What might America be like today if a surprise witness had not turned the investigation of the tragic 2012 death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, into a racially charged case that gripped the nation, spawning Black Lives Matter and setting the narrative in similar cases that followed of a nation plagued by systemic racism in law enforcement?
Filmmaker Joel Gilbert asks that question in a new documentary, "The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America," because through old-fashioned, shoe-leather, investigative journalism he's discovered compelling evidence that the star witness America heard in the Trayvon Martin trial, Rachel Jeantel, was a fraud.
As Gilbert dug into the available evidence, including 750 pages of phone records, it became clear that Jeantel was not the "Diamond Eugene" who was on the phone with Martin when he was shot on a rainy night in February 2012 by George Zimmerman.
A "witness switch" had taken place. And as he probed further – including travels to Miami high schools, Little Haiti, Florida State University, and Sanford, Florida – he found the real Diamond Eugene.
"The George Zimmerman case had started the modern era of fake news and race hoaxes," Gilbert says in the film narration. "Had the truth been exposed at trial, the whole course of recent history would have been different. There would be no Black Lives Matter movement. The city of Ferguson might not have blown up. Colin Kaepernick might still be playing for the 49ers. And thousands of African Americans might have been spared the lethal consequences of the Ferguson Effect."
See the "The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America" on Amazon Prime. The companion book is available on Amazon.
Through forensic handwriting analysis and DNA testing, Gilbert further supports his witness-switch conclusion.
Significantly, he told WND in an interview, he found evidence that the real Diamond Eugene, Brittany Diamond Eugene, knew as she conversed on the phone that Trayvon was contemplating a premeditated attack on Zimmerman.
Gilbert said the "Trayvon hoax" refers not only the witness switch but to the hoax he says establishment media play on black Americans: that they must vote Democrat to protect themselves from a racist America in which whites are bent on harming them.
"It's a pretty evil idea to use a troubled black teen's tragic death to put a hispanic man in prison with the goal of controlling black voters," he said.