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.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Florida • Trayvon Martin
soundoff (863 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Its called the sissification of America every one is afraid to say what might be politically incorrect or something that might offend the poor black man. Bottom line is if trayvon didn't attack a man who was simply trying to protect his neighborhood he would still be alive. Its simple self defense.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Salad Spinner

      Were you there? Please go to the police. (doubt laced with skepticism)

      March 29, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • James R. Hunt

      Last I knew it could be expected that when I am doing nothing wrong and minding my own business. Not followed by a gun toting thug who imagines I am up to something based merely on clothing (common clothing at that my style is more unique) and the tone of my skin. But I guess you would be ok with people suspecting everyone of being up to know good and being hostile aggressive at will and thinking wild west justice should be the norm.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
    • cigarlover6

      the only sissy seems to be is you! You keep defending Zimmerman.
      He clearly seem to be in wrong, there is a reasonable doubt based on various evidence.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • glenn

      Well. If Z_ was attacked and had his nose broken then wouldn't we see some sign of that on the newly released video at the police station? There's no sign at all of the "attack", no blood and no broken nose. That's just the fact. He's right there in a very clear picture.

      The story Z_'s telling is a lie. (by the way, i refuse to even write this murderers name anymore. He shouldn't get any more press or notoriety)

      March 29, 2012 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kyle Epps

    Go play with a gun 🙂

    March 29, 2012 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. RCDC

    The gated community should have surveillance cameras.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Look at the evidence

      If Zimmerman did in fact suffered a broken nose, there should be medical records of him being treated. Furthermore, you don't go to your family doctor to treat a broken nose, you go to the emergency room at the hospital! Yet, there are no medical records to prove that Zimmerman suffered a broken nose as a result of being assaulted by the victim. Therefore the evidence shows that Zimmerman is a liar and cold blooded murderer and he should be executed.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Self Defense?

    Zimmerman claiming injuries doesn't mean anyone attacked him to inflict them, it could also be self-inflicted, or the result of a clumsy fall. If this was self defense, let it be decided in a proper court of law, not through public debates. Anyone leaving their vehicle to pursue a situation against the good advise of a Police Dispatcher is obviously putting themselves in danger, and interfering with Police work. Worse yet, Mr Zimmerman's inadvisable actions result in the death of someone else, this should be at least manslaughter!

    March 29, 2012 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Rael

      Police arrived 2 minutes after the shooting ...
      so did he self-inflict the injuries *before* he shot Trayvon,
      or did he do it with the cops watching?

      March 29, 2012 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      not sure if you listened to the tapes he actually ends up saying okay when they tell him to not chase him. He then has a conversation with the dispatcher and you can tell there is no more running going on in the background. You need to checkout the my fox tampa news station with real facts. A witness saw trayvon on top of zimmerman beating him while zimmerman was screaming for help.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • rs1201

      And where may I ask did you get your law degree? correspondence school perhaps? thought so! don't offer any legal opinions unless you've been deemed trained to do so...

      March 29, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. DevilSlayer

    keyboard klansmen are out in full force I see

    March 29, 2012 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. panorain

    Manslaughter charges are automatic any time anybody is actively or passively involved in the death of another person. Only some excuse allows the prosecutor not to prosecute. Such as self-defense or accidental death. Or even natural death. So if somebody dies of a heart attack the news media can report that the police decided not to charge any bystanders with manslaughter. Since any one of them could have introduced the cause of death until proven otherwise. So don't put too much weight on that manslaughter claim.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rael

    I don't know for sure what happened here & neither does anyone else posting on this board.

    It's possible that Zimmerman just shot the kid in cold blood while the kid was screaming for help,
    knowing that the cops were going to be there any second (because he had already called 911 & they told him ...)
    but he'd have to be really stupid and/or lacking in self control to do that.

    It wouldn't be that unusual for a 17 year old boy to try to settle things with his fists...
    (not knowing that cops are on the way & the guy he's punching is armed ...)

