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Friday, July 13, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.

In Trayvon Martin case, FBI reports no evidence Zimmerman a racist

By The Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — New records released by prosecutors in the George Zimmerman murder case show federal civil-rights investigators interviewed dozens of his friends, neighbors and co-workers, but found no one who said Zimmerman was a racist.

FBI agents interviewed an array of people involved in Zimmerman's life, including several co-workers. None said they had ever known him to show racial bias. One who saw him the day after the shooting said Zimmerman was "beat up physically and emotionally."

Agents also interviewed Chris Serino, the Sanford police department's lead investigator in the case. He told agents he believed Zimmerman had pursued Trayvon Martin "based on his attire," and not "skin color." Zimmerman, he said, has a "little hero complex" but is not a racist.

The FBI also talked to local gun-shop and gun-range managers. One said Zimmerman came in weeks after the shooting and said "his life was in danger and he needs more guns." It was unclear if Zimmerman made any purchases.

Zimmerman's ex-fiancée told the FBI that Zimmerman "often talked about wanting to be a police officer," the ex- fiancée said. She said he never displayed racial bias that she was aware of, but "had a bad temper during their relationship."

The new records show the FBI asked each person interviewed whether Zimmerman "displayed any bias, prejudice or irrational attitude against any class of citizen, religious, racial, gender or ethnic groups." They all said he hadn't.

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