Message to CNN Library

In a while I will try sending this to CNN and see what happens.

Dear CNN Library

I refer to your online article “Trayvon Martin Shooting Fast Facts” of June 5th, 2013.

You are as entitled as anyone else to have an opinion and to express it as you see fit. But it is a betrayal of your profession to publish a piece that presents as facts several pieces of misinformation. I am not talking about slanted reporting or biased opinion but about the publication of falsehoods that could have been easily remedied  with a few minutes googling. Here are your demonstrably false statements, followed by my comments in italics.

Trayvon Martin “lived in Miami Gardens, Florida with his mother Sybrina Fulton”.

On the 22nd of December, 2011, he texted that he was moving in with his father. His mother had already told him to leave the previous month.

Martin was visiting his father in Sanford in Sanford, Florida…

He was staying at the home of “a girlfriend” of his father. His father was not there the night of the shooting and had not been there the previous two nights when he was at a Masonic convention in Kissimmee.

The suspension stemmed from the discovery of drug residue in Martin’s book bag.

Plus a marijuana pipe.

George Michael Zimmerman, born October 5, 1983, was a part-time student at Seminole State College and a neighborhood watch captain at the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community…

And he had a full time job.

 George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida, calls 911 to report “a suspicious person” in the neighborhood.

He did not call 911. He called the Non Emergency Number.

He is instructed…

Zimmerman was not instructed to do anything. At most he was advised not to follow Martin.

…   not to get out of his SUV…

The police dispatcher did not mention a SUV or any vehicle.

Zimmerman disregards the instructions.

There were no instructions to disregard. Three seconds after the dispatcher advised against following Martin, Zimmerman said OK. The only evidence that Zimmerman did follow Martin is the account from Witness 8, which has serious credibility problems.

Moments later, neighbors report hearing gunfire.

Moments might imply seconds. It was in fact minutes late. Gunfire suggests a number of shots. There was only one. The neighbors reported screaming and /or shouting before the gunshot.

In one of the 911 recordings, Zimmerman, against the advice of the 911 dispatcher, follows Martin.

To repeat, it was not a 911 call and the recording indicates that Zimmerman acknowledged the advice of the dispatcher.

A lawyer for the Martin family, Benjamin Crump, holds a news conference, telling reporters that Trayvon was on the phone with his 16-year-old girlfriend at the time of the shooting.

It now appears that she was 18.

The girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she heard someone ask Martin what he was doing and heard Martin ask why the person was following him, according to Crump.

In the interview with Crump she also says that she heard Zimmerman say I don’t know what you’re talking about. In the interview with State Attorney de la Rionda she says that Martin spoke first.

FBI agents interview Martin’s girlfriend, the 16-year-old girl who, phone records show, was on the cell phone with him shortly before the fatal confrontation.

Phone records only show that someone was using the phone at a particular time. They cannot show who that person was.

I hope that you can either publish this or correct the above errors.


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