In an interview with an Orlando Fox News affiliate, George Zimmerman’s father condemned what he called “hate” from President Barack Obama, the NAACP, and others, and he gave what he said was his son’s version of what happened the night Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
Robert Zimmerman, a retired Virginia magistrate, told a story similar to the one leaked to the Orlando Sentinel, and reiterated by George Zimmerman’s co-worker Joe Oliver; that Zimmerman was headed back to his car when he was confronted by the teen, who he had been following after reporting a suspicious person on a police non-emergency line.
“George was going to the store,” the elder Zimmerman said, “He saw someone in his community that he did not recognize as living there. Because there had been a lot of break-ins in the area, he thought that was suspicious that someone would not be walking on the street or the sidewalk, but they’d be walking right behind the town-homes.”
WATCH THE FOX INTERVIEW WITH ZIMMERMAN’S FATHER HERE:
Zimmerman said his son was unable to give police an address, because he was “at the rear” of the complex, where he lived. This despite the fact that the road he lives on, Retreat View Circle, is the same one the complex’s club house is located on. Zimmerman ultimately gave the clubhouse address: 1111 Retreat View Circle, to dispatchers.
Zimmerman claims his son lost sight of Trayvon, but continued walking, only trying to get an address for police. Dispatchers advised Zimmerman that he did not need to follow the subject, but he continued anyway.
“He went to their street, realized where he was and was walking back to his vehicle,” Robert Zimmerman said. “It’s my understanding that at that point Trayvon Martin walked up to him, asked him, ‘do you have a’ beep’ problem?’ George said no, I don’t have a problem, and started to reach for his cellphone. At that point, he was punched in the nose, his nose was broken, and he was knocked to the concrete.”
Zimmerman did not explain why his son, who had just been talking to police, presumably on his cellphone, had to reach for it.
Zimmerman says Martin “got on top” of George “and just started beating him. In the face, in his nose, hitting his head on the concrete.”
“After nearly a minute of being beaten, George was trying to get his head off the concrete, trying to move, with Trayvon on him, into the grass,” the elder Zimmerman said, perhaps coincidentally, giving the exact timespan — one minute — that police have admitted is missing between the 911 calls and the shooting. “In doing so, his firearm was shown. Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of you’re gonna die now, or you’re gonna die tonight, something to that effect. He continued to beat George and at some point George pulled his pistol and did what he did.”
The Fort Lauderdale funeral director who prepared Trayvon’s body told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Wednesday that he saw no signs on Trayvon’s knuckles that he had delivered a ferocious beating to anyone.
And newly released surveillance camera video, obtained by ABC News, shows Zimmerman walking into the Sanford police station with three officers. There is no blood on his head, face or body, no visible injuries, and no obvious signs that he had recently engaged in a violent struggle. The Fox Orlando interview was apparently conducted before the video was released.
Beyond that, Zimmerman could not explain why Trayvon’s supposed verbal threats could not be heard on the 911 tapes, why his son did not report that verbal exchange to the police who responded to the scene (police reports state that Zimmerman told officers only that he was yelling for help) or how the slender teen managed to pin down the much heavier, muscular Zimmerman by both arms — and both punch and bash his head against the ground, at the same time.
Judge Zimmerman also said he doesn’t believe Trayvon’s girlfriend’s claim that she was on the phone with him just before the shooting.
“I don’t believe that happened,” Robert Zimmerman said. “I don’t believe she was on the phone with him, and I find it very strange wiht the publicity involved with this that all the sudden after three weeks someone would remember that they were on the phone. I believe the FBI and others investigating this will find that that did not happen.”
Phone records show the young woman, identified only as Deedee, was in fact on the phone with Trayvon just minutes before the first 911 calls to police reporting a scuffle and then a gunshot.
Zimmerman said his son is not doing well, though he said he doesn’t know if the injuries are mental or physical. And he had harsh words for the millions of people calling for his son’s arrest — though he seemed to single out the president, civil rights groups and black lawmakers in particular.
“I don’t feel good,” Zimmerman said. “I guess people would rather my soon be beaten to death. I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, every organization imaginable is trying to gain notoriety or profit from this.”
Zimmerman, who is a Vietnam veteran, said that war experience was tough, but called the current situation “beyond anything I could have imagined.”
“There is so much hate,” he said, lamenting what he called inaccurate portrayals of his son. “I don’t feel good. I guess people would rather my soon be beaten to death. I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP…every organization imaginable is trying to gain notoriety or profit from this.”
“I never been involved in hate,” he said. “George hasn’t. It is really is unbelievable. … I just hope at some point, everyone will go beyond the hate that they have.”
Related: 5 questions we wish Fox Orlando had asked…
The local Fox affiliate scored an exclusive interview with the father of George Zimmerman. Here are are five questions we wish they’d asked him.
1. Did George call you from the scene of the shooting, or from the police station, on the night of the shooting?
2. If so, did you call any official, elected or appointed, in Sanford, to try an intervene, to include the police chief and the state attorney, Norman Wolfinger?
3. Are you personally, socially, acquainted with Mr. Wolfinger, a fellow Vietnam veteran and member of she legal fraternity, and the state attorney representing the county you now live in?
4. Are you paying for George’s defense, and/or helping to orchestrate it?
5. As a former judge, so understands the legal system, are you, and George’s other surrogates, attempting to cloud the investigation to create reasonable doubt in the minds of potential jurors?
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