August 1, 2013 in Nation/World

Texas police pull Zimmerman over

Officer mentioned a firearm on video
Nomaan Merchant Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

In this image taken from dashcam video, a police officer speaks with George Zimmerman, after he was pulled over for speeding along U.S. 80 about 20 miles east of Dallas on Sunday, July 28.
(Full-size photo)

FORNEY, Texas – George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who was cleared of all charges in the Florida shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, was stopped for speeding on a highway near Dallas, officials said Wednesday.

Forney police stopped Zimmerman on Sunday as he drove west on U.S. 80, about 20 miles east of Dallas. A police dashcam video released Wednesday shows an officer interacting with Zimmerman and letting him go with a warning.

The officer asks Zimmerman, “Where you headed this weekend?”

After an unintelligible response, the officer asks, “Nowhere in particular? Why you say that?”

“You didn’t see my name?” Zimmerman replies.

“Nuh-uh,” the officer says.

“What a coincidence!” the officer adds. “Are you clear of warrants and stuff?”

“Absolutely sir,” Zimmerman says.

Zimmerman then says something else unintelligible and the officer responds, “Calm down man, you’re good.”

The officer then tells him, “I’m going to go back (to check his license), and why don’t you slow down a little bit for me. We’ll let you off with a warning.”

After an unintelligible response from Zimmerman, the officer says, “Just take it easy. Go ahead and shut your glove compartment. Don’t play with your firearm.”

Although the officer’s comments indicated Zimmerman had a gun, a weapon can’t be seen and it’s not clear that he had one. However, Zimmerman had a concealed weapons permit in Florida that would be also recognized under Texas law. The gun used in Martin’s shooting remains in the custody of the federal government, which is looking into a possible civil rights case.

After returning Zimmerman’s driver’s license, the officer says, “All right, sir. Slow down.” He wishes Zimmerman a safe trip.

The speed limit on that stretch of road is 60 mph, but police records do not show how fast Zimmerman was driving, City Manager Brian Brooks said. Police handled Zimmerman as they would have any other motorist in a comparable situation and gave him no special treatment, Brooks said.

The city manager declined to identify the officer involved in the traffic stop.

“He obviously didn’t expect to pull over George Zimmerman. I don’t think he wants the notoriety,” Brooks said.

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