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Thread: Trayvon Martin Shooting - George Zimmerman

  1. #441
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Zimmerman opens up about Trayvon Martin killing, says he prays for teen's parents

    Published July 18, 2012
    FoxNews.com




    George Zimmerman, in an interview Wednesday with Fox News' Sean Hannity, called the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin a "tragic situation" and "the most difficult thing I'll ever go through in my life."


    But Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch leader, also spoke in detail about what happened that fateful night in February, saying he had followed Martin because he looked suspicious running between houses in the rain.


    Martin soon turned to confront Zimmerman and "asked me what my problem was" before the exchange escalated into violence, Zimmerman told Hannity in his first TV interview, conducted in an undisclosed location in Florida. The 28-year-old, with his attorney sitting by his side, said he reached into his pocket to find his phone to call 911 for a second time, and "I looked up and he punched me and broke my nose."


    At one point Zimmerman said he heard Martin "telling me heís going to kill me."


    Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting and killing 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., though he says he acted in self-defense. At first, "I didn't think I hit him," Zimmerman said, adding he only found out later that Martin had died.


    Now he is in hiding and said he feels his life is in jeopardy, based on death threats he has received. He told Fox News that on the night of the shooting he had gone out to shop at Target -- "that's the last time I've been home."


    The case drew intense national attention as speculation grew about the motives for the shooting, especially given that Martin was black. Zimmerman has white and Hispanic heritage.


    He dismissed suggestions by some that he acted out of racism.


    "I don't think it's fair that they rushed to judgment to assume that," he told Fox News.


    Police initially declined to press charges, citing Florida's so-called "Stand Your Ground" law. But a special prosecutor who was called in to investigate concluded that the evidence didn't support Zimmerman's claims, and the murder charge was filed.
    When asked what he would say to Martin's parents, Zimmerman said, "I would tell them that, again, I'm sorry."


    "My wife and I donít have any children," Zimmerman told Hannity. "I have nephews that I love more than life. I love them more than myself. And I know when they were born, it was a different unique bond and love that I have with them. And I love my children even though that they arenít born yet.


    "I am sorry that they buried their child. I canít imagine what it must feel like. I pray for them daily."


    Zimmerman, who is free on bond in Florida while awaiting trial, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.


    Hannity had spoke with Zimmerman, 28, off the record in April when he contacted Hannity against the advice of his attorneys. Both Hannity and Zimmerman denied claims that Hannity offered the murder suspect any financial assistance or payment.


    The interview concluded with Zimmerman looking into the camera and saying that he wishes the night hadn't ended in Martin's death.


    "I do want to tell everyone, my wife, my family, my parents, my grandmother, the Martins, the city of Sanford and America that I'm sorry that this happened," he said. "I hate to think that because of this incident, because my actions, it's polarized and divided American. And I'm truly sorry."




    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/18...#ixzz214yQicAb
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  2. #442
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Florida shooter Zimmerman says did not pursue Trayvon Martin

    July 18, 2012|Reuters





    (Handout…)



    MIAMI (Reuters) - George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, said on Wednesday he did not pursue the Florida teenager on the night he was fatally shot.


    Zimmerman, speaking in his first media interview since the February 26 killing of Martin, also apologized for a second time to the teen's parents and said he was unaware of Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law before the incident.







    Asked to explain his statement to a 911 dispatcher that he was following Martin, Zimmerman said, "I didn't mean that I was actually pursuing him."


    "I meant that I was going in the same direction as him, to keep an eye on him so that I could tell the police where he was going," he told Fox News host Sean Hannity.


    The issue of whether Zimmerman pursued Martin will likely be at the center of his claim that he acted in self-defense.
    Zimmerman, a 28-year-old who is white and Hispanic, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Martin, who was 17 and black.


    Zimmerman claims he killed Martin in self-defense after the unarmed youth attacked him and repeatedly slammed his head into the sidewalk during a confrontation in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.


    The encounter began when Zimmerman called police to report what he called "a real suspicious guy" walking through his neighborhood and then got out of his car and followed Martin, against the advice of a police operator.


    In an affidavit submitted in court, two investigators assigned to the case by a Florida special prosecutor reported that Zimmerman "disregarded the police dispatcher" who instructed him not to follow Martin.


    Zimmerman said after he got out of his car he never went further than 100 feet from it. He said he wanted to find out his location to pass along a more accurate address to police.


    "I hadn't given them a correct address," he said.


    Martin's killing drew national attention after police and prosecutors originally declined to arrest and charge Zimmerman, citing the "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law and his claim that he used deadly force because he believed his life was being threatened.


    Asked if he had a message for Martin's parents, Zimmerman said he was praying for them every day.


    "I am sorry that they buried their child. I can't imagine what it must feel like," he said.


    In April, he also apologized to the parents during a court appearance.


    "I do wish there was something, anything, I could have done that wouldn't have put me in the position where I had to take his life," he added.


    "I hate to think that because of this incident, because of my actions, it polarized and divided America," Zimmerman said.
    (Reporting by Kevin Gray; Additional reporting by Lily Kuo in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    I didn't have a chance to watch it but I heard Zimmerman conducted himself extremely well and got his side of the story out excellently.

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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    And the media is claiming he "incriminated himself" in that video. Prosecution just entered the Hannity video into discovery....
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Incriminated himself how? There was nothing new in this video that wasn't already released.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    I don't know, Mal, I'm just repeating what they were saying on the news this morning.

    One of those idiot lawyers was going batshit screaming about him even going on Hannity. Then went on about how he basically said he had NO REMORSE for what he did (that's NOT what he said, he said he didn't regret carrying a weapon, or being out there that particular night).

    I can tell you from personal experience I don't regret carrying my weapon on my person and if it comes to the point I have to use it, I won't regret that either. I've had to use weapons before - and I have NO REGRETS. I'm still here, the bad guys aint.

    That's the way it is.

    When you chose to carry a weapon you'd damned well better be prepared to use it when you're put in that position. No AMOUNT of "Guilting" about it should affect you, and Zimmerman is proving to be someone who isn't going to be guilted into saying the wrong thing.

    He did what he felt was RIGHT at the time.

    Another stupid lawyer said, "They'd both be alive if Zimmerman wasn't carrying a weapon".

    Yeah, alive but brain damaged from the beating he took.

    Dumbasses
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Judge in neighborhood watch case won't step down

    Updated 07:01 a.m., Wednesday, August 1, 2012


    SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A central Florida judge says he's staying on the case of a neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing an unarmed teenager.

    In a Wednesday ruling, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester denied a motion by George Zimmerman's defense attorney to disqualify himself because of disparaging remarks he made during a bond hearing.

    Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, filed the motion after the July 5 bond hearing during which Lester questioned Zimmerman's honesty and suggested he plotted to leave the country.

    Zimmerman is accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin in a Sanford neighborhood in February.

    Lester said Zimmerman "flaunted the system" by failing to disclose how much money he'd raised through donations and that it appeared he was preparing to flee to avoid prosecution for second-degree murder.

    Zimmerman is currently staying in an unknown location.
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    'Stand Your Ground' hearing could potentially clear Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin shooting

    Published August 09, 2012
    FoxNews.com



    George Zimmerman, accused in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, could be cleared of a second-degree murder charge if a judge rules in his favor in a new "Stand Your Ground" hearing.

    Zimmerman's defense attorney Mark O'Mara announced on his website Thursday that there will be a "Stand Your Ground" hearing based on his client's claim he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense. A finding in Zimmerman's favor would end the criminal case against him, as well as immunizing him from civil action.

    "Now that the State has released the majority of their discovery, the defense asserts that there is clear support for a strong claim of self-defense. Consistent with this claim of self-defense, there will be a 'Stand Your Ground' hearing," said O'Mara in a statement.

