The iconic photos of Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman & why you may not see the others

Since the shooting of Trayvon Martin became national news, two photos have come to define the emotionally and racially charged narrative.

News organizations initially had just a few photos of Martin to choose from, and just one of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed him. More recent photos have emerged lately, but a month after the shooting, the narrative already has been established.

This is the most recognized image of Trayvon Martin, although it’s several years old. (Associated Press)

“The challenge we have is a lot of folks are getting a very surface view from the photos,” said Orlando Sentinel photo editor Tom Burton. “Photos can be used to get people emotionally involved and we need to be careful. It’s a concern if we had more of a choice, but we are limited by availability.”

The dominant photo of Martin shows him 13 or 14 years old, wearing a red Hollister T-shirt. Other photos, none of them recent, depict a young Martin in a youth football uniform, holding a baby and posing with a snowboard. He is the picture of innocence.

The most common photo of Zimmerman is a 2005 police mugshot. He is 22 in the photo, which was taken after he was arrested for assaulting an officer. (The charges were dropped.) He looks unhappy, if not angry.

This mugshot has become the dominant image of George Zimmerman. It, too, is several years old. (Associated Press)

The contrast — the two photos are often published side by side — has led to criticism that news media have tilted the story in favor of the 17-year-old victim and against the 28-year-old man who shot him.

“The images used are clearly prejudicial to both men,” said Kenny Irby, Poynter’s senior faculty for visual journalism and diversity. “If those are the repeating images, then we continually reinforce prejudice and negative emotions. We never get to appreciate the life experience or further context of either individual.”

Although more recent photos are now available, there are legal and contextual arguments against using them.

Can news outlets use photo of Zimmerman in a tie?

Take the newest Zimmerman photo. Last Friday, Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeff Weiner got a photo from Zimmerman’s last employer. In this one, he is smiling and wears a tie and jacket.

This more recent photo of Zimmerman has not been used as widely as the mugshot, in part due to copyright issues. (Orlando Sentinel)

The Sentinel obtained the photo through an unnamed source, but the paper hasn’t given anyone else permission to use it. It has, however, made the photo available to clients of McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

“We got it from a source and published under fair use,” said the Sentinel’s Burton. “We are not selling it because we don’t own it. If someone takes it from our website, we are not going to pursue them.”

Staff at The Miami Herald saw the photo of Zimmerman in the tie and wanted to run it with a profile last Sunday.

“When one sees a solitary mugshot of Zimmerman …, with a negative expression on his face, that kind of photo can influence the story,” said Herald photo editor Roman Lyskowski. “You look at it and say, ‘A booking mug. Yes, of course, he’s guilty.’ “

Yet the Herald had to run the old booking photo on Sunday. Only the Sentinel knew where the newer one had come from, and it wouldn’t grant permission to publish the image.

“The risk in using that photo is that the owner of the copyright has not consented to your use and can sue you for copyright infringement,” said Andy Sellars of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “You could raise fair use, but then a judge has to decide the case. … The more you need the photo to tell what you need to say, the more the photo is an essential part of the story and the stronger your case is.”

The Herald decided to use the photo later in the week after it had been distributed on the McClatchy-Tribune wire.

Irby believes the decimation of newsrooms, including photography departments, is one reason news outlets continue to run the same photo rather than pursue newer, more accurate ones.

“Picture editors and photographers are some of the biggest newsroom casualties” of budget cuts, he said. “So when you have a story laced with subtleties, it becomes key to really work to have the latest visual content and representation of that story.”

Five years ago, the Sentinel had five photo editors and the Herald had six. Today, each paper has two.

Trayvon Martin photos loaded with meaning

Keith Jenkins, head of multimedia at NPR, wasn’t as concerned about the first Zimmerman photo — it was the only one available — as he was with news outlets’ choice of Martin photos. They generally chose the one of the boy in the red T-shirt rather than a more recent photo of him in a gray hoodie, which has been available all along.

Photo editors said this image of Trayvon Martin has been available as long as the one of him in the red shirt, but it hasn’t circulated as widely. Miami Herald and Orlando Sentinel photo editors expressed reservations about the connotations of image, although they have published it.

“The picture of Trayvon in a hoodie is one of a normal kid in a hoodie. My kid looks like that,” Jenkins said. “The standard is to use the most recent picture. Why have we moved away from the hoodie picture? We should be as honest with the visuals as we are with the text and audio.”

When the story first broke, Burton questioned whether his paper should use the hoodie photo. But it did.

“Our initial question is whether the hoodie photo was making Trayvon look more like a criminal,” said Burton. “Of course, now it’s flipped itself culturally with the Million Man Hoodie thing in New York City. The hoodie has become a badge of honor.”

(Burton discusses the Sentinel’s decision-making in detail in this video.)

The Herald’s Lyskowski also was reluctant to run the Martin hoodie photo with its March 22 profile, but he did.

“The picture of him was not of a happy, smiling kid in a hoodie,” said Lyskowski. “He looks hard in it. His expression is stern. Having the hoodie around his head can have a negative connotation. We talked about that but decided at that point, the hoodie had become part of the story.”

Poynter’s Kenny Irby said he doesn’t see a reason not to use this photo.

This week, additional, more recent photos of Martin appeared. One, from his Twitter account, is a close-up of a smiling, gold-toothed Martin, wearing a sleeveless T-shirt and looking more like a 17-year-old.

The Sentinel published a story about the gold-toothed photo Wednesday.

Irby believes news outlets should use this photo even though Martin has a “grill,” a removable piece of dental jewelry that mimics the gold teeth often associated with rappers.

“I just don’t see that photo as demonizing,” said Irby. “It’s a picture of a contemporary youth. I see white kids with grills, Asian kids with grills. It’s one of the visual symbols of youth in America today.”

“The old pictures still have relevance,” he said, “but we should try not to relegate it to one photo defining who Trayvon is.”

Correction: In the original version of this story, the Herald’s Lyskowski stated that Zimmerman was wearing an orange jumpsuit in his 2005 booking photo, but as a reader pointed out, it’s a polo shirt. That portion of the quotation has been removed for accuracy.

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  • http://www.warrenjasonstreet.com/ Warren Jason Street

    You’re citing GOP USA and you expect me to be put in my place? What a clown.

