Text files of George Zimmerman’s statements

A. NEN Call

(transcript by whonoze. SN = police operator Sean Noffke)

SN: Sanford Police Department. …
GZ: Hey we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
SN: OK, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?
GZ: He looks black.
SN: Did you see what he was wearing?
GZ: Yeah. A dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes. He’s here now, he was just staring…
SN: OK, he’s just walking around the area…
GZ: …looking at all the houses.
GZ: Now he’s just staring at me.
SN: OK—you said it’s 1111 Retreat View? Or 111?
GZ: That’s the clubhouse…
SN: That’s the clubhouse, do you know what the—he’s near the clubhouse right now?
GZ: Yeah, now he’s coming towards me.
GZ: He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.
SN: How old would you say he looks?
GZ: He’s got button on his shirt, late teens.
SN: Late teens ok.
GZ: Somethings wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out,
GZ: he’s got something in his hands, I don’t know what his deal is.
SN: Just let me know if he does anything ok
GZ: How long until you get an officer over here?
SN: Yeah we’ve got someone on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else.
GZ: Okay.
GZ: These assholes they always get away.
GZ: When you come to the clubhouse you come straight in and make a left. Actually you would go past the   clubhouse.
SN: So it’s on the lefthand side from the clubhouse?
GZ: No you go in straight through the entrance and then you make a left…uh you go straight in, don’t turn, and make a left.
GZ: Shit he’s running.
SN: He’s running? Which way is he running?
[Truck door opens. Warning chimes. Door shuts.]
[Zimmerman’s breathing becomes audible, consistent with increased physical exertion]
GZ: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
SN: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?
GZ: The back entrance
GZ: Fucking coons.
SN: Are you following him?
GZ: Yeah
(7:12 Trayvon receives phone call from “DeeDee”)
SN: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
GZ: Ok
7:12:02 – 7:12:08
[Background sound of Zimmerman ‘running’ continues]
SN: Alright sir what is your name?
GZ: George…He ran.
SN: Alright George what’s your last name?
[Background noise abates. Zimmerman recovers breath ]
GZ: Zimmerman
SN: And George what’s the phone number you’re calling from?
GZ: [redacted]
SN: Alright George we do have them on the way, do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?
GZ: Alright,
SN: Where you going to meet with them at?
GZ: If they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the club house, and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they
go past the mailboxes, they’ll see my truck, the keys are in the ignition…
SN: What address are you parked in front of?
GZ: I don’t know, it’s a cut through so I don’t know the address.
SN: Okay do you live in the area?
GZ: Yeah, I…[unintelligible]
SN: What’s your apartment number?
GZ: It’s a home it’s 1950, oh crap I don’t want to give it all out, I don’t  know where this kid is.
SN: Okay do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?
GZ: Yeah that’s fine.
SN: Alright George, I’ll let them know to meet you around there…
[Interrupting the operator with a rising tone and quickened pace in his voice suggesting some urgency]
GZ: Actually could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at?
SN: Okay, yeah that’s no problem.
GZ: Should I give you my number or you got it.
[voice more relaxed now, perhaps even confident]
SN: Yeah I got it [redacted]
GZ: Yeah you got it.
SN: Okay no problem, I’ll let them know to call you when you’re in the area.
GZ: Thanks.
SN: You’re welcome.
[Call ends].

B. Written Statement 2/26/2012

(GZ did not end a number of his sentences with punctuation marks, especially when phrases were in quotes. I have added some punctuation to make the text less confusing. I have maintained GZ’s spelling and usage.)

In August of 2011 my neighbor’s house was broken into while she was at home with her infant son. The intruders attempted to attack her and her child; however, SPD reported to the scene of the crime and the robbers fled. My wife saw the intruders running from the home and became scared of the rising crime within our neighborhood. I, and my neighbors formed a “Neighborhood Watch Program.” We were instructed by SPD to call the non-emergency line if we saw anything suspicious and 911 if we saw a crime in progress. Tonight, I was on my way to the grocery store when I saw a male approximately 5’ 11” to 6’ 2” casually walking in the rain looking into homes. I pulled my vehicle over and called SPD non-emergency phone number. I told the dispatcher what I had witnessed. The dispatcher took note of my location and the suspect fled to a darkened area of the sidewalk. As the dispatcher was asking me for an exact location the suspect emerged from the darkness and circled my vehicle. I could not hear if he said anything. The suspect once again disappeared between the back of some houses. The dispatcher once again asked me for my exact location. I could not remember the name of the street so I got out of my car to look for a street sign. The dispatcher asked me for a description and the direction the suspect went. I told the dispatcher I did not know but I was out of my vehicle looking for a street sign and the direction the suspect went. The dispatcher told me not to follow the suspect and that an officer was in route. As I headed back to my vehicle the suspect emerged from the darkness and said “You got a problem?” I said “No.” The suspect said “you do now.” As I backed and tried to find my phone to dial 911 the suspect punched me in the face. I fell backwards onto my back. The suspect got on top of me. I yelled ”Help” several times. The suspect told “shut the fuck up.” As I tried to sit up right, the suspect grabbed my head and slammed it into the concrete sidewalk several times. I continued to yell “Help!” each time I attempted to sit up, the suspect slammed my head into the sidewalk. My head felt like it was going to explode. I tried to slide out from under the suspect and continue to yell “Help.” As I slid, the suspect covered my mouth and nose and stopped my breathing. At this point I felt the suspect reach for my now exposed firearm and say “Your gonna die tonight Mother Fucker!” I unholstered my firearm in fear for my life as he had assured me he was going to kill me and fired one shot into his torso. The suspect sat back allowing me to sit up and said “You got me.” At this point I slid out from underneath him and got ontop of the suspect holding his hands away from his body. An onlooker appeared and asked me if I was ok. I said “no.” He said “I am calling 911.” I said :I don’t need you to call 911 I already called them I need you to help me restrain this guy.” At this point a SPD officer arrived and asked “who shot him.” I said “I did” and I placed my hands on top of my head and told the officer where on my persons the firearm was holstered. The officer handcuffed me and disarmed me. The officer then placed me in the back of his vehicle.

C. Singleton Interview, 2/26/2012

(Transcript by txantimedia. I’ve corrected some typos. DS = SPD Inspector Doris Singleton)

DS: Today the date is Feb 22nd, 2012. This is Investigator Singleton. I’m sitting in an interview room at the Sanford Police Department with George Michael Zimmerman in reference to an event that happened out at 2831 Retreat View Circle. I’m going to read you your Miranda rights, because obviously you are here, um, and you aren’t free to go right now because we gotta figure out what’s going on.
GZ: Sure.
DS: You haven’t been charged with a crime yet, but you are here and you can’t go until we figure out what really happened, um, and so I’m going, I’m gonna to ask you to talk about it but I gotta give you a Miranda warning so that you understand.
GZ: Sure.
DS: OK? OK, you have the right to remain silent. You don’t have to talk to me. OK? Anything you, you say can be used, can be used against you in court. OK? If you say something that proves your guilt, we can use it to prove your guilt. OK? You understand that, OK? You have the right to have an attorney present now or at any time during questioning. Do you understand that?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you without any cost. OK? If you talk to me you have the right to stop tal– answering questions or speak to an attorney at any time. OK? Do you understand these rights?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, and do you want to talk to me?
GZ: Yes ma’am.
DS: What I need you to do here is put your signature and just date it.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: (unintelligible) And this is being, this is being recorded, this interview.
GZ: Ah, 2/21?
DS: 2…gee what did I say it was…today is the 26th. And I’m going to sign right here, and I witness you sign this cord and I’ll put the case number later cause I know part of it but I’m not sure. OK. I haven’t been out there, OK, so I just want you to tell me from before this incident, everything you know, why you were there, and all that stuff – first of all, do you live at this address here?
GZ: No.
DS: OK. Sit there. So you live at 1950 Retreat view Circle.
GZ: Oh. (Sniffles)
DS: OK, I’m just gonna keep quiet and you, you tell me the story. You tell me what happened tonight, OK?
GZ: Just tonight?
DS: Yeah, whate..or whatever led up to this, any anything you want to tell me about what happened and why it ended up what it ended up to,
GZ: ah
DS: to where this, this, this boy got shot, OK?
GZ: Ah, this, the neighborhood has had a lot of crimes, um, my wife saw our neighbor’s get broken into and she got scared.
DS: OK, are you talking about the residence or vehicles?
GZ: The residence
GZ: while it was occupied. Um, so, I decided to start a Neighborhood Watch program in my neighborhood.
DS: OK, what is the name of the neighborhood?
GZ: Retreat At Twin Lakes.
DS: Is it, is it the ah little two story condos?
GZ: Uh, Townhouses.
DS: Townhouses? OK. Retreat?
GZ: Retreat, ah The Re, Retreat At Twin Lakes.
DS: OK. OK, you started a ah
GZ: neighborhood watch.
DS: neighborhood watch. OK.
GZ: With Wendy Dorval and ah ah Sergeant Herkz, Officer Buchanan, and I’m the coordinator, and there’s been a few, um, times where I’ve seen a suspicious person in the neighborhood, um, we call the police, the non-emergency line amd these guys always get away, they
DS: OK, what made them suspicious?
GZ: This gentleman in particular? Um, I’d never seen him in the neighborhood. I know all the residents. Um, it was raining out, and he was leisurely walking, taking his time, looking at all the houses.
GZ: Um, when I drove by he stopped and looked at me, um
DS: Had you seen him before?
GZ: Never.
DS: Never. OK.
GZ: Um, I know all the kids in my neighborhood, all the adults in my neighborhood, ah, like I said it was raining and he was just walking casually, not like he was trying to get out of the rain, or
Loud beeps from Singleton’s radio
DS: I’m in an interview.
Radio call: Caller asks a question.
DS: Yes.
Radio call: Caller asks about any tape or video at the gate of cars coming in or cars coming out?
DS: Do you know if there’s any tape or recordings of vehicles that come in and out of that neighborhood?
GZ: Last time they were down, the cameras were broken.
DS: It has the ability but you don’t know if it’s running?
GZ: Correct.
DS: He says they do have um video but he doesn’t know if it’s working right now because last he knew it wasn’t, it wasn’t working.
Radio call: Alright. Get the contact for that video.
DS: Do you know who the contact is for that video?
GZ: Leland Management in Orlando. And his name is Kent Taylor.
DS: Kent Taylor?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: You don’t happen to have a phone number?
GZ: It’s in my cell phone. Ah, I don’t know it by memory.
DS: It’s Leland Management, so far Leland Management in Orlando. The contact person is Kent Taylor but he doesn’t have the phone number on him.
Radio call: Alright, garbled….get back to me anytime, right?
DS: Sometimes they have me doing things. Um, do you know where your cell phone is right now?
GZ: Ah they took it from me.
DS: Th, th, these officers?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. I’ll be right back.
(30 second pause while Singleton retrieves the cell phone)
DS: Would you mind getting his phone number?
GZ: Not at all.
DS: off your phone if you have it?
GZ: ah, ah, that’s his email, (407)
DS: um hum.
GZ: 781-1181. Um, the HOA President might also know.
DS: OK, what’s his name?
GZ: Don. D-O-N.
DS: Um hum.
GZ: It’s (407) 790-0054.
DS: OK. Thank you.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Radio beeps unintelligible
GZ: Oh, yes, ma’am.
DS: unintelligible – door closes
DS: door opens and closes…unintelligible…OK, let’s get back to where we were. OK, um, you started a neighborhood watch group.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. and
GZ: Um, I had called before and the police had come out, but these guys know the neighborhood very well and they would cut in between buildings and lose..
DS: You’re saying these guys. Who are these guys.
GZ: Ah, the people committing the burglaries.
DS: So you’ve seen more than one person like looking suspicious and doing these burglaries?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
GZ: Um..
DS: but you never had seen this guy prior to tonight? Or you don’t know?
GZ: I don’t recall
GZ: I have called a few times. You guys probably have the records.
GZ: I’ve probably called a half a dozen times.
GZ: Um, and this time I was leaving to go to the grocery store and, like I said, I saw him, um, walking in the neighborhood the same, in front of the same house that I had called the police before to come to because this guy leaves his doors unlocked and stuff. And he was walking leisurely and looking at the houses, and, um, so I just pulled my car to the side and I called the non emergency line, um
DS: OK. Were you, were you, were you armed at this point?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: You were already armed.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
GZ: Um, I called the non emergency line and I just reported that there was a suspicious person in the neighborhood. Um, the dispatcher, whoever answered the phone asked me where they went and I said I wasn’t sure because I lost visual of him when he went in between houses. And, uh, he said well can you tell me what direction he went. I said not really. Um, and then all of a sudden I see him circling my car. And, and then he goes back into the darkness. So..
DS: unintelligible. You pull out of your house…and you’re heading..
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: and you’re heading, you’re heading down the road as your looking at him
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: You’re on the phone? And he dips between two houses? Is that what you mean?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: cause you lose sight of him, OK?
GZ: Correct. And then he comes back out
DS: um hum.
GZ: and circles my car while I’m on the phone with the police.
DS: OK. Is he saying anything to you?
GZ: I couldn’t hear him. My windows were up.
GZ: As soon as I saw him coming up I rolled up my windows and I stayed on the phone with dispatch.
DS: OK. He, ..your car was running?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: The lights were on?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. So he knew somebody was in this car?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And is he walking completely around the car?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
GZ: Um, and, dispatch asked me where he went. I didn’t know the name of the street that I was on, I
DS: So you’d come off your street and gotten to another street
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: at some point? OK.
GZ: Yes, ma’am. Goes in, cuts through the middle of my neighborhood.
GZ: I didn’t know the name of the street. Um, or where he went. So I got out of my car to look for the street sign, and to see if I could see where he cut through so that I could tell the police where…
DS: So after he circled your car he disappeared again?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
GZ: Um, then, dispatcher told me, ah, where are you? and I said I’m trying to find out where he went. And he said we don’t need you to do that. And I said OK. Ah, he said we already have a police officer en route. And I said alright, I, I had gone where, through the dog walk where I normally walk my dog, and walked back through to my street, the street that loops around. And he said we already have a police officer on
the way. So I said OK. I told, they said, would you like a police officer to meet you, and I said yes. And I told them where my car was and the make and the model.
DS: Um hum.
GZ: So, I was walking back through to where my car was and he jumped out from the bushes and he said, What the fuck’s your problem, homie? And I got my cell phone out to call 911 this time.
DS: Um hum.
GZ: And I said, Hey man, I don’t have a problem. And he goes, No, now you have a problem. And he punched me in the nose. At that point I fell down, ah I tried to defend myself, he just started punching me in the face. And, ah, I started screaming for help, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe. Then he started taking my head..
DS: Are you still standing at this point?
GZ: No ma’am.
GZ: I fell to the ground when he punched me the first time.
GZ: It was dark. I didn’t even see him getting ready to punch me. As soon as he punched me, I fell backwards, um, into the grass, and then he grabbed, he was whaling on my head, and I st..then I started yelling help. When I started yelling for help he grabbed my head and he started hitting my head into the, I, I tried to sit up and yell for help. And then he grabbed my head and starting hitting it into the sidewalk. Um, when he started doing that, I slid into the grass to try and get out from under him and so that he would stop hitting my head into the sidewalk and I was still yelling for help. And I could see people looking and some guy yells out, I’m calling 911. And I said, Help me, help me, he’s killing me. And, he puts his hand on my nose and on my mouth and he says, You’re gonna die tonight. And, I don’t remember much after that. I just remem..I couldn’t breathe, and then he still kept trying to hit my head against the pavement, or, I don’t know if there was a sign or what it was…so I just, oh when I slid, my jacket and my shirt came up. And when he said, You’re gonna die tonight, I felt his hand go down on my side, and I thought he was going for my firearm. So I grabbed it immediately, and as he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him.
DS: OK. And then what happened? Did he, he, you’re, you’re both on the ground
GZ: I’m on my back.
DS: And he’s on top of you?
GZ: He’s on top of me.
GZ: He’s mounted on top of me. And I just shot him,
GZ: and then he falls off and he’s like, Alright. You got it. You got it.
DS: Does he fall to the side and he stays laying on the ground? Or does..
GZ: I don’t remember.
GZ: I, my vision
GZ: was blurry and uh…
DS: You didn’t feel him fall towards you? He somehow ended up to one side or the other? Or you don’t know?
GZ: I don’t remember. He, I think when I shot him, it might have pushed him back. But I remember I didn’t know what he was hitting, it felt like he was hitting me with bricks. So I remember I, once I shot him, I holstered my firearm and I got on top of him and I held his hands down because he was still talking, and he, and uh, I said, Stay down. Don’t move. And, uh, then somebody comes out and I couldn’t see, there was a flashlight on my head. So I asked if it was a police officer. And he said, No, it was a witness, but he was calling the police. And I said, The police are on their way. They should be here already, because I had called.
GZ: And, uh, he’s like, I’m calling the police. And I said, I don’t need you to call the police. I need you to help me with this guy. And, uh, then an officer shows up, again he had the flashlight so I couldn’t see him. And he asked me, uh, Who shot this guy? And I said, I did. And I put, I immediately put my hands on top of my head, and I told the police officer where my firearm was.
GZ: And then he handcuffed me and took my firearm.
DS: OK. After you, after you shot him he said, You got me?
GZ: Yeah.
DS: OK. And then when you got on top of him, did he say anything else?
GZ: He said, Ow, ow.
DS: And he was, OK. Um, you said you were, you had walked back there.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: to try to find out where he went.
GZ: to..
DS: And you were already on the phone with dispatch at that point? Because you said you called them from your car..
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. So the whole time you were on the phone
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: with dispatch? Were you still on the phone with them when he, when he came, when he jumped out and?
GZ: No.
DS: OK. You had hung up?
GZ: Yes.
DS: OK. Did, did someone else call before the shot? You said he was already calling, right? Or while he was beating, hitting you said you heard someone say I’m calling,
GZ: Yes.
DS: I’m calling? OK. So someone else might have been on the phone
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: with dispatch while you were being beat up?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Alright. And you had never seen this guy before?
GZ: I don’t recall. It’s always dark. They always come around nighttime and…
DS: Yeah. What did he look like?
GZ: African-American, early, early 20s late teens. Ah, he was taller than me, uh, so I’d say 6-footish, slender build, um…
DS: Do you remember what he was wearing?
GZ: Yes, I gave em a description over the phone, ah, a hoodie and either sweatpants or jeans.
DS: It was all dark-colored stuff?
GZ: No. The hoodie was grey and the sweatpants were like maybe like a st.. denim color, like stone-washed denim.
DS: What, what was his hair style? Did he have short hair
GZ: He had the hood on.
DS: or did he have dreads or… So you couldn’t see?
GZ: No, ma’am.
DS: OK. Alright. Is.. how’s your head?
GZ: I can’t feel it.
DS: OK, and who told you…you said, you said when I came in here, they said someone
GZ: Ah
DS: told you you broke your nose? Who told you that?
GZ: The EMT.
DS: Who told you that? OK. Did you need to go to the hospital?
GZ: I don’t know. They said I didn’t. But I don’t know.
DS: Is this bump…I can’t tell what’s, what’s normal for you. Can you see in, can you see…?
GZ: I can’t.
DS: Like right here. Does this right here, does that look like a contusion there of some sort or is that
GZ: that looks..
DS: the normal shape of your head?
GZ: No. That’s not normal.
DS: OK. Cause it looks swollen there. Can I see the other side? OK, I’m gonna get up so I can…OK, the person who, um, who said I’m calling, I’m calling for you…Did you recognize that person?
GZ: No, ma’am.
DS: OK. So you don’t know if that was a resident or…
GZ: Ah, they were looking out of their back patio, their back…
DS: OK, so it was somebody who was looking from a residence? Saying that they were calling?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, did you see more than just that person or…
GZ: No, ma’am.
DS: OK, so you saw that person and that person said I’m calling.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. Nobody came over to assist in pulling them off. Um, and you were between 2 houses when this happened?
GZ: Uh, behind the houses.
DS: You were behind the houses?
GZ: There’s a row of houses, yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, so there’s a row of houses and you had gone back behind and then you were on your way back
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: out? OK. Was it one of the houses along the wall. I don’t know where this happened, so
GZ: No, ma’am, uh uh. Would you like me to draw it for you?
DS: Yeah, sure, you can do that.
GZ: The neighborhood is kinda like a square. Like this. And then, um, there’s a row of houses here. This is the wall and there’s houses here and there’s another row of houses here. And this is houses. I parked my car here, the mailboxes here. He went through this dog walk here and you can either go down the sidewalk here between this row of houses, or you can go straight through.
GZ: To this street. So this is, um, asphalt, I’m sorry my hand…
DS: That’s OK.
GZ: This is asphalt and, ah…So I walked straight through to see if there was a street sign that I could tell dispatch
DS: Um hum.
GZ: where I lost sight of him then. And when I walked back, that’s when he came out of the darkness and I guess he was upset that I called the police.
DS: So this is behind the house that he comes out of the darkness?
GZ: I…yes, ma’am.
DS: Behind the building? OK, and you said there’s some bushes or something…
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: That he may have came out of? OK.
GZ: Because when I walked past, I didn’t see him down here. I went, so I walked through to make sure…You know, I looked to make sure he wasn’t there.
DS: Right.
GZ: And then I walked straight through to see a street sign and then when I came back obviously he was waiting somewhere.
DS: OK. And where is your cell phone, ah, I mean, where did, where was your cell phone? Did it, had you already had it back in your pocket at that point or had you…
GZ: When I…
DS: Did it get dropped or what happened with your cell phone?
GZ: No, I had it in my hand. When he, I put it, they said would you like the police officer to meet you and I said yes. My car’s…there…
DS: And that’s when they disconnected with you?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: That’s when they said OK they’re on scene, OK.
GZ: Yes, ma’am. So I did, I put my cell phone away.
GZ: And then when I walked back towards him…I, I saw him coming at me and I went to grab my phone…I don’t remember if I had time to pull it out or not.
DS: OK, you attempted to try to recall the…
GZ: To call the police.
DS: To call the police, right.
GZ: 911 this time
GZ: cause the first time I called non-emergency…
DS: But you’re not sure if you actually got it out of your pocket or not?
GZ: No, I don’t recall.
DS: OK. And that’s when it was, that’s when he slugged you. He just hit me, yeah.
DS: And what did he say before that?
GZ: Ah….
DS: You said he asked you like something about, he said you got a problem?
GZ: He said “You got a problem, homey?”
DS: Yeah.
GZ: And I said, I don’t wanna have a problem, and he said “Now you have a problem.”
GZ: And that’s when he hit me.
DS: And that’s…he struck you in the nose first?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And that’s what knocked you down?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. And this is…this is…you’re saying this is behind the buildings though?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Is there…are you sure…is it a patio, that he’s hitting? Cause you said he’s hitting your head on a sidewalk.
GZ: No, no, it’s the sidewalk. It’s…
DS: But it’s the sidewalk behind the building?
GZ: Yes, ma’am, it’s a dog walk…
GZ: And this is a row of houses
GZ: and this is a row of houses…and this is the dog walk.
GZ: So I walked back here, he hit me…
DS: So the dog walk is cement?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, OK, that makes sense. OK, so he’s hitting your head and um…
GZ: Yes, ma’am. As I went to sit up then he grabbed me by the front of my head and started banging into the…
DS: And that’s when you can look either to your left or right, and you can see this guy, and you’re saying help me?
GZ: I don’t remember. I screamed help me for like 50 times as loud as I could.
DS: OK, but at some you made, you could visually see that there was someone…
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Saying something to you
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: from a patio. Do you remember what that person looked like?
GZ: No.
DS: OK, and the police got there…
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And you were holding him down
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And they asked you…
GZ: No. Once the police got there I got on my feet because there was another person that got there…I guess a resident. I couldn’t see, he had a flashlight so I thought it was a police officer.
DS: And at that point you stood up and got off him?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
GZ: And then when the police got there…I was already standing up
GZ: and I…I put my hands on top of my…
DS: OK, so we’re talking about seconds between the time you see the flashlight and the police show up, or was it a little bit?
GZ: It seemed like a while but I’m sure it was seconds.
DS: OK. And they put you at gunpoint?
GZ: I don’t know.
DS: You don’t know?
GZ: I had my back…I put my hands on my head and I turned my back to ‘em immediately.
DS: OK. What are, what are they saying to you, the police?
GZ: He said who shot, what, who shot him? And I said I did.
DS: OK. That’s when you did this.
GZ: Yes, ma’am. And I said I have my gun on my right side
GZ: in my holster in my waistband. And he said, I know you do, he goes but I have to handcuff you first. And I said I just want to make sure you know I’m not going for my firearm.
GZ: And he put my arms down and handcuffed me.
DS: OK, and then where did they take you?
GZ: Uh…here.
DS: They just put you right in the police car right away?
GZ: Ah, no, EMS, um, put peroxide on my head and they, they put peroxide on my, uh, face to get the blood off.
DS: OK. OK. Is there anything else I haven’t asked you or you haven’t said that…
GZ: Not that I can think of.
DS: Anything that’s important for me to know?
DS: OK. And you said you’re in charge of the Neighborhood Watch group?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. And, um, you…you were just, but you weren’t doing it that night or is it…
GZ: No.
DS: You were just going to the store, you said.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. And driving out and you happened to see this kid and you wanted to check out with him, right?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Make sure he’s OK. OK, well actually you did the right thing, you called the police.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: To have them check out. You just noticed him, OK. Is that what normally what you guys do when you see someone suspicious, you just call?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: You don’t try
GZ: non emergency
DS: to make contact with them?
GZ: No.
DS: OK. Alright.

