Police in Florida have finally released a surveillance video taken the night of Trayvon Martin's death that shows George Zimmerman arriving at the police station, seemingly unharmed. In the video, which is silent, Zimmerman is shown arriving at the Sanford police station where he is taken from a cruiser with his hands handcuffed behind his back. In another shot he seen being led to an interrogation room. A police report of the incident says that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head after having been slammed to the ground and beaten by Martin, and his lawyer has claimed that Zimmerman's nose was broken during the altercation. However, in the video there are no visible signs of wounds or blood. (Update: The Daily Caller has a different take, pointing out what could be a wound on the back of his head.)
Here's the excerpt, first aired by ABCNews:
To be fair, the video is taken from surveillance cameras, which are not known for the stellar image quality. (It doesn't help that ABC News plastered their logo over Zimmerman's head for most of the shot.) Also, Zimmerman was treated at the scene and released, so it's possible that any blood or wounds would have been cleaned up before police took him in. (One of the officers appears to check the back of Martin's head in the video.) So while there are no bandages or other signs of injury that are visible in the video, it is hardly conclusive proof that he wan't injured.
However, after reports earlier this week that suggested a violent confrontation, with Martin slamming Zimmerman's head repeatedly into a sidewalk, the video doesn't appear to show someone who was continually "pummeled" by an attacker just hours before.
What the video does offer is yet another opportunity for both sides to ramp up this ongoing trial in the court of public opinion. As more and more evidence continues to leak out of the Sanford Police Department and defenders and detractors of both Zimmerman and Martin try to dig up more details of the two men's back stories, it's clear that this case is going to continue to be fought in public, instead of a court of law. Yesterday's Zimmerman's father came forward claiming that Martin threatened to kill his son before attacking him, in the latest example of people not directly involved in the case trying to sway opinion to their side, much as Martin's parents have done for their son. Each accusation is met with counter-accusations, all meant to discredit one side of the debate in support of the other.
Unfortunately, much of what is being discussed on a now daily basis — Martin's troubles at school, Zimmerman's past arrests, the threats and bounties, all those "biased" Facebook photos and mug shots — has little if anything to do with what happened on the street that night. But until there are actual charges filed and the case ends up in front of a judge, this back and forth trial in the media is the only trial we're going to get.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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