George Zimmerman still believes that he was a victim the night he shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. “I certainly was a victim when I was having my head bashed into the concrete and my nose broken and beaten,” Zimmerman told CNN on Monday. ” So I wouldn’t say I was not a victim.”
A jury in Florida acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Trayvon Martin seven months ago. Zimmerman admits that he killed the 17-year-old while he was working as a neighborhood watchman, but he says it was in self-defense. Perhaps that’s why he claimed memories of the night don’t haunt him. When asked why, he said, “I don’t know.” But he did say that if he could go back, he would have “stayed home” that night.
Despite all the controversy over the verdict, Zimmerman never doubted himself because of his faith in God. “I know He’s the only judge I have to answer to. He knows what happened and I know what happened.”
Though Zimmerman once aspired to be a police officer, he now says that he hopes to be a lawyer. “I’d like to professionally…continue my education and hopefully becoming an attorney,” he said. “I think that’s the best way to stop the miscarriage of justice that happened to me.”
Zimmerman has run into legal trouble since his acquittal. He was pulled over for speeding; his wife called the police saying that Zimmerman was threatening her with a gun; and his new girlfriend has also claimed that he threatened her with a shotgun. (They have since reconciled.)
He’s also had a number of PR problems. He has used his notoriety to sell paintings for hundreds of thousands of dollars and even agreed to become a prize fighter for charity — even though in trial he claimed he could not hold off a teenager.
“I saw it as an opportunity,” Zimmerman said of the boxing match with rapper DMX, which was canceled by its promoter. “I never expected it to turn out the way it did.”
Zimmerman continues to get death threats nearly two years after the night he killed Martin. “I have a lot of people saying that, you know, they guarantee that they’re going to kill me and I’ll never be a free man,” he said. “I realize that they don’t know me. They know who I was portrayed to be.” Zimmerman said that those who say he is a racist don’t know that some of his family members are black.
“Before the trial, during and after, I’ve learned that the majority of people, when they sit down with me one-on-one or with my family, they get a completely different perspective on me,” he said.
When asked about Michael Dunn—a Florida man convicted of second degree murder for shooting an African-American teenager during a fight over loud music—Zimmerman said, “I don’t watch the news anymore. I watch comedy shows, home improvement shows. So I’m not well enough informed to give you exacts [sic].”