Archive for July, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 118, July 26, 2013, Segment 2: What Ben Bernanke and Peter Schiff Are Saying: Federal Reserve Will Be Keyboarding Digital Money Well Into 2015 or Two Years Minimum As U.S. Enters Another Recession With Higher Rates of Unemployment — Quantitative Easing For 2 Plus Years — Bubbles Going To Pop — This Time It Is Different — The Financial Crisis Or Collapse Will Be Much Worse — No Exit Strategy — Videos

Posted on July 26, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Coal, Communications, Consitutional Law, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Media, Monetary Policy, Oil, Oil, Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Regulation, Resources, Security, Success, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 118: July 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 115: June 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 114: June 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 113: June 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 112: June 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 111: May 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 110: May 24, 2013

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Segment 2: What Ben Bernanke and Peter Schiff Are Saying: Federal Reserve Will Be Keyboarding Digital Money Well Into 2015 or Two Years Minimum As U.S. Enters Another Recession With Higher Rates of Unemployment — Quantitative Easing For 2 Plus Years — Bubbles Going To Pop — This Time It Is Different — The Financial Crisis Or Collapse Will Be Much Worse — No Exit Strategy — Videos

shark_benNo-exit

ben_bernanke

Peter-Schiff

FedTreasury-Holdings

June 29, 2013

Digital Report Ben Bernanke Hearing

Bernanke: September Tapering Not a Sure Thing

Bernanke tells Congress Fed flexible on bond buying

Ben Shalom Bernanke NOT Ready To Declare “Too Big To Fail” A Thing Of The Past

Peter Schiff Speaks At 2013 Las Vegas MoneyShow

Peter Schiff – US Hasn’t Had A Real Recovery Or Even A Real Recession Yet

Peter Schiff – Economic Predictions

Peter Schiff – Fed Will NEVER Stop Q E! They Can t The US Economy Will Collapse!

Next Fed Chair Bets Make ‘Hot Parlor Game’: Green

U.S. Fed balance sheet grows 7 straight weeks

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet grew for a seventh week in the latest week as the U.S. central bank increased its holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

The Fed’s balance sheet liabilities, which are a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system, stood at $3.495 trillion on July 17, compared with $3.462 trillion on July 10.

The Fed’s holdings of Treasuries rose to $1.962 trillion as of Wednesday, from $1.953 trillion the previous week.

The Fed’s ownership of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) increased to $1.235 trillion from $1.208 trillion from the previous week.

The Fed’s holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system totaled $66.52 billion, down from $69.18 billion from the previous week.

The Fed’s overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $13 million a day during the week, compared with $14 million a day the previous week.

http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&Date=20130718&ID=16715716&industry=IND_BANKING&isub=

Is The Fed Really Tightening? Fed Policy in Two Charts.

Donald Marron,

The Fed believes the stimulus from quantitative easing depends on the stock of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities that it owns, not on the flow of its purchases. If that view is correct, the future tapering of Fed purchases won’t be monetary tightening, it will a slowing pace of monetary easing (click for larger chart):
tapering-is-not-tightening-graph

The chart shows a hypothetical trajectory for the Fed’s bond and MBS holdings. Under the stock view, that trajectory will go through three stages, paralleling those of traditional interest rate policy:

  • Quantitative easing: The Fed expands its balance sheet by buying Treasuries and MBS. Current pace: $85 billion each month.
  • Quantitative accommodation: The Fed maintains its balance sheet; it buys new assets to replace older ones as they mature.
  • Quantitative tightening: The Fed contracts its balance sheet by allowing assets to mature without replacement or, more aggressively, by selling them.

In this view, tapering is the final stage of quantitative easing. The Fed buys assets during tapering, but at a slower tempo. Tapering is not tightening.

That view is clear, logical, and elegant. But it utterly fails to explain why financial markets went haywire last week when Ben Bernanke and company talked about tapering.

One reason is investor expectations. The Fed has been trying to stimulate the economy not only through QE, but also by telling investors to expect easing in the future. Such forward guidance can be a powerful lever for monetary policy.

tapering-is-tightening-graph-2

Last week, investors learned that QE might end sooner than they expected. In the stock view with expectations, that is monetary tightening. As illustrated in the second chart, future Fed policy would be tighter than financial markets had previously thought.*

This view likely explains some of the market reaction to recent Fed statements. But it’s hard to reconcile the magnitude of the movements. Suppose markets expected tapering to begin in January and now think September more likely. All else equal, that four-month difference implies a $340 billion reduction in the Fed’s ultimate portfolio. That’s something, but could that alone explain the sharp market response?

My sense it that something else must be going on as well. Some candidates include:

  • Perhaps the flow of Fed purchases matters, not just the stock. This view appears much more common among traders than Fed economists. If anyone has a reference for a good articulation of this view, I’d love to see it. The flow shouldn’t matter in normal times—was the Fed tightening when the flow of purchases was essentially zero for decades before the recent crisis?—but these are hardly normal times. Perhaps the flow matters when you are at the zero lower bound?
  • Perhaps world financial markets expected a much longer period of QE and are highly geared to Fed policy. If I am reading it correctly, that’s the view of Vince Foster who discusses the unwinding of the carry trade (ht Tyler Cowen)

* This definition of tightening compares the new expected trajectory of Fed holdings to prior expectations. Such comparisons are relative; in principle, one could equally say that the Fed announcement indicated that future policy would be less loose, not that it would be tighter. But for most purposes, it seems simpler just to say that future policy has gotten tighter. The same semantic issue exists in fiscal policy. If Medicare spending is scheduled to grow $35 billion next year, what do we call a proposal under which spending increases $30 billion? We usually call that a $5 billion spending cut since it’s a decline relative to an accepted baseline. But we should remember that Medicare spending is growing. The same seems true with early tapering. Tightening seems the cleanest description for most purposes, even though in absolute terms it is slower easing.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2013/06/25/is-the-federal-reserve-really-tightening-fed-policy-in-two-charts/

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

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Pronk Pops Show 118, July 26, 2018, Segment 1: Worse Post World War II Recession Followed By Worse U.S. Economic Recovery in 80 Years Since Great Depression of 1933 — Obama’s Economic Policy Mistakes Causing Increased Uncertainty and Lower Economic Growth and Job Creation — Real GDP Gap Continues — No Real Economic Recovery!  — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 118, July 26, 2018, Segment 1: Worse Post World War II Recession Followed By Worse U.S. Economic Recovery in 80 Years Since Great Depression of 1933 — Obama’s Economic Policy Mistakes Causing Increased Uncertainty and Lower Economic Growth and Job Creation — Real GDP Gap Continues — No Real Economic Recovery! — Videos

Posted on July 26, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Consitutional Law, Disasters, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Law, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Regulation, Social Science, Success, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 118: July 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 115: June 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 114: June 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 113: June 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 112: June 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 111: May 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 110: May 24, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118

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Segment 1: Worse Post World War II Recession Followed By Worse U.S. Economic Recovery in 80 Years Since Great Depression of 1933 — Obama’s Economic Policy Mistakes Causing Increased Uncertainty and Lower Economic Growth and Job Creation — Real GDP Gap Continues — No Real Economic Recovery!  — Videos

There Will Be No Economic Recovery. Prepare Yourself Accordingly.

The Economic Recovery: A Novel Perspective from Ed Leamer (The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts) mono

Published on Mar 7, 2013

Why has the current recovery from the Great Recession been so mediocre? Ed Leamer of UCLA points out that the last three recessions have all had mediocre recoveries of both output and employment. His explanation is that changes in the manufacturing sector have changed the pattern of layoffs, recalls and hiring during recessions and recoveries. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the forces driving the changes in the labor market and the implications for manufacturing.
1) Why the last three recessions all look different (1:44) 2) Employment growth for last eight recessions (4:12) 3) Why have the last three recessions been so different? (6:13) 4) The jobs cycle in manufacturing (8:52) 5) Excess capacity in construction has created a lag (10:33) 6) Manufacturing output versus manufacturing employment (11:14) 7) What’s the solution to the downturn? (12:20)
LINKS TO DATA REFERENCED — 1. Real GDP Growth From Peak to Peak Charts: FRED — “Real Gross Domestic Product, 3 Decimal (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/…). Note: Calculated using (X1-X0)/(X0), where X0 — recession peak quarter
2. Manufacturing Employment Chart: FRED — “All Employees: Manufacturing”(http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/…)

The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts — The Economic Recovery (Part 1)

Published on Sep 5, 2012

According the National Bureau of Economic Research, the US economy recovered from the recession at the beginning of the summer of 2009. Yet the recovery has been disappointing when compared to other recoveries. In this episode of the Numbers Game, John Taylor of Stanford University talks with host Russ Roberts about the nature of the recovery. How does it compare historically to other recoveries? How can we measure the pace of the recovery? The conversation ends with a discussion of possible explanations for why the recovery has been disappointing. 1) What is potential GDP? (0:52) 2) The economy never catches back up to trend (2:38) 3) The 1981 recession (3:16) 4) Is there a correct or potential level of GDP? (4:45) 5) A look at past recoveries (6:13) 6) Friedman and the Plucking Model (8:10) 7) A look at real growth rates in recoveries (8:59) 8) Employment and the recovery (10:20) LINKS TO DATA & PAPERS REFERENCED – 1. 2008-09 and 1981-1982 Recession & Recovery Charts: Real GDP (GDPC1) downloaded from FRED 7/13/12, taken from BEA.gov – http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/… Potential GDP (GDPPOT) downloaded from FRED 7/13/12, taken from CBO.gov – http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/… 2. 1907-08 and 1893-94 Recession & Recovery Charts: GDP data from NBER, compiled by Nathan Balke and Robert Gordon with adjustments by John Taylor for comparability with earlier charts –http://www.nber.org/data/abc/ Potential GDP calculations by John Taylor using a Hodrick-Prescott trend. 3. The Plucking Model Working Paper: The “Plucking Model” of Business Fluctuations Revisited by Milton Friedman Working Papers in Economics, E-88-48 — Hoover Institution, Stanford University http://hoohila.stanford.edu/workingpa… 4. Growth Rate of Real GDP Chart: Growth Rate calculated from Real GDP (GDPC1) downloaded from FRED 7/13/12, taken from BEA.gov – http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/… 5. Change in the Percentage of the Population that is Working Chart: Employment-Population Ratio (EMRATIO) downloaded from FRED 7/13/12, taken from BLS.gov – http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/…

The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts — The Economic Recovery (Part 2)

By historical standards, the current recovery from the recession that began in 2007 has been disappointing. As John Taylor of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the Department of Economics argues in Part 1 of this discussion on the economy, GDP has not returned to trend, the percent of the population that is working is flat rather than rising, and growth rates are below their usual levels after such a deep slump.

In this episode, Taylor and Number’s Game host Russ Roberts discuss possible explanations for the sluggish recovery: the ongoing slump in construction employment, the effect of housing prices on saving and spending decisions by households, and this recovery’s having been preceded by a financial crisis. Taylor rejects these arguments, arguing instead that the sluggish recovery can be explained by poor economic policy decisions made by the Bush and the Obama administrations.

1) On the argument that there are structural problems in the labor market (0:25)
2) Comparisons to the 1981 recession (2:16)
3) Is this recession special because it followed a financial crisis? (2:46)
4) What can the Great Depression tell us? (3:55)
5) Why is the current recovery so mediocre? (5:32)

LINKS TO DATA & PAPERS REFERENCED –

1. Construction Sector Employment Chart:
Bureau of Labor Statistics- Series CES2000000001, Seasonally Adjusted

2. S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices Chart:
S&P Dow Jones Indices and Fiserv 9-25-12 – http://www.standardandpoors.com

3. Personal Saving as a % of Disposable Income Chart:
BEA NIPA Table 2.1 line 36

4. 2008-09 and 1981-1982 Recession & Recovery Charts:
Real GDP (GDPC1) downloaded from FRED 7/13/12, taken from BEA.gov – http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/…
Potential GDP (GDPPOT) downloaded from FRED 7/13/12, taken from CBO.gov – http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/…

5. ‘Deep Recessions, Fast Recoveries, and Financial Crises: Evidence from the American Record’ by Michael D. Bordo and Joseph G. Haubrich – http://media.hoover.org/sites/default…

6. 1893-94 and 1907-08 Recession & Recovery Charts:
GDP data from NBER, compiled by Nathan Balke and Robert Gordon with adjustments by John Taylor for comparability with earlier charts – http://www.nber.org/data/abc/. Potential GDP calculations by John Taylor using a Hodrick-Prescott trend.

7. 1933-36 Great Depression & Recovery Chart:
GDP data from NBER, compiled originally by Nathan Balke and Robert Gordon – http://www.nber.org/data/abc/.

8. 1929-1940 Unemployment Rate (% of Labor Force) Chart:
Historical Statistics of the United States (Millennial Edition) – Table Ba470-477: Labor Force, Employment, and Unemployment, 1890-1990 – http://hsus.cambridge.org/HSUSWeb/toc…

9. ‘An Empirical Analysis of the Revival of Fiscal Activism in the 2000s’ by John B. Taylor – http://www.stanford.edu/~johntayl/JEL…

The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts — The Economic Recovery (Part 3)

Here in part 3, Taylor argues that the slow pace of the recovery is due to poor policy decisions made by the Bush and Obama administrations that have increased the amount of uncertainty facing investors, consumers, and employers. Examples include the rising debt forecast, the fiscal cliff, expiring tax provisions, and quantitative easing. Taylor argues that the uncertainty surrounding these policies in the future along with increased regulation have held back the recovery.
LINKS TO DATA & PAPERS REFERENCED –
1. Debt as a Percentage of GDP Chart: Historical debt data – http://www.cbo.gov/publication/21728. Future debt projections – http://www.cbo.gov/publication/20776 and http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43288
2. Number of Provisions Expiring in the US Tax Code Chart: List of Expiring Tax Provisions – Prepared by the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, various issues – https://www.jct.gov/publications.html….
3. ‘Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty’ by Scott Baker, Nicholas Bloom and Steven Davis: http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/steve…
4. An Era of Deregulation (?) Chart: Federal Register Historical Statistics (https://www.federalregister.gov/learn…) Notes: Dates based on calendar year; Excludes preliminary/unrevised pages, blank/skipped pages, and proposed rules pages
5. Number of Federal Workers Employed in Regulatory Activities Chart: Susan Dudley & Melinda Warren “Fiscal Stalemate Reflected in Regulators’ Budget: An Analysis of the U.S. Budget for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012,” TSA adjustment obtained from DHS Budget in Brief. http://wc.wustl.edu/files/wc/2012_Reg… and http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/mg….
6. ‘Dodd-Frank Progress Report’ by Davis Polk: According to Davis Polk (a firm monitoring Dodd-Frank progress) – “Dodd-Frank Progress Report, November 2012” http://www.davispolk.com/files/Public…
7. Reserve Balances Chart: H.4.1 Federal Reserve statistical release (reserve balances with Federal Reserve Banks). One can also get data from FRED http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/…
8. ‘The 2009 Stimulus Package: Two Years Later’ by John B. Taylor: http://media.hoover.org/sites/default…
9. ‘An Empirical Analysis of the Revival of Fiscal Activism in the 2000s’ by John B. Taylor – http://www.stanford.edu/~johntayl/JEL…
10. Economic Benefits of the ’09 Stimulus Package Chart: Chicago Booth IGM Forum on the Economic Stimulus, 2/15/12 – http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economi…. IGM Economic Experts Panel – http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-­panel
11. U.S. Misery Index Chart: Bureau of Labor Statistics – Unemployment Rate (http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cps… CPI-U (ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/­cpi/cpiai.txt)

Economists Examine Potential for Longer Recession

Milton Friedman – Greed

Milton Friedman – Socialism is Force

Milton Friedman – The role of government in a free society

Economics on One Foot

JobLossesJan2013

4employment_depth_max

6gdp_depth_max

Background on Recession/Recovery in Perspective

This page places the current economic downturn and recovery into historical (post-WWII) perspective. It compares output and employment changes from the 2007-2009 recession and subsequent recovery with the same data for the 10 previous recessions and recoveries that have occurred since 1946.

This page provides a current assessment of ‘how bad’ the 2007-2009 recession was relative to past recessions, and of how quickly the economy is recovering relative to past recoveries. It will continue to be updated as new data are released. This page does not provide forecasts, and the information should not be interpreted as such.

The charts provide information about the length and depth of recessions, and the robustness of recoveries.

Post-WWII Recessions

The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research determines the beginning and ending dates of U.S. recessions. http://www.nber.org/cycles.html

It has determined that the U.S. economy experienced 10 recessions from 1946 through 2006. The committee determined that the 2007-2009 recession began in December 2007 and ended in June of 2009. Ending dates are typically announced several months after the recession officially ends. Read the June 2009 trough announcement by the NBER.

Length of Recessions

The 10 previous postwar recessions ranged in length from 6 months to 16 months, averaging about 10 1/2 months. The 2007-09 recession was the longest recession in the postwar period, at 18 months.

Depth of Recessions

The severity of a recession is determined in part by its length; perhaps even more important is the magnitude of the decline in economic activity. The 2007-09 recession was the deepest recession in the postwar period; at their lowest points employment fell by 6.3 percent and output fell by 5.1 percent.

http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/studies/recession_perspective/

US-Real-GDP-Growth-Third-Estimate-for-Q1-2013

fredgraph

20_year_constant_maturity_rate

DGS30

For further information regarding treasury constant maturity data, please refer to:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h15/current/h15.pdf and http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/yieldmethod.aspx.

M1 Money Stock (M1)

2013-07-08: 2,504.2 Billions of Dollars Last 5 Observations

2013-07-01: 2,537.1
2013-06-24: 2,510.0
2013-06-17: 2,494.2
2013-06-10: 2,508.6

Weekly, Ending Monday, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2013-07-19 6:26 AM CDT

M1_Max_630_378

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Release: H.6 Money Stock Measures
Notes:

M1 includes funds that are readily accessible for spending. M1 consists of: (1) currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions; (2) traveler’s checks of nonbank issuers; (3) demand deposits; and (4) other checkable deposits (OCDs), which consist primarily of negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts at depository institutions and credit union share draft accounts. Seasonally adjusted M1 is calculated by summing currency, traveler’s checks, demand deposits, and OCDs, each seasonally adjusted separately.

Velocity of M1 Money Stock (M1V)

2013:Q1: 6.474 Ratio Last 5 Observations

2012:Q4: 6.544
2012:Q3: 6.750
2012:Q2: 6.894
2012:Q1: 6.991

Quarterly, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2013-06-26 9:01 AM CDT

M1V_Max_630_378

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Release: Money Velocity
Notes:Calculated as the ratio of quarterly nominal GDP (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GDP) to the quarterly average of M1 money stock (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M1SL).
Velocity is a ratio of nominal GDP to a measure of the money supply. It can be thought of as the rate of turnover in the money supply–that is, the number of times one dollar is used to purchase final goods and services included in GDP.

M2 Money Stock (M2)

2013-07-08: 10,644.6 Billions of Dollars Last 5 Observations

2013-07-01: 10,653.4
2013-06-24: 10,573.2
2013-06-17: 10,594.5
2013-06-10: 10,590.3

Weekly, Ending Monday, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2013-07-19 6:26 AM CDT

M2

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Release: H.6 Money Stock Measures

Notes:M2 includes a broader set of financial assets held principally by households. M2 consists of M1 plus: (1) savings deposits (which include money market deposit accounts, or MMDAs); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000); and (3) balances in retail money market mutual funds (MMMFs). Seasonally adjusted M2 is computed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.

Velocity of M2 Money Stock (M2V)

2013:Q1: 1.530 Ratio Last 5 Observations

2012:Q4: 1.538
2012:Q3: 1.568
2012:Q2: 1.579
2012:Q1: 1.588

Quarterly, Seasonally Adjusted, Updated: 2013-06-26 9:01 AM CDT

M2_Velocity

Notes:

Calculated as the ratio of quarterly nominal GDP (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GDP) to the quarterly average of M2 money stock (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M2SL).
Velocity is a ratio of nominal GDP to a measure of the money supply. It can be thought of as the rate of turnover in the money supply–that is, the number of times one dollar is used to purchase final goods and services included in GDP.

US Economic Crisis, Predictions For 2013

So Goes Detroit,Bernanke’s Gold Confession, Obama’s ACA Lies

Karl Denninger on Bernanke’s Last Stand and Unwinding Rehypothecation [PRIME INTEREST 45]

Uncertainty over the cost of new regulations is suppressing business investment & job creation.

Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Representative Kevin Brady, presents his opening statement to the committee and witnesses during the JEC hearing “Reducing Unnecessary and Costly Red Tape through Smarter Regulations” on June 26, 2013.

“We’re experiencing the worst economic recovery since WWII.”

CBS: “This Is The Worst Economic Recovery America Has Ever Had”

Obama’s Great Economic Recovery WHERE?

Treasury Yield Curve Methodology
2/26/2009
Page Content

This description was revised and updated on February 26, 2009.

The Treasury’s yield curve is derived using a quasi-cubic hermite spline function. Our inputs are the Close of Business (COB) bid yields for the on-the-run securities. Because the on-the-run securities typically trade close to par, those securities are designated as the knot points in the quasi-cubic hermite spline algorithm and the resulting yield curve is considered a par curve. However, Treasury reserves the option to input additional bid yields if there is no on-the-run security available for a given maturity range that we deem necessary for deriving a good fit for the quasi-cubic hermite spline curve. For example, we are using composites of off-the-run bonds in the 20-year range reflecting market yields available in that time tranche. Previously, a rolled-down 10-year note with a remaining maturity nearest to 7 years was also used as an additional input. That input was discontinued on May 26, 2005.

More specifically, the current inputs are the most recently auctioned 4-, 13-, 26-, and 52-week bills, plus the most recently auctioned 2-, 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year notes and the most recently auctioned 30-year bond, plus the composite rate in the 20-year maturity range. The quotes for these securities are obtained at or near the 3:30 PM close each trading day. The inputs for the four bills are their bond equivalent yields.

Between August 6, 2004 and June 2, 2008, to reduce volatility in the 1-year Treasury Constant Maturity (CMT) rate, and due to the fact that there were no on-the-run issues between 6-months and 2-years, Treasury used an additional input to insure that the 1-year CMT rate was consistent with on-the-run yields on either side of it’s maturity range. Thus, Treasury interpolated between the secondary bond equivalent yield on the most recently auctioned 26-week bill and the secondary market yield on the most recently auctioned 2-year note and inputted the resulting yield as an additional knot point for the derivation of the daily Treasury Yield Curve. The result of that step was that the 1-year CMT was generally the same as the interpolated rate during that time period. As of June 3, 2008, the interpolated yield was dropped as a yield curve input and the on-the-run 52-week bill was added as an input knot point in the quasi-cubic hermite spline algorithm and resulting yield curve.

Between December 3, 2007 and November 7, 2008, due to Treasury’s discontinuance of 3-year notes, we added a composite rate in the 3-year range based on an average of off-the-run securities in that time tranche. This composite was replaced on November 10, 2008 with the on-the-run 3-year note upon its reintroduction.

Treasury does not provide the computer formulation of our quasi-cubic hermite spline yield curve derivation program. However, we have found that most researchers have been able to reasonably match our results using alternative cubic spline formulas.

Treasury reviews its yield curve derivation methodology on a regular basis and reserves the right to modify, adjust or improve the methodology at its option. If Treasury determines that the methodology needs to be changed or updated, Treasury will revise the above description to reflect such changes.

Yield curve rates are usually available at Treasury’s interest rate web sites by 6:00 PM Eastern Time each trading day, but may be delayed due to system problems or other issues. Every attempt is made to make this data available as soon as possible.

Office of Debt Management Department of the Treasury

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
STAR – TREASURY FINANCIAL DATABASE
TABLE 1. SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS AND THE DEFICIT/SURPLUS BY MONTH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (IN MILLIONS)

ACCOUNTING DATE: 06/13

PERIOD RECEIPTS OUTLAYS DEFICIT/SURPLUS (-)
+ ____________________________________________________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________
PRIOR YEAR

OCTOBER 163,072 261,539 98,466
NOVEMBER 152,402 289,704 137,302
DECEMBER 239,963 325,930 85,967
JANUARY 234,319 261,726 27,407
FEBRUARY 103,413 335,090 231,677
MARCH 171,215 369,372 198,157
APRIL 318,807 259,690 -59,117
MAY 180,713 305,348 124,636
JUNE 260,177 319,919 59,741
JULY 184,585 254,190 69,604
AUGUST 178,860 369,393 190,533
SEPTEMBER 261,566 186,386 -75,180

YEAR-TO-DATE 2,449,093 3,538,286 1,089,193

CURRENT YEAR

OCTOBER 184,316 304,311 119,995
NOVEMBER 161,730 333,841 172,112
DECEMBER 269,508 270,699 1,191
JANUARY 272,225 269,342 -2,883
FEBRUARY 122,815 326,354 203,539
MARCH 186,018 292,548 106,530
APRIL 406,723 293,834 -112,889
MAY 197,182 335,914 138,732
JUNE 286,627 170,126 -116,501

YEAR-TO-DATE 2,087,143 2,596,968 509,825

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President Obama delivered the following remarks on the economy at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., on July 24, 2013.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello, Galesburg! (Cheers, applause.) Well, it’s good to be home in Illinois. (Cheers, applause.) It is good to be back. (Cheers, applause.) It’s good to be back. Thank you. Thank you so much, everybody. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody have a seat. Have a seat.

Well, it is good to be back. I want to — I want to, first of all, thank Knox College — (cheers, applause) — I — I want to thank Knox College and your president, Teresa Amott, for having me here today.

Give Teresa a big round of applause. (Cheers, applause.)

I want to thank your congresswoman, Cheri Bustos, who’s here. (Cheers, applause.) Where’s Cheri? There she is.

We’ve got Governor Quinn here. (Cheers, applause.) I’m told we’ve got — your lieutenant governor, Sheila Simon, is here. (Cheers, applause.) There she is.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is here. (Cheers, applause.)

I see — I see a bunch of my former colleagues, some — some folks who I haven’t seen in years and I’m looking forward to saying hi to. One in particular I’ve got to mention. One of favorites from the Illinois senate, John Sullivan, is in the house. (Cheers, applause.)

Yeah, John — John was one of my earliest supporters when I was running for the U.S. Senate, and it came in really handy because he’s got like 10 brothers, and his wife — and sisters, and his wife’s got 10 brothers and sisters. (Laughter.) So — so they’ve got this entire precinct just in their family. (Laughter.) And they all look like John, the brothers do, so you know, he doesn’t have to go to every event. He can just send one of his brothers out. (Laughter.) It is good to see them.

Dick Durbin couldn’t make it today, but he sends his best. And we love Dick. (Cheers, applause.) He is doing a great job.

And we’ve got one of my favorite neighbors, the senator from Missouri Claire McCaskill, in the house, because we’re going to Missouri later this afternoon. (Cheers, applause.)

So — and all of you are here, and it’s great to see you. (Cheers, applause.) And I hope — I hope everybody’s having a wonderful summer. The weather is perfect. Whoever was in charge of that, good job. (Laughter.)

So eight years ago, I came here to deliver the commencement address for the Class of 2005. Now, things were a little different back then. For example, I had no gray hair. (Laughter.) Or a motorcade. (Laughter.) Didn’t even have a prompter. In fact, there was a problem in terms of printing out the speech because the printer didn’t work here and we had to drive it in from somewhere. (Laughter.)

But it was my first big speech as your newest senator. And on the way here I was telling Cheri and Claire about how important this area was — one of the areas that I spent the most time in outside of Chicago and how much it represented what’s best in America and folks who are willing to work hard and do right by their families. And I came here to talk about what a changing economy was doing to the middle class and what we as a country needed to do to give every American a chance to get ahead in the 21st century.

