Washington (AFP) – George Zimmerman, the man controversially acquitted of murdering black teenager Trayvon Martin, said in an interview aired Monday that he is not haunted by what happened.
Zimmerman also told CNN he sees himself as a victim and scapegoat and that the only judge he has to answer to is God.
The Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch volunteer fatally shot 17-year-old Martin in February 2012 as the unarmed African American high schooler was walking home with iced tea and candy.
Zimmerman insisted he had been following Martin on suspicion that the youth was involved in a robbery, and that he shot him in an act of self-defense following a violent struggle.
An initial decision by Florida investigators not to press charges set off widespread protests, with Martin’s supporters alleging racism and pointing to the fact that the teenager was unarmed and had no criminal record.
A national outcry led to a jury trial for second-degree murder and manslaughter in June that ended with Zimmerman’s acquittal — and more protests.
When asked by CNN if he felt haunted by that night two years ago, Zimmerman simply answered “no.”
When asked about the victim, Martin, he said: “No, I certainly was a victim when I was having my head bashed into the concrete and my nose broken and beaten. I wouldn’t say I was not a victim.”
He added later that he saw himself as a “scapegoat” for the government, the president and the attorney general.
Faith in God kept him from doubting himself, he said.
“I know that ultimately he’s the only judge I have to answer to. I know what happened, he knows what happened. So I leave it up to him.”
Zimmerman, in other remarks, said he wants to become an attorney and that he receives death threats.
Photo: Zennie62 via Flickr