As of this writing, a Facebook page titled Justice For Trayvon Martin had 237,980 likes. A second Facebook page, this one titled Justice for George Zimmerman, had only 1,708 likes. This should in no way be construed as evidence that those outraged over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager don’t want to see justice served.
Then again, a report from The Smoking Gun about the prosecution’s star witness does raise troubling questions. According to the article, the witness, 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, cleansed her Twitter account Tuesday evening of “dozens of embarrassing and incriminating posts.”
Jeantel, a friend of Martin and possibly the last person to speak to him, told investigators in April 2012 that a “scared” Martin told her “he was being followed by an unknown white man who demanded to know what the teen was doing inside the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community in Sanford, Florida. Jeantel contends that she heard Martin ask the man, “Why you following me for?’ before she heard someone ‘bump’ the teenager. ‘Next thing I hear… the phone is shut off.’”
Jeantel’s testimony may allow prosecutors to further portray Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch commander, as an armed aggressor who was motivated to act by race.
Jeantel … maintains a Twitter account (@MsRachel_94) to which she has made more than 200 posts over the past five months. Many of the teenager’s tweets referred to drinking, smoking, and getting high. She also made references to Martin’s death, referred to acquaintances as ‘b**ch’ and ‘n**ga,’ and wrote about having ‘jackass lawyers on my a**.’
Yesterday afternoon, after TSG sought to contact several of Jeantel’s Twitter followers and Facebook friends, 14 tweets — and 13 linked Twitpic photos — were deleted from her Twitter account (which carries the personal motto ‘My Character And Action Describe Who I Am’). The removed tweets included references to drinking and a link to a sexually suggestive set of photos. Another killed tweet, from June 23, read ‘Court nails’ and linked to a photo of fingernails (presumably Jeantel’s) with fresh orange polish. Additionally, several Twitpic images of assorted liquor bottles were deleted.
The scrubbing of Jeantel’s Twitter account, however, did not end there.
After 10 PM (Eastern) last night, 43 other tweets were deleted. The postings disappeared about two hours after TSG published a story about Jeantel’s social media musings. A TSG comparison of Jeantel’s sanitized Twitter account with the version from early Tuesday afternoon showed that the number of published tweets plummeted from 202 to 146.
As savvy users of the Internet are aware, nothing that is deleted stays deleted. TSG offers two links, one to a compilation of the 43 deleted Jeantel tweets, another to the 14 tweets scrubbed yesterday afternoon.
The material deleted last evening included nearly all remaining references to the underage Jeantel’s partying, including tweets like ‘When u drinking & smoking u need good music in ur ears hahaha I feel so good on Sunday’ and ‘I need a drink to sleep dis off f**k dis sh*t boi.’
But an itchy “Delete key” finger is not Jeantel’s only transgression. On March 5, it was disclosed that she lied to investigators last year when she claimed she failed to attend Martin’s funeral because of a hospitalization. In response to news reports about that fib, Jeantel tweeted, “Jus got home n hear wat was going and I’m angry.” In a follow-up post, she wrote, “remember who cause the funeral to happen keep it 100% Mr.a** hoe damn they p*ssed me off.” Those two tweets were among the 14 erased last night.
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