SANFORD, Florida (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) – During an exclusive interview Thursday, CNN’s Piers Morgan spoke with George Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman, who said he’s received credible death threats.
Robert said he looks a lot like his brother, George, and that people could easily confuse them. The reason his brother hasn’t come forward with his own statement, Robert said, is because their family respects the judicial and legal system in America.
George Zimmerman is the armed neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen walking to his father’s fiancee’s home in the Sanford, Florida neighborhood Zimmerman patroled.
The shooting death of the teen, and the failure of police to arrest Zimmerman, has spurred rallies and protests across the nation. The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI have taken over the investigation. The grand jury is scheduled to convene April 10.
Speaking to George’s character, Robert said George is the neighbor everyone would want to have. “He goes out of his way to help people, he always has,” Robert said.
Watch interview, read transcript below.
Piers Morgan exclusive interview with Robert Zimmerman transcribed:
Our family’s in danger.
Has your family had death threats?
Yes, credible threats, yes, they have.
Against more than one member, more than George?
I’m really not at liberty to discuss exactly who was threatened or how they were threatened, but I can tell you that I myself have been contacted by law enforcement too because there was credible intelligence that could threaten me. So, I look a lot like my brother. People can easily confuse us.
And in this misinformation that’s been going on, that’s been a constant fear of mine that I would be.
Nobody has heard from your brother and therefore, a mythology has built up about him. He is, at the moment, one of the most hated people in America and we don’t know anything about him. Tell me about your brother. Tell me what you want to say about him that can be his defense, if you like.
Yeah, I agree. It is a mythology that’s been built up. And it’s not because no one has had anything to say about George, or because his family doesn’t love him or support him. Or not because he doesn’t have supporters.
It’s been because the people that support George, his family namely, also respect the system, the judicial system, the legal system we have in America and we don’t have, sadly, the opportunity to comment when there are investigations going forth, to respect the integrity of that actual investigation.
But, as far as George goes, he’s the neighbor that everybody would want to have. He’s the kind of guy that sees somebody struggling with changing a tire and stops to help them, or helps older people with their groceries. He goes out of his way to help people. He always has, that’s the kind of guy he is.
### End of interview
The night Trayvon Martin was shot and killed
On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was walking to his father’s fiancée’s home from a convenience store after purchasing an Arizona iced tea and Skittles. Zimmerman started following Trayvon and called 911 saying he looked suspicious.
During the call, Zimmerman admitted he was following Trayvon and the 911 dispatcher said, “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” At some point the two allegedly got into a fight and Zimmerman pulled out his gun, shooting Trayvon in the chest at close range. Paramedics arived at the scene within moments but could not revive him.
There is question whether Zimmerman was the aggressor, or if it was Trayvon. Because Trayvon is black and Zimmerman is white/Hispanic, the case has become a racial flashpoint leading to a series of protests across the nation.
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Note: The interview was transcribed to the best of the transcriber’s abilities, and is not meant to replace any official transcript of the interview.
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