Saturday, March 31, 2012

Zimmerman’s Brother Comes to His Defense: ‘He Stopped Someone from Disarming Him’

Robert Zimmerman Jr. is steadfast in his defense of his brother George, insisting that he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to death in self-defense only because the teenager attacked him and attempted to take his gun, putting Zimmerman in mortal danger. “That’s called ‘saving your life,’” Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.

He appeared Thursday on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight denying that Zimmerman pulled a gun from its holster and fired, instead saying that “he stopped someone from disarming him and shooting him, he didn’t pull out a gun and shoot him. George showed tremendous restraint.”

But according to an initial police report, Zimmerman told officers arriving at the scene of the Sanford, Fla., incident that he shot Trayvon Martin. Police reported that they found Trayvon lying face down on the ground and could not revive him. Zimmerman’s father, Robert Sr., told Orlando’s WOFL-TV in a silhouetted interview that the teen attacked his son, threatening to kill him. “At some point,” Robert Sr. said, “George pulled his pistol and did what he did.” His information was based on his own conversations with his son and others, he said.

Zimmerman has claimed that Trayvon pummeled him, broke his nose and smashed his head against the ground, causing severe injuries. But a police surveillance video obtained Wednesday by ABC News, showed Zimmerman handcuffed in police custody and apparently without any of the injuries that would be consistent with a life-or-death struggle. But his brother insists that he actually was hurt and was treated at the scene.

However, a unidentified man who claimed to see the shooting told CNN that he saw the two of them fighting on the grass, and heard one of them yell for help in the darkness, then a gunshot. He then saw one figure get up, a larger figure and a boy remained face down on the ground. He said the person who got up did not appear hurt. “As far as seeing any blood, or anything else, no.”

Zimmerman has not been charged with a crime in the case. Investigators initially did not believe his story and wanted to arrest him, but were overruled by the Seminole County state attorney’s office. The case has since been assigned to Special Prosecutor Angela Corey who will decide to either bring charges, not pursue them or let a grand jury convene on April 10.


Lawmakers push to interview ex-White House aide in 'Fast and Furious'

Two top Republican lawmakers investigating the Fast and Furious controversy are demanding the White House make a former aide available for testimony to see whether the scandal reached the upper echelons of the administration, according to a letter obtained by Fox News.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, fired off the letter Wednesday urging the White House to make available Kevin O'Reilly, a former National Security Council staffer who is currently stationed in Iraq for the State Department.

The lawmakers are giving White House staffers the deadline of April 4 to respond, with Republican aides privately saying the back-and-forth could provoke a showdown over executive privilege if the administration tries to shield O'Reilly from talking to investigators.

Issa and Grassley wrote in the letter that O'Reilly's personal lawyer has told them that he would permit his client to speak to the lawmakers as long as the White House does not object, and they are willing to do the interview by phone to accommodate O'Reilly's work.

"To date, the White House has not complied with multiple congressional requests to interview O'Reilly," the lawmakers wrote to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. "Our staffers have had extensive discussions with lawyers in your office, who have represented that the White House does not perceive any need for us to interview O'Reilly and consequently will not make arrangements for him to speak to us."


FL: Judge Grants Woman Immunity Under 'Stand Your Ground':  "A judge today ruled that Ernestine Broxsie was immune from prosecution under Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. 64 year old Ernestine Broxsie described that morning in November 2008. She says she asked Elbert Johnson about a missing leather jacket and he snapped.  "He was yelling and cursing and everything. He was choking me and everything," she said.  Broxsie says Johnson reached for a 22 caliber gun on the kitchen counter.  "He reached for it and I grabbed it and I just did like this ... and I closed my eyes and I just said please don't hurt me. It's alright, brother Johnson, please don't hurt me. Even so, he just slugged me from every place and I couldn't understand because I had done so much for him," Broxsie said as she shook.  When it was over, Elbert Johnson was dead on the back steps of her home on Fred George Lane and she was charged murder."

NC "emergency" restrictions disallowed:  "A federal judge has struck down a North Carolina provision that authorizes a ban on firearms and ammunition outside homes during “a declared emergency,” determining that violates the Second Amendment.   The case was brought by the SAF, Grass Roots North Carolina FFE and three individuals against Gov. Beverly Purdue and Reuben F. Young, secretary of the state’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.  WND reported earlier when residents of King, N.C., were startled by the banishment of firearms during a “declared snow emergency.”  North Carolina is among the states that allowed such actions. Under its statute 14-288.7, when a municipality declares a state of emergency in which “public-safety authorities are unable to … afford adequate protection for lives or property” – such as during a record snowfall – “it is unlawful for any person to transport or possess off his own premises any dangerous weapon.” 

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