  • Bob Gillespie

    While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts.  Just sayin’
    http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2012/04/19/elder-five-myths-of-the-racist-criminal-justice-system/?subscriber=1

  • Bob Gillespie

    While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts.  Just sayin’
    http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2012/04/19/elder-five-myths-of-the-racist-criminal-justice-system/?subscriber=1

  • Anonymous

    That innocent unarmed child was 17 years old, 6′ 2″ tall and 200 lbs.  Zommerman is 5′ 9″ tall, weight unknown.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VIMBEWI57VUMV3N32USM3EDKCY jake

    How about a current picture of him, not these he is only 12years old.

  • http://www.warrenjasonstreet.com/ Warren Jason Street

    No, because I already knew all of that. And this is not 1972. The American people have a sophistication about photos, images, and these kinds of things that go beyond the criticisms of the right wing media. An unarmed 17 year-old was gunned down by a man who was told not to pursue him, and he was never charged with a crime. The American people know what injustice looks like.

  • Thomas Lindaman

    On the contrary, Warren. Pictures DO tell a story about good and evil because they convey a message on an emotional level. The widely-shown pictures of Martin as a boy and Zimmerman as a criminal create a narrative, a narrative the media put forward before the story had been completely investigated. By the time more facts came into the equation, the narrative had already been set by two pictures.

    Regaridng your characterizations of the two parties involved, as facts have come out, the narrative has also changed. Zimmerman, for example, has a track record with helping kids and with holding police accountable for their misdeeds. Martin, on the other hand, also has a track record of being disruptive and disrespectful of authority, which is what got him suspended from school prior to his shootings.

    So, has your opinion changed at all, or are you sticking with the first gut instinct you’ve shared?

  • Anonymous

    On Feb. 26, when Zimmerman first spotted Trayvon, he called police and reported a suspicious person, describing Trayvon as black, acting strangely and perhaps on drugs.
    Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.
    There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they’re not sure what happened.
    Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.
    Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police. Trayvon then said, “Well, you do now” or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose, according to the account he gave police.
    Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.
    Zimmerman began yelling for help.
    Several witnesses heard those cries, and there has been a dispute about whether they came from Zimmerman or Trayvon.
    Lawyers for Trayvon’s family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.
    One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him — and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.
    Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest at very close range, according to authorities.
    When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.
    Paramedics gave him first aid but he said he did not need to go to the hospital. He got medical care the next day.

  • Anonymous

    On Feb. 26, when Zimmerman first spotted Trayvon, he called police and reported a suspicious person, describing Trayvon as black, acting strangely and perhaps on drugs.
    Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.
    There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they’re not sure what happened.
    Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.
    Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police. Trayvon then said, “Well, you do now” or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose, according to the account he gave police.
    Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.
    Zimmerman began yelling for help.
    Several witnesses heard those cries, and there has been a dispute about whether they came from Zimmerman or Trayvon.
    Lawyers for Trayvon’s family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.
    One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him — and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.
    Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest at very close range, according to authorities.
    When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.
    Paramedics gave him first aid but he said he did not need to go to the hospital. He got medical care the next day.

    this was taken from an Orlando Sentinel article.  I believe this is probably exactly the way things happened.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S7JILP3YID23Y6XYSU6J3KG5PU Paul

    Not just fit, but a skilled football player, with a relatively large amount of time of his life playing sports. Athletically inclined, in great shape, and probably having more muscle mass than a sedentary person a decade his senior. Stands to reason, that Trayvon would be able to inflict more substantial injuries, with his bare hands. Bare hands can kill. I was convicted of a first degree felony for Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon, for unarmed assault, solely on the basis that I was a veteran (non-combat), and have no advanced certifications for martial arts (ie Black Belt, etc). Just my life experiences, were enough to fry me. (not to mention that my back is in poor shape from being hit by a drunk driver. now at 35 I can’t even do 1 pushup, and walk with a cane. I couldn’t hurt a girl. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention, the man I fought was a Marine vet, that served a decade, in an infantry assignment. compared with my 2 years, as an Intel Analyst. relatively speaking, i barely harmed this man, but the slant he put on the police report, got me 2 years in prison(for a first offense). My point is we shouldn’t let ourselves be swayed be media spin. To quote my favorite cartoon as a kid Transformers, these situations are usually “More than meets the eye”. You are asking a question that will never be honestly answered in the media, sadly.

  • http://www.warrenjasonstreet.com/ Warren Jason Street

    “similarly if someone is has punched me and ran off i am certain i would be able to contain myself and not shoot someone to death”

    That’s good–you are resolved not to shoot someone in the back. That is, in fact admirable.

  • Anonymous

     The question is not about pictures or a person’s record.  The one and only question is who attack who attack who and how violently.  Anyone that gets freely into a fight with someone else on the street they have to expect the unexpected.  If someone is stalking me I iwill be upset but i am not sure I will attack anyone, and similarly if someone is has punched me and ran off i am certain i would be able to contain myself and not shoot someone to death.  This is the point.  I hold no hatred for anyone because in truth the public does not know what happened.

  • http://www.warrenjasonstreet.com/ Warren Jason Street

    Nah, I think I’ll come down on the side of social justice and keep speaking.

    Shutting up makes the cops happy. Feel free to continue being their tool.

  • Anonymous

    What facts.  All you have is hearsay.  An NBC producer has been fired for biased editing of 911 tapes.  And exactly what crimes has Zimmerman committed that he has been tried for.
    The photos and the edited 911 tapes are wrong because they have led the public to conclude Zimmerman is guilty.  When he is found not guilty there will be violence because of people like you have incited people to riot by your lame comments.  Let the police do their work then you will have a basis for your comments good or bad..  

  • Anonymous

    Your comments are biased and add to an atmosphere that could get violent.  You have no idea what took place in the so called encounter with police.  Police do not just dismiss cases of violence with police.   That is not done.  You are a buffoon trying to incite violence.  Wait for the investigation to be complete before so you make such strong comments.

  • http://twitter.com/koffeeandme Sylvia Fulmer

    The problem with the old pictures is that Zimmerman is no
    longer the same size. The impression given is that he was so much larger than
    Trayvon. That Trayvon didn’t stand a chance. Quite the opposite is true.
    Zimmerman lost a lot of weight and was not the burly guy in the old photo. Trayvon was 6 ft tall and 160 lbs, George Zimmerman is
    5’9″ tall and 170 lbs. Zimmerman also suffered a broken nose and injury to
    the back of his head. Did he do this to himself? It is also well known that NBC
    “doctored” the 911 call. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman the ethnicity
    of the suspect. Zimmerman did not offer it. Do not be so quick to rush to judgement when the truth has yet to be told and many questions answered.

  • http://www.warrenjasonstreet.com/ Warren Jason Street

    Poof! There goes your argument.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t get it friend and you never will. Unless you personally know any of these people or were there, YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING except what you hear in the media, which this article was clearly showing cannot be trusted.

    Your bias here is obvious as you now are trying to put me in the role of somehow defending the Zimmerman guy, which I am not, I am merely defending the presumption of innocence.

  • http://www.warrenjasonstreet.com/ Warren Jason Street

    I kind of think we know a little bit more than that, but feel free to clutch those pearls and hope no more lies emerge from the Zimmerman family (and that should be a clue as to who the liars are).

  • Anonymous

    Oh really, because I haven’t heard him say anything, from what I understand he’s in hiding, so how can he have said anything that’s “turned out to be false”. About the only thing you said that is a fact is this:

    “An unarmed 17 year old is dead. He was shot by a man who claimed that he did it in self-defense.”

    That’s all you know, that’s all anyone knows, and you’re right, I am not taking a stand because I believe in our system of due process. I shutter to think people like you sit on juries.

  • http://www.warrenjasonstreet.com/ Warren Jason Street

    An unarmed 17 year old is dead. He was shot by a man who claimed that he did it in self-defense. Pretty much everything he has said has turned out to be false.

    If you can’t take a stand, don’t make it my problem.

  • Anonymous

    Aren’t you doing exactly what you are accussing other’s of? What “facts” are you talking about? Seems to me the “facts” change on the hour in this story, as for me, I am not taking anyone’s side in this, I’m choose to wait and here ALL possible evidence, perhaps you should do the same.

    I’d imagine you were one of those people screaming for those Duke Lacross player’s heads too weren’t you – and how’d that all turn out? Again, I am in NO WAY saying this Zimmerman is innocent or anything like that, I’m just not going to make judgements based on media reports that continue to change.

  • Jacqueline Arnold

    Holly, I’ve never posted here before.  But you must live in a cocoon.  This is not the 50′s or even 60′s days of apartheid in this country anymore.

  • Anonymous

    WOW!  I suppose that racial profiling is the reason.  Or is it PATTERN RECOGNITION?  I guess I’m a racist since you have no idea how i look but if you did, I’d be an uncle tom.

  • Anonymous

    I probably wouldn’t want Zimmerman as a neighborhood watch guy.  I definitely wouldn’t want Trayvon anywhere in my neighborhood either.  Come to think of it, I wouldn’t want Warren Jason Street anywhere around as well.  YOU took everything from the MEDIA, not the court room and yet you seem to think YOU HAVE ALL the facts and that the only lens to look through that makes sense is your own.  YOU are just as pathetic as NBC’s coverage of this case.  Familiar with their “editing mistake”?

  • http://www.foolishblood.com/ Warren Jason Street

    Well, if you knew anything about George Zimmerman, you’d understand that he has had:

    Repeated arrests
    Violent encounters with police officers
    Been fired from a job because of violent behavior
    Had a restraining order taken out against him by his fiancee
    Has had his daddy get him out of trouble (that’s because his daddy is a judge)

  • Anonymous

    An interesting play on words being that I totally thought you were talking about Martin when referring to an individual whom “had repeated run-ins with the law, violent encounters with police, and sounds like a simpleminded buffoon” until you mentioned one was dead.  I guess the source lies in your simpleminded writing and blogging. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Aldrich/1063205956 John Aldrich

    A horrible, tragic thing to happen. “Sounds like”… is an opinion. People generally believe whatever they see or hear in the media. Right or wrong it is a fact. The media slants nearly everything. Zimmerman is in a mug shot and Martin is a 12 or 13 year old. Neither photo reflects the day to day behavior of these two people. The death of Trayvon is horrendous but it aggravates me to no end for the “media” to take the high ground and sanctimoniously declare their version to be true and unbiased. While it may be true is is never unbiased. Zimmerman is guilty of murder and Trayvon is pure as the driven snow… according to the media. Both may be true and neither may be true… or a mixture of all the above. Our legal system isn’t perfect but it is there for a reason. Let them do their jobs and declare guilt or innocence. It is not for the media to decide.

  • Anonymous

    Guilty until proven innocent? No, that’s not right. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!
    The media has condemned Zimmerman to death or at very least a life of fear and hiding even if he is found innocent.
    Too bad they don’t have a better story. Do any of you remember the stories running just before 9/11?
    It seemed that sharks had taken over the Florida Beaches, it was not safe to go swimming in any beach. Then the terrorist attack on 9/11 and all of the sharks (I MEAN ALL) disappeared from our beaches. Do you think the Sharks left or was the story line just getting too old?
    The media will say/print anything to “Sell newspapers” in a time of low interest news. 
    Zimmerman needs to be tried, not charged or condemned by the media, by a jury of his peers. That’s the United States that I love.

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    @twitter-24053653:disqus The three photo editors who spoke with Alicia all said they had access to that photo early on. I believe the source of the photo was Trayvon’s Twitter account (or perhaps another social profile; I’m working from memory here). 
    The photo editor at the Orlando Sentinel talks about it in this video: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/videogallery/69125947/News/Behind-the-photos-of-the-Trayvon-Martin-caseI’ve seen it on some stories, but the dominant photo has definitely been the one of Trayvon in the red shirt. I did not see it on the AP photo wire, either.Thanks,Steve MyersPoynter.org

  • Anonymous

    At the very least, we know he was suspended from HS during the time of the incident for having pot at school. He was no innocent angel – he was a druggie, 17 and not the 12-yr. old kid the most widely used photos would like people to believe.

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    “I think anyone will agree that, if you are handcuffed by police officers, placed into the back of a police car, and driven into the LOCKUP facility of the police department to be questioned, you have met the legal definition of “arrested”.

    Was he processed and taken into custody? No.

    Do you think for a moment that it might have been because Zimmerman’s daddy is a judge? Do you think that the preferential treatment that he received, up to and including being walked in and out of the processing station–not the actual county jail lockup–might indicate that there was a miscarriage of justice here?

    Of course not. Thinking doesn’t factor into any of this, does it.

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    “What ya doin here, honkey?”

