George Zimmerman surrendered his passport to a Florida court on Friday during a bail hearing over the shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, a case that has captivated the United States and prompted civil rights demonstrations around the country

Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara, seeking to get Zimmerman released pending trial on a charge of second-degree murder, handed in the passport as a sign that Zimmerman would not flee the country should he be released.

The hearing in Seminole County Court in Sanford, Florida, continued with O'Mara putting questions to Zimmerman's wife Shellie via telephone. Zimmerman listened silently, clean-shaven and wearing a dark suit with a light shirt and silver tie.

Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed Martin, 17, in what he said was self-defence following a confrontation in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford on February 26.

Police declined to arrest Zimmerman, citing Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which allows people to use deadly force when they believe they are in danger of getting killed or suffering great bodily harm.

But a special prosecutor later assigned to the case charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder and he turned himself in on April 12 when he was booked into Seminole County Jail.

Zimmerman, the son of a white father and a Peruvian mother, had been in hiding for more than six weeks between the shooting and turning himself in.

Thousands of people had demonstrated in rallies in Sanford and around the nation to demand Zimmerman's arrest and criticize the police. Civil rights activists say racial prejudice played a role in Zimmerman's decision to view Martin with suspicion and in the police decision not to make an arrest.

Zimmerman's relatives and supporters deny he is racist and say has been unfairly vilified. They say he feared for his life during his altercation with Martin and was justified in using deadly force.

According to 911 recordings, Zimmerman called police on the night of February 26 to report what he called a real suspicious guy, then followed Martin against the advice of a police operator.

Zimmerman told police he was walking back to his truck when Martin attacked him, flooring him with one punch to the nose. Martin then repeatedly slammed Zimmerman's head against a concrete walkway, Zimmerman's brother and father have said. Zimmerman then pulled out a 9mm handgun he was licensed to carry and shot Martin once in the chest.

(Reporting by Barbara Liston and Chris Francescani; Editing by Daniel Trotta and David Brunnstrom)