Zimmerman's brother breaks family silence, defends his actions
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., appeared on "Piers Morgan Tonight" to defend his brother, George Zimmerman. (Source: CNN)
(RNN) - Breaking the month of silence by the family, George Zimmerman's brother said it's "conjecture" by the media to claim he continued to pursue Trayvon Martin after a 911 operator told him not to.
Appearing on Piers Morgan Tonight on Thursday, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said his brother wasn't patrolling the neighborhood, but that he was on his way to Target when he noticed a suspicious looking person in his gated community and called 911.
Robert Zimmerman Jr. said his brother stopped following Martin after a 911 operator told him to and that he then lost sight of him.
"This mythology that he chased a person is absolutely false. He didn't chase anyone," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.
He said that after George Zimmerman lost sight of Martin, the teen snuck up on his brother and attacked him.
"My brother drew back to grab his phone in retreat to call again 911 and say, 'Well, this person who I lost sight of and was not pursuing has now confronted me.' That's what he did. He never got to make that call because he was attacked by Mr. Martin," Robert Zimmerman Jr. told Morgan.
George Zimmerman has maintained he shot the teen in self-defense, saying Martin punched him in the nose and slammed his head onto the sidewalk.
Martin was unarmed at the time of the scuffle, carrying only a bag of Skittles and an iced tea that he purchased at a local store.
Robert Zimmerman Jr. claimed that during the confrontation, Martin tried to disarm his brother and that George Zimmerman would have died had he not "acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment."
"When you say 'have a bag of skittles and an iced tea,' nobody just stood there with a bag of skittles and an iced tea. You return force with force when somebody assaults you. George was out of breath, he was barely conscious," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Feb. 26 shooting, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said his brother has "severe emotional injuries" and that his nose, broken during the scuffle, is still healing.
According to a police report, George Zimmerman was treated on the scene by emergency responders, but did not go to the hospital for evaluation.
The comments come nearly 24 hours after dark and grainy surveillance video surfaced showing George Zimmerman arriving at the Sanford Police Department, hands cuffed and without obvious injury.
"We're confident the medical records are going to explain all of George's medical history and how he was treated at the scene. To me, his nose looks swollen in that video. I'm his brother," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.
"What I think I see is a swollen nose. I'm not a physician, you're not a physician. A lot of these injuries take time, 24 hours, 36 hours to show the bruising."
Robert Zimmerman Jr. said he noticed an immediate change in his brother after the shooting and that he's been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and "he will never be the same." He also said that his brother was disappointed that none of the neighbors came out to help during the confrontation.
"The whole situation could have potentially been avoided if someone had come out and said 'Hey, what's going on here?'" Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.
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