The George Zimmerman Evidence: 5 Things You Should Know
Analysts say materials are a “mixed bag” that support some, not all of shooter’s story
Things may have gotten tougher for both the prosecution and defense last week, when evidence was released against George Zimmerman, in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The materials, shared with Zimmerman’s legal team some time ago, were released Thursday to media outlets by the Florida State Attorney’s Office.
While the more than 200 pages of police records, autopsy reports, photographs and surveillance video files help support Zimmerman’s claim that he fought with the 17-year-old unarmed Miami student, it remains unclear if any of it irrefutably validates his claim of self-defense.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Martin. The case has become a racially divisive subject, as many believe Martin was targeted by Zimmerman because he was black.
Loop 21 obtained the materials on Thursday and reviewed them. Here are the five things you should know about the evidence:
1. Photos support Zimmerman’s story about his fight with Trayvon
George Zimmerman was cleaned up by a paramedic on the scene of the crime, but still had injuries that were visible when investigators took photographs at a Sanford police station.
The photos clearly show bleeding lacerations to the back of Zimmerman’s head. In close up photos, his nose appears to be swollen. His attorney and family have said his nose was broken, but medical records obtained by ABC News say he sustained a “closed fracture” of the nose.
Photographs of Zimmerman’s hands suggest he did not engage in fisticuffs with the teen. An autopsy report of Martin reports cuts to the teen’s knuckles, consistent with a fight. Photos from the autopsy were not released to the media.
[ALSO READ: Photos of George Zimmerman’s Injuries]
2. Location of Trayvon’s body supports fight was on concrete
Zimmerman’s brother told Piers Morgan that Trayvon repeatedly beat George’s head in the concrete, before George fired the fatal gunshot. Crime scene photos, including one that shows Trayvon’s body covered by a police tarp, suggest the fight may have occurred near a concrete path.
3. An investigator believes Zimmerman was the cause of the fight
A Sanford Police sergeant investigating the scene concludes his report by suggesting Zimmerman instigated the fight with Trayvon Martin.
“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party’s concern. This is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in an criminal activity at the time of the encounter,” reads a report.
4. FBI could not say who is hear screaming on 911 audio tape
An audio analyst for the FBI could not conclude that the voice heard screaming for help in a 911 audiotape was either George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin.
“Critical listening and digitial singal analyses further revealed that the screaming voice of the 911 call is of insufficient voice quality and duration to conduct a meaningful voice comparison with any other voice samples primarily dur to the screaming voice being: (1) produced under an extreme emotional state, (2) limited in the number of words and phrases uttered, (3) superimposed by other voices most of the time, and (4) distant, reverberant and very low signal level,” reads the report.
5. Neither Zimmerman nor Trayvon are on community security cameras
Although Trayvon Martin is captured on 7-Eleven surveillance cameras purchasing Skittles and an ice tea, no cameras in the gate community where the teen was shot capture him or George Zimmerman during any part of their confrontation. Conflicting witness accounts and interviews (audio files among the evidence materials) do not support Zimmerman’s claims that he was not the initial aggressor.