George Zimmerman’s lawyers hope to win trial by social media in Trayvon Martin case

In the Trayvon Martin case, the court of public opinion has moved online.

Late last month, attorneys for George Zimmerman – the Sanford, Florida man facing second-degree murder charges in Martin’s killing – launched a website, Facebook page, and Twitter account devoted to the case. So far, they’ve used the social media platforms to comment on developments in the case, solicit money for Zimmerman’s defense, and interact with the public.

“[S]ocial media in this day and age cannot be ignored,” wrote Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara in an introductory blog post. “It is now a critical part of presidential politics, it has been part of revolutions in the Middle East, and it is going to be an unavoidable part of high-profile legal cases, just as traditional media has been and continues to be.”

O’Mara called his social media presence “new and relatively unprecedented,” and legal experts I spoke with could recall no previous case where a defense team has employed such tactics in a high-profile prosecution.

But some say the strategy makes sense as Zimmerman seeks to protect and bolster his image in preparation for a jury trial.

“Zimmerman was getting trashed in the press for weeks, so I think he has to come out swinging a little bit,” said California attorney and legal ethicist John Steele, who perceives that cable television coverage of the case is slanted against Zimmerman. “If you’re Mark O’Mara, why rely on Anderson Cooper, Al Sharpton, or Soledad O’Brien to get your story out?”

Still, Steele and other observers agree that O’Mara’s embrace of social media carries risk.

“They just broke through a major wall by saying the way to defend is to start a website and put out news,” said Scott Greenfield, a New York attorney and blogger. “You have to understand the dynamic of the Internet and understand that you’re playing with a monster that will devour you if you screw up.”

“Anything you put on the Internet is there forever, and no matter what you say, it can be used against you,” Greenfield said in a phone interview.

Attracting comments and dollars

O’Mara’s office has been updating the Zimmerman website and Facebook page every couple of days and tweeting multiple times a day. They’ve attracted more than 1,400 Twitter followers, topped 2,200 Facebook likes, and each post on the Facebook page has drawn dozens of public comments.

Some comments delve into the legal details of the case (“This has been a travesty both for gun owner’s rights and the right of EVERY AMERICAN to use deadly force in defense of their life.”), while others express views on the defendant (“If Zimmerman had cancer I would not give him a dime.”), the media (“HLN and CNN desire riots and racially motivated voters for the upcoming presidential election.”), and the racial issues surrounding the case (“The most prevalent form of racism in the US is blacks against everybody else. The president is the perfect example.”).

The webpage and social media sites also contain links to a PayPal account that’s accepting contributions for Zimmerman’s legal defense fund. O’Mara’s office didn’t respond to my questions about the sites or the amount of money they’re raising, but a previous website Zimmerman set up before his arrest raised more than $200,000.

While the judge in the case has raised questions about those earlier online donations, he has not imposed a gag order nor restricted the use of social media.

“There’s a legitimate role of a lawyer in protecting their client’s reputation in the public eye,” said St. Louis attorney Michael Downey, who’s written extensively on ethics issues. “If there are already a lot of reports in the media suggesting the person did something wrong, then there’s the concern it will be tough for the person to get a fair trial because people will have already convicted him in the media.”

Downey sees similarities between the Zimmerman case and the 2006 prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players on sexual assault charges. Defense attorneys jumped into the media frenzy surrounding the North Carolina case, participated in press conferences and interviews, and allowed their clients to appear on “60 Minutes” to expose holes in the prosecution’s arguments. Officials eventually dropped the charges and disbarred the District Attorney for trumping up meritless allegations.

O’Mara’s high-profile effort on behalf of Zimmerman borrows some of the strategy of the North Carolina defense team, but adds the new tool of social media, which scarcely existed in 2006 and allows lawyers to take their cases directly to the public without going through the filter of the mainstream media.

“They can influence public opinion without waiting for the New York Times to call for an interview,” said Stephen Ward, the Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Journalism Ethics. “And they can use this new social presence to put pressure on journalists to pick up (the lawyers’ point of view) and pass it on.”

