Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

George Zimmerman Head Wound Gives Little Clarity to Trayvon Martin Case

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

George Zimmerman Head Wound Gives Little Clarity to Trayvon Martin Case

Article excerpt

A police video appears to show George Zimmerman with a head wound the night he shot Trayvon Martin. But that is not conclusive proof of Zimmerman's story, experts say.

Evidence keeps trickling in regarding the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, but so far it has left legal experts and the public with conflicting and murky details.

The latest tidbit - an enhanced image from a police video, which seems to show an injury on the head of George Zimmerman - adds another piece to a puzzle that's still unresolved.

Mr. Zimmerman is the neighborhood-watch captain who identified the 17-year-old Trayvon as suspicious-looking in a call to police, then ended up in a confrontation with the youth that concluded with Zimmerman pulling his gun and shooting Trayvon.

Trayvon's death has stirred a national outcry, with many Americans outraged at the appearance that investigators quickly adopted Zimmerman's side of the story - that he acted in self- defense after Trayvon turned on him.

The footage is a surveillance video from the Sanford, Fla., Police Department, which gives a top-down look at Zimmerman's head as he was escorted into the police headquarters. Initially, the video seemed to provide fodder for skeptics of Zimmerman's story, who argued that he seemed uninjured.

Through an enhancement process that sharpens the images, a newer version of the video shown by ABC News Monday shows discoloration on the top of Zimmerman's head, visible through his thinning and close- cropped hair. According to news accounts of the story he told police that night, Zimmerman said that Martin was on top of him and banged his head downward, before Zimmerman used his gun. But legal experts say this newest drop of evidence falls far short of being proof that Zimmerman's whole story is correct.

There are still conflicting views from Zimmerman and from others about central questions, such as who confronted whom, how the contact escalated into physical struggle, and whether the struggle was severe enough that Zimmerman would have a legitimate fear for his life. …

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