‘Scared’ George Zimmerman lawyer says he’d be foolish not to carry a GUN for protection as NY Giants star tweets ‘he won’t last a year before hood catches up with him’
- George Zimmerman’s defense team of Mark O’Mara and Don West said their client was scared for his life following his acquittal on Saturday
- He has received countless death threats after he was revealed as the killer of Trayvon Martin
- Zimmerman 28, was found not-guilty on Saturday but will always ‘be looking over his shoulder’ according to his brother
- Zimmerman will remain in hiding – and may never return to Florida
George Zimmerman is terrified for his safety in the aftermath of his controversial acquittal according to his lawyer who said he expects him to carry a gun for protection.
Speaking on Good Morning America, Zimmerman’s defense team of Mark O’Mara and Don West called this ‘the worst time’ of their clients life despite his sensational not-guilty verdict on Saturday evening.
Reasoning that it would be foolish for him not to be armed in the wake of the furious reaction to the trial’s outcome, attorney Don West said, ‘I don’t know how he could not carry a gun at this point since he has been lawfully allowed to carry one.’
Acknowledging that the nation is gripped by the polarizing trial, O’Mara said that Zimmerman is all too aware of the anger that has followed his acquittal for the murder and manslaughter of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
‘I think he’s aware of it – he’s been aware of it for 16 months,’ said O’Mara to GMA.
‘He’s become the focus of a lot of people’s dismay, disgust, anger about the event that happened that night.’
In addition, The Falcon’s Roddy White also tweeted, ‘All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid’ – before apologizing later.
Later on, Cruz sent a series of tweets on Sunday apolgizing for his message, calling it a ‘mistake’.
He said that he would ‘never advocate violence under any circumstances’. His original tweet has been deleted.
‘I apologize, that’s why I deleted it,’ one of Cruz’s messages says. ‘I believe conversation not confrontation leads to change and progress.’
Cruz recently signed a five-year contract extension with the Giants reportedly worth $43 million.
After a year and a half of living as a hermit, George Zimmerman emerged from a Florida courthouse on Saturday a free man, cleared of all charges in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
However, life will not change for Zimmerman, 29, who was forced immediately back into hiding because ‘several fringe groups’ refuse to accept the jury’s verdict that Zimmerman acted within the law when killed Martin.
‘He’s going to be looking over his shoulder the rest of his life,’ said his brother Robert Zimmerman Jr. during an interview on CNN.
‘There are factions, there are groups, there are people that would want to take the law into their own hands or be vigilantes in some sense if they think that justice was not served. They won’t respect a verdict no matter how it was reached and they will always present a threat to George and his family,’ said Robert Zimmerman.
‘He has always feared for his safety, we have always feared for his safety and our safety as a family,’ he added in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
Indeed, far from his personal ordeal being over, Zimmerman now faces the prospect of a civil lawsuit against him brought by the family of Trayvon Martin and the threat of federal proceedings from the Department of Justice.
Attorneys and consultants who have worked in similar cases say that Zimmerman’s life will not return to normal any time soon. Additionally, they added, should abandon his ambitions of becoming a police officer because his reputation has become far too divisive.
Zimmerman’s family and friends have not revealed where he will go or what he plans to do after the ruling.
However, it is certain that Zimmerman will remain in hiding, outside of Florida, with his wife Shellie ever since he was freed on bail in June 2012.
The former home loan officer rarely went out in public after his arrest. When he did, he wore a bulletproof vest and, often times, a disguise to protect him from members of the public who thought wre out to get him.
Even Zimmerman’s lawyers admit that the neighborhood watch volunteer remains a marked man.
‘This is something that will follow George Zimmerman forever and ever and ever,’ defense lawyer Don West said at a press conference shortly after the verdict was announced on Saturday night.
Experts say that George Zimmerman must abandon his ambitions of becoming a law enforcement officer in an effort to distance himself from the case and prevent himself from being defined by it.
‘He’s got to be careful to avoid the appearance of creating more divisions by accepting money or support openly from groups that maybe that would create more friction because of the tenor of this case,’ Gene Grabowski, a public relations consultant specializing in crisis communication told CNN.
‘He’s got to be careful about who he associates with afterwards, even if they are offering financial support.’
Trying to become a police officer – Zimmerman’s previous ambition – is the ‘absolute worst thing’ he can do after the acquittal, one consultant says.
‘It might be your old passion. My advice would be, you need to find a new passion. And it needs to be helping people in a very different way, a way that is much more compassionate, not just involving law enforcement,’ Mike Paul, a New York reputation management counselor, told CNN.
Demonstrators upset with the verdict protested mostly peacefully in Florida, Milwaukee, Washington, Atlanta and other cities overnight and into the early morning Sunday, but some broke windows and vandalized a police squad car in Oakland during protests in four California cities, authorities said.
Additional demonstrations were scheduled across the country through Sunday evening.
Martin’s killing in February 2012 unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.
Protesters nationwide lashed out against police in the Orlando suburb of Sanford as it took 44 days for Zimmerman to be arrested. Many, including Martin’s parents, said Zimmerman had racially profiled the unarmed black teen. Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic.
