My daughter was furious. “Turn on the television,” she implored. “The prosecution’s star witness in the George Zimmerman trial just blew the case.”
“She was so ratchet.”
For the uninitiated, “ratchet” is a slang term used to describe someone who is out of control, ghetto or nasty.
By now, you’ve probably seen excerpts of 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel’s testimony on CNN or some other news show. A few of the talking heads seemed to enjoy poking fun at her speech (one said they needed subtitles) and her salty attitude. In case you missed it, Jeantel was at times barely audible and at other times hostile when being questioned by Zimmerman’s attorney. When he told her she would need to come back again Thursday for more testimony, she was yelled, “What?”
There are plenty of televised trials these days. What you rarely see is the testimony of unpolished people in court proceedings that get little or no attention.
Jeantel was on the phone with Trayvon as he was being followed by Zimmerman.
“Get off!, Get off!” were her friend’s last words before the line went dead, she told jurors.
Trayvon told her he was being followed by a “creepy a.. cracker,” Jeantel said. Before the phone went dead, she heard what sounded like a struggle in the wet grass.
She testified for two hours Wednesday; and to describe her as a reluctant witness would be a supreme understatement. Making matters worse, the defense attorney revealed several inconsistencies in her statements. At one point, Trayvon’s father rolled his eyes and shook his head in disgust as she told jurors about her actions after the teenager was killed. When asked why she didn’t come to Trayvon’s funeral, she said she didn’t like seeing dead bodies.
My daughters are convinced she did Trayvon’s family and prosecutors no favors with her testimony.
I’m not so sure I agree. She came across as a confused teenager in need of a major attitude adjustment. But her statements were in line with those of other people who heard parts of what happened the night of the killing.
At the end of her testimony, jurors will have to assess her believability, not her “ratchet-ness.” According to my daughters, the two are one in the same.
Ironic, since defense attorneys — in their efforts to convince jurors that Zimmerman acted in self defense — are trying to depict Trayvon in the same manner.