SANFORD, FL (RNN) - Florida police have told a Florida newspaper that George Zimmerman says one punch from Trayvon Martin knocked him to the ground, and the teenager jumped on top of him, pounding his head into the ground.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Monday that police, who have said little to the media, told the newspaper that Zimmerman's account explains why he says he acted in self-defense.
As support emerges for the neighborhood watch captain accused of killing an unarmed Florida teenager, a CNN/ORC poll found that nearly three in four Americans believe the shooter should be arrested.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot to death by George Zimmerman, who had moments before called police to tell them that he had seen a suspicious person in his gated Sanford, FL, neighborhood.
Martin was walking through his father's fiancee's gated neighborhood Feb. 26 after visiting a convenience store when he was shot. He was unarmed.
The poll found that just over half of respondents supported Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law, which states that a person can meet force with force without first retreating if he or she believes they are under threat.
A town hall meeting in Sanford is planned for 5 p.m. ET on Monday, and will be broadcast live by CNN.com.
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. temporarily stepped down from his position last week after outrage over the lack of an arrest began to grow. City Manager Norton Bonaparte announced Monday that Capt. Darren Scott would take over Lee's duties while the department searches for an interim replacement.
Many people believe they can hear Zimmerman utter a racial slur during one of the 911 calls made by him during the incident. If it is determined that he did, federal authorities may bring hate crime charges against Zimmerman.
"These (expletive), they always get away," Zimmerman said in a call to the police from the night of Martin's murder.
The operator had advised Zimmerman not to chase Martin, however he can be heard running after the boy before other neighbors began calling emergency services, saying they heard someone yelling for help.
A gunshot can be heard in a number of the calls, seconds after another cry for help.
Zimmerman told officers he acted in self-defense. He claimed Martin attacked him while he was returning to his truck to meet with officers after he lost sight of the boy.
Investigators declined to arrest Zimmerman because they said evidence at the time matched up with the neighborhood watch captain's account.
An affidavit filed by family attorney Ben Crump alleges that Martin was talking on his cellphone to his girlfriend, who says Martin was afraid and attempting to get away from Zimmerman.
A family spokesman now says Martin had been in trouble at school. He had been suspended for having pot residue in his book bag, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
SLIDESHOW: Outrage over Trayvon Martin case Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, self-appointed captain of an unofficial neighborhood watch, while walking to his father's.More>>