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Duly Noted

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012, 12:05 pm

Security Footage Casts Doubt on Zimmerman’s Self-Defense Claim

By Lindsay Beyerstein

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video platform video management video solutions ABC News has obtained

ABC News released exclusive video footage of George Zimmerman being led into the Sanford police station shortly after he shot Trayvon Martin. The police report claimed that Zimmerman had facial injuries, which he said Martin had inflicted on him during a struggle. Zimmerman's lawyer claimed his client's nose was bloodied and possibly broken.

Jesse Singal writes in the Daily Beast;

In the eyes of many, the story about how Zimmerman came to shoot Florida teen Trayvon Martin had taken a sharp turn into Zimmerman-friendly territory this week. “With a single punch,” the Orlando Sentinel reported Monday, “Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told” the paper.

No injuries to Zimmerman's face or to his shaved head are visible in the 1:27 clip. The video is shot from above and offers a clear view of the front and back of Zimmerman's head. The police report claimed that Zimmerman's back was wet, as if he had been lying on the ground, but his jacket doesn't look wet in the video.

The surveillance footage raises questions about whether the police participated in a coverup.

ABC News also obtained cell phone records that appear to corroborate Martin's girlfriend's claim that Trayvon was on the phone with her when he was shot.

Bravo to ABC for doing what the press is supposed to do in a democracy: Questioning the official versions of events.

Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and In These Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Noted. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times' City Room. She also blogs at The Hillman Blog (, a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest.

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