The Ed Show for Thursday, March 29, 2012
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
Guests: Al Sharpton, John Butchko, Natalie Jackson, Norton Bonaparte, Dr. James
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight from New York.
George Zimmerman`s father is defending his son by smearing Trayvon
Martin, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, and -- let`s not forget
-- the president of the United States.
Tonight, Al Sharpton and the Martin lawyers are here to respond to
Zimmerman`s father and the surveillance the video.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FATHER: Trayvon Martin said
something to the effect of "You`re going to die now" or "You`re going to
SCHULTZ (voice-over): George Zimmerman`s father breaks his silence.
He claims his son was attacked by Trayvon Martin and puts his spin on the
night in question.
Tonight, we`ll go through the details and see how they match up with
the police surveillance video.
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: When we looked at the video,
it was obvious there were no visible injuries.
SCHULTZ: Trayvon Martin`s parents speak out on the Sanford police
FULTON: I believe that this video is the icing on the cake.
SCHULTZ: Martin family attorney, Natalie Jackson, will respond to the
police video and Robert Zimmerman`s interview.
ZIMMERMAN: I never saw so much hate coming from the president --
SCHULTZ: And Zimmerman`s father thinks the president`s comments on
Trayvon Martin were hateful. Tonight, Al Sharpton is here to respond.
SCHULTZ: Good to have with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.
George Zimmerman`s father, Robert, has come forward to make a case for
his son`s defense in the arena of public opinion. Part of his strategy is
pushing anti-President Obama right wing rhetoric. Zimmerman has gone so
far as to characterize the president of the United States as a hate
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president,
Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP. Every organization imaginable is
trying to get notoriety or profit from this in some way. But there`s so
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Any sane person knows it`s absolutely outrageous for Robert
Zimmerman to accuse President Obama of anything other than compassion.
The president`s statement about Trayvon Martin could not have been any
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think all of us have
to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this
happen. And that means that we examine the laws and the context of what
happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.
But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if
I had a son, he`d look like Trayvon. And, you know, I think they are right
to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the
seriousness it deserves and we`re going to get to the bottom of exactly
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That comment made by the president last Friday. But we have
to play that tonight for clarity.
Where`s the hate? There is none. The president clearly felt for the
parents of a lost son. And he voiced his support for finding out what
really happened the night Trayvon Martin was shot.
But Robert Zimmerman is in denial. He is feeding off people like Newt
Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who accuse the president of dividing the
country by commenting on the case.
Zimmerman is trying to gin up support for his son by feeding the right
wing beast. The retired magistrate stated -- no question about it --
factual errors in his interview with the FOX station that he did an
interview with. And he speculated on the length of a confrontation.
How would he know?
So Zimmerman`s best defense is to play into the hot political rhetoric
that permeates through this country. Not only have we seen Zimmerman try
this tactic, but activists helping the family have been targeted for
But Zimmerman is playing this card. Robert Zimmerman knows half the
country doesn`t like the president of the United States, so he makes him
the target, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the NAACP and anyone who
speaks out in favor of justice.
We know things about this case, was it a drive-by shooting? We know
who did the shooting, and the American people want justice. But to claim
hate, to try to gain favor is about as low as it gets. And to claim hate
to garnish sympathy is something I just haven`t seen play out in the media
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: did Robert Zimmerman`s comments about President Obama cross the
Text A for yes and text B for no to 622639. You can go to our blog at
Ed.MSNBC.com and leave us a comment. We`ll bring you the results later on
in the show.
Joining me tonight is Reverend Al Sharpton, host of "POLITICS NATION"
here on MSNBC.
Reverend, great to have you with us.
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Your thoughts of what you just heard in that interview with
Robert Zimmerman targeting the CBC, the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP,
and the president and using the term "hate."
SHARPTON: Well, I think, first of all, it is absolutely pathetic to
try to accuse the president`s statement as being hateful. I think the
president was trying to show compassion to two parents as a parent, for
losing their son. He said, we have to find out what happened. He didn`t
even say any conclusion of what he thought happened, didn`t suggest it.
He gave his compassion to a family who lost their son. There`s no
question about a son was lost. I think any father would say that if you
wanted to comment on the situation, because there`s no question that a life
But this whole playbook that we see from the right wing not only from
Zimmerman`s father, who`s feeding into that as a father -- fine, let`s put
But this whole thing of attacking those that want to stand up and say
that there are things here that don`t appear right, it`s not the president,
this is activists like us, I think is their way of trying to distract from
the issue. The issue is they made statements that does not seem to square
with the law. Probable cause is probable cause. All we said is he should
have been arrested.
