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Early next week, George Zimmerman will go to trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. For over a year the public has been wrapped up in what has become one of the biggest racially-charged shooting cases in recent memory, and it’s enough to make a Zimmerman’s lawyer emotional.

Mike O’Mara has been representing the 29 year old since not long after second-degree murder charges were brought against him by state prosecutor Angela Corey. O’Mara hasn’t received a single paycheck for his work, and recently reached out to the public to get donations for a defense fund that has dwindled down to only $5,000. During an interview with BET News, O’Mara teared up talking about the entire ordeal. “It has caused me to really think through my philosophy,” the veteran lawyer said of the case.

Zimmerman and O’Mara have been adamant that race had nothing to do with the fatal run-in, but it’s a factor that can’t be denied. “I don’t think that I’ve ever actively thought ‘I’m not Black,” Omara added, explaining that he now sees things differently. “I can’t look at it with those eyes. I always thought I was sensitive to it [race], always thought I was aware of it, but this has really brought to the forefront the depth of concern that the Black community has of how they’re being treated. I guess I didn’t realize that we still have so far to go.”

Admitting to sounding “ignorant,” the Florida attorney believed that post-racial America had come much farther along since the days of the Civil Right Movement.

Questioned on if the incident has had an emotional affect, O’Mara became teary-eyed and shook his head ‘yes.’

Zimmerman’s trial begins June 10. If convicted he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.


Photo: BET News