A COMPREHENSIVE list of GZ’s falsehoods and inconsistencies
(in progress, incomplete for now, check back for updates)
By establishing just how thorough George Zimmerman’s falsehoods and inconsistencies have been, we can establish just how thorough the failure of our social institutions were in this case. This page is meant to be a one stop resource for all the revelations about GZ’s credibility that are currently scattered in various spots over the web, to be used as a tool by researchers in academia, the media, and the general public.
I have made a page for text files of Zimmerman’s statements.
By my count, there are no less than 9 versions of Zimmerman’s story:
A. NEN call
B. Written statement
C. Initial interview with Singleton
D. Initial interview with Serino
E. Walk-through “re-enactment”
F. CVSA recording
G. ‘Challenge’ interview with Serino and Singleton
H. Hannity interview
I. As told to Mark Osterman
I think it makes sense to divide this into two sections: the first for the falsehoods and gross improbabilities GZ has presented again and again across his statements, and the second for falsehoods and inconsistencies that pop up in the different accounts.
The lower case letters below are temporary placeholders for reference as we go. When the document is ‘complete’ I will replace them with numbers sequenced from top to bottom, not restarting in each category. Thus each falsehood/inconsistency/etc. will have it’s own unique number, and the page will mark the total number of credibility problems that GZ has offered from his own mouth.
PART 1: THE FALSEHOODS AND IMPROBABILITIES REPEATED AD NAUSEUM
FALSE: GZ says he saw a real suspicious guy walking around looking at the houses.
TRUE: The security videos, Rachel’s statement, and the phone records establish that TM was already stationary under the mailbox awning before GZ spotted him.
NOTE: GZ was lying about this even in the NEN call.
FALSE: GZ says he passed TM on RVC, then drove to the clubhouse and parked, and it was there that he called NEN.
TRUE: The clubhouse videos prove GZ never parked in front of the clubhouse, and that GZ’s truck was on TTL when he dialed NEN, after having cruised past the mailbox awning where TM was taking shelter.
OMISSION: GZ never mentions that he parked near the first curve of TTL, facing the mailboxes, and it was from there that he described TM approaching and passing his truck in the NEN call.
TRUE: The clubhouse videos clearly show GZ parked on the first curve facing the mailboxes. He also initially marked this spot on the map he drew for Singleton before crossing it out. It is only from this position that his description of TM’s actions in the NEN call can be reconciled in time and space.
OMISSION: GZ does not mention that TM ran away from him, (apparently unwilling to admit the possibility he scared TM).
TRUE: Both the NEN call and Rachel Jenatel’s statements indicate that TM broke inot a run at some point after he passed Zimmerman’s truck.
FALSE: GZ claims TM, still walking, disappeared behind the row of townhomes on TTL (containing the Lauer/Weinberg unit on the North end), then re-appeared, still walking, came back, circled the truck, then headed back toward the dog-walk again.
TRUE: GZ’s own words on the NEN call establish that TM approached the truck from the direction of the clubhouse.
TRUE: It would have been physically impossible for TM to cover anywhere near that distance within the time parameters established by the NEN call.
FALSE: GZ claims Sean Noffke asked him to identify his location by address before he left his truck.
TRUE: The NEN recording establishes that Noffke did no such thing. Rather, GZ was in the process of giving directions to his location when he interrupts himself by observing that TM has started to run: “you turnandmakealeft… Shit! He’s running!”
FALSE: GZ claims he left he left his truck to walk over to RVC to get an identifying address to give to Noffke.
TRUE: It is apparent from the NEN call that TM’s running was the motive for GZ to exit his truck. He could not only have readily seen the address on Lauer’s townhome, but also those of several even closer homes on the South side of TTL. Though he’s supposedly going for address, he repeatedly describes looking for Martin: “didn’t see him…at all” banging on his flashlight as he reached the T, “I told non-emergency…’You know what? He’s gone’.” “He’s not even here…” and so on. Furthermore, the whole premise is nonsensical, as an address on RVC would hardly help officers find the location of the truck on TTL.
FALSE: GZ says the phrase he uttered under his breath on the NEN call was “Fucking Punks!”
TRUTH: A phonetic breakdown of the section of the NEN call in question demonstrates that GZ clearly said “Fucking Coons!”
FALSE: GZ claims he walked from TTL over to RVC, specifically denying the suggestion that he was running at any time.
