Outside of his family and friends, Trayvon Martin was unknown until a few days after February 26, 2012. On that evening, Trayvon Martin was the average 17-year old child of divorced parents where the father is involved in his son’s life and there is an extended family. Living in Miami Gardens, Trayvon was visiting his dad in Sanford, Florida, who was staying with his girlfriend. He went to the 7-Eleven and on his way back, was followed by a man in a truck. Trayvon was on the phone with a childhood friend named Rachel, and told her about a creepy looking guy following him. Trayvon ran. The man got out of his truck, followed Trayvon, and shot him dead.
The killing of Trayvon Martin impacted America more than the killing of some U.S. Presidents. Because of technology and the internet, people from across the globe took interest in the case. Because of Florida’s “sunshine law,” discovery documents and pleadings filed in the case were made public. George Zimmerman’s trial for 2nd degree murder was shown on television, and live-streamed. Read the rest of this entry
Today, Rachel Jeantel was presented with her high school diploma, fulfilling a promise she made to Trayvon Martin. Sybrina Fulton was looking on.
Crossing the stage on Friday “is just the beginning of my life,” Jeantel said.
Jeantel was on the phone with Trayvon when he told her that he was being followed and she heard George Zimmerman ask Trayvon what he was doing there and a “bump” to Trayvon’s cell phone. Zimmerman shot the unarmed 17-year old in the heart, killing him. Read the rest of this entry
Since the verdict in George Zimmerman’s 2nd degree murder trial, I’ve tried not to post much that rehashes arguments that happened before and during his trial. However, there has been a repeat of something on Twitter that compels me to go into detail. The same argument appears to come up at least once a month. That issue is that Zimmerman said, “When I walked back towards him.”
Because of Zimmerman’s story that he first came face-to-face with Trayvon at the “T,” some people have not thought outside that box to what Zimmerman wrote and said before he had time to omit and add to his story by the time of his re-enactment. To say it another way, some people believe that Zimmerman saw Trayvon on the dog path and try to reconcile “when I walked back towards him” to have occurred on the dog path. Zimmerman did not find Trayvon on the dog path. Rather, he found Trayvon on Retreat View Circle.
I sought out someone who is good at video animation and has the software to show rather than only tell. Not having those resources myself, I did compile two videos in effort to show what I heard Zimmerman say about his actions after getting out of his truck. The following is more of a bullet point presentation that connects the dots and I’ve embedded the two videos to support the following. Below is also a map of Retreat at Twin Lakes indicating Trayvon’s and Zimmerman’s positions when Zimmerman said “When I walked back towards him.” I’ve also placed “BG” to indicate the back gate.
Those who followed the case will recognize the recorded non-emergency call, Zimmerman’s statements, and Rachel Jeantel’s testimony. Rachel was there as an audio witness only. She was not familiar with the area of Retreat at Twin Lakes where Trayvon was staying with his dad. Rachel could only testify what Trayvon said to her.
We should consider the following as happening simultaneously with Zimmerman talking to dispatch and afterwards, while Trayvon is talking with Jeantel. Read the rest of this entry
Has anyone wore a hands-free headset for their cell phone, but carried their cell phone in their hand?
When I first heard George Zimmerman’s NEN call when his tone changed and he asked the dispatcher if the cop would call him and he would tell him where he was, I concluded then that he was alerted of or knew Trayvon’s whereabouts.
When Trayvon’s phone log was released and I saw that he received a call at 7:12 p.m., my first thought was that George Zimmerman heard Trayvon talking on his cell phone and began following his voice. I am still under that impression.
Crime scene photos were subsequently released, and Trayvon’s cell phone was on the ground, the location indicated by Marker 7. Read the rest of this entry
Rachel Jeantel, the 19-year-old young lady who was the last person to talk to Trayvon Martin before he was killed by George Zimmerman, has been offered a full scholarship in addition to tutors.
Tuesday morning, radio legend Tom Joyner spoke with Ms. Jeantel on his radio program.
Thank you, Tom Joyner. Thank you, Rachel Jeantel, for introducing yourself to the world.
What Don West fails to realize is the history of Black America. Chronologically;
In the 1600’s slaves were being shipped.
