Note: This commentary is comprised of what I have decided to call a "truthy dramatization". What follows is a blend of fact and fiction. In some sections more fiction than fact, but in others more fact than fiction. This is an alternate narrative to the one put forward by GZ. Why have we accepted his version of events as true (or even mostly true) when things could have gone down very differently?
George Zim cried himself to sleep one night some time less than 2 years ago. But this was not unusual, as George's thoughts often centered on the life he saw for himself if only others would cut him a break and give him a chance. "What's wrong honey" his wife asked, tired of her husband's near constant whining. "I have been rejected again by the police force" George sobbed. This was a complaint Mrs. Zim had heard many times before.
"I thought you received an A in that college course in criminal justice? That, plus your dad is a retired judge. One would think those two facts alone would assure you a position in law enforcement" his wife pondered. She was confused as to why her husband couldn't achieve his dream. "I know. None of it makes any sense" George agreed. Clearly his plan to become a LEO via nepotism and academic achievement was not panning out.
That is when he decided to prove his worth by joining the Neighborhood Watch of the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community in Sanford FL where Zim and his wife resided. "With my help many arrests will be made and crime will be abolished in this community" George declared, envisioning the adulation he'd receive when he caught a Black youth breaking and entering. There had been numerous reports of such activity lately and George was determined that he would be the one to put a stop to it. Then the Sanford PD would see what a valuable asset he could be. Surely then they would beg him to suit up and walk the beat.
George grabbed and holstered his gun, after loading it with hollow-points. "The feral Negroes are on notice" a determined George growled, quickly drawing his firearm. "Make my day", George said, speaking to a fictional Black thug while fingering the safety. "That is so sexy" his wife Shellie purred. Zim smiled. Then he frowned, realizing that so far he hadn't been able to foil any robberies. Despite his 46 calls to the police switchboard.
Shellie noticed her husband's frown and reminded him to dose up on his doctor prescribed Adderall and Temazepam. "This will pull you out of your funk" Shellie commented, handing her husband the drugs. Zim swallowed the capsules, along with a big gulp of water.
George reholstered his weapon and donned his jacket, preparing to head out for the day. If his dad wasn't able to call in a favor to get him the LEO job he wanted, at least he was good for something. His dad WAS able to pull a few strings to get him a concealed carry permit. Otherwise he would have been rejected, due to his prior legal troubles. In 2005 George was arrested for "resisting officer with violence" after getting into a scuffle with cops who were questioning a friend for alleged underage drinking. Then in August 2005, Zim's former fiancé sought a restraining order against him because of domestic violence.
George had been mulling over the situation in his mind... and was growing ever more convinced that these minor incidents had something to do with why the police wouldn't agree to make him an officer. He had to face facts that his dream was dead. That revelation lead to a deep depression. Shellie wouldn't stand for it and demanded that he seek help from a licensed psychologist.
"I'm not crazy" George thought, rejecting his wife's suggestion. Instead he asked his doctor for something to help with his mood. That was when his doctor prescribed the aforementioned drugs. Drugs that could cause "new or worsening mental or mood problems; including aggression, agitation, anxiety, delusions, depression, hallucinations and hostility". His doctor, echoing his wife's sentiments, told him it was imperative that he be evaluated by a psychologist.
"Fu*k that", George said after taking the drugs for awhile and realizing they were helping him feel better. "I don't need a psychologist, I need to get proactive". That is when he signed up for MMA classes at a local gym. "I'm going to buff myself up so that when I encounter a young Black thug I will be able to subdue him", George decided. "I gotta get in shape. Too much sitting has ruined my body. Too much abuse has gone on for too long. From now on there will be 50 pushups each morning, 50 pullups" George declared, quoting a line from the film "Taxi Driver".
George smiled, imagining the fateful day when he intervened and stopped a B&E in progress. The mayor would probably give him an award for heroism. Then they'd come crawling to him with an offer to become a member of the fraternity sworn to "serve and protect". Unfortunately the plan wasn't working out so well. After a couple of sessions of intense training his instructor said he simply did not have a natural aptitude for fighting.
"Now what?" thought Zim. He hadn't considered purchasing a firearm before because he knew he'd fail a background check. But that problem was resolved with a little help from Robert Zim Senior the retired judge. Soon after George was granted a concealed carry permit he purchased a brand new Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm pistol. Carrying it with him everywhere he went took some of the sting out of being labeled a wuss by his MMA fighting instructor.
"This will show them that I'm not a wuss" Zim thought, feeling the weight of the weapon on his hip. Frequently George would stand in front of a full length mirror in his bedroom. For hours he would practice drawing the weapon. Pointing his PF-9 at his reflection George would shout "freeze ni**er!" It made him absolutely giddy daydreaming of the day he would make his first citizen's arrest.
But it would probably be better to just shoot the thug dead. The killing would be completely justified under Florida's Stand Your Ground law. Also, a situation in which George had to put down a street punk in order to save his own life would surely play to the sympathies of the public more than if he arrested someone who was later let go. That would be an incident that would pass almost without notice and be quickly forgotten.
