Friday 23 March 2018

George Zimmerman's gun removed from auction website

George Zimmerman is to auction the pistol he used in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin (AP)
George Zimmerman is to auction the pistol he used in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin (AP)

An online auction for the gun that George Zimmerman used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin appears to have been halted.

The weapon was removed from the website minutes after the auction was due to start. It was not immediately clear why the website took it down.

The auction was set to begin at 11am EDT (4pm BST) on Thursday and end 24 hours later. The bidding started at 5,000 US dollars (£3,460). But by about 11.18am the listing was no longer there.

Earlier, Mr Zimmerman told a Florida TV station that he wanted to do the auction to "move past the firearm".

The gun had been in federal custody since the former Florida neighbourhood watch volunteer was acquitted over Trayvon's 2012 shooting death.

The auction listing said a portion of the proceeds will go towards fighting what Mr Zimmerman calls violence by the Black Lives Matter movement against law enforcement officers, combatting anti-gun rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and ending the career of Angela Corey, the lawyer who led the prosecution against him.

The listing ended with a Latin phrase that translates as "if you want peace, prepare for war".

When asked what he thought of people who would be opposed to auctioning the gun, Mr Zimmerman said: "They're not going to be bidding on it, so I couldn't care less about them."

The 32-year-old has said he was defending himself when he shot and killed Martin, 17, in a gated community near Orlando.

Trayvon, who lived in Miami with his mother, was visiting his father at the time.

Mr Zimmerman's acquittal sparked protests and a national debate about race relations. The Justice Department later decided not to bring a civil rights case against him.

Since then, Mr Zimmerman has been charged with assault based on complaints from two girlfriends.

In both cases, the girlfriends refused to co-operate and charges were dropped.

His estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman, also accused him of smashing her iPad during an argument days after she filed divorce papers.

No charges were filed because of lack of evidence. They were officially divorced in January.

"The Trayvon Martin Foundation is committed to its mission of ending senseless gun violence in the United States," read a statement provided by the office of lawyer Benjamin Crump, who represents Trayvon's family.

The statement was attributed to Tracy Martin, the teenager's father.

It added: "This election season, we are laser-focused on furthering that mission. As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of that person."

Press Association

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