At the first bond hearing, Zimmerman’s mother was asked about his assault on the ATF officers who were questioning his friend about under age drinking.
10.04am: Bernie de La Rionda, the prosecutor, is asking Gladys Zimmerman about her son’s 2005 arrest on charges of assaulting ATF officers.
He asks why George didn’t follow the officers’ orders.

Gladys says "George said the officers never identified themselves as such".

The following questions are multiple-choice:

Question 1. Why are you following me?
Choose between:
(A) I’m the local Neighbourhood Watch
(B) What are you doing around here?

Question 2. You got a problem, homie?
Choose between: 
(A) I’m the local Neighbourhood Watch
(B) No

If you have answered (B) to either or both questions, go directly to jail. Do not pass the 7-11.


What it may come down to is:

Zimmerman ignored all common sense and clear Neighbourhood Watch procedures when he left the truck and headed along that path into a dark area, when he had no sight of Martin.
He was not “Observing from a safe distance”

The place he was going into was not safe in the circumstances. He had mentioned a reason to believe that Martin was armed. "He's got his hand in his waistband." "He's got something in his hand."
He had no guarantee of distance. He did not know where Martin was.
He ignored parallel advice in “We don’t need you to do that”.

He had gotten himself into a situation – by being reckless.

Having got into that dark area, he spoke his home address to the dispatcher, and then realised that Martin could be near enough in the dark to overhear. "Oh crap I don't want to give it all out, I don't know where this kid is." Danger Will Robinson!!!

This was 3 minutes before the eventual encounter.

In order to defend his actions, he has to be in a position where he had no reasonable means to extricate himself.

Having got into a dangerous place through recklessness, he had first agreed to extricate himself back to the mailboxes to meet the patrol.
Then he changed his mind for some reason.

He says that he started back to his truck, and was attacked less than 30 seconds later.
The automatically logged calls show a gap of 2 minutes 30 seconds. It would have take him 20 seconds - or 30 at most to get to where he says he was attacked.
Not only did he disregard good sense and NW guidelines, he got himself into apotentially dangerous place and then hung around there for over 2 minutes. Even if he didn't go searching for Martin ("These A**holes, they always get away"), just staying there was stupid.
If he did innocently (and stupidly) remain there, why is he so insistent that he didn't stay there?

Having ignored all the above, when he encountered Martin, he had more options.
a) He could get the hell out
b) He could identify himself.

By his own story, he made no attempt to do either.
Martin: Got a problem, homie?
Zimmerman: (See answer 2.B above)

By the girls’ story, he made no attempt to do either
Martin: Why are you following me?
Zimmerman: (See answer 1.B above)
He says that when accosted by what he believed to be a punk who had exhibited threatening behaviour to him earlier, he reached for his phone.
If he really did that, it was a stunningly bad plan. Did he expect this apparently dangerous person to just stand there while he made a call?

Whatever who said what to who, this happened :

Martin is looking at a stranger who has shadowed him in a truck and now followed him into the dark pathway area.
  • The stranger makes no attempt to explain what he is doing – either up front or when challenged.
  • The stranger is clearly some sort of threat.
  • The stranger's right hand goes to his hip - and by Zimmerman's own standards, that sort of "got his hand in his waistband" clearly implies that a weapon is in question.
Zimmerman says that Martin punched him when his own hand went for his hip/waistband.
He says he was looking for his phone there.
As far as anyone looking at him in the particular circumstances, he was going for a gun.

Even without the simple present threat presented by a stranger who follows in the dark, there is that matter of the gun
  • There are various stories coming out of the Zimmerman family about when exactly Martin noticed the gun.
    Both parents and brother seem agreed that they ended up struggling for the gun.
  • Both parents and brother seem agreed that the fight started when Zimmerman reached for his phone.
  • A neighbour of the parents says that they were told that the fight started when Zimmerman went for his phone and Martin saw the gun.
Zimmerman claims that he had totally forgotten that he had a gun until he felt Martin reaching for it towards the end of the struggle.
He claims this despite telling the dispatcher: "He's got his hand in his waistband".
One has to wonder about when exactly Zimmerman put his hand on that gun.

“Gladys says George said the officers never identified themselves as such”

Can we see any parallels here?

Update: August 2nd, 2012
OK. Hand's in the air. It's not quite an exact parallel.
The FBI report relating to the ATF incident is included in a dump Documents-Given-to-the-Defendant http://www.scribd.com/doc/99926375/99916379-Documents-Given-to-the-Defendant-R-1

It's about half-way down the contents.
Here is an extract from the report
 As noted in one of the comments below, it seems that the ATF officers did identify themselves, but Zimmerman assaulted anyway.

