George Zimmerman, the 30-year-old Florida man acquitted last year of killing Trayvon Martin, says he’s homeless, jobless and struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Zimmerman made these comments in an interview with Spanish-language television network Univision that’s scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Sunday, a week and a half before the second anniversary of the shooting. An English-language translation of the interview was released Saturday.
Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch volunteer who encountered the unarmed 17-year-old at a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman said he suspected that Martin might have been the burglar responsible for a string of break-ins. Amid a confrontation, Zimmerman shot the teenager, later saying he did so in self-defense.
“In my mind and between God and me, I know that if I didn’t act, act the way I did, I wouldn’t be here,” he says in the Univision interview.
“I mean, he wasn’t playing around,” Zimmerman says at another point.
Other notable moments in Zimmerman’s interview, seven months after the trial:
Zimmerman ends by saying he expects the case to chase him forever.
He describes himself as “a good brother, a good son, a good grandson, a good friend” trying to live a positive life and said that he would like everyone to give “the benefit of the doubt like I do, and want to forgive, want to go on with their own lives.”
“I’m prepared for the worst, and the worst part is that this could go on for my whole life. But I’m hopeful that it will start to decrease,” he says.
Zimmerman declines to answer some questions, citing a federal investigation into whether he violated Martin’s civil rights. He says he chose to do the interview with Univision because the network has treated his family with “integrity” and “respect.”