1787 The writers of the United States Constitution decide that slaves will count as three fifths of a person.
1863 Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t actually free any slaves because it related only to areas under the control of the Confederacy.
1954 In the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, the Supreme Court rules that separate schools for black and white students is unconstitutional.
1955 Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat in the front of a bus, helping begin the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.
1964 Civil Rights Act guarantees that all people will have equal access to hotels, restaurants, and other public places.
1968 Martin L. King is assassinated.
2003 In Grutter v. Bollinger, the most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court (5–4) upholds the University of Michigan Law School’s policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers “a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” (June 23)
2008 Barack Obama, Democrat from Chicago, becomes the first African American to be nominated as a major party nominee for president. On November 4, Barack Obama, becomes the first African American to be elected president of the United States, defeating Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain.
While this history is not included in everyday schooling in America, it is not forgotten by those who have endured Jim Crow and who lived in the time of Martin Luther King and other civil right leaders.
By looking at the timeline, Blacks, Hispanics, Chinese, and Native Americans have not been afforded the same rights as Whites. They were born with those rights no matter what. We had to fight for those rights.
Don West, his daughters and people on the internet who have tried to diminish Rachael Jeantel’s education, looks, and use demeaning comments that are cruel, choose to ignore this history.
We are not that far removed in time of the 60’s. While certain laws may have been passed to level the playing field, that doesn’t mean it is done and enforced. Most of America went kicking and screaming thru the Civil Rights era —- and still are.
While education was taken as a right to whites, it was a privilege for minorities. While voting was a God Given right to our counter parts, it was a fight to get the same privilege.
We have been playing catch up to more then 230 years of adversity in a relative short time span of 53 years. (1960’s to the current year of 2013)
While we may have a bi-racial President, it does not change racism. Bigoted racists only see the color of his skin. It does not change how people feel about minorities.
The case of Florida vs. Zimmerman proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that people still feel hatred. Still spew hateful language. Even still, think a black young teenager had no right to walk in the dark at 7pm in the rain, in a hoodie, along, carrying some snacks and a drink.
This case highlights all that is wrong with the system, laws, attitudes, and the so called rights of gun owners versus human rights and civil rights.
While Mr. West may have tried to make Rachel Jeantel look inferior, he only made himself look like a fool. He is the person with no class.
On the HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell’s program, Frank Taaffe inferred that witness Rachel Jeantel, was “precious.” Rachel Jeantel is the daughter of Haitian and Dominican Republic parents. Born in Miami, Florida, she first met Trayvon Martin when she was in kindergarten. On her birthday of February 1, 2012, she and Trayvon renewed their friendship. Jeantel was on the phone with Trayvon on the evening of February 26, 2012, when he told her he was being watched, and then followed, by “a creepy ass cracker.” Jeantel testified in court that the phrase; “creepy ass cracker” means “pervert.” Logically, a man watching a teen from his truck, then following in his truck, appears to be a pervert.
Based on Jeantel’s and Trayvon Martin’s phone records, they were indeed talking during the time that George Zimmerman was on the phone with police dispatch, and also when Trayvon and George Zimmerman came into physical contact. That in fact, Jeantel’s phone call with Trayvon disconnected just seconds before witness, Jeanne Lauer, called 911 to report hearing screams.
Precious is a movie, released in 2009, about a New York City overweight, sexually and physically abused, illiterate teen, who enrolls in an alternative school in hope of taking her life in a new direction. Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, the movie is the celebration of life against the odds.
The movie won the AFI Award for movie of the year. It also won the Academy Awards’ Oscar for Best Performance by an actress in a supporting role (Mo’Nique) and Best Adapted Screenplay, (Geoffrey Fletcher).
The movie was nominated for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, and Best Motion Picture of the Year. Overall, the movie won 79 awards worldwide, and 49 nominations.
Gabourey Sidibe, who played the movie’s leading character, “Precious,” was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. Claireece “Precious” Jones, a taciturn, pregnant sixteen year-old, was Gabourey Sidibe’s first acting role on-screen.
For these accomplishments, Frank Taaffe, supporter of admitted killer and accused murderer George Zimmerman, apparently believes that Precious is a person who is supposed to be ashamed and denigrated. Frank Taaffe, in addition to other George Zimmerman supporters who have compared Jeantel to Precious, do not see that the movie’s main character represents metamorphosis through struggle – transformation within — from caterpillar to butterfly.
As a caterpillar, the verbal and physical abuse, and mocking lowered Precious’ self-esteem. She day dreamed of being loved and admired. Through the struggle, Precious raised her self-esteem, and acquired courage, hope, and determination. She also learned not to argue with ignorant people. She was no longer afraid to be herself or ashamed that she did not match the stereotype of what others believe is smart and beautiful. Effectively, in their comparison of Jeantel to Precious, Taaffe and other Zimmerman supporters call good, evil.
The movie’s Precious had much more to live for than just herself – two children, one which is a special needs child. In like manner, when Jeantel took the witness stand, she didn’t think of herself. Throughout this ordeal, she made it plain that she was concerned for Sybrina Fulton’s pain. On the witness stand, Jeantel wasn’t interested in competing to win a public speaking contest. She took the stand to testify of her last conversation with Trayvon. She laid the pain of her loss aside. Through cross-examination by defense attorney Don West, Jeantel flew above his condescending inferences, his interrogation as though he was a detective trying to get her to confess to committing a crime, and his hours of repeating the same questions.
Jeantel’s answers revealed just how far Don West is from reality. For instance, he drilled her on why she did not call the police. Jeantel’s answer was consistent; i.e., she did not know that the man who killed her friend had not been arrested. Logically, admitted killers are arrested.
Don West also demonstrated his ignorance of jurisdictions. How was Jeantel suppose to call 911 in Sanford, Florida, when she resides in Miami?
Frank Taaffe’s taking of good and using it for evil is — well — evil in itself. He fails to recognize that the movie character Precious does not represent shame. Rather, Precious is a character who in spite of not meeting Taaffe’s standards, overcomes against the odds.
Rachel Jeantel is hereby awarded the butterfly award.
Don West, a lawyer on accused murderer and admitted killer George Zimmerman’s legal team, took a photograph of himself with his daughters. Nothing unusual about that. However, the caption that his daughter put to it when uploading the photo to Instagram, speaks volumes.
“We beat stupidity …”
First, it tells us that Don West discusses the case with his daughters, and not just the case, but his personal opinion of witnesses. In this situation, the celebration photo came just after Don West kept witness, Rachel Jeantel, on the witness stand for hours. Jeantel is the young woman who was on the telephone with Trayvon Martin seconds before George Zimmerman killed him.
The “We” indicates that Don West’s daughters involved themselves, and give themselves credit, for helping their dad humiliate, denigrate, condescend, and badger 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel. It causes me to wonder if they bully people in their personal lives in the same manner that they coached their dad.
The most important indication in the “We beat stupidity …” caption, is that it demonstrates Don West’s personal prejudice against Rachel Jeantel. He wants to recall her to the witness stand after demonstrating his personal opinion of her as written by his daughter, which is that he thinks she is stupid.
Don West deposed Jeantel, and kept her on the witness stand for hours. Her memory of her last conversation with Trayvon Martin was consistent. Yet, Don West wants to lay a guilt trip on Jeantel for not calling the police. What police? She doesn’t reside in Sanford, FL. Was she suppose to call the Miami police department and ask that they relay a message to the Sanford Police Dept.
Jeantel said several times that she didn’t call the police because she thought Zimmerman had been arrested. Don West misses the sense and logic in that. In general, when a person admits to killing another, they are arrested. George Zimmerman admitted killing Trayvon Martin. Don West assumes that a then 18-year-old high school sophomore was supposed to know, and understand, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law which Zimmerman claimed to avoid arrest.
Rachel Jeantel is far from being stupid. It’s Don West’s assumptions that cause him to appear removed from reality; his knock-knock joke being one example of that, and now his “We beat stupidity …” celebration photo with his daughters.
Shame on Don West, and shame on Molly West.
With Don West’s insulting and prejudicial opinion of Jeantel, the State should bring it to the court’s attention so that Jeantel is not further abused and publicly denigrated by Zimmerman’s attorneys.