Friend and former neighbor Frank Taaffe is testifying against George Zimmerman before a grand jury that will decide if Zimmerman is guilty of violating Trayvon Marton’s civil rights. Despite once defending him on national TV, Taaffe now believes that Zimmerman went after teenage Martin because he was black.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Frank alleges that a man claiming to be George Zimmerman called him and told him a “racial comment” that was disparaging to Travon Martin before being arrested for the shooting. The former neighbor wouldn’t disclose exactly what the man said outside the courtroom other than it was racist.
He didn’t testify in the earlier court case where Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder charges, believing that the call was just a prank.
Taaffe made the decision to talk about the phone call with FBI due to his own personal tragedies. Recently, both of his sons died, which caused him to reflect on the pain Zimmerman caused the parents of Travon Martin. He explained to reporters, “this is a young man who didn’t deserve to die.”
Although the testimony could be helpful in proving that George Zimmerman was racially motivated, Taaffe pointed out he’s still not entirely sure it was actually his former neighbor.
“It came from an unknown number, so you know, I just shared with them the information with my last meeting with them in July and I can’t swear that it was him, because you know, anytime someone calls you up on the phone, and says they’re so-and-so, you know, someone calls you up and says it’s Abraham Lincoln you know it’s not him because he’s dead.”
According to the Daily Mail, plenty of people called him pretending to be Zimmerman, making it fairly credible that Taaffe believed it to be a prank.
Still, the former neighbor believes George Zimmerman went after Martin because of his race, saying that “in my heart of hearts, I do believe that.”
He added that Zimmerman never should have followed Martin.
“If there’s a young man that’s not doing anything but talking on the phone, in the rain, sauntering about, let it go. You know, that’s why we have law enforcement — let them handle it.”
The former neighbor is the most recent in a large group of people who believe George Zimmerman racially profiled the teen, including Martin’s parents. When Zimmerman was acquitted, it sparked protests and a continuing debate about self-defense laws.
Despite the public outrage, the Washington Post is reporting that George Zimmerman will most likely not be charged in the civil rights trial.
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