[pause while Singleton fetches a printout from Google maps for GZ to mark up]

DS: OK, um, this is February 26th, 2012. Again I’m in with George Zimmerman in an interview room with the Sanford Police Department. Um, you still have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney and all this, all what I spoke to you earlier about. Would you still continue to talk with me?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. I just wanna ask you a few more questions.
GZ: Yes ma’am.
DS: Um, this is, ah, the neighborhood we’re talking about, right?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, can you put, ah, an “x” on here where you first saw the guy?
GZ: Right he…right about here.
DS: OK, right about there.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, and this is the, this is the entrance, correct?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. Just… like that. OK, this is where you first saw him. OK and then you’re dri…where, where were you when you saw him there?
GZ: I was driving around here in this direction.
DS: OK, you were this is where your car was. OK. Can you just write “car” right there? OK, and then you saw him here?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. And then where do you go from there? This is where you start, when do you start calling the police, where are you?
GZ: I pulled in front of the clubhouse.
DS: OK, did you pass him?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, so he was here and you passed him and went over here.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, put an “x” there that that’s where he…ah, just, ah, put “911” that that’s where you were when you called 911.
GZ: Well, it was the non-emergency line.
DS: OK. Well, what…that’s where you called the police, right?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, and then he’s behind you? He’s still over here, correct…
GZ: I…
DS: Cause you pass him
GZ: Right.
DS: OK, you pass him and this is where he’s looking in the houses, OK. And then…where do you go when you realize…you said he comes and he circles your car?
GZ: No, ma’am. I lost contact of him as I was trying to get through cause you have to…
DS: So does he continue past you?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. So he continues past you and you lose sight of him over here.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, so just draw an arrow where he continues to pass you.
GZ: He continues to pass me through here…and then he goes down here. You want me to (unintelligible)…
DS: And then he goes somewhere here where you can’t see him.
GZ: Correct.
DS: So just go to about where he, where you think he might have been be.., to where you lose sight of him.
GZ: He started going here and then behind these houses.
DS: OK. And you could see that from here?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And then when he gets behind the houses you lose sight.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. And you said this, this….at some point he comes back and circles your car? Has he already done that?
GZ: He looked into my vehicle…
GZ: But he didn’t circle it at that point in time.
DS: OK, when does he come…you’re still, you’re still in the car talking to 911, right?
GZ: I’m trying to get through, yes ma’am.
DS: And at some point you said he comes back?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, so you lose sight of him back here and then he returns?
GZ: I…no…I drive my car up here.
DS: OK, so move your vehicle up to there.
GZ: Yes, ma’am. Right here.
DS: OK, and put “car”. And just draw an arrow from where you were to where you ended up.
GZ: There
GZ: …to there.
GZ: And that’s where I parked.
DS: OK, that’s where you parked. OK. OK. You park here, and then…is that when he comes and circles your car?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
GZ: It might’ve been closer in between here…these houses.
DS: OK. Well, you can move it.
DS: Just move it.
GZ: Right, right around there.
DS: Right around, around here, OK. I’ll just…that’s OK. We’re just, we’re gonna “x” this one out cause it’s not where you meant. You meant that you came around here and ended up here.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, you ended up here, and then…is that when he circles your car?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. He comes out from where?
GZ: I don’t know.
DS: OK. All of a sudden you just notice he’s circling your car.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. So he’s circling your car…
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Are you still on the phone?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: With dispatch? OK. Are you giving them a description or anything
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: of what’s going on? OK, where does he go where you lose sight of him again?
GZ: He walked back into the darkness here.
DS: He went there, OK.
GZ: And…
DS: He walks back in here
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: …does he make the turn, does he go…
GZ: I don’t…
DS: You don’t know. By the time he gets here you can’t see him.
GZ: Correct.
DS: OK. And you’re still in your car?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And you’re watching him walk away?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, and then what happens?
GZ: The dispatcher asked me what direction he went on and exactly what address I was at.
DS: And this is when you don’t realize what street you’re on, cause you’re on the center street and you live on the outside one?
GZ: Correct.
DS: OK. So you’re trying to figure out what street you’re on, OK. So you see him go here, and then, so what do you do, to try to…
GZ: I got out of my vehicle to look at this house’s address, and see if there was a sign there.
GZ: There wasn’t.
GZ: So I walked through the dog walk to see if there was a sign here
GZ: or an address that I could make out easier.
DS: OK. And then what happens?
GZ: The dispatcher asked me if I’m out of my car
DS: Um hum.
GZ: and I said yes. And they said, do you know what direction he went in, I said no. And they said are you following him and I…I said I don’t…I don’t know…I don’t know where he went.
DS: OK, but you continue straight on the sidewalk?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Up to this side, OK.
GZ: Yes, ma’am. All the way through.
DS: And then what happens when you get here…you decide that you still don’t know where you’re at?
GZ: I still didn’t know where I was at
GZ: but I was able to give the dispatcher a description from the clubhouse.
DS: Um hum.
GZ: I said, they come straight in past the clubhouse and my car is right here.
DS: OK. You..
GZ: and the…
DS: ..is your car running, or you, you’ve shut it off?
GZ: It’s shut off.
DS: OK. So you’re just parked here
DS: You follow him
GZ: … [unintelligible]
DS: …doesn’t matter, thank you so much. So you walk here and when you get here, you realize, OK I’m just gonna go back to my car? Is that what happens, or…
GZ: No. The dispatcher says, um, would you like a police officer to still come out, cause I said I don’t know where he went.
GZ: He’s…cause he asked me for the, what direction they went in
GZ: what road, and I said I don’t know where he went. And they said, well, do you still want a pol, uh, officer to meet you, and I said yes. And they said, well where do you want them to meet you, and I said at my car.
GZ: So I start walking back towards my car.
DS: OK. Is this all dark in here?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, there’s no lighting back here anywhere
GZ: No, ma’am.
DS: unless it comes from someone’s houses?
GZ: Correct.
DS: Is that how it works? OK. And could, is it all dark down here
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: so you can’t see anything down here.
GZ: Unless there’s patio lights on.
DS: OK. So at what point, and where from what bushes does he jump out?
GZ: It was somewhere around here.
DS: Did you know if the…is there bushes along this walkway or…where are the bushes?
GZ: There all…there hedges around the sides and the back of the buildings.
DS: OK, so you think it’s up here somewhere where the “T” is, where he jumps out?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, do you remember, um, you were walking this way, did he jump out in front of you from somewhere? Or did he come up behind you? Or do you remember?
GZ: I don’t recall.
DS: OK, but he was…from what you guess, he’s somewhere hiding at this “T” with the bushes? GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: In the bushes when he jumps out. OK. And then where, where, where does, where do you end up when you, when he, when you guys are on the ground and after this has all happened…where, where…do you even know?
GZ: He punched me in the face and I fell backwards, and I don’t even know where…
DS: You just know you were somewhere in this area…
GZ: It ended up. Yes ma’am.
DS: OK, when the police took you, they took you…
GZ: Back up this way.
DS: Back up this way, OK. OK. And when that man was standing there with the flashlight…do you remember what building he was from?
GZ: No, ma’am.
DS: Do you remember what building you saw when you said you saw somebody
GZ: This one.
DS: You saw somebody over here
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: when you were hollering for help
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And the guy says I’m calling…
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, this is the building where you see somebody. OK. OK, but he jumps out of bushes somewhere in this area?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK. Thank you. Oh, what kind of gun was it? That you
GZ: Mine?
DS: …yours.
GZ: A KelTec 9mm
DS: KelTec 9mm
GZ: Do you think I can have a water if I want it?
DS: Oh, yeah, I’ll get you another one. Or you can have soda or coffee or anything.
GZ: No, water…thank you.
DS: You don’t need to use the restroom yet?
GZ: No, ma’am.

D. Serino Interview 2/27/2012

(Transcript by txantimedia. CS = SPD Investigator Chris Serino)

CS: This is Investigator Serino of the Sanford Police Department. Today’s date is Monday, February the 27th, 2012. It’s now 12:05AM. I’m located at the Sanford Police Station, 815 West 13th Street, the City of Sanford, Seminole County, Florida. I’m presently in the room with George Zimmerman. Correct?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Your date of birth sir?
GZ: 10/5/83
CS: Highest level of education?
GZ: Ah, Associates.
CS: OK you’ve been re….in what?
GZ: Pardon?
CS: In what?
GZ: Criminal Justice.
CS: OK. You’ve been read your rights correctly?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: You understand that you’re not quite free to go because we’re in the process of, but you’re not quite going to jail, that kind of stuff?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: I got the gist of it all, I’m gonna ask a quick question. This photograph right here that I’m showing you right here
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, you recognize that face?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: OK, this is the person that was, had the incident with you today.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, that’s gonna be important for you to understand. I’ll show you bigger pictures later on. Uh, I don’t know who he is. OK, um, real briefly, I’m gonna give you what I got. OK? You were going to the store?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK and you saw somebody who you felt to be suspicious?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, this suspicious person, you…because of the break-ins in the neighborhood you decided to call 911?
GZ: No, sir, on the non-emergency line.
CS: You called non-emergency?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, the 665-6650. Or the other…
GZ: 5199
CS: OK, so you did the non-emergency. OK.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Um, you reported a suspicious person?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: You followed this person?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: You lost visual on this person?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Where’d this whole thing start at?
GZ: Um, Retreat View Circle in the…
CS: OK, tomorrow, tomorrow morning daylight hours. Do you work?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Where?
GZ: Uh, Digital Risk, Maitland.
CS: When do you get out, off work?
GZ: 5 pm
CS: OK, when do you start work?
GZ: 9 am
CS: 9 am. OK, um, 5 pm tomorrow when you get off work, when you get home, can you call me?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: So we can go ahead and walk through the scene entirely.
GZ: I have class tomorrow.
GZ: Um, I can skip it.
CS: Can you get a note? Who’s your instructor? Uh, what are you taking, I mean.
GZ: Continuing for my bachelors.
CS: In criminal justice? Which university?
GZ: Political science. Um, SSC, the UCF partnership.
CS: UCF Partnership. OK. Um, what time does class start?
GZ: 6:30
CS: We could probably do this in half an hour. OK. I wanna, I wanna retrace your path.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, and exactly what happened. Um, I wanna videotape this. Um, the difference between statutes and homicide and justifiable homicide and use of force, they’re, you’re aware of them, you have a degree, you’re familiar with what we’re talking about here, right?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, um, you follow this person, this person, you lose sight of this person, you’re walking in the darkness out there…you have a flashlight?
GZ: It was dead. I had one, but it was dead.
CS: Uh, you had to hit it couple times, it’s on right now. So…
GZ: Oh it is?
CS: OK. Um, it’s probably like the one I have, you gotta smack it around a couple times. Um, this person jumped, jumped you from somewhere?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: From the darkness?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Did he say anything to you?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: What did he say to you?
GZ: When he came up to me, he said, “You got a problem?” and I said no. And then I went to reach for my phone to find my phone to call 911 instead of non-emergency.
GZ: And then is when he punched me. He said, “You have a problem now.” And then he punched me in the face.
CS: Oh, so he said, OK, you have a problem now. OK, he punched and you fell?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, and you got injuries…where’d he punch you, in your face or your chest or where?
GZ: In my face.
GZ: My head, I mean all over my head.
CS: OK, you been cleaned up already, cause Officer Smith said that you were pretty much battered when…
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, um, he mouthed at you basically?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: And he started to beat up on you?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: At what point did you draw your weapon?
GZ: After he hit my head against the concrete several times…
GZ: I yelled out for help and then he tried to smother my mouth and my nose…
CS: Who yelled for help?
GZ: I did.
CS: OK and at which point he did what?
GZ: He smothered my mouth and my nose.
GZ: And when he did that I tried to slide out and squirm…
CS: Uh huh
GZ: And I realized, um, my, my shirt came up and I felt him slide his hand toward my right side…
GZ: And he said, “You’re gonna die, motherfucker”. And then that’s when I grabbed it. I, I don’t know if it was away from him or you know, I just, unholstered..
CS: So, he was going for your gun?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: What kind of gun was it?
GZ: A PF, a KelTec PF9.
CS: 9mm?
GZ: 9mm.
CS: OK. Semi-automatic, correct?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. What kind of ammunition?
GZ: I think it was hollow point.
CS: OK. Um…OK. What happened then?
GZ: I shot him.
CS: Were you able to unholster entirely, you cleared the holster and you shot him?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: One time?
GZ: One time.
CS: When you shot him what happened?
GZ: He kinda sat up and he said, “You got me.”
GZ: And so I, I don’t remember if I pushed him or he fell, but somehow I got out from under him…
CS: Uh huh.
GZ: And when he was hitting me, I don’t know what he was hitting me with. I thought he had something in his hands…
CS: Uh huh.
GZ: So I grabbed his hands when I was on top of him and I spread his hands away from his body…
CS: Uh huh.
GZ: Cause he was still talking. And I was on top of him. And that’s when somebody came and they had a flashlight too…
CS: Mm hmm.
GZ: And I thought it was a police officer so I got off of him.
CS: What was he saying when he was talking to you?
GZ: I don’t know…after “You got me”… I don’t remember.
CS: OK. If you, you’re gonna have anxiety over this and nightmares and everything else, so you’re probably gonna have a hard time with this whole thing. I’m here for that. Um, that’s all I can give between now until tomorrow. I can get you other kinds of help afterwards, OK? But you gotta go home and get some rest. Is there anything else you want to add? So in your mind’s eye this person was committing no good over there, you followed in good faith to go see what he was doing, he jumped you, he attacked you. OK, he reached for your gun, he discharged, you got off of him, you only shot once, police arrived, you surrendered and here you are.
GZ: He told me he was gonna kill me.
CS: Exactly, he said he was gonna kill you.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. Anything else you wanna add? You’ve already been interviewed once so you probably don’t.
GZ: No, sir.
CS: OK, I’m gonna go ahead and clear this thing. It’s now 12:10.

E. Walk through “re-enactment” video 2/27/2012

(transcript by whonoze, 7/22/2013)

RS = SPD Sergeant Randy Smith
CS = SPD Investigator Chris Serino
DS = SPD Inspector Doris Singleton

(As the transcript begins, Zimmerman is in a car being driven by Sergeant Smith. Serino and Singleton are following in another car. When they reach the spot where Zimmerman told them he got out of his truck, Zimmerman gets out of Smith’s car. Smith, Serino and Singleton follow on foot. Smith continues to ask all the questions until they reach the point where Zimmerman says the struggle began, at which point Serino takes over the questioning. Singleton remains silent through the main part of the walk-through, though she asks Zimmerman a couple questions once they take him back to his house.)

RS: [Where’d you] pick him up at.
GZ: Right here. Right in front of this house.
RS: Right in front of 1460?
GZ: Yes sir.
RS: Alright. And what was he was walkin’ in between the buildings or
GZ: He was walking like in the grassy area. Ike up towards and kinda between these two poles, and like I said it was rainy, and he wasn’t, he was just leisurely looking at the house.
And aah… like I said my wife is… I left for the grocery store, and I just felt like something was off about him.
RS: Right.
GZ: So I said, and there’s been a history of break-ins in that building (gestures backward), and I called previously about this house.
RS: Right.
GZ: When the police arrived at this house, when I called the first time, the windows were open and the door was unlocked. Uhhh, and the police came and secured it. So I said, you know what, it’s better to just call, and I kept driving, I passed him and he was st-, he kept staring at me, and staring around, looking around… to see who else was… I don’t know why he was looking but…
RS: Did he walk off from there, or did he stop there last night?
GZ: He stopped. And he ss, he, he like looked around, and that’s why, that’s what threw me off. Was it’s raining. I didn’t understand why somebody would be just stopping in the rain, especially, you know, then it wasn’t like he was trying to run to get out of the rain and I’d never seen him before. Didn’t look like he was exercising.
RS: Where did he, where was he standing at, when he, when he, when he stopped?
GZ: Right there. Right in front of 1460.
RS: By the sidewalk or in the grassy area?
GZ: No, in the grassy area.
RS: In the grassy area. OK. Like about right in front of where the car is?
GZ: Yes sir.
RS: And then you just, you
GZ: I drove past him.
GZ: And I went to the clubhouse,
RS: Alright
GZ: Up here on the right-hand side.
RS: And parked up there?
GZ: Yes sir.
[driving towards clubhouse]
RS: And what were his… naturally…
[GZ fumbles with seat belt]
RS: You’re good.  Naturally he left… he caught up to you up here, or…
GZ: Yes. I called the Non Emergency line,
RS: Um hum.
GZ: And when I got through, I parked at the clubhouse,
RS: Alright.
GZ: And they asked me, you know, where I was, and I told them the clubhouse and I think I gave them the address to the clubhouse.
RS: So where’d you park at?
GZ: Right up here, next to that green truck, I don’t think that truck was there but I just pulled up. In there.
RS: So you just pulled in here? And this is where you got out?
GZ: No! Umm. This is where I just stopped to call…
[RS parks in front of clubhouse in the spot indicated by GZ]
GZ: …to call and… Then he walked past me, and kept looking at my car. And uh, still looking around at the houses and stuff. So a, then a dispatcher said, “Uh. Where did he go, what direction did he go in?” And I said, “I don’t  know.” I lost, cause he cut down here and made a right, I guess that’s Twin Trees Lane. He made a right in there. [gestures around the far side of the clubhouse] And they said, “What direction did he go?” And I said “I don’t know. I can’t see him.” And they said, “Can you get to somewhere where you can see him,” and said “Yeah, I can.” So I backed out.
RS: Alright.
[RS backs out, drives up to RVC TTL intersection, turns right and continues down TTL]
GZ: And I made this right here… and a left here… and I parked right about where that sign is in the yard.
RS: In front of the Ford truck?
GZ: Yes. And I saw him…
RS: Right about here? Sorry…
GZ: Right about here.
GZ: And I saw him, walking back that way, [gestures ahead down the cut-through sidewalk] and then cut through the back of the houses [gestures to his right down the dogwalk] . He looked back and he noticed me, and he cut back through the houses. I was still on the phone with non-emergency.
RS: Um hum.
GZ: Umm, and then he came back, and he started walking up towards the grass, and then came down and circled my car, and I told the operator that. He was circling my car. I didn’t hear if he said anything.
RS: Right.
GZ: He had his hand in his waistband, and I think I told the operator that, and they said “Where are you?” and I could not remember the name of the street, because I don’t live on this street.
RS: Right.
GZ: Retreat View Circle goes in a circle.
RS: Oh, right.
GZ: And I said “I ca.. I don’t know” and he goes “We need an address,” and I said “I don’t know an address” I think I gave them my address, and they said “Give us directions to get to you” and I said “If you tell the police to go straight at the clubhouse, and make a left, my truck will be there.” And again they asked me where he went, what direction he went in, and I said “I don’t know.” And then I thought to get out and look for a street sign.
RS: Right.
GZ: So I got out of my car and I started walking…
RS: Go ahead.
[GZ and RS get out of the car and begin walking toward the cut-through sidewalk]
GZ: I was still on the phone with Non-Emergency
RS: Okay
GZ: and I started walking down this way. And because I didn’t see a street sign here, but I knew if I went straight through, that’s Retreat View Circle [points ahead], and I could give him an address because he said, “Just give me the address of the house you’re in front of”
RS: Okay
GZ: and there’s no address because these are the back of the houses.
[GZ is the start of the cut-through sidewalk at this point. He turns and gestures to his left, at the rear of the homes along the North side of TTL, which face RVC. The Lauer/Weinberg home, with it’s street number clearly visible, is behind him in the shot.]
GZ: So I walked straight through here. [heads down the cut-through sidewalk toward the T] And I didn’t see him, at all. And I was walking, and I was still on the phone with Non-Emergency.
RS: Okay.
GZ: I got to about… I got to about here, [approaching the T] and I had a flashlight with me
RS: Okay
GZ:  the flashlight was dead though, and I looked around, [stops at the T] and I didn’t see anybody, and I told Non-Emergency, I said, “You know what. He’s gone. He’s not even here.”
RS: Right
GZ: So. I still thought I could s-, use their address, [points down the cut-through sidewalk towards RVC] so I walked all the way through. [resumes walking toward RVC] And. Actually walked all the way to the street, and I was going to give them this address, and they said, “Well, if he’s not there do you still want a police officer?” And I said “Yes!” and… They said, “Do you still want a police officer?” [stops near the RVC end of the cut-through sidewalk, but not yet quite at the end or onto the street itself] And I said “Yes.” And they said, “Are you following him?” Oh, I’m sorry. Back there, they said “Are you following him?” And I said “Yes,” because I was, you know, in the area.
RS: Right
GZ: And he said, “We don’t need you to do that,” and I said, “Okay.” So I… that’s when I walked straight through here to get the address, so that I could meet the police officer. And then they said, uhhh, I said, “He’s not here,” they said “Do you still want him to come?” And I said “Yes,” and they said, “Where do you want him to come to?” And I said, “You know what, just tell him to meet me at my truck. Next to the clubhouse. If he goes straight in through the clubhouse and makes a left I have a Honda Ridgeline, Silver Honda Ridgeline parked right there. I’ll meet him right there.” So then I started walking back.
[walks back down the cut-through sidewalk towards the T]
And when I got to… I passed here. [he is at the T] I looked. I didn’t see anything again, and I was walking back to my truck. And then when I got to right about here, [he is about 6 feet past the T, towards TTL] he yelled from behind me, to the side of me [gestures down dogwalk]. He said, “Yo! You got a problem?” And I turned around, and I said, “No, I don’t have a problem, man!” And he…
RS: Where was he… where was he at?
GZ: He was about there, [points to spot ~ 6 ft. down the dogwalk] but he was walking towards me.
RS: So he was coming from this direction here? [indicates South-to-North up the dogwalk]
GZ: Yes sir. I belie-, like I said I was already past that so I didn’t see exactly where he came from. But he was about where you are.
RS: Okay
GZ: And I said, “No I don’t have a problem,” and I went to go grab my cell phone. But my… I left it in a different pocket. And I went… I looked down in my pant pocket, and he said “You got a problem now,” and then he was here and he punched me in the face.
CS: Right here?
GZ: Right up around here…
CS: Okay. That’s fine…
GZ: To be honest, I don’t remember exactly.
CS: That’s fine.
GZ: Ahh… I think I stumbled, and I fell down, he pushed me down. Somehow he got on top of me.
CS: On the grass or on the cement?
GZ: It was over… more over here [begins walking South through the grass] I think I was trying to push him away from me [makes swatting gestures with both hands] and then he got on top of me somewhere around here. [GZ stops behind the Lauer/Weinberg home, approx. 30 feet North of where John Good observed the struggle, and where TM’s body was found.] And… Ummm… That’s when I started screaming for help. I started screaming “Help! Help!” as loud as I could. And uhhh… Then’s when he grabbed me… Oh, I s-, I tried to sit up, and that’s when he grabbed me by the head and tried to [slamming gestures] slam my head down. And…
CS: Were you on the ce-, like I said on the cement, or you were on the… [gestures to grass where GZ is standing]
GZ: No. My body was on the grass. My head was on the cement.
CS: Okay. So you were basically facing this way? [points perpendicular to dogwalk]
GZ: Yes sir. Umm… That’s as best as I could feel through my jacket. It was… I felt my body was on the grass and my head was on the cement and he just kept slamming and slamming. [more slamming gestures] And uhhh… I jus-, I kept yelling, “Help! Help! Help!” as loud as I could. He put his hand on his nose, uh no, on my nose, and his other hand on my mouth, and he said “Shut the fuck up!” and uhhh… Then I tried squirming again because all I could think about was, when he was hitting my head against, it felt like my head was gonna explode, and I thought I was gonna lose consciousness. So I tried to squirm so that I could get… cause he… he only had a small portion of my head on the concrete, so I tried to squirm off the concrete. And when I did that, somebody here opened the door [gestures to the South, toward Good’s back door]. And I said “Help me! Help me!” And they said, “I’ll call 911.” I said, “No! Help me! I need help!” And… I don’t know what they did, but uhh, that’s when my jacket [makes drawing motion with right hand at right hip] and I had my firearm on my right side hip. [places hand on right rear waistline] My jacket moved up, and he saw… I feel like he saw it, he looked at it, and he said “You’re gonna die tonight, motherfucker!” And he reached for it, but he reached… like I felt his arm going down by my side, and I grabbed it [gestures to right hip] and I just grabbed my firearm, and I shot him. One time.
CS: After you shot him, keep on going, what did he say?
GZ: After I shot him, he like sat up…
CS: So you’re…is.. You’re still in the position here basically…
GZ: Yes sir.
CS: You’re laying down here, you shot him so he’s in the grass.
GZ: Yes sir. He was on top of me like this. I shot him. And I didn’t think I hit him, because he sat up and he said, “Ugh, you got me!” [raises hands in a surrender gesture]…”You got it!” “You got me!” “You got it!” something like that. So I thought he was just saying, “I know you have a gun now. I heard it. I’m giving up.”
CS: Um hum.
GZ: So I don’t know if I pushed him off me, or he fell off me… Either way, I got on top of him. And I pushed his arms apart [gestures with straight arms away from his sides], and I said…
CS: You flipped him over?
GZ: I don’t remember how I got on top of him I’m sorry.
CS: Keep goin’. That’s fine.
GZ: But I got on his back and I moved his arms apart, [repeats arms apart gesture] because when he was repeatedly hitting me in the face and the head [hammering gestures with both fists], I thought he had something in his hands. So I just… [arms apart gesture again] I moved his hands apart, uhhh…
CS: So you had him face down then?
GZ: Yes. Face down and I was on his back. And… Then somebody came, with a flashlight, [gestures in direction of RVC end of the cut-through sidewalk] and I thought it was a police officer…
CS: Um hum.
GZ: So I said, “Are you the police?” [extends both arms to his sides, hands down, an “I’m showing my hands” gesture] and I.. I still had my handgun out, and I told him, I said, “Are you, are you the police? And my gun’s right here.” And he goes, “No, no, I’m not. I’m calling the police.” And I said, “Don’t call the police, help me restrain this guy!” [puts arms down]
CS: Um hum.
GZ: And uhhh… He said, “I’m calling the police. I’m calling the police.” And I said, “I already called, and they’re on their way. They’re coming. I need your help!” And uhhh… then’s when the police officer, uhh, came around. [gestures again in direction of RVC end of the cut-through sidewalk]  I saw the police officer, and I stood up and holstered my weapon, and he said, “Who shot him?” And I said “I did,” and I put my hands up. [raises his hands over his head] I said, “I did,” and I, I don’t know if he told me to, I just automatically turned my back to him, and I sh-, and I lift my shirt, and I said, “My gun’s right there.” And I told him a few times, I said “My gun’s right there.” And he goes, [pulls hands down] “Okay. I understand. I just need you to keep your hands up.” And he, uhh, put the handcuffs on me, and he took my firearm from me. [ a few words of unintelligible mumbling]
CS: Any questions?
RS: I don’t have any.
[CS gives a nod of thanks to GZ]
RS: Anything else that…
GZ: No sir.
RS: You got no idea where, where he came from, or where he was… Over in this area, you walked by here, you never saw him?
GZ: No. I didn’t see him at all. I looked as I was on the phone with the em-, Non-Emergeny. I looked and I didn’t see him at all and I said, “He’s gone!” I think I said something to the effect of…
RS: What was the lighting about that time?
CS: It was dark.
GZ: Dark.
CS: Dark
[unintelligible crosstalk]
RS: No porch lights were on? Nothin out back here?
GZ: No.
CS: It’s really dark. We were doing canvas at 7:30, about 7:15…
[unintelligible crosstalk]
[GZ, RS, CS and DS walk back toward TTL]
CS: [unintelligible]
GZ: The only thing I saw was what’s on, was on front was on my front door. That, from Sanford PD, that he lived in the neighborhood.
CS: [unintelligible]
RS: What did the doctor say as far as your injuries?
GZ: I have a broken nose, she said I could use stitches, but she’d rather not put them in. Umm… as long as I didn’t mess with my head. Skin was already healing nicely. Uhh, she said I, she didn’t have to put stitches in right away.
CS: Emergency room or your primary care?
GZ: My primary care.
GZ: Pain medicine and she gave me a referral for an ENT, because she, she said that the swelling wouldn’t let them do anything to my nose right now. But once the swelling went down, if I had a deviated septum or a disfigured septum, they would be able to fix it but there’s nothing they could do right now.
CS: Okay. Let’s go back to your house [unintelligible]
[cut to GZ standing in front of his house]
CS: It would help, as far as your injuries documented, something like that, if possible. If not…
GZ: I’ll ask her for them.
CS: Yeah.
GZ: She made note, but…
[unintelligible crosstalk]
RS: [to videographer] Turn around, get the back of his head. Butterfly…
GZ: Oh, she said I had a… sprained SI, something about my sciatic… something.
GZ: Just the scrapes there.
[DS asks about injuries to his arms]
GZ: I don’t think so. I had a long sleeve sw- shirt, and a jacket on top. No. He was just focused on my head. [points to his right temple] There’s just a little umm bruising there.
There’s a cut here. [points to bridge of his nose]
DS: [unintelligible] …I remember seeing swelling here [touches his left temple] and I don’t see it now.
GZ: My wife is an RN student, so she went to work. Just couldn’t keep her busy I guess.

