Within a collection of evidence officially released by the State Attorney's Office on Thursday, was an audio recording of a 15-minute interview with George Zimmerman's former co-worker. During the interview, the man, whose name was not given, says that Zimmerman racially targeted him and bullied him at work, ThinkProgress.com reports.
According to the witness, Zimmerman singled him out because he was Middle Eastern, calling him a "fucking moron" and mocking him with the voice of "Achmed the terrorist." He said Zimmerman would also tell stories and make jokes about "bombing" and other "Middle Eastern stuff."
Editor's Note: Some readers may find the language in this audio offensive.
Zimmerman has been charged with shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on the evening of Feb. 26 in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer called 911 and told a police dispatcher that the teen, who was returning from a trip to a nearby convenience store, "looked suspicious." After an altercation, Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest, subsequently telling local police that he acted in self-defense.
In addition to the second-degree murder charge he's facing, Zimmerman could also face federal hate crime charges. If convicted of second-degree murder, Zimmerman could serve a maximum sentence of life in prison. However, if he is found guilty of a federal hate crime charge, he could face the death penalty.
The witness said that he never felt physically threatened by Zimmerman or had any violent interaction with him. He said that he complained to management about Zimmerman's behavior, and Zimmerman was eventually "fired for calling the HR hotline so many times."
Complaints about Zimmerman's behavior aren't new. In the past, his neighbors complained about his aggressive tactics as a neighborhood watchmen and public records show he was arrested in Orange County in 2005 on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Since his arrest, Zimmerman has been released on bond. The case is expected to go to trial.
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