George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012, is now suing 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg for $265 million, claiming they defamed him in an effort to “garner votes in the black community.”
The lawsuit was filed in Polk County, Florida on Tuesday, arguing that Warren and Buttigieg’s individual tweets on the anniversary of what would have been Martin’s 25th birthday on February 5th, used his death “as a pretext to demagogue and falsely brand Zimmerman as a white supremacist and racist to their millions of Twitter followers.”
George Zimmerman is suing presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, saying they maliciously connected him to “white supremacy” and “racism” in the death of Trayvon Martin. https://t.co/0ObzFZeFXe
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) February 19, 2020
Nationwide protests were held in reaction to Martin’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement was sparked over the killing. In 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges against him, claiming self-defense.
Buttigieg and Warren Tweet on What Would Have Been Martin’s 25th Birthday
Buttigieg 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”
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
Warren tweeted, “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.”
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
Judicial Watch Founder Larry Klayman is Zimmerman’s Lawyer
Zimmerman’s lawsuit claims Warren and Buttigieg falsely tied Martin’s death to “gun violence,” a term that more appropriately describes the “reckless and indiscriminate use of illegally owned firearms.” It also argues the tweets imply that Zimmerman was motivated by racism when he shot Martin.
“The only ‘fear’ Zimmerman experienced, as established in the 2013 trial and well-covered in the media, was in the context of Zimmerman believing he might go unconscious and die from the repeated beating of his head against the sidewalk pavement or by choking to death from the blood going down his throat due to his broken nose during the beating by Martin,” the lawsuit states.
“It is high time that the cheap and harmful use of the race card by politicians of all stripes be made to cease and desist,” Zimmerman’s attorney, Larry Klayman, argued. Klayman is the founder of conservative legal rights group Judicial Watch.
“The nation should applaud Mr. Zimmerman for taking a strong stand and pushing back against hack politicians like Buttigieg and Warren, who know no bounds of decency and frankly could obviously care less about whom they hurt in their quest to dishonesty use and manipulate black voters to win the 2020 Democrat presidential primary,” Klayman added.