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. Jennifer

    This is NOT just about race. This is about a grown man following and shooting a child. I would donate to the Black Panthers bounty if I could – and FYI – I am white...

    March 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • phearis

      Wow, you're completely ignorant of the facts:
      This "Child" as you put it was 17, the photos you've seen are of him when he was 12 and 13.
      This "Child" was 7 inches taller than Mr Zimmerman.
      This "Child" was under suspended from school for drug possession.
      This "Child" had burglars tools and women's jewelry in his back pack.
      This "Child" had a toxicology report done and had marijuana in his system at the time of his death.
      This "Child" had been detained by police for tagging gang signs.
      This "Child" attacked Mr Zimmerman and went for his gun when confronted.

      So next time, know the facts before you make yourself look stupid again.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mij

      Do us and your country a favor, don't vote this election, jerk.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • White Person

      Seems like the child was more grown up than the man....Homie, and I am white.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      How about waiting for the investigation to be done and a trial to be held if it warrants. allowing this to be tried in the media is wrong. .People are making assumpitons now knowing everything.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • koldobika2020

      @Jennifer the black panther bounty is for either "dead or alive". You are pathetic and disgusting to support such a heinous thing. The new black panther party is designated a virulently racist (anti-white) domestic militant organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center. You are foolish and naive.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • captain obvious

      yea well you're also a women...

      March 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Jennifer, would you call him a child if he was raping you?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • BMcGee

      Wow, Phearis, you seem to be very creative with your "facts". Martin was at the most 5 inches taller. Look at the police report, it even says 6'. He was on suspension for having a baggy with marijuana residue (true). After the murder, his drug test came back clean. No tests were done on Zimmerman, against protocol. The backpack issue was in Miami and no charges were filed. The tagging thing you must have just made up. You don't know how old the pictures are that have been published, but ones many of you talk about with gold teeth and gangster stuff are of another Trayvon in a different city, different FB account. You say Martin attacked Zimmerman, well, that is your opinion. It is certainly not a fact.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • oliver

      @phearis and you simply have all the facts? wow

      April 2, 2012 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Damon


      Wow, you're completely ignorant of the facts:
      This "Child" as you put it was 17, the photos you've seen are of him when he was 12 and 13. (maybe no updated pics)
      This "Child" was 7 inches taller than Mr Zimmerman. (Tyson was shorter than average HW)
      This "Child" was under suspended from school for drug possession. (same Thing goes on in major colleges also)
      This "Child" had burglars tools and women's jewelry in his back pack. (maybe the kid fix lawn mowers for cash)
      This "Child" had a toxicology report done and had marijuana in his system at the time of his death. (THC is in most system if your around it, the level of is what counts)
      This "Child" had been detained by police for tagging gang signs. (all graffiti is not gang signs)
      This "Child" attacked Mr Zimmerman and went for his gun when confronted. (was you there, every story got two sides)

      Debunked or not!

      April 13, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. b d

    The parents intentionally have flooded the media with pcitures of him before he went thuggish.. because they knew if people saw who he is now, they wouldn't be as sympathetic.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • BMcGee

      Pictures that are circulating are of a different person, not Martin. Even if he did look "thuggish", he was walking down the street minding his own business, in a place he had a right to be.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dean

    An address that was thought to be the location of Zimmerman was actually an elderly couple who are now fearing for their lives. This is why mob rule is VERY dangerous. We need the officials to do their and wait for all the data. As we can see information is changing from day to day.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Police need to charge the address poster with a hate crime!

      March 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • chirssy

      ya, and then the dumb a$$ spike lee, twitted the address to all his followers , he should go to jail

      March 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brad

    the outrage over this killing, quite frankly, outrages me. This is the most media hyped nonsense I have ever seen. Why did CNN not mention Zimmerman's broken nose? Or the gash on the back of his head? Isn't that relevant? And don't call trayvon a child, alright? he was a 6'3" football player. This was clearly self defense.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      CNN didn't report that information at first because it hadn't been leaked yet. Once the information was leaked, CNN reported it.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Dan, they didn't report it or edit their earlier reports with the facts until WELL after it was pointed out in their forums! And they STILL report him as unarmed! I would like to hit the reporter in the face with a one pound can of tea and see if he still thinks it isn't a weapon!

