Shooting of Trayvon Martin
|Date||February 26, 2012|
|Time||7:09 PM EST (start)|
|Location||The Retreat at Twin Lakes
in Sanford, Florida, U.S.
(See aerial views of points of interest.)
|Participants||George Zimmerman (shooter)|
The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, United States. Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old African American. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old multi-racial Hispanic American,[Note 1] was the appointed neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place.
While in his vehicle on a personal errand, Zimmerman noticed Martin walking inside the community. Zimmerman called the Sanford Police Department to report Martin's behavior as suspicious, stating "This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about" and "looking at all the houses". According to a police report, "there is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter". While still on the phone with the police dispatcher, Zimmerman left his vehicle. After the phone call concluded, there was a violent encounter between Martin and Zimmerman. The encounter ended with Zimmerman fatally shooting Martin once in the chest at close range.
When police arrived on the scene, Zimmerman told them that Martin had attacked him and that he had shot Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and from two vertical lacerations on the back of his head. EMTs treated Zimmerman at the scene, after which he was taken to the Sanford Police Department. Zimmerman was detained and questioned for approximately five hours. He was then released without being charged; at the time, police said they found no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim of self-defense.
The circumstances of Martin's death, the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman, and questions about Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law received national and international attention. Allegations of racist motivation for both the shooting and police conduct, along with intense media reporting that was sometimes inaccurate, contributed to public demands for Zimmerman's arrest. On March 22, 2012, a Special Prosecutor was appointed to take over the investigation. On April 11, 2012, the Special Prosecutor filed a charge of murder in the second degree against Zimmerman, who then turned himself in and was placed in custody. The prosecution's account of what they allege happened on the night of the shooting is largely contained in the Affidavit of Probable Cause. Zimmerman pleaded not guilty to the charge and is currently out on a $1 million bond while he awaits trial.
In February 2013, Judge Debra S. Nelson set Zimmerman's jury selection to begin on June 10, with 500 potential jurors being summoned. Zimmerman had requested a "stand your ground" hearing, but in March 2013, his defense elected to bypass the hearing so that his case would be tried before a jury.
On May 23, 2012, George Zimmerman's attorney filed a motion to push the trial back six more weeks.
Parties involved in the case
Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who were divorced in 1999. He was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School and lived with his mother and older brother in Miami Gardens, Florida.
On the day Martin was fatally shot, he and his father were visiting his father's fiancée and her son at her townhome in The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, a multi-ethnic gated community, where the shooting occurred. Martin had visited his father's fiancée at Twin Lakes several times.
The initial police report from the night of the shooting lists Martin's height as 6'0" (1.83 m) and weight as 160 lb (73 kg), while that night Zimmerman estimated Martin's height at 5'11" to 6'2". The morning after the shooting, an autopsy found that Martin's body was 5'11" (1.80 m) long and weighed 158 lb (72 kg). Other values for Martin's height of 6'2" (1.88 m) and 6'3" (1.91 m), and weight of no more than 150 lb (68 kg), were reported as being given by Martin's family.
Martin had been suspended from school at the time of his death, his third disciplinary suspension of the year. One suspension was for tardiness. Another suspension was for graffiti, when Martin was observed by a security camera in a restricted area of the school marking up a door with "W.T.F." When he was later searched by a Miami-Dade School Police Department officer, looking for the graffiti marker, the officer found several pieces of women's jewelry in his backpack, which Martin said were not his, stating a friend had given them to him. A screwdriver was also found, which was described by the school police investigator as a burglary tool. The jewelry was impounded and given to the police, but no evidence ever surfaced to indicate that the jewelry was stolen. Martin's third suspension involved a marijuana pipe, and an empty bag containing marijuana residue. Martin was not charged with any crime related to these incidents and did not have a juvenile record. Judge Nelson ruled that the defense may have access to Martin's records, including the details of these suspensions, as well as access to Martin's social media sites, but has not ruled on if they will be admissible as evidence during the trial.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said the parents had never heard about the bag of jewelry and that it was completely irrelevant to what happened on February 26. Martin's parents and their attorneys also said the defense's request for school records and social media was a "fishing expedition" aimed at attacking their son and an attempt to assassinate his character.
George Michael Zimmerman was born on October 5, 1983, in Manassas, Virginia, and is the son of Gladys (née Mesa) Zimmerman, who was born in Peru, and Robert Zimmerman, Sr., a retired Virginia magistrate. He was raised Catholic in a family that his father has described as "multiracial;" his father is an American of German descent and his mother is Peruvian with some black ancestry through her Afro-Peruvian maternal grandfather.[Note 1] Zimmerman's voter registration record lists him as Hispanic.
Zimmerman's height is shown as 5′7″ (1.70 m); and his weight as 185 lb (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff's Office Inmate Booking Information dated 4/11/2012, the date of his arrest. Zimmerman's height is shown as 5′8″ (1.73 m); and his weight at 200 lb (91 kg) on the Sanford Police Department Offense Report for 2/26/2012, the night of the shooting.
In 2009, Zimmerman had moved with his wife to The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, a multi-ethnic gated community, where the shooting occurred. At the time of the shooting, he was employed as an insurance underwriter and was in his final semester at Seminole State College for an associate degree in Criminal Justice. In late 2011, he was refused an associate's degree. He had failed at least one class and had not accumulated enough credits to graduate. In one of his interviews with police he stated his goal was to become a judge.
In 2005, Zimmerman was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, after shoving an officer while a friend of Zimmerman's was being questioned about underage drinking. The charges were reduced, then dropped when Zimmerman entered a pre-trial diversion program. Also in 2005, Zimmerman's ex-fiance filed a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman requested a reciprocal restraining order. Both orders were granted. The incidents were raised by prosecutors at Zimmerman's initial bond hearing. The judge described the incidents as "run of the mill" and "somewhat mild" and rejected the prosecution's claim that the incidents showed that Zimmerman was violent or a threat to the community.
Sanford Police Department
Bill Lee had been chief of the Sanford Police Department for ten months when the shooting occurred. Prior to Lee becoming chief, the department had been accused of protecting relatives of police officers involved in violent incidents with blacks, and the Martin case increased distrust between the police and Sanford's black community.
On March 22, Chief Lee temporarily stepped down from his position due to public criticism over his handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting. In April, the Sanford City Commission refused to accept Lee's resignation and stated that "Lee's spotless record showed there needed to be further review to determine if he failed in his duties." Lee was fired on June 20, 2012 by Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte. Lee responded by saying "I continue to stand by the work performed by the Sanford Police Department in this tragic shooting, which has been plagued by misrepresentations and false statements for interests other than justice."
On June 26, 2012, the lead investigator of the case, Christopher Serino, was transferred out of the Sanford Police Department's investigative unit and reassigned to the patrol division at his own request. Serino said he felt pressured by several of his fellow police officers to press charges on Zimmerman when he believed there was not enough evidence to do so, and that one of the officers pressuring him was friendly with Martin's father.
In September, 2012, Orlando TV station WFTV released a memo from the interim police chief Richard Myers blaming the police department spokesman, Sgt. David Morgenstern, for mishandling the Travyon Martin case and removed him from his spokeperson position.
Martin family attorneys
Benjamin Crump, the lawyer representing the interests of the Martin family, operates a law firm in Tallahassee, Florida, with his partner Daryl Parks. The firm has eight lawyers who focus on wrongful death, malpractice, personal injury and civil rights. In 2006, Crump sued to have the video released in the case of Martin Anderson, a teenager who died at a boot camp run by the Bay County, Florida, Sheriff's Office. The Martin family is also represented by Natalie Jackson, an Orlando civil rights attorney.
Background of the shooting
The Retreat at Twin Lakes is a 260-unit gated townhome community in Sanford, Florida. The population in the development at the time of the shooting, was about 49% non-Hispanic white, 23% Hispanic, 20% black, and 5% Asian, according to Census figures. Both George Zimmerman and Tracy Martin's fiancee were renting homes in the development when the shooting occurred. At the time of the shooting, Martin had been staying with his father's fiancee at The Retreat.
From January 1, 2011 through February 26, 2012, police were called to The Retreat at Twin Lakes 402 times. During the 18 months preceding the February 26 shooting, Zimmerman called the non-emergency police line seven times. On five of those calls, Zimmerman reported suspicious looking men in the area, but never offered the men's race without first being asked by the dispatcher. Crimes committed at The Retreat in the year prior to Martin's death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting. Twin Lakes residents said there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood.
In September 2011, the Twin Lakes residents held an organizational meeting to create a neighborhood watch program. As the only volunteer, Zimmerman was selected by neighbors as the program's coordinator, according to Wendy Dorival, Neighborhood Watch organizer for the Sanford Police Department.
Three weeks prior to the shooting, on February 2, 2012, Zimmerman called police to report a young man peering into the windows of an empty Twin Lakes home. Zimmerman was told a police car was on the way and he waited for their arrival. By the time police arrived, the suspect had fled. On February 6, workers witnessed two young black men lingering in the yard of a Twin Lakes resident around the same time her home was burglarized. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. The next day police discovered the stolen laptop in the backpack of a young black man, which led to his arrest. Zimmerman identified this young man as the same person he had spotted peering into windows on February 2.
Zimmerman had been licensed to carry a firearm since November 2009. In response to Zimmerman's multiple reports regarding a loose pit bull in the Twin Lakes neighborhood, a Seminole County Animal Services officer advised Zimmerman to "get a gun", according to a friend, rather than rely on pepper spray to fend off the pit bull, which on one occasion had cornered his wife. Although neighborhood watch volunteers are not encouraged to carry weapons, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee acknowledged that Zimmerman had a legal right to carry his firearm on the night of the shooting.
Shooting and investigation
On the evening of February 26, 2012, Zimmerman observed Martin as he returned to the Twin Lakes housing community after having walked to a nearby convenience store. At the time, Zimmerman was driving through the neighborhood on a personal errand.
7:09:34 PM, February 26, 2012
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
At approximately 7:09 PM,[Note 1] Zimmerman called the Sanford police non-emergency number to report what he considered a suspicious person in the Twin Lakes community. Zimmerman stated, "We've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy." He described an unknown male "just walking around looking about" in the rain and said, "This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something." Zimmerman reported that the person had his hand in his waistband and was walking around looking at homes. On the recording, Zimmerman is heard saying, "these assholes, they always get away."
About two minutes into the call, Zimmerman said, "he's running." The dispatcher asked, "He's running? Which way is he running?" The sound of a car door chime is heard, indicating Zimmerman opened his car door. Zimmerman followed Martin, eventually losing sight of him. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following him. When Zimmerman answered, "yeah," the dispatcher said, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman responded, "Okay." Zimmerman asked that police call him upon their arrival so he could provide his location. Zimmerman ended the call at 7:15 p.m.
After Zimmerman ended his call with police, a violent encounter took place between Martin and Zimmerman, which ended when Zimmerman fatally shot Martin 70 yards (64 m) from the rear door of the townhouse where Martin was staying.[Note 2]
|Full transcript of Zimmerman's call to SPD non-emergency number|
Dispatcher: Sanford Police Department. ...
Sanford Police Investigation
Police officer Timothy Smith arrived at the scene at approximately 7:17 PM. He reported finding Zimmerman standing near Martin, who was lying face down in the grass and unresponsive. At that time, Zimmerman stated to Smith that he had shot Martin and was still armed. Smith handcuffed Zimmerman and removed his weapon from him. Smith observed that Zimmerman's back was wet and covered with grass and he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.
