George Zimmerman: I'm homeless and broke

12:15 PM, Feb 17, 2014   |    comments
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  • (USA TODAY) -- George Zimmerman, who set off a racial firestorm when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin two years ago, says he still gets death threats and wants to become a lawyer to "stop the miscarriage of justice."

    Zimmerman, 30, told CNN's New Day show that he acted in self-defense and that he was a scapegoat for "the government, the president, the attorney general."

    The interview was broadcast one day after Zimmerman told the Spanish-language television network Univision that he is unemployed, homeless and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer when he encountered the black, unarmed 17-year-old in Zimmerman's gated community in Sanford, Florida, on Feb. 26, 2012. The tragedy that ensued put "stand-your-ground" laws into the public spotlight - even though Zimmerman, who is Latino, opted for a more traditional self-defense argument instead.

    Zimmerman was acquitted in July, setting off another round of protests.

    He told New Day a legal career "is the best way to stop the miscarriage of justice that happened to me from happening to somebody else. I don't think it should ever happen to anyone ever again, not one person."

    Zimmerman says the people who are threatening to kill him don't know who he really is.

    "I have a lot of people saying that, you know, they guarantee that they're going to kill me and I'll never be a free man," he said. "I realize that they don't know me. They know who I was portrayed to be."

    Zimmerman said God is the only judge he must answer to: "He knows what happened. I know what happened. So I'd leave it up to him."

    Zimmerman said he wishes he had stayed home that night. And he says the apology to the Trayvon's family he made in court was real, and he is sorry for their loss.

    Zimmerman made headlines again recently when he agreed to a boxing match with rapper DMX. The idea drew so much controversy the first promoter backed out of the bout, putting its future in doubt.

    Zimmerman said he signed on to do the event for charity. "It was going to be an unknown person and be a smaller event" but it blew out of proportion, he said.

    "I don't want to get beat up, but I saw it as an opportunity," Zimmerman said. "I never expected it to be, to turn out the way it did."

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