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Trayvon Martin shooting: Website to raise funds for George Zimmerman defense


George Zimmerman

A website to raise money for Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman will be hitting the Internet soon, as his family looks to fund his legal defense and cover their living expenses, his attorneys said.

The website "http://zimmermandefense.com/" wasn't live Friday morning and no launch time was specified.

"George Zimmerman's family has setup a website for anyone who would like help with George and his family with their living expenses and for his defense," attorneys Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner said in a statement Thursday obtained by NBC News.

Uhrig joined Zimmerman's defense team earlier this week, though the 28-year-old hasn't been charged in the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin in Sanford, Fla.

The Miami Gardens 17-year-old was visiting with his father at his father's girlfriend's home in the gated community and was walking back from a convenience store when the shooting happened.

Read original story about Zimmerman's lawyer's website on NBCMiami.com

Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch captain, told police the shooting was self-defense.

Zimmerman told police he had been following Martin but was walking back to his car when the teen approached him from behind, punched him in the face, got on top of him while he was on the ground and started bashing his head into the sidewalk.

Of the seven calls placed by George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, there were five where he reported suspicious-looking young men in the area -- but he never mentioned the men's race without first being asked. NBC's Michael Isikoff reports.

Police said Zimmerman had a bloody nose, gash on the back of his head and grass stains on the back of his shirt. Zimmerman's family and Sonner say the 28-year-old also had his nose broken by Martin.

Zimmerman's brother said the neighborhood watch volunteer was in a fight for his life the night of the shooting, and insists the cries for help heard on a 911 call from the scene are his brother's.

In police calls, Zimmerman mentioned race only when asked

Martin's family and their attorney claim the cries for help came from the teen. They also say Martin was not the aggressor, and claim a Sanford Police video that shows Zimmerman hours after the fatal confrontation refutes that he was injured.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Martin's death. The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are also investigating the shooting.

Trayvon Martin: Where do we go from here?

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who has temporarily stepped down pending the investigation into the shooting, had said there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman, citing the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.

Communities all across the nation have been galvanized by the event. The shooting has led to numerous marches and protests throughout South Florida and across the country, as Martin's family and supporters demand Zimmerman's arrest.

Zimmerman family denies allegations of racism
The Martin family and their attorney claim race may have played a factor in the shooting. Martin was black, while Zimmerman is a bi-racial Latino.

Zimmerman's family has denied claims his son was a racist. Earlier this week, a family member sent a letter to Seminole County NAACP president Turner Clayton saying "it's time for you to end the race issue in this matter and call for cooler heads to prevail."

The letter, obtained by the Daily Caller, says Zimmerman "has been called a racist and a bigot and there have been very few that have stood up for him."

"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," the letter reads. "You need to call off the dogs. Period. Publicly and swiftly."

The letter also says Zimmerman handed out fliers to protest the Sanford Police after a 2010 incident in which a homeless black man was punched by the son of a Sanford Police lieutenant.

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