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Sourcing narrative “facts” in the Martin case

Sourcing narrative “facts” in the Martin case

Perhaps readers can help me with this.  There are two points which have been universally accepted as true in the media, but I have not been able to find evidence in the police and other records released by the City of Sanford.

1.  Skittles and Ice Tea.  One key part of the narrative of the Martin shooting is that Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea were being carried by Martin.  This ABC News report is typical: “He [Martin] has no weapons on him, only a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.”  The Sanford Police incident report makes no mention of finding such items.  What is the source of this fact that Skittles and a bottle of ice tea were found with Martin?

2. Hoody.  The Hoody has become the symbol of protests, based on the assertion that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoody.  But the audio tape (language warning) in which Zimmerman mentions a hoody is clear that a hoody was mentioned only after Zimmerman had described why Martin was suspicious, and in response to a later question by the 911 operator as to what the suspicious person was wearing.  What is the source of this fact that Zimmerman found the wearing of a hoody suspicious?

I would appreciate reader input on this, and if readers identify the sources of these facts, I’ll update this post.

Update:  Several commenters have sourced No. 1 (Skittles and ice tea) to the Martin family attorneys.  I have e-mailed to attorneys requesting the basis for the statement.  I’ll let you know if I hear back.

Update 3-29-2012 5:30 p.m.:  The Martins’ attorney never responded, but a reader forwarded an email exchange he had with a Miami Herald reporter, who said that the source of the information regarding Skittles and ice tea was the former Sanford Police Chief, although I don’t believe the Herald ever attributed the information to him in any of its articles.


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I like Neal Boortz for his hard-headed, different perspective-thinking approach. This is worth reading on the Trayvon debacle.

As to your specific questions, Prof., I think we could add several others, and I don’t pretend to have answers to the ones that you posed.

Sometimes, “common knowledge” is anything but, and…like Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin…”just grow’d that way”.

The hoody’s fame was intensified by Geraldo Rivera

    tazz in reply to Neo. | March 28, 2012 at 11:46 am

    You are right about Geraldo making a big deal out of the hoody. I’m not sure it was an issue before Geraldo blamed the hoody for the shooting:

    “…But leave the subject of self-destructive pretense for another time, let’s talk hoodies.
    ….His hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman did….”

    ….No one black, brown or white can honestly tell me that seeing a kid of color with a hood pulled over his head doesn’t generate a certain reaction, sometimes scorn, often menace.
    When you see that kid coming your way, unless you specifically recognize him you are thinking ghetto or ghetto wannabe high-style or low-brow wise-ass. Pedestrians cross the street to avoid black or brown hoodie wearers coming their way…”

    Neo in reply to Neo. | March 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) on Wednesday morning was asked to leave the House floor after removing his suit jacket to reveal a “hoodie,” then putting the hood of his sweatshirt on his head to protest the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida.

    “Racial profiling has to stop,” Rush said. “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” Rush also put on sunglasses. Rush quoted the Bible while presiding officer Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) repeatedly interrupted him, then asked the Sergeant at Arms to enforce the House prohibition on hats in the chamber.

    “The chair must remind members that clause 5 of rule 17 prohibits the wearing of hats in the chamber when the House is in session,” Harper said after Rush left.

    “The chair finds that the donning of a hood is not consistent with this rule. Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”

      Crawford in reply to Neo. | March 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      “Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”

      Seems like Republicans need to tell Democrats that every 50 years or so.

        Ragspierre in reply to Crawford. | March 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm


          LukeHandCool in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

          “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

          —Jesse Jackson

          I would imagine the fear Jesse Jackson admitted he would feel if an unknown young black man was walking behind him on the street at night would be intensified a bit if the potential assailant were wearing a hoodie.

          Sounds like Jesse Jackson would not make a good neighborhood watch person. Sounds quick to judge, doesn’t he? Potentially a little trigger happy?

      (Bobby Rush D-IL)“Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”

      And just because a hoodlum puts on a suit and gets elected to congress, does not make them anything other than a hoodlum. Rep. Rush, we hereby choose to ignore your race-baiting blather. Come back when you decide to engage on the level of thinking human beings.

    I R A Darth Aggie in reply to Neo. | March 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Charles Block was on my local morning radio show on Tuesday. He’s from Chicago, and his explaination of the hoodie was that when a young black man has his hoodie on his head and drawn close, he has either committed violence, or is about to commit violence. It is to mask his facial features, and make positive identification difficult.

    You can listen to the interview here:

Skittles first mentioned in a ridiculously erroneous report in the Miami Herald:

Interesting bit, it just says he was going to the store to buy them, not that he had them when he was shot. It also mentions his Uncle said he went to the store to also buy Ice Cream, not Tea.

    Ragspierre in reply to smfoushee. | March 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Holy error factory!!! That mess was published nearly a month after the incident, which happened on a weekend.

    Good grief!

Now there ya go, trying to ruin a perfectly good White-Liberal-Guilt, Democratic-Plantation-Black race-baiting lynch mob wet dream with a bunch of those pesky, boring fact-like thingies.

Looks like Reuters was the first to report what the police found on Treyvon, sourcing the family’s lawyer Ben Crump:

Again, this could just have been the lawyer misstating the facts, that Treyvon just went to get those items, not that the police official found them. One would think those items would be in the reports.

Sorry, one more, after the Reuters story Huffington Post interviewed Crump:

‘”He had a gun, and Trayvon had Skittles,” Benjamin Crump, a family attorney, told The Huffington Post this afternoon.’

It appears the lawyer is the source of the Skittles and Tea.