See, I had just spent a year traveling the state and listening to your stories of proud Maytag workers losing their jobs when the plant moved down to Mexico — (applause) — a lot of folks here remember that — of teachers whose salaries weren’t keeping up with the rising cost of groceries — (applause) — of young people who had the drive and the energy but not the money to afford a college education.

So these were stories of families who had worked hard, believed in the American dream, but they felt like the odds were increasingly stacked against them. And they were right. Things had changed.In the period after World War II, a growing middle class was the engine of our prosperity. Whether you owned a company or swept its floors or worked anywhere in between, this country offered you a basic bargain, a sense that your hard work would be rewarded with fair wages and decent benefits, the chance to buy a home, to save for retirement and — and most of all, a chance to hand down a better life for your kids.But over time that engine began to stall, and a lot of folks here saw it. That bargain began to fray. Technology made some jobs obsolete. Global competition sends a lot of jobs overseas. It became harder for unions to fight for the middle class. Washington doled out bigger tax cuts to the very wealthy and smaller minimum wage increases for the working poor.And so what happened was that — (applause) — the — the link between higher productivity and people’s wages and salaries was broken. Used to be that as companies did better, as profits went higher, workers also got a better deal.And that started changing.So the income of the top 1 percent nearly quadrupled from 1979 to 2007, but the typical family’s incomes barely budged. And towards the end of those three decades, a housing bubble, credit cards, a churning financial sector was keeping the economy artificially juiced up, so sometimes it papered over some of these long-term trends.But by the time I took office in 2009 as your president, we all know the bubble had burst. And it cost millions of Americans their jobs and their homes and their savings. And I know a lot of folks in this area were hurt pretty bad. And the decadeslong erosion that had been taking place, the erosion of middle-class security, was suddenly laid bare for everybody to see.Now, today, five years after the start of that Great Recession, America has fought its way back. We’ve fought our way back. (Cheers, applause.) Together we saved the auto industry, took on a broken health care system. (Cheers, applause.) We invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil. We doubled wind and solar power. (Cheers, applause.)Together we put in place tough new rules on big banks and protections to crack down on the worst practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies. (Applause.) We changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest at the expense of working families. So we changed that. We locked in tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, and we asked those at the top to pay a little bit more. (Applause.)So you add it all up, and over the past 40 months our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs. This year we’re off to our strongest private sector job growth since 1999. And because we bet on this country, suddenly foreign companies are too. Right now more — more of Honda’s cars are made in America than anyplace else on Earth. (Applause.) Yeah. Airbus, the — the European aircraft company — they’re building new planes in Alabama. (Applause.) Then American companies like Ford are replacing outsourcing with insourcing. They’re bringing jobs back home. (Cheers, applause.)We sell more products made in America to the rest of the world than ever before. We now produce more natural gas than any country on Earth. We’re about to produce more of our own oil than we buy from abroad for the first time in nearly 20 years. (Applause.) The cost of health care is growing at its slowest rate in 50 years. (Cheers, applause.)

And our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years. (Cheers, applause.)So thanks to the grit and resilience and determination of the American people, of folks like you, we’ve been able to clear away the rubble from the financial crisis. We’ve started to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth. And you know, it’s happening in our own personal lives as well, right? A lot of us tightened our belts, shed debt, maybe cut up a couple of credit cards, refocused on those things that really matter. As a country, we’ve recovered faster and gone further than most other advanced nations in the world, with new American revolutions in — in energy and technology and manufacturing and health care. We’re actually poised to reverse the forces that battered the middle class for so long and start building an economy where everyone who works hard can get ahead.But — and here’s the big “but” — I’m here to tell you today that we’re not there yet. We all know that. We’re not there yet. We’ve got more work to do. Even though our businesses are creating new jobs and have broken record profits, nearly all the income gains of the past 10 years have continued to flow to the top 1 percent. The average CEO has gotten a raise of nearly 40 percent since 2009.The average American earns less than he or she did in 1999. And companies continue to hold back on hiring those who’ve been out of work for some time. Today more students are earning their degree, but soaring costs saddle them with unsustainable debt. Health care costs are slowing down, but a lot of working families haven’t seen any of those savings yet. The stock market rebound helped a lot of families get back much of what they had lost in their 401(k)s, but millions of Americans still have no idea how they’re going to be able to retire.So in many ways, the trends that I spoke about here in 2005, eight years ago, the trend of a winner-take-all economy where a few are doing better and better and better while everybody else just treads water — those trends have been made worse by the recession. And that’s a problem.This growing inequality not just of result, inequality of opportunity, this growing inequality — it’s not just morally wrong; it’s bad economics because when middle-class families have less to spend, guess what? Businesses have fewer consumers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther and farther apart, it undermines the very essence of America, that idea that if you — if you work hard, you can make it here.And that’s why reversing these trends has to be Washington’s highest priority.

(Applause.) It has to be Washington’s highest priority. It’s certainly my highest priority. (Applause.) Unfortunately, over the past couple of years in particular, Washington hasn’t just ignored this problem. Too often, Washington’s made things worse. (Applause.)And I have to say that, you know — because I’m looking around the room — I’ve got some friends here not just who are Democrats; I’ve got some friends here who are Republicans and who worked — (applause) — you know, I worked with in the state legislature, and they did great work. But right now, what we’ve got in Washington — we’ve seen a sizable group of Republican lawmakers suggest that they wouldn’t vote to pay the very bills that Congress rang up. And that fiasco harmed a fragile recovery in 2011, and we can’t afford to repeat that.Then, rather than reduce our deficits with a scalpel, by cutting out programs we don’t need, fixing ones that we do need that maybe are in need of a reform — making government more efficient — instead of doing that, we’ve got folks who have insisted on leaving in place a meat cleaver called the sequester that’s cost jobs. It’s harmed growth, it’s hurt our military, it’s gutted investments in education and science and medical research. (Applause.)Almost every credible economist will tell you it’s been a huge drag on this recovery, and it means that we’re underinvesting in the things that this country needs to make it a magnet for good jobs.Then over the last six months, this gridlock’s gotten worse. I didn’t think that was possible. (Laughter.) The good news is a growing number of Republican senators are looking to join their Democratic counterparts and try to get things done in the Senate. So that’s good news. (Applause.)For example, they worked together on an immigration bill that economists say will boost our economy by more than a trillion dollars, strengthen border security, make the system work. But you’ve got a faction of Republicans in the House who won’t even give that bill a vote, and that same group gutted a farm bill that America’s farmers depend on but also America’s most vulnerable children depend on.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Boo! (Scattered applause.)PRESIDENT OBAMA: And if you ask some of these folks, some of these folks mostly in the House, about their economic agenda, how it is that they’ll strengthen the middle class, they’ll shift the topic to out-of-control government spending, despite the fact that we’ve cut the deficit by nearly half as a share of the economy since I took office. (Cheers, applause.)Or they’ll talk about government assistance for the poor, despite the fact that they’ve already cut early education for vulnerable kids, they’ve already cut insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Or they’ll bring up “Obamacare” — this is tried and true — despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly twice as many jobs in this recovery as businesses had at the same point in the last recovery, when there was no “Obamacare.”(Applause.)

So —AUDIENCE MEMBER: (My daughter ?) has insurance now.PRESIDENT OBAMA: I appreciate that. (Cheers, applause.) That’s what that’s about. That’s what this is about. That’s — that’s what we’ve been fighting for.But with this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington’s taken its eye off the ball. And I’m here to say this needs to stop. (Applause.) This needs to stop. (Cheers, applause.)AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible) — Boehner.PRESIDENT OBAMA: This moment does not require short-term thinking. It does not require having the same old stale debates. Our focus has to be on the basic economic issues that the matter most to you — the people we represent. (Applause.) That’s what we have to spend our time on and our energy on and our focus on.And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class and everybody who’s fighting to get into the middle class could not be higher.The countries that are passive in the face of a global economy — those countries will lose the competition for good jobs. They will lose the competition for high living standards.That’s why America has to make the investments necessary to promote long-term growth and shared prosperity, rebuilding our manufacturing base, educating our workforce, upgrading our transportation systems — (cheers, applause) — upgrading our information networks. That’s what we need to be talking about. That’s what Washington needs to be focused on.And that’s why over the next several weeks in towns across this country, I will be engaging the American people in this debate. (Cheers, applause.) I’ll lay out my ideas for how we build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle-class in America and what it takes to work your way into the middle class in America: job security with good wages and durable industries, a good education, a home to call your own, affordable health care when you get sick, a secure retirement even if you’re not rich — (cheers, applause) — reducing poverty, reducing inequality, growing opportunity. That’s what we need. (Cheers, applause.) That’s what we need. That’s what we need right now. (Cheers, applause.)That’s what we need to be focused on.Now — now, some of these ideas I’ve talked about before. Some of the ideas I offer will be new. Some will require Congress. Some I will pursue on my own. (Cheers, applause.) Some ideas will benefit folks right away. Some will take years to fully implement.But the key is to break through the tendency in Washington to just bounce from crisis to crisis. What we need is not a three-month plan, or even a three-year plan. We need a long-term American strategy based on steady, persistent effort to reverse the forces that have conspired against the middle class for decades. (Applause.) That has to be our project. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, of course we’ll keep pressing on other key priorities. I want to get this immigration bill done. We still need to work on reducing gun violence. (Cheers, applause.) We’ve — we’ve got to — we’ve got to continue to end the war in Afghanistan, rebalance our fight against al-Qaida. (Cheers, applause.) We need to combat climate change. We’ve got to stand up for civil rights. We’ve got to stand up for women’s rights. (Cheers, applause.)

So all — all those issues are important, and we’ll be fighting on every one of those issues. But if we don’t have a growing, thriving middle class, then we won’t have the resources to solve a lot of these problems. We don’t have the resolve, the optimism, sense of unity that we need to solve many of these other issues.

Now, in this effort, I will look to work with Republicans as well as Democrats wherever I can. And I — I sincerely believe that there are members of both parties who understand this moment, understand what’s at stake, and I will welcome ideas from anybody across the political spectrum. But I will not allow gridlock or inaction or willful indifference to get in our way. (Cheers, applause.)

That means whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class, I’ll use it. (Cheers, applause.) Where I can’t act on my own and Congress isn’t cooperating, I’ll pick up the phone, I’ll call CEOs, I’ll call philanthropists, I’ll call college presidents, I’ll call labor leaders, I’ll call anybody who can help and enlist them in our efforts — (cheers, applause) — because the choices that we, the people, make right now will determine whether or not every American has a fighting chance in the 21st century. And it’ll — it’ll lay the foundation for our children’s future, our grandchildren’s future for all Americans.

So let me give you a quick preview of what I’ll be fighting for and why. The first cornerstone of a strong, growing middle class has to be, as I said before, an economy that generates more good jobs and durable, growing industries. That’s how this area was built. That’s how America prospered, because anybody who was willing to work — they could go out there, and they could find themselves a job, and they could build a life for themselves and their family.

Now, over the past four years, for the first time since the 1990s, the number of American manufacturing jobs has actually gone up instead of down. That’s the good news. (Cheers, applause.) But we — we can do more.

So I’m going to push new initiatives to help more manufacturers bring more jobs back to the United States. We’re going to continue to focus — (applause) — on strategies to — to make sure our tax code rewards companies that are not shipping jobs overseas but creating jobs right here in the United States of America. (Applause.) We want to make sure that we’re going to create strategies to make sure that good jobs in wind and solar and natural gas that are lowering costs and at the same time reducing dangerous carbon pollution happen right here in the United States. (Cheers, applause.) And — and something that Sherri (sp) and I were talking about on the way over here — I’m going to be pushing to open more manufacturing innovation institutes that turn regions left behind by global competition into global centers of cutting-edge jobs.

So let’s tell the world that America is open for business. (Cheers, applause.) I know there is an old site right here in Galesburg, over on Monmouth Boulevard. Let’s — let’s put some folks to work. (Cheers, applause.)

Tomorrow I’ll also visit the port of Jacksonville, Florida, to offer new ideas for doing what America has always done best, which is building things. You know, Pat and I were talking before I came backstage, Pat Quinn. He was talking about how I came over the Don Moffitt bridge, you know, the — (cheers, applause) —

But — but we’ve got to — work to do all across the country. We’ve got ports that aren’t ready for the new supertankers that are going to begin passing through the new Panama Canal in two years’ time. If we don’t get that done, those tankers are going to do someplace else. We’ve got more than a hundred thousand bridges that are old enough to qualify for Medicare. (Laughter, applause.) Businesses depend on our transportation systems, on our power grids, on our communications networks, and rebuilding them creates good- paying jobs right now that can’t be outsourced. (Applause.)

And — and — and by the way, this didn’t — this isn’t a Democratic idea. You know, Republicans built a lot of stuff. This is the land of Lincoln. He — Lincoln was all about building stuff. (Cheers, applause.) First Republican president. And yet, as a share of our economy, we invest less in our infrastructure than we did two decades ago.

And that’s inefficient at a time when it’s as cheap as it’s been since the 1950s to build things. It’s inexcusable at a time when so many of the workers who build stuff for a living are sitting at home waiting for a call.

The longer we put this off, the more expensive it will be, and the less competitive we will be. Businesses of tomorrow will not locate near old roads and outdated ports. They’ll relocate to places with high-speed Internet and high-tech schools and systems that move air and auto traffic faster and, not to mention, will get parents home quicker from work because we’ll be eliminating some of these traffic jams. And we can watch all of that happen in other countries and start falling behind, or we can choose to make it happen right here in the United States. (Cheers, applause.)

In an age when jobs know no borders, companies are also going to seek out the countries that boast the most talented citizens, and they’ll reward folks who’ve had the skills and the talents they need — they’ll reward those folks with good pay. You know, the days when the wages for a worker with a high school degree could keep pace with earnings of somebody who got some sort of higher education — those days are over. Everybody here knows that. There are a whole bunch of folks where whose dads or grandpas, you know, worked at a plant, might — didn’t need a high school education. You could just go there — if you were willing to work hard, you might be able to get two jobs.

And you could support your family, have a vacation, own your home. But technology and global competition — they’re not going away. Those old days aren’t coming back. So we can either throw up our hands and resign ourselves to diminishing living standards, or we can do what America has always done, which is adapt and pull together and fight back and win. That’s what we have to do. (Cheers, applause.)

And that brings me to the second cornerstone of the strong middle class — and everybody here knows it: an education that prepares our children and our workers for the global competition that they’re going to face. (Cheers, applause.) And if you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century. (Applause.)

If we don’t make this investment, we’re going to put our kids, our workers and our country at a competitive disadvantage for decades. So we have to begin in the earliest years, and that’s why I’m going to keep pushing to make high-quality preschool available for every four- year-old in America — (cheers, applause) — not just because we know it works for our kids, but because it provides a vital support system for working parents. And I’m going to take action in the education area to spur innovation that don’t require Congress.

(Applause.) So today, for example, as we speak — as we speak, federal agencies are moving on my plan to connect 99 percent of America’s students to high-speed Internet over the next five years. (Applause.) We’re making that happen right now. We’ve already begun meeting with business leaders and tech entrepreneurs and innovative educators to identify the best ideas for redesigning our high schools so that they teach the skills required for a high-tech economy.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Right.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And we’re also going to keep pushing new efforts to train workers for changing jobs. So here in Galesburg, for example, a lot of the workers that were laid off at Maytag chose to enroll in retraining programs like the one at Carl Sandburg College. (Cheers, applause.) And — and while it didn’t pay off for everyone, all lot of the folks who were retrained found jobs that suited them even better and paid even more than the ones they had lost.

And that’s why I’ve asked Congress to start a Community College to Career initiative, so that workers can earn the skills that high- tech jobs demand without leaving their hometown. And I’m going to challenge CEOs — (applause) — I’m going to challenge CEOs from some of America’s best companies to hire more Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening but have been laid off so long nobody’s giving their resume an honest look.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: True — that too.

I’m also going to use the power of my office over the next few months to highlight a topic that’s straining the budgets of just about every American family, and that’s the soaring cost of higher education. (Cheers, applause.)

Everybody’s touched by this, including your president, who had a whole bunch of loans he had to pay off.

(Laughter.)

Three years ago I worked with Democrats to reform the student loan system so that taxpayer dollars stopped padding the pockets of big banks and instead helped more kids afford college. (Cheers, applause.) Then I capped loan repayments at 10 percent of monthly incomes for responsible borrowers so that if — if somebody graduated and they decide to take a teaching job, for example, that didn’t pay a lot of money, they knew that they were never going to pay more than 10 percent of their income, and they could afford to go into a profession that they loved. That’s in place right now. And this week we’re working with both parties — (applause) — this week we’re working with both parties to reverse the doubling of student loan rates that happened a few weeks ago because of congressional inaction. (Cheers, applause.)

So this is all a good start, but it isn’t enough. Families and taxpayers can’t just keep paying more and more and more into an undisciplined system where costs just keep on going up and up and up. We’ll never have enough loan money, we’ll never have enough grant money to keep up with costs that are going up five, six, seven percent a year. We’ve got to get more out of what we pay for.

Now, some colleges are testing new approaches to shorten the path to a degree or blending teaching with online learning to help students master material and earn credits in less time. And some states are testing new ways to fund college based not just on how many students enroll but how many of them graduate, how well do they do.

So this afternoon I’ll visit the University of Central Missouri to highlight their efforts to deliver more bang for the buck to their students. And in the coming months, I will lay out an aggressive strategy to shake up the system, tackle rising costs and improve value for middle-class students and their families. It is critical that we make sure that college is affordable for every single American who’s willing to work for it. (Cheers, sustained applause.)

Now — so you got a good job. You get a good education. Those have always been the key stepping stones into the middle class. But a home of your own has always been the clearest expression of middle- class security. For most families, that’s your biggest asset. For most families, that’s where, you know, your life’s work has been invested. And that changed during the crisis when we saw millions of middle-class families experience their home values plummeting.

The good news is over the past four years we’ve helped more responsible homeowners stay in their homes, and today sales are up and prices are up and fewer Americans see their homes underwater. But we’re not done yet. The key now is to encourage homeownership that isn’t based on unrealistic bubbles but instead is based on a solid foundation, where buyers and lenders play by the same set of rules, rules that are clear and transparent and fair.

So already I’ve asked Congress to pass a really good bipartisan idea, one that was championed, by the way, by Mitt Romney’s economic adviser. And this is the idea to give every homeowner the chance to refinance their mortgage while rates are still low so they can save thousands of dollars a year. (Cheers, applause.) It would be like a tax cut for families who can refinance.

And I’m also acting on my own to cut red tape for responsible families who want to get a mortgage, but the bank’s saying no. We’ll work with both parties to turn the page on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and build a housing finance system that’s rock-solid for future generations. So we’ve got more work to do to strengthen homeownership in this country.

But along with homeownership, the fourth cornerstone of what it means to be middle-class in this country is a secure retirement. And — (cheers, applause) — I hear from too many people across the country, face to face or in letters that they send me, that they feel as if retirement is just receding from their grasp. It’s getting farther and farther away. They — they can’t see it.

Now, today a rising stock market has millions of retirement balances going up, and some of the losses that had taken place during the financial crisis have been recovered. But we still live with an upside-down system where those at the top, folks like me, get generous tax incentives to save while tens of millions of hardworking Americans who are struggling — they get none of those breaks at all.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Right.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: So as we work to reform our tax code — (scattered applause) — we should find new ways to make it easier for workers to put away money and free middle-class families from the fear that they won’t be able to retire. (Cheers, applause.)

And if Congress is looking for a bipartisan place to get started, I should just say, they don’t have to look far; we mentioned immigration reform before, the Economist show that immigration reform makes undocumented workers pay their full fare — share of taxes, and that actually shores up the Social Security system for years. So we should get that done. (Cheers, applause.)

Good job, good education for your kids, home of your own, secure retirement. Fifth, I’m going to keep focusing on health care, because middle-class families and small business owners — (applause) — deserve the security of knowing that neither an accident or an illness is going to threaten the dreams that you’ve worked a lifetime to build.

As we speak, we’re well on our way to fully implementing the Affordable Care Act. (Cheers, applause.) We’re going to implement it. Now, if you’re one of the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, either through the job or Medicare or Medicaid, you don’t have to do anything, but you do have new benefits and better protections than you did before. You may not know it, but you do: free checkups, mammograms, discounted medicines if you’re on Medicare. That’s what the Affordable Care Act means.

You’re already getting a better deal. No lifetime limits.

If you don’t have health insurance, then starting on October 1st, private plans will actually compete for your business. And you’ll be able to comparison shop online. There will be a marketplace online, just like you’d buy a flat screen TV or plane tickets or anything else you’re doing online. And you’ll be able to buy an insurance package that fits your budget and is right for you.

And if you’re one of the up to half of all Americans who’ve been sick or have a pre-existing condition — if you look at this auditorium, about half of you probably have a pre-existing condition that insurance companies could use to not give you insurance if you lost your job or lost your insurance. Well, this law means that beginning January 1st, insurance companies will finally have to cover you and charge you the same rates as everybody else, even if you have a pre-existing condition. (Cheers, applause.) That’s what the Affordable Care Act does. (Cheers and applause continuing.) That’s what it does.

Now — (applause continuing). Look, I know — because I’ve been living it — (chuckles) — that there are folks out there who are actively working to make this law fail. I may — and I don’t always understand exactly what their logic is here, why they think giving insurance to folks who don’t have it and making folks with insurance a little more secure — why they think that’s a bad thing. But despite the politically motivated misinformation campaign, the states that have committed themselves to making this law work are finding that competition and choice are actually pushing costs down.

So just last week, New York announced that premiums for consumers who buy their insurance in these online marketplaces will be at least 50 percent lower than what they’re paying today. (Applause.) Fifty percent lower.

So folks’ premiums in the individual market will drop by 50 percent. And for them and for the millions of Americans who’ve been able to cover their sick kids for the first time, like this gentleman who just said his daughter’s got health insurance, or have been able to cover their employees more cheaply, or are able to have their kids who are younger than — who are 25 or 26 stay on their parents’ plan — (applause) — for all those folks — for all those folks, you’ll have the security of knowing that everything you’ve worked hard for is no longer one illness away from being wiped out. (Applause.)

Now, finally, as we work to strengthen these cornerstones of middle-class security — good job with decent wages and benefits, a good education, home of your own, retirement security, health care security — I’m going to make the case for why we’ve got to rebuild ladders of opportunity for all those Americans who haven’t quite made it yet, who are working hard but are still suffering poverty wages — (applause) — who are struggling to get full-time work. There are a lot of folks who are still struggling out here, too many people in poverty.

You know, here in America, we’ve never guaranteed success.

That’s not what we do.

More than some other countries, we expect people to be self- reliant. Nobody’s going to do something for you. (Applause.) We’ve tolerated a little more inequality for the sake of a more dynamic, more adaptable economy. That’s all for the good. But that idea has always been combined with a commitment to equality of opportunity, to upward mobility — the idea that no matter how poor you started, if you’re willing to work hard and discipline yourself and defer gratification, you can make it too. That’s the American idea. (Applause.)

Unfortunately, opportunities for upward mobility in America have gotten harder to find over the past 30 years, and that’s a betrayal of the American idea. And that’s why we have to do a lot more to give every American the chance to work their way into the middle class. Now, the best defense against all of these forces — global competition, economic polarization, is the strength of the community. So we need to — we need a new push to rebuild run-down neighborhoods. We need new partnerships — (applause) — we need new partnerships with some of the hardest-hit towns in America to get them back on their feet. (Applause.)

And because no one who works full-time in America should have to live in poverty, I am going to keep making the case that we need to raise the minimum wage, because it’s lower right now than it was when Ronald Reagan took office. (Cheers, applause.) It’s time for the minimum wage to go up. (Cheers, applause.) We’re not a people who allow chance of birth to decide life’s biggest winners or losers.

And after years in which we’ve seen how easy it can be for any of us to fall on hard times, folks in Galesburg, folks in the Quad Cities, you know there are good people who work hard — sometimes they get a bad break. Plant leaves, somebody gets sick, somebody loses a home. We’ve seen it in our family and our friends and our neighbors. We’ve seen it happen, and that means we cannot turn our backs when bad breaks hit any of our fellow citizens.

So good jobs, a better bargain for the middle class and the folks who are working to get into the middle class, an economy that grows from the middle out, not the top down — (applause) — that’s where I will focus my energies. (Cheers, applause.) That’s where I’ll focus my energies not just for the next few months but for the remainder of my presidency.

These are the plans that I’ll lay out across this country. But I won’t be able to do it alone, so I’m going to be calling on all of us to take up this cause. We’ll need our businesses, who are some of the best in the world, to pressure Congress to invest in our future. And I’ll be asking our businesses to set an example by providing decent wages and salaries to their own employees.

And I’m going to highlight the ones — (applause) — that do just that. You know, there are companies like — like Costco, which pays good wages and offers good benefits — (cheers, applause) — companies like — you know, there are companies like The Container Store that — that prides itself on training its employees and — and on employee satisfaction, because these companies prove that it’s not just good for the employees; it’s good for their businesses to treat workers well.

It’s good for America. (Applause.)

So I’m going to be — I’m going to be calling on the private sector to step up. I will be saying to Democrats, we’ve got to question some of our old assumptions. We’ve got to be willing to redesign or get rid of programs that don’t work as well as they should. (Applause.) We’ve got to be willing to — we’ve got to embrace changes to cherished priorities so that they work better in this new age.

We can’t just — Democrats can’t just stand pat and just defend whatever government’s doing. If we believe that government can give the middle class a fair shot in this new century — and I believe that — we’ve got an obligation to prove it. And that means that we’ve got to be open to new ways of doing things. And we’ll need Republican — (audio break) — Congress to set aside short-term politics and work with me to find common ground. (Cheers, applause.)

Now — you know, it’s interesting. In the run-up to this speech, a lot of reporters say, well, you know, Mr. President, these are all good ideas, but some of them, you’ve said before, some of them sound great, but you can’t get those through Congress; Republicans won’t agree with you. And I say, look, the fact is there are Republicans in Congress right now who privately agree with me on a lot of the ideas I’ll be proposing.

I know because they’ve said so. But they worry they’ll face swift political retaliation for cooperating with me. Now, there are others who will dismiss every idea I put forward — (laughter) — either because they’re playing to their most strident supporters or, in some cases, because sincerely they have a fundamentally different vision for America — one that says inequality is both inevitable and just; one that says an unfettered free market without any restraints inevitably produces the best outcomes, regardless of the pain and uncertainty imposed on ordinary families. And government’s the problem and we should just shrink it as — as small as we can.

In either case, I say to these members of Congress: I’m laying out my ideas to give the middle class a better shot. So now it’s time for you to lay out your ideas. (Applause.) You can’t just be against something. You got to be for something. (Cheers, applause.) Even if you think I’ve done everything wrong, the trends I just talked about were happening well before I took office. So it’s not enough for you to just oppose me. You got to be for something. What are your ideas?

If you’re willing to work with me to strengthen American manufacturing and rebuild this country’s infrastructure, let’s go. If you’ve got better ideas to bring down the cost of college for working families, let’s hear them.

If the — if you think you have a better plan for making sure that every American has the security of quality, affordable health care, then stop taking meaningless repeal votes and share your concrete ideas with the country. (Cheers, applause.)

Repealing “Obamacare” and cutting spending is not an economic plan. It’s not. If you’re serious about a balanced long-term fiscal plan that replaces the mindless cuts currently in place, or if you’re interested in tax reform that closes corporate loopholes and gives working families a better deal, I’m ready to work. (Applause.) But you should know that I will not accept deals that don’t meet the basic test of strengthening the prospects of hardworking families. This is the agenda we have to be working on. (Cheers, applause.)

