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. Jt_flyer

    I didn't see blood,in the video. His nose didn't look broken. I didn't see any marks on the back of his head.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Debby

    All I can say is what a mess this case. Zimmerman will never go to jail because of the media, Martin's family, their lawyers and the fact that they had the kid as a john doe and it took 3 days for the parents to finally notice their kid is missing.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. IndeePendant

    Now that the police video shows Z'man has no obvious head or nose injuries, where's Mr. Oliver, the Black friend of Z? I bet he will now go into hiding:)

    March 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gotcha

    a broken nose? and no blood on the front of his shirt? really? i've never seen a broken nose where there wasn't blood everywhere. and where is all the blood from his head being slammed multiple times against the ground? i can see where the emt's might have cleaned up his head but, where is the blood on his clothing? the front of his shirt looks pretty clean for fighting for his life and having his nose broken.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lmnop

      how many 16 year olds do you know with gold teeth on the bottom? On welfare but got gold all up in the mouth. He was a stand up citizen I'm sure

      March 29, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • SFC Mike

      I've had my nose broken six times. Twice, there was not profuse bleeding, and those two times, plus one more, there was no blood on my clothing.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Hank A.

      He had a red sweatshirt that was zipped up, and he was laying on the ground right after it happened so the blood would be going off the side of his head as Trayvon is on top of him. You can see in the video the police officer got something on his hand and wiped it off. The paramedics cleaned him up at the site.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
    • DC

      Keep the media out of this,send Jesse & Al back to the homes let's see how quick this thing dies out.....These 3 is what keeps this mess going GET OVER IT

      March 29, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Valerie

    The Stand Your Ground Law should apply to Trayvon as well. This idiot was stalking him and obviously put him in a defensive mode therefore if Trayvon did attack him he would have been defending himself from an aggressor. Michael said if Trayvon answered the question he would still be alive.. what about Zimmerman? If he would have listened to what the dispatcher told him and stayed in the car Trayvon would still be alive too! If anyone believes Zimmerman's account on why he shot Trayvon then any bar fight resulting in a shooting should be considered Self Defense with no prosecutions.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • zz

      It did apply to him, but he didn't have a gun. Ooops!

      March 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      how do you know he didn't stop pursuing him when the dispatcher told him too, it soundrd like he stopped pursing to me. No where in stand your ground or self defense does it say you can attack someone if simple questioned. Keep the facts straight

      March 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      What's gonna be the excuse when the toxicology reports come back showing this kid had drugs in his system.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Also not sure what you know about laws but two idiots fighting at a bar is called mutual combat and if one kills the other its murder. That is something totally different from this situation.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
    • dondijon

      That bar fight statement shows your ignorance, all juridiction prohibit the physical possesion of firearms while intoxicated (hear that Dick Cheny) and all jurisdictions also classify possesion in any bar by anyone other that law inforcement as a felony. I know this for fact as in one of my other replies I brought op that I too have had my nose broken(5 time) one of which was while working as a Bouncer and disarming someone who was packing and made the mistake of brandishing in MY BAR, that was in 1993... He should be getting out of jail any time now!!!

      March 29, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. LaTwesha-LaTwanda

    Stay asleep, America. It's not yet time to wake up...

    March 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Keep being racist and defending Trayvon because of the color of his skin.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. TJeff1776

    Indee....the ONLY thing one can see was Zimmerman at a distance. Kinda quick to judge. Those officers walking with him would ONLY be in a better position to see.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michael

    I have never been so ashamed of this country. The media is so dam bias it makes me sick. This gentlenable Zimmerman acted in self defense and has been destroyed in the media by ignorant blind americans

    March 29, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • mwalthall76

      I do NOT know if Zimmerman is guilty or innocent and I do NOT know if Trayvon is guilty or innocent!! I do NOT know if Zimmerman had drugs in system and I do NOT know if Trayvon had drugs in his system (as of yet)!!! Why did Zimmerman get out of the vehicle?? I do NOT know!! What happened from the time Zimmerman said ok until Trayvon took his last breath?? I do NOT know!! The point I'm trying to make is Zimmerman's account alone gives PLENTY of reasonable doubt!! Forget about the media, assault charges, being suspended from school for drugs,race, age and forget about everything else that the media is saying!! Only 2 people know the answers to those questions and many more that I didn't list!! Was it Stand Your Ground for Zimmerman or was it for Trayvon?? I do NOT know!! But I DO KNOW that Travyon's punishment was death so WHAT'S Zimmerman's?? This case is VERY fishy just by Zimmerman's account only!!!

      March 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Al Speerman

    To those who keep bringing up "dressed like a gang banger" I see white, black, brown and yellow kids and youth every single day dressed in hoodies and sagging pants. Are they all bangers, skinheads, yakuza and thugs? My oldest son is in his thirties and runs his own business. Guess what? Wears a hoodie and sags (when not working or meeting with clients). When I was growing up We wore black leather coats. Did that mean we were panthers? My brother was an OG ( a real gangster) Dressed like a business man and always respected his elders black or white. Don't judge a book by its cover. BTW my brother paid for his actions and eventually cleaned himself up. People, we AMERICANS have got to stop the hate. This is just what the WHITE and BLACK hate groups want. I believe there are a lot of them trolling these boards spouting venom to advance their agendas. Stop letting them

    March 29, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Megan.

      The most sensible post I have read here. Thanks for a dose of reality without all the BS.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. ernest l coleman

    every time people try to take this country back to the good times when a white man could cheat and murder black people and be protected by law here comes jesse jackson and al sharpton.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • dondijon

      Jesse Jackson and Rev.All are two of the most Biggoted Race Baiter in our nation, Al I Do believe is just an idion... Jesse on the other hand does it for money...

      March 29, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Eric

    There's quite a bit of evidence that suggests Trayvon was assaulting Zimmerman and Zimmerman was unable to retreat due to Trayvon being on top of him. Also, if these reports don't start including that Zimmerman did stop following Trayvon when the 9/11 operator advised him too and that it's even on the 911 tape as you can hear him say "ok," then I can certainly see some liability on the news media for this. Also, to believe Trayvon's girlfriend instead of the 9/11 tape in which you can hear Zimmerman agree to stop following Trayvon is pretty racist as well.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. colt1911

    What in the Hell does the Rodney King case have to do with this? The kid was a thug and the shooter may not be telling the whole truth. If the dead thug had red hair and freckles, Dianne Sawyer wouldn't even waist her time with it. This is a tragedy no doubt but here we go again with the "Race Card"

    March 29, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. Carol

    So if some guy started following you in a neighborhood you would do nothing to protect yourself ? You have the right to walk ....if some weirdo started following me I would most likely try to defend myself . ..Martin was trying to do that . I am not sticking up for a guy who has assaulted a police officer.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Shadow Walker

      Carol..I would be waiting around a corner for someone stalking me and would beat the crap out of the guy stalking me, as most, non-mice people would do. If someone is stalking you at that hour, it's typically, for no good reason, especially to kids warned of "stranger danger".

      March 29, 2012 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sharon Citizen

    Does anybody know what a Neighborhood Watch is? Just that, a "Watch" not attack and kill nor follow. The only thing Zimmerman did right was call the police dispatch but then he did not follow the instructions. If Martin does have drugs in his system, he was not bothering Zimmerman, he was talking his way to his girl going to a residence in the community. So, what's up with that. Young boys can not walk in a gated community.? Zimmerman was wrong. He made a grave error as did the investigators and should pay the penalty. His lock up photo shows no bleeding nose by the way and no blood on the back of his head. I hope all of you have your glasses on next time you read!

    March 29, 2012 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ron

    all the whites reading this: if you were walking down the street minding your own business and a black man in an unmarked car was following you, creeping you out, and then demanded to know your business in your own neighborhood, would you cooperate with him? Would you feel like you needed to justify why you're in your own neighborhood to him? What if this black man were holding a gun, yet was not a policeman or any sanctioned authority, just a citizen, would that make you more or less inclined to be cooperate, become frightened?

    March 29, 2012 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
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