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Aired at 11:00 AM on Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 (7/14/2013)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:00The country.
00:00:03Hundreds marched.
00:00:05The issue of race, zimmerman's trial throughout the trial, is one that motivated the victim trayvon martin because he referred to george zimmerman as a cracker but did not moat their motivate their client.
00:00:22>> This is not about civil rights.
00:00:26It needs to be talked about but not in the context of the george zimmerman case.
00:00:33>> Trayvon martin's family was not in the courthouse last night.
00:00:41>> Trayvon martin will forever remain in the annals of history next to md ger evers and emmett till as symbols for the fight for equal justice for all.
00:01:05Tracy and sybrina are thankful for all those prayers over the past 17 months since the death of their son.
00:01:15This is a very trying time for their family and we ask that you respected their privacy.
00:01:25In conclusion, for trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful.
00:01:30Thank you.
00:01:34>> Lawyers for trayvon martin's family indicated they may sue george zimmerman in civil court.
00:01:39The naacp promised to pursue civil rights cases in federal court and selected thousands of signatures for that.
00:01:52The state department said it would continue to evaluate evidence from an earlier today i want to bring in my yeah white, julie read, michael denzel smith with the nation institute and contributor to "the nation" magazine.
00:02:14Sima, legal contributor to arise news.
00:02:18This is one of those situations where we could have the technical discussion, we will have a tech discussion about what the exact charges were and what the jury was instructed to do and whether the jury given the confines, it reached a reasonable conclusion or not.
00:02:36I want to start more broadly speaking.
00:02:38This is one of those situations where you take one step back or half a step back and play through the events of february 2012 and look, this is sort of the end result of taking those events and out with?
00:02:53The man who indisputedly killed trayvon martin, loses the ankle bracelets, handcuffs, gets his gun back and says he has no more to doave an honest and truthful conversation about whether race is still relevant in our lives.
00:03:56And the answer for my children is unquestioned.
00:04:00It's yes.
00:04:01That's part of why they're stunned.
00:04:04It's not just about, to your point, the legal finding and legal ramifications of the finding.
00:04:10It's really about what it symbolizes in terms of whether we're going to address race in america and the fact that black people are not safe even when they are innocent.
00:04:31I do not respect the jury's findings.
00:04:34This is what I do for a living.
00:04:35This is what I've been doing for the last 20 years.
00:04:37I've been doing this longer than trayvon martin was alive.
00:04:41And I'm disgusted with our system you that you can tell your children you respect these six women and what they find.
00:04:56>> This is an important discussion.
00:04:59Our rule of law is important.
00:05:01I think there are many things wrong with the justice system.
00:05:05So saying we have to recognize that six human beings in a very difficult case, emotionally difficult, huge amounts of public pressure, they were going to be denigrated no matter the verdict because there was going to be some side of the american public that were going to say, they were absolutely wrong.
00:05:27That's why.
00:05:28More because -- I'm taking a more human approach to this and saying, I think it is important to humanize those jurors and say, we need to let them go on and live their lives.
00:05:38The issue is what we need to fix about the situation?
00:05:42We need to they have six on murder cases.
00:05:48Fair representation and because race still matters in america, it does matter what the racial makeup is of jurors.
00:05:57That's the conversation I'm totally outraged about.
00:06:03>> At the same time, we always talked about the verdict in the context of how african-americans would view it and absorb it.
00:06:13We forgot there's a different x.
00:06:18White women living inhat is pro-zimmerman, at least among the whites in sanford.
00:06:25The home they were going back to, the community they were getting absorbed back into, this is the verdict more comfortable for that community.
00:06:37You're t about a town where people by and large are pro hive gun, angela corey, conservative republican.
00:06:47This is an issue where most of their community, the peers, their peers, were on the side they landed on.
00:07:06There were people on the other side of this.
00:07:09I don't know why I was surprised but I think what surprised me most, to be honest with you, was the reaction of the defense attorneys.
00:07:19I was a little taken aback.
00:07:20It was breathtaking for me, the kind of spiking the football reaction, particularly of don west but both defense attorneys -- >> they were happy.
00:07:28>> It's fine to be happy for your client but I think their as very insensitive.
00:07:35There is still a dead boy here.
00:07:39I thought it was cavalier.
00:07:41I can only respond by -- don west, doubling down on the joke.
00:07:48This is not justice for the family of the dead kid.
00:07:53They should have been more sensitive.
00:07:55>> They had no respect for trayvon martin to begin with.
00:07:57The thing that disgusted me, the jury was made up of six women, five white women.
00:08:10showed a picture of george zimmerman's white woman neighbor and show her as the picture of fear and said, this is what the neighborhood was up against and put a picture of trayvon martin with his shirt off looking like the most thugged out version of trayvon martin you could get and basically said, george zimmerman was protecting not but white womanhood from this vicious, black thug.
00:08:33>> We were talking about some reactions from the defense team last night.
00:08:37It was interesting -- to me, i don't understand all the legal procedures but I guess this was very unusual after the verdict announced that don west refused to shake hands with the prosecution team.
00:08:48>> Yes, please ask me about that.
00:08:50>> I want to play a couple -- this was mark o'mara after the verdict last night.
00:08:55This is some of what he had to say, basically putting the blame on trayvon martin.
00:08:59>> I'm not going to shy away from the fact that I think the evidence supported that zimmerman did nothing wrong and that he was battered and beaten by a 17-year-old, who for whatever reason, we won't know, thought he had to lash out and attack violently.
00:09:19>> And I just -- we'll play don well because he was talking about how this -- he felt a travesty had been avoided here.
00:09:29This is his reaction last night.
00:09:31>> This is something no one gets over.
00:09:35There's no winners here.
00:09:36There's no monsters here.
00:09:38That's the tragedy.
00:09:41The travesty, it would have been a travesty of justice had george zimmerman been convicted.
00:09:46That's the travesty.
