Zimmerman: Sanford Police Covered Up Beating Of Black Homeless Man By White Officer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — 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.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • http://mbcalyn.com/2012/05/30/free-wood-post-george-zimmerman-released-from-jail-after-claiming-he-had-a-headache/ Free Wood Post – George Zimmerman Released From Jail After Claiming He Had A Headache « Ye Olde Soapbox

    […] Zimmerman: Sanford Police Covered Up Beating Of Black Homeless Man By White Officer (tampa.cbslocal.com) […]

  • http://namanknowledge.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/fact-398-george-zimmerman-fought-for-civil-rights-against-a-police-cover-up-of-the-2011-beating-of-a-black-homeless-man/ Fact #398: George Zimmerman fought for civil rights against a police cover up of the 2011 beating of a black homeless man. | namanknowledge

    […] Source: http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/05/23/zimmerman-sanford-police-covered-up-beating-of-black-homeless-m… […]

  • http://www.politicalforum.com/political-opinions-beliefs/311445-george-zimmerman-fought-civil-rights-against-police-cover-up-2011-beating.html#post1062869970 George Zimmerman fought for civil rights against a police cover up of a 2011 beating

    […] http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/05/23…white-officer/ You would think this would put the accusations of racism to sleep, but facts that blatantly contradict one's position is never enough to deter someone with a rabid agenda, especially the racists who want to paint Zimmerman as a racist. Reply With Quote […]

  • http://mynameismarcy.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/late-to-the-party/ Late to the Party | My Name is Marcy

    […] think Zimmerman was wrong. A murderer? Possibly, but I’d think no. Irrelevant though, he killed someone, and used what certainly seems to be excessive force. But the […]

  • http://www.politicalforum.com/zimmerman/311848-why-there-still-no-talk-about-consequences-attacking-someone-6.html#post1062877194 Why is there still no talk about the consequences of Attacking someone - Page 6 (politics)

    […] a homeless black man…you are aware of that, right?..here's a link to one of many reports on it: http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/05/23…white-officer/ Are you also aware that GZ mentored two black children? Yeah, GZ, the shining example of a […]

  • http://www.novayo.de/politik/international/002235-die-wahren-hintergrunde-zum-zimmerman-prozess.html Die wahren Hintergründe zum Zimmerman-Prozess - NOVAYO

    […] Doch betrachten wir einmal die anderen Seiten Zimmermans, jene, die tatsächlich bewiesen sind. Zimmerman, der selbst nicht weiß, sondern zur Hälfte hispanischer Abstammung ist, war zusammen mit seiner Frau Mentor für zwei schwarze Jugendliche, deren Vater lebenslänglich im Gefängnis sitzt. Er nahm an einem Rechtswissenschaften-Kurs teil und war als Bürgerrechtler in seiner Gemeinde aktiv. In diesem Zuge setzte er sich 2011 für die Aufdeckung der Misshandlung eines schwarzen Obdachlosen durch einen wei…. […]

  • http://theabsurdityindex.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/some-thoughts-on-the-george-zimmerman-affair/ Some Thoughts on the George Zimmerman Affair | The Absurdity Index

    […] fact, a thorough and objective review of Zimmerman’s background shows clearly that he is not a racist. And to impose that label on him without knowing anything about him as a person is racist in and of […]

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