Two Fateful Minutes

I was looking back at some background material on this case today, and I came across something that I’d seen before, but I’ve never really examined it in great depth. I was looking for a timeline to show what time George Zimmerman arrived at the Sanford police station after being taken into custody the night of the shooting, and I came across this link to the Orlando Sentinel’s website: Sanford police prepare down-to-the-second George Zimmerman timeline

This is a second by second timeline of events from the evening of February 26, 2012, as reported by the Sanford Police Department. (note that I’ve edited the screenshot to remove the ads, but the information remains unchanged)

NOTE:  This timeline appears to be pretty much bogus.  See the notes below regarding the discrepancy. 

There are a few things of note here. First, this timeline clearly attributes the screams to George Zimmerman. I don’t think this is necessarily Rene Stutzman’s doing – I believe she was just reporting what she was given by Sanford PD, but it is interesting to note that Sanford PD thought this was clear enough that they have it on their official timeline of the night’s events. As related in my earlier posting, common sense dictates that these are George’s screams, George said they were his screams, and absent any reliable evidence to the contrary, we must assume they are George’s screams, so it is good to see that Sanford PD came to this conclusion.

Also, there is a discrepancy in the timing between the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the Sanford PD of approximately 1 minute, 38 seconds. See the note there where it says that the first event on the timeline, which SPD says occurred at 7:11:12PM, was reported by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office as occurring at 7:09:34PM. So, their clocks are off a bit. I believe that this may be the reason that many news outlets report that George hung up with the dispatcher that evening at 7:13PM. If you subtract the 1 minute 38 seconds from the SPD-reported time of 7:15:23 that George hung up the phone, then you would arrive at 7:13:45PM. So, when you see an article like this one on Wikipedia, which reports the time that the call ended “7:13:41 — Zimmerman’s call to Sanford police ends” you should understand that this is probably where the discrepancy between the two times comes from.   I have been told that this discrepancy was due to Sanford Police listing the times that certain notations were made in the logs.  The logs actually say the call connected at 7:09:34.  The first notation made in the log was at 7:11:12.  The police incorrectly listed this as the start time of the call in the list they provided the Orlando Sentinel.  You can see more HERE from a blogger who noticed this and communicated with the Sentinel about it.  At first he got a response, but then they didn’t answer subsequent questions about it.  I can tell you that I emailed Rene Stutzman about this today, and I still await a reply.

That discrepancy is not all that important to me, since I understand how it happened, but there are probably those out there who will try to exploit it by saying that Zimmerman hung up with the police dispatcher at 7:13PM and shot Martin at 7:17PM. It’s simply not accurate to say that four minutes elapsed from the time Zimmerman hung up until the time the shooting occurred. It was 1 minute, 57 seconds (7:15:23 – 7:17:20).    The call lasted for approximately 4 minutes and 12 seconds.  If it connected at 7:09:34, then it would have ended at approximately 7:13:46.  the first 911 call was placed at 7:16:11, so there was approximately a 2 minute, 25 second gap between Zimmerman’s phone call and the first 911 call.

Those are the two minutes that interest me. What happened during that time? Well, if we go back a couple of minutes prior to that, and listen to George as he talks with Sean, the non-emergency dispatcher, we will see that at approximately 2:10 into the recording, George gets out of his truck. At 2:39, George tells Sean “he ran” and then proceeds to talk calmly with Sean for the next 90 seconds. Clearly, during this time, George is not running around trying to find Trayvon Martin as he talks with the dispatcher. That means that Trayvon had at least a 90 second head start on George (not even taking into account that Trayvon had already started running while George was still in his truck), during which he could have calmly walked the short distance to the back of Brandi Green’s condo without George even seeing him, much less chasing him down.

So, with that 90 second head start, what did Trayvon Martin do? Well, that’s unknown, but what is known is that sometime during the next 1 minute, 57 seconds 2 minutes, 25 seconds or so, a violent confrontation occurred. Actually, the confrontation had to have begun sometime during the first two minutes after George hung up with the dispatcher, because I think that it would take someone at least 25 seconds or so to make the decision to call 911 and then place the call.  I think it would probably be more than that, but we’ll stick with 25 seconds. So, in a two-minute time span, the prosecution wants you to believe that George somehow chased Trayvon down, caught him, pulled a gun on him, let him beg for his life, and then shot him, all while somehow sustaining severe injuries to his own head and face. No. Not. A. Chance. There is no way that a slightly overweight adult in hiking boots could, in two minutes, chase down a 17 year old who had a 90 second head start. This is why the only possible conclusion is that Trayvon Martin either doubled back or was lying in wait to attack George Zimmerman, just as George Zimmerman said in his statements to police.

