George Zimmerman Post Shooting & At Police Station

trayvon martin

Scene with Travon Martin Covered by the Yellow Blanket


The police arrived at 7:17.  Mr.  Zimmerman had put his gun in his holster and his hands up in the air and was standing near Trayvon who was lying face down in the ground and at this time his hands were under his shoulders.  Police officer Timothy Smith arrived first the scene.  At that time, Mr.  Zimmerman stated to Officer Smith that he had shot Trayvon and  still had his gun. Officer Smith handcuffed Mr. Zimmerman and removed his weapon from him. Mr.  Zimmerman’s back was wet and covered with grass and he had the appearance of having been in a fight.  The second officer to arrive was Ricardo Ayala and this is the first person who looked at Trayvon with any professionalism and compassion to attempt CPR. The paramedics arrived and tried also but Trayvon was declared dead at 7:30 PM.

Mr.  Zimmerman refused help beyond immediate assistance from the  paramedics.  Someone at the scene called his wife who called a close friend and air marshal, Mark Osterman who had previously been a Sanford Police deputy.  This friend assisted Mr. Zimmerman in all the police interviews and did arrive at the scene of the shooting.  The wife, Shellie then moved Mr. Zimmerman’s truck before it could be secured.  After  Mr. Zimmerman was treated and released by the paramedics at the scene he was transported to the Sanford Police Department,

At no time did Mr. Zimmerman dispel any of the officers at the scene of the shooting or in transit that he had driven to the scene of the shooting.  They all assumed he had walked and so no effort was made to secure the truck.  The police did secure the area but they did not adequately protect the evidence from the rain.  They collected statements from witnesses at the scene and made some effort to canvass for witnesses nearby.  There was a previously used yellow blanket that the police covered Trayvon with and which could never be tested for trace evidence because of its prior use and contamination. Trayvon’s body was placed in a body bag to be sent to the morgue.  His hands were not bagged as is the standard procedure in evidence  collection.  There were not any official police photos taken of Mr. George Zimmerman’s injuries at the scene.  Another police officer days later remembered that he took  cell phone photos of George Zimmerman’s injuries and forgot  to download them and then submitted them with the explanation of a lapse in memory breaking any reasonable chain of evidence protocol.  Trayvon Martin was tagged as a John Doe because he had no identification on him. They never collected the surveillance videos available throughout the development  in real time.  They did not canvass the neighborhood for family members of the young person who was shot without any identification and in possession of purchases from a local store. They claim they did not have the equipment or ability to fix Trayvon’s dead cell phone at the time to call Trayvon’s Dad without him having to call in a missing person’s report the next morning.  They never did  locate to interview the witness who had been talking to Trayvon for twenty minutes just prior to the shooting.  It was Trayvon’s  Dad who tracked down the witness, Rachel Jeantel from Trayvon cell phone bills.  The next morning, the doctor did the autopsy with no police representative in attendance, as is the standard protocol.  The doctor who performed the autopsy testified at trial that he had absolutely no recollection of Trayvon.

While Mr. Zimmerman was at the Sanford Police station he was questioned by two investigators, Officers, Ms. Singleton and Chris Serino for several hours.  They did ask questions like why did you not  just announce that you were from the neighborhood watch group.?  Mr. Zimmerman’s answer was that he was scared. They did  ask if he was following the suspect and did he ever think that the suspect might have been scared?   Mr.  Zimmerman did admit that he just wanted to know the  general direction of where the suspect was going and he got out of his truck to look for a street sign so that he could give the police directions. The police did ask why he had to look for the sign as he had lived in the development for three years and there are only three signs.  Mr. Zimmerman said he suffers from  a poor memory and he takes medication for attention deficit disorder.  The police did ask if he had anything in his hands and he did say he had a flashlight which was not working.  Mr.  Zimmerman stated to the police in general over 2 days that Trayvon jumped out of some bushes and confronted him while he was returning to his truck to wait for the police.  Trayvon said something like, “what the fuck is your problem, homie?”  Zimmerman said he did not have a problem and was about to dial 911 when Trayvon responded by saying, “now you have a problem.”  Trayvon then punched Mr. Zimmerman and was banging his head into the concrete.  Zimmerman said that within seconds, Trayvon was moving down his body going toward his gun , but in fear for his life he managed to remove the gun from the holster in the back of pants and then he shot Trayvon.

The officers noted that during the police interview, he did not appear to be angry or hateful toward Trayvon.  The police also subjected  Mr. Zimmerman to a “Voice Stress Analysis,” a type of lie detector test  in which they report he does not appear to be deceptive. The only problem with this, is that these tests are not the same as a polygraph and within the scientific community are noted for being extremely unreliable.  In this case, this test is being administered by officers who are not experienced and proficient in this area of expertize.  Also, the one value this high tech looking gadget has for intimidating someone into telling the truth would not be effective with Mr. Zimmerman, who has been taking many criminal justice courses at a local college and would be well aware of this   information. There was trial testimony that Mr. Zimmerman’s credibility was tested during police questioning when Mr. Zimmerman was presented with the comment that the police found a video depicting the fight, and Mr. Zimmerman responded with the words, “thank God.”  During trial this same officer volunteered that he believed Mr. Zimmerman and he was the witness for the prosecutor, but the judge asked the jury to ignore this.