For readers and journalists, a need for context

Ward said the technique takes a page from the social media strategy of other newsmakers — such as politicians, athletes, and actors — who prefer to communicate directly to their social media followers rather than subjecting themselves to journalistic interviews.

But in a murder case, the stakes are higher, and Ward said that puts more burden on journalists and the public to scrutinize the online posts.

“You should treat this as just another press release that you get, only it’s in a fancy new media form,” Ward said. He urged journalists to resist the urge to publish or re-tweet the attorneys’ posts without additional context, and suggested the public read the sites with a healthy dose of skepticism.

“This is a game of public relations and persuasion, and it should be treated as such,” Ward said.

At the Orlando Sentinel, state courts reporter Jeff Weiner said he’s bookmarked the Zimmerman website and checks it several times a day. But Weiner — who’s written or contributed to more than 30 stories about the case – said the site hasn’t played a big role in the Sentinel’s coverage.

“At first it was a little bit strange, because we hadn’t seen this done before,” Weiner said. “But once the newness of it faded, it hasn’t changed much about our approach.”

The Sentinel published two pieces recently about Zimmerman’s social media presence – Weiner’s news analysis and a skeptical opinion column by Beth Kassab. But Weiner said the newspaper continues to reach out to O’Mara for interviews about case developments, and he said the Sentinel has adopted a guarded approach to writing about the attorney’s online posts.

“We still have the same conversations that we would have if Mark O’Mara held a press conference,” Weiner said in a phone interview. “We examine each thing that goes on the website.”

Weiner noted in his story that the Florida Bar’s social networking guidelines — intended mainly to regulate online advertising — don’t prohibit sites like O’Mara’s. It’s less clear whether the sites would be covered by rules prohibiting statements that “materially prejudice” court proceedings. But Weiner — as well as several other legal experts I spoke with – predict social media strategies will become more common in high profile cases.

“Social media is such a raw resource,” said Downey, the St. Louis lawyer. “That’s obviously where so much of the conversation happens today.”

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  • Anonymous

    google julison communication and you will find ryan julison who was hired by crump started the whole vile race baiting thing.he should be investigated by authorites.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    Why should he of been back in his truck? He wasn’t told to go back to his truck…Why couldn’t he wait in the “cut through” for the police?…Trayvon had more than enough time to go home if he was so scared….and people don’t usually turn up BACK in the exact same place the ran from 4 minutes earlier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    Why should he of been back in his truck? He wasn’t told to go back to his truck…Why couldn’t he wait in the “cut through” for the police?…Trayvon had more than enough time to go home if he was so scared….and people don’t usually turn up BACK in the exact same place the ran from 4 minutes earlier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    Different photo? I’ve seen a LOT of “news” media using that photo….People magazine even used it on their cover…with the date edited out.

  • Anonymous

    He, specifically, calls for a thorough and fair investigation “to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.  If Zimmerman is innocent then that will be the “bottom of exactly what happened.”  Zimmerman isn’t dead,  Trayvon is.  One doesn’t, usually, extend condolences to parents when their child is not dead.

    I find your use of the term “mourn” in this context, particularly, offensive.  Zimmerman is alive.  His life is nowhere near as “lost” as Trayvon’s.  I think you owe Trayvon’s parents an apology for equating the two.  In fact, you owe all parents who lost a child an apology for demeaning their loss by such an equation.

  • Anonymous

    The DOJ is conducted a full and independent investigation of the evidence to determine if Trayvon’s civil rights were violated.  That means not only will they look at hate crimes but, also, if the the police, etc. did not appropriately pursue an investigation and a prosecution of the case because of Trayvon’s race and possible biases by the various investigating entities, this would include the Sanford Police Department.  They might try to phrase it in the press that they aren’t there to, directly, investigate the SPD but you are naive if you think that will not be part of the investigation.  That is the reason they were called in.   I don’t mistake you for anyone except someone who has chosen to enter into a time-consuming fight to defend George Zimmerman, even to the extent of, yourself, “distorting information to win points.”  Only you know the reason you have chosen to do so.