Lying in wait is considered to be evidence of deliberation and premeditation. It shows that Trayvon was the aggressor here, not George. Trayvon’s attack on George was a deliberate, premeditated attack that caught George completely off guard, breaking his nose, and then it escalated into a horrific event, with Trayvon straddling George and banging the back of George’s head into the sidewalk. Was he trying to shut George up, or was he trying to kill George? We will never know for sure, but either way, George Zimmerman was most assuredly in danger of death if the attack were allowed to continue unabated. All of those people calling 911 about this fight they heard going on outside were about to let a man be beaten to death. They would all have tried to tell themselves that they were heroes for being such good citizens and calling 911, as Trayvon was marched away in handcuffs and later charged with murder. They would have tried to tell themselves that, but deep down, they’d have known that if any one of them would have acted to stop Trayvon, George Zimmerman would still be alive.

However, George released them from moral responsibility for their inaction by taking the only action he could in the face of that severe beating and all of those neighbors who failed to come to his aid. He reached for his last lifeline, the gun he had in his waistband, and with one shot, he took back the life that Trayvon Martin was attempting to take from him.


14 thoughts on “Two Fateful Minutes

  1. Is that Serino’s old discredited time line which was built on the times when info went out to patrol cars from the call center operator/dispatchers and not when it came in?

    • Is which timeline the discredited one? The one listed here by the Sentinel, or the one that’s off by over a minute? This one appears to be from timestamps provided by police dispatch.

      • Those are times of when info was sent out to the patrol cars, not when it came in to the call center.

        George’s call went through at 7:09:34 PM and they stopped talking at 7:13:39 PM and the first 911 call started at 7:16:11 PM and the shot happended at 7:15:56 PM.

        The back of the head photo was at 7:19 something and Smith didn’t get into the back yards and cuff Zimmerman until after that.

        • I just emailed Rene to see if she can clear it up.

        • Unitron, I updated the post with the corrected times.

        • Unitron: My memory fairly parallels mine. As you know, this timeline has been fiercely debated in the past. The first one I ever saw was at Susan Simpson’s blog long ago and before I found the CTH. Weren’t you posting there too?

          One little thing:

          If the first 911 call started at 7:16:11 PM how would anyone know that the shot happened at 7:15:56 PM BEFORE the call began?

          • YOUR … not my …. memory fairly parallels mine.

          • Because it really happened at 7:16:56 and I have a not very bright keyboard that’s always getting things wrong. : – )

            And yes, Susan’s posts at LL2 were one of the first places I started hanging out, relative to this case.

            • Because it really happened at 7:16:56 and I have a not very bright keyboard that’s always getting things wrong. : – )

              Now that is funny and the first time I have heard it.

              I remember you at Susan’s place. I actually found it by doing a search for the minute by minute timeline, not knowing that anyone had attempted to post one.

              You may recall that Susan would not allow CTH links to be posted but that is how I found the TH. I did have a few testy email exchanges with her not allowing posts about DeeDee and we now know she was wrong about her being a protected, off limits, minor. She was also wrong about a lot of other things, too, and I think she influenced a lot of visitors to take her position. If you go back and look, you will see some of the most uninformed comments about the case.

              IMO, she hurt George and seemed to be part of the Scheme team.

              i have followed you since then and you may have seen my comments about your objectivity but you appear to be changing to more fully support George. Is that correct?

    • Jordan, that timeline from Susan Simpson is pretty interesting, though extremely biased towards George’s guilt. Her analysis seems to gloss over the fact that Trayvon had a huge head start on George, since he started running while George was in his truck. Based on the positioning, I suspect that Trayvon ran/skipped toward the cut-through and then turned immediately to the right, down the T. George followed him that far, but since Trayvon had turned at the T and it was dark, George didn’t see him from there. That’s when George appears to stop walking and just talks to the dispatcher for almost 90 seconds. During that time, Trayvon could have just kept moving towards Brandi Green’s townhome, but it appears instead that he doubled back or was lying in wait on someone’s porch where Zimmerman couldn’t see him.

      When you were posting there, were you posting as WayneM?

      • That is plausible. ‘

        BTW, Susan is totally leftist and refuses to listen to anyone who opposes her and that included me at the time. I really did think she was part of Crump’s team. She is left wing lawyer like Jeralyn but that is all they have in common.

    • Jordan, at one of the links your Bing search recommended, I found this page, which is extremely interesting, both for the initial commentary and for the questions and answers that follow. The author, Eric Zorn, has the same problems with the timeline and Trayvon’s lack of progress in the direction of the townhome. The responses to his article and his answers to nearly every response are very good. I thought this was Zorn’s best comment:

      “The choices he made before the altercation weren’t illegal choices. He had every right to get out of his car and to follow Martin and to carry a gun. You may — you do — despise him for being the sort of person who would choose to do such things, but unless he was following Martin so closely that Martin thought he posed an imminent threat, you’re going to have to set those feelings aside as you evaluate the circumstances.”

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