George Zimmerman, the Florida man who has been publicly accused but not formally charged in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager, is speaking out now on the internet for the first time and soliciting funds to help his defense.
On a simply designed website set against the backdrop of an America flag, Zimmerman tells of the situations he has encountered since February 26, the day he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
The death and the handling of the case by the local police department touched off a national debate on race, profiling and standing your ground in America.
In his first public statement, Zimmerman opens, saying “I am the real George Zimmerman.” It’s necessary to establish the site’s authenticity, Zimmerman said, because other sites have been launched, supposedly on his behalf.
“On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life-altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. 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. This website’s sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries,” he wrote.
“It has come to my attention that some persons and/or entities have been collecting funds, thinly veiled as my ‘Defense Fund’ or ‘Legal Fund.’ I cannot attest to the validity of these other websites as I have not received any funds collected, intended to support my family and I through this trying, tragic time.”
Zimmerman has set up a Paypal account to receive funds from his supporters. He also is accepting funds through major credit cards, including American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
“I will also personally maintain accountability of all funds received. I reassure you, every donation is appreciated,” he said.
In a section of the site under the header “Race,” there is no description, only a quote from the English/American author Thomas Paine that reads: “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”
Zimmerman’s first public comments come just as the special prosecutor appointed in the case by the Florida governor decided not to present the case to the grand jury. Charges still could be filed against Zimmerman, but none have been announced.
“The state must go forward and be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Angela Corey, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, in a statement.
Corey, a state’s attorney who is based in Jacksonville, began working with the case about three weeks following the shooting. Her team must not only investigate what happened to lead to Trayvon’s death, but also the missteps taken by the local law enforcement.
From California to New York, the calls for justice for Trayvon Martin continue. In several U.S. cities on Easter Sunday, hundreds of motorcyclists mounted their wheels to ride in honor of Trayvon Martin.
In Durham, North Carolina, about 350 bikers assembled and rode to Greensboro, North Carolina where they met up with other bikers.
“The most important thing that we need to learn as part of the community is to make sure that your neighbors are treated fairly, that everybody you deal with is treated fairly and just being aware,” event organizer Ramsey Richardson told WRAL.com. Organizers of that ride also raised money that will go to the Trayvon Martin fund in Florida to help pay for legal costs associated with the case.
In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, about 70 bikers from 10 different clubs gathered for a ride in honor of Trayvon.
“I feel the situation itself is that if no one stands up now, something like this will happen again to another young man,” said Curtis Foster of the Carolina Cruisers motorcycle club, in an article published in the Winston-Salem Journal. “This is not a problem for any one group. It is a problem for everybody.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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