  • Anonymous

    Consequences aren’t, necessarily, punishments but actions have consequences, the fact that Zimmerman’s primary identity on the internet is his arrest photo is his responsibility–and no one else’s.  It is what it is.

  • Anonymous

    one way or other, mark o mara is going to prove GZ not guilty and if rally causing people and race baiters don’t like it then tough luck.
    there is enough support for GZ and people who believe in GZ.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OFKED3QNQB2Y2GHFPHRZCMTRNY Wayne
  • Suzie Siegel

    I give up. I’m not interested in a shouting match. 

  • Suzie Siegel

    I give up. I’m not interested in a shouting match. 

  • Suzie Siegel

    My posts are clearly opposed to people distorting the facts, and the media publishing information as if no facts exist — it’s simply a matter of what this side says v. what the other side says. That’s at least part of the reason that this company has PolitiFact so that politicians can’t get away with distorting information. I wish they’d apply that principle more broadly.

    I’m pro GZ getting a fair trial. Personally, I — and most prosecutors interviewed by the mainstream media — think the evidence doesn’t support murder 2. I think GZ could be guilty of manslaughter, but I want to hear more evidence.

  • Suzie Siegel

    My posts are clearly opposed to people distorting the facts, and the media publishing information as if no facts exist — it’s simply a matter of what this side says v. what the other side says. That’s at least part of the reason that this company has PolitiFact so that politicians can’t get away with distorting information. I wish they’d apply that principle more broadly.

    I’m pro GZ getting a fair trial. Personally, I — and most prosecutors interviewed by the mainstream media — think the evidence doesn’t support murder 2. I think GZ could be guilty of manslaughter, but I want to hear more evidence.

  • Suzie Siegel

    If you read the Orlando Sentinel’s Q&A with the FBI and DOJ, they specifically say they aren’t investigating the Sanford police. They are investigating whether GZ deprived TM of his civil rights. 

    I quoted the prosecution because they agree with the defense on the fact that some sort of physical confrontation occurred before GZ shot TM. 

    Generally, I’m happy to tear apart Fox News.

    I have a problem with people distorting information to try to win points.  Martin Luther King didn’t do that. I oppose the NRA; I want stricter gun control. I wish that were more of an issue in this case, but Obama has said gun control is not on the table. Btw, I voted for Obama and will vote for him again. I think you’ve mistaken me for a Republican.

  • Suzie Siegel

    I also understand that the media didn’t have any other photo of GZ initially, except the booking photo. But people who aren’t convicted aren’t supposed to have “consequences.” In other words, an arrest is not supposed to be punishment. 

  • Suzie Siegel

    Yes, he did make a thoughtful and compassionate statement to Trayvon’s parents. He didn’t say anything to GZ’s parents, who must mourn the ruin of their son’s life and also hope for a thorough and fair investigation.  

  • Anonymous

    what is your point?

  • Anonymous

    Your posts are clearly partisan so your argument that we shouldn’t be pro or con is rather disingenuous.

  • Anonymous

    “Obviously this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. When I think about this boy I think about my own kids and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.
    I’m glad that not only the Justice Department is looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what is taking place.
    I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how something like this happened. That means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident.
    But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon. If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we will get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

    President Obama made a thoughtful and compassionate statement.  It is sad that you feel the need to parse its meaning more and in the direction that you do.  Sad.  Just sad.

  • Anonymous

    I think we all understand your point of view, now. You can take a rest.

  • Anonymous

    The poster, also, stretched their interpretation of events pretty far to get to that 3 year mark.  Its time to recognize that there is an equal amount of spin and no on needs to feel sorry for Zimmerman, any longer.  Its level playing field.  Let the trial decide.

  • Anonymous

    Then we disagree with what are an “set of unaccepable assumptions in his mind”.  I would classify that as including a disregard for human life.

  • Anonymous

    We don’t know who he is taking donations from.  O’Mara has promised to shelter the names.  It would be naive to think Zimmerman is not receiving funds from a variety of sources–including white supremecists and those who discriminate based on race.  The postings alone indicate that will be the case.

