George Zimmerman “Missed Opportunities” to Defuse Trayvon Martin Confrontation, Investigator Finds
George Zimmerman failed to identify himself twice and missed opportunities to defuse a confrontation with Trayvon Martin, a detective says in a newly released report.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder in the February 26 shooting death of Martin, 17, in Sanford, Florida.
The report, which Florida prosecutors released Tuesday, includes a video of Zimmerman showing injuries he said he suffered in the altercation with Martin.
Zimmerman, 28, told police he shot the teen in self-defense, but many feel he racially profiled Martin and ignored a 911 dispatcher’s advice not to follow him.
Among the documents released was a report from a police officer who conducted computerized voice stress analysis tests on Zimmerman following the incident.
“Mr. Zimmerman was subjected to two exams, and was found to be classified as No Deception Indicated,” the report said.
Also released was an unredacted capias request, a request that someone be taken into custody, prepared by the lead police investigator in the case.
Christopher Serino wrote in the report:
“Investigative findings show that (Zimmerman) had at least two opportunities to speak with (Martin) in order to defuse the circumstances surrounding their encounter.”
“On at least two occasions (Zimmerman) failed to identify himself as a concerned resident or a neighborhood watch volunteer.”
The detective also said Zimmerman’s actions “are inconsistent with those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject.”
In the same report, Serino wrote that Zimmerman’s injuries were “marginally consistent with a life-threatening violent episode as described by him.”
The report is one of several key pieces of information, including the Trayvon Martin autopsy report, to be released in advance of the trial.
Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, filed a motion Wednesday asking that his client be allowed to appear at a Friday bond hearing in “civilian clothing instead of a prison uniform and without restraints.”
Zimmerman’s bail was revoked this month after after a judge said he misled the court about his finances. He had been released in April.
Video and photos of Zimmerman shackled and wearing jail garb could prejudice prospective jurors, which is a serious concern, O’Mara said.
In response to the document release, O’Mara said Tuesday it will be up to a judge and jury to interpret what Serino’s report means to the case.
“His suggestion that it’s marginally consistent, again, is up for review. Those people will have to look at it, whether it’d be Judge (Kenneth) Lester in a motion hearing where the jury will also make that determination,” he said.
He said a jury will decide “whether or not those injuries give rise to a reasonable belief in George’s mind that he was a victim of great bodily injury or death.”
Martin’s family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said he agrees with the detective.