March 22nd, 2012
02:56 PM ET

Did Trayvon Martin's shooter use a racial slur?

(CNN) - As outrage over the killing of a Florida teenager continues to spread online, social media and news outlets are debating whether the shooter uttered a racial epithet in one of his 911 calls. And if so, what he might have said.

Zimmerman, whom authorities described as white and family members say is Hispanic, said he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense, according to police. Martin, who was black, was walking to his father’s fiancee’s house in Sanford, Florida, after a trip to a convenience store and was not armed.

Many people at CNN have listened repeatedly to the call but have been unable to reach any consensus on what was said. An audio engineer enhanced the sound on the 911 call but said it was difficult to improve the quality or to replicate the background noise. CNN continues to analyze the tape and consult outside experts.

In the video above, listen to a nonenhanced recording of relevant audio of Zimmerman’s call at 1:48, after he says, "He's running."

Read the full post on CNN's This Just In blog

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Fact checker

    Just for the record, you can be latino and white, just as you can be black and latino. If you look to latin countries in south america you'll see that there is a lot of racial disparity throughout the countries, in addition to economic disparity. The effects of slavery are seen all over the northern and southern hemispheres. In europe, there are various ethnicities that are at odds with each other, such as the french and basque, serbians and croatians, Hungarian and the Roma. There is no place on earth, nor any ethnicity that has a monopoly on bigotry. It is an unfortunate part of society and has existed for many centuries; since the time of cavemen, really. Inter-minority bigotry does exist, as well as bigotry against one's own ethnicity. Sad but true.

    March 28, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Debbie

    There was no plausible reason for the self-appointed Neighborhood WATCH Captain to be in possession of a 9mm handgun. If that is the norm, wouldn't it be termed Neighborhood SHOOT Program?

    March 25, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Donna

    I initially thought he hadn't said it, but now that they have played it over and over again it is very clear to me that he did. WOW, he did leap into the hate crime territory now. This tragedy just keeps getting worse.

    March 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mona

    I am confused is Mr. Zimmerman white or is he of Latin descent, or is he adapted by a white family? If Mr. Zimmerman is Latin then he has disgraced the Latin community.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NamDebra

    And before someone responds that I am racist I would like to make it clear that I am a person of color, and I let my actions and accomplishments define who I am as a person, NOT my race/color of my skin! This constant calling of attention to someone's race when something good/bad happens/is accomplished is one of the ways racism is actually promoted! Who cares what race the new ceo of Mc Donalds is?!? Who cares if ppl chose to adopt outside their own racial profile? Its due to their accomplishments/decisions that they arrive to these ends. It has NOTHING to do with their race/color/ethnicity or whatever you want to call it. CNN please quit promoting the continuation of so much attention being drawn towards someones' race, and concentrate more on the facts/accomplishments involved!

    March 23, 2012 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      So sad to see such poor comments regarding a life lost due to being Black! The President is required to speak on the behalf of all people. It is no accident that Blacks make up 12% of the population but Black Males are imprisoned more than any other race in this country. It is no accident that most schools have a 20-40% graduation rate for Black males, it is no mistake that HIV infection rates of Blacks here in America mirror that of 3rd world countries, it is no mistake that regardless of the wealth this country has gained from 400 years of unpaid labor from enslaved Africans that Blacks do not own even 1% of this country's wealth. Check out the Schott Report or books like The new Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. There is a war going on....it is simply to exterminate Black Men. No one should ever be killed for the way they look or dress.....

      March 25, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • NamDebra

        Sad to see 'poor' comments? Pls...lol.. Did I ever once write that this young man deserved to die because of his race or what he wore? I also wrote that this young mans death is a tragedy and that the perp needs to be held accountable for what he has done! I do think its laughable though, that even though persons of minority state that we want to be treated the same as everyone else, we are almost always the first who want to draw so much attention to ourselves and our race the moment either something good/bad takes place or is accomplished! Kind of a double standard isn't it?

        March 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NamDebra

    Sooooo freaking tired of the race card being played! Yes this young mans death is a tragedy. Yes, this young mans murderer should be held accountable! Ugh, CNN! What is going on with your preoccupation with stirring the 'racial card pot', so to speak?

    March 23, 2012 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |

    Who cares if it used racial slurs! If it did, BIG DEAL!

    March 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |