New Trayvon Martin Evidence: 10 Things You Should Know

The most relevant new pieces of information in the trial of George Zimmerman from the the Florida special prosecutor's new 183-page report.

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State Attorney's Office/Handout/REUTERS

George Zimmerman, facing charges of second-degree murder in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, is shown with blood on his head in this handout photo provided by the State Attorney's Office on May 17, 2012.

The trove of evidence released by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey seems to shed more light on the case of the death of Trayvon Martin, but makes it more complicated as well.

The document released Wednesday by Corey’s office stretches 183 pages in length and contains several police reports, handwritten witness statements, descriptions of the crime scene, records of evidence taken and even a community newsletter from the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the Sanford, Fla., gated community where the fatal shooting took place.

(MORE: Evidence Released in State v. Zimmerman – Download the PDF)

A close read through the records reveal a few new pieces of the puzzle. Here’s what stands out:

• New Video of Trayvon Martin before the incident doesn’t show any aggressive behavior.

A security video (above) taken by cameras at a 7-11 near the gated community where Martin’s father lived shows him shopping for items, making a purchase, then leaving the store. The video doesn’t give any indication of aggressive behavior on Martin’s part or any preparation for a fight, which could play against the defense’s claims that the teen purposefully, angrily went after Zimmerman. He is seen wearing the dark gray hooded sweatshirt that has become synonymous with the incident. He was found by police with  the bag of Skittles and the can of Arizona Iced Tea he bought.

• George Zimmerman’s injuries appear consistent with his claims to police.

The back of George Zimmerman's head

State Attorney’s Office/Handout/REUTERS

Photos were released as part of the evidence that show injuries like a closed fracture (one that does not break the skin) on his nose, cuts and abrasions on the back of his scalp, and abrasions on his forehead — consistent with Zimmerman’s statement that Martin had attacked him, striking him in his nose, pummeling him and bashing his head into the pavement. While talking to police he complained that his head hurt and that he felt “light-headed.” An officer offered to take him to the hospital, but he declined once at the scene and again at the Sanford Police Department. Zimmerman’s hands were not cut, scarred or marked, possibly indicating that he did not land any punches on Martin.

Martin was shot at close range.

Trayvon Martin’s autopsy report shows a single gunshot would in his left chest, and no exit wound — consistent with a close physical confrontation and supporting what Zimmerman told police of a confrontation between the two men. The bullet punctured Martin’s lung and settled in his heart. It’s not clear, however, if Trayvon Martin grabbed at Zimmerman’s gun, as  he had told police. Medical examiners found a scar on one of Martin’s fingers and a small abrasion on another, but the report doesn’t indicate any finding of gunshot residue on his hands — which would likely have been present if Zimmerman fired while Martin was trying to wrestle the gun from him.

(MORE: New Evidence: Trayvon Martin Had Drugs in His System)

• There are so far no witnesses to the beginning of the confrontation.

Police canvassed the neighborhood to find people who could tell them what they saw, and every eyewitness told police they saw Martin and Zimmerman fighting but that they didn’t know how it started. It was unclear to many exactly what was happening because it was dark and raining. All of them heard a “pop,” indicating a gunshot. All of them heard cries for help, but few agree on whether they were from Martin or Zimmerman. An investigator stated that he determined it was Zimmerman’s voice.

One witness said the fight had ended by the time the shot rang out.

A woman that police interviewed said she could not distinguish who was on top of whom, but after the gunshot one person was holding the other on the ground by pressing on his back. But her friend, who assisted in translating for the eyewitness, was “adamant” that there was no physical fighting taking place when the shot rang out. Both were taken to the police department for more questioning.

(MORE: Traces of Marijuana Found in Trayvon Martin’s Body: Does It Matter?)

George Zimmerman may have been profiling black males.

In the months before the Feb. 26 shooting, George Zimmerman called the police several times to report suspicious persons. In all of these calls, he identified the subject as a black male. The calls were made on August 3, 4, and 6, 2011; October 6, 2011; and Feb 12, 2012.

George Zimmerman was accused of having racist views.

On Feb. 28, two days after the shooting, a woman who refused to identify herself called Sanford Police and told them Zimmerman had racist ideologies and was “fully capable of instigating a confrontation that could have escalated to the point of Zimmerman having to use deadly force,” as the evidence report put it. Investigator Bill Perkins recorded a portion of the conversation and it was placed on a compact disc and submitted as evidence. However, the information she gave has not been corroborated and police have not located anyone who will. They also still have not identified the woman.

Trayvon Martin had traces of THC in his blood.

Toxicology tests reveal that the drug THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was in Martin’s system, although it does not mean he had used it on the night of the shooting. Marijuana can stay in the user’s system for 30 days or more depending on the potency of the plant, the user’s metabolism and other factors. Only a trace amount was found in his blood. If he had used it just prior to the shooting, much more would have shown up in tests.

Trayvon Martin may have been running from Zimmerman at first.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Department’s Computer Aided Dispatch shows that Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person, then told them the subject was running from him. The exchange between the dispatcher and Zimmerman shows that he was advised not to continue to follow Martin. One witness interviewed said she saw one of the subjects chasing the other, but could not see who was who. A recording of a female identified as Martin’s longtime friend who was on the phone with him just before the shooting said he began to run when he realized Zimmerman was following him.

