George Zimmerman disappeared after his acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, as low-information news consumers ranted and rioted against his perceived “profile, stalk, and murder” act going unpunished. Martin, the narrative claimed, was “just walking home.” Yet the sequence of events, as borne out by 40 prosecution witnesses, 19 defense witnesses, two medical examiners, a use-of-force expert, and one of the nation’s foremost forensic pathologists specializing in gunshot wounds supports the story George Zimmerman told all along.
Zimmerman stated he behaviorally profiled Martin for “acting like he was on drugs,” and for lurking near the windows of a home that Zimmerman knew had been the site of a recent break-in. Medical examiner Shiping Bao later admitted the possibility that Zimmerman’s story — and hunch — was true per the toxicology results from Martin’s autopsy. Trayvon had smoked marijuana at some point that day, and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in his system were high enough that the drug “may have had some effect” on Martin’s behavior.
Nor was Martin “just walking home.” There is a missing four-minute gap between the time Zimmerman lost sight of Martin after he ran and when Martin came up behind Zimmerman and asked: “What you following me for?” Those four minutes were three minutes and 40 seconds longer than Trayvon would have needed to get home and get inside. Instead, he lurked in the darkness watching, a fact confirmed by Trayvon’s friend, Rachel Jeantel.
George Zimmerman in no way “murdered” Trayvon Martin. As forensics and eyewitness accounts bear out, Trayvon Martin was in the act of committing assault with a deadly weapon (aggravated assault with a weapon under Florida law) when Zimmerman was forced to draw his weapon and fire one shot in self-defense. Use-of-Force expert Dennis Root said that Zimmerman “had no choice” but to shoot Martin in self-defense. Root further stated that he — and anyone trained as police officers — would have fired sooner in the attack than Zimmerman did, and would have been legally justified in doing so.