I don’t know how much detail will be available until a charging decision is made by the DA. We just went through a similar situation in SE Wisconsin – in fact a columnist at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tried to gin this up as another Trayvon incident. A 20-year old biracial youth was fleeing an underage drinking party. Because of pending cases, he was under an absolute sobriety order. He entered a neighbors 3-season porch. When the homeowner heard noise he went into that area to investigate and shot the intruder. It took about 2 weeks for the DA to issue his decision & there was a lot of speculation. As it turned out, the DA determined that under the laws of self-defense, the homeowner was justified in killing the youth. Under Governor Walker, the Castle Doctrine law was enacted. So, the DA reviewed the case under those guidelines and came to the same conclusion. Now, the meme has become that this was the first person killed under Walker’s Castle Doctrine law and there is a movement to repeal that. Even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is abetting that cause – despite the DA’s report that they posted online that shows the homeowner was dually justified (self-defense law and Castle Doctrine law), they are omitting the justification under self-defense law. All part of the nuttiness that is Wisconsin politics.

Anyway, all of the specific details were not revealed until the final report was issued by the DA. I anticipate a similar process here.

Drive through the ‘hood. All the gangstah’s wear the hoodie.

    Mike Giles in reply to [email protected]. | March 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I would rather drive past the high school out here in my town (Copiague, NY) in suburbia. Half the kids are wearing hoodies and the student body is of mixed ethnic origin. Unless Bill Belichick is a “gangsta” I’d say that hoodies are worn by a number of people and are symbolic of nothing other than being too lazy to look for something else clean to wear.

      dorsaighost in reply to Mike Giles. | March 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      If you’ve ever lived in a minority neighborhood you would know many minority teens wear them for other reasons besides being lazy … the hoodie, the pants down around the a** and the untied tennis shoes are symbols of “the gangsta” life and are definitely intended to intimidate strangers … gold teeth and tats add to that “thug” image as well …

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mike Giles. | March 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      Many wear hoodies because they’ve been glamorized as the ultimate “gangsta” look fashion statement. When you see them worn in no-crime, low-crime, or lower-crime suburbia, you are seeing the influence of the hi-hop entertainment industry and culture. When you see them in high-crime and higher crime areas, you are seeing them used as a tool of the criminal trades AND the influence of the hip-hop entertainmnet industry.

      The same thing happened 50-60 years ago with black leather jackets – Hells Angels, Rebel Without A Cause, etc..

      What’s worn by serious outlaws as a necessity become icons of semi-rebellion by youth who want to emulate the look but not do the time.

First mention of Treyvon and Hoodie (according to Google News search):

“Trayvon was black, which in Zimmerman’s mind, made him suspicious. Nothing has been said about what Trayvon was wearing, but the first photo I found of him online, from his Facebook page, was of him in a hoodie… which would be perceived as him being a gangsta punk.”

And it looks like we hit two birds with one stone, the Lawyer is the source for both of these:,0,7301904.story

“The family’s attorneys have portrayed Zimmerman as something far different: a wannabe cop who studied criminal justice at the University of Central Florida, had a concealed-weapons permit, patrolled his neighborhood while carrying a 9 mm handgun and confronted Trayvon simply because he was black and wore a hoodie.”

And on the same day the new family attorney, Natalie Jackson said:

‘”When asked what made Trayvon suspicious to George Zimmerman he said, because he’s black and he has a hoodie on,” Jackson said a dispatcher told Zimmerman not to do anything and his response was ‘but they always get away.'”

    Crawford in reply to smfoushee. | March 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Wow. Those quotes are gold — every one of them is packed with lies. Slanderous lies, at that.

      Ragspierre in reply to Crawford. | March 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      There is a cardinal rule that gives people and their lawyers immunity for things stated during litigation. We all can see why that was developed.

      Conversely, legal ethics would forbid me from making statements of the kind the Martin attorneys have made. Most attorneys I know are quite shy of press contacts. For one thing, we don’t trust the press.

      Ragspierre in reply to Crawford. | March 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm


      3.07 Trial Publicity

      (a) In the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicatory proceeding. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to make such a statement.

      (b) A lawyer ordinarily will violate paragraph (a), and the likelihood of a violation increases if the adjudication is ongoing or imminent, by making an extrajudicial statement of the type referred to in that paragraph when the statement refers to:

      (1) the character, credibility, reputation or criminal record of a party, suspect in a criminal investigation or witness; or the expected testimony of a party or witness;

      (2) in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration, the possibility of a plea of guilty to the offense; the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by a defendant or suspect; or that persons refusal or failure to make a statement;

      (3) the performance, refusal to perform, or results of any examination or test; the refusal or failure of a person to allow or submit to an examination or test; or the identity or nature of physical evidence expected to be presented;

      (4) any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of a defendant or suspect in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration; or

      (5) information the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is likely to be inadmissible as evidence in a trial and would if disclosed create a substantial risk of prejudicing an impartial trial.

      That is our ethical standard in Texas, but I assume Florida would have a similar standard.

        dorsaighost in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm

        The Martin lawyers aren’t concerned about spoiling a jury pool, they don’t want a trial by jury …

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        There is a certain class of lawyer, probably represented in all 57 states, for which “ethics” is simply another minor hurdle to overcome with shell games, diversions, sleights-of-hand, and “oversights”. It occurs at the point when ordinary and expected cleverness is advanced to “evil”.

        GraceKnows in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        Wow! Can someone send that to Crump, et al?

