Prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case say that a recording of a call between George Zimmerman and the police in Sanford, Florida, did not include a racial slur.
Nonetheless, documents released by the prosecutors contend that the 17-year-old unarmed Black student was “profiled” by Zimmerman as he walked through the gated community outside of Orlando.
Initially, many who heard the recording thought that Zimmerman had used a racial epithet in describing Trayvon Martin. However, the affidavit released by the prosecutor that charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder said that the shooter used the phrase “punks” rather than “coons,” as many thought he said in the recording.
In the recording, Zimmerman complained to police about Trayvon Martin walking in the gated community. “This guy looks like he is up to no good,” Zimmerman said. “He is on drugs or something." Zimmerman said that the teenager had his hand in his waistband and was walking around, looking at homes in the community in Sanford, which had had several break-ins in the past year.
The police however told Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon Martin, saying that they were on their way. However, within minutes of that call, Zimmerman shot the teenager with a 9-millimeter handgun. Zimmerman said he shot the teenager in self-defense.
Zimmerman was not initially arrested by the Sanford police following the shooting, saying that the shooter was let free under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which enables people to use deadly force against a person they perceive to be a threat to their lives.
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(Photo: Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images )