    Really, and were you wearing your polyester jump suit and your hoop earrings and your platform shoes?

    You seem to know a lot about how much people hate you. Have you spent all day thinkin’ on it, too?

  • Anonymous

    None of us were actually there so we don’t know what happened. I don’t like the fact that the media used such an old pic because it does sway us. I thought he was only 13 when he was shot. It wasn’t told that he was over 6 feet tall and grown. Zimmerman’s past was his past. That was from 2005. He could be a completely changed man for all we know. According to the several eye witnesses who were there Zimmerman was being attacked and protecting himself. I don’t know myself because I wasn’t there. But I do believe there is more to Martin than what we are being led to believe. It is tragic that a child lost his life either way you look at it but we can’t condem a man until all the facts are on the table. If I was being attacked by someone I would defend myself as well.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RSCA6I45YTXLOLB7RTXKEEDVSM Drifter

    The only wingnut I see is you, Warren.  The media obviously does your thinking for you.  The mug-shot, contradictory to the happy smiley 13 year old photo, sets the stage for who’s the villian and who’s the victim.  As for Zimmerman and “not being arrested”, I think anyone will agree that, if you are handcuffed by police officers, placed into the back of a police car, and driven into the LOCKUP facility of the police department to be questioned, you have met the legal definition of “arrested”.  So, Zimmerman WAS arrested!  He has not been charged, YET.  HOWEVER, his case is pending Grand Jury.  The use of Grand Jury is being used more frequently.  It’s more difficult to argue the legality of criminal charges when it was a jury, as opposed to an investigator, who decided to carry out those charges.  So, to sum it up, the media created a huge contoversey by doctoring the 911 recording, portraying one person with a negative photo, the other with a positive photo, falsely reported that Zimmerman had not been arrested, intentionally failed to mention, for a whole month, that his case was scheduled to go before a grand jury for indictment, and made NO effort to correct anyone (like all these celebrity-turned-legal-experts) when they made their arguments of racial injustice based on the intentionally missing and false information.  While I believe that Zimmerman will ultimately be tried and convicted for what he did, I believe that, had ALL the facts been reported from the beginning, with no slant against the police and against zimmerman, this never would have been a national story.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RSCA6I45YTXLOLB7RTXKEEDVSM Drifter

    The only wingnut I see is you, Warren.  The media obviously does your thinking for you.  The mug-shot, contradictory to the happy smiley 13 year old photo, sets the stage for who’s the villian and who’s the victim.  As for Zimmerman and “not being arrested”, I think anyone will agree that, if you are handcuffed by police officers, placed into the back of a police car, and driven into the LOCKUP facility of the police department to be questioned, you have met the legal definition of “arrested”.  So, Zimmerman WAS arrested!  He has not been charged, YET.  HOWEVER, his case is pending Grand Jury.  The use of Grand Jury is being used more frequently.  It’s more difficult to argue the legality of criminal charges when it was a jury, as opposed to an investigator, who decided to carry out those charges.  So, to sum it up, the media created a huge contoversey by doctoring the 911 recording, portraying one person with a negative photo, the other with a positive photo, falsely reported that Zimmerman had not been arrested, intentionally failed to mention, for a whole month, that his case was scheduled to go before a grand jury for indictment, and made NO effort to correct anyone (like all these celebrity-turned-legal-experts) when they made their arguments of racial injustice based on the intentionally missing and false information.  While I believe that Zimmerman will ultimately be tried and convicted for what he did, I believe that, had ALL the facts been reported from the beginning, with no slant against the police and against zimmerman, this never would have been a national story.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rp509855 Rod Paul

    “I think this was an accident, that Treyvon was irritated after he saw Zimmerman was following him and he provoked Zimmerman, not expecting he was packing. ”

    If you think it was “an accident,” run, don’t walk, to the issuing authority and turn in your concealed carry permit.

    As I and others ahve taught for years, your first responsibility when carrying a weapon was not to do anything stupid that can lead to your using it.

    This is a classic legal case of manslaughter, regardless of the details – wehter he stalked the kid or merelf followed him, Zimmerman initiated the confrontation.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rp509855 Rod Paul

    “I think this was an accident, that Treyvon was irritated after he saw Zimmerman was following him and he provoked Zimmerman, not expecting he was packing. ”

    If you think it was “an accident,” run, don’t walk, to the issuing authority and turn in your concealed carry permit.

    As I and others ahve taught for years, your first responsibility when carrying a weapon was not to do anything stupid that can lead to your using it.

    This is a classic legal case of manslaughter, regardless of the details – wehter he stalked the kid or merelf followed him, Zimmerman initiated the confrontation.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G5FYYOK46SXOB6OAVIWS57IZJU Holly

    Thank you for being a voice of reason. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G5FYYOK46SXOB6OAVIWS57IZJU Holly

    Treyvon’s record is sealed as a 6’3″ child. 

    If this was clearly murder, why won’t Treyvon’s family real ease the autopsy? Do you think he may have been on something? Why would they hide it? 

    Warren, you are really uninformed. I think his behavior made him far more suspicious to Zimmerman than his race did. Why are you so fixated on race? You’re a sucker. It’s more complex than that. There are educated African American’s who don’t dress like and want to be identified with the sickening values of what has sadly been identified as the mainstream black culture. Had his behavior been normal, this would have never happened. I highly doubt that night he suddenly decided to kill anyone, let alone get into a fight with a younger, fit man 6″ taller than he. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G5FYYOK46SXOB6OAVIWS57IZJU Holly

    You are a fool. Convicting based on his history with the law? Really? That’s speculation and irresponsible. Phil’s post was eloquent, rational, plausible and not a character assasination. 

    I am 5’0′, female, 100 Lbs, have been followed by a suspicious on a hike for FIVE miles, having only been saved (from who knows what) because other hikers came by and I stuck close to them. He followed me to my car from the wilderness!  I was spooked! I subsequently have a license to carry.
     I
    If was Zimmerman, alone, in my car, having some suspicious looking man of ANY race walking near a condo complex, pacing, acting strangely and then staring at me in my car (as the actual audio tape proves) I would 1) feel nervous 2) feel threatened 3) call 911. He acted responsibly, until getting out of the car. I would have stayed. He was obviously trying to protect the community. It wasn’t about his race. It was about crime prevention!  His intent was to stop burglarizing/crime that was probably a problem there. Do you really think he INTENDED to kill Treyvon?  My brother-in-law is black, and he agrees. This man is being framed by the media and persecuted for trying to stop crime. I think this was an accident, that Treyvon was irritated after he saw Zimmerman was following him and he provoked Zimmerman, not expecting he was packing. 

    I know firsthand of the racism against whites by blacks. I was in Brooklyn and was flipped off by a CHILD of about 8 or 10 as I was a pedestrian crossing the street and was flabbergasted! He yelled, “What ya doin here, honkey?” from a car. Can you imagine? I am a petite, blonde female. I was speechless. Apparently there’s a faction there that really hate all whites, from what my brother told me. He lived there for 2 years. I was visiting him. Another example was that same trip on the subway in Brooklyn. A group of 20ish black kids were being loud, in our personal space, repeatedly bumping into us although there was plenty of empty seating, and discussing how they hate white people and the “deals” they were making. I felt unsafe, and it was clear their goal was exactly that: inflict intimidation and fear.

  • http://twitter.com/wrighttouch Jennifer Wright

    “They generally chose the one of the boy in the red T-shirt rather than a
    more recent photo of him in a gray hoodie, which has been available all
    along.”
    Available where? When? How? I have never seen it move (individually) on the wires. Only used on signs at protests.

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    Another huge, huge distortion of what actually happened.

    In 2005, Zimmerman, then 20, was arrested and charged with “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer,” both which are third-degree felonies. The charge was reduced to “resisting officer without violence” and then waived when he entered an alcohol education program. Contemporaneous accounts indicate he shoved an officer who was questioning a friend for alleged underage drinking at an Orange County bar.

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/27/10894561-zimmerman-accused-of-domestic-violence-fighting-with-a-police-officer

    You see, the problem, is, people like you are trying to defend the most indefensible dude on the planet. He’s a violent, simpleminded wannabe Barney Fife who executed a kid who wasn’t armed and who wasn’t doing anything wrong.

    The FAIL on you guys is amazing.

  • Benjamin Zachary

    Sounds like you are speculating as well. He was arrested and charges were dropped in 2005 , so unless you were part of the investigation then it sounds like you are doing the same thing. Bottom line is we are a nation of laws, not a nation of men. If that is true then we have to work within the law , putting a hit on someone is illegal , so is putting his address online, and so is shooting a defenseless person. Let the law sort it out, its not on the individual to decide justice.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6TMWGADCHW3VVQNLI3PRTGFSRY Cynthia

    I completely disagree with you, Aplastic. In the first photo, Treyvan looks like a happy, innocent child. In the second (the hoody), a solemn teenager.  In the third, a young man verging on adulthood. And, for better or worse, the gold teeth in the third photo make me associate him with gangster culture.

    My visceral outrage, was, in part, fueled by my impression that a thuggish man, George Zimmerman, pictured in his unsmiling mug shot, had shot and killed an innocent, smiling 14-year old child. And, was getting off scott free due to the “Stand Your Ground Law.”

    Note to self: control visceral outrage. Be proactive. Understand how images negatively or positively affect your judgement. Understand that images, as well as words, may not accurately reflect current truth. I was being lazy: I assumed that both photos were recent photos of Zimmerman and Martin.

    Let’s hope that both Zimmerman and Martin get the justice they deserve.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6TMWGADCHW3VVQNLI3PRTGFSRY Cynthia

    Thank you, Ms. Shepard, for writing this article. Some of the passion over George Zimmerman shooting Treyvan Martin resulted from people comparing the looks of an innocent-looking, smiling 14-year old child to the mug shot of a 22-year old frowning man. It’s important to realize how much our opinions and emotions can be engaged by images, some of which might not reflect the current truth.

    On the other hand, the passion those photos engendered might eventually ensure that an investigation into Martin’s death is ensured. Let’s just hope that the outcome of the investigation does not depend on public officials’ or jurors’ memories of these outdated photographs.  

  • Coyote Red

     We’re talking about the mainstream media and the story the majority of the outlets spinning with selective use of photos.  What the Sanford Police do is a different story.

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    Good catch, @yahoo-MJ6KIY6ZKATHVXK74GEESYKVHA:disqus . I have corrected the story to reflect this.

    Steve Myers
    Poynter.org

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MJ6KIY6ZKATHVXK74GEESYKVHA BusterKeaton

     Most people including the lead homicide investigator in case seem to believe it’s up to a jury to determine whether or not Zimmerman’s claims stand up. 
    The Orlando Sentitnel is reporting todaay that most central Florida police department make arrests in case like these and let a jury examine the defendant’s stanments in light of all the evidence

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MJ6KIY6ZKATHVXK74GEESYKVHA BusterKeaton

    Was Zimmerman wearing an orange jumpsuit in his mugshot? I think Miami Herald photo editor Roman Lyskowsk is wrong when he says that.

    I think he was wearing an orange polo shirt when he was arrested and that’s what he was photographed in.

    Googling “Florida Mug shots”  turns up plenty of folks wearing what they were arrested in in their mug shots.

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    Exactly. You have nothing, so you’ll speculate on what Martin may have done, and then condemn anyone who points out the facts of what Zimmerman has done.

    Wingnut FAIL.

  • http://twitter.com/webtwoohno Jack

    Trayvon was a minor, so his records are not accessible to the news, but rest assured, he had his runins as well. 

  • Anonymous

    Win,win?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5E7MBLUASSU77O7OMWJJPE6FR4 Niggerbro

    whattheeff..gold teeth,,really..hoodie,,really..loud rap music,,really…all baby daddies..really..pants on the ground,,reallyyy..what a waste youall neegars..

  • Anonymous

    Although I think it is silly to call a hoodie or tattoos or anything else, justification of explicative of the events that led to his death, I do think it is sad that it has not opened up a brooder discussion of youth culture especially minority and low income youth culture (although it is not limited to there).  As an educator in the inner city, i find it sad and disturbing that so many kids are modeling there appearance attitude etc off of many artists in the hip hop world that explicitly support violence, weapon possession, criminality, disrespect for women, membership in gangs, etc.  The racist ideology underpinning this supposed culture is rarely questioned and leads many of our youth especially minority youth to run ins with the law and poor performance in school.   As adults we need to stop allowing our children to listen to and then model themselves (whether in appearance or behavior) after these hip hop icons which support the continued creation of a criminal underclass.  Teach our children to model Pres. Obama not “Fitty Cent.”

