George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is now suing Martin’s parents, prosecutors and others that were involved in the closed murder case for $100 million. Despite being acquitted for the murder in 2013, The Miami Herald reported on Wednesday (Dec. 4) that Zimmerman claims the case depended on false evidence.
Represented by Attorney Larry Klayman, Zimmerman’s lawsuit claims false evidence and defamation based on new allegations from a book and film called The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America. The Joel Gilbert-directed documentary claims that a witness from the 2013 trial, Rachel Jeantel, was not actually Martin’s girlfriend nor was on the phone with him before his murder.
Due to the alleged evidence proposed in the film, Zimmerman now seeks $100 million in civil damages and claims he was the victim of defamation, abuse of civil process and conspiracy.
According to Klayman’s website, a press conference will be held by the attorney, Zimmerman and director Gilbert on Thursday (Dec. 5) in Coral Gables, FL.
The Miami Herald also reports that the case is not yet on the online docket for the Polk County Circuit Court system.
Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in Sanford, FL on Feb. 26, 2012. The unarmed teenager was visiting his father in The Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community when he was killed by Zimmerman, who was the neighborhood watch coordinator. Zimmerman was released by police after claiming he had acted in self-defense, but was charged with second degree murder and manslaughter six weeks later. He was ultimately acquitted by a jury of all charges and after a three-year investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, he was not charged with a hate crime.
“It was very disappointing yesterday to hear from the Department of Justice and to know that my son’s murderer will not be charged. It disappointed us greatly, but like I said, it didn’t surprise us at all,” Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said a day after the DOJ issued its decision. “We, in the U.S., are under a crisis when our young people cannot walk the streets… without being threatened… profiled or murdered. We have got to do something, we have to do a better job.”
Fulton is currently running for the District 1 seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission.