George Zimmerman — who was acquitted of murder in the 2012 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin — filed a lawsuit against presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, claiming they defamed him in tweets they posted for Martin’s 25th birthday.
Zimmerman, 36, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit Court. According to The Lakeland Ledger, the suit alleges that Warren and Buttigieg’s February 5 tweets defamed Zimmerman “for political gain [and] in misguided and malicious attempts to bolster their standings amongst African-American voters, all at Zimmerman’s expense.”
Warren has approximately 3.6 million Twitter followers and Buttigieg has about 1.6 million.
Buttigieg wrote, “Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today. How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun violence, prejudice, and fear?”
“My heart goes out to @SybrinaFulton [Martin’s mother] 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,” Warren tweeted.
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
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 then-neighborhood watch volunteer claimed he was defending himself when he fatally shot Martin, 17, in Sanford in February 2012. He was ultimately acquitted in the teen’s shooting death, sparking international outrage and criticism of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Larry Klayman, a prominent conservative activist and former U.S. Justice Department prosecutor, is representing the once-accused killer in his multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
In December, Zimmerman filed a $100 lawsuit in Florida against Martin’s family, their attorneys, prosecutors, and a book publishing company, alleging they’re responsible for years worth of defamation and harassment. Klayman’s also representing Zimmerman in that case.
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[Featured image: George Zimmerman/Seminole County Sheriff’s Office; Trayvon Martin/Facebook]