- Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. — Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman re-enacted the fight he had with Trayvon Martin in police video released Thursday, giving his most detailed account yet of what led him to fatally shoot the unarmed black teenager. Mr. Zimmerman claims in the video that Trayvon said “you’re going to die” and reached for Mr. Zimmerman’s gun just before the shooting.

The police recording was taken a day after the Feb. 26 shooting. The video, along with audio recordings of police interviews, was released by Mr. Zimmerman’s attorney about a week before Mr. Zimmerman’s second bond hearing on a second-degree murder charge, and on the heels of unflattering telephone calls capturing Mr. Zimmerman and his wife talking in code about using money collected for a defense fund to pay credit cards.

At least two lawyers who reviewed the video said Mr. Zimmerman appeared believable, but also made statements that were inconsistent or questionable.

In the video, Mr. Zimmerman said he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before the teenager could get it, and shot the 17-year-old once in the chest as they fought on the ground outside townhomes in a gated community. After firing, Mr. Zimmerman said thought he missed.

“He sat up and said, ‘You got me. You got me,’ or something like that,” Mr. Zimmerman said.

Mr. Zimmerman said the teen had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm. The tape shows two butterfly bandages on the back of Mr. Zimmerman’s head and another on his nose. There are red marks on the front of his head.

“It felt like my head was going to explode,” he said.

In one of the audio recordings, a detective tells Mr. Zimmerman three days after the shooting, that Trayvon Martin was a “good kid, mild-mannered kid” and asks Mr. Zimmerman to explain some inconsistencies, such as why he doesn’t have bruises on his body or broken ribs. The two dozen punches Mr. Zimmerman claims he took are “not quiet consistent with your injuries,” Detective Chris Sereno tells him.

Mr. Zimmerman claims he shot the teen in self-defense, under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

Detective Sereno asked Mr. Zimmerman about profiling during one of the interviews.

“You know you are going to come under a lot of scrutiny for this,” Detective Sereno said. “Had this person been white, would you have felt the same way?”

“Yes,” Mr. Zimmerman said.

Mr. Zimmerman called police after spotting the teen walking around the neighborhood. The dispatcher told him not to follow the teen, but for reasons that still aren’t clear, Mr. Zimmerman kept up his pursuit, even getting out of his truck to look for him. He said he lost sight of the teen and was walking back to his truck when Trayvon confronted him.

“Do you have a problem?” Mr. Zimmerman said, quoting the teen.

If Mr. Zimmerman’s account his accurate, he has a viable “stand your ground” defense, said Blaine McChesney, an Orlando defense lawyer who is not involved in the case.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide