- George Zimmerman announced last week he is suing the family of Trayvon Martin, their defense attorney and a book publishing company for $100 million
- The years since Zimmerman was found not guilty for killing Martin in 2012 are riddled with domestic violence, arrests, and morally corrupt publicity stunts
- Zimmerman continues to claim he has no remorse over killing Martin
Last week news broke that George Zimmerman is suing the family of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. As most already know, Zimmerman shot and killed Martin on February 26, 2012, while acting as a self-appointed neighborhood watch patrolman. The shooting of Martin drew national attention and can be accredited as part of the foundation of a movement focused on African-American injustices known today as “Black Lives Matter.”
George Zimmerman Sues Trayvon Martin’s Family
In the lawsuit, Zimmerman accuses prosecutors of “malicious prosecution” and Martin’s defense attorney and a book publishing company of defamation. Zimmerman also accuses Martin’s family and lawyer of creating an “evil conspiracy” to convict him by placing “a false witness with a made-to-order false storyline to try to fraudulently create probable cause.” Zimmerman is asking for $100 million in damages.
Benjamin Crump, the Martin family defense attorney, responded to Zimmerman’s lawsuit last week. Crump said Zimmerman’s lawsuit is “unfounded and reckless” and baseless. “It is another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others,” Crump said.
The Evil Conspiracy
Zimmerman’s attorney, former federal prosecutor Boca Raton-based Larry Klayman, said the lawsuit was filed last week in Polk County. Klayman alleges the prosecution’s key witness, Rachel Jeantel, was an “imposter and fake witness.” The lawsuit claims that a week after the Sanford Police Department closed the case Crump produced a recording of “Diamond Eugene.” Eugene was Martin’s 16-year-old girlfriend that had been on the phone with Martin when Zimmerman fatally shot him.
According to the complaint, two weeks later 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel told prosecutors she was Diamond Eugene. The complaint accuses Jeantel of providing “false statements to incriminate Zimmerman based on coaching from others.” Klayman argues that based on Martin’s phone records Jeantel was not Martin’s girlfriend and was not on the phone with him at the time of the shooting.
Zimmerman’s lawyers allege that Diamond Eugene’s real identity is Brittany Diamond Eugene, a Miami resident who “refused to bear false witness against Zimmerman.” The lawsuit claims that this conspiracy led to Zimmerman dropping out of school and caused him to receive countless threats on his life. The aftermath of the Martin shooting caused “great mental anguish, resulting in Zimmerman requiring professional treatment by psychologists for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and weight gain.”
The decision to charge Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer at the time of killing Martin, with second-degree murder was announced by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey on April 11, 2012. After spending a total of 16-hours deliberating over the course of two days, on July 13, 2013, the six-person jury declared Zimmerman not guilty for killing Martin.
After getting away with fatally shooting a 17-year-old armed only with a package of Skittles one would assume you would want to stay out of trouble and out of the spotlight, but Zimmerman has continuously come back into the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The years since the Martin shooting are riddled with domestic violence, run-ins with police, and morally corrupt publicity stunts. Below is a look at Zimmerman’s life before, and after killing Martin.
July 2005: A Scuffle WIth Police
One of Zimmerman’s first known interactions with law enforcement happened in July 2005 near the University of Central Florida campus. It was reported Zimmerman got into a scuffle with police while drunk. The charges were eventually dropped after Zimmerman entered an alcohol education program.
August 2005: First Domestic Violence Claim Against George Zimmerman
Zimmerman has a long history of domestic violence in his relationships dating back to at least August 2005. It was reported that Zimmerman’s former fiancee filed for a restraining order against him under an allegation of domestic violence. Zimmerman’s response was requesting a restraining order against her. Both restraining orders were granted and no criminal charges were filed against Zimmerman or his former fiancee.
February 2012: The Shooting Of Trayvon Martin
On February 26, 2012, as a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida, Zimmerman called 911 after claiming he saw a “suspicious person” in the neighborhood. The 911 dispatcher instructed Zimmerman to stay in his vehicle and not approach the person later identified as 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman ignored the 911 dispatcher and approached Martin. After killing Martin, Zimmerman claimed the teen attacked him and that he fatally shot him in self-defense.