Prof, it was the lawyers, in the media, with the narrative.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to smfoushee. | March 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    It is (well, it used to be) the media’s responsibility to vet info and proffered narratives before broadcasting them as fact.

      repsac3 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 29, 2012 at 1:52 am

      I’m with you on this, Henry…

      Since then we’ve gone to this adversarial system in the media, where rather than reporting the truth, they report what one side claims, then what the other side claims, and let the news consumer figure out for themselves what the truth is, as though there are no objective facts… just two (or more) opposing sides and their opposing opinions.

    Ragspierre in reply to smfoushee. | March 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Legal ethics make the kind of press conferencesssss at issue here rather…dubious.

    Not saying there was a clear ethical violation, ’cause I don’t know the Florida canon of legal ethics and don’t care enough to know.

    Reporters are SUPPOSED to have an ethical standard, too. Well…

Police report would have documented the tea and skittles had they been there. Possibly, Trayvon hadn’t been to get the items yet?

Are we talking about an incomplete investigation? Or police report?

As for the hoodie, that’s a loaded question because it could lead to racial implications against Zimmerman.

    Mike Giles in reply to Scorpio51. | March 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    If the skittles or tea were held by the victim or near the body. Other than that, I’m assuming the police would just see them as trash on the sidewalk.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mike Giles. | March 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Exactly. They wouldn’t have looked for that because they had no reason to. Martin apparently had no ID on him, so they were unable to contact anyone. Thus, there was nobody to say, “He went to get skittles and iced tea” in a time frame during which they could have looked for those items tossed down in the area. That could have told them a few things about Martin’s movements in the vicinity. For instance, if they’d found those items together on the ground 100 yds. away from the shooting, it would suggest that Martin dropped them and began moving toward Zimmerman at that point and confronted Zimmerman as Zimmerman says. There would be other scenarios, of course, depending on where they were found in proxomity to each other, the location of the shooting, and what Zimmerman was relating to 911 about Martin’s path or movements.

      As it stands, it’s only relevant with respect to the narrative put forward by the Martins and the media, not the shooting.

      I think if there was video of Martin buying the candy and tea, the Martin lawyer would have put that info out there during recent days while Martin’s behaviors at school have been coming out in order to reinforce the narrative of an innocent child just buying candy – raw meat for a media diversion from the school trouble, stolen jewelry, pot, etc..

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mike Giles. | March 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      This reminds me of something else I’ve wondered.

      What happened to Martin’s cell phone? Was there no phone on him? If there was, why didn’t the police call the last number on the phone or attempt to identify the owners of the numbers on the phone to find a contact person since Martin had no ID? Maybe they did and we just don’t know about it. Maybe it was a stolen phone and was a dead end. Maybe it dropped out of his pocket while he ran to confront Zimmerman. Maybe there was no phone and the GF made the whole thing up about having a conversation in which Martin says he’s being followed and is scared. If he was scared, why not hang up with the GF and call 911?

Thinking out loud-Sandra Fluke “testified” Feb. 23. The whole Fluke bomb- Rush blast -lasted 2 to 3 weeks. Trayvon incident actually happened on Feb. 26. We couldn’t possibly let it interfere with the manufactured Fluke! I know this all sounds “conspiratorial”, but connect the dots. Also, how does the White House “instantly” start selling Hoodies? I didn’t think that anything could be ordered instantly, shipped, etc. to have in-stock, for sale.( I have heard that have pulled them). Please also explain how it was as if by magic that Trayvon was CONTINUALLY pictured as a baby faced 12-13 year old, when in fact he was 17 and somewhere around 6 feet tall. Again, just thinking out loud, seems awfully like an intentionally manufactured distortion.

A “hoody” signifies, (in today’s vernacular), cool, hip often is a symbol of a gang involvement.

You see young people here in Austin wear them in July. If you are at all familiar with the summer climate in Austin, Texas the practice is not one of practicality…

The only police report that’s been released publicly has been a partial report (clearly labeled as such) from the officers who made initial contact.

Initial contact reports will only include information or inventories germane to going forward with a criminal proceeding (e.g., “observed the strong smell of marijuana,” “secured a handgun at the scene,” “witnessed drug paraphernalia in plain view).

A complete inventory of items found at a scene or on persons will be filed in an personal inventory report or within a crime scene contamination log, not within an initial contact or partial report.

For example, Mr. Zimmerman could have possibly been carrying a wallet on him, but we wouldn’t know that (or what was inside of it) unless we read (and then later reported on) his personal inventory report that would have been completed upon his admission into custody at central booking.

Despite inventory and crime scene contamination logs not having (yet) been made public, you can be assured that attorneys attached to the case, both for the family and within the office of the County District Attorney, have seen them.

Questioning the absence of details within a partial incident contact report that are not germane to a criminal investigation seems spurious.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Admonkey. | March 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Nothing spurious, just noting that in the only police document released there’s no mention, so it’s fair to ask what the source of the statement of fact is, e.g., witness or otherwise.

      I suppose so, particularly if you’re attempting to impeach police or Assistant (or otherwise) District Attorneys who have access to publically-unpublished reports yet choose to reveal them, without authorization from proper channels, to the press.

      But I don’t believe you are, so I find the line of questioning spurious.

Midwest Rhino | March 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

March 19
“Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin’s parents, said the teenager had not been using drugs or alcohol and would have had no reason to confront Zimmerman. Martin had been watching the National Basketball Association All-Star Game at his father’s girlfriend’s house in the neighborhood when he ventured out to a nearby 7-Eleven store for a snack, Crump said. A bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea were on his body when police arrived on the scene.”

I guess he could have a can in his pocket … certainly he wasn’t holding it when fighting.

