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. Servant55

    Every shooting deserves a thorough investigation from day one. It should be standard procedure, and most likely is. The cops themselves have each of their own 'use of deadly force' situations reviewed. Let's wait and see where the wrongs are, and that they are corrected. The truth, and nothing but the truth is what is needed.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. B

    I can't blieve how biased CNN is in handling this story. Watching Anderson Cooper's show last night made me sick. It's funny how slanted against Zimmerman all the comments for the guests are yet every five minutes Cooper thows in the disclaimer "Now we must not rush to judgement here" then proceedes to ask a guest another slanted question where the guest then rushes to judgement and slams Zimmerman.
    The factt hat Zimmerman was not badly injured is IRRELEVANT to the law and Anderson Cooper you know it so why do you stoke the flames like this? Is it just because you want to go to Miami to cover race riots? The bottom line here is if Martin punched Zimmerman, knocked him to the ground and then got on top of him, Zimmerman had every right to fear for his life and shoot Martin. You don't have to wait until your attacker breaks your neck before you can shoot him!
    So what exactly is the point of showing the video of Zimmerman over and over? It adds absolutely nothing and only serves you and CNN to further your biased pro black agenda.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gordon


    March 29, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • LT23222

      Before this news story nobody ever referred to someone that is of hispanic origin as a "white hispanic", so your technically correct point is moot.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      No, Hispanics are not whites. They are mostly Mestizo

      March 29, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. rs1201

    One good thing may come out of this tragedy...any future or prospective mugger thug will think twice before going after anyone...might just make the streets a bit safer...nothing like deterrence when dealing with thugs!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Lopez

      Wishing you was here for making,a punk statement

      March 29, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jammaster

      His last words were "Why are you stopping me? Obviously Zimmerman was placing his hands on Martin. This is assault on Martin by Zimmerman. Martin tried to defend himself and when he got the best of Zimmerman, Zimmerman shot him.

      Martin died defending himself from a man who had been arrested twice before for assault. Once against a police officer and the second time assault against a women. In Zimmaerman's third assault that led to him being taken I to police custody, it was because he stalked, assaulted and shot an unarmed 17 year old.

      Because his father is a retired magistrate he walked in all three cases. For those that despite all evidence continue to defend Zimmerman, consider this: His next victim could be you or your son.

      Will you still defend him then?

      March 29, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • You can call me ray

      the media isn't through with the farce yet. Like the "wht hispanic" (the man who married his mother and adopted her son is wht) as suspect for racist lynching and assuring all from the investigative source of ultimate truth that racism and profiling are responsible. Of course they used that picture of trayvon when he was a cute kid. Too bad they couldnt find one of him holding puppy. But now they are showing the police film of Zs arrest and allowing yet another farce- Busted head ? Broken nose? The reporters viewing he film don't see that. Marsha Clark doesn't see that. The ethnic loyalists don't see any bodily injuries....sooo- that means there were none and there are no photographs of the injuries and no medical records and the police fabricated the story about blood, wet back etc. BUt IF there are indeed photographs and authentic medical records of exactly what was done in the examination and xrays of the broken nose then why encourage emotional speculation? because the media needs sensationalism. dirty laundry. Eric Holder would love for this to be true, but he cannot deny the evidence his own FBI team submits to him and odds are the reporters could produce the records if they wanted to.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jammaster

      It didn't stopZimmerman from assaulting Martin and then shooting him when he tried to defend himself. A witness has stated that Martin's last words were "Why are you stopping me?" This implies that Zimmerman had grabbed Martin.This is assault. Zimmerman had already been arrested twice for assault. He walked on those cases too.
      Now he stalks, assaults and shoots a 17 year old.
      Zimmerman is the mugger. He should be arrested and tried in a court of law so that ALL of the evidence can be reviewed objectively.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • vigilantes are thugs

      If Zimmerman gets a free pass the thugs will start thinking they have a license to kill

      March 29, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ComSenseWiz

      The bottom line here is if Zimmerman has a broken nose with the back of his head banged up, then there is zero doubt he was assaulted by Martin. If such, it was justifiable self-defense. Since no charges have been filed against Zimmerman, it is obvious that no conviction could be had. All other alleged information is just static. Case closed.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • trex

      .Correct.......People like the ARMED THUG ZIM should be taken off the streets. It's called Town WATCH . Not town shooter

      March 29, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • bzb

      Coward behind a keyboard!!

