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. august washington

    Thanks for posting the abc news link. I didn't see any blood or grass stains. Must have took a shower and washed his coat before they brought him in.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • WestVA

      The authorities did say Zimmerman was looked over by EMTs. It is quite plausable they cleaned some of the blood up and made sure he was no longer bleading prior to the video of Zimmerman at the station. I've first hand seen that happen as a firefighter. Again, everyone is playing "expert" on these posts when in fact they really have no clue. I am holding judgement until the investigation is done and all the evidence released (if he is not charged).

      March 29, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Lady J

      I had the same thought...He sure looked cleaned up in the video...mmmm..So many questions that will never be answered, at least truthfully.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • MITPhD

      @august washington – Are you joking or are you serious. He is in hand cuffs. He came directly from the site of the shooting. No shower – and certainly he did not stop at an all night dry cleaner to get the grass stains out of his jacket. I understand it was raining that night. Look how perfectly clean the back of his jacket is in the video. Also – if he was in a life-or-death struggle on the ground – wouldn't he be exhausted and sore? he just jumps out of the back of the police car – while hand cuffed. I was robbed while in graduate school – and the robbers handcuffed me. The police took me back to the station to someone who had keys for all kinds of handcuffs. I was 20 years old then and they had to help me in and out of the back seat of the car since I was shaken up by the incident (they put a gun in my mouth and threatened to shoot me). Here is Zimmerman who supposedly feared for his life – was in a life and death struggle – and yet can easily jump out of the back of the car in handcuffs. And looks like he is smiling to me (but that is my opinion). I am not buying it. Oh – and i am white – the robbers that broke into the house I was living in 30 years ago were black. But to me doesn't matter – judge someone on their ACTIONS – not because they are wearing a hoodie. Right is right and wrong is wrong. And not that we always get justice from a jury trial – BUT have a much better chance than from these apparently incompetent cops. No photographs of a fatal shooting scene? Hey – with digital cameras – would not even cost film to do that! Who can defend that?

      March 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. santosaint

    No one was shooting at Zimmerman and no one was beating on him while he called 911. Trayvon was walking, that's all. Zimmerman is just a vigilante trying to beat a murder wrap. Stand your ground doesn't mean confront someone so you can then stand your ground.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clint

      I'm fairly certain that they said the 911 calls were made by other people, not Zimmerman.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The kid approached him as Z was walking back to his car.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tobias

    You can read Skittle-boy's Twitter feed – do a search for "no_limit_ni**a" and look for The Daily Caller. Skittles-boy was a wannabe thug and Zimmerman was a wannabe cop...what a great combo!

    March 28, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Home Of the Free

    America, the most racist country on the planet.

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

      Travel a bit more and you'll discover many places are racist. It is unfortunate, but quite true.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      If you think this is the most racist country in the world, youre an idiot. Take a look at the news once in awhile. Situations in Syria, Isreal, Pakistan, Palestine, Georgia, Lebanon, Egypt, etc, dwarf racial and ethic issues here.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      'America is the most racist country'. Talk about IGNORANCE. The U.S is far behind ANY Arab country, Bosnia, etc. We are a voilent society but racism here is nowhere near the levels it is in other countries. AS far as racism goes here there ARE AS MANY BLACKS who have racism towards whites in their hearts as there as whites towards blacks!

      March 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Concerned1

    The video just released by ABC news shows Zimmeramn at the police department. THERE IS NO BLOOD OR EVEN A SCRATCH ON THE BACK OF HIS HEAD, btw, his head is clean shaven...NO BANDAGE OR ANYTHING ON HIS NOSE! He LIED! As a matter of fact, his shirt is tucked in!!

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

      That video does make GZ look bad. I was going with the reports from the eyewitness and the police before that video, especially since the Martin family was clearly trying to hide their son's recent image (Facebook, baby pictures, etc). Someone will need to explain how GZ could look like that if his story is true. It isn't the best video quality, but that doesn't look like the story.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Just saw it.
      There is no blood on his shirt, which can be expected if the man's nose was broken....I've had mine broken twice. I know of which I speak...not a scratch on his head, either...whatta load of hooey...

      March 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. santosaint

    Zimmerman will be sent to prison by a jury of his peers and he will probably meet his fate in prison. Vigilante without a cause trying to create one by confronting someone on the street. When did property (because that's what people are saying that there were a lot of robberies taking place in that community) so when did property become more valuable than a young life? Zimmerman is to blame here for trying to take matters in his own hands when the police were already on the way. Why isn't anyone asking Zimmerman's friend why he got out of the car? That's what I want to know. Why did he excalate it by wanting to confront him? Because he is a wanna-be cop vigilante looking for trouble.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob's Knob

    Trayvon was a thug.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • tiny

      And how would you know unless you're talking about your owns son.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bertha59

    So far I haven't heard nothing that suggests Trayvon was actually defending himself from Zimmerman, if indeed Trayvon attacked Zimmerman.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. B

