ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ex-neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman called police at least six times in the months before he shot Trayvon Martin to death, reporting activity as benign as kids playing in the street to detailing the description of a suspected burglar.
Documents and recordings released yesterday point to Zimmerman's frustration with people seeming to get away with petty crimes in his gated community, though they do little to clear up what happened the night of the Feb. 26, 2011, shooting.
In August, Zimmerman called the nonemergency line of Sanford Police to report a man in the neighborhood his wife thought was responsible for an earlier burglary.
"If you'll let the officers know they typically run away quickly and I think they head to the next neighborhood over," Zimmerman said in the call.
When asked by a dispatcher, Zimmerman said the suspect was black. His wife, Shellie, is heard in the background telling Zimmerman not to go outside to follow the suspect.
In a Feb. 2 call, less than a month before the fatal shooting, Zimmerman described a suspicious man at a neighbor's house. When asked, he said the man was black, wearing a black leather jacket, black hat with ear flaps and black pajama pants.
"He keeps going to this guy's house. I know him. I know the resident. He's Caucasian," Zimmerman said. "He is going up to the house and then going along the side of it and then coming straight and then going back to it. I don't know what he's doing. I don't want to approach him, personally."
On Feb. 26, Zimmerman followed Martin despite a police dispatcher telling him, "You don't have to do that."
The calls were among close to 50 that Zimmerman made to Sanford police over eight years.
Prosecutors and Martin's family believe the teenager was racially profiled by Zimmerman, 28, who is charged with second-degree murder.