Ricardo Ayala, the second officer to arrive that night, noticed Officer Smith had Zimmerman in custody, then observed Martin lying face down in the grass and attempted to get a response from him. At this time, Sgt. Anthony Raimondo arrived and together with Ayala began CPR. Paramedics from Sanford Fire and Rescue arrived and continued CPR, finally declaring Martin dead at 7:30 PM.
Other officers who had arrived by this time secured the area and made contact with neighbors in the area and obtained statements from witnesses at the scene. They did not realize Zimmerman had been in a vehicle, however, so it was moved before they could seize it. Zimmerman was treated and released by paramedics while still at the scene of the incident. After placing Zimmerman in his police vehicle, Officer Smith heard Zimmerman say, "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me." Zimmerman was then transported to the Sanford Police Department where he was questioned by investigators for approximately five hours. The police determined that Zimmerman yelled for help at least 14 times in a 38 second span. The question of who he was calling for help has been disputed since then by others and remains inconclusive. (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls)
Martin's body was taken to the morgue, where he was tagged as a John Doe as he was not carrying any identification. Martin's father, Tracy Martin, called to file a Missing Persons report early on February 27 and police officers arrived at his fiancée's condo with photographs of his dead son about 9:20 am.
Zimmerman was handcuffed at the scene of the shooting and taken to the Sanford police station for questioning, arriving there at 7:52 p.m. according to a police video. His gun, a black Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol, taken from him by Officer Smith at the scene, was placed into evidence.
Zimmerman was interviewed by Investigator D. Singleton and by Detective Chris Serino on the night of the shooting. He also underwent voice stress analysis, a type of lie detector test, on the night of the shooting. Crime Scene Tech D. Smith photographed his injuries and hands and collected gun shot residue. Zimmerman's clothes were taken as evidence after his wife arrived with a change of clothes. The day after the shooting, Zimmerman performed a videotaped reenactment of the incident for police.
Zimmerman was not given a drug or alcohol test. Peter Bella, a retired Chicago Police forensic investigator, told The Washington Times, "Except for DUIs, police cannot test suspects for drugs or alcohol, unless the accused demands or consents to it, or they get a warrant". The police did not suspect that Zimmerman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he was never asked to take such a test.
The Martin family alleged that Seminole County Attorney Wolfinger met personally with Sanford Chief Lee on the night of the shooting and instructed Lee not to make an arrest. Based on their accusation, the Martin family requested that the Justice Department investigate the State prosecutor's office. Wolfinger responded that the accusations were "outright lies" and denied that any such meeting or communication took place. Wolfinger's office reported that the Sanford police consulted with Kelly Jo Hines, the prosecutor on call the night of the shooting, but it has not been disclosed what was talked about.
On March 12, 2012, Police Chief Lee turned the investigation over to the State Attorney's office for review. Lee said there was not enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman. "In this case Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense," Lee said. "Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don't have the grounds to arrest him." In response to criticisms of the investigation, Lee responded that "We are taking a beating over this" and defended the investigation. "This is all very unsettling. I'm sure if George Zimmerman had the opportunity to relive Sunday, February 26, he'd probably do things differently. I'm sure Trayvon would, too."
On March 13, 2012, Chris Serino sent a capias request to the state's attorney recommending charges of negligent manslaughter against Zimmerman, though Serino maintains he did not believe they had the evidence to support those charges and that manslaughter was only included in the capias in order for the prosecutor's office to continue with their own investigation. The capias states, "the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and waited the arrival of law enforcement or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog (sic) in an effort to dispel each party's concern". "There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter." The State Attorney's office initially determined there was insufficient evidence to charge Zimmerman and did not file charges based on the capias request.
On March 16, Serino told the Orlando Sentinel that his investigation had turned up no reliable evidence that cast doubt on Zimmerman's account, that he had acted in self-defense. "The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event, everything I have is adding up to what he says."
On March 20, 2012, State attorney Norm Wolfinger announced that a Seminole County grand jury would be convened on April 10 to investigate the death of Martin. However, after State Attorney Angela Corey was assigned to the case by Florida Governor Rick Scott on March 22, she decided that her office would decide whether to press charges. "I always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this, I foresee us being able to make a decision, and move on it on our own."
Governor Scott asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate the shooting and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi confirmed that the FDLE was involved and stated "no stone will be left unturned in this investigation."
On March 20, 2012, the Justice Department announced that it was opening investigations into the incident. The FBI opened a parallel investigation into whether Martin's civil rights were violated, interviewed witnesses, and looked into Zimmerman's background.
On July 12, interviews conducted by the FBI were publicly released. The Sanford Police Department's lead investigator, Chris Serino, told FBI agents that he believed Zimmerman's actions were not based on Martin's race, but instead on Martin's attire, the circumstances of the encounter, and previous burglaries in the neighborhood. Zimmerman's neighbors and co-workers were interviewed as well. Neighbors who knew Zimmerman had nothing derogatory to say about him and his co-workers were complimentary of him.
Serino also told the FBI that he had felt pressure from three officers within the department to charge Zimmerman although he "did not believe he had enough evidence at the time to file charges", and accused one of these officers of being friendly with Martin's father. He also expressed concern to the FBI about possible leaks of evidence to the media from within the department.
Martin's autopsy report
The Volusia County medical examiner found that Martin was killed by an injury resulting from a single gunshot to the chest, fired at "intermediate range," between 1 and 18 inches according to a forensic expert.[Note 3] An FDLE analysis of Martin's body and clothes described the distance as "a contact shot". The autopsy also found that Martin had one small abrasion on his left ring finger below the knuckle. No other injuries were found on Martin's body at the time of his death. Physicians who reviewed the official autopsy report for the Orlando Sentinel, stated in their opinion that Martin lived anywhere from 20 seconds to several minutes after he was shot, and that Martin likely remained conscious "for a time anyway."
The autopsy report stated that Martin had trace levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his blood and urine. The toxicology report found the levels to be 1.5 nanograms/ml of THC and 7.3 nanograms/ml of THC-COOH, a metabolite of THC that can stay in the system for weeks after cannabis has been smoked. Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science, stated that the THC amount was so low that it may have been ingested days earlier and played no role in Martin's behavior.
A witness to the confrontation just prior to the shooting stated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and punching him, while Zimmerman was yelling for help. This witness, who identified himself as "John", stated that "the guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911". He went on to say that when he got upstairs and looked down, "the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.".
A 13-year-old boy walking his dog saw a man on the ground shortly before the shooting and identified him as wearing red. His mother later disputed the testimony and claimed that the police pressured him into choosing the color that the man was wearing and that her son could not see any details in the dark. She also stated that the police waited five days before requesting to even question her son and said that the lead homicide investigator told her that he did not believe the shooting was self defense.
Mary Cutcher and her roommate, Selma Mora Lamilla, appeared on AC 360, and Cutcher stated that she believes that "there was no punching, no hitting going on at the time, no wrestling" just prior to the shooting but admitted that she neither saw the shooting nor the preceding altercation. Cutcher and her roommate heard the pair in their backyard and a "very young voice" whining, with no sounds of a fight. They heard a gunshot; the crying stopped immediately, and they saw Zimmerman on his knees straddling Martin on the ground. Mary Cutcher phoned police after the fatal shooting and said the black man was standing over another man, although Trayvon Martin was already dead. According to the Orlando Sentinel article, "Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Morgenstern [on March 15] issued a statement disputing Cutcher's version of events, calling her statements to WFTV "inconsistent with her sworn testimony to police." However, Cutcher and her roommate maintain that their account of the incident to the police did not agree with Zimmerman's, and they demanded the police issue a retraction.
On March 29, 2012, an eyewitness referred to as a male said that he saw two men on the ground scuffling, then heard the shooting, and saw Zimmerman walk away with no blood on him. The witness later appeared on CNN AC360 referred to as a female, giving more details on her account. She pointed out that she heard an argument between a younger and an older voice. During the time that she witnessed the incident, the scuffling happened on the grass. She said that the larger man, who walked away after the gunshot, was on top and that it was too dark to see blood on his face.
A witness who arrived shortly after the shooting revealed photos that he took that night that showed "blood trickling down the back of Zimmerman's head from two cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head". In revealing the photo to ABC News in mid-April, he noted that he had heard but had not seen the scuffle, had been the first to arrive, and had been the first to talk to Zimmerman after the shooting.
One eye-witness statement given the night of the shooting describes "a black male, wearing a dark colored 'hoodie' on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help." The witness said that the black male was throwing punches "MMA [mixed martial arts] style." After hearing a "pop," he saw the black male "laid out on the grass." When the witness was subsequently interviewed weeks later by a different agency, the witness said he thought that the black male was either punching or pinning the lighter skinned male underneath him. He was no longer certain who was calling for help, having not seen their mouths in the dark. He was still certain that the black male had been on top of the lighter-skinned male.
On March 20, Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump revealed that Martin had been on the phone with a friend moments before he was shot. During an ABC News exclusive report, Crump allowed portions of his recorded interview with Martin's friend to be aired. She said that Martin told her that a man was watching him from his vehicle while talking on the phone before the man started following Martin. Martin told his friend at one point that he had lost the man but the man suddenly appeared again. The friend said that she told Martin to run to the townhouse where he was staying with his father and the father's girlfriend. She then heard Martin say, "What are you following me for?" followed by a man's voice responding, "What are you doing around here?" She said that she heard the sound of pushing before the phone went dead. She immediately attempted to call him back, but was unable to reach him. Crump stated that he would turn the information over to the Justice Department because "the family does not trust the Sanford Police Department to have anything to do with the investigation." Martin's friend was subsequently interviewed by state prosecutors on April 2, 2012. During her interview with the prosecutor, Martin's friend recounted her last phone call with Martin and added that Martin had described the man as "crazy and creepy," watching him from a vehicle while the man was talking on the phone. Martin's friend told prosecutors that she heard words like "get off, get off," right before she lost contact with Martin.
Crump had refused to disclose the identity of Witness 8, stating that she was only 16, a minor at the time of the shooting, and asked the media to respect her privacy. It was subsequently revealed that she was actually 18 at the time when she said she was on the phone with Martin. According to the defense, her actual age had been edited out of previously released disclosures. Crump has denied intentionally giving any misleading statements about her age.
George Zimmerman's account of events
On the advice of his legal counsel, Zimmerman did not speak to the media after the shooting. The statements he gave to police investigators were publicly released on June 21, 2012, when Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, published his written and recorded statements on Zimmerman's legal defense web site. Prior to the release of the statements, the only publicly available information about Zimmerman's version of the incident came from interviews with some of his family members and friends and from leaks to the news media by sources inside the investigation, and his recorded phone call to 9-1-1. Zimmerman maintained his public silence until he was interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News on July 18, 2012. According to early news reports on the incident, on the night of the shooting, and afterwards, Zimmerman described in detail for investigators what took place.
Zimmerman said he was driving to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon Martin walking through the neighborhood. Zimmerman's father said that, while his son was not on duty that night as Neighborhood Watch captain, there had been many break-ins and he thought it suspicious that someone he didn't recognize was walking behind the town homes instead of on the street or the sidewalk. Zimmerman therefore called a non-emergency police line to report Martin's behavior and summon police. During the call, Zimmerman told the dispatcher that Martin was "coming to check me out." A source to the Orlando Sentinel said in May that Zimmerman told investigators that at one point Martin circled his vehicle,[Note 4] and he rolled up his window to avoid a confrontation.
