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PoliticsNation, Monday, March 26, 2012

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Guests: Ed Rendell, Benjamin Crump; Sybrina Fulton; Tracy Martin; Emanuel Cleaver, Jim
McDermott, David Cole, Jesse Jackson, Sinbad

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to a special edition of
"Politics Nation" live from Sanford, Florida, I`m Al Sharpton.

It`s been one month since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, and
tonight his killer is still walking free. Right now a public meeting is
going on the way here to civic center right behind me where Trayvon`s
parents just addressed the city commission.

Earlier today, thousands of protestors marched in rally for justice
while state and federal investigators met here in Sanford to review the
case. We also learn that investigators will finally interview Trayvon`s
girlfriend who was on the phone with him minutes before his death. And
today, details were leaked to the press about what shooter George Zimmerman
told police happened the night, one month ago, that Trayvon was killed.

The "Orlando Sentinel" says he gave up chasing him and he was walking
back to his SUV. But Trayvon Martin approached him from behind. Zimmerman
wrench punch him knocked him down and slammed his head on to the sidewalk.
And then he was the one calling for help not Trayvon.

Zimmerman claims he shot Trayvon in self defense. But there are
serious questions about Zimmerman`s version of events between the time
Zimmerman told 911 Operator that he was pursuing Trayvon and the time he
shot him. The "Orlando Sentinel" says, quote "There is about a one-minute
gap during which police say they`re not sure what happened." And our
witnesses say Zimmerman`s story contradicts what they saw and heard.


MARY CUTCHER, WITNESS: We were in the kitchen, I heard the crying.
It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off, the crying stopped. I
firmly believe this was not self-defense. My point was, is that I feel it
was not self-defense because I heard the crying, and if it was Zimmerman
that was crying, Zimmerman would have continued crying after the shot went


SHARPTON: People who knew what Trayvon was about as a person all say
they can`t believe he attacked Zimmerman. Trayvon`s former football coach
says quote, "there`s no way I can believe that because he`s not a
confrontational kid. It just wouldn`t happen. That is just not the kind
of kid he was."

Joining me now are the parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin and of
course, Sybrina Fulton, his mother and father and the family attorney,
Benjamin Crump.

Let me say start by saying as we were moving around today various
ports, the "Orlando Sentinel" comes out with the story that Trayvon may
have been the one to be the aggressor or so. Mr. Zimmerman, of course,
this is, at least, by unauthorized sources in the police department.

Let me ask you as a mother and father, is Trayvon the type of person
that would have attacked some stranger unprovoked?

done is defended himself. If he felt afraid, yes I believe he would have
defended himself, but I don`t feel personally that Trayvon is just going to
start a fight, or just, hit or beat on someone unnecessarily.

SHARPTON: What is your view, Tracy?

mentality. And I think he was confronted, and I think he was doing his
best to try to get home. And if that meant defending himself, then he had
to defend himself, but as far as being the aggressor, no.

SHARPTON: Now, Attorney Crump, when we look it I`m sure on the live
screen of the record of Mr. Zimmerman who had been arrested for domestic
violence, and also an altercation with law enforcement, why are they asking
about Trayvon, even if you were believe the story that he had an empty bag
of marijuana which is not violent and not material to this, there is no
violence connected to Trayvon, why are we talking about Trayvon? The one
who has some documents in violence is Mr. Zimmerman?

It`s the older trick in the book, blamed the victim, assassinated his
character and demonized him. And you know, it`s just sad because
unfortunately Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon and he is not here to
defend himself and his positions, and so the police somehow named source
when the police leaked this, but we think that is a systematic process of
trying to build Zimmerman`s claim up and put Trayvon`s death as irrelevant
and sweep it under the rug. They don`t want to arrest him for killing this

SHARPTON: I watched here as we did the press conference, and one of
the things that strike me, Sybrina, if this is an unauthorized lead, that
they put this out on the month anniversary of your son`s killing, does this
enhance your distrust of the police? I mean, why in an unauthorized would
they put this out on a day like this?

