George Zimmerman has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the family of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted of killing the unarmed black teen back in 2012.
Zimmerman claimed at the time that he was defending himself when he shot Martin, who was only 17 and was visiting his father in the same gated community that Zimmerman lived in Sanford, Florida.
The new lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Polk County. Zimmerman’s attorney told local media that the only reason Zimmerman was tried was because of “fake witnesses.”
Zimmerman had been charged with second-degree murder in Martin’s death but was acquitted on July 13, 2013.
According to the newly filed lawsuit he is suing on the grounds that the “so-called fake witness” had been coached to testify that she was Martin’s girlfriend and that they had been on the phone talking just moments before he was fatally shot. The lawsuit alleges that neither of those things were true.
The lawsuit also names in Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney who represented the Martin family, for the memoir he wrote on the case called “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People.” The book was published by HarperCollins Publishers in October. Zimmerman is also suing the publishing house for defamation.
“I have every confidence that this unfounded and reckless lawsuit will be revealed for what it is — another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others,” Crump said in a statement. “This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions. He would have us believe that he is the innocent victim of a deep conspiracy, despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims.”
When asked about Zimmerman’s claims that the witnesses that testified against him were fake Crump responded, “This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.”