The Trayvon Martin Shooting Was Re-Enacted in a Gun Control PSA

Slate – Weigel

Using audio from 911 calls made the night of Feb. 26, 2012, a new advertisement combating “stand your ground” laws re-enacts the night Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman. The video, created for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, is chilling to say the least, and needless to say, comments have been disabled on its YouTube page.

The ad’s producer, Floyd Russ, also created an ad simply called “Ed” for the advertising firm Grey New York showing a man attempting to shoot up an office with a Colonial-era musket; the Grey Group produced a similar ad in April for Moms Demand Action, labeling the shells ejected from a semi-automatic rifle with the names of U.S. towns where mass shootings took place.

AdWeek spoke to Russ about his inspiration for the “Stand Up to Stand Your Ground” PSA:

Russ tells AdFreak that he got the idea for the spot on the night of the Zimmerman verdict. He got Grey creatives Marques Gartrell and Kim Nguyen and account director Cassie Novick on board, and they raised $5,000 in a week online to cover production costs. Final Cut agreed to cover the postproduction work. Russ and his team drew up a list of potential clients for the spot; The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence was the first to reply.

Meanwhile, the near-constant urging from politicians calling for gun control measures has noticeably ebbed in the months since Newtown—some 50 mayors have been quietly dropping out of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group, though more members are reportedly joining the group than leaving it.

Piers Morgan Conducts Riveting Interview With Trayvon Martin’s Friend, Witness Rachel Jeantel


Piers Morgan followed Anderson Cooper‘s bombshell interview with an anonymous Zimmerman trial juror tonight with an exclusive chat with the witness everyone has been waiting to hear from since the verdict came down: Trayvon Martin‘s friend Rachel Jeantel.

Jeantel, who created a media firestorm with her highly-polarizing testimony towards the beginning of the trial, appeared on Piers Morgan Live alongside her attorney. She described her reaction to Zimmerman’s acquittal as “disappointed, upset and angry” and called the jury’s assessment of what happened “just B.S.”

Asked about what Trayvon Martin was like as a friend, Jeantel described him as a “calm, chill, loving person” and said she never saw him get “aggressive” or “lose his temper.” She said that the defense’s attempts to portray Martin as a “thug” were unfounded and defended his relatively mild drug use. “Weed don’t make him go crazy,” she said, “it just makes him go hungry.”

Jeantel also responded to the massive mockery she received in social media for the way she speaks, explaining that she was born with an under-bite that has made it difficult for her to speak clearly. When Morgan asked if she’d been bullied for her condition, she simply responded, “Look at me,” to laughter from the studio audience.

Morgan attempted to get Jeantel to offer her opinion of defense attorney Don West, who many claimed was condescending towards her when she was on the stand. Jeantel shook her head, declining to say anything bad about the man given her “Christian” upbringing.

Watch part 1 of Morgan’s interview below, via CNN:

In the second part of his interview with Jeantel, Morgan turned to the “creepy-ass cracker” comment  she made and the major impact it had on the tenor of the case. She explained that the term is actually spelled “cracka” and defined it as “people who are acting like they’re police.” She said that if Zimmerman had calmly approached Martin and introduced himself, her friend would have politely said what he was doing there and nothing more would have happened.

Unlike the juror, Jeantel did think Zimmerman was racially motivated. “It was racial,” she said. “Let’s be honest, racial. If Trayvon was white and he had a hoodie on, would that happen?” She said she “had a feeling it was going to be not guilty” not because of the racial makeup of the jury, but because of the way the testimony went.

Jeantel insisted that Martin was “creeped out” and believed Zimmerman was following him, even worrying that he might be a “rapist.” She asked, “For every boy or every man who’s not that kind of way, seeing a grown man following them, would they be creeped out?”

Watch part 2 of Morgan’s interview below, via CNN:

No, Justice Department Unit Didn’t ‘Support’ Anti-Zimmerman Rally

Sara Palin, Drudge and other right-wing bloggers were quite outraged over earlier reports that the DOJ “supported” anti-Zimmerman rally.  George Zimmerman had not yet been arrested when the rally took place.

The Huffington Post

If you don’t let boring facts get in the way, the story that’s been bubbling around the conservative blogosphere this week about a little-known Justice Department unit called theCommunity Relations Service allegedly providing “support” for anti-George Zimmerman protests is pretty juicy.

The conservative group Judicial Watch posted documents this week related to the work CRS did in Sanford, Fla., last year following the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is currently on trial for shooting and killing the African-American teenager.

There’s nothing new or even noteworthy about the documents Judicial Watch posted, and the role that CRS played in attempting to reduce racial tension in Sanford was already well-established. In fact, one of the email conversations that Judicial Watch published actually addressed an April 15, 2012, Orlando Sentinel article about the work CRS was doing in Sanford.

But the lack of new information hasn’t stopped some conservative websites from turning mundane travel vouchers into an explosive story about the Obama Justice Department allegedly using federal resources to ignite racial tension. “Justice Department facilitated anti-Zimmerman protests,” proclaimed The Daily Caller. “Did Justice Department support anti-Zimmerman protests after Martin shooting?” asked Fox News. “How taxpayers paid for Justice Department unit to ‘support protests after killing of Trayvon Martin,'” read a story in the Daily Mail. “DOJ PROVIDED SUPPORT FOR TRAYVON RALLIES,” screamed

“They actually orchestrated racial strife,” Rush Limbaugh declared. “They sponsored it. They organized it, propped it up, paid for it, encouraged it.”

Sounds outrageous? Sure. True? Not so much. Despite the conservatives’ implications, there’s nothing to indicate CRS officials ever took sides in the dispute. Both local law enforcement officials and community activists have said CRS stayed impartial, as recently detailed by The Miami Herald.

CRS, which was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, provides mediation services to communities on a voluntary basis. According to the Orlando Sentinel, CRS officials reached out to Sanford’s spiritual and civic leaders “to help cool heated emotions,” taught protest organizers “how to peacefully manage crowds,” and brokered deals between city officials and residents “to help prevent violence.”

The conservative outlets that have published stories alleging bias seem to have been pushed in that direction by a Judicial Watch press release that misquoted one of the documents it obtained. While the press release claimed that CRS spent $892.55 “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida,” the travel voucher that Judicial Watch published actually states the purpose was “to provide interregional support,” indicating that a CRS employee came in from out of the area to assist his or her colleagues.

If CRS officials are guilty of showing bias in favor of a group simply by being present at that group’s rallies — as some conservatives seem to believe — the agency would appear to have very diverse political views. Last year, CRS personnel were present at protests, led by African-American activists, calling for Zimmerman’s prosecution. Back in 2000, they provided this same type of “support” for a Ku Klux Klan rally. And on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, they were in place at a rally held by the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church and an anti-Muslim rally featuring blogger Pamela Geller and Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones.

CRS officials, often described as “peacemakers,” seem to have played the same role in Sanford that they did in Jena, La., during the Bush administration, after nooses were hung from a tree at the little town’s high school. Impartiality is key to their mission.

“When you’re helping a community with a dispute, that’s not your fight,” former CRS Director Ondray Harris, a Republican, explained in an interview in 2010. “So you cannot take into consideration your race, gender, national origin, and side with one choice or another because as soon as you do that, your impartiality is shot, your credibility is shot.”

There are at least a few conservative websites trying to pull Judicial Watch’s narrative a bit closer to reality. Glenn Beck’s The Blaze wrote that “the story actually isn’t new,” while the PowerLine Blog said there was “not much” new about the release of the travel vouchers.

CRS officials, meanwhile, aren’t really in a position to defend themselves, as Justice Department policy discourages interviews and CRS’ specific congressional mandate makes much of their work confidential.

At least one longtime CRS official named Thomas Battles is still trying to keep things cool in Sanford amidst Zimmerman’s trial, according to the recent Miami Herald story:

On the evening of the first day of testimony, the NAACP hosted a forum for residents at an area church to update the case and call for calm after the trial. One by one, pastors and civic leaders came to the podium in front of a mostly black crowd.Battles sat quietly in a pew.

Fake photo of Trayvon Martin still making the rounds

Trayvon Martin Pic – Taken a week before his death according to his family and their attorney.

See the unrelated video below this post to see how some people “stack the deck” when they want to overwhelm the “system” with their propaganda.

The Root

The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart says it’s despicable that people are circulating a photo of tattooed Los Angeles rapper The Game and saying it’s Trayvon Martin. He’s says it a vicious attempt to defame the slain teen by portraying him as a thug.

People! Listen, and listen closely. The photo you’re still passing around via e-mail is not that of Trayvon Martin. Not even close. The man in that photo is a rapper named Game. The picture was used in a May 6, 2010 story for XXL magazine. Game was 31 years old at the time.

