George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case: New evidence shows cops disagreed on Zimmerman's broken nose

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sanford police officers gave conflicting accounts of an ex-neighborhood watch leader's injuries in the minutes after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Documents released by prosecutors Thursday show that some officers thought George Zimmerman's nose was broken but others didn't. The officers agreed that Zimmerman had cuts on the back of his head.

The degree of Zimmerman's injuries could be important in his claim of self-defense. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting.

The documents also provide an account of Martin's activities with his cousin the day before the shooting and show crime scene photos.

Zimmerman was arrested 44 days after the shooting. The delay triggered protests nationwide and the departure of Sanford's police chief.


CNN Wire Staff

SANFORD, Fla. (CNN)-- Florida's state attorney is expected to release FBI reports Thursday that may shed light on whether race played a role the night George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teen.

The investigative reports are amid evidence in the second-degree murder case expected to be released by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey to Zimmerman's attorney, according to court documents filed in June.

The U.S. Department of Justice took up a civil rights investigation following allegations that race played a part in the killing of Trayvon Martin, 17, in February in a gated community in Sanford.

An official conclusion in the Justice Department's investigation is not expected as part of the evidence release, though details about some of the interviews will be turned over to Zimmerman's attorney.

Martin's family and supporters say Zimmerman racially-profiled the teen, describing him as "suspicious" during a 911 call and ignoring a police dispatcher's request that he not follow him.

The 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, who is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting, has said he killed Martin in self-defense, saying the teen punched him and slammed his head into a sidewalk before the shooting, according to family members and police.

Among the evidence to be released are details about federal interviews with more than 30 people, including key members of the Sanford Police Department and Zimmerman's friends, according to court documents.

Also expected to be released are details about interviews with agents of the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, who arrested Zimmerman in 2005 on suspicion of battery against a law enforcement officer and obstruction of justice.

The charges against Zimmerman, who was accused of pushing an undercover agent, were later dropped after he entered a pretrial diversion program and completed an anger management class.

Additionally, according to the court filings, details about Zimmerman's MySpace account, surveillance video and e-mails between Zimmerman and ousted Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee will be released as part of the evidence handover.

Zimmerman was released on $1 million bond last week. An initial bond of $150,000 was revoked last month after a judge learned that Zimmerman and his wife failed to disclose more than $150,000 in donations from the public.