Regarding reports like the one above, in regards to O’Mara & West seeking out information on Trayvon Martin’s character, I believe the question really comes down to this; What did Trayvon think of George and could he have purposefully with intent to harm gone back to where he ran from in order to assault George? And most importantly, why?
Here are some of my thoughts on the matter…
Update Sept. 13, 2012: Before you get to my thoughts on the matter here are some thoughts on the legal perspective from the TalkLeft Forum;
In a nutshell, Florida permits a defendant in a criminal case to introduce evidence of a victim’s reputation for violence, providing there is a showing of self defense on the part of the defendant. One purpose is to show that the victim was the first aggressor. When a defendant offers the evidence for this purpose, it is unnecessary for him to show that he had prior knowledge of the victim’s propensities. This is because because the evidence is offered to show the conduct of the victim, rather than the defendant’s state of mind.
There are still other factors that the court would weigh in deciding if its admissible: Things like when was it, how similar was it to what is claimed in this case, and does the prejudicial nature of the evidence outweigh its probative value.
Until specific evidence is disclosed by one side or the other, it is not appropriate to speculate here or bring up contents of social media accounts and rumors. Those are just character attacks.
Suffice it to say the requests the defense is making are not witch hunts or fishing expeditions. If the state , for example, wants to introduce evidence of Trayvon’s good character, the defense has the right to challenge it with evidence it discovers. If it waits until trial, it will be too late. The defense has to anticipate such action by the state and be prepared to meet it.
The Florida Evidence Manual: Section 90.404(1)(b) allows evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of a crime to be offered by an accused; or by the prosecution to rebut the trait; or evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the aggressor.
Trayvon isn’t the only person whose character will be subjected to scrutiny by the defense. I would expect Dee Dee to be as well. The state has said she’s a critical witness. The defense is entitled to impeach her credibility, even if its just to show her bias.
Murray v. State, 838 So. 2d 1073, 2002 Fla. LEXIS 1942 (Fla. 2002).
Denying a defendant the opportunity to present evidence that a witness is biased not only violates Fla. Stat. § 90.608(2), it also implicates a defendant’s constitutional right to cross-examination which is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Fla. Const. art. I, § 16; inherent within this right is a defendant’s right to expose a witness’s motivation in testifying because it is the principal means by which the believability of a witness and the truth of his testimony are tested.
The state can object to the issuance of the defense subpoenas but I don’t think it will prevail. If the evidence is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and is relevant to the issues in the case, they probably will be granted.
Now, on to my thoughts.
The prosecution, along with the media, public, congress members and other various organizations have already given and continues to give George Zimmerman a thorough reaming that pales in comparison given to any other ordinary Joe Citizen that I have ever seen. The amount of resources spent, which must be in the millions by now between Local, State and Federal authorities is astounding considering such an un-extraordinary event. There are over 15,000 homicides a year in the U.S. and this was a very local matter and would had remained as such if not for the unjustifiable efforts of the Scheme Team. Given all we know so far there still remains more the prosecution has in regards to George that they have not released but given everything released so for I doubt there could be anything of any significance found that would radically alter any perception of George one way or the other.
It’s at this point that those who believe in George Zimmerman’s guilt will pontificate that anyone who mentions such realities is merely trying to evoke empathy on part of the reader for George’s lot in life. That is certainly not my position. I welcome such thorough investigation into anyone involved in a homicide. But the fact remains that there was nothing about this case to justify the position we find ourselves in today. There has been nothing brought to light that justifies Tracy Martin’s, and for that matter the larger black population, fears that the police were about to “sweep another dead black male under the rug” or that Trayvon was killed because of “racial profiling”. And so with that, this case should have remained a local matter and not, politically motivated mind you, moved to a new prosecutor, Justice Department and all.
Much has been said on the character of Trayvon Martin that I won’t repeat here, perhaps one day I will write a blog containing everything we know. For now I want to get straight to the matter. What did Trayvon think of George? We cannot know with any certainty because he is not here to tell us and even if he was, there is always the question of what he may have really thought as opposed to anything he may have said otherwise. We can only go by his actions that night, the evidence and everything else that can be known to inductively reason from that as to what Trayvon may have thought about George and if he could have purposefully with intent gone back to where he ran from in order to assault George
Since race was made an issue in this case I start with the same. What did Trayvon think about race if at all? From all I know of Trayvon at this point he had nothing but black friends. There is nothing but music from black artists on his YouTube. There is only one Tweet form those released by the Daily Caller with the word “cracka”. However there are numerous references to the phrase “nigga” to even include Trayvon’s handle. Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin and Alicia Martin all speak in terms of greater society in terms of black and white. Tracy has reportedly given Trayvon “the Talk”; succinctly that as a black person one will be looked at differently, negatively, than the rest. Then there are Trayvon’s friends, male friends mind you, not female as those are different relationships and as such will be known differently on different levels. When one takes the time to investigate each of these things more thoroughly and takes that in conjunction with what else is known, they then have a foundation from which to build their understanding of Trayvon’s character at the time of February 26th, 2012. Without this process one is left to folly to say nothing of the fact if one’s mind is clouded by family and media propaganda of a 12 year old boy with hopes and dreams of becoming a pilot.
An important factor to consider is Trayvon’s drug use. Contrary to Crumps assertion that Trayvon’s drug use was merely experimental with friends, a deeper look into Trayvon’s and his friends tweet’s reveals a much more extensive involvement and use of drugs, particularly marijuana, and possibly to the extent of some small time dealing. We will come back to this.
Then there is a question of violence. Trayvon was certainly at the age and physical ability to commit the violence of the sort we see upon George’s face and head. But anything directly attributed is limited. From his YouTube page we find some interest in MMA fighting. There have been two videos released attributed to Trayvon involved in fighting. Very few of his own tweets, again from the Daily Caller, speak to the attitude of violence though much of the music on his YouTube account is filled with it. Finally we have his friends and particularly his cousins tweets. Let us look at a string of tweets from his cousin. Keep in mind the date, not even 48 hours after the shooting.
Not only do we get the racial and violent elements but we get a direct attribute into the character of a Martin, that is, what more can you expect. That is but a sample of the many tweets by his close cousin and friends that are latent with constant reference to race, drugs, misogyny and violence.
There is also know an incident involving Trayvon hitting a bus driver. This also comes from a tweet of his cousin but I was unable to find the URL for that tweet to be sure but rest assure if it’s coming from him it’s more than likely real.
Trayvon and his cousin also started a group known as Team4Dat. From what I could gather these are the few members;
Trayvon’s Cousin Stephen Martin
You will find various photos and reference to hand flashing the number 4 for Team4Dat. I am unaware of its significance;
It is only with thorough investigation of thousands of tweets and various other social media from each of these close friends of Trayvon could one possibly begin to add to the foundation in order to answer our questions.
Then there is the question of the home life of Trayvon and what it was like. And if there is a veracity to this comment then we should be hearing more about that soon.
Now we come to the actions of Trayvon on the night of the 26th. First we have Trayvon noticing that someone is watching him or who he believes to be watching him. We only know this through George’s and DeeDee’s interviews. The question I pose here is why is this significant to Trayvon. We have to set the scene. It’s 7pm on a Sunday evening in a gated community of which no vehicle can enter without a code. It’s populated with at least 200 residents and as we can see from the clubhouse videos, many cars pass the same area where Trayvon was reportedly standing. Also from the many photos, videos and aerial photos of the neighborhood, it is not unusual for cars to park on the street. Finally, it’s not like this particular area is a gang ridden one. So I ask, if you were in such a setting and standing at the mailboxes as DeeDee says Trayvon was, would you be so concerned about someone parked down the street? Even if you had noticed the car as you entered the neighborhood and even if they drove behind you down one street but passed you and parked down another street would it cause you any great concern? Would you think it has anything to do with you?
Trayvon’s next action speaks to him not being in fear. He, from what we could gather from George’s and DeeDee’s interviews, at the very least walks past George’s SUV. Why? If the person in this car caused you concern to think you may be in some sort of danger why would you walk towards it? There are other options here. Trayvon could have called police, went to a neighbors or simply walked back out of the neighborhood but apparently he chose to walk in the direction of George.
Then Trayvon does something which at this point seems absurd to me. He runs. Why? Well perhaps his cousin can, in part, answer that for us.
Let’s not forget that Trayvon identified George as white to DeeDee, which begs the question of who was “racially profiling” who but I digress.
What happened with Trayvon in the next four minutes is not clear. We have DeeDee’s interview where she states that Trayvon was going to run home from the back. Given where Trayvon lived and ran from that should have taken 15 seconds yet she reports he was out of breath. This all happens while George is talking calmly on the phone with Sanford PD dispatcher for the first two minutes after which George gets off the phone. Then there is the question of the phone that Trayvon was talking on. If this phone were not in fact found at the scene and it was in fact his phone and that in ended up later in Miami then how did it get there? The only conclusion that can be is that he dropped the phone off at home after running then went back for George.
If the claims made about the phone turn out to not be true then there still remains the question of what Trayvon was doing. Was he hiding? From DeeDee’s interview it seems that when Trayvon had ran, he got to a point where he was confident George was unaware of where he was. How could he know this? From both interviews and the evidence Trayvon ran when George was sitting in his car. If we visualize the area and combine it with George’s interviews could it be that Trayvon was hiding and was able to see George walk to the T of the sidewalk, perhaps flash his flashlight down the sidewalk, then continue as George said to Retreat View Circle giving Trayvon the impression that he had lost George? That very well could be. And then when DeeDee says that Trayvon says the man is behind him again is when George was going back towards his car? Again, sounds like it could be. And from both interviews we get Trayvon’s next action. He approaches George. Why? Seems like an odd thing to do considering Trayvon is supposedly in fear and has lost him.
These are the actions that we have to explain and there is one plausible explanation that has the explanatory power for it all. Trayvon may have had some weed on him and believed at first that George may have been some sort of security or law enforcement. This is the answer to our first question, what Trayvon thought of George. When Trayvon later figured out George was not security or law enforcment, either through George’s actions, speaking on the phone and/or otherwise, Trayvon then felt “punked” by this Cracka and went to do something about it.
There is one other hypothesis I’ve been working with. Trayvon may have had some sort of interaction with three other youths at the 711.
It is a possibility that Trayvon bought drugs from these fellows. It also may be possible that Trayvon smoked some weed on the way home, perhaps bought from them. If that weed were laced with something this has the explanatory power as to Trayvon’s actions.
In this post I have provided but a summary of the explanations to our questions. Something of this degree requires a large amount of time and investigation. Anything less with absolute conclusions drawn reeks of agenda.