After interviewing nearly three dozen people in the George Zimmerman murder case, the FBI found no evidence that racial bias was a motivating factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, records released Thursday show.
Even the lead detective in the case, Sanford Det. Chris Serino, told agents that he thought Zimmerman profiled Trayvon because of his attire and the circumstances — but not his race.
Serino saw Zimmerman as “having little hero complex, but not as a racist.”
The Duval County State Attorney released another collection of evidence in the Zimmerman murder case Thursday, including reports from FBI agents who investigated whether any racial bias was involved in Trayvon’s Feb. 26 killing.
The evidence includes bank surveillance videos from the day of the killing, crime scene photos and memos from prosecutors.
Among the documents is a note from the prosecutor who said one of the witnesses said her son, a minor, had felt pressured by investigators to say the injured man he saw was wearing a red top. The boy’s testimony had been considered key, because it backed up Zimmerman’s allegation that he — wearing red — was being pummeled.
Federal agents interviewed Zimmerman’s neighbors and co-workers, but none said Zimmerman had expressed racial animus at any time prior to the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, a black teen, in a confrontation at a Sanford housing complex. As Sanford police investigated the circumstances of Martin’s death, the FBI opened a parallel probe to determine if Martin’s civil rights had been violated.
Several co-workers said they had never seen Zimmerman display any prejudice or racial bias.
Two co-workers told agents they spoke with Zimmerman the day after the shooting, and both said they noticed injuries to Zimmerman’s nose and the back of his head. One person said Zimmerman was “absolutely devastated.”
Zimmerman told both colleagues that he followed Martin — whom Zimmerman described as a “suspicious person” — so he could tell police where the teen went, but was then “jumped” by Martin. Zimmerman told both that Martin reached for Zimmerman’s gun before Zimmerman shot Martin.
In all, the FBI interviewed 35 people about Zimmerman, from current and former co-workers to neighbors and an ex-girlfriend.
Among the revelations found in nearly 300 pages of records: