The Ed Show for Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good morning, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight from New York.
Breaking news this evening in the Trayvon Martin case. Video has
surfaced from the night George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
ABC News has obtained police surveillance video of George Zimmerman as
he arrived at the police station after he was taken into custody. The
video does not appear to show blood on the back of Zimmerman`s head or
nose. The video shows no bruises on the back of his head. Zimmerman had
claimed Trayvon Martin punched him in the nose and slammed the back of his
head into the ground.
This police surveillance video shows Zimmerman arriving at the station
in the police cruiser. As you can see, Zimmerman`s head is clearly shaven.
Keep in mind that in the initial police report, Officer Tim Smith said he
could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as
if he had been lying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also
bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.
The police report also said Zimmerman was with attended to by medics
at the scene of the crime, but as you can see, there are no bandages on
Zimmerman in this police surveillance video.
It`s been 32 days since the shooting of Trayvon Martin. I am joined
tonight by "New York Times" columnist, Charles Blow and Daryl Parks, an
attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin.
This is big. Mr. Blow, what do you make of this videotape? You have
gone over the police report, you know it inside-out.
CHARLES BLOW, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Right.
SCHULTZ: Does this video match up from what you have seen right here?
BLOW: It does not appear to match up with the description that is on
the police report. And that is not the only problem that I see with the
police report as it has been published.
The police report includes -- Jonathan Capehart pointed this out --
includes Trayvon Martin`s full name, date of birth, his redacted street
address and phone number. However, Trayvon Martin -- and that report was
filed and closed, according to the report, on the night, February 27th at
3:07 in the morning.
But the family says that Trayvon Martin`s body was tagged as a John
Doe. Both those things can not be true. If you have all of his
information, where he lives, his telephone number, he`s not a John Doe.
Now, one -- now, the other thing -- the fishy part about that, there`s
a part on the police report that says, "is there a juvenile involved?" if
you know that he is born on February 5th, 1995, you know he`s 17 years old,
that box should have been yes. It is no.
I asked the family if they could verify somebody else, independent of
them, could verify whether or not he was listed as a John Doe because the
medical examiner would not do it and the funeral parlor, it is Mizell and
Kurtz, out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, said they could not pick up that
body for three days because it was listed as a John Doe and has to be moved
out of that.
SCHULTZ: So listed as a John Doe, but it`s very clear that police
officials knew exactly who Trayvon Martin was?
BLOW: No, if he was listed as a John Doe, that suggests that that
information was added after that police report was complete. And if
information about Trayvon Martin was added or adjusted after that police
report was completed, that draws into question every single thing that is
on that police report and what is original to that night and what may have
been added later or adjusted. That is the question now.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s look at this videotape. And I want you to
look at the screen there. Timothy Smith was the officer that said this,
"While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his
back appeared to be wet and he was covered in grass, as if he had been
lying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose
and the back of his head."
Now, obviously, he had seen medics, he had been attended to, but there
is no bandage there. Which you can draw your own conclusion.
But the videotape does not show, I guess you could say, a broken nose.
Do you think it does?
BLOW: It doesn`t show it to me. And I think these are now the
questions that have to be answered in a pressing fashion. Is -- can we
make this video line up with this police report? And is this police report
the original report in all of its entirety that was filed that night or has
anything been changed, adjusted, or added in relation to this police
SCHULTZ: Let`s go to the attorney for the family, one of the
attorneys for the family, Daryl Parks.
Mr. Parks, the state attorney says she might have a decision before
the grand jury is convened. What have you heard?
And first of all, I want to get your impressions of this videotape
that has been released tonight.
DARYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: It`s very clear, as you see Mr.
Zimmerman get out of the police cruiser, he -- I mean, look at the courtesy
that they give him. He gently gets out and they talk like old friends,
they gently search him.
I mean, they`re not pressed about this guy. But focus -- I think you
focused on the back. He is nothing on his back, nothing on his head. He
doesn`t appear to be hurt.
From what we`ve heard recently, they said he bashed his head in, he
was being beaten down, where he fell, feared for his life. I mean, does
this look like a guy who was just beaten down within the last hour or so?
No, he doesn`t.
SCHULTZ: Now, you`ve read the police report, I`m sure. Match that up
with what you`re seeing in this videotape.
PARKS: It doesn`t match. I mean, you don`t see the damages to him
that they claim. And so, it really draws into question all the things
that`s in that report right now. And that`s why we`re calling for a
SCHULTZ: Well, last night on this program, Mr. Parks, you alleged
witness tampering in this case. Can you please explain exactly what you
meant by that?
PARKS: Well, there are at least one or two witnesses, one,
specifically, indicated that one of the investigators were talking to them,
turned the recorder off, talked to them some, and then turned the recorder
on. And so, in one of the instances, one of the witnesses who says when
they were describing who was making the sounds, they describe, no, you
didn`t hear Trayvon Martin, that was George Zimmerman crying out for help.
So, those type of issues are of concern, they`re the type of issues
that we have asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look into,
and the FBI.
SCHULTZ: If you`re in a courtroom, are you going to subpoena and
bring forward these police officers who were attending to Mr. Zimmerman
PARKS: Of course.
SCHULTZ: And what would you ask them?
PARKS: Well, I`ll have the -- number one, I`ll have them explain to
me, they wrote down in the report that he had debris on his back, a spot on
his back from being on the ground. And as you with see when he turns
around, at the back of the cruiser, he doesn`t have anything on his back.
It`s rather clear.
And so, when you look at his head, there doesn`t appear to be any
blows to the back of his head. They claim that his head had been beaten
in. I mean, look at it, it`s clean. There`s nothing there -- nothing
So that`s a problem. That`s a problem. And it clearly shows that the
officers that assisted him on that night -- I mean, look, they are standing
I mean, y`all, have you ever seen a person who just killed someone who
could just stand there on his own, who`s going to casually walk into the
station? It doesn`t happen.
SCHULTZ: I have to say that I`ve never seen anyone who was been
brought into a station before. This is the first time I`ve ever seen
anybody brought into a station who has just shot and killed somebody. So
this is new to me, unless I saw some TV drama. I mean, it is rather
Charles Blow, what do you think?
BLOW: I mean, I can`t speak to the kind of casual nature. Like you
say, I`ve never seen anybody who`s killed anybody before. But there is no
visible signs of any sort of flinching, any sort of pain, which is what you
would expect for somebody with a broken nose. There is -- as the attorney
said before, you would expect some sort of swelling, some sort of
bandaging, something, as if his attorney and friend has been saying, that
the wounds on the back of his head were so severe, they should have
required stitches, but they have healed on their own.
SCHULTZ: How does it change the dynamics of the case when the lead
investigator wanted to bring charges? What was told by the state`s
attorney, stand down. We don`t think we have enough for a conviction.
What do you make of that?
BLOW: I mean, I think that that all folds into the ongoing
investigation because now we have to figure out from the state attorney
general`s office why that took place. And that`s what we don`t know. Did
they feel like they needed to build a stronger case? But he`s still free.
So I don`t know what it is about that, but we don`t know that yet.
SCHULTZ: Are there any times on this police report, Mr. Parks, that
you take exception to? Are there any discrepancies that jump out at you on
this police report, whether it`d be the timing or what`s being reporting?
PARKS: Well, no times come to mind. However, the times that we
believe are very important in this case are the times that Trayvon was on
the phone with his girlfriend, when he was on the phone with her, for about
four minutes and was talking to her and describing that he was being chased
by this vigilante gentleman, Mr. Zimmerman.
As he got off the phone with her, the Sanford police was on the scene
within one minute. So, it`s very clear to us that Trayvon`s version of the
story supported by the phone records that we have put into the public
SCHULTZ: And there seems to be a right-wing media campaign to defend
George Zimmerman. What do you think is going on here?
PARKS: Well, I want to believe -- I believe in America. I believe in
our government. I believe in the media and that process.
I think that, unfortunately, the style of some people is to take some
small piece of information and to declare that it has some type of value to
the case in chief, when it doesn`t. It has nothing to do with what
happened between Mr. Zimmerman and Trayvon on the night of February 26th.
So we have to stay focused on what the facts are. Anyone who would
bring any issue, that has no bearing on the conduct between these two
individuals on the night in question is not relevant.
SCHULTZ: And I want to go back to the listing of the deceased as a
John Doe. What`s your response to that?
PARKS: Well, you know, there`s no reason for that, because if he was
a John Doe, why would they put his name on the report almost five hours
later? Some type of way they knew within five hours that who he was, they
should have told the parents.
Or they came and added his information after the fact -- and were
begging the question, the authenticity of this document.
SCHULTZ: And what kind of shaky legal ground would that put the
police department in Sanford in? Some type of negligence?
