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. Brian Casey

    I just want to thank CNN, FOX, and the media as a whole for completely using your power of "journalism" in manipulating this whole country into a racial war. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Please do me a favor and start reporting the facts, not your bias perspectives.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bud

    The parents will get money. This will go away without them admitting Martin's guilt. Look for it. This has SETTLEMENT written all over it.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Martin's GUILT? For What? Dying?

      March 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexie

      @bud, i hope you don't have kids and something like this happens to one of them, don't get mad if people judge your children when they don't know them.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dennis

    Okay,enough already,this happened over a month ago.It is now time to get back on track,get focused and let the court system do it's thing.Enough of seeing hoodies,Rev.Al Sharpton,Rev.Jesse Jackson,the New Black Panther Party making threats and bounties and all these people marching in response to this act.Can we also see the same response when other blacks are killed by people of the same color?..not likely to happen.If we saw the same type of effort from these same people to go out and find employment and support their families and neighborhoods,maybe this incident would be an afterthought.Trayon is gone,buried,and it is now time to move forward in our lives.If not,you are living in the past and are not truly seeking justice but trying to seek revenge.You cannot live yesterday over.You can make life good today and even better tomorrow if you are willing to quit looking behind yourself and finally move forward.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Self-defense?

    From the video tape of G. Zimmerman being initially taken into custody by Police, there are no visible signs of injury to his head, let alone he doesn't appear to have been in anyway ruffled as if in a fight. This is a massive cover-up, instead of the case being dismissed without an arrest and trial in a court of law, an arrest for at least manslaughter should have taken place, and the court of law be allowed to determine whether it was self-defense or not.
    If someone is reporting a problem to the Police, one would expect that they intend for the Police to now take over the situation, and use their relatively extensive resources to resolve any problem, if there were any. Then Mr. Zimmerman proceeds to ignore the advice of the Police Dispatcher, obviously because he could be making a false report/public mischief which was intended to cover himself and point any future blame towards young Trayvon Martin. He claimed Trayvon was looking at him, when the unfortunate young man was merely talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. This man Zimmerman went to a lot of effort to paint a picture of evil on the now dead youth, who will never see adulthood. In my opinion, this could very well be premeditated murder, and is being swept under the proverbial carpet far too easily.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Oh, I'm glad you figured it all out for us.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • od

      From the police video, Zimmerman had a huge welt on his head, which the officer was obviously looking at it.

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

      "proverbial carpet"... I think I'm going to puke

      March 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      Cover up you say? I cannot think of any reason for the cops to cover for Zimmerman! If cops are so racist then why cover for a Hispanic? If Zimmerman fought with cops back in 2006 when they arrested him for domestic battery then why cover for him now? I even heard a rumor the cops were annoyed with him for calling every little thing he saw. I would think the cops would want to put a pest like Zimmerman behind bars.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • logicaldebate

      yet the police say the account if his being injured is consistent with the fact, so obviously they know something you don't.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. You can call me ray

    The media started this – making it the typical wht racist crime. Now is an Hispanic racist crime. The Latinos remain silent so obviously they don't place ethnic loyalty above integrity the way one certain race does .

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

      The Latios don't say anything because half of them are illegal and the other half can't speak English.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Zimmerman is a White Latino. Father is White Jewish, Mother White from Peru... Hispanic is just an Ethnicity...CNN and the Media did not make it into anything....The fact that he profiled him for his Race..and Killed and stalked him which lead Trayvon to defend himself is what's the issue is...But the One main issue is that he was not arrested... just cuffed....The video revealed nothing...If he was injured, why did he not et medical attention!!!!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • SlimPickins

      Did you hear about the 13 year old white kid that was doused with gasoline by 2 black kids in KC earlier this month? 'This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy'. Probably didn't hear that because hate crimes against white people don't make national news.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |

    This is a sad event, but let this not stop us from keeping our second amendment rights. I have a cc permit in Florida and carry at times. Too many people have died to protect this right. Our stand your ground law in Florida is a good law. If you were not there you do not know what happened. Let the justice system work.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • cpdens

      we need tougher gun controll the NRA has so much blood on there hands its not funny. the second andment was written in a different century then what we are dealing with today. You have a right to protect yourself, but you do not have the right to murder somone and cover it up citing the second Amendment; as in this case.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      Tougher gun laws????

      But black males already have the right to carry ILLEGAL GUNS all over the country .....

      March 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hobs

    Wait wait wait... I thought he was never arrested. I thought they just handed him his gun and set him free. That's what the mob has been screaming about all week. Hmm...

    March 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bubbah

    If you do not understand the reasons why this story is getting the press that it is getting, then just picture one of your love ones in unarmed, Trayvon's shoes. While the killer of your beloved family member is still walking the streets. Let's not worry about the color of the person's skin but the actions that led to their demise.

