Among the nearly 150 jailhouse calls to or from George Zimmerman that were released by prosecutors this week was an April 19 call to the controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones.
Zimmerman placed the call to Jones just one day before Zimmerman’s initial bond hearing. His purpose was to try and dissuade Jones from holding a rally in Sanford in support of Zimmerman, who faces second degree murder charges for the killing of Trayvon Martin February 26th.
After asking to pray with Jones, Zimmerman said, “first and foremost thank you for your prayers, I know they’re being heard and I see them being answered every day. I was calling today to ask you, humbly, from one God fearing sinner to the other, for time, for healing, for not only the city of Sanford but America. I know that your intentions are good … and I know that ultimately God will see his will be done.”
Zimmerman continued: “I just ask that perhaps instead of coming Saturday and protesting, we allow law enforcement to do their job and not lose focus, and that perhaps you could even come and visit and pray with me instead of protesting.”
Jones seemed taken aback by the request, and after answering, “hm… okay,” he promised to consider Zimmerman’s request, but defending the idea of his rally, which he said was “to pull us back to the constitution and to pull us back to justice,” adding that “of course, more of the message will be in the area of forgiveness.”
Asked if he would still be in jail if Jones wanted to visit him that Saturday, Zimmerman said his attorney was confident that he would get bail at the hearing scheduled for the following day, but that “because of all the media coverage,” Mark O’Mara thought it best that he remain in jail at least through the weekend.
And he expressed concern that “every day that goes by, each time my name or Trayvon’s name makes it to the headlines, that’s just another day of hurt and not healing.”
In a phonecall later that day to his wife, Shellie, Zimmerman related the phone call and said that he didn’t think that “much positive” could come of Jones visiting Sanford. “Whether his intentions are good or not, the media’s gonna exploit it,” Zimmerman said, noting that someone had “already shot up a police car,” referring to shots fired into an empty patrol car near the gated community where the Zimmermans lived, and where Martin was killed.
Zimmerman apparently felt the visit wouldn’t help to sway people either way regarding his case. “I mean my supporters support me, people that hate me, hate me,” Zimmerman said.
Jones, who is best known for inflammatory rallies, including burning President Obama in effigy on the lawn of his Gainesville church, and burning a Quran, which prompted violent reactions around the world, did speak at a “Justice for Zimmerman” rally the Sunday after his conversation with Zimmerman. The gathering attracted only a handful of people.
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