TRUE: Labored breathing and mic-handling noise on the NEN, which begin and end together, suggest GZ was running for about 20 seconds. (While the background sound does resemble ‘wind noise’, for it to have actually been caused by wind, one would need to posit that a gust came up exactly at the moment after left his truck, and not before, that it blew steadily for the next 20 seconds or so, then stopped exactly at the point GZ stopped to tell Noffke he had lost sight of TM, and remained dead calm for the duration of his NEN call.)
OMISSION: Until confronted with the recording of his NEN call, GZ never acknowledges that he told Noffke NOT to have the arriving officer meet him by his truck.
TRUE: “Actually could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at?”
FALSE: GZ claims he began walking back to his truck while still on the phone with NEN, after Noffke arranged a meeting point with the arriving officer, and TM confronted him as he was on his way back to the truck.
TRUE: The “re-enactment” establishes that the walk from RVC back to the point where GZ says he was confronted takes about 20 seconds. The confrontation began no sooner than 2 minutes after GZ hung up with NEN.
FALSE: GZ claims he was walking back down the cut-through sidewalk to meet the arriving officer at his truck.
TRUE: GZ initially agreed to Noffke’s suggestion to meet the officer at THE MAILBOXES. He then changed his mind and asked Noffke, “Actually could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at?” To which Noffke agreed.
HIGHLY IMPROBABLE: GZ claims that as he squirmed/shimmied away from the sidewalk, contact with the ground pulled his jacket up, revealing his gun to TM, who then told him, “You’re going to die tonight, motherfucker!” and reached for the gun.
TRUE: The Kel-Tec PF-9 is a very small gun. In the “challenge” interview, GZ told Serino, “I walk around WalMart all the time and no one has ever seen it.” Tucked into GZ’s waistband, in the darkness, had TM noticed the bulge in GZ’s pants he would almost certainly not have known what it was. Furthermore, GZ indicates in the “re-enactment” that the gun holster was attached to his rear, under the right rear pocket of his jeans. It would have been physically impossible for TM to see it there if the two were facing each other, or even if GZ had been turned 45° to his right.
HIGHLY IMPROBABLE: GZ claims that after he shot TM, Martin sat up and said, “You got me!”
TRUE: GZ’s bullet pierced TM’s right lung, causing the lung to collapse immediately. Regardless of what Dr. Bao or Dr. DiMaio said about how long someone might remain alive after being shot through the heart, it is virtually impossible to speak with a collapsed lung.
CONTRADICTION: GZ claims that after he shot Martin, he got on top of Martin’s back and spread the youth’s arms apart. He also claims he believed that Martin was still alive and cursing st him as he did this.
PROBLEM: GZ is unclear as to where his gun was at this point. In more than one of his accounts, he says he had not yet returned it to its holster. Thus, in order to spread both of Martin’s arms, which would have required the use of both of his hands, GZ would have had to either set the gun down momentarily, or spread Martin’s right arm with his gun still in his right hand. Either case would have allowed a still-alive Martina ready opportunity to grab the gun, something GZ would seem to have been careful to avoid if Martin had indeed reached for the gun only moments previously. And, of course, Martin’s hands were under his body when the first witnesses arrived on the scene.
PART TWO: SPECIFIC CREDIBILITY ISSUES FROM STATEMENT TO STATEMENT
B. Written Statement
FALSE: “I told the dispatcher I did not know but I was out of my vehicle looking for a street sign and the direction the suspect went.”
TRUE: GZ never told NEN operator Noffke that he was out of the vehicle, or that he was looking for a street sign.
C. Singleton Interview
FALSE: When GZ was asked why he found TM suspicious, he replied, “I’d never seen him in the neighborhood. I know all the residents… I know all the kids in my neighborhood, all the adults in my neighborhood.”
TRUE: Not only did GZ not know the Green family, but several of the witnesses at his trial mentioned that they had never met him.
CONTRADICTION: “So, I was walking back through to where my car was and he jumped out from the bushes and he said, What the fuck’s your problem, homie? And I got my cell phone out to call 911 this time.”
