George Zimmerman named homelessness, financial obligations amounting to millions of dollars, and even post-traumatic stress disorder as the problems he believes he is unjustly facing after he was acquitted for the murder Trayvon Martin.
In the case of the trained boxer and armed volunteer neighborhood watchman, the public is now being asked to see the man behind the gun as the victim, not the unarmed 17-year-old boy who was shot and killed.
Zimmerman gave recent interviews with Univision’s “Aqui y Ahora,” which translates into “Here and Now,” and CNN’s “New Day.”
In both interviews Zimmerman insisted that he is the victim, while refusing to answer several questions on the grounds that there is an ongoing civil rights investigation conducted by the Department of Justice.
What he did reveal was that he is currently $2.5 million in debt for attorneys’ fees and that he is currently living off assistance from his family.
He said he has struggled to find work, even though his paintings are selling online for several thousand dollars.
“Honestly, I [would] love to live a calm life without being in the press,” Zimmerman said. “I’d like [to be treated like] any American citizens – have a ticket … or an argument… [and] not have everyone aware.”
He went on to say that he is suffering from PTSD and is now living in constant fear of his life.
According to Zimmerman, he never leaves home without putting on a bullet-proof vest first.
During his “Aqui y Ahora” interview, he also insisted that he believed he had to shoot Martin to save his life.
“In my mind and between God and me … I know that if I did not act the way I acted … I would not be here,” he added.
“New Day” host Chris Cuomo questioned that logic during his interview with Zimmerman because the former neighborhood watch volunteer had some boxing training and had even agreed to participate in a controversial celebrity boxing match.
Zimmerman said that a controlled boxing match is much different to an assault in the street.
When asked how he felt about people who praise him for killing a Black teenager, Zimmerman insisted he was disgusted with those people despite the racist Facebook statuses that filled his social media profile prior to the trial.
“[I’m] equally as disgusted with them as with people who were threatening my family,” Zimmerman said.
He also insisted that he is suffering only because the media wanted to use him as a “scapegoat” for “the government, the president, the attorney general.”
Meanwhile, CNN has received quite a bit of backlash for interviewing Zimmerman at all, but it is important to note that the interview in no way treated him as if he were a celebrity.
CNN highlighted the fact that Zimmerman refused to answer questions like,“Do you regret that you killed Trayvon Martin?” and whether he believes he could have handled the situation to prevent Martin’s death.
Fox News explained that in spite of how uncomfortable it may be to even set eyes on Zimmerman, he is still a newsworthy subject and a man who was acquitted of murder.
“I understand the emotion behind these complaints,” Fox reporter Howard Kurtz wrote. “But journalists interview bad guys all the time, including people who have been convicted of terrible crimes and butchers on the international stage. … Journalists vied to talk to O.J. Simpson after his acquittal, even though they presumed he was a murderer.”