PoliticsNation, Thursday, March 29, 2012
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Guests: Jonathan Capehart, Lou Palumbo, Ken Padowitz, Kendall Coffey, Joe Madison, Beverly
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`ll
Tonight`s lead, dramatic new video that could turn the Trayvon Martin
case upside down. And bring us one step closer to justice. This new
Sanford police video shows Trayvon`s killer, George Zimmerman, arriving at
the police station just minutes after the shooting. This is an absolutely
crucial point. The time stamp on the video reads 19:52, that it`s 7:52
p.m., 7:52. , that`s just half an hour after the shooting took place.
According to the Sanford police report, police arrived on the scene at
19:17 hours, 7:17 p.m., just moments after the shot was fired. So just 35
minutes later, 35 minutes after Zimmerman claims Trayvon smashed his head
into the sidewalk and broke his nose, the gentleman looks like this on the
videotape. There are no obvious signs of injury.
The police report says Zimmerman was bleeding -- was, quote, "bleeding
from the nose." Zimmerman`s father even claims his nose was broken, but
you can`t see any blood on his face in this video. The same report also
says he was, quote, "bleeding from the back of his head." But you can`t
see any blood or scrapes here either.
We do see an officer take a quick look at it, but he doesn`t seem to
have any significant reaction to any wound or gash. The police report also
said Zimmerman`s back was, quote, "wet and covered with grass."
But again, we don`t see any obvious wetness or grass stains here, just
a half hour after the shooting. This new tape seems to refute key portions
of Zimmerman`s defense and raises some troubling questions about the
police. Zimmerman`s attorney didn`t have a good answer when asked about
this on the "Today" show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: When you look at this videotape, do you think
it backs up your client`s claims or might it contradict them?
CRAIG SONNER, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S ATTORNEY: I don`t think it does
either one. It`s a very grainy video.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Folks, it`s not that grainy. The story it tells is pretty
clear. But George Zimmerman`s father is still pushing the claim that it
was Trayvon who was the real aggressor in the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FATHER: George was trying to get
his head off the concrete, trying to move with Trayvon on him into the
grass. In doing so, his firearm was shown. Trayvon Martin said something
to the effect of you`re going to die now or you`re going to die tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is the Martin family attorney, Benjamin
Ben. Thanks for being here. What`s your reaction to this tape?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Reverend Sharpton, we heard
the 911 with our ears, now we see the video with our eyes. And it is
abundantly clear what they put in the police report talking about his nose
being broken and his head busted just doesn`t hold up.
If you listen to his father and you listen to his friend, Oliver, make
the claim that Trayvon Martin beat his head repeatedly in the pavement and
that`s why he had to shoot this kid, we now know that`s untrue. And don`t
take my word for it. Don`t take the parents` word for it. Just look at
your tape for yourself. Listen for yourself. And I love what you say,
Reverend Sharpton, when we have a dispute a, let, let`s go to the tape.
SHARPTON: Go to the tape.
CRUMP: That`s it.
SHARPTON: Now, how did the mother and father respond to this new
CRUMP: You know it was so profound. Sybrina Fulton said what is in
the dark shall come to light. The truth shall come to light. And she said
God is good.
SHARPTON: Now, the police, did they ever tell you this tape existed?
CRUMP: No, they did not.
SHARPTON: So you had no idea these tapes were coming out today or
CRUMP: No idea, Reverend Sharpton. And that`s the problem with it.
When they say why we think there`s conspiracy or some kind of cover up, you
have to show all the evidence out there. And when they saw this evidence
based on what Zimmerman has said, he said that his nose was busted --
broken. And he said his head was busted. These tapes clearly show that`s
opposite and it supports the lead detective who said he didn`t think his
story was credible. He didn`t think his story added up and these higher
ups came in and overruled his decision.
SHARPTON: Now, an Orlando TV station is claiming that one of the
policemen said he took a picture of Zimmerman`s injury with his cell phone.
But why wouldn`t that be part of an official photo and why wouldn`t we see
there`s a little something you see in the back of his head, but you don`t
know if that`s hair, but it clearly is not what they describe in his
lawyer`s statement about a broke-nose and major injuries to the back of his
SHARPTON: It doesn`t appear could be anything like that.
CRUMP: Reverend Sharpton, if I took your head and I beat it
repeatedly into the concrete, you would have a concussion or something.
When you watch it that video, you see how freely and casually he walks.
That`s not the sign of a man that`s been severely injured. It just doesn`t
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you something else that doesn`t add to me.
A police report filed at 3:00 a.m. Clearly, there`s Trayvon Martin`s full
name. Yet, his body was tag that night though. Did the police know who he
was or not?
CRUMP: You know, they knew who he was at 8:30 and this police report
suggests either they knew or they went back and change that had report.
And that`s the problem here. You can`t be changing things to make it
Zimmerman`s claim and that`s what they did. Think about the later report
they filed, Reverend Sharpton. They didn`t put in that first report
anything about his nose, anything about his head. That was done to help
Zimmerman`s claim of self-defense. And that`s why everybody is saying we
smell a rat.
SHARPTON: Now, when you look at every angle, clearly you don`t see t
any angle in the pictures of Zimmerman a "broke nose." And given the time
frame and the time on the video and the time when we know that the police
had arrived, it doesn`t seem like they had enough time to do a local lot of
things. Maybe clean him up. But if your nose is broke, you`re still
bleeding and he`s handcuffed.
So it just doesn`t make any logical sense. I don`t care -- obviously
I`ve been advocating my view on this situation, but I don`t see any
objective view with the time frame could make this work with what they
represented to be his so-called injuries.
CRUMP: And that`s the thing, Reverend Sharpton. Discount what we
say. Just take that away. You watch with your own eyes. And like we tell
to all the people, listen to the tapes for yourself. Listen to Zimmerman`s
voice at the beginning loop 911 tapes and listen to that voice that`s
crying out for help. Listen for yourself and you get it. That`s why two
million people have signed a petition for him to be arrested. The world is
watching. The people get it. Everybody wants to know why weren`t the
police getting it? Why haven`t they arrested him?
SHARPTON: How would this play out? You`re one of the best lawyers in
the country. I`m saying that you did but I know you worked for awhile.
And we`ve worked together before on cases.
How will this play out in court, the tapes? Doesn`t he need some
signs of injury and all, to even try the self-defense as a defense?
CRUMP: Reverend, I think that he was going to play this stand your
ground self-defense all the way out. This videotape hurts that. It really
hurts it because he had to say that he felt threatened, that he had all
these injuries and stuff to be able to espouse that theory of self defense.
I think the prosecutor with this tape clearly has the evidence to defeat
that claim even though I never thought he had a stand your ground claim
before because he was the aggressor.
CRUMP: But if you want to give him that, this really hurt wills his
case and I`m like Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, God is good because this
tape being revealed which is one of the biggest pieces of evidence in this
SHARPTON: You called it a smoking gun.
CRUMP: And how many smoking guns do we have to present, Reverend
Sharpton, for them to arrest him?
SHARPTON: And he needed injuries to say why he pulled out a gun and
shot. Without injuries, why are you using deadly force when you`re almost
100 pounds heavier than the guy?
CRUMP: And it`s something my grandmother used to always say, Reverend
Sharpton. She said if you lie about something little, you know you`ll lie
about something big. And his lies can`t keep -- he can`t keep it straight.
The story changes. His friends can`t keep it straight.
SHARPTON: Benjamin Crump, thank you for joining me again tonight.
CRUMP: Thank you. And I must say this, Reverend Sharpton, Sybrina
Fulton and Tracy Martin told me to tell you thank you for when they started
trying to attack the son and his character and his reputation, you stood up
for him and said that`s in the right. That`s irrelevant to what happened
on February 26th.
SHARPTON: Well, I`ve seen this playbook before as I`ve said to our
viewers and I`ve said to them. the parents. Thank you again for being
CRUMP: Thank you so much, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the police station tape. What does it say about
George Zimmerman`s version of events and what could it mean for a trial?
Plus, Zimmerman`s attorney goes on national television and makes some
stunning claims. But will they hold up? Later, we`ll go inside the
investigation. What needs to happen for an arrest to be made?
You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: Video from inside the police station the night George
Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. What it could mean for the case. That`s
SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."
To talk more about the video showing George Zimmerman just minutes
after he shot Trayvon Martin, let`s bring in Lou Palumbo, retired police
investigator and now director of the elite group, a private security
agency, and Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for the "Washington Post" and
Today he`s writing about George Zimmerman`s crumbling version of
events. OK guys; let`s take a look at the entire tape. I want you to take
me what you see. Roll.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
LOU PALUMBO, DIRECTOR, THE ELITE GROUP: At this point, it`s quite
obvious that they have Zimmerman in custody.
