Just nine-days ahead of Trayvon Martin’s death anniversary, the man who shot him will appear on television to tell his part of the story on Monday.
However, not everyone supports the idea of having a “murderer” on an international platform.
As soon as it was announced that Zimmerman would be appearing on CNN, an online appeal was widely circulated to convince the news channel not to air the segment.
On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was killed in what many call an outcome of racial profiling by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman who shot the Florida teenager merely on the basis of suspicion.
Although a jury on July 13, 2013 found Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of the teenager, Martin’s family, friends and supporters still demand justice for the slain teen.
A couple of violent protests were also witnessed following the verdict.
Zimmerman’s acquittal garnered even more condemnation after his estranged wife – Shellie Zimmerman - reported in September last year that he had threatened her and her father with a gun and had punched her father in the face. Two months later, he was detained again after his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe alleged Zimmerman had pointed a shotgun at her.
Even though both the charges filed against him were dropped, Zimmerman largely remains a notorious figure.
CNN was heavily criticized over the weekend for allowing a “domestic abuser”, a “woman beater” and a “killer” to have his say on international television.
Have you considered how traumatizing and triggering seeing his face on TV is for mothers of Black sons @chriscuomo?— Sarafeminista (@FeministaJones) February 14, 2014
.@onevoice2 / Me either, in fact I have stopped watching CNN all together!— Liz Blaha (@blaha_b) February 16, 2014
A petition was also created against the New Day interview. It states:
“George Zimmerman is not a celebrity. He is not newsworthy. He deserves no media attention. Show respect to Trayvon Martin's family and do NOT air this interview as scheduled on Tuesday February 18, 2014.
Cancel The Interview.”
In a similar high-profile criminal trial, Fox Network in 2006 cancelled the television appearance of retired football superstar O.J. Simpson.
Simpson was acquitted after he was tried on two counts of murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a waiter, Ronald Lyle Goldman in 1994.
Fox News stated that it was an “ill-considered project”, apologizing for the pain it had caused the families of the victims.
Do you think George Zimmerman deserves to be on the show or do you oppose his appearance on CNN? You can share your views and state your reasons in the comments section below.