PROBLEMS: There are no bushes capable of concealing a person anywhere near the T. Nor did GZ mean “out from the bushes” as a figure of speech, as Singleton later asked him where the bushes were, and he noted the hedges lining the North walls of the buildings along the North end of the dogwalk. These hedges are right up against the buildings, with no room for a person to get behind them and are no more than 3 ft. tall. Later in the interview, Singleton queries GZ about what happened to the cell phone when TM (allegedly) hit him, whether he dropped it or not. GZ initially repeats that he had the phone in his hand, then changes his mind and says, “I saw him coming at me and I went to grab my phone…I don’t remember if I had time to pull it out or not.” In the “re-enactment”, GZ says he reached for cell phone, but couldn’t find it, as he had put it in a different pocket.
CONTRADICTION: “And he punched me in the nose. At that point I fell down…” “I fell to the ground when he punched me the first time.” “As soon as he punched me, I fell backwards, um, into the grass.”
PROBLEM: GZ and TM were struggling on the ground about 45 ft. South of where GZ says TM confronted him. In the “re-enactment”, GZ says TM approached him from the South. If TM had hit him coming from that direction, and had Zimmerman fallen backwards, he would have landed on the North side of the cut-through sidewalk. In the “re-enactment”, GZ says that did not fall immediately after being hit, but rather staggered to the South, trying to push Martin away from him, and then, after traveling that distance, “Somehow, he got on top of me.” In other words, in the “re-enactment” GZ claims not to have fallen directly from the punch at all.
CONTRADICTION: “I thought he was going for my firearm. So I grabbed it immediately, and as he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him.”
PROBLEM: In his other accounts, TM does not resume head-banging after he supposedly begins smothering GZ.
CONTRADICTION: “So I remember I, once I shot him, I holstered my firearm and I got on top of him and I held his hands down because he was still talking.”
PROBLEM: In the “re-enactment,” GZ says he was still holding his unholstered firearm away from his body when Jon Manalo arrived on the scene.
CONTRADICTION: GZ told Singleton and Serino that TM continued to speak after GZ got on top of him.
PROBLEM: In the “re-enactment”, the only speech post-gunshot GZ attributes to TM is “You got me.” That is improbable enough, given TM’s collapsed right lung, but the notion that he continued to speak for some time after falling over, and being flipped face down by GZ, is even more of a stretch.
D. Serino Interview
FALSE: GZ told Serino he had an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice.
TRUE: GZ had not completed his course requirements for an AA.
CONTRADICTION: GZ says he first spotted TM by Taaffe’s.
PROBLEM: He had told Singleton he spotted TM further up RVC at the next bend in the road, and had marked that spot on his map.
FALSE: GZ says he passed TM by Taaffe’s, drove to the clubhouse, parked, dialed NEN, and Trayvon walked past his truck as he was doing so.
TRUE: It would have taken TM several more minutes to travel the distance from Taaffe’s to the clubhouse by foot, than for GZ to cover that distance in his truck
FALSE: In the re-enactment video, GZ claims while parked in front of the clubhouse, the NEN operator asked him what direction TM went AFTER TM had made a right onto TTL out of sight. GZ claims to have responded “I don’t know I can’t see him”, and after which the NEN operator asked him “Well, can you get to where you can see him.”
TRUE: The NEN operator never asked GZ to go anywhere.
TRUE: The NEN operator only asked GZ what direction TM went AFTER GZ had reported TM running. The security videos and the NEN audio establish that GZ was parked on TTL at the time.
FALSE: GZ says TM walked around the corner of the clubhouse, and headed East on TTL. He then says he followed in his truck, staying behind TM the whole time, until parking on the wrong side of the road just West of the cut-through sidewalk.
TRUE: This sequence of events is impossible to correlate with the NEN call.
TRUE: The clubhouse videos prove that before GZ parked where he said he did, he had parked near the first turn of TTL, facing West, toward the mailboxes. He initially marked this spot on the map he drew for Singleton, then crossed it out.
FALSE: GZ claims Noffke said “We need an address,” and then told GZ, ““Give us directions to get to you” before he left his truck.
TRUE: Noffke said nothing of the sort, and volunteered the directions to his truck without being asked.
FALSE: “they asked me where he went, what direction he went in, and I said ‘I don’t know.’ And then I thought to get out and look for a street sign.”
TRUE: From the NEN call — SN: He’s running? Which way is he running? / GZ: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood. / SN: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards? / GZ: The back entrance.
