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Zimmerman Recounts Martin Shooting In New Video


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Sanford, Florida, new details emerged today about what Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman says happened the night he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder.

As NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami, Zimmerman's lawyers have released recordings of police interviews with their client in the hours and days after the shooting.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: These are the first accounts in which we hear George Zimmerman tell police, in a series of interviews, his version of what happened that night in Sanford. He described to police following a person he deemed suspicious who turned out to be Trayvon Martin - first in his car, before getting out and continuing on foot. He says he was looking for a house address to give police so they could respond to his call when Trayvon Martin jumped him.

On the day after the shooting, Zimmerman walked through the events with investigators on the scene at his townhome community. In a video made by Sanford police, he says the 17-year-old was on top, straddling him and pounding his head on the concrete sidewalk. Zimmerman says he tried to slide off the concrete.


ALLEN: Zimmerman says the teenager's last words were, you got me. Zimmerman wasn't charged with a crime until more than a month later, after a new state attorney, Angela Corey, was appointed to the case. Documents previously released show that police investigators in Sanford wanted to file charges against Zimmerman the night of the shooting.

And in the recorded interviews, Sanford police investigator Chris Serino seems skeptical of Zimmerman's version of events. Serino tells Zimmerman he'll be suspected of profiling and asks him if he has any problems with black people. Zimmerman says no. The Sanford investigator tells Zimmerman the lacerations on his head don't seem serious enough for someone who's had their head repeatedly smashed into the ground.

In an interview at the police station a few hours after the shooting, Serino describes the victim to Zimmerman.


ALLEN: Lawyers representing Trayvon Martin's family say they see inconsistencies between the version of events Zimmerman gave investigators and what he said in his calls to police on the night of the shooting. Zimmerman is currently in jail awaiting a bail hearing, scheduled for next week.

Greg Allen, NPR News, Miami. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and environmental stories. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.

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