George Zimmerman, the controversial neighborhood watchman who was not arrested after shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, has set up his own website as part of a fundraising campaign to cover his legal fees, NBC News reports.
"George Zimmerman's family has set up a website for anyone who would like help George and his family with their living expenses and for his defense," attorneys Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner said in a statement obtained by NBC News.
On the website Zimmerman solicits donations to support his “living expenses and legal defense.”
Zimmerman says: "As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life. This website's sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries."
"I have created a Paypal account solely linked on this website as I would like to provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally and ensure that any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment. I will also personally, maintain accountability of all funds received. I reassure you, every donation is appreciated."
The original site also, oddly, featured a photo of a vandalized black cultural center at Ohio State University (video of the Ohio message below), with the message "Long Live George Zimmerman" graffiti'd on the wall. Since yesterday, this picture has been taken off of the website.
The site, www.therealgeorgezimmerman.com, was down at around 6:15 p.m. on Monday night, with a 503 service error, likely because the site has had a massive increase of traffic.
The Sanford Police have said they will soon make a decision on whether to charge and prosecute Zimmerman.
As people wait for the special prosecutor’s decision, Zimmerman’s defense team has revealed new arguments to support his case against prosecution for Martin’s death. Hal Uhrig, a lawyer who recently joined Zimmerman's defense team, was cited on television using "Shaken Baby Syndrome" in his defense. Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self defense, after being attacked by Martin who allegedly pounded his head into the concrete pavement. “Shaken Baby Syndrome” is recognized as a form of child abuse that is typically done to infants.
As PolicyMic pundit Sifat Azad explains, Zimmerman is seeking to utilize this unique defense to clear his name.
On CBS, Uhrigh stated, "We're familiar with the Shaken Baby Syndrome. You shake a baby, the brain shakes around inside the skull. You can die when someone's pounding your head into the ground." Zimmerman’s only injury Uhrigh described elaborately was a broken nose. There are often no visible external signs of “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Injuries that are associated with SBS include bleeding in the brain. In the interview Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman’s father, had with FOX News, he was asked to describe the injuries his son received and how he is healing. Robert’s response was, “Currently he’s not dealing with it well. I don’t know if his injuries are physical or mental, but he’s not in good shape.”
According to ThinkProgress, Zimmerman alleges that other purported legal defense funds are not actually providing him with financial support.