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. Kat

    II truly think this issue is bigger than just racial backgrounds. If anyone (black, white, green, yellow) would have shot someone in middle of the chest , in middle of a gated community, while the other individual was carry candy and drink they would have been arrested. And they would have to prove it was self defense. And any police department would have down an efficient investigation in order to prove whether it was self-defense; or manslaughter; or murder. It seems to me this guy George Zimmerman knows someone, in order for an entire police department to just not do their jobs. I know this Sanford police department has had racial incidents before. But even in the case that took place in 2010, the guy (Justin Collins) who beat up the black homeless guy, was the son of a Lt on the sandford police dept. I guarantee if he (Justin Collins) would have beat up white/hispanic/asian homeless guy , this Sandford police department would have still overlooked the incident. Why ? Because it seems like they make there own rules and it is all who you know!!! Zimmerman has some very good connections and that is the reason why he never got arrested and why he will never serve one day jail.

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

      Finally a comment with logic behind it.....there is an underlying issue of black men who are profiled. I am black myself and have seen this happen first hand with my brother. But this case has SOOO many layers to it. There were wrongs done on Zimmerman's part but he clearly has some type of connection or protection from their police system for it to be taking this long to resolve something. I think it was incredibly IDIOTIC of them not to do simple protocol to safeguard themselves. It seems like they thought it was just going to be swept under the rug with out further pushing of the matter. But like you said there is something deeper going on with this case that just so happens to be concurrently showing a lot more skeletons in the closet than it probably was meant to.

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

      So Kat, you were there? You know everything about the case that the public doesn't? You know exactly what happened because you were there, witnessed the whole thing and have deep connections so you know everything about George Zimmerman? NO, I thought so. You and everyone else who THINKS they know what happened need to shut up. Anyone posting without ACTUALLY LOOKING INTO ALL THE FACTS should get a lobotomy because you're basically already lobotomized without having the procedure, then you can make it official. Pure idiots posting here, NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE WHAT HAPPENED, SO S T F U until we know what happened.

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

      if thats the case, i wouldnt be surprised if riots happened.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • traymond

      Wrong, Trayvon was a punk and got what he deserved. Its only because CNN constantly shows a picture of Trayvon when he was 12 years old, do people react this way. Look at one his most recent pictures – this was not a child. Black teens around his age are the most dangerous elements in our society. Based on the facts, young Trayvon picked the wrong guy to mess with – and our streets are safer now that he's gone. If we all had the courage to act like Zimmerman, our streets would be safer. Who needs the police? we can protect ourselves.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coach670

      I read somewhere that Zimmerman is the son (or grandson) of a retired magistrate/judge.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. George Patton

    Zimmerman is not guilty. The kid asked for trouble and Z defended himself. The outcome was what it should be. God bless Zimmerman for standing up for his rights. We need more people like him and maybe crime rates would go down.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Rowe

      This is a sad way to feel especially when this child was walking through the community having broken no law. Maybe someone should gun down your child for doing nothing, and your God can bless that person.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. P

      Your God must be Satan.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrB

      If anyone was asking for trouble, it was Zimmerman.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Outraged

      George, you are so stupid and a disgrace. you disgust me. If this was a member of your family you would be out fighting for justice as well. You do not go looking for trouble and when someone reacts you kill them, that does not give you and anyone else the right to provoke someone then kill them. the way you think you are unhuman. I will pray for you because obviously you are demented maybe because of you guys share the name George

      March 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jennifer Goodpaster

    This whole thing sickens me. It doesn't matter what color of skin you have. The fact of the matter is that young man was jumped for no reason by some stupid person who has a complex with being the law. I mean, did it make him feel good to follow a young man and intimidate him because he was walking with a hoodie? Really.....They should have thrown the book at this so called neighborhood watchman. This poor kid was just walking. I don't care what is on his Facebook page. The fact of the matter is this kid had evey right to walk where he wants too. This is America isn't it? What right does someone have to follow another person for being in the "wrong" neighborhood. This poor kid probably got scared enough to turn around and try to defend himself. Too bad he didn't think to call 911 and report a stalker. I am so angry that nothing has been done about this. Make no mistake, if I am walking in ANY neighborhood and someome is following me, I will turn around and fight. What a mess. This over zealous man needs the death penalty.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anonymous

    Zimmerman was told not to follow him.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer Goodpaster

      The kid went to the store and got some is that asking for trouble???? Really.....the police told Zimmerman to leave him alone....HELLO.....How is that asking for trouble....oh, wait a minute, he was walking with a hoodie on....yeah. took a big man to shoot a kid for walking......DEATH PENALTY FOR ZIMMERMAN!!!!

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

      Zimmerman advocates ignore this fact. From what it looks like, had he Zimmerman stayed in the car, everyone would have gone home happily.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • traymond

      SInce when is punching someone in the face and banging someone's head on the ground "doing nothing" ? You know who was truly innocent – the 13 year old white kid who was doused with gas and set on fire by 2 black teens – but i bet none of you know about that!! It happened last week, not a peep from the media, suprised?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrisnot

    Having spent about 3 years in law enforcement, I think this shooting was tragic as well as disgusting. I haven't heard of any training Zimmerman had in order to be a neighborhood watch person, nor am I aware of any weapons training. Did he have a permit to carry a weapon? Was there any training dealing w/use of force? Even if, and I say even if, the kid took a swing at Zimmerman, that would not have, by any definition, justified the use of a weapon. Then again, Zimmerman probably wasn't trained to deal with that either. Neighborhood watch people should be thoroughly trained not to "engage". Didn't the 911 dispatcher say something like that? And, this guy is still walking around loose?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer Goodpaster

      THANK YOU. Exactly what I think. Leave the law to the police. Now, if I was this kid, Zimmerman probably scared him to death and if someone was following me like that, I would have turned around and decked him too.

