Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Affidavit Against George Zimmerman: Weak Sauce


The affidavit in support of the second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman has been posted online here (pdf). The concluding sentence reads as follows: “The facts contained in this Affidavit are not a complete recitation of all the pertinent facts and evidence in this case but are only presented for a determination of Probable Cause for Second Degree Murder.”

Hmm. “[N]ot a complete recitation . . .” And how. If we are to judge the evidence against Zimmerman based on this affidavit, prosecutors have a loser on their hands.

Granted, affidavits such as this one are not intended to convey the complete details of an investigation, but even with that in mind this is a shoddy piece of work. Putting aside the several errors in punctuation, the affidavit’s authors, investigators T.C. O’Steen and K.D. Gilbreath, take some giant leaps to conclusions that are very much in question. They write that Trayvon Martin had gone to a local 7-Eleven store for his now famous ice tea and Skittles. “Martin then walked back and entered the gated community,” say the authors, “and was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman. Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.”

“Profiled”? Zimmerman “profiled” Martin only in the sense that anyone who reports to police a suspicious person in his neighborhood has thereby engaged in “profiling.” It is a charged word and has no rightful place in the affidavit. Later, the authors describe – inaccurately – Zimmerman’s call to police and his conduct leading up to the shooting: 

Martin attempted to run home but was followed by Zimmerman who didn’t want the person he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime to get away before the police arrived. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed him not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.

Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued. Witnesses heard people arguing and what sounded like a struggle. During this time period witnesses heard numerous calls for help and some of these were recorded in 911 calls to police. Trayvon Martin’s mother has reviewed the 911 calls and identified the voice calling for help as Trayvon Martin’s voice. 

All of the above, presented in the affidavit as facts, is speculation, and much of it is contradicted by the statements of an eyewitness. George Zimmerman has been launched into what will be a multi-year odyssey through the justice system. If this was done based on nothing more than the slender reed of a case as outlined in this affidavit, it is an insult not only to Zimmerman but to the justice system itself.

There are 21 comments.

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  1. CoolHand Inactive

    I feel very sorry for honest cops like you. The system you’ve spent your life working for and in has been wildly perverted over the last couple of decades.

    What we have now no longer resembles the justice system we started with, and people have begun to notice.

    Politics, quotas, and myriad other concerns all trump justice in the “justice” system now.

    Honestly, if I’d have been Zimmerman, I’d have disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again.

    I’ll lay you 3:1 odds that he gets murdered in jail waiting for his railroading to begin.

    Zimmerman and Martin are very likely to end up with nearly the same fate, poor bastards, the both of them.

    • #1
    • April 13, 2012, at 1:01 AM PDT
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  2. Cutlass Inactive

    Alan Dershowitz agrees:

    Alan Dershowitz: Zimmerman arrest affidavit irresponsible and unethical.

    Sadly, any judge who tosses this on the merits will jeopardize his own safety and the safety of his family, as well as anyone with a similar name or anyone who lives at a similar address. 


    • #2
    • April 13, 2012, at 1:16 AM PDT
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  3. Mel Foil Inactive

    That’s one sorry football team that Trayvon Martin was on, if a cubicle-sitting paper-pusher was able to chase down and grab young Trayvon, who we’re told was “attempting to run home.”

    • #3
    • April 13, 2012, at 1:23 AM PDT
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  4. Profile Photo Member

    This is a despicable politically motivated prosecution.

    Martin attempted to run home? Hogwash.

    This reminds of the Bernard Goetz case from a long time ago, only worse.

    • #4
    • April 13, 2012, at 1:33 AM PDT
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  5. outstripp Inactive

    Do prosecutors ever deliberately lose a case? Could this charge be deliberately flawed?

    • #5
    • April 13, 2012, at 3:07 AM PDT
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  6. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Would you like to be the holdout for acquittal juror?

    • #6
    • April 13, 2012, at 4:42 AM PDT
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  7. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    I suspect that there will be enough evidence to convict Zimmerman and little to none to exonerate him. Evidence is being found and lost as we speak. Next step the plea bargain, usually takes 6 months to a year. This is where Zimmerman will discover that to go to trial and prove his innocence it will cost him 3 more years of his life and $150000 with the risk of 10 to 30 year jail sentence or he can plea guilty, get out of jail now and get 3 years of probation with time served. Guess which way he will go.