No, that wouldn't do at all. In order to make himself into a hero his life had to be in danger. And the best way to assure that would be the story that was told would be to kill the suspect. Then he wouldn't be able to muck things up by telling "his side". It was then and there that George made up his mind. Technically it would be murder, but in reality George would be doing his community a service, just like Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Travis Bickle took out the trash and George would do the same. And, just like Travis, George would be hailed a hero, although George would embrace it (unlike the De Niro character).
George kissed his wife and went to work. George and his Black friend had their own insurance office. "You're one of the good ones" George told Blackie, and indeed he was. He never would have gone into business with Blackie otherwise. Blackie thought George was joking (playing a racist), seeing as George himself had a great grandfather who was Black, but George was dead serious. His dad taught him that Blacks can be some of the worst racists and well as thugs who think stealing is preferable to hard work.
There was a cousin who said George's "family were racists who disliked blacks" but what this cousin didn't realize was that there are good Blacks and then there are bad Blacks. That's why he mentored some "at risk" minority kids occasionally. George was part of the solution and not a part of the problem. A good person, in other words. The cousin lied about him being a racist, the same as she lied when she accused George of molesting her. Yes, what she claimed may have been partially true, but what kids aren't curious about their bodies and curious about sex? It was all largely innocent stuff (some fondling and some fingering) which the cousin blew way out of proportion.
False accusations from women and rejection by authority figures was something the unfortunate George had to deal with frequently. But he was determined to gain some respect, no matter what it took. Volunteering for the neighborhood watch would be his ticket to the life he wanted. This is why George spent his evenings waiting and watching. Frequently he called to report suspicious activity, but so far nothing he could act on.
On the evening of Sunday 2/26/2012 George was driving his truck through the neighborhood, returning home from a personal errand. It was a few minutes to 7 in the evening and raining lightly when Zim spotted a suspicious hoodie-wearing figure walking slowly and peering in windows. George pulled over and took out his cell phone, his finger hovering over the speed dial button for the SPD. Would tonight be the night?
Yes, Zim decided, suddenly feeling both anxious and agitated... this character was definitely peeping in widows, probably interested if anyone was home. The guy was looking for an apartment he could burglarize, in other words. George watched for a few seconds longer before he pushed the speed dial button. On the phone with the Sanford PD George told the operator he saw "a real suspicious guy just walking around looking about" and that "this guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something".
The dispatcher asked him a question concerning the suspect's race. "He looks Black", George answered. The suspect noticed George starring at him and began to walk in his direction. The suspect circled his vehicle, and George got a good look at him before he walked away. George confirmed to the dispatcher that the suspect was a Black male (BM) in his late teens. "These a**holes, they always get away" George remarked to the dispatcher. George was determined that this time the Black thug wouldn't get away.
Trayvon, the BM in question, was speaking with his friend Rachel via a bluetooth earpiece. "Why this Cracker looking at me?" Trayvon wondered out loud as his friend listened. "Maybe he a rapist?" Rachel replied. Who knows? But Trayvon didn't want to find out, so he ran away. Now, Trayvon didn't want the Cracker to follow him home (and know where he lived), so he hid. A few minutes went by and Trayvon decided to take a look and see if the Cracker was still there.
"The back entrance" George answered when the dispatcher asked where the BM was running. "Fu*kin coons", George, who was experiencing feelings of aggression and hostility toward the fleeing suspect, muttered. Then the dispatcher asked "Are you following him?" and George replied "yes". He had gotten out of his truck to see where the BM had gone and was jogging in the direction he thought he went. The dispatcher told him not to, but George had no intention of listening to that direction. He said "OK", but followed anyway. But George couldn't find him so he decided to return to his vehicle to wait for the police, crestfallen.
But this was just too good of an opportunity to let it pass by, so George decided to walk a little further. "I need to find this fu*ker before the cops arrive" Zim thought. Suddenly Zim spotted the suspect, Trayvon. He rounded a corner and almost ran into him. The near collision dislodged the bluetooth from Trayvon's ear. "Get off, get off" Trayvon exclaimed in reaction to George's close proximity. Stepping back, a surprised and frightened Trayvon asked, "why you following me?". In a gesture intended to intimidate the suspect, George placed his hand on his weapon and demanded, "What are you doing here boy?". Trayvon's bluetooth earpiece fell to the ground.
Trayvon saw George's gun and knew then he was in serious danger. "You're going to die tonight ni**er" George said, making a move to unholster his firearm. Before he could draw his gun a desperate Trayvon stepped in and made a grab for it, while also screaming for help. "Don't kill me! I'm begging you!" Trayvon cried. George backed away and pulled out his weapon, but tripped over his feet and fell down. Luckily he didn't drop his gun, so he raised it to fire. Trayvon jumped on him in a desperate attempt to grab the weapon and they tussled on the grass for awhile.
Still screaming, desperate for someone to come help him, Trayvon continued to try to get the gun away from George. During the struggle George scrapped his head on the concrete sidewalk. A neighbor named Good came out to investigate the screaming (of Trayvon) and saw the scuffle. By this time it was getting dark out. George pulled his arms from Trayvon's grasp. In response Trayvon feverishly punched at George, still trying to disarm him, but George got off a shot. The hollow point bullet pierced Trayvon's heart and the screaming stopped. Trayvon was dead (or would be in mere seconds).
