Jeralyn Merritt recaps the interview of George Zimmerman's father on Fox News. I want to stare at the map of the neighborhood and rethink his version of Zimmerman's path that night, because it seems off. I'm rehashing yesterday, but not believing Zimmerman may motivate an investigator but it won't do much for a prosecutor, who needs actual evidence, not suspicion.
I would say the key legal takeaway from the interview is this:
He says he and everyone who knows George knows absolutely it was George crying out for help.
Well, the Martin family says they hear Trayvon as background on the 911 call which included a gunshot.
If this ever reaches the trial stage, I imagine the defense will offer a parade of Zimmerman friends and relatives claiming they hear George; the prosecutor will offer a similar parade from the Martin side that hears Trayvon. And given the inclination of humans to hear what they want to hear, I don't allege anyone to be insincere.
Then we may hear from the FBI audio wizards. On CSI they would crack this easily (as would Abby on NCIS). But here is Realityville we are hearing background noise on a 911 call, not hi-fi from a sound studio; I presume we lack past tapes of Trayvon screaming in pain, and we aren't likely to have the authorities beat up George Zimmerman and record his anguished cries.
So, how credible will the FBI wizards be? I would guess "Not very", which means we are back to reasonable doubt, but folks with relevant expertise are urged to chime in.
A renewed investigation may turn up compelling new evidence, but I don't think this 911 call will be it.
AND WHAT ABOUT HIS HEAD "INJURIES"? I don't know - this tape is hard to argue with, and I don't see any head wounds (at 1:01 and following). However, one of the police officers does stare at something on the back of his head, and the police report from the scene certainly mentioned blood.
Either the cops comenced orchestrating a massive cover-up the night of the incident for reasons which elude the critics even a month later, or that tape is just not clear enough to be conclusive. As Truthers become Trayvoners, I sense a feast.
I'LL SAY IT AGAIN: I noted a few days back that (if we reach a trial) the defense will probably attribute any gaps or inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story to head injuries and post-traumatic stress. Highly plausible, and it may even be true.
WHAT ABOUT THE NEWS THAT THE COPS WANTED A MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE?
The latest headline from the Miami Herald showed dissension in the ranks:
Sanford cops wanted to charge Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case
Folks who read between the lines might have picked up on that possibility last March 17:
Investigator Chris Serino of Sanford police said Friday the agency has worked closely with prosecutors, and have not arrested Zimmerman because prosecutors have consistently told them they do not have enough evidence to win a manslaughter conviction.
That's because Zimmerman says he was defending himself, something he's allowed to do under Florida law.
More details are always welcome, but this is less newsy than one might first think. Or at least, the real news is that ranks that were once closed are now dividing as people pick sides and engage in comprehensive CYA.
This is from the latest story:
The development is in stark contrast to the statements repeatedly made by Bill Lee, the Sanford police chief who has since stepped aside and was lambasted for his handling of the case. Lee publicly insisted that there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman, leading many critics to say he came across more like a defense attorney for the security buff.
Hmm - here is Lee back when he was still chief, pounding the table for Zimmerman as quoted in the NY Times on March 16:
“The evidence doesn’t establish so far that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense,” Chief Bill Lee of the Sanford police said this week, responding to why Mr. Zimmerman had not been arrested. He said he would welcome a federal investigation. “We don’t have anything to dispute his claim of self-defense at this point.”
Not to be negative, but that is a lot of negatives. His lack of enthusiasm for the Zimmerman story as displayed here may only be visible in retrospect.