On Monday, the Florida prosecutor who will try George Zimmerman on charges of second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin accused Zimmerman of trying to “co-opt the mantle of victimhood for himself” from Trayvon Martin.
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda lashed out at Zimmerman’s legal team when Zimmerman’s lawyers asked the family of Trayvon Martin “to turn over a recorded interview of a witness described as the teen’s girlfriend” on the night of Martin’s death.
Zimmerman’s lawyers argued that “Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump was not forthcoming in response to requests for the original copy of the recording” of Martin’s girlfriend, who is identified as “Witness 8” in prosecution documents.
De la Rionda said Zimmerman’s legal team was trying to engage in “revisionist” history and said no matter “how often, how viciously, or how vociferously Defense Counsel tries to attack Mr. Crump and make him a feature of this case, he is not the issue.”
He claimed Zimmerman was “clearly more interested in defending his own supposed ‘reputation’ than in permitting a judge and/or a jury to consider his actions.”
De la Rionda’s comments fail to take into account The New Black Panthers put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman’s life after Trayvon Martin’s death.
After the altercation in which Zimmerman said Martin threatened his life, Zimmerman had a gash to the back of his head and a broken nose. The mainstream media — most notoriously NBC and ABC News — did not report on those facts, making it seem like Zimmerman came away from the altercation unscathed.
NBC News also falsely painted him as a racist by altering Zimmerman’s 911 call, leaving out the dispatcher’s question to Zimmerman about Trayvon Martin’s race and making it seem like Zimmerman volunteered to the dispatcher information that Martin was “black” without being asked.
NBC later apologized and fired the producer responsible for editing the tapes that aired on “The Today Show.” Zimmerman is now suing NBC for defamation, alleging the network painted him as a “racist and predatory villain.”
The trial date in the case has been set for June 10, 2003.