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. santosaint

    I've walked through brooklyn back in the 1990's with white jeans, clogs and a red velvet vest. I'm 5ft 4in. No one messed with me. No one has ever confronted me and I've never felt danger even passing drug dealers on the street. Why, because I don't go looking for anything and I'm not scared of anyone just because of their skin color or their mannerisms or dress. It's all about the way you carry yourself.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rick

    CNN, why in the world do you have Marsha Clarks opinion on your show?? I'm a avid CNN fan and it makes me feel like I'm watching FOX NEWS. Your station has way to much class for that incompetent fool.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. santosaint

    Zimmerman is a vigilante who escalated the situation because he is a wanna-be cop. It's all his fault and he will go to prison. gauranteed. He is being coached (someone said that his father is a judge – I don't know) why else would he get this type of treatment from the state attorney office? Hmmmm.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • john ling

      What are you some sort of pole smoker1

      March 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MIKE

    Zimmerman was the aggressor. Trayvon was going home.. talking to his girl.... He is not one of those kids who had rob that complex...Zimmerman messed up....

    March 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      was not that type of kid??? The kid was a punk,maybe a thief if you read into his past. Does he deserve to get shot over that, no. But dont say the kids a saint. And if he attacked zimmerman first, well then he got what he deserved

      March 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexie

      @Jim, wow you must have known Trayvon personally

      March 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ton

    That wasn't very informative.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mark S.

    Wait a minute, CNN. You just spent a week stating that Zimmerman was white and continued to show a picture of a 10 year old kid, not a 17 year old thug, Now you are changing your story? The rest of the Media and Internet has already learned the facts, you are about 5 days late and have no integrity. How could anyone believe a word CNN has to say with your twisted stories and yellow journalism. Nop credibility whatsoever, go back to Journalism 101.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • stanitan

      So you decided Trayvon was a thug? On what basis?

      March 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • chrissy

      what, you mean he is not WHITE!!!!, with that picture we could not tell?????????, by the way, when are you going to report the his mother was Hispanic and is father was African American! SO WERE DO WE HAVE A STORY OF A WHITE MAN ATTACKING African American. DID SOME FORGET TO INVITE THE WHITE PERSON,

      March 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      you complain that cnn isn't fair but you decided to judge the kid as a thug ha. nice !

      March 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tinisha

    I just saw a video tape of GZ arriving at the police station with the police there is no evidence of a struggle. The back of his head was not bleeding neither was his nose. His shirt is tucked into his pants and there is no evidence on him to show that he was in any kind of struggle or fight. GZ murdered Treyvon in cold blood and why they let him go I will never know. All of you who are trying to stand up for GZ are sadly mistaken. ABC released the video find it and watch it. GZ"s story does not match that video. The police department was trying to cover up this crime and now the facts are coming to light. This man should be thrown under the jail as well as the police officers.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. monk

    While I agree ty is too early to crucify Zimmerman and all media are using this story to improve ratings, the latest video released only adds more intrigue and may shut some of those Zimmerman supporters up. The video shows Zimmerman when he was first taken into custody by the cops. He sure doesn't look like he was in a fight and you get a clear look at the back of his head because he is bald. There is no sign he was injured in the back of his head as was claimed. This is looking more and more like a cover up. This is why so many are infuraited, myself included.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MIKE

    I want to say how sorry I am that this happen to Trayvon and his Family.. It is wrong and Zimmerman messed up big time.. He made a big mistake, but why aren't people talking about how we do have young black men that are knuckle heads doing stupid things like robbing people and shooting people. We need to use Trayvon's death as a call to get are own young men to act better so the public will not think of us this way... I am scared sometimes in the hood myself.. Guns have been pulled on me. My best friend was shot for nothing... LET'S USE THIS TO FIX ARE BAD KIDS SO WE WILL NOT BE RACIALLY PROFILED..But what people must know, it is obvious that Trayvon was not a bad kid, but we do have bad kids who do bad thing and they happen to be people of color and white, so lets fix are bad young men... But Media usually show the kids of color mostly...LETS TALK ABOUT THAT.. You can wear anything, but the bad kids have made hoodies look bad..LET TALK ABOUT THAT... Very sorry Trayvon and Trayvon's family had to suffer for the knuckle heads...**************************************************************************************************************************

    March 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug2222

      We are not talking about that, because they were not the ones in this specific case that were murdered. If I ask you, where did you catch that fish – do you point to the entire ocean? We are, talking about this case, not each and every case, we are talking about this one young man, not each and every young man.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Ok Mike- I hear ya. But I have a white daughter- blond hair blue eyes and only 98lbs that was robbing form cars in our gated community to get extra money to buy weed off all my white neighbors who grow it with so called prescriptions. No one put a cap in her ass! Security brought her back to me and when I wanted to kick her behind they told me – No, No, shes just a troubled kid and bored, hopefully she learns a lesson from a ride in the cop car. They basically gave her a scolding. I'm grateful no one in my gated community followed her and shot her- its been two years- she's an honor student and doing good now- past her rebellious stage. But she got to live- she got her pass go, get out of jail and collect. Trayvon got murderd. He got no second chance and why! Because he was black!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexie

      @Mike, the media focus on bad black kids that have committed crimes and blame it on, they grew up without a father, they're on welfare, etc you know the story..... and then all black kids and labeled as such. When a white kid commits a crime, like killing both their parents, there is pychological testing going on to see why this would have happened, it must have been something very tragic in their life to have caused them to blank out and commit such a crime. My point is, people really need to stop with the labeling. Crime can happen anywhere and by anyone. All black people who live in the "hood" are not in gangs or on welfare, but you will always have the bigots out there who really actually believe it.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bubba™

    Always shoot if your assaulted..