After telling the police dispatcher that Martin "ran," Zimmerman left his vehicle to determine his location and ascertain in which direction Martin had fled. The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following Martin, and Zimmerman replied "Yeah." Then the dispatcher said, "OK, we don't need you to do that." Zimmerman replied with "OK" and stated that Martin got away. After a discussion about where Zimmerman would meet police, the call ended, and Zimmerman told investigators he was returning to his vehicle when Martin approached him from his left rear and confronted him. According to Zimmerman, Martin then punched him in the face, knocking him down, and began beating his head against the sidewalk. Zimmerman said he called out for help while being beaten, and at one point Martin covered his mouth to muffle the screams. According to Zimmerman's father, during the struggle while Martin was on top of Zimmerman, Martin saw the gun his son was carrying and said something to the effect of "You're gonna die now" or "You're gonna die tonight" and continued to beat Zimmerman. Zimmerman and Martin struggled over the gun, and Zimmerman shot Martin once in the chest at close range, in self-defense.[Note 5]
On June 21, 2012, Zimmerman's attorneys released audiotapes of several interviews he had with police shortly after the shooting. Also included were Zimmerman's written statement of February 26, 2012, and video recordings of his reenactment of the incident and a voice stress test that he passed.
In the interviews, Zimmerman says he took note of Martin because he was near a home that he had previously called police about. He also said "he was just walking casually, not like he was trying to get out of the rain," and he felt "something was off" about Martin.
Zimmerman said he left his truck to find a street sign so he would be able to tell the police dispatcher where he was. He told investigators that he was not following Martin but was "just going in the same direction he was" to find an address, but admitted that he had also left his truck to try to see in which direction Martin had gone. The altercation began, he said, when Martin suddenly appeared while Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle. He described Martin at different points in the interviews as appearing "out of nowhere," "from the darkness," and as "jump[ing] out of the bushes." Zimmerman said that Martin asked, "You got a fucking problem, homie?" Zimmerman replied no, and then Martin said that he did now, and punched him. As they struggled on the ground, Zimmerman on his back with Martin on top of him, Zimmerman yelled for help "probably 50 times." (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls) Martin told him to "Shut the fuck up," as he hit him in the face and pounded his head on a concrete sidewalk. When Zimmerman tried to move off the concrete, Martin saw his gun and said "You're going to die tonight motherfucker!" Martin grabbed for the gun, but Zimmerman grabbed it first. He said after firing his weapon at Martin, he wasn't sure at first that he had hit him, so he got on top of him in order to subdue him.[dead link] Bystanders and police arrived shortly after Martin was shot.
Police reports state Zimmerman "appeared to have a broken and a bloody nose and swelling of his face." Zimmerman was offered three chances to be taken to the hospital, but Zimmerman declined each time, according to police reports released by the prosecution. ABC News reported that a medical report compiled by the family physician of George Zimmerman showed that, following the altercation with Martin, Zimmerman was diagnosed with a closed fracture of his nose, two black eyes, lacerations to the back of his head, a minor back injury, and bruising in his upper lip and cheek.
In the course of Zimmerman's recorded interviews, Detective Chris Serino questioned aspects of Zimmerman's account, such as Zimmerman's statement that he didn't know the name of a street in the Twin Lakes community where he had lived for three years. Zimmerman said in response that he had a bad memory and takes medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Investigators also questioned the extent of his injuries and why he didn't identify himself to Martin as a Neighborhood Watch coordinator. Zimmerman said he didn't want to confront Martin.
On June 26, 2012, the prosecution released the results of a voice stress test performed on George Zimmerman the day after the shooting. A voice stress test is a type of test used to measure deceptive or psychological stress in the human voice in response to questions. Zimmerman was asked, "Did you confront the guy you shot?", to which Zimmerman answered, "No." Zimmerman was asked, "Were you in fear for your life, when you shot the guy?", to which Zimmerman answered, "Yes." The examiner concluded that Zimmerman "told substantially the complete truth" in the examination, and Zimmerman was classified as "No Deception Indicated (NDI)" according to the report.
During a bond hearing on April 20, 2012, Investigator Dale Gilbreath testified under oath that he did not know whether Zimmerman or Martin started the fight and that there is no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim that he was walking back to his vehicle when Martin confronted him. Gilbreath, however, questioned Zimmerman's statement that Martin was slamming his head against the sidewalk just before he shot the teenager, saying it was "not consistent with the evidence we found." Gilbreath was one of two investigators who attested to the facts stated in the probable cause affidavit.
Legal analysts have stated that Zimmerman's credibility could become an issue at trial and that Zimmerman's claim of self-defense rests on whether the jury can trust him "as a reporter of the facts". Douglas Keene, a trial consultant and forensic psychologist, stated that in a self-defense case, a jury has to decide "whether or not someone can be trusted to have used good judgment. Credibility is always a paramount issue in any trial," he said.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has criticized Special Prosecutor Angela Corey's handling of the case, said he believes that the video reenactment of the incident would help Zimmerman during a trial if it were submitted as evidence and shown to a jury, but he wasn't sure that it would be. Without going into detail, Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump referred to several alleged inconsistencies between Zimmerman's written statement and his recorded call to the police dispatcher.
Zimmerman's first media interview
On July 18, 2012, Zimmerman, accompanied by his attorney Mark O'Mara, gave his first long media interview to Sean Hannity. Part of the interview appeared on Hannity that evening. During the interview he said that he did not regret his actions on the night of the shooting, but he also said, "I do wish there was something, anything I could have done that wouldn't have put me in the position where I had to take his life. I want to tell everyone, my wife, my family, my parents, grandmother, the Martins, the city of Sanford and America: I'm sorry that this happened. I'm truly sorry."
When Hannity asked Zimmerman why his suspicions were aroused when he noticed Martin, Zimmerman replied in part:
- “I felt he was suspicious because it was raining. He was in-between houses, cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather. … It didn't look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the rain and was hurrying back home. He didn't look like a fitness fanatic that would train in the rain.”
Following the interview with Hannity, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey filed formal notice that she intends to use the interview as evidence against Zimmerman. According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman's story differed in at least two details from previous versions of what he said happened the night he shot Martin. Florida defense lawyers said it was a mistake for Zimmerman to do a TV interview and discuss what happened that night. One of them said, "It's really baffling what he thought he'd gain from it. I question who's in charge of the defense strategy, Zimmerman or O'Mara".
Martin's parents said they don't accept Zimmerman's apology for killing their son. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said she doubted that Zimmerman's apology was sincere. "I have a hard time accepting it because he also said that he doesn't regret anything that he did that night..." Fulton stated.
Prosecution's account of events
The prosecution's account is largely contained in the affidavit of probable cause filed on April 11, 2012 in support of second-degree murder charges against Zimmerman. A conviction of second-degree murder could result in Zimmerman receiving a prison term of 25 years to life. The affidavit states that it does not contain a complete recitation of facts, but presents only the facts to support probable cause for second-degree murder charges. Judge Mark Herr ruled that the affidavit was legally sufficient to establish probable cause. The affidavit describes what investigators allege took place between Zimmerman and Martin on the night of the shooting.
The affidavit states that Martin was walking back from a nearby 7-Eleven store to the townhouse where he was temporarily living when Zimmerman profiled Martin, who was unarmed and not committing a crime. Prosecutor's stated that Zimmerman was driving in his vehicle when he observed Martin and assumed he was a criminal. Feeling that Martin did not belong in the gated community where Zimmerman lived, he called the police to request for an officer to respond, because he perceived Martin was acting suspicious. Investigators said the dispatcher told Zimmerman an officer was on the way and to wait for him. In the call, Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had gotten away with break-ins in the neighborhood, and while talking about Martin, stated "these assholes, they always get away" and also said "these fucking punks".
According to investigators, while Zimmerman was speaking with police, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening. She said that Martin was scared because he was being followed by an unknown male and didn't know why. Investigators said that Martin attempted to run home, but Zimmerman followed him, because he didn't want Martin whom he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime, to get away before the police arrived. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and told him an officer would meet him. Prosecutors stated that Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher's instruction and continued pursuing Martin on foot. Investigators said Zimmerman then confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.
The affidavit describes witness accounts of hearing people arguing, what sounded like a struggle, and yells for help that were recorded in the 9-1-1 calls to police. According to prosecutors, Martin's mother reviewed the 9-1-1 calls to police and identified the voice crying for help as her son. (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls) When police arrived at the scene, Zimmerman admitted to shooting Martin in the chest. An assistant medical examiner conducted an autopsy and determined that Martin had died from the gunshot.
Legal analysts have criticized the prosecution for over-charging Zimmerman, claiming that the probable cause affidavit does not support a charge of second-degree murder. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz claims that the probable cause affidavit may be perjurious if Special Prosecutor Angela Corey knowingly omitted facts favorable to Zimmerman's self defense claims.
Richard Kuritz, a former prosecutor who worked with Angela Corey, said the state attorney had no obligation to include exculpatory evidence in the affidavit. He stated that Dershowitz could face civil action for making accusations that Corey committed a crime. "To suggest that she's committing any crime, Dershowitz is way off on that", Kuritz said.
Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls
In recordings of the 9-1-1 calls, yells for help are audible in the background. Zimmerman's family says it was Zimmerman yelling for help, Martin's family says it was Martin yelling for help, and independent audio analysts offer differing opinions as to who was yelling for help.
In an interview with prosecutors on March 19, Zimmerman's father identified the yells as George Zimmerman's, stating, "There is no doubt who is yelling for help. It is absolutely my son." Other relatives of Zimmerman, including his brother, concur and are equally adamant. During a bond hearing on June 29, the 9-1-1 recording was played in court, and Zimmerman's father testified that "it was definitely George's" voice heard yelling for help in the recorded 9-1-1 call.
According to police reports, after listening to audio recordings of the 9-1-1 calls, Martin's father, Tracy Martin, told police investigators that it was not Trayvon Martin's voice yelling for help. Martin has since told reporters he was uncertain at that time, but that when he heard an enhanced recording on March 16 he was convinced it was his son yelling for help. Investigators interviewed Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, who reviewed the 9-1-1 calls to police and identified the voice crying for help as her son. Investigators also interviewed Martin's cousin who stated that without a doubt "on a stack of bibles" it was Martin yelling for help on the 9-1-1 tape.
Independent audio experts vary in their interpretations of the low-quality audio of the phone recordings, which one expert compared to analyzing low-resolution video from a security camera. The FBI was not able to determine whether it was Zimmerman or Martin who could be heard yelling out for help in 9-1-1 calls, citing both poor audio quality and "the extreme emotional state of the person screaming." Two expert audio technicians, listed as possible witnesses for the prosecution, analyzed the emergency calls made during the altercation and concluded that the screams did not come from Zimmerman. Zimmerman's attorneys have requested a Frye hearing regarding the admissibility of the testimony of the audio analysts, to determine if the methods used by them are generally accepted by the scientific community.  The Florida legislature recently passed a law which would switch Florida from using the Frye standard of evidence, to the Daubert standard, but it has not yet been signed by the Governor.  The Daubert standard is generally considered more stringent, and requires more scrutiny before admission of expert testimony. 
Martin family response
Tracy Martin was skeptical of the account of his son's death told to him by Sanford police investigators and believed Zimmerman didn't act in self-defense. Two days after the shooting, he was referred to civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who was retained to pursue legal action and to persuade the news media to cover the case. Attorney Natalie Jackson and publicist Ryan Julison, both of Orlando, also joined the Martin team. Due to their efforts, the case started to receive national attention on March 7. On March 9, Crump announced he was suing to have 911 calls from the night of the shooting made public. They were released by the Sanford mayor on March 16. As attention to the case grew, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton gave media interviews and appeared at some of the protests being held which called for Zimmerman's arrest.