  • Anonymous

    Then again, the time frame, also, means Zimmerman should have been back in his truck.  The time problem goes two ways.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ArgentinaRose-Gomez/1761649229 ArgentinaRose Gomez

    YOU CAN’T REASON WITH THESE YAHOOS BECAUSE, THEY ARE TAKING THEIR HATE OUT ON THE WRONG PEOPLE. THEY SHOULD BE TAKING THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS OUT ON ZIMMHERMAN AND THE SANFORD PD. ALSO THE STATE’S ATTORNEY FOR THAT PART OF FLORIDA SHOULD ALSO BE A VICTIM OF THEIR VENOM AND HATE!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have any facts on the case which is the point of my post.  None of us do.

    The civil rights that the DOJ is investigating are Trayvon’s Martin’s rights
    to have his death investigated so, yes, they are investigating the process. As
    I said, let’s wait for their report.

    Its bizarre that you chose to cite the prosecution’s version of events. I
    was seeking a more balanced perspective. As, I said lets wait for the
    trial.

    I am not here to defend the media. However, you could just as easily argue
    that Fox News’ coverage of President Obama’s answering the reporter’s questions
    about the case added the racial meme–that is, if you are interested in balanced
    coverage. There were several times that I can recall that the Martin’s lawyers,
    specifically, stated that the case was NOT about race. Jackson and Martin are
    civil rights leaders, just as Martin Luther King was. Do you have a problem
    with them lobbying for their constituent population? If so, did you have a
    problem with Charleton Heston rallying for the NRA? Did you have a problem with
    him showing up in Columbine after those tragic killings? I, personally think
    its important for our nation to dialogue about these issues and have no problem
    when anyone who exerts their free speech rights.

    The most recent photos of Trayvon will show him dead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ArgentinaRose-Gomez/1761649229 ArgentinaRose Gomez

    JUST HOW IS THAT BEING NONSENSE? JUST LIKE YOU, HE HAS A RIGHT TO HIS OWN OPINION AND, HE WAS NOT BEING A RACIST.

  • Anonymous

    whose attorney? GZ’s?
    then you are wrong. crump is doing that job.not o’mara.
    crump is nonstop putting antizimmerman comments for which he should be investigated.

  • Anonymous

    and you know this for sure?

  • Anonymous

    what do you mean, he is not ready for prime.
    and read all the comments and you will find out there are comments against antizimmerman which are not deleted unlike some sites so promartin , they won’t even allow you to be on that site if they even suspect you are prozimmerman.
    off course their main focus is donations and they are very honest about it.unless some funds in name of travon, which are being used by personal uses like tracy’s tailermake suites.
    and it is not fan club of zimmerman, they are people who believe GZ not guilty.
    nothing to do with fans, everything to do with truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ArgentinaRose-Gomez/1761649229 ArgentinaRose Gomez

    THEY DID NOT, AND FURTHER MORE HIS MOTHER HAS ALWAYS SAID, THAT THIS IS NOT A BLACK AND WHITE THING, BUT A RIGHT AND WRONG THING! SHE HAS ALWAYS SAID THAT. THE ONES WHO ARE MAKING IT A RACIAL ISSUE IS YOU WHITE PEOPLE, WHO THINK ZIMMHERMAN SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO MURDER A CHILD AND GET AWAY WITH IT! MAYBE YOU ALL ARE MAD ABOUT THE FACT THAT CASEY ANTHONY WALKED AND HE MAY NOT. I ON THE OTHER HAND AM SENDING UP MY PRAYERS EVERYDAY, WITH THE HOPE THAT GOD WILL DEAL WITH THIS POS!

  • Anonymous

    GZ said,travon was few years younger which is true,it was not like travon was 17 and GZ is 70.
    late teen, few years younger, what difference it makes.
    bottom line he told the truth of what he thought of travon’s age.
    stop taking it out of context.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ArgentinaRose-Gomez/1761649229 ArgentinaRose Gomez

    HE IS WHAT HE IS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ArgentinaRose-Gomez/1761649229 ArgentinaRose Gomez

    Thank you and, what the hell difference did it make what picture the family posted of Trayvon? he was still a 17yr old child, who was murdered by a 28yr old falming *IDIOT!*

  • Suzie Siegel

    It’s important for people to understand that we can’t all be divided into “pro-trayvon” and “anti-trayvon,” racist or anti-racist. I can oppose racism and still dislike people spreading stories not based on evidence. I know how I would feel if someone killed my nephew, but I also know how I would feel if my nephew killed someone who he thought was going to kill him, and then was painted as a monster. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ArgentinaRose-Gomez/1761649229 ArgentinaRose Gomez

    they did this only for an arrest and charges against zimmherman to happen, that should have been done the night he stalked and murdered Trayvon Martin! IMO, what this attorney is doing is trying to taint a jury pool plain and simple.

  • Suzie Siegel
  • Suzie Siegel

    Actually, second-degree murder in FL means killing without any regard for human life, not killing “with a set of unacceptable assumptions in his mind.” http://www.richardhornsby.com/crimes/homicide/second-degree-murder.html

  • Suzie Siegel

    You linked to a different photo, just fyi.

  • Suzie Siegel

    I think Obama was saying that he’s a black man and so, of course, he cares about the shooting of a black teen. Why else bring up the fact that his son would look like Trayvon? He could have said that, as a parent, he can identify with the loss of a child. 

    To get re-elected, Obama needs a good turnout of African-American voters, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic. He has to be careful not to alienate them. On the other hand, he didn’t blame racism out-and-out because he still must appear the moderate that he is. 

    What he said was inaccurate, however, unless you think all black people look alike. I assume he was trying to say that, if he had a son, the son would be considered black. Because of the way genetics work, however, there’s no guarantee that his son would look black. 

    On the flip side, GZ could have a son who looked black since he had an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    Ummm…No…The prosecution need evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Zimmerman is guilty.

  • http://twitter.com/matwilson6 Mat Wilson

    Social media has condemned Zimmerman, so it looks like he is a lost cause.

    http://mdatoz.com/lie
    see?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C27QR4HOIKBXVGYQSEMFXGO7AI Quick q

    I don’t see how this statement is even remotely true. How can Obama start racism by stating something that is undeniably a fact. If he had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. His son would be black just as Trayvon was black. What’s racial about that statement? Not to mention he stated “All of us as Americans will take this with the seriousness that it deserves in order to get to the bottom of this”.Blacks are not the only Americans in this country. I can’t see how Obama having a son that would look black could be considered a form a racism, which is what I get from your statement. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    Thanks for posting that link….I needed a good laugh….LOLOLOL….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    He wasn’t in his house, he was in his truck and after he saw trayvon run behind the houses he got out and “followed” him for 20 seconds until the operator told him they didn’t need him to follow trayvon……and do you know how far from George’s truck the shooting took place?…..About 20 seconds away, right behind the house George saw trayvon run behind….4 minutes before the shooting. Seeing as George was on the phone with the operator for 2 more minutes after he was told to stop following him and the shooting didn’t happen for another 2 minutes after he got off the phone with the operator Trayvon should of been home by then….NOT right BACK in the exact same spot he ran from George.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    He wasn’t in his house, he was in his truck and after he saw trayvon run behind the houses he got out and “followed” him for 20 seconds until the operator told him they didn’t need him to follow trayvon……and do you know how far from George’s truck the shooting took place?…..About 20 seconds away, right behind the house George saw trayvon run behind….4 minutes before the shooting. Seeing as George was on the phone with the operator for 2 more minutes after he was told to stop following him and the shooting didn’t happen for another 2 minutes after he got off the phone with the operator Trayvon should of been home by then….NOT right BACK in the exact same spot he ran from George.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452070042 Jamie Scott

    Actually the picture is from his 08-09 school year and seeing as most school pictures are taken in September the picture was more than 3 years old and he would of been 13 when the picture was taken.

    http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a438/pics56/Trayvon%20Martin/trayvon_martin_4.jpg

  • http://www.agamegame.net/ Dao thi Uyen

    you need to have evidence to prove Mr. Zimmerman innocent

  • Suzie Siegel

    Human, can you show me a reliable source saying an initial investigation was concluded, with police and prosecutors deciding that GZ was innocent? I haven’t seen that in mainstream newspapers. 

