In a letter obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller on Monday, a family member of George Zimmerman ripped Seminole County, Fla. NAACP president Turner Clayton for a rush to judgment in the Trayvon Martin case.
“It’s time for you to end the race issue in this matter and call for cooler heads to prevail,” the letter reads. “If something happens to George as a result of the race furor stirred up by this mischaracterization of George there will be blood on your hands as well as the rest of the racists that have rushed to judgment. You need to call off the dogs. Period. Publicly and swiftly.”
George, the letter adds, “has been called a racist and a bigot and there have been very few that have stood up for him.” The letter was addressed to Clayton at the NAACP’s national headquarters in Baltimore.
The family member, whose identity TheDC has confirmed but is withholding out of concern for the Zimmerman family’s safety, said George Zimmerman “has been found guilty” in the court of public opinion “until proven innocent,” adding that the details of what happened on Feb. 26 — the night Zimmerman shot Martin in what he claims was self-defense — “will not be disclosed until the police report is made public.”
“Regardless of this fact, George Zimmerman has been hiding for his life because of the death threats made against him by the black community … all of our family is in hiding and frankly scared by the threats,” the family member wrote in the letter dated March 26, but shared with TheDC on Monday.
“There has been an unprecedented rush to judge George regardless of the facts. The black community as a whole has turned their backs and blindly followed the furor stirred up by self-proclaimed leaders of your community. These leaders have rallies and chant horrible things of a person they know nothing about.” (RELATED: Full coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting)
The letter also described how Zimmerman was one of “very few” in Sanford, Fla., who spoke out publicly to condemn the “beating of the black homeless man Sherman Ware on December 4, 2010 by the son of a Sanford police officer.”
“Do you know the individual that stepped up when no one else in the black community would?” the family member wrote. “Do you know who spent tireless hours putting flyers on the cars of persons parked in the churches of the black community? Do you know who waited for the church‐goers to get out of church so that he could hand them fliers in an attempt to organize the black community against this horrible miscarriage of justice? Do you know who helped organize the City Hall meeting on January 8th, 2011 at Sanford City Hall??”
“That person was GEORGE ZIMMERMAN. Ironic isn’t it?”
“The main point for this letter is to explain to you that the black community has labeled George a racist without any investigation at all,” the letter continued. “Regardless of the fact that George personally spoke to many of your constituents, not one has stepped forward and said, ‘Hey I know that face. That is the Hispanic guy that was standing up for Sherman Ware. That was the only non‐black face in the meetings for justice in this case.’”
“You know as well as I do that there are many NAACP followers that recognize George from the Ware case as well as many other good things that he’s done for the black community.”
Clayton is one NAACP regional leader who has broken ranks with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and MSNBC host the Rev. Al Sharpton, refusing to join their calls for an escalation in protest tactics.
“We are not calling for any sanctions, against any business or anyone else,” Clayton said. “And, of course, what Rev. Sharpton does, that’s strictly the [National] Action Network. We can’t condone that part of the conversation, if that’s what he said.”
An NAACP spokesperson at the group’s Baltimore headquarters did not immediately respond to a request for comment.