A Florida Judge Wasn’t Having Any Part Of George Zimmerman’s Defamation Case Against Trayvon Martin’s Parents

It’s hard to imagine a less sympathetic human being than George Zimmerman—the man who, on the night of February 26, 2012, shot and killed unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in what he claimed was an act of self-defense, and got away with it. Zimmerman’s 2013 acquittal was met with outrage, and sparked a larger conversation about gun violence and racism. Though he walked out of court a free man, Zimmerman has hardly attempted to stay out of the spotlight.

In 2019, Zimmerman filed a more than $100 million suit against Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s parents, their lawyer Ben Crump, and others, claiming, according to NPR, that “he was the victim of a conspiracy, along with malicious prosecution and defamation.” Reminder: He was acquitted. Of killing an unarmed teen!

Shortly after Zimmerman filed suit, CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson claimed in an op-ed that “George Zimmerman’s lawsuit doesn’t stand a chance.” Fortunately, as Florida Politics reports, Jackson was right. Earlier this month, Judge John Cooper dismissed Zimmerman’s suit, claiming that the former neighborhood night watch coordinator had failed to show “any fraudulent representation,” making any further arguments on the matter moot. “There can be no claim for conspiracy to defraud if there is no adequately stated claim for fraud,” Cooper wrote.

According to Florida Politics, “The lawsuit claimed that Trayvon Martin’s parents, along with Crump, participated in the conspiracy in an effort to get charges filed against Zimmerman, have him tried and ‘destroy his good will and reputation in the community.’”

If anyone has actively worked to “destroy” Zimmerman’s reputation, it would probably be George Zimmerman himself. Rather than attempt to quietly blend back into society following his trial, Zimmerman has continued to make headlines over the past decade—and for all the wrong reasons. Between 2013 and 2015, Zimmerman faced domestic violence charges on three separate occasions (in two of the incidents, he had allegedly threatened someone with a gun); he was never charged in the first incident, and the charges in the latter two cases were dropped.

In September 2014, a road rage incident turned into a months-long battle, which eventually ended when Matthew Apperson—the driver with whom Zimmerman had originally engaged—reportedly shot at Zimmerman in 2015, and claiming self-defense.

Many other tasteless incidents and behaviors followed, including Zimmerman’s turn as an artist painting Confederate flags, and his 2016 attempt to profit off the death of Martin by selling the gun he used to kill Martin and dubbing it “an American Firearm icon.” If history is any indication, this won’t be the last time we hear Zimmerman’s name.

(Via Florida Politics)