2012/04/12

Trayvon Martin 4: Trayvon Lies in Wait (timeline analysis)

One of the first things I do in any investigation is establish a timeline of events, a concept most journalists seem unacquainted with.  For instance, some journalists reported that Trayvon went out to get snacks during the NBA All-Star game.  On March 13, Miami Herald reporter Fabiola Santiago (who supposedly taught journalism at two Florida universities) wrote:
It was the halftime of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 26, when Martin left the townhouse in a gated community and went to buy snacks at a nearby 7-Eleven. He was wearing jeans, a hooded gray sweatshirt and red-and-white Air Jordans.

How stupid or lazy do you have to be to report something like that?  Trayvon was shot around 7:16 p.m. and the NBA All-Star game, being played about 20 miles south in Orlando, started at 7:30 p.m.  See why I have so little respect for journalists?  If the reporter can't even get this right, what else is wrong in the article?  Having questioned this reporter's competence, I now leave myself open to cries of "racist!" because the reporter was a Cuban refugee.

Below is a Google map of the gated community.  "GZ Vehicle" indicates the area on Twin Trees where George Zimmerman parked while observing Trayvon Martin. 

Next is the same map with different additions.  I have marked the tee intersection of the sidewalk as "0" (zero).  Then I scaled off distances in 100 foot intervals.  Those to the left (west) where Zimmerman parked are in aqua, the one to the right (east) is in lime green, and those down from the tee (south, towards Brandy Green's townhouse) are in blue.

You might want to click on this map below and print it off, or save it and load it in an image viewer, for easier flipping back and forth between discussion and map locations.
One thing that becomes evident (when combining this map with Zimmerman's call to police) is that the absolute maximum distance Trayvon had to travel from when George stated "He's running" is 800 feet (0.15 miles).  That would be from the 300' (aqua) mark on Twin Trees across from the clubhouse, to the 100' (lime green) mark on Retreat View Circle, then down to about the 400' (blue) mark to Brandy Green's townhouse.  I would estimate the minimum distance to be 500'.  The most probable scenarios put the distance between 600-700'.

I have also located the red X for the shooting location at the 100' mark south of the sidewalk tee, as a maximum distance from the tee for time calculations; it appears to have been less distance from videos. 

Here is a daylight image of the sidewalk tee (source).  Trayvon would have been shot on or near the sidewalk within 100' behind the woman.  Trayvon was staying less than 400' down that sidewalk.  The townhouse visible past the end of the sidewalk is on the far (south) side of Twin Trees Lane, about 500' from the tee.  Also note the location of the trash receptacle and the barriers between residences that would make good hiding locations.
The following images are screen shots from Fox News video coverage shot February 26 and 27, 2012.  It is the earliest coverage of the event that I found and is worth viewing.  Note that everything that Brandy Green and Tracy Martin say about what Trayvon was doing is self-serving hearsay.  They have no personal knowledge of Trayvon's travels, having gone out for a meal before Trayvon left Brandy's townhouse, and not returning until about 10:30 p.m., 3 hours after the shooting.  I was particularly interested in Brandy's hearsay statement "He was sitting on the porch" because this would have been a porch of a stranger -- not her porch or the porch of a near neighbour.

The first screen capture, from 49 seconds into the video, shows some of the police at the crime scene, standing on the sidewalk slightly to the east of the tee, with the shooting location less than 100' to the left (south).  Note the green trash receptacle near the tee.
The next screen capture is taken from 56 seconds into the video and shows Brandy Green and Tracy Martin, the next day (February 27), at the location they say was the shooting scene.  Note the sidewalk tee and trash receptacle in the background.
At this point it might be useful for the reader to listen to GZ's call to police, which can be found unredacted here or redacted here.  Also essential is the partial police report which can be found here.  This can be supplemented with the police dispatch logs of GZ's calls.  The original dispatch log by Sanford police that I used in my timeline disappeared, but this backup (note: large .pdf) seems to display identical information.  I used the entries by police dispatcher "snoffke" at Terminal 21, page 46 of the report, to match timeline points in the audio tape.

