There were some Intriguing conclusions made public this week from reports filed by Chris Serino, a detective with the Sanford Police Department and the lead investigator in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Serino, who unsuccessfully argued there was sufficient evidence to arrest George Zimmerman for manslaughter, placed the responsibility for the incident squarely on George Zimmerman’s shoulders.
Prosecutors released more documents, photos and audiovisual files on Tuesday afternoon from the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, accused of murder in the second degree in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26.
Zimmerman told police that he saw Martin walking, followed him in his vehicle, passed him without identifying himself, called the police non-emergency line, lost sight of Martin as Martin ran toward his father’s home, followed Martin on foot, and then was confronted by Martin, who attacked him when Zimmerman reached into his pocket for his cell phone to call 911.
The report shows that Zimmerman passed a “lie detector” test, called a computer voice stress analyzer. Such tests are popular with police departments but usually are not admissable as evidence in court.
The police detective concluded that Zimmerman’s actions were “inconsistent” with someone who was afraid of Martin, and that Zimmerman had several chances to end the encounter without violence.
“Investigative findings show that Zimmerman admitted avoiding a confrontation with Martin while Zimmerman was observing Martin from his vehicle, because, as he told investigators, was afraid of Martin,” Det. Chris Serino wrote. “Later in the encounter, Zimmerman exited his vehicle, in spite of his earlier admission to investigators that he was afraid of Martin, and followed Martin in an effort to maintain surveillance of him while Zimmerman awaited the arrival of law enforcement officers. His actions are inconsistent with those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject.
“Investigative findings show that George Michael Zimmerman had at least two opportunities to speak with Trayvon Benjamin Martin in order to defuse the circumstances surrounding their encounter. On at least two occasions, George Martin Zimmerman failed to identify himself as a concerned resident or a neighborhood watch member to Trayvon Benjamin Martin. Investigative findings show the physical dimension of Trayvon Benjamin Martin, and that of George Michael Zimmerman, coupled with the absence of any specialized training in hand to hand combat between either combatant, did not place George Michael Zimmerman in an extraordinary or exceptional disadvantage of apparent physical ability or defensive capacity.
“Investigative findings show the physical injuries displayed by George Michael Zimmerman are marginally consistent with a life-threatening violent episode as described by him, during which neither a deadly weapon nor deadly force was deployed by Trayvon Martin.”
The report continues:
“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party’s concern. There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter. Zimmerman, by his statements made to the call taker and recorded for review, and his statements made to investigators following the shooting death of Martin, made it clear that he had already reached a faulty conclusion as to Martin’s purpose for being in the neighborhood.” (emphasis added)
Despite his self-serving account, the lead investigator concluded it was Zimmerman who initiated the tragic events of February 26, 2012 and he could have–SHOULD have—avoided the escalation that led to Martin’s death.
The events of that night were never in Trayvon Martin’s control. The responsibility for everything that occurred rests entirely with George Zimmerman.
Which is exactly what many of us have said all along.
In other news, Serino was skeptical of Zimmerman’s story that it was he, not Martin who was crying for help as was recorded during some of the 911 calls to police that night.
When Zimmerman returned to the crime scene to walk-thru the incident the cops also had him repeat the phrase “help, help” as some 911 callers had heard.
He sounded like a little dog yapping for a Milk-Bone. It was pathetic. Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart points out the inconsistencies in Zimmerman version of the events and wondered why there are no sounds of Martin cursing and screaming at him.
Serino noted that during the yelling “nobody came out to help you and I can’t pinpoint where you were smothered. That’s the problem I’m having. And nobody’s sayin’ they saw him smothering you. People are sayin’ they saw him on top of you, but they didn’t see the smothering part.”
Singleton pointed out that the screaming is continuous and that if Zimmerman were being smothered it should stop. “[W]e don’t hear it stop.”
“We don’t hear him at all, either,” Serino added. “Is he being quiet? Is he whispering to you or something? Is he calm?”
“He’s angry,” Zimmerman said.
“I don’t hear him, though,” Serino responded.
Singleton asked if Martin was showing anger. “He’s on top of me and he’s telling me, ‘Shut the [expletive] up! Shut the [expletive] up!”
Serino raised a good point. Why don’t we hear Trayvon? Why don’t we hear “Shut the [expletive] up!” as loudly as we hear the heart-wrenching screams for help?
This week Serino requested and was granted a transfer out of the investigative unit to the patrol division. The reasons for Serino’s request were not disclosed.
Zimmerman was back in court on June 29 for another bail hearing. The judge has not said when he will decide whether Zimmerman goes free again.
- Document reveals detective’s doubts about Zimmerman’s story (miamiherald.com)
- Police: Zimmerman Could Have Warned Teen (personalliberty.com)
- Police Found George Zimmerman’s Account Of Trayvon Martin Shooting “Inconsistent” (hiphopwired.com)