We’ve come a long way since I first took office. (Applause.) You know, as a country — as a country, we’re older and wiser. I don’t know if I’m wiser, but I’m certainly older. (Laughter.)

And, you know, as long as Congress doesn’t manufacture another crisis — as long as we don’t shut down the government just because I’m for keeping it open — (laughter); as long as we — as long as we don’t risk a U.S. default over paying bills that we’ve already racked up, something that we’ve never done — we can probably muddle along without taking bold action.

If we stand pat and we don’t do any of the things I talked about, our economy will grow, although slower than it should. New businesses will form, and the unemployment rate will probably tick down a little bit. Just by virtue of our size and our natural resources, and most of all because of the talent of our people, America will remain a world power, and the majority of us will figure out how to get by.

But you know, if that’s our choice, if we just stand by and do nothing in the face of immense change, understand that — that part of our character will be lost. Our founding precept about wide-open opportunity, each generation doing better than the last, that will be a myth, not reality. The position of the middle class will erode further. Inequality will continue to increase. Money’s power will distort our politics even more. Social tensions will rise as various groups fight to hold on to what they have, or start blaming somebody else for why their position isn’t improving. And the fundamental optimism that’s always propelled us forward will give way to cynicism or nostalgia.

And that’s not the vision I have for this country. It’s not the vision you have for this country. That’s not the America we know. That’s not the vision we should be settling for. That’s not a vision we should be passing onto our children.

I have now run my last campaign. I do not intend to wait until the next campaign or the next president before tackling the issues that matter. I care about one thing and one thing only, and that’s how to use every minute — (applause) — the only thing I care about is how to use every minute of the remaining 1,276 days of my term to make this country work for working Americans again. (Cheers, applause.) That’s all I care about. I don’t have another election.

Because I’ll tell you, Galesburg, that’s where I believe America needs to go. I believe that’s where the American people want to go. And it may seem hard today, but if we’re willing to take a few bold steps, if Washington will just shake off its complacency and set aside the kind of slash-and-burn partisanship that we’ve just seen for way too long, if we just make some common-sense decisions, our economy will be stronger a year from now. It’ll be stronger five years from now. It’ll be stronger 10 years from now. (Applause.)

If we focus on what matters, then more Americans will know the pride of that first paycheck. More Americans will have the satisfaction of flipping the sign to “open” on their own business. More Americans will have the joy of — of, you know, scratching the height of their kid on that door of their brand new home. (Applause.) And — and — and — and in the end, isn’t that what makes us special?

It’s not the ability to generate incredible wealth for the few, it’s our ability to give everybody a chance to pursue their own true measure of happiness. (Applause.) We haven’t just wanted success for ourselves; we want it for our neighbors, too. That’s why — (cheers, applause) — I mean, when we think about our own communities, we’re — we’re not a mean people. We’re not a selfish people. We’re not a people that just looks out for number one. Why should our politics reflect those kinds of values?

That’s why we don’t call it John’s dream or Susie’s dream or Barack’s dream or Pat’s dream. We call it the American Dream. And that’s what makes this country special, the idea that no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from or who you love, you can make it if you try. (Applause.) That’s what we’re fighting for. (Cheers, applause.)

So, yes, Congress is tough right now. But that’s not going to stop me. We’re going to do everything we can wherever we can, with or without Congress, to make things happen.

We’re going to — we’re going to take — go on the road and talk to you. And you’ll have ideas, and we want to see which ones we can — we can implement. But we’re going to focus on this thing that matters.

You know, one of America’s greatest writers, Carl Sandburg, born right here in Galesburg over a century ago — (applause) — he saw the railroads bring the world to the prairie, and then the prairie send out its bounty to the world. And he saw the advent of new industries, new technologies. And he watched populations shift. He saw fortunes made and lost. And he saw how change could be painful, how a new age could unsettle long-held customs and ways of life.

But he had that frontier optimism, and so he saw something more on the horizon. And he wrote, I speak of new cities and new people. The past is a bucket of ashes. Yesterday is a wind gone down, a sun dropped in the west. There is only an ocean of tomorrows — a sky of tomorrows.

Well, America, we’ve made it through the worst of yesterday’s winds. We just have to have the courage to keep moving forward. We’ve got to set our eyes on the horizon. We will find an ocean of tomorrows. We will find a sky of tomorrows for the American people and for this great country that we love. So thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/full-text-of-president-obamas-remarks-on-the-economy-at-knox-college-as-prepared-for-delivery/2013/07/24/fd580f6a-f47f-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html

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Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 3: Where is the National Media When Two Teenage Blacks Killed a 12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale For Bicycle Parts! — Videos

Posted on July 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Business, Communications, Crime, Culture, Education, History, Law, Media, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Regulation, Videos, Violence, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

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Segment 3: Where is the National Media When Two Teenage Blacks Killed a 12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale For Bicycle Parts! — Videos

Autumn-Pasquale

Brothers_Dante_Robinson__Justin_Robinson__arrested_for_strangling_missing_12_year_old_Autumn_Pasquale

!!BLACK-CRIME-Report

R.I.P. Autumn Pasquale

Black Teen Boys Strangle 12 yr old White Girl to Steal Bike & Dump Her Body in a Recycling Bin

Murder in Clayton New Jersey, 12 year old Autumn Pasquale murdered by 2 black teenagers

Teenage Brothers Arrested In Murder Of Missing Clayton Girl Autumn Pasquale

Donte and Justin Robinson

BREAKING NEWS: New Jersey Teen Killed for Bike Parts: Police

Teenage Brothers Charged With Killing NJ Girl

New Jersey Teens Charged With Murder of Missing Girl

12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale Murdered By Two Black Sociopaths For Bike Parts

Autumn Pasquale murder and trial

INTRODUCTION

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale was reported missing. After a brief, intense search, police found her body in a recycling container early Tuesday morning. Her death sent shockwaves through Clayton, the small town where she was from. Two teenage brothers were charged with her murder.

This is her story. Below you will find the South Jersey Times’ complete coverage, with supplemental stories from The Star-Ledger, of Autumn Pasquale’s disappearance, the discovery of her body, the resulting fallout, and the trial. You can also see all stories here.

Current status: The two young brothers accused of killing Autumn Pasquale are awaiting trial.

DISAPPEARANCE:

Initially, authorities asked for help for anyone who had any information on the disappearance of missing Clayton girl Autumn Pasquale. She went missing on Saturday, October 20, 2012. She was last seen around 12:30 p.m., according to police, and relatives reported her missing at 9:30 p.m. that night.

FINDING THE BODY:

After an exhaustive two day search, authorities announced that they had found the body of Autumn Pasquale in a recycling container in Clayton. Just hours earlier, family and friends had gathered for a vigil to pray for her safe return. She was just one week away from her 13th birthday.

URDER AND MOTIVE:

Two teenage boys, Donte and Justin Robinson, were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. An autopsy revealed that Pasquale likely died of blunt force trauma, consistent with strangulation, and that there was no evidence of sexual assault. Authorities said that they believed the teenage boys wanted Pasquale’s bicycle and its parts.

It was also revealed that a Facebook post by one of the suspects invited Pasquale to his home when she expressed interest in a bike. Residents also said that one of the suspects attended a vigil where people prayed for her safe return, and that he “liked” her memorial page.

REACTION BY FAMILY, COMMUNITY:

The news of the death sent shockwaves through the town. The family mourned the loss of the young girl; her uncle said that “out of evil will come goodness.” They were left with despair and frustration, and questions: how would they be able to rebuild their lives? Why wasn’t there an AMBER alert? Months after Pasquale’s death, her father was still searching for answers.

FUNERALS, MEMORIALS, AND MORE:

Autumn Pasquale was laid to rest on Saturday, October 27, one week after she was reported missing. Thousands turned out to mourn the death of the 12-year-old girl.

After her death, benefits and memorials took place to commemorate her life. A bike trail, for example, was named after her.

MURDER TRIAL:

Before the trial, the teenage suspects, Donte Robinson, 17, and his brother Justin Robinson, 15, were kept in juvenile detention, but the prosecutor sought to try them as adults.

The issue whether the court should be opened to the public was raised, but the judge denied media access. The judge also ruled against hair sampling to be used during the trial as evidence.

The Gloucester County prosecutor handed off the murder case to Camden County to prevent a potential conflict of interest mistrial from occurring, since the family intended to file suit against the county.

PASQUALE FAMILY VS. THE COUNTY; FAMILY INFIGHTING:

Grief turned to anger as Autumn Pasquale’s family turned their ire on Gloucester County officials for what they perceived to be a sluggish response to her disappearance. They particularly had issue with Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton, who oversaw the rescue and recovery effort.

Additionally, there was infighting within the family over the memorial fund, when their parents engaged in a litigation battle. The mother sued the father, saying she was cut out of the memorial fund established in her daughter’s name. It was ultimately settled out of court.

http://www.nj.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/03/autumn_pasquale_murder_and_tri.html

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George Zimmerman Trial Defense Closing Argument — Not Guilty of All Charges Including Murder and Manslaughter — Police Chief Was Right No Probable Cause To Arrest George Zimmerman For Anything — Malicious Political Prosecution and Media Political Show Trial and Electronic Lynching Fails Big Time — Killing Justified Self-defense! –Videos

How Much Did The Piers Morgan Show Pay Rachel Jeantel For Exclusive Interview? $100,000 — New Theory — Trayvon Martin Thought George Zimmerman Gay Rapist Cop or Security Guard — Creepy Ass Cracka? — Videos

Race Racketeers Running Race Rallies — Black Gangs Kill Blacks By The Thousands and Planned Parenthood Kills Black Babies By The Millions — Race Never Played A Role in Zimmerman Verdict Says Juror #b37!– Videos

The Electronic Lynching of George Zimmerman By President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, NAACP and Mainstream Media  — Shame On Them — Videos

Related Posts On Pronk Pops

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 0: How Much Did The Piers Morgan Show Pay Rachel Jeantel For Exclusive Interview? $100,000 — New Theory — Trayvon Martin Thought George Zimmerman Gay Rapist Cop or Security Guard — Creepy Ass Cracka? — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 1: Robust Self Defense: Stand Your Ground — No Duty To Retreat From Criminal Attackers — National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Attorney General Holders Favor The Criminal Against The Law-Biding Victim Which The Gun Grabbers Like Obama and Holder Want To Also Disarm — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 2: Race Racketeers Running Race Rallies — Black Gangs Kill Blacks By The Thousands and Planned Parenthood Kills Black Babies By The Millions — Race Never Played A Role in Zimmerman Verdict Says Juror #b37!– Videos

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 2: Race Racketeers Running Race Rallies — Black Gangs Kill Blacks By The Thousands and Planned Parenthood Kills Black Babies By The Millions — Race Never Played A Role in Zimmerman Verdict Says Juror #b37!– Videos

Posted on July 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Business, Communications, Crime, Culture, Disasters, Economics, Federal Government, Government, Government Spending, History, Law, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Radio, Resources, Security, Technology, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 115: June 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 114: June 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 113: June 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 112: June 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 111: May 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 110: May 24, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117 

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

Segment 2: Race Racketeers Running Race Rallies — Black Gangs Kill Blacks By The Thousands and Planned Parenthood Kills Black Babies By The Millions — Race Never Played A Role in Zimmerman Verdict Says Juror #b37!– Videos

race_card

racismjacksonsharptonobamaracebaiterssettingamericaback

sharpton_jackson

Al-Sharpton-Jesse-Jackso

A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, will not be affected, or would not otherwise exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering.[1] Particularly, the potential problem may be caused by the same party that offers to solve it, although that fact may be concealed, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage for this party. A prototype is the protection racket, wherein a person or group indicates that they could protect a store from potential damage, damage that the same person or group would otherwise inflict, while the correlation of threat and protection may be more or less deniably veiled, distinguishing it from the more direct act of extortion.

Racketeering is often associated with organized crime, and the term was coined by the Employers’ Association of Chicago in June 1927 in a statement about the influence of organized crime in the Teamsters union.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racket_%28crime%29

What Is Racketeering?

Juror 37B: Race Never a Role in Zimmerman Verdict

George Zimmerman Trial Juror #b37 Does Interview With Her Identity Concealed

TRIFECTA – Trayvon Martin, the Battle Has Just Begun

Reverend Al Sharpton Calls for Rallies in 100 Cities to Protest Zimmerman Trial Verdict

Sharpton ‘Justice for Trayvon’ Marches Saturday

Al Sharpton Reaction To Zimmerman Verdict ‘Slap in the Face to Those Who Believe in Justice’

The Five Hosts Tear Into Al Sharpton: ‘Race-Baiter,’ Pressured Zimmerman Arrest & Trial

RACIST Al Sharpton’s Racial, Homophobic Rants

Cornel West: Sharpton Sold Soul for Obama

Cornel West “We End Up With A Rockefeller Republican In Blackface With Barack Obama”

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Are Cowards

UNNECESSARY Shooting Trayvon to Death, A.G. Eric Holder Addresses Zimmerman Not Guilty Verdict

Attorney Mark O’Mara: ‘If George Zimmerman Was Black, He Would Never Have Been Charged With A Crime’

The Five Puts Media ‘On Trial’ For Injecting Race Into Zimmerman Case: ‘Crap They Put Out’

Judge Napolitano: Allegations of ‘Racial Hatred’ Defy FBI’s Investigation of George Zimmerman

Double Standard: Black Men Named Trayvon Get Killed all the Time, But The Left Doesn’t Care

Bill O’Reilly To Black Minister: Violent Crime In U.S. Overwhelmingly Generated By Young Black Men

murder_rate_race

Stop Black Genocide

Black Genocide – Maafa 21 Full Length

Background Articles and Videos

Fred on Black Crime Rates

Redd Foxx vs. Midgets

Redd Foxx – Wrong Pills

Redd Foxx – Wash Your Ass

Redd Foxx – Faith Healer

Redd Foxx Interview/Comedy (Merv Griffin Show 1966)

Redd Foxx Stand Up (RARE)

The Dean Martin Roasts – Redd Foxx (Man of the Hour)

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The Great Divider Obama, “White African-American”, Incites Eric Holder and Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS) Racist Attack Against George Zimmerman To Rally Black Voters In 2012 Presidential Campaign — Holder Should Be Impeached — Racist Racketeering And Outside Agitators and Media Show Trial and Electronic Lynching — Videos

George Zimmerman Trial Defense Closing Argument — Not Guilty of All Charges Including Murder and Manslaughter — Police Chief Was Right No Probable Cause To Arrest George Zimmerman For Anything — Malicious Political Prosecution and Media Political Show Trial and Electronic Lynching Fails Big Time — Killing Justified Self-defense! –Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 1: Robust Self Defense: Stand Your Ground — No Duty To Retreat From Criminal Attackers — National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Attorney General Holders Favor The Criminal Against The Law-Biding Victim Which The Gun Grabbers Like Obama and Holder Want To Also Disarm — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 3: Where is the National Media When Two Teenage Blacks Killed a 12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale For Bicycle Parts! — Videos

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 1: Robust Self Defense: Stand Your Ground — No Duty To Retreat From Criminal Attackers — National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Attorney General Holder Favor The Criminal Against The Law-Biding Victim Which The Gun Grabbers Like Obama and Holder Want To Also Disarm — Videos

Posted on July 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Communications, Consitutional Law, Crime, Culture, Economics, Federal Government, Government, History, Law, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Polls, Religion, Videos, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 115: June 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 114: June 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 113: June 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 112: June 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 111: May 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 110: May 24, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117 

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

Segment 1: Robust Self Defense: Stand Your Ground — No Duty To Retreat From Criminal Attackers — National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Attorney General Holder Favor The Criminal Against The Law-Biding Victim Which The Gun Grabbers Like Obama and Holder Want To Also Disarm — Videos

stand_your_ground

standyourgroundmap

standyourgroundlaws2

castle-doctrine-and-stand-your-ground3

go-figure-stand-your-ground-120330

standyour-ground

Trayvon Martin Attacked and Beat George Zimmerman According To Evidence Presented In The Case

The Jury Found Zimmerman Not Guilty Because They Believed He Feared For His Life — Justified Self-defense

zimmerman-blood-horizontal

george_zimmerman_back_head_bloody

stand-your-ground-law1

Massad Ayoob (Aftermath Shooting)

Judicious Use of Deadly Force by Massad Ayoob

The future of “stand your ground”?

Massad Ayoob on Stand Your Ground Laws – Long Version

In this video from the Cato Institute, Massad Ayoob draws on his decades of experience to critically examine so-called “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws.

How “Stand Your Ground Law” Applies

The Stand Your Ground Law Explained Inter Alia

How Trayvon Martin Case Could Affect ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Across U.S.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Wyclef Jean: ‘Stand Your Ground’ is ‘New Form Of Modern-Day Lynching’ | HPL

Holder To NAACP: Time To Question Stand Your Ground Laws Encourages More Violence Than It Prevents

Stevie Wonder Boycotts Florida Over Stand Your Ground Law! – What Do You Think About This?

Shoot-em-up Charlie Discovers ALEC

Attorney General Holder Targets ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Talking To NAACP Convention

Stand Your Ground Law Doesn’t Work For This Woman Gets 20 Years Just For Firing a Warning Shot!

Olson: Stand Your Ground Law Has ‘No Effect’ in Trayvon Martin Case

Contrary to many observers, Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, thinks Florida’s Stand Your Ground law will have no effect on whether neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman is found guilty of killing Trayvon Martin. The law states that a person may claim self defense if they reasonably believe deadly force necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. Florida’s investigation into the killing continues, and no charges have yet been brought. Olson speaks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia.

Eric Holder BAN Stand Your Ground Law

Background Articles and Videos

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 1/8

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 2/8

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 3/8

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 4/8

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 5/8

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 6/8

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 7/8

Massad Ayoob – Shoot To Live – 8/8

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The Great Divider Obama, “White African-American”, Incites Eric Holder and Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS) Racist Attack Against George Zimmerman To Rally Black Voters In 2012 Presidential Campaign — Holder Should Be Impeached — Racist Racketeering And Outside Agitators and Media Show Trial and Electronic Lynching — Videos

George Zimmerman Trial Defense Closing Argument — Not Guilty of All Charges Including Murder and Manslaughter — Police Chief Was Right No Probable Cause To Arrest George Zimmerman For Anything — Malicious Political Prosecution and Media Political Show Trial and Electronic Lynching Fails Big Time — Killing Justified Self-defense! –Videos

How Much Did The Piers Morgan Show Pay Rachel Jeantel For Exclusive Interview? $100,000 — New Theory — Trayvon Martin Thought George Zimmerman Gay Rapist Cop or Security Guard — Creepy Ass Cracka? — Videos

Race Racketeers Running Race Rallies — Black Gangs Kill Blacks By The Thousands and Planned Parenthood Kills Black Babies By The Millions — Race Never Played A Role in Zimmerman Verdict Says Juror #b37!– Videos

The Electronic Lynching of George Zimmerman By President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, NAACP and Mainstream Media  — Shame On Them — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 0: How Much Did The Piers Morgan Show Pay Rachel Jeantel For Exclusive Interview? $100,000 — New Theory — Trayvon Martin Thought George Zimmerman Gay Rapist Cop or Security Guard — Creepy Ass Cracka? — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 2: Race Racketeers Running Race Rallies — Black Gangs Kill Blacks By The Thousands and Planned Parenthood Kills Black Babies By The Millions — Race Never Played A Role in Zimmerman Verdict Says Juror #b37!– Videos

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 3: Where is the National Media When Two Teenage Blacks Killed a 12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale For Bicycle Parts! — Videos

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 0: How Much Did The Piers Morgan Show Pay Rachel Jeantel For Exclusive Interview? $100,000 — New Theory — Trayvon Martin Thought George Zimmerman Gay Rapist Cop or Security Guard — Creepy Ass Cracka? — Videos

Posted on July 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Communications, Crime, Culture, Employment, Federal Government, Government, Government Spending, History, Law, Media, Philosophy, Politics, Regulation, Religion, Violence, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 115: June 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 114: June 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 113: June 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 112: June 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 111: May 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 110: May 24, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117 

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

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Segment 0: How Much Did The Piers Morgan Show Pay Rachel Jeantel For Exclusive Interview? $100,000 — New Theory — Trayvon Martin Thought George Zimmerman Gay Rapist Cop or Security Guard — Creepy Ass Cracka? — Videos

It’s a Great Day For ME to whoop somebody’s ASS !!!

Rachel Jeantel explains pounding Zimmerman’s head on the ground as no biggie & was just ‘whoop-ass’

Teach the children well ( with lyrics) – Crosby Stills

Teach the children well ( with lyrics) – Crosby Stills

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Counter Melody To Above Verse:
Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked,  the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.  

rachel-jeantel-drudge

rachael_jeantel

JEANTEL

rachel-jeantel-1

Rachel Jeantel: Zimmerman Might Have Been A Gay “Rapist”

Rachel Jeantel Tells Piers She And Trayvon Feared Zimmerman Might Be Gay Rapist

RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON: Well, the jury, they see their facts. My thoughts of the jury, they old, that’s old school people. We in a new school, our generation, my generation. So —

PIERS MORGAN: Let’s talk about ‘creepy ass cracka.’ People have said that that is a phrase used by black people, cracka, to describe a white person. Is that true?

JEANTEL: No! Like I said —

MORGAN: How do you spell it, first of all?

JEANTEL: Cracka.

MORGAN: There’s no ‘e-r,’ right?

JEANTEL: No, it’s an ‘a’ at the end.

MORGAN: C-r-a-c-k-a.

JEANTEL: Yeah. And that’s a person who act like they’re a police [officer], who, like a security guard who acting like — that’s what I said to them. Trayvon said creepy ass cracka.

MORGAN: It means he thought it was a police or a security guard?

JEANTEL: Yeah, he acting like the police. And then he keep telling me that the man is still watching him. So, if it was a security guard or a policeman, they would come up to Trayvon and say, ‘Do you have a problem? Do you need help?’ You know, like normal people.

Rachel Jeantel Piers Morgan Inteview Part 1 Weed Made Trayvon hungry

Rachel Jeantel Piers Morgan Interview Part 2

Piers on what Rachel Jeantel didn’t say

Jeantel, who created a media firestorm with her highly-polarizing testimony towards the beginning of the trial, appeared on Piers Morgan Live alongside her attorney. She described her reaction to Zimmerman’s acquittal as “disappointed, upset and angry” and called the jury’s assessment of what happened “just B.S.”

Asked about what Trayvon Martin was like as a friend, Jeantel described him as a “calm, chill, loving person” and said she never saw him get “aggressive” or “lose his temper.” She said that the defense’s attempts to portray Martin as a “thug” were unfounded and defended his relatively mild drug use. “Weed don’t make him go crazy,” she said, “it just makes him go hungry.”

Jeantel also responded to the massive mockery she received in social media for the way she speaks, explaining that she was born with an under-bite that has made it difficult for her to speak clearly. When Morgan asked if she’d been bullied for her condition, she simply responded, “Look at me,” to laughter from the studio audience.

Morgan attempted to get Jeantel to offer her opinion of defense attorney Don West, who many claimed was condescending towards her when she was on the stand. Jeantel shook her head, declining to say anything bad about the man given her “Christian” upbringing.

EPIC!! Rachel Jeantel Explains The Difference Between ‘N*gga’ And ‘N*gger’ To Piers Morgan HAHA!!

Rush Limbaugh: Thanks To Rachel Jeantel I Can Say ‘N*gga With An A’ Now Because ‘It’s Not Racist’

Michael Savage Attacks Eric Holder and Stupid Rachel Jeantel Interview with Piers Morgan

The Five Rips Rachel Jeantel For Creepy-A** Cracker Comment: If This Is Their Star Witness Good Luck

N*gger! Cracker!! Explosive CNN Panel Dedicates Whole Show To Discuss These Racist Words

Rachel Jeantel Caught in LIES and Speaking Confusing Ebonics Trayvon Martin Friend

NOT GUILTY George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman’s story in his own words

Crosby, Stills & Nash (Live) – Love The One You’re With

When you’re down and confused
And you don’t remember who you’re talking to
Concentration slip away
Because your baby, is so far away

Well there’s a road and a distant love
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you cant be with the one you love.. honey

Love the one you’re with Love the one you’re with
Love the one you’re with Love the one you’re with

Don’t be angry don’t be sad
Don’t sit cryin’ over good times you had
There’s a girl right next to you
And she’s just waiting for something to do

And there’s a road and a distant love
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you cant be with the one you love honey
Find more similar lyrics on http://mp3lyrics.com/dDDLove the one you’re with Love the one you’re with
Love the one you’re with

Do it do it do it

(Instrumental)

Love the one you’re with love the one you’re with
Love the one you’re with love the one you’re with

Turn your heartache right into joy
She’s a girl and you’re a boy
Get it together, make it tonight,
You ain’t gonna need any more advice

And there’s a road and a distant love
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you cant be with the one you love honey
Love the one you’re with Love the one you’re with
Love the one you’re with Love the one you’re with

Do it do it do it

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The Great Divider Obama, “White African-American”, Incites Eric Holder and Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS) Racist Attack Against George Zimmerman To Rally Black Voters In 2012 Presidential Campaign — Holder Should Be Impeached — Racist Racketeering And Outside Agitators and Media Show Trial and Electronic Lynching — Videos

George Zimmerman Trial Defense Closing Argument — Not Guilty of All Charges Including Murder and Manslaughter — Police Chief Was Right No Probable Cause To Arrest George Zimmerman For Anything — Malicious Political Prosecution and Media Political Show Trial and Electronic Lynching Fails Big Time — Killing Justified Self-defense! –Videos

Race Racketeers Running Race Rallies — Black Gangs Kill Blacks By The Thousands and Planned Parenthood Kills Black Babies By The Millions — Race Never Played A Role in Zimmerman Verdict Says Juror #b37!– Videos

Where is the National Media When Two Teenage Blacks Killed a 12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale For Bicycle Parts! — Videos

The Electronic Lynching of George Zimmerman By President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, NAACP and Mainstream Media  — Shame On Them — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 1: Robust Self Defense: Stand Your Ground — No Duty To Retreat From Criminal Attackers — National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Attorney General Holders Favor The Criminal Against The Law-Biding Victim Which The Gun Grabbers Like Obama and Holder Want To Also Disarm — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 117, July 19, 2013, Segment 3: Where is the National Media When Two Teenage Blacks Killed a 12 Year Old Autumn Pasquale For Bicycle Parts! — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 116, July 12, 2013, Segment 1: Train Derailment of 72 Oil Tankers Explodes in Downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Province, Canada, Killing 50 Plus and Destroying 30 Buildings — July 6, 2013 — Photos and Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013 

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Segment 1: Train Derailment of 72 Oil Tankers Explodes in Downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec Province, Canada, Killing 50 Plus  and Destroying 30 Buildings  — July 6, 2013 — Photos and Videos

UPDATED July 12, 2013

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Canada Oil Tanker Train Accident: Up to 50 Still Missing After ‘Train From Hell’ Crash

Town Evacuated After Explosion

Quebec train explosion

Canadian Freight Train Explodes After Derailment

Runaway Canada oil train explosion destroys town center, forces evacuation

Lac-Megantic Explosions, Fire Sparked By Train Derailment in Canada

A train pulling over 70 tankers of crude oil derailed and burst into flames in Canada early Saturday near the U.S. border.

It jumped the tracks in the small town of Lac-Megantic in the province of Quebec, according to officials in Maine, who received a request for help at around 3 a.m. ET.

The inferno spread to nearby homes, and authorities evacuated the center of town and a home for the elderly, CNN affiliate Radio-Canada reported. Thick fuel spilled into the Chaudiere River.

Firefighters from both countries rushed to fight the blaze with at least 27 firefighting vehicles.

