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. mohammed

    The hispanic guy had a gun. Nothing good comes of someone without law enforcement background in carrying a gun. He could of shot his leg, or arm but no he killed him. He should be at least placed in prison. Remember football players going to prison for shooting themselves in the foot. This guy has right to defend himself but he did not have the right to use a gun.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • sdc43

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with Americans owning firearms. Have you ever been to a police state where no one but the government or supposed "trusted agents" of the state have access to firearms? Can you envision what America would be now if in 1775 the population was not armed?
      In addition, the basic fundamental right behind American judicial process is that any individual is innocent until proven guilty. That is in the court of law, not the court of public opinion. If you took the time to read some of the initial reports about the case and the people involved, you might not be so anxious to make your assumtpions.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafee

      don't forget Martin had the right to defend himself also

      March 29, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • CornerKidFromNJ

      I suppose the only good that comes from a "non-law enforcement type" carrying a gun is when he or she uses it to protect your ignorant butt and stops a Columbine, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech...Please stop and at least TRY to do some deep thinking before you post.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. A Rowe

    That be okay and easy to believe if we weren't talking about a 140 pound kid versus this full grown, fully developed man who I would speculate was well able to protect himself given his criminal conduct in the past. Not to mention, since when did people who were not able to defend themselves against confrontation, begin taking on the task of neighborhood watch? If you're not equipped to take on a fight, why would you take on that kind of job, unless you're looking for the opportunity to use your gun that you just so happened have on you on your night off.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      hey, you got someone breaking into homes in your neighborhood, you do not know what kind of people they are, how many, and besides, you have a license to carry a gun. Also, burglars sometimes carry crowbars.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      a rowe- how much did you weigh in HS, wait for the facts, they will come out, this is high profile, in HS at 145 pounds I played football and could defend myself against an adult, how does wieght afect this, 10 year olds in philly beat a man to death.....come on....use your brain.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • CornerKidFromNJ

      A Rowe, Were you dropped on your head as a child? He was a 6 foot 3, 175 lbs "kid".

      April 16, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    @Dev, you are right, there should be checks and there were checks. The police didn't just ignore the situation, they investigated and presented their findings to the DA. Then the DA reviewed it and decided to not press charges because there was not evidence to prove the charges. It's not like they said everything was fine since the victim was black, but that funny little "innocent until PROVEN guilty" once again trumps society's desire for revenge.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. suckfesterous Megalouss

    The State Attorney is Angela Corey...she tried a twelve year old kid for MURDER BUT HAS DIFFICULTY IN THIS CASE???? OK LADY WHAT'S YOUR POLITICAL SITUATION.....NEED SOME CAMPAIGN FUNDS MAYBE?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mohammed

    If justice is not done. Mark my words there will be riots in every city and racial attacks everywhere. Hispanics and whites against colored minorities. Tyrone didn't just die, respect of fellow man and value of life perished.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      I have been saying this. THis is just wrong. And unjust. And if this had been reversed the black person would have been in prison with charges. There will be a riot if this doesn't get right.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • carl47

      I don't know whar country you or from but you sure as hell need to go back

      March 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ci

    Zimmerman legally stalked trayvon legally chased him & legally chased him for no reason HELL NO If the gun was in his pocket how the HELL can you get a clear shot to the chest that's BS. Zimmerman was wrong and how the hell can you tell somebody is on drugs because they are walking down the street in a hoodie. Also, If Zimmerman was screaming for HELP why didn't he continue to scream for help after he shot trayvon he should have still been screaming for help not stand over him with a gun.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • poftravel

      I'm sure he had planned on killing that kid, that is why he was on the phone with the cops !!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      ci- you were there and saw all this, you should contact the police and act as a witness......you know what happens when you assume.........ass

      March 29, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Hammerdog

      ci--It's been established by experts that the yells for help weren't coming from Zimmerman. Sound waves don't lie. It wasn't Zimmerman. Check you tube and search for the 911 call with the shouts. It's horrible. Trayvon was scared to death.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Noel

    Are the closed circuit cameras in the neighborhood sent to tape or monitored by a home security company?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. A Rowe

    The coroner apparently doesn't have Treyvon's best interest at heart, because an Autopsy could reveal whether or not Zimmerman's story was accurate. If in fact Treyvon attacked Zimmerman, forensic evidence would be present in both the hand, and there would be inflammation in the hand consistent with the swelling one would see after punching an object. Not even the coroner is trying to give Treyvon justice!

    March 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • tyrone

      SO that means that you have a copy of the the report, if you do please could post it !!!!

      April 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hammerdog

      A Rowe-- Forensics will testify soon enough. They will be the deciding factor to convict or not.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. TexasAnnie

    Question: Did this kid Trayvon live in the gated community where the shooting occurred? If he didn't live there, why was he inside the gated community? And this isn't meant to indict the kid... It's a legitimate question, because I haven't seen this issue addressed in anything I've read. So I'm just asking to see if anybody on here knows the answer.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • uhhhhexcuseme

      According to the article, he was walking back to the home of his father's fiancé from the store where he bought the iced tea and candy. She lived in the neighborhood.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellie

      Wasn't he visiting his dad and his dad's fiance who lived in the gated community?

