On subsequent tapes, a neighbor can be heard telling the dispatcher he sees people “wrestling on the ground” outside and that he heard gunshots. On another, a voice can be heard screaming for help as a neighbor describes the scuffling outside to the dispatcher.
The 17-year-old from Miami was returning to his father’s fiancee’s home in Sanford, Florida, from the store, carrying an ice tea and candy, when the confrontation took place. Zimmerman told police Martin was the aggressor, and that he feared for his life before he fatally shot the teen in the chest.
So far, Sanford police have declined to arrest Zimmerman, saying witness accounts corroborate his story. But Martin’s family and a growing number of observers are demanding an arrest, saying Martin was a victim of racial profiling. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has disputed that, and earlier this week told the Miami Herald the 911 tapes would prove that race played no factor in the shooting, since when asked by the dispatcher to describe the race of the person he was following, Zimmerman said he didn’t know. In fact, the tapes show he told the dispatcher the person he was pursuing “looks black.”