FULTON: I don`t quite understand it. I don`t think somebody is
following a policies and procedures. It hurt us very bad to hear that
today on the one-month anniversary. But we`re just trying to just move
forward with this and follow the process according to our attorney`s

SHARPTON: Does the leak, Tracy, tell you that the enforcement of
police department may be supportive of Zimmerman? I mean, because where is
all of this coming from?

MARTIN: I believe -- I strongly feel that there is someone in the
police department that is tied in with Zimmerman, and to continue to leak
bad information and to depict the character of my son, and continue to
disrespect him, even in his death, is an atrocity.

SHARPTON: Attorney Crump, there was a meeting with the state
prosecutors, does this in any way poisoned the state prosecutors

CRUMP: Absolutely it should have no bearing on the state attorney`s
investigation, just as it should have no bearing in any of this, Reverend
Sharpton. The only thing that matters is what happened on the night of
February 26th, and most importantly is when Zimmerman disobeyed the police
dispatcher, got out of his car, and pursued Trayvon and initiated the
violent confrontation. He is the aggressor, and therefore on the spin

SHARPTON: Now, you know, as part of this, there is a question, we say
go to the tape. The tape says clearly that Zimmerman said he was pursuing
your son, Trayvon. The tapes say clearly, we don`t need you to do that, he
said OK, and clearly that continued.

The phone log of Trayvon talking to his girlfriend has the time in
which he was talking to her right almost to the time of the death. So
there is no lack of documentation from the story as your attorney put it.
So, are you -- do you feel they`re trying to cover up? Do you feel like
they got it by mistake? What is your real feeling that is going on here?

FULTON: I actually feel that they were trying to cover up, but with
so much information in the public eye, or so much attention to this case,
they`re forced to try to do the right thing, but they have refused to.

SHARPTON: And Tracy what do you think?

MARTIN: Reverend Al, the only mistake I see being made in this case
is mistake number one that the Sanford police department refuses to do a
thorough investigation. Mistake number two, Zimmerman should never have
gotten out of his vehicle.

SHARPTON: Now, attorney Crump. Let me just for the listeners to
understand. One, they refuse to arrest Zimmerman, and you have argued and
the people agreeably with probable cause.

CRUMP: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: Second, they did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol.
They tested the victim who was dead. Three, it was three days before Tracy
could take his son`s body, and he had to lead the charge to get that.

And now the same department unauthorized, releases this information
allegedly about Trayvon even though it has absolutely nothing to do with
the case. Is there a pattern here? And you met with the state prosecutor,
do you more confidence in them than obviously, you have in the local police
department of Sanford that keeps one error after another error?

CRUMP: Absolutely Reverend Sharpton. That we got to have more
confidence in the state as turn it as supported by the governor because
Sanford police department from day one, for whatever reason, has tried to
do everything in their power to exonerate George Zimmerman for killing an
unarmed teenager.

Furthermore, you hit it right on the nail, Reverend Sharpton. At some
point, what was in Zimmerman`s system, not what was in Trayvon`s system.
He is dead on the ground. He was the one begin pursued. Zimmerman was
the aggressor. He disobeyed the police. So why are we not looking at
Zimmerman`s system, and now we will never know because the Sanford police
department made a decision not to do a drug or alcohol analysis on
Zimmerman the night he shot Trayvon Martin.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this. Do you think that Ms. Corey, the
prosecutor appointed by the government should go for one, to arrest
Zimmerman now, or should she wait on the grand jury? Are you asking for
her to move right now and arrest Zimmerman?

FULTON: We would like for her and her staff to move right now.
Immediately and arrest him.

MARTIN: We are calling for an immediate arrest.

SHARPTON: And she has the grounds to do it, attorney?

CRUMP: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. We pray that Zimmerman is, to
the grand jury, would be absolute wrong result. It should be an arrest
now. If it was Trayvon Martin who ever shot that America knows it, and
everybody knows it, he would have been arrested right then. Why are we
going to wait, and how long is it going to take to arrest George Zimmerman?

SHARPTON: Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton and Benjamin Crump, thank you.

