How Many George Zimmerman Arrests Warrant a Conviction?

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Best known for being acquitted for killing unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman continues to wrack up arrests and almost all are gun-related. (© Gary W. Green/ Pool/epa/Corbis photo)
Best known for being acquitted for killing unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman continues to wrack up arrests and almost all are gun-related. (© Gary W. Green/ Pool/epa/Corbis photo)

When I was in high school, I told a classmate how much I loved Jimi Hendrix’s music. “Why do you care about a dead nigger?” she asked. I found that chilling then, and I’d be just as creeped out now.

Let’s look at just one example of how many times a guy labeled by CNN as a “white Hispanic” after he killed an unarmed black guy can get arrested and avoid jail time in Florida.

George Zimmerman, 31, is best known as the “white-ish” man who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. The only “weapon” on Martin was a bag of Skittles candy and an Arizona iced tea. Zimmerman was a self-appointed neighborhood watch participant, despite the fact that he was not registered in the National Neighborhood Watch Program. A month and a half after the Martin shooting — and after a loud public outcry — Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. His trial began on June 10, 2013, and one month later he was acquitted.

At the moment, Zimmerman has been released on $5,000 bond after another arrest on Jan. 9, 2015. This time he was arrested for aggravated assault with a weapon. There’s something rotten in Florida. These are not the only two legal problems this Teflon white-ish dude has slithered out of. Let us count the reasons Zimmerman should’ve been locked up long ago:

2002

January: Zimmerman’s ex-fiancée Veronica Zuazo said he’d thrown her on the bed and hit her after she’d come home late. During a second incident, the Daily Mail reported, “he repeatedly slapped her across the face for popping her gum in his face as they drove to a counseling session.”

2005

July: Zimmerman, then 21, was arrested for pushing an undercover alcohol-control agent. During the arrest of Zimmerman’s friend for underage drinking, the agent said Zimmerman had shoved him, cursed at him and yelled, “I don’t care who you are” after the agent showed his badge. Zimmerman refused to leave the area. He was charged with two third-degree felonies: “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer.” The charges were waived when Zimmerman went into an alcohol education program that meant he had to attend anger management classes.

August: Zimmerman’s ex-fiancée Veronica Zuazo filed a restraining order based on domestic abuse. That’s as far as that incident went. Zuazo had said Zimmerman grabbed her cellphone out of her hand and pushed her during a fight. According to the Miami Herald, there had been previous incidents of violence. 

2006

December: Received a ticket for speeding, but the case was dismissed because the officer never appeared in court.

2012

February: Killed Trayvon Martin

April: Arrested on second-degree murder 

2013

July: Zimmerman released after his acquittal of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the Trayvon Martin murder case.

July: Zimmerman was stopped for speeding. He had a gun in the car. The police officer said, “Don’t play with your firearm, OK?” The whole incident took only four minutes before Zimmerman was sent on his way.

September: One week after filing for divorce, Zimmerman’s estranged wife Shellie Zimmerman made a 911 call claiming George had threatened her and her father David Bryant Dean with a gun when they went to the house to collect Shellie’s things. Shellie said George smashed her iPad and punched her father in the nose. The police left without arresting George. Shellie did not press charges.

November: Zimmerman was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault after he allegedly smashed a table with a shotgun, pointed the gun at his then-girlfriend Samantha Scheibe and pushed her out of the house and locked the door. Scheibe told a dispatcher that there were four guns in the house. Prosecutors alleged that Zimmerman had attacked Scheibe days before, choked her and threatened suicide but because Scheibe had not reported that incident, he was not charged for the choking. Bail was granted. Scheibe later asked that the charges against Zimmerman be dropped. Prosecutors dropped it.

December: Zimmerman reclaimed five guns that police had confiscated in November. According to the New York Daily News, the weapons were a .38 caliber handgun, a 9-mm handgun, a Glock 19 handgun, a KelTec shotgun and an AR-15 assault rifle. Scheibe accompanied him on one of the trips to retrieve two of the guns. Oy!

2014

July: Zimmerman claims he found work as a security guard at a gun store. Uh, hello? Anybody else find this disturbing? (The owner of the store denied Zimmerman’s employment.)

September: Zimmerman threatened to shoot Matthew Aperson during a road rage incident. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Apperson called 911 after Zimmerman threatened to kill him. Police found a gun, but Zimmerman had a concealed weapons permit. Two days later, Aperson called police again. This time he said Zimmerman seemed to be following him. Cops found Zimmerman, pulled him over and questioned him. They took the handgun from him but then returned it after eight minutes. Apperson chose not to press charges.

2015

January: Zimmerman is charged with assault again, this time for throwing a wine bottle at a woman in his home in Lake Mary, Fla. He was arrested around 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9, questioned and held overnight. According to The New York Times on Jan. 10, “During a court appearance on Saturday morning, a Seminole County judge set bond for Mr. Zimmerman at $5,000 and ordered him to have no contact with the woman, who was not identified in court. Mr. Zimmerman was also ordered to surrender any firearms he may possess by Tuesday. He posted bond on Saturday afternoon, and was released from jail. His next court date was set for Feb. 17.”

My guess is that there have been many more Zimmerman altercations that went unreported. I wonder if he would’ve been incarcerated long ago if he were a black man. Just sayin’.

Watch the CNN video about Zimmerman’s latest arrest:

Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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