George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of the second-degree murder and manslaughter of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in July 2013, has announced his ambitions to become a lawyer to prevent ‘miscarriages of justice’ from occurring in the future.
"I'd like to professionally ... Continue my education and hopefully become an attorney," he told CNN show New Day.
"I think that's the best way to stop the miscarriage of justice that happened to me from happening to somebody else. I don't think it should ever happen to anyone ever again, not one person."
However, in the same interview (apparently arranged ahead of the 26 February, which will mark the two-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin), he also admitted he was worried he'd missed Martin when he shot and fatally wounded him that evening.
“I was afraid it had gone through his clothes and that it was going to go ... Get lost, and, um, you know, go into a house and… Because the young man was still talking to me, as I have said.
“So I thought that it hadn't… Affected him, and I got worried, and I said, 'I hope that it hasn't—that the bullet hasn't hit a neighbour.'”
Asked if he still feels haunted by the fact that he took another man’s life, he answered simply:
Zimmerman went on to blame the US government and President Obama for his prosecution, claiming that he’d been made a "scape goat" by them.
He admitted he still receives countless death threats, and is constantly accused of being a racist.
"I have a lot of people saying that, you know, they guarantee that they're going to kill me and I'll never be a free man.
"I realize that they don't know me. They know who I was portrayed to be."
In pictures: Celebrity boxing fights past, present and future
In pictures: Celebrity boxing fights past, present and future
1/8 George Zimmerman vs. DMX
'X gunna give it to ya:' George Zimmerman has confirmed rapper DMX as his opponent for his highly-anticipated celebrity boxing match, although the date is yet to be confirmed. However, with the rapper's songs containing lyrics such as: "y'all gonna make me lose my mind", it may be wise to have an ambulance at the ready, George
2/8 Piers Morgan vs. Jeremy Clarkson
The mother of all Twitter spats - containing all sorts of expletives - between Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan never quite produced the fight everyone in Britain wanted to see, though Clarkson revealed he punched Morgan in 2012 - breaking his finger in the process. Surely we can work out a solution to make this happen, gentlemen?
3/8 Charles Saatchi vs. Taki Theodoracopulos
Ultimate Fighting Championship contestant - oh, and art collector - Charles Saatchi challenged The Spectator columnist Taki to a no rules, no mercy cage match at the magazine's headquarters in Westminster, after the writer blasted his treatment of Nigella Lawson in a recent column. Snarling alpha-males kicking the living day lights out of each other? Don't mind if we do
4/8 Noel Gallagher vs. Robbie Williams
Any hopes for the most enticing battle between two of the most famous rock, pop, whatever-you-want-to-call-them stars may have diminished, but the running commentary between Liam Gallagher and Robbie Williams' provides fantastic entertainment nonetheless. Gallagher didn't seem too keen on responding to Williams' offer of: "would anyone like to see me fight Liam?" at the Brit Awards in 2000...unless Noel was allowed to take part as well
5/8 Grant Bovey vs. Ricky Gervais
The one where it actually happened. Twelve years ago, 'The Office' star Rocky Gervais triumphed in a comical charity boxing match with Grant Bovey, the ex-husband of Anthea Turner. Gervais won on a points decision after a close-fought match, with Gervais claiming he was happy to do it to "stop pain and suffering for others by suffering pain himself"
6/8 Vanilla Ice vs. Todd Bridges
'I need some ice, ice baby': it appears that 2002 was the year for celebrity knockouts, as US rapper Vanilla Ice, renowned for his hit song 'Ice, Ice Baby', was given a harsh lesson by tough nut Todd Bridges, taking just three rounds to claim victory
7/8 Ben Shephard vs. Lemar
As part of Comic Relief 2008, then-GMTV presenter Ben 'The a Hammer' Shephard took on singer Lemar 'The Soul Breaker' in a celebrity charity boxing match. With Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton providing mentoring, it promised to be an intriguing encounter, and Shephard eventually turned out to be the unanimous winner on the night despite being the smaller of the two
8/8 John Pienaar vs. Tony Hadley
Safety issues? What safety issues? The BBC were forced to cancel their popular series of 'The Fight' which saw celebrities pitted up against each other to raise money for charity. It would have seen BBC reporter John Pienaar and ballet singer Tony Hadley come face to face, but the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) threatened to revoke trainers' licences due to the danger posed, denying the public probably one of the most entertaining yet worst fights in the history of sport. Perhaps it's not too late?
But said that there was only one judge whose opinion matters to him.
"God. I know that ultimately, he's the only judge that I have to answer to.
"He knows what happened. I know what happened. So I'd leave it up to him."
Last month, it was revealed that Zimmerman was set to take part in a charity celebrity boxing match, organised by promoter Damon Feldman.
After thousands of entrants stated their desires to face Zimmerman in the ring, rapper DMX was selected as a worthy opponent. However, the event was cancelled after the promoter faced a considerable backlash.
"It was going to be an unknown person and be a smaller event," Zimmerman said of the decision to axe the bout.
"If I went out there and got beat up, the charity was still getting paid," he said. "I don't want to get beat up, but I saw it as an opportunity. I never expected it to be, to turn out the way it did."
Taking to Twitter at the time, Feldman posted that he was "done with Zimmerman", and that he had made the decision to pull the match because he was "the wrong person to put in a the ring and define celebrity boxing".
A match was rumoured to have been rescheduled with a new promoter, but Zimmerman did not clarify the reports during his interview.
He did, however, confirm that he’d taken up a far calmer pastime: painting and selling his artistic works on eBay. One such piece of art by Zimmerman fetched upwards of $100,000 on the online auction site.
"To be honest, I was hoping to be able to provide a decent lifestyle for my family," he said.
Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges levied against him, after he fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford. The 30-year-old Hispanic man claimed that he had killed Martin with a weapon in an act of self-defence.
Zimmerman remained without charge for 44 days after the shooting occurred, which led to nationwide protests and sparked furious debate over racial profiling and the right to use weapons in self-defence. Further demonstrations broke out after Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013.
Federal authorities are currently reviewing the entire case to decide whether Martin’s civil rights were violated.Reuse content