    Analysis of the 911 recording with the screams should be able to determine
    who was screaming without too much uncertainty... & that should settle it.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      Did you see the BLACK TEEN witness interviewed by Diane Sawyer? He said he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Martin on top of him. Zimmerman was screaming for help. Is he a liar?

      March 29, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. GW

    the kid was stalked, hunted and murdered because of the way he dressed by some lunatic clown with a gun.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      So Martin punching and then getting on top of Zimmerman is irrelevant to you right? LOL Can you say prejudiced?

      March 29, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Travis

    Has nobody adressed the fact that Zimmerman knew the police where coming? Why shoot Martin? How is it ok to shoot someone you know is unarmed? Unarmed should be the key word here. Martin was using his fists and Zimmerman could have done the same. It was excessive force! ALSO.... STOP PLAYING THE RACE CARD!!!!!! I am sick and tired of people saying "omg if he were white this would totally be different". That statement is asinine (spelling?). White people die in tragic ways everyday and get zero media coverage. Racism would be over if you people would STOP BRINGING IT UP! End rant.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Gordon


      March 29, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • KK Denver

      Are you suggesting that racism will go away if we only stop talking about it? that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard

      March 29, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      Unarmed? Martin had two arms, arms capable of breaking your neck or beating you to a pulp. Where did you ever get the crazy idea that you can only defend yourself with a gun if your attacker has a weapon? People get strangled or beaten to death all the time. Martin could have also taken the gun away from Zimmerman and shot him. The fact that Martin was unarmed is not the key word here it is ansolutely irrelevant. What is relevant is if Martin assaulted Zimmerman for if he did then he got what he deserved.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. Honolulu Wahine

    The media just keeps pushing this story on & on & on for the sake of headlines.... When some kind of riot breaks out in Florida (and where ever else) because of the flames being fanned by the media, is the media going to take responsibility for the people injured and property destroyed? Maybe we should let the legal system deal with this? None of us truly know what happened. Let the investigation take place (by an impartial source, obviously) and let's see what it says before we publically indict either side.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rael

    This is from the Orlando Sentinel report:

    "One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him — and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.

    Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest at very close range, according to authorities.

    When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.

    *Paramedics gave him first aid* but he said he did not need to go to the hospital. He got medical care the next day."

    March 29, 2012 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Unclemilto

    Are people blind!!!???? Look at the top of zimmermans head in that last walk to the door. A hole with a drip of blood comming out.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Gordon


      March 29, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Alice graham

    i am wondering if zimmerman was told not to follow teen why did he one.
    They that's a Gated community Trayvon went in though the gates. don't you need a key to get in those community areas.
    Trayvon was 70 feet from his house when the man shot him on the pathway. so what was he doing so wrong is it a crime to walk home. any person that trained would have known that the kids was not causing any trouble after following him that long. why was this man carrying a gun on neighborhood watch. you watch call police and let them handle it. not play police. i think zimmerman want some real action so he can show the community that he was the one who was ther saver and trayvon happened to be his pick that night. my heart goes out to Trayvon's famliy.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      Zimmerman was not told not to follow Martin by the police. Their comment was "We don't need you to do that" .

      March 29, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ken

    Obviously, the killing was unecessary. From the video, Z looked unhurt. Self-defense is not very convincing to me. H should have been jailed and cinvicted if the police had done the right things!

    March 29, 2012 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      Then you make sure you are good and injured before you fend off your attacker. I'll shoot mine the minute he assaults me.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. LT23222

    What a sham from the mainstream media that has mainly elected itself judge, jury and executioner of this "white hispanic" (W T F?) by the NAACP, Black Panthers and every other african-american organization out there. Nobody knows the full facts to this story and is just speculating based on their own already biased opinions on what they want the story to be. It's a great thing that the American justice system isn't set up to convict based on public opinion, but on facts. Facts that none here or in the mainstream media have clear access to as of yet. It's too bad that the media/certain groups won't be held accountable if riots, property damage or revenge killings happen for the sake of news ratings and race driven politics.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Gordon


      March 29, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22