Photo: ABC News
According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, has been in hiding since he became a household name. And now he and his lawyer are trying to get his side of the story out there. Here are the events as told by Zimmerman to the Orlando Sentinel:
Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.
There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they’re not sure what happened.
Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.
Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police.
Trayvon then said, “Well, you do now,” or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose.
Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.
Zimmerman began yelling for help.
Several witnesses heard those cries, and there’s been a dispute about from whom they came: Zimmerman or Trayvon.
That one-minute gap could really be the difference in this case. If Zimmerman had provoked a physical confrontation by harassing or stalking Martin, he’d have no standing to commit a justifiable homicide under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
If Zimmerman did not provoke Martin, then Zimmerman could resort to a Stand Your Ground defence if the rest of his story checks out.
A few other details are fleshed out in the report. Zimmerman received treatment from paramedics on the scene, and then sought medical attention the next day, but not from a hospital.
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