March 28th, 2012
05:47 PM ET

A collection of public documents in Trayvon Martin shooting

[Updated April 12] Police and other officials in Sanford, Florida, have released a number of documents relating to the investigation of the February 26 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin and the arrest of George Zimmerman on a charge of second-degree murder. In this post, we’ve collected some of the documents that show what police initially found at the scene, what authorities have told the public about the case, and other official documents.

Martin, a black 17-year-old, was unarmed when he was shot to death by Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer, as Martin was walking back to the house of his father's fiancee in Sanford.

Zimmerman had called police to report a suspicious person and said he was following Martin, despite being told by a dispatcher he didn't need to do so. He says he killed Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him in the gated community. Zimmerman was questioned but not charged, police said, because they lacked evidence to contradict his account.

The case has sparked a national debate about, among other things, race and self-defense laws. Between Zimmerman’s account to police, tapes of 911 calls and accounts from witnesses and others, much is in dispute. (See CNN’s breakdown of what witnesses say happened.)

The initial police reports

Sanford police have released initial reports from the officers who first responded to the shooting scene on February 26. The reports detail what the officers saw when they arrived, officers’ attempts to resuscitate Martin, and a very brief account from Zimmerman. They do not include statements from other witnesses or any investigative information beyond the officers’ initial observations.

The initial police reports describe the case as "homicide/negligent" and "manslaughter/unnecessary killing to prevent unlawful act." City officials have said that all reports need descriptions to help track types of incidents.

“This code does not indicate a formal charge that will be lodged against an alleged offender,” the city said in a news release on Tuesday. “It is used for internal processing and to type cases.”

Citing multiple sources, ABC News reported Wednesday that the lead investigator in the case recommended that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter after the shooting, but the state attorney's office determined that there was not enough evidence to lead to a conviction.

February 27 letter to neighborhood

In this letter to residents of the neighborhood where Martin was shot, the Sanford Police Department informs the residents of the fatal shooting and gives a brief description of the incident. The letter is dated February 27, the day after the shooting.

It also tells residents that an investigation was being conducted and that the department would hold a community meeting.

Answers from police chief

On March 21, with national public interest in the case rising, the Sanford city manager released a letter in which the city police chief answered what he said were frequently asked questions about the shooting.

The letter addresses issues such as why Zimmerman was not arrested and why he was armed. It also answers why the city Police Department hasn't released 911 tapes, though readers should be aware the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office had done so.

Those tapes now can be heard on the city’s website.

City: Newspaper's report on Zimmerman’s account consistent with inquiry

More than a month after the shooting, the Orlando Sentinel, citing “authorities” as its source of information, reported that Zimmerman told police that he had lost sight of Martin after trying to follow him and that he was returning to his vehicle when Martin confronted him.

The Sentinel also reported that Zimmerman claimed to police that Martin attacked him before he shot Martin.

On Monday, the city of Sanford released a statement in which it condemned what it called "unauthorized leaks," but confirmed that the newspaper account "is consistent with the information provided to the State Attorney's office by the Police Department."

Affidavit: Zimmerman 'profiled' Martin

In an affidavit of probable cause, a Florida investigator says that the neighborhood watch volunteer "profiled" the victim, Martin, and disregarded a police dispatcher's request that he await the arrival of police.

Zimmermann arrested and booked

On April 11, Zimmerman turned himself in to authorities in Florida. He was was transported that evening to the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, charged with second-degree murder and booked into county jail. On April 12, 47 days after Martin was shot and killed, Zimmerman made his first court appearance. His arraignment was set for May 29.

In the meantime, Zimmerman will stay in jail, segregated from the other inmates. He has access to the commissary, where he purchased $79.84 worth of items.

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Filed under: Florida • Trayvon Martin
soundoff (863 Responses)
  1. Kaylynna

    Paco, shut up and show me your legal papers.

    April 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    If the young man Was pounding Zimmerman's head into the ground, he would have had control of Both Arms. I have had a few street fights where I did this to someone who attacked me. They Never were able to get free until I released them pure and simple. Also If the young man Were pounding Zimmerman's head into the ground he would have been on top of him straddling his body. He defiantly would have felt the firearm and not have let Zimmerman free his hands, so he could be shot. Not saying I'm a tough guy I'm not but the Fearing for his Life just does not sound right.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Carann

    If Trayvon did nothing wrong and was the victim in all of this, how did Zimmerman get his head bashed in and nose broken? Trayvon's Twitter feeds sure indicated he was not so angelic. He labeled himself with the "n" word as his nickname and talked about violence in a joking manner.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Read the comment above for your answer

      April 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mirrormirror

      And how many white teenagers claim to be skinheads and talk about violence on twitter..... Kids say all types of things online. Zimmerman didn't know anything about Trayvon's twitter page that night.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David B

    If Zimmerman did not have a gun and got in a fight with a 17 yer old, he would be ridiculed by his peers if not arrested for assault on a minor. How does a gun make this different?

    April 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John Henry

    The med exam stated that Trayvon had no injuries other than the gunshot wound. Then why was he screaming for help????

