Enhanced video footage of George Zimmerman about 30 minutes after he shot Florida teenager Trayvon Martin shows little evidence of a broken nose, the president of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians said today.
But the video does show what could be an injury to the back of Zimmerman's head.
The never-before-seen evidence of an injury to Zimmerman,
in this case a gash or mark to his head, would appear to back his claim
that he was in an altercation with Martin on the night of Feb. 26 in
Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman says he shot the teen in self defense after he
Zimmerman, 28, claims Martin, 17, punched him in the nose, knocked him down and repeatedly slammed his head into the ground.
The police surveillance video, first obtained exclusively by ABC News
last month and clarified by Forensic Protection, Inc., shows Zimmerman
exiting the police cruiser with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still
cuffed. At one point, one of the officers stops to look briefly at the
back of Zimmerman's head.
There was no obvious sign of any injury to Zimmerman's head or face on the video until it was enhanced.
But Dr. Vidor Friedman, president of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians, remains unconvinced.
"If somebody had been beating his head against concrete I'd think we'd
see more obvious scrapes," Friedman said. He also said he would expect
to see bandages on Zimmerman's head.
More significantly for Friedman was the condition of Zimmerman's nose.
"All of the ridges in his nose are clearly defined. You would expect
significant swelling in the hour or two after a break. There appears to
be none. It doesn't look like his nose was broken or badly broken,"
Police Video Surveillance of George Zimmerman
The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the
back of the head and nose, and his lawyer later claimed that Zimmeran
suffered a broken nose. After receiving medical attention at the scene
of the shooting, it was decided that he was in good enough condition to
travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for
questioning. He did not check into the emergency room following the
The surveillance tape of Zimmerman, later released by the Sanford Police
Department, could be used as evidence if Zimmerman is brought up on
charges, sources tell ABC News.
Zimmerman's lawyer, Craig Sonner, has said his client felt "one of them
was going to die that night," when he pulled the trigger.
The case has gained national prominence with rallies across the country
demanding that Zimmerman be arrested and charged with murder.
Lawyers for Martin's family sent a letter to the Justice Department
today asking that the federal probe into the killing look into the fact
that Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee met with State Attorney Norm
Wolfinger on the night of shooting. Lawyer Benjamin Crump also claims
in the letter that members of Zimmerman's family were also present in
the police station that night.
The lead homicide investigator, Chris Serino, wrote in an affidavit that
he recommended manslaughter charges be brougth against Zimmerman but
was advised by the prosecutor not to file charges because there was not
enough evidence for a conviction, sources have told ABC News.
"We look forward to your thorough and comprehensive review of the
suspicious circumstances surrounding this meeting," Crump wrote.
A Justice Department spokesman said the agency will review the Martin family letter.
State prosecutors are expected to go before a Seminole County grand jury
on April 10 to determine what, if any, files should be charged.
An analysis of a 911 call done over the weekend by the Orlando Sentinel
determined that screams for help overhead on a 911 came from Martin,
although Zimmerman's family insist they recognize his voice in the
Two evidence experts consulted by the Sentinel found the voice heard in a
911 call placed by a woman in a home near where the shooting occurred
was only a 48 percent match to Zimmerman's voice. One of the experts,
Tom Owen, told the Sentinel to reach a positive match he would expect
higher than 90 percent.
"As a result of that, you can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it's not Zimmerman," Owen told the paper.
Owen,the chair emeritus at the American Board of Record Evidence, was
not able to determine if the voice was that of Martin, the Sentinel
reports, because he did not have audio of the teen's voice to compare to
the shouts for help in the 911 call.