George Zimmerman has become a household name in the weeks since Feb. 26, when he shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to death on the streets of a Florida gated community.
The shooting ignited dormant racial tensions in the United States, and has led to a bounty being taken out for Zimmerman's life, celebrities tweeting out his supposed address and more. Since the shooting, a number of people have filed to take out trademarks in Martin's name, and now the first trademark application has been submitted on behalf of a person hoping to reserve rights related to the name George Zimmerman.
An entrepreneurial San Franciscan named Lawrence Sekara has decided to make his support of Zimmerman known, and to help others get out the word that they too believe George Zimmerman when he says that he was forced to shoot Martin in order to defend himself.
Sekara hopes to emblazon a wide range of merchandise, from beer mugs and pants to decorative stickers for helmets and padded shirts, with the phrase I Believe You Zimmerman and to sell them on a soon-to-be-launched website called ibelieveyouzimmerman.com. Sekara, 49, registered the domain name and submitted his trademark application on the same day, according to thesmokinggun.com.
According to his filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Sekara, who owns a company called Corporate Fulfillment Services, paid a $1,100 application fee in order to pursue the trademark. Sekara told The Smoking Gun that he has not met Zimmerman but that he plans to share some of the money he raises through the sale of I Believe You Zimmerman merchandise with him.
On Tuesday, George Zimmerman's lawyers that they are no longer able to represent their client as they have not been able to get in touch with him for a number of days. They said that they believe he is no longer in Florida, and that their client has been hiding out as anger toward him has risen and he has become increasingly concerned about his personal safety.