PoliticsNation, Thursday, March 22, 2012
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Guests: Sybrina Fulton; Tracy Martin; Benjamin Crump; Jeff Triplett; Norton
Bonaparte Jr., Velma Williams, Mark McCarty, David Paterson, Michael
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: You`re seeing a live picture of a
memorial for Trayvon Martin just outside the gated community in Sanford,
Florida. Where on a rainy night last month, the 17-year-old high school
student was shot and killed.
Welcome to a special edition of "Politics Nation" live from Sanford
were Florida, I`m Al Sharpton.
Nearly month ago, a tragedy took place just beyond the gate behind me.
Early today, Trayvon`s parents, attorney and I, met with the justice
department here. And later we will rally for justice for Trayvon. The
response is so overwhelming that we had to move to a larger venue.
But we start with breaking news. Sanford man chief, a Sanford police
chief Bill Lee, has been at the center of the controversy for his handling
of the tragedy, and in a surprised first county today, he announced today
he is temporarily stepping down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF BILL LEE, SANFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT: I`m also aware that my
role as a leader in this agency has become a distraction from the
investigation. I stand by the Sanford police department, its personnel,
and the investigation that was conducted in regards to the Trayvon Martin
case. It is apparent that my involvement in this matter is overshadowing
the process. Therefore, I have come to the decision that I must
temporarily remove myself from the position as police chief for the city of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Temporarily? Temporarily is not enough. This man needs to
be removed permanently. And let`s not lose sight of the fact that Trayvon
Martin`s killer, George Zimmerman, still walks free.
I`m here tonight after receiving news that no son wants to hear. My
mother passed. I thought about not coming, but then I thought about my
mother being ashamed of me if I didn`t muster enough strength to stand with
this family as I had committed. You see as painful as it is for my sisters
and brother to bury our mother this coming week, it`s more painful for a
mother to have to bury her son and a father his son. At least what we`re
doing is natural and painful. It`s unnatural what they have to go through,
and we have to have enough strength and perseverance to stand with them.
Joining me now here across the street from the scene of the crime is
Trayvon Martin`s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, and their most
able attorney, family lawyer Benjamin Crump.
Thank you both for being with me again tonight, and certainly. And
certainly, I know it`s even more painful being here across the street from
where this happened.
Let me first get your reaction to the temporary stepping aside of
Chief Lee -- Sybrina.
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: For him to step aside, it is
only a temporary situation just like you said. We want something a little
more permanent and we also want an arrest. That is just going to pacify us
right now because it`s temporary. But we want a permanent removal of him
from his position.
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: Also, I would like to see a
permanent removal from his position. I don`t think he did an adequate job.
I don`t think he led his department to do thorough investigations. A
temporary removal from his position would just temporary relief from our
SHARPTON: Let me be clear before I go to attorney Crump. from the
beginning with my involvement, you were all asking for the arrest of
Zimmerman and a overall investigation of police, and you never asked just
for the chief to step aside temporarily, am I right?
FULTON: That`s correct.
SHARPTON: So really, they have answered something no one really
raised in terms of the family, thought it may be the right thing for him
personally to do if it was permanent. But clearly, I don`t want people to
think the family is not getting what they asked. This was never raised by
the family, correct?
FULTON: That`s correct.
MARTIN: That`s correct.
SHARPTON: Attorney Crump.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY LAWYER: First, I want to say, with the
family, thank you for being here today in light of your own personal
tragedy. It says so much about you.
Reverend Sharpton, it is inconsequential what Bill does now. Because
we he had the opportunity to do the right thing, he refused to do his job.
And so now, to say I`m temporally step-aside, what does that do for Tracy
Martin and Sybrina Fulton and justice for their son? It does nothing.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Sybrina. When you sit here across the
street from where this happened, a makeshift memorial then, your son gone,
and Zimmerman is still at large. There are thousands of people already at
the park, we had to move from the location, and there are already thousands
of people an hour ago. People last night had hoodies, thousands in New
York people all over the country. But for you, and you Tracy, this is your
son. Tell us how you feel with Zimmerman at large and all of the support
you`re getting, how you feel personally as a mother and father?
