcher that you go past the mailboxes, curve left, and “you’ll see my truck”. So it’s clear it’s parked on the east-west part of the street. And if he was parked at a “cut-through” as he says, there are only two possibilities. One is in the area where you have it marked on the other picture (the “C” on the south side of the road), the other is right on the curve, just about where the car in the picture is parked. So is there any way to know which of these two he was parked on? I think there is.
Look at the full map. Zimmerman lived in the southwest corner (marked on the map). If he was on his way to the store, as he said, then which way would he have gone to reach the exit? Target is northwest of the subdivision, so the most direct route is to go toward the north exit. And besides that, had he gone to the east exit, he would have never gotten close enough to the Clubhouse to see Martin. Now if for some reason he decided to zig-zag through the neighborhood on his way to the north exit, he could conceivably have wound up parked on the north side of Twin Trees. Otherwise, assuming he drove the direction pretty much anyone would, he would have gone north from his house and then followed the road around to the east toward the exit. At the Clubhouse, just before the left turn to get to the exit, there’s a stop sign. I believe we’ll eventually learn that this was where Zimmerman was when he first noticed someone hanging out by the Clubhouse. I think he then turned right, slowly drove past the clubhouse and around the curve, and pulled over and parked near where the “C” is on the other map (Again, I personally think it should be a little to the west/left of where it’s marked, more directly in line with the “cut-through”).
So why go to all this trouble just to decide which side of the street GZ was parked on? Well, unless there’s truth to the “circled the truck” story, then it DOESN’T much matter. If Martin just walked right past the truck on his way to the sidewalk where he wound up running, it isn’t that important where the truck was parked. However, if he DID circle around the truck, it goes to motive and state-of-mind… of Martin. There are no sidewalks along the sides of Twin Trees. So Martin would have walked either on the side of the street, or up in the grass. Either way, a direct path from the mailboxes to the sidewalk at the northeast of the road (where the car is parked in the picture) would have brought him right next to GZ’s truck ONLY if it was parked on the north side of the street. If it was parked on the south side, he would have had to go out of his way to pass close to it, never mind to “circle” it. If it was parked on the north side, I suppose it could be argued that Martin didn’t really “circle” the truck; rather he was just kinda swerving around it to avoid it, since it was in his direct path if he was walking in the street. And to Zimmerman that maybe SEEMED like he was circling around it. (I know, I know. That’s a really dumb argument, but we’ve seen what the GZ-haters can come up with, so…) But if it was parked on the south side, and if there’s any truth to the “circling” claim, then it seems clear that TM must have gone OUT OF HIS WAY to walk around the truck. If so, that says a lot about what may have been going through his mind. And hint… it was NOT fear.
So this whole “circling” thing, which some people now seem to be trying to use AGAINST Zimmerman, could, in the end, work very much IN HIS FAVOR.
I guess I’m done. And even if this whole post is of no importance whatsoever, it was fun to do all these little calculations and “what if” games. And if nothing else, you all got to see just how long-winded I can be!