George Zimmerman Sues Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg Over Tweets About Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman — the man who killed the unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, and started a nationwide conversation on gun violence and racial profiling — has sued 2020 Democratic candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren for their tweets about the anniversary of Martin’s death, The Independent reports. Neither tweet mentioned Zimmerman by name.

February 5, 2020, would have been Martin’s 25th birthday. However, he did not live to see that milestone, as he was shot and killed eight years earlier — when he was 17 — on February 26, 2012. At the time, Zimmerman was working as a neighborhood-watch volunteer and he was accused of racially profiling the unarmed teenager, confronting him, getting into a physical altercation with him, and shooting him.

Zimmerman was later acquitted of all charges in the incident and he later sued Martin’s family for $100 million.

To commemorate what would have been his 25th birthday, both Buttigieg and Warren — two candidates who have made gun control part of their campaign platforms — posted tweets about the need for gun control, using Martin as a symbol.

“Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today. How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun violence, prejudice, and fear?#BlackLivesMatter,” the former mayor of South Bend tweeted.

Warren, for her part, retweeted a post from another Twitter user, @FredTJoseph.

She also added her own caption to the tweet, saying that her “heart goes out” to Martin’s family and friends. She then wrote that society needs to end gun violence and racism and work towards building a world where young black men and boys can grow up without fear of being shot.

Although neither tweet mentioned Zimmerman by name, it seems as if he believes the messages were thinly-veiled references to him, so he is now suing both potential presidential candidates for defamation.

Specifically, he claimed that the tweets were “wrongly” connecting Martin’s death with the general issue of gun violence and were committing “defamation with actual malice or at a minimum a reckless disregard for the truth,” the lawsuit reads in part. Further, he claimed that the tweets were part of a “political agenda to garner votes in the black community.”

He further alleged that the candidates’ tweets suggested that he acted out of “fear,” when in fact, the only fear he felt during his confrontation with Martin was fear of his own death at Martin’s hands.

He’s seeking $15,000 from each candidate, according to The Independent. However, a Fox News report claims that Zimmerman is seeking $265 million in restitution.

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