A year after the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in this central Florida town, there’s a small memorial, a new police chief and the stirrings of understanding.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was gunned down on February 26, 2012 as he walked to his father’s fiancee’s home in one of Sanford’s gated communities. The man accused of his killing, George Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic on neighborhood watch, is set to be tried on June 10.
Martin’s death drew top-tier civil rights leaders, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who brought a national spotlight to this town just north of Orlando and not far from Disney World.
That spotlight forced the town of 53,000 to confront police work that seemed to be a throwback to the days of separate and resolutely unequal racial sensibilities.
A Florida judge on Tuesday denied a request from accused murderer George Zimmerman to let him remove his GPS monitoring device and travel freely in the state pending his trial next June in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, 29, has been confined to Seminole County under a $1 million bond since July, when a judge concluded that he had presented false information about his assets and was a flight risk.
Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, who is charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the judge about the couple’s finances, live in hiding and “in fear of violence,” according to a 74-page motion filed by his lawyer, Mark O’Mara.
New discovery evidence has been released by the Florida State Attorney’s Office in the George Zimmerman criminal trial.
The new evidence released on Tuesday included a dossier that, among other things, contains a “computer voice stress test” in which a computer monitored Zimmerman’s voice during a special question-and-answer session on the late February shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
Also released on Tuesday was an hour-long police interrogation video in which Zimmerman is questioned about the shooting.
DEVELOPING: Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, has been arrested on one count of perjury, a press release issued by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department read Tuesday afternoon. [Photo: Seminole County Sheriff’s Department]
Watch Reuters.com for more on this story
[Update 4:45pm ET: The Seminole County Sheriff’s Department says Zimmerman has bonded out of the facility]
“It seemed to me that a lot of the people in the neighborhood that I talked to were glad that George Zimmerman was on neighborhood watch. Not very many of them knew that he had carried a gun though.”
Reuters reporter Chris Francescani talks about his profile of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, which you can read here.
FLASH: Judge sets bail for George Zimmerman at $150,000
George Zimmerman’s wife and father told a court on Friday he was a non-violent person and they would help ensure he does not flee should he be released on bail for a second-degree murder charge in the death of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
“I’ve never known him to be violent at all, unless he was provoked, and then he would turn the other cheek,” father Robert Zimmerman testified under defense questioning at a Florida court.
Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara was attempting to get his client released on bail in a case that has captivated the United States and prompted civil rights demonstrations around the country.
Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed the unarmed Martin, 17, in what he said was self-defense following a confrontation in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford on February 26.
READ MORE: Family says Zimmerman non-violent