As Media Reports Conflict, Why Was Trayvon Martin Photo Altered?
Among a few interesting items uncovered in trying to examine the facts behind the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin without drawing any conclusions, was that a widely viewed photograph of Martin appears to have been altered, somewhat.
Here is what appears to be the original via the Miami Herald.
The one below has been observed in the media and at forums such as Democracy Now. Clearly, it has been lightened, or softened, somehow. Along with other possible alterations, he looks far more, perhaps innocent is the right word, in the altered image. For the record, that has nothing to do with the guilt, or innocence, of anyone involved, but more to do with the reporting of the story, which is why I'm bringing it up.
Also, in following up on this item at the Charlelston Examiner, it's becoming increasingly difficult to know what the facts actually are.
The witness reports that George Zimmerman was on the ground and Trayvon is on top of him punching him. The witness says that George Zimmerman was screaming and yelling for help. Police arrive and find Zimmerman bleeding on his face and the back of his head. He also has had grass stains on his back. All this confirms the story told by Zimmerman and the witness. Police play the 911 tape for Trayvon Martin's father, who tells police that the voice screaming is not the voice of his son. Zimmerman was on the ground being punched when he shot Trayvon Martin.
The media also characterizes Trayvon as a "model student." In fact, he under a five day suspension when the shooting took place. That is why he was staying at a house so far from his school on a school night. A laywer for Trayvon's family has blocked access to his school records. However, you have to do something pretty bad to get suspended for five days.
A local news video report supports much of the above. It claims prosecutors advised police they did not have enough evidence to win a manslaughter conviction. Zimmerman claims Martin attacked him, while Martin's Father said the voice heard calling for help was not his son, Trayvon Martin. If accurate, it would have been Zimmerman calling for help. The reports claims police also said Zimmerman's account was corroborated by witnesses.
Also, according to media reports, Martin was suspended for ten days, not five, for being in an unauthorized area on school property, not a violent behavioral issue, as the Miami Herald indicates he did have behavior problems of some non-violent type. Still, an Orlando Sentinel story quotes a teacher as saying he was suspended for being tardy and had no behavior issues.
Still, Trayvon had nonviolent behavioral issues in school, and on the day he was killed, he had been suspended for 10 days from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in North Miami-Dade. “He was not suspended for something dealing with violence or anything like that. It wasn’t a crime he committed, but he was in an unauthorized area [on school property],” Martin said, declining to offer more details. Before that, Trayvon attended Miami Carol City High School near his mother’s home in Miami Gardens.
He was visiting in an area 250 miles away from home with his Father at the time.
He would be 17 for 21 days. He died Feb. 26, a bullet in his chest, shot by a neighborhood crime watch captain patrolling a suburban gated townhouse community in Sanford, 250 miles from his home, where he had gone with his father after a school suspension.
While certain facts may remain in doubt, or disputed, what's increasingly clear is that by climbing over one another to get the story, mainstream media journalists appear to be adding more confusion, than clarity, to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. However, that did not stop Barack Obama from weighing in, claiming if he had a son, it would look like Trayvon Martin. That may depend on what photo of him he's seen, of course.