Five of the trucks deployed from the United States, after the sheriff’s office in Franklin County, Maine, issued an “all call” for help to U.S. fire departments near the border.

Flames welling up stories high into the night sky were caught on camera and uploaded to Youtube. The video appears to reveal an explosion. Thick black smoke billowed into the air.

A “nauseating” odor spread through the town, Radio-Canada reported, and environmental emergency services dispatched a mobile lab to check for airborne toxins.

The radio station said that the oil shipment was on its way to the United States.

Explosion of a train in downtown Lac-Mégantic

Huge fire erupts in Lac-Mégantic, QC, Canada, as an oil train derails. All of downtown is burning right now.
Vers 1:20am samedi matin, il y a eu une Explosion d’un train au centre-ville de Lac-Mégantic. Le train ne freinait pas et les wagons-citernes ont explosé à la traverse à niveaux. Le ciel s’est éclairé jaune et rouge. Un scène d’horreur.
Train carrying petroleum derails, catches fire in Canada’s Quebec province.
A train carrying petroleum products derailed in a small town in Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec on Saturday, causing big explosions and sending flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the air.
Huge explosion of a fuel train in Quebec
Un train de carburant explose à Lac-Mégantic
La Ville de Lac-Mégantic, en Estrie, est littéralement en feu. Un incendie majeur a éclaté au centre-ville, à la suite du déraillement d’un train qui transportait du pétrole brut, dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi.

Massive Explosion | Quebec | After Freight Train Carrying Fuel Derails (Raw Footage + Slow Mo)

BREAKING: Massive Explosion after Freight Fuel Train Derails, Whole Town Evacuates in Quebec

Quebec Crude-Oil Train Derailment Sparks Fire And Explosions

Invest in Lac-Megantic

Lac Megantic Quebec Canada

Drive Through – Lac Megantic, Quebec

Background Articles and Videos

Barack Obama to Kill Keystone XL Pipeline If It ‘Significantly Exacerbates’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Keystone Pipeline: No Brainer

A Conversation with Steve Roberts about Pipeline Safety 5-8-12

Project Pipeline – Underground Focus – Pipeline Safety

Obama & Keystone XL: A Politically Inconvenient Truth

President Obama stops Keystone to enrich his rich buddies

Inside the North Dakota oil boom

Hundreds of tanker trucks and railroad cars snake for miles through the vast landscape of North Dakota now. For his video diary, Reuters correspondent  Ernest Scheyder drove into the Bakken Oil Express, a sprawling project at the heart of the state’s booming oil economy.

Williston: The North Dakota Oil Boom (Documentary)

Witness:        Ghost Town to Boom Town

hauling crude North Dakota

Quebec Train Crash: Employee Failed To Properly Set Brakes, Railway CEO Says

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — Canadian officials are now telling the families of the 30 people missing in a runaway oil train crash over the weekend that all are presumed dead.

With 20 bodies found, that would put the death toll from Saturday’s derailment and explosions at 50.

The head of the U.S. railway company whose oil train crashed into the Quebec town has blamed the engineer for failing to set the brakes properly. A fire on the train just hours before the crash is also being investigated.

Parts of the devastated town had been too hot and dangerous to enter and find bodies even days after the disaster. Some 60 had been presumed missing earlier.

The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train hurtled downhill for seven miles (11 kilometers) before derailing in the center of Lac-Megantic. All but one of the 73 cars was carrying oil, and at least five exploded.

The crash raised questions about the increasing use of rail to transport oil in North America.

Edward Burkhardt, president and CEO of the railway’s parent company, Rail World Inc., said the engineer has been suspended without pay and was under “police control.”

“We think he applied some hand brakes, but the question is, did he apply enough of them?” Burkhardt said. “He said he applied 11 hand brakes. We think that’s not true. Initially we believed him, but now we don’t.”

Burkhardt encountered sharp criticism from Quebec politicians and jeers from Lac-Megantic residents while making his first visit to the town.

Burkhardt did not name the engineer, though the company had previously identified the employee as Tom Harding of Quebec.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois faulted the company’s response to the disaster. She depicted Burkhardt’s attitude and response as “deplorable” and “unacceptable.”

Quebec police have said they were pursuing a wide-ranging criminal investigation, extending to the possibilities of criminal negligence and some sort of tampering with the train before the crash.

The heart of the town’s central business district is being treated as a crime scene and remained cordoned off by police tape on Wednesday – not only the 30 buildings razed by the fire but also many adjacent blocks.

The disaster forced about 2,000 of the town’s 6,000 residents from their homes, but most have been allowed to return.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/quebec-train-crash-brakes_n_3574564.html

Lac Megantic: Death toll rises in Quebec train derailment explosion

Ravaged site is now being treated as a “crime scene” as the railway says someone shut down a locomotive keeping the brakes on.

AC-MÉGANTIC,QUE.—So much is lost.

Five people confirmed dead, 40 missing. They may never return, dead or alive, perhaps vaporized in the blast early Saturday morning, after a driverless train hurtled into the busy downtown core of this idyllic Quebec town 250 kilometres from Montreal.

People gathered throughout the town of Lac-Mégantic: at the Polyvalente Montignac, a secondary school transformed in a matter of hours into an emergency shelter and resource centre; at old, picturesque churches that dot its usually quiet streets, now pulsing with official vehicles, media, worried residents still looking for their families and friends.

People gathered under trees, hiding from the glaring sun, hugging, crying. Others arrived by the dozen from across Quebec, their vehicles laden with food, toys, clothing, for those forced from their homes.

One young woman who worked at the now-leveled Musi-Café, near the heart of the blast, emerged from the school in tears.

Learning there was still no news of her cousin, Andree-Anne Sevigny and a work colleague with her, Jo-Annie Lapointe, were devastated.

“They can’t find them,” she said. It had been nearly 36 hours since the blast.

Ed Burkhardt, chairman of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, said Sunday night that the train’s sole engineer shut down four of the five locomotive units on the train, as is standard procedure, in the neighbouring community of Nantes before heading to Lac Mégantic to sleep. Burkhardt said the next engineer was probably due to arrive at daybreak.

But someone managed to shut down the fifth locomotive unit, he said. The railroad alleges someone tampered with the controls of the fifth engine, the one maintaining brake pressure to keep the train stopped.

“If the operating locomotive is shut down, there’s nothing left to keep the brakes charged up, and the brake pressure will drop finally to the point where they can’t be held in place any longer,” Burkhardt said.

There are two ways to shut down the fifth unit: There’s an emergency lever on the outside of the locomotive that anyone wandering by could access. Or, there are a number of levers and buttons inside the unlocked cabin.

Both means were used, said Burkhardt.

The result was what Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who visited the stricken Eastern Townships community Sunday, said resembled a “war zone.”

The chair of the 10-year-old rail company headquartered in Maine said they would “consider” changes to procedures in light of the tragedy.

Burkhardt said the engineer went to the epicentre of the explosions and picked up nine cars, bringing them back to Nantes, where they still sat on the tracks beside the road Sunday.

By Sunday night, the fires that had raged for some 36 hours were finally out, though firefighters continued to douse what remained of the train cars in an area still off-limits.

The ravaged site of a train explosion that razed blocks of downtown Lac-Mégantic is being treated as the “scene of a crime,” police said.

Genevieve Guilbault, spokesperson for the provincial coroner’s office, made the grim announcement that some of the 40 still missing may never be found.

“It is not impossible when we look at the intensity of the explosion,” she told reporters. She added that the five bodies recovered from the ravaged downtown area and transported to Montreal for forensic examination have not been positively identified.

Sunday evening, the Surete du Quebec said finding more victims had been difficult in part because investigators and search-and-rescue crews were able to comb through only a “pretty small area.”

“There is still a big part of the scene that is too dangerous to examine,” said Sgt. Benoit Richard.

Police are meeting with relatives of the 40 still listed as missing and asking them to provide material that might identify their remains. That material is in turn passed on to the coroner’s office, which is running forensic pathology tests in a Montreal laboratory.

It’s not known how long the police investigation may take, Richard said. “It could be a couple of days to a couple of weeks.”

Donald Ross, the Transportation Safety Board’s investigator in charge, has a nine-member team on site and is shuttling in experts from the TSB’s Ottawa headquarters as the need arises. But the probe is slow-going, mainly because the last fire was extinguished only Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a tremendous job,” Ross said, describing how the firefighting effort over a day and a half left water that was knee-deep in some places. “It’s hard to get around.”

Still, investigators have confirmed that there was a fire involving the train where it was parked by the engineer in Nantes, though they would not, or could not, say at this point whether that contributed to the derailment and subsequent explosion.

The TSB has recovered the locomotive event recorder, the train equivalent to the airliner “black box.” That device will tell authorities how fast the train was travelling, when it was set in motion and whether all the necessary braking mechanisms were applied.

Lucienne Gallant was still trembling Sunday morning at the home of her son and daughter-in-law in Nantes, 36 hours after she was awakened by a neighbour, telling her a train had derailed and they had to run.

The 81-year-old ran with several people up the street, feeling the flames at her back, a scene she described with trembling hands while the home phone and cellphones rang constantly, with family and friends calling to check in.

But initial panic on Sunday evolved into grief as people began to comprehend the extent of the devastation and the mounting official death toll.

Reporters and TV crews camped outside the school entrance. Inside, said Lac-Megantic resident Linda Gendreau, there was an information vacuum — no televisions, no running updates.

“Maybe it is better that way, because people are living through this event and they have to take it one day at a time,” said Gendreau. Her own family and friends have been accounted for, but friends of friends remain missing, she said.

“We can’t absorb it all at once, so it’s maybe a good thing that we start by going through the shock of the situation, and then go through the collective crisis of what it means for the community.”

The 10-year-old railway owns more than 800 km of track serving Quebec, New Brunswick, Maine and Vermont.

Beauchesne said there were 160 firefighters on the scene and there’s a “team spirit” in the town and “everyone is working together.”

Worried residents watched from behind the perimeters set up by authorities, sick with fear that some of their friends and loved ones may have died.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/07/07/lac_megantic_death_toll_rises_in_quebec_train_derailment_explosion.html

Canadian train derailment death toll rises to 5; dozens still missing

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — As firefighters doused still burning oil tanker cars, more bodies were recovered Sunday in this devastated town in eastern Quebec, raising the death toll to five after a runaway train derailed, igniting explosions and fires that destroyed the downtown district. With dozens of people reported missing, authorities feared they could find more bodies once they reached the hardest-hit areas.

Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet said Sunday that about 40 people have been reported missing, but cautioned that the number could fluctuate up or down.

“We met many people who had reported family members missing. Right now I can tell you about 40,” Brunet said.

Brunet confirmed two more deaths early Sunday afternoon after confirming two people were found dead overnight. One death was confirmed Saturday.

All but one of the 73 cars were filled with oil, which was being transported from North Dakota’s Bakken oil region to a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The eruptions early Saturday morning sent residents of Lac-Megantic scrambling through the streets under the intense heat of towering fireballs and a red glow that illuminated the night sky.

Local Fire Chief Denis Lauzon likened the charred scene to “a war zone.”

“This is really terrible. Our community is grieving and it is taking its toll on us,” Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche said.

On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured the town where a large part of the downtown area has been leveled.

“This is an unbelievable disaster,” Harper said. “This is a very big disaster in human terms as the extent of this becomes increasingly obvious.”

Harper said the whole country is worried about the missing and is praying for the town.

“This is an enormous area, 30 buildings just completely destroyed, for all intents and purposes incinerated,” Harper said. “There isn’t a family that is not affected by this.”

The search for victims in the charred debris was hampered because two tanker cars were still burning Sunday morning, sparking fears of more potentially fatal blasts.

Lauzon said firefighters are staying 500 feet (150 meters) from the burning tankers, which are being doused with water and foam to keep them from overheating.

The multiple blasts came over a span of several hours in the town of 6,000, which is about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Montreal and about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of the Maine border. It is a picturesque lakeside town in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

The derailment caused at least five tanker cars to explode in the downtown district, a popular area packed with bars that often bustles on summer weekend nights. Police said the first explosion tore through the town shortly after 1 a.m. local time. The fire then spread to several homes.

Brunet said he couldn’t say where the bodies were found exactly because the families have not been notified. Many feared for the lives of those who were at the Musi-Cafe bar where dozens of people were enjoying themselves in the wee hours of a glorious summer night.

Residents who gathered outside a community shelter Sunday hugged and wiped tears as they braced for bad news about missing loved ones.

Henri-Paul Audette headed there with hope of reuniting with his missing brother. Audette, 69, said his brother’s apartment was next to the railroad tracks, very close to the spot where the train derailed.

“I haven’t heard from him since the accident,” he said. “I had thought … that I would see him.”

Another man who came to the shelter said it’s difficult to explain the impact this incident has had on life in Lac-Megantic. About a third of the community was forced out of their homes. David Vachon said he has one friend whose sister is missing and another who is still searching for his mother.

The cause of the accident was believed to be a runaway train, the railroads operator said.

Edward Burkhardt, the president and CEO of Rail World Inc., the parent company of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, said the train had been parked uphill of Lac-Megantic because the engineer had finished his run. The tanker cars somehow came loose and sped downhill nearly seven miles into the town before derailing.

“We’ve had a very good safety record for these 10 years,” Burkhardt said of the decade-old railroad. “Well, I think we’ve blown it here.”

Joe McGonigle, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic’s vice president of marketing, said the company believes the brakes were the cause. He said the rail company has been in touch with Canada’s Transportation Safety Board.

“Somehow those brakes were released and that’s what is going to be investigated,” McGonigle said in a telephone interview Sunday. “We’re pretty comfortable saying it is the brakes. The train was parked, it was tied up. The brakes were secured. Somehow it got loose.”

Lauzon, the fire chief, said that firefighters in a nearby community were called to a locomotive blaze on the same train a few hours before the derailment. Lauzon said he could not provide additional details about that fire since it was in another jurisdiction. Nantes Fire Chief Patrick Lambert couldn’t be immediately reached, but McGonigle confirmed the fire department showed up after the first engineer tied up and went to a local hotel and after someone reported a fire.

“We know that one of our employees from our engineering department showed up at the same time to assist the fire department. Exactly what they did is being investigated so the engineer wasn’t the last man to touch that train, we know that, but we’re not sure what happened,” McGonigle said.

McGonigle said there was no reason to suspect any criminal or terror-related activity.

Because of limited pipeline capacity in North Dakota’s Bakken region and in Canada, oil producers are increasingly using railroads to transport much of the oil to refineries on the East, Gulf and West coasts, as well as inland. Harper has called railroad transit “far more environmentally challenging” while trying to persuade the Obama administration to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

The proliferation of oil trains has raised concerns of a major derailment like this. McGonigle said it is a safe way to transport oil.

“There’s much more hazardous material that moves by rail than crude oil. We think it is safe. We think we have a safe operation. No matter what mode of transportation you are going to have incidents. That’s been proven,” McGonigle said. “This is an unfortunate incident.”

Myrian Marotte, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Red Cross in Lac-Megantic, said there are about 2,000 evacuees and said 163 stayed at their operations center overnight.

Patrons gathered at a nearby bar were sent running for their lives after the thunderous crash and wall of fire blazed through the early morning sky early Saturday. Bernard Theberge, who was outside on the bar’s patio at the time of the crash, feared for the safety of those inside the popular Musi-Cafe when the first explosion went off.

“People started running and the fire ignited almost instantaneously,” he said.

“It was like a movie,” said Theberge, who considered himself fortunate to escape with only second-degree burns on his right arm. “Explosions as if it were scripted — but this was live.”

According to Montreal Maine & Atlantic’s website, the company owns more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) of track serving Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Montreal, Maine and Atlantic carried nearly 3 million barrels of oil across Maine last year. Each tank car holds some 30,000 gallons (113,600 liters) of oil.

Maine state officials were notified regarding concerns about the smoke from the fire but staff meteorologists don’t believe it will have a significant impact, Peter Blanchard of the state Department of Environmental Protection said Sunday.

The Maine environmental agency had previously begun developing protection plans for areas in the state through which the oil trains travel.

But Glen Brand, director of the environmentalist Sierra Club’s Maine chapter, said the Quebec derailment is reason enough to call for an immediate moratorium on the rail transport of oil through the state.

“This tragic accident is part of the larger problem of moving oil through Maine and northern New England,” Brand said. “It reinforces the importance of moving away from dirty fossil fuels that expose the people of northern New England, Maine and Quebec to a host of dangerous risks.”

French President Francois Hollande’s office issued a statement offering condolences to the victims in the predominantly French-speaking Canadian province.

http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/07/canadian_train_derailment_deat.html

Deadly Derailment in Quebec Underlines Oil Debate

By

The police said on Sunday that at least five people had died and 40 were missing after runaway railroad tank cars filled with oil derailed and exploded in a small Quebec town.

“We know there will be more deaths,” Lt. Michel Brunet of Quebec’s provincial police told reporters in Lac-Mégantic, where the fires continued to burn on Sunday.

The derailment and explosions, which took place around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, underscored a debate in the effort to transport North America’s oil across long distances: is it safer and less environmentally destructive to move huge quantities of crude oil by train or by pipeline?

Visiting the town on Sunday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper compared it to a “war zone.”

The fires, which incinerated at least 30 buildings in the core of Lac-Mégantic, a tourist town of 6,000 people about 150 miles east of Montreal, limited the work of accident investigators, as well as attempts to search for survivors and the remains of victims.

 In a statement, the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway said the train had been parked outside Lac-Mégantic for the night with no crew members on board. Its locomotive had been shut down, “which may have resulted in the release of air brakes on the locomotive that was holding the train in place,” the statement said.

 The railway did not respond to further questions, but Reuters, quoting officials from the company, said the oil aboard the train had come from the Bakken oil fields of the Western United States.

 The Bakken oil deposits, which are often drilled through hydrofracking, have become a major source of oil for the railroads to move because the deposits lack direct pipeline links. Canada’s oil sands producers, frustrated by a lack of pipeline capacity, are also turning to trains to ship their products.

Their move to rail comes as the Obama administration continues to weigh an application for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver synthetic crude oil and bitumen, an oil-containing substance, from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. An analysis of the pipeline plan for the State Department concluded that if the pipeline was rejected, oil sands producers would instead turn to railways for shipments to the United States.

 Both the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway have extensive rail networks into the United States and have been promoting what the industry often calls a “pipeline on rails” to serve the oil sands. Mark Hallman, a spokesman for Canadian National, said the railway moved 5,000 carloads of crude oil to the United States from Canada in 2011, increased that amount to 30,000 carloads in 2012 and “believes it has the scope to double this business in 2013.”

 Unlike pipeline proposals, however, the escalation of rail movements of oil, including light oil shipments from the Bakken fields as well as from similar unconventional, or tight, oil deposits in Canada, is not covered by any regular government or regulatory review.

“We have an explosion of tight oil production in Canada and the United States, and most of it is moving by train,” said Anthony Swift, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington. “But this process has happened without due diligence.”

Keith Stewart, a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada who has examined the increased use of oil trains, criticized railways in Canada and the United States for continuing to use older oil tank cars that he said were found to be unsafe more than 20 years ago.

 A 2009 report by the National Transportation Safety Board about a Canadian National derailment in Illinois called the design of those tank cars “inadequate” and found that it “made the cars subject to damage and catastrophic loss of hazardous materials.” Television images suggested that the surviving tank cars on the Lac-Mégantic train were of the older design.

 Mr. Hallman, the spokesman for Canadian National, did not respond to questions about the safety of tank cars or the consequences of the Lac-Mégantic derailment for rail oil shipments in general. However, he said, “this tragedy notwithstanding, movement of hazardous material by rail not only can be, but is being, handled safely in the vast majority of instances.” Ed Greenberg, a spokesman for Canadian Pacific, declined to comment.

The comparative safety of railways over pipelines has been the subject of much debate. Speaking in New York in May, Mr. Harper emphasized that the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline would lead to an increase in oil sands shipments by rail, which he called “more environmentally challenging” than pipelines.

“We have seen some major safety risks associated with the crude-by-rail regime,” Mr. Swift, the lawyer, said.

 But Edward Whittingham, the executive director of the Pembina Institute, an environmental group based in Calgary, Alberta, said there was not conclusive research weighing the safety of the two shipment methods.

“The best data I’ve seen indicates,” he said, “depending on your perspective, both are pretty much as safe as each other, or both are equally unsafe. There’s safety and environmental risks inherent in either approach.”

 Accidents involving pipelines, Mr. Whittingham said, can be more difficult to detect and can release greater amounts of oil. Rail accidents are more frequent but generally release less oil. The intensity of the explosions and fires at Lac-Mégantic, he said, came as a “big surprise” to him and other researchers, given that the tank cars had been carrying crude oil, rather than a more volatile form like gasoline.

 While Mr. Whittingham hopes that it will not be the case, he anticipates that proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline will use the rail accident to push their case with the Obama administration.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/world/americas/deadly-derailment-in-quebec-underlines-oil-debate.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=1&#h[]

Sixty missing and scores feared dead as train carrying hundreds of tons of oil derails and explodes in Canadian town center

  • 60 people believed to be missing
  • About 30 buildings destroyed in Lac Megantic
  • Force of blaze preventing rescue workers from checking for survivors
  • Oil from train cars is spilling into nearby river

By Jessica Jerreat

The force of the blaze has prevented emergency workers from getting close to the damaged buildings to check for survivors.

It is not yet known if anyone was killed or injured in the blast, according to the Hamilton Spectator. The Montreal Maine & Atlantic train did not have a driver and was being run on autopilot.

About 30 shops and homes in the town center, including the library and local weekly newspaper’s office, were destroyed by the fire, which is being dealt with by firefighters from Quebec and Maine.

‘We do fear that there are going to be casualties,’ Sergeant Gregory Gomez del Prado, of Quebec Police, told CTV News.

Witnesses said the blast flattened an apartment building and part of a pub, which had a terrace packed with people at the time of the fire, according to CBC.

The ferocity of the blaze has made authorities fear for the safety of many of the lakeside town’s 6,000 residents. About 120 firefighters are still trying to contain the fire in the town center.

‘When you see the center of your town almost destroyed, you’ll understand that we’re asking ourselves how we are going to get through this event,’ the town’s mayor, Colette Roy-Laroche, said.

‘We’re told some people are missing but they may just be out of town or on vacation,’ Lieutenant Michel Brunet, of Quebec police, said.

A Facebook page has been set up to help friends and family check on their loved ones, according to the Toronto Star.

About 250 residents have taken shelter in a Red Cross center set up in the town’s high school, and more are expected to arrive there later today.

‘Many parents are worried because they haven’t been able to communicate with a member of their family or an acquaintance,’ Ms Roy-Laroche said.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sent his sympathy to the stricken town.

‘Thoughts & prayers are with those impacted in Lac Megantic. Horrible news,’ he said on Twitter.

Flames could be seen from several miles away as the fire spread to several homes after the 73-car Montreal Maine & Atlantic train, which was heading towards Maine, derailed.

Zeph Kee, who lives about half an hour from Lac-Megantic, told CBC: ‘It was total mayhem … people not finding their kids.’

Resident Anne-Julie Hallee, who saw the explosion, said: ‘It was like the end of the world.’

Another resident, Claude Bedard, said: ‘It’s terrible. We’ve never seen anything like it. The Metro store, Dollarama, everything that was there is gone.’

Some of the oil has leaked into a lake and the Chaudiere River, and plumes of thick smoke can be seen from about 10km away, nearly 10 hours after the blast.

A 1km section of the town has been cordoned off and boats have been banned from coming close on the river, after flames were allegedly seen in two aqueducts.

‘We have a mobile laboratory here to monitor the quality of the air,’ Environment Quebec spokesman Christian Blanchette said.

‘Firefighters are working hard to extinguish that fire, but it’s burning hard because of the crude oil,’ Gergeant Gomez del Prado said,adding that it would take a while for the fire to be contained.

‘We also have a spill on the lake and the river that is concerning us. We have advised the local municipalities downstream to be careful if they take their water from the Chaudiere River.’

Firefighters have set up a perimeter around the town as they try to tackle the blaze, which was caused when four of the cars that were pressurized blew up.

‘There are still wagons which we think are pressurized. We’re not sure because we can’t get close, so we’re working on the assumption that all the cars were pressurized and could explode. That’s why progress is slow and tough,’ local fire chief Denis Lauzon said.

The cause of the derailment is not yet known. The railway company’s vice-president Josephy R. McGonigle, said the middle section of the train had derailed, the Montreal Gazette said.

Investigators are headed to the town to begin gathering information and statements from witnesses.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2357352/Breaking-news-Canadian-town-center-wiped-freight-train-carrying-hundreds-tons-crude-oil-derails-explodes.html#ixzz2YI7q386Q Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Quebec town rocked by explosions, fire after derailment

Train derailment in Lac-Mégantic forces 1,000 from homes, several people reported missing

Worry is growing among residents of the tight-knit community of Lac-Mégantic, as people search for missing friends and loved ones after a train derailment sparked a series of explosions and a major fire that continues to burn.

The train carrying crude oil derailed overnight in the heart of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, forcing 1,000 people from their homes.

Witnesses reported between four and six explosions overnight in the town of about 6,000 people. The derailment happened at about 1 a.m. ET, about 250 kilometres east of Montreal.

It is not yet known if there are any casualties, but according to Radio-Canada 60 people have been reported missing.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent his thoughts out to the community on Saturday afternoon. He said the government was monitoring the situation and was standing ready to provide extra support.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those affected by this morning’s tragic train derailment,” he said in a statement. “We hope evacuees can return to their homes safely and quickly,” he said.

‘Total mayhem’

Zeph Kee, who lives about 30 minutes outside of Lac-Mégantic, said he saw a huge fireball coming from the city’s downtown early Saturday morning.

He described one of the local bars, where people were enjoying their drinks on the outside patio at the time of the explosion. That bar is now gone, Kee said.

Kee said several buildings and homes were flattened by the blast.

Isabelle Aller, who was visiting the area, says she has been calling her friends ever since the explosion, and they haven’t answered their phones.

“The more time that passes, the more we are worried,” she said.

Aller says after the first explosion, some people went to the scene to see what was going on.

Several explosions followed afterwards.

Mayor holds back tears

The teary-eyed mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Colette Roy-Laroche, said emergency services are doing everything possible to deal with the crisis.

“We have deployed all resources to ensure that we can support our citizens,” she said.

A spokesperson for Quebec’s Environment Ministry says 73 rail cars filled with crude oil were involved. At least four of the cars exploded, sending a huge cloud of thick, black smoke into the air.

The fire, which can be seen for several kilometres, has spread to a number of homes. Authorities say some 30 buildings were affected.

“It’s dreadful,” said Lac-Mégantic resident Claude Bédard. “It’s terrible. We’ve never seen anything like it. The Metro store, Dollarama, everything that was there is gone.”

Firefighters called in from U.S.

More than 100 firefighters, some as far away as Sherbrooke, Que., and the United States, were on the scene early Saturday morning to bring the flames under control.

A large but as-yet undetermined amount of fuel is also reported to have spilled into the Chaudière River. Some residents say the water has turned an orange colour.

The derailed train belongs to Montreal Maine & Atlantic, which owns more than 800 kilometres of track serving Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick, according to the company’s website.

CBC’s French service, Radio-Canada, has reported there was no one on board the train, which was being remotely operated.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation. A spokesperson for Quebec provincial police said it is still too early to say what caused it.

