Trayvon Martin Updates

[Content Note: Violence; stalking; victim-blaming.]

There are two pieces of news today, which are widely being cited by his supporters as proof that killer George Zimmerman did not commit second-degree murder:

1. Autopsy results show Trayvon Martin had injuries to his knuckles. This information is being axiomatically construed to prove that Zimmerman's claim he acted in self-defense is true. Except that the injuries cannot be definitively stated to be offensive wounds: Legal analyst Bill Sheaffer notes they "could be consistent with Trayvon either trying to get away or defend himself."

And, again, even if Martin attacked Zimmerman, to pretend that happened unprovoked is absurd in the extreme, given the available recording of Zimmerman talking to police from inside his vehicle and being advised against following Martin, who was not engaging with Zimmerman in any way. From Trayvon Martin's perspective, he was being stalked by a man unknown to him. If at some point he felt obliged to defend himself, that ought to be eminently understandable.

2. Medical report says Zimmerman had broken nose, other injuries after fight. This CNN piece on the medical report buries an important piece of information 11 paragraphs in, but at least CNN reports it: The medical report which says Zimmerman had a "closed fracture" of his nose, two black eyes, and two head lacerations was done the day after the shooting, by a family physician.
The Martin family has questions about the medical report, said Benjamin Crump, the family attorney.

"The family has very strong positions about this family physician's report that was done the next day," Crump said. "What we do know is on February 26, the ER personnel did not believe his injuries were significant enough for him to go to the hospital. They didn't even put a Band-Aid on his head. That's important."
There certainly seems to be a disparity between what emergency personnel thought of Zimmerman's injuries and what a family physician thought of his injuries. That doesn't mean the family physician was wrong, but it is a troubling discrepancy when medical staff without a prior relation to Zimmerman and/or his family found his injuries to be less severe and thus not consistent with a battering that required taking another person's life to save his own.

The headlines on most of these reports today suggest that there's no other possible explanation than Zimmerman has been honest all along. That's not the case. This is just more victim-blaming, more storytelling about a young man who isn't available to tell his side of events. Which is pretty damn convenient for George Zimmerman.

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