F. CVSA Interview

(coming soon)

G. Serino/Singleton “challenge” interview 2/29/2012

(Transcript by txantimedia. CS = SPD Investigator Chris Serino. DS = SPD Inspector Doris Singleton.)

CS: This is Investigator Serino with the Sanford Police Department. Today’s date is Wednesday, February the 29th, 2012. We’re located at the Sanford Police Department at 815 South, ah excuse me, 815 West 13th Street, City of Sanford, Seminole County, Florida. The time is now 17:19 hours, that’s 5:19 pm. Here to discuss case number 201250001136, the shooting death of a Trayvon Benjamin Martin which occurred on February 26, it was a Sunday, at approximately 7:30 pm.
(lots of noise, sounds of a door opening and closing)
CS: Thank you for coming. How you been? How you feeling, all right? How’s your head?
GZ: Better.
CS: OK. I’ve got notebooks and pens and papers and things to show you. Are you a man of faith? I mean, have you been, are you, have you had any counseling, have you talked to a priest, or a pastor or anybody like that?
GZ: Ah, no, I haven’t been to a (unintelligible)
CS: My question is how’s your head? I mean…
GZ: My doctor says that I have PTSD.
CS: Ah, PSSD, uh. That’s what he said?
GZ: She said.
CS: She said? Did she order you any counseling or anything or?
GZ: She’s…
CS: Or prescribed you any kind, give you a script?
GZ: She’s (unintelligible)
CS: OK. But are you going to see a psychiatrist or anything like that or
GZ: She’s a (unintelligible)
CS: OK, she is. OK.
GZ: Yes.
CS: OK, do you have any other kind of mental illness, depression…?
GZ: No sir.
CS: Bi-polar disorder, none of that stuff?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Today’s the 23rd…yeah.
CS: OK, religious faith, what are you?
GZ: Catholic.
CS: Roman Catholic?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Baptized?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Communion?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. Reason I ask that is because…I gotta know how you’re doing up here. OK. Usually taking a life bears a lot of stuff with it. OK. And I’ve been around other people that’ve been through it, and, you know, that’s first and foremost, OK? The responsibility behind all this is probably more than you’d ever imagine. OK. You’re thinking you’re out there doing Neighborhood Watch thing, a good thing, um, everything’s sort of, ah the stars are aligned correctly, you guys been victimized from burglaries, and I’ve seen you guys Space page about, uh, Facebook page about kudos for the arrest and whatever kind of stuff. You guys doing a good thing out there stopping the bad guys who’re breaking in stealing people’s stuff, right? Um, what happened this evening is that you essentially saw somebody who you in good faith thought was doing something wrong.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: And…you ever hear of Murphy’s Law?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, that’s what happened. This person was not doing anything bad. Um, you know the name of the person that night?
GZ: Tayvon?
CS: Trayvon.
GZ: Trayvon? Martin?
CS: Trayvon Benjamin Martin. He was born in 1995, February the 5th. He was 17 years old. An athlete, um, probably somewhere, somebody who was gonna be in avionautics, um, a kid with a future. A kid with folks that care. In his possession we found a, uh, can of, uh, iced tea and a bag of Skittles. And about $40 in cash. Not a goon. Um, you have any prior training in law enforcement, at all? I mean, any kind of…
GZ: Just the law books I…(unintelligible)
CS: Constitutional law
GZ: ..aa…(unintelligible)
CS: OK, so you went through the…OK. But as far as identifying people and stuff like that as far as what to look for, what to make them really suspicious?
GZ: Um, just when we organized an annual, ah, Neighborhood Watch event. They told us…like a, I think, a PowerPoint presentation.
CS: OK, I wasn’t privy to that, but if you guys continue Neighborhood Watch, um, typically speaking at nighttime, um, the garb is black on black on black, with a black hoodie. Now this guy had a dark grey hoodie. It was dark, but his pants were beige. Not quite your, you know, your prime suspect type. But, um, I listened to the phone call that you made to the non-emergency line. OK. You sound…well tell me what was going through your head at the time.
GZ: Well, um, 2 or 3 weeks prior to that I’d seen somebody looking in the window of the house that he was in front of.
CS: Was he white or black?
GZ: Black.
GZ: And the guy that lives there I know, he’s active in the neighborhood watch and he’s Caucasian.
GZ: The guy, ah, the suspicious looking guy, went up to the house, I was walking my dog around the neighborhood, and he walked up to the house, and he was smoking. No, I’m sorry, he wasn’t smoking at that time. He turned around and he saw me walking my dog, so he lit a cigarette and leaned up against the wall, pretending like he lived there.
CS: Mm hmm.
GZ: And, ah, so I walked past him and I called non-emergency, and, ah, I got under a streetlight, and they asked me if I could see where he went, where he went inside the house and I said, no. And they said,  can you get to where you can see and I said, I really don’t want to move closer. Um, oh, and they needed the address. And I don’t know why, adrenalin was rushing, a thousand things went through my mind. I gave them what I thought was my address
CS: Um hm.
GZ: further down, the 1900 building instead of the 1400. And, ah, when I walked to see the address, I saw the end of the house, and he was at the side of the house looking in the window. He either threw or spit his, he looked at me and threw or spit his cigarette out and then ran around the back. So I told non-emergency, I think it was still non-emergency at that time, that, you know I don’t know where you guys are coming from
CS: Um hum.
GZ: but he’s around back. And, ah, I don’t know where he went. And, um, I stayed in front of the house where the street light was. And I waited and I waited and I waited and then it hit me, the police came and drove past me. And then is when it hit me that I gave them what I thought was my address instead of that address. So I called back and I said, you know, um, the correct address. The police officer came back. I didn’t even see, cause the house was completely dark
CS: Um hum.
GZ: the window was open. So, and the front door was un, the police later told me that the front door was unlocked. All the windows were open in the house. And, ah, the front door was unlocked, the garage was open. Um, so they went in, they cleared the house. Oh, they asked me for the owner’s name and phone number. And then they asked me for permission to go inside the house, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then the next week, not at that building but at the next building, on the end unit, the s, the guy I saw, broke in, apparently stole a laptop from what I understand. Ran off, but one of the maintenance guys saw him and was able to give the police a direction of where he was going…
CS: Um hum.
GZ: And he was actually arrested. Um, so when I saw him in the same area, in front of the guy’s house, that I know’s, that they keep it unsecured, and he was looking into the house. I just thought something doesn’t fit right here.
CS: And this is, but this, but this is the one prior to this one, right?
GZ: No, no, this is, I’m sorry, that’s why I felt he
GZ:  was suspicious.
CS: OK. OK. What did you see Trayvon doing that caught you as being suspicious?
GZ: He was looking at the house intently and then…
CS: What, the same house?
GZ: The same house that, yeah, that I had called about before.
CS: Did he stop, did he…?
GZ: He stopped.
CS: In front of the house?
GZ: He stopped in front of the house and then I drove, there was a car like backing up, so I, I slowed down, and then I drove around him. And he kept looking at me, and then when I passed, oh, it was raining, and I said, you know what, he’s not walking briskly to get out of the rain. He wasn’t, um, he didn’t look like a marathon runner that’s active and like, you know, that trains in the rain. He was just walking slowly in the grass and on the sidewalk. I just said, something’s off. So, that’s why I called non-emergency.
CS: OK. You know, you’re gonna come under a lot of scrutiny over this, correct? OK. The profiling aspect of the whole thing. Had this person been white, would you have felt the same way?
GZ: Yes.
CS: OK. Gotta ask that. Um, like I said, this child has no criminal record whatsoever, ah, good kid. A mild-mannered kid. Part of what I’ve been doing the last couple days is trying to get into his head, a psychological profile, and find out what his likes are, dislikes are, his hobbies, all the rest of that stuff. And one of his hobbies happens to be the videotaping of everything he does. OK. He has, has a library, very impressive, going through his phone, we got a little bit, but the battery died. We’re still working on that. There’s a possibility that whatever happened between you and him is caught on videotape. And this is going to be our final interview. I’m not gonna talk to you any more after this. We’re good, you know what I’m saying? That right there, that’s his cell phone.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. That’s a camera. Um, there’s a very strong possibility that what’s on there is either gonna help you or, you know, not help you. And that’s why I gotta clarify a few things about what happened out there. Um, how tall are you, how much do you weigh?
GZ: Ah, 5-8, ah, 194.
CS: OK. Trayvon’s about 6 foot, about 150 pounds. (Gets out a photograph)That’s him, that’s the gunshot you put in him, it went right through his heart. OK, um, a skinny kid. Obviously, like I said, a lot of questions are being brought up, um, he was unarmed. Ah, he… But like I said, because of, I mean, obviously you passed a lie detector test and you’ve done all that, but, like I said, if there’s anything that you haven’t said, that might be in that phone…
GZ: I prayed to God that someone videotaped it
CS: Would be videotaping this.
GZ: Or the neighborhood had put up a video camera that I didn’t know about or something.
CS: Listen, it’s not a guarantee, but like I said a strong possibility, I’m hoping myself. OK. Another thing too as far as 25 and 30 punches, I’ve consulted with a lot of people, not quite consistent with your injuries. You do have injuries, however. Um, how did he manage to bang your head, and, OK, correct me if I misunderstood what you said here as far as slamming the head into the concrete. Into the cement thing. How’d he do that?
GZ: I was on my back.
GZ: when he first punched me. I don’t know if I immediately fell down, he threw me down. I was stumbling, I ended up on my back.
CS: Um hum.
GZ: And he was on top of me, mounted.
GZ: And he kept punching me, and then, when I started yelling for help, that’s when he grabbed my head and started to slam it.
CS: Grabbed your head by your ears, by…hard to say?
GZ: I don’t remember.
GZ: Every time he punched my nose, it just…
CS: How many times, OK, how many times you get punched in the nose? A couple, few?
GZ: I don’t know, I don’t remember.
CS: OK, you never got a chance to hit him, you have no defense wounds here, um, any bruising on your body at all?
GZ: Ah, no.
CS: No broken ribs, no fractured ribs, none of that?
GZ: No.
CS: Pain? No?
GZ: My doctor said I sprained my SI. Feels like a big bruise, like a deep bruise.
CS: OK. Is that what he looked like the night this happened?
GZ: Pardon?
CS: Did you see his face like this the night it happened?
GZ: No sir.
CS: OK, he’s young. Young, tall and skinny. 17. That’s him again. I’m showing you this cause you’re gonna have to some day, um, meet his family, that’s just how these things work eventually. And they have a lot of questions, obviously. And, um, I wanna prepare you for that. Cause like I said, I’m basically out of it after this. This is, you know….You’re glad it’s on video, that’s a good thing. And like I said, I don’t mean to torture you with this but you gotta see this before it sees anywhere else. OK?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: (rustling of papers) Court of public opinion is going to beat up on you a lot, OK?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: I mean, a lot of people don’t think that your injuries are consistent with getting in a life-threatening type thing, it’s a matter of perception, I understand that. If there’s anything that you might’ve forgotten…here’s him again, and now here’s another thing too I gotta show you also. That right there, is the only injury to his hands that we could document. OK? Now I heard you say you’re yelling for help, it’s a matter of perception, I guess that there’s no doubt in my mind that you were in fear, OK? Where the question comes into play is that what enraged him so badly? Besides the fact that maybe he felt he was being profiled, he’s from a bigger city, I don’t know, he can’t talk. I wish he woulda ran away. Um, I got an anomynous, anonymous phone call today from somebody who gave a different version of events, you know, and that person is, uh, holding their statement. But, and they said something a little bit different. More along the lines you tried to detain him, more along the lines that, yeah, OK, there was arguing before the incident happened, there was yelling back and forth, um, these things happen. You know, for a lot of different reasons. And that’s probably why they kept their anon, anony. anonymity to themselves. I’m hoping that whatever they tell me doesn’t come out on here and then all of a sudden you’re looking at something that you never dreamed you’d be looking at. OK?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: That’s why we’re here today. Once again, these can be interpreted as capillary-type cuts or whatever, lacerations, uh, not really, um, coinciding with being slammed hard into the ground. OK? That’s skull fractures is you happen with that. I’ve seen ‘em all, you know. Me, I reserve judgment because everybody’s built differently, your tolerance for pain might be different from mine, and anybody else’s and it wouldn’t be fair for me to go, I wasn’t there. I actively remain neutral here, OK? It’s kind of a good shoot, bad shoot type thing.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: And the only thing that you don’t have is the authority to go ahead and do the stop legally. You follow, I mean…
GZ: Sure
CS: You’re working under the color of an absolutely private citizen.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: And, but then again, we can make citizens’ arrests all day long. I mean, for felonies. Problem was that this child wasn’t committing a felony at the time. He was just walking.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: But once again, you know, it could also be explained away if, because of the very reason I arrest that stuff too. I mean, uh, I’ve seen security guys with some really weird stuff, I see Neighborhood Watch guys with some really weird stuff. It ain’t my first time in here, you know, and it’s always imperative that I get absolute truth. Which you apparently been giving to me. In case, I guess I, if not, and I find it somewhere else, it’s not going to work to your advantage, OK? Once again, these are your defensive wounds, which are essentially non-existent, I’m looking for bruising and scrapings and I don’t see, I mean, you fared pretty well. Probably cause you had long sleeves on. I mean, that’s what I’m thinking. I can write that up pretty easy. OK, once again (unintelligible)… Who’s this female right here?
GZ: That’s my ex-girlfriend.
CS: OK, what’s she got against you?
GZ: Ah, nothing.
CS: Nothing? You have an injunction on her, or she had an injunction on you?
GZ: …a long time ago.
CS: OK. Is there any reason why anybody would say things about you that…You’re Hispanic, right?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: You’re Peruvian…
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: And…white.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. I’m Puerto Rican and white, I guess. Italian. You got any problems with black people?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: OK, I had to ask. You have any problems with anybody? A problem with criminals, I’m sure. I mean, ah, I’ve also done your background and I’ve seen things that you’ve done. Um, you tend to involve yourself… in a good way, you know. Um, what were your aspirations when you, OK, you’ve been arrested, OK. Battery LEO, what’s that about?
GZ: Pardon?
CS: For battery of a LEO. What was that about?
GZ: There was a, um, we were at a bar, 5 guys and 6,7 girls. And, ah…I went to, my buddy was underage and he was drinking apparently and I went, I was at the bathroom. He has a problem dancing with other guys’ girlfriends. And he, when I came out of the bathroom, one of the girls we were with said, hey, your buddy just got drug out of here by the neck like some big dude. And so I just thought he caused a fight and, or he was gonna be hit, his butt kicked. So…I headed out, and 2 friends that I was with headed out at the same time. And, but I got out there first. When I got out there, this guy, a big guy, had him by the neck, up against the wall. And, ah, I said, hey, what are you doing? And he goes, something like, get the fuck out of here (unintelligible)… something like that. And I said, what are you talking about man, what’s your problem? And I walked up to him and he grabbed me by the shirt and pushed me, and kinda hit me in the chin. So I grabbed him back. And as soon as I grabbed him, turned out he was, ah, DEA or, um, not DTA, ATF.
GZ: And, ah, they were, um…
CS: Checking for underage drinking?
GZ: Pardon?
CS: Checking for underage drinking
GZ: Yes
CS: at the club?
GZ: Yes, sir. And, ah, but he was undercover.
CS: Mm hmm.
GZ: And, um, they sent me down, questioned me, um, the Captain, I guess, said, uh, they asked him for transport, um, and he said, they arrested the 6 other bartenders, and he said we’re taking 6 of ‘em. And, um, the cop that I, when I grabbed him, I pushed him into a wall. There was like a column and I pushed him into a wall. And I guess he got hurt. And when he overheard that, the Captain said, you know, we’re transporting 6 of ‘em. He flipped out. And he said, you know, F that Cap you gotta go too blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And the [laughs] Captain was letting me go.
CS: So you didn’t know he was law enforcement?
GZ: No.
GZ: No, he didn’t have his badge on at all.
CS: That’s kinda the same lines as that, I mean, I don’t know how this is gonna help at this point but, had told this child that you were Neighborhood Watch and you were just wondering what the hell he was doing when he came up to your car? You probably wouldn’t be here right now. Did that, has that ever registered to you at all? I mean, I gotta try to get into your head somehow, and, and I guess that I answer to his family right now.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Um, why didn’t it occur to you to go ahead and tell ‘em…I mean, a lot of what we do out here in law enforcement is basically a lot of talking, a lot of casual encounters, consensual encounters, we call ‘em. Um, you know, we might be trying to detect something wrong, but it’s just to get a feel for the person. Did it ever occur to you to go ahead and actually ask this person what he was doing out there?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Was it fear, precaution, safety, all of the above, or…Tell me
GZ: I didn’t want
CS: what was going through your head.
GZ: I didn’t want to confront him, and it wasn’t my job.
CS: OK, so by not, were you, your job’s not to really to do anything at all when it comes to that kind of, it wasn’t your job
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: … to monitor him either, but for future reference, I mean you can usually dismiss a lot of this kind of insanity… I mean, had that been done, and that’s, you know, and from our vantage point, you’ve had 2 opportunities to identify yourself as somebody who was actually not meaning to do him harm. Problem being, is that we’re visiting in his mind’s eye, which I can’t get into because he’s passed, that he perceives you as a threat. OK, he perceives you as a threat, he has every right to go and defend himself, especially when you reach into your pocket to grab a cell phone. OK, where I’m gravitating to here is to say that I guess that, this, could that have been a possibility for him getting so enraged at you? What do you think his mindset was? I’m telling you right now, the kid has no violent background, no violent tendencies that we can find, um, what made him snap? He’s not on drugs, um, can you fill in that blank?
GZ: Ah, the other thing was, when he walked up to my car, he reached in his waistband. And held his hand there.
CS: He was probably holding his iced tea.
GZ: I don’t…
CS: That’s fine but did he say anything?
GZ: I, I , I, it was raining, so I had my windows up, and I was on the phone, I didn’t…
CS: How close to your car did he get?
GZ: (sighs) Maybe a car length.
CS: What do you think set him off?
GZ: I don’t know.
CS: Had he been a goon, a bad kid, 2 thumbs up, you know. No, he don’t make, he don’t, he does not fit the profile of what occurred. Which is another, um, unfortunate thing that we got going on here.
DS: Um, I still, I still don’t understand, when he walked up to your car, why didn’t you say anything to him?
GZ: I guess fear. I didn’t want to confront him. He seemed…
DS: You were afraid of him?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Then does, do you say he ran?
GZ: Yes.
DS: Then you get out of your car and run after him.
GZ: I didn’t run after him, no. I walked to find the street name, or a street sign. And he had already run, cut out between the houses. So I knew that, if I walked straight through that little sidewalk, I knew that that was my street that I lived on.
DS: Retreat View.
GZ: Retreat View Circle. But he, um, when I was walking around, my truck lights stay on, and he was, he wasn’t there.
DS: So, was that portion of that “T” that you could see straight through lit up by your truck lights?
GZ: It was lit up, partially. Because it only stays on for a few…I don’t know how long, but it stays on for a while.
DS: When you got out, you shut the car off and took your keys with you?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
CS: And you didn’t, OK, at that point, you didn’t see him. OK, you did say on the phone call, he’s running. And you get out of your car, dispatch tells you stay in your car. And, but yet you decide to go ahead to, where do you take yourself…How many streets are in that subdivision?
GZ: Ah, I think 3.
CS: OK. And you’re part of the Homeowners Association. Are you head of the Neighborhood Watch?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. Once again. Something else I gotta try to explain away. How do you not know the 3 streets in your neighborhood, you been living for 3 years?
GZ: I don’t know.
CS: I don’t know how to answer that. And I have to speak for you. I’m trying to say to everybody, he’s a good guy. You know, how do I answer that? How do I answer those kinda gaps? How come I, I mean, yes, I, you know, gotta talk to people and gotta, you know, give people a reason why you’re not sitting in jail right now, because there’s a shooting and a blah, blah, yeah…you have really no idea. How do I explain that one away that you’re saying you didn’t know what street is the one of the 3 streets that live in the community, that you’re the head of the Homeowners, head of the whatever. You know what I’m saying? How, how do I do that? I mean…
GZ: To be honest with you, I have a bad memory anyway. That’s why I gave…
CS: Is that documented anywhere, as far as you having a bad memory? I mean, or you just…
GZ: I’m ADD.
CS: Oh are you ADHD?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, cause I asked you that in the beginning as far as emotional, but I guess I didn’t say that one, ADHD.
GZ: Oh, yes, sir.
CS: I asked you if you were bi-polar or schizo or anything like that.
GZ: Oh, no, no, no.
CS: But ADHD you do have?
GZ: Yes, sir.
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: That’s OK, I mean, yeah
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: That’s all, that’s all on the, yeah, OK. But so you’re ADHD.
GZ: Yes, sir…ADD.
CS: OK, when were you diagnosed with that? ADD?
GZ: Childhood.
CS: Childhood? OK. Are you on medication for it?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Adderall?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. How often?
GZ: Ah, twice a day.
CS: Twice a day. 20 mg?
GZ: 20 each.
CS: OK. So that might explain why you didn’t know the street that you were at.
GZ: I just…have a terrible memory. I gave, when they asked me the address, I don’t know why I always think my address is 1960. And it’s 1950. I don’t know why.
CS: Those numbers are confusing in the whole place. I had a hard time orientating myself also. I mean, you know, I gotta…OK, but…
GZ: The one thing I can tell you is that the streets, those middle streets, I don’t, I can’t even remember the names now, but I know that they change names.
CS: Um hum.
GZ: Once it branches left it’s a different one, once it branches right it’s a different name, so…
CS: OK, but I guess that that’s going to be, uh, uh, one of the issues that I have to clarify and that’s why we’re here today.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Um…your holster. What kind of holster do you have?
GZ: Um, it’s just one I bought at a gun show, like a nylon in a waistband…
CS: Like an Uncle Mikes? With a…
GZ: Kind of, yes, sir.
CS: With a, with a nylon retainer.
GZ: It did not have a retainer.
CS: So it’s an, an unsecure holster basically?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. No locking mechanism, no safety feature, nothing?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: It was inside your pants?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. 9mm inside your pants? He was mounted on you, you were able, he was mounted on your upper chest? Or, I mean, at what point were you able to free your waist side to go ahead and pull out your weapon?
GZ: When he…he was mounted on me but he had pressure on my nose and my mouth, suffocating me. And when he let go of my mouth and started reaching down my side, he said, “You’re gonna die tonight.” I didn’t need my hand any more cause he let go of my mouth. I don’t remember if I was still screaming or not. That’s when I grabbed his hand and I grabbed my, my firearm and fired. So it was one side, he let go, that I realized I didn’t need my hand and he was gonna kill me.
CS: How long did he suffocate you for?
GZ: (sigh) Felt like…
CS: Seemed like forever, I’m sure.
GZ: Felt like hours, but I don’t…
CS: Don’t recall. OK. Is it a full-sized 9 or a small 9?
GZ: Compact.
CS: Compact? And you were able to overpower him as far as holding his wrist, you gained wrist…we call it wrist control…you gained wrist control on him basically, and you were able to basically liberate both hands…
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. You raised it up. Do you remember hitting him with the pistol?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Distance wise…
GZ: I just remember not wanting to hit my own hand, I was holding his, it went past my hand, my body… (sigh)
CS: You OK? You need some water or anything?
GZ: No.
CS: Something cold?
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: OK, alright.
GZ: I did…you said that the, um, operator told me to stay in my car. They didn’t tell me to stay in my car. They said, “Are you following him?” And I was…I was walking where he had walked. And I said, yes. And they said, “We don’t need you to do that.” And I said, OK.
CS: OK. Yeah. Maybe you’d already gotten out of your car. I didn’t hear any bells in the, like, when you open the door it goes “bing, bing, bing” or something like that…I didn’t hear any of that either. So, yeah, so…
GZ: It does do that.
CS: It does? OK, I didn’t catch the sound of it. Did you catch it on the recording? The doors opening?
DS: I thought I could hear the door close.
CS: Huh?
DS: I thought I could hear the door close.
CS: OK. Yeah. Cause I was kinda unclear on that. OK. I wasn’t trying to trip you up but you had gotten out of your car. But once again which also brings up the question on…once in fear for not lowering your window cause he’s right in front of you, to outside exposing yourself to the possibility of being attacked by the person.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: Um, that, coupled with, like I said, the parent, background, disposition of the child, not more a child but a juvenile…What set him off. And there will be a question forever in everybody’s mind. The like person, he targets you. And, you know, and I’ve tried to explain that to everybody, and, uh, uh, they’re saying like on TV and I can’t jump up and down and be that anh, anh, it’s not…it’s fictitious.
DS: When he, when he comes up to your car you’re telling them, right? That he’s…
GZ: Yes
DS: He’s reaching in his waistband?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: So what do you think there’s a possibility that he has?
GZ: Well, the guy 3 weeks, 2 weeks prior, did the same thing when he saw me, like put his hand in his jacket and watched me walk by and then he lit a cigarette. So I thought that he was just trying to, um, look tough or intimidate….
DS:  So, you didn’t think he had a weapon?
GZ: No, no. I didn’t….
DS: You thought he was just trying to bluff you.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
CS: Hey, did that scare you? The bluff?
GZ: No.
CS: They’re gonna ask like why you didn’t like haul ass. You understand that, right? I mean, how could you leave if you were scared. Like I said, and, and I wouldn’t wanna be in your shoes. I wouldn’t want you to be in my shoes either. But, um, here we are. Um, you’re the good guy here. And part of what we do is that good, bad or indifferent, we have to give absolute certainty, we do… (unintelligible). OK. Good shoots, bad shoots. I’m concerned because, like I say, it hasn’t come to light yet but things always do come out in the wash. That between your ADD or…your ADH, your ADD…or whatever you got going on, and maybe something discovered in here, and maybe something witness that come forward, all of a sudden something pertinent is left out. You ever work security before?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: You worked at a party one time security, right?
GZ: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
CS: OK. Was that paid for or just…
GZ: It wasn’t paid (unintelligible)
CS: OK, OK. There’s a thing called challenging somebody. Now you haven’t challenged this person while he was out next to your car so you’re not into challenging people apparently.
GZ: No.
CS: Um, you sound kinda frustrated on the phone conversation. Cause everybody’s gonna hear these things, you know? And I’m just trying the best I can to shield you from it all basically. To be able to… But my job is to make absolute sense of it all, you know. And the court of public opinion is going to be, uh, hard on you. OK. If you tried to challenge this person, thinking that you have the authority to, thinking that you’re working in the capacity, under the color of the HOA, because you’re head of the Neighborhood Watch, and that’s really…could explain a lot. You know what I’m saying? Maybe he doesn’t like authority, that his father doesn’t know about. Maybe perhaps he tried, I mean, like I said, speculating here, but, you know, based on the bits and pieces I got from this other, this other unidentified witness, there’s a lot of things going standing here. Before it went to the ground. Prior to the punch. Um, and that can be…you tell me. I mean, what could possibly happen if somebody thinks you were trying to detain this person… Will it change the outcome? No. The fact is that you were on the ground getting beat up by somebody and you were in fear for your life, and you pull the trigger, and, you know, that’s, that’s excusable, that’s a justifiable homicide. Not excusable, uh, but, it’s, ah, it’s justifiable. You know, that’s a felony against your person, the felony being the aggravated battery, and you fear for your life, he went for your gun. It won’t change the circumstances at the ending. But it would explain what led up to the ending. And that’s where we’re, well, we’re having to re-interview again and just for verifications and make sure I didn’t miss anything. Cause every single question I’m asking I’ve thought about, and, um, that’s why it’s good, you know, I wanted to come talk to you cause I didn’t talk to you before. Is there anything along the lines that what I just said that could have possibly been interpreted to this person?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Nothing at all. OK. You went out there just like you said, and…dialed up 911 and right after that you turned around and there he was.
GZ: No, sir.
GZ: I walked past where he went through…
CS: Uh huh.
GZ: To go to Retreat View Circle.
CS: Which would’ve been he was heading back to his house, where he was staying.
GZ: I had no idea.
CS: That’s where he was going. I’m just letting you know that.
GZ: OK. But when I walked past…when I walked and I saw he wasn’t there any more, they asked me for my address and I gave them my address. And I said, you know, I don’t really like giving out my address cause then he’ll know where I go, where I live. He was…I…
CS: So he would’ve been in earshot of you, you thought? But you couldn’t see him?
GZ: I could not see him at all.
CS: But you’re, how close could… OK.
GZ: I didn’t like anyone (unintelligible)
CS: That’s fine…that’s, uh huh.
GZ: And they said, around that time is when they said we don’t need you to follow him, so I continued walking straight to my street. When I came back, I was coming back, and I passed the sidewalk that he went to…
CS: Um hum.
GZ: I didn’t see where he came from. But he was not there. And I told the non-emergency, he’s not here. And they said you still want us to send a car, and I said yes.
CS: Is that what’s there? Was that there?
DS: Yeah.
CS: Yeah that’s what he said, right, yeah.
DS: Yeah, they were talking, they just had a discussion about meeting at the mailboxes. And you said, never mind, just have them call my phone and I’ll tell them where I’m at.
GZ: Oh, I thought I told them to, because I first pulled up at the clubhouse…
DS: Um hum.
GZ: And I gave them that address. And I told them (unintelligible) straight through, take a left (unintelligible). And I think I gave them a description of my truck, gave them the color, the make and model. And they said where do you want them to meet you. And I said just have them meet me back at my truck. And that’s when I went towards my truck.
DS:  Um hum.
CS: OK, so when he approached you this boy said “What the fuck’s your problem?” Correct?
GZ: Something to that effect, but…
CS: Did he use the word “homey”?
GZ: I don’t remember.
DS: Did you at that time, ever say to him, I’m Neighborhood Watch?
GZ: No.
DS: Did it not occur to you?
GZ: I was, no, I was, said I don’t have a problem. And I started backing away from him.
DS: But you kinda did have a problem. That’s why you were following him, right? You had a concern with him.
GZ: I was scared.
CS: But did you, did you…
DS:  You were scared to tell him you had a concern? That you were Neighborhood Watch? You were afraid to tell him that?
GZ: Ah, yes, ma’am.
DS:  I’m not trying to put on the spot but these are the questions people are going to ask us, so we’re gonna have to give them an answer.
GZ: No, I understand. I…was scared…
DS:  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to say, look I’m Neighborhood Watch. I don’t recognize you, are you staying here?
GZ: Because he came, came up out of nowhere. I didn’t see him. I was walking back to my car thinking that I was going to meet a police officer there. So when he popped up he just caught me off guard. I didn’t think, I, tell him who I was…
DS:  But can you see how that would maybe frighten him? You’ve been following him now for the whole time.
GZ: What do you mean on foot, or…
DS: Yeah, you’re watching him.
GZ: I didn’t…
DS:  And he makes it clear to you he sees you. He walks up to your car, correct?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS:  So he was making it clear to you I recognize you’re following me.
GZ: I didn’t know if he was doing that or he was doubling back or what he was doing.
CS: No, but the reason why he’d say “Do you have a problem?” was because, for no other reason, because he realized you were following him. In other words, you weren’t just walking around and like he didn’t walk up to you and say, “You got a fucking problem?” He didn’t try to rob you, he didn’t try to, you know. He’s asking what the fuck’s your problem. Now, could it be possible that you said, “I don’t have a fucking problem”?
GZ: No.
CS: No? OK.
GZ: No.
CS: That would’ve been my response but, you know, OK…I just…I…like I said, the, the child has no record at all, no violent tendencies, none of this, that I can, that I know of. That anybody else knows of. His folks would’ve told me. Out of his nature to do this kind of reaction. I don’t know if he thought that you were trying to punk him, or, you know, be a, some sort of weirdo or something. Out of his nature. And that’s why I pose the question again what might’ve set him off that you might’ve, I mean, it’s a traumatic episode and we can gap out and forget and maybe if you remember some other time, you can always call me with it, and it’ll always be part of me, this’ll probably live on in, in my case load for a very, very long time. You know, as far as what I do, what I don’t do, I’m gonna get, I can’t win here at all. All I can do is sit in here and make it so you don’t go down worse than anybody else either criminally or civilly. You understand the responsibility behind this?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. You should, I mean, if you got the degree in that you should know where it comes, this kind of stuff, you know. Um, and that’s why I’m saying if there’s any doubt about your truthfulness it’s gonna thwart everything. I mean, they might, they might be saying that you’re out there and you could’ve played John Wayne and all of a sudden you’re trying to take down this kid who’s lighter than you but taller than you but younger than you, and you’re a grown-ass man and he’s a child, that’s always gonna…It doesn’t matter, he’s still a child. You understand?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: And that’s why I was hoping that maybe you’d remember something along the lines of, maybe I did this wrong, at least you understand what led to this. Or, in your moment of solace when you’re by yourself you can think to myself, well, shit, you know, maybe if, you know. Not that you don’t feel bad already, but, ah, I guess that, I mean, some folks feel a lot worse than you do I can guarantee it. Yeah, I’ve had to sit with these folks and it’s, it’s bad. Um, this child had a future. Like I say, if he was a, a 20-time convicted, you know, burglar one thing, but no. Not this one. You know, and if you, if you go about your life, you know, I can respect the protecting of your property and the helping of your neighbors and that kind of stuff, that’s in you, I’ve seen the reports of your chasing down retail theft people. Yeah, you like to get involved. I mean, yeah.
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: Yeah, the TVs or whatever from the
GZ: Oh.
CS: Yeah. Oh, yeah, we need to know everything, you know? I’m not gonna come in here and not know who you are, you know. You wanna get filed charges for people spitting into your car or whatever the hell that was all about, you know. Yeah, I’m, uh, yeah. Um, well were your aspirations to go in law enforcement cause you got a degree in criminal justice?
GZ: No, I wanted to before though.
CS: Why’d you get, I mean, well did you have the aspiration of doing that?
GZ: Being a police officer?
CS: Yeah.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, what happened with that?
GZ: Uhhh…(sigh)
CS: Long story?
GZ: Not really. I have a cousin, uh, that’s in prison, and, um, he wrote me (unintelligible) he’d gotten off so many times as a juvenile, as a (unintelligible) that he wished that, you know, and he said, you know, I, granted I’ve earned what I’ve gotten, but, you know, I wish that there would’ve been someone to talk with along then. And I mentor, uh, these 2 kids and I’ve helped them, and I realized that, no offense…
CS: Oh, no, go ahead.
GZ: Against you guys, cause I, I loved being, the thought of being a police officer. But I realized that a lot of kids grow up in hard circumstances and by the time they’re adolescents in that neighborhood, they hate cops.
CS: Um hum.
GZ: And from my cousin and what I learned, what I’m still learning mentoring the kids is, I think the biggest difference, cause I wanted to make a difference. Uh, and the biggest difference you can make, I thought you could make, is showing kids accountability. I thought I could make more of an impact on their lives as a judge than as a police officer.
CS: So you’re going for a law degree?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. Yeah, cause you get desensitized to a process that slaps you on the hand that hey, yeah. That makes sense, so those are your aspirations? Law?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. So you’d understand where this is going from because this, right here, this 17-year-old boy would be one of those kids who would have been a success story. Um, and I wanna know, like I said, everybody wants to know, you know, what set him off. He’s not on PCP, he’s not on anything. He’s on Skittles. Um…and…like I said, you know, I mean, the whole thing that we do is, especially at this level, this is a death investigation, I’m a real homicide investigator. We deal with these kind of cases and, you know, it’s tragic. And, like I said, the answers are either have been told already, which is the truth, or lying here, or lying the other witnesses, the other witness. And with comes one comes others, OK? And that’s why I want to make absolutely sure before you leave here you realize that, you know. Um, at this point, yeah, I’m done, you know. Um, but probably not done for you at other levels. So, you know, and that can really get in the way of your future real quick. I’m gonna grab me a bottle of water, you want something?
CS: I walked in unprepared. Are you OK, do you need anything, use the bathroom or anything? Want a fresh bottle of water, I’ll bet it’s warm…
GZ: No.
CS: OK. I’ll be right back.
(leaves – door opens and closes)
CS: I’m gonna pull a fresh tape, it’s now 6:05.