    The law allows people to use deadly force, rather than retreat, if they believe their lives are in danger.

    O'Mara described the hearing as a "mini-trial," with arguments, witnesses, experts and evidence that would be included in a criminal trial, but without a jury.

    Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. He is free on $1 million bond as he awaits trial.

    Zimmerman wasn't charged until 44 days after Martin's death, and in those weeks protesters accused the Sanford police department of being racist and botching the investigation.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/09...#ixzz233NlEF00
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Updated: 8:25 a.m. Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 | Posted: 6:55 a.m. Friday, Aug. 10, 2012

    Records show George Zimmerman got D’s in criminal justice classes

    By Frances Robles

    The Miami Herald


    Prosecutors trying George Zimmerman on a second-degree murder charge accidentally released protected evidence Thursday, sending journalists and bloggers around the nation private academic transcripts showing that the neighborhood watch volunteer who aspired to become a judge did poorly on the classes in his major, criminal justice.


    The prosecution also accidentally released a photo of Trayvon Martin’s body, which both sides in the case had agreed to keep from public view. The corpse photo was a grainy cellphone picture taken in the dark by one of the people who lives near the shooting scene. It was posted Thursday on blogs that subscribe to the Duval County State Attorney’s media email list.


    Prosecutors recalled an email which contained Zimmerman’s academic records from his Virginia high school and Seminole State College, in Sanford, where he studied criminal justice, but many media outlets had already reviewed the material. The records show Zimmerman’s mediocre grades had led to academic probation.


    He got D’s in Introduction to Criminal Justice and Juvenile Delinquency, and a C in a course called Evil Minds -Violent Predators. He failed algebra and astronomy and had been placed on academic probation in 2011.


    At one point, his grade-point average dropped to a .5. His A’s in English, criminal litigation and a Marriage and Family class boosted his overall G.P.A. to 2.3.


    In late 2011, he was declined an associate’s degree because he had failed a class and did not have the credits to graduate. He was expelled from the school about three weeks after the killing, when the struggling student suddenly became the focus of a national media firestorm for having killed an unarmed teenager.


    Zimmerman claimed he shot Trayvon in self-defense after the Miami Gardens teen attacked him.


    Legal experts said prosecutors probably reviewed Zimmerman’s school records because they could suggest that he had enough knowledge of criminal justice to concoct a self defense claim on the fly.


    “To the extent that he had some knowledge of self defense, he would have been able to put together a story that made some sense,” said Frederick Leatherman, a retired Seattle defense lawyer and legal-issues blogger who has reviewed all the Zimmerman case evidence. “As he conjured up this story, he didn’t know that a lot of the forensics would not match.”


    Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, declined to comment about the accidental release of evidence Thursday. A spokeswoman for State Attorney Angela Corey released a statement saying the documents were inadvertently released without being reviewed, and asked reporters not to publish them because school records are exempt from Florida’s public-records law.


    O’Mara posted an announcement on his website Thursday confirming that he will seek a Stand Your Ground hearing for his client. Stand Your Ground is the controversial state law that removes Floridians’ duty to retreat from dangerous situations if they believe they’re at risk of great harm.


    “Now that the State has released the majority of their discovery, the defense asserts that there is clear support for a strong claim of self-defense,” the statement said.


    The hearing, the statement said, would function as a “mini trial” in which the defense will present the same arguments, witnesses, experts, and evidence that would be put forward at trial. The judge would decide whether the case should proceed, or if Zimmerman should be granted both criminal and civil immunity.


    Unlike a criminal trial, where prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, in this hearing the burden would be on the defense to show that Zimmerman reasonably believed that the use of his weapon was necessary to “prevent great bodily harm to himself at the hands of Trayvon Martin,” the statement said.


    Miami defense lawyer Emilia Diaz-Fox said O’Mara may have a rough road ahead, particularly because a police call recorded Zimmerman getting out of his car to follow Trayvon.