Ahead, George Zimmerman`s fate rests in this woman`s hands. Florida`s
state attorney Angela Corey has taken over the investigation, so where does
it stand and when will we hear something?

Plus, the grass roots and celebrities and professional athletes, this
tragedy is sparking protests all over the country. Sinbad and Reverend
Jesse Jackson join me live.

And in the world of politics, the beginning of an epic clash over
President Obama`s crowning achievement, his health care law. We break down
all of the action from today`s arguments and the Supreme Court.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: It seems everyone has an opinion what should happen next in
the George Zimmerman investigation, but who is the person in charge of it
all? That`s next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to a special edition of "Politics Nation" live
from Sanford, Florida where all eyes are on the new special prosecutor
Angela Corey. She`s now in charge of prosecuting the case and will decide
whether to pursue an arrest warrant for George Zimmerman or to go to the
grand jury.

She is already saying it won`t be a quick process.


justice. His parents deserve answers, and we are going to make sure that
they both get that. We are going to take the time we need to find every
fact and circumstance.


SHARPTON: Corey is a Republican from Jacksonville Florida that was
elected state attorney in 2008 after being endorsed by local sheriffs who
praised her as quote, "aggressive and tough." Before now, she was best
known for prosecuting a 12-year-old as an adult in a murder case.

Meanwhile, the fight for justice is on in Washington too. The justice
department is investigating whether Trayvon`s shooting constitutes a hate
crime. The house Judiciary Committee will hold a brief hearing tomorrow on
racial profiling and hate crimes. And Senator Chuck Schumer is calling
reviews on the "Stand Your Ground" laws.

Joining me now is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat from Missouri
and chair of the congressional black caucus. Also with me is NBC News
political analyst, Governor Ed Rendell, who vetoed the "Stand Your Ground"
law when he was governor of Pennsylvania.

Thanks for joining me tonight, gentlemen.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO), CHAIR, CBC: Good to be with you.


SHARPTON: Governor, when you vetoed the law, you said it quote,
"encourages the use of deadly force and a shoot first ask later mentality."
Do you think that`s what we are seeing in this case here in Florida?

RENDELL: There`s no question. I mean, in the old common law that
prevailed in the United States of America, there would be no question that
George Morrison was guilty. He had a little duty to retreat. He was in a
car. He could have avoided the confrontation by just turning that car
around and going somewhere else. So, that`s the old law.

But under this new law, rest assume everything that happen - that we
know happened, but at the last second, there was a confrontation, and say
Trayvon did something that he thought that Zimmerman thought threatened
him. Then he could use the stand and defend law and say, look at that
moment I didn`t have to retreat because the law says I don`t have to and at
that moment I felt reasonably threatened. It`s ridiculous.

And in fact, when I vetoed the law, rev, I quoted "the head of the
District Attorney`s Association, who was a Republican run (INAUDIBLE) to
central Pennsylvania who said all this law will do, it`s a problem -- a
solution for a problem that doesn`t exist, and all it will do is give
violent criminals opportunities to get off."

SHARPTON: Now Chairman Cleaver, I remember not long after all of us
got involved in the case, you and the congressional black caucus stepped
toward forward and called on the justice department to intervene. We see
it now come in. We met with them. Some of the members of caucus are here
tonight at the public hearing with all of us.

Do you feel that the justice department also ought to investigate the
police, and is the caucus taking a position on this law that we are talking
about with Governor Rendell?

CLEAVER: Well, first of all, Reverend, let me say 40 years ago, this
would have already melted away. And I think we have to realize that people
like you staying on top of this is the reason we are still dealing with it.

Number one, the caucus did ask for the justice department to
intervene, they did. We think that there must be some kind of deep
penetrating look into the police department in Sanford, Florida. There is
something awfully wrong there as I have said before in Kansas City where I
was mayor, I think the Governor Rendell would say the same thing about
levy, if a police officer shot somebody, even if it was justifiable, that
police officer was immediately suspended with pay, pending an
investigation. And in most cases, the officer was vindicated. We had a
shooting in Florida where a man shot a kid, 17-year-old, in the chest and
was able to go home. So, we think that something needs to happen to the
police department in terms of an investigation.

