George Zimmerman says he still gets death threats

12:17 PM, Feb 17, 2014   |    comments
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George Zimmerman (Photo: Pool Getty Images)

(USA TODAY) -- George Zimmerman, who set off a racial firestorm when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin two years ago, says he still gets death threats and wants to become a lawyer to "stop the miscarriage of justice."

Zimmerman, 30, told CNN's New Dayhe acted in self-defense and that he was a scapegoat for "the government, the president, the attorney general."

The interview was broadcast one day after Zimmerman told the Spanish-language television network Univision that he's homeless, jobless and struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Zimmerman was a volunteer neighborhood watch leader when he encountered black, unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Zimmerman's gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. The tragedy put stand-your-ground laws into the public spotlight -- even though Zimmerman opted for a more traditional self-defense argument instead.

Zimmerman was acquitted in July, setting off another round of protests.

He said a legal career "is the best way to stop the miscarriage of justice that happened to me from happening to somebody else. I don't think it should ever happen to anyone ever again, not one person."

Zimmerman says the people who are threatening to kill him don't know who he really is.

"I have a lot of people saying that, you know, they guarantee that they're going to kill me and I'll never be a free man," he said. "I realize that they don't know me. They know who I was portrayed to be."

Zimmerman made headlines again recently when he agreed to a boxing match with rapper DMX. The idea drew so much controversy the first promoter backed out of the bout, putting its future in doubt.

Zimmerman says he signed on to do the event for charity. "It was going to be an unknown person and be a smaller event" but it blew out of proportion, he says.

"I don't want to get beat up, but I saw it as an opportunity," Zimmerman said. "I never expected it to be, to turn out the way it did."

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