And then all these other comments that have come after that call, the
tapes clearly do not in any way validate what they said.
Let me be clear: when I was called into this case, called the National
Action Network and Attorney Crump on behalf of the family, we came in
because they asked us to come in because they said their civil rights they
felt was violated. We would have been irresponsible not to see if in fact
there was a civil rights violation.
We felt that probable cause not being regarded was a civil rights
violation. That`s what you do.
But if you see a case that involves racism or homophobia or sexism,
they attack those that respond rather than deal with the issue and the
merits of the issue. Of course, civil rights groups are going to respond
when a civil rights allegation is made. Of course, if you`re in other
areas of discrimination, that`s what you do.
I don`t think you answer it with venom, you answer it with fact.
Clearly, we`ve denounced any kind of hate in this and I don`t think have
engaged in hate and would denounce it if anyone would raise it.
SCHULTZ: Robert Zimmerman is a retired magistrate, has experience
with the law, which I find it so surprising that he is trying to build a
case in the arena of public opinion of defense by blaming others. How lame
SHARPTON: I think it`s very lame. And I think it doesn`t in the end
serve their point. You know, we`re fighting a case in New York, Ramarley
Graham, a young man killed in his own house by police rather than -- like
the Trayvon case, in New York, police will say you`re anti-police. We`re
not anti-police. We work with police because we need to reduce crime in
But rather than deal with issues, always in civil rights, always in
human rights, always in discrimination, you kill the messenger. But to do
this to the president of the United States who`s not even advocating like
we are shows a callous disregard for what has happened here. A life was
lost. Let`s deal with that.
And I think that Mr. Zimmerman would have done himself and his son
better to say himself, we`re sorry about the loss of life, but these are
the circumstances as I believe it. Not to come with venom and attacks on
the president of the United States.
SCHULTZ: Well, I see it as a cat call, out there saying, those who
don`t like the president, who have issues with the Congressional Black
Caucus and NAACP, you know, give me a little backup. I mean, that`s how I
think a lot of people are reading this, how I`m reading it.
SHARPTON: I think your reading is probably accurate. But again, I
think that you`ve got to even separate those of us in civil rights, NAACP,
National Action Network, all of us, from the president. The president is
not advocating. We are.
And part of being advocates, we take on all that. I expect I`m going
to be attacked. I hope they attack us rather than the family. That`s what
But the president clearly didn`t get in the middle of making a
judgment. He showed compassion for these two parents, something all sides
should do. They lost a son. That should be above and beyond everything
SCHULTZ: Reverend, I want to get your thoughts on the videotape that
is now, of course, playing everywhere of George Zimmerman coming into the
police house. What jumps out at you at this tape?
SHARPTON: We were told he had a broken nose. We were told he had his
head smashed into the ground. That he was near the end of his life, he had
to defend himself.
Here, you look at the tape, there are no visible injuries. There`s
certainly no blood anywhere. I don`t know how you have a broken nose or
even a badly bruised nose, no blood on the shirt, no blood on the jacket.
SCHULTZ: There`s issues with the tape.
SHARPTON: I mean, clearly, rather than answer the tape, they want to
attack the president or attack those that have said there`s probable cause
here. Why wasn`t an arrest made?
According to what we`re told now, the prosecutor drove from his house
50 miles to the police station and overruled the chief investigator, who
said arrest him. Is he going to say the chief investigator was engaged in
hate? The chief investigator said arrest him. Was he full of hate? He
was the one that investigated the case at the scene.
So why don`t we answer that, those that are saying what they`re saying
in terms of Zimmerman`s father rather than try to scapegoat others by going
around issues they raised. We didn`t say his nose was broken, we didn`t
say that he was bloodied. They did.
When tapes come out -- police tapes, by the way, Ed -- when the tapes
come out and it`s not there, you try to distract and go somewhere else.
SCHULTZ: Well, the police clearly knew who Trayvon Martin was after
the shooting. They had I.D.`ed him. Yet, he was listed as a John Doe for
three days. Who`s going to answer for that?
SHARPTON: Listed as John Doe for three days. Wouldn`t release the
body to the father. Why? Why would the chief prosecutor tell a witness, a
mother that I don`t believe it`s self-defense. I believe it`s
stereotyping. Was he full of hate?
So, let me get this right. The chief negotiator was full of hate.
The one that came to the house and told the witness, the young boy witness
-- mother, rather, that this was stereotyping, he was full of hate. All
the civil rights group saying probable cause, we`re full of hate. Now, the
president is full of hate.
