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.
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.”
The FBI got involved after the Department of Justice launched a civil-rights investigation into Trayvon’s shooting.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology from Al Sharpton.
The article also describes some new evidence supporting Zimmerman’s story.