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March 2012, Week 5

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Fri, 30 Mar 2012 23:39:05 -0400
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Trayvon Martin Case: Police Video Shows No Blood,
Bruises on George Zimmerman After Killing

by Trymaine Lee
Posted: 03/28/2012 9:23 pm Updated: 03/28/2012 10:02 pm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/trayvon-martin-police-video_n_1386764.html

Newly released video of George Zimmerman at the Sanford
Police Department the night he shot Trayvon Martin to
death show the neighborhood watch volunteer without
blood on his clothing or bruises on his face or head.
His clean-shaven picture seems to contrast with the
violent beating he told police he endured at the hands
of Martin, 17, who Zimmerman said attacked him from
behind.

The video, obtained by ABC News, appears inconsistent
with Zimmerman's recently leaked statement to police
that he was in a death struggle with Martin before
Zimmerman shot him in the chest in self-defense.
Zimmerman told investigators that Martin jumped him from
behind, punched him in the nose and pounded his head
into a sidewalk, according to a police report first
described by the Orlando Sentinal.

In the video, apparently taken by surveillance cameras
outside and inside the police station, Zimmerman's face
and head are clearly visible and show no injuries
consistent with the kind of fight Zimmerman's statement
described.

Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watch captain at the
Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community, is seen arriving
in a police cruiser. He gets out of the car with his
hands cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is clean-shaven
and appears several pounds lighter than in ubiquitous
mug shot of him taken in 2005 when he was arrested on a
charge of assaulting a police officer.

The video's release comes amid shifting public
perception of Martin, whose baby-faced image has become
the face of the so-called "Trayvon Martin movement for
Justice" that has captivated much of the U.S. Earlier
this week, school officials in Miami released Martin's
disciplinary record, showing that he had been on a 10-
day suspension when he was killed. According to reports,
school officials found an empty baggy that contained
marijuana residue. Meanwhile, some websites have
replaced widely circulated family photos of Martin with
pictures of him sporting removable gold tooth caps.
Other websites have picked seemingly random photos of
other youth in questionable or offensive poses and
claimed that they are of Martin.

Martin's family has called the counter-offensive an
assault on Martin's character and a "smear campaign."
Tracy Martin, the teen's father, told HuffPost earlier
this week, "I refuse to let them assassinate my son's
character." He added: "The question should not be why
was he suspended from school, it should be why did this
man kill him in cold blood."

Zimmerman shot Martin to death the night of Feb. 26.
Martin had been walking toward his father's girlfriend's
house shortly after 7 p.m. and Zimmerman spotted him and
called 911 to report a "suspicious" person. Zimmerman
followed Martin, disregarding a police dispatcher who
told him "we don't need you to do that." Police said
early in the investigation that Martin noticed he was
being followed, asked Zimmerman what he wanted, and a
physical encounter ensued.

In the recently released police reports, Zimmerman told
police he got out of his vehicle to follow Martin, but
lost sight of him. As he walked back to his vehicle,
Martin attacked him from behind, punched him in the
nose, knocked him down and began smashing the back of
his head into the sidewalk, police reports say Zimmerman
told officers. During the tussle, Zimmerman pulled the 9
mm handgun he carried and shot Martin in the chest, he
told police.

Lawyers for the Martin family said Zimmerman was the
aggressor. The lawyers said Martin's girlfriend in Miami
was on the phone with him just moments before he was
killed. The girlfriend has told ABC News and family
lawyers that Martin told her someone was following him.
She said she heard someone ask Martin something, then
what sounded like someone pushing him. The phone sounded
like it was then knocked to the ground and went dead,
the girl said.

The funeral director who handled Martin's funeral said
there were no cuts or bruises on the teen's hands that
would suggest a violent struggle or fight.

"I didn't see any evidence he had been fighting
anybody," Richard Kurtz of Roy Mizell and Kurtz Funeral
Home in Fort Lauderdale, told television talk show host
Nancy Grace.

Police took Zimmerman into custody after they arrived.
He was questioned and released later that night. He
remains free as the Seminole County State Attorney's
Office reviews the police investigation and decides
whether to file charges. The U.S. Justice Department
also is investigating.

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