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. carter504

    How do you know someone looks like they are on drugs or something, with a hood on and from the back?

    April 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. carter504

    Sorry Jason, but those agencies would help a white person who sought them for Civil Rights violations. They were created to bridge the gap in the events like the Martin-Zimmerman injustice.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. just me thinking out loud

    both need justice

    April 12, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yneemee

    Obama better be praying the verdict of NOT GUILTY and the ensuing rioting, lotting and killing of whites, hispanics and asians happens AFTER the November election or he really wil be a one term President.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. just me thinking out loud

    both need justice.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. thomas e

    the kid was a punk and got what he deserved. Suspended from school, hoodie, gold teeth and burglar and he was such a nice young man. gangsta down and out. thanks zim for not backing down from those people.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debra

      Welcome to planet Earth. What planet are you from? Everything you condone will be reaped on your family. Be careful.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Belles

      Its always fun reading ONE-SIDED comments. I suppose the same can be said for Zimmerman? He had a felony criminal record! That's what he gets for not backing down to those who? What people? Young "punk" teens? Zimmerman, just 3 years older then Trayvon was arrested for resisting an officer with violence AND battery of a law enforcement officer. Then, he was accused of domestic violence by his own fiance! Aggressive much? So, this guy isn't exactly a charmer. By your greasy reasoning, ALL who have been suspended, have smoked a recreational drug, and wears a hoodie should be killed? Welp...there goes A LOT of good (and not so good) White kids in the burbs with their A & F and Hollister hoodies. I'd know a bunch of kids that should be murdered right now based on your standards. Funny....they aren't Black either. Some of them have been in trouble for theft too. With ACTUAL records. I find it interesting that Trayvon didn't have one of know, a criminal record!

      April 13, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • baby nikole's mom

      No one win's here. Tragic that 2 lives are gone because of somthing so senseless...Zimmerman should have just stayed in the car and let officers in uniform speak to the kid. If someone out of uniform addresses me with a gun...what in the 'hello kitty" do you think my reaction would be??? my guess would be...either stand my ground, and put my (dukes up)my fist, that is, OR haul a** and run, taking a chance of getting shot in the back. "HELLO KITTY" YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IN THE "HELLO KITTY" YOU WOULD HAVE DONE IF YOU WERE IN TRAYVON'S SHOES. STOP PRE-JUDGING AND DIGGING UP THIS BOY'S PAST....thats just what it is now...his past.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • baby nikole's mom

      I dont care if he was a punk-rocker, that pee-peed off the side of the bridge...that did not give Zimmerman OR anyone for that matter to shoot him. I think what makes this story so HORRIBLE to me, is the fact that all this boy brought to the fight was some "dag-nabbit" skittles and some freaking tea....IM STILL SHAKING MY HEAD AT THAT....

      April 13, 2012 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • L.

      Yeah you're a racist.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • notquitesoobvious

      The interesting thing that no one seems to bring up is why was Martin's backpack searched at school anyway? At least when I was in school, you had to have done "something" for school officials to search your backpack or locker. I know Martin's family doesn't want to bring that kind of stuff up, but this wasn't the completely angelic boy they portray him to be in the media. I wasn't a model student either, but I never had pot in my backpack.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Why do white people want to dictate what we can wear, how we can talk, etc? This is America, and he and all other black people can wear whatever they want to wear. They can have as many gold teeth as they can afford. None of that determines what kind of person one is. Do you have a problem with white kids wearing hoodies? They commit crimes too, but Trayvon didn't even have a record.

      I think you're just an ignorant, angry white man with little or no education, probably no job, and no one in your life to love you.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jammaster

      Meanwhile Dim Zim meets his new husband in jail.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Damon

      True definition of profiling

      April 13, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      April 13, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Judith

      @ Belles: It was Zimmerman not Martin who was arrested for assaulting a police officer.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • OKC

      Thank you.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fleming5

      i hope you never have to feel the pain that Trayvon's parents feel. No matter what he had done in the days, weeks, months, or years prior to his death, no one deserves to be judged by what they are wearing or the color of their skin. Please don't forget he was on his way to the place he was visiting with his father (his home for a couple of days). If that's all it takes to judge all white people can be called rapist, thieves, murderers, and he list goes on just because of slavery & the "discovery" of America. The ignorance disease is contagious, please contain it inside yourself. Thanks

      April 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Obvious

    I don't understand what's so hard about this. If police dispatch tells you to stand down, you stand down. Even if Trayvon did attack Zimmerman, of which I have a lot of doubt, we've all heard the 911 tapes. Zimmerman was chasing him down while he was on the phone with the dispatcher, who told him to wait for police. Self defense doesn't include chasing some one down after an attack, fight, argument, whatever. Most of us who have been following this wanted exactly this- for Zimmerman to be put on trial. Now the chance is there. Now a jury will decide his ultimate fate. I hope the Martin family will get some answers and some closure, regardless of what happens from here.

    For those of you still arguing in Zimmerman's defense, let me ask you this. If some one walked up to you, pushed you down, punched you and ran away, how would you react? You might get up and chase them to punch them back, but I don't think many of you are answering that you're going to chase them down and shoot them. Now imagine you're young, and some one you don't know is following you after dark on your way home from the store. If Trayvon did attack, don't you think he was scared? Punching Zimmerman in the face sounds more like "standing your ground." I would be prepared to fight some one following me in the middle of the night if I didn't think I could run away.

