Click clack, gun rack wack
I’m seeing a lot of crazy conjecture in the Team Trayvon blogotubosphere, as people parse the recording of George Zimmerman’s police call, coming up with some far out claims about words they think they hear in the background, or interpretations of what the audible background noises MUST be. By far the most attention has been paid to the sequence of three clicking sounds that occur at 7:12:15 (about 2:41 into call), at the end of GZ’s active chase of Trayvon, and just before he tells operator Sean his last name is “Zimmerman.”
A lot of people seem to think this sound is George Zimmerman ‘cocking’ his gun, or rather, as the gun experts point out, racking the magazine to be precise since automatic weapons do not need to be cocked. A YouTube user with the handle “Zimmerman Lies” posted a video titled “George Zimmerman Cocking Sound” comparing the sound on the police call recording to the sound of a Kel-Tec PF9 being racked as obtained from a demo video of the gun. The video shows some sound waveform patterns to go along with the audio, and while “Zimmerman Lies” doesn’t openly claim the sounds match, that would seem to be the implication.
The sounds are not the same. If the Kel-Tec demo is what a gun being racked sounds like, then the clicks on the police call are not a gun.
The sounds have a similar pattern, but the ‘timbre’ is quite different, as the above video demonstrates. To be more specific, the sharp attack and direct decay of the noises on the NEN call is characteristic of sound made by an impact. In this case, my guess is it’s a battery bouncing against the inside of a metal flashlight barrel. On the other hand, the longer rise times and the sustain of the waveforms of the gun are characteristic of something sliding against something else, in this case quickly enough that it sounds like a ‘click’ at normal speed. I know nothing about guns, but I guess that’s how they work: you pull the slide back, a bullet pops up into the chamber, and then the slide goes forward. Each of those is metal moving against metal, rather than metal sharply striking metal. The top waves look like the first, the bottom ones like the second.
Also, we know GZ had a phone in one hand, and was also carrying a flashlight. Unless he’s an alien with a concealable third hand, racking a magazine at the same time would be a neat trick.