For the fifth time in three years, George Zimmerman has been accused of committing an act of violence. On Friday night, Zimmerman was arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon. Despite his history of violence, his bond was set at an absurdly low $5,000. Specific details of the incident have not been disclosed, although his own attorney admits his client threw a wine bottle during the altercation.
Zimmerman has consistently avoided serious consequences for his violent behavior, including most notably being acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, who Zimmerman killed in 2012. Zimmerman became a right-wing hero after killing the unarmed teen, but his penchant for violence since, should undermine his claims to acting in self-defense. Zimmerman has demonstrated a consistent pattern of aggressive and violent behavior that should have been evident prior to the Trayvon Martin murder. It is certainly evident since.
Yesterday’s violent incident marks the fourth time since Martin’s killing that Zimmerman has been accused of acting in a criminally violent manner. In September of 2013, Shellie Zimmerman reported that George had punched her father in the face and threatened her with a gun. The Lake Mary police later claimed there was no gun involved, even though initial police statements mentioned they had taken a gun. Zimmerman’s attorney at the time, also disclosed that George had a gun during the confrontation.
Two months later, in November of 2013, Zimmerman was arrested for threatening his new girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, with a shotgun. In that case, he was charged with domestic violence, aggravated assault, battery, and criminal mischief.
In September 2014, a 35-year-old motorist, Matthew Apperson, called 911 to report that George Zimmerman threatened to shoot him during a road rage incident. However, Apperson later declined to press charges against Zimmerman.
Apologists for Zimmerman sometimes allege that his violent behavior is a result of all the stress created by going on trial for killing Trayvon Martin. However, his violent history predates that case as well. In August 2005, Veronica Zuazo filed a restraining order against Zimmerman for domestic violence. Also in 2005, Zimmerman was arrested for “battering of law enforcement officer” and “resisting officer with violence”. He settled on a plea deal and was charged for a lesser offense after agreeing to enter an adult alcohol education program.
Zimmerman consistently avoids suffering any significant consequences for his frequently violent behavior. Domestic violence victims are reluctant to press charges. The police and courts have repeatedly given him the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, his inability to control his temper will eventually be his undoing. The $5,000 bond will be easy for him to post. However, he will be required to surrender his beloved guns on Tuesday, and he will have to wear a GPS monitoring device until the trial. Those are minor inconveniences. Zimmerman continues to be a threat to the people around him and a menace to society. Right-wing apologists will probably continue to make excuses for George Zimmerman. But at some point the police and the courts will stop excusing his behavior, and put him behind bars, where he belongs.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.