      March 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • tinisha

      Brad How do you know it was self defense unless you were there. Also, you are confusing two pictures together. THere was one pick of Trayvon at an earlier age wearing a football jersey and then the picture of him being older. No reports have been released that state that he was currently on the football team. So you are jumping to conclusion just like everyone else. No one really knows what happened that night but Treyvon, George Zimmerman and God. The thing that I find interesting is that they intially wanted to charge him and his story was not credible to the investigating officer. That says a lot. Anyway wait for all the information to come out before you decide that Treyvon attacked him. Just because ZImmerman said it happened does not make it so. By the way legally you are not an adult until you reach the age of 18 no matter how big you are, Just because he was 6'3 dos not mean he was not still a child.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • PHT

      I guess you didn't see the news this evening. It showed Zimmerman after the shooting at the police station with no bloody nose or cut in the back of his head. Plus he had no blood on his shirt.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Look at the video ABC News released of the surveillance video at the police station after the incident.
      No gash on the back of his head.
      No broken nose.
      Not one speck of blood on his shirt, I have never seen a broken nose that WASN'T a bit bloody...
      His story doesn't pass the smell test.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bubbah

      Brad doesn't want to see the police video.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafee

      you see the video brad? where are the bandages? if someones nose is broke blood will continue to flow, if someone head beat against concrete his head will bleed. there are no bandages, hell doesn't even look like he was in a fight.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • DelawareLdy

      Have you seen the video from the police station taken 2 hours after the incident...No bloody cuts to the back of the blood on his clothes...I'm thinking if they were in a struggle and trayvon was on top of him when he shot...there had to be some blood evidence...but I am going to refrain from speculation. Just look at the video, does he look like he was in a life or death struggle?

      March 29, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • oliver

      what was zimmerman doing stalking a 6'3 football player

      April 2, 2012 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Eloe

    Zimmerman can claim anything, since he silenced the only other eyewitness. A lot of his claims are doubtful compared to the plain facts, as how he was attacked by Martin so close to where the boy stayed at the time, or why he was standing over Martin, who lay face down in the grass, moments after the shot fell.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • nawlinsman

      BAM! I would have shot him too....

      March 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      You mean he killed the OTHER people who saw and heard what happened?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dean

    "officials to do their job"

    March 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sentimentalsilver

    Wow... nice to see so many attorneys here... oh wait.

    Remember, Innocent until proven guilty. This applies to everyone or no one.
    Let a jury decide.
    Al Sharpton, the Black Panthers, etc. all need to practice what they preach.
    Equality for justice means just that.
    Let the courts decide who is guilty and everyone else chill out.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • DelawareLdy

      Someone has to be arrested and charged before that can happen. That is the issue here, that's all his parents want, they want him arrested. Somehow with all the cries of outrage...the reason that this has even come to the fore is because no one was arrested. Its not about a hoodie, or race, its about the way the case was handled, If someonce came to you and said your son is dead but we are not going to arrest the killer because he said it was self defense, and you know that your son was just going to the store and coming right back...ummm would you just say ok..and move on or would you want real answers, a real investigation?

      March 29, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. keith

    Know ALL the facts before you make a judgment. This article releases only some of the facts. There is more to know. What if Zimmerman is arrested, tried, and found not guilty by a jury? Do we have a bounty on him anyway?

    March 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • DelawareLdy

      That's the thing, all his parents want is an arrest, a serious investigation, and if warranted charges, and a trial. All this other stuff..the hoodie...race...all they've ever wanted is for the Sanford PD to treat there sons case like it mattered. That is a fact that has been lost in all the media hype. On the one hand I'm sure they are glad that something is being done, but on the what cost? Thier son the victim is being slandered in death, called everything from a thug to a drug dealer...and he's never been in trouble with the law. All he did on the evening of February 26 was wallk to the store and walk back home..or at least try and he never made it back. Instead he ends up dead, the killer is allowed to go free, and they are told it was self defense and we believe the killer because he has a clean record.... Come on if it were your son, would you let it go at that?

