George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot and killed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin, has filed a defamation lawsuit against 2020 contenders Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Pete Buttigeig for tweeting messages about Martin on what would have been his 25th birthday. In the Tuesday filing, Zimmerman has asked for over $265 million in damages for the candidates’ tweets commemorating Martin’s birthday. More specifically, Zimmerman took issue with the senator and Buttigieg stating Martin was a victim of “gun violence and racism” and “white supremacy... prejudice, and fear,”. Zimmerman claimed in the filing that the actions that killed Martin were an “act of self-defense.” He also claimed Warren and Buttigeig’s defamatory statements were a “political agenda to garner votes in the black community in particular before the 2020 election.”
Zimmerman’s attorney told Newsweek that the U.S. should applaud “Mr. Zimmerman for taking a strong stand and pushing back” against Warren and Buttigieg, who he said had “no bounds of decency” and were manipulating black voters. Warren and Buttigieg’s campaigns have not responded.