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Sanford police chief: No arrest made in teen's shooting death

A news conference was held at on Monday in reference to the teen who was shot and killed in Sanford by a neighborhood watch leader.

George Zimmerman, 28, hasn't been arrested for shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, officials said.

Martin was visiting family in this gated Sanford townhome community. 

Zimmerman called police around sunset on February 26 to report a suspicious black man in the predominately white neighborhood.

Sanford police Chief Bill Lee said that dispatchers told Zimmerman not to confront the teenager.

However, Zimmerman did and before police arrived, the two got into an argument and then a scuffle.

Zimmerman shot the teenager in the chest, police said.

He told police the shooting was in self-defense.

Zimmerman is nearly twice the teenager's size, measuring at 5 feet 9 and weighing 250 pounds, according to police records.

During the news conference, Lee said that Zimmerman's claim of self defense has not been proven or dis-proven. He also said that after the police department's investigation is complete, they will hand it over to the State Attorney's Office.

"When someone shoots and kills someone they get arrested. Why are you passing the buck in this case and putting it on prosecutors to make a determination?" WFTV reporter Daralene Jones asked.

"Because that is the proper thing to do. By statute, if someone makes a statement of self defense, unless we have probably cause to dispute that, we can not make an arrest," replied Lee.

A crowd of angry black residents demanded answers from the police chief, after he announced they will let prosecutors decide if Zimmerman should be arrested for Martin's death.

"He didn't take the candy. He took the life and left the child," said one resident.  

Documents detailed how Zimmerman confronted a state agent who was arresting three bar employees on the UCF campus. WFTV learned that in 2005, Zimmerman was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

The report states that Zimmerman said 'I don't care who you are," and then he cursed and pushed the officer.

Zimmerman agreed to a pre-trial diversion program, which court records show required counseling.

Lee admitted on Monday that his investigators took Zimmerman's word that he had a clean record and didn’t find out about the arrest until days after the shooting.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Blue or Green? The debate between which flavor of milk at the Milk Stand in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is better continues among fans. However, there is still one question that both sides can agree on: What exactly is in it? According to WDW News Today, its a plant based, vegan friendly option, which is good for some guests who prefer something different. The blue milk is a naturally flavored dragon fruit dry blend, comprised of a variety of ingredients, including sugar, coconut oil, stabilizers and thickeners. The green milk is basically the same, except this one is Mandaring Orange Blossom, mixed in with a bunch of other natural flavors.  If you have allergies and want the full list, here it is:  Many guests have complimented the refreshing taste of the milk. Even Mark Hamill( Luke Skywalker) himself had to say that this non dairy drink tasted better than the 'gag inducing' stuff that he had while filming the movies.
  • According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Humberto is on the move as it continues to pick up wind speed and higher gusts.  The 2 pm advisory puts it about 40 miles north of the Great Abaco Island, moving at 7 miles per hour with maximum winds increased to near 50 miles per hour. It is forecast to become a hurricane by Sunday night or early Monday, but it is expected to stay well east of Florida's east coast.  Swells from Humberto are expected to continue to impact the coast from East Central Florida to South Carolina this weekend and early next week. They could cause life threatening surf conditions and rip currents at the beach. Inexperienced swimmers are advised to stay near a lifeguard at all times.
  • 2018 had its fair share of hardships for the Most Magical Place on Earth due to budget cuts, and this year, we've learned that more cutbacks are expected to roll out, starting at the Magic Kingdom. According to WDWNews Today, The Royal Majesty Makers, which feature retired knight Sir Sterling along with others will have their final performances in Fantasyland near the start of October. Right now, the calendars for their show only lasts through September. Another show scheduled to end around the same time is 'The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History' over in Liberty Square. There are also rumors that the street parade will be scaled back to just two performances a day once the cuts are in place.  Other scheduled cuts include Lightning McQueen's Pit Crew over at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy at Hollywood Studios.  Since 2018, nearly 9 different entertainment locations were affected by budget cuts, including the Talking Mickey at Town Square Theater and Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial. Only time will tell how much more will be cut for the remainder of this year.
  • The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden , the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. A statement issued in President Donald Trump's name gave no further details, such as when Hamza bin Laden was killed or how the United States had confirmed his death. Administration officials would provide no more information beyond the three-sentence statement from the White House. American officials have said there are indications that the CIA, not the U.S. military, conducted the strike. The CIA declined comment on whether the agency was involved. The White House statement said Hamza bin Laden's death 'not only deprives al-Qaida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.' It said Osama bin Laden's son 'was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups.' The U.S. officials had suspected this summer that Hamza bin Laden was dead, based on intelligence reports and the fact that he had not been heard from in some time. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Fox News Channel in a late August interview that it was 'my understanding' that Hamza bin Laden was dead. A U.S. official familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity about intelligence-gathering said bin laden was killed in the past 18 months. Confirming such a high-profile death can take a long time, said the official, who declined to say what led the U.S. to report bin Laden's death with certainty. The younger bin Laden had been viewed as an eventual heir to the leadership of al-Qaida, and the group's leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, had praised him in a 2015 video that appeared on jihadi websites, calling him a 'lion from the den of al-Qaida.' Bin Laden's death leaves Zawahiri with the challenge of finding a different successor. The U.S. government in February said it was offering $1 million for help tracking down Hamza bin Laden as part of the State Department's Rewards for Justice program. The department's notice said he was married to a daughter of Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, an al-Qaida leader and Egyptian charged for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa. They were said to have two children, Osama and Khairiah, named after his parents. He was named a 'specially designated