On Wednesday night, Fox News’ Sean Hannity sat down with George Zimmerman, who has invoked Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law in the shooting and murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in an exclusive interview.
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Sticking to his reported story, Zimmerman told Hannity in his first televised interview that after Martin approached him, Martin punched him in the face and immediately broke his nose while Zimmerman was allegedly responding to his question:
“He asked me what my [f*cking] problem was. I was wearing my green jacket, and I put my cell phone in it as opposed to my jean’s pocket. I was reaching down to call 911 again, and that’s when he punched me.”
Hannity asked, “He asked you, ‘What’s your problem?'”
“Yes, he said, ‘Do you have a problem, what’s your problem?’ I reached for my phone, as I said, and he hit me and broke my nose.”
Hannity then asked Zimmerman how he ended up on the ground:
“I don’t remember if he pushed me on the ground, but I ended up on the ground. He continued to punch me in the head, several more than a dozen times.”
Hannity then asked Zimmerman at what point did he fear for his life. Zimmerman responded that he feared for his life at the point that Martin wouldn’t stop hitting his head on the ground, “In hindsight, I’d [say it was] when he was slamming my head in to the concrete.”
Hannity asked Zimmerman if Martin was talking with him during the beating. According to Zimmerman, it was then that Martin allegedly told him that he was going to die, “Yes, he was cursing, telling me to shut up and then telling me he was going to kill me.”
According to Hannity, police could hear someone screaming out a total of 14 times. Not surprisingly, Zimmerman claims that the screams were coming from him, because he wanted the police to find him, “Yes, I believe from what the investigators told me, he knew I was talking to the police and I was yelling so they could find me,” Zimmerman said.
Finally, Hannity gets Zimmerman to discuss Martin’s final moments before he pulled the trigger,”At that point, I realized that it was not my gun, it was not his gun, it was the gun. He said, “You are going to die tonight, muthaf*cka.” He took one hand off my mouth, and I felt his hand going down to my holster and I didn’t have any time.”
According to published reports, Zimmerman ended up shooting Martin with a single gunshot to the chest. Zimmerman claims that even after Martin was shot, he sat up and said something to the effect of, “You got it, or you got me…OK, you got the gun.”
Hannity then proceeded to ask Zimmerman whether he had any regrets about the night of February 26th:
“Is there anything that you regret?”
“Do you regret having a gun?”
“No, sir…I feel as though it was all in God’s plan.”
Hannity then asks Zimmerman about his statement during his 911 call when he said that “the bad guys always get away.” Zimmerman responded that he supposedly meant that “in [his] neighborhood… there are geographic advantages [to getting away] in [his] neighborhood.”
As for Trayvon Martin’s parents, Zimmerman said he would apologize to them if he got the chance:
“I would tell them that, again, I’m sorry.”
“My wife and I don’t have any children,” Zimmerman said in an excerpt released in advance of the airing. “I have nephews that I love more than life. I love them more than myself. And I know when they were born, it was a different unique bond and love that I have with them. And I love my children even though that they aren’t born yet.
“I am sorry that they buried their child. I can’t imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily.”
Hannity then drove home the severity of Zimmerman’s predicament if he is indeed found guilty: Zimmerman could face life in prison. With all things being considered, ultimately Hannity wanted to know if Zimmerman thinks he will get off in Martin’s murder. Zimmerman responded, “It’s a finite situation that I’ve been placed in. I really have no choice but to believe in the [justice] system.”
Doubling back to the crime scene, Hannity asks Zimmerman when he realized Martin was dead. Oddly enough, Zimmerman responds that he was unaware that Martin was dead until he reached the police station.
Hannity also asked Zimmerman how he felt about his case polarizing the nation,”It’s surreal. I don’t like that they’ve [the public] rushed to justice the way they have. I feel like that anytime they have a story that’s remotely positive, they make it negative.”
Hannity uses this moment to segueway in to the action, activism, and commentary Black leaders, such as filmmaker Spike Lee and the Rev. Al Sharpton, have taken in regards to his case, Zimmerman replied, “I can’t guess what their motives are. I would just ask for an apology. If I did something wrong, I’d ask for an apology.”
Finally, Hannity asks what many in the public have been wanting to know about: Witness 9. Earlier this week, Witness 9’s statements were released, throwing the Zimmerman case into a tailspin. Witness 9 alleged that not only is Zimmerman and his family racist, but that Zimmerman had sexually molested her for at least 10 years.
In reaction, Zimmerman discredited the witness, “I think that I’m actually fortunate that the FBI…that they cleared me of any racial profiling or any wrongdoing. It is ironic that the only person they could find is the person that would say I was deviant.”
After Hannity attempted to paint Zimmerman as the racially conscious activist, who allegedly drove to churches and gave out fliers on behalf of a “minority” who was mistreated by the police,” he asked Zimmerman how he felt about the dominant narrative that has developed in this country that Zimmerman is a White man who killed a Black boy who only had Skittles and iced tea.
“I appreciate you not rushing to judgment. [Many people don't know] but English was my second language, because my grandmother and mom raised me while my father…was away. I consider myself first an American, [but I'm] a Hispanic American.”
In closing, Zimmerman backpedaled about whether he had any regrets, saying, “First, I’d like to re-address your question, would I have done anything differently…but I do wish that I wouldn’t have done anything that would have put me in that position to take his life. My wife, my family, the Martin family, I want to tell America that I’m sorry…that because of my actions, I’ve polarized this nation.”
Watch Zimmerman’s entire interview with Hannity on Fox News here:
Zimmerman reportedly went against his attorneys’ requests to do the interview with Hannity. Obviously, he wanted to make his case to America that he isn’t the monster much of the media has painted him to be.
At this point in his case — which hasn’t even gone to trial yet — so much information has been released that it is unclear if his interview with Hannity, the jail calls, witness accounts, his initial interview with investigators, medical records, and even lie detector tests will help or harm his case.
Because much of what Zimmerman has said in the past — on record — and even live tonight contradicts a number of media reports. For example, at the beginning of this month, medical reports indicated that all of the banging that Martin allegedly did to his head did NOT actually happen. Why is this problematic? Because Zimmerman has insisted — and still insists — that besides breaking his nose, this was the main form of abuse he suffered at the hands of Martin.
And while we are on the broken nose issue, just last week, another report came out indicating that police at the crime scene could not agree on whether Zimmerman’s nose was even broken or not.
And while Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, jumped in tonight to say that his client could not legally discuss lying to the court at his initial bond hearing, changing witness accounts paint Zimmerman as the callous aggressor in the murder.
And of course, the most recent development in the case is Witness 9, who was also revealed tonight to be Zimmerman’s cousin. As previously reported by NewsOne, she not only said that the Zimmermans have always disliked Blacks — except the ones “who act White” — but that Zimmerman sexually molested her for at least a decade.
One doesn’t have to be an attorney to see that this case has more turns than a maze.
NewsOne will continue to keep you informed.