Bogus 911 Call About Black Teens Leads To Minneapolis Park Police Pointing Guns In Their Face — Chicago Sun-Times
MINNEAPOLIS — Three black teenagers say they feared for their lives when a Minneapolis Park Police officer pulled a gun on them while responding to a bogus 911 report that they were armed.
The July 10 incident at Minnehaha Park drew widespread attention after a bystander recorded part of it and posted a video to Facebook that’s been viewed over 2.8 million times.
The officers were responding to a female 911 caller who falsely reported that four teens were following her boyfriend and wielding knives and sticks. Park police released the four after finding they were unarmed and hearing witness accounts that contradicted the caller’s story. The department has since said the call was “misleading” and apologized to the boys.
At a news conference Monday called by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 14-year-old Aden Aden said he and his friends were just trying to have fun when a white kid confronted them. Witnesses have corroborated that account.
“When I was at the park, I was just trying to have a good day with my friends,” Aden said. “And this white kid came up to us saying racial slurs towards us, and when the cops came, they just pulled guns to our faces. And I felt like I was discriminated (against) and I felt like it was not supposed to happen, and I hope it never happens to anyone again.”
Fourteen-year-old Suhaib Ahmed said the officers frightened them. “I was scared he was going to shoot me.”
Police said in a news release last week that one of the officers “unholstered his firearm and pointed it in the general direction of the four suspects.”
Hat tips to Towerflower and Rachael
Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell said that 35-year-old Matthew Apperson of Winter Springs, did not want to press charges, so there would be no arrest.
Tuesday morning, Apperson told a 911 dispatcher that he was driving his Honda Accord on Lake Mary Boulevard, made a U-turn heading west-bound, and a Honda Ridgeline truck pulled alongside of him. Apperson told the dispatcher, “George Zimmerman was the driver, and they were threatening to kick my ___ and to shoot me,”
It sounds as if someone else was in the truck with Zimmerman.
Apperson said he pulled into a Circle K to find a phone so he could call for help when the Ridgeline made a maneuver to block him and “almost hit my car.” Zimmerman “said he was going to shoot me dead,” Apperson told the dispatcher.
According to a police report, a store surveillance video showed that as Apperson was walking into the store, the Ridgeline left. Read the rest of this entry
George Zimmerman (GZ) followed Trayvon Martin in a vehicle. Trayvon ran to and beyond the pedestrian cut-through which has no road for a vehicle. How was Trayvon to know that GZ would get out of his truck and follow him on foot? If, as GZ says, Trayvon ran and was out of sight, how would Trayvon know that GZ had followed him, where GZ would walk thereafter, and whether GZ would make a round-trip returning to his car and when? Thus, the theory that Trayvon double-backed to attack GZ appears acceptable only to people who believe that Trayvon could read GZ’s mind and have pre-knowledge of GZ’s movements.
In his video taped re-enactment, GZ shows how he walked to Retreat View Circle. His stated reason for walking to Retreat View Circle was to get an address so he could call the dispatcher back with it. Retreat View Circle is so important to GZ that he told Detectives Serino and Singleton that he was walking back from Retreat View Circle at the time that the dispatcher asked if he wanted to meet the arriving cops at the mail boxes. Evidently, GZ forgot that his stated purpose for walking to Retreat View Circle was to get an address. GZ did not give that address to the dispatcher. When was he going to call?
Not remembering the correct address for the clubhouse when talking with the dispatcher, and when asked how he could not remember the names of three streets in that community, saying that he has a bad memory, certainly GZ was not going to walk all the way back to his truck to call back dispatch. Had GZ called dispatch with the address while he was on Retreat View Circle, he would not have needed to search for his cell phone, giving Trayvon (according to his story), opportunity to hit him in the face as he was feeling the his right side pockets for his elusive cell phone. GZ carried his gun on his right side also, although he claimed at one point that he forgot he was carrying it until he “felt” that Trayvon had seen and was going for the gun.
When interviewed by Detectives Singleton and Serino on February 29, 2012, GZ said that when the dispatcher said “We don’t need you to do that,” that he was on Retreat View Circle. (At 58:25 of the interview.) Although Serino told GZ that the law of physics says that Trayvon could not have made it home in that time, GZ alleges that he ran the entire distance from the cut-through and beyond where Trayvon was staying, and was standing on Retreat View Circle when the dispatcher told him “We don’t need you to do that.” Effectively, GZ placed himself on Retreat View Circle before Trayvon reached that point. Let’s take that part as truth – GZ was on Retreat View Circle before Trayvon was able to get to Ms. Green’s townhouse.
This is my impression on why, in his statements and re-enactment, GZ intentionally placed himself on Retreat View Circle before Trayvon arrived at Ms. Green’s house where he was staying with his dad. The following is based on physical and forensic evidence and witness statements.
GZ stopped running when he reached the cut-through. Why? GZ DID NOT want to go on that dog path without his flashlight operating. (He stated as much to Singleton and Serino. In his re-enactment, GZ said that when he first reached the “T”, that his flashlight was not working.) Thus, GZ was neither going to go down the “T” without a working flashlight.
Let’s remember that according to GZ, his flashlight was not working when he first arrived at the “T.” Let’s now go back and remember that in the recording of his call when the dispatcher said “We don’t need you to do that,” it is shortly thereafter when we hear a sound that GZ says was due to him banging his flashlight, trying to get it to work. We can conclude, based on that recording, that wherever GZ was when told “We don’t need you to do that,” it was shortly thereafter when he tries to get his flashlight to operate.
Banging on his tactical flashlight in effort to get it to work, and while holding his cell phone, made it possible for GZ to drop his keychain with the small flashlight. That flashlight was found on, and near the T. Listening to the recording of GZ’s call, he got out of his truck very fast. That means that the tactical flashlight had to be within convenient reach. GZ lived in a townhouse with an attached garage. He would not need a flashlight to see how to enter his house. On those occasions when he might have come into the townhouse through the front door, GZ had a small flashlight on his key chain. Why was the tactical flashlight so convenient for GZ to grab as he got out of this truck to follow Trayvon?
In all of his statements, not once does GZ mention either flashlight. He does not say when nor what caused him to drop either of them. When interviewed, none of the investigators thought to ask GZ why the small flashlight was on, nor how he managed to hold onto the tactical flashlight while doing the shimmy and being beaten. If he was unable to get the tactical flashlight to work, why did he drop the small, working flashlight but hold onto the one that wasn’t working?
Keeping the aforementioned things in mind regarding the flashlights, the question is, was GZ at the “T” when he banged on his tactical flashlight? I believe that he was walking down the dog path.
GZ could not see down the “T” but he heard Trayvon talking. This is in agreement with Trayvon’s phone log for when DeeDee called at 7:12 p.m., and also the time in GZ’s call when his tone of voice changes as well as his plan on where to meet the cops. It was about 7:12:42 p.m. He hears Trayvon talking and knows he is on the “T”. With an assumption that Trayvon is headed for the back gate, GZ planned to cut him off.
Trayvon would have been walking Ms. Green’s house to turn the corner and run “from the back” to the front of Ms. Green’s house. This agrees with what DeeDee describes as Trayvon saying he was going to “run from the back.” DeeDee stated that Trayvon said he was “by” his father’s house. “By” is not necessarily “at.” Trayvon was “by,” near to, his father’s house. DeeDee, not being familiar with the physical layout, could not comprehend what Trayvon meant. She could only report what he said to her.
Trayvon told DeeDee that he had lost the creepy guy. Going to the front of Ms. Green’s house by taking Retreat View Circle would be risky because the creepy looking guy was in a vehicle, and vehicles can drive on Retreat View Circle. Trayvon’s only other alternative for getting inside would be to call Chad to have him open the patio door. Trayvon was on his phone and reasonably, wanted to complete his call with DeeDee.
Why Would George Zimmerman Place The Altercation At the T? Why Would George Zimmerman Place Himself on Retreat View Circle?
The most logical answer is because GZ was on those two streets and needed to account for his presence in the event he was seen or heard by witnesses. Along with this, GZ may have also needed to lead investigators to another path in order for his head bashing story to work.