global terrorist' in January 2017, and he had released audio and video messages calling for attacks against the U.S. and its allies. To mark one 9/11 anniversary, al-Qaida superimposed a childhood photo of him over a photo of the World Trade Center. Video released by the CIA in 2017 that was seized during the 2011 U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden showed Hamza bin Laden with a trimmed mustache but no beard at his wedding. Previous images have only shown him as a child. Hamza bin Laden is believed to have been born in 1989, the year of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, where his father became known among the mujahedeen fighters. His father returned to Saudi Arabia and later fled to Sudan after criticizing the kingdom for allowing U.S. troops to deploy in the country during the 1991 Gulf War. He later fled Sudan for Afghanistan in 1996, where he declared war against the U.S. As al-Qaida's leader, Osama bin Laden oversaw attacks that included the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen. He and others plotted and executed the 2001 attacks against the United States that led to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. U.S. Navy SEALs killed the elder bin Laden in a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. This past March, Saudi Arabia announced that it had revoked the citizenship of Hamza bin Laden. The kingdom stripped Osama bin Laden's citizenship in 1994 while he was living in exile in Sudan when Hamza bin Laden was just a child. It was unclear where Hamza bin Laden was at the time of the Saudi action. Hamza bin Laden began appearing in militant videos and recordings in 2015 as an al-Qaida spokesman. 'If you think that your sinful crime that you committed in Abbottabad has passed without punishment, then you thought wrong,' he said in his first audio recording. After the Sept. 11 attacks, a U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan sought to topple the Taliban, an ally of al-Qaida, and seize the elder bin Laden. He escaped and split from his family as he crossed into Pakistan. Hamza was 12 when he saw his father for the last time — receiving a parting gift of prayer beads. 'It was as if we pulled out our livers and left them there,' he wrote of the separation. Hamza and his mother followed other al-Qaida members into Pakistan and then Iran, where other al-Qaida leaders hid them, according to experts and analysis of documents seized after U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Iran later put the al-Qaida members on its soil into custody. During this time, Hamza married. In March 2010, Hamza and others left Iranian custody. He went to Pakistan's Waziristan province, where he asked for weapons training, according to a letter to the elder bin Laden. His mother left for Abbottabad, joining her husband in his hideout. On May 2, 2011, the Navy SEAL team raided Abbottabad, killing Osama bin Laden and his son Khalid, as well as others. Saber and other wives living in the house were imprisoned. Hamza again disappeared. In August 2015, a video emerged on jihadi websites of al-Zawahri introducing 'a lion from the den of al-Qaida' — Hamza bin Laden. Since then, Hamza had been featured in al-Qaida messages, delivering speeches on everything from the war in Syria to Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as president. But he hadn't been heard from since a message in March 2018, in which he threatened the rulers of Saudi Arabia. ___ Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Lolita C. Baldor in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Deb Riechmann in Washington contributed to this report.
  • On the same day it was upgraded to Tropical Depression Nine, the nearby Atlantic disturbance has since gained enough strength to become Tropical Storm Humberto. The National Hurricane Center made the announcement with the release of their 11p.m. advisory report, Friday the 13th. At the time of this report, Tropical Storm Humberto is located about 130 miles East-Southeast of Great Abaco Island, and about 225 miles East-Southeast from Freeport, Bahamas. Maximum sustained wind speeds are 40mph with wind gusts of 50mph, just barely surpassing the threshold for a tropical storm. It is the eighth storm to be given a name during the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Forecast cone as of 9/13/2019, courtesy of the National Hurricane Center (above) Current models show the slow-moving tropical storm making it’s way up through the Bahamas on Saturday, a brush with Florida’s East coast is still expected on Sunday. The NHC has issued two advisory points at the time of this report: 1. Humberto will likely bring tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rainfall to portions of the Northwestern Bahamas on Saturday. Significant storm surge is not expected in the Northwest Bahamas from this system. Residents there should follow any advice given by local officials. 2. Heavy rainfall and scattered flash flooding is possible this weekend in coastal sections of Eastern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The chance of heavy rainfall affecting coastal North Carolina early next week continues to diminish. Stay with us in the coming days for severe weather coverage that you can count on. While you’re here, check out our hurricane guide.

