George Zimmerman was worried he'd missed when he shot Trayvon Martin: 'I was afraid it hit a neighbour'
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."
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.
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