PARKS: Well, it raises all types of questions about, one, the
professionalism of this particular organization and how they conduct their
SCHULTZ: Do you know when the police chief found out that there was a
kid that had been shot and killed?
PARKS: I really don`t know.
SCHULTZ: So you don`t know when the police chief found out? He may
have engaged that night or the next day or the next morning?
PARKS: Well, certainly, as knowing protocol in this situation, I`m
sure he was notified immediately of a murder within his jurisdiction.
SCHULTZ: But what reason would they have for listing the deceased as
a John Doe when they clearly knew who he was?
PARKS: Well, I really don`t know. It`s very hard to say, except for,
we now know that there was a close working relationship between George
Zimmerman and this police department. It was rather clear --
SCHULTZ: And I want you to elaborate on that.
PARKS: Well, a few things. Number one, with one of the piece of
information that`s out in the public domain that`s being reported today is
that the homeowner`s association listed George Zimmerman as the captain of
this particular neighborhood watch. So that existed.
And it actually indicated that, you know, to the extent that if you
couldn`t reach the police department to notify George Zimmerman if there
was some incident that needed to be reported to the police.
So, it was a pretty good close working relationship between the two.
SCHULTZ: And if you`re just joining us here on THE ED SHOW, you`re
looking at video that was obtained by ABC News. This is video in the
police house in Sanford, Florida, the night George Zimmerman shot and
killed Trayvon Martin. And it really raises as many questions as it does
Charles Blow, Daryl Parks -- great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
Coming up, more on the explosive video in the Trayvon Martin case.
We`ll ask a retired police chief what he thinks of the video.
We`ll also bring in Reverend Jesse Jackson for his thoughts on
tonight`s development. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the Reverend Jesse Jackson weighs in tonight`s
major developments in the Trayvon Martin case. We`ll also get the opinion
of the retired police chief, Walter Zalisko. He`s now a private
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Breaking news tonight in the Trayvon Martin case. ABC News has
obtained video of George Zimmerman being taken into the police department
after he was detained by Sanford police.
Joining me by phone is Walter Zalisko, president and CEO of Global
Investigative Group and a retired police chief.
Mr. Zalisko, thank you for your time tonight. You`re on the phone
with us and you`re looking at the videotape. From what you can see, how
does this videotape square with the initial police report that was filed
and released on Monday?
WALTER ZALISKO, GLOBAL INVESTIGATIVE GROUP CEO & PRESIDENT (via
telephone): Well, first of all, Ed, good evening.
Yes, I`m looking at this videotape, and it clearly isn`t consistent
with what the police report reflects. I mean, the police report does state
that they observed wetness on the back of his jacket and grass stains.
Well, we can`t really see if there`s any wetness on the back of that
jacket. There clearly could be.
But what we can observe is that there are no signs of any serious
injuries. You do see a police officer looking at the back of his head at
some point in this video, to indicate there may be a small abrasion.
All right, there`s no blood coming from his face or his nose area. I
don`t observe any blood splatter on his shirt or jackets. That`s not to
say that there`s maybe a drop or two, but you don`t have the quantity of
blood to reflect a serious injury.
You`ve got to remember that he`s claiming self-defense -- so there are
three important facts that really have to be proven in any self-defense
claim, is that: one, the danger or threat was imminent, and, two, is that
he reasonably believed that he would be harmed and that he reasonably
responded to that danger.
You know, if the guy scratches his head when he falls on the ground,
does that believe that he`s going to die? Does he really believe that?
SCHULTZ: I`m going to look at this videotape again. That officer on
the left of Zimmerman right there opened up his jacket to see if there was
anything in there or -- it`s almost as if he hadn`t done it before. If we
can roll the videotape back, I think that that is more than interesting,
that -- here he is, we`re isolating, you can see his head. There doesn`t
appear to be any kind of damage to his head and clearly his head isn`t
But, of course, this is after -- but here`s the videotape that I find
interesting. The police officer goes to him, face to face, right here, and
now he`s going to put his right hand on his chest and open up his shirt,
open up his jacket. What do you -- as if he`s searching him for the first
time. What do you make of that, Mr. Zalisko?
ZALISKO: Well, obviously, I hope that the police conducted a search
at the scene, to see if he possibly may have anymore weapons on him.
But the problem I have with this search here is that the officer`s
handling that jacket, and if they`re placing that jacket into evidence for
any possible DNA evidence that they can find, he`s contaminating that whole
jacket, you know, by moving his hands inside and out and about that jacket.
SCHULTZ: Well, I want to see the videotape again. Because it looks
to me like the police officer is putting his hands in the pockets of George
Zimmerman, to see if he`s got anything in his pockets. And then after --
is that -- I mean, wouldn`t he have done that on the scene?
ZALISKO: Well, you would think so, you know? But maybe this is
another officer transporting. You know, I don`t know if this is the same
officer who initially responded. You know, when the officers arrive at the
scene, they can hand off the prisoner to another officer to do the
transport to headquarters.
ZALISKO: So this officer could be just, you know, covering himself to
make sure he doesn`t have any objects that could be used with as a weapon.
SCHULTZ: All right. He`s checking his pockets right there, he`s
going on the inside. Now he goes around on the back and he touches the
backside of Zimmerman and then he seems to wipe his hands on his own pants
right there. Do you see that?
ZALISKO: Yes. Well, that would indicate that it`s probably wet, that
the back of the jacket has some moisture on it.
SCHULTZ: How troubling is this videotape, Mr. Zalisko?
ZALISKO: Well, it`s troubling in the fact that Mr. Zimmerman doesn`t
reflect the injuries, you know, that would be consistent with somebody who
is just fearing for his life and had to, you know, kill somebody to defend
I mean, you know, this looks like -- I mean, I don`t know how to
describe it. It just doesn`t look consistent.
SCHULTZ: Now, I said earlier on this broadcast that I`ve never seen
anybody taken into a police house, a police station after shooting
somebody. Is this normal? I mean, is this -- I mean, does this look like
they know the guy or is this standard operating procedure here?
ZALISKO: Well, I think, you know, most of the police officers
probably do know Mr. Zimmerman for the simple fact that he was the so-
called patrol captain of the neighborhood watch and he`s had over 140 phone
calls to the police. So you do form some type of a relationship. And
being that he was a cop off (ph), there was no doubt that he would be
associating with some of these guys.
ZALISKO: But the way they`re bringing him in, that`s normal
procedure. There`s nothing unusual about that.
SCHULTZ: Is it normal procedure for the police officers not to have
gloves on? And to be going -- you said that he may have contaminated that
ZALISKO: Well, that`s what I`m saying. They should have had the
plastic gloves on if they`re going to do any search. You know, even if
they`re searching for a weapon, you know, any smart officer would realize
that they`re going to be taking this jacket in as evidence. And they just
contaminated it by placing their hands all over it, possibly smearing
SCHULTZ: So you say that this videotape is not consistent with the
police report and the injuries that were reported.
I want to bring back "New York Times" columnist Charles Blow and also,
Daryl Parks, an attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin.
Mr. Parks, now that you have heard Walter Zalisko`s opinion of this,
how do you feel about what you`ve just heard and consumed this video?
PARKS: Well, one point he made about the officer touched his back and
then touched his pants -- it looks to me, though, once we see the back of
Mr. Zimmerman as he`s walking away, it doesn`t look wet to me. So why he
may have touched his pant could be any reason, but it doesn`t look like his
back is wet to me.
I also want to point out, as he was getting out of the car, he really
didn`t appear to be a guy who had injury and had been beaten down just
recently. He seemed to get out and not be in any stress. I really
question whether or not Mr. Zimmerman really suffered the injuries they say
SCHULTZ: I`m curious as to what time this is taking place as opposed
to the time of the shooting. Mr. Blow?
BLOW: The thing that strikes me most is what the officer was talking
about earlier, which is that noses bleed. Noses bleed even if you don`t
break them. Noses bleed if you get hit hard enough in your nose.
If you get hit hard enough in the nose that it bleeds, and Zimmerman
has on a light-colored shirt, one would think that you would see some
evidence of some blood, somewhere on that shirt.
Also, his shirt`s tucked in. Does not seem like a person who`s just
been in a fight. You know, there are little things, little bits of
evidence here that you look at and you think, someone needs to explain how
all these things can be and the police report still be true.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Parks, I want to ask you, what do you make of Walter
Zalisko, who is a former police chief and a private investigator now,
saying that the videotape does not stay consistent with the report?
PARKS: Well, I think he`s totally right. I think it`s inconsistent
and that, certainly, we`re now seeing more video evidence to support the
fact that this report by this department was incorrect.
PARKS: And so, it creates even more questions, more doubt in the
investigation in the Sanford Police Department and this really screams that
this special report really has to go and go step by step and make sure that
we uncover all the evidence in this case, because clearly it`s not in favor
of George Zimmerman.
SCHULTZ: Daryl Parks, Charles Blow, and Walter Zalisko -- thank you
for your time tonight.
Coming up, Reverend Jesse Jackson will join next to respond to
tonight`s development. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
The death of Trayvon Martin has evolved into one of the biggest civil
rights issues of our times when it comes to justice. Yet one former NAACP
leader is using the tragedy as a way to attack key civil right leaders
Conservative Pastor C.L. Bryant is accusing the Reverends Jesse
Jackson and Al Sharpton of exploiting Trayvon Martin`s death to racially
divide this country. In an interview with "The Daily Caller," Bryant
questioned the credibility of both Sharpton and Jackson, calling them "race
hustlers". Bryant also said that Trayvon Martin`s family, quote, "should
be outraged at the fact that they are using this child as the bait to
inflame racial passions."
Bryant believes that both Sharpton and Jackson are, quote, "acting as
though they are buzzards, circling the carcass of this young boy."
Let`s bring in Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow Push
Coalition. Reverend, good to have you with us tonight. I need for you to
respond to this accusation of this former NAACP official. Your thoughts on
what is being levied against you and Reverend Sharpton?
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Well, we really shouldn`t
dignify it. It is not true. It is a diversion from the fact that they --
a man was disobedient to an appeal by 911 to not pursue Trayvon. He did
pursue him. He did kill him. And I`m seeing a very revealing tape, which
is the real issue tonight.
It`s not the opinion of Reverend Sharpton or I. The issue here
tonight is that you have a case where you have two stories. There seems
there has been some tampering, no bloodshed, no -- no bandages. And he was
hurt as severely as they said he was, they should have taken him to the
hospital. No Blood, no bandage.
And then an awesome friendship -- this is so casual, considering the
guy had just killed someone, because he`s their friend.
SCHULTZ: Reverend, I want to go back to you. You`ve been labeled a
"race hustler." I need you to respond to that. You have been down this
road many times. You`ve dedicated your life to advocacy work and civil
rights work. You`re on the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.
Yet someone, Pastor C.L. Bryant, is accusing both you and Al Sharpton
of exploiting the death of this young man. You must have some response to
JACKSON: Well, the reason I`m so dismissive of it, Ed, is because it
becomes yet another diversion from the point that. A, it is not true.
We`re both there at the appeal of the parents and the lawyer.
The issue, if we did not go to the rescue -- so whether we`re going to
Jena or going to Katrina, or fighting to free Mandela, or fighting for the
Public Accommodations Bill, or fighting for the right to vote -- when Dr.
King led the marches, Ed, in Birmingham, and young Americans went to jail,
they accused him of exploiting the youth.
And so these name callings by someone always seem to come, but they
should never take our eyes off the real prize. It`s unfortunate. But you
can`t dignify it, really.
SCHULTZ: Well, he says that the family should be outraged that you`re
using this child as bait to inflame racial passions. I mean, do you know
JACKSON: I do not know him. I have never heard of him before. And
it`s interesting, if the family asked for help and we did not respond, that
would be outrageous. And you know, while the killing of Trayvon is not
unique -- it`s fairly common -- as it unfolded here, Trayvon being John Doe
as it unfolded, an attempt to take his life, now take his reputation --
everything about this has inflamed the whole world.
It`s not just about Reverend Sharpton and I. The whole world has
looked at this and said, something about this, it reflects upon America in
a way that Americans -- the president`s had to speak to it. The Congress
has had to speak to it. The competitors for the office Republican have had
to speak to it.
This is unignorable. So if you ignore it, it would be a sin. And
accuse those who are affirming the family with support -- to speak
negatively of us is just unfortunate.
SCHULTZ: And reverend, how big is this story in comparison to some of
the other injustices that you have been associated with or advocated for in
your lifetime, where people have needed assistance? I mean, is this the
civil rights story, the injustice of the 24-hour news cycle? Some -- there
have been a lot of injustices, but we go back to the Rodney King beating,
which was some 20 years ago. What about this?
JACKSON: It`s one of these transformative moments, potentially. You
know, Emmett Till killed, and in three weeks those who killed him were
tried and a six or seven-minute deliberation. They say it would have been
longer, but they stopped to get a pop. And they thought he was guilty,
except that the crime did not warrant the killer going to jail.
And yet Mrs. Parks asked one day, why did you not go to back given the
risk? She said, I thought about Emmett Till, I couldn`t go back.
But Emmett Till is one of those defining moments. Medgar Evers was
killed. For 30 years, there was no arrest, a defining moment. I think
that Trayvon`s case is one of those.
If you tie a (INAUDIBLE) to the hoodie, and inspire the generation to
fight back for justice and overcome racial disparities, and therefore
engage in racial heal, finding in a very positive moment -- we take out of
this crucifixion a kind of resurrection with new hope and tremendous new
There`s a dialogue taking place now that could render the good for all
SCHULTZ: OK. I want to play the videotape. And I want to get your
response. This is the videotape of George Zimmerman coming into the
Sanford Police House, just a short time after shooting and killing Trayvon
Martin. What`s your impressions of the videotape?
JACKSON: Well, first, the casualness of it. The man just killed
someone. But no bloody head, no bloody nose. And as the chief said, the
officer patting him down rather casually could be his fingerprint on what
would be evidence, the wet back. And -- but it`s so different, the report
that we heard.
I mean, where is -- since they know who Trayvon Martin was, why John
Doe? Why keep him in the morgue for three days away from his family?
Everything about him -- but this, the same police department now where a
homeless black man was beaten severely and the beater walked away.
Happened to have been, however, a son of one of the police, who`s still on
the force, by the way.
So this looks like tampering.
SCHULTZ: If Martin Luther King were alive today, would he be in
Florida at these rallies?
JACKSON: Absolutely, just as he was at the funeral of Medgar Evers.
He would be there. Just as he was at the graduation of the Little Rock
Nine. He would be there because this is the right thing.
It`s one of those teachable moments for America. Let`s learn from it
and let`s get the best out of it. There is a new south, a new possibility.
We must not let our dreams be destroyed by this act of criminality.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Jesse Jackson, thank you for your time tonight. I
Coming up, former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson reacts to tonight`s
major developments in the Trayvon Martin case. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Breaking news in the Trayvon
Martin case tonight; ABC News has obtained video of George Zimmerman being
brought into the police department on the night he shot and killed Trayvon
I am joined by Alan Grayson, former Florida congressman, who is from
the Orlando area. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. You have
-- you have been at these rallies for Trayvon all week, and have been
paying close attention to the case.
What are your impressions of this police house videotape that was
ALAN GRAYSON, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Well, I think it blows apart the
Zimmerman argument that he was acting out of fear rather than out of
hatred. But I`ll tell you, I sometimes wonder why people think that`s some
kind of good defense. I don`t believe it in his case. I think if you call
someone "F`ing coon," then you`re animated by nothing but hatred.
But still he seems to be operating under the illusion that if he
simply says that he feared then somehow that excuses the death of a young
boy. It doesn`t. It just doesn`t. The boy is dead. If you do the crime,
you`re going to have to do the time.
SCHULTZ: Do you believe that this videotape is inconsistent with the
GRAYSON: Yes, I`ve read the police report. I saw the tape. And I
think there is an inconsistency.
SCHULTZ: And what would you be thinking right now if you were
representing the Martin family in this case?
GRAYSON: I think that it proves their point. This is someone who --
Zimmerman should under no circumstances be allowed to have a gun. It
should have been taken from him a long time ago. And he should have been
arrested a long time ago.
He should have been tried. And it looks to me like he`ll be
SCHULTZ: Alan, what do you make of the police report and the listing
of the deceased as a John Doe? The timing of the report, when it was put
together and then released? There are many more questions here than
answers, are there not?
GRAYSON: I think so. But, honestly, I don`t find much fault in what
the police did, except for the fact that he hasn`t been arrested yet.
Zimmerman should have been arrested. That`s the main fly in the ointment
at this point. Nobody who does anything like that should be allowed to
walk the streets.
SCHULTZ: Are you bothered by the casualness of this videotape and how
one of the officers seems to be searching the pockets of George Zimmerman?
GRAYSON: It bothers me to see Zimmerman acting as if nothing had
happened. He killed a 17-year-old boy. He stalked and killed a 17-year-
old boy. And it`s appalling to me to see the kind of casualness that that
SCHULTZ: Do you know the state`s attorney, Wolfinger, who recommended
that they not press charges and told the lead investigator at the time not
to go down that road?
GRAYSON: No. It`s a terrible mistake. And the law really does not
give them the excuse to do that. They`re referring to what`s known as the
Hold Your Ground or Stand Your Ground Law, which I often refer to as the
shoot to kill law. That`s a law that led to a tripling -- a tripling in
so-called justifiable homicides in Florida from the year that it was
enacted all the way to the present.
It`s a bad law, but it does not apply to this situation. It does not
apply to chasing after someone and shooting him in the chest.
SCHULTZ: Would that be hard to prove with the Stand Your Ground Law
as maybe something the Zimmerman team would use as a defense?
GRAYSON: Listen, juries figure out that sort of thing and things way
more complicated than that sort of thing all the time. There`s no way that
Zimmerman can possibly argue that he was simply standing his ground. That
law was meant to apply to people who were in their homes, maybe people in
their cars, not someone who are literally chasing someone around the
neighborhood and then killing him.
SCHULTZ: And what do you make of the right-wing smear campaign that
has been fostered by some on the right that, you know, this kid was
suspended from school and he was somewhat troublesome, in defense of the
actions of George Zimmerman?
GRAYSON: I think it shows that many on the right wing have a taste of
blood in their mouths. They kind of like the idea of vigilantism, and this
is perfect case for them.
SCHULTZ: And the Stand Your Ground Law, it went into effect in 2005.
There have been 93 cases, 65 deaths. Do you sense that this is a turning
point in this country that maybe these kinds of laws will be repealed? Or
do you see more of them coming? Because we all know that ALEC -- well-
reported ALEC and also the NRA have been pushing these laws on legislative
sessions around this country.
GRAYSON: I think it`s a turning point that`s far more profound than
that. I think we have to stop hating each other. And we have to start
cherishing our differences.
The very notion that you would feel fear or hatred towards a boy who
you never met in your entire life simply because he`s black is appalling.
I thought we moved past that. It was almost 50 years ago that Martin
Luther King said that he hoped his children would be judged that way, not
by the color of their skin. And we`re still waiting for that to come.
SCHULTZ: Alan Grayson, thank you for your time tonight here on THE ED
SHOW. I appreciate it.
I know you wanted to talk about health care tonight. We`ll have you
back to talk about that at a later time.
Coming up, major developments today in the fight over health care.
And Mitt Romney makes one of the biggest mistakes of his campaign. There`s
a lot more to get to. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Debate over the Obama administration`s health care plan
continued for a third day in the Supreme Court. Republicans are giddy over
the prospect of the law being overturned. So what`s their plan to insure
50 million Americans and provide affordable health insurance for all?
The answer is, they have no plan. Mitt Romney made it clear last
night on "the Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People can own their own
insurance as they go from job to job. They won`t have to worry about
getting a condition that would keep them from being insured.
JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": What about preexisting conditions?
That`s -- I know people who could not get insurance up until this
Obamacare, and now they`re covered and their preexisting condition is
LENO: For me, that -- and children also. It seems like children and
people with preexisting conditions should be covered.
ROMNEY: Yeah. Well, people who have been continuously insured, let`s
say someone`s had a job for a while, been insured, then they get real sick
and they happen to lose a job or change a job, they find, gosh, I have got
a preexisting condition, I can`t get insured.
I`d say, no, no. As long as you`ve been continuously insured, you
ought to be able to get insured going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: "As long as." notice his choice of words, "continuously
insured." In Mitt Romney`s America, they don`t care about the uninsured.
They don`t care about Americans who have been denied because of preexisting
Romney`s argument about continuing coverage is completely empty and
Jay Leno called him out on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: People with preexisting conditions, as long as they`ve been
insured before, they`re going to be able to continue to have insurance.
LENO: Suppose they were never insured.
ROMNEY: If they`re 45 years old and they show up and they say, I want
insurance because I have heart disease, we say, hey, guys, we can`t play
the game like that. You`ve got to get insurance when you`re well. And so
-- and if you get ill, then you`re going to be covered.
LENO: Yes, but there are a lot of people -- I only mention this
because I know guys that work in the auto industry, and they`re just not
covered because they work in brake dust and they could get -- so they`ve
just never been able to get insurance. Then they get to be 30, 35. They
were never able to get insurance before. Now they have it. That seems
like a good thing.
ROMNEY: We`ll look at a circumstance where someone was ill and hasn`t
been insured so far. But people who have had the chance to be insured, if
you`re working at an auto business for instance, the companies carry
insurance. They insure all their employees. You look at the circumstances
But people who have done their best to get insured are going to be
able to get covered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So in other words, Romney is picking winners and losers.
Only people who have "done their best" are the ones getting insurance. For
everyone else, sorry, Mitt Romney says, you`re out, you`re on your own.
