Trayvon Martin killer launches website to raise money 'for living expenses and legal defence'


Sanford, Florida

Lonely, in hiding, and apparently out of a job, the man who shot Trayvon Martin has finally broken his silence, launching a personal website to share some of his thoughts and solicit donations from well-wishers.

George Zimmerman's short statement does not address finer details of the now-famous altercation which led to the black teenager's death, referring only to what he describes as a "life altering event" that took place a month and a half ago.

Printed under the headline "I am the real George Zimmerman," his comments are carried above a picture of the stars-and-stripes, and are accompanied by a selection of famous motivational quotations by the likes of Henrik Ibsen and Edmund Burke.

"On the night of February 26th, I was involved in a life-altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage," read his statement. "As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life."

Zimmerman then provides details of a Paypal account which he says will allow readers to offer financial donations. "I would like to provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally, and ensure that any funds are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment," he writes.

Under a section of the website headlined "my race," Zimmerman, who is half Latino but who was initially reported by detectives who investigated Martin's death to be white, quotes Thomas Paine: "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."

A section titled "the facts" quotes James W Loewen, a sociologist. "People have a right to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight."

Perhaps by accident, the site also carries pictures of graffiti saying: "Long Live George Zimmerman." It was spray-painted onto the walls of a black cultural centre at Ohio State University earlier this week, in what was widely described as a hate crime.

Martin's death remains the subject of international controversy. The unarmed, 17-year-old schoolboy was killed as he walked to the home of his father's girlfriend, in a gated community on the outskirts Sanford, Florida, after a night-time visit to a convenience store.

Local Police did not arrest Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer who had been convinced that the teenager was "acting suspiciously," apparently accepting his claim to have fired in self defence after being attacked.

Yesterday, protestors barricaded the entrance to Sanford's police department, which has already seen its chief resign in the wake of the incident. In the early hours of this morning, six shots were fired at an empty police car in the neighbourhood where Martin died.

The local mayor, Jeff Triplett, described the city, part of the suburban sprawl north of Orlando, as a "kindling box," with both militant civil rights groups and neo-Nazi organisations reported to be on the streets.

Zimmerman's fate currently rests with Angela Corey, a special prosecutor brought in to decide whether he should face charges in relation to Martin's killing. She must decide whether any charges will stick, given Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows gun owners to use lethal force when they feel threatened.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin's parents, meanwhile criticised Zimmerman's website. "You know he says that he experienced a life-altering event. Well, Trayvon Martin experienced a life-ending event,'' he told reporters.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own