Monday, May 9, 2011
ZIMMER DEFENDS MOTHER
A worker installs a giant portrait of Zimmer by French photographer Pierre-Elie de Pibrac inside of a Paris airport.
Yesterday was our annual day of celebrating motherhood in holiday form. Just before the weekend I received an e-mail from Zimmer, a former Austin, Texas Real Life Superhero who moved to Brooklyn to help found the New York Initiative (who I last wrote about HERE)-
In what he calls "the toughest challenge I've ever faced" Zimmer is back visiting home trying to defend his mother, who is currently in jail.
Rather than trying to explain further, I thought I would just share the press release on the case in it's entirety, which follows.
(UNRELATED NOTE: More delay in final Motionary Comics report-see last week-hoping to post it Wednesday!)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Real-Life Superhero Defends Wrongfully Accused Mother
Zimmer, subject of this year's smash hit documentary, “Superheroes”, is active aiding in trauma emergencies as an EMT, doing homeless outreach and even fighting violent crime. When he learned his mother, attorney Carolyn Barnes, was in jail, he traveled from New York to Texas to defend her.
“She's being accused of shooting at a census worker,” says Zimmer, 23. “However, this accuser, Kathleen Gittel, has changed her story twice. When the police searched my mother's home, ammunition, bullet holes, casings and gun powder residue couldn't be found. They didn't even find a gun. Bullet holes and gun powder residue can't magically disappear, they weren't found because they don't exist.”
Kathleen Gittel, 68, alleges that she walked over a mile to get to Carolyn Barnes' very rural residence, even going over a low water crossing and ignoring “No Trespassing” signs. However, she originally stated that the incident had occurred at 33 Indian Trail, an address in another town over, and her description of Barnes' residence does not match it's actual appearance.
The alleged shooting was a national story last year, when Carolyn Barnes, 53, was arrested on the charges, the first person ever to be refused coverage of Texas' Castle Doctrine. After posting her bail, she was released, forced to wear an ankle monitor that tracked her movements by GPS. On February 28, 2011, Judge Doug Shaver revoked her bond and Carolyn Barnes remains in jail.
While the conditions that lead up to Carolyn Barnes being detained in jail are troubling, the conditions inside the jail are even worse. Carolyn Barnes is in solitary confinement, shackled at the ankles and wrists. She is under 24 hour surveillance, including when she uses a toilet or shower. She is forbidden from making phone calls or having any visitors, including her son, currently authorized as her attorney-in-fact.
“There are convicted serial killers, pedophiles and terrorists that get better treatment than what she's getting,” says Zimmer. “From a civil liberties standpoint, it's totally inappropriate for someone that should be assumed innocent until proven guilty.”
Zimmer has been featured in a front page article in New York Press, interviewed on Indie Film Nation and Fox News, as well as photographed for Peter Tangen's Real Life Superhero Project. In “Superheroes”, he can be seen acting as an EMT to aid in a trauma emergency, and helped stop a drunk man from driving home. His team, the New York Initiative, was recently profiled in The London Times for their efforts to track down the infamous Long Island serial killer.
“I've patrolled high crime areas, removed gang tags and defended people from violent attacks,” says Zimmer. “I'm currently helping to coordinate the NYI to stop the recent muggings in the West Village and track down the Long Island serial killer. But this is the toughest challenge I've ever faced. I'm not leaving until she's free.”