Zimmerman Complained About Sanford Police in 2011

By: Kyle Hightower, AP
By: Kyle Hightower, AP

Orlando, FL (AP) -- May 23, 2012 --

George Zimmerman accused the Sanford police department of corruption more than a year before he shot Trayvon Martin, saying at a public forum the agency covered up the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a white officer.

"I would just like to state that the law is written in black and white," Zimmerman said during a 90-second statement to city commissioners at a community forum. "It should not and cannot be enforced in the gray for those who are in the thin blue line."

The forum took place on Jan. 8, 2011, days after a video of the beating went viral on the Internet and then-Sanford Police Chief Brian Tooley was forced to retire. Tooley's department faced criticism for dragging its feet in arresting Justin Collison, the son of a police lieutenant.

"I'd like to know what action the commission is taking in order to repeal Mr. Tooley's pension," Zimmerman said to the commission. "I'm not asking you to repeal his pension; I believe he's already forfeited his pension by his illegal cover-up in corruption in what happened in his department."

Zimmerman's public comments could be important because the Martin family and supporters contend the neighborhood watch volunteer singled Martin out because he was black. Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father. His supporters have said he is not racist.

The Miami Herald first reported details from the January 2011 community forum Wednesday. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the tape from the meeting.

In the speech, Zimmerman said he witnessed "disgusting" behavior by officers when he was part of a ride-along program, though the agency said it did not know when, if ever, Zimmerman was in that program.

"The officer showed me his favorite hiding spots for taking naps. He explained to me he doesn't carry a long gun in his vehicle because in his words, `Anything that requires a long gun requires a lot of paperwork and you're gonna find me as far away from it.'"

Zimmerman also said the officer in question "took two lunch breaks and attended a going away party for one of his fellow officers."

Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett and interim police chief Richard Myers were both unavailable for comment.

Zimmerman is free on bond awaiting his second-degree murder trial for shooting Martin. Martin was walking back to a townhome he was staying at when he got into a fight with Zimmerman, who shot him in the chest at close range.

Zimmerman, who claims the Feb. 26 shooting was self-defense, was initially not arrested. But after protests around the country and an investigation by a state prosecutor, he was charged.

Tooley's successor, Bill Lee, temporarily resigned his post following a no-confidence vote by city commissioners.

Lee offered to resign permanently, but his commissioners turned down his request. He is on paid leave.

