A new report released yesterday by prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin murder case shows that the lead investigator, Christopher Serino (pictured, on right), felt that George Zimmerman had at least two opportunities to defuse the encounter with Martin so that it wouldn’t turn violent.
The report is significant because it casts more doubt on Zimmerman’s claim that he had to shoot the unarmed Martin in order to save his own life.
“Investigative findings show that (Zimmerman) had at least two opportunities to speak with (Martin) in order to defuse the circumstances surrounding their encounter,” Serino wrote in the report. “On at least two occasions (Zimmerman) failed to identify himself as a concerned resident or a neighborhood watch volunteer.”
The detective also said in the report that Zimmerman’s actions “are inconsistent with those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject.”
Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, not wanting to try his case in the media, said it will be up to a judge and jury to decide how important Serino’s report is, but Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump was clear on its meaning.
“The lead detective made the determination at least on two different occasions Zimmerman had opportunity to defuse the situation. When he got out the car, he could have at least said, ‘I’m a neighborhood watch volunteer’ to defuse the situation and it’s likely Trayvon Martin would be living today,” Crump said.
In a related matter,the Sanford Police Department announced that the same Serino had “voluntarily” asked to be demoted from a detective to a patrol officer, but the department tried to make the claim that the move, requested by Serino for unknown reasons, was not a demotion. But Crump wasn’t buying it.
“The lead detective today got demoted and that’s one of those things we have to question. He told what he thought was the truth,” Crump said.