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    I don’t care about the photos. I care about the fact that Zimmerman has a daddy who has kept him out of trouble and a criminal record. Why isn’t that the real story here?

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    “The African-American community is being hoodwinked into believing that their children are systematically “being murdered” by racists. ”

    Yes, but their children are being put in prison at a faster rate than their white counterparts. Look it up.

    ” As far as histories of “breaking the law,” I am simply saying that Trayvon is not the “angelic” innocent that the pictures of him being plastered every night on television would have us think…”

    OK, where’s his record? What does his criminal record say?

    I would be willing to bet you that it says a lot less than George Zimmerman’s criminal record, which is as long as your arm. Thankfully, his daddy has been there to get him out of trouble. This time? Not so much.

    Why isn’t there more of an acceptance of the idea that Zimmerman is a simpleminded dolt who owes his daddy for keeping him out of trouble and that he has traded on this one too many times?

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    It would appear to me that someone on the Sanford Police Department has a pretty good idea of what happened, and they’re trying to keep that information from coming out. And, it would appear, that there’s someone in the Sanford Police Department who hates that guy, and wants the truth to come out.

  • Anonymous

    No Kyon, that is not the point at all.  It is not about feeling sorry for him it is about media manipulation. 

    The fact that there are mugshots of Zimmerman and what those mugshots are for speak volumes.  But those of us who can actually think for ourselves do not need to manipulated by the media to get that.   It is a shame you do.

  • Anonymous

    “Photos don’t tell us who was the good guy or who was the bad guy.”

    Except that most people allow themselves to be swayed by them which is why the media has intentionally chosen the photos that would tell the story they wanted people to believe.  It might turn out to be the correct story but it is really not the media’s place to decide for us.  Though most people are allowing them to do so.

  • Anonymous

    The weird thing is the photo of Trayvon in the hoodie is just as adorable as the one in the red shirt.  What a shame to hide it.  And the third on, though not as flattering, is fine.  What are people worried about?  He looks like an average kid to me in all of them.

  • Anonymous

    The weird thing is the photo of Trayvon in the hoodie is just as adorable as the one in the red shirt.  What a shame to hide it.  And the third on, though not as flattering, is fine.  What are people worried about?  He looks like an average kid to me in all of them.

  • http://thesistown.com/ thesis writing

    thnx, keep it up
    and dont stop)

  • http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111129034126AAODO6L American Musical Supply

    It really does have to be the 1st movie. I like the part where you
    think he is on a big ship and then you realize he’s on a tiny leaking
    ship and he’s trying to put the water out.

  • Anonymous

    The kid wasn’t hanging around. He was stalked and killed by a guy with a long record of assaults and violent behavior.

    The simple fact is, Zimmerman was arrested. He came into the station handcuffed. Then proceeded a series of conflicting stories from Zimmerman and his family that can be charitably termed bullsh*t.

    Somehow, he was “unarrested” and allowed to return home with his gun. He may well have shot Martin in self defense. We have courts, grand juries, and bail systems – and a presumption of innocence principle. Sure the media has seized on the mug shot photo of Zimmerman because it was the only clear, uncopyrighted image available. Martin had a distinct advantage – without a criminal record, and a library of normal kid photos, he comes off better in the media. The contradictory lies offered by his family, the damning series of formal and informal stories of Zimmerman’s violent past, synch well with his mugshot. His family could have offered images more favorable to Zimmerman than that mug shot, but they haven’t – possibly because they are in a desperate effort to keep him out of a justice system that will deal only with facts that could send him to an execution chamber.

  • Phil Ammann

    Do you really think Trayvon was the “perfect innocent young man” whose reputation is being trashed by releasing some of the things that may shed light on HIS character? That he is “being killed all over again?” 

    Or perhaps he got pissed off at an authority figure asking him why he was hanging around at night, forcing a confrontation with the WRONG GUY?

  • Phil Ammann

    No, I am afraid of this:

    1) People being manipulated into a frenzy by the media, through the use of a photo that misrepresents the context of the situation. In J-school, you are taught that photo manipulation is unethical–this is dangerously close to that type of manipulation. first thing you see is Trayvon looking like a choir boy–how ELSE would you react?

    2) That race is being blamed for a situation that is certainly more a little more complex than simple skin color.

    3) The African-American community is being hoodwinked into believing that their children are systematically “being murdered” by racists. The fact is that a majority of murders of black males occur as “black on black” crime. But murders by “punk a** crackers” (the rhetoric being used in this case) creates a sense of fear and anger along racial lines, leading to a potential backlash that will only worsen race relations–not improve them. 

    On a side note, I live in an area (St. Petersburg, FL) that has seen the murders of several police officers in the past year (or so), the most notable occurring a half block from my home in 2011. A 16 year-old shot and killed a SPPD officer while the cop was investigating the young man’s involvement in a possible auto break-in. On this young man’s Facebook account, he had listed his pseudonym as “Young Savage.” That is how he saw HIMSELF. My point is that this self-identification may have a little to do with attitudes and behaviors, especially when dealing with authority (police officers, watch captains, teachers and so on).

    4) Nothing is ever as “black and white” (no pun intended) as it seems, although that is not the way it is presented–if you go by the media portrayal of this tragedy. 5) As far as histories of “breaking the law,” I am simply saying that Trayvon is not the “angelic” innocent that the pictures of him being plastered every night on television would have us think he was…

    Just Sayin’

  • Coyote Red

     “Why wouldn’t someone confront the person stalking them?”

    This is not the narrative being presented.  What is being presented is an out of control white cop wannabe hunting down a black male child and shooting him in cold blood–complete with photos to support that narrative.  This is the subject of this article.

    The narrative is Zimmerman following, stalking, confronting, and then shooting Martin.  The narrative is Martin is a small non-confrontational boy and wouldn’t dare confront a hulking 250 lb white man.  As we find out more details we find the narrative to be false.

    Still, we don’t know what happened from the time of the end of the Zimmerman’s call to dispatchers until the beginning of the call of a witness where we hear someone calling for help.  It sounds to me a man’s voice, but with Martin being 17 years old it could be either person as I don’t know what either person sounds like.

    During that call we do hear what may have been the shot that ended a young man’s life.  Between those two calls we don’t know what happened, but the media is sure making the call as if they have a crystal ball and selectively using photos to support it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evanelliott Evan T. Elliott

    Q. When can I use my handgun to protect myself?A. Florida law justifies use of deadly force when you are:Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm;
    Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping.Straight from the State of Florida. When the police arrived at the scene, they believed Florida’s policy of “Force with Force” governed the crime. No one is ignoring the situation, but rather following the rule of law.

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    “Then the question becomes would a fit young man confront an older shorter slightly pudgy man?  That’s not a question some folks want answered as it doesn’t fit the narrative they want for the incident.”

    Why wouldn’t someone confront the person stalking them?

    Now, think about the incident this way. What if Trayvon Martin had been a white female. And, because of the hoodie, what if Zimmerman was still convinced that she was up to no good?

    Given his track record of assaulting women, it’s fair to say that what you describe DOES NOT MATTER because Zimmerman has a track record of being violent, confrontational, and of using force against others.

    So, to answer your question, why wouldn’t someone confront a man, who has no uniform or badge, no legal authority to chase “suspects,” and try to figure out why he is doing what he was doing?

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    Phil,

    Come out and say it. Stop equivocating because you’re afraid of being confronted.

    Do you want George Zimmerman as the neighborhood watch captain where you live? Do you want him watching over your property?

    As I’ve already said, one of these two people has a history of breaking the law, assaulting police officers, taking money under the table to work as a security guard, has gotten fired for aggressive behavior, has assaulted women, and has had a restraining order taken out against him. The other one is dead.

  • http://twitter.com/kenkyee Ken Yee

    Actually, to clarify this, if you’ve read the dispatch transcripts, the wording used by the dispatcher was “you don’t have to follow him”.
    That is *NOT* the same thing as “DON’T FOLLOW HIM”.  It’s like you reporting a drunk driver on the highway and them telling you don’t have to follow them, but the police aren’t there yet, so should you follow them at a distance in case they try to lose the police?

    Not defending Zimmerman.  They both had issues.  And the photos are exactly why the media is *NOT* to be trusted nowadays…they intentionally ran a photo of a kid instead of a 6’3″ “kid”.  That’s freakin’ huge for a 17yr old “kid” who supposedly used pot; they could have just said “we won’t post photos of a minor who may have assaulted someone and was killed”.  Zimmerman also had issues too that I’m sure you’ve heard of by now, but the media also intentionally ran a mugshot where he wasn’t even convicted for what should be a slam dunk conviction of assaulting an officer since officers typically always are believed by the courts.

    So the story is “THE MEDIA BRAINWASHES PEOPLE”, whether through photos or text (in this case flagrantly w/ photos).  Spike Lee this week used the media to incite violence by posting Zimmerman’s address which hinted that vigilante/gang justice should be done to him and his family.  In both cases, it’s just plain wrong, even if Zimmerman is eventually proven guilty (I think he will be too, but w/o all the facts, I can only guess)…

  • Coyote Red

    Not only is the photos used to slant a “news” story, but rare is the text of the story written in an unbiased way.  Few stories are neutral and tell only the facts without inference.  For instance, it is asked why would a little boy attack a grown man?  The photos typically shown of the two subjects make it look like Martin is a small boy and Zimmerman as a large man.  In fact, the police reports state Martin was 6 foot tall and weighed 160 lbs.  It lists Zimmerman as 5’9″ and from the video in the sally port of the police station, if Zimmerman is 5’9″ then his weight may be in the neighborhood of 180.  Nowhere in the media have I seen this information mentioned, yet it is readily available on the Sandford website.  Then the question becomes would a fit young man confront an older shorter slightly pudgy man?  That’s not a question some folks want answered as it doesn’t fit the narrative they want for the incident.

  • Phil Ammann

    The media outlets are using the narrative of Martin and
    Zimmerman to boil the tragedy down to a simple matter of race, forgetting that
    racists come in all colors. That was immediately evident when I saw the photo
    of Trayvon in his football uniform—obviously younger than 17.

    He did not deserve to be murdered, but perhaps attitude
    (something more evident in the photos of him a little closer to his age when he
    died) may have contributed SOMEWHAT to this tragedy. He may have been acting
    (in some of the reporting) like a ” NO_LIMIT_N***A”—Trayvon’s
    OWN Twitter handle.

    Every photo of Trayvon in the majority of news accounts
    shows him as an “angelic” thirteen (or so)-year-old. That is FRAMING,
    pure and simple.

    What we do not see was someone who wears a grill, Twittering
    about Glocks and “dabbled” in pot… the subsequent facts of his life
    that have come out (thank you, Daily Mail). Is it possible he that look the
    part—in attitude AND dress.

    Let me be clear, this is NO REASON TO GET SHOT!

    Consider this scenario… Trayvon is walking around alone, certainly
    not wearing the football uniform presented in the media.

    The media outlets are using the narrative of Martin and
    Zimmerman to boil the tragedy down to a simple matter of race, forgetting that
    racists come in all colors. That was immediately evident when I saw the photo
    of Trayvon in his football uniform—obviously younger than 17.

    He did not deserve to be murdered, but perhaps attitude
    (something more evident in the photos of him a little closer to his age when he
    died) may have contributed SOMEWHAT to this tragedy. He may have been acting
    (in some of the reporting) like someone who sees himself as a  “NO_LIMIT_N***A”—Trayvon’s
    OWN Twitter handle.

    Every photo of Trayvon in the majority of news accounts
    shows him as an “angelic” thirteen (or so)-year-old. That is FRAMING,
    pure and simple.

    What we do not see was an older teenager who wears a “grill,” Twittering
    about Glocks and “dabbled” in pot… the subsequent details of his life
    that have come out (thank you, Daily Mail). Is it possible he that looked the
    part—in dress AND attitude.

    Let me be clear, this is NO REASON TO GET SHOT!

    Consider this scenario… Trayvon is walking around alone, certainly
    not wearing the football uniform presented in the media.

    A “neighborhood watch” volunteer confronts him—rightfully
    or not. Trayvon becomes confrontational (again rightly or not), angered that
    someone would even question his place in the neighborhood—an attitude that is prevalent
    in current youth culture, worshiping the “thug” life. It is how some young people self-identify, and the anger that comes with living the (real or imagined)
    “thug life.”

    It CERTAINLY could happen; there are many people that would
    respond with anger after asked what they are doing in an area—regardless of
    skin color—especially by someone who is NOT a police officer.

