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Co-worker: Zimmerman bullied me with racist taunts

By David Ferguson
Friday, May 18, 2012 13:36 EDT
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Provocative new evidence has been released by the prosecution in the investigation and upcoming trial of George Zimmerman, who shot teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida earlier this year.  Think Progress is reporting that a co-worker of Zimmerman’s has testified to prosecutors that the former neighborhood watch captain bullied him at work and relentlessly taunted him with racist jokes.

The unnamed man was interviewed at the state attorney’s office, and testified that he worked with Zimmerman in 2008.  Zimmerman had started working at the business shortly before he arrived, the witness said, and the problems between them started right away.  For the amusement of co-workers, Zimmerman repeatedly teased the witness, who is Middle Eastern, about his race, calling him “Achmed the terrorist” and making other remarks connected to bombs, terrorism and murder, as well as repeatedly calling him a “fucking moron.”

“I tried to ignore it.  It was like, middle school, high school humor, but he was going on and on and on for days and days,” the witness said during the 15-minute interview.  He testified that Zimmerman singled him out because he was “an easy target” because of his race and because of Zimmerman’s eagerness to fit in with the other workers.

He presented into evidence a letter he wrote to the company’s human resources department informing them of Zimmerman’s conduct and asking them to address the issue.  Zimmerman, however, was so persuasive and ingenuous in his testimony to the committee that he fooled not only the committee, but the witness said that even began to doubt himself.  The inquiry was closed and the teasing and humiliation reportedly went on exactly as before.

The relentless harassment filled his life with stress and tension, the man said, making him miserable.  He told investigators that he was so unhappy at work that he threw a party at home when Zimmerman was finally fired from the company over conflicts with management and other employees.

Listen to audio of the interview, embedded via Think Progress, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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