Sanford PD responds to shooting witness

Sanford PD responds to shooting witness

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The Sanford Police Department is once again defending its investigation into the shooting death of a teenager which occurred on February 26.

Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed during an altercation with a Neighborhood Watch captain. George Zimmerman told police he was acting in self defense after he said he was attacked by Martin.

On Thursday, police spokesman Sgt. Dave Morgenstern addressed criticizism that investigators are not listening to witnesses, specifically Mary Cutcher.  Cutcher said in a television report that she was ignored by officers who were first on the scene.

"There were some inconsistencies with her statement and what was aired on the news," said Sgt. Morgenstern.

Cutcher said she is furious with the police department for accusing her of lying on television. She said she told Morgenstern, "I want it retracted and a statement that's true." 

Morgenstern said no one ignored Cutcher, adding that officers contacted her on the night of the shooting, but she said she did not want to get involved.

"She was contacted several times and on March 2," he said. "She did finally come in for an interview here at the station."

Cutcher denies that, saying she was the one who had to reach out to officers. "I contacted the public relations guy for the chief and told him exact dates and times I called. Four different times for one person."

Cutcher said she is still waiting for a call back. Meanwhile, Morgenstern tells us they have her sworn testimony to police officers.

"The information or sworn statements she provided regarding the actions of Zimmerman were consistent with the information Zimmerman provided to us."

Cutcher will be holding a news conference with Martin's parents on Friday morning at the Martin family attorney's office.

Militia group wants to arrest Sanford neighborhood watch leader

A leader of a self-described black militia group says members will go to an Orlando suburb in about a week to attempt a citizen's arrest on a white neighborhood watch leader who has admitted to fatally shooting an unarmed African-American teen.

The New Black Liberation Militia's Najee Muhammad said Thursday that members will try to arrest 28-year-old George Zimmerman. Zimmerman heads a neighborhood watch group in Sanford.

Zimmerman told detectives he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense last month as the teen was walking back from a store to the house of his father's fiancé, who lived in the neighborhood.

Martin's family has criticized the police department for not arresting Zimmerman. An attorney for Martin's family says they are discouraging any vigilante action.

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