Things That Matter

The Man Who Shot And Killed Trayvon Martin Is Now Suing His Family For $100 Million

George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager in the gated community of Sanford, Florida, has launched a $100 million lawsuit against Martin’s family, their lawyer and the prosecutors for defamation and “malicious prosecution,” according to the Guardian

In 2012, Zimmerman shot Martin by his own admission. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws, which allow murder in the case of self-defense, meant that there was no initial charge against Zimmerman because police had no way of disputing his claim. However, when audio of Zimmerman’s call to the police revealed he followed Martin despite police orders not to, a public outcry sparked a trial. Prosecutors and authorities argued that the shooting was unjustified in court. 

The lawsuit filed by a rightwing conservative legal activist group known as Judicial Watch claims Zimmerman has PTSD and depression from the trial. 

Zimmerman, who has had multiple run-ins with the law since being acquitted of second-degree murder charges, filed a 36-page lawsuit claims the three parties ruined his reputation. He also claims he lives in fear of public death threats. Zimmerman’s attorney Lary Klayman says prosecutors relied on a “fake witness” who pretended to be Martin’s girlfriend but was really the half-sister of his allegedly real girlfriend. 

The witness in question, Rachel Jeantel was allegedly recruited by the state attorney Angela Corey when Martin’s real girlfriend refused to provide incriminating testimony.  Zimmerman and company believe Jeantel is a fraud largely because of a conspiracy theory propagated by a book and film that claim the Martin case was a hoax, according to the Washington Post

Both pieces of media allege that his case was built on witness fraud. The director of the film Joel Gilbert scheduled a screening of the film in celebration of the lawsuit announcement. 

Zimmerman is also suing for defamation of character.

Zimmerman’s lawsuit says that the civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented Martin’s parents, attempted to defame the murderer in his book Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People. 

“I have every confidence that this unfounded and reckless lawsuit will be revealed for what it is, another failed attempt to defend the indefensible and a shameless attempt to profit off the lives and grief of others,” Crump said in a statement.

“This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself. He would have us believe that he is the victim of a deep conspiracy despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims.”

Zimmerman has struggled with the law on multiple occasions since his acquittal.

In 2013,  Zimmerman was charged with felony aggravated assault after pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend allegedly. The case was dropped. In 2015, he was arrested on charges of domestic aggravated assault for throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend, allegedly. The case was also dropped, according to the Washington Post. 

The same year, Zimmerman retweeted a photo of Martin’s deceased body with the caption “Z-man is a one-army, according to CBS News. The same year, Zimmerman was suspended from Twitter for posting semi-nude photos of his ex-girlfriend that revealed her personal information including her email and phone number. The caption accused her of sleeping with a “dirty Muslim.” 

In 2016, Zimmerman tried to auction the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin to raise money to defend police officers from Black Lives Matter and Hillary Clinton, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Since Zimmerman murdered Martin in 2018, he was charged with stalking a private investigator who was working on a Jay-Z documentary about Martin. Zimmerman sent two and a half hours’ worth of voicemails to the private investigator. 

His legal troubles go back even before the shooting. In 2005, he was arrested for a domestic dispute resulting in a restraining order filed against him. In another incident that year, he was arrested for battery of an undercover officer who arrested Zimmerman’s underage friend. 

Crump did not seem to worry at all about Zimmerman’s lawsuit. It appears, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on in court.

“This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings,” Crump said. 

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Federal Judge Breaks Her Silence After Her Son Was Murdered By Disgruntled Attorney

Things That Matter

Federal Judge Breaks Her Silence After Her Son Was Murdered By Disgruntled Attorney

Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

Federal Judge Esther Salas is preparing to bury her 20-year-old son. Her son was killed by a disgruntled disguised as a FedEx driver on his birthday weekend. Judge Salas’ husband was hospitalized after being shot multiple times. She is asking for better protection got federal judges and their families.

Judge Esther Salas is demanding better protection and privacy for federal judges.

The video opens with Judge Salas explaining the events that unfolded that day. The emotion grows as she talks about her son finally turning 20 and his excitement to be with his parents. She recalls her son saying that he just wanted to stay and talk to her where the doorbell rings.

Judge Salas remembers her son running up the stairs to answer the door, curious about who it could be. When the door opened, Judge Salas heard gunshots and someone screaming “no.” When she got to her family, she learned that someone dressed as a FedEx delivery person came to the door and opened fire. The son jumped in front of his dad to protect him and died from a bullet wound to the chest.

As a result of the killing, Judge Salas is asking for politicians to do something to protect federal judges. As it stands, the address and other personal information on federal judges are readily available online. Judge Salas wants a way for that information to be hidden from the public.

“At the moment there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable,” Judge Salas said in the video. “My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench.”

She added: “My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure. And I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain. We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again, but we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down.”

Judge Salas’ video is a hard video to watch as her raw emotion breaks through.

It is devastating to have to bury a child. It is something no parent should have to do. For Judge Salas, she is burying a child that was taken from her in a senseless act of violence perpetrated by a self-proclaimed anti-feminist attorney.

People on social media are standing with the judge in asking for better data protection to save lives.

Data issues have long plagued the Internet and activists want to change that. For many, the issue is protecting data from falling into the wrong hands or for companies, like Facebook, to profit off of our data. For Judge Salas, it is a matter of life or death to protect her colleagues on the bench and their families.

READ: The Government Accountability Office States That ICE And The FBI Are Using DMV Data To Track Undocumented Immigrants

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Megan Thee Stallion Just Dropped A New Freestyle About The Tory Lanez Shooting Incident

Entertainment

Megan Thee Stallion Just Dropped A New Freestyle About The Tory Lanez Shooting Incident

Erik Voake / Stringer, Cindy Ord / Stringer

*Warning: This story contains graphic images*

Updated August 31, 2020

Several weeks have passed since we first reported that Megan Thee Stallion had been involved in a shooting that injured her feet. At the time, the rapper had explained that she had been shot as “a result of a crime that was committed against” her. However, up until recently, the rapper has kept fairly quiet about the incident only opening up to fans to ask for her privacy and their sympathy.

In July Megan addressed the incident once again on Instagram Live in a nine-minute video where she thanked fans for their support.

Speaking about the incident, which happened on July 12, Megan recalled having both of her feet shot.

“I see… a lot of people that have been very supportive and sending prayers, and I just really appreciate that,” she said during the live stream. “I saw the hotties doing a lot of things, like writing letters on Tumblr and DMing me all the time, and I just want to say thank y’all so much, because y’all have really been the ones helping me get through this.”

“I was shot in both of my feet,” she explained “I had to get surgery to get the bullets taken out. And it was super scary.” She later noted, “Thank God that the bullets didn’t touch bones; they didn’t break tendons. I know my momma or my daddy, my granny, had to be looking out for me with that one, because where the bullets hit at it missed everything.”

Despite her statements, users on Twitter have continued to question the validity of her claims about the incident.

After being spotted at a strip club in Atlanta this week, fans were quick to question again whether she’d actually been shot at all.

Megan responded to the accusations with a picture of her injury.

*Warning it’s pretty gruesome.*

MeganTheeStallion/ Instagram

Megan posted the now-deleted image with a caption that read “Lol what I have learned abt majority of the people on social media is y’all like to hear bad news before good news, a lie spreads quicker than the truth, and y’all really be believing the sh– YALL make up.” She went onto comment “I got hit at the back of my feet because when I got shot I was WALKING AWAY FACING THE BACK. why would I lie abt getting shot? Why are y’all so upset that I don’t wanna be in the bed sad? Why y’all upset that I can walk? I got my stitches out my feet like 2 weeks ago and I was ready to go celebrate WAP going number1… I usually don’t address internet bullshit but y’all people are so sick! God was really watching over me and I’m healing so well! Sorry I’m not as sad and miserable as a lot of y’all lol but ima keep being Megan Thee Mf STALLION.”

