I don’t know if you’ve seen these, but they’re setting off all sorts of wishful-thinking and conspiracy theory alarms on my bullshit detection kit. Four days after being declared not guilty of murder after having shot and killed 17-year-old unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman quickly reentered the news. CNN reports that he “stepped out of seclusion” and, happening upon the scene of a family of four having overturned their car, helped pull them from the car before it erupted into flames.
By the time a deputy arrived, Zimmerman and another man already had helped the two adults and two children out of the vehicle, Smith said.
Zimmerman did not witness the crash, and he left after making contact with the deputy, Smith said. No injuries were reported in the crash.
Only there are some minor inconsistencies with the report: that Zimmerman didn’t mention the rescue to his lawyer when they next saw one another; that the family didn’t mention a crash on social media; that the first officer on the scene was a self-described “friend” of Zimmerman even before the verdict.
Some less-than-reputable news sources are even reporting that Zimmerman arrived after being called by the reporting officer, and that the family cancelled a public appearance to thank Zimmerman after threats from Trayvon Martin supporters and thus never showed up to prove they existed.
It appears they canceled any such event because they did not want to be part of the FRAUD of making Zimmerman out to be a hero when his story was not true.
Another of them demands photographic evidence of a crash.
Why do NO pictures exist of the car crash! Not from cops, not from media, not from witnesses with their ever handy cell phones & twitter apps ready to tweet away. Why? Did the state really stage this story using a family of 4′s identities to try & portray Zimmerman in a better light so people would not want to kill him & race protests would simmer down?
And of course, as a result of the conspiracy theories, one of the usual theorists gets to play judo on liberals:
It’s all over the place now, that Zimmerman staged it, that his lawyers helped, that the family was paid off. They were given a new car. The whole thing was faked, every aspect of this. And, of course, the Tea Party is behind it. The Republican Party is behind it. Before it’s all over, the Royal Family is gonna have had something to do with it as part of a distraction to the birth of the baby boy.
I’m feeling a significant bit of irritation by this tendency of human beings, playing as it does into the Just World Fallacy — to refuse to believe an ordinary event (statistically speaking) without extraordinary evidence because it doesn’t fit in with your preconceived notion of Zimmerman as an evil man.
Zimmerman committed a horrible crime but was not convicted because of reasonable doubt. The idea that he’s trying to burnish his reputation unfoundedly in such a manner is grossly unlikely. Sure, it’s POSSIBLE he and his police officer friend hatched a scheme to get Zimmerman involved tertiarily in a heroic scene, in order to make him seem like not such a bad guy, but by the laws of averages, and by Zimmerman’s own psychology regarding his inflated self-image of heroism, a person committing a terrible act could absolutely have a scene where they become the heroic actor shortly thereafter.
One action does not wipe out the other, though. Fighting back against the propagation of news of this later event without actual sufficient cause, just because you’ve developed preconceived notions about the character of the principal actor after the earlier event, is grossly antiskeptical. People helping unfortunate victims at the scene of an accident is absolutely not an unusual event. That Zimmerman might be one of those people is entirely in the realm of plausibility. That he thinks himself a good man is well-evidenced, despite the evidence that he’s also latently racist. That he would help at the scene of an accident is entirely believable, and yet, it does not erase his earlier crime, nor the travesty of justice that came after it when he was acquitted.
So good luck convincing me that this was faked. If someone came up with something actually proving this was faked in any way — you know, hard evidence — I might change my tune. But you’ll need extraordinary evidence to pull that off, because your conspiracy theory is the extraordinary claim.