On March 13, 2012, Sanford Police Department homicide detective Christopher Serino recommended Zimmerman should be charged with manslaughter. On two different occasions the night of the shooting Zimmerman failed to identify himself as a concerned citizen or a member of the neighborhood watch. Serino stated that Zimmerman’s head injuries were “marginally consistent with a life-threatening episode, as described by him, during which neither a deadly weapon nor deadly force were deployed by Trayvon Martin.”
On April 11, 2012, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and turned himself in. On May 8, 2012, Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. accepted Zimmerman’s not guilty plea. On June 24, 2013, the trial began with a jury made up of six women. They were given three choices: find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder, find him guilty for the lesser charge of manslaughter, or find him not guilty. On July 13, 2013, the jury found Zimmerman not guilty after 16 hours of deliberation.
June 2012: Shellie Zimmerman Arrested
In June 2012, before he was cleared for the Martin shooting, Judge Lester revoked Zimmerman’s bond after learning he and his wife Shellie Zimmerman misrepresented their finances at his bond hearing in April. Shellie claimed the couple was broke, but in reality, they had at least $135,000 from donations in the bank. Shellie pleaded guilty to perjury and was sentenced to one-year probation and 100 hours of community service. She was also ordered to write an apology letter to the judge who caught her in the lie.
July 2012: George Zimmerman Says Shooting Martin Was “God’s Plan”
In July 2012 Zimmerman conducted his first interview following the shooting of Martin with Sean Hannity. During the interview Zimmerman appears to be in a good mood. Zimmerman claims he would not do anything different. At one point he even claimed the shooting was “God’s plan.” The Martin family spoke out against Zimmerman’s callous claim asking what God he worshipped.
December 2012: A Failed Lawsuit Against NBC
In December 2012 Zimmerman sued NBC Universal claiming they edited the 911 call he made after shooting Martin. The lawsuit claims NBC made it appear that “Zimmerman was a racist, and that he was racially profiling Trayvon Martin.” On June 30, 2014, Florida Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled that Zimmerman was entitled to no money.
Below is a full excerpt of the call Zimmerman made to 911 after shooting Martin:
Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
911 Dispatcher: “OK, and this guy—is he black, white or Hispanic?”
Zimmerman: “He looks black.”
NBC edited the call and trimmed the dialog to say, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good … He looks black.” NBC fired at least two employees that were involved in the editing process and publicly apologized.
July 2013: A Good Deed And Speeding
Zimmerman has a few good deeds mixed in with the years of shitty deeds. In July 2013, just days after being found not guilty of second-degree murder for the death of Martin, Zimmerman helped save two children and their parents from a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle after it flipped in an accident on a central Florida highway. Mark and Dana Michelle Gerstle were grateful for Zimmerman’s help but did not want any public connection to him.
According to Zimmerman’s lead attorney, Mark O’Mara, “The family, who really wanted to thank George for doing what he did publicly … realized that in any way connecting yourself with George Zimmerman right now is very toxic.” O’Mara spoke after canceling a planned news conference with the family and claimed Zimmerman was due to be recognized as a “Good Samaritan.”
In the same month, Zimmerman was pulled over for speeding in Forney, Texas. During the stop, it was confirmed that Zimmerman was armed with a gun. Dashcam video shows a police officer briefly talking to him before telling him to shut his glove compartment. The officer is heard saying, “Don’t play with your firearm, OK?” The officer eventually let Zimmerman go with a warning. Forney City Manager Brian Brooks said he could not answer any questions about the type of gun Zimmerman had.
August 2013: Another Traffic Stop And A Tour Of Kel-Tec
It was not long before Zimmerman was pulled over again. This time he was stopped by a Florida Highway Patrol officer who said the tint on his truck was too dark and he failed to display his license plate properly. Zimmerman managed to get out of a ticket from that stop as well as he blamed the dark window tinting on the death threats he had been receiving. The officer let him go with a written warning.
