Trayvon Benjamin Martin was a 17 year-old Black teen from Miami Gardens, Florida.
He was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman.
Martin was a Black teen and Zimmerman—a self-appointed neighborhood watchdog—decided he was a threat because of his very presence and decided to confront him for being in the neighborhood. When the confrontation initiated by Zimmerman went south, Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
Despite Zimmerman's claims, evidence in the case showed he had no authority to police the area.
Me and both Trayvon Martin were born in 1995. We both should be turning 25 this year. This incident happened in the… https://t.co/lFjqjMtbfg— Marley (@Marley) 1581428972.0
But Zimmerman's case became one of the first high profile tests of Florida's "stand your ground law" that allows private citizens to murder others if they "feel threatened." Since then the law has received widespread criticism for it's biased application as well as what constitutes "threatening" behavior.
Trayvon Martin became a symbol of inequality in justice while Zimmerman became a symbol of who benefits from that imbalance. Since the murder of Martin, Zimmerman has had numerous run ins with law enforcement for domestic violence and road rage.
February 5, 2020 would have been Trayvon Martin's 25th birthday.
Many people paid tribute to Martin on the day.
But Zimmerman was not pleased with the attention his victim received, especially from two people.
Trayvon Martin would have been 25 today. How many 25th birthdays have been stolen from us by white supremacy, gun… https://t.co/nDi4KfeDWW— Pete Buttigieg (@Pete Buttigieg) 1580929966.0
My heart goes out to @SybrinaFulton and Trayvon's family and friends. He should still be with us today. We need to… https://t.co/pcZZ65hezo— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1580962395.0
Now Zimmerman has filed a lawsuit against Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Zimmerman hopes for a payday of $265 million despite neither mentioning Zimmerman by name.
NEW: George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of killing then 17 year old Trayvon Martin, is now suing Democratic presid… https://t.co/PpO0jzqkHW— Greg Angel (@Greg Angel) 1582126217.0
@ewarren @PeteButtigieg @MyNews13 @BN9 George Zimmerman claims in his lawsuit, filed in Polk County, that @EWarren… https://t.co/6vHDH1zJmo— Greg Angel (@Greg Angel) 1582126344.0
@ewarren @PeteButtigieg @MyNews13 @BN9 Awaiting a reply from the @EWarren and @PeteButtigieg campaigns. Here's the… https://t.co/KfOmuwalBw— Greg Angel (@Greg Angel) 1582126370.0
Zimmerman's attorney stated:
"the two maliciously defamed (him), using the February 5th birthday of Trayvon Martin as a pretext to demagogue."
However Zimmerman found few allies or supporters online.
@NewsGuyGreg @ewarren @PeteButtigieg @MyNews13 @BN9 Only in America can you murder a young black male get away with… https://t.co/miVG8zoe2R— Slimm Montana (@Slimm Montana) 1582138657.0
@NewsGuyGreg @ewarren @PeteButtigieg @MyNews13 @BN9 Taking a page from Trump's playbook: Sue anyone who dares to sp… https://t.co/Ye2jougpPR— Leadership Masters (@Leadership Masters) 1582163259.0
@Yb1962YvonneYc @GhostOfLuv3 @NewsGuyGreg @ewarren @PeteButtigieg @MyNews13 @BN9 He's a pos— Dame Austin (@Dame Austin) 1582197666.0
@NewsGuyGreg @ewarren @PeteButtigieg @MyNews13 @BN9 Everytime I see this mans name I’m reminded of how our justice… https://t.co/NIUSJqLP33— M🐘 (@M🐘) 1582139559.0
In his 30-page lawsuit, Zimmerman references the tweets and damage they allegedly caused him, but also made certain to include disparaging remarks about Trayvon, describing him as a gangster.
This isn't Zimmerman's first lawsuit stemming from Martin's death.
In December, Zimmerman sued Trayvon Martin's family, prosecutors and others involved in the case for $100 million over what he claims is false evidence. Zimmerman has maintained that all of the evidence which painted him in a less than flattering light was all false.
The book Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin is available here.