George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and sparked the national Black Lives Matter movement, said he has no remorse for his actions and lashed out at Martin’s parents for the way they raised their son and the media for making his life difficult since his July 2013 acquittal.
“Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin did everything they could to capitalize on her son’s death,” Zimmerman said in an interview with the Daily Beast. “She was never a mother figure to him. Tracy Martin couldn’t have cared less about their son. He treated him like a dog without a leash.”
Zimmerman, 32, re-emerged from relative obscurity last week when started shopping around for a buyer of the Kel-Tec PF-9 semi-automatic pistol he used to kill Martin. Zimmerman said he originally intended to bequeath the firearm to his children, but after praying to God he decided to sell the weapon online.
Zimmerman, who at one point was homeless and has had trouble keeping jobs, has capitalized on the shooting in the past, by selling a patriotic painting for $100,099.99 in 2013.
On Feb. 26, 2012, Zimmerman followed Martin in a gated Florida community. Acting as a self-proclaimed night patrol officer, Zimmerman had a Florida concealed weapon license issued by the state’s Department of Agriculture. After being instructed by a 911 dispatcher not to follow the teen, Zimmerman disregarded the instruction and followed him anyway. An altercation occurred that Zimmerman claimed put him in justified danger, and Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest.
Zimmerman claims that his life has been upended because of the backlash to his 2013 acquittal by a Florida jury for first-degree murder and manslaughter. The Department of Justice said the case lacked sufficient evidence to meet the high bar for prosecuting Zimmerman’s actions as a hate crime for profiling a young, unarmed black teen.
“If I have to live my life and if I have to go about my business as a normal person, then I would do that. However, I’m not afforded that luxury anymore,” he said. “You guys. The media. The masses. The Fulton-Martin family. They took that from me.”