FULTON: I feel outraged they have not arrested him, at least arrested
him. I don`t understand why they have not. My heart hurts for my son, but
that`s what gives me the fuel to keep pushing further to know that justice
will be served.
MARTIN: As a father, as an African-American male, I personally take
it has a slap in the face that George Zimmerman is still walking the
streets. That he has not been arrested, that no charges have been brought
against him. And this is a dishonor to us as American citizens that we`re
not getting any justice for our family.
SHARPTON: Attorney Crump, we met with the justice department today
and the U.S. attorney and the FBI, and without violating the confidence of
the family. And in the meeting there, I sat here with you and the
attorneys, where do you think this can go legally?
CRUMP: Reverend Sharpton, there is a very high bar that the federal
government must meet as you know work for hate crime. What we want is
simple justice. We want the state of Florida to do its job and arrest,
prosecute, and convict George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin.
Chief Lee passed the buck, now the question is, is the state attorney
going to pass the buck. He needs to do his job and arrest him? The world
is now watching you. No one can get a state attorney. Are you going to
rest this person for killing this unarmed teenager? All he had was
SHARPTON: Now we have tried to reach him, he has not responded to our
request. We wanted to talk to the state prosecutor. It is in his ballpark
now as you call out. He would not respond, and clearly he should be with
the family, have you met with him at all?
FULTON: No we have not.
SHARPTON: No communication?
MARTIN: None, whatsoever.
SHARPTON: And the justice department flew top officials down here to
meet with you today. And I think that is the concern that it seems that
the local Florida officials have not been responsible and accountable.
When you hear the council and commission last night voting no confidence in
the police chief, and him temporarily stepping aside, this is the first
inkling I have seen of some local officials that they say wait a minute.
We have got they least doing something here, those that folded last night.
How did you feel when you hear about that that when you were boarding the
plane coming back from New York that at least the commissioners voted
against him, at least the majority than anyway?
FULTON: I felt like finally they`re taking a little of serious and
thorough look at what`s going on and they realize that something is not
quite right, right now.
MARTIN: And I also felt as though the three folks that did make a
unanimous vote felt as though chief lee wasn`t doing his job. That he was
no longer the man for that position.
CRUMP: Reverend Sharpton.
SHARPTON: Attorney Crump.
CRUMP: Really important that I understand that the city commissioner
who is over this district where Trayvon was killed did not vote for his
removal. And so, that says volumes to the citizens here who are reaching
out and crying out. Also in New York, this Trayvon Martin movement for
justice was just amplified at that rally and Los Angeles, and London, and
Miami. Everybody is crying out.
So that state of commissioner who did not vote -- even though this was
in her district, needs to be seriously looked at as well as no - work in
the state attorney. Anybody who does not do their job should be held
accountable. If this was Trayvon Martin, Reverend Sharpton, he would have
How long is it going to take? Everybody in America, not everybody in
the world, how long will it take to arrest him?
SHARPTON: Your son has become a symbol of justice all over the
country and in fact all over the world. We have foreign correspondents
here tonight for this rally. But what I want people to get to home to
understand or wherever they watching the show, is he is a symbol for
justice, he is a client for you, attorney Crump, but he is your son.
Be, you would trade in all of this in a second just to have your son
back. And at the end of the day, what we`re saying and working with you in
the civil rights community and of your attorney is reflecting your outrage.
That`s why I think that I keep asking you all to come on because this is
your son. And anybodies son could have been walking through here.
This man didn`t know your son, probably would have been a child of
mine or child of somebody that`s watching. For him to shoot him with a
.nine millimeter and kill him, and they fought in the end - the medical
examiners` office, just leave him there, not even used the cell phone, walk
away like he is nothing. This is intolerable, and I`m glad to see whites
and blacks. One of these you saw in New York, in L.A., whites and blacks.
We have seen all kinds of people outraged because as you said that in any
origin I know, it`s not about black and white as right and wrong. This is
SHARPTON: Tracy, do you have anything you would like to say to the
public before we get ready for this rally an hour? Sybrina and Tracy.
FULTON: I would just like to say thank you, thank you, thank you. We
really appreciate all of the support.
MARTIN: Once again, I would like to say thank you to people across
the nation. And it just goes to show me that the people are not going to
stand by and let an unjust go by without saying something, without doing
CRUMP: Thank you reverend Sharpton. Thank Michael Base then. You
all made a world of difference.
SHARPTON: Well. We have just begun to fight. We`re going to stay
with you until we get justice. We are determined to help the family at all
Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton, and attorney Benjamin Crump, thank you
for your time tonight.
Up next, the city`s top executives talk about what needs to be done to
achieve true justice here in Sanford. And later we`ll talk live with two
You`re watching a special edition of "Politics Nation" from Sanford,
SHARPTON: The Sanford police chief temporarily stepped down today,
why temporarily. The man that called to fire the police chief joins me
SHARPTON: Welcome back, welcome back to a special edition of
"Politics Nation" live from Sanford, Florida.
Today`s decision by police chief Bill Lee to temporarily step down
does not end the growing questions about the police actions or inactions
and mishandling of the case. Chief Lee told the Miami Harold that when the
911 operator asked Zimmerman, the race of the suspicious person he saw, the
neighborhood watch self-appointed watch captain did not know. That was
Lee`s version of events. But the actual 911 tapes show this wasn`t true.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, SUSPECT IN TRAYVON MARTIN`S DEATH: This guy looks
like he is not up to any good on he`s on drugs or something. It`s raining
and he`s just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: Is this guy black, white, or Hispanic?
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black. He has his hand in his waste-band. He is
a black male.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And the questions only grow from there. Did police add
evidence of a struggle to bolster Zimmerman`s case? In a police account
time stamped 2:28, there is no mention of Zimmerman being bloody. But in a
report filed an hour later at 3:29, the officer writes Zimmerman`s back
appeared to be wet, he was also bleeding from the nose and the back of his
head. And the officer Timothy Smith writes in his report, quote, "at no
point did I question Zimmerman about the incident that had taken place."
But a statement posted on the city`s Web site says just the opposite,
quote, "when the Sanford police department arrived at the scene of the
incident, Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self
defense." So did they talk to him at the scene or not? Did Zimmerman have
a bloody nose or not? Did police down grade a role of race in this
incident or not?
Joining me now is Norton Bonaparte Jr., the city manager of Sanford,
Florida, and the man with the power to fire the police chief, and the Jeff
Triplett, the mayor of Sanford.
Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.
JEFF TRIPLETT, MAYOR, SANFORD, FLORIDA: Thanks for having us.
NORTON BONAPARTE JR., CITY MANAGER, SANFORD, FLORIDA: Thanks you.
SHARPTON: Let me start with you Mr. Bonaparte. The chief took a
temporary leave today, step aside. Did he step aside on his own or did you
ask him to step aside?
BONAPARTE: Chief Lee recognized that while he believes the police did
a good job, the distraction that he was bringing to the case made it
impossible to move forward with the current situation. So he made the
decision to temporarily step aside.
SHARPTON: His decision, not yours.
BONAPARTE: It was his decision.
SHARPTON: Now, you`re looking into his conduct. You are looking in
the conduct of the department, are you still looking into this since you
have not make a decision and says it was his decision.
SHARPTON: But you could still fire him?
BONAPARTE: Yes, I could. And as you pointed out, we don`t know a
lot. I have a lot of questions. I know the man has a lot of questions.
So, I want an independent investigation to give me answers to those
questions that I can then make a determination.
SHARPTON: When you spoke with him, do you think he was beginning to
understand what egregious behavior that some of this investigation appears
to be, or do you think he`s just doing something because it`s the
politically wise thing to do.
BONAPARTE: I think Chief Lee recognizes that for the well being and
for what we all want, for justice that have been taken place, for the
murder of Trayvon Martin, he was becoming more of a distraction than
needed. And that`s why he decided to stepped aside.
