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FLORIDA killer George Zimmerman has filed a $100 million (£76m) lawsuit against the family of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager whose life he took in 2012.
Mr Zimmerman was controversially acquitted of homicide in 2013 for killing Trayvon, who was unarmed and walking back to his father’s fiancee’s home from a grocer’s shop with skittles and iced tea when Mr Zimmerman shot him dead. He claimed self-defence, a claim accepted by the jury, though it sparked outrage among black US citizens as he had opted to follow and kill the teenager.
The lawsuit, which names Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton as lead defendant, says that witnesses gave false statements during the trial to incriminate Mr Zimmerman and that the latter, “who faced a life sentence had he been wrongly convicted based on the alleged false evidence, is suing for damages in excess of $100m.”
It also names the Martin family’s lawyer Ben Crump and his publisher as defendants. Following Mr Zimmerman’s acquittal, Mr Crump wrote a book on the impunity with which black people can be killed in the US, entitled Open Season: Legalised Genocide of Coloured People.
The lawyer has denounced the lawsuit as “a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others.”
Mr Zimmerman has previously sought to benefit financially from the celebrity status he won among US white supremacists for killing Trayvon, including by selling paintings he has done of the Confederate flag, which has become a rallying symbol on the US far right.
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