COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) ó An Ohio firearms group has raised more than $12,000 to be spent on guns or a security system for George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. But the money could end up being used to pay for Zimmermanís defense costs and fees.
The $12,150.37 check that the group wrote to Zimmerman is the result of a fundraising effort that was launched because the group believes Zimmermanís gun rights are being violated by the U.S. Department of Justice. The department has taken all the evidence from the trial, including the gun that killed Martin, as part of a civil rights investigation.
Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2012 shooting of Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando. Zimmerman, 29, told police he shot Martin, 17, after the black teenager physically attacked him; Martinís family and supporters say Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, racially profiled Martin as a potential criminal and wrongly followed him.
The verdict sparked protests and calls for federal officials to charge Zimmerman with violating Martinís civil rights. Zimmermanís brother and one of his attorneys have said he receives threats and is concerned about his safety.
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