The following is an account prepared for this blog from a friend who is a Retired Police Officer. I share her account with you, as she has been trained and is experienced with assailants in a professional way. It’s good to get an independent police officer’s perspective.
The following is a reflection on George Zimmerman’s own account of the events that led up to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Here are the video exerpts that the retired police officer is reacting to:
Here is the Officer’s statement:
From Zimmerman’s own account, he was laying on his back, shoulders pinned down and head against the concrete, at the time he pulled the trigger on Martin. He even describes trying to lower his position to the grass some, to prevent his head from being on the concrete, by “squirming”. He then explains that as he squirmed, his jacket rose up, and his firearm was exposed. Zimmerman said that Trayvon saw, or Zimmerman “felt” like Martin saw it, but further states, in almost the same breath, that Martin reached for the gun. He sounds very conflicted about whether or not Trayvon knew that there was a gun on his waistband. Nevertheless, he contradicts his statement of opinion to confirm that Martin grabbed for his sidearm. This is at the same time that Martin supposedly has one hand on Zimmerman’s mouth, and one on his nose. This is where Zimmerman re-enacts the motions he took in response for the investigating officers.
He raised his elbow back and clinched his arm toward his own body, representing that he pinched Martin’s arm against his torso. After Trayvon reaches for Zimmerman’s weapon unsuccessfully, Zimmerman pulls it out, with no recollection of resistance from Martin. It is unimaginable why Zimmerman, in the name of self defense and firearms training, would any person introduce a firearm in the midst of a close counter ground fight, in which you are not in a dominant position? One would assume that keeping a gun out of the fight for as long as possible would be key to self preservation. As Zimmerman explains, he is the one on the ground, pinned down and being knocked around. If this is the way things actually happened, he is either extremely lucky or well trained in close combat firearms. It takes repetitive training just to learn how to draw from a side holster when the person in possession of the firearm is in a ground position. Any firearms instructor will tell you that it is virtually impossible to draw while laying flat on your back. Because the withdrawal of a gun from a holster requires a backward motion of the arm, and the ground prevents that, it seems unlikely that Zimmerman could draw his weapon while pinned to the ground. You have to roll over to the side, creating enough distance from the ground and your hips to draw your arm back and reach your weapon. Even after reaching a gun, there is an additional requirement of additional space in which to withdraw the firearm out of its holster. Even if you can manage doing this while someone is overpowering you, as Zimmerman explains was the case, it would not be wise to pull out a weapon without creating ample distance between you and your attacker. If you have the ability to freely draw a weapon, you might have the ability to control the situation without deadly force. Zimmerman said he had a flashlight with him, but there is no mention of any attempt to hit Martin with the flashlight.
After Zimmerman pulled the trigger he said that he managed to trade positions with Martin. He rolled on top and Martin was now on the ground. Zimmerman was adamant about spreading Martin’s hands and arms to width. He clearly displays this on the video. Between the close contact shooting from below Martin, the changing of positions, and the pressing against Martin’s body to spread his hands out, how did Zimmerman escape getting any blood on him? Here is a picture of Zimmerman from the night of the shooting, and there is no evidence of powder burns or blood.
All in all, the details of his story do not sound physically possibly. There seems to be much missing here.
From my own review of the story told by Zimmerman it is clear that he did not fire upon Martin while Martin was sitting on Zimmerman. If Martin were sitting on Zimmerman, Martin’s long legs would be at each side of Zimmerman and would inevitably prevent Zimmerman or Martin from pulling a gun out of his holster. Zimmerman says that Martin “sat up” AFTER the shot was fired, suggesting that he was closer than that when the shot was fired. Here is the picture of Trayvon’s shirt which does not evidence the type of damage expected to the fabric by a shot fired from point blank range.
If Zimmerman and Martin were chest to chest, how would Zimmerman be in a position to maneuver his gun in between Martin and Zimmerman to position the gun in a perpendicular position to shoot Martin directly through the heart. It seems much more likely that the shot would have been at an angle and along the left side of Martin’s body if they had actually been chest to chest. If Martin was in a position to put his hands over Zimmerman’s mouth and nose, why wouldn’t Martin have been in a position to at least re-direct the gun as Zimmerman pulled it? Why would Martin use his hands to cover the nose of Zimmerman leaving Zimmerman’s hands free to hit, restrain, or pull a gun on Martin?
Additionally, it seems hard to imagine how Martin landed on the ground, face down if he was sitting on Zimmerman when shot, and then pushed off. It seems likely that, given the position of Martin’s legs at the side of Zimmerman, that if Martin was shot while sitting on Zimmerman, that he would roll off onto his back or perhaps his side, but not face down. Conversely, if Martin was shot standing, facing Zimmerman, we would expect a bullet hole over the heart, relatively little shredding of the shirt of Martin, no blood on Zimmerman from the shooting, and Martin might fall forward onto his stomach and face. Isn’t that the place people practice trying to hit on the target at the shooting range?
If Zimmerman’s account is correct, Zimmerman and Martin must have been chest to chest when the gun fired, as Zimmerman recalls that Martin “sat up” after the gun fired. If this were true it is hard to imagine how Zimmerman was able to position the gun in between the two and fire a direct shot into Martin’s chest. It would seem more likely that the bullet would enter Martin’s body from the side or at least at an angle, instead of straight into his heart. More significantly, it seems that it is highly unlikely that the bullet could be fired at such close range without resulting in blood on Zimmerman’s clothing, and without more damage to Martin’s shirt. Here are pictures of guns firing.
Guns can’t be shot without gunshot residue. GSR is composed of burnt and unburnt particles from the explosive primer, the propellant, as well as components from the bullet, the cartridge case and the firearm used. Gunshot residue can travel out from the gun to distances of 3–5 feet (0.3–1.5 meters) or even farther. At the farthest distance, only a few trace particles may be present. This information can be useful in determining if someone was involved in the firing of the gun. Close to the gun barrel, the residue deposits more heavily on surfaces like skin and clothing, to the point of being visible as a dark stain. Detection of a significant amount of residue, therefore, is a powerful piece of forensic evidence that the particular person was very near to, or even holding, the gun when it discharged.
Four tiny bullet fragments were found on on Trayvon Martin’s clothing, also suggesting that he was some distance from Zimmerman at the time of the shooting. ( Note the picture taken of these fragments depicts both sides of 4 fragments, not 8 separate fragments)
George Zimmerman’s account of the events leading up to the shooting of Trayvon Martin lack credibility. It is simply unbelievable that Zimmerman was pinned by Martin, was able to draw his weapon, shoot Martin at point blank range without any blood on his shirt or jacket, and for Martin to have so few bullet fragments on his shirt. Moreover, even if you question the voice analysis of the screams for help that have definitely been identified as NOT Zimmerman’s cries for help, given what we know about Zimmerman’s personality and tendency to be violent, and given the fact that he was armed with a loaded gun, it defies imagination that Zimmerman would plead for help when he possessed the means to take the life of the teen armed with Skittles.