Washington Insider

  • For a third straight debate, former Vice President Joe Biden found himself under attack from fellow Democrats,  brushing aside verbal jabs in a debate hosted by ABC, as Democrats tried to temper some of their attacks, with a few publicly reminding each other that their goal in 2020 is to push President Donald Trump out of the White House. The sharpest attacks on Biden were not from Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders - though they sparred with each other in another extended discussion of health care - but instead from Julian Castro, who for a second straight debate questioned Biden's veracity on health care and immigration. 'You just said that two minutes ago,' Castro said to Biden, accusing him of flip-flopping and picking and choosing when to say he supported President Obama. 'I stand with Barack Obama all eight years,' Biden said. 'Good, bad, and indifferent.' Before the debate began, Republicans made their voice heard, renting a plane to tow a giant banner over the campus of Texas State University. Here is a look at the ten candidates in Thursday's debate: 1. Still the front runner, Joe Biden. For a third consecutive debate, former Vice President Biden faced a series of attacks from other Democrats, and probably had his strongest debate yet. Yes, he had some mini verbal stumbles, talking about a record player at one point - and working himself into some verbal cul-de-sacs - but Biden was much more on point and definitive as he questioned the cost of the Medicare For All health plan favored by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Biden finished on a very personal note, talking about the tragedy he has faced in his family life. 2. Elizabeth Warren keeps chugging along. While there was a lot of talk about Biden and Warren being on the debate stage for the first time together, there wasn't much to talk about from the debate. Yes, they sparred a bit over the details of Medicare For All, and Biden threw some weak elbows on other policy points - but for the most part, the two avoided any policy showdowns. After three debates, it's obvious that Warren is in the top tier with Biden, as she has been able to create a lot of organic support for her candidacy, with a stump speech that's well oiled, and position papers for just about everything a voter could imagine. The strategy question for coming weeks is a simple one for Warren. Does she take the fight directly to Biden on the campaign trail? Or does she stick with the issues and policy matters which have driven her approach so far. 3. Sanders tries to puncture focus on Biden-Warren. As Warren has made her move up in the polls, the Sanders camp has expressed aggravation with the press coverage, basically arguing that Sanders is being left out. he's been getting - or maybe in the mind of campaign officials, not getting - from the news media. Usually people associate complaints about the press with Republicans - but Sanders has always had a somewhat rumpled relationship with the news media. 'Bernie Sanders thinks media is unfair, so he created his own,' read one AP headline. 'Sanders team frustrated with media coverage,' was another. 'Bernie Sanders Is As Frustrated as Ever With Corporate Media,' the Nation wrote. Sanders can hold his own on any issue - but does that get him to the nomination? 4. Kamala Harris looks for lasting gains. All three debates for Democrats have both included solid moments and exchanges for Kamala Harris. After taking on Joe Biden over his past actions regarding civil rights in the first debate, and going aggressive last month, this time Harris played a softer touch, drawing laughs from the audience while reminding the other Democrats of their need to be unified against President Trump. The biggest problem for Harris has been a cycle of where she does well in a debate - and her poll numbers go up. Then over the next month, those gains fade away. She does well in the next debate, and then her poll numbers go up. And they fade away again. Yes, she's the fourth strongest candidate when you look at the polls - but her debate performances have not translated into numbers which boost her into the Biden/Sanders/Warren tier. 5. Buttigieg still in the mushy middle of the race. While his name gets talked about a lot, while he's done fine in the debates so far, the polling for Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues to show that he's not in the top tier of Democrats with Biden, Warren, Sanders - and is struggling to stay in the middle with Harris, and not drop back towards the rest of the field. But one good note is that the Indiana mayor is still raising a lot of money, allowing him to set up a decent operation in Iowa, where he is doing much better in the polls than Harris. Some candidates may encounter money problems soon - it doesn't seem like Buttigieg is in that spot. On Thursday night, Buttigieg also gave the back of the hand to Julian Castro's attacks on Biden. 'This is why presidential debates are becoming unwatchable,' Buttigieg said. 6. Amy Klobuchar tries to get her campaign out of neutral. Klobuchar is one of a group of Democrats who certainly have the credentials to be in this race, but who have not been able to make the jump to light speed. 'Houston, we have a problem,' Klobuchar said early on Thursday night in talking about the need for Democrats to unite against President Trump. Klobuchar tried her best again in this debate to focus on how she got into politics, how she's a bit more moderate than Warren and Sanders, looking for a campaign spark. Klobuchar has not blossomed in Iowa as yet,as her more moderate brand of politics isn't really what many more progressive Democratic Party activists are looking for right now. 7. Booker looks for a primary breakout. In many ways, Cory Booker is in a similar situation as that of Klobuchar. Booker is a very popular guy with Democratic audiences on the campaign trail, and he has used his debate time to both spar and press his ideas. A positive vibe just seems to ooze from the guy naturally.  But the polls continue to show Booker stuck along with so many other candidates, way down in single digits. Booker was asked one of the oddest questions in this debate - about the fact that he's a vegan. And he also weighed in on the hairstyle of the Canadian Prime Minister. A lot of voters like him, but Booker is nowhere near the top tier of candidates. 8. Beto tries for a campaign re-boot.  In his home state, there were a lot of 'Beto' signs around the debate site on Thursday, as the former Texas Congressman has been trying to inject new momentum into his campaign. Since the mass shooting in his home town of El Paso in early August, O'Rourke has put a heavy emphasis on gun control, as he staked out very clear ground on Thursday night that he would like ban - and even confiscate - military style assault weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47. 'Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,' O'Rourke said to cheers. Will gun control provide new hope for his campaign? The polls will tell us in coming weeks. 9. Castro raises eyebrows with Biden debate attacks. For a second straight debate, Julian Castro went after Joe Biden, and went after him hard, mocking Biden again for tying himself to President Obama on some issues but not on others. 'He wants to take credit for Obama's work, but not have to answer any questions,' Castro said, ripping Biden for not stopping large deportations of illegal immigrants under the Obama Administration. 'Are you forgetting what you just said two minutes ago?” Castro said to Biden at one point on Thursday night. The Castro game plan didn't go over well with some; former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said on ABC right after the debate that Castro came off as 'mean and vindictive.' 10. Andrew Yang might outlast most Democrats. Not only has Andrew Yang managed to raise enough money and get enough qualifying polls to stay in the debates, his combination of non-political and quirky positions has allowed him to get a good amount of attention - as he's doing better than about a dozen people in the 2020 race who do politics for a living. Yang doesn't mind poking fun at himself, he doesn't seem to care that Official Washington wants him to put on a tie for these debates, and doesn't worry about what people think of his plan for 'Universal Basic Income,' in which the government would give everyone $1,000 a month. I could see Yang sticking around for a while - whether or not he's really a threat to win his party's nomination. 11. All the others try to stay afloat. Let's face it, if you're one of those Democrats who failed to qualify for this debate - and if you can't qualify for the October debate - the end might be near for your campaign. Billionaire Tom Steyer has made the cut for October, and Tulsi Gabbard could as well. But the names of Williamson, Bullock, Ryan, Delaney, DeBlasio, and others are not likely to get in another big debate. And even if you are Booker, O'Rourke, Klobuchar, Yang, and Castro, it's an uphill fight to remain in the discussion for the 2020 Democratic nomination.  The Iowa Caucuses are February 3. The New Hampshire Primary is February 11. That is less than five months from now. There are lot of miles still left to travel in the Democratic race. But the clock is ticking for a lot of the candidates.