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. PaulENomial

    God bless the Martin family, and Trayvon our teenage hero who, on Feb 26th 2012, gave his life "standing his ground" for all of us, against a stalker who was mentally ill and unable to distinguish the difference between an actual criminal and someone just walking home from the store. *In honor of Trayvon Martin, a casualty in the War On Injustice*

    March 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PaulENomial

    God bless the Martin family, and Trayvon our teenage hero who, on Feb 26th 2012, gave his life "standing his ground" for all of us, against a stalker who was mentally ill and unable to distinguish the difference between an actual criminal and someone just walking home from the store. In honor of Trayvon Martin, a casualty in the War On Injustice.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Invyzabul

    It's never going to stop. Because people will never change their hearts. People will never let go of what ever greedy ambitions they have, they will never learn to function or appreciate others who are differnet then themselves. But, thank God almighty, we ARE different. Because, I wouldn't want so much hate or judgement in my heart. Has to be a sad, fraudulent, draining existance.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. redeemed

    Bottom line is Zimmerman was suppose to be arrested on the scene for shooting and killing someone instead of them just taking he word for it saying self defense. Either way, 3 people really knows what happened, Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, and GOD and He doesn't sleep or slumber and JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED one way or another because you are going to reap what you sow.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Perhaps justice has already been served. Ever thought about that? And, "stand your ground" is and was in place when Martin was killed. If Zimmerman felt threatened – then the law is on his side. If you don't like the law, change it. Apparently, some areas of this country need it. Here's a few thoughts for ya... if Martin looks like Obama's son – hypothetically, then do the two white british tourists gunned down on the street in sarasota while vacationing look like his sons too. Or, perhaps the killer looks like the president's son. Here's the issue. thousands have convicted zimmerman and the man has not even been charged. obviously, law enforcement, up to now, have enough evidence to say he acted under the provisions of the stand your ground law – otherwise, he would be in jail. our presidents likes to divide this country, anyway he can – racial divide, political divide, etc. zimmerman is as much as "minority" – as martin. personally, i think it's sad that a young man was killed. but i feel it is equally sad that another young man is hiding out because people are all about revenge. right now, if i was a juror of zimmerman's peers – i would side with him...and that's coming from someone who is also a minority!!!!

      March 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • MITPhD

      @Michael – Are you following this case? Did you listen to the 911 tapes? Did you watch the video of Zimmerman in the police station – no evidence of bloody nose, no blood on shirt, no abrasions on back of his head – although he said Trayvon banged it against the ground repeatedly? No sign of the grass or grass stains on the back of Zimmerman's jacket – even though he said he was forced down on the ground on a night when it was raining. Zimmerman's story does not match what little objective data we have so far. The autopsy will indicate whether or not there were marks on Trayvon's hands consistent with him punching Zimmerman repeatedly – as Zimmerman claims. Many (I believe even Jeb Bush) says this is not an appropriate application of stand your ground law. Stand your ground does not mean you can keep moving your ground as you chase after someone. BUT – all that – and I agree that the justice system should be allowed to work. Zimmerman should be arrested, have adequate legal representation, and a jury trial (or he may wish to make a plea bargain). But every law enforcement person I have seen comment on this have said there was more than enough evidence for an ARREST. Police sometimes make mistakes. No physical evidence taken at the scene. No photos taken at a fatal shooting. I have not heard anyone defend that as correct police procedure. And to let this guy walk away with his gun BEFORE a full investigation was done just defies logic.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. redeemed

    BOTTOM LINE GOD KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED AND HE WILL BRING JUSTICE HIS WAY.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. redeemed

    NO ONE CAN STOP GOD'S JUSTICE, NOT THE PROSECUTOR OR ANYONE ELSE.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    I keep hearing about the 'bottom line', that this guy should be arrested for defending himself. What has this country come to?
    The 'bottom line' is that this kid attacked this man, and died for it. Zimmerman was not arrested, because he did not break the law. He used -lawful- deadly force to protect his own life.

