George Zimmerman's brother talks about Trayvon Martin shooting death

Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 11:42 PM
Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 5:43 AM

For the first time, the brother of George Zimmerman is speaking out on national television about the night Trayvon Martin was killed.

Robert Zimmerman Jr. appeared on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Thursday night and said his brother is devastated by the killing. He also said that 17-year-old Martin picked the fight with 28-year-old George Zimmerman.

Robert said when his brother and Martin started fighting it became a matter of life and death. He said his brother could've easily been killed by Martin because the teen was going for his gun.

"He stopped someone from disarming him and shooting him. He didn't pull out a gun and shoot him," said Robert Zimmerman. "Nobody stood there with Skittles and an iced tea. You return force with force when somebody assaults you."

Robert denies his younger brother chased Martin and he stands by George's claim of self-defense.

"This fantasy, or mythology, that he chased a person is absolutely false," said Robert Zimmerman.

George Zimmerman claims Martin punched him in the nose and bashed his head on the ground, but in video WFTV obtained from the Sanford Police Department, he does not appear to have any injuries.

Robert was also asked about the video and he said there are visible injuries.

"To me, his nose looks swollen in that video. I'm his brother," said Robert Zimmerman. "A lot of these injuries take 36 hours to show."

Since last month's shooting Robert said his brother has been in hiding and is traumatized.

"He has very severe emotional injuries. He's been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," said Robert.

He also says his entire Zimmerman family has received death threats and some people have even mistaken Robert for George because the two look alike.

Robert Zimmerman also called his brother a neighbor everybody would want to have. He said the backlash that's happened is a "carnival of hatred."

"The people who love and support George respect the legal system," said Robert Zimmerman.

A new witness has come forward to talk about what he says he saw just after George Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.

"He didn't appear hurt or anything else. He just kind of seemed very, I guess very worried or whatever. He walked on the sidewalk at that point with his hand up to his forehead," said the witness.

The witness did not want to reveal his identity during the national interview. He is one of six witnesses police talked to after the incident.

The mortician who prepared Martin's body last month has spoken out. He said he only saw the boy's gunshot wound in the chest and that Martin had no other bruises or injuries.

"I did not see any markings on the body that would indicate to me that he had been in a scuffle or fight," said Richard Kurtz, of Roy Mizell & Kurtz Funeral Home.

Martin's autopsy has not been released because it's part of the ongoing investigation.

Film director, Spike Lee, has settled with a central Florida couple after he used Twitter to post the wrong home address of George Zimmerman.

This is the message, that Lee re-tweeted last week: "The address is actually the home of a Sanford couple in their seventies who say they've been terrorized by the incident."

Lee apologized to the couple for the error. Details of the settlement have not been released.

Eighth-graders on DC class trip snub House Speaker Paul Ryan 

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 7:47 PM

About 100 8th grade students refused to take a photo with House Speaker Paul Ryan. (Photo: Screengrab via Paul Ryan/Instagram)

When 200 eighth-grade students from New Jersey’s South Orange Middle School took a class trip to Washington, D.C., last week and were offered a chance to be in a picture with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, about half of them said no.

ABC7 New York caught up with some of the 100 or so students who decided to stand out of the picture on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Matthew Malespina, one student who sat out, called it “much more than a picture.” He objected to “being associated with a person who puts his party before his country,” and texted his mother to ask how to handle it. She recommended he say, politely, that he’d rather not participate. So he did.

>> Read more trending news

“I’m just not going to do it,” he said.

When interviewed by New York’s FOX5, he said: “First thing I said was, ‘I can’t take a picture with him. I don’t want to.’”

Malespina, who was evidently a go-to South Orange student for interviews, told the Village Green, “I can’t take a picture with someone who supports a budget that would destroy public education and would leave 23 million people without health care.”

Plenty of students, however, felt just fine joining the speaker of the House for a photograph, even if they didn’t agree with his agenda.

Student Alex Klint said it would be “interesting” to get close to “one of the nation’s lawmakers in person even if I strongly disagree with many of his views.”

Other students and parents had similarly nuanced stances, noting that while some of his policies are unpopular, Speaker Ryan might still be worth meeting.

Got that #FridayFeeling 👊

A post shared by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) on

Report: Jared Kushner a focus of Russia probe

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:26 PM
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 8:05 PM

(Photo by Brooks Kraft/ Getty Images)
Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

UPDATE May 26, 8:00 p.m. The Washington Post reported Friday that in December Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner discussed setting a up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin.

Kushner, according to the report, asked Kislyak about using Russia’s diplomatic facilities to prevent monitoring of the discussions. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, also attended the meeting, which was not under U.S. surveillance, according to officials.

The White House disclosed the meeting in March, but people familiar with the matter told The Post the meeting is of investigative interest.

The White House has not returned requests for comment, nor has the Russian Embassy or a lawyer for Flynn.


Is Jared Kushner, the senior White House official, a person of interest in the investigation into ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign?

Thursday, The Post reported that Jared Kushner is under investigation “because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians,” citing unnamed people familiar with the investigation.

>> Read more trending news 

Investigators are looking specifically at meetings held by Kushner, who is also the president’s son-in-law as well as an adviser, as part of their investigation into Russia’s pull in the 2016 election, The Post reported.

Kushner has said that he will cooperate with the federal investigators, The Associated Press reported.

In a statement released by attorney Jamie Gorelick, “Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”

>> RELATED: Who are the key players in the Russia/Trump saga?

The FBI and the Congressional oversight committee, in addition to other Congressional panels, are looking into what role, if any, Russia had in the 2016 presidential election.

The Post and the AP said that the investigation does not mean that Kushner himself is a suspect of a crime.

Last week, The Washington Post has reported that Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are current Trump administration officials who have acknowledged contact with Russian officials, according to the report.

The source was not named, but was described as someone close to Trump in the story that was originally released minutes after Trump and his advisors departed for his first overseas trip as president.

South Korea calls emergency meeting after latest North Korea missile test

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 7:29 PM

North Korea has conducted a successful ballistic missile test, firing a projectile into the Sea of Japan early Monday morning, CNBC and other media report, citing South Korea’s Yonhap news network.

Three previous similar tests happened a week ago.

The latest missile test is at least the eighth such test this year alone. North Korea has been working on new anti-aircraft weaponry as well, according to Reuters.

>> Read more trending news

The Korea Herald reports that South Koreans scrambled in response, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in assembling an emergency meeting of the country’s security council.

The test comes during a period of heightened tensions with North Korea.

This morning, in an interview on “Face the Nation”, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said a war with North Korea would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetime” and a “catastrophic war if this turns into a combat.”

Postal truck crash sends boxes of medical supplies into creek

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 6:53 PM

A postal truck crashed sending medical supplies into a creek. (Photo: Washington State Patrol)

The Washington State Patrol is asking the public to report any shipping packages found along Peshastin Creek after a postal truck crashed and sent its load into the water body.

>> Read more trending news

Around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, a Postal Express truck was involved in a collision six miles southeast of Leavenworth. Brian Moore , a spokesman with the Washington State Patrol, sent out a tweet with information about the crash.

The State Patrol said most of the contents are harmless medical supplies, but some packages could pose a risk if unsealed. As water levels recede, more packages could become exposed.