Zimmerman and family
While the shooting was being investigated, Zimmerman, his wife, and his parents went into hiding due to threats they were receiving as the case gained more attention. Zimmerman left his job and his school expelled him, citing safety concerns. Due to security concerns, Zimmerman's first lawyers had not been able to meet with him in person.
On April 9, Zimmerman placed a self-created web site on the internet, which included some brief statements, but no information about the shooting, since he had been advised by legal counsel not to discuss it. He also solicited donations for living expenses and legal defense costs.
After taking over as Zimmerman's defense counsel on April 11, Mark O'Mara took down Zimmerman's self-created web site and replaced it with a professional information site. He arranged for a second web site to be set up to collect donations overseen by an independent third party. Following Zimmerman's April 20 bond hearing, he and his wife were accused by prosecutors of not disclosing the funds raised through the original web site; as a result of these allegations, Zimmerman's original bail was revoked. He was subsequently released again with a higher bail amount.
George Zimmerman's defense team had set up a Twitter account, a Facebook page and a website with a defense fund registered with the Florida Division of Consumer Services. After three months, the Facebook page was shut down by O'Mara, because he said it was leading to unhelpful discussions.
In July 2012, Zimmerman returned his original web site to the internet, and his parents also created their own web site. Both sites discuss how the case has changed the Zimmermans' lives and seek donations for living expenses.
On January 30, 2013, Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, asked on Zimmerman's defense fund website for the public to donate more money. O'Mara stated that Zimmerman's legal defense could cost up to $1 million.
On April 11, 2012, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. In Florida, a conviction for second degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If a firearm was used then the mandatory minimum is 25 years in state prison. Zimmerman's attorney, waived Zimmerman's right to appear at an arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Zimmerman is currently out on a $1 million bond with several conditions - that he be electronically monitored, reside in Seminole County, have no bank accounts or passport and observe a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Lester said he granted bond "because Zimmerman posed no threat to the community." Jury selection is scheduled for June 10, 2013, with 500 potential jurors being summoned. The defense have asked for an Anonymous jury, where the identity of the jury would be revealed to the prosecution and defense, but not released to the public or media.  In the motion, the defense said that "[jurors] may be subject to rebuke and possible retribution, should the verdict not comport with certain factions' desires in this matter"
After the shooting, Zimmerman was criticized by the Martin family and in the media for following Martin and for carrying a weapon. Sanford police chief Bill Lee stated that neighborhood watch volunteers are not encouraged to carry a gun but have a Constitutional right to do so. Lee further stated, "Mr. Zimmerman was not acting outside the legal boundaries of Florida Statute by carrying his weapon when this incident occurred." Sanford Police volunteer program coordinator Wendy Dorival, told The Miami Herald that she met Zimmerman in September, 2011, at a community neighborhood watch presentation. "I said, 'If it's someone you don't recognize, call us. We'll figure it out,' 'Observe from a safe location.' Dorival said."
Protests were staged around the U.S. prior to Zimmerman's April 11 indictment on murder charges. Over 2.2 million signatures were collected on a Change.org petition, created by Martin's mother, calling for Zimmerman's arrest. It was the website's largest petition ever.
Since Martin was killed while wearing a hoodie, hoodies were used as a sign of protest, and many cities staged "million hoodie marches" or "hundred hoodie marches". Additionally, some professional athletes, including Carmelo Anthony and the entire Miami Heat roster, tweeted photos of themselves wearing hoodies.
Bags of Skittles candy and cans of Arizona Iced Tea were also used as protest symbols. Martin was reported to be returning from a 7-Eleven convenience store with these items when he was shot, although the beverage he purchased was actually an Arizona brand fruit drink.
Walkouts were staged by students at over a dozen Florida high schools, and thousands of people attended rallies around the country to demand Zimmerman's arrest. Members of the Occupy movement marched in solidarity during the "Million Hoodie March".
A number of high-profile citizens made public comments or released statements calling for a full investigation, including Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and President Barack Obama.
Speaking on the day of Zimmerman's arrest, Al Sharpton said, "Forty-five days ago, Trayvon Martin was murdered. No arrest was made. The Chief of Police in Sanford announced after his review of the evidence there would be no arrest. An outcry from all over this country came because his parents refused to leave it there." Jesse Jackson also referred to Martin as "murdered and martyred". And U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (Dem.), who represents Martin's hometown of Miami, used the word “murdered” when she referred to Martin's fatal shooting.
Herman Cain objected to what he called "swirling rhetoric" and "a war of words", and former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant singled out Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for being "race hustlers" who were exploiting Martin's death "to inflame racial passions". Bryant also criticized President Barack Obama for his "nebulous" comment, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon.”  Former education secretary William Bennett criticized what he called a "mob mentality," saying that "...the tendency in the first days by some, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and an angry chorus of followers, was to rush to judgment with little regard for fairness, due process, or respect for the terrible death of a young man."
Senior Fellow Shelby Steele at Stanford University's Hoover Institution said that the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death was being exploited by a generation of "ambulance-chasing" black leaders who have promoted "our historical victimization as the central theme of our group identity".
President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters on March 23 after federal investigators were deployed to Sanford, said, "When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this... If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon."
According to Zimmerman's father, George Zimmerman received death threats after the shooting and was forced to move out of his home. The New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 reward for the "capture" of George Zimmerman; this was condemned by the city of Sanford.
Film director Spike Lee retweeted to his 200,000 Twitter followers an erroneous Sanford, Florida, address, purported to be Zimmerman's, which forced a family out of their home to avoid harassment after they received hate mail and unwanted visits from reporters. Lee was criticized for his retweet and he later issued an apology for having tweeted the wrong address, though not for engaging in what columnist Doug Giles called "cyberbullying" that exposed Zimmerman to "vigilante...mob violence".
Professor Alan Dershowitz criticized the probable cause affidavit against Zimmerman as "so thin that it won't make it past the judge," calling it "irresponsible and unethical," and opined that the charges were motivated by prosecutor Corey's desire to be re-elected. The deadline for qualifying to run against Corey was 9 days after she filed charges, and no one stepped forward to challenge her, so she won re-election. In June, Dershowitz said that Corey had contacted the dean of Harvard Law School about his remarks, threatening to sue Dershowitz for libel and slander, and the school too, and saying she wanted him to be disciplined by the American Bar Association. Dershowitz said the dean defended his remarks under academic freedom, and he commented that "[e]ven if Angela Corey's actions were debatable, which I believe they were not, I certainly have the right, as a professor who has taught and practiced criminal law nearly 50 years, to express a contrary view." CNN legal analyst Mark NeJame expressed concern over Corey's threats and questioned if the prosecution of Zimmerman was for political reasons.
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote "...what's often overlooked in all the heated conversations about this tragedy is the actual timeline based on police documents." and "[The timeline] indicates that the victim as well as the accused made some terrible choices that night...and it tells us to keep our minds open and our tempers in check, at least until some of [the] gaps get filled at Zimmerman's trial."
Fox News Channel host Geraldo Rivera claimed that Martin's "gangsta style clothing" was "as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was". Rivera was quoted saying, "I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies."  Faced with outrage over his statements, Rivera apologized, saying that he had "obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager". When a 7-Eleven surveillance video showing Martin making a purchase on the night of the shooting was released two months later, however, Rivera referred to the clothes he had been wearing as "thug wear". His comments were criticized by the Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, who compared them to people blaming rape victims for wearing short skirts.
After Zimmerman's bond was revoked for misrepresenting how much money he had when his bond was set, Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said he expected the prosecution to bring Zimmerman's credibility "front and center in this entire case". Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara stated that it was a "mistake" that had "undermined his credibility, which he will have to work to repair".
Alleged race issues
Allegations against Zimmerman
Zimmerman was accused of being motivated by racism and of having racially profiled Martin. During early media coverage of the incident, Zimmerman's call to the police dispatcher was edited by NBC, shortened such that it appeared that Zimmerman had volunteered Martin's race. The unedited audio recording proved that the police dispatcher specifically asked about Martin's race, and only then did Zimmerman reveal that Martin was black. NBC apologized for the misleading edit and disciplined those involved.
Defense of Zimmerman's character
In an open letter on March 15, 2012, Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, defended his son against allegations that his actions were racially motivated, stating that Zimmerman was Hispanic, was raised in a multiracial family, and "would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever," saying that the portrayal of his son as a racist "could not be further from the truth." According to his family, some of Zimmerman's relatives are black. Zimmerman's former lawyer Craig Sonner stated that Zimmerman is not a racist, and that he had mentored black youths in the past. Joe Oliver, a former television news reporter who is acquainted with Zimmerman, noted "I'm a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color."
In early April, an anonymous letter to the NAACP, which was signed "A Concerned Zimmerman Family Member," said Zimmerman had been one of the few to take any action to protest the 2010 beating of Sherman Ware, a black homeless man, by the son of a Sanford police officer. Zimmerman reportedly distributed fliers in the black community trying to get others involved too, and helped organize a January 8, 2011, Sanford City Hall community forum to protest the incident. Zimmerman's father confirmed his son's efforts on Ware's behalf.
In May, the Miami Herald secured an audiotape of the January 8, 2011, Sanford City Hall community forum. On the audiotape, Zimmerman was heard criticizing the conduct of the Sanford Police Department in the Ware case. Zimmerman criticized former chief, Brian Tooley, and said Tooley had engaged in a "cover-up" and that he should lose his pension. He also said he'd been on ride-alongs with Sanford police where he found them to be lazy. The Herald also reported that it had contacted five out of six black churches where Zimmerman was reported to have distributed fliers on the Ware beating, however no one recalled receiving them.
On July 12, interviews conducted by the FBI were publicly released. The Sanford Police Department's lead investigator, Chris Serino, told FBI agents that he believed Zimmerman's actions were not based on Martin's race, but instead on Martin's attire, the circumstances of the encounter, and previous burglaries in the neighborhood. Zimmerman's neighbors and co-workers were interviewed as well. Neighbors who knew Zimmerman had nothing derogatory to say about him, and his co-workers were complimentary of him.
Allegations against the Sanford police
For not arresting Zimmerman, the Sanford police faced heavy criticism, protests, and allegations of racial bias. The NAACP wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressing "no confidence that, absent federal oversight, the Sanford Police Department will devote the necessary degree of care to its investigation" and requesting that personnel be detailed to Sanford to review the case without bias. Lee repeatedly defended the investigation, stating that the Sanford police did not feel they had conducted a racially biased investigation and welcomed a review of their efforts.
Allegations were also made that the Sanford police were protecting Zimmerman. Lee told reporters that they could not arrest Zimmerman because no evidence contradicted his story, and that to do so would leave the police open to litigation. In regards to the 9-1-1 dispatcher telling Zimmerman that "We don't need you to [follow him]," Lee said "That is a call taker making a recommendation to him. He's not under a legal obligation to do that, so that is not something we can charge him with."
On March 21, 2012, three out of the five members of the Sanford City Commission, including the mayor, passed a motion of no confidence in regards to the Police Chief Bill Lee, and his handling of the case; however, the vote was advisory only. The following day, Lee announced that he had temporarily stepped down from his position as chief of police, stating "my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process." Lee further stated, "I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to a city which has been in turmoil for several weeks." On April 23, 2012, the city of Sanford announced that Police Chief Bill Lee would resign but city commissioners voted to reject the resignation. Some commissioners had concerns about the fairness of Lee losing his job and the mayor stated he preferred to wait for the results of an investigation. Lee was to remain on paid leave.
