By Andrew Branca
June 17, 2013

One of the abiding myths of the Zimmerman prosecution has been the claim that Zimmerman “racially profiled” Martin.  Although racial profiling is not a crime of any sort in Florida, the prosecution was desperate for any misconduct they could use as a foundation to claim that Zimmerman had possessed a “depraved mind” when he killed Martin.  

Indeed, the claim that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin is at the core of the State’s laughably deficient affidavit of probable cause, the basis on which Zimmerman was arrested and now awaits trail on charges of having committed murder in the second degree.  That affidavit, presented to the court under the pains and penalties of perjury, attests that:

Martin then walked back to and entered the gated community and was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman.

(For our expose of the travesty of justice that is the affidavit of probable cause, look here:  “Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: Affidavit for Probable Cause–Count the untruths”)

Possessing a depraved mind during a killing is an essential element of murder in the second degree, the crime with which the State wanted to charge Zimmerman (click here for an in-depth explanation of Florida’s “depraved mind” requirement for murder 2.).  Perhaps if they could prove that Zimmerman had killed Martin, even if only in part, for racial reasons it would be enough.

But where was the evidence?  The State was desperate to bring a murder charge against Zimmerman, but how were they going to “sell” it without evidence?

Right then NBC News seemed to decide that they could throw the State prosecutors a helping hand.  The network produced a version of the recording of Zimmerman’s non-emergency call to the police in which he appeared to volunteer, unsolicited, the fact that Martin was black.

The obvious implication:  Zimmerman must be racist.

But what did the real, untampered, recording actually say?  What was truth, and what was myth?   Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on anyone else’s “opinion” on the matter, because there are actually facts in evidence on this issue–the untampered-with version Zimmerman’s non-emergency call to police, which captured the relevant conversation.  Below is both the relevant snippet of that call, and a transcript of what was said (for convenience).

Zimmerman:  This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about.

Dispatcher:  OK, and this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic.

 Zimmerman:  He looks black.

Clearly, then, Zimmerman offered the police the information that Martin was black specifically in response to the dispatcher’s question.  This blows out of the water the claim by the State and other anti-Zimmerman activists that the recording is proof of Zimmerman’s racial bias–indeed, if anything the recording shows the opposite, that Zimmerman did not identify Martin’s race on his own.

(In the doctored NBC tape mentioned above the portion of the recording that contained the dispatcher’s question was deleted to create the false impression that Zimmerman had volunteered Martin’s race.  NBC is currently being sued by Zimmerman for this malicious misconduct.)

So, did Zimmerman racially profile Martin?  That myth is . . . BUSTED!



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–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is a Massachusetts lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and (paperback and Kindle), the NRA Store, Gun Digest, and many other re-sellers.

Andrew just launched his latest product, the LOSD Instructor Program, designed for gun safety, marksmanship and tactical strategy instructors. Be an elite member of the self defense community, understanding your state’s self defense laws to a depth even lawyers rarely achieve. Check it out here.

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