The audio suggests Zimmerman was not chasing after Martin, after the dispatch says he doesn’t need to. It makes sense he was going back to his truck. Martin’s girlfriend might know why he confronted Zimmerman, but her report was after a discussion with the attorney if I remember correctly.

If Martin had just run away, Zimmerman would have had to run or drive to catch him … doesn’t sound like he did either … he was going to his truck to meet the police.

Professor, the earliest mention of “Skittles and tea” that I could find came a week after the shooting after the Martin family had lawyered up, and from the lawyer, not the family.

But here is what I do find interesting. The afternoon after the shooting, Trayvon Martin’s father and father’s girl friend were interviewed by FoxOrlando (remember, the father had just learned his son was dead and yet, finds the strength to give interviews). The news report quotes Brandy Green, Tracy Martin’s girl friend as saying:

“He walked out of the house to go to the store. He was going to the store,” she said. “He doesn’t know anybody here. He just came down here, so he was bored, so he walked to the store. He was on his way back home. I’m living down here. [and now the money quote] He [Trayvon] was sitting on the porch and this man killed him.”

So, the very next day after the shooting, and shortly after Tracy Martin learned his son was dead, he and his girl friend gave emotionless interviews to a FoxOrlando reporter where the GF claims Trayvon was “sitting on the porch” when he was shot.

What else I have read is that Tracy Martin first claimed that he was unaware of the shooting (which makes you scratch your head since it happened in the same town home complex where he was visiting) because he had “gone to dinner.” He later claimed that he tried to call his son on Trayvon’s cell, but there was no answer so he just assumed that Trayvon had gone to the movies with a cousin. Yet, Brandy Green stated that Trayvon “doesn’t know anybody here.” Trayvon Martin was lying on a morgue slab and his father was giving press interviews? Why do I find that a bit strange?

    Ragspierre in reply to retire05. | March 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    “Trayvon Martin was lying on a morgue slab and his father was giving press interviews? Why do I find that a bit strange?”

    I take it you have never watched the evening news in a major market.

    TV and print reporters are all over newly bereaved families with, “How do you feel right now” level questions.

    What I find strange is that so many people have the class to decline all the attention.

      retire05 in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Rags, I find that immediate family members rarely give interviews to the press in less than 24 hours after their loved ones have been killed. Ususally it is happens after the funerals.

      But this particular family (the Martins) seems to want to be in front of every camera they can find. Yesterday, the mother testified before Congress on “profiling.”

        Ragspierre in reply to retire05. | March 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        Like I said, retire, I see it virtually every night.

        Never mind the ghoulish behavior of the press. Most people cannot stand having a TV camera in their faces without the need to spill their guts.

        The presence of a camera DOES change human behavior, for good or ill.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to retire05. | March 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    so I suppose the question might be, why did she lie about his location? Was she aware that where he really was, was where he was not supposed to be, because they thought he was “up to no good”? That is my supposition of course, but why lie?

    Do we know where her porch is? Is it in the gated community? Some account mentioned he was taking a shortcut home. Unless he knew the area, why would he go into a gated community, not knowing where the exits were? Was it really a shortcut? They must have surveillance tapes from the store by now … giving a time frame for how long he was out.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to retire05. | March 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    lemme guess……because they like the attention and smelled a payday, at the very least some local trust fund for burial and related “expenses”?

Here is the link to the original Fox Orlando article, dated Feb. 27th, 4:55 PM EST, (which would have been the same day the father learned his son had been shot to death and was currenly lying in the morgue, and less than 24 hours after the incident)

Perhaps I am being judgemental here, but if my son had just been shot to death, I don’t think I would be giving press interviews.

    I hold no brief for the Martins, but I’m happy to give grieving parents – any grieving parents – 1000 miles of latitude when it comes to what they may say or do in the first few crazy days after their child’s death. Things that might make sense to them at the time may not seem “right” to people who aren’t in that position, but I don’t think it behooves us to judge or second-guess their behaviour. I do wish the media would stay out of their faces for the first few days, but that’s never gonna happen.

    Just my 2 cents.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to s_dog. | March 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      At the very least, the media should refrain from wasting the family’s time by impeding the family’s effort to trademark their son’s name and make it even more famous and sympathetic by appearing before congress.

    Either “MyFoxOrlando”, “Fox 35” or poor little me is terribly, terribly confused. “Tracy Martin” by name is referred to in this very early, original report by the feminine form at least twice, while other sources I’m too lazy to link back to refer to “him” as the dead youth’s “father”. Did either later issue a correction or clarification? Were they quoting someone else besides “Tracy” and misidentifying the speaker? Does “shot on the porch” not raise even more troubling questions? Who shot JR?

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to 49erDweet. | March 29, 2012 at 2:06 am

      I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt for now on the basis of language. I interpret what was said as shorthand for something like, “He was last on the porch, just fine, next thing we know is he’s been shot.” It’s hard to imagine anybody being stupid enough to try to claim Martin was shot on the porch.

        Yeah, I can go along with that. Just a “misspoke”. But who was the “she” the media was quoting? I can’t buy it was a reporter’s mistake. Was the father’s girlfriend doing the talking? And if so, where was he? The scuttlebutt in most gated townhouse communities I’ve been in travels like wildfire. Even though the young man was not identified by the PD until much later, why wouldn’t the father and his girlfriend have heard something about the nighttime shooting scene straight down the public access walkway of their very own block? Strange lack of curiosity going on for too long there, in my view. Good something else have been afoot? I guess we need to wait and find out. Or we could just lynch the shooter and be done with it. /sarc

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to 49erDweet. | March 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

          I believe this happened on a Friday night. Maybe Dad and his GF, who apparently went to dinner, then went to a club and got hammered before heading home. If so, they may have been DUI and wanted to avoid the scene with the cops and just get in and go to sleep, not bothering to notice Trayvon wasn’t home or talk to anybody about anything. They obviously didn’t wait up for Trayvon since they didn’t notice he was missing until the next day. That sounds like some Friday night boozing to me.

