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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Were a trial of Zimmerman held to determine his responsibility in the death of Martin, and were I on the jury, I would want to see the testimonies, in person, of all witnesses involved so I could make my own decision about honesty.
    I certainly would want to see Zimmerman, and to hear the accounts of Martin's girlfriend and of the police.
    I Trayvon's mother were attending the trial to sell T-shirts, I'd buy one and pay extra for her to autograph it.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      the girlfriend would be the worst witness for this trial
      she has been coached and is lying thru her teeth
      a good attorney would rip her to shreds!

      March 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem Joey...

      "Trayvon's mother were attending the trial to sell T-shirts, I'd buy one and pay extra for her to autograph it."

      You. You are the problem.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Florance

    Now I understand the cover up on all of this. Zimmernan father is a retired Judge

    March 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem Florance ...

      He was a judge in Virgina.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Shaniqua Latisha Black

    I bet trayvon was just looking for some fried chicken

    March 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Right-O

      You think you're funny, don't you? Well, you sound dumb!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Right-O

    Why are the parents saying "They are trying to demonize my son...?" Who is "they"? I have only seen old photos and a cute kid. It is sad that Trayvon was shot and killed. Too bad Zimmerman was hunting him. He should had just called the police and ended it there. Getting out of his car was STUPIDDDDD

    March 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • bfskinnerpunk

      Trayvon's mother doesn't want people to demonize her son while she is demonizing someone else's son! .... all the while, she wants to profit from her dead son's name.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      the facts speak for themselves
      the kid was no angel and undoubtedly was heading for some big time trouble
      with that being said, until i know the facts, there was no reason for the kid to die this way

      March 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • V-man

      Why didn't Trayvon call the police? We know he had a phone since he was on the phone. Why did he confront GZ instead of calling the police and leaving the law to law enforcement?

      March 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem Right-O...

      You know far less than you think you do.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jaycee

    Yea his father was a judge smh... sad

    March 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mike58

    When you break into houses you might get shot . . . just saying

    March 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      and that is relevant why?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    "If Trayvon's mother," not "I Trayvon's mother."

    March 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BobZemko

    I figured that there were 3 million witnesses to this event given the amount of people who seem to know exactly what happened. Remember the Duke lacrosse team?

    March 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    From comments made during the Sanford Town Hall meeting, does't appear like proper evidence was collected. They said that the police lost the DNA evidence taken from Zimmerman's shirt and requested that they provide a list of all the evidence that they failed to collect to the Grand Jury. They said that the lack of evidence was because the police failed to collect the evidence and called for a house cleaning within the Sanford Police Department.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Don't you hate it when "they" do that?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dudley0415

    If you were to visit The Smoking Gun you could read an article on how the address, phone number, and other personal information on Z, now being spread around the country by specific activists, is wrong and is hurting people that aren't even involved.

    Mob justice at its worst.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The facts please!

    Other news agencies have reported a witness seeing Trayvon on top of Zimmerman, slamming his head against the ground while Zimmerman cried out for help. Even CNN had it in one of their stories. Why has CNN turned to telling only half truths? Half truths are not lies, but they are not news, either.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Because if the little poor black kid was actually doing that, then this wouldn't be a story about race, it would be a justified killing in self-defense. There's no way you could sell that story... unless it were just about Al and Jesse trying to spin everything another direction to get more soapbox time.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The witness was a friend of Zimmerman and the man came forward 30 days after the fact. They are questioning whether or not it is true.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babs

      If he had been following me around with a gun I'd have hit him too. Zimmerman was acting like a cowboy.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • oliver

      by other news agencies, you mean fox news and it's affiliates? so much for balanced news.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. yneemee

    NEWS FLASH: Travon Martin inciident and fallout results in Obama losing election !!!

    March 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Leon

    Wow – there is ZERO outcry for the young boy who was doused in gasoline and lit on fire.
    There is ZERO outcry for the two British tourists.
    There is only irrational insanity over this boy's death.
    His mama gonna make a lot o money off his name.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Here's the problem Leon...

      "there is ZERO outcry for the young boy who was doused in gasoline and lit on fire."

      Yes. This story barely made the local paper (page 3) and the circulation area is only 70 miles away from where it occurred.

      The media has gotten so polarized and "both" sides are morons.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. gahh

    I will be glad when either Zimmerman is arrested and there is a trial, or evidence proves Zimmerman was justified in this killing. If Zimmerman is telling the truth, and he was attacked by Martin and beaten, then the killing may be justified. If I had a gun and somebody jumped me, I would use a gun to protect myself. We'll all have to wait and see what the investigation says.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      neither one will happen
      would have happened by now
      don't you people get it yet?
      how dense!

      March 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. B

      dont in any way believe he was jumped.. You cant be jumped if youre following someone! And if he had stayed in his car and let the police do THEIR job, this whole story would not even be in the news. (yes, I know the retaliation to that remark is "Its not a crime to follow someone".. to that I say "Nor is it a crime to be walking down the street back to your parents house while minding your own business") Because really, did Zimmerman see Martin commit any sort of crime?? did he?? NOPE.. walking in the rain while talking to your girlfriend isnt a crime!

      March 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • oliver

      how does someone jump you when you are stalking them.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Black Opinion!

    Oh! Dat Zimm dude has a judge for a know he guilty now!

    March 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • paulctorbert

      @Black Opinion! – jeez.... at least use proper english.... set an example.... and dont make yourself a "target of ridicule" from the racists that will claim your post is "typical uneducated black person" because you KNOW some idiot will.... i sure think Zimmerman was out of line, but you dont see me "speaking" ghetto to voice my opinion.... its statements like that, that fuel the racists rants.... be an example for the Black Community of Americans, PLEASE....

      March 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • dondijon

      as my ex-wife, a very beautiful Black RedBone Lady once told me... for the most part Black's are the most biggoted racist people there are... I am now inclined to agree...

      March 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
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