New evidence in Trayvon Martin shooting


ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday obtained the latest cache of evidence in the George Zimmerman murder case, including new details of Zimmerman’s interest in law enforcement and testimony alleging racism and sexism in the Sanford Police Department.

Federal Bureau of Investigation documents, part of an ongoing civil rights investigation into the Feb. 26 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., include interviews with Sanford police, Zimmerman’s neighbors and at least one co-worker.

Some of those interviewed said they interacted with Zimmerman in the aftermath of the shooting. As in previously released FBI records, none of those interviewed said they’d known Zimmerman to behave in a racist manner.

The Sentinel obtained the records Tuesday from the office of Special Prosecutor Angela Corey through a public-record request. The names of those interviewed by the FBI were redacted from the documents, in accordance with a judge’s order.

Also in the latest evidence are digital copies of photos taken on the night of the shooting, showing Zimmerman’s injuries.

One witness in the documents is a former policeman who was a co-worker of Zimmerman’s at the time of the shooting. Zimmerman was fascinated by the co-worker’s law enforcement experience, an FBI report shows, particularly a shooting years earlier.

The co-worker told the FBI that he was working as a canine handler for a police agency when he shot a fleeing African-American suspect in the back in March 2008.

The former officer said he was fired at by the suspect first and was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Zimmerman, the witness said, “was interested in the fact that (the witness) was so young and involved in a shooting as a police officer. (Zimmerman) became interested in the facts of the case and would talk to (the witness) about the incident,” according to an FBI report.

One woman, who has a vacation home in the Retreat at Twin Lakes community, told FBI agents she had interacted with Zimmerman in his role with the neighborhood watch.

A black woman, the witness described Zimmerman as respectful and mild-mannered.