|George Zimmerman Caught Speeding, Has Gun|
|By SENI TIENABESO (@seniABC) , MATT GUTMAN (@mattgutmanABC) and AARON KATERSKY (@aaronkatersky)||Jul 31, 2013, 4:12 PM|
Police in Texas have pulled over George Zimmerman for speeding and then the man acquitted in one of America's most controversial trials in years alerted the officer that he had a gun in his glove compartment.
Zimmerman, who was acquitted by a Florida jury two weeks ago for the death of Trayvon Martin, was stopped at 12:47 p.m. on Sunday on Highway 80 by a Forney, Texas.
In dash cam video obtained by ABC News the officer can be heard asking the former neighborhood watch captain, "Where you headed?"
Zimmerman responded, "Nowhere in particular," and then asks the officer if he noticed the name of the driver's license.
The officer responded "What a coincidence," and later is heard telling Zimmerman that he can shut the glove compartment that was holding the firearm.
After Zimmerman was checked for any outstanding warrants he was let go with a verbal warning.
A member of his defense team tells ABC News he is apparently on a road trip and that he recently notified his team that he would be spending time away.
Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara told ABC News, that his client is taking time off but asked "that people respect his privacy."
His brother Robert Zimmerman also commented about the incident on twitter saying "heavy foot…nothing more."
Catch Up on all the Details From the George Zimmerman Murder Trial.
In a brief statement on Twitter his legal team said, "For his safety, we won't make any comments about Zimmerman's whereabouts, and we will work to protect his privacy." Zimmerman has been the target of death threats even before his acquittal.
Zimmerman, 29, has a concealed carry permit in Florida that was re-instated after the trial, making him legally entitled to transport and possess a weapon in Texas and most states. According to dash cam pictures of the incident Zimmerman appeared to be driving in the same Honda pickup used the night he spotted Martin.
In the days after his acquittal his lead attorney Mark O'Mara said that Zimmerman had no regrets about carrying a gun on Feb 26, 2012 the night he killed Martin and that Zimmerman intended to rearm himself and "needs it now more than ever."
"There are a lot of people out there who actually hate him, though they shouldn't," said O'Mara who said Zimmerman may need to protect himself from potential outside threats.
The lawyer said the gun was likely loaded.
"We've mentioned this before: having a gun that is not loaded is like having a paper weight in your car," O'Mara said.
"He's in Texas trying to get some peace, but it's a little sad that he's been acquitted for a crime and there are people are harassing him. He cannot even help people on the street and get stopped by a cop and it not being news," O'Mara said.
The gun Zimmerman used in the Martin shooting was not returned to him after the trial because federal investigators began their own probe and asked that all the evidence, including the weapon, be sent to them.
This is the second time the former neighborhood watch captain has surfaced since the trial. The Seminole County Sherriff's Office said on July 18 Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family who became trapped inside their Ford Explorer after it rolled over on the side of the highway.
According to the sheriff's office by the time police arrived, two people – including Zimmerman – helped the family get out of the overturned car.
Meantime, the family of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin have promised to pressure legislators to repeal or overhaul "stand your ground" self defense laws starting in Florida.
Zimmerman had claimed he killed Martin in self-defense although he did not invoke the controversial law during his trial.
Monday, Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton said, "We have to change the law so that this doesn't happen to someone else's child…My son wasn't doing anything wrong. He was simply walking home."
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has resisted calls for a special session aimed at repealing the law.