Newly emerged video reportedly shot by surveillance cameras at the Sanford, Fla., Police Department on the night of the Trayvon Martin shooting offers the public the first look at Martin’s assailant, George Zimmerman, on the night of the shooting.
ABC News, which obtained the video and released it Wednesday night, said it shows “no blood or bruises” on the handcuffed, trim- and muscular-looking suspect as he steps out of the back of a police cruiser, is frisked by an officer and walks escorted into the police building.
The quality of the video is not very high, but it appears to suggest that if Zimmerman was injured that night, the injuries were not serious.
The 28-year-old Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self-defense, has not been charged with any crimes, igniting a firestorm of controversy. Martin, the shooting victim, was an unarmed African American teenager. Zimmerman is half-Latino and half-white.
A Sanford police officer who responded to the incident, Timothy Smith, noted in his police report that when he arrived on the scene, Zimmerman had a bloody nose and blood on the back of his head. His back was wet and covered in grass, “as if he had been laying on his back on the ground,” Smith wrote.
Smith said Zimmerman was placed in the back of the squad car, where he was given medical attention by the Fire Department.
It is not clear what effect the video will have on the competing claims about what happened in the crucial moments after Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch captain, called police and reported Martin as a suspicious person in his neighborhood, and followed him around.
An attorney for Martin’s family says that Martin’s girlfriend was speaking with him on the phone when she overheard Martin say, “Why are you following me?” to someone. A man’s voice replied, “What are you doing around here?” according to the attorney’s account of the call.
Sanford police concluded that Zimmerman lost sight of Martin and was walking back to his SUV when he was confronted and punched by the youth.