This isn`t just Mitt Romney`s position, my friends. This is the
Republican party`s position. You want to vote for them?
For months, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the GOP
wants to repeal and replace what they call Obamacare. But McConnell
recently told Bloomberg.com that they don`t have any plans to replace, only
to repeal. "We would want to more modestly approach health care with more
incremental fixes, not a massive Republican alternative."
The health care law has already stopped discrimination against
children with preexisting conditions. By 2014, it will extend to all
adults. Republicans like Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint, they want to turn
back the clock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I can guarantee you people with
preexisting conditions are going to get less health care, lower quality
health care under Obamacare than they would under a state-run plan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think they get less health care under
Obamacare than they did before Obamacare was enacted?
DEMINT: They probably will. It will definitely cost more for
everyone. And it will be inefficient and it won`t be as patient-focused.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I have to ask you tonight, senator, are you speaking from
experience with that plan that you have in the Congress? I doubt it. If
the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, health care will be
in the lap of the Republicans.
Yes, they will own it and we`ll have no progress. They have no plans
for the uninsured in this country. They don`t care about people who can`t
afford it. It`s shameful, but Mitt Romney seems almost proud of his
Here`s what he told conservative radio talker, the low-rated Hugh
Hewitt, the other day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Today, the president`s campaign
manager said that you are the godfather of Obamacare. If that`s who you
are, can you make the Democrats an offer they can`t refuse to repeal it?
ROMNEY: That`s a great idea. If I`m the godfather of this thing,
that gives me the right to kill it. And if I`m the president, I will get
rid of Obamacare. I`ll stop it in its tracks on day one and get it
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I don`t think Romney understands what a godfather actually
does. Here`s another godfather who sounds more like Mitt Romney when it
comes to the health care plan Romney is offering to America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can have my answer now if you like. My offer
is this -- nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That sounds a lot more like Mitt Romney. The Republicans
are going to nominate someone who has no idea about the struggles of
regular Americans. Romney doesn`t go day to day worrying about how he`s
going to pay for his health care costs. He never has.
He has no clue. And he doesn`t seem to give a damn.
When we come back, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter joins me to
talk about the Republican health care disaster. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: And in the Big Finish tonight, well, it`s been three days of
arguments in the Supreme Court, pleading the case that America must keep
this health care bill or the mandate must go.
Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Let`s turn to Jonathan Alter, MSNBC
political analyst and "Bloomberg View" columnist. What jumps out at you
after three days?
JONATHAN ALTER, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": Well, you know, there`s been this
sense on the part of a lot of the analysts that the questioning has been
especially tough for the solicitor general and the assistant solicitor
general, and that the government is very much on the defensive. The Obama
administration is looking at a very tough road.
I would caution on that, because there have been some recent cases
where the conservative justices were very tough in their questioning and
then it came back eight to one decision upholding a case that they had
seemed to up end.
But having said that, Ed, you cannot underestimate how conservative
this court is. And it should not surprise anybody at all if in June they
do something which has not been done in 70 years, which is to invalidate
the centerpiece of a American president`s domestic program, which they did
to Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, and they are poised to possibly do
So this is big, historical stuff that is on the table now.
SCHULTZ: And if they allow the mandate to stay in place, what does it
say about a conservative Supreme Court siding with the law?
ALTER: Well, if they do that, then I think, politically, it will take
some of the sting out of the attacks on Obamacare, which, by the way, the
Obama folks are now calling it Obamacare too. So it`s not a slur anymore.
SCHULTZ: Just easier to call it that.
ALTER: Yeah, easier. So if that were to happen, it would make it
much harder for conservatives to argue that somehow this was this terrible
threat to the republic.
SCHULTZ: And the Republicans clearly don`t have a plan. And that was
shown on Jay Leno`s program last night. How damaging was Romney comment
about the 45-year-old guy who just can`t walk in and get insurance if he
has a heart problem and hasn`t had insurance before?
ALTER: You know, Romney is so compromised by the fact that he started
what became Obamacare in Massachusetts.
SCHULTZ: Which is popular.
ALTER: Which is working, it`s popular. And so he`s twisted up like a
pretzel trying to explain why it`s not good enough for the country. He
even recommended it for the United States at the time he was governor of
So for him to say he didn`t think it was good for the whole country is
not true. He`s on record saying otherwise.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan alter, great to have you with us tonight. Thank
you. That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2012 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>