Sanford Police Investigate Leak In Trayvon Martin Case
CBS Miami (con't)
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SANFORD (CBSMiami) – One day after a huge rally to demand justice in the shooting of Trayvon Martin by neighbor watch captain George Zimmerman, the Sanford Police Department was once again on the defensive after new details of the teen’s murder were leaked.
Zimmerman reportedly told officers he shot Martin in self defense after the teen approached him from behind, punched him and bashed his head into the sidewalk.
Sanford police said the report was ‘consistent’ with their evidence. Acting police chief Captain Darren Scott said they’ve launched an investigation as to who leaked the information to the press.
“We have various aspects that we can proceed from but where that information came from I cannot disclose,” said Scott.
Ben Crump, an attorney representing Martin’s parents, said they are outraged.
“They can’t keep having these leaks in the Sanford Police Department but notice all these leaks are beneficial to George Zimmerman,” said Crump.
On Tuesday, Martin’s parents attended a hearing in Washington D.C. focused on racial profiling. The session was hosted by the 13 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee and requested by Rep. Federica Wilson (D-Fla.), who represents Sanford.
Martin’s parents met for the first time on Monday with investigators working with the special prosecutor appointed by Florida’s governor.
Angela Corey is a Florida state attorney with a reputation for being a tough prosecutor and an expert in homicide cases. She’s charged with reviewing what critics complain was a botched, racist investigation by the Sanford Police Department.
“This is what we’re experienced in and this is what we do,” Corey said.
Her investigation mandate “includes the power to arrest, to empanel the grand jury to hear evidence and the power to handle this case in all of its relevant aspects.”
Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi said her department will do everything in its power to get to the truth of what happened the night of the shooting.
“What we do know is a 17-year old boy was walking home and now he’s dead,” said Bondi. “When you have questions like that, they need to be answered.”
Zimmerman, who was has not charged in the shooting, remains free and in hiding.
No witness actually saw their deadly confrontation. Corey told CBS News her team plans to hire a voice recognition expert to figure out whether Zimmerman or Martin was yelling for help on a 911 tape.
“We intend to do everything we possibly can. The family will get answers,” Corey said.
Zimmerman has hired a defense lawyer and authorized friends to speak on his behalf. One of them is Joe Oliver, who said Zimmerman told him over the weekend that he repeatedly cried over taking Martin’s life.
“We don’t know what happened from the time George got out of his vehicle and the time the gun went off, but I can tell you race had nothing to do with it,” Oliver said.
Right before his death, Martin’s Miami-area high school had suspended him for two weeks. His family reluctantly confirmed the reason: a baggie, found in his book bag, had marijuana residue.
Martin’s parents say it’s irrelevant and blame Sanford Police for leaking the information.