MYTH: George Zimmerman disobeyed orders not to pursue Trayvon Martin
REALITY: After being told, "you don't have to do that," when Zimmerman answered that he was pursuing Martin, Zimmerman quit pursuing him. The 911 respondent asked because he could hear Zimmerman breathing heavily as he was running. After Zimmerman agrees to stop pursuit, his breath immediately returns to nomal. (Recordings are available on Wikipedia.)
MYTH: Martin was fleeing from Zimmerman when he was shot. Jesse Jackson alleged Martin was shot in the back of the head; former Governor Jeb Bush characterized Martin as "someone who has turned their back."
REALITY: Martin was on top of Zimmerman, pummeling his head into the concrete. Witnesses confirmed this, but police didn't need to take their word. Martin had considerable amounts of his own blood on him, having received a broken nose, and multiple lacerations to the back of the head. Zimmerman's assertion that Martin came up to him is unproven, but uncontradicted.
MYTH: Are you serious? A little kid like Martin couldn't possibly have attacked and pummeled Zimmerman!
REALITY: The photos released by the family of Martin were several years old. The "little kid" was 6-foot-three, much lighter than Zimmerman, but towering over him.
MYTH: Martin should have retreated.
REALITY: That Martin had already evaded Zimmerman is made plain by Zimmerman's call to the police. So how did they end up in another encounter? Zimmerman complained that Martin attacked him. What's the alternative theory? That Zimmerman pulled his gun on a fleeing Martin? If so, how did they end up brawling? That Zimmerman was so much faster than Martin, despite being several inches shorter and much pudgier than him, that he caught up to Martin despite Martin's fleeing? More likely, Martin waited until Zimmerman was off the phone with police, and then ambushed him, as Zimmerman alleges.
MYTH: No matter what, Zimmerman didn't need to kill Martin.
REALITY: Zimmerman's head was being smashed on the concrete. He's probably somewhat lucky he's not a drooling vegetable. Even so, Zimmerman claims the gun came out because Martin had tried to take it from him. This is consistent with the state of the gun as it was found: The chamber was empty, despite the gun being fully loaded, apart from the one round which killed Martin. This suggests that something prevented the bullet from being replaced in the chamber, as would likely have happen if Martin had been grabbing the barrel.
MYTH: Martin was just an innocent kid, who had never been in trouble.
REALITY: Martin had received a lengthy suspension from school; he was a likely drug dealer. Martin certainly didn't deserve to be killed for criminality. But he was suspended when the school found him with an empty baggie containing traces of marijuana. The fact that he was not high actually hurts his case, since it means that the marijuana was likely dealt to someone, rather than having been for personal use.
MYTH: Zimmerman was simply a racist, Republican, tea-party white supremacist with no reason to confront Martin.
REALITY: Zimmerman, an Hispanic registered Democrat, son of Virginia judge, and trained in law enforcement, was patrolling the area due to a rash of thefts. Martin was seen shortly after dark, on a warm night, wearing a darkly colored, hooded sweatshirt, not the "angel white" hoodie that's been in the press. He did not confront Martin, but did attempt to approach Martin, before Martin, at first, ran away.
MYTH: This would never have happened, if not for Florida's gun rights.
REALITY: If Zimmerman had been unarmed, maybe he would never have been so bold as to attract Martin's ire, but maybe he would have ended up dead, as that tends to happen when your head slams into concrete too many times.
MYTH: Boy, the media blew it.REALITY: The media might not have been aware of how soundly its race-baiting narrative would be disproven, but they certainly knew Martin was no longer the little kid that he was in the photos they still use, and that Zimmerman was not the white supremacist they made him out to be. They knew that Jackson's and Bush's characterizations were false, but published them without correction. They harped on the fact that Martin was "unarmed," but made no mention of the brawl, which renders that fact senseless.