When last we left you, CNN had reported on a “cleaned up” version of George Zimmerman’s now-infamous Feb. 26 call to 911 about a ‘suspicious person’ who turned out to be Trayvon Martin. In that audio analysis, it sounded like Zimmerman said under his breath “it’s f–king cold”, not “f–king coons”, as had been widely asserted by race-obsessed liberals and media types. In fact, after listening to that audio, I would have bet money he said “cold”, and I am not normally a betting woman.
Sanford, Florida (CNN) — George Zimmerman told his lawyers that he whispered “punks,” not a racial slur, in the moments before he shot Trayvon Martin, his attorneys told CNN on Thursday.
Some people interpreted the police recording of Zimmerman’s call to 911 as evidence the fatal shooting was racially motivated.
Zimmerman attorneys Hal Ulrig and Craig Sonner told CNN their client told them that he said, “F—ing punks.”
Forensic audio expert Tom Owen, who analyzed 911 recordings, agreed the garbled word that raised controversy was “punks,” not the racial slur some people said they heard.
When Owen, chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used a computer application to remove cell phone interference, the word became clearer, he said. After discussions with linguists, he said he became convinced that Zimmerman said “punks.”
He provided CNN with a copy of the newly processed audio.
CNN also enhanced the sound of the 911 call, and several members of CNN’s editorial staff repeatedly reviewed the tape but could reach no consensus on whether Zimmerman used a slur.
Click on the CNN link above to hear the new “enhanced audio” from the call and see what you think.
While this latest assertion and supposed “confirmation” by an “expert” will no doubt keep everyone guessing, keep this in mind:
Hold the love – Tom Owen is the self-promoter who claimed, contra his own website and that of other experts that he could make a meaningful comparison of screams to the spoken word. CNN had experts expressing skepticism as to the legal admissibility of this process, but they like him today.
But he apparently has a good reputation, so maybe he really is just playing it straight.
Just for the record, even though it’s silly in the world we live in that audio experts have to spend hours on end dissecting and analyzing audio/video of what someone allegedly said to determine whether or not there is a potential for “hate crime charges”, I have to take my hat off to CNN for being the one network that has dug more than any other to try and get the story right on what Zimmerman may or may not have said that fateful night on that 911 call. Even listening to the “raw” call (not being enhanced or cleaned up in any way), I have never heard “coons” but obviously reasonable people can disagree on this.
And because there is so much widespread disagreement on what Zimmerman allegedly said that night, and because we can’t take his word as “automatic fact”, it would be unlikely – in my view – that “hate crimes” charges could be brought against Zimmerman, much less successfully prosecuted.
But it terms of a potential prosecution, my opinion and that of the chattering classes is meaningless – but the grand jury’s, which will convene next Tuesday the 10th (unless the special prosecutor makes a decision before then), is not. Stay tuned.