George Zimmerman, in hiding since being acquitted July 15 of murder charges in the Trayvon Martin shooting, surfaced last week in the rescue of a family trapped in an overturned truck.
Zimmerman, 29, “pulled an individual from a truck that had rolled over” on a portion of a Florida highway, Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told ABC News Monday.
This marks the first time Zimmerman has been sighted since he was acquitted earlier this month of murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., in February 2012. The case sparked a national debate on race and racial profiling, and the not guilty verdict spurred nationwide protests by those who did not agree with the verdict handed down by the all-female jury in Florida District Court.
Zimmerman and his family have been subjected to death threats since the February 2012 incident, which initially sparked outrage because the neighborhood watchman wasn’t immediately arrested after shooting and killing the unarmed teen, who was walking back to his father’s girlfriend’s home in Sanford after grabbing Skittles and iced tea from a 7-Eleven. The six jurors apparently believed Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman, went into detail about the death threats with ABC News.
"We have had an enormous amount of death threats. George's legal counsel has had death threats, the police chief of Sanford, many people have had death threats," Robert Zimmerman told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview. “Everyone with Georgie's DNA should be killed' -- just every kind of horrible thing you can imagine."
Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., told NPR shortly after the verdict that his brother would have difficulty getting back to a normal life.
George Zimmerman is “free in the sense of criminal liability. He's a free man, but he's not free in the sense where he's going to have the opportunity to re-engage society in any meaningful way for a long time," Zimmerman Jr. said.
The brother also blamed the media, NBC in particular, for injecting race into the case. Zimmerman is half white and half Hispanic while Trayvon was black.
"NBC had a lot to do with pushing that narrative by editing George's non-emergency call to the police to suggest ... that George had called the police to report a person who was suspicious because he's black, because he's wearing a hoodie," Zimmerman Jr. said.