The defense team of George Zimmerman, who is charged with the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, has released new documents, audio and video of statements Zimmerman made to police about the exchange with Martin during a re-enactment captured by investigators the day after the shooting.
The statements show Zimmerman trying to convince investigators that his life was in danger and that he had little choice but to shoot Martin.
Zimmerman, 28, shot Martin to death on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., and the case has become a lightning rod for activists who claim the killing was racially motivated. The case has caused a national furor centering on race and on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law that allows a person to use deadly force if he feels he is being threatened.
The material was released by Zimmerman's attorney on the website gzlegalcase.com, a website managed by the Zimmerman defense team.
Zimmerman described the exchange as Martin repeatedly slammed his head against the concrete.
"He took my head and slammed it against the concrete several times, and each time I thought my head was going to explode and I thought I was going to lose consciousness,” Zimmerman said in the video.
"I started screaming for help…he told me to shut the [expletive] up, and I was suffocating."
"I didn't want him to keep slamming my head on the concrete so I kind of shifted. But when I shifted my jacket came up . . . and it exposed my firearm. That's when he said you are going to die tonight. He took one hand off my mouth, and slid it down my chest. I took my gun aimed it at him and fired."
"I shot him, and I didn't think I hit him because he sat up and said, 'Oh you got me. You got me, you got it,'" said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman said he spotted Martin near a house he did not live in and called police.
"I just felt like something was off about him . . . and there's been a history of break-ins . . . so I said you know just better to call. I kept driving and I passed him, and he kept staring at me and staring around," Zimmerman said.
"He said, 'Yo, you got a problem?' and I turned around and said no I don't have a problem," said Zimmerman.
"I went to grab my cell phone, but I left it in a different pocket. I looked down at my pants pocket, he said, 'You got a problem now' and then he was here and he punched me in the face," said Zimmerman.
"I think I stumbled and I fell down, he pushed me down, somehow he got on top of me . . . I was trying to push him away from me. He got on top of me somewhere around here, and that's when I started screaming for help. I started screaming HELP as loud as I could. I tried to sit up. That's when he grabbed me by the head and he tried to slam my head down," Zimmerman said.
"He kept slamming and slamming, and I kept yelling HELP, HELP, HELP as loud as I could," he said.
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