And secondly, it does appear that justice is limping along all be it
very slowly, so I guess it will eventually get there. But we`re going to
need the justice department involved. The justice department can do what
state attorney general may not be able to do.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Mr. Chairman, do you think it`s moving too
slowly? I heard you say letting. Do you think it is too slowly?

CLEAVER: Well, obviously because of my deep feelings, I would like
for it to move faster, but I don`t want it to move fast if something is
going to be left out. But in the meantime, for people like me, I have
three boys, and every African-American male with boys, and anybody can stop
any man on the street, and he will tell you, I told my sons, if you`re
stopped by police, make sure your hands are scene, talk smart, you know,
you have gone through here by goes through it.

Well now, we have to come up with something else to say to deal with
vigilantism. And so, the sole of this thing is dealtment (ph) the sooner
we - I think can go on with the business of trying to figure out some new
ways to deal with the whole issue of neighborhood watch.

We got to have some laws that would regulate what`s going to happen,
and what does happen with these neighborhood watch programs. We probably
need people to be certified before they can do it.

SHARPTON: Yes. Now, Governor Rendell, despite increase scrutiny,
many other states, Iowa, Alaska, New Orleans, Nebraska, Massachusetts, are
pushing forward with "Stand Your Ground" laws, and one was vetoed just
covered recently in Minnesota.

Are you concerned these dangerous laws and vetoed at one, are becoming
more and more places?

RENDELL: Sure. Absolutely. And remember, under the old law, this
guy would have been arrested on the night in question. There was
absolutely no defense. He didn`t retreat. He had a duty to retreat under
their law, he would have been arrested. There was no dispute.

Under this law there is dispute and it`s a ridiculous law that
promotes violence and gives them excuse for people who want to perpetuate
violence. We ought to repeal these laws, and if people want to do
something in Trayvon`s name, I think in every state that has a law, we
ought to be pushing to repeal it, and in those states, there are
contemplating the law, we should be saying, no, we are not go ahead.

In Pennsylvania, Al, the sad part is that literally a couple months
after I left office, the legislature passed the law and Governor Corbett
signed it. So, it`s the law in Pennsylvania as well. Sad.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you Congressman Cleaver. There has been a lot
of talk, back and forth, about the defense attorney in this case going back
and forward one minute saying self-defense, the next minute, saying that it
was not self-defense.

On Friday he said quote and he was talking about the stand your ground
law "that`s not really applicable to this case." Then yesterday he says "I
believe Stand Your Ground is going to be applicable to this case."

So, clearly a defense attorney is going to do whatever is necessary to
help his client. But is not the fact that this law can be used in such a
way that could in fact inflict more harm on innocent people, is that the
concern that you have when you keep saying there`s new law and how bad it

CLEAVER: This is encouraging vigilantism. We`re going to create a
nation of lone rangers whom believe that they have the right to patrol and
act as a police officer. We are going to have people who can do revenge
against people and say that they felt threatened.

Look, here is the danger of the situation. We`re going to have, I
think, every young African-American male walking around with a high level
of paranoia, and what I would like to say to everybody is that the most
dangerous thing we can do is not do anything about the fear we have. And
the fear is that these laws will continue to mushroom, and keep in mind,
that the numbers of shootings have just accelerated in Florida since this
law was passed.

So, that is proved positive that we`ll have more and more shootings.

SHARPTON: Congressman Cleaver and Governor Rendell, I would have to
hold it there, thank you both for being here tonight.

RENDELL: Thanks Al.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the fight in the Republican Party is taking a
serious toll on the party image. New numbers show it might be panic time.
And two years ago, President Obama signed a health care law that is
literally saving lives, but Republicans took it to the Supreme Court today.
Get ready for a show down.

We`re live in Washington, stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back on "Politics Nation," shifting gears to the GOP
presidential race. It looks like the candidate`s attacks are starting to
work on each other.

