Deconstructing the Trayvon Martin Narrative: Nothing Left to Argue?

Claim 5: George Zimmerman's gun had a round chambered, the gun was cocked, and the safety was off

The prosecution and certain disreputable television personalities assert that the fact Zimmerman carried with a round in the chamber of his firearm suggests that he had ill intentions.

However, all police officers carry with a round in the chamber, as do a super-majority of concealed carry permit holders. Carrying a pistol with a round in the chamber is standardized practice.

As for the absurd suggestion that he carried his Kel-Tec PF-9 cocked and with the safety off -- it is physically impossible to carry a PF-9 in such a manner.

The PF-9 is a double-action-only (DAO) design, and the gun only cocks during the pulling of the trigger. Because of the DAO nature of the pistol, it has no external safeties (common in many modern pistols, including those models most often carried by police officers such as Glocks and Smith & Wesson M&P-series pistols).

Of course, there is no means for a non-existent external safety to be "off."

Claim 6: There was no blood on Trayvon Martin's hands, suggesting that he did not hit Zimmerman

If you watch George Zimmerman's recreation of the incident for the Sanford Police Department, especially around the 11:22 mark when he describes Trayvon Martin's attack on him on the ground, you'll note that George Zimmerman does not claim that Trayvon Martin was punching him in the face beyond the initial punch. Zimmerman claims that Martin was smashing his head against the concrete, saying: "He grabbed me by my head and tried to slam my head down."

The interview at the Sanford Police Department the same day only changes the details slightly at the 31:00 minute mark, with Zimmerman saying Trayvon punched him before he tried to sit up, and then Trayvon grabbed his head and began smashing it on the concrete.

While Zimmerman had numerous injuries to the sides, top, and back of his head, a clinically broken nose as testified to by Zimmerman's primary care provider, two black eyes, and a cut to his chin, Trayvon Martin had just one injury other than the fatal gunshot wound -- an abrasion to the outside of his left hand on the knuckle of his pinkie finger.

Such a lack of knuckle injuries would be odd if Trayvon had been throwing regular punches, but is entirely consistent with the use of "hammer fists," a kind of blow often thrown from the "MMA-style" position that eyewitness John Good noted from just 17 feet away. A hammer fist thrown from a top mount position is similar to the motion of pounding your fist on a table. It can be a very hard strike, but the strike contact point is muscular, instead of skeletal, and so the only place where you would expect an abrasion is where the "meat" of the side of the hand gives way to bone -- either at the wrist, or more likely on the outside of the hand where Trayvon sustained his singular injury.

Claim 7: George Zimmerman's wounds were minor, suggesting that he had no reason to respond with deadly force

Lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara cross-examined George Zimmerman's primary care provider, physician's assistant Lindzee Folgate, for more than 20 minutes. She detailed the various injuries Zimmerman sustained during his conflict with Trayvon Martin. However, even with the evidence and testimony regarding his injuries, the fact remains that no one is required to sustain any injury of any kind to reasonably infer that they might be under a deadly force attack.

If George Zimmerman ascertained that Trayvon Martin was smashing his head on a concrete sidewalk, that is assault with a deadly weapon (the wording is different in Florida law; the principle remains the same) and meets the reasonable person standard for lethal force self-defense.

Claim 8: George Zimmerman's statements to police after the shooting were inconsistent

Sanford police officer Christopher Serino conducted the bulk of the interviews of George Zimmerman and was present for the walk-through. He testified on the stand that the minor inconsistencies in Zimmerman's testimony did not give him cause for concern, and that they were consistent considering the trauma of the event. Serino said during his cross examination that he thought George Zimmerman was telling the truth.

Claim 9: George Zimmerman's educational history suggests that he was cognizant of the law and wanted to be an officer ("wannabe" cop/vigilante)

Zimmerman indicated to various people at various times an interest in becoming either a law enforcement officer or even a prosecutor. The prosecution's assertion that such an interest is grounds for a second degree murder charge is both extremely flimsy and circumstantial.

It is impossible to reasonably argue that the state presented a case that should result in a murder 2 or manslaughter conviction. However, and of course, a conviction is still possible.