Trayvon Martin Case Update: Zimmerman’s Interactions with Sanford Police, Officials; Witnesses Change StoriesPosted: May 23, 2012
More information continues to trickle out in the The Trayvon Martin Case. Today The Miami Herald revealed that George Zimmerman may have had relationships with members of the Sanford Police Department and other Sanford officials.
In January, 2011, Zimmerman spoke at a community meeting called by newly elected Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett. He strongly criticized the local police department and said he knew all about it because he had been on a ride-along with Sanford police officers.
“And what I saw was disgusting,” Zimmerman said, according to a recording of the January 2011 meeting obtained by The Miami Herald. “The officer showed me his favorite hiding spots for taking naps, explained to me that he doesn’t carry a long gun in his vehicle because, in his words, ‘anything that requires a long gun requires a lot of paperwork, and you’re going to find me as far away from it.’
“He took two lunch breaks and attended a going-away party for one of his fellow officers.”
According to the article, Chief Bill Lee had e-mail interactions with Zimmerman, even though during the controversy over Zimmmerman not be charged in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, Lee claimed that Zimmerman
had no relationship with the police department. City records show Lee exchanged emails with Zimmerman last year, when the neighborhood watch volunteer wrote to the chief to praise the department’s volunteer program coordinator.
A video released last week by the State Attorney prosecuting the case shows Zimmerman freely walked about the police station the night of the shooting unescorted.
Sanford police say they have don’t know which officer or officers Zimmerman rode with. How ironic that Zimmerman criticized the police department that was so lenient with him after he killed a young boy for no discernible reason. In a further irony, Zimmerman argued that the previous chief who had failed to arrest the son of one of his officers in the beating of a homeless man should not receive a pension, because:
“I would like to state that the law is written in black and white and it should not and cannot be enforced in the gray for those who are in the thin blue line.”
In other news about the case, last night The Orlando Sentinel reported that four witnesses to portions of the fight between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin changed their stories after having more time to reflect on their memories of events. Here’s a brief summary of the changes from the New York Daily News.
Witness 12: A neighbor in the complex first told an agent March 20 that she saw two people on the ground, but wasn’t sure who was on top. Six days later, after seeing news reports, she said she believed Zimmerman was on top of Martin.
Witness 6: He first told an investigator that he saw a black man (presumably Martin) “throwing down blows” on a lighter-skinned man (presumably Zimmerman). He also believed the one being hit was calling out for help. But three weeks later, while he still claimed “the black guy was on top,” he wasn’t sure who was actually calling for help and wouldn’t assume Martin was the one hitting Zimmerman.
Witness 13: This witness interacted with Zimmerman before police arrived, according to the evidence, and noted the blood on the back of his head.
In two interviews a month later, he detailed how Zimmerman that night acted casually like “nothing” had happened, as opposed to “‘I can’t believe I just shot someone!’” according to the evidence.
Witness 2: She initially told police that she saw two people running, although she couldn’t say who was chasing whom. On March 20, she told a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent that she remembers seeing only one person running and heard them as well, but still couldn’t say who that was.