    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to say that Trayvon thought, “Who are YOU to
    hassle me, is it because I am BLACK?”

    The situation quickly gets heated—Zimmerman justified (at
    least to himself) in asking what this kid doing walking around the
    neighborhood, alone at night. In response, Trayvon pushes back, thinking he
    doesn’t have to answer to this “cracker” (as in the t-shirts that
    have been going around).

    What Trayvon PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW prior to confronting Zimmerman,
    was that he was carrying a gun.

     

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Ackerman/512576879 Bruce Ackerman

    The “facts” that Zimmerman was “overzealous” or that he “chased” Treyvon are not facts at all, but your interpretation of the data you’ve seen and heard. They are made up. To know if Zimmerman was overzealous, you would have to know more about what was in his mind at the time. The question as to whether Treyvon was “chased” is still an open one, as I understand it. There are conflicting reports. It’s also conjecture that Sanford PD’s incompetence (also an interpretation) was willful. To the contrary, most incompetence is conspicuously NOT willful–that’s what makes it incompetence. No one needs photos to discern there are problems with this case, but we all need real facts to identify what those problems were and to form genuine, honest, and accurate conclusions. Prejudicial opinions passed off as facts, will never do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Ackerman/512576879 Bruce Ackerman

    The “facts” that Zimmerman was “overzealous” or that he “chased” Treyvon are not facts at all, but your interpretation of the data you’ve seen and heard. They are made up. To know if Zimmerman was overzealous, you would have to know more about what was in his mind at the time. The question as to whether Treyvon was “chased” is still an open one, as I understand it. There are conflicting reports. It’s also conjecture that Sanford PD’s incompetence (also an interpretation) was willful. To the contrary, most incompetence is conspicuously NOT willful–that’s what makes it incompetence. No one needs photos to discern there are problems with this case, but we all need real facts to identify what those problems were and to form genuine, honest, and accurate conclusions. Prejudicial opinions passed off as facts, will never do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Ackerman/512576879 Bruce Ackerman

    Anyone who, at this point, makes up a story and believes it, is simply believing in a made up story and acting as if it were true. There are fundamental questions about what happened that have simply not been answered or at least, have not yet been revealed in context to the general public. Take a step back, a deep breath, and wait until the facts come out before you make up fairy tales favoring either side.

  • http://www.visin.com Thomas Townsend

    I believe, the MEDIA shares in a lot of the mis-directed anger and nasty comments that abound on this case. Why ? Because those pictures belayed an image IMPROPER of both parties in this event. The facts in bits and pieces are really too jumbled for mainstream audience to interpret honestly. Many have rushed to judgement based on loose reported items as “fact” and these images. One portrays a cherubic looking young man who we can all imagine minding his own business just walking down the street carrying his Skittles and Ice Tea. The other of a hardened looking bad dude that callously killed the innocent boy. Neither of these images is correct because they don’t portray REALITY. Common sense needs to prevail  here and wait for our judicial system to clear this up. It will take time. But to crucify either party based on what we think we see in images – still or video is simply wrong.  

  • josh schneider

    Everyone is filling in the story like they want to see it. Yes we know zimmerman followed him. So what it is not against the law to follow someone. everybody wants to say “he chased him down like an animal and shot him” well that is your story because you werent there and didnt see what happened. Zimmerman said yea he followed him and lost sight of him, turned and went back to his car then martin jumped him and he defended himself by shooting him. A little excessive yes but in these days you cant be sure about anything or anyone intentions, Zimmerman didnt know what martin’s intentions were and he was protecting himself or at least that is what his story is. We need to let the police department do their investigation and then bring charges if needed. If anybody is to blame it is the media and people who are trying to spin this story to take advantage of it

  • http://twitter.com/HotCornerBlues Gary

    The simple fact of the matter is that the Martin family totally played the media on this and created a visual that was highly prejudicial. The media bias in the early stages of this case burned with the intensity of a thousand suns.

  • http://twitter.com/HotCornerBlues Gary

    So, the NPR was perfectly happy to use a photo prejudiced against Zimmerman, but punted on one that might be against Martin. So typical. He choose to go with the two photos most favorable to Martin and most biased against Zimmerman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyon-Catajen/45012357 Kyon Catajen

    I agree…his birthday just passed in February…he freshly turned 17 years old…he was still a child in the eyes of not only his parents, but the law. Not a man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyon-Catajen/45012357 Kyon Catajen

    I guess we should all feel sorry for Zimmerman because the only photos he had available were his mugshots. 

    I am the social media QUEEN and if you can tell from my picture to the left, I barely smile (in photos), but I live to make people smile…you wouldn’t be able to tell that from my photos. Warren I completely concur with your above comment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyon-Catajen/45012357 Kyon Catajen

    Actually Zimmerman knew he was instructed by a dispatcher NOT to follow Trayvon BEFORE the fateful shot….He knew that BEFORE the dispatcher instructed him not to follow…that is if he read his neighborhood watches instruction book which basically states that his only job is to know the streets in the community so that he can give dispatchers clear directions to the scene and all he is to do is call the police….not follow the person in question.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1239009745 Carolyn McGlinchey

    But Zimmerman only knew all the facts of which you speak AFTER he fired the fateful shot. Too many questions still need to be answered, yet many people such as yourself are putting together the narrative as if Zimmerman read it, too, before he acted. This is where the photos help fuel the bias.

  • Anonymous

    People are so quick to judge, even without all the facts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wallheiser/1491836772 Mark Wallheiser

    Good story as I don’t think the general public and many of the younger journalist and editors understand the overall ethical implications of photo editing.

  • http://www.thekillingmoon.com/ Warren Jason Street

    How many people have a smiling, friendly, and benign photo ready to be distributed to the media when their live blows up? Is that a new requirement for being an American these days?

    Photos don’t tell us who was the good guy or who was the bad guy. Their actions do that for us. One of those two people had repeated run-ins with the law, violent encounters with police, and sounds like a simpleminded buffoon. The other is dead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1766488161 Lamond Woodall

    The fact remains that an angry and overzealous Zimmerman chased an innocent, unarmed child down and shot him to death, after being told not to follow him by a dispatcher. That’s what makes this a tragedy…

    The willful incompetence of the Sanford PD and the DA who initially oversaw the case, that STILL refuses to charge and arrest Trayvon Martin’s shooter makes it a disgrace.

    I don’t need photos to figure out that we have a serious problem here.