Police to release 911 tapes in Trayvon Martin fatal shooting, says report

George Zimmerman (left) and Trayvon Martin
2005 mugshot (left)/ family photo
George Zimmerman (left) and Trayvon Martin
2005 mugshot, left/family photo, right

(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. - Police will release the 911 tapes in the Trayvon Martin deadly shooting after the victim's family has a chance to hear them, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Martin, 17, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader who called 911 from his sports utility vehicle, saying the teen was a suspicious person. Officials say the dispatcher told him to stay in his SUV and an officer would be there momentarily.

But Zimmerman got out. He and Martin fought, according to witnesses. At some point, Zimmerman pulled a gun and shot Martin, who died at the scene.

Zimmerman, 28, then told Sanford police he acted in self-defense. He has not been arrested or charged.

At a press conference Friday, Martin's parents accused Sanford police of botching the investigation and criticized them for not arresting Zimmerman. They say the police department hasn't arrested Zimmerman because he is white and their son was black.

"Do we really believe that if Trayvon Martin would have pulled the trigger, he would not be arrested?" said Benjamin Crump, their attorney. "This is obviously a cover-up, and we need a sweeping overhaul of the Sanford Police Department."

Sanford police Sgt. David Morgenstern said the department stands by its investigation but welcomes help from any outside agency. FBI agent David Couvertier said the agency has been in contact with Sanford police and is monitoring the case.

According to CBS affiliate WKMG, the Martin family wants the FBI take over the investigation. U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown on Friday also called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case.

On Thursday, Zimmerman's father delivered a letter to the Orlando Sentinel saying Zimmerman is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family, the statement says.

"He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever...," the letter says. "The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth."

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider