What do you do if you are George Zimmerman fighting a second-degree murder case for killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin and you are low on funds for your defense team? You release a new ‘shocking’ bloody photo of yourself to prove your innocence and bribe the public to contribute to your defense fund by promising to sign ‘thank you cards’ for their contribution; of course.
This is the latest news involving Zimmerman, who was charged with second-degree murder this spring; after nearly five weeks of investigation spurred on largely by public outcry. Mr. Zimmerman maintains that he’s not guilty because he shot Martin in self defense that fateful evening. The defendant is seeking to use Florida’s Stand Your Ground law to make his case. However, the evidence doesn’t seem to strongly support his claim.
To bolster support for his statement that he feared for his life during a struggle with Martin; Zimmerman’s legal team has released the bloody new photo, showing what their client looked like in the wake of the shooting. Presumably, the photo was taken after the altercation and is supposed to show that the teen put up a sizable fight in the struggle and; as a result, the defendant had a right to use deadly force.
The problem with this claim is that 911 call released months ago during the initial investigation. In it, the dispatcher instructs Zimmerman not to pursue Martin. During that call, there was no imminent threat of violence; which is why the 911 operator advised the neighborhood watch security guard to back off. He expressed to the operator what he thought to be cause for concern; a young Black male teenager, dressed in a hoodie, and walking home at night. Instead of following the advice of the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman thought it wise to confront the young man and…the rest is sad history.
Now, the 29-year old is set to face a judge on June 10, 2013. With that date closing in soon, his defense team is trying to gather enough evidence to have the case dismissed on the Stand Your Ground law. After seeing the photo with a bloodied Zimmerman, Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Martin family remarked, “How bad could it have been if they didn’t take him to the hospital, didn’t stitch him up?” Indeed, it has been reported that after he shot the unarmed teen Zimmerman refused transport to the hospital and did not follow up with any medical aftercare following the incident.
In addition to his defense team preparing their case, it seems they have taken up the fundraising slack as well. Zimmerman’s legal team has promised financial contributors a signed thank you note from their client; an autograph, if you will. Understandably, there has been quite the public backlash against that gesture.
Zimmerman remains released on $1 million dollars bail.