A new poll shows President Obama with a double digit lead over his
Republican challengers. The Saban (ph) poll has the president 10 points
ahead of Mitt Romney. And the primary is taking a toll on the GOP`s image,
43 percent of voters say they`re less likely to support a Republican after
this primary. Maybe all of those negative ads weren`t such a good idea.
This thing won`t be over soon. Willard may be ahead in the race for
delegates, but Rick Santorum wrapped up another victory in Louisiana this
weekend and he is using today`s Supreme Court arguments over a health care
law to hammer Willard.


who has the chance of winning the Republican nomination that can make this
the central issue that will be a winning issue for us to win the presidency
back, and that`s Rick Santorum, and unfortunately the worse person to make
that case is Mitt Romney, and that`s why as I said we`re here today and he
is not.


SHARPTON: We will be talking more about the health care fight in the
Supreme Court next.



who has the chance of winning the republican nomination who can make this
the central issue that will be a winning issue for us to win the presidency
back, and that`s Rick Santorum, and unfortunately the worse person to make
that case is Mitt Romney, because that`s why as I said, we`re here today
and he is not.


SHARPTON: We will be talking more about the health care fight in the
Supreme Court, next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. We`re fighting for
justice here in Sanford, Florida tonight. But in Washington, there is
another battle being fought over health care. The President signed the
affordable health care act into law two years ago, so every American can
have the option of reasonably priced healthcare. But ever since then, the
Tea Party and Republicans have vowed to tear it down. Today, the Supreme
Court started arguments in this groundbreaking case. But tomorrow is the
main event. That`s when the court will tackle the heart of the law, the
individual mandate. It requires that Americans get health insurance or pay
penalties for doing so. It`s there to protect all Americans, but of
course, Republicans are outraged.


SANTORUM: There is no doubt that Obama-care will be repealed in one
form or another.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is an unprecedented stretch of the power of
the federal government.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re just begging the federal government to please
leave us a shred of freedom.

will repeal Obama-care and I`ll stop it in its tracks on day one.


SHARPTON: Stop it in its tracks. I don`t see the same outrage with
two of the nation`s most popular safety nets, Social Security and Medicare
already require Americans to pay in. Where`s the outrage there? The truth
is Republicans are bent on making this a partisan issue when it shouldn`t


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This is not about politics. This is about
people. It`s about the grandfather who is no longer cutting his pills in
half to make them last longer.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: So, I stand here today because no one should ever
be told that they have cancer and they should be quiet and go home and die.


SHARPTON: That`s why this case is so important, and that`s why the
battle matters.

Joining me now is Representative Jim McDermott, democrat from
Washington, he`s been a focus of the Affordable Care Act from the
beginning. And David Cole, professor of constitutional law at Georgetown
University, and legal affairs correspondent for The Nation Magazine, thanks
to both of you for being here.


SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. This law has already
helped millions. Two years ago, did you think we would be talking about
this law going to the Supreme Court?

MCDERMOTT: I thought from the very start that the Republicans would
do everything they could to prevent the president from accomplishing his
goal of getting universal coverage for all Americans. They were determined
and they were going to use everything they could, and this is just the last
stage, and we`ll win this one and we`ll implement it in 2013 and 14.

SHARPTON: Now, David, your constitutional professor at Georgetown,
you heard the congressman say we`ll win it, do you believe the Supreme
Court will uphold this health care act, at least major provisions that it
also encompasses?

that they will. The President is clear that Congress has the power to
regulate economic matters. What could be more essentially and economic
matter in the decision as to how to pay for your healthcare. And what this
does -- this law does is say to the insurance companies, look, you can`t
discriminate against people with that pre-existing conditions. But then
says to the rest of us, look, you can`t game the system by waiting until
you`re sick to buy your insurance. You have to buy it now or pay a
penalty. That`s clearly within Congress`s power. Several very
conservative judges in the lower court have said, the court is
constitutional, Charles Freed who was Ronald Reagan`s solicitor general
said that there is no good argument to challenge this law, so I think very
likely it will be upheld.

