Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old in 2012, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday (Dec. 3), The Washington Post reports. The former security guard was acquitted of homicide charges for what transpired on Feb. 26, 2012, when he deemed the teenager who was wearing a hoodie as suspicious. Zimmerman claimed he shot the teen in self-defense as prosecutors claimed the fatal shooting was unjustified. The trial and Trayvon went on to become one of the key pillars in the Black Lives Matter movement which brought to light various and racist police practices used around the country.
Zimmerman now claims Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton worked alongside police and prosecutors to create a negative narrative around him. He also claims fake evidence was used in the case leading to “malicious prosecution.” Zimmerman cited Joel Gilbert’s film and the documentary The Trayvon Martin Hoax, where Gilbert claimed Trayvon’s girlfriend was an imposter. Following the lawsuit announcement, Gilbert will hold a screening of the film on Thursday.
Also named in the suit is Ben Crump and publishers Harper Collins who released his book, Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People. Members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were also named in the suit.
Zimmerman has continued to make headlines since the murder of Trayvon. In 2018, he was arrested on charges of stalking when he sent text messages and voicemails to a private investigator Dennis Warren and Michael Gasparro, the co-executive producer of Jay-Z’s Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. In one of his text messages to Warren, Zimmerman reportedly insulted Jay Z and threatened Beyonce Knowles- Carter.
In 2015, he was arrested for domestic aggravated assault for allegedly throwing a bottle of wine at his girlfriend. After his acquittal in 2013, he was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend. Both charges were ultimately dropped.
He’s also found ways to make his narrative worse. In 2016, he trended in Twitter after he decided to auction off the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin. He stated, the sale of the “American Firearm Icon” will be used to “fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers.” In 2015, he reportedly tweeted an image of the teen’s slain body with the caption, “Z-man is a one-man army.” He went on to deny the tweet but didn’t stay away from the platform. That same year, he called former President Barack Obama a “baboon” and bragged about killing the teen by telling a critic, “We all know how it ended for the last moron who hit me. Give it a whirl, cupcake.”