Recently the Right Wing blogosphere has been claiming that an eyewitness stated that George Zimmerman was on the ground being punched by Martin before the fatal shooting. This anonymous witness identified only as John claimed it was Zimmerman who was yelling for help not Martin as other witnesses claim. John tells Zimmerman to be quiet he was calling 911. Then inexplicably leaves the scene to go to his residence. He never saw when the fatal shot was fired, only looking out his window and noting the guy who was beating up the other guy was now on the ground apparently dead.
Mary Cutcher one of six eye witnesses identified so far gave a much different version in a half hour interview to a local TV station in which she stated she knew the cries were from Martin because they stopped when the shots were fired so Cutcher said she knows the cries were from “the little boy.” She also stated that she knew the self defense claim is false because there was no altercation when Martin and Zimmerman reached her back yard. There was no punching or wrestling what so ever when Zimmerman fired the fatal shot or shots.
Cutcher in an interview with NBC Dateline notes that both she and a roommate saw Zimmerman straddling Martin after the shooting. Zimmerman told her and her roommate to call police. Zimmerman never tried to turn him over or tried to help with CPR or anything. Inexplicably, Cutcher has never really been given more than a cursory interview by Sanford police.
Legally, self defense is a dubious claim since the Dispatcher told Zimmerman to stop following Martin. Because Zimmerman pursued and apparently confronted Martin he could and should have been arrested. Neighborhood Watch protocols do not include carrying weapons or pursuing either.
What could be a likely scenario based on the the testimony of a 17 year old girl who was on the phone with Martin right before he was killed is that Zimmerman pursued Martin. According to the girls statements to Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump, she said Martin told her that he was being followed and then she heard Zimmerman ask Martin what he was doing and heard Martin ask Zimmerman why he was following him. At this point she believes some kind of altercation took place because the phone went dead.
Officer Timothy Smith who responded to the scene reported that Zimmerman had grass stains on his back as if he was lying on his back in the grass. He was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head as if he had been in some kind of a struggle.
Based on Cutcher’s eye witness testimony it seems reasonable to believe Zimmerman confronted Martin and an altercation ensued from which Martin got away and Zimmerman pursued. At this point Zimmerman pulls his gun and shoots Martin. This also accounts for the witness John in the World Net Daily account who see’s the altercation and keeps going to his residence so believes that the altercation and the shooting occured at the same time.
The big problem for Zimmerman and his defenders is that none of his behaviors or even the facts known justify self defense because of Zimmerman’s pursuit and confrontation of Martin with no legal authority to do so. So why wasn’t he arrested since this was clearly not self defense?
I have since learned that the witness John was the witness used by Police to decide that George Zimmerman would not be arrested and charged with a crime for the killing of Trayvon Martin. Since John never actually states that he saw the fatal shot fired only that an altercation was going on with Martin on top of Zimmerman when he went by on the way to his residence and when he looks out the window of his residence Martin is face down apparently dead, the question becomes were the Sanford Police looking for a reasonable, in their minds, excuse to do nothing?
The very fact John did not see the fatal shot fired should have been a reason to do further investigating all by itself, but particularly in light of other eye witness statements that contradict John’s version of events and also in light of the 911 tape where Zimmerman was told not to pursue and was in violation of Neighborhood Watch protocols by carrying a weapon and pursuing Martin. Since Zimmerman had no legal standing to do these things Martin could reasonably have presumed he was being attacked and fight back in self defense himself thus the altercation that ensued before Zimmerman shot him.
The law does not protect you with a self defense claim if you pursue and confront which is exactly what Zimmerman did. In light of allegations of the Sanford Police and racism in the past and seeming excuse making for failing to adequately investigate it is small wonder people believe their was racial bias in this case.