Friday, May 18, 2012 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Ben Jealous: "Heartbreaking" Trayvon Tapes Capture...
2012-05-18

"I Know He Was Scared": Trayvon Martin’s Girlfriend Recounts Phone Call Right Before Fatal Shooting

DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

Florida prosecutors have released a trove of documents, photographs and audio recordings revealing new details about the night George Zimmerman shot dead the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. We broadcast excerpts of the chilling recording of a prosecutor’s interview with Trayvon’s girlfriend. She and Trayvon were talking on the phone in the moments leading up to his death. "I know he was scared," the girl recounts. "I told him, 'Keep running!' ... He told me the guy was getting real close to him. And the next I hear is [Trayvon saying], 'Why are you following me for?' … I heard this man... say, 'What are you doing around here?' ... And I call Trayvon, 'Trayon, what's going on? What’s going on?’ ... Then, I am calling him and he didn’t answer...You could hear someone had bumped Trayvon...I was still screaming, I was saying, 'Trayvon! Trayvon!'...And then the next thing the phone just shut off." [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The office of Special Prosecutor Angela Corey released a trove of documents late last night revealing new details about the night George Zimmerman shot dead the teenager in Sanford, Florida. The evidence indicates a fight occurred between the two men, but police determined the deadly encounter between Zimmerman and Martin was, quote, "ultimately avoidable," if Zimmerman had, quote, "remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement," end of quote. The police also concluded, quote, "There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter."

Among the released documents was Trayvon Martin’s autopsy. It showed Martin had died from a single gunshot wound to the chest fired from intermediate range. In addition, traces of marijuana were found in his blood.

New photos and medical records show Zimmerman suffered a broken nose, bruises and cuts on the back of his head.

The new documents also show Sanford police received an anonymous tip less than two full days after the shooting, before it became widely known to the public. The caller refused to identify herself but said that Zimmerman, quote, "has racist ideologies and ... is fully capable of instigating a confrontation that could have escalated to the point of [him] having to use deadly force." The caller was never tracked down.

In a few moments, we will be joined by NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous, but first we turn to a chilling recording of the police interviewing Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend. She and Trayvon were talking on the phone in the moments leading up to his death.

POLICE OFFICER: I want to focus on that day, February 26, when you know obviously he was unfortunately killed, and I’m sorry to ask you about
this. But did you have conversations with him that day?

GIRLFRIEND: Yes.

POLICE OFFICER: At some point, did you find out that Trayvon was going to the store?

GIRLFRIEND: Around six-something.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. And did he tell you what store he was going to?

GIRLFRIEND: No.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: He just said [inaudible] store.

POLICE OFFICER: Did he say why he was going to the store?

GIRLFRIEND: Yes.

POLICE OFFICER: What did he say he was going to the store for?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah, his little brother. Some food and some drink.

POLICE OFFICER: OK, yeah, tell me what happened as he’s talking to you when he’s leaving the store on his way back home.

GIRLFRIEND: It started raining.

POLICE OFFICER: It started raining, and did he go somewhere?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah, he ran to the, um, mail thing.

POLICE OFFICER: Like, I’m sorry, what?

GIRLFRIEND: Like a mail, like a shed.

POLICE OFFICER: Like a mail—like a shed, like a mail area?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah, yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: Like a covered area, because it was raining?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: So did he tell you he was already inside, like, the gated place?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah. He ran in there.

POLICE OFFICER: OK, and what—

GIRLFRIEND: That’s when the phone hung up.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. I’m sorry.

GIRLFRIEND: The phone hung up, and I called him back again.

POLICE OFFICER: And what else did Trayvon tell you?

GIRLFRIEND: And like—

POLICE OFFICER: And I know this is difficult for you, but just take your time and tell us what you remember happened.

GIRLFRIEND: A couple minutes later, like, he come and tell me this man is watching him.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. Did he describe the man that was watching him?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah, he said white.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. Did he say whether the man was standing, sitting, or—

GIRLFRIEND: He was in a car.

POLICE OFFICER: He was in a car?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: And what did he say about the man that was watching him under the—

GIRLFRIEND: He was on the phone.

POLICE OFFICER: He was on the phone?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. And what did Trayvon say after that?

GIRLFRIEND: He was telling me that, like, this man was watching him, so he, like, started walking.

POLICE OFFICER: He, Trayvon, started walking?

GIRLFRIEND: He gonna start walking.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: And then the phone hung up, and then I called him back again. And then, I said, "What are you doing?" He said he’s walking, and he said this man is still following him, behind the car. He put his hoodie on.