By tomorrow morning, you`ll be full of hate. Why don`t we deal with
the fact if you really love the country, you want the law to work equally
SCHULTZ: And with that, Reverend Al Sharpton, thanks for joining us.
I appreciate it.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of
the screen and share your thoughts on twitter @EdShow. We want to know
what you think.
Coming up: George Zimmerman`s father defends his son in an interview.
We`ll see how his story matches up with the facts with retired detective
And later, I`ll talk to Sanford city manager, Norton Bonaparte, about
the videotape and get his reaction to the latest investigation.
Stay tuned. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, George Zimmerman`s father speaks out in defense
of his son. We`ll compare his story with the evidence and talk with
retired homicide detective John Butchko who worked in the Miami market.
That`s coming up next.
Trayvon`s parents react to the new video. An attorney for the Martin
family, Natalie Jackson, will join me on that. And Robert Zimmerman`s
And the death of Trayvon Martin is putting the "Stand Your Ground" law
under the microscope. We`ll take a closer look at the Florida law later
Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow. We want to know what
you think. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
A steady flow of leaks and public testimony continues to pour out of
the Trayvon Martin`s case. The latest is Robert Zimmerman`s interview with
FOX 35 in Orlando where he gave his son`s side of the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: After nearly a minute of being beaten, 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," something to that effect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Robert Zimmerman`s account of what happened to his son is
consistent with the Sanford Police Department`s official report on the
night of the incident. But both stories are at odds with George
Zimmerman`s appearance in the surveillance video released by the Sanford
Robert Zimmerman had not seen this video before he gave his account of
the story to the FOX affiliate. George Zimmerman`s lawyer was on the
"Today" show and he told Matt Lauer the tape is not conclusive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS: When you look at this videotape, do you think
it backs up your client`s claims or might it contradict them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think it does either one. It`s a very
grainy video. If you watch, you will see one of the officers as he`s
walking in, look at the back of his head. The video is very grainy. I`m
not sure it has, as far as being able to see injuries recently sustained
and then later cleaned up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Robert Zimmerman released a statement earlier this month
defending his son. The statement is not consistent with the facts as we
know them. Zimmerman wrote, "At no time did George follow or confront Mr.
But we know this is the not true after hearing George Zimmerman`s own
phone call to Sanford emergency services.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Go straight in. Don`t turn and make a left. He`s
DISPATCHER: He`s running? Which way is he running?
ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
DISPATCHER: OK. Which entrance is that that he`s heading towards?
ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance.
DISPATCHER: Are you following him?
DISPATCHER: OK. We don`t need you to do that.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The tapes are not only proof Zimmerman was in pursuit of
Trayvon Martin, Martin was on the phone with a friend in the last minutes
of his life. The friend told Martin`s lawyers, "Trayvon said, `What are
you following me for?` And the man said, `What are you doing here?` The
next thing I hear is somebody pushing and somebody pushed Trayvon because
the headset just fell. I called him again and he didn`t answer the phone."
Robert Zimmerman is once again willing to challenge the facts on the
record. He told FOX 35, I don`t believe that happened, meaning that
conversation. "I don`t believe she was on the phone with him and I find it
very strange, with the publicity involved in this, that all of a sudden,
after three weeks, someone would remember that they were on the phone."
ABC News reported Trayvon`s phone logs show the conversation occurred
five minutes before police first arrived on the scene.
Here`s the timeline of what happened on the night of February 26th as
we know it. Three big points: At 7:12 p.m., Trayvon Martin was on the
phone with a friend. By 7:17, police arrive on the scene of the shooting
and Trayvon Martin was dead. At 7:51, George Zimmerman arrived at the
Sanford police station.
Let`s return to John Butchko. He is a retired Miami Police Department
homicide detective with 28 years experience.
John, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
As a homicide detective, what I inconsistencies jump out at you from
the information you know of this case?
JOHN BUTCHKO, RETIRED HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Well, first, it`s a
pleasure to be here.
As far as the facts that I know about the case and this is through the
media, I don`t have the intimate details from the Sanford Police Department
or the investigation. But the things that jump out to me, first of all, is
that in order to use deadly force, it has to be -- you have to believe
there`s imminent death or great bodily harm is going to occur to you or is
occurring to you.
In this case, I saw the video of Mr. Zimmerman coming into the police
station. I don`t see that on him. I don`t see great bodily harm.
At this point, you have to remember, he`s a civilian, he`s on the
street, he`s armed. Mr. Martin is there on the street also. He doesn`t
know what his authority is to stop him and there`s a confrontation. That
confrontation -- I`m understanding that Mr. Zimmerman received a bloody
nose and possibly some injuries to the back of his head.
Now, in any type of fight, high school fight, you`re going to have
that type of injury, that`s not great bodily harm.
SCHULTZ: So, from what you see of this videotape, you would not
conclude that there was some kind of struggle that was life-threatening for
BUTCHKO: That`s exactly right. From seeing that videotape, I would
conclude that. if there was great bodily harm or imminent death to him,
then he would then treated on the scene, he`d possibly been transported to
At this stage, again, he`s a civilian, he`s confronting Mr. Martin and
Mr. Martin has the right to protect himself from this person confronting
I believe that`s what happened, and Mr. Zimmerman happened to have a
firearm on him and used it. And I believe that he used unjustly.
SCHULTZ: How much -- you think he used it unjustly?
BUTCHKO: Yes, for the fact that there wasn`t great bodily harm done
BUTCHKO: I know he gives his story his head was being banged against
the sidewalk and he felt that he had to use force.
Just from what I know of the investigation and what I saw on that
videotape, I don`t see that type of injury. I see a struggle, I see fight,
and the police are on their way at the time. And it didn`t appear there
should have been deadly force used in that situation.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Butchko, you were a homicide detective for 28 years. I
want to ask you about the timeline. How much work would have been done at
the scene of the crime?
On the phone, Trayvon Martin on the phone at 7:12, he`s dead by 7:17
when the police officers arrived, and George Zimmerman is in the police
house at 7:51. Doesn`t this seem like a rather fast turn of events?
BUTCHKO: It is -- it is pretty quick. However, when you get to the
scene, what you`d normally do is you evaluate the scene, you find out who
your witnesses are, you find out exactly where your scene is, where your
evidence may be. There`s other police officers there that are assisting
It`s advisable if you get the person who did the shooting off of the
scene as quickly as possible. However, without damaging any type of
I mean, there is such a thing as gunpowder residue swabs, even if you
know who did the shooting, you take those swabs to prove that at a later
time. Those swabs should be taken before the shooter is removed from the
SCHULTZ: Yes. Do you think that -- from what you saw of the
videotape, that there was the damaging and contamination of evidence?
BUTCHKO: No, I don`t see that. First of all, I don`t know what the
status is on his clothing. I don`t know if his clothing was taken on the
scene or not.
BUTCHKO: If it was not taken on the scene, that`s understandable.
That happens. That`s not going to change. The blood is not going to come
off of that, the clothing.
It`s understandable because you don`t have a change of clothing for a
shooter on the scene.
BUTCHKO: You get into your station and during the course of your
investigation at the station with him, you would collect his clothing.
SCHULTZ: And, finally, Mr. Butchko, how many murders did you
investigate in your 28 years?
BUTCHKO: Oh, geez. I`d say, as a lead detective, over 1,200. Yes.
SCHULTZ: OK. How rare is it that the police would know the identity
of the victim but list him as a John Doe for three days?
BUTCHKO: Well, I don`t know if they knew the identity of him at the
time. I don`t know if he had identification on him.
SCHULTZ: Well, the police report says they did.
BUTCHKO: Well, if we knew who he was and he had identification on
him, we wouldn`t have listed him as a John Doe, we would have went with his
identification -- especially if it was a photo ID. Then, from there, the
priority is to try to find the family and to notify them.
Now, in light to that, this is a young man who didn`t live in that
community, that might have been quite a task to do, and it might have taken
a day or so to find out who the parents were and where they were at the
time, because I understand the father`s girlfriend lived there and they
didn`t really have a connection, I don`t think with Tyrone`s name.
SCHULTZ: But door-to-door would have been the thing to do, correct?
BUTCHKO: Well, you do an area canvas. You automatically do an area
canvas any time you have a homicide in order to look for additional
witnesses. But one thing you wouldn`t do, you wouldn`t go through a whole
neighborhood and pounding every door trying to find out who this kid is.
SCHULTZ: OK. But what about the cell phone? Wouldn`t that be
obviously followed up by law enforcement, who was the last person he dialed
and list of phone numbers? That would be in there to be checked out. That
shouldn`t take too long.
BUTCHKO: Well, unfortunately, it does, because we`re -- the police
department is obligated to do things legally because you don`t want
evidence suppressed later on, and part of that is possibly getting a
subpoena for those phone records. That`s not something that`s done
overnight and sometimes takes a couple days and to get the information back
also takes a few days and sometimes a few weeks.
SCHULTZ: So the handling of the cell phone doesn`t bother you?
