(NEW YORK) — On the one-year anniversary of George Zimmerman’s arrest in the Trayvon Martin killing, his mother posted a letter Thursday to thank supporters and ask for prayers for her son while bashing his critics and the media for perpetuating a “false narrative.”
Her son, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla., who said he shot the unarmed Florida teen, was charged with second-degree murder and taken into custody on April 11, 2012. He has denied the charges, claiming self-defense.
Gladys Zimmerman’s two-page letter was posted online and tweeted out by George Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., who has been a family spokesman.
“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,” Gladys wrote in her letter.
Little evidence, Gladys says, has been available to the public since her son’s arrest and she accused the Martin family’s defense lawyer, Benjamin Crump, of “confusing the public and manipulating perception” in order to sway public opinion.
“From the beginning, this case has been heavily publicized and a false narrative was developed surrounding a very real tragedy when there was little evidence available to the public,” the letter continued.
Crump was unavailable to comment.
Martin family attorneys have said there was no justification for the shooting, while George Zimmerman has claimed self-defense under the state’s so-called “stand your ground” law.
The continuous news coverage of George’s arrest and incarceration, when the media reported on every detail of his life inside the Seminole County Jail, was “particularly disheartening,” Gladys said.
George, 28, a white Hispanic neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed Martin, who was 17 and black, on Feb. 26, 2012, after following the teenager for several minutes through a neighborhood. The case garnered wide national attention, sparking a media frenzy fueled by racial tensions.
Gladys ended her letter by thanking any supporters who “did not abandon” her son and promising that “the upcoming trial will not disappoint you.”
George Zimmerman’s murder trial begins on June 10.
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