    March 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Concerned

    There are many gang related shooting ever month , may it be white shooting white or black shooting black. Where are you Al Sharpin when this happens. When a white man gets shot by a black or histanic where are you Al sharpin...Why is that you only show your face when it works in your favor and provides you with publicity. Zimmerman may have been wrong by following this kid and should be held accountable for his actions. He took a life no matter how you look at it. No matter whether he was white or black it was not necessary.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. corntrader19

    I understand this is a tragedy but this story is getting WAY TOO MUCH coverage. Enough already!

    March 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kx420Cygnus

    The feigned outrage and indignance has gotten old; it gave blacks a few days to feel important, as if anyone were seriously paying attention to them. The parents have already forgotten about Rave-on, cashing in on his likeness with marketers. The question is: What's the future look like for blacks? They're totally discounted in this country as they don't contribute positively to society in any meaningful way. What do we do with a resource that we not only can't use, but is toxic? Blacks need to improve their behaviors and do it quickly while society can still support the burden they represent. If blacks think the free ride is going to last forever, they should read about Germany before and after the Great Depression. If they think that a civilized society can't become ruthlessly practical in a short period of time, they're wrong.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amir74

      It's unfortuante for you that in the next 20 years white people will be the minority. And over the next 100 years, the white race in America will be almost extinct. So, instead of ignorant generalizations, you should be more pragmatic and critically interrogate what you can do to be a part of the solution, instead of one of the many problems.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derby

      @Kx420 - I'm (almost) speechless. Your colossal ignorance, perverse thoughts, and malignant racism is a stain on this country. My country. Any real American is offended by your very existence. And to think - many of us have fought and died, to give you the freedom to hate.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      You are equal parts ignorant, hateful and scary.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • WEDF

      Blacks will still be the minority. Latinos will make a short shrift of blacks. Blacks will miss white racism.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      You...are a creep.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • sandiegopete

      The lead homicide investigator interviewed Zimmerman face-to-face for 5 hours and did not believe his story. The investigator recommended he be arrested for manslaughter. The state prosecutor, after hearing from the governor, refused to prosecute. Video of Zimmerman at the police station revealed no evidence of injury. Yet, you think you know better than a trained and experienced police investigator who was able to observe Zimmerman's demeanor and evaluate the consistency of his comments. Well, you don't.

      God save us from vigilantes.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen B

      Thanks you are a perfect example of the prejudice and ignorance associated with it. What have you done to contribute to America? The slave trade supported this country for over 200 hundred years. I have served in the military. I have volunteered at the food banks. This is why there is a Black History Month or go read a book then the veil will be lifted from yours eyes and you will not make ignorant statements like that. African Americans have made many contributions to this country. I ask you again what have you done to contribute to America?? They just showed the tape of Zimmerman when he was arrested and there is no scars on his head, he has no blood on his shirt and his nose certainly did not look like it was broke. There was no swelling or bruises on him anywhere. He stalked Trayvon in his car, then pursued him on foot. Trayvon was probably nervous and scared and wondering why is this man following me. Zimmerman created a situation; he cannot dictate how Trayvon should have reacted to him. He got that a** tapped and then he got scared and shot him. He was told not to follow him and he said okay but he continued to follow him. You really are ignorant enough to think your comments mean something. They don't; it is what Zimmerman did and the protection he is getting from the police that mean something. African Americans are fed up with the disrespect we get from police including questionable killings. Zimmerman just awoke a sleeping giant!! NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gordon

    get over it thugs get killed by other thugs all the time black on black crimes but no news . but a non white does it and the black say its a white on black crime. thy want to make it about us white people but it has nothing to do with us. so screw you blacks how think it does.also it shows how smart you are.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laceibita

      Gordon you should not use a word you know nothing about. No, no, do not use the word SMART.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen B

      When black on black crime is committed there is an arrest or at least an investigation. Zimmerman needs to be arrested. The lead prosecutor wanted to arrest him. He wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter or negligent homicide but the attorney general said no. The fact that his father is a ex-magistrate is not going to help him. So get used to hearing about Trayvon until an arrest has been made.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ron

    I'm not a black kid. I'm a white male cop who works in an urban neighborhood. I would have run, defended myself, or confronted a person following me on foot with a cellphone to their head. It's sad that a young man had to die but why doesn't the 14 year-old black kid who was murdered in the City where I work get the same press? He was shot by another black male; is that the reason? I drive by the memorial for this kid everyday. What makes this Trayvon case special?

    March 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexie

      @ron, two wrongs don't make a right, crime is crime and all that are murdered should get their justice. Please don't miss the point here, there is only one eyewitness to this crime and he is walking free. Most people accused of the crime are behind bars until they get their day in court. This would have gone unnoticed if Treyvon's parents didn't speak out for the justice for their son.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laceibita

      Ron, did the killer got arrested? Did you drug test both victims? Or did you just the dead person. How long did you wait before you notify the relatives of the dead kid? And I can go on and on Ron.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      @Ron. .. Because Trayvon's parents want justice for their son, So they are fighting the messed up justice system and are doing all they can for justice:-) Thats why so much attention he has a family who loves him and wont stand for his death (murder) be in vain soo If my child was murdered Im gonna make alot of noise and if the culprit is walking free while their son is buried in the ground!! Making a difference and fighting for their son is all they have left to hold onto it's now their duty to do right for Trayvon:-)

      March 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
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