    April 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • alimarst

      Because he was being followed by an unknown adult. He was a kid. He was scared. I would expect him to scream for help.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stoplettingunderlyingbigotrycloudyourcommonsense

      Why were there no injuries on Trayvon's hands to indicate that he had hit a man hard enough to break his nose?

      April 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • BEE

      He was fighting for his life ..DAH!!!!

      April 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • klangster

      because the guy had a gun and was about to shoot him

      April 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      He was screaming for help because a stranger with a gun was after him! Why else?

      April 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stevel

      Maybe there was a gun pointed at him ... just a thought

      April 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. journey marsh

    poor trayvon):

    April 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Zimmerman's booking record lists him as 5'8" 185lbs this after he lost considerable weight after shooting this young man. So the young man at 6' 160lbs somehow Over-powered him, opened up the back of his head, broke his nose yet upon autopsy there were no marks consistent with Zimmerman's statement. Also Mr. Martin was shot in the chest at Close range?, where is all the blood on Mr. Zimmerman, a rainy night everybody there would have been quite wet, very inconsistent. Furthermore according to police reports why were no photographs of the supposed injuries taken at the time. Why did Zimmerman disregard the dispatcher telling him Not to Follow Mr. Martin police were mere (like3-4) minutes away. Why did the Police chief after being told by an Experienced Homicide detective that Zimmerman's story did not match up and he needed to be held, why was this disregarded. If Zimmerman would have sustained Serious head trauma or had his nose broken out of an Abundance of Caution the Police would have taken him to the Hospital for Examination, they did not. Zimmerman applied to the police academy in 2008 and was not accepted, had charges pressed 2 years earlier and was ordered to attended Anger Management. Zimmerman obviously thought for some reason he was performing Law Enforcement duty when he was not an officer of the law and now a young man is dead. He will be convicted for his overzealous act color has nothing to do with it.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tomike

      On point, ...you said it all!

      April 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Henry

      First Trayvon was child, shown as 12 year old, then 140 lbs, then 6'3 140, then 160, then 180, and now 6'0. Does anyone really know??

      April 12, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unbelievable9876

      Two eyewitness saw Travyon Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him. This fits Zimmerman's side of the story of Martin bashing his head into the ground, and also goes along with the fact that Zimmerman had wounds. Sorry, but eyewitnesses are on the side of Zimmerman here. And why was Martin screaming? Well, wouldn't you if you'd been shot?

      April 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. clarke

    Look Zimmer stalked this young man. He just couldn't let it go as he was told. The young man needed to defend himself against the stalker. Why didn't Zimmer punch the kid back, he had time to shoot him, I say he had time to punch him. This entire case has been handled bad from the get go.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unbelievable9876

      But if Martin reached for his gun, Zimmerman had no choice. It's his life, or the life of the kid. When someone's life is threatened, it doesn't become a game of "whoever has time to throw a punch, wins" – it becomes a game of "whoever has time to pull the trigger, wins". Unless it can be 100% proven that Martin did NOT reach for the gun, Zimmerman's claim of self defense must stand.

      April 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mirrormirror

    Chill ese! We cool homes....

    April 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Captain Obvious

    It is clear that Zimmerman was a want to be cop with a gun. This story would be different if he saw a crime being committed and tried to stop it or help. Zimmerman didn't see anything but a black kid. I am a big guy and if some unknown man in an SUV started trailing me for no reason I would be very scared and concerned. I would also tell my two young sons to either try to run or fight like hell if some strange person in a SUV starts following them and then gets out of the car.

    He should have been arrested that night on the spot. When an unarmed kid is shot and killed when a crime is not being committed, the killer should be arrested (i.e. you can always let them go if the facts support it).

    April 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. So Sad

    I agree wholeheartedly that Trayvon was profiled. I just hope that one persons ignorance will not separate us again according to the color of our skin. Yes there will always be prejudice on both sides of the fence but I hope this horrible loss of a young life will continue to bring us together in the search of justice for Trayvon. I have heard people cry for justice and then turn around and make horrible racist comments. That is not what this is about. We have to learn something from this to honor this precious childs memory. Everytime I hear a racist comment and get angry I think of the grace that Trayvon's family has shown through their unimaginable pain and it gives me the strength and courage to turn the other cheek and let it roll right off my back.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • OWL

      So Sad, yours seem to be the only voice of reason out of all those comments. Wake up and live Y'all.

      April 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DeadIIIRed

    According to the police report, the first officer on scene said he overheard Zimmerman say he was yelling for help, but nobody did. Sad to think that if a neighbor had taken the time to run out and help there would probably only be assault charges against Trayvon.

    April 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ted

    Black Panthers called for a "race war" and killing of all "pink" people – pigs. And no-one in the media or black community or DA is doing anything about it. WE WANT JUSTICE!

    April 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. P Money Wrecks

    Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend when he was being followed. If he "lost sight" of Martin, then I wonder if the phone had GPS and if the phone company can triangulate the steps taken by Trayvon to prove George is lying...

    April 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. amazed

    All these people making comments.. did I read something different than ya'll? He had blood on his nose and the back of his head and was treated by Paramedics? I must be missing something....

    April 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stevel

      Yes you are ... you do not shoot unarmed people

      April 12, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
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