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Saturday, Dec 20, 2014
Crime & Courts

DeLand firm denies hiring Zimmerman for security

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: July 29, 2014 at 03:03 PM

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The manager of a Volusia County business where George Zimmerman was questioned by police said Tuesday that Zimmerman was never hired to provide security, despite his claims otherwise to authorities.

“He’s not being paid to be act as a security officer or in any other way for Pompano Pat’s,” said Sam Porter, the manager of Pompano Pat’s, a motorcycle and gun store in DeLand.

DeLand police report that two officers spotted Zimmerman and his dog parked behind the store on Sunday shortly after midnight and approached him.

Zimmerman, acquitted last summer in the shooting of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, told officers that the owner gave him permission to be there to provide security after a recent burglary, according to the police report.

Officers attempted to confirm that but couldn’t reach the owner, Pat Johnson.

Porter said that Johnson knew Zimmerman and had a friendship with him but wouldn’t elaborate further.

No citations were issued because “there was no evidence to support that a crime had occurred or was about to occur,” Officer Jessica Mayo wrote in the report.

Johnson didn’t immediately return a phone message for comment.

Porter confirmed that the store had a burglary about two weeks ago, with 10 rifles stolen. He said that internal store security was “beefed up” after the incident, but that no after-hours security personnel were hired.

Zimmerman became a national figure during his second-degree murder trial last year for fatally shooting the Martin in Sanford during an altercation in February 2012. Zimmerman was acting as a neighborhood watchman.

The case raised questions about race and self-defense laws. Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, was acquitted last July in the shooting of Martin, who was black.

Zimmerman filed an appeal this week in a defamation lawsuit against NBC Universal and three reporters.

Last month, a judge dismissed Zimmerman’s lawsuit, saying the former neighborhood watch leader had failed to show that the network acted with malice.

In his lawsuit, Zimmerman claimed NBC’s editing of a story about the shooting made it sound as if he voluntarily told a phone operator that Martin was black.

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