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Speeding Zimmerman had gun when stopped

01 August 2013, 15:37

Chicago - George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watchman who sparked national outrage with the shooting death of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, had a gun in his truck when he was pulled over in Texas.

A police dash-cam video that went viral on Wednesday showed a police officer let Zimmerman off with a warning after he was pulled over for speeding.

The police officer did not initially recognize Zimmerman, whose recent trial and acquittal has dominated the news for weeks.

When the officer asked him why he was going "nowhere in particular", Zimmerman asked if he'd seen the name on the license.

"What a coincidence," the office said.

"Are you clear of warrants and stuff?" the office asked.

"Absolutely, sir," Zimmerman replied.

"Calm down, you're good," the officer replied.

"I'm going to go back and just check you routinely. The reason for your stop is for your speed, okay? Why don't you slow down a little bit for me and if you don't have any warrants you're going to be cut loose," the officer said.

Debate over law

"Just take it easy for me go ahead and shut your glove compartment and don't play with your firearm."

The trooper then went back to his cruiser and called back into base to check Zimmerman's record.

A couple minutes later, he walked back up to the dark gray truck and told Zimmerman: "All right sir, slow down for me. There's your warning for your speed. That's it."

Zimmerman's lawyers sent out a tweet stating: "For his safety, we won't make any comments about #Zimmerman's whereabouts, and we will work to protect his privacy."

Zimmerman has admitted to shooting Martin, but insisted it was in self-defence after the teen wrestled him to the ground and pounded his head against the sidewalk.

Zimmerman was following Martin on suspicion the teen - who was walking home from the store with a bottle of ice tea and a pack of candy - was involved in robberies in the neighborhood.

An initial decision by Florida investigators not to press charges in the case set off widespread protests, with Martin's supporters alleging racism and pointing to the fact that the teenager was unarmed and had no criminal record.

The incident was widely covered by the national media, and also ignited debate over the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows the use of a gun in self-defence even when it is possible to flee.



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