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  • by Rob on May 28, 2012 at 02:07 AM
    There's nothing wrong with wanting the police department to do a super great job, and a little bit of constructive critisizim can go a long way. Zimmerman LIKES the police. I think he recently said they were doing a lot better lately. You can tell he's all for it because he was trying to help with neighborhood watch. Don't be to critical of George Zimmerman... There's a lot of people who dislike police way more than Zimmerman, actually he likes them. What about people who get mad because you're calling the police on them, so they try to strike back. Now I think THEY are the ones who we should be talking about who don't like the police.
  • by jack on May 25, 2012 at 02:54 AM
    He wasn't drinking tea. It was watermelon drink for lean. Look it up.$13
  • by Justice for Zimmerman Location: Tally on May 24, 2012 at 07:13 PM
    Half the people in tallahassee, midway and quincy complain and ridicule the police departments. So whats the big deal? Thats excercising free speech.
  • by Jim Location: Tallahassee on May 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM
    I think Zimmerman is a good guy. Maybe a hot dog, but good, nonetheless. I think Martin was a kid who was within his rights to be where he was. Zimmerman was within his rights to confront him, irrespective of what the police dispatcher told him (one is not required to follow instructions of police or their dispatchers via the telephone, unless your action would interfere with a police investigation or other activity). The confrontation, and the subsequent fight, is what cannot be clearly discerned. There is reasonable doubt as to what happened. The above statement will be the closing argument for the defense. Verdict: not guilty.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 02:48 PM in reply to Jim
      Verdict, Guilty, but not responsible. He already admitted to firing the weapon. he did in fact shoot Martin. The question is whether the killing was justified in the eyes of the law. I believe it was justified by self defense. I don't think SYG even applies here.
    • reply
      by Rob on May 29, 2012 at 01:41 AM in reply to Jim
      It was the dispatcher's order "To keep him informed of any changes" that let Zimmerman to follow Trayvon in the 1st place. Zimmerman wanted to help the police so bad that he started following so he could tell them of any changes in regard to where Trayvon was heading... They asked Zimmerman to do that... And then when they told him he didn't need to follow, he soon followed suit & stopped following. He was really trying hard to follow exactly what they wanted.
  • by Katherine Location: Tallahassee on May 24, 2012 at 06:04 AM
    So you idiots are saying that it is okay to just follow someone down the street (legal term known as STALKING), though you do not know if they have a concealed weapon or not, then after the authorities TELL you NOT to follow/persue the "suspect" you still do?! Zimmerman would have NEVER feared for his life if he would have stayed his ragged behind in his vehicle like the 911 dispatcher ordered him to. Zimmerman was the aggressor your idiots! TM was by LEGAL definition a CHILD, he was ONLY 17. So what if he smoked weed! How many people do you know that have smoked weed & are violent NONE! Weed is a "downer" it DOES NOT cause aggression. TM had EVERY right to beat ZM down, I surely would have if someone just popped up on me in the middle of the night without identifing who they were after noticing they had been following me for a while. You all are the REAL bunch of idiots to support such a person, but every person has their opinions. Then again you all are probably the same bunch that has been supporting Casey Anthony. Zimmerman & Casey Anthony CHILD KILLERS!!
    • reply
      by NOMNOM on May 24, 2012 at 06:46 AM in reply to Katherine
      You need help. Turn off the TV and do something better with your time. What gave TM the right to beat him down? It is not against the law to follow someone who looks suspicious. Remember these images of TM as a child were not visible until after this happened.
      • reply
        by Just Sayin on May 24, 2012 at 09:23 AM in reply to NOMNOM
        I question if they checked for bruising on the young mans hands to clarify if he even touched Zimmerman before they put him in the ground. I agree with Katherine He should have stayed away from that young man after he was told to stay away. If he had of listened he wouldn't be in trouble today and 2 people would still have their child.
        • reply
          by GV on May 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM in reply to Just Sayin
          See that's the propblem.People like you refuse to hear the facts.Have you read the coroner's report?If you have then you would know the answer to that question.If not,you ought to look it up and read.Don't let cold hard facts get in the way of playing the race card.
        • reply
          by NOMNOM on May 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM in reply to Just Sayin
          Do you pay attention? Z had a bloody head. Explain that? I don't advise you to be on the internet anymore. Push the keyboard away, pack it up and send it back wherever you got it. I'm a random person that answers the internet. Listen to what I say.
        • reply
          by Rob on May 27, 2012 at 01:26 AM in reply to Just Sayin
