The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 18, 2013

George Zimmerman charged with assault, battery

Girlfriend claims Zimmerman pointed shotgun at her

(Continued)

"It's kind of frightening," she said.

Zimmerman, 30, was acquitted in July of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The death of the black teenager, who was unarmed, touched off a nationwide debate about race and self-defense. Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, has said he shot the 17-year-old to defend himself during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford, just outside Orlando.

He wasn't charged until 44 days after the shooting, leading to protests nationwide from people who believed he should have been immediately arrested. The case sparked accusations that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin, and demonstrations broke out again after his acquittal. Federal authorities are now reviewing the case the see if Martin's civil rights were violated.

Zimmerman has had other brushes with the law since his acquittal.

Zimmerman and his estranged wife were involved in a domestic dispute in September just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers, but police later said no charges were filed against either of them because of a lack of evidence.

Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops since his acquittal. He was ticketed for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone in Lake Mary in September and was given a warning by a state trooper along Interstate 95 for having a tag cover and windows that were too darkly tinted. He was also stopped near Dallas in July and was given a warning for speeding.

In 2005, Zimmerman had to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman's friend.

Later that year, Zimmerman's former fiancee filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted. No criminal charges were filed.

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Associated Press writer Suzette Laboy in Miami contributed to this report.

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