Neverthless, his stated justification after the event was that they didn't identify themselves.
This should point to an awareness on Zimmerman's part that identifying one's purpose would be a sensible thing to do.


  1. Exactly right, since Zimmerman never claimed that he tried to explain his interest in the "late teen" he certainly can't come up with a story now to suggest that he did. Whereas his assumption was that he should have been regarded (a) as an authority and (b) as correct and proper in everything he was doing, there was no objective reason why a stranger int he dark would presume either of those two assumptions. Frankly, he acted like a dangerous person and he WAS a dangerous person. Trayvon Martin did his best to defend himself from the danger but ultimately failed. It's not as complicated as some defense counsel would have us think.

  2. Actually, yet another Zimmerman LIED. The officer did identify himself, but George, being the badass he is, said "I don't give a f*** who you are!" Maybe he likes orange jumpsuits.

  3. I did once see someone suggest that Martin might have decked Zimmerman because he assumed that Zimmerman had a sexual interest in him.

    I suspect that was tongue-in-cheek.
    It's not entirely implausible though.
    Even by his own account, Zimmerman made absolutely no attempt to clarify what was going on.

    In the particular situation, the onus was on him to explain.
    Instead, his responses in both his own version and in the girl's version can only have served to inflame the situation.

  4. The place he was going into was not safe in the circumstances. He had mentioned a reason to believe that Martin was armed. "He's got his hand in his waistband." "He's got something in his hand."

    And this is why I think Z never went to RVC for an address and why he went looking for M with his gun at the ready, if not in his hand. How cool for cop wanna-be to be in a shoot out with an a..h..., f... .....

  5. Anonymous, the way I have visualized this as if I were a screenwriter is this:

    George cuts off the phone call by telling the cops they should CALL WHEN THEY ARRIVE and he'll tell the where he's "at."

    He plans to be able to tell the cops: "I have the suspect restrained; you can find me at ....."

    He comes up on Trayvon Martin, who is speaking on his cell phone and Martin looks up and either speaks (as Dee Dee says) or doesn't speak...

    He aims his weapon at Trayvon Martin and says, "What are you doing here?" or "Put your hands up, don't move,"

    Then Martin throws his cell phone at Zimmerman and starts to run all over the place while screaming, HELP HELP or GET OFF GET OFF or GO WAY GO WAY or NO WAY NO WAY --

    Struggle ensues...

    George tries to gain the upper hand...

    Either Taaffe comes out to join the frey or he doesn't -- this is still up in the air in this draft of the script --

    George starts to lose the upper hand...

    George shoots...

    Trayvon Martin is shot but does not say, "OK YOU GOT ME" or any other "poor dialogue line" --

    George further physically assaults the dying Trayvon Martin --

    Guy comes out with a flashlight

    Officer Smith arrives

    George has a lot of Trayvon Martin's blood on his hands, and when he wipes his nose, gets some of it on there too...

    "capillary lacerations" on George's head are enhanced with some of Trayvon Martin's blood and "someone" takes a picture of him.

    He's a big boo hoo at this point. Head nearly exploded.

    Dershowitz and Merritt raise their defense banners and champion the poor victim of the teen's crazed attempt to...stand his ground.

  6. I like this blog. Zimmerman had every right in his mind to follow, stalk and kill young Martin. Look at how he inserts himself into any and everything that went on in the neighborhood. The neighbor who was broken into, after cops left he came with his contact numbers, he lead the meeting in which they started the neighborhood watch program, emailed and distributed flyers of suspicious looking African Americans, making the African Americans in the neighborhood very uncomfortable. Zimmerman really thought of himself as the neighborhood hero. I can imagine Taaffe calling him and saying he spotted Martin. Zimmerman being the billy bad ass he wants and thinks he is, decides to go looking and there he finds him. We know from the videos especially seeing his reflection in the window at the clubhouse area that he was searching for something. Zimmerman has had the advantage of parents who know the legal system, he has also the benefit of parents who think he can do no wrong and that everybody is always picking on poor George. Even in jail Zimmerman still thinks he has done no wrong, he seems to not want to bare any responsibility for his actions past and present. How can someone find out that the person they wrongly accused, then later killed, was 17 and visiting his family in the neighborhood in which he himself killed him, not have any remorse or feel a burden to bare, is boggling to the mind. People say they blame Martins family but I blame Zimmermans family because if they had chosen tough love instead, then Martin and all the others would not have had to suffer at the hands of Zimmerman. The curious thing is, Zimmerman doesn't respect the law but wanted to be an enforcer of law.

    1. Great Blog. I like that you keep it simple and clear for anyone to understand.

    2. risey

      miss your thoughts and insights on BCClist