Commentary: The Portrait of a Disturbed George Zimmerman Grows Clearer

Commentary: The Portrait of a Disturbed George Zimmerman Grows Clearer

The man who killed Trayvon Martin now has a new run-in with the law, an arrest in a string of incidents that paints an unflattering portrait.

Published November 18, 2013

It has been said that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. When it comes to the behavior of George Zimmerman, there seems to be a great deal of smoke.

The latest development in the Zimmerman reality show was his arrest on Monday after deputies responded to a disturbance call in Seminole County. He has been charged with assault and battery following his arrest at the home where he lived with his girlfriend in Florida. He was being held without bail at the county jail with the latest reports indicating that he is accused of pointing a shotgun at a girlfriend in a domestic dispute.

In the months since Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an increasingly disturbing picture of the onetime neighborhood watch volunteer has emerged, slowly, systematically and, well, convincingly.

In the year after the death of Martin, Zimmerman’s lawyers sought to portray their client as a soft-spoken, gallant man who wouldn’t hurt a fly unless provoked beyond reason. But in the months after that Sunday night in July when the jury decided that Zimmerman bore no guilt in the death of the unarmed teenager, the smoke has been billowing.

Zimmerman has been stopped by police twice for speeding. But the most chilling brush with the law came in September, when Zimmerman’s estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman, called the police in Lake Mary, Florida, complaining that her husband has assaulted her father and threatened the two of them with a gun.

In an unsettling 911 call, she told police that Zimmerman, was sitting in his vehicle and "continually has his hand on his gun and he says step closer…" The dispatcher then asked, "step closer and what?" At that point, Shellie Zimmerman said, "a step closer and he'd shoot us."

Last week, Lake Mary police officially closed that case, explaining that there was no evidence that Zimmerman had broken any laws. Still, there remains a good deal of smoke in the aftermath of that incident.

In the coming days, a good deal more will become widely known about the current issue facing Zimmerman. But in the meantime, it becomes more and more difficult for the portrayals of his lawyer to hold any credence. By the way, his legal team from the trial has decided to no longer represent him.

As the string of run-ins with the law expands, Zimmerman’s behavior offers bitter vindication to his detractors and critics who have long seen the darker side of this disturbed man and who saw clearly the source of the smoke.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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 (Photo: AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)

Written by Jonathan P. Hicks


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