Thursday 12 May 2016 07.42 BST
George Zimmerman has listed the gun with which he killed Trayvon Martin in 2012 for auction, touting it as “your opportunity to own a piece of American history”.
The pistol used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin is again being auctioned online.
George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the teenager, had planned to auction what he called "an American icon" on the website Gun Broker on Thursday.
This is not the first time that Zimmerman has sought to cash in on his notoriety. His first painting of an American flag, emblazoned with the words "God One Nation with Liberty and Justice For All," sold on eBay for the staggering sum of $100,000. But it did not impress critics, who called it "primitive" and "appalling."
Harsher language will no doubt be used to describe the sale of the pistol that killed Trayvon Martin.
Nov. 18, 2013 8:00 PM EST—
APOPKA, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman told a 911 operator that he never pulled a gun on his girlfriend, and that it was she who smashed a table at the home they shared outside Orlando.
Zimmerman said on the 911 call Monday that the girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, also became upset when he started to leave.
Deputies didn't buy Zimmerman's story and charged him with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief.
Scheibe told deputies that Zimmerman smashed a glass table with his firearm, pointed the gun at her and shoved her out of their home after she asked him to leave.
Subject: Sign the petition
Trayvon Martin is dead, and his killer is walking free. The injustice of the situation is both palpable and maddening. There is no question that had George Zimmerman not acted as an armed vigilante almost a year and a half ago, Trayvon Martin would still be alive. But while a jury in Florida decided not to hold Zimmerman responsible for this senseless murder, the federal government can still take action. I just signed a petition telling Attorney General Eric Holder to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. You should sign it, too.
What being liberal or conservative has to do with condoning murder?
It is baffling that a nigger would take the position of Mr. Parks. By the way, while I do feel apprehensive about calling Mr. Parks names, because people of his kind are physically strong and prone to violence, I am assured by his statement that he would just say: "Yes, sir".
Even if one accepts that George Zimmerman was justified in profiling and stalking and confronting Trayvon Martin, end even more, if one accept that at some point Martin got the upper hand, the fact is that Zimmerman provoked the situation and at least a charge of Manslaughter is in order. Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder. The law generally differentiates between levels of criminal culpability based on the mens rea, or state of mind; or the circumstances under which the killing occurred (mitigating factors). Manslaughter is usually broken down into two distinct categories: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter;
Trayvon Martin is dead, and whatever verdict would no change that, but a verdict of innocence makes Zimmerman the victim and sets a dangerous precedent that it is all right to look for lethal confrontations.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist.
The former neighborhood watch volunteer filed the lawsuit seeking an undisclosed amount of money in Seminole County, outside Orlando. Also named in the complaint were three reporters covering the story for NBC or an NBC-owned television station.
The complaint said the airing of the edited call has inflicted emotional distress on Zimmerman, making him fear for his life and causing him to suffer nausea, insomnia and anxiety.
To think minorities can't be racist against another group is very naive.
By Manuel Roig-Franzia, Tom Jackman and Darryl Fears
The Washington Post
The shooter was once a Catholic altar boy, with a surname that could have been Jewish.
His father is white, neighbors say. His mother is Peruvian. And his family is eager to point out that some of his relatives are black. The slain victim, we know, was named Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager in a hoodie.
Why are they calling him white, wondered Paul Ebert, the Prince William County commonwealth's attorney who knew Zimmerman's mother, Gladys, from her days as an interpreter at the county courthouse. Zimmerman's mother, Ebert knew, was Peruvian, and he thought of her as Hispanic.
Looking at Zimmerman's photograph made Darren Soto, a Florida state legislator, think he might be Latino.
"You have people with Anglo first and last names who speak perfect Spanish and are from Puerto Rico. And you've got a third- or fourth-generation Joey Gonzalez from Tampa who can't speak a word of Spanish."
The focus in Florida, where thousands gathered Thursday night in Sanford for an emotional rally, has primarily been on complaints that Martin, 17, may have been targeted because of his race.
In Manassas, Va., where Zimmerman lived in the 1980s and 1990s with his parents and two siblings, neighbors tended to define the family based on their spiritual profile. "Very Catholic ... very religious," their neighbor Jim Rudzenski recalled Thursday. The children attended All Saints Catholic School through the eighth grade before going to Osbourn High School. George became an altar server and evening receptionist at All Saints Catholic Church.
The father, Robert Zimmerman, is a retired military man. He could be strict. And the children's grandmother, who lived with the family, also kept a watchful eye, said Kay Hall, who lived across the street from the Zimmermans for about 20 years. George and his siblings "didn't play with the neighborhood kids," Rudzenski said. "They had to stay home and play." It was always "Yes, ma'am," "No, ma'am," Hall said.
