This week ten years ago, George Zimmerman’s shooting and death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager, garnered national and international news.
On February 26, 2012, Zimmerman, a volunteer crime-watcher at a nearby gated neighborhood in Sanford, Florida, ran across Martin, then 17 years old, while he was walking back to his father’s house after purchasing some Skittles and an iced drink.
Martin was eventually shot dead by Zimmerman following a confrontation against the recommendation of a 911 operator as he continued to pursue Martin. He was declared not guilty and cleared of all charges in July 2013, a verdict that ignited uproar across the country and gave birth to the Black Lives Matter movement.
In February 2015, the Justice Department formally ended its investigation into the slaying of Martin because it was determined that the circumstances did not permit the prosecution of a hate crime.
In the past ten years, Zimmerman’s name has spread throughout society, and the now-38-year-old has clung to the case as a way to stay in the public eye and garner attention.
Lawsuits for Defamation
Since the Martin case, the acquitted murderer has not shied away from the legal system and has brought other high-profile defamation actions.
In 2019, Zimmerman filed a $100 million lawsuit against the Martin family, their attorney, and the authorities. He claimed in the lawsuit that he had been the victim of “malicious prosecution” and that Martin’s parents and their attorney had worked together to bring allegations against him.
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A Florida Judge Dismissed the Claim Earlier This Month.
He filed a massive $265 million lawsuit against Pete Buttigieg, the current Secretary of Transportation, and Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2020.
Despite the fact that neither of the two tweets mentioned him, Zimmerman claimed the two lawmakers independently defamed him on Twitter in tweets sent to honor Martin’s 25th birthday.
In the case, it was alleged that Warren and Buttigieg took Zimmerman’s life “for political benefit in misguided and malicious attempts to improve their status among African-American voters.”
He also made an unsuccessful attempt to sue the media. A Florida judge rejected the defamation case Zimmerman brought against NBC in 2012 in June 2014. According to Zimmerman, the narrative said that he had voluntarily informed a 911 operator that Martin was Black.
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Arrests & Conflicts
In the months after his acquittal, Zimmerman was stopped multiple times for speeding, although he only ever received a citation once, for which he was fined $265 in Lake Mary, Florida. It appears that legal issues follow Zimmerman.
He got into trouble in 2014 after getting involved in a road rage incident. After a heated argument, Zimmerman is said to have followed a car into a gas station, where he threatened to kill him with a gun as the driver was trying to contact 911. Then, two days later, he showed up at the man’s place of employment. No accusations were made.
A man who shot into Zimmerman’s truck in 2016 and just missed him received a 20-year prison term. Even though Matthew Apperson said he was acting in self-defense after George Zimmerman pointed a gun at him, he was found guilty of second-degree attempted murder.
He had numerous fights and run-ins with the law in his personal life as well.
The ex-wife of Zimmerman filed for divorce in September 2013. A few days later, she allegedly witnessed Zimmerman punching her father in the face and threatening to kill her family. At that point, she dialed 911. He was detained, but no charges were brought against him.
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He kept getting attention and even consented to take on the rapper DMX in a celebrity boxing battle in 2015. The match would not be called off.
In 2017, after learning that rapper Jay-Z would be making a documentary and feature film on Martin, he threatened to “beat” the musician and feed him “to an alligator” in another encounter with a major figure in the entertainment industry.
A year later, he allegedly promised to bring “hell” upon Jay-Z and his wife, music queen Beyoncé, in an apparent continuation of their dispute.
Zimmerman once more threatened to feed the couple to a “13-foot gator” in text conversations with private eye Dennis Warren. He also insulted the famous couple.
One of the texts said, “Oh yeah, and tell Jay-Z he’s a bitch and his wife is a broke whore.”
Warren, who worked on the Jay-Z project, was charged with misdemeanor stalking and harassment by Zimmerman. He had called Warren 55 times in the previous nine days, left 36 voicemails, and sent over 65 texts.
American citizen George Michael Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black youth, on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida. He was cleared of second-degree murder in Florida v. George Zimmerman on July 13, 2013. Zimmerman was the target of a gunshot following his exoneration.