WFSU News Team
Thu July 12, 2012
Prosecutors release more information in Trayvon Martin case
The State Attorney’s office has released more documents in the case against the neighborhood watchman charged with killing a teenager in Sanford, Florida. the information shows conflicting accounts about the degree of George Zimmerman’s injuries he sustained in a confrontation with 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
Thursday’s release of new documents by state prosecutors show police officers and emergency responders had conflicting views about the degree of George Zimmerman’s injuries. Zimmerman says his nose was broken in a scuffle with Trayvon Martin which ultimately ended with the teen being shot. Some law enforcement agents reported seeing Zimmerman with a bloody nose, others said he appeared with minor cuts and scrapes. Among the information prosecutors disclosed were radio conversations between emergency responders who reported to the scene.
When paramedics arrived, Martin was already dead and Zimmerman had cuts on his head. Witnesses also gave conflicting statements on what they saw. It was a dark and rainy night. Many said they didn’t see anything but could hear screaming. Others say they witnessed two people in a scuffle but couldn’t make out what they looked like. And there also appeared to be confusion over who was shot.
It was clear that at least one officer felt Zimmerman should have been charged at the scene. Officer Christopher Serino described Zimmerman as a quote “soft guy with a bit of a hero complex” and said he had spoken with Zimmerman many times and felt he knew him well. Serino went on to say that Zimmerman’s decision to leave his car and follow Martin was an act of instigation and, that Martin’s death was preventable.
Recordings of prior calls made by Zimmerman to the Sanford police department show him reporting suspicious people and incidents like this one:
Sanford PD: "Sanford Police Department this line is being recorded. This is Vicky."
Zimmerman: Hi Vicky, my name is George and I live at the Twin Lakes Retreat , I’m part of the neighborhood watch. And we’ve been plagued with burglaries and robberies, and some one left their garage door open…"
Zimmerman was arrested more than 40-days after the shooting. During that period his original 9-11 calls were released, with some media speculating Zimmerman uttered a racial slur and commentators drawing parallels between Martin’s shooting and the fact that he was wearing a hoodie. The records show that many people who were in contact with Zimmerman said he never showed a racial bias. In his testimony, Officer Serino said he believed Zimmerman’s actions were based on the way Martin was dressed, and not on his skin color.