Six anonymous female jurors considered nearly three weeks of often wildly conflicting testimony over who was the aggressor on the rainy night the 17-year-old was shot while walking through the gated townhouse community where he was staying and where Zimmerman lived.
Jurors were sequestered during the trial, and they deliberated more than 15 hours over two days before announcing late Saturday night that they had reached a verdict. The court did not release the racial and ethnic makeup of the jury, but the panel appeared to reporters covering selection to be made up of five white women and a sixth who may be Hispanic.
In August 2012, defense attorney Mark O’Mara said Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, had been living like hermits and weren’t working because they feared for their safety.
After Saturday’s verdict, police, officials and civil rights leaders urged peace and told protesters not to resort to violence. While defense attorneys said they were thrilled with the outcome, O’Mara suggested Zimmerman’s safety would be an ongoing concern.
‘There still is a fringe element that wants revenge,’ O’Mara said. ‘They won’t listen to a verdict of not guilty.’
Those watching reacted strongly when the verdict was announced. Martin’s mother and father were not in the courtroom when it was read; supporters of his family who had gathered outside yelled “No! No!” upon learning of the verdict.
Andrew Perkins, 55, a black resident of Sanford, angrily asked outside the courthouse: “How the hell did they find him not guilty?”
“He killed somebody and got away with murder,” Perkins shouted, so angry he shook, looking toward the courthouse.
Trayvon Martin’s brother, Jahvaris Fulton, said on Twitter: “Et tu America?” – a reference to the Latin phrase “Et tu, Brute?” known as an expression of betrayal.
Protesters had taken to the streets late Saturday and into Sunday morning in Florida and other states, largely heeding the advice of officials and others who urged them not to resort to violence.
Authorities said in California media reports that some marchers in Oakland vandalized a police squad car and police formed a line to block some demonstrators there. TV news helicopter footage showed some people trying to start fires in the street and spray painting anti-police graffiti. The demonstration followed a raucous but largely peaceful protest in San Francisco and another in Los Angeles. An Oakland police dispatch said about 100 people protested there but gave no word of any arrests
Celebrities also reacted. Beyonce called at a Nashville concert for a moment of silence for Martin. Rapper Young Jeezy released a song in Martin’s memory and Russell Simmons called for peace.
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous started a petition calling for the Justice Department to open a civil rights case against Zimmerman. “The most fundamental of civil rights – the right to life – was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin,” Jealous wrote in the petition, posted on the website MoveOn.org and addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump acknowledged the disappointment of Trayvon Martin’s supporters, ranking the teen alongside civil rights heroes Medgar Evers and Emmett Till in the history of the fight for equal justice. However, Crump said, “for Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful.”
Martin’s family maintained the teen was not the aggressor, and prosecutors suggested Martin was scared because he was being followed by a stranger. Defense attorneys, however, said Martin knocked Zimmerman down and was slamming the older man’s head against the concrete sidewalk when Zimmerman fired his gun.
Prosecutors called Zimmerman a liar and portrayed him as a “wannabe cop” vigilante who had grown frustrated by break-ins in his neighborhood committed primarily by young black men. Zimmerman assumed Martin was up to no good and took the law into his own hands, prosecutors said.
State Attorney Angela Corey said after the verdict that she believed second-degree murder was the appropriate charge because Zimmerman’s mindset “fit the bill of second-degree murder.”
“We charged what we believed we could prove,” Corey said.
Zimmerman also had some supporters outside the courthouse, including Cindy Lenzen, 50, of Casslebury, and her brother, 52-year-old Chris Bay, who stood watching others chant slogans such as, “the whole system’s guilty.”
Lenzen and Bay – who are white – called the entire case “a tragedy,” especially for Zimmerman.
“It’s a tragedy that he’s going to suffer for the rest of his life,” Bay said. “No one wins either way. This is going to be a recurring nightmare in his mind every night.”
Before a special prosecutor assigned to the case ordered Zimmerman’s arrest, thousands of protesters had gathered in Sanford, Miami, New York and elsewhere, many wearing hoodies like the one Martin had on the night he died. They also carried Skittles and a can of iced tea, items Martin had in his pocket. President Barack Obama also had weighed in, saying that if he had a son, “he’d look like Trayvon.”
Despite the racially charged nature of the case, race was barely mentioned at the trial.
“This case has never been about race or the right to bear arms,” Corey said. “We believe this case all along was about boundaries, and George Zimmerman exceeded those boundaries.”
One of the few mentions of race came from witness Rachel Jeantel, the Miami teen who was talking to Martin by phone moments before he was shot. She testified that he described being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker” as he walked through the neighborhood.
Jeantel gave some of the trial’s most riveting testimony. She said she overheard Martin demand, “What are you following me for?” and then yell, “Get off! Get off!” before his cellphone went dead.
The jurors had to sort out clashing testimony from 56 witnesses in all, including police, neighbors, friends and family members.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2364028/Scared-George-Zimmerman-lawyer-says-hed-foolish-carry-GUN-protection-NY-Giants-star-tweets-wont-year-hood-catches-him.html#ixzz2Z7YhSN9D
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