Why George Zimmerman is still in media spotlight
George Zimmerman was found 'not guilty' in July of murdering of Trayvon Martin. But George Zimmerman continues to find himself in run-ins with the police and the media. Why?
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It's not just his public outings and repeated brushes with the legal system that have kept Zimmerman in the spotlight. Martin's parents were prominent participants in last month's 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington, and several civil rights leaders have called for the repeal of "stand-your-ground" laws, which generally remove a person's duty to retreat if possible in the face of danger.Skip to next paragraph
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Even when he helped extricate a family from an overturned SUV in July, Zimmerman couldn't catch a break.
The grateful couple canceled a news conference, defense attorney Mark O'Mara said, "for the possibility of blowback against them." People immediately suggested the incident was staged — or at least poked fun at the timing.
"Let's get this straight," Nigel Stevens wrote on the site www.opposingviews.com. "Zimmerman, in his only documented venture into the real world, heroically transforms into Volunteer Paramedic and rescues someone from deadly circumstances. Is this really happening? Aaron Sorkin and Steven Spielberg couldn't have collaborated to come up with that ending. "
Stevens — after dubbing Zimmerman "the most vilified man in America" — went on to suggest the next acts on the watchman's "Karmic Redemption Tour": Providing emergency childbirth assistance to Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, balancing Detroit's budget and capturing NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Zimmerman certainly has his supporters. Several groups launched petition drives urging the Department of Justice not to pursue federal civil rights charges against him.
"The jury has spoken and found that the prosecution failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that George Zimmerman had malice or racism in his heart or even a reckless disregard for Trayvon Martin's life when he shot the teenager," declared a petition on dickmorris.rallycongress.com. "The Justice Department should now butt out."
But the trial seems to have set in motion some forces that are beyond Zimmerman's control.
In late August, Shellie Zimmerman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying during a bail hearing after her husband's arrest. Last week, she filed for divorce, and felt compelled to tell the world about it. On ABC's "Good Morning America," she called her husband "selfish" and accused him of leaving her with "a bunch of pieces of broken glass" after the acquittal.
Zimmerman blames the trial for the implosion of his marriage. His wife's attorney, Kelly Sims, said the couple have been on a "Tower of Terror" — an apparent reference to the harrowing, "Twilight Zone"-themed ride at nearby Walt Disney World — since the shooting and had spent only a few days together before the divorce filing.
But was it wise for Zimmerman to go to the home Monday and take photos while his wife and her family were there gathering belongings?