A new website — TheRealGeorgeZimmerman.com — was indeed launched over the weekend by the Florida man who shot and killed a black teenager in an incident that has ignited a national discussion about race relations and racial profiling, one of his attorneys tells local news outlets in Orlando, Fla.
My Fox Orlando reports that the lawyer, Hal Uhrig, confirmed that the website "was in fact produced by the real George Zimmerman, who otherwise has gone into hiding as a special prosecutor determines whether he should face charges in the death of Trayvon Martin."
On the site, a statement said to be from Zimmerman says in part that:
"On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life."
It goes on to ask for money to pay "living expenses and legal defense." As for the killing of Martin, which Zimmerman has told police was done in self defense, the website says "I cannot discuss the details of the event on February 26th, and [am] allowing law enforcement to proceed with their investigation unhindered."
Martin was killed on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, had called police to report a "suspicious" youth. Martin's family and supporters say the 28-year-old Zimmerman racially profiled the 17-year-old. They also say he was following the boy. Zimmerman asserted his right under Florida's "stand your ground" law to defend himself.
As we've previously reported, the Web played a key role in raising awareness about Martin's death. An online petition at Change.org that his family endorsed — calling for Zimmerman's prosecution — now has more than 2.2 million signatures.
Meanwhile, Orlando's WFTV-TV reports it has been told by "sources" that "Zimmerman could be arrested or turn himself in to police sometime this week." And it writes that early this morning someone fired shots at an empty Sanford Police Department cruiser that was parked in the neighborhood where Martin was killed.
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.