Orlando, Florida (NBC) (12/05/19)— The former Florida neighborhood watchman, acquitted of killing 17 year old Trayvon Martin seven years ago, is suing the teenager’s family and others involved in the case for $100 million.
In a lawsuit filed by his attorney, Larry Klayman, Zimmerman claims the case against him rested on false evidence and is alleging abuse of civil process and conspiracy.
More specifically, the suit contends that the prosecution’s key witness, Rachel Jeantel, was an “impostor and fake witness.”
Benjamin Crump, attorney for Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, is also named in the suit.
Crump released a statement dismissing the lawsuit as “another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others.”
Klayman also contends that his client was defamed by Crump, who wrote about the case in his book titled Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People. Crump’s publisher, HarperCollins, is also a defendant in the suit.
Other defendants include the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State of Florida.
Martin, who lived in Miami, was killed on February 26, 2012, as he was walking to his father’s girlfriend’s home in a gated community in Sanford, a city near Orlando.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman at the time, who regularly patrolled the development, encountered the unarmed teenager as he was returning from a local 7-Eleven.
Though there is no dispute that Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, state prosecutors contended that he racially profiled the hoodie-clad teen and continued to follow him even after a police dispatcher had told him it was unnecessary.
Zimmerman’s lawyers claimed it was self defense after Martin jumped him and beat him up, thus he was acquitted, sparking racial protests nationwide. The Justice Department ultimately decided not to bring a civil rights case against him.
In a newly published book and documentary by Joel Gilbert, titled The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America, Klayman claims there is newly found evidence stating Jeantel was not Martin’s girlfriend and had not been on the phone with him before the incident.
Both Jeantel, the alleged false witness, and Brittany Diamond Eugene, the alleged real girlfriend/witness, are both listed as defendants in the suit.
Activist Marie Rattigan has now filed a complaint against Klayman with the Florida Bar, alleging that “in an attempt to re-victimize the family of Trayvon Martin, he filed a frivolous complaint.
Rattigan also notes that Klayman listed the addresses of the plaintiffs in the case, but not of Zimmerman, in what she claims is “to protect him from the same harm he intends to unleash on the defendants.
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