"Stand your ground" laws
Self-defense laws in the United States, particularly regarding justifiable homicide, vary by state. Florida law, as of 2005, includes a "stand your ground" provision, under which a person, who reasonably fears death or great bodily harm (the ordinary deadly self-defense requirement) is relieved of the common-law requirement that one first attempt to retreat, if one can safely do so, before using deadly force. In almost all states, such laws exempt people in their own homes; Florida's version extends the no-retreat doctrine to vehicles and public places. In at least 17 states, including Florida, there is no duty to retreat before using force. After the shooting, media reports had indicated that Zimmerman would most likely use the "Stand Your Ground" provision in Florida's self-defense law. According to Durell Peaden, one of the sponsors of the Florida law, the law does not say that a person has a right to confront another. "When [Zimmerman] said 'I'm following him', he lost his defense." However, the same Mar 20, 2012, article goes on to state, "Peaden and Baxley said they didn't know all the facts of the case, so their interpretations of what happened could change if new information arises during the investigation."
According to David Kopel, if Martin first attacked Zimmerman, the claim of self-defense by Zimmerman would be valid under the usual self-defense laws that didn't include the "Stand your ground" law. On the other hand, if Zimmerman stalked and attacked Martin, the "Stand your ground" law would not protect Zimmerman from prosecution. In either case, the Florida "Stand your ground" law would be irrelevant.
However, the "Stand Your Ground" law grants Zimmerman the right to a pretrial hearing where a judge could find Zimmerman immune from prosecution and dismiss the charges without going to trial. The defense would need to show through a preponderance of the evidence, i.e. show with more than 50% certainty, that Zimmerman thought he would be killed or seriously injured.
Three weeks after the shooting, Florida authorities announced they had picked 19 people to head up a task force to review the Florida statute that deals with justifiable use of force, including the stand your ground provision. After six months of work, the result was that the task force did not recommend significant changes to the law.
On January 16, 2013, Trayvon Martin's mother and Democratic lawmakers in Florida called for the repeal of the states "stand your ground" law.
For the first 10 days after Martin's death, the story was covered by only the Florida media. In order to bring more attention to the case, Martin family attorney Natalie Jackson sought the assistance of publicist Ryan Julison on March 5.
On March 7, 2012, Reuters covered the story, and the following day, CBS News, acting on a tip it received from the network's local bureau in Atlanta, Georgia, obtained an exclusive interview with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton that was broadcast on CBS This Morning.
Also on March 8, The Huffington Post, The Young Turks, and TheGrio.com, which is affiliated with NBC News, started to cover the case. On March 9, 2012, ABC World News featured the story on their nightly broadcast. CNN first reported on the case on March 12, 2012, and by the end of that week, radio hosts and bloggers were also reporting on the story. National coverage started to increase the week of March 12 and intensified after March 16, when tapes of 9-1-1 calls were released to the public. Having the 9-1-1 calls, which the police had previously declined to release, gave radio and TV reporters more material to report on.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism reported that media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case became the first story in 2012 to be featured more than the presidential race. According to the Project, the varying types of media have focused on the case in different ways. An article in the Tampa Bay Times wrote that, "on Twitter, people are outraged at Zimmerman and want justice, while on cable news and talk radio people are discussing the state's laws for self-defense and gun control and on blogs the focus has been on race."
Fox News newsmagazine host Geraldo Rivera, a former NBC employee, asserted that MSNBC "made an ideological decision that... they would argue strenuously for the prosecution of George Zimmerman and the ultimate conviction of George Zimmerman... [T]hey are cheerleading for the conviction of George Zimmerman."
Aspects of coverage
Media portrayal of Martin and Zimmerman
The Associated Press noted that initially the most widely used media photo of Martin was several years old and showed him as a "baby-faced boy," rather than as a 17 year old young man. To represent Zimmerman, the media chose a shot of a beefy 21 year-old Zimmerman taken seven years prior to the shooting, whereas recent photos show him as slim-faced and more mature. The two outdated photos chosen by the media may have helped shape the initial public perception of the shooting. The AP quoted academic Kenny Irby on the expected effect, "When you have such a lopsided visual comparison, it just stands to reason that people would rush to judgment," and another academic, Betsi Grabe, as saying that journalists will present stories as a struggle between good and evil "[i]f the ingredients are there."
Reporting on Zimmerman's call to police
Economist and commentator Thomas Sowell criticized the national media for implying that Zimmerman had continued to follow Martin after the police dispatcher said, "We don't need you to do that." He said that they mostly left out Zimmerman's answer, "O.K." because "too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news."
After the audio of the call was released, reports by CNN and other news outlets alleged that Zimmerman had said "fucking coons" two minutes and twenty-one seconds (2:21) into the call. Two weeks later on April 4, 2012, CNN claimed that enhanced audio revealed that Zimmerman had said "fucking cold." The following day, April 5, 2012, CNN's Martin Savidge reported that forensic audio expert Tom Owen claimed it was "fucking punks." It is said to be "fucking punks" in the affidavit of probable cause, dated April 11, 2012. Other reviewers of the call have offered alternate interpretations of what was said, including "unintelligible." According to the Associated Press, the alleged racial slur "fed growing outrage over the police department's initial decision not to arrest Zimmerman."
Misleading audio editing by NBC
Between March 19 and March 27, 2012, the NBC Nightly News, NBC's Today show, and NBC's network-owned Miami affiliate WTVJ NBC6 ran segments which misleadingly merged parts of Zimmerman's call. On one version of the recording played by NBC, Zimmerman was heard saying, "This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something... He's got his hand in his waistband, and he's a black male." In another what was played was, "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black." In the original 9-1-1 recording, Zimmerman said: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about." The 9-1-1 operator then asked: "OK, and this guy, is he black, white or Hispanic?", and Zimmerman answered, "He looks black." The phrase, "He's got his hand in his waistband, and he's a black male" came several exchanges after that point in the conversation.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post wrote that NBC's alterations "would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler. In reality... Zimmerman simply answered a question... Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry... To portray that exchange in a way that wrongs Zimmerman is high editorial malpractice..."
NBC issued an apology for "an error made in the production process that we deeply regret," but never apologized on the air. The network said that the Today show and Miami edits took place in two separate incidents involving different people. A Miami-based NBC News producer lost her job, WTVJ reporter Jeff Burnside was fired, and two other employees were disciplined. Lilia Luciano, who was the reporter on broadcasts containing both edited versions of the audio, was also fired, and her aired reports on the Trayvon Martin story, along with the misleading audio, were removed from the Today website.
On December 6, 2012, Zimmerman filed a defamation lawsuit against NBC alleging that they intentionally edited the phone call so that Zimmerman would sound racist. The lawsuit said, "NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain." A NBC spokeswoman said the network strongly disagreed with the accusations that Zimmerman made in the complaint, stating; "There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly and we intend to vigorously defend our position in court."
Surveillance video mistake
ABC News obtained a surveillance video of Zimmerman walking unassisted into the Sanford police station after the shooting. An officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman's head, but ABC originally said that no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video. The Daily Caller disputed this claim, and posted a still from the ABC video which showed the injury on the back of Zimmerman's head. ABC later reported that it had "re-digitized" the video, and said that this version showed "what appear to be a pair of gashes or welts on George Zimmerman's head," but the story's main focus was on a doctor who claimed it was unlikely that Zimmerman's nose had been broken.
Robert Mackey, a blogger at The New York Times, wrote that a "wave of vitriol" was aimed at Martin by "conservatives online" in an attempt to make Martin appear menacing by selectively highlighting images from his social media accounts. In one case an image of a different person also named Trayvon Martin in a "gangsta" pose was reprinted in conservative blogs and publications such as The Daily Caller and Michelle Malkin's blog.
- Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is a Hispanic from Peru. George Zimmerman's ancestry includes an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather.
- See The New York Times article The Events Leading to the Shooting of Trayvon Martin for seven aerial views which include depictions of The Retreat at Twin Lakes; the home where Trayvon was staying; the site of the shooting; Zimmerman's home; the site of the 7-11; and other sites of interest.
- The autopsy report can be found at "Trayvon Martin Autopsy Report: Killed By Bullet Fired At Intermediate Range". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
- An Orlando Sentinel source reported in May 2012 that Zimmerman told investigators that Martin "was circling" his vehicle at one point, but news stories after Zimmerman's statements to police were released reported that he said Martin "circled" his vehicle.
- Some referenced information is from the embedded video of Robert Zimmerman's interview,
- "Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder". CNN. April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
- George Zimmerman: Prelude to a shooting,
- Prieto, Bianca (March 14, 2012). "Trayvon Martin: 'We are gathered here today to demand justice' in teen's fatal shooting". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Hamacher, Brian. "George Zimmerman Makes First Appearance Before Judge". NBC Miami. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- Robertson, Campbell; Schwartz, John (March 22, 2012). "Trayvon Martin death spotlights neighborhood watch groups". NY Times. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- by Joy-Ann Reid (2012-07-18). "Zimmerman tells Hannity: ‘No regrets’ over his actions in Trayvon Martin shooting". theGrio. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "Exclusive: George Zimmerman breaks silence on 'Hannity'". Fox News.
- "Affidavit says Zimmerman profiled Martin". CNN. March 27, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Police: Trayvon Martin's death 'ultimately avoidable'". CNN. May 18, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- Kovaleski, Serge F. (May 18, 2012). "Martin Spoke of 'Crazy and Creepy' Man Following Him, Friend Says". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- David Kopel, "Florida's Self-Defense Laws", Volokh Conspiracy, March 27, 2012.
- "New video, audio released of Zimmerman's account of fatal fight". CBS Miami. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "George Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin attacked me". CNN. June 21, 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene. "Trayvon Martin case: facts vs. rumors". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
- "Sanford Police Initial Report". February 26, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Gray, Madison (March 28, 2012). "George Zimmermans Gun a Popular Choice for Concealed Carry". Time. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Photo of blood on back of Zimmerman's head from — Gutman, Matt; Seni Tienabeso (April 20, 2012). "George Zimmerman Tells Trayvon Martin's Parents 'I Am Sorry'". abc Good Morning America. ABC News. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- Gutman, Matt. "Trayvon Martin Case: Timeline of Events". ABC News. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Strassman, Mark (March 27, 2012). "What happened right after Trayvon Martin's shooting?". CBS News. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Sanford Police Say They Lack Evidence To Arrest George Zimmerman". The Florida News Journal. March 12, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Trotta, Daniel (April 3, 2012). "Trayvon Martin: Before the World Heard the Cries". Reuters. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Wisniewski, Mary (March 24, 2012). "Rallies held around country for Trayvon Martin". Reuters. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Copeland, Larry (March 23, 2012). "Trayvon Martin rally draws thousands in call for arrest". USA Today. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Gutman, Matt. "Neighborhood watch shooting of Trayvon Martin: Probe reveals 'questionable police conduct'". ABCNews. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- Sedensky, Matt (March 30, 2012). "Old photos may have shaped public opinion in Martin case, experts say". NBC Miami (NBCUniversal, Inc). Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "Governor Rick Scott Announces New State Attorney and Task Force in Response to Trayvon Martin Incident". flgov.com. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder". CNN. April 11, 2012.
- "New Booking Photo: George Zimmerman turns self in". NorthwestOhio.com. April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman: Affidavit of probable cause". NY Times. April 12, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene. "Judge denies George Zimmermans request to delay stand your ground hearing". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Alcindor, Yamiche (March 5, 2013). "Zimmerman self-defense hearing no longer in April". USA Today.
- "George Zimmerman's attorney asks for delay of trial". CFN 13. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Burch, Audra D. S.; Laura Isensee (March 22, 2012). "Trayvon Martin: a typical teen who loved video games, looked forward to prom". The Miami Herald. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Prieto, Bianca; Robert Nolin (March 17, 2012). "Tensions still simmer in Trayvon Martin shooting case". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Odzer, Ari. "Krop Senior High Students Honor Fallen Classmate Trayvon Martin With "Chain of Life"." NBC Miami. Tuesday March 27, 2012. Retrieved on December 9, 2012.
