In April 2012, the office of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey drew up an affidavit of probable cause against George Zimmerman for the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin.
The affidavit was loaded. Martin was walking back to the townhouse “where he was living” when Zimmerman “profiled” him. Zimmerman “assumed Martin was a criminal.” He called the police. The affidavit cited Martin’s phone “friend” to attest, “Martin was scared because he was being followed by an unknown male and didn’t know why.” Again, according to the affidavit (and this was critical): “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.” Martin’s mother then “identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin’s.” Zimmerman admitted shooting Martin, and that apparently was good enough for the prosecutors.
For the next year, the major media accepted the affidavit as gospel. In so doing, they prepared their audiences to believe that George Zimmerman would be convicted for the killing of Martin. He won’t be. Every interesting revelation in the trial so far has supported his innocence.
Here are ten such revelations:
10. Witness #8, the “phone friend,” the real-life Rachel Jeantel, the plus-size American-born daughter of Haitian and Dominican parents, provided a few aha! moments of her own. Right away, the defense established for the jury the many lies that Jeantel and/or her handlers had been telling. No, Jeantel was not sixteen and a minor, as first insisted. She was eighteen at the time of the shooting. And no, she had not been hospitalized on hearing of Martin’s death. That too was pure fabrication.
9. In the six-week-long hysteria between Martin’s shooting and Zimmerman’s arrest, Mary Cutcher, a thirtyish blonde, was the media’s favorite eyewitness. To spread the message that the Sanford PD were ignoring witnesses unfavorable to Zimmerman, Cutcher appeared on local TV, on CNN’s Anderson Cooper Show, on Dateline NBC, and at rallies with the Martin family. The State did not call on Cutcher to testify. Prosecutors had very good reasons not to.
8. During his first interview with the Sanford PD, Zimmerman observed that officer Doris Singleton was wearing a cross. He asked if she was Catholic. She asked why that might matter, and he responded, “In the Catholic religion, it’s always wrong to kill someone.” She responded, “If what you’re telling me is true, I don’t think that what God meant was that you couldn’t save your own life.” If the prosecution had hoped that Singleton would paint Zimmerman as a person of “depraved” mind who killed Martin out of ill will, spite, and/or hatred, she did not at all oblige them. In fact, she endorsed his behavior.
7. The defense caught Jeantel changing her testimony one more time. In her first phone interview, Jeantel recounted that when Martin asked Zimmerman, “Why are you following me?,” Zimmerman responded non-threateningly, “What are you talking about?” At the trial, Jeantel tailored her response to fit the State’s case, alleging that Zimmerman answered that same question with the confrontational response, “What are you doing around here?”