In the last 24 hours, a friend and a reader separately forwarded me the e-mail making the rounds. “Recognize this guy? I didn’t,” the text reads, “[W]hy would the media show us a picture of a little boy instead of a current picture?????” The people who persist in peddling the Game picture as Trayvon are despicable.

They say the smiling Trayvon in the Hollister t-shirt is 12 years old. And they complain that the media are guilty of a liberal bias for showing it rather that what they think is a more up-to-date image. I asked Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump about this in February.  Trayvon was 16 when that photo was taken in August 2011. If folks want a more current picture before the teenager was killed by a single shot to the heart they ought to look at the one of him on a horse.  It was taken about a week before he was killed.

Read Jonathan Capeharts entire piece at the Washington Post.


Training Tea Party Activists In Guerilla Internet Tactics

Twitter Responds to Ruling in Zimmerman Case

I really want to share this with my TFC friends…

The Root

The judge presiding over the George Zimmerman case delivered crushing blows to the defense this morning. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ruled that “the defense may not bring up Trayvon Martin’s past marijuana use at trial, or his school suspensions or alleged participation in fights.” She also shot down a delay of trial proposed by Zimmerman’s lawyers.

The news injected hope in those hoping for a guilty verdict on behalf of the late teen. Trayvon, 17 years old, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood-watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman’s lawyers claim self-defense as his motive for shooting the unarmed teen. The defense has been pushing for the admission of texts and tweets in an effort to prove Trayvon’s “hostility” on the day of the shooting.

The news spread quickly across Twitter, inspiring new commentary and debates about the case. Check out some of the conversation below.



Continued here…


Trayvon Martin Image Used As Target By Fla. Police Officer


George Zimmerman’s Brother: ‘Black Teens’ Are Killers

This is unfortunate because Robert Zimmerman has decided to paint all Black teens with a broad brush, totally disregarding the teens who excel in high school and college.  There are Black teens who can’t go to college but will work hard to achieve their goals.  I am proud to say my four boys fit both examples.

Stereotyping all Black males is what has gotten the police chief at the 40th precinct in the Bronx in hot water over his stop and frisk policies.

Think Progress

Rob Zimmerman

Since he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year, George Zimmerman has been trying to convince the public that he was not acting simply out of racist aggression but because Martin attacked him. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr, is not helping his cause. On Saturday, Zimmerman went on a Twitter tirade against “black teens,” equating the boy killed by his brother with De’Marquise Elkins, the 17-year-old suspect in the murder of a Georgia infant.

Zimmerman tweeted the photo at Michael Moore, the NAACP, the NRA, and a editor. He followed it up with another comparison between the two, tweeting “Teen to West: “Do you want me to shoot your baby?” #TrayvonMartin to #GeorgeZimmerman: You’re gonna die tonight Motherf**ker.”

In case the reason for his comparison of the two young black men was unclear, Zimmerman later tweeted:

Trayvon Martin was unarmed when Zimmerman allegedly followed him and shot him. He had no criminal record. Zimmerman had a history of calling the police to report suspicious black individuals, one as young as 7-9 years old. By his brother’s logic, this frequent suspicion of black people was not due to prejudice but because black people pose a genuine and constant threat to everyone around them.

Zimmerman’s trial is scheduled for June 10.

Trayvon Martin Update, In Case You’ve Not Been Following It…

Since the very beginning of the case, TFC has made an effort (thanks to The Root) to cover every weekly report on this case since Trayvon Martin’s death.

Alan Colmes’ Liberaland

Here’s what’s been happening in the Trayvon Martin case, in case you’ve not been paying attention.

1. Zimmerman has spent over $300,000 in donations over the last year and is desperate for more funds to finance his defense.

2. The trial has been set for June 10. Zimmerman recently asked for a delay of the trial until November but a judge denied his request.

3. New forensic analysis “casts doubt on Zimmerman’s timeline on the night he shot and killed the unarmed teen.”

4. Zimmerman has gained 105 pounds.

5. The defense team acquired Trayvon Martin’s school records. According to Zimmerman’s lawyers “some information in Trayvon Martin’s file could be relevant in the defense of George Zimmerman.”

6. Zimmerman is suing NBC News. In the suit, Zimmerman claims NBC unfairly portrayed him as a “racist and predatory villain.”

7. The judged denied Zimmerman’s request to be removed from GPS tracking.

8. Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 on February 5.

