Trayvon Martin case: Is witness no. 6 reliable?

Other than Zimmerman’s words, was there any evidence to support the claim that Trayvon initiated the fight and got on top of Zimmerman to savagely pummel his face and repeatedly slammed his head into the concrete for nearly a minute? Other than the “broken nose” and some scalp wounds to the back of Zimmerman’s head, when push come to shoves pro-zimmerman supporters would point to a witness “John” whom they claimed to have seen it all.

“John” the eyewitness whose account of that night has now become the linchpin to all the bases of pro-zimmerman argument that Martin was the one attacking Zimmerman and slammed his head repeatedly into the concrete.

They even called Martin a thug who committed felony assault or even attempted murder on Zimmerman.

People who adamantly support Zimmerman and defended his claim of self defense in the shooting of Martin have based their belief on this eyewitness who claimed to have been physically there at his back porch to actually saw the fight taking place prior to the shooting.

From the account of this witness, Zimmerman supporters claimed:

1. Zimmerman was beaten up by Martin who was on top and had his head slammed repeatedly into the concrete.

2. The witness was actually there when Zimmerman was screaming to him for help. 

Zimmerman supporters claimed that this is the story we have to go with based on this witness testimony that supported Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. But, is this witness reliable with respect to this claim?

Was he actually physically there that night and witnessed the whole thing?

Now, let’s take a look at what this witness, “John”, who claimed to have seen:

From my Fox Orlando, “John” said: 

“The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911,” said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John. John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot. ”And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”Trayvon Martin shot and killed in neighborhood altercation

Before I get to the meat of the analysis of this witness’ account, let me point out that nothing this witness said contained any element that supports pro-zimmerman’s claim that this witness account was consistent with Zimmerman’s claim that Martin slammed his head repeatedly into the concrete.

Another point I want to make is that it was very dark out there at the back between the two rows of buildings. So, any dark colored clothing such as red, green, brown, etc would simply appeal as dark or black shaded color in the dark environment.

It would be very difficult to differentiate one dark colored clothing such as brown or dark green from another dark color clothing such as red or purple. More so when the person wearing it was pinned down at the bottom (even darker when object was moving about in the struggle). Even more so when the clothing Zimmerman worn that night wasn’t all red in one whole piece.

Zimmerman’s sleeve and the side of his fleece jacket extending to the upper back portion were actually solid black colors. If Zimmerman was pinned down on the bottom by Martin, the only portion of his clothing that were more likelly to be seen were the sleeve and the side portion, which were solid black in color.

See the police surveillance video: Trayvon Martin Case: Exclusive Surveillance Video of George Zimmerman – ABC News

Here’s what was reported: “Zimmerman, 28, is wearing a red and black fleece and his face and head are cleanly shaven.”

To claim under those conditions that the witness could discern not only the color but also the type of clothing, i.e. a sweater, is very hard to believe, if not implausible.  

The often quoted transcript, “The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on” is taken by media and many other sources to be what the witness actually said. Actually, that wasn’t quite what the witness said when he told the Fox reporter. Listen to the video at the link. At 00:36 he was quivering something like “he probably had a red sweater on”.  

The reason I believe he was quivering on this part is because he wasn’t there when the fight was taking place. His specific knowledge of Zimmerman wearing the red sweater was probably acquired by his being there with Zimmerman after the shooting and especially after police had come to the scene. He most likely went out there only after the fact of the shooting and after his 911 call when the police had taken charge at the scene and not during the fight as he claimed.

At this point, he might have learnt that Zimmerman was the Neighborhood watch captain and Martin was the “suspect” whom he shot dead for being “up to no good”. Whether he had knew Zimmerman as the Neighborhood watch captain or as a friend personally before this event occurred is in question. 

Here’s the reason I believe this is after-the-fact story and should be taken with a grain of salt, especially before he is being cross-examined during the trial.

If you listened to his 911 call that night, none of what he said he saw at the scene (the guy with the red sweater being at the bottom) or heard (the guy yelling to him, not just yelling to anyone, “Help, Help”) was ever mentioned in his 911 call.

Not only did he fail to mention any of that to the 911 operator that he was physically there watching the fight at his back porch, he specifically told the 811 operator: 

“The guy’s yelling help and I’m not going outside.” 

You hear that?

He was not going outside. Not that he had been outside just a while ago and saw all the fighting, but no, he was not going outside. Period. 

If you had been outside just a short while ago and had witnessed the fight, would you not report it to the 911 operator? Would you just say, “I’m not going outside” or wouldn’t you at least say, “I’m not going back out there again”?

