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Law & the Courts

George Zimmerman Sues Family of Trayvon Martin over Use of False Evidence

George Zimmerman listens to the judge during his first-appearance hearing in Sanford, Fla., November 19, 2013. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Reuters)

George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer acquitted of murder in the 2012 shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is suing Martin’s family, prosecutors, and others involved for $100 million for fabricating evidence.

Zimmerman, who is represented by Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch, claims that Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump — also named a defendant in the suit — used Rachel Jeantel as a false witness to pose as Martin’s girlfriend, Diamond Eugene.

Jeantel, who testified saying she was on the phone with Martin before he was shot, but was criticized for inconsistencies in her testimony, including admitting having a friend write a letter signed “Diamond Eugene” to Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, outlining what happened on the day he died.

“On information and belief, Defendant Crump was party with Defendant Eugene to the planning of the witness switch and assisted in the preparation of Defendant Jeantel to take Defendant Eugene’s place, and both Defendants Eugene and Crump suborned perjury to cause Defendant Jeantel to incriminate Zimmerman with Defendant Crump’s false narrative,” Zimmerman’s lawsuit reads.

Much of the evidence is based off a new documentary, The Trayvon Hoax, created by Joel Gilbert, the creator of a 2012 documentary Dreams From My Real Father, which made unsubstantiated claims that communist Frank Marshall Davis was the real father of former president Barack Obama, and showed nude photos allegedly of Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham. Gilbert has also contributed to and hosted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s show InfoWars.

Zimmerman is holding a press conference with Klayman and Gilbert on Thursday, followed by a film screening. Copies of the film and the were also distributed to the press with Zimmerman’s announcement.

In 2016, Zimmerman drew criticism for attempting to auction off the gun used to kill Martin, allegedly calling the weapon “a piece of American history.”

“What I’ve decided to do is not cower. I’m a free American. I can do what I want with my possessions,” Zimmermann explained.

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