Sanford police released Zimmerman on the night of the shooting, believing they didn't have probable cause given his self-defense claim and physical evidence – including blood on nose and back of his head – that he had defended himself.
But Corey said the case “changed course” amid a public outcry over the Sanford Police Department's assertion that there would be no arrest, and as Gov. Rick Scott appointed her three weeks ago to lead the investigation.
“The Supreme Court has defined our role as not only ministers of justice, but seekers of truth, and we stay true to that mission,” said Corey, who said she had prayed with the Martin family at their first meeting three weeks ago, though she had not promised them that any charges would be filed.
Given the tension over the case in Sanford, officials in Seminole County – where the special prosecutor is based –remained on high alert ahead of Wednesday's announcement. On Monday, an empty police cruiser was riddled with bullets near where Trayvon was shot. Corey said Zimmerman was being held in an undisclosed location for his safety and the safety of others.
“I trust in the goodness of all Florida citizens to allow justice system to reach appropriately conclusion in this case,” Governor Scott said.
According to Martin's family, the arrest is the first step toward closure. They have urged police to arrest Zimmerman, alleging that the outcome would have been different had a black man shot a white man. Thousands of people have marched, many of them wearing a similar hoodie to what Trayvon was wearing the night he died. More than a million people signed a petition for police to arrest Zimmerman on the Change.org website.
“We simply wanted arrest, nothing more, nothing less, and we got it, and I say thank you, thank you Lord, thank you, Jesus,” Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said. “Secondly, I just want to speak from my heart to your heart, because a heart has no color. It's not black, it's not white, it's red. Thank you from my heart to your heart. “