    Lastly, it's neighborhood watch. That means you call the police if you see something that's not right. You don't follow, approach, investigate, confront, or anything else other than watch.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • scorpio6114

      I just wished Trayon would have call 911 instead of his girlfriend, or why didn't she call the police!

      April 13, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • baby nikole's mom

      EXACTLY!!!!!! ....Thats the exact same thing I just posted before scrolling down reading your post....this was my posting, as follows....................No one win's here. Tragic that 2 lives are gone because of somthing so senseless...Zimmerman should have just stayed in the car and let officers in uniform speak to the kid. If someone out of uniform addresses me with a gun...what in the 'hello kitty" do you think my reaction would be??? my guess would be...either stand my ground, and put my (dukes up)my fist, that is, OR haul a** and run, taking a chance of getting shot in the back. "HELLO KITTY" YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IN THE "HELLO KITTY" YOU WOULD HAVE DONE IF YOU WERE IN TRAYVON'S SHOES. STOP PRE-JUDGING AND DIGGING UP THIS BOY'S PAST....thats just what it is now...his past.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • davidjo

      we don't even know if Zimmerman got punched. firing a gun at close range, he could of very well broke his own nose.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
    • notquitesoobvious

      The 911 dispatcher is not a police officer nor has any power. Yes, they did recommend that he stand down, but there is no legal obligation to do that. It is the same as if Zimmerman had been on the phone with his brother who said, look, you better not follow, just wait for the police – again, there is no legal obligation to heed those words. If Martin was walking on someone's property (yard I assume) then Martin is trespassing and Zimmerman as the neighborhood watch does have cause to investigate. While it is a tragedy for sure, perhaps Martin should not walk on other people's property at 11 o'clock at night when it is difficult to discern who he is... doesn't matter what color he was. Trespass is trespass.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Thank you for being a voice of reason and posting an intelligent comment.

      There is a lot of hate in a lot of these comments, and it's good to have a thinking, rational person making a comment.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Harris Tweed

    Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. UVikingsLost

    When you read the "affidavit of probable cause" filed in this case for second degree murder, the story is different than what George Zimmerman told police. George Zimmerman will have a difficult time in this case because Zimmerman is the one pursuing Trayvon Martin on that horrible night of the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.

    God Bless all involved.

    My deepest condolences go out to the Trayvon Martin family and friends.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Murphy

      ...and my deepest condolences to the family of George Zimmerman.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. baby nikole's mom

    This is a lose-lose case..............................No one win's here. Tragic that 2 lives are gone because of somthing so senseless...Zimmerman should have just stayed in the car and let officers in uniform speak to the kid. If someone out of uniform addresses me with a gun...what in the 'hello kitty" do you think my reaction would be??? my guess would be...either stand my ground, and put my (dukes up)my fist, that is, OR haul a** and run, taking a chance of getting shot in the back. "HELLO KITTY" YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IN THE "HELLO KITTY" YOU WOULD HAVE DONE IF YOU WERE IN TRAYVON'S SHOES. STOP PRE-JUDGING AND DIGGING UP THIS BOY'S PAST....thats just what it is now...his past.

    April 13, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. PRussell

    What is so funny here is that most of America is usually really pro law enforcement and pro prosecution, but when the victim is a 17 Black kid the tide turns and the shooter becomes the victim and even the prosecutor is accused of being over zealous, over charging and the shooter is truly given the privilege of innocent until proven guilty. In cases after case we see public opinion deeply leaning towards the prosecution, but not in this case. Amazing!

    April 13, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jammaster

      Amazing that an man with multiple arrests for violent behavior shoots and. Unarmed 17 year for walking to the store t get candy?
      You are either a fool or a shill.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jacaranda

    This tragedy is heartbraking!
    But why, for heaven's sake, didn't they just have a fist fight? I mean, George Zimmerman had a gun, Trayvon Martin was armed with iced tea and skittles. Even if Trayvon was first to attack George, – well I guess he was frightened. But both were strong men. And the police was on the way to the site.
    RIP Trayvon!

    April 13, 2012 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. SAINTS2012

    IF Zimmerman's account of following Martin, losing him and then being attacked while returning to his vehicle are accurate, the moment Martin attacked Zimmerman, Martin became the aggressor and therefore Zimmerman's actions prior to that are invalid. Zimmerman allegedly never struck, pushed or attacked Martin, just followed which is NOT a criminal act. For those that think so, show me the Florida Revised Statute that says so!!!

    This case had nothing to do with racism UNTIL the media and race baiters like sharpton, jackson, stupid panther party turned it into a racial issue. Black America should stand up and put jackson, sharpton and the stupid panther party in their place. JUST as everyday White Americans do not agree with the neo nazi's and white supremacist. They DO NOT speak for me or 99% of the whites that I know nor will I sit back and let them either. Blacks should do the same. Racism is not going to go away in this country if EVERY time an incident comes up, the first excuse is "oh he only shot him because he's black" or whatever is said.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      April 13, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • MEEKA


      April 13, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • OKC

      Thank you....the day after the letter said there was an on-going investigation.
      Justice through intimidation is not justice......where are these people when a 17 yo black kidis killed by another....or a 6 month old baby is killed on her couch in her home. Where is jessie and al then????

      April 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John Miller

    "No one wins"? We all win – two bottom dwellers of our society are gone – booyah!

    April 13, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Damon

      I thought the headline read "Martin and Zimmerman"! Not "John Miller and close associate".

      April 13, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. Alexia

    This is for notquitesoobvious, it was just a little after 7:00 pm.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
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