POLICE OFFICER: He, Trayvon, put his hoodie on?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: 'Cause, he said, it was still a little bit dripping water, so he put his hoodie on. So I said, "What's going on?" He said this man is still watching him, like in a car. So he about to run from the back. So I told him, go to his dad’s house. Run to his dad’s house.

POLICE OFFICER: Go to what?

GIRLFRIEND: Run to his dad’s house.

POLICE OFFICER: To his dad’s house, OK.

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah. So he said he was about to run from the back. So, next thing I hear, he just run. And I can hear that the wind blowing.

POLICE OFFICER: So you could tell he was running at that time?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah, yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. Then what happened?

GIRLFRIEND: And then he said he lost him.

POLICE OFFICER: He lost what, the man?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: So was Trayvon—at that time, you could tell he was, like, out of breath, like excited?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: Like—right?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. Take your time, I know this is difficult for you.

GIRLFRIEND: So he lost him. He was breathing hard. And by the sound of his voice, his voice kind of changed.

POLICE OFFICER: Who, Trayvon’s?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. What do you mean by that? His voice changed?

GIRLFRIEND: I know he was scared.

POLICE OFFICER: I’m sorry?

GIRLFRIEND: I know he was scared.

POLICE OFFICER: How—and I know what you’re trying to tell me, but if you could describe to me how you could tell he was scared.

GIRLFRIEND: His voice was getting kind of low, a little bit low. He was running hard.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. So you could tell he was emotional, like somebody who was, like, in fear?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah. He said he lost—

POLICE OFFICER: OK. He was breathing hard? OK.

GIRLFRIEND: He said he had lost him. He was breathing hard, and—and I told him, "Keep running."

POLICE OFFICER: So Trayvon said he started walking because he thought he had lost the guy?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: I said, "Keep running."

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: He said he ain’t gonna run, 'cause he said he's right by his father’s house.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: So, and in a couple minutes, he said the man’s following him again, he’s behind him. I said, "Run! You going to run?" He said he’s not going to run. I could know he’s not going to run, because he out of breath. Then, he told me [inaudible] the guy getting close to him. I told him, "Run!" And then I told him, "Keep running!" He not going to run. And then he said—I told him, "Why are you not running?" He said, "I’m not running," because he’s tired, because I know he’s tired.

POLICE OFFICER: I’m sorry, Trayvon said he’s not running because—he’s not going to run, he said, because you could tell he was tired?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: How could you tell he was tired?

GIRLFRIEND: He was breathing hard.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. Real hard?

GIRLFRIEND: Real hard.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: And then he told me this guy was getting close. Like, he told me the guy was getting real close to him. Next thing I hear: "Why are you following me for?"

POLICE OFFICER: OK. So let me make sure I understand this. So, Trayvon tells you that the guy is getting closer to him.

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: And then you hear Trayvon saying something.

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: And what do you hear Trayvon saying?

GIRLFRIEND: "Why are you following me for?"

POLICE OFFICER: "Why are you following me for?"

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: And then what happened?

GIRLFRIEND: I heard this man, like an old man—

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: —say, "What are you doing around here?"

POLICE OFFICER: OK, so you definitely could tell another voice that was not Trayvon.

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah, yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: And you heard this other voice say what?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah. "What are you doing around here?"

POLICE OFFICER: "What are you doing around here?" OK.

GIRLFRIEND: And I called, "Trayvon, Trayon, what’s going on? What’s going on?"

POLICE OFFICER: This is you saying that?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: Then, I’m calling him. He didn’t answer.

POLICE OFFICER: No answer from Trayvon?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah. I hear something like bump. You could hear that Trayvon—somebody bumped Trayvon. I could hear the grass.

POLICE OFFICER: OK. So you could hear there was something going on.

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: Like something hitting something?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK.

GIRLFRIEND: You can hear—I can hear the grass thing.

POLICE OFFICER: Out of the—

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: I guess, out of the—

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: OK, and then what happened?

GIRLFRIEND: And then, I was still screaming, I was saying, "Trayvon! Trayvon!"

POLICE OFFICER: And there was no response?

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah, and then next thing—and next thing, the phone just shut off.

POLICE OFFICER: The phone shut off?

GIRLFRIEND: It just shut off.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the voice of Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend describing her last phone call with Trayvon, 17 years old. Moments after the call ended, he was shot dead by George Zimmerman. The young woman and Trayvon had known each other since kindergarten. That recording of her being interviewed by the police was released last night among a trove of hundreds of documents and audio recordings, and photographs, as well.

Show Full Transcript ›
‹ Hide Full Transcript

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.