SHARPTON: Now, give us some of the moving parts, what are some of the
possible scenarios David that could come out of the court decision?

COLE: Well, there are lots of possibilities. Today they argued as to
whether or not it`s even right to be heard and decided by the court at this
point, or whether they have to wait until someone actually has to pay a
penalty. It seems like that`s not where they`re going to go, it seems like
they are going to decide the question, but then if they find that the
individual mandate is unconstitutional, the question will be, should the
rest of the law go with it. The challengers, the Republicans, say throw
the whole law out. The Obama administration says no, just a couple of
provisions, particularly the pre-existing condition discrimination
provisions have to go, and there`s a lawyer pointed by the court who argues
that if you can strike the individual mandate and leave everything else in
place. But I think the partisanship of this is underscored by the
republican argument that if you strike one part of it, the whole thing must

SHARPTON: Congressman McDermott, are the President and Democrats
embracing the health care law, and will this also help them in the

MCDERMOTT: I don`t think there is any question it will help us, it
already has. You realize that there are about 2.5 million kids who now
have health insurance because their parents are able to put them on their
policy. There are some 100 million people who had their lifetime limit
lifted no matter how much they cost, there is no limit an insurance company
can now impose. There`s all kinds of benefits. About 90 million have
already had some pre-things done to be sure they don`t have cancer.
Mammograms and colonoscopies, all kinds of procedures. There have been
already many benefits, and if this thing goes away, the American people
will be the loser, and the Republicans will have done it. It`s not going
to happen. We`re going to win.

SHARPTON: Let me show you, Congressman, some of the things that the
people need to know that already happened good for people from this law.
Fifty four million gain access to preventative care. 2.5 million young
adults received coverage. $3.2 billion saved on prescription costs. Fifty
thousand with pre-existing conditions now have coverage. Can all of this
go away if the Supreme Court rules in large part against the healthcare

MCDERMOTT: Well, as the professor said, if they destroy the whole
law, they throw the whole law out, we`ll go back to square one. We won`t
have any of those protections that we fought to get two years ago. So it
would be an unmitigated disaster for the American people if it happened,
and I just don`t think the Supreme Court is going to allow the Republicans
to do this simply to prevent Barack Obama from having a success. Remember,
Mitch McConnell said, I`m going to do everything I can to prevent him from
being reelected, and this is just a part of that strategy. Going to the
Supreme Court and trying to throw it out, but they will be taking away
something Americans all worry about and all are fearful about, bad

SHARPTON: Now, look at this monumental -- look how monumental this
is, David. It`s a court case is like something hasn`t happened since 1936.
Look at this, "The U.S. Supreme Court has pushed into territory, it has not
approach since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ruling on the
President`s signature legislation in the midst of re-election campaign."
Is this a monumental case?

COLE: It`s absolutely a monumental case, especially if the court
strike down the law to be a monumental case. But I think one of the
ironies here of course is that this provision that is now being challenged
was in a sense a republican proposal, right? The democrat proposal was to
have a single payer, the government essentially expand Medicare instead
what we do is have a program where people buy insurance from private
healthcare insurance on the market, but we simply demanded they not engage
in discrimination and then guarantee that people will buy healthcare
insurance. And now the Republicans are saying that that use of the market
make it`s unconstitutional.

SHARPTON: Congressman McDermott and David Cole, thanks for your time

Still ahead, the Trayvon Martin tragedy is still sparking all kinds of
activists. I talk to Reverend Jesse Jackson and Sinbad, the entertainer.


SHARPTON: The Trayvon Martin shooting has sparked a national
movement. Right here in Sanford, we marched to the civic center behind me,
but it`s happening all over the country. Twelve rallies were held today.
In Atlanta, people gather in-front of the Georgia State capital, in New
Orleans, students at the MLK Charter School, wore hoodies and marched
through the neighborhood to owner Trayvon. And over the weekend, rallies
were held in more than 20 cities including Chicago, Washington, D.C.
Columbia, South Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee. And churches all over
the country, like this one in New York, held services in hoodies yesterday.
Athletes and celebrities are also getting involved. We`re rallying, we`re
keeping the fight alive until George Zimmerman is arrested and we get
justice for Trayvon.

