Soon after George Zimmerman’s arrest on charges of domestic violence in Florida two months ago, his girlfriend sought to have the matter dropped, saying her words had been misinterpreted by police officers who had questioned her harshly.
But a video of that police interview with Samantha Scheibe has now been unearned by a freelance journalist and placed on the internet by Mother Jones magazine. The video, which has gone viral, paints a starkly different picture, with Scheibe describing Zimmerman’s behavior as being monstrous while speaking to an interrogator who is calm and polite in his questioning of her.
The half-hour video recorded in November describes Zimmerman reacting violently after being told that his girlfriend no longer wanted to continue in their relationship. Scheibe accused Zimmerman of pointing a gun at her after a harrowing argument. He was arrested and released on bail awaiting further courtroom activities.
Since Zimmerman’s arrest, Scheibe recanted her story in an attempt to get the charges dropped against.
In the video, Stephen LaGuardia, the officer from the sheriff’s office in Seminole County, asks questions of Scheibe in a mild-mannered way, with no hint of antagonism. Scheibe’s responses were filled with details about Zimmerman’s behavior, from his smashing a glass table in anger to his pointing a gun at her during their argument while sitting about four feet away from her.
When asked if she feared for her safety while with Zimmerman, she said, “absolutely.”
She also said that Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, had regular “episodes” and that he choked her on a previous occasion in their short relationship. “I had trouble breathing,” she said.
When asked why she had not reported previous incident to police, Scheibe said, "Because I feel like he always gets off, to be honest."
Zimmerman was found not guilty in July 2013 of second-degree murder charges in the death of Trayvon, who was shot by the onetime neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.
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