The force of the shot caused the gun to recoil, hitting George in the face and breaking his nose. "Fu*kin ni**er" George sputtered, pushing Trayvon's body off him. A neighbor appeared with a flashlight. "Help me restrain him" Zim said calmly, straddling the body. But Trayvon was clearly dead. Zim knew that, of course, but asking the neighbor to help restrain the BM was the only thing he could think to say to convince the neighbor that he was an authority figure who had just subdued a criminal.
An officer named Smith arrived at the scene at 7:17pm, approximately one minute after George shot and killed his "suspect". George raised his arms and surrendered. A second and then a third officer showed up and CPR was attempted. Trayvon was declared dead at 7:30pm. Officer Smith placed George in the back of his police vehicle. "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me", George lied, a little worried that a neighbor might identify the person screaming (correctly) as Trayvon.
Confident that the shooting would be deemed legal under Stand Your Ground, Zimmerman cooperated completely with law enforcement and didn't lawyer up. That would make him look guilty. After five hours of questioning the police released George. The initial report noted that a White male later identified as George Zimmerman shot an African American teen in self defense. George said he "stood his ground", so the cops didn't bother doing a decent job collecting evidence and sent George home. A White guy named Zimmerman shot a suspicious Black thug, so they really had no choice. There was little doubt that it was an open and shut case, which is why they didn't drug test George, even though it is standard procedure.
Zim was subjected to a voice stress analysis (not the same as a lie detector test) and passed it. Because the psychopathic Zim essentially believed the story he told authorities. At this point he still assumed that Trayvon was a Black thug who was up to no good. The BM was looking for an apartment to break into when George stopped him. Yes, he planned on killing him far in advance of the event (not him specifically, but the next Black thug he encountered). But the BM got what was coming to him, of that George was 100 percent convinced.
During a subsequent interview a Detective Serino attempted to bluff George by telling him that Trayvon's phone caught the entire incident on video. George knew it is a common police tactic to claim video evidence exists in hopes of getting a confession. George knew better, so he said "Thank God, I was hoping someone would videotape it". He knew the detective was lying, so he lied right back to him... and it worked! The cops bought his story and told him to go home. It was just that easy to get away with murder.
Later George returned to the scene and walked the cops though his version of events. "I thought my head would explode" George (greatly) exaggerated when he related his fabricated narrative of Trayvon "slamming" his head against the sidewalk. "After I discharged my weapon the suspect said you got me. I assumed my shot missed and that he was surrendering. I flipped him onto his stomach... all the while he was mumbling. Then I spread his arms out to disarm him. I was looking for the weapon he had been hitting me with", George lied. The victim was talking after being shot through the heart?? Unbelievably the officer didn't call BS on George's obvious and absurd tall tale.
George was grateful that the area he lived in was largely Conservative and Republican. A White male (as he described himself to the cops) who put down a berserk dope-crazed thug deserved the White privilege they extended to him. A month and a half went by before public pressure from the African American community finally forced the DA to bring charges, but George wasn't too worried. Instead he made the most of it and went on the Sean Hannity program. He was finally getting the recognition he had always craved.
Conservatives across the country lapped up the Zim baloney and declared that he was a "persecuted hero" as well as a celebrity. A Black drug-using thug got what was coming to him. Clearly George had no choice. Zim and family set up a website to collect "donations" in order to fund his defense and tens of thousands of dollars flooded in (but George's wife dishonestly told the judge they were "indigent"). Zim's gullible wife Shellie was arrested for perjury when she was caught speaking in code with George about how much money they had in their bank account. George's bail was revoked. But it was only a minor setback.
George was also caught handing over a passport that he had previously reported as "stolen" so he could get a new one. Turns out he just misplaced it. But Zim figured he could use the second one to flee the country. The judge simply asked for both passports and ignored George's deception.
Another indication that the Governor-Jeb-Bush-appointed judge was on Zim's side was when she sent the jury to their deliberation with instructions that said "self-defense meant Zimmerman was entitled to stand his ground with no duty to retreat". So Zim's legal team said their defense had nothing to do with Stand Your Ground, but the judge told the jury to decide the case based on it. That George provoked the incident by stalking an unarmed Trayvon did not matter. Seeing as Trayvon was dead, George's version of events essentially were accepted as the truth.
The jury of six women (five of whom were White) decided there was "reasonable doubt" and that George's "truth" was in fact what actually happened... and they declared him "not guilty". Conservatives across the nation cheered and predicted mass rioting egged on by "race baiters" and "race hustlers" who are actually civil rights crusaders speaking out for their community. White privilege benefited George as he had gambled it would. George smiled broadly when the verdict was read. Maybe he would go back to college and become a lawyer so he could help other "wrongly" accused people like himself?
Perhaps he would roam the countryside performing acts of heroism like pulling a family of four out of an overturned vehicle? Who knows? But Zim was confident that he could use his new found fame to separate a lot of gullible Conservatives from their money. Heck, one Conservative group had already offered to buy him a new gun!