FALSE: GZ places the struggle and gunshot as happening directly in back of the Lauer/Weinberg home at 1211 TTL
TRUE: All witnesses place the struggle and shot as occuring some 30 ft. to the South, directly behind the Good residence at 1221 TTL
CONTRADICTION: It takes GZ only 20 seconds to walk from the point where he says the NEN call ended to the point where he says TM accosted him.
PROBLEM: Over two minutes passed between the end of the NEN call and the beginning of the struggle
IMPROBABLE: GZ claims he became aware of John Good exiting his home while Martin was beating him in the face, and began crying “Help me!” to Good before Good spoke to say he was calling 911.
PROBLEM: If GZ was getting his pummeled as bad as he claims, with his head feeling like it was about to explode, how would be able to become aware of a man opening a door (not a particularly loud noise, nor a distinct change in his visual field, assuming he could see anything at all while being beaten in the face)? It’s also questionable that someone receiving a severe beating in the face would be able to yell for help coherently. On the other hand, if GZ was NOT being hit at the time, he would have been much more able to notice Good, and to speak to him. This is also consistent with Good’s statement that while he saw arms flailing about he heard no sounds of impacts.
CONTRADICTION: GZ says, “After I shot him, he like sat up… I shot him and I didn’t think I hit him because he sat up and said, ‘okay, you got me. You got it, you got it’…something like that.”
PROBLEM: Why would GZ say “I shot him,” twice, language that clearly indicates the bullet was on target, if he didn’t think he had hit him, as opposed to saying something like “I fired”, or “I shot AT him” that would properly indicate he did not know at the time where the bullet had gone?
FALSE: GZ claims he was still sitting on top of TM when Jonathan Manalo came onto the scene, and that he only stood up for the furst time when he saw Officer Smith approach.
TRUE: In his 911 call, John Good reported two men walking around in his backyard well before Smith arrived. Jayne Surdyka and Selma Mora saw GZ get up and walk around before Manalo arrived. The testimony of Mora, Surdyka and Manalo all indicate that GZ met Manalo near the T. Before Smith arrived, Manalo and GZ had enough time to discuss what type of ammunition GZ used, walk back to the body, where Manalo took a photo with a cell phone, and walk back toward the T, where GZ surrendered to Smith. GZ himself told Singleton, “And then when the police got there…I was already standing up.”
FALSE: GZ claims Manalo said “I’m calling the police” and he replied “Don’t call the police, help me restrain this guy!” and “I already called, and they’re on their way. They’re coming. I need your help!”
TRUE: Manalo testified that he asked GZ, “Should I call 911?” and GZ, already up and walking around with his phone to his ear replied “I already called them.” Manalo said nothing about GZ asking for help in restraining Martin, who was well dead by the time Manalo arrived.
G. “Challenge Interview” with Serino and Singleton
GZ actually says very little in this interview. The police officers do most of the talking, and GZ says “Yes sir” a lot. Serino and Singleton confront him with a variety of problems in his statements and the “re-enactment.” In response, GZ either mumbles unintelligibly, says he doesn’t remember, or repeats parts of his story as he has told it previously, whether they address the questions or not (they usually don’t). So most of what he says falls under the heading of Part 1 above. I noted three interesting new moments, though, where GZ attempts to elaborate on three of his mainstay falsehoods — 1. that he was parked in front of the clubhouse when TM approached his truck, hand in waistband etc.; 2. that he started walking back to his truck after NEN operator Noffke arranged for him to meet the arriving officer there; 3. why he said “Actually could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at? ” I can only describe each of these elaborations as ludicrous. I have written a post looking at these moments in detail, and pondering the Prosecutions failure to make a point of them during the trial.
H. Hannity Interview
QUESTIONABLE: GZ tells Hannity he had never heard of Stand Your Ground before the shooting.
PROBLEM: SYG had been covered in the coursework GZ took in his community college program, and it’s hard to imagine his friends and family in law enforcement (Osterman, Mesa, et. al.) would never have mentioned it to him. In GZ’s first interview with Chris Serino, after GZ told him he had an Associates degree in Criminal Justice, Serino asked him “Um, the difference between statutes and homicide and justifiable homicide and use of force, they’re, you’re aware of them, you have a degree, you’re familiar with what we’re talking about here, right?” And GZ replied, “Yes, sir.”
