George Zimmerman attorney cites claims from documentary as reason for $100 million lawsuit
Larry Klayman says Zimmerman suing Martin family for defamation, abuse of civil process and conspiracy
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A Florida man acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin is now suing the teenager’s family.
George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed black teenager in February 2012 in Sanford, is suing Martin’s family, and others, for $100 million.
In the lawsuit filed in Polk County, Zimmerman alleges defamation, abuse of civil process and conspiracy.
He accuses the family of engineering false testimony involving the prosecution's key witness, citing information featured in a documentary about the trial.
That documentary was supposed to be shown Thursday in Coral Gables but has since been canceled.
The Coral Gables Art Cinema released a statement after cancelling the screening and a coinciding news conference that read: “Coral Gables Art Cinema was not aware of all of the details surrounding this private rental and has made a decision to cancel the rental.”
One of the most unsettling claims in the documentary, entitled “The Trayvon Hoax,” is that the state’s star witness during the 2013 trial was an imposter.
“This information has just come forward, which is why we’re coming forward now with the lawsuit,” attorney Larry Klayman told Local 10 News.
Klayman is representing Zimmerman in the lawsuit filed against prosecutors and Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
The Boca Raton attorney has a long history of suing black lawmakers and pushing conspiracy theories. He once submitted a petition to deport President Barack Obama.
His legal tactics have gotten him sanctions and bans from some courtrooms, yet he’s pressing on with this lawsuit for Zimmerman, nearly eight years after he killed Martin.
"The Martin family, as we allege in the complaint, knew or had reason to know that a false witness was being put forward," Klayman said.
Feeling re-victimized by it all, Fulton wrote on Facebook Wednesday: “The devil is so very busy but please keep me lifted in prayer #ThisTooShallPass #GodIsStillInControl."
The Dream Defenders, formed to fight for equal justice in the wake of Martin’s killing, has filed its own ethics complaint against the attorney.
“Every year, George Zimmerman wants to be relevant again, and this is just not acceptable,” Marie Rattigan, with Dream Defenders, said.
Meanwhile, the Martin family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, is also named in the defamation suit over his new book that mentions the trial and Zimmerman. It’s called “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People."
“George Zimmerman is linked with genocide to kill colored people,” Klayman said the book alleges. “Now that’s defamatory.”
In a written statement, Crump refutes it all, saying, in part: “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.”
Zimmerman, meanwhile, claimed he has received multiple death threats since filing the lawsuit.
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