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. Brad

    This would never happen in Canada. The US is a gun happy Nation where any Joe Blow can own one, its so sad.
    It seems like I read about a story every day in the US about someone being shot to death, children, students, parents, the elderly, every day. Take away the guns, and you would eliminate tragedies like this.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      Brad , take away my guns ok , then you remove all the black market guns too? can you do that? in canada only criminals have guns and ordinary citizens have no way of defending them self or family. you're a fool brad

      March 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brigand

      Sooooo........you gonna outlaw rocks, sticks, ice picks and butterknives also. They all work just fine when hate is your motive.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • chrissy

      yeah, because the law following people won't have guns anymore, but criminals will... hello. making more gun laws only affects people who follow laws.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @brad: people say that all the time, but never mention how.. guns are everywhere here. pandora's box was opened over 200 years ago. just how would you make sure no one anywhere has a gun?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. OverTheCircus

    The parents intentionally have flooded the media with pcitures of him before he went thuggish.. because they knew if people saw who he is now, they wouldn't be as sympathetic.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. OverTheCircus

    This "Child" as you put it was 17, the photos you've seen are of him when he was 12 and 13.
    This "Child" was 7 inches taller than Mr Zimmerman.
    This "Child" was under suspended from school for drug possession.
    This "Child" had burglars tools and women's jewelry in his back pack.
    This "Child" had a toxicology report done and had marijuana in his system at the time of his death.
    This "Child" had been detained by police for tagging gang signs.
    This "Child" attacked Mr Zimmerman and went for his gun when confronted.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      So a child can't be tall and thin or smoke weed? Gee, thanks for enlightening us.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • LMG0924

      The man was 28 years old;
      The man was a "wannabe" police officer;
      The man was told not to follow "the child";
      The man followed the child anyway;
      The child's wrong doings were being punished by the school – NOT ZIMMERMAN;
      The man was armed with a gun;
      The man was heavier than :the child;
      The man has an arrest record;
      The man shot and killed an unarmed child;
      The man is GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie's Angel

      Even if all of what you sy awere true (and it isn't) do you feel that gives someone the right to chase and kill an unarmed teenager?
      Maybe you'd think differently if you realised that anyone can shoot you in Florida and claim they were intimidated by you.
      Jus tone more delight of living in a Koch-funded world.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • EnjaySea

      Apparently OverTheCircus, you don't have a "Child" of your own, or you would realize that your ever-so-specific list of why we should hate the victim of this crime, are completely irrelevant to the fact that an unarmed innocent child was murdered by a racist jerk.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Well put. A child is dead, a man is free. Wrong or right it's done with, let's move on people. This happens everyday in America. The laws very by State as does the punishment. If you don't like it move away. Just like Casey Anthony and the O.J. Simpson case. No justice there either. I tend to believe those cases had more evidence then this one. Let's complain about about Gas prices or something. Welcome to America!

      March 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • debbie- a white woman

      Reply to "OverTheCircus"....So Trayvon, being followed by a male who was first in a vehicle and then on foot, doesn't have the right to defend his self? Don't you think Trayvon thought he was being threatened? That is the account of Zimmerman. He was following Trayvon when told not to by the police. Zimmerman started chasing him on foot. Sounds threatening to me. Sounds like Trayvon was the one "standing his ground".

      March 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladybug44

      Ignorance is truly bliss just as you state so called facts, they are your own assumption of the truth. you were not there you have no clue you also are going by your own investigation. you did not personally know Trayvon nor did you know Zimmerman. You have no clue of what either person is or was capable of. However as a mother I too consider my children as such, no matter how old are what you perceive them to be. With that being said stop being outlandish and wait for the truth to be told.

      March 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kia

    We will never know all the facts. We certainly do not know them now. Chillax.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. James Foley

    Zimmerman getting out of his vehicle, presumabley with the gun, to follow Martin. This accordign to his own words.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. justice

    I figured Zimmer-Coward had some kind of connection to warrant him from going to jail. Anybody else would be in prison.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sharky

      Well hey OJ Simpson avoided jail too for double murder, great to have a nearly all black jury and be a football superstar eh.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Vasilisa Hamilton

    Watching this morning's interview with Soledad O'Brien and Trayvon Martin's parents clearly illustrates the difference a journalist of color can make. I also watched the young woman (she resembles Suze Orman) who interviewed U.S. Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee on CNN's "Early Start." The anchor woman tried, unsuccessfully, to "handle" Ms. Lee, but she was no match for the dynamic, well-versed, informed Ms.Lee. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd say we're in the midst of a teachable momentL

    March 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. lila

    So it was basically the state attorney's office who dropped the ball. They didn't want to bother with it because "there was not enough evidence to lead to a conviction." There are many cases that don't have enough evidence to guarantee a conviction but that doesn't mean nothing is done and the investigation stops. They didn't even contact his girlfriend who was on the phone when Zimmerman approached Martin.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sharky

      So you wanted them to manufacture evidence to get a charge? Last I checked people scream and rant about that too. So damned either way.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      I guess you struggle with reading comprehension. Where did I say manufacture evidence? I said to do their job and INVESTIGATE. Investigations can sometimes take years, it doesn't mean the state attorney's office stops because they can't get a conviction right away.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stank

    I liked how this case once hinged on "Stand Your Ground law" to now "Self defense." Jeb Bush former Fl Governor who signed the bill into law stated "Stand your ground doesn't apply to this case."