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

      I think it's strange no one is addressing the fact that no one likes being accosted by a watch person or a police person.
      I certainly don't. I almost got dragged to the police station for walking my dog across campus a few years ago while looking "homeless" without ID, it was my neighborhood...and many more incidents like this. Did I want to take a punch at these people? No. Was I upset – you bet. I'm trying to say that young black people seem primed for confrontation – to their own detriment. Most people on here are saying that mere talking or stopping is aggression. Since when?

      March 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. clarke

    Why didn't Zimmerman follow the dispatcher order, don't follow him. Sounds like Zimmerman shot the young man to get him off of him, Zimmerman knew the boy was unarmed but shot him anyway.

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

      Zimmerman could loose his gun. He was abruptly attacked by a taller, faster and likely stronger opponent, who has pinned him to the ground.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sergio

      This is not an order, but an advice, and he did so.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lee

    The media should not have jumped all over this until real facts were determined. The media has turned this into a circus and Trayvon's family, and all the so called "Civil Rights" activists, are the biggest sideshow to this whole circus. Trayvon is dead, how does making a mockery out of his death make things better? Zimmerman may be telling the truth, and how will that look to all the hoodie wearing morons out there.

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

      Truth or not, you don't shoot someone when they're baited into confrontation by your actions. Zimmerman was looking to get this kind of reaction eventually from his actions and that's why he took his gun with him. The funny thing is, as the facts continue to be brought to the light, he wasn't even on duty. He just so happened notice a black guy in a hoodie walking through their gated community.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mike hunt

    The worst thing about this case is the reaction and statements of the general public. Condemming Zimmerman w/out knowing the facts, the media spinning it in to an issue of race, and people calling for justice by trying to rob Zimmerman of justice. Check the facts before you react people. Its not what it seems!!

    March 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Rowe

      Facts don't matter and yes this is about race. The fact here is that there is so little regard for black life in America that a teenager who was walking through his soon to be step mothers condo community carrying only an Arizona iced tea, a phone, and some skittled, is dead.... and NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED!!!!!!!!!! This really isn't about Zimmerman in the least, but more directly, how white people are only interested in justice for their own kind.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      You are right, we do not know the facts. The one fact that we do know is that Zimmerman was asked to stop following him. If he would have done that than a child would not be dead. For all of you that have kids, no matter the color, how would you feel about this story if it was your child?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Majesty Rene'

    Inspite of all the protests, Zimmerman's father is an ex-judge. He will walk.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anonymous

    Dozens of murders happen in the US everyday, why is this one any different? Why aren't we focused on the murders of others who also have families and who also may be kids and who also may just be innocent people in the wrong place at the wrong time?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. suckfesterous Megalouss

    This case is getting worse by the second....why are they not prosecuting this guy? Why are they covering for him? Is it because his father is a military man? What is the reason? This man pursued a teenager and then shot that teenager to death and that teenager was unarmed....this is a case that must be pursued..yet the DA is stalling!!!! Why? What is he protecting?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sergio

      Do you mean, because the attacker was a black guy, and this should be considered as normal behavior for black guys, thus self-defense is not allowed in such cases?

      March 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bigjoe

    oprah shut your pie hole, miss t.v. already. why didnt speak up for the white guy that got shot by three black guy over the weekend, racism has no color anyone can be racist.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Rowe

      No, racism isn't empty rhetoric and thats what most of you don't seem to understand. Whatever situation you're talking about, I'm sure your WHITE justice system will file charges and see to it that they go overboard to deliver satisfaction to the family of the person you're talking about. NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED IN THE TRAVON MARTIN CASE!!!!!! AND HE'S NOT THE FIRST TIME...

      March 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mark

    Stereotypes are always based on certain truths. It's the only way they get created.
    The problem is the majority blacks seem to revel in reinforcing that stereotype for whatever reason. You look like a thug and you will get treated like one. Maybe this will be awake up call to the black/gangsta community to finally clean up their act or suffer more of the same.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Rowe

      I don't think this is fair, but I can appreciate the sentiment. All of you fail to realize that black people are called upon to live under a justice system that is administered by a different ethnic group, and the justice system innately caters to that groups interest. The bottom line is that white people should not be responsible for delivering justice to us... We should be operating our own justice system, prosecuting and reforming our own... The very nature of your comment is seeded in separation and seeing yourself as different. Thats the same mind set that we expect justice from, and it will never happen.

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

      Some free country. Maybe the country is perfect, and asking people to enforce the law and administer it fairly is what is broken and asking too much.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brad

    Look, we all understand he was unarmed, but when did slamming a person's head into the ground become acceptable? You realize the softest part of your head is the back, and trauma to the base of the skull can kill you? Unarmed or not, if somebody is on top of another person continually smashing their head into the ground a gun might be the only option of survival.

    March 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. OrlandoCPA

    I keep saying this – this was not a crime about race. Trayvon was caught with WOMENS JEWELRY last year. He said it was a "friends". The sad truth is that Trayvon was probably transgendered and he wore the earrings as part of his dress up. This was a crime about the LGBT community! He was acting out at school because he had problems at home, probably feeling he couldn't come out to his parents and be the tranny he was born to be. I can't wait for RuPaul to speak out on this on her next episone of RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo, Monday 10/9 central, check your local listings!

    March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Rowe

      This comment right here is why America is like #20 in education and it continues to fall....

      March 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Wow, nice spin job. This is a news site, if you want a spin site go to There are hundreds of post like yours over there.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
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