- By Hans Sherrer
Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
George Zimmerman has filed a $100 million lawsuit based on newly discovered evidence a fake witness was knowingly used by prosecutors to frame him for murder in Trayvon Martin’s shooting death on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. The lawsuit alleges the prosecutors, family members and friends of Martin were involved in the conspiracy to frame Zimmerman with an imposter posing as Martin’s girlfriend. Martin’s shooting and Zimmerman’s prosecution was one of the most reported news stories in the world.
Zimmerman is Hispanic and he mentored Black youths whose parents were in prison. He joined his neighborhood watch program created after many robberies and home invasions in his community.
In mid-February 2012 Martin’s mother in Miami sent him to live with his father in Sanford. Martin was suspended three times from his high school for fighting. An expulsion hearing, scheduled after he attempted to hit a school bus driver, was canceled due to his moving to Sanford. Martin was 17 and over six feet tall. He described himself as a gangster and his Twitter handle indicated his affiliation with a Miami street gang.
Zimmerman was driving on the evening of February 26 when he saw an unknown person standing in the rain between two townhouses. He pulled over and called the Sanford police to report a suspicious person. That person was Martin, who approached and circled Zimmerman’s car before walking away.
Zimmerman got out of his car to aid the dispatcher tell the officer on the way to the scene, which way the person had gone.
While by his car on the phone with the dispatcher, Martin appeared behind him and asked, “What’s your problem?” Zimmerman answered “I don’t have a problem.” Martin then broke Zimmerman’s nose with a sucker-punch and he fell to the ground. Martin straddled him and began slamming his head onto the concrete sidewalk. Martin tried to smother him as he yelled for help at least 14 times — which are detectable on the 911 audio recording.
The police were also called by a man who heard Zimmerman’s calls for help and saw Martin beating him.
Zimmerman was able to grab his legal pistol and fired a single shot that killed Martin. The entire event was audio recorded by 911.
After conducting an investigation the Sanford Police cleared Zimmerman of any wrongdoing on the basis he acted in self-defense.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney hired by Martin’s mother and father, then began a concerted media campaign to portray Martin as an innocent black youth gunned down for no reason by a racist Zimmerman. The campaign influenced the media, politicians, celebrities, and well-meaning people to demand Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution.
The U.S. Department of Justice declined to file federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman after reviewing the evidence in the case.
Zimmerman’s lawsuit describes the key to Crump getting him prosecuted by the State of Florida was the substitution of another person for Martin’s 16-year-old girlfriend Brittany Diamond Eugene, who he was talking to on the phone when he attacked Zimmerman. The fake witness Crump coached and presented to the world as Eugene, was her half-sister, 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel.
Switching Jeantel for Eugene was completed in April 2012, when police and prosecutors for the first time interviewed Jeantel, who told them she was “Diamond Eugene.”
Zimmerman lawsuit asserts the prosecutor ignored Jeantel’s many false statements contradicted by evidence he had. Zimmerman also asserts the prosecutor tried to fix her obviously false statements by asking questions to elicit an answer that fit Crump’s narrative.
Three Florida State Attorneys authored and executed an affidavit of probable cause against Zimmerman largely based on Jeantel’s interview.
Zimmerman’s lawsuit asserts prosecutors: “engaged in a 14-month campaign of obstruction to prevent Zimmerman’s defense from discovering the substitution of the real phone witness, Brittany Diamond Eugene, for the imposter and fake witness, Rachel Jeantel, by withholding evidence from Zimmerman’s defense team in order to minimize the time they would have to discover what they knew, that Defendant Jeantel was an imposter and a fake witness.”[Lawsuit pgs 22-23]
Zimmerman’s trial was a major international news event. During his trial a centerpiece of the prosecution’s case was Jeantel pretending to be “Diamond Eugene” during two days of testimony about her (non-existent) relationship with Trayvon, and falsely claiming she was on the phone with him during the events that led up to his death.
Zimmerman’s defense relied on the electronic, eyewitness, medical, and physical evidence he acted in self-defense and committed no crime.
The jury acquitted Zimmerman of all charges on July 13, 2013. The witness switch was publicly exposed on September 16, 2019, when investigative journalist and filmmaker Joel Gilbert’s book titled: The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America was published. The book details what Gilbert calls “the most spectacular case of identity fraud in modern American judicial history.” Gilbert discovered from Martin’s phone records the prosecutors concealed from Zimmerman’s trial lawyers, that Jeantel had not been his girlfriend as she testified, and she was an imposter for his real girlfriend Eugene.
Gilbert also released his documentary about the witness switch with the same title. Zimmerman’s lawsuit filed in the Polk County Circuit Court names as defendants: Martin’s mother and father; Brittany Diamond Eugene; Rachel Jeantel; Benjamin Crump; three Florida State Attorneys; the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement; the State of Florida; and Harper-Collins Publishers.
The lawsuit’s claims related to the imposter witness are:
—Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process by three State’s Attorneys involved in Zimmerman’s case, the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement, and the State of Florida.
—Civil Conspiracy by all the defendants named in the lawsuit except Harper-Collins.
The lawsuit includes a defamation claim against Crump and Harper-Collins that his book, Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People, published in October 2019, “contains numerous false, malicious, and defamatory statements regarding Plaintiff Zimmerman.”
Zimmerman is requesting compensatory and actual damages in excess of $100,000,000 plus his attorney’s fees and costs.
Zimmerman’s lawyer is Larry Klayman. Klayman is the nationally known founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch.
The lawsuit is, George Zimmerman v. Sybrina Fulton, et al. (Polk County, Fla. Circuit Ct) (filed 12-4-19).
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Hans Sherrer is President of the Justice Institute aka Justice Denied. The Justice Institute is based in Seattle, Washington and promotes awareness of wrongful convictions, and maintains the world’s largest database of exonerated persons. Its website is, www.justicedenied.org.