BUTCHKO: No, it doesn`t, because normally on a scene, you would
secure that cell phone. At some point, you would go through it to find out
what the numbers are. But if you -- you would not just call those numbers
because you don`t know who you`re calling.
BUTCHKO: What you would do is figure out what numbers are on that
phone, subpoena those records, and then find out who they were, and then
you would contact them.
Now, as far as them not making an arrest, police not making an arrest
right off, I`m not too troubled with that. We have had many cases where --
especially a case where there`s a possibility of self-defense, I`m not
saying this is self-defense, but there`s a possibility of it, that a
continued investigation is necessary.
You need to find out what the medical examiner`s office is going to
say. What is the angle of the bullet, the entry, the exit? You need to
find out what the defendant is telling you.
SCHULTZ: John Butchko, I appreciate your time tonight you. We`ll
have you back. Thank you so much for the information.
Trayvon`s parents have reacted to the police surveillance tape and
we`ll get the family lawyer`s reaction of the Robert Zimmerman`s interview,
And the right wing is trying to change the story by demonizing Trayvon
Martin. Dr. James Peterson will set them straight.
Stay with us. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Trayvon Martin`s parents have
reacted to police surveillance video of George Zimmerman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: We just looked at the video
and we were just surprised, because according to the police report, he
sustained injuries. Zimmerman sustained injuries. But when we looked at
the video, it was obvious that there were no visible injuries. There were
no blood on his shirt.
So we have concluded, just by watching this video, that there may not
have been any injuries at all.
TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: It`s amazing how, if in fact
he had a broken nose -- how he continued to keep his head down.
SCHULTZ: Trayvon`s parents have not yet responded to the dad, Robert
Zimmerman`s interview. Robert Zimmerman said he thought Trayvon Martin was
not on a phone call with his girlfriend the night of the shooting. His
quote is "I don`t believe that she was on the phone with him. I believe
the FBI and others investigating this will find that did not happen."
But according to ABC News, the phone logs show the conversation
happened. Let`s turn to Natalie Jackson, attorney for the family of
Trayvon Martin. Natalie, thank you for your time tonight.
Robert Zimmerman says the call never happened. Can you respond to
NATALIE JACKSON, LAWYER FOR MARTIN FAMILY: You know, Mr. Zimmerman is
a father trying to protect his child. The call happened. There are
records that the call happened. This is not something that a young girl
made up and people just believed her.
There are records that back up her story. Now everything that his son
has told him, there`s nothing to back it up except for his son. In fact,
all the different stories that have been reported by family and friends of
George Zimmerman, they`re kind of proving to be not true.
SCHULTZ: Have Trayvon`s parents seen Robert Zimmerman`s interview?
And have they given a reaction to it?
JACKSON: Yeah, they did give a reaction to it. They said that, you
know, they understand. It`s his child. That`s what parents do. They
protect their children. But what he must understand is that while he has
that right, he does not have a right to try to tarnish Trayvon in the
process, because they never had a chance to protect their child from his
son, the killer.
SCHULTZ: Now, did the family want civil rights groups to come in and
get involved on this? There`s been some criticism of those, such as Al
Sharpton and -- both Reverend Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson and some
of the groups. The NAACP, of course, was mentioned by Robert Zimmerman,
and the Congressional Black Caucus, even the president of the United
States. And the word hate was thrown around.
What`s your reaction to that and the family`s?
JACKSON: My reaction to that is that it seems to be Zimmerman`s camp
that is bringing up the racial issues. We had two million people sign this
petition, two million people of all nationalities, races and political
affiliation. Every time someone from Zimmerman`s camp gets on camera, such
as Joe Oliver, who brings up that Zimmerman`s not racist, or his father who
brings up the hate and the racism.
We have said that Zimmerman noticed Trayvon because he was young,
black and male. That is racial profiling. We have purposely said we don`t
know George Zimmerman. We don`t know if he`s a racist. We do and we can
hear from his own words that he profiled Trayvon.
So racism is being brought up by their camp. If anyone is trying stir
up racist thoughts or division, it is their camp. We are a camp of unity,
hope and justice.
SCHULTZ: Natalie, what have you learned and your lawyer team learned
from the police surveillance video?
JACKSON: Well, I mean, we`ve just added more on to the fact -- what
we already knew, that Robert Zimmerman should be arrested for the killing
of Trayvon Martin. This video, it`s just more evidence that goes towards
it. There is no visible injury to George Zimmerman.
There is no visible evidence that Trayvon -- there was some sort of
attack that led to imminent fear of death or imminent fear of great bodily
SCHULTZ: Yes. And one other thing, are you trying to get dispatch
and medical records to see exactly who attended to George Zimmerman in the
police car? It would seem to me that the EMT team, the paramedics, whoever
they are, should have a record of that. Or -- have you seen those records?
