Trayvon Martin Shooting: Sanford Cops Requested Arrest Warrant - NBC 6 South Florida

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Sanford Cops Requested Arrest Warrant

Sanford Police spoke with special prosecutor night of teen's shooting



    Trayvon Martin Shooting: Sanford Cops Requested Arrest Warrant
    Handout, AP
    George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

    The Sanford Police Department requested an arrest warrant from the Seminole County State Attorney's Office in the Trayvon Martin shooting, a special prosecutor in the case said Tuesday.

    But the state attorney's office held off until the case could be further reviewed, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

    "If you go with what was reported in the press the first night, there would have been an arrest right away, but obviously something gave investigators pause," a source in the Seminole State Attorney’s office told the Herald. "We get capias warrants all the time. That doesn’t mean we file charges right away. We investigate to see if it’s appropriate. That’s the responsible thing to do."

    A capias is a warrant or order for a person's arrest.

    The State Attorney's Office confirmed to NBC 6 late Tuesday that Sanford Police spoke with the on-call prosecutor the night of the Martin shooting.

    There's no indication the prosecutor went to the scene of the shooting, but in a police report of the incident, there's an indication that Sanford Police may have felt a manslaughter charge was warranted in the case.

    On the incident report, the case was described as "homicide-negligent manslaughter-unnecessary killing to prevent an unlawful act."

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    Special Prosecutor Angela Corey told the Herald she couldn't confirm whether police recommended a manslaughter charge.

    "I don’t know about that, but as far as the process I can tell you that the police went to the state attorney with a capias request, meaning: ‘We’re through with our investigation and here it is for you.' The state attorney impaneled a grand jury, but before anything else could be done, the governor stepped in and asked us to pick it up in mid-stream," Corey said.

    Sanford Police issued a statement Tuesday, saying that it was inaccurate to say an officer at the scene of the shooting wanted an arrest based on the "Uniform Crime Code" listed  on the report.

    "All police reports from all law enforcement agencies require a 'Uniform Crime Code' to qualify an incident and for statistical purposes for tracking types of incidents," the statement said. "This code does not indicate a formal charge that will be lodged against an alleged offender. It is used for internal processing and to type cases."

    Martin, 17, was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 in Sanford.

    The Miami Gardens teen was visiting with his father at his father's girlfriend's home in a 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. His attorney, Craig Sonner, has said Zimmerman's nose was broken by Martin.

    Martin's family and their attorney have denied the claim that he was the aggressor, and say race may have played a role in the shooting.

    Sonner and friends of Zimmerman's family have supported the self-defense claim and say the 28-year-old is not a racist.

    Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, 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 appointed Corey to oversee the investigation into Martin's death, taking the Seminole County State Attorney's Office off the case.

    "The case now has a new state attorney, and they didn’t file charges the first day they got it, either," the Seminole County State Attorney's Office source told the Herald.

    Scott said Wednesday that he personally met with Martin's parents just before he announced the appointment of Corey on March 22.

    The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are also investigating the shooting.