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Zimmerman: The Police Were Inexcusably Incompetent for Failing to Ask Zimmerman to Voluntarily Provide a Blood Sample

Cross Posted from Frederick Leatherman Law Blog

George Zimmerman with an American Flag superimposed over his face.

George Zimmerman (Image: Donkey Hotey / Flickr)

Many of you have commented that Zimmerman sounded like he was high during his non-emergency call to SPD prior to the shooting. Many of you also have commented as Rachael did just approximately 30 minutes ago:

“Everyone I have played that call for, and I mean people who do not follow this case, have said that he sounded impaired, even though all I did was play the call without saying anything. They all spotted it. Now it may well be that due to everything that happened, by the time the police got there, he did not seem impaired to them (adrenaline rush?), I will still never forgive them for not having tested him. Yeah, I know, he wasn’t charged so I guess they couldn’t but still.”

Yes, they probably did not have probable cause to get a search warrant to seize blood, but that did not prevent them from asking him to voluntarily provide a blood sample. They could have asked him for a blood sample and, as cooperative as he was attempting to portray himself, I have little doubt that he would have agreed to provide it.

For example, they asked him to voluntarily provide a DNA sample collected with a buccal swab scraped along the inside of his cheek and he readily agreed to it.

This is yet another example of inexcusable police incompetence.

Serino was in charge of the investigation and he, therefore, must bear the responsibility for this failure, even though he remained at the crime scene and ordered Doris Singleton to interview Zimmerman.

She was only a phone call away.

Alternatively, an officer at the scene could have asked for and obtained consent and then transported him to the hospital for the blood draw.

Therefore, to claim they did not have the authority to take the sample is misleading and dishonest.

Worse, it is yet more evidence — in addition to “correcting” witnesses that Zimmerman was the person screaming for help rather than Martin — to support a belief that a decision had been made not to charge Zimmerman with a crime before an investigation had been conducted.

* * * *

Must give credit to Dave for beating me to the punch:

“It’s been pointed out before that the cops couldn’t test him wiithout either a search warrant or Zimmerman’s permission, but it wouldn’t have cost them anything to ask for his consent. He sure wasn’t shy about talking after being Mirandized.”

Dave the student snatched the pea from the palm of my hand.

Good work, son!

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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.