    Get off this race kick – this is about self-defense. Anyone who makes anything else out of it has their own agenda and should be ashamed of themselves.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alohawaii

      He played police officer when he shouldn't have. That is the part you left out. He will pay for that sooner or later, whether he is held responsible by the law or not. Justice can work even when those appointed to dispense it don't.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • MITPhD

      @Joe – How about the facts? Or don't those matter? See post above. Zimmerman's statement is inconsistent with what evidence we have so far (check out the police station video if you haven't seen it yet). And – very poor police work. No photographs taken at the scene of a fatal shooting? Really? A full investigation of a fatal shooting – with NO eye witnesses – does not happen in a few hours late on a Sunday night.
      Also – fact – known from 911 call – Zimmerman was following Trayvon – not the other way around. Fact Zimmerman had a gun – visable either in his wasteband or maybe in his hand. According to Zimmerman's father – a retired judge – Zimmerman told him that when Trayvon saw the gun Trayvon said he (Zimmerman) would die. Funny he did not mention this to the police – don't you think? Also – it would be very strange behavior for a 17 year old who sees a guy who out weighs him by 100 pounds (and is in good shape – see video from police station) with a gun to make that statement. And – before you go there – already reported no drugs in Trayvon's system. So – all these inconsistencies in Zimmerman's statement with the hard, objective evidence that has no "agenda." Why are you so ready to dismiss a fatal shooting without a full investigation? If someone you knew was fatally shot by a so-called Neighborhood Watch volunteer (although – well know that Neighborhood Watch are NOT suppose to carry guns and are NOT suppose to pursue suspects) wouldn't you want their to be a full investigation over at least a few days to make sure all the facts were known? if you are honest – you would. And if the statement of the shooter did not match the facts wouldn't you want there to be an arrest and a trial? It is my OPINION (note opinion – I do not state opinions as proven facts) that you must have an agenda if you are so willing to dismiss the fatal shooting of a teenager without a full investigation. And to do so as it certainly apprears that there are inconsistencies between Zimmerman's statement and the evidence. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THAT?!

      March 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dion Green

      now this is despite the fact that he followed the kid, confronted him, and had a weapon? at it is not weird to you at all that he had not visible blood on his shirt, noe a injury cosistent with stiches on the back of his head? what about the fact that he states on the phone (besisdes the possible racial slur) that "they always get away"? none of this was a factor? IMO, i think that yes Martin may have retaliated, but who wouldn't if some man was following you at night, in the rain, with a gun?

      March 30, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • kathleen

      You can't chase someone down and then claim self defense!!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. Self Defense?

    @Michael, I notice you keep referring to a 'black' kid attacking a white man, what if Zimmerman had mis-identified Martin as black while his hoodie was covering his face in the dusk shades, and that Martin turned-out to have been a white youth? Would your statements here on this site be the same, or would you now be in favor of the white youth defending himself, and attacking Zimmerman the latino?
    You see, you have a mighty big problem my friend, one that most people would consider racist. Sitting down behind a computer all of your boldness suddenly emerges, and flaring widely for all who read your comments to see. Yet, I'm sure if you were on the streets facing reality, you would probably not be so bold.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      don't cover your face
      don't act like a thug

      March 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steve

    profiling will now be the norm not the exception from this point on!

    March 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rebelyeller

    zimmerman is hispanic?

    March 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. remember who the real victim's are

    I have a question for some of you guys (self defense people) have anybody seen any of this so battered an bruised man? why was no pictures taken of the so called victim...where...anybody...the one video they showed don't even have any, i sorry but banging someones head on concrete is gonna bruise

    March 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nar

      The video of Zimmerman in the police station includes a part where he turns away from the camera and you can see the back - not just top - but actual back of his head. And yes, there's a cut. ABC ran the full video. CNN cut that part out. See for yourselves.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Nar

      Remember who - How do you know they didn't take pictures of Zimmerman? They probably did, but they didn't tell the media because they don't have to. Also, on the full version of the police station video you can see the cut on the back of Zimmerman's head.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scottish Mama

    Just saying, Trayvon Martin had a hoodie on. It was raining, I put my hoodie on when it rains.
    the parents said Trayvon did not have bruising on his knuckles, I hope they do a full autopsy and can tell how close Zimmerman was when he shot him. I also think it should be standard procedure for police to exert every option as with a murder every time. This is a mess and when you have police and investigators wanting to charge him and a procecutor who says no, what can you do but preserve all evidence to prove guilt or innocence.

