Public information restricted in case of slain teen

SANFORD, Florida Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:28am EDT

1 of 7. George Zimmerman's head is inspected by an officer inside a police station in Sanford, Florida, in this frame grab taken from police video dated February 26, 2012. The neighborhood watch volunteer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Florida appeared uninjured when he was brought into the police station on the night of the shooting, according to a video released by the Sanford police department. Zimmerman told police he shot Trayvon Martin inside a gated community on Feb. 26 in self-defense after Martin attacked him and repeatedly bashed his head into a concrete walkway.

Credit: Reuters/Sanford Police Department/Handout

Related Topics

Photo

Air strikes in Gaza

Our latest photos from the scene.   Slideshow 

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) - A special prosecutor investigating the death of an unarmed black teenager in Florida invoked an exemption on Thursday that allows authorities to deny the release of otherwise public information to the media.

The national media has converged on this Orlando suburb to cover a story that has gripped the country and renewed a discussion about race relations in America. Despite this, public officials have told reporters not to bother asking questions.

"At this time, we are asserting an active criminal investigative information records exemption for any documents, videos, or factual information regarding the case," special prosecutor Angela Corey's office said in a statement.

The clampdown coincides with intense public interest in the February 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17, by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, 28, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic.

Zimmerman says he fired in self-defense and police have not arrested him, citing the state's "stand your ground" law that allows people to use deadly force when they perceive danger in any public place.

The case has generated demonstrations across the country from people who want Zimmerman arrested.

Corey was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to take over the case after public confidence in the previous investigation faltered.

Her order would restrict video such as the surveillance camera images released by the city on Wednesday that showed Zimmerman arriving at the police station in handcuffs the night of the shooting.

The video showed no apparent injuries, potentially undermining Zimmerman's account that Martin punched him in the nose and repeatedly slammed the back of his head against the sidewalk.

The special prosecutor's announcement came two days after the city of Sanford stopped holding daily press conferences and said the city and the Sanford Police Department would refer all media questions to Corey's office.

On Wednesday the city went so far as to threaten to arrest reporters for stalking if they approached city employees seeking information in the case, only to rescind that threat on Thursday.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (10)
Yakshaya wrote:
there was another florida woman , i forgot the name paved way to bush
“election”

Mar 29, 2012 10:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
VanzKantDanz wrote:
Frigging media just cannot let go of the meme that Zim is white. The man is hispanic. He’s hispanic. Zim is hispanic. The shooter was hispanic. The neighborhood watch guy was hispanic.

Hispanic kills black guy just isn’t sexy. White guy kills black guy has a lotta juice to it. They’ll be calling him white ’til this story fades away.

Mar 29, 2012 10:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
diablito23 wrote:
what about the death threat from those american jihaadist disguised as black panters, what publicity had received the black teenager “savage” after was found guilty off the murder of two british tourist?????

Mar 30, 2012 4:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.