Does this change your stance any? Autopsy results reportedly indicate Trayvon Martin suffered injuries to knuckles UPDATE!!!!!!!!
Autopsy results reportedly indicate that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin had injuries to his knuckles when he died, which could support George Zimmerman’s claim that the unarmed teenager assaulted him before he was fatally shot.
WFTV.com reports that a medical examiner found two injuries on Martin’s body: the fatal gunshot wound to the chest and broken skin on his knuckles. The autopsy results surface as court records indicate that Zimmerman had a pair of black eyes, a fractured nose and two cuts to the back of his head after the fatal shooting on Feb. 26.
A message left with Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Bill Sheaffer, a legal analyst for WFTV.com, said the autopsy evidence likely helps Zimmerman’s defense.
“It goes along with Zimmerman’s story that he acted in self-defense, because he was getting beaten up by Trayvon Martin,” he said.
But the injury could also be consistent with Trayvon “either trying to get away or defend himself,” Sheaffer continued.
Meanwhile, ABC News reports that Zimmerman’s medical records were part of evidence released Tuesday that prosecutors have in the second-degree murder case. Zimmerman, who was treated Feb. 27 at Altamonte Family Practice, has pleaded not guilty and has claimed he acted in self-defense. The 28-year-old is free on $150,000 bail and is living in an undisclosed location.
Police missteps in Trayvon Martin case hurt prosecution
SANFORD, Fla. — The killing of Trayvon Martin here two and a half months ago has been cast as the latest test of race relations and equal justice in America. But it was also a test of a small city police department that does not even have a homicide unit and typically handles three or four murder cases a year.
An examination of the Sanford Police Department’s handling of the case shows a series of missteps — including sloppy work — and circumstances beyond its control that impeded the investigation and may make it harder to pursue a case that is already difficult enough.
The national furor has subsided for the moment. But as the second-degree murder case against the defendant, George Zimmerman, moves from the glare of a public spectacle to the grinding procedures of the court system and eventual trial, the department’s performance, roundly criticized by Mr. Martin’s family as bungling and biased, will be scrutinized once again, though in more meticulous detail.
With doubts shadowing the quality and scope of the police work, the prosecution and the defense will be left to tackle critical questions even as they debate the evidence. And ultimately, what happened on the rainy night of Feb. 26 may come to rest on the word of one man, George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who fired the fatal shot.
In interviews over several weeks, law enforcement authorities, witnesses and local elected officials identified problems with the initial investigation:
- On the night of the shooting, door-to-door canvassing was not exhaustive enough, said a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. If officers had been more thorough, they might have determined that Mr. Martin, 17, was a guest — as opposed to an intruder — at a gated community called the Retreat at Twin Lakes. That would have been an important part of the subjective analysis that night by officers sizing up Mr. Zimmerman’s story. Investigators found no witnesses who saw the fight start. Others saw parts of a struggle they could not clearly observe or hear. One witness, though, provided information to the police that corroborated Mr. Zimmerman’s account of the struggle, according to a law enforcement official.
- The police took only one photo at the scene of any of Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries — a full-face picture of him that showed a bloodied nose — before paramedics tended to him. It was shot on a department cellphone camera and was not downloaded for a few days, an oversight by the officer who took it.
- The vehicle that Mr. Zimmerman was driving when he first spotted Mr. Martin was mistakenly not secured by officers as part of the crime scene. The vehicle was an important link in the fatal encounter because it was where Mr. Zimmerman called the police to report a suspicious teenager in a hooded sweatshirt roaming through the Retreat. Mr. Zimmerman also said he was walking back to the vehicle when he was confronted by Mr. Martin, who was unarmed, before shooting him.
- The police were not able to cover the crime scene to shield evidence from the rain, and any blood from cuts that Mr. Zimmerman suffered when he said Mr. Martin pounded his head into a sidewalk may have been washed away.
- The police did not test Mr. Zimmerman for alcohol or drug use that night, and one witness said the lead investigator quickly jumped to a conclusion that it was Mr. Zimmerman, and not Mr. Martin, who cried for help during the struggle.