SHARPTON: He`s getting out of the car
SHARPTON: Nobody in the back with him.
PALUMBO: Fully ambulatory and handcuffed in a state of arrest. And
apparently, the police officers are having some type of dialogue. Now
PALUMBO: He`s touching him, touching Zimmerman with his bare hands.
SHARPTON: No glove.
PALUMBO: No glove. This is evidence.
PALUMBO: Apparently there was no real concern by the police officer
that there might have been any type of contaminants especially in the day
when we live with aids and other infectious diseases. The other thing I
found at this thing is that they --
SHARPTON: So that`s unusual.
PALUMBO: Highly unusual. The other thing that`s a little unusual is
that they appear to be conducting or finishing the search of him in their
command as opposed to out in the street. Normally you would have done this
before you put him at the back of the car.
SHARPTON: Wait a minute, Lou. They are continuing to search him in
the place station not in the street and he just killed somebody.
PALUMBO: That`s correct. That`s correct.
SHARPTON: And it`s very unusual.
PALUMBO: Highly unusual.
SHARPTON: What does that mean? They know him or comfortable with
PALUMBO: I think just -- I think procedurally they were a little
remiss. If you watch him now, he seems to be walking quite well for --
SHARPTON: They`re walking and kind of letting him walk his own way.
SHARPTON: Which is very unusual?
PALUMBO: That`s exactly right. Normally you would accompany him by
grasping his arm to have control over the subject.
SHARPTON: What does it say to you, Lou? They`re in the holding his
arm, he`s just walking.
PALUMBO: What it tells me is procedurally there`s a little bit of a
problem with the police. I`m not sure that it lends itself necessarily o
anything that`s collusive in the relationship between Zimmerman and the
police, but these are just a little bit of irregularities.
The thing I find also interesting is the guy who is alleging that he
was beaten within an inch of his life and found it necessary because that
he had to use deadly physical force seems to be quite OK and moving around.
SHARPTON: Now. All of this, look at this walk, look at how he`s
walking along, doesn`t appear to be limping, doesn`t appear to be in any
way rattled, doesn`t appear to be traumatized. Here`s a man who said he
was beaten within an inch of his life who just killed somebody 30 minutes
before we`re seeing him on this tape.
PALUMBO: Reverend, I can he will tell you something else that`s
rather interesting. I just listen to a witness to this indicated that he
believe that Zimmerman got from on top of Trayvon and when he got up, there
was no visible injuries and moving about quite freely and comfortably.
SHARPTON: That`s what the witness you just said.
PALUMBO: I just heard a witness` statement. And these are not
consistent with injuries that would justify the use of deadly physical
SHARPTON: Now, let`s go slow, Jonathan and Lou. Let`s get specific.
First, Zimmerman`s nose. It was said his nose was broken. Let`s look
at his nose. It see this quote, Zimmerman - this statement made from the
scene. "Zimmerman was bleeding from his nose." That was the police
report. And the "Orlando Sentinel" report in this week "Zimmerman suffered
a broken nose at the scene."
But let`s focus again on the video. Shot less than an hour after
Trayvon was killed. Less than an hour after Zimmerman sustained these
injuries. Look at his nose.
PALUMBO: I have a point I`d like to make out that maybe not to
upstage but more significant, if you have a broken nose or bleeding, do you
see any blood on his chest?
SHARPTON: Or the clothes.
PALUMBO: Well, that`s what I`m referring to, his clothing, his chest.
Nothing anywhere. You don`t see anything --
SHARPTON: Here`s the clothes. Here`s the nose. A broken nose, you
can`t stop from bleeding. And you certainly would have blood on your
SHARPTON: He did change his clothes.
But we should focus on something else.
SHARPTON: Look at the nose.
CAPEHART: If he broke --
SHARPTON: Look at the nose. These are three different shots, three
different angles. Neither of those angles look like a broken nose or you
don`t really see a bruise and you September certain certainly don`t see
blood. And I`ve never heard of an arrest where they let you go change
before you go to the police station from a murder scene. Am I right, Lou?
PALUMBO: Not in my 39 years of being a law enforcement community.
The thing is obviously Mr. Zimmerman is attempting to cover up this
homicide he committed. And unfortunately, there are witnesses coming
forward right now that are contradicting many of the statements that he
made, including statements his father made about being brutally beaten to
the degree that it was requiring him to use deadly physical force.
SHARPTON: And the report says that he was treated in the back of the
car. But clearly --
PALUMBO: No blood.
SHARPTON: -- no blood. And clearly it does not seem like any
And Jonathan, you`ve been following the writing on this case from day
one as close to it as it went national. And you`ve been told this man was
JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Right. We`ve all been told
that Trayvon jumped on top of him, Trayvon first punched him in the face,
knocked him out. Knocked him down on the ground, pinned his shoulders
back, pinned his arms back, banged his head several times in to the
CAPEHART: But for those folks who might want to say you can`t see
that might be blood because the image is grainy.
CAPEHART: Someone who has had a broken nose, someone who was bleeding
from the nose, someone who had lacerations in the back of their head would
have bandages less than 35 minutes --
SHARPTON: Especially since they had first aid.
CAPEHART: Exactly. First aided in the back of that police car he
arrived in. There are no bandages on his nose, nothing inside his nose to
stop the bleeding and nothing in the back of his head.
SHARPTON: He was given first aid in the back of the car. If he had a
badly bruised nose - that`s not a broken nose, they would have bandaged it.
SHARPTON: They would have done something. They would not have just
wiped his nose and handcuffed him. Mind you, you want a handcuff a guy
with broken ribs and let him just walk through the police station. It
doesn`t make a lot of sense.
PALUMBO: Another interesting development with the eyewitness. The
eyewitness has spoken and indicated that this confrontation with Trayvon
occurred on the grass and apparently based on the police report that I was
able to review, there was grass stains or moisture consistent with him
being on a lawn, not concrete.
SHARPTON: Not concrete. So what you reviewed, he was on a lawn, not
SHARPTON: Now let`s focus on the head. The "Orlando Sentinel"
reported this week police said Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman
and slammed his head into the sidewalk leaving him bloody and battered.
Now, -- back to the video. Does it look like there`s any laceration
or evidence of cuts or bruising on his head in video?
CAPEHART: Not that you can see if this video. And still again --
SHARPTON: Let`s go close.
PALUMBO: Nothing consistent with the injuries that were alleged.
SHARPTON: Now, Lou. How important would this be if you were
testifying at trial?
PALUMBO: Extremely important.
SHARPTON: It will be very important.
PALUMBO: There are a lot of holes in his story at this point,
Reverend. That`s bottom line. There will are no injuries that he
sustained consistent with the use of force that he employed.
SHARPTON: Now, he has three different shots of the head just like I
did to the nose. Here are three different shots. And on all three angels,
we don`t see any obvious injuries, lacerations.
PALUMBO: No irregularities.
SHARPTON: Or irregularity, thank you, sir. I`ll use your term since
you`d be the expert witness. And he would need some of these injuries,
one, to be consistent with the story told and, two, to justify why you
would use deadly force and kill someone and claim it was self defense.
PALUMBO: The other thing, Reverend, if he had sustained these
protracted injuries that he alleged, the law enforcement agency as we have
done in the past would have taken photographs of him so that at some point
in time if necessary they would have been presented to a grand jury to
further support his claims of self-defense.
But I do want to point out one other thing with this case that people
may not be mindful of. It is my opinion that this incident or this contact
with Trayvon was precipitated as a result of the poor judgment of
Zimmerman. It is not an affirmative defense. You cannot claim self-
defense if you instigate the confrontation.
PALUMBO: And basically Trayvon had the same stand your ground rights
as this individual did. This was a man who had no identification from a
law enforcement agency.
PALUMBO: No credentials that would allow him to confront anyone. In
fact if you review the tapes, he was directed or it was suggested to him -
pick some antiques here how he want to say it, by the 911 operator who
operates under the training and supervision f the law enforcement agency
not to proceed. He had no legal authority to confront Mr. Martin.
SHARPTON: Well, let`s go a step further. Let`s go to the clothing
because clearly, if you see how he was dressed, there`s nothing identifying
him as anything. If I`m Trayvon, I don`t know if I`m not being attacked by
PALUMBO: That`s exactly right.
SHARPTON: Because you see how he`s dressed. He`s not a law
enforcement officer. He is not even a registered watchman, but he
certainly not dressed in a way that would suggest to any authority.