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00:13:08>>> We just played clips from mark o'mara and don west and inflammatory, is the way to describe how they conducted themselves after the verdict last night.
00:13:20Seema, from a legal standpoint, what do you make from after the verdict?
00:13:27>> Just so I'm clear, you said don west would not shake the hands of the prosecutors?
00:13:33>> Yes.
00:13:34>> That's astounding to me because he won.
00:13:36What I do, lose or win, and what I've seen other attorneys do, as a professional courtesy you shake the hands.
00:13:45Let's say in this case when the defense was successful, you shake the hand of the prosecutor and you say, I'm sorry.
00:13:55Leave it at that.
00:13:56Going forward with that point, all these statements to the press, why do you have to talk to the press?
00:14:02I don't understand it.
00:14:07If you are sorry for the loss of trayvon martin, sit down, it's done.
00:14:11I want to point out that mark o'mara throughout this trial especially -- they talk about how busy they are, in court, how do you find time to go on cnn and give a press statement every single night?
00:14:30You should be working.
00:14:31You should not be using this young person's death as -- >> my quick question from a legal standpoint, is there some kind -- we're talking about the potential of civil suit, federal civil rights charges.
00:14:44Is there kind of legal -- especially of being in the media and trying to -- >> absolutely.
00:14:51>> -- As horrible as it is, smear trayvon martin and -- >> that's a great question.
00:14:58Because the civil suit would also be in state court.
00:15:01This is what o'mara has been doing the last year and a half.
00:15:05What he's continuing to do is taint a potential jury pool.
00:15:11>> Every single case does have an element of being tried in the court of public opinion for the very reason you've just pointed out and seema has just said.
00:15:23This is not over.
00:15:24This is not over by a longshot.
00:15:27This one criminal case is over.
00:15:30Yes, the justice department will see if they can bring an action against george zimmerman of some kind.
00:15:37It's also pretty clear and the family is pretty clear they're probably going after him in civil suit.
00:15:43So I would guess, and it is a guess, these a the communities who are, a, a narrative extremely destructive to the fabric of our nation in order to protect an individual.
00:15:57>> Not only that, mark o'mara has said on the one hand they're sensitive to the racial issues and we have to have this discussion about black man and civil rights.
00:16:10He says that a lot.
00:16:12But he said, if george zimmerman was black, he never would have been charged.
00:16:16To everybody who is black is the most -- that is -- that just is confounding.
00:16:24That's simply not true.
00:16:24Look at the criminal justice system.
00:16:27It sort of suggests there was some sort of racial controversy against george zimmerman to proint him out as a racist.
00:16:36That's the theme, too.
00:16:40Those by and large on the right, this is about messaging to them.
00:16:46There's a lot of conversations going on.
00:16:50Those are the people who provided support.
00:16:52Those are the people in the potential jury pool.
00:16:55This jury was conservative, gun owners, et cetera.
00:16:59Also one other case islly zimmerman perjury case, which would also be tried in sanford.
00:17:05I thought that was statement was so jarring.
00:17:08>> We're talking about what the next step might be.
00:17:11To answer that, I'll bring in two attorneys, benjamin crump.
00:17:20Thank you for joining us.
00:17:22Benjamin, I'll start with you.
00:17:24Can you just tell us -- I'm sure you've been in communication with the family since last night.
00:17:30What is their mood like?
00:17:32What are you hearing right now?
00:17:36>> Well, initially when the verdict came, they were heart broken.
00:17:47It's painful.
00:17:48The killer of their unarmed son was not held accountable so they're trying to make sense of it all and trying to think about positive stuff.
00:17:56They have a foundation and they're going to work on that and try to figure out how to preserve trayvon's legacy because his death was not in vein.
00:18:06As they have said, they will continue to vow to fight for him.
00:18:14>> The immediate questions from a legal standpoint, one directly involves you.
00:18:19This is a decision to pursue civil charges.
00:18:22Where does that stand right now?
00:18:25>> Well, right now they are dealing with this very difficult time.
00:18:29I'm sure we'll spend time talking with them and make the appropriate decisions.
00:18:35But but this morning, the harder I thought about it because they are very con for used by the american justice system.
00:18:48All of this has transpired, so martin, they can continue to talk to their children.
00:19:02>> A lot of the discussion, we'll into this more on this show, in the wing have the judge had a limited, narrow world it was forced to live in.
00:19:14I understand that if you go to a civil right, if you have a civil suit, the rules in that world expand a lot.
00:19:23Does that offer you possibilities if you -- in term of making a case going to a civil court.
00:19:33What would that look like?
00:19:35>> Certainly, there's a difference based on the preponderance of evidence so that's less than a reasonable doubt higher, but we think the facts and the evidence in this case were clear to us.
00:19:55He never should have followed trayvon martin.
00:19:57Never should have profiled him.
00:20:00You know, the family's just heartbroken about it all.
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00:23:16>>> I understand we're going to be losing benjamin crump in a minute.
00:23:20I want to play a clip for you before you go.
00:23:25I wanted your response to this.
00:23:26Mark o'mara on friday gave an interview where he singled out you, talked about the lawyers around the martin family and basically saying in his view that you and others had -- were responsible for this horrible thing that happened to his client.
00:23:40I want to play what he said and I want your response to it.
00:23:42Let's play it first.
00:23:45>> It was a wonderfully created, crafted public relations campaign by the people who were assisting the martin family.
00:23:52That's ben crump and other people.
00:23:54I don't discredit what he did as long as he acknowledges that's exactly what happened.
00:23:59>> Do you think that george zimmerman would have even been charged had ben crump not been pulled into this?
00:24:07>> No.
00:24:07Ben crump or someone like him, because had ben crump not gotten involved in the case, maybe for some good reasons to believed in.
00:24:17If he believed there was something swept under the rug, get into it.
00:24:21I'm very okay with that.
00:24:23>> You didn't say it that way.
00:24:25You thought if it weren't for ben crump george zimmerman would be free and we would not be in that trial.
