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. Lexie

    My God people, its ashame that if a black kid dresses in urban wear, they are considered a thug. But white boys dressed in tee shirts with nazi signs and confederate flags aren't considered racist, I guess you call it, your kids are just expressing themselves and will outgrow it!!!! Well I know lots of black kids who dress in urban wear, yes, that's what its call, not thug wear and live in the hood and go on to become college grads. STOP STYREO TYPING!!!!

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

      Black kids/white boys...haha what are you

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

      @ron, black and white, ha ha! Do I get to choose????

      March 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 1rooster

    Zimmerman is the illegitimate son of the chief of police.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. walkthetalk

    If Georgie the wanna be cop is smart he'll hire Jose the attorney who's great at getting child murderers go free in Florida.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hair Bear

    What makes this case special? Neighborhood Watch We Call The Police! Not we have a license to Kill!

    March 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John Holmes

    Guess why we need Neighborhood Watch Patrols?

    Because we have African Americans.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drstelly2870

      Is Glee on a rerun tonight or something? Seems like the weirdos are out tonight.I'm very sure you are neanderthal from a family of even bigger Neanderthals...(you, your bother Darryl and your other brother Darryl). Get a LIFE...please...I'M SURE Glee's on demand.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tom

    why don't the parents just admit that their son was not the angel that they say he was. i mean suspended for drugs, graffitti and what ever else they aren't telling about. face it he was looking for trouble and looked in the wrong place!

    March 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Davis

      So when you are walking home with skittles and tea you are looking for trouble. So next time you have dinner someplece and you are shot and killed we can just chalk that up to you looking for trouble.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drstelly2870

      I'm sure a lot of kids in your family aren't ANGELS. Let's line up and shoot em.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jack

    Awww look at cute Trayvon or "Tray Tray" isn't he adorable...funny how the media are using pics of him from when he was 12yrs old rather than the recent pics (which people have uncovered from twitter) showing him as a "thug". This "little" delinquent was 17yrs old and looked and dressed like a thug at 6'3". He was caught with marijuana, he was suspended from school, he is a gangsta ass gangsta ready to bust a cap on a fool.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drstelly2870

      I wish someone would "bust" a cap on you so we would't have to read such ignorance. Get a life David Duke.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      "he is a gangsta ass gangsta ready to bust a cap on a fool."
      Nope, because he's dead...and you sound like a fool yourself.
      The 80's called....

      March 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Drstelly2870

    "YOU" people that don't see this case for what it is are noxious bags of steaming garbage. I hope I see most OF you hateful trolls in Florida on a dark night and I'M ARMED. I pray every day for you cowards that are "computer gangstas" and like to assume what you have NO clue about on the black community!!!! Keep hiding behind these computers with your weak words and spewing your diseased poiso. At the end of the day a CHILD is dead!!!!! I pray for you and your entire family and your apparent hate for yourself and your own race.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stephanie

    I have a white daughter- blond hair blue eyes and only 98lbs that was robbing from unlocked 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 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sandiegopete

    It is beginning to look like obstruction of justice has occurred. The lead homicide investigator who interviewed Zimmerman face-to-face for 5 hours did not believe his story and recommened he be changed with manslaughter. The state prosecutor, who is not on leave, refused to do so. There is the possibility that the Florida governor intervened. Video of Zimmerman after the killing shows that he had no evidence of injury.

    I don't think racism played a part in Zimmerman walking. I think the fact that Zimmerman is a member of a prominent local family was the reason he was not charged. It is another case of a priviledged son being allowed to get away with murder.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sandiegopete

    It is beginning to look like obstruction of justice has occurred. The lead homicide investigator who interviewed Zimmerman face-to-face for 5 hours did not believe his story and recommened he be changed with manslaughter. The state prosecutor, who is not on leave, refused to do so. There is the possibility that the Florida governor intervened. Video of Zimmerman after the killing shows that he had no evidence of injury.

    I don't think racism played a part in Zimmerman walking. I think the fact that Zimmerman is a member of a prominent local family was the reason he was not charged. It is another case of a priviledged son being allowed to get away with murder.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hmmmm

    So you are beliving what Zimmerman is telling and think that is true and why? because you hate blacks?

    March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Professor Farnsworth

    I dont want to live on this planet anymore

    March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Blue Jean

    Don't call "Tray" a thug...you'll be called a racist by those who are blind to facts.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drstelly2870

      "Blue Jean" huh? I am guessing acid washed and ripped at the shoulders right Bubba? Classic. Keep rocking that mullet no matter who says what? Promise me.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. what if this was your child

    what if this was your child or better yet what if it was you were being followed by some stranger and he approaches you...if the shooter was black and the kid was white would this guy be in jail?

    March 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexie

      in jail, bigotted mobs in Florida would have given him justice long before he would have seen a jail cell, he wouldn't have seen a trial, he would be six feet under

      March 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
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