          Why do you question that? It's in the honorable autopsy report by the elected coronor. They have regulations. Why do you say he should have stayed away when told, when that's exactly what he did?... Listen to the tapes... It PROVES it !!! Martin didn't lay dead down there where he ran, as if Zimmerman followed & caught up. Quite the contrary... He lay dead way up there where they both had run past long before. In fact, that makes it apparent or clear by evidence that after all following was suspended... That a new pursuit & confrontation was initiated... Only not by Zimmerman... By Trayvon Martin. In retrospect, look at the way his parents behave, always blaming everybody for racism... A little of that probably rubbed off on Trayvon through the years, don't you think? I think this whole trip of racism suggested by Crump, Sharpton, Velma Williams, the parents, and others... In this situation is totally reversed. Zimmerman was only interested in saving his neighborhood. He was obsessed with that. There was no other room in his mind for racism. What are they saying, everybody who isn't black is engaging them with racism? A little paranoid in today's world, don't you think? Sounds like a one-sided race war.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 07:05 AM in reply to Katherine
      There is so much fail in your comment, it is impossible to reply to each point, in less than the 1000 character limit. Therefore, I'll just say, YOU FAIL!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 07:15 AM in reply to Katherine
      It's ok to call the police on a suspicious person. He has not obligation to stay in his vehicle. He was not ordered(the dispatcher said you don't need to do that), at which time he stopped. You are an ignorant twit that doesnt know the facts. Look at youtube under "Trayvon Martin fight club". He fought all the time for "fun". Quit drinking the koolaid of the MSM and do some research. If I'm on my back getting attacked, I will shoot you in a heartbeat.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 07:42 AM in reply to Katherine
    • reply
      by Jim on May 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM in reply to Katherine
      The legal definition for stalking is a continued pattern of contact, involving actual or purported trespassing and harassment when such conduct is against the wishes of the other person. Following a suspicious person is not stalking them, Katherine. Read my above post. Zimmerman shot the kid, and no one knows all of the facts, except Zimmerman. Not guilty. Case closed.
    • reply
      by $$$$$$$$ on May 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM in reply to Katherine
      I don't know why u fuss with these idiots they don't care cause it was a black kid.But shame on them that they think every black kid a thug.They are to blind to see that Zimmerman have been involve with the law every year since 2005 so he seen like the thug to me.My son have black friends in they are respectful all the time.Lord help them please.
      • reply
        by NOMNOM on May 24, 2012 at 08:31 PM in reply to $$$$$$$$
        Um go back in the hole you crawled out of.
      • reply
        by Rob on May 27, 2012 at 01:45 AM in reply to $$$$$$$$
        $$$$$$$$$ You also think we are idiots? What do you mean we don't care that it was a black kid who died? You are not supposed to go by the color of the skin. Are you old enough to have heard of Martin Luther King? You should listen to his dream. What do you mean we think of every black kid as a thug? Maybe that's what's going on in YOUR OWN mind, not ours !!! I know a lot of good black people who are not thugs. Look at president Obama's kids. Although if he DID have a son, he would be just like Trayvon. But look at Bill Crosby. He is such an honorable person. Does he have any kids? I bet they are certainly not thugs. I'm sure they would treat people very kindly, right? Just because a kid is black, doesn't make them a thug. Now someone who has stolen jewels and beats up people & calls girls hoes & gives people the finga & spray paints school lockers, etc. now that's a thug... I don't care WHAT color they are. And if people want to defend them just because they are 17 & they are black... they are the racist not me. I believe in Martin Luther King. It's time for black to listen to the content of what he says. Don't just be like Sharpton & be for blacks no matter if they are wrong or they are right just because he likes a certain color of the skin.... That's what racist IS to begin with. You have to be able to look at it without noticing the color of the skin. See, they're doing the same thing they are trying to get people to think whites and white hispanics & asians are doing... Only They are the ones really doing it.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 02:41 PM in reply to Katherine
      Go listen to the 911 tapes.
    • reply
      by Poor katherine on May 24, 2012 at 03:09 PM in reply to Katherine
      Close your blank, your brains will fall out.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 04:14 PM in reply to Katherine
      My IQ went down 3 points just reading that.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 12:03 AM in reply to Katherine