CS: Going back on tape, it’s now 6:10.
(door opens and closes)
CS: OK, where were we? You got any questions for me?
GZ: Yes.
CS: Go ahead, shoot.
GZ: Um, I think I told you my psychology seminar (unintelligible)…
GZ: she suggested that I …(unintelligible) go away…um, I think you told me…(unintelligible)
CS: Um hum.
GZ: …I asked Sgt Smith
CS: Um hum.
GZ: if it was OK if I left the city, he said not right now…(unintelligible)…
CS: Long as I got a phone number for you, not even that, yeah, you’re, you’re as free as a bird, yeah.
GZ: (unintelligible)…just make sure that I kept in contact with you guys.
CS: Yeah, I mean it’s, um, like I say you’re not in custody, you’re not on probation, I have no (unintelligible) with your doing anything. I’m doing a fair and impartial investigation here. And, um, I have some inconsistencies that don’t amount to much, but, um, I mean, I guess, you know, well hopefully by the time we’re done here today we’ll ha..have enough to go ahead and, you know, not have folks looking at me, ha… like I’m crazy for not arresting you, OK? At the time of the encounter with him, was there anything in your hand?
GZ: I think my flashlight.
CS: OK. The flashlight. Was it working or was it not working?
GZ: It was dead.
CS: It was dead. OK. It was not clicking on. It was in your right hand or left hand?
GZ: I don’t know.
CS: OK. And you looked away from him is that what happened? When you got punched, or did you see the punch coming?
GZ: No, I walked past where he went through…
CS: Uh huh.
GZ: And I started walking back to my car…
CS: Um hum
GZ: And that’s when he yelled out and I turned around.
CS: How far away was he? Was he up on you already or…?
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: Can’t tell.
GZ: As soon as he did that I started backing up towards my car and that’s when I s…I wanted to call 911 instead of non-emergency.
CS: Do you realize how, the way these cases can go?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, how can they go?
GZ: Um, either…justifiable homicide or murder
CS: OK. And that’s why, like I’m saying, you know, I mean, ih, uh…I’m gonna try something with you, um, that I’ve done before, it’s called, um, assisted, um, memory recall. It’s not hypnosis, it’s just something the, I mean… let’s say we try it. Would you close your eyes for me? OK, and I want you to put yourself back in the scene…Sunday night…about 7:00…you’re looking at this kid…you’re getting out of your car…talking to the dispatcher…you hang up the dispatcher…OK…give yourself a couple seconds to go ahead and think about what happened after that. (long pause) Now you’re gonna try to act like exactly what happened, OK? I’m gonna be the kid. “What the fuck is your problem?” You say what you said.
GZ: Uh, I don’t have a problem.
CS: At that point nothing else was said?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Think. What did you say the first time he hit you?
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: So there was no conversation prior. OK we’re good. Open up your eyes.
CS: Nothing at all.
GZ: No, sir.
CS: OK. That never works, just, you know, gotta try it though. Um…
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: Well if we’re gonna make it, I mean but if it puts you back at the scene…It’s just that, I mean, as far as work, as far as stuff that actually gets recalled during that, you know…It’s a, it’s an old, old technique and whatever but, you know, it’s usually the clinical thing, but…um…OK. I gotta talk to a couple people real quick and I’ll be right back and…why don’t you come with me. You OK here?
GZ: Yes
CS: OK. Fine. Just give me a couple minutes, OK?
CS: You have a phone in here or anything?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: OK. You need a phone to talk to anybody?
GZ: No, sir
CS: OK, You’re good, right?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. Keep on thinking, just in case, OK. Cause there is another witness that, that’s playing games with me, you know? Basically she wants, she wants me to chase her around. It’s a her. And, uh, I will chase her around. And, uh, like I said…they’re saying something different. But I can’t call a ghost to the stand, right? So…
GZ: I understand.
CS: I know, I’m with you.
GZ: (unintelligible)…just sitting on the porch…(unintelligible)
CS: They don’t want to get involved, that’s why. That’s why nobody helped you.
GZ: Pardon?
CS: Nobody wanted to get involved, that’s why nobody helped you.
GZ: That’s why (unintelligible)
GZ: You’re by yourself. Leading the charge, look behind you, the cavalry’s not there. I know the feeling, man. Just sit tight, I’ll be right back.
(lots of noise, door opens, unintelligible conversation between Serino and Singleton)
CS: …pause this tape again.
CS: It’s not happening that way. Someone should come to my desk. Huh. This is George. George, this is Randy, that’s Rebecca.
Randy: George (unintelligible)
Rebecca: (unintelligible)
CS: Somebody grab a chair for George.
Randy: Alright.
CS: Can I get a chair?
Rebecca: Hey George, (unintelligible) nice meeting you.
CS: Get him a chair?
Randy: (unintelligible)
Rebecca: (unintelligible) It’s the wrong type of (unintelligible) WMA
CS: WMMA, WWF, I don’t know…
Rebecca: (unintelligible) I could do it but I (unintelligible)
Rebecca: W…MA film…
CS: here we go. And like I know how to do this part. OK, this is your 911 call.
(plays tape 0:00 to 0:08)
CS: OK, real suspicious guy.
GZ: Mm hum
CS: OK, one more time, why suspicious?
GZ: Ah, it was raining and he was looking into the houses, looking behind, looking at me. He wasn’t walking quickly to get out of the rain. Didn’t look like he was, like, trying to head home. He didn’t look like a hard-core athlete that wanted to, like, train in the rain or anything. And he just looked out of place.
(plays tape 0:07 to 0:21)
CS: On drugs why?
GZ: Oh, cause he just kept looking around, looking behind him, looking, just kept shifting where he was looking.
(plays tape 0:23 to 0:39)
CS: You see the color of his pants?
GZ: I don’t remember.
(plays tape 0:39 to 0:48)
DS: Can you just pause that for a minute? OK, when you explained it to me, you said you had pulled over initially at the clubhouse, correct?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: OK, but it seems so fast, and then I thought you told me, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, I thought you said they asked you, can you still see him, and you said, you told them you couldn’t, and you asked, and they said, well get to where you can see where he’s at. And you told me it was at that point you moved.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: Now you’re saying he’s coming up to your car. Does that mean you’ve already, at this point in the tape, you’re already on Twin Tree, the street you didn’t know the name of at the time?
GZ: Um, no, I was on, I called when I was at the clubhouse.
DS: OK, but he’s walking up to your car now, right?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS:  On the tape. Cause you’re saying he’s walking up.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: You’re talking about when you’ve already left the clubhouse and now you’re on the corner.
GZ: No, ma’am. I’m at the clubhouse.
DS: You’re still at the clubhouse
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: when he does this?
GZ: Mm hmm.
(plays tape 0:49 to 1:03)
DS: OK, pause it right there. OK, where’s he, where, where are you at now? Are you still at the clubhouse?
GZ: I think I’m still at the clubhouse, yes.
(plays tape 1:03 to 1:16)
DS: Have you moved yet?
GZ: I don’t think so.
DS: You’re still in front of the clubhouse?
GZ: I think so.
DS: On Retreat View Circle.
GZ: Yes, ma’am. I don’t remember even saying he had a button on his shirt.
(plays tape 1:16 to 1:18)
CS: So something’s wrong with him.
(plays tape 1:18 to 1:20?)
CS: What’s that statement supposed to mean?
GZ: I don’t know.
(plays tape 1:20 to 1:28)
DS: OK, where are you at now? Are you still in front of the clubhouse?
GZ: I don’t remember.
(plays tape 1:28 to 1:34)
CS: That statement. These assholes…what’s behind that?
GZ: People that victimize the neighborhood.
DS: Didn’t you just tell us in there that a week earlier they made an arrest?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: So they don’t always get away.
GZ: No.
CS: Good point.
(plays tape 1:34 to 1:50)
CS: What’s happening now? Are you guys walking now, is he walking?
GZ: No, that’s, I was parked where I could see him now.
CS: So you’re…
DS: OK, so you’re definitely not in front of the clubhouse any more, at this point?
GZ: No.
CS: So you’re ahead of him?
GZ: No, I was behind him.
CS: OK, so you walked to your car, then walked along this path and you were you were behind him?
GZ: Yes, sir.
GZ: When I was at the clubhouse he walked…
CS: Are you driving slowly or something?
GZ: No, I pulled over and stopped before I called.
(plays tape 1:44 to 2:07)
CS: OK. Full sprint, full-on flight…jogging, trotting…describe the run.
GZ: I don’t remember. I just, cause I was on the phone. It happened so quickly.
CS: Well, ah, I understand that, George, but I guess that it’s um…if it was a bicycle theft I could say OK, but it’s kinda important. I mean, was he running as to evade you, get away from you, ah, maybe got tired of getting wet in the rain. What kinda run was it? I mean, it sounds like he’s running as to get away from you.
GZ: I don’t know why he was running.
CS: But what kinda run was it? Can’t say?
GZ: I don’t know.
(plays tape 2:08 to 2:10)
CS: OK, is that you getting out of the car?
GZ: Yes.
DS: So as soon as he runs, you’re getting out of the car to follow him.
GZ: When he says which way are you running, I turned off the ignition.
DS: I don’t know.
(plays tape 2:10 to 2:14)
CS: At that point you’re out of the car?
GZ: I think so.
CS: OK, so you basically jumped out of the car to see where he was going?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. That’s not fear. You know what I mean?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: That’s one of the problems I have with the whole thing, or I’m gonna have. I mean, I don’t have any problems at all, it’s just that… it’s gonna be a problem
(plays tape 2:14 to 2:17)
DS: It sounds like you’re running right there.
GZ: I wasn’t running.
DS: Oh (unintelligible)
(plays tape 2:16 to 2:17)
CS: What is that you’re whispering? Fucking what?
GZ: Punks.
CS: Fucking punks. He wasn’t a fucking punk. (clears throat)
(plays tape 2:17 to 2:26)
(plays tape 2:26 to 2:34 )
CS: OK, at the point where he said, are you following him, and he said, we don’t need you to do that, what went through your mind?
GZ: He’s right.
CS: So you shoulda stopped and went back to your vehicle.
GZ: I still wanted to give him an address.
(plays tape 2:34 to 2:40)
CS: You said he ran again. OK, this is, this is because you don’t see him?
GZ: Correct.
CS: So at this point he has to be hiding from you.
GZ: I don’t know where he was.
CS: Well you…
GZ: I don’t see him.
CS: Well the law of the physics says that he’s hiding from you at this point. He could not have made it home…and came back to attack you in that time, so…What’s your, what’s your, um, account is that you don’t see him at this point. You’re at the T now, right? Here’s the pavement, correct? You’re looking down that way? That passage?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Where’re you at?
GZ: Once he told me not to follow him…
CS: Mm hmm.
GZ: And I wasn’t following him. I was just going in the same direction he was. Once he said…
CS: That’s following (laughs).
GZ: Well he, I thought, I mean…
CS: If you’re…OK
GZ: …long gone.
CS: So you basically wrote if off, I mean…
GZ: Right. I was on the other side, I was on Retreat View Circle at that time.
DS: OK, but the other day…again, this is, these are the questions that we’re going to have to able to explain to people…
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: The other day you told me you got out of the car because dispatch was asking your location and you wanted to orient yourself. You did not tell me that you said, “Oh, shit, he’s running” and then got out of the car and went in that same direction at the same time. Do you see what the problem is?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: And I asked you did, would you, did you, you know, look for him and you told me no.
GZ: I don’t remember, ma’am. I’m sorry.
DS: You told me the only, the reason you got out of your car was to get an address.
GZ: Yes, right.
DS: But you decided to get the address…fresh in the second after you say, “Oh, shit, he’s running.” And then it sounds like you’re running too.
CS: Cause it was fast walking maybe?
GZ: No, it was just windy.
CS: It was. OK.
(plays tape 2:40 to 2:47)
CS: Where you at now?
GZ: On Retreat View Circle, I think.
(plays tape 2:47 to 3:06)
CS: What are you doing right now?
GZ: Walking back to my car.
(plays tape 2:17 to 2:41)
CS: OK, if I time this portion, this is important, OK? I almost gotta reconstruct this.
(plays tape 2:16 to 2:41)
CS: When do you start walking back to your car? Time here. You’re going towards Retreat View, right?
GZ: Yeah.
(plays tape 2:28 to 2:41)
CS: OK, where you at now?
GZ: I think on Retreat View Circle.
CS: OK. Is that 2:41? OK.
(plays tape 2:41 to 2:47)
CS: OK, you’re walking back to your car?
GZ: Yes, sir,
(plays tape 2:48 to 4:03 )
GZ: I’m thumping the damn flashlight as I was walking through.
(call ends)
DS: How long is that?
CS: It’s 84 seconds. From the point where you were walking back to your car from Retreat View to Twin Tree basically.
DS: It’s what, about 30 feet.
CS: That’s a minute and…20 seconds. Did you stop at the “T”?
GZ: No, I walked through. I stopped on Retreat View Circle.
CS: That’s where you were standing?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. But you didn’t get back into your car?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Why not?
GZ: I was…
CS: You’re in the rain, you’re getting wet, you’re on the phone.
GZ: Because I was waiting, I, the, I had light there…
CS: So…
GZ: Where I was at and I was trying to hit my flashlight. I didn’t want to walk back through without light.
CS: OK, a minute and 20 seconds.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, you’re in the rain, getting wet. You’ve wrote this guy off basically, you’re gonna meet the police. OK, you see where the obstacle is here?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, I want you to think about that. I am speaking for you, for everybody. I’m trying to, trying to do the best I can here.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: It’s a minute and 20 seconds. It doesn’t sound like you were saying, well it doesn’t sound like you quite recall exactly what happened at that point, OK? (unintelligible) something else. This is not right? OK.
CS: OK can I ask, my concern is also this. “Oh, shit, he’s running” and I’m getting out of my car. In an instant (snaps fingers) to make sure I don’t lose sight of this guy. That’s what it sounds like. Are you following him? Cause that’s what it sounds like you’re doing, that’s why he asked you the question. It sounded to the dispatcher likely that you were running, and that’s why he asked you that question. “Are you following him?” And your answer is yes. OK? But then you get to the other side and you’re concerned…(slapping sounds) about walking past this guy when you’ve already been chasing him, essentially. And he’s telling you to go back to your car and now you wanna pretend…or not pretend, you wanted us to believe that you’re concerned about having a flashlight to move back where you just ran?
CS: You’re looking for him.
DS: You tried to catch up to him, do you see what I’m saying?
GZ: No, I wasn’t. Um…
CS: OK, it sounds like you’re looking for him.
GZ: No.
DS: You brought a flashlight with you.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: You wanted to be able to see him.
CS: You want to catch him.
GZ: No…
CS: You wanted to catch the bad guy…
DS: No, it doesn’t…that’s…(unintelligible)
CS: Fucking punk can’t get away. This is outside the interrogation room, OK? And we are in a whole different area right here. OK, this is, this is where, you know, I mean, this is why I took you out of there, so you could hear this. So I can recall your memory and…let you see, if they say, if you say you walked back to your car, you stood outside your car for a couple minutes, they’re not going to believe anything I got to say.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: And that’s why I’m saying, is there anything that you need to clarify right now?
GZ: (sigh)
CS: Did you pursue this kid? Did you wanna catch him?
GZ: No.
CS: OK, it’s not you,
DS: Why
CS: it’s not what you’re about?
GZ: No.
DS: Why did you tell them, never mind just have them call me when they get here and I’ll tell them where I’m at?
GZ: I was frustrated that I couldn’t think of the street name where I was…
DS: But you were gonna be back in your car from that distance in less than 15 or 20 seconds. So why would they need to call you?
GZ: I felt like I didn’t give them an adequate description of where I was from the clubhouse.
DS: OK, cause you know what the impression would be, is that you’re gonna continue to look and when they get here you’d just tell ‘em where you’re at, at that point. You see what I’m saying? Well…no, never mind
CS: Just keep the (unintelligible)
DS: just tell ‘em to call me when they get here, and I’ll tell ‘em where I’m at. Meaning I might not be at my car. Where I just told ‘em I would be.
CS: I mean, you know, we’re here working for you here, OK?
GZ: Yes, sir.
GZ: I know…
CS: Well, that’s what you got up in your mind. OK, and if there’s anything that needs to be changed, this is it. I, when I, we can’t do this any more. OK.
GZ: I understand.
CS: Listen to this one.
(playing a witness 911 call and questioning at the same time)
CS: You’re that voice in the background?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: That’s you. Are you hearing yourself?
GZ: Um, it doesn’t sound like me.
CS: It’s you.
(listening to the 911 call)
CS: OK, right there. He smothered you, correct?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: At what point did he smother you?
GZ: After…
CS: Was it right before you shot him?
GZ: Right…yes, sir.
CS: OK. Immediately behind the shot?
GZ: (sigh) I don’t remember.
(plays 911 call again)
CS: I need you to give me an approximate time of when he starts to smother you.
GZ: I don’t know when. It’s hard to…
CS: That’s you, yelling for help.
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: Help me, help me.
CS: That’s when you shot him. (clears his throat) Can you recall (coughs) excuse me…at what point the suffocation happened? Prior to, prior to you shooting him, he was on you, correct?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. And you were able to reach into your holster.
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. You shot him at point blank range. He was on top of you, right?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK. And in the middle of all that yelling, nobody came out to help you. And I can’t, I can’t pinpoint where you were smothered. That’s the problem I’m having. And nobody’s saying they saw him smothering you. People are saying they saw you, saw him on top of you, but they didn’t see about the smothering part. So…
DS: And when we’re listening to the screaming, doesn’t sound like there’s a hesitation in the screaming. It sounds like it’s continuous, and if someone’s being hurt (imitates scream being muffled) It’s gonna stop. But we don’t hear the, we don’t hear it stop.
CS: We don’t hear him at all either. Was he being quiet, is he whispering to you or something?
GZ: He’s telling me to shut up.
CS: Is he calm?
GZ: No, he’s like angry.
CS: I don’t hear him though. No.
DS: Was he shouting it, or was he…
GZ: No, he’s on top of me, and he’s telling me to shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up.
CS: And then when he saw you had the gun, at that point… Do you think he mighta saw you had a gun when you guys were standing, before he punched you?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: No way, no how?
GZ: No, sir.
CS: Was it totally concealed under that jacket?
GZ: I mean totally
CS: He couldn’t have got a glimpse of it? Accidentally?
GZ: No, I walk around WalMart all the time and no one has ever seen it.
CS: And once again, getting back to beginning, what was the provocation for him punching you other than the fact that you were following him? That you can think of?
GZ: I have…
CS: Why was he so mad at you?
GZ: I’ve gone through it a million times and I have no idea. (unintelligible)
CS: Guess you gotta go through a lotta (unintelligible – sounds like warheads?) too
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: Alright, so you’re gonna go to the beach for a little while?
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: With your wife?
GZ: Yes, sir.
CS: OK, which one?
GZ: I don’t know.
CS: Just away?
GZ: (unintelligible)
CS: (clears throat) OK. Go back to the room. (unintelligible) guys with me (unintelligible)

H. Hannity Interview

(transcript from Fox News web page, not checked for accuracy against the video… SH – Sean Hannity. MOM = Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara.)

