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Post Partisan
Posted at 05:15 PM ET, 04/20/2012

George Zimmerman’s ‘sorry’ day in court


This was a big day for George Zimmerman. A photograph reportedly of his head wounds minutes after he killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin emerged just as he was due in court for a bail hearing. Zimmerman will be released on $150,000 bond and a few other conditions. But the storyline of what happened that rainy night on Feb. 26 is as opaque as ever.

This morning, Matt Gutman of ABC News showed a picture of the back of Zimmerman’s bloody head taken just two minutes after he killed Trayvon. The person who took the photo did not see the altercation, but heard it. According to Gutman, a “wobbly Zimmerman asked the photographer to call Zimmerman’s wife allegedly blurting out, ‘Man, just tell her I shot someone.’ ”

From the very beginning, the Zimmerman story presented by his family and leaks from the Sanford Police Department has been that he was in a life-or-death struggle. That his head was bashed repeatedly on the sidewalk. That his nose was broken. The surveillance video of Zimmerman’s arrival at the Sanford Police Department — looking rather tidy for all that to have happened — fed the impression that all was not right with the story that had been presented. The emergence of the bloody-head photo doesn’t change that.

The ABC News report visually confirmswhat was said in the police “Partial Report Only” by Officer Timothy Smith.

While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he’d been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of the head ..... Zimmerman was placed in the rear of my police vehicle and was given first aid by the SFD.

Where is that first-aid report? It’s a question I asked last month. Considering that special prosecutor Angela Corey saw the photo ABC News revealed today before she filed the affidavit that led to Zimmerman’s arrest, my guess is she’s seen it. That may also explain why Dale Gilbreath in the state attorney’s office said without explanation, “That is not consistent with the evidence we found,” when he pushed back on the assertion that Zimmerman’s head was repeatedly smashed onto the sidewalk.

Trayvon was just a 17-year-old boy was walking back home from a store in the rain while talking on the phone with his girlfriend. He notices a man he doesn’t know watching him. He tries to get back to his dad’s fiancee’s apartment and he is confronted by the stranger. The girlfriend would tell lawyers for Trayvon’s family, “Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell.” A minute later, Trayvon was dead.

“I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son,” Zimmerman told Trayvon’s mother and father while testifying on his own behalf at the bail hearing. “I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not.”

Zimmerman is 28 years old. In the 911 call he said “late teens” when asked by the dispatcher for Trayvon’s age. That’s hardly “a little bit younger.” But I digress. The trial will get into a whole lot more questions with actual evidence, assuming the case is not thrown out thanks to Florida’s insane “stand your ground” law.

Trayvon’s family would not have suffered a loss had Zimmerman stayed in his car as the 911 dispatcher requested. The killer’s condolences would not have been necessary had he let the police do their jobs instead of taking matters into his own hands. And a national uproar over his ability to take a life without being held accountable in a court of law would not have been required had he been arrested and charged the night he took the life of a teenager armed only with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles.

By  |  05:15 PM ET, 04/20/2012

 
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