George Zimmerman sues Trayvon Martin's family for $100 million, claims murder case was a 'conspiracy' to frame him
Zimmerman was acquitted of murder but his case. The teen had been unarmed but Zimmerman had claimed that the murder had happened in self-defense. The lawsuit also names former prosecutors and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old black student Trayvon Martin has filed a lawsuit against the teen's family and attorney Ben Crump among others for $100 million, claiming to have been victimized since the incident. The 36-page lawsuit also mentions Crump's book 'Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People' saying it adds to the defamation.
Zimmerman was acquitted of murder. The teen had been unarmed but Zimmerman had claimed that the murder had happened in self-defense. The lawsuit also names former prosecutors and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It claims that his arrest and prosecution had been a conspiracy involving a fake witness, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
His attorney Larry Klayman said that Zimmerman has PTSD and struggled with finding a job. He also said that he received death threats. "It’s a shame (Trayvon Martin) died but my client was not responsible for it. He was acquitted," Klayman said taking a jab at the book, "You don’t keep beating up on the guy for fun and profit. And you don’t make your reputation on the back of my client George Zimmerman. That’s outrageous, abhorrent and disgusting." The suit accuses Trayvon's parents, prosecutors and state authorities of being in the know, and "are alleged to either have known about or should have known about the witness fraud, obstructed justice, or lied repeatedly under oath in order to cover up their knowledge of the witness fraud," a news release from Klayman said.
Crump slammed the suit and said, "This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, re-victimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions. He would have us believe that he is the innocent victim of a deep conspiracy, despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims."
Zimmerman had been on a neighborhood watch on February 26, 2012, when he shot Martin. Martin and his father were visiting his father's fiancée and her son at her townhome in Sanford, Florida on the day of the shooting. She lived in The Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community Martin had visited several times before. Zimmerman and his wife moved to the community in 2009.
Before the shooting, they had fought and he had called for help. Calling the lawsuit reckless, Crump said in the statement, "I have every confidence that this unfounded and reckless lawsuit will be revealed for what it is – another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others"
Zimmerman has had a string of arrests since being acquitted and has been charged with an aggravated assault that was later dropped as well as for throwing a bottle of wine on his girlfriend. In 2016, he also claimed he sold the gun that he had used to shoot Martin for $250,000 after holding an auction that attracted backlash. He did not, however, reveal the name of the purchaser.