SH: A lot of time has passed since this incident with Trayvon. How do you feel about it now that you have had some time to reflect on what has happened?
GZ: I haven’t really had the time to reflect on it. When I was in jail, obviously I was in solitary confinement and I had a lot of time to think and reflect. I just think it’s a tragic situation, and I hope it’s the most difficult thing I’ll ever go through in my life. But –
SH: Let’s go back to the night of the shooting. Take us back to that night. You were going to the store.
GZ: Yes.
SH: Let’s start at the beginning.
GZ: I was going to Target to do my weekly grocery shopping. Sunday nights was the only nights — well, Sunday after we mentored the kids, we would always go grocery shopping and do our cooking for the week. So I wanted to go to Target and I headed out. And that’s the last time I’ve been home.
SH: Since then. You never went back since that day.
GZ: No.
SH: We all have heard the 911 call. On that 911 call, you had mentioned that there had been a number of break-ins in the neighborhood.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Why were you a community watch person? How long were you involved in that and why did you become a community watch person?
GZ: In August of 2011, there was a home invasion. A young lady was home with her nine-month-old baby, and they broke into her sliding glass door. She barricaded herself in the upstairs bedroom. And my wife was home by herself, and she saw the people that burglarized her run through our backyard with their belongings. And even though my wife wasn’t certain what happened, that was enough to scare her and shake her up. And I promised her I would do what I could to keep her safe.
SH: Now, your gun was legal. You had a legal weapon in the state of Florida.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Why did you feel the need to carry a gun? A lot of people maybe have a weapon inside their home, but you decided to carry yours. Why did you think it was necessary to have a weapon with you? And did you carry it at all times?
GZ: I carried it at all times except for when I went to work.
SH: A lot of this case legally — and we are going to get to Mark in a few minutes here and ask him about a lot of legal aspects, because there are so many of them in this case — has to do with stand your ground. You have heard a lot about it. And I was just curious, prior to this night, this incident, had you even heard stand your ground?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: You have never heard about it before?
GZ: No.
SH: Well. Now, on — it was very interesting, in the 911 call that everybody has heard, you said that all of a sudden you found somebody who looked suspicious, he may be on drugs. That was one of the earlier comments that you made in that 911 call. What made you think he was suspicious, and what made you think that he might be on drugs?
GZ: I felt he was suspicious because it was raining. He was in-between houses, cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather. I — it didn’t look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the rain and was hurrying back home. He didn’t look like a fitness fanatic that would train in the rain. He just seemed like —
SH: Weren’t there overhangs, though? Was he — he was walking, he wasn’t standing still? And he was walking closer to the house, which is back from the sidewalk?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Am I understanding that right?
GZ: The overhangs are just in front of the front doors.
SH: Yes. You said he started from almost the beginning in that 911 call, you said he came towards you, and he seemed to reach for something in his waistband. Did you think that was a gun?
GZ: I thought he was just trying to intimidate me.
SH: To make you think that there is a gun?
GZ: A weapon.
SH: Of some kind?
GZ: Possibly.
SH: You said in that tape something’s wrong with him, he’s checking me out. I don’t know what his deal was. So it’s almost from the very beginning you felt — are you saying on that 911 tape that you felt threatened at that moment when you said that to the dispatch?
GZ: No, not particularly.
SH: Then what did you mean, I don’t know what his deal is, he’s checking me out?
GZ: The way he was coming back. And I was on the phone, but I was certain I could see him saying something to me. And his demeanor, his body language, was confrontational.
SH: It was a controversy from early on, George, where there was some in the media that, quote, hired expert voice analysts, and I’m certain that works, and then they ended up having to recant and rescind their analysis, where they said these, quote, expletives, get away with this all the time. Do you remember what it was that you said specifically on the tape?
GZ: Punks.
SH: Punks. It was not a racial epithet of any type?
GZ: No. And I can tell you that when the police played it for me in the station, it was clear as day.
SH: Yeah. You said — then we get to the issue where you said to — on the 911 call that he’s running. You said that to the dispatch. Is there any chance in retrospect as you look back on that night and what happened, and the nation obviously is paying a lot of attention to this–
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: — trying to maybe get into the mind-set, because we also have learned that Trayvon was speaking with his girlfriend supposedly at the time — that maybe he was afraid of you, didn’t know who you were?
GZ: No.
SH: You don’t think — why do you think that he was running then?
GZ: Maybe I said running, but he was more —
SH: You said he’s running.
GZ: Yes. He was like skipping, going away quickly. But he wasn’t running out of fear.
SH: You could tell the difference?
GZ: He wasn’t running.
SH: So he wasn’t actually running?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: OK. Because that’s what you said to the dispatcher, that you thought he was running.
Let me ask you this. At that point, we can hear the unbuckling of the seatbelt, hear you opening the car door, and this dispatch asked you at that point, and this became a very key moment that everyone in the media focused on, and the dispatcher asked you, “are you following him?” And you said yes. Explain that.
GZ: I meant that I was going in the same direction as him, to keep an eye on him so that I could tell the police where he was going. I didn’t mean that I was actually pursuing him.
SH: So this moment where someone suggested you were out of breath on that tape, you yourself were not running?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: And you I think made a statement to the police that it was the wind as you were getting out of the car and moving, and that was the sound we hear, not you out of breath?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: What did you do from that moment forward? Because this is where we get into this minute gap in this case, you know, and what did you do from that minute forward when the dispatch said “we don’t need you to follow him?” What did you do next?
GZ: I walked across the sidewalk on to my street, Retreat View Circle, where I thought I would meet a police officer that I had called.
SH: So you did not continue to follow him at that point?
GZ: No, sir. No, sir.
SH: All right. So you continue from there, you sounded at that moment on the tape, though, a little bit distracted. What was the distraction? Were you looking for him, or?
GZ: I wanted to make sure that — I believe they asked me for my address, and I wanted to be sure that nobody was lingering and could hear my address and then come back. And I was making sure that there wasn’t anybody that was going to surprise me, and just trying to give them an accurate location.
SH: Because they said, you know, can we meet you here at a certain location, and you said have them call me.
GZ: Yes.
SH: Why did you want them at that point to call you?
GZ: I hadn’t given them a correct address. I gave them a — the clubhouse vicinity. However, I was walking through to my street, Retreat View Circle, and I was going to give them the actual street number and name.
SH: How long was it, George, after that, that you saw Trayvon again? Because you said you stopped, that you did not continue pursuing him. When did you next see Trayvon Martin?
GZ: Less than 30 seconds.
SH: OK. Where were you? Where exactly were you at that point, and how far away were you from your car at that moment?
GZ: I’d guess about 100 feet or more.
SH: So you never went further than how far approximately from your car?
GZ: I would estimate it to be approximately 100 feet.
SH: So you never went further than that from the car?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: OK. And so at that point, Trayvon is — all of a sudden you turned around and there he was?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: What happened next?
GZ: He asked me what my problem was.
SH: Expletive problem?
GZ: Yes, sir. And I was wearing a rain jacket, and I had put my cell phone in my jacket pocket, as opposed to my jeans pocket where I normally keep it. And I immediately went to grab my phone to this time call 911 instead of a non-emergency, and when I reached into my pants pocket — because that’s where I keep it out of habit — it wasn’t there, and I was shocked. I looked up and he punched me and broke my nose.
SH: One shot?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: One shot?
GZ: Yes.
SH: So he said to you, you have expletive, you have a problem. Those are the exact words used. You remember it?
GZ: “Do you have a problem? What’s your problem?”
SH: What’s your problem.
And you said to him, “I don’t have a problem.”
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: You reached for your phone?
GZ: I reached for it as I was saying, “No, I don’t have a problem.”
SH: And at that point you just got hit?
GZ: He was already within arm’s length from me.
SH: And was that the punch in the nose that broke your nose?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Right there, and you went immediately down to the ground?
GZ: I don’t remember if I went immediately to the ground or if he pushed me to the ground but I ended up on the ground.
SH: What do you remember happened from there? Because there were police reports and descriptions that you gave, and that you were a little bit dazed, obviously. And at one point, you said that you wanted him — you wanted to get — stop him from hitting your head on the cement.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Is that what you told the police?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: OK. So after that first hit, what happened next?
GZ: He started bashing my head into the concrete sidewalk. I was — as soon as he broke my nose, I was — I started yelling for help. So, I was disoriented. And he started slamming my head into the concrete.
SH: Which is where the lacerations came from?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: You said it was like your head was going to explode was a comment that you had given to the police.
GZ: Yes, sir. He continued to punch me in the head.
SH: How many times would you estimate that he punched you?
GZ: Several. More than a dozen.
SH: And hitting you hard.
At what moment did you — because you said you feared for your life. At what moment do you remember when you literally — do you remember when you thought, “I may die”? Is that — because you said that you felt — you feared for your life. Do you remember the exact moment when you felt that?
GZ: In hindsight, I would say when he was slamming my head into the concrete, and I thought I would lose consciousness. I didn’t know what would happen at that point.
SH: And how close is the concrete to the grass? Because a big issue is also the grass stains that you had on your clothes. And you made a statement to the police you wanted to get to the grass. Was that to prevent your head from banging on to the cement again?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: How close was that in proximity?
GZ: It butts up into the concrete.
SH: And were you able to get to the grass?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: And how did you do that?
GZ: I guess you could say shimmy. He was straddled on me with his full weight, and I would try to sit up and push myself down. And whether I would sit up, that’s when he would take the opportunity to slam my head back down and punch me in the head and continue to hit my nose.
SH: Was he talking to you a lot during this fight, during this — when he was beating you? Because you were saying he was beating you and pounding your head into the cement. Was he talking to you during that time?
GZ: Yes.
SH: And he would say —
GZ: Cursing, telling me to shut up, and then finally telling me he was going to kill me.
SH: And he said those words? And he said it — when did he first see your gun?
GZ: After we were on the ground, I shimmied with him on top of me, and it made my jacket rise up. He, being on top of me, saw it on my right side.
SH: What happened after that?
GZ: I felt him take — he had — after he couldn’t hit my head on the concrete anymore, he started to try to suffocate me. And I continued to take — push his hands off of my mouth and my nose, particularly because it was excruciating having a broken nose and him putting his weight on it.
And that’s the point in time when he started telling me to shut up, shut up, shut up.
SH: Why did he tell you to shut up?
GZ: I don’t know.
SH: We hear the screams on the one recording from a neighbor that was calling the police. And there’s been some dispute whose voice that is. Was that your voice screaming or was that Trayvon Martin’s screaming?
GZ: That was my voice. Absolutely.
SH: That was your voice?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: And the police said they heard at one point 14 screams, you were screaming that loud?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: And you said to the police at one point that he put his hand over your mouth. Do you think that was to silence you from screaming?
GZ: Yes, sir. I believe he — from what the investigators told me, he knew that I was talking to the police. And I was yelling so that — I believed that the police officer was there and they just couldn’t me. So, I was yelling in the hopes that they were in the vicinity and they would come when they heard me yelling.
SH: Do you remember when you yourself reached for your weapon? Do you remember that moment.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Tell us about that.
GZ: At that point, I realized that it wasn’t my gun, it wasn’t his gun, it was the gun.
SH: Did he say anything? Because you said he was talking a lot about the gun. Did he say he noticed the gun?
GZ: He said, “You are going to die tonight (EXPLETIVE DELETED)” and took one hand off of my mouth and I felt it going down my chest towards my belt and my holster, and that’s when I — I didn’t have anymore time.
SH: Do you think you acted more out of a conscious thought? I mean, I know these events happen very quickly. Do you remember conscientiously thinking I have to grab my gun or did you just do it? Was there a conscious thought that went through your head that you thought you were going to die and that you had to take this — you had to get your weapon and fire?
GZ: I’d love to give you an answer.
SH: You don’t know?
GZ: It just happened so quickly.
SH: Now, there was an eyewitness that was out from the very beginning that, in fact, did tell the police the night of the shooting that he saw Trayvon on top of you and did see the beating. There is no witness to the actual shooting itself, right? Correct.
GZ: Besides myself.
SH: Besides yourself?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: What do you want to say to people that did rush to judgment, that suggested that there was racial profiling in this case, and that there was some other motivation in this case?
GZ: That I’m not a racist and I’m not a murderer.
SH: When you think back, there was one report or police report that actually said you didn’t know after you fired, you didn’t think — you thought you missed?
GZ: I didn’t think I hit him, yes.
SH: Yes.
So what happened immediately after the shooting, then, George? I understand one guy came out and he said he had a flash light, that he spoke to you, and you said to call your wife, tell her what happened, “that I shot somebody.” Do you remember that conversation?
GZ: The conversation I had with the gentleman or —
SH: Yes.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: You do remember that conversation?
And he did talk about it, and his suggestion was — that you were very matter of fact about it. Do you remember what you said to him? Do you think you were in a state of shock? Did you know that Trayvon — when did you know that Trayvon had died?
GZ: When I — probably about an hour after I got to the police station.
SH: After the shooting did you — and you saw that he was laying there, and obviously injured, there was a moment when you realized he was shot?
GZ: Like I said, he sat up and he said something to the effect of “you got it” or “you got me”. I assumed he meant, OK, you got the gun, I didn’t get it. I’m not going to fight anymore. At which point I got out from under him.
SH: Is there anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: Do you regret that you had a gun that night?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: Do you feel you wouldn’t be here for this interview if you didn’t have that gun?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: You feel you would not be here?
GZ: I feel it was all God’s plan and for me to second guess it or judge it —
SH: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that the time has passed a little bit?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: You know, the detective said that you had — detective Singleton said, quoted you as saying the bad guys always get away. You also said that on the 911 tape.
Did you have a feeling that there were a lot of people that do get away with crimes? In other words, were you sort of predisposed in your mind some way to think that criminals get away too often?
GZ: Not in general. I think in our neighborhood there’s geographic advantages for burglaries.
SH: Do you have any idea — why do you think Trayvon would have confronted you the way he did? I made a comment on the air one day and I got beaten up pretty bad for saying this could have all been a terrible misunderstanding or mistake.
Do you think maybe — is there any possibility he thought you were after him and you thought he was after you and there was some misunderstanding in any way?
GZ: I have wrestled with that for a long time, but I can’t — one of my biggest issues through this ordeal has been the media conjecture, and I can’t assume or make believe.
SH: The parents of Trayvon Martin, they lost their son. This is your first interview. What would you like to tell them?
GZ: I would tell them that, again, I’m sorry.
I don’t have — my wife and I don’t have any children. I have nephews that I love more than life. I love them more than myself. And I know when they were born, it was a different, unique bond and love that I have with them. And I love my children, even though they aren’t born yet.
And I am sorry that they buried their child. I can’t imagine what it must feel like, and I pray for them daily.
SH: Would you like to talk to them at some point?
GZ: I’m certainly open to it.
SH: You face second degree murder charges, a possible life sentence. Do you think about that?
GZ: Yes, sir, every day.
SH: What do you think about regarding that? Do you feel in the end justice — that people will believe you and that people will understand or are you that confident that you had a right to do this?
GZ: It’s a —
SH: Defend yourself.
GZ: Yes, sir. It’s a finite situation that I have been placed in where I am confident in the system. I really have no choice but to believe still in the system.
SH: The one witness that you first met, the guy with the cell phone that I mentioned said — asked about your demeanor right after the shooting. He was the first person I guess on the scene?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: The first person you saw. And he said you looked like you had been, quote, “butt whooped,” like you had had a fight and you were asking call my wife, just tell my wife. But, you know, he was acting like it was nothing. Is that how you were feeling at the time? Because you didn’t find out, you said, until later you said that Trayvon had passed away.
GZ: No, I knew that I had discharged my firearm, and I was scared, nervous. I also thought the police were going to come and see me with the firearm and shoot me. I mean, I was terrified.
SH: Did you look over at Trayvon? You obviously at some point recognized he had been shot. You didn’t know it at the beginning. Did you look over at him at anytime and realize he was in really bad shape?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: At no point. And how long was it between the time you shot him to the time the police actually got to the scene?
GZ: It felt like forever. I would say 15 to 30 seconds.
SH: It was that quick?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Immediate, so in other words, they had already been on their way and they were there within 15, 30 seconds. What do you make of all the national media attention in this case? There are crimes that happen every day. The nation is focused on your case. Why do you think that is and what do you make of it? What does it mean to you?
GZ: It’s surreal. I don’t like that they have rushed to judgment the way they have. I feel that any time they have a story that’s remotely positive, they interpret it negatively.
SH: By the way, we did have conversations, you and I, and I was asking you about the case.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: I was asking you for an interview?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: There was a report suggesting that I offered to pay your legal fees.
GZ: Never happened.
SH: Never happened.
GZ: No, sir.
SH: And just for the record, you have been offered nothing to do this interview?
GZ: Not a thing.
SH: And what we talked about specifically was about your case and only about your case, and that’s it? And I was asking you for an interview. You had told me that you were alone in a hotel room, hadn’t talked to your family in weeks, your aunt, didn’t have an attorney at that point and that was leading up to your arrest.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Do you remember that moment?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Where were you mentally then? Because when I was talking to you, I was concerned.
GZ: So was I. I was at a position where I was talking daily to one state police officer that had legitimate concerns for my safety. My wife, I asked her to stay in Florida, I was out of state.
SH: You stayed out of contact? You were afraid to even bring your dad in and he had recently been sick.
GZ: Yes, sir. He had had a heart attack about two weeks prior to the incident. But I asked my wife to stay in Florida and to continue her nursing education. She was about a week away from finishing when I drove to Jacksonville and turned myself in.
SH: There was a bounty put on your head by the new Black Panther party, wanted dead or alive.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Nobody has been arrested.
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Do you feel your life is in jeopardy?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: By the Black Panther Party?
GZ: Amongst others, yes, sir.
SH: And you’ve had multiple death threats?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: You know, look at what happened in this case because it became so public. Spike Lee is tweeting out what he thinks is your home address, the Reverend Al Sharpton and NBC News tries to use this case to bring up the issue of racial profiling.
What do you say to Spike Lee? Didn’t know the facts of the case, they hadn’t been revealed, what do you say to Al Sharpton and those who rushed to judgment? What do you think their motives were?
GZ: I can’t guess what their motives are. I would just ask for an apology. I mean, if I did something that was wrong, I would apologize.
SH: There is this witness number nine, this recently came out and witness number nine suggested that you and your family from a young age had racist views.
And then that was one statement that was originally made, and that then became that from the time this woman was six until she was nineteen, that you had molested her.
GZ: I think that it’s actually fortunate that the FBI did get involved, of all people, to investigate a crime. I mean it’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they cleared me of any racial profiling, racial wrongdoing. And I think that, frankly, it’s ironic that the same — the only person that they found that could say anything about me being remotely racist, and again, she didn’t state that I said anything racist.
She didn’t even state that I was in the same room when anything racist was said, but it is ironic that the person, the one and only person that they could find that says anything remotely to me being a racist also happens to be the person that claims I’m deviant.
SH: Do you have any comments about witness number nine?
MOM: You know, I don’t know that they were going to take the time, effort, resources to focus on that since I think it’s going to be a nonissue in the trial and quite honestly I don’t know that we want to be in a position of now focusing on attacking a cousin who has made whatever allegations she’s made that’s probably will never see the light of day in the courtroom.
SH: What about Detective — Serino’s report where he suggests that George be charged with manslaughter, not second-degree murder? Do you believe that the second-degree murder charge was an overcharge?
MOM: While in the beginning I defer to Angela Corey’s decision to charge second-degree, I said wait until we see the evidence. All of the evidence has come forth to date. And again it’s not all out. But all of the evidence that have come forth to date I’ve yet to see evidence that suggest the elements of second-degree.
SH: But the “Stand Your Ground” law, do you believe it’s applicable in this case?
MOM: Yes. And I haven’t said that affirmatively in the beginning because again without the evidence, but now that we have a lot of evidence concerning what is self-defense, I think it’s a proper presentation to go to a jury. And again, remember whether “Stand Your Ground” or a simple self-defense, what that law says is that if you’re acting in reasonable belief of fear of great bodily injury or death, so the focus is if you’re in fear of a great bodily injury then you’re allowed to respond to that with deadly force.
SH: Your initial bond, George, was $150,000. That bond was revoked and they accused you of hiding some financial matters as it related to donations that had been given to you. That also now has involved your wife in this particular case and a pretty stinging rebuke from your judge. You went back to jail as a result of this.
Tell us, you know, in your words, what happened. It seems that you had an opportunity to speak up and say, yes, there’s other finances here and didn’t do it. Did you think conscientiously about it? Explain what happened to you.
MOM: Unfortunately, Sean, I have to interrupt you at this point.
SH: Sure.
MOM: I’m trying not to but right now the state has charged his wife Shellie with a crime regarding that. And they have also suggested or at least the court in its order suggested that George may well have committed a crime. Realizing that those potential charges exist against George and also that they presently exist against Shellie, I just don’t think that we can talk about those precise evidence — or elements because —
SH: That’s all elements, including the conversations on the tapes, the jailhouse tapes that you had conversations with your wife, et cetera?
MOM: I think so. Unfortunately, with the state’s position to try and charge his wife with a crime as well, if that wasn’t on the table, I don’t know that we would have the same restrictions.
SH: All right. Let’s talk a little bit about how you were treated in jail. Because then you went — you were in jail, you went back to jail. How did that — how did — what was that like for you?
GZ: I had taken — I know it’s been publicized that I took a community volunteer kind of law enforcement academy where civilians just get to see what it’s like for law enforcement. I had taken a tour of John E. Polk jail where I was at, and I remember on my tour they said that they believed in the motto that respect begets respect. And I remember thinking at the time, is that something they just tell us or do they really believe in that? And I got to see firsthand that they really do believe in that.
SH: And obviously the prison population was very aware of your case being so high profile. Did they treat you differently?
GZ: The inmates?
SH: The inmates, yes.
GZ: Yes.
SH: In what way?
GZ: I believe that a lot of them personally know that sometimes the media doesn’t portray things correctly. There was one instance when I was in the rec yard by myself and in the window a few inmates got together and just made a sign of strength to me.
SH: You had called police on at least four prior occasions and had mentioned black male suspects. I wanted to give you a chance to respond why you called, what were those instances about.
GZ: They — they also stated that, and I never volunteered that information. It was always at their request that I describe them. And even when I described them I didn’t volunteer their race until they asked me. And there was also Hispanic kids and white kids that were in the neighborhood.
SH: That you made calls about?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: There was an incident that I read, is this true, where you took on the local police department as it related to another case where there was, I understand, I think it was a homeless man?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: That had been beaten up?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: And the police were under fire?
GZ: Yes.
SH: And you came out publicly in favor of the person that was beaten up?
GZ: My wife and I — I saw that the story wasn’t getting media coverage. There was one TV station that aired it. And it was not subject to interpretation. It was caught on video. And my wife and I, students and myself working full time decided that we had to try and do something. We drove around to churches on Sunday, put flyers on people’s cars and most of the time approached people, handing out flyers. And we —
SH: Is this person a minority?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: And you felt was mistreated by the local police?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: You took, what, as many as two, three lie detector tests? Voice?
GZ: Computerized voice.
SH: Computerized voice?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: And the result was, quote, “no deception indicated.”
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: You did that voluntarily?
GZ: Absolutely.
SH: Why?
GZ: I wanted to be as transparent with law enforcement as possible. I didn’t have anything to hide.
SH: George, there’s — the media, the special interests and the narrative, it seems, they want to make about this case is that — and you could read the articles if you haven’t already. It’s a white guy that killed an unarmed black youth holding Skittles and an iced tea.
What do you say to that?
GZ: Again, I appreciate you not rushing to judgment. I think that people assumed I was white because of my last name. My further is Caucasian, my mother is Hispanic. But English was my second language, believe it or not. My grandmother and my mother raised me when my dad was in the Army and he wasn’t home for a lot of my infancy. So it’s — I consider myself, first of all, an American, but a Hispanic American, and I don’t know — I think it’s fair that they rush to judgment to assume that.
SH: Do you feel the overwhelming majority of the media rushed to judgment?
GZ: Yes.
SH: With a few exceptions?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: Let me — let me ask you this. I want to go back to one specific in the case if I can. And it’s the issue of you following him and we heard — I meant to ask you earlier about the dispatch call and you said you stopped, you didn’t follow him. There’s one moment that you were apparently, as you look at the grounds of where this took place, and there’s the apartment and there’s the overhangs, and then there’s another street on the other side. And you had gone to the other street, correct?
GZ: Yes, sir.
SH: At some point. So how do you get to the other street if you were not following him? I mean where were you — where were you going at that point?
GZ: I was walking from where I had parked my car towards my street. He went right down in between the houses. I walked straight across to —
SH: You mean — in that sense were you following him?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: You weren’t following him?
GZ: No, sir.
SH: And this is after the 911 call?
GZ: During.
SH: During the 911 call?
GZ: When they stated we don’t need you to do this.
SH: So why were you walking back to your street and not back to the car —
GZ: I was —
SH: At that point? If I’m — I’m trying to get the chronology right.
GZ: Certainly. Where I parked my car was the back of townhouses. There was no way to know what the street number was. And I knew if I walked straight through, that’s — it’s a circle, Retreat View Circle. I knew if I walked straight through there that would be Retreat View Circle, and then I could tell them exactly what — one, two, three, four, Retreat View Circle, and not just a general area of where my car was like I had done previously.
SH: I asked you if you wanted to — if you could speak to Trayvon Martin’s family. I asked you if you could speak to even the American public, there’s so many people that have so many opinions that vary so much. You know, if you wanted to look into that camera and tell the American public something about George Zimmerman and about — this case with Trayvon Martin that has gotten such media attention, what would you want to tell them?
GZ: First, I would like to readdress your question when you asked if I would have done anything differently. When you asked that I thought you were referring to if I would not have talked to the police, if I would have maybe have gotten an attorney, if I wouldn’t have taken the CVSA and that I stand by, I would not have done anything differently.
But I do wish that there was something, anything I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life. And I do want to tell everyone, my wife, my family, my parents, my grandmother, the Martins, the city of Stanford, and America that I am sorry that this happened.
I hate to think that because of this incident, because of my actions it’s polarized and divided America and I’m truly sorry.

I. As told to Mark Osterman

(will add if I can locate a text file of the Osterman’s book)

  1. nemerinys
    July 22, 2013 at 6:04 AM

    Thank you, whonoze. Having the transcripts together here at one place will allow me to move around segments of those I have in Word; I can now segregate them into categories (re Trayvon’s race and ‘suspiciousness,’ the different elements in – and versions of – Zimmerman’s story vis-à-vis the parking, following, circling, ‘finding an address,’ etc.).

    It would be helpful, maybe, if Osterman’s written statement was added as well. As for his book, I remember that blushedbrown had read it and provided several segments of it in comments. I’d never paid much attention to his book beyond knowing that it existed; I thought that it overall agreed with his statement. I hope someone else is up to either contacting blushedbrown (Loree) or delving into previous comments to find those extracts; I’d do it, but I’d prefer parsing through Zimmerman’s statements.

    What do you think about contacting Rachael (regular at Fred’s) to ask her whether she’d transcribe the reenactment, or if she knows someone else who would? I’d do so, but it’s been a long time since I’ve commented there (just didn’t want to deal with the emo and troll-calling stuff). I know that Rachael is a medical transcriber; she might be able to type while she hears/watches. My transcription/dictation years are far behind me to handle it myself.

  2. pollybill
    August 12, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    i would like to make a correction to the NEN call.

    The car door shuts after he says “Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.”

    So instead of :

    SN: He’s running? Which way is he running?
    [Truck door opens. Warning chimes. Door shuts.]
    [Zimmerman’s breathing becomes audible, consistent with increased physical exertion]
    GZ: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.

    It should be:

    SN: He’s running? Which way is he running?
    [Truck door opens. Warning chimes. ]
    [Zimmerman’s breathing becomes audible, consistent with increased physical exertion]
    GZ: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
    [Door shuts.]

    He didn’t start running until after closing the door and telling the dispatcher trayvon went towards the entrance.

    He did not need to continue to run after trayvon to see where he went because he already saw which way he went and in my opinion he did not lose sight of trayvon until he said “He ran” My guess is trayvon ran and hid after seeing zimmerman running behind him.

  3. wordsalad2009
    February 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Below is the English translation of Univision’s interview with George Zimmerman.

    Program: Aquí y Ahora
    Content: Interview with George Zimmerman
    Air Date: Sunday, February 16, 2014

