Zimmerman Told Police Trayvon Martin Punched and Slammed His Head Into Sidewalk
While protestors and celebrities have taken to public congregations and social media to express their views on Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot last week, the only perspective that seems to be missing is neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman who fired the gun.
According to police, Martin was said to be walking home from a 7-Eleven store, wearing a hooded sweater with a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea in his possession. When Zimmerman spotted him on the sidewalk, he allegedly called authorities to report a suspicious person. On the night of Feb. 26, Zimmerman said that that Martin had decked him with one blow then began beating away at his head. He told police he shot the teen in self-defense. Authorities revealed the details of Zimmerman’s account to the Orlando Sentinel as follows:
Zimmerman called police and reported a suspicious person, describing Trayvon as black, acting strangely and perhaps on drugs.
Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.
There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they're not sure what happened.
Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.
Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police.
Trayvon then said, "Well, you do now" or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose.
Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.
Zimmerman began yelling for help.
Several witnesses heard those cries, and there's been a dispute about from whom they came: Zimmerman or Trayvon.
Lawyers for Trayvon's family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.
One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.
Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest from very close range, according to authorities.
When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.
Paramedics gave him first aid, but he said no to going to the hospital. He got medical care the next day.
Although Zimmerman has not publicly spoken on the matter, he is reported to be in hiding. The New Black Panthers, a fringe group, have offered $10,000 for his capture.
The Department of Justice last week opened a civil rights investigation into what happened, and Gov. Rick Scott appointed special prosecutor Angela Corey to work on the case. It is unclear whether authorities will charge Zimmerman for manslaughter since there is not enough evidence to present to a grand jury. --Adelle Platon