Zimmerman family states they are not racist
George Zimmerman awaiting trial for second-degree murder
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Robert Zimmerman, whose brother, George, is awaiting trial on a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of African American teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, told a Southland television station today that his family is not racist.
“I’m trying to re-introduce our family in the right light,” Zimmerman said in an interview on Fox 11.
George Zimmerman, 28, is free on bail and awaiting trial in the Feb. 26 shooting death. He has acknowledged shooting Martin but maintains he acted in self defense.
Robert Zimmerman began by reading a statement:
“I must begin by stating that the only persons qualified or authorized to speak on matters regarding the legal proceedings involving my brother, George Zimmerman, are his attorneys,” Zimmerman said. “They are the only ones who will speak on his behalf. My words are based on my recollection and are my attempt to illustrate the original sentiments of my parents, my sister and myself at the time of the incident. ...”
Zimmerman said his family was not able to directly contact Martin’s family privately after the shooting.
“If there had been an opportunity immediately following Trayvon’s passing for his family to hear from the members of the Zimmerman family they had not yet heard from, we would have expressed our condolences on the loss of their son and brother,” he said.
“The truth is that we would never take comfort in the knowledge that any human being has passed away, no matter what the circumstances surrounding their death may be.”
Zimmerman was asked if he was embarking on a PR campaign.
“I’m trying to re-introduce our family in the right light,” he answered. “I think for a long time we didn’t have any control of how we were being portrayed as a family and (our) whole family has paid a price for that.”
Zimmerman said his brother had been wrongly portrayed in news reports as a racist a vigilante, and that his race was wrongly reported as “White”—not Hispanic.
“George was a college student; George was a mentor to children; George was a homeless advocate,” Zimmerman said. “He was anything but a ‘neighborhood watch captain’—certainly not ‘self-appointed’—but that sells more newspapers, and it sounds better on the air, and that’s why the media referred to him (that way) from the beginning: to keep the story running.”
The parents of Trayvon Martin have settled a wrongful death claim against the homeowners association of the Florida neighborhood where the teenager was fatally shot, the Orlando Sentinel reported Friday.
The report of the settlement comes more than 13 months after neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot Martin in Zimmerman’s neighborhood in Sanford, Florida.
The state’s chief witness in the Trayvon Martin murder case lied under oath, prosecutors say.
The young woman who says she was on the phone with Martin when he encountered George Zimmerman lied about her whereabouts at another time, the prosecution told a judge Tuesday.
The woman, whose name has not been released, had told prosecutors that she was in the hospital on the day of Martin’s funeral. The defense then sought her medical records.
ORLANDO, Fla.—"Murderer," one e-mail's subject line said.
"Please shoot yourself, you racist piece of sh-t," read the body of another e-mail. "You killed an unarmed teen that you stalked."
And several dictated the same, succinct line: "Hope you die in prison."
These venom-drenched words are just a smattering of at least 400 e-mails and letters, all sent to George Zimmerman over the past 10 months.
Feb. 26 will mark one year since then-17-year-old Travyon Martin was gunned down by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator in a gated community of Sanford, Fla.
Martin was visiting family in the area and was walking back from the store when, despite requests by local police not to do so, Zimmerman began following Martin because he appeared “suspicious.”
The two ended up in a physical confrontation, and the unarmed Martin was shot in the chest and killed.
Trayvon Martin is no longer only a person. He is now a movement.
And a recent gathering at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ’s north campus sanctuary in Martin’s name was not just a rally. It was a national call to action.