Nick R. Martin

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Nick

The killing of Trayvon Martin was "ultimately avoidable" if George Zimmerman had just stayed in his vehicle instead of pursuing the unarmed teen, Florida police investigators concluded in one of a series of reports on the case released late Thursday.

Instead, the Sanford Police Department investigators wrote, Zimmerman confronted the teen, ended up in a struggle and eventually shot him in the chest. In the end, Martin was dead and police were recommending the neighborhood watchman be brought up on a criminal charge of manslaughter.

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Donations to George Zimmerman's defense fund have slowed considerably since his attorneys forced him to shut down his old website last month and opened a new one in his name days later.

The man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin had managed on his own to raise more than $200,000 in just a few weeks using a crudely built website and a PayPal account.

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A small number of supporters rallied this week in St. Cloud, Fla., to stand behind a white supremacist group jailed earlier this month as part of a domestic terrorism probe.

Twelve members of the white supremacist group American Front, including its Florida chapter leader Marcus Faella, were arrested by a joint federal and local terrorism task force in recent weeks. The members were accused of planning to spark a race war while stockpiling weapons, experimenting with the creation of the toxin ricin and plotting some sort of “disturbance” on Orlando City Hall.

According to television station Central Florida News 13, a small band of American Front's supporters gathered on Tuesday to declare the jailed members "good people."

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For the second time this year, officials with the Missouri National Guard are investigating whether a white supremacist has been serving in their midst.

In March, officials accused a Missouri guardsman of participating in neo-Nazi activities while also serving in the military's honor guard, which routinely helped pay last respects at funerals for veterans who fought in WWII. The sergeant was fired from the honor guard after former coworkers said he kept a picture of Adolf Hitler in his living room and tried to recruit them to the white supremacist movement.

Now, the military is investigating whether another guardsman, an Iraq War veteran, might have traveled to Florida to train a group of white supremacists who were accused earlier this month of planning to start a race war and arrested as part of a domestic terrorism probe.

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Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused an Arizona lawmaker of bribery, fraud and attempted extortion for allegedly taking thousands of dollars in gifts in exchange for his help purchasing city property.

Ben Arredondo, 63 and a Democrat, was a councilman in the city of Tempe, Ariz. for 16 years before being elected to the state House of Representatives in 2010.

A statement from the Justice Department said undercover agents from the FBI posed as company bigwigs looking to buy city-owned property in Tempe and offering him about $6,000 in tickets to Major League Baseball games for his help. In exchange, prosecutors said he gave the agents inside information and tried to pursude other government officials to help.

This isn't the first time tickets to sporting events have landed Arredondo in hot water. He was one of about 30 lawmakers investigated but ultimately cleared last year for taking tickets from the Fiesta Bowl.


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George Zimmerman had a broken nose, black eyes and cuts on the back of his head when he was examined by doctors following his killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, according to medical records disclosed late Tuesday by ABC News.

Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing, which prosecutors allege happened after he pursued and confronted the teen. Zimmerman has admitted to the shooting but maintained he acted in self defense.

Last month, Zimmerman's neighbors told Reuters they saw him with bandages on his nose and the back of his head the day after the shooting.

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An anonymous tip led authorities late Monday to the arrest of a 12th member of the white supremacist group American Front, which was broken up last week in Florida as part of a domestic terrorism investigation.

According to the Florida Today newspaper, police arrested Dylan Rettenmaier without any problems at a gas station in Melbourne, Fla., after getting a tip he was there. Rettenmaier, 25, reportedly knew there was a warrant for his arrest and had been camping out near the gas station.

Members of the Florida chapter of American Front were accused of preparing for what they believed was a coming race war by stockpiling weapons, experimenting with the creation of the toxin known as ricin and plotting some sort of “disturbance” on Orlando City Hall.

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Video captured on the night of the Trayvon Martin shooting was apparently among the evidence Florida prosecutors handed over to the defense on Monday.

While the video likely doesn't show the shooting itself, the Orlando Sentinel reported that prosecutors turned over security video from the nearby clubhouse in the gated community where defendant George Zimmerman said he called 911 from before shooting the teen.

Among loads of other evidence that included a witness list, prosecutors also handed over video of Martin buying candy and iced tea in a convenience store before the shooting.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of the unarmed teen, which has drawn international attention. He has admitted to the shooting but said he was acting in self defense.

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