Trayvon Martin gun to be auctioned by George Zimmerman
12 May 2016
- From the section US & Canada
A gun used to shoot dead unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin is to be auctioned by the man who shot him, George Zimmerman.
Mr Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watchman, was cleared over the death of the 17-year-old in February 2012 after saying he acted in self-defence.
He said he was selling the gun partly to raise funds to fight “Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric”.
The Martin family would not “comment on the actions of that person”, they said.
“The Trayvon Martin Foundation is committed to its mission of ending senseless gun violence in the United States,” his family said in a statement to media in Florida.
“This election season, we are laser focused on furthering that mission.”
The one-day online auction opens at 11:00 EDT (15:00 GMT) on Thursday. The opening bidding price for the 9mm pistol is set at $5,000 (£3,464).
On the auction site, Mr Zimmerman refers to the gun as an “American icon”, and says it was recently returned to him by the US Department of Justice.
Mr Zimmerman told Florida radio stations he was behind the auction.
Florida police did not arrest Mr Zimmerman for six weeks after the shooting in Sanford, Florida, provoking mass rallies in Florida and throughout the US.
Police justified their decision not to detain him by citing the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which allows a citizen to use lethal force if he or she feels in imminent danger. Police initially said the law prevented them from bringing charges.
Mr Zimmerman’s defence said Trayvon Martin had punched their client, slammed his head into the pavement and reached for Mr Zimmerman’s gun. Prosecutors accused Mr Zimmerman of telling a number of lies.
The case led to protests in several cities in the US and to the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Source: BBC World