George Zimmerman, the self appointed neighborhood watch volunteer charged with the second degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has been released from jail on $150,000 bail.
Zimmerman walked out of the John E Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, Florida, just minutes after midnight. Wearing a brown Pittsburgh Steelers jacket and carrying a brown paper bag he was met by another man and quickly left.
Judge Kenneth Lester allowed Zimmerman to be released under the condition that he wear an electronic monitoring device and not leave the state. He must also obey a dusk-to-dawn curfew. The court also ruled that he is prohibited from consuming illegal drugs or alcohol or possessing a firearm, according to an agency report.
The lawyer representing Martin’s parents, Daryl Parks, said that while the family respects the judicial process, they are “devastated by him being able to walk the streets.”
Speaking to CNN he said, “It's with a very, very heavy heart that they've seen him walk freely late last night back into the public."
The case which sparked national and international protest on race and justice continues to get a heated reaction from the public. Just minutes after his release was announced, George Zimmerman was receiving vicious death threats on Twitter.
The Daily Mail reports that one Twitter user, Jordan Irving, wrote “They let this n**** Zimmerman out of jail?! Somebody kill this dude already!”
Another, called Uncle Phil, said: “I say kill Zimmerman b****.”
Chatia said, “someone pass me a gun, imma go follow zimmerman, shoot and kill him and say #imstandingmyground. (sic)”
Zimmerman is being held in a secret location. No date has been set for his trial.
Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, maintains he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black minor, in self defense on 26th February. He admits that he did not know if the teenager had a weapon.
Martin was walking home from the convenience store to his father’s girlfriend’s home.
It is believed that Zimmerman will use the Florida law of “Stand Your Ground” in defense. This cites that people may use deadly force if they believe themselves to be in danger of being killed.
Last Friday, Zimmerman apologized to the teen’s parents in court.
Here’s AP’s report on George Zimmerman’s release: