December 3, 2012

(Reuters)

Lawyers for George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin, released a photo today of their client’s bloody nose taken moments after he shot the unarmed teenager. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, this photo isn’t new. A grainy photocopied version was in a batch of evidence released by the prosecution months ago. Yet to see Zimmerman’s clearly battered and bloodied nose in vivid color is bracing.  

Once again, we are confronted with a visual reminder of the confrontation, the struggle and the killing that took place on that rainy evening on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. This the latest in a series of photos showing Zimmerman’s injuries that will surely renew questions about what happened that night. No doubt his supporters will say they prove him innocent of the second-degree murder charge against him.

But today’s bloody photo doesn’t solve the mystery of Trayvon’s hands. There were “No DNA results foreign to Trayvon Benjamin Martin” found on them. Also, in a written statement, during a jailhouse interview and a reenactment the next day, Zimmerman said that he pulled the dead teen’s arms away from his body after killing him. Yet, the police officer who arrived on the scene noted in his report, “The black male had his hands underneath his body.”  Until that question — among many — is answered, Zimmerman’s dubious claim of self-defense will remain suspect.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.