- Reuters/Orange County Sheriff's Office
George Zimmerman's father has come forward to defend his son, who has suffered from social scrutiny after shooting Trayvon Martin in what he said was "self defense."
Public outrage has soared since the story of Trayvon Martin caught on national news. The 17-year-old boy was found shot to death on Feb. 26. The man accused of shooting the boy, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, cited self-defense and was not arrested after the incident. However, news reports later confirmed that Martin had been unarmed, prompting some to accuse Zimmerman of racism. Public outcry has insisted that Zimmerman should be arrested, refuting his claim of self defense.
For the first time, Zimmerman's father has stepped forward to defend his son's actions, stating that Martin had threatened Zimmerman.
"Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of, 'You're going to die now' or 'You're going to die tonight,' something to that effect," Robert Zimmerman told Orlando TV station WOFL. "He continued to beat George. At some point, George pulled his pistol. Did what he did."
Robert Zimmerman also repeated the story that his son had told reporters.
"He was punched in the nose. His nose was broken," Robert Zimmerman said. "He was knocked to the concrete. Trayvon Martin got on top of him and just started beating him. In the face. In his nose, hitting his head on the concrete."
Full details about the case remained unknown for some time. Martin was shot on February 26, but 911 calls were not released until March. During the 911 calls a voice is screaming for help. It was initially believed that Martin had been asking for help, although in later reports a friend of Zimmerman's stated that it was Zimmeran who had cried out, adding that Zimmerman had cried for days after the incident had occurred.
Initial reports also claimed that Zimmerman had suffered injuries including a broken nose and bloodied head. However, new surveillance video taken as Zimmerman was entering the police station the night of the incident revealed that Zimmerman did not appear to be suffering from any injuries.
The videos have raised even more controversy, causing some to further refute Zimmerman's self-defense claim.