      March 29, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Thisisntablackwhiteissue

    I am DYING to know when before this case the phrase "white hispanic" was sued. This CLEARLY shows that the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world benefit from a divide in race!!! They want the future to be better but at the same time do now want to let go of the past!!

    March 29, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • deli

      White Hispanic is always used because "hispanic" is an ethnicity and "white" is a race. It was established by the government years ago for census data. Black hispanics also exist, so to use one without the other is incorrect. If you were dying to know this, you could have easily looked it up.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • You can call me ray

      everyone who is not native african is wht. because it is a race not an ethnicity. Guatamalans are usually as dark as most african ameericans and they are considered to be wht. N o wonder the media has to specify "wht Guatamalans" because they sure don't look wht. The general public would never describe them as wht. But the media seemed to assume that Z was half caucasian because when he married the Peruvian woman he adopted her son and gave the lad his last name.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      I am aware of Hispanic being an ethnicity, but I am confused when CNN seems to Imply that states like Arizona are racist for wanting to seal their borders to illegal hispanics coming into America. How can the Arizona law be racist when it's WHITE Hispanics they are keeping out? Funny how CNN did not use the term White Hispanic to describe the illegals hispanics then. When a hispanic commits a crime against a black all of a sudden CNN is using White hispanic? Very curious media manipulation going on at CNN.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. ShedaMae

    Since when is wearing a hooded sweatshirt, talking on the phone and carrying candy a crime? Regardless of Trayvon's suspension from school or his behavior prior to his death. None of that matters because at the time of his death, he was doing what any other person does – talking on the phone, wearing a hoodie and carrying candy. I guess this must be a crime in Florida. Everyone is quick to judge and calling him a thug but none of his actions warranted a death. I guess to some folks, Zimmerman is a hero – until it's one of their family members.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Shuffler

      You should probably read some more. I think you missed a huge part of what happened.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Actually it does matter for those investigating and for the court of public opinion. It helps to determine whether or not the behaviour claimed by GZ is plausible. The fact that he was suspended for dope, caught with stolen goods, had a twitter name of No_limits_Gangsta, etc. paint a different picture than his 12 year old photos do. I wonder why his family shut his twitter account down? Pictures and comments that would paint a differnt picture? At least one friend's picture showed him doing a gang pose/sign before it was taken down. Why the rush to cover up the real TM? If he is so innocent and pure as people suggest, then leave that information up for people to see.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rich

    I doubt that zimmermans father was a retired supreme court judge and his mother a court clerk had anything to do with him not being charged...

    March 29, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Debby

      Exactly Casey Anthony's father was retired cop and she went to trial and was in jail for 4 years.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. ShedaMae

    @Rav, just because he called 911 after shooting the kid doesn't mean anything. His father is a retired judge and he can always claim self defense so saying that since Zim called 911 after shooting the kid doesn't prove or disprove anything. Another point, people are saying race has nothing to do with it, well it does. Zim's own friend said that there had been burglaries in the gated community committed by black men/teens. So, when Zim saw a black teen he wanted to be the hero since there had been crimes in the neighorhood. Tell me how that isn't racially motivated? It doesn't matter if Zim is hispanic or not – there are racist people of all colors and ethnicities. Bottom line, prove that race wasn't involved when it has been clearly stated numerous times that crimes were committed by black men/teens in their neighborhood.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. SnazzyGirl

    FYI the terms 'white hispanics' and 'black hispanics' are terms made up by the US government. Please refer to the last census forms. The US government is wholly racist, why not its people?
    The murderer Zimmermen had not a drop of blood on his person, clothes nor any sign of a broken nose from that video. What is his claim, the 17 year old punched him to the ground and bashed his head in the sidewalk repeatedly? Where is the evidence? Ahh...his heart does not pump blood like real people.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. BS

    What the deceased was wearing or carrying in his pockets is not relevant, no matter what emotions they may evoke. Whether the deceased felt antagonized before assaulting Zimmerman is not relevant either. I'm still not certain of the facts as a complete picture has still not been painted by the released information, but if Martin chose to assault Zimmerman, which seems very likely and he carried that assault to the point that Zimmerman felt his life was in danger and he could not separate himself from the situation then self defense is absolutely justified. The fact that the deceased is black should not be used as an excuse to ignore all facts in the case until the trigger was pulled.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jammaster

      Martin was defending himself against Zimmerman because Zimmerman tried to detain him. This is assault, no different than a mugging. Trevon was shot and killed by an armed mugger: Zimmerman.

