In a public statement, Robert Zimmerman said that his family members wanted to express their sympathies immediately after the shooting, in which George Zimmerman killed the 17-year-old Martin in a gated community near Orlando, Florida.
“If there had been an opportunity immediately following Trayvon's passing for his family to hear from the members of the Zimmerman family,” the statement said, “we would have expressed our condolences on the loss of their son and brother.”
“The truth is that we would never take comfort in the knowledge that any human being had passed away no matter what the circumstances surrounding their death may be. From the moment we knew what had transpired we were deeply aggrieved and in keeping with the teachings of our faith we prayed for the departed.”
Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of the teenager, contends that he acted in self-defense. Initially, Zimmerman invoked Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force if they feel threatened.
“Our family values compel us to seek peace and reconciliation within ourselves and to extend these virtues to others,” Robert Zimmerman’s statement said. “As Trayvon's family remembers him, I would want them to know that at that time each of us prayed for him and each of us in our own way remembered him as well.”
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the parents of Trayvon Martin, said the family had no comment regarding the Zimmerman statement.
"The family is grieving the death of their son at the hands of George Zimmerman," Crump said, in an interview with BET.com. "And while they will gladly respond to any questions about the Trayvon Martin Foundation, they will not be responding publicly to questions about this very personal matter."
BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Courtesy of Good Day LA/FOX)