    As for self defense, by law Zimmerman should have been arrested, drug tested, and weapon confiscated at the scene of the crime. The jury decide your plea for self defense, Not officers at the scene of the crime.

    So my next question is. Why Zimmerman is not in jail?

    March 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sharky

      Ok what evidence do you have? What charge do you want?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AllofUS

    It is very sad that this young man lost his life but I do think people need to calm down and wait and let the proper authorities handle this. I want to express my feelings on how I keep hearing how some black people raise their children to be "afraid" of white people. That really upsets me and it is sending their children the wrong message. I treat everyone equally and respect everyone the same. I stop respecting them when they stop respecting me, themselves and those around them. As for the hoodie look, I know people have the right to dress how they want but how you dress can dictate how you want to be perceived and get treated. If someone wants to dress like a Nazi then they are seen as a Nazi, if someone wears low pants and hoodies well that look is more than likely linked to a "gansta" look and it does not matter if they are white, black, or brown, they will not get the respect they think they deserve. Maybe parents (and those in the music industry) should teach kids to respect themselves and others more and treat everyone the same and be better citizens. We have come too far to end racism to let it get destroyed by misconceptions on both sides.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Vasilisa Hamilton

    I also watched Roland Martin's exchange with the minister from Louisiana who is critical of Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Kudos to Mr. Martin for speaking the truth. Of course, the black community is not monolithic and presents an array of viewpoints and opinions. However, I am suspect of his motives. Our ancestors fought and died so that we can express our opinions freely and also have a right to agree without being disagreeable. That minister does not speak for me, nor does he speak for most of my family, friends, and colleagues, who represent diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. careers, and levels of education. Say it loud: "I'm black and I'm proud," as the late James Brown proclaimed.. His words still ring true.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Guadalupe

    The point is that a life was cut short because Zimm. Even if the boy had gone "thuggish" that is no excuse to judge someone, let alone kill. As teenagers we go through different phases and for teenagers dressing like this is just that a phase something. I think Zimmerman deserves some type of jail time. This is someone's son, brother, friend and he needs to have justice..

    March 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sharky

      Really? You want to go with that argument?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas Covenant

    This has nothing to do with the "stand your ground" law in Florida and the right to defend yourself as a victim. It is being contaminated and used as a front.

    Zimmerman violated the basic rules in a neighborhood watch by being armed and failing to follow the instructions of the police dispatch. He should have watched they young man from a distance and retreated if he began to come toward him. He should have waited until the police arrived. Instead he killed Martin. He should be arrested like anyone else and allowed to stand trial like anyone else.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joel

      "Zimmerman violated the basic rules in a neighborhood watch by being armed and failing to follow the instructions of the police dispatch."

      Really? Following instructions from 911 dispatchers is a "basic rule in a neighborhood watch"? Says who? Remember the 911 dispatcher who told everybody in the burning World Trade Center to stay there and wait, and not try to get out?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomGI

      Agreed 100%

      March 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Get the Facts

    Zimmerman is no guilty. The facts are coming out and the truth is known. Another bad kid out to cause trouble.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim Macdonald

      "Another bad kid out to cause trouble"? Since when is walking home from the store with a bag of candy in your hand while talking to your girlfriend on the phone "out to cause trouble"?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • debbie- a white woman

      If Zimmerman was following Trayvon in a vehicle and then on foot are you saying that the same "stand your ground" law doesn't apply to Trayvon. If someone was following me like that I sure would consider that to be a threat. So Trayvon, without a weapon, punches the guy who is following him and then shot as he is fleeing his threatening situation. That sounds a little biased or prejudice to me. Zimmerman was WRONG no matter how many more facts are produced. He needs to be prosecuted and that horrible law needs to be changed.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • justicefornobody that is sad

      Yeah he caused the death of Trayvon ok, Zimmerman is no police officer, he was coming home from getting groceries, he should of never left his car, or followed Trayvon. He needs to be arrested. Btw how do we know Zimmerman did not create his own injuries?
      Talk what you know. The fact is Zimmerman is a murderer and needs to face charges and I am sure justice will prevail.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • debbie- a white woman

      Hey "Get the Facts" If Zimmerman was following Trayvon in a vehicle and then on foot are you saying that the same "stand your ground" law doesn't apply to Trayvon. If someone was following me like that I sure would consider that to be a threat. So Trayvon, without a weapon, punches the guy who is following him and then shot as he is fleeing his threatening situation. That sounds a little biased or prejudice to me. Zimmerman was WRONG no matter how many more facts are produced. He needs to be prosecuted and that horrible law needs to be changed

      March 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lila

    Overthecircus, Martin wasn't the thug, Zimmerman was. He was arrested for an altercation with a police officer when he was drunk and 20(underage). He had a violent past with his ex fiance. And according to the 911 calls in his own words, he was the aggressor. Now the initial investigation reveals the lead detective wanted manslaughter charges!! You can keep dragging the victim through the mud all you want, it's not going to change what Zimmerman did.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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