Filmmaker Spike Lee is being sued by an elderly couple in Florida, following a controversial tweet he sent wrongly identifying the pair’s home as that of George Zimmerman — a man many wished to seek out before and after the trial for the shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Spike Lee sent the tweet in March of 2012, one month after Martin was shot and while the legal fate of Zimmerman remained unclear. Anger was fermenting across the social web, where many felt a grave injustice had occurred, and wished to see George Zimmerman answer for the shooting.
Elaine and David McClain, however, were unfortunate enough to live in the home Lee had heard was that of Zimmerman — and the couple are said to have endured significant safety concerns in the ensuing outrage, fueled by Lee’s tweet. According to The Smoking Gun, the tweet was appended with: “EVERYBODY REPOST THIS.”
The site adds:
“After Lee tweeted the McClains’ address, the senior citizens–Elaine is 71, David is 73–said that they feared for their lives in light of Twitter and Facebook messages directing individuals to go to their Edgewater Circle home and seek to harm Zimmerman. ‘We’re keeping everything locked,’ Elaine told TSG last March. She added, ‘Maybe we should get a lawyer and send a cease and desist letter to Spike Lee.’”
The McClains reportedly initially settled with Spike Lee for $10,000 over the tweet last year, but a newly filed suit claims the filmmaker was negligent in “encouraging a dangerous mob mentality among his Twitter followers, as well as the public-at-large” causing the couple to suffer “injuries and damages” from the posted information.