      Trayvon was a monster. He swung at a bus driver, defaced property, had 3 suspensions from school, had jewelry that was not his own, used drugs and beat a man's head into concrete. Trayvon was seen beating up Zimmerman by eyewitnesses. Don't care how old the thug was he was violent, destructive and about to kill a 28 year old man. Now, you'd be upset if that 28 year old was your brother, uncle or another relative wouldn't you? You'd wonder why society was more concerned over the rights of a criminal who nearly killed another human being whose only recourse was to defend their life with whatever means at their disposal. Zimmerman shot Martin once not several times. Trayvon was seen to be the aggressor by eyewitnesses and he got precisely what he deserved.
  • by michael Location: georgia on May 24, 2012 at 06:04 AM
    " befor he shot Trayvon Martin to death." Realy, is this how low the media will stoop to get attention. one shot folks, maybe two, certinaly not a man standing over another man repeatidly shooting him until he died..... you the media are making shound like a cold blooded killing, if you were not a wittness there STOP embelishing the story... report the facts or does the Govt. have you in their pocket or under their control too. what has happened to our rights under the constitution.?! Realy, lets just outlaw firearms alltogather so only the crimals and suposed law enforcment will have access to firearms and us true Blue citizens can be at the mercy of them both... NOT HAPPENING....TOO MANY COMBAT VETS WHO SWORE TO PROTECT THE UNITED STATES AND ITS CITIZENS against enemys both forien and DOMESTIC.
  • by All To Common on May 24, 2012 at 05:51 AM
    Whether Travon's character was one of a thug or not, Zimmerman should be held accountable for this incident. I know some of you out there were once bullies or still are. As the other commenter stated, when in danger the fight or flight instinct kicks in. It just so happen Zimmerman brought a firearm after realizing that under pressure this young man could beat him at his own game. Already having a criminal background, and the high possibility of being looked at as a fool he shot Travon Martin. What more evidence do you need. Zimmerman sought out conflict, and got more than what he bargained for. This is a common case of bullying that went to far, resulting in the death of a young man. If he was so... concerned about the safety of his community, he would just have let the police handle it. He also could have been like other noisy neighbor(s) and just inquired with Travon upon sight, "Hey kid who are you?" Skittles, Ice Tea, cell phone, and a hoodie does not constitute shooting, and killing anyone when there's no probable cause or definitive crime. Sometimes not even then. I pray for both parties involved to find peace, and justice be served.
    • reply
      by NOMNOM on May 24, 2012 at 07:03 AM in reply to All To Common
      Next time you're at a store, tell a black guy to turn down the radio and see what kind of reaction you will get. He told me a cracker can't tell him nothing. These young kids have bad attitudes. I believe it was TM's attitude that created this. If he was just a kid, he should have listened to the adult in the first place. LACK OF RESPECT!
    • reply
      by GV on May 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM in reply to All To Common
      Wrong.All the eveidence shows that he was in the right to shoot him.There is plenty of "probable cause".Have you seen the corinor's report?Or are you doing like everybody else and just playing the race card?
    • reply
      by 62nitro on May 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM in reply to All To Common
      Just exactly how do you know that GZ didn't say,"Hey kid, who are you"? You must have been there, right? Your right about one thing though. Candy, tea, cell phone and hoodie do not constitute shooting. On the other hand, assault with intent to do great bodily harm IS a definitive crime, though.
  • by Alice on May 24, 2012 at 03:46 AM
    Isn't it funny that Zimmerman could tutor and help black people and he's still called a racist? He is not a child or a little boy. He was a dope nut and stayed in trouble at school.
  • by Al on May 24, 2012 at 03:41 AM
    @Katherine--first of all Trayvon was not a CHILD and certainly not an angel. It seems as though the facts are changing every day. Witnesses are now changing their statements because they are scared to death.
    • reply
      by Stupidity on May 24, 2012 at 06:21 AM in reply to Al
      You stupid he was child he was not 18 and he was mother child. Second of all this is how the justice system repeats itself.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 03:51 PM in reply to Stupidity
        Actually, for government purposes, anyone under age 26, is now considered a child. There is more to being a child than just how long a person has lived. I have known many people under 18, who would not be considered a child, for reasons both good and bad. (Google Dan Bullock) As to "he was mother child", do you know anyone who isn't/wasn't?
  • by Katherine Location: Tallahassee on May 23, 2012 at 08:59 PM
    It really is irrelevent IF Zimmerman is a racist or not. I understand that the black community threw out the race card (as everyone calls it), but come on! Can you REALLY blame the community for fearing in that belief? Look at ALL the history?! Anyways, that jumble is IRRELEVENT. So what Zimmerman attended & spoke at a rally concerning a black youths beating? Zimmerman still HUNTED down a CHILD (does not matter what color that child is) & provoked that child to fear for his life so human nature took over (FLIGHT OR FIGHT), & that child defended himself not knowing or considering that Zimmerman brought a gun to a fist fight. Zimmerman sought thagt child out & killed him. Point blank & period.