Joining me now in Sanford is the Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder and
president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He has been with us demanding an
arrest, and joining us from L.A. is actor and comedian Sinbad. He`s been
very active and helping in bringing awareness to the tragedy. Sinbad is
about the story that has moved so many, and he and other celebrities are
getting involved. Let me start with you Reverend Jackson. Reverend
Jackson, you`re here, we`ve marched, we`ve been in-front of commission,
your view of today?

this case as the universal character of racial injustice and racial
equality. For example, in this case, we hear on tape that a non-police
officer, a vigilante, sees a young black man. His advice, though pursue
him. He chooses to pursue him, he chooses to kill him in cold blood. When
the police come, his over him with a gun. And then Al, they let him put a
tape around the crime scene. The killer walks away. They do a drug test
on the murdered man, and let the killer go without a drug test, alcohol
test, or even a gun test. And so the blatant disregard to humanity touches
in a different kind of way. Of course, we want Mr. Zimmerman arrested,
second, we want the law repealed, the law that -- allows, encourages
vigilante as a -- and the third thing, it`s not time to have revived
(INAUDIBLE). Al, we have become much violent. We have lost 6,000 soldiers
in Iraq in ten years. (INAUDIBLE) Al, if it`s black or white killing, it`s
jail time. If it`s white on black it`s revolt time. If it`s black on
black, or white on white, it`s -- time. We`ve become much to relax about
whole of this --

SHARPTON: Sinbad, what has touched you and celebrities so about this
case that have gotten you to come out and stand up about what has happened
to Trayvon Martin.

SINBAD, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: You know, first of all, it`s not even
about being a celebrity. It`s about being a member of the life in the 60s
and `70s come up in America. First of all, I was appalled. I could not
believe this could happen. I mean, I know this, we know we got crazy
racist and still but to believe that someone can shoot someone and go home
for dinner, it`s like a hunter. It`s like he went out to hunt for an
animal, bagged his animal and went home. If there had been no social
media, it there had been no, you know, twitter and Facebook and things, we
may not have known about this. This young man would have died and nobody
would known other than this family and loved ones.

I`m shock that I mean, first of all, the stand your ground law I don`t
get that at all. Because the stand your ground law exists, they wish
should have shootings all the time because people are fighting all the time
around this country. So, I guess the last one standing is the winner. For
him to hunt this man to be in a car and be told, you know, on the phone,
leave it alone, go home. You know, even if he was a vigilante, saying his
neighborhood was unsafe, say you`re trying to make -- once you so called
pointed out what the suspicious behavior which we don`t understand, I know
what walking and looking strange means, a kid going home with some skittles
and a soda, I don`t know what means walks strangely, and now we`re caught
up with the whole thing with the hoodie. It`s not even a hoodie. When it
rains you put one on. There`s more white kids in America wear hoods. So,
that can be suspicious. To me it just sounds like a man had a thing out
that night. You just had, you know, today, is the last day I`m going to
take this, whatever he was feeling, and his actions played out, and he
should be arrested.

SHARPTON: Well, let me deal with what you raised about the law, the
Reverend Jackson. This law about stand your ground, Emanuel Cleaver,
chairman of caucus, Sinbad talked about it. How do we deal with this law?

JACKSON: First of all, this guy had an assault with the police
before. A homeless man was nearly beaten to death and the beater walked
away. He happened to be a son of a policeman. In this case, Zimmerman has
some connections with the Police Department, it`s utterly corrupt. What we
need to do, and I`m really convinced, given the breadth of the pain while
we employ the -- in California, we revive the civil rights commission
again. We`re going to have a more credible assessment of what we are in
terms of race in the country and revived the chronicle mission -- in using
too much anecdotes and not appreciating just how deep and how profound and
painful we need and hope for the Obama -- I thought he did a good job of
giving his own passion. We need a national dialogue and plan to address
black pain. Number one, the infant mortality rate, we need lots of
conversations, we need some national reconstruction.