Experts from Environment Quebec are working to determine whether the smoke poses any danger to people.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2013/07/06/quebec-train-derailment-fire.html

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Pronk Pops Show 116, July 12, 2013, Segment 0: U-6 Total Unemployment Rate Jumps Up .5% To 14.3% With Over 22.2 Million Searching For Full-Time Job!  —  300,000 New Jobs Needed To Reduce Unemployment Rate By .1% Only 195,000 Jobs Created in June, 2013 — U-3 Official Unemployment Remains at 7.6% With 11,777,000 Unemployed Americans! –Worse Recovery Since Great Depression Continues —  Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 116, July 12, 2013, Segment 2: The Great Divider Obama (GDO), “White African-American”, Incites Eric Holder and Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS) Racist Attack Against George Zimmerman To Rally Black Voters In 2012 Presidential Campaign — Holder Should Be Impeached — Racist Racketeering And Outside Agitators and Media Show Trial and Electronic Lynching — Videos

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Segment 2: The Great Divider Obama (GDO), “White African-American”, Incites Eric Holder and Department of Justice (DOJ)  Community Relations Service (CRS) Racist Attack Against George Zimmerman To Rally Black Voters In 2012 Presidential Campaign — Holder Should Be Impeached — Racist Racketeering And Outside Agitators and Media Show Trial and Electronic Lynching — Videos

Trayvon_Rally

Obama_Trayvon

Obama_son_trayvon_martin

George Zimmerman

zimmerman-blood-horizontal

george_zimmerman

george_zimmerman_back_head_bloody

george_zimmerman_in_court

george_zimmerman_court

Trayvon Martin

trayvonmartin

Trayvon Martin Thug

Martin_634_pixels

TRAYVON-MARTIN-REALITY

trayvon_martin_with_dad

Retreat_at_Twin_Lakes

NAACP-leads-march-for-justice-in-trayvon-martin-killing

Eric Holder

eric_holder_al_sharpton

F.B.I and U.S. Justice department Black vs White Crime statistics.

Double Standard: Black Men Named Trayvon Get Killed all the Time, But The Left Doesn’t Care

PJTV: Chicago Murder Rate Proves That Liberals Do Not Care About Gun Deaths

Murder Victims

by Race and Sex, 2010

Race Total Sex
Male Female Unknown
Total 12,996 10,058 2,918 20
White 6,043 4,234 1,807 2
Black 6,470 5,505 965 0
Other race 331 222 109 0
Unknown race 152 97 37 18

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl01.xls

Trayvon Tragedy: Manufactured Racism? How NBC Edited Racism Into the George Zimmerman 911 Call

Trayvon Tragedy: Did NBC Edit the Zimmerman 911 Tape to Serve a Political Agenda?

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Defense Rests Case in George Zimmerman Trial

Zimmerman Trial Indicates KKK Style Racist Injustice in Courts is Still with Us, Media is Culprit

Judge Napolitano To Megyn Kelly: Zimmerman Prosecution Brought Case To Court Out Of Public Pressure

The George Zimmerman murder trial has been given wall-to-wall coverage on every cable network, but one Fox News contributor today wondered why it went to court in the first place. Megyn Kelly noted today that a lot of what the prosecution had brought out to discredit Zimmerman’s story actually ended up helping the defense, which led Judge Andrew Napolitano to say that the prosecution should have probably charged Zimmerman with a lesser crime and that the only reason they allowed the case to get this far was due to “public pressure.”

Kelly found it unbelievable that the prosecution would play Zimmerman’s interview last year with Sean Hannity, especially considering that plus other evidence they’ve brought out means they’ve gotten to show Zimmerman’s side of the story without direct cross-examination. Napolitano said this is all about trying to “demonize” Zimmerman are only showing all of Zimmerman’s interviews and comments about the night of Trayvon Martin’s death to exploit tiny changes in detail.

Kelly and Judge Alex Ferrer were both mystified at how defensive of Zimmerman the prosecution’s evidence and witnesses appear to be, especially with the Hannity interview. Ferrer called the prosecution “desperate” because they’re willing to let the jury view Zimmerman as sympathetic if it means they can catch a misstatement. He did say it might have looked bad for Zimmerman when he said to Hannity that “it all happened so fast” that he couldn’t say for sure how much danger he was in.

Napolitano argued that the whole case is very bad for the prosecution, and they never should have let it get this far to begin with.

“The prosecution has a weak case here. This is a dangerous intersection of racial politics and the law, where the racial politics [are] not animating this prosecution. The prosecutor should be free to say, ‘You know what? This is not a second-degree murder case, our witnesses are weak, they’re going to help the defense as well as they’re going to help us. We should charge him with a much lesser crime, and we have a better chance of convicting, or we should not charge him with anything.’ They’re not stupid. They know they have a weak case and they’re putting it out anyway because of the public pressure to prosecute this guy.”

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The mainstream media is determined to use the Trayvon Martin tragedy to push its agenda of racial division. Political insider Matthew Dowd even went so far as to implicate Christianity in the death of Trayvon. Some are even referring to the shooter George Zimmerman as a “white hispanic.” Is the left determined to pit the entire nation against itself? Find out.

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[youttube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WLNXVZxl4Q] 

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Jurors Start Deliberating George Zimmerman Case

A jury began deliberating George Zimmerman’s fate Friday after hearing dueling portraits of the neighborhood watch captain: a wannabe cop who took the law into his own hands or a well-meaning volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin because he feared for his life.

Before the jury got the case, Zimmerman’s lawyers put a concrete slab and two life-size cardboard cutouts in front of the jury box in one last attempt to convince the panel Zimmerman shot the unarmed 17-year-old Martin in self-defense.

Attorney Mark O’Mara used the slab to make the point that it could be used as a weapon. He showed cutouts of Zimmerman and Martin to demonstrate that the teenager was considerably taller and he displayed a computer-animated depiction of the fight based on Zimmerman’s account.

He said prosecutors hadn’t met their burden of proving Zimmerman’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, he said, the murder case was built on “could’ve beens” and “maybes.”

“If it hasn’t been proven, it’s just not there,” O’Mara said. “You can’t fill in the gaps. You can’t connect the dots. You’re not allowed to.”

In a rebuttal, prosecutor John Guy accused Zimmerman of telling “so many lies.” He said Martin’s last emotion was one of fear as Zimmerman followed him in a neighborhood of townhomes on a rainy night Feb. 26, 2012.

“Isn’t that every child’s worst nightmare, to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger?” Guy said. “Isn’t that every child’s worst fear?”

One juror, a young woman, appeared to wipe away a tear as Guy said nothing would ever bring back Martin.

The sequestered jury of six women will have to sort through a lot conflicting testimony from police, neighbors, friends and family members. Witnesses gave differing accounts of who was on top during the struggle, and Martin’s parents and Zimmerman’s parents both claimed that the voice heard screaming for help in the background of a 911 call was their son’s.

Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, but the jury will also be allowed to consider manslaughter. Under Florida’s laws involving gun crimes, manslaughter could end up carrying a penalty as heavy as the one for second-degree murder: life in prison.

Allowing the jurors to consider manslaughter could give those who aren’t convinced the shooting amounted to murder a way to hold Zimmerman responsible for the death of the unarmed teen.

To get a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors must show only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.

O’Mara dismissed the prosecution’s contention that Zimmerman was a “crazy guy” patrolling his townhouse complex and “looking for people to harass” when he saw Martin. O’Mara also disputed prosecutors’ claim that Zimmerman snapped when he saw Martin because there had been a rash of break-ins in the neighborhood, mostly by young black men.

The defense attorney said Zimmerman at no point showed ill will, hate or spite during his confrontation with Martin _ which is what prosecutors must prove for second-degree murder.

“That presumption isn’t based on any fact whatsoever,” O’Mara said.

In contrast, prosecutors argued Zimmerman showed ill will when he whispered profanities to a police dispatcher over his cellphone while following Martin through the neighborhood. They said Zimmerman “profiled” the teenager as a criminal.

Guy said Zimmerman violated the cornerstone of neighborhood watch volunteer programs, which is to observe and report, not follow a suspect.

Zimmerman’s account of how he grabbed his gun from his holster at his waist as Martin straddled him is physically impossible, Guy said.

“The defendant didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to, he shot him because he wanted to,” Guy said. “That’s the bottom line.”

But to invoke self-defense, Zimmerman only had to believe he was facing great bodily harm, his attorney said. He asked jurors not to let their sympathies for Martin’s parents interfere with their decision.

“It is a tragedy, truly,” O’Mara said. “But you can’t allow sympathy.”

With the verdict drawing near, police and city leaders in Sanford and other parts of Florida said they have taken precautions for the possibility of mass protests or even civil unrest if Zimmerman, whose father is white and whose mother is Hispanic, is acquitted.

There were big protests in Sanford and other cities across the country last year when authorities waited 44 days before arresting Zimmerman.

Guy told the jury the case wasn’t about race.

“It’s about right and wrong,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/12/Jurors-start-deliberating-George-Zimmerman-case

Judge In Zimmerman Case Pressured by Obama Administration?

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones

Speculation is raging that the judge in the George Zimmerman case could have been put under pressure by the Obama administration after she staged a bizarre outburst during which she interrogated Zimmerman while repeatedly silencing his lawyers.

The hostile exchange began when Judge Debra Nelson asked Zimmerman if he planned to testify.

Essentially, Judge Nelson told Zimmerman he had the “absolute right to remain silent” but then proceeded to demand he answer her questions interrogation-style while silencing his lawyers.

Defense attorney Don West twice objected to Nelson’s interrogation, prompting the judge to raised her voice and exclaim, “Your objection is overruled!” in a manner more befitting of an angry parent lecturing a child than a legal professional.

Both of Zimmerman’s lawyers appeared shocked as attorney Mark O’Mara asked under his breath, “what is going on?”

Several legal experts and observers said the outburst was unprecedented.

“I have never seen that in more than 30 years of court reporting,” tweeted journalist Kathi Belich.

Former Senatorial candidate Richard Rivette also expressed his shock at the judge’s behavior.

“This judge is an idiot. I spent five years investigating high profile capital cases defending people from the death penalty, and worked for the Federal judiciary as an independent investigator on other cases. No judge ever inquires as to whether a defendant will testify until the entire defense case is presented. If the defense rests and does not call the defendant then the judge knows there will be no testimony. If the defense calls the defendant then that’s when the judge finds out. They have to get through the entire case first. To see if it is valid after prosecution cross-examines their witnesses and experts as to whether a defendant SHOULD testify, which is decided in private not in public, and NOT on the record. By doing this, the judge has undermined a portion of Zimmerman’s credibility. He looks like he is waffling and this is normal judge/defendant questioning, which it is NOT,” said Rivette.

Respondents to the story at the National Review Online also expressed their view that Zimmerman was being railroaded.

“A fix is in from the administration to find Zimmerman guilty regardless of what it takes,” commented one.

“By demanding that Zimmerman respond to a question, after she has assured him that he has the right to remain silent, she is undermining his right to remain silent and making it appear as though he and his attorneys are not firm in their convictions. This judge is shameless,” added another.

Judge Nelson also ruled this week that Trayvon Martin’s text messages, which showed that Martin had been involved in fights before and was trying to buy or sell a gun, cannot be shown to the jury, which some suggested was another indication of an anti-Zimmerman bias.

Nelson also granted a request by prosecutors to block the defense’s attempt to show the jury a computer-animated depiction of the fight between Martin and Zimmerman.

She is also likely to allow the jury to consider lesser charges against Zimmerman in light of the prosecution’s probable failure to prove its case for second-degree murder, another indication that the state is desperate to avoid him walking free.

Judge Nelson has been very careful at every stage of the trial to dismiss evidence or testimony that could convince the jury in favor of acquitting Zimmerman.

Now some are asking the question – did Nelson’s aggressive outburst represent an attempt to prejudice the jury against Zimmerman?

Given the likelihood that Zimmerman will be acquitted, has Judge Nelson been put under pressure by the federal government to aggressively advocate for the prosecution, just as Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was apparently pressured to vote to uphold Obamacare?

Ever since President Barack Obama personally inserted himself into the controversy by declaring Trayvon Martin to be akin to the son he never had, higher-ups have constantly meddled in the case in an effort to secure a murder charge for a scenario that Zimmerman would not normally have even been arrested for under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Indeed, ex-Sanford police chief Bill Lee told CNN yesterday that “he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice,” and that his investigation “provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene.”

It also emerged this week that the federal government encouraged and funded last year’s protests demanding the arrest of Zimmerman via the Community Relations Service, a division of the Department of Justice. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the CRS was “deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman,” spending millions of dollars in the process.

Given the plethora of threats by Trayvon supporters to stage violent riots if Zimmerman is acquitted, could Nelson be under pressure to secure a charge of at least manslaughter in order to avoid nationwide civil disorder?

If that’s the case, her apparent effort to prejudice the jury clearly suggests that a mistrial has taken place.

http://www.infowars.com/judge-in-zimmerman-case-pressured-by-obama-administration/

Judge Rules Jury Can Consider Manslaughter Charge In Zimmerman Trial

A judge said Thursday that jurors in the George Zimmerman case can consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, but she denied a request for the jury also to consider third-degree murder after a defense attorney called the proposal “outrageous.”

Prosecutor Richard Mantei argued that instructions for third-degree murder should be included on the premise that Zimmerman committed child abuse when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin because Martin was underage.

But defense attorney Don West called the proposed instruction “a trick,” and he accused the prosecutor of springing it on the defense at the last minute.

“Just when I didn’t think this case could get any more bizarre, the state is alleging child abuse?” West said. “This is outrageous. It’s outrageous the state would seek to do this at this time.”

West questioned how Zimmerman could be charged with child abuse while Martin was on top of Zimmerman “pummeling him.”

Judge Debra Nelson denied the third-degree murder instruction, saying she was exercising caution since she was unsure if prosecutors could prove intent.

“I just don’t think the evidence supports that,” Nelson said.

The judge, however, agreed with the prosecution that jurors could consider manslaughter as a lesser charge.

West said he wanted the six jurors to only consider the second-degree murder charge or not guilty.

“The state has charged him with second degree murder. They should be required to prove it,” West said. “If they had wanted to charge him with manslaughter … they could do that.”

Jurors could begin deliberating as early as Friday. Prosecutors were expected to give closing arguments Thursday afternoon, followed by the defense closing on Friday morning.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. On the night of the fatal scuffle in February 2012, Martin was visiting his father and his father’s fiancee at the same townhome complex whereZimmerman lived.

Zimmerman observed Martin while driving in his neighborhood, called police and the fight ensued after the neighborhood watch volunteer got out of his vehicle. Zimmerman claims Martin was slamming his head into the concrete pavement when he fired his gun.

Some civil rights activists argued that a delay in charging Zimmerman was influenced by Martin’s race, and protests were held around the nation in the 44 days between the fatal fight and Zimmerman’s arrest. Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.

http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2013/07/11/judge-rules-jury-can-consider-manslaughter-charge-in-zimmerman-trial/

DOJ sends secret “peacekeepers” where Trayvon Martin was killed

Last Updated: July 10, 2013

Synopsis

Judicial Watch, Inc. on April 24, 2012 launched an investigation into the Trayvon Martin case based on reports that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had sent a secret team of “peacekeepers” to Sanflord, Florida, where Martin was shot on February 26, 2012 after wandering in a gated community after dark. George Zimmerman, a resident of the community and its neighborhood watch captain, is currently on trial for Martin’s death though he maintains he acted in self-defense.

Records obtained by Judicial Watch in response to local, state and federal public records requests show that the so-called peacekeepers are part of a large and growing division within DOJ called the Community Relations Service (CRS). Though CRS purports to spot and quell racial tensions nationwide before they arise, the documents obtained by Judicial Watch show the group actively worked to foment unrest, spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on travel and hotel rooms to train protestors throughout Florida. The peacekeepers also met with officials of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for several months later in Tampa, to warn them to expect protests in connection with Martin’s death.

  • CRS employee spent $1,142.84 to travel to Sanford, Florida from March 25-28, 2012 “to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies”;
  • CRS employee spent $751.60 to travel to Sanford, Florida from March 30-April 1, 2012 “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31”;
  • CRS employee spent $1,307.40 to travel to Sanford, Florida from April 3-12, 2012 “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford”;
  • CRS employee spent $672.24 to travel to Tampa, Florida from April 18-20, 2012 “to meet with RNC official related to possible protests and demonstrations during the RNC”

In response to a Florida Sunshine Law request to the City of Sanford, Judicial Watch also obtained an audio recording of a “community meeting” held at Second Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford on April 19, 2012. The meeting, which opens with a gospel hymn and organ music, is reported to have led to the official ouster of Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee. A week earlier, a group calling themselves the “Dream Defenders” had barricaded the entrance to the police department demanding he be fired for failing to file murder charges against Zimmerman. The church meeting produced a nine-point plan, the main demand being the firing of Chief Lee.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/bulletins/doj-sends-secret-peacekeepers-where-trayvon-martin-was-killed/

Ex-Sanford police chief: Zimmerman probe ‘taken away from us’

By Eliott C. McLaughlin

The George Zimmerman investigation was hijacked “in a number of ways” by outside forces, said the former police chief of Sanford, Florida.

Bill Lee, who testified Monday in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, told CNN’s George Howell in an exclusive interview that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.

“It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later,” he said. “You don’t do that.”

When Sanford police arrived on the scene on February 26, 2012, after Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, they conducted a “sound” investigation, and the evidence provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene, he said.

It had nothing to do with Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, he said; from an investigative standpoint, it was purely a matter of self-defense.

Zimmerman told police he killed Martin after the teen attacked him. While the evidence at the time corroborated that claim, the ex-chief said, Lee’s lead investigator made a recommendation that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter.

Justice Dept. ‘peacekeepers’ worked ‘Trayvon’ rallies, group claims

It was a matter of protocol, Lee said. Arresting Zimmerman based on the evidence at hand would have been a violation of Zimmerman’s Fourth Amendment rights, he said. Thus, the Sanford police presented a “capias request” to the state’s attorney, asking that the prosecutor determine whether it was a “justifiable homicide,” issue a warrant for arrest or present the case to a grand jury.

“The police department needed to do a job, and there was some influence — outside influence and inside influence — that forced a change in the course of the normal criminal justice process,” Lee said. “With all the influence and the protests and petitions for an arrest, you still have to uphold your oath.”

“That investigation was taken away from us. We weren’t able to complete it,” he said.

One example involved the 911 tapes, in which neighbors implored dispatchers to send police as a voice in the background screamed for help.

The Sanford police intended to release the tapes once the probe was over, Lee said, because you can’t publicize evidence amid an investigation.

Instead, the mayor told him on March 16 the tapes had been released to Martin’s family and the public. The family was asked to help identify voices, Lee said, but if police were in charge of the investigation, they wouldn’t have presented evidence to a group.

“It should be done individually so there’s no influence on the other people in the room,” he said. “Then, there’s no questions that can be brought up about how (an identification) was obtained or whether it was influenced.”

I’m happy that at the end of the day I can walk away with my integrity.
Ex-Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee

Releasing the evidence to the public was problematic, as well, because it created the potential for someone to concoct a “story about what they observed when they really didn’t observe it,” he said.

Martin family attorney Jasmine Rand said she doesn’t believe playing the tapes to a room full of people “makes any difference to the outcome of the case.”

“We have to remember that that was played for the family in a private room because they were hearing the last moments of their son’s life as he cried for help,” Rand told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday night. “And I think Sybrina Fulton (Martin’s mother) got up and walked out of that room. She didn’t sit in there and talk to everybody, because she had a visceral reaction when she heard her son yell for help and she couldn’t help him because she knew he was dead.”

Lee was placed on paid leave March 22, 2012, after the Sanford City Commission expressed a lack of confidence in him. The same commission rejected his resignation in a 3-2 vote a month later, with dissenting commissioners questioning the fairness of Lee’s losing his job.

Two months later, Lee was sacked. City Manager Norton Bonaparte said in a news release, “The police chief needs to have the trust and respect of the elected officials and the confidence of the entire community.”

Lee believes lack of confidence did play a role in his dismissal, he told CNN, but he also believes Bonaparte faced political pressure and terminated him “without cause,” which was permitted under his employment contract.

“I upheld my oath,” Lee said. “I’m happy that at the end of the day I can walk away with my integrity.”

Asked whether he would do things differently given the opportunity, the 30-year veteran of law enforcement said there always are things he could change in hindsight, but he stands by the investigation.

At every turn in the 40-minute interview with CNN’s Howell, Lee doggedly defended his investigators, saying race never played a role in any decision and that his officers “conducted an unbiased review.”

Investigators knew letting Zimmerman walk free for 46 days was an unpopular decision — and they took abuse for it — “but they performed professionally. That’s the mark of a strong police department.”

Lee took issue with the media casting his department as apathetic or lackadaisical in the case.

“A lot of the information that was given out as fact was misinformation,” he said. “It was reported in some media that we didn’t conduct an investigation for two weeks, but yet in that same media they would show a photograph of a crime scene with crime scene tape, with patrol cars and blue lights and investigators on the scene.”

Lee shrugged off the notion that he was hired to clean up racism and other problems in the department. His goal upon becoming chief was to improve professionalism and trust, and he set several goals, all of which were met during his 10-month tenure, he said.

One of his greatest regrets, he said, is that the Zimmerman investigation ultimately shattered his childhood dream to be police chief of the community where he was raised.

“It’s a dream of a vision that is going to be unrealized,” he said. “I’m at peace with it on most days. I’m a man of faith. But it stings.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/10/justice/sanford-bill-lee-exclusive/index.html

Shooting of Trayvon Martin

The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, United States. Zimmerman is currently on trial for second-degree murder in the case.[2]

Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old multi-racial Hispanic American,[Note 1] was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place.[4][5][6]

Statements given by Zimmerman have indicated that on the night of the shooting Zimmerman was in his vehicle on a personal errand when he noticed Martin walking beyond the gated fence inside the community. Statements then read that Zimmerman then called the Sanford Police Department to report Martin’s behavior as suspicious, stating “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about” and “looking at all the houses”[7][8], although according to a police report, there was “no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter”.[9][10][11] While still on the phone with the police dispatcher, Zimmerman exited his vehicle, and after concluding his telephone call with police was involved in a violent encounter with Martin. The encounter ended with Zimmerman fatally shooting Martin once in the heart at close range.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

When police arrived on the scene, Zimmerman stated that Martin had attacked him and that he had shot Martin in self-defense using a weapon Zimmerman had on him, loaded with a hollow-point bullet already in the gun’s chamber.[4] Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and from two vertical lacerations on the back of his head. EMTs treated Zimmerman at the scene, after which he was taken to the Sanford Police Department. Zimmerman was detained and questioned for approximately five hours.[18][19][20] He was then released without being charged. At the time, police said they found no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.[19][21][22]

The circumstances of Martin’s death, including the fact that he was unarmed,[23] and the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman received national and international attention and scrutiny. Allegations of racist motivation for both the shooting and police conduct, along with intense media reporting that was sometimes inaccurate, contributed to public demands for Zimmerman’s arrest.[24][25][26][27] Questions were also raised about Florida’s stand-your-ground law. On March 22, 2012, a Special Prosecutor, Angela Corey, was appointed to take over the investigation.[28] On April 11, 2012, the Special Prosecutor filed a charge of murder in the second degree against Zimmerman, who then turned himself in and was placed in custody.[29][30] The prosecution’s account of what they allege happened on the night of the shooting is largely contained in the Affidavit of Probable Cause.[31] Zimmerman pleaded not guilty to the charge and is out on a $1 million bond while awaiting the results of the trial.

Zimmerman’s trial began on June 10 in Sanford, Florida.[2] He had requested a “stand your ground” hearing, but in March 2013, his defense elected to bypass the hearing so that his case would be tried before a jury.[32]

arties involved in the case

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Benjamin Martin
Trayvon Martin on the backseat of a car.png
Trayvon Martin in an undated photo

BornFebruary 5, 1995
Florida, U.S.DiedFebruary 26, 2012 (aged 17)
Sanford, Florida, U.S.Cause of deathSingle gunshot fired at intermediate range (1-18 inches)[33]EthnicityAfrican AmericanHeight5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[Note 2]Weight158 pounds (72 kg)[Note 2]

Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who were divorced in 1999. He was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School and lived with his mother and older brother in Miami Gardens, Florida.[39][40][41]

On the day Martin was fatally shot, he and his father were visiting his father’s fiancée and her son at her townhome in The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, a multi-ethnic gated community, where the shooting occurred.[42][43] Martin had visited his father’s fiancée at Twin Lakes several times.[44][45]

Martin had been suspended from school at the time of his death, his third disciplinary suspension of the year.[46] One suspension was for tardiness. Another suspension was for graffiti, when Martin was observed by a security camera in a restricted area of the school marking up a door with “W.T.F.” When he was later searched by a Miami-Dade School Police Department officer, looking for the graffiti marker, the officer found several pieces of women’s jewelry in his backpack, which Martin said were not his, stating a friend had given them to him. A screwdriver was also found, which was described by the school police investigator as a burglary tool. The jewelry was impounded and given to the police, but no evidence ever surfaced to indicate that the jewelry was stolen. Martin’s third suspension involved a marijuana pipe, and an empty bag containing marijuana residue. Martin was not charged with any crime related to these incidents and did not have a juvenile record.[46][47][48][49][50] Judge Nelson ruled that the defense may have access to Martin’s records, including the details of these suspensions, as well as access to Martin’s social media sites,[51] but ruled they will not be admissible as evidence during the trial unless they can be shown to be relevant.[52]

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said the parents had never heard about the bag of jewelry and that it was completely irrelevant to what happened on February 26.[53] Martin’s parents and their attorneys also said the defense’s request for school records and social media was a “fishing expedition” aimed at attacking their son and an attempt to assassinate his character.[54]

George Zimmerman

George Michael Zimmerman
Zimmerman, George - Seminole County Mug.jpg
George Zimmerman mugshot

BornOctober 5, 1983 (age 29)
Manassas, VirginiaEthnicityLatino/CaucasianHeight5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)Weight185 pounds (84 kg)[Note 3]Criminal chargeSecond-degree murderCriminal statusOn trial

George Michael Zimmerman was born on October 5, 1983, in Manassas, Virginia,[56] and is the son of Gladys (née Mesa) Zimmerman, who was born in Peru,[3] and Robert Zimmerman, Sr., a retired Virginia magistrate.[57][58] He was raised Catholic,[23] in a family that his father has described as “multiracial;” his father is a white American of German descent[59] and his mother is Peruvian with some black ancestry through her Afro-Peruvian maternal grandfather.[23][Note 1] Zimmerman’s voter registration record lists him as Hispanic and a registered Democrat.[60][61]

Zimmerman’s height is reportedly 5′7″ (1.70 m); and his weight is recorded as being 185 lb (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Booking Information dated April 11, 2012, the date of his arrest.[55] Zimmerman’s height is shown as 5′8″ (1.73 m); and his weight at 200 lb (91 kg) on the Sanford Police Department Offense Report for February 26, 2012, the night of the shooting.[62]

In 2009, Zimmerman had moved with his wife to The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, a multi-ethnic[63] gated community, where the shooting occurred.[42][43] At the time of the shooting, he was employed as an insurance underwriter and was in his final semester at Seminole State College for an associate degree in Criminal Justice.[64][65] In one of his interviews with police he stated his goal was to become a judge.[66]

In 2005, Zimmerman was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, after shoving an officer while a friend of Zimmerman’s was being questioned about underage drinking. The charges were reduced, then dropped when Zimmerman entered a pre-trial diversion program. Also in 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiance filed a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman requested a reciprocal restraining order. Both orders were granted.[67][68] The incidents were raised by prosecutors at Zimmerman’s initial bond hearing. The judge described the incidents as “run of the mill” and “somewhat mild” and rejected the prosecution’s claim that the incidents demonstrated that Zimmerman was violent or a threat to the community.[3][69][70]

Sanford Police Department

Bill Lee had been chief of the Sanford Police Department for ten months when the shooting occurred.[71] Prior to Lee becoming chief, the department had been accused of protecting relatives of police officers involved in violent incidents with blacks, and the Martin case increased distrust between the police and Sanford’s black community.[72]

On March 22, Chief Lee temporarily stepped down from his position due to public criticism over his handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting.[71] In April, the Sanford City Commission refused to accept Lee’s resignation and stated that “Lee’s spotless record showed there needed to be further review to determine if he failed in his duties.” Lee was fired on June 20, 2012 by Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte.[73] Lee responded by saying “I continue to stand by the work performed by the Sanford Police Department in this tragic shooting, which has been plagued by misrepresentations and false statements for interests other than justice.”[74]

On June 26, 2012, the lead investigator of the case, Christopher Serino, was transferred out of the Sanford Police Department’s investigative unit and reassigned to the patrol division at his own request.[75] Serino said he felt pressured by several of his fellow police officers to press charges on Zimmerman when he believed there was not enough evidence to do so, and that one of the officers pressuring him was friendly with Martin’s father.[76]

In September 2012, Orlando TV station WFTV released a memo from the interim police chief Richard Myers blaming the police department spokesman, Sgt. David Morgenstern, for mishandling the Travyon Martin case and removed him from his spokesperson position.[77]

Martin family attorneys

Benjamin Crump, the lawyer representing the interests of the Martin family, operates a law firm in Tallahassee, Florida, with his partner Daryl Parks. The firm has eight lawyers who focus on wrongful death, malpractice, personal injury and civil rights.[78][79] In 2006, Crump sued to have the video released in the case of Martin Anderson, a teenager who died at a boot camp run by the Bay County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office.[78][80][81] The Martin family is also represented by Natalie Jackson, an Orlando civil rights attorney.[82][83]

Background of the shooting

The Retreat at Twin Lakes, north entrance

The Retreat at Twin Lakes is a 260-unit gated townhome community in Sanford, Florida.[84][85] The population in the development at the time of the shooting, was about 49% non-Hispanic white, 23% Hispanic(of any race), 20% black, and 5% Asian, according to Census figures.[72] Both George Zimmerman and Tracy Martin’s fiancee were renting homes in the development when the shooting occurred.[45] At the time of the shooting, Martin had been staying with his father’s fiancee at The Retreat.[86]

From January 1, 2011 through February 26, 2012, police were called to The Retreat at Twin Lakes 402 times.[72] During the 18 months preceding the February 26 shooting, Zimmerman called the non-emergency police line seven times. On five of those calls, Zimmerman reported suspicious looking men in the area, but never offered the men’s race without first being asked by the dispatcher.[87][88][89] Crimes committed at The Retreat in the year prior to Martin’s death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting.[90] Twin Lakes residents said there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood.[64]

In September 2011, the Twin Lakes residents held an organizational meeting to create a neighborhood watch program. Zimmerman was selected by neighbors as the program’s coordinator, according to Wendy Dorival, Neighborhood Watch organizer for the Sanford Police Department.[6][6][91]

Three weeks prior to the shooting, on February 2, 2012, Zimmerman called police to report a young man peering into the windows of an empty Twin Lakes home. Zimmerman was told a police car was on the way and he waited for their arrival. By the time police arrived, the suspect had fled. On February 6, workers witnessed two young black men lingering in the yard of a Twin Lakes resident around the same time her home was burglarized. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. The next day police discovered the stolen laptop in the backpack of a young black man, which led to his arrest. Zimmerman identified this young man as the same person he had spotted peering into windows on February 2.[64]

Zimmerman had been licensed to carry a firearm since November 2009. In response to Zimmerman’s multiple reports regarding a loose pit bull in the Twin Lakes neighborhood, a Seminole County Animal Services officer advised Zimmerman to “get a gun”, according to a friend, rather than rely on pepper spray to fend off the pit bull, which on one occasion had cornered his wife.[64] Although neighborhood watch volunteers are not encouraged to carry weapons, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee acknowledged that Zimmerman had a legal right to carry his firearm on the night of the shooting.[72]

Shooting and investigation

Main article: Timeline of the shooting of Trayvon Martin

On the evening of February 26, 2012, Zimmerman observed Martin as he returned to the Twin Lakes housing community after having walked to a nearby convenience store.[92] At the time, Zimmerman was driving through the neighborhood on a personal errand.[14]

Zimmerman call to police
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7:09:34 PM, February 26, 2012

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At approximately 7:09 PM,[Note 4] Zimmerman called the Sanford police non-emergency number to report what he considered a suspicious person in the Twin Lakes community.[94] Zimmerman stated, “We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy.”[64] He described an unknown male “just walking around looking about” in the rain and said, “This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something.”[95] Zimmerman reported that the person had his hand in his waistband and was walking around looking at homes.[96] On the recording, Zimmerman is heard saying, “these assholes, they always get away.”[97][98]

About two minutes into the call, Zimmerman said, “he’s running.”[99] The dispatcher asked, “He’s running? Which way is he running?”[100] The sound of a car door chime is heard, indicating Zimmerman opened his car door.[101] Zimmerman followed Martin, eventually losing sight of him.[99] The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following him. When Zimmerman answered, “yeah,” the dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman responded, “Okay.”[102] Zimmerman asked that police call him upon their arrival so he could provide his location.[99] Zimmerman ended the call at 7:15 p.m.[99]

After Zimmerman ended his call with police, a violent encounter took place between Martin and Zimmerman, which ended when Zimmerman fatally shot Martin 70 yards (64 m) from the rear door of the townhouse where Martin was staying.[103][Note 5]

[show]Full transcript of Zimmerman’s call to SPD non-emergency number[100][105]

Sanford Police Investigation

Police officer Timothy Smith arrived at the scene at approximately 7:17 PM. He reported finding Zimmerman standing near Martin, who was lying face down in the grass and unresponsive.[16][19] At that time, Zimmerman stated to Smith that he had shot Martin and was still armed. Smith handcuffed Zimmerman and removed his weapon from him. Smith observed that Zimmerman’s back was wet and covered with grass and he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.[16][106]

Ricardo Ayala, the second officer to arrive that night, noticed Officer Smith had Zimmerman in custody, then observed Martin lying face down in the grass and attempted to get a response from him. At this time, Sgt. Anthony Raimondo arrived and together with Ayala began CPR. Paramedics from Sanford Fire and Rescue arrived and continued CPR, finally declaring Martin dead at 7:30 PM.[16]

Other officers who had arrived by this time secured the area and made contact with neighbors in the area and obtained statements from witnesses at the scene. They did not realize Zimmerman had been in a vehicle, however, so it was moved before they could seize it.[107] Zimmerman was treated and released by paramedics while still at the scene of the incident.[16][106] After placing Zimmerman in his police vehicle, Officer Smith heard Zimmerman say, “I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me.”[16][108] Zimmerman was then transported to the Sanford Police Department where he was questioned by investigators for approximately five hours.[16][20] The police determined that Zimmerman yelled for help at least 14 times in a 38 second span.[109] The question of who was calling for help has been disputed since then by others and remains inconclusive. (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls)

Martin’s body was taken to the morgue, where he was tagged as a John Doe as he was not carrying any identification.[22] Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, called to file a Missing Persons report early on February 27 and police officers arrived at his fiancée’s condo with photographs of his dead son about 9:20 am.[22][110]

George Zimmerman with a bloody, swollen nose in the back seat of a police car on the night of the shooting.[111][112]

The back of Zimmerman’s head at the police station.[113]

Zimmerman was handcuffed at the scene of the shooting and taken to the Sanford police station for questioning, arriving there at 7:52 p.m. according to a police video.[114] His gun, a black Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol, taken from him by Officer Smith at the scene, was placed into evidence.[17][115]

Zimmerman was interviewed by Investigator D. Singleton and by Detective Chris Serino on the night of the shooting.[16][116] He also underwent voice stress analysis, a type of lie detector test, on the night of the shooting.[107] Crime Scene Tech D. Smith photographed his injuries and hands and collected gun shot residue. Zimmerman’s clothes were taken as evidence after his wife arrived with a change of clothes.[117] The day after the shooting, Zimmerman performed a videotaped reenactment of the incident for police.[107]

Zimmerman was not given a drug or alcohol test.[19] Peter Bella, a retired Chicago Police forensic investigator, told The Washington Times, “Except for DUIs, police cannot test suspects for drugs or alcohol, unless the accused demands or consents to it, or they get a warrant”.[118][119][120] The police did not suspect that Zimmerman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he was never asked to take such a test.

The Martin family alleged that Seminole County Attorney Wolfinger met personally with Sanford Chief Lee on the night of the shooting and instructed Lee not to make an arrest. Based on their accusation, the Martin family requested that the Justice Department investigate the State prosecutor’s office. Wolfinger responded that the accusations were “outright lies” and denied that any such meeting or communication took place. Wolfinger’s office reported that the Sanford police consulted with Kelly Jo Hines, the prosecutor on call the night of the shooting, but it has not been disclosed what was talked about.[121]

On March 12, 2012, Police Chief Lee turned the investigation over to the State Attorney’s office for review.[122] Lee said there was not enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman. “In this case Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense,” Lee said. “Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.” In response to criticisms of the investigation, Lee responded that “We are taking a beating over this” and defended the investigation.[123] “This is all very unsettling. I’m sure if George Zimmerman had the opportunity to relive Sunday, February 26, he’d probably do things differently. I’m sure Trayvon would, too.”[72]

On March 13, 2012, Chris Serino sent a capias request to the state’s attorney recommending charges of negligent manslaughter against Zimmerman, though Serino maintains he did not believe they had the evidence to support those charges and that manslaughter was only included in the capias in order for the prosecutor’s office to continue with their own investigation.[124][125][126][127] The capias states, “the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and waited the arrival of law enforcement or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party’s concern”. “There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter.”[128] The State Attorney’s office initially determined there was insufficient evidence to charge Zimmerman and did not file charges based on the capias request.[127][129][130]

On March 16, Serino told the Orlando Sentinel that his investigation had turned up no reliable evidence that cast doubt on Zimmerman’s account, that he had acted in self-defense. “The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event, everything I have is adding up to what he says.”[131]

Further investigation

On March 20, 2012, State attorney Norm Wolfinger announced that a Seminole County grand jury would be convened on April 10 to investigate the death of Martin.[132][133][134] However, after State Attorney Angela Corey was assigned to the case by Florida Governor Rick Scott on March 22, she decided that her office would decide whether to press charges. “I always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this, I foresee us being able to make a decision, and move on it on our own.”[135]

Governor Scott asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate the shooting[136][137] and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi confirmed that the FDLE was involved and stated “no stone will be left unturned in this investigation.”[133]

On March 20, 2012, the Justice Department announced that it was opening investigations into the incident.[138] The FBI opened a parallel investigation into whether Martin’s civil rights were violated, interviewed witnesses, and looked into Zimmerman’s background.[139]

On July 12, interviews conducted by the FBI were publicly released. The Sanford Police Department’s lead investigator, Chris Serino, told FBI agents that he believed Zimmerman’s actions were not based on Martin’s race, but instead on Martin’s attire, the circumstances of the encounter, and previous burglaries in the neighborhood. Zimmerman’s neighbors and co-workers were interviewed as well. Neighbors who knew Zimmerman had nothing derogatory to say about him and his co-workers were complimentary of him.[140]

Serino also told the FBI that he had felt pressure from three officers within the department to charge Zimmerman although he “did not believe he had enough evidence at the time to file charges”, and accused one of these officers of being friendly with Martin’s father. He also expressed concern to the FBI about possible leaks of evidence to the media from within the department.[141]

Martin’s autopsy report

The Volusia County medical examiner found that Martin was killed by an injury resulting from a single gunshot to the chest, fired at “intermediate range,” between 1 and 18 inches according to a forensic expert.[33][Note 6] An FDLE analysis of Martin’s body and clothes described the distance as “a contact shot”.[142] The autopsy also found that Martin had one small abrasion on his left ring finger below the knuckle. No other injuries were found on Martin’s body at the time of his death.[33] Physicians who reviewed the official autopsy report for the Orlando Sentinel, stated in their opinion that Martin lived from 20 seconds to several minutes after he was shot, and that Martin likely remained conscious “for a time anyway.”[143]

The autopsy report stated that Martin had trace levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his blood and urine.[144][145] The toxicology report found the levels to be 1.5 nanograms/ml of THC and 7.3 nanograms/ml of THC-COOH, a metabolite of THC that can stay in the system for weeks after cannabis has been smoked.[144][145] Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science, stated that the THC amount was so low that it may have been ingested days earlier and played no role in Martin’s behavior.[146]

Witness accounts

Recordings of eight calls to the police made on the night of the shooting were released by the Sanford police on March 17, 2012.[96][148]

A witness to the confrontation just prior to the shooting stated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and punching him, while Zimmerman was yelling for help. This witness, who identified himself as “John”, stated that “the guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911”.[149] He went on to say that when he got upstairs and looked down, “the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”.[149][150][151]

A 13-year-old boy walking his dog saw a man on the ground shortly before the shooting and identified him as wearing red.[152][153][154] His mother later disputed the testimony and claimed that the police pressured him into choosing the color that the man was wearing and that her son could not see any details in the dark. She also stated that the police waited five days before requesting to even question her son and said that the lead homicide investigator told her that he did not believe the shooting was self-defense.[155][156]

Mary Cutcher and her roommate, Selma Mora Lamilla, appeared on AC 360, and Cutcher stated that she believes that “there was no punching, no hitting going on at the time, no wrestling” just prior to the shooting but admitted that she neither saw the shooting nor the preceding altercation.[157][158][159] Cutcher and her roommate heard the pair in their backyard and a “very young voice” whining, with no sounds of a fight. They heard a gunshot; the crying stopped immediately, and they saw Zimmerman on his knees straddling Martin on the ground.[157][159] Mary Cutcher phoned police after the fatal shooting and said the black man was standing over another man, although Trayvon Martin was already dead.[34] According to the Orlando Sentinel article, “Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Morgenstern [on March 15] issued a statement disputing Cutcher’s version of events, calling her statements to WFTV “inconsistent with her sworn testimony to police.”[160] However, Cutcher and her roommate maintain that their account of the incident to the police did not agree with Zimmerman’s, and they demanded the police issue a retraction.[158]

On March 29, 2012, an eyewitness referred to as a male said that he saw two men on the ground scuffling, then heard the shooting, and saw Zimmerman walk away with no blood on him.[161][162] The witness later appeared on CNN AC360 referred to as a female, giving more details on her account. She pointed out that she heard an argument between a younger and an older voice. During the time that she witnessed the incident, the scuffling happened on the grass. She said that the larger man, who walked away after the gunshot, was on top and that it was too dark to see blood on his face.[163]

A witness who arrived shortly after the shooting revealed photos that he took that night that showed “blood trickling down the back of Zimmerman’s head from two cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head”. In revealing the photo to ABC News in mid-April, he noted that he had heard but had not seen the scuffle, had been the first to arrive, and had been the first to talk to Zimmerman after the shooting.[18]

One eye-witness statement given the night of the shooting describes “a black male, wearing a dark colored ‘hoodie’ on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help.” The witness said that the black male was throwing punches “MMA [mixed martial arts] style.” After hearing a “pop,” he saw the black male “laid out on the grass.”[164][165] When the witness was subsequently interviewed weeks later by a different agency, the witness said he thought that the black male was either punching or pinning the lighter skinned male underneath him. He was no longer certain who was calling for help, having not seen their mouths in the dark. He was still certain that the black male had been on top of the lighter-skinned male.[166]

Witness 8

On March 20, Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump revealed that Martin had been on the phone with a friend moments before he was shot.[167][168] During an ABC News exclusive report, Crump allowed portions of his recorded interview with Martin’s friend to be aired. She said that Martin told her that a man was watching him from his vehicle while talking on the phone before the man started following Martin. Martin told his friend at one point that he had lost the man but the man suddenly appeared again.[167][168][169] The friend said that she told Martin to run to the townhouse where he was staying with his father and the father’s girlfriend.[168] She then heard Martin say, “What are you following me for?” followed by a man’s voice responding, “What are you doing around here?” She said that she heard the sound of pushing before the phone went dead. She immediately attempted to call him back, but was unable to reach him.[170] Crump stated that he would turn the information over to the Justice Department because “the family does not trust the Sanford Police Department to have anything to do with the investigation.”[167] Martin’s friend was subsequently interviewed by state prosecutors on April 2, 2012. During her interview with the prosecutor, Martin’s friend recounted her last phone call with Martin and added that Martin had described the man as “crazy and creepy,” watching him from a vehicle while the man was talking on the phone.[168] Martin’s friend told prosecutors that she heard words like “get off, get off,” right before she lost contact with Martin.[168]

On March 6, 2013, prosecutors admitted that witness 8 had lied under oath, when she falsely testified that she had been in the hospital on the day of Martin’s funeral.[171][172][173]

Crump had refused to disclose the identity of Witness 8, stating that she was only 16, a minor at the time of the shooting, and asked the media to respect her privacy.[174] It was subsequently revealed that she was actually 18 at the time when she said she was on the phone with Martin.[175] According to the defense, her actual age had been edited out of previously released disclosures.[176] Crump has denied intentionally giving any misleading statements about her age.[177]

George Zimmerman’s account of events

On the advice of his legal counsel, Zimmerman did not speak to the media after the shooting.[178] The statements he gave to police investigators were publicly released on June 21, 2012, when Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, published his written and recorded statements on Zimmerman’s legal defense web site.[179][180][181] Prior to the release of the statements, the only publicly available information about Zimmerman’s version of the incident came from interviews with some of his family members and friends and from leaks to the news media by sources inside the investigation, and his recorded phone call to 9-1-1. Zimmerman maintained his public silence until he was interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News on July 18, 2012.[182][183] According to early news reports on the incident, on the night of the shooting, and afterwards, Zimmerman described in detail for investigators what took place.[184][185][186][187]

Zimmerman said he was driving to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon Martin walking through the neighborhood. Zimmerman’s father said that, while his son was not on duty that night as Neighborhood Watch captain, there had been many break-ins and he thought it suspicious that someone he didn’t recognize was walking behind the town homes instead of on the street or the sidewalk. Zimmerman therefore called a non-emergency police line to report Martin’s behavior and summon police.[188][189] During the call, Zimmerman told the dispatcher that Martin was “coming to check me out.”[100] A source to the Orlando Sentinel said in May that Zimmerman told investigators that at one point Martin circled his vehicle,[Note 7] and he rolled up his window to avoid a confrontation.[185][190]

After telling the police dispatcher that Martin “ran,”[191] Zimmerman left his vehicle to determine his location and ascertain in which direction Martin had fled.[185][192] The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following Martin, and Zimmerman replied “Yeah.” Then the dispatcher said, “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman replied with “OK” and stated that Martin got away.[191] After a discussion about where Zimmerman would meet police, the call ended, and Zimmerman told investigators he was returning to his vehicle when Martin approached him from his left rear and confronted him.[185][186] According to Zimmerman, Martin then punched him in the face, knocking him down, and began beating his head against the sidewalk.[185][186] Zimmerman said he called out for help while being beaten, and at one point Martin covered his mouth to muffle the screams.[185][186] According to Zimmerman’s father, during the struggle while Martin was on top of Zimmerman, Martin saw the gun his son was carrying and said something to the effect of “You’re gonna die now” or “You’re gonna die tonight” and continued to beat Zimmerman.[184] Zimmerman and Martin struggled over the gun, and Zimmerman shot Martin once in the chest at close range, in self-defense.[185][186][187][Note 8]

On June 21, 2012, Zimmerman’s attorneys released audiotapes of several interviews he had with police shortly after the shooting. Also included were Zimmerman’s written statement of February 26, 2012, and video recordings of his reenactment of the incident and a voice stress test that he passed.[179][181][193][194][195]

In the interviews, Zimmerman says he took note of Martin because he was near a home that he had previously called police about. He also said “he was just walking casually, not like he was trying to get out of the rain,” and he felt “something was off” about Martin.[190]

Zimmerman said he left his truck to find a street sign so he would be able to tell the police dispatcher where he was. He told investigators that he was not following Martin but was “just going in the same direction he was” to find an address, but admitted that he had also left his truck to try to see in which direction Martin had gone.[192] The altercation began, he said, when Martin suddenly appeared while Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle. He described Martin at different points in the interviews as appearing “out of nowhere,” “from the darkness,” and as “jump[ing] out of the bushes.”[192][193] Zimmerman said that Martin asked, “You got a fucking problem, homie?” Zimmerman replied no, and then Martin said that he did now, and punched him.[196] As they struggled on the ground, Zimmerman on his back with Martin on top of him, Zimmerman yelled for help “probably 50 times.” (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls) Martin told him to “Shut the fuck up,” as he hit him in the face and pounded his head on a concrete sidewalk.[193] When Zimmerman tried to move off the concrete, Martin saw his gun and said “You’re going to die tonight motherfucker!” Martin grabbed for the gun, but Zimmerman grabbed it first. He said after firing his weapon at Martin, he wasn’t sure at first that he had hit him, so he got on top of him in order to subdue him.[192][193][197][dead link] Bystanders and police arrived shortly after Martin was shot.[198][199]

Police reports state Zimmerman “appeared to have a broken and a bloody nose and swelling of his face.” Zimmerman was offered three chances to be taken to the hospital, but Zimmerman declined each time, according to police reports released by the prosecution.[198] ABC News reported that a medical report compiled by the family physician of George Zimmerman showed that, following the altercation with Martin, Zimmerman was diagnosed with a closed fracture of his nose, two black eyes, lacerations to the back of his head, a minor back injury, and bruising in his upper lip and cheek.[200]

In the course of Zimmerman’s recorded interviews, Detective Chris Serino questioned aspects of Zimmerman’s account, such as Zimmerman’s statement that he didn’t know the name of a street in the Twin Lakes community where he had lived for three years. Zimmerman said in response that he had a bad memory and takes medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.[190] Investigators also questioned the extent of his injuries and why he didn’t identify himself to Martin as a Neighborhood Watch coordinator. Zimmerman said he didn’t want to confront Martin.[190][193]

On June 26, 2012, the prosecution released the results of a voice stress test performed on George Zimmerman the day after the shooting.[201][202] A voice stress test is a type of test used to measure deceptive or psychological stress in the human voice in response to questions.[203] Zimmerman was asked, “Did you confront the guy you shot?”, to which Zimmerman answered, “No.” Zimmerman was asked, “Were you in fear for your life, when you shot the guy?”, to which Zimmerman answered, “Yes.”[201] The examiner concluded that Zimmerman “told substantially the complete truth” in the examination, and Zimmerman was classified as “No Deception Indicated (NDI)” according to the report.[201]

During a bond hearing on April 20, 2012, Investigator Dale Gilbreath testified under oath that he did not know whether Zimmerman or Martin started the fight and that there is no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that he was walking back to his vehicle when Martin confronted him. Gilbreath, however, questioned Zimmerman’s statement that Martin was slamming his head against the sidewalk just before he shot the teenager, saying it was “not consistent with the evidence we found.”[204][205][206] Gilbreath was one of two investigators who attested to the facts stated in the probable cause affidavit.[31]

Legal analysts have stated that Zimmerman’s credibility could become an issue at trial and that Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense rests on whether the jury can trust him “as a reporter of the facts”.[207][208] Douglas Keene, a trial consultant and forensic psychologist, stated that in a self-defense case, a jury has to decide “whether or not someone can be trusted to have used good judgment. Credibility is always a paramount issue in any trial,” he said.[207]

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has criticized Special Prosecutor Angela Corey’s handling of the case, said he believes that the video reenactment of the incident would help Zimmerman during a trial if it were submitted as evidence and shown to a jury, but he wasn’t sure that it would be. Without going into detail, Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump referred to several alleged inconsistencies between Zimmerman’s written statement and his recorded call to the police dispatcher.[192]

Zimmerman’s first media interview

On July 18, 2012, Zimmerman, accompanied by his attorney Mark O’Mara, gave his first long media interview to Sean Hannity. Part of the interview appeared on Hannity that evening. During the interview he said that he did not regret his actions on the night of the shooting, but he also said, “I do wish there was something, anything I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life. I want to tell everyone, my wife, my family, my parents, grandmother, the Martins, the city of Sanford and America: I’m sorry that this happened. I’m truly sorry.”[182][183][209]

When Hannity asked Zimmerman why his suspicions were aroused when he noticed Martin, Zimmerman replied in part:

“I felt he was suspicious because it was raining. He was in-between houses, cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather. … It didn’t look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the rain and was hurrying back home. He didn’t look like a fitness fanatic that would train in the rain.”[7][8]

Following the interview with Hannity, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey filed formal notice that she intends to use the interview as evidence against Zimmerman.[210] According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman’s story differed in at least two details from previous versions of what he said happened the night he shot Martin.[210] Florida defense lawyers said it was a mistake for Zimmerman to do a TV interview and discuss what happened that night. One of them said, “It’s really baffling what he thought he’d gain from it. I question who’s in charge of the defense strategy, Zimmerman or O’Mara”.[210]

Martin’s parents said they don’t accept Zimmerman’s apology for killing their son.[211] Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said she doubted that Zimmerman’s apology was sincere. “I have a hard time accepting it because he also said that he doesn’t regret anything that he did that night…” Fulton stated.[212]

Prosecution’s account of events

The prosecution’s account is largely contained in the affidavit of probable cause filed on April 11, 2012, in support of second-degree murder charges against Zimmerman. A conviction of second-degree murder could result in Zimmerman receiving a prison term of 25 years to life.[1] The affidavit states that it does not contain a complete recitation of facts, but presents only the facts to support probable cause for second-degree murder charges. Judge Mark Herr ruled that the affidavit was legally sufficient to establish probable cause.[213] The affidavit describes what investigators allege took place between Zimmerman and Martin on the night of the shooting.[9][31][214][215]

The affidavit states that Martin was walking back from a nearby 7-Eleven store to the townhouse where he was temporarily living when Zimmerman profiled Martin, who was unarmed and not committing a crime.[9][31] Prosecutors stated that Zimmerman was driving in his vehicle when he observed Martin and assumed he was a criminal.[9] Feeling that Martin did not belong in the gated community where Zimmerman lived, he called the police to request for an officer to respond, because he perceived Martin was acting suspiciously.[9][31] Investigators said the dispatcher told Zimmerman an officer was on the way and to wait for him.[9][31] In the call, Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had gotten away with break-ins in the neighborhood, and while talking about Martin, stated “these assholes, they always get away” and also said “these fucking punks”.[9][31][215]

According to investigators, while Zimmerman was speaking with police, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening. She said that Martin was scared because he was being followed by an unknown male and didn’t know why.[9][215] Investigators said that Martin attempted to run home, but Zimmerman followed him, because he didn’t want Martin whom he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime, to get away before the police arrived.[9][214] When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and told him an officer would meet him.[31] Prosecutors stated that Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher’s instruction and continued pursuing Martin on foot.[213] Investigators said Zimmerman then confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.[9][31]

The affidavit describes witness accounts of hearing people arguing, what sounded like a struggle, and yells for help that were recorded in the 9-1-1 calls to police.[9] According to prosecutors, Martin’s mother reviewed the 9-1-1 calls to police and identified the voice crying for help as her son.[31][216] (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls) When police arrived at the scene, Zimmerman admitted to shooting Martin in the chest.[9][31] An assistant medical examiner conducted an autopsy and determined that Martin had died from the gunshot.[9][31]

Legal analysts have criticized the prosecution for over-charging Zimmerman, claiming that the probable cause affidavit does not support a charge of second-degree murder.[217][218] Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz claims that the probable cause affidavit may be perjurious if Special Prosecutor Angela Corey knowingly omitted facts favorable to Zimmerman’s self-defense claims.[217]

Richard Kuritz, a former prosecutor who worked with Angela Corey, said the state attorney had no obligation to include exculpatory evidence in the affidavit. He stated that Dershowitz could face civil action for making accusations that Corey committed a crime. “To suggest that she’s committing any crime, Dershowitz is way off on that”, Kuritz said.[219]

Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls

In recordings of the 9-1-1 calls, yells for help are audible in the background. Zimmerman’s family says it was Zimmerman yelling for help, Martin’s family says it was Martin yelling for help, and independent audio analysts offer differing opinions as to who was yelling for help.

