Zimmerman’s MySpace nickname included ‘datniggy’; family insists on innocent explanation
George Zimmerman, the Hispanic Floridian who killed black teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, had a MySpace account whose username was “datniggytb,” The Daily Caller has learned.
According to a family member whose identity The Daily Caller has agreed not to reveal for safety reasons, the “datniggytb” name is not a racial slur, but a friendly nickname that referred to George himself.
“That was an old nickname his black friends gave him,” the Zimmerman family member said. “He didn’t have an issue with the profile name.”
Asked about the significance of the letters “tb” at the end of the username, the family member insisted that they did not stand for Trayvon Benjamin, his shooting victim’s first and middle names.
“They called him ‘Tugboat’ because he was so big,” he said.
Initially, the family member denied that Zimmerman was responsible for the MySpace page, saying “George doesn’t use MySpace,” and reinforced that claim during a subsequent phone call. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting)
“All I can tell you is that it didn’t come from him. He doesn’t have a MySpace account. He never has. Anything personal online like that was shut down already … I just talked to George. It’s not him.”
MUST CREDIT THE DAILY CALLER: This MySpace page,
with the username “datniggytb,” belonged to George
Zimmerman, who shot and killed the black teen Trayvon
Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. The Latin proverb translates to “If
you seek peace, prepare for war.” (Myspace / The Daily Caller)
At that point, the source seemed concerned that someone had hacked into Zimmerman’s email account to gain access to personal photos and other inside information about the case.
“He’s been trying to get personal photos together,” the family member said. “I emailed him a bunch of photos. I sent it to him on that … account. I’m worried sick. It only exists between me and him.”
“Oh, God. I’d better call you back. … He has lots of personal stuff on there.”
But in a third phone call, the same family source changed course.
“I talked out of school a little bit,” he conceded. “That was actually an old MySpace page of his.”
While the family member insisted that George “had forgotten all about that page,” TheDC confirmed that the account was actively being used every day between April 6 and April 11. By default, MySpace shows a “last login” date on its users’ pages.
Zimmerman’s page was marked “private,” meaning that outsiders were unable to see his status updates, photos, or personal messages. But five details, other than the username “datniggytb,” were visible.
One was a photograph, which TheDC’s family source said depicted George Zimmerman and his wife Shellie on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. “The picture is a couple of years old,” the family member said. In the image, Zimmerman is wearing a knit cap with the embroidered initials L.A.F.D., which stand for Los Angeles Fire Department.
Another was a slogan at the top of the page where a MySpace user’s real name is usually displayed. Instead of “George Zimmerman,” however, it featured a Latin proverb: “Si vis pacem, Para bellum.” Translated into English, it means “If you wish for peace, prepare for war.”
The remaining details identified the page’s owner as a 28-year-old Male from Lake Mary, Florida — all details that describe Zimmerman.
The “datniggytb” MySpace account was deleted while TheDC was engaged in the second of three phone calls with the Zimmerman family member on Wednesday.
MUST CREDIT THE DAILY CALLER: During a phone
call between The Daily Caller and a member of George
Zimmerman’s family on April 11, 2012, Zimmerman’s
MySpace account, “datniggytb,” was deleted.
(MySpace / The Daily Caller)
Zimmerman’s case has become a national proxy for larger racial tensions in the United States, with Zimmerman family surrogates and black activist groups fighting pitched battles for public opinion.
The Daily Caller found the MySpace account by searching an online commercial database for Zimmerman’s email address. That service returned a “perfect match” for a single MySpace account.
TheDC has previously published other information from hidden social media accounts connected to the Trayvon Martin shooting case, mostly notably records from two Twitter accounts (here and here) Martin used in the final months of his life.
Zimmerman’s email address was identified in a December 2011 Craigslist posting in which George Zimmerman advertised for hourly help to assist with a party. The message included the name “George” along with his email address and the mobile phone number heard on Zimmerman’s 911 call recording on the night he shot and killed Martin.
The same commercial online service additionally identified an account on the Photobucket image-sharing service that was similarly set up with George Zimmerman’s email address. The account contained only eight photos, including images of a monkey pointing a pistol; Tupac Shakur’s chest with a large “Thug Life” tattoo; a 2003 album cover from the hip-hop group “Thug Love”; and the late soul singer James Brown’s arrest booking photo, with a caption that read “It’s Friday, BITCH!!”
The Washington Post reported Wednesday afternoon that a Florida special prosecutor expects to formally charge Zimmerman with a crime later in the day. But the family member remained confident that he will be vindicated, and said that the racial politics surrounding his case have been “frustrating.”
“I’m just trying to be truthful with you,” the source said. “He’s not a racist person. I’ve been trying to get this across to people.”
When TheDC asked for a statement from George Zimmerman himself to confirm that “datniggytb” was, in fact, an old nickname that his black friends called him affectionately, the family member later declined to provide one.
“You’ve seen all the shit coming down,” the source said, talking about the threat of impending criminal charges.
“He hasn’t made a statement yet, so he’s not going to.”
Follow David on Twitter