Attorney Hal Uhrig who is representing George Zimmerman, the gunman in the Trayvon Martin case. (Photo by FOX 35) (FOX 35 / April 6, 2012)

George Zimmerman's new attorney, Hal Uhrig, has come out swinging. Less than 72 hours after announcing he was on the defense team, he's done interviews on CBS, NBC, CNN and the Fox network, and he's aggressively pushing this message: George Zimmerman is a victim.

The people victimizing him, Uhrig said, include Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

"They turned it into a racial event when it never was one," he told Sean Hannity on Fox News Wednesday.

Friday morning, from the New York studios of CBS This Morning, he brought up race again.

"We've heard a rush to judgment in this case that started, I guess, with Johnnie Cochran and O.J. Simpson."

Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, on Feb. 26 after first calling Sanford police and him as suspicious. Critics say Trayvon was a victim of racial profiling.

Zimmerman told police he fired in self-defense after the teenager started a fight by punching him in the nose, knocking him to the ground then banging his head on a sidewalk.

Uhrig, 65 of Maitland, is a former Gainesville police officer, former prosecutor, former Florida assistant attorney general and former lawyer for the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

He's well known among Central Florida criminal defense attorneys.

During an interview on CNN with Piers Morgan Wednesday night, Uhrig also brought up race.

"He's not racist," Uhrig said of Zimmerman. "The reason Trayvon Martin is dead is not because he was black or because he wore a hoodie or because he was walking in the rain. It's because that … young man made a terrible decision and a bad judgment and decided to smack somebody in the face and break their nose, jump on him and smack his head onto the ground and in doing that, put him in reasonable fear for his safety. He was absolutely entitled to defend himself."

Uhrig and Craig Sonner, Zimmerman's other defense attorney, were in New York Friday, being interviewed by CBS's Charlie Rose.

Zimmerman didn't break the law, Uhrig said, and was justified in shooting to kill.

"Many people remember the case of Liam Neeson's wife, who fell on a little ski slope, hit her head one time on the ground and died," Uhrig said. "We're familiar with shaken baby syndrome. You shake a baby, the brain shakes around inside the skull, you can die."

Uhrig also complained that, "This case had momentum created by a lot of misinformation."

He then pointed to an outdated photo of Trayvon, one provided by the teenager's family, that often appears in stories about the shooting.

Other misinformation includes false reports that Zimmerman fired two shots at Trayvon – a warning shot then a kill shot – and that a few hours later, State Attorney Norm Wolfinger held a face-to-face meeting with Sanford police Chief Bill Lee Jr., a meeting that resulted in Zimmerman being allowed to go free.

Hal Boedeker and Arelis Hernandez contributed to this report. rstutzman@tribune.com or 407-650-6394.