Huffpost Black Voices

George Zimmerman Medical Report Released, Faces Possible Hate Crime Charge

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According to a medical report from George Zimmerman's family physician, the neighborhood watch volunteer was diagnosed with lacerations to the back of his head, a "closed fracture" of his nose, a pair of black eyes and a minor back injury the day after his fatal confrontation with Trayvon Martin, ABC News reports.

The three-page medical report is included in court documents that the state of Florida made public Monday, which also contained 911 calls, non-emergency calls, photos, video, medical records and a number of hardcopy documents. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the evidence also includes new video from the night of the shooting, both from the 7-Eleven store Trayvon visited before the confrontation and the clubhouse in the neighborhood where the teen was killed.

Law enforcement authorities said Zimmerman, who maintains he shot the teen in self-defense, told local police that Martin punched him in the face, climbed on top of him and slammed his head into the sidewalk. When the local police arrived at the scene, they found Zimmerman with a bloody nose, swollen lip and lacerations on the back of his head. Although paramedics gave him first aid, he said he did not need to go to the hospital and sought medical treatment the next day.

In addition to the second-degree murder charge he's facing for shooting 17-year-old Martin, Zimmerman could face federal hate crime charges, WFTV reports.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Zimmerman could serve a maximum sentence of life in prison. However, if he is found guilty of a federal hate crime charge, he could face the death penalty. Experts say that the latter will be a hard case to prove.

"What the government would have to prove is that Mr. Zimmerman acted out of hatred toward African Americans," said WFTV legal analyst, Bill Sheaffer. "That's why he came into contact with him. That's why he shot and killed him."

According to WFTV, FBI investigators are actively questioning witnesses in the neighborhood, but the bureau told ABC News that the "hammer won't be dropped" on Zimmerman anytime soon.

In April, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the teen's killing a 'tragedy' and said that the Justice Department would act decisively if it finds evidence that Martin's civil rights were violated.

Zimmerman killed an unarmed Martin on Febuary 26 in the gated community where Martin's father's girlfriend lived in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman called 911 and told a police dispatcher that Martin, who was returning from a trip to a nearby convenience store, "looked suspicious." After an altercation, Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest, subsequently telling local police that it was an act of self-defense.

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