(MORE: Report Details Zimmerman’s Injuries on Night of Trayvon Martin Shooting)

The lead investigator felt that there was enough evidence, based on what he saw, to charge Zimmerman.

Although much of his statement is redacted, Sanford PD investigator Chris Serino questioned witnesses over the course of weeks, listened to audio of 911 calls and analyzed information from the general practitioner Zimmerman went to the day after the shooting. He felt that based on his investigation, whose details he forwarded to Brevard/Seminole Country State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, there was enough to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter. According to the police capias request, or request for charges to be filed, another official felt that Zimmerman could have avoided any trouble if he had either stayed in his vehicle or at least identified himself to Martin.

“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialogue to dispel each party’s concern,” the report said. “There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter.”

8 comments
123456_j
123456_j

One less person that would have eventually ended up in our prison system for a terrible crime that we would have to pay taxes on. Thank God for Mr Zimmerman, because I'm sure Trayvon Martin would have just done something bad in the future to an innocent person. Our society is really going downhill because of all of the black influence. Everyone is so scared to offend the blacks, but they have no problem being racist themselves and don't get in trouble for it. All you need to do is listen to their music and you can see that they have no respect for women, or for any human life for that matter. Every song refers to women as bitches or hoes, talkes about drugs or killing someone. Blacks have an even greater advantage to get ahead in life, with scholarships just because your black.... how is that NOT racist? What if there was a scholarship, but you could only be white? Instead, they choose to be low lives. I'm sick and tired of the blacks and there mentality. Why am I the one that is being penalized and hated, because my city is so populated with blacks and the crime rate has increased so much that it isn't safe to go anywhere. Our small downtown square used to be a fun place to go, always laid back with no trouble... what happens SHORTLY after they put a club there that only plays rap music? A black man shot and killed 3 people, there are always fights, and it's not safe. Why am I the bad one?

PMorgan_m3
PMorgan_m3

No powder burns on Trayvon's hands although Zimmerman claims the gun went off as they both struggled to grab the gun.

No prints from Trayvon on the gun.

No blood from Zimmerman on Trayvon's hands or sleeves.

No DNA from Zimmerman under Trayvon's nails.

No injuries or bruises on Trayvon's hands.

Thus no physical evidence that Trayvon caused any injury to Zimmerman and no physical evidence that Trayvon even touched the gun.

In America any American can walk down any street without some stranger following them and asking them what they are doing in any neighborhood.

If Zimmerman in his un-American, paranoid, racist, wanna-be-cop glory had just followed Trayvon from a distance in his car (and even doing that would be ignoring what the police dispatcher told him to do...which was not to follow ) ...TRAYVON WOULD BE ALIVE and the taxpayers of Florida would not be paying millions for the trial and other expenses related to the criminal investigation and proceedings.

There will be protests and possibly destructive riots (like the LA riots) if Zimmerman is acquitted. So more millions in police and other expenses for the taxpayers of Florida and perhaps elsewhere in the USA.

And even if he is acquitted Zimmerman will pay the vast bulk of whatever money he ever makes to Trayvon's family after they win the wrongful death civil suit that they will file and easily win after the criminal trial.

JaniceStarr
JaniceStarr

@123456_j  Maybe because you are an illiterate racist Moron. It's clear in your rant you have no concept of the English language or why society has actually gone downhill it's because of idiots like you.!


AF
AF

@123456_j A  few issues in your neighborhood does not condemn a race. A few garish songs are not the sum of a people. If that were the case one would have to believe that all white teens are cruel bullies that drive their peers to kill themselves, that they take assault weapons into schools and murder dozens of children or that their heavy metal, death metal and comparable music forms, that exalt death and killing, are the total story of their beings. That would be ridiculous and so is the opposite. Also, for the record Martin had minor offenses on his jacket and was a child committing those offenses. Zimmerman had serious offenses (DV, etc.) on his jacket as an adult. One can grow out of it, had he not been murdered and the other continues to escalate having been allowed to get away with murder. Eventually, he (Zimmerman) will probably take the life of someone you view as innocent and you will have to examine your intense hatred and racism and deal with what is so and not what you choose to believe. 

jkbk
jkbk

@123456_jGeorge Zimmerman has a criminal past as well. He was arrested for assaulting a police officer, and beating up his ex fiance. Mind you Trayvon is just minor. I'm sure when you was teenager you were no angel either. I believe people in change because they want to change or they just remain the same. Typical teenagers experience with drugs, alcohol, cut school, get suspended, are sexual active and do illegal activities. They do it because they want to fit in, try find themselves in society, most of them think its cool,  pre-pressure, and most teenagers always think they no everything. Until they reach adulthood become the person who they are. They  make those changes in their life from their past experience.

loftonian
loftonian

@123456_j Zimmerman is not even White , he's Mexican .  The news has put out that he is a White Mexican to get better ratings for their stations and a bigger paycheck .  Now all the Black people feel violated by the Whites and threaten to riot and kill White people . Whites are ready to riot because of Black threats . Me , I'll stay home and watch it on TV and explain to the children how politics and irresponsible media has set the country back 60 years in racism . Not to mention how the shoe is on the other foot . First tactics of attack are divide and conquer . Government is not stepping in , witch leaves one to believe they support the division of America .