US & Canada

George Zimmerman 'pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend'

A booking image of George Zimmerman taken on 18 November 2013
Zimmerman was confined to a single-person cell for "high-profile" defendants

A Florida man acquitted of murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager has been arrested on charges he pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend.

George Zimmerman, 30, has been jailed in Seminole County, Florida.

Mr Zimmerman was charged with felony aggravated assault, battery, domestic violence and criminal mischief, a sheriff's office spokesman said.

In July, a jury cleared Mr Zimmerman of the February 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, 17.

Since then, Mr Zimmerman has had other brushes with police, including an incident in October when he was briefly detained following a domestic disturbance at the home of his estranged wife, Shellie.

On Monday, a spokesman for the Seminole County sheriff's department said Mr Zimmerman was arrested on Monday morning and confined to a single-person 64 sq ft (6 sq metre) cell - standard treatment for "high-profile" defendants.

About 12:30 local time (17:30 GMT), sheriff's deputies responded to an emergency call at a house in Apopka, Florida.

Mr Zimmerman's girlfriend said they had argued, and he had broken a glass table in the living room, then retrieved a shotgun and pointed it at her. He then pushed her out the front door and barricaded himself inside, police said.

She was not injured, police said.

The sheriff's office spokesman said investigators believed Mr Zimmerman and his girlfriend had lived together since August and had been arguing about breaking up.

He said Mr Zimmerman was not armed when police arrived and did not resist arrest.

Mr Zimmerman's acquittal of second-degree murder over the killing of Martin sparked a fierce debate about racial profiling and gun culture in the US.

Mr Zimmerman shot dead the teenager, who was unarmed and walking at night toward his father's house. He said the boy had attacked him.

Following the verdict, protest marches were staged across the US including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta.

US President Barack Obama said the incident was a "tragedy" which should prompt national soul-searching.

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