But also let`s look at the police report identified Zimmerman as,
quote, "The subject in the red jacket at the crime scene." Yesterday the
"Orlando Sentinel" reported police took Zimmerman`s clothing and packaged
it for crime lab analysis.
But, back to the tape. That looks like a red jacket to me. Wouldn`t
there be blood on that jacket and when would they have taken the clothes?
PALUMBO: They should have for the purpose of analysis to determine if
that was his blood or the blood of Trayvon for example. You know, as the
story is going and continuing to develop, I`m hearing that the shot was
discharged while the two of them were rolling around on the grass.
PALUMBO: So obviously there was an entry wound which we would like to
verify through autopsy potentially an exit wound which would be consistent
with some bleeding. So obviously, you`d like to find out the entry wound
angle, if in fact there was an exit wound, and you want to determine the
distance in which the shooting occurred. And we`re able to do that through
SHARPTON: Back this up for me one second. Where is my video guy? I
want to back it right just a few -- right. OK.
Here you got it open. There`s no blood. You see the green shirt?
The green shirt is open. There`s no blood. So even if somebody was
wearing a red jacket, you could see blood, here`s green. You`d see
something some dark spots. You`d see something if there was blood,
certainly from a bloody nose.
So, I mean, the story they`re telling, it just doesn`t fit the tapes.
And obviously not only did the Martin family know the tapes existed, I
don`t think Zimmerman and them, thought about these tapes before they told
CAPEHART: I also want to mention one other thing.
SHARPTON: Lou, sum it up for us. As you mention there`s one thing.
Sum up what we have going through.
CAPEHART: If there were injuries consistent with a brutal beating
that required the use of deadly miss force and in this instance a deadly
weapon, a handgun, wouldn`t you think there would have been required some
type of emergency medical treatment at a hospital facility? This guy`s
walking around the precinct like he`s never experienced anything. He
doesn`t have any bumps, any bruises. There`s no evidence of any bleeding.
SHARPTON: Doesn`t seem like he`s traumatize traumatized, nothing.
PALUMBO: Precisely. There`s nothing consistent with his claims or
the claims that his father made. In fact, his father further exacerbated
the situation by lending itself to this whole issue about the weapon which
is another tangential to this whole thing. He was not authorized to carry
this weapon in this capacity as a neighborhood watch person. The same way
the New York City auxiliary police who are in uniform are not authorized to
carry weapons. They specifically forbid it. He precipitated this.
There`s a little vigilante mentality attached to this individual in my
opinion and this is the fruition of it.
SHARPTON: Lou Palumbo and Jonathan Capehart, thanks for your time
this evening. And thanks for your help in walking us through this tape.
New focus on the one person who can make or break this case, special
prosecutor Angela Corey. Will she make an arrest? Stay with us.
SHARPTON: George Zimmerman`s lawyer speaks out on live TV. Some
stunning developments in this case, next.
SHARPTON: We`re back to the investigation. George Zimmerman`s
defense case could link on that newly released video. It seems to
discredit the shooter`s claims that he was attacked. But Zimmerman`s
attorney says it proves nothing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When you look at this video tape, do you think it
backs up your client`s claims or it might contradict them?
CRAIG SONNER, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S ATTORNEY: I don`t think it does
either one. It`s a very grainy video. Clearly the reports show he was
cleaned up before he was taken to SWAT car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The video is grainy. He was cleaned up. Certainly a
different tone than this attorney struck before the tape was released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONNER: I believe that his nose was broken. He sustained injury to
his nose and on the back of his head, he sustained a cut that was serious
enough that probably should have had stitches but there was a delay to him
getting to the emergency room.
I believe there was sufficient evidence to show that Mr. Zimmerman
was acting in self-defense. There he has wounds and injuries to his face,
to the back of his head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So, Zimmerman`s attorney went from calling these injuries serious to,
well, hard to see in a grainy video. But even if his wounds were clean up,
this is the very same attorney who has claimed that Zimmerman was treated
at the hospital after being released by police. Would he have x-rays to
back up a broken nose? Pictures? Something?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONNER: Again, I`m not -- even though with all the evidence that`s
coming out, I`m not going to litigate this case in the media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You`re not going to litigate this case in the media.
You`ve been giving interviews left and right. I`d work on that defense
argument if I were you.