Todd Kincannon, Former South Carolina GOP Executive Director, Defends Trayvon Martin Tweets

Todd Kincannon

This guy is nuts.  The video link is at the end of this post.

The Huffington Post

Former South Carolina GOP executive director Todd Kincannon is known for making provocative statements on Twitter, but his latest series of tweets has caused an uproar on the Internet and even brought on death threats.

During the Super Bowl Sunday evening, Kincannon sent out a wave of racially-charged tweets bashing the game,including one that referenced Trayvon Martin.

On HuffPost Live Monday, Kincannon defended his tweets, claiming that they were nothing more than satire, but that they highlight just how politicized the Trayvon Martin case has become.

“The left has decided that Trayvon Martin was just this perfect little angel,” Kincannon said. “He was a thug. He
tweeted about drug use. This guy, he was a criminal, and the left has decided to make him some sort of martyr. That is what I don’t understand.”

Kincannon’s inciteful words about Martin didn’t end with those made during the Super Bowl. On Monday, Kincannon went as far as comparing Martin to Columbine gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.

Speaking to HuffPost Live’s Jacob Soboroff and Alyona Minkovski, Kincannon tried to argue that the response to his statements are because he is a conservative. He said he understands some find his words to be “tasteless,” but that it’s time for Americans to be able to say what they actually think without being afraid.

“I stand for free speech and I stand for honest speech, and I think more people need to use it,” Kincannon said.



Shocking! 3 More George Zimmerman Witnesses Change Their Stories!

George Zimmerman witness


A few days ago, the news broke that Witness #6 had changed his story  in the George Zimmerman case. In a shocking turn of events, three more witnesses have also changed their story, and their new version of events will likely be damaging to Zimmerman’s defense ,according to the Chicago Tribune.

Since Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder, investigators had a number of witnesses who went on record corroborating Zimmerman’s claim that he shot unarmed teen Trayvon Martin with a single bullet in self-defense.

Now, Witnesses 2, 12, and 13 have changed their accounts, with Witness 11′s latest account being the most damaging. Witness 2 reportedly lives in the Twin Lakes community, where Trayvon was murdered. She has been interviewed by authorities three times. Initially, she told investigators,”I saw two guys running. Couldn’t tell you who was in front, who was behind.” She then went on to say that she only saw fists that she couldn’t tell apart, “[I] saw a fistfight. Just fists. I don’t know who was hitting who.”

In her second interview, Witness 2 added another detail, explaining that both Trayvon and Zimmerman were 10 feet apart. In her final interview, though, Witness 2 said that she no longer saw two people running, only one, “I couldn’t tell you if it was a man, a woman, a kid, Black or White. I couldn’t tell you because it was dark and because I didn’t have my contacts on or glasses. … I just know I saw a person out there.”

With Witness 12, who reportedly lives in the same neighborhood as the fatal incident, she said she witnessed two people on the ground but wasn’t sure if Trayvon or Zimmerman was on top, “I don’t know which one. … All I saw when they were on the ground was dark colors,” she said.

In her subsequent interview, though, she identified Zimmerman as the aggressor, after being able to observe both of their sizes, “I know after seeing the TV of what’s happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size.”

Witness 13 is said to have the most-damaging account to Zimmerman’s case.

He says that Zimmerman talked with him after the shooting, saying, “[Zimmerman said Trayvon] was beating up on me, so I had to shoot him.”

In his most-recent account, though, Witness 13 added that Zimmerman acted as if the murder was no big deal and then asked him to call his wife. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Zimmerman’s tone, the witness said, was “not like ‘I can’t believe I just shot someone!’ it was more like, ‘Just tell my wife I shot somebody…’ like it was nothing.”

Clearly, Zimmerman’s defense has a growing problem.

Witness 2′s account could easily be interpreted as Trayvon running away from a crazed volunteer neighborhood watchman with a gun. Obviously, Witness 12′s observations are even more damaging. She suggests that Zimmerman was on top, once again corroborating the prosecution’s claim that Trayvon was in the fight of his life, attempting in vain to defend himself against Zimmerman. Then there is Witness 13, whose portrayal of Zimmerman chimes with the idea that he is a crazed racist who thought he could hunt, assault, and shoot any random Black male at the drop of a dime.

With hope, Zimmerman’s trial will unearth the truth for all to see, but if these developments keep going in this direction — in addition with the news that Zimmerman was on mind-altering prescription drugs when he killed Trayvon — Zimmerman may not find it so easy to get off in the murder of Trayvon Martin after all.