Family of slain teen hears 911 calls - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Family of slain teen hears 911 calls

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The family of a black teenager fatally shot by a white neighborhood watch volunteer arrived at Sanford City Hall to listen to recordings of 911 calls police had previously refused to release.


Police agreed to release the recordings Friday afternoon. Officials will first allow the family of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to hear the recordings before making them public.   Martin's parents previously sued to have the recordings released. A hearing for the case had been scheduled for Monday.

Earlier Friday, Martin's parents called on the FBI to take over the investigation, saying they no longer trust the local police department. They accused Sanford police of botching the investigation and criticized them for not arresting 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who says he shot Martin in self-defense. Martin was not armed.

READ: Family listens to 911 calls

"It's very disturbing for the police department to ask us to have faith in them, and they turn and tell us something completely different than what actually happened. It's a shame," said Tracy Martin, the teen's father.  "I don't know what to say. I'm hurt. I feel betrayed by the Sanford Police Department, and there's no way I can instill trust in them in investigating this crime."

The teen's mother, Sybrina Fulton, also spoke. "I'm so very hurt by this whole situation. It's a nightmare, and I don't understand why this man has not been arrested, at least charged, and let a judge and jury decide if he's guilty."

Sanford Police spokesman, Sgt. David Morgenstern, says the department stands behind its investigation but welcomes another agency "to scrutinize and review" the case.

Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person. He was told to stay in his car and an officer would be there shortly. But Zimmerman exited his car, fought with Martin and eventually shot him. Martin was unarmed. Zimmerman hasn't been arrested.


Witness in teen shooting speaks out

One of the witnesses to the shooting also spoke to the media on Friday.  Mary Cutcher says she was there the night of the shooting and does not believe Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.

"We were in the kitchen. I heard the crying. It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off the crying stopped therefore it tells me it was not Zimmerman crying," she said.   "Immediately, we went out the sliding glass door and see Zimmerman over the body with his hands on the body."

Cutcher said she first thought Zimmerman was applying CPR and putting pressure on Martin's wounds. "Until later, when we realized he came off the body.  We realized the boy was face down, his face was in the grass and his body was not in an upright position.  He was shot in the chest and he was face down; therefore, he was not helping the kid."

Earlier this week, the Sanford Police Department turned the investigation over to the State Attorney's Office which, in turn, has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to review evidence in the shooting.


Congresswoman asks feds to review case

Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown has called on the Department of Justice to provide a third party opinion in the investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin and evaluate if there were any civil rights violations.

Rep. Bown, D-Jacksonville, said she met with Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. and Mayor Jeff Triplet on Friday to encourage them to release the 911 recordings.  She said she and the mayor have jointly requested an emergency meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder early next week.

"Given the history of racial tension in the Sanford community, and the obscure and somewhat contradictory facts that have surfaced thus far in this case, I believe the DOJ's involvement will give the community more confidence that justice will be served," she informed FOX 35.

She was expected to meet with members of the Martin family later in the evening.

"My thoughts and heartfelt prayers go out to the family and friends of Trayvon Martin during this extraordinarily painful time."

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