Following is most of the dialogue on GZ's call with times from the start of his call and the time "snoffke" recorded the same dialogue where applicable (Z for Zimmerman, D for dispatch, material in quotes is exact language to the best of my ability):
0:04 Z - break-ins in neighbourhood, suspicious guy
0:18 Z - looks like he's up to no good, on drugs or something
0:22 Z - it's raining, he's just walking around looking about
0:26 D - white, black, or Hispanic?
0:29 Z - "He looks black"
0:31 D - see what he's wearing?
0:34 Z - "dark hoody, like a gray hoody, and either jeans or sweat pants, and white tennis shoes"
0:42 Z - he's here now, just staring
0:47 Z - now he's staring at me
0:56 D - he's near the clubhouse now?
0:58 Z - "Yah, now he's coming towards me"
1:04 Z - got his hand in his waist band
1:08 Z - "he's a black male"
1:10 D - how old?
1:13 Z - "late teens" 
1:17 Z - "something's wrong with him"
1:22 Z - "he's coming to check me out"
1:24 Z - "he's got something in his hands -- I don't know what his deal is"
1:30 D - "we got them on the way" [officers]
1:32 D - "just let me know if this guy does anything else"
1:37 Z - "these assholes, they always get away"
2:07 Z - "shit, he's running" [19:11:59 on dispatch report]
2:09 D - "which way is he running?" 
2:10 [sounds like GZ exiting vehicle]
2:12 Z - "down towards the other entrance to the neighbourhood"
2:15 D - "which entrance is that?"
2:18 Z - "the back entrance"
2:20 [start of wind noise on GZ phone]
2:22 Z - [almost inaudible, sounds like "fucking coons"]
2:24 D - "Are you following him?"
2:25 Z - "Yah"
2:26 D - "Okay, we don't need you to do that."
2:28 Z - "Okay"
2:38 Z - "He ran."
2:41 [end of wind noise on GZ phone]
2:47 Z - [gives phone number to D]
2:54 D - do you want to meet with the officer?
2:57 Z - "Yah."
3:01 Z - straight past the clubhouse, make a left, go past mail boxes, look for my truck
3:19 D - "What address are you parked in front of?"
3:23 Z - "I don't know.  It's a cut through, so I don't know the address."
3:27 D - "Do you live in the area?"
3:32 D - "What's your apartment number?"
3:34 Z - "It's a home, it's one-nine-five-zero -- aw, crap, I don't want to give it out, I don't know where this kid is."
3:48 Z - "Could you have them call me and I'll tell them where I'm at?" [19:13:41 on dispatch report]
4:01 D - "Okay, no problem, I'll notify them to call you when they're in the area."
4:03 Z - "Thanks."
4:04 D - "You're welcome." [End of call]

Now let's match up two reference points on the phone call and the dispatch log.  At 2:07 GZ states "He's running" which appears at 19:11:59 on the dispatch log.  At 3:48 on the phone call GZ asks for the officers to call him on arrival; this appears at 19:13:41 on the dispatch log.  The time difference is 1:41 on the audio transmission and 1:42 on the dispatch log.  The two timelines are consistent.  The end of the call would be 19:13:57.  So George and Trayvon met up some time after 19:13:57.

Note that lawyer Ben Crump, acting for the Martin family, states that he has phone records showing that Trayvon was talking to his girlfriend from 7:12 p.m. to 7:16 p.m. at which point she states (via Crump) the call was dropped. 

Here are some pedestrian travel times used in my calculations:
3.0 mph = 264'/min, covers 100 feet in 22.7 seconds [slow walk -- me carrying groceries 1.5 miles, including wait times to cross streets]
4.0 mph = 352'/min, covers 100' in 17.0 sec [brisk walk]
8.0 mph = 704'/min, covers 100' in 8.5 sec [slow running rate that I averaged running 2 miles for conditioning when in my 30s]

Use the information above to develop your own timeline and distances Martin and Zimmerman may have travelled at various points.  Some of what I assume will turn out to be false.  But it's the best I can do with the info provided.

It seems illogical that Martin would have run easterly on Twin Trees Lane, and then around the curve to run south on Twin Trees to the first small cutout where he would go east again (Zimmerman probably would have followed with his vehicle which means it would no longer be on the east-west stretch as stated to dispatch).  Also, this would be south of the shooting area and would mean Martin went north from the cutout, away from Brandy Green's residence, not south, towards it.

The more logical assumption is that both Martin and Zimmerman went straight east on Twin Trees Lane to the east-west sidewalk that is the top of the tee.  I am also assuming that both actually were running, and that they ran at an average leisurely rate of 8 mph (704'/min).  I am assuming that Zimmerman ran for the 21 seconds that his phone had wind noise, and that Martin ran for 34 seconds from when George said "He's running" to when the wind noise stopped on George's phone.  Note that at 8 mph Martin could have been home (using max. distance of 800') in 1 minute 8 sec at the most.

At 8 mph Zimmerman would have covered 246 feet in 21 seconds, and Martin would have covered 399 feet in 34 seconds, assuming they stop running at the same time.  Zimmerman was on the phone for 1 min 23 sec after the wind noise stopped and his voice is normal, so he is either standing or walking during that time.

Let's assume Zimmerman stopped running when he reached the sidewalk tee, and calculate from there.  That would put his car at least 246' west on my aqua distance markers (plus any distance that he walked before running), in sight line of the clubhouse.  Let's assume (without deciding) that Trayvon started running before he got to George's SUV, say from the 300' aqua mark, within 100' of the clubhouse.  

By the time Zimmerman got to the tee Trayvon would have to be south of the point where he was shot, or on Retreat View Circle east of the tee (100' lime green mark), provided he kept moving at 8 mph.  The timeline suggests that he had more than 100' lead on George, probably 150' or more, and would have covered a minimum 400' of an extreme maximum 800' total distance to Brandy Green's residence from where he started running.  He may have had as little as 650' total distance (long way) or 550' (short way) if he started running after he reached Zimmerman's SUV.

Because Zimmerman was obviously trying to locate Martin for the remaining 1 min 23 sec of his call to police dispatch, it would seem logical that he checked both the north-south sidewalk between the rows of townhouses, and the sidewalk about 100' east on Retreat View Circle.  Obviously he never spotted Martin nor heard him talking on his phone. Remember that at 3:34 into his call he regrets giving his address because "I don't know where this kid is", leading to the inference that Zimmerman thought Martin could be hiding nearby.

What was Martin doing in the last 1 min 23 sec of Zimmerman's call to dispatch?  If he was walking home (as double hearsay from his girlfriend via lawyer Ben Crump would indicate) at a slow 3 mph, he would have covered 365', which would put him at least next door to Brandy Green's townhouse, if he took the long route via Retreat View Circle.  He would be home if he went down the sidewalk between the two rows of houses.

And what was Martin doing in the one to two minutes after Zimmerman's call to dispatch ended, and the time he met Zimmerman?  Obviously he either hid somewhere in the north end of the rows of townhouses, or he wandered around that area.  He could not have been walking home.

Note:  I am not stating that Martin did anything wrong by stopping or loitering in the area around the tee, because he was allowed to be there.  Similarly, Zimmerman was allowed to be there.  While dispatch told Zimmerman "We don't need you to do that", that is not a command to stay in his vehicle.  Dispatchers always advise citizens not to engage people they are reporting.  Everything Zimmerman did is consistent with him following Martin to keep him in sight until police arrived.  And he had a valid concealed carry permit for his handgun.  And he has no criminal record as is widely and falsely reported.  

Visitors to Florida might be surprised by how many citizens have concealed weapon permits -- 919,831 according to this article!  Women often carry hanguns in quick draw sleeves of their customized purses.  I suspect both Mickey and Minnie are packing; Orlando is a high crime rate area.  It's a gun(g)-ho culture.

To sum up this section, Martin wasn't running like a scared jack rabbit with a rabid coyote on his tail.  He started running, and then for whatever reason stopped and at some point decided to engage George.

I speculate on how that engagement may have unfolded in the next post: Trayvon Martin 5: My Theories on The Shooting.

1 comment:

  1. GZ gave stated preconceived notions are ideas or beliefs that a person forms, before actually encountering someone or something, or before learning of any evidence about them/it prior to "pushing" TM to a response, ducking out of site, trying to evade, and finally feeling the need to confront to defend. He was not as familiar with the high crime community as GZ. He wasn't armed, unless you consider an aluminum can "armed". GZ was unnecessarily armed to harm.

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