Later in the evening , the crime scene technician,  D. Smith did  photograph Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries and collected other evidence such as gun shot residue, Mr. Zimmerman’s clothes.  Please remember, Mr. Zimmerman’s air marshal friend and former deputy of the Sanford police, Mark Osterman accompanied Mr. Zimmerman throughout all the police interviews and was present at the shooting scene.

That same evening, the Police Chief, Bill Lee in conjunction with the Florida State Attorney’s office headed by Norm Wolfinger had Mr. Zimmerman released stating there was lack of evidence and lack of legal grounds to make an arrest.  He said Mr. Zimmerman had a right to defend himself with lethal force.

In my mind, it is too much of a coincidence that Mr. Zimmerman describes Trayvon as surprising him out of nowhere and from bushes which  do not exist and that this just happens to be a location in the direct path only 200 FEET from the back door of Trayvon’s destination.  Additionally, the words that Mr. Zimmerman is recalling being spoken by Trayvon are what a white person would think how a Black young  thug would speak.  No young person of any color would be caught dead talking like this!!

What impresses me is that he had the presence of mind when the police came to the scene to have someone call his wife who then called his  air marshal friend  who also had connections to the Sanford Police station.  The wife then moves the truck before the police  could  secure it  as part of the shooting scene.  During all the interviews, he never indicated any knowledge of the Florida “Stand Your Ground” Statute even though this subject was covered extensively in his criminal justice classes. Mr. Zimmerman denied having any knowledge of this law during one of his interviews on FOX TV with Mr. Hannity. This was rebutted during trial when one of Mr. Zimmerman’s recent professors testified under oath that this subject was covered extensively in his classes and that Mr. Zimmerman was an excellent student.

I do not know if the police, FBI or FDLE ever collected Mr.  Zimmerman’s cell phone records or those of his known associates as I would have liked to have tracked Mr. Zimmerman’s phone calls for an hour prior to the shooting and for an hour subsequent.  I would want to know if Mr. Zimmerman received any calls from Mr. Frank Taaffe and if there were any phone calls between himself or his wife Shellie and Mr. Osterman.  I do know they had Trayvon’s cell.  I do not know why the police did not do an immediate background check on Mr. George Zimmerman.  They would have learned he had to undergo a pretrial alcohol  education program to have a second chance for being charged for assault against a police officer at a bar.  Mr. Zimmerman  admitted to taking serious medication of ADD and he has a history for acting out while “under the influence” and so obtaining a warrant for some blood work might have been a smart move. I can’t help but wonder if this might have been one of  Mr. Zimmerman’s  motive for turning down the paramedics offer to take him to the hospital as he would have had to submit to blood testing.  My guess is that the police were already predisposed to be empathetic to Mr. Zimmerman’s story about being the neighborhood watch captain and the history of prior robberies in the community and they got sloppy and short circuited the investigation.  This is where I believe the air marshal friend and former Sanford deputy, Mark Osterman played a  major role in influencing his fellow officers.  This is why they didn’t consider the possibility that Trayvon was a local kid and did not bother to do a neighborhood canvass to notify his worried family or to check Trayvon’s cell to learn that there were several calls from a concerned Dad. The Dad had to file a missing person’s report.  I still don’t understand why they couldn’t have just gone through the motions of doing a basic investigation like collecting the surveillance videos available at the time in the development to confirm the  actions and stories of the key people in this drama? It would have been a big help in recreating the crime scene if the police could have collected all the cells phones and placed the timing and locations from the different calls with more exactness.

There are a lot of holes in Mr. Zimmerman’s story which do not make sense such as his getting out of the truck to find a street sign when he had already provided the street name to the  police dispatcher “RETREAT VIEW CIRCLE” which continues from the club house to the back of the town houses leading to the back entrance; which circles the entire perimeter of the development and Mr.  Zimmerman despite his ADD knows this.

There is a video ( now public) taken of George Zimmerman at the police station on the evening of February 26, 2012 showing virtually no injuries like the ones splashed over the newspapers with Mr. Zimmerman having an injured bloody nose and a couple of bleeding lacerations in the back of his head.  How is this explained  away with cell phone pictures showing injuries taken by a police officer at the scene and developed and turned in hours, maybe days later?  The explanation given is that Mr. Zimmerman was cleaned up by the paramedics at the scene of the shooting.

Many of the witnesses that the Sanford Police officers originally interviewed complained when giving statements to the FDLE and the FBI. It seems the the Sanford Police attempted to lead the interviews in the way they wanted and if the witnesses were not cooperative, they discontinued the interview and did not return. This is the investigative level that the State Attorney’s Office headed by Norm Wolfinger and the Police Chief, Bill Lee made the semi final decision not to press charges against Mr. George Zimmerman after five hours of police questioning on the evening of February 26, 2012. Their argument was that Mr. Zimmerman had a right to defend himself and with the current Florida laws it would be difficult to prevail in court.