Joining me now from Florida is Ken Padowitz, former homicide
prosecutor and Kendall Coffey, criminal defense lawyer and former U.S.
attorney. Thank you both for being here tonight. Ken, let me start with
you. Does Zimmerman`s attorney appear to have a case anymore at all?
KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER HOMICIDE PROSECUTOR: Mr. Zimmerman`s attorney
appears to be having looked through the bottom of a coke bottle for glasses
and maybe he was using rabbit ears on his television when he indicated it
was a grainy video. I`ve seen the video numerous times. It is not a
grainy video. And clearly this is an unbelievable piece of evidence that
completely smashes to smithereens a defense argument that he was apparently
battered and bruised and had his head slammed against the cement. It`s
ridiculous. It`s absurd. I don`t know what`s going on over there with
that Police Department.
I`ve worked with fantastic detectives and homicide detectives here in
Fort Lauderdale. And there must be some kind of Mickey Mouse operation
going on over there or maybe the proximity to Disney World is what explains
it. But this is not what you would expect from an investigation and
absolutely now what you would expect from a homicide investigation. There
is no defense from this video. In fact, it blows it away that there is
some kind of battered and bruising. We all don`t have to be rocket
scientists to recognize that this person is not severely injured. He
wasn`t taken immediately to the hospital by the Police Department which
would be police training 101.
PADOWITZ: And that did not obviously happen here.
SHARPTON: Now, Kendall, when you combine that with the fact, last
night we heard the mother of a young witness say that the lead investigator
thought this was not self-defense. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, as the investigators communicated with you in
arranging and talking to you around the interview of your son, did they
tell you whether they felt this was self defense or not?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The lead investigator from the Sanford Police
Department stood in my family room and told me this was absolutely not
self-defense and they needed to prove it. He told me, and I`m paraphrasing
this quote, but read between the lines, there is some stereotyping going on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, Kendall, when you have a witness saying that the lead
investigator told her it was not self-defense, you have no injuries that
are apparent in this tape, this seems that to me that the defense attorney
has a real problem if this is going to be his -- or his only basis of
KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER FLORIDA U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes, I see this case
now. The last couple days are really moving it toward the likelihood of
charges being filed. The special prosecutor still needs to make sure this
is a thorough precise professional investigation. When you look at the
fact that the first time apparently got bungled, she wants to make sure
that everything is done exactly right this time. And it needs to be. It`s
much more important to get it done right than to get it done fast. And she
has to make sure that whatever her charging decision is, is not seen as a
product of public outcry, not a response to the fact that there is a public
that wants to see charges brought but rather, a law enforcement`s
professionals judgment that she`s looked at everything, she understand
everything and the right thing to do is to bring criminal charges against
SHARPTON: Now, Ken, 911 calls showed Zimmerman was not scared, and he
kept pursuing even though he was told not to. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, TRAYVON`S SHOOTER: These (bleep) that always get
OPERATOR: Are you following him?
OPERATOR: OK. We don`t need you to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, you combine that with the call from Trayvon`s
girlfriend who says, he was being chased and doesn`t that pretty much put
the self-defense strategy out of the window?
PADOWITZ: I think it does. It certainly doesn`t look good. And
when he says on tape that they always get away, he was going to make sure
that he was not going to get away and that he continued to pursue him.
Now, we have a stand your ground law in Florida which is a horrible law,
but you know, the stand your ground law also applies in this situation that
I can see to the victim, to the child in this case. He doesn`t come to a
gunfight armed with a bag of skittles. He`s going home and all of a sudden
the person pursuing him armed with a loaded firearm is the person that is
now claiming the use of this law. It`s really obscene to me.
You know, quite frankly, if there was a shooting and somebody was dead
and the police got to this scene and they found somebody who is acting
irrational or crazy, they wouldn`t say, OK, now we`re not going make an
arrest because he must be insane and the insanity defense is going to be
use. So, we`re not going to find any probable cause. That`s absurd.
There was probable cause here from everything that I`ve seen, an arrest
should have been made at the scene and hopefully the special prosecutor is
going to do the right thing, do a thorough investigation, and then make the
appropriate arrest and bring this case to trial.
SHARPTON: Now, Kendall, we also have a report that the funeral
director who prepared Trayvon`s 17-year-old body said that he has no, the
body had no cuts or bruises on his hands or knuckles to support the claim
that he fought with Zimmerman.
COFFEY: Well, that`s huge, frankly. Because if there`s no physical
evidence and there`s going to be thorough forensic testing now, should have
happened before, but hopefully it will all happen now, then that becomes
yet another fact that weighs heavily against a self-defense claim. The
self defense claim is still going to be made. These are not easy cases.
But what prosecutors do, and I think this prosecutor has the spirit in the
backbone to recognize, is if a case is righteous, you bring the prosecution
even if it`s not easy. Because that`s what the system demands. That`s
what justice demands. That`s what the victims deserve.
SHARPTON: Now, Ken, let me come back to you in a minute. Self
defense. He will use we assume the stand your ground law. But even Jeb
Bush who signed into law says, it doesn`t apply here, others are saying it
doesn`t apply. Even though I on the record disagree with this law, I don`t
see how anyone could have claimed stand your ground but Trayvon Martin that
PADOWITZ: I agree. And the stand your ground law is a horrible piece
of legislation. It basically takes what`s called the castle doctrine where
if somebody comes into your home, you get to shoot first and ask questions
later. And it extends it to everywhere outside on the street. Well, the
person using that law here or the Police Department claiming that that law
applies to the shooter is taking a person who was pursuing in the role of a
citizen watch and he wasn`t watching. He clearly was armed with a firearm,
a lethal weapon and he was pursuing even though he was told by the 911
operator not to pursue. So, I don`t see how you can validly claim a self-
defense argument under the stand your ground law. In fact I think the
stand your ground law supports Trayvon Martin and the victim in this case.
He had the right to stand his ground from someone who was pursuing him,
someone who was stalking him and defend himself.
SHARPTON: Ken Padowitz and Kendall Coffey, thanks to both of you for
joining me tonight.
COFFEY: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Ahead, a closer look at the person who will make the key
decision on the arrest in this case. Special prosecutor Angela Corey.
SHARPTON: A lot who are about special prosecutor Angela Corey right
SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. There`s one overwhelming
question now in the Trayvon Martin case. Will we see an arrest for George
Zimmerman? That decision rests in the hands of one person. Special
prosecutor Angela Corey. "The Miami Herald" reports she says, she could
make that decision without the grand jury, which is scheduled to convene on
April 10th. Cory said, quote, "I foresee us being able to make a decision
and move on it on our own. But when? On Monday, just four days after
taking over the case, Corey asked the public for patience as the office
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA COREY, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: That young man deserves justice.
His parents deserve answers and we`re going to make sure that they both get
that. We`re going to take as much time as we need to find out every fact
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is Joe Madison, nationally syndicated host
of "Mornings with Madison" on Sirius XM radio. He`s been following this
story on his radio program. Also joining me is Beverly McClain of
Jacksonville, Florida. She runs a support group of families of murder
victims and is a friend of Angela Corey. Thanks to both of you for being
here tonight. Joe, let me start with you, isn`t it time for an arrest,
JOE MADISON, HOST, "MORNINGS WITH MADISON": Absolutely. You`re 100
percent right. It is time for an arrest. And given the evidence and the
discussion you have had previously to this discussion, this segment, it`s
very clear. And one of the concerns that the attorneys have expressed
about a grand jury that people should know is that, one, grand juries are
secretive. So someone can go into a grand jury and actually put on a weak
case and we would never know who the grand jury members are, we would never
know what was said inside that grand jury room. And they could clean their
hands. The third part of it is that the makeup of the jury pool in Sanford
is not as diverse as we would want to be. So, you`ve got that problem.
And it is time for an arrest. Enough is enough of the lies.
SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you, Ms. McClain. You know Angela Corey
from your victim`s rights group. You`ve interacted with her on murder
cases. Now, when Joe talks about the prosecutor presenting a weak case,
just from your working and dealing with her on victim`s cases, what would
you say is her commitment to victims if she`s convinced they`re victims?
BEVERLY MCCLAIN, ANGELA COREY`S FRIEND: She`s going to do the right
thing. Number one, she`s going to do the right thing. Angela Corey has a
concern and a passion for victims. And we know we`re standing with her,
whatever decision comes, but I know she`s going to do the right thing.
SHARPTON: Now, when you say she`s going to do to the right thing and
that will be wherever the evidence takes her --
MCCLAIN: That`s right.
SHARPTON: She took the case exactly a week ago. Based on your own
experience with her, is it going to be a -- is she a swift moving
prosecutor or is she more methodical and going to take a longer time?
