George Zimmerman’s trial set to start; opening statements expected

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It’s been months, but the trial of George Zimmerman — the Florida neighborhood watcher facing second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin — is set to kick off Monday.

Opening statements from prosecutors will likely touch on how Mr. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, allegedly racially profiled Mr. Martin, who was black, The Associated Press reported.

The judge ruled the prosecution can use the word “profiled” in opening statements, and refer to Mr. Zimmerman as a “wannabe cop” or “vigilante,” AP reported.

Defense attorneys, meanwhile, are to set to argue that Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin purely in self-defense, in line with Florida “Stand Your Ground” laws.

But they’re fighting a public relations battle driven by civil rights leaders, AP reported.

“We’re trying so hard in this case not to make it what everybody outside the courthouse wants it to be,” attorney Mark O’Mara said, in the AP report.

Mr. Martin was shot and killed on Feb. 26, 2012, after a struggle with Mr. Zimmerman.

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