MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Acquitted in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012, George Zimmerman is seeking $265 million in a defamation lawsuit against two Democratic presidential candidates.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Polk County, names US Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg as defendants.
The suit claims both candidates defamed Zimmerman on Twitter.
It happened on February 5, on what would have been Martin’s 25th birthday.
The suit alleges the candidates maligned Zimmerman “for political gain in misguided and malicious attempts to bolster their standings amongst African-American voters.”
Here are the tweets in question:
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. https://t.co/9lXXlRnvzL
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 6, 2020
Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today.
How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun violence, prejudice, and fear?#BlackLivesMatter
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 5, 2020
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in July 2013.
Martin was a student at Michael Krop High School, in Miami-Dade County, when he was killed in Sanford, in February 2012. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense during a confrontation inside a gated community.
At the time, Martin’s relatives accused Zimmerman of starting the fight and racially profiling Martin.
Zimmerman recently filed a $100-million defamation lawsuit against Martin’s family, prosecutors, and a book publisher. He’s seeking damages for what he calls the engineering of false testimony by prosecutors and the Martin family.