The Trayvon Martin case was built on a fraud, with a key witness being swapped out with an imposter when the real witness wouldn’t testify, George Zimmerman said in a lawsuit Wednesday.
The lawsuit says Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend, a vivacious 16-year-old named Brittany Diamond Eugene, when Zimmerman killed him on Feb. 26, 2012. At trial, prosecutors produced the plump, slow-spoken 18-year-old Rachel Jeantel as the girl who had crucial insight into his final moments by being on the phone with him.
The lawsuit says Eugene refused to provide the version of events used to build a narrative of racism at trial, so Jeantel, who reads at a fourth-grade level, was pressured into pretending to be “Diamond.”
The lawsuit seeks $100 million and names both young women as defendants, plus Martin’s parents, who it says were well aware of the swap.
Zimmerman’s lawyer filed the lawsuit in state court in Florida and it also targets the state of Florida and its prosecutors, who allegedly initially falsely told the defense that Martin’s cellphone was too damaged to extract its data, when it actually contained evidence damaging to their case. That includes not only evidence of the witness swap, but also texts showing Martin previously discussing gun sales and bragging of beating up a “snitch” and saying, “He aint bleed nuff 4 me, only his nosez.” Prosecutors also ran out the clock by repeatedly ignoring the defense’s entitlement to exculpatory evidence, the suit says.
It additionally names Benjamin Crump, the civil attorney for Martin’s parents, who rode the case to fame and wrote a book about “genocide” of “colored people” despite allegedly playing a key role in a hoax.
The suit says:
Each and every one of them … instituted, ordered, commanded, conspired, and covered up the illegal substitution of Defendant Eugene, a legitimate phone witness to the days, hours and minutes before the death of Trayvon Martin with Defendant Jeantel, an imposter and fake witness, who told a made to order false storyline to prosecutors in order to cause Zimmerman to be arrested, tried, and convicted for second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in a case that had already been investigated and closed by the Sanford, Florida police department, and after they had already exonerated Zimmerman, having concluded Zimmerman had acted in self-defense with no probable cause for arrest based on eye-witness testimony, physical evidence, and 911 audio recordings.