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Can We Trust the Cops’ New Account of Trayvon Martin’s Killing?

Not as long as they rely on leaks and unnamed witnesses.

George Zimmerman who is a suspect in the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin.
New information has been leaked about the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman (pictured)

AFP Photo/ORANGE COUNTY JAIL/Newscom

"With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times, leaving him bloody and battered, authorities have revealed to the Orlando Sentinel."

Much of this “has been corroborated by witnesses,” the paper says. Also, “One eyewitness has said he saw the teenager on top of Zimmerman.”

This comes from a leak from the police to the Sentinel. Zimmerman, the 28-year-old who shot 17-year-old Martin to death in February and has not been arrested because he claimed self-defense, still hasn’t spoken publicly. Nor have the unnamed witnesses.

Which makes it very hard to know what to make of this new information. It’s entirely at odds with the account of Martin’s girlfriend, who says Martin was talking to her on his cell phone just before his death. The girlfriend says she heard Martin ask a man, “What are you following me for,” and that the man answered, “What are you doing here?” Then she heard Martin pushed to the ground. To point out the obvious, the police in Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place, are the definition of embattled. Their chief resigned last week and the decision not to arrest Zimmerman—based on the belief that he reasonably feared bodily harm or for his life when he shot Martin—is a flashpoint for national outcry. No wonder someone in the department got fed up and leaked facts that support the cops’ decision-making.

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