Matthew Apperson Blows Smoke At Reporters: Has George Zimmerman Met His Match? (VIDEO)

On May 11, Matthew Apperson fired a single bullet into the car owned by infamous ‘Stand Your Ground’ poster boy, George Zimmerman. The bullet missed Zimmerman, who was seated on the driver’s side of the vehicle. He sustained minor injuries from broken glass and debris.

Immediately after he fired his weapon, Apperson approached a man who was working near the scene, Kenneth Cornell. Cornell told the New York Daily News that Apperson was shaking and visibly distraught. According to Cornell, Apperson said:

“‘Please call 911, please call 911, I just shot George Zimmerman.”

Cornell says Apperson told him:

“I’ve had three disputes with George Zimmerman and this time he waved a gun at me and this time I shot him.”

Apperson’s previous run-ins with Zimmerman are well-documented. Apperson called 911 about those encounters, the first time on September 9, 2014. During the call, Apperson told an emergency dispatcher operator that Zimmerman and an unknown Hispanic passenger in Zimmerman’s vehicle had both threatened to kill him, during an apparent road rage incident. Two days later, Apperson again called 911, this time to report that Zimmerman was sitting outside of his place of employment. Apperson said at that time that he believed that Zimmerman was stalking him.

Police have released few details about the May 11 shooting incident, but it’s hard to miss the irony of the situation.

While volunteering with a neighborhood watch in 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed he shot the teen in self defense, although it’s clear from an earlier 911 call that he followed Martin, after he was told not to do so. Zimmerman claimed that he was in fear of his life when he killed a 17-year-old boy. Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws allowed him to walk away unpunished.

Since that time, Zimmerman has been arrested multiple times. He’s been implicated in no less than three domestic violence incidents, two of which involved threatening his former wife and former girlfriend with a gun. He has not been convicted on any charges related to those incidents, because his victims didn’t follow through and press charges. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for victims of domestic violence to drop charges against their abusers. Sentences for domestic violence perpetrators are ridiculously light. Even if the aggressor does get jail time, the minimum sentence for a first offense domestic violence charge in Florida is five days in the county jail. If your abuser is someone who owns multiple weapons and has a history of deadly violence, like George Zimmerman, you’d have to be nuts not to worry about what will happen after his five days in jail are up.

Thanks in no small part to George Zimmerman himself, almost anyone coming into contact with George Zimmerman could reasonably believe that he is armed and dangerous, and that he is a real threat to their personal safety. Everyone in the United States knows that George Zimmerman owns multiple firearms. Everyone in the United States knows that he has killed before.

Apperson claims that Zimmerman waved a firearm at him. That account has not yet been verified by police, but given Zimmerman’s history, it’s more than believable. At least two of his domestic partners have claimed that he threatened them with a gun. In 2014, Zimmerman’s father warned the FBI that if they tried to arrest his son “he’s probably gonna shoot a few of them.”

It’s more than possible that Zimmerman waved a gun at Apperson. It’s also possible that Apperson didn’t see Zimmerman wave a gun, but still reasonably believes that he did. Police mistake objects like cell phones, wallets and children’s toys for guns all of the time. According to the right wing, these shootings are justified. When encountering someone that is reasonably believed to be armed and dangerous, it’s OK to shoot first and ask questions later.

Of course there is a very real possibility that Apperson is setting Zimmerman up. He could be trying to use the very same laws that allowed Zimmerman to kill an unarmed teenager, to legally justify killing the poster boy for Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

WESH 2 in Orlando captured this video of Apperson as he blew smoke at the press outside the police station, on May 11. “You’re touching me,” he says at one point. “Stop touching me.” Watch the very odd encounter, courtesy of Urban Nation News on youtube.

Whether Zimmerman is actually stalking and harassing Apperson remains to be seen. In reality, the way that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is written, it doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t, as long Apperson sincerely believes what he’s saying is true. All the law requires is a reasonable belief that someone intends to do harm to you, in order to justify killing them.

The Florida statute reads:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

The right wing adores Stand Your Ground laws, especially when they’re used to justify cops killing unarmed citizens and people like Zimmerman shooting Black teens who dare to eat skittles or wear hoodies in white neighborhoods.

How much do they love these laws when they’re used to protect Black men who kill their racist, white attackers? Not so much.

How about when they’re used to justify putting a bullet into their own heads, or at least through their car windows? Suddenly Stand Your Ground laws aren’t so fair.

Why is it that the “God-fearing” right wing never seems to remember Galatians 6: 7?

“For whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap.”

*Featured image credit: video screen capture, WESH 2 in Orlando via Urban Nation News on youtube