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

    So where are life threatening injuries ? I don't even see any bandage on his head or face.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. N. B

    I know none of us were there, we werent witnesses to this crime and we are only making speculations. But people, when you make comments like "he deserved what he got, etc" that is truly evil! If this were your son, Im sure you wouldnt be saying those things. All of you keep skipping some of the most important facts about this crime, and that is, Martin was not committing any crime by walking down his street! I mean if there had been a crime committed that night, you would think that they wouldve said he stole the skittles and tea, but he didnt.. If Zimmerman had allowed him to keep walking he would have watched him walk to HIS parents house. But no, he was over zealous and acted in hast.

    you see, when you insert yourself into situations that you are not trained to handle, you open yourself up for danger! Zimmerman was not law enforcement, he was not trained to try to stop someone and question their intentions, and although it has been stated that the 911 dispatchers werent police officers, they are trained to help callers make logical decisions. They understand that danger than can ensue by when normal citizens decide to act on the behalf of the local authorities!

    So up until Zimmerman decided to chase Martin, Martin was just another citizen walking down the street, which he had every right to do. Now folks are going to start throwing out the school issues he had, which had nothing to do with THAT NIGHT! Id say he was like a certain percentage of teens who experiment with drugs, (black,, white, hispanic, they all do it!) and commit misdemeanors. that doesnt mark him for death! And if you want to scrutinize him, you have to look at Zimmerman who has had several arrests, resiting arrest with violence toward cops, and a domestic violence charge. He is no angel, and probably shouldnt have even been on the Neighborhood watch! You certainly dont need someone with such a short fuse heading any kind of community service like that.

    and just because a witness sees a fight, doesnt mean he knows exactly what happen, unless he was there to witness the ENTIRE fight. Zimmerman got beat up, but that doesnt mean he didnt instigate the fight! Lets not forget he killed someone, so why not place yourself on the defense! Like he's going to say "yea I shot him in cold blood!"
    and from what I read earlier on Yahoo, the Lead investigator did not believe his version of the story. so that could mean a lot, maybe Zimmerman wasnt being 100% honest with how things happened.. After all he has a history of aggression too!

    March 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tracy

    this man was not in a fight for his life. Even boxers go to the hospital out of precaution after fights /. Yes this man whose head was suposedly pounded and pounded did not even get a head wrap from emt – This is first degree murder. He should be up for the death penalty that Florida loves so much

    March 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Here is my two cents from what I have read from various news sources. It seams this guy likes to go out and looking for possible bad guys and call the police. One report stated that he called over 2 dozen times in the past year. From what I have read, this Martin kid portrays himself as a little thug. When you got a kid who is acting like a thug and meets a guy looking for them, there is bound to be trouble. With regards to the reports that Zimmerman was violently attacked by Martin. Was he in fact in fear for his life and that using deadly force was the only way to ensure his personal safety? I think what really needs to be worked out and should be as they continue to investigate is was the force used by Zimmerman proportionate to the threat? If is proven that Zimmerman was in grave danger of being killed or seriously injured by Martin, then in my opinion is that he was justified in using deadly force. If Zimmerman was not in grave danger, he than used more force than necessary to stop Martin. If they are leaving it up to a grand jury to decide if a crime has been committed, it will be very hard for a DA to get a conviction in my opinion. I just hope that the system will lead to the truth of what really happened, and that justice prevails in what ever form is appropriate.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fedupbigoil

    Is it just me or did you all notice the same thing. Are surveillance cameras supposed to follow the subject ( murderer ) as seen in this video ?

    March 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J

    What gets me about this case is that many people miss the whole point behind the protests...and that point is Justice. Don't compare this to other cases where the accused are in Jail, or would be if found. This case also reflects a complex history of systematic oppression of blacks in this country, that has never really been addressed, and requires a deeper understanding of that history to fully grasp. We've seen historically in this country that many times black lives are less valuable then whites or others...ironically, even to other blacks. Its a tribute to the indoctrination implemented by whites for hundreds of years pre-civil rights that used false sciences disguised as facts to teach whites and blacks alike that blacks were rightfully classified as less-then and not worthy of common respect as a human being. Until we own up to our history and engage in honest dialogue including accountability, apologies and forgiveness, we will continue to see cases like this, and such reactions to cases like this..

    March 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • bubbah

      Right on, J!

      March 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      I ain't neva had no slaves. But if I did, they sure as hell wouldn't be black ones.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Really

    It's a shame that all you racist people are hiding being these posts..........I bet majority of you are weak, scared, ignorant, simple minded, short, trailer trash and yes unattractive...........With that being said you racists are constantly in fear which comes from self hate, therefore, posting these ignorant comments make to feel "BIG" but in fact you are really fearful people.....................No matter how you try to label Trayvon as a thug it's not going to racists want to say so bad that this young man was a bad kid but I bet all of you have experimented with drugs or on drugs right now and I mean the hard core stuff (meth, cocaine, crack, prescription meds, know the stuff!).......But I expect nothing less of people who are ignorant and scared because it's the natural "FEAR" in you that makes you say and do ignorant things you do.........

    March 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
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