SHARPTON: Sinbad, the Miami Heat wore hoodies standing, making a
statement. Are we beginning to see athletes and entertainers becoming even
more public with their concerns?

SINBAD: I`m glad they were, because I mean you have to may not
convince -- I don`t care if you`re an entertainment, if you`re an athlete,
you should be the activist. You`re the one that the world is looking up
to, you`re the one getting TV time. How can you hide your face? I mean,
this could be anybody`s child, anybody`s child that has put down like this,
I`ll fight for you. Anybody`s child that loses their life in this way is
worth the fight. And I`m glad the athletes stand-up, and I`m glad
entertainers are standing up, I`m glad students across the country are
standing up. Because this man cannot be allowed to walk on this case.
Would not, would not stand foot.

JACKSON: My three sons -- I bought them a new car after graduation.
They made him stand (INAUDIBLE). Jonathan Luther Jackson, you know,
graduate of you know, masters, and handcuffed. And my wife and children
have been followed. So this race thing is real, and I hope that we will
not use this as a teachable moment. How dangerous and volatile. There is
a tipping point. The guy that killed Trayvon is still walking the streets

SHARPTON: Now, you grew up in a movement. Some of us grew up under
you. We see social networking as Sinbad talked about, but we also see
marching in the street and rallying. We had been rallying last week. A
lot of marches around the country. How much is the physical presence that
these rallies important along with the social networking?

JACKSON: There were those that thought we were beyond marching.
Marching for the most -- it`s discipline, nonviolent marching matters. And
I hope more people will be part of this action -- from the case even --
violence. But somehow there is power in disciplined -- and nonviolence.
And a lot of people that went hoods will have a voter registration card
because -- blacks unregistered. So, if you wear the hood and then don`t
register and vote, you went for the symbolism and missed it. This is a
teachable moment. Because voters can do what -- voters can elect sheriffs,
and prosecutors, and judges. And so we need to be empowered, not just
symbolic. The hoodie had its place, but we need to make this a teachable
moment for the voter registration.

SHARPTON: Reverend Jesse Jackson and Sinbad. Thank you both for your
time tonight, thank you for being here, Reverend. The tragedy is not about
politics, but sadly the usual suspects are at it again. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Trayvon Martin`s death has brought much of this country
together. People from both sides of the aisle are calling for action.
Republicans as well as Democrats, conservatives and well as liberals. Most
Americans agree with President Obama. We need to find answers in this


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: My main message is to the
parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he would look like
Trayvon. All of us, as Americans, are going to take this with the
seriousness it deserves and that we`ll get to the bottom of exactly what


SHARPTON: But others are trying to make this a political issue.
Today, Rick Santorum said, the president`s comments divide the country.


SANTORUM: It is clear the President has been not a uniting figure on
an issue that I think many Americans thought he would be. Instead, trying
to divide people is really a sad, tragic legacy of this president.


SHARPTON: Newt Gingrich has also came out swinging against the


it`s disgraceful. It`s not a question of who that young man looked like.
Any young American, any ethnic background should be safe, period. Trying
to turn it into a racial issues is fundamentally wrong. I really find it


SHARPTON: And today, Rush Limbaugh jumped on the bandwagon too.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It is the least important thing
what the kid looks like. This poor kid was shot, and the President of the
United States only public reaction, if I had a son I would look like that.
For what purpose does one say that?


SHARPTON: But they`re all missing the point here. They`re the ones
splitting people apart, not the President. Trayvon`s death isn`t about
politics at all. It isn`t about black and white issues like Rush says it`s
about. It`s about right and wrong. It`s about caring for one standard of
justice, not a double standard. It`s why we are burying and have buried an
unarmed young man who only went to the store for skittles and an iced tea
for his brother, and ended up dead and no one is paying for. That`s what
this is about, and that`s why we will stay on this case until there are
some real answers.

I`m Al Sharpton, thank you for watching. "HARDBALL" starts now.


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