As if he hasn’t already killed someone, George Zimmerman continues to gloat. Just months ago, he filed a $100 million lawsuit against the mother of the Black man who died by his hands, Trayvon Martin. Now this.
What We Know:
- The lawsuit filed in Polk County, Florida, Tuesday argues that Warren and Buttigieg’s two separate tweets on Feb. 5, which would have been Martin’s 25th birthday, used the killing “as a pretext to demagogue and falsely brand Zimmerman as a white supremacist and racist to their millions of Twitter followers.”
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
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 5, 2020
- Martin’s death sparked nationwide protests and largely helped launch the Black Lives Matter movement. Zimmerman, however, was acquitted in 2013 on all charges against him. His defense claimed he acted in self-defense by shooting Martin, an unarmed black teen, after the 17-year-old attacked him on his neighborhood watch shift, beating his head into the ground.
- The lawsuit cited separate tweets both candidates posted on 5 February, the victim’s birthday, in which they call out issues of gun violence and prejudice in the US.
- Though neither of their tweets so much as named Mr. Zimmerman, the 36-year-old claimed in his lawsuit that Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Warren were committing “defamation with actual malice or at a minimum a reckless disregard for the truth”.
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. https://t.co/9lXXlRnvzL
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 6, 2020
- The lawsuit argued Warren and Buttigieg falsely tied Martin’s death to “gun violence,” a term that more appropriately describes the “reckless and indiscriminate use of illegally owned firearms.” It also claims the tweets defamed Zimmerman by implying he acted out of racism or white supremacy when he shot Martin.
- The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000, costs and attorneys’ fees. Zimmerman claims the candidates were attempting to “garner votes in the black community,” Newsweek.com reported.
His delayed arrest and acquittal spurred the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
This is a breaking news story, it will be updated here and in the BNA app.