George Zimmerman sues Trayvon Martin family, others for $100 million
Lawsuit alleges co-defendants conspired to incriminate Zimmerman, defamed him in new book
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A Florida man acquitted of killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin is suing Martin's family, their attorneys, prosecutors and the state for damages in excess of $100 million.
George Zimmerman is listed as the plaintiff in a Polk County lawsuit obtained Wednesday by Local 10 News.
The former neighborhood watch volunteer claimed he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Martin, 17, in February 2012.
Zimmerman was acquitted of murder during a high-profile "stand your ground" trial in 2013.
Martin, who lived in Miami Gardens, was visiting his father in Sanford at the time of the shooting.
Among the names listed as defendants in the lawsuit are Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, former Jacksonville State Attorney Angela Corey, whose office was assigned to investigate the shooting, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and publishing company HarperCollins.
The lawsuit claims Rachel Jeantel, who is also listed as a defendant, was an "imposter and fake witness" in Zimmerman's 2013 murder trial. It also claims Crump's new book, "Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People," published by HarperCollins, has defamed Zimmerman.
Larry Klayman, a Boca Raton-based attorney representing Zimmerman, alleges in the lawsuit that the co-defendants (except for publishing company HarperCollins), "each and every one of them, instituted, ordered, commanded, conspired and covered up the illegal substitution" of Brittany Diamond Eugene, "a legitimate phone witness to the days, hours and minutes before the death of Trayvon Martin," with Jeantel, who gave a "false storyline to prosecutors" in a concerted effort to violate Zimmerman's constitutional rights.
Klayman goes on to allege that Jeantel was not Martin’s girlfriend, wasn’t on the telephone with him before he was killed and was coached into making false statements to incriminate Zimmerman.
“I have every confidence that this unfounded and reckless lawsuit will be revealed for what it is -- another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others,” Crump said in a statement. “This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing the individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions. He would have us believe that he is the innocent victim of a deep conspiracy, despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims. This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.”
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