    IC: Ilia Calderón
    GZ: George Zimmerman



    IC: George, thank you very much for accepting this interview with Univision. Tell us what your life was like before February of 2012.
    GZ: Normal.
    IC: What were you doing?
    GZ: I was working. I was employed, you know, normally 40 hours. I was studying to be a lawyer–or a police officer or a judge. And I was also, um, spending a lot of time in the gym to lose weight. My other, um, pastime was having the kids I was mentoring. So that is what I was doing week to week.
    IC: When did you decide to volunteer as a watchman for your neighborhood?
    GZ: I didn’t want to be what is called in English the Neighborhood Watch. What happened was that the neighbor had an incident where they entered her house, um, to rob her, and she had her nine-month-old son in the house. My wife at the time, um, she saw the people who had done the robbery running in our, um, yard. And she got really scared and wanted to move. And I told her, “Before we move,” because we didn’t have the, uh, financial means to move whenever we wanted, I told her, “Our association has a, uh, Neighborhood Watch Program. So let me talk with the HOA, with the…all the owners, and let’s see what can be done to start, uh, um, being more, um–”
    IC: More proactive in the community?
    GZ: More proactive, yes, exactly, and get together and at least get the phone numbers of, you know, all the neighbors and everything like that. Then they told me that they did have the program in effect, but unfortunately, they didn’t have time to– nobody had time to really be, um, a coordinator. Then I said that if nobody was going to do it, um, actually, they told me, “If nobody is going to do it and you’re worried, why don’t you do it?” And, having, as I told you, to work, to go to school and everything, I said, “Okay. I have to do something, so…so that my wife will feel better.” It was also a way to get to know my neighbors.
    IC: The prosecution described you as someone who was frustrated because you wanted to be a police officer, and you just told me that at one point in your life you wanted to be a police officer. Is that description real? Was there some frustration in your heart because you couldn’t be a police officer or because you weren’t a police officer at that point?
    GZ: No. I had wanted to be a police officer since I was a kid, and I thought that was the best way to help young people in the community. But working with children in the program as a mentor, I saw that when you’re–once they get to the point where the police need to intervene, it’s too late, unfortunately. And that was the point where I chose to either be a lawyer or to continue on and be a judge. So I was never frustrated about that. I always knew–I knew what I thought I could be at some point, but I–I wanted to have an impact on young people.
    IC: What did you talk about with those kids, with that group of kids that– that you had?
    GZ: Everything. Everything in the world.
    IC: For example, what subjects did you discuss? What advice did you give them?
    GZ: Advice, um, the program helped us a lot with, um, programs, or, um, for example, once a week–once a month, sorry, they had, um, they took us all to play, um, basketball, or to some kind of show. But in the program I was in, every–men are with males, and women are with females. So, um, my kids always wanted to talk to me about whatever, the–the kids, you know, from 13 to 16 years of age, um, they want to know what kind of cars I like… Also, when they had problems, the parents would call me and ask me, you know, “Can you come over? Can you talk to them?” Um, and just spend some time with them. And also–what was more important than anything was to listen to them, because they have a lot to say, and it’s–
    IC: You became a big brother of sorts to those kids.
    GZ: Exactly.
    IC: A counselor.
    GZ: Exactly, yes.
    IC: Have you spoken any more with those kids?
    GZ: Oh, yes. Absolutely.
    IC: That’s good.
    GZ: Yes. I just saw them over Christmas.
    IC: Let’s move on, George, to the night of the incident. Tell me what happened that night.
    GZ: Unfortunately, the President ordered the Justice Department to conduct an investigation to see if I had violated anybody’s civil rights. And while that investigation is going on, I can’t say anything more about exactly what happened — other than what has already been said.
    IC: Any more than what we already know happened.
    GZ: Yes, ma’am.
    IC: But I want to ask you, after all of that happened, when did you realize that the young man that you shot was dead?
    GZ: At the office of the police, at the police station. And I said that on camera.
    IC: When you shot him, what was your first reaction? What did you do?
    GZ: First I tho–um, I was afraid it had gone through his clothes and that it was going to go dis–get lost, and, um, you know, go into a house and–because the young man was still talking to me, as I have said. So I thought that it hadn’t… affected him, and I got worried, and I said, “I hope that it hasn’t–that the bullet hasn’t hit a neighbor.” But I only knew that the attack stopped. Immediately.
    IC: You called an ambulance? Did you ask for help?
    GZ: And seconds after that happened, a man arrived with a flashlight, and he–I had already called the police, as everyone knows, and I knew that the police were nearby. That was one of the reasons that I continued, ah, yelling, “Help, help, help,” because I thought the police were nearby and were just looking for us. Then, when the man came with the flashlight, I thought he was a police officer, so there was no–there wasn’t even time to call the police.
    IC: You ask for help. Does he also ask for help?
    GZ: No.
    IC: He doesn’t say a word?
    GZ: Um, he keeps telling me to shut up, to shut my mouth, in English, profanity. And at the end, that he’s going to kill me.
    IC: His parents allege that the voice heard asking for help was that of their son and not yours.
    GZ: [Shaking his head to say no]
    IC: Whose voice was it?
    GZ: Mine. Absolutely.
    IC: How much time passed from the shooting incident until the police arrived?
    GZ: Ah…I would say that it was less than a minute, I imagine. Honestly, it seemed like an eternity.
    IC: At some point did you sit down to think and say to yourself, “I should have waited for the police to arrive. I should have kept fighting him hand-to-hand. I shouldn’t have shot him”?
    GZ: All the time he was attacking me, I was, um, asking him, begging him to stop so that it wouldn’t have to escalate to the point he escalated it to.
    IC: But didn’t you feel at some point, “I should have waited”?
    GZ: –after, before, during the attack…I don’t understand, excuse me.
    IC: After you shot him, the police arrived, you didn’t feel at some point that, maybe in such a short time that seemed to you like an eternity, as you told me, you could have waited and kept fighting him hand-to-hand instead of shooting him?
    GZ: No, he saw my gun and he told me he was going to kill me, and I realized that he was telling the truth. I mean, he wasn’t playing around.
    IC: Why do you say that he was telling the truth?
    GZ: Because I asked him to stop, he obviously knew I was hurt and the neighbor, uh, John Good, told him to stop and that he was calling the police and the young man didn’t care, he kept attacking. So, I knew that he wasn’t going to stop even though he knew that somebody had seen and that the police were coming, he didn’t care.
    IC: Who did you call first?
    GZ: My wife.
    IC: And what did you tell her?
    GZ: That I had been in a, um, that they were putting me–. Honestly, I don’t remember exactly, but my, my goal was to tell her that I was not the one who was, uh, that had been shot and that if she heard things or saw things that she shouldn’t worry, thinking that I had been shot.
    IC: At any point did you feel that maybe you should have gone into your house, not stay out there, you had already called the police, wait safely inside your house with your wife, and not be out there following him?
    GZ: Again, that’s one of those questions that I can’t answer right now, with the President, in the situation that the President has put us in, um, and the Justice Department conducting the investigation.
    IC: Did you go to the, to the police station that night?
    GZ: Yes, ma’am.
    IC: You remained free?
    GZ: Uh, technically the next morning, after–
    IC: The next day?
    GZ: Yes, ma’am.
    IC: When you remained free, did they give you back your gun?
    GZ: No. No.
    IC: Where did you go after being left free?
    GZ: Uh, that day, right then, we stayed at the home of some friends. My wife had already brought clothes and a toothbrush, uh, personal care stuff, for two or three days. But right then, we went to some friends’ home, my friend Mark Osterman who spoke, who was a witness in court for me, and Sandra, his wife, who also spoke.
    IC: Why did you decide to go to some friends’ home and not to your own home?
    GZ: First of all, I didn’t have a car, so, I didn’t have a way to go to my, to return to my home, but…the shock is so great that you go with whatever people tell you, where they tell you to go. So, uh, and honestly, I felt more like my friend Mark Osterman is a, uh, Federal Air Marshal, and I felt safer in his house. And not just because of safety, but because, you know, you know, I knew they had food there, that I had friends, people, and to help me spiritually to have a great friend, and at that point I felt that that–
    IC: You needed emotional help at that point? How was the shock of knowing that..
    GZ: Absolutely…
    IC: That you had shot and killed someone.
    GZ: Yes.
    IC: How did George Zimmerman feel at that moment?
    GZ: Uh, sad, very sad. Uh, with a lot of questions and no answers. And I didn’t have the answers for anything. So.
    IC: There’s a point where you disappear.
    GZ: Yes, several.
    IC: Where did you go?
    GZ: Depends which ones.
    IC: Before turning yourself in.
    GZ: Before I turned myself in I went to, close to where, um, I was born and raised, in the D.C. area, Northern Virginia, part of Virginia and Maryland, close to there, and I stayed there for almost a month.
    IC: With whom? Were you in contact with your family?
    GZ: Yes, but the reception on my cell phone wasn’t good, there was no Internet, ther was no cable and, uh, communication was very limited. Uh, but in, now, looking back, I realize that that was more of a blessing, that I didn’t have cable, that I didn’t have Internet, that I didn’t see everything that people were saying. So, uh, we were safe for hours, so.
    IC: Did you feel safe?
    GZ: Yes.
    IC: What were you thinking? What was going through your mind when you remembered what had happened that night?
    GZ: Uh, I felt safe, to clarify, uh, I felt safe when I was with other people. And when family members came to visit me or to, but at night or when nobody was around, it was terrifying because that was, it was at that time when they put a bounty, uh, they offered $10,000 to kill me, which at one point the President chose not to recognize. And at that time I–there were scandals that people had said that there was, it was $100,000 or $1,000,000 to kill me.
    IC: Who told you that they had offered a reward?
    GZ: No, it was done publicly. They had demonstrations and they had, um, papers with my face and my name on them, and they said, in English, “Reward, dead or alive, wanted $10,000.” And even though the police had the names of the people who had those papers and who wanted to kill me, they chose to, not to any of them. So, at that time, when I realized the gravity of the situation and when my family began to receive threats, at that time I became really terrified.
    IC: From one minute to the next, your face became notorious, the whole country and the world knew who George Zimmerman was, and your photo was everywhere. How did you deal with that notoriety?
    GZ: Uh, that is a question that has so many answers for me because, honestly, not the world, not the nation, nobody knew who George Zimmerman was. Uh, the world knew who, uh, television, the, how the news stations had described me. But they didn’t know me as a person. Uh, so, to answer you, really….it’s a change that I am still, uh, trying to adjust to every day. Uh, there’s no good answer but, uh, it’s a radical change in your life.
    IC: How has your life changed?
    GZ: Uh, I can’t do anything that people, uh, who are not recognized can do. Uh, I can’t go to a restaurant and sit down at a table and not have to worry about, you know, somebody trying to murder me or–
    IC: In other words, how do you feel when you go out on the street? You go to the supermarket, you go to a restaurant, you go to a park. How does George Zimmerman feel? We were talking about how your life changed because of the incident of February of 2012, um, because your face became notorious. What is George Zimmerman’s life like today?
    GZ: I’m still scared, obviously. There are still threats against me and my family. Uh, I still have, as I told you, the investigation by the FBI or the U.S. Justice Department…. I never know what’s going to happen, but, uh, I thank God for every day and I try to live my life as much as I can. Uh, I don’t want to miss those moments with my family that, uh, that this process has already stolen from me.
    IC: What happened that day has generated a lot of feelings among, among the public in general. It has generated feelings of hatred, it has generated feelings of revenge, as, um, you told me just now, there are other people who support what you did and who believe that you, um, did what you had to do at that moment. Overall, opinions are very, very conflicting. But that part you have told me about, about how they recognize you, about how you don’t feel good, about how you fear for your life, don’t you think it’s a consequence of what happened in February of 2012.
    GZ: It’s a consequence of what the press did with the incident in 2012, in February.
    IC: You don’t think it’s because of the fact that you fired gun?
    GZ: Correct. No, obviously not.
    IC: Why do you blame the press for what is happening to you?
    GZ: Because of the way they portrayed the story, the way that they wanted to portray i to make it more sensational. Um, so, to answer you, I don’t think that that was a consequence of what happened that night because obviously the, uh, you can see the, uh, numbers in the statis–
    IC: Statistics.
    GZ: –Yes, ma’am. How many times does that happen in the United States, and how many times it goes without news coverage like mine.
    IC: What do you think happened in this case, then?
    GZ: In…
    IC: In your case with Trayvon Martin.
    GZ: What was the difference–
    IC: What happened? What is the difference from the other cases that you say happen?
    GZ: I don’t know, I honestly can’t answer for the journalists. You would have to ask them.
    IC: President Obama spoke about this case and, and he said that “he could have been Trayvon Martin 35 years ago,” and he also said that “it could be his own son,” and he called to end discrimination, so to speak, of African-Americans. What did you think when you heard President Obama’s words about this case, in which you are involved?
    GZ: Upset, sad, disappointed.
    IC: Why?
    GZ: I was a, uh, huge supporter of, of President Obama. Uh, and all my friends, my family knew it, they knew it, and when everything first came out and people started to send petitions to the White House, uh, the spokesman, Jay Carney, said that this is a state case, we aren’t going to do, the United States and the federal government have no business commenting about this, about this investigation. Um, and then suddenly the President, with the election almost here, decided to make a comment that seemed to me, that seemed unfair to me, especially, after saying that they weren’t going to comment.
    IC: You mention the election. You think that President Obama mentioned this case because he wanted to gain more supporters, he wanted to win more votes?
    GZ: That’s it, absolutely.
    IC: That’s what you believe.
    GZ: He saw it as an opportunity.
    IC: George, you tell me that the press has twisted what happened, and has said whatever it wanted to say, but you haven’t told your version of what happened, either. So, when are we going to hear your version, why don’t you tell it to me now?
    GZ: Which of, of, exactly–
    IC: You say that the press twisted around what happened that night in February of 2012. Tell me what happened?
    GZ: Oh, yes. Uh, as I said to you, again, I can’t dis–speak about the details because of the investigation that the United States has, but about the fact that what happened… Reporters made accusations that, with no basis.
    IC: For example?
    GZ: That I was racist.
    IC: And are you racist?
    GZ: Absolutely not.
    IC: Did you establish a profile to, to describe Trayvon Martin that night? That is, did you profile him as a possible criminal in your neighborhood?
    GZ: No, I answered the questions that I was being asked, on the telephone.
    IC: The first thing you said during the 911 call is that a lot of robberies had happened and that they were breaking in to houses in your neighborhood and that you felt afraid because you were seeing something suspicious. Is that true or not?
    GZ: Yes, absolutely.
    IC: If Trayvon Martin had been wearing a jacket and tie, or if he had been a white o Jewish youth wearing a hoodie, would you have felt the same fear?
    GZ: Uh, the investigator asked me that the first night or the second day, and I told him exactly how I feel, and yes, I would have felt the same way.
    IC: Any person walking through your neighborhood on that rainy night would have made you feel afraid?
    GZ: I don’t know, it wasn’t simply because he was walking in the neighborhood. He was at, almost in the middle of the houses and he was walking …very slow, uh, lightly, and looking at the houses in a way that I thought was strange. Uh, so, no, it wasn’t simply that he was a person walking though the, the rain. If I saw somebody in a coat and tie walking lightly, I would think something is suspicious, that a person doesn’t mind being out in the rain.
    IC: I have read articles about African-American mothers who have lost their children because of gun violence, and they are tired of seeing their innocent or unarmed children die, because of the way they dress or the way they act or the music they listen to. What message do you have for those mothers? What do you think of them? They are tired of burying their children.
    GZ: Obviously, for any African-American, Mexican, American, Peruvian, male or female, nobody wants to bury their child, and I understand that 100 percent. But,
    uh, we have to see the root of the problem and try to solve it before a situation like what happened with me happens again.
    IC: And what do you think is the root of the problem?
    GZ: Uh, from what I’ve seen with the, um, my work with my kids, sometimes people just let them pass by, they forget, um, about the kids who don’t show an extraordinary talent in, say, sports, or who don’t have a 4.0 in school. And I think all children need, uh, positive people in their lives, mother, father, or the two, and as they say, “ it takes a village,” almost the whole city to make sure that kids have something positive to keep them entertained, rather than doing things that are, um, not so positive.
    IC: Okay, but we really don’t know if Trayvon Martin was doing anything negative that night. He wasn’t armed, either.
    GZ: He was–
    IC: When did you realize that he wasn’t armed?
    GZ: I never did, because the way he was hitting me, the way he was throwing my head into the concrete, I thought he could be armed.
    IC: Did he threaten you? Did he say anything to you? Did he tell you he had a weapon? Did he make a gesture with his hand, put it in his pocket or something like that, that made you think that your life was really in danger?
    GZ: Absolutely. When he saw my handgun and looked at it and told me that he was going to kill me that night, uh, that was enough of a threat after the way he had attacked me. So, I felt his hand going for my weapon.
    IC: Did you feel that he wanted to grab your weapon?
    GZ: Absolutely. And there is no question in my mind.
    IC: Are you sure about what you did that night?
    GZ: 100 percent.
    IC: Do you think it was the right thing to do?
    GZ: I think that is going to stay in my mind and between God and me, but, um, I know that if I didn’t act, act the way I did, um, I wouldn’t be here. So.
    IC: Do you think he would have killed you?
    GZ: I know that for sure, yes.
    IC: By hitting you?
    GZ: Or with my pistol. One way or another.
    IC: You liked to box, and you worked out in the gym. So you weren’t a weak man. You were a strong man. Why didn’t you decide to keep fighting and battling with him instead of getting to the point of having to use the gun?
    GZ: That’s a very good question. Um, and… there is a difference between boxing when–and a situation that is controlled, with at least a referee, um, and a–dras– drastic difference from somebody who throws a punch at your nose and breaks your nose, at a moment when you’re not expecting that they’re going to punch you. Um, and I’m giving you the example of boxing and the control–the controlled conditions–but in fact, as my trainer said in court, I wasn’t training for boxing. I was training to lose weight.
    IC: Couldn’t you get him off of you?
    GZ: No.
    IC: Was he that strong?
    GZ: Again, when you have your head being hit repeatedly against concrete, you have a broken nose, your eyes full of blood and tears, you’re not in a position to do much of anything.
    IC: How did George Zimmerman decide to turn himself in to the authorities? When, and what’s it like, making that decision to turn yourself in and face justice?
    GZ: Um, okay. To clarify, I turned myself in twice. Uh, and it was hard to say goodbye to my family, and to my dog, but the decision was easy. I prayed, uh, I asked God, and I did what I thought was right. I always, uh, wanted to cooperate with the police and, uh, I told them several times, you know, “If you need me, come get me. We don’t have to make a show of it.” My family was with me several times, and I said, “I don’t want them to be involved. I’ll turn myself in.” And I didn’t just say, “Here I am; come take me to jail.” I drove from where I was in Virginia to Florida to turn myself in, uh, and both times I turned myself in. And, as I told you, the hardest thing was saying goodbye, but the decision itself was simple. It was simple.
    IC: What was your biggest fear when you were in custody?
    GZ: That something might happen to my family and I was not going to be able to help them in any way.
    IC: What was your life like on the inside?
    GZ: Uh, strangely, it brought me closer to God. Uh, I had plenty of time to study th Bible and pray. Uh, the–
    IC: Have you always been a believer?
    GZ: Yes.
    IC: Do you think this incident brought you closer to God?
    GZ: No, ma’am. It was always, uh, even when I was I child I was an altar boy, um, a lifelong Catholic. Uh, but in jail, the most surprising thing was that everybody supported me, from the guards to the people who were in jail.
    IC: What did they say to you?
    GZ: Uh, “keep your head up;” the people who were in jail, uh, told me, you know “have faith, God does everything for a reason,” uh, and the guards always treated me like anybody else, uh, who was in jail. They treated me with respect, tremendously, just like they treat everybody.
    IC: You tell me that you are a strong believer, that you have always been very close to God. What is it like for a person like that to deal with the fact of having taken another person’s life in a tragic event?
    GZ: I know that He is the only judge, and that someday He will tell me how He feels, and I leave it in the hands of the Lord.
    IC: When the jury began to deliberate, what was going through George Zimmerman’s head? It took about 16 hours over two days. What were you thinking about during those days?
    GZ: Was it just 16 hours?
    IC: Over two days, the time they were working.
    GZ: Well, at the beginning, um, we thought it would be more or less fast, and, an later, as time went by and time went by, as my attorney at the time, Mark Omara, told me, it’s like having a, um, family, a father or a mother in surgery and waiting for the surgeon to say if they’re going to live or not. That’s the best way I can explain it, and–
    IC: And what was going through George Zimmerman’s mind at that point, over the two days?
    GZ: I tried to keep myself occupied, uh, planning for my family and my wife, for thei safety, just in case. And I also wanted thank everyone who had helped me. So, I was signing a lot of thank you cards, because I didn’t know if I would be able to do that after that.
    IC: Did you think you might end up in jail for the rest of your life?
    GZ: Yes, absolutely.
    IC: And how did you view your situation there?
    GZ: In jail? Um, like–
    IC: For the rest of your life.
    GZ: Yes, like I told you, I turned everything over to the Lord and told him, “Do with me what You will.”
    IC: Justice said that you were not guilty of what happened that day, but things ended in a tragedy, with the death of a young man who was unarmed. Do you have any regrets about what happened that night?
    GZ: Again, that’s a question that I can’t answer right now because of the investigatio that the, the Justice Department has going on.
    IC: But as a person.
    GZ: As a person who the Justice Department is investigating, I can’t answer.
    IC: You can’t even tell me how you felt, how you would have felt.
    GZ: Okay, I’ve already answered that several times in, with the police and in interviews previously and, uh, now that there’s the investigation that has started they obviously sent their investigators and they conducted their investigation, they closed the investigation by saying that that there was no one who can say that I was racist. And after they declared me innocent, now they have started another investigation. So, as I said, that isn’t something I can play with; I can’t answer And in any case, it can come back to hurt me.
    IC: If you could go back to that night, what would you change?
    GZ: Uh, I would have stayed home, I wouldn’t have gone out shop–shopping.
    IC: Have you been in contact with Trayvon Martin’s parents? Have you approached them?
    GZ: The only time was when Mr. Tracy Martin, uh, he said to my friend, um, he called him a bad word in court, uh, because he had, um, his sign that said he was family, and that was the only time we had any. And also in the, in what’s called in English the bond hearing, uh, excuse me because I didn’t know, because the mother had asked if I know her son’s age and I told her no, as I had told the, the 911 operator. And beyond that, with Mrs. Fulton, I haven’t had any communication with her, and she hasn’t had any with us. Mr. Martin, uh, just that exchange with my family.
    IC: Since you were declared not guilty, and since you think that you did the right thing, as you told me earlier, and justice says that you weren’t guilty. Wouldn’t perhaps apology be the right thing to do, and say to the parents, “I’m sorry about what happened?”
    GZ: I told them that in the bond hearing…
    IC: How did they take it?
    GZ: Um, honestly, I don’t know. You would have to ask them. I don’t know what they were thinking.
    IC: Trayvon Martin’s father said that he wants to make something good come out of negative experience. The mother, Mrs. Fulton, has been talking with young people about the violence generated by carrying guns. What is George Zimmerman doing for society after what happened?
    GZ: I would love to do the same thing, but unfortunately, as you know and as you asked me, um, earlier, I can’t do the things that I was doing before. And I was doing, um, a lot, um, the program that, that I was, uh, mentoring, wasn’t a program that paid anything. That was time that I, that I took out of my life, and offered to those young people, before anything happened. And I think Reverend Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. ought to think about whether what they did was right, because they took away a mentor who was trying to help children, um, African-American for the most part, and wasn’t just helping from a distance. I was there playing basketball on the–
    IC: Are there African-American children in your group?
    GZ: Absolute–all–basically–100 percent are. And, um, I was in their churches and I was, um, washing cars with them, and, and they took away a person who had that love for helping people, and they took away from me that ability to help because of what they did.
    IC: Would you like to do something for young people today?
    GZ: Uh, I’m still, um, in contact with my young people, and I still make promises to them, like, ah, I promised one young man that if he passed eighth grade I would take him and introduce him to Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, and it happened and I took him. And I still make them, I make promises like that to them, and I try to help them as much as possible.
    IC: How do you think the African-American community views you?
    GZ: Um, those who know me love me. They have always loved me and they will always love me. Ah, the whole community from there and in Apopka where I was, um, they love me, until today, um, those who don’t know me, I don’t know how– what they think of me, so I don’t know if they are going to change or I couldn’t answer for them.
    IC: When all of this happened in February of 2012, you told me that your family received threats.
    GZ: Yes.
    IC: What kind of threats did your family receive?
    GZ: That they were going to slit my sister’s throat and kill her and throw her out onto the street so that everybody could see, um, that it was an eye for an eye. They were going to kill my six-year-old nephew, who was five at the time. Um, they were going to kill my mother, my grandmother. They were going to throw explosives at the house, um, all that stuff. Obviously, they put–offered 10,000 dollars to kill them, my family, and of course, me, so…
    IC: Are you ready to struggle with this for the rest of your life? Maybe this i something that people aren’t going to forget. People may remember your face and you may have to struggle with this for many years. Are you prepared for that How do you plan to live your life?
    GZ: As God directs me to.
    IC: But are you prepared?
    GZ: Yes.
    IC: What’s going to happen?
    GZ: Yes. I also recognize that perhaps that’s not, hum, the most serious thing he ha for me. There might–there might be something in the future for me that is also going to, um, you know, my parents may get sick and, um, you know, die tomorrow, and that can affect me in a different way, and I, I know for sure that He will give me the strength to go on.
    IC: Your ex-wife, Shellie supported you throughout the trial; she even pleaded guilty to lying about your finances, and all of it to support you. Why did you separate? What happened after that?
    GZ: That’s what right now we are–she’s not my ex-wife yet. She’s my wife. We’re separating. That’s something that, since the lawyers are still talking, that, um, I can’t comment on. What I can tell you is that I appreciate what she did for me, um. I also tried to help her as much as possible and, unfortunately, this is a situation that I don’t know, I–many, many married people, many couples that have been able to survive, or their marriage has been able to survive, this situation. So it’s, it’s also a tragedy in that sense.
    IC: In an interview she said she didn’t–that it seemed like she didn’t know who she’d married, who she’d been married to for seven years, and she said it was a different person, that she didn’t recognize, and that it seemed like something or someone had broken his spirit. Did George Zimmerman change? And in what ways, given everything that happened?
    GZ: Um, I haven’t seen any interview, um, she did. But according to what you’re saying–
    IC: She spoke with Katie Couric.
    GZ: Okay. According to what you’re telling me, um, I don’t think I changed. If I did change, um, my faith has grown. I have ah, I think I give people what in English is called the benefit of the doubt, um, a lot more to–
    IC: The benefit of the doubt.
    GZ: The benefit of the doubt, because I see how they accused me and the baseless things they said about me. So, um, that’s the only way that I, I see that I’ve changed. Obviously, there’s that great fear that I may be shot if I go to a restaurant, um, and sometimes that is–that affects, um, the additional stress someone has. Um, having to go out with a bullet-proof vest, um. It takes a lot longer to get ready and coordinate everything, everything is stress, the stress increases, for her as well as me. Perhaps more for her, as a wife, worrying about me. Um, I know that even though I was stressed, the stress is different from what someone has with–due to the relationship. For example, I can’t imagine my mom’s stress as a mother, how she feels about her son. So I can’t answer for Shellie. Um, but I can tell you that it’s a very sad situation, that several people, um, created for their own benefit, and a lot of people have suffered, and it’s too bad.
    IC: But, George, before this incident took place in February of 2012, had you had problems with the law?
    GZ: I had an incident in 2005. It wasn’t a problem, really. They arres–
    IC: What happened?
    GZ: They arrested me. A friend of mine was, um, underage–he was 19 years old an we were at a bar and, um, there were plainclothes agents, um, conducting what in English is called an undercover sting.
    IC: They were dressed as civilians.
    GZ: As civilians. And that agent grabbed my friend by the neck. He was putting him against the wall. We–he’d never identified himself. Um, and I asked him what was happening. He told me to go, um, he swore at me, and when I kept walking, um, toward him, saying, “No, answer me. What–why do you have my friend against the wall?”, he grabbed me and hit me and when that happened, the other, um, agents who were dressed as civilians arrested me, and, um, a month and a half, two months after that happened–that happened, um, that same division that was acting as civilians outside of the…the um, police standards. An agent was killed at a um, UCF, University of Central Florida game, um, because he took out his gun and fired into the air and never identified himself. And a policeman who was in uniform saw it, saw a man shooting into the air with a gun and killed him … unfortunately. That policeman–died, and when the state saw that that division was not, um, re–were not identifying themselves the way they should have, the charges against me were dropped.
    IC: After the February, 2012 incident, you’ve had other incidents with the police: speeding, a problem with Shellie and with her father, a problem with your girlfriend in which she later she dropped the charges. Um, Shellie also dropped the charges and she, in that interview I mentioned, she said she dropped them because she could have also been arrested, and she was on probation so she didn’t want to take the risk. But it seems like the life of George Zimmerman turned turbulent after everything the incident took place. What’s happening?
    GZ: Um–
    IC: What happened to George Zimmerman? Were you like that before?
    GZ: Honestly, yes, I’ve gotten tickets for speeding. But it never made the news. Ah, I don’t understand why journalists care so much, um, if I get a speeding ticket. It was the first time that a ticket, um, made international news. Um, also, like the, um, website that Mr. Holder created, um, for people to be able to give, um, if they thought I was racist they could send, um, examples or information about me being racist. That was the first time in, in, uh, history that that has been done. I don’t know why those things make, um, journalists want to report such things. I know several people who get tickets for speeding–
    IC: What about the other incidents?
    GZ: Yes. The other incidents, um, again, anything that’s associated with my name, um, before–
    IC: This wasn’t just anything. That is, a domestic fight–
    GZ: Yes. No, I understand.
    IC: A domestic fight isn’t the same as speeding. They’re two very different things.
    GZ: Absolutely.
    IC: What’s happening? Do you have trouble controlling your temper? Do you escalate easily?
    GZ: No. Um, obviously I wasn’t charged with any of that. Um, I think people still want to know about my life. Before there were–before the police supervisors got there, there were three press helicopters above my house in that first incident with Shellie. So before they knew what happened, they already wanted to report it. Um, so that is a question that perhaps you can answer better than I can. I don’t know what’s with this interest about my life. I have already been, um, declared innocent by a jury, as our Constitution says, so I’d love to know, but it’s my life and I keep on living it.
    IC: Your face is already well known, and you became well known as a result of that case. Wouldn’t it be a good time to have a quieter life, a lower profile, to try to not have trouble with the law? Why do we keep hearing about problems with the law?
    GZ: Because the press keeps reporting.
    IC: Or, because they continue to happen?
    GZ: They’re happening but–those cases happen daily, several times a, daily, and they’re not reporting them.
    IC: Yes, but they’re not George Zimmerman.
    GZ: Yes, but in all honesty, I’d love to live a quiet life without being inthe press. I’d love to, like any other American citizen, to get a speeding ticket or to have an argu–argument with my wife and if the police come, for the whole world not to find out about it. But that, as I told you, is my life, and I don’t understand why it’s that way, but I go on with my life as I’ve always lived it.
    IC: George, there are reports that say that you owe 2.5 million dollars. Who do you owe it to?
    GZ: Um, those reports are factual, I want to clarify, because there are many that aren’t. But that report came from me. Um, and I owe my lawyers, Mark O’Mara and Don West.
    IC: How do you plan to get that money to pay them? Do you have a job? What is George Zimmerman living on?
    GZ: No, I don’t have a job and honestly I don’t–I’m not collecting unemployment or Obamacare or any type of–because that’s something that people always say, “Oh, now he’s retired, living off welfare, social security,” whatever. I’m not getting any of that. Right now there is a civil case against a press organization that made a, um, serious mistake, and I hope that will help pay for a portion of, at least, what I owe. I said from the beginning, to Mark and Don, if I have to work at a restaurant as a cook, I’ll pay them because what they did was a tremendous job, a job, um, I can’t imagine how they did what they did with the little we had. But I told them I will pay them, so that’s that.
    IC: And the money from the donations you received from the web page you opened during the trial?
    GZ: Yes, it’s–that was the money we used for the defense, the defense. If it hadn’t been for those people, um, and one thing I also wanted to clear up was that those were not 1,000 donations from each person, 10,000 donations from each person. They were 5, 10, 20 dollar donations. And to those people I owe my freedom because without then, we could not, um, have had the experts we did. We would not have been able to pay for the documents we needed, um, so I owe them, um, tremendously and…
    IC: How much funds did you raise through your site?
    GZ: With–in total?
    IC: How much money did you manage to raise on that site?
    GZ: Ah, I think it was 350,000, I believe. And honestly, um, by the time my lawyer Mark O’Mara, um, was, um, went–started to represent me, it was he who had control, and for me not to have control, there was a separate trust. So unfortunately, I don’t have the exact facts, but I believe it was about 300,000 or 350,000.
    IC: There was a controversy regarding some paintings you were selling.
    GZ: Yes.
    IC: Why the controversy? Why did they say you’d taken a sketch that you had not authored and that you’d made a painting of it and you’d sold it? Is it true?
    GZ: No. Those are things that, just as I choose not to defend myself, I choose not to um, respond to those accusations, in the same way that I will not defend myself against, um, being racist or being, um, a humble person or– These accusations are baseless accusations from people who want to include me in a news report, that’s all. And who don’t understand that, um, the laws, of course, and the artistic form. So, um, I’ve always liked that and everyone has seen that—and I’m doing an interview just about me with Mr. Hannity, and I don’t–I don’t give them the time of day, as they say in English, um, because there isn’t enough time in the day to respond to all those accusations.
    IC: In that interview with Fox News, you said that you’d like the people who portrayed you as racist to apologize to you.
    GZ: Yes, I said, if I’d done the same thing, I’d apologize to the person I’d accused.
    IC: Were they false accusations?
    GZ: Ah, 100 percent.
    IC: Let’s talk about the fight, this fight that was being organized, and in which they announced you as a celebrity fight. Why a celebrity fight? Do you consider yourself a celebrity?
    GZ: Not at all. That–
    IC: Why was it announced as a celebrity fight?
    GZ: I imagine and, I’m a little afraid of answering that because I, um, I don’t like t answer for the person, because we all think differently, but I would imagine that the man who is promoting it thought that that would make the news and generate more interest, and in some way, make more money again. But that–that was cancelled, um, a week after it was announced by me. Um, I started to–
    IC: Why did you decide to cancel?
    GZ: Because I started to–it started as a good way to, um, give funds to a charity.
    IC: Which charity?
    GZ: Eh, I’d rather not say the name because any name I say, any business I say, um starts to get threats, but it was a, ah…
    IC: Yes, but if you don’t say it, people could think that you are going to keep the money. There are a lot of people who thought, as a result of the fight, that you were making money as a result of Trayvon Martin’s death, because you’d become notorious as a result of that case, and so now you want to organize a fight to make money for yourself. Why not reveal the name of the foundation to which you were going to donate the money?
    GZ: They know it and I know it and the Lord knows it. Those are all that matter. People who want to accuse me are always going to accuse me, even if I clarify a hundred thousand times, they are going to continue with the same accusation. Um, so again, it’s not–I don’t give them the time of day. Um, but unfortunately the prom–the man who is promoting it, um, chose, um, instead of it being a fight that it was, um, going to be a person selected totally without knowing, um, like– almost like a lottery. And the money was going to go to a charity. He started to get, um, lots, um, of emails from people who wanted to kill me, people who wanted, um, there were a lot–I think they are rappers or–
    IC: DMX is a rapper who supposedly had agreed to fight with you.
    GZ: Once again, as I told you, that fight was cancelled before he said anything about my name.
    IC: That is, you didn’t agree to fight with DMX. By that time you had already talked with the promoter to cancel the fight?
    GZ: My lawyer had talked to him.
    IC: Why did the promoter continue to promote a celebrity fight, a fight with DMX, who is a rapper who’s had problems with the law, who is African-American? It definitively raises many questions and, of course, more controversy. But did you agreed to fight DMX?
    GZ: No. Never.
    IC: At what point did you cancel the fight?
    GZ: It was a week after I announced it, basically. Um, my lawyer, I sent him th contract that he had sent me. I think it was three days after, um, they contacted me. I sent it to my lawyer. He saw it and, um, saw everything they were saying about me, um, the news and social media. And he said that–no, that this is not– this has transformed into something that is not right.
    IC: He announced the fight precisely the day Trayvon Martin would have had his birthday. Don’t you think that generates a little more animosity?
    GZ: Honestly, I don’t know why he did what he did when he did it, um. I had no control over that, so I can’t–I can’t take time to, um, have, um, second thoughts about that. I mean, that’s something that happened out of my control and I have to live with what that man did again.
    IC: What’s a regular day like in the life of George Zimmerman?
    GZ: There’s no normal life. I can tell you, you know, if I need medical attention, I wait until I have to go to the Emergency Room because I can’t go to see my doctor regularly like I could before.
    IC: Why?
    GZ: Um, I need bodyguards. There’s no funds for bodyguards. Um, and my doctor has a policy that, you know, before they would let me go in through the back door, not anymore. And, um…. it’s due to the attention and the fear that someone might recognize me and might try to, um, some type of revenge. Um, as I said, I go out with my bullet-proof, um–
    IC: Do you wear a bullet-proof vest?
    GZ: Yes. Yes.
    IC: All the time?
    GZ: Uh, yes, ma’am. Right now–
    IC: At this time.
    GZ: I can’t go, um, to play soccer with my nephew. I can’t go to his basketball games… I can’t go out to eat. I can’t go out to catch a cab if I need to go somewhere. Um, I always have that fear that if someone recognizes me–what’s more, honestly it’s–frankly, fear for my loved ones. I don’t want anyone to harm them, and, and that’s why I have to stay far away from them. And that, um, is a lonely life, um, but again, I spend a lot of time with my Bible and the Lord, and I try to live my life–as normal as I can, but the fact is that I can’t.
    IC: For example, do you go to the grocery store?
    GZ: I do. I try to go.
    IC: And what happens at the grocery store?
    GZ: Normally, nothing. Um, there was–an occasion in which I was recognized and,
    um, I was at, um, at a deli. They were making a sandwich for me, and they decided not to make me the sandwich. And, um, but normal–normally people– because I move– I move from state to state, and most of the time people don’t recog–recognize me, but they think, “He has no reason to be it this state, in this city.” And by the time they realize it, I’ve already left.
    IC: So you don’t have a house to live in?
    GZ: No.
    IC: You keep going from state to state.
    GZ: Yes, ma’am. I’m totally homeless.
    IC: How do you see your future?
    GZ: With faith in God.
    IC: How do you envision the next few years? What would you like your life to be like?
    GZ: There is a saying in English that “Man plans and God laughs.” So I learned, um, since this incident in February of 2012, not to make plans, to live my life in the most Christian way I can, um, and let myself be guided and try to help every human being and live my life in the most positive way I can.

  4. wordsalad2009
    February 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Program: Aquí y Ahora
    Content: Interview with George Zimmerman
    Air Date: Sunday, February 16, 2014

    IC: Ilia Calderón
    GZ: George Zimmerman



    IC: Who is George Zimmerman, really?
    GZ: I think I’m a good brother, a good son, a good grandson, um, a good friend, but I think we all want to think that of ourselves, but, um, I’m someone who’s always tried to live a normal life. I’ve tried to help people, although, um, putting myself last. Um, the car that–the accident after the verdict, um, could have easily broken up on me and killed me. It was on fire, too, and I didn’t think of myself. I always want to help–others.
    IC: How did this whole situation change you? Did George Zimmerman change after what happened in February of 2012?
    GZ: Again, I think something–it’s something that my psychologist can answer for you, obviously. I have—suffered because of–
    IC: Did your life change in any way?
    GZ: I suffer from PTSD.
    IC: Post-traumatic stress.
    GZ: Yes, I’m sorry. Um, and I try to be, as I said, to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I tried to give it to most people, but I found myself a lot of the time, um, believing what the news said or believing what–someone who knew someone I didn’t know said. And since that day, I don’t–I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. It’s not up to me to judge anyone.
    IC: Would you change something in your past?
    GZ: No. My past life–
    IC: You’d live everything exactly the same way. With all the experiences you’ve lived through.
    GZ: Absolutely.
    IC: Including February of 2012?
    GZ: Again, that is a question I cannot answer right now. Perhaps after–how would you say it?–the Justice Department finishes its second investigation, we’ll be able to talk.
    IC: Why did you decide to talk to Univision after so much time in silence?
    GZ: Ah, Univision was very, um, responsible with its journalists and the news they broadcast, um, all the–the press, obviously, they tried to support my parents and me for their–the story or the interview. But Univision was a–the channel that, uh, I saw that treated my mother and my–my brother, um, with a lot of integrity. And that is all I ask, that they respect my mother, my grandmother, and I’m happy. Um, and in fact, um, yes, ever since I was very small, I was born–I was raised with Univision. I mean, my grandmother raised us. My mother, my father worked, um, and she doesn’t speak English, so it was always Univision. And, um, it was a choice I made, thinking more of my youth and, as I said, because you treated my family with respect. And you didn’t do what many, um, American journalists did.
    IC: Describe for me what George Zimmerman is like and what how the press distorted your image.
    GZ: The way they selected, um, several stations, did different things and, like I said, there are, um, pending civil cases, um, but everyone knows what, um, NBC did. They changed the, um, a question that the 911 operator asked me and they painted me in a light that was almost 100 percent racist. And it was nowhere near what happened, um, so,–they painted me as racist,–they said that I said words on the tape that I have never said in my life. Ah, and they knew the truth, um, they did interviews with people who knew me, um, friends, African-American family, and they chose not to air that on TV. So, that is–the best way I can explain it to you. They painted me as racist, as a, um, vigilante of–of–the, um, neighborhood and it wasn’t like that.
    IC: George, you told me that you don’t receive money from the government from the government’s unemployment insurance, you don’t have any government benefits.
    GZ: Nor Obama Care.
    IC: You don’t have a job?
    GZ: No.
    IC: How do you survive?
    GZ: Ah, my family helps me a lot, obviously. Since I don’t have a house, I don’t have um, a mortgage, I don’t pay, um, rent, um, so, it’s difficult but it’s, um, I do it- thousands of Americans do the same. It is, as I told you, difficult to owe my lif and, ah… As I’ve always said, it’s the cross that the Lord gave me and I bear i humbly. So, um, no–I won’t–sit here and lie and say, you know, I’m 100 percent
    happy, I don’t need money, etc, etc. Obviously I owe millions of dollars, but that is something that right now I can’t fix. And I give it all to God and I have faith that somehow, He will–help me.
    IC: What was the moment that you’d describe as the most difficult one during your trial?
    GZ: When I saw Mrs. Rachel Jeantel, when I saw her testimony and that– although knew from the, um, the interviews she’d done, um, more or less what she wa going to say– that was a striking moment because, if you remember, the city of Sanford, the city of Sanford police said it was self-defense and that there was no crime. It was also escalated to–to the county where it happened in Seminole County prosecutors–
    IC: Prosecutors.
    GZ: Yes, of Seminole County, and they said there was no crime. And the only different thing that the prosecutors of Duval County, Mrs. Corey, had different than the city of Sanford and Seminole County had, was the testimony of that lady, Rachel Jeantel. And when I saw it, I was very sad because I saw that, um, all of them… Angela Corey, Bernie De La Rionda and all those prosecutors based this case firmly on the testimony of that lady. And they used her as if she were, um, I don’t know how to say it in Spanish, sorry, a puppet.
    IC: A puppet.
    GZ: A puppet, and she was a young lady who didn’t want to be there. And the saddest thing is that she is telling the truth, she is telling the truth and she couldn’t win. She couldn’t make, um, the state happy and she wasn’t there to help the defense But when I saw that–that testimony was the key that was used by the, um, people in Duval County in Florida, um, that made me very sad and that was the moment, honestly, that I–that–that completely changed my thinking. I got home, saw my nephew and cried for like a 15 minutes with him because he couldn’t believe that, um, Gov. Rick Scott had appointed his friend, um, or had asked his friend Pam Bondi to put Mrs. Corey as prosecutor, just based on–based on this testimony that I had just seen that day and that testimony didn’t say anything, but clarified what I had said all along. So, it was very sad.
    IC: What was going through George Zimmerman’s mind when he was waiting for the jury to render its verdict?
    GZ: Um, everybody asks me that because they say–I haven’t seen the video, but they tell me that I had no expression whatsoever. Um, and the answer is easy. I always had in my hands what I always carry with me.
    IC: What is it?
    GZ: A rosary, and I was praying with my rosary in my hand, and, um, I handed it over to–to Mr. West after they declared me innocent, and the whole time that the judge, my lawyers, the jury were talking, I was just praying, and I wasn’t able to hear. I could obviously hear. But I decided to listen only to my prayers and to the Lord. So, um, I wasn’t thinking much. They were my prayers that always–that my grandmother had taught me since I was a child. Um, and it didn’t hit me until they cut off the GPS monitor and I was truly free. And I think that did, um, excuse me, but to go back a bit, um, yes, I do have a problem with speeding but–and it’s my fault. I have paid the fines as I should. Um, but it’s easy to speed when you have had a monitor on your body 24 hours a day for more than a year, a year and a half, telling you where you could and couldn’t go. And when they cut it off me, I felt such freedom, and I could go anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to announce it or ask permission to go to another county, so, um, but it was when they cut it off me that day in court that I was finally able to react emotionally.
    IC: George, isn’t it contradictory that you tell me that you always carried the rosary but you also carried a weapon?
    GZ: Not in court.
    IC: Not in court but you did outside.
    GZ: Eh, no, not that–
    IC: The night of the incident you were carrying the rosary and also carrying the gun?
    GZ: I was carrying the weapon. I don’t remember what I had in my pocket because when the young man hit me, everything went out flying, um, but I can tell you that I only had my license–I wasn’t able to get a license to carry a um, concealed weapon, um, until you’re 21 years old in the state of Florida, I believe, but since I was a child I’ve been religious, I’ve had, um, scapulars that my grandmother would put on me, um, so, that is not–I don’t, don’t understand the correlation between the two. If you are saying to me that I had a rosary to defend me from the
    evils of the world, yes, I prayed every time, I prayed when I had tests at school. I prayed when I thought that, you know, uh, in any situation in which I wanted the Lord to guide me, but that’s just the truth.
    IC: How does George Zimmerman plan to close this chapter of his life and start a new life?
    GZ: I think we’re starting now. I think we’re starting.
    IC: Do you have a problem controlling your temper?
    GZ: Obviously I believe that the–the–the court videos show my temper when the prosecutors are yelling in my face that I killed a boy. Um, my temper is the same. I’m always, um, the way I’m talking to you, the way I spoke in court when I took the stand to say, um, the Martin Fulton family the questions they would have asked me. I don’t believe I have a problem with my temper.
    IC: Do you believe that now, months after you were declared innocent in court, that you are trying to return to your life, that Trayvon Martin’s parents are also trying to deal with that grief of losing a child, although losing a child is something that you can never overcome, that perhaps this is a good opportunity to send them a message under circumstances that are different from speaking during a trial?
    GZ: Absolutely not. Again, with President Obama making the comments he did and the investigation that he, eh, ordered against me, I cannot have any communication with them.
    IC: But can’t you send them a message on camera either?
    GZ: I’ve already seen, um, that anything I say can be used against me. And, um, I can’t send any messages, nor would I imagine placing myself in a situation that coul give them something that they can–because I have seen that out of nothing, they can make a–a whole case. So I don’t want to send any message to anybody that may be misinterpreted and send me back to jail.
    IC: If that works itself out some day, would you like to be able to get close to them?
    GZ: I’m open to anything.
    IC: What does George Zimmerman want to do in the future?
    GZ: Professionally?
    IC: And personally. Both.
    GZ: Professionally, I would like to continue my education and be a lawyer. Um, I’d like to, um, make sure that what happened to me, the injustice that happened to me doesn’t happen again to anyone.
    IC: You consider that you suffered an injustice?
    GZ: Absolutely. Um, and personally my goal is simply to live my life as much as I can like Christ.
    IC: Do you have a weapon today?
    GZ: With me, here?
    IC: Not right at this moment, but do you have a weapon with you at home?
    GZ: I have a weapon, yes. They returned all my weapons to me.
    IC: And are you aware that the same thing that happened that day of February of 2012 can happen again?
    GZ: And I think it’s more of a possibility given the threats that have been made against me. I don’t think that, um, they’re going to attack me with fists or concrete. They know I have a weapon and they’re very vocal in saying that they are going to shoot me in the head the minute they see me. Um, so to answer you, yes, I believe that it’s more possible–today than before.
    IC: The incident that we spoke about before when you helped some people who ha had a car accident. Why did you decide to get out of the car and help those people?
    GZ: Um, first of all, you reported the accident and–What I did, Fox News reported The others, I don’t know if they reported it, and if they reported it, sometime they made it sound like my lawyers and I made a lot of noise. Um, so in you defense, yes, you reported it and, um, l appreciate it. You reported it factually Um, the decision was a decision I made in an instant. Um, I saw the car, um, that had–that was on its side. It wasn’t upside down. And I thought that it was an accident that had taken place the previous day because there was nobody there. Um, and thanks for asking because that’s a good example when you asked me if people of different races or the Amer–African-American race, what they think of me. Um, there was a man who was African-American, and all of this that I’m telling you know, of course, happened in a matter of seconds because he was driving–speeding, I’m sure. And, um, the Seminole County Sheriff had told me several times, “When this is over, disappear. Don’t be in public. Don’t stop for directions, gas, anything. Keep going. Go where you want to go.” And I saw this African-American man trying to open the door of this car, using tremendous strength, and that’s when I realized that someone was trapped in the car. Um, it wasn’t that I made the decision to stop. It’s that I just couldn’t keep driving, um, and thank God, everything turned out alright. Um, the African-American man who was there was the first one to get there. He kept the car door open while I tried to get the family out, and the man was next to me all the time, and that happened in Sanford. And at the end, eh, when–the police arrived and the, um, firemen, paramedics, I was walking to my car and the man tried to get my attention, and for a second I said, “Just keep going. The police are here.” And the man told me, “Hey, George,” and I looked at him and–see, yes, thanks, sir. An he told me, “I know who you are, and I want to say to you God bless you, an leave before others recognize you.” The African-American man, I know–I think that that man perhaps had an opinion about who I was, but when he saw me work, he–next to me, arm to arm–
    IC: You thought that he was of the opinion that you were racist?
    GZ: Whatever his opinion was, and I know that he changed his mind because he said to me, “I know who you are. God bless you.” And that was after–that was half an hour after initial incident–because the man, at first the man who was trapped in his car said he couldn’t get his seatbelt off. And–and I asked the African- American man if he could–if he had a knife, and he told me, “No.” And he looked at my face and recognized me. So because of his reaction, I know that he recognized me and was in a bit of a shock. But what matters at the end is what he said, “God bless you,” and that he was concerned for me and told me, “Leave before others recognize you” and–
    IC: What happened with these people? Did the two people who were in the car recognize you?
    GZ: There were four. There were–
    IC: Four people.
    GZ: –mother, father, daughter and son, and yes, the father recognized me. Um, the others, uh–
    IC: What did the man tell you?
    GZ: I’d imagine–I never been–I’ve never been in an accident like that. I don’t have children so I don’t know what kind of shock or trauma the man had, but when I finally helped him start to get the children out, he told me, “You’re him. You’re George Zimmerman.” And everything that was going through my head, my mind, was that the car is–is going to fall. it was raining and I wanted to get the kids out. The children were screaming, “Help, help. Get me out, get me out.” I told the man, “Sir, that doesn’t matter. Just pass the kids over to me.” And unfortunately they, the family, wanted, um, and if I can send a message to those who are watching that interview, the four of them were wearing their seat–seatbelt. And, um, the little girl was nine years old, I think, and she was crying, crying because, well, all–all the trauma, and I told her, “You know what? The only thing that matters is that all four of you are alive because he had your seatbelt on.” That is something I’d like to see more, that people take that as a priority, um, and she hugged me and thanked me, and I said, “You don’t have to thank me, but promise me–” Because her brother was younger, I said to her, “Promise me that you’re always going to wear your seatbelt and are always going to make sure that your little brother also does.” And the mother told me, “Lucky, huh? Lucky that we were all wearing our seatbelt and survived.” And I answered her simply, “It’s not luck, ma’am. It’s God. And the lady started to cry and hugged me, and I think that the husband had told her who I was and had already realized it at that time. They went public, they wanted to say what had happened and thank me. But unfortunately, they received a lot of threats and decided at the last minute not to grant an interview, not to show their faces in public. And, um, I, um, I thank the for doing what is in the best interest of the family because I have seen first of all how threats and all that affect you. And I don’t blame them for not wanting to go public and, and saying what happened and how they really survived because the truck was on fire and, um, and I know what happened. They know what happened. The African-American man who was there also knows what happened and the Lord knows, and I’m happy with that. Always, no matter if they come out and say, “You know what? George turned the car over and got us out,” and there will always be that per–percentage of people who say, like you said before, that will have their opinion and will try to falsely accuse me of things. And with them going public to defend me or expl–explain what happened that won’t change that percentage of people who already have their mind made up.
    IC: Do you believe that someday you will be able to have a normal life or do you believe that this ghost will chase you your whole life?
    GZ: I believe that they will chase me my whole life, but I have faith that human beings are, um, want to give the benefit of the doubt like I do, and want to forgive, wan to go on with their own lives. And I think that it will decrease but, um, that is what I want, but I have–of course, I know–I’m prepared for the worst, and the worst part is that this could go on for my whole life. But I’m hopeful that it will
    start to decrease.
    IC: Well, George, thank you very much.
    GZ: Thank you.
    IC: Thank you very much, George.

  5. 2dogsonly
    February 23, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Word salad, thanks for posting! This is by far the most convoluted interview tubs has made! I think he’s off his ADD meds as it’s just bounces from one topic to another.
    No logical train of thought at all.

  6. 2dogsonly
    April 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Whonze, can I post your transcription of tub’s interview on xena black butterfly blog?
    Or could you?

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