      March 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BroadCasting

      YES. Trayvon was living there temporarily with his father's girlfriend who was a resident of this community.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jason

    This whole event is really sad and has got everyone's emotions stressed. Trayvon got himself killed and would be alive today if he would have just kept on going home instead of confronting George, and then attacking George. George was not chasing Trayvon, although he was following him, which was his right to do, as a neighborhood watch captain. George is going to have to live with the killing of another human being for the rest of his life, and he has probably replayed that nights events over and over in his head, to understand a different outcome.

    What will happen with the special prosecutor, is that George will not realize any arrest. Acceptance will be hard for people who have invested in a different narration of events, and move on with their lives. Self control and self reflection will be the lesson learned and an opportunity to make sure this does not happen again.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Are you some kind of crazy psycho. Because anyone starts following me I am not going to pretend they aren't there. Someone following you intends to incite something or do you bodily harm. Fool is not a good luck to wear.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      Are you psycho? If someone is following you, are going to run, only to circle back around to confront the MF, and then to proceed to do a beat down? You do not know what might get for your trouble.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • angela birch

      Jason it loos like you could be wrong. All those injuries that MArtin alledgedly inflicted on Zimmerment just are not there in the video. His shaven head is injury free, no blood on his clothing, and he supposedly shot MArtin while MArtin was on top of him as well as having an alleged bloody nose. His story is falling apart.
      There is no evidence he attacked Zimmerman except the word of a liar who does not have a clean police record and lied to the police about that and who has lied about his non injuries. You think he might have lied about Martin attacking him? Witnesses who came onto the scene within seconds of the shooting saw Zimmerman standing straddled over MArtin. Neighborhood watch are taught in training to obey the police. Zimmermen didn;t. Neighborhood watch are taught NEVER to confront a suspect Zimmermen initiated contact. Zimmermen's tale doesn't add up.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • rafee

      Jason, you really believe that the kid circled around in a area he's never been and attacked zimmerman? come on now don't be so naive and believe at face value what zimmerman is saying.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • redeemed

      Oh so now he got himself killed just walking to the store and walking back home. LORD HAVE MERCY! Imagine how this world would be if blacks were racist like whites (Hispanics also I guess that's the new) and everyone hated everyone because of their skin color, omg. But blacks don't have time to hate we are too busy trying to defend ourselves from the hate.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • klangster

      You are making that up there is absolutely NO evidence to prove that Trayvon was the aggressor or that he confronted George so you are just lying. Trayvon was found directly on the path to his fathers house and George is on tape saying he was chasing the kid George's statement has no more weight than Travon's girlfriend who said George confronted Trayvon

      April 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sosha

      Something is wrong with you. Trayvon got himself killed–are you serious? Let's start with the 911 dispatcher's reply to Zimmerman. "Are you following him?" "Yes", responds Zimmerman. Dispatcher, "we don't need you to do that. Stay in your car." Had Zimmerman complied, Trayvon would still be among the living.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nunuv Yurbiz

    Death! Death! Death to all those who oppose us! Bwhahahaha!

    March 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • itgrl

      Nice heavy metal reference. I love that part of the movie.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. panorain

    The Left has BONDED with the plaintive wail. Lasting almost a minute. Purportedly of Trayvon begging for his life. So touching. But in fact it is Zimmerman begging for his life. So can the Left sympathize with that?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Unapologetic White Man

    I started out as a liberal Democrat because I thought of myself as being non-prejudicial and open-minded. However, over the years I've been sorely disappointed by the general mindset of that company in that most are so open-minded that they have allowed their brains to fall out of their heads.

    Can't help but to ask myself - would this situation be so newsworthy if this were a suburban white kid from a private school who was shot to death while walking through the ghetto carrying his laptop? I doubt that it would get more than a minute of airtime on the local news if that.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • angela birch

      Depends did the cops lie on behalf of the killer? Did the killer lie? Was it so obviously a non investigation?
      No it probably wouldnot have gotten the same coverage. The black guy who shot the kid would have been arrested and charged, he certainly wouldn't have been sent home with his gun.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
    • redeemed

      Your right it probably wouldn't get much coverage because the person who shot him would be locked up right now and facing the death penalty.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. steve

    SAnford has one ofthe highest crime rates in the nation. Why do you think local police enforcement would even approve of an armed neighborhood watch?

    Its a tragedy.of cpurse. But racist? No evidence of it. Its plain fear caused by unmitigating violence in that area. Period.

    Just watch TV.. Violence sells in America and we have more cirminals locked up than any other nation, and the most per capita..

    March 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kira

    I think people need to wait until the facts come out...all of them, not the media spin................And by the way the shooter was NOT WHITE....Geez, people can't even get that straight but want to "condemn" white people anyway.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deidre

      You do realize that Hispanic is not a race, right? He is clearly a white Hispanic.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veronica

      Wow yah he's a white hispanic. Race- White Ethnicity- Hispanic. That comes from a white argentine.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • V-man

      Diedre, technically, race is something people made up as an excuse to hate each other. Black isn't really a race either. We used to separate Irish and Italian from white also.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • redeemed

      Most white people has already condemned themselves with HATE it's a sin which God calls MURDER and sin is a curse.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
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