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Ron Radosh

Remember the Trayvon Martin brouhaha? The MSM almost universally concluded that George Zimmerman both stalked and then murdered Martin in cold blood. Many commentators ignored any evidence to the contrary. The geniuses at Slate.com even had a reporter go to the Florida community where Martin was shot and interview some women who claimed to see Zimmerman shoot him in cold blood. They said that Martin was never on top of him and had not been banging Zimmerman’s head on the ground at all.

Now, the Florida district attorney has released 67 CDs of evidence, and made them available to the press. ABC News has for once done the MSM proud, by headlining their story with a bold conclusion: “Cops, Witnesses Back Up George Zimmerman’s Version of Trayvon Martin Shooting.” The network report states:

Two police reports written the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin said that Zimmerman had a bloody face and nose, according to police reports made public today.

The reports also note that two witness accounts appear to back up Zimmerman’s version of what happened when they describe a man on his back with another person wearing a hoodie straddling him and throwing punches.

In addition, Trayvon Martin’s father told an investigator after listening to 911 tapes that captured a man’s voice frantically calling for help that it was not his son….

So the district attorney, true to her word at the time of the Zimmerman arrest, told the press that she would be guided by the evidence alone. Now, the only remaining issue is the argument that the prosecutors will evidently make: If Zimmerman had not followed Martin and instead taken the advice of the police to stay put, nothing would have happened and Martin would not have been killed.

But clearly, Zimmerman’s claim that “that he shot Martin in self-defense after the 6-foot tall, 160 pound teenager knocked him to the ground, banged his head against the ground and went for Zimmerman’s gun” is apparently true. It is also true that Zimmerman’s face was bloodied, that his nose was broken as he said, and that previously unreleased photos of the back of his head show severe lacerations.

The witness report released has the witness saying the following:

“He witnesses a black male, wearing a dark colored ‘hoodie’ on top of a white or Hispanic male and throwing punches ‘MMA (mixed martial arts) style,’” the police report of the witness said. “He then heard a pop. He stated that after hearing the pop, he observed the person he had previously observed on top of the other person (the male wearing the hoodie) laid out on the grass.”

ABC News also notes that “the lead investigator on the case, Officer Christopher Serino, wrote that Zimmerman could be heard ‘yelling for help as he was being battered by Trayvon Martin.’”

A summary of the evidence may be found at Slate.  Among the other revelations damaging to the Martin story is that the dead teen had traces of THC, a drug found in marijuana, in his blood and urine.

My prediction is that the prosecution will try Zimmerman nevertheless, and try to build a circumstantial argument that had he not followed Martin, things would have been quite different. Of course, the defense will undoubtedly argue that Martin could have waited for police to arrive, not attacked Zimmerman, and explained that his father was visiting friends in the community and that he had only gone to the store to purchase candy. Whether the jury will still find Zimmerman guilty of second degree murder because he followed Martin is your guess.

The main point is that all those who jumped to the conclusion that Zimmerman had attacked Martin because he was black, and that it was a racially motivated crime, have some apologizing to do. Slate, which ran the summary, should apologize to its readers for the previous story I referred to at the start. Their post today does not link to their own past coverage, which I have been unable to find with a Google search. Will Bruce Springsteen also apologize for reviving his song “American Skin(41 shots)” and dedicating it to Trayvon Martin? And what about Rev. Al Sharpton, who was down in Florida for days revving up the crowd, and acting as if a 1940s-style lynching had occurred, while practically leading a lynch mob himself? And will Spike Lee apologize for making public what he thought was the address of Zimmerman’s family, so people could harass them and threaten them? Don’t hold your breath.

Whatever the future has in store for George Zimmerman, those who sought to make the Martin case about race have been found to be all wrong in their conclusions.

Update: Noon EST

If you want to see how the Left is spinning this, go no further than the article in today’s Daily Beast by Aarom Roston. The emphasis is skewed to support the Martin defense, while omitting anything that vindicates Zimmerman. Take the following paragraph:

One piece of evidence likely to anger those who felt Zimmerman should have been charged sooner was a police report by the original investigator, saying that Zimmerman should be arrested and charged with manslaughter because “the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman.” That report was dated March 13, nearly a month before Zimmerman was charged.

The report omits the evidence indicating that Martin had traces of marijuana found during the autopsy, and as the above paragraph reveals, emphasizes the opinion of one police officer, which is different from concrete evidence.  When Roston mentions evidence that seemingly vindicates Zimmerman, he follows it with a sentence that reads “another witness could not say who was on top. “Who was on the top and who was on the bottom?” she was asked, according to the documents. “I could not tell,” she said.” He also spends paragraphs repeating the argument that the voice yelling for help was that of Martin, and only at the end, mentions and downplays Martin’s father’s comment that the voice on the tape was not his son.

I suspect other leftist media sites will be even worse.

Update: 4:15 pm EST

Legal whiz Alan M. Dershowitz has written perhaps the best piece on the new evidence. You can find it here.  He writes the following:

If this evidence turns out to be valid, the prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman — if she wants to act ethically, lawfully and professionally.
There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional.
She was aware when she submitted an affidavit that it did not contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She deliberately withheld evidence that supported Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. The New York Times has reported that the police had “a full face picture” of Zimmerman, before paramedics treated him, that showed “a bloodied nose.” The prosecutor also had photographic evidence of bruises to the back of his head.
But none of this was included in any affidavit.

He goes on to point out that even if Zimmerman followed Martin, that alone does not undermine his claim of self-defense. He also chastises The Daily Beast for running another article whose author argued that it is the role of the legal system to avert a “racial calamity,” not to produce justice. Finally, he specifically singles out The New York Times for running biased coverage meant to exonerate Martin, ignoring evidence that clearly favors Zimmerman, and for running “ an inflammatory item of uncorroborated gossip.”

Alan Dershowitz has a far greater influence than anyone at PJM, and his sharp retort to the MSM coverage is more than welcome. He says that the Times “has some explaining to do.” But even that rebuke from one of America’s top legal minds, I think, will have little effect on the editors of the NYT.

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