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. allen

    after reading the information above- the police department clearly list the law that was used in not arresting zimmerman- and it wasnt the "stand your ground" statute. so why in the world was this played up as the reason he was not arrested? justifiable force statute is different from the stand your ground law. the police report made the destinction...why did the media have to make up a story?

    March 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |

    And of course Oprah, the pres, and most other blacks have jumped on the bandwagon without even hearing all of the details of the investigation. The president seems to put his input out there on every racial news-story that dominates the media, always on the side of the blacks. If I saw a person wearing a hoodie, white, black, or green) roaming the streets at night in my neighborhood where burglaries had occurred, I would want to know what they were up to also simply because there are many criminals that wear hoodies to cover their heads in many, many crimes. All of the details have not been disclosed to the public as yet. Trayvon's parents seem to have wanted him to be shown as a typical all-American kid. However, it has come to light that he was a drug user, was suspended for school for defacing property with vulgarity, and had unexplained jewelry in his backpack. He was not a poster child to be admired. People are saying that "this doesn't have anything to do with the case." Of course it does! It shows he had questionable character and may have stolen in the past. It has been verified that Zimmerman had injuries present when the police arrived to back up his story.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. B

      And when you people want to make a big stink about things, gather up your own people, whoever they may be!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      I can't wait to see the pres. In a and it will come.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • T.C.

      It shouldn't matter what color his skin was or what he was wearing. The fact of the matter is that Zimmerman was "stalking" this boy after the police clearly stated in the 911 call for him to back off. He the took it upon himself to take the life of an UNARMED individual. Look at it from Trayvons point of view, he could have thought Zimmerman was a pedophile following him or something. As for Trayvons record, Zimmerman didn't know anything about his record BEFORE killing him, so that has nothing to do with it. Also, Zimmerman has quite the police record himself, how he was put in charge of Neighborhood Watch is beyond me. It was obviously a case of an overzealous, racial profiler, who cold bloodily murdered someone and is now trying to hide behind laws to protect himself. Funny how his story changed to self defense all of a sudden after they started to question the Stand Your Ground law. He went looking for trouble! We have neighborhood watch and we don't go around carrying guns or shooting people. By the way, I am WHITE and also HUNT and I'm OUTRAGED by this!

      March 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. schoolsub

    All we need now is Oprah Windbag to get involved. She'll get Jesse and Al in it too.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lexie

    Well im leaving now, to all you racist bigots, do me a favor, stop hiding behind a computer, go to your nearest "hood", punch a "thug" in the face and tell them to stop their crimes, ha ha, good luck you cowards.

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

      Right Lexie! These guys are cowards who hide behind the computers. I bet if CNN allowed IP addresses posted when you submit comments these cowards wouldn't say anything.


      March 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      If I was Zimmerman I would give my address to anyone who wanted it. If they want it they can get it, I'll keep defending my rights and property.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      That fool Martin attacked someone and that somwine had a gun and defended themselves. What's the issue, why all the crying. If that fool Martin didn't start swinging he might still be alive.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • walkthetalk

      True that Lexie!

      March 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      It cracks me up how rich america is so afraid of the ghetto blacks. All they are is loud and ignorant.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mattinacan

    Boy, Zimmerman's nose sure doesn't look broken in the video. In fact he doesn't look injured at all. If he was treated first by paramedics it would be evident... interesting.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Katwoman

    Looking at the video, I couldn't see any type of damage that I would associate with broken nose or head being beat against concrete. Normally, with a broken nose, you would not hold your head down. The more I see and hear from media reports, the more I'm convinced that he is guilty. I'm curious as to why some media reports are saying Zimmermans father is a retired Sup. Ct. Judge. and others are not. Is it true?? If so, it would explain why his rap sheet was wiped clean, and also why the cover up from the police dept.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gret

      You actually believe what you see and read in the media? It's so biased against Zimmerman it's crazy.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thelma Lou Brickmore

      Yeah, okay, Gret.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • dondijon

      Sorry but I've had my nose broken 5 time, and only once was there even swelling until several HOURS later the following day. two of those time I had to have surgery for deviated septum. Unless You can say the same You know not what you talk about. and as far as paramedics are concerned they would have irrigated the wound on the back of his head and sprayed it with dissinfectan. About the only thing that would have been done in the field for his nose is steptic to stop the bleeding and clean up so that it woulden't cause a sinus infection, then again what do I know, like I said, I've only had my nose broken FIVE TIMES!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joeinalabama

    I saw a video today that helped explain things to me. It was of Miami HS students that walked out of class to protest the death of Trayvon. About 50 of these (children) students went in a Walgreens and trashed it -Google "trayvon walgreens" and watch the video. No reason other than they thought they could get away with it, and maybe get some Skittles. I suspect that Trayvon saw Zimmerman that night and thought, "see that short guy, I can beat him down, and be the Man.