Three weeks after being stopped for speeding, Zimmerman toured the headquarters of Florida-based Kel-Tec. Kel-Tec is the gun manufacturer that made the PF-9 pistol Zimmerman used to kill Martin. It was reported that Zimmerman received the tour of the headquarters from Kel-Tec’s owner’s son and took pictures with employees. Zimmerman asked about the legality of purchasing a Kel-Tec KSG tactical shotgun. The shotgun can hold up to 12 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells and sold for $1,197 at the time of the tour. It is not clear if Zimmerman purchased the tactical weapon.
September 2013: Speeding, Divorce, And Domestic Violence
On September 3, 2013, Zimmerman was pulled over for speeding again. Zimmerman was given a $256 ticket for going 60 mph in a 45-mph zone in Lake Mary, Florida. This third traffic stop would not be Zimmerman’s only legal issue that month.
Just two days after speeding in Lake Mary, on September 5, Zimmerman’s wife Shellie filed for divorce. According to the petition, the couple separated on August 13, 2013, and were not cohabitating as husband and wife. “The marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken,” the petition read.
In the petition, Shellie asked for the “equitable distribution” of their assets as well as their debts. Shellie was also seeking sole custody of their two dogs, a Rottweiler named Oso and a smaller dog named Leroy. The divorce was filed in Seminole County, Florida.
Four days after filing for divorce, Shellie called 911 after Zimmerman punched her dad in the face and threatened to kill her family. “He is in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying, ‘Step closer.’ He is just threatening all of us,” she told the dispatcher. Zimmerman allegedly smashed an iPad Shellie was holding and cut it with a knife as well. Shellie and her father would later decide to not press charges against Zimmerman.
November 2013: George Zimmerman Arrested For Felony Aggravated Assault
On November 19, 2013, Zimmerman was charged with felony aggravated assault after allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe. According to a police report from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Zimmerman broke a table with a shotgun then pointed it at his girlfriend “for a minute.” On the 911 call, Scheibe is heard saying, “He’s inside my house breaking all my (things) because I asked him to leave.”
A man is heard telling Scheibe to calm down, but then she tells the dispatcher the man pushed her out of her house and locked the door. On a separate call to 911, a man claimed his girlfriend was “for lack of better term, going crazy on me” and throwing his things out. The man told dispatch the woman was outside with police. The man also claimed he never pulled a firearm and that it was locked in a bag. He also claimed Schiebe was the one that broke the table.
December 2013: George Zimmerman Sells $100,000 Painting
On December 22, 2013, Zimmerman sold a painting on eBay for $100,099.99. Zimmerman made a statement that some claimed to be geared towards the Martin shooting that read, “my art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors :-).” The painting read “God, One Nation, with Liberty and Justice for All.”
January 2014: George Zimmerman Paints “Angie”
On January 22, 2014, Zimmerman debuts a new piece of artwork titled “Angie.” The image features prosecutor Angela Corey and reads, “I HAVE THIS MUCH RESPECT FOR THE AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM.” Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr. shared the painting in a tweet.
February 2014: Celebrity Boxing DMX And Univision
On February 5, 2014, Zimmerman agreed to be in a celebrity boxing match and said he wanted to fight rapper DMX. DMX’s spokesperson Domenick Nati told CNN “DMX has promised to ‘beat his ass,’ but no contract or paperwork has been signed or agreed to yet.”
The two never got to fight since the promoter Damon Feldman canceled the event four days before a planned press conference with Zimmerman. Feldman had said, “Zimmerman was the wrong person to have in this.”
I’m sorry for anyone I hurt with this, but this was a very big opportunity. More to life then [sic] money. It was worth a lot of money to me, but people’s feelings meant more to me. I walked away from a million dollar payday with this fight but to be honest, I’d rather be happy and make people happy. Thank you.Damon Feldman Via Twitter
On February 16, 2014, Zimmerman did a televised interview with Univision in which he made himself out as the victim after becoming one of the most hated people in America due to his actions. Zimmerman claimed he was homeless, more than $2 million in debt and lived in fear for his life. During the interview, Zimmerman once again stated Martin had threatened to kill him and that he “knew he was telling the truth.”