    The DOJ is not investigating the process, i.e., the way local authorities handled the case initially. They are investigating to see if Trayvon’s civil rights were violated. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-03-29/news/os-trayvon-martin-federal-0330_1_federal-investigation-justice-department-special-agent-dave-couvertier

    In the affidavit and the bond hearing, the state mentions a confrontation and struggle. http://nation.foxnews.com/george-zimmerman/2012/04/13/click-here-zimmerman-affidavit

    The Change.org petition mentions TM was a young black man. Apparently, the writer thought his race was pertinent. I didn’t say that TM’s parents put forth the “racist white man” meme. But certainly, their attorneys and the Revs. Jackson and Sharpton have done so, as have many other supporters. 

    As far as I know, no reporter has seen fit to ask what age TM was in the photo most commonly used. Clearly, however, he looks different in more recent photos. That’s not surprising for teen boys.   

  • Suzie Siegel

    Is O’Mara taking donations from Stormfront?

  • Louis Celine

    You must have a video recording of the events, since you obviously know exactly what happened and that Mr. Zimmerman is guilty of 2nd degree murder.

  • Louis Celine

    You obviously are not ready to comprehend what a lawyer’s job is.  They are zealous advocates for their client.  You would expect a zealous advocate to allow negative posts on their page?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AC75YB6DK4BIB6BU7GLXQBJNA4 Twelve

    At this point only bigots still defend GZ. They’re not pro zimmerman, they’re just anti trayvon.

  • Anonymous

    there was no mistake on media’s side. they wanted GZ to look like criminal and they tried him unfairly.
    nbc is prime example of that along with msnbc and HLN and cnn to name few.
    they showed travon’s 12 year angelic looking photo.
    but you know what, it does not matter. truth came out and we know what was travon.in school.

  • Anonymous

    no we did not. sharpton, jackson,along with holder did that.
    and obama topped it off by saying if he had son nonsense.
    real sad!!

  • Anonymous

    what are you trying to prove?
    nothing according to GZ’s supporters, in fact more postings like this and GZ’s support will grow very very quick.

  • Anonymous

    no need. he did not hide he was seeking money for his living expense and legal fee.
    so big difference.

  • Anonymous

    agree!!
    in the name of racism rallies , their son’s foundation is funding unneeded rallies after rallies.
    look at the mom whose kid was dead by hazing death and look at travon’s mom.
    travon’s mom looks as if she going for big excutive job.
    nobody is trying to demean their son’s death.they are doing it themselves by doing non stop rallies.doing rallies does not mean you are seeking justice.nobody knows what happened that nite.so nobody can assume travon was victim just because he died.what happened is real tragedy and nobody is denying that but that does not mean GZ is guilty of crime. it was act of self defense.
    o’mara fb page and twitter account is very open and it says clearly
    defense fund. they are not hiding behind anything.

  • Anonymous

    Later in the call, he also called him a “kid”.

  • Anonymous

    I suppose it is unfortunate that the photo the press could obtain of Zimmerman was his arrest photo. I suppose you could, also, argue that that is the consequence of having been arrested. Either way, I agree judging on the standards of outward physical appearance is always a mistake.

  • Anonymous

    I suppose it is unfortunate that the photo the press could obtain of Zimmerman was his arrest photo. I suppose you could, also, argue that that is the consequence of having been arrested. Either way, I agree judging on the standards of outward physical appearance is always a mistake.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5DIHRGFTVJ5PPXKS4EXXOMPYQY KeithR

    Another “FACT” from the mouth of Mr. Zimmerman.  In his call to the Police Dept. Zimmerman is asked the age of the so-called suspect, and his reply was “Late Teens”, (he had it correct).  But while on the stand he say’s he believed Trayvon Martin to be a few years younger than himself.  I don’t know why (but could speculate) as to why he changed his mind about the age of Trayvon.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5DIHRGFTVJ5PPXKS4EXXOMPYQY KeithR

    It is also noted that Zimmerman’s photo was 5 years ago.  It really makes no difference. But on the other hand it may make a difference in the minds of those who’d do just like Zimmerman and prejudge and profile an individual based on a look. 