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

      What a stupid comment. The Alabama school system needs help.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Narwagner

    In the video at the station, Anderson says at one point that we can look at Zimmerman's head. Then CNN SKIPS the part where the back of his head is towards the video! You can definitely see a cut on the back of his head when this video is shown completely. Why did CNN cut that part??

    March 28, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. logicaldebate

    New Flash. Its been a month. Most of the forensic evidence has been examined. He hasn't been arrested. There is probably a reason. Lastly, lets stop showing picture of the kid at like age 12, he was 17 and a hell of a lot bigger than the skinny little kid in the picture. Lets not forget a single punch can kill you, so force is allowed BEFORE you get hit, not just after.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gret

    Re: the video. I'm sure photos were taken of Zimmerman's injuries at the police station and also at the doctor's office he went to the following day. As the video is shown here, the part where you can see the back of Zimmerman's head has been cut. Elsewhere on the web you can see that part of the video.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dee Lyter

    When all is said and done, no matter how Zimmerman is judged, there will always be the stink of the media tainting both sides. If he is found guilty of a racially motivated homicide, then one has to wonder if all the sensationalism surrounding the story influenced the decision. If he is found not guilty, the same argument holds true. Clearly there are no winners. I have been around long enough to know that the media gravitates to the most sensationalistic details, ignoring those items that do not support the story. Remember what was done to the Ramsay family, the Duke LaCrosse team and the police in the Tawana Brawley case? I reserve my judgement and can only hope that those with more facts than both I, and CNN, make a

    March 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lgny

    Much ado about nothing.

    The teaser claims "official records" but there's nothing here to educate us beyond the usual rumors.

    What police investigation was actually performed?
    Some examples:
    Was Zimmerman's blood alcohol tested?
    What forensic testing was performed?
    Where are they relative to his vehicle?

    Zimmerman may be innocent or may be guilty. Only a thorough investigation will establish which is true.

    So... Where's the beef? Where's the investigation?

    March 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dee Lyter

    When all is said and done, no matter how Zimmerman is judged, there will always be the stink of the media tainting both sides. If he is found guilty of a racially motivated homicide, then one has to wonder if all the sensationalism surrounding the story influenced the decision. If he is found not guilty, the same argument holds true. Clearly there are no winners. I have been around long enough to know that the media gravitates to the most sensationalistic details, ignoring those items that do not support the story. Remember what was done to the Ramsay family, the Duke LaCrosse team and the police in the Tawana Brawley case? I reserve my judgement and can only hope that those with more facts than both I, and CNN, are not afraid to side with the truth...whether it be Zimmerman is guilty of a racial, unprovoked attack or that Martin is found to have initiated violence.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    Someone please explain to m what should have happened once this fool Martin jumped on Zimmerman. Should Zimmerman hav jst let Martine beat him to death and possible take his weapon? Zimmerman acted in self defense and shot to stop Martins actions. What's all the crying about please explain.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smartie


      March 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      What's the big issue here zimmerman acted in self defense. Black kids attacks hispanic man shoots to stop the attack.

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

    Boy I sure wish that we had picked our own cotton!

    March 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michel

      Don't I too! And all the advances my cotton picking' ancestors created, would be in Afirca with them, not here in this hateful country!

      March 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jt_flyer

      What about blues music? Would want life without Blues?

      March 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • productoftheplantation

      ur stupid dont u think black people are just as white as u ur ancestors were rapist so all blacks are mixed just as much white as blac.... second if zimmerman didnt follow him nothing would have happen obvisoly he had a reason to b in the community .... americas biggest problems are the sterotypes !!!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      This is a classic self defense case. If Martin would have just explained what he was doing there and not attacked Zimmerman he would still be alive. Case Closed

      March 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
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