          Though we didn’t have kids in the house, that’s the way my friends and I used to roll. 🙂

Angry over steps being taken due to a financial emergency in Detroit, New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz declared he would burn the city down.

“This is white on black crime,” he said during public comment at the two hour meeting held Monday afternoon.

“This is white supremacy. Before you can take over our city, we will burn it down,” he added.

Why is this guy walking around without having to post bond somewhere?

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Why is Malik Shabazz still walking around? Easy one.

    Here’s Shabazz:

    Look like anyone we know?

    Look anything like these guys?

    Mike Giles in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    “Why is this guy walking around without having to post bond somewhere?”

    Why is he walking around without wearing a straight jacket?

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | March 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    “Why is this guy walking around without having to post bond somewhere?”

    Post bond? Oh. I thought you knew. He’s one of “Holder’s people.” That means he can issue his own death warrants.

    Lou Gots in reply to Ragspierre. | March 29, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Burn down Detroit? Is that a threat or a promise?

    Look, we don’t know what happened yet, but every bit in information makes it look more and more as a lock or the defense. I am informed that Florida law makes it possible, perhaps likely, that Zimmerman may enjoy immunity from prosecution as a matter of law, and that if he does not, the prosecution will be tasked with disproving self-defense at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. .

    If the criminal underclass proposes to honor the memory of Trayvon (TM) as they did the memory of MLK, then let them stand by, for the post-Obama Second Amendment Bonanza has intervened. More guns were sold on the Friday after Thanksgiving, 2011, that on any day in history. More during December, 2011, than during any month in history.

    We don’t want to have to fight, but by Jingo, if we do. . ..

I was looking around the web for a diagram of the crime scene and found this:

Not sure I agree with the blog post, but found it interesting to see a bird’s eye view of the area.

FWIW, I’m a fat white guy in my 20s and I often think twice before I put up my hood on my hoodie (and usually I won’t). Frankly, I love hoodies, but with the hood up it does appear like you’re hiding your identity simply because they over so much more than a standard hat. (I also rarely use the hood on my jacket unless it’s raining, even then I got an umbrella for that purpose.)

I guess this makes me racist against…myself? I’ll admit it probably is bias, but primarily it’s bias because of all the people I see robbing banks in hoodies on the news (many/most who are white.)

Side note, went into the bank yesterday, Wife (also white) told to take off sunglasses, so yeah.

In yesterday’s Post of the Day Crawdad points out that “the nearest 7-11 is almost two miles away and it was dark and raining” [emphasis mine].

    Browndog in reply to donb. | March 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    And cautioned that it was based on a Google search, which is not necessarily accurate.

    I believe you should see an update stating that there is in fact one 3/4 mile away.

    (not sure if that’s even accurate–You’d think these questions are not difficult ones, and should have been answered a loooong time ago)

      retire05 in reply to Browndog. | March 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Using Mapquest, Ithere is a 7-11 just 0.78 miles from the address of the club house, 1111 Retreat View Circle.

      What also bothers me about this case is that the shooting happened approx. 7 p.m. EST. The father did not start searching for his minor (17 year old) son until the next morning. How many parents let their 17 year old kids walk to a store that was almost one mile away, at night, in a town the kid is not familiar with, and doesn’t start calling the police when that kid is not home within a reasonable time frame (like an hour?)?

      It also bothers me that 22 hours after the shooting, the father’s girl friend is giving false information about where Trayvon was at the time of the shooting. That indicates to me that Brandy Green did not know where Trayvon actually was when shot. Shouldn’t she have already know the location of the shooting?

      We are also being told that Trayvon was on his cell phone with his girlfried when he learned that he was being followed by Zimmerman. The lawyer for GF claims that Martin asked Zimmerman why he [Zimmerman] was following Martin and that the time of the call proves the girlfriend is being truthful about the contents of the conversation. How’s that for a stretch?

      Cell phone records will show what incoming calls Trayvon received. Both those that were answered and those that were missed. If the father, who is now claiming he tried to call his son that night, is telling the truth, it will show on the cell phone logs.

        Browndog in reply to retire05. | March 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

        What bothers me is that Martin apparently left to go get his brother some skittles-and never returned.
        -According to Rich Lowrey at NRO, it was during halftime of the NBA All-Star game that tipped off at 7:30 (incident occured at/near 7:00)

        apparently he had no ID on him, and it took the police a full day to identify him-

        apparently he was on the phone with his girlfriend at the time of his “disappearance”

        apparently no one–not the parents, or the girlfriend–reported him missing.


          myveryownpointofview in reply to Browndog. | March 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

          Couldn’t the police have used his phone to get an ID on him? Oh, wait, maybe it was one of those Trak-phones type “pay as you go” phones. But it is weird if no one was worried enough to call the police station when he didn’t show up at home.

      donb in reply to Browndog. | March 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Browndog, your points are well taken — I have not seen the update that there was a nearer 7-11 (perhaps it is in the comments, which outnumber the comments on Professor J’s blog).

      It is also likely that there is some other convenience store in the vicinity (“7-11” is sometimes used generically, although I prefer the term a friend uses: “Stop-n-Rob”).

      As you noted, “these questions are not difficult ones, and should have been answered a loooong time ago.” They may have been by investigators, and the answers may not be helpful to “the narrative” that is being pitched.

