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George Zimmerman's brother says Twitter rant a "mistake"

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - The brother of George Zimmerman, the man charged in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, said on Wednesday he was wrong to tweet a series of racially charged comments about his brother's case.

"I made a mistake," Robert Zimmerman Jr. said during an appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Live. "It unfortunately may not have helped George."

George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder for killing Martin, who was 17, after an altercation in a residential neighborhood in Sanford, Florida.

Prosecutors contend George Zimmerman, then a neighborhood watch captain, racially profiled Martin, then pursued and shot him while Martin was returning from a convenience store to a townhouse where he was staying with his father.

Robert Zimmerman this week posted side-by-side photos of Martin and one of two teenagers arrested last week in a fatal shooting of a 13-month-old boy as his mother was pushing his stroller down the street in a coastal Georgia town.

The separate photos showed Martin and the teenager posing while making an obscene gesture.

Robert Zimmerman wrote in a tweet, "a picture is worth a thousand words ... any questions?" In another tweet, he said, "Lib media shld ask if what these2 black teens did 2 a woman&baby is the reason ppl think blacks mightB risky."

Morgan, in his interview with Zimmerman, called the tweets "incendiary" and "bordering on outright racism."

"I understand this was controversial and I apologize," Robert Zimmerman said.

Mark O'Mara, George Zimmerman's lawyer, has criticized Robert Zimmerman's tweets.

George Zimmerman's trial is set to start in June.

(Editing by Kevin Gray and Lisa Shumaker)

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