Just a day after posting the photo of her gunshot wound on Instagram, Megan returned to social media to accuse rapper Tory Lanez of being the one to shoot her.

Just before Megan took to Instagram, she tweeted “Lie one more time and ima quit sparing you.” Looks like the rapper screwed up and lied another time.

In the video posted to Instagram, Megan accused Lanez’s publicist of spreading misinformation about the incident which ended in Megan being rushed to the hospital with gunshot wounds this past July. “Yes, this n**** Tory shot me,” Meg said on her official Instagram. Speaking to Lanez, she went onto say “You got your publicist and your people going to these blogs lying and shit. Stop lying.”

At the end of August, Megan Thee Stallion dropped a new untitled freestyle addressing the incident.

After admitting earlier in August, that Lanez shot her, the “WAP” rapper posted a freestyle about the incident. “Tic tac toe, I X this b—h/ If a hit dog holler, I address that s–t,” Megan rapped before referencing the incident. “Got shot two times and I ate that s–t/ Bounced right back with a Revlon deal.”

Within a few days of the news breaking about Megan’s shooting incident, men and women began to make jokes and rumors about what happened.

While her fans were quick to show genuine concern about her health and welfare, many were keen on making jokes as well. Media outlets and celebrities alike slung all kinds of cracks about the incident, even going so far as to mock the rapper’s personal life. Recently, model Chrissy Teigen apologized for a joke she made on Twitter about the incident which read, “I have a megan thee stallion joke but it needs to be twerked on.”

The joke came just after the “Hot Girl Summer” rapper asked fans to have more compassion on Twitter about the situation pointing out that “Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own.” She went onto add that “It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.”

The largely unsympathetic reaction to Megan’s shooting is a reminder that Black women continue to be ignored when it comes to pain.

2017 report released by the National Center for Victims of Crime “41.2 percent of Black women had experienced physical violence and 53.8 percent had experienced psychological aggression, as compared to 31.5 and 47.1 percent of all women respectively.” According to The Guardian, Black women and other minorities are even more at risk because of the current pandemic crisis. “With more than three-quarters of the US population told to stay home to stem the pandemic’s spread, nowhere is safe for victims of intimate partner violence,” they reported. “A self-quarantine puts them in perpetual proximity to their abuser. Leaving exposes them not just to a deadly virus but a world that has largely closed its doors.”

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, recently made headlines earlier this summer when she revealed that she’d been a victim of gun violence.

After a series of misreports from various outlets, the rapper took to Instagram to clear up rumors that had been made about the circumstances. Including ones that suggested she had been arrested.

Recently the rapper revealed she suffered multiple gunshot wounds this past Sunday and is currently recovering.

In a detailed account of events on Instagram on Wednesday, the rapper revealed that rapper Tory Lanez had been arrested on a gun charge after police officers found the weapon in his car. At the time, Megan had also been in a car with another woman.

“On Sunday morning, I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me,” the “Savage” rapper wrote. “I was never arrested, the police officers drove me to the hospital where I underwent surgery to remove the bullets. I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important for me to clarify the details about this traumatic night.”

A story published by TMZ originally reported that a cut on the rapper’s foot led police to search the car and find the gun.

The story posted a video of two people, one identified by TMZ as Megan, with their hands behind their backs. The images showed them surrounded by police. The outlet identified the other person as Lanez.

In her Instagram post, Megan emphasized that she had not been arrested but had in fact suffered multiple gunshot wounds. She went on to add that she had been driven by police officers drove to a hospital where she had surgery to remove the bullets.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important for me to clarify the details about this traumatic night,” she finished the image. “I’m currently focused on my recovery, so I can return back to my life and back to making music as soon as possible.”

She also shared that the experience is “an eye-opener and a blessing in disguise… I hate that it took this experience for me to learn how to protect my energy.”

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