    • reply
      by Justice for Zimmerman on May 24, 2012 at 03:51 AM in reply to Katherine
      Child??? Get real for a change. Self defense ..plain and simple. A thug got what he deserved.
      • reply
        by Stupidity on May 24, 2012 at 06:24 AM in reply to Justice for Zimmerman
        It is because he was not your child first of all is that what you say about white females on drugs who get caught up. So they deserve what they get as well for being drug addicts. This is sick the child is dead he had a choice to stay in his vehicle wait for the paid law enforcement he took matters in his own hand Justice for Trayvon it will come one way or the other...hm,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
        • reply
          by Justice for Zimmerman on May 24, 2012 at 03:15 PM in reply to Stupidity
          I'll say it again...Child??? he was an young thug and he got what was coming to him sooner than later. He was trying to kill Zimmerman. If that were my was "child" trying to kill someone..sorry to say..He reaps what he sows.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 04:04 AM in reply to Katherine
      That's one way to "spin" the story. Just not the truth.
      • reply
        by michael on May 24, 2012 at 06:12 AM in reply to
        hey anonymous... do you enjoy toating that racial gas can around poring more gas on the fire...it is people like you who keeps the world from progressing.
    • reply
      by BS on May 24, 2012 at 04:12 AM in reply to Katherine
      He must have been "hunting" him down when he got his cracked open while he was walking away............pleasssssseeeee.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 04:15 AM in reply to Katherine
      Zimmerman was doing his assigned task. Watching for suspicious activity. Martin was unknown in the community and wearing a garment that concealed identity. Martin had 4 choices,1 identify himself, 2 yell for help, 3 run away, 4 confront and fight. He chose number 4.
    • reply
      by David on May 24, 2012 at 04:36 AM in reply to Katherine
      He did NOT hunt down a black child. He defended himself from a 200 pound black thug. More people should and will do the same thing. Lock and load.
      • reply
        by michael on May 24, 2012 at 06:15 AM in reply to David
        another racial gas can toater...... :) just calling it like you have presented it...grow up and recognize the true enemy... lack of eductation.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 07:17 AM in reply to michael
          Eductation?? moron. You have no credibility.
      • reply
        by Stupidity on May 24, 2012 at 06:25 AM in reply to David
        why should he identify himself to someone he was visiting Zimmerman had a choice to allow the police to do there job. Okay he is your super hero until one of your love ones is killed over stupidity.
        • reply
          by Stupid Is on May 24, 2012 at 02:35 PM in reply to Stupidity
          Stupid is expecting the police to perform your civic duty as a citizen of the United States. By the way, according to millions and millions of years of natural law; stupid is supposed to carry severe consequences - even death. One last thing; he should have stopped and identified himself to the neighborhood watch personnel. Not only is that courteous, it is - as history has proven - SMART. Seems like there is a common theme here. Maybe had the thug not been screwed up on drugs (check the tox report) he would have been able to make better decisions. Na. All the evidence indicated he never had the parental guidance to learn the difference between "smart" and "stupid", between "criminal" and "law abiding". The thugs parts should be sued endlessly. Oh, wait. Betcha Zimmerman already though of that. He is just sitting back letting the stupid hang themselves. With just a little luck he will have the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to his support AND the money the stupid have donated to the thugs parents when this is all over. Won't that be greeeeat. :-)
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 04:59 AM in reply to Katherine
      You need your head examined. He didn't hunt down anyone. He was calling the cops on a suspicious character, got jumped, and his life was in danger. He acted in self-defense. Examine the evidence you moron.
      • reply
        by Bogus on May 24, 2012 at 05:43 AM in reply to
        The gun-toting murdering coward Zimmerman went looking for trouble and found more than he could handle. He killed a young man for fulfillment of his own twisted desires to be a wanna-be cop.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 05:12 AM in reply to Katherine
      The race card is actively propagated by the black community so yes, we can blame them for inflaming the situation.
    • reply
      by NOMNOM on May 24, 2012 at 05:29 AM in reply to Katherine
      No Katherine, your comment is irrelevant and you're an idiot.
    • reply
      by Oh really on May 24, 2012 at 05:33 AM in reply to Katherine
      Oh really? What planet did that happen on? It most certainly was not this one. . . . . Point blank & period.
    • reply
      by SnapDragon on May 24, 2012 at 06:25 AM in reply to Katherine
      Guess you'll think twice before posting another message as idiotic as this one.... you got slammed.
      • reply
        by Katherine on May 24, 2012 at 07:18 AM in reply to SnapDragon
        Yes. I am a moron.
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