He stood up for Trayvon Martin's killer at trial and on all the talk shows. He fine-tuned the narrative of Martin as a thug. He concealed his own criminal history and conducted white supremacist podcasts. But Frank Taaffe has had a change of heart, and now says Zimmerman is a racist murderer.

Taaffe, who long identified himself as Zimmerman's best friend and told anyone who would listen that Florida's most famous armed self-appointed watchman was a victim and a hero, told local TV station News 13 that he had to take an agonizing reappraisal after a series of tragic deaths in his own family. The dramatic interview is above; here's part of the writeup:

"What I know of George and his tendencies and also my opinion is that he racially profiled Trayvon Martin that night because if that had been a white kid on a cell phone, walking through our neighborhood, he wouldn't have stayed on him the way he did and that's a fact and I believe that in my heart," said Taaffe.

This is very different from what Taaffe told News 13 numerous times after the shooting, including during an interview back in May 2012 when he said, "That George Zimmerman in a position in a volunteer role wanted to ensure the safety of the community he lived in and he became the victim."

But today, Taaffe claims he just wants to clear his conscience, "I can only ask for the country to forgive me and today I believe that he racially profiled him based on the color of his skin. Reporter: Some people may wonder what does Frank Taaffe have to gain by doing this? Are you working on a book? No book. A TV show? No. I'm just working on me right now and getting right with God."

Taaffe says his brother's death last month and the death of his two sons over the past two years has changed him.

Taaffe says he has a message for Trayvon Martin's parents, "I'm sorry that you lost your son, I know what that's like and I wish things had been different."

Zimmerman and his cheerleading brother Robert declined to comment to News 13 on Taaffe's come-to-Jesus moment. Practically speaking, it doesn't change anything for Martin's family, or for the millions of Americans who live under the tyranny of the vigilante thanks to Zimmerman's acquittal and the proliferation of "stand your ground" laws that protected him.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see a man who once denigrated "black dogs" and "hebes" showing true contrition, however he gets there. Whether he's worthy of forgiveness is a call above my paygrade, but he's got a much better case than Zimmerman does.

[h/t Raw Story]