Over the weekend, George Zimmerman, the man who shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, registered the website therealgeorgezimmerman.com, which includes a PayPal link for donations to his defense and living expenses.
In addition to the Paypal link, Zimmerman says in a statement that he has “been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life,” as a result of the February 26 shooting. A section labeled “The Facts” only includes a quote about facts and evidence, though presents no information about the shooting.
A section labeled “My Race” has a quote from Thomas Payne.
Special prosecutor for the case Angela Corey announced yesterday that she wouldn’t present be presenting to a grand jury that was scheduled to convene today. It has been cancelled. However, experts say a decision about how this case will proceed could come soon.
Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the Martin family, says they think it’s unfair that Zimmerman can raise funds and speak his views.
“We believe Zimmerman should have been arrested and put into jail. This situation with this website is a luxury that Trayvon Martin doesn’t have and never would have had,” Crump said last night on AC360. Zimmerman’s attorneys say he would like to speak publicly but can’t because of concerns about his safety.
While the site might raise needed funds for Zimmerman, the Christian Science Monitor warns that anything said on the site could hurt him in the eyes of the public. Crump attacked Zimmerman’s use of the words “life altering event” during an interview this morning on GMA.
Moreover, the article notes that a couple of pictures in the section marked “Album” contain controversial images. When we clicked on that section of the website, it wouldn’t come up. But one of those photos, of a vandalized black cultural center at Ohio State University, is available on Gawker.
Protests in support of Zimmerman’s arrest continue nationwide in Los Angeles, in Sanford, FL where the shooting took place, in Anchorage, AK, and elsewhere. The NAACP is planning a march in Boston on Thursday.
*Update: Zimmerman’s lawyers are holding a press conference now, giving details about why they are stepping aside as counsel. The lawyers say they’ve lost contact with their client, that Zimmerman spoke off-the-record with Fox’s Sean Hannity but won’t tell them what they discussed, and didn’t know about the therealgeorgezimmerman.com website until after it was launched. They say he’s in the U.S. but they aren’t entirely sure of his whereabouts, and they’ve never met him. The lawyers say they stand behind their client’s claims of self-defense. MSNBC has a live feed, some info here.