In photos and on video, a fire hydrant sits at the corner of the dog path and Retreat View Circle. Anyone walking fast or running, trying to cut that corner in the dark, would come very close to or in contact with that fire hydrant. I have wondered if GZ tripped and fell, hitting his head on the top of the fire hydrant, causing the round laceration. In the dark, and just at the corner, he certainly could have done that.
GZ entered the “T” from the South.
To reiterate, Investigator Serino told GZ that the law of physics says that Trayvon could not have arrived at his dad’s house before GZ arrived on Retreat View Circle by going down the dog path. Serino’s mistake was trying to make sense out of GZ’s story, and assuming that Trayvon was hiding. Trayvon had no reason to hide. The creepy looking guy had followed in a vehicle. Trayvon had ran to an area with no road for a vehicle. How was Trayvon to know that the creepy guy would get out of his truck and follow him on foot?
It was GZ who stopped running when he reached the “T” and while attempting to get his tactical flashlight to work, heard Trayvon talking on the phone, giving away his location. This makes perfect sense with GZ not wanting to give the dispatcher his full address on the basis of “I don’t know where this kid is.” That statement certainly conveys that GZ believed that Trayvon was within hearing range. GZ would not come from behind Trayvon, because that would mean Trayvon could run from him to the back entrance as GZ assumed Trayvon was heading. To prevent that, GZ needed to cut-off Trayvon by getting ahead of his route.
Does the following make sense? You see the suspicious guy run towards the back entrance. However, there is a space before that back entrance that you describe as “the “T.” You claim seeing the suspicious guy run down the “T,” but you don’t tell the dispatcher. Furthermore, you know that the “T” comes out to a street. You say “He ran” and in statements, say that you walked to Retreat View Circle because you thought the guy was long gone. Long gone to where? If the suspicious guy intended to run out the back entrance, but he cut down the “T,” then going to Retreat View Circle would certainly put you in position to come into physical contact with him.
GZ sent out a double-message; i.e., “He ran” and “I don’t know where this kid is.” GZ saw Trayvon run. He lost visual. He then heard Trayvon’s voice — and he suspected that the suspicious guy was close enough to hear him talking. GZ had a plan to cut-off Trayvon’s path to the back entrance. GZ then asked the dispatcher to have the cops call him for his location. Deep in my heart, I wish that the dispatcher had told GZ outright to meet the cops at the mail boxes — no alternative. However, how was the dispatcher suppose to analyze GZ’s words? How was he suppose to know that GZ was carrying a loaded gun? Still being away from his truck, and telling the dispatcher he didn’t know where the kid was, why didn’t the dispatcher keep GZ on the phone until he entered his truck — for his own safety?
GZ went down the dog path to Retreat View Circle (as he demonstrated in his re-enactment), and went around the block, entering the “T” from the south. In the first video below, it shows that GZ could do exactly that.
When GZ stopped running, that doesn’t mean that he stopped walking while he continued talking with dispatch. As the 3 videos accompanying this post show, GZ’s reason for going to Retreat View Circle, and the timing for when he said Trayvon approached him, do not jive. From the time that the wind is no longer heard in GZ’s phone, until he ended his non-emergency call with the Sanford Police Department, is about a minute and 37 seconds. GZ could have been walking during that time. It was only 80 seconds thereafter when the first 911 call was received, reporting someone screaming for help. I’ll leave it to the talented people, such as LLMPapa and Trent Sawyer, to figure out the exact timing, distance, and how long it would take GZ to walk from where the dog path and Retreat View Circle meet, to going around the block and entering the “T” from the south.
GZ’s story is that Trayvon came from the T and asked if he had a problem. As the evidence of the crime scene provides, the debris field and Trayvon’s body was about 40 feet away from where GZ says Trayvon approached him, and where his head was bashed and where he shot Trayvon.
Trayvon Sees George Zimmerman Coming From Retreat View Circle
After running down the “T” while talking with DeeDee, Trayvon told her that he saw the creepy guy again and he was getting closer. Trayvon would have been looking in front of himself — not to his rear. Then, Trayvon told DeeDee that the creepy guy was following him again. Trayvon had changed directions. He turned his back to GZ and starting walking away from GZ going north when GZ ran past and in front of him. There is talk of a witness who saw GZ this. That witness is anonymous and has not given a statement, but there is still hope that witness will come forth. Trayvon asked, “What are you following me for?”
Now, DeeDee believes that Trayvon was pushed ONCE, but it is my belief that GZ pushed Trayvon when he first asked “What are you doing here?” The second push knocked Trayvon off balance and DeeDee hears Trayvon yell “get off, get off.” GZ reverts to his bouncer days and wrestled Trayvon to the ground. Trayvon squirmed to get away from GZ and started crying for help.
GZ took swats at Trayvon with the tactical flashlight to shut him up (Ya, Ya, Ya). Trayvon raised his hand in defense which resulted in the cut to his ring finger on the palm side of his hand, below the knuckle. When raising his hand in defense, the can of iced tea comes out of the bag. The EMT’s would find that same can of iced tea in the pocket of Trayvon’s hoodie. Stay with me here as I will address how it got in the pocket.
In my opinion, the reason some witnesses think they only saw one person on the ground (in an orange jacket) is because Trayvon was belly down trying to get away from GZ, while GZ was on top of Trayvon, at least half-way. In the alternative, Trayvon was on his back on the ground trying to squirm his way loose from GZ. That would also account for the debris found on Trayvon’s hoodie, shirt, socks and shoes, while no debris was found on GZ’s clothes — only the toe of his left boot. There had to be weight on Trayvon to embed debris into his clothing. His clothing would also have to have been moving while on the ground to raise his pants allowing debris onto his socks. Those results are unlikely if Trayvon was in a straddling position over GZ.
From that position, they begin to roll. GZ scratches his head on something. (GZ told Singleton that he thought it was a sign.) There are utility covers on the ground where the wrestling occurred. The rock and roll ended with GZ on the bottom and Trayvon pushing down GZ’s shoulders while trying to get up. A witness stated that he saw this position with GZ leaning to his left, raising his right-side up. That is when GZ went for his gun. Trayvon managed to stand and GZ grabbed his shirts, resulting in GZ’s head touching the bottom of Trayvon’s shirt, leaving a spot of blood. GZ holds his gun on Trayvon, who screams louder. By this time, at least two residents have shouted out that they were calling 911.
As GZ told Sean Hannity, he ran out of time. He was “nervous” and “terrified” that the cops would arrive and find him standing there with his gun and shoot him. Still holding onto Trayvon’s shirts, and making sure that his left hand was out of the aim of his gun, GZ shot Trayvon in the heart. By firing with one hand, the recoil hit him in the nose.
From confrontation to gunshot, it took about 2 minutes.
Why Did GZ Lie About Spreading Trayvon’s Arms Out
GZ stated that after he shot Trayvon, he spread his arms out in a “Y” position. He also stated that he checked Trayvon’s hands because when he was being hit, it felt as though Trayvon had something in his hands. That is odd seeing that GZ described Trayvon cupping both hands on GZ’s face, one over the mouth and the other over GZ’s nose. Indeed, that would be impossible had Trayvon had an object in his hands.
When the first police arrived, they found Trayvon’s body face down with his hands beneath his body. Thus, we know that GZ’s story about spreading Trayvon’s arms into a Y is false. Like an experienced bouncer, GZ knew that he had grabbed and twisted Trayvon by his wrists and arms. The spreading of Trayvon’s arms into a Y was a cover his ass story in the event his DNA appeared on Trayvon’s wrists. Witnesses gave statements of seeing GZ straddling Trayvon’s back and running his hands along Trayvon’s body. The 7-Eleven video clearly shows that the clerk placed the iced tea in a bag. The EMT’s however, found the iced tea in the pocket of Trayvon’s hoodie. GZ would need to put the iced tea into Trayvon’s pocket — just in case he would need to say that he felt the weight and thought it was a gun. Getting Trayvon’s blood on his hands, GZ also searched inside Trayvon’s pockets, leaving Trayvon’s blood on the bag of Skittles.
Much thanks goes out to Dave Knechel, LLMPapa, and Trent Sawyer (stateoftheinternet) for using the walk-through video and comparing it to George Zimmerman’s non-emergency call. You guys are the greatest!