      There are way too many unusual, questionable “apparently…s in “the narrative” we are being fed.

myveryownpointofview | March 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Just found this, while it’s not about sources per se, it has a lot of the articles, as more information emerged, linked. Also has a photo of Treyvon I hadn’t seen.

    “Also has a photo of Treyvon I hadn’t seen.

    Perhaps because that’s not a photo of the Trayvon we’re talking about here.

    Be mindful of whether the “facts” you’re passing around are accurate or not. It’s usually safer to trust bloggers who are “known quantities” (like Prof Jacobson) than anonymous here-one-day-gone-the-next pop-up blogs.

[…] Trayvon Martin case, this time courtesy of Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL). All based on the media’s concocted narrative that Martin was targeted simply because he was wearing a […]

According to this link, the case is still being investigated:

Prosecutor: Sanford police sought to charge Zimmerman

“If you go with what was reported in the press the first night, there would have been an arrest right away, but obviously something gave investigators pause,” said a source in the Seminole State Attorney’s office who did not want to speak publicly, because the case is now assigned to a different prosecutor. “We get capias warrants all the time. That doesn’t mean we file charges right away. We investigate to see if it’s appropriate. That’s the responsible thing to do.’’

[…] PROFESSOR JACOBSON: Sourcing Narrative “Facts” In The Martin Case. […]

Henry Hawkins | March 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

New narrative: George Zimmerman, after murdering President Obama’s stepson Trayvon Martin in cold blood, then stole his Skittles, proved by the absence of said Skittles.

    beloved2 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    “…Fox News anchors and hosts are beginning to ask fair and balanced questions about the Trayvon Martin tragedy, and today the nation’s most popular news source is reporting, “no receipt was found by investigators for the candy or the tea Martin was menacing at George Zimmerman when the neighborhood watchman was forced to defend himself.”

    The revelation came this morning on Fox and Friends during an interview with Bill “Bull” Lee, who has temporarily stepped-down as Sanford Chief of Police in order to act as Zimmerman’s official spokesman. Lee told the cast of the popular morning show, “After we stripped the dead suspect and tested him for drug and alcohol use and then dug under his finger and toe nails for any incriminating DNA, we checked his blood-soaked clothes for any kind of evidence of wrong doing. All we found was 34 cents and a couple of baseball cards.”

    “That’s it?” Gretchen Carlson asked dismayed. “Seems to me that something was obviously missing: why wasn’t there a receipt for the pop [sic] and candy?”

    “We at the Sanford Police Department asked the exact same question, Gretchen,” Lee explained. “We concluded that the suspect must have stolen the candy and tea, and in my mind that bolstered Mr. Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. A criminal brandishing his stolen goods can be quite threatening when you’re following him in your SUV with a nine-millimeter, semi-auto handgun loaded with a full clip of hollow-point ammo.”

    Carlson, in her classic journalistic style, stayed on the scent: “So were the baseball cards found on Martin of any value?” she asked. “Do we know if the family has produced a receipt for those?”…

    Notice the police found 34 cents and some baseball cards, no mention of the skittles and tea. Look at the pictures posted above from myveryownpointofview. The third one is known in Texas as the gansta posture-look at his hands, obviously a wannabee gansta pose.
    Who on this planet calls a Hispanic white? They need a visit with some of the Chicano “Viva La Raza” gangsta here in Texas to get clued in that white is the worst insult to the Chicanos. That writer needs to be fired for such an insult, doesn’t everybody know from Anthropology 101 that the Chicano/Latino/Hispanic group are not white because white equals Anglo-Saxon and they are definitely not Anglos.
    Caucasian is the designated box for them to check and Caucasian is also ridiculous. When my employer asked me my ethnicity, I said correctly “Viking”. If they are using a 13th century term “Anglo”, then they need to use the corresponding 13th century “Viking” for me.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to beloved2. | March 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      this is a spoof, right? I think some might believe it as fact. Even though it’s in response to Henry’s joking.

        “Bill “Bull” Lee, who has temporarily stepped-down as Sanford Chief of Police”

        Should somebody tell them that Bull Connor was actually a prominent Democrat?

[…] Jacobson asks where exactly has the mainstream media sourced the “facts” of the Trayvon Martin case? Such as the narrative put forth that Martin only had a bag of Skittles […]

BTW, I’m 64 years old an retired. During the summer I tend to walk around in shorts and short sleeved shirt. During the winter I tend to wear one of the innumerable sweat suits I own. All most all of them have hooded tops. My bald old head tends to get cold in winter. Besides I’m too old, not to mention out of shape, to be a “gangsta”.

    dorsaighost in reply to Mike Giles. | March 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    but if you where a 6 foot 17 year old with gold capped teeth and tats you would neither be too old or out of shape to want to look like a “gansta” would you …

    Ragspierre in reply to Mike Giles. | March 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I getcha, Mike.

    But look at the pictures from the riots in England a while back. Hoodies, bandanas, balaclavas.

    What you and I consider “clothing”, some people use as a means to defeat law enforcement, or a deadly serious tribal totem (i.e., Crips bandanas).

    Mike Giles in reply to Mike Giles. | March 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    The point I was making is that wearing a hoody isn’t a sign of anything. Wearing one doesn’t make one a gangster. Nor does having tattoos. Nor does gold teeth. Many teenagers dress that way. Following the styles associated with their favorite entertainment figures isn’t in and of itself proof of bad intentions.