In an interview with prosecutors on March 19, Zimmerman’s father identified the yells as George Zimmerman’s, stating, “There is no doubt who is yelling for help. It is absolutely my son.” Other relatives of Zimmerman, including his brother, concur and are equally adamant.[220] During a bond hearing on June 29, the 9-1-1 recording was played in court, and Zimmerman’s father testified that “it was definitely George’s” voice heard yelling for help in the recorded 9-1-1 call.[221]

According to police reports, after listening to audio recordings of the 9-1-1 calls, Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, told police investigators that it was not Trayvon Martin’s voice yelling for help.[198] Martin has since told reporters he was uncertain at that time, but that when he heard an enhanced recording on March 16 he was convinced it was his son yelling for help. Investigators interviewed Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, who reviewed the 9-1-1 calls to police and identified the voice crying for help as her son.[216] Investigators also interviewed Martin’s cousin who stated that without a doubt “on a stack of bibles” it was Martin yelling for help on the 9-1-1 tape.[222][223]

During the FBI investigation, Witness 45, a neighbor of Zimmerman’s, stated he was 110% sure the voice calling for help was Zimmerman’s.[224][225]

Independent audio experts vary in their interpretations of the low-quality audio of the phone recordings, which one expert compared to analyzing low-resolution video from a security camera.[226] The FBI was not able to determine whether it was Zimmerman or Martin who could be heard yelling out for help in 9-1-1 calls, citing both poor audio quality and “the extreme emotional state of the person screaming.”[198][227] Two expert audio technicians, listed as possible witnesses for the prosecution, analyzed the emergency calls made during the altercation. One analyst reported that he believed some of the cries came from Martin. The other analyst said the quality of the recordings was insufficient for good analysis, but said some cries were likely from Martin and some likely from Zimmerman.[228]

Zimmerman’s attorneys had requested a Frye hearing regarding the admissibility of the testimony of the audio analysts, to determine if the methods used by them are generally accepted by the scientific community.[229][230] At the time of the hearing, Florida used the Frye standard, but during the course of the case, Florida switched to the Daubert standard, effective July 1, 2013.[231] The Daubert standard is generally considered more stringent, and requires more scrutiny before admission of expert testimony.[232]

On June 22, Judge Nelson ruled that the prosecution’s audio experts won’t be allowed to testify at Zimmerman’s trial. The judge said in her ruling that, “There is no evidence to establish that their scientific techniques have been tested and found reliable.” Her ruling didn’t prevent the 9-1-1 calls from being played at trial.[233][234]

Shooting aftermath

Martin family response

Supporters of Trayvon Martin rally in Union Square during a “Million Hoodie March” in Manhattan on March 21. Martin’s parents addressed the crowd.[235]

Tracy Martin was skeptical of the account of his son’s death told to him by Sanford police investigators and believed Zimmerman didn’t act in self-defense.[22] Two days after the shooting, he was referred to civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump,[22] who was retained to pursue legal action and to persuade the news media to cover the case.[236] Attorney Natalie Jackson and publicist Ryan Julison, both of Orlando, also joined the Martin team.[22] Due to their efforts, the case started to receive national attention on March 7.[22][237] On March 9, Crump announced he was suing to have 911 calls from the night of the shooting made public.[238] They were released by the Sanford mayor on March 16.[22] As attention to the case grew, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton gave media interviews and appeared at some of the protests being held which called for Zimmerman’s arrest.[22][235][239] On June 28, 2013, Alicia Stanley, Trayvon Martin’s step-mother, stated that she did not believe Zimmerman targeted Trayvon because he was black.[240]

Zimmerman and family

While the shooting was being investigated, Zimmerman, his wife, and his parents went into hiding due to threats they were receiving as the case gained more attention.[178][241] Zimmerman left his job and his school expelled him, citing safety concerns.[3][242] Due to security concerns, Zimmerman’s first lawyers had not been able to meet with him in person.[243]

On April 9, Zimmerman placed a self-created web site on the internet, which included some brief statements, but no information about the shooting, since he had been advised by legal counsel not to discuss it. He also solicited donations for living expenses and legal defense costs.[244]

After taking over as Zimmerman’s defense counsel on April 11, Mark O’Mara took down Zimmerman’s self-created web site and replaced it with a professional information site. He arranged for a second web site to be set up to collect donations overseen by an independent third party.[245] Following Zimmerman’s April 20 bond hearing, he and his wife were accused by prosecutors of not disclosing the funds raised through the original web site; as a result of these allegations, Zimmerman’s original bail was revoked. He was subsequently released again with a higher bail amount.[246] Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman, was charged with perjury in June 2012; the charge still stands.[247]

George Zimmerman’s defense team had set up a Twitter account, a Facebook page and a website with a defense fund registered with the Florida Division of Consumer Services.[245][248][249] After three months, the Facebook page was shut down by O’Mara, because he said it was leading to unhelpful discussions.[250]

In July 2012, Zimmerman returned his original web site to the internet, and his parents also created their own web site. Both sites discuss how the case has changed the Zimmermans’ lives and seek donations for living expenses.[251]

On January 30, 2013, Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, asked on Zimmerman’s defense fund website for the public to donate more money. O’Mara stated that Zimmerman’s legal defense could cost up to $1 million.[252]

Court proceedings

Main article: State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman

On April 11, 2012, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in Martin’s death. In Florida, a conviction for second degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If a firearm was used then the mandatory minimum is 25 years in state prison.[1] Zimmerman’s attorney waived Zimmerman’s right to appear at an arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.[253] Zimmerman is currently out on a $1 million bond with several conditions – that he be electronically monitored, reside in Seminole County, have no bank accounts or passport and observe a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. The judge said he granted bond “because Zimmerman posed no threat to the community”.[254]

A jury of six women was chosen on June 20, to hear the case. Five of the six are white. In addition, four alternates, two women and two men, all white, were also chosen.[255] The jury will be anonymous, where the identity of the jury will be revealed to the prosecution and defense, but not released to the public or media.[256] During jury selection, the judge announced that the jury would be sequestered during the trial.[257]

The trial began on June 24, 2013.

Public response

An undated personal photo of Trayvon Martin wearing a hoodie was displayed by protesters and sold by merchants on hoodies, T-shirts and keychains, prompting the family to trademark slogans using his name.[258]

After the shooting, Zimmerman was criticized by the Martin family and in the media for following Martin and for carrying a weapon.[259][260][261] Sanford police chief Bill Lee stated that neighborhood watch volunteers are not encouraged to carry a gun but have a Constitutional right to do so.[72] Lee further stated, “Mr. Zimmerman was not acting outside the legal boundaries of Florida Statute by carrying his weapon when this incident occurred.”[260] Sanford Police volunteer program coordinator Wendy Dorival, told The Miami Herald that she met Zimmerman in September 2011, at a community neighborhood watch presentation. “I said, ‘If it’s someone you don’t recognize, call us. We’ll figure it out,’ ‘Observe from a safe location.’ Dorival said.”[72]

Protests were staged around the U.S. prior to Zimmerman’s April 11 indictment on murder charges.[262] Over 2.2 million signatures were collected on a Change.org petition, created by Martin’s mother, calling for Zimmerman’s arrest.[259] It was the website’s largest petition ever.[263]

Since Martin was killed while wearing a hoodie, hoodies were used as a sign of protest, and many cities staged “million hoodie marches” or “hundred hoodie marches”. Additionally, some professional athletes, including Carmelo Anthony and the entire Miami Heat roster, tweeted photos of themselves wearing hoodies.[citation needed]

Bags of Skittles candy and cans of Arizona Iced Tea were also used as protest symbols. Martin was reported to be returning from a 7-Eleven convenience store with these items when he was shot,[264][265] although the beverage he purchased was actually an Arizona brand fruit drink.[266]

Walkouts were staged by students at over a dozen Florida high schools,[267] and thousands of people attended rallies around the country to demand Zimmerman’s arrest.[24] Members of the Occupy movement marched in solidarity during the “Million Hoodie March”.[268][269]

A number of high-profile citizens made public comments or released statements calling for a full investigation, including Reverend Al Sharpton,[270][271] Reverend Jesse Jackson,[272] and President Barack Obama.[270]

Speaking on the day of Zimmerman’s arrest, Al Sharpton said, “Forty-five days ago, Trayvon Martin was murdered. No arrest was made. The Chief of Police in Sanford announced after his review of the evidence there would be no arrest. An outcry from all over this country came because his parents refused to leave it there.”[273][274] Jesse Jackson also referred to Martin as “murdered and martyred”.[275] And U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (Dem.), who represents Martin’s hometown of Miami, used the word “murdered” when she referred to Martin’s fatal shooting.[276]

Herman Cain objected to what he called “swirling rhetoric” and “a war of words”,[277] and former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant singled out Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for being “race hustlers” who were exploiting Martin’s death “to inflame racial passions”. Bryant also criticized President Barack Obama for his “nebulous” comment, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” [278][279] Former education secretary William Bennett criticized what he called a “mob mentality,” saying that “…the tendency in the first days by some, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and an angry chorus of followers, was to rush to judgment with little regard for fairness, due process, or respect for the terrible death of a young man.”[280]

Senior Fellow Shelby Steele at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution said that the tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s death was being exploited by a generation of “ambulance-chasing” black leaders who have promoted “our historical victimization as the central theme of our group identity”.[281]

President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters on March 23 after federal investigators were deployed to Sanford, said, “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this… If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”[270]

According to Zimmerman’s father, George Zimmerman received death threats after the shooting and was forced to move out of his home.[282] The New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 reward for the “capture” of George Zimmerman;[283][284] this was condemned by the city of Sanford.[283]

In parts of the U.S., various acts of vandalism, assaults, and crimes have been connected in part to alleged revenge for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.[285][286][287][288]

Film director Spike Lee retweeted to his 200,000 Twitter followers an erroneous Sanford, Florida, address, purported to be Zimmerman’s, which forced a family out of their home to avoid harassment after they received hate mail and unwanted visits from reporters.[289][290][291] Lee was criticized for his retweet[292] and he later issued an apology for having tweeted the wrong address.

Professor Alan Dershowitz criticized the probable cause affidavit against Zimmerman as “so thin that it won’t make it past the judge,” calling it “irresponsible and unethical,” and opined that the charges were motivated by prosecutor Corey’s desire to be re-elected.[293][294] The deadline for qualifying to run against Corey was 9 days after she filed charges, and no one stepped forward to challenge her, so she won re-election.[295] In June, Dershowitz said that Corey had contacted the dean of Harvard Law School about his remarks, threatening to sue Dershowitz for libel and slander, and the school too, and saying she wanted him to be disciplined by the American Bar Association. Dershowitz said the dean defended his remarks under academic freedom, and he commented that “[e]ven if Angela Corey’s actions were debatable, which I believe they were not, I certainly have the right, as a professor who has taught and practiced criminal law nearly 50 years, to express a contrary view.”[296][297] CNN legal analyst Mark NeJame expressed concern over Corey’s threats and questioned if the prosecution of Zimmerman was for political reasons.[298]

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote “…what’s often overlooked in all the heated conversations about this tragedy is the actual timeline based on police documents.” and “[The timeline] indicates that the victim as well as the accused made some terrible choices that night…and it tells us to keep our minds open and our tempers in check, at least until some of [the] gaps get filled at Zimmerman’s trial.”[299]

Fox News Channel host Geraldo Rivera claimed that Martin’s “gangsta style clothing” was “as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was”.[300][301] Rivera was quoted saying, “I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies.” [300] Faced with outrage over his statements, Rivera apologized, saying that he had “obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager”.[302] When a 7-Eleven surveillance video showing Martin making a purchase on the night of the shooting was released two months later, however, Rivera referred to the clothes he had been wearing as “thug wear”. His comments were criticized by the Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, who compared them to people blaming rape victims for wearing short skirts.[301]

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News called for restraint and urged other pundits to stop trying the case in the media. He said that the case is a “tragedy” but should not be tried in the media.[303]

After Zimmerman’s bond was revoked for misrepresenting how much money he had when his bond was set,[304] Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said he expected the prosecution to bring Zimmerman’s credibility “front and center in this entire case”.[305] Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara stated that it was a “mistake” that had “undermined his credibility, which he will have to work to repair”.[306]

Alleged race issues

Allegations against Zimmerman

Chicago protestors on March 28.

Zimmerman was accused of being motivated by racism[4][170] and of having racially profiled Martin.[4][129][282][307] During early media coverage of the incident, Zimmerman’s call to the police dispatcher was edited by NBC, shortened such that it appeared that Zimmerman had volunteered Martin’s race. The unedited audio recording proved that the police dispatcher specifically asked about Martin’s race, and only then did Zimmerman reveal that Martin was black. NBC apologized for the misleading edit and disciplined those involved.[308]

Defense of Zimmerman’s character

In an open letter on March 15, 2012, Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman, defended his son against allegations that his actions were racially motivated, stating that Zimmerman was Hispanic, was raised in a multiracial family, and “would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever,” saying that the portrayal of his son as a racist “could not be further from the truth.” According to his family, some of Zimmerman’s relatives are black.[57] Zimmerman’s former lawyer Craig Sonner stated that Zimmerman is not a racist, and that he had mentored black youths in the past.[309] Joe Oliver, a former television news reporter who is acquainted with Zimmerman,[310] noted “I’m a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color.”[311]

In early April, an anonymous letter to the NAACP, which was signed “A Concerned Zimmerman Family Member,” said Zimmerman had been one of the few to take any action to protest the 2010 beating of Sherman Ware, a black homeless man, by the son of a Sanford police officer. Zimmerman reportedly distributed fliers in the black community trying to get others involved too, and helped organize a January 8, 2011, Sanford City Hall community forum to protest the incident.[312] Zimmerman’s father confirmed his son’s efforts on Ware’s behalf.[313]

In May, the Miami Herald secured an audiotape of the January 8, 2011, Sanford City Hall community forum. On the audiotape, Zimmerman was heard criticizing the conduct of the Sanford Police Department in the Ware case. Zimmerman criticized former chief, Brian Tooley, and said Tooley had engaged in a “cover-up” and that he should lose his pension. He also said he’d been on ride-alongs with Sanford police where he found them to be lazy. The Herald also reported that it had contacted five out of six black churches where Zimmerman was reported to have distributed fliers on the Ware beating, however no one recalled receiving them.[82]

On July 12, interviews conducted by the FBI were publicly released. The Sanford Police Department’s lead investigator, Chris Serino, told FBI agents that he believed Zimmerman’s actions were not based on Martin’s race, but instead on Martin’s attire, the circumstances of the encounter, and previous burglaries in the neighborhood. Zimmerman’s neighbors and co-workers were interviewed as well. Neighbors who knew Zimmerman had nothing derogatory to say about him, and his co-workers were complimentary of him.[140]

Allegations against Martin

During the trial of Zimmerman, state’s witness #8, Rachel Jeantel, testified that Martin had described Zimmerman as a “creepy ass cracker” just prior to the shooting.[314] [315]

Jeantel further testified that she thought race was an issue because Martin told her he was being followed by a white man.[316][317] Jeantel stated her belief that “creepy ass cracker” was neither racial nor offensive. She testified that people in “her culture” call white people crackers, though she couldn’t recall if Martin would call white people crackers [315][318][319]

Allegations against the Sanford police

For not arresting Zimmerman, the Sanford police faced heavy criticism, protests, and allegations of racial bias.[4] The NAACP wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressing “no confidence that, absent federal oversight, the Sanford Police Department will devote the necessary degree of care to its investigation” and requesting that personnel be detailed to Sanford to review the case without bias.[129][170] Lee repeatedly defended the investigation, stating that the Sanford police did not feel they had conducted a racially biased investigation and welcomed a review of their efforts.[307][320]

Allegations were also made that the Sanford police were protecting Zimmerman.[186] Lee told reporters that they could not arrest Zimmerman because no evidence contradicted his story, and that to do so would leave the police open to litigation.[307] In regards to the 9-1-1 dispatcher telling Zimmerman that “We don’t need you to [follow him],”[321] Lee said “That is a call taker making a recommendation to him. He’s not under a legal obligation to do that, so that is not something we can charge him with.”[129]

On March 21, 2012, three out of the five members of the Sanford City Commission, including the mayor, passed a motion of no confidence in regards to the Police Chief Bill Lee, and his handling of the case; however, the vote was advisory only.[322] The following day, Lee announced that he had temporarily stepped down from his position as chief of police, stating “my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process.” Lee further stated, “I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to a city which has been in turmoil for several weeks.”[71] On April 23, 2012, the city of Sanford announced that Police Chief Bill Lee would resign but city commissioners voted to reject the resignation. Some commissioners had concerns about the fairness of Lee losing his job and the mayor stated he preferred to wait for the results of an investigation. Lee was to remain on paid leave.[323]

In an interview with CNN, following his testimony at Zimmerman’s trial, Bill Lee said that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.[324]Lee said, “It was relayed to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later.” Lee further stated in the interview that the Sanford Police conducted a “sound” investigation, and the evidence provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene.[324]Lee said that the police needed to do a job, and there was some outside, and inside influence, that “forced a change in the course of the normal criminal justice process.” The former police chief said the investigation was taken away from us and “we weren’t able to complete it.” Lee also said that his lead investigator made a recommendation that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter, as a matter of protocol. The Sanford police presented a “capias request” to the state’s attorney, asking that they determine whether it was a “justifiable homicide.”[324]

“Stand your ground” laws

Self-defense laws in the United States, particularly regarding justifiable homicide, vary by state. Florida law, as of 2005, includes a “stand your ground” provision, under which a person, who reasonably fears death or great bodily harm (the ordinary deadly self-defense requirement) is relieved of the common-law requirement that one first attempt to retreat, if one can safely do so, before using deadly force.[325][326] In almost all states, such laws exempt people in their own homes; Florida’s version extends the no-retreat doctrine to vehicles and public places. In at least 17 states, including Florida, there is no duty to retreat before using force.[327][328] After the shooting, media reports had indicated that Zimmerman would most likely use the “Stand Your Ground” provision in Florida’s self-defense law. According to Durell Peaden, one of the sponsors of the Florida law, the law does not say that a person has a right to confront another. “When [Zimmerman] said ‘I’m following him’, he lost his defense.” However, the same Mar 20, 2012, article goes on to state, “Peaden and Baxley said they didn’t know all the facts of the case, so their interpretations of what happened could change if new information arises during the investigation.”[329]

According to David Kopel, if Martin first attacked Zimmerman, the claim of self-defense by Zimmerman would be valid under the usual self-defense laws that didn’t include the “Stand your ground” law. On the other hand, if Zimmerman stalked and attacked Martin, the “Stand your ground” law would not protect Zimmerman from prosecution. In either case, the Florida “Stand your ground” law would be irrelevant.[325][330]

However, the “Stand Your Ground” law grants Zimmerman the right to a pretrial hearing where a judge could find Zimmerman immune from prosecution and dismiss the charges without going to trial.[331] The defense would need to show through a preponderance of the evidence, i.e. show with more than 50% certainty, that Zimmerman thought he would be killed or seriously injured.[332] The trial began without Zimmerman asking for such a hearing.

Three weeks after the shooting, Florida authorities announced they had picked 19 people to head up a task force to review the Florida statute that deals with justifiable use of force, including the stand your ground provision.[333] After six months of work, the result was that the task force did not recommend significant changes to the law.[334][335][336]

On January 16, 2013, Trayvon Martin’s mother and Democratic lawmakers in Florida called for the repeal of the state’s “stand your ground” law.[337]

Media coverage

Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin, family attorney Benjamin Crump and mother Sybrina Fulton, at the ‘Million Hoodies’ protest in Union Square, New York

For the first 10 days after Martin’s death, the story was covered by only the Florida media.[236] In order to bring more attention to the case, Martin family attorney Natalie Jackson sought the assistance of publicist Ryan Julison on March 5.[22]

On March 7, 2012, Reuters covered the story,[22][237] and the following day, CBS News, acting on a tip it received from the network’s local bureau in Atlanta, Georgia, obtained an exclusive interview with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton that was broadcast on CBS This Morning.[236][338]

Also on March 8, The Huffington Post, The Young Turks, and TheGrio.com, which is affiliated with NBC News, started to cover the case.[236][339][340][341] On March 9, 2012, ABC World News featured the story on their nightly broadcast.[342] CNN first reported on the case on March 12, 2012, and by the end of that week, radio hosts and bloggers were also reporting on the story.[236][343] National coverage started to increase the week of March 12 and intensified after March 16, when tapes of 9-1-1 calls were released to the public.[236][344] Having the 9-1-1 calls, which the police had previously declined to release, gave radio and TV reporters more material to report on.[236][344]

The Project for Excellence in Journalism reported that media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case became the first story in 2012 to be featured more than the presidential race. According to the Project, the varying types of media have focused on the case in different ways. An article in the Tampa Bay Times wrote that, “on Twitter, people are outraged at Zimmerman and want justice, while on cable news and talk radio people are discussing the state’s laws for self-defense and gun control and on blogs the focus has been on race.”[345]

Fox News newsmagazine host Geraldo Rivera, a former NBC employee, asserted that MSNBC “made an ideological decision that… they would argue strenuously for the prosecution of George Zimmerman and the ultimate conviction of George Zimmerman… [T]hey are cheerleading for the conviction of George Zimmerman.”[346]

Aspects of coverage

Media portrayal of Martin and Zimmerman

The Associated Press noted that initially the most widely used media photo of Martin was several years old and showed him as a “baby-faced boy,” rather than as a 17-year-old young man. To represent Zimmerman, the media chose a shot of a beefy 21-year-old Zimmerman taken seven years prior to the shooting, whereas recent photos show him as slim-faced and more mature. The two outdated photos chosen by the media may have helped shape the initial public perception of the shooting. The AP quoted academic Kenny Irby on the expected effect, “When you have such a lopsided visual comparison, it just stands to reason that people would rush to judgment,” and another academic, Betsi Grabe, as saying that journalists will present stories as a struggle between good and evil “[i]f the ingredients are there.”[27]

With the release of witness testimony and the details of the altercation prior to Martin’s death, various media had advanced the primary source testimony with speculation surrounding the events which further drove public outcry. Martin and Zimmerman’s height and weight were the subject of contention in the media and blogs and used to assert speculation.[347] Some of these speculations fueled outrage and controversy on both sides; combining scant or misleading information with speculation.[348][349] Contributing to the controversy was an image of a different person also named Trayvon Martin in a “gangsta” pose; the error discovered much later.[350][351]

Reporting on Zimmerman’s call to police

Economist and commentator Thomas Sowell criticized the national media for implying that Zimmerman had continued to follow Martin after the police dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that.” He said that they mostly left out Zimmerman’s answer, “O.K.” because “too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news.”[352]

After the audio of the call was released, reports by CNN[353] and other news outlets alleged that Zimmerman had said “fucking coons” two minutes and twenty-one seconds (2:21) into the call. Two weeks later on April 4, 2012, CNN claimed that enhanced audio revealed that Zimmerman had said “fucking cold.”[354] The following day, April 5, 2012, CNN’s Martin Savidge reported that forensic audio expert Tom Owen claimed it was “fucking punks.”[355] It is said to be “fucking punks” in the affidavit of probable cause, dated April 11, 2012.[31] Other reviewers of the call have offered alternate interpretations of what was said, some labeling it “unintelligible.” According to the Associated Press, the alleged racial slur “fed growing outrage over the police department’s initial decision not to arrest Zimmerman.”[101][356][357][358]

Misleading audio editing by NBC

Between March 19 and 27, 2012, the NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today show, and NBC’s network-owned Miami affiliate WTVJ NBC6[359] ran segments which misleadingly merged parts of Zimmerman’s call. On one version of the recording played by NBC, Zimmerman was heard saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something… He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male.”[360] In another what was played was, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” In the original 9-1-1 recording, Zimmerman said: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” The 9-1-1 operator then asked: “OK, and this guy, is he black, white or Hispanic?”, and Zimmerman answered, “He looks black.”[308] The phrase, “He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male” came several exchanges after that point in the conversation.[361][362]

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post wrote that NBC’s alterations “would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler. In reality… Zimmerman simply answered a question… Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry… To portray that exchange in a way that wrongs Zimmerman is high editorial malpractice…”[308]

NBC issued an apology for “an error made in the production process that we deeply regret,”[363] but never apologized on the air.[364] The network said that the Today show and Miami edits took place in two separate incidents involving different people. A Miami-based NBC News producer lost her job, WTVJ reporter Jeff Burnside was fired,[365] and two other employees were disciplined.[366][367] Lilia Luciano, who was the reporter on broadcasts containing both edited versions of the audio,[360][368] was also fired, and her aired reports on the Trayvon Martin story, along with the misleading audio, were removed from the Today website.[369][370]

On December 6, 2012, Zimmerman filed a defamation lawsuit against NBC alleging that they intentionally edited the phone call so that Zimmerman would sound racist. The lawsuit said, “NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.”[371][372] A NBC spokeswoman said the network strongly disagreed with the accusations that Zimmerman made in the complaint, stating; “There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly and we intend to vigorously defend our position in court.”[373]

Surveillance video mistake

Image enhancement of a single frame of the police surveillance video (left) by The Daily Caller (middle) and by Forensic Protection, Inc. working with ABC News (right) shows two welts or abrasions. ABC originally said the video showed no blood or bruises.[374]

ABC News obtained a surveillance video of Zimmerman walking unassisted into the Sanford police station after the shooting. An officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman’s head, but ABC originally said that no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video.[374] The Daily Caller disputed this claim, and posted a still from the ABC video which showed the injury on the back of Zimmerman’s head.[375] ABC later reported that it had “re-digitized” the video, and said that this version showed “what appear to be a pair of gashes or welts on George Zimmerman’s head,” but the story’s main focus was on a doctor who claimed it was unlikely that Zimmerman’s nose had been broken.[376][377]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is a Hispanic from Peru. George Zimmerman’s ancestry includes an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather.[3]
  2. ^ a b The initial police report from the night of the shooting lists Martin’s height as 6’0″ (1.83 m) and weight as 160 lb (73 kg).[16][34] Zimmerman estimated Martin’s height at 5’11” to 6’2″ on the night of the shooting.[35] The morning after the shooting, an autopsy found that Martin’s body was 5’11” (1.80 m) long and weighed 158 lb (72 kg).[36][37] Other values for Martin’s height of 6’2″ (1.88 m) and 6’3″ (1.91 m), and weight of no more than 150 lb (68 kg), were reported as being given by Martin’s family.[34][38]
  3. ^ Zimmerman’s weight was shown as 185 pounds (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Booking Information on April 11, 2012, the date of his arrest.[55]
  4. ^ Some reports in the media incorrectly gave the time as 7:11.[93]
  5. ^ See The New York Times article The Events Leading to the Shooting of Trayvon Martin for seven aerial views which include depictions of The Retreat at Twin Lakes; the home where Trayvon was staying; the site of the shooting; Zimmerman’s home; the site of the 7-11; and other sites of interest.[104]
  6. ^ The autopsy report can be found at “Trayvon Martin Autopsy Report: Killed By Bullet Fired At Intermediate Range”. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  7. ^ An Orlando Sentinel source reported in May 2012 that Zimmerman told investigators that Martin “was circling” his vehicle at one point, but news stories after Zimmerman’s statements to police were released reported that he said Martin “circled” his vehicle.
  8. ^ Some referenced information is from the embedded video of Robert Zimmerman’s interview,[184]

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Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

[Numbers in thousands]
Category June
2012
Apr.
2013
May
2013
June
2013
Change from:
May
2013-
June
2013
Employment status
Civilian noninstitutional population 243,155 245,175 245,363 245,552 189
Civilian labor force 155,149 155,238 155,658 155,835 177
Participation rate 63.8 63.3 63.4 63.5 0.1
Employed 142,448 143,579 143,898 144,058 160
Employment-population ratio 58.6 58.6 58.6 58.7 0.1
Unemployed 12,701 11,659 11,760 11,777 17
Unemployment rate 8.2 7.5 7.6 7.6 0.0
Not in labor force 88,006 89,936 89,705 89,717 12
Unemployment rates
Total, 16 years and over 8.2 7.5 7.6 7.6 0.0
Adult men (20 years and over) 7.7 7.1 7.2 7.0 -0.2
Adult women (20 years and over) 7.4 6.7 6.5 6.8 0.3
Teenagers (16 to 19 years) 23.7 24.1 24.5 24.0 -0.5
White 7.3 6.7 6.7 6.6 -0.1
Black or African American 14.4 13.2 13.5 13.7 0.2
Asian (not seasonally adjusted) 6.3 5.1 4.3 5.0
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity 11.0 9.0 9.1 9.1 0.0
Total, 25 years and over 6.9 6.1 6.1 6.2 0.1
Less than a high school diploma 12.5 11.6 11.1 10.7 -0.4
High school graduates, no college 8.5 7.4 7.4 7.6 0.2
Some college or associate degree 7.3 6.4 6.5 6.4 -0.1
Bachelor’s degree and higher 4.1 3.9 3.8 3.9 0.1
Reason for unemployment
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 7,121 6,410 6,147 6,119 -28
Job leavers 936 864 944 1,030 86
Reentrants 3,243 3,151 3,333 3,291 -42
New entrants 1,316 1,280 1,268 1,259 -9
Duration of unemployment
Less than 5 weeks 2,825 2,474 2,706 2,692 -14
5 to 14 weeks 2,826 2,848 2,669 2,864 195
15 to 26 weeks 1,813 1,967 1,950 1,896 -54
27 weeks and over 5,336 4,353 4,357 4,328 -29
Employed persons at work part time
Part time for economic reasons 8,210 7,916 7,904 8,226 322
Slack work or business conditions 5,471 5,129 4,841 5,193 352
Could only find part-time work 2,514 2,527 2,721 2,652 -69
Part time for noneconomic reasons 18,825 18,908 18,934 19,044 110
Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)
Marginally attached to the labor force 2,483 2,347 2,164 2,582
Discouraged workers 821 835 780 1,027
– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population
 

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category June 2012 Apr. 2013 May 2013(p) June 2013(p)
EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY (Over-the-month change, in thousands)
Total nonfarm 87 199 195 195
Total private 78 188 207 202
Goods-producing 14 -17 0 8
Mining and logging -2 -3 0 1
Construction 7 -7 7 13
Manufacturing 9 -7 -7 -6
Durable goods(1) 9 -1 0 -3
Motor vehicles and parts 5.8 -0.4 4.8 5.1
Nondurable goods 0 -6 -7 -3
Private service-providing(1) 64 205 207 194
Wholesale trade 8.9 3.8 8.3 11.3
Retail trade -3.1 22.4 26.9 37.1
Transportation and warehousing -2.5 6.5 -6.8 -5.1
Information -6 -9 1 -5
Financial activities 6 14 6 17
Professional and business services(1) 35 69 65 53
Temporary help services 20.5 20.8 23.6 9.5
Education and health services(1) 6 36 23 13
Health care and social assistance 11.7 37.8 12.7 23.5
Leisure and hospitality 14 60 69 75
Other services 5 1 13 -4
Government 9 11 -12 -7
WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES(2) AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES
Total nonfarm women employees 49.4 49.4 49.4 49.4
Total private women employees 47.9 47.9 47.9 47.9
Total private production and nonsupervisory employees 82.6 82.6 82.6 82.6
HOURS AND EARNINGS ALL EMPLOYEES
Total private
Average weekly hours 34.4 34.5 34.5 34.5
Average hourly earnings $23.50 $23.89 $23.91 $24.01
Average weekly earnings $808.40 $824.21 $824.90 $828.35
Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3) 96.2 98.2 98.4 98.6
Over-the-month percent change 0.0 -0.1 0.2 0.2
Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4) 107.9 111.9 112.2 112.9
Over-the-month percent change 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.6
HOURS AND EARNINGS PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
Total private
Average weekly hours 33.7 33.7 33.7 33.7
Average hourly earnings $19.75 $20.07 $20.09 $20.14
Average weekly earnings $665.58 $676.36 $677.03 $678.72
Index of aggregate weekly hours (2002=100)(3) 103.8 105.5 105.7 105.9
Over-the-month percent change 0.1 -0.2 0.2 0.2
Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2002=100)(4) 136.9 141.5 141.9 142.5
Over-the-month percent change 0.4 0.1 0.3 0.4
DIFFUSION INDEX(5) (Over 1-month span)
Total private (266 industries) 57.3 57.7 61.8 58.8
Manufacturing (81 industries) 50.6 44.4 48.1 46.3
Footnotes (1) Includes other industries, not shown separately. (2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries. (3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours. (4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls. (5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment. (p) Preliminary

Data extracted on: July 5, 2013 (5:45:01 PM)

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Employment Level

144,058,000

Series Id: LNS12000000 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Seas) Employment Level

Labor force status: Employed

Type of data: Number in thousands

Age: 16 years and over

employment_level

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 136559(1) 136598 136701 137270 136630 136940 136531 136662 136893 137088 137322 137614
2001 137778 137612 137783 137299 137092 136873 137071 136241 136846 136392 136238 136047
2002 135701 136438 136177 136126 136539 136415 136413 136705 137302 137008 136521 136426
2003 137417(1) 137482 137434 137633 137544 137790 137474 137549 137609 137984 138424 138411
2004 138472(1) 138542 138453 138680 138852 139174 139556 139573 139487 139732 140231 140125
2005 140245(1) 140385 140654 141254 141609 141714 142026 142434 142401 142548 142499 142752
2006 143150(1) 143457 143741 143761 144089 144353 144202 144625 144815 145314 145534 145970
2007 146028(1) 146057 146320 145586 145903 146063 145905 145682 146244 145946 146595 146273
2008 146378(1) 146156 146086 146132 145908 145737 145532 145203 145076 144802 144100 143369
2009 142153(1) 141644 140721 140652 140250 140005 139898 139481 138810 138421 138665 138025
2010 138439(1) 138624 138767 139296 139255 139148 139167 139405 139388 139097 139046 139295
2011 139253(1) 139471 139643 139606 139681 139405 139509 139870 140164 140314 140771 140896
2012 141608(1) 142019 142020 141934 142302 142448 142250 142164 142974 143328 143277 143305
2013 143322(1) 143492 143286 143579 143898 144058
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Civilian Labor Force Level

155,835,000

Series Id: LNS11000000 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level

Labor force status: Civilian labor force

Type of data: Number in thousands

Age: 16 years and over

civilian_labor_force

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154232(1) 154526 154142 154479 154742 154710 154505 154300 153815 153804 153887 153120
2010 153455(1) 153702 153960 154577 154110 153623 153709 154078 153966 153681 154140 153649
2011 153244(1) 153269 153358 153478 153552 153369 153325 153707 154074 154010 154096 153945
2012 154356(1) 154825 154707 154451 154998 155149 154995 154647 155056 155576 155319 155511
2013 155654(1) 155524 155028 155238 155658 155835
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Labor Force Participation Rate

63.5%

Series Id: LNS11300000 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate

Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate

Type of data: Percent or rate

Age: 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.1 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.9 63.8 63.6 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.6
2013 63.6 63.5 63.3 63.3 63.4 63.5

labor_force_participation_rate

Unemployment Level

11,777,000

Series Id: LNS13000000 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Level

Labor force status: Unemployed

Type of data: Number in thousands

Age: 16 years and over

unemployment_level

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12079 12881 13421 13826 14492 14705 14607 14819 15005 15382 15223 15095
2010 15016 15078 15192 15281 14856 14475 14542 14673 14577 14584 15094 14354
2011 13992 13798 13716 13872 13871 13964 13817 13837 13910 13696 13325 13049
2012 12748 12806 12686 12518 12695 12701 12745 12483 12082 12248 12042 12206
2013 12332 12032 11742 11659 11760

11777

Unemployment Rate U-3

7.6%

Series Id: LNS14000000 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate

Labor force status: Unemployment rate

Type of data: Percent or rate

Age: 16 years and over

unemployment_rate

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 8.9 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.9 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.9 7.8 7.8
2013 7.9 7.7 7.6 7.5 7.6 7.6

16-19 Years (Teenage) Unemployment Rate

24.0%

Series Id: LNS14000012 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate – 16-19 yrs.

Labor force status: Unemployment rate

Type of data: Percent or rate

Age: 16 to 19 years

teenage_unemployment_rate

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 12.7 13.8 13.3 12.6 12.8 12.3 13.4 14.0 13.0 12.8 13.0 13.2
2001 13.8 13.7 13.8 13.9 13.4 14.2 14.4 15.6 15.2 16.0 15.9 17.0
2002 16.5 16.0 16.6 16.7 16.6 16.7 16.8 17.0 16.3 15.1 17.1 16.9
2003 17.2 17.2 17.8 17.7 17.9 19.0 18.2 16.6 17.6 17.2 15.7 16.2
2004 17.0 16.5 16.8 16.6 17.1 17.0 17.8 16.7 16.6 17.4 16.4 17.6
2005 16.2 17.5 17.1 17.8 17.8 16.3 16.1 16.1 15.5 16.1 17.0 14.9
2006 15.1 15.3 16.1 14.6 14.0 15.8 15.9 16.0 16.3 15.2 14.8 14.6
2007 14.8 14.9 14.9 15.9 15.9 16.3 15.3 15.9 15.9 15.4 16.2 16.8
2008 17.8 16.6 16.1 15.9 19.0 19.2 20.7 18.6 19.1 20.0 20.3 20.5
2009 20.7 22.2 22.2 22.2 23.4 24.7 24.3 25.0 25.9 27.1 26.9 26.6
2010 26.0 25.4 26.2 25.5 26.6 26.0 26.0 25.7 25.8 27.2 24.6 25.1
2011 25.5 24.0 24.4 24.7 24.0 24.7 24.9 25.2 24.4 24.1 23.9 22.9
2012 23.4 23.7 25.0 24.9 24.4 23.7 23.9 24.5 23.7 23.7 23.6 23.5
2013 23.4 25.1 24.2 24.1 24.5 24.0

Series Id: LNS14000006
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate – Black or African American
Labor force status: Unemployment rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over
Race: Black or African American

Black or African American Unemployment Rate

13.7 %

black_unemployment_rate

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 8.2 8.1 7.4 7.0 7.7 7.8 7.7 7.9 7.3 7.3 7.3 7.4
2001 8.2 7.7 8.3 8.0 7.9 8.3 8.0 9.1 8.9 9.5 9.8 10.1
2002 10.0 9.9 10.5 10.7 10.2 10.5 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.8 10.7 11.3
2003 10.5 10.7 10.3 10.9 10.9 11.5 10.9 10.9 11.1 11.4 10.2 10.1
2004 10.4 9.7 10.3 9.8 10.1 10.2 11.0 10.5 10.3 10.8 10.7 10.7
2005 10.6 10.9 10.5 10.3 10.1 10.2 9.2 9.7 9.4 9.1 10.6 9.2
2006 8.9 9.5 9.5 9.4 8.7 8.9 9.5 8.8 9.0 8.4 8.5 8.3
2007 7.9 8.0 8.4 8.3 8.3 8.5 8.1 7.6 8.0 8.5 8.5 9.0
2008 9.1 8.4 9.2 8.6 9.6 9.4 10.0 10.6 11.3 11.4 11.5 12.1
2009 12.7 13.7 13.6 15.0 15.0 14.9 14.8 14.9 15.3 15.9 15.7 16.1
2010 16.5 16.1 16.8 16.5 15.5 15.3 15.6 16.0 15.9 15.8 16.0 15.6
2011 15.8 15.5 15.7 16.3 16.3 16.2 15.8 16.5 15.8 14.9 15.5 15.6
2012 13.6 14.1 14.0 13.1 13.6 14.4 14.1 14.0 13.4 14.5 13.2 14.0
2013 13.8 13.8 13.3 13.2 13.5 13.7

Average Weeks Unemployed

35.6 Weeks

Series Id: LNS13008275

Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Average Weeks Unemployed

Labor force status: Unemployed

Type of data: Number of weeks

Age: 16 years and over

Average Weeks Unemployed

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 13.1 12.6 12.7 12.4 12.6 12.3 13.4 12.9 12.2 12.7 12.4 12.5
2001 12.7 12.8 12.8 12.4 12.1 12.7 12.9 13.3 13.2 13.3 14.3 14.5
2002 14.7 15.0 15.4 16.3 16.8 16.9 16.9 16.5 17.6 17.8 17.6 18.5
2003 18.5 18.5 18.1 19.4 19.0 19.9 19.7 19.2 19.5 19.3 19.9 19.8
2004 19.9 20.1 19.8 19.6 19.8 20.5 18.8 18.8 19.4 19.5 19.7 19.4
2005 19.5 19.1 19.5 19.6 18.6 17.9 17.6 18.4 17.9 17.9 17.5 17.5
2006 16.9 17.8 17.1 16.7 17.1 16.6 17.1 17.1 17.1 16.3 16.2 16.1
2007 16.3 16.7 17.8 16.9 16.6 16.5 17.2 17.0 16.3 17.0 17.3 16.6
2008 17.5 16.9 16.5 16.9 16.6 17.1 17.0 17.7 18.6 19.9 18.9 19.9
2009 19.8 20.1 20.9 21.6 22.4 23.9 25.1 25.3 26.7 27.4 29.0 29.7
2010 30.4 29.8 31.6 33.2 33.9 34.4 33.8 33.6 33.4 34.0 34.1 34.8
2011 37.3 37.4 39.2 38.6 39.5 39.6 40.4 40.3 40.4 38.9 40.7 40.7
2012 40.2 39.9 39.5 39.1 39.6 39.7 38.8 39.3 39.6 39.9 39.7 38.1
2013 35.3 36.9 37.1 36.5 36.9 35.6

Unemployment Level New Entrants

1,259,000

Series Id: LNS13023569 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Level – New Entrants

Labor force status: Unemployed

Type of data: Number in thousands

Age: 16 years and over

Unemployed entrant status: New entrants

New_Entrants_Unemployment_Level

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 394 420 429 406 466 427 433 499 415 402 419 490
2001 444 396 378 457 468 467 448 485 473 481 495 515
2002 484 507 538 527 497 549 545 612 536 479 591 535
2003 599 584 630 635 630 661 669 652 686 636 593 693
2004 676 666 631 652 718 649 702 704 695 734 700 702
2005 621 753 712 764 710 650 630 626 607 638 673 633
2006 616 711 636 591 517 646 639 646 612 572 591 586
2007 622 599 615 620 530 640 602 588 668 696 678 679
2008 677 656 704 625 797 786 835 821 815 819 763 803
2009 779 999 874 901 965 1002 1004 1085 1150 1100 1326 1240
2010 1199 1192 1155 1188 1201 1170 1207 1279 1211 1277 1272 1308
2011 1352 1289 1308 1301 1220 1231 1278 1260 1370 1289 1271 1286
2012 1258 1382 1421 1362 1347 1316 1299 1268 1253 1302 1326 1291
2013 1287 1279 1316 1280 1268 1259

Not in Labor Force, Search For Work and Available

2,582,000

Series Id: LNU05026642 Not Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Unadj) Not in Labor Force, Searched For Work and Available

Labor force status: Not in labor force

Type of data: Number in thousands

Age: 16 years and over

Job desires/not in labor force: Want a job now

Reasons not in labor force: Available to work now

Not_in_Labor_Force_Searched_for_work

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 1207 1281 1219 1216 1113 1142 1172 1097 1166 1044 1100 1125 1157
2001 1295 1337 1109 1131 1157 1170 1232 1364 1335 1398 1331 1330 1266
2002 1532 1423 1358 1397 1467 1380 1507 1456 1501 1416 1401 1432 1439
2003 1598 1590 1577 1399 1428 1468 1566 1665 1544 1586 1473 1483 1531
2004 1670 1691 1643 1526 1533 1492 1557 1587 1561 1647 1517 1463 1574
2005 1804 1673 1588 1511 1428 1583 1516 1583 1438 1414 1415 1589 1545
2006 1644 1471 1468 1310 1388 1584 1522 1592 1299 1478 1366 1252 1448
2007 1577 1451 1385 1391 1406 1454 1376 1365 1268 1364 1363 1344 1395
2008 1729 1585 1352 1414 1416 1558 1573 1640 1604 1637 1947 1908 1614
2009 2130 2051 2106 2089 2210 2176 2282 2270 2219 2373 2323 2486 2226
2010 2539 2527 2255 2432 2223 2591 2622 2370 2548 2602 2531 2609 2487
2011 2800 2730 2434 2466 2206 2680 2785 2575 2511 2555 2591 2540 2573
2012 2809 2608 2352 2363 2423 2483 2529 2561 2517 2433 2505 2614 2516
2013 2443 2588 2326 2347 2164 2582

Not in Labor Force, Searched for Work and Available,

Discouraged Reasons For Not Currently Looking

1,027,000

Series Id: LNU05026645 Not Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (Unadj) Not in Labor Force, Searched For Work and Available, Discouraged Reasons For Not Currently Looking

Labor force status: Not in labor force

Type of data: Number in thousands

Age: 16 years and over

Job desires/not in labor force: Want a job now

Reasons not in labor force: Discouragement over job prospects (Persons who believe no job is available.)

Not_in_Labor_Force_Discouraged_Worker

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 236 267 258 331 280 309 266 203 253 232 236 269 262
2001 301 287 349 349 328 294 310 337 285 331 328 348 321
2002 328 375 330 320 414 342 405 378 392 359 385 403 369
2003 449 450 474 437 482 478 470 503 388 462 457 433 457
2004 432 484 514 492 476 478 504 534 412 429 392 442 466
2005 515 485 480 393 392 476 499 384 362 392 404 451 436
2006 396 386 451 381 323 481 428 448 325 331 349 274 381
2007 442 375 381 399 368 401 367 392 276 320 349 363 369
2008 467 396 401 412 400 420 461 381 467 484 608 642 462
2009 734 731 685 740 792 793 796 758 706 808 861 929 778
2010 1065 1204 994 1197 1083 1207 1185 1110 1209 1219 1282 1318 1173
2011 993 1020 921 989 822 982 1119 977 1037 967 1096 945 989
2012 1059 1006 865 968 830 821 852 844 802 813 979 1068 909
2013 804 885 803 835 780 1027

Total Unemployment Rate U-6

14.3%

Series Id: LNS13327709 Seasonally Adjusted

Series title: (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers

Labor force status: Aggregated totals unemployed

Type of data: Percent or rate

Age: 16 years and over

Percent/rates: Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

U_6_Unemployment_Rate

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.1 15.7 15.9 16.4 16.5 16.5 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.0 17.1 16.6 16.5 16.5 16.5 16.8 16.7 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.8 16.0 15.8 16.1 16.0 16.1 16.3 16.0 15.5 15.2
2012 15.1 15.0 14.5 14.5 14.8 14.8 14.9 14.7 14.7 14.5 14.4 14.4
2013 14.4 14.3 13.8 13.9 13.8 14.3

Background Articles and Videos

Mort Zuckerman: A Jobless Recovery Is a Phony Recovery

More people have left the workforce than got a new job during the recovery—by a factor of nearly three.

By MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN

In recent months, Americans have heard reports out of Washington and in the media that the economy is looking up—that recovery from the Great Recession is gathering steam. If only it were true. The longest and worst recession since the end of World War II has been marked by the weakest recovery from any U.S. recession in that same period.

The jobless nature of the recovery is particularly unsettling. In June, the government’s Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000—but there are jobs and then there are “jobs.” No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The survey also reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared by 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000—three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007.

That’s just for starters. The survey includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can’t get it, as well as those who want to work but have stopped looking. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.

The 7.6% unemployment figure so common in headlines these days is utterly misleading. An estimated 22 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed; they are virtually invisible and mostly excluded from unemployment calculations that garner headlines.

At this stage of an expansion you would expect the number of part-time jobs to be declining, as companies would be doing more full-time hiring. Not this time. In the long misery of this post-recession period, we have an extraordinary situation: Americans by the millions are in part-time work because there are no other employment opportunities as businesses increase their reliance on independent contractors and part-time, temporary and seasonal employees.

Even the federal government payroll is turning to part-timers: In June 2012, 58,000 federal workers were part-timers. This year it’s 148,000, and we still don’t know how the budget sequester will play out, for many agencies have resorted to furloughs rather than layoffs.

The latest unemployment report was as underwhelming as the Household Survey. The biggest gains in June came from leisure and hospitality industries, including hotels and fast-food restaurants. Of the 195,000 new payroll jobs, 75,000 were in restaurants and bars, where the average weekly paycheck is about $351, less than half the average for all other private industries. Not to mention that these positions offer fewer hours, especially in the restaurant world, which has averaged 26.1 hours per week versus 34.5 hours for all private employers.

What’s going on? The fundamentals surely reflect the feebleness of the macroeconomic recovery that began roughly four years ago, as seen in an average gross domestic product growth rate annualized over the past 15 quarters at a miserable 2%. That’s the weakest GDP growth since World War II. Over a similar period in previous recessions, growth averaged 4.1%. During the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, the GDP growth rate dropped below 2%. This anemic growth is all we have to show for the greatest fiscal and monetary stimuli in 75 years, with fiscal deficits of over 10% of GDP for four consecutive years. The misery is not going to end soon.

ObamaCare is partially to blame. The health-insurance law requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance or pay a $2,000 penalty per worker. Under the law, a full-time job is defined as 30 hours a week, so businesses, especially smaller ones, have an incentive to bring on more part-time workers.

Little wonder that earlier this month the Obama administration announced it is postponing the employer mandate until 2015, undoubtedly to see if the delay will encourage more full-time hiring. But thousands of small businesses have been capping employment at 30 hours and not hiring more than 50 full-timers, and the businesses are unlikely to suddenly change that approach just because they received a 12-month reprieve.

These businesses’ hesitation to hire is part of a larger caution among employers unsure about the direction of government policy—and which has helped contribute to chronic long-term unemployment that shows no sign of easing. Unlike those who lose a job and then find another one in a matter of weeks or months, fully a third of the currently unemployed have been out of work for more than six months. As they remain out of the workforce, their skills deteriorating, the likelihood rises that they will be seen as permanently unemployable. With each passing month of bleak job news, the possibility increases of a structural unemployment problem in the U.S. such as Europe experienced in the 1980s.

That brings us to a stunning fact about the jobless recovery: The measure of those adults who can work and have jobs, known as the civilian workforce-participation rate, is currently 63.5%—a drop of 2.2% since the recession ended. Such a decline amid a supposedly expanding economy has never happened after previous recessions. Another statistic that underscores why this is such a dysfunctional labor market is that the number of people leaving the workforce during this economic recovery has actually outpaced the number of people finding a new job by a factor of nearly three.

What the country clearly needs are policies that will encourage the modernization of America’s capital stock, where investment in modern production has plunged to the lowest levels in decades. Policies should also be targeted to nourish high-tech industries, which will in turn inspire the design and manufacture of products in the U.S. where they would be closer to the American market, spurring more hiring. This means preparing a skilled workforce, especially engineers suitable to work in manufacturing, and increasing the number of visas available to foreign graduate students in the hard sciences—who are now forced to leave America and who then work for foreign competitors.

Similarly, patent-application processing must be streamlined: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should be a channel for innovation, but instead has for too long been and an impediment to the swift introduction of new ideas. Finally, the country should engage in a major infrastructure program to improve airports as America once did for railroads and highways. Air cargo and air travel are linchpins of the economy, yet air-traffic-control technology is stuck in the last century.

It is imperative that the U.S. focus on innovative and creative policies. Otherwise, the five-year crisis in employment will continue even when the economy seems to be recovering. Without such a focus, millions of American families whose breadwinners are unemployed or underemployed will remain dispiriting and apprehensive about the future, especially the young who are entering the workforce. The country needs a real recovery, not a phony one.

Mr. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323740804578601472261953366.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_opinion

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed            USDL-13-1284
until 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, July 5, 2013

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

                      THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JUNE 2013

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 195,000 in June, and the
unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in leisure and
hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, health
care, and financial activities.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 11.8 million, and the unemployment 
rate, at 7.6 percent, were unchanged in June. Both measures have shown 
little change since February. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women
(6.8 percent) edged up in June, while the rates for adult men (7.0
percent), teenagers (24.0 percent), whites (6.6 percent), blacks (13.7
percent), and Hispanics (9.1 percent) showed little or no change. The
jobless rate for Asians was 5.0 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down 
from 6.3 percent a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In June, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks 
or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.3 million. These individuals 
accounted for 36.7 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, 
the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.0 million. (See 
table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.5 percent, and the
employment-population ratio, at 58.7 percent, changed little in June.
Over the year, the labor force participation rate is down by 0.3
percentage point. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes 
referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 322,000 to 8.2 
million in June. These individuals were working part time because their 
hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time 
job. (See table A-8.)

In June, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, 
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally 
adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and 
were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 
12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not 
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged
workers in June, an increase of 206,000 from a year earlier. (The data
are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not
currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in June had not searched for work for reasons such as
school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 195,000 in June, in line
with the average monthly gain of 182,000 over the prior 12 months. In
June, job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and
business services, retail trade, health care, and financial activities. 
(See table B-1.)

Leisure and hospitality added 75,000 jobs in June. Monthly job growth
in this industry has averaged 55,000 thus far in 2013, almost twice
the average gain of 30,000 per month in 2012. Within leisure and
hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued
to expand, increasing by 52,000 in June. Employment in the amusements,
gambling, and recreation industry also continued to trend up in June
(+19,000).

Employment in professional and business services rose by 53,000 in
June. Job gains occurred in management and technical consulting
services (+8,000) and in computer systems design and related services
(+7,000). Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services
(+10,000). Over the past year, professional and business services has
added 624,000 jobs.

Retail trade employment increased by 37,000 in June. Within retail
trade, employment increased by 9,000 in building material and garden
supply stores and by 8,000 in motor vehicle and parts dealers.
Employment in wholesale trade continued to trend up (+11,000).

Health care continued to add jobs in June, with a gain of 20,000.
Within the industry, employment continued to trend up in ambulatory
health care services (+13,000). A gain of 5,000 jobs in hospitals
followed a loss of 8,000 jobs in May.

Employment in financial activities rose by 17,000 in June, with most
of the increase occurring in credit intermediation (+6,000) and in
insurance carriers and related activities (+6,000).

Federal government employment continued to trend down in June (-5,000)
and has declined by 65,000 over the past 12 months.

Employment in most other major industries, including mining and
logging, construction, manufacturing, and transportation and
warehousing, showed little change in June.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was
unchanged in June at 34.5 hours. In manufacturing, the workweek
increased by 0.1 hour to 40.9 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.3
hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory
employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours.
(See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 10 cents to $24.01. Over the year, average hourly
earnings have risen by 51 cents, or 2.2 percent. In June, average
hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory
employees increased by 5 cents to $20.14. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised
from +149,000 to +199,000, and the change for May was revised from
+175,000 to +195,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April
and May combined were 70,000 higher than previously reported.

____________
The Employment Situation for July is scheduled to be released on
Friday, August 2, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
http://bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

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