- Rush, Annemarie (March 29, 2012). "A Closer Look At George Zimmerman". InsightOut News. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- DeGregory, Lane (March 25, 2012). "Trayvon Martin's killing shatters safety within Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Police: Trayvon Martin's Death Ultimately Avoidable". CNN via 10News.com. May 17, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012.[dead link]
- "Reporting Trayvon". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Robles, Frances (April 3, 2012) "At heart of Trayvon Martin death, a one-minute mystery" The Seattle Times. McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- Hamacher, Brian; Karen Yi (21 Jun 2012). "Zimmerman’s Attorney Releases Statements to Police". 6 South Florida (NBCUniversal Media, LLC). Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- "A review of the evidence released in the Trayvon Martin case". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- Hart, Benjamin. "Trayvon Martin autopsy report: killed by bullet fired at close range". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Dahl, Julia (2 Apr 2012). "Trayvon Martin shooting: What do we know?". Crimesider (CBS News). Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- "Trayvon Martin was suspended three times from school". NBC News. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin was suspended three times from school". NBC News. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Alcindor, Yamiche. "Trayvon Martin's postings, school records spark court debate". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- Robles, Frances; Ovalle, David. "Lawyer: Girl on phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was shot". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- Manuel Roig-Franzia,; Tom Jackman and Darryl Fears (March 22, 2012). "Who is George Zimmerman?". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin case: George Zimmerman's brother defends him as his father attacks Obama". Daily Mail (London). April 5, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- George Zimmerman: Brother says Sanford's history adds to furor
- Gamboa, Suzanne (March 29, 2012). "Florida Shooter's Race a Complicated Matter". Associated Press. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
- Connor, Adam Sheets (March 27, 2012). "Voting Form Shows George Zimmerman Is A Registered Democrat, Confounding Message Pushed By Left". International Business Times. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
- Seminole County Sheriff's Office, "Zimmerman, George Michael", Inmate Booking Information, Public Version, 4/11/2012 20:10. (PDF from Central Florida News 13) (from BBC News)
- "Documents in the Trayvon Martin Case". The New York Times. May 18, 2012.
- "George Zimmerman: Self-appointed watchman or racist killer?". The Miami Herald. March 25, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012.[dead link]
- Francescani, Chris (April 25, 2012) "George Zimmerman: Prelude to a shooting" reuters.com. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- Alvarez, Lizette; Williams, Timothy (June 21, 2012). "Documents Tell Zimmerman's Side in Martin Case". The New York Times.
- "Zimmerman apologizes as judge sets $150,000 bond". CNN. April 20, 2012.
- Fausset, Richard (April 20, 2012). "George Zimmerman apologizes to Trayvon Martin family; bond is set". Los Angeles Times.
- "Trayvon Martin case: Sanford Police Chief under fire in Trayvon Martin shooting case". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Robles, Frances (March 17, 2012). "Shooter of Trayvon Martin a habitual caller to cops". The Miami Herald. Retrieved March 20, 2012.[dead link]
- Rutland, Meredith (June 20, 2012). "Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee fired in wake of Trayvon Martin case". Miami Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee fired". Fox News Orlando. June 20, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- "Lead investigator in Trayvon Martin case transferred out of investigative unit". WFTV Channel 9 Orlando. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Robles, Frances. "Detective in Zimmerman case said he was pressured to file charges - Trayvon Martin". MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "WFTV obtains memo from interim Sanford police chief blaming spokesman for mishandling Trayvon Martin case". WFTV Channel 9 Orlando. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- "Benjamin Crump—Bay county camp, martin anderson case". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin, familys lawyer, Benjamin Crump". The Huffington Post. March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "How lawyer got nation talking about Trayvon Martin". NPR. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- Grio, The. "Martin Family lawyer known for civil rights cases". Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- Robles, Frances (May 23, 2012). "George Zimmerman: In 2010, lazy Sanford police engaged in coverup". Miami Herald.
- Liston, Barbara (March 29, 2012). "Trayvon Martin shooting transforms part-time mayor". Reuters.
- DeLuca, Matthew (March 22, 2012). "Did Trayvon Shooter Abuse 911?". The Daily Beast.
- Barry, Dan (April 1, 2012). "Race, Tragedy and Outrage Collide After a Shot in Florida". New York Times.
- "Police: Trayvon Martin's Death Ultimately Avoidable". CNN via 10News.com. May 17, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Isikoff, Michael. "In police calls, Zimmerman mentioned race only when asked". NBC News. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Mandell, Nina (April 6, 2012). "Phone calls may help George Zimmerman". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "911 Call History". City of Sanford, Florida. (copies of police Event Reports for 911 calls by Zimmerman as part of a city investigation of the incident)
- DeLuca, Matthew. "Did Trayvon shooter abuse 911". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Jacobson, Susan. "Trayvon Martin: Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman broke neighborhood watch gun rules". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Blow, Charles M. (March 16, 2012). "The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- Linehan, Dan (4 Apr 2012). "The Missing 2:30 & DeeDee's Testimony". Wagist. Wagist.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- Rudolf, John (April 9, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Case Spotlights Florida Town's History Of 'Sloppy' Police Work". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "George Zimmerman 911 call reporting Trayvon Martin". Orlando Sentinel. March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Schneider, Mike (March 17, 2012). "911 tapes in Trayvon Martin shooting released". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Jacques-White, Lorraine. "Should Zimmerman be arrested for the killing of Trayvon Martin". CBS Atlanta. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene. "Trayvon Martin shooting 911 calls". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Robles, Frances. "What is known, what isn't about Trayvon Martin's death". The Miami Herald.[dead link]
- "Transcript of George Zimmerman's Call to the Police". Mother Jones. City of Sanford. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Deutsch, William (2012-02-26). "A Transcript of the George Zimmerman Police Call". About.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Prosecutor files charge of 2nd degree murder in shooting of Martin". Lizette Alvatrez and Michael Cooper (The New York Times). April 11, 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Burch, Audra, Isensee, Laura. "Trayvon Martin, a typical teen with dreams of flying or fixing planes". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- Park, Haeyoun; Alan McLean, Graham Roberts, Archie Tse (April 1, 2012). "The Events Leading to the Shooting of Trayvon Martin". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "Audiotape of Zimmerman's February 26, 2012, call to Sanford, Florida, Police". Original source: Sanford Police Department.
- Stutzman, Rene. "Trayvon Martin; Zimmerman Account". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- Kovaleski, Serge F. (May 16, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Case Shadowed by Series of Police Missteps". NY Times. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene. "Father wants crime watch volunteer who killed son arrested". Standard-Examiner. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- 05/17/2012 (2012-05-17). "Trayvon Martin: Explosive New Evidence | Video - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- Serino, Chris (March 13, 2012). "Report of Investigation (page 5 of 13)". Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- O'Mara, Mark (3 Dec 2012). "George Zimmerman Photograph". GeorgeZimmerman Legal Case. George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Liston, Barbara (3 Dec 2012). "Bloody new photo of Trayvon Martin's killer released". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Trayvon Martin Crime Scene Photos — See picture number 2.
- Robles, Francis (April 2, 2012). "A look at what happened the night Trayvon Martin died". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "Sanford Police Initial Report". Retrieved April 9, 2012.
- Martosko, David. "Police Incident Report Fills in Details on Trayvon Martin Shooting". Retrieved March 31, 2012.[dead link]
- Christopher Serino, Report of Investigation, Case Num. 201250001136, in Zimmermann Discovery release
- Koplowitz, Howard (March 21, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Shooting: Why Wasn't George Zimmerman Given Drug, Alcohol Tests but Trayvon Was?". International Business Times. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Bella, Peter. "Trayvon Martin and Legal Experts". The Washington Times. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "About Peter V. Bella". Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Trotta, Daniel; Liston, Barbara (April 2, 2012). "Prosecutor denies interfering in Florida shooting case". Reuters. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "Sanford chief: Shooting death of Miami teen turned over to state attorney". Miami Herald. March 12, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.[dead link]
- Adams, David; Brown, Tom; Pelofsky, Jeremy (March 18, 2012). "FBI monitoring fatal Florida shooting case, as police criticized". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene (2012-07-07). "George Zimmerman arrest Sanford: Police gave mixed messages about George Zimmerman's arrest - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- Horwitz, Sari; White, Josh (April 2, 2012). "Martin family's attorney seeks Justice Dept. investigation into police actions after shooting". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Police: Trayvon Martin's death ultimately avoidable". CNN. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Fausset, Richard; Muskal, Michael; Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (May 18, 2012). "Documents shed more light on Trayvon Martin shooting". LA Times. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Evidence released in Trayvon Martin homicide". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 21, 2012.[dead link]
- Kuo, Vivian (March 14, 2012). "Fatal shooting of Florida teen turned over to state attorney". CNN. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- "Neighbourhood watch captain who shot unarmed black teen 'had history of aggressive tactics'- but won't face charges". Daily Mail (London). March 12, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- Stutzman, Renee (April 2, 2012). "Lawyer for Trayvon's family: Wolfinger and police chief met the night teen was killed". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin case to go to grand jury, Fla. state attorney announces". msnbc.com. March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Gunman George Zimmerman makes possible racial slur during call in Trayvon Martin death". Associated Press. WFTV. March 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
- Hernández, Arelis R.; Stutzman, Rene (March 20, 2012). "Grand jury, Department of Justice to investigate Trayvon Martin shooting". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Olorunnipa, Toluse (March 28, 2012). "Tough Minded Prosecutor In Spotlight On Trayvon Martin Case". The Miami Herald. Retrieved March 29, 2012.[dead link]
- Klas, Mary Ellen (March 19, 2012). "Gov. Scott asks FDLE to investigate Trayvon Martin's shooting". The Miami Herald. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Gutman, Matt (March 19, 2012). "FBI, Justice Department to Investigate Killing of Trayvon Martin by Neighborhood Watchman". Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Justice Department, FBI to probe Florida teen's death". CNN. March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- "FBI questions people in Trayvon Martin case, begins 'parallel investigation'". msnbc.com. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Hayes, Ashley (July 13, 2012). "Witnesses tell FBI that George Zimmerman is no racist". CNN. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Robles, Frances. "Detective in Zimmerman case said he was pressured to file charges". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "Autopsy of Trayvon Martin reportedly shows fatal bullet fired from 'intermediate range'". Fox News. May 17, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene. "Trayvon Martin's hear: Experts: Trayvon's heart kept pumping after shooting". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Szalavitz, Maia (May 18, 2012). "Traces of marijuana found in Trayvon Martin's body; Does it matter?". TIME.com. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- "More details emerge in Trayvon Martin investigation". CNN. May 19, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- "New evidence show wounds on Zimmerman's head and THC found in Martin's body". CBS news. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Click Orlando (March 20, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Case 911 Calls Time Stamped part 1 (placed before gunshot - Timeline from Click Orlando". YouTube. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- "Sanford 911 calls released in teen's shooting death". WFTV. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- "Anonymous witness comes forward in Trayvon Martin killing Florida". digitaljournal.com. March 25, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- "Witness: Martin attacked Zimmerman". Tampa, FL: WTVT. March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.[dead link]
- Gutman, Matt (March 26, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Shooter Says Teenager Went for His Gun". ABC News.
- "Zimmerman told police Trayvon tried to grab his gun before he fired". Cleveland, OH: WTAM. March 27, 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman: He Was Reaching for My Gun". Global.christianpost.com. March 26, 2012.
- Johnson, M. Alex (March 28, 2012). "Witness' mom says police told her Trayvon Martin shooting wasn't self-defense". msnbc.com. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- Mcshane, Larry; Kennedy, Helen (March 29, 2012). "Teen witness to Trayvon Martin's shooting 'couldn't see anything': Mom". Daily News (New York, NY).
- Cooper, Anderson (March 20, 2012). "Neighbors: Shooting Wasn't Self Defense". ac360. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- Jones, Daralene (March 15, 2012). "Witness: Sanford Police 'Blew Us Off' in Teen Slaying". Orlando, FL: WFTV. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- Crugnale, James. "Anderson Cooper Interviews Witnesses to Trayvon Martin Shooting". mediaite.com. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
- Weiner, Jeff (March 15, 2012) "Trayvon Martin: Woman gave 'inconsistent' statement on TV, Sanford PD says" Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- Luscombe, Richard (March 30, 2012). "Trayvon Martin lawyers intensify call for arrest amid more evidence leaks". The Guardian.
- Luscombe, Richard (March 29, 2012). "Trayvon Martin killing: witness says he saw Zimmerman walk away uninjured". The Guardian.
- (April 7, 2012). "Eyewitness to the Trayvon Martin shooting speaks out". CNN.
- George Zimmerman evidence Trayvon Martin: New evidence in George Zimmerman shooting of Trayvon Martin released - Page 2 - Orlando Sentinel
- Welch, William M. (May 17, 2012). "Police report: Trayvon Martin's shooting was 'avoidable'". USA Today. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- Stutzman, Renee (May 22, 2012). "Several George Zimmerman witnesses change their accounts". Orlando Sentinel.
- Gutman, Matt. "Trayvon Martin's Last Phone Call Triggers Demand for Arrest 'Right Now'". ABC News. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- Kovaleski, Serge (May 18, 2012). "Trayvon Martin's friend tells what she heard on phone". NY Times. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- Winter, Michael (May 17, 2012). "Police: Zimmerman's encounter with Trayvon 'avoidable'". USA Today.
- Gutman, Matt (March 20, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Exclusive: Friend on Phone with Teen Before Death Recalls Final Moments". ABC News. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Prosecutors admit Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend lied under oath, Daily Caller, March 6, 2013
- "Chief witness in Trayvon Martin case lied under oath, by Vivian Kuo and Josh Levs". CNN. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- "State's main witness in George Zimmerman murder case lied by Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- Winter, Michael (April 11, 2012). "Zimmerman charged with 2nd-degree murder for killing Trayvon". USA Today.
- "New Zimmerman Material Released". WLTZ 38 News (NBC). June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- Hayes, Ashley (June 21, 2012). "George Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin threatened my life". CNN. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "Video shows George Zimmerman's account of fatal fight with Trayvon Martin". WFTV Orlando. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "Exclusive: George Zimmerman breaks silence on 'Hannity'". Fox News. July 18, 2012.
- Robles, Frances (July 18, 2012). "Zimmerman: Trayvon's death was "God's plan"". Miami Herald.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Robert Zimmerman Interview". myfoxorlando. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner, "Source: Zimmerman says Trayvon circled his SUV, frightened him", Orlando Sentinel, May 3, 2012.
- "Police: Zimmerman says Trayvon decked him with one blow then began hammering his head". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Lynch, Rene (March 26, 2012). "Trayvon Martin case: Martin was the aggressor, police sources say". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Valerie Boey, "Exclusive: Robert Zimmerman interview"[dead link], FOX 35 News, March 28, 2012. (Note: Some of the information is from the video, not the text.)
- "George Zimmerman's dad says Travyon told his son, 'You're gonna die now'". U.S. News on msnbc.com (msnbc.com). March 29, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- Bello, Marisol (June 21, 2012). "Zimmerman defense releases tapes of his shooting account". USA Today.
- "Transcript of George Zimmerman's Call to the Police", Source: City of Sanford, Florida, published by Mother Jones.
- Robles, Frances (June 21, 2012). "George Zimmerman said Trayvon Martin assured him he was going to kill him". McClatchey Newspapers.
- "New Zimmerman Material Released". WLTZ 38 News (NBC). June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- Hayes, Ashley (June 21, 2012). "George Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin threatened my life". CNN. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "New audio, video statements released in George Zimmerman case". WKMG TV Orlando. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "George Zimmerman's Written Statement - Document". Sanford (Fla): NYTimes.com. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- Thomas, Pierre (June 21, 2012). "George Zimmerman's Reenactment of Trayvon Martin Shooting". ABC News.
- Frances Robles and Marc Caputo, McClatchy Newspapers. "George Zimmerman said Trayvon Martin assured him he was going to kill him | McClatchy". Mcclatchydc.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- Kovaleski, Serge F.; Robertson, Campbell (May 17, 2012). "New Details Are Released in Shooting of Trayvon Martin". The New York Times.
- "Autopsy results show Trayvon Martin had injuries to his knuckles", WFTV Channel 9, May 15, 2012.
- ABC News Exclusive: Zimmerman Medical Report Shows Broken Nose, Lacerations After Trayvon Martin Shooting, ABC News, May 15, 2012
- "George Zimmerman told truth about Trayvon Martin shooting, documents state". ABC News (local). June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin Shooting: More George Zimmerman evidence released". WTSB Tampa Bay. June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Horvath, F. "Detecting deception: the promise and the reality of voice stress analysis." Journal of Forensic Science. 1982 Apr;27(2):340-51. PMID 7047675
- "Zimmerman apologizes for shooting; gets 150k bail". Associated Press. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- "Experts: Zimmerman attorney made smart move". CBS News. April 21, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene (April 21, 2012). "George Zimmerman granted $150K bond, apologizes to Trayvon Martin's family". Orlando Sentinel Times. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- Stutzman Rene, Weiner Jeff. "George Zimmerman's inconstencies: Credibility may prove key in George Zimmerman case". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- "Zimmerman back in jail, two days after bond revoked". Fox News. June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Knox, Merrill. "Hannity Gets First Interview with George Zimmerman". Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene; Weiner, Jeff (July 19, 2012). "Special prosecutor will use George Zimmerman's Fox News interview against him". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Morgenstern, Madeleine. "Trayvon's Parents react to Zimmerman Interview and 'God's Plan': 'Don't know what God George Zimmerman is worshiping'". The Blaze. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin's parent: this was't Gods plan". CBS News. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene; Hernandez, Arelis R. (April 12, 2012). "George Zimmerman charged". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Alvarez Lizette, Kovaleski Serge (April 12, 2012). "A Day in Court and a New Lawyer for Defendant in Martin Case". NY Times. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Dade, Corey. "Affidavit reveals new details in case against George Zimmerman". NPR. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Hancock, David. "Court affidavit: Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin". CBS News. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Wilson, Greg (April 25, 2012). "Dershowitz: Prosecutor in Trayvon Martin case overreached with murder charge". Fox News (online). Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- Hiassen, Scott (April 12, 2012). "Second-degree murder charge may be hard to prove in Trayvon Martin case". The Miami Herald (online). Retrieved June 9, 2012.[dead link]
- Broward, Charles. "Angela Corey takes on well known legal commentator, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz". The Florida Times Union. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "Trayvon evidence fails to answer who screamed for help". Reuters. May 18, 2012.
- Gutman, Matt (June 29, 2012). "George Zimmerman's Dad Testifies Voice Howling for Help Is His Son". ABC News. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- MSNBC.com staff. "Prosecutors release another round of Zimmerman's evidence". MSNBC. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Robles, Frances (12 July 2012). "FBI records: agents found no evidence that Zimmerman was racist". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- McCrummen, Stephanie; Horwitz, Sari (May 22, 2012). "Trayvon Martin case 911 call: Two experts reach two very different conclusions". The Washington Post.
- Kovaleski, Serge F.; Robertson, Campbell (May 17, 2012). "New Details Are Released in Shooting of Trayvon Martin". The New York Times.
- "Autopsy results show Trayvon Martin had injuries to his knuckles", WFTV Channel 9, May 15, 2012
- CNN wire staff (December 15, 2011). "Zimmerman prosecutors release evidence list". CNN. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Sandoval, Edgar (March 21, 2012). "'Million Hoodie' march takes Union Square". New York Daily News.
- Stelter, Brian (March 25, 2012). "In Slain Teenager's Case, a Long Route to National Attention". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Liston, Barbara (March 7, 2012). "Family of Florida boy killed by Neighborhood Watch seeks arrest". Reuters. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin shooting: A timeline of events". CBS News.
- "Thousands call for 'justice' at Trayvon Martin rally". Chicago Tribune. March 23, 2012.
- Robles, Frances (May 14, 2012). "Zimmerman's father: Our lives will never be the same". Miami Herald.
- Benitez, Gio (March 26, 2012). "Who Is George Zimmerman?". CBS Miami.
- Dershowitz, Alan (April 11, 2012). "The damage done by Zimmerman's lawyers". New York Daily News.
- Joseph, Channing (April 10, 2012). "On a New Web Site, The Real George Zimmerman Speaks, and Solicits Funds". The New York Times.
- DiBlasio, Natalie (May 1, 2012). "George Zimmerman's lawyers give him a social media boost". USA Today. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- CNN Wire Staff (Fri June 1, 2012). "Judge revokes Zimmerman's bond". CNN. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- Robles, Frances (13 May 2012). "Donations flood in for families of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman". Standard-Examiner. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
- "Official Website: George Zimmerman Legal Case". Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case: Zimmerman gets permission to travel to Orange County.". WPTV. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Gutman, Matt (July 27, 2012). "Zimmerman Parents' New Website Decries Threats, Says Son Is No Racist". ABC News.
- "Zimmerman wants to delay trial for Trayvon Martin shooting.". Associated Press. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Florida city doesn't accept resignation of police chief in Trayvon Martin case". CNN. April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- Mike Schneider, "George Zimmerman Bail: Judge Sets Trayvon Martin Shooter's Bond At $1 Million", Associated Press, 5 Jul 2012.
- Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/george-zimmerman-trial-date-set-june-10-2013_n_1973469.html%7Caccessdate=December 7, 2012
- "Trayvon Martin's case turns into brand". USA Today. March 28, 2012.
- Martin, Tracy. "Prosecute the killer of our son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin". Change.org. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Simon, Mallory; McConnell, Dugald (March 23, 2012). "Neighbors describe watch leader". CNN. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Trayvon Martin had multiple school suspensions
- "George Zimmerman's bail set at $150,000". CBS News. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- Leitsinger, Miranda. "How one man helped spark online protest in Trayvon Martin case". MSNBC.com.
- Severson, Kim (March 28, 2012). "For Skittles, Death Brings Both Profit and Risk". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Candy conundrum: How should Wrigley handle Skittles' link to Trayvon Martin killing?
- Hightower, Kyle; Lush, Tamara (May 19, 2012). "Cache of evidence provides little clarity in Trayvon Martin case". Denver Post. Associated Press.
- NBC Miami List of Schools Staging Walkouts For Trayvon Martin
- Lennard, Natasha (October 24, 2011). "Occupiers march for Trayvon Martin at 'Million Hoodie March'". Salon. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- Lennard, Natasha (March 21, 2012). "NYPD raid burgeoning Union Square occupation". Salon. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Matt Williams (March 23, 2012). "Obama: Trayvon Martin death a tragedy that must be fully investigated". The Guardian (London). Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- Lynch, Rene (March 22, 2012). "Al Sharpton: Civil rights leader takes center stage in Trayvon Martin furor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Lynch, Rene (March 26, 2012). "Trayvon Martin case: 'Blacks are under attack,' says Jesse Jackson". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- "CNN.com". CNN.