March 2014: George Zimmerman Signing Autographs At Gun Shows
On March 10, 2014, Zimmerman greeted people and autographed photos at a smaller version of the New Orlando Gun Show at the Arms Room on East Colonial Drive. The gun show was initially supposed to be held at the Majestic on John Young Parkway but the venue canceled just before the event due to negative feedback related to Zimmerman’s appearance.
Organizer Mike Piwowarski said to WESH 2, “They told us they canceled for community pressure.” Piwowarski went on to say, “They were getting phone calls and backlash, and didn’t want that kind of person there.” He claimed the change of venue costed an estimated loss of $300,000 in gun sales. Piwowarski was an admitted supporter of Zimmerman throughout the Martin trial.
July 2014: George Zimmerman Volunteers To Watch The Community Again
On July 27, 2014, a police report in DeLand, Florida showed that Zimmerman was once again working as a volunteer community watch person. A police officer found Zimmerman in Pompano Pat’s, firearms, ammunition, and motorcycle store. Zimmerman told the officer “he was watching the business due to a recent burglary” for his friend and store owner, Pat Johnson. Johnson confirmed that Zimmerman was “patrolling” the store but was not an employee and was not being paid. Sam Porter—an employee of Pompano Pat’s—also confirmed that Zimmerman was not an employee and was not being paid.
September 2014: Death Threats Leading Up To A Shooting
In September of 2014 Zimmerman threatened to kill Matthew Apperson in Lake Mary, Florida, during a road rage incident then later showed up at the man’s work. Apperson declined to press charges. Zimmerman was not arrested for the incident. It was reported that Zimmerman pulled up next to Apperson and yelled, “Why are you pointing a finger at me?” Apperson then pulled into the Circle K located at 4410 W. Lake Mary Blvd to call 911. Zimmerman left the gas station before the police could arrive.
Police spokeswoman Bianca Gillett said Apperson recognized the driver to be Zimmerman. Zimmerman was carrying a gun and asked, “Do you know who I am? I’ll fucking kill you!” Two days later Apperson believed he saw Zimmerman sitting in his truck outside his workplace. Apperson called the police but did not want to press charges.
In May 2015 Apperson was arrested after shooting at Zimmerman from his vehicle. Zimmerman claimed he tried to leave the scene but Apperson “followed him around the U-turn and then pulled up to him and shot at him.” The bullet went through Zimmerman’s side window. Zimmerman was not shot, but broken glass from his window was said to have caused minor injuries.
Apperson claimed Zimmerman was the instigator and he only shot at him out of self-defense. Attorney Mark NeJame said Apperson acted out of self-defense after Zimmerman waved a gun at him. After shooting at Zimmerman, Apperson pulled into a nearby business and told Kenneth Cornell “I shot George Zimmerman, call 911! I don’t have a phone.”
Apperson turned himself over to authorities and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and firing a deadly missile into an occupied conveyance. In October 2016 a Seminole County jury found Apperson guilty of attempted second-degree murder, armed aggravated assault and shooting into a vehicle. Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson sentenced Apperson to the state-mandated minimum of 20 years.
January 2015: George Zimmerman Arrested For Aggravated Assault And Domestic Violence With A Weapon
In January 2015 Zimmerman was arrested in Lake Mary for aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon after allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend. Zimmerman’s attorney, Don West, confirmed the victim was his girlfriend. Zimmerman was ordered to surrender his firearms even though the judge said there was no indication he used one in the alleged attack.
Once again, charges were not filed against Zimmerman after his girlfriend recanted her claims according to State Attorney Phil Archer. “The subsequent recantation by the victim of her initial statement along with new documents provided by the victim and her attorney precludes my office from proceeding further,” Archer said in a statement.
March 2015: George Zimmerman Releases An Interview Through His Lawyer
In March 2015 Zimmerman’s attorney Howard Iken posted an interview filmed in Orlando. Zimmerman claimed he released the video because “I thought we were very constrained in what I could and couldn’t say because of the Department of Justice investigation that was held above my head. I feel that now is the perfect time to speak my mind without fear of retaliation by the president, the attorney general, the federal government etc.” In the interview, Zimmerman claimed he suffered injustice from the federal government and dawned his normal approach of playing the victim. Zimmerman went on to say he had a clear conscience and did not feel he did anything wrong.