At the beginning of the 911 call he started with:  

“Ahh police I just heard a shot right behind my house.”  

Then, there was this interruption, an inaudible voice, which could be a lost signal or slight signal interruption as he walked towards the second floor balcony to take a peek down towards the back to see what was going on. 

This kind of response is more consistent with other callers who had no clue what’s going on and had called in to report they just heard the argument and then the shooting. Callers usually responded this way because they haven’t yet seen what was going on and therefore had no clue but could only say,  

“I just heard a shot right behind my house.” 

This is consistent with another lady who called in before the shot was fire said she was hiding upstair and added “I don’t want to go down there …”

See: Trayvon Martin Case 911 Calls Time Stamped part 1 (placed before gunshot) – YouTube  

Witnesses who have first hand encounter with a tragic event will most likely report they were there and saw the event unfold.

If “John” had been outside he would surely had said something like:

“Ahh, police I just came from my back porch where I saw the guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told the guy on top to stop, and I was calling 911.”

Or he could at least said:

“I don’t know. The guy’s at the bottom yelling help and I’m not going back outside.

Another thing I find it unusual is that he didn’t mentioned anything about the guy on top. Not his shape, clothing color or “hoodie”.

Here’s the caller’s 911 call:

Witness John 911 Call – YouTube 

Here’s the transcript: 

911: “911, do you need police, fire or medical?” 

Caller: “Ahh police I just heard a shot right behind my house.” 

911: “Where at?”

Caller: [Inaudible] They are wrestling right in the back of my porch.” 

911: “You just heard one shot go off?” 

Caller: “It was either that or a rock hit something. I don’t know. The guy’s yelling help and I’m not going outside.”[Background noise… phone ringing] 

911: [Inaudible]… is that one or two words, cause it’s not accepting it.” 

911: “Ok and you can hear somebody yelling for help?” 

Caller: “Uhm I’m pretty sure the guy’s dead out here…holy ****.” 

911: “Ok we have several people calling in also. Anything else that you heard?” 

Caller: “Ah a guy yelling “help”. Oh my God…uhm no. There’s a guy with a flashlight in the back yard right now.” 

911: “Mmm…k.” 

Caller: “Uh I think there’s flashlight and there;s a guy. I don’t know if that’s a cop. Oh my God.” 

911: “Ok I have several calls and you just heard…you’re sure…did you hear, when you heard voices there was just one person talking right?” 

Caller: “There’s two guys…there’s two guys, there’s one…there’s two guys in the back yard with flash lights.” 

911: “Ok.” 

Caller: “Uhm and there’s a black guy down that looks like he’s been shot and dead.” 

911: “Ok” 

Caller: “He’s laying and there’s multiple people calling right now I’m thinking.” 

911: “Ok I have several officers going out there , Ok.” 

Caller: “Ok. Thank you.” 

911: “Thank you. By bye.” 

Caller: “”Bye.”

Now that this witness not only changed and recanted the pertinent part of his story, the timing of his 911 call to report the fighting casts a suspicion not only to his story but his integrity and honesty in the case.

On that night he said when he heard the commotion in his backyard he was watching TV at his living room with his girl friend. After he muted his TV he went to his kitchen at the back of his house to investigate. Then, according to him, he opened his backporch door, witnessed the two on the ground struggling and then called out to them to stop and warned them of calling 911.

Upon locking his backporch door he told his girl friend to get off the phone and went upstair to call 911. The questions I have are:

1. Who was his girl friend calling and talking on the phone if not the 911 operator?

2. Why would his girl friend call someone other then the 911 when it was the commotion that happened in their backyard that drew their attention and caused them to mute their TV to investigate?

3. There were 6 calls from the residents of the building to 911 that night. The first call was logged in at 7:1611 but this witness John was the 4th caller to 911 which logged in at 7:17:15.

4. Why did it take John more than a minute from the time he left his backporch door to the time he went upstair to call 911? What’s the reason for the prolonged delay in such an emergency situation? Was there something to hide?

5. When John said he yelled out to the two on the ground that night, why wasn’t his yelling heard in the 911 call called in by the first caller at 7:16:11?

6. If the witness who lived across from John claimed to have heard him yelled those words, why wasn’t his yell captured in the first 911 call?

Those are questions that boggle my mind.


About dolphinocean

I am a college educated regular guy who was born and raised overseas but now reside in the U.S. I love nature but despise injustice.
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