Brother: George Zimmerman Was in Life or Death Struggle With Trayvon Martin

Brother of Martin shooter says he was assaulted by teen

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Funeral director Richard Kurtz said there were no signs of a fight on the body of Trayvon Martin days after the shooting as shooter George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., appears on CNN to defend his brother's actions. Meanwhile, Zimmerman's attorney, Craig Sonner, and the Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump give their takes on a Sanford Police video that shows Zimmerman hours after the shooting.

    The brother of George Zimmerman says the neighborhood watch volunteer was in a fight for his life the night of the Trayvon Martin shooting, and insists the cries for help heard on a 911 call from the scene are his brother's.

    Robert Zimmerman Jr. spoke out for the first time Thursday night on CNN, defending his brother's actions in the Feb. 26 shooting in Sanford.

    "George showed tremendous restraint," Zimmerman Jr. said, denying the claim that his brother shot the 17-year-old in cold blood. "He prevented his firearm from being taken from him and used against him and that's called saving your life."

    Sanford Police Video Shows George Zimmerman Hours After Trayvon Martin Shooting

    [MI] Sanford Police Video Shows George Zimmerman Hours After Trayvon Martin Shooting
    In a video released by Sanford Police, George Zimmerman is seen in handcuffs following the Trayvon Martin shooting.

    The Miami Gardens teen was visiting with his father at his father's girlfriend's home in the gated community and had gone to buy a bag of Skittles and iced tea at a nearby convenience store and was walking back when the shooting happened.

    Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman told police the shooting was self-defense, and no charges have been filed in the case.

    Zimmerman Attorney: Police Video Too Grainy To Show Injuries After Trayvon Martin Shooting

    [MI] Zimmerman Attorney: Police Video Too Grainy To Show Injuries After Trayvon Martin Shooting
    Craig Sonner, the attorney for George Zimmerman, said Thursday that a Sanford Police video taken hours after the neighborhood watch volunteer shot and killed Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin may be too grainy to show the injuries he sustained at the hands of the teen. Robert Parker, the former head of the Miami-Dade Police, said the police video indicates that "there was no substantial injury that would require immediate medical attention or great concern." "I contend that if a person had their head bashed into the cement or into concrete, you are going to have a person unconcious, or some substantial injury," Parker said of Zimmerman.

    Robert Zimmerman Jr. said Thursday that Martin snuck up on his brother and said the claim that George Zimmerman chased Martin is a "fantasy."

    "Nobody just stood there with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea, you return force with force when somebody assaults you," Zimmerman Jr. said.

    Zimmerman had spotted the teen and called 911, telling the dispatcher he was following Martin. The dispatcher told him not to, but Martin and Zimmerman got into a confrontation. He said the teen approached him from behind, punched him in the face, got on top of him while he was on the ground and started bashing his head into the sidewalk.

    Police said Zimmerman had a bloody nose, gash on the back of his head and grass stains on the back of his shirt. Zimmerman's family and attorney say the 28-year-old also had his nose broken by Martin.

    "George was out of breath, he was barely conscious, his last thing he remembers doing was moving his head from the concrete to the grass so that if he was banged one more time he wouldn't be wearing diapers for the rest of his life and being spoon-fed by his brother," Zimmerman Jr. said. "There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed by his assailant."

    On Wednesday, Robert Zimmerman Sr., George's father, also spoke for the first time and supported his son's self-defense claim.

    "Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of 'you're gonna die now' or 'you're gonna die tonight,'" Robert Zimmerman Sr. said. "He continued to beat George, and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did."

    The Martin family and their attorney says the teen was not the aggressor. The Fort Lauderdale funeral director who prepared Martin's body for his burial days after the shooting also spoke out Thursday, claiming the teen's body showed no signs of a fight.

    "I saw the evidence of the gunshot wound in the upper chest," Richard Kurtz said. "I did not see any sign like he’s been in a scuffle or fistfight."

    Earlier Thursday, Sanford Police released a video that shows George Zimmerman after the shooting. The video shows a handcuffed Zimmerman being escorted from a police cruiser and into Sanford Police headquarters just hours after the deadly encounter.

    Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martin family, said the video shows no evidence of the injuries Zimmerman claimed to have sustained.

    "All the other evidence clearly contradicts everything George Zimmerman has said," Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Wednesday. "America has now listened to those 911 tapes with their ears and now they see this video tonight with their eyes and it's clear that what was in that police report was a fabrication."

    Robert Zimmerman Jr. said it looked like his brother's nose was swollen in the video and added that records will show his brother was injured.

    "We're confident the medical records are going to explain all of George's medical history," he said.

    As for the 911 call the night of the shooting that captured someone crying out for help, Zimmerman Jr. said there's no doubt in his mind they're his brother's.

    "I know that that's George. I know that one of the saddest things for him in this whole thing is that despite those screams, no one came to his aid. Those screams could have avoided what eventually George had to do to defend his life," Zimmerman Jr. said. "I know that that's his voice, it sounds just like my voice I mean he's my brother, that's what I sound like if I yell."

    Crump and Martin's parents claim the screams for help came from Martin.

    "I don't blame them for being as equally adamant. I don't blame anybody whose family member they believe or perceive that they hear on the tape for being as equally adamant. I would expect nothing less, actually,"  Zimmerman Jr. said.

    Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who has temporarily stepped down pending the investigation into the shooting, had said there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman, citing the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

    The law, which some have called controversial, has been invoked at least 130 times since 2005, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Martin's death. The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are also investigating the shooting.

    The shooting has led to numerous marches and protests throughout South Florida and across the country, as Martin's family and supporters demand Zimmerman's arrest. A rally was planned for Friday night at Gould's Park in Southwest Miami-Dade.

    Meanwhile Friday, outrage continued on Twitter over an account that's asking for Zimmerman to be killed.

    The account @killzimmerman, which features a photo of Zimmerman in a gun's crosshairs, had 439 followers as of 10 a.m. Friday.

    "This Page Is 4 Da Ppl Who Believe Zimmerman Should Be Shot Dead In The Street The Same Way TRAYVON Was. No Justice No Peace," the account's description reads.

    Several Twitter users, including Fox News' Sean Hannity and conservative columnist Michelle Malkin voiced outrage that the account was still active after it was started last week.

    "REALLY sick! Where is the FBI?? Where is Holder?? Where is twitter? TAKE THIS DOWN, find this Person!" Hannity tweeted early Friday.

    "We don’t comment on specific users or the status of accounts for privacy reasons," Twitter spokesperson Rachael Horwitz told the Daily Mail.

    On Thursday, it was reported that a white supremecist hacker had broken into Martin's private Facebook and email messages.