August 2015: The Confederate Flag Painting For A “Muslim Free Zone”
In August 2015 Zimmerman painted a Confederate flag to raise money for himself and the owner of Florida Gun Supply, Andy Hallinan. Hallinan had gone viral after announcing in a YouTube video that his gun store was a “Muslim-free zone.” The video was made in response to the Chattanooga shooting. “I will not arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots,” Hallinan says in the video. Zimmerman said he was selling the painting “in honor” of Hallinan after hearing the Council on American-Islamic Relations was taking legal action against Hallinan. “My confederate flag painting also represents the hypocrisy of political correctness that is plaguing this nation,” Zimmerman wrote in a tweet.
September 2015: George Zimmerman Loses His Twitter Account After Racial Rants
In September 2015, Zimmerman retweeted an image of Martin’s dead body. Days later Zimmerman had a Twitter meltdown full of racist rants and taunting remarks. During his tirade, Zimmerman gave out the cell and work number for Micah Williams, an autoworker in Clarksville, Tennessee. Zimmerman’s Twitter account was suspended following his meltdown. Williams was tagged in the original tweet that Zimmerman initially shared, which read, “Z-Man is a one man army.”
May 2016: The Auction For The Gun George Zimmerman Used To Kill Trayvon Martin
In May 2016 Zimmerman auctioned the Kel-Tec PF-9 he used to kill Martin for at least $138,900. The opening bid was set at $100,000. Two bids were going on simultaneously, one for pre-qualified bidders and one for the public. The last bid on the public site came one minute before the auction closed from a user named “John Smith” for $138,900. Zimmerman said he wanted to use the money to stop Black Lives Matter violence against law enforcement officers and to counter “Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric.”
Zimmerman initially tried to auction the gun on Gunbroker.com. The site ended up pulling the auction and said they wanted “no part in the listing on our website or any of the publicity it is receiving.” Zimmerman then tried to auction the gun on the United Gun Group website. The auction was stopped after a flood of false bids drove the price over $65 million. The third attempt was done through United Gun Group again but this time the web traffic was closely monitored and the auction was a success.
November 2016: Police Tell George Zimmerman To Leave A Florida Bar After Using A Racial Slur
In November 2016, Zimmerman was ordered to leave a central Florida bar by Seminole County deputies after he yelled at a female employee, snatched a credit card out of her hand then used a racial slur. When deputies arrived, Zimmerman demanded they arrest a black man that allegedly hit him. Video footage from the bar shows the man giving Zimmerman two friendly pats on the arm. Deputies did not make an arrest.
May 2018: George Zimmerman Arrested For Stalking
In May of 2018, Zimmerman was arrested for stalking private investigator Dennis Warren. Warren contacted Zimmerman in September 2017 on behalf of Michael Gasparro. Gasparro was making “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” series produced by Jay-Z. Zimmerman was charged with misdemeanor stalking after the investigator received 55 phone calls, 67 text messages, 36 voicemails and 27 emails in December 2017.
Warren did not end up getting a restraining order against Zimmerman. However, Zimmerman was sentenced to one year of probation after pleading no contest to the misdemeanor stalking charge. Warren did not feel Zimmerman’s sentence—decided by Seminole County Judge Mark Herr—was a harsh enough sentence.
September 2018: George Zimmerman Autographing Skittles Bags
In September 2018 pictures began circulating showing Zimmerman autographing Skittles packages for fans. The pictures went viral after being shared out by rapper T.I. on Instagram.
Even though the pictures went viral in September, they were taken in July 2018 while filming the Rest in Power documentary. The controversial viral image can be seen around the 27-minute mark of the final episode while Hallinan speaks of a “party trick” Zimmerman would commonly do.
One of the big party tricks that george would do is that he’d always have a few bags of skittles in his pocket then when somebody mentioned something like “Hey, good job,” George’s response would be to take a bag of skittles, sign it, then hand it out.Andy Hallinan Via Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
April 2019: Banned From Tinder
In April 2019 Zimmerman was banned from the dating app Tinder. An emailed statement from Tinder cited the safety of users as the reason for removing Zimmerman’s profile. It was reported that Zimmerman was using a fake name on the dating app.