  • Anonymous

    As the article notes, the success of this strategy remains to be seen.  The pro bono work would have likely paid off in tons of free publicity and a huge increase in his hourly amount for future cases.  In that case, he would have earned his money from his success; this way he just earns it by appealing to people’s ignoble sentiments.  Everyone has their own moral standards.  I, personally, wouldn’t be comfortable taking donations from Stormfront, for example.  This method, specifically, solicits such contributions.  It would turn my stomach.  But, as I stated, I have standards.  O’Mara clearly doesn’t.

  • Anonymous

    Source for these accusations? Although, the mission of the foundation is international and I do not begrudge a man a decent suit for public appearance purposes. Seems Zimmerman had a new suit at the bond hearing and didn’t wear his jail uniform like most incarcerated individuals do.

    And perhaps we will, also, get an accounting for the $50,000 that the Zimmermans went through while claiming indigence for the bond hearing and before their money was taken over by their lawyer and subject to appropriate third-party monitoring, as the Trayvon Martin Foundation has had since its inception.

  • Anonymous

    Zimmerman deserves his fair day in court. But to say he’s innocent, it was a legal gun, or he was provoked is just plain stupid. His action led to this end result. If he didn’t leave the house after the authorities told his not to, this incident wouldn’t have happened. 
    It’s like saying well Hitler didn’t personally kill millions of people, so he’s innocent. Or saying Charles Manson didn’t kill anyone in the Tate/LaBianca murders so he should be free.
    It starts somewhere. Zimmerman is not innocent, and should be held accountable for Martin’s death.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H6CMJ3DJPLPO25D7TNB7RCOSCI Andrew

     Detailed history is no convictions and all charges dropped. Nice try on the lame Facebook page that you put your own emails on.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H6CMJ3DJPLPO25D7TNB7RCOSCI Andrew

    The Trayvon Martin Foundation is funding a unneeded trip to London and tailor made suits for Tracy Martin. Hopefully they get investigated soon as this is a tax exempt charity according to them .

  • Anonymous

    The Trayvon Martin Foundation isn’t collecting money for the Martins or for their lawyers.  The foundations goals are to honor Trayvon’s memory by establishing an advocacy group:

    “Justice™ is a non-profit organization founded by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin (parents of Trayvon Martin) was established, March 2012, to create awareness and action in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. The mission of Justice™ is to advocate for all victims of injustice and senseless crimes throughout the world. Justice™’s purpose is to: advocate for crime victims and their families, enact Trayvon Martin legislation to prevent the inappropriate application of Stand Your Ground principles, increase public awareness against all forms of profiling, and educate youth on conflict resolution techniques.”

    Don’t demean their desire to turn their son’s death into something good.  Whatever happens in the coming trial, it is an honorable goal.

  • Anonymous

    The Trayvon Martin Foundation isn’t collecting money for the Martins or for their lawyers.  The foundations goals are to honor Trayvon’s memory by establishing an advocacy group:

    “Justice™ is a non-profit organization founded by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin (parents of Trayvon Martin) was established, March 2012, to create awareness and action in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. The mission of Justice™ is to advocate for all victims of injustice and senseless crimes throughout the world. Justice™’s purpose is to: advocate for crime victims and their families, enact Trayvon Martin legislation to prevent the inappropriate application of Stand Your Ground principles, increase public awareness against all forms of profiling, and educate youth on conflict resolution techniques.”

    Don’t demean their desire to turn their son’s death into something good.  Whatever happens in the coming trial, it is an honorable goal.

  • Anonymous

    This remains to be seen, doesn’t it.  The prosecution asserts that he approached Trayvon with a depraved mind, meaning that he killed with a set of unacceptable assumptions in his mind.  And, yes, unfortunately, people do that.

  • Anonymous

    You turned an attempt to be fair and balanced into a total partisan and biased statement with a mess of inaccuracies.  Sad.