00:24:30>> That's correct.
00:24:31I think it was a made-up story for purposes that had nothing to do with george zimmerman.
00:24:36They victimized him -- they complain about trayvon m being victimized.
00:24:41George zimmerman was victimized by a publicity campaign to smear him, to call him a racist when he wasn't and call him a murderer when he wasn't.
00:24:49>> There's a lot there.
00:24:51I just -- I'm curious what your response to that is.
00:24:56>> Ll, very simply, it's almost as if people don't want to look at the fact that you had a dead, unarmed teenager on the ground killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
00:25:36Our communities arrested on nothing, a hypothesis, no evidence at all, and yet they told this father, this family they were not going to arrest the killer of their unarmed child.
00:25:49So we said, you know, we are lawyers.
00:25:55We do this type of work.
00:25:56It would have been so easy to say, we can't make a difference.
00:26:01I remember talking to my law partner darrell parks and how he said, we're going to spend a lot of money, spend a lot of time and resources and at the end of the day there's no guarantee whatsoever they're ever going to arrest this guy.
00:26:18And we agreed his statements were probably correct but we went to law school to try to make a difference in our community, to try to make everybody get equal justice.
00:26:30Not just people from one side of town, but people from everywhere, especially in our community.
00:26:42So when they say I did all of this, I think they overlook the facts, the 2 million people that signed that petition that said you at least have to arrest the person who killed an unarmed teenager, because if you don't, what message does that send to society?
00:26:58What is the precedent set if we let people kill unarmed teenagers and go home and sleep in their beds at night?
00:27:08I just think we have to remember what the prosecutor said at the very end.
00:27:11If trayvon martin and the facts were reversed would have profiled and followed and pursued and killed unarmed george zimmerman, what would the verdict have been?
00:27:27And I think the problem a lot of us are having accepting this verdict, we know in our heart of hearts that trayvon martin would have been convicted.
00:27:38So where we go from here, whether we progress or regress is going to be what we lrn as a society to make sure this does not happen again and we have to continue to try as much as possible to say, you can't profile people.
00:27:55You can't make assumptions about people because on february 26, 2012, assumptions were made about trayvon martin and they were incorrect and he paid with his life.
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00:31:21>>> so, weng about that question that was raised and the question that was put to the defense team after the verdict last night about what if the roles were reversed, the race was reversed, trayvon martin and george zimmerman.
00:31:32That question was put to the defense team last night.
00:31:34This is how mark o'mara answered it.
00:31:40>> Well-being I think things would have been different if george zimmerman were black for this reason -- he never would have been charged with a crime.
00:31:48It seems what happened is an event that was being looked into by sanford police department, and as we know now, looked into quite well.
00:31:57I had taken advantage of police departments who have not done a good investigation of crimes becthat's what I do for a living.
00:32:06When I looked into sanford police department, they had done quite a good job.
00:32:11You can look across the country at who does good or bad with their investigations.
00:32:16They had done quite a lot.
00:32:19What happened is this became the focus for a civil rights event, which is a wonderful event to have, but they decide george zimmerman would be the person who they were to blame and sort of use as the creation of a civil rights violation.
00:32:35None of which was brought out by the facts.
00:32:44>> We have darrell parks with us, attorney for trayvon martin's family.
00:32:48What do you make after hearing that claim, if zimmerman were black, he never would have been charged?
00:32:56>> I don't believe anyone in america knows that except mark o'mara.
00:33:03Everyone sitting at home knows that if a 28-year-old black man shot and killed a young, white boy anywhere in america, that person would be arrested and face trial without question.
00:33:14So, I don't buy that at all.
00:33:23In that, mark o'mara, the quote there, trying to make this a civil rights event.
00:33:29In the press conference last night, you know, benjamin crump, your partner, said that trayvon martin will go down in history with emmett till and medgar everers.
00:33:45 o'mara attempts to do is not put the whole situation in context as to what happened.
00:33:52This is not just something that happened on the protest.
00:33:56This is something that built up over time when they refused to arrest george zimmerman at all.
00:34:02First, it started off with ben and natalie having those very small press conferences locally, talking about the fact this young man had been killed and nothing had been done about it.
00:34:12That story began to grow for that reason because the system hadn't responded.
00:34:18And so there are some people in this country, some people in this country, who may not understand when people are not happy with what the system is doing, that nonviolent protests through the civil rights movement is what you do.
00:34:32They may not understand it because they've never participated in it or don't respect the fact that other people can have power.
00:34:38That's fine.
00:34:44However, it's the law of our land and people can affect change.
00:34:48>> Michael, I know you have thoughts.
00:34:50>> The presumption in o'mara's statement is george zimmerman were a black man had killed a black child this wouldn't have been an issue because this isn't a point for people to make this about racism.
00:35:03What happened to trayvon martin is emblematic what happens in the justice system turning a blind eye to black children.
00:35:12What infuriates me when people bring up chicago and detroit and why don't people care about black-on-black crime.
00:35:20People in those communities care, but the people in the system do not care.
00:35:26>> George zimmerman's brother gave an interview and he specifically mentioned chicago.
00:35:32>> In cases in chicago if a black person kills another black person, they're not allowed to go home.
00:35:37They're arrested.
00:35:38I mean, the justice system grinds through african-american men at a pace that's breathtaking.
00:35:44There have been plenty of books written about it.
00:35:47We don't need to go into depth.
00:35:50Look, to believe it was an injustice to even arrest, let alone charge george zimmerman for shooting trayvon martin, you have to believe when you see a dead, black child or teenager on the ground, can you presume on the word of the shooter, the person on the ground was a shooter.
00:36:12Was a killer.
00:36:13I have a bloody nose.
00:36:16That was the killer.
00:36:20Just believe that.
00:36:21>> No matter how ridiculous the story.
00:36:22>> Even if he lies about certain things, you're saying it was an injustice against the shooter to disbelieve his story wherein he is the only witness to what happened.
00:36:32>> Let's be frank.
00:36:34Black people are presumed guilty.
00:36:36White people are presumed innocent.
00:36:39>> That's the truth.
00:36:40>> That's exactly what happened here.
00:36:41>> It really is.
00:36:43>> Even in this particular case, that was completely o'mara said, is police did not go through all protocol in securing that crime scene because they believed george zimmerman's version without forensic science being conducted at the crime scene.
00:37:06That's the example of white people being presumed innocent and a dead black boy laying on the sidewalk is presumed guilty with no ability to give his own statement.
00:37:15>> I think we can get this up on the screen.
00:37:16This is a revealing graphic that shows racial disparity in killings deemed -- here it is, found to be justifiable.
00:37:24The way to explain this is the baseline is white-on-white crime.
00:37:28You see if it's white-on-black crime, we put this in states that have stand your ground laws, don't have stand your ground laws and blue is all states.
00:37:38You can see there's a huge -- 200, 300, nearly 400% difference when you talk about black-on-white crime.
00:37:47The idea of a justifiable homicide is vastly more likely -- it's negative there when it becomes a black-on-white issue.
00:37:54>> Because you can get away with it.
00:37:56Black life is not valued in this country the same way white lives are.
00:38:00>> Cynthia tucker did a great piece for the grio in which we posted this more than where she went back and reminded us "the times" in tampa bay did a stand your ground laws in 2005 found when defendants claim stand your ground, if the victim was black and the person who shot them was white, 73% of the time their stand your ground claim was effective.
00:38:26It was only 53% of the time effective when the victim was white.
00:38:30Am I getting that right?
00:38:31So when you claim stand your ground and you kill a black person, you're much more .
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00:42:08>>> we started to talk about florida's stand your ground law.
00:42:13When this all happened initially a year and a half ago, that provision got -- that law got a lot of attention.
00:42:18It didn't come up, I guess, as explicitly as people thought in the court proceedings but I want to ask daryl parks about the role of stand your ground.
00:42:28Do you think that was a factor, that law?
00:42:31You know, what role do you think it played in the result that ended up being reached in the trial?
00:42:36>> I really don't believe it played any role.
00:42:38It was the topic of discussion early on in the case.
00:42:42You may recall earlier this year in one of the hearings, mark o'mara announced he would not be having a stand your ground aring.
00:42:50At least at that particular stand your ground law, it was not an issue in this case.
00:42:56 parks, attorney here, do you think the delay in arrest, 45 dashgsz was a subtext to the jury's decision in finding a not guilty verdict?
00:43:10>> It's funny you would say that.
00:43:13Various times through these proceedings you heard mark o'mara take little stabs at the fact that the prosecutors in this case are from jacksonville and various times he would attack them about them being -- that's inappropriate, as you know.
00:43:28It has no bearing on the decision they would have made.
00:43:34All it was intended to do is draw a wedge between the jury and the prosecutors and make their job that much harder and inflame them.
00:43:43That was an issue that came into the proceedings several times and it was totally wrong.
00:43:47>> But do you feel george zimmerman in some way looked less culpable because if the police believed him, if the police decided let me wait 45 days until, frankly you and your associates, you are the ones who got this arrest, if not for that, we wouldn't be here.
00:44:06But my point is, zimmerman was presented to the jury as, frankly, someone who was innocent for 45 days.
00:44:15What effect do you think that had?
00:44:18You saw the jurors.
00:44:19You saw their faces.
00:44:20Do you think it was relevant?
00:44:22>> It has a big effect.
00:44:23I don't want to call mark o'mara a racist, but I will say this, i really believe he made it his point to portray this young black man as a young, black thug, right?
00:44:35There's a picture in there that shows trayvon martin from an upward position, the camera is pointed upward, as if he's a shirtless thug on the street.
00:44:46That's the image they wanted to portray.
00:44:49They slid that picture in over the state's objection and the court let it in.
00:44:54I think that was totally wrong because it started to create the wrong image.
00:44:59In their minds they could probably never identify that man they saw in the picture in this case.
00:45:04>> I wonder, too, daryl, how much do you think it was an obstacle for the prosecution, they would say profiling, not saying racial profiling, is that something you think the prosecution would have run with more as a legal strategy?
00:45:24>> No.
00:45:25Why would you do that with an all-white jury?
00:45:28That would make no sense.
00:45:29Any time you start to make race an issue in a case like this, it tends to divide people for whatever reason and doesn't give the case to stand on its merits.
00:45:39I think they charged it correctly.
00:45:42George zimmerman believed trayvon was part of the element who had been burglarizing this complex and that's why he chose to follow him.
00:45:50That type -- the criminal profiling was the issue in this case.
00:45:55>> Joy reid was making an interesting point, the demographics, the culture of this area of florida.
00:46:03This is a more conservative, white area of florida.
00:46:06When you saw the jury that was chosen for this trial, was your reaction this is going to be an uphill climb because of some of those factors joy was talking about?
00:46:17>> Let me say this in a nice way.
00:46:20I think you have to always remember your jury matters.
00:46:23It would almost be as if the four of y'all sitting there new york -- five of y'all sitting there in new york, one or person, you were my jury, i would be feel comfortable with you all.
00:46:35Who your jury is makes a huge issue.
00:46:38I think what happens is most people won't talk about that as much.
00:46:42You took a stab at it today.
00:46:43I've listened to what you all said.
00:46:45You all made some very, very great points about this case.
00:46:48>> Mr. parks, this is mia wily.
00:46:53I wonder if you would tell us what you -- florida's unique because you only have six people on a murder trial which makes it -- I would think, to try to get the kind of jury to understand what it's like to walk around in black skin.
00:47:13What's your takeaway of the impact of having a six-member jury instead of 12-member jury.
00:47:21>> The capital cases you do have 12.
00:47:24Capital and eminent domain cases require 12-person juries.
00:47:28Again, you all who tried cases know, that when you try a case, the jury is whoever you get.
00:47:35And in any case, you try to get a jury you believe best fits your case.
00:47:41And that's just life up.
00:47:43Hope you would get some people who can identify with the salient issues that will be a part of your case.
00:47:49Obviously, we didn't connect with that jury.
00:47:53And they found differently, based upon evidence they have.
00:47:56We have to live with that for now.
00:47:57That's their decision.
00:47:58We accept their decision.
00:47:59Doesn't mean we have to agree it, though.
00:48:03I don't think the country agrees with the decision but we accept it.
00:48:08>> Joy reid wants to ask one question right after this.
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00:51:15>>> I want to bring in president of the national urban league, member of virginia state house of delegates and chairwoman of democratic state party and former virginia governor doug wilder, first african-american ever elected to a governor's office.
00:51:33Ran for president in 1992 and elected mayor of richmond in 2004.
00:51:39Governor, I want to start with you.
00:51:42Although a basic level, I'm curious what your reaction is to the verdict last night and what you've seen in the aftermath of that verdict.
00:51:50>> Well, I was surprised by the verdict, first off, and somewhat disappointed, and yet I've been listening to the questions and answers that have been coming forth relative to your prepounding them.
00:52:07Some of them surprised me.
00:52:09Start off with this, you had an all-white courtroom, for all practical purposes, other than the defendant's presence and some of the witnesses -- I'm sorry, the victim and some of the witnesses.
00:52:23An all-white jury.
00:52:24All of the prosecutors were white.
00:52:27The defense people were white.
00:52:29If race didn't play a part in it, then you ask this very simple question, if the florida stand your ground law is not a part of what people considered, then why could you come to this verdict?
00:52:43The other thing that I would say is to follow some bit of what you've suggested, you've got a young man who has done nothing wrong criminally.
00:52:57He's been killed.
00:52:58No one debates that.
00:52:59So what caused his death?
00:53:02So the action that involved him being killed was the action of the defendant.
00:53:09To the extent he goes unpunished for someone who's done nothing doesn't make any sense.
00:53:15If the law has to be changed in florida, you should change it.
00:53:21Or if this could happen again under the same set of circumstances, that's not what we have fought for in terms of bringing justice to all, making certain that three preceps.
00:53:40America can't stand this kind of justice and people around the world would look at us and say, what are you talking about when you tell us how to bhaf.
00:53:50I'm shocked with it.
00:53:51I'm disappointed in it.
00:53:53I don't know all of the facts.
00:53:54I was not there.
00:53:55I don't know whether the prosecutors presented the case as best they could.
00:54:04I do think pretty clearly that race did play a part.
00:54:07>> I want to ask you because you came -- came of age, I guess, during and before the civil rights movement.
00:54:17There was a point in the press conference after the verdict where benjamin crump, lawyer for trayvon martin's family, likened -- he said trayvon martin will go down in history.
00:54:26Remembered with medgar evers and emmett till.
00:54:31I wonder what you make of that comparison.
00:54:34>> That's probably true but it doesn't bring him back.
00:54:37It doesn't bring his life back.
00:54:40How many emmett tills and medgar evers and trayvon martins must be sacrificed before the wheels of justice, which grind so slowly, grind for meting out justice for all.
00:54:54I would have been very concerned when that jury was set to see six white people.
00:55:02I would have been very, very concerned.
00:55:04I don't know how or why the prosecutor would allow that to take place without some degree of closed session to say, hey, wait a minute, let's go talk to the judge.
00:55:14You know where the strikes came from.
00:55:16From the defense.
00:55:16You can't tell me there were not people of color, black people, that the jury would have been selected from.
00:55:26Somebody had to strike certain people.
00:55:28It would be interesting to see if the people stricken were black.
00:55:32If they were not included, why not?
00:55:35>> We're short on time, but i wonder as a lawyer if you can answer that quickly.
00:55:40Do you look -- could the prosecution have done better?
00:55:43>> The problem is sanford is 80% white, so the jury pool is representative of that.
00:55:49So, when you're picking a jury, there may not have been many blacks and minorities in that pool.
00:55:59So it really ends up being a numbers game.
00:56:03In a jury pool you're picking person by person by person so at the end you say, wow, I have six white people sitting here.
00:56:13But I do have to criticize the prosecution's strategy in picking a jury.
00:56:15They've been doing this a long time.
00:56:18They should know better.
00:56:18They should know how to play the numbers in picking a jury and to set it up -- >> exactly.
00:56:24>> -- That you would have more minorities on that.
00:56:26So, I absolutely do agree with the gentleman that that was their deficiency.
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00:59:46>>> We're talking about the acquittal last night of george zimmerman of trayvon martin.
00:59:51We're here with mia wily, cernel herring, seema and in richmond, virginia, we have virginia governor doug wilder.
01:00:08First I want to go to msnbc's craig melvin with the latest on the reaction to last night's verdict.
01:00:15Can you get us up to date?
01:00:16>> Reporter: What a few hours e scene outside the courthouse as you saw, about 200 demonstrators at its height, about 200 demonstrators.
01:00:27No demonstrators now, obviously.
01:00:29Law enforcement that had been camped outside of that courthouse for two or three days during deliberations, and quite frankly, throughout the entire trial and jury selection as well, that law enforcement presence is also gone here in sanford.
01:00:44At least outside the courthouse.
01:00:46I can also tell you that the protests and the demonstrations that they were prepared for here in sanford at least, they happened on a very small scale.
01:01:00The ones that did happen were peaceful, they were orderly.
01:01:04There was no civil unrest to speak of here in sanford or the surrounding area.
01:01:09The video you're looking at is video from last night as that verdict was being read outside the courthouse, there was a hush that fell over the crowd.
01:01:21Shortly after the verdict was read, a few moments after the verdict was read, the crowd you see there erupted.
01:01:28There was chanting as well as singing.
01:01:29But the chants we heard more often than the others, no justice for trayvon was one of the chants.
01:01:38No justice, no peace, another one of the chants.
01:01:41Again, no arrests last night.
01:01:43They stuck around for about 90 minutes, steve.
01:01:46Shortly thereafter they dispersed.
01:01:53The news choppers also gone.
01:01:54The city of sanford, as I've talked to a number of folks here the past few weeks, said they want it to get back to return, they want it to return to narmalcy, and it appears as least on the surface, there's an important distinction to be made here, but at least on the surface logistically that is starting to happen.
01:02:13>> You know, craig, I would love, and I think a lot of people out there would really love to hear exactly it was that led these jurors to the conclusion they should acquit zimmerman.
01:02:24Is there any indication, any reason to believe we'll hear from anyf the jurors at this point?
01:02:29>> Reporter: That's the million dollar question.
01:02:30It's funny you should ask me that.
01:02:35I was having that same discussion with one of the producers here because that's the big piece of the story we're missing.
01:02:39That jury of six women.
01:02:40To bring you up to speed on how this works, at least in the state of florida.
01:02:44About a week or so ago members of the media were allowed to submit requests that were then handed to the jurors.
01:02:52All six of those jurors, as you might imagine, got a folder, requests about that thick from just about every media outlet in this country.
01:03:02And we're told that a spokesperson last night, a spokesperson with the court here in sanford, florida, went to the jurors and basically said, are any of you interested either collectively or individually, are you at all interested in answering any of the questions about deliberations?
01:03:19And all of them said no, not tonight.
01:03:22Not only did they not do it last night, by order of judge nelson, steve, their identities will be shielded.
01:03:32The media has been instructed to basically -- to not allow to try to track them down at their house.
01:03:42That order of anonymity at this point we don't know when it is going to be lifted.
01:03:47There will be a separate hearing scheduled.
01:03:50At that time judge nelson will decide if and whether to make the names of these jurors public.
01:03:57So, it's going to be a while, if ever, we hear from these jurors about when they are -- or how they decided on the verdict that they reached.
01:04:06>> Could be mystery hovering over this for all time.
01:04:10We may never understand or never know.
01:04:13Thanks to msnbc's craig melvin from florida.
01:04:16Appreciate the update.
01:04:19I'm curious what you think -- >> this is the most important thing.
01:04:21This is not over.
01:04:22This is what's important.
01:04:23We're talking about yesterday's trial and it was a travesty and a miscarriage of justice.
01:04:30But this is not over.
01:04:34Several of us civil rights leaders had a meeting at midnight, myself, al sharpton, melanie campbell, and our focus now is on the department of justice and for there to be a federal criminal civil rights investigation.
01:04:50I also thank that this may be a shepherd hate crime may apply.
01:05:03There are two important aspects of federal law that may have been violated by george zimmerman, which could be investigated and should and could lead to an additional indictment.
01:05:16Secondly, there is the wrongful death case, a civil proceeding, which the trayvon martin family, they have competent counsel in daryl parks and ben crump to bring that.
01:05:28This is not over.
01:05:30Those who are activists, concerned justice has not been met, should absolutely continue disciplined and directed advocacy for this family.
01:05:46Thirdly, I was offended by mark o'mara's statements.
01:05:50They were not only unprofessional and unbecoming a lawyer, who just succeeded in a case.
01:05:59They are insensitive and further drive a wedge.
01:06:02And I think spur us to say that we're going to insist that we have as a father a young boy.
01:06:12This is a boy who lost his life.
01:06:16Not a grown man who lost his life not at the hands of another teenager, not of another boy, but of a man.
01:06:24An unarmed teenager.
01:06:26I think from the very beginning, but for ben crump and the fact that the local community invited the civil rights leadership into this case, this matter would have been swept under the rug.
01:06:41And that's exactly what zimmerman and forces around him wanted to occur.
01:06:46We stop that from occurring and I think we want to send a strong message of solidarity with the parents and the family, but we want to send the message, this is not over and we'll continue.
01:07:00>> The other piece looking forward is lee.
01:07:03There's talk about what laws can be changed in florida.
01:07:08You're familiar with what's on the books in virginia.
01:07:10>> Yes.
01:07:11>> I'm curious if you can compare what the sort of situation is in florida, how out of line it is with other states and what needs to be changed there.
01:07:18>> Florida is certainly not alone.
01:07:19There are several states with stand your ground law.
01:07:22I can say in virginia our state law is basically for personality.
01:07:27If you're faced with deadly force, you can use deadly force to defend yourself.
01:07:31I will say this, in the virginia legislature there is always a bill put in similar to what's in florida.
01:07:37It's defeated each year.
01:07:38The thing is we get close every time to getting it passed.
01:07:44It's basically leadership that tucks that bill away and sends it back to committee.
01:07:48This is a message for every citizen who cares about our children from sandy hook to trayvon martin.
01:07:54We have a serious problem here when we are watching our children die.
01:07:57It is painful to watch.
01:07:59I remember my mother telling me about emmett till and how she felt during that time.
01:08:05Never in my life would I think i would have to relive her pain, but I in pain right now.
01:08:09And it's not because of my race.
01:08:11I am looking at children dying in this country and with violence, so state legislators will certainly take a look at laws but we must be vigilant because these laws that allow a unarmed teenager to die, and I'll call him a perpetrator, but he was instructed to stay in his car, zimmerman.
01:08:38Why are we allowing somebody to disregard instructions by our law enforcement?
01:08:43This is very serious.
01:08:45>> You mention the stand your ground laws seem to be gaining ground in the virginia legislature.
01:08:52I'm curious.
01:08:52In florida the big story was the american council, it's a national group.
01:09:01It's like a cookie cutter thing.
01:09:03Is that what's behind the movement in virginia?
01:09:04>> I mean, it could be -- unfortunately there's confusion about virginia law.
01:09:12Some legislators file the -- it has to be explained to them.
01:09:22Unfortunately, people just don't understand the law.
01:09:25 is a group that has forced this, the stand your ground legislation and other groups, too.
01:09:32Because there are rumors circulating that you can't protected yourself in your own home against deadly force.
01:09:37>> It's important to recognize a year ago when there was some , many of us called for many of its major supporters to withdraw.
01:09:48I want to renew that call this morning.
01:09:51The poison of the stand your ground law was from a.l.e.c.
01:09:54They went to the state -- I'm a former state legislator and watched them operate.
01:10:02There needs to be sunlight on what nair doing, which what they're doing is creating model legislation and spread the poison of stand your ground all over the nation.
01:10:12Those who support a.l.e.c.
01:10:14Should withdraw because this kind of thing and the use of stand your ground is why at the very instance the law enforcement there in sanford, florida, did not arrest george zimmerman as they should have, at the very inception.
01:10:28>> You mentioned a minute ago one of the next steps is the question of what's going to happen at the federal level.
01:10:33There sort of a historical pattern there of cases where there are failures, civil rights failures at state and local level and then this historical pattern but that it defaults the federal government.
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01:14:01>>> When I heard the possibility of federal intervention, the justice department looking at this, I thought back to the rodney king case from the early 1990s, THE BLACK L.A. MOTORIST Beaten by the cops.
01:14:14You had -- initially a jury acquitted the cops, that's what sparked the l.a. riots of 1992.
01:14:19Then federal charges were brought and two of the police officers were eventually convicted and did time for that.
01:14:25I wonder, and I'll bring doug wilder back.
01:14:28I'm curious, governor, do you see sort of -- is this a continuation of a pattern?
01:14:33I teased at the end of last segment when there are civil rights failures at the local level, the state level.
01:14:39I know this is the story decades ago, generations ago, but again we see the federal government is sort of the -- it's the last bit of defense there when it comes to civil rights.
01:14:51>> Well, I heard my good friend marc morial gave his explanation as to what's going on.
01:14:57I do agree with him that people should not give up and should have hope.
01:15:04And yet he being a lawyer himself recognizes that even asking the justice department to come in, there's no guarantee of anything to take place.
01:15:14They have this law in florida also that in order to maintain certain civil actions, you have got to have been proven to not been wrong yourself.
01:15:26And it's going to be very, very difficult in many instances.
01:15:29And yet that's what the justice department is there for.
01:15:32One of the things that chanielle was speaking to relative to virginia, even though -- I don't disagree with her, even though there may have been attempts by some people in the house to get this legislation through, it never has gotten through, i would be surprised if it got through into the senate and i would be very surprised if any governor of virginia who would want to carry us back so far as to sign that bill.
01:16:02There would be human cry from a lot of people.
01:16:04I would hope when the justice department looks into it, it looks to the totality of what's going on.
01:16:12Was that grounds for zimmerman to do anything because of this stand your ground law?
01:16:19Why was he feeling that he was -- I was not a policeman.
01:16:24He has no license.
01:16:26What gives him the authority to take a life and go unpunished?
01:16:30That's what's before the justice department.
01:16:32Was it civil rights violation?
01:16:36Was it also the loss of his opportunity to live?
01:16:41How can that and should that be corrected?
01:16:44>> So, there are -- there's something police officers, college students and george zimmerman all have in common and that is they are more likely to shoot a black man with a wallet than they are to shoot a white man with a gun.
01:16:59It's called shooter bias.
01:17:01The law has not kept pace with the science, with the brain science, because what brain science tells us is, these things are happening at nano seconds at subliminal levels, not conscious levels.
01:17:15Civil rights laws were written at a time when in this country racism happened at a conscious level.
01:17:23So, we don't even understand our brains on race now.
01:17:26We have made so much progress in this country on whether it is appropriate or okay or legal to be overtly, racially discriminatory.
01:17:35We have not dealt with the fact that most people are still carrying unconscious bias, that is racially motivated but not at a conscious level.
01:17:50And so when the department of justice has to look at a hates crime case, it has to find evidence of that conscious level of racial I wonder in the case of george zimmerman, it strikes me this did not get a lot of play in the trial but prosecutors introduced five previous 911 calls he had made.
01:18:29>> 46 Calls in a six-year period from george zimmerman claiming a scary black person was -- >> right.
01:18:36Five admitted as evidence in the trial.
01:18:39>> But my pointed is for brain science, 46 calls.
01:18:44I'm not talking about the evidence.
01:18:46I'm talking about george zimmerman's implicit bias.
01:18:4846 Calls is a lot of evidence on a social science level.
01:18:52>> Oh, sure.
01:18:52>> But those calls can be used as, you know, a foundation for suit and the other -- >> the other thing is, I was asking ben crump about this earlier but the rules of evidence, if this goes to a civil trial, are more expansive.
01:19:09>> Exactly.
01:19:10>> The standard of proof, which is different, which is the significant thing.
01:19:14Not only the rules of evidence but the standard of proof in a criminal case is obviously much -- all elements of the crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
01:19:21In a civil case it's by preponderance of the evidence.
01:19:26It's a very different proceeding.
01:19:28The thing you mentioned, the 911 calls, certainly in a civil case, and I think with an intensive competent investigation by the department of justice, I feel that george zimmerman can be brought up on federal criminal civil rights charges and potentially hate crime charges.
01:19:47This law we're talking about, federal criminal civil rights laws, have been used around the nation particularly in police brutality cases.
01:19:58What you have in george zimmerman is a classic wanna-be law enforcement officer.
01:20:05Number one, sought to be a law enforcement officer.
01:20:08Two, acted like a law enforcement officer.
01:20:10Three, pursued like a law enforcement officer trayvon martin.
01:20:14These are not things a reasonable citizen would do.
01:20:16>> The charges you were outlining, is that what you're asking the department of justice -- >> we're asking the department of justice to conduct a thorough investigation as to whether any federal laws were violated by george zimmerman in connection with the death of trayvon martin.
01:20:30And we have certainly -- will make a form request.
01:20:35I think the naacp will hold a press conference.
01:20:38The naacp, national urban league, black women's, all four of us and many others will join collectively in asking the justice department.
01:20:47Now, they started at the very beginning with an investigation.
01:20:49They put it on hold.
01:20:51This is standard procedure by them.
01:20:53To allow the local authorities to pursue their investigation, their prosecution to a conclusion.
01:21:00Now it's appropriate for the justice department to pick this up and to proceed.
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01:24:18>>> Maya, I know you want to jump in.
01:24:21Go ahead.
01:24:21>> So, trayvon martin's parents crump parks to bring -- to get these criminal charges made.
01:24:30And I suspect will bring a civil case because they wanted that their son not die in vein.
01:24:41What that means, justice is not just for trayvon martin.
01:24:44Justice here is so black people can walk down the streets in america, innocent and unarmed, and not be afraid they're going to be killed.
01:24:51And that means that in addition -- I agree with marc that, one, it's not over.
01:24:57Two, that the department of justice, that there's an opportunity to prosecute this case more effectively.
01:25:05But if we miss the real message here, which is that we need to restructure our laws, we need to understand that our current legal structure does not work for how we do race in america right now, which means it doesn't work for anyone, because we all have a race.
01:25:22That means that we will miss the opportunity, not just to try to get justice for trayvon martin.
01:25:28We will miss the opportunity to assure us that innocent black people can live safe, long, healthy lives.
01:25:36>> I want to talk for a minute about the reaction we've seen nationwide to this.
01:25:41I know there was a lot of conversation, oh, is there going to be violence?
01:25:46Should we even be asking, oh, is there going to be violence?
01:25:49We have craig melvin, the report from sanford, florida, basically said overnight, you know, there were protests.
01:25:55They broke up.
01:25:56You know, life seems to be going back to the way it was.
01:25:59There were, you know, rallies or marches.
01:26:02We documented ten cities across the country.
01:26:04We were see be scenes from last night.
01:26:07I think that's san fran.
01:26:10There was property damage in california but nothing of the dire predictions we were hearing.
01:26:16There was a concert last night in hayward, california, lester chambers had a concert and dedicated a song to trayvon martin.
01:26:24I believe this was before the verdict was announced.
01:26:29and, I guess, started shoving him and was taken into custody.
01:26:33That's what the hayward police told us this morning.
01:26:36We put in a call out there.
01:26:38It's interesting.
01:26:39That's maybe the most dramatic.
01:26:42>> I encourage people, we encourage people as the civil rights leadership of the 21st century, we encourage people to express themselves with discipline and responsibility consistent with our rights under the first amendment and consistent with the traditions martin luther king, now on the 50th anniversary of that historic march.
01:27:04We also encourage people to join us on august 24th for what we're calling the civil rights continuation march, which is 50 years after the historic 1963 effort.
01:27:15Now, steve, with the supreme court decision in the voting rights case, now with the trayvon martin this civil rights continuation effort has a renewed vigor and purpose.
01:27:29So, we're asking people of all backgrounds to join us in on august 24th when there's going to be an historic effort.
01:27:37We do need to express ourselves through social o not want to discourage expression.
01:27:56We want to encourage responsible and disciplined expression.
01:28:02>> There was a writing in "the new yorker," the idea, are there going to be violent protests or anything, and he said you'll s riots if maybe you're expecting one thing and you get another.
01:28:14>> That is part -- >> stereotyping.
01:28:16>> That's stereotyping.
01:28:17We do not think the rest of ourselves as americans.
01:28:22For the most part, it was nonviolence.
01:28:25Look at us as americans and how beautiful we are, we believe in healing, we believe in getting to the highest potential, we believe in continuing the civil rights movement.
01:28:34We have to.
01:28:34This is a wake-up call.
01:28:36What happened to trayvon martin, yes, it is similar to emmett till -- >> the civil rights movement in this country has historically been the hall mark of peaceful protest.
01:28:48And to suggest that and to continue to harp on that is an effort to discredit the very issues at hand.
01:28:53>> This goes back to the narrative point you made at the top of the hour.
01:29:01It should not be news that black people are not rioting.
01:29:07That should not be rioting.
01:29:09White officer acquitted shooting dialo 19 times going for his wallet.
01:29:15Sean bell, 23 years old, shot and killed right before his wedding, unarmed.
01:29:21No right.
01:29:23Richicago, two months after trayvon martin, shot and killed by an off-duty detective, no riot.
01:29:30We have more incidents of not rioting that it should not be news we're not rioting.
01:29:37It plays into the same narrative o'mara gave us after this verdict, which is tearing the social fabric of this country which is that black people are to be feared.
01:29:47>> The question I was trying to cobb wrote, not about violence, but he was saying in his mind he was not expecting a positive result.
01:30:00I'm wondering, in general, how pervasive -- >> we were on "all in" with chris and he made this point and it's a poignant point and worth restating.
01:30:14We see black people killed who are innocent all the time.
01:30:17Imean, so the idea there's something -- unfortunately and wrongly, that there's something new here and, therefore, there's going to be eruption by virtue of the fact of the acquittal alone, ignores that this is a norm for our community.
01:30:32This is why I say, do we live in one america?
01:30:36Because I think the answer is no.
01:30:37We live in two different americas.
01:30:40Because the reality for people who are black in this country, and this is why the jury pool mattered, is very different than the reality for people who are white.
01:30:51>> We've been talking about changing the laws.
01:30:53It's not just about stand your ground.
01:30:56Since this show started we decided we need to change stand your ground, we need to change the six-juror number in florida if it's want a capital case.
01:31:07In most states we all know we get 12-person juries.
01:31:11When parks was on he said to us, if it's a capital case, it's 12-jury panel.
01:31:20>> I want to thank marc morial, and charniel harris.
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