      A witness who heard Trevons last words "Why are you stopping me" proves this.
      When Zimmerman realized what he had done, of course he lied to protect himself.

      Now he can't sleep because he is afraid of going to jail.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Debby

      The problem is the black community and the media are making this about race. The parents are on all the talk shows and you know they are not doing this for free with their 2 lawyers next to them that they have to pay. Its really sad to watch parents making money off their dead son especially when the son was a john doe for 3 days. This isn't about helping black people at all. Its about I have no money and this will give me some.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. SnazzyGirl

    Zimmerman is a cop wannabe. He applied to be on the police force in Manassas, VA and was turned away. He shows up at the HOA meetings dressed like Rambo. He volunteers at the Sanford Police Department and regurarly takes classes there to improve his awareness skills. He is a SELF APPOINTED HOA neighborhood watch captain. BTW, all this from his 'friend, who defends him on TV relentlessly. Do you not see this is a cop wannabe?

    March 29, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. t-bone

    Martin could have best defended himself by continuing on to his destination and not turning around and going after Zimmeramn.
    Zimmerman had returned to his car after losing track of where Martin had went.
    at that point there was no incident and both peoples lives would have continued unaltered.
    When Trayvon decided to turn around and confront zimmerman, that was the dedcision that set things in motion.
    Zimmerman was obviously not tracking him down just to kill him, he had called the cops and when they said to not follow him he stopped.
    Twist it anyway you choose but monitoring the neighborhood is what neighborhood watches do.
    Trayvon is very much responsible for the end of his own life.
    Zimmerman didnt touch him, it was Trayvon who started the violence that resulted in his death.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • fourth81


      Zimmerman didn't listen to the dispatcher when the person told Zimmerman not to chase after him; he gave chase. Besides the fact that all we know for sure is that Zimmerman chased Trayvon and then a little while later, there was a scuffle. It's pretty easy to believe Zimmerman's police report when HE WAS THE ONLY ONE ALIVE TO TELL THE TALE. And hell yes, if Zimmerman came at me and tried to detain me somehow, I'd beat his ass too. That's using the Floridian law properly.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd E.

      All true. IF you blindly accept Zimmerman's account.
      One important thing you got wrong: Zimmerman pursued Martin after being advised not to by the dispatcher.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Debby

    I watched Baez, Clark, and that other man evaluate the case. I saw both videos, of father and this police one. How can anyone make an assumption on anything that Zimmerman isn't injured. I can't even see his face and head its all blurred. I would hold that icing on the cake if i were that victims mother. Saw Shultz ask a black commentator why the boy was a john doe for 3 days before the parents even claimed the body. If this goes to court the parents or lack of will be put on trial along with their sons activities. You can tell Baez is itching to get this case. He made good points that it shut Clark and the other guy up instantly.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    I love how people say that this wouldn't have happened if GZ had not followed TM that night. Why not take it back a step further and say, "This wouldn't have happened if TM had not been suspended for th 3rd time from school". Had he not been caught with pot at school then he would not have been there that night for GZ to follow. I'm not saying that GZ is completely innocent but the comments and mentality predominant on CNN is disturbing.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • fourth81


      Getting caught with pot and allegedly beating a man are two different things. Zimmerman actually HAS a record of assaulting people. CNN is merely comparing apples to apples, whereas you are comparing apples to mice.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd E.

      So if we're gonna go back in history:

      What if Zimmerman hadn't been allowed to plea the felony charge to a misdemeanor when he resisted arrest and assaulted a police officer?

      What if Zimmerman had been prosecuted for the incidents (yes, plural) of domestic abuse?

      March 29, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Kel

      What does TM being suspended from school have anything to do with why he was murdered? It doesn't. Thats an irrelevant piece of nothing. So what the kid smoked pot. Dont act like thats a reason to be murdered. Your missing sight of whats important. Zimmerman followed him because he was a black male in a gated community. Whether or not TM attacked him is ALSO irrelevant, judging by the video footage Zimmerman doesn't even have a scratch on him. If someone was following you and acting hostile to you, would you not defend YOURSELF? Put yourself in that kids shoes just for one second. Whose to say if he did run away from Zimmerman, that he wouldn't have been shot anyway? Remember he said "they always get away".

      March 29, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. B

    Why doesn't CNN show the interview with the BLACK TEEN WITNESS that claims Martin was on top of Zimmerman and Zimmerman was screaming for help? Is he a racist too?

    March 29, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
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