The father of a neighborhood watch enthusiast who gunned down an African-American teen in Florida last month is calling on President Barack Obama and other black leaders to "go beyond the hate that they have."
In an interview with WOFL on Wednesday, George Zimmerman's father, who did not wish to reveal his first name, said that people who think that Trayvon Martin should never have been shot "would have preferred my son being beaten to death."
"I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP," Zimmerman's father insisted. "Every organization imaginable is trying to get notoriety or profit from this in some way, but there's so much hate. I've never been involved in hate and George hasn't. ... I just hope at one point everyone will go beyond the hate that they have."
At a White House event last week, Obama was careful not to mention George Zimmerman as he lamented Martin's death.
“And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids,” the president said. “I think that every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”
“But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin,” Obama added. “You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”
Zimmerman's father told WOFL that "Trayvon Martin got on top of [my son] and just started beating him, in his face, in his nose, hitting his head on the concrete."
"Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of 'You're going to die now' or 'You're going to die tonight,'" he explained. "He continued to beat George and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did."
But the father could offer no explanation for police surveillance video released Wednesday that showed no signs of blood or bruises on Zimmerman.
"I don't know," he admitted. "He wasn't given any medical attention, but they may have cleaned him up there at the scene. I have no idea."
Watch this video from WOFL, uploaded March 28, 2012.
(H/T: Think Progress)