CONTRADICTION: GZ said, TM was “cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather”
PROBLEM: In his earlier statements, GZ said TM was standing by Taaffe’s house. This is the first time he mentions “cutting in between houses” (plural). Additionally, if TM had been walking “leisurely” this only adds to the impossibility of TM covering the distance between Taaffe’s and the clubhouse by foot in only a few more seconds than GZ covered the same distance by truck.
SLIP?: GZ said of TM, “it didn’t look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the rain.”ISSUE: Why would GZ mention the mail? In the ‘re-enactment’, GZ indicates that he was parked in front of the clubhouse when TM rounded the corner onto TTL. He could not have seen the mailbox area from this position. GZ further indicates that TM was already walking down TTL by the time he got his truck around the corner. Thus, his account indicates that TM was never sheltering under the mailbox awning. Rachel Jeantel testified that TM was taking refuge from the rain under the mail awning for some time. In addition, the security videos show Zimmerman’s truck crawling past the mailbox area, then making a u-turn on TTL, and parking facing the mailboxes. GZ initally marked this position on the map he drew for Inspector Singleton, but then crossed it out.
Hannity: You said he came towards you, and he seemed to reach for something in his waistband. Did you think that was a gun?
Zimmerman: I thought he was just trying to intimidate me.
Hannity: To make you think that there is a gun?
Zimmerman: A weapon.
PROBLEM: GZ never mentioned any suspicion that TM might be armed to the NEN operator, nor did he say the TM REACHED into his waistband. He said, “He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male. He’s got a button on his shirt, late teens. Somethings wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands, I don’t know what his deal is.” Unless he thought the photo button was a weapon…
FALSE: GZ says he uttered the word “punks” under his breath.
Hannity: Punks. It was not a racial epithet of any type?
Zimmerman: No. And I can tell you that when the police played it for me in the station, it was clear as day.
TRUE: A phonetic breakdown of the scetion of the NEN call in question demonstrates that GZ clearly said “Fucking Coons!”
Hannity: Why do you think that he was running then?
Zimmerman: Maybe I said running, but he was more —
Hannity: You said he’s running.
Zimmerman: Yes. He was like skipping, going away quickly. But he wasn’t running out of fear.
Hannity: You could tell the difference?
Zimmerman: He wasn’t running.
PROBLEM: GZ’s exclamation, “Shit! He’s running!” on the NEN call would seem to be unequivoval. Rachel Jeantel stated that TM ran hard enough to become short of breath. Yet, as we’ve already noted, GZ had avoided any mention of TM running in his earlier statements, and here, when pressed by Hannity, he comes up with a rather ridiculous equivocation.
Hannity: The dispatcher asked you, “are you following him?” And you said yes. Explain that.
Zimmerman: I meant that I was going in the same direction as him, to keep an eye on him so that I could tell the police where he was going. I didn’t mean that I was actually pursuing him.
PROBLEM: Again, GZ’s response on the NEN call would seem to have been unequivocal. And of course, in previous statements GZ claimed he only left his truck to look for an address.
Hannity: So this moment where someone suggested you were out of breath on that tape, you yourself were not running?
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Hannity: And you I think made a statement to the police that it was the wind as you were getting out of the car and moving, and that was the sound we hear, not you out of breath?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
TRUE: Regardless of what causes the background noise, GZ’s breath is clearly labored as he pursues TM. The utter improbably of the background noise being caused by wind has already been discussed above.
Hannity: When the dispatch said “we don’t need you to follow him?” What did you do next?
Zimmerman: I walked across the sidewalk on to my street, Retreat View Circle, where I thought I would meet a police officer that I had called.
TRUE: GZ never mentioned Retreat View Circle to NEN operator Noffke, but instead had given Noffke directions to the location of the truck on TTL (though, of course he had not mentioned that street by name…)
Zimmerman: I was walking through to my street, Retreat View Circle, and I was going to give them the actual street number and name.
Hannity: How long was it, George, after that, that you saw Trayvon again? Because you said you stopped, that you did not continue pursuing him. When did you next see Trayvon Martin?
Zimmerman: Less than 30 seconds.
TRUE: GZ’s NEN call ended at 7:13:38. His verbal confrontation with TM began at approximately 7:15:45.
(I will keep adding to this document over time until I have a reasonably thorough compilation. Please chip in with anything I’ve missed or haven’t gotten to yet.)