    March 30, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Nar

      If Trayvon died soon after punching Zimmerman, there wouldn't be bruising on his knuckles because blood stops flowing at the moment of death.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. MITPhD

    @t-bone and others saying Trayvon assaulted Zimmerman PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR EVIDENCE! I have not seen or heard any evidence – other than Zimmerman's own statement – indicating Trayvon assaulted Zimmerman. AS MANY HAVE NOTED – the police video – objective evidence – shows Zimmerman shortly after the shooting without a bloody nose, with no blood on his shirt, with no grass or grass stains on the back of his VERY clean looking jacket, and with no abrasions or bruising on the back of his head. I have heard it was raining that night – can anyone confirm this? If so – how could he have been on his back – either on grass or concrete sidewalk – without stains on the back of his jacket? No one has produced any evidence I have read about to prove Zimmerman had a bloody nose. Very convenient that not photographs were taken at the scene of a fatal shooting – isn't it? Do you defend this as good police work? because hey – fatal shooting – may be a crime scene – may not be – why waste our time and effort collecting evidence – with proper chain of custody records now when maybe it isn't a crime scene. Right? You believe that? The autopsy will show whether or not Trayvon had injury to his hands consistent with repeatedly punching Zimmerman – as Zimmerman claims. AND – if Trayvon did fight with Zimmerman – how do you know that Trayvon might not be protected by the stand your ground law? Again – no eyewitnesses. So guy – who outweighs you by 100 pounds – and has a gun – has been chasing you. Doesn't Trayvon have the right to stand his ground and defend himself if he feels threatened?!! What is more threatening than a big guy with agun chasing you?!!!
    And t-bone – why do you keep lying until you get challenged – and then don't make any apology? You said Zimmerman went back to his SUV and was assaulted there until it was pointed out the shooting was not close to the SUV. You say Zimmerman said he was going back to his SUV after the dispatcher told him not to follow Trayvon – everyone who has listen to the tape knows that is a lie. And most egregiously you keep saying trayvon assaulted Zimmerman. Again – where is your evidence for this? PLEASE RESPOND WHERE IS EVIDENCE THAT TRAYVON ATTACKED ZIMMERMAN? Where? Post info where this is or admit you are a liar!!!!

    March 30, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Nar

      MITPhD - You will have to ask the police and the attorneys for the evidence. They collect it, they analyze it, they use it and they keep it. We only comment on what we read in the media. We've read many times that there was blood under Zimmerman's nose, on the back of his head. and his back was wet and had grass on it. However, we can't prove it. The police might be able to.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. MITPhD

    No evidence I know of that Trayvon assaulted Zimmerman. Plenty that seems to say he didn't – the video of Zimmerman shortly after the shooting. IF YOU KNOW OF EVIDENCE – PLEASE POST IT OR STOP SAYING IT!
    AND – I want to say this. Stand your ground laws – as I understand it – says if you feel threatened you can stand your ground and use deadly force to protect yourself. If some strange guy – that outweighs you by 100 pounds – and has a gun – was chasing you wouldn't you feel threatened? So if Trayvon stood his ground and fought back when Zimmerman confronted him – I say Trayvon is protected by the stand your ground law!!!!! Dispute that! There are no eye witnesses – but we do know that Zimmerman was following Trayvon – that is a fact – Zimmerman saw trayvon from his (Zimmerman's SUV). Shooting took place away from the SUV. Are you now going to tell me Trayvon dragged Zimmerman from his SUV over to the site of the shooting?

    March 30, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Nar

      How would we know the evidence? We weren't there! This is being handled by the legal system. We only know what's reported in the media.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. MITPhD

    Point I want to make. As far as I have read – no physical evidence was collected at the scene of the fatal shooting. Explain this to me! Fatal shooting. Police say – hey – why bother collecting evidence with proper chain of custody now because it might be self defense and thus not a crime scene. if it turns out to be a crime scene we'll come back later and collect evidence. Really!? You believe that?! Not even photographs! Of a fatal shooting scene. No evidence collected. No photos. Did not collect blood sample from Zimmerman's alleged bloody nose. No photos of Zimmerman's alleged grass stained jacket. No photos of the back of Zimmerman's head that allegedly was slammed against the ground repeatedly? Really? Who on here can defend that as correct police procedure? Who on here believes that is how the police would act at the scene of a fatal shooting where the shooter was black and the person fatally shot was white?

    March 30, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Nar

      We don't need to explain it to you - you explained it to yourself. You said, "As far as I've read..." Only a small amount of what the police, attorneys, etc., are doing and have done is released to the media. We probably know 20% of what they know. That's why it's so sad people are already deciding Zimmerman is guilty.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Nar

      MITPhD - The police are not obligated to release anything to the media. We don't need to explain it to you - you explained it to yourself. You said, "As far as I've read..." Only a small amount of what the police, attorneys, etc., are doing and have done is released to the media. We probably know 20% of what they know. That's why it's so sad people are already deciding Zimmerman is guilty.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
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