SHARPTON: Mayor Triplett, you voted no confidence in him last night,
TRIPLETT: You know as I said last night, there is a whole lot to this
investigation which is still - that are still open with questions. And
that`s part of the reason why we have invited a lot of different people
come tale a look at how that whole thing happened.
My point was in my heart, if I can`t truly trust him in confidence
from here out or from what I have seen from the point time I got involved
until now, I have to say I don`t have confidence in what happened.
SHARPTON: Let me raise this. He has been there ten months, but there
has been problems going back much further than this. It is not the first
case involving race, and we have been hearing from people talking since
this brought all of this attention so, one wonders if a new chief will
solve the problem, or if we need to deal with some structural change.
Look at this, racially intense incidents involving Sanford police.
2012, shooting of Trayvon Martin, but in 2010, son of a police officer
charged with beating a homeless black man. 2005, murder charge against two
white security guards dismissed after a black teen was shot. The lists go
There is a problem. Are we going to be honest and deal with the
problem? Thousands of your citizens are marching. Do we understand that a
temporary relief pill of the chief is not going to address the real problem
BONAPARTE: I think the real question is what is the problem? And I
think to look at the Sanford police department means a lot more than just
looking at more than Chief Lee. Leadership is very important, but as you
pointed out, reverend, this has been going on for several years. So, we
need to find out what the real problem is and then address it. Address the
way that the citizens of Sanford feel they have a police department that is
looking at their best interest.
SHARPTON: You once said this was complete and fair investigation, did
BONAPARTE: I said it. The chief said it.
SHARPTON: Do you now believe this has been a fair investigation?
BONAPARTE: I believe the Sanford police department has done what they
could. I also know that the fact that --
SHARPTON: Do you agree it`s fair what they have done?
BONAPARTE: I believe that they did what they could do.
BONAPARTE: The good thing about it is now being looked at, not only
by Sanford police department, but the state`s attorney`s office, by the
federal bureau of investigation, by the United States department of
justice, all of those eyes are now on this case, reverend.
SHARPTON: But I just raised several contradictions where you have
blatant contradictions when what was said by a police officer and what is
actually said on tape and what was actually put in police reports, how
could that be fair?
BONAPARTE: It`s questionable, absolutely, it`s questionable. And
that`s why we`re asking the state attorney to look at all of the evidence
and make a determination.
SHARPTON: Mr. Mayor, you don`t have the authority over the police
chief, but you are the mayor. Can you see the blatant disregard that many
people feel they`re experiencing when you see policemen just changing
reports, policemen saying things that are not factual with the tape? A
young man dead and no one is arrested. Thirty days since the young man
almost dead, 30 days. Do you understand the anger in this community? It`s
not just people just want to be angry, they feel under siege.
TRIPLETT: Absolutely, and I sat in on a lot of conversations over the
last couple of days of people beyond this case that feel that they have
been aggrieved and with the Sanford police department. I have taken a ton
of notes on that. This is going to go way beyond this case, and we`re
going to look into that. I made promises today that I`m going to go into
this, and as long as I am mayor, as long as I`m going down the path, we`re
going to make the right decisions once we hear it all come out.
SHARPTON: Mr. Bonaparte, you have the responsibility as an elected
official in your position in the county and in the city, but you also are a
man. Can you think about if Trayvon Martin had been your son in there?
Can you think about would there have been any difference between your son
and Trayvon and understand how his parents feel?
All he did was go to the store and was headed home to watch the all-
star game. How do we explain to anybody how he ends up dead? With all of
these technicalities, with all these bureaucracy, he could have been your
BONAPARTE: Absolutely, reverend, and I have been found guilty of
walking while black. I have been stopped by police officer. And I believe
simply because I was black. I realized that. I have a son and grandsons.
This is a tragedy. We want to work so it doesn`t happen again and that the
Martin family gets justice.
