George Zimmerman wants a day in court against two of the leading Democratic presidential contenders, accusing them of defamation.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Florida, the man who killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense in 2012 accused Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of “maliciously defam[ing]” Mr. Zimmerman, using the killing “as a pretext to demagogue and falsely brand Zimmerman as a white supremacist and racist to their millions of Twitter followers.”
Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges on traditional self-defense grounds, because Martin attacked him and beat his head against the ground, supposedly for profiling the black teen while on a neighborhood-watch shift.
“The obvious intent of Buttigieg and Warren’s Tweets is alleged race baiting, in an attempt to draw African American votes during this Democrat presidential primary season,” Zimmerman attorney Larry Klayman said in an announcement of the lawsuit, according to WorldNetDaily.
The suit was filed in the Circuit Court for the 10th Judicial Circuit in Polk County, Florida.
It accuses Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg of actual malice, a prerequisite to win a libel case if one is a public figure.
“Both defendants, Buttigieg and Warren, are alleged in the complaint to have acted with actual malice, as it is widely known that Zimmerman was acquitted of murder based on self-defense,” the announcement said.
The tweets in question both said Martin was killed because of “racism” or “white supremacy.”
“Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today. How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun violence, prejudice, and fear?” Mr. Buttigieg tweeted.
Ms. Warren wrote: “My heart goes out to @SybrinaFulton and Trayvon’s family and friends. He should still be with us today. We need to end gun violence and racism. And we need to build a world where all of our children – especially young Black boys – can grow up safe and free.”
The lawsuit, which represents only one point of view, seeks $265 million “for loss of good will and reputation.”
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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