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George Zimmerman Shooting and Killing of Trayvon Martin

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George Zimmerman Shooting and Killing of Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman is the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, a month ago. He has been keeping a low profile. He is in hiding after reportedly receiving several death threats and, for weeks, all the world saw of him was an unsmiling 2005 mug shot. As investigators and reporters try to piece together why the Floridian shot a black boy 10 years younger and dozens of pounds lighter, a fuzzy picture of Zimmerman is emerging. Here's what we know so far:
George Michael Zimmerman was born in 1983, the third of four children of Robert and Gladys Zimmerman. Robert, a retired military man and magistrate judge, describes the family as multiracial, telling the Orlando Sentinel that "George is a Spanish-speaking minority with many black family members and friends." Gladys is of Peruvian descent. George grew up in Manassas, Va., where neighbors describe the Zimmermans as very religious — George was an altar boy and evening receptionist at the family's parish, All Saints Catholic Church. The Zimmerman children attended Catholic school through eighth grade, then public high school. The family moved to Florida about a decade ago. George married Shellie Nicole Dean, a cosmetologist, in 2007.
For a living, at the time he shot Martin, Zimmerman was working as an underwriter at mortgage risk-management firm Digital Risk. He had also been working on an associates degree at Seminole State College from 2009, with an eye toward law enforcement, until the school pushed him out after the shooting, citing safety reasons. In 2008, Zimmerman completed a 14-week citizens' police academy program offered by the Seminole Sheriff's Department. Zimmerman has also worked in the past as an insurance agent, and at used-car seller CarMax.
Zimmerman has had prior run-ins with the law, both as a victim and suspect. In 2001, Zimmerman was the victim of an unspecified minor criminal assault in Manassas. In 2005, he was arrested after a shoving match with a cop. A month later, he entered into a domestic violence dispute with ex-fiancée Veronica Zauzo; it was settled with a mutual restraining order.
Admirers and critics in the neighborhood agree that Zimmerman was a dedicated neighborhood watch volunteer — he called 911 at least 46 times in the past six years, complaining about everything from unruly children at the pool to uncollected trash to open garages, but his recent calls focused on what he deemed suspicious characters, most of them black. Zimmerman was key in starting the neighborhood watch program, which was set up with help from the Sanford Police Department and not affiliated with the national Neighborhood Watch or A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who says he shot Martin after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his head slammed into the ground.
The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed. Zimmerman, 28, is wearing a red and black fleece and his face and head are cleanly shaven. He appears well built, hardly the portly young man depicted in a 2005 mug shot that until a two days ago was the single image the media had of Zimmerman.
The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning. His lawyer later insisted that Zimmerman's nose had been broken in his scuffle with 17-year-old Martin.
In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman's head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.
Zimmerman was not arrested although ABC News has learned that the lead homicide investigator filed an affidavit urging Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter. The prosecutor, however, told the officer to not file the charge because there was not enough evidence for conviction.
Zimmerman said he was heading back to his car when Martin attacked him. His lawyer, Craig Sonner, said his client felt "one of them was going to die that night," when he pulled the trigger. Martin's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him in his final moments, told ABC News in an exclusive interview that she has not been interviewed by police, despite Martin telling her he was being followed. The 16-year-old girl, who is only being identified as DeeDee, recounted the final moments of her conversation with Martin before the line went dead. "When he saw the man behind him again he said this man is going to do something to him, and then he said this man is still behind him and I said run," she said.
Phone records obtained by ABC News show that the girl called Martin at 7:12 p.m., five minutes before police arrived, and remained on the phone with Martin until moments before he was shot. DeeDee said Martin turned around and asked Zimmerman why he was following him.
"The man said what are you doing around here?" DeeDee recalled Zimmerman saying.
She said she heard someone pushed into the grass before the call was dropped.
Zimmerman, who had called 911, was asked by the dispatcher if he was following the teen. When Zimmerman replied that he was, the dispatcher said, "We don't need you to do that."
Martin's death has sparked protests across the country.
Over the past few days, leaks have emerged suggesting Martin was dogged by discipline problems. Martin had been slapped with a 10 day school suspension after a bag with suspected marijuana was found in his backpack, Benjamin Crump, the family's attorney, said. Last year the teen was suspended for spraying graffiti on school grounds. The Miami Herald reported that the school guard who stopped him searched his backpack and found 12 items of women's jewelry and a flathead screw driver that the guard believed to be a "burglary implement." But Martin was never charged or specifically disciplined for the incident.
Crump alleged that the Sanford police had leaked damaging information about Martin in order to muddy the case, calling it a "conspiracy." Crump called the school disciplinary problems "irrelevant" to the case that "an unarmed 17 year kid was killed.
There has been a National outcry for justice as many believe that Frank Zimmerman should be punished for the killing of Trayvon Martin. Others feel that it is a matter of Zimmerman defending himself. Many facts are available and some yet to be discovered. A resolution to matter is imminent. However, we do not know what the outcome will be and if “justice” will prevail.

References

Kennedy. H (2012). Trayvon Martin case: Shooter George Zimmerman appears uninjured in police video on night of shooting. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/video-george-zimmerman-kiilling-trayvon-martin-grainy-proves-lawyer-article-1.1052713#ixzz1qXdMkSMD

Gutman. M (2012). Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman
Retrieved from http://gma.yahoo.com/trayvon-martin-video-shows-no-blood-bruises-george-194108003--abc-news-topstories.html

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