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Zimmerman pulled over in Texas for speeding, given warning

By Joe Sutton and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 11:11 AM EDT, Thu August 1, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zimmerman is pulled over for a traffic violation, then given a warning
  • The officer tells Zimmerman, "don't play with your firearm"
  • Zimmerman had a "heavy foot ... nothing more," his brother tweets
  • The Zimmerman family continues to face "many death threats," it says

(CNN) -- George Zimmerman -- who was acquitted earlier this month on murder charges tied to Trayvon Martin's death -- was stopped this weekend for speeding in northern Texas, according to police.

Zimmerman was apparently traveling with a gun when he was pulled over. Dashcam video released by Forney, Texas, police shows him and a police officer talking briefly before the officer tells him to shut his glove compartment

"Don't play with your firearm, OK?" the officer says.

The Forney police officer ultimately sends Zimmerman off with a verbal warning to "slow down."

In a tweet, Zimmerman's defense team said Wednesday that they would protect his privacy and wouldn't make any comments on their client's whereabouts "for his safety."

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His brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., explained what happened with a brief tweet of his own: "A heavy foot ... Nothing more."

The traffic stop occurred shortly after noon on Sunday. The dashcam video shows the officer turning on his sirens and saying, "Get 'em," as Zimmerman's 2008 gray Honda pulls away.

Moments later, the officer pulls up behind Zimmerman's car, which is by then parked in the breakdown lane with its hazard lights on.

The officer asks for a driver's license, and after a short exchange with Zimmerman and recognizing the name, he says, "What a coincidence."

"The reason you were stopped is for your speed," the officer adds later. "And as long as you don't have any warrants, you'll be served a warning."

The entire episode -- from when Zimmerman was stopped to when he was cleared -- took about four minutes, according to the police report.

Forney City Manager Brian Brooks said he couldn't answer several questions about the incident, including about the type of gun that Zimmerman apparently had, in part because the incident was short and no citation was issued.

Zimmerman helps family out of overturned SUV

A Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder on July 13 for fatally shooting the 17-year-old Martin in a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood.

After the trial, the Sanford, Florida, Police Department turned over all evidence related to its investigation into Zimmerman -- including a gun -- to federal authorities weighing whether to pursue a civil rights case against him, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The case stirred fervent emotions on both sides -- from the 29-year-old's supporters who argued that he had a right to protect himself, to others who argued he profiled the black teenager, then willfully ignored a police dispatcher's advice by pursuing him.

The passions contributed to an "enormous amount of death threats" against Zimmerman and his family, his parents told ABC News earlier this month.

After the trial, Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara described his client as a marked man who wore a disguise and often strapped on body armor when he left home.

"He has to be very cautious and protective of his safety because there is still a fringe element who have said ... that they will not listen to a verdict of not guilty," O'Mara said.

Given such concerns, Robert Zimmerman Jr. told CNN's Piers Morgan after the verdict that he didn't see "any reason why (George) shouldn't" have a gun.

"I think he has more reason now than ever to think that people are trying to kill him because they express they're trying to kill him, all the time, every day, on my Twitter feed, on the Internet," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.

In a statement released Wednesday, after news got out about the weekend traffic stop, Zimmerman's family made no mention of George carrying a gun then or at any time.

But they reiterated that he, and other family members, remain under pressure.

"Our family receives many death threats," the family said. "We all continue to take our security seriously and to ensure our safety in accordance with the law."

This week's incident in Texas marks the second time George Zimmerman has made headlines since his acquittal.

Zimmerman was mentioned in news stories for helping, with another man, a family of four get out of an overturned vehicle in Sanford, said Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Heather Smith.

Zimmerman did not witness the July 17 crash, and he left after making contact with a sheriff's deputy, Smith said. No injuries were reported.

Read more: Zimmerman juror: He 'got away with murder'

CNN's Vivian Kuo and Winnie Dunbar contributed to this report.

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