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George Zimmerman’s relationship with the Sanford Police Department predates the night that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was taken into custody after committing the murder but was released without so much as a slap on the wrist, and according to newly released video, the 28-year-old was treated like anything but a criminal.

Prior to being taken to the station in late February, Zimmerman, then an aspiring member of law enforcement, went on a ride-along with Sanford police and slammed the department for their lack of professionalism. “I would just like to state that the law is written in black and white, it cannot be enforced by those who are in the thin blue line,” the accused killer told locals in a newly released recording from last year. “What I saw was disgusting. The officer showed me his favorite hiding spots for taking naps, explained to me that he doesn’t carry a long gun in his vehicle because, in his words, ‘anything that requires a long gun requires a lot of paperwork, and you’re going to find me as far away from it.’”

Of course the irony of the situation is that after expressing his disdain towards the police force, his views likely changed once he became the recipient of the department’s corrupt practices. Police video released three-days after the shooting shows the Florida resident walking through the station without being escorted by an officer. “This video of Zimmerman just walking through the police department so casually underscores that people in that department have a familiarity with him,” Martin’s family lawyer, Benjamin Crump told the Huffington Post. “It means that he had a relationship with the Sanford police department. And it’s just unusual that all along they would say they didn’t. But he went on several ride-alongs with them and he was comfortable enough to walk unescorted through their department.”

Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mike O’Mara, has yet to respond to claims of special treatment, but the evidence may be damning to his defense. With such a large amount of information made available for public consumption, prosecutors in the second-degree murder case have requested that Judge Kenneth Lester prevent certain documents from being released in an attempt to help him receive a fair trial.

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Photo: AP