George Zimmerman, the watchman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Trayvon’s family, a publishing firm and a law enforcement agency for defamation and “malicious prosecution.”
The former Florida neighbourhood watchman filed the suit on Wednesday, December 4. The lead defendant is Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother.
Zimmerman, tried and acquitted of homicide charges in 2013, now claims police and prosecutors conspired with Martin’s family to defame him and created a conspiracy in an attempt to convict him of murder.
He alleges false evidence was used against him during his trial and cites a documentary that accuses the Martin family of engineering a phony testimony.
Trayvon Martin’s parents
The allegations in Zimmerman’s lawsuit are based largely upon a book and film released in September that claims the Martin case was a “hoax” built upon “witness fraud.” The director of the film, Joel Gilbert, will stage a screening of the film Thursday to coincide with the lawsuit announcement.
The lawsuit claims all defendants “have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other related legal rights.”
Zimmerman also named Harper Collins and author, Ben Crump, as defendants due to their recent release of “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People.”
According to the documents, Zimmerman claims the Martin family and prosecutors lied about the true identity of the woman Trayvon was talking to on the phone at the time of the shooting, In his suit, Zimmerman alleges they presented Rachel Jeantel as the witness during the trial, but he claims it was actually Brittany Diamond Eugene on the phone.
Recall that Trayvon was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26, 2012, and was returning from a store with Skittles and a drink in his hand when he was killed by Zimmerman. Zimmerman claimed at trial that he shot Martin in self-defense. Prosecutors and police argued the attack was unjustified.
In 2013, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, though the case was later dropped. Two years later, he was arrested again for charges of domestic aggravated assault for allegedly throwing a bottle of wine at his girlfriend. Those charges were also dropped.
In 2018 Zimmerman was arrested on charges he cyberstalked and harassed a private investigator working with film producer Michael Gasparro and Jay-Z on a documentary series about Trayvon Martin. The private investigator told deputies that Zimmerman called him 21 times, sent him 38 text messages and left him seven voicemails, all within two and a half hours.