- Gordy, Cynthia (April 11, 2012). "George Zimmerman Arrest: Trayvon Martin Parents Say It's the Beginning". Theroot.com. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Jesse Jackson says Trayvon Martin 'murdered and martyred' | The Daily Caller
- Brown, Wilson condemn ‘murder” of Trayvon Martin – Central Florida Political Pulse – Orlando Sentinel
- Cain: 'Swirling rhetoric,' 'war of words' in Trayvon case must stop, facts are needed before rushing to judgment | The Daily Caller
- Rosario, Frank (March 27, 2012). "Ex-NAACP big rips Al & Jesse for handling of Trayvon Martin shooting". New York Post.
- Anti-Sharpton Black Leader Rips CNN's Roland Martin Over Trayvon Case | RealClearPolitics
- Bennett, William J. (March 30, 2012). "Rush to judgment in Trayvon Martin case". CNN.
- Shelby Steele, "The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin", The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2012.
- Stutzman, Rene (March 15, 2012). "George Zimmerman's father: My son is not racist, did not confront Trayvon Martin". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Hernandez, Arelis R. (March 24, 2012) "Trayvon Martin case: New Black Panthers offer $10,000 bounty for capture of George Zimmerman" Orlando Sentinel
- "As Trayvon Furor Grows, Black Panthers Offer Reward For Zimmerman". Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "Police: Trayvon protesters ransack store". WPLG. March 28, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Vandals Scar NOLA Monuments With Protest Messages". WDSU. March 28, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Franklin tagged with Trayvon Martin-related vandalism". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Suspect: I Beat Up White Man Because I Am Mad About Trayvon Martin Case". WFLD. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.[dead link]
- "Man Beaten By Mob, Arrests Expected Today". WKRG-TV. April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Spike Lee re-tweets incorrect address of Trayvon Martin shooter", The Washington Times, March 27, 2012
- Spike Lee Under Fire for Tweeting Wrong Address in Trayvon Martin Controversy, The Hollywood Reporter, March 27, 2012
- Elderly couple abandons their home after address is posted on Twitter as that of George Zimmerman
- Stableford, Dylan (March 28, 2012). "Spike Lee retweet with wrong Zimmerman address sparks outrage and fear". Yahoo!.
- "Spike Lee apologizes for retweeting wrong Zimmerman address". CNN. March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Spike Lee's Vigilante Trayvon Tweet - Doug Giles - [page]
- Smerconish, Michael (April 24, 2012). "Case against George Zimmerman may be doomed". Star Tribune. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- Greg Wilson, "Dershowitz: Prosecutor in Trayvon Martin case overreached with murder charge", Fox News, April 25, 2012.
- "Angela Corey, prosecutor in Trayvon Martin case, wins re-election". WTSP. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- Dershowitz, Alan (June 5, 2012). "Dershowitz: Zimmerman Prosecutor Threatening to Sue Harvard for My Criticism". Newsmax.
- Weiner, Jeff (June 6, 2012). "Alan Dershowitz says Zimmerman prosecutor went on '40-minute rant,' threatened to sue Harvard".
- NeJame, Mark (June 19, 2012). "Did politics drive prosecution in Trayvon Martin case?". CNN.
- Zorn, Eric (April 20, 2012). "The 411 about the Trayvon Martin timeline". Chicago Tribune.
- Fung, Katherine (March 23, 2012). "Geraldo Rivera: Trayvon Martin's 'Hoodie Is As Much Responsible For [His] Death As George Zimmerman'". The Huffington Post.
- Mirkinson, Jack (May 21, 2012). "Geraldo Rivera Sharply Criticized By Trayvon Martin Lawyer Benjamin Crump: 'You're Embarrassing Your Son Again'". The Huffington Post.
- Lee, M.J. (March 27, 2012). "Geraldo Rivera apologizes for 'hoodie' comment". Politico. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- "Bill O'Reilly: The media not backing off from trying the Trayvon Martin case on TV". Fox News. May 17, 2012.
- "Judge revokes Zimmerman's bond". CNN. January 29, 2004. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- "Zimmerman credibility may be issue in Martin case". USA Today (AP). June 2, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- Pearce, Matt (June 4, 2012). "George Zimmerman has undermined his credibility, defense admits". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- Alvarez, Lizette (March 17, 2012). "911 Calls Add Detail to Debate Over Florida Killing". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Wemple, Erik (March 31, 2012). "NBC to do 'internal investigation' on Zimmerman segment". The Washington Post.
- "Zimmerman atty.: Shooting isn't racist". CNN. March 23, 2012
- Capehart, Jonathan (March 28, 2012). "Don't trust Joe Oliver's 'gut feeling' about his 'friend' George Zimmerman". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- Trotta, Daniel (March 25, 2012). "Black friend defends shooter of Florida teen". Reuters
- "Zimmerman family member calls NAACP 'racists,' says 'there will be blood on your hands' if George is hurt". Daily Caller. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Zimmerman's family: George handed out fliers, protesting police coddling of white suspect Orlando Sentinel (April 5, 2012)
- Gutman, Matt (March 13, 2012). "Orlando Watch Shooting Probe Reveals Questionable Police Conduct". ABC News. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- Clint Van Zandt, 911 calls released in deadly Florida shooting, MSNBC, Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- "Mayor, 2 others vote 'no confidence' in police chief". WKMG Orlando. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- "Florida city commission rejects police chief's resignation in Trayvon Martin case". CNN. April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- The 2011 Florida Statutes, Title XLVI Crimes, Chapter 776 Justifiable use of force, posted at Official Internet Site of the Florida State Legislature.
- "Use of Deadly Force for Lawful Self-Defense". Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. February 16, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- Chow, J.D., Andrew (March 21, 2012). "'Stand Your Ground' Laws: State by State". Reuters. Retrieved March 23, 2012.[dead link]
- Portero, Ashley (March 21, 2012). "Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law: 5 Things To Know". International Business Times. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Caputo, Marc (March 20, 2012). "Stand Your Ground fathers: Trayvon Martin's killer should likely be arrested, doesn't deserve immunity". Tampa Bay Times.
- David Kopel, "Florida's Self-Defense Laws", Volokh Conspiracy, March 27, 2012. "The particular legal changes resulting from Florida’s 'Stand Your Ground' and 'Castle Doctrine' laws (deadly force in the home/automobile; no duty to retreat in public places; Fourth Amendment arrest standard affirmation; protection from civil suits) simply have nothing to do with whether Zimmerman’s actions were or were not lawful."
- Opinion Staff (9 Aug 2012). "Will George Zimmerman win his "stand your ground" hearing?". The Palm Beach Post (Cox Media Group). Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- Nelson, Laura J. (9 Aug 2012). "George Zimmerman to seek 'stand your ground' self-defense hearing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Task Force to consider 'stand your ground' after Trayvon Martin death". CNN. April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "FLA. DEMOCRATS WANT REPEAL OF 'STAND YOUR GROUND'". AP. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- Strassman, Mark (March 8, 2012). "Parents seek justice for unarmed son's killing". CBS News. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Lee, Trymaine (March 8, 2012). "Trayvon Martin's Family Calls For Arrest Of Man Who Police Say Confessed To Shooting (UPDATE)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Grio, The (March 8, 2012). "Family wants answers in Fla. teen's death". Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Uygur, Cenk (March 8, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Shot, Killed By Neighborhood Watch". Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Rosenbaum, Matthew (March 9, 2012). "Florida Family Seeks Justice After Unarmed Teen Shot By Neighborhood Watch Captain". Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Kuo, Vivian (March 12, 2012). "Florida teen's shooting by watchman questioned". CNN. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Lee, Trymaine (March 16, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Case: 911 Audio Released Of Teen Shot By Neighborhood Watch Captain (AUDIO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Deggans, Eric. "Update: Trayvon Martin story now more covered than presidential race". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- O'Reilly Accuses Geraldo Rivera Of 'Doing The Same Thing' As MSNBC In Downplaying George Zimmerman Charges | Mediaite
- Sowell, Thomas (April 24, 2012) "Who is 'Racist'?" The American Spectator. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- "Did Trayvon Martin's shooter use slur in 911 tapes?". Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN). March 22, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- "911 Tapes From Trayvon Martin Shooting: Was a racial slur uttered?", CNN Anderson Cooper 360, AC360 Blogs, April 4, 2012.
- "CNN's Martin Savidge reports on forensic analysis of 911 tape". CNN. April 6, 2012.
- "Did George Zimmerman Complain About 'F*cking C**ns' In 911 Call Before Killing Trayvon Martin?". Mediaite. March 20, 2012.
- Coates, Ta-Nehisi (March 22, 2012). "Did George Zimmerman Use A Racial Slur?". The Atlantic.
- "Affidavit: George Zimmerman did not use racial slur in 911 call". Syracuse.com. Associated Press. April 13, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- NBC6 Zimmerman Edit Explanation | NBC 6 Miami
- Sheffield, Matthew. "NBC News President: Network Should 'Probably' Apologize On-Air for Repeatedly Running Fake Zimmerman Clip". Newsbusters.org. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- "Lilia Luciano report on Trayvon Martin, Mar 20". NBC Today Show. Youtube.com. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Lilia Luciano report on Trayvon Martin, Mar 22". NBC Today Show. Youtube. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "NBC issues apology for edited Zimmerman 911 call". Fox News. April 3, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Carr, David (April 22, 2012). "TV News Corrects Itself, Just Not on the Air". The New York Times.
- NBC Station Fires Reporter For Making Similar Edit in George Zimmerman 911 Call - TVSpy
- Robles, Frances (25 April 201). "NBC6 fires local reporter Jeff Burnside in editing of Zimmerman police call". Miami Herald.
- Stelter, Brian (April 6, 2012). "NBC Fires Producer of Misleading Zimmerman Tape". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- "Today Show Luciano Report transcript, Mar 20, 2012, 0700 EST". LexisNexis. NBC Company. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Ariens, Chris. "Another Misleading Edit Costs Another NBC News Employee Her Job". TVNewser.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Mirkinson, Jack (3 May 2012). "Lilia Luciano Fired By NBC News Over Botched George Zimmerman Edit". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- "George Zimmerman sues NBC over edited 911 call". Fox News Latino. Associated Press. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Martinez, Michael. "George Zimmerman sues NBC Universal over edited 911 call". CNN.com. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "George Zimmerman sues NBC and reporters". USA Today. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- Gutman, Matt (March 28, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman". ABC News. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Police surveillance video of Zimmerman may show head injury", The Daily Caller, March 29, 2012
- Matt Gutman (April 2, 2012). "George Zimmerman Video Shows Little Evidence of a Broken Nose, Doctor Claims". Good Morning America. ABC News.
- "Trayvon Martin: ABC enhances George Zimmerman video", Orlando Sentinel, April 2, 2012
- Mackey, Robert (March 29, 2012). "Bloggers Cherry-Pick From Social Media to Cast Trayvon Martin as a Menace". New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Second Trayvon Martin Twitter feed identified | The Daily Caller
- Defense websites:
- Other George Zimmerman legal websites:
- George Zimmerman and family personal websites:
- Collected news and commentary
- Justice for Trayvon website maintained by GlobalGrind.com
- Trayvon Martin collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Trayvon Martin collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
- Trayvon Martin collected news and commentary at Orlando Sentinel
- Trayvon Martin collected news and commentary at The Miami Herald
- Trayvon Martin collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Walk throughs and graphics of events leading up to the shooting: