In response to a dozen early morning queries, we know somewhat more more about the Trayvon Martin shooting today than we did yesterday.
Probably the most important thing we now know is that “Martin’s Facebook page” with the picture of someone in a pair of shorts is not Martin’s. Martin’s page features a photo of the teenager with an electric dartboard behind him. Beyond that, the page seems to be singularly uninformative.
The Daily Caller has published the last 60 days of Martin’s tweets – which revealed little to me beyond a few tweets that are interesting for what they reveal about Martin’s character.
Among other things, they reveal the sparkling eyes of the eleven year old Martin so often paired with the adult picture of Zimmerman had long since dulled. Martin had been repeatedly suspended from school. At the time of his death, he had been suspended for possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana, and was visiting, exiled might better fit the situation, to his father’s girl friend in the gated community.
From the testimony of Martin’s girl friend, Martin gave Zimmerman the slip but then saw him again.
The next link in the chain is unclear – but the LA times conclusion to the contrary – tends to support Zimmerman’s statement. As the LA Times report says, the unnamed girl friend heard Martin challenge someone with “Why are you following me, and the response, “What are you doing around here.” That agrees with both Zimmerman’s and witness statements.
Zimmerman’s statement is that he was returning to his SUV when Martin ran up behind him, demanding “Why are you following me.” So both the unnnamed girl friend and Zimmerman’s statement agree. At that point, the girl friend thinks Martin dropped his phone because she lost the connection.
After the brief shouting match, Zimmerman says Martin flattened him with one blow, then got astride and started pounding his head into the concrete. Much but not all of Zimmerman’s statement is supported by physical evidence or witness statements.
Zimmerman states that while he was prone, shouting for help, Martin discovered his concealed weapon and went for it.
Given Martin’s position astride Zimmerman and Zimmerman’s waistband carry it is probable that Martin did discover the weapon he, Martin, was literally sitting on. In the ensuing struggle for the gun, Zimmerman says Martin was shot.
Apparently there is no witness testimony to what Martin did – but if I had been in Martin’s position I would have certainly tried to disarm the man I was beating. So Zimmerman’s story of a life-or-death struggle rings true although we have no proof of it.
There is a great deal in the media about various neighbors of Zimmerman coming forward to defend the man. The picture that emerges is neither that of a racist bigot nor a mall ninja. Just a guy somewhat at loose ends trying to find his own place in the world by helping out those he could.
The Trayvon Martin shooting is a tragedy in every sense of the word. But the bigots seem to be those who have seized on tragedy to promote their political ends, or those of an extremist political faction.
And that is pretty much the state of affairs at this moment. The pro-crime faction still wants to repeal the “stand your ground” law that has made Floridians at least 24% less likely to become a victim of a violent crime; and the race baiters are still at their hateful work.