JACKSON: I`m glad you mentioned that, because what America needs to
know and the public needs to know is that as they are getting information,
that`s when the family is getting information. All this stuff that is
being leaked, the family is getting it at the same time as the public.
There has been no investigative information given to the family by law
enforcement at this point.
SCHULTZ: So you don`t even know who attended to George Zimmerman in
that police car?
JACKSON: No. We don`t know -- we don`t know any names. We don`t
know who attended. What we do know, Ed -- what we do know is that there
were more than one officer on the scene. And one of the other officers who
wrote a police report did not even mention George Zimmerman`s injuries in
his report. He did not think they were significant enough to put in a
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Zimmerman reportedly going to the
hospital the next day?
JACKSON: I have no makes of that because I don`t have any hospital
records. I don`t know. It`s all speculation.
SCHULTZ: OK. So a medical professional attends to George Zimmerman,
broken nose -- I don`t know if there`s any x-rays. There`s no blood
anywhere. We can`t see that on the tape. And no one has allowed your team
or anyone to see a record of what medical professional attended to a man
who had something on the back of his head, pounded into the ground,
according to his dad, and a broken nose.
SCHULTZ: You have nothing of that. I just -- I find that
JACKSON: And these are the parents. This is why the parents started
all of this. The parents wanted answers. They had a child laying on a
sidewalk that had nothing but Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, when an
armed vigilante shot him. And they were told we can`t do anything. He
said self-defense. No parent would take that as an answer.
SCHULTZ: It seems that he is giving a defense -- his father is giving
a defense in the arena of public opinion, trying to gin up support. But he
can`t substantiate any kind of medical attention that was given to this.
And you`re saying that one of the police officers never mentioned it at
JACKSON: Exactly. And it`s in the preliminary report. There were
two police officers on that scene.
SCHULTZ: Natalie Jackson, thank you for your time tonight. I
appreciate it. >
Coming up, the Stanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte is my next
And the right wing character assassination of Trayvon Martin just
continues. Dr. James Peterson, Lehigh University, will join me.
And there are new details on Florida`s Stand Your Ground Law. ALEC
and the NRA, that report is ahead. Stay with us. you`re watching THE ED
SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The videotape showing George
Zimmerman the night Trayvon Martin was killed raises more questions than it
gives answers. Emotions are running high in Sanford, Florida and all
across the country.
I`m joined tonight by Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte. Thank
you for your time, Mr. Bonaparte. I appreciate it so much.
I know that you are unable to discuss the details of the ongoing
investigation. But we`d like to ask you a few things about the timeline of
events and some other things, if we may. When you see -- when did you
first -- when were you first aware of the surveillance tape in the police
house there, when Mr. Zimmerman showed up with the police after the
NORTON BONAPARTE, SANFORD CITY MANAGER: We were aware of it. But as
you said, that is part of the investigation that we`re just not going to
comment on. We`ve been directed by the special prosecutor not to comment
on the investigation. So I appreciate your understanding of that.
SCHULTZ: Certainly. But you were aware of the tape, correct, early
BONAPARTE: I am aware of it, yes.
SCHULTZ: OK. So you had seen the tape before yesterday?
BONAPARTE: I had not seen the tape before yesterday. I was aware of
SCHULTZ: OK, you were aware of the tape but you hadn`t seen it before
yesterday. Now, as manager, did -- so you knew of the tape`s existence.
Were you in a position of authority to access the tape prior to last night?
BONAPARTE: The tape, with all the other evidence, has now been
submitted to the special prosecutor. And that`s where we`ll look to see
that justice is done for Trayvon Martin.
SCHULTZ: OK. But you oversee the police department and you just
found out --
BONAPARTE: That`s correct.
SCHULTZ: You had not seen this videotape? You had not seen this
videotape before yesterday?
BONAPARTE: That`s correct. I`m not part of the investigation.
SCHULTZ: Well, I don`t think that`s really impeding the
investigation, respectfully. I mean, you`re the city manager. You had
access to the tape and you didn`t see it until yesterday. That`s not
BONAPARTE: It`s a police matter. And it`s not normally where the
city manager is involved with police matters. You`re correct. I oversee
the policy of the police department. But I`m not responsible for the day
to day operations of the police department.
That`s a normal process the sallyport is taped. And it`s used for
different purposes. But that`s not something that the city manager would
be involved with.
SCHULTZ: OK. Were you aware that the state`s attorney showed up at
the scene of the crime -- scene of the shooting, drove 50 miles to get
there? Do you know if that`s standard operating procedure? Does he go to
BONAPARTE: I`m not involved with the criminal investigation.
SCHULTZ: That`s not a part of criminal investigation. That`s just
part of normal procedure. Does the state`s attorney --
BONAPARTE: You`re asking me if I`m involved -- if I have knowledge
about that. What I`m saying, as the city manager, I`m not involved with
the investigation. And I`m not involved with the process that the police
and the prosecutors use.
SCHULTZ: But you would know, overseeing the police department -- if
you knew that the state`s attorney makes it a habit of driving in from home
at night to see a crime scene.
BONAPARTE: No, I would not know that. That`s not part of the role of
the city manager.
SCHULTZ: So all the procedure is with the police chief. So what
brought you to --
BONAPARTE: That is correct.
SCHULTZ: What brought you to the conclusion that you needed the
police chief to step aside?
BONAPARTE: Certainly there was a lot of anger. There was a lot of
activity around the police chief. And the police chief thought, to take
the focus off of him and to keep the focus where it should be, and that`s
getting justice for Trayvon Martin, he decided to step aside.
SCHULTZ: We were told by one of Martin`s attorneys that it wasn`t
until after meeting at noon -- that that afternoon he decided to step
aside, that it was pressure that was put on by groups to make that move,
that he didn`t do it on his own. Is that correct?
BONAPARTE: Chief Lee made a decision on his own that he thought in
this best interest of this matter, to step aside.
SCHULTZ: OK. The report of Trayvon`s identity, is it normal that he
would be listed as a John Doe for three days?
BONAPARTE: Again, you`re asking me about the details. That`s a
criminal matter and that`s a police matter. The city manager is not
involved with that.
SCHULTZ: Was your curiosity peeked at all when you found that out?
BONAPARTE: That`s now up to the state`s attorney to decide whether or
not the Sanford Police Department acted accordingly.
SCHULTZ: OK. Mr. Bonaparte, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks
for being with us here on the program.
Sean Hannity is distorting the message of members of Congress calling
for justice for Trayvon Martin. Other right wingers are attacking the
victim. Dr. James Peterson is next.
SCHULTZ: The wheels are in motion for a complete character
assassination of Trayvon Martin. The website the "Daily Caller" has
published more than 150 pages of Trayvon`s Twitter activity. Today, they
decided to point out the photo Martin chose to represent himself on Twitter
depicts him as black polo -- with a black polo cap on, looking into the
camera and extending his middle finger.
"The Daily Caller" also makes sure to emphasize Trayvon Martin had a
tattoo. They are also making the case that Zimmerman was justified in
pulling the trigger because the kid had a tattoo and posted a picture of
himself flipping off the camera.
Meanwhile, on Fox News, Sean Hannity is hard at work slamming members
of Congress who are demanding an investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We have bounties. We have convictions
in the court of media personalities. We have political blame going on.
Why even have a trial based on what some members of Congress are saying?
Why even bother? Let`s convict him on the House floor.
We don`t know the facts. How about before members of Congress and
leaders and media personalities -- before they convict on national TV and
on the House floor, how about we have the facts before they go there and
bring up racial implications that we don`t know exist?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So Sean wants the facts? Well, you find the facts in a
court of law, which George Zimmerman has not had to face. And members of
Congress are not demanding a conviction. They are specifically --
specifically demanding a fair investigation.
I`m joined tonight by Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana Studies
and associate professor of English at Lehigh University. Great to have you
with us, doctor.
What has the mission of Hannity? Why is the right wing going down
this road, questioning those who want justice?
DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Well, Mr. Hannity is pandering
to his fan base. And I think behind all this is support for the NRA and
other different lobbying efforts and legislative efforts by ALEC. I think
I can understand it from that perspective.
Strangely, though, I think we want the same thing. We want a trial as
well. We want justice as well.
So Mr. Hannity`s indictment of the media and of Congress doesn`t seem
to make too much sense if you consider the fact that all we`re asking for
is due process. All we`re asking for is for the wheels of justice to begin
turning in this particular case.
SCHULTZ: I wish "the Daily Caller" would try like hell to go out and
get the medical records maybe from the first responders who fixed the
broken nose and washed up the kid before they took him to the police
station. Instead, they`re working on Trayvon Martin`s Twitter account.
What does that have to do with this case at all, his Twitter account?
And what do you think motivated "the Daily Caller" and some of these other
right wing websites that are doing stuff like this?
PETERSON: Well, it`s hard for me to get in the minds of a right wing
SCHULTZ: It`s about smear, isn`t it?
