During his bond hearing on Friday, George Zimmerman apologized to Trayvon Martin’s family, saying “I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son."
"I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know that he was armed or not,” Zimmerman said, addressing Trayvon’s mother and father directly.
The apology comes after Martin’s family denied Zimmerman’s request for a private meeting with them. Martin family attorney Ben Crump told news outlets earlier this week that Trayvon’s parents thought Zimmerman’s request was self-serving and questioned its timing.
“He never apologized on his website, or on the voicemail that he left for his friend [Frank Taaffe.] He never apologized when the police talked to him. So the public will have to evaluate his motives," Crump said.
Ronald Carlson, the Fuller E. Callaway Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia law school, told HLN Friday the Zimmerman apology “was very unusual at a bond hearing, but not totally unexpected. George Zimmerman earlier tried to reach out to the Martin parents, so when they rebuffed his efforts, the best way to communicate with them was to do so in court. He expressed his regret."
Carlson said Zimmerman was waging not only a legal battle but a public one. "It was a creative approach that will likely serve him well in the court of public opinion. No fair-minded person ever holds it against a party for expressing remorse or being appropriately contrite.”
Crump, the Martin family attorney, said that instead of meeting with Zimmerman in private, his clients would rather hear Zimmerman’s recount the events of the fateful night of February 26, with full disclosure and transparency.