New Trayvon evidence reveals witness (misidentification issues
Recently released evidence from the Trayvon Martin case brings the witness identification fallacies to the public forefront. Too bad no intuitive journalistic research was spent inspecting this evidence all along. Maybe in interest for themselves, the media can consider the following witnesses’ story changes as an excuse for their one-sided reporting the story. Doing so would bring the topic of witness misidentification to the public discussion.
“I know after seeing the TV of what’s happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size,” said Witness 12, a younger mother who witnessed the incident from her home in the neighborhood. Six days after her initial March 20 interview, during which she expressed her inability to distinguish who was on the ground and who was on top, she stated the above quote. Her observation of size was newly introduced in this second interview. Considering what the psychology of misidentification has suggested, her already hazed memory of the situation could have been morphed by her “seeing the TV of what’s happening.” TV media all out pitched against Zimmerman.
But the identifications all assess different, yet still unclear, conclusions from the same evidence. Witness 13 maintained the same story over both of his interviews, that upon seeing Zimmerman immediately after the shooting of Treyvon, he seemed matter-of-fact that he shot him, not shellshocked.
A good listing of the changes in witnesses’ stories can be found here. The second halves of articles from The New American and The Tampa Bay Times detail the relevance of witness misidentification. Maybe in days to come, these will become new articles’ main subjects.