ORLANDO, Fla. — A year before he shot Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman criticized Sanford, Fla., police as lazy, saying at a public forum that he saw “disgusting” behavior by officers on ride-alongs.
He also contended the department covered up the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a white officer.
“I would just like to state that the law is written in black and white,” Zimmerman said during a 90-second statement to city commissioners at a community forum. “It should not and cannot be enforced in the gray for those that are in the thin blue line.”
The forum took place on Jan. 8, 2011, days after a video of the beating went viral on the Internet and then-Sanford Police Chief Brian Tooley was forced to retire. Tooley’s department faced criticism for dragging its feet in arresting Justin Collison, the son of a police lieutenant, in the beating.
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