As the Trayvon Martin controversy splinters into a debate about self-defense or manslaughter, a central question remains – who was heard crying for help on a 911 call in the moments before the teenager was shot?
The Orlando Sentinel contacted Tom Owen of Owens Forensics to determine if it was Zimmerman screaming for help. Owens used software called Easy Voice Biometrics to compare Zimmerman’s voice to the 911 call screams.
“I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else,” Owen said.
The software compared that audio to Zimmerman’s voice. It returned a 48 percent match. Owen said to reach a positive match with audio of this quality, he’d expect higher than 90 percent.
“As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman,” Owen said, stressing that he could not confirm the voice as Martin’s because he didn’t have a sample of the teenager’s voice to compare.
Tom Owen, forensic consultant for Owen Forensic Services LLC and chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used voice-identification software to rule out Zimmerman…Orlando Sentinel
Zimmerman’s voice had a 48% match which might not be enough to tell if it is the same but since they have not heard Zimmerman screaming, they have not compared his voice at that octave.
The other expert, Ed Primeau, a Michigan-based audio engineer and forensics expert, does not support biometric technology’s use in courtrooms –
He relies instead on audio enhancement and human analysis based on forensic experience. After listening closely to the 911 tape on which the screams are heard, Primeau also has a strong opinion.
“I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background, without a doubt,” Primeau saids, stressing that the tone of the voice is a giveaway. “That’s a young man screaming.”
Zimmerman’s call to authorities minutes before the shooting provides a good standard for comparison, Primeau says, because it captures his voice both at rest and in an agitated state.
Zimmerman claims self-defense in the shooting and told police that he was the one screaming for help. One witness thinks it was Zimmerman screaming.
It does sound like the voice of a very young man but Zimmerman is only 28 so it is hard to say without the proper FBI investigation.
Owen and the other expert are not FBI experts but rather, they are independent, unofficial experts. Details on how the tests were conducted are somewhat sketchy. The tests on Zimmerman’s voice were not conducted at the same frequency as the screams. They did not test any audio of Trayvon from home video or voice messages. They cannot say it was definitively Trayvon. We really need to wait for the FBI. Whoever was screaming for help was, in all likelihood, the victim, especially if it was Trayvon.
Trayvon’s parents appeared on Geraldo Sunday evening with one of their lawyers. They seem like lovely people who only want justice. Trayvon’s father said he does not believe it is a racial case and both reject the calls for kidnapping by the New Black Panthers. Why they called in Al Sharpton, I can’t say, but that is a mistake as Sharpton exploits the situation with calls for civil unrest should Zimmerman not be arrested – Sharpton is a race-baiting pot stirrer who is holding daily marches which could lead to violence.
The first thing Geraldo did Sunday evening on his show, in his usual incompetent reporting style, was to declare the voice of the person screaming on the 911 tape was definitely not George Zimmerman. Since these are people employed outside the scope of the FBI, he cannot reasonably make that statement.
Zimmerman’s father is also a sympathetic figure, allegedly a retired judge.
It is a tragedy all around.
Zimmerman’s call to 911 notifying them of a suspicious person –
Police speak out – Police report. In this report, a police officer says that Trayvon’s father said the voice was not that of his son.
This is a very upsetting tape as we hear screams for help and gunshots –
A witness who believes Trayvon was screaming for help –
Trayvon’s girlfriend talking about their last phone call – ABC News
An eyewitness –
Another witness speaks out –
Flood of 911 calls –
From George Zimmerman’s lawyer –
The Christian Science Monitor reported on the video which seemed to show an uninjured Zimmerman but then indicated that on closer examination an officer is seen looking at a wound on the back of Zimmerman’s head.
According to the New York Daily News, Sonner said it looked like a police officer was examining the back of Zimmerman’s head in the video. Officer Timothy Smith wrote in the police report, “I could observe his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground.”
There are other reports which say a medic has cleaned up Zimmerman at the scene of the shooting.
You can see an officer looking at the back of his head in this video –
The media has handled the case poorly by trying George Zimmerman in the press with scant, preliminary evidence. The NY Times made inane comments referring to Zimmerman as a white Hispanic so they could make a racial case out of it. They also showed an unappealing photo of Zimmerman and a photo of Trayvon when he was 12. The small group of anti-semitic, racist New Black Panthers have added to the circus this is becoming.
As an aside, the New Black Panthers are not related to the Black Panthers of the 60’s and 70’s who were militant but not racist. The New Black Panthers operate without any significant support from the black community despite their outlandish claims.
NBC, in an effort to promote a case for racial bias, doctored the 911 call from Zimmerman to make it sound as if Zimmerman volunteered the fact that Trayvon was black when he was actually asked if Trayvon was black, white or Hispanic.
I do think that in addition to arresting Zimmerman and letting a grand jury take up the case, the DOJ might consider arresting the new Black Panther leader who is calling for a kidnapping and possible murder as they circulate a wanted dead or alive poster for George Zimmerman.