George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin – an unarmed Black teenager – has a $265 million lawsuit against Democratic presidential candidates, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren for defaming him.
According to the suit, the candidates “defamed Zimmerman for political gain in misguided and malicious attempts to bolster their standings amongst African-American voters, all at Zimmerman’s expense.”
The lawsuit was filed in Polk County, Fla., Tuesday and it argued that Warren and Buttigieg’s two separate tweets on Feb. 5, the day Martin would have turned 25th, want to profit from the killed, using it “as a pretext to demagogue and falsely brand Zimmerman as a white supremacist and racist to their millions of Twitter followers.”
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“Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today. How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun violence, prejudice, and fear? #BlackLivesMatter,” Buttigieg tweeted.
Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 5, 2020
How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun violence, prejudice, and fear?#BlackLivesMatter
Warren also tweeted: “My heart goes out to @SybrinaFulton and Trayvon’s family and friends. He should still be with us today. We need to end gun violence and racism. And we need to build a world where all of our children—especially young Black boys—can grow up safe and free.”
My heart goes out to @SybrinaFulton and Trayvon’s family and friends. He should still be with us today.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 6, 2020
We need to end gun violence and racism. And we need to build a world where all of our children—especially young Black boys—can grow up safe and free. https://t.co/9lXXlRnvzL
“It is high time that the cheap and harmful use of the race card by politicians of all stripes be made to cease and desist,” Zimmerman’s attorney and founder of conservative legal rights group Judicial Watch, Larry Klayman, said in a statement, according to Newsweek.
“Their despicable ‘race tactics’ are not only causing great harm to persons such as my client George Zimmerman but also are damaging relations between black and white Americans who are all brothers.
“The nation should applaud Mr. Zimmerman for taking a strong stand and pushing back against hack politicians like Buttigieg and Warren, who know no bounds of decency and frankly could obviously care less about whom they hurt in their quest to dishonesty use and manipulate black voters to win the 2020 Democrat presidential primary.”
In December, Zimmerman, who was left off the hook after fatally shooting and killing Martin in 2012, sued the slain boy’s family $100 million.
Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, 17, following a nighttime altercation between the two at his gated community in Sanford in February 2012.
He was cleared and acquitted of second-degree murder in 2013.
The suit accused Martin’s family, prosecutors and several others of defamation, abuse of civil process and conspiracy. It further claimed that the family engineered false testimony and alleged all defendants “have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other legal rights.”
Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother is the lead defendant in the suit. She became a national figure in the aftermath of her son’s fatal shooting as a strong campaigner and advocate for social justice and reducing gun deaths.
Fulton is running for the District 1 seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission being vacated by a term-limited Barbara Jordan in the Miami Gardens area, according to the Miami Herald.
“It is both disgusting and shameful that George Zimmerman, a man who killed an unarmed child and got away with it, is now suing Trayvon Martin’s grieving parents,” Fulton’s campaign said in a statement.
The suit also aimed at Rachel Jeantel, a friend of Martin’s who testified at Zimmerman’s trial.
According to the suit, Jeantel was brought on as a “fake witness” and that she lied about her intimate relationship with Martin, as well as, her evidence that she spoke with the deceased moments leading up to the fatal shooting that would lead to his death.
“Jeantel lied repeatedly about having a relationship with Trayvon, about being on the phone with Trayvon in the days and minutes up to his death, and lied about everything she claimed to have heard over the phone in the hours and minutes before Trayvon’s death,” Zimmerman’s lawyers wrote in the lawsuit.
“Defendant Jeantel also lied about her identity, falsely claiming her nickname to be ‘Diamond Eugene.’”
Also, Zimmerman’s suit was directed at civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and publishing house Harper Collins for defamation over the October release of Crump’s book, “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People.”
Crump, who represented the Martin family, addressed the complaint in a statement Wednesday, saying in part: “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.”
Martin, the African-American teenager whose shocking murder in 2012 gave rise to the BlackLivesMatter Movement, was honored with a posthumous degree in Aviation.
Florida Memorial University (FMU) awarded Martin with an honorary degree in Aviation at the school’s May 13th graduation ceremony.
Inspired by his uncle, Martin took time out to study at the George T. Baker Aviation School during his freshman year of high school.
In a Facebook post in 2017 FMU PresidentRoslyn Clark said the school was honoring Martin for “his long dream and the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot.”