    • #7
    • April 13, 2012, at 4:46 AM PDT
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  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    @CoolHand: The system has not been perverted, it was designed this way. As Madison said “ambition must be made to counteract ambition”, and yes at times it can be a petty, dirty, ugly, selfish, unfair system but it is still the best the world has ever seen.

    • #8
    • April 13, 2012, at 5:14 AM PDT
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  9. nick Inactive

    Brought to you by the Committee to Re-elect the President. Lawless.

    • #9
    • April 13, 2012, at 5:46 AM PDT
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  10. cdor Member
    cdorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It was my understanding that the pdf affidavit was actually the winning entry from a nearby 4th grade elementary school class. Then I realized how insulting that would have been to the class.

    • #10
    • April 13, 2012, at 6:09 AM PDT
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  11. Profile Photo Member

    These cops believe like the MSM that they are in the service of a higher truth. The white Hispanic Zimmerman is a step on the ladder.

    • #11
    • April 13, 2012, at 6:11 AM PDT
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  12. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    I found the “profiling” accusation groundless and inflammatory. This is a regurgitation of the already discredited insinuation from the edited NBC tape. There are a number of leaps and imputing of motive and mental states they could not possibly know in that document that forms the basis of this entire charge.

    • #12
    • April 13, 2012, at 6:30 AM PDT
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  13. ctlaw Coolidge

    How’s the chase scene going to look in HBO’s movie version?

    Perhaps Mr. Long and Mr. Dunphy can collaborate on a mock script.

    • #13
    • April 13, 2012, at 7:45 AM PDT
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  14. Profile Photo Member

    Quite interesting wording. It’s so poorly written it’s almost as if they want the case thrown out. 

    • #14
    • April 13, 2012, at 7:51 AM PDT
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  15. Fricosis Guy Listener

    I love the claim that dispatcher “instructed him not to [follow]” Martin and meet the responding officer.

    In fact, the dispatcher’s comment was a snarky “we don’t need you to do that”. Furthermore, the dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he wanted to meet the responding officer, then agreed with Zimmerman’s suggestion that the officer should call Zimmerman upon arrival.

    • #15
    • April 13, 2012, at 9:41 AM PDT
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  16. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. LeeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ll restate my belief that the persecutors have no real intention of “winning” a case against Zimmerman, but merely in setting up a situation were the Martin family can take over the case on their own dime and sue Zimmerman into oblivion.

    • #16
    • April 14, 2012, at 2:02 AM PDT
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  17. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    @robert e lee: Law does not work like that. The prosecutor’s case is in criminal court and the Martin family only has as much say as the prosecutors allow them. If the Martin family sues then that case would be in civil court and the prosecutors would have little say. The cases are independent and with different burdens of proof, though the same evidence may be used in both. There is no one party taking over for another party possible. I am not an expert on Florida law but I think this is how it works in all states.

    • #17
    • April 14, 2012, at 8:26 AM PDT
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  18. CoolHand Inactive
    Fake John Galt: The cases are independent and with different burdens of proof, though the same evidence may be used in both. There is no one party taking over for another party possible.

    He means that by charging Zimmerman and then letting him be acquitted by mounting a poor criminal case, the prosecutor creates the opening though which the Martin family could then proceed to sue Zimmerman and his HOA (and anyone else they can think of) in civil court.

    If I’m understanding it correctly, the Castle law in action here only shields the defendant from civil liability if their affirmative assertion of self defense is accepted (IE no charges are laid).

    Since he’s been charged, he’s now open to civil suit, even if he beats the murder charge in court, self defense or not.

    • #18
    • April 14, 2012, at 9:23 AM PDT
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  19. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee CoyoteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Is that really how affidavits are written in Florida? If I turned in something like that, my sergeant would throttle me. 

    There are specific elements of 2nd Degree Murder that need to be established, which are outlined in the affidavit weakly, if at all.

    • #19
    • April 14, 2012, at 12:42 PM PDT
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  20. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    So Zimmerman should expect justice from a group of people that might be breaking the spirit of a law in order to allow him to be sued into nonexistence? No, at this point people are seeing ways and opportunities to make money and careers. I hope he is truly guilty because he is going to be found guilty and go to prison. 

    • #20
    • April 15, 2012, at 6:50 AM PDT
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  21. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. LeeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @Fake John Galt

    Yes, what CoolHand said. And I think you are exactly right that “…at this point people are seeing ways and opportunities to make money and careers.”

    • #21
    • April 15, 2012, at 10:39 AM PDT
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