George Zimmerman Launches Website for Donations

The site includes a PayPal account where supporters are invited to donate to support Zimmerman's living expenses and legal defense.

THE GIST

The neighborhood watchman who shot dead a black teenager in Florida has launched a website.

The site solicits donations and also provides explanation of its purpose.

U.S. neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who shot dead a black teenager in February in what supporters claim was self-defense, has launched a website asking for donations.

Zimmerman -- who has not been arrested or charged -- has not been seen in public since the February 26 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin sparked a national uproar and widespread demands for Zimmerman's arrest.

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On the website, Zimmerman provides no details about the night of the killing, saying only that "on Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage."

"As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life," he says on the website.

"This website's sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries," he adds in the text, which appears against the backdrop of the US national flag.

Zimmerman's attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment, but several U.S. media outlets confirmed the website's authenticity.

The website, www.therealgeorgezimmerman.com, includes a PayPal account where supporters are invited to donate to support Zimmerman's "living expenses and legal defense."

The website also contains famous quotes. Under the heading "My Race" it quotes the U.S. Revolutionary War writer Thomas Paine as saying: "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."

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Martin's family and supporters have said Zimmerman -- who volunteered as a neighborhood watchman in a gated community in Sanford, Florida -- may have stalked Martin and killed him in cold blood after suspecting the teenager was a criminal based on his race and the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing.

Zimmerman's supporters have said Martin attacked first, breaking Zimmerman's nose before knocking him to the ground and repeatedly slamming his head against the sidewalk. They insist Zimmerman fired in self-defense.

State Attorney Angela Corey has said she will not hold a special closed-door hearing to determine whether to bring charges into Martin's death, which had been set for Tuesday, but that the investigation was still continuing.

A controversial Florida law allows the use of deadly force when a person senses a reasonable fear of death or serious injury, which Zimmerman says was the case when he shot Martin.

But the case has unleashed national uproar over race relations and the right to self-defense in the United States.

Martin's family, who have launched an online petition seeking justice for their son now signed by some 2.5 million people, have urged an "imminent" arrest.

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