Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two narrative

Here is the original narrative of the Travon Martin shooting as represented by his parents and girl friend:

Travon was visiting his father's girl friend and had a desire for Skittles and a Coke so he walked to the convenience store. On the way back he was spotted by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighbourhood guardian. Zimmerman, who is white, had a suspicion of blacks, especially ones wearing hoodies, in his neighbourhood and made a 911 call while following Trevon. Trevon spotted Zimmerman and tried to lose him but Zimmerman left his truck and caught up with Trevon, overpowered the small teenager, and shot him. When the police showed up Zimmerman claimed that he had been attacked even though he did not show any injuries. The police had to let him go because of Florida's Stand and Defend law which tied their hands.
This incident led to nation-wide protests. Even the President entered the affair saying that if he had a son, he would look like Travon.


Here is a more accurate narrative:

After being suspended from school for two weeks over graffiti and suspected drug use (confirmed by the autopsy), Travon was sent to stay with his father's girl friend to try to get his head straight. Even though he had visited there before, this was a punishment and everyone knew it. Wanting to spend some time on the phone with his girlfriend, Travon made a run to the convenience store but took the slow way back.

George Zimmerman, a man of mix race with a Brazilian mother and black grandmother, was on an errand when he noticed someone acting strange. The area had been hit by several break-ins by black youths wearing hoodies. This is a mixed-race neighbourhood so it was Travon's behavior, not his race that Zimmerman noticed.

A few months earlier Zimmerman had been asked to organize a neighbourhood watch. After a dog attack, Zimmerman acquired a gun and concealed carry permit and he had his gun holstered at his back.

Travon realised that he was being followed and, not knowing that this was the neighbourhood watch, tried to lose Zimmerman. He went down a sidewalk between buildings with no nearby street. Zimmerman started to follow but turned back at the 911 operator's instruction.

The two ran into each other. Travon, already mad at the world confronted the shorter man. Despite the old photographs his family had released, Travon had grown into a 6' 2" football player with tattoos and grills (gold teeth).

Zimmerman was not expecting any violence and never thought to reach for his gun. Instead he tried to run but Travon quickly tackled him, A moment later Travon was sitting on Zimmerman's chest, pummelling his face.

During the scuffle, Zimmerman's gun came loose. In fear of his life, Zimmerman seized it and shot Travon once in the chest.

When the police arrived they found Zimmerman beaten and bloody. His back was wet from being on his back. The only injuries on Travon were the bullet wound that killed him and abrasions to his knuckles.

Because the physical evidence and eyewitness accounts supported Zimmerman's story he was released without charges filed. After the incident became a national cause, a new prosecutor was appointed with the understanding that charges would be filed it at all possible.


I based the second narrative mainly on public evidence. For motives, I used the best possible motives for each.

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