July 13, 2012
FBI Reports: Zimmerman not a racist
This information has come far too late to change the narrative of Zimmerman as a white racist who killed Trayvon Martin in cold blood. But for those who seek the truth, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the FBI released interviews conducted by their civil rights division and found no one willing to say that Zimmerman was a racist.
Federal civil-rights investigators interviewed dozens of George Zimmerman's friends, neighbors and co-workers, and no one said he was a racist, records released Thursday show.
FBI agents spread out across the state, talking to three dozen people, including gun-shop employees, Zimmerman's ex-fiancée and the Sanford police detective who led the investigation into the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old.
None said he or she had ever known him to show racial bias. A co-worker who saw him the day after the shooting said Zimmerman was "beat up physically and emotionally."
Chris Serino, the police detective who interviewed Zimmerman the night of the shooting, told agents he thought Zimmerman had pursued Trayvon "based on his attire" and not "skin color." Zimmerman, he said, has a "little hero complex" but is not a racist.
Zimmerman's account sounded "scripted" to him, Serino said. Even so, he did not have enough evidence to justify an arrest, he told an FBI agent, even though he was getting pressure from a small number of officers within the department to file charges.
A gun-shop owner said Zimmerman came in weeks after the Feb. 26 shooting and said "his life was in danger and he needs more guns."
He got at least one more: The day of his arrest April 11, FDLE agents found in his rental car a "cop killer" handgun, a Belgian-made semiautomatic pistol, capable of firing bullets at such high velocity that they can pierce body armor. He also had three magazines of ammunition.
Zimmerman's ex-fiancée, who filed a domestic-violence injunction against him in 2005, described Zimmerman as "protective and territorial" toward her and "having a bad temper," but he was no racist, she told the FBI.
He socialized and played basketball with white, black and Hispanic men and "never exhibited any biases or prejudices against anyone and did not use racial epithets of any kind," an agent quoted her as saying.
Co-workers also said they saw no signs of ethnic or racial bias. They described Zimmerman as "pleasant" and "outgoing."
This information does not establish the guilt or innocence of Zimmerman relating to the charges that have been filed against him. But eliminating racial bias as a motive is going to make the prosecutor's job that much harder.