The Washington Post

More answers in the killing of Trayvon Martin

In trying to make sense of what happened the night George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, I’ve asked questions and more questions about what happened. Some questions were answered when Trayvon’s parents visited The Post in March. But today’s New York Times story on the shoddy police work in Sanford the night of Feb. 26 provided answers.

Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, told us that he tried calling his son’s cell phone several times. And I wondered whether the police tried to contact Trayvon’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who was talking to him during the initial moments of the confrontation with Zimmerman and who tried several times to call him back. The Times gives an explanation.

One involved the investigators’ inability to get the password for Mr. Martin’s cellphone from his family, who apparently did not know it.... A law enforcement official said that the phone had died not long after the police retrieved it, and that it took days for the authorities to get a charger and an expert to try to get into the device. If the police had been able to get access to it, they could have interviewed Mr. Martin’s friend about what he had told her in those final moments of his life and what else she had heard. The police eventually subpoenaed Mr. Martin’s cellphone records, but did not receive them in a timely fashion.

Another question was whether any photographs were taken of Zimmerman’s injuries.

The police took only one photo at the scene of any of Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries — a full-face picture of him that showed a bloodied nose — before paramedics tended to him. It was shot on a department cellphone camera and was not downloaded for a few days....

And what about Zimmerman’s clothing? Were they taken into custody?

His clothes were taken into evidence after his wife came to the station with a new set.

As was mentioned in the previous post, after bringing his fresh clothing, Zimmerman’s wife moved her husband’s car from the crime scene.

And I asked if there were any signs of a struggle on Trayvon. Scratches, bruises? A leak of Trayvon’s autopsy on Tuesday revealed broken skin on his knuckles.

There are still so many unanswered questions. But if this were one of those giant puzzles of a forest, we’re getting a better view of some of the leaves in the corners.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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