Zimmerman pulled over in Texas for traffic violation, given warning
(CNN) — George Zimmerman — who was acquitted earlier this month on murder charges tied to Trayvon Martin’s death — was stopped this weekend for a traffic violation in northern Texas, according to the Forney, Texas, police department.
Dashcam video released by police shows Zimmerman and the officer talking briefly before the officer tells him to shut his glove compartment and “don’t play with your firearm, OK?”
Then, after returning to his patrol car, the officer returns to tell Zimmerman to “slow down” and sends him on off with a verbal warning.
In a tweet, Zimmerman’s defense team said Wednesday that they wouldn’t make any comments on their client’s whereabouts and would protect his privacy “for his safety.”
His brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., explained what happened with a brief tweet of his own: “A heavy foot … Nothing more.”
The episode began shortly after noon on a partly cloudy Sunday, when the officer turns on his sirens and says, “Get ’em,” as Zimmerman’s 2008 gray Honda pulls away.
Moments later, the officer pulls up behind Zimmerman’s car, which is by then parked in the breakdown lane with its hazard lights on, as seen in the dashcam video.
The officer asks for a driver’s license, and after a short exchange with Zimmerman and recognizing the name, he says, “What a coincidence.”
“The reason you were stopped is for your speed,” the officer adds later. “And as long as you don’t have any warrants, you’ll be served a warning.”
The entire thing — from when Zimmerman was stopped to when he was cleared — took all of four minutes, according to the police report.
Forney City Manager Brian Brooks said he couldn’t answer several questions about the incident, including about the type of gun that Zimmerman had, in part because the incident was short and no citation was issued.
A spokesman for Zimmerman’s legal defense team said he had not confirmed directly with Zimmerman that he’d been pulled over in Texas but, after looking at the dashcam photo, said he believes “it’s probably George.”
Zimmerman last communicated with his defense team last Friday, when he was still in Florida, said the spokesman, Shawn Vincent.
A Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder on July 13 for fatally shooting the 17-year-old Martin in a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood. The case stirred fervent emotions on both sides — from the 29-year-old’s supporters who argued that he had a right to protect himself, to others who argued he profiled the black teenager, then willfully ignored a police dispatcher’s advice by pursuing him.
The passions contributed to an “enormous amount of death threats” against Zimmerman and his family, his parents told ABC News earlier this month.
On Wednesday, the Zimmerman family reiterated that they remain under pressure.
“Our family receives many death threats,” the family said in a statement. “We all continue to take our security seriously and to ensure our safety in accordance with the law.”
This week’s traffic stop marks the second time George Zimmerman has made headlines since his acquittal.
George Zimmerman was mentioned in news stories for helping, with another man, a family of four get out of an overturned vehicle in Sanford, said Seminole County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Heather Smith.
Zimmerman did not witness the July 17 crash, and he left after making contact with a sheriff’s deputy, Smith said. No injuries were reported.