Zimmerman told police Trayvon jumped him, punched him in the face and slammed his head on the ground, according to information published by the Orlando Sentinel. The news account came a day after a friend of Zimmermans took to television network programs to say the watchman was the victim in the case.
That sounded like someone in dire need of help, said friend Joe Oliver, referring to cries heard on 911 tapes. That sounded like George.
Zimmermans attorney, Craig Sonner, did not return repeated requests for an interview.
Trayvons parents viewed the new reports as an orchestrated campaign to demonize their son as a junkie and thief, a routine occurrence in such cases, the Rev. Al Sharpton said at an afternoon press conference. Zimmerman, Sharpton said, had no way of knowing about Trayvons school record because he didnt interview him before he shot him.
The only thing thats relevant is what Zimmerman knew, Sharpton said. Lets not play this double standard of trying to damage who is dead and sanitize who is the cause of the death.
Trayvons mother, Sybrina Fulton, said her son never had any problems with gangs or the police. In fact, she said, when she transferred him out of Carol City High School to be closer to home, the school wanted him to stay at Carol City because they liked him and he was a good student.
They killed my son, and now they are trying to kill his reputation, Fulton said.
Another lawyer for the family said she didnt put much credence in the report about the jewelry and the screwdriver.
This is someone in a school writing a report, rumor as far as Im concerned, said attorney Natalie Jackson.
The boys checkered school record was of little importance to the thousands of people who descended on the citys civic center for a special city council meeting. Speaker after speaker blasted the investigation and demanded the police file charges in the case.
We want to reaffirm that we too are in pursuit of truth and justice, Mayor Jeff Triplett said.
Participants included bus and carloads of people from Miami, including some from Trayvons church. Wearing a T-shirt declaring I am a man, Miami Homicide Sgt. Ervens Ford was among them.
This is personal, Ford said. I have a son that age. I am getting ready to release him to the world. I have to expose him to things like this. I also have a 12-year-old. I have to be realistic about it: It very very well could have been either one of them.
Like so many black fathers in America, Ford finds himself schooling his sons on what clothes to wear, what to say to a cop. He calls it conflict resolution.
That man was following him around the way he was, placing Trayvon in fear. Had Travyon shot him and claimed Stand Your Ground, Trayvon would have been arrested, he said. Im saying this having been law enforcement for 25 years. I am saying this, and it is my conviction.
Liberty City activist Renita Holmes attended with about a dozen fellow protesters.
This case broke me, she said. If we continue to do it, it will make a difference. The way we handle this should be a precedent on how we handle every case.