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Now fully entrenched as the top national story and lightning rod, the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has grown from an inquiry into a fuzzy moment of violence and shoddy police procedure to a case for network detectives and battle ground for cultural sparring.
The story was advanced in both directions on Wednesday. ABC News obtained and aired surveillance footage of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, arriving at the Sanford, Florida police station. He appears well built and unscathed, which the network noted contradicted the claims made by his lawyer that he was injured in a scuffle with Martin, suffering a broken nose and wounds to the back of his head.
The network also conducted an interview with Martin’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who said she was on the phone with him until moments before he was shot. She remembered Martin saying a man was continuing to follow him, and she instructed him to run; she heard someone ask Martin what he was doing there, and the last thing she heard was someone falling to the grass.
Martin’s parents, who appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, called the video “the icing on the cake,” while their lawyer alleged that the police had tried to cover up the truth of the incident.
Zimmerman’s father painted a different picture of the evening during an interview with local news affiliate Fox 35 Orlando. With his face silhouetted to protect his identity, the father said that Zimmerman reported Martin telling him “he was going to die tonight” and said that Martin broke his son’s nose.
“He went to the next street, realized where he was and was walking to his vehicle. It’s my understanding, at that point, Trayvon Martin walked up to him and asked him, ‘Do you have a [expletive] problem?'” Robert Zimmerman told the station. “George said, ‘No, I don’t have a problem,’ and started to reach for his cell phone… at that point, he (Martin) was punching him in the nose, his nose was broken and he was knocked to the concrete.”
Meanwhile, Spike Lee took to Twitter to apologize for his attempt to tweet the younger Zimmerman’s home address. He retweeted a message that contained the wrong address, instead publicizing the house number of an elderly couple in the area.
“I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address.It Was A Mistake.Please Leave The McClain’s In Peace.Justice In Court,” Lee wrote late Wednesday.
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