The mother of George Zimmerman released a letter on the one-year anniversary of his "most unfortunate arrest" Thursday, claiming that Florida police took him into custody to "placate the masses"—and not because he shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old buying some Skittles. This is the Zimmerman family, America. Get used to 'em.
"April 11 2012 will be forever 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," is the key passage from Gladys Zimmerman's two-page letter, which does not once mention Trayvon Martin by name, even though George Zimmerman is less than two months away from being tried for his murder and could face at least 25 years in jail.
It's been 410 days since Martin died, and in the interim we've seen witnesses change their stories, and a chief witnesses flat-out lie, and George Zimmerman lie about how much money he had, and George Zimmerman claim the events of February were a part of "God's plan," and George's father claim that Martin beat his son, and, also, an actual apology from George to Trayvon's family in July. Whew.
And despite all that, it appears that the Zimmerman clan has moved on, to a new strategy: Attack the justice system by accusing them of "confusing the public and manipulating perception." Sure, Mrs. Zimmerman, that's why everyone was upset—because the cops.
The running theme from the Zimmerman family in the last couple of weeks has been to promulgate, in public, the idea that George was unfairly targeted. On April 9 a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder (which was obtained by The Daily Caller) from an as yet unnamed Zimmerman family member asked why members of the New Black Panthers had not been arrested, claiming that they were the victims of threats. "The family member believes the reason Holder hasn't made those arrests is because he, like the members of the New Black Panther Party, is black," reported The Daily Caller's Matthew Boyle.
So there was that.
And then late last month, George's brother, Robert, took to his Twitter account to talk about Trayvon Martin, race, and his brother's innocence in, shall we say, a roundabout manner:
Robert also chastised the media for its depiction of Martin, claiming that the alleged suppression of photos of Martin flipping his middle fingers made his brother look like more of a monster:
Now it's the mother's turn to blame George's arrest on the will of the masses. It's your fault for even reading the letter, she writes, even though she released it to the masses:
If you read this letter with the hopes of finding material to mock or rebuke--please stop reading now, because this letter is not intended for you.
You should also probably not read the letter if you're looking for any explanation for the death of Trayvon Martin, which was actually the reason her son was arrested. Martin's name is nowhere to be found in the letter, and the only semi-acknowledgment of his actual death or the shooting, in the entirety of the 754-word screen, comes in the form a euphemism that calls Martin's death a "very real tragedy when there was little evidence available to the public."
And with the trial set to begin in less than two months, Gladys is also maintaining that her son has never lied:
As we approach June 10, the date George’s trial is scheduled to begin, I want to thank you again for your support and the trust you have placed in George. My son has always told the truth and your trust is well-placed. The upcoming trial will not disappoint you.
And, well, that's just not true: Zimmerman's own lawyer said that Zimmerman had deceived the court about the finances he raised through his website—and about how much money he had on hand. "The audio recordings of Mr. Zimmerman's phone conversations while in jail make it clear that Mr. Zimmerman knew a significant sum had been raised," his attorney Mark O'Mara said in July. "Mr. Zimmerman understands that this mistake has undermined his credibility, which he will have to work to repair," O'Mara added.
Though, if you ask Gladys, it's probably your fault that you even read that far.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.