Uncle Samuel | March 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

UPDATE – On the New Black Panther Party:
1. The New Black Panther leader who issued the $10,000. reward on CNN was arrested for possession by a felon: “A high-ranking member of the New Black Panther Party was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.”,

2. “The (New Black Panther Party) group appears to have borrowed its name from the black power movement of the 1960s and ’70s, co-founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. But, which is maintained by the Huey P. Newton Foundation and dedicated to fostering Newton’s memory, posted an alert on its website distancing itself from the group.

“There is no New Black Panther Party,” the site says, denouncing the group as exploiting the Black Panther name and heritage and saying they are “trying to incite hatred rather than resolve it.”,0,7849382.story

    Ragspierre in reply to Uncle Samuel. | March 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Liked what Boortz said; they are to Black Americans what Fred Phillips is to Christians.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | March 29, 2012 at 3:23 am

      NBPP has much more successful recruiting techniques than the Phelpses. There are about 100 members or fewer of the Westboro Baptist legal machine, which is the sum of their ranks. The NBPP is not as successful as Jesse’s and Al’s respective race hustling machines, which sit half a cut above Calypso Louis and the boyz in terms of message and command masses who turn out for them when called upon, but they’ve got a lot more members than the Phelpses. And their numbers are growing with prison recruits, while the Phelps group stagnates.

        VetHusbandFather in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | March 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

        I’m pretty sure the only growth that the Phelps’ see is when they have another grandchild…

        Good point here, I agree with you on the size of the church vs NBBP, but its also more than that. The church certainly doesn’t participate in threatening behavior, they only exercise their freedom of speech (no matter how vulgar I think it is). So I wouldn’t exactly equivocate the small church to a much larger organization that carries weapons outside of voter precincts and participates in vigilante justice.

If the Skittles don’t fit, you must acquit! Sorry, just had to do that.

Trayvon’s girlfriend confirmed he “put” a hoodie on – but from her remarks, it appears to me he only “put the hoodie on” after he became aware someone was watching him….which on the surface seems like he was trying to hide his face or something.

He said this man was watching him,so he put his hoodie on He said he lost the man…I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to Enlightened. | March 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Interesting point about the hoodie. I think most people would agree that it is more suspicious if he had put it on after seeing Mr. Zimmerman.

So the police chief went from finding no receipt to the items must have been stolen? That is quite a leap.

There’s the “fact” reported by ABC News on March 20 that Trayvon’s girlfriend has a recording of the cell phone conversation she had with Trayvon immediately prior to the shooting. Benjamin Crump, the Martin family lawyer, told ABC that they will turn the call over to the Justice Department.

The “Gucci Little Piggy” blogger raised the issue today in the post Trayvon Martin’s conversation with his girlfriend and other stuff.

Quotes and links are in my comments there: 03/28/2012 at 10:06 am and 03/28/2012 at 1:33 pm.

I can’t make heads or tails of the ABC News reporters’ assertions. How did the GF record the call — a smartphone app? Why did she wait 3 weeks to reveal its existence, doing nothing until Trayvon’s father asked her about it? Does a recording even exist?

    “I can’t make heads or tails of the ABC News reporters’ assertions. How did the GF record the call — a smartphone app? Why did she wait 3 weeks to reveal its existence, doing nothing until Trayvon’s father asked her about it? Does a recording even exist?”

    This is actually what the ABC story says:

    “Attorney Benjamin Crump spoke after ABC News reported exclusively the existence of a phone call between Martin and his girlfriend, which detailed the last terrifying moments of Martin’s life as he was pursued, accosted and shot dead by George Zimmerman.”

    There’s not a recording of the phone call; there’s a recording of the girlfriend claiming there was a phone call and relaying what she [claims to have] heard.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to s_dog. | March 29, 2012 at 3:13 am

      Why do I think this alleged recorded conversation between the GF and Crump was not the first conversation they had?

      AMac78 in reply to s_dog. | March 29, 2012 at 7:13 am

      @ s_dog (March 29, 2012 at 1:43 am) wrote:

      > There’s not a recording of the phone call; there’s a recording of the girlfriend claiming there was a phone call and relaying what she [claims to have] heard.

      s_dog, that explanation does not square with the 3/20/12 ABC News report that you quoted. Here is another direct quote from that article:

      Martin’s father, Tracey Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, listened to the call, along with ABC News, ashen-faced.

      If attorney Crump and reporters Gutman and Tenabdeso aren’t claiming a recording of the call, what were they listening to, ashen-faced?

        If ABC had heard a recording of the conversation between Trayvon and his girlfriend, why aren’t there any direct quotes from that? Why do they only report, when they’re talking about this conversation, what “Martin’s friend said” that Trayvon [allegedly] said? For instance, “‘He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,’ Martin’s friend said.”

        It’s a very poorly-written and confusing article, but perhaps the recorded conversation that they’re talking about was the one Crump had with the alleged girlfriend, wherein she was alleging what Martin had said. But if ABC had heard a recording of the actual conversation between Martin & the girl, they would have reported verbatim what Martin himself said, not simply what the girl SAID he said.

        Yeah, I know. The whole thing’s smelly.

        AMac78 in reply to AMac78. | March 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

        @ s_dog (March 29, 2012 at 7:46 am)

        > Yeah, I know. The whole thing’s smelly.

        ABC News publishes a dramatic story about listening, ashen faced, to a riveting recording of Trayvon’s last moments. The family’s attorney is sharing this Zimmerman-damning evidence with the Justice Department, but withholding it from the racist Sanford P.D.

        The rules governing Pravda’s ABC News’ advance-the-narrative journalism don’t require that the riveting recording has to actually exist.

        A commenter to Steve Sailer’s most recent post quipped that the prestige press have eaten their own dog food. That sounds about right.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to AMac78. | March 29, 2012 at 2:56 am

    I call BS on Crump.

