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. James Foley

    zero mention of the toxicology report in these links

    March 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Forz

    CNN, where's the outrage or reporting on 21-year-old John Sanderson of Madison, Miss., who was shot to death in a Mississippi State University dormitory. In his dorm...C'mon!

    March 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsRell

      Lol.....because the guy was caught the NEXT DAY....and is being tried for capital murder.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • One must be fair

      Right on. But CNN is very one sided so it won't be reported

      March 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Vick©™

      You reported it already. Thank you. Good luck getting 2 million supporters.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • shotel

      In that case, the local authorities seem to actually be doing their job. An investigation is in progress, ARREST have been made, and the trigger men will have their day in court to prove their innocence. The prosecution there just didn't take the word of the trigger men. Can you understand the difference??

      March 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • rds

      the suspects have already been arrested, so I'm not understanding what you have to be outraged about. Now if the suspects were allowed to go free then you would need to be outraged.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hunter

    It does sound as if Trayvon got in Zimmerman's face after being stalked by Zimmerman, punched him knocking him to the ground and then beating his head. I think Zimmerman was the one yelling for help and Martin was on top of him. Zimmerman went for his gun and shot Martin. None of this changes ANYTHING however. Zimmerman shouldn't have been carrying a gun in the first place trying to play cop! Zimmerman shouldn't have stalked someone innocently walking down the street bothering nobody, simply because he was a black youth. And the police should have done a lot more investigating, and the states attorney's office should have Zimmerman arrested so he can be prosecuted in a court of law and let a jury decide what, if any, crime he committed. Martin may not have been an angel, but he did not deserve to die for simply walking in this neighborhood where an over-zealous cop wanna be was looking for trouble.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      He shouldn't have been carrying a gun? Why? Because you said so? I am not advocating that this shooting was justified, but he held a VALID CCW permit from the local authorities to carry that concealed weapon. He was well within the parameters of the law on that issue. Why do you and other continue to espouse that position? Simply because you disagree with it?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Actually, his possesion of a gun isn't the issue. His choices pre-altercation are. Every citizen has the right to carry a gun for self defence. You should have one too, but you should also seek out all the training and experience you can get. You should also listen to those with more training and experience than yourself, something Zim didn't do when he was advised to stay back and wait for law enforcement backup. If there were problems with his behavior as a watch member it was also the responsability of his nieghbors and fellow watchers to check him. Treyvon had the right to find out what this guy was doing following him around, but if he attacked him he put the burdon of self defence on Zim, who for whatever reason and despite all criticism is alive, his main personal perogative. This is a manslaughter case , not murder. A suspended or light sentance with a prolonged probation is the judicial standard in these types of cases when they aren't politicized. In this case of course all bets are off. that is the real problem with this case, the standards were unestablished in the minds of local law enforcement and that left it open to all manner of politicization, muddy waters aren't the place to find a clean or satisfying ending for us all.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Vick©™

      If Martin went for Zimmerman's gun, there should be some finger print on that gun. Then the case should be closed.

      But the jury will need a lot of convincing on how a 140 pound skinny boy (140lb is very skinny for 6'3") was able to take down a 5'9" 250 pound man. I'm 5'4" and 180 pound. I don't think you can find a 70 pound boy who can take me down.

      Like you said, Zimmerman is ill qualified to play cop.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hunter

      Yes, he should not have been carrying a gun even though he had a CCW. Had he not had the gun, he would not have killed an innocent child. But because he did have a gun, he thought he was a big man who could harass someone simply walking through the complex. I do not like guns but I realize it is a citizens right. And with that right, these types of tragedies happen. If Zimmerman was a real man, he wouldn't need a gun and might have to have acted appropriately.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rav

      Zimmerman was part of the neighborhood watch, I would have followed Martin as well. Stereotypes are just that, but more then often there correct. Had there been recent criminal activities in this community to put Zimmerman on guard?

      It's obvious that Martin had to physically attack Zimmerman, as if Zimmerman had the intentions of killing Martin he would have shot him from a distance and not be on the phone with 911.

      Should know by know the government and the police are corrupt beyond belief.

      This is very much a racial case, look at all the defense of Martin
      There all black why is that? Oprah , Obama

      But Zimmerman has every color defending him..... What gives?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kalak

      Zimmerman was appointed captain of the neighborhood watch by the homeowners association. So in this PRIVATE, gated community, he had not only every right, but also a responsibility to find out what Martin was doing there and where he was going.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. harleydavidson

    and obama interjecting his prejudicial comments did not help. instead of him calling for civility, as the leader of this country, he is almost inciting a riot. i almost think he is purposely doing so to cause chaos. so he can declare martial law and stay in power.

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

      Is that you, Margaret? Did you stop taking your meds again? Last time you went off your meds, you were ranting about Obama being born in Kenya, before that, it was that Obama had Breitbart killed, before that you were circulating a hit-list of people Clinton supposedly had killed. Check yourself back into the hospital before you start seeing black helicopters on the horizon.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Voice of reason

      Why is it obvious. He he had shot from a distance he couldn't have claimed that he was "standing his ground" and he wouldn't be sure of getting the kill

      March 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. steve

    lots of hate on these forums

    March 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. thomiss

    The Sanford police should be held accountable. They are as much as fault as Zimmerman. They tried to cover up a murder. They should all be prosecuted and sent to prison along with Zimmerman . An as for the City Manager and Mayor, should be prosecuted along with Lee and all the other cops who tried to cover up this murder by Zimmerman. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fox

      How EXACTLY was this covered up? Idiot.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |

    Why so much hate on these comment boards. This country is so divided, and lets just wait and see before we pass judgement. As a father, i would feel really uncomfortable realizing my child can't go to the store and come back in one piece.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Realist 2

      So much hate and preconceived notions about other people. Makes me sick....

      March 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Caramelo

    So is it true that George Zimmerman’s father is retired Supreme Court magistrate Judge Robert J. Zimmerman; and his mother, Gladys Zimmerman, is a court clerk? Is this why he hasn’t been arrested? Why hasn’t this information been broadcasted anywhere? Why is this being kept hush-hush?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    Zimmerman has gone from being White, to White Hispanic, to now Hispanic according to this article. The media is trying to CHANGE THE TONE OF THIS STORY. LOL just absolutely funny

    March 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Weareone

    Just put on the opposit way. If Zimmerman didn't cary a gun then the dead person is Zimmerman. Is that fair? My question was how Trayvon could manage to get into the security gate? Did someone open the gate for him or he just got over the fence to visit his father fiancee?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie's Angel

      Maybe he had a key. In a different reality to yours, black people are allowed to do that

      March 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Voice of reason

      If Zimmerman weren't carrying a gun – noone would be dead.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • smh

      why would the dead person be zimmerman? that makes no sense whatsoever. Zimmerman started all of this. If he would have stayed in his place and let the police attempt to do their job, then this boy would still be alive. But NOOOO He had to act out his wannabe cop fantasy.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nolia.Slim

      If Zimmerman didn't carry a gun he probably wouldn't have confronted the 6'3 black teenager with a hoodie. He would have stayed his fat butt in the car and listened to the 911 operator and waited for the police.

      Trayvon Martin had more justification for "standing his ground" than Zimmerman did.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      He was there to visit his father so I am sure the security had his name on a list or was informed. Security gates are designed control cars and is fairly easy to get into gated communities on foot.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rav

      I'd rather be caught with a gun then without one.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • V-man

      If GZ wasn't carrying a gun, he would be dead because TM was beating him to death according to an eyewitness. If TM had just called the police instead of resorting to violence, this wouldnt have happened. By all accounts of GZ, if TM had just had a halfway civil conversation instead of attacking GZ, this would not have happened.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. t

    Kinda disturbing the number of judge, jury, and executioners in the room...guess travon must be innocent since he's a cute kid eh? well I've seen cute kids his age beat people to death.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Voice of reason

      Where would that be? Last time you were in jail? Or maybe it was just a movie.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • cbelcher800


      Your statement that blacks never side with whites in a black vs. white disagreement is simply not true. I don't do that and I was listening to a sermon of my deceased fathers and in it he told the congregation that blacks can not continue to blame whites for everything bad that happens to them. Hopefully, you will take these words to heart but it is up to you. By the way, I can't control how other black people act so I won't say I expect you to run into black people in the future who think like me. Not all black people think alike.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brad

    How did the Sanford Police try to cover it up? They submitted evidence to the State Attorney. The State Attorney said there was not enough evidence to prosecute. Or are you just looking into your crystal ball and seeing that they destroyed evidence? Did the Police possibly do a less than stellar job investigating? They could have done better, but that does not mean they chose which evidence to submit and which evidence to "forget".

    March 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • BMcGee

      Sanford Police did not really do much of an investigation. They took the word of Zimmerman. They did toxicology tests on Martin, background check on Martin, and none of that on Zimmerman, which is protocol in any shooting. Initial reports are they led the witnesses' questioning at the scene. They had Trayvon's phone, but did not call any of the last numbers to investigate (where they could have discovered his girlfriend was on the phone with him at the time of the altercation). They listed Martin as John Doe and let him sit in the morgue while his parents were looking for him for days. Again, they had his phone. The police chief said they were 'prohibited" from arresting Zimmerman since he claimed self defense. I don't know if they collected any dna, fingerprint, clothing or other evidence, I have not heard it reported. Police also refused to let the parents listen to the 911 calls or give them investigative information until they involved the media.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. t

    you will never convince a black that a black is guilty in a black vs. white case. I'm sorry but that's just the sad truth and nature of racism in this country.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • tinisha

      @t unless you have come across every black person in America you cannot say that. And the comment makes you sound a litte racist yourself. Just like not all white people are bigots not all black people hate white people.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guy Martial

      you don't know what you are talking about. Lots of black people know OJ was guilty.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    Seems like another example of the standard media sponsored race baiting that leads to no good. At first, it was that a black teenager was gunned down by someone who isn't black, so obviously it's racially motivated. Now everyday it seems like the story gets muddier and muddier with the victim probably sharing some of the responsibility of the tragedy. I'm not saying I think Zimmerman should walk, but I'm also not willing to execute him either. The point is that I, nor you know all the details of the case so we should just shut up and let the system work.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dev

      You realize that the system itself is under question here. An unarmed 17 year old gets followed and then shot and the system decided to do nothing about it. The purported killer accepts that he followed and then shot this unarmed teenager but he adds that he did so in self-defense. Shouldn't there be atleast some sort of checks on whether killing an unarmed teenager was necessary. Or is it that the life of certain teenagers is just not important enough in our great nation.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. thesonman

    To the Martins, I am so sorry for your loss. To Zimmerman, you will have to live with this the rest of your life. To the rest of you out there in comment land, You ALL are a pethedic joke!

    March 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
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