As part of a smear campaign against Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17 year-old shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys said they were in possession of video from Martin’s phone, which they claim the slain teen recorded showing “two buddies of his beating up a homeless guy.”
However, on Sunday, defense lawyer Mark O’Mara apologized for “unintentionally” mischaracterizing the video, saying in a statement:
“During the Tuesday, May 28th hearing, Mr. O’Mara misstated the nature of video from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone which was included in the Defendant’s 3rd Supplemental Discovery. He stated that the video showed “two buddies of his beating up a homeless guy,” when what happened was Trayvon Martin, along with a buddy, was videotaping two homeless guys fighting each other over a bike. Though it was unintentional, it is a particular concern to us because we are and have been committed to disputing misinformation in every aspect of this case, not causing it. For that, Mr. O’Mara apologizes.”
The false claim O’Mara made about Trayvon was posted on The Orlando Sentinel‘s website and subsequently taken down when a reporter for the paper said the web producer published the story in error.
Skeptics believe the mischaracterization of the video a malicious attempt on the part of Zimmerman’s defense team to vilify the late teenager.
The attorney for Trayvon Martin’s parents, Ben Crump, agrees, saying:
“George Zimmerman’s defense team’s so called apology yesterday for manipulating and mis-characterizing information about Trayvon Martin would be laughable in any other context, if this case wasn’t about the murder of an unarmed teenager. Let’s not forget the defense team has spent weeks now engaged in a despicable campaign to assassinate the character of a dead teenager in an attempt to influence a potential jury pool. Thankfully, the judge in this case has sided with the laws of evidence in saying that such information is irrelevant to the case, reminding us all that Trayvon is not on trial, but George Zimmerman is for 2nd degree murder.”