On the anniversary of her son’s arrest in the killing of Miami teen Trayvon Martin, Gladys Zimmerman wrote an open letter criticizing the justice system that she says failed her family.
The letter from the mother of George Zimmerman, who faces trial in June in the fatal shooting of Martin, was written in Spanish and was translated and posted to the Twitter account of her older son, Robert Zimmerman Jr. on April 11th, one year after the younger Zimmerman, 29 and a former neighborhood watch volunteer, was charged with second degree murder for killing Martin.
The initial decision by Sanford, Florida police not to arrest George Zimmerman by police touched off weeks of protests following the fatal shooting February 26th, 2012.
In her letter, Gladys Zimmerman said “April 11, 2012 will forever be remembered by the Zimmerman family as the day the justice system failed us as Americans, and as a consequence an innocent man was arrested for a crime he did not commit, solely to placate the masses.” Zimmerman has claimed self-defense in the shooting, saying Martin attacked him. Gladys Zimmerman also criticized the media’s coverage of the case, writing:
The media, with the help of social media made it their prerogative to judge and sentence George before and after his arrest. Even members of Congress and self-proclaimed “activists” used and routinely use to this day the term “murderer” when they speak of him–in effect they are re-enforcing the only acceptable judicial outcome in their eyes. Many have seen to it that he be judged by the public, the very public they were keen on misinforming.
Attorneys for Martin’s parents issued a statement Thursday in response to Gladys Zimmerman’s letter, saying “one year ago today, the State of Florida decided that there was evidence to charge George Zimmerman for second-degree murder for profiling, pursuing, and killing our unarmed teenage son. The facts of this case are simple and straightforward. We are confident that a jury following the overwhelming evidence against George Zimmerman will hold him accountable for killing our son, Trayvon Martin.”
“For the Zimmerman family to allege that the justice system doesn’t work, simply because they are unhappy their son was arrested in the first place, is disingenuous and disrespectful to the very system that is currently affording him every available opportunity to defend himself,” the statement continued. “The arrest of an admitted killer is not a violation of due process, it is due process. Most will agree that no one has been given greater consideration by the justice system for killing an unarmed child, than George Zimmerman. We continue to pray that our son’s death will serve as a catalyst in preventing other senseless acts of gun violence.”
Zimmerman’s trial is expected to begin June 10th.