[…] a “hoodie” on the floor of Congress today, a commenter at the Legal Insurrection blog quips: “Members need to remove their hoods or leave the […]

That’s when Zimmerman says his son called polic[e.]

“He called the non-emergency number first, and they asked him where he was. Because he was at the rear of the townhouses and there was no street sign,” Zimmerman said.

Even though a dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin, his father says he continued walking to locate an address to give to police.

“He lost sight of the individual, he continued to walk down the same sidewalk to the next street so he could get an address for the police. He went to the next street, realized where he was, and was walking to his vehicle,” Zimmerman said.

That’s when Robert Zimmerman says Trayvon Martin walked up to George Zimmerman.

“It’s my understanding at that point Trayvon Martin walked up to him, asked him, ‘do you have a f—in problem?’ George said ‘no, I don’t have a problem,’ and started to reach for his cell phone. At that point, he was punched in the nose, his nose was broken, and he was knocked to the concrete,” Robert Zimmerman said.

“Travyon Martin got on top of him and started beating him, in his face, nose, hitting his head on the concrete,” he continued

Zimmerman said during the scuffle, Martin threatened George Zimmerman’s life.

“After nearly a minute of being beaten, George was trying to get his head off the concrete, trying to move with Trayvon on him, into the grass. In doing so, his firearm was shown. Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of ‘you’re going to die now,’ or ‘you’re going to die tonight.’ Or something to that effect. He continued to beat George and at some point George pulled his pistol and did what he did,” Robert Zimmerman said.

“So you’re saying Trayvon Martin verbally threatened his life?” Valerie Boey asked.

“Yes,” Zimmerman replied.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Neo. | March 29, 2012 at 3:11 am

    So, Zimmerman broke off his surveillance and was just looking for a street name, then was headed back to his car. He was confronted on the way. And he states Martin threatened his life, and was on top of him bashing his head into the concrete while he screamed for help, a point which is borne out by witnesses. martin said he was going to kill him, and had the ability to do so.

    Sounds like sweet little Trayvon had a mad-on, maybe because of being suspended from school again. Maybe his dad had given him what-for. Maybe he just wanted to take it out on somebody else. The GF states she told him him to run, and he refused. It sounds like he was spoiling for a fight. He could have run or called the police, but he didn’t. Instead, he hunted Zimmerman down. Zimmerman won. If Zimmerman hadn’t been armed, he’d likely be dead or comatose now.

A supposed statement by Trayvon’s father in the March 9th Miami Herald.

Martin’s father said the teen went out in a light drizzle around 7 p.m. that Sunday during the NBA All-Star Game halftime to get snacks from a nearby 7-Eleven. He purchased Skittles candies and an Arizona iced tea for his 13-year-old stepbrother.

I say supposed since it is not a quote and is likely from the attorney as he is quoted in the story.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to geoffb. | March 29, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Heavens -every 13 year old kid would be demanding to know where his Skittles got to. Within 30 minutes he would be out looking for them -if not looking for the bro.

    Don’t think he would still not be wanting them in the morning .

BannedbytheGuardian | March 29, 2012 at 1:08 am

The last gold teeth I ever saw was from a Kazakh cyclist in the late 80s.

It was news because demonstrated the backwardness of Soviet dentistry. (being a cyclist he had most likely lost the tooth in a fall ).

Are Martin’s gold capped & were they boxed off . Has to be more than fashion.

Hooded sweatshirts are commonly used to shelter from the cold. “Hoodies” are worn pulled forward to conceal the face are commonly worn to defeat video surveillance technology, and to intimidate by announcing that the wearer’s identity is being concealed.

Perhaps this is a fashion in certain circles, but it remains a hostile, threatening fashion. A merchant whose establishment is set upon by a swarm of strangers whose faces are thus shielded may be reasonably apprehensive that he is about to be “Trayvonned.”

[…] Professor Jacobson is asking some good questions about the details here. […]

[…] of some rumored crime so as to dispense on-the-spot justice. More PROFESSOR JACOBSON:  Sourcing Narrative “Facts” In The Martin Case. Because you need to know the disortions and manipulations / media bias Was Trayvon Martin a […]

[…] Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a post discussing the sourcing of some of the “facts” in the Trayvon Martin case. In that […]

One ‘fact’ that came in to being with a 3/20/12 ABC News report is that their reporter Matt Gutman heard a recording of the phone call between Trayvon and his girlfriend DeeDee, which ended just as the final confrontation with Zimmerman began. (Gutman’s account is generally unfavorable to Zimmerman.)

Blogger Chuck Rudd at “Gucci Little Piggy” has been following up on this claim, including exchanging tweets with Gutman.

To me, it appears that Gutman conflated listening to a recording of the DeeDee/Trayvon call with listening to a recording of a different conversation from three weeks after the shooting, where DeeDee recounted what she had said and heard that night.

This could be wrong: it’s conceivable that a recording of the original DeeDee/Trayvon call exists. But at the moment, it seems prudent to view this narrative with a very jaundiced eye.

[…] their job. It was ultimately the State Attorney’s Office that declined charges. We need the facts, not the […]

Speaking of slippery facts, can someone definitively answer where the father’s girlfriend lives? Does she live in the development where the shooting took place, or somewhere else, and if the latter how far away? Is the complex in fact on a reasonable route between the nearest convenience store and her home?

[…] up to be like the late Florida teen.  Unlike the candy and non-alcoholic beverage kid we met in the media accounts, the real Trayvon was suspended from school for smoking marijuana — not exactly an […]

[…] Professor Jacobson is asking some good questions about the details here. […]