ORLANDO, Fla. — The Associated Press has demanded that George Zimmerman halt the sale of one of his paintings because the news agency says it directly copies an AP photo.
Zimmerman's painting depicts Jacksonville-based prosecutor Angela Corey holding her thumb and fingers together. An apparently made-up quote Zimmerman added to the piece reads, "I have this much respect for the American judicial system." Corey's office prosecuted Zimmerman for the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder last summer.
Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., posted an image of the painting Wednesday on Twitter and tweeted a day later that they were in negotiations with possible buyers.
A letter with the AP's demands said that Zimmerman's painting was a direct copy of an AP photo taken at the April 2012 news conference where Corey announced Zimmerman would be charged with murder. It was taken for the AP by freelancer Rick Wilson. The news cooperative asked that any sale be blocked — and that, if there has been a sale, that the AP be paid damages.
The AP sent the letter to Jayne Weintraub, one of a handful of attorneys who has recently represented Zimmerman. Weintraub said she no longer represents Zimmerman but said she will forward the letter to him.
"George Zimmerman clearly directly copied an AP photo to create his painting of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey," AP spokesman Paul Colford said in a written statement.