Zimmerman's legal advisor speaks - FOX 35 News Orlando

Zimmerman's legal advisor speaks

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  • Robert Zimmerman interview

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    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.

The investigation into last month's shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Sanford is out of the hands of the beleaguered police chief and the county prosecutor.  Now, the Justice Department is looking at possible civil rights violations and a grand jury perhaps considering charges.


 An attorney for a neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager last month in Florida says his client is not racist and that the facts will show he acted in self-defense.

Orlando criminal defense attorney Craig Sonner said he advised 28-year-old George Zimmerman to cooperate in the investigation into the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman told Sanford police that he shot Martin after a fight Feb. 26 and that it was in self-defense.

The lack of an arrest has brought outrage in the Orlando suburb and across the country. Some have suggested racism as the motive. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

However, Sonner says he doesn't believe Zimmerman's actions were motivated by dislike of African-Americans.


The debate over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a neighborhood watch captain has exploded mostly because of Twitter and other social media sites.

Outrage over the Feb. 26 shooting in central Florida skyrocketed about two weeks later when the complaints by Trayvon Martin's parents went viral. The parents said the watch captain, George Zimmerman, should be arrested. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense.

A petition on Change.org calling for Zimmerman's arrest has reached 1 million signatures.

A digital media professor says the online movement is indicative of what civil protests will look like in the future. An Internet researcher says the frenzy matches statistics on how the black community embraces social networking.

Friends of Trayvon Martin -- the black teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer in Florida -- say they find it hard to believe he would have started a fight.

One his former football coaches says: "It just wouldn't happen. That's just not that kid."

Martin was killed last month in a case that has set off a furor over race and justice. The white and Hispanic man who shot him, George Zimmerman, has claimed self-defense and has not been arrested. But state and federal authorities are investigating.

Those who knew Martin have portrayed him as a laid-back young man who had a good sense of humor and was extremely close to his father. The family's lawyer says he had never been in trouble with the law.

Students at Trayvon Martin's Miami high school have protested and are calling for justice in the teen's shooting death.

About 300 students gathered alongside a busy street near Dr. Michael Krop High School on Friday afternoon. They chanted and held signs calling for neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman's arrest. Many wore hoodies and carried Skittles.

Zimmerman shot and killed the 17-year-old black teen in Sanford, Fla., in February. Martin was walking back to the home of his father's fiancTe after buying Skittles and iced tea from a nearby convenience store..

Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic, has said he shot Martin in self-defense after a fight and has not been arrested. State and federal authorities are still investigating.

Fox News Channel commentator Geraldo Rivera says Florida teenager Trayvon Martin's hoodie is as much responsible for his death as the neighborhood watch captain who shot him.

Rivera said Friday on "Fox & Friends" that people wearing hooded sweatshirts are often going to be perceived as a menace regardless.

The unarmed 17-year-old Martin was killed Feb. 26 in Sanford. Martin was wearing a hoodie and returning from a trip to a convenience store when Zimmerman started following him, telling police dispatchers he looked suspicious. The watch captain, George Zimmerman, hasn't been charged and says he shot Martin in self-defense.

In a later printed commentary, Rivera said that he knew his opinion was politically incorrect but that parents should tell their children not to dress like hoodlums.


A planned march on Florida's Capitol by students and civil rights organization has been scrapped -- at least for now -- in Tallahassee.

Students from Florida State, Florida A&M and Tallahassee Community College were planning a Friday march to protest the failure of authorities in central Florida to make an arrest in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month by a neighborhood watch captain.

Organizers say they were unable to get the insurance required by the city of Tallahassee for events where streets are blocked off.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered a task force to investigate not only the events surrounding the black teen's death, but to review Florida's controversial so-called Stand Your Ground law. The law allows anyone who fears for their safety to use deadly force.

 Organizers are planning to march through downtown Atlanta in memory of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager whose shooting by a neighborhood watch captain has led to protests nationwide.

Civil rights leaders said the march is being planned for 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Georgia State Capitol.

They say the march and a rally are aimed at amending or abolishing Georgia's "Stand Your Ground" law, the state's version of a law involved in the Florida case.

Organizers encouraging participants in the Atlanta march to wear hoodies, which have become a symbol in other protests since authorities say the teen was wearing one when he was shot.

The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, has said he shot Martin in self-defense on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. No charges have been filed.

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