This recent but undated file photo taken from the Orlando Sentinel's… (Associated Press )
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Florida, has created a website to communicate to his supporters and solicit funds for his legal defense and living expenses, now that he has been forced into hiding and thus unable to work.
The homepage of the website, TheRealGeorgeZimmerman.com, features an American flag background, and an introductory essay that begins:
"On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. 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."
Zimmerman writes that other defense and legal funds created in his name have not benefited him. He promises that donations to a PayPal account linked to the new site will be used "only for living expenses and legal defense."
The site is peppered with quotations attributed to American statesman Thomas Paine, playwright Henrik Ibsen, and James Loewen, a historian who has argued, among other things, that racism was incorrectly downplayed as a root cause of the Civil War.
In a section of the site called "The Facts," Zimmerman says that he "cannot discuss the details of the event on February 26th" because he must allow law enforcement "to proceed with their investigation unhindered."
A separate section titled "My Race," contains no discussion of the way he identifies himself. Family and friends have noted that Zimmerman's mother is Latina, and thus, a minority like his victim, Trayvon Martin.
Instead, Zimmerman's "Race" page contains two quotations. The first, attributed to Paine, states:
"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
The second is from philosopher Edmund Burke:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing."
Zimmerman admits that he shot Martin, whom he had identified to police as a suspicious person in his neighborhood, but says he did so in self-defense. Zimmerman has not been charged with a crime, triggering outrage and protests nationwide. Fearing for his safety, Zimmerman has disappeared from the public eye.
A special prosecutor is investigating the shooting, but has decided not to impanel a grand jury.
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