      March 29, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. koldobika2020

    @Jennifer the black panther bounty is a "dead or alive" bounty. You are disgusting to support such a thing.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jsfatl

    My observation is Zimmerman's friend Frank Taaffe looks like a very bitter man, full of hatred in this white man's face. One kid (a guest) is death on his ground, and I see no remorse, emotion or sympathy from this man.
    He kept saying numerous burglaries committed by black males, I guess he is trying say-some bad blacks equates to all blacks are bad. Wonder if he's the mentor of the killer.
    Mr. Taaffe's statement should only be interpreted as Sanford police are incompetent and did not serve them well that's why they have to police the area themselves. If Sanford police is incompetent in serving, what make you think they can handle a murder case.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Neon

    The black panthers have as much power as the girls scouts of america.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JP

    Uh oh! They were BOTH minorities. As far as I know, an assailant has to be white to be charged with a hate crime. Too bad – it's just gonna be a regular homicide, if that. I'm sure the media and the black community are heartbroken over the fact that they can't cry and moan about how everybody hates them. Maybe next time, there's always hope.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bubbah

      Anyone can be charged with a hate crime. It does not apply to whites only, dude.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dolores

    There is a coverup as Zimmerman father is a retired judge and mom worked for the courts in a deputy position in Virginia. Zimmerman is not a Hispanic name as his father is white and mom is Puervian..They need to throw him under the jail cell for ending a young life the way he did. Trayvon was pleading for his life and Zimmerman killed him. The State Atty needs to be fired too as he is involve in the coverup.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • RJ

      So you were there? You know everything that went down?
      Or are you one of the lemmings that believes everything you see and hear on TV?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarcasmo

      Oh shut up Delores. Quit regurgitating the bits and pieces of controversial gossip you've heard on Facebook. You don't have any of the facts, you weren't there, you aren't a witness, and you don't know anything about this guy's dad. So instead of logging on to the internet to throw more fuel on an already raging (and probably 30% accurate) fire, go make dinner for all of your cats.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      actually it was zimmerman crying for help, as all reports have stated and been confirmed. get your facts straight. the kid was a pot smoking thug, who has a history of violent outbursts at his school.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Trayvon was pleading for his life....really, you witnessed it. People need to stop acting like they know what really happened.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Eye witness reports that Treyvon was on top of Zimmerman beating him when Zimmerman was screaming for help. Treyvon reached for Zimmermans gun, and thats when Zimmerman shot him. Throw the racist black preachers and the Black Panther Party in jail for inciting racism.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russell

      What are you talking about Dolores? At least one eye-witness that actually SAW the altercation has stated that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman and pounding away on him. Trayvon was the one that started the physical confrontation and Zimmerman was defending himself with the only means available; a gun he carried.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Congrats Sherlock, you cracked the case. You are the smartest person in the US because not even the DOJ or FBI have presented anything to counter.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Dolores....... How do you know all this ??? I don't see where you mention the marijuana usage and suspended from school along with other issues this kid had...... You have become racist also !!

      March 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • loudebua

      Dolores, are you 100% sure that Ziimmerman's Dad is a retired judge? How come this has never came up in the earlier articles? Based on this article and what you said of Zimmerman's Dad's stature, I want to put more of the blame to the district attorney's office. Do the district attorney and retired judge Zimmerman know each other? I wonder....

      March 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      yeah Delores, and the government is secretly spraying the inner cities with sickle cell anemia from drones...

      March 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • bubbah

      Dolores is correct. Zim is half-white/half peruvian, and his dad was a former judge. Look it up!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • DelawareLdy

      Sloppy investigation yes...cover up no.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. memcats

    The lead investigator did not believe that it was self defense and believed that racial profiling took place the night Trayvon was gunned down by the cold bloodied killer Zimmerman. I got a feeling that this case is about to break wide open. Zimmerman has changed his story to often, and to many things just don't add up.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melvin Painter

      Where the heck did you get that one from?

      March 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. B

      Melvin, he got it from an article that was published earlier today! And it did say that the lead homicide investigator DID NOT, I repeat, DID NOT believe Zimmermans version and recommended he be arrested and charged with Manslaughter. So or those out there who arent INVESTIGATORS, which is pretty much all of us, if the lead homicide detective who is trained to look at facts, interrogate, and come up with a reasonable conclusion based on these things, can see through this story, then why all the debate!! lol

      March 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pasigiri

    The biggest point of all of this is that this would have NEVER happened had Zimmerman just sat tight and let the police handle it like the dispatcher insinuated. I don't care how "thugged out" Trayvon appeared to be.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      yea, wait around for the police to come...good idea..just what the badguys would like to happen

      March 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. B

      you know when people decide to take on the role of law enforcement, they insert themselves in situations they are not trained to handle! They either end up committing murder (and calling it self defense, because after all they arent trained to apprehend or question anyone), or becoming the murder victim themselves.. in this case we will go with the first!

      March 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
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