  • Anonymous

    If you want to be fair than be fair.  There are conflicting accounts as to whether an investigation was ongoing or already concluded.  That is why the justice department was called in to investigate the process.  That investigation is ongoing.

    We don’t actually know what happened that night.  We don’t know even if there was a confrontation.  No official evidence has been released.  That is what the trial is for.

    The “racist white man” meme didn’t come from Trayvon’s parents or the change.org petition.  No mention was made of race.  You may read it here:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

    It is a reasonable statement of events as Trayvon’s parents understood them.  The picture of Trayvon is a year or two old at most; after all he had just turned 17 two weeks before his death.  His mother may have picked a picture of her son that she liked.  Many parents would.  You will notice the petition reports him as 17.

    If you are going to post that you want a balanced perspective than the onus is on you to, also, be balanced.

  • Anonymous

    self defense !!!!self defense!!!!! he was legally carrying a pistol and any trouble he had when he was younger did not disqualify him from getting a pistol……stand your ground this america

  • Anonymous

    Not ready for primetime? I have to disagree. He went from pro bono(working for free) to actually being paid. He will in all likely hood get his $1000.00 per hour and some! It’s a brilliant move, I think. He’s grabbing the bull by the horns. GZ supporters will be going here for their info regardless if it’s almost none. This social media blitz is all about getting donations. Many attorneys with high profile clients will be following this route. Even Trayvon Martin’s family is soliciting donations through social media. This is a new day and age.

  • Anonymous

    he did not do any crimes. and whatever happened with travon is real tragedy, but it was self defense.he did with legal limits.there was not illigal gun involved or anything.
    no person with killing in his mind will call police and go and kill.

  • Anonymous

    no only comments which are not appropriate to the topic are deleted.go read all of them unlike promartin, where they won’t even allow you if they think you are prozimmerman.
    their main focus not donations and anyway they set up that page is for donnation. they are not hidiing it.
    martins are trying to collect donations non stop.
    f b page and twitter act omara has is very open.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1487976046 Jewel A Adams

     yes there is a criminal record..click on the link above (crimes that happened in his early twenties etc… L.K.Diggs

  • Anonymous

    Obviously Mark O’Mara is not ready for prime and knows nothing about social media , their facebook page is just a glorified fan club  for Zimmerman absolutely no worthwhile articles , their main focus is Donations . Good luck commenting against Zimmerman it’s immediately deleted .

  • Anonymous

    totally agree!!
    crump and his camp started to do smear things on GZ.
    and gave false information every minute
    they think anything they do is fine.
    all they are doing rallies after rallies.
    racism was brought into picture by sharpton, jackson, spike lee along with obama.
    thanks to obama who actually started the whole racial thing.
    people beacame sick with this mis treatment of GZ by these people and media
    and his support started to grow like anything
    must be very frustrating for crump and camp.

  • Anonymous

    what is your point?
    btw, there is no criminal record for GZ yet.

  • Anonymous

    what is your point?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6HTV3R5VPWOOB3IJNI2ZWIY2IY DeVout
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregory-Williams/100000301143662 Gregory Williams
  • Suzie Siegel

    I think this development needs to be understood in context. The PR agent and the attorneys representing Trayvon’s parents, and others, such as Spike Lee, and the Revs. Sharpton and Jackson used social media first. They had a Change.org petition, a site to collect money, and a Twitter campaign.   These messages included misleading information. As Poynter has already reported, the family released a photo of a much younger Trayvon at first, although they had more recent photos. (Tracy Martin showed police a recent photo of Trayvon when they came to his house the morning after the shooting.)

    Those supporting the parents got out the message that authorities had decided not to arrest Zimmerman. This was dutifully reported in the Tampa Bay Times and the Tampa Tribune, without a mention that police had always said they were investigating. They turned over their findings to the original prosecutor, who had set a date for a grand jury. 

    Another meme gotten out early was the idea that Trayvon was shot while walking through the complex, as opposed to being shot during a struggle or confrontation. This was generally couched as: An innocent and unarmed black child was stalked and gunned down by a racist white man.

    I could go on, but the gist is that O’Mara is playing catch-up.