[Updated at 7 p.m. CT]
DALLAS – George Zimmerman, who was recently acquitted in the controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin, had a handgun in his truck's glove box when a Texas police officer pulled him over for speeding near Dallas last Sunday, authorities say.
Zimmerman immediately told the Forney, Texas, officer he had the gun when the officer approached his door. Earlier reports by a Dallas TV station that the weapon was sitting outside the glove box were inaccurate, said Forney City Manager Brian Brooks.
Transporting a gun inside a vehicle's compartment is legal in Texas. Zimmerman's conceal carry permit was reinstated after he was found not guilty, but the gun involved in the death of Martin is now with federal investigators who are conducting their own probe.
The Sunday traffic stop, which was captured on the officer's dashboard camera, lasted about five minutes."It wasn't for super-excessive speeds, they just got him on regular speeding," Brooks told Reuters. "It's a pretty routine stop except for the fact that it was George Zimmerman." On July 13, Zimmerman was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of Martin, an unarmed black teenager in Sanford, Fla. The trial of the onetime neighborhood crime watchman was televised to a wide audience, and his acquittal led to nationwide protests and prompted President Barack Obama to speak out on the case.
The traffic stop is Zimmerman’s second known encounter with law enforcement since his trial ended. On July 17, the former criminal justice student reportedly helped pluck two children and their parents to safety after the family’s SUV overturned on a central Florida highway. A police report notes that Zimmerman didn’t witness the accident, but was named by officers for stopping and helping.
On the dashcam video from Sunday, Zimmerman says "Nowhere in particular" when Officer A.R. Humphrey asks him where he is headed.
"Nowhere in particular. Why do you say that?" the officer responds.
"You didn't see my name?" Zimmerman replies.
The officer then studies Zimmerman's driver's license and says, "What a coincidence."
Asked by the officer if he was clear of criminal warrants, Zimmerman replies, "Absolutely."
"Go ahead and shut your glove compartment, and don't play with your firearm, OK?" the officer says before walking back to his patrol car to check Zimmerman's license and vehicle registration.
Zimmerman's legal team declined to answer questions about the traffic stop, but did send out a message on Twitter: "For his safety, we won’t make any comments about Zimmerman’s whereabouts, and we will work to protect his privacy."
Mark O'Mara, his attorney, has previously said that Zimmerman planned to arm himself because of threats against his life.
The officer let Zimmerman off with a warning and sent him on his way.
"Have a safe trip," the officer said.
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