SHARPTON: Well, it`s a tragedy, but it`s also a crime. Because any
time you kill somebody without a self-defense, even in this state where
there are laws. There`s a crime. And they are sending they know
something, you do not defend yourself against skittles and iced tea. And I
think that`s what we said to the justice department today and I think
that`s what the family is saying. That we appreciate, the family
appreciates the sympathy, but a crime has to be prosecuted, and it seems
that`s this police department and the maybe not this prosecutor does not
want to prosecute, you cannot have equal justice if some human beings are
hurt and there`s a prosecution, and others are hurt and there`s sympathy.
TRIPLETT: That`s the exact reason we reached out to the DOJ. We went
out to Washington two days ago on just to get in front of the DOJ and said
please, come in, so we can find where the justice, we can get it. We can
get there. I truly think we can get there. And while you`re there, tell
us what we have done wrong.
SHARPTON: All right. Norton Bonaparte Jr., thank you, and Mayor Jeff
Triplett. Thanks both of you, for coming on the show tonight.
We`ll be right back with two city commissioners who voted no
confidence in the police chief, and we will ask them can they move to help
You`re watching "Politics Nation," a special edition, live from
SHARPTON: Live pictures of the memorial outside of the Twin Lakes
neighborhood in Sanford, Florida. We have a memorial, but we don`t yet
have justice. The people and elected leaders of this town are searching
for answers. We`ll speak with two city commissioners next.
SHARPTON: Welcome back to this special edition of POLITICS NATION.
Live from Sanford, Florida, we`re sitting across the street from the gated
community where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed 26 days ago
by George Zimmerman. That man was not arrested after the crime, and today
he walks free. Eyewitness testimony has cast doubt on Zimmerman`s claim of
self defense and contradictions between police reports and other accounts
have cast doubt on their handling of the case. Last night before Police
Chief Bill Lee stepped aside, the Sanford City Commission gathered to vote
on a motion of no confidence in him. The motion passed three to two and
the people of Sanford voiced their anger about the tragedy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The Police Department didn`t do an adequate
enough job because they used the law for them and against people that`s a
It seems as though the Police Department of Sanford, or the City of
Sanford, is condoning what is taking place here and that`s what the choice
that -- something.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When I see a cop, I just -- I feel like I should
hide because there is never no reason for me, there`s never no justice
served for me on a young black man in this city, and I feel like it should
not be like that at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now are Sanford City Commissioners Velma
Williams and Mark McCarty who both passed a no confidence vote for police
Bill Lee last night. Thank you both for being here tonight.
Mark McCarty: Thank you.
VELMA WILLIAMS, SANFORD CITY COMMISSIONER: Why did you vote no
WILLIAMS: Well, first of all, I felt a need to send a message to all
of the citizens and more specifically, the parents of Mr. Martin, in
addition to all of the black males in the City of Sanford, along with all
of the grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and nieces. That I, too, am
concerned, and that I am definitely not condoning what has happened here.
And I want justice to prevail. The other reason I voted that way, is
because I feel that the leadership has failed the citizen. And that we do
not have a person in that position who is qualified. And there have been
many, many, many missteps. And I don`t need to wait for the report to come
from the state attorney`s office to make that decision and reach that
SHARPTON: Mr. Commissioner McCarty, this is the latest of several
racially tinged incidents. What`s going on in your city and when you heard
the outrage last night, what`s going on in Sanford?
MARK MCCARTY, SANFORD CITY COMMISSIONER: First of all, Reverend.
Thanks a lot for coming on a tough today for the last (INAUDIBLE) Sanford.
I was watching the news in New York, and the family`s said it so good. It
is not a black thing, it`s not a white thing, it`s a right and a wrong
thing. And we are two different people, I`m a conservative, you`re a
liberal, we`re so different in so many ways, but what we`re doing is the
right thing. And last night at the commission meeting, I felt as though it
was an important first step to move forward, you know, with the city. Just
because we`re different doesn`t mean that we can`t work together.
MCCARTY: Whether we`re republican, democrat, that`s the problem with
our country. So that`s the reason why I made the motion last night. I
thought it was an important step that everybody knew, but it needed to be
said. So doing the right thing is the important thing.
