George Zimmerman has filed a lawsuit against Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for defamation over tweets they made about Trayvon Martin, on what would have been his 25th birthday.
Zimmerman's lawsuit argues that the tweets sent out by the Democratic candidates for president used Trayvon Martin's death "as a pretext to demagogue and falsely brand Zimmerman as a white supremacist and racist to their millions of Twitter followers."
Zimmerman was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, successfully arguing he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Martin in 2012.
On February 5, Warren and Buttigieg both sent out tweets about Martin's death, linking it to racism and gun violence.
"My heart goes out to @SybrinaFulton and Trayvon's family and friends. He should still be with us today," Warren wrote. "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."
Zimmerman's lawsuit accuses the candidates of defaming him and using him as part of their "political agenda to garner votes in the black community." The lawsuit points out that Zimmerman feared for his life and was acting in self-defense when he shot the 17-year-old.
"The only 'fear' Zimmerman experienced, as established in the 2013 trial and well-covered in the media, was in the context of Zimmerman believing he might go unconscious and die from the repeated beating of his head against the sidewalk pavement or by choking to death from the blood going down his throat due to his broken nose during the beating by Martin."
Zimmerman is seeking $265 million in damages.
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