CNN pretends to reprise the witnesses to the Trayvon Martin shooting and aftermath. They paint a picture of a 'fair and balanced' effort but omit 'John', the most important eyewitness to the scuffle that preceded the shooting. John says Zimmerman was on the ground getting beaten and calling for help; odd that CNN missed that. Thay also omit the 13 year old dog-walker, who saw a scuffle and has waffled as to who was on top.
CNN opens with Mary Cutcher, who is often mentioned as an important pushback witness for the Martin side (my emphasis):
Mary Cutcher was in her kitchen making coffee that night with her roommate, Selma Mora Lamilla. The window was open, she said.
"We heard a whining. Not like a crying, boohoo, but like a whining, someone in distress, and then the gunshot," she said.
They looked out the window but saw nothing. It was dark.
They ran out the sliding glass door, and within seconds, they saw Zimmerman.
"Zimmerman was standing over the body with -- basically straddling the body with his hands on Trayvon's back," Cutcher said. "And it didn't seem to me that he was trying to help him in any way. I didn't hear any struggle prior to the gunshot.
"And I feel like it was Trayvon Martin that was crying out, because the minute that the gunshot went off, the whining stopped."
The two women said they could not see whether Zimmerman was bruised or hurt. It was too dark.
"Selma asked him three times, 'what's going on over there?' " Cutcher said. "He looks back and doesn't say anything. She asks him again, 'everything OK? What's going on?' Same thing: looked at us, looked back. Finally, the third time, he said, 'just call the police.' "
Extended versions of her story are available; CNN included enough for their purposes, but let's toss this in from the roommate, speaking to NBC Dateline:
Lamilla said that after the shot was fired Zimmerman appeared to be pacing.
“He started walking back and forth like three times with his hand on the head and kind of, he was walking like kind of confused,” she said.
Lamilla said he was touching his head like “he was in shock.”
Dazed, touching his head and acting in shock as if (just thinking out loud here) wounded - the defense will want her on the stand. CNN can go to an extended commercial during her testimony.
As to Ms. Cutcher, she saw nothing, did not hear a struggle witnessed by others and "feel[s] like" it was Martin shouting because the shouting stopped with the gunshot.
Not to be too obvious here, but if Zimmerman was calling for assistance and then finally solved his problem with a gunshot, is it unreasonable to think he might stop shouting for help?
I don't see her feelings helping the prosecutor much.
CNN aired an Anderson Cooper interview with an anonymous witness. Anyone autotuning that should include "Getting dark, too dark to see; feel like someone's knocking on heaven's door".
I'll include a snippet of the CNN highlights:
The witness recalled seeing two men on the grass, one on top of the other.
"And at that point, not looking out the window, I heard the yell for help, one yell for help, and then I heard another ... excruciating type of yell," the witness said. "It didn't almost sound like 'help.' It just sounded so painful. But I wasn't watching out the window during that. And then the next time I looked out the window, there's the same thing: two men on the grass, one on top of each other. I couldn't see a lot of movement. It was very dark, but I felt like they were scuffling. And then I heard the gunshots, which, to me, were more like pops than they were like a bang."
The witness recalled hearing more than one shot. "It definitely was more than one pop noise, so I don't know if it was an echo or anything else. But it definitely made more than one pop."
Then one of the men, who appeared to be Hispanic, started walking toward the witness' vantage point, the witness said. Zimmerman is Hispanic.
"He didn't appear hurt or anything else," the witness said.
As other people have said, any fight fan has seen boxers walk out of the ring shortly after a knockout, so who knows. I do like the detail that Zimmerman looked Hispanic - don't tell NPR. Otherwise, this utterly inconclusive testimony *might* help the prosecutor if other medical evidence pooh-poohs Zimmerman's wounds.
Benjamin Crump, the Martin family lawyer, says Martin's girlfriend's account of what happened connects the dots and destroys Zimmerman's claims of self-defense.
I say the defense will feast on the fact that her testimony is tainted by exposure to the 911 calls. The girl was only "found", or at least, brought forward, after the 911 tapes were made public three weeks after the shooting. During those three weeks, the Martin family had overlooked that Martin had a girlfriend and was on the phone with her or his other friends from dawn to dusk. According to Mr. Crump.
Still, that is a bad job by the Sanford PD if they really did not find her and talk to her.
CNN includes this among the highlights:
The case becomes more complicated as details emerge.
Hmm, explaining how the prosecutor can establish probable cause for an arrest becomes harder unless more facts are suppressed. "John" spoke to Fox Orlando 35 the day after the shooting, for heaven's sake, and has yet to be contradicted by a useful eyewitness. The Martin side has a grainy video from ABC News (offset by charges of doctoring, the police report, and 'John') and a positive winning attitude.
ECHO CHAMBER: The Booman Tribune links uncritically to the CNN story:
Of course we know from the testimony of several witnesses that an altercation took place. It just doesn't seem like it lasted very long or that either of them was able to do much damage to the other.
What's become even more clear is that the story being told from the Zimmerman camp, and even to a certain degree the police department, doesn't look plausible because it doesn't match up with any of the disinterested evidence in the case.
...Considering how tight the timeline is here, it appears that this is what happened. Trayvon interrupted his conversation with his girlfriend to confront Zimmerman. Zimmerman was verbally aggressive in return. They approached each other and started pushing. Loud words were exchanged. The fight went to the ground. Zimmerman wound up on top. Martin cried out for help. Then Zimmerman pulled his gun on him, causing Martin to make a frightened desperate plea. And then he was executed.
The BooMan either doesn't know about 'John' or wants to forget (Google is not resolving this for me). To befair, an early commenter brings a mixed dose of reality to the Reality-Based Community:
I am also starting to believe that the witness "John" is a fake. John is the one who the Orlando Sentinel reported the next day, who said that Trayvon was on top of Z, beating him. He says he heard Z crying for help, and said he was going to call 911. Yet there's no 911 call from John. So he called the newspaper but not 911?
I don't know how I would prove it, but Adam Weinstein of Mother Jones has all the 911 calls. His "Holy Shit, the guy's dead out here... Oh, my God" caller seems to fill the role of John perfectly.
Reality is interrupted for a brief non-awareness moment from the commenter:
Meanwhile, other witnesses, such as Mary Cutcher and Selma Lamilla, as well as the mother of the 13 yo boy who was out walking his dog, have come forward with their full names in public... And John, the only witness who supports Z's story, remains anonymous.
Ahh, Spike Lee is trying to tweet the address of George Zimmerman, protestors are marching through Sanford, Florida is hot and getting hotter - who among us would want to self-identify as the most important witness for Zimmerman's defense?