PETERSON: It is. The thing is, it`s also about continuing the legacy
of racial profiling. So obviously young kids flipping off the camera in
this day and age of cell phone cameras is one of the most common images
that a teenager will take. For that to have any bearing on anything in
this case or on Mr. Martin`s character is absolutely absurd.
The tattoo, though, is interesting, because people try to profile folk
based upon having tattoos. Again, it`s just the weakness in our society
about how we handle different people that we encounter in different
SCHULTZ: Here`s "the Daily Caller`s" Tucker Carlson -- was on Fox
pushing the Hannity line of attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, "THE DAILY CALLER": For people to weigh in, for
professional race baiters, like the ones you just saw on television, for
the president himself to weigh in and make this a simple parable about
white racism is very foolish, because it may not turn out to bolster that
accusation, for one.
For another, do you really want to have a conversation about who kills
who in this country? Do you want to look at the statistics? I mean, this
is not a conversation that we ought to be -- that political figures ought
to be weighing in on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Doctor, what`s your response to that?
PETERSON: Mr. Carlson, once again, is kind of way off base here.
Remember, he was behind some of the Breitbart crap that we have had to deal
with in the past. This to me just smacks of the problem on the whole, is
that these folks are engaged in trying to distract us from the mission of
pursuing justice for Trayvon Martin.
The bottom line here is institutional racism is an important thing for
us to consider when we look at the ways in which he was profiled by Mr.
Zimmerman, in the ways in which the Sanford Police Department historically
has operated, and the ways in which the Sanford Police Department handled
this particular case.
We have to ask some of those big questions about institutions. You
know what? They can accuse me of being a racist and accuse us of being
race baiters as much as they want to. We are still going to pursue the
case, pursue justice, and keeping talking about the things that are
important for this particular.
SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson, great to have you with us. Thanks so
It`s the law at the heart of the Trayvon Martin investigation, Stand
Your Ground. And it`s brought to you by the NRA. That`s next.
SCHULTZ: Note a clarification. In the last segment we just had here,
I said that "the Daily Caller" is making the case that Trayvon Martin was
shot because he had a tattoo. Not at all. That`s not what I meant.
I meant to say that it seems like they are linking the tattoo to the
shooting and that doesn`t seem to have any bearing on the case. I want to
be very clear on that.
Tonight in our survey, I asked did Robert Zimmerman`s comments about
President Obama cross the line? Ninety six percent of you said yes; four
percent of you said no.
Coming up, a closer look at the law Stand Your Ground, and how it`s
become the law of the land in some more than a dozen states around America.
A programming not, next Monday, we will be live in Madison, Wisconsin
in the eve of the primary there. We`ll be broadcasting the show from the
Great Dane, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM local time. And it will be open to the
public on a first come basis. We`d love to see you there. We`ll be right
SCHULTZ: Stand Your Ground, just what does that mean? Stand Your
Ground, the law at the center of the Trayvon Martin Tragedy, is now really
under the microscope not only in Florida, but all across the country.
Stand Your Ground allowed George Zimmerman to shoot and kill an
unarmed teenager, call it self defense and walk away a free man. So how
did Florida and over a dozen other states enact such legislation?
Well, like anything else, you just have to follow the money. "Mother
Jones" reports the NRA gave over 73,000 dollars in campaign donations to 43
Florida legislators who backed Stand Your Ground over a nine-year period.
The NRA then doubled down with an intense lobbying effort followed by an
additional cash spent to guarantee the bill`s introduction and passage.
Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed the law, Stand Your Ground, into law
with a lobbyist from the NRA at the side. That is Marion Hammer. No
surprise there. Hammer didn`t stop. She helped save Florida`s Stand Your
Ground Law into one of the most aggressive gun rights laws in the country,
and was instrumental in its passage.
Here`s what she had to say about it just a few years back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARION HAMMER, NRA LOBBYIST: I heard somebody say one time, we don`t
shoot to kill, we shoot to live. And that`s what it`s all about, being
able to protect yourself when you`re under threat of death or great bodily
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: But now some of the legislators who supported Stand Your
Ground are saying the law needs another look. The number of so-called
justified killings has risen since Stand Your Ground was enacted. Florida
Department of Law Enforcement Statistics show that before "Stand Your
Ground", there were about 13 so-called justified killings each year. That
number has since risen to 36 justified killings each year -- justified
killing. Think about that. How many more Trayvon Martins will there be
until the laws are changed?
That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ed Schultz.
Chris Hayes is filling in for Rachel Maddow tonight.
Good evening, Chris.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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