    Diaz-Fox represented a client who waved a pistol at someone who punched him in the face during a road-rage incident. The client found himself charged with attempted second-degree murder, even though he was seated in his car when the man attacked him.


    A circuit judge declined his Stand Your Ground motion, and the Third District Court of Appeal agreed. After a three-year legal battle, the Miami-Dade State Attorney dropped the charges.


    “Stand Your Ground is no shoo-in,” she said. “You have to have very strong facts to be able to prevail.”
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Zimmerman appeals for new judge in Martin shooting
    MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press, By MIKE SCHNEIDER,
    Updated 11:34 a.m., Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) ó George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer accused of fatally shooting a teenager in a gated community in Florida, says the judge presiding over his case has made disparaging remarks about him.

    Zimmerman says in an appeal filed Tuesday that he fears Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester is biased against him and he wants a new judge to handle his case.

    Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

    Zimmerman pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense.

    The appeal was filed with the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach.

    All proceedings in Zimmerman's case will be delayed until that court decides whether to hear the appeal.

    The lack of an arrest for 44 days led to protests around the nation.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Z...#ixzz23Y6GKs7s
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Breaking news.

    Zimmerman suing ABC news for editing the tape that made him "sound racist".
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Good. About time they be held accountable for their bullshit.

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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Shouldn't be too hard to procure a talented pro-bono attorney for that gig.

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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Hope they are held accountable. I guess Megyn Kelly is going to have something on the "docket" in a few minutes about this whole thing.
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    George, Shellie Zimmerman attorneys back in court Wednesday


    By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel 6:28 a.m. EDT, October 17, 2012




    SANFORD - Attorneys for George and Shellie Zimmerman are scheduled to be in court this morning.


    George Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, in Sanford Feb. 26, a homicide that set off weeks of civil rights rallies across the country.


    Shellie Zimmerman, 25, is charged with perjury. Prosecutors say she lied at her husband's first bond hearing when she testified that the couple was broke.






    Both are living in hiding in Seminole County.

    Neither defendant is expected to appear in court today. Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson is expected to ask the state and defense in each case whether they are ready for trial.

    Defense attorneys are not.
    Nearly two weeks ago, George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, formally asked for a delay. This week, co-counsel Don West filed paperwork, complaining that the special prosecutor in the case has failed to turn over all the evidence that's required and had been uncooperative.


    There's another hearing in his case Friday. Among the things the judge will then hear is an argument about whether to allow O'Mara to subpoena Trayvon's school records and whether the public should know about future defense subpoenas and what evidence they produce.


    She'll also hear argument about whether prosecutors are entitled to George Zimmerman's medical records.


    Also tomorrow, defense attorneys in George Zimmerman's case are scheduled to depose four Sanford police officers, including one who conducted a voice-stress test – something similar to a lie detector test – on Zimmerman and concluded he was telling the truth.


    That's to be followed by depositions on Thursday of four more Sanford cops and four Sanford fire-rescue employees who were at the scene the night of the shooting.
    Check back for updates.
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    One can hope George Zimmerman is exonerated but I suspect he's going to be the first "White Hispanic" sacrificed at the alter of "black justice".
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    I don't know if you watched that video in the bottom of the Bracken post (in the Election thread) but I did. The guy mentioned Trayvon several times. He was going on and on about "Why did the media tell everyone about that" and then he said something about two black people who were shot in Oklahoma the other day and asked "Why did the media say the shooter was a racist?"

    He appeared on one hand to be trying to talk people into having some common sense and on the other to "prepare" for the worst (to not go outside, get a gun, hide, whatever but don't riot kind of stuff).

    He thinks that if Zimmerman is found not guilty that there are going to be BIG problems over that.

    Of course he's like any of the rest of us... "just some guy".
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    ok, looks like some of the people up in arms over Martin won't get a chance to riot for the elections....

    George Zimmerman murder trial set for June 10

    By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel 11:57 a.m. EDT, October 17, 2012

    SANFORD – George Zimmerman's murder trial in the death of Trayvon Martin was set for June 10 during a hearing in court this morning.

    Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon, an unarmed 17-year-old, in Sanford Feb. 26, a homicide that set off civil-rights rallies across the country.

    This morning, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson set Zimmerman’s trial for June 10. Attorneys in the case said they estimate the trial will last three weeks. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said he expected jury selection would take longer than the trial itself.

    The hearing, known as a docket sounding, lasted about six minutes. Though the judge set a date, Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara was noncommittal about when he’d be fully prepared.

    “I don’t know today when we’ll be ready for trial,” he said.


    After the hearing, Zimmerman's defense tweeted he will likely seek a hearing under the controversial self-defense law commonly known as “stand your ground” in the months leading up to trial.


    The "self-defense immunity hearing [is] likely to be requested for April or May," the tweet said.


    Zimmerman’s wife Shellie Zimmerman, 25, is charged with perjury, and her attorney was also in court for this morning. Prosecutors say she lied at her husband’s first bond hearing when she testified that the couple was broke.

    Prosecutors agreed with Shellie Zimmerman’s lawyer to delay the next hearing in her case until Dec. 12. No trial date was set in that case.

    Neither defendant appeared in court today. Both are living in hiding in Seminole County.

    Wednesday’s hearing was Nelson’s first in the George Zimmerman case. She noted that she is set to be reassigned to civil and divorce cases in January, but said she will keep the case. The change in assignments, she said, should give her more flexibility and time for hearings.

    Nearly two weeks ago, O’Mara formally asked the judge to delay the case. This week, co-counsel Don West filed paperwork, complaining that the special prosecutor in the case has failed to turn over all the evidence that’s required and had been uncooperative.

    There’s another hearing in his case Friday. Among the things the judge will then hear is an argument about whether to allow O’Mara to subpoena Trayvon’s school records and whether the public should know about future defense subpoenas and what evidence they produce.

    She’ll also hear argument about whether prosecutors are entitled to George Zimmerman’s medical records.

    Also today defense attorneys in George Zimmerman’s case are scheduled to depose four Sanford police officers, including one who conducted a voice-stress test – something similar to a lie detector test – on Zimmerman and concluded he was telling the truth.

    That’s to be followed by depositions on Thursday of four more Sanford cops and four Sanford fire-rescue employees who were at the scene the night of the shooting.

    Check back for updates.
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    Friday hearing in Trayvon Martin case on media coverage
    Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAYShare

    Motions from both the prosecutor and defense attorney to Judge Debra Nelson argue that lawyers should be limited in their communications.

    The state wants a gag order to stop officials from talking to the media
    Zimmerman lawyer wants attorneys barred from talking to witnesses
    Hearing will be Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Sanford, Fla.

    12:41PM EDT October 26. 2012 - The judge in the Trayvon Martin case will hear arguments Friday at 1:30 p.m. about whether lawyers should be barred from talking to witnesses and the media.

    Motions from both the prosecutor and defense attorney to Judge Debra Nelson argue that lawyers should be limited in their communications.

    Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda has asked for a gag order to stop attorneys and law enforcement officials from talking to the media about the facts of the case, evidence and witnesses, as well as their opinions about how the case should be resolved.

    Meanwhile, George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara has filed a motion to bar lawyers from speaking with witnesses before they are deposed.

    Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon on Feb. 26. He told police he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense after the teen repeatedly knocked his head to the ground. Trayvon's family said Zimmerman racially profiled the unarmed black teen and confronted him as he walked home from a convenience store.

    The state argues that O'Mara's continued comments to the media make it harder to have a fair trial. "It's going to be impossible to pick a jury," de la Rionda said last week. "We shouldn't have a news conference every time there's a motion."

    Several media companies, including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, and CBS News have filed a motion to stop de la Rionda's gag order. They argue that it is not supported by Florida law and would limit the media's ability to gather the news.

    "The Media Companies publish and broadcast news throughout Florida, and rely upon comment from trial participants as some of their principal sources of news gathering," according to attorneys for the media companies.

    This is de la Rionda 's second attempt at a gag order. In April, Judge Kenneth Lester, who was then presiding over the case, denied the first one.

    Nelson will also hear why O'Mara wants to keep lawyers from speaking with witnesses before they are deposed.

    O'Mara, in a motion filed last week, said a group of officials who initially were involved in the investigation into Trayvon's death came to the consensus that Zimmerman shouldn't be charged.

    The motion says Assistant State Attorney Jim Carter, after more than a week of meetings with several officers, including Chief Bill Lee, who was later fired, disagreed with Christopher Serino's recommendation that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter.

    The state never told O'Mara about the meetings and, as a result, defense attorneys want lawyers to stay away from witnesses until their statements can be taken under oath.

    "It didn't seem like anyone in law enforcement wanted him (Zimmerman) arrested," O'Mara said last week. "I've very concerned about the basis for this prosecution."
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    Default Re: Trayvon Martin Shooting

    George Zimmerman's brother: We're no 'family of racists'

    5:11 p.m. EST, November 1, 2012|
    By Arelis R. HernŠndez, Orlando Sentinel



    George Zimmerman's older brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., told a group of Hispanic journalists Thursday that he is confronting a "tidal wave of misinformation" about his family because of the publicity surrounding his brother's case.


    Robert Zimmerman Jr. spoke publicly in Orlando because he thought it was time to rebut the charges of racism that have mischaracterized his family, Zimmerman said.





    "At the beginning, we couldn't speak publicly to the media to defend ourselves against the allegations that we are family of racists and that George is a racist," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said in Spanish to members of the Central Florida chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.


    "We didn't grow up with racism,'' he added. "We grew up with a Latino mother and white father. Theirs was an interracial love story."


    His brother, George Zimmerman, is facing a second-degree-murder charge in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black 17-year-old from Miami Gardens who was in Sanford visiting family when he and the Neighborhood Watch volunteer crossed paths.


    The case, which initially was described as one in which a white man had shot and killed a black youth, captivated the nation and generated debate about racism and prejudice.
    Robert Zimmerman Jr. on Thursday said he blamed attorneys and the news media for characterizing his brother George — falsely — as a white man who had killed a black teenager in cold blood.


    Their last name may not reflect their biracial identity, but Robert Zimmerman Jr. said they are a Hispanic family that speaks Spanish, eats Peruvian food and served the immigrant community in northern Virginia.


    "George is not the same as he was before," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said. "We have also changed because we are facing the reality that our brother, in defense of his life, took another's life, and that is the worst situation that anyone can or could be in: to defend themselves in that way."


    Robert Zimmerman Jr. decided to represent his family and speak publicly the day the New Black Panther Party announced it had placed a bounty on his brother's head.
    "That was the night I decided enough was enough," he said, because "there was just this mythology that had been developed about him and had been perpetuated."


    "Maybe we shouldn't use race to indict people's credibility or even to question it, not anymore," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.


    While meeting with the journalists Thursday, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said that as the truth about his family's identity comes forth, the racist narrative surrounding the shooting loses its sting. But he said he wants to hold the Martin family attorneys accountable for attacking his family's character.





    Ever since the Zimmerman name became synonymous with strife, the family's life has changed in expected and subtle ways, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.


    Every day, he said, his family is occupied with strategizing for survival and thinking up contingency plans for whatever situation should arise, such as a medical emergency.


    Family members can no longer take trips to Peru or even go out publicly without feeling threatened, he said. They also can't take pride in their family name without it prompting discomfort, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.


    He used to be colorblind when it came to race, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said. But in the aftermath of his brother's case, he has become exceedingly sensitive to it.


    Quoting his mother, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said his brother's case — which is scheduled to go to trial in June — should revolve around his actions, not racism.
    arehernandez@tribune.com or 407-420-5471
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