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Police changed final report on shooting

Jan. 9, 2013 at 4:34 PM   |   Comments

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ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Sanford, Fla., police made a series of last-minute changes to a report to prosecutors on the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The newspaper said Wednesday it had examined the revisions to the report made on March 13 and found there were at least four versions in five hours. Only two of the changes were major, the Sentinel said, the first downgrading the suggested charge from second-degree murder to manslaughter and the second saying George Zimmerman could have simply stayed away from Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

"The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialogue in an effort to dispel each party's concern," an addition to the report said. "There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter."

Zimmerman, 29, is currently free on $1 million bail. He was charged with second-degree murder by a special prosecutor.

The two final versions of the report added a doctor's finding that Zimmerman had a broken nose and a wound on his scalp and that he had called police on 13 previous occasions to report young black men in his neighborhood.

Zimmerman, an informal Neighborhood Watch volunteer, has admitted shooting Martin but says he acted in self-defense after Martin assaulted him.

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