SHARPTON: And I must point this out. As you say, you are a
conservative, and I`m sure some of your constituents may not agree with it,
but I think that it gives a lot of courage for you to stand up and say this
may not be politically to my base, but somebody has got to stand up here
and break this cycle because this can`t just be what Sanford becomes known
MCCARTY: It`s an easy decision when you do the hard thing but you
know it`s the right thing. And it will end up, this climate of change that
we`re going through here in Sanford needs to go all through our whole
country, and we got to learn how to take and work together, it doesn`t need
to be the way it is, and this family has been through enough.
SHARPTON: Commissioner Williams, let me ask you this -- you spoke
passionately about this stand your ground law and how it affects you
personally, tell us about that.
WILLIAMS: Well, when I think about that particular law, I become
disappointedly frightened because I have grandson who is 11-year-old, I
have two sons, and I have a husband who are all black males who represent
all other youth in Sanford. All other black men in Sanford, and I have
become frightened myself because I don`t know whether I`m going to lose
them in the same type of experience. I don`t know whether that`s going to
happen. And when you think about the fact that a black male in the United
States, more specifically in the City of Sanford, can walk for a block, and
be murdered. And because no witness is present, the accuser can claim
self-defense. That is a frightening experience, and that is a frightening
reality. We must do something about it. And I am interested in getting
with the black caucus in the state of Florida to see if we can come up with
a Mr. Martin`s law. Trayvon Martin`s law.
SHARPTON: Well, Mr. Commissioner McCarty, the young man was killed
right behind us, given all of the circumstances, and as you said we may
disagree on some politics, given all some legislation, but given all of the
circumstances, could you see how anyway this police chief could ever come
back? They talk about temporary, how can he ever regain the trust of the
city no matter what results of the report?
MCCARTY: You have to understand Chief Lee is a good man, he did not,
I believe, have the experience -- he had not been in the position very
long. Could he come back? I think it would be very difficult. I think he
did the right thing by stepping down. I`m proud of him, I requested last
night at the commission meeting that he do that, that it doesn`t go any
further, and it`s a good first step changing the whole climate of what`s
going on here in Sanford.
WILLIAMS: Let me say this. It`s a first step, but the healing
process will not begin in this city until police chief -- the chief of
police, Police Lee, is no longer there.
SHARPTON: All right. Commissioner Velma Williams and Mark McCarty,
you have it right there, thanks for being here tonight.
WILLIAMS: Coming up, people all over America wondering how a law
could allow someone to shoot and kill. That`s next.
SHARPTON: On a rainy Sunday night, 26 days ago, a young man was shot
and killed for no reason. It happened in this small neighborhood right
behind me. But the call for justice is resonating all across the country.
I`ll be talking with the former New York Governor David Paterson, and
national radio host Michael Basener, that`s next.
SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION, live tonight from Sanford,
Florida. This community and the entire country is still trying to figure
out how George Zimmerman is a free man tonight. This country is wondering
how the stand your ground law could possibly pass. It`s the law we have
been talking about all week that allows people to kill if they feel their
life is being threatened. Former Governor Jeb Bush signed the bill into
law in 2005 changing Florida`s existing self-defense laws. Florida was the
first state where the law was passed. Since then, 23 other states followed
and six more considering similar legislation this year. It is absolutely
beyond comprehension that these laws exist and they need to be changed
immediately in the name of Trayvon Martin. We cannot let a tragedy like
this happen again.
Joining me now is former Governor of the state of New York David
Paterson, and one of the largest national broadcasters and authors in this
country, host of a national syndicated show, Michael Baisden. Thanks to
both of you for being here. Let me start with you, Michael. You have been
hitting this on the show heavy, you come in and put your full weight behind
this rally tonight, we`re getting ready to start. What motivated you and
what has motivated your listeners with such passion?
MICHAEL BAISDEN, HOST, "THE MICHAEL BAISDEN SHOW": Well, just like
with the -- you and I got together not along within AACP and organizations
and passes them all around the country. I want to give credit where it`s
BAISDEN: It was really grass roots. Just the story itself was
unbelievable, you found out about it I believe a week before I did. And
the more I found out about it every day, it just got more infuriating.
Last Monday, we had attorney on Benjie McCramp (ph) and for the last four
days, we haven`t talked about anything else for four hours on 70 or 80
stations. We`ve been talking about nothing but this case. It`s offensive.
I don`t like to be played as a fool. It`s a father. It`s a black man.
It`s a parent in general. Because you`re right, it`s not just about race.
It`s also about being a parent and having a child be killed. But there is
a certain insult that comes along with being told this ridiculous story.
And then as more information as released on with the 911 calls, more
ridiculous. I saw you last night on Lawrence O`Donnell. Oh my God. I hit
the ceiling, I was up until 5:00 this morning blogging and connecting to
audio in the video, so they can see what you hurt is that we don`t believe
that this man was even questioned. How is that possible? So, all of the
things that we`ve been hearing about the story have been secondhand, or as
you like to say, the chief was playing, I believe what the term used, was
he was the spokesman for the shooter.
SHARPTON: The spokesman.
BAISDEN: The spokesman for the shooter.
BAISDEN: That`s absolutely ridiculous.
SHARPTON: Well, how did you feel when you heard when Mr. Boneparte
says, who could have.
BAISDEN: Don`t get me started on this to Bonaparte, I said it on my
national show, and I said that I was not going to shake that man`s hand.
He put his hand out with me and a few other brothers over there, my
attitude was, I said, look, I`m a real man, I don`t shake hands with people
I don`t respect. So, for me, the fact that we had a black man and I know
that race may not only be issue, but he is a black man in a position to
make a move and make a decision that could get a man out of the way that is
obviously had a lot as you say, contradictory testimony to what happened.
Get them out of the way, so people can start healing. We have a lot of
good cops out there now who are now being settled with the nuns of the --
even probably here in Sanford, we still have good cops. But not as this
man who is represented him that way. Now, the Sanford Police Department
itself and every cop have got to defend themselves from his, like a
SHARPTON: And you would not shake his hand?
BAISDEN: I won`t do that.
SHARPTON: Governor Paterson, I have known you for many years. This
is the first time I`ve gotten a call from you saying, you want to join the
rally. Governor, you called me and said what day is the rally, I`m going
with you. And when I got to the airport this morning, you were already on
the plane. Former governor of the state, you`re already a talk show host
in New York, why are you here in Florida tonight?
FMR. GOV. DAVID PATERSON (R), NEW YORK: Well, I think that when
people commit crimes against other people, it can be a tragedy. But when
the institutions in this country fail all of our neighborhoods, then we
have a national tragedy. We have a man who joins a neighborhood watch for
which he was never registered. He uses a firearm for which he is forbidden
to use while on duty. He makes unreasonable judgments about the subject.
He is told by the police to stay away from the subject, and he ignores
them, and then he shoots them. Now, that`s one thing about him. But now,
let`s look at what Police Department did. They test the victim for alcohol
and drugs and do a background check. They never test the shooter for
alcohol, drugs, and do a background check. And if the shooter said, he had
blood on him. They never take the clothes, so we`ll never know
conclusively if there was any blood at all. So it`s when the institutions
fail that I think we have the most trouble in this country because people
lose faith that there is anyone to go to in crisis.
SHARPTON: Michael, I have not seen -- I mean the outpouring thousands
all over the country, the governor came down -- Corrections Office
Association, Martin Luther King III. People that I didn`t even get to call
calling me, flying and Judge Greg is already here. Judge Greg Mathis (ph).
BAISDEN: There is a reason -- don`t mess with our kids. So, that`s
what it comes down to. That`s why Gina (ph) turned it to the explosion
that it did. Don`t mess with our children, and that`s why you`ll going to
see thousands not hundreds people down in this park today.
SHARPTON: Do you feel that we, as a nation, will wake up and deal
with these laws in over 20 states?
BAISDEN: I hope that we do, we got a black man in the White House, we
can`t get justice for a black boy in Sanford, Florida.
