No Sign of Scuffle on Trayvon Martin's Body, Funeral Director Says

Attorney for Zimmerman says police video too grainy to show neighborhood watch volunteer's injuries

By Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Apr 12, 2012  |  Updated 11:57 AM EDT
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Craig Sonner, the attorney for George Zimmerman, said Thursday that a Sanford Police video taken hours after the neighborhood watch volunteer shot and killed Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin may be too grainy to show the injuries he sustained at the hands of the teen. Robert Parker, the former head of the Miami-Dade Police, said the police video indicates that

Craig Sonner, the attorney for George Zimmerman, said Thursday that a Sanford Police video taken hours after the neighborhood watch volunteer shot and killed Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin may be too grainy to show the injuries he sustained at the hands of the teen. Robert Parker, the former head of the Miami-Dade Police, said the police video indicates that "there was no substantial injury that would require immediate medical attention or great concern." "I contend that if a person had their head bashed into the cement or into concrete, you are going to have a person unconcious, or some substantial injury," Parker said of Zimmerman.

Photos and Videos

Sanford Police Video Shows George Zimmerman Hours After Trayvon Martin Shooting

In a video released by Sanford Police, George Zimmerman is seen in handcuffs following the Trayvon Martin shooting.
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The Fort Lauderdale funeral director who prepared Trayvon Martin's body for his burial days after he was shot in Sanford said Thursday that he remembers seeing only one injury as he dressed him.

"I saw the evidence of the gunshot wound in the upper chest," Richard Kurtz said. "I did not see any sign like he’s been in a scuffle or fistfight.”

His comments came on the same day that the attorney for George Zimmerman said that a Sanford Police video taken hours after the neighborhood watch volunteer shot and killed Miami Gardens teenager Martin may be too grainy to show the injuries he sustained at the hands of the teen.

Attorney Craig Sonner, appearing on NBC's "Today Show" Thursday, said the video released by Sanford Police Wednesday neither refutes nor backs up Zimmerman's claims that he was left bloodied and with a broken nose after an altercation with the 17-year-old.

"It's a very grainy video, I do however, if you watch, you'll see one of the officers, as he's walking in, looking at something on the back of his head," Sonner said. "The video is very grainy, and I'm not sure that it has, as far as being able to see the injuries that were recently sustained and then later cleaned up, clearly the report shows he was cleaned up before he was taken in the squad car."

The video shows a handcuffed Zimmerman being escorted from a police cruiser and into Sanford Police headquarters just hours after the deadly encounter with Martin in a gated community on Feb. 26. He was later released.

The Miami Gardens teen was visiting with his father at his father's girlfriend's home in the gated community and had gone to buy a bag of Skittles and iced tea at a nearby convenience store and was walking back when the shooting happened.

Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman told police the shooting was self-defense, and no charges have been filed in the case.

Zimmerman had spotted the teen and called 911, telling the dispatcher he was following Martin. The dispatcher told him not to, but Martin and Zimmerman got into a confrontation. Zimmerman told police the teen approached him from behind, punched him in the face, got on top of him while he was on the ground and started bashing his head into the sidewalk.

Police said Zimmerman had a bloody nose, gash on the back of his head and grass stains on the back of his shirt. Sonner said Zimmerman's nose was broken by Martin.

The Martin family says the teen was not the aggressor.

"All the other evidence clearly contradicts everything George Zimmerman has said," Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Wednesday. "America has now listened to those 911 tapes with their ears and now they see this video tonight with their eyes and it's clear that what was in that police report was a fabrication."

When asked Thursday whether there were any photos or X-rays that could prove Zimmerman's injuries, Sonner didn't indicate if any existed.

"Even with all the evidence that's coming out, I'm not gonna litigate this case in the media," Sonner said.

Meanwhile, the city of Sanford said Wednesday that "law enforcement officials will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking" if members of the media followed city staff at their homes.

The city said there have been a few incidents where staffers were followed and approached at their homes or outside of work hours, and requested that the media "refrain from approaching, phoning or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens."

Robert Parker, the former head of the Miami-Dade Police, said the police video indicates that "there was no substantial injury that would require immediate medical attention or great concern."

"I contend that if a person had their head bashed into the cement or into concrete, you are going to have a person unconcious, or some substantial injury," Parker said of Zimmerman.

Late on Wednesday Zimmerman's father spoke out about the shooting for the first time since it happened, supporting his son's self-defense claim and saying Martin confronted the 28-year-old as he was walking back to his car.

Robert Zimmerman, in an interview with WOFL Fox 35 in Orlando, backed up his son's claim that Martin broke his nose, knocked him to the concrete and started beating him.

He said his son was suspicious because of several break-ins and thought it was strange for someone to be walking between the town homes on a rainy night.

He said that despite 911 dispatchers telling his son to stop following Martin, he kept going so he could get an address for police to check. But then Martin attacked George Zimmerman, according to his father.

"Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of 'you're gonna die now' or 'you're gonna die tonight,'" Robert Zimmerman said. "He continued to beat George, and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did."

He also said screams for help heard in 911 calls were his son, a claim refuted by Crump and the Martin family, who claim the screams were coming from the teen.

Sonner said he wasn't consulted on whether Zimmerman's father would be speaking with the media.

"I suppose he stayed quiet as long as he could and then had to tell his side of the story," Sonner said.

The shooting has led to numerous marches and protests throughout South Florida and across the country, as Martin's family and supporters demand Zimmerman's arrest.

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who has temporarily stepped down pending the investigation into the shooting, had said there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman, citing the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Martin's death. The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are also investigating the shooting.

One subplot of the Zimmerman story reached a legal resolution Thursday when a Sanford-area couple in their 70s who were forced to leave their home after Spike Lee incorrectly retweeted their address as that of George Zimmerman settled with the film director.

Elaine and David McClain have a son and stepson named William George Zimmerman, who is not related to Martin's shooter. They left their home in fear and went to stay in a hotel.

On Wednesday night Lee apologized on Twitter, and he has also called them to apologize for his retweet, said the couple's attorney, Matt Morgan. Settlement details were not disclosed.

NBC 6's Willard Shepard contributed reporting.

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