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. OMG Really

    Take away the black and the white/hispanic, the bottom line is there wouldn't be a story if: Trayvon wasn't suspended, if George hadn't gotten out of the car to follow him and if George (on neighborhood watch) wasn't carrying a gun. But that is not the case but these questions still remain: Since George called the police and knew they were coming, why was he following Trayvon on foot and not from the car? Where was Trayvon's cell phone and why wasn't it used to notify his family notified the day of the shooting? Too many questions and it's being overplayed by the media.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. dakotawind

    I think it might be important to know when this video was taked. I had heard reports that he was taken to the hospital for a broken nose and head injuries. If this video was taken after the hospital event there would not have any signs of the trauma. I know the police typically take a person to the hospital first to evaluation to cover their butts. We do not know when this was taken. I have no dog in this fight but I am willing to let the investigation proceed without my opinion. I just wish the news media would stop trying to incite people.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. fourth81

    The bottom line is, Zimmerman was the aggressor; we have proof of that because he chased Martin when the dispatcher told him not to. Past that, it's all "witness said this" or "witness said that." A rational person would probably side with Martin only because Zimmerman has a record of assaulting people (including a police officer). I'm not saying 100% that Zimmerman is guilty, but I have a feeling that if this whole scenario were to get a fair trial, he'd go to jail for something.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. onlock

    everyone is so misinformed on this case..go check the wiki and referenced articles. 1. Zimmerman did stop pursuing when the dispatcher told him he should stop. 2. Trayvonn DID NOT say "why are you stopping me" . He said "Why are you following me"... which means Trayvonn COULD have been the confronting Zimmerman and punched him in the face.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |

      Video shows NO signs of fight or struggle with Zimmerman. The funeral home that had Trayvon body said his hands showed No signs of a fight/struggle..Zimmerman took the law in his hands and went too far!! Plain and simple!

      March 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard Ackerman

      Your logic is a bit strange ...... If I were stalking you (like Zimmerman was stalking Martin) the question that would be appropriately asked is "Why are you following me?" Zimmerman wasn't stopping or detaining Martin and he has no authority to do so. In any case, I don't think any conclusions can be determined one way or the other by which question was asked.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      When Zimmerman was on the phone with the dispatcher he was in his car. Why if he stopped following Matin was he out of the car then??? Too many unanswered questions.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. advocatusdiaboli

    We have a case of dueling witnesses as well. A non-eye witness says Marin said:"Why are you stopping me?" but they were not an eye witness. He more likely said "Stalking" not "Stopping" which fits Zimmerman's and the two eye witnesses accounts. The two eye witnesses both state Martin was the aggressor. It is likely that Zimmeran's following ("stalking") Martin triggered Martin's aggression and, while Zimmerman was told he did not need to do that, that was not a lawful order and Zimmerman had the right to investigate a stranger on private property, watchman or not. We all have that right on our own property. in the end, Martin, evidence and witnesses suggest, chose to confront Zimmerman and attack him. A fatal mistake that justified Zimmerman's use of lethal force. Martin should have kept walking or called 911. Zimmerman should have just monitored Martin from a distance. Tragic errors in judgement by both parties. But. other than Martin's assault and battery (a crime) there was no crime committed. Read the Sanford Police FAQ on why Zimmerman was not and likely will not be charged.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • ladys

      This might be persuasive if it weren't for the fact that you're completely making it up. Where are you hearing about these so-called eye witnesses? As far as I can tell, the only "witnesses" are residents who heard the altercation, and at least one of them seem to think it was Zimmerman who was the aggressor.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • TimeForTheTruthAndRealityOfAMERICA

      Trayvon shouldn't have been shot dead! It was a case of Racial Profiling! Zimmerman was heard on RECORD saying that "these people get away with [things]". He was also heard saying that he was following Trayvon. Trayvon was a kid, his size was no comparison to Zimmerman's and he was clearly no threat, even if he felt like someone was following him. Trayvon's girlfriend was on the phone with him minutes before it happened and she stated that Trayvon claimed he was being FOLLOWED. Racial Profiling has got to stop! This is 2012 and we even have an African American President! I feel so sorry for his parent's, I feel sorry for him! And I pity anyone who feels like Zimmerman, that a Black teen who has a hoodie on is a threat. No one has the right to down someone else because they are different and then take their lives. If being different is so wrong (since being racist is suggesting that one race is Right over others), then why are we different? Why did God make us the way we are? And even if we take God out of the equation, Science reflects the differences amongst species and can't explain it because it's simply how things are! There's no wrong or right in being different! Hope we can learn to come together and put Zimmerman behind bars for LIFE!

      March 29, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    There are very few facts that the public actually knows. But here is one: Trayvon Martin did NOT live in that neighborhood. He was a visitor for less than a week. So he was not being followed in HIS neighborhood. He was being followed by an actual resident – who had a nominal responsibility in the Neighborhood Watch.

    This is germane, as Mr. Martin fit a description of individuals who had committed a number of burglaries. The description – made by others – was 'black teen'. SO if a member of the neighborhood sees a teen ( and a black one at that) whom they do not recognize, why does that become a racist issue. If the burglary suspects had been caucasian with red hair, and Zimmerman saw a red haired teen he did not recognize, would that be racist?

    As for the facts of the altercation itself, Mr. Martin is – sadly – not here to convey his version. We might as well simply discount Mr. Zimmerman's account, as an interested party. But there is an independent witness who has not wavered from his testimony – which was first given the day of the shooting. He states that Martin was attacking Zimmerman. And the convoluted testimony of other local /non-witnesses' seems to corroborate what the single eye-witness stated.

    Should Zimmerman have had a gun? Probably not. But the law ( stupid as it may be) allowed him to have one. And if the law allows him to have one, and to use it in self defense, then I would have to think that having a teen straddling you and striking you would be a time when you needed defending.

    This is all for the proper authorities to ascertain. The media has been way off base, from the beginning. There were statements that the police let Zimmerman go, scott free. Well, it turns out that he was officially detained, and that the District Attorney opted against charges. The media put out a picture of a 5 foot tall tween when Mr. Martin was a 6' 2" 17 year old football player. No citizen should even be subjected to sentencing by the court of public opinion. Not Mr. Martin, nor Mr. Zimmerman. The evidence needs to speak for itself.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • T.G.

      Excellently stated Sir!

      March 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • BJ

      "He was being followed by an actual resident – who had a nominal responsibility in the Neighborhood Watch."

      did you read what you wrote here? Neighborhood WATCH.... not WATCH, PURSUE AND KILL.

      The man needs to be in jail.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BJ

      "But there is an independent witness who has not wavered from his testimony – which was first given the day of the shooting. He states that Martin was attacking Zimmerman. And the convoluted testimony of other local /non-witnesses' seems to corroborate what the single eye-witness stated."

      of this witness did in fact see that Marin was attacking Zimmerman, he would come out publicy and say exactly that, and not hide behind doors speaking to the media about it. the white and hispanic ladies came out in front of the world and said that Zimmerman attacked and shot Martin. and they have not wavered from their position. she said she called the police and invetstigators office several times and they wouldn't take her call. why? when they did finally talk to her they said her story didn't match the lie the Zimmerman told them. Martins girl friend on the phone heard Marin ask Zimmerman why are you following me? Zimmerman approach Marin, he was the aggressor. Martin then in that instance had every right to defend himself if he needed to.

      so there are other witnesses that saw and heard an entirely different story.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |

    Zimmerman is wearing RED/BLACK...I could have sworn those are gang colors.
    Knowing Zimmerman claimed to have suffered a broken nose according to his attorney and friend, you would think that blood would be on his lightly colored shirt and face, right?
    You would think the police would wear gloved to protect themselves from bodily fluids, right?
    I see NO grass stains or mud on zimmerman that would be consistent with someone being attacked in a defensive position on the ground fighting for his life.
    The police body language looks like the police supported Zimmerman.
    I see NO person who looks slightly shook up after killing a teen.
    I know Trayvon Martin was frightened while walking alone in the rain at night knowing some creep was STALKING him in a SUV like a drive-by. Then, the creepy male got out of the SUV and STALKED him on foot wearing RED & BLACK (known gang colors) with a gun. Any adult would have been placed in a fight/flight mode. This kid was a teen.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • karlheiz

      a 6'3 teenage football player afraid ? not likely.... A person could have just asked the guy following "what up".

      March 29, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      for all this stuff concerning a broken nose and blood
      my nose has been broken twice and never was there a drop of blood

      March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. N Tyler

    Steven Wonder is blind he can see that this was wrong.Its no thugs get real people his daddy a judge wow now i see why his not in jail.Look at the bare foot badge in Wa. state what would you call him.I rest my case.Zimmerman kill that child that it and thats all plain and simple.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      What country are you from?

      March 29, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. Punyman

    If Martin's girlfriend statement is real : " Why are you STOPPING me ? ", then this is contradictory with Zimmerman statement. Stooping does not mean in any way following. Her statement show clearly that Zimmerman actually has stopped Martin and therefore he was laying about the fact that he was back in his way to his vehicle. If Zimmerman statement was real then the girlfriend should state that she heard something like : " Why are you following me ? ". Her statement said all about in this this case. Police and Attorney General should know better this. I believe that will be some questions about this in court, and some answers as well. Personal, I believe what she has stated and just think about that....Somebody with a gun which is not a cop, is following and stopping you. He is not stopping you nicely, so you cellular phone is hitting the ground.....This sound like an aggravating assault for me. Just picture the rest off the story. One more question here , how somebody addressed already is where is the cell phone ? It is damaged so bad that nobody was able to read the address book so Martin's parents could be notified ?. If the phone was in police possession and it is not damaged, then no more questions, we can figure out everything....

    March 29, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. may3

    I have tons of questions for this case. Young black teens are being killed all over the country by whites, blacks, etc. This case isn't necessarily about race to me. It's about justice. There have been plenty public cases where there was not enough evidence for a conviction yet the criminal (usually a black male) gets punished. Not saying that blacks are the only criminals b/c there are definitely a lot of whites and hispanics in the prison system. They are revealing alleged wounds on Zimmerman that cannot clearly be seen on the video. I am a black female and I have a honey brown complexion. If my nose had been broken and I was as bald and had lighter skin as Zimmerman I would be badly bruised and swollen at the site of my injuries. That's common sense to any person with the described injuries. There was an article stating that Martin was face down in the grass as Zimmerman stood over him. Logically when someone is running and they get shot in the back that's how they end up face down. I have not read anything in the news about Martin's wounds from the altercation or where the bullet penetrated him etc. That would likely reduce the outrage if people know if Martin fought this man or if he was running away from this man. Looking at Zimmerman there it doesnt look as if an altercation occured. He looks like he just left the mall NORMAL! No blood splatters, no head gashes, no swelling at the site of injury. Having blacks in Zimmerman's family does not mean that he isn't racist. I have had moments when I feel prejudice or racist of my own race which is BLACK! Simply because of the way the world is today. Race is not always the issue. If anyone seems to be a threat to me I will have prejudices towards them and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I do not think Martin aka SLIMM could man-handle Zimmerman and beat his a** without a weapon of force. Why on earth would Zimmerman scream HELP if he had the means to help himself. He shot Martin because Martin was drawing attention to the altercation and he wanted him to shutup before someone came outside and realized what was really happening. There are many racial profiling cases such as the case of ROBBIE TOLAN look it up if you haven't heard of him!!! An unarmed teen shot and killed in his driveway by a WHITE police officer

    March 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • may3

      sorry he didn't die from this incident but the police office was not charged with anything in this incident just like Zimmerman will not be charged with anything.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • AC

      Please get ALL the facts before making judgement.

      Robbie Tolan is not dead. Tolan was shot because Tolan's mother was being hysterical and after police told her to stay back and not to interfere, she interfered and was being handled by the police. Robbie Tolan didn't like that and got up after police told him to lay on the ground. Tolan was shot for disobeying an order from a police officer thinking he was going to go for a gun or fight back with the police.

      With the Martin/ Zimmerman case, I hold my judgement until the facts are revealled. I don't care for Zimmerman, but not condemning a man before the facts are all on the table.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. may3

    There was a recent murder of a white teen in MS and there were three black males involved. No one was at the scene other than the suspects and the victim. But somehow the police figured it out and found the three suspects in FLorida, Memphis, and in JAckson, MS within a matter of days these ppl were found and arrested for this murder. There was a murder in Jackson, MS of a black man that was beaten and run over by an SUV by a group of white children. The cases go on and on and on.....People are ignorant if they cannot see the injustice and racism that is still going on in the US in 2012!!! Why wont people change? Why aren't there any gun control laws? 99% of guns are used for murdering not protection and not for hunting animals... People are hunting people with guns. And I have written a letter to congress about banning guns in the US but of course the Republicans shot it down saying it would hurt the NRA and would not stop crimes. It may not stop crimes but it damn sure will reduce them to a minimum. Unless people go back to good ol' lynching, that way you wont need any weapons

    March 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iesha Thomas

      You had me with you until the lynching comment. You would be suprised how many peoples mouths probably salivated with the mention of going back to lyinching. If they could.............they would. Oh, and it is not GOOD OL anything. As I stated in another comment, this crime against Martin, this type of racial profiling, has been going on for years. Only difference now is that blacks are fighting back......guess some our offended by that.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. may3

    Martin was 70 yards from being home with his family and the street where Zimmerman's car was parked was over 100 yards away so do you really think Martin attacked him and then ran all the way back to his house. or was he chased there by a man much larger than and a man that had been following him since he left the store. They are blaming Martin for getting is that possible?

    March 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    So much forCNN, and freedom of speech.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Iesha Thomas

    In my opinion, there are some very intentional manuevering going on. The fact that its a month later causes alot of the evidence to either not be collected and recall to be changed. No one knows what a person, who obviously had some personal stake in this teen walking through the neighborhood, said when he caught up with him. Going by the 911 call we were allowed to hear, I got the impression that Zimmerman concluded that this person would not get away.(because they always get away). None of know whether Martin saw the weapon Zimmerman had. If I were being followed and turned around to find out why you are following me, and throughout the conversation I see a weapon. None of us know whether while seeing a weapon if Zimmerman came off aggressively and scared Martin. I agree with one of the posters above that the mood of the police officers on the surveillance tape at the police station does appear to be very relaxed and comfortable. Zimmerman seems calm and cleaned up ( if you belive he was pulverized as he stated......later). Is this because he is the son of an ex judge? And, one last does someone who is prone to violence against law enforcement recieve a conceal to carry permit anyway? I carry the same permit, and there is a very thorough background check given before you get your permit. Going to anger management classes does not take the incident out of your file. Now, people have to be very careful. The non-verbal message given is that neighborhood watches have the right to follow you and approach you (whether politely or aggressively) determine you are a threat to them if you become angry ......and shoot you dead. Then, they can go home put a movie on and snuggle up in bed.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Frank

    People of the United States of America and President Obama,
    The New York Newspapers Crime Blotter sections are full of photos of Black Men in Hoodies comitting crimes on surveillence cameras.Check out the NY POST.How do you explain that REV AL?

    March 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
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