The brother of a Florida neighborhood watch captain who is accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American boy, says that a "tidal wave of misinformation" has incorrectly branded his family as "racists."
Speaking to a group of Hispanic journalists on Thursday, Robert Zimmerman Jr. said that calling his brother, George, a murderer put his whole family in danger.
"Since February, this has been at the forefront of our minds everyday, strategizing how we're going to survive one day to the next day," he explained. "I will represent my family zealously because I know better. I know we're not racists."
"I don't think that jumping to the conclusion that, 'Clearly because he's a racist, that's why this happened,' that isn't an answer or an outcome that's acceptable from this day in age from anybody's race or anybody's background or color. I think we really have to say, 'This is a question we're going to ask.' Let's wait for the results of this investigation. Let's see if, in fact, those questions are answered and when they're answered contrary to what you might have expected or believed, to actually accept those answers and believe that, perhaps, this really just is self defense and maybe somebody really was telling the truth and maybe that's exactly what happened."
Earlier this year, a woman, who said she had been molested by George Zimmerman, testified that the Zimmerman family did not like African Americans.
The woman said she contacted authorities after she heard Martin had been shot because "I was afraid he may have done something because the kid was black."
“Because growing up, him and his family have always made statements that they don’t like black people if they don’t act like white people,” she said. “They talk a lot of bad things about black people.”
At one point, the woman recalled speaking to Zimmerman’s mother about President Barack Obama.
“She said, ‘I don’t like Obama,’” the witness recalled. “And she said, ‘Because he’s black. I am a racist.’ Just loud and proud.”
Watch this video from The Orlando Sentinel, broadcast Nov. 1, 2012.