The shooter of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin has reportedly used the power of the Internet to rally up over $200,000 in donations since making headlines over the controversial February slaying.
According to reports, George Zimmerman has already spent a quarter of the raised donations.
Zimmerman, the man who shot their son, raised $204,000 in just three weeks with a PayPal account posted to a website. He spent about $50,000 before his defense lawyer ever learned of the fund’s swelling balance, his attorney, Mark O’Mara, acknowledged. O’Mara recently created a new fundraising site administered by a former IRS agent and registered with the Florida Division of Consumer Services. He told ABC News that he raised nearly $8,000 in the first few days the site was active. “I’m not going to be unrealistic to the fact that everyone is seeking donations in relation to this case, including the Trayvon Martin family,” O’Mara said at a recent press conference. “It seems as though we have become in this criminal justice system a system where we can ask other people to help us. That’s what we are doing.” The fund now also includes the $150,000 balance transferred from the original PayPal account Zimmerman had set up. (Kansas City Star)
Details on some of Zimmerman’s expenses have also been unveiled.
In a statement on his website, O’Mara said Zimmerman spent $7,000 on PayPal fees, $5,000 on bond, and $1,000 at the jail commissary and for phone cards. He also paid off existing debts and set up a secure living quarters while he awaits trial, the statement said, without offering dollar figures. “Roughly a third of the balance remains liquid and in Mr. Zimmerman’s possession for living expenses for the next few months,” O’Mara said. “So far, none of the funds have been applied to legal expenses.” O’Mara did not return repeated messages seeking clarification. “George, I’ll be donating monthly,” Facebook user Annette Elaine Kelly of Ontario posted on the Facebook page O’Mara set up for the case. “I hope that you have been truthful (I believe you have) and that people will give you a fair hearing. Take care.” (Kansas City Star)
Last month, Zimmerman was allowed to post bail after getting charged with Martin’s murder.
George Zimmerman was released around midnight Sunday from a Florida county jail on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. The neighborhood watch volunteer was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag. He walked out following another man and didn’t look over at photographers gathered outside. He then followed the man into a white BMW vehicle and drove away. Moments before, two Seminole County sheriff’s vehicles blocked access to the intake building parking lot where Zimmerman was being released. Zimmerman emerged after two public information officers confirmed the credentials of the photographers outside. (Fox News)
Following his release, hip-hop artists like Papoose voiced their displeasure and shocked reactions.
“That’s some savage sh*t,” Papoose told XXL in reaction of Zimmerman posting 10% of his $150,000 bail to become a free man until his trial next year. “The man could be free and Trayon is in his grave till eternity. Everybody celebrated when they arrested dude, but I think it was premature. This dude is an animal. The whole thing is bullsh*t.” As angry as the Martin incident makes him, Papoose is proud that he and his peers in hip-hop at least spoke up about the situation. “All of us being successful…anybody who has a voice, it’s our duty for us to provide a voice for those who don’t have a platform,” Papoose said. “I felt like it’s my duty. I felt like I’d be playing myself if I didn’t say something. I commend everybody.” (XXL Mag)