MCCLAIN: She`s going to take her time and get the answers. She`s
going to do her job.
SHARPTON: Now, let me go to Special prosecutor Angela Corey on a
Jacksonville case where the shooter is claiming self-defense said, quote,
"We have charged that man and he`s claiming self-defense, claiming he was
in fear. We charged him, and if he fights it on stand your ground, we`re
going to fight back." So, she has stood up against people that used this,
Joe, if she felt that they should use it. Does that encourage those of us
that think this is misapplied here, Joe?
MADISON: Oh, I think we should be encouraged. And I don`t want to
give the impression that I`m disparaging her reputation. I`m talking about
the process. And I think that what we want is her to prosecute this in the
open. That`s what I`m really saying. Versus a grand jury. Because once
again, you don`t know who the jury is. You will never know who the jury
members are. So my concern is that if it`s going to be prosecuted, let`s -
- see, you know what we want, we want to see him handcuffed, charged, in
jail, and arrested and then we`re not looking for revenge. We are looking
SHARPTON: Well, that`s all. And that`s all we`ve asked from the
beginning. And our call for arrest was that there was probable cause, let
it be tried before a judge and a jury, not in a courtroom. Let me come
back to you, though, Beverly. Angela Corey`s resume shows someone that is
not necessarily one way or another. She`s a republican. Elected state
attorney in 2008. Endorsed as quote, aggressive and tough by local
sheriffs. She`s well-known for prosecuting a 12-year-old as an adult in a
murder case. So, it doesn`t say she would be leaning anyway toward public
pressure certainly from those of us that consider ourselves progressive.
But if she`s tough on crime, we think the crime is clearly here with the
tapes. So, this could go either way.
MCCLAIN: Angela is going to stand her ground. She`s going to do the
right thing and she`s going to get the facts and she`s going to do what she
got to do. That`s the Angela Corey I know.
SHARPTON: All right. Joe, let me go back to you a minute. When you
and I -- when I first got the call from the family and the attorney to get
involved and you got involved, it was not known nationally that well many
of the things that was done that you and I were involved in helped to bring
it to the national forefront. Now, it is considered by one poll the
biggest story in the country. Therefore, what is the national impact from
the result of this case some when you have the Pew report saying 25 percent
of the American public is watching this case more than the elections or the
economy, the ramifications of this case will be widespread on cases like
this that, frankly, we fought for many years.
MADISON: And what we`re finding across this country Reverend Al,
we`re probably going to have to go to a place like Dayton, Ohio where we
just talked about a case this morning.
MADISON: Young man shot there 22 times by two security guards and
it`s possible a hate crime because the car caught fire and allegedly the
security guards said let the inn burn.
SHARPTON: It`s got to stop.
MADISON: It`s got to stop. This is what`s going to happen.
SHARPTON: And I don`t care whether the victims are black or Latino or
MADISON: That`s right.
SHARPTON: Gays or lesbians or women. It has to stop.
MADISON: It has to stop.
SHARPTON: Joe Madison, Beverly McClain, thank you for your time
MCCLAIN: Thank you for having me.
SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, justice, not hate. Back in January of
1991, I was leading a march in Brooklyn, New York for 16-year-old boy who
had been shot and killed in a hate crime. I was stabbed in the chest just
to the left of my heart. Later I forgave my attacker, I went to court and
I asked for leniency for him. I even visited him in prison. I thought
about that today when I heard some of George Zimmerman`s father, what he
told a local TV station in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I guess he would have preferred my son being dead
today. I never foresaw so much hate coming from the President, the
Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, every organization imaginable is trying
to get notoriety or profit from this in some way. But there`s so much
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: No, we don`t come with hate. We come with love, a love
that says that we must love the country enough to make sure that the
Trayvons of this country are treated just like George Zimmerman is treated.
We must have one equal protection under the law practice that works for
everyone. It`s love. Many of us have said and done things we have found
to be wrong. But when our lives was on the line, when we faced what was an
attack on us, we learned that only love will sustain you. I look at that
wound every morning, Mr. Zimmerman, and that`s what motivates me because I
know what hate can do. And I come to stand up on this case and many of us
because we love this country enough to correct it. If you love something,
you make it better. If you just want to use it, you just let it remain the
way it is and get what you can out of it. Let`s really love the country
and correct it with this case.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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