Zimmerman's life was not without difficulties. In 2001, when he was 17 or 18, he was the victim of a minor criminal assault, said Manassas police Sgt. Eddie Rivera. The city's computer records do not provide details.
In school, Zimmerman hinted at ambitions in the business world. He joined a Future Business Leaders of America club. In his senior yearbook, he wrote: "I'm going to Florida to work with my godfather who just bought a $1 million business."
In Florida, Zimmerman shifted his plans, enrolling in Seminole State College with hopes of becoming a law-enforcement officer. He became the self-appointed protector of the streets around his home in Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community, although his neighborhood-watch organization was not officially registered.
In the past eight years, he called the police department at least 46 times with reports of various sightings: open garages, suspicious people. In 2005, according to police records obtained by The Orlando Sentinel and other news organizations, Zimmerman was twice accused of either criminal misconduct or violence. He had a concealed-weapon permit and had a black Kel-Tec semiautomatic handgun and a holster the night Martin died.
Zimmerman married Shellie Nicole Dean, a licensed cosmetologist, in late 2007. The next year, he resurfaced in court documents as a credit-card company pursued him for unpaid debts.
Capital One accused Zimmerman of failing to pay more than $1,000. He settled with the company for $2,135.82, records show, to cover his debts with interest, as well as attorney and court costs. However, the credit-card company soon reported that Zimmerman wasn't making the payments he had agreed to.
It's unclear how Zimmerman was employed when he encountered Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.
Teontae Ami, who also lives in the Retreat at Twin Lakes community, said very few black teens like himself live in the neighborhood. Ami, 17, said he and a close friend who is black would sit at the end of a driveway in the evening and felt uncomfortable when Zimmerman would pass them on a neighborhood patrol. They used to greet him, but he never responded, he said.
"I think he took his job too seriously," Ami said, referring to Zimmerman's watch patrols. A student, Ami said his friend was once confronted by Zimmerman, who accused him of stealing a bike.
"I don't want to call it a black thing, but it sure seemed like it," said Ami.
Another neighbor, Frank Taaffe, 55, defended Zimmerman as "not a racist."
Taaffe, a marketing specialist who had been a watch captain with Zimmerman until December, said he may have been "overzealous, maybe," but "his main concern is the safety and welfare of the community."
He said Zimmerman had been doing watch patrols for about a year and was a stand-up guy. Records show Zimmerman is not the owner of the town home where he lives.
Zimmerman's father has sought to emphasize his family's diversity in hopes of saving his son from condemnation as a racist.
While images of protests from across the country skitter past on television screens, the elder Zimmerman has tried to do what others have been doing, in various ways, for days: define his son. George is "a Spanish-speaking minority," the father wrote in a letter delivered to The Orlando Sentinel. "He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever." George, the father insisted, was more like the boy he killed than people thought. George was a minority — the other — too.
The argument the father is making feels hollow and self-serving to Michaela Angela Davis, an African-American writer and activist who lives in New York. In her eyes, George Zimmerman's Hispanic roots don't give him cover.
"You being a minority doesn't make you immune to racist beliefs," she said in an interview Thursday. Davis sees a pervasive cultural imprint, reinforced by media and entertainment imagery: the black man as a symbol of "violence, fear and deviant behavior." A young man could be susceptible to the influence of that image whether his "mother is from Peru or Norway."
History of tension
Hispanics and black Americans have a shared history of discrimination in the United States. But they also have a shared history of tension in neighborhoods, schools, even prisons. In Latin America, including Peru, Afro Latinos have frequently complained of a lack of political representation, economic disenfranchisement and the virtual absence of their image in popular culture, such as soap operas, an issue they attribute to racial exclusion.
Zimmerman's legal fate could rest on examinations of possible motives that will be pieced together from clues, including snatches of audiotape, and from inquiries into whether he muttered a racial slur before the shooting.
His family background doesn't discount possible racial motives, said Luis Martinez-Fernandez, a professor of Latin American and Caribbean history at the University of Central Florida. Hispanics are an ethnic group, but within that group there are different races. There are black Dominicans and Cubans, for instance.
"Who is Hispanic and who's not is not as clear as other ethnic groups," said Martinez-Fernandez. "There's no such thing as a Hispanic race. It has to do with origin, culture and race. Some people argue that language should be a part. All this complicates identity."
Hispanics make up the nation's largest ethnic group at more than 13 percent of the population, while African Americans are the largest racial group, with more than 12 percent of the population. In the 2010 Census, more than half of people who identified as Hispanic said they were white, and only 3 percent said they were black.
"There's a sense that one group has been harmed historically more than the other," Martinez-Fernandez said. "There's been a history of the dominant group in power pitting one group against the other. I think we have not fought together. There have been few instances of that."
Post staff writers Brady Dennis, Sari Horowitz and Jeremy Borden contributed to this report. Material from The Orlando Sentinel is included in this report.