I listened again this past weekend to the full interview accused murderer George Zimmerman gave last July to Fox's Sean Hannity. As I outlined last week in "Critical Points About the Trayvon Martin Case,", there are many reasons to doubt Zimmerman's innocence. The interview with Hannity only reinforces my belief in his obvious guilt.
A snapshot of the various inconsistencies, contradictions, misrepresentations and lies from the interview:
1. Zimmerman claims he was not following Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old black youth he shot and killed after being allegedly attacked by him. Yet he tells Hannity "I meant that I was going in the same direction as him, to keep an eye on him so that I could tell the police where he was going. I didn't mean that I was actually pursuing him." Call me crazy, but isn't that the definition of "following?"
2. He claims he left his car behind and continued walking (while "not following" Trayvon) because he was unsure of where he was: "Where I parked my car was the back of townhouses. There was no way to know what the street number was." A neighborhood watch guy in a small development has no idea where he is? Not plausible.
3. He claims Trayvon looked like he was up to no good. Like he was on drugs. "I felt he was suspicious because it was raining. He was in-between houses, cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather. I -- it didn't look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the rain and was hurrying back home. He didn't look like a fitness fanatic that would train in the rain." What kind of convoluted nonsense is this? Furthermore, it was night time, he saw Martin from a distance, and it was raining. Just exactly why did he appear suspicious, other than simply being a black kid in a hoodie hanging around his dad's apartment. Would he have looked "suspicious" had he been a white kid?
4. At first Zimmerman had said Trayvon was "running" but then changed his story: "Maybe I said running, but he was more...like skipping, going away quickly. But he wasn't running out of fear." Really? Maybe he was running because a strange adult male with a gun was stalking him in a menacing way?
5. He claims he shot Trayvon while he was being beaten and was screaming for his life. But after he shot him he claims he did not know Trayvon was dead until an hour later at the police station. How is it possible that Zimmerman, with Trayvon lying on the ground bleeding from a gunshot wound to the heart, didn't at least do the humane thing and check to see the kid's condition...if he was dead, or in fact still alive and needing help? He just shoots Martin and walks away?
6. After he fired his gun, he claims Trayvon "sat up and he said something to the effect of "you got it" or "you got me". I assumed he meant, OK, you got the gun, I didn't get it. I'm not going to fight anymore. At which point I got out from under him." This is utterly preposterous. Is that really what he believes Trayvon was thinking? Zimmerman said he had "discharged my firearm," so obviously he knew he shot Trayvon. We're supposed to believe this incredibly implausible scenario?
7. He talks about using words like "punk" to describe Trayvon and recants what he previously told cops and the 911 dispatcher that 'the bad guys always get away.' This suggests anger and a predispostion. The actions of a Dirty Harry wannabe. It suggests that it was he, not Trayvon, who was looking for a confrontation that night.
8. He claims Trayvon repeatedly "slammed" his head into the sidewalk. That he was also punched in the head a dozen times or so. But expert medical testimony showed only "insignificant" injuries. The physiological evidence simply doesn't support this claim.
9. Zimmerman claims he knows when Trayvon first saw his gun: "After we were on the ground, I shimmied with him on top of me, and it made my jacket rise up. He, being on top of me, saw it on my right side." How does he know this? Did Trayvon say something about seeing the gun? A black gun, in a black holster, stuck behind Zimmerman in his back, on a dark rainy night, during a scuffle? And to the claim that there was a struggle for the gun, how come there were no traces of Trayvon's DNA on the gun? To that end, nor was there any Zimmerman DNA under Trayvon's fingernails.. .casting further doubt on the claims of him receiving such a savage, continued beating and attempts at suffocation. Martin had just a couple of minor scrapes on two of his fingers. Wouldn't he have had more bruising and cuts/abrasions, as well as DNA traces, if he delivered such a beating?
10. He told Hannity that prior to the shooting he never heard of Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law. But that's an outright lie. An instructor who taught a class Zimmerman attended in 2010 testified last week that the law had been discussed in detail in his class.
11. He bizarrely points to a moment while in jail when he was supported by other convicts: "There was one instance when I was in the rec yard by myself and in the window a few inmates got together and just made a sign of strength to me." Are we to be impressed and/or moved by this alleged demonstration of solidarity from a a bunch of incarcerated law-breaking cretins, most likely white supremacists? That Zimmerman would even make this comment is especially insensitive and creepy.
It's hard to walk away from that Hannity interview thinking anything but that Zimmerman is a cold, callous, highly calculating killer who claims the entire tragedy was "God's plan;"who doesn't regret carrying a weapon or pursuing Trayvon; and who believes he will be acquitted. He's a tone-deaf liar who claims that when Hannity first asked him if he would've done anything differently that fateful night he actually said: "When you asked that I thought you were referring to if I would not have talked to the police, if I would have maybe have gotten an attorney, if I wouldn't have taken the CVSA (computer voice stress analysis) and that I stand by, I would not have done anything differently." That's what his initial thoughts were about "doing something differently?" Not that he wouldn't have killed this kid?
A final thought: if Zimmerman is truly innocent, why did he give the interview to the conservative, pro-gun, softball-tossing, white-audienced Hannity and Fox? Why not Brian Williams, or Matt Lauer, or someone objective and qualified to discredit his ridiculous assertions? Or better yet, why do such damage control at all? Wouldn't he have appeared more credible if he'd issued a simple statement such as: "I am innocent of these charges and will not try this case in the court of public opinion but rather in a court of law...where I am confident justice will be served." Getting in bed with Hannity--just as Sarah Palin and other embattled conservatives have done--only serves to demonstrate a probability of guilt and a desire to control the narrative and spin a defense in a warm, friendly setting.