      Wow.. the only person that can tell Martin's side of the story is.. Martin.. and well uhm, he is dead! Of course Zimmerman is going to make himself out to be the victim, he killed someone.. And as far as the person who "says they say saw Martin on Zimmerman" doesnt prove anything except Zimmerman was getting beat up! This witness did not see the start of the altercation, so he cant say that Zimmerman was completely innocent!! he could have initiated this whole fight, after all he was the one chasing Martin. Getting beat up after you pick a fight, doesnt mean you have to murder them!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tiny

    Saw the ABC video, looks like Zimmerman doesn't have a scratch nor grass on him.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. santosaint

    Tobias your no more than a wanna be real person but your comment shows that your nothing but a bigotted racist with that post.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Torger

    If my white body puts on a suit and tie and walks thru the hood, what happens to me? 50/50 What if I am in my usual jeans and sports shirt? 50/50 If GangstaA puts on his colors and walks thru the territory of GangstaB, what happens to him? 50/50 If GangstaA or GangstaB puts on his colors, and shucks and jives his way thru an upscale hood, what happens? 50/50 There are places my white body doesn't go in this country, suit or no suit, and I sure don't go there and act confrontational. Don't show us pictures of some cute little kid in a football uniform same as everyone else, show us what he looked like at the time, now that he is being suspended from school multiple times and looking all Gangsta. Trayvon learned something the hard way, the rest of the Gangsta world might wanna learn it the easy way. Why is Zimmerman's black friend supporting him? Why was Trayvon perceived to be a threat by Zimmerman who has black friends? You wanna look like a thug, careful, you just might get treated like a thug. If the black community failed to teach that to their kids, who's to blame? This is earth, and it does NOT belong to the thugs.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. santosaint

    Bobs knobby
    What a bigot. What exactly is it that would make you believe he is a thug? Yea, that's what I thought.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lexie

    Wow looking at the video released by police after taking Zimmerman to the police dept, if there was such a scuffle between Zimmerman and Treyvon, why is Zimmerman's shirt still tucked in his pants perfectly???? Where is the blood from his nose???? By the looks of the video, it sure doesn't look like there was no kind of scuffle at all. Just saying!!!

    March 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Is the video when they took him back down to the station? I'm just wondering because this happened a month ago and no camera's that I'm aware of were around that night. Now that there are cameras I see Al Sharpton and Jessie J are now around. How come AL didn't come to Indianapolis last week...5 black kids were shot downtown.........It was a black shooter and it doesn's serve any purpose for him. When will the black community relize he doesn't care unless it helps him. Remember Tawana Bradley (?) and the Duke LaCrosse team he said was guilty and then found out the girls were lying.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexie

      @John this was suppose to be the video that the police dept claim to have taken Zimmerman into custody the night Trayvon was murdered.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Daisy Bolden

    This is history repeating itself. I remember as a child growing up in the 60s in Chicago. My parents talked about the horrible injustice of the14 year old Emmett Till who was beaten and murdered in Mississippi. This is the same situation just a different day. The only difference is Emmett's attackers didn't hide like Zimmerman. They were able to openly live in the light of their vulgar filthy acts. I am thrilled Zimmerman is forced to live underground as a cowardly loathful animal. I hope he never enjoys another day of peace or contentment on this earth. That will be JUSTICE for now

    March 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      This tragedy is no worse than the DOZENS of children who have already died in drive-by shootings, gang violence,etc this year in America that is blatantly ignored by the media as well as civil rights `leaders'! Ridiculous that the likes of false Revs like JAckson and Sharpton makes constant excuses for gang violence and the hi hop culture yet jump all into the frey over any potential racist act!

      March 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kempo

    I'm going to do my part to help cnn commercial sponsors to drop cnn. this sensationalism and racist foolishness has gone on long enough. yes it's sickening to watch people rush to judgement. yes it's grotesque to see people "infuriated" without all the facts. the sickest thing by far through all of this is cnn and their willingness to help crucify someone with less than all the facts. the sponsors of cnn need to withdraw their ads. people need to publicly decry this BS spawned by cnn and take matters into their own hands. hammer the sponsors you see advertising with cnn. let them know you will boycott all their products until they drop cnn. the media has gotten away with this for far too long. smarten up people. do it now.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Agreed. THEN, you have a Congressman showing up on the House floor in a hoodie? The hype is unbelievable. I guess with the Presidential election waning, they need something to get the viewers...

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

      Hey go and wine to the President, Oprah winfrey, Spike lee, IlL. Representative Bobby Rush and the Black Panthers

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

      Very well said Kempo.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Founding Father

      No one is being real. It's the fact the exact opposite has taken place (i.e., the killer being free) which has risen this to the point of serious, open debate. That sounds very American to me – – oddly so, but American nonetheless.

      I believe you are the one with the hardened agenda.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
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