Barbara Walters nabbed the first interview with Gladys and Robert Zimmerman Sr. since their son's trial ended on Saturday
Even George Zimmerman's parents, Robert Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman, are being targeted by Americans outraged by the "not guilty" verdict a Florida jury delivered on Saturday to end the Trayvon Martin murder trial.
"We have had an enormous amount of death threats. George's legal counsel has had death threats, the police chief of Sanford, many people have had death threats," Robert Zimmerman told Barbara Walters during an exclusive "Nightline" interview airing at 12:35 a.m. on ABC Tuesday morning. "'Everyone with Georgie's DNA should be killed' — just every kind of horrible thing you can imagine."
Walters is the first to interview Zimmerman's parents since their son was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges more than a year after shooting a black unarmed 17-year-old teen to death inside a gated community in Sanford, Fla.
Protests have erupted across the country in reaction to the verdict, while many others — including a number of celebrities — have taken to social media to voice their dissatisfaction with the jury's decision. Both of Zimmerman's parents, however, don't appear to understand the controversy.
"This is America, and we went through all of this with the judicial system," Gladys said. "He went through the whole process they were pushing for, and now they are not happy with the verdict, and I pray. I pray for them, for God to touch their heart."
His parents also refute any claims that their son's actions were motivated by a racial prejudice.
"He's never been taught to be a racist," Robert Zimmerman said. "Color is the last thing to come to his mind.
"When George first saw Trayvon Martin he had no idea what color he was," he added. "He knew he was inside a gated community. He didn't recognize him as living there. It was raining. He was just casually walking very slowly. But George did not initial know what race a person was."
Zimmerman has been in hiding since Saturday, and even his parents haven't spoken to him.
"Under the circumstances, we have not been able to talk to him," Gladys said. "To tell you the truth, we don't trust anything, not even the phones."
Portions of the interview already aired Monday night during "World News With Diane Sawyer." Following "Nightline," more excerpts will air Tuesday morning on "Good Morning America" and "The View."