Associated Press aims to halt Zimmerman painting sale

George Zimmerman appeared in a Sanford, Florida, court on 19 November 2013 George Zimmerman was briefly jailed last year after being accused of pointing a gun at his girlfriend and choking her; she later declined to co-operate with authorities

Related Stories

A US news agency is demanding that George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murdering an unarmed black teenager in 2012, halt the sale of a painting it says he copied from one of its photos.

George Zimmerman is seeking buyers for his portrait of a Florida prosecutor that closely resembles a photograph shot by the Associated Press.

Mr Zimmerman sold a painting on eBay in December for $100,099 (£60,706).

Last year a jury found he killed Trayvon Martin, 17, in self-defence.

The painting, advertised on Twitter by Mr Zimmerman's brother Robert, depicts Florida prosecutor Angela Corey holding her fingers together, with an apparently fictitious quote reading, "I have this much respect for the American judicial system."

Robert Zimmerman has said he and his brother were in negotiations with potential buyers.

'Clearly directly copied'
This combination image shows an Associated Press photo, top, of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, taken in Jacksonville, Florida, on 11 April 2012, and the bottom image shows a painting done by George Zimmerman Florida prosecutor Angela Corey is depicted in a 2012 Associated Press photo (top) and a George Zimmerman painting (bottom)

On Friday, an Associated Press spokesman said Mr Zimmerman "clearly directly copied an AP photo" taken during the press conference in April 2012 in which Ms Corey announced Mr Zimmerman would face murder charges in the shooting death of Martin.

The news agency has sent a letter to Mr Zimmerman's former lawyer, Jayne Weintraub, calling for the sale of the painting to be halted, or for damages to be paid in the event of a sale.

In November, Mr Zimmerman was arrested after reportedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend. Prosecutors later declined to file domestic violence charges against him in the incident after the girlfriend refused to co-operate.

He was also briefly detained following a domestic disturbance at the home of his estranged wife, Shellie, in September.

Mr Zimmerman's acquittal on a charge of second-degree murder over the February 2012 killing of Martin also sparked a fierce debate about racial profiling and gun culture in the US.

He said the teenager, who was unarmed and walking at night toward his father's house, attacked him when he confronted him about his presence in the neighbourhood. He said he shot Martin in the chest in self-defence.

The Associated Press has previously sued to protect its intellectual property.

In 2011, it sued artist Shepard Fairey, claiming he used an AP photo as the basis for his famous Barack Obama HOPE poster.

Mr Fairey later settled with the news agency for $1.6m.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules

  • Painting from Rothschild collectionDark arts Watch

    The 50-year fight to recover paintings looted by the Nazis

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree


  • 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statueClick Watch

    Using drones to 3D map the famous Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.