BAISDEN: It`s make no sense. It`s a total disappointment. I believe
that we`re making is an illusion almost. People feel like it`s an
illusion. Where we had -- we work very hard, black, white, Latino, Asian,
Native American to get this man in office, and we can`t even get a man
arrested for shooting a boy who just went to the store for skittles,
PATERSON: Reverend, don`t get me wrong, I think the laws should be
repealed, the stand your ground self-defense laws, but even under the laws,
how does he qualify for self defense when he is the pursuer. It was
actually the victim that was trying to defend himself or leave the area.
So, even under the law as it stands now, I don`t understand why the police
did not arrest him.
SHARPTON: Governor David Paterson, former governor state of New York,
Michael Baisden, the man on radio, thank you both for your time tonight as
we head to the rally. Trayvon`s final steps that night last month, that`s
SHARPTON: It was raining lightly on that February night, 26 days ago
for Trayvon Martin. A walk from 7-11 with iced tea and skittles ended in
an imaginable tragedy. Earlier today, Trayvon`s father, Tracy took a walk.
No father should ever have to take a walk through the neighborhood behind
me. A walk tracing his son`s final steps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: And my guess is that Trayvon
came through the gate, walked in through the sidewalk. From the 911 tapes,
Mr. Zimmerman did say that he was at the clubhouse, which the clubhouse is
right here by the mailboxes. The easiest path to get home from there is if
Trayvon came straight down here, walked down this sidewalk, and then down
the back sidewalk. He is not interfering with anybody. I don`t know. The
police never actually walked me through the crime scene. All they just
pointed out basically is where he was straight ended up dead at. If
someone is here arguing and your window is open right there, you can
clearly hear, you know, the argument.
One of these windows, I don`t know which side, that they did actually
hear the cries for help. His feet were like on the sidewalk, and he was
laid out this way. It wasn`t even a football field length away from the
back door, about 70 yards. Seventy yards at best. He was trying to get
home, right down the street. I just feel that it was a cover up from the
beginning. Honestly. I feel like they`re hiding something. What is it
they`re hiding? I don`t know. Why are they protecting him so much? I
have no idea. All I know is my kid is dead. He is not coming back. If he
had two more minutes his life would have been spared, 120 seconds. He was
my hero. He saved my life. Actually, he pulled me out of a house fire.
He was 9-years-old at the time.
A 9-year-old kid saved his dad`s life. And I wasn`t there to save his
life. As a dad, that makes me feel, you know, it makes me feel bad, you
know? Because I know my son was dependent on me to be his savior, and I
could not save his life at that time. That`s just a tragedy, you know,
it`s sad. It`s real sad. Not a day goes by that, you know, I don`t think
about, you know, the what ifs. What if he could have gotten home or what
if Zimmerman would have stayed in his car? What if he walked all of the
way around? It`s just a bunch of what ifs, you know. He should not have
to pay the price of life for trying to get home. That`s an unjust. I
don`t know how I`m going to recover from his loss, it`s tough, it`s tough.
He didn`t deserve to die. He didn`t deserve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: He shouldn`t have had to pay with his life for trying to
get home. Two weeks ago when attorney Crump called me, I did not know
whether or not we would move to the place we are now. But I was determined
to help. Because you do what is right even if you can`t see where it`s
going. Today, the Justice Department met with this family. Today, the
chief even had to step aside temporarily. Incremental steps, but it shows
if the people come out, they could make things begin to happen. Now we
must stay out. It`s not about being angry for a minute. It`s not about
having a fit, it`s about building a movement. It`s about bringing justice
for this case and many situations around this country. It`s about what we
are as a country, what we stand for. It`s about fulfilling the creed that
we all claim to believe in. In the name of my mother, I`m going to say on
this case. She would have wanted me to. And whose name in whatever you
believe, you ought to stand for something. My mother told me, if you don`t
stand for something, you`ll fall for anything.
Thanks for watching, I`m Al Sharpton, goodnight from Sanford, Florida,
"HARDBALL" starts right now.
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