Shooter of Florida teen did not appear injured: video

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2012 11:08 PM
Shooter of Florida teen did not appear injured: video

By Daniel Trotta

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) - The neighborhood watch captain who shot dead unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin had no apparent injuries when he was brought into the police station on the night of the shooting, according to a video released by ABC News on Wednesday.

George Zimmerman, who is half white and half Hispanic, told police he shot the black teen inside a gated community on February 26 in self-defense after Martin attacked him, repeatedly bashing his head into a concrete walkway. Police at the scene said the 28-year-old shooter was bleeding from the nose and the back of head.

Zimmerman's lawyer said his client suffered a broken nose and gash to the back of the head in the incident.

In the video, which ABC obtained from authorities in Sanford, a handcuffed Zimmerman is seen being led into the Sanford Police Department. It does not appear that he is injured or has blood on his face or clothes. A police officer is seen examining the back of his head.

"This certainly doesn't look like a man who police said had his nose broken and his head repeatedly smashed into the sidewalk," Benjamin Crump, a civil rights lawyer representing Martin's family, said in a statement.

"George Zimmerman has no apparent injuries in this video, which dramatically contradicts his version of the events of February 26," Crump said, adding that Zimmerman should be arrested immediately and charged with Martin's murder.

Zimmerman was treated by the fire department at the scene, which raises the possibility first aid could have stopped any bleeding. The quality of the video was not clear enough to determine whether he suffered any injuries.

Police have declined to arrest Zimmerman, triggering nationwide protests and protests from civil rights groups, politicians and entertainers who argued that Zimmerman followed the 17-year-old Martin for racial reasons.

Zimmerman told a 911 operator before the shooting that he found Martin to be suspicious.

Sanford's police chief has stepped aside and the case has prompted the U.S. Justice Department to initiate a review.

